Gary Amirault on March 7th, 2011

by Mark T. Chamberlain

The book entitled “Every Knee Shall Bow” by Mark T. Chamberlain is an abridged and edited copy of “Christ Triumphant” by Thomas Allin.

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What the New Testament Teaches

“God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17)

We now turn to an examination of the many passages in the New Testament that clearly state or imply the salvation of ALL men. The time has come for boldly appealing to the letter and the spirit of the New Testament on behalf of the wider hope. I ask just one thing that common fairness and honesty require that you try to put aside your preconceived ideas, try to keep an open mind, and let our Lord and His inspired spokesmen mean what they say.

When they speak of “all men,” I assume them to mean all men, not some men. When they speak of “all things,” I assume them to mean all things. When they speak of life and salvation as being for the whole world, I assume them to mean that they are not merely offered to the whole world but that the whole world will in fact be saved. When they speak of the destruction of sin and death and the works of the devil, I assume that ALL of these will be destroyed and not preserved forever in hell. When they tell us that Redemption is wider, broader, and stronger than the Fall, I assume that they mean that ALL of the evil consequences of the fall will be swept away. When they describe Christ’s Kingdom extending over “all things” and “all creatures,” and tell us that “every knee shall bow … and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:10-11) or that “EVERY creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and ALL that is in them, (will be) saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”‘ (Revelation 5:13) I assume these words to mean what they would mean in their ordinary sense.

I protest against teaching that “all” means “all” when it is talking about sin and death, but that “all” means only “some” when spoken of final salvation. The restoration of all things means, we are told, that only some beings are to be restored, while the rest are tortured forever or annihilated. That God will be “all in all” means that millions will be cast into hell forever to hate God and blaspheme Him forever and only a few will be saved. That His tender mercies are over all His works means, in the traditional creed, that His tender mercies expire at the gates of hell. It is ludicrous that those who believe in everlasting hell charge us with evading the words of Scripture.

I submit that the entire history of biblical interpretation contains no stranger fact than this persistent ignoring of such a large part of the New Testament.

To bring this out clearly, I’m going to quote from a number of texts that have been pieced together like the links of a chain that all fit together to show that the Kingdom of Christ will one day include everyone who has ever lived and God will truly be “all in all.”

The chain begins at creation when all things were created by Christ with full knowledge of the fall of man that was to come and a plan already in place to redeem mankind. He who created all things will “reconcile to himself ALL things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:20). This reconciliation or restoration of ALL things was foretold by God when He “spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago” (Acts 3:21). God has appointed His Son to be the “heir of ALL things” (Hebrews 1:2) and in God’s Son “shall ALL the nations be blessed” (Galatians 3:8).

God has given His Son “authority over ALL flesh, to give eternal life to ALL whom He has given Him” (John 17:2). “The Father has given ALL things into the Son’s hands” (John 3:35) and so “ALL flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:6). Because of “the unchangeable character of God’s purpose” (Hebrews 6:17), because His love for His enemies is unchanging and “He is kind to the ungrateful and evil” (Luke 6:35). “He desires ALL people to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4). He “gave himself as a ransom for ALL” (1 Timothy 2:6). He “is not wishing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). He “has consigned ALL to disobedience, that he may have mercy on ALL” (Romans 11:32) “for from him and through him and to him are ALL things” (Romans 11:36).

So God’s plan is “to unite ALL things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth” (Ephesians 1:10). The Father has “put ALL things under Christ’s feet” (Ephesians 1:22) and has “given ALL things into his hands” (John 13:3). Jesus has promised to “draw ALL men” to Himself (John 12:32) because “the Father loves the Son and has given ALL things into his hand” (John 3:35). Jesus said, “ALL that the Father gives me will come to me” (John 6:37). Jesus says that like a good shepherd, He will search for each of His lost sheep “until he finds it” (Luke 15:4). “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:37). “The grace of God has appeared bringing salvation for ALL people” (Titus 2:11).

Jesus is the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus gave His flesh as bread “for the life of the world” (John 6:51). “He gives life to the world” (John 6:33). He is “the light of the world” (John 8:12). “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). “He is the Savior of ALL people” (1 Timothy 4:10), “the Savior of the world” (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14). “He appeared to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

Jesus “abolished death” (2 Timothy 1:10). “He has put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26). His power “enables him to subject all things to himself’” (Philippians 3:21). “The gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does” (1 Peter 4:6). He has “the keys of Death and Hades” (Revelation 1:18). He will throw “Death and Hades into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14).

“In Christ shall all be made alive” (I Corinthians 15:22). He “accomplished the work” that the Father gave Him to do (John 17:4). “He restores all things” (Acts 3:21). “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11). “Every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, `To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever! “‘ (Revelation 5:13).

“Then comes the end, when he [Jesus] delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 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. 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” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

These verses have not just been thrown together haphazardly. They are the expression of that purpose that runs through the Bible, a purpose first stated in mankind’s creation in the image of God, a purpose that can be traced throughout the entire Bible, in the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets, and most clearly in the New Testament. From it we learn at least three things:

1. Christ came claiming the entire human race as His own, to the end that He would save and restore the entire race, not just part of it.
2. He came with full power and authority over all men, having received all power in heaven and earth over all hearts, all evil, all wills.
3. He lived and died and rose again, completely victorious, having fully accomplished the work His Father gave Him to do, which was the salvation of the world.

To deny universal restoration and reconciliation is to mutilate the Scriptures. We are not dealing with a few isolated verses in which it might be possible to say that “all” was used loosely and doesn’t really mean “all.” We have a connected series in which link follows link—a series that teaches the actual, not potential, universality of Christ’s Kingdom. Let’s look closer at these passages, taking them in their natural and fair meaning, not obscured by the traditions of men.

Luke 19:10: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” The question is this: Will Jesus Christ really do what He said He came here to do? He didn’t say He came to save some of the lost. He came to save the lost. And that is everybody! Apart from Christ, we are all lost, but He came to seek for us until He finds us (Luke 15:4).

Luke 3:6: “All flesh shall see the salvation of God.” This verse is probably taken from Isaiah 40:5, which says, “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Surely these verses point in the direction of universal salvation. Matthew 5:8: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Luke 6:27-36: “But I [Jesus] say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungratefujl and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

If you are a Christian, you have probably read this passage many times to discover what kind of lifestyle Jesus expects from you. Have you ever thought of reading it as a description of God? Look at it in that light. Jesus says in the end that if you do these things, you will be like your Father, “for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil” and “your Father is merciful.” Remember also that He is unchanging. If God’s attitude toward sinners now is love and mercy, it will always be. Could the loving God described above really be happy knowing that even one of His children created in His image is suffering unspeakable anguish in hell forever?

Matthew 12:29: “How can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.” Luke 11:21-22: “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil.” In these verses, the strong man is Satan, the stronger man is Christ, and the plunder or spoil is mankind. Jesus defeated Satan on the cross and He will eventually carry all of the spoils of that victory to be with Him. If anyone is eternally lost, Jesus’ victory was only partial. In the NLT, Luke 11:22 is translated, “Until someone who is stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings.” Jesus won the right on the cross to strip Satan of all his belongings, and He will!

Luke 15:4: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?” Forgive me for coming back to this passage, but it is one of my favorites. To me it is so clear. If the average shepherd would keep on looking for one lost sheep and not give up until he finds it, surely our Lord will be no less persistent in seeking out every last one of His sheep, not just until they die, but until He finds them and brings them back safely to His fold. Praise His name forever! By asking, “What man of you…,” Jesus gives clear sanction to the right to argue from those feelings shared even by the outcast and sinful, to the divine feelings as I have done in chapter 2. It is obvious that that is exactly what Jesus is doing here in this passage. It is as if He said, “If a shepherd won’t give up until he finds one lost sheep, how much more will God refuse to give up on His children!”

John 1:6-7: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.” That ALL might believe! That is God’s stated reason for sending John, and that is His reason for all of His dealings with mankind. Dare we say that God will fail to accomplish His goal in sending John and all of the other prophets, and His only begotten Son?

John 1:29: “The next day he [John] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, `Behold, the Lamb of God, who is going to try to take away the sin of the world!”‘ Is that what it says? No! Jesus is “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” The sin of the whole world, not just a part of it. Will He do it? Does He work “all things according to the counsel of his will?” (Ephesians 1:11).

John 3:17: “God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Again, why would God, who is all knowing, send Jesus to save the world if He knew beforehand that most of the world would not be saved? That doesn’t make sense. God sent Jesus to save the world because He knew His Son would accomplish exactly what He sent Him to do.

John 3:35, 6:37-39: “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.” The false belief that salvation must take place before physical death necessitates explaining away even the clearest scriptures. If you believe that punishment after death is temporary and remedial, as I hope to show when we get to our study of the Greek words translated “eternal” and “everlasting,” the above verses are crystal clear. The Father has promised the Son that everyone will eventually come to Him. He has given them to Him. Their destiny as redeemed children of God is sure!

John 6:33: “For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Notice He doesn’t offer life to the world–He gives it! I am not saying faith and repentance are unnecessary. I am saying that verses like Philippians 2:10 about every knee bowing and every tongue confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God look forward to a time when everyone who has ever been born has come to faith and repentance.

John 12:32: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” We have already looked at this verse. Remember Jesus didn’t say that He would draw a select group called “The Elect”! He doesn’t say He will try to draw all people to Himself. He says He will do it! He says in the words of a poet:

So shall I lift up in My pierced hands Beyond the reach of grief and guilt The whole creation. –E.B. Browning

Matthew 11:27: “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and ANYONE to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” This verse says as clearly as it possibly can that the only thing necessary for anyone to know God is for Jesus to choose to reveal Him to them. Why would Jesus choose not to reveal the Father to anyone for whom He died?

In what has become known as the High Priestly Prayer, just before His betrayal and arrest, Jesus says in John 17:1-3: “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over ALL flesh, to give eternal life to ALL whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Who has the Father given to Jesus? All flesh. Or as John 3:35 says, “all things,” or as John 12:32 says, “all people,” the salvation of every person has been predestined from before the foundation of the world. The Father has given ALL mankind to Jesus, and He will draw them ALL to Himself in His time.

John 19:30: “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, `It is finished.”‘ J.C. Ryle writes, “Our Lord meant that His great work of redemption was finished. He had as Daniel foretold, ‘finished transgression, made an end of sin, made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness’ (Daniel 9:24). After thirty-three years, since the day when He was born in Bethlehem, He had done all, paid all, performed all, suffered all that was needful to save sinners and satisfy the justice of God. He had fought the battle and won it, and in two days He would give proof of it by rising again.”

If the salvation of all men was not secured on the cross but only made available, it would have been far from finished. The battle would have just begun. The hard part would have been getting people to receive the salvation made available to them. People do need to receive it, but Jesus died knowing that they all eventually will because the Father had given them all to Him. It is finished! 1 John 2:2: “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”

So much for limited atonement! Jesus made atonement for the sins of the whole world. Would He who knows all things, who knows the beginning from the end, die for anyone unless He knew His death would have the desired effect of reconciling all people to God?

1 John 3:5: “You know that he [Jesus] appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.” Did Jesus really come just to take sin to hell and leave it there like a toxic waste dump, or did He come to annihilate it? Our next verse answers that question.

1 John 3:8: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” What is sin? The works of the devil. Jesus came not to keep sin in hell forever but to destroy it. That is why 2 Peter 3:13 says, “But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” Some day the entire universe will be completely devoid of sin, and God will be all in all! There won’t be a place called hell that is full of sin forever, because according to Revelation 20:14, “Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire,” presumably for destruction.

1 John 4:14: “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the few who receive him in life, and to throw the rest into everlasting torment.” Is that what it says? No, it says, “The Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.” Will He succeed, or will He fail?

Revelation 1:18: “I [Jesus] have the keys of Death and Hades.” How can death eternally separate anyone from Christ when He has the keys of Death and Hades and He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance?

Revelation 5:13: “And I [John] heard EVERY creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and ALL that is in them, saying, `To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”‘ How can people be left in hell weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth if they are ALL gathered before the throne of God and the Lamb, worshipping them and ascribing to them bless¬ing and honor and glory?

Ephesians 1:9-10: God’s “purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time,” is to “unite ALL things in him [Christ], things in heaven and things on earth.” What other meaning could these verses possibly have than the clear meaning that is right there? In the fullness of time, ALL things (“all people,” according to the context) will be united in Christ and God will be all in all! That is why Paul talks in verse 12 about “we who were the first to hope in Christ.” We who are believers now are the firstfruits. The rest will follow in due time.

Acts 3:21 (NLT): Jesus “must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of ALL things, as God promised long ago through the prophets.” Again, what else could this refer to but the complete restoration of every child of God created in His image to a right relationship with Him?

Acts 24:14-15: “I [Paul] worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, having a hope in God … that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.” This is the same man who said in Romans 9:3: “I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers.” Would he hope for the resurrection of the unjust knowing that they were being raised only to be thrown body and soul into a place of torment forever?

We have been looking mostly at the Gospels and Acts. Now we turn to the letters of Paul. We will find in them the stream of promise still widening, the universal nature of redemption indicated with a precision of language and a variety of illustrations that seem impossible to reconcile with endless evil. I don’t mean that every passage quoted is in itself conclusive. I do mean that all are relevant, as links in the great chain of promise, which taken together make a very strong case for universal restoration, which brings up an important question: If we are to believe in endless evil and endless suffering, how can we account for such passages that, taken in their natural meaning, obviously point to the wider hope?

That the Bible holds out the hope of universal restoration and reconciliation cannot be denied (Acts 3:21; Colossians 1:20). If this will never take place, why is it in the Bible? Why does the Bible raise expectations that will never be fulfilled? Paul’s writings deserve special notice. His writings are the closest thing to a systematic theology in the Bible ranging over the whole field of the divine purpose and human destiny. I want to draw your attention to two points:

1. Not only does Paul assert the sovereignty of God, but it also lies at the center of his teaching. He sees everywhere a purpose slowly but surely fulfilling itself, a purpose that can be resisted but not defeated.

2. He gives striking prominence to the resurrection as a spiritual and redemptive force. It is the climax of Christ’s work for man.

In Romans 4:13, he says that God promised “Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world.” God chose Abraham not for Abraham’s sake only, but also that he might inherit the world. This is a spiritual inheritance, not physical. In verse 17, Paul cites Genesis 17:5: “As it is written, ‘I have made you the father of many nations.”‘

Romans 5:18: “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for ALL men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for ALL men.” This passage couldn’t be more explicit. Everyone who was condemned by Adam’s sin will be justified by Christ’s death. If the word “ALL” means “all mankind” in the first part of the verse, it means “all mankind” in the second part. I highly recommend studying the entire passage (Romans 5:12-21) without a commentary. Commentators will just try to explain away the clear teaching of this passage, which is that grace is always stronger than sin.

Romans 5:15: “If many [everyone] died through one man’s [Adam’s] trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift [salvation] by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many [everyone].” This verse is another example of those who believe in eternal hell changing the meaning of a word in the same sentence. In the first part of the verse, they say the word “many” refers to all men because Adam’s trespass brought death on all mankind, but when Paul uses the same word in the second half of the same sentence, they say it refers only to those who are born again before they die, because they refuse to believe that God’s grace will reach every man. Paul clearly says in this verse that the grace of God and the free gift of salvation abounds for everyone!

Romans 11:11-31: “So I ask, did they [Israel] stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob; and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy.

Study this passage carefully and prayerfully and see how God, the Master Strategist, is working everything together toward a goal that cannot fail! What is that goal? The next verse tells us. Romans 11:32: “For God has consigned ALL to disobedience, that he may have mercy on ALL.” God chooses this person or nation and hardens that person or nation not to save a select group called “the elect” as Calvinists would have us believe, but so that “he may have mercy on all.”

Romans 11:36: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” Look at each part of this declaration one at a time. “For from him … are all things.” This obviously means that all things have their origin in Him. He created every thing. “Through him … are all things” Everything is sustained by Him. “To him are all things.” As all things had their origin in Him, so they will return to Him. To Him be glory forever!! Amen!

Romans 14:11: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” The margin of the ESV says, “Or shall give praise.” The NASB translates it: “Every tongue shall give praise to God.” The CEV: “Everyone will kneel down and praise my name!” The words are self-explanatory. Everyone will praise God!

1 Corinthians 15:22: “As in Adam ALL die, so also in Christ shall ALL be made alive.” The Message translates it: “Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ.” Again I would ask you, Does it really make sense to take the first “all” to mean everyone and confine the second “all” to those who die in Christ? It is obvious that Paul has the same group in mind in both halves of the verse.

1 Corinthians 15:22-28: “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 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. 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.

At the end, there is no place for sin, evil, or hell, for God is all in all! If God has to cast some people into everlasting hell, it means that He was unable to get them to submit themselves to Him. They won’t be submitting themselves to Him in hell; they will be hating Him and cursing Him for all eternity. What kind of subjection is that? All will willingly subject themselves to Jesus and to God the Father after He has purged them of all sin and rebellion. The same word is used of Christ’s subjection to the Father, and of the subjection of Christ’s enemies to Him. Obviously Christ’s subjection to the Father is out of love. How can endless evil and torment be described as subjection to Jesus? Such an interpretation is excluded by the last statement in this passage: “that God may be all in all”!

1 Corinthians 15:55: “0 death, where is your victory? 0 death, where is your sting?” If the majority of mankind will go to everlasting hell after death, it would seem that death will have won a gigan¬tic victory! I urge you to study this entire section of scripture (1 Corinthians 15:12-58) and notice Paul’s increasing rapture as his argument expands, as the prospect opens up to him of a universe yet to be, from which all sin and death are wiped out. Paul’s words give only an imperfect expression of the absolute triumph of Christ, of the flood of glory that will fill the universe in the widest possible sense. God will be all in all!

2 Corinthians 5:19: “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself.” Note that it doesn’t say God was trying to reconcile the world to Himself. He was doing it! Study this whole passage care¬fully (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). God’s reconciliation of the world to Himself is an accomplished fact. When we tell others about Christ, we are just telling them to embrace what has already been accom¬plished. And if they don’t do it in this life, they will in the life to come when EVERY knee shall bow and EVERY tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God!

Ephesians 1:9-10: “His purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time,” is “to unite ALL things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” If all things in heaven and earth are to be united in Christ, how is there any possibility of an endless hell or a creation permanently divided?

Ephesians 1:22-23: “And he [the Father] put all things under his [Jesus’] feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” The Greek verb used here for all things being under Christ’s feet is used in 1 Corinthians 15:28, referring to the subjection of Christ to the Father. As we saw in looking at that verse, Christ’s subjection of Himself to the Father is willing submission out of His love for the Father. That is the same submission Jesus will someday have from “all things.” Notice the last phrase of verse 23: “the fullness of him who fills all in all.” God fills everything in every way. The idea of a place existing for all eternity where people are forever shut out from the presence of God doesn’t fit in a universe where God fills all in all.

Ephesians 4:8: “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” Who are these captives? Luke 11:22, which we have already looked at, tells us. When Christ, the stronger man, broke into the strong man’s (Satan’s) house, he carried away all his belongings. 1 Peter 3:19, 4:6 tells us that Christ went and proclaimed the gospel to the spirits in prison (Hades) that they might live in the Spirit as God does.

Ephesians 4:10: “He who descended is the one who ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.” As we saw in looking at Ephesians 1:23, if Christ fills all things, how can there be an everlasting hell where people are forever shut out from the pres¬ence of Christ? The doctrine of eternal hell totally contradicts so many verses of scripture. The day is coming when God will completely eradicate sin from existence, not just keep it tucked away in a dark corner of the universe called hell forever!

Colossians 1:19-20: Through Christ “God was pleased … to reconcile to himself ALL things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” If God’s goal in sending Christ was to reconcile everything to Himself, nothing can thwart that goal because He “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11).

Philippians 2:10-11: “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Don’t let that word “should” throw you. The NASB, NLT, NCV, CEV, The Message, and other translations all say “will.” The key phrase is “to the glory of God.”

If people are just bowing outwardly out of fear or awe while their hearts remain unbowed, that doesn’t glorify God. Some day, every creature everywhere will willingly bow in worship and adoration as it says so clearly in our next verse, Revelation 5:13: “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”‘ This is so obviously genuine worship! Would God who loves all mankind really cast anyone into everlasting torment who worships Him like this? Obviously John is looking past the judgment to a time when everyone everywhere has at last been reconciled to God and God is all in all! Hallelujah!!

In my church we sing a song called “Ancient of Days,” which quotes this verse almost verbatim. It goes, “Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto Him who sits on the throne. From every nation all of creation bows before the Ancient of Days. Every tongue in heaven and earth shall declare your glory. Every knee shall bow at your throne in worship.” Too bad I seem to be the only one in my church who believes the words as they’re being sung.

Philippians 3:20-21: “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him to subject all things to himself.” The way that the subjection of all things to Christ is to be understood is clear from the context, “who will transform our body to be like his glorious body.” No believer doubts that Christ is able to subdue all things to Himself, but this passage shows decisively what that means. It is making them like Himself, not casting them into everlasting torment!

1 Timothy 2:3-6: “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” There are basically three ways this passage can be interpreted:

1. The Arminian–God desires all people to be saved. He gave His only Begotten Son to save everyone. But He can’t save anyone except those who are willing to be saved.

2. The Calvinist–God has two wills that “appear” to contradict each other—His revealed will and His secret will. Even though His expressed will is for all people to be saved, He really doesn’t want anyone to be saved except for the elect whom He chose before the foundation of the world, and whom He effectually calls to Himself. They call this “apparent” contradiction a paradox or an antinomy. But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. In other words, if it looks like a contradiction and sounds like a contradiction, it probably is.

3. The Universalist–God wants all men to be saved. He sent Jesus to die for all men. God is sovereign. Therefore all will eventually be saved.

Unfortunately these are not straw men. I have heard and read each of these views from those who hold them. Which one sounds most plausible?

1 Timothy 4:10: “We have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” The meaning is so clear it’s transparent! God IS the Savior of everyone! He is the Savior of believers now and He will save everyone else in due time.

2 Timothy 1:10: “Our Savior Christ Jesus … abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” Jesus has abolished death, and with death what it implies in scripture–sin and evil. Death abolished and death in its worst form, the second death, maintained forever, are plain contradictions.

Titus 2:11: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.” How is God’s grace bringing salvation for all people consistent with the eternal damnation of anyone?

1 Peter 3:19: Christ “went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison.” 1 Peter 4:6 tells us what was preached to them. Was it their eternal damnation? No, it was the Gospel. It says, “The gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.

J.C. Ryle says, “Some theologians hold that, between His death and resurrection `He went and preached to the spirits in prison’ (1 Peter 3:19) and proclaimed the accomplishment of His work of atonement.” Although he himself considered this “doubtful,” he says this view was held by Athanasius, Ambrose, Zwingle, Calvin, Erasmus, Calovius, and Alford. This is the most natural way to interpret these verses if you don’t have to try to prove the unbiblical teaching that all chance for salvation ends at death.

2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is … not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” The NIV translates it: “The Lord is … not wanting anyone to perish.” If the Lord does not want anyone to perish, we can rest assured no one will. We have already shown in chapter 2 that God is able to change people’s hearts and make them willing to come to Him even if they come “kicking, struggling, and resentful” as C.S. Lewis so eloquently put it in his testimony.

Hebrews 1:2: “He [God] has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things.” What sort of things do you suppose Jesus Christ is interested in inheriting? Mankind!

Psalm 2:7-8: “The Lord said to me, `You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.”‘ This verse is used in missions textbooks all the time. God has promised to give His Son all the nations as His inheritance, and He will do it!
Hebrews 2:5-9: “Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left NOTHING outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for EVERYONE.”

Here is one more passage to add to the many that speak of Christ’s kingdom being destined to extend over all things. I have already shown that subjection to Christ means not the subjugation of slaves, but perfect harmony and peace in the New Testament. The subjection of mankind will be like Christ’s subjection to the Father, done out of love. (See notes on Philippians 3:21 and 1 Corinthians 15:25.) Christ has tasted death for everyone! Therefore all will be saved in due time.

Hebrews 2:14-15: “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver ALL those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” If Jesus’ death destroyed the devil as to his having the power of death, how can death continue forever in hell? If Christ’s death delivers ALL from the fear of death, how can eternal death be waiting for anyone?

Hebrews 6:17 (NIV): “Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.” We see God’s unchanging purpose clearly in 2 Peter 3:9 where it says that God is not willing for anyone to perish. The word translated “willing” there is a variant of the word translated “purpose” in Hebrews 6:17.

If God’s purpose or will is unchanging, and He is not willing that any should perish, we can be sure that God’s purpose will come to pass in His time!

Hebrews 9:26: “He [Jesus] has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” The NIV translates it, “To do away with sin.” That is the question: Did Jesus come to completely do away with sin or just to safely contain it in hell forever? If sin exists forever, Christ’s victory is incomplete, because He came to do away with it completely! Amen!

Hebrews 13:8: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” The same Lord Jesus Christ that loved sinners when He was here in the flesh, who prayed for those who nailed Him to the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” that same Jesus will love sinners forever because He is unchanging!

A few words of caution must be added here. I hope I have made it clear that in teaching universal salvation, I have not tried to minimize sin, nor have I taught that sinners will be saved while still clinging to their sins. I believe that many people have terrible sufferings awaiting them after they leave this life-how long and how severe I leave up to a loving and just God. But I believe that God never punishes for punishment’s sake. He always has the sinner’s repentance and restoration in view, and in His wisdom He knows exactly what it will take in each case to bring about the desired results!

I am opposed to the popular creed partially because I believe that it in fact teaches men to make light of sin in two ways: first, because it teaches a plan of retribution that is so unjust as to make people secretly believe its penalties will never be inflicted; and next, because it asserts that God either will not, or cannot, overcome and destroy evil and sin, but will bear with them for ever and ever. I repeat that not a single word has been written in these pages that would indicate that God is just a “good of boy” who winks at sin and considers it a light matter when someone violates His holy law! God forbid that I should teach such shallow theology! It is in the light of Golgotha that we see sin as exceedingly sinful, so sinful that nothing less than the death of God incarnate could pay for it. But let us be careful, lest in thinking we are honoring the atonement we are actually dishonoring it by limiting its power to save by teaching that Christ failed in His mission as Savior of the world, making Him a liar. Because He never said, “If I am lifted up I will draw SOME men to myself,” or “I will TRY to draw all men to myself,” but, “I WILL draw ALL MEN to myself!”


What the New Testament Teaches, Continued

He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:26)

Universalists are sometimes accused of focusing on God’s love to the exclusion of His justice and holiness. I am determined that in these pages there will be no room left for such a charge. I firmly believe that it is those who would make such a charge who have a perverted view of God’s love and justice. It is very true that there is a current that runs through Holy Scripture that seems to the English-speaking reader to teach either the destruction or eternal punishment of those who die apart from Christ. I fully admit this. The key word here is “seems.” The Bible was not written in English but in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. It comes to us from very distant ages, in very many parts, the work of about forty different inspired authors, all of them writing from an Eastern standpoint, saturated with Eastern habits of thought, and with Eastern phrases and style. Therefore, true interpretation of Scripture depends to a great degree on understanding the sense in which the terms in ques¬tion are used. Let us go to the Bible with this in mind.

Admitting that there runs through Scripture these two currents of God’s love for all men and the awful punishment waiting for those who die in their sins, we feel instinctively that love and not wrath is the central theme of God’s revelation to us. We feel its kinship with all that is noblest in our nature. I don’t just mean with what we like better, but with what we recognize as best and most divine both in God and in mankind. Some may say that the current of wrath is louder, but I don’t think so. It may seem so to some from habit, or because sinners do not readily grasp what is broadest and most divine. To them, revenge is more credible than mercy and love. Even if wrath were the louder current, I would point out that God is usually heard in a still, small voice.

That which seems to be the meaning of a passage of Scripture on the surface may not necessarily be the true meaning. The Israelites didn’t recognize Jesus as their Messiah because they read the prophecies concerning His second coming in power and glory and applied them to His first coming when He came as a suffering servant. The truth was under the surface in those fewer, less promi¬nent predictions of the latter, but they couldn’t see it because they wanted a conquering King to throw off the yoke of their Roman oppressors. I want to honestly face all the facts, and I urge you to try to open your mind to the possibility that you may have missed the truth of God’s love, which (as I Corinthians 13 tells us) never fails because of a false understanding of God’s justice and wrath. I hope to show that while the penalties threatened against sinners are truly terrible, still they are not endless. I believe that not one passage found anywhere in the Bible teaches endless suffering when fairly translated and understood. I ask you before examining these passages to keep several things in mind:

1. When the horrors of endless sin and pain are so staunchly defended on the (supposed) authority of the Bible, it is well to remember that slavery was almost unanimously defended for hundreds of years on similar grounds, as were the inflic¬tion of cruel tortures, religious persecution with its inde¬scribable horrors, and the burning of witches. During the dark ages, theologians actually believed that demons had sexual intercourse with humans. You may say, “All the lead¬ing Bible teachers defend eternal hell on the authority of
Scripture.” I would reply, “Bible teachers have defended doctrines and practices so abominable that one can hardly imagine anyone believing such things, much less ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

2. This is a fact of the deepest significance: Although certain words and phrases existed that Jesus and the Apostles could have used to convey the concept of unendingness, they never used these words in regard to the future punishment of unrepentant sinners! This will be shown as we progress.

3. Thus aiidios or ateleutetos are never used of future punishment in the New Testament. Nor is it ever said to be aneutelous, “without end.” Nor do we read that it shall go on pantote or eis to dienekes, “forever.”

4. Is it, I ask, conceivable that a sentence so awful as to be absolutely beyond all human thought should be pronounced against millions of hapless creatures in ambiguous language that is clearly capable of another meaning, and often clearly used in the New Testament and in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (which our Lord and His Apostles quote from) to convey that other meaning?

5. If Jesus really taught everlasting punishment, why is it that the book of Acts, which records many of the first Christian sermons ever preached, does not contain a single word about hell? If Jesus had really taught His disciples that everlasting torment awaited anyone who rejected their message, would they not have warned people about it?

6. It is surely a strong confirmation of universal salvation that many of the earliest Christian theologians who spoke Greek fluently did not understand the words aion or ainios to mean “everlasting” but taught rather that all would eventually be reconciled to God. All such teaching obviously implies that the texts usually relied on do not teach eternal punishment.

7. The texts quoted in favor of universal salvation use clear, explicit language and are a fair translation of the original in every case. This cannot be said with regard to the passages usually alleged to teach endless torment. In every verse that seems to the English-speaking reader to teach everlasting hell, they are either mistranslated, misinterpreted, or both. Thus we see how inaccurate the assumption is that is so widely made that these terms that seem to teach endless pain and evil are in the Bible. They are merely in fallible translations of the Bible, which is a totally different thing.

8. It should be noted that not a few of the passages usually quoted in support of the traditional creed teach not the eternal torment but the destruction of the wicked, which Universalists understand to mean the destruction of the sinful nature.

9. Finally, in addition to all the above, a huge obstacle remains in the way of the advocates of the traditional creed, which is this: They don’t carry out their own principles. Their principles of interpreting the Bible would compel them to believe and to teach what no reasonable person would presume to teach. First, it would compel them to believe in the endless torment of the vast majority, at least of all adults. Next, it would compel them to believe that this torment goes on forever and ever in the sight of the Lamb and the holy angels. Revelation 14:10-11 says that anyone who worships the beast “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. 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.” The words translated “forever and ever” should be translated “for ages and ages.” That is terrifying enough without making it forever! The advocates of eternal hell believe that the saints will also be watching the eternal suffering of the damned. Luke 16:23: “And in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.” Some have even said that the saints will enjoy seeing the suffering of the damned. As I said before, may God deliver me from ever being that cruel!

10. As instances of incorrect translations, take the words trans¬lated “hell,” “damnation,” “everlasting,” “eternal,” “forever and ever.” In the New Testament, “hell” is a translation of three widely different Greek words: “Hades,” “Gehenna,” and “Tarturus.” “Gehenna” occurs eleven times in the New Testament as used by our Lord and once by James. In the original Greek, it is taken almost unchanged from the Hebrew (Ge-hinnom, i.e., valley of Hinnom), an example that our translators should have followed and rendered it “Gehenna” as it is. By translating it to the word “hell” with all of its connotations, they are assuming the part of commentators instead of translators.

The valley of Hinnom lay outside of Jerusalem. Once a pleasant valley, it later became the scene of Molech worship. 2 Kings 23:10 tells how the reformer king Josiah put a stop to people burning their sons and daughters there as offerings to Molech, a pagan god. 2 Chronicles 28:3 tells how evil king Ahaz “made offerings in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom and burned his sons as an offering, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.” In 2 Chronicles 33:6, King Manasseh of Judah “burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with wizards. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger.” In Jeremiah 32:35, God says of both Judah and Israel, “They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.” The Valley of Hinnom later became a garbage dump. Into it all sorts of waste and carcasses were thrown and a fire was kept burning all the time while the worms ate what was left.

The next term is “Hades.” This is used to denote the state or place of spirits, both good and bad alike, after death, and it has nothing to do with punishment. It occurs five times in the Gospels and Epistles, twice in Acts, and four times in Revelation.

“Tartarus” occurs only once in the New Testament in 2 Peter 2:4: “God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment.” Here Peter applies this term not to human beings but to fallen angels, and even they are not kept there forever, but while they are awaiting the judgment. Hence to render it as “hell” is preposterous.

“Damnation” and “damned” are both translations of the Greek words krino and katarino, meaning “to judge” or “to condemn.” Neither word contains the idea of everlasting torment. The English word “damn” carries with it the connotation of everlasting hell. But the Greek word merely means to judge, which by no means carries that terrifying connotation.

The word “hell” simply means the place of disembodied spirits when it translates as “Hades,” or when the word “Gehenna” is used, it is a reference to the valley of Hinnom, where the worms fed continually on the filth that was dumped into it and the fire was kept burning not to inflict torment but to purify. Bodies thrown there felt no pain from the worms or the fire be cause they were already dead. It is true that “Gehenna” was used symbolically of the place of future punishment. But there is nothing inherent in the word that denotes everlasting torment.

While I believe our Lord did not threaten everlasting torment if His words are correctly understood, yet they do convey a solemn warning to sinners. This warning should hold more weight than threats of eternal torment because the conscience can see the justice in it. I accept every warning, however terrible, and every penalty threatened against sinners as long as they are understood in what I believe to be their natural sense, which is not, as I hope to show, everlasting torment.

At last we come to one of the most important parts of our study. Do the Greek words translated “eternal,” “everlasting,” “forever,” and “forever and ever” really mean any of those things or not? The words in question are aion and aionios. I hope to show that the answer is a definite no!

The doctrine of eternal torment hinges on a mistranslation of these words. I hope to show what they mean-an age or an indefinite period of time varying in duration, depending on the subject being referred to. G. Campbell Morgan, a well-known Bible expositor of the twentieth century who was an associate of D.L. Moody and the pastor of Westminster Chapel where Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones served as his associate pastor, wrote in his book God’s Methods with Men (pages 185-186): “Let me say to Bible students that we must be very careful how we use the word `eternity.’ We have fallen into grave error in our constant use of that word. There is no word in the whole book of God corresponding with our ‘eter¬nal,’ which as commonly used among us means absolutely without end. The strongest Scripture word used with reference to the existence of God is `unto the ages of the ages,’ which does not literally mean eternally.”

In fact, even the English word “eternal” did not originally mean “having no end.” The Concise Dictionary of English Etymology, first published in 1882 by Walter Skeat, says that the word “eternal” comes from the Latin aternus, which means, literally, “lasting for an age.”

There are many things in the old covenant that are said to be everlasting, eternal, forever and ever that clearly are not. Some of them were types and shadows pointing to Christ. Alexander Cruden writes in his Complete Concordance, “Many believe that the words for ever or everlasting are not to be taken as synonymous with eternal, as being without end, but to be understood merely as meaning a very long time, to be left indeterminate. There seems to be a considerable amount of argument in favor of this in many cases.” An example of this is Abraham:

Genesis 13:15: “For all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever.”

Hebrews 11:8-10: “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.”

Hebrews 11:13-16 says of Abraham and the other heroes of the faith spoken of in this chapter, “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”

The truth is that Abraham’s literal offspring have not lived in the promised land all the time since God promised it to Abraham, and they will not live there forever because this earth as we know it will not exist forever.

Exodus 12:14: “This day [Passover] shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.”

1 Corinthians 5:7: “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” The Passover, which was supposed to be kept forever, was superseded by Christ, our Passover lamb.

Exodus 21:5-6: “But if the slave plainly says, `I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.” I ask you, does this verse teach that there are people who will be slaves for all eternity?

Exodus 31:17: “It [the Sabbath] is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel.” Colossians 2:16-17: “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” I could go on and on, giving quote after quote illustrating the fact that “forever” doesn’t always mean forever, but I’m sure you get the picture.

The very existence of Christianity is proof of the temporary nature of things that are said in the Old Testament to be eternal or forever but have been superseded by Christ.

In the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament that was used by Our Lord and the Apostles, the words aion and aionios are repeatedly used of things that ceased to exist a long time ago.

Numbers 25:13 says of the Aaronic priesthood that it “shall be a perpetual priesthood.”

Deuteronomy 23:3: “No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the Lord forever.” Which is it? To the tenth generation or forever? It sounds as if both terms are used as figures of speech, meaning for a long, long time.

In talking about slaves, Leviticus 25:46 says, “You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever.” I ask again, are they going to be slaves for all eternity?

Let us move on to the New Testament, where there are many instances where these words aion and aionios cannot possibly mean forever. My point is that if these words can and must be translated to mean a time of limited duration in many places where they are used in the New Testament, why would anyone want to translate them as “eternal” in the places they are used to speak of the punishment of those who die apart from a saving relationship with Christ?

The teachings of Scripture must be harmonized with each other as much as possible. If a teaching appears to contradict a clear teaching of Scripture, it is probably a false teaching. God’s love for sinners and His desire for all mankind to be saved are arguably some of the clearest teachings in all of Scripture. These truths cannot possibly be harmonized with everlasting torment!

Let’s look at some of the verses I spoke of where these words cannot mean “eternal,” “eternity,” “everlasting,” or any such thing.

Matthew 12:32: “And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this aion or in the one to come.” If the word aion were translated “eternity” in this verse, it would obviously be teaching that there are at least two eternities, which is of course an absurdity because eternity is supposed to encompass all of time, even before time, and when time as we know it no longer exists.

Matthew 13:22: “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the aion and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” Do the cares of eternity choke the word and make it unfruitful? Of course not. Colossians 3:2 urges us to “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

Matthew 13:39: “The harvest is the close of the aion, and the reapers are angels.” If aion were translated “eternity” here, it would of course teach the end of all things, even God, if God inhabits eternity and eternity comes to a close.

Luke 1:70: “As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of aionos.” Have God’s prophets been speaking forever?

In Luke 16:8, where Jesus tells the parable of the unjust steward or manager, He said, “The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this aionios are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.” Is this verse saying that the sons of this eternity are shrewder than the sons of light? Of course not!

Luke 18:29-30: “And he [Jesus] said to them [the twelve disciples], `Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the aioni to come aionion life.”‘ Is Jesus saying, “In the eternity to come you will receive eternal life”? This doesn’t make sense because there is not a present eternity and an eternity to come. There can only be one eternity.

Luke 20:34-35: “And Jesus said to them [the Sadducees], ‘The sons of this aionos marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that aionos and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.”‘ If this word aionos was translated eternity, it would again be teaching that there are two eternities.

Apart from the verses about the destinies of the saved and the not yet saved, there are many, many more passages I could point out, but I’ll cite just a few more.

Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this aioni, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” Does this verse teach us not to be conformed to eternity? Of course not! As in all of these passages, the meaning is clear: We are not to be conformed to this age.

I Corinthians 1:20: “Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this aionos? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” Is Paul asking, “Where is the debater of this eternity?” Obviously not.

Galatians 1:3-4: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil aionos, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory for aionas and aionon.” Did Jesus deliver us from this evil eternity, according to the will of God, to whom be glory for eternity and eternity? This is the kind of absurdity that translating these words as eternal, everlasting, etc., leads to. The meaning of these words is clearly “age.” The only reason they were ever translated as “everlasting” was to try to prove the blasphemous doctrine of everlasting torment that was invented by the Roman Catholic Church to try to scare people into the Kingdom of God!

Let me state the dilemma clearly. Aion means either “forever” as its necessary, or at least its usual significance, or it doesn’t. If it does, the following difficulties arise at once:

1. If aion means an endless period, how can it have a plural?
2. How did such phrases come to be repeatedly occurring in Scripture where aion is added to aion, if aion is of itself infi¬nite?
3. Why does the Scripture speak of the aion or aions and beyond? How can anything be beyond eternity?
4. Why do we repeatedly read of the end of the aion?
5. Finally, if aion is infinite, why is it applied over and over to
things that are finite?

If an aion is not infinite, what right do translators have to trans¬late the adjective aionios, which depends on aion for its meaning, by the terms “eternal” or “everlasting”?

To limit all of God’s dealings with people to the narrow span of our earthly existence is to close our eyes to the truer and higher teaching of the Gospel. What does God mean by the many references to “ages” when He speaks in the New Testament of His redeeming plan? Many translators, commentators, and preachers pay no attention to these ages at all. Most translations have so obscured this teaching that it is impossible to see it. Before I started studying this, I had no idea that the same words translated “eternal,” “everlasting,” “forever,” etc., were translated “age” or “ages” in many passages of the New Testament. Is this fair or reasonable? I don’t think so, especially when by understanding what they clearly teach we are able to harmonize the terrible threats in God’s Word with His clearly expressed purpose to save all mankind.

In these “ages” is revealed the true scope of redemption as a vast plan, extending over many ages, of which our present life is just a very brief part. Through these ages, Christ’s redeeming work goes on. Hebrews 13:8 tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and through the ages.” God’s purpose and plan for the ages is, according to Ephesians 1:9-10, to unite “ALL things in him [Christ], things in heaven and things on earth.” Then, as 1 Corinthians 15:22-28 tells us,

In Christ shall ALL be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. [How can there be eternal death if death is destroyed?] 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. 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.

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Gary Amirault on March 7th, 2011

An Analytical Study of Words by Louis Abbottby Louis Abbott

About the Author

Louis Abbott was born in 1915. In 1928, he received Christ. One day, while pastoring a church, a man challenged Louis regarding his teaching about eternal torment. Louis accepted the challenge.

For three years Louis searched the Scriptures, searched the Greek and Hebrew words behind the English words “Hell, “eternal punishment,” “everlasting destruction,” etc. At the end of those three years, he realized he had been taught error regarding the ultimate fate of mankind. Feeling he could not longer preach the doctrines of his denomination, Louis gave up the pastorate, but he never gave up studying.

Taking Greek courses from Moody, Loyola University, and other places, he finally came to the place where, in order to get further, he had to teach himself. At the present day, his personal library consisting of thousands of Bible references books, probably has more reference books on the New Testament Greek than many Bible Colleges and Seminaries.

For almost 50 years now, Louis has been spending many of his evening hours and weekends studying the subject matter of this book. There would be few in the world today who would have spent as much time studying these words as Louis has.

Louis has given me some of the books in his personal library. On the inside cover, he would put the date he finished the book and note the pages on which he made notations. I am amazed at how many reference books he has read. Most people, including scholars usually use these kind of books to look up a subject when needed. they usually do not read these kinds of books from cover to cover making notes along the way. But that is how Louis read many of these very difficult books.

Whether the reader will be given the grace to see the wonderful truths contained in this work, is up to the Holy Spirit. I only want to make it clear in this introduction to Louis Abbott, that the research contained in this book comes from over 50 years of thorough, dedicated years of “searching to see if these things be so.” Louis Abbott has come to the conclusions in this book, not because of his religious background, but because he was willing to test his traditions. May the reader be given the grace to put “fear of God” above “fear of man and his traditions” and read this book with an open mind and willing heart.




There are three destinies taught in Christendom regarding the ultimate judgments of the wicked: Eternal Torment, Extermination, and Universalism. This book is the result of my research on this subject.
I thank the following for reading and editing this book: Nova Richardson, Pat Phillips, Tony Hinkle, and Gary Amirault.

I thank Fay, my wife for her patience all these years while I was studying theology.

I pray this book will be a blessing to all who are struggling with this subject.

–Louis Abbott



My hope in writing this book, is to conclusively show that there is no valid evidence supporting the translations of the Hebrew word olam and the Greek words aion and aionion with English words expressing unlimited time or eternity. Each of these Hebrew and Greek words expresses a limited period of time, an eon or an age. Furthermore, I want to show that the several Greek and Hebrew words traditionally translated into the single English word “Hell” in many English Bibles, carry no meaning closely resembling the images projected by many of the modern theological schools of thought. While the works of eminent scholars of Scripture, past and present, and those of secular writers will be cited, the final and only authority for determining the meaning of the words rests in their inspired usage by God as recorded in the sacred Scriptures.Dr. R.A. Torrey wrote, “Usage is always the decisive thing in determining the meanings of words.” An examination of the usage of olamaion and aionion follows. Such a study should clear from our minds the seeming inconsistencies or contradictions in the Scriptures where these words are used.

Much of the confusion resulting in splitting into different denominations stems from mistranslation of a handful of words in some of our commonly used Bibles. While some Christians are satisfied with accepting carte blanche their denominations’ doctrinal positions, many Christians are seeking for a purity which can only be found beyond man-made institutions.

One key area various denominations are divided over, is the final destiny of the ungodly, the wicked, the unsaved, the unregenerated or however one wishes to phrase it. There are three views on this subject. Each position claims Scriptural support: (1) eternal torment; (2) eternal destruction; and (3) the ultimate salvation of all. It is obvious that all cannot be correct.

Dr. C. Ryder Smith, a teacher of eschatology for twenty years, says in his book, The Bible Doctrine of the Hereafter (p. 258): “In an earlier chapter, it has been shown that the New Testament teaches everlasting punishment. On a review of the whole evidence, therefore, it follows that throughout that book there are two doctrines, which, to the human mind, are irreconcilable: The doctrine of universalism and the doctrine that there are those who will not be saved.” The Scriptures do not teach two different destinies for mankind They only seem to do so because of mistranslations. The Scriptures are the inspired words of God and therefore cannot be contradictory.

Another church leader, a professor, author, and doctor in his field, comes to the uncertain conclusion that, to use his words, “Eternal punishment is a half-truth and universal restoration is a half-truth.” A study of the words olam and aion as used by God should dispel such confusion.

May this study help many to become acquainted with the Author of the Scriptures, and to know Him as the Savior of ALL. Truly understanding the meaning of these words should result in one’s seeing the harmony of the Scriptures as well as the perfect harmony of the attributes of God with His Love for all mankind. “For God so loved the world …”

-Louis Abbott


Chapter One

Definitions of Aion, Aionios

“Usage is always the decisive thing in determining the meanings of words.”
“Over time, words often change meaning, sometimes even taking on an opposite one.”

There will be a couple of places in this publication where a long list of references are cited which may be dull reading to some of you. But due to the importance of clearly understanding the meaning of these words, I ask that you bear with me in those two or three places. I want the reader to be absolutely certain that what I am presently in this book has been thoroughly researched.Dictionaries only give the meaning of a word as it is used at the time the dictionary is written. Over time, words often change meaning, sometimes even taking on an opposite one. The word “let” in the 20th century usually means “to allow.” But in King James’ England, the word “let” often meant just the opposite-“to restrain.” The word “suffer,” had the meaning “let” in the 16th century. This meaning has been removed from the modern use of the word. As word meanings change, so will the definitions found in the dictionaries of that time period. “Carriage” was cargo four hundred years ago-today it describes the vehicle which carries the “carriage.” At one time, a “gazette” was a low value coin which could purchase a newspaper. Today, the meaning of “a certain coin” has disappeared. A dictionary, unless it contains the etymology of the word, is usually of little to no help in determining the meaning of a word hundreds of years ago. Lexicons, concordances, and etymology books are needed to ascertain the true meaning of a word within a given culture and period of time.

Listed below are the definitions modern dictionaries give to the first set of words we want to look at. Keep in mind … what they mean today and what they meant two thousand years ago, are two different subjects.

Olamaion, and aonion are defined in dictionaries, lexicons, commentaries, and the like, as follows: (Here is one of those long listed I mentioned)

  • Page and Company’s  Business Man’s Dictionary and Guide to English: Eon: A long space of time; cycle; forever; eternally; always; at all times.
  • New World Dictionary: Eon: Period of immense duration; an age; endless; for eternity.
  • Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: Eon (n.): An immeasurable or indefinite period of time; incessantly; synonym of constantly, continuously, always, perpetually, unceasingly, everlastingly, endlessly.
  • Standard Unabridged Dictionary: Eon: An age of the universe; an incalculable period, constituting one of the longest conceivable divisions of time; a cosmic or geological cycle; an eternity, or eternity. The present age, or eon, is time; the future age, or eon, is eternity.
  • Shedd Theological Dictionary (vol. II, p. 683): Eonian: pertaining to, or lasting for eons; everlasting; eternal.
  • Liddell and Scott’s  Greek-English Lexicon: Aion: A period of existence; one’s lifetime; life; an age; a generation; a long space of time; an age. A space of time clearly defined and marked out; an era, epoch, age, period or dispensation.
  • Thesaurus Dictionary of the English Language: Eon: An age of the universe.
  • Earnest Weekly’s Etymological Dictionary of Modern English: Aeon: Age.
  • Universal Dictionary: Aeon: A period of immense duration; an age.
  • Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon: Aionios: (1) without beginning or end; that which has been and always will be. (2) without beginning. (3) without end, never to cease, everlasting.
  • Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible: Eternity: The Bible hardly speaks of eternity in a philosophical sense of infinite duration without beginning or end. The Hebrew word olam, which is used alone (Ps. 61:8) or with various prepositions (Ge. 3:22; 13:15, etc.) in contexts where it is traditionally translated “forever,” means, in itself, no more than “for an indefinitely long period.” Thus, me-olam does not mean “from eternity,” but “of old” (Ge 6:4, etc.). In the N.T., aion is used as the equivalent of olam.
  • The New Testament in Modern Speech, by Dr. R. F. Weymouth: Eternal: Greek: “aeonion,” i.e., “of the ages.” Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed, does not signify “during,” but “belonging to” the aeons or ages.
  • The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (vol. IV, p. 643): Time: The O.T. and the N.T are not acquainted with the conception of eternity as timelessness. The O.T. has not developed a special term for “eternity.” The word aion originally meant “vital force,” “life;” then “age,” “lifetime.” It is, however, also used generally of a (limited or unlimited) long space of time. The use of the word aion is determined very much by the O.T. and the LXX. Aion means “long distant uninterrupted time” in the past (Luke 1:10), as well as in the future (John 4:14).
  • Ellicott’s  Commentary on the Whole Bible (Matt. 25:46): Everlasting punishment-life eternal. The two adjectives represent the same Greek word, aionios-it must be admitted (1) that the Greek word which is rendered “eternal” does not, in itself, involve endlessness, but rather, duration, whether through an age or succession of ages, and that it is therefore applied in the N.T. to periods of time that have had both a beginning and ending (Rom. 16:25), where the Greek is “from aeonian times;” our version giving “since the world began.” (Comp. 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit. 1:3) -strictly speaking, therefore, the word, as such, apart from its association with any qualifying substantive, implies a vast undefined duration, rather than one in the full sense of the word “infinite.”
  • Triglot Dictionary of Representative Words in Hebrew, Greek and English [this dictionary lists the words in this order: English, Greek, Hebrew] (p. 122): Eternal (see age-lasting). (p. 6): English: age-lasting; Greek, aionios; Hebrew, le-olam.
  • A Greek-English Lexicon, by Arndt and Gingrich: (1) Aion: time; age; very long time; eternity. (2) A segment of time; age. (3) The world. (4) The aion as a person: aionios, eternal. 1. Without beginning. 2. Without beginning or end. 3. Without end.
  • Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, by Abbott-Smith: Aion: A space of time, as a lifetime, generation, period of history, an indefinitely long period-an age, eternity.
  • Hasting’s  Dictionary of the New Testament (vol. I, p. 542, art. Christ and the Gospels): Eternity. There is no word either in the O.T. Hebrew or in the N.T. Greek to express the abstract idea of eternity. (vol. III, p. 369): Eternal, everlasting-nonetheless “eternal” is misleading, inasmuch as it has come in the English to connote the idea of “endlessly existing,” and thus to be practically a synonym for “everlasting.” But this is not an adequate rendering of aionios which varies in meaning with the variations of the noun aion from which it comes. (p. 370): The chronois aioniois moreover, are not to be thought of as stretching backward everlastingly, as it is proved by the pro chronon aionion of 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit. 1:2.


Chapter Two

Usages of Aion

As can be seen from these examples, some of the dictionaries, lexicons, and commentaries consider such words as eternal, forever, and everlasting to be synonymous to the words age, or eon. In addition to the foregoing, some Bible translations such as the King James Version, use the words “forever,” “eternal,” everlasting,” etc., where a period of time, an age, a limited period, is clearly indicated. Some examples of this are given below. I will give the Greek transliteration first, followed by a literal translation. Before we begin I want to stress a very important point. What follows must be read very slowly and probably several times. I have made it as simple as I possibly can. One does not need to learn Greek to see what I hope will become plain to the average reader, but one does need to go to their translations and to a good concordance to verify that what I am writing is actually in the text. A Greek-English Interlinear would also be helpful, but not necessary. Furthermore, there may be some texts I will deal with that I may not be able to make plain enough what I want to express. If there are some passages you do not understand, just set them aside. I will present enough material that it should be easy for anyone to at least see that these words are not adequately translated in the King James Bible and many others which have followed the King James tradition. With that said, let us begin.The Greek word aion will be translated consistently with the English word “eon,” which is but the Anglicized form of the Greek word.

Hebrews 1:2 says: di hou kai epoiesen tous aionas, “through Whom also He makes the eons.” Notice the Greek word aionas is rendered “worlds” in this passage in the KJV. The ASV margin says “ages;” and the New Scofield Bible reads “ages.” Ephesians 3:11: “according to the purpose of the eons which He makes in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Both these passages state that God makes the eons; therefore they had a beginning, and so were not “eternal” in the past. Yet the KJV translates the passage at Ephesians 3:11: “According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” A purpose carries the idea that there is a goal in view, a plan, an aim, a design. Are we to think that God has a purpose He will never accomplish? That is what such a translation implies. God has the wisdom and power to accomplish whatever purpose He has conceived. Notice that in the KJV translation, the Greek word aionon, a noun, has been translated as though it were an adjective. That is a serious liberty to be taking with the inspired words of God, aside from using “eternal” where it is clear that limited time is in view.

In Ephesians alone, aion has been translated in the KJV the following ways: 1:21 “world;” 2:2 “course [of this world];” 2:7 “ages;” 3:9 “beginning of the world;” 3:11 “eternal;” 3:21 “world without end;” 6:12 “world.” This seems to be a strange assortment of English words to represent just one Greek word! As we look at other verses, the confusion even gets worse! Translateaion consistently as “age” or “eon” and we do not have this confusion. Notice how aion, “eon” and aionios, “eonian” are translated in the following: 1 Cor. 2:7 pro ton aionon (before the eons), KJV “before the world,” New Scofield “ages,” ASV margin “age.” 2 Timothy 1:9 and Tit. 1:2, pro chronon aionion (before times eonian), KJV “before the world began.” In these verses (2 Tim. 1:9 and Tit. 1:2) the adjective “eonian” in the Greek text is translated in the KJV as though it were a noun.

Before you go on with this book, please read and re-read this section until you clearly see that the King James Bible and its sister translations have not translated these words properly.Pro, in these verses is a preposition which means “before.” chronon is a genitive plural of the noun chronos which means “time.” Aionion is a genitive plural adjective of the noun aion. Dear reader, please stop and think this section thoroughly through. It may dramatically change your life for the better. The only thing the King James Version got right here was the prepostion “before.” The translators of the American Standard and the Revised Version, which are revisions of the King James Bible, realized there were problems in the King James Bible with these words. They therefore made a consistent rendering based not upon the Greek, but upon tradition! They translated that verse in Titus 1:2 “before times eternal.” Now what is the world is that supposed to mean? How can there be times (plural) before eternity? This is not translation, this is nonsense. But you see, they had to stay true to the tradition of an eternal “hell” in which many people would be “forever” punished. Realizing how ridiculous a literal rendering of this phrase sounded based upon “tradition,” the American Standard translators put in the margin, “or, long ages ago.” Now here is a phrase that makes sense to the Greeks and to the English. Why not put it into the English text, since that is a rendering which is far more true to the Greek and English than “before times eternal?” Tradition!!! It is interesting to note that the Revised Standard Version (a revision of the Revision of the King James Bible) finally put into the text itself “ages ago,” not quite correct, but certainly much closer than its predecessors. The New American Standard Version, (a revision of the American Standard of 1901,an [BAmerican version of the Revised Version which is a revison of the King James Bible) “long ages ago.” It took almost 400 years to break this incorrect “tradition”! They are still dragging their feet in several others places in the English text where they have still translated through the “tradition of the elders,” and not according to the Greek text. If it took 400 years for them to come this far with Titus 1:2, referring to a passage which does not touch their “sacred cow,” the doctrine of eternal torment in Hell, then how long do you think it will take for them to treat honestly and objectively the other passages we will discuss in this book? We must remember, their very jobs, their very creeds, their very foundation and power of their denominations, that being the fear of “eternal torment” is at stake here. Surely, we can expect a fight to the end. “Tradition” has too much to lose in this fight and the heads of the institutions of the church which have been built upon the fear of hell instead of the love of Christ will war with those who demand sound and correct translations to the very end. My dear reader, I repeat: please do not leave this section until you clearly see that the Bibles in the King James tradition are dragging their feet unwilling to handle these two words, aion and aionios correctly.

