LIFE IN CHRIST
- - - - - - - - - - -
William Robert West
Chapters eight, nine, ten, eleven, and twelve
Chapter one is at http://www.robertwr.com/index.html
Over 1,449,000 downloads
The interpretation of figurative language, metaphors, and symbolic passages, first resurrection and second death, an immortal soul or resurrection of the dead.
Part 1, THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS Luke 16:19-31.
Part 2, THE SYMBOLICAL PICTURES OF REVELATION VERSUS A LITERAL INTERPRETATION–Souls (not spirits) under the altar–The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever–The lake of fire.
Part 3, FOREVER AND EVER of the King James Version–Eternal.
Those who believe in the Pagan doctrine of an immortal soul from birth and Hell have no plain statements. That they must reinterpret. figurative language, metaphors, and symbolic passages into literal statements shows the weakness of their belief that it is from man and not from God. Parables and figurative language must be made to be superior over plain statements. The clear language must be changed to agree with what is thought to have been said in the symbolic language; therefore, many literal passages must be made figurative to keep them from being in conflict with the interpretation given to the figurative passages. Many of the metaphors about the destruction of Israel have been discussed in the first seven chapters. This chapter is a look at some of the symbolic passages that are often changed into literal statements.
CHAPTER EIGHT–PART ONE
THE INTERPRETATION OF FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE
METAPHORS AND SYMBOLIC PASSAGES
THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS Luke 16:19-31
This parable is probably the most used scriptures to prove both (1) that persons have something in them that has no substance, and only this something, not the person goes to Heaven or Hell, (2) or when the person dies, this something leaves the person, and only it lives in a holding place unto the resurrection. It makes no reference to the resurrection, to eternity, or to disembodied souls; it is while the rich man had brethren living on the earth that were under the Law of Moses; therefore, before the resurrection and before the Judgment Day. THIS PARABLE SAYS NOTHING ABOUT SOULS, IT IS ABOUT TWO PERSONS THAT WERE IN ABRAHAM’S BOSOM, NOT TWO SOULS THAT HAD BEEN IN THE TWO PERSONS. There is not the least reference to a soul or a spirit. What right does anyone have to change it from being Lazarus that was carried by the angels to being, not Lazarus, but a soul that had been in Lazarus? If this were a literal story and not a parable, as many believe it is, it would be both in conflict with and a contradiction of the belief that a soul leaves the person it was in and that soul at once goes to Heaven or Hell at the death of the person if there were a soul and it went to Abraham’s bosom as soon as the person died before the resurrection, this parable would be positive proof that a soul does not instantly go to Heaven or Hell at the death of the person it had been in, and positive proof that the dead are alive before and without the resurrection, that the resurrection is not needed.
It is taught by many that persons in hades are all, both the saved and the unsaved, are both asleep together in hades, not awake with an impassable gulf between them. THIS PARABLE IS NOTHING LIKE THE HADES THAT IS BELIEVED IN BY MANY. (1) The hades that many believe to be taught in the Old Testament is a place believed to be underground where all the dead are together in this underground place, and they have no thoughts or consciousness, (2) or is hades, as in this parable, a place that has both a good side and a bad side, and those on the two sides are awake and able to talk to each other? We are told that this is not a parable, that some are alive on the good side of hades, or they are alive on the bad side of hades and will be raised from the dead even though the dead in hades are not dead, that when the Bible says both Lazarus and the rich man died (Luke 16:22) that they are not dead? This is used to prove that there is conscious life for the dead when they are dead, life before the dead are resurrected and judged at the coming of Christ; that the dead do not need the resurrection to be alive. It would make endless life precede the resurrection and punishment precedes the judgment.
Many realizing that the Orthodox teaching that there is something in a person that goes to Heaven or Hell at death is not from the Bible, and what ever they think the “it” is, this “it” will not be in Heaven before and without a resurrection and judgment, knew they had to have an intermediate or third place that is not Heaven or Hell to put immortal souls from death unto the resurrection, if there were immortal souls. Is the best they can do is to try to make a parable into a true story, making Abraham's bosom into a real holding place unto the resurrection? In doing this, they must set aside the plain teaching on death and the resurrection as if they did not exist. Making this into a real story, and not a parable is a life or death struggle with them; it is absolute necessary for this to be a true story for the Bible gives them nowhere for a living soul to be living in before the resurrection; there is no other place, and they need to make this into a real place. If they do not, they have a living soul with nowhere for it to be living in before the resurrection and judgment. The Abraham’s bosom version says there cannot be a soul in Heaven before they are judged, or a soul in any of the Protestant versions of Hell unto after the judgment day, but they must have somewhere to keep a soul. They cannot even agree among themselves, for some say it is a parable, and some say, "No it is a true story." Many that think it is a parable will use it as if it were a true story; they say it teaches the same thing either way. "Notes On The Parables Of Our Lord" by R. C. Trench is ranked as one of the best on the parables. He says this is a parable, and on page 17 says parables are not to be made the first sources to teach a doctrine. To go from the clear to the obscure has been recognized as the law of Scriptural interpretation, but this has been forgotten by those looking for an argument to sustain a weak position, and often invent for themselves support in parables. On page 162 Trench says it is most important to keep in mind that this parable has as it's central thought the rebuke of unbelief. Nevertheless, this parable is used as the first and only source to teach a doctrine that is not found in any other part of the Bible.
Some that believe in Hell often point to Luke 16 to prove there is torment after death, but when pushed, most of them will admit hades is not Hell, but they need to prove there is torment in Hell; therefore, use the torment of the rich man in hades in this parable and hope in some way to transfer the torment in this parable to being literal torment in Hell. Even if this were a true story and not a parable, it may prove that there is torment before the resurrection, (1) but it would prove nothing about what will be after the resurrection, (2) or that there will even be a Hell after the resurrection, (3) or even if it were a true story it says nothing about the existence of souls that are separated from the person; in this parable it was the rich man himself that was in torment, not a soul that had been in the rich man, it was Lazarus himself that was comforted, not a soul after it had left the dead Lazarus. IT SAYS NOTHING ABOUT A SOUL, NOTHING ABOUT A SPIRIT, NOTHING ABOUT HELL NOTHING OF THE RESURRECTION, OR THE JUDGMENT, but Luke 16 is one of the most used passages to try to prove there is a Hell, and that there is torment in Hell even though there is nothing about Hell in the parable. They are desperately looking for proof of Hell, which they cannot find. The complete silence of the scriptures about the dead being anywhere before the resurrection other than the grave is a deathblow to the doctrine of an immortal soul. Those who make this parable into a literal story are (1) trying to prove the Abraham's bosom view, (2) or to prove Hell, both use it to put aside hundreds of plain passages of scripture.
PARABLES IN LUKE 15 AND 16 is a discourse to the Pharisees and Scribes that has five parables in it.
(1). The lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7).
(2). The lost coin (Luke 15:8-10) not called a parable.
(3). The lost son (Luke 15:11-32) "a certain man" not called a parable.
(4). The unjust steward (Luke 16:1-13) "a certain rich man" not called a parable.
(5). The rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) "a certain rich man" not called a parable.
1, Four of the five are not called a parable.
2, Three of the five begin with "a certain...man."
3, Two of the five have "a certain rich man."
4. I know of no one that makes the other four be a true story, but they desperately need the rich man and Lazarus to be a true story to have proof of their doctrine.
Five "a certain" in a row.
(1). "A certain man" (Luke 14:16).
(2). "A certain man" (Luke 15:11). No one questions these two being a parable.
(3). "A certain rich man" (Luke 16:1). And no one questions this being a parable.
(4). "A certain rich man" (Luke 16:19). Why do many question this being a parable?
(5). "And a certain beggar named Lazarus" (Luke 16:20).
Christ used "a certain" 18 times, and all 18 are in parables (Matthew 18:23; 21:28; 31:23; 22:2; Mark 12:1; Luke 7:41; 10:30; 10:31; 10:33; 12:16; 13:6; 14:16; 15:11; 16:1; 16:19; 16:20; 19:12; 20:9). No one questions that any of the other 16 times "a certain" are in parables, only the two in this parable to make them fit with the literal view, but it is desperately needed for this not to be a parable for it to be proof of the doctrine of Hell; even if it were a true story it would makes the true story contradict what is believed about Hell, even contradict what is believed about Hell by those that try to make it a true story.
There is nothing about a certain soul in this parable.
1. The man died.
2. The man was in Abraham’s bosom.
3. It was the “certain man” that the rich man wanted to bring water. Nothing was said about a soul. Dose any one believe a soul can bring water?
The objection of some is that it is not called a parable. More than half, 15 of the 26 parables in Luke are not called a parable. The three parables before this one that are a part of the series of five parables, all five were spoken to the Pharisee and Scribes in the same speech are not called parables, but no one questions them being parables. The objection of others is that parables do not use proper names. "And he took up his parable, and said, 'From Aram has Balak brought me, the king of Moab from the mountains of the East: come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel'" (Numbers 23:7). Not one but five proper names are used in one parable. "The son of man" (Matthew 13:37), "Satan" (Mark 4:14) are used in parables, also Ezekiel 23:1-4. Even if this were the only parable in the Bible that used a name, which it is not, who made the rule that Jesus could not use a name in one, ten, or ten thousand parables?
This is the last in a series of five parables, all five were spoken to the Pharisee and Scribes, and all five were in the same speech. All five have people, but no one takes the people in the first four to be actual people, but fictitious people used to teach the Pharisees to whom these five parables were spoken.
(1). A man with a hundred sheep (Luke 15:3-7). “Both the Pharisees and scribes began to grumble…and he told them this parable” (Luke 15:2-3).
(2). The woman with two coins (Luke 15:8-10).
(3). Two sons and a father (Luke 15:11-32).
(4). The cunning servant (Luke 16:1-17).
(5). Rich man, Lazarus, Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:14-31). “Now the Pharisees…were listening to all these things…and He said to them” (Luke16:14-15).
Those who make this parable into a literal story do not accept the main part of it as being literal; they do not accept Abraham’s bosom as being a literal place, but as a symbolic place; his literal bosom had turned to dust many years before, and there would not be room for many persons in Abraham’s literal bosom; therefore, if parts of it cannot be literal none of it can be literal, if it is a true story then all of it must be literal. It is either a symbolic picture, or it is a true story. It cannot be a mixture of the two; it cannot be part literal and part a true story. Does anyone believe Lazarus was literally carried to Abraham’s literal bosom by angels?
Many want to make this a true story and not a parable to use it to prove Hell, but the only part they want to be a true story is the one word “torment” (distressed or sorrowing, not torment in the Greek) even though it is clear that the distress or sorrowing in this parable is not “torment” in Hell; the rich man was not being tormented in Hell and Lazarus was not in Heaven.
THE RICH MAN: This is an allegory about the Jews who were rich in God's blessing. Israel was spiritually rich (see Romans 9:3-5). All Luke 16 is on the subject of stewardship. The Jews failed to share with the Gentiles giving them only the crumb, and most of the Jews failed to believe in Christ. The Gentiles were spiritually poor. This parable is a satire condemning the Jewish nation, the Scribes, and Pharisees. Christ used one of their own uninspired fables that those He was speaking to would know about (see Josephus and others), which He changed only slightly as the base of this parable to show the end of the Jewish nation as God's chosen people. See Matthew 21:43-45; 24:2; Luke 13:28; Matthew 23:1-39. Throughout much of the Old Testament Israel did not obey God, and they rejected Christ; therefore, were rejected by God. Israel is no longer His chosen people. Their anguish was being without God and rejected by Him; as a nation Israel is now dead and in hades, the grave. When they reject Christ there was no comfort for them, no water to cool their tongue (Luke 16:24).
A picture of the rich Jews and the poor Gentiles is given in Matthew 15:22-27. "And behold, a Canaanitish women came out from those borders, and saying, have mercy on me, O Lord...But he answered and said, I was not sent but unto the house of Israel. But, she came and worshipped him saying, Lord help me. And he answered and said, ‘It is not good to take the children's (Israel's) bread and cast it to the dogs (Gentiles).’ But she said, ‘Yea, Lord: for even the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.’" He gives her the crumbs and healed her daughter.
"And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the sons of the kingdom (Israel) shall be cast forth into outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 8:11-12). "Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken away from you (Israel), and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof" (Matthew 21:43). "O Jerusalem...your house is left unto you desolate" (Matthew 23:37-38).
"Odunaomai" is used only four times in the New Testament, and is translated "tormented" in the King James Version in Luke 16:24 and 25, but is translated "in anguish" both times in the American Standard Version. It is used only two other times and was translated "sorrowing" in the King James Version. Odunaomai as it is translated in the American Standard Version in the only four times it is in the Greek.
1. “Behold, your father and I sought you sorrowing (odunaomai)” (Luke 2:48).
2. “For I am in anguish (odunaomai)” in this flame” (Luke 16:24).
3. “But now here he is comforted, and you are in anguish (odunaomai)” (Luke 16:25).
a. “Tormented” King James Version.
b. “Anguish” American Standard Version - Revised Standard Version - The Living Bible.
4. “They all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him, sorrowing (odunaomai) most of all for the word which he has spoken, that they should behold his face no more” (Acts 20:37-38).
a. Does anyone believe either Mary or the elders at Miletus were tormented? By the way it was translated the King James translators did not think so, but they saw in it’s use in Luke a way to add eternal torment by making odunaomai have two completely difference meaning.
b. Strong’s Concordance says odunaomai (word 3601) is “to grieve–sorrow” is from word 3602 “grief (as dejecting) –sorrow.”
The anguish (or sorrowing, not torment) of the rich man was Israel’s sorrowing because of being rejected by God as a nation. Sorrowing, anguish, and distressed are emotions or strong feeling that a person has within himself, not something that comes from without.
Young’s Literal translation, “And having cried, he said, Father Abraham, deal kindly with me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and may cool my tongue, because I am distressed (odunaomai)” in this flame. And Abraham said, Child, remember that thou did receive good things in thy life, and Lazarus in like manner the evil things, and now he is comforted, and thou art distressed (odunaomai)” (Luke 16:24-15).
This parable is about Israel that was rich in God's blessing, and Gentiles that were poor in God's blessing, not a literal story about a person who was a beggar. "Ptokos" is used thirty-four times in the New Testament, and is always translated "poor" except in this parable and Galatians 4:9 where it is mistranslated “beggar” in the King James Version, but translated “poor” all thirty-four times it is used in the New American Standard.
1. “And given to the poor (ptokos) Matthew 26:11.
2. “A certain poor (ptokos) widow” Mark 12:42.
3. “Preach the gospel to the poor (ptokos)” Luke 4:18.
4. “Contribution to the poor (ptokos) saints” Romans 15:26.
5. “As poor (ptokos), yet making many rich” 2 Corinthians 6:10.
6. “And a certain poor (ptokos) man named Lazarus” Luke 16:20 New American Standard.
This parable is about the Jews who were rich in God’s word and the rest of the world that was poor (ptokos), in spiritual poverty, “Having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).
DR. GILL, an orthodox Protestant who believed in the intermediate state of the dead, in his commentary of Luke said, "The rich man died: It may also be understood of the political and ecclesiastical death of the Jewish people, which lay in the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, and of the temple, and in the abolition of the temple worship, and the whole ceremonial law: a Loammi was written upon their church state, and the covenant between God and them was broken; the gospel was removed from them, which was as death...their civil power and authority, were taken away from them by the Romans." Many orthodox writers say the same.
LAZARUS is the Gentiles, the people in spiritual poverty who had only the crumbs of God's blessing (see Matthew 15:21-26), but become the seed of Abraham-the church. Lazarus (the Gentiles) becomes rich in God's blessing by the Gospel. Christ says, "The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you (Israel), and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof" (Matthew 21:43). "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ" (Galatians 3:14). See Matthew 8:11-12; Luke 8:28' Acts 8:46; 26:23; Romans 2:28-29; 9:3-5; 9:8; 3:26-29; 4:28; Philippians 3:3; Romans 11:7; Ephesians 2:12-13). In the parable Lazarus (the church) is now in Abraham's bosom where the Jews (the nation of Israel) once were. "Now WE, brethren, as Isaac WAS, are children of promise" “We (Gentiles) ARE…children of promise” “As Isaac WAS…children of promise” (Galatians 4:28). "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart" (Romans 2:29). "For we are the circumcision, who worship by the spirit of God" (Philippians 3:3). "And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise" (Galatians 3:29). Paul calls the church "the Israel of God" (Galatians 6:15-16). Every person who is now a Christian is the seed of Abraham, and an heir of the promise made to Abraham.
ABRAHAM was the father of the Jewish Nation, which was the chosen nation, the nation that was in covenant relationship with God (Galatians 3:6-22; Romans 9:8). The blessing of Abraham came to the Gentiles through the Church. Israel does not now by birth have the blessing of Abraham, and are not now God’s chosen people; therefore, are "in anguish, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." Israel is not now in covenant relationship with God; the Church is now the "sons of Abraham" (Galatians 3:7), are now the chosen people. "So then they that are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham" (Galatians 3:9). Israel has been "broken off," or "cast off" (Romans 11). The church is now "the Israel of God," is now figuratively in Abraham’s bosom, is now God’s chosen people (Galatians 6:16; also 1 Peter 2:9-10; Hebrews 12:22).
THE GULF: The rejection of Christ cut Israel off from Abraham and the blessing of God. One cannot reject Christ and worship God. Without believing in Christ and His resurrection, there is a gulf between God and Israel. As long as they reject Christ, there is not "a drop" of spiritual comfort for them in Christianity. Those that believe in Christ can give no comfort, no hope of salvation to them that do not believe whether it is Jews or Gentiles that do not believe. The Law of Moses, which Israel gloried in, died at the death of Christ. "Having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross" (Colossians 2:14). "Be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage" (Ephesians 2:11-22). Also Acts 15:24. We cannot cross the gulf and go back to the Law (Galatians 5:1). "That which Israel seeks for, that he obtained not; but the election obtained it" (Romans 11:7). The only way any person can become a child of God today is by being born again. The Law is dead and will never be restored. The nation of Israel can never be restored. The only way any Jew could ever again be a child of God is to believe the Gospel and be baptized into Christ. "By their unbelief they (branches–plural, Jews, not plural nations) were broken off," and Gentiles (plural Gentiles, not plural Gentiles nations) were grafted in. "And they (individual Jews) also, if they continue not in their unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them (Jews) in again" (Romans 11:17-24).
The rich man (Israel) went to the grave (hades). Israel is no longer God's chosen people. Lazarus, the Gentiles believers are now in Abraham's bosom, are now in a covenant relationship with God, not in the grave. Abraham's bosom is not a division of hades, not one side of hades. Many draw a circle and make one side of it be where the rich man is and the other side where Lazarus is with a gulf between the two sides. This circle is in the back of most Bibles printed by Star Bible, and in many tract and books printed by members of the Church of Christ.
THE FIVE BROTHERS. Christ was telling the Pharisees and scribes they would not believe even when He rose from the dead (See Trench "Notes On The Parables" page 162). In the parable Abraham tells the rich man that if their own scriptures cannot convince them of their error, neither would they be persuaded if one rose from the dead. Christ did rise from the dead, but few Jews believed on Him. After the judgment there will be none alive on earth to be persuaded by one sent back from the dead, none of the rich mans brothers will then be on earth.
Judea and his five brothers became six of the twelve tribes. Some believe five brothers are used to identify the rich man as Judea to the Pharisees to whom He was speaking this parable.
THREE CONFLICTING VIEWS
THREE DIFFERENT GOSPELS Galatians 1:6-9
(1). Luke 16 is used to prove at death the body dies, then a soul or a spirit? goes to hades or Abraham's bosom unto the resurrection.
(2). At the death of the person a soul or a spirit that had been in the person goes to Heaven or Hell.
(3). Ecclesiastes 12:7 is used to prove that the spirit (the breath of life) in all persons came from God at their birth, both the saved and the unsaved, and at death the spirit (the breath of life) that has been in all person, the life that came from Gods goes back to God.
Which one do you believe? All three cannot be true. Many who believes a soul that was in the dead goes to hades to be with the rich man in torment, or to be in "Abraham's bosom" also believe and teach when a soul leaves the person it was in, that soul goes directly to Heaven to "be with the Lord." They seem not to be able to see that they are making the immortal soul that they believe to be in the dead go immediately to Heaven or Hell after the death of the person; therefore, they have made this that they teach as a true story impossible. No soul could be in "Abraham's bosom" and in Heaven simultaneously. How many of the three conflicting gospels do you believe? Does the orthodox view not know what the orthodox view is? If a soul of the dead goes to Heaven or Hell at death, why did Luke say the rich man was in hades; hades and Hell are not the same place, yet this is one of not the most used passages to prove souls that were in the lost go to eternal torment in Hell at death. Do those who believe the Abraham's bosom view forget that they teach no one will be in Heaven before the judgment? Yes, they almost always do forget at funerals and have the dead person, not a soul, looking down from Heaven at us, they almost always make Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom be in Heaven, and the rich man to be in Hell; do they think Abraham is literally in Heaven, and Lazarus is literally in Abraham bosom in Heaven with those in Hell literally asking Abraham to send those in his bosom down to Hell with water?
D. SLOUGH, evangelist, Church of Christ. “Useless, perhaps, to point to Johnson…and hundreds of other learned men who select this parable to prove an immediate entrance at death into joy or sorrow. Never seemingly able to discover the impossibility of making it accommodate itself to such requirement. No wonder they become utterly nonplussed when the discrepancies involved in such a course are brought squarely to their attention through other scriptures. This fact has been tested time and time again with the same result–that of quibble and evasion pure and simple.” “The Indictment Of Eternal Torment–The Self–negation Of A Monstrous Doctrine,” page 254, F. L. Rowe, Publisher, 1914. Free on line at, www.robertwr.com/EternalTorment.htm
IF THIS WERE A TRUE STORY AND NOT A PARABLE
If one attempts to explain all the elements as though they are literal, the difficulties of making this be a true story will be seen.
If this were a true story is has both punishment and reward coming before the resurrection and Judgment Day.
If this were a true story for those that believe the newer version of Hell, that no one will be in Hell before the Judgment Day, the rich man being in a conscious state before the resurrection, judgment, and second death would not prove there was an immortal soul that had been in the rich man when he was alive, would not prove eternal torment, or would not prove anything that is to be after the Judgment Day (nothing is said about a soul after that soul had left the dead rich man that it had been in when the rich man was alive), it speaks about two men, two persons, the rich man and Lazarus, not about two souls that had been in the two man before their death, not about two souls that are now in Abraham’s bosom, not about two souls that are now in Heaven or Hell.
If this is a true story it is in direct conflict with Christ and Paul. Christ said, "For you shall be recompensed in the resurrection of the just" (Luke 14:14); but if this is a true story, their recompense is in "Abraham's bosom" immediately after death before the resurrection. What will happen after death? Christ said, "For the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs (not in Abraham's bosom) shall hear his voice, and come forth: they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment" (John 5:28-29). If hades is not the grave, no one will be in the tombs when Christ comes. Paul said, "There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord...shall give me at that day" (2 Timothy 4:8).
If this is a true story it would make Christ be against Christ in this teaching, and in His teaching in Matthew 12:15; Mark 3:24-25; Luke 14:17-18. The resurrection keeps getting in the way of the immortal soul doctrine, for it seems to be more than just a little difficult to have a resurrection of something that is alive and not dead.
1. If all go to Heaven or Hell instantly after death, no one will be in the tombs at the coming of Christ.
2. If all go to Abraham’s bosom, or the bad side across the gulf, no one will be in the tombs when Christ comes.
If this is a true story it makes the resurrection useless and not needed by making souls that were in believers be rewarded before the resurrection, rewarded only because the person that a soul was put in was a person that became a believer. No soul would be dead; it makes void the teaching of Christ about the resurrection of the dead at His coming. Not only would the resurrection be useless, but also a lie for souls that were alive any place could not could be resurrected; they would be as alive as they will ever be, and at the second coming of Christ no soul will be in the grave to "come forth" (John 5:28-29). They would have to "come back" from somewhere, but it would not be a resurrection of the dead. (1) Coming back from "Abraham's bosom," if it is made to be a real place in a true story, (2) and the teaching of a soul going directly to Heaven or Hell after death, both makes a resurrection impossible and not needed. A living soul coming back from Abraham's bosom, or coming back from Heaven to be judged for what a person did that it had been in would not be a resurrection of the dead, not a resurrection of a soul, not a resurrection of the person that soul had been in. Any doctrine which makes the dead not be dead, makes a resurrection an impossibility and useless. If this is a true story and not a parable, it is an undeniable contradiction of the Protestant view that all souls goes directly to Heaven or to Hell after the death of the persons they were in.
If this is a true story it makes the wages of sin being death not possible. There would be no real death; to be dead would be to be alive in another form. It is used to show the nature of punishment after death in Hell, but even if it were a true story, it says nothing about anything after the judgment or about Hell. It does not mention a soul, Heaven, or Hell, but is used to prove all three.
If this is a true story it makes being rich the only reason for going to “Hell,” and being poor the only reason for going to Heaven; “but Abraham said son, remember that you in your lifetime received the good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things: but now here he is comforted, and you are in anguish.” There is no other reason given for the rich man going where he went and Lazarus going where he went. Which one of the two do you compare yourself with, the rich man or Lazarus? It would make most of us be going to Hell and be with the rich man. Not many of us have been “laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table.”
If this were a true story it would be an actual description of the intermediate state, which must be true in every detail, such as praying to Abraham, able to see and hear those in torment (Greek – distressed, not torment).
If this is a true story it is when the rich man had brothers living on earth, not after the judgment, according to then no one in Hell will have brothers living on the earth after the Judgment. The message that the rich man wanted taken to his brothers was not the gospel of Christ, but message of the Law; it was before the Christian age, it was given when the rich man and his brothers were under the Law. How did Abraham say the five brothers could be saved, not by believing in Jesus, but by believing Moses and the prophets were there only hope.
If this is a true story those who believe there is an immortal soul that is in a person, and only it (whatever they believe a soul to be) will live after the death of the person, and believe the rich man and Lazarus to be two bodiless immortal souls after the death of the persons that these souls were in. This is the point they want to make, that a person has an immaterial something in them that lives after the death of the person. Dose anyone think one immaterial immortal soul would want another immaterial soul to bring it a drop of water?
1. They tell us the "soul" of both the saved and the lost are in hades.
2. They tell us at the death of the person "the spirit returns to God" (Eccl. 12:7).
3. They have the "soul" in hades, and the "spirit" in Heaven at the same time.
If this were a true story souls in Abraham's bosom would be able to hear and see souls on the other side of the gulf. The gulf must be narrow enough to be in speaking distance. Could parents be in joy while they watched their children in agony? Could anyone be happy and have peace while they could hear the cries of anguish of those on the other side? Would you be happy if you were confined in a place for centuries where you had to see the agony, and hear the screaming of some of your loved ones; would that be a reward for anyone; but if this is a true story them you will see and hear their agony and screaming? Even most who believes this to be a parable do not believe the good and the bad dead can talk to each other, or that the dead can now come back and talk to the living, as the rich man wanted Lazarus to do.
If it were a true story it is the one place in the Bible where the veil is drawn aside and we can see what it is like after death. We can even hear the conversation of souls on the other side of death, and it was given to unbelievers, the Pharisees and Scribes. Luke 15 and 16 is a discourse to them, not to the Apostles.
If this were a true story we have a biblical example of praying to a Saint and to a person as if he were God, which we are forbidden to do. If after death anyone can pray to Saint Abraham, why do most who are orthodox teach we cannot now pray to Saint Abraham or any other saint?
THIS PARABLE HAS ELEMENTS
THAT COULD NOT BE TRUE IN A TRUE STORY
(1). If this is not a parable, and if the rich man and Lazarus are real people, Then Abraham is also a real person, but he is now in the place of a God. Is he a God? No, for this is a parable, not a true story. If it were a true story it would make Abraham, not God, the source of reward after death. God or Christ are not mentioned in the parable. If taken literally, Abraham is put into a position of being a God, which he never was, is not, and never will be. Coffman said the element of Abraham presiding over paradise forces one to seek an analogy, "Commentary On Luke," page 385, Abilene Christian University Press. Lazarus in the bosom of the God Abraham can have no parallel in reality; it is a parable, not a true story, it cannot be both. It cannot have both an allegorical and a literal meaning; if it did, how would one be different from the other?
1. Abraham is not a God. This is figurative language, not a true story.
2. Abraham's bosom is not a place. This is figurative language, not a true story.
3. Abraham's bosom is not literally the home of the saved after death. This is figurative language, not a true story. Many died before Abraham was born. They could not have gone to Abraham's bosom, a place where Abraham presided over before Abraham was born, before Abraham’s bosom could have existed; but those who believe in Abraham's bosom view believe all the saved in the Old Testament went to it; therefore, Abraham's bosom could only be symbolic language.
(2). Many regard this as a parable, but they reason and draw conclusions from it as though it were a literal true story. They go both ways as it suits them. "No reason why Luke 16:19-31 should be viewed only as a parable," Samuel Csonka, Guardian Of Truth, January 5, 1995, page 16. This article by Csonka in the Guardian of Truth says it is a parable, but he thinks it is also a true story both at the same time! It could not be both, and the article says it is a parable. It cannot, as Csonka says it does, "mean the same thing" if it is a parable that it would if it is a true story. It must be 100% a true story, or 100% a parable. It cannot be a mixture of the two. If it is a literal true story, every detail must be true and have a literal true meaning. Those who say it is a true story find parts of it that will not fit into what they believe, and always try to make these parts be a metaphor or parable. Abraham's bosom had literally turned to dust long before Jesus gives this parable. If his bosom is used symbolical, and is not Abraham’s literal bosom, the rest of the account must also be symbolic, and this is not the literal experience of the two men after they died. In a metaphor, one part of it is never figurative with another part literal. If Abraham's bosom is figurative, then Lazarus in his bosom must also be figurative and not a real person, otherwise, a real person would be in a figurative bosom. We cannot make any part of a metaphor be a literal statement just because we want it to be, or we need it to be to prove something we want to prove. If Abraham’s bosom is a real place where souls go after the death of the persons they were in, where is it, and why do we not read of it in any other passage any place in the whole Bible; if Abraham’s bosom is not the grave, Heaven, or Hell, where is it? If this were a true story, both the rich man and Lazarus died, but they did not die, neither one would be dead, if this was Lazarus himself that was alive, or a soul was alive that had been in Lazarus before Lazarus died, either one would be alive before and without the resurrection, just as alive as it would be possible for them to be after the resurrection. If this were a true story it would make the resurrection 100% useless.
E. D. SLOUGH, evangelist, Church of Christ. “We want to know if this was a real experience, and if it teaches the condition of the dead. Let it be remembered, then, according to the philosophy that they are ‘spirits.’ Will you tell me how you reason that a ‘spirit’s tongue’ can be cooled with water? ‘Oh’ you say, ‘that represents’–hold on, no representations go in a real circumstance. If you say it is real, stay with it. This policy of making it half literal and half figurative, just because there is an end to gain, is a nature ‘fakir’ in theology. It, therefore, represents nothing if it is a real circumstance, as you affirm. How could Lazarus carry a drop of water on his ‘spiritual’ finger? You say, ‘Oh, that doesn’t mean literal water.’ Well sir, it does or you do not mean what you say, I care not who you are. But reason with me. How could a spiritual tongue be cooled with a drop of water? ‘Oh,’ you say, ‘that must not be pressed too literal,’ no, not too literal, but just as literal as in any real circumstance. If it was a literal fact, then the details, which make it up are literal facts also. And to deny that it to deny your position. Here is a stubborn fact. The narrative say the rich man did call on Abraham to send Lazarus. That he wanted Lazarus to dip his finger in water. And he wanted Lazarus to put that water on his tongue. And the reason was that he was tormented in the flame. That very portrait, if it was a real circumstance, will compel every one of you to admit that the torment of the intermediate state is produced by fire. How do you like it? Then stop saying it is a sort of compunction of conscience. For understand, conscience was never known to call for water to cool it. Get that? It will no doubt be granted willingly, that for a real circumstance, the peculiar incidents connected with it here make this the most remarkable and phenomenal case on record. For we would be forced to concede that a spirit craved water, that it gets thirsty or feverish, and that it asked a favor of Abraham instead of God, that it was God who rendered the verdict and cast him in prison, that Abraham has no right or jurisdiction in the matter, and a hundred other things that make this narrative an absolute mystery, if it be a real circumstance.” “The Indictment Of Eternal Torment–The Self–negation Of A Monstrous Doctrine,” page 262, F. L. Rowe, Publisher, 1914. This book is free at, www.robertwr.com/EternalTorment.htm
(3). This is the only parable in which some try to make an allegory literal, but only the parts of it they want to be literal for they do not want the whole story to be literal. It would teach things they do not believe. It would teach that souls that are in the many (the poor) would be saved, and that souls that are in the few (the rich) will be lost. What about Abraham? He was very rich. It is not said the rich man was evil or sinful, just rich; but those who teach innate immortal have a real person in torment before the judgment, before he is judged and found guilty. It is not said Lazarus was good and faithful, or even that he knows of God, just that he was poor, as are millions; but being rich is not sinful, and being poor will not save. Not one good thing is said about Lazarus, not one bad thing about the rich man. There is nothing negative said about the rich man, and nothing positive about Lazarus in their lifetime, but they have Lazarus who they say is a real person being rewarded before being judged; but if this was a true story, was it Lazarus himself, or was it a soul that was in Abraham’s bosom? After all, according to the immortal soul doctrine, people are not in Heaven, Hell, or Abraham’s bosom, only souls are, only a soul that had been in a Lazarus would be alive after the death of Lazarus.
(4). It would teach that a soul that had been in the rich man would be in a supernatural state (but not of this earth or Heaven); therefore, that soul would have a much greater knowledge of supernatural things than we now have, that soul would believe or know that souls could come back to earth and teach living persons, the rich mans brothers. This is not what most believes, but it would greatly support the spiritualist who says they can call the dead back.
(5). What bodies would the rich man or Lazarus have when their earthly body was still in the grave? They will not have a "spiritual body" unto the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:44). Do disembodied spirits that have no body and are immaterial, and invisible, but immaterial souls have human body parts? The rich man has "eyes" and "tongue." Lazarus has a "finger." Abraham has a "bosom." Is there a third kind of body, which has these earthly body parts? What would a "spirit" or "soul," which does not have an earthly body want with water? Only in speaking in a metaphor can it be said that God or any spiritual being has a human part, or to want water. An immaterial, invisible soul having body parts and wanting water would make this immaterial soul be very material.
(6). If the rich man were a real person in torment, God would be unjust to be tormenting him without his knowing why. If he knew why he was being tormented, he would have known that Lazarus could not come to take his torment away by bring him water.
(7). The rich man wanted Lazarus to go to his brothers "from the dead." How could Lazarus "go to them from the dead" (Luke 16:30) or "rise from the dead," (Luke 16:31) if he were not dead, but he was alive in Heaven or alive in Abraham's bosom? If it was a deathless soul that was in Abraham’s bosom, not a person, how could a deathless soul “go to them from the dead’?
(8). If this were not a parable it would only teach what would be in the intermediate state from death unto the judgment; there is nothing in it that would teach eternal torment after the Judgment Day; nothing is said about Heaven, or anyone or any soul being in Heaven or Hell.
(9).”Now it came about that the POOR MAN DIED and HE was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and THE RICH MAN ALSO DIED AND WAS BURIED.” If this were not a parable what “died, and was buried?” Who was the “he” that “lifted up his eyes” in hades after “he” died? Orthodoxy says death is not possible for an immortal soul. The “beggar died” (Luke 16:22), The rich man “also died, and was buried” (Luke 16:22). What “died?” In the parable whatever “died” of Lazarus was what was “carried away by the angels into Abraham’s bosom;” whatever “died and was buried” of the rich man was what “in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in anguish.” According to the parable what “died and was buried,” did the body die, or did a soul die that we are told repeatedly that a soul could not have “died.” If a soul was what was carried to Abraham’s bosom, then it was a soul that “died and was buried.” Nothing is said about a soul or a spirit in this parable.
AL MAXEY, "To fabricate a theology of disembodied spirits and Hadean holding cells and everlasting torture of the wicked from this passage is an unconscionable abuse of biblical interpretation and should be rejected by all disciples intent upon discerning and declaring truth rather than perpetuating the tedious tenets of paganistic tradition." “Reflections,” Issue #28, April 4, 2003.
ADAM CLARKE, "Let it be remembered that by the consent of all (except the basely interested), no metaphor is ever to be produced in proof of a doctrine. In the things that concern our eternal salvation, we need the most pointed and express evidence on which to establish the faith." Clarkes Notes on Matthew 5:26.
R. C, TRENCH, "The parables are not to be made first sources of doctrine. Doctrines other wise grounded may be illustrated, or even further confirmed by them; but it is not allowable to constitute doctrines first by their aid. For from the literal to the figurative, from the clearer to the more obscure, has ever been recognized as the law of Scripture interpretation. This rule, however, has been often forgotten, and controversialists, looking around for arguments with which to sustain some weak position, often invent for themselves supports in these." “Notes On The Parables Of Our Lord,” page 17,1948.
