TOPIC: Tentmaker article against conditionalism
Re: Tentmaker article against conditionalism 2 years, 9 months ago #3262
Ok, I'm going to respond to this little by little, editing it over the next week or two as I have time. To the person who was looking for a response to a different article, I posted it above.
Eternal Death (Conditional Immortality, Annihilation):
One Step Out of Hell; One Step Short of Glory
By Gary Amirault
When it comes to the final destination of the wicked, or unrighteous, Christians over the past two millenniums have divided themselves into three beliefs: (The plural form is "millennia" not "millenniums". This may seem trivial at first since we all make mistakes but take into consideration that he made this error in the first sentence of his essay in what is probably his native language and will go on to talk about the finer points of Koine Greek.)1. Eternal Torment, 2. Eternal Death (Conditionalism, Annihilationism), and 3. Salvation of the whole world through Jesus Christ.(I'm not comfortable with that phraseology since it is not only Universalists who believe that Christ died to redeem the whole world. People who believe in eternal conscious torment as well as annihilationists might say that Christ died to redeem the whole world. The use of that language is hotly debated in conversations between synergists and monergists. Each of these views can be supported with Scriptures. Having been in all three groups, I know that there are sincere Bible centered believers in all of them. Obviously, all three cannot be true. Two of them have to be false.
This writing is primarily for Christians who have embraced the Doctrine of Conditional Mortality ( I think that he means Conditional Immortality), often referred to as "eternal death," conditionalism," or "annihihationism." Many who hold this view, have come to this conclusion because the "doctrine of eternal torment" was repugnant to them. They felt they could bow down to such a God, but could not truly love Him.(Many of us didn't and still believe that God would be just to do whatever He wants. ) I know most Christians who hold this view are Bible students, that is, they spend time in the Bible, and enjoy deep study. This writing is design for that kind of mind and attitude. Some of it is rather technical. It has to be. Having studied and been in all three camps regarding the outcome of the fate of the wicked, (eternal torment, eternal death, and the ultimate salvation of all mankind) I feel what is contained in this writing will be helpful to those who cannot love an Eternal Tormentor. (Many Traditionalists who believe in eternal torment would point out that God is not the one tormenting but that men choose to be in torment rather than be by God's side.)This work will also be useful to those holding a view other than eternal death, but the focus of the study is on passages used to support "eternal death." Therefore, I did not deal with many passages of scripture that the other two groups would perhaps want covered. I have other literature and audio tapes on the other viewpoints.
Several denominations, Bible study groups, and many millions of Christians believe and teach the doctrine of "Eternal Death." I know many Christians, even though they attend a main line Protestant or Catholic Church, do not believe God will really torture people forever. These often believe they will just go into unconsciousness never to wake. Millions of people who do not consider themselves Christians believe in "eternal death." Many atheists, agnostics, as well as other religions believe we will just return to dust. Is it Scriptural? It certainly is more merciful than "eternal torment," but can it stand on Scriptural ground? Let us see. (It's especially ironic that he would use the term "return to dust" and then ask if it is scriptural since that phraseology is a quotation from scripture describing what will happen to man when he dies. "By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return."
This study deals with the leading scriptures which are used to justify the "Doctrine of Eternal Death." I think that he meant to say "that are used" not "which are used." This error makes me less nervous about what I'm about to find as I continue to read than the previous one but I figured that I would point it out in case he wanted to correct it on his main article. We will look into the Greek and Hebrew words as well as the English verses used to teach this doctrine to see if this doctrine can stand up to a thorough test. After all, I think most people would agree, it would be much easier to love a God who just ends a life as opposed to One Who viciously tortures His own creatures. When we see this in a human being, we call them sick, but somehow we don't seem to have the nerve to call this kind of God "sick" also. The beginning of wisdom is to "fear" the Lord, so they say, but what kind of fear, terror or awe? I think that most anyone would point out that God as the creator, judge and sustainer of life has the right over a man's life that other human beings don't have. Moreover, it's hard to escape the idea that God holds power over a man's life in the scriptures.
Matthew 10:29-30"Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered"
Think of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot's wife, the first-born Egyptian Children, etc. etc. etc.
The word "annihilation" is used in this study as meaning that the ungodly, the wicked, the "unsaved," will be ultimately completely destroyed. The English words used in the scriptures to prove this teaching are destroy, perish, abolish, destruction, loss, etc. And words such as everlasting, eternal, and forever.
This teaching is not a new doctrine. It has been taught by some Christians throughout the history of the Christian Church.
In fact, the earliest church fathers seem to teach annihilationism in their writings.
It is a fact that many scriptures in English translations do teach the destruction of some people. In this study, we will consider the original Greek words translated, destroy, destruction, etc., and what these words meant at the time they were written. We will also look at the words translated everlasting, eternal, forever, world, age, damn etc. This study will not deny that "destruction" is taught in the English scriptures. We do, however, want to be certain what "destruction" meant to the original writers of the scriptures. We often read words in Bibles through our sectarian definitions.
It is usage of words that determines the meaning of words. The meaning of words are often changed as the word travels through the history of a people. The word "carriage" referred to "that which is carried" in King James England. Today, it refers to a vehicle that carries. The English word "let" was often used to mean "restrain" in King James English. Today, it has taken on the opposite meaning of "allow." These are a couple examples of thousands of occurrences of dramatic changes in word usage. The word "villain" used to mean someone who lived in a villa, a rural person. Obviously, that meaning has been completely replaced. This is why it is important to study the words in their historical and cultural sense. There are places in the King James Bible where one would actually completely change the meaning of the passage if one used today's definitions of certain words found in the King James Bible.
This study will include a study of the original Greek words and the English words, destroy, destruction, etc., as used in our Bibles. In order to compare the Greek with the English, we must have certain tools to work with. In this study, we must first have a good reference Bible. There are several good reference Bibles. One of the best as far as King James Versions go, is Dr. Bullinger's Companion Bible.