These Scriptures show God made the eons (Eph. 3:11 and Heb. 1:2), and that there was a time before the eons, or before eonian times (1 Cor. 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:9; and Tit. 1:2). Since they had a beginning and there was time before they were made, there could not have been “endless” or “eternal” time in the past. When does “eternity” begin?

The Scriptures also speak of the end of the eon and ends of the eons. Matt. 24:3 reads: sunteleias tou aionos, “conclusion of the eon”. The KJV here says “end of the world.” The ASV has “consummation of the age,” telling us of a time when this eon will end-this present wicked eon during which Satan is theos tou aionos toutou, “god of this eon.”

First Corinthians 10:11 tells us of tele ton aionon, “consummations of the eons.” Here the KJV says “ends of the world;” the ASV “ends of the ages.”

The Greek word used here is in the genitive plural, yet the translators of the KJV have changed the plural to a singular word, “world.” How many ends can a single world have?

Hebrews 9:26, epi sonteleia ton aionon, “at the conclusions of the eons.” KJV: “in the end of the world;” ASV: “end [margin: consummation] of the ages.” So we see the eons cannot be endless in the future, for they will end individually and collectively.

The Greek word for eon is used both in the singular and in the plural in the Scriptures. We are told of the past eons, a present eon, and future eons: Col. 1:26, apokekrummenon apo ton aionion, “having been concealed from the eons.” KJV: “which has been hid from the ages;” ASV margin: “which has been hid from the ages.” So there must be a least two eons past.

Luke 20:34, hoi huioi tou aionos, “the sons of this eon.” KJV: “the children of this world;” ASV margin: “the sons of this age.”

In Matthew 12:32 Jesus said, oute en touto to aioni oute en to mellonti, “neither in this eon nor in the impending.” KJV: “neither in this world, neither in the world to come;” ASV margin: “neither in this age, nor in that which is to come.” (See also Galatians 1:4 and 2 Cor. 4:4.) Matthew speaks of two eons: (1) the present eon, and (2) the impending one. The impending eon is that one in which Christ is to obtain His kingdom and rule for the millennium.

In Ephesians 2:7 Paul writes, en tois aiosin tois eperchomenois, “in the on-coming eons.” KJV: “in the ages to come;” ASV: “in the ages to come.” So there are past eons, a present one, and the coming eons, at least five in all. Included in these eons are all the eonian times that are mentioned in Scripture. The adjective aionios comes from the noun aion and is defined: “pertaining to or belonging to the eons.” It is an axiom of grammar that an adjective derived from a noun cannot mean more than its parent word. It must retain the essential meaning pertaining to the noun. As it has been shown, the noun refers to limited time, which had a beginning and will have an end. The adjective, then, should not be translated by such words as “everlasting” or “eternal.” The adjective cannot take on a greater meaning than the noun from which it is derived. For example, hourly, an adjective, pertains to an hour, not to a year.


Chapter Three

Opinion of the Scholars

“Even if aion always meant ‘eternity,’ which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek-aionios could still mean only ‘belonging to eternity’ and not ‘lasting through it.'”“That the adjective is applied to some things which are “endless” does not, of course, for one moment prove that the word itself meant ‘endless;’ and to introduce this rendering into many passages would be utterly impossible and absurd.”

Dr. R.F. Weymouth, a translator who was adept in Greek, states in  The New Testament in Modern Speech (p. 657), “Eternal, Greek aeonian, i.e., of the ages: Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed does not signify, “during” but “belonging to” the aeons or ages.”Dr. Marvin Vincent, in his  Word Studies of the New Testament (vol. IV, p. 59): “The adjective aionios in like manner carries the idea of time. Neither the noun nor the adjective in themselves carries the sense of “endless” or “everlasting.” Aionios means enduring through or pertaining to a period of time. Out of the 150 instances in the LXX (Septuagint), four-fifths imply limited duration.”

Dr. F.W. Farrar, author of  The Life of Christ and  The Life and Work of St. Paul, as well as books about Greek grammar and syntax, writes in  The Eternal Hope (p. 198), “That the adjective is applied to some things which are “endless” does not, of course, for one moment prove that the word itself meant ‘endless;’ and to introduce this rendering into many passages would be utterly impossible and absurd.” In his book,  Mercy and Judgment, Dr. Farrar states (p. 378), “Since aion meant ‘age,’ aionios means, properly, ‘belonging to an age,’ or ‘age-long,’ and anyone who asserts that it must mean ‘endless’ defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago. Even if aion always meant ‘eternity,’ which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek-aionios could still mean only ‘belonging to eternity’ and not ‘lasting through it.'”

Lange’s Commentary American Edition (vol. V, p. 48), on Ecclesiastes chapter 1 verse 4, in commenting upon the statement “The earth abideth forever” says, “The preacher, in contending with the universalist, or restorationist, would commit an error, and, it may be, suffer a failure in his argument, should he lay the whole stress of it on the etymological or historical significance of the words, aionaionios, and attempt to prove that, of themselves, they necessarily carry the meaning of endless duration.” On page 45 of the same work, Dr. Taylor Lewis says: “The Greek aiones and aiones ton aionon, the Latin secula, and secula seculorum, the Old Saxon, or Old English of Wicliffe, to worldis or worldis (Heb. XIII 21), or our more modern phrase, for ever and ever, wherever the German ewig, was originally a noun denoting age or a vast period, just like the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew words corresponding to it.”

The Rev. Bennet, in his  Olam Hanneshamoth (p. 44), says, “The primary nature of olam is ‘hidden,’ and both as to past and future denotes a duration that is unknown.” Olam is the Hebrew word for the Greek aion.

The  Parkhurst Lexicon: “Olam (aeon) seems to be used much more for an indefinite than for an infinite time.”

Dr. MacKnight: “I must be so candid as to acknowledge that the use of these terms ‘forever,’ ‘eternal,’ ‘everlasting,’ shows that they who understand these words in a limited sense when applied to punishment put no forced interpretation upon them.”

Dr. Nigel Turner, in  Christian Words, says (p. 457), “All the way through it is never feasible to understand aionios as everlasting.”

The Pulpit Commentary, vol. 15, p. 485, says, “It is possible that ‘aeonian’ may denote merely indefinite duration without the connotation of never ending.”

The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, vol. 4, p. 643, says, “The O.T. and the N.T. are not acquainted with conception of eternity as timelessness.” Page 644: “The O.T. has not developed a special term for eternity.” Page 645: “The use of the word aion in the N.T. is determined very much by the O.T. and the LXX. Aion means long, distant, uninterrupted time. The intensifying plural occurs frequently in the N.T. …but it adds no new meaning.”

Dr. Lammenois, a man adept with languages, states, “In Hebrew and Greek the words rendered ‘everlasting’ have not this sense. They signify a long duration of time, a period; whence the phrase, during these eternities and beyond.”


Chapter Four

Apparent Contradictions

“If it is insisted that aionios means everlasting, this statement is absurd. It is impossible that anything should take place ‘before everlasting times.'”“Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate.”

“Endlessness is expressed by such particles as ‘not,’ ‘un-,’ ‘in-,’ ‘-less.'”

The Scriptures, the ultimate authority for God’s use of words, use the adjective aionios in the Greek New Testament thus: 2 Timothy 1:9 and Titus 1:2 “pro chronon aionion,” “before times eonian.” KJV: “before the world began.” ASV: “before times eternal.” As mentioned previously, since these verses tell of time before the eons, eonian times cannot be “eternal.” Eternity has no beginning, so nothing can be pro, “before.” The ASV is one of our better translations in the English language. With all due respect to the committee which worked at making that version, let it be said its members missed the meaning of this phrase and translated it with nonsensical terms. Dr. Marvin R. Vincent, in his  Word Studies of the New Testament (vol. IV, p. 291): “If it is insisted that aionios means everlasting, this statement is absurd. It is impossible that anything should take place ‘before everlasting times.'” The phrase “before times eternal” is actually a contradiction in three words. The ASV margin reads: “long ages ago;” a much better translation.Ezekiel 16:55 says, “When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate.” Since this scripture refers to a restoration of Sodom, its judgment cannot be for “eternity.” In Jude, the Greek adjective aionios, eonian, is used when the judgment of Sodom is mentioned.

Jude 7 states that Sodom is an example of puros aioniou dikên hupechousai, “experiencing the justice of fire eonian.” KJV: “suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” In this translation, the KJV at Jude 7 contradicts that of Ezekiel 16:50-56. Those visiting the area today see no fire, for if our archaeologists are correct in locating its former site, it lies beneath a sea. Many such seeming contradictions would not exist in the KJV had the Greek word been translated correctly to express limited time, instead of “eternal.”

Philemon tells of a runaway slave who was converted by Paul to believing in the risen Christ. This slave was returned to his master, Philemon. Paul writes to Philemon, saying (v. 15),echoristê pros horan hina aionion auton apechês, “he was separated for an hour that you may be receiving him as an eonian repayment.” The KJV says: “He therefore departed for a season that thou shouldst receive him forever.” This translation seems to teach “eternal slavery.” Correctly translated, there is no problem.

At Romans 16:25, the ASV reads, “Now to him that is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept in silence through times eternal.” If this verse is teaching of a mystery kept in silence through “times eternal,” the mystery would never have been made known. The context in which this verse lies shows that aiÖnios, eonian, cannot be referring to “eternal” or “endless” time, for the verse following (v. 26) says: “but is now manifested.” If we are to understand “eternal” to refer to unlimited time, then how could the mystery now be manifested? The KJV says, “which has been kept secret since the world began, but is now manifested.” The translators recognized that limited time was in view.

The Greek text of this passage reads, “to de dunameno humas stopixai kata to euagelion mou kai kêrugma iêsou christou kata apokalupsin musteriou chronois aioniois sesigemenou phanerothentos de nun.” “Now to Him Who is able to establish you according to my evangel, and the heralding of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of a secret having been hushed in times eonian, yet manifested now.” Again, there is no contradiction when the translation is faithful to the Greek text, by simply transliterating the word aionios into the English word “eonian.” The world is not that which is in view here, but time.

Many present the argument, “If aionios, eonian, does not mean endless time, then the believers do not have eternal, or everlasting life. The word is used at Romans 16:26 concerning God, and surely He is ‘eternal;’ therefore, the word must mean unlimited.” As has been shown, the word in itself refers to limited time. However, the Greek does have a way of expressing endlessness by using words other than eon or eonian, such as in Luke 1:33: ouk estai telos, “there will be no end.” Endless life is spoken of at Hebrews 7:16 thus: zoâs akatalutou, “indissoluable life.” The margin of the ASV: “indissoluable life.” KJV: “endless life.”

Believers do have endless life, for 1 Cor. 15:42 says the dead will be raised in “incorruption,” and 1 Cor. 15:53 speaks of “deathlessness,” or “immortality” (Greek: aphtharsia andathanasia) Endlessness is expressed by such particles as “not,” “un-,” “in-,” “-less.” Death will ultimately be abolished (see 1 Cor. 15:16), and when death is abolished, all that can remain is endless life for all. First Corinthians 15:22 in its context says that life will be IN CHRIST, where there will be no more dying, and those in the resurrection here mentioned will be incorruptible and immortal (see 1 Cor. 15:42, 53).


Chapter Five

“Forever and Ever”–A Poor Translation

“If the Greek words eis tous aionas ton aionon mean endless time, as translated in the KJV, ‘forever and ever,’ we have a contradiction in Scripture.”
-Dr. William Barclay“This view (Restitution of All) is so clearly Scriptural that the only surprise is that it has not been more definitely and widely held.”
-Dr. A.T. Pierson

There is no doubt that God has always existed, but the statement at Romans 16:26 speaks of Him as an eonian God. The Scriptures say He made the eons, so He existed before they were made, and He will exist after the eons have been concluded (1 Cor. 10:11; Heb. 9:26). He is endless. To argue that “eonian God” makes the “eonian” unlimited time because God is unlimited is illogical. Isaiah 54:5, KJV, calls Him “the God of the whole earth.” This does not preclude Him from also being the God of the entire universe. In the context of Romans 16:26, He is called the “eonian God,” but He was God before the eons were made; He is God during all the eons, and in post-eonian times. In other words, just because the Scriptures refer to Him as the “God of the ages” does not preclude Him from being the God of eternity. The Scriptures declare Him the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” and “the God of Israel.” Does that mean He cannot therefore be the God of the gentiles, of the whole universe? Of course not!As for the KJV translation, “forever and ever,” there are some students of the Greek who admit that this is not a faithful translation of the Greek words found in the text. The Greek usesthree distinct phrases, all of which are translated the same in the KJV.

  • Hebrews 1:8: ho thronos sou ho theos eis ton aiona tou aionos, “Thy throne, O God, is for the eon of the eon.” In both occurrences in this verse, the Greek word we translated “eon” appears in the singular.
  • Ephesians 3:21: auto hê doxa en tê ekklêsia kai en Christo Iêsou eis pasas tas geneas tou aionos ton aionon, “To Him be the glory in the ecclesia and in Christ Jesus for all the generations of the eon of the eons. Amen.” Here the Greek word for eon is used twice. The first time it is in the singular; the second time it is in the plural.
  • Galatians 1:5: ho hê doxa eis tous aionas ton aionon, “To Whom be glory for the eons of the eons.” Here the Greek word for eon appears twice in the plural.

Philippians 1:10 says (ASV margin), “so that ye may distinguish the things that differ.” Since the words of God are inspired and are used precisely, to ignore the differences in these passages is to ignore what He is saying.

Hebrews 1:8 is a quotation from Psalm 45:6, LXX, where the Greek text says, eis ton aiona tou aionos, “into the eon of the eon,”-the singular form for eon in both occurrences. The preposition eis is translated “into” or “unto;” idiomatically, “for.” Bagster’s  Analytical Greek Lexicon and Concordance defines it: “eis, into, to as far as, to the extent of.”

Dr. E.W. Bullinger’s  Lexicon and Concordance says (p. 804), “eis, unto, when referring to time, denoting either the interval up to a certain point, during; or the point itself as the object or aim of some purpose, up to, for.”

Dr. Nigel Turner, in his book,  Grammatical Insights into the N.T., says (p. 91), “eis involves a movement for development toward a goal.” If eis means as far as, to the extent of, or a movement or development toward a goal, then it cannot be used with words meaning endless or unlimited time.

Ephesians 3:21: eis pasas tas geneas tou aionos ton aionon, “for all the generations of the eon of the eons.” KJV: “throughout all the ages, world without end.” ASV margin: “unto all the generations of the age of the ages.” Young’s Literal Translation: “into the age of the ages.” The “eon of the eons” refers to a crowning eon of another which precedes it.

So what is meant by this expression? Many KJV tradition scholars say that these three different Greek phrases are idiomatic expressions for “eternity.” Idiotic, perhaps, but not idiomatic! Similar expressions used in the Scriptures are cited in order to illustrate the meaning: Song of Solomon 1:1, “song of songs;” Eccl. 12:8, “vanity of vanities;” Gen 9:25, “servant of servants;” Ex. 26:33, “holy of the holies;” Deut. 10:17, “God of gods and Lord of lords;” Dan. 8:25, “prince of princes;” Phil. 3:5, “Hebrew of Hebrews;” 1 Tim. 6:15, “King of kings and Lord of lords.” Most students of the Scriptures understand what is meant by such expressions, so why is Eph. 3:21, “eon of the eons” an enigma? The eon of the eons refers to the final and greatest of all eons. That it cannot refer to “eternity” is shown by the statement that there will be “generations,” which implies procreation, which will not happen in eternity since we will then be like the angels. This eon succeeds the millennial eon, and is previous to the final state.

There are others who teach the same. Dr. A.T. Pierson supports this view in his book,  The Bible and Spiritual Life: “This view is so clearly scriptural that the only surprise is that it has not been more definitely and widely held. It adds immeasurably, both to the glory of Christ as the coming King, and the Father as the former and framer of the ages. It is the period typified by the eighth day of the Mosaic Code: the perfect glory of Christ, reserved for ‘the morrow after.’ The millennial ‘Sabbath.’ And while the millennial period is limited to a thousand years, there are no definite limits to this final age of glory.”

Mr. George Saltau, in his book,  Past, Present and Future, adopts the same view.

Clarence Larkin,  Dispensational Truth, or God’s Plan and Purpose in the Ages, shows (p. 3, chart “The Ages”) an age succeeding the kingdom age, which he calls the “perfect age.” This “perfect age” is also shown in other charts in Mr. Larkin’s book.

The expression, “eon of the eons,” is not limited to its use at Eph. 3:21. In the LXX at Dan. 7:18 we see, heos aionos ton aionon, “until eon of the eons.” In the Song of the Three Children (LXX, Septuagint), at the end of verse 68, there is, kai eis ton aiona ton aionon, “and into the eon of the eons.” In the book of Enoch there is a similar expression: “until the judgment of the eon of the eons be accomplished.”

Windet, in  De Vita Functor Statu, states, “However you understand the phrase, it could not be used unless it signified something less than endlessness; for ‘completion’ does not accord with true endlessness.” Therefore, the expression “eon of the eons” and “eon of the eon” mean the last and crowning eon in which Christ will hand everything to His Father, entirely subjected (1 Cor. 15:22-28). We know that the millennial eon will not be one of such complete subjection, for Christ will rule with a rod of iron, and at its close, after the most wonderful and beneficial rule by His sceptre, at the instigation of Satan, loosed from the pit, large numbers of those who have been blessed under Christ’s gracious reign will revolt against Him (Rev. 20:7-9). While there may be many different interpretations about this “thousand year period,” clearly we have time, and things not yet subjected. This revolt shows that the subjection spoken of at 1 Cor. 15:22-28; Eph. 1:9-11; Phil. 2:10-11; and Col. 1:10-20 has not been completed. It will take yet another eon, following the millennial one, with Christ reigning to end all insubordination in all His realms, before He will finally surrender to His Father all completed, so that the Father can be “all in all.” The final eon is that of new heavens and the new earth wherein reigns righteousness (2 Pet. 3:13). That is the one called the “eon of the eon” (Heb. 1:8). It is also called the “eon of the eons” at Eph 3:21, because it is paramount to all preceding eons, including the millennial eon in which Christ Jesus reigns as Messiah and King. Paul writes (Eph. 2:6,7) of the blessings of the coming eons. He says: “And He rouses us together and seats us together among the celestials in Christ Jesus, that in the oncoming eons, He may be displaying the transcendent riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (see also Eph. 3:20-21).

Thus, in the coming eons, the millennial and the succeeding eon, Christ Jesus will be displaying His transcending riches to us. We must be careful when talking about what God will do in future generations and ages. For too often we project our own ideas onto the plan of God. I hope I have not crossed that line. Yet when it comes to the correct rendering of these words, I feel certain what you are reading sheds much light which many Bible translations have hidden from us.

Let us get back to “forever and ever.” The Greek phrase eis tous aionas ton aionon, “for the eons of the eons,” occurs about twenty times in the Greek New Testament in this combination. The ASV margin and some other versions, lexicons, dictionaries, and commentaries translate the phrase correctly.

Windet, in  De Vita Functora Statu, of 1633 says (p. 170), “eis tous aionas ton aionon, of the New Testament meant a finite period.”

At 1 Cor. 15:25, where the Greek text shows, dei gar auton basileuein achri hou thê pantas tous echthrous hupo tous podas autou, “For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet.” This clearly states that Christ’s reigning is limited. There is no Scripture to contradict the statement when aion and aionios are correctly translated.

Dr. William Barclay concurs in his commentary (p. 166-169) on The Letters to the Corinthians. If the Greek words eis tous aionas ton aionon mean endless time, as translated in the KJV, “forever and ever,” we have a contradiction in Scripture, for Rev. 11:15 says, in the same version: “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.” That contradicts 1 Cor. 15:25, which says: “He must be reigning till…” If Rev. 11:15 is translated “eons of the eons,” or “ages of the ages,” there is no contradiction. The ASV says (1 Cor. 15:24-25), “Then cometh the end, when He shall deliver up the kingdom to God., even the Father; When He shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He hath put all His enemies under His feet;” consequently, the reigning of Christ Jesus and the saints (Rev. 22:5) will be “for the eons of the eons” or “for the ages of the ages” (see the ASV margin here).

Eis tous aionas is accusative plural, “for the eons,” or “for the ages,” and these words are not “forever and ever,” which are in the singular. The word ton is the genitive plural article, and in our syntax should be translated “of the.” In this Greek clause, there is no word that means “and,” as the Greek conjunction kai; “and,” is not in this clause. The word aionon is the genitive plural of the noun aion, and the genitive plural in this syntax should be translated “eons,” or “ages;” hence ton aionon, “of the eons.” Anyone can study these words and see that “forever and ever” is not a good translation of these Greek words. As eis is used in this clause and as eis involves a movement or development toward a goal, this clause cannot mean endlessness.

As mentioned previously, there are several analogous expressions in the Scriptures which should show the meaning of the words under discussion. In Ex. 26:33 (LXX), tou hagiou ton hagion, “in the holy of the holies.” This is similar to the “eon of the eons” of Eph. 3:21. In II Kings 8:6 (LXX) we see, eis ta hagia ton hagion, “for the holies of the holies”-similar to “eons of the eons.” The “holy of the holies” and “holies of the holies” refer to the tabernacle. Psalm 44:7 says, ho thronos sou ho theos, eis ton aiona tou aionos, “Thy throne, O God, is for the eon of eon”-similar to Heb. 1:8. Daniel 7:18: “until eon of the eons” and similar to that of Eph. 3:21, where a singular is followed by a plural, “eon of the eons.” In these expressions we see the eons corresponding to the holies in the tabernacle. While there are many different teachings on the types in the Tabernacle of Moses, it should not be too difficult to see that there were at least five divisions: (1) without the camp; (2) in the camp; (3) in the court; (4) in the holy place; and (5) in the holy of holies. These may be likened to the five eons we find in the Scriptures (past eons, present eon, future eons). The last eon is called the “eon of the eons,” because it, like the “holy of holies,” is the climax of the others. In Hebrews chapter 9, the Greek text of Nestle reads (margin v. 25), eis ta hagia ton hagion, “into the holies of the holies,” and (v. 3), hagia hagion, “holies of holies.” Just as the two holy places in the tabernacle are called the holies of holies, so the last two eons are often called the eons of the eons. As the tabernacle illustrated man’s approach to God, it corresponds closely with the eonian times, which also brings man to God. The “holy of holies” was a single holy place. The “eon of eons,” a single eon. It was the pre-eminence of the “holy of holies,” in relation to the other holy places, which caused it to be so designated. So the pre-eminence of the “eon of the eons” lies in its being the fruitage and harvest of previous eons. The same is true of the “holies of the holies” of Heb. 9:25. They may be likened to the “eons of the eons” of Rev. 11:15; 22:5. Luke 1:33 says of Christ’s “kingdom there shall be no end.” While the kingdom itself will not end, but the reign of Christ for the eons of the eons will end when He delivers up the kingdom to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24-26).

Mr. W. Kelly, in his book,  Lectures on the Book of Revelation, commenting upon the saints’ reign, states (p. 435-436), “Supposing that God’s Word speaks of the earthly state of things and uses the expression ‘reigning forever and ever,’ as in Daniel 7 and Luke 1, it cannot be understood absolutely. The words must be limited by the subject-matter of which God is speaking-so in Daniel 7:27 the kingdom under the whole heaven, which is given to the people of the saints of high places, is said to be an everlasting kingdom. This, I apprehend, is the same period that is called here the thousand years.”

The sentence in Rev. 22:5 saying: “They will be reigning for the eons of the eons” shows that the expression has no reference either to the present or to the preceding eons. The Greek verb basileusousin, “they will be reigning” is a third-person plural future active indicative form; so this reigning must be future. In this present eon, as in those preceding ones, the slaves, or servants, of God are not reigning. Similarly, that God and Christ are living for “the eons of the eons” (Rev. 1:18; 4:9; 10:6; 15:7) has reference to the eons of the future, not to the present eon. That is not to say that God and Christ Jesus are not living during the previous eons. God was the living pre-eonian God. He is the living eonian God, and He will be the living post-eonian God. Paul, when writing to Timothy, said (1 Tim. 4:10), “For this we are toiling and being reproached, for we rely on the living God, Who is the Saviour of all mankind, especially of believers.”

Two scriptures state positively that the eons will end: 1 Cor. 10:11, tauta de tupikos sunebainen ekeinois egraphê de pros nouthesian hêmon eis hous ta telê ton aionon katêntêken, “Now those things befalls them typically, yet it was written for our admonition, to whom the consummations of the eons have attained.” Paul had said what those things are, which befalls them typically, in the preceding verses. Yet “it was written” is in the singular, for “our” (plural) admoniton- the “our” referring to the saints, who are the present believers. “To whom,” referring to the saints, “the consummations of the eons have attained.” The Corinthian saints had attained the consummations of eons in spirit because they were a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). Some day all will be a new creation (Rev. 21:5). Now, only the saints who are in Christ are of the new creation, but it is God’s goal for the eons to head up all in the Christ, as stated at
Eph. 1:9-11. Salvation for  all is God’s plan for the eons. Those saints believing now have attained that purpose, so have attained the consummation of the eons.

While some doubt such an exegesis of 1 Cor. 10:11, others, such as the writer of the  New Dictionary of the N. T. Theology, concur (vol. 1, p. 324): “Paul also speaks of a movement from God to man. 1 Corinthians 10:11 speaks of us ‘upon whom the end of the ages has come.’ Hebrews 9:26 contains a similar expression, ‘at the end of the ages’ (time, art. aion). Christ appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. The movement directed by God towards its end; with us it has now attained its goal. The thought also contains the certainty that with Christ, Who inaugurates the end of the ages, a new world era and order of things has begun. Admittedly, this is apparent only to the believer.”

Consequently, with the saints it is possible in spirit to taste the powers of the ages to come (Heb. 6:5). At Hebrews 9:26 the Greek says, epei edei auton pollakis pathein apo katabolês kosmou nuni de hapax epi sunteleia ton aionon eis athetêsin tês hamartias dia têsthusias autou pephanerotai, “Since then, He must often be suffering from the disruption of the world, yet now, once, at the conclusion of the eons, for the repudiation of sin through His sacrifice, He has been manifested.” In the clause, “He has been manifested,” the verb is a third-person singular perfect passive indicative. The Greek perfect tense denotes the present state, resultant upon a past action. There is no English tense which corresponds to that of the Greek perfect, so this form is a difficult one to convey into English. It may be translated: “through His sacrifice, He is manifested.” But it is clear His sacrifice was not at the “end of the world,” as the KJV says, since the world continues. But it is equally clear that His sacrifice was not at the “conclusion of the eons,” since Paul wrote of “this present wicked eon” and the “on-coming eons” (Gal. 1:4; Eph. 2:7). Sin still remains, and there is a world of sinners; but when the eons come to a conclusion, sin will be repudiated by virtue of His sacrifice.

In Romans 4:17 Paul says, “According as it is written that, a father of many nations I have appointed you, facing which, he believed it of the God Who is vivifying the dead and calling what is not as if it were.” Here Paul is writing of Abraham, that Abraham believes God. The God Abraham believes is the God “who is vivifying the dead and calling what is not as if it were.” God did not say, “I will appoint you a father of many nations,” but “I have appointed you,” using a Greek perfect verb, which indicates a completed action with a resultant state of being. As God stated it, it is already an accomplished fact, yet at the time, Abraham did not even have a son, and he was nearly one hundred years old. So God was there calling what was not as though it were. God speaks so of us, when He says: “Now whom He designates beforehand, these He calls also, and whom He calls, these He justifies also, now whom He justifies, these He glorifies also” (Rom. 8:29-30; see Eph. 1:3-8). Are we glorified now? Certainly not! But God is following the same pattern of dealing with us as with Abraham, in that He is calling what is not as if it were. God says that He “seats us together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6), yet we are still in this world, and a part of an ecclesia on the earth. He can make such a statement because He can, and will, do what He says.

Because we are a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17), we have attained to the consummations of the eons (1 Cor. 10:11). At the conclusion of the eons, sin will be repudiated. At present God is “calling what is not as if it were.” Only God is able to do that.

The Scriptures teach that during the eons mankind is experiencing evil, sin, sickness, death, judgments, generation, opposition from sovereignties, authorities and powers, all of which will be nullified or abolished, as stated in 1 Cor. 15:22-28.

Luke 1:50 says, kai to eleos autou eis geneas kai geneas tois phoboumenois auton, “and His mercy is for generations and generations, for those who are fearing Him.” In the phrase, “for generations and generations,” there is an example of two plural nouns being used with the conjunction kai, “and;” but in the expression aionas ton aionon, there is no conjunction. The wordton, “of the,” is the genitive plural article, and should not be translated “and,” as is done in the KJV’s “forever and ever.” The LXX, at Psa. 90:1, states, en genea kai genea, “in generation and generation.” Another example of the use of the conjunction kai, “and,” between the two words for “generation” in the singular. At Heb. 1:8 the noun aion, “eon,” is used twice in the singular form, but with no “and” between. At Ex. 15:18, kurios basileuon ton aiona kai ep aiona kai eti, “the Lord is reigning the eon and upon eon and longer.” Eon, as used here, cannot refer to time without end, for there could be nothing beyond, or longer than, endless time. Here the Latin Vulgate says, Dominus regnabit in aeturnum et ultra, “The Lord will reign unto [or into] eternity and beyond.” The Latin word in, when used with an accusative aeturnum, has the meaning of placing His reign in eternity, but the ultra, “beyond,” shows it did not stop when it was placed there, but continued beyond the time of the placing. The English words, “forever and ever,” unfortunately, do not convey the same meaning.

The Hebrew text shows, “to the eon and further.” Similar expressions appear frequently in the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin texts (see Daniel 12:3, for example).

Wycliffe’s version, the first translation into English, did not use the words “forever and ever.” Several versions in modern English do not use those words either:  The Emphasized Bible, by J.B. Rotherham;  The N. T., A Translation, by E.L. Clementson;  The Emphatic Diaglott, by Benjamin Wilson;  Young’s Literal Translation, by Professor Robert Young; and  The Concordant Literal New Testament, by A.E. Knoch as well as others.


Chapter Six

What Saith The Translations?

“Because ‘orthodox’ scholars contradict themselves even within their own organizations, when it comes to these words, it often becomes difficult for sincere students to get their true original meaning.”

The Old Scofield Bible, using the KJV, made 35 marginal notations for the noun aion, “eon,” and three for the adjective aionios, “eonian.”The late Oxford University Press  Sunday School Teacher’s Bible corrected the noun eighteen times, and the adjective not at all. In the  Companion Bible, Dr. E.W. Bullinger noted every occurrence of the noun and the adjective, and showed the corrected translation either in the marginal notes or in the appendix.

In the  New Analytical Indexed Bible, by John A. Dickson, there are but three marginal corrections for the noun (1 Cor. 10:11; Heb. 6:5; 9:26). For the adjective only two marginal corrections are given, where “before times eternal” is offered, instead of “before the world began,” as in the KJV.

The  Newberry Bible gives many excellent marginal notes. Correct marginal readings appear for the noun, aion, more than 100 times. The adjective is left with no marginal notes, except at 1 Tim. 1:9 and Tit. 1:2, where “eternal times” is given.

In Rotherham’s 1872 version, the word “age” is used consistently for the noun. In his later edition, 1897, the word “age” is used about 90 times. The adjective for aion is translated “age-abiding” quite consistently in both editions.

The ASV of 1901 translates the noun correctly in the text or in a marginal reading in 90 of its 123 occurrences. The adjective was translated “eternal” at Rom. 16:25; 2 Tim. 1:9; and Tit. 1:2, where the KJV used “world.”

Professor Robert Young, author of  Young’s Analytical Concordance, as well as his  Literal Translation of the Bible, uses “age” as the translation for the noun. The adjective is translated “age-during” in all except three of its occurrences. At 2 Tim. 1:9 and Tit. 1:2 he uses “time of the ages” and in Philemon, “age-duringly.”

J.N. Darby’s translation of the New Testament uses “age” 65 times for the noun, but in several instances a correct translation in the text is contradicted in his footnotes.

The  Concordant Literal Translation of the New Testament uses “eon” for the noun consistently, and “eonian” for the adjective in all cases.

The preface of the  Numeric English New Testament, by Ivan Panin has this comment (p. 16): “Aionios can safely be rendered eternal, but its noun in eis ton aiona cannot be rendered ‘into eternity’ or ‘forever;’ hence the aion phrases are rendered literally.” Panin follows his rule, except at Acts 3:21 where he translates the phrase ap aionos “from of old,” and in John’s Evangel, where in eleven occurrences out of thirteen he does exactly what he had said could not be done. The adjective is translated “eternal,” except at Rom. 16:25; 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit. 1:2; and Philemon 15.

In the  New Testament or Covenant, by E.E. Cunnington, the noun is translated correctly either in the text or in the footnotes twenty-eight times, but “forever” in Matt. 21:19, where it is followed by his note, “Lit. For the age and elswhere.” “For evermore” in this version at Rev. 1:6 is followed by this note: “Lit. to the ages of the ages (and elsewhere).” The first occurrence of the adjective eonian, at Matt. 18:8 he translated “eternal,” but this is followed by his note: “Lit. age-long (aeonian) and elsewhere.” Thus in Cunnington’s version, if the notes are overlooked, one will not see the truth expressed by the Greek text.

Following, are some of the more modern English versions’ renderings of these words. For reference purposes, we have listed all the different rendering of the words we are studying. The reader may skip this section if they desire. The manuscript for this book was prepared before several of Bibles which appeared in the 1980’s and 1990’s came out. That is why they are not included included in this section.

  • The New International Version of the New Testament translates aion, “eon,” as the following: “forever” 27 times; “age” (including the plural “ages”) 25 times; “forever and ever” 22 times; “never” 9 times; “world” 6 times; “eternal” twice, “the universe” twice, “ever” twice; “life” twice; “long ago” twice; and once each with “enduring,” “forevermore,” and “time began.” The adjective is translated “eternal” 60 times; “everlasting” 4 times; “beginning of” twice, as well as once each with “ages past,” “forever,” life,” and “good.” This version translates Eph. 3:11, “according to His eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Can one explain how God could have an “eternal purpose which He accomplished?” An “eternal purpose” can never be accomplished, and if a purpose has been accomplished it cannot be “eternal.”
  • In  The Holy Bible, an American Translation, by William E. Beck, aion, “eon,” is translated “forever” 50 times; “world” 29 times; “never” 8 times; “long ago” 3 times; “ever” 4 times; “ages” 4 times; and once each “time,” “beginning,” and “everlasting.” At 1 Cor. 2:6, the noun was not translated, or the translation was so vague one could not tell what word might have been used, although it appears twice in this verse in the text. The adjective is translated “everlasting” 58 times; “forever” 6 times; and once each “long ago,” “lasting forever,” “world began,” “eternally,” and “ages ago.”
  • In  The Jerusalem Bible, aion, “eon,” is translated “forever and ever” 23 times; “forever” 21 times; “world” 19 times; “never” 9 times; “age” 4 times; “time” 3 times; “assured” twice; and once each “eternal,” “ever,” “ancient times,” “world began,” “long age,” “today,” “age began,” “last age,” “all eternity,” “centuries,” “world’s,” “life,” and “everything there is.” For the adjective there are these: “eternal” 60 times; “everlasting” twice; “eternity” twice; and once each “eternally,” “long ago,” “endless ages,” “beginning of time,” and “forever.”
  • In  The New American Bible, The New Testament, by the St. Antony Guild, 1971 edition, aion, “eon,” is translated “forever” 24 times; “age” (including the plural “ages”) 23 times; “forever and ever” 15 times; “never” 10 times; “world” 9 times; “worldly” 3 times; “endless ages” twice; and once each “enduring,” “worldly way,” “life demand,” “ancient times,” “ever,” “always,” “long ago,” “of old,” “world’s goods,” “age-old,” “eternity,” “without end,” “the universe,” and “unending ages.” The adjective is translated “eternal” 44 times; “everlasting” 17 times; and once each “endless,” “without end,” ” last forever,” “endless ages,” “ages,” “lasting,” “lasts forever,” and “world began.”
  • In  The Good News Bible, aion, “eon,” is translated “forever” 23 times; “forever and ever” 22 times; “age” 13 times; “never” 7 times; “long ago” 3 times; “life” 3 times; “eternal” 3 times; “the universe” twice; and once each “now or ever,” “live,” “all time,” “ages of time,” “world’s,” “ever,” and “time.” The adjective is translated “eternal” 63 times; “beginning of time” twice; and once each “long ages,” “lasts forever,” ” last forever,” ” all time,” and “unfailing.”
  • In  The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, the noun “eon” is translated “system of things” 33 times; “forever” 28 times; “forever and ever” 20 times; “never” 6 times; “of old” 3 times; “eternity” twice, and once each “of old time,” “eternal,” “ever,” and “indefinite past.” The interlinear was translated consistently “age” for the singular and “ages” for the plural. The adjective “eonian” is translated “everlastingly” 65 times; “longlasting” 3 times; and “forever” once. In the interlinear, it is incorrectly translated “everlasting,” except at Philemon 15 where it is “everlasting(ly).”

This is a time of apostasy, so while some groups do teach and believe the truth concerning the eons, others have departed from what the Scriptures say, not only about the eons, but also about equally vital truths.

Although it would seem several translators, such as those cited above, realize that aion and aionios cannot be construed to mean endless time, yet they refuse to use a word which more closely expresses the Greek. Rather, they have chosen to use the inconsistent renderings that have been shown in this book. The learned Catholic men who translated and authorized  The Jerusalem Bible and  The New American Bible seem to be oblivious of the fact that the large Catholic Bible dictionary titled,  The Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible says (p. 693):

ETERNITY: The Bible hardly speaks of eternity in the philosophical sense of infinite duration without beginning or end. The Hebrew word olam, which is used alone (Ps. 61:8; etc.) or with various prepositions (Gn. 3:22; etc.) in contexts where it is traditionally translated as ‘forever,’ means in itself no more than ‘for an indefinitely long period.’ Thus me olam does not mean ‘from eternity’ but ‘of old’ (Gn. 6:4, etc.). In the N.T. aion is used as the equivalent of olam.

Here the translators have consistently ignored what their own “authorities” tells them, and have used words which do convey the idea of endless time. Because “orthodox” scholars contradict themselves even within their own organizations, when it comes to these words, it often becomes difficult for sincere students to get their true original meaning. The following letter illustrates the point.


Chapter Seven

Eonian Means What? A Search For Truth

“By this point in my studying I had begun to think that possibly these theologians were employing more subterfuge than enlightened honesty in dealing with the issue.”

Dear Louis,Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I read that you are to be a speaker at the upcoming Bible conference close to Springfield, MO. I’m writing to say that I now plan on attending on Saturday, if possible. I look forward to meeting you.

I enjoyed our correspondence of three years ago and have not forgotten the nature or substance of your thoughts expressed then. Here is the result of my thinking and studying on aiwnioj in recent times. For some years (I’m 32 yrs. old) certain passages had made me wonder as to the scope of their meaning; i.e. Romans 5, 1 Cor 15, Colossians 1, etc. In 1976 I received some sample literature, among which were tracts on the Salvation of All. Being a “Bible believing” orthodox evangelical, I rejected the idea. The year 1979 found me just having completed a year of studying the Koine (Greek) language at a theological seminary. Thus new tools were provided to eventually consider the idea of God being All in all.

As I began to seriously ponder this concept (which I felt no particular desire to adopt), I began to read more literature, books, pamphlets by others that were well reasoned from Scripture. I began to be convinced in spite of my previous feelings. I decided I had better read the “pro-eternal torment” position.

What do scholars of this position present? Clouded and confused thoughts. First I read a classic by William G.T. Shedd entitled  The Doctrine of Endless Punishment. This was supposed by evangelicals to be the best defense of the foregoing doctrine. His first section in which he appealed to the “Church Fathers” I soon discounted, for as anyone who is even marginally aware of “the Fathers” can testify: they proclaim many diverse and even esoteric doctrines. The book did help me realize that one of the keys to resolving the question was the meaning of the word aionioj.. Does it mean eternal (endless) or eonian (age-lasting)? This is very critical. After much discussion, Shedd’s conclusion as per page 84:  anything, endless  or limited, can be denominated aionioj! Both ways! It depends on the passage. And, of course, only a competent exegete such as Shedd can determine which of the two opposite meanings is to be chosen in a particular passage. There was no help for me here. What other conclusions did he come to? Page 145, “‘If there were no God, we should be compelled to invent one’ is now a familiar sentiment. ‘If there were no hell, we should be compelled to invent one’ is equally true.” What else does this scholar say? Page 159, “the Bible teaches that there will always be some sin, and some death, in the universe.” It’s as if he had never read 1 Corinthians 15:26. One final quote from Shedd, Page 119: “Nothing is requisite for (doctrine of endless torments) maintenance but the admission of three cardinal truths of theism; namely, that there is a just God; that man has free will; and that sin is a voluntary action.” He did  not give a Scriptural reverence of Romans 11:32 for this statement. In fact, he gave no reference to the Scriptures at this point.

I thought I might read a more recent book of Endless Punishment–so I read a highly recommended  Doctrine of Eternal Punishment to gather more information on aionioj. Page 49, “No sound Greek scholar can pretend that aionioj means anything less than eternal.” I decided he must not have read Shedd’s book. Also the very highly esteemed translators of the New International Version must not have read the latter book (or must not be “sound Greek scholars”) because their rendering in Romans 16:25 speaks about, “the mystery hidden from long ages past.” “Long Ages Past” being their translation “eonian times.” I was confused–one meaning only (eternal) or two (opposite) meanings?

Well, in our Greek class we learned to trust the Arndt-Gingrich Lexicon to settle the questions that came to mind. I was curious–would Arndt-Gingrich say  one or  two meanings? The answer:  three meanings: 1) endless past with definite ending point in the future, 2) definite beginning point in past with endless future, 3) endless past and endless future! Ingenious! By this point in my studying I had begun to think that possibly these theologians were employing more subterfuge than enlightened honesty in dealing with the issue. Most other reference works fall into one of the afore-mentioned categories when dealing with aionioj. Of course, there are the King James Version’s “world began” phrases.

I cannot yet give you a conclusion to this whole matter from a personal perspective, but I think it will be obvious to you which direction my thinking is headed. In search of truth, Mike


Chapter Eight

Greek Tools

“…concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousnes s which is from God through faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
-Philippians 3:7-11

While not everyone has the time to study Hebrew and Greek, which require years of study before one can become proficient in either language, there are excellent study aids available to the English reader with which one can check to see how each Greek or Hebrew word has been translated in its every occurrence in the Scripture. Christian book stores, or book stores for the denominational groups, have such study aids as these:  The Word Study N.T., in two volumes. Volume one shows the translation of each word used in the KJV in large print with a code number under each English word. That number is keyed to volume two and to several other Greek lexicons and concordances. Volume two is titled  The Word Study Concordance. It is a copy of the old  Englishman’s Greek Concordance of the New Testament.Also available are Strong’s  Exhaustive Concordance; Young’s  Analytical Concordance;  The Englishman’s Greek Concordance of the New Testament;  The Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament and Smith’s  Greek-English Concordance. These works contain a complete listing of each New Testament Greek word, or each Old Testament Hebrew word, so that one may see at a glance how the words were translated in the KJV.

The Concordant Literal New Testament with Keyword Concordance lists each word of the Greek text and shows how it was translated in that version.

Word Study volumes, of which there are many are also very helpful.  Vincent’s Word Studies of the New Testament is one that I would highly recommend.

Careful study of some of the volumes previously mentioned will glean facts often overlooked or purposely avoided in traditional “Bible Study.” For example, the Young’s  Analytical Concordance plainly reveals what I have been saying about the words we are looking at. A search under “eternal” will reveal that Dr. Young clearly saw that the King’s translators did not handle the word aion correctly. A look in  Smith’s Greek-English Concordance under entry number 165b will reveal much which the average person who reads the King James Bible will never become aware of.

While interlinear Bibles are not the complete answer, they often help to at least look at the Greek and Hebrew underlying the translations.  The Greek New Testament (UBS4 with NRSV & NIV) edited by John Kohlenberger III,  The Greek-English Interlinear New Testament edited by J.D. Douglas which contains the United Bible Society’s fourth edition of their Greek text along side the NRSV, and the  Zondervan Parallel New Testament in Greek and English which contains the Nestle’s Greek text, a literal translation, the KJV, and the NIV, are helpful with the New Testament.  The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament is helpful in the Old Testament.

Throughout this book, I have quoted many dozens of scholars adept in the languages of the Bible. It would behoove the readers to acquaint themselves with some of these very valuable resources.


Chapter Nine

Examples in Greek Literature

“If by ‘eonian,’ endless time were meant, then what could be more than endless time?”“All the way through it is never feasible to understand ‘aionios’ as everlasting.”
-Dr. Nigel Turner

“In Hebrew and Greek, the words rendered ‘everlasting’ have not this sense. They signify a long duration of time, a period; whence the phrase, during these eternities and beyond.”
-Dr. Lammenois

Ancient writings, other than the Scriptures, show how aion and aionios were used in the ordinary affairs of that time period. Long ago in Rome, periodic games were held. These were referred to as “secular” games. Herodian, who wrote in Greek about the end of the second century A.D., called these aionios, “eonian,” games. In no sense could those games have been eternal.Adolph Deissman gives this account: “Upon a lead tablet found in the Necropolis at Adrumetum in the Roman province of Africa, near Carthage, the following inscription, belonging to the early third century, is scratched in Greek: ‘I am adjuring Thee, the great God, the eonian, and more than eonian (epaionion) and almighty…’ If by eonian, endless time were meant, then what could be more than endless time?”

In the  Apostolical Constitutions, a work of the fourth century A.D., it is said, kai touto humin esto nomimon aionion hos tes suntleias to aionos, “And let this be to you an eonian ordinance until the consummation of the eon.” Obviously there was no thought in the author’s mind of endless time.

Dr. Agar Beet, in his article “On the Future Punishment of Sin,” published in  The Expositor, carefully examined the meaning of the word aionios, and the only passage in which Dr. Beet could adduce the word could possibly mean endless was from Plato’s Laws (p. 904 A). But there is a question there as to whether Plato was referring to endless time.

The noun and adjective we are studying were used repeatedly in the Septuagint in relation to ordinances and laws which were limited as to time. A check of these usages as given in a concordance to the Septuagint will show there is no instance in which these words can refer to endlessness.

There are those who insist that the “punishments” of God are “forever and ever.” The Greek word for punish and punishment appears just three times in the N.T. Each time, the punishing comes at the hands of humans, not from God. There is no word meaning “punish” or “punishment” in the Hebrew. However, our common version translates two Greek words, timoreo, “punish,” and kalazo, “chastise,” with the same English word, “punish.” Chastising carries the idea of correcting with a view to amendment of one’s mistakes, while punishment is penal action. These two words were defined by Aristotle in his Rhet. 1, 10, 17, as, “kolasis is corrective, timoria alone is the satisfaction of the inflictor.” Archbishop Trench states in his synonyms of the N.T. (p. 23-24): “timorio indicates the vindictive character of punishment; kolasis indicates punishment as it has reference to correcting and bettering the offender.”Kolasin is the word our Lord used as recorded at Matt. 25:46 which the King James tradition mistranslates “everlasting punishment”. Timoreo is used at Acts 22:5; 26:11; and timoria at Heb. 10:29.

In Ex. 15:18, where the KJV says: “The Lord shall reign forever and ever,” the Septuagint shows, kurios basileuon ton aiona kai ap aiona kai eti, “The Lord is reigning the eon, and upon eon, and longer,” and the Latin Vulgate, in aeternum et ultra, “into eternity and beyond.” The Hebrew says, “Jehovah shall reign to the eon and beyond.” Our conception of the English “forever and ever” allows for no time to be “beyond.”

Some insist that while the noun in the singular does mean “age,” in the plural it means “forever,” or “eternal.” But notice how both the singular and the plural are used in the Septuagint. At Micah 4:5 (singular), eis ton aiona kai epekeina, “for the eon and beyond,” and at Dan. 12:3 (plural), eis tous aionas kai eti, “for the eons and longer.” If the plural means forever, eternity, endless time etc., there can be no time longer than that. In the Book of Enoch there is, heos suntelesthê krima tou aionos ton aionon, “until the judgment of the eon of the eons may be accomplished.” The Greek word suntelesthê is a compound word (suntelesthê). Without the suntelestha appears at Luke 12:50; Rev. 10:7; 17:17; 20:3,5, and 7 where it should be translated: “should be accomplished” (or “finished” or “consummated”). The heos of the above is a conjunction of time, which limits the judgment to a period called “the eon of the eons.” Paul uses both the singular and the plural form in one sentence (Eph. 3:21), “to Him be glory in the ecclesia and in Christ Jesus for all the generations of the eon of the eons” (CV). Understand that as long as there are “generations,” we are not at the end of all things and therefore “eon of the eons” cannot refer to eternity, everlasting, forever and ever, etc.

At Isa. 60:15, the adjective is used: “I will make you an eonian (aionion) excellency.” This is followed by, “a joy of many generations.” Eonian cannot mean endlessness here, for when the eons close, generations cease for there will be no more procreation.

Dr. Mangey, a translator of the writings of Philo, says Philo did not use aionios to express endless duration.

Josephus shows that aionios did not mean endlessness, for he uses it of the period between the giving of the law to Moses and that of his own writing; to the period of the imprisonment of the tyrant John by the Romans; and to the period during which Herod’s temple stood. The temple had already been destroyed by the time Josephus was writing.

St. Gregory of Nyssa speaks of aionios diastêma, “an eonian interval.” It would be absurd to call an interval “endless.”

St. Chrysostum, in his homily on Eph. 2:1-3, says that “Satan’s kingdom is æonian; that is, it will cease with the present world.”

St. Justin Martyr repeatedly used the word aionios as in the Apol. (p. 57), aionion kolasin …all ouchi chiliontaetê periodon, “eonian chastening …but a period, not a thousand years.” Or, as some translate the last clause: “but a period of a thousand years only.” He limits the eonian chastening to a period of a thousand years, rather than to endlessness.

In 1 Enoch 10:10 there is an interesting statement using the Greek words: zoên aionion, “life eonian,” or, as in the KJV, “everlasting life” (at John 3:16 and elswhere). The whole sentence in Enoch is, hoti elpizousi zêsai zoên aionion, kai hoti zêsetai hekastos auton etê pentakosia, “For they hope to live an eonian life, and that each one of them will live five hundred years.” Here, eonian life is limited to five hundred years! In the N.T. eonian life is limited to life during the eons, after which death will be destroyed by making ALL alive IN CHRIST, incorruptible and immortal.


Chapter Ten

Bibles Without “Everlasting Punishment”

“And these shall go away into punishment of the ages, but the righteous into life of the ages.”
-New Testament in Modern Speech“And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian, yet the just into life eonian.”
-Concordant Literal Translation

“And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.”
-Young’s Literal Translation

It is sad to note, but nevertheless true, that most Christians do not realize there are very dramatic differences in translation from one Bible to another. We have heard so often that the “inspired” or “inerrant” Word of God is basically the same in all translations. This is just not true. But one will not see this unless they place several side by side and make some comparisons. Listed below are a few translations which we will compare to the King James Bible on the verse Matthew 26:46.Concerning the duration of chastening, Matt. 25:46 says (KJV),

“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.”

Scarlett’s  New Testament written in 1792 has “aeonian punishment” in place to “everlasting punishment.”

“And these will go away into aeonian punishment: but the righteous into aeonian life.”

The  New Covenant by Dr. J.W. Hanson written in 1884 renders Matt. 25:46:

“And these shall go away into aeonian chastisement, and the just into aeonian life.”

Young’s  Literal Translation first published in 1898 and reprinted many times since uses the following words:

“And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.”

Professor Young also compiled  Young’s Concordance, wherewith one can check the translation of each Hebrew or Greek word as translated in the KJV.

The  Twentieth Century New Testament first printed in the year 1900 has:

“And these last will go away ‘into aeonian punishment,’ but the righteous ‘into aeonian life.'”

The Holy Bible in Modern English by Ferrar Fenton first published in 1903 gives the rendering:

“And these He will dismiss into a long correction, but the well-doers to an enduring life.

The New Testament in Modern Speech, by Dr. Weymouth, says:

“And these shall go away into punishment of the ages, but the righteous into life of the ages.”

Dr. Weymouth most frequently adopts such terms as “life of the ages,” “fire of the ages;” and in Rev. 14:6, “The good news of the ages.” It is a matter to regret that the editors of the most recent edition of Dr. Weymouth’s version have reverted to the KJV renderings for the passages containing the Greek word aion, eon, or age.

The Western New Testament published in 1926 renders Matt. 25:46 as follows:

“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.”

The translation, however, has a footnote on Matthew 21:19 on the word “forever” which is the same word for “eternal” which says: “Literally, for the age (and elsewhere) This Bible does not use the word “Hell” at all.

Clementson’s  The New Testament (1938) shows,

“And these shall go away into eonian correction, but the righteous into eonian life.”

Wilson’s  Emphatic Diaglott (1942 edition) translates the verse,

“And these shall go forth to the aionian cutting-off; but the righteous to aionian life.”

It should be noted that the “cutting-off” refers to pruning a fruit tree to make it bear more fruit. The idea behind the word is not destructive but productive! Had Jesus wanted to emphasize a destructive end, He would have used the word “timoria.”

The Concordant Version (1930):

“And these shall be coming away into chastening eonian, yet the just into life eonian.”

The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Anointed printed in 1958 says:

“And these shall go away into agelasting cutting-off and the just into agelasting life.”

Rotherham, in his  Emphasized Bible (1959), translates this verse,

“and these shall go away into age-abiding correction, but the righteous into age-abiding life.”

The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible copyrighted in 1976 has “age-abiding correction” instead of the incorrect and quite frankly, blasphemous “everlasting punishment.” This phrase “everlasting punishment,” when one really thinks about it, renders the work of Christ worthless. It says that His forgiveness, His love, His grace, His mercy, the power of His blood, all these and more become limited when one translates “aionion kolasin” as “everlasting punishment.”

“And these shall go away -abiding correction, but the righteous into age-abiding life.”

There are other Bible translations besides these which have either completely eliminated the concept of eternal punishment from their pages, or have made great strides towards wiping this pagan concept off God’s Word. Even some King James Study Bibles will show the reader in the margins or appendixes that the King’s translators were incorrect in their rendering of “eternal punishment” and “Hell.” The great Companion Bible by Dr. Bullinger is an example of that.

In summary, then, as we gain more knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew languages, the pagan concept of “eternal punishment” is becoming manifest as a pagan concept which cannot be found in the original languages of the Bible. Therefore, more and more of the translations printed since the King James Bible of 1611 have dramatically departed from the King’s translators translations for words closer to the actual Greek and Hebrew meanings rather than “tradition.” The word “Hell,” for example, has almost completely disappeared from most translations in the Old Testament. It occurs in most translations only 11 to 14 times and not at all in many translations. The day will come when the pagan concept of “Hell” will no longer be found in any Bible translation. It wasn’t in the original languages. The foundation of the Bible, that is, the Old Testament, knows of no such place. Why should we perpetuate Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Babylonian, and Angle-Saxon mythology? This is where the concept came from. Here is where the word “Hell,” the goddess of the underworld, came from. Leave it there. This idea does not belong on the previous pages of our Bibles.


Chapter Eleven

Verses “Proving” Punishment Will be Everlasting

“Professor A.T. Robertson and A.B. Bruce agree that ‘kolasis aionion’ of the KJV has a literal meaning of ‘age-lasting correction.'”“Let me say to Bible students that we must be very careful how we use the word ‘eternity.’ We have fallen into great error in our constant usage of that word. There is no word in the whole Book of God corresponding with our eternal…”
-G. Campbell Morgan

Matthew 25:31-46 concerns the judgment of NATIONS, not individuals. It is to be distinguished from other judgments mentioned in Scripture, such as the judgment of the saints (2 Cor. 5:10-11); the second resurrection, and the great white throne judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). The judgment of the nations is based upon their treatment of the Lord’s brethren (verse 40). No resurrection of the dead is here, just nations living at the time. To apply verses 41 and 46 to mankind as a whole is an error. Perhaps it should be pointed out at this time that the Fundamentalist Evangelical community at large has made the error of gathering many Scriptures which speak of various judgments which will occur in different ages and assigning them all to “Great White Throne” judgment. This is a serious mistake. Matthew 25:46 speaks nothing of “grace through faith.” We will leave it up to the reader to decide who the “Lord’s brethren” are, but final judgment based upon the receiving of the Life of Christ is not the subject matter of Matthew 25:46 and should not be interjected here. Even if it were, the penalty is “age-during correction” and not “everlasting punishment.”Dr. J.D. Dummelow, in his commentary on Matt. 25:31-46, says, “Christ here speaks of the judgment of Christians alone, because that was the question which most concerned the apostles and their future converts… A common interpretation, however, is that the judgment of all mankind is meant.”