Luke 16:19-32 – Very similar – Isaiah 14:9-20
1. Both the rich man and king of Babylon go to hades.
2. Both represent nations.
3. Both are represented as being alive.
4. Both found person(s) to speak with.
5. Both are not to be taken literally.
Chapter Eight–PART TWO
THE SYMBOLIC PICTURES OF REVELATION
The Interpretation Of Figurative Language, Metaphors And Symbolical Passage. The symbolical pictures of Revelation versus a literal interpretation. Most of Revelation is symbolism. All the literal passages in the Bible, which use words like death, die, destruction, life, many insists that only one word in a passage be interpreted figuratively, not the whole passage, until they come to a book that is figurative, then they insists that the figurative be interpreted as being literal; it is a hopeless cause that requires such poor handing of God's word. The commentators say Revelation is figuratively, but are so divided on what the symbols mean that I have not found two that agree on the interpret of them; how can anyone use any of the many interpretations of them to prove a doctrine which they have no poof of in the rest of the New Testament?
HENRY CONSTABLE, “Driven hopelessly from the plainer parts of Scripture, the advocates of eternal life and misery in hell think that they have in this mysterious and highly-wrought figurative book as least two passages which authorize them to change numberless passages in the rest of Scripture, and some even in the book of Revelation itself, from their pain and obvious meaning to one that is forced, unnatural, and often false to all the laws of interpretation of language…They take a text or two in the very end of the Bible, and by them interpret a thousand passage written long before. No matter what may be the apparent meaning of these earlier and far more numerous passages, they must all be made to square with the text from Revelation! The first written, the more numerous, and the plainer Scriptures, must be interpreted by one or two last-written and figurative passages!” “The Duration and Nature of Future Punishment,” pages 172–173, 1871.
THE FIFTH SEAL - SOULS UNDER AN ALTAR
A symbolical picture (Revelation 6:9). Chapter 6 is a vision of seven seals being opened by the Lamb; the other six seals, just as the fifth seal, are things that happen on earth before the judgment. To understand this chapter we must keep it in the context. John was seeing a vision of what was to shortly come to pass at the time he was writing (Revelation 4:1). When we read the symbolism of Revelation, we must remember that the figure symbolizes something that is a word picture, and they are not to be taken literally. We must look for what is symbolized, and not make the symbols into something real or literal. The red horse of Revelation 6:3 is not a literal or real red horse, and it is not in Heaven; it went out “to take peace from the earth, and that men should slay one another (not one soul that will kill another soul that cannot be killed).” John did not see a literal vision of Heaven when he saw a view of horses and one of them taking “peace from the earth,” or souls under an altar. None of the symbols can be taken literally. The fifth seal is figurative just as the other six seals were; these souls (psukee-lives) instead of being seen in heaven, where seen under the alter in an allusion to the Jewish altar on which sacrifices were offered. Souls (psukee-lives) are not literally living under an altar in Heaven before the judgment. If there were immaterial souls that have no body parts, these souls could not receive a mark upon their foreheads, or their hands, could not have been sacrificed on an altar. That the symbolic souls (psukee-lives) under an altar must be changed into literal unhappy souls that are under a literal altar, and this altar move to Heaven, and they are literally crying out for revenge shows the weakness of this belief. Even those who believe there are souls that go to their endless abode in Heaven at death do not believe these souls are now living in Heaven in a prison under an altar crying out for revenge, this is definitely not the Heaven that is preached at funerals with the dead loved one smiling down at us, but they are desperate for any passage to prove there is a immaterial soul in us and that soul goes either to Heaven or Hell at our death that they make it literal, even if it makes souls (psukee--life or persons) that are in Heaven be living under an altar, even if it puts a literal altar and sacrifices in Heaven.
Souls (psukee--life or persons) under the altar crying out in Revelation 6:9 is similar to Abel's blood that "cries unto me from the ground" (Genesis 4:10). Both are figurative and not literal. The fifth seal is only one of seven seals in this vision, and cannot be made literal while the others are figurative. Is the 5th seal literal, but the 6th one figurative? Read all seven. The 5th seal is taken out of context. Souls under an altar are no more literal than white, red, black, and pale horses are. Like the horses, they are part of a symbolic picture of things on this earth before the judgment; the seven seals are all of things that are on this earth, not things that are in Heaven. Souls under the altar is an allusion to the Jewish altar on which their sacrifices was offered and the blood was poured our under the altar, not to a real altar that is in Heaven before or after the judgment. If this symbolism were made literal, not even those who believe there is a deathless something in us that lives after we are dead would not believe what this passage would say, that an immortal immaterial something that had been in a person now lives in Heaven under an altar, and “it” wants revenge on other souls.
In this symbolism there are nations in Heaven with “the kings of the earth bring their glory into it (into Heaven) (Revelation 21:24); and outside of Heaven there are, “Dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and every one that loves and makes a lie” (Revelation 22:15). Souls under the altar are no more to be taken literal than these things are.
HOMER HAILEY, "That the blood of the sacrifices was poured out at 'the base' of the altar (Lev 4:7,18,30 et all.). Therefore, when the blood was poured out, it was the life that was being offered. The 'souls' (psuchas), which John saw beneath the altar, was the lives of those who had been sacrificed for Christ." "Revelation, An Introduction and Commentary," page 194, Baker Book House, Hailey was dean of Bible at Florida Christian College.
The life is in the blood, which had been poured out under the altar (Leviticus 17:4), Christian martyrs had symbolically poured out their lives under the altar. Psukee is translated "life," and would be a better translation of psukee than "souls," it was lives that were poured out, not souls that we are told by those that believe there are souls that they have no blood to pour out and cannot die. The blood of the sacrifice was poured at the base of an altar. The life was in the blood (Genesis 9:4, Deuteronomy 12:23), not a soul in the blood. Just as the blood of Abel cried out from the ground for justice (Genesis 4:10), the blood of these who were sacrificed for Christ cries out for justice; it will come at the judgment. This symbol picture is taken from something on this earth before the judgment, earthly things that we know about, not a literal picture of something that is actuality in Heaven. Can anyone believe John saw immaterial souls literally living under the altar on which the persons that they had been in had been killed; has this earthly altar literally been moved from earth and it is now in Heaven?
Most of the Protestant versions of Hell are that all souls that had been in the lost are now in Hell being tormented by God with more torment than anything we can know, but it has souls that had been in the saved that Protestants teach are now in Heaven, these souls are now under an altar that has been moved from this earth to Heaven, and are now wanting more torment on other souls they believe are already being endlessly tormented in Hell by God. What would you think of some you now know that were seeing many being tormented by someone, if they were asking to see more torment? To make this passage literal to prove torment in Hell would makes souls in Heaven be more heartless than any living person, and would make these souls be completely without any love. They would be seeing the agony and hearing the endless crying of unceasing anguish of other souls and asking for more torment.
Is there a literal altar in Heaven? There cannot be literal souls on a symbolic altar. If these souls are literal, and the altar were in Heaven as many believe it is, then the altar must also be as literal as the souls under it; when one part of the vision is made literal, there is nowhere to stop without making the whole vision literal. What sacrifice could be made on this literal altar if it were in Heaven? If the altar were literal, then there would be literal death in Heaven, for to have a literal sacrifice on the literal alter there must be a literal death of what is sacrificed. What would be the reason for the sacrifice? Not for sin, for there is none in Heaven. Who is making the sacrifice? Do angels have a reason to make a sacrifice? Dose anyone believe souls in Heaven would be confined to the area under an altar? See Genesis 4:10 and Hebrews 12:24. This altar in Heaven is no more literal than, (1) Jesus would have a literal sword coming out of His mouth. (2) A church would be a literal lamp stand. (3) False religion would be a literal harlot riding a beast.
Do you believe the beast in Revelation 13 is an actual giant sea monster that has seven heads?
Do you believe the lamb that was slain for our sins was really a sheep?
Do you believe the dragon in Revelation 13 was a prehistoric flying creature?
Of course not, like the altar they are symbolic pictures of things on this earth, not real things in Heaven.
Revelation 6:9; 14:9-11 are symbolic pictures of events that happen in time just as the other symbolic pictures around them are of events that happen in time. To put an altar for sacrifice, or smoke from burning flesh in Heaven is absurd. Just as absurd as making Revelation 12:1, "A woman arrayed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars" into a literal woman would be. Her head would need to be much larger than the sun to hold a crown with twelve suns in it. They are symbolic pictures; they are not literal or real events, not at the judgment or after it. The end of time is not described unto near the end of the book (see Hailey and Wallace below). To prove Hell, the symbolic pictures of these in time judgments (judgments that take place on the earth before the Judgment Day) are taken out of context, and are moved (1) unto after the end of the earth (2) and after the Judgment Day, and they are placed in Hell even when there is no revelation that Hell exists. Those who believe in Hell think these symbolic pictures of in time judgments in Revelations are one of their strongest proofs of Hell. Peterson said, "The book of Revelation paints some of the most graphic pictures of hell found in the Bible," page 93. He takes the visions out of context and makes them be literal by making all the judgment pictures in the book be torment in Hell after the Judgment Day is over. He ends up with such absurd things as Heaven being always full of smoke from the burning bodies of those in Hell. Although it is agreed by most that the symbolic pictures of Revelation can prove no doctrine, yet "the smoke of their torment" (Revelation 14:9-11) is constantly quoted as proof of endless torment (material smoke from an immaterial soul that has no substance is literally burning and making material smoke in Heaven!). The fact that believers in Hell can prove their Hell only by misusing symbolic passages, metaphors, and parables; and must use these to set aside plain passages that says the wages of sin is death, that the lost die, perish, are destroyed shows how utterly groundless the belief in Hell is. The clear statements are the truth, not the misuse of symbolic pictures. The Bible does not say yes and no to the same thing. It does not prove both the affirmative and negative both at the same time. A symbolic picture does not prove the opposite of a clear statement. A symbolic picture of smoke in Heaven does not change "the wages of sin is death" to be "the wages of sin is endless life for an immaterial soul burning in torment" with the smoke of their burning going into Heaven for all eternity. The passage says, “any man,” but dose anyone believe “any man” will be burning for eternity? Those that believe in Hell must change “any man” to a soul that had been in “any man” and make it be a immaterial “soul” that is burning in Hell, not a material man burning for eternity.
Like most, if not all the symbolic pictures in Revelation, this language is taken from the Old Testament, and it is speaking of judgments on this earth, not in Hell. On the judgment of Edom in Isaiah 34:5-17 it is said, "It shall not be quenched night or day; its smoke shall go up forever," but Edom was not literally destroyed by fire; the rich land of Edom became a desert inhabited by jackals and other wild things. The destroying of Edom by fire is symbolic just as Revelation 6:9; 14:9-11 are symbolic pictures; the nation of Edom was completely destroyed, and the rich land that was not a desert became a desert; wild animal dwell in the land, and thorns, nettles and thistles grow in the abandon fortified cities (Isaiah 34:13-15), but Edom was not burned up by a literal unquenchable fire, the nation did not literally burn up, it was literally destroyed, but not destroyed by a literal fire, and there never was any literal smoke. God’s judgment of Edom meant that the nation completely ceased to exist just as Sodom ceased to exist, neither one are now being endless tormented in hell or ever will be. Most that believe in Hell do not believe nations or cities are tormented in Hell, yet they change this to be individuals to prove that individuals are to be tormented by God in Hell even though nothing is said about individuals, nothing about souls that had been in the individual persons.
A contradiction to their own belief
In an attempt to find their belief in the Bible, many make the symbolic picture of souls (not spirits) under the altar literal, but when they do it does not say what they want it to say, not even close to what they want it to say.
(1). Souls (not spirits, souls that could be seen, could sing) under the altar before the judgment does not fit with the Protestant version of Heaven, that all the saved go directly to Heaven at death. Those who believe that as soon as a person dies a soul that was in them goes to Heaven to be at home with the Lord. If souls go to their endless home with Christ in Heaven at the death of the persons, why are these souls so unhappy that they cry unto God? Why are they crying to God for judgment and vengeance on other souls that are already in torment if souls that were in the lost go to Hell at death and are already being tormented by God? Will souls in Heaven want more vengeance than the awful torment that is believed Hell will be for souls that may have been in their father, mother, brother, or sister?
(2). Souls under the altar before the judgment does not fit with the after judgment version, that all the saved souls are in Abraham’s bosom, and will not be in Heaven unto the Judgment Day. Many who believe in Abraham's bosom also make this literal, but when they do they have an even greater contradiction of their belief. They have souls that are not in Abraham's bosom, but in prison under an altar in Heaven before the judgment. They do not believe any will be in Heaven before the Judgment, but they have some souls that are now in Heaven under an altar. They have some that are in Heaven, and some that are in Abraham's bosom simultaneously before the Judgment Day. This is inconsistent with their own teaching, particularly on Luke 16. They teach Abraham's bosom with the good and bad sides, then they use this passage and teach that souls are "under the altar”; therefore, they have living souls now in two different places before the resurrection. They change from one to the other, and then back to the first, as they need to. If a symbolic passage can be made to prove something they want it to prove by making it literal; it is made literal and use it just as Revelation 12:7-9 and other passages in Revelation are made literal. In the attempt to prove Hell, two symbolic passages are made literal, (Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 6:9), but if these passages did prove what they are being used to prove, the two passages would contradict each other.
A drowning man will desperately grab at anything to try to keep his head above water. There is no plain statement that teaches men have an immortal inter something in them that is not subject to death; therefore, they grab at any symbolic language or parable.
B. W. JOHNSON, "Some persons have turned to the Book of Revelation and hung over its sublime imagery, as if these were literal descriptions of our endless home; but we must remember that this is a book of symbols, and that this fact will not permit a strict adherence to the letter in seeking the meaning of its glowing visions. Revelation does not aim to teach us, as some have thought, that the ceaseless employment of heaven is endless singing or praising, but that it is an abode of rapturous joy of which song and praise are the natural expressions. Nor are we to conclude that the heavenly city is literally paved with gold and fenced in with jasper walls and pearly gates, but that it is a splendid and glorious home beyond anything that mortal eye has ever seen." “Christ and the Future Life,” 1891.
Commonly accepted rules, (1) a symbolic passage cannot overturn the teaching of a passage that is not symbolic; (2) a symbolic passage cannot be used to build a doctrine on.
THE SMOKE OF THEIR TORMENT
John says, "And the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day and night." Both are symbolic language speaking of an in time temporal punishment on this earth, not of endless torment in Hell. If “the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night” were literal, the torment and smoke would not be coming from Hell where this passage is used to prove the torment to be, it would make both the torment and the smoke literally be in Heaven, both would be “in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb” (Revelation 14:10). “Day and night” has to do with time, not eternity; the American Standard Version says, “Greek, ‘unto the ages of ages’” which would put the smoke in time, and the smoke would end when time as we know it will come to an end. The smoke would be a symbolic picture of something that will be “unto the ages of ages;” it is saying the smoke will be going up in time, whatever it is symbolic of will end when time ends; there is no hint that smoke will go up without an end. “Unto” a given time, “unto the ages of ages” as it in the Greek New Testament is not “ever and ever” as it was changed to in the King James Version.
If this were literal, there are many more that are lost in Heaven than are saved, it would make Heaven be over run with the lost that were being tormented in the present of the holy angels and Christ, and Heaven would be filled with the smoke of their torment; if it is symbolic the lost are not literally tormented in Heaven, and there is no literal smoke from their burning in Heaven. Dose anyone really believe that there will be torment and real smoke, as we know it, in Heaven?
CHARLES WELCH, “In the clause ‘they have no rest day nor night who worship’…is the present participle denoting they have no rest day nor night while they are worshipping” “The Wages of Sin” at, www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/
Most, if not all that believe in Hell do not believe those in Hell will be worshipping “the beast and his image” or worshiping anything when they are being tormented by God with intense pain in Hell; whatever is symbolize by worshiping of the beast takes place on Earth before the Judgment Day, before most that believe in Hell believe any one will be in it.
“The smoke of their torment” is in the third of the seven bowls of the wrath of God poured out “into the earth” by seven angels having seven plagues. Revelation 15:1 says, “For in them is finished (completed) the wrath of God.” “Because in them the wrath of God is finished” New American Standard. According to those who believe in Hell the wrath of God will never be finished. The seven plagues are plagues that take place in time and will be finished in time, not plagues after the Judgment Day that will never be finished. All these passages speak of judgments when people are still alive on the earth, judgments before the coming of Christ and before the final judgment on the last day.
REVELATION 14:9-11 WORSHIPERS OF THE BEAST
"And another, a second angel, followed, saying, fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, that has made all the nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a great voice, If any man worshipped the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead, or upon his hand, he also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God which is prepared unmixed in the cup of his anger; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their torment doth go up to ages of ages; and they have no rest day and night, who are bowing before the beast and his image, also if any doth receive the mark of his name." Footnote in the American Standard Version, "Gr. unto the ages of the ages." This smoke goes up only “unto the ages of ages.” It is symbolic of something that is before the judgment, not of something that will be after the judgment. The seven angels were told, “Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God upon the earth” (Revelation 16:1), not in Hell after there will be no earth.
Revelation is a book of figurative language mostly taken from the Old Testament. It was written to people who knew the Old Testament, and would be familiar with its symbolisms, but those persecuting them would not understand it. The symbolism in Revelation can be understood by the way they are used in the Old Testament; rising smoke that Abraham saw the next day after Sodom was completely destroyed is used through out the Bible as a symbol of complete destruction even when there was no literal fire as there was not in the destruction of Edom (Isaiah 34:8-10).
Changes that must be made.
(1). The persons that committed the sins listed in Revelation 21;8 must be changed from persons to souls that are deathless and cannot die a first or second death.
(2). “Second death” must be changed to second life for souls that cannot be dead and; therefore, they still has the first life; the first and second life at the same time!
(3). Then a place added, and then named “Hell” for those souls to have a second life in.
(4). Then eternal torment of those souls that has a second life added in the place that was added.
Why can the Bible not believed? The persons that committed the sins listed in Revelation 21:8 will be raised at the coming of Christ, judged, and then will die the second death.
WHAT OR WHO IS THE BEAST? To understand who are the worshipers of the beast are we need to know what the beast symbolizes. In Daniel, "beast" is used to represent a great political empire.
A. M. OGDEN says worshiping Babylon is Emperor worship. "The Avenging of the Apostles and Prophets," page 295.
F. E. WALLACE, "The name Babylon had come to symbolize the ultimate in corruption, and the fallen Babylon of verse 8 is figurative of the spiritual degradation of Jerusalem–'the faithful city turned harlot.'" "The Book Of Revelation," page 310.
HOMER HAILEY, "Judgment should motivate and bring men to repentance (Acts 17:30f). But, what judgment is in the divine mind here–the final judgment, or an immediate one? In the light of this exhortation to fear God, give Him glory, and worship Him, it is impossible to make 'the hour of his judgment' refer to the final judgment...but rather, it refers to the hour in which God is to judge Babylon." "Revelation, An Introduction and Commentary," page 30, Baker Book House, 1979.
Most commentaries say this passage is speaking of a judgment that takes place in time before the coming of Christ, and before the Judgment Day. Whether the beast is pagan Rome or the Papacy, the worshipers are only a small part of those who are not in Christ. It says nothing about all of the lost in John's time or today, and nothing about any souls going to Hell. It is not the judgment at the coming of Christ for all the lost will be in that judgment. Those who believe in Hell do not believe anyone will worship the beast nor receive the mark of his name after they are in Hell, but these people do worship the beast while they are alive on earth. If the powers of this world are cast alive into Hell and tormented forever, then the evil powers of this world will exist forever, but even those who believe in Hell do not believe evil nations, world powers will exist forever and be tormented in Hell. Like the seven plagues that followed this was poured “into the earth” (Revelation 16:1), this judgment was a judgment on this earth before the Judgment Day, not in Hell after the Judgment Day when this earth will have been destroyed; not many believe any will be worshiping the Papacy after the second coming of Christ.
There are four symbolisms in the passage, each one taken from the Old Testament.
(1). Those that worship the beast shall drink of wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed in the cup of His anger. This is an Old Testament expression of destruction. See Jeremiah 25:15-27; Obadiah 16 and 18; Psalm 75:8; Job 21:20; Habakkuk 2:16; Malachi 3:2.
(2). Those that worship the beast shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. See “The Types Of The Judgment” in chapter seven.
(3). They have no rest day and night. This is often applied to souls in Hell being tormented forever, but it says nothing about all the lost souls in Hell, but is only about people, not souls, who are worshiping the beast (Emperor worship or pagan Rome) while they are alive on earth. All four symbolisms in this passage are speaking only about those who are alive and on the earth that are worshiping the Emperor or the Papacy and not God, and says nothing about endless torment in Hell. This is the third of seven angels with seven plagues upon the earth; after the seventh plague John says, “For in them is finished the wrath of God.” Nothing is said about the wrath of God beyond the seven plagues, nothing about wrath that is not on this earth that will never be finished, not a word about endless wrath in Hell.
(4). The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. Even if Revelation 14:9-11 were literal, it would not be depicting torment, but the aftermath of the destruction that was completed just as the smoke of Sodom that Abraham saw depicted that Sodom had already been total destroyed. The ascending smoke is a sign of the destruction that has already taken place on this earth, a destruction that had been completed; it would be evidence that the fire had done its work of destruction. Revelation 14:9-11 does not say the lost are being tormented forever and ever, it says, “the SMOKE of their torment GOES UP UNTO THE END OF THE AGE.” Those in Sodom were dead when Abraham saw their smoke ascending; it was the sign of a destruction that had already ended. After a city or a person has been turned to smoke, the destruction is past, not forever ongoing. The ascending smoke seen by Abraham after the complete destruction of Sodom became the basis of much of the language of destruction found in the Bible. The smoke is a sign of an utter, complete destruction that is passed, not of being eternally tormented by God, Genesis 19:24-28; Isaiah 34:9; 66:24; Jeremiah 17:27; Ezekiel 20:45-50; Revelation 14:9-11; 18:9; 18:18. Like the rainbow the smoke is a reminder of a destruction that is already completed.
SMOKE IN HEAVEN Revelation 14:9-11 is a symbolic picture of a judgment in the time of Emperor worship or pagan Rome, It is a picture of the destruction of these powers on this earth, not of the torment of individuals in Hell after the coming of Christ, after this earth does not exist. If this passage were literal, who would worship a beast with seven heads? How many have you ever seen with the mark of this seven headed beast on their forehead? That some would make everything about the beast be a symbolic picture unto it comes to the punishment of those with his mark on their forehead, but then change from symbolic to literal shows how desperate they are for anything that may support the doctrine of Hell. According to this passage, the torment referred to is occurring on this earth for IT IS WHILE THEY ARE WORSHIPING (PRESENT TENSE) THE BEAST, AND WHILE THERE IS "DAY AND NIGHT." Where is Hell? If this passage were a literal picture of Hell, then Hell would be on this earth, and those in it would not have died, but the smoke of the torment of those still living on the earth would go from the earth and would fill Heaven with smoke. This passage speaks of a limited number of persons when they are living on the earth, only these persons who worshiped the beast, not all the lost being tormented while they are alive on earth before the resurrection. Young's literal translation of the Bible translates this action in the present tense as "bowing" (i.e. worshiping). THESE PEOPLE HAVE NO REST WHILE THEY ARE STILL WORSHIPING THE BEAST, NO REST WHILE THEY ARE STILL ALIVE AND ON EARTH. Revelation 14:9-11 has its fulfillment on earth before the judgment day; it is not speaking of anything after the judgment day.
The same symbolic language that John used is used in Isaiah 34:10 when speaking of the destruction of Edom, “It shall not be quenched night or day; its smoke shall go up forever.” Edom was totally and forever destroyed, not forever being tormented. Also in Ezekiel 28:1-19 when speaking of judgment on the King of Tyre, it is symbolic language of earthly judgments that are used in both the Old Testament and New Testament taken from the smoke that was seen going up after the judgment and complete desolation of Sodom and Gomorrah.
LEROY EDWIN FROOM, “Smoke has aptly been said to be the formless relic of an object that has been consumed or decomposed, by the action of fire. It is but a relic, a vestige, an emblem, a lingering trace of the passing, the drifting aftermath that remains from AN OBJECT THAT HAS BEEN DESTROYED. A perpetual smoke may, therefore, well stand for a perpetual reminder before the universe of an irreparable ruin that has taken place, a burning up that has accomplished its allotted purpose, The same inspired portrayed, it is to be ever remembered, declares that God will 'consume,' 'devour,' 'destroy,' cause to 'perish,' and 'blot out' all the wicked. That dread transaction, or operation, involves and constitutes the 'second death.' The perpetuity intended is not, therefore, of the torment, but of the death following thereafter and caused thereby.” Volume one, page 409. “The Conditionalist Faith of Our Father: The Conflict of the Ages Over the Nature and Destiny of Man.”
BABYLON DESTROYED Revelation 18. John says there will be a time when Babylon “shall be found no more at all” Revelation 19:3 says the smoke of Babylon goes up forever and ever (Greek–“unto the ages of ages,” not forever). Whose smoke is this? Where is this smoke? Who is made desolate? The answer is Babylon. Where and when shall Babylon “be utterly burned with fire”? The fall and desolation of Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18 is the desolation of “No more at all” as it is used in the Book of Revelation.
(1). Babylon “shall be found no more at all” Revelation 18:21.
(2). “Voice of harpers…heard no more at all” Revelation 18:22.
(3). “Craftsman…found anymore at all” Revelation 18:22.
(4). “The voice of a mill shall be heard no more at all” Revelation 18:22.
(5). “A lamp shall shine no more at all” Revelation 18:23.
(6). “Voice of bridegroom…shall be heard no more at all” Revelation 18:23.
1. Being “found no more at all” clearly means Babylon will not exist forever in endless torment.
2. Babylon is fallen (Revelation 18:2).
3. Burned up with fire. The "smoke of her burning" was seen (Revelation 18:8).
The smoke of their burning is a symbol, just as are the wine and the cup. The “smoke of her burning" cannot be made literal without making the other symbols in the passage literal, which those that use it to teach endless torment are not willing to do. This smoke has been changed from Babylon before the judgment, and has been changed to be not the smoke of Babylon but the smoke that is coming from all the souls that had been in the unsaved that are being burn in Hell by God after the judgment, even though this judgment scene takes place on this earth before the judgment. Babylon being “utterly burned with fire” (Revelation 18:8) and the people on this earth (“merchants”) that had did business with her were looking “upon the smoke of her burning” (Revelation 18:15-18) before the judgment that believers in Hell have changed to smoke coming from all souls that we are told are immaterial and has no substance, but smoke that has substance, is coming from the no substance souls in Hell, changed from being before the judgment to being after the judgment. The judgment and punishment of Babylon in Revelation 18 and 19 is not souls that had been in individual burning in Hell. The smoke is the evidences of the destruction of Babylon, which is symbolized by smoke that will last "unto the ages of the ages," Babylon–an evil world powers, whether it is a nation or a religious power, will come to an end, not be tormented forever. In Isaiah 34:10 the smoke from Edom will go up forever; the smoke going up is an Old Testament symbol of the destruction of a nation or city that the Jews reading in the time of John would understand to be a destruction that was passed as the destruction of Sodom was passed when Abraham saw the smoke ascending.
1. The kings of the earth that committed fornication with Babylon will weep over her (Revelation 18:9). Will kings on the earth weep over a nation that is in Hell?
2. Merchants will buy from her no more (Revelation 18:11-17).
3. Shipmasters and mariners will cry and cast dust on their heads when they look upon the smoke of Babylon burning (Revelation 18:17-20). Would shipmasters be able to look on Babylon if Babylon were in Hell? Will there be ships in Hell after the judgment?
ADAM CLARKE, "Her smoke rose up. There was, and shall be, a continual evidence of God's judgments executed on this great whore or idolatrous city; nor shall it ever be restored."
HOMER HAILEY, "A constant reminder of the punishment for sin…Edom is not burning today, and Heaven is not literally full of smoke. It is the everlasting remembrance of God's victor over evil that is symbolized by the smoke." “A Commentary On Isaiah," page 290, Baker Book House, 1985.
The "everlasting smoke" is that Babylon will be forever remembered with disgrace and contempt.
Some say, "O. K., if we must put the smoke of Hell in Heaven forever to have our Hell, then we will take this symbol out of context, make it literal, and fill Heaven with the odor from the burning souls that had been in most of mankind before they died."
Smoke in Heaven in chapter 14 is a vision of the fall of beast (Emperor worship or pagan Rome) and her worshipers. In chapter 18 the kings of the earth weep and lament over Babylon (probably symbolisms for Rome that would not be understood by those persecuting them, and would have caused more persecution if they had understood) when they see the smoke of her burning. "Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come" (Revelation 18:10). And in verse 21, "Thus will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer." Then in Revelation 19:3, "And a second time they said, 'Hallelujah!' her smoke (not the smoke of burning thoughts only souls in Hell that have no substance to burn) rises up forever and ever" ("Unto the ages of the ages" eiv touv aiwnav twn aiwnwn). It is clear that this is a vision of a judgment that takes place in time, a judgment on Babylon; it is not the judgment at the coming of Christ.
The same apocalyptic language is used in Isaiah of the judgment of Edom. "It shall not be quenched night or day; its smoke shall go up forever" (Isaiah 34:10). After God’s judgment on Edom it became a place for wild creatures (Isaiah 35:11-15). "Day and night" means there is no let up of God’s judgment until the judgment is complete. The outcome of the unquenchable fire that burned "day and night" was permanent destruction of Edom, not a literal burning forever. "From generation to generation it shall be desolate" (Isaiah 34:10) not "from generation to generation it shall be burning." Edom has now been desolate for generation; dose anyone think there will be generations in Hell? A person suffering from cancer will suffer "day and night" until the end. "Day and night" does not mean "forever." Examples where "day and night" were temporary, and means continued day and night as long as they existed, but have ended (Isaiah 34:10; Acts 9:24; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 3:10). Both Babylon and Edom were nations on this earth that were judged and have been destroyed (a judgment and destruction where fire is used symbolical when neither Edom or Babylon were literally burn up but both were destroyed by going out of existence), not persons that are being tormented, nations will not be tormented in Hell from generation to generation. Yet, when this passage is made literal it proves something that even those using it do not believe. They must change it from nations that were judged and destroyed before the resurrection and judgment to souls being tormented after the resurrection and judgment, and then say they do not believe in changing the Bible.
Those who believe in Hell use 2 Thessalonians 1:9 to prove Hell is away “from the presents of God,” and that death is being alive but separation from God. Yet they make Revelation 14:10-11 be literal to prove Hell. In doing so, they make Hell be in Heaven “in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” Even those who believe in Hell do not believe that any will be tormented in Heaven forever, but when this torment is changed to be literal torment, the torment is made to be literally in Heaven in the presence of the angels and Christ, not in Hell.
Where do they think Hell is? Away "from the presence of God"–or–"in the presence of God." The same people say both are speaking of Hell.
THE LAKE OF FIRE
The "lake of fire" in which the Devil is cast is used five times, all five in the Book of Revelation.
(1). LAKE OF FIRE, First time it is used–Revelation 19:20: The beast and the false prophet, TWO WORLD POWERS, NOT SOULS OR ANY KIND OF LIVING BEING, ARE CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE, both are cast into the lake of fire before the Judgment Day. The beast, which is the great heathen world power of that day, the Roman Empire, and the false prophet, "These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire." Those that worshiped the beast were not thrown alive into the lake of fire, but they were killed with the sword, which came from the mouth of him who sat upon the horse, "And all the birds were filled with their flesh." How could birds eat the flesh of souls when Vine tells us that souls are, “immaterial, invisible.” “Vine’s Expository Dictionary,” page 588? The fire was no more a literal fire than the beasts are literal beasts, and the birds are not literal birds that eat the literal flesh of literal people. It is a symbolic picture of total destruction, the end of the beast and the false prophet (world powers). Those who make this literal have a literal beast being burnt in a literal lake of fire. Only the beast and false prophet where cast into the lake of fire; the rest, those people who worshiped the world powers, the ones that those that believe in Hell are trying to put in Hell, were killed and eaten by birds on this earth, they were not cast into the lake of fire, not tormented by God in the lake of fire. When this is made into a literal endless torment to prove there is a Hell, it is not even close to the Hell that is taught today, not even close to the Hell that it is being used to prove. When something is not taught in the Bible, no passage that is misused to prove it will prove it. They want to make only the lake be literal, but all others things in the same passage, the beast, the sword, the birds, etc., must be symbolism for if they were literally swords that kills and literal birds that eat those that have been killed by the literal sword it would not fit with today's Hell. Why is this passage used to prove Hell when it is nothing like the Hell that is believed in today? It puts a beast alive in Hell and leaves the people that they say will live forever in Hell not in the lake of fire (not in Hell), but they are dead persons on this earth and are eaten by birds, there is nothing in it about deathless souls that could not be eaten by birds. The "Hell" that is preached today does not have a beast that is alive in it, and it definitely does not have dead people that are not in Hell being eaten by birds.
The lake of fire is used only in the Book of Revelation and is a symbolic picture taken from this earth. Literal fire will not exist after the end of this age (1 Peter 3). Anything cast into a literal lake of fire would be totally destroyed, totally incinerated, no living being could live and be tormented forever in a literal lake of fire. It is a symbol of total destruction, not of endless torment, not a place of literal fire that will exist after the destruction of the earth. To have Hell in this passage, both symbols and literal must be mixed together in the same passage, and only those that do the mixing can tell us what part is literal, and after they do their mixing it is not anything that is close to the Hell that is preached today, today’s Hell cannot be found in the Bible.
HOMER HAILEY, "The beast is the great heathen world power of that day, the Roman Empire," page 387. Then on page 388 he says, "These 'two were cast alive into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone,' where the harlot had already met her fate, being 'utterly burns with fire'...Because of the expression, 'cast alive,' some writers have concluded that these two are literally individuals who will appear in person before the end of time. But this does not necessarily follow; for 'being cast alive into the lake' indicates that up to the actual time when they were cast into the lake of brimstone and were brought to final destruction by His mighty power and judgment, these two personified forces of political and spiritual power were actively fighting against the Lamb. The Roman Empire and emperor worship backed by the imperial power were now brought to a final and complete end, never to rise again…The Roman power and the paganism, which it supported, are now destroyed forever. The vision of Daniel is fulfilled (Daniel 7:11), and in this defeat and destruction is revealed the destiny of all such powers that should ever arise to fight against God and his kingdom. This is God's guarantee to victory to the saints who lived then and to all who would come after them, even until the end of time. 'And all the birds were filled with their flesh' completes the symbolism of verses 17–18. Not a vestige of the anti-Christian forces were left; the destruction was complete." And on page 398, "The devil, man's great deceiver from the beginning, now reaches his final doom and eternal end. First, he was cast down to the earth (12:9), then into the pit of the abyss (20:3), and now into the lake of fire and brimstone, his ultimate end." When Hailey gets to Revelation 20:11 he said, "Thus far in the book several scenes of judgment have been described, but none depicted the final judgment." "Revelation, An Introduction And Commentary," page 399, chapter 19, Baker Book House.
FOY E. WALLACE, JR. said the lake of fire is a figurative description of complete destruction of all persecuting powers opposed to the church (page 434), and then of the complete destruction and annihilation of Satan, and all who are not in the book of life. "The ones who had part in it (the lake of fire) came to the same end as the persecuting beast–a figurative description of complete destruction and annihilation of all persecuting powers opposed to the church whose opposition was crushed." Wallace said, "One of these passages cannot be considered more or less literal than the other–both were figurative expressions which signified the utter end of the persecuting authorities of heathenism against Christianity. The phrase cast alive into a lake of fire was equivalent to burn alive, and it symbolized complete destruction. The signal triumph of the cause of truth represented by the burning alive of the beast and the false prophet did not symbolize the destruction to the Roman Empire, but of the persecutions waged by the emperors, which the beasts represented. The lake of fire was not literal any more than the beast was literal. Neither was subject to literal application, both were figurative. The beast symbolized the persecuting power of the Roman Emperor: and casting him into a lake of fire signified the complete defeat of the heathen power he represented in the war against the church." Page 397 “The Book Of Revelation,” 1979.
HOMER HAILEY, “Of the ‘second death' (2:11); those that overcome had part in the first resurrection (20:6). Thus far the harlot, the beast, the false prophet, Satan, and now death and Hades, have been brought to their end in the lake of fire...There remains only one group to be dealt with: those not found written in the book of life...Of this second death, Alford writes, 'As there is a second higher life, so there is also a second and deeper death. And as after that life there is no more death, so after that death there is no more life.’” Page 403, “The Book Of Revelation,” 1979.
A. M. OGDEN said the lake of fire in Revelation 19:20 is symbolic of God's fire of destruction coming upon the Roman Empire and its pagan religions that were the persecutor of the church. “Revelation,” page 354.
B. W. JOHNSON on Revelation 19:20. "Here the false prophet, both symbols of the same power, is cast in the lake of fire. The symbol indicates utter destruction. What is cast into this lake is seen no more."
ALBERT BARNES, “The whole scene is symbolical…meaning that the destruction of these powers would be as complete as if they were thrown into such a burning lake.” Albert Barnes’ “Notes On The New Testament,” page 1707.
These commentaries are some of the best, if not the best, and they all say the lake of fire is symbolic of total destruction, symbolic of death, not of endless life in torment. If Revelation 21 is a symbolic picture of the church on earth as the bride of Christ, or if it is a symbolic picture of the church in Heaven, in either case the lake of fire is symbolic picture of total destruction, and not a real place. Many who believe that immaterial souls will literally burn in Hell are forced to admit that in Revelation 19:20 the lake of fire is symbolic, but they insist the same lake of fire in chapters 20 and 21 is a real literal lake of fire that will burn souls without an end in Hell.