Fun facts about Dr. Bullinger:
Bullinger argued for mortality of the soul, the cessation of the soul between death and resurrection. While Bullinger did not express any views concerning the final state of the lost, many of his followers did hold to annihilationism. Purportedly, Bullinger was also a member of the Universal Zetetic Society.
The original texts of the Bible were inspired by the Creator, but no translation or version is inerrant. Now, I realize there will be readers who will differ with me on what I just said, but if you lay any of the ten leading English Bibles before me, it will be very easy to show differences in translation among them which involve key doctrinal issues. I will be more than happy to point out a few for those who do not believe me. Write me and I will send you examples.
We also do not have the original writings. When we translate, we translate from copies of copies of copies, often many generations away from the original. Since the copies were made by hand, there is not one copy today which agrees with another copy. This is a fact! If Christians were made aware of some of these things, perhaps they would spend more time in study and less time watching the Super Bowl, or the soaps.
There is no key doctrinal issue that is completely dependent upon a particular text that is currently in contention. It sounds to me like hes been listening to a lot of Bart Ehrman. He would do himself a favor to listen to Ehrman's debate with James White who was able to show that we a very, very, very good idea of what was in the original manuscripts and that there is no key doctrinal issue that is in contention because of any one particular text. The vast, vast majority of the discrepancies in the manuscripts are things like abbreviations, spelling errors or inverted phrases. The truth is that the writings of the new testament were spread geometrically(not linearly like the game of telephone) and very quickly and we have the richest manuscript history of any ancient text. Not only do we have an incredible amount of ancient manuscripts in several languages but we have an incredible amount of quotations of the text from early church fathers, enough to practically rebuilt the text of the new testament from their quotations alone.
It seems to me that the author of this document is taking the same approach that I have heard many Muslims take. They attack the accuracy of the text itself because their view is not consistent with the text and has to denigrate the reliability of the text for it to prop itself up. By painting the text of scripture as a mishmash where any manuscript is as good as any other he sets himself up to pick and choose whichever little bit of translation he likes best. This is not how it works. That's not how a modern version chooses how to make it's translation and it's not how you should read the bible.
A reference Bible that shows some of the variants of different manuscripts is very helpful. Also, a good concordance to the translation you are using is essential. Notice I said a "good" concordance. Many Christians do not even realize that each translation requires it's own concordance. The famous Strong's Concordance is only useful for the King James Translation. Should you be using the KJV, I recommend using the Young's Concordance over the Strong's Concordance because it is much easier to see the original words in the context of the sentences in which they are located. Mr. Young was also brave enough to make notice of places where he believes the King James translators made some grave mistakes. He also wrote a literal Bible translation which is very useful. I highly encourage at this time, for the reader to get their concordance and use it as we go through the following word study. Although, I personally think the KJV is a terrible translation to use in the twentieth century, we will use it for this study because most people have one and a concordance that works with the King James Bible. The truth can be found even in archaic translations if one searches honestly.
Many of the passages below which deal with the Greek language have been taken almost word for word from audio tapes prepared by Louis Abbott from Stover, Missouri. Mr. Abbott has the largest library of New Testament Greek references of anyone I know. Many Bible colleges and seminaries do not have many of the books he possesses. Mr. Abbott spends most of his evenings and weekends reading and studying Greek. He has studied these particular words more than anyone I know. An objective reading of his findings would serve us all well. I've never heard of the guy and can't find any information about him.
We hear the words "eternal death" in Christian creeds. Although many Christians use these words, the words "eternal death" are not in the scriptures. Again, I repeat, the words "eternal death" are not in our Bibles. Therefore, to study the teaching of "annihilation" or "eternal death" we will have to look for other words to study, "eternal death" is nowhere to be found.
Who said it was? The concept is certainly there though and he's right in pointing out that there were early christian's who understood that to be the teaching of scripture and that the phrase was used, oddly enough, even by traditionalists like St. Augustine.
The opposite of life is death and the opposite of death is life. According to the scriptures, there cannot be an eternal death. The scriptures declare an "end" to death. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." (1 Cor. 15:26, KJV) Let us see that "death" cannot be "eternal."
Actually, that is very much the dynamic presented by scripture. Two choices. Life and death. When it talks about an "end" to death, the concept being presented there is that at some point people will no longer die and that the dead will be raised, the wicked judged and that the dead in Christ will live forever. It is not trying to express the idea that all people will have eternal life. This is not the case at all. If you read the text there it is clear that the LAST enemy to be done away with is death. All of the other "enemies" are vanquished first. That means that suffering and pain and even the wicked will be done away with before death is. This is because the text there is not depicting a God who has transformed death and his enemies but a God who has done away with them.
Read this again in conjunction with Revelation 19 and 20 where God recreates the world and does away with suffering, throwing death and Hades and all of the wicked into a fiery pit that represents their destruction. Whatever happens to death is what happens to the wicked. They meet the same fate in the text. The idea is that the righteous and the wicked will be raised and all of the bad things and bad people will be done away with forever.
Scripture is very clear in teaching that immortality is granted only to those who place their faith in Christ and that there are people who will not place their faith in Christ and that these people will not receive immortality.
Ok, break time. Check back later.
Resurrection Versus "Being Made Alive"
The Greek word translated destroy in the above scripture (1Cor. 15:26,27) is not "apollumi." The word used here is "katageo" and means to nullify, discard, exempt, abolish, to make unproductive. This "last enemy" of Christ will ultimately be "nullified, discarded, abolished, or destroyed." Therefore, this clearly teaches that death is the last enemy and that in the future "death" will be destroyed. Hence, there can be no "eternal death." To teach an "eternal death" is to contradict the scriptures.