Professor A.T. Robertson, in his  Word Pictures in the N.T., and Prof. A.B. Bruce, in  The Expositor’s Greek Testament, agree that the kolasis aionion, the “everlasting punishment” of the KJV, has a literal meaning of “age-lasting correction.”

Dr. F.W. Farrar says: “It may be worthwhile, however, to point out once more to less educated readers that aionaionios, and their Hebrew equivalents in all combinations are repeatedly used of things which have come to an end. Even Augustine admits (what, indeed, no one can deny), that in Scripture aion and aionios must in many instances mean ‘having an end,’ and St. Gregory of Nyssa, who at least knew Greek, uses aionios as the epithet for ‘an interval.'” Dean Farrar also states: “The pages of theologians in all ages show a startling prevalence of such terms as ‘everlasting death, everlasting damnation, everlasting torments, everlasting vengeance, everlasting fire’-not one of which has Scriptural authority.” Dr. Farrar was well versed in the Biblical languages, author of books on the life of Jesus, the life of Paul, and Greek grammar, as well as others.

Dr. Edwin Abbott, headmaster of the City of London School, wrote in his  Cambridge Sermons (p. 25), “And as for ourselves, though occasionally mentioning in language general and metaphorical, states of eonian life and eonian chastisment awaiting us after death, the Holy Scriptures give no detailed information as to either condition.” Dr. Abbott’s conviction, as expressed, showed he thought the received dogma was untenable.

An argument was introduced by Augustine, and since his day incessantly repeated, that if aionios kolasis does not mean “endless punishment,” then there is no security for the believer that aionios zoe means “endless life,” and that he will enjoy the promise of endless happiness. But Matt. 25:46 shows the “eonian chastisement” and “eonian life” are of the same duration-lasting during the eons, and when the eons end, as Scripture states they will (1 Cor. 10:11; Heb. 9:26), the time called “eonian” is past and the life called “eonian” is finished, but life continues beyond the eons, as Paul teaches at 1 Cor. 15:26: “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” That is, the last, the final one in order. How will it be destroyed? First Corinthians 15:22 gives the answer: “For as IN ADAM ALL are dying, even so IN CHRIST ALL shall be made alive.” Death is destroyed when ALL have been vivified, or made alive, IN CHRIST. There will then be no more death. Just as life is destroyed by death, so death is destroyed by life. Our present bodies are mortal and corruptible (1 Cor. 15:44-55), but when mankind is made alive IN CHRIST they will be raised immortal and incorruptible.

Those who believe in a universal salvation as is spoken of at Col. 1:15-20, and see the purpose of God’s love and His plan for the eons, are secure in their belief that the same number of those who are now dying as a result of Adam’s disobedience will be made alive in Christ. The ALL of these verses represent exactly the same number of mankind. Romans 5:18-19 says, “by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men-by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men-by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall the many be made righteous.” The “all men” and the “many” in these verses include the same number of humans in both cases.

Theall”in 1 Cor. 15:22; Col. 1:15-22; and Rom. 5:18-19 mean the same in every case. God’s eonian purpose is to head up ALL in the Christ, as is stated in Eph. 1:9-10 and 3:11.

Dr. Alford Plumer’s  An Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (pp. 351-352): “It is often pointed out that ‘eternal’ (aionios) in ‘eternal punishment’ must have the same meaning as in ‘eternal life.’ No doubt, but that does not give us the right to say that ‘eternal’ in both cases means ‘endless.'”

Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, preacher, teacher, evangelist, and author; sometimes called the “prince of expositors,” wrote in his  Studies of the Four Gospels concerning Matt. 25:31-46, “Then, moreover, we must be careful not to read into this section of prophecy things which it does not contain; for while it has been interpreted as though it were a description of the final judgment, the Great White Throne-These shall go away into age-abiding punishment; but the righteous into age-abiding life-the terms are co-equal in value, and whatever one means the other means. Only remember that here Christ is not dealing with the subject of the soul’s destiny either in heaven or hell. They are terms that have to do wholly with the setting up of the kingdom here in this world…” In Dr. Morgan’s,  God’s Methods with Men, he says (pp. 185-186), “Let me say to Bible students that we must be very careful how we use the word ‘eternity.’ We have fallen into great error in our constant usage of that word. There is no word in the whole Book of God corresponding with our ‘eternal,’ which as commonly used among us, means absolutely without end.” In his book,  The Corinthian Letters of Paul, the same author states concerning 1 Cor. 15:22 (p. 191): “The word Adam is used here in the sense of headship of a race, the one from whom the race springs. But God’s second Man was the last Adam. If we say second Adam, we presuppose the possibility of a third Adam, another from whom a race shall spring. There will be none such. It is ‘first Adam’ and ‘last Adam.’ What does relationship with Him mean? In the program of God all are to be made alive in Christ.”

Sir Robert Anderson, a writer on eschatology, says, “The N.T. unfolds an economy of times and seasons; many ages head up in the one great age, within which the manifold purpose of God, in relation to earth, shall be fulfilled. Here, these words eon, age are applicable, and are used.”

Dr. Edward Plumptre, an eschatologist, wrote, “I fail to find, as is used by the Greek Fathers, any instance in which the idea of time duration is unlimited.”

Dr. William White says, “That of the widely different subjects to which aeonian is applied in the N.T., in 70 they are of a limited and temporary nature.”

Professor Knappe of Halle wrote, “The Hebrew was destitute of any single word to express endless duration. The pure idea of eternity is not found in any of the ancient languages.”

Professor Hermann Oldhausen said, “The Bible has no expression for endlessness. All the Biblical terms imply or denote long periods.” Dr. Oldhausen was a German Lutheran theologian.

Lexicographers note the fact that it was not until the fifth century A.D. that theologians began to read the sense of endlessness into Bible words. Dr. Lewis S. Chafer deplores the difficulty that the average reader of the Bible will encounter in seeking to understand the real meaning of these passages, when he notes how hopelessly the KJV has obscured the word aion. He said, “The word, which in common usage has a limited meaning, is used by the translators as the one English rendering for at least four widely differing ideas in the original. So that if the truth contained in this important body of Scripture is to be understood, the student must not only know the various meanings which are expressed by the one word, but also be able to determine the correct use of it in the many passages in which it occurs. Therefore, the KJV has placed the simple truth they contain beyond the average reader of the Bible. The English word ‘world,’ as used in the New Testament, may mean a distinct period of time, commonly known as an age (as its original is a few times translated), or it may refer to the things created: the earth, its inhabitants, or their institution. The ages are often referred to in Scripture, and the study of the exact conditions and purposes of each of them are not fanciful; but it is rather the only adequate foundation for any true knowledge of the Bible.”

Dr. W.H. Griffith Thomas wrote in  The Christian, in a comment upon Heb. 11:3, “the word rendered ‘worlds’ is ‘ages’ and refers not so much to the material creation as to the world regarded from the standpoint of time… The last mentioned (age, aion) is the name used here, and it seems to refer to what may be called time-worlds, the idea being that of various ages or dispensations being planned by God with reference to a goal toward which all are moving.”

Dr. Thomas’ notes on Rom. 5:18-19 were, “As mankind’s connection with Adam involved him in certain death, through sin, so his relation to Christ insures to him life without fail. The double headship of mankind in Adam and Christ show the significance of the work of redemption for the entire race.”

Professor Max Muller says in reference to the Latin word aeternum, “that it originally signified life or time, but has given rise to a number of words expressing eternity-the very opposite of life and time.” He says the Latin aevum, that is, the Greek word “ainon, later aion, became the name of time, age, and its derivative, aeviternus, or aeternus, was made to express eternity.”

Dr. Isaac Watts says, “There is not one place in Scripture which occurs to me, where the word death necessarily signifies a certain miserable immortality of the soul.”

Professor Taylor Lewis states, “The conception of absolute endlessness as etymological of olam or eon would clearly have prevented plurals.” He continues, “‘ever’ (German: ewig), was originally a noun denoting age, just like the Greek, Latin and Hebrew words corresponding to it.” Dr. Lewis wrote an interesting article for  Lange’s Commentary about the use of the wordsolam and aion as used at Ecc. 1:4.

Jeremy Taylor, a hell-fire advocate wavers, and after his ebullient flashes of  Systematic Hellology, is constrained to the following modification in  Jeremy Taylor’s Works (vol. 3, p. 43), “Though the fire is everlasting, not all that enters it is everlasting,” then adds, “The word everlasting signifies only to the end of its period.” Would that other hell-fire advocates were so honest.


Chapter Twelve

Scholars Acknowledge Restitution of All

“(ta panta) all men: The phrase must not be limited in any way. It cannot mean merely ‘Gentiles as well as Jews,’ or ‘the elect,’ or ‘all who believe.’ We must receive it as it stands.”
-Dr. Brooke Foss Westcott“Under the instruction of those great teachers many other theologians believed in universal salvation; and indeed the whole Eastern Church until after 500 A.D. was inclined to it.”

Dr. Brooke Foss Westcott says of John 12:32, in the  Speaker’s Commentary: “(ta panta) all men: The phrase must not be limited in any way. It cannot mean merely ‘Gentiles as well as Jews,’ or ‘the elect,’ or ‘all who believe.’ We must receive it as it stands (Rom. 5:18; 8:32; 2 Cor. 5:15; Eph. 1:10;
1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:2). The remarkable reading ‘all things’ (omnia) points to a still wider application of Redemption (Col. 1:20).”John MacIntyre, in his book  Christian Doctrine of History, wrote (pp. 5-6), “What we regard as the Biblical view of time and history can only by anachronism be said to be that of the biblical writers themselves, yet that is the anachronism of which so many of our contemporaries are guilty.”

G.T. Stevenson, in his  Time and Eternity, says (p. 63), “Since, as we have seen, the noun aion refers to a period of time, it appears very improbable that the derived adjective aionioswould indicate infinite duration, nor have we found any evidence in Greek writing to show that such a concept was expressed by this term.” And on page 72, “In 1 Cor. 15:22-29 the inspired apostle to the Gentiles transports his readers’ thoughts far into the future, beyond the furthest point envisaged elsewhere in holy writ. After outlining the triumph of the Son of God in bringing all creation under His benign control, Paul sets forth the consummation of the divine plan of the ages in four simple, yet infinitely profound words, ‘God all in all.’ This is our God, purposeful, wise, loving and almighty, His Son our Lord a triumphant Savior, Who destroys His enemies by making them friends.”

Professor William Barclay comments in his  The Letter to the Corinthians, concerning 1 Cor. 15:22-28, “God sent forth His Son to redeem the world so in the end God will receive back a world redeemed and then there will be nothing in heaven or in earth outside the love and power of God.”

From  The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge comes (vol. 12, p. 96), “Under the instruction of those great teachers many other theologians believed in universal salvation; and indeed the whole Eastern Church until after 500 A.D. was inclined to it. Doederlein says that ‘In proportion as any man was eminent in learning in Christian antiquity, the more did he cherish and defend the hope of the termination of future torments.'” Many more church historians could be quoted with similar observations.

Concise summaries of universal salvation appear in the  Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, vol. 12, pp. 95-97; and in the McClintock and Strong  Encyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, vol. 10, pp. 656-665.

Karl Barth, in his book  Christ and Adam, Man and Humanity, wrote concerning Romans 5 (p. 109), “But in vv. 12-21 Paul does not limit his context to Christ’s relationship to believers, but gives fundamentally the same account of His relationship to all men. The context is widened from church history to world history, from Christ’s relationship to Christians to all men. …What is said here applies generally and universally, and not merely to one limited group of men. Here ‘religious’ presuppositions are not once hinted at. The fact of Christ is here presented as something that dominates and includes all men.” On page 112 of the same work: “vv. 12-21 are revolutionary in their insistence that what is true of Christians must also be true of all men.”

Professor Marvin Vincent, in his  Word Studies in the N.T., commenting upon Col. 1:20 wrote (vol. 3, p. 471), “All things (ta panta) must be taken in the same sense as in vv. 16, 17, 18. The whole universe, material and spiritual. The range of discussion opened by these words is too wide to be entered upon here. Paul’s declarations elsewhere as to the ultimate fate of evil men and angels, must certainly be allowed their full weight; yet such passages as this and Eph. 1:10 seem to point to a larger purpose of God in redemption than is commonly conceived.” And in vol. 4, p. 291, about 2 Tim. 1:9: “Before the world began (pro chronon aionion) Lit. Before eternal times. If it is insisted that aionion means everlasting, this statement is absurd. It is impossible that anything should take place before everlasting times.” In vol. 4, pp. 58-62, commenting upon the Greek word aion, he says, “Aion, transliterated aion, is a period of time, of longer or shorter duration, having a beginning and an end, and complete in itself… The word always carries the notion of time and not eternity. It always means a period of time. The adjective aionios in like manner carries the idea of time. Neither the noun nor the adjective, in themselves, carries the sense of endless or everlasting… aionios means enduring through, or pertaining to, a period of time. Both the noun and the adjective are applied to limited periods.”

Dr. S.S. Graig, in  The Presbyterian, Jan. 30, 1930, wrote, “According to the latter (Dr. B.B. Warfield), there is no warrant for saying that the Scriptures teach that but few are saved, and that while some will be lost, yet that when the Scriptures say that Christ came to save the world, that He does save the world and that the world shall be saved by Him. They mean that He came to save and does save the human race, and that the human race is being led by God to a racial salvation, that in the age-long development of the race of men, it will attain at last to a complete salvation, and our eyes will be greeted with the spectacle of a saved world. Thus the human race attains to the goal for which it was created, and sin does not snatch it out of God’s hands; the primal purpose of God with it is fulfilled; and through Christ the race of men, though fallen into sin, is recovered to God, and fulfills its original destiny.”

Dr. Warfield believed what Paul taught in 1 Tim. 4:9-11: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, Who is the Savior of ALL men. Specially of those that believe. These things command and teach.” While Dr. Warfield spend most of his life teaching the Calvinist “election doctrine” which usually meant few would be saved, it seems Dr. Warfield softened up quite a bit in his latter years. This is a phenomenon which seems to occur quite frequently with dogmatic minds. Time and wisdom have a way of tempering the zeolot’s demand for justice. As the zeolot wanders through his own sins and lifelong character flaws which he seems never to be able to overcome, he looks for mercy for himself, and in so doing, discovers that same fountain of mercy flows to all mankind. God becomes bigger as we become smaller.

Dr. J.R. Dummelow, in his commentary of Col. 1:20: “The Son’s atoning death, availed for the whole angelic world, as well as for the world of men, since the Son is head of both. Very difficult.” Although the Dr. admits the truth of universal reconciliation, it is “very difficult” for him to do so from his denominational position.

St. Clemens of Alexandria says, “He saves all, but converting some by punishment, and others who follow by their own will-that every knee may bend to Him, of things in heaven and earth and under the earth.” (See Phil. 2:9-12)

St. Isadore states, “When the Lord says ‘neither in this world nor in the world to come’ He shows that, for some, sins are there to be forgiven.” (Read Matt. 12:31-32)

John Scotus Erigena said, “This, however we say, not that nature will be happy in all, but that in all it will be set free from death and misery.”

St. Anselm: “It is not just that God should altogether suffer to perish His creatures which He hath made. God demands from no sinner more than he owes; but since no one can pay as much as he owes, Christ alone paid for all more than the debt due.”

Professor Friedrich D.F. Schleiermacher says, “Through the force of the Redemption, a universal restoration of souls will follow.”

Perrone stated, “All agree in saying that it is too violent to admit at once into heaven all those who only repented of their past evil life at the end, and who indulged too much in the sensualities of this life, since nothing defiled enters there; also it is too harsh to assign all such to eternal torments.”

Dr. Thomas Guthrie: “My belief is that in the end there will be a vastly larger number saved than we have any conception of. What sort of earthly government would that be where more than half the subjects were in prison? I cannot believe that the government of God will be like that.”

Dean Richard W. Church: “I should be disloyal to Him whom I believe is as the Lord of truth if I doubted that honest seeking should at last find Him here, man’s destiny stops not at the grave, and many, we may be sure, will know Him there who did not know Him here.”

Dean A.P. Stanley says that: “In the ‘world to come’ punishment will be corrective and not final, and will be ordered by the Love and Justice, the height and depth of which it is beyond the narrow thoughts of man to conceive.”

Professor Challis says: “…so that the end of divine punishment is for correction, and for giving effect to the establishing of universal righteousness.”

William Law: “As of the purification of all human nature either in this world or some after ages, I fully believe it.” And again, “Every number of destroyed sinners …must through the all-working, all redeeming love of God, which never ceaseth, come at last to know that they had lost, and have found again, such a God of love as this.” (Read Psa. 103:9; Mic. 7:18; Lam 3:31-33; Isa. 57:16)

Dr. Lightfoot: “In our English translation the word ‘hell’ seems to speak what is neither warrantable by Scripture or reason.”

Rabbi Loewe: “Olam simply signifies for a long time. The Hebrew Scriptures do not contain any doctrine referring to everlasting punishment.”

Philippson, in his  Israel Religionslehre, says (11:255), “The Rabbi teach no eternity of hell torments; even the greatest sinners were punished for generations.”

Charles H. Welch wrote in  An Alphabetical Analysis, (vol. 1, p. 279), “Eternity is not a Biblical theme.” And (vol. 1, p. 52), “What we have to learn is that the Bible does not speak of eternity. It is not written to tell us of eternity. Such a consideration is entirely outside the scope of revelation.” Welch was the editor of  The Berean Expositor, and a man well versed in Greek.

A.E. Knoch wrote in his small booklet  What are the Facts, Eternal Torment or Universal Reconciliation? (page 51), “To sum up: though the Bible and the various views are contradictory on this subject, an accurate inquiry into the grammar, the scope and the application of each text shows us that most of them refer to the process, not the goal; they are temporary, not eternal; they include few, not all, therefore we can believe all that God has said. The last and highest revelation through the apostle Paul stands as it is written, that ALL mankind shall be saved (1 Tim. 2:4; 4:10), justified (Rom. 5:18), vivified (1 Cor. 15:22), and the universe (Col. 1:20) in heaven as well as on earth, will be reconciled with God through the blood of His cross.” Mr. Knoch worked with the Hebrew and Greek texts for more than fifty years. He is the author of so many articles concerning the Scriptures that his writings make a complete library.

While our versions in common use vary where the English translation of the words “eon” and “eonian” occur in relation to “punishment;” nevertheless, where universal reconciliation is in view, all are translated similarly, including the KJV. (See Rom. 5:18-19; 8:18-25; 11:25-36; Eph. 1:9-11; 3:11; Phil. 2:10-11; Col. 1:15-20; 1 Tim. 2:3-6; 4:9-11; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:2; Rev. 4:11.)

Those who see and believe the truth of universal salvation as the purpose of God’s plan for the eons, or ages, say those verses in some versions which are translated so they teach endless punishment have been incorrectly translated; yet no one seems to suggest that the verses which teach universal reconciliation have been. It would seem that many of the “translators” were simply commenting upon what they believe, rather than translating what the Greek and Hebrew convey. The work of a translator is to literally and faithfully bring over into another language what the text of the Greek and Hebrew say, and to let the commentators make of it what they will.

Paul told Timothy (2 Tim. 3:16) that “all Scripture is inspired by God and is beneficial for teaching, for exposure, for correction, for discipline in righteousness, that the man of God may be equipped, fitted out for every good act.” Each word in the whole of the Scriptures was carefully chosen by God that He might reveal to mankind His plan and purpose for it. Jesus spoke of the importance of even the smallest letter of the law (Matt. 5:18). Paul’s instruction to Timothy emphasized the importance of having a “pattern of sound words which you hear from me” (2 Tim. 1:13). The writers of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures were inspired to write exactly what God told them to write. Unfortunately, no translator was so inspired. One cannot see the truth of the word aion as it is translated in our common version without the aid of a knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew themselves, or without some study aid, such as a concordance, lexicon, or a faithful literal translation or other such help. Such versions as Rotherham’s  Emphasized Version, or the  American Standard Version with marginal notes, are of help, as are the concordances previously mentioned, to those who do not know the languages of inspiration.


Chapter Thirteen

Punishment? Yes – Everlasting? No

“He saves all, but converting some by punishment, and others who follow by their own will-that every knee may bend to Him, of things in heaven and earth and under the earth.”
-St. Clemens of Alexandria“As of the purification of all human nature either in this world or some after ages, I fully believe it.”
-William Law

Let us consider some of those passages used to refute universal salvation. Jesus, speaking to the Jews, said, “I go My way and ye shall seek Me, and shall die in your sins; where I go, ye cannot come” (John 8:21). This has been used in argument and in sermons as a verse to attempt to show some will go into eternal punishment. But Jesus was telling those to whom he spoke that He would be returning to His Father, but they could not go with Him there. He also used the words “ye cannot come” when He spoke to His believing disciples (John 13:33-36). In neither case was he speaking of their final disposition.At John 3:36: “He that believeth on the son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not on the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Here Jesus is speaking ofeonian life, not eternal life. As shown previously, there are those who will not enjoy the life of the two eons following the present one, but they will be raised at the consummation of the eons, reconciled to God, and He to them, as a result of the white throne judgment. Again, Jesus was not speaking of their final state.

Some refer to the “eternal damnation” of the KJV as proof of eternal punishment. The Greek words apollumi and krino, correctly translated, mean: appolumi, “destroy,” “lose” (in the active voice) and “perish” or “be lost” (in the passive); krino, “judge” (in the active voice), and “am being judged” (in the passive). The noun derived from apollumiapoleia, means “destruction” or “waste.” But this word was translated “damnation” at 2 Peter 2:3 in the KJV, and “damnable” at 2 Peter 2:1. Apoleia is used in the Textus Receptus Text in Acts 25:16. This is the text supposedly used by the King James translators. However, the truth of the matter, is that the Greek text used by the King’s translators differed with the so-called Textus Receptus in at least 287 places. (See Facts on the Textus Receptus and the King James Version by Dr. Allan A. MacRae and Dr. Robert C. Newman, Biblical School of Theology, Hatfield, Pa.) They translated apoleia “die.” It is obvious that any man the Romans delivered to “die” apoleia, will be resurrected and judged. (See John 5:28,29; Acts 24:15) Therefore, apeleia cannot mean “no future life,” it cannot mean the ultimate annihilation of any man. Krino, the word for “judge” occurs 14 times, and is once rendered damned (2 Thes. 2:12). The noun derived from it, “judgment,” occurs 24 times and in seven of these occurrences was translated “damnation,” yet in 13 instances in the same version it was translated “judgment.” Krisis, another form derived from the verb, and meaning “judging,” occurs 49 times in the Greek text. The translators of the KJV rendered it “judgment” 41 of those times, “condemnation” 3 times, “damnation” 3 times, and “accusation” twice. All those judged are not condemned nor are they damned. Judging involves setting affairs right between two parties in a suit, deciding an issue, coming to a conclusion. The English words “damn,” “damnation,” and “damned” have no equivalent in the Greek text, and should not have been used as the translation of any word appearing there. There is a compound of the word for “judge,” katakrino, “condemn” which occurs 24 times in the N.T. Twice the KJV translated it “be damned.” To condemn means to judge adversely, but again, the final state is not in view where the word appears in the text.

Perhaps the best summary against the use of the word “damn” and its derivatives in the Bible come from the pen of F.W. Farrar, a Canon of the Church of England. He writes in his Mercy and Judgment on page 369:

“The words ‘damn’ and its derivatives do no once occur in the Old Testament. In the New Testament they are the exceptional and arbitrary translation of two Greek verbs or their derivativeswhich occur 308 times. these words are ‘appolumi’ and ‘krino.’ ‘Apolleia’ (destruction or waste0 is once rendered ‘damnation’ and once ‘damnable.’ (2 Peter 2:3, and 2 Peter 2:1); ‘krino,’ (judge0 occurs 114 times, and is only once rendered ‘damned.’ (1 Thess. 2:120 ‘Krima,’ (judgment or sentence) occurs 24 times, and is 7 times rendered ‘damnation.’ ‘Katakrino,’ (I condemn) occurs 24 times, and is twice only rendered ‘be damned.’

Now turn to a modern dictionary, and you will see ‘damnation’ defined as ‘exclusion from divine mercy; condemnation to eternal punishment.’

But to say that such is the necessary meaning of the words which are rendered by ‘damn’ and damnation,’ is to say what is absurdly and even wickedly false. It is to say that a widow who marries again must be damned to endless torments (1 Tim. 5:12, ‘having damnation,’ krima), although St. Paul expressly recommends young widows to do so two verses later on. It is to say that everyone who ever eats the Lord’s Supper unworthily, eats and drinks “eternal punishment’ to himself, though St. Paul adds, almost in the next verse, that the judgment (krima) is disciplinary and educational to save us from condemnation. (1 Cor. 11:29-34) It is to say that ‘the Day of Judgment’ ought to be called ‘Day of Damnation’ (John 5:29) It is curious that our translators have chosen this most unfortunate variation of ‘damn’ and its cognates only fifteen times out of upwards of two hundred times that krino and its cognates occur; and that they have it for ‘krisis’ and ‘krima,’ not for the stronger compounds ‘katakrima,’ etc. The translators, however, may not be to blame. It is probable that ‘damn’ was once a milder word than ‘condemn,’ and had a far milder meaning than that which modern eschatology has furnished to modern blasphemy. We find from an Act passed when a John Russell was Chancellor (in the reign of Richard III or Henry VII), that the sanction of an Act against extorted benevolences is called ‘a damnation’-that is, ‘the infliction of a loss.’ This is the true etymological meaning of the word, as derived from damnum, ‘a loss’; and this original meaning is still found in such words as ‘damnify,’ ‘indemnify,’ and ‘indemnity.’ In the margin of 1 Cor. 11:29, we find ‘judgment’ for ‘damnation’; whereas in verse 32 the ‘judgment’ of the Lord is milder than His ‘condemnation.’ Dr. Hey, in his lecture on the Ninth Article, says that the phrase, ‘it deserveth God’s wrath and damnation,’ is used in the milder sense of the word which was originally prevalent. However this may be, the word has, as the Bishop of Chester says, undergone a modification of meaning from the lapse of time, and it is an unmixed gain both it and its congeners will wholly disappear from the revised version of the English Bible. ‘Judgment’ and ‘condemnation’ are the true representatives of ‘krisis’ and ‘katakrisis,’ and they are not steeped, like the word ‘damnation,’ in a mass of associated conceptions which do not naturally or properly belong to them. Equally unfortunate is the word ‘hell.'”

The above writing was penned before the first major revision of the King James Bible was printed. His words came true. The Revision of the KJV removed the “damn” words from the pages of the Word bringing us a few steps closer to removing the tarnish the church has put upon the character of the Creator of all human beings.

Another argument against Universalism is Matthew 7:13,14. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be with go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (King James Version)

This passage must be interpreted according to its context. The context of the Gospels is the kingdom in which Jesus will be reigning on this earth. Matthew 7:13,14 is in the context of the Sermon on the Mount. This sermon presents the principles and the rule of Jesus in His Kingdom on this earth. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matt. 5:5) This passage tells us the real nature of this sermon, for the meek have never inherited the earth nor have they ever reigned. It is important that we do not confuse events which will happen here in earth in future ages with what happens in eternity. Generally, revelation about events far into the future are not revealed by God until it is time.

(Editor’s note): Unfortunately, the doomsday preachers of all generations have made this mistake over and over again. Tertullian, a leading third century theologian who, unfortunately gave us many of our theological words that we never seem to be able to understand, was certain Jesus was going to come in his life-time and set up his kingdom. They were even certain where it would begin and it was not Jerusalem. He and the rest of the Montanist sect were obviously wrong. Martin Luther stated he was certain the world would end within 50 years. Martin Luther was wrong. There are dozens of denominations of Christianity that were founded by people who were certain enough of when Jesus would return that they set exact dates. They were wrong, but many of the denominations which were formed based on their false dates are still with us.

The entrance way into the fullness of the Life Jesus Christ desires for us to have is certainly strait and narrow. There is room for only one person to pass through and that is Jesus Christ Himself. No one apart from being crucified with Him an becoming one with Him will enter into this realm. Our pastors, elders, Popes cannot stand besides us. There is room for only one. Our traditions, creeds, “correct” doctrines cannot come with us. There is only One Word. There is room for only Him. Our prejudices, anger, bitterness, self-righteousness, self-pity etc., cannot come with us. There is only room for Love.

While millions of Christians think that their denomination is the way …that is why they are it, they are greatly mistaken, and are on the road that leads to destruction, that is, they will suffer great loss. That is what that word translated “destruction” means. We will have to let go of our denominational titles to get in. We will have to let go of our self-righteousness which came from our theology, our traditions, our heritage, our “correct” keeping of His laws. All that will have to go. The list is endless of the things we will have to let go of which actually keeps us from experiencing the fullness of His Life. The carnal Christian will suffer great loss when facing The Door Who is the door. It is truly best to let go of these things now. Then we may enter into that “aionion zoên” right here on earth

While it is outside the focus of this paper, I want to make a brief comment on the subject of aionion life, translated by the King James translators “eternal life.” In the 16th Chapter of John’s Gospel verses 32 and 33, Jesus leaves some departing words for his disciples. He said,

“Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you my have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that the Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

So then aionion zoên, incorrectly translated “eternal life” is knowing God, the Father, and Jesus Christ, His Son. How well do you know God, the Father and His Son? The Bible tells us that to be carnally minded is death. (Rom. 8:6) The Scriptures say we can grieve and quench the Holy Spirit. They tell us our traditions can make the word of God of none effect. (Matth. 15:6; Mark 7:13) They tell us that the “Kingdom of God” is “righteous, peace, and joy.” (Rom. 14:17)

Unfortunately, for most Christians too much of their “relationship” or “knowing” God, the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ is nothing more than memorizing the Scriptures and believing their church traditions. “Knowing” someone is not the same as knowing the Scriptures or church traditions about Jesus. There is a real intimacy which we can enter with Them even while here on earth. This intimacy varies with each individual, and it varies from day to day within a believer’s life. To be carnally-minded cuts off the flow of “aionion zoên.” Does that mean we have lost our place in heaven after this life? Of course not! But the quality of our Christian life here on earth is at jeopardy. “Righteousness, peace, and joy” as words are nothing more than words. But the reality of those words when we truly abide in Him are beyond words, nevertheless, very real. Aionion Zoên, translated by some of the more accurate translations with “age-lasting life” “age-during life,” “life of the ages,” or “eonion life” emphasize that Jesus is not only interested in redeeming everything lost, but those who have been brought into the kingdom in this dispensation, should taste and experience some of the reality of His life right now! It should manifest! We should be able to get to know more and more each day the reality of Him because we have a relationship with Them beyond words on a page in a Bible. The mistranslation of the word aionion to “eternal” has robbed millions of Christians of the fact that God wants us to experience His life now. Most Christians think of “eternal life” as something we get after we die. This is sad, because as a result of this concept, we are not manifesting a quality of life that we should presently be walking in. “Righteousness” is not just being moral. His peace far exceeds being calm during tough times. And His joy leaves the “happiness” the world lusts for, far behind. The fruit of the Spirit unfortunately for many Christians are empty words memorized in a Bible study. A proper understanding of “aionion zoên” will restore to us a key to “knowing” Jesus Christ, the Savior of the Whole World and His Father. The reality of this “life” which He gave us, will speak much more to the inhabitants of this world than words “about” Jesus. (End of editor’s note)


Chapter Fourteen

A Long, But Not Eternal Visit To “Hell”

“In our English translation the word ‘hell’ seems to speak what is neither warrantable by Scripture or reason.”
-Dr. Lightfoot“‘Olam’ (the Hebrew for aion) simply signifies for a long time. The Hebrew Scriptures do no contain any doctrine to everlasting punishment.”
-Rabbi Loewe

“The writers of Hebrew and Greek Scriptures were inspired to write exactly what God told them to write. Unfortunately, no translator was so inspired.”
When I tell church members about God’s victorious love and grace, that God through Christ Jesus “will draw all men” (John 12:32); “all men to justification of life” (Rom. 5:18,19); “in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22-28); “to head up all in the Christ” (Eph. 1:10); “That in the name of Jesus every knee shall bow…every tongue should be acclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God” (Phil. 2:10,11); “Who will have all men to be saved” (1 Tim. 2:4); “We have our hope set on the living God Who is the Savior of all men” (1 Tim. 4:10); “The all is created through Him and for Him” and “Through Him to reconcile the all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:16, 20). When I declare God’s glorious plan to restore all back to Himself, church members ask, “But what about hell?”

Jesus never used the English word “hell” and He never used any Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic word meaning what most people believe “hell” means. For years I have asked preachers, “How many times is the word “hell” in the Bible, and how many Hebrew and Greek words are translated “hell” in your King James Bible?” None of them answered the question. Therefore, I will now present for the reader a summary of the original Hebrew and Greek words which the King James’ translators rendered into the English word “hell.”

The transliterated spelling of these words comes from Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible.

The only Hebrew word translated “hell” in what is commonly called the Old Testament, is the word “Sheol.” “Sheol” occurs 65 times. It is translated “hell” 31 times, “grave” 31 times, and “pit” 3 times in the King James Bible. It is obvious that if “Sheol” means “hell,” it should not be translated “grave.” “Sheol” means the same as the Greek noun “Hades.”

“Hades” is derived from the Greek verb “horao.“Horaomeans “I am seeing.” The Greeks then prefixed the word with “a” (alpha) which negates “to see” thus coining the noun “Hades” meaning “unseen.” Therefore, “Sheol” and “Hades” mean “unseen.” These two words do not describe what the English theological word “hell” means to convey.

That the King James translators did not understand what “Sheol” and “Hades” meant is proved by the following:

Out of the belly of hell (Sheol) cried I.” (Jonah 2:2) Verse 1:17 tells us he was “in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.” Where was Jonah-in Hell or in a fish? If “Sheol” is translated “unseen” we have no problem. Jonah was in the “belly of the fish” and was “unseen.” We know that Jonah was “in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:17) This agrees with the words of Jesus, for He said, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish.” (Matt. 12:40) In the Greek Septuagint, (the Hebrew Old Testament translated into Greek around 200 B.C.) we find the Greek adjective aionios translated “forever” in Jonah 2:6 in the King James Bible. It is obvious that aionios “forever” cannot mean more than three days and three nights. There is a problem here.

In 1 Cor. 15:55, the King James’ Greek text contains the Greek word “Hades.” They translated the Greek word “Hades” into the English word “grave,” but they gave an alternative translation “Hell” in the margin. In Rev. 20:13,14, The Greek Text contains the word “Hades” which they translated into the English word “Hell.” In the margin they put the alternative translation of “grave.” It should begin to appear to the objective reader of the King James Bible that the translators were uncertain as to the meaning of the words “Hades” and “Sheol.” The modern reader of a King James Bible printed in this century will not know this because many of the modern editions of the KJV have removed the marginal readings the original King James contained. Does something smell a little foul here?

“Hades” occurs 11 times in the King’s Greek Text (often misnamed “Textus Receptus”). When we study “Hades,” let us remember that according to the KJV, Jesus was in “Hell.” (see Acts 2:27, 31) Obviously Jesus’ soul was not in “hell-fire.”

Another Greek word “Gehenna” occurs 12 times in the New Testament; 11 times in the Gospels and one time in the Epistle of James. Jesus used “Gehenna” about 7 times. Some of the occurrences of “Gehenna” are in parallel passages, that is, they refer to the same event. “Gehenna” is the Greek form of the Hebrew “ge-hinnom.” It literally means “valley of Hinnom” Sometimes it is referred to as the “valley of the sons of Hinnom.” In the Old Testament “Tophet(h)” also refers to this place. (See Young’s Concordance under Hinnom) “Gehenna” is a valley that lays on the west and southwest of Jerusalem. In the valley, Israel offered up its children as a burnt offering to a god who came to be known as Moloch. (The spelling varies)

(Editor’s note: Knowing there would be many questions about the Greek and Hebrew words incorrectly translated “Hell,” we felt it appropriate to give a few more details to answer some of those questions. There are entire books just on these words. We certainly do not have the space in this work to answer all questions, but hopefully we have included enough material to let the reader see that there are reasonable Scriptural, historical, and scholarly support for our conclusions. The next few pages have been added to Mr. Abbott’s work with his permission.)

In Jeremiah, we hear Yahweh speaking to Jeremiah regarding this sacrifice, “And they have turned to Me the back, and not the face;though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not listened to receive instruction. but they set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.” (Jer. 32:33-35) Jeremiah says this valley would one day be called the “Valley of slaughter.” (Jer. 7:30-33) This Scripture had its literal fulfillment in 70 A.D. at the destruction of Jerusalem.

King Josiah, in his days, desecrated this place by tearing down all the idols, crushing or burning them, and burning human bones on them (probably those of the priests who presided over these rituals). A Jew was not allowed to touch anything that touched a dead human being. Please note, it was God’s own people who were doing the burning, not God, and He said such a thing never entered His mind. Also note, not one single time in the entire Old Testament was this word “Ge-hinnom” translated “hell.”

In Jesus’ day, this valley was a city dump very much like modern dumps-always being filled, and therefore always having something for the fire to consume and worms to eat. (“where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.) It was a place fit only for waste. Should a Jew, God’s “chosen” people ever be given a burial in “Gehenna,” it would be the most humiliating thing that could ever happen to him. It would be like saying that one’s life here on earth was completely worthless, fit only for the dump. For Jesus to tell a religious Jew, such as a Pharisee, that his life, his religious works, his devotion to God were fit only for the city dump, was to insult him in the worst possible way. Jews went to great efforts to make their funerals great events. Some even hired professional “mourners” to cry at their funeral. Herod was going to have the leaders of Israel killed on his day of death so that Israel would mourn on his death. This is the kind of mentality Jews had regarding their life and they way they should leave this world. Even today, one will hear Jews say that the most important thing a person owns is his name. They will go to great lengths to keep their name alive. They will name buildings, start foundations, etc., to keep their name alive. Many, who no longer believe in a resurrection feel this is the only way they can stay alive beyond the grave-to have their name remain in the minds of future generations.

Returning to “Gehenna,” one can walk through this valley even today and return unscathed by its fires and untouched by the worms which actually consumed a good part of the religious Priestly community of Israel in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Their bodies were piled up and their blood ran down into this very valley which Jesus prophesied would be the disgraceful burial place for hundreds of thousands of Jews of that very generation Jesus was speaking to. Please remember, it was not the heathen, not the street sinner, not the Roman who found themselves in this “hell” as the KJV wants to render it-it was God’s own people-even more-it was those who thought they were closer to God than anyone else on the earth. Beware, Christian, that you do not find yourself committing the same mistake!

Whatever this valley represented in the Old Testament must be carried over to the New Testament. Nowhere in the Old Testament is this place translated “Hell” and nowhere in the Old Testament is there a hint that this place referred to a place of eternal punishment after death. The word which Jesus referred to most often which the King James Bible unfortunately chose to render “hell,” in the New Testament, but did not do so in the Old Testament, is this word “Hinnom” or Ge-hinnom (valley of Hinnom) or “Ge-ben-hinnom” (valley of the sons of Hinnom) which was transliterated into the Greek as “gehenna.” A thorough study of this place in the Old Testament will dispel much myth regarding its significance. The Scriptural references for such a study are: Josh. 15:8; 18:16; 2 Kings 9:7; 15:3,4; 23:10, 36, 39; Ez. 23:37,39; 2 Chr. 28:3; Lev. 18:21; 20:2; Jer. 7:30-32; 19:2-6; 32:35. Remember, this place is never referred to as “Hell” in the Old Testament. References to this very same place in the New Testament are: Matt. 5:22; 5:29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15; 23:33; Mark 9:43; 9:45; 9:47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6. It should be mentioned that most of these references come from Jesus’ mouth and every reference to this word “gehenna” was addressed to God’s own people, not to the nations around Israel.

The Greek word “tartarus” occurs one single time in the entire Bible and it is found in 2 Peter 2:4. It is the place where sinning messengers (angels) are reserved unto judgment.

The English word “Hell” occurs 54 times in the King James Bible, and is a translation of 4 Hebrew and Greek words. Not one of the words has a meaning even closely related to the meaning theologians have given the English word “Hell.” Many Bibles translated in the last one hundred years do not contain the English word “Hell.” Almost all of them have found no justification for translating “Sheol” into “Hell.” Therefore, almost all English Bibles do not contain any references to our modern concept of “Hell” in the Old Testament. From Genesis to Malachi, “Hell” has disappeared as a result of better translating. Many Bibles have eliminated the word entirely and the day will come when all Bibles will no longer teach this pagan concept which should never have been in our translations in the first place.

The King James translators were honest enough to admit in their “To the Reader” found in the original printings of the King James Bible that they built upon other men’s work and that others would build up theirs. They did not claim inerrancy nor infallibility. Their many marginal readings proves that. Unfortunately, most modern King James Bible printings have removed that letter as well as the marginal readings. Why? Well, modern Fundamentalists and many Evangelicals have created a doctrine entitled “The Doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy.” Since the letter reveals that the translators did not believe they were writing an “inerrant” translation and the alternative readings in the margins would substantiate that, these connivers have removed the letter “To the readers” and the marginal readings to hide this fact. An example of the kind of marginal readings these “inerrancy” advocates have removed: the marginal reading of Luke 17:36 read, “This 36th verse is wanting in most of the Greek copies.” They weren’t sure of the original Greek for this verse and let the reader know. This kind of honestly is impermissible in the “Inerracy” camp.

The “Doctrine of Inerrancy” is a myth of the most diabolical kind perpetrated by religious leaders seeking to keep God’s people in darkness. The King James Bible today will differ from the one printed in the year 1611 in thousands of places. From one publisher to another there will be differences in the KJV.

Returning back to the subject of “Hell,” we have found that the Hebrew word “Sheol” should never have been translated “Hell.” The Jews today, whose Bible consists of the Old Testament do not translate it “Hell” because in no way does “Sheol” correspond with the images and doctrines the church associates with the word “Hell.” The Greek word “Hades” is the equivalent of “Sheol” and has the same meaning.

The Greek mythological place the Greeks called “Tartarus” occurs one time in the Biblical text to denote a holding place for messengers (angels) “til” judgment which indicates an eventual release from this place. The case against “Gehenna” being translated into “Hell” is very aptly summarized by Dr. J.W. Hanson in his The Bible Hell when he listed the following regarding “Gehenna” :

  1. Gehenna was a well-known locality near Jerusalem, and ought no more to be translated Hell, than should Sodom or Gomorrah. See Josh. 15:8; 2 Kings 17:10; 2 Chron. 28:3; Jer. 7:31,32; 19:2.
  2. Gehenna is never employed in the Old Testament to mean anything else than the place with which every Jew was familiar.
  3. The word should have been left untranslated as it is in some versions, and it would not be misunderstood. It was not misunderstood by the Jews to whom Jesus addressed it. Walter Balfour well says: ‘What meaning would the Jews, who were familiar with this word, and knew it to signify the valley of Hinnom, be likely to attach to it when they heard it used by our Lord? Would they contrary to all former usage, transfer its meaning from a place with whose locality and history they had been familiar from their infancy, to a place of misery in another world? By what rule of interpretation, then, can we arrive at the conclusion that this word means a place of misery after death?
  4. The French Bible, the Emphatic Diaglott, Improved Version, Wakefield’s Translation, and Newcomb’s, retain the proper noun, Gehenna, the name of a place as well-known as Babylon. (Many other Bibles since this was written, have also removed “Hell” and put “Gehenna” back.
  5. Gehenna is never mentioned in the Apocrypha as a place of future punishment, as it would have been, had such been its meaning before and at the time of Christ.
  6. No Jewish writer, such as Josephus, or Philo, ever used it as the name of a place of future punishment, as they would have done had such then been its meaning.
  7. No classical Greek author ever alludes to it, and therefore, it was a Jewish locality, purely.
  8. The first Jewish writer who ever names it as a place of future punishment is Jonathan Ben Uzziel, who wrote, according to various authorities, from somewhere between the second to the eighth century A.D.
  9. The first Christian writer who calls Hell, Gehenna, is Justin Martyr, who wrote about A.D. 150.
  10. Neither Christ nor his apostles ever named it to Gentiles, but only to Jews, which proves it a locality only known to Jews, wheras, if it were a place of punishment after death for sinners, it would have been preached to Gentiles as well as to Jews.
  11. It was only referred to twelve times, on eight occasions, in all the ministry of Christ and the apostles, and in the Gospels and Epistles. Were they faithful to their mission to say no more than this, on so vital a theme as an endless Hell, if they intended to teach it?
  12. Only Jesus and James ever named it. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jude ever employ it. Would they not have warned sinners concerning it, if there were a Gehenna of torment after death?
  13. Paul says he ‘shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God,’ and yet, though he was the great preacher of the Gospel to the Gentiles he never told them that Gehenna is a place of after-death punishment. Dr. Thomas Thayer significantly remarks: ‘The Savior and James are the only persons in all the New Testament who use the word. John the Baptist, who preached to the most wicked of men, did not use it once. Paul, wrote 14 epistles, and yet never once mentions it. Peter does not name it, nor Jude; and John, who wrote the gospel, three epistles, and the Book of Revelation, never employs it in a single instance. (the Greek words of “lake of fire” in Revelation is not Gehenna) Now if Gehenna or Hell really reveals the terrible fact of endless woe, how can we account for this strange silence? How is it possible, if they knew its meaning, and believed it a part of Christ’s teaching, that they should not have used it a hundred or a thousand times, instead of never using it at all; especially when we consider the infinite interests involved? The Book of Acts contains the record of the apostolic preaching, and the history of the first planting of the church among the Jews and Gentiles, and embraces a period of thirty years from the ascension of Christ. In all this history, in all this preaching of the apostles of Jesus, there is no mention of Gehenna. In thirty years of missionary effort, these men of God, addressing people of all characters and nations, never, under any circumstances, threaten them with the torments of Gehenna, or allude to it in the most distant manner! In the face of such a fact as this, can any man believe that Gehenna signifies endless punishment, and that this is a part of divine revelation, a part of the Gospel message to the world? These considerations show how impossible it is to establish the doctrine in review on the word Gehenna All the facts are against the supposition that the term was used by Christ or his disciples in the sense of endless punishment. There is not the least hint of any such meaning attached to it, nor the slightest preparatory notice that any such new revelation was to be looked for in this old familiar word.
  14. Jesus never uttered it to unbelieving Jews, nor to anybody but his disciples, but twice (Matt. 23:15-33) during his entire ministry, nor but four times in all. If it were the final abode of unhappy millions, would not his warnings abound with exhortations to avoid it?
  15. Jesus never warned unbelievers against it but once in all his ministry, ((Matt. 23:33) and he immediately explained it as about to come in this life.
  16. If Gehenna is the name of Hell then men’s bodies are burned there, and well as their souls. (Matt. 5:29; 18:9)
  17. If it be the name of endless torment, then literal fire is the sinner’s punishment. (Mark 9:43-48)
  18. Gehenna is never said to be of endless duration, nor spoken of as destined to last forever, so that even admitting the popular ideas of its existence after death, it gives no support to the idea of endless torment.
  19. Clement, a Universalist, (of the early church) used Gehenna to describe his ideas of punishment. He was one of the earliest of the Christian Fathers. The word did not then denote endless punishment.
  20. A shameful death, or a severe punishment, in this life, was, at the time of Christ, denominated Gehenna, (Schleusner, Canon Farrar, and others), and there is no evidence thatGehenna meant anything else, at the time of Christ.” (end of insert from The Bible Hell)

Note: While all this historical and etymological information is very helpful, I am sure it will raise many questions which cannot fully be dealt with in such a short work. However, to show the reader how easy it is to answer some of these answers, I will deal with a couple of what many feel are the most troublesome. The reader should write to us for further works on this most important subject. We have many volumes which deal with this subject very thoroughly.

Jesus says that the fire of Gehenna is “unquenchable” and one in which God can ‘destroy the body and the soul.’ That does not sound like a fire of a ‘city dump.'”

As we go through some of these passages, I cannot over stress that fact that Jesus did not utter these words at the local bar, or house of prostitution. He did not go to Rome, Babylon, or Athens and utter these strong warnings. He boldly declared these warnings to God’s own people soon to be called for a season “not God’s people.” (see Hosea 1:9; 2:23; Rom. 9:25)

The physical fires of “Gehenna” have long since gone out. Therefore theologians conclude that these fires must refer to spiritual things. This is called “adding to the word.” In one sense, they are correct, that is, the stigma associated with the horrible way the nation of Israel was destroyed, the humiliation of being called “Christ-killers” would stay with the name “Jew” throughout the centuries, even to this day. While the physical fires and worms have passed, the humiliation, the hatred, the torment and abuse which comes with the name “Jew” has remained to this day. Remember the Holocaust, only one generation ago? But this stigma will not last into eternity. The label of “not my people” will not be carried into kingdom of God. So while there is a higher meaning and significance to “Gehenna” than the physical destruction of Jerusalem, it is not a symbol of “eternal torment.” The shame and persecution will one day be removed.

The Greek word behind the English word “unquenchable” is the word “asbestos.” This word has been brought over into the English language describing a substance. Examples of how the word was used in Greek should prove that this word did not define a “fire that would never go out.”

“Strabo calls the lamp in the Parthenon, and Plutarch call the sacred fire of a temple “unquenchable,” though they were extinguished ages ago. Josephus says the fire on the altar of the temple at Jerusalem was “always unquenchable” (asbestos aei), though the fire had gone out and the temple was destroyed at the time of his writing. Eusebius says that certain martyrs of Alexandria ‘were burned in unquenchable fire,’ though it was extinguished in the course of an hour.”

The above examples should prove the word in the original Greek did not mean a fire that would burn forever. It meant a fire that could not be put out until it consumed that which it was burning. The purpose of the fire on the alter in Jerusalem ended in 70 A.D. when the types and shadows of the rituals in the Law of Moses were replaced by the true light-Jesus Christ, the Light from above and His body of believers who Jesus called the “light of the world.”

As to “Gehenna” being a place where God can destroy the “body and the soul,” it should be noted that God could also “raise up children to Abraham from these stones,” but He didn’t. (Luke 3:8) He is able to blot a person out of the Book of Life, but that doesn’t mean He will. We must be careful not to add to His Word what is not there.

Jesus’ warnings were extremely strong about the fires of “Gehenna.” Again, speaking to the “chosen” people,

And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into Hell (Gehenna). And if thy right eye offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into Hell.” (Matt. 5:28,29; see also Matt. 18:9 and Mark 9:43,49)

If these Scriptures are to be taken literally, and if the consequences are eternal torment, then the church should be full of one-eyed, one-armed, one-footed members. The pulpits should have chairs behind them for the multitude of one-footed preachers who have problems with lustful eyes and hearts, and greed never being satisfied with the amount of money they raise.

I met a Christian who took these Scriptures literally and tried to take out one of his eyes. How many preachers would dare be bold enough in their so-called “faith” to counsel such a man that he was doing the right thing because he was following Scriptures? The justice systems would have those preachers behind bars in no time. Can you see the hypocrisy in this kind of reasoning? If Jesus meant what he said and if the consequences were what preachers tell us they are, then they should teach it all from a literal point of view, but they don’t. They don’t believe their own teachings.

Jesus rebuked God’s “chosen people” evangelists declaring they were making their converts “two times the sons of Hell (Gehenna) as yourselves.” (Matt. 23:15) If eternal torment is what is implied here, then God has a serious problem. He chose them to be His “evangelists.” From the very beginning of Israel’s history, God told them that they would forsake Him and become rebellious. (Joshua 23:16 and many other prophesies) If God knew that Israel was going to misrepresent God to the nations, that they would accept false God’s and images and make their converts two times the sons of Hell (Gehenna) as themselves, then God is ultimately responsible for the fate of the peoples of this world because He knew in advance that Israel would misrepresent the Truth. If “Gehenna” is eternal torment, God has indicted Himself in being an accomplice to making the world full of people who are “two times the sons of Hell.” God Himself chose these people as a nation of priests to the world. It was their responsibility to show the world His standards. They miserably failed. But God knew they would fail before they even began. Therefore, since He had foreknowledge of this fact, He is directly responsible for the world being deceived by His own priests. The buck stops at the top. If eternal torment is the punishment for not living up to God’s standards, then God will ultimately have to be blamed for those who are in “Hell.” When one studies the church record as being a standard of righteousness and truth in the world, we have even a worse example than Israel. The church, for a long time in its history, forbid people even owning a Bible at the penalty of death! Study church history from a non-denominational point of view and one will see liars, hypocrites, fornicators, murders, covetous, whoremongers, incest, false doctrines, power hungry leaders, Christians killing Christians etc. How can a human being make a reasonable decision regarding the truth when presented with such a miserable example of righteousness and holiness? Ultimately God will have to take the blame if “Hell” is full of “two-times the sons of ‘Hell.'” His own evangelists made them that way.

The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But into whasoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the street of the same, and say, ‘Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: not withstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.’ But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.” (Luke 10:9-15)

This portion of Scripture will reveal how distorted the Bible becomes when literalists refuse to acknowledge that the Hebrew language is a rich one full of idiomatic expressions. It also reveals some major differences between God’s judgments and much of the modern churches concept of judgment. The Greek word behind the word “hell” is this passage is the word “hades” meaning “the unseen.” Almost every translation since the KJV of 1611 has eliminated the word “hell” in this passage and substituted the word “Hades” or “the depths,” (NEB) or “the dead,” (Godspeed) or “realm of death” (NAB). Even the New King James Bible, in the KJV tradition, has abandoned “hell” for “Hades,” the unseen.

Most English Bible translations have abandoned “hell” in this passage because there is obviously a problem here if one takes this passage literally. When was an entire city (Capernaum) ever in literal heaven? It never was! And neither will it ever be in the “Hell” of our modern theologians. But Capernaum did experience “heaven” in the idiomatic language of Hebrew andCapernaum also experienced the Biblical experience of the meaning of the Greek word “Hades.”

Capernaum means “village of Nahum.” The Book of Nahum is a short prophetic book which contains a strong prophesy against the city of Ninevah, capitol of Assyria. It prophesied its utter destruction. Capernaum was abandoned in the Islamic invasion in 638 A.D. No one knew the exact location of the city until Tell Hum was excavated in 1968.

In what way was Capernaum ever in “heaven?” Looking into a Concordance and studying all the Scriptural references relating to Capernaum will bring forth great understanding. I will only touch the surface here.

If you recall, after His temptation in the wilderness, Jesus went to Galilee. Either the first city, or at least among the first cities He visited was Capernaum. Prior to entering the city, he preached outside the city. Many people from as far a Sidon and Tyre came to hear Him. Sidon and Tyre were not part of Israel, they were pagan cities! Visiting Capernaum was a fulfillment of Isaiah 9:1,2 declaring a light to the Gentiles. (Matt. 4:13-17) It was here Jesus began to preach the Kingdom of God. It was here He healed the Centurion, a non-Jew and said of the Centurion, “I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” It was here Jesus said, “But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 8:5-13) It was here Peter, the apostle of the Circumcision lived. It was here Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy ladened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28) It was here He preached the principles of the kingdom. (Matt. Chapter 18 and other references) It was here the demons declared in public who Jesus was and He cast them out. (Mark 1:21-36)

Being the home of Peter the apostle, who apparently had a large house, Jesus spent a great deal of time in this city. It was in this city that many of the things Jesus did and the words He spoke which were recorded in our Bibles were spoken. It was here the disciples disputed among themselves who was the greatest. (A pastime still in favor among God’s present people) (Mark 9:33,34) It was here He raised the dead. (Luke 7:1-17) It was here Jesus said, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting (aionios) life, which the Son of Man will give to you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:26,27)

Is it too difficult to see that Capernaum was indeed a very privileged, an honored, an exalted, no-even further-a city in which the very kingdom of God on earth was not only declared, but manifested!? What a glorious privilege! It was indeed in “heavenly places” without being lifted up to some place millions of miles away with golden streets!

In the same manner, when Capernaum was covered up by the sands of Galilee’s seashore after the Moslem’s took over the region, can we not see the word “Hades” (unseen because it was covered up, forgotten, and abandoned) perfectly describes the condition of Capernaum after 638 A.D.? Does this city have to go to a physical fiery eternal place to fulfill Jesus’ words?

Most Bible translations have abandoned their attempts to maintain modern Christianity’ concept of “Hell” regarding Capernaum because they see it doesn’t work very well. One day, they will discover, the modern concept of “Hell” doesn’t work in any part of the Bible because this pagan myth doesn’t exist.

Which brings us to the English word “Hell” itself. Just a little study into the etymology of this word should throw up a warning flag. But Christians are really not taught to study past their own denominational doctrines, and therefore remain “in outer darkness!”