"False prophet" in Hell before the judgment. In “Hell On Trial” on page 169, Robert Peterson said the "false prophet" (Revelation 19:20) are thrown alive into it, and are still there a thousand years later. Then he says Revelation 20:14 speaks of all human standing before God at the Last Judgment. By making symbols literal, he changed nations (false prophets) into people and puts humans, not souls, into Hell before they are judged at the Judgment Day.
"Devoured" not "tormented." Even if this symbolical language were made literal, it would teach God would destroy His enemies, not torment them. "And fire came down out of heaven, and devoured them," Revelation 20:9; those that were devoured were on the earth. As in many other passages that are used to prove torment in Hell, nothing is said about Hell or torment; the Bible language does not suit today's teaching of fire that eternally burns souls but never devours them, of fire that never consumes.
Some commentaries say the false prophet is the Roman Church of the Dark Age; if they are right it would not be possible to find a false prophet that is more false.
(2). LAKE OF FIRE, second time it is used is in Revelation 20:10. The devil is cast in with the beast and the false prophet. Nothing of the physical realm could live in a lake of fire; it is a symbolic picture of destruction, not of torment. Just as any living thing of the earthly realm we know, if it were cast into a lake of fire it would be totally destroyed, a symbolic picture of the devil being cast into it would be a picture to us of his total destruction, a picture that we could not understand to be anything but total destruction, for if the devil were a flesh and blood being, he would be totally destroyed by a literal lake of fire, any living thing that is cast into fire is destroyed; all life is completely destroyed by fire. The devil, the beast, false prophet, death, the grave, and all that are not in the book of life will be totally destroyed. After the resurrection and judgment, no one will be of the physical realm and could not be tormented by a literal lake of fire that is of this physical realm. A literal lake of fire could not literally torment a spiritual being, and could have no effective on Satan, or on an immaterial "soul" as the word is used today. The devil that is a being not of the earthly realm, a being of the spiritual realm, is cast into the lake of fire along with two earthly things, the beast, and the false prophet. It is a symbolic picture of their destruction, not a literal casting of beings of two realms, both earthly beings and spiritual beings, into a literal lake of fire that is of this earthly realm. Things of the earthly and spiritual realms can be mixed in symbolic pictures, but not in reality. If the lake of fire were of the earthly realm Satan could not literally be cast into it, and if it were of the spiritual realm, the beast and the false prophet could not be cast into it. In Revelation 20:15 and 21:8, John interpreted the figure or symbol he used, and said the symbolic picture of the lake of fire is in reality the second death. The lake of fire will have the same effect on Satan that it will have on death; "And death shall be no more" (Revelation 21:4). If it is the end of death, then it is the end of Satan. It is a symbolic picture of the end of both.
Satan's ministers, the ministers of Satan, like Satan, shall have an end. "Whose end shall be according to their works" (2 Corinthians 11:15).
Revelation 20:10 is a symbolic picture of the end of Satan, of his being abolished (destroyed), not tormented forever. Hebrews 2:14 is a literal end. "That through death he might bring to naught (bring to nothing) him that has the power of death, that is, the devil" (American Standard Version). God made the world and all that is in it out of nothing, and they will go back to nothing. Satan also will be brought to nothing. "So that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil" (New Revised Standard Version). In Hebrews 2:14 "naught" (nothing) is translated from "katargeo," which is translated abolished, vanish away, bring to naught, do away with, destroy, be done way, and ceased.
1. "That through death he might bring to naught (katargeo) him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14). "That through death he might destroy (katargeo) him" King James Version.
2. Death "shall be abolished (katargeo)" (1 Corinthians 15:26).
3. Knowledge "shall vanish away (katargeo)" (1 Corinthians 13:8).
4. "God shall bring to naught (katargeo) both it (their belly) and them" (1 Corinthians 6:13).
5. "The last enemy that shall be abolished (katargeo) is death." "Destroyed" (katargeo) King James Version (1 Corinthians 15:26).
6. "The stumbling-block of the cross been done away (katargeo)" "ceased" (katargeo) King James Version (Galatians 5:11).
7. "It (the veil) is done away (katargeo) in Christ" (2 Corinthians 3:14).
8. "Having abolished (katargeo) in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments" (Ephesians 2:15).
The same word (katargeo) is used for
The end of death.
The end of knowledge.
The end of the belly, and the end of the person to whom the belly belonged.
The end of Satan.
The end of Law of Moses.
And the end of lost.
Whatever happens to one happens to the others; they all have been or will be brought to nothing (katargeo).
A death bruise to the head of Satan. The serpent of Genesis 3 is not said to be Satan, but most all believe it to be Satan working through the serpent, which was "more crafty than any beast of the field" (Genesis 3:1). Did a serpent or any other animal have the power to speak, or was it Satan speaking through a serpent? God did speak through an animal (2 Peter 2:1). It looks as if Satan did, 2 Corinthians 11:3. Christ said the devil, "Is a liar, and the father of lies" (John 8:44). With the first lie the devil brought death into the world, and Satan became the murderer of Adam and Eve; therefore, the murderer of all their seed (John 8:44). He sinned "from the beginning" (1 John 3:8). "He (Christ) shall bruise you (Satan) on the head, and you (Satan) shall bruise him (Christ) on the heel." See Romans 16:20. A wound to the heel is not fatal. Satan wounded Christ by sin and death, which he is responsible for being in the world. It made the death of Christ necessary, but Christ rose from the dead and in doing so bruised the head of Satan (Hebrews 2:1).
JAMIESON, FAUSSET, AND BROWN, "Thus, fatal shall be the stroke which Satan shall receive from Christ." Commentary on Genesis 3:15.
J. B. COFFMAN, “The terminology of this verse is such that it cannot apply to anything in heaven or upon earth except the long spiritual conflict between Christ and Satan." Commentary on Genesis 3:15.
ALBERT BARNES on John 8:44, "He was a murderer from the beginning. That is from the beginning of the world, or the first records there are of him. This refers to the seduction of Adam and Eve. Death was denounced against sin Genesis ii.17. The devil deceived our first parents and they became subject of death, Genesis iii. As he was the cause why death came into the world, he may be said to have been a murderer in that act, or from the beginning."
Revelation 20:7, which most likely is symbolic language, and is not intended to be taken literally says, "And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." Also see Revelation 12:9. It is difficult to know what John meant by much of the symbolic language he used in Revelation, but even more difficult to understand if it is made to be a literal non-symbolic book, yet many use a symbolic passage as the base of their faith and make the symbolic override many clear passages.
(3). LAKE OF FIRE, the third time it is used is in Revelation 20:14 where death and hades are cast into the lake of fire; “And there shall no longer be any death” (Revelation 21:4). If death and hades come to an end in the lake of fire, all who are not found written in the book of life must also be come to an end. If all who are not found written in the book of life do not come to there end then death is not abolished (1 Corinthians 15:26). The same thing happens to all three (death, hades, and those that do not have their name in the book of life). They will come to an end, will not exist, “And there shall no longer be any death” (Revelation 21:4), death will came to an end in the lake of fire.
Death and hades are nonliving things. They have no life, thoughts, or feelings. They can be destroyed, and can be brought to a final and complete end, but it would not be possible to torment them. They can no more be tormented than a rock, but both death and hades will come to an end; both will be made not to exist. A literal lake of fire could not torment death; what would be the point of casting something abstract (death and hades), something that has no life into the lake of fire if it were a place of torment where there is no death? Death cast into a lake of fire, which many tell us is Hell where there is no death! But death will be “destroyed” and “shall be no more” (1 Corinthians 15:26, Revelation 21:4), death will not exist after it is cast into the lake of fire; death will come to an end. There is no way the lake of fire in this passage could be anything even remotely like the Hell that this passage is used to prove.
Hell cast into Hell (Revelation 20:14 King James Version). I have often heard in sermons that souls that had left the lost persons they were in will forever be tormented in the lake of fire. Most who believe in Hell teach the lake of fire is Hell, but in the King James Version Hell is cast into the lake of fire, if, as in the King James Version, one place is cast into another place, both cannot be the same place, but both Catholics and most Protestants believe both are the same place. Both believe the lake of fire is Hell, and both use the lake of fire to prove there is a Hell with endless fire. Hell being cast into Hell presents an absurd problem for both the Catholic and Protestant versions of Hell. Casting Hell into Hell is another blunder made by the King James Translators trying to put Hell into the Bible; most other translations have corrected this blunder, there is nothing about “Hell” in this passage, and Hell is not in it in the American Standard Version and is not in most other translations.
DR. C. CAMPBELL on Revelation 20:14 said, "If we interpret Hades, 'hell,' in the Christian sense of the word, the whole passage is rendered nonsense. Hell is represented as being cast into hell...the phrase 'cast into the lake of fire' is a figure of utter destruction. It is simply saying 'death and hell was destroyed.'"
Death is also cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14) Will the lake of fire be the end of death, but not the end of Hell? Or will death be forever tormented in the lake of fire, which many say is Hell? Death cannot be tormented; this is a symbolic picture of the end of all three, death, hades, and the wicked; there is nothing about Hell in this when it is not mistranslated. The lake of fire will abolish death, not torment people in Hell.
"And Hell delivered up the dead" Revelation 20:13. The King James Version has Hell being emptied before the judgment, but, most who believe in Hell do not believe that any in Hell will ever get out, "And death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them" Revelation 20:13 King James Version. Many believe that no one will be in Hell unto after the Judgment Day to be "delivered up," but they use this passage to prove the lost will go to Hell after the Judgment, even though this passage says hades (Hell in King James Version) will be emptied and cast into the lake of fire before the Judgment. In the King James Version the judgment is after Hell has been emptied. Not only is Hell emptied before the judgment, but also (according to the King James Version) some that were in it before it was emptied will even be found written in the book of life, and some of those taken out of Hell are never put back into it, but are put in Heaven.
1. According to the King James Version, the judgment will not take place unto after all that are in Hell have been taken out of Hell.
2. Then most of those that were taken out of Hell will be put into the lake of fire “which is the second death,” but some that were in Hell will be in the book of life.
3. "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and Hell deliver up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works" (Revelation 20:13).
According to the King James Version
1. “Hell delivered up the dead” (Revelation 20:13).
2. Then both “Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14).
But according to much of today’s preaching, Hell will never give up those in it, and the lake of fire is Hell! Is there anyone that believes the King James Version?
In trying to put a place of endless torment in the Bible by mistranslating, the translators made the Bible teach something that even they did not believe, and most today that believe in Hell do not believe. Most other translations, including the New King James Version, have corrected this blunder, but unfortunately this has done little or nothing to correct any of the many Protestant versions of Hell.
(4 and 5). LAKE OF FIRE, the forth and fifth times it is used. Any not in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). Lake of fire is the second death (Revelation 21:8). “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life…He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death” (Revelation 2:10-11). “He that overcomes shall inherit these thing; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death” (Revelation 21:7-8). Nothing can live in a lake of fire, any life would immediately and completely be destroyed making it a perfect symbol for death; fire is one of the most destructive elements that is known to science, it is a perfect symbol for death, but would be a terribly false symbol for any kind of life; there is no life that is not completely and quickly destroyed by fire; the lake of fire is one of the few symbols that is interpreted for us so that we can have no excuse for not understanding it; THE LAKE OF FIRE “IS THE SECOND DEATH,” (Revelation 21:8) not endless life.
1. It is life or death, not life or life, not life in Heaven, or life in Hell.
2. Death is the opposite of life. Eternal death is the opposite of eternal life.
3. Death is not two kinds of life, a better kind of life, or a worse kind of life.
If death is really life with a lost of well-being, try substituting “life” for “death,” “He that over comes shall not be hurt of the second life” (Revelation 2:11). When the second death is used, it is a contrast to life, death is the opposite of life, death is not another kind of life; death is not endless life being tormented by God.
1. “Faithful unto death…crown of life” (Revelation 2:10-11).
2. “He that has part in the first resurrection; on such the second death has no power” (Revelation 20:6).
3. “And if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).
4. Water of life given free to all believers, second death is for all sinners (Revelation 21:6-8).
5. In Revelation 21:1-8 there is a contrast between life and death. In verses 1-8 it is either life with no more death for some, for others it is the second death with no more life.
6. In Revelation 22:3 “Nothing accursed will be found there any more.” The footnote in the American Standard Version says, “No more anything accursed.” Those that are the cursed are not alive somewhere else, the accursed will ceased to be, they will not be found any more, they have no access to the tree of life.
WHAT IS CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE?
(1) The beast and the false prophet, which are symbols of two world powers, two nonliving things, no one believes a literal beast will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20). “Where the beast and the false prophet are,” in the King James Version “are” is in italics which means it was supplied by the translators, it is not in the Greek. William Tyndale translated this “where the beast and false prophet were.”
1. “These two were thrown” Revised Standard Version.
2. “The two of them were thrown” The Revised English Bible.
3. “The Evil Creature and his False Prophet-were thrown” The Living Bible.
4. “These two were thrown” The Christian Bible.
5. “The two of them were thrown” New International Version.
6. “These two were thrown” The New Revised Standard Version.
7. “The two were thrown” McCord’s New Testament, Freed-Hardeman College.
8. “Both of whom were cast” The Living Oracles, Alexander Campbell.
9. “These two were thrown” The New Testament In Modern English, J. B. Phillips.
Anything that was alive when it was cast into a lake of fire would die immediately. “Are” is not in the Greek. The beast and the false prophet were nations that “were” destroyed, not nations that “are” now being tormented but will never be destroyed; they “were” destroyed by the lake of fire just as anything cast into fire is destroyed; is there anyone that believes nations will be kept alive and endlessly tormented by God in a literal lake of fire? Fire destroys all living things that are put into it, whatever torment there may be of a living thing is very short, not endless; to make this fire be the fire of Hell the nature of fire has to be changed to something that is nothing like fire; changed from a fire that destroys all life must be changed into something that preserves the life of any living thing that is in it.
Those that teach endless torment of souls by God believe this passage is one of their few strongholds; for it to teach torment depends on what you add to it, on wherever you add an “are” to it; if you do then you have God keeping these two world powers alive and tormenting them even after the world has been destroyed. This passage says nothing about souls, but it is used to prove souls are being kept alive and endlessly tormented in fire that has been changed into something that is not fire. Nations being cast into a lake of fire is a symbol picture of them being destroyed, coming to an end. Nations or world powers are not literally cast into a literal lake of fire.
(2) The devil was cast into the lake of fire where the beast and the false prophet “were,” cast, not where they now “are” (Revelation 20:10). “Were” is past tense, it is where they were; they are not still there when the devil was cast into it.
(3) Death and hades, two nonliving things “were cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14) where the beast and the false prophet “were” cast.
(4) And all who are not in the book of life (Revelation 20:15).
1. Nonliving things that can come to an end in the lake of fire were cast into it; nonliving things cannot be tormented. (1) The beast (symbol of a world power) (2) The false prophet (3) Death (4) Hades (the grave) are nonliving things that will come to an end in the lake of fire, not nonliving things tormented in the lake of fire.
2. Living beings that will come to an end in the lake of fire (1) The devil (2) Any not in the book of life; for them “the wages of sin is death,” not the death of the body that comes to all, but the second death after the judgment.
IT IS THE BOOK OF LIFE, NOT A BOOK OF REWARDS
The book of life is not a book or rewards for an immaterial soul that had been in a person; a soul that already have life and cannot die, a soul that has life and can never not have life, a soul that cannot be dead. The second death is not just a loss of well being, not a loss of privilege or pleasure, not a loss of a reward; the second death is death, it is not life with torment; death is the reverse of life, death is not life. Without having your name in the book of life there will be no hope of life for you without end in Heaven or any place.
THE BOOK OF LIFE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
(1). Philippians 4:3, “And the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.”
(2). Revelation 3:5, he that overcomes will not have his name blotted out of the book of life.
(3). Revelation 13:8, the beast given authority over all that dwell on the earth, all that worships the beast, all that do not have their name in the book of life.
(4). Revelation 17:8, the beast will go into destruction, and all that dwell on the earth whose name has not been written in the book of life shall wonder.
(5). Revelation 20:12 and 20:15. There is to be a judgment with all the dead standing before the throne of God, the great, and the small. At this judgment any not found written in the book of life is cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death. It is either one or the other, (1) either your name is in the book of life, (2) or it is not. If not then it will be the second death; it is life or death for a person, not a reward or a punishment for a soul that cannot be dead. “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcomes shall inherit these things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son. But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death” (Revelation 21:6-8). Life or death, not life in Heaven or life in Hell, not a reward to a soul that has life, not endless life with punishment to a soul that already has endless life.
(6). Revelation 21:27, Nothing unclean, only those that are written in the Lamb’s book of life shall enter in the holy city.
(7).Luke 10:20, Jesus told His disciples, “Rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”
(8). Hebrews 12:23, “You have come…to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven.”
(9). Revelation 22:19, Any that adds to or takes from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the “tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.”
If your name is not in the book of life, there will be no life without end, only death without end.
THE THOUSAND YEARS AND THE LAKE OF FIRE
In the New Testament many symbols are used, and many of them we are told just what they are symbols of. We are given the interpretation in clear plan language. When we are told exactly what the interpretation is in plan language, we must not change the interpretation of the symbol. The Premillennialists make a symbol (the thousands of years – plural in the Greek) into a literal time. The Bible's interpretation of the thousands of years reign cannot be accepted by them for if it were it would end the Premillennial doctrine. In the same way those who teach the lake of fire is Hell cannot accept the Bible's interpretation of what the lake of fire is, the second death, for to them the lake of fire is an endless life of torment in fire; therefore, the second death cannot be death.
The Bible's own interpretation of what the lake of fire is not accepted, for if it were there could not be a Hell.
THE SYMBOLS --------------------THE BIBLE'S INTERPRETATION
(1) THE FIELD ---------“IS THE WORLD”
Not a farm, Matthew 13:38.
(2) THE GOOD SEED -----“ARE THE SONS OF THE KINGDOM”
Not a garden, Matthew 13:38.
(3) THE TARES ---------“ARE THE SONS OF THE EVIL ONE”
Not weeds, Matthew 13:38.
(4) BOWLS OF INCENSE –-“ARE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS”
Not cereal, Revelation 5:8.
(5) THE SEVEN HEADS –--“ARE SEVEN MOUNTAINS” Rev. 12:9
(6) THE TEN HORNS -----“ARE TEN KINGS”
Not ten trumpets, Revelation 17:12.
(7) THE WATERS --------“ARE PEOPLES, AND MULTITUDES, AND
NATIONS” Not seas, Revelation 17:15.
(8) SEVEN CANDLESTICKS-“ARE SEVEN CHURCHES” Rev. 1:20
(9) THE WOMAN ---------“IS THE GREAT CITY”
Not a female, Revelation 17:18.
(10) FINE LINEN -------“IS RIGHTEOUS ACTS OF THE SAINTS”
Not a tablecloth, Revelation 19:8.
(11) THE DRAGON -------“IS THE DEVIL AND SATAN” Rev. 20:2
(12) THOUSANDS OF YEARS REIGN–“IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION”
Thousand is plural in the Greek, thousands of Years,
Christ has been reigning in the church for over
two-thousand years,(see below). Not a kingdom on earth
after the second coming of Christ, not a millennial
kingdom after first resurrection, Revelation 20:6.
(13) LAKE OF FIRE ----“IS THE SECOND DEATH”
Not a deathless lake where God torments
Revelation 20:14; 21:8.
The lake of fire, used metaphorically, it is literally the second death, death is death, not a second life, to be dead is to have no life; death cannot be changed and made to mean life, death is not an endless life being tormented by God. There is nothing said about any life after the second death; death is an endless punishment. All die once, sinners will die twice; (1) they die, they will be resurrected, and judged at the coming of Christ, (2) then they will die again, a second death, never to be resurrected a second time.
The interpretation is only what it is stated to be. The thousands of years (changed to “thousand”) is the first resurrection. The thousands of years and the lake of fire are two of the most misused symbols in this book. It is as if God knew they would be misused, and He plainly said what they are symbols of so there could be no excuses to misuse them. “The lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is (ho estin – “that is”) the second death.” The interpretation given by theology reverses the order and makes the second death be the lake of fire and says there is no death in the lake of fire, THAY HAVE TAKEN DEATH COMPLETELY OUT OF THE SECOND DEATH. John interpretation of the “lake of fire” is that the “lake of fire” is “the second death,” but theology must reinterpret John’s interpretation to make death be something other than death; John’s interpretation of “death” must be interpreted to be endless life; death is interpreted to be deathless life with a lost of well-being.
1. John said, “The lake of fire is the second death.”
2. Traditionalists say, “No John you are wrong, the lake of fire is not a death, the second death is eternal life with a lost of well-being.”
The Bible speaks of two deaths, the first and the second, if the first death is death, but the second death is endless life being tormented by God, then it is not death. The second death is a real death, just as real as is the first death; both the first and second death are the end of life, neither death is endless life in another form, neither is life in another place; nothing is said about the lost after the second death, there will be nothing to say anything about.
1. “Lake of fire, which is (ho estin-that is) the second death” (Revelation 21:8). The symbolical lake of fire interpreted “that is” (ho estin) to literally be the second death.
2. “And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said unto him, Ephphatha, that is (ho estin) Be opened” (Mark 7:34).
3. “It was the Preparation, that is (ho estin) the day before the Sabbath” (Mark 15:42).
4. “For his body’s sake, which is (ho estin-that is) the church” (Colossians 1:24).
5. “A place called Golgotha, that is (ho estin) to say, the place of a skull” (Matthew 27:33).
The words after ho estin clarifies the words before it. Who would know what ephphatha means if it had not been clarified by saying it means, “Be opened”?
Those in Christ are now "kings and priests" (Revelation 1:6). Are now a "kingdom and priests; and they reign upon the earth" (Revelation 5:9-10). Those who are baptized into Christ have been raised with Him; they were dead and now have the life He gives and they live with Him. This is the first resurrection, and those who have a part in it will not be subject to the second death after the judgment. All others are dead in that they do not have the life Christ gives, and after the resurrection from the first death and the judgement they will die the second death. The thousands of years (plural in the Greek, thousands plural–not thousand singular as it has been changed to) is symbolic of an indefinite time in which the saints will reign with Christ; the saved reigning with Christ begins after the resurrection of Christ and it will last “thousands” of years unto His second coming. The translators changing “thousands” to “thousand” has resulted in much false doctrines and divisions.
Strong lists ten Greek words that are translated thousand(s) in the New Testament. Only two of them are used in Revelations.
1. Strong's word 5505, "chalias" is used 22 times in the New Testament in the singular. Luke 14:31 used two times; Acts 4:4; 1 Corinthians 10:8; Revelations 5:11; 7:4; 7:5 three times; 7:6 three times; 7:7 three times; 7:8 three times; 11:13; 14:1; 14:3; 21:16. In all of the 22 times it is used the precisely number of thousands is stated-ten thousand (Luke 14:31), five thousand (Acts 4:4), “thousand” is in the singular. See Wigram Englishman’s Greek Concordance of the New Testament, page 800.
2. Strong's word 5507, "chiloi" which Strong says is "plural" and "uncertain" is used eleven times in the New Testament. Thousands (an indefinite plural) of years is a long indefinite period of time having no certain or fixed limit. "Chiloi" is used in; 2 Peter 3:8 two times, and in Revelations 11:3; 12:6; 14:20; 20:2; 20:3; 20:4; 20:5; 20:6; 20:7. See Wigram Englishman’s Greek Concordance of the New Testament, page 801.
3. Who knows why the translators changed an indefinite plural (thousands of years-a long indefinite period of time) into the singular (a thousand years-a definite period of time) as it is in most translations, the Greek is plural; (thousands of years, not singular-not a thousand years) there is no way that they could know the Greek well enough to translate the Bible and not know when a word is singular and when it is plural.
1. “That with the Lord one day is as thousands (chiloi–plural) of years, and thousands (chiloi–plural) of years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).
2. “They lived and reigned with Christ thousands (chiloi–plural) of years” (Revelation 20:4).
3. “The rest of the dead did not come to life unto the thousands (chiloi–plural) of years were completed” (Revelation 20:5).
4. “They will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for thousands (chiloi–plural) of years” (Revelation 20:6). It has now been about two thousand years that the saved have reigned with Christ and who knows how many more thousands of years it may be unto Christ comes; Christ is now reigning and has reign for thousands (plural) of years.
More on the use of the singular and plural of thousand can be found under “Articles” by Ken Fortier at, http://www.kenfortier.com/ “A Preliminary Study of the Greek Word Thousand and Thousands.” Also many other very good articles.
In all four times the second death is used, death is from "thanatos," which is used 118 times in the New Testament. In all 118 deaths is really death, not endless life with torment, not alive but separated from God, not alive with only a loss of well being.
1. "You do proclaim the Lord's death (thanatos) till He comes" (1 Corinthians 11:26).
2. "He was sick nigh unto death (thanatos)" (Philippians 2:27).
3. "Brother shall deliver up the brother to death (thanatos)" Matthew 10:21).
4. "Shall not taste of death (thanatos)" (Mark 9:1).
5. "What death (thanatos) he should die" (John 12:33; 18:32).
6. "By the death (thanatos) of his Son" (Romans 5:10).
7. “Second death (thanatos)” four times in Revelations 2:11; 20:6; 20:14; 21:4.
Thanatos always means death, never any kind of life, but today's theology tells us that John's interpretation of the lake of fire must be reinterpreted, and death changed to endless life with torment, for there could not be death to a soul that cannot die; therefore, John's interpretation of the lake of fire being the second death must be reinterpreted to be the lake of fire is endless life of torment for souls.
Lake of fire–interpreted by John to be the second death.
Lake of fire–reinterpreted today to be endless life being tormented by God.
The lake of fire is only a symbol of the real thing (the second death), but many preach and teach it as if there is a real lake of literal fire somewhere, but it is not on this earth, and where ever they think this fire is it will last forever. There is not now or ever will be a lake of literal fire. They must turn it around and make the second death be only a metaphor of the lake of fire, and make the second death not a real death, for the second death cannot be a real death if there was a soul that can never die. They also make the second death be only a metaphor of Gehenna (but only after Gehenna has been mistranslated into "Hell"). They do not seem to be able to make up their minds on whether the second death is a metaphor of the lake of fire, or if the second death is a metaphor of Gehenna after Gehenna has been changed to "Hell."
Changes made by those who say they do not change the Bible.
The Bible says THE LAKE OF FIRE -------IS THE SECOND DEATH
Today many say THE SECOND DEATH---IS THE LAKE OF FIRE
Today many say THE LAKE OF FIRE ---- IS HELL
Today many say THE LAKE OF FIRE ---- IS GEHENNA
Today many say GEHENNA is a metaphor of HELL
FIRE THAT CANNOT BURN UP!
Fire must be reinterpreted, changed to be something that cannot burn up. If the lost are never to be destroyed, why did God use throwing them in fire (something that to us always means the death of any living thing, something that no living thing can live in) as a symbol of deathlessness? To teach everlasting deathless torment, theology had to make a reinterpretation of “fire” to be something that never destroys or consumes, fire had to be reinterpreted, completely changed into something that will not destroy any living thing, but would forever keep it alive and torment it, fire had to be made to be something that is the opposite of what fire really is, and dose the opposite of what fire does; fire must be made into something that preserves life, not consumes; something that protects from harm, not destroys. God is made to use a symbolic picture to teach us something we could never understand without help, made God’s word to us to be unable to teach us without help from men to interpret His word to us and tell us that fire does not burn up; something that burns up and kills any living thing must be changed into something that never burns up, changed from fire into something that never kills, if not changed it would make unconditional immortality not be possible.
Death will end after the judgment when death is destroyed. The end will not come unto Christ "shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power for he must reign till he has put all his enemies under his feet, the last enemy that shall be abolished is death" (1 Corinthians 15:26).
1. Death will be "destroyed" (1) King James Version, (2) New King James Version, (3) New Revised Standard Version, (4) New Century Version, (5) New International Version.
2. Death will be "abolished" American Standard Version.
3. The “destroyed” or “abolished” death cannot be made into endless life separated from God.
BRIMSTONE AND FIRE IN NON-SYMBOLIC PASSAGES
How "fire and brimstone" are used in the Bible and in the Book of Revelation.
Fire and brimstone (burning sulfur rock) were literally rained on Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19:24. The "fire and brimstone" that destroyed Sodom was rained from Jehovah out of Heaven, not from Hell, and the destroying was persons on the earth, not souls tormented but not destroyed in Hell. "Then Jehovah rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of Heaven" (Genesis 19:24; Luke 17:29). Both cities were literally burned up, and were brought to a total end by the fire and brimstone that rained on them. Fire and brimstone is used one time by Christ in Luke 17:29 speaking of the total destruction of Sodom. If the destroying will be "after the same manner," then the fire would be rained from Heaven, not in Hell, and this fire will destroy, not forever torment those on which it is rained. Most believers in Hell put both the brimstone and the fire in Hell, but in every passage in both the Old and New Testament, it is a real fire and real brimstone, and both are always on this earth, never in Hell. They must move the brimstone and fire from earth to Hell, for they have no scripture that puts the fire and brimstone in Hell where they want it.
It is always a total destruction, never a forever-ongoing torment. Today's preaching of "Hell fire and brimstone" does not fit with the use of fire and brimstone in the Bible. In today's theology the destruction is changed from total destruction into a never-ending torment without destruction.
Fire and brimstone are used six other times in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 29:23; Job 18:15; Psalm 11:6; Isaiah 30:33; 34:9; Ezekiel 38:22).
BRIMSTONE AND FIRE IN SYMBOLICAL PASSAGES
NO LITERAL BRIMSTONE
Fire and brimstone are used six times in Revelation as a symbol of total destruction, which is taken from the literal total destruction of Sodom by literal fire and brimstone.
(1) Revelation 9:17, "Out of their mouths proceeds fire and smoke and brimstone." Out of the mouths of horses! This does not sound like the fire and brimstone we are told will be in "Hell?"
(2) Revelation 9:18, "The third part of men killed, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone, which proceeded out of their mouths." Even most who believes in Hell say this fire and brimstone coming out of the mouth of horses is a symbol of something on this earth before the end of time, a symbol of something before the coming of Christ, and is not God endlessly tormenting. Believer's in Hell do not believe that a third part of those in Hell will be killed by the fire and brimstone that comes out of the mouths of horses; they believe that a soul that is in Hell cannot be killed. Fire and brimstone coming from horse’s mouths is a symbolic picture of destruction and/or death of some that are on this earth before the Judgment Day. Does anyone believe this "fire and brimstone" that kills is the Hell-fire that torments as preached by Jonathan Edwards? They do not think fire comes out of horse’s mouths and kills a third of the souls that are in Hell? They want to make only a part of the symbolic language be literal, and they get to pick what part. Most who believe in Hell believe the first and second occurrences of "fire and brimstone" in Revelation are both used figuratively, not literally. They only make it be used literally when they think it will prove their Hell, and fire and brimstone coming out if the mouth of horses and killing a third of the souls that are in Hell is not what they are trying to find; they do not believe a third of the souls in Hell that they say cannot be killed will be killed by fire and brimstone, or killed any other way.
(3) Revelation 14:10, Brimstone used in a symbolic picture of Babylon. A part of the same symbolic picture is smoke in Heaven in Revelation 14:11. Isaiah 34:10 said the smoke of Edom "shall go up for ever and ever." There is no literal smoke going up from Edom and never has been; it is symbolic for a punishment that has endless consequences, and not a literal endless punishment of Edom, a nation that does not now exist, Edom is not now burning with a fire that shall go on forever; the Bible is its own best interpreter.
(4)-(5)-(6) Revelation 19:20; 20:10; 21:8, Three of the times the lake of fire is used, the lake which burns with fire and brimstone is the second death. The symbolic use of brimstone and fire depends on its use in the non-symbolical passages for it meaning. In them, it is always a destruction that ends when the destruction is total. Many symbols in Revelations come from the Old Testament. In the Old Testament fire and brimstone always brought a literal death; in Revelations fire and brimstone are used as a symbolical picture of total destruction and death.
Chapter Eight–PART THREE
EVERLASTING AND FOREVER
In the King James Version
Olam in the Old Testament, "Age, age-lasting, olam" Robert Young, Young's Analytical Concordance To The Bible, page 310. Olam (olamim-plural) in the Hebrew Old Testament is translated everlasting in the King James Version and others, but does not mean without end as eternal in today's English does; in the popular use of today eternal means endless, which is not the way olam or olamim are used in the Hebrew Old Testament.
Olam-singer, and olamim-plural are used of
(1). Periods of times that had both a beginning and an end. Forever (olam) is used about sixty-five times in the Old Testament for things that have already came to an end.
(2). Periods of times that had a beginning, but the time of their end is has not yet came.
(3). A Period of time that is followed by another period of time; “from olam (age) to olam (age),” and “from olam (age) to olamim (ages), which are often translated “for ever and ever.” If “for ever and ever” (eternity and eternity) made senses, which it doesn’t, then it would make there be more than one eternity, another eternity after one eternity ended, “eternity and eternity.”
(1). AGES WITH BOTH A BEGINNING AND AN END
Some of the things that are "everlasting" or "forever" in the King James Version that was age lasting, not everlasting; MANY “FOREVERS” (OLAMS-AGES) OF THE KING JAMES VERSION HAVE PASSED AWAY, HAVE ALREADY CAME TO AN END.
(1). The Law of Moses. "A statute forever (olam-age)" See Exodus 12:24; 27:21; 28:43; 29:28; 30:21; Leviticus 6:18; 6:22; 7:34; 7:36; 10:9; 10:15; 16:29; 16:31; 17:7; 23:14; 24:3; Numbers 10:8; 15:15; 18:8; 18:11; 18:23; 19:10; Deuteronomy 12:28; 13:16; 15:17; 23:3; 28:40; 29:29; Joshua 4:7; 8:28; 14:9. It lasted for an age (about 1500 years), and was replaced with a better covenant (Hebrews 8:7-14), it had a beginning and an ending; it was not "forever" with the meaning of forever in today's English. Forever in the King James Version is a bad translation of olam, for olam in the Old Testament did not have the same meaning that forever had in 1611, or not the same meaning that forever has today.
(2). Jews were to posses the land "forever" (olam-age) (Genesis 13:15).
(3). Temple rituals to continue forever (olam-age) (2 Chronicles 2:4). Today there is no temple in Jerusalem, and no rituals in the temple that does not exist.
(4). Levites were to bear the ark forever (olam-age) (1 Chronicles 15:2). There are no Levites to bear the Ark, and no Ark for them to bear.
(5). Sacrifices were forever (olam-age) (Leviticus 3:17; 6:18; 7:36; 10:9-15; 16:29; 17:17; 23:14; 24:3 Numbers 10:8; 15:15; 18:8; 19:10).
(6). Circumcision was forever (olam-age) (Genesis 17:13).
(7). David's throne was forever (olam-age) (2 Samuel 7:12-13; 1 Kings 9:5).
(8). A slave was a slave forever (olam-age) (Exodus 21:6; Deuteronomy 15:17) Olam (forever) lasted only to the end of his life.
(9). Jonah's "everlasting" (olam-age) lasted only three days (Jonah 2:6).
(2). AGES THAT HAD A BEGINNING
BUT THE ENDING ARE IN THE OBSCURE FUTURE
The everlasting (olam-age) hills (Genesis 49:26). The hills had a beginning when the earth was made, but there ending is some times in the obscure future when the earth ends.
The everlasting (olam-age) covenant of the rainbow (Genesis 9:11-17). Like the hills, the beginning of the rainbow covenant is known, but both the hills and the rainbow ends at the end of the earth. Neither are “everlasting,” both had a beginning, both will have an ending; “olam hills” are not “eternal hills.”
(3). FROM ONE OLAM (age) TO ANOTHER OLAM (age)
From one age to another age, not from one eternally to another eternally. Old Testament–"from olam to olam" (from age to age) is used twenty-one times. From one period of time to another period of time demands a separation of the two periods–ages; therefore, neither of the two olams could be without a beginning or ending. Two olams would demand that there be more than one olam, more than one age, not more than one eternity.
From olam (age) to olam (age) applied to people or things
(1). “He (the king) asked life of Thee, Thou didst give him length of days for ever (olam-age) and ever (olam-age)” (Psalm 21:4).
(2). “The people praise thee for ever (olam-age) and ever (olam-age)” (Psalm 45:17). From one age to another age, not from one eternity to another eternity as it is mistranslated in the King James Version.
(3). “Thou hast blotted out their (the wicked) name for ever (olam-age) and ever (olam-age) (Psalm 9:5).
(4). “Even from everlasting (olam-age) to everlasting (olam-age), you are God” (Psalm 90:2). ”From eternality to eternality”?
(5). “All His precepts are sure. They are upheld for ever (olam-age) and ever (olam-age)” (Psalm 111:8).
(6). “Thy law continually for ever (olam-age) and ever (olam-age)” (Psalm 119:44).
(7). “From this time forth and for ever (olam-age) and ever (olam-age)” (Psalm 125:2; 131:3).
(8). “I will bless thy name for ever (olam-age) and ever (olam-age)” (Psalm 145:1).
(9). “I will praise thy name for ever (olam-age) and ever (olam-age)” (Psalm 145:2).