How will death be destroyed? Paul give the answer in the context, "For as in Adam all die, even so, in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Cor. 15:22, KJV) Now I know that some say that Paul is teaching in this verse that all will be resurrected, but the word used by Paul is "zoopoiethesontai" and this is a future passive verb meaning to vivify, to make alive beyond the reach of death. The Greek word "anastasis" means resurrection and is used in verse 21. We know that Jesus resurrected several people as recorded in the Gospels, but that does not mean they received unending life at that point. 1 Corinthians 15:22-28 teaches that there are three classes of orders that will be made alive. First, Christ, the first fruit. The word "first fruit" is singular in the Greek, not first fruits plural as in the King James Version. Second, they that are Christ's at His coming (Greek, parousia, appearing). This class includes all the Christians dead or alive. (See 1 Thess. 4:13-18) The third class is referred to as "then cometh the end." This includes the residue of all mankind who died in Adam. This is clearly taught in 1 Cor. 15:22-28. Therefore, these scriptures teach that all mankind who die in Adam will be made alive in Christ and I repeat, this is not resurrection. Unfortunately, many translations put a period between the second and third order of being made alive. The Greek does not have a period here. (1 Cor. 15:23,24) It is supplied by some translators.
The scriptures teach that all will be resurrected. (Study John 5:28,29) The dead in Christ when made alive will be resurrected as being "made alive" which includes resurrection but being "made alive" means more than resurrection. "Made alive" means make alive beyond death. May I remind you that not all Christians will be resurrected. Many Christians will be alive when Christ returns. Therefore, living Christians will not be resurrected, but they will be made alive or vivified. Notice these scriptures: "Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. For the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality." (1 Cor. 15:51-53) "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep,. That ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words." (1 Thess. 4:13-18, KJV; here is an example of a KJV word "prevent" which has completely lost its meaning. In the 1600's the word meant "precede," not "hinder.")
It is most important to remember vivification or being made alive cannot be limited to resurrection of the dead. Resurrection is limited to the dead. You cannot resurrect the living, yet the living in Christ will be "made alive" at Christ's coming (Gr. Parousia). I am speaking of the literal meaning of the resurrection. I do not want to dwell any longer on these words as our subject is "destruction."
There are two elements one needs to determine the meaning of a word which has been important over a long period of time: 1. The original meaning of the root word from which it is derived, so far as we are able to determine. 2. The history of the word as it passes from one generation to another. Other languages, social pressures, or one important person's or an institution's variant use of the word whose definition sticks with that word.
When we go back to the earliest uses of the word "apollumi," "apolleia" and their cognates, we find the words very indistinguishable from each other. We find the word in Homer where the "slayers and the slain" were "perishing from the world," but they reappear in Hades as persons capable of sorrow, joy and the ability to think. (Iliad 24:725) "We were 'undone' by their wisdom," says Odysseus. (Od. 10:27) According to Professor Plumtree, he knows of no passages in the earliest uses of these words which would mean destruction of conscious existence. (The Spirits in Prison, E.H. Plumtree) Searching the Greek Old Testament called the Septuagint, we find exactly the same usage of these words that we find in the New Testament. Below are examples of how these words were used in the Biblical sense.
Those who teach "eternal death" or "annihilation" believe the Greek words translated "destroy," "perish," "loss," mean cessation or end of life with no hope of recovery at a later time. The original words used in the Greek New Testament are: the verb "apollumi," and the noun, "apolleia." The verb "apollumi" is translated as follows in the King James Version: perish (33 times), destroy (46 times), lose (42 times), be lost (5 times), lost (4 times), bemarred (1 time), die (1 time), for a total of 92 times. The noun "apolleia" is translated as follows in the King James Version: perdition (8 times), destruction (5 times), waste (2 times), damnable (1 time), damnation (1 time), to die (1 time), perish (1 time), pernicious way (1 time), for a total of 40 times.
It is important that Christians understand the meaning of these two Greek words. An improper understanding of these words will result in an inaccurate faith in the destiny of the unbelievers and an inaccurate understanding of God's plan and love. To apply these words to the final destiny of the unbelievers will result in the denial of many scriptures that do refer to the ultimate plan of God's love. I recommend that you check the following scriptures with your concordances. It is not practical for me to quote over 110 verses. Therefore, I will quote only those passages used by those who are teaching that these words mean "destruction with no future resurrection to immortality."
First of all, let me state that I believe the original Hebrew and Greek scriptures were inspired by God. I believe the Creator allowed imperfect man to add his imperfections into Bible translations. When we look at the apostles and prophets, we quickly notice they were far from perfect, and yet were still mightily used. We see Peter, years after he received the Holy Spirit, play the hypocrite when being around gentiles. Paul had to rebuke him to his face. We read Paul saying, "I, not the Lord, say . . ." We find this in the scriptures in 1 Corinthians 7:12. I believe the Creator left us with imperfect English translations that we might rely on the Holy Spirit first. When one puts the scriptures above being lead by the Spirit, religious rigor mortus quickly sets in. The letter of the law produces death apart from the Holy Spirit quickening to us. This is true whether it is the Old Testament or New Testament. If one's witness in this world does not go past the Written Word, it will only be a witness to religious death . . . not life.
When quoting the scriptures contained herein, I will read the King James Version, and immediately after the English word, I will quote the original Greek vocabulary word. Thus the listener will know the original inspired word. By this method, I believe that Christians who do not know Greek will be able to understand how these words are used in the inspired text. I will quote verses that will clearly illustrate what these two Greek words mean.
The meaning of a word depends on its usage. Words get their color from their context. Without any dictionary whatever, it is possible to determine the meaning of almost any word if it is seen in a dozen sentences. From this we made deduce the notable conclusion that the actual and understood meaning of a Greek or English word in the Bible is not necessarily its current or dictionary meaning, but that which it absorbs from the passage in which it is found. A dictionary simply records the usage as employed by careful writers of the time for which the dictionary is written.