The Origin of “Hell”It is always amazing to me how much knowledge we have of ancient times. It seems God, in His wisdom, tucked bits and pieces of information aside in the forms of an inscription, a piece of papyrus, a ruin, etc., and man, with his God-given abilities, has been gathering together in recent years these bits of ancient knowledge and reconstructing the past.

The study of word origins (etymology) is a very developed science few Christians spend any time studying. If one were to take the main theological words used in church and study their origins, one would learn much.

Remember, the Greek word “Hades” literally meant unseen. The pagans then turned a perfectly good usable word into the name of a God named “Hades” and created a place of the underworld called “Hades.” They turned an everyday word with easy to understand meaning into a theological pagan word which, if one studies the “underworld” mythology of the Greeks, into a mass of confusion.

The English word “Hell” suffered the same unslaught, but not from pagan Greeks, but from pagan Christians! According to Arcade Dictionary of Word Origins by John Ayto, the etymology of the word “hell” is as follows:

hell (OE) Etymologically, “hell” is a ‘hidden place.’ It goes back ultimately to Indo-European ‘kel’ (cover, hide), which has contributed an extraordinary number of words to English, including ‘apocalypse,” cell,’ ‘cellar,’ ‘conceal,’ ‘helmet,’ ‘hull,’ ‘pod,’ ‘occult,’ and possibly ‘colour’ and ‘holster.’ Its Germanic descendant was ‘khel-,’ ‘khal-,’ whose derivatives included ‘khallo’ and ‘khaljo.’ The first became modern English ‘hall,’ the second modern English ‘hell-‘-so both hall and hell were originally ‘concealed or covered places,’ although very different ways: the ‘hall’ with a roof, ‘hell’ with at least six feet of earth. Related Germanic forms include German ‘Holle’ (O with an umlaut), Dutch ‘hel,’ and Swedish ‘helvete’ (in which ‘vete’ means punishment’).

Isn’t it rather interesting that the place where people met under a roof and therefore “covered,” (hall) and the place where people are “six feet under” and therefore “unseen,” come from the same word? A church and a grave yard therefore have much in common. This book will not go into other theological words such as the word “church,” but I assure you, there are many embarrassing surprises hidden in theological word origins.

We have found then, that the modern English word “Hell” was originally not a specific region for those eternally damned, as theologians would term it, but a common everyday word which basically meant “covered up” and therefore often “unseen.” This word was useful to describe a number of different things.

But as with “Hades,” and “Gehenna,” a superstitious religious priestcraft used these normal everyday words and concocted images to hold people in their power. They used their deceptive power-hungry minds to tell the ignorant what was in the “unseen” place of the grave (hell).

They created a goddess in charge of affairs in “hell.” She was called “Hel.” The hole in the ground became a huge underground empire of which she was ruler. The word with a little “h” became a place with a capital “H.”

This information I am bringing forth is not hidden away in some ancient monastery. It can be found in almost any book on word origins, regular dictionaries, and encyclopedias. But when Christians have been taught to stick their heads into a “hole” or “hall” called our “church building” and not to look at anything which does not conform to “their” teachings, it leaves most Christians in “gross darkness”-in other words in a “hell” of their own.

Even excellent study Bibles such as the Companion Bible by Dr. E.E. Bullinger, perhaps the best KJV Study Bible available, brings out the fact that these words have been greatly tampered with by the priestcraft. Under his appendage number 131 The synonymous words for “Hell”, etc. he states:

The English word is from the Anglo-Saxon ‘hel’, Genitive Case ‘helle’=a hidden place, from the Anglo-Saxon ‘helan’=to hide.”

Dr. Bullinger covers the others words we have just been discussing. His appendages bring great light into a darkness many Christians have been placed into, allowing themselves to be “covered” by false shepherds.

A quick tour through the Norse and Germanic mythologies of the goddess Hel and her domain Hell should be a wake up call to any person whose mind is still functioning. The Encyclopedia Britannica tells us of “Hel”:

Hel or Hela, in Scandinavian mythology, goddess of the dead, a child of Loki and the giantess Angurboga, dwelt beneath the roots of the sacred ash, Yggdrasil (q.v.), and ruled the nine worlds of Helheim. In early myth all the dead went to her: in later legend only those who died of old age or sickness; she then became synonymous with suffering and horror.” It is common knowledge to anyone who has studied church history even just a little bit, that the Roman Catholic church made it a practice to absorb the pagan traditions of the nations which it tried to covert. She, the Roman Catholic church, by the power she claimed, just Christianized them. From this practice, we Christians have inherited all the superstitions of the world. Under the word “Hell” they incorporated the mythologies of the Romans, Greeks, Babylonians, Egyptians, Teutons, Druids, and only God knows what else.

This work cannot go into the thousands of pagan words, myths, rituals, artifacts, originating in pagan religions which have been brought into the Christian religion. Reading Hislop’s Two Babylons, published by Loizeaux Brothers, or Babylonian Mystery Religion by Ralph Woodrow would be two good places to begin. For those of the Protestant persuasion who think they are immuned to the influence of Romanism, think again, the entire Protestant Sunday morning church ritual, including the structure of the building and its interior furniture, will not be found among the early believers in Jesus Christ.

While the Scriptures correctly translated have nothing to say about the modern theological concept of “Hell,” nor do they speak of “eternal punishment,” they do have much to say about “judgment.”

-end of editor’s note.

Those who believe in “hell” as a place of punishment (although the two words never appear together in the Scriptures, even in mistranslations) do not seem to remember the verse which says Jesus’ soul was in “hell” three days and three nights. For what was He being punished? In the KJV at 1 Cor. 15:55, the word translated “grave” in the text is changed to “hell” in the margin, and at Rev. 20:14-15, the word “hell” in the text is changed to “grave” in the marginal reading! Apparently the translators could not make up their minds which word should be used. The word in the text used by the translators of the KJV is hades, meaning “unseen.” It means neither “grave” nor “hell.”

The evangel, or gospel, contained GOOD NEWS, for that is the meaning of the Greek word euaggelion, good news “which shall be to ALL people” (Luke 2:10). There is little “good news” in condemning the majority of humanity to eternal damnation, or punishment and saving just a few. It is noticeable that those who are so eager to condemn others to “hell” eternally do not include themselves, their families, or their friends in such a fate. Most, however, object to the idea that God loves ALL of mankind. Instead, they believe God loves only those whom He calls, but not the sinners.


Chapter Fifteen

The “Chosen” – Not “I have chosen”

“Many today are like the Jews we read about in the book of Acts, who were jealous, and believed God loved them alone, and who were boasting in their works.”

Paul tells us in his writings at Rom. 9:1-5 of his great sorrow, and that he wished himself to be anathema from Christ for the sake of his brethren, the unbelieving Israelites, but there are those who believe most of mankind is “lost eternally” who do not show such concern. These good people do not have the sorrow Paul expressed. O that they might know that all we have, our faith, our salvation, and our calling come only through the grace of God and the faith of His Son Jesus Christ! It is not through our own works, but through God’s working in us that we have this marvelous grace (Eph. 2:8-10; Phil. 2:13; Rom. 8:28-31; 1 Cor. 1:26-31; 4:7; Heb. 12:2).Many today are like the Jews we read about in the book of Acts, who were jealous, and believed God loved them alone, and who were boasting in their works. We must not be like the man who said he had accepted Christ, that he chose to believe the gospel, hence he was saved, but those who would not accept Christ were lost and on their way to hell. Our Lord said (John 15:16), “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you.” Romans 8:29 says: “…whom He foreknew, He designates beforehand, also, to be conformed to the image of His Son. Now whom he designated beforehand, these He calls, these He justifies also; now who He justifies, these He glorifies.” And Ephesians 1:4 says, “…according as He chooses us in Him before the disruption of the world…in love designating us beforehand for the place of a son for Him through Christ Jesus.” Jesus said (John 12:31-41) of those who did not believe He would be exalted out of the earth and would be drawing ALL to Himself that “they could not believe,” seeing that God “hath blinded their eyes and calloused their heart.” But again, this condition was not to last eternally, as verse 32 shows. We should be boasting in Christ Jesus (Rom. 15:17) and the faith of Jesus (Rom. 3:26) rather than in our own works.

1 John 4:8 tells us: “God is love,” and 1 John 2:2 that “He is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world;” 1 John 4:11, “God so loved us,” and John 3:16, that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,” that is Christ, Who (Heb. 2:9) “by the grace of God tasted death for EVERY man.” Revelation 4:11 says of Him, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for Thou hast created ALL things, and for THY pleasure they are and were created.” Is there pleasure to be gained in knowing beforehand that those who were created would never hear the GOOD NEWS of the gospel, would never believe and would be sent to “hell” forever to be tormented? All this for His pleasure? If we are instructed to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44) can we expect God to do less?


Chapter Sixteen

Clearing Things Up

“I am convinced that God loves all, (John 3:16, Rom. 5:6-10), and that ‘love never faileth.’ (1 Cor. 13) Therefore, if one sinner is endlessly lost, that sinner has defeated the LOVE of God and that is impossible.”

In Dr. W.E. Vine’s  Dictionary of New Testament Words there appears under the subject “Ever, For Ever, Evermore, Everlasting” (vol. 2, pp. 46-47), “The following phrases are formed in connection with aion, an age: They are idiomatic expressions betokening undefined periods and are not to be translated literally.” He follows by listing several instances in which the word occurs, and gives a literal and accurate translation. Yet he calls these “idiomatic expressions!” All languages have idiomatic usages for words, that is true, but we must not consign literal statements to idiomatic meanings. Paul tells us we must have a pattern of sound words, which we hear from him (2 Tim. 1:13). Using the translating of “forever and ever” instead of the “age of the age,” or “ages of the ages,” or “age of the ages,” as the case may be at such places as Eph. 3:21, Heb. 1:8, or Gal. 1:5, as Dr. Vine does, saying they are not to be taken literally, is not using a pattern of sound words. Why are they not to be taken literally? They certainly are understandable when so done. Dr. Vine also says that (p. 47) ” Everlasting. Aioniasshould always be translated ‘eternal’ and aidios ‘everlasting.'” To translate 2 Tim. 1:9 and Tit. 1:2 with what he calls “idiomatic” words of the English is the only way to make sense out of them. To use “forever” or “forever and ever” there makes nonsense.Sometimes the KJV translates another word, aidios, “imperceptible,” with the word “everlasting.” The Greek word appears twice in the Scriptures, once at Jude 6 and again at Rom. 1:20. Literally translated, the verse in Jude should be: “Besides, the messengers who keep not their sovereignty but leave their own habitation, He has kept in imperceptible bonds under gloom for the judging of the great day.” (CV) Yet the KJV says: “The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” The “everlasting” in this case is only “unto” the time of their judging. Dr. Vine evidently believes the common teaching of the denominational groups, rather than what his own knowledge of the Greek should have revealed to him, had he not considered this to have been “idiomatic” usage.

We must remember that while God’s words are inspired and refined as though put through a crucible seven times, men’s translations of those words are not inspired. But with translations such as the  Concordant Version,  Rotherham’s Emphasized Version, the  American Standard Version (with marginal notes) and others, and by using such aids as lexicons and concordances of the Hebrew and Greek, we will be able to regain the truth concerning the eons, or ages, spoken of in the Scriptures.

To continue with the Scriptures used to refute universal salvation, let us look at John 3:36: “He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” There was a time when all of us were unbelievers and were without a knowledge of Christ, but when we became believers, and came to be in Christ, we received life. Can we say this Scripture teaches that those who die in their sins will never see life, or will never be resurrected? Revelation 20:15 says they will, as do John 5:25-30; Acts 24:15, 21; 26:8 and the fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians. John 3:36 is speaking of not seeing “eonian life,” or “life of the ages,” not “eternal life.”

The Emphasized Bible (Rotherham) translates the verse, “He that believes on the Son hath life age-abiding; whereas he that yieldeth not unto the Son shall not see life, but the anger of God awaiteth him.

The Emphatic Diaglott (Wilson): “He believing into the Son has aionian life; but he disobeying the Son shall not see life, but the anger of God abides on him.

Young’s Literal Translation: “He who is believing in the Son hath life age-during; and he who is not believing the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God doth remain on him.”

Concordant Version: “He who is believing into the Son has eonian life, yet he who is stubborn as to the Son, shall not be seeing life, but the indignation of God is remaining on him.

The Greek word menei, a 3 person singular, present active indicative form from meno, means “remaining,” or “abiding,” and has no meaning of endlessness. Should it have meant so, then our Lord would still be abiding wherever He was when those came to question him, as recorded in John 1:38, for the same word is found in that verse, and was translated “dwellest” in the KJV.

That the Scriptures declare an end to God’s anger should dispel the notion that God’s wrath will abide upon a mass of people “forever and ever.” Psa. 103:9 says: “He will not always chide, neither will he keep His anger forever.” His anger is “age-abiding,” “age-during,” or “eonian,” not “forever.” Even leaving the incorrect “forever” in this text proves an end to God’s wrath.

Believers in Christ have eonian life, life through the ages. The ones not believing will not see that life, but will be raised, judged and sent into death a second time. The second death of Rev. 20:14 and 21:8 is not endless, for Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 15:26 that death will be destroyed. “Therefore, we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, Who is the Savior of ALL mankind, specially of those who believe.” (1 Tim. 4:10) God is the Savior of ALL, but in this eon He is offering a special salvation, that of life throughout the eons, to those who believe. At the end of the eons, the remainder of mankind will also be made alive in Christ. Those who believe that have no difficulty with John 3:36.

Second Thessalonians 1:9 says (KJV), “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord…” The Greek text says, olethron aionion, “eonian extermination.” The word does not imply extermination beyond recovery, for it is limited to the eons by the adjective modifying it. The word is used at 1 Cor. 5:5, where it is recorded that Paul delivered “such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” There is no word in all of Scripture which even suggests annihilation, eternal destruction, loss or death from which there is no recovery, or a condition from which salvation is impossible. Always such terms as “destruction,” “perish,” “be lost,” and “death,” are relative to a period of time during an eon or during the eons.

The fire the KJV says “never shall be quenched” (Mark 9:43-44) and “where the worm dieth not” are regarded by some as the most terrifying of all found in the Scriptures. To many this verse is “proof” for the endlessness of “hell-fire” (Matt. 3:12; Luke 3:17; Mark 9:43-46,48). But of what was the Lord speaking? The word “worm” is correctly translated here, as well as at Isa. 66:24 and Jonah 4:2. It in no way can be construed to mean it destroys the spirit, for that returns to God upon death (Ecc. 12:7; Luke 23:46; Acts 7:57). Neither can it destroy the soul, for it can be destroyed in Gehenna (Matt. 10:28). Rather, the thought expressed here is that just as worms feed upon partly decayed flesh, they will feed upon the unburned portions of the bodies of the dead who are cast into Gehenna during the millennial eon when some fail to observe the kingdom code. Those will not be allowed to continue, lest they contaminate the kingdom. But notice also that it is never said that any living being will be cast into Gehenna.

The word “unquenchable” occurs four times in the N.T. (Matt. 3:12; Luke 3:17; Mark 9:43, 45). An unquenchable fire is one which is not put out, but continues to burn until all is consumed. In the past God brought unquenchable fire against Jerusalem and other places (Jer. 4:3,4; 7:16-20; 21:11,12, and Eze. 20:45-49). Those fires are not burning today. Those who are cast into Gehenna will be suffering their first death, and that for specific acts of wickedness. Some will pass directly into the kingdom from this eon without dying first. This was the secret Jesus revealed to Martha, as recorded at John 11:26. But those who are cast into Gehenna will be raised after the thousand-year reign of Christ, at the time of the white throne judgment, and will be judged and requited for their deeds. Then all whose names are not found in the book of life will suffer a second death (Rev. 20:1-5; Rom. 2:1-16), after which they will be raised at the consummation of the eons, when death will have been destroyed, and ALL will have been reconciled to God. The judgment of Gehenna has nothing to do with the final state, nor are its consequences endless, nor of eternal duration.

Another common argument against Universal Reconciliation is the case of Judas. Advocates of everlasting punishment quote the KJV, Mark 14:21, “The Son of Man indeed goeth, as it is written of him : but woe to that man by whom the son of Man is betrayed! Good were it for that man if he had never been born.” The first question which must be settled is whether Jesus uttered these words as translated in the KJV. As the last clause in this verse is used in opposition to Universal Reconciliation, let us look carefully at the Greek text: kalon ên auto eiouk egennêthê ho anthropos ekeinos, “Ideal were it for Him if that man were not born” or “It were ideal for Him if that man was not born.” The question is asked, Who is the Him? The answer is in the preceding clause. There we have the pronoun autou, “Him,” and anthropo ekeino, “that man,” both referred to in such a way that we cannot mistake them. “The Son of Man indeed goeth as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!” “Him” is the Son of Man, “that man” is Judas. The Him cannot refer to Judas, therefore the text can be paraphrased as, “Ideal were it for Him (the Son of Man) if that man (Judas) were not born.” Notice how the following versions translates this clause: The ASV, 1901 margin, “Good were it for him if that man had not been born;” Rotherham’s version, “Well for him if that man had not been born;” Murphy’s edition of the Douay Version and the New Testament translated from the Latin Vulgate, 1898, “It were better for him, if that man had not been born;” (the following three versions are quoted in the original spelling) Wiclif, 1380, “It were good to hym if thilke man hadde not been borun;” Tyndale, 1534, “Good were it for him if that man had never bene borne;” Rheims, 1582, “it vvere good for him, if that man had not been borne.” Therefore, Mark 14:21 does not contradict Col. 1:15-20; 1 Tim. 4:9-11; Rom. 5:18, 19; etc., all teaching the ultimate salvation of Judas. John Albert Bengel in his New Testament Word Studies, vol. 1, p. 290, says about this clause, “This phrase does not necessarily imply the interminable eternal of perdition.” Dr. Bengal was a German Lutheran theologian.

When I quote the KJV in 1 Tim. 4:9, 10, “This is a faithful saying worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe,” I have been challenged. My opponents say, “‘Specially’ means God is the Saviour only of those who are now believers, therefore God is not the ‘Saviour of all men.'” Let us look at this word “specially” as it is used by Paul. The Greek word is malista. The word malista, “specially,” is a superlative preference adverb meaning above all, particularly, chiefly, most, specially, especially. Let us look at two other scriptures where Paul uses this adverb. Galatians 6:10: “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Brethren, my question is: “Is the doing of good unto all men or is it limited to the household of faith?” 2 Timothy 4:13, “The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.” Were Paul’s instructions in 2 Tim. 4:13 limited to the parchments? Surely it is obvious from these two examples that this adverb malista, “specially,” cannot be used to limit the “all men” in 1 Tim. 4:10. In these few examples that have been quoted herein as they are used in opposition to God’s ultimate purpose to save all mankind, I have given a scriptural answer proving the truth of universal reconciliation. Now, I am sure that all the arguments of the opponents can be answered by the Scriptures. I am convinced that God loves all, (John 3:16; Rom. 5:6-10); and that “love never faileth,” (1 Cor. 13). Therefore if one sinner is endlessly lost, that sinner has defeated the LOVE of God and that is impossible.


Chapter Seventeen

The Complete Revelation

1 Corinthians 15:22-28

“The more one studies this Scripture as well as dozens like it, it becomes abundantly clear that as in Adam all died, the very same all will be made alive in Christ. There is not one in Adam who will not be made alive in Christ.”
-Louis Abbott

“Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:22-28 takes us much farther into the future than does the book of Revelation.”

Some say that the teaching of universal salvation, or reconciliation, gives one license to do as he wishes with no fear for the consequences, and the “hell-fire” must be taught in order to keep them in line and get them saved. Some say also that Paul’s teaching of salvation by grace gives license to sin, but consider this fact: Denominational teaching has included threats of eternal punishment in hell for many centuries, and it has not “saved” the masses of humanity as yet. Do men serve God best when they realize He loves humanity, or when they fear He will send them to “hell” forever? Romans 5:8-12 tells us God loved us while we were yet sinners, and sent Christ to die for the sake of the irreverent. Although most seem to believe the book of Revelation tells of God’s ultimate goal, Paul tells us it was given to him to complete the words of God and the consummation was revealed to him, not to John, even though in human measurement of time, Revelation probably was written after the books attributed to Paul. Paul says (Col. 1:25), “…of which I became the dispenser according to the administration of God, which was given to me for you, to complete the word of God.” He was not speaking in terms of time, but in matters of revelation. It is through the writings of Paul that we get the truths concerning God’s ultimate goal for mankind, as well as for the entire universe.Dr. J.B. Lightfoot, in his commentary on Colossians, says (p. 67), “The word plêrosai, to fulfill; i.e., to preach fully. To give its complete development to.” Luther used reichlich predigen, “to preach fully,” and Olshausen says: “That is, to declare the gospel in all its fullness and extent.” Each of these writers were commenting upon the plêrosai, the completing of the revelation of God, by Paul.

Mr. Ray A. Van Dyke, compiled a comparison between the revelation given in Revelation and that given to Paul, as recorded in 1 Cor. 15:22-28. His comments are reproduced here:

“In the book of Revelation we do not have the final plan of God. Paul, in 1 Cor. 15:22-28 takes us much further into the future than does the book of Revelation. To illustrate this more clearly, study the following: 1 Cor. 15:22-28 as compared with the new heaven and new earth of Revelation 20:21-22:

In 1 Cor. 15:22-28, we have:

  • No more rule
  • No more authority
  • No more power
  • No more enemies
  • No more reigning
  • All subjected
  • No more death, death destroyed.
  • All made alive, immortal

In Revelation 20:21-22, we have:

  • Still rule (20:6; 22:5)
  • Son still reigns (22:1-5; 11:5)
  • Authority (21:24,25)
  • Power (21:24,25; 22:2
  • Kings (21:24-26)
  • Saints reign (22:5)
  • Second death still exists (21:5)
  • The nations still mortal (22:2)

-end quote

Christians who believe in universal reconciliation believe that the Bible is God’s Word, and His Word cannot contradict itself, hence the inspired sacred Scriptures say in Rev. 11:15; 22:5,eis tous aionas ton aionon, “for the eons of the eons.” Thus, Christ our Lord “reigns for the eons of the eons,” not as the king’s translators rendered, “forever and ever.” Therefore, Revelation 20:21, 22 fits into the framework of the eons, and is truth relative to the eons. First Corinthians Chapter 15 fits at the consummation (end) of the eons. We give the second Adam, Christ, as much credit and numerical ability as the first Adam, and use 1 Cor. 15:22-28 also for this truth. (Read Rom. 5:18-19.)

Consequently, Col. 1:16-20:

All in heaven and earth created in Him (verse 16)

All for Him (verse 16)

All estranged are reconciled (verse 20)

1 Corinthians 15:22:

In Adam all are dying

In Christ shall all be made alive

The literal Greek in 1 Corinthians 15:22 reads:

hosphor gar en to Adam pantes apothnêskousin houtos kai en to christo pantes zoopoiêthêsontai.

“Even as for in the Adam all are dying, thus also in the Christ, all shall be made alive.”

The more one studies this Scripture as well as dozens more like it, it becomes abundantly clear that as in Adam all died, that very same all will be made alive in Christ. There is not one in Adam that will not be made alive in Christ. It is a perfectly balanced statement which Jesus said was already set in motion. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw (drag in Greek) all mankind unto Myself. (John 12:32, NKJV)


Appendix One

Commentary of Previous Presentation

It should be noted that the vast majority of the scholars, historians, and Bible teachers cited above, come from the community generalized as “orthodox.” One will find the books written by these men and women in the best seminaries and Bible colleges. As a matter of fact, many of the scholars quoted are among the best the Christian scholastic community has to offer.Had we quoted from the hundreds of qualified scholars who have embraced the Doctrine of the Salvation of All Mankind from the non-Orthodox communities, we would have certainly been accused of “stacking the deck.” The truth of the matter is, we have stacked the deck against ourselves, and the outcome, I believe, should still be obvious to any open-minded individual.

We could have quoted from outstanding non-Orthodox scholars who left the mainstream Protestant community, but we quoted very few. Great teachers of the Word of God like Thomas Whittemore, Charles Chauncy, Theodore Parker, Hosea Ballou, Lucius R. Paige, Walter Balfour, and a host of others who were known for their outspokenness of this subject could have been cited, but we refrained. We could have drawn from the great national leaders, men like Abraham Lincoln who embraced the “larger hope,” but we allow them for the most part, to be silent. When Lincoln was asked to comment in a discussion on human destiny, he said, “it must be everyone or nobody.” We could have expanded that statement greatly with his own words on this most important topic. The Cloud of Witnesses of soft-hearted Christians from the poetic community is a train which would fill His temple, but we did not quote the hundreds of works from great men and women who revealed the all-embracing Love of God in their writings. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Lord Byron, Thomas Moore, William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge, Robert Burns, Alexander Pope, and a host of other great literary minds would have given honor to the Savior of All Mankind. But we refrained. Signers of the Declaration of Independence such as Benjamin Rush and Winthrop Sargent, believers in the “Larger Hope,” could have shown us that the Doctrine of the Reconciliation of All Mankind was woven right into the fibers of our Constitution. Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, and Florence Nightingale could been summoned to join us at our sides as we declared the “Everlasting Gospel,” but we chose to do it the hard way. We went to Orthodoxy court and proved our case there. We hope you will one day read the writings of some of the many thousands who have come out of Orthodoxy (or perhaps I should say “traditions of men”), and have separated themselves unto their Savior alone. In their writings and lives, is truly “Good News”-the same “Good News” the early believers declared-Jesus Christ, Savior of the Whole World. “And the Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.'”


Appendix Two

Do You Believe  ALL in the Bible?

Most of us read our Bibles through thick glasses of church traditions, social conditioning, prejudices, and various other things which cloud our vision. There is more hatred and prejudice in our hearts than we usually care to acknowledge. this was the problem the Pharisees had when confronted with the object of the Scriptures they had been studying all their lives. When he came, they didn’t recognize Who He was because of their traditions and cold hearts.Would you like to test what is in your mind and heart today? You know that eventually all that is hidden will come to light. (1 Cor. 4:5) When Jesus told them, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone?’ Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.'”

An invitation is given to you today to fall on the Rock. It is much better to be broken to pieces, than to be crushed to powder. The first choice invites our participation, the second comes unannounced, at a time when we least expect it.

1 Peter 4:6:11 speaks of the “trial of your faith being more precious that gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire.” The Scriptures often speak of fire in a spiritual manner rather than natural. Testing one’s faith may produce much more heat than we often care to experience. but if we call on our Father, He will see us through the test.

“The God whom in your prayers you call Father does not arrive at his verdict on any man by favoritism; he judges each man by his actions. You are exiles of eternity, and you must therefore spend your time on this earth in reverent living, for you know well what it cost to liberate you from the slavery of that life of futility which you inherited from your fathers. The price did not consist of things which are doomed to decay, of silver or gold. The price was the precious life-blood of Christ, who was, as it were, the sacrificial lamb with no flaw or blemish. He was destined for this task before the creation of the world, and for your sakes he came for all men to see as time comes to its end. It was for the sake of you he came, for you who through him believe God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory. so then, your faith and your hope look to God. (1 Peter 1:17-21, William Barclay translation)

The Holy Spirit invites you today to test your faith and works to see what it is made of. There is an interesting rock used in Biblical days to test the quality of precious metals called a touchstone. It is quite unfortunate that most translations following the King James tradition have hidden the Biblical references to this stone from us. The King James Bible Concordances have also hidden its meaning. Using the Strong’s or Young’s Concordances, when looking up the English word “torment,” we discover that the noun for one of these Greeks words is basanoj “basanos,” Strong’s number 931. Strong’s number 928 “torture,” and 929 “torment” are derivatives of this noun, “basanos,” which Strong’s Concordance says is a “touchstone.” Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 5th Edition, tells us that a touchstone is “1. A black siliceous stone allied to flint;-used to test the purity of gold and silver by the streak left on the stone when rubbed by the metal. 2. Any test or criterion by which to try a thing’s quality.”

Will you strike your Christian life on this Rock and allow the results to be declared to you by your heavenly Father? Will you allow it to reveal to you areas of impurity such as a false image of God, prejudice, hate, unforgiveness, bitterness, following tradition instead of Scripture and the Holy Spirit, etc.

All these things and more will be dealt with one way or another. It is better to fall on the Rock yourself than to have the Rock fall on you in judgment.

Another ingredient used to test the quality of gold is nitric acid. The dictionary in Microsoft’s Desktop program says of acid test “a decisive or critical test, as of worth or quality (from the testing of gold in nitric acid. As we begin to add these concepts to our minds, perhaps we can begin to see New Testament images in a purer way than we have been taught in the past. Perhaps we will begin to understand then, why the early teachers of Christianity called the “lake of fire” a place of “purifying fire,” or “divine fire.”

In the book of Revelation in the twentieth Chapter verse ten we see the devil, the beast, and the false prophet cast into a lake of fire and brimstone where they will be “tormented day and night ‘forever and ever.'” Those of us who dig deep enough will discover why the early believers did not see the lake of fire as a place of “eternal torment.” They knew that the wording in this passages referred to a place of divine testing and not a place of “eternal torment.” The Greek word for “sulfur” is qeiou “theeion” which is akin to “theos,” which means god. Sulfur (brimstone) was used to purify temples in ancient days. It was also used for healing purposes. The fact that this passage of Scripture speaks of “day and night” proves that “aionas ton aionon” in this passage should not have been translated “forever and ever.” Divine fire will test the works of men and angels.

Revelation 20:12 tells us that the dead were judged “according to their works,” not whether they “decided to follow Jesus.” We know salvation is “by grace, through faith, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph. 2:9) We have made a serious mistake heaping dozens of different judgment Scriptures under the “Great White Throne judgment.” Throughout the Bible, we find all kinds of judgments occurring throughout all ages. Many of these have been assigned to the final judgment. This has caused serious error. There are judgments of unholy angels, of Satan, of Israel, of cities, of nations, of sin, of death, of the believer, of servants, of sons, of unbelievers, etc., etc. Each takes place at different times, in different places, and with different outcomes. Our mind-set about Biblical judgment has been severely warped. We must disentangle this confusion, but it will take a great deal of study, something many Christians have neglected.

How few Christians realize that Death and Hades (Hell) will be emptied and thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is called in Revelation the “second death.” Since “death and hell” are thrown into it, one might say it is the death of death. Our entire teaching about people going a eternal hell clearing contradicts the plain teachings of the Bible that Hell, whatever we might think it is, will ultimately be emptied! There is not a single passage of Scripture which tells us that Hell and the “lake of divine fire” is the same thing.

The very first verse in the Book of Revelation says this book is full of symbols. Its message was sent from God by an angel who “sign-ified it” to His servant John. If one does not understand that the “signs,” that is, symbols need to be interpreted, one will never understand this book. The definition of the symbols are contained in the Old Testament. Stars in a hand are not physical stars; frogs out of a prophet’s mouth are not physical frogs, candlesticks are not really candlesticks. Do you really think there is a dead lamb laying on a throne in heaven? If one understands these things are “signs,” then understand that the Book of Revelation is full of hundreds of “signs.” The carnal mind, especially the religious carnal mind will only twist the words in Revelation into a pile of distorted confusion. I will conclude this paragraph by saying that there will be far more “works” which will be cast into the “lake of fire” coming from “orthodox” ministers who speak like a dragon while claiming to represent the slain lamb than many care to acknowledge. Clerical collars and ordination papers are no guarantee that one is hearing the “Spirit of God.”

You, who are reading this book right now are you willing to test your faith? Are you willing to strike it against the Rock, the Word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to be poured out on that “gold” to see what quality your gold (faith) is made of? Your Father will judge it “without partiality.” He will not take your years of being faithful to your denomination, your financial contributions, your devoted service to the organization into consideration. Your faith will be struck against a slain lamb on a throne. The results may be absolutely shocking to you very painful when our works are compared with the lamb’s works, but it must be done. His judgments are mixed with mercy, and when we ask Him to judge us, He also will empower us to conform to His Word, His Will, His Ways. So often people judge us in areas we know we need to improve in, but their comments are not helpful because we seem to be incapable of changing those areas in our lives. But the Holy Spirit will not only reveal those areas we fall short in, He also gives power to change in those very areas.

As you go to the Rock, the Lamb, the Word of God, and the Scriptures listed below, invite the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, Who the Scriptures declare will lead you into all Truth, to reveal to you the fullness of the nature of our Father. Remember, He has many attributes; omnipotence (all-powerful), omnipresence (all-present), omniscience (all-knowing), and justice. These are His characteristics, but His nature is Love, for God is Love!

As you strike your doctrines, church traditions, your very life against the Word these Scriptures allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the Word through the eyes of Love. Then, and only then, will all the Word conform perfectly with all the characteristics of our Father. His Love is the Key. Ask for it! Since we want to see if all the characteristics of God are in harmony with all of the Bible so that we may be able to conform our lives to it, concentrate on the word all. As you study them, keep all the characteristics of our Father in mind.

Before beginning the test, please pray that your Father and mine will allow you to read the Scriptures with His eyes and not through man-made glasses clouded with church traditions, cultural prejudices, or personal emotions. Then, after having prayed for this in sincerity in your own words, slowly read the Scriptures listed in Appendix Three and allow the Spirit of Truth to lead you into all Truth. (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13) I pray that your joy may be made full.


Appendix Three

Reconciliation Scriptures


  1. 1Tim 2:4-God will have all to be saved-Can His will be thwarted?
  2. 1Tim 2:4-God desires all to come to the knowledge of truth-Will His desire come to pass?
  3. 1Tim 2:6-Salvation of all is testified in due time-Are we judging God before due time?
  4. Jn 12:47-Jesus came to save all-Will He succeed?
  5. Eph 1:11-God works all after the counsel of His will-Can your will overcome His?
  6. Jn 4:42-Jesus is Savior of the world-Can He be Savior of all without saving all?
  7. 1Jn 4:14-Jesus is Savior of the world-Why don’t we believe it?
  8. Jn 12:32-Jesus will draw all mankind unto Himself-To roast or to love?
  9. Col 1:16-By Him all were created-Will He lose a part of His creation?
  10. Rm 5:15-21-In Adam all condemned, in Christ all live-The same all?
  11. 1Cor 15:22-In Adam all die, in Christ all live-Again, the same all?
  12. Eph 1:10-All come into Him at the fulness of times-Are you getting tired of seeing the word, all?
  13. Phl 2:9-11-Every tongue shall confess Jesus is Lord-Will the Holy Spirit be given to everyone?
  14. 1Cor 12:3-Cannot confess except by Holy Spirit-See what I mean?
  15. Rm 11:26-All Israel will be saved-But most Jews don’t believe yet!
  16. Acts 3:20,21-Restitution of all-How plain can you get?
  17. Luke 2:10-Jesus will be joy to all people-Is there joy is “hell”?
  18. Heb 8:11,12- All will know God-How long, O Lord?
  19. Eph 2:7-His grace shown in the ages to come-Have we judged Him before the time?
  20. Titus 2:11-Grace has appeared to all-Experientially or prophetically?
  21. Rm 8:19-21-Creation set at liberty-How much of creation?
  22. Col 1:20-All reconciled unto God-There’s that word “all” again.
  23. 1Cor 4:5-All will have praise of God-What for?
  24. Jms 5:11-End of the Lord is full of mercy-Is “hell” mercy?
  25. Rev 15:4-All nations worship when God’s judgments are seen-Could His judgment be mercy?
  26. Rm 11:32-All subject to unbelief, mercy on all-All?
  27. Rm 11:36-All out of, through, and into Him-ALL into Him?
  28. Eph 4:10-Jesus will fill all things-Including “hell?”
  29. Rev 5:13-All creation seen praising God-Including Satan?
  30. 1Cor 15:28-God will be all in all-What does that mean, preacher?
  31. Rev 21:4,5-No more tears, all things made new-ALL made new?
  32. Jn 5:25-All dead who hear will live-How many will hear?
  33. Jn 5:28-All in the grave will hear & come forth-How will the “righteous” judge, judge?
  34. 1 Cor 3:15-All saved, so as by fire-How can fire save you?
  35. Mk 9:49-Everyone shall be salted with fire-Including you?
  36. Rm 11:15-Reconciliation of the world-Will fire save the world instead of destroy it?
  37. 2Cor 5:15-Jesus died for all-Did He died in vain?
  38. Jn 8:29-Jesus always does what pleases His Father-What pleases the Father? (1Tim 2:4)
  39. Heb 1:2-Jesus is Heir of all things-Does “things” include people?
  40. Jn 17:2-Jesus gives eternal life to all that His Father gave Him-How many did the Father give Him?
  41. Jn 3:35-The Father gave Him all things-(Repeated for emphasis) Study the word “things” in the Greek.
  42. 1 Tim 4:9-11-Jesus is Savior of all!-Can’t seem to get away from that word “all.”
  43. Heb. 7:25-Jesus is able to save to the uttermost-How far is “uttermost?”
  44. 1Cor 15:26-Last enemy, death, will be destroyed-Including “lake of fire” which is “second death?”
  45. Is 46:10-God will do all His pleasure-Does Old Testament agree with the New?
  46. Gen 18:18-All families of the earth will be blessed-Here comes that word “all” again.
  47. Dan 4:35-God’s will done in heaven and earth-What can defeat His will?
  48. Ps 66:3,4-Enemies will submit to God-Can any stay rebellious in “hell?”
  49. Ps 90:3-God turns man to destruction, then says return-How can one return from “destruction?”
  50. Is 25:7-Will destroy veil spread over all nations-All nations?
  51. Deut 32:39-He kills and makes alive-Kills to bring life?
  52. Ps 33:15-God fashions all hearts-“All” hearts, including men like “Hitler?”
  53. Prv 16:9-Man devises, God directs his steps-What about “free will?
  54. Prv 19:21-Man devises, but God’s counsel stands-So much for “free will.”
  55. La 3:31,32-God will not cast off forever-Why does He cast off in the first place? (1 Cor 11)
  56. Is 2:2-All nations shall flow to the Lord’s house-ALL nations?
  57. Ps 86:9-All nations will worship Him-ALL nations!
  58. Is 45:23-All descendants of Israel justified-Including the wicked ones?
  59. Ps 138:4-All kings will praise God-Are you catching on?
  60. Ps 65:2-4-All flesh will come to God-That sounds wondrous.
  61. Ps 72:18-God only does wondrous things-I wish we would believe that.
  62. Is 19:14,15-Egypt & Assyria will be restored-Really?
  63. Ezk 16:55-Sodom will be restored to former estate-Sounds impossible.
  64. Jer 32:17-Nothing is too difficult for Him-Nothing? No, nothing!
  65. Ps 22:27-All ends of the earth will turn to Him-For what purpose?
  66. Ps 22:27-All families will worship before Him-Praise His name!
  67. Ps 145:9-He is good to all-Including your worst enemies.
  68. Ps 145:9-His mercies are over all his works-Let’s start believing that.
  69. Ps 145:14-He raises all who fall-Who hasn’t fallen in sin?
  70. Ps 145:10-All His works will praise Him-For “eternal torment?”
  71. Is 25:6-Lord makes a feast for all people-And you are invited.
  72. Jer 32:35-Never entered His mind to torture his children with fire. This came from the carnal mind.
  73. Jn 6:44-No one can come to Him unless He draws them. You can’t “chose” to follow Him.
  74. Jn 12:32-I will draw all mankind unto Myself-Amen!!!
  75. Ps 135:6-God does what pleases Him-If it pleases Him to save all that He might be in all, are you upset?


Appendix Four

What Pleases Our Father

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires (“will have” in some translations) all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time . . . (1 Tim 2:3-6). 1 John 4:14 tells us that the Father sent the Son to be Savior of the world. John 3:35 tells us that the Father has given all into Jesus’ hands. If it is the desire of the Father to save all and He has given Jesus all power and authority to do his will, why don’t we believe Him? “This is the will of the Father Who sent Me, that of all He has given Me, I should lose nothing, but raise it up at the last day.” (John 6:39) The Father has given all into His hands. (John 3:35)The previous list of Scriptures speak very plainly of the salvation of everyone born under the sun. So why doesn’t everyone simply believe these Scriptures and rejoice? There are three main reasons why.

First, most people are vengeful. They do not want all to receive forgiveness. As racists always need someone to look down on, so also, some Christians cannot enjoy their salvation apart from seeing others being denied theirs. They do not want anyone hired at the last hour of the day receiving the same wages as themselves. They do not think this is fair.

There was a time when I wanted vengeance. I wanted many people to “get what they deserved.” But then a day came in my life, when I was brought to the realization that apart from God’s grace, I was no better or more righteous than anyone else on the face of this earth. Even before God manifested Himself to us, His grace was present in different degrees.

Where we are born, tragic moments in our lives we did not plan, our upbringing, the form and condition of our bodies which we were placed in-all these a a host of many other things shaped how we view ourselves, God, and others. I am no better than the worst of men. In Adam, we are all consigned to death. Death is death. It is foolish to speak of anyone being higher than anyone else in death. The size of one’s tombstone does not raise one above another. Dead flesh pretty much smells the same. In Adam, we are all consigned to death, from Hitler to mother Theresa. “By grace are we saved, through grace, it is a gift from God not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

When John and James wanted to bring fire down on the heads of the Samaritans for not believing the Gospel, Jesus’ words to them are still appropriate for many church members: “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Are these the words you will hear one day?  (Luke 9:54-56) I don’t.

The second reason we seem to be unable to see this wonderful truth, and this is why it took me so long to clearly see this wonderful truth, is that many Bibles have been tainted with the pagan doctrines of the dark ages. Roman Catholicism absorbed every dark thought it came in contact with. The early reformators, who first brought the scriptures into every day languages, were still deeply entrenched with the false doctrines of the dark ages. What the early reformators did to the Anabaptists perhaps gives an indication of how little the reformation actually changed things in Europe. Thousands of Anabaptists were killed by Lutherans, Calvinists and followers of other reformators. These reformators brought forth the early Bibles in common European languages. The imperfect and often intolerable doctrines of some of these men found their way into the early Bibles. These early Bibles still have a profound effect on modern translators. As a result, there are still a few lingering passages grossly mistranslated in our Bibles. Many leading English Bibles actually teach all three main concepts of salvation, that is, eternal torment for many, annihilation for many, and the salvation of all mankind. All three cannot be true.

Thirdly, mankind has a natural tendency to stay with what we are most familiar with, even if it is untrue. The King James Bible uses English which is almost four hundred years old. Word meanings often drastically change, often within a short period of time. There are many words in the King James Bible, for example, that have a different meanings today than when this Bible was first written. Therefore we can no longer determine the meaning of the original languages. The word “let” in modern English, for example, means to “allow.” In the seventeen century, when the King James Bible was written, “let” often meant just the opposite. In 2 Thess. 2:7, “he who now letteth will let,” the word “let” means to restrain, just the opposite of the modern definition of the word. Many key words in Bibles such as the King James do not convey the meaning they had when written and therefore do not convey the meaning of the original Greek and Hebrew. A thorough study of the etymology of the word “damn” will show this word no longer convey the meaning of that word as used in sixteen century England. It was a legal term simply meaning “loss” and did not contain the theological overtone we associate with the word due to religious influence the church has had on this word. The word today has a much stronger meaning than it once had.

Another reason people cannot see is because many political, religious, and economic powers have found “fear of hell” to be an extremely effective power to keep the masses in subjection. It was effective for ancient monarchs who held their kingdoms together with fear, and it is effective even today for modern political, business, or religious tyrants.

Other reasons would include:

  • Failure to hold on to clear statements of God’s sovereignty, foreknowledge, power, omniscience, purpose of creation, and unconditional love.
  • Failure to believe direct statements of Scripture declaring the ultimate salvation of all through the saving work of Jesus Christ.
  • Pulling judgment Scriptures out of context and putting them into an end-time scenario when, in fact, they deal with other ages. Scriptures speak of at least two ages to come. (Eph. 2:7)
  • Injection of Roman/Greek concepts such as the immortality of the soul into church teaching. Adam was removed from the tree of life lest he eat it. He was not immortal.
  • Satan’s power and authority to deceive.
  • Failure to see that “Love never fails!” (1 Cor. 13:8) His mercy endures forever.” (1 Chron. 16:41) “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13)
  • Failure to see our miserable condition. We speak about “God love.” We know we are supposed to have it, even for our enemies, but we fall short without acknowledging it. Therefore, we become blind while saying we see. We find ourselves boasting about our righteousness not seeing we have become blind and naked.

There is certainly much boasting in the church. This boasting will be dealt with when the Rock falls in judgment on His people. It fell on Israel in 70 A.D. Too few Christians have read, far less learned the lesson from Jerusalem’s destruction. The Pharisee in Jesus’ day was no better than the Hitler of our times. When we truly see, we come to realized that apart from the grace of God, we could have been, and perhaps we are, the Pharisee disguised in Christian clothing. I know for certain, that apart from His grace, I am not only no better than the worst of Pharisees, but am also capable of being a Hitler. A Christian who cannot say that about themselves still has room for growth. But more important than saying it, is knowing it! Gary Amirault


Appendix Five

What if we are Wrong?

Those who have seen the fullness of the Plan of Redemption are often asked, “What if you are wrong? You will then find yourself in the very ‘Hell’ which you preach against and furthermore find yourself an accomplice to having led many to Hell. But if what you say is correct, then my belief in Hell will still get me to heaven. I can’t lose with my beliefs but you can sure lose with your beliefs.”First of all, anyone with just a slightly open mind, can see there are quite a few Scriptures to support eternal punishment, annihilation, or the salvation of all mankind through Jesus Christ. Throughout the centuries there have been sincere Christians in all these groups. Even Augustine, the champion of eternal torment said in his day, “There are very many (imo quam plurimi, which can be translated majority) who though not denying the Holy Scriptures, do not believe in endless torments.” (Enchiria, ad Laurent. c. 29) St. Basil the Great (c. 329-379) in his De Asceticis wrote: “The mass of men (Christians) say that there is to be an end of punishment to those who are punished.”

Now if all three positions seem to have Scriptural grounds, this presents a problem for some. The solution to the problem is found in Matthew 16:17.

You see, apart from the spirit of revelation, which comes from above and not from ourselves, the Bible can really be made to say anything we want it to say. Look at the thousands of denominations each based upon differences of interpretation of basically the same Bible. Most Christian cults are even more intense in Bible study than average church-goers and they often come up with some very bizarre teachings. Most people are usually sincere in their beliefs. They really believe they have the truth. But until we have what Peter received when Jesus asked him Who He was … until then, we only have knowledge which gets filtered through our culturally conditioned mind. The Scriptures, apart from the spirit of revelation often produces horrible systems of belief. Few of us are honest enough with ourselves to cry out to God to be completely set free from the traditions of men, from cultural, parental, political mind-sets which effect how we read the Scriptures.

The teaching of eternal torment has permeated the Western civilization for about 1500 years. Few realize the early believers were not indoctrinated into this mind-set by Christian leaders. Today it is not long before a child, even though never having read a Bible. is exposed to the doctrine of eternal torment as fact. It is important to be absolutely certain regarding such an important subject whether we are reading the Bible through pre-conditioned eyes or through enlightenment by the Holy Spirit. Ask God to reveal through the spirit of revelation all of His attributes and character. One must not know His love, power, omnipresence, mercy through words on a page, one must receive these things by the spirit. Then the Bible will be read with clear eyes of understanding. Then the Bible will confirm what the spirit has revealed.

Peter did not believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God because he properly interpreted the Scriptures prophesying a Messiah. It was revealed to him by our Father. Upon this is the body of Christ built, not upon Bible interpretation. Interpretation produces division, revelation supported with Scripture produces unity. Revelation first, then the Scriptures will witness to the revelation.

A person may read the Bible and believe what he reads based upon the fact that people have told him it was the word of God. Some may read it because it is the most widely published book in the world. A person may decide to go to church and become a Baptist, Methodist, etc., as a result and yet still not have true understanding. The natural mind may spend years studying the Bible and produce very carnal and often very evil systems of belief. I was amazed reading a Ku Klux Klan paper at how often they quoted Scripture to justify their hate. How are we delivered from this deception? Humility, brokenness, sincerity of heart, child-like faith, a willingness to acknowledge that we really know very little of the ways of the Creator of the Universe, these are some of the steps to deliverance. But true deliverance comes when the spirit of revelation brings light.

The problem with this method is that it smacks contrary to the Bible study mentality based upon the creeds, articles of faith, denominational position statements, etc. It contradicts the typical “Bible study” mind-set of most fundamental evangelical systems. These systems are full of leaders and laity who just pass on the tradition of the elders through reading the Bible with preconceived ideas of what it should say. Then, when one comes along reading the same Bible and comes to a different interpretation, these people know they are right and the other individual is wrong. Why, because it doesn’t line up with what they have already decided was the right interpretation. They become locked into the “tradition of the elders.” They have quenched the Holy Spirit. They will not stop talking about the Holy Spirit, but nevertheless, they will have made the word of God of none effect through their traditions. One should deeply reflect upon the words of our Lord and Savior Who said, “Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. [Ye] hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matt. 15:6-9)

Now concerning most of those who believe in the salvation of all mankind, most of those I have met who believe in this teaching, have come to this conclusion by revelation and/or intense study of the Bible, church history, language studies, etc. They often are severely persecuted for their beliefs, not by the world systems, but by the church systems. They have cried out in earnestness to our Father for truth because they would have gladly abandoned this teaching to avoid the severe persecution which their entire family suffers at the hands of the “orthodox.” We are not masochists. We do not long for cold stares, whisperings behind our backs, hate letters, being called wolves, anti-Christ, and a host of other defaming names. Could we wash away this humiliation and be accepted by our other Christian brothers and sisters, we would most gladly give up this rejection up, but not at the cost of maligning the precious name of our Father. We would rather receive the praises from above than compromise the glory of our Father and exchange it for the praises from man.

The Scriptures declare to, “Study to shew yourselves approved.” Having been in the “Hell-fire brand of theology and in the camp of the Saints who have entered into their rest, I can say from years of observation that those who believe in the Salvation of All Mankind are usually more diligent in their endeavor to study the Scriptures and “sincere prayers” with proper motives than those locked up in the fear of “eternal torments.” Those who embrace the Lamb of God slain for the “sin” (singular) of the whole world, discover the truth that Paul was certainly correct in his assessment that the height, length, breadth, and width of God’s Love was immeasurable. There is no end to it and “Love never fails.” Those embracing the Eternal Tormentor can never discover these and hundreds of Scriptures to ever come true because their “heaven” is usually much smaller than their “Hell.”

And this should cause one to seriously think. When we look at the ultra-fundamentalist whose judgments, whose finger pointing, whose dogmatism has relegated the most to “Hell” through their supposed “Scriptural proofs,” these individuals are the ones who do not exhibit the characteristic traits we find in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The traits of those who have painted the largest “Hell” are those who look more like the Pharisees who Jesus condemned as “sons of hell” making their converts “two times the sons of hell (gehenna) as themselves.” (“You will know them by their fruit,” not by their theology. There is the key.

Observe for yourself. Look at those preachers and Christians who spend the most time warning of “Hell,” and judgment day. The more “Hell and damnation” they preach, the more unlike Christ they appear. This should tell you something. The more an individual glorifies God and His power to save, the more an individual rests from their labors, their boasts, their judgmental ways, their vindictive spirits…in other words, those who believe in an absolutely Sovereign God Whose Love has ceased striving in their works and have entered into the “rest” promised them. They can begin to enter into the labor of the Lord which brings forth fruits of righteousness, not “self-“righteousness produced from labors of religion. A person who is still in their own works cannot bring forth the fruit of the kingdom. They can talk about “agape” love, but they can’t manifest it. They can only manifest “Moses, the law-giver” who is dead and can only bring forth death. The “letter of the law” kills. Those who still serve as “Hagar and her son” cannot receive the promises the Scriptures hold out. Those who have ceased from their labors have an assurance built on a substance which, although not seen, is more sure than the substance of religion which is nothing more than the traditions of men brought forth by carnal minds.

But what of those whose mentality says, “My belief in a “Hell of torture” is “safer” to believe because at least that way I am sure of being “in”-what can we ascertain from such a view? If they are wrong, then they spent their entire life maligning God’s name and character to the whole of creation. But they will say, “Well, God will understand. I just wanted to be sure I was in.” What kind of spirit is this? Do not the Scriptures tell us that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom?” The fear spoken of here is a reverence, a respect, a lifting up His being above our own. It speaks of exalting Him, magnifying Him, glorifying Him. Those who preach a “Hell” because it is “safer” reveal to the world they are thinking of themselves, not of glorifying God in the highest. They have given themselves away. It is clear this kind of person has not laid down their lives. They are still very much into themselves. They cannot enter into the promised “rest.” Their “religious works” will hopefully “earn” them a place in the kingdom.

A religious person is probably the most “stinky” thing on the face of the earth. But amazingly, that kind of individual loves their own stink and no one can dissuade them from it. This kind of individual is locked in their own “hell” already and seek to enlarge it by bringing others under their power. The church buildings of the world and the temples of the world are full of these kind of people-putting burdens upon the backs of God’s people which the Lord did not command-placing fear into their minds which never allows them to enter into the rest of the Good Shepherd-fleecing and devouring the sheep for the benefit of their own religious kingdom, no matter how small, even if it is as small as their own family over which they can rule as a tyrant, locking out the love of God by filling their little minds with fear. I am speaking right now, not only from observing the lives of others, but from my own personal experience. I am guilty of operating in this spirit. So please do not think I am throwing stones at others.

What can I say about this self-serving mentality that the religious mind is so poisoned by? A mentality that thinks preaching “hell” is safer than to seriously study, truly cry out to the Lord, truly lay down one’s life that they may cease from striving in their own self-righteousness. What can I say to dissuade such a narrow-minded and small heart, one who cares more for themselves than the Name and Character of their God? I can say nothing to that heart which it can hear. But I can say to you, dear reader, that the Scriptures declare, “You will know them by their fruit.” Look at the life of such a person, and you will discover what kind of tree it is. There are “Trees of Righteousness,” and there are “trees of self-righteousness,” commonly called “religious.” Just because someone doesn’t “drink, cuss, or smoke,” that doesn’t make one “righteous.” We have all seem that often the greatest “law-keepers” are also the greatest tyrants.

Now our Father will certainly have to make some kind of provision for these souls. Imagine, the very heaven they hope to attain would become the very “Hell” they hoped to escape. How could anyone live in a place of perfect love created by the One Who loved so much that He gave His life-how could a person who told people here on earth that this very One was going to torture many of His own sons and daughters in the most diabolical ways and never cease this activity-how could that individual live with themselves? Every time they saw Jesus lovingly embrace one of those who surely should have been roasting in hell, the conscience would gnaw at that individual, reminding them of the picture of Jesus they described on earth, one who took His enemies and did to them what no human being could ever do-torture them ceaselessly, forever and ever, without even taking a break! Talk about a “worm that dyeth not.” There is a worm which would gnaw at their conscience and make heaven “Hell.”

These “religious folks” often say that this world would be a mess if we took away the teaching of an “eternal Hell.” This shows two things about this individual. First, they obviously do not study. If they did, they would discover that there was a church which preached an “eternal Hell” and had complete control of the government, economic system, and religious system. It should have manifested the kingdom of God. But what it produced was the “dark ages.” The Roman Catholic Church has used the doctrine of eternal torment for centuries and it has never manifested the kingdom of God nor its righteousness, but just the opposite. Study European history, which is nothing more than church history. See what thousands of wars, killings, hatred, and decadent societies the doctrine of eternal torment has wrought upon the earth.

Then spend some time studying the lives of some of those who have embraced the “Larger Hope,” those who have been redeemed by the Lamb, those who have laid down their lives and exchanged them for the life of Christ Who lays down His Life. Look into the fruit of their lives. Compare the lives of those who have written the most about Hell, judgment, damnation and compare them with those who write about love, glory, mercy. Look into their lives and you will see we become what is the passion in our heart. A heart full of hate will love to write about “Hell and judgment.” A heart full of love will want to write about glorious things. They try to live in peace and seek to spread that peace to others. They look to the author and finisher of their faith, the author of the love in their hearts and hope to plant that love into another heart. They look into the very Kingdom of God itself and express the joy of their salvation and that joy encompassed all of creation. They do not lust after your possessions, for they have been given the Kingdom. They do not seek to “sin” because they know that the wages of sin is “death,” death to the joy, love, and peace that is in their hearts and they would not trade the short pleasures of sin for the fruit of the kingdom because they have tasted of both and have developed a taste for the fruit from above which is the only thing which will satisfy the hunger of a spiritual person.

A religious mind cannot fathom that. It still is chained to the lusts of the flesh and whips it to obedience through the Laws of Moses. It does not understand the higher Law which Christ brought, the Law of Love, the New Commandment. The Law of Moses says “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But most people are self-condemned. They do not love themselves and so to “love their neighbor as themselves” gives them the right to actually hate their neighbor and still fulfill the Law of Moses. But the New Commandment, the Law of Life in Christ Jesus commands us to love our neighbor more than ourselves. This can only be done by laying down our own lives and taking on the Life Who laid down His life for the whole world, including the enemies, ours and God’s.

He who clings to his life shall love it, but he who loses his life for my sake will find it.” Lay down your life today, for “His sake,” that He may be magnified in your life and declared to all of creation, and you will also discover that He is indeed and in deed, the Savior of the whole world.