(10). “He has also established them (the heavens) for ever (olam-age) and ever (olam-age)” (Psalm 148:6).
(11). “Also established them for ever (olam-age) and ever (olam-age)” (Isaiah 30:8). “That it may serve in the time to come as a witness forever (olam-age)” New American Standard Version.
(12). "Then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever" "from olam to olam" (Jeremiah 7:7). From a long time past to a long time to come, but not forever as the word "forever" is used today, not from one eternity to another eternity.
(13). "And dwell in the land that the Lord has given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever" "from olam to olam" (Jeremiah 25:5). If "forever and ever" is for eternity, then the world cannot end for they must dwell in the land for one eternity, and then for another eternity. None of them could dwell in Heaven or in Hell, for they would be dwelling in the land of Israel on this earth for eternity, and after that eternity dwelling on this earth for a second eternity.
(14). “As the stars forever (olam-age) and ever (olam-age)” (Daniel 12:3).
(15). “A statute for ever (olam-age) in your generations” (Leviticus 6:18).
From olam (age) to olam (age) applied to God
(1). “The Lord shall reign for ever (olam-age) and ever (olam-age) (Exodus 15:18). From one age to another age, not from one eternity to another eternity.
(2). “Blessed the Lord God of Israel for ever (olam-age) and ever (olam-age) (1 Chronicles 16:36).
(3). “The Lord is King for ever (olam-age) and ever (olam-age)” (Psalm 10:16).
(4). “God is our God for ever (olam-age) and ever (olam-age)” (Psalm 48:14).
(5). “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting (olam-age) and to everlasting (olam-age)” (Psalm 41:13).
(6). “Even from everlasting (olam-age) to everlasting (olam-age) thou art God” (Psalm 90:2) "from olam to olam"–from age to age. "From everlasting to everlasting" would mean one everlasting would have to end for there to be another everlasting. Two everlasting are not possible. There cannot be a "from one eternity to another eternity."
(7). “The Lord is from everlasting (olam-age) to everlasting (olam-age)” (Psalm 103:17).
(8). “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting (olam-age) to everlasting (olam-age)” (Psalm 106:48).
From “everlasting to everlasting,” from “one eternity to another eternity”? How could there be from everlasting to everlasting, or from eternity to eternity? Today’s concept of eternity did not exist in the Old Testament; they had the concept of one age after another age after another age, but not of today’s eternity.
(1). Age (olam) changed to days of old 15 times.
(2). Age (olam) changed to Ancient 4 times.
(3). Age (olam) changed to long 3 times.
(4). Age (olam) changed to world 3 times.
(1). OLAM (AGE) CHANGED TO DAYS OF OLD
Days that had ended lone ago, If olam means everlasting or endless, why did the King James Version translate it old and ancient; could it be that they knew eternal, as it is used today, would have made no sense in these passages? “Days of old” (olam-age) is duration (a period of time) that has already at some time in the past ended, not endless time that will never end.
(1) "Remember the days of old (olam-age), consider the years of many generations" (Deuteronomy 32:7). One word changed into four words with not one of the four words a translation of the Hebrew word “olam.”
(2) "For those nations were of old (olam-age) the inhabitants of the land" (1 Samuel 27:8). The same one word changed into two words, also neither of the two words are a translation of the Hebrew.
(3) "The old (olam-age) way which wicked men have trodden" (Job 22:15). The same one word changed into only one word, but the word into which it is changed is not in the Hebrew, the translators changed it into a completely difference word that has a completely difference meaning. IF THIS IS NOT CHANGING THE BIBLE IT CANNOT BE CHANGED.
(4) "For they have been ever OF OLD (olam-age)" (Psalm 25:6).
(5) "I remembered the judgments OF OLD (olam-age)" (Psalm 119:52).
(6) "Is there anything whereof it may be said, see, this is new? It has been already OF OLD TIMES (olam-age) that was before us" (Ecclesiastes 1:10).
(7) "I held my peace even OF OLD (olam-age), and you feared me not" (Isaiah 57:11).
(8) "And he bare them, and carried them all THE DAYS OF OLD (olam-age)" (Isaiah 63:9
(9) "Then he remembered THE DAYS OF OLD (olam-age), Moses, and his people" (Isaiah 63:11).
(10) "The prophets that have been before me and before you OF OLD (olam-age)" (Jeremiah 28:8).
(11) "He has set me in dark places, as they that be dead OF OLD (olam-age)" (Lamentations 3:6).
(12-13) "When I shall bring you down with them that descend into the pit, with the people OF OLD TIMES (olam-age), and shall set you in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate OF OLD (olam-age)" (Ezekiel 26:20).
(14) "Then shall the offering of Judea and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in THE DAYS OF OLD (olam-age), and as in former years" (Malachi 3:4).
(15) Olam is also translated old in Genesis 6:4; Joshua 24:4; Proverbs 23:10; Isaiah 46:9; 51:6; 61:4; 63:9; 63:11; Jeremiah 6:16; Amos 9:12; Micah 5:2.
Not one of the three words, “days,” “of,’’ or “old” are in the Hebrew; they were changed from “age” by the translators.
(2). OLAM (age) CHANGED TO ANCIENT
(1) "And they have caused them to stumble in their ways from ancient (olam-age) paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up" (Jeremiah 18:15).
(2) “Remove not the ancient (olam-age) landmarks, which your fathers have set” (Proverbs 22:28). The translators saw the folly of translating olam into eternal; the landmarks that the fathers of the nation had placed could be removed easily, and they were removed long ago; therefore, they were temporary, not eternal landmarks.
(3) and (4), Olam is also changed to “ancient” in both Jeremiah 5:15 and Psalms 77:5
(3). OLAM (age) CHANGED TO LONG
Olam is changed to long three times; changed to another word that is not in the Hebrew.
(1) “As those that have been long (olam-age) dead” Psalms 143:3.
(2) “I have long (olam-age) time holden my peace” Isaiah 42:14.
(3) “Because many goes to his long (olam-age) home” Ecclesiastes 12:5.
(4). OLAM (age) CHANGED TO WORLD
Olam is changed to world three times; changed to still another completely difference word that is not in the Hebrew. “World” and “age” are not even close to being the same thing.
(1) “Since the beginning of the world (olam-age),” should have been, “Since the beginning of the age.” Anyone can see why they did not translate it, “Since the beginning of everlasting” as they did change olan “age” to “everlasting” in many places.
(2) Psalms 72:12; (3) Ecclesiastes 3:11.
Olam is used repeatedly where it means an age, but it cannot be changed to mean everlasting. To go into all of them would take many pages. Look up "ever" in any good concordance or Wigram, pages 907-910, Old Testament. A few of them–1 Samuel 13:13; 2 Samuel 7:13,16,25, 26, 29; 1 Kings 2:33; 2:45; 9:5; 1 Chronicles 17:12, 14, 23, 27; 22:19; 28:4, 7; 2 Chronicles 8:5; Psalm 89:4; Ezekiel 37:25. Olam is used many time for things where both the beginning and end are known; many times where the beginning is known, but the end is unknown; the beginning of God’s covenant of the rainbow is known, but not it’s end, probability at the end of the earth.
AION, AIONS, AND AIONIOS in the New Testament
AION (a noun–the plural is AIONS), and AIONIOS (the adjective form of aion) in the New Testament. Like olam in the Old Testament, aion in the New Testament is also used repeatedly where it means an age, but it cannot mean everlasting. One example is Colossians 1:26.
PLURAL AGES–NOT PLURAL ETERNIALIES
NOT MORE THAN ONE ETERNITY
1. KING JAMES VERSION, "The mystery, which hath been hid from ages (aions) and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints."
2. NEW KING JAMES VERSION, "The Mystery, which has been hidden from ages (aions) and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints."
3. AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION, "Even the mystery which hath been hid for ages (aions) and generations: but now hath it been manifested to his saints."
4. NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, "That is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages (aions) and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints."
5. NEW REVISED STANDARD VERSION, "The mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages (aions) and generations but has now been revealed to his saints."
6. NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, "The mystery that has been kept hidden for ages (aions) and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints."
7. YOUNG'S LITERAL TRANSLATION, "The secret that hath been hid from the ages (aions) and from the generations, but now was manifested to his saints."
Why did none of the translation use "forever"? It was obvious to them that God had kept this mystery hidden for ages, but not for eternities.
An aion (age) has a beginning (1 Corinthians 2:7, 2 Timothy 1:9, Hebrews 1:2).
An aion (age) has an end (Matthew 24:3; 1 Corinthians 10:11; Hebrews 9:20). Forever and eternally, as they are used today, have no beginning and no end.
AGE CHANGED TO "WORLD" (Greek-aion-age)
Aion is changed to world 43 times in the New Testament in the King James Version. A PERIOD OF TIME (AN AGE) IS CHANGED TO A PLACE (WORLD) 43 TIMES. It had to be obvious to the translators that there are more than one aion-age, but the translators hid this from their reader by changing “age” to "this world" and "the world to come." Everlasting has no beginning or ending, when everlasting would not fit in the text they changed it to world; ages have a beginning and an ending; like ages the world had a beginning and will have an ending and could be made to fit in. In many passages they could not change an aion into everlasting, but were able to change age to world that also had a beginning and will have an ending, therefore, they forced the word “world” into many passages that had aion (age) in them to hide from their readers that the Bible speaks of ages that have ending, not speaking of an eternal that will have no ending. THERE IS NO WAY TO SAY CHANGING AGE TO WORLD WAS NOT A DELIBERATE CHANGE BY THE TRANSLATERS TO MAKE THE BIBLE TEACH WHAT THEY WANTED IT TO TEACH.
“Age, indefinite time, dispensation” Robert Young, “Young’s Analytical Concordance To The Bible,” page 1073.
(1) Matthew 12:32 "Neither in this world (aion-age) nor in that which is to come." "Either in this age, or the age that is to come" New King James Version - New American Standard Version, not "neither in this eternity or that eternity which is to come;" there are not many forevers, not one forever that now is, and many more forevers to come.
It is undeniable that the King James Version has two worlds.
1. One world that we now live in.
2. Another world to come after the end of the world that we are now in.
Does anyone believe that there will be another world between this one and the time the saved will be in the place Christ has gone to prepare for the saved in His Father’s house in Heaven? Not in this world or the next world makes this passage make no sense if there is not another world after this world that the saved will spend some time in before they go to the place prepared for then in the Father’s house (John 14:2). (1). According to the King James Version, not in the world that then was when Christ was speaking. (2). Or not in the world that will come after this world.
(2) Matthew 13:22 "Care of this world (aion-age)." Care of this age, not "care of this forever or eternity."
(3) Matthew 13:39 "The harvest is the end of the world (aion-age)." "The end of the forever, or the end of eternity"? "The end of the age" New King James Version - New American Standard Version. If aion had been translated “eternity” in this passage it would have put the harvest at “the end of eternity,” not at “the end of the age,” but we are told that eternity had no beginning and will have no ending.
(4) Matthew 13:40 "So shall it be at the end of this world (aion-age)." "At the end of this forever or this eternity"? "The end of this age" New King James Version - New American Standard Version.
(5) Matthew 24:3 "At the end of the world (aion-age)." "At the end of this forever, or the end of this eternity"? "The end of the age" New King James Version - New American Standard Version.
(6) Matthew 28:20 "Unto the end of the world " (aion-age). "The end of eternity"?
(7) Mark 4:19 "The cares of this world (aion-age)." Cares of this age, not "cares of this forever, or this eternity."
(8) Mark 10:30 "In the world (aion-age) to come." "In the forever or eternity to come"?
(9) Luke 1:70 "Since the world (aion-age) began.” Since the age began, not since the forever began.
(10) Luke 16:8 "Children of this world (aion-age). "This age,” not "children of this forever."
(11) Luke 18:30 "In the world (aion-age) to come." "In the eternity to come"?
(12–13) Luke 20:34-35 "Children of this world (aion-age) marry, and are given in marriage: but they that are counted worthy to attain to that world (aion-age)" "Children of this eternity"? In this passage aion is used both of this age and the age to come, not of this eternity and the eternity to come, not of another world to come after this world ends, but the King James Version says there will be another would after this one.
(14) Luke 20:35 "Worthy to obtain that world (aion-age)." "That eternity"?
(15) John 9:32 "Since the world (aion-age) begin." "Since the age (aion-age) begin," probably the beginning of the Jewish age.
(16) Acts 3:21 "Since the world (aion-age) begin." Also probably the beginning of the Jewish age, not "Since eternity begin."
(17) Acts 15:18 "From the beginning of the world (aion age)." Probably the beginning of the Jewish age, not "from the beginning of the forever."
(18) Romans 12:2 "From the beginning of the world (aion-age).” Also probably the beginning of the Jewish age, it is neither the beginning of the world, nor "from the beginning of the eternity."
(19) 1 Corinthians 1:20 "Where is the disputer of this world " (aion-age)." Disputer of this age, not "disputer of this eternity."
(20-21) 1 Corinthians 2:6 "Not of the wisdom of this world, (aion-age) nor of the princes of this world (aion-age)." "Wisdom of this forever-princes of this eternity"?
(22) 1 Corinthians 2:7 "Which God ordained before the worlds" (aions-ages, plural in the Greek, singular in the King James, plural in most translations). Ordained before the eternities? God’s wisdom, which had been hidden in past ages, the Law age and others ages, but has now been made known, was foreordained before the ages, not before the worlds plural, or before eternities plural. “In hope of eternal life, which God…promised (Genesis 3:15) before the ages (aionios-ages)” (Titus 1:2). Not “Promised before the worlds (plural) began” (King James), or not promised “before times eternal” American Standard, it makes no sense, promised to whom before the worlds began or before times eternal? Promised to whom before Adam? If eternally has no beginning or ending, when and what promise was made before eternities began?
“Before the ages (aions-ages)” New American Standard and Revised Standard Version.
(23) 1 Corinthians 2:8 "None of the princes of this world (aion-age)." Princes of this age, not "princes of this eternity."
(24) 1 Corinthians 3:18 "Seems to be wise in this world (aion-age)." "Wise in this eternity?"
(25) 1 Corinthians 8:13 "While the world (aion-age) stands." "While the eternity stands.”
(26) 1 Corinthians 10:11 "The ends of the world (aions-ages).” "The ends of the eternities?" "Upon whom the ends of the ages are come" American Standard Version; both “ends” and “ages” are in the plural in the Greek New Testament.
(27) 2 Corinthians 4:4 "The God of this world (aion-age.)" "The God of this eternity?"
(28) Galatians 1:4 "From this present evil world (aion-age.)" "Present evil forever?" Is this present evil world to last for an age, or to last for an eternity?
(29) Ephesians 1:21 "Not only in this world (aion-age)." "Not only in this eternity, but also in another eternity?"
(30) Ephesians 2:2 "According to the course of this world (aion-age)." The course of his age, not "course of this forever, not this eternity."
(31) Ephesians 3:9 "The beginning of the world (aion-age)." This age, not "the beginning of the eternity." Young's Literal Translation says, "And to cause all to see what is the fellowship of the secret that has been hid from the ages in God, who all things did create by Jesus Christ, that there might be made known now to the principalities and authorities in the heavenly places, through the assembly, the manifold wisdom of God, according to a purpose of the ages, which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord."
(32) Ephesians 3:21 “World (aion) without end.” The footnote in the New American Standard says, “To all generations of the age of the ages.”
(33) Ephesians 6:12 "Of the darkness of this world (aion-age)." Of this age, not "of the darkness of this eternity."
(34) 1 Timothy 6:17 "That are rich in this world (aion-age)." Rich in this age, not "rich in this eternity."
(35) 2 Timothy 4:10 "Having loved this present world (aion-age)." Loved this present age, not "loved this present forever."
(36) Titus 2:12 "Godly, in this present world (aion-age)." In this present age, not "in this present eternity."
(37) Hebrews 1:2 "By whom also he made the world (aions-ages)." Made the ages-plural, not made plural worlds.
(38) Hebrews 6:5 "Powers of the world (aion-age) to come." " Powers of the age to come, not powers of the forever to come." Will there be another world (another place) to come? This is speaking of another age, another time, but another time was changed to another place.
(39) Hebrews 9:26 "Now once in the end of the world (aion-age).” In the end of forever, which was about 2,000 years ago? It was in the end of the age of the Law or Jewish age, which lasted from the giving of the law by Moses to the death of Christ, not the end of the world. The sacrifice of Christ was in the end of the age of the Law given through Moses, not in the end of the world, not the end of eternity.
(40) Hebrews 11:3 "The worlds (aions-ages plural) were framed." God made the ages. Did the King James translators think there is more than one earth? “By faith we understand that the ages (aions-ages)." were prepared by the word of God” New American Standard footnote. Plural ages were prepared by the word of God, plural periods of time, not plural worlds.
Five times the King James Version translates “aions” “the end of this would,” then it translates it “for ever and ever.” How did they get something that will end and something that will never have an end from the same word?
Aionios, the adjective form of the noun aion
Is translated and changed to a noun–world three times:
(41) Romans 16:25-26 “Kept secret since the world (aionios-age) began, but now is made manifest…is made known.” Since the ages began, not kept secret since eternity began, as eternity is understood today. Plural ages changed to one place, the world, an adjective changed to a noun.
“For long ages past” New American Standard and New International Version.
“For long ages” New Revised Standard Version.
(42) 2 Timothy 1:9 “Which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world (aionios-age) began. (”Translated "age(s)" in the New Revised Standard Version).
1. “Before times eternal” American Standard Version, footnote “long ages ago.” What times does anyone think was before eternity began?
2. “Before the ages (aionios-age) began” New Revised Standard Version.
The promise of salvation was first given in Genesis 3:15 at the beginning of the first age on earth, the Patriarchal age, which was from Adam to Moses, before the Christian age that Paul was in begin; no promise of salvation was given to mankind before there was a mankind, no promise given to mankind before there was a world.
(43) Titus 1:2 “Which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world (aionios-age). Given or promised to whom before the world began, there was no man before the world began, before everlasting or eternity began? If eternity had no beginning, and will have no ending, how could there be a “before eternity began?” “Before the age began” not before the world began, by “the age” Paul is probably speaking of before the beginning of the Christian age that we are now in; Christ lived in the age of the Law, and before the Christian age had began He give the promise of the resurrection to life.
IN THE ABOVE THERE ARE,
1. A past age, and past ages, not many worlds that have passed, or many eternities that have passed.
2. The present age, not the present world we are now in, or the present eternities.
3. An age to come, and ages to come, not a world, or more than one world to come, not a past eternality, or many eternities to come.
There are not worlds past, present, and future. “World” in the Greek is “kosmos” not “aion” in these 43 times “aion” was changed to “kosmos-world,” changed to both similar and plural worlds. “Kosmos (world) is used about 184 times in the New Testament and is never in the plural as aion often is, never plural worlds. We speak of "the Stone Age," "the Iron Age," etc. Age (aion), century, and year are all periods of time. The world is a place. How did the translators change an aion-age into a place-world; changed a word that means a period of time changed to a place? The King James Version has both (1) “world without end” and (2) “in the end of the world” (Ephesians 3:21; Hebrews 9:26).
Eternity, as the word is used today, has no beginning; therefore, they could not translate it forever so they change a word that means a period of time that has a beginning and an end to a place, changed to a place that had a beginning and will have an end, changed to a created place that is not eternal. Most translations used "age(s)." If aion means forever, what did the translators do when they came to Matthew 24:3? Did they translate it "the end of forever"? No, they could not have an end to eternity; therefore, they change aion to "world." To most reading “world,” means the earth that we live on, in the Greek "world" is from "kosmos," not "aion" or “aionios,” it is a mistranslation that I cannot but believe the translators knew it was a mistranslation, a mistranslation that most other translations of the Bible have changed. Were they not being less than truthful with their readers? Just as untruthful as they were in the Old Testament where "olam" is also translated "world" in Psalm 73:12. Despite the fact that they have translated "olam" into "everlasting" repeatedly, they could not have the ungodly prosper for "forever." An aion (an age) in Matthew 24:3 is not a place, not a world. When aion is translated “world,” it is a deliberate change of God’s word that makes those who do not understand Greek to understand something that is 100% different from what God did say.
KOSMOS MEANS WORLD, NOT AION
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, “The word kosmos, translated almost uniformly world, which is found one hundred and eighty-four times in the New Testament, is in some respects very different from aion. Concerning the word kosmos, we would have it noticed, that it is never found in the plural form in the Christian Scriptures. THERE IS BUT ONE KOSMOS, THOUGH DIFFERENT AIONS, FOUND IN THIS VOLUME. Kosmos denotes the material globe with all its elements–sometimes, the universe; and by a figure called metonomy, which substitutes the thing containing for the thing contained, the human family is often called the world...The phrase ‘foundation of the world’ occurs ten times, and always kosmos. But wherever mere time or continuance is implied, it is always aion, and not kosmos.” “The Living Oracles,” Appendix 14, 1826, Gospel Advocate Company.
G. CAMPBELL MORGAN, “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 use 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. 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.” “God‘s Methods with Man,” page 185, Fleming H. Revel Company, 1898.
PLURAL is changed to SINGULAR
When the King James translators translated aions into "worlds" (Hebrews 1:2; see Ephesians 2:7; Colossians 1:26), they left it in the plural, but when they translated it "forever" they changed it to the singular. They could have plural worlds, but they could not have a plurality of forever, or more than one eternity. Their Hell must last forever (singular), not forevers (plural), and not just unto the age of ages.
How could anyone know "Hell" is everlasting when not one of the four words translated "Hell" in the King James Version is used with aion or aionios. Not one of four words (sheol, hades, Gehenna, Tartarus) is said to be everlasting.
Aion is used of past ages, the present age, future ages, and in the plural in about two-thirds of its occurrences in the Bible. Therefore, there are more than one age. It follows that eternity is not an acceptable meaning of this Greek word. There cannot be past eternities, a present eternity, and future eternities, neither can there be plural eternities. An aion (age) is a long period of time that has a beginning and an ending, but it is not an eternity that has no beginning or ending. There are more than one aions, but there can be only one eternity.
(1). How can it be said “this eternity,” “that eternity,” or “eternities”? There is only one eternity (Luke 16:8; 20:34-35; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 1:20; 2:6-8; 3:18; 10:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 1:21; 2:2; 2:7; 3:9; Colossians 1:26; 2 Timothy 4:10; Hebrews 11:3). If aion means eternality, then when it is in the plural it would be saying there are more than one eternality.
(2). How can it be said “before eternity” or “eternity began”? There was no “before eternity, ” if eternity had no beginning (James 9:32; Acts 3:21; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Ephesians 3:9)?
(3). How can it be said “present eternity,” “eternity to come,” and “end of eternity?” (Matthew 24:3; 28:20; 1 Corinthians 10:11; 2 Titus 4:10; Heb. 6:5; 9:26)?
In the Bible there is the Patriarchal dispensation (age), and the Law of Moses dispensation (age) (Luke 1:70; Romans 12:2; Colossians 1:26), and the Christian dispensation (age). Age (aion) is applied to the Jewish dispensation (age) that has ended. See Hebrews 9:26; 1 Corinthians 10:11; Matthew 24:3; Luke 1:70. This age will end at the coming of Christ. Endless life, life that will last for all the ages to come will be given in the age that is to come after the resurrection (Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; 20:35; Ephesians 1:21; 2:7; Hebrews 6:5).
Aion and aionios. When both the singular and plural are used together in one sentence there has to be more than one aion (age). A plural eternity or forever is impossible; aionios refer to periods of time (ages). Unless an age means all of time, there has to be another part(s) of time (another age or ages); an age is not forever, not eternity as the English word "eternity" is used today.
The word "eternal" was first put into the Bible when the Latin Vulgate Version of Jerome was translated into English; there is no word in the Hebrew or Greek Bible that corresponds to the English word "eternal;" Jerome translation give aion two difference meaning by translating aion into two different Latin words. If the first English translation had come directly from the Hebrew and Greek, it is unlikely that "eternal" would have ever been in it. Jerome was inconsistent in the way he put eternal into his Latin Catholic translation by translating aion into eternal twenty-seven times out of about one hundred twenty-five times that aion is used, nevertheless, his inconsistent changes were translated into English, and many later translations copied them.
"TO or UNTO the ages of the ages."
(1) “The smoke of their torment doth go up UNTO the ages of the ages” (Revelation 14:11). If, as some believe, the ages of the ages is eternity after the judgment, then the smoke of their torment, the torment of the devil last ONLY UNTO the end of time, but nothing is said about any smoke or torment after the judgment.
(2) “Her smoke doth come up UNTO the ages of the ages” (Revelation 19:3).
(3) “They (the devil, the beast and the false prophet) shall be tormented day and night UNTO the ages of the ages” (Revelation 20:10). "Day and night" belongs to time, not eternity (Revelation 22:5); “unto” means up to “the ages of the ages,” but not after that time. We do not know what is going on in the mind of Satan, but it is only reasonable to believe that he knows his time will come to an end. Would this not be torment to him? "The Lord knows how to...keep the unrighteous under punishment unto the Day of Judgment" (1 Peter 2:9). “Unto the ages of ages” could only mean the time that is before the ages to come, before any one will be in Heaven, not forever, not during or throughout eternity. This torment, whether it is literal or figurative torment, is only said to be "UNTO the ages of the ages," which is before most believe anyone will be in Hell. It ends at the time they say Hell will begin (“UNTO the ages of the ages”). It says nothing about torment, neither literal torment or figurative torment in the "ages of ages." When the Greek says, "unto the ages of the ages," it is not "forever and ever." This is just another attempt of the translators to impose the Greek philosophy of innate immortality on God’s word, and to put an eternal place of torment in the Bible where there is not one. If “day and night” are to be taken literally then the “beast” that is being tormented “day and night” must also be literal; therefore, there will be a literal beast literally tormented in Hell “which (literally) has seven heads and the ten horns,” (Revelation 17:7-9); is there literally such a beast? How many that believe in Hell believe there is such a literal beast, or that there will be any kind of beast in Hell, or that there will literally be “day and night” in Hell? Does a beast with ten horns or a cow with two horns have a soul?
The ages to come, "UNTO the ages of (the) ages" (Revelation 1:6; 2 Timothy 4:18; etc.) Does eternity have ages? "Who shall not receive manifold more in this time, and in the world to come (aion–the age to come) eternal life" (aionios-ageless, the adjective form of aion, life for all the ages to come) (Luke 18:30; Mark 10:30). Life that will have no end will be given at the judgment after the end of the Christian Age (Romans 6:22; Galatians 6:8; Titus 1:2). Paul speaking to those in the Christian Age, those that were saved by grace when he said, “That in the ages (aions) to come (ages to come after the Christian Age) he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6-7).
There may be no way we can know, but it is possible that there was a time before God made anything, where there was just God, was one age. Then after He made Heaven and all was perfect was another age. After Satan and other angels sinned could have been another age, and things we know nothing about could be the beginning and ending of many ages before God made the earth. There is no way we can know something God has not revealed to us, but it is unreasonable to think that we with our limited knowledge could know even the hem of the garment when it comes to knowing what an infinite God has done before He made this world, and what He will do throughout all the coming ages. "Unto the ages of the ages" may mean that time after the judgment will be made up of "ages," one age after another age for an endless number of ages all in some way will be difference from each other. God does not change, but there is no reason to believe that after the judgment He will just sit and do nothing that could be the end of one age and the beginning of another. In all of time we know anything about, God has used ages that had begins and ends, and there is no reason to believe He cannot or will not always use them. There is no person now in Heaven, but the saved will be in Heaven after the judgment; when all the saved of mankind are in Heaven, will that not be one change from what Heaven is now, it maybe the beginning of a new age in Heaven. And there could be others changes later that would be the beginning and ending of many ages in Heaven. I do not believe God is a sleeping God who woke up one day and made the world in six days and went back to sleep. What God has done and will do throughout all the countless ages to come is beyond my imagination, and as He has not revealed it no one can know, but eternity is a long time and it is not reasonable to believe He is now sleeping, and that He will not frequently do many things as great or greater than making the earth; things that will be the beginning of an endless number of new ages. Angels are not self-existing being as God is, they were created by God; therefore, their creation may have been the beginning of an age in Heaven. Heaven itself was created; only God is self-existing, unchanging and without a beginning. All the things that God created that we know about and all the beings, angels and mankind, were not created at the same time, there is no reason to believe that God will not go on creating both new things and there will be new beings in the ages to come.
PAST AGES, A PRESENT AGE, FUTURE AGES
If, as many teach, "aion" did means "forever" or "eternity," then there would be past eternities, present eternities, and future eternities to come, both singular and plural eternities. More than one eternity, as we use the word eternity today, is not passable.
1. A past age, not a past eternity (singular) Acts 15:18 "From the beginning of the aion" Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:26; Luke 1:55.
2. A present age, not a present eternity (singular) Galatians 1:4 "From this present evil aion" Matthew 12:32; 13:22; 13:39; 13:40; 24:3; 28:20; Mark 4:19; Luke 1:70; Luke 16:8; 20:34; John 9:32; Acts 3:21; 15:18; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:6; 2:8; 3:18; 8:13; 10:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 1:21; 2:2; 6:12; 1 Timothy 7:17; 2 Timothy 4:10. The present aion (age) is clearly distinguished from a past aion, or a future aion, not a past or future eternity.
3. A future age, not a future eternity (singular) Luke 20:35 "Worthy to obtain that aion (age)." Matthew 12:32; Mark 10:30 "In the aion (age) to come eternal life" Luke 18:30; 20:35; Ephesians 1:21; 2:7; Hebrews 6:5.
Of the one hundred twenty-seven times aion is used in the New Testament sixty-two are in the plural, more than one age, not more than one eternity, and in twenty-one others that there is more than one age when the plural is implied by “this aion” or “that aion,” this age, or that age, not this eternity or that eternity.
1. Past ages, not past eternities (plural) Colossians 1:26. "Hid from aions" Luke 1:33; Hebrews 1:2; 11:3.
2. Present ages, not present eternities (plural) Hebrews 1:2. "By whom also he made the aions" Romans 1:25; 9:5; 11:36; 16:27; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Hebrews 13:8.
3. Future ages, not future eternities (plural) Galatians 1:5; Philippians 4:20; 1 Timothy 1:17; 2 Timothy 4:18; Hebrews 13:21; 1 Peter 4:11; 5:11; Revelation 1:6; 1:18; 4:9; 4:10; 5:13; 5:14; 7:12; 10:6; 11:15; 14:11; 15:7; 19:3; 20:10; 22:5. It may be that what we think of as eternity as being one endless time period will be an infinite number of aions (ages).
4. Past, present, and future ages, not past, present, and future eternities. "Throughout all ages" Ephesians 3:21 King James Version.
(3). DOUBLE SINGULAR, age of the age (aiona tou aionos) Hebrews 1:8.
(4). SINGULAR AND PLURAL, age of the ages (aionos ton aionon) Ephesians 3:21 .
(5). DOUBLE PLURALS, ages of the ages (aionas ton aionon) Revelation 20:10, 1 Peter 4:11.
In the Bible there are
1. Aion (age) in the singular–65 times.
2. Aions (ages) in the plural–62 times.
3. Aions (ages) in the past–plural.
4. Aion (age) in the present–singular.
5. An aion (age) to come–singular.
6. Aions (ages) to come–plural, more than one age is yet to come.
7. The ends of the aions (ages) –plural, more than one age that ends.
IF AION MEANS ETERNALITY
THEN THESE PASSAGE WOULD BE SAYING
1. “And of the end of the eternality?” (Matthew 24:3)
2. “Even unto the end of eternality” (Matthew 28:20)
3. “The sons of this eternity are more shrewd” (Luke 16:8)
4. “Worthy to attain to that eternity” (Luke 20:35)
5. “Since the beginning of eternity” (John 9:32; and Acts 3:21)
6. “A wisdom, however, not to this eternity, nor of the rulers of this eternity, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God destined before the eternities to our glory” (1 Corinthians 2:6-7)
7. “Upon whom the ends of the eternities have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11)
8. “The God of this eternity” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
9. “That He might deliver us from this present evil eternity” (Galatians 1:4)
10. “Not only in this eternity but also in that (eternity) which is to come” (Ephesians. 1:21)
11. “That in the eternities to come” (Ephesians 2:7)
12. “The mystery, which for eternities has been hidden” (Ephesians 3:9)
13. “The mystery, which has been hidden for the past eternities” (Colossians 1:26)
14. “Having loved this present eternity” (2 Timothy 4:10)
15. “Powers of the eternity to come” (Hebrews 6:5)
16. “But now in the end of the eternity (Hebrews 9:26)
17. “We understand the eternities have been prepared by the word of God” (Hebrews 11:3)
“FOREVER AND EVER” of the King James Version
The Greek is "unto the aions of the aions." It is not "ever plus ever," not one "ever" added to another "ever" as it is changed to in the King James Version. "Forever and ever" is a contradiction of itself. When a word is plural (as “aions” is in this passage) it can only be finite for only finite things can have the plural; there cannot be more than one infinite eternity; not more than one forever. There cannot be eternities after eternities (“forever and ever”). It is an age that last unto more ages, not a plural of eternities which none can end. An age or ages will fit into eternity, but eternity will not fit into an age. Eternity is infinitely bigger then an age. Neither can one eternity fit into another eternity, or two eternities exist at the same time. Neither can one eternity come after the end of another eternity.
HENRY THAYER, “For ever (aionas) AND (ton) ever (aionon)” (Revelation 4:11), “The double plural,” “A Greek–English Lexicon Of The New Testament,” page 19. - - - Both Greek words are in the plural; “ever” that is used in the King James Version is singular; there is no plural of “ever” in English; it cannot be translated “for everS and everS.” The “and” that is between the two everS is from “ton” (of the) and it never means “and” in the Greek; “and” is from “kai.” “For ever and ever” totally changes what the Greek says; the King James Version correctly translated “ton” (of the) except when there was a denoting of times or ages as in “ages of the ages”, then ton “of the,” was changed to kai-“and,” changed from “of the” to “and” as in “forever AND forever.”
As there is no word in the Hebrew Old Testament for “eternity.” "Ages" more than one long period of time followed by more long periods of time might have been the nearest concept the early Hebrew people had to "eternity" as we understand the English word "eternity" today. Can "olam" or "aion" ever mean eternal as the word is used today? Endless is not inherent in either of the two words and in over 90% of the times they are used it is unquestionably that they mean a limited time-a time that has ended or will end. When they are applied to God (as in Exodus 3:15; Genesis 21:33) and things that are intrinsically endless, it is claimed aion-age takes on a meaning not inherent in the word itself, but from the thing that is endless, but it is more likely that God was speaking to them using the only words that they would understand, words with nearest concept the early Hebrew people had to an eternity without beginning or end–ages followed by more ages, an endless number of ages one after another after another. The concept we have of eternity was not in the Old Testament. In the Greek New Testament God is the “king of the ages (aion),” not “king eternal” as in the King James and other translations.
1 Timothy 1:17, “To the King of the ages (aion), the incorruptible, invisible, only wise God, [is] honor and glory-to the ages (aion), of the ages (aion)! Amen” Young's Literal Translation.
1. “Now to the king of the ages” Alfred Marshall, “Parallel New Testament In Greek and English”
2. “Now to the King of the ages” Recovery Version
3. “Now to the King of the ages” Hugo McCord, Church of Christ, “McCord’s New Testament Translation,” published by Freed-Hardeman College
4. “So to the king of all the ages” “The New Testament In Modern English,” J. B. Phillips
5. “To the King of ages” New American Bible
6. “To the King of the ages” Revised Standard Version - New Revised Standard Version
7. “He is the King of the ages” The Living Bible
8. “Now may the King of the ages” The Christian Bible
See “The Englishmen’s Greek Concordance” by George V. Wigram, page 20
Jude 1:25, “To (the) only God Savior of us through Jesus Christ the Lord of us (be) glory, greatness might, and authority before all the age and now and unto all the ages.” Alfred Marshall, Parallel New Testament In Greek and English. “To the only wise God our Savior, [is] glory and greatness, power and authority, both now and to all the ages! Amen” Young's Literal Translation.
Hebrews 1:2, “Through whom (Christ) also he made the ages” Young's Literal Translation.
Hebrews 11:3, “By faith we understand that the ages have been framed by the word of God.”
Revelation 15:7, “God, who is living to the ages of the ages.”
1 Peter 4:11, “Jesus Christ, to whom is the glory and the power–to the ages of the ages.”
Revelation 2:12, “The blessing, and the glory, and the wisdom, and the thanksgiving, and the honor, and the power, and the strength, [are] to our God-to the ages of the ages!”
Revelation 1:6, “To him [is] the glory and the power to the ages of the ages! Amen.”
2 Corinthians 11:31, “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ-who is blessed to the ages.”
Romans 16:27, “To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to him [be] glory to the ages.”
Romans 1:25, Romans 5:9, “God blessed to the ages. Amen.”
After the coming of Christ, when we are told by many that time will have ended and eternity will have begun, the very next thing is a “day,” a period of time that will have both a beginning and an ending, the Judgment Day. This “day” will be in what is now, by many is call eternity, after, as we are told, time as we know it has ended, after this Christian age that we are now in will has ended when we are told that eternity will have begin.