The word "destruction" is one of the key words of the scriptures. Hence, no amount of investigation is excessive if it provides us with a clear comprehension of its meaning. There have been endless discussions about this word resulting in diverging schools of interpretation. But most of the discussions that I have studied, do not give a satisfactory answer to all of the scriptures.
The argument has been propounded that the first occurrence of a word in the scriptures fixes its primary meaning thus the first occurrence of "apollumi" is Matthew 2:13. "Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him." In this context, it is argued that "apollumi" means deprivation of life. Now what is this first occurrence of this word in the Greek New Testament. As to chronological time, Paul was the first to put "apollumi" into the scriptures; see 2 Thessalonians 2:10. Matthew did not write until later. Was it necessary for the Thessalonians to wait until Matthew was written in order to know its meaning? It is not at all logical to argue that the vocabulary of the Greek scriptures was not defined until the Gospels were written. Let us test this theory.
The Greek noun "ta Biblion" is the diminutive form of "ha Biblios." Ha Biblios means a written volume, a scroll. The diminutive "Biblion" means a scrollet or scroll. In Matthew 19:7, its first occurrence, it is a short legal instrument what we call a divorce paper. This is not its primary or usual meaning. For it is used to describe the book of Isaiah and the book of Revelation (see Luke 4:17 and Rev 22:19). Thus in usage this is applied to any book even a large one.
Here is an excellent example from the Old Testament. For instance, there is much controversy as to the meaning of the word "sin." No occurrence is an illustration better than in Judges 20:16. "Among all this people there were 700 chosen men left handed; every one could sling stones at a hairs breadth and not miss." The Septuagint reads: "Kai ouk examartanontes." Therefore, sin in this context, is missing the mark. This literal etymological meaning is worth more than all the arguments which can be advanced. What a mistake it would be to reason from its first occurrence in Genesis 26 that its primary meaning confines it to social trespasses. It would greatly distort the meaning of Judges 20:16, if that meaning were applied to the word "sin" in this context. The only sound system of determining the primary meaning of any word in the scriptures is to study all its occurrences and to inject nothing into its meaning which clashes with any of its contexts.
Again, I ask the reader to study these two words "apollumi" and "apolleia" in a concordance that lists all of the occurrences of these words. This is the only method to know the true primary meaning of these words. The argument that "destroy" in Matthew 2:13 means "deprive of live" is an unfounded inference. "Deprive of life" would partially define the following Greek words. I quote the Greek word first followed with a literal English translation. "Apokteino" (kill), "sphatto" (slay), "onireko" (dispatch, assassinate, massacre), "phoneuo" (murder). Every occurrence of these words actually mean "to deprive of life."
"Destroy, perish, (apollumi) are used of things which have no life. "Wine runneth out and the bottles perish (apollumi)." (Matt. 9:17, see also Mark 2:22, Luke 5:37) Skinned bottles do not die when they perish. "Verily I say unto you he shall in no wise lose (apollumi) his reward." Matt. 10:42 (Compare Mark 9:41) A reward is not mortal. "That the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perish (apollumi)" (1 Peter 1:7, compare Luke 15: Gold and money may perish and be lost but they are not deprived of life. The words which actually do mean "to deprive of life" could not be used in these verses. Neither the primary nor secondary nor any other meaning of "destroy" demands that life be taken. This is entirely a matter of the context. It is not included in the meaning of the words "apollumi" and "apolleia."
"Apollumi" is used of that which is alive. "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose (apollumi) one of them, does not leave the 99 in the wilderness and go after that which is lost (apollumi) until he find it. And when he has found it he layeth it on his shoulders rejoicing. And when he commeth home he calls together his friends and neighbors saying unto them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost (apollumi).'" (Luke 15:4-6) If the lost (apollumi) sheep had been deprived of life, would the shepherd have rejoiced when he found the carcass? The word "apollumi" occurs 8 times in Luke chapter 15. See verses 4, 6,8,9,17,24, and 32. Not one of these occurrences means to deprive of life. Our Lord directed His disciples "Go rather to the lost (apollumi) sheep of the house of Israel." (Matt. 10:6) The lost" sheep of Israel were no more dead than the "lost" destroyed sheep which the shepherd sought and found.
A word, whose primary meaning is to deprive of life cannot have a secondary meaning of a state of life. Life is not a secondary meaning of death. Our Lord said to His disciples, "He that findeth his life (psuche, soul) shall lose it, and he that loses (apollumi) his life (psuche, soul) shall find it." (Matt. 10:39, compare Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, and 17:33) Is our Lord urging them to commit suicide? The text refers to the destruction of the soul. Please note the Greek text reads "psuche" soul, not "zoe" life, as the King's translators translated this passage. The destruction of the soul does not mean death, it means to forgo the pleasure of life and endure the suffering due to faithfulness to Christ. Surely, no one will argue that "He that loses (apollumi) his soul" for Christ will be destroyed without hope of life later. Many Christians martyrs were destroyed by burning at the stake. Their souls were destroyed but who will argue that they will not be resurrected in the future and enjoy immortality.
I believe there is one paramount scripture that should teach us what the word "apollumi" means. "For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost (apollumi)." (Luke 19:10) This passage refers specifically to Zacchaeus; he was lost, destroyed. Because he was lost, he was ready to be found and saved. The theory of most false definitions of "apollumi" is to prove that the word means "death" from which there is no resurrection, practical annihilation, a state from which salvation is impossible. This passage directly destroys this theory. Instead of the lost being beyond salvation, they alone are eligible for salvation. You cannot rescue a man who is save and sound. It is only when a man is in the state denoted by "apollumi" that salvation can operate in his behalf. Antithetical statements such as this are of great value in the study of words. The terms "seek" and "save," are accurate indications of the opposite of destroy. One who is "destroyed" must be lost or no one would seek him. He must be in a state which calls for salvation or Christ would not have come for him. This proves that destruction is a salvable condition, not a state beyond the reach of deliverance. Add to this the fact only the "lost" are "saved" and it reverses the usual theory of "destruction." God seeks what he has "lost." It is a sad fact that most Christians believe that Jesus is seeking to save the "lost" yet on the other hand they do not believe that He will save the "lost." They do not believe that Jesus will save "lost" mankind. Thus Jesus will not be successful in seeking and saving the lost.
"Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished (apollumi)." (1 Cor. 15:18) Are the Christians who are now sleeping deprived of future life? They are at present time "perished." They are now deprived of life, but in the future, they will be resurrected to life that is immortal.
"But if thy brother be grieve with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitable, destroy (apollumi) not him with thy meat for whom Christ died." (Rom. 14:15, compare 1 Cor. 8:11) According to these scriptures, we can destroy one of our brethren by eating foods which he deems unclean. Does our eating deprive him of life? That would be an easy way to commit legal murder.
Destruction is a relative term. The coin was lost in relation to the woman. (Luke 15:8,9) The sheep was destroyed as regards to the shepherd. (Luke 15:4-7) The prodigal son had perished in relation to his father. (Luke 15:11-32) So with the destroyed sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt. 10:5,6) They were not deprived of life, they were away from the great shepherd, their Creator. The prodigals were far off from their father who created them, who loves them, who commissioned His Son Jesus to come to seek and save them. Does this prove they were outside of this affair of salvation? It proves the opposite. Destruction is a prelude to salvation. It never means ultimate annihilation.
The method of destruction or losing is not included in the meaning of the word. It varies with the context. Those who use the sword "shall perish" (apollumi) with the sword." (Matt. 26:52) "But the chief priest and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy (apollumi) Jesus." (Matt. 27:20) Destroy Jesus? Thus our Lord was destroyed by crucifixion. Who will argue that the destruction of Jesus was annihilation? Jesus was only destroyed 3 days and nights, and He returned to life and has immortality.
The disciples were afraid that they would perish by drowning. (Mark 4:38) The sheep was destroyed by straying. ( Luke 15:4) The prodigal son was lost for the same reason. (Luke 15:24) The fragments that remain would have been lost (apollumi) by neglect. (John 6:12) Food perished (apollumi) by decay. (John 6:27) We may destroy a brother by means of food. (Romans 14:15) We may destroy a weak saint by our knowledge. (1 Cor. 8:11) Especially note the last two passages since they apply to believers in Christ. Can we "annihilate" one of our own brothers with food? Christians saved in Christ may be lost or destroyed. God ultimately will not put out of existence those who are lost. God commends His love to us in that He gave His Son Christ Jesus while we were still sinners. (Romans 5: Our Lord spoke the parable of the Lost Sheep in order to assure His disciples that God was concerned about the one sheep that had strayed. There is no line that the sinner crosses that brings him beyond the reach of God. Neither life, nor death, nor destruction, neither a career of sin, nor a decaying corpse is any obstacle to Divine Love. Nay, they are challenges which omnipotence must victoriously conquer or suffer defeat. No death, either first or second, can cope with our God or frustrate His purpose. Study Ephesians 1:9-11, Isaiah 46:8-13.
Everyone who has lost anything will bear me witness that the moment it is missing, it assumes an interest and importance which it never had before. Its value increases and we desire it more than ever. Its loss, instead of breaking our connection with it, forges a new link which did not exist before. This becomes tragically true when we lose a loved one. Loss alone brings a realization of the preciousness of possession. Let us never imagine that God is not concerned about the lost; that He is insensible to their condition, or that He would sit complacently by and see them rush to endless oblivion, if He could do anything to head them off. There are a million ways in which we could do this if we had but a tenth of His power. God is able. If the reader of this message will not acknowledge this, he must wait until God makes him realize this.
"Ha Theos agape estin," God is love and all His creatures are dear to Him. Is it not striking that He does not even try to express His affection until they are lost? Whom does God love? He undoubtedly loves all. Whom does He say He loves? God loves the world, (John 3:16) and sinners and His enemies, (Romans 5:8, 1 Cor. 15:22-28) and those who are lost. In God's wisdom, He has decreed that many shall be lost to Him until the end of the ages. Men are often compelled to abandon an enterprise which proved too much for their power. Image that God is also compelled to abandon His "will to have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth?" (1 Tim. 2:4, compare 1 Tim. 4:9-11) Thus God is unable to save all? Or being able He does not? These errors have polluted the minds of millions of men that they have corrupted the Scriptures to teach everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46) or everlasting destruction, (2 Thess. 1:8,9) and neither of these translations are correct.
Men are sometimes compelled to kill an animal to put it out of pain. They would not do so if they could cure it. Is our God like this? Is God impotent, powerless to cope with those who are destroyed? All that man can do is kill. They cannot recall from death. Is God also limited like we are? Christ proclaimed Himself as the resurrection and the life. Is the Creator unable to make man respond to His unconditional love? Is His love so repugnant or powerless that it can not loose those enchained to hate, fear, ignorance, etc.?
The Greek noun "apolleia" is in the Greek text which the King's translators used in Acts 25:16 which reads: "To whom I answered, it is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die (apolleia)." Many scriptures clearly teach that all the dead will be resurrected for judgment. (See Daniel 12:1-3, John 5:28,29, Acts 24:15, Rev. 20:11-15) Therefore those delivered by the Romans to die will be resurrected to life. A Christian martyr is resurrected unto immortality. The sinners, the unbelievers are resurrected to judgment. But death is not the ultimate destiny of any man. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." (1 Cor. 15:26) How will death be abolished? The context gives the answer. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Cor.15:22) According to the historians, Paul was later to die at the hands of the Romans and surely will not ultimately be destroyed.
his word , apolleia, is also translated into damnable, damnation, perdition, destruction, pernicious, waste, and perish long with the above meaning of "to die." Those of you who believe in "annihilation" should know that it doesn't matter how bad the word may sound if it only applies to a person before the second death. The resurrection will raise everyone up and give them an opportunity to "get it right." But for those of you who lean toward "eternal punishment,' this study of the word "damn" should prove worthwhile.