Until then, remember, “you will know them by their fruit.”

Gary Amirault on March 7th, 2011

by Thomas Whittemore

Many early American Christians discovered Jesus as the Savior of the whole world. I have come across hundreds of old books written in the late 1700s and early 1800s that declare in Scriptural form the Everlasting Gospel that Jesus will redeem every single soul created. One of these books had a chapter, reprinted below, that commented on 100 Scriptures that declare the salvation of all mankind. I will be doing some editing since the English of today is quite different from that of 150 years ago. Any comments I may make will be in parenthesis. It was written in 1840 by Thomas Whittemore.



1. God is the Creator of all men. “He hath made of one blood, all nations of men, to dwell on all the face of the earth.” Acts 17:26 He would not have created intelligent beings, had he known they were to be forever miserable. To suppose that God would bring beings into existence who he knew would be infinite losers by that existence, is to charge him with the utmost malignity. The existence itself would not be a blessing, but a curse; the greatness of which cannot be described. As God is infinite in knowledge, and as he sees the end from the beginning, he must have known before the creation, the result of the existence he was about to confer, and whether, upon the whole, it would be a blessing; and , as he was not under any necessity to create man, being also infinitely benevolent, he could not have conferred an existence that he knew would end in the worst possible consequences to his creatures.


    2. God is the Father of all men. “Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?” Mal. 2:10 A kind Father will not punish his children but for their good. God is evidently called the Father of all men in the Scriptures, and this is not an unmeaning name; he has the disposition and principles of a Father. He loves with a Father’s love; he watches with a Father’s care; he reproves with a Father’s tenderness; he punishes with a Father’s design. God is the Father of all men; and, therefore, he cannot make mankind endlessly miserable.


    3. All men, of right, belong to God. “Behold, all souls are mine,” saith the Lord. “As the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine.” Ezek. 18:4 God will not give up what belongeth to him, to the dominion of sin and Satan forever. All men are God’s by creation; he made them all. They are his by preservation; he sustains them all. They were his at first, and they always have remained in his care. “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” That God, who says to men, “If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel,” can never abandon his own creatures. He will ever exercise a gracious care over them, as will be more fully seen in the following reasons.


    4. God hath given all things to Christ, as the moral Ruler of the world. “Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” Psalms 2:8 “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.” John 3:35 “All things,” here, means all intelligent beings. So say the best commentators. (The word things is in italics in the KJV which means it is not in the Greek. We are not talking about trees here.)5. God gave all beings to Christ that he might save them. “Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” John 17:2 This plainly evinces, that it was God’s design, in giving Christ dominion over all flesh, that they should all enjoy eternal life.

    6. It is certain that Christ will save all that the Father hath given him. “All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out.” John 6:37 These three propositions are irrefragable evidence of the final happiness of all men. 1st. God hath given all things to Christ. 2d. All that God hath given him shall come to him; and 3d. him that cometh he will in nowise cast out. All are given; all shall come; and none shall be cast out. What is the unavoidable conclusion?


    7. It is THE WILL of God that all men shall be saved. “Who will have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth.” KJV 1Tim. 2:4 By “all men”, in this passage, is undoubtedly to be understood all the human race. Salvation comes through the belief of the truth. God wills that all men should come to the knowledge of the truth, and be saved thereby.8. God inspires the hearts of the good to pray for the salvation of all men, and say, as Jesus said, “Thy will be done.” Matt. 6:10. Adam Clarke says, “Because he wills the salvation of all men, therefore he wills that all men should be prayed for; as in 1 Tim. 2:1. “I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.” Would God inspire the hearts of his saints to pray for the salvation of all mankind, if he knew they would not all be saved?

    9. Jesus came to do the will of God. “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” John 4:34 “Lo, I come to do they will, O God.” Heb. 10:9 The will of God is, that all men be saved. This is his will, by way of distinction and preeminence. Jesus came to do this will. He came as the Savior, as the Savior of all men. He came as the good Shepherd, to seek and save that which was lost. He came to save all men, not only those who lived on the earth while he was here, but all who lived before, and all who have since lived, and all who shall live. Jesus gave himself a ransom for all; he tasted death for every man; and unto him, at last, every knee shall bow, and every tongure shall confess him Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Such is the way in which Jesus does the will of God.

    10. The will of God cannot be resisted. “He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” Dan. 4:35. Who can resist a being of Almighty power? What God wills to take place, must take place. He wills the salvation of all men because it is right. A God of purity cannot desire endless sin and rebellion. If he wills the salvation of all men, he wills all the means by which it shall be accomplished; it must therefore take place.

    11. God has no other will besides the will to save all men. “He is in one mind, and who can turn him.” Job 23:13.


    12. God is love and love worketh no ill. “God is love.” 1 John 4:8. “Love worketh no ill.” Rom. 13:10. This is a very forcible argument. God’s nature is the very essence of benevolence, and benevolence cannot be the origin of endless evil. If love worketh no ill, God can work no ill; and, therefore, God cannot be the author of endless evil.13. God loves all mankind. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.” John 3:16: and, as Jesus died for all men, so God loves all men. This argument adds great force to the last.

    14. God loves even his enemies. For he requires men to love their enemies, which he could not do if he hated his. (Matt. 5:44) And Jesus declared, “for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” Luke 6:35. This is but an amplification of the preceding argument. If God loves his enemies, he certainly loves all men; for no one doubts that he loves his friends. And can God cause those to be endlessly miserable whom he loves?


    15. God is wise; and it cannot be a dictate of wisdom to create beings, and then make their existence a curse by entailing endless suffering to it. God foresaw all the consequences of our creation when he made us. He knew fully what the result would be to each individual. Is it possible, that infinite goodness could breathe life into unoffending dust, when it was clearly foreseen that endless evil would ensue? It was not possible. God must have created only to bless. “Love worketh no ill.”16. The wisdom of God is “full of mercy,” and “without partiality.” James 3:17. “Full of mercy,” says Adam Clarke, i.e. “ready to pass by a transgression, and to grant forgiveness to those who offend; and PERFORMING EVERY POSSIBLE ACT OF KINDNESS.” Surely, a God of infinite power and skill, who “performs every possible act of kindness,” will save his fallen creatures from their sins. “Without partiality,” i.e. without making a difference. God is no respecter of persons. He is kind to all men, and he will perform every “possible act of kindness” to all men.


    17. The pleasure of God is in favor of the salvation of all men; and therefore, neither death, sin, nor pain, can be the ultimate object of God in reference to man. “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” Ezek. 33:11. Death and sin and pain may exist for a time; but if God has no pleasure in them of themselves, they are not the end at which he aims, but the means by which he accomplishes that end. The end in which God rests as his pleasure, design, or purpose, must be essentially benevolent, because he is essentially a benevolent God. Neither death, nor sin, nor pain can be his ultimate plan or pleasure; they are the means by which his holy and righteous designs are carried into effect.18. God created all men expressly for his pleasure, and, therefore, not for ultimate death. “Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Rev. 4:11 Adam Clarke has a fine remark on this passage. He says, “He made all things for his pleasure; and through the same motive he preserves. Hence, it is most evident, that he hateth nothing that he has made; and could have made no intelligent creature with the design to make it eternally miserable. It is strange, that a contrary supposition has ever entered into the heart of man; and it is high time that the benevolent nature of the Supreme God, should be fully vindicated from aspersions of this kind.”

    19. The pleasure of God shall prosper in the hand of Christ. “The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” Isaiah 53:10 Clarke says, on Isaiah 53:10, that the pleasure of God is, “to have all men saved, and brought to the knowledge of the truth.” Compare this with the 20th section.

    20. God’s pleasure shall surely be accomplished. “So shall by word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11. “I will do all my pleasure.” 46:10 Does not this passage show that God’s pleasure shall certainly be accomplished? His word shall not return unto him void: it shall accomplish what he please, and prosper in the object which he sent it to accomplish. God has no pleasure in the death or suffering of the sinner. That was not the object of creation. God created men for his pleasure, and his pleasure shall certainly be accomplished.

    21. God has purposed the salvation of all men. “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him.” (Eph. 1:9,10) It is evident from this passage, that God has purposed to gather together all things in Christ. God’s purpose agrees with his will or pleasure. He wills to have all men saved; he has no pleasure in the death of the wicked; and accordingly he has purposed to gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth. This is God’s purpose; this is what he has purposed in himself. And this is not the gathering together of those things only which are in Christ, but the gathering together of all things in him. “Unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” (Gen. 49:10) And Jesus confirms this: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32) Thus we see all things are to be gathered into Christ. They are all to have his spirit, and partake of his new creation; for “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17) By the phrase “all things,” as Archbishop Newcome says, it meant, “all persons, all intelligent beings. See the neuter for the masculine, John 6:37,39.” See more on this subject under the 78th section.

    22. The purpose of God cannot fail: it must certainly be accomplished. “The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, surely as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” (Isaiah 14:24) “For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?”( verse 27) “I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (46:11) Now, whatever God purposes must take place. God can have no second thoughts; hence, Paul speaks of “the purpose of him who worketh all things according to the counsel (i.e. the previous consultations or deliberations) of his own will.” (Eph 1:11) What, then, shall hinder the accomplishment of this purpose? Has he formed a plan which he cannot execute? No; the concurrent testimony of the sacred writers is, that whatever God has purposed, SHALL BE DONE. So let it be, O Lord.


    23. God promised to Abraham, his servant, that he would bless all mankind, in his seed. “In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 12:3) “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 22:18) All the nations of the earth, all the families of the earth, according to this promise, are to be blessed in the seed of Abraham. The language is absolute: it is without any condition. “All the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” And who is this “seed of Abraham,” in whom all the nations and families of the earth shall be blessed? I agree with Dr. Adam Clarke on this matter. He says, in his note on Gen. 12:3, “in thy posterity, in the Messiah, who shall spring from thee, shall all families of the earth be blessed; for as he shall take on him human nature, from the posterity of Abraham, he shall taste death for every man; his gospel shall be preached throughout the world, and innumerable blessings be derived on all mankind, through his death and intercession.”

    24. God made the same promise to Isaac. “I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham they father, and I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 26:3,4) This passage is precisely of the same import with those quoted under section 23. It refers to precisely the same subject, and asserts the same facts. We repeat it here, because God saw fit to repeat the same promise to Isaac which he had made to his father Abraham; and it forms a distinct argument of itself.

    25. The same promise was repeated to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. “and in thee, and in thy seed, shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 28:14) The apostle Paul (and higher authority we do not wish) fully settles the question in regard to who is meant by the “seed of Abraham.” He says, “Now to Abraham and his seed, were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, WHICH IS CHRIST.” (Gal. 3:16) Christ, then, is the seed of Abraham; and in him ALL the nations and families of the earth shall be blessed.

    26. Peter, the apostle, understood this promise as referring to the salvation of men from sin, by Jesus Christ. “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, in thy seed shall all kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first, God, having raised up his son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (Acts 3:25,26) Here we have a third term,-kindreds. All nations of the earth, all families of the earth, and all kindreds of the earth, must certainly signify all mankind. The import of this absolute, unconditional promise is, they shall all be blessed in Christ Jesus.

    27. The apostle Paul repeats this promise, and calls it THE GOSPEL. “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Gal. 3:8) This is a further confirmation, that the blessing promised men in the seed of Abraham, is a spiritual, gospel blessing.

    28. There is no threatening of any kind whatsoever in the Scriptures, no law, no penalty, no punishment denounced, which when rightly understood does not harmonize with this promise, for the law is not against the promises of God. “Is the law, then, against the promises of God? God forbid.” (Gal. 3:21) The law mentioned in this verse was undoubtedly the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai. God was specially careful to frame that law in such a manner, that not a single sentence or particle of it should contradict the promises made by him to Abraham. What those promises were, we have seen. It is equally true, that not a single threatening of punishment for sin, or for unbelief, not a denunciation of hell-fire, or condemnation of any kind of sin, is opposed to the promises of God. Now as those promises most explicitly assert, the final blessing of all nations, kindreds, and families of the earth with salvation from sin in Jesus Christ, so no portion of God’s law, no threatening of punishment, should be so construed, interpreted, or explained, as to contradict this; and as the doctrine of endless condemnation for sin does explicitly contradict those promises, that doctrine we may be sure is not revealed in any portion of God’s word.


    29. God hath confirmed his promise by an oath. See Gen. 12:16-18. Heb. 6:13. But the most striking passage, perhaps, is this-“I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear, surely shall say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength.” (Isaiah 45:23,24) I think the words of Adam Clarke on the oath of God, are worthy of the deepest consideration. On the words of God, “he sware by himself,” Clarke remarks, “He pledged his eternal power and Godhead for the fulfillment of the promise; there was no being superior to himself, to whom he could make appeal, or by whom he could be bound; therefore he appeals to and pledges his immutable truth and godhead.” Com. on Heb. 6:13 And again, the same commentator remarks, “The promise pledged his faithfulness and justice; the oath all the infinite perfections of his godhead; for he sware by himself. There is a good saying in Beracoth, on Exodus 32:13. ‘Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swearedst by thine own self.’ What is the meaning of “thine own self?” Rab Eleazar answered, thus said Moses to the holy blessed God, Lord of all the world, If thou hadst sworn to them by the heavens and the earth, then I should have said, as the heavens and the earth shall pass away, so may thy oath pass away. But now thou hast sworn unto them by thy great Name, which liveth and which endureth forever, and forever, and ever; therefore thy oath shall endure forever and forever and ever.” (Com. on Heb. 6:18.)


    30. God is almighty; nothing can resist his will; nothing can defeat his purpose; nothing can prevent the fulfillment of his promise. “What he had promised he was able to perform.” (Rom. 4:21) If God were not almighty, then the world might not be saved; but he is almighty; “none can stay his hand, or say unto him, what doest thou?” and therefore, in God’s own time (and that is the best time), and by his own means, the whole world shall be saved.


    31. Because God not only wills the salvation of all men; not only hath purposed to save them all; not only hath promised it; not only hath confirmed that promise by an OATH (see previous issues); but also hath provided the means, in the death of Christ, for the salvation of all men. Jesus died for all. “He gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Tim. 2:6) “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man.” (Heb. 2:9) “And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2) Here are three expressions: 1st, “ALL;” 2nd, “EVERYMAN;” 3d, “THE WHOLE WORLD.” It seems as though the sacred writers took the utmost care to guard against being misunderstood in this important particular. Some would have us believe (see Prof. Stuart’s Com. on Heb. 2:9) that these expressions are to be understood only in a general sense, in opposition to the contracted opinions of the Jews, who confined the blessings of God to their own nation only; and that the words are intended to declare, that Jesus died for Gentiles as well as Jews. We cannot so restrict the sense. Look at the connection in which these passages are found, and it will be seen that the terms used, apply to all men, in the widest sense of these terms. Paul instructs Timothy to pray for all men; not for Jews and Gentiles in the general sense, but for kings and all in authority; for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God, who will have all men to be saved. So John says, “if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father.” (1 Epistle John 1:1) Is not the language here designed to apply to all men: Who can dispute it?32. The labor of Christ will be efficacious for all for whom He died. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” (Is. 53:2) “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” (John 12:32) If the Redeemer died for all men, can He be satisfied with the salvation of a part only? Can He look back upon his work and say, it is well done? Will He not rather draw all men unto Him, by the power of His truth, and make them holy and happy forever? Are we not authorized to expect such a result, from the fact, that He gave Himself a ransom for all? And if they are all drawn unto Him, will they not all be saved?

    33. When Jesus was born, the angel said to the fearful shepherds, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” (Luke 2:10) The tidings of the Redeemer’s birth, were certainly good tidings to all people. They should all hear these tidings, and to all they should be good tidings. But how can this be, if a part of the human race are never to be benefited by the Redeemer’s sacrifice?

    34. The people who heard Jesus preach said, “we have heard Him ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” (John 4:42) Jesus cannot be the Savior of the world, if the world will never be saved. What Jesus taught the Samaritans, that induced them to regard Him as the Savior of the world, may be inferred, 1st. from His conversation with the woman at the well of Jacob, (John 4) and 2nd, from the exclamation of the Samaritans, in the 42nd verse. He evidently did not preach to them the doctrine of endless misery; for would they have concluded from the fact of his preaching that doctrine, that he was THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD?”

    35. John, the beloved disciple of Christ, said, “We have seen, and do testify, that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14) This is the same character that the Samaritans judged the Lord to possess, from his personal instruction. (John 4:42) John says, “We have seen;” i.e. he knew it from his acquaintance with his Master. And do testify. We cannot hide this truth; we will proclaim to men, that Jesus is the Savior of the world.


    36. All the holy prophets have spoken of the restitution of all things. “And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, since the world began.” (Acts 3:20,21) This is an important passage of Scripture. “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, (but who hath been crucified, and hath ascended unto heaven, and ) whom the heaven must receive (or contain) until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” This “restitution of all things” is to take place, when Jesus comes down from the heavens, in the sense in which he had ascended into heaven. He had ascended into the heaven bodily; the heavens would contain Him until the times of the restitution; and then He would bodily visit the earth again. Now when shall he visit the earth again bodily? Answer, at the resurrection of the dead. (See Acts 1:10,11, and 1 Thess. 4:16) We conclude from this, that the restitution of all things is to take place at the resurrection of the dead. The learned Parkhurst gives this view of the subject, and quotes Stockius at large as agreeing with him. We do not understand, that the restitution shall not begin until the time, but that it shall then be completed, and filled up, so that it may be said, all things are restored. This is begun in part in this life; but it will be completed and finished at the resurrection. What is this restitution? It is the putting of things back into their original condition. See A. Clarke, on the passage. Man was originally created in God’s image; but the divine image has been obscured by sin; and men now bear the image of the earthly. But at the resurrection, when Christ shall appear, the restitution of all things shall take place, and then mankind will be restored to the image of God again; for St. Paul says, that at the resurrection mankind shall be changed from the earthly to the heavenly image. (1 Cor. 15:49) This heavenly image which we have lost, we obtain back again at the resurrection of the dead; and to this the Saviour’s language agrees, for He saith, that in the resurrection men shall be as the angels of God in heaven; i.e. they shall bear the heavenly image; (Matt. 22:30) that they can die no more, and “shall be the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” (Luke 22:36) This God hath spoken by all his holy prophets since the world began; not fully and clearly as He hath revealed it in the gospel; but He hath spoken by the prophets of the recovery of all things from the dominion of sin, and their reconciliation to God, and the gaining again of the heavenly image. The reader is referred to a long and excellent passage in A. Clark’s Com. on Acts 3:21, which he closes by saying, “as therefore, the subject here referred to is that, of which all the prophets from the beginning have spoken, (and the grand subject of all their declarations was Christ and His words among men,) therefore the words are to be applied to this, and no other meaning. Jesus Christ comes to raise up man from a state of ruin, and restore to him the image of God, as he possessed it at the beginning.”37. head the seed of the woman was to bruise. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3:15)

    38. David also said, “all the ends of the world shall remember, and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him.” (Psalms 22:27) This agrees precisely with the promise of God to Abraham, that all the nations, families, and kindreds of the earth shall be blessed in Christ Jesus.

    39. David also said, :all kings shall fall down before Him (Christ), all nations shall serve Him,–men shall be blessed in Him, all nations shall call Him blessed.” (Psalms 72:11,17) This is of the same import with section 38.

    40. David also said, “All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy name.” (Psalms 86:9) This must certainly include all the nations of the earth; God made them all, from Adam to the latest born.

    41. David also said, not less than twenty-six times, in that part of his meditations embraced in the 136th Psalm, “his mercy endureth forever.” What kind of a mercy is the mercy of God, which is to endure forever: it is a universal mercy. See the next section.

    42. He also declared, that that mercy which is to endure forever, is over all the works of God. “The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all his works.” (Psalms 145:9) God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

    43. He also said, “all thy works shall praise thee, O Lord, and thy saints shall bless thee.” (Psalms 145:10) Can all God’s works praise Him, if a part are consigned to eternal fire?

    44. He also said, “the Lord is gracious, and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy.” (Psalms 145:8) Can endless misery be ordained by such a god as this?

    45. He also said; “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide; neither will He keep His anger forever.” (Psalms 103:8,9) This could not possibly be true, if God purposed to make any of His creatures forever miserable. If we allow that torment shall be endless, can we say, that “God will not always chide,” nor “keep His anger forever?”

    46. Isaiah represented, that there was no sin which might not be pardoned. “Though you sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isa. 1:18) The evident intent of this language is, that there was no sin so deep-dyed in the soul, that it could not be washed away. That is here said of Israel, is true of every individual.

    47. It is said, that “all nations shall flow into the mountain of the Lord’s house,”–a figurative representation of the covenant of the Gospel. (Isa. 2:2)

    48. In this mountain, the Lord of Hosts hath made for all people a feast of fat things. “And in this mountain, shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees; of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well-refined.” (Isa. 25:6) By “mountain,” here, is meant the covenant of the Gospel; the place of the establishment of the ark is made a metaphor, to signify the Gospel. Adam Clarke says, this feast is “salvation by Jesus Christ.” Com. On the place. This salvation is prepared for all people; it is sufficient to supply the wants of all.

    49. “God will destroy, in this mountain, the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil, that is spread over all nations.” (Isa. 25:7) This salvation is not uselessly prepared. Unbelief shall be done away. The darkness of the nations shall be removed. The covering cast over all nations shall be destroyed; they will then all see the truth.

    50. “God will swallow up death in victory. ” (Isa. 25:8) This is to take place at the resurrection of the dead, for Paul quotes these words, and applies them to the resurrection of the dead, in 1 Cor. 15:54.

    51. “The Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces: (Isa. 25:8) The work of the Gospel will not be fully done, until tears shall be wiped away from all faces. Sorrow shall cease. Paul applies the subject to the resurrection of the dead.

    52. Isaiah said, “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” (Isa. 40:5) This is the declaration of Yahweh, for the prophet adds, “the mouth of the lord hath spoken it.” If the Lord hath declared, that all flesh shall see his glory together, surely it must be done.

    53. Isaiah represents the Gospel as being completely successful in accomplishing the purpose for which it was sent into the world”–that, as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and return not thither, but water the earth, and cause it to bring forth and bud, so shall the word of God be; it shall not return void, but it shall accomplish the divine pleasure, and prosper in the thing for which God sent it. (Isa. 45:10,11) Thus all who allow that God sent the Gospel to benefit all mankind, must here see, that that beneficent object will surely be accomplished. If any reject the Gospel, and are lost forever, can it be said in truth, that God’s word does not return unto Him void?

    54. Isaiah, speaking in the name of Yahweh, said, of Christ, “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” (Isa.49:6) In this verse, the prophet affirms, that the blessings of the Gospel should not be confined to the Jews. “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles;” for what purpose? Answer; “that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” This expression is intended to signify the greatest possible extension of the blessings of the Gospel. Is this consistent with the supposed fact, that countless millions of the human race shall never hear of the blessings of the Gospel?

    55. Isaiah represented Yahweh as saying, “I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.” (Isa 57:16) Is this declaration consistent with the doctrine of endless misery? According to that doctrine, will not God contend forever? Will He not be always wroth?

    56. Yahweh saith, by Jeremiah, concerning the covenant He made with the house of Israel, ” I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their heats; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his Neighbor, and every man his brother, saying , know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer. 31:33,34) The spirit of the passage is universal grace. What God here saith He will do for the Jews, He will also do for the Gentiles. The former is a pledge of the latter. (See, for additional argument on this subject, section 88)

    57. “THE LORD WILL NOT CAST OFF FOREVER. But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies, for He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” (Lamen. 3:31-33) O, what a precious declaration is this! Though God cause grief, yet He will have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies, for He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. This is the principle of the divine government. God does not afflict for the purpose of afflicting, but for the good of the sufferer. How, then, can endless torment be inflicted?

    58. Daniel said, of the reign of Christ, “there was given Him dominion, and glory and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom, that which shall not be destroyed.” (Dan. 7:14) If all people, nations, and languages serve the Savior, will they be endlessly miserable? Will they not be endlessly happy? This passage should be applied, undoubtedly, to all for whom the Savior died. Jesus seems to have referred to the declaration of the prophets, in what He said after His resurrection. (Matt. 28:18)

    59. Hosea said, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave (or Hell, Sheol), I will be thy destruction.” (Hosea 13:14) Let the light of inspiration guide us. St. Paul applies these words to the resurrection of the dead, at the last day. (1 Cor. 15:54,55) At the resurrection of the dead, then, God will destroy Sheol, HELL. He does not raise His creatures from the dead in order to punish them forever in sheol,(Hell) for sheol (Hell) shall then be destroyed.

    60. Micah said, of Yahweh, ” He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy.” (Micah 7:18) A most precious assurance! Altogether at variance with the doctrine of endless misery.


    61. Jesus, when on earth, preached in such a manner that the people “wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.” (Luke 4:22) This could not have happened, had he threatened the people with endless misery. He preached salvation to sinful, guilty man; he preached the love of God to the whole world; and declared, that God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but, that the world, through Him, might be saved. Well might the people wonder at his “gracious words.”62. Jesus inculcated the strongest confidence in God; and reasoned in the most tender and judicious manner with the people, to dissuade them from taking anxious thought for the future. Read Matt. 6:25-34. This is one of the most striking passages in the whole New Testament. The object of the Savior was, to encourage, in the hearts of those whom he addressed, the most implicit confidence in God, for all future blessings. God is good; he is kind, even to the unthankful and to the evil; therefore said the Savior, “take no anxious thought.” Be not afraid; God will do thee good. He has already proved his beneficence to thee. He takes care of the lower orders of beings; why shouldst thou doubt? He clothes the flowers of the field with beauty; why shouldst thou despair? Take not anxious, painful thought for the future. Sufficient unto the present is the evil therof. Such is the spirit of the passage, which is perfectly consistent with the doctrine of Universalism, but utterly inconsistent with the doctrine of endless misery.

    63. Jesus warned the people against the doctrine of the Pharisees, who are well known to have believed in endless punishment. Matt 16:6; compare verse 12. There is no doubt, that the doctrines of the Pharisees were of a partial nature. Jesus was impartial in his teachings. He was the friend of publicans and sinners, and for this the Pharisees hated him. This was the great point on which he differed from the Pharisees. Their doctrine peculiarly was a doctrine of cruelty, wrath, and partiality; his was a doctrine of love, compassion, and universal grace. No person, who will make the comparison fairly, can avoid coming to this result. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.

    64. Jesus taught, that men in the future world will be like the angels of God in heaven,–holy, spotless, and pure. “In the resurrection, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (Matt. 22:30 Luke 20:35,36) In what sense shall they be as the angels of God in heaven? Let the passage in Luke 20 answer this question. “Neither can they die any more, for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” Here are two points, in which they will be equal to the angels, viz. 1st. they will be immortal; and 2nd. they will be children of God, bearing a moral likeness to him. This will be the state of all who shall be raised from the dead.

    65. Jesus reproved the Pharisees for shutting up the kingdom of heaven. “Woe into you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” (Matt. 23:13) These Pharisees were never charged with having shut up the kingdom of hell; that, they appear to have kept open. But they shut up the kingdom of heaven. Jesus desired to have all men enjoy his kingdom; and we are assured, that, at last, all shall know the Lord, from the least unto the greatest. They will then all have entered the gospel kingdom.


    66. Peter saw, in the vision of the vessel like a sheet knit at the four corners, that all men came down from heaven; that they are all encircled in the kind care of God, while here on earth; and , that “all will be drawn up again into heaven.” (Acts 10:15; 11:5-10)


    67. Paul represented the free gift of life as extending equally with sin. “As, by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Rom. 5:18) This is a very important passage. It teaches us, that the free gift of eternal life shall extend equally with sin. On the one hand we are told, judgment came upon all men by sin; on the other we find, that “the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” This free gift is eternal life, see Rom. 6:23. But, for a further view of the argument of the apostle in this place, see section 68.68. Paul also says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” The same many that were made sinners, Paul declares “shall be made righteous.” This certainly asserts the salvation of all sinners. Parkhurst in his Greek Lexicon, says, Oi polloi, the many, i.e. the multitude, or whole bulk of mankind, Rom. 5:15,19, in which texts oi polloi are plainly equivalent to Pantas anthropous, all men, verses 12, 18.” The learned Dr. Macknight is to the same purport. “For as oi polloi, the many, in the first part of the verse, does not mean some of mankind only, but all mankind, from first to last, who without exception, are constituted sinners, so the many in the latter part of the verse, who are said to be constituted righteous, through the obedience of Christ, must mean ALL MANKIND, from the beginning to the end of the world, without exception.” See his commentary on the place. The evident sense of the passage is this: For as the many, that is, the whole bulk of mankind were made sinners, so shall the many, that is, the whole bulk of mankind, be made righteous. What can be plainer than this fact? We agree with the authors of the Improved Version, who say, “Nothing can be more obvious than this, that it is the apostle’s intention to represent all mankind, without exception, as deriving greater benefit from the mission of Christ, than they suffered injury from the fall of Adam. The universality of the apostle’s expression is very remarkable. The same “many” who were made sinners by the disobedience of one, are made righteous by the obedience of the other. If all men are condemned by the offense of one, the same all are justified by the righteousness of the other. These universal terms, so frequently repeated, and so variously diversified, cannot be reconciled to the limitation of the blessings of the Gospel, to the elect alone, or to a part only of the human race.” (Note of Rom. 5:19)

    69. Grace shall abound more than sin, and reign more potently, so that at last all shall end in everlasting life. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound; that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 5:20,21) What a blessed assurance! Grace shall conquer sin? In every heart where sin has reigned, grace shall set up its empire. Grace shall reign triumphantly and successfully. We see not yet all this done; but it shall be done at last.

    70. Paul teaches, that the same creature which was made subject to vanity, “shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Rom. 8:21) It is worthy of remark, that it is the same “creature,” or creation, which was made subject to vanity, that is to be delivered. Rev. Thomas White, in his sermons preached at Welbeck Chapel, translates the passage thus: “For THE CREATION was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who subjected it; in hope that THE CREATION ITSELF also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.” (Horne’s Intro. II. 540) Dr. Macknight decides, that creature, in the passage, signifies, “every human creature,” “all mankind.” Let us read the passage with such a rendering, as it undoubtedly gives it its just sense. For every human creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who had subjected the same in hope; because every human creature shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.

    71. Paul teaches the eventual salvation of both Jews and Gentiles. “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in ; and so “ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED.” Rom. Xi. 25, 26. The terms, Jews and Gentiles, comprehend all mankind. Paul asserts the ultimate salvation of both Jews and Gentiles, that is, all men. What serious man can pretend, that by the fulness of the Gentiles he meant only a portion of them, and by all Israel, he meant only a small part of Israel? Was it such a view, that led Paul to exclaim, at the conclusion of his luminous argument on this subject, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God?” If God sought to save the whole, and succeeded in saving only a fraction, was the depth of his wisdom so surpassingly great? And remark what he says at the conclusion of the 11th chapter. “For of him (God) and through him, and TO HIM are all things,” (Gr. ta panta) the universe ; as Dr. Whitby says, “For of him (as the donor) and through him (as the director and providential orderer) and to him (as the end) be all things.” The argument is complete.

    72. Paul teaches, that whether living or dying we are the Lord’s. “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live we live unto the Lord; and whether we die we die unto the Lord; whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” Rom. xiv. 7, 8. Does Paul here mean to include all mankind? Does he here mean to assert, that all without exception, are the Lord’s? We can come to no other conclusion. He adds, “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living,” verse 9. The terms “dead and living,” evidently signify all the human race. Of course, all the human race are Christ’s for ever.

    73. Paul saith, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” I Cor. xv. 22. “If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature.” 2 Cor. v. 17. Hence, if all shall be made alive in Christ, they shall all be new creatures in the resurrection of the dead. Belsham says, “The apostle’s language is so clear and full with respect to the final happiness of those who are thus raised, and that their resurrection to life will be ultimately a blessing, that the generality of Christians have supposed, that he is here treating of the resurrection of the virtuous only. But that is not the fact. He evidently speaks of the restoration of the whole human race. All who die by Adam shall be raised by Christ; otherwise the apostle’s assertion would be untrue. The case then would have been this, as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall a select number, a small proportion, be made alive. But this is not the apostle’s doctrine. His expressions are equally universal in each clause. ALL die in Adam. The same ALL, without any exception, without any restriction, shall by Christ be restored to life, and ultimately to holiness and everlasting happiness.”

    74. Death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed. 1 Cor. xv. 26. If death be the last enemy, and if that shall be destroyed, there will be no enemies to the happiness of man remaining after the resurrection.

    75. Paul, in his account of the resurrection, does not admit of the existence of sin in the immortal state. “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised incorruption ; ***** it is raised in glory. ***** it is raised in power; ***** it is raised a spiritual body.” 1 Cor. xv. 42-44. When the apostle cries out triumphantly, “O death ! where is thy sting?” he certainly means, that sin was absent, for “the sting of death is sin.”

    76. Paul saith, “that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” 2 Cor. v. 19. It is not said, that God was in Christ reconciling himself to the world, for he was never unreconciled to the world; but God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. By “the world” in this place is undoubtedly intended all for whom Christ died. God was engaged in this work ; he had appointed the means for its accomplishment ; and we believe, under his wise direction, it will be done.

    77. Paul saith to the Galatians, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal. iii. 28, 29. According to what promise? Answer. According to the promise of God to Abraham, that in him, and his seed [Christ], all the nations, kindreds and families of the earth shall be blessed. In Christ, therefore, none of the distinctions are known of which Paul there speaks. “Ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” That point being settled, he adds, “and if ye be Christ’s [as he had proved] then are ye Abraham’s seed, [that is, not by lineal descent, but spiritually], and heirs according to the promise.”

    78. He saith, that to Jesus was given “a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philip. ii. 9-11. Professor Stuart, of Andover, says, in his “Letters to Dr. Channing,” “Things in heaven, earth, and under the earth, is a common periphrasis of the Hebrew and New Testament writers, for the universe. What can be meant by things in heaven, that is, beings in heaven, bowing the knee to Jesus, if spiritual worship be not meant?” So much from Professor Stuart. Now if the universe [that is, all men without exception] are to render spiritual and divine worship to Christ, will they not all be holy and happy ?

    79. The foregoing reason is confirmed by the fact, that “if we confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in the heart that God hath raised him from the dead, we shall be saved.” Rom. x. 9.

    80. It pleased the Father, by his son Jesus, “TO RECONCILE ALL THINGS UNTO HIMSELF, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” (Col. 1:19-20) This is a similar periphrasis to that spoken of by Professor Stuart, [see section 78] which signifies the universe. The phrase, “all things,” as Archbishop Newcome observes, signifies all intelligent beings. It is God’s pleasure “to reconcile all things unto himself”, — an irrefutable argument in proof of the final holiness andhappiness of all men.

    81. Paul directed Timothy to pray and give thanks for all men, which was agreeable to the will of God to “have all men to be save,” who had appointed a mediator to give himself “a ransom for all.” (1 Tim. 2:1-6) Paul’s argument in this place is as follows: I exhort first, that supplication, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. None are excluded from the divine favor; all have something to be grateful for; for God is kind and good to ALL. He will have all men to be saved, which is the highest proof of his regard for all men, in execution of the divine purpose to bring all to the enjoyment of salvation.

    82. God is called “the Saviour of all men.” (1 Tim. 4:10) This title is applied to Jehovah, because he is the source of salvation. He wills the salvation of all; he has purposed the salvation of all; he has promised salvation to all; and has confirmed that promise by an oath. Hence, he is originally the Saviour of all men.

    83. The “grace of God bringeth salvation to all men, and teacheth us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.” (Titus 2:11,12) Adam Clarke remarks, “It cannot be said, except in a very refined and spiritual sense, that this Gospel had then appeared to all men ; but it may be well said, that it bringeth salvation to all men ; this is its design ; and it was to taste death for every man, that its author came into the world.” Again, he adds ; “As the light and heat of the sun are denied to no nation nor individual, so the grace of the Lord Jesus ; this also shines out upon all ; and God designs that all mankind shall be as equally benefited by it, in reference to their souls, as they are in respect to their bodies, by the sun that shines in the firmament of heaven.”

    84. Christ is to “destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” (Heb. 2:14) Christ will destroy all evil, and banish it entirely from the universe.

    85. Paul says, “we which have believed do enter into rest;” which could not be true, if they believed in the doctrine of endless misery. (Heb. 4: 3)

    86. “It is impossible for God to lie,” who has sworn to Abraham to bless all the kindreds of the earth, in his seed, which is Christ. (Heb. 6:18) If God could be false to his own promise, then the world might not be saved ; but “it is impossible for God to lie.” Therefore, all men, without exception, shall at last be blessed in Christ Jesus.

    87. Paul has repeated the testimony of Jeremiah, concerning God’s covenant with the house of Israel ; “all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” (Heb. 8:11) This is a pledge of the previous salvation of the Gentile world. The word of God assures us, that the Gentiles shall be fellow-heirs with the Jews, of the blessings of the Gospel. God says, “all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” All the children of Israel, all the descendants of Abraham ; not those who may happen to be upon the earth at any particular time, but the whole posterity of the patriarch, without exception. This is similar to what Paul declares. (see Rom. 11:26)

    88. God never chastens us but “for our profit,” causing all chastisement “afterward to yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Heb. 12:10,11) How, then, can the doctrine of endless punishment be true? If God’s chastisements afterward yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness, how can they be endless?

    89. “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from ALL sin.” (1 John 1:7) There is no sin, that the blood of Christ will not wash away. Though our sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; and, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Jesus can save the chief of sinners. (1 Tim. 1:15) He has the will, no less than the power; therefore, all men will be saved by his grace.

    90. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8) Sin is the work of the devil, and will be destroyed; but men are the workmanship of God, and will not be ultimately destroyed. Jesus shall destroy all sin ; he came into the world for that special purpose ; and, having begun the work, he will not give over, until it is completely accomplished.

    91. The record, which God has given of his Son, is this; “That God hath given to us eternal life ; and this life is in his Son.” (1 John 5:11) Is this record true? it surely is. Who are called on to believe it? all mankind. If any man believe it not, he makes God a liar, by saying, that God’s record is not true. God, then, has certainly given eternal life to all men in his divine purpose.

    92. John, the revelator, said: “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever.” (Rev. 5:13) Here is another instance of the “common periphrasis” of the Hebrew and New Testament writers for the universe. Every creature shall at last pay divine honors to God and the Lamb. “If this be not spiritual worship,” saith Prof. Stuart, “I am unable to produce a case, where worship can be called spiritual and divine.”

    93. The same illustrious writer says: “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy ; for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” (Rev. 15:4) Does this mean only all those nations who may happen to be upon the earth at a certain time? or, does it mean “all nations,” in the sense of the divine promise to Abraham? Judge ye.

    94. He also says: “The tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Rev. 21:3) When this is fulfilled, all men will be reconciled to God. The Gospel is designed to make every heart the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit; and, when the purpose of the Gospel shall be fully accomplished, God shall reign in the hearts of all men.

    95. He furthermore declares, that “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes ; and THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEATH, neither sorrow, nor crying ; neither shall there be any more pain ; for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4) Thus, we see the doctrine of eternal weeping, eternal sighing, eternal sorrow, eternal pain, is false; false as the Bible is true. And, although we read, in the Scriptures, of the second death, yet, if we read of thirty deaths, it would be no argument against Universalism, since the time is to come, when “THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEATH.”

    96. God induces all good people to pray for the salvation of all men, which he could not do, if it were opposed to his will; because, “if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us,” (1 John 5:14) and because “the desire of the righteous shall be granted.” (Prov. 10:24)

    97. Peter said; “Believing ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and FULL OF GLORY.” Can it be possible that they believed in the doctrine of endless sin and misery? Would this have made them rejoice with unspeakable joy? Not unless they were demons in human form.

    98. All the threatenings of the word of God, when properly understood, harmonize with the doctrine of Universalism ; the punishments spoken of being limited punishments only, and no threatening or law extending sin, or its consequences, beyond the resurrection.

    99. Universalism is the only hypothesis in which the perfections of God can harmonize, -since, if men are lost forever by God’s decree or permission, it impeaches his goodness; if, by his neglect or want of foreknowledge, it impeaches his wisdom; or, if sin be too mighty for him, and rebels too stubborn for him to subdue, it impeaches his power.

    100. Lastly; “All things shall be subdued unto Christ, -Christ shall be subject unto him that put all things under him, that GOD MAY BE ALL IN ALL.” (1 Cor. 15:28)

  • Gary Amirault on March 7th, 2011

    from The Saviour of the World Series

    by J. Preston Eby


    A king in Europe, a kindly monarch, went to visit a school. Children were being taught concerning the various kingdoms into which nature and man were divided. The King wished to ask the children some questions. A sweet little maid stood forth, and the King said, “Now, my dear, tell me what these are,” holding objects in his hand. She said, “A flower, a bird, a beast.” “Tell me to what kingdom the flower belongs.” “To the vegetable kingdom, sir,” said the child. “Tell me,” said the monarch, “to what kingdom do these animals belong?” holding up various animals. “To the animal kingdom, sir…… Tell me, my dear,” said the King, “to what kingdom do I belong?” Now, I think if she had said he belonged for the most part, to the animal kingdom, she would not have been far wrong; but the little one had great reverence for the King, although he had so often failed to recognize the Kingdom to which he belonged. The little, blushing maid did not want to say that he belonged to the animal kingdom, but “out of the mouths of babes and sucklings God perfected praise.” The little one, with her eyes full of tears, for she had heard the tittering laughter which was running through the school at her embarrassment, looked up into the face of the King. “Now, tell me, dear,” he said, “to what kingdom do I belong?” “You belong to the Kingdom of God, sir.” And the King bowed his head, for the arrow had gone to his heart. He said, “My dear, pray that I may be worthy of that Kingdom, and of God.”

    The answer of the child is the answer which I give you. Do you desire to teach the child that which will enable it to triumph over the lusts and passions of a mere animal nature? Teach it that it is the Offspring of the Father of spirits, and that first and greatest of all is the spiritual nature which it has and not the psychical or the physical nature. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness … so God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him” (Gen. 1:26-27). “And has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: for in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also HIS OFFSPRING. Forasmuch then as we are the OFFSPRING OF GOD…” (Acts 17:26-29). Teach the child that sex, race, or nationality is nothing in the Kingdom of God. Teach them that “there can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). Teach them to seek for that New Creation which God’s Spirit alone can impart, that they may be worthy of that Kingdom and that they may have the love which rules in that Kingdom from its divine center to its utmost circumference, and which crushes lust and sin and death beneath its feet.

    “…which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God” (Lk. 3:38). Adam – the SON OF GOD! God has a wayward sinner for a son, that wayward boy sprang, originally from the heart of God after a creaturely manner. He was created out of the glory of God and was a radiant creature, more radiant than an angel; and that boy, dead in scarlet sins, is still God’s son, but he is a prodigal son. Some fathers may disown their sons, but the Father of the prodigal son never said that that wayward boy of His was not His son. The Bible says that such become the children of the devil; but, nevertheless, God still has a double claim upon them: they are His by creation; and they are His by right of redemption. They are dead in trespasses and sins. They need to be saved, to be converted, regenerated. They need to repent and come home; but when they do, the sorrowing Father is made glad and says, “For this My son was dead, and is alive again; be was lost, and is found.” God is a bereaved God. It brings sorrow to our hearts, too, to think that our God and Father is bereaved of His children!

    But to whatever depths of depravity, destitution, emptiness, sorrow, pain, and disaster the prodigal finally comes, it is good for him, for it ultimately destroys the pride and arrogance, the independence and selfhood, and the wickedness and rebellion in his heart. It would be well worth our time to consider prayerfully the deep import of the piercing words of the prophet: “Your own wickedness shall correct you, and your backslidings shall reprove you” (Jer. 2:19). Those who suppose that hell and the lake of fire represent the eternal doom of the sinners of Adam’s race are ignorant and understand nothing whatever of God’s great laws, and purposes, and dealings in judgment. The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy about two apostates in the Church: “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme” (I Tim. 1:19-20).

    Were these two reprobates turned over to Satan to be tormented for ever in the lake of fire? Nay I They were delivered unto Satan that they might LEARN! Learn what? “Learn NOT TO BLASPHEME. ” It should be obvious to every thinking mind that as soon as the lesson had been learned, the apostle called Satan off the case, and the erring one was restored to God and His people!

    There is a beautiful story in Luke chapter fifteen, the parable of the Prodigal Son. While feeding hogs in the “far country,” the prodigal came to himself. It was the lack of food that changed him. His body was made to need food, even as his heart was made for friendship and love, but he was destitute. “No man gave unto him,” the story says. Alone! Forsaken! Stripped! Then he remembered: “How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!” He was suffering the results of his own selfishness, and lust, and rebellion. His body was in agony without the sustenance it was created for. Rags, and filth, and stench were his surroundings. All this the result of his sin! To be “without God in the world” is life’s ultimate in desolation and despair. The reality of judgment is separation from God’s love and fellowship and blessing and the consequent recognition of condemnation and the processes of wrath and judgment.

    We often forget that God not only allows Satan and sin and evil, but that He also uses them. Again and again, when trouble stalks his path, a man turns back to the God he has despised. When his wife dies, or his children go wrong; when loss and disaster fall upon him, again and again he will seek the God he has neglected. Many of our men who fought in past wars found that danger and privation turned their minds toward God. Foxholes cure atheism, they say. Weeks on a lifeboat adrift in the ocean do something to a man, and he is often a very different person when he lands on shore again. That is not because God coerces the man, but because God brings upon him such experiences as change his attitudes and priorities. And God brings such experiences upon men, not in vindictive hatred, but in love. He is too wise to err, too loving to be unkind!

    Some argue that because we affirm that the judgments of God are not eternal, but corrective, we teach a “hell redemption.” We are accused of believing that hell can accomplish in a man what the mercy and blood of Jesus could not accomplish. Many years ago Charles G. Finney (and we respect his ministry) opposed the teaching of the ultimate salvation of all by ridicule. Finney was a master of the invective. He said that those who were saved after this “age of grace” ends would unceasingly sing, “Thanks be to the hell that saved us by our own suffering!” Just how much weight is there to that criticism? It is a marvelous truth that CHRIST ALONE can save! There is no other way! How we rejoice that it is so! But there is one thing that must be dealt with before any man can come to Christ and be saved. MAN’S REBELLION MUST BE REMOVED. His pride and self-confidence and stubborness and trust in things and pleasures that damn and lead away from God must be broken. And this is where judgment comes in. Judgment destroys the power of the carnal mind which blinds, which is enmity against God but judgment does not grant redemption. It only breaks rebellion! It breaks man’s stubborn will! But redemption was purchased upon the cross.

    It is a small matter for God to break the resistance of men. Men without God live like animals. They eat, sleep, entertain themselves, labor, but they are not in touch with God at all. He has no place in their thoughts nor in their lives. Finally man awakens. Like the old country preacher who was telling of the prodigal son. He said, “He took off his coat and spent that. Then he took off his vest and spent that. Then he took off his shirt, and when he took off his shirt, he came to his self.” We come to ourselves in various ways! When the prodigal was feeding hogs in the “far country” he “came to himself,” according to Jesus. Did he, then, have a “hogpen redemption?” Not at all! The hogpen didn’t save him, but he did get some sense knocked into him there it was there his willfulness and rebellion left him, but he was not saved until he got back to his Father.

    I have read about men in the foxholes on the battle front getting saved. Did they get a “war redemption?” Did the war save them? No! No! No! Men in the danger and horror of war often begin to think as they never thought before, but war does not save. At best, it can only awaken them, and turn men to the Christ they have ignored. And if they are saved at all it is because they call in all sincerity upon the Saviour who died for them on Calvary’s cross.

    Now the prodigal didn’t have to go home. He was not compelled to do so, no one dragged him. He wanted to! But he didn’t want to until all his money was gone and he got to feeding hogs. The circumstances had to crowd in upon his life which caused him to come to the place where he chose to “arise and go to the Father.” The heart of the Father is calling, calling, calling to His wayward children, “Come unto Me.” Long before the prodigal son had come to his home, the Father was waiting, and looking for him. He saw him coming along the weary way, no longer with servants attending, no longer in rich robes; but ragged, poor, dirty, in wornout sandles, he came along the road, with the stench of the swineherd and the stains of the fleshpots upon him. Creeping along, sick, sore, and weary, he said, “Oh, if I could but be one of my Father’s hired servants! “Is it he? Can it be – O God, can that be he who left only a few months ago, so strong, so happy, so bright, with the world all before him? Can that be he?” “It is. It is he.” Will the Father reject him? Will the Father not say, “I gave him his portion and he has spent it all in riotous living; let him stay away for ever?” No, no. The Father saw him afar off, and he ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him, not heeding his filthiness and his rags. The Father interrupted the prayer, after the son told him of his sin, that he might become a slave in the Father’s house; for there are no slaves in our Father’s house. They are all sons and daughters of the Most High God. Thank God for that!

    Why, then, should we be slaves to Satan, and to sin, and to death, and to hell? The Father took him and kissed him. He told the servants to bring the best robe and the signet ring that made him controller of his Father’s estate. He told them to get out the musical instruments and the dancers, and to make merry and be glad. “Spread the feast, for this my son was dead; dead to me; dead to mother; dead to purity; dead to truth; dead to love; dead to God; and he is alive again. He was lost and is found.” Whenever judgment has done its work; whenever a man comes to himself and says “I will”; “I will arise and go to my Father, and I will say to my Father, I have sinned against heaven and in Your sight and am no more worthy to be called your son,” then the Great and Eternal God and Father will take that man, sin-stained and foul as he is in spirit, and in soul, and in body, and He will make him whiter than snow. If you ask Him to give you the lowest place as a servant, He will lift you up, and kiss you and say, “My Son! My Daughter!” The robe of the Father’s righteousness will be placed upon you, you will be bountifully fed from His very own table with the wisdom of His Word, and the signet-ring that gives you power and authority over all things in His Kingdom, will be upon your finger. Cleansed and robed and empowered by the Father, you can go out and do His work.

    All creation groans for the FIRSTFRUITS of His redemption to be revealed in all the majesty and power and glory of their regained inheritance! Blessed be God for ever.


    You may remember the story of the man who was trying to get his mule into the barn. The man was tugging on the rope and pulling with all his might. He got behind the mule and pushed; he put his shoulder to its back but he could not budge the mule who just stood there, stifflegged, and would not move. He could not get it into the barn! A fellow walked up and watched for quite a while. Finally he said, “Mister, I’ll get your mule into the barn for you if you like.” The man stopped in astonishment and said,” Can you?” He said,” Of course, it is easy.” The stranger walked over and picked up a two-by-four, came over to the mule, quietly lifted the two-by-four, and whacked him on top of the head, right between the eyes. The mule went a little crosseyed! Then he hit him behind the ears. Before the mule could quite straighten up again, he struck him underneath the chin. With that he took hold of the rope and with two fingers led the mule into the barn! The man stood there astonished. The fellow came out again and said, “You see, mister, actually this mule is a very cooperative critter. You just got to get his attention!”

    Sometimes God has to GET OUR ATTENTION. And to do that He chooses to use events which are instruments of His judgment. God told Moses that the reason for His judgment upon the Egyptians was to make them know that He is God. Everything God does shows us something about who He is, but in this instance of judgment God particularly expressed that His intent was to show Himself to the Egyptians. And He was successful in this, for in chapter eight of Exodus Moses records the magicians telling Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.”

    Our God has foretold the blessed era when He shall be ALL IN ALL. How can God ever be ALL- IN – ALL? Are there not some creatures and men too calloused and hostile to bend to His omnipotence? Let each one who knows Him as their ALL give answer thus: “He who has broken my stubborn will and brought me to His feet can lead the most obstinate to Himself.” His will is more than a match for any man’s. Were it His decree to become their DOOM, they could not stop Him. But as it is His will to become their ALL (which is a far nobler, greater goal), their ALL He shall become. His indignation may break and destroy pride and rebellion for the ages, but His love will endure endlessly and He will pursue all men until at last they surrender to His love. Ah, yes, God knows just how to GET OUR ATTENTION! He can get it here and now. If He doesn’t get it here, He will get it in hell. If He doesn’t get it in hell, He will get it in the lake of fire. He will get it by gracious words and tender mercies, if He can. But if not, He will get it by severe judgments and awful wrath. But, blessed be His name, He will get our attention!

    God gives us power, in the positive realm, to get men’s attention, to subdue them to Christ. Jesus has said, in effect, “All Authority has been given unto Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore, I give you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. I give you this authority. I am behind you, and all the powers of heaven are on your side. Go therefore and MAKE DISCIPLES.” They were a poor lot to go. They were nearly all fishermen, with one honest tax-gatherer. If you can find one honest taxgatherer in America, I think you might make him an apostle without further investigation.

    These men whom Christ sent out were uneducated for the most part. They had no political clout and no social rank, until Christ took them in hand. They did not know very much until He took them in hand for three years. It was astonishing what He made of them. They did not realize their mission until the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and brought to their remembrance the things which Jesus had said, and showed them the meaning of Jesus’ words after He had risen from the dead, when, on the mountain side in Galilee, He gave them authority to make disciples.

    Dr. J. A. Dowie, years ago, related the following incident: “A man said to me once, ‘You talk as if you could make people believe.’ I said, ‘I can; of course I can. You give me a chance at you, and I will make you believe before I am through.’ He said, ‘You will never make me believe.’ I said, ‘Will you come and attend services at Zion Tabernacle for ten consecutive Sundays, and see if I cannot?’ ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘I will, but you will be just as far away from it at the end of the ten weeks as you were at the beginning.’ I looked for that man every Sunday, and I studied him from every point of view. I got to know all about him. I got to know all of his meannesses. I got to know the wickedness he had done. I ‘spanked’ him for about five consecutive services. I had him writhing in his seat and swearing under his breath, and wondering who had given him away. Every now and then I would look at him from this platform and say, ‘I will have you yet.’ He was wondering what I meant; but he was breaking up fast. After about five weeks I did not know if he would come any more. But on the sixth Sunday I forgot about him and did not know whether he was in the place or not. That day I said, ‘There are some of you whom I have been pounding, and I suppose you have about come to believe that there is no hope for you anywhere on earth or in hell.’ Suddenly I saw him and said, ‘There is hope for you. You are a mighty hard case, but I will have you today. You will be a disciple today. Dare you to put it off any longer?’ When I said, ‘Stand,’ I saw that fellow try to sit when thousands arose, but he could not. Before the ten weeks were up he said, ‘Doctor, I surrender.’ I said, ‘All right; come and be baptized next Sunday.’ God enabled me to MAKE HIM A DISCIPLE” -end quote.

    But at times God has to use more severe means. Some months ago I turned on my car radio while enroute to a meeting on a Sunday morning and heard a preacher relate a most interesting and illustrative story. He said, “I remember a friend of mine that I was in school with. He was a pastor in the East Texas oil fields at the time of the explosion at the New London School. I shall never forget that night when word came in over the radio that that school had exploded and that over 300 boys and girls had been killed. I was speaking the next morning on the radio in Dallas, Texas. And that morning I directed everything I had to say to the parents and loved ones of those boys and girls. We had cards and letters from New England, from Cuba, from Mexico, from all over the country.

    “But this pastor friend of mine told me this story. He said, In the parish in which I was the pastor, there lived a man that had become suddenly rich. He was a Texan who had become oil rich, even had put up a small refinery. And he had made already several millions of dollars. He had built a lovely home. He had a wife and two beautiful boys. And the wife and two boys were Christians, fellowshipping in our Church. And this pastor went on and said, This man was the worst blasphemer I had ever met in my life. I’ve never heard a man talk as that man would talk. He would blaspheme God, curse God. And his wife was so concerned about him and asked me to go see him. I went to see him, and I’ve never been treated like that in my life. He cursed me from the time I opened my mouth until I got out of earshot. He called me everything that was in the book and some things I didn’t know were in the book. He was vile. His wife and one of his little boys took sick during the flu epidemic and both died at the same time. I went over that night to see them. I went in and there sat the father and the little boy that was alive. I went over and sat down beside them and began to talk, and he began to abuse me again. And curse – I’ve never heard anything like it! It was vile beyond description. He blasphemed God’s name. There was nothing left for me to do but get up and walk out of there, which I did. I had the funeral. The man wouldn’t even speak to me. And he became more vile after that. But all of the love that he’d had for his family, and that seemed to be the only thing about the man that was a redeeming feature, was now turned to this one little boy that was left.

    “That little boy was in the New London School. This man, when he heard of the explosion, went out to that school and went through that rubble like a madman until he found the torn and twisted, broken body of that little boy. Then he took it in his arms and walked up and down that schoolyard like a madman until they actually took it away from him and carried it to the funeral home. You know, I felt it was my duty to go and talk with him. So that night I went over to that big home, and I went in and there was that little white casket and there he sat, the same place he’d sat before. I just steeled myself for the cursing that I was to get. I was afraid to say anything. I just sat down. Then that great big hulk of a fellow looked up and our eyes met. He hadn’t cried before, but there were tears in his eyes. And instead of cursing me, he said to me, God has been after me all the time. He’s tried to speak to me all my life, and I turned my back on Him. He took my wife and my other little boy, and I knew He was talking to me. But I was afraid of what men might say, those I worked with and was associated with. Oh, what a coward I’ve been. And now He’s had to take this one! Well, he said, God can have me now. And that man got down on his knees beside that casket and took Christ as his Saviour. The last time I saw that pastor friend of mine he told me that that oil man was still serving God” -end quote.