Perhaps the most common argument is that “aion” has both (1) a finite meaning and (2) infinite meaning. Both unlimited duration when it is speaking of God, and limited duration of things that have a perishable nature, or a limited duration, as the priesthood of Aaron, the covenant of circumcision, the three days Jonah was in the belly of the whale, etc., that it must take on an infinite meaning when speaking of things not of this earth; the problem of this seems to be that even when speaking of things not of this earth, when it is speaking of the time after the Judgment Day, even when it is speaking of God (1 Timothy 1:17; 2 Timothy 4:18), and many more times age is used in the plural. AGES BEING IN THE PLURAL WHEN SPEAKING OF GOD IS HID BY MOST ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS, IT WOULD MAKE A PLURALITY OF ETERNITIES, ONE ETERNITY AFTER ANOTHER ETERNITY, THEN MORE ETERNITIES AFTER THEM, EVEN AFTER THE JUDGMENT DAY IT WOULD MAKE THERE BE ETERNITIES AFTER ETERNITIES.
1 Peter 1:25, “The word of the Lord abides for ever (aeon–age).” God’s word–the New Covenant will abide as long as the New Covenant last, to the end of this age–end of the world (age). “But the things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever (olam–age–Hebrew the same as the Greek aeon–age) that we may do all the words of this law” Deuteronomy 29:29. The Law belonged to them for an age, but that age has passed away; it was only for that age, not forever. All that is in the New Covenant are ours to do for this age, we will not take the Lord’s Supper after the end of this age; we will not remember His death “Till He come” (1 Corinthians 11:29), not after He comes. The Lord’s Supper is now the “word of the Lord” that abides for this age, not without end, not for all the ages to come. Just as the “word of the Lord” on keeping the Sabbath Day abided for that age, and it passed away when the age of the Law passed away, “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15) will also abided to the end of this age, and will pass away when this age is over. There will always be a “word of the Lord” in all ages to come, but not the same “word of the Lord” as is in this age or as was in pass ages. “The word of the Lord remains unto the age” Marshall’s Parallel Greek English New Testament.
YOUNG’S LITERAL TRANSLATION, “The saying of the Lord doth remain–to the age.”
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL said of aion, “Its radical idea is indefinite duration.” An age is always a period of time that can be long or short, but ages always has both a beginning and an ending.
PULPIT COMMENTARY, “It is possible that aconian may denote merely indefinite duration without the connotation of never ending,” Volume 15, page 485.
G. CAMPBELL MORGAN, “There is no word in the whole Book of God corresponding with our ‘eternal,’ which as commonly used among us, means absolutely without end.” “God’s Methods With Man,” page 186,
MARVIN R. VINCENT, "Word Studies In The New Testament," Notes On Olethron Aionion being translated eternal destruction. "The word always carries the notion of time, and not of eternity. It always means a period of time. Otherwise it would be impossible to account for the plural, or for such qualifying expressions as this age, or the age to come. It does not mean something endless or everlasting. To deduce that meaning from its relation to aei is absurd; for, apart from the fact that the meaning of a word is not definitely fixed by its derivation, aei does not signify endless duration. When the writer of the Pastoral Epistles quotes the saying that the Cretans are always (aei) liars (Tit. 1:12), he surely does not mean that the Cretans will go on lying to all eternity. See also Acts 7:51; 2 Cor. 4:11; 6:10; Heb 3:10; 1 Pet. 3:15. Aei means habitually or continually within the limit of the subject's life. In our colloquial dialect everlastingly is used in the same way. 'The boy is everlastingly tormenting me to buy him a drum.' In the New Testament the history of the world is conceived as developed through a succession of aeons. A series of such aeons precedes the introduction of a new series inaugurated by the Christian dispensation, and the end of the world and the second coming of Christ are to mark the beginning of another series. Eph. 1:21; 2:7; 3:9,21; 1 Cor. 10:11; compare Heb. 9:26. He includes the series of aeons in one great aeon, 'o aion ton aionon, the aeon of the aeons (Eph. 3:21); and the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews describe the throne of God as enduring unto the aeon of the aeons (Heb 1:8). The plural is also used, aeons of the aeons, signifying all the successive periods which make up the sum total of the ages collectively. Rom. 16:27; Gal. 1:5; Philip. 4:20, etc." – Marvin R. Vincent "Word Studies In The New Testament." He listed three series of ages–not three series of eternities. The three are
1. “A series of ages that precedes the Christian dispensation.”
2. “A new series of ages inaugurated by the Christian dispensation.”
3. “The end of the world and the second coming of Christ are to mark the beginning of another series of ages”.
TAYLER LEWIS, Lange’s Commentary on Ecclesiastes, pages 44–51 says there were numberless ages before our world was created; during this world there are ages, and there will be numberless ages after the close of this world.
DR. EDWARD BEECHER, “All attempts to set forth eternity as the original and primary sense of aion are at war with the facts of the Greek language for five centuries, in which it denoted life and its derivative senses, and the sense eternity was unknown.” Christian Union, 1873.
PROFESSOR KNAPP, author of a Greek New Testament used in many colleges and universities as a textbook. “The pure idea of eternity is too abstract to have been conceived in the early ages of the world, and accordingly is not found expressed by any word in the ancient languages. But as cultivation advanced and this idea became more distinctly developed, it became necessary in order to express it to invent new words in a new sense, as was done with the words eternity, perennitas, ete. The Hebrews were destitute of any single word to express endless duration…the Hebrews and other ancient people have no one word for expressing the precise idea of eternity.”
Aionios (the adjective form of the noun aion) is used 71 times in the New Testament and in the King James Version is translated (1) age, (2) eternal, (3) for ever and ever, (4) course, (5) for ever, (6) evermore, (7) everlasting, (8) world, (9) beginning of the world, (10) world began, (11) world without end.
Adjectives never have a meaning that is totally different from the noun from which it came.
Week (noun) – weekly (adjectives).
Hour (noun) – hourly adjectives).
Year (noun) – yearly (adjectives).
Month (noun) – monthly (adjectives).
In the King James Version the adjective aionios is changed to “eternal” many times; eternal is not a translation of aionios. It would be more like the Greek to translate the adjective of the noun aion “age” into “ageless.” “I give unto them ageless (aionios) life, and they shall never perish” (John 10:28). They shall never age, never grow old, shall never die (perish). Also in Luke 10:25; 18:18; 18:30; John 3:15; 3:16; 3:36; 4:14; 4:36; 5:24; 5:39; 6:27; 6:40; 6:47; 6:54; 6:68; 10:28; 12:25; 12:50; 17:2; 17:3; Acts 13:46; 13:48; Romans 5:21; 6:22; 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Galatians 6:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 2:16; 1 Timothy 1:16; 6:12; 6:16; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:2; 3:7; Hebrews 5:9; 9:12; 9:15; 13:20; 2 Peter 1:11; 1 John 1:2; 2:25; 3:15; 5:11; 5:13; Jude 1:21. In none of the 71 times aionios is used in the New Testament eternal is not a translation of it. Heaven is a wonderful pace where the saved will be ageless, never grow old, never be sick, and never die. “And the witness is this, that God gave unto us ageless (aionios) life, and that life is in his Son. He that has the Son has the life; he that has not the Son of God has not the life” (1 John 5:11-12).
Olam–for an age, not forever.
1. The Law of Moses was forever (olam), King James Version, but it ended.
2. The Jews were to posses the land forever (olam), King James Version.
3. Temple rituals were to continue forever (olam), King James Version, but they ended.
4. Sacrifices were to last forever (olam), King James Version, but they have ended.
5. Circumcision was forever (olam), King James Version, but it being a commandment of God ended when the Law that commanded it ended.
6. David’s throne was forever (olam), King James Version, but it ended.
FOREVER–UNTO THE AGES
(A) "UNTO THE AGES" eiv touv aiwnav Wigram ("The Englishman's Greek Concordance," page 19), footnote in American Standard Version "Gr. unto the ages." Alfred Marshall in "Parallel New Testament In Greek And English" translates eiv touv aiwnav "unto the ages."
1. Luke 1:33 "Over the house of Jacob forever (eiv touv aiwnav-unto the ages)."
2. Romans 1:25 "Who is blessed forever (eiv touv aiwnav-unto the ages)."
3. Romans 9:5 "God blessed forever (eiv touv aiwnav-unto the ages)."
4. Romans 11:36 "To whom be glory forever (eiv touv aiwnav-unto the ages)."
5. Romans 16:27 "Through Jesus Christ forever (eiv touv aiwnav-unto the ages)."
6. 2 Corinthians 11:31 "Which is blessed for evermore (eiv touv aiwnav-unto the ages)."
7. Hebrews 13:8 "Yesterday, and to day, and for ever (eiv touv aiwnav-unto the ages)."
All seven “forever” are three words in the Greek, but was changed to one word as in the King James Version.
(B) "UNTO THE AGES OF (THE) AGES" eiv touv aiwnav twn aiwnwn is used twenty-one times in the New Testament, seventeen times it is applied to God or Christ, one time to Satan, one time to worshipers of the beast, one time to the great harlot, and one time to those who are in the book of life.
1. Alfred Marshall translates it, "Unto the ages of the ages,"
2. "Parallel New Testament In Greek And English," page 747. "To whom (be) the glory unto the ages of the ages. Amen" Galatians 1:5.
3. Adam Clarke translates it, "To the ages of ages."
4. Robert Young translates it, "To the ages of (the) ages." Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible, page 310, and in "Young's Literal Translation."
5. Ashley S. Johnson, “Ages of ages, or ages upon ages” Founder, and president of the Johnson Bible College.
6. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown, "Unto ages of ages."
7. The Amplified Bible, "Through all the ages of the ages" Galatians 1:5.
8. The Christian Bible, "For the remaining ages of the ages" Galatians 1:5.
9. New American Standard Version, "Even to the end of the age" Matthew 28:20 and in many other passages.
10. New Revised Standard Version, "End of the age" Matthew 28:20 and others.
11. New International Version, "To the very end of the age" Matthew 28:20.
12. Strong's word #165, Aion "An age" Comp 5550 "A space of time"
(1)–(17), The seventeen times "unto the ages of the ages–eiv touv aiwnav twn aiwnwn" that are applied to God or Christ. In the same way that saying God was the God of Israel does not mean He was not also the God of the other nations, to say He is now the God of this age does not mean He was not the God of all the other ages that have been before, and the God of this age, and will not be the God of all ages that shall come after this age. He is the God of Abraham, but also the God of David, and the God of Paul. He is the God of this age; God is the God of the ages, all the ages, past, present, and future.
There are three main ages that covers all the time of this earth. (1) The Patriarchal Age, From Adam to the giving of the Law, when God spoke directly to men, mostly to the fathers. (2) The Law Age, From the giving of the Law to the death of Christ. (3) The Christian or Church Age, From Christ to the end of this age at end of this world. These ages are often subdivided into smaller ages; for example, the Law is often divided into the Judges, the Untied Kingdom, and the Divided Kingdom. How many ages there might have been before the earth, and how many there will be after it ends we have no way of knowing, but the Bible speaks often of "ages to come" after this Christian age that we are now in. “And raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus: that in the ages (aions) to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6-7); after the end of the earth it seems that there may be more ages to come with God over them, He will always be the God of the age that is. The concept we have of eternity is not in the Old Testament, and it did not come into use unto many years after the New Testament; if there is a word in the Greek language that was used in the time of the New Testament with today’s meaning of eternity it was not aion–age.
YOUNG'S LITERAL TRANSLATION
TO CHRIST–"unto the ages of the ages–eiv touv aiwnav twn aiwnwn."
(1) Galatians 1:5, "To whom is the glory to the ages of the ages. Amen."
(2) 2 Timothy 4:18, "And the Lord shall free me from every evil work, and shall save me to his heavenly kingdom; to whom is the glory to the ages of the ages! Amen."
(3) Hebrews 13:21, "Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, doing in you that which is well-pleasing before Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom is the glory to the ages of the ages! Amen."
(4) 1 Peter 4:11, "That in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom is the glory and the power to the ages of the ages. Amen."
(5) 1 Peter 5:11, "To Him is the glory, and the power to the ages and the ages! Amen."
(6) Revelation 1:6, "To him is the glory and the power to the ages of the ages! Amen."
(7) Revelation 1:18. "And he who is living, and I did become dead, and, lo, I am living to the ages of the ages. Amen! And I have the keys of the hades and of the death."
(8) Revelation 11:15, "And the seventh messenger did sound, and there came great voices in the heaven, saying, 'The kingdoms of the world did become those of our Lord and of His Christ, and he shall reign to the ages of the ages!'"
TO GOD OR CHRIST OR BOTH–"unto the ages of the ages–eiv touv aiwnav twn aiwnwn."
(9) Philippians 4:20, "And to God, even our Father, is the glory to the ages of the ages. Amen."
(10) 1 Timothy 1:17, "And to the King of the ages, the incorruptible, invisible, only wise God, is honor and glory to the ages of the ages! Amen."
(11) Revelation 4:9, "And when the living creatures do give glory, and honor, and thanks, to Him who is sitting upon the throne, who is living to the ages of the ages."
(12) Revelation 4:10, "Fall down do the twenty and four elders before Him who is sitting upon the throne, and bow before Him who is living to the ages of the ages, and they cast their crowns before the throne."
(13) Revelation 5:13, "To Him who is sitting upon the throne, and to the Lamb, is the blessing, and the honor, and the glory, and the might to the ages of the ages!"
(14) Revelation 5:14, "And the four living creatures said, 'Amen!' and the twenty-four elders fell down and they bow before Him who is living to the ages of the ages."
(15) Revelation 7:12, "Saying, 'Amen! The blessing, and the glory, and the wisdom, and the thanksgiving, and the honor, and the power, and the strength, are to our God to the ages of the ages! Amen!'"
(16) Revelation 10:6, "And did swear in Him who doth live to the ages of the ages, who did create the heaven and the things in it, and the land and the things in it, and the sea and the things in it."
(17) Revelation 15:7, "And one of the four living creatures did give to the seven messengers seven golden vials, full of the wrath of God, who is living to the ages of the ages."
These passages may simply be saying, as long as this age last, God will be the God of it. Christ will reign as king and priest in the kingdom unto He has abolished all rule and authority, unto He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be abolished is death (1 Corinthians 15:20-28). As long as this age lasts, He will reign "unto the ages of ages." At the end of this creation (or “age”), Christ "shall deliver up the kingdom to God...then shall the Son also himself be subjected to him that did subject all things unto him, that God may be all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). “Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; to him [is] the glory both now, and to the day of the age! Amen” (2 Peter 3:18 Young's Literal Translation).
“I AM,” God does not change with the passing of time; God is always the “I Am.” God is now, He was God at anytime we call the past, He is God. At anytime we call the future He is the “I Am” (Exodus 3:14). “Before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:58). This seems to be saying God is always the God of now, always the “I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is the come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).
Death and the grave will last only "to the age of the ages." After the end of this creation (age) death and the grave will not exist. Saying God is the God of this creation from its beginning unto it end is not to say He was not God before its beginning and after its end. He is the God of this age and all other ages. Revelation 7:12 Saying, "Amen, the blessing, and the glory, and the wisdom, and the thanksgiving, and the honor, and the power, and the strength, (are) to our God to the ages of (the) ages. Amen." Also for all ages that have been and will come after the end of this creation (age), God will always be the “I Am” of all ages.
After this world ends God will not ever be doing nothing, but that He will always be doing things that have a beginning and an end as great as the creation of this earth, and its end. There will always be things that have a beginning and an end, always be ages. Just as angels may have seen this creation, the saved may see new creations that God will always be doing. The lost, the dead will miss all this. O that I may live in such a way that I will live, and I will always see the great things God will be always doing in all the ages to come. We sometimes think of God to small for we think of Him as only having to do with our world, our creation; and in all endless time before He made this world we think He did nothing and will do nothing after the end of this world. As great as that would make Him, it still would make Him small in comparison with what He is; makes His power small in comparison with what it is.
"UNTO THE AGES OF THE AGES"
The other four of the twenty-one passages
(18) Revelation 14:11, "Unto the ages of (the) ages" is applied one time to worshipers of the beast, not to the beast. "And the smoke of their torment doth go up TO ages of ages; and they have no rest day and night, who are bowing before the beast and his image, also if any doth receive the mark of his name." Footnote in the American Standard Version, "Gr. UNTO the ages of the ages." This smoke goes up “UNTO the ages of the ages,” not without an end, not IN “the ages of the ages,” not IN any ages after “the ages of the ages.” The time that (1) those on earth that worship the beast have no rest and (2) the smoke goes up are both explicitly stated to be a limited period, "UNTO the ages of the ages." See notes above. Most commentaries say the beast is pagan Rome. No worldly government will last for eternity; will not be IN the ages that are to come after the world has ended. Would it be possible to make a bigger change in God’s word then was made when “UNTO the ages of the ages” was changed into two eternities “forever and ever”?
(19) Revelation 19:3, “UNTO the ages of (the) ages” is applied one time to the great harlot. “And a second time they said, ‘Alleluia;’ and the smoke doth come up to the ages of the ages” See notes above on Revelation 14:11.
(20) Revelation 20:10, “UNTO the ages of (the) ages” is applied one time to Satan. “And the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the Lake of Fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night to the ages of (the) ages.” See notes above on Revelation 14:11.
(21) Revelation 22:5, "UNTO the ages of (the) ages" is applied one time to those who are in the book of life. "And night shall not be there, and they have no need of a lamp and light of a sun, because the Lord God doth give them light, and they shall reign to (TO or UNTO) the ages of (the) ages." No matter what view you have, this may be one of the most difficult passages in the Bible.
The most common view. This is speaking of the saints in Heaven after the judgment. This view would change the reign of the saints to be in the "ages of Ages" not "unto the ages of the ages." It makes the reign of the saints start after its end. The King James and other translations remove this difficulty by mistranslating.
Another view. Christ is now both king and priest unto the church. He is now our high priest (Hebrews 8:1). "For He must reign, till he has put all his enemies under his feet" (1 Corinthians 15:25). When all his enemies are under his feet and the last enemy, death, has been abolished, then He shall deliver up the kingdom to God and be subjected to Him (1 Corinthians 15:23-28). Christ is now our high priest. He is "a priest forever (aion-age) after the order of Melchizedek" (Hebrews 5:6). "A high priest for ever (aion-age) after the order of Melchizedek" (Hebrews 6:20). "A priest for ever (aion-age) after the order of Melchizedek" (Hebrews 7:17). "You are a priest for ever" (aion-age) (Hebrews 7:21). Also Hebrews 2:17; 3:1; 4:14; 4:15; 5:1; 5:5; 5:10. Christ is now reigning as our high priest, but will He be our high priest after the judgment when there is no sin; therefore, no need for a priest? "And did make us kings and priests" (Revelation 1:6). Those in Christ now reign as kings and priests. "For you were slain, and did purchase unto God with your blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, and made them to be unto our God a kingdom and priests; and THEY REIGN UPON THE EARTH" (Revelation 5:9-10). All Christians are now kings and priests, and they now reign upon the earth as long as there will be an earth, but will Christians be kings and priests after the judgment when they are not "upon the earth"? Will there be any need for priests in Heaven when there will be no sin? Christ will be our Lord in Heaven, but maybe not our high priest. Christian now reign as kings and priests unto the ages of ages, but whatever we will be in Heaven, it does not look as if there will be any need for priests. In this age, those in Christ have Him as their light (John 8:12; 9:5; 11:10; 12:36) and He shines the same always. There is no nighttime when He shines less. The reign of those in Christ as kings and priests "UNTO the ages of the ages" may be over when the ageless life in Heaven for Christians begins in the ages of ages. They shall reign “UNTO the ages of (the) ages” (22:5) "UNTO the ages" is before the time many believe Hell will begin. It is now.
A third view. May be the right one. This passage is symbolic, not to be taken literally. The first two views both make the wording be literal, but just as most of this book is in symbols, this may also be symbols, and it is no more to be taken literality than a woman arrayed with the sun (Revelation 12:1), or any of the other symbols in the book.
Whatever view of this passage you may take, faithful Christians will be with Christ "in the ages to come" (Ephesians 2:7) after this age has ended.
That aion means forever when it is used with reference to the life of the believer, and that it takes on a meaning of unlimited time that is totally different from its meaning is without precedent with any other word; this dual definition came about by those trying to explain some passages that are difficult to those that believe there is a soul that is now and always will be immortal after it leaves the person it is now in, but it seems to me that it makes more problems for them than it helps. If God in His revelation to us used a word to sometimes mean a limited time with a beginning and an end, and at other times used the same word to mean an unlimited time without beginning or end, no one could know what He said to us, could not know when this word was limited, or when it was unlimited without an inspired person to tell us. It is obvious that forever or eternal with the meaning that eternal has today is a mistranslation of aion (age). Three days (Jonah 2:6), or a lifetime (Exodus 21:6) is not eternity.
Whatever view you take, Revelation is in a book of symbols that most of them are difficult to understand, and it is unwise to base any doctrine on the interpretation of difficult symbols, and less than unwise to make the interpretation of symbols over rule the plain statements of the Bible.
KENNETH FORTIER, a member of the Church of Christ says in “Church Doctrine’s: Right Or Wrong?” page 28, 2007.
1. The Bible says nothing about eternity, as the word eternity is understood today.
2. The Bible describes nothing as being eternal, not the world, not the universe.
3. Eternity is not a subject of revelation in the Bible; it is a subject of philosophy.
“Unsearchable Riches”, volume 27, page 175. “If aion sometimes means a limited and sometimes an, unlimited time, then we need a pope, or a church, or human tradition to tell us what it means in each case, and divine inspiration vanishes, and is replaced by corrupt human mentality.”
ETERNAL (aionios, the adjective of aion) LIFE
In about 43 times aionios is the life Christ promised to those who obey Him. “And in the age (aion) that is coming, life age-during (aionios) life (zoee)” (Young’s Literal Translation) Mark 10:30. “And a certain ruler questioned him, saying, ‘Good teacher, what having done-shall I inherit life age-during (aionios)?’” Luke 18:18. “Upon hope of life age-during (aionios), which God, who doth not lie, did promise before times of ages” Titus 1:2. Also in Matthew 19:16; 25:46; Mark 10:17; 10:30; Luke 10:25; 18:30; John 3:5; 3:16; 3:36; 4:14; 4:36; 5:24; 5:39; 6:27; 6:40; 6:47; 6:54; 6:58; 17:2; 17:3; Acts 13:46; Romans 2:7; 5:21; 6:22; 6:23; Galatians 6:8; 1 Timothy 1:16; 6:12; 6:19; Titus 3:7; 1 John 1:2; 2:25; 3:15; 5:11; 5:13; 5:20; Jude 21.
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY “ETERNALITY”
Time we understand. Divisions of time that has a beginning and ending as a day, year, age, we can understand. We can only think of eternality in relation to time, of eternality as an elongation of time; in trying to tell what eternality is we often hear, “After a billion years we will have no less time then when we first begin;” we cannot even think of eternality without thinking of it in relation to time. We can understand ages followed by more ages as was used in both the Old and New Testaments, but how do you say how long eternality will be? Can anything or person that had a beginning be eternal; can the life Christ gives to believers be eternal, without a beginning? If so, then the definition of eternality we often hear, “Without beginning or ending” could not be right when it is applied to any created thing, not to angel, not to persons, not to worlds, etc.; only God is “without beginning or ending.”
If there were no measurement of time after the resurrection and judgment, then there could not be “ages to come,” but the Bible speaks repeatedly of ages to come after the Judgment Day. Ages have a beginning and ending; therefore, an age last only for a length of time, they are not without both a beginning and an ending. After the judgment there will be the beginning and ending of ages just as there is now.
CAMPBELL SKINNER DEBATE on Everlasting Punishment, “Because there is no word in the English language which fully expresses what that word in its original sense implies. Had it been lawful to have coined a new word to express aionion in English, perhaps agica, or age-lasting, would have been near it…if aion means age, and its plural ages, (which none either will or can deny,) then aionion must mean age-lasting, or duration to the age or ages to which the thing spoken of relates.” Page 141. (Note, To aion (age) some add “during” and some add “lasting,” “age-during” or “age-lasting”).
TERMS THAT DESCRIBE THE SAVED AFTER THIS AGE
1. "Everlasting (aionios–age) habitations" (Hebrews 9:15) “And because of this, of a new covenant he is mediator, that, death having come, for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, those called may receive the promise of the age-during inheritance” Young’s Literal translation.
2. "Everlasting (aionios-age) consolation" (2 Thessalonians 2:16). “And may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and our God and Father, who did love us, and did give comfort age-during, and good hope in grace” Young’s Literal translation.
3. "Eternal (aionios-age) inheritance" (Hebrews 9:15). “And because of this, of a new covenant he is mediator, that, death having come, for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, those called may receive the promise of the age-during inheritance” Young’s Literal translation.
4. "An endless (aionios-age) weight of glory" (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). “Wherefore, we faint not, but if also our outward man doth decay, yet the inward is renewed day by day; for the momentary light matter of our tribulation, more and more exceedingly an age-during weight of glory doth work out for us-we not looking to the things seen, but to the things not seen; for the things seen [are] temporary, but the things not seen [are] age-during” Young’s Literal translation.
5. "A building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal (aionios-age), in the heavens" (2 Corinthians 5:1-2). “For we have known that if our earthly house of the tabernacle may be thrown down, a building from God we have, a house not made with hands-age-during-in the heavens, for also in this we groan, with our dwelling that is from heaven” Young’s Literal translation.
6. “And to Him who is able to establish you, according to my good news, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the secret, in the times of the ages (aionios), having been kept silent, and now having been made manifest, also, through prophetic writings, according to a command of the age-during (aionios) God, having been made known to all the nations for obedience of faith–to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to him [be] glory to the ages (aion). Amen.” (Romans 16:25-26).
7. “And the God of all grace, who did call you to His age-during (aionios) glory in Christ Jesus, having suffered a little, Himself make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle [you]; to Him [is] the glory, and the power-to the ages (aion) and the ages (aion)! Amen” (1 Peter 5:10-11).
The root word in Greek from which aion (age) comes from is “oon.” It is used eight times in the New Testament, and it always means a period of time, never time without end. Mark 15:8; Acts 7:51; 2 Corinthians 4:11; 6:10; Titus 1:12; Hebrews 3:10; 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Peter 1:12.
WORDS THAT TEACH AN ENDLESS DURATION
They are applied to God, Christ, and the saved
They are never applied to the lost
They are never applied to soul
(1). Romans 1:23 "The glory of the incorruptible (aphthartos) God."
(2). 1 Timothy 6:16 "Who only has immortality” (athanasin).
(3). Romans 1:20 "Even his everlasting (aidos) power and divinity." Aidos is used only two times in the New Testament, in this passage is speaking of God, and in Jude 6 of the everlasting (aidos) bonds that now keep the angles that sinned only to the judgment; it is never applied to men-psukee.
(4). 1 Timothy 1:17 "Now unto the King eternal immortal (aphtharsia), invisible, the only God."
(1). 2 Timothy 1:10 "Who (Christ) abolished death, and brought life and immortality (aphtharsia) to light."
(2). Hebrews 7:3 “Abides a priest continually (dieenekes).”
(3). (Hebrews 10:12) “But he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever (dieenekes), sat down on the right hand of God.”
(4). (Hebrews 10:14) “For by one offering he has perfected for ever (dieenekes) them that are sanctified.”
(5). Hebrews 7:16 "After the power of an endless (akatalutos) life." The only time akatalutos is in the New Testament it is applied to Christ, the endlessness of Christ.
(6). Hebrews 7:25 “Seeing he (Christ) ever (pantote) lives”
Neither ahannasia or aphtharsia are never applied to mankind that are not in Christ.
(1). 1 Corinthians 9:25, "Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown: but we an incorruptible (aphthartos)."
(2). 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption (aphtharsia); it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body."
(3). 1 Corinthians 15:52-54, "For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible (aphthartos), and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption (aphtharsia), and this mortal must put on immortality (athanasin). But, when this corruptible shall have put on immortality (athanasin) then shall come to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory."
(4). 1 Peter 1:3-4, "Begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, unto an inheritance (aphtharton) incorruptible (aphthartos), and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in Heaven for you” (not reserved for a soul).
(5). 1 Peter 5:4, “And when the chief Shepherd shall be manifested, you shall receive the crown of glory that fades not away.”
(6). Romans 2:7, "To them that by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruption (aththarsia), eternal (aionies) life."
(7). 1 Thessalonians 4:17, “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always (pantote) be with the Lord.” “Seeing he (Christ) ever (pantote) lives” (Hebrews 7:25).”Always” applied to man, and “ever” applied to Christ are both translated from the same Greek word (pantote), and both are in the same sentence.
(8). Ephesians 2:6-7, “And raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus: that in the ages (aions) to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ages is more than one age to come after this age has ended, not more than one eternity after this eternity has ended, and not more than one world–King James Version.
In the “age” after this age there will be “life” for those in Christ.
In all the “ages” after that age there will be “life” for those in Christ.
(9). Luke 20:34-36, “The sons of this age (aion) marry, and are given in marriage, but they that are accounted worthy to attain to that age (aion), and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: for neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are sons of the resurrection.”
(10). 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Wherefore, we faint not, but if also our outward man doth decay, yet the inward is renewed day by day; for the momentary light matter of our tribulation, more and more exceedingly an age-during (aionies) weight of glory doth work out for us, we not looking to the things seen, but to the things not seen; for the things seen [are] temporary, but the things not seen [are] age-during (aionies)” (Young’s Literal Translation).
(11). 2 Peter 1:4, “That through these you may become partakers of the divine nature.”
(12). 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if he shall be manifested, we (not souls) shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is.”
(13). Revelation 2:7-11, “To him who over comes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life…Be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life…He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” “He” the person, not a deathless soul that left the person when the person died.
(14). Acts 26:18, “That they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among them that are sanctified.”
(15). John 8:51, “If a man keep my word, he shall never see death.” John 8:52 “Shall never taste death.”
(16). Romans 8:13, “Shall live.”
(17). John 10:28, “They shall never perish.”
(18). John 11:26, “Shall never die.”
(19). Romans 8:23, Christian are, “Waiting for our adoption.”
(20). Romans 8:17-18, “That we may be also glorified with Him…with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward.”
Every Scripture that speaks of human immortality is always speaking of the person putting on immortality at the resurrection, or the person being changed from mortal to immortal, and never speaking of a soul that is now as alive and as immortal as it will ever be, therefore, cannot be resurrected from the dead.
Every Scripture that speaks of human immortality is always speaking of the saved, never the lost.
Not one passage applied athrharsis, aphtharton, aidos, athanasia, or akatalutos to the lost, neither before nor after the Judgment Day.
EGIRO is in the Greek New Testament about 140 times.
About 49 of the 140 are speaking of the raising up (resurrection of Jesus).
1). “After three days I will raise (egiro) again” Matthew 27:63.
2). “He that raised (egiro) up Christ from the dead” Romans 8:ll.
3). Also Matthew 16:21; 17:23; 26:32; 27:64; 28:6; 28:7; Mark 14:28; 15:6; 15:14; Luke 9:22; 24:6; 24:34; John 2:19; 2:20: 2:22; 12:1; 12:9; 12:17; 21:14; Acts 3:15; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30; 13:37; Romans 4:24; 4:25; 6:4; 6:9; 7:4; 8:11; 8:34; 10:9; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 15:4; 15:12; 15:13; 15:14; 15:15; 15:16; 15:17; 15:20; 2 Corinthians 1:14; 5:15; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians1:20; 2 Timothy 2:8; Hebrews 11:19; 1 Peter 1:21.
About 24 times are speaking of the raising (egiro) a dead persons. Not one of them is speaking of a soul or a spirit being raised up from the dead.
1). “The dead shall be raised (egiro) incorruptible” 1 Corinthians 15:52.
2). “It is sown in dishonor; it is raised (egiro) in glory”1 Corinthians 15:43.
3). “That John the Baptist was risen (egiro)” Mark 6:14.
4). Also Matthew 10:8; 11:5; 14:2; Mark 6:16; 12:26; Luke 7:22; 9:7; 20:37; John 5:21; Romans 13:11; 1 Corinthians 15:29; 15:33; 15:43; 15:44; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Ephesians 5:14; James 5:15.
About 67 others are speaking living persons rising up from sitting or lying.
UNIVERSALIST–The "age lasting" Hell
“What shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17.
Universalist (sometimes called "Restoration" and "Unitarian Universalist") is mostly a reaction against the god that was taught in the Dark Age and by Calvinism, they believes that there is an “immortal soul” in every person that will live after the death of the person, and that all souls will end up saved, that no soul will end up in Hell, that it is not possible for a soul that is in any person, not even the worst person that ever lived to not go to Heaven. Whether death is death, or if death is only separation, they believe no soul will die, or no soul will be forever separated from God; therefore, there is no death, no wages of sin, and there will be no second death after the Judgment Day.
UNIVERSALIST BELIEVES THERE IS NO DEATH
There seems to be some who believe in a universal salvation mixed in most denominations, also there are Universalist groups like the "Tentmakers" with the thing all have in common is the belief in universal salvation. There seems to be two kinds of Universalist. (1) Some who do not believe in any kind of Hell, and that all sins are paid in full in this lifetime. (2) Some who believe there will be a Hell, but a very different Hell than the Protestant versions for it will last only for an "age," and will be more of a disciplinary character than punishment. Both destroy the character of even the worse sinner and turn them all into saints.
They do much writing to prove the words that are translated everlasting, eternal, forever, age, and world in the King James Version are from the Greek word "aion," which means "age." In Matthew 24:3 the King James Version says, "end of the world," but the New King James Version, New American Standard Version, New International Version and many more say "end of the age." They have written hundreds of pages to prove that "aion" means, "age," and their purpose was to prove that Hell would last for only an age, but not one of the many times "aion" is used in the Bible says anything about Hell; aion (age) is not used in the same passage with any of the four words translated Hell in the King James Version (sheol, hades, Gehenna, Tartarus).
Without proving there is a Hell, and without "age lasting" (aion) being used with any of the four words that are mistranslated Hell, they make a Hell that is "age lasting," with both a beginning and ending, a Hell that is not everlasting. They have immortal souls in their "age lasting" Hell without proving there is an immortal soul that will live forever after the judgment.
THE BIG PROBLEMS FOR UNIVERSALISM,
TO BE TRUE THEY MUST PROVE
(1). IMMORTALITY, that the lost have a soul in them that is now immortal, and this deathless something that is in a person cannot die, and it will outlast the Hell they believe to be only "age lasting."
(2). NO DEATH PENALTY, Universalist teach that there is no death, that souls that had been in all who do not believe on Christ will not perish, but all souls will have eternal life the same as souls that that were in those who do believe (John 3:16). There is no death or destruction in the Universalist system, just eternal life for all souls, it makes no difference what a person may believe or do in this lifetime, after the death of the persons the souls that were in them will have eternal life in Heaven, but only eternal life for the immaterial something that they call a soul that had been in a person, not life for the person. Souls that are in all must be immortal for Universalism to be true; unless all have a soul in them that is deathless, all souls will not end up in Heaven. They believe “wages of sin is death” to no soul, not even one soul.
(3). HELL, although Universalist call it a place of an “attitude adjustment,” even if it is only "age lasting," and it will be more of a disciplinary character or “attitude adjustments” than punishment, there is nothing about an “age lasting” Hell, or about a time or place of “attitude adjustment” in the Bible; Universalist have added both (1) an age, and (2) a place to make possible the salvation of all souls after the persons are dead for all souls or spirits that are not in saved in this life-time; they have added an “age” after death out of thin air.
BIBLE —-—-—-——-Resurrection—Judgment—Second death
THE SHORT HELL--Resurrection—Judgment—A Short Hell—Second death
UNIVERSALIST——Resurrection—Judgment—Attitude Adjustment Age—Heaven
CATHOLIC —-—-—Purgatory ——Judgment—Heaven
Three of the above add a time (age, Hell, Purgatory, attitude adjustment age, or whatever name they call it) that is not in the Bible; these three have those souls that were in persons being tormented for a time, some a short time, some for a much longer time. Universalist say the lost will not be slain or killed but after an “age of attitude adjustments” (that seems to be about the same as the Catholic Purgatory) “all,” even all souls that had been in the most evil will be just as saved as those souls that were in persons that believe Christ.
(4). IMMORTALITY, those that believe there is an immortal being now in a person that will not die when the person it was in dies are divided into two groups.
1. MOST PROTESANT. Those that believe there is an immortal soul in all persons, and only a few of these souls will live in happiness after the death of the persons they were in, but most souls will live in endless torment after the death of the person if that person did not save them by believing.
2. UNIVERSALIST. Those that believe there is an immortal soul in all persons, but God is not an evil being and He will not endless torment any person or an immortal being if there were one, but at some time after the resurrection these souls will be saved if they were not saved by persons they were in.
Both of these two groups, (1) those that believe all have a soul that God will endless torment it, (2) and those that believe all have a soul that God will save, both stand only if there is a soul in a person that is now deathless, and that deathless soul that is now as immortal as God will not die when the person dies. If there were not an immortal soul that lives without the person after his or her death then both groups would fall; their belief totally depends on deathless souls being some kind of real living being that is in a person unto the death of the person. Both believe that every soul is deathless, and agree that there is an immortal soul in each person that will live after the person is dead. They only disagree on how and where a deathless soul will live after the person it had been in is dead. Those deathless souls would have to live someplace; one group believes (1) God would have to torment the souls that had been in the lost persons; (2) the other group believes God will have to save all the souls that had been in the lost persons.