I will begin with a large quote from a book entitled Mercy and Judgment by F.W. Farrar, a canon of the Anglican Church. He writes on page 369:
The words "damn" and its derivatives do not once occur in the Old Testament. In the New Testament they are the exceptional and arbitrary translation of two Greek verbs or their derivatives; which occur 308 times. These words are "apollumi" and "krino." "Apolleia" (destruction or waste) is once rendered "damnation" and once "damnable." (2 Peter 2:3, and 2 Peter 2:1); "krino," (judge) occurs 114 times, and is only once rendered "damned." (1 Thess. 2:12). "Krima, (judgment or sentence) occurs 24 time, and is 7 times rendered "damnation." "KataKrino," (I condemn) occurs 24 times, and is twice only rendered "be damned."
Now turn to a modern dictionary, and you will see "damnation" defined as "exclusion from divine mercy; condemnation to eternal punishment." In common usage the word has no other sense.
But to say that such is the necessary meaning of the words which are rendered by "damn" and "damnation," is to say what is absurdly and even wickedly false. It is to say that a widow who marries again must be damned to endless torments (1 Tim. 5:12, "having damnation," krima), although St. Paul expressly recommends young widows to do so two verses later on. It is to say that everyone who ever eats the Lord's Supper unworthily, eats and drinks "eternal punishment" to himself, though St. Paul adds, almost in the next verse, that the judgment (krima) is disciplinary or educational, to save us from condemnation. (1 Cor. 11:29-34) It is to say that "the Day of Judgment" ought to be called "Day of Damnation." (John 5:29) It is curious that our translators have chosen this most unfortunate variation of "damn" and its cognates only fifteen times out of upwards of two hundred times that krino and its cognates occur; and that they have used it for "krisis" and "krima," not for the stronger compounds "katakrima," etc. The translators, however, may not be to blame. It is probable that "damn" was once a milder word than condemn, and had a far milder meaning than that which modern eschatology has furnished to modern blasphemy. We find from an Act passed when a John Russell was Chancellor (in the reign of Richard III or Henry VII.), that the sanction of an Act against extorted benevolences is called "a damnation"--that is, "the infliction of a loss." This is the true etymological meaning of the word, as derived from damnum, "a loss"; and this original meaning is still found in such words as "damnify," "indemnify," and "indemnity." In the margin of I Cor. 11:29, we find "judgment" for "damnation"; whereas in verse 32 the "judgment" of the Lord is milder than His" condemnation." Dr. Hey, in his lecture on the Ninth Article, thinks that the phrase, "it deserveth God's wrath and damnation," is used in the milder sense of the word which was originally prevalent. However this may be, the word has, as the Bishop of Chester says, undergone a modification of meaning from the lapse of time, and it is an unmixed gain that both it and its congeners will wholly disappear from the revised version of the English Bible. "Judgment" and "condemnation" are the true representatives of krisis and katakrisis, and they are not steeped, like the word "damnation," in a mass of associated conceptions which do not naturally or properly belong to them. Equally unfortunate is the word "hell."
The above was written in 1881, the year the first revision of the King James Bible appeared. It appears the author above, in his prediction about the "damn" words being removed from the revision was true. Checking a Revised Standard Concordance, I discovered the "damn" words were gone. To show you the above scholars were correct in tracing the "damn" word, I will quote from a modern dictionary of word origins by John Ayto. It is entitled Dictionary of Word Origins published in 1990.
Damn Damn comes via Old French "damner" from Latin "damnare," a derivative of the noun "damnum." This originally meant 'loss, harm' (it is the source of English 'damage'), but the verb "damnare" soon spread its application to 'pronounce judgment upon,' in both the legal and the theological sense. These meanings (reflected also in the derived 'condemn') followed the verb through Old French into English, which dropped the strict legal sense around the 16th century but has persisted with the theological one and its more profane offshoots. Condemn, damage, indemnity.
In conclusion, I must repeat that these words "apollumi" and "apolleia" like so many other words such as "krima," "krino," and "krisis" are relative terms. The first two words usually carry the sense of loss by someone. God is the great loser in many of their occurrences. The coin was lost by the woman, the sheep was lost by the shepherd, the prodigal son was lost by the father, Israel was lost by Yahweh, men are lost by God. Who was it that created them? Are they not His work? Will He not be the loser if they are not saved?
Almost all the reasoning about the words translated "destruction" fails to recognize the deity of God. We are asked to consider the fate of wineskins which were destroyed. We are told that as wineskins they past out of existence. Therefore, those who teach annihilation say, men pass out of existence as such when they are destroyed. The fact that these words "apollumi" and "apolleia" are never used of the second death in which this final destruction is supposed to take place should show the fallacy of this reasoning. The fact that all who are destroyed or lost are resurrected to be judged, absolutely refutes the idea of any final destruction. In the theory of annihilation, God is left out of it. We should not equate men losing wineskins to God losing men. Who lost the wineskins? Who lost the men?" Suppose we are not able to recover what we lost. Is that proof that God cannot do so? Are we the equals of the Creator? Did anything originate with us? Why then reason about God as though He were unable to find and save what He has lost. God can recall His creatures from the tomb, can we? All mankind was lost and all mankind will be justified and made alive by God. Study Roman 5:18,19 and 1 Cor. 15:22-28 and Col. 1:16-20.
When we touched the "damn" words (because apolleia was translated as such a couple of times), we found that changes in our English language combined with theological tamperings, have introduced words into our Bibles that no longer convey the true spirit in which the original writers wrote. The word "hell" has almost completely disappeared in most Bible translations. Many of the religiously tainted renderings found in our Bibles are being removed. This is coming about because we are beginning to bypass the inadequate scholarship of the dark ages and reformation which was plagued with superstition and medieval concepts. Due to discoveries such as those found at Qumran, Israel and the deserts of Egypt, we are able to get closer to the original manuscripts and the original meaning of the Greek and Hebrew words contained in the Bible. For more information about words in some of our Bibles which do not faithfully convey the original meaning, write for the audio tape, A Word About The Word.