    That man did not respond to the POSITIVE witness of the Gospel of God’s grace, so corrective measures were needed, and God stretched forth His hand and brought NEGATIVE forces into action, thereby getting his attention. Once broken under the judgmental dealings of God, he knelt before the Lord and received the goodness and mercy and deliverance so graciously proffered. Hallelujah! It should be clear to every thinking child of God that God does not use the same means and measures with every man to bring them to Christ. It would be very simple to fill this book with instance after instance from Holy Scripture which loudly and unmistakably proclaim the nature and purposes of all God’s judgments from the banishment of Adam and Eve from Eden’s fair garden in Genesis to the blazing inferno of the lake of fire in Revelation. But I would point you briefly to one plain and positive illustration which proceeded from the lips of our Lord Jesus Christ. “But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delays his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; the lord of that servant will APPOINT HIM HIS PORTION WITH THE UNBELIEVERS. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be BEATEN WITH MANY STRIPES. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be BEATEN WITH FEW STRIPES. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Lk. 12:45-48).

    In this parable it is plain that Christ is teaching degrees of punishment. The Christ teaches that those who have committed things worthy of many stripes, will receive many, and those who were ignorant, and with lesser light did not know or understand the will of God, yet did things worthy of stripes, shall receive but a few.

    Here is set forth in the plainest of language not only varying degrees of punishment, but also varying lengths of time for the punishment. What ever the judgment typified by the “stripes,” it takes longer to inflict many stripes than just a few, so it should not be difficult to understand that some men are punished for a longer period of time than others. The Word of God declares that the Judge of all the earth shall do right, and I believe that He shall do just that. As our children were growing up we did not have one stock punishment for all their misdeeds. We suited the punishment to the disobedience, yet we haven’t granted the same privilege to God! We have said that everyone is to receive the very same common punishment, hell fire, and that that judgment would endure for the very same length of time for all – eternity!

    How, then, I ask, can some be beaten with “many stripes” and others with “few stripes” if all receive the same punishment of endless hell fire? How foolish can we be! It is always extremely foolish to hold to a doctrine that clearly contradicts the Word of God. I can almost feel the holy wrath, I can almost hear the stinging invective of some who think they have me now -“Ah, ” they say, “but Jesus is not talking in this parable about the condition of the lost; He is teaching about the punishment of disobedient SERVANTS OF GOD!” And you are so very right, my friend! We never want to forget it. Nothing could be plainer, for Jesus prefaces His remarks with these significant words: “Who then is that FAITHFUL AND WISE STEWARD, whom his Lord shall make ruler over His household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that SERVANT, whom His Lord when He comes shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that He will make him ruler over all that He has” (Lk. 12:42- 44). There would be no answer to your argument; I would be forced to throw up my hands and admit that these words of our Lord apply only to the correction and discipline of servants of the Lord, and have absolutely no bearing whatever on the judgment of unbelievers, or on hell, or on the lake of fire, were it not for one significant statement that appears in verse forty-six. The Lord says, “The Lord of that servant will come in a day when he looks not for Him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will APPOINT HIM HIS PORTION WITH THE  U-N-B-E-L-I-E-V-E-R-S.” Do you see that? Ah, the punishment of this SERVANT is the SAME PUNISHMENT as the UNBELIEVER receives! He is appointed his portion WITH THE UNBELIEVERS!

    The punishment, therefore, of this servant of the Lord and the punishment of the unbelievers is equal, identical, of the same intensity, for the same length of time, the very same punishment, and that punishment is? -MANY STRIPES! Not unending stripes; not everlasting whipping; not eternal torment under the hands of the tormentors; but – many stripes. And of what precise judgment speaks our Lord when He commands “appoint him his portion with the unbelievers?” What is the “portion of the unbelievers?” Hear it! “But the fearful, and UNBELIEVING … shall have their part (portion) IN THE LAKE WHICH BURNS WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE” (Rev. 21:8). The “portion of the unbelievers” is the lake of fire. And not only are the unbelievers judged there, but the unfaithful servants of God are dealt with there, too! And, by Jesus’ own words, this punishment is called “many stripes,” and is shown to be limited in its duration and corrective and remedial in its nature.


    I believe every word that the Bible says about the lake of fire; I don’t believe what Rome says about it, nor what the apostate Churches say about it, nor what tradition says about it; but I certainly believe what the Bible says about it.

    The teaching concerning the lake of fire does not appear anywhere in Scripture except in the book of Revelation where it is spoken of in the following passages: Rev. 14:10-11; 19:20; 20:10; 20:13-15 and 21:8. This last passage definitely states, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

    There should be no question remaining as to the certainty of this lake of fire; neither should there be any doubt as to the awful consequence of having to be cast into it. These Scriptures with their dreadful foreboding should be a fearful warning to all unthinking and foolish people who, because of their love for the world, the flesh, and the devil, have dared to ask why we should serve God now if all are going to be saved eventually. Such people have no love for God nor fear of God, and they manifest by what they say that their professed serving of God is only a pretense, arising – not from any true love for Him – but from fear of punishment. If there were no prospect of hell these would promptly tell God to go to hell and they would, themselves, go to the devil. It is not thus with those who truly love God, for they serve not from fear, but from pure love and devotion. Remove punishment completely from the universe, and they would still serve God with all their hearts.

    Because of the gross misunderstanding of almost all people concerning the lake of fire, I would like to draw your attention to three words found in the passage quoted above. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which BURNS with FIRE and BRIMSTONE: which is the second death.”

    The word BURN means combustion, or to consume. To consume does not mean to annihilate, for there is no such thing as annihilation in the absolute sense. When fire consumes a log in your fireplace it does not destroy any of the elements within the log, it merely changes their form. Combustion is the process by which chemicals combine to form new chemicals. For example: a tree might be cut down, sawed into fire wood, and burned. When the wood is burning the heat causes the chemicals of which the wood is composed to vaporize, mixing with the oxygen in the air to form new chemicals, including water and the gas carbon dioxide. So what was formerly a tree is no longer identified as the form of a tree, but the substance thereof is now simply CHANGED into a DIFFERENT FORM and exists in its new form within the atmosphere as water, carbon dioxide, etc. Thus, to bum, means to CHANGE. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that fire does not burn down; it always burns up; it seeks the highest level. And all that it consumes “goes up in smoke,” to exist in a new form in a higher dimension. Even if you take a pan of water and place it over a fire, before long the water will take on the property of the fire and will begin to go up in steam. To burn means to CHANGE, and the change is always UPWARD in its motion.

    FIRE is the heat and light that you feel and see when something burns. It takes heat to start a fire, but once the fire is started it produces heat that keeps the process going. Thus, fire is really HEAT and LIGHT. In my study of the lake that burns with fire and brimstone I was very much helped and impressed by the understanding given by Charles Pridgeon and I would like to quote from his scholarly work on the subject of BRIMSTONE. He says: “The Lake of Fire and Brimstone signifies a fire burning with brimstone; the word ‘brimstone’ or sulphur defines the character of the fire. The Greek word THEION translated ‘brimstone’ is exactly the same word THEION which means ‘divine.’ Sulphur was sacred to the deity among the ancient Greeks; and was used to fumigate, to purify, and to cleanse and consecrate to the deity; for this purpose they burned it in their incense. In Homer’s Iliad (16:228), one is spoken of as purifying a goblet with fire and brimstone. The verb derived from THEION is THEIOO, which means to hallow, to make divine, or to dedicate to a god (See Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon, 1897 Edition). To any Greek, or any trained in the Greek language, a ‘lake of fire and brimstone’ would mean a ‘lake of divine purification.’ The idea of judgment need not be excluded. Divine purification and divine consecration are the plain meaning in ancient Greek. In the ordinary explanation, this fundamental meaning of the word is entirely left out, and nothing but eternal torment is associated with it” -end quote.

    I realize that the above thoughts define the subject very briefly, but let us summarize the meanings thus: BURN means combustion; to change the form of. FIRE means heat and light. BRIMSTONE means divine. Putting these three together can we not see that the lake burning with fire and brimstone is, actually, DIVINE HEAT AND LIGHT PRODUCING A CHANGE! Is such a process eternal? All the laws of nature shout that it is not!

    More than 2500 years ago the Holy Spirit warned the wicked inhabitants of Jerusalem that God would kindle a fire at Jerusalem’s gates which would devour her palaces. “But if you will not hearken unto Me … then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not he quenched” (Jer. 17:27). Did not God say this fire “shall NOT BE QUENCHED?” This prophecy was fulfilled and the fire did occur a few years later and it did destroy all the houses of Jerusalem (Jer. 52:13). Since God said no person or thing would “quench” this fire, did that mean that it would burn for ever? Since it accomplished the work it was sent to do, and since it is NOT BURNING TODAY, it obviously went out by itself after accomplishing its purpose!

    Unquenchable fire is not eternal fire – it is simply fire that cannot be put out until it has consumed or changed everything it is possible for it to change! It then simply goes out, for there is nothing more to burn. Yet I hear the preachers ranting and raving about poor souls being cast into bell fire where “their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched” and this, we are told, means eternal, unending torment. How foolish, illogical, and deceptive! Such a view contradicts the plain meaning of the term “unquenchable” and its use in the Word of God.

    Are the judgments of God permanent? Isaiah says, “When Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” (Isa. 26:9). And Mat. 12:20 says, “A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory.” Judgment, therefore, is not an eternal condition, but it is given to produce that victory. Judgments of themselves do not save anyone, but they are used by God to bring one to one’s self, to effect a change of attitude and will, to consume away the stubbornness and rebellion of men. Punishment by fire is a beneficent one. “Our GOD is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29).

    The basic purpose of this divine fire of God is to cleanse, purify, purge, temper and change. It is to rid of impurities, of filth, of undesirable elements. There is no better way to deal with filth than to deal with it by fire. The punishment by penal fire leads back to the beginning of things. The final work of God in this world will be the destruction of the world (order) by penal fire. That will change all things. That will melt all the elements, so that no man can tell you where his original grab was. It will burn up all the governments, institutions, systems, and fruitage of the carnal mind. It will melt all the customs, cultures, traditions, and practices of society and make of this earth a new earth wherein dwells righteousness. Every man’s work will eventually be tested in this fire. The fire will try every man’s work of what sort it is. If you and I build into our walls wood, hay, and stubble, that fire will find it out, and the wall will come tumbling down.

    When God turns on the HEAT, the BLAZING LIGHT OF HIS SPIRIT AND WORD – some things begin to change! The fire is never sent to destroy the PERSON, but to purge out all that hinders and separates him from his God, to consume the pride, arrogance, hostility, defiance, and rebellion of the flesh, the carnal mind, that He might then be wooed and drawn by the Holy Spirit unto the Father of Spirits and live.

    More than three centuries ago when the Black Plague swept through London, England, more than 68,000 men, women, and children were sickened with the putrid fever, suffered nameless agonies, passed into delirium, sometimes with convulsions, and then died. Before the end of the terrible nightmare of anguish and death, what was thought to be an even greater tragedy occured. The city caught fire, the whole heavens were ablaze as the Great Fire destroyed more than 13,200 homes and 89 churches. Most of the city, which was built largely of wood, lay in ashes. Wonder of wonders! As soon as the last dying embers cooled and the smoke cleared, the inhabitants of the city discovered that the Plague had been stayed! Not another person died of the epidemic. The Plague never returned. The fire had killed the bacteria-carrying fleas and rats that caused the Plague. It took a fire to do it!

    Fire is a great cleanser, purifier, and changer. We all know that a horse must be broken, that is, its will must be broken before it is of any practical use to man. God put that will in the horse, but it must be broken and made to conform to the will of man. Just as surely did God put the will in man, BUT IT MUST BE BROKEN and we will benefit by the very process of breaking. Man may do a lot of crying and wailing, but when he is broken to HIS will, what a wonderful condition it is. God may take man over some rough places, even through the lake of fire and brimstone, but the love of God will break every man to His will. If you think the Kingdom of God is rosewater, or eau-de-cologne, you are mistaken. You cannot war on the devil with that. You cannot war on the carnal minds of men with that. You have to make war on the world, the flesh, and the devil with a sword sharper than any twoedged sword. You have to make war on the carnal mind with fire, divine fire that must burn up every inherent altar of Baal, and lick up the very dust around.

    Make no mistake! OUR GOD is a consuming fire! He is man’s “horse breaker” and He will break you, precious friend of mine, and bring you to the foot of the cross of Jesus no matter how hot He has to build the fire around you! Even if long ages of fiery judgment and tormenting darkness fall upon you, they will last no longer than till the Great Fire of God has melted all arrogance into humility, and all that is self has died in the bloody sweat and all-saving cross of the Christ, which will never give up its redeeming power till sin and sinners have no more a name among the creatures of God.


    The book of Revelation is a book of symbols. In the introduction to this marvelous book the beloved John explains, “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John” (Rev. 1:1). The word “signified” is from the Greek SEMAINO meaning to indicate or communicate by means of signs and symbols. The meanings of all the symbols of the Revelation are given, either in the book itself, or elsewhere in the Scriptures.

    The first things John beheld when in Spirit was One like unto the Son of man, standing in the midst of seven golden candlesticks, holding seven stars in His right hand. The One like unto the Son of man is identified as the resurrected and glorified Lord, for this One says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: I am He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore” (Rev. 1:10, 17-18). The other symbols of that first vision are interpreted as follows: “The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels (messengers) of the seven Churches: and the seven candlesticks which you saw are the seven Churches” (Rev. 1:20). Children in school learn what we call definitions. A definition is an explanatory statement which tells us exactly what a certain thing is, as “an island is a tract of land completely surrounded by water.”

    God also gives us definitions in His Word. He tells us exactly what certain things are. And in the Scripture just quoted He has told us exactly what the seven stars and the seven candlesticks are. Those are God’s definitions. And in Rev. 20:14 God tells us exactly what the SECOND DEATH is. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH.” Now let me make this a little plainer. Definitions of men can be given backward. For instance, the definition, “An island is a tract of land completely surrounded by water,” can be given thus: “A tract of land completely surrounded by water is an island.” This is but another way of stating the same fact. It does not, in any way, change the meaning. Now let us try this on the definition of the second death. The Bible states it thus: “Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. THIS IS the second death.” Now let us turn this around for clarity. “The second death IS death and hell cast into the lake of fire.” Therefore we have exactly the same meaning either way it is stated.

    What is the second death? It is the first death and hell cast into the lake of fire! This fact is very IMPORTANT. The second death is not merely the lake of fire. The second death is not men being tortured for ever in the lake of fire. The Holy Spirit has made it very simple and plain. The second death is the first death and hell CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE. That is the Holy Spirit’s definition, not mine. Can we now open the eyes of our understanding to see that everything cast into the lake of fire pertains to DEATH? Death itself is cast into the lake of fire. Hell, the realm of the dead, is cast into the lake of fire. And those whose names are not written in the Book of Life, those who are dead, in trespasses and in sins, who inhabit hell, are cast into the lake of fire. That is the end of death and hell and sin, for God shall destroy death in the lake of fire, He shall burn up hell in the lake of fire, and He shall consume sin and rebellion in the lake of fire.

    How I long to see the end of sin and death and hell! The time is coming, praise His name! when God’s Kingdom shall be All in All, and there shall be neither sin, nor sinners, nor death, nor hell. It is clear that God does not destroy men in the lake of fire, nowhere does it say that, for that would be a contradiction of terms. How can you destroy death by creating death? How can you abolish death by bringing men under the power of eternal death from which there is no escape? Oh, no, it is not men who are destroyed in the lake of fire – it is SIN and DEATH and HELL that are destroyed. “And the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (I Cor. 15:26). Thus, the lake of fire is nothing more nor less than THE DEATH OF DEATH!

    The following words by Ray Prinzing give fresh insight into this wonderful truth: “The offence of the first Adam brought all men under the sentence of death for sin. Hence presently our mortal bodies are in a state of dying, while our minds need to be freed from minding the things of the flesh, to mind the things of the Spirit. The act of disobedience of Adam brought forth death. Now, the obedience and work of righteousness of the last Adam also brings forth a death for every man. The question arises, Is the SECOND DEATH the same kind of death as the first? Many people think that it is a repetition of the first, and that the results are the same, while its action is more severe and cruel, and destructive, being by fire. And some Christians add very sorrowfully, ‘and from this second death there is no resurrection, it is an endless torment in agony,’ BUT NOT SO! For God’s seconds are never duplicates of the first, they are always better, higher, and more powerful than the firsts, and used to counter-balance all the action of the firsts, and MUCH MORE – He always saves the best until last.

    “All Bible statements prove that the two deaths are absolutely UNALIKE, and that the two are opposite and antagonistic. The second death undoes all the work of the first death in the same manner that the last Adam undid all the work of the first Adam. Not to nullify the purpose being wrought out by the plan of God in the firsts, but to bring a release from the firsts in a MUCH MORE manner of majesty and glory and power and scope of coverage, into the greater and glorious things of God. Creation was made subject to vanity for a purpose! Sin was allowed for wise ends, but when those ends have been secured it will have to cease to exist. The purpose is not nullified, but the means whereby the purpose has been executed shall be done away. Discipline is a means to an end, but not an end in itself, it leads up to the ‘AFTERWARDS YIELDING THE PEACEABLE FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.’

    “The first Adam died to God and righteousness, and became alive unto sin. The last Adam died unto sin (Rom. 6:10), and lives unto God, and so fulfills all righteousness. The first made all men sinners, the last makes all men righteous. The lives and the deaths of the two Adams are thus greatly contrasting the one to the other. The FIRST DEATH was a transition from life to death, the SECOND DEATH is a transition from corruption to incorruption, from mortality to immortality. Transformed from the carnal mind to the spiritual mind, which is life and peace, which transformation is wrought by a dying out to the one realm, to come alive to the higher realm. Because – the second death is prepared to purge out and burn away sin and its results, and so doing cleanse all of God’s universe.

    “Death came as an enemy, the fruitage of an act of disobedience that turned man away from God and into the realm of carnality, minding self and flesh. Now God makes death overcome itself. It is by death that death is rendered powerless, and there arises an upspringing, a new life. It takes death to destroy death, and thus Christ ‘did taste death for every man’ – ‘that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage’ (Heb. 2:9,14-15). Since we are all under the effects of the first death, it is appointed unto us to die once more – not physical death, we are already in a state of mortality – but now a dying out to this present death state. We conquer this death of the carnal mind by dying to it – only God could use such a process bringing victory, but praise God, He is destroying the first death with the second death!

    “All the Crucifixion, our identification with the cross of Christ, must first be accepted by faith as a fact, and then the working of it in and through us is a process. If it is done now, through our yieldedness to the call and the claims of Christ upon us, we won’t have to face it later, in what is called ‘the lake of fire,’ which is the second death. The passing through that lake of divine purification will thoroughly purge out the last remaining fragments of the rebellion and waywardness of man, till the mystery of iniquity is no more, and then the carnal mind being abolished, death is no more” -end quote. It is true that some men are cast into the processing of the lake of fire. But what a disreputable lot!

    “…the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” These are men saturated with the power of the first death – dead in trespasses and in sins, sold under sin, slaves to every devilish passion, possessed of corrupt and perverse natures, obsessed with every evil device, unrelentingly driven by the spirit of the world, the flesh, and the devil. And nothing God has done has yet broken these stubborn wills or brought these men to repentance. The wages of sin has not broken them. The harvest of evil has not broken them. Hell has not broken them. The tender mercies of the Lord have not broken them. The Spirit has faithfully told us of a second death into which unbelieving and incorrigibly wicked men shall surely go. They go there with death and with hell. The second death will be an experience and a period of time similar to this first death we are now experiencing, but much more terrible and severe than anything we now know. The penalty of sin is very great. The processes of God to break the resistance of willfully wicked men are extremely severe. Not only in this present age do they smite us, but in that second death which is to come. It can only be described as the “lake of fire.” This terrible death is reserved for those who have not profited from the previous judgments and still need further correction to subdue them to the will of God. When the process is complete, and the last sinner has emerged from the discipline with a broken and contrite spirit, having learned the lessons of the awful fruit of man’s “own way,” fully yielding to the Lordship of our Saviour, then at last shall be fulfilled the beautiful promise: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be NO MORE DEATH, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make ALL THINGS new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Rev. 21:3-5).

    Whatever we hold as the nature of the death state, may we let this truth sink deep into our hearts: DEATH IS TO BE ABOLISHED. The ringing declaration, “The LAST enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (I Cor. 15:26), overthrows the whole structure of accepted, but unproved, theology which shuts up the mass of the human race in “eternal death.” When the “last” enemy is abolished it is self-evident that none remains. Those wretched religionists who demand the endlessness of death, who argue for eternal torment in the lake of fire, the second death, do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. The lake of fire MUST end because death and hell are cast into it, which is the second death, and in the end THERE SHALL BE  N-O  M-O-R-E  D-E-A-T-H.

    No more death! No more first death. No more second death. No more of any kind of death. To say there is no more death is to say that there are no more sinners, for sinners are DEAD MEN, dead in trespasses and in sins. To say there is no more death is to say that God has not “burned up” all the wicked and left them dead, or in hell, for as long as any creature of God is in a state of death, death is not abolished. To say there is no more death is to say there is no more hell, for hell is “the realm of the dead.” To say there is no more death is to say there is no more a lake of fire, for the lake of fire IS the second DEATH. To say there is no more death is to say there is no more sin, for “the wages of sin is DEATH.” What a universe of truth is contained in three little words: NO MORE DEATH! This grand truth seems to be almost unknown in the Church systems. Although the very climax and fulfillment of all revelation, it has been eclipsed by human perversions. As a result the God of the popular Churches has lost the essential attributes of Deity. He is like the foolish man who started to build but could not finish. Man’s theology brings nothing to a conclusion. It attains no definite goal. Sin, suffering, and insubjection are never conquered. Death is never destroyed. Redemption is never fully secured. God is compelled to work an eternal miracle in order to maintain a never-ending eyesore in His creation, once so subject, so sinless, and so good. He has to eternally keep His great foot on the lid of hell; for if even one of the devils should get out there would be hell everywhere! But death in all its forms shall be destroyed until it shall be said, “There is no more death!” Jesus is Conqueror! Then shall every creature in the universe bow and in glad chorus sing, “O death, where is they sting? O grave, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be unto God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (I Cor. 15:55-57).


    There is a strange and wonderful statement found in Rev. 2:11. “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches; He that overcomes shall not be HURT of the second death.” I would draw your attention to the fact that it does not say that the overcomer experiences nothing of the second death, that he does not pass through it, or that its work is not wrought in his life; but the thought is that he will not be “hurt” by it.

    It is possible to pass through the most terrible experience and not be hurt by it. Listen! “And these three men Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spoke, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they HAVE NO HURT; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Dan. 3:23-25). Oh, to know that we can pass through the darkest night or the hottest fire and not be hurt by it if Jesus goes with us! How heartening and assuring to read such promises as these: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: and when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you” (Isa. 43:2).

    The word “hurt” is from the Greek ADIKEO meaning to be unjust, do wrong, injure or offend. Armed with this understanding we may paraphrase Rev. 2:11 thus: “He that overcomes shall not be done an injustice, wronged, injured or offended by the second death.” The great difference between the unbeliever and the child of God is that the unbeliever is taken hand and foot and “cast” into the lake of fire, fighting, kicking, screaming, cursing, and resisting all the way, while the child of God willingly and obediently walks into the fiery processings of God hand in hand with his blessed Redeemer. And, one way or the other, ALL MEN MUST DIE UNTO SIN.

    When the natural man becomes the spiritual man, the great change is described by the Holy Spirit as a passing from death unto life. Before the transistion occurred, the practical difficulty was this, how to get into harmony with the new environment of the Kingdom of God? But no sooner do we enter into the Kingdom of God than the problem is reversed. The question now is, how to get out of harmony with the old environment of the flesh, the world, and the devil? The moment the new CHRIST LIFE is begun there comes a great anxiety to break with the old, for the regenerated spirit has nothing in common with the old. The former way of life now becomes embarrassing. Because of “sin in our members” it refuses to be dismissed from our consciousness. It competes doggedly with the new nature of the Christ. And in a hundred ways the former traditions, the memories and passions of the past, the fixed associations and habits of the earlier life, now press in to draw us to walk after the flesh, complicating the new walk. The complex and bewildered soul, in fact, finds itself confronted by two contrasting faculties, the flesh and the spirit, each with urgent but yet incompatible claims. It is a dual consciousness of a double world, a world whose inhabitants are deadly enemies, and engaged in perpetual civil war!

    The position is perplexing. It is clear that no man can attempt to live both lives. No man can walk both after the flesh and after the spirit anymore than one can walk down two roads at the same time. His testimony will agree with the apostle who wrote: “For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out; for I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds I do not desire to do are what I am ever doing. Now if I do what I do not desire to do, it is no longer I doing it it is not myself that acts – but the sin (principle) which dwells within me. So I find it to be a law of my being that when I want to do what is right and good, evil is ever present with me and I am subject to its insistent demands. For I endorse and delight in the Law of God in my inmost self – with my new nature. But I discern in my bodily members – in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh – a different law at war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs – in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh. O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from the shackles of this body of death?” (Rom. 7:18-24, Amplified).

    To walk both after the flesh and after the spirit is morally impossible. “No man,” as Christ so often emphasized, “can serve two masters.” And yet, as a matter of fact, here is the new-born child of God being in relation to both worlds – flesh and spirit. With sin and purity, with light and darkness, with God and the devil, the confused and undecided soul is now in relation. What is to be done in such an emergency? How can the New Life deliver itself from the ever-persistent call of the flesh? The ready solution of the difficulty is – TO DIE! Not for our “old man” to die, for he is already crucified with Christ, but for us to DIE TO SIN, or to KILL THE EVIL DESIRE LURKING IN OUR BODILY MEMBERS. To die to any reality is to withdraw correspondence with it, to cut ourselves off from all communication with it. The solution of the problem will simply be this, for the spiritual life to REVERSE CONTINUALLY the processes of the fleshly life. The spiritual man having passed from death unto life – the fleshly man must next proceed to pass from life unto death. Regeneration of the spirit in short must be accompanied by degeneration of the flesh, the carnal mind. And this DEATH PROCESS is the SECOND DEATH – the DEATH OF DEATH! Now it is no surprise to find that this is the process everywhere described and recommended by the Holy Spirit! Paul asked the burning question, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” and swift came the answer, “O thank God! – HE WILL! through Jesus Christ our Lord! ” (Rom. 7:24-25).

    Listen to the words of the apostle as he presses this beautiful truth home to the hearts of the understanding saints in Colosse: “If then you have been raised with Christ to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead, aim at and seek the rich, eternal treasures that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. And set your minds and keep them set on what is above – the higher things – not on the things that are on the earth. For as far as this world is concerned you have died, and your new real life is hid with Christ in God. So KILL (DEADEN, DEPRIVE OF POWER) the evil desire lurking in your members – those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and coveteousness, for that is idolatry. It is on account of these very sins that the holy anger of God is ever coming upon those who are obstinately opposed to the divine will, the sons of disobedience, among whom you also once walked, when you were living in and addicted to such practices. But now PUT AWAY AND RID YOURSELVES COMPLETELY OF ALL THESE THINGS: anger, rage, bad feeling toward others, curses and slander and foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from your lips! Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old unregenerate self with its evil practices, and have clothed yourselves with the new spiritual self, which is ever in the process of being renewed and remolded into fuller and more perfect knowledge upon knowledge, after the image (the likeness) of Him who created it” (Col. 3:1-10, Amplified).

    Let me repeat – all men shall die to sin. Some lovingly submit to God’s dealings that the dreadful death of the carnal mind in their members may be “mortified” or put to death, while others must be subdued and broken under the severe heat of judgmental fire. The former pass through the death to self – but are not “hurt” by it. In dying by a living and active faith to everything of the flesh, and living by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, a perfect work is wrought in which everything that is in any way opposed to God is brought to death. These become what God seeks in order to satisfy His heart.

    In the measure that we are identified with the cross of Christ, and made conformable to His death, in which it is no longer our will but HIS, in that measure we are “dying out” to the first death, via the process of the second death, the death of death, our whole being coming up in the likeness of His resurrection. The second death, the destruction of the carnal mind and its hostility and enmity against God, is not to be feared by the blood-bought over- coming saints of God – it is God’s arrangement whereby all the effects of the first death shall be disannulled, and all carnal-mindedness shall cease.

    For us who willingly submit to this process “no man takes our life from us, we lay it down.” But for those who will not lay it down, I do not hesitate to say that IT WILL BE TAKEN FROM THEM. To quote the timely words of Ray Prinzing once more: “Now – while we see the victory of the ultimate, a complete triumph over death, first death, second death, ALL DEATH to ultimately be brought to an end, there is a present-tense application which is before us. God has apprehended in this hour, as in all preceding generations, a remnant in whom HIS SPIRIT is working, and they are becoming daily experiencial partakers of His death, overcoming all the desires and lusts of the carnal mind. To those who now OVERCOME, the same shall not be ‘hurt’ of the ‘second death,’ when it is manifested in its more severe forms, as portrayed in the term of being ‘a lake of fire.’ Praise God, with the inworking of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to overcome all the evil of this present age, and all the carnal mind, we shall not be done an injustice by the second death. THE WHOLE PROCESS IS UNTO VICTORY. There may be suffering involved, for indeed, it means death to all our pre-conceived ideas, death to all the rebellion of our self-will, but it also means that we shall be loosed, set free from the shackles that bind, and with the inflow of His life we shall walk in the glorious liberty of the sons of God” -end quote.

    Make no mistake about it. There are multitudes who shall resist God until the extreme measures He must use to subdue them are beyond our comprehension. For them the second death shall hold terror, and will prove a most painful experience. Let us die now! Let us die to sin now! Let us die to our own stubborn wills now! Let us die to our fleshly ways now! Let us take the cup of suffering and submit to the refining fires now! Let us arise in the newness of HIS LIFE now, to be conformed to His image. He that overcomes NOW shall not be HURT by the second death!


    The words torment, tormented, tormentors, and torments occur twenty-one times in the King James version, and all in the New Testament. Three of these are in connection with the lake of fire. Let me give you the quotations. “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be TORMENTED WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY ANGELS (MESSENGERS) AND IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LAMB: and the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever (Greek: unto the ages of the ages): and they have no rest day nor night…” (Rev. 14:10-11).

    “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Greek: unto the ages of the ages – see Part One of this series -‘Just What Do You Mean … ETERNITY!’)” (Rev. 20:10).

    Notice please, in both instances, the subjects are tormented with fire and brimstone, and we have previously established what the fire and brimstone are. But Rev. 14:10 sheds further light, those are also tormented by and through another agency, which in reality sums up and constitutes the fire and brimstone, and that agency is THE PRESENCE OF THE LAMB and the holy angels, or messengers. What an amazing divine paradox! The Lamb – precious embodiment of the very character of innocence, patience, meekness, gentleness, holiness, sacrifice, and redemption – being made TORMENT to men for whom He died! The very thought seems incongruous. You see, dear ones, IT IS NOT THE NATURE of a lamb to torture anyone. It is simply not in the nature of the lamb to want to hurt in any way. Really! What could a lamb do to torture anyone? It has no capability for such a thing. And so it is with the LAMB OF GOD! The Lamb of God has no desire, no ability to inflict torture in any way – His desire is entirely redemptive – that men might have life and have it more abundantly!

    I cannot imagine One with the nature of a lamb packing poor lost souls like brick into a kiln, standing there blowing the fires of hell through them for ever. Such a grotesque representation charges the blessed Redeemer with crimes more heartless than those of Adoph Eichmann. Ah, the torment comes not from the Lamb. The torment lies within the bosoms of the tormented. The Scripture does not say that the Lamb torments them! If you think it does, you are mistaken. It states that THEY ARE TORMENTED IN THE PRESENCE of the Lamb. What a thought! TORMENTED IN THE PRESENCE. The Lamb is merely present. He does not torment. The condition is within themselves. Because they are wrong and sinful in nature, wicked in their hearts, selfish in their minds, and impure in their desires, they are CONDEMNED IN THEIR CONSCIENCES by the very PRESENCE of the pure, holy, sinless, selfless, sacrificing Lamb of God. Hell is at its fiercest when it sees heaven, and not till then.

    When these realize the presence, or the character of the Lamb, they are tortured in their consciences, for in the Light of the Lamb they see themselves for the wretched little devils they are. The very PRESENCE of TRUTH torments the deceitful and the liar. The very PRESENCE of HOLINESS torments the immoral and corrupt. The very PRESENCE of LOVE is torment to the mean and hateful. The PRESENCE of Him who is the PRINCE OF PEACE is torture to those who live by violence and the sword. The very PRESENCE of the LIFE OF THE LAMB is the most awful torment and torture to all the opposing forces, both deceiver and deceived, until all the deceit and hostility has been taken out of them, and they come to KNOW THE LORD. When these have been exposed for a sufficient time to the PRESENCE of the Lamb, the Lamb will overcome them; His love and power will conquer their hearts; the rebellion and waywardness will be taken from them and they will at last ENJOY the Presence of the Lamb!

    When the maniac of Gadara encountered the Christ the devils cried out, saying, “Have You come here to TORMENT US before the time?” (Mat. 8:29). IT WAS TORMENT FOR A POSSESSED PERSON TO BE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE CHRIST. It is torment for any enemy of God to be ushered into the presence of God. Anyone who is unacquainted with God and happens to come into a group who are worshipping and praising God, is in torment all the time he is there. The sooner such a person can leave, the better he likes it. Such an atmosphere is hell for that person! Why is it so hard to get your unsaved loved ones and friends to go to Church? They are unhappy and miserable in a Church meeting! They are tormented when with the saints worshipping God. They are estranged from God, citizens of the devil’s kingdom, and cannot relate to the praises of God, the moving of the Holy Spirit, giving tithes, and the Word that is ministered. This all makes them unhappy and uncomfortable.

    Peter Marshall said that when the apostles preached the Gospel there were either riots or regeneration. The fact of the matter is that in most cases there were both, for the same Gospel melted some hearts and turned others to stone. People were led either to faith in Jesus Christ or they were stirred to the most violent animosity and enmity. Jesus Christ has always been either a stone of stumbling or the sure foundation stone. We build upon it or we stumble over it and are crushed by it. Riots or regeneration! Joy unspeakable and full of glory or torment! A person under deep conviction is tormented. Tormented with what? He is tormented with the fire of God’s holy presence, the fire of His penetrating, burning Word. He has no peace or rest, day or night. His conscience troubles him continually. When you and I were under deep conviction for our sins and past life we were tormented by the Holy Spirit, the presence of God. And we had no rest day or night. When we were finally broken by the Holy Spirit’s dealing and repented and confessed those sins to Jesus, we cried often and shed many bitter tears of remorse and regret. THAT, my friend, is exactly what the rebellious will do in the ages to come as God deals with “every man in his own order.” There was no short cut to salvation for us, and there will be none for them. In some cases it took months and years, sometimes a lifetime, of preaching and dealings to win our hearts to the Lord. And I am sure that it will take much preaching and many dealings along with the convicting power of the Holy Spirit to win the ignorant, disobedient, and defiant masses who lived and died in this world outside of Christ.

    A brother in the Lord shared this illustration of wicked people being tormented in the presence of the Lamb: “A few years ago, we often preached to ALL the women in the state penitentiary for women. They were forced to sit and listen while we sang about Jesus, talked about Jesus and preached about Him. Some wept, some stared, and some faces showed bitter hatred toward us. Others seemed to writhe and twist in mental anguish and physical torment. Why? Because they were forced to listen.There was no escape” -end quote.

    Suppose a few filthy, vile men and a few immoral women from some house of prostitution were forced to sit in the midst of a large congregation of singing, shouting, worshipping saints. This certainly would he torment to most of them. They would be tortured in the flames of the blazing glory of God in that place! If they were not held in their seats by force, most of them would rush out of there. I have been in meetings where I witnessed three responses to the glorious manifestation of the Lord’s presence. First, the saints who loved the Lord rejoiced and adoringly worshipped. Some who were not Christians, but whose hearts were tender toward the Lord, came under deep conviction and, weeping and broken, gave themselves into the loving hands of Jesus. But others, filled with self, haters of righteousness, I have seen jump up and literally run out of a meeting – TORMENTED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LAMB! Sure, they would rush, even run to get away from the convicting power of the Holy Ghost! I have seen it, and so have you.

    To the unsaved, HIS GLORY is a LAKE OF FIRE AND BRIMSTONE – divine, cleansing, purging, purifying, consuming fire! In ages yet unborn God shall expose ALL MEN to the sweet abiding presence of the Lamb. They will come under such severe processings, under such profound conviction that they will be tormented and have no rest day or night until they finally yield. And when they do, many fountains of tears will flow with weeping, praying, and calling upon the Lord. I believe it! God hasten it!


    by Gary Amirault

    When it comes to the final destination of the wicked, or unrighteous, Christians over the past two millenniums have divided themselves into three beliefs: 1. Eternal Torment, 2. Eternal Death (Annihilationism), and 3. Salvation of the whole world through Jesus Christ. Each of these views can be supported with Scriptures. Having been in all three groups, I know that there are sincere Bible centered believers in all of them. Obviously, all three cannot be true. Two of them have to be false.

    This writing is primarily for Christians who have embraced the Doctrine of Conditional Mortality, often referred to as “eternal death” and also “annihihationism.” Many who hold this view, have come to this conclusion because the “doctrine of eternal torment” was repugnant to them. They felt they could bow down to such a God, but could not truly love Him. I know most Christians who hold this view are Bible students, that is, they spend time in the Bible, and enjoy deep study. This writing is design for that kind of mind and attitude. Some of it is rather technical. It has to be. Having studied and been in all three camps regarding the outcome of the fate of the wicked, (eternal torment, eternal death, and the ultimate salvation of all mankind) I feel what is contained in this writing will be helpful to those who cannot love an Eternal Tormentor. This work will also be useful to those holding a view other than eternal death, but the focus of the study is on passages used to support “eternal death.” Therefore, I did not deal with many passages of scripture that the other two groups would perhaps want covered. I have other literature and audio tapes on the other viewpoints.

    Several denominations, Bible study groups, and many millions of Christians believe and teach the doctrine of “Eternal Death.” I know many Christians, even though they attend a main line Protestant or Catholic Church, do not believe God will really torture people forever. These often believe they will just go into unconsciousness never to wake. Millions of people who do not consider themselves Christians believe in “eternal death.” Many atheists, agnostics, as well as other religions believe we will just return to dust. Is it Scriptural? It certainly is more merciful than “eternal torment,” but can it stand on Scriptural ground? Let us see.

    This study deals with the leading scriptures which are used to justify the “Doctrine of Eternal Death.” We will look into the Greek and Hebrew words as well as the English verses used to teach this doctrine to see if this doctrine can stand up to a thorough test. After all, I think most people would agree, it would be much easier to love a God who just ends a life as opposed to One Who viciously tortures His own creatures. When we see this in a human being, we call them sick, but somehow we don’t seem to have the nerve to call this kind of God “sick” also. The beginning of wisdom is to “fear” the Lord, so they say, but what kind of fear, terror or awe?

    The word “annihilation” is used in this study as meaning that the ungodly, the wicked, the “unsaved,” will be ultimately completely destroyed. The English words used in the scriptures to prove this teaching are destroy, perish, abolish, destruction, loss, etc. And words such as everlasting, eternal, and forever.

    This teaching is not a new doctrine. It has been taught by some Christians throughout the history of the Christian Church. It is a fact that many scriptures in English translations do teach the destruction of some people. In this study, we will consider the original Greek words translated, destroy, destruction, etc., and what these words meant at the time they were written. We will also look at the words translated everlasting, eternal, forever, world, age, damn etc. This study will not deny that “destruction” is taught in the English scriptures. We do, however, want to be certain what “destruction” meant to the original writers of the scriptures. We often read words in Bibles through our sectarian definitions.

    It is usage of words that determines the meaning of words. The meaning of words are often changed as the word travels through the history of a people. The word “carriage” referred to “that which is carried” in King James England. Today, it refers to a vehicle that carries. The English word “let” was often used to mean “restrain” in King James English. Today, it has taken on the opposite meaning of “allow.” These are a couple examples of thousands of occurrences of dramatic changes in word usage. The word “villain” used to mean someone who lived in a villa, a rural person. Obviously, that meaning has been completely replaced. This is why it is important to study the words in their historical and cultural sense. There are places in the King James Bible where one would actually completely change the meaning of the passage if one used today’s definitions of certain words found in the King James Bible.

    This study will include a study of the original Greek words and the English words, destroy, destruction, etc., as used in our Bibles. In order to compare the Greek with the English, we must have certain tools to work with. In this study, we must first have a good reference Bible. There are several good reference Bibles. One of the best as far as King James Versions go, is Dr. Bullinger’s Companion Bible.

    The original texts of the Bible were inspired by the Creator, but no translation or version is inerrant. Now, I realize there will be readers who will differ with me on what I just said, but if you lay any of the ten leading English Bibles before me, it will be very easy to show differences in translation among them which involve key doctrinal issues. I will be more than happy to point out a few for those who do not believe me. Write me and I will send you examples.

    We also do not have the original writings. When we translate, we translate from copies of copies of copies, often many generations away from the original. Since the copies were made by hand, there is not one copy today which agrees with another copy. This is a fact! If Christians were made aware of some of these things, perhaps they would spend more time in study and less time watching the Super Bowl, or the soaps.

    A reference Bible that shows some of the variants of different manuscripts is very helpful. Also, a good concordance to the translation you are using is essential. Notice I said a “good” concordance. Many Christians do not even realize that each translation requires it’s own concordance. The famous Strong’s Concordance is only useful for the King James Translation. Should you be using the KJV, I recommend using the Young’s Concordance over the Strong’s Concordance because it is much easier to see the original words in the context of the sentences in which they are located. Mr. Young was also brave enough to make notice of places where he believes the King James translators made some grave mistakes. He also wrote a literal Bible translation which is very useful. I highly encourage at this time, for the reader to get their concordance and use it as we go through the following word study. Although, I personally think the KJV is a terrible translation to use in the twentieth century, we will use it for this study because most people have one and a concordance that works with the King James Bible. The truth can be found even in archaic translations if one searches honestly.

    Many of the passages below which deal with the Greek language have been taken almost word for word from audio tapes prepared by Louis Abbott from Stover, Missouri. Mr. Abbott has the largest library of New Testament Greek references of anyone I know. Many Bible colleges and seminaries do not have many of the books he possesses. Mr. Abbott spends most of his evenings and weekends reading and studying Greek. He has studied these particular words more than anyone I know. An objective reading of his findings would serve us all well.

    We hear the words “eternal death” in Christian creeds. Although many Christians use these words, the words “eternal death” are not in the scriptures. Again, I repeat, the words “eternal death” are not in our Bibles. Therefore, to study the teaching of “annihilation” or “eternal death” we will have to look for other words to study, “eternal death” is nowhere to be found.

    The opposite of life is death and the opposite of death is life. According to the scriptures, there cannot be an eternal death. The scriptures declare an “end” to death. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1 Cor. 15:26, KJV) Let us see that “death” cannot be “eternal.”


    Resurrection Versus “Being Made Alive”

    The Greek word translated destroy in the above scripture (1Cor. 15:26,27) is not “apollumi.” The word used here is “katageo” and means to nullify, discard, exempt, abolish, to make unproductive. This “last enemy” of Christ will ultimately be “nullified, discarded, abolished, or destroyed.” Therefore, this clearly teaches that death is the last enemy and that in the future “death” will be destroyed. Hence, there can be no “eternal death.” To teach an “eternal death” is to contradict the scriptures.

    How will death be destroyed? Paul give the answer in the context, “For as in Adam all die, even so, in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22, KJV) Now I know that some say that Paul is teaching in this verse that all will be resurrected, but the word used by Paul is “zoopoiethesontai” and this is a future passive verb meaning to vivify, to make alive beyond the reach of death. The Greek word “anastasis” means resurrection and is used in verse 21. We know that Jesus resurrected several people as recorded in the Gospels, but that does not mean they received unending life at that point. 1 Corinthians 15:22-28 teaches that there are three classes of orders that will be made alive. First, Christ, the first fruit. The word “first fruit” is singular in the Greek, not first fruits plural as in the King James Version. Second, they that are Christ’s at His coming (Greek, parousia, appearing). This class includes all the Christians dead or alive. (See 1 Thess. 4:13-18) The third class is referred to as “then cometh the end.” This includes the residue of all mankind who died in Adam. This is clearly taught in 1 Cor. 15:22-28. Therefore, these scriptures teach that all mankind who die in Adam will be made alive in Christ and I repeat, this is not resurrection. Unfortunately, many translations put a period between the second and third order of being made alive. The Greek does not have a period here. (1 Cor. 15:23,24) It is supplied by some translators.

    The scriptures teach that all will be resurrected. (Study John 5:28,29) The dead in Christ when made alive will be resurrected as being “made alive” which includes resurrection but being “made alive” means more than resurrection. “Made alive” means make alive beyond death. May I remind you that not all Christians will be resurrected. Many Christians will be alive when Christ returns. Therefore, living Christians will not be resurrected, but they will be made alive or vivified. Notice these scriptures: “Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. For the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality.” (1 Cor. 15:51-53) “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep,. That ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thess. 4:13-18, KJV; here is an example of a KJV word “prevent” which has completely lost its meaning. In the 1600’s the word meant “precede,” not “hinder.”)

    It is most important to remember vivification or being made alive cannot be limited to resurrection of the dead. Resurrection is limited to the dead. You cannot resurrect the living, yet the living in Christ will be “made alive” at Christ’s coming (Gr. Parousia). I am speaking of the literal meaning of the resurrection. I do not want to dwell any longer on these words as our subject is “destruction.”


    There are two elements one needs to determine the meaning of a word which has been important over a long period of time: 1. The original meaning of the root word from which it is derived, so far as we are able to determine. 2. The history of the word as it passes from one generation to another. Other languages, social pressures, or one important person’s or an institution’s variant use of the word whose definition sticks with that word.

    When we go back to the earliest uses of the word “apollumi,” “apolleia” and their cognates, we find the words very indistinguishable from each other. We find the word in Homer where the “slayers and the slain” were “perishing from the world,” but they reappear in Hades as persons capable of sorrow, joy and the ability to think. (Iliad 24:725) “We were ‘undone’ by their wisdom,” says Odysseus. (Od. 10:27) According to Professor Plumtree, he knows of no passages in the earliest uses of these words which would mean destruction of conscious existence. (The Spirits in Prison, E.H. Plumtree) Searching the Greek Old Testament called the Septuagint, we find exactly the same usage of these words that we find in the New Testament. Below are examples of how these words were used in the Biblical sense.

    Those who teach “eternal death” or “annihilation” believe the Greek words translated “destroy,” “perish,” “loss,” mean cessation or end of life with no hope of recovery at a later time. The original words used in the Greek New Testament are: the verb “apollumi,” and the noun, “apolleia.” The verb “apollumi” is translated as follows in the King James Version: perish (33 times), destroy (46 times), lose (42 times), be lost (5 times), lost (4 times), bemarred (1 time), die (1 time), for a total of 92 times. The noun “apolleia” is translated as follows in the King James Version: perdition (8 times), destruction (5 times), waste (2 times), damnable (1 time), damnation (1 time), to die (1 time), perish (1 time), pernicious way (1 time), for a total of 40 times.

    It is important that Christians understand the meaning of these two Greek words. An improper understanding of these words will result in an inaccurate faith in the destiny of the unbelievers and an inaccurate understanding of God’s plan and love. To apply these words to the final destiny of the unbelievers will result in the denial of many scriptures that do refer to the ultimate plan of God’s love. I recommend that you check the following scriptures with your concordances. It is not practical for me to quote over 110 verses. Therefore, I will quote only those passages used by those who are teaching that these words mean “destruction with no future resurrection to immortality.”

    First of all, let me state that I believe the original Hebrew and Greek scriptures were inspired by God. I believe the Creator allowed imperfect man to add his imperfections into Bible translations. When we look at the apostles and prophets, we quickly notice they were far from perfect, and yet were still mightily used. We see Peter, years after he received the Holy Spirit, play the hypocrite when being around gentiles. Paul had to rebuke him to his face. We read Paul saying, “I, not the Lord, say . . .” We find this in the scriptures in 1 Corinthians 7:12. I believe the Creator left us with imperfect English translations that we might rely on the Holy Spirit first. When one puts the scriptures above being lead by the Spirit, religious rigor mortus quickly sets in. The letter of the law produces death apart from the Holy Spirit quickening to us. This is true whether it is the Old Testament or New Testament. If one’s witness in this world does not go past the Written Word, it will only be a witness to religious death . . . not life.

    When quoting the scriptures contained herein, I will read the King James Version, and immediately after the English word, I will quote the original Greek vocabulary word. Thus the listener will know the original inspired word. By this method, I believe that Christians who do not know Greek will be able to understand how these words are used in the inspired text. I will quote verses that will clearly illustrate what these two Greek words mean.

    The meaning of a word depends on its usage. Words get their color from their context. Without any dictionary whatever, it is possible to determine the meaning of almost any word if it is seen in a dozen sentences. From this we made deduce the notable conclusion that the actual and understood meaning of a Greek or English word in the Bible is not necessarily its current or dictionary meaning, but that which it absorbs from the passage in which it is found. A dictionary simply records the usage as employed by careful writers of the time for which the dictionary is written.

    The word “destruction” is one of the key words of the scriptures. Hence, no amount of investigation is excessive if it provides us with a clear comprehension of its meaning. There have been endless discussions about this word resulting in diverging schools of interpretation. But most of the discussions that I have studied, do not give a satisfactory answer to all of the scriptures.

    The argument has been propounded that the first occurrence of a word in the scriptures fixes its primary meaning thus the first occurrence of “apollumi” is Matthew 2:13. “Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.” In this context, it is argued that “apollumi” means deprivation of life. Now what is this first occurrence of this word in the Greek New Testament. As to chronological time, Paul was the first to put “apollumi” into the scriptures; see 2 Thessalonians 2:10. Matthew did not write until later. Was it necessary for the Thessalonians to wait until Matthew was written in order to know its meaning? It is not at all logical to argue that the vocabulary of the Greek scriptures was not defined until the Gospels were written. Let us test this theory.

    The Greek noun “ta Biblion” is the diminutive form of “ha Biblios.” Ha Biblios means a written volume, a scroll. The diminutive “Biblion” means a scrollet or scroll. In Matthew 19:7, its first occurrence, it is a short legal instrument what we call a divorce paper. This is not its primary or usual meaning. For it is used to describe the book of Isaiah and the book of Revelation (see Luke 4:17 and Rev 22:19). Thus in usage this is applied to any book even a large one.

    Here is an excellent example from the Old Testament. For instance, there is much controversy as to the meaning of the word “sin.” No occurrence is an illustration better than in Judges 20:16. “Among all this people there were 700 chosen men left handed; every one could sling stones at a hairs breadth and not miss.” The Septuagint reads: “Kai ouk examartanontes.” Therefore, sin in this context, is missing the mark. This literal etymological meaning is worth more than all the arguments which can be advanced. What a mistake it would be to reason from its first occurrence in Genesis 26 that its primary meaning confines it to social trespasses. It would greatly distort the meaning of Judges 20:16, if that meaning were applied to the word “sin” in this context. The only sound system of determining the primary meaning of any word in the scriptures is to study all its occurrences and to inject nothing into its meaning which clashes with any of its contexts.

    Again, I ask the reader to study these two words “apollumi” and “apolleia” in a concordance that lists all of the occurrences of these words. This is the only method to know the true primary meaning of these words. The argument that “destroy” in Matthew 2:13 means “deprive of live” is an unfounded inference. “Deprive of life” would partially define the following Greek words. I quote the Greek word first followed with a literal English translation. “Apokteino” (kill), “sphatto” (slay), “onireko” (dispatch, assassinate, massacre), “phoneuo” (murder). Every occurrence of these words actually mean “to deprive of life.”

    “Destroy, perish, (apollumi) are used of things which have no life. “Wine runneth out and the bottles perish (apollumi).” (Matt. 9:17, see also Mark 2:22, Luke 5:37) Skinned bottles do not die when they perish. “Verily I say unto you he shall in no wise lose (apollumi) his reward.” Matt. 10:42 (Compare Mark 9:41) A reward is not mortal. “That the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perish (apollumi)” (1 Peter 1:7, compare Luke 15:8) Gold and money may perish and be lost but they are not deprived of life. The words which actually do mean “to deprive of life” could not be used in these verses. Neither the primary nor secondary nor any other meaning of “destroy” demands that life be taken. This is entirely a matter of the context. It is not included in the meaning of the words “apollumi” and “apolleia.”

    “Apollumi” is used of that which is alive. “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose (apollumi) one of them, does not leave the 99 in the wilderness and go after that which is lost (apollumi) until he find it. And when he has found it he layeth it on his shoulders rejoicing. And when he commeth home he calls together his friends and neighbors saying unto them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost (apollumi).'” (Luke 15:4-6) If the lost (apollumi) sheep had been deprived of life, would the shepherd have rejoiced when he found the carcass? The word “apollumi” occurs 8 times in Luke chapter 15. See verses 4, 6,8,9,17,24, and 32. Not one of these occurrences means to deprive of life. Our Lord directed His disciples “Go rather to the lost (apollumi) sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 10:6) The lost” sheep of Israel were no more dead than the “lost” destroyed sheep which the shepherd sought and found.

    A word, whose primary meaning is to deprive of life cannot have a secondary meaning of a state of life. Life is not a secondary meaning of death. Our Lord said to His disciples, “He that findeth his life (psuche, soul) shall lose it, and he that loses (apollumi) his life (psuche, soul) shall find it.” (Matt. 10:39, compare Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, and 17:33) Is our Lord urging them to commit suicide? The text refers to the destruction of the soul. Please note the Greek text reads “psuche” soul, not “zoe” life, as the King’s translators translated this passage. The destruction of the soul does not mean death, it means to forgo the pleasure of life and endure the suffering due to faithfulness to Christ. Surely, no one will argue that “He that loses (apollumi) his soul” for Christ will be destroyed without hope of life later. Many Christians martyrs were destroyed by burning at the stake. Their souls were destroyed but who will argue that they will not be resurrected in the future and enjoy immortality.

    I believe there is one paramount scripture that should teach us what the word “apollumi” means. “For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost (apollumi).” (Luke 19:10) This passage refers specifically to Zacchaeus; he was lost, destroyed. Because he was lost, he was ready to be found and saved. The theory of most false definitions of “apollumi” is to prove that the word means “death” from which there is no resurrection, practical annihilation, a state from which salvation is impossible. This passage directly destroys this theory. Instead of the lost being beyond salvation, they alone are eligible for salvation. You cannot rescue a man who is save and sound. It is only when a man is in the state denoted by “apollumi” that salvation can operate in his behalf. Antithetical statements such as this are of great value in the study of words. The terms “seek” and “save,” are accurate indications of the opposite of destroy. One who is “destroyed” must be lost or no one would seek him. He must be in a state which calls for salvation or Christ would not have come for him. This proves that destruction is a salvable condition, not a state beyond the reach of deliverance. Add to this the fact only the “lost” are “saved” and it reverses the usual theory of “destruction.” God seeks what he has “lost.” It is a sad fact that most Christians believe that Jesus is seeking to save the “lost” yet on the other hand they do not believe that He will save the “lost.” They do not believe that Jesus will save “lost” mankind. Thus Jesus will not be successful in seeking and saving the lost.

    “Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished (apollumi).” (1 Cor. 15:18) Are the Christians who are now sleeping deprived of future life? They are at present time “perished.” They are now deprived of life, but in the future, they will be resurrected to life that is immortal.

    “But if thy brother be grieve with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitable, destroy (apollumi) not him with thy meat for whom Christ died.” (Rom. 14:15, compare 1 Cor. 8:11) According to these scriptures, we can destroy one of our brethren by eating foods which he deems unclean. Does our eating deprive him of life? That would be an easy way to commit legal murder.

    Destruction is a relative term. The coin was lost in relation to the woman. (Luke 15:8,9) The sheep was destroyed as regards to the shepherd. (Luke 15:4-7) The prodigal son had perished in relation to his father. (Luke 15:11-32) So with the destroyed sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt. 10:5,6) They were not deprived of life, they were away from the great shepherd, their Creator. The prodigals were far off from their father who created them, who loves them, who commissioned His Son Jesus to come to seek and save them. Does this prove they were outside of this affair of salvation? It proves the opposite. Destruction is a prelude to salvation. It never means ultimate annihilation.

    The method of destruction or losing is not included in the meaning of the word. It varies with the context. Those who use the sword “shall perish” (apollumi) with the sword.” (Matt. 26:52) “But the chief priest and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy (apollumi) Jesus.” (Matt. 27:20) Destroy Jesus? Thus our Lord was destroyed by crucifixion. Who will argue that the destruction of Jesus was annihilation? Jesus was only destroyed 3 days and nights, and He returned to life and has immortality.