Both Protestants and Universalists believe that for a soul that is now just as immortal as God, that there is no death for a soul; “the wages of sin” cannot be death; both believe an immortal soul cannot be destroyed and that not even God can destroy it.
Universalist must prove that all men now have an immaterial living something they call “soul” and that this something will live in a person unto the death of the person, then after the death of the persons there will be an “attitude adjustment for deathless souls,” after which all souls that had been in the unsaved dead persons will be saved. Universalist must prove that Christ will give "eternal life" to the spirits or to the souls that are in all, even those that were in persons that did not come to Him (John 5:40). They knew this, and they knew that all persons will not come to Christ in this lifetime; therefore, they have made up an "age" after the resurrection, which is not in the Bible, in which they think the souls or the spirits that had been in all the lost will be taught about Christ, and all will come to Christ.
(5). THE DEATH PENALTY MUST BE PROVED NOT TO BE DEATH Universalist must do away with the Bible teaching on death. There can be no wages of sin, as they believe there is no death for souls or spirits. The only real difference with them and unconditional Protestants is where they think an immortal, no substance, invisible soul or spirit will end up.
1. PAUL, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
2. MANY OF THE PROTESTANTS, “The wages of sin is a lost of well being by a deathless soul being separated from God, but despite the fact that they are separated from God they are still being forever tormented by Him.
3. UNIVERSALIST, “The wages of sin is an ‘age-during correction’ or ‘whatever kind of attitude adjustment necessary,’” then Hell will end for all deathless souls, and after all souls have undergone the attitude adjustment they will be moved from Hell (or whatever name Universalist call that place) to Heaven.
BOTH MUST MAKE DEATH NOT BE DEATH, BOTH MUST FIND A WAY TO CHANGE DEATH TO LIFE.
(1) After the death of the person unconditional Protestants put souls that were in some persons in Heaven, and souls that had been in some persons when the persons were alive are put in Hell; all souls are believed to be deathless and have eternal life both (1) to have eternal life before the death of the persons they are in, and (2) these deathless souls to still have eternal life after the death of the persons they had been in, souls have eternal life without the resurrection; UNDEAD SOULS CANNOT BE GIVEN LIFE BY THE RESURRECTION. Whether a person is living of dead, we are told a soul lives with or without the person.
(2) After the death of the person Universalist puts souls that were in all before the death of the persons are now put in a place that is not in the Bible for these souls to be taught; after the souls suffer for a while all souls will be taken to Heaven.
1. Both must do away with death. Both must deny the Bible when it says, "The wages of sin is death."
2. Both believe, "You shall not surely die," that from the day of your birth there is a something in you that after your death this something will go on living, it will never be destroyed, and it is not possible for it to die, it cannot be resurrected from the grave, it must live forever, it “shall surely not die” (Genesis 3:4).
Some Universalist believes the second death make a spirit that is in a person alive. They teach after the second death, the spirits that were in all the lost persons will be made alive. The spirit that they believe to be already deathless, alive, and immortal will then be made alive! Universalist believes that when death the last enemy is destroyed, an immortal spirit that is now in a person cannot be dead; they think the end of death must give life to the already alive spirits that was in all dead persons. The Universalist believes the second death to be the end of death, not the end of the souls or the spirits that were in sinner. They seem to think that when "death shall be no more" (Revelation 21:4) could only mean that the deathless souls of all who had died will have been raised from the dead, and all that ever lived the souls that were in them would have to be alive, for if any souls were dead it could not be said there is no more death. On this they seem to be unsure; they believe all souls to be deathless, but say these deathless souls that are dead will be “made alive” by the end of death.
It is the sinner that will die (Revelation 21:8), and after the second death when there are no more sinners left to die there will be no more death, no more will be dying. The wages of sin is death. It is the sinner who will be paid the wages of their sin, which is death. Universalist makes death pay the wages of the sin of the sinner, and the souls that were in sinners pay nothing; there would then be no difference in a sinner and a saint. Death is an enemy and will be destroyed, but Universalist make there being "no more death" into a gateway to Heaven for souls that are now deathless and now living in all living sinners and all deathless souls that had been in dead sinners, and God will forgive all sins of the worst sinner even if they rejected Christ all their life. Does death mean the end of life, or does death mean the beginning of eternal life? Death, the last enemy will be abolished (1 Corinthians 15:26); Universalist makes the abolishment of death be a resurrection to endless life of souls or spirits that they say are already are alive, a resurrection of all the deathless, bodiless souls or spirits of all the lost that are now the enemies of Christ. John said of unbelievers and murderers (persons), "THEIR part shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death," but the Universalist changed this and say it is no one will end up dead, that all that have "their part" in the lake will be made alive at the death of the lake of fire (which they say will be the end of death, by which they mean the end of all that have died being dead)!
“Now the DEEDS OF THE FLESH are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that THOSE who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-22). “I will give unto HIM that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely, HE that overcomes shall inherit these things; and I will be HIS God, and HE shall be my son. But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, THEIR part shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death” (Revelation 21:6-8). Protestants changes the second death from being persons that will die changed to life for a deathless soul that is being tormented. Some Universalism changes the second death from being persons that die to Israel being destroyed a second time in A. D. 70; changing this from saying persons committed these sins will die the second death to try to keep this from saying person will die. Israel went into captivity and were destroyed as a nation many times in the Old Testament, not just one time, it is persons, “he” “his,” “he,” and “their,” that will have a “second death,” there is nothing about souls or Israel in Revelation 21:6-8.
For the saved believer the mortal person is swallowed up by life at the resurrection of the dead at the second coming when the saved mortal person will put on immortality, will never again be subject to death. "He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee" (2 Corinthians 5:5 New Revised Standard Version). Paul is speaking of the person, the mortal person “while we are in this tent” that has “the Spirit as a guarantee,” and the immortal person after “what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.” Paul said, “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54). The unsaved persons will never have the victory over death; they do not now have and will never have immortality; for those not in Christ after the judgment there is no immortality, nothing but the second death. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23); “death” dose not mean “life,” the second death does not give life to unbelievers after the judgment.
“The wages of sin is death.” Death means the end of life, not the beginning of an immortal life for a deathless soul that we are told that it already has immortal life, but they must find a way to do away with the second death. They believe souls that were in the lost are all now alive someplace, whatever name they give this place that is not in the Bible, but these souls are not in Heaven unto there souls undergo an "attitude adjustments;" then they will have their name in the book of life and never die, that the second death will be the end of death (the end of being dead, will be the death of death, not the death of souls that are in sinner); for death to end they believe that life and immortality must be given to all souls that they say already have life and immortality without the resurrection, and death being abolished for souls that already cannot be dead must means eternal life in Heaven for all souls!
Death reigns as long as we are in the mortal body; when we are no longer in the mortal body; when the dead mortal person is raised, when the saved mortal that are in Christ puts on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53) death will have been “swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54); there will be no death for the resurrected saved persons.
Universalist believes that souls or spirits that are now alive in, "The fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars" will be made alive in Heaven, and that it will be only death, not the souls that were in dead persons, that will be cast into the lake of fire, and then the already alive souls that were in all persons will be made alive forever when death is brought to an end by being cast into the lake of fire. Universalist believes that death is souls that are separated from God by sin become alive (unseparated) by the end of death.
The Bible says, "The fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part (the persons that did these sins, not souls that could not commit fornication) shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8). Both (1) death (2) and the lost are both cast into the same lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15); therefore, if the lake of fire is the end of death (Revelation 20:14), it is also the end of the lost persons that are cast into the same place that is the end of death (Revelation 20:15; 21:8), and it is undeniable that God says the same thing will happen to both death and the lost persons, both will be brought to an end by being cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death.
(6). THE HELL PROBLEM, if Universalists call it an age lasting Hell or an age lasting something else, they still have a place where souls that were in all the lost go to after the judgment for an "age;" they have made Hell into an age lasting place where the immaterial souls of all the lost will be unto they are corrected, and then all the immaterial what ever souls are will go to Heaven. What if some souls would not repent then? Will God make these souls repent against their will, repent of the sins of the person they were in, not souls repenting their own sins?
GARY AMIRAULT, a Tentmaker Minister in an e-mail to me said, "Most universalists I know who believe in 'age-during correction,' do NOT see it as God torturing people in a literal lake or anything like that, they see it as simply correcting or teaching them further."
G. JESSUP, "We can be sure there will be judgment, punishment, corrections, or whatever kind of 'attitude adjustments' necessary for the unbelievers according to their works, and for some it could be very long and painfully excruciating: but forever?"
They did not give one passage from the Bible to prove this place exist where they say this "attitude adjustment" will take place, they just accept both the place and the “attitude adjustment” without any proof; maybe the reason they do not is that they knew there is no proof. If they had proof that such a place existed I am sure they would put it in large print. That there will be a second chance after death is opposed to what is taught in the Bible, but universalists believe there will be a second chance for all souls, and that God will not let even one soul be able to say no.
They have a place where souls suffer unto they suffer enough to pay for the sins of the person they were in; that souls go into a place much like the Catholics Purgatory where they suffer and pay for sins; these sins were not paid for and blotted out by the blood of Christ as was the sins of those persons that believed in this lifetime.
If, as some Universalist say, this place of suffering for souls after the death of the persons they were in is the lake of fire, then the lake of fire is made into a literal place for immaterial souls to suffer in, but the fire in it cannot be literal fire for if it were it would literally do what fire does, burn up anything cast into it.
(1) They must prove that souls that were in all the lost are now alive someplace, must prove that there is such a place whatever name they give it.
(2) That these souls will be there, wherever and whatever this place is, for only an "age" of disciplinary training, a training that all souls that were in lost persons must go through because of the sins of the persons they had been in, not their own sins, but just because these souls had been in persons that did not believe.
(3) And they must prove that all these souls will suffer during this “attitude adjustment,” unto they repent of the sins of the person they were in, and then all souls, not persons, will all end up in Heaven.
They must disprove the "Hell" that many Protestants believe, but at the same time prove there is some kind of a place that is not Heaven or Earth that is an "age lasting" place that is not an eternal place. As is shown in the above quotation Universalists do not believe any soul will forever be in the lake of fire that they do not believe is a literal lake of fire. They do not believe any of the Protestant views of Hell; therefore, they must prove that after death God will torment souls they believe to have been in all who do not believe in Christ in this lifetime, some souls for a short time, some will be tormented more, some tormented much more extremely.
I have not seen where they say why there will be a judgment. Maybe for God to decide how much He will have to torment them to make them repent, and how much He will torment Satan and his demons to make them repent. Whatever forms the Universalist says the torment will be, physical, mentally, or whatever, it would still be God doing the tormenting in a place that is not on earth or in Heaven, a place that is not in the Bible.
Universalist must prove that there will be an "age" of attitude adjustment. They say there has been many "ages," and will be an "age" after death and before Heaven in which "judgment, punishment, corrections, or whatever kind of 'attitude adjustments' necessary for the unbelievers according to their works” takes place (G. Jessup). They reason that there must be such an age for those who do not come to Christ in this life must have a time to come to Him. All must accept Christ, and most do not in this life. It is a made up age with a made up place in it, which is not found in the Bible, not one word about it. Until they prove there will be such an age and such a place, they are on a make believe foundation. There is no place called Hell in the Bible, whether it is an age lasting attitude adjustment, or everlasting life with torment.
1. Protestants changed the second death into eternal life in Hell for souls or spirits that had been in all persons that never believed in God.
2. Universalist changed the second death into a place where everyone that never believed in God, the souls that were in them will somehow be made believers and moved to Heaven with eternal life.
3. Both Universalist and Protestants must prove the platonic doctrine that all are born with something that is in them that is not subject to death, that mankind has something in them that is now immortal that animal do not have. Both the doctrine of Hell and the Universalist doctrine that souls that are in all will be saved are founded on an assumption that a person has an immaterial, invisible, immortal soul in them that cannot die, and this immortal, deathless soul must live forever somewhere.
4. Both must deny that death is a real death because a soul will never die. Death cannot be the wages of sin for a soul that cannot die, and could not pay the wages of sin if it is death. Universalist point to Romans 6:23 to prove there is no Hell, but they do not believe it when it says, "the wages of sin is death."
5. Both must deny that the penalty of sin is death. The Protestant does away with death by making death into an eternal life of torment in Hell, a life that they say is life separated from God; Universalist cannot have death being death, cannot have the dead really being dead, cannot have death being eternal life separated from God; therefore, they must do away with death, that death is not death. They try to do this by making the end of death mean all souls that had been in all persons (souls that they say now already has eternal life) would all be given eternal life in Heaven. Both turn death into life, but both do it in different ways. Both make souls that were in the unsaved dead persons be living at different places. For both, if "the wages of sin is death," if death were really death, it would completely destroy both; therefore, both try to destroy death by changing death be life for a deathless soul. Universalist take from the Platonic doctrine that when a soul is set free of the body, that soul will in time return to God. Universalist believes death being destroyed, by which to them means death being destroyed is the end of the time when a living soul will be separated from God, the end of death becomes the instrument of salvation for all; that the end of death will give life to all the dead.
According to Protestants, the wages of sin is eternal life with torment.
According to Universalist, the wages of sin is eternal life without torment, even eternal life in Heaven to those who reject Christ.
6. Both must deny that die, perish, destroyed, lost, and death are not used with their true meaning, and must believe that they are only used in a peculiar or theological sense; therefore, they could not be understood without help from someone who is inspired. Both believe that a soul that is in a person will never die. According to both, "the wages of sin is death" is not death to any soul, death is changed to life. Just as with innate immoralists, Universalist must redefine many words, life, death, die, dead, destroy, perish, destruction, consumed, kill, end, burned up, and sleep, must all be redefined (changed) in a way that the world does not use them. See chapter two and three.
Whatever name they give it, they must prove there is a place of punishment, or whatever they call it, a place where the souls or spirits that were in those that were not saved will be in between the Judgment and the time that these souls will able to go to Heaven; a place that is not on earth, or not in Heaven.
Bible, Judgment–then Heaven or second death.
Universalist, Judgment–some kind of place wherever it is–then Heaven, but no second death; death is not death.
UNIVERSALIST USE OF “ALL”
The way Universalist use “all” seems to be their main argument. "But what it really says is IN CHRIST...ALL A-L-L ALL shall be made ALIVE! Then each of the ALL in his own order," (from one of their web pages, "Can this be true?").
They ask questions like, (1) God will have all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4); can His will be thwarted? (2) Jesus came to save all (John 12:47); will He succeed? (3) Jesus is the savior of all the world (1 John 4:14); why don't you believe it? (4) And many more like these. Their thinking seems to be that Christ came to save all; and if He does not do it in this lifetime, then after the death of the person He must save the deathless souls that had been in lost persons. This would be great if it was true, but in the Bible nothing is said about there being a deathless soul that is in anyone and that soul being saved after the death of the person it had been in. They knew that most persons do not believe in Christ in this lifetime; therefore, they must make all souls at some time after the death of the persons repent of the sins of the persons they had been in. What will happen after death? Christ says, "For the hour comes, in which all (all persons) that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and come forth: they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment" (John 5:28-29). There is nothing said about anyone being saved after death. The lost persons are raised to judgment, not souls raised from the tombs, souls that are not dead, not in tombs, but the undead souls are resurrected from the tombs anyway; then souls that already have eternal life are given a second eternal life. "Now is the acceptable time: behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2). God loves all, and Christ died for all, but all will not come to Him. He made a person where he or she could choose to, or choose not to. Universalist teaching is that God will show His love to all in a way that all, even Satan, will love Him. To so overpower the freewill of a person is the same as making them love Him when they could not help it. It would be the same thing as taking their freewill away. This "attitude adjustments" must be strong enough to overpower the spirits that were in the most evil; therefore, they are made to believe even against their will. They make up both (1) this "attitude adjustments," (2) and the time and the place where it takes place, Hell, or whatever they call it, because they must have both a time and a place if souls that were in all are to have this "attitude adjustments" to be saved.
UNIVERSALIST TEACHING OF ALL WILL BE SAVED makes much of the Bible be foolishness, vain babbling, meaningless, or just an outright lie. It makes
(1). Satan's greatest lie would be no lie, but is the truth. If all will be saved, no one will die. Satan told the truth; but when God said they would die, they make God be the one who told the greatest lie (Genesis 3).
(2). God said, "The fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars; their part shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death" (Revelation 20:8). Universalist says, "Not so God, all will be saved. None will die the second death, for there cannot be a real second death, souls that are in all will have eternal life in Heaven."
(3). No broad way "that leads to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby" (Matthew 7:13).
(4). No death. Whatever you think death is, whether death is death, or if death is being alive just separated from God, no soul will be dead, no soul will be separated from God. Death could not be death; the wages of sin could not be death (Romans 6:23); the wages of sin could not be separation from God. The wages of sin cannot be a real death with the dead being dead forever. While this attitude adjustment age is going on, souls that were in the dead persons must be very much alive, very unseparated from God, just as alive and unseparated as they will be when the attitude adjustment age is over; if the wages of sin is not death, does sin have no wages?
(5). “But he that obeys not the Son shall not see life” (John 3:36) must be changed to, “But he that obeys not the Son, even he that denies the Son, either a soul or a spirit that was in that person that obeys not the Son shall see eternal life in Heaven.”
(6). They use "all made alive" to teach all the lost will have immortality. When they make "all made alive" to be all souls will be given endless life at the second coming of Christ, there cannot be a judgment or a second death; all will be saved. No need of a Judgment Day to judge some good and some bad, it is made to be useless for both those who believe in this lifetime, and those who do not believe will be the same, all will be saved. They over look the fact that the "all" Paul is speaking of are all the saved, all saints who are asleep in Christ, and all saints who will be living at His coming (1 Thessalonians 3:16-17). Nothing is said in that passage about all the ones who are not in Christ; other passages say they will all be raised to judgment, not life, at the resurrection; they are not now in Christ, and they never will have the "life" Christ gives to those who obey Him. Their names are not in the book of life. "For we are a sweet savor of Christ unto God, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one a savor from death unto death; to the other a savor from life unto life" (2 Corinthians 2:15-16). Christ will raise the lost persons from the dead, but only to be judged and return to the dead "from death unto death"; and there will never be another resurrection.
(7). "I tell you Nay: but, except you repent, you shall all in like manner perish" (Luke 13:1-5). Universalist says not so Jesus, all souls will be saved; no soul will perish. It can be asked of them as they ask, "Did Christ not know what He was saying; why don't you believe Him?" Even they cannot deny that Christ said, “Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish,” just as did the Galileans that were killed and their blood mingled with the sacrifices. Why do they not believe Him? How do they change “perish” into “you shall all likewise be saved even if you do not repent”?
(8). "Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that does the will of my Father who is in Heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by your name, and by your name cast out demons, and by your name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity" (it is person not souls that work iniquity) (Matthew 7:21-23). How could Christ have been so wrong? How could He not know that the Universalist says all will enter into the kingdom of Heaven? Why would Christ be telling them that in the Judgment Day after the resurrection not all will enter into the kingdom of Heaven?
1. Universalist, all that work iniquity will enter into the kingdom of Heaven.
2. Christ, not all will enter into the kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 7:21-23). Why do they not believe Him? At the judgment why would Christ tell those that “work iniquity” to depart from Him? Did He not know all will be saved, and all will come to Him?
(9). They must change the words of Christ. "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be condemned" must be changed to, "He that believes and he that believes not shall both be saved." Why do they not believe Christ? Why do they make, “Shall be saved,” and, “Shall be condemned” both mean, “Shall be saved”?
(10). Makes being a Christian and living for Christ be no better than not being a Christian if there is a souls or spirits that are now in all persons are going to end up being saved regardless of what the person dose or dose not do. Makes taking the Gospel to the lost a waste of time if there were souls that are in all persons that are going to be saved anyway, and the souls that were in those who do not hear the Gospel may spend less time in their age lasting Hell if there were one, and would have less torment than will those who hear and reject the Gospel; therefore, taking the Gospel to them may do more harm to most than it will do good. Because most that hear the Gospel will not believe it and will reject Christ, most souls will be made to suffer longer in the "age lasting attitude adjustment" place than they would if the Gospel were not taken to them and they never rejected Christ.
(11). God give His Son to save "whosoever believeth on Him." (John 3:16), but they must believe in their lifetime, and many do not. "Without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto God" (Hebrews 11:6). God will not raise them and save everyone after He torments them for an age. He will not take away their freewill and make them believe.
(12). Paul said they who practice the works of the flesh “shall not” inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:16-24). Universalist says Paul was wrong, they who practice the works of the flesh shall inherit the kingdom of God after they spend some time in torment having an "attitude adjustments."
(13). Christ said, "He that obeys not the son shall not see life," (John 3:36). Universalist says all souls will see life. How could those who shall not see life, and shall not inherit the kingdom of God have everlasting life in the kingdom they shall not inherit (Matthew 7:21-23)?
GARY AMORALITY in an E mail to me June 15,1999, said, "You've taken a big step out of Hell, but you still leave Jesus as a sinner. He didn't accomplish what He came to do...save the world. If He fails in His mission, He can't be the Messiah." How does Universalist think Jesus is a sinner? Gary said, "But you still leave Jesus as a sinner." Jesus had no sins of His own and even if He saved no one, not one person, He had no sins, and not giving eternal life to those who do not believe in Him does not make Him a sinner as Gary Amorality said it would.
Universalist says God is a God of love, and He will not kill any; all will be saved. They overlook the fact that He is also a just God, and sin must be paid for with death (Romans 6:23). The death of the sinner is just if it be death in this life, or if it the second death at the judgment for all who has not had their sins washed away by the blood of Christ; for all have sinned; therefore, it is just for them to receive the wages of their sins. If they have not had their sins washed away by the blood of Christ, raised with Christ in baptism, the sinner will die. Death is sure and just for them. Throughout the Old Testament, God destroyed those who rejected Him, as in the flood, or when He ordered the destruction of the Amalekites. He never tormented His enemies; He destroyed them by taking away the life He is giving to them. Death was the way God dealt with His enemies then, and the way He will deal with them at the judgment. He will destroy them with death, the second death, will take away the life He has given them, not torment a soul that was in them forever, or for an age.
Universalist may think this cruel, but it is justice, not cruelly. God would not be God if He were not just? If He had no law, which has a penalty for not keeping it, He could not rule and there would be no sin. There is sin, and its penalty is death.
E. PETAVEL, D. D., "In the first place we complain of its relative novelty. It does not appear in the history of doctrine until the beginning of the third century. Barnabas, Clement of Rome, Hermas, Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Theophilus of Antioch, Irenaeus, all the first fathers of the church are Conditionalists. Not one of them taught Universalism. Merely the first slight traces of the doctrine are contained in the writings of Clement of Alexandria." “The Extinction Of Evil,” page 90, 1889.
CAN ANYONE BE SAVED WITHOUT THE NEW BIRTH?
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,’” (John 3:3-5). Many make many exceptions, some of which without the new birth would put many more in the kingdom of God, and more in Heaven then will be there by the new birth.
ONE EXCEPTION. Some say there is an “age of accountability” where all will go to Heaven without the new birth if they die before they reach it. How can anyone even know that there is such an age, or how can anyone know what that age is when nothing is said about it in the Bible? It is added even by those who say they do not add to the Bible, and if it was true it would put many in Heaven without the new birth; world wide it would put more in Heaven than the new birth. It would put one in Heaven that died the day before reaching that age, and another in Hell that died the day after. This exception is nothing more than an attempt by those that believe in an immortal soul that is not subject to death to keep billions of children out of their fiery Hell and from being tormented by God. This exception if it were true would put billions in Heaven without the death of Christ for it claims that the billions will be in Heaven because they have no sins and have no need to be saved by the blood and death of Christ.
ANOTHER EXCEPTION. Many believe it would be unjust of God to endlessly torment the billions and billions of the world that never know anything about Christ; therefore, they never had a chance to believe in Christ and be born again. Even though most of this billions and billions worship other gods they will somehow end up saved in Heaven without the Bible, without the new birth, without having faith in Christ. This exception makes it better to live in a part of the world where the Gospel is not known for many more from that part of the world will be in Heaven than will be from where the Gospel is well known.
PERHAPS THE BIGGEST EXCEPTION. Universalism believes all that never heard the Gospel and all that did hear it and rejected it will be given another chance after death, a chance that will be so strong that none can reject it, all, even a soul that had been in the most evil person will be made to be saved, not one soul will be able to continuer in the unbelief of the person that it had been in, even Satan will be made to be saved.
1. This exception makes it both (1) OK to do what ever you want to, you will be saved anyway. (2) Of not much if any use to take the Gospel to the lost for they will be saved if you do or if you do not.
2. All are an attempt to put all in the narrow way and none in the broad way (Matthew 7:13).
W. P. STRICKLAND, “Perhaps no form of error has ever been devised so perfectly adapted to deceive the lovers of sin, as the one under consideration. It at once addresses itself to the depraved appetites and passions of men; and is so admirably adjusted to this end, that it inspires a fallacious hope in which there is no reason, and for the support of which there is no evidence.” From introduction to “Universalism Against Itself,” 1883. It does this by telling the sinners they can sin all they wants to and will still end up in Heaven.
END NOTE. The Universalist teaching that all souls or all spirits that had been in all persons, without exception, will end up saved has had a negative effect on their membership, and they survived by many of the Universalist merging with the Unitarians and became the Unitarian Universalist Association Of Congregations.
Many in the Church of God and Congregation of God also teach there will be "an opportunity for salvation" after the resurrection, but unlike the Universalist, they believe some souls will reject it, and for those souls that do reject it there will be the second death, not souls being eternal tormented by God.
The Results Of Attributing Evil Pagan
Teachings To God By Religious People
This God slandering Dark Age doctrine of Hell makes God evil, cruel, sadistic, and fiendish. By some unknown and twisted reasoning it is assumed that for God to be just He must forever torment souls that are believed to have been in the lost persons for His justice demands this; how does “God is a just God” demand that there is a Hell, or prove there is a Hell? The immortal soul myth makes Christianity be a religion based on fear of being tormented by God in Hell. From the first sin, God's sentence to Adam was not eternal torment, it was death. Throughout the Bible the sentence for sin is always death, not torment. "The wages of sin is death." That His justice demands that He must forever torment souls that were in unbelievers is without any foundation in His word. To put it pure and simple, it is a doctrine of man and it makes God evil, cruel, and fiendish for if the punishment exceeds the crime by millions of times it would be is unjust, not justice. It is this pagan doctrine that has made and is still making many atheists. The God that is revealed in the Bible is as unlike the monster of cruelty that is taught by many as two opposite characters can possibly be.
If a man should put a single person that had raped and killed his wife in a dark pit and torment him day and night for ten years, most would condemn him to the hottest part of "Hell." Yet, some teach that God made mankind knowing that most of them would be lost, and many millions would never hear His word; yet He knew before He made them that He was going to put them in Hell and torment them worse than anything we can imagine, not for ten years, but for ages without end, for all the ages to come. If they were right it would be God doing the tormenting; God would be the one who makes the fire and keeps it burning without end. Many try to justify God for doing more than any man can do, for going very far beyond an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, and for being more cruel and sadistic than any evil man could ever be by saying we cannot understand the evil of sin. The God of the Bible is a God of love and justice, not as many make Him, sadistic, fiendish, cruel, evil, and in character much more evil than Satan. It is a certainty (1) that in the Hell that is preached today no one will be corrected by the torment; (2) therefore, it can only be sadistic, and there is no way that endless sadistic torment of most of mankind by God would not make Him sadistic; much of today’s preaching makes God both evil and sadistic. What ever is unjust is unjust; the only way that God’s justice could be different from our justice is for His justice to be what we would call injustice; the only way we can understand what justice is would make the God that many believe in into an evil Devil.
THE ULTIMATE EVIL. “The idea of never-ending conscious agony is so completely revolting to our instinctive moral and judicial senses that we could fittingly call it the ultimate evil. If we’re honest about the matter, this is exactly what it is. After all, is it possible to come up with a worse notion than perpetual fiery conscious misery–with no merciful respite or end to the suffering? The mere idea is so disturbing that it makes it a very hard subject to discuss calmly. How can anyone with an ounce of human compassion contemplate the idea dispassionately when the view of ceaseless torture is so profoundly disturbing?” From chapter eight of “Hell-Know.”
THE DEPRIVED, REVOLTING EVIL. "To torment a child that dies without ever knowing anything about God or His word forever day and night with a torment worse than any pain we can have on this earth would not be 'justice,' but sadistic. What kind of a person could love a God who was tormenting his wife and children with more pain than anyone has ever had in this life? When we are in Heaven, do you think we will be singing of God's love and mercy while He is cruelly tormenting most of mankind and many you now love, your wife or husband, your father and mother, your child, your friend? Is there a greater perversion of Scripture than to attribute such characteristics to God? Is it reasonable to believe that the righteous in their glorified state can be indifferent to, and unaffected by, the endless sufferings of countless millions of their fellow beings, among who would probably be found parents, children, husbands, wives, etc.? Is it possible that they will be destitute of deprived of qualities which are considered most lovely and godlike in this life; viz., piety, sympathy, compassion, commiseration for others' woes, etc.? Will insensibility to the woes of the wretched ever become a virtue? Will that which is a vice in this life, become a grace in the glorious future life?" From a web page which is no longer on the net.
Today, many think that the electric chair or hanging of a person who has killed many is inhumane though it takes only a few seconds; but these same people see no inconsistency in believing it is just for God to torment the same person for the same sins, even if that person has never heard His word, with a torment which they say is much worse than the few seconds would be, and this torment by God will not last only for a few seconds, but for endless ages.
THE PAIN OF HELL ACCORDING TO BELIEVERS IN HELL. “If all the pains, sorrows, miseries and calamities that have been inflicted upon the sons of man…should meet together and center in one man they would not so much as amount to one of the least of the pains of hell.” Thomas Brooks.
MORE CRUEL AND SADISTIC THAN ANY HEATHEN GOD. According to Calvin his god that is believed in and worshiped by many is a god many times more evil, more cruel, and sadistic than any heathen god. Before the Calvin god made the world, he rigged the outcome and chose to make most of mankind to be lost before he made them. According to Calvin his god even made it impossible for most to believe, but he will torment them forever for not believing. The torment by the worshipers of heathen gods soon ended with death of the ones being tormented, but Calvinism teaches their god made most of mankind, many millions, just so he could torment them without end for all the endless ages to come "for his good pleasure." According to Hell fire Calvin teachers, this torment will be many times worse than any torment by the worshipers of heathen gods; and will never end in the death of those being tormented. How could any person who has an ounce of compassion love and worship such a god?
Those who believe in the Calvin god say this god chose you to be saved, or to be lost before he made the world. If you are one of the few chosen by this evil god to be saved, even if you live in the most out of the way place in the world and never know of God or Christ, when the time comes for you to be saved you will be. You can do nothing about it, and you cannot say no. If you are one of the many he chose before you were born to torment forever, there is no use to send preachers to you; there is no use for you to read the Bible or do anything; there is nothing you or anyone can do. This god made you just because he wants to endless torment you, and he will. Such a god is like a very rich ruler who torments a thousand people "for his good pleasure" and enjoyment, and chose you to make rich and happy. He would not be worthily of your love, but only your contempt. To destroy those who chose to be evil is one thing; but to make them be evil before they were born, and then torment them without end with more pain than they can know in this lifetime for being what he made them to be is not justice. He would be an unjust and evil god. He made them evil and gave them no chance not to be, and then torments them for being what He made them to be. If you put a person who worked in a store in the electric chair for unknowingly short changing a person one cent, your injustice would not equal that of a god that made one person just so he could torment that person for endless ages. Those that believe as Calvin did say their god did this with most of mankind, with many billions.
Most are filled with grief when a loved one or friend has some sickness that makes them suffer, even when they know the suffering will soon end with death. Yet, they worship a god who they believe will take pleasure in making the loved one they grieved over suffer billions of times more and without end; not only will this god take pleasure in this tormenting, he will be the one that is tormenting not only this loved one but many loved ones and friends and making them suffer, and he made them just so he could torment and make them suffer. Calvin did not get his doctrine from the heathens for the heathens had no doctrine as cruel, as fiendish, as black, or as unjust as his god is.
A SCANDAL AGAINST THE ALMIGHTY. "For were a woman to commit a crime against her husband, and he punishes her by holding her hand in the fire until the flesh burned off the bones, he would be pronounced one of the most cruel beings in the world; and if he were to escape justice, he would be hunted as a wild beast; and when brought to trial and condemned, he would be pronounced worthy of thrice the punishment that the law could inflict. And he would have been tried and condemned by men, most of whom, perhaps, believed that God would take that same woman, for that same crime that she had committed against her husband, and put–not only her hand, but her whole self into a Lake of Fire and Brimstone;–not for half an hour–not for a day–not for a year–nor for ten thousand years only, but for all Eternity. Also, that this Burning of her in a Blazing Hell would be so agreeable to the determination of the Almighty that no pity could be excited, no mercy shown; but that there, in that Lake of Fire she should gnash, and groan, and wail Eternally. Oh! How horrid the picture! And what a terrible crime, even in the light of their own actions, to charge God with such cruelty!" John Kent, "Eternal Burning, A Scandal Against The Almighty,” 187.
A GOD OF INFINITE HORROR. "That God would rise the wicked and give them immortality only to torment them in a devil's hell unendingly is both gross and vulgar, even blasphemous. Such a God is not the one described in the Bible...If the God of heaven subjects innumerable billions to unending and indescribable torment, it can only be seen as the one infinite horror." Leroy Garrett, “Restoration Review,” November 1990.
A MOCKERY OF TRUTH AND A BLASPHEMY AGAINST DEITY. "My opponent will make an effort to try and demonstrate that our loving, compassionate, merciful God will be content with nothing less than the perpetual, never diminishing, horrific torture of the vast majority of mankind. Not only is that not what the Scriptures teach, it has the distinct disadvantage of portraying our God as a Monster the likes of which the human mind cannot even conceive. It is to proclaim a God foreign to the inspired revelation. Thus, it is a mockery of Truth and a blasphemy against Deity." Al Maxey, Maxey–Thrasher “Debate on the Eternal Destiny of the Wicked” by two ministers of the Church of Christ at http://www.zianet.com/maxey/MxThrshr.htm -- I recommend this debate to all members of the Church of Christ of which he is a member, and to all who want the truth.
WORST THAN GODS OF PAGANISM. “Paganism in its worst forms has never surpassed, if it has equaled, the savage and terrible descriptions which have been given by Christians of their God. The character ascribed to Him; the dreadful wrath and vengeance with which He is moved; the cold and malignant purpose of creation in regard to million of souls; the stern severity and gloom of His government; the horrible and never-ceasing tortures which He will inflict on His helpless, children–all this, and much more of like character, defies the power of language to set it forth in its true light, or to present it in a manner adequate to its shocking revolting reality.” Thomas Thayer, “The Origin, And History Of The Doctrine Of Endless Punishment.”
MAKES THE UNIVERSE A THEATER OF CURSING AND BLASPHEMY. “What, then, is the doctrine of endless misery? Stripped of all its drapery, it is no more or less than this. That a large part of the human family are doomed to suffer the most intense and indescribable torments as long as God shall exist, without the least hope or possibility of being benefited by their sufferings. In some part of this beautiful universe, God has prepared an awful, dismal, burning hell, and there countless myriads of human beings shall weep and groan, unpitied and unrelieved, while ceaseless ages shall roll; and when ten thousand times ten thousand years shall have passed, they shall have as long to suffer as if their sufferings had but just began. And, then, to think of the number of the lost to remember that there are on this earth not less than eight hundred millions of human beings, and that out of these there are not more than fifty millions that can be saved, upon the broadest system of partialism; and that, by consequence, there must be more than seventy thousand souls going down to hell every day; and, then, to think of ever and ever, but he who shall reject it, and prove himself ungrateful to his Maker, inasmuch as he has been created and has not recognized Him who bestowed the gift upon him, deprives himself of continuance forever and ever. And for this reason the Lord declared generations that have past, and reflect upon the vast and countless multitudes that must be congregated in that huge reservoir of tears and woe; the very thought bears the lie upon its front. The degree of the punishment outrages all ideas of proportion between guilt and punishment, and the number of the victims shocks all feelings of humanity or mercy. It makes the universe a theater of cursing and blasphemy, rather than a field for the display of the boundless perfections of a merciful and benevolent Creator." I. D. Williamson, “An Examination Of The Doctrine Of Endless Punishment,” 1860.
JONATHAN EDWARDS, "The world will probably be converted into a great lake or liquid globe of fire, in which the wicked shall be overwhelmed, which will always be in tempest, in which they shall be tossed to and fro, having no rest day or night, vast waves and billows of fire continually rolling over their heads, of which they shall forever be full of a quick sense within and without; their heads, their eyes, their tongues, their hands, their feet, their loins and their vitals, shall forever be full of a flowing, melting fire, fierce enough to melt the very rocks and elements; and, also, they shall eternally be full of the most quick and lively sense to feel the torments; not for one minute, not for one day, not for one age, not for two ages, not for a hundred ages, not for ten thousand millions of ages, one after another, but for forever and ever, without an end at all, and never to be delivered.…The woes of sinners in hell will not be a cause of grief to the saints in heaven but of rejoicing. Though they hear you groan, and sigh, and gnash your teeth, these things will not move them at all to pity you. After your godly parents have seen you lie millions of years, or ages, in torment, day and night, they will not begin to pity you then. They will praise God that His justice appears in the eternity of your misery. The torments in hell will be immeasurably greater than being in a glowing oven, a brick kiln, or fiery furnace.”