There is no reasoning so utterly vain as that which uses one passage of scripture in order to destroy our faith in another. Correctly translated and interpreted with the help of the Holy Spirit, there is no conflict in the Word of God. Matt. 10:28 says, "And fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul but rather fear Him Who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Greek, Gehenna)." These words are supposed to prove ultimate destruction of sinners. In this passage, our Lord is speaking to His disciples regarding the suffering required for entrance into the kingdom. Men will hate them and kill them. Literally death always effects body, soul, and spirit, but our Lord is speaking of their experiences, what they will suffer for His sake. Men will slay them. James and Peter were killed. After they were killed, they suffered no more. In a very real sense, those who killed their bodies ushered their souls into the kingdom without further pain. Speaking of God being able to destroy both body and soul, He is able to do many things, but that does not mean He will do them. He is able to blot a name out of the Lamb's book of life. You are able to stick a dagger into your right eye, but that doesn't mean that you ever will. Be careful what you tell the world that the Creator is going to do. You may find yourself adding to His Word. To be able to do something is not the same as actually doing it.
Every Christian was once lost, destroyed. Not only was this no hindrance to their deliverance, but it was absolutely essential to it. God had lost them. Through Christ, God has found and saved them. The same is true of those who are not now saved. Please remember there is not one except Jesus Christ, who was not lost and had need of a Savior. Some God will call tomorrow, many He will not call until another age. God has definitely declared that He is the Savior of all mankind. (Study 1 Tim. 2:3-6, 4:9-11) Since God has lost them and He has said He will save them, they will be saved in their own order. (Study 1 Cor. 15:22-28.)
Destruction, like aionian life, is relative to the eons or the ages. After the eons, all will be vivified. The word used in 1 Cor. 15:22 is not resurrection (anastasias). As mentioned before, the word used is the Greek "zoopoieo" which means to vivify, to make alive, to be made immortal. The apostle Paul tells us very clearly in that verse that all that are dying in Adam, the same all, will be or shall be made alive in Christ. Neither destruction nor aionian life are the end or aim of God. Imagine a God Whose very essence is love, losing a single creature who has an endless capacity of loving and glorifying Him. To create a creature whose purpose is to manifest the image of God, and then destroy it because it did not live up to the Creator's expectations sounds like something Hollywood would dream up. It sounds like a Frankenstein movie. Is this what God has produced? An error? Then God is sinful. He missed the mark, His purpose, His creation is flawed. What foolish thinking this is! We do not have such a God; He destroys nothing that He cannot restore. He loses nothing that will not return to Him. Destruction is a passing process, not a finished goal. What He destroys is our life to sin that we might live to Him who is Life! First comes death from which He brings life. We produces a field well fertilized with death and then He plants His seed in it to produce life. He produced the exact amount of death to produce the exact amount of Life He intended. Believe me, our Father wastes nothing! Through destruction, God will work out the welfare of His creatures and bring unending glory to our Savior and Creator.
I know that the scriptures say that God loves the world, thus all mankind, and that God's love will never fail. (Study 1 Cor. 13.) Therefore, God will resurrect all sinners and judge them and ultimately save them all. We forget that when God's judgments are in the earth, the world will learn righteousness. (Isa. 26:9) This is God's will and He will not be defeated. God's love will be victorious. The scriptures clearly teach that the lost will be judged in accord with their works. "For the Son of Man shall come in the Glory of His Father with His angels and then He shall reward every man according to his works." (Matt. 17:27) And again, "Who will render every man according to his deeds." (Rom. 2:6) And again, "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it and death and hell (Hades) delivered up the dead which were in them. And they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell (hades) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." (Rev. 20:13,14) Hence all at the Great White Throne Judgment will be judged according to their works and as every man's works are different, thus every one's judgment will be as variable as their works. Thereafter, they are returned to the second death which is the lake of fire. There is no variance in the second death. It is the same for all thus it cannot be the judgment according to works.
Many teach that the lake of fire is a place where the sinners are alive and consciously suffering endless misery. On the other hand, many are teaching that the lake of fire is endless destruction. Both of these doctrines are making God the loser of some or most of His creation. He came to "seek and save that which was lost," but apparently He will fail to fulfill His mission. (Luke 19:10) "Who will have all men to come into the knowledge of the truth, Who is the savior of all men." (1 Tim. 2:3, 4:10) God says,
"I am God and there is none like me declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done saying 'My counsel shall stand and I will do all my pleasure calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country. Yea, I have spoken it. I will also bring it to pass. I have proposed it; I will also do it." (Isa. 46:9-11)
Hence God declares He will do all His pleasure. He has proposed it and will bring it to pass. Notice this quotation in which God says through the apostle Paul,
"Having made known unto us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure which He has proposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of time He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth even in Him in Whom also we have obtained an inheritance being predestined according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." (Eph. 1:9,10)
Therefore it is the good pleasure which God has proposed in Himself to have an administration in the fullness of the era to head up all in the Christ. See the Greek text. Thus in the scriptures we have grace which exhibits God's glory and results in forgiveness and salvation to all. (See Phil. 2:9-13, Col. :16-20)
In these verses in Colossians chapter one we have the word all used 7 times in the King James Version. All Christians will accept all of these all's through verse 16, 17, 18, 19, but when we come to verse 20, they argue that it cannot be. God is not going to reconcile all, they say. (Greek, ta panta). Now, I ask you is this being fair to God's word? Verse 16 says He creates all and we have many other passages of scriptures which tell us He creates all, but yet, they will reject verse 20 where He says He will reconcile all. Again, I ask, is that being fair to scripture? Why not believe the scriptures? We go to church, hear that beautiful hymn, There is Power in the Blood, yet we do not believe there is enough power to do what Colossians 1:20 tells us, that is, to reconcile all.