    The disciples were afraid that they would perish by drowning. (Mark 4:38) The sheep was destroyed by straying. ( Luke 15:4) The prodigal son was lost for the same reason. (Luke 15:24) The fragments that remain would have been lost (apollumi) by neglect. (John 6:12) Food perished (apollumi) by decay. (John 6:27) We may destroy a brother by means of food. (Romans 14:15) We may destroy a weak saint by our knowledge. (1 Cor. 8:11) Especially note the last two passages since they apply to believers in Christ. Can we “annihilate” one of our own brothers with food? Christians saved in Christ may be lost or destroyed. God ultimately will not put out of existence those who are lost. God commends His love to us in that He gave His Son Christ Jesus while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8) Our Lord spoke the parable of the Lost Sheep in order to assure His disciples that God was concerned about the one sheep that had strayed. There is no line that the sinner crosses that brings him beyond the reach of God. Neither life, nor death, nor destruction, neither a career of sin, nor a decaying corpse is any obstacle to Divine Love. Nay, they are challenges which omnipotence must victoriously conquer or suffer defeat. No death, either first or second, can cope with our God or frustrate His purpose. Study Ephesians 1:9-11, Isaiah 46:8-13.

    Everyone who has lost anything will bear me witness that the moment it is missing, it assumes an interest and importance which it never had before. Its value increases and we desire it more than ever. Its loss, instead of breaking our connection with it, forges a new link which did not exist before. This becomes tragically true when we lose a loved one. Loss alone brings a realization of the preciousness of possession. Let us never imagine that God is not concerned about the lost; that He is insensible to their condition, or that He would sit complacently by and see them rush to endless oblivion, if He could do anything to head them off. There are a million ways in which we could do this if we had but a tenth of His power. God is able. If the reader of this message will not acknowledge this, he must wait until God makes him realize this.

    “Ha Theos agape estin,” God is love and all His creatures are dear to Him. Is it not striking that He does not even try to express His affection until they are lost? Whom does God love? He undoubtedly loves all. Whom does He say He loves? God loves the world, (John 3:16) and sinners and His enemies, (Romans 5:8, 1 Cor. 15:22-28) and those who are lost. In God’s wisdom, He has decreed that many shall be lost to Him until the end of the ages. Men are often compelled to abandon an enterprise which proved too much for their power. Image that God is also compelled to abandon His “will to have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth?” (1 Tim. 2:4, compare 1 Tim. 4:9-11) Thus God is unable to save all? Or being able He does not? These errors have polluted the minds of millions of men that they have corrupted the Scriptures to teach everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46) or everlasting destruction, (2 Thess. 1:8,9) and neither of these translations are correct.

    Men are sometimes compelled to kill an animal to put it out of pain. They would not do so if they could cure it. Is our God like this? Is God impotent, powerless to cope with those who are destroyed? All that man can do is kill. They cannot recall from death. Is God also limited like we are? Christ proclaimed Himself as the resurrection and the life. Is the Creator unable to make man respond to His unconditional love? Is His love so repugnant or powerless that it can not loose those enchained to hate, fear, ignorance, etc.?


    The Greek noun “apolleia” is in the Greek text which the King’s translators used in Acts 25:16 which reads: “To whom I answered, it is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die (apolleia).” Many scriptures clearly teach that all the dead will be resurrected for judgment. (See Daniel 12:1-3, John 5:28,29, Acts 24:15, Rev. 20:11-15) Therefore those delivered by the Romans to die will be resurrected to life. A Christian martyr is resurrected unto immortality. The sinners, the unbelievers are resurrected to judgment. But death is not the ultimate destiny of any man. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1 Cor. 15:26) How will death be abolished? The context gives the answer. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor.15:22) According to the historians, Paul was later to die at the hands of the Romans and surely will not ultimately be destroyed.

    his word , apolleia, is also translated into damnable, damnation, perdition, destruction, pernicious, waste, and perish long with the above meaning of “to die.” Those of you who believe in “annihilation” should know that it doesn’t matter how bad the word may sound if it only applies to a person before the second death. The resurrection will raise everyone up and give them an opportunity to “get it right.” But for those of you who lean toward “eternal punishment,’ this study of the word “damn” should prove worthwhile.


    I will begin with a large quote from a book entitled Mercy and Judgment by F.W. Farrar, a canon of the Anglican Church. He writes on page 369:

    The words “damn” and its derivatives do not once occur in the Old Testament. In the New Testament they are the exceptional and arbitrary translation of two Greek verbs or their derivatives; which occur 308 times. These words are “apollumi” and “krino.” “Apolleia” (destruction or waste) is once rendered “damnation” and once “damnable.” (2 Peter 2:3, and 2 Peter 2:1); “krino,” (judge) occurs 114 times, and is only once rendered “damned.” (1 Thess. 2:12). “Krima, (judgment or sentence) occurs 24 time, and is 7 times rendered “damnation.” “KataKrino,” (I condemn) occurs 24 times, and is twice only rendered “be damned.”

    Now turn to a modern dictionary, and you will see “damnation” defined as “exclusion from divine mercy; condemnation to eternal punishment.” In common usage the word has no other sense.

    But to say that such is the necessary meaning of the words which are rendered by “damn” and “damnation,” is to say what is absurdly and even wickedly false. It is to say that a widow who marries again must be damned to endless torments (1 Tim. 5:12, “having damnation,” krima), although St. Paul expressly recommends young widows to do so two verses later on. It is to say that everyone who ever eats the Lord’s Supper unworthily, eats and drinks “eternal punishment” to himself, though St. Paul adds, almost in the next verse, that the judgment (krima) is disciplinary or educational, to save us from condemnation. (1 Cor. 11:29-34) It is to say that “the Day of Judgment” ought to be called “Day of Damnation.” (John 5:29) It is curious that our translators have chosen this most unfortunate variation of “damn” and its cognates only fifteen times out of upwards of two hundred times that krino and its cognates occur; and that they have used it for “krisis” and “krima,” not for the stronger compounds “katakrima,” etc. The translators, however, may not be to blame. It is probable that “damn” was once a milder word than condemn, and had a far milder meaning than that which modern eschatology has furnished to modern blasphemy. We find from an Act passed when a John Russell was Chancellor (in the reign of Richard III or Henry VII.), that the sanction of an Act against extorted benevolences is called “a damnation”–that is, “the infliction of a loss.” This is the true etymological meaning of the word, as derived from damnum, “a loss”; and this original meaning is still found in such words as “damnify,” “indemnify,” and “indemnity.” In the margin of I Cor. 11:29, we find “judgment” for “damnation”; whereas in verse 32 the “judgment” of the Lord is milder than His” condemnation.” Dr. Hey, in his lecture on the Ninth Article, thinks that the phrase, “it deserveth God’s wrath and damnation,” is used in the milder sense of the word which was originally prevalent. However this may be, the word has, as the Bishop of Chester says, undergone a modification of meaning from the lapse of time, and it is an unmixed gain that both it and its congeners will wholly disappear from the revised version of the English Bible. “Judgment” and “condemnation” are the true representatives of krisis and katakrisis, and they are not steeped, like the word “damnation,” in a mass of associated conceptions which do not naturally or properly belong to them. Equally unfortunate is the word “hell.”

    The above was written in 1881, the year the first revision of the King James Bible appeared. It appears the author above, in his prediction about the “damn” words being removed from the revision was true. Checking a Revised Standard Concordance, I discovered the “damn” words were gone. To show you the above scholars were correct in tracing the “damn” word, I will quote from a modern dictionary of word origins by John Ayto. It is entitled Dictionary of Word Origins published in 1990.

    Damn Damn comes via Old French “damner” from Latin “damnare,” a derivative of the noun “damnum.” This originally meant ‘loss, harm’ (it is the source of English ‘damage’), but the verb “damnare” soon spread its application to ‘pronounce judgment upon,’ in both the legal and the theological sense. These meanings (reflected also in the derived ‘condemn’) followed the verb through Old French into English, which dropped the strict legal sense around the 16th century but has persisted with the theological one and its more profane offshoots. Condemn, damage, indemnity.

    In conclusion, I must repeat that these words “apollumi” and “apolleia” like so many other words such as “krima,” “krino,” and “krisis” are relative terms. The first two words usually carry the sense of loss by someone. God is the great loser in many of their occurrences. The coin was lost by the woman, the sheep was lost by the shepherd, the prodigal son was lost by the father, Israel was lost by Yahweh, men are lost by God. Who was it that created them? Are they not His work? Will He not be the loser if they are not saved?

    Almost all the reasoning about the words translated “destruction” fails to recognize the deity of God. We are asked to consider the fate of wineskins which were destroyed. We are told that as wineskins they past out of existence. Therefore, those who teach annihilation say, men pass out of existence as such when they are destroyed. The fact that these words “apollumi” and “apolleia” are never used of the second death in which this final destruction is supposed to take place should show the fallacy of this reasoning. The fact that all who are destroyed or lost are resurrected to be judged, absolutely refutes the idea of any final destruction. In the theory of annihilation, God is left out of it. We should not equate men losing wineskins to God losing men. Who lost the wineskins? Who lost the men?” Suppose we are not able to recover what we lost. Is that proof that God cannot do so? Are we the equals of the Creator? Did anything originate with us? Why then reason about God as though He were unable to find and save what He has lost. God can recall His creatures from the tomb, can we? All mankind was lost and all mankind will be justified and made alive by God. Study Roman 5:18,19 and 1 Cor. 15:22-28 and Col. 1:16-20.

    When we touched the “damn” words (because apolleia was translated as such a couple of times), we found that changes in our English language combined with theological tamperings, have introduced words into our Bibles that no longer convey the true spirit in which the original writers wrote. The word “hell” has almost completely disappeared in most Bible translations. Many of the religiously tainted renderings found in our Bibles are being removed. This is coming about because we are beginning to bypass the inadequate scholarship of the dark ages and reformation which was plagued with superstition and medieval concepts. Due to discoveries such as those found at Qumran, Israel and the deserts of Egypt, we are able to get closer to the original manuscripts and the original meaning of the Greek and Hebrew words contained in the Bible. For more information about words in some of our Bibles which do not faithfully convey the original meaning, write for the audio tape, A Word About The Word.

    Matthew 10:28

    There is no reasoning so utterly vain as that which uses one passage of scripture in order to destroy our faith in another. Correctly translated and interpreted with the help of the Holy Spirit, there is no conflict in the Word of God. Matt. 10:28 says, “And fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul but rather fear Him Who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Greek, Gehenna).” These words are supposed to prove ultimate destruction of sinners. In this passage, our Lord is speaking to His disciples regarding the suffering required for entrance into the kingdom. Men will hate them and kill them. Literally death always effects body, soul, and spirit, but our Lord is speaking of their experiences, what they will suffer for His sake. Men will slay them. James and Peter were killed. After they were killed, they suffered no more. In a very real sense, those who killed their bodies ushered their souls into the kingdom without further pain. Speaking of God being able to destroy both body and soul, He is able to do many things, but that does not mean He will do them. He is able to blot a name out of the Lamb’s book of life. You are able to stick a dagger into your right eye, but that doesn’t mean that you ever will. Be careful what you tell the world that the Creator is going to do. You may find yourself adding to His Word. To be able to do something is not the same as actually doing it.

    Every Christian was once lost, destroyed. Not only was this no hindrance to their deliverance, but it was absolutely essential to it. God had lost them. Through Christ, God has found and saved them. The same is true of those who are not now saved. Please remember there is not one except Jesus Christ, who was not lost and had need of a Savior. Some God will call tomorrow, many He will not call until another age. God has definitely declared that He is the Savior of all mankind. (Study 1 Tim. 2:3-6, 4:9-11) Since God has lost them and He has said He will save them, they will be saved in their own order. (Study 1 Cor. 15:22-28.)

    Destruction, like aionian life, is relative to the eons or the ages. After the eons, all will be vivified. The word used in 1 Cor. 15:22 is not resurrection (anastasias). As mentioned before, the word used is the Greek “zoopoieo” which means to vivify, to make alive, to be made immortal. The apostle Paul tells us very clearly in that verse that all that are dying in Adam, the same all, will be or shall be made alive in Christ. Neither destruction nor aionian life are the end or aim of God. Imagine a God Whose very essence is love, losing a single creature who has an endless capacity of loving and glorifying Him. To create a creature whose purpose is to manifest the image of God, and then destroy it because it did not live up to the Creator’s expectations sounds like something Hollywood would dream up. It sounds like a Frankenstein movie. Is this what God has produced? An error? Then God is sinful. He missed the mark, His purpose, His creation is flawed. What foolish thinking this is! We do not have such a God; He destroys nothing that He cannot restore. He loses nothing that will not return to Him. Destruction is a passing process, not a finished goal. What He destroys is our life to sin that we might live to Him who is Life! First comes death from which He brings life. We produces a field well fertilized with death and then He plants His seed in it to produce life. He produced the exact amount of death to produce the exact amount of Life He intended. Believe me, our Father wastes nothing! Through destruction, God will work out the welfare of His creatures and bring unending glory to our Savior and Creator.

    I know that the scriptures say that God loves the world, thus all mankind, and that God’s love will never fail. (Study 1 Cor. 13.) Therefore, God will resurrect all sinners and judge them and ultimately save them all. We forget that when God’s judgments are in the earth, the world will learn righteousness. (Isa. 26:9) This is God’s will and He will not be defeated. God’s love will be victorious. The scriptures clearly teach that the lost will be judged in accord with their works. “For the Son of Man shall come in the Glory of His Father with His angels and then He shall reward every man according to his works.” (Matt. 17:27) And again, “Who will render every man according to his deeds.” (Rom. 2:6) And again, “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it and death and hell (Hades) delivered up the dead which were in them. And they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell (hades) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” (Rev. 20:13,14) Hence all at the Great White Throne Judgment will be judged according to their works and as every man’s works are different, thus every one’s judgment will be as variable as their works. Thereafter, they are returned to the second death which is the lake of fire. There is no variance in the second death. It is the same for all thus it cannot be the judgment according to works.

    Many teach that the lake of fire is a place where the sinners are alive and consciously suffering endless misery. On the other hand, many are teaching that the lake of fire is endless destruction. Both of these doctrines are making God the loser of some or most of His creation. He came to “seek and save that which was lost,” but apparently He will fail to fulfill His mission. (Luke 19:10) “Who will have all men to come into the knowledge of the truth, Who is the savior of all men.” (1 Tim. 2:3, 4:10) God says,

    “I am God and there is none like me declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done saying ‘My counsel shall stand and I will do all my pleasure calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country. Yea, I have spoken it. I will also bring it to pass. I have proposed it; I will also do it.” (Isa. 46:9-11)

    Hence God declares He will do all His pleasure. He has proposed it and will bring it to pass. Notice this quotation in which God says through the apostle Paul,

    “Having made known unto us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure which He has proposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of time He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth even in Him in Whom also we have obtained an inheritance being predestined according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” (Eph. 1:9,10)

    Therefore it is the good pleasure which God has proposed in Himself to have an administration in the fullness of the era to head up all in the Christ. See the Greek text. Thus in the scriptures we have grace which exhibits God’s glory and results in forgiveness and salvation to all. (See Phil. 2:9-13, Col. :16-20)

    In these verses in Colossians chapter one we have the word all used 7 times in the King James Version. All Christians will accept all of these all’s through verse 16, 17, 18, 19, but when we come to verse 20, they argue that it cannot be. God is not going to reconcile all, they say. (Greek, ta panta). Now, I ask you is this being fair to God’s word? Verse 16 says He creates all and we have many other passages of scriptures which tell us He creates all, but yet, they will reject verse 20 where He says He will reconcile all. Again, I ask, is that being fair to scripture? Why not believe the scriptures? We go to church, hear that beautiful hymn, There is Power in the Blood, yet we do not believe there is enough power to do what Colossians 1:20 tells us, that is, to reconcile all.

    If one refused to believe these plain statements in the scriptures, then they will have to wait until God displays He marvelous grace in the coming administration. Then they will see His grace displayed and this can be expressed in three words: seeing is believing. Therefore, I assume, in spite of the dozens of scriptures that teach God loves all and will reconcile all, many people will have to see God’s grace manifested before they will believe.

    But men make God’s love to narrow
    by false limits of their own
    and they magnify His vengeance
    with a zeal He will not own.

    Remember, our Lord Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This He said signifying what death He should die.” (John 12:32,33) We know Jesus was lifted up on Calvary. Why not believe these clear plain words of our Savior and also the words of apostle Paul where he says, “all will be reconciled” (Col. 1:20) “all will be justified” (Rom. 5:18,19), “and all shall be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). Why not believe these clear plain statements. Why argue that these plain statements are not true. There can be no statements in the scriptures correctly interpreted and translated that contradict this glorious truth of the salvation of all people.


    2 THESSALONIANS 1:7-10

    Another scripture in the King James Version used to teach annihilation is:

    “and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when He shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all of them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. (1 Thess. 1:7-10, KJV)

    Question: Do the Greek words translated by the King’s translators “everlasting” and “destruction” mean a condition from which there is no hope of a future life?



    First let us look at the word translated “everlasting.” The following few pages should clearly show that some English translators of the Bible have caused some serious problems for Christians and the rest of the world. It will be shown that a little four letter word can totally change the character of the Creator and our relationship to Him. May translations of the future be more faithful to the Greek and Hebrew languages and to the nature of the Creator of us all which is love, a love which the most eloquent of words cannot describe. This one little four letter word, mistranslated by many Bible translations has tarnish His Character to where an earthly father’s love exceeds that of the Creator’s. After all, few earthly fathers would burn their children in a barbecue pit for even a few hours. Many modern Bibles portray the Father of all mankind torturing most of mankind not for just a few hours, but for all eternity. According to the majority view of church theology, He will not change His mind in this area, it is a finished deal. Let us see if the Greek and Hebrew texts bears this out. The word “aion” in the New Testament in Matthew 24:3 is translated “world” in the King James Version. As we can see from the other versions below, scholars now believe it should have been translated “age.”

    “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the world?” (KJV)

    “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (New KJV)

    “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (NIV)

    “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (NASB)

    Why is it so important to differentiate between these two words one might ask? Because there are many different “ages” according to the Bible, but our theological minds picture basically only two “worlds,” the one that is and the one to come. It is this mistranslation of “aion” that has caused many people to rightfully say the Bible contradicts itself. The King James Version speaks of the “end of the world”(Matt. 24:3) and then talks about the same world “without end.” (Eph. 3:21, Isa. 45:17) It speaks of “everlasting hills” (Gen. 49:26, Deut. 33:15) which will one day no longer be “everlasting.” Isaiah 40:4 tells us “every mountain and hill will be made low” and “all the earth shall be burned up” in 2 Peter 3:10. Revelation 11:15 speaks of Jesus as reigning “forever and ever” ( a double use of “aion”) while 1 Corinthians 15:25 says Jesus must rule “till He hath put all enemies under His feet.” He then will deliver up a perfected kingdom to the Father who becomes “all in all.” Does He reign “till” or “forever.” Exodus 21:5,6 tells us a slave will serve his master for “ever,” when clearly death will end his servitude. Leviticus 24:8 says the Mosaic covenant is to be an “everlasting” covenant whereas Hebrews 8:7-13 speaks of the end of that covenant. The Aaronic priesthood is an “everlasting” priesthood in Exodus 40:15 and Numbers 25:13 yet the book of Hebrews makes it very clear it is to be superseded by the Melchizedek priesthood. (Hebrews 7:14-18) According to the King James Version, God would dwell in Solomon’s temple “forever” yet Solomon’s temple has long been destroyed. The Sabbath (Saturday according to the Old Testament) was to be observed for a statute “forever,” yet Hebrews says it was just a “fleshly ordinance imposed until the time of refreshing.” Animal sacrifices were to be offered “forever,” (Exodus 31:16, 17; 2 Chr. 2:4; Lev. 16:31) yet every Christian knows these all ended in the work of Jesus Christ. Circumcision was an “everlasting covenant” and this was before the Mosaic Covenant, according to Genesis 17:9-14), but 1 Corinthians 7:19 and Galatians 5:6 tells us it is worthless!It is this kind of confusion that has turned many sincere seekers away from the Bible. Here we have clear contradictions. The problem is not in the original languages of the Bible, the problem is with human error in translating the Greek and Hebrew texts into current languages. The tradition of the elders is difficult to break. Men and women have built power systems upon error. The love of power, money, and position make many leaders continue the errors. Many church leaders know these contradictions exist, but are unwilling to bring about correction. Their systems are built upon fear and ignorance. To reveal the truth would be the end of their kingdoms.. Also keep in mind we, ourselves, often prefer to create our own image of God rather than the true one. We often project our corrupted view of things upon God. Now let us see if there are contradictions in the Greek and Hebrew languages.

    This word “aion” translated by the King James Bible as “age,” “ever,” “forever,” “forever and ever,” “never,” “world without end,” “evermore,” “course,” and “eternal,” along with its adjective “aionios,” has caused the world many serious problems. It has made the Creator a God whose mercy endures “forever” yet the King James Bible says there are sins that will not be forgiven in “this world or in the world to come.” (Compare 1 Chr. 16:34 with Matthew 12:31,32) The New King James and most other Bibles now translate this passage as: “in this age or in the age to come.” This was spoken in the “law age.” We are now in a different age and the scriptures clearly teach of ages to come. If Jesus wanted to refer to the world, he would have used the word “kosmos,” but He didn’t. Therefore, when this scripture is correctly translated “age,” the Bible does not contradict itself. There is still hope for the Pharisee who would not be forgiven under the “law age” nor under the present age, but there is still hope for him to receive mercy in the ages to come. For a study as to how many ages there are, study the following scriptures:

    he past ages (aions)-Col. 1:26; the present age (aion)-Luke 20:34; future ages (aions)-Eph. 2:7. It will become clear that there are at least five ages with no indication when the ages will end. This radically changes pet end-time eschatological schemes. This is one reason why many theologians do not want to look at this. They will have to dismantle some of their favorite fear-based doctrines.

    Can this word “aion” be consistently translated one way and make sense without bringing about contradictions in the Bible? The answer is yes! Can this word be consistently translated with words that indicate “eternity?” The answer is no! Let us see how the Bible would read if we translated this word “aion” into eternity in some passages where it appears. We would get some of the following kinds of reading:

    “This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of eternity (aionios).” (2 Tim. 1:9) There can be no time before “eternity.”

    “According to the revelation of the mystery hidden for eternity (aionios) past.” (Rom. 16:25) If it was hidden in eternity, it can never manifest.

    “Who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil eternity (aion).” (Gal. 1:4)

    “The harvest is the end of this eternity (aion).” (Matt. 13:39) What then, another eternity?

    “Who tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming eternity (aion).” (Heb. 6:5) [There is only one eternity, not past and future ones.]

    As one can see, when we translated this word consistently with eternity, the scriptures make no sense. But if we translated that word “aion” age, and its adjective “aionios” of or belonging to an age, or age-during, age-abiding, then all the scriptures dealing with time and eternity begin to make sense without any contradictions whatsoever. What is even more exciting is that this lines up perfectly with all of our Father’s attributes. All seemingly hypocritical, or contradictory scriptures relating to our Father’s will, desire, plan, purpose, and power, vanish away. He finishes what He said He was going to do from the foundation of the world, draw all mankind unto Himself. So why don’t the translators change? Jesus said there was something more powerful than the Word of God. “You have made the word of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites!” (Matthew 15:6,7) All the systems of Christendom would have to dismantle, and I mean all of them. You can be assured, the heads of these systems have no intentions of giving up the little kingdoms you and I have helped them build. As we have seen earlier, many of the Bibles have cleared up some of the contradictions by translating more of the passages “age” where they used to put “world.” Many Bibles today have even put in “age or “ages” in some places where they use to have “forever and ever,” etc. Some Bibles, written within the last 200 years, have become consistent all the way through the Bible and have translated the word “aion” and its adjective “aionios” age, eon, age-during etc. Some of the Bibles that have been bold enough to buck the tradition of the elders are: Young’s Literal Translation, Rotherham’s Emphasized Translation, Concordant Literal Version, The Holy Bible in Modern English (Fenton), The New Testament in Modern Speech (Weymouth, 1910), The Twentieth Century New Testament, The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Anointed, The Western New Testament, The New Testament, a Translation, Scarlett’s Translation, etc. Even many evangelical\fundamentalist Bibles are breaking from the “traditions of men.” The Companion Bible, a King James Reference Bible, shows clearly in the footnotes and appendages, that the word “aion” and its adjective “aionios” was grossly mistranslated by the King’s translators. For further information on the subject of how many Bibles are changing for the better, write for the booklet, The Gates of Hell shall not Prevail.

    Let us return to the subject of “aion.” Many Bible scholars today are willing to concede that the noun “aion” means an age as opposed to forever or eternal, but they are not willing to concede that its adjective “aionios” means pertaining to an age, age-abiding, age-during or something like that. They say this word must mean “eternal,” everlasting,” etc. In doing so, they make themselves look very foolish. They break a rule in grammar found in every language of the world. An adjective must get its force from the noun from which it is derived. It cannot take on a stronger force. For example, hourly cannot pertain to a year, or month, or eternity; it pertains to the noun from which it came, that is, an hour. To say that “aion” means an “age,” and then turn around and say its adjective means “everlasting,” “eternal,” forever and ever” is breaking all the rules of language. Why would they do this? If they stay within the rules of grammar, they would have to concede there is no such thing as “eternal” punishment or “everlasting” death. Religious man usually will go into their graves before admitting their errors. After all, huge empires are built upon these two false doctrines.

    This noun “aion” occurs in the plural and the singular about 127 times. The plural form occurs over 60 times in the Greek text. May I remind you at this time that if the singular form means endlessness, absolute eternity, time without an end, forever, everlasting, then what on earth does the plural form mean? To top it all off, this word “aion” in the Greek shows up in forms such as this:” eons (plural)of the eons(plural)” (see Gal. 1:5, Phil. 4:20, 1 Tim. 1:17, 2 Tim. 4:18, etc.), and as “eon (singular) of the eons” (plural) (see Eph. 3:21), and “eon (singular) of the eon” (singular) (see Heb. 1:8). Clearly, because orthodox translators are stuck with their concept of “eternal” hell, they have butchered the Greek forms of this word “aion.” Why? To maintain their long held traditions. It is quite obvious that you cannot have a plural of infinity or eternity. You cannot have a plural of “forever.” You can not have “eternities of the eternities,” “eternity of the eternities,” and “eternity of the eternity.” This is nonsense. But that is exactly what one would get if they translated “aion” and its adjective “aionios” into eternity in these passages. When we translate the word “aion” into its proper English equivalent “age,” all begins to make sense. There is also a sense in the word indicating a flowing like streams flowing into rivers which find their way to the seas only to be draw up again to fall to become streams again. The ages are marked, but they cannot be determined until it has ended. The life of a man was an “olam,” the Hebrew word translated into “aion” in the Greek. One could not measure a man’s life until he died. It is an indefinite, but not infinite.

    In Ephesians 3:9, 11, 21, we have two Greek words “ton aionon.” This is the genitive plural noun with the genitive plural article “ton.” In the 9th verse in the KJV, it is translated “from the beginning of the world.” In verse 11, it is translated “eternal” with the word “purpose.” In verse 21, it is translated, “world without end.” So here we have the Greek genitive plural with the article translated three completely different ways within the same sentence! It is quite obvious this is very poor translating.

    If you want to see this word translated correctly in the King James, turn to Colossians 1:26. Here we find “apo ton aionon” which it translated “from the ages.” Notice the reference to “age” and that it is in the plural form. The King James Bible was very inconsistent with this word. Fearing to break the KJV tradition, many orthodox Bibles have also wreaked havoc with this little four letter word, unfortunately to our misfortune.

    In 1 Corinthians 15:25, we have a very interesting verse. In fact, this whole context from verse 22 through 28 is very interesting. Verse 25 says, “For He must reign till He has put all His enemies under His feet.” This passage is speaking about Christ Jesus. The word “till” has the same meaning as “until.” The word “until: in the English and Greek means, “to the time of, up to, as far as, etc.” It definitely limits the reigning of Jesus Christ until He puts every enemies under His feet. It tells us the last enemy to be put under His feet is death. This passage speaks of the end of “death.” If there is a second “death,” (Lake of fire) there is still death. Please note the scripture does not speak of “soul death,” or “spiritual death,” or “Adamic death.” It simply states that death is an enemy of God which will one day be destroyed. Very simple. Let us keep it that way. One day there will be no more death. Then Jesus Himself becomes subjected that God may be all in all. The passage speaks of an end of Christ’s reign. But in Revelation Chapter 11:15 we read, “And the seventh angel sounded and there were great voices in heaven saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign ‘forever and ever.'” This passage clearly contradicts 1 Corinthians 15:25 in the KJV. Which will He do, reign “until” or reign “forever and ever?”

    There are four places in the New Testament in which the adjective of “aion” occurs which proves beyond a doubt it cannot mean “endlessness, etc.” These occurrences are: Romans 16:25, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2, Philemon 15. I will also try to show with the first of these verses that the leading translations of this century contradict each other regarding this word. This should cause one to seriously study this out. You will clearly see that most translators followed their creeds instead of the Greek when it came to this word.

    The 1901 American Standard, the first revision of the King James Bible, translates Romans 16:25: “Now to him that is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal.” According to the way this verse is translated, the mystery has been kept in silence through times that are eternal. If it was kept secret in eternity, it can never be made manifest! But the verse tells us that now it is made manifest. This is total nonsense. The King James Bible says it was “kept secret since the world began” while the New International Version says “hidden for long ages past.” Here we see how leading translators are not in agreement as to how to handle this word. We have “eternal,” ” world,” and “ages.” This should at least cause one to seriously study this out. After all, the reputation of our Father is at stake. Does He torture mercilessly forever, annihilate a creature He made, or correct until He accomplishes a perfect work in each of His children through love and patience?

    In 2 Timothy 1:9 and Titus 1:2, the 1901 American Standard reads “before times eternal.” Now what on earth is that supposed to mean? If “eternal,” an adjective means without beginning or ending, how can there be a “before?” This is a contradiction is three words! This shows that the translators obviously did not understand the clause which they were working with. If they had not been locked into their “eternal torment creeds,” they might have been able to correctly translate the verse. The traditions of men do often blind us to obvious truth.

    The King James Bible in Philemon 15 says of the runaway slave, “For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever.” The American Standard also says “forever.” So according to these two leading translations, this slave will remain Philemon’s slave for all eternity. The New International has him back “for good.” That makes more sense than “forever,” but it is not correct. “Aion” never means “for good.” This is paraphrasing of the most corrupt kind.

    “Ages” have ends. All of the ages will one day end. To teach otherwise is to contradict scriptures such as 1 Corinthians 10:11 and Hebrews 9:26 which speak of the “end of the ages.” The King James in Hebrews 9:26 speaks of “end of the world,” but the Greek word “aion” here is in the plural form “ton aionon.” This is nothing short of just sloppy translating. In many other passages of scripture, the King James Bible does not pay attention to the number of the word, that is, whether it was plural or singular.

    The Bible clearly teaches a “pre-aion” period, at least 5 aions or ages, and a “post” aion period. There is a “before the ages,” “times past,” “present ages,” “these ages,” “future ages,” and a “consummation of the ages.” If the translators of some of the leading Bibles dropped their tradition of translating according to their doctrines and translated according to what the Greek and Hebrew languages say, we would not have apparent contradictions in our translations and we would clearly have a Bible that is in perfect agreement to all of the attributes of our Father, not just some of them. The scripture “Love never fails” would be true for every person born under the sun. Some denominations make Him to be clearly a “respecter of persons” which ,again, forces the Bible to contradict itself due to people forcing their traditions into the Scriptures. Clearly, He is not a respecter of persons if we see the whole picture. Our problems have always stemmed from judging the end by what we presently see. We must be seated in “heavenly places’ in order to see the beginning and the end.

    Now let us go back to our study. We dealt with “aion.” Now let us look at the word “destruction.” The Greek word translated “destruction” in 2 Thess. 1:9 is “olethros.” This word is a cognate of the Greek word “apollumi.” See Strong’s Concordance. This word “olethros” occurs in other scriptures that proves this word does not mean “destruction without hope of life.” I will quote a scripture to show that this is true. “To deliver such an one to Satan for the destruction (olethros) of the flesh that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Cor. 5:5, KJV) As this same Greek noun is used in 2 Thess. 1:9 and 1 Cor. 5:5, it is clear that this kind of destruction, does not eliminate the possibility of future life.

    If one studies the scriptures and reads 2 Thessalonians 1:9 and reads “everlasting destruction,” they would assume the scriptures teach annihilation, but as we know, “aion” and “aionios” cannot mean endlessness, and “destruction” (olethros) cannot mean destruction with no hope of future salvation. Enough said.



    As we have seen, one cannot make a scriptural case for “everlasting destruction” when one looks at what the Greek words refer to. Clearly these words do not teach a destruction from which there is no hope of restoration or else Jesus could not have been resurrected. We will now look at the Old Testament and discover that the Hebrew is harmonious with the Greek on this subject.

    “Thou turnest man to destruction and sayest ‘Return ye, children of men.'” (Psalms 90:3, KJV)

    In this scripture, we have the word “destruction” followed by “Return ye.” Therefore, the word “destruction” cannot refer to “everlasting destruction.”

    “He has destroyed me on every side and I am gone and mine hope has He removed like a tree.” (Job 19:10, KJV)

    Job spoke these words, yet Job was not annihilated. He lost all that he had, but it was all restored to him and more. When Job was in the condition that everything was lost, he was “destroyed.”The following scriptures are often quoted to prove “endless destruction,” or annihilation.

    “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of host.” (Malachi 4:1-3)

    This scripture certainly teaches “destruction” as the wicked will burn as stubble; they shall be ashes, but there is nothing in this scripture which indicates they are beyond the power of the Creator to restore life later. In fact, many of the Hebrew saints are now sleeping in the dust, but their sleep will come to an end. Many saints were burned to death by the church and their ashes were treated in a worse manner than to be stepped on, but this does not mean they will not receive life later on. The fact that man, whether righteous or unrighteous returns to ashes and dust, presents no problem for the Creator since these are the very materials man first came from.


    Isn’t rather strange, that this whole business of “eternal torment,” “eternal death,” and the “salvation of all” seems to center around what kind of “fire” we are going to meet? John said the Judge of all men would immerse people with the Holy Spirit and fire. Jesus said His words were “Spirit and Life.” Remember the words of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us. . .?”There was a time when I felt led to go into a particular jewelry store. I had no desire to enter, as I had felt I had worn out my welcome with the Jewish woman owner. Being located next door to my business, I frequently visited her trying to lead her to Christ. She, in very definite words, told me she had had enough. But following the leading, I entered again. She was by herself. The meeting was very awkward, but I felt I couldn’t leave. A customer then entered. The owner went to the back to get a custom piece of Jewelry this customer had ordered. “You will like this piece of Jewelry, Gary,” said the store owner. Seeing from a distance that it was a silver cross, I told her that I really didn’t care for religious jewelry of any kind. When she handed it to the customer, I could see that it was the words “Let go, Let God” in the form of a cross. At this point I found myself giving the shortest testimony I had ever given of how Jesus delivered me from alcoholism. With my head bowed down, I spoke for perhaps one and one half minutes. Upon finishing my brief testimony, this stranger came up to me and gave me a giant hug and said something like, “Your words are burning in my heart!” I will never forget that incident. I knew that short little testimony touched the very heart of her being and the best description she could come up with was “fire!” I present this story as a way of introduction to a subject much misunderstood by all of us. Let us look into the subject of “fire” from a Biblical point of view and not from our imaginative religious artists such as Dante and His “Inferno” and Michael Angelo’s “Last Judgment.” Let us put the wild scenes of our carnal imagination aside and look into the “fire of God.”

    Perhaps the best way to test which of the three doctrines of the ultimate fate of all mankind, is to test each doctrine with the ultimate acid test, “fire.” If “eternal torment” or “annihilation” by fire is the wages of sin, then surely, the scriptures should be full of examples to that effect. Symbols, parables, and real events in the scriptures should boldly declare this fate, and with no confusion or contradictions. But when we comb the scriptures for examples of a fire barbecue finale, instead, everywhere we look we find heaven filled with fire and even earth filled with fire. As a matter of fact, when we really analyze fire, apart from misuse of fire, fire is very beneficial. Will we attribute to God that He will ultimately misuse fire? Let us look at the subject of fire.

    First of all, we know today, that we are literally on fire. Do we not burn our food? The military has binoculars which see in the dark. They see heat. Human beings can be seen because they are giving off heat. We are slowly burning.

    Does not fire make meat taste better and rid it of disease? Do you not enjoy the warmth of fire in the winter time? Do you enjoy the comforts of electricity, light, radio, computers, telephones, ovens, laser technology, etc.? Fire, when properly controlled, is very beneficial to mankind. Apart from the sun, there would be no life on this planet. Even the stars billions of miles away are helpful to man in navigation and make the dark night more enjoyable to behold.

    When we come to the scriptures, it is even more abundantly clear, that “fire” is the very symbol, not of death, not of eternal torment, nor of fearful judgment, but of life itself. Fire, in the scriptures, is not a symbol of His judgments, but of His very being! It is here we find the true touchstone of which of the three teachings we have been discussing is true.

    Fleshly minded thinking is very fearful of God who is an all-consuming fire! His fiery presence, however, will not destroy or eternally torture, but will purify, will cleanse us from sin, from false images of Him, from earthly thoughts. From science we have discovered that fire does not really destroy, in the sense of leaving nothing. Fire takes compound elements and reduces them to simpler forms. Did He not say, “Unless you become as little children, you will not see the kingdom of God.” Simple thoughts. Religions, all of them, is very complex. The longer it has been around, the more complex it becomes. When Peter talked about the “very elements will melt with heat,” he was talking about something much more complex that atomic elements that would be melted. The Greek word translated “elements” in 2 Peter 3:12, is the word “stoicheion.” When one looks at other places this word is used such as in Galatians 4:3 and 4:9, we discover that atoms are not what Peter had in mind. The very laws, rudiments, principles which hold people in bondage will be burned. Systems of religion will be destroyed! The word “religion” comes from two Latin words “re” and “ligare” which means to “return to bondage.”

    Yes, the carnal, religious mind has always been fearful of God. When God manifested Himself as fire on the mountain, the children of Israel told Moses they didn’t want to meet Him. The flesh and carnal (fleshly) thinking never wants an encounter with God. The carnal mind wants to worship its own creation and concepts of God. He will consume, burn all earthly thinking (low life) and break it into lowly, meek, simple, child-like faith. Prideful religious thoughts cannot stand in His Presence. Perfect Love casts out fear. Religious systems are built on fear. These complex systems of myriads of do’s and don’ts, rituals, creeds, formulas will be reduced to nothing for that is what a lie is . . .nothing.

    “By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:8-10)

    An encyclopedia could be written on this beautiful verse which few Christians really understand. If truly understood, this verse alone would dismantle the religious monstrosities of the world. If one studies this verse carefully, one will discover that salvation is an “All God” situation depending upon nothing but Himself. Is not Jesus Christ the author and finisher of your faith? (Heb. 12:2) We are His workmanship; we are created in Christ Jesus; the works are His prepared before the foundation of the world. It is the faith of Jesus that saves us and finishes our salvation. Look, Abraham wanted to cut a covenant with God. I won’t go into the long details of how covenants were make in those days, but the final part of the ritual was cutting some animals in half (flesh) and walking between the pieces saying something to the affect “If you break this covenant, then let your body become as one of these animals.” “As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him.” (Gen. 1512) Then: “And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram.” Gen. 15:17,18)

    This is the kind of covenant that God makes with all of us. Our flesh falls asleep and is ridden with fear. Then God cuts the covenant with Himself, Father and Son. Man under the fear of death which was inherited from Adam, is absolutely incapable of cutting any kind of covenant with God. Our religious do’s and don’t fall far short of God’s free gift. The works of our flesh will be burned up. The above covenant requires two parties, but man was not one of them. In this passage, God represents Himself as a “smoking oven” and a “burning torch.” In this covenant, that which was burned up was flesh, but not Abraham’s body, it was his works that were burned up. He is the Father of many nations and “all the families of the earth” will be blessed through the “man of faith” who fell asleep while cutting a covenant with God. You, too, will fall asleep, and the works of your flesh which you offer Him for your salvation will be totally destroyed and counted as nothing. The “salvation” that we are to “work out” are the “good works” God put in us when we became part of His body. They are His works, his gifts, not ours, lest we boast.

    Let us look into the Kingdom of our Father and see what we behold. As we have been told by scripture, our God is an all-consuming fire and He is a jealous (zealous in some translations) God. We find this in Deuteronomy 4:24. He then tells them they will worship idols, do evil in His sight which will cause Him to be angry. He will then utterly destroy them, but then immediately tells them He will not forsake them, nor destroy them because He is also a merciful God and will not forget the covenant He made with our fathers. (Deuteronomy 4:24-31) Unless we understand that He has the power to kill and then make alive again, this kind of talk is foolishness. But our Father and Potter of men can and will refashion us for our good.

    As we approach His Kingdom, the flesh and carnal mind become extremely fearful. Why? Because flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom. We already mentioned Abram. When Ezekiel was approached by Him, His glory appeared as fire. (Ez. 1:27,28) This righteous man fell like a dead man. When Isaiah saw Him, the house was filled with smoke and a seraphim had to touch his lips with a hot coal because he, Isaiah became a man of unclean lips. The hot coal took away his iniquity. (Isa. 6:6,7) When Daniel saw the “Ancient of Days” His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire and a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. (Daniel 7:9) In Daniel we also read of the three young Hebrew men thrown into fire 7 times hotter than normal and One like the Son of Man in their midst. When one truly refuses to worship the images made by man’s carnal mind, this kind of fire will only burn off the ropes put on by religious men! I do not hesitate to say, most reading this article are bound by ropes of religion, whether you are sitting on a padded pew, or at a home Bible study. Zechariah says He will be a wall of fire to Jerusalem. (Zech. 2:5) God’s ministers are a flame of fire according to Psalms 104:4 and Hebrews 1:7. He purges the blood of Jerusalem by the “spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning.” When this happens “then the Lord will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assembly, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering.” (Isaiah 4:4-6) In Malachi chapter 3, Yahweh describes Himself as a refiner’s fire to purify the sons of Levi and to purge them as gold and silver that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness. Please note these are God’s priest being purged (burned) by fire for a good purpose, that they might present a righteous offering unto the LORD. Speaking of the sons of Levi, the priestly group, it is when His own people offer to the world “strange fire,” that is when God really gets mad. (Lev. 1:10) When the real fire is present, the types and shadows do not need to be paraded. These two Israelites were robbing God of His glory. They wanted to perform the “shadow ritual” when the reality was actually present. Much that we count as holy and righteous will disappear when the True Righteousness appears. Does “eternal torment” or “annihilation” really glorify Him or is it beginning to sound more like “strange fire?”

    When our Father answers prayers or manifests Himself in the earth, how does He manifest Himself? Moses saw Him as a burning bush. (Acts 7:30,31) Gideon was answered by fire. (Judges 6:21) David’s prayer was answered by fire. (1 Chron. 21:26) When God filled Solomon’s temple, how did He manifest? By fire! (2 Chron. 7:21) Elisha was aided by chariots of fire. (2 Kings 6:17) The very Words that come out of His mouth are fire. (Psalm 18:6) I do not have enough pages in this book to declare that “God is an all-consuming fire!”

    Now, man under his own religious system of do’s and don’ts, whether it is based on the Bible or not, will always be fearful of the “All-Consuming Fire.” By the “law” shall no one be justified in His sight and therefore comes that expectation in the carnal mind of adverse judgment leading to an awful decision. If we choose “eternal torment” or “annihilation” as the end for anyone on this earth, we will find our conscience will condemn us to the same fate. And so, should the fire fall into our own laps, we will most certainly have a right to be fearful. With our conscience in such a condition, we will gravitate towards teachings that put off judgment as long as possible. Therefore, these systems have consigned the ultimate judgment to the end. The Bible shows no such thing. We are constantly judged. We are told we are to judge ourselves. We are to learn to judge amongst each other. The judgments of God are in the earth today. Nature all around us declares this, but because of our fear of meeting our Maker, we deceive ourselves.

    In preparing this article, I read some of the leading teachings on the doctrine of annihilation. One very well written book was entitled, “The Golden Future” published by Bible Fellowship Union in England. The author begins the book by declaring “The voice of God has two mediums of expression–the Bible on the one hand, supreme in the sphere of ethics, and on the other hand Nature, now rapidly yielding her secrets to the scientist and investigator.” This statement, perhaps, unveils the depth of the error of “annihilationism.” Where is God is this statement?. He can only speak to man by a little book or by trees and birds and clouds? How foolish! Has He lost His presence? Is He mute? Is His fire out? Are dreams and visions off limits now? Have words of knowledge and prophesy disappeared now that the incorrectly called “New Testament” has appeared? Does the dove again have no place to land? Where did this idea come from that because God added 27 more books to the Bible, He can only speak through the Bible and “nature?.” In these last 27 books, do we not find angels? Don’t men and women dream dreams and prophesy? Does He not also speak to men like He did with Paul? Are men and women no longer supernaturally gifted? Were the dead no longer raised? The last 27 books reveal that rather than these things being eliminated, they were increased! If you have not experienced this increase, please don’t blame God, perhaps you need to move out of the realm of unbelief you reside in. Let us return to the fire!

    Jesus said, “I am come to send fire on the earth” and on the day of Pentecost “tongues of fire” came upon a group who testified in the power of the Holy Spirit and 3000 persons were added to the ekklesia. John and James wanted fire to come down on the Samaritan’s heads to destroy them and Jesus told them, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s live but to save them.” (Luke 9:56) I am afraid Jesus would have to repeat these words to most of the ekklesia, because this spirit is still very much alive in those who belong to Him. John the Baptist tells us the Jesus would “baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Matt. 3:11) Everyone shall be salted with fire. (Mark 9:43) Fire will try everyone’s works. (1 Cor. 3:13) People will be saved “so as through fire,” even though their works will be burned up. (1 Cor. 3:15) There is a scripture where He tells us to be like Him. He tells us to pour coals of fire on our enemies heads. Those coals of fire are love! (Rom. 12:20) He tells us to expect fiery trials. (1 Peter 4:12)

    Going into the last book of the Bible, should we expect to find a different kind of fire than what we have seen throughout the rest of the Book. We find lampstands that are the Ekklesia, seven stars in His right hand, gold refined by fire, lightenings, seven lamps of fire burning before the throne which are the seven Spirits of God, mornings stars, His eyes like a flame of fire, and a sea of glass mingled with fire.

    It seems we had better get used to fire, in a literal sense, symbolic sense, and a spiritual sense. God did manifest Himself on earth as fire that consumed material substances. He also spoke of fiery trials, but they were not necessarily being burned at the stake as a heretic. He spoke of good deeds as “hot coals” on our enemies heads. The tongues of fire on the disciples heads did not burn their physical flesh. The tongue James says that “sets the course of nature” on fire has not destroyed this world with literal fire. (James 3:5,6) The 7 Ekklesia are not literal stars and Jesus Christ is not a literal lamb.

    The book of Revelation begins with a sentence the carnal nature has overlooked. The carnal nature cannot receive the things of the spirit and as a result always finds itself overlooking the obvious. The book begins by saying in the King James Bible that this book is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.” (Rev. 1:1) The word for “signified” is a verb whose noun form “semeion” literally means “a sign.” A sign that says “to Jerusalem” is not Jerusalem. It points in the direction of the real city of Jerusalem. It is helpful to find the place called Jerusalem, but it is not Jerusalem.

    Paul said he went to the third heaven and saw things unlawful to speak about. (2 Cor. 12:2) I know he said “I know a man in Christ . . .was caught up to the third heaven,” but I am certain Paul was speaking of himself. Why was it unlawful for him to speak of these things? I also know a man who was caught up to the third heaven and I will tell you why it was unlawful for Paul to speak of these things. The spirit world, the real world cannot be truly expressed by human language. The clearest expression in human language falls far short of painting the reality of that world. The expression “unlawful” was used by Paul to say that if he talked about it in human words, it would not truly express the reality, it would fall short, which is what the Greek and Hebrew word for “sin” really means. I point this out that we may read the Book of Revelation with a proper perspective. We are dealing with symbols here which are mere representatives of spiritual realities. Do not expect frogs coming out of peoples mouths, a physical woman sitting on a beast which is also a city which will utterly be burned with fire. Why do people always put a physical sword into Jesus’ hands when in fact it is a sword coming out of His mouth? Because that picture looks foolish to the natural mind, so we put the sword in His hands. The churches are not really stars nor candlesticks. Jesus doesn’t really want you to be 212 degrees or minus 32 degrees indicating you are hot or cold but not luke-warm. The kings of the earth never really fornicated with this woman on a beast which is really a city. Is Jesus really dripping in blood? Is there really a winepress He is tredding and is He really a dead Lamb sitting on the throne?

    The Hebrew language is a language designed to create great pictures. It is a picture language full of great exaggeration to magnify things. Unless one leaves much room for hyperboles, allegories, and parables, one will most certainly twist the scriptures to their own destruction. While the last 27 books of the Bible come to us in Greek, they borrow the symbols of the Hebrew to convey to us the symbols He uses to express spiritual truths. Even in the last 27 books, Jesus did not speak apart from parables.

    I am afraid most of us are very guilty of picking and choosing what is symbolic, what is spiritual, and what is literal. John’s statement at the beginning of the Book of Revelation says this book is a book of signs. Signs point to a reality, they are not the reality themselves. How does one express something that happens to a nation over many generations in one word or sentence? It cannot be done. The only way to truly understand an event covering millions of people over decades of time in earthly languages is to give “signs,” which will fall short of conveying reality.

    I have been pierced by the sword which comes out of Jesus mouth. He slew me and yet I live! It was not the words written in the book of Revelation about a sword out of His mouth that slew me, but the very Word of God Himself! The reality, not the symbol, nor the written word. And this death actually brought me to life!

    The carnal mind cannot separate the physical, the symbol, and the spiritual reality. It will bypass the spiritual reality and call the symbol, reality. Only when it becomes absurd, will the carnal mind treat the symbol as a symbol. The reason I am spending so much time belaboring this point, is because this desire for man to bring God and His symbols down to man’s language is perhaps one of our greatest errors. We make beautiful parables designed to each us something very beautiful into something terrible and grossly distorted. The parable of Lazarus and the Rich man is a classic example. I will not go into the 5 parables in Luke 15 and 16 which have been twisted into all kind of devilish foolishness. We have literature and audio tapes on that specific subject. I have spent so much time laying down this foundation of understanding the difference between these three different forms of expression because the book of revelation is perhaps THE book with which all kinds of liberty have been taken to twist these “symbols, signs” to conform to all sorts of scenarios of what God is going to ultimately do with you, your friends, and your enemies.

    Only when we read this book with a heart after Him, only after we have begun to truly be conformed to His image by the renewing of our mind, only when we keep all of His attributes together, not setting one or the other aside, and only when we leave the signs exactly what they were meant to be MERE SIGNS, can we begin to harmonize and see what this book is all about. Leave the sword in His mouth and then try to kiss Him. And when you have been put to death by His Word and you have died to sin and been made alive to Christ, then you will begin to see that the lake of fire is as much a symbol as every symbol in the whole book. Now let us talk about what the “lake of fiery brimstone” speaks about. Remember, if you have a hard time picturing yourself kissing the Son with a sword in His mouth or if you have a hard time snuggling up to a dead lamb on a throne, you should have just as hard a time seeing yourself, friends, family, or enemies, either being tortured in an eternal lake of burning sulfur, or see them being nuked, or vaporized into nothing. They were not made from nothing and they will not return to nothing!

    I find it absolutely amazing how our carnal mind works. The scriptures tell us that our minds cannot conceive that things He has in store for us. His love is infinitely greater than ours, and yet we manage to concoct scenarios which make the love of a mother more loving than the love of our Father. It never ceases to amaze me. One would think that if His love truly manifested in our hearts, we could not help but to hope and believe He will save all mankind, even if our Bible translation said the opposite. It seems even if our Bible said He would torment everyone, it would seem there would be people today who would act like Abraham and Moses and plead and intercede for mankind. Moses, asked Him to forgive Israel when they worshipped the calf and committed many sexual sins. Abraham dared reason with God about Sodom and Lot.

    It would seem that those filled with the love of God would spend hundreds of hours combing the scriptures, spend days praying to Him, pleading for mankind. But that is not the case. Most Christians, when doing what they call “Bible Study” spend hours memorizing scriptures to prove He is a torment or annihilator. When we try to prove the Love of our Father, we find His love is steadfast and true, even if our translation of the Bible is ridden with error. When your heart is after Him, He will reveal many things to you like what I am about to show you.

    In the book of Revelation, while I was studying the lake of fiery brimstone for this article, I came across some major discrepancies among the leading selling Bibles. Looking further, checking the Greek manuscripts, there were differences between various manuscripts. As a result, we have renderings such as the following:

    “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (King James Version)

    “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (New King James)

    “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast–all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.” (New International Version) Footnote: “Or written from the creation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain.

    “All on earth will worship it, except those whose names the Lamb that was slain keeps in his roll of the living, written there since the world was made.” (New English Bible)

    “And all mankind–whose names were not written down before the founding of the world in the slain Lamb’s Book of Life- worshiped the evil Creature.” (Living Bible) (Includes a very long and confusing footnote)

    “And all the inhabitants of the earth will fall down in adoration and pay him homage, every one whose name has not been recorded from the foundation of the world in the Book of Life of the Lamb that was slain {in sacrifice} from the foundation of the world.” (Amplified Bible)

    “and all the inhabitants of the earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slaughtered.” (New Revised Standard Version)

    “And ALL who DWELL on the EARTH shall worship him, Whose NAME has not been written from the FOUNDATION of the World in the SCROLL of the LIFE of THAT LAMB who was KILLED.” (Emphatic Diaglott)

    “And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. (New American Standard) Footnote: Or, written in the book . . . slain from the foundation of the world.

    I left the word “worshiped” spelled incorrectly in Living Bible because that is how it is spelled in the two copies I have. The old translations like the King James and the new ones have something in common, they both made mistakes, like this simple spelling error. However, they also make some great mistakes, some which will affect your whole life and your relationship to God. This passage is an example which I just recently found. Those of you who carefully read each translation above should have discovered four completely different ways the passage was written. There are clear important doctrinal issues involved. Focus on the clause “before or from the foundation of the world.” Notice the KJV and NKJV have the lamb being slain from the foundation of the world, but translations such as the NRSV and the NEB have the names written from the foundation of the world. Others such as the NIV write it is such a way as to not be able to tell when the names were written, and then we have the Amplified which puts the clause in twice to make it appear that the names written before and the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. The NAS notes both ways. That is more honest, but it doesn’t solve the problem for us.

    You see, if your name was written in the book before the foundation of the world, and that is why you will not worship the beast, then it is not your doing, it is all God. It is true predestination, something which the “annililation groups” don’t care for because it takes away “free will.”

    Now which of the four ways is correct? Or is there a fifth and a sixth way? We are dealing with major doctrines here which Christians have literally killed each other over. Can one determine the true meaning of this passage? Is it important? Does you life depend upon you knowing the correct way to deal with this passage? If you were pre-elected, you can’t miss, but those who weren’t pre-elected cannot help but to worship the beast. How can God find fault? Bibles are full of these kind of problems. Why are not these kind of issues brought up in Bible studies? I had to find these things out on my own. Now then, if your salvation is depended upon your knowing the Bible and what says to you, these kind of problems should have you worried. I have 15 feet of shelving full of different Bible translations. Believe me when I say there are major doctrinal differences among the best of Bibles. Does that bother you? It doesn’t bother me.

    You see, for me, these tormenting questions are meaningless. I know that if it was up to me, I could never hold up to my part of any agreement with Him. I, like Abram and Jesus’ disciples would fall asleep. I have cast my cares upon Him for I have discovered He truly cares for me, has given His life for me. I know who the author and finisher of my faith is. Do you? If you don’t, you will live in torment. You will work out your salvation in your strength and come up short. It is guaranteed. And all your efforts and all your works which your soul is full of, will find itself cast among the other filth found cast into the Refiner’s Fire, the Lake of fiery brimstone. Or have you not heard that “unbelievers” will have their part in the lake of fire? Those who trust in their own works do not believe Jesus did it all. Unbelievers! Did you not hear idolaters would be cast into the lake of fire? If God is not the “eternal tormentor” or “great annihilator” then have you not been worshipping a false image of God?! Idolater! And if you told those poor sheep around you all the things they must do to get right with God and put burdens upon them they could not carry, and He says He didn’t put any of them on their backs, are you not a liar?! Liars will have their part in the lake of fire! And if the “letter of the law” is truly death and you have been using the “letter” against people, are you not a murderer?! Murders will have their part in the lake of refining fire! If God truly Loved the world and saved the whole world, are not the Doctrine of Eternal Torment and Annihilation abominable?! The abominable will have their part in the lake of fire!. Are you getting the message? With this perspective in mind, let us take a look at the death of this kind of deadly thinking and see if there is hope for the abominable, murdering, lying, idolater who trusted in themselves and their own works, instead of the finished work of Christ.