DR. SPURAEON, a celebrated Baptist preacher, “Only conceiver that poor wretch in the flames, who is saying, ‘Oh, for one drop of water to cool my parched tongue!’ See how his tongue hangs from between his blistered lips! How it excoriates and burns the roof of his mouth, as if it were a firebrand! Behold him crying for a drop of water! I will not picture the scene! Suffice it for me to close up by saying that the hell of hells with be to thee, poor sinner, the thought that it is to be forever! Thou will look up there on the throne of God, and it shall be written ‘For Ever!’ When the damned jingle the burning irons of their torment that will say ‘For Ever!’ When they howl, echo cries ‘For Ever!’”
EBENEZER ERSKINE in "The Judgment," "How shall the adulterer satisfy lust when he lies on a bed of flames? The swearer shall have enough of wounds and blood when the devil shall torture his body and rack his soul in hell. The drunkard shall have plenty of his cups when scalding lead shall be poured down his throat, and his breath draw flames of fire instead of air."
BENSON, "He will exert all his divine attributes to make them as wretched as the capacity of their nature will admit...They must be perpetually swelling their enormous sums of guilt, and still running deeper, immensely deeper, in debt to divine and infinite justice. Hence after the longest imaginable period, they will be so far from having discharged their debt that they will find more due than when they first began to suffer." He has God charging interest on the debt of the suffering sinner owes Him at such a high rate that the sinner gets more behind as time goes on. If the punishment exceeds the crime by billions of times would it be justice or injustice? Such a doctrine as this would have God demanding a punishment that even His omnipotence would not be ever able to punish a sinner enough to pay for his or her sins.
DR. E. BEECH, "Involves God, his whole administration, and his eternal kingdom in the deepest dishonor that the mind of man or angel can conceive, by the violation of the highest and most sacred principles of honor and right, and on the scale of infinity and eternity," page 225. "The human mind cannot be held back from abhorring such a theory, except by the most unnatural violence to its divinely inspired convictions of honor and right," page 306, “Conflict of the Ages.”
What kind of justice is this? To fill many books with the most harrowing descriptions of torment would not equal the torment we are told that God will give to one soul that had been in just one person for all the countless ages to come. After a soul had been in someone who never knew of God in their lifetime on earth, when that soul has been in torment in for trillions times trillions of years because the person it was in did not believe in God, we are told that soul will still have eternity with not one second less time to suffer. Those who believe in Hell say, "It is justice." My question to them is how do they know such an evil to be justice, where did God tell this to them? It being justice is something they had to make up to try to justify the heathen Hell, even when it make God be much more evil than Satan. Are there two kinds of justice; is what is justice for man different than what is justice for God? They are saying, “Stepping on a person’s lawn may get you a disapproving look, but you stepping on God’s lawn will get a soul that is in you endless torment by God.” No one could know this without a revelation from God, and there is no such revelation, it is an addition, it is making God evil just to justify their evil teaching.
The claim that the endless torment of the lost gives glory to God makes God barbaric beyond any heathen god. Do you wonder where in the Bible they found things like the devil pouring scalding lead down the throat of a soul, and many millions of like things? The answer is that they are in the same passage where they found Hell, and the same passage where they found the name of Hell. They found them in the teaching of men, they are not in the Bible. CAN THOSE THAT ATTIBUTE SUCH EVILS TO GOD SAY THEY BELIEVE IN AND WORSHIP GOD?
J. W. McGARVEY and E. D. SLOUGH, “’It has been very vehemently argued and insisted upon, that such punishment for sin would be unjust on the part of God, because the penalty would be far beyond the demerits of the sin for which it was inflicted. To inflict punishment such as is described in the Bible upon a human being, and that continuing without end, for the sins which he committed during the brief stay which he experienced here on earth, is out of all proportion, when viewed as a matter of justice. Justice demands that the penalty shall be proportioned to the crime. Well it does look that way; it undoubtedly does. No father would inflict that kind of punishment upon his son for any conceivable offense against the father, it is argued, and I believe that is true. I would hate to see the man that would. He would not be my friend. It would show not only a want of justice, but an audacious rebellion against all sense of the goodness and mercy and love, of which we have already spoken. But now then, whilst it does appear that way; and if I were the Judge I would not give that sentence; if I had the trial of the matter, I am sure that I would not allow that sentence to be passed’ McGarvey’s Sermons, page 31. I would like to fill two chapters on that extract from McGarvey’s Sermons. Here is material for a whole volume. Never was a more formidable argument uttered against the theory we are opposing than this pathetic confession. I wish I had space to demonstrate that God is as good as McGarvey tried to believe him to be. I would that I could cause you to see that McGarvey felt his whole nature revolting against the notion he was defending…McGarvey has used his powers of reason, and his mature judgment, upon this theory of retribution, and he found it repulsive to his soul. That it was, to his judgment, out of all proportion when viewed as a matter of justice. Watts was not infallible, but if that principle he introduced is correct, ‘that God himself has never given revelation contrary to our sense of right or reason,’ then here is one of the ablest defenders of that system who has entered the pulpit in a century, with his fingers emphasizing with emotional gestures to a great audience, in Louisville, Ky., that it is out of all proportion when viewed as a matter justice–and if any one else but God, he would hate to see him, etc. That it would be a rebellion against all we know of the word justice. This coming from so great a scholar as McGarvery makes it the most pathetic and serious. And it makes it more obviously false when presented with a touch of the poet’s brush. McGarvery offers an apology for it. How? ‘Well, who am I? I am a sinner.’ And therefore the sinner has never learned what justice is, and cannot judge between what would be right and what would be grossly unjust. No. But here, God has not left us in the dark as to the meaning justice, when He has taught it with untiring patience to His weak creatures, and now He asks us to judge if He has not dealt justly with us. McGarvey counted himself no greater sinner than other Christians. The Church of God is supposed to be a holy temple, a righteous people, loving justice and mercy–A fit habitation of God through the spirit, filled with God’s thoughts, full of knowledge of God, to which McGarvey has attained a reasonably high degree. And it is to such men as he, as well as all degrees below him, that this punishment, such as he believe the Bible to teach, if executed by a father against a son for any conceivable offense, would be an audacious rebellion against the goodness and mercy of love, And it is to such men, who are capable of sound judgment, that God challenges to show where He is unjust and to use their own power to test Him. Then there must be something out of joint with the theory, charging God with such principles of conduct toward His own creatures, utterly repugnant and audacious to the intelligence of man, when viewed as matters of justice. Surely, that which rebels against the common sense of man could not become a virtue in Heaven. For however frail we may be, there is an inhered sense of right in us, cultivated by our education and associations. And between that sense of right and the idea of endless misery the chasm is so vast and unfathomable that even the mind of McGarvey saw it as span less as eternity. And his judgment crumpled up into that of a defenseless child, saying I don’t know how it can be.” E. D. Slough, "Indictment Of Eternal Torment–The Self-negation of a Monstrous Doctrine," pages 218–200, 1914, Church of Christ. This book is free on line at
E. PETAVEL, D. D., "The lamentable results of the Platonic doctrine may be seen in the theology of a Tertullian and an Augustine,–theology called orthodox,–which makes the God of love an Executioner whom innumerable victims will curse eternally. Such a doctrine is a burden even to its adherents. It has drawn from them admissions, which we are bound to record. Henry Rogers declared that 'for his part he would not be sorry to see every child die at the age of four years.' Albert Barnes admits, with a soul full of anguish that he cannot understand why there are men destined to suffer forever. 'The Gospel,' says Isaac Taylor, 'fills us with a universal sympathy which sometimes make us regret that it must be true in all its teaching.' Calvin himself cannot refrain from confessing that the decree of God concerning sinners seems to him horrible…In a word, the traditional dogma conducts to pessimism by making evil eternal. What has been the result? Extremes meeting, the doctrine of eternal suffering has led to Universalism. More or less secretly many of the partisans of the traditional dogma, unable to hold it any longer, have quitted their position, to embrace the hope of a universal salvation; while others wander in the penumbra of eschatological skepticism." “The Extinction Of Evil,” page 78, 188.
A DOCTRINE THAT MAKES ATHEISTS
THE CAUSE OF ATHEISM AND STUMBLING IN MANY Matthew 18:6. God has been made so cruel, and this doctrine is so unthinkable that it has created more atheists, and caused more weak believers to fall away than any other false teaching. The dread of Hell has caused misery and metal anguish to countless millions; instead of the horror of Hell turning many to God to escape eternal torment, many millions have been turned away from such an unjust God. The doctrine of immortal souls that God will endless torment in Hell is one of Satan's best tools to turn many away from Christ. Do you want to give an account to God at the judgment for teaching it and for placing a stumbling block before many? No heathen religion has a god as unjust and fiendish as many "Christians" make their God.
ROGER E. DICKSON, “This would only lead to the fact that God is also fiendish, that is, He takes delight in the punishment of the wicked. A billion earth years from now He would be this cosmic sadist who continually went to some far corner of existence to make sure the lost were still tormented for their forty or fifty years of ignorance a billion earth years in the past. In another billion years He will check again, and then, again and again. Is this the type of god we proclaim to the world? Is this the god of love, mercy, and justice that we read about in the Bible? This is not God, but a god some have created after their own vengeful nature.” “Life, Death and Beyond,” page 163, Star Bible Publications, Inc. Church of Christ.
NICHOLAS BERDYAEV, “I can conceive of no more powerful and irrefutable argument in favor of atheism than the eternal torments of Hell.” “Russian Theologian.”
TIM CROSBY in “Ministry.” "As a child, Robert Ingersoll heard a preacher proclaim the doctrine that God subjects sinners to unending torment in hell. Ingersoll decided that if God were like that, then he hated Him. Later he wrote of this belief that it 'makes man an eternal victim and God an eternal fiend. It is the one infinite horror. Below this Christian dogma, savagery cannot go.' There are substantial moral and logical difficulties in believing in a God who tortures His enemies forever. Like Ingersoll, thousands of thinking men have turned away from such a God."
EDWARD WHITE, "It cannot be denied that the frightful doctrines on the future of humanity...supported by the general authority of nearly all Christendom for at least fourteen centuries, are regarded with contemptuous skepticism by the bulk of the existing male population of Europe, who assigns these articles of 'the faith' as the chief reason for their ever extending and fierce revolt against Christianity." “Life In Christ,” page 65, 1878. This book free on line at: http://www.robertwr.com/LifeinChrist.htm
GEORGE STORRS, “Ye shall not surely die, had its origin with the old serpent, I cannot divest myself of the conviction that the notion that wicked men will be kept eternally alive in torments, and never die, had its origin from the same source, as it appears to be a perfect fac-simile; and that it was invented to inspire hard thoughts of God and keep men from turning to Him by repentance and faith, or confidence, and acknowledging their sins against the God of love. And I solemnly believe, this doctrine has kept more away from God, and driven them into infidelity, than any other doctrine that was ever promulgated. I am solemnly convinced that it has done more to destroy men than all other errors put together.” “The Harvest Herald,” Sermon Two, page 1.
CLARK PINNOCK, “Everlasting torture is intolerable from a moral point of view because it pictures God acting like a bloodthirsty monster who maintains an everlasting Auschwitz for his enemies whom he does not even allow to die. How can one love a God like that? I suppose one might be afraid of him, but could we love and respect him? Would we want to strive to be like him in this mercilessness?” “Four Views On Hell,” pages 149, 1992. Our intuition completely rejects the idea that anyone, human or divine, who endlessly inflicted pain on another, could be called “good.”
I. D. WILLAMSON, “Of all the sources of sorrow, this is the deepest and I do not exaggerate when I say, that it cause more fear, more anxiety, more despair, and wets the green earth with more tears, than any other cause under the high canopy of heaven.” “An Examination of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment,” 1860.
God is not a God of terror; not a cruel and evil being this doctrine makes Him to be. Do you think He will say to those who teach He is unjust, "Well done, good and faithful servant...enter you into the joy of your Lord" (Matthew 15:21)? Is it not a sin to teach God is an evil tormenter that will torment even those that never heard of Christ or the gospel? If the reason anyone converts is because of a fear of Hell, his or her conversion is just superficial, not real, not because he or she had a love for God, just afraid of being tormented in Hell. A conversion because of the fear of Hell makes a hypocrite, not a Christians. The harm that has been done by the heresy of a deathless soul that God must torment is beyond belief.
DILEMMAS OF THEIR OWN MAKING
The doctrine of Hell puts those who teach it in a dilemmas from which they have no way out.
(1) Dilemma number one. According to most who believe in Hell only a few will escape it, but many that believe in Hell say all who die before the age accountably will escape Hell and will go to Heaven. By their own teaching, the Abortionist maybe sending more to Heaven, and saving more from Hell than preaching is; if it were true that the unborn have an immortal soul in them and the aborted would go straight to the joy of Heaven at the time of the abortion; they would never suffer the pains and disappointments of life. Yet, many preachers that teach "Hell" with all its horrors bitterly oppose abortions, which by their own teaching, is saving more from "Hell" than they are. Why? According to their own teaching, in the US alone by abortion millions have been sent to Heaven, but most of them would have ended up being in eternal torment if they had lived. If I believed their teaching about Hell, I would be all for a sure way to save millions of people from an eternity of torment and put them safely in Heaven.
(2) Dilemma number two. Many pagans count girl babies of little or no use, and kill many of them. For centuries, millions of girl babies in China have been killed at birth; because of a law in China of one child per family, many girl babies are being killed at birth by parents who want the one child they are allowed to have to be a boy. According to the teaching of those who believe in Hell there are millions of Chinese girls in Heaven that would have been tormented in Hell if the girls had lived, but not many Chinese boys are in Heaven.
(3) Dilemma number three. According to them, souls that were in the children killed in the Old Testament in Gehenna would be blessed by the children not having a few years of life with pain and problems, these souls will forever live with God in Heaven.
There are many more dilemmas like these. How many children have been sent to Heaven by wars? How many were send to Heaven when the two A-bombs were dropped in world war two; do we need more wars and bombs to keep more out or Hell and to send more to Heaven? How many will be in Heaven because the children had no food or some sickness? By their teaching, a child that was killed or dies soon after birth is blessed over those that live, for most of them that do not die as a child, souls that was in them will live forever in torment, and all those that dies when they are a child will live forever in Heaven. According to their own teaching (if they were right), Heaven would have many more that were killed or died as a child than by all the preaching.
Choosing life or choosing death
Annihilation is God giving people freedom to choose not to accept Christ and the life He died to give them. Their not-accepting Christ and life means they have chosen to accept death. God gives them their choice, and lets them pay the wages of their sin, death, for they have chosen not to let Christ pay it for them. He is a just God, not a cruel sadistic God who will torment without end. The wages of our sins were paid by the death of Christ; those who have not been baptized into His death will pay for their own sins in the second death, not by having scalding lead poured down his or her throat for all the countless ages to come. God made all out of nothing and has the right to send any back to nothing. Sending those back to nothing that choose to not give Him the worship He is entitled to is His right, and there is nothing cruel about it; they have the life He has given to them, and have chosen to live it for themselves.
MAKES GOD HAVE A DOUBLE STANDARD
One for Him and another for us. What would be wrong for us to do, for us to torment all that do not believe is made to be right and good for God to do “for His good pleasure” on a scale that is infinitely greater than would be possible for all men combined to do.
Many have tried to lessen the cruelty in a number of ways.
(1) Perhaps the most common one is to make Hell be only in the mind of the lost. BILLY GRAHAM said, "I have often wondered if Hell is a terrible burning within our hearts for God, to fellowship with God, a fire that we can never quench." This does not help any and maybe makes it crueler. Mental pain is as bad and sometimes worse than physical pain. God tormenting most of mankind by making them live endlessly in mental pain would not make Him any less cruel.
(2) Some have tried to justify this cruelty by saying the punishment must fit the crime. They are saying that if a person commits a crime against a person he or she does not know, it is not as bad as the same crime would be if committed against his or her mother, and the same crime committed against God is infinitely worse, but no one could know this without a revelation from God; where in God’s word does He say the same trespasses become infinitely worse when it is against God? Jesus teaches that what ever we do, or do not do for mankind we do, or do not do it for God (Matthew 25:40-45), and He makes no distinction as to whom the sin was against. For centuries many of the best thinkers in the orthodox churches have tried to find a way to justify Hell. I think the best they have done is to say the same crime/sin committed against an infinite God demands an infinite punishment, and God would not be just if He did not torment souls that had been in the lost forever; they have tried to make it look as if God has no way out and must torment millions in Hell. What revelation do they have that makes God be wrong when He said, "The wages of sin is death"?
First, they are speaking where the Bible does not say anything, and they are making God be bound by their theology; therefore, they give God no choice, making God be bound to torment all souls without end that are in most of mankind all to justify their "Hell."
Second, God's law in the Old Testament had the same punishment if the sin were against man or against Himself. To lie was the same if the lie were to a person or to God. His law was an eye for an eye no matter whom the sin was against. Their theology makes it be one eye if the lie were told to a person, but if the same lie were told to God it would be an endless number of eyes.
Throughout the Old Testament, God destroyed His enemies, Sodom and Gomorrah, the flood, drowning in the Red Sea, etc. He is not tormenting them and will be for all the ages to come. The Bible does not teach it is the character or nature of God to torment the lost.
Third, If any sin against an infinite God demands an infinite punishment of eternal torment in Hell, all have sinned. If the payment for our sin against an infinite God is torment that will have no end, Christ did not pay it for us. If the payment is death, Christ did pay it for us, He died our death.
Fourth, God made us and if He had chosen not to give anyone endless life, to let us pass out of exists, to return to not existing, He would still be a good and merciful God for giving us the life He has given to us. But, God has given us much more if we will only believe and obey Him. He has given His only Son that we may be given life, not death. He has saved from the wages of sin; the death that we deserve and given the saved endless life.
Fifth, Who could love and worship a God that according to traditional doctrine would have made our father, mother, wife or husband, our children, and many we know and love just so He could torment them, and give them no change to not be tormented.
Not only is Hell an addition to the Bible, but also Hell is many times crueler than anything the pagans ever thought of. Because for most it is something that is far away, and not something they can see now, I do not think they can see how cruel they are being too most, or how cruel and evil they are making God be. Because it is something that is not real to them, they are able to tell themselves "it is justice." If the Hell they teach was real, and they could look over into it and see God tormenting souls that had been in most of mankind in the terrible ways they now teach that He is doing; they would be terrified of such an evil being as they say their God is. How can anyone not see this?
Believing in Hell and the doctrine of an immortal soul or an immortal spirit that cannot die, and that soul must be tormented with never an end is as heartless as any person can be, and is loving, and is worshiping the most cruel, sadistic, and fiendish of all Gods. If being created in the image of God means there being a soul in them that cannot die, but it must forever be tormented, then being in the image of God is a curse for most of mankind; it would have been better for them to be as animals are. God made all things that are, if Hell did exist, it could only have been God that thought it up and made it; no other beings has that kind of power.
Do those who teach the doctrine of Hell really believe in Hell? The plain inference is that most do not believe in it. They see some of their family, their friends, those they work with, or that lives next door that they say the souls that are in them are going to Hell at the death of the persons, but do little or nothing about it. If they really believe in Hell when they see unsaved people they know, and see loved ones are dying all around them, why do they do so little to save them? They seem to care more about what is on television than they do about the endless torment of those they say they love, and the countess millions of others. How many are there that call them self Christian, but have never warned even one person about this horrible place they believe most are going to, how many work with some daily for years but never say anything to them about the endless torment they say they believe their loved ones will have?
MICHAEL GREED, “If you claim to believe in non-stop conscious torment for the majority of those who have ever lived but are not crawling over broken glass until you can crawl no more, to warn people of this most terrible of fates, then your walk does not match your talk. Why doesn’t the church do this? Because no one really believes it. It is too outrageous, too counterintuitive, too contrary to what the Scripture and our conscience tell us about who God is.” “Our God Is A Consuming Fire,” page 107, Westbow Press, 2014.
THE SAINTS IN HEAVEN
ARE DEPRIVED OF QUALITIES GOD HAS GIVEN TO US
SYMPATHY, PITY, AND LOVE FOR OTHERS
SAMUEL HOPKINS, "The smoke of their torment shall ascend up in the sight of the blessed forever and serve as a most clear glass always before their eyes to give them a constant, bright, and most affecting view... this display of the divine character and glory will be in favor of the redeemed, and most entertaining, and give the highest pleasure to those who love God, and raise their happiness to ineffable heights. Should this eternal punishment and this fire be extinguished, it would in a great measure obscure the light of Heaven and put an end to a great part of the happiness and glory of the blessed." "The works of Samuel Hopkins, D. D." page 458.
What kind of sick person could get the highest pleasure from seeing a cruel God doing his cruel work on billions, and even on many he or she knows and loves? He makes the souls in Heaven that had been in the saints be deprived of qualities God has given to us, sympathy, pity, love for others, caring for others; he makes souls to be cruel monsters that delight in the pain of others, and loves to hear the groans of those they now love, and the groans of the countless millions of souls that had been in the lost persons. He makes the saints in Heaven be taking satisfaction from seeing a cruel God inflict endless pain without end on those who they loved on earth, and makes them be more cruel and blood thirsty then those in Rome who took satisfaction in seeing lions eating Christians.
Saints on Earth become like the God they worship. (See “The Crusades, bloody Mary” in chapter four).
“I am reminded of this talk show, which showed a group of religious ‘Christians’ screaming at people in a department store parking lot. Waving their bibles, they were shouting lines like ‘You’re all going to hell!’ (Of course what they really meant by this was ‘You’re all gonna be tortured forever and ever!)’ Needless to say, they looked like hideous fiends, and to think that such people actually believe they’re obediently doing God’s will. What deception. I can’t help but be a mite suspect of the character of those who unswervingly defend the eternal torture doctrine…I personally believe that these people who staunchly support eternal torture–these folks who almost seem to relish the idea of human beings consciously roasting in agony for all eternity and who become ridiculously irate when a fellow Christian rejects such a ghastly view (even though based upon a thorough biblical analysis)–I believe that such people have given reign to their flesh in this one area. Their very character must be questioned; it has somehow become warped and perverted. I say this because they would zealously do everything in their power to oppose supporters of everlasting destruction. Some go as far as to teach that adherents of literal destruction aren’t even saved, that they aren’t fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. Such people have such a sinister, repulsive, hostile air to them that I wouldn’t doubt that, if this was the Inquisition era of medieval infamy, they would not hesitate to put to death or torture adherents of everlasting destruction” From chapter eight of “Hell-Know.”
JONATHAN EDWARDS, “The smoke of their burning flesh shall be as a sweet smelling savor in the nostrils of the Almighty.” “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” What you believe about your God shows what kind of God you worship. What do you thank about a person that gets angry and hits a person over and over and over? Do you worship an angry and vindictive God, and will the smoke of burning flesh forever be as a sweet smelling savor in the nostrils of your God?
Summary. The real issue in the doctrine of Hell is (1) the nature of God, (2) and the nature of those that believe in Hell. Is He a God of love and mercy, or is He a cruel, sadistic, and fiendish God to most of mankind, and made them just so He could torment them, and He gives them no chance to not be tormented, and He will not ever let them die? Those who believe in such a God must defend everlasting torment, and the God who made most of mankind knowing that He would torment them forever; according to the Calvin and Jonathan Edwards versions of Hell, this God will delight in it, and according to creeds, Augustine, Spurgeon and many others, those in Heaven would find delight in seeing those in Hell being roasted in fire. Such a God and Heaven cannot be defended. A God with such vindictiveness is a totally contradiction to the God who would have all men come to repentance. God is not an eternal prison keeper who loves to torments all that are in His prison. Most that believes all persons have an immortal soul dwelling in them also believes in an eternal Hell, and in endless punishment that has no purpose, a punishment that is not proportionate to the sin, and in a god with a nature that the basest of men would not defend; endless torment in Hell requires a god that is so dreadful that it make many reject him and his bible.
When I gave up the evil God of Hell, and believed in the true God, it brought a peace and joy I never believed possible. I now worship a God who is worthy of being loved and worshiped. Those that go to church because of a fear of punishment in Hell cannot have such joy; it is no wonder that many that are not Christians believe Christianity is a religion based on fear.
THE FATE OF THOSE WHO ARE NOT IN CHRIST
(1). UTTERLY DESTROYED (Acts 3:23).
(2). DEATH (Romans 6:23; 6:21; 7:5; 4:17; 8:6; 1 Corinthians 3:22).
(3). MUST DIE (Romans 8:13; John 8:24; 6:50). This is not the first death, which comes to all, to both those who are saved and those who are lost (Hebrews 9:27), but is the SECOND DEATH (endless nothingness) (Revelation 21:8). All will die once, but the lost will die twice.
(4). "And when sin is accomplished, it brings forth DEATH" (James 1:15).
(5). "Condemned them to EXTINCTION" Revised Standard Version (2 Peter 2:6). To have their very existence made to be no longer existing.
(6). They “are WORTHY OF DEATH” (Romans 1:32).
(7). PASSES AWAY (1 John 2:17).
(8). Their END is DEATH (Romans 6:21-22).
(9). Their wages for sin “IS DEATH” (Romans 6:23).
(10). They “MUST DIE” (Romans 8:13).
(11). "Their END is DESTRUCTION" (Philippians 3:19).
(12). "Whose END is TO BE BURNED" (Hebrews 6:8).
(13). "Everlasting DESTRUCTION" (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
(14). "Sudden DESTRUCTION" (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3).
(15). "Swift DESTRUCTION" (2 Peter 2:1).
(16). "Will reap DESTRUCTION" (Galatians 6:8).
(17). "DESTRUCTION of ungodly man" (2 Peter 3:7).
(18). Are on the broad way leading to DESTRUCTION (Matthew 7:13-14; Philippians 3:19; 1:28; 2 Peter 3:7).
(19). God will DESTROY (1 Corinthians 3:17; 2 Peter 2:12).
(20). Will be "DESTROYED" like Sodom (Luke 17:29).
(21). PERISH (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
(22). Will be TURNED TO ASHES like Sodom and Gomorrah (Peter 2:6).
(23). Will "BE BURNED UP" (2 Peter 3:10).
(24). Will "PERISH" (John 3:16).
(25). Will be "SLAIN" (Luke 1914).
(26). Will be "THROWN AWAY" (Matthew 13:18).
(27). They "SHALL NOT SEE LIFE" (John 3:36; 5:40; 1 John 3:15).
(28). DO NOT HAVE THE "LIFE" Christ gives to them that obey Him (John 3:36; 5:21; 5:24; 5:29; 5:40; 6:27; Matthew 19:29; 1 John 5:12).
(29). Will LOSE LIFE (Matthew 10:39).
(30). Will have NO ACCESS TO THE TREE OF LIFE (Revelation 2:7; 22:2; 22:14).
(31). Will be BLOTTED OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE (Revelation 3:5).
(32). Shall PASS AWAY in "the Day of Judgment and DESTRUCTION OF UNGODLY MEN," the "heavens shall pass away...shall be dissolved...burned up" (2 Peter 3:7-13).
(33). Will be "DEVOUR" (American Standard Version) "CONSUME" (New American Standard Version) (Hebrews 10:27; 12:29).
(34). Fate of Israel and/or the wicked in the parable–always destroyed, death, not tormented.
1. HEWN DOWN AND CAST INTO THE FIRE “Every tree therefore that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” (John the Baptist to the Sadducees and Pharisees, Matthew 3:10; Christ in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 7:19). A tree cut down and burned is total destruction of the tree, not endless torment of the tree.
2. THEY WILL BURN UP like the useless chaff of wheat (Matthew 3:12, Luke 3:17).
3. BURNED like weeds, tares, and bad fish (Matthew 13:30-50).
4. Like harmful plants will be ROOTED UP (Matthew 15:13).
5. CUT ASUNDER like the unfaithful servant (Matthew 24:45-51).
6. CUT DOWN like useless fig tree (Luke 13:6-9).
7. SLAIN (killed) like enemies (Luke 19:27).
8. Cast out and KILLED like the unfaithful husbandman (Luke 20:9-17).
9. Are BURNED UP like withered branches (John 15:6).
If the above language does not denote the utter and complete destruction of the wicked, what language could God have used that would? None. There is no process known to mankind that is more like total destruction of the wicked than the total destruction of plaints by fire; there is no hope of any life for a plaint that has been totally burnt up by fire. Those who try to explain away the above would try to explain away any language that could be used.
(35). Fate of the wicked in the Old Testament, the fate of people and nations in this lifetime.
1. "Behold the day comes, it burns as a furnace and all the proud and all that work wickedness shall be stubble; and the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch" (Malachi 4:1-3). Probably symbol language of the nation of Israel triumphing over an evil nation. Burn up a plant and leave it neither root nor branch, and nothing will remain of it. Nothing will remain of the nation. If this were speaking about souls after the Judgment, those souls would not be in Heaven, they will be in Hell walking on the ashes of the souls of the wicked. “And you will tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under he soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing” (Malachi 4:3). When this passage is applied to Hell, as it often is, it would be a Hell that is nothing like the Hell that it is being misused to prove and would have the souls that had been in the saved walking on ashes of souls in Hell.
2. The wicked "shall soon be cut down like the grass" (Psalm 37:2).
3. "Shall be cut off...shall not be" (Psalm 37:9-10).
4. "Will be as nothing" (Isaiah 41:11).
5. "Become as if they has never existed" (Obadiah 16).
6. "Shall perish...in smoke shall they consume away" (Psalm 37:20).
7. "They shall be destroyed" (Psalm 37:38). "Altogether destroyed" New Revised Standard Version.
8. Shall "melt away" (Psalm 112:10; 68:2).
9. "But the way of the wicked will perish" (Psalm 1:6).
10. "But all the wicked, He will destroy" (Psalm 145:20).
11. "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book" (Exodus 32:33).
12. "The wicked is reserved to the day of destruction" (Job 21:30).
13. "They are like the chaff which the wind drives away" (Psalm 1:4).
14. Souls shall die (Genesis 3:3; Ezekiel 18:4; 13:19).
(36). Add to this the fact that Hell is not in the Bible, not the name, or the concept; nothing is said about God tormenting anyone after the judgment; nothing is said about the wicked after the second death, and you have a clear picture of the fate of the wicked. God could not have said in human language any clearer or stronger what the fate of the wicked will be. If you think it could be said any more clearly, try it. You cannot do it. Between the statements of the inspired writers of the Bible above, and today’s uninspired teaching of men, there is an enormous discrepancy and contradiction that cannot be explained away.
Our choice is life or death (see Deuteronomy 30:19-20). To live or die (Ezekiel 18:20), an eternal life in Hell forever being tormented by God is not one of our choices.
“But even if we are an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed” (Galatians 1:7-8). Is there another time Paul said something so serious that he repeated it? If “the wages of sin is death” and someone preaches to you “the wages of sin is eternal life in torment” that one should be accursed of preaching a gospel contrary to that which Paul preached.
AFTER THE RESURRECTION
THE FATE OF THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST
(1). Eternal life (Romans 6:23).
(2). "Shall inherit eternal life" (Matthew 19:29).
(3). After the judgment they "shall go away into eternal life" (Matthew 25:46).
(4). Will "have eternal life" (John 3:5).
(5). Christ will raise them up on the last day (John 6:40).
(6). Will be immortal after the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:51-56).
(7). Will have incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:42).
(8). Will have glory (1 Corinthians 15:43).
(9). Will be like Christ "We shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is" (1 John 3:2).
(10). Are "heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:7).
(11). Will have a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:44).
(12). "And as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (Shall be like the spiritual body of Christ for life in Heaven) (1 Corinthians 15:47-56) (The earthly flesh and blood body of Adam was made to live on this earth but it "cannot inherit the kingdom of God" 1 Corinthians 15:50). “We” not a soul are now in the earthly image of Adam; “We” not a soul will be in the heavenly image of Christ.
(13). "Will never perish" (John 10:28).
(14). Forever with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
(15). MANY MANSIONS IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE. "In my Father's house (Who is in Heaven Matthew 5:16; 5:45; 5:48; 6:1; 6:9; 7:21; 10:32-33) are many mansions...I go to prepare a place for YOU." WHERE DID CHRIST GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR US? IN THE MANSIONS IN HIS FATHER'S HOUSE IN HEAVEN. "And if I go and prepare a place for YOU, (A place in my Father's house in Heaven) I come again, and will receive YOU unto myself; that where I am there YOU may also be.” (With me in the place I go to prepare for you in My Father's house in Heaven) (John 14:1-3). Could there be a way to say the home of the saved persons will be in Heaven in the Fathers house, not on this earth, any stronger than how it is said?
1. “But now I go unto him (unto My Father who is in Heaven) that sent me" The word–Christ who was with the Father in the beginning and has always been a heavenly being with God became flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1:14; John 16:5). He is no longer flesh, but has now gone back to Heaven to prepare a place for the saved and will come back for them.
2. "He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne" (Revelation 3:21). Christ is now on His Fathers throne in Heaven where He went to prepare a place for us; you cannot prepare a place in a place that is not a place, HEAVEN IS A REAL PLACE WITH A REAL PLACE WITH A PLACE IN IT PREPARED FOR ALL THE FAITHFUL.
3. "For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but himself says: 'the Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet'" Acts 2:34-35).
(16). FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. "And as we have borne the image of the earthy (flesh and blood), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; (our bodies in the image of Adam made for this earth are not suitable for Heaven) neither do corruption inherit incorruption (neither can our corruptible bodies in the image of Adam inherit in the heavenly realm). Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not sleep, (shall not all die) but we shall all be changed, (all the saved that are asleep in graves when Christ comes, and all the saved that are alive) 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, (raised in the heavenly image of Christ, not in the corruptible image of Adam which they had when they died). For this corruptible must put on incorruption, (this earthly body in the image of Adam must put on incorruption, a spiritual body in the image of Christ. Adam never had a spiritual body before or after he sinned), and this mortal must put on immortality (this mortal body which is the body we now have must be changed to an immortal spiritual body which will not be the body of this earth that we now have). But, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Corinthians 15:50-54). In this passage Paul is telling the Corinthians what their bodies will be after the resurrection.
1. It cannot be "flesh and blood" for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50).
2. It cannot be a body of "corruption" in the image of Adam for a body of corruption cannot inherit incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:50-54).
3. It cannot be the mortal body that we now have for this mortal body must put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53-54).
(17). "We that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen 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 that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds (to meet Him in the air and will have a body not of this earth) to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall ever be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). In other words (1) all Christians that are in their graves, (2) and all living Christians will BOTH be taken from the earth to meet Jesus in the air AT HIS COMING, and BOTH will ever be with the Lord.
(18). "Beloved, now WE are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what WE shall be, WE know that, when He appears, WE shall be like Him because WE shall see Him just as He is" (1 John 3:2). We know what the image of Adam is for we now have it. His image was flesh and blood both before and after he sinned, and we know that we now have his image, a body of flesh and blood, but we do not now know what the spiritual body in the image of Christ that WE will have.
(19). WILL BE LIKE ANGELS. "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age (the age to come after this, the Christian age that we are now in. Not all will be worthy to attain to it) and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; for neither can they die any more, for they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection" (Luke 20:34-36). Like the angels, the saved will have a body that will be suitable for Heaven; not an earthly being, and will no longer have a body in the image of Adam made for this earth, but will have a spiritual body in the image of Christ. Angels have never had an earthly body in the image of Adam. When we have a heavenly body that will be in the images of Christ we will not have an earthly body in the image of Adam. Adam was made of the earth, and he had a flesh and blood body, and Eve was made from his body before their sin, they never had a spiritual body or a body like the angels. To have a body like Adam before he sinned would be to have a flesh and blood body and be male and female. It would be nothing like the Angels. The bodies the saved will have will be like angels in that it will be a body made for Heaven, but it is not said that it will be a body that it will be the same body angels have just as all living being on earth do not have the same body. The body of Angels being a woman with wings is a false Roman Catholic Dark Age teaching.
(20). "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, RESERVED IN HEAVEN FOR YOU, who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:4).
(21). SEEK THE THINGS ABOVE, "If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and you life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then YOU also will be revealed with Him in glory" (Colossians 2:1-4).
(22). We now bear the image of the earthly (Adam) WE shall bear the image of the heavenly (Christ). "And just as WE have borne the image of the earthy, WE shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (not the flesh and blood image of Adam before or after he sinned, not an earthly body, not a body of dust) (1 Corinthians 15:48). The person that is in the image of Adam is the sane person that will be in the image of Christ.
When will we receive the crown of righteousness, 2 Timothy 4:8?
When is the Judgment, Revelation 20:12?
When will we see Christ? When will we be like Christ, 1 John 3:2?
When will death be destroyed, 1 Corinthians 15:54-56?
When will the saved put on immortality, 1 Corinthians 15:50-53?
The when is at the resurrection, not at death.
AN ETERNITY IN HEAVEN OR ON EARTH
Some ask, "An eternity in Heaven doing what?" I ask them, "An eternity on earth doing what?" I have not seen anywhere that they say what they think we will be doing on earth for an eternity. Take whatever they think there will be to do on earth for eternity and multiply it by a 100, or 10,000, or even by 100,000 and you will not have all that we will be doing in Heaven for all the endless ages that are to come. If we were on this earth there will be no marriage; therefore, no family life (Matthew 22:30), no sea (Revelation 21:1); therefore, nothing that has to do will the sea, no boating, no fishing, no sunset over the water, etc. Multiply the beauty of earth by 100,000 or more and you still will not have the beauty of Heaven.