    We find this term only in this apocalyptic writing which has been attributed by many modern writers to John, the apostle. Much has been written about this writing. It was one of the last books to be accepted by the Catholic church as scripture. It is hard for some today to imagine, but large portions of the early church did not consider books such as Hebrews, 2nd and 3rd John, 2nd Peter and others including the book of Revelation as scripture. One of the reasons for the Book of Revelation’s late acceptance as scripture was the poor quality of the Greek. A thorough study of the process of canonization is time well spent. It is a real fire that will test your faith. Fortunately, I have the faith given by Jesus Christ, not my faith in Jesus Christ. There is a world of difference. Perhaps two of the main reasons this book has attracted so much attention is because of the promise of being blessed to those one who read it and to those who hear the words of this prophesy and to those who keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. (Rev. 1:3) This was written 1900 years ago. Other translations say that the “time is at hand.” There are generally four different types of interpretations of the book of Revelation: Preterist, Idealist, Historical, and Futurist. There are also four general theological perspectives on the book: Postmillennial, Amillennial, Premillenial, and Apocalyptic. A thorough study of the teachings of each of these eight camps should wean one from holding onto any of their pet eschatological systems too tightly. I am not going to touch any of the above. The subject is much to large. I am going to stick with two points: 1. The nature of our Father and His attributes, and 2. the language of the Greek regarding the subject of the lake of fire. This, apart from theological speculation, should convince anyone with a heart full of the love of our Father, that it never entered His mind to either eternally torment any human being nor to put them to eternal death. When the children of Israel burned their children to death in the worship of Moloch, He said, “such a thing never entered my mind.!” (Jer. 32:35) Let us look at the Greek words in the book of Revelation which will bear this out. We will look at the lake of fiery brimstone.

    The scriptural references for this lake are only to be found in the apocalyptic book of Revelation: Rev. 19:20, 20:10, 20:14, 20:15, and 21:8. The Bible defines this lake for us as the “second death.” We find this term “second death” also only in the book of Revelation in the following places: Rev. 2:11, 20:6, 20:14, and 21:8. Perhaps Revelation 20:11-15 gives us the most clear definition:

    The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

    I could write dozens and dozens of pages on this one portion of scripture and not run out of material. I will try to stay focused and limit myself to the point that the “lake of fire” which is the “second death” does not refer to “eternal death” for any human being. I would like to point out at this time, most Christian writings of the first 3 or 4 centuries do not speak of a fire of “eternal torture” or “eternal death.” They speak of “refining fire.” For an article on the early Christian view of salvation, write for the article or tape The Early Christian View of the Savior. The sea was made up of brimstone, called today sulfur. The word for sulfur in Greek in the word “theion.” The words in Greek for God and divine are “theos” and “theios.” The Greeks used brimstone for purifying their temples! Although carnal man is usually afraid of fire, fire is a symbol for God. Everyone’s works will be tested by fire. Who do you think that fire is? A lump of coal or a piece of wood or literal sulfur? NO! Our Father Who is an all-consuming fire will test the works. This is a symbol for God just as the Lamb and the Lion are but symbols of Jesus.

    What happens to those who go into the lake of divine fire? Well, according to the KJV and the NIV, the devil, along with the beast and false prophet, will be “tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Those of you who have received the teaching of “annihilationism” or “conditional mortality” have, I am sure, discovered that the word translated “torment” has a primary meaning quite different from the picture we get from the KJV and NIV. I won’t belabor the point. Just a few brief comments for those who do not know the primary definition for the Greek words translated “torment” in this passage is “touchstone.” Webster’s tells us a touchstone is “a black siliceous stone allied to flint; used to test the purity of gold and silver by the streak left on the stone when rubbed by the metal. Any test or criterion by which to try a thing’s qualities.” It was not until religious folks used instruments like racks and other painful devices to “test” the faith of accused heretics that the thought of torment and pain was added to a perfectly good Greek word which again referred to a “divine test.” Gold also symbolizes divinity. Gold with impurities (dross) would show up deficient under the test of fire.

    Both the KJV and the NIV say that they will be “tormented” day and night for ever and ever. Here again, we will see both translations producing contradictions which would not occur had they translated “aion” correctly. The words “for ever and ever” are in Greek, “aionas ton aionon.” The Zondervan Parallel New Testament in Greek and English, which has the KJV, NIV, the Nestle’s Greek text with a literal rendering beneath the Greek, reveals on page 771 that “aionas ton aionon” literally reads “ages of the ages.” This makes much more sense since this passage also refers to “day and night.” Technically, if “aion” means eternity, then this would be rendered “eternities of eternities” which is “absurdities.”

    A few more things about fiery sulfur. It cannot be put out by water. The benefits of sulfur are too numerous to mention. In its pure state, it is tasteless, odorless, and colored light yellow. It is used in various compounds for fungicides, sulfa drugs, many skin ointments, matches, vulcanization of rubber, dyes, fixatives in photography, special cements for anchoring metals, hardening paper and woods. Sulfuric acid is one of the most important of all industrial chemicals because it is employed not only in the manufacture of sulfur-containing molecules but also in the manufacture of numerous other materials that do not themselves contain sulfur such as phosphoric acid. The acid is used in numerous industries from fertilizer, petroleum, pigments, metals, and making organic products.

    A little side story here just to stir further research on this subject. Brimstone was first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis where the “circuit” of the five cities was destroyed by fire and brimstone. This region is where we now have what is known as the “Dead Sea.” This region has been known to be active off and on with fire for hundreds of years. The “Dead Sea” has brimstone deposits. Gehenna (hell) is a valley which leads to the Dead Sea. Although the subject is too detailed and complicated to get into in this article, there seems to be enough material to indicate that the “Dead Sea” and “Lake of Fiery Brimstone” which is the “second death” have some possible connections which have not been thoroughly evaluated in orthodoxy. Remember, Sodom, will one day be restored to her former estate. Sodom is in the vicinity of the Dead Sea. (Ex. Chapter 16)

    Most of you have heard at least one end-time scenario of how the end of this age or world will come about. The book of Revelation is always the center of the story. Without the beasts, false prophets, lake of fire, and plaques, these stories lose their holding power. The charts would not be so graphically gruesome without these images. Perhaps the reader should know, that probably every generation in Christendom has lived through the so-called “end-time.” Starting with the Montanist’s at the end of the second century among whose followers is none other than the church father, Tertullian, who was perhaps one of the leading influences of turning the church toward legalistic death. They prophesied the descent of New Jerusalem to a plain in Phrygia seven years straight, obviously missing it each year. We then come to St. Jerome who predicted the present destruction of Rome would usher in the end of the world. The church then became God on earth under Roman Catholicism so there was no need to declare an end to the earth. The “city of God” had arrived.

    When the Reformation came on the scene, the end of the world prophets came out in full force. Luther predicted the end of the world in his generation. Zwingli prophesied doom. Many of the leading Protestant Reformators called the Pope of their time anti-Christ which indicates the end of the world. Dozens of minor players predicted the end throughout the 1500’s, 1600’s and 1700’s. In the 1800’s we had the following false prophets: William Miller, Ellen G. White, Charles T. Russell, Joseph Rutherford, Herbert Armstrong, C.I. Scofield, and Clarence Larkin just to name a few. Moving into the 20th century we have H.A. Ironsides, Milton Lindberg, Oswald Smith, Herbert Lockyer, William Orr, Jack Van Impe, John Walvoord, Hal Lindsey, Pat Robertson, and the list goes on into the thousands. Pulpits, T.V. stations, radio stations, newsletters, and books are full of fear-filling prophets and prophetesses. The closer we get to the year 2000 thousand, the crazier it will get. The year 1000 brought similar responses. Fill your heart with fear, or fill your heart with love. You will get hotter or colder as the years roll by. I would like to point out that many who set dates who were in error taught the doctrine of “eternal torment,” or the “doctrine of eternal death.” I am not aware of any who believed in the salvation of all mankind who have misled people in “judging before the time.”

    The words “destroy,” “perish,” “destruction,” etc., mean that whatever is destroyed is not at the time of destruction useful for what it is intended. Man was created to enjoy a life of commune with his creator. Because of sin, man finds himself estranged from his purpose and as a result is destroyed during the ages. Our Father says He kills and He makes alive, He creates good and He creates evil, He makes vessels, can and does destroy them, and He is able to refashion them for future use. If you are presently a Christian, did you not find your former life, in the words of Paul, “dung?” Christian, is He not refashioning you presently? Are you so vain as to think that He cannot do the same for the lowest of men or the greatest of men? What do you have to offer the Creator that wasn’t given to you? And if received and not earned, why do you boast? Why do you call the Creator a “respecter of people?” If you did not “earn” your estate in Him, be very careful before you exclude one single human being from His goodness and mercy. Do not find yourself complaining to Him if in the last hour He decides to “hire” every person under the sun and give them the same wages you will receive. Do not find yourself calling His goodness “unrighteous” and “unjust.”

    In this present age (aion) we are experiencing sin, sickness, dying death, judgment which are all relative truths, but not one of these will be experienced by anyone after the end of the ages. Let us not confuse the present process of eonian chastening, correction during the ages with the ultimate goal of our Father’s love. After the present experience of separation in our minds from our Creator, we will be able to truly appreciate the glory of being in the will and purpose of our Father. We will never succumb to the temptation of believing any other voice except our Creator’s. Everything He does for His children is for our good, including the painful time of learning what it is like for men to be separated from their Creator in the vanity of their carnal minds. Man has never been separated from Him. Where can man go that the Creator is not? Of Him, for Him and to Him are all things. It is only in the realm of the “lie” in our minds that we believe we are separated. One day, that lie will be completely dispelled. The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world, and the remedy for the consequences of the “lie” was also provided for before man was ever created.

    The scriptures declare that the glory of the latter house will be greater than the former. There will come forth something wonderful from these many ages of pain and suffering. After the present experiences of our Father’s chastening, and our suffering the consequences of not being our brother’s keeper, we will be able to appreciate the glory of our Father’s blessings and universal reconciliation in the future. It is an obvious fact that when we lose something or something we have is destroyed, it becomes more precious to us and a return of something which has been lost brings much joy.

    I am reminded of a popular song sung in the 1970’s which contained the line: “Don’t it always seem to go, that we don’t know what we got till its gone.” It seems deep gratefulness is best ingrained by “losing” it for a season. For Adam (mankind, in Adam all died), his separation from the presence of his creator will be something that laws cannot teach. His experience in darkness, his ignorance of the ways of his Creator will be remembered. The prodigal, while being restored to the kingdom, will never forget his “pigpen” experience. That experience will do something that the prodigal’s brother did not learn. As a result, the prodigal’s brother had a flaw in character. Often we, Christians have that flaw . . . self-righteousness. We constantly need to search our hearts for that disease. Is there anything in you that might desire to see some people eternally “below” you either as dust and ashes or eternally tormented in flames of fire? Would you like to see yourself in a seat a little closer to Jesus than some others you are familiar with? Search your heart. These kind of attitudes most assuredly will find the flames.

    The last enemy to be destroyed is death. The lake of fire is the second death. It is the death of death which brings life! The deathly attitude of wanting one’ brother is a lower state will certainly find itself eventually destroyed. It is not in line with the character of the Almighty Who loves all and is willing that all mankind be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. He Who is greatest in the kingdom of our Father is servant of all. Have we come to the place of truly desiring to serve? If not, then we have other things in our heart which must be replaced.

    We have covered most of the main scriptures and arguments used to teach “eternal death.” Those we did not cover, are as easy to deal with as the scriptures we just discussed. Most of the arguments stem from the words we covered in this article.

    The doctrine of annihilation, when thoroughly analyzed, is not to be found in the languages of the Bible. Unfortunately, most best-selling Bible translations, due to the allegiance by the translators to the traditions of their forefathers, teach all three views: annihilation, eternal torment, and the reconciliation of all mankind. This has caused many people much grief and has perplexed many theologians to make statements like this one from a leading scholar, Dr. C Rider Smith:

    “In the earlier chapter, it has been shown that the New Testament teaches everlasting punishment. On a review of the whole evidence, therefore, it follows that throughout the book there are two doctrines which to the human mind are irreconcilable; the doctrine of Universalism and the doctrine there are those who will not be saved. It is then to be concluded that on this subject there are two doctrines in the New Testament which cannot be both true, or if the right conclusion that here there are two doctrines that are both true, though the mind of man cannot reconcile them.” (The Bible Doctrine of the Life Hereafter, page 258 by Dr. C. Rider Smith)

    If one stays within the English of the best-selling Catholic and Protestant Bibles and remains objective, one must come to the above conclusion. However, if one digs deeper, through a little search into the meaning of a few key words such as “eternal,” “destroy,” “lose,” “perish,” we will discover there is no inconsistency throughout the scriptures regarding the fate of mankind. We can be assured that our Omnipotent, Omniscient, Loving, Just, Wise Father knows exactly what He is doing and His is doing all His good pleasure. Man, as a builder, has shown that in the end, apart from the Creator, he is able to produce nothing but “dung,” waste. Look at our landfills. Look at the thousands of cities now beneath the sand. Vanity, emptiness, futility . . . these are the products of man. This most certainly speaks of “annihilation.” But it is man who is the annihilator, not our Father. He can take our “dung,” plant his seeds into it, and produce wonderful everlasting life. He not only can, but He will. He is not the builder who set out to build and could not complete it. He is not the general who went to war too short handed. We, in our short-sighted Christian traditions and creeds have made Him fit this mold. But I assure you, He will break this teaching from the minds of men and bring forth the everlasting truth that His Love for His Creation, of which we are a part, will not end up in a garbage pile of ashes, as the annihilation doctrines teaches, nor will any of His creations experience a “living death” being torment for eternity as the “eternal torment” doctrine teaches. No, Our Father is not a waster, destroyer, He is a Creator and the mind of man cannot conceive of the riches of His kingdom.





    Therefore judge nothing before the time , until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and [to] Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think [of men] above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. (I Corinthians 4:5, KJV)For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:30, NKJV)

    Whether we admit it or not, nearly all believers “judge before the time.” We do not know the end from the beginning, yet most of us have pet doctrines as to what will happen to mankind when it is all finished. We bring out our little pet end-time doctrines and tell the world what one must do to avoid eternal punishment, or annihilation. What we, unfortunately, do not realize is that in doing so, we have also judged our Maker. We have judged His work, His people, and since He identifies with His people, we have judged Him. When we, through our doctrines determine whether our Creator will roast or annihilate someone, we have made a judgment. When we state a person is going to “hell” if he or she does not invite Jesus into their heart, we have judged our Creator. When we say that He will resurrect all, give all a chance to “make the decision” and those refusing to join up with Jesus, will be annihilated, we have judged our Maker. Of course, we say we are just quoting what the Bible says, but are we really quoting what the Bible says, or are we chaining scriptures out of context to make the Bible says what is really just in our hearts? Are we just projecting onto the Creator what we feel would be just if we were the Creator?

    Let us take the above scripture in Hebrews as an example. How often have we heard this scripture used to tell people that God is vengeful, wrathful, and angry toward sinners. It is said that one day His wrath will be poured out upon his enemies and when it does, it will result in terrible eternal torment or utter destruction. However, the above scripture says no such thing. In the first place, notice the Lord will judge His people, not those who are not his people. Also notice this verse does not say what the outcome of His vengeance will be. He just states that it belongs to Himself, not us.

    When we study that scripture further, we see that that first part is a quotation from Deuteronomy (Deut. 32:35). We discover it is found in what came to be called the Song of Moses. Moses, just before his death prophesies to Israel, not the world, that they would rebel and do evil in the sight of the Lord and provoke Him to anger. Please note that this verse speaks of an entire nation who are called God’s people and he does not specify individual people. He is referring to Israel as one. When studying the Bible, notice how often the Lord deals with nations, tribes, and lands as one entity. The judgments are inflicted upon the entire people as a group, not on individuals. This is most important to understand when handling the scriptures.

    In the midst of this prophecy, predicting God’s people Israel will fall away from the Lord and righteousness, is the scripture, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” In this same song is found the scripture many Christians seem to be unfamiliar with, “I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; nor is there any who can deliver from my hands.” (Deut. 32:39, NKJV) Our Maker follows that with extremely strong language which is typical of judgments against nations throughout the Bible. “If I whet My glittering sword, and My hand takes hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to My enemies, and repay those who hate Me. I will make My arrows drunk with blood, and My sword shall devour flesh, with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the heads of the leaders of the enemy.”

    Now please note, we have here a prophecy from the Creator through Moses the leader of His people, that they would do wickedness which will result in them becoming enemies of the Lord. He would take vengeance upon his enemies with “arrows drunk with blood” and his “sword” would be wet with the “blood from the slain and his captives, from the heads of the leaders of the enemy.” Now let me ask you this: if I end the story here and begin to preach “hell-fire, annihilation, and damnation,” would I be rightly dividing the Word? The answer is absolutely not! Why? Because I failed to show the true end of His judgment. Read the paragraph right after the arrows and sword devouring flesh and you will see the final outcome His judgment.

    “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”

    The ultimate outcome of His vengeance will provide atonement for His land and His people. This is the same people who He prophesied would be His enemies! The gentiles are everyone else in the world who are not “his” people and the scripture tells them to “rejoice”. His vengeance brought atonement. You see the reason why vengeance must belong to the Lord is because only He can kill and then make alive again, wound and then heal. You and I can only kill. We do not have the power to resurrect, but He does. You may say at this point, but He will not save all of physical Israel, He will only provide atonement for spiritual Israel, those who are born again. Those who teach this usually point out that only those who have the circumcision of the heart are true Jews or true Israel. If you will turn to Romans chapter 11 verses 26 through 36, I want to ask you a plain question: Did spiritual Jews or Israel become the enemies of the church or did physical Jews or Israel? It is abundantly clear that the “all Israel” who would be saved was clearly physical Israel.

    “The Deliver will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” Concerning the gospel they are enemies but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.

    Now, one may perhaps say, “Well, of course, the Lord will eventually provide atonement for the sins of His people, even though they may become His enemies, but do not carry this to the extreme of including pagans, heathen, sinners, the ungodly, etc.” I would say to that statement, “Be careful who you think are ‘God’s people.'”

    “It shall come to pass in that day that I will answer,” says the Lord; I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth. The earth shall answer with grain, with new wine, and with oil; they shall answer Jezreel (God will sow). Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, and I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!'”

    Do you really want to get on the judge’s seat and conjecture who will receive mercy and who will not? Do you really want to judge our Maker and tell him who will respond to His love and mercy and who will not?The Bible is absolutely full of these kinds of examples where He speaks very strongly using language of wrath, judgment, and destruction. Remember, however, He Who kills, even though one’s theology may deny it, can make alive; He can heal and He can take the clay and remold it. The Bible makes it very plain that “in Adam” all would die. (1 Corinthians 15:22) Be careful, before you say that when He shows His mercy to all, that not all will live and be healed. Despite what John Calvin has carved in stone, the Lord will have mercy upon all. That mercy will bring deliverance.

    The following scripture is another one that warns us not to be dogmatic about consigning multitudes into abysses of torture that would make Hitler look like a mercy killer or to conclude that our Father created a huge garbage landfill where He dumps all of His mistakes. He makes no mistakes, even though we cannot see his wisdom in some of His creation.

    “For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33)

    His ways and judgments are past finding out, yet does not each denomination have formulas, dogmas, doctrines which spell out what God will do to the “unrighteous?” Do they not tell you whether you are in good standing or not? Do they not warn you of the consequences of violating their doctrines? They most certainly do, despite the fact the scriptures warn, “Judge nothing before the time.”


    Perhaps the leading example used to express God’s wrath and the finality of His judgments is the example of Sodom and Gomorra. Those who wish to project their own vengeful wrath upon our Creator who is love often use this example to consign the basest of society to everlasting torture. They point to the passage in Jude where Jude describes them as examples of “suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude 7, KJV) Peter said they were condemned to destruction. (2 Peter 2:6) We are presently going to take these five words and dig a little deeper than the level the King James translators dug. The theology of the Anglican Bishops who presided over the translating work was not far removed from Roman Catholicism. Do not forget that the Anglican church was formed due to Henry VIII’s love life, and not from a love of the scriptures, mind you. We must keep in mind, when we read our Bibles, men, for the most part, did the translating. As to the King James Bible, all 46 or so people involved were males filled with the knowledge and superstition of their times. The scholarship of King James day has been grossly exaggerated. I will not spend any more time on this point other than give one example to provoke you to study this out further yourself.

    One of King James’ favorite medicines, which he swore by as did many other leading “intellectuals” of his days, was a salve for the healing of sword wounds. The following is an account of how it was made and applied: “Take of moss growing on the head of a thief who has been hanged and left in the air; of real mummy; of human blood, still warm, of each, one ounce; on human suet, two ounces; of linseed oil, turpentine, and Armenian bole-of each, two drachmas. Mix all well in a mortar, and keep the salve in an oblong, narrow urn. With this, salve the weapon, after being dipped in the blood from the wound, was to be carefully anointed, and then laid by in a cool place. In the mean time, the wound was to be duly washed with fair clean water, covered with a clean, soft, linen rag, and opened once a day to cleanse of purulent or other matter.” As we can see from the above example, the scholastic community had a mixture of truth mixed with gross darkness.

    One last point dealing with King James and his translators, be very careful about consigning homosexuals to “hell” as if this sin was “the unpardonable sin.” While doing some research on the King James Bible, I came across some love letters written by King James to men.

    In The Wisest Fool in Christendom by William McElwee, we read: “The cheerful, unaffected and unselfconscious ordinariness of James’s behavior in public, though it lacked dignity, had hitherto been in many ways an asset in his dealings with his subjects. But now it led him to treat Carr in public with the same exaggerated, gross affection as in private, and what had already been a little odd in a sixteen year old boy when he was worshipping at the shrine of Esme’ Stuart, became grotesque in the middle-aged man. He appeared everywhere with his arm round Carr’s neck, constantly kissed and fondled him, lovingly feeling the texture of the expensive suits he choose and bought for him, pinching his cheeks and smoothing his hair.” James considered himself to be a brilliant intellectual and scholar.

    James selected the scholars who were to be on the King James Bible translation committee. The leading Hebrew scholar of that day in England, Hugh Broughton, when asked to endorse the translation said he would rather “be rent to pieces by wild horses than have had any part in the urging of such a wretched version of the Bible on the poor people.” (Men and their Motives by Jimmie H. Heflin and many other sources) It would be very unwise to believe that the superstitions, politics, and religious biases of sixteenth century England did not find their way into the English Bible of that time. Even today, when comparing twentieth century translations, the doctrinal positions of the translators finds itself on the pages of the Bibles they produce. Calvinists, for example, will translate predestination, and “total depravity” type scriptures quite differently than Arminianists.

    With this in mind, let us examine the “vengeance of eternal fire” and see if we cannot get past fifteenth century and twentieth century scholarship with their doctrinal biases. Let us look at this scripture as it appears in the Greek and leave the theology to the theologians.



    Suffering: In modern thinking, the English word conveys pain and agony which would correspond to a condition of being in hot fire. This word, however, did not have that meaning in seventeenth century England. The English word in that time period meant “allow” or “let.” The underlying Greek word in this passage in the word “hupecho,” is Strong’s number 5254. Strong’s definition of the word is “to hold under.” Young’s Concordance has to “to hold up under.” If Jude wanted to express pain or torture in this passage, he could have used many Greek words to express that, pathema, atimazo, pascho, are but a few examples. Clearly are problem here is the change in meaning of the English word “suffer” which meant “allow” in the seventeenth century which today has an entirely different meaning. This is a clear example of the need for Bible translations to convey the meaning of the original languages in clear present-day English. King James Bible English is just too archaic. This is also an example to show that current dictionaries offer little help and actually hinder the discovery of the true meaning behind original Greek and Hebrew words. A contemporary dictionary offers the meaning of words as defined by the present society. The meaning of a word today may be completely different from the same word used in a previous time period. This is very important to understand. Vengeance: This English word conveys in the twentieth century an idea of “getting even, settling scores, an eye for an eye.” Often it is synonymous with the word “revenge” as one will find out in Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Vindictive is the first definition in Webster’s under “vengeful.” Clearly, this English word conveys the idea of retribution, a final getting even, or of someone finally getting what they deserve in the form of punishment, an ‘eye for an eye’ justice, so to speak.”

    In the Seedmaster Bible program, using its Strong’s numbering system, we find the Greek word used here for “vengeance” is “dike.” The Thayer’s lexicon in this Bible program lists the following definitions for this word in the following order: 1. Custom, usage. 2. Right, just. 3. A suit at law. 4. A judicial hearing, judicial decision, esp. sentence of condemnation. 5. Execution of a sentence, punishment. 5a. To suffer punishment. 6. The goddess Justice, avenging justice. Please note that the primary definitions do not indicate a negative quality. It is not until we get to pagan concepts such as the “Justice Goddess” that we begin to see a vindictiveness in the definition. This word “dike” is also used in Acts 25:15 where the chief priests wanted a “judgment against” Paul. In the Greek, a word had to be added to “dike” to make it a “judgment against” Paul. Clearly, the word simply means “judgment” in both these cases.

    Why do we often think in negative terms of His judgments? It seems that Christians have been taught that the Creator’s righteous judgments are without mercy, that heavenly justice demands “getting what you deserve.” A recent book edited by William Crockett entitled Four Views on Hell will illustrate the point. One essay in this book is written by one of the leading spokesmen for the doctrine of a literal burning of literal bodies in an eternal fire. John Walvoord, former president of Dallas Theological Seminary, writes, “The problem for all is to comprehend the infinite righteousness of God that must judge those who have not received grace. The human mind is incapable of comprehending an infinite righteousness and must bow to the Scriptures and their interpretation when directly and faithfully set forth.” He makes God’s righteousness almost appear as if it contradicted His mercy. We see in the natural all kinds of examples where our legal systems grant pardons, clemency, plea bargaining, lighter sentences, etc. The Creator’s mercy and love is far greater than the legal system of this world, yet we refuse Him the right to make the end of His judgment, mercy for all, jubilee! James says that mercy will triumph over judgment. (James 2:13) James even warns that judgment without mercy is to those who show no mercy! This should serve as a strong warning to those who refuse to acknowledge that ultimately mercy will triumph over judgment.

    Eternal: We have many tapes, booklets and tracts proving that the Greek word aion, translated by the KJV translators several different ways, cannot possibly mean “eternal.” This King James Bible error is perhaps the most grievous of them all. Other popular Bibles have followed the tradition of the “Authorized Version” in perpetuating this error. The early revisionists of the KJV received (and still do) great persecution for correcting this error in dozens of places. Write and we will be happy to send you complete documented research proving that the Greek word “aion” when properly translated is a time word with a beginning and an end.

    The word “eternal” in this verse is the adjective of the word “aion.” An adjective cannot have a greater meaning than the noun from which it is derived. The adjective “hourly” must pertain to the “hour,” it cannot mean “weekly, “monthly,” or “eternally.” The Greek word “aion” means “age.” It would be improper grammar to give the adjective “aionios” a greater meaning than its noun. Aions (ages) are made (Heb. 1:2), there is before the aions (1 Cor. 2:7, 2 Tim. 1:9), the end of the aions (ages) (Heb. 9:26, 1 Cor. 10:11, Matt. 24:3). There are at least five ages mentioned in the Bible: ages past (Col. 1:26), present age (Luke 20:34), and at least two more in the future (Eph. 2:7). Ages have beginnings and endings, they deal with time, space, and matter. Before He made the “ages, aions” our Father was still the “I Am.” The King James Bible translated this word many different ways ranging from “world,” “age,” to “forever,” “everlasting,” and “eternal.” Many recent translations have cleaned up much of the mess. There are a few dangling places where some translators refuse to be consistent. I am familiar with many translations which have consistently translated the word “aion” and its adjective “aionios” into English words pertaining to periods of time with beginnings and endings. Most of you who are reading this booklet realize these two words do not speak of eternity in its true sense. Therefore I will not spend any more time on the subject.



    We have all seen, and probably are all guilty of taking portions of scripture out of context and distorting the true spirit behind the words. A passage of scripture must be interpreted in context and with a true knowledge of the heart and intent of those involved in the passage. Most of us have heard bad reports about persons we know to be of outstanding character. We are less apt to receive a bad report about such a person than about a person who has a bad reputation. I believe most people, including Christians, do not personally know the true character of our Father. We are too quick to put Him on a throne of judgment casting all his enemies into eternal oblivion whether it be eternal torment or eternal annihilation.

    The following chapter of Ezekiel depicts very well the transgressions of those who claim to know Him and His methods of judgment. This portion of scripture classically reveals who the greatest transgressors against Him are and how our Father will deal with the minor transgressors. It also reveals how He will deal with the greatest transgressors, that is, those who claim to be His own.

    The entire sixteenth chapter of Ezekiel is such a segment of scripture. It is a classic example of the creators view of what modern Christendom calls the chiefest of sins. As pointed out in the previous section, our Bibles have been twisted somewhat to reflect the doctrines of the translators. The larger the portion of scripture, the more difficult it is to change its meaning. In a short sentence, one word can entirely change the whole sentence. It is much more difficult to change the meaning of an entire chapter. Ezekiel chapter sixteen, I believe, truly reflects our Father’s view of the grossest of mankind’s sins and his ultimate dealings with our infractions.

    I leave it to the reader to study the entire chapter carefully and prayerfully. We will just refer to certain passages that express the Creators view of the sins of Sodom, Samaria, and Jerusalem and his ultimate judgment of each of them. I believe it shows very clearly why vengeance must be left to our Father and what the outcome of His vengeance will be. As you read the chapter, please note:

    1. Our Maker begins the chapter with His grievances against those who were at this time called “His chosen people.” He reminds them they were heathen when He called them and it was He who turned them into “chosen.” (Ez. 16:1-14)
    2. His “chosen people” trusted in their own beauty, played the harlot and chased after foreign gods. He called this adultery which, according to the law was punishable by death.
    3. The God of Israel said He would judge their sins by bringing against them all those with whom she committed adultery.

      “And I will judge you as women who break wedlock or shed blood are judged; I will bring blood upon you in fury and jealousy. . . They shall “throw down your shrines and break down your high places. They shall also strip you of your clothes, take your beautiful jewelry, and leave you naked and bare. (Please note the symbolism) They shall also bring up an assembly against you, and they shall stone you with stones and thrust you through with their swords.” (Ez. 16:38-41)

    4. This was their judgment, He would then be quiet, and angry no more. Question: will He judge them again for this sin, or is this the judgment for that sin? If this is their judgment, let us see what follows their judgment. “‘You have paid for your lewdness and your abominations,” says the Lord. “For this says the Lord God: I will deal with you as you have done, who despise the oath by breaking the covenant. Nevertheless I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed . . .when I provide an atonement for all you have done,’ says the Lord God.” Please note the final judgment for Israel would be an atonement for their sins even though He had them “stoned and thrust through with a sword.” They were killed! “I kill and I make alive.”
    5. In this chapter which graphically describes the sins of the “chosen people” and their judgment, is also the sins of Sodom, and her judgment. Sodom’s sins, from the Creator’s viewpoint were not nearly as bad as His “chosen people’s” sins. “Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abominations before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit. Samaria did not commit half of your sins; but you have multiplied your abominations more than they, and have justified your sisters by all the abominations which you have done.” (Ez. 16:50-54)
    6. Our Maker’s own people committed more wicked sins than the heathen. They broke the covenant with the Creator. In spite of this, He would provide atonement for their sins, forgive their iniquity, and will at that time give Sodom and her daughters to God’s chosen as daughters! (Ez. 16:53-63) If one looks at the history of Israel or the Church, one will discover that the sins of His people have always been greater than the sins of the heathen. We just refuse to acknowledge them. We are blinded by our pride, which was Israel’s problem as well. It is perhaps a believer’s biggest problem, pride and self-righteousness.
    7. When this happens God’s own people will remember their ways and be ashamed and will receive their sisters Sodom and Samaria as sisters.

    This chapter is a classical example showing how the Creator kills and then makes alive again. It shows that while He judges for grievous sins against Him, the ultimate end of His judgments is mercy. It shows that the most heinous of sins are committed by those who claim to know Him, not those who do not. It also shows we have judged Him before the time. Have we received Sodom back as a sister? I think not. We see the Ruler of the Universe pronounce the same kind of judgments He gave to Israel upon the heathen nations surrounding Israel. Moab shall be like Sodom, Ammon like Gomorra. He will destroy Assyria, and make Nineveh desolation. (Zeph. 2:13-15, 2:9) Yet in Jeremiah our Maker promises to “bring back the captivity of Moab in the latter days.” (Jer. 48:47) In the 49th chapter of Jeremiah, He said He would totally destroy Ammon, yet in the 6th verse He promises to afterwards “bring back the captives of the people of Ammon.”

    The Father of all’s chastening and judgments of the nations are severe, but ultimately will end in mercy. Mercy will triumph over judgment even though His people have usually represented Him as ultimately “getting revenge.” We, who have become Able’s voice still cry out for revenge and call it our Father’s voice. No, it is not the Father’s voice. It is time to stop projecting our self-righteousness and vengefulness upon a God Who desires mercy not sacrifice. We are the ones who call revenge “Justice.” We must repent from our false judgments. When we do, our Father will give us the heathen for an inheritance. (Psalm 2:8) Our sisters will come back into the family.



    We will not do a thorough word study of the various Hebrew and Greek words used to express what we in English call “glory.” There are many studies on these words. These words center around concepts such as: weight, honor, valuable material things, divine presence, an opinion, estimate, high esteem, dignity, praise, worship, etc. We will not enter into a deeper study of “glory” than the above definitions. Jesus Christ was said to be the express image of the invisible God.

    n the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:1-3)

    The entire book of Hebrews is really a warning to Jews who were beginning to forsake the glorious latter day house by returning back to the former house consisting of outer appearances, rituals, and customs. In the above passage, the writer refers to his days as the “last days.” The writer warned of severe consequences of going back to shadows of things to come. In 70 A.D. those shadowy things were completely destroyed by the Roman army.

    So the writer of Hebrews was telling us the very image of the shadow the Jews felt they were giving glory to had appeared. When Jesus began to focus on fully glorify the True Father through His suffering on the tree, they began to abandon Him in droves. Even those closest to Him could not bear the weight of this “glory.” From Gethsemane to the tree of crucifixion was a lonely walk indeed.

    Why did the vast majority of the Jews forsake Jesus and return to the shadow? What was the shadow? The shadow was the “law.” What is the “law?” When we look at the foundation of what came to be called the “Mosaic Law,” it was really nothing more than a second hand word, an intermediary word. The Creator said He wanted to speak to them personally, but when they saw the mountain in thick black smoke they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” (Exodus 20:18) When Jesus manifested as the word of the Creator, they again said, “We have Moses.”

    Moses speaks of written words, yesterday’s message, not living. Since he is dead, we can twist his words to say whatever we want them to say because he is not here to tell us the “spirit” behind the words. Religious man, whether he has just the Hebrew portion of the Bible or both the Greek and Hebrew portions never really wants the Creator around, who is a spirit. Religious man seeks revenge which he calls “justice.” The true heart behind all of our Father’s words is love, mercy, grace. These things religious man, whether he is Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Moslem, Pentecostal, Kingdom, Charismatic, or whatever, really is not interested in except for himself. We want the Judge of all to judge us with mercy but give “an eye for an eye” to everyone else.

    When we look at the harsh strong words of rebuke which Jesus spoke, they were not directed to the same people to whom the religious leaders directed strong harsh words. Religious man, past or present, has directed the strong words of judgment towards those whom he deems a “sinner.” This may mean breaking a set of laws, or not being in the right denomination, or being born on the wrong side of the tracks, or having the wrong color or lineage or such a simple thing as not having spoken the right set of words or being baptized a certain way. Religious man says we have “the law” and each sect has its own “law.” Those who do not conform to these laws is a sinner. When observing a religious person, one will observe they spend much of their time judging according to their laws which, of course, are also their God’s laws.

    Now one would think that Jesus would be thankful and lavish much praise upon those who were the guardians of “God’s law.” But made themselves the guardians of “yesterday’s word.” “We have Moses!” was their reply to the Living Word. This is the very group to whom He spoke those harsh words. This is the very group that shut their ears and gnashed their teeth when they heard “the Father’s Words” coming through Jesus Christ. This group, according to Jesus, sat in Moses seat, a seat of judgment. He said this group was not willing to enter the kingdom and hindered others from entering into it. Religious man loves law and judgment which he equates to “justice.” The heart of the Father is “love covers a multitude of sins.” The law man asks, “how many times do I have to forgive before I can do away with him forever.” The heart of the Father is “His mercy endures forever.”

    Jesus came to show how far the mercy of the Father goes. If ever there was a time for the Creator of the Universe to manifest “justice” which means “judgment” to the religious man, it was at the crucifixion of His Son. Jew and Gentile both were guilty of the greatest of sins, greater perhaps than all the sins of the world combined. If ever there was a moment in which no man would have found fault with the Creator if He blasted that entire group of people into eternal flames, this was the moment. Yet what were the words of the Almighty Himself through Jesus Christ who only spoke what He heard the father say? “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Did the Father forgive them for the highest of sins in the entire universe? Many Christians still say no. Millions of Jews have been tortured, burned, maligned as Christ killers by the church.

    How quick the church is to parrot the famous words of John and James who wanted to command fire to come upon the heads of the Samaritans because they refused to acknowledge Jesus Christ. We, Christians, are so quick to consign to flames those who have refused to yield to our disgraceful counterfeits we call the gospel.

    Imagine this situation. Imagine the greatest evangelists of all time converging on your town, evangelists who personally knew Jesus Christ himself. Imagine these evangelists holding a revival at the local Baptist church. The advertising would read, “the world’s greatest evangelists.” It would bring the entire town. They would preach their hearts out and then give the usual Roman Road close with the usual invitation to raise their hands while no one is looking. Those who secretly raised their hands would then be told they must now come up front. But no one comes forward. How often I have heard Christians consigning those who refuse their version of the gospel to everlasting punishment. They feel justified in consigning them there. They heard “the Gospel” and refused it. They had their chance. If they go to “hell” now, they deserve it! Have you ever seen this kind of response? I have seen it more times than I care to remember. But listen to the words of Him of Whom the Gospel is all about. Listen to His words dealing with this exact situation which occurred in the first century A.D. in Samaria. Jesus said to His disciples who wanted to destroy these men who refused their gospel, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s life but to save them.” (Luke 9:56)

    Not much has changed in the last 2000 years. Jesus’ disciples did not know what manner of spirit they were of then, and neither do they know what manner of spirit they are of today. They still would rather bring down real coals of fire rather than use the coals of fire Jesus would rather us use.

    Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

    The above passage reveals our Father’s vengeance and His Glory. One can justify their hatefulness, self-righteousness, religious pride all they want. The touchstone (test of their faith) is right here. Those who lack the patience of the Saints will always quickly turn the true coals of fire of overcoming evil with good into natural coals of fire meant to hurt and destroy men’s lives. How well we have rehearsed, “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Do we really understand the magnitude of that statement? No, of all the denominations I have been a part of, none of them have seen the depth of that verse. We often take a measure of that verse for our personal sins, but most of us cannot or will not extend the depth of that verse to our enemies.

    The glory of the Creator will be seen when He will manifest what He has said a thousand times in the scriptures and yet we refuse to believe Him. His mercy will triumph over judgment. He will overcome all evil with good. His mercy will not end when your heart stops beating, nor will it end in the ages to come. It will not end at the supposed Great Judgment when all our enemies are expected to get what we think they should have coming to them, nor will it end if one ultimately “decides” not to “choose” Jesus. Salvation never was a choice, which requires effort, forethought, will, etc. We are born of the will of God, not of our own will. (John 1:13) Salvation is a gift that will come upon all, even upon those too ignorant to know what it is or is not.. NO, His glory will be seen when we see that His love, even though we didn’t believe Him, will conquer all enemies, They will submit to Him not because He bent their necks into submission with vindictiveness and human wrath, but that He indeed had all time, power, and authority to bring about the circumstances to finally draw mankind unto Himself. He, Jesus Christ glorified His Father by loving all His enemies enough to bring them all to the Father through His love manifested on the tree of crucifixion. “‘And I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all mankind unto myself.’ This He said, signifying by what manner of death He would die.” Did the Father not give into His hands all things? (John 13:3, 16:15) Did Jesus not have all power and authority? (John 17:2) Was it not the Father’s desire or will to save all mankind? (1Tim. 2:3,4) Was this not Jesus’ mission? To seek and find that which was lost? (Luke 19:10) Do you dare say that Divine Love will not accomplish that which He was sent forth to do?

    Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

    I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. (John 17:1-10)

    Jesus came but to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. (Matt. 15:24) “I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”) His body indwelled with the Holy Spirit is sent to the rest of the whole world. The scriptures declare, “He shall see the travail of his soul and be satisfied.” Anyone, who has ever been touched by His love knows He will never be satisfied until He finds every single sheep that was ever lost in the world of religion, superstition, sin, selfishness, vanity, pride . . .no, He will only be satisfied when Perfect Love is complete.

    I am reminded of a story J. Preston Eby tells in his book God is love. It was a story of an incident which occurred in mid-nineteenth century Russia.

    A Russian nobleman accompanied by his faithful servant of many years was making his way home across the frozen steppes of Russia in a dogsled. They had traveled many, many miles across the barren wastes and were now but twenty miles or so from home, when the servant spied something which, indeed, brought great terror to their hearts. About a mile or two behind them they could make out the form of a huge pack of wolves that had scented them and was now descending upon them. They gave the reins to the dogs, cracked their whips, and shouted whatever the Russian equivalent of ‘mush’ is. The dogs strained their muscles and tried to go faster. Yet, irresistibly, the wolf pack closed the gap until finally there were only a hundred or so yards behind them . . .then only fifty . . . then only ten . . . then only five. Their eyes glowed like coals out of hell and their large yellow fangs were visible. The growling deep within their throats and the panting noises of their breathing, could be heard as they drew closer and closer. There was no hope; there was no place of escape. Suddenly, the servant threw himself off backward from the dogsled, with predictable results. The onrushing pack converged and stopped, tearing the servant to pieces while his master escaped. I thought to myself, ‘What a wonderful illustration of love!’ but upon more mature reflection, I realized that it only vaguely glimpsed the real meaning of love. It hardly touched the fringe of its garment. Ah, it would have come closer if the nobleman had thrown himself off for the servant! ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.'” (1 John 4:10)

    In both, the doctrine of eternal torment, and the doctrine of annihilation is an element quite foreign to our Father’s plan of redemption, that of man’s choice. We forget so quickly that when our Father Abraham cut his covenant with the Maker of us all, he, Abraham fell asleep. It has always been a one sided covenant. In the garden of Gethsemane, again, the faithful fell asleep. The arm of salvation is the Lord’s and none other. It is all of Him, including and especially the decision. He subjected creation to futility and He will restore it. And the glory of the latter house shall be greater than the glory of the former house. It is time to put our pride away and give Him true worship and honor. “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” (Psalm 127:1) We are His workmanship. How quickly we forget. He finds the lost sheep, and He loses none. Believe it, little lost sheep. Another love story taken from Eby’s God is Love will illustrate the point.

    “While reflecting upon the parental love of God, a story came to mind that I read some months ago. In this story a man who was entirely careless of spiritual things died and went to hell. And he was much missed on earth by his old friends. His business manager went down to the gates of hell to see if there were any chance of bringing him back. But, though he pleaded for the gates to be opened, the iron bars never yielded. His cricket captain went also and besought Satan to let him out for just the remainder of the season. But there was no response. His minister went also and argued, saying, ‘He was not altogether bad. Let him have another chance. Let him out just this once.” Many other friends of his went also and pleaded with Satan saying, ‘Let him out, let him out, let him out.’ But when his mother came, she spoke no word of his release. Quietly, and with a strange catch in her voice, she said to Satan, ‘Let me in.’ And immediately the great doors swung open upon their hinges. For love goes down through the gates of hell and there redeems the damned! Our Father and God, incarnate in the Person of Jesus Christ, holds in His nail-pierced hand the keys to death and hell. O grave, where is they victory? O gates of hell, thou shalt not prevail, for the Redeemer of Israel and the Savior of the world, the God who is LOVE holds in His triumphant hand they key!

    This is how the doctrine of eternal torment and the doctrine of annihilation will come to an end. There is no true victory in either teaching, not for The God Who is Love. In fact, it has already ended. Have you not heard, “It is finished!”I ask you to prayerfully humble yourself and meditate with all earnestness on the following scripture. Pride will keep one out of this realm, so I encourage you to ask our Father to “destroy” your pride before you read this scripture.

    “‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, no in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For ‘who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.'”

    I would like to point out an interesting observation regarding the teaching of the doctrine of “annihilation.” The two leading denominations of the teaching, (Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists) had their origins in the latter half of the nineteenth century. It was at this time evolution destroyed many peoples faith. Many denominations lost thousands of members. One of the principles of evolution is the possibility of matter being created apart from God. That everything came out of nothing. This principle made it easier for people to accept the doctrine of annihilation, which is a return to nothing, total destruction. However, the scriptures are very clear there is no thing that is not:

    “out of Him, and through Him, and unto Him.” (Rom. 11:36) And again, “For by Him were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist . . . For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” (Col. 1:16-20) And again, for a triple confirmation, “for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.” (1 Cor. 8:6)

    No, things do not come out of nothing, as evolutionists conclude, all things come out of God. Will He take a part of Himself and utterly destroy it or will all things return unto Him through Jesus Christ? Consider this very carefully as you read through the rest of this article. Another point I would like you to consider is this: When we have a pet that becomes so ill that we feel it would be better to end it’s life, we say things like, “It would be best for the cat if we put it to sleep.” While this may sound very humane, the fact is, we are killing the cat. Many who embrace the utter destruction of millions of human beings, use terms such as “Conditional Mortality” and “Eternal Death.” They get uncomfortable when someone uses plain speech like, “God is going to annihilate, utterly destroy, ‘nuke’ or disintegrate them.” Why do they feel uncomfortable inside? Could it be their conscience telling them their doctrine is wrong? Could it be that dozens of scriptures pass through their minds like “love your enemies,” and “love never fails,” etc. And they find themselves repulsed by their own beliefs? You see, if annihilation is a true doctrine, then all the butchers of the world like Hitler begin to become justified by God actions. If God can burn to death His enemies, and we are made in His image, then Hitler was just conforming to the image of God. After all, the Jews were Hitler’s “enemies.” When bloody Mary killed thousands of Protestants, it has been said her comment was something to the effect of, “I only do here on earth what my God will do to them in Heaven.” Our concept of God will be acted out in our daily actions here on earth. Be very careful in formulating a concept (image) of God. You may become just like it. Now if your image of the Creator is One Who wants to, can, and will win all of His enemies through His love, then we will begin to conform to that image. Which image will make this world a better place to live in? I think the answer is obvious.

    We must ask our Father to destroy “pride” in us because it is religious pride which makes us think we are receiving from the Holy Spirit when if fact we are receiving from the mind of man. Think the highest thought of the Creator, and that thought will fall short of His glory. Surely, annihilation and eternal torment fall very short of the glory of the All Powerful and Loving Father which He is. These teachings line up very nicely with the history of man ruling over man, don’t you think? That is truly the source of these monstrous doctrines, the carnal, vain, mind of man. It is full of all manner of unclean thoughts which will one day be consumed in the lake of fire.

    Now read and study the following scriptures and allow your spirit to soar to heavenly heights as the Spirit of Truth guides you into the riches of His kingdom and His love for you, your family, your friends, and the enemies in your mind.

    1. 1Tim 2:4 God will have all to be saved. (KJV) Can His will be thwarted?
    2. 1Tim 2:4 God desires all to come to the knowledge of truth Will His desire come to pass?
    3. 1Tim 2:6 Salvation of all is testified in due time Are we judging God before due time?
    4. Jn 12:47 Jesus came to save all Will He succeed?
    5. Eph 1:11 God works all after the counsel of His will Can your will overcome His?
    6. Jn 4:42 Jesus is Savior of the world Can He be Savior of all without saving all?
    7. 1Jn 4:14 Jesus is Savior of the world Why don’t we believe it?
    8. Jn 12:32 Jesus will draw all mankind unto Himself To roast or to love?
    9. Col 1:16 By Him all were created Will He lose a part of His creation?
    10. Rm 5:15-21 In Adam all condemned, in Christ all live The same all?
    11. 1Cor 15:22 In Adam all die, in Christ all live Again, the same all?
    12. Eph 1:10 All come into Him at the fullness of times Are you getting tired of seeing the word, all?
    13. Phl 2:9-11 Every tongue shall confess Jesus is Lord Will the Holy Spirit be given to everyone?
    14. 1 Cor 12:3 Cannot confess except by Holy Spirit See what I mean?
    15. Rm 11:26 All Israel will be saved But most Jews don’t believe yet!
    16. Acts 3:20,21 Restitution of all How plain can you get?
    17. Luke 2:10 Jesus will be joy to all people Is there joy is “hell”?
    18. Heb 8:11,12 All will know God How long, O Lord?
    19. Eph 2:7 His grace shown in the ages to come Have we judged Him before the time?
    20. Titus 2:11 Grace has appeared to all Experientially to prophetically?
    21. Rm 8:19-21 Creation set at liberty How much of creation?
    22. Col 1:20 All reconciled unto God There’s that word “all” again.
    23. 1Cor 4:5 All will have praise of God What for?
    24. Jms 5:11 End of the Lord is full of mercy Is “hell” mercy?
    25. Rev 15:4 All nations worship when God’s judgments are seen Could His judgment be mercy?
    26. Rm 11:32 All subject to unbelief, mercy on all All?
    27. Rm 11:36 All out of, through, and into Him All into Him?
    28. Eph 4:10 Jesus will fill all things Including “hell?”
    29. Rev 5:13 All creation seen praising God Including Satan?
    30. 1Cor 15:28 God will be all in all What does that mean, preacher?
    31. Rev 21:4,5 No more tears, all things made new “All” made new?
    32. Jn 5:25 All dead who hear will live How many will hear?
    33. Jn 5:28 All in the grave will hear & come forth How will the “righteous” judge, judge?
    34. 1 Cor 3:15 All saved, so as by fire How can fire save you?
    35. Mk 9:49 Everyone shall be salted with fire Including you?
    36. Rm 11:15 Reconciliation of the world Will fire save the world instead of destroy it?
    37. 2Cor 5:15 Jesus died for all Did He died in vain?
    38. Jn 8:29 Jesus always does what pleases His Father What pleases the Father? (1Tim 2:4)
    39. Heb 1:2 Jesus is Heir of all things Does “things” include people?
    40. Jn 3:35 All has been given into Jesus’ hands Can you accept this?
    41. Jn 17:2 Jesus gives eternal life to all that His Father gave Him How many did the Father give Him?
    42. Jn 13:35 The Father gave Him all things Study the word “things” in the Greek.
    43. 1 Tim 4:9-11 Jesus is Savior of all! Can’t seem to get away from that word “all.”
    44. Heb. 7:25 Jesus is able to save to the uttermost How far is “uttermost?”
    45. 1Cor 15:26 Last enemy, death, will be destroyed Including “lake of fire” which is “second death?”
    46. Is 46:10 God will do all His pleasure Does Old Testament agree with the New?
    47. Gen 18:18 All families of the earth will be blessed Here comes that word “all” again.
    48. Dan 4:35 God’s will done in heaven and earth What can defeat His will?
    49. Ps 66:3,4 Enemies will submit to God Can any stay rebellious in “hell?”
    50. Ps 90:3 God turns man to destruction, then says return How can one return from “destruction?”
    51. Is 25:7 Will destroy veil spread over all nations All nations?
    52. Deut 32:39 He kills and makes alive Kills to bring life?
    53. Ps 33:15 God fashions all hearts “All” hearts, including men like “Hitler?”
    54. Prv 16:9 Man devises, God directs his steps What about “free will?”
    55. Prv 19:21 Man devises, but God’s counsel stands So much for “free will.”
    56. La 3:31,32 God will not cast off forever Why does He cast off in the first place? (1 Cor 11)
    57. Is 2:2 All nations shall flow to the Lord’s house “All” nations?
    58. Ps 86:9 All nations will worship Him “All” nations!
    59. Is 45:23 All descendants of Israel justified Including the wicked ones?
    60. Ps 138:4 All kings will praise God Are you catching on?
    61. Ps 65:2-4 All flesh will come to God That sounds wondrous.
    62. Ps 72:18 God only does wondrous things I wish we would believe that.
    63. Is 19:14,15 Egypt & Assyria will be restored Really?
    64. Ezk 16:55 Sodom will be restored to former estate Sounds impossible.
    65. Jer 32:17 Nothing is too difficult for Him Nothing? No, nothing!
    66. Ps 22:27 All ends of the earth will turn to Him For what purpose?
    67. Ps 22:27 All families will worship before Him Praise His name!
    68. Ps 145:9 He is good to all Including your worst enemies.
    69. Ps 145:9 His mercies are over all his works Let’s start believing that.
    70. Ps 145:14 He raises all who fall Who hasn’t fallen in sin?
    71. Ps 145:10 All His works will praise Him For “eternal torment?”
    72. Is 25:6 Lord makes a feast for all people And you are invited.
    73. Jer 32:35 Never entered His mind to torture his children with fire This came from the carnal mind.
    74. Jn 6:44 No one can come to Him unless He draws them You can’t “chose” to follow Him.
    75. Jn 12:32 I will draw all mankind unto Myself Amen!!!
    76. Ps 135:6 God does what pleases Him If it pleases Him to save all that He might be in all, are you upset?

    The death of living for sin, error, missing the mark, is the second death. The death of deathly living which was inherited from Adam. The glory of our lives living in Adam, in our sinful nature falls far short of the Glory of living in a sinless life, no error, hitting the mark. The Glory of the Latter House will be far greater than the glory of the former house, not only in terms of quantity, but in terms of quality. The covering the Adam had was far from the Glory that Jesus has. Jesus’ covering is our True covering. “In Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)If we do not put off the flesh, the Sword in His mouth will cut us in half and as with the animals Abram offered, the fire of the Almighty will consume it. The law of death in our members will be utterly destroyed, but we live, as a result of the second death, the death to death. The fiery Word of God will eventually find us out and we will finally live to bring true glory to our Wonderful, Awesome, and Loving Father through our Life in Jesus Christ, His Son.

    “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as you have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true god, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth, I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

    And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (John 17:3-5)

    The Father loves the Son and has put everything in His Hands. (John 3:35, NIV)

    The Father and the Son have Glorified One another. Can we give them more glory than “eternal torture” and “eternal death?” Jesus came to destroy death. His last enemy is death. To be carnally minded is death. Pray for the death of your death, that you might see and live in the glorious liberty of the sons of God. This is your inheritance. We may partake of your aionian life today. Believe, and watch the grave stone roll off the mind of death . . .the carnal mind which prevents one from truly bringing glory to our Father.

    “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctified Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:18-21)

    “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. (John 15:5,6)

    Are we abiding in Him, or in our works? What is death? Death is anything that we do that does not come from abiding in Him. We were created unto good works prepared for us in Him. If we draw from that well and manifest it in the world, we are alive to Christ and dead to the flesh (self works). But if we are building religious kingdoms, no matter how small, we are drawing our glory from the earthy which is death. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Righteousness, Peace, and Joy, in the Holy Spirit. Gifts, fruit of the Spirit, good works that do not produce pride and self-righteousness. A servant’s heart that does not grumble. Do you know these things? Rivers of living waters flowing out of our bellies. If this all sounds foreign to you, then come to the fire. He will cleanse you of all death, dead works which are so wearisome. Take His yoke upon you for His burden is light and His yoke is easy and enter into His labors that you may find rest for your soul. Let His Word divide your heart into soul and spirit. Then let the All-consuming Fire of the Father and Son, the smoking furnace and the burning lamp consume all that is not of Them that you might live in the realm of true Glory.

    Some of the primary written works used to promote the teaching of conditionalism are The Fire That Consumes by Edward Fudge, The Conditional Faith of Our Fathers by Leroy Froom, and Immortality of the Soul or Resurrection of the Dead by Oscar Cullman. Theologian John Stott has also written on the subject although it is difficult to ascertain his exact beliefs on the subject. We hope the material enclosed in this article is sufficient to prove the Bible does NOT teach eternal death, it teaches the restoration of all things — it teaches the Victorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Savior of ALL mankind, loser of none.

    One will find most adherents to conditionalism belonging to denominations and movements springing out of the Millerite movement of the eighteen century. Denominations such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Bible Students Groups like Epiphany and Dawn and millenianists like Christian Millenial Fellowship, Sacred or Holy Name groups like Assembly of Yahweh. Herbert Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God and all its splinter groups taught conditionalism. Recently the main branch of the original Worldwide Church of God changed their beliefs on the afterlife to line up more with the traditional Evangelical model.

    For more writings on the subject of what happens to the dead, visit Tentmaker’s Scholars Corner that contains dozens of fine articles and books on punishment, heaven, hell, salvation, etc.