LIFE ON THIS EARTH–versus–LIFE IN HEAVEN
(1). Life on this earth, a natural body–versus–after the resurrection, a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:42-58).
(2). Life on this earth, a mortal being–versus–after the resurrection, an immortal being.
(3). Life on this earth, image of Adam–versus–after the resurrection, the image of Christ.
There are three major views of the fate of the lost after death. There may be many variations on each, not to over simplify, but I think all the variations will be on one of the three.
1. The wages of sin is death for those not in Christ.
2. God made most of mankind to be tormented forever.
3. God will save all mankind no matter how evil they are.
When Christ came to earth He became “flesh and blood” in the image of Adam, if Christ is to come back to and forever be a king on this earth was true He would have to forever be “flesh and blood” in the image of Adam.
Christ said, “Rejoice, and be glad, for YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN IS GREAT” (Matthew 5:12), and in the same lesson said, “Glorify you Father who is in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16), and “Make no oath at all, either by Heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet” (Matthew 5:34-35). In the same lesson Christ said, (1) Heaven is where our reward will be; (2) Heaven is where God is; (3) Heaven is the throne of God.
A SUMMARY OF WHERE THE DEAD ARE
Four views on what happens at death, each one is in sharp conflict with the other three, and makes the other three not possible. Yet, the same preachers puts a spirit that had been in the dead in three places simultaneously.
(1). The spirits in all returns to God – misused to prove all have immortal souls.
(2). The spirits that were in the dead are alive in sheol.
(3). The spirits that were in the saved person will go directly to Heaven at death, and a spirits that were in the lost the lost will go directly to Hell at death of the person.
(4). All the dead persons are asleep unto the resurrection; it will be persons that will be resurrected, and persons that are in Christ that will be in Heaven, not souls.
GOD HAS SPOKE In The Clearest Way That Is Possible With Human Language. "For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten...for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol (grave), where YOU go" (Ecclesiastes 9:5-10). "HIS breath goes forth, HE returns to the earth: in that very day HIS thoughts perish" (Psalm 146:4); not the thoughts of a soul that we are told is nothing but thoughts that cannot persih. Also Isaiah 38:18-19; Psalm 6:4-5; 30:9; 115:17; 49:12-14. These passages are speaking about persons; like others that are used to prove there is a soul in each person, they say nothing about a soul. If you read God's word and you still believe a person now has an immortal soul dwelling in them; and that soul is not subject to death, there is no human language God could use to tell you otherwise. You have believed men and Satan, and will not hear God.
There is nothing hard to understand about the nature of a person, or the fate of the wicked. It takes much help from theology to not understand the clear teaching of the Bible. Much help to make many believe Satan's lie over God's word. Much help for anyone to not be able to see the simple truth when he or she reads the Bible.
Could God have given His revelation about the fate of mankind after death in a way that all could understand it? The answer is yes; God could and did choose words, parables, symbols, and metaphors that clearly teach the death of, not the eternal torment of the lost. The unsaved die, perish, are destroyed, and are lost. The obedient are saved from death, and given life and immortality at the judgment. God could not have said it any clearer. If you think He could have, try to say it any clearer. The words and expressions are used that put the truth beyond all possibility of question. Eternal life with torment would not be death.
Be honest with yourself, with God, and go to His word with honesty, love, and reverence. Can pagan teachings, which are promoted in the name of Christ, result in knowledge of the truth that can save?
Do you want to die? When the Bible says, "The wages of sin is death,” it literally means what it says, “The wages of sin is death” not eternal life in torment. Do you want to face God's wrath at the judgment and be found not fit to live? Do you want to know that the second death will be an eternal end of you? If not, then hear and believe (Romans 1:16; Hebrews 11:6). Repent (Luke 13:5). Die to sin, and through baptism be buried and raised to walk in newness of life with Christ (Romans 6:1-23; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38 John 3:5). "For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death (through baptism), we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection" (Romans 6:5). "God gave unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has the life; he that has not the Son of God has not the life" (1 John 5:11-12). Live faithfully unto death, and receive the crown of life and immortality at the resurrection (Revelation 2:10; 1 Corinthians 15:52-55; John 5:21). "But they that are accounted worthy to attain to that world (age), and the resurrection from the dead...neither can they die any more: for they...are sons of God" (Luke 20:35). "It was necessary that the word of God should first be spoken to you. Seeing you thrust it from you and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles" (Acts 13:45-48). The question is not where will you spend your eternity, but will you have an eternity to spend.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who WILL transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory” (Philippians 3:20-21). “To him that overcomes, to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7). The resurrection of the dead totally destroys the doctrine that a person now has a deathless soul that has been dwelling in them from their birth. If anyone had a soul in them and that soul is alive and in Heaven, that soul could not be resurrected from the dead, that soul would have no need of the resurrection.
A SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE EVILS
OF THE DOCTRINE OF ETERNAL TORMENT
(1). If there is something in a person and only that something will be in Heaven or Hell is a soul and that soul cannot die, then the wages of sin cannot be death; the wages of sin is changed from death to eternal life in torment for a soul.
(2). Unconditional immortality makes God more cruel and sadistic then any heathen god; it teaches God made man knowing most would not and could not be saved, knowing that He himself was going to endlessly torment them.
(3). Makes existence be a curse. Most will live a few years as a frail being with many pains, etc., then die and a soul that was in them, not the person, will endlessly be in more torment then anyone in this lifetime has ever had. The immortal soul doctrine dooms souls that are believed to be in more than nine-tenths of the human race to being endlessly tormented by God.
(4). Unconditional immortality inflicts a useless, fiendish suffering that would benefit no one, not God who is doing the tormenting, not souls that He is tormenting, not souls in Heaven who many say they will be seeing souls that had been in their loved one being tormented by God, no one will be benefited by endless misery.
(5). Unconditional immortality leads to unbelief. More atheists and hypocrites have been made by the teaching of the horrors of Hell then any other teaching. It has turned many millions away from such an unjust God.
(6). Unconditional immortality is heathen in its origin. It was brought into the church from Pagan philosophers as Socrates by a few of the so-called “church fathers,” but it was fully developed by the church in the Dark Age.
(7). The fruits of unconditional immortality. John Calvin burned Servetus to death over a slow fire, then he wrote a book, “A Faithful Account Of The Errors Of Servetus, In Which It Is Proved That Heretics Ought To Be Restrained By The Sword;” in Calvin’s argument with the Anabaptists he uses such words as ignorant babbles, evil, nefarious herd, dregs, insanity, etc. Catholics, Bloody Mary, and many others killed millions just because they did not believe this bloody teaching of the unconditional immortality of souls; they ask why should anyone have any compassion upon these that God is not going to have any compassion. Pagans with all its horrors furnish no equal to the butchery and cruelty of the Roman Catholic Church in their torment and murder of men, women, and children in the Dark Age.
HISTORICAL PROOF OF THE
CHANGING OF THE TEACHING OF THE BIBLE
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). “For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). “But there arose also prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall secretly bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1-2).
THE HEATHENIZING OF THE CHURCH
BY THE MEDIEVAL DARK AGE CHURCH
The Bible teaching were changed by bringing into the church the doctrines of Purgatory, the sale of indulgences, an immortal soul, Hell, going to Heaven or Hell at death without the judgment, worship of Mary and saints, Nether World, Holy Water, forbidding eating of meat on Friday, candle-burning, the crucifix-making a cross be an object to be worshiped, angels look like a women with wings, and many other teachings.
HENRY CONSTABLE, “It is the Platonic view of human nature, now in its main features thoroughly incorporated into out prevailing Christian theology, so that to most minds it appears to be as much a part of divine revelation as the existence of God, in carnation of Christ, or future rewards and punishments. According, then, to Plato, man was not formed out of the dust of the ground. Man was truly and properly a soul, which, for one reason or other, was united to a body. This union to body Plato considered an evil, and he therefore regarded death as a blessing in itself, inasmuch as it dissolved the undesirable union, and freed the soul, i.e., the man, from that which was a clog and a burden to him. Death was, in Plato’s view, not the cessation of existence to man, but the change of his mode and condition of life, a change to the good man of sure and unmitigated blessing. It will be quite plain to any one acquainted the theology of Christendom how deeply the Platonic idea has interpenetrated it…the idea of Plato that what he supposed the soul is the true and proper man, and that the body is not the true and proper man, has undoubtedly pervaded Christian theology to its very core. Thus Bishop Butler, one of the greatest thinkers that England has produced, has devoted a chapter of his grand ‘Analogy’ to prove that ‘our organized bodies are no part of ourselves,’ and that man can and will exist in the truth of his nature, when his body lies in the grave in dust. And John Wesley, a man of profound mind, has thus defined his idea of man’s nature: ‘I am now,’ he says, ‘an immortal spirit, strangely commingled with a little portion of earth. In a short time I am to quit this tenement of clay, and remove into anther state.’…This opinion, we believe to be the very foundation stone of an amazing amount of false doctrine. This false philosophy regarding human nature has tented the theology of centuries.” “Hades or the Intermediate State of Man,” page 3, 1873.
D. M. CANRIGHT, “Plato’s dogma of man’s natural immortality was, that with it also came the heathen theory of the torments of the damned in Tartarus, or hell. Had even this view been left as he old pagans taught it, it would not have been so fearfully horrid. But getting the idea from thence, the Romesh priest, aided by the ignorance and superstition of the people, added greatly to the doctrine, increased its dimensions, and intensified all its infernal horrors...the Romanists made it eternal, sure, without hope of end.” “A History Of The Doctrine Of The Soul” 1882.
CHURCH FATHERS AND ROMAN CATHOLICISM
A few of the early so-called church fathers believed in conditional immortality. It was not unto about the end of the second century that the doctrine of an immortal soul gained some foothold in the church. The immortal soul doctrine is not in the writings of the fathers in the first or second centuries. Tertullian near the end of the third century is one of the few to say anything about it, and then he made it clear that his opinion was taken from Plato, and it that his opinion was not the opinion of Christ. At first it was opposed by most and it was not unto the Dark Age that it became the teaching of the church.
J. A. BEETH summed it up very well. "The phrase, the soul immortal, so frequent and conspicuous in the writings of Plato, we have not found in pre-Christian literature outside the influence of Greek philosophy; nor have we found it in Christian literature until the latter part of the second century. We have noticed that all the earliest Christian writers who use this phrase were familiar with the teaching of Plato; that one of these, Tertullian, expressly refers both the phrase and doctrine to him; and that the early Christian writers never support this doctrine by appeals to the Bible, but only by arguments similar to those of Plato...We have failed to find any trace of this doctrine in the Bible...It is altogether alien, both in phrase and thought, to the teaching of Christ and His apostles." “Immortality Of The Soul,” pages 53, 54.
THE NEW SCHAF-HERZOG ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE. “Many of the early Christians…found peculiar attractions in the doctrines of Plato, and employed them as weapons for the defense and extension of Christianity, or cast the truths of Christianity in a Platonic mold. The doctrines of the Logos and the Trinity received their shape form Greek Fathers, who, if not trained in the schools, where much influenced, directly or indirectly, by the Platonic philosophy, particularly in its Jewish-Alexandrian form. That errors and corruptions crept into the Church from this source can not be denied.” Article, “Platonism and Christianity.”
TERTULLIAN is truthful about where his belief came from and said he based it on Plato, not the Bible. He said, "For some things are known even by nature: the immortality of the soul, for instance, is held by many...I may use, therefore, the opinion of a Plato, when he declares, 'Every soul is immortal.'" “Ante-Nicene Fathers,” Volume 3, about A. D. 220, page 1916.
JUSTIN MARTYR was killed about A. D. 166. The Greek doctrine of an immortal soul was opposed by him and most of the early writers. He said, "For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this...who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls (he used the Greek word psukee, not the English word soul that did not exist at the time he was writing), when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians." “The First Apology Of Justin,” Edinburgh Edition, page 480. He is saying those who believe the dead are alive any place before the resurrection do not believe in the resurrection, and because they do not believe in the resurrection they are not Christians even if they think they are.
IRENAEUS MARTYR died about A. D. 202, a pupil of Polycarp. In A. D. 147 Martyr said, “Some who are reckoned among the orthodox to go beyond the prearranged plan for the exaltation of the just, and are ignorant of the methods by which they are disciplined beforehand for incorruption; they entertain heretical opinions. For the heretics…affirm that immediately upon their death they shall pass above to heavens. Those persons, therefore, who reject a resurrection affecting the whole man, and do their best to remove it from the Christian scheme, know nothing as to the plan of resurrection.” Ante-Nicene Fathers, Erdmann Publishing, Volume one, page 560. "It is the Father of all who impart continuance forever and ever to those who are saved. For life does not arise from us, nor from our own nature; but it is bestowed according to the grace of God. And therefore he who shall preserve the life bestowed on him, and give thanks to Him who imparted it, shall receive also length of days forever to those who showed themselves ungrateful towards Him, 'If you have not been faithful in that which is little, who will give you that which is great?’–indicating that those who in this brief temporal life have shown themselves ungrateful to Him who bestowed it, shall justly not receive from him length of days forever and ever." Edinburgh Edition, Vol. 1, p. 252. “Continuance forever and ever” is a mistranslation from what he said; he said “continuance ages and ages.”
The early non-inspired writers used Bible statements, which are used by both sides. Two examples,
(1). An example. When an early writer quoted Matthew 10:28, "God is able to destroy...soul (psukee)," it is used today by the unconditional immoralists to prove the church fathers believed God will not destroy a soul (psukee-life), and by the conditional immoralists to prove the church fathers did believe God can and will destroy a soul (psukee-life). Both sides assume that the early non-inspired writers understood the word psukee, and other words just as the words are used today. Therefore, both sides use many of the same quotations from the early writers. The first and second century writers used Greek, and the word they used was "psukee"–life, not "soul."
First, Unconditional immoralists change by mistranslating “psukee” (life) into "soul" and then apply today's meaning, an undying something that is in a person.
Second, Conditional immoralists read the same writers and say the early writers used "psukee" (life) as the Hebrew word "nehphesh" is used in Genesis, a "living creature."
(2). Another example. When Matthew 5:22 is quoted by the church fathers, they wrote in Greek and used "Gehenna" just as Christ did. Some English translations of the church fathers change Gehenna into Hell; they change the word the church fathers used, Gehenna, a proper noun, the name of a particular place into another proper noun, the name of another particular place (Hell) just as the King James Version did. Whether the early writer used “Gehenna” or whether Gehenna is changed (mistranslated) into “Hell” makes the church fathers say what the translator wanted them to say. By changing the Greek word “Gehenna” into the English word “Hell, what the church fathers said is changed from being a place on this earth, Gehenna, to being a completely different place named Hell that many believe is not on this earth; (1) the place, (2) the location of the place, (3) the name of the place are all changed.
ORIGEN died A. D. 235. He may be the first to believe universal restoration. Mosheim said, "The foundation of all his faults was, that he fully believed nothing to be more true and certain than what the philosophy he received from Ammonius taught him respecting God, the world, souls, demons, etc. and therefore he in a measure recast and remolded the doctrines of Christ after the pattern of that philosophy." “Historical Commentaries,” Volume 2, page 159.
AUGUSTINE died A. D. 430. Joseph Agar Beet said, “The prevalence, in the Christian Church, of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is due probably to the immense influence of Augustine. This great father was familiar with the systems of the Greek philosophers; and among these gives the palm to Plato.” “The Last Things,” page 199, 1898. Augustine’s influence was much more then the others and became the foundation of much of the teaching of the Catholic Church.
“It was Augustine who gave the church its standard way of thinking about hell, a way which would become dominant for the next millennium and a half. Specifically he taught us to view hell as a condition of endless torment of conscious persons in body and soul. In a major section of The City of God (book 21), he argues at length against all objections to this grim idea and defends his view vigorously that God plans to torture the wicked both mentally and physically forever. To get a feeling for his orientation, one should consider his argument in answer to one objection: how could a resurrected person burn physically and suffer psychologically forever without being materially consumed or ever losing consciousness? How could they suffer the same kind of burns one would sustain on earth from contact with raging flames and not be consumed by them? To explain this marvel Augustine explains that God has the power to do such things, which transcend ordinary nature. He will employ His power to perform miracles to keep them alive and conscious in the fire.” “The Destruction of the Finally Impenitent,” Clark H. Pinnock.
The view of the church fathers on death, according to Henry Constable in "The Duration And Nature Of Future Punishment," 1871.
1. Barnabas, Died A. D. 90. Believed the wages of sin is death.
2. Clemens Romanus, Died A. D. 100. Believed the wages of sin is death.
3. Hermas, Died A. D. 104. Believed the wages of sin is death.
4. Ignatius, Martyr, Died A. D. 107. Believed the wages of sin is death.
5. Polycarp, Martyr, Died A. D. 147. Believed the wages of sin is death.
6. Justin Martyr, Died A. D. 164. Believed the wages of sin is death.
7. Theophilus of Antioch, Died A. D. 183. Believed the wages of sin is death.
8. Athenagoras, Died A. D. 190. Believed "you shall not surely die."
9. Tatian, Died A. D. 200. Believed "you shall not surely die."
10. Irenaeus Martyr, Died A. D. 202. Believed the wages of sin is death.
11. Clemens Alexandrinus, Died A. D. 212. Believed the wages of sin is death.
12. Tertullian, Died A. D. 235. Believed "you shall not surely die."
13. Hippolytus, Died A. D. 235. Believed " you shall not surely die."
14. Origen, Died A. D. 253. Believed universal restoration.
15. Amobios, Died A. D. 303. Believed the wages of sin is death.
16. Augustine, Died A. D. 430. Believed "you shall not surely die." The Encyclopedia Britannica says of Augustine, "He fused the religion of the New Testament with the Platonic tradition of Greek philosophy."
From the above, it is clear that it was not unto near the end of the second century that, "The wages of sin is eternal life with torment" was first believed, and them at first by only a few. By teaching the resurrection, both the Bible and most of the early Church Fathers denied emphatically the unconditional immortally of a soul. Satan’s lie, “You shall not surely die” was believe by only a few of the so called church fathers, but in the Dark Age the Roman Catholic Church made up a soul that could not die, and made it is be tormented in the made up Hell of the Catholic doctrine.
(1). JOHN H. OGWYN, "The story of the Christian church between Pentecost of 31 A. D. and the council of Nicea in 325 A. D., almost 300 years later, is an amazing story. It is the story of how yesterday's orthodoxy became today's heresy and how old heresies came to be considered orthodox Christian doctrine. IT IS THE STORY OF HOW CHURCH TRADITION AND THE TEACHING OF THE BISHOPS CAME TO SUPERSEDE THE WORD OF GOD AS A SOURCE OF DOCTRINE. It is a story that is stranger then fiction, yet is historically verifiable." "God's Church Through The Ages."
(2). HENRY CONSTABLE, A. M., “Educated in Platonism, they (church fathers) did not like to renounce it, and flattered themselves that they might, with great advantage to the cause of Christianity, bring at least a portion of their old learning into its service. Some brought less, some more, according as they were more or less thoroughly acquainted with Christianity. But on one point they were substantially agreed. All of them, with Tertullian, adopted in the sense of Plato Plato’s sentiment–‘Every soul is immortal.’ On this point Plato took rank, not among prophets and apostles, but above all prophets and apostles. A doctrine which neither Old Testament nor New taught directly or indirectly, nay, which was contrary to a great part of the teaching of both, these Fathers brought in with them into the Church, and thus gave to the old Sage of the Academy a greater authority and a wider influence by far than he had ever attained or ever dreamed of attaining. It was in effect Plato teaching in the Church, under the supposed authority of Christ and his Apostles, doctrine subversive of, and contrary to, the doctrine, which they had one and all maintained. This dogma of Plato was made the rigid rule for the interpretation of Scripture. No Scripture, no matter what its language, could be interpreted in a sense inconsistent with Plato’s theory. Christ, and Paul, and John, all were forced to Platonism. The deduction of reason, half doubted by Plato himself, was by these Platonizing Fathers palmed off on men’s minds as the teaching of revelation. What Socrates taught with faltering tongue, what Plato held in one place and rejected in another, what Cicero hoped might be true while he dreaded that it might not, Tertullian and Augustine taught as in indubitable truth.” “Duration And Nature Of future Punishment,” page 247, 1871.
(3). HENRY CONSTABLE, A. M., “While far the greater number taught that death was for all, sooner or later, an eternal sleep, there were ‘high spirits of old’ that strained their eyes to see beyond the clouds of time the dawning of immortality. Unable, as we are able, to connect it with God as its source, and with his promise as our assurance they framed the idea of an immortality self-existing in a soul itself. Plato, in his ‘Phĺdo,’ has given us the marvelous reasoning of Socrates, and Cicero has exhibited the argument in his ‘Tusculan Questions.’ According to it, a soul is possessed of an inherent immortality. It is of necessity eternal. It could have no end, no death. What was true of one soul was true of all souls alike, whether good or bad. They must live somewhere, be it in Tartarus, or Cocytus, in Pyriphlegethon, or the happy abodes of the purified. This sublime philosophical idea passed readily and early into the theology of the Christian Church. We find it running throughout the reasoning of Athenagoras and Tertullian, of Origen and Augustine. Heedless of Paul’s warning voice against philosophy, they became the feeble apes of Plato. They applied their theology, as his philosophy, to all souls alike–to those of the reprobate as of the redeemed. They taught that the life of the former must be as eternal as that of the latter. A moment’s reflection will show us that a dogma of this kind could not remain idle. It must influence most powerfully in one direction or in another this whole question of future punishment. It must mold the entire doctrine of the Church upon the subject. According as men connected it with one truth of Scripture or another, it must give rise to two different and opposite schools of thought. Connect the immortality of a soul with the Scriptural doctrine of the eternity of punishment, and you inevitably create the dogma of eternal life in misery, i.e. of Augustine’s hell. Connect it with the other great truth of Scripture, the final extinction of evil and restoration of all things, and you as inevitably create Origen’s Universal Restoration. For each of these opposing theories there is exactly the same amount of proof, viz: Plato’s dogma and a dogma of the Bible; and, if Plato’s dogma could be proved to be a Scriptural doctrine, then by every law of logic Scripture would be found supporting two distinct and absolutely contradictory theories. Accordingly, this philosophical idea of Plato is found pervading and influencing the interpretation of Scripture FROM THE SECOND CENTURY DOWN TO OUR OWN DAY. The Fathers, as a general rule, considered the question of future punishment under the impression that every soul of man was immortal…But in supposing that God gave to a soul at its creation an inalienable immortality, i.e., an immortality not affected by any conduct upon man’s part, of which no creature could deprive it, and of which God would not deprive it, they in effect laid down a dogma which had the very same influence upon their views of future punishment as if they had adopted the dogma of Plato to its fullest extent.” “Duration And Nature Of future Punishment,” 1871.
(4). W. ENFIELD, "Very soon after the rise of Christianity, many persons, who had been educated in the schools of the philosophers, becoming converts to the Christian faith, the doctrines of the Grecian sects, and especially Platonism, were interwoven with the simple truths of pure religion. As the Eclectic philosophy spread, Heathen and Christian doctrines were still more intimately blended, till, at last, both were almost entirely lost in the thick clouds of ignorance and barbarism which covered the earth." "The History Of Philosophy."
(5). JOHN HANCOOK PERTTINGELL, “The philosophy of Plato concerning the nature of man–so flattering to his pride, but so inconsistent with the simple teaching of God’s word–has been a fruitful source of error and confusion in the church. Notwithstanding Paul warned the early Christians against it, they soon fell under it corrupting influence and suffered it to mold and shape their whole system of doctrines. Although we have rejected some of the grosser errors of the Papal church, and modified others to bring them into a better harmony with the spirit of the age, our Protestant notions of the intermediate state and the final destiny of man, and our interpretation of the teaching of the Scripture on these questions, are still controlled to a great extent by the same philosophy…but the doctrine of the resurrection itself, as taught in the Scriptures, our hopes for any life whatever beyond the present, and on which the early Christians fastened their hopes, is either denied altogether or reduced to an unmeaning pageant. And so, deprived of all its real significance and power, this great doctrine has fallen into neglect.” “The Life Everlasting, What Is It? Whence Is It? Whose Is It?” Pages 86–87, J. D. Brown Printer, 1883.
"The doctrine of hell evolved long after the core doctrines of the historic Christian faith were established. The views of the early Church fathers about hell were far from unanimous. It took the Christian community hundreds of years to come up with a consensus on the issue. The majority view–that hell is a place of eternal fiery torment–emerged only after a long debate within the Church. By the Middle Ages, the concept of a fiery underworld had become a dominant element in people's minds." http://www.inplainsite.org
The doctrine of Hell has been strongly opposed from the time is was first brought into the church by the church fathers and the Catholic Church, but in the last fifty years the opposition is rapidly growing in the Protestants churches and particularly in the Church of Christ. As a result of the rapid growth in opposition to the God slandering doctrine of Hell two books by those who believe in Hell have been written. "Hell of Trial, The Case for Eternal Punishment" by Robert A. Peterson, and "Hell Under Fire" which is ten essays by ten orthodox Protestant authors all defending Hell that is now under attack by many. The names they give to their books shows the doctrine of Hell is being strongly opposed and rejected by many.
To fully document the apostasy that took place is beyond the scope of this book, but I have given enough to show those who have never read the history of the early church that there was a great apostasy with many changes in the beliefs and doctrines. The falling away Paul foretold did happen. "Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then, that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness" (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; See 1 Timothy 4:1-3). This apostasy led to the church of the Dark Age with its Pope who sits in the place of God and is worshiped as God. Paul said the falling away would come. History says it did come. The Catholic Church says there was no falling away. The Protestant Reformation says there was an apostasy, but they reformed the Catholic Church with many churches that teach many conductivity things.
(6). THAYER, THOMSA BALDWIN, “Any one at all familiar with the writings of the ancient Greeks or Romans, cannot fail to note how often it is admitted by them that the national religions were the inventions of the legislator and the priest, for the purpose of governing and restraining the common people. Hence, all the early lawgivers claim to have had communications with the gods, who aided them in the preparation of their codes. Zoroaster claimed to have received his codes from a divine source; Lycurgus obtained his from Apollo, Minos of Crete from Jupiter, Numa of Rome from Egeria, Zaleucus from Minerva, &c. The object of this sacred fraud was to impress the minds of the multitude with religious awe, and command a more ready obedience of their part. Hence Augustine says, in his ‘City of God,’ ‘This seems to have been done on no other account, but as it was the business of princes, out of their wisdom and civil prudence, to deceive the people in their religion; princes, under the name of religion, persuaded the people to believe those things true, which they themselves know to be idle fables; by this means, for their own ease in government, tying them the more closely to civil society.’ Pages 81–82. “Plato himself is exceedingly inconsistent, sometimes adopting, even in his serious discourses, the fables of the poets, and at other times rejecting them as utterly false, and giving too frightful views of the invisible world. Sometimes, he argues, on social grounds, that they are necessary to restrain bad men from wickedness and crime, and then again he protests against them on political grounds, as intimidating the citizens, and making cowards of the soldiers, who, believing these things, are afraid to death, and do not therefore fight well. But all this shows in what light he regarded them; not as truths, certainly, but as fictions, convenient in some cases, but difficult to manage in other.” “The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment,” page 95, 1881. The rulers of old and even Plato did not believe the doctrine of endless torment that they used to keep the people in line, but their teaching which they did not believe were used by the Dark Age Catholic Church to put endless torment into the church.
The second coming of Christ and the resurrection has been made to have little or no value by the doctrine of all souls that had been in the dead going to Heaven at death, or after spending some time in Purgatory. The heart of the beliefs and hopes of the early church, the coming of Christ and the resurrection from the dead were put into the background. The Church was not faithful one day and an apostate church the next day. The falling away took centuries. There were many changes, and every change had many who fought it. But, the falling away did come. The teaching of Christ on the resurrection of the dead was replaced by the teaching of Plato (the Heathenizing of the church with the pagan teaching of an immortal soul). One by one, at first only a few in a congregation, but eventually the entire congregation were teaching the doctrines of man that destroyed the teaching of Christ.
(7). TERTULLIAN, often known as the father of the Latin Church. "How indeed, shall the soul mount up to heaven, where Christ is already sitting at the Father's right hand, when as yet the archangel's trumpet has not been heard by the command of God. When as yet those whom the coming of the Lord is to find on the earth, have not been caught up into the air to meet Him at His coming, in company with the dead in Christ, who shall be the first to arise? To no one is heaven opened." “Treatise on the Soul,” Chapter 55. The Catholic Church would now call anyone who teaches this a heretic (See 1 Thessalonians 4:13).
(8). MARTIN LUTHER, "Solomon judged that the dead are asleep, and feel nothing at all. For the dead lie there accomplishing nether days not years, but then they are awaked, they shall seem to have slept scarce one minute." "An exposition of ‘Ecclesiastes or the Preacher,’" 1573. In Luther's Defense, proposition 27. "Now, if one would say that Abraham's soul lives with God but his body is dead, this distinction is rubbish. I will attack it. One must say, 'The whole Abraham, the whole man shall live.' The other way you tear off a part of Abraham and say, 'It lives.' This is the way the philosophers speak: 'Afterward the soul departed from its domicile,' etc. That would be a silly soul if it were in heaven and desired its body." “Luther's Works,” Volume 54, page 447. Luther called the theory of the immortality of the soul the "monstrous fables that forms part of the Roman dunghill of decretals." E. Petavel, “The Problem of Immortality,” page 255.
(9). PAUL ALTHAUS, “The hope of the early church centered on the resurrection of the Last Day. It is this which first calls the dead into eternal life (1 Cor. 15; Phil. 3:21). This resurrection happens to the man and not only to the body. Paul speaks of the resurrection not ‘of the body’ but ‘of the dead.’ This understanding of the resurrection implicitly understands death as also affecting the whole man…Thus the original Biblical concepts have been replaced by ideas from Hellenistic Gnostic dualism. The New Testament idea of the resurrection, which affects the whole man, has had to give way to the immortality of the soul. The Last Day also loses its significance, for souls have received all that is decisively important long before this. Eschatological tension is no longer strongly directed to the day of Jesus’ Coming. The difference between this and the hope of the New Testament is very great.” “The Theology Of Martin Luther,” pages 413–414, 1966.
(10). JOHN WESLEY, "It is indeed generally supposed that the souls of good men as soon as dislodged from the body, go directly to heaven, but this opinion has not the least foundation in the oracles of God." From Wesley's sermon on Luke 16:23.
(11). WILLIAM TYNDALE translated the first English New Testament, "In putting them (sleeping souls) in heaven, hell or purgatory, you destroy the arguments wherewith Christ and Paul proves the resurrection...if the souls be in heaven, tell me why they be not in as good a case as the angels be? And then what cause is there of a resurrection...The true faith put forth the resurrection, which we be warned to look for every hour. The heathen philosophers, denying that, did put that the souls did ever live. And the pope join the spiritual doctrine of Christ and the fleshy doctrine of philosophers together: things so contrary that they cannot agree...And because the fleshy-minded pope consented unto heathen doctrine, therefore, he corrupted the Scripture to establish it. If the souls be in heaven, tell me why they be not in as good case as the angels be, and them what cause is there of the resurrection?" Book. 4, chapter 4, pages 108–109, 1530, and also in Burns, "Christian Moralism,” page 99. Tyndale (like Luther) said it was heathen philosophers and the Pope, not the Bible that taught, "Souls did ever live."
(12). JOHN DARBY, "We would express our conviction, then the idea of the immortality of the soul has no source in the gospel; that it comes, on the contrary, from the Platonists, and that it was just when the coming of Christ was denied in the church, or at least began to be lost sight of, that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul came in to replace that of the resurrection. This was about the time of Origen." "The Hopes of the Church of God," only in the early editions, in later editions what he said was changed by other persons.
Greek philosophy of an immortal soul was first bought into the church by a few of the so-called church fathers that were believers in the Greek philosophy, and were only partly converted. They knew more about the teaching of Plato than they did of Christ. It did not become commonly accepted unto after Tertullian in the third century. It was fought bitterly by Martin Luther, William Tyndale, and many others as being a part of the false Catholic doctrine. It was eventually accepted by most Protestant Churches, but only after a long fight. Most today know little or nothing of all this, and think the doctrine of an immortal soul was held by almost all, even back in the Old Testament.
NOTE: The teachings of many founders of the Protestant Reformation are an embarrassment to the Protestants Churches today, which bear their name and or claim them as their founders. The teaching of the churches they founded now makes them be heretics. Their own churches would now call anyone teaching the same as Luther and Wesley heretics.
Calvin might have been the leading influence in turning the Protestant Reformation back to Catholicism. Dr. Joseph Priestley said, "Had it not been for the authority of Calvin, who wrote expressly against soul sleep, the doctrine of an intermediate conscious state would, in all probability, have been as effectually exploded as the doctrine of purgatory itself." “Works,” Volume 5, page 229, 1818.
(13). JAMIESON, FAUSSET AND BROWN, "Nowhere is the immortality of the soul, distinct from the body, taught, A notion which many erroneously have derived from heathen philosophers. Scripture does not look for the anomalous state brought about by death, as the consummation to be earnestly looked for (2 Cor. 5:4), but the resurrection." Notes on 1 Corinthians 15:53.
(14). STRONG. "A breathing creature, i.e., animal..." word number 5315, "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible." A breathing creature is an earthly being, not an immortal no subject something, but who knows what the something is.
(15). W. E. VINE, "A Noun soul; self; life; person; heart...it occurs over 780 times in Old Testament...THE NOUN REFERS TO THE ESSENCE OF LIFE, THE ACT OF BREATHING, TAKING BREATH...in its primary sense the noun appears in its first occurrence in Gen 1:20; 'the moving creature that has life,' and in its second occurrence in Gen 2:7; 'living soul’... however, in over 400 later occurrences it is translated 'soul.' while this serves to make sense in most passages, IT IS AN UNFORTUNATE MISTRANSLATION OF THE TERM. The real difficulty of the term is seen in the inability of almost all English translations to find a consistent equivalent or even a small group of high-frequency equivalents for the term. The KJV alone uses over 28 different English terms for this one Hebrew word. THE PROBLEM WITH THE ENGLISH TERM ‘SOUL’ IS THAT NO ACTUAL EQUIVALENT OF THE TERM OR THE IDEA BEHIND IT IS REPRESENTED IN THE HEBREW LANGUAGE...in narrative or historical passages of the Old Testament, nepes can be translated as 'life' or 'self' as in Leviticus 17:11; 'for the life of the flesh is in the blood…the terms ‘body’ and ‘soul,’ which are really Greek and Latin in origin...needless to say, the reading 'soul' is meaningless in such a text...the versions very widely in the reading of nepes, with the more contemporary versions casting widely for meaning." Page 237 Old Testament, "Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary Of Old And New Testament Words." It did not change its meaning in the second part of the Old Testament, but the translators of the early English Bibles had to put in their beliefs which they did by mistranslating nshahamah into soul about 400 times of the over 780 times it is in the Old Testament, and later translators, those that are called "the major translations" have only partly gotten away from this mistakes, but a few of the latest translations have almost made it; they have reduced the number of times soul is was added by mistranslating from over 400 down to a very few times.
(16). THAYER, "1. Breath...a. the breath of life...b. life...2. The soul...a. the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions (our soul, heart, etc.)." "A Greek–English Lexicon Of The New Testament."
(17). ROBERT YOUNG, author of Young's Literal Translation of the Bible, "Animal soul...Nehphesh." Page 917 "It (nehphesh) does not denote the immortal part of man, but his animal life." "Young's Analytical Concordance To The Bible."
(18). FUNK AND WAGNALL ENCYCLOPEDIA, “The Christian doctrine of the immortal soul has been strongly influenced by pagans such as Plato and Aristotle.”
(19). ADAM CLARKE, "The doctrine of the resurrection appears to have been thought of much more consequence among the primitive Christians than it is now! How is this? The apostles were continually insisting on it, and exciting the followers of God to diligence, obedience, and cheerfulness through it. And their successors in the present day seldom mention it! So apostles preached, and so primitive Christians believed; so we preach, and so our hearers believe. There is not a doctrine in the gospel on which more stress is laid; and there is not a doctrine in the present system of preaching which is treated with more neglect." Commentary on I Corinthians 15.
(20). DR. SHIRLEY GUTHRIE, “The belief in the immortality of the soul. This doctrine was not taught by the biblical writers themselves, but was common in the (pagan) Greek and oriental religions of the ancient world in the Christian church was born. Some of the earliest Christian theologians were influenced by it, read the Bible in the light of it, and introduced it into the thinking of the church…According to this doctrine, my body will die but I myself will not really die…What happens to me at death, then, is that my immortal soul escapes from my mortal body. My body dies but I myself live on and return to spiritual realm from which I came and to which I really belong…Death dose not mean that the immortal divine part of us has departed to live on somewhere else. It means that life has left us, that our lives have come to an end…According to Scripture my soul is just as human, creaturely, finite–and mortal–as my body. It is simply the life of my body…We have no hope at all if our hope is in our own in-built immortality.” “Christian Doctrine,” page 378.