If one refused to believe these plain statements in the scriptures, then they will have to wait until God displays He marvelous grace in the coming administration. Then they will see His grace displayed and this can be expressed in three words: seeing is believing. Therefore, I assume, in spite of the dozens of scriptures that teach God loves all and will reconcile all, many people will have to see God's grace manifested before they will believe.
But men make God's love to narrow
by false limits of their own
and they magnify His vengeance
with a zeal He will not own.
Remember, our Lord Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This He said signifying what death He should die." (John 12:32,33) We know Jesus was lifted up on Calvary. Why not believe these clear plain words of our Savior and also the words of apostle Paul where he says, "all will be reconciled" (Col. 1:20) "all will be justified" (Rom. 5:18,19), "and all shall be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:22). Why not believe these clear plain statements. Why argue that these plain statements are not true. There can be no statements in the scriptures correctly interpreted and translated that contradict this glorious truth of the salvation of all people.
2 THESSALONIANS 1:7-10
Another scripture in the King James Version used to teach annihilation is:
"and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when He shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all of them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. (1 Thess. 1:7-10, KJV)
Question: Do the Greek words translated by the King's translators "everlasting" and "destruction" mean a condition from which there is no hope of a future life?
First let us look at the word translated "everlasting." The following few pages should clearly show that some English translators of the Bible have caused some serious problems for Christians and the rest of the world. It will be shown that a little four letter word can totally change the character of the Creator and our relationship to Him. May translations of the future be more faithful to the Greek and Hebrew languages and to the nature of the Creator of us all which is love, a love which the most eloquent of words cannot describe. This one little four letter word, mistranslated by many Bible translations has tarnish His Character to where an earthly father's love exceeds that of the Creator's. After all, few earthly fathers would burn their children in a barbecue pit for even a few hours. Many modern Bibles portray the Father of all mankind torturing most of mankind not for just a few hours, but for all eternity. According to the majority view of church theology, He will not change His mind in this area, it is a finished deal. Let us see if the Greek and Hebrew texts bears this out.
The word "aion" in the New Testament in Matthew 24:3 is translated "world" in the King James Version. As we can see from the other versions below, scholars now believe it should have been translated "age."
"Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the world?" (KJV)
"Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (New KJV)
"Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" (NIV)
"Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (NASB)
Why is it so important to differentiate between these two words one might ask? Because there are many different "ages" according to the Bible, but our theological minds picture basically only two "worlds," the one that is and the one to come. It is this mistranslation of "aion" that has caused many people to rightfully say the Bible contradicts itself. The King James Version speaks of the "end of the world"(Matt. 24:3) and then talks about the same world "without end." (Eph. 3:21, Isa. 45:17) It speaks of "everlasting hills" (Gen. 49:26, Deut. 33:15) which will one day no longer be "everlasting." Isaiah 40:4 tells us "every mountain and hill will be made low" and "all the earth shall be burned up" in 2 Peter 3:10. Revelation 11:15 speaks of Jesus as reigning "forever and ever" ( a double use of "aion") while 1 Corinthians 15:25 says Jesus must rule "till He hath put all enemies under His feet." He then will deliver up a perfected kingdom to the Father who becomes "all in all." Does He reign "till" or "forever." Exodus 21:5,6 tells us a slave will serve his master for "ever," when clearly death will end his servitude. Leviticus 24:8 says the Mosaic covenant is to be an "everlasting" covenant whereas Hebrews 8:7-13 speaks of the end of that covenant. The Aaronic priesthood is an "everlasting" priesthood in Exodus 40:15 and Numbers 25:13 yet the book of Hebrews makes it very clear it is to be superseded by the Melchizedek priesthood. (Hebrews 7:14-18) According to the King James Version, God would dwell in Solomon's temple "forever" yet Solomon's temple has long been destroyed. The Sabbath (Saturday according to the Old Testament) was to be observed for a statute "forever," yet Hebrews says it was just a "fleshly ordinance imposed until the time of refreshing." Animal sacrifices were to be offered "forever," (Exodus 31:16, 17; 2 Chr. 2:4; Lev. 16:31) yet every Christian knows these all ended in the work of Jesus Christ. Circumcision was an "everlasting covenant" and this was before the Mosaic Covenant, according to Genesis 17:9-14), but 1 Corinthians 7:19 and Galatians 5:6 tells us it is worthless!
It is this kind of confusion that has turned many sincere seekers away from the Bible. Here we have clear contradictions. The problem is not in the original languages of the Bible, the problem is with human error in translating the Greek and Hebrew texts into current languages. The tradition of the elders is difficult to break. Men and women have built power systems upon error. The love of power, money, and position make many leaders continue the errors. Many church leaders know these contradictions exist, but are unwilling to bring about correction. Their systems are built upon fear and ignorance. To reveal the truth would be the end of their kingdoms.. Also keep in mind we, ourselves, often prefer to create our own image of God rather than the true one. We often project our corrupted view of things upon God. Now let us see if there are contradictions in the Greek and Hebrew languages.
This word "aion" translated by the King James Bible as "age," "ever," "forever," "forever and ever," "never," "world without end," "evermore," "course," and "eternal," along with its adjective "aionios," has caused the world many serious problems. It has made the Creator a God whose mercy endures "forever" yet the King James Bible says there are sins that will not be forgiven in "this world or in the world to come." (Compare 1 Chr. 16:34 with Matthew 12:31,32) The New King James and most other Bibles now translate this passage as: "in this age or in the age to come." This was spoken in the "law age." We are now in a different age and the scriptures clearly teach of ages to come. If Jesus wanted to refer to the world, he would have used the word "kosmos," but He didn't. Therefore, when this scripture is correctly translated "age," the Bible does not contradict itself. There is still hope for the Pharisee who would not be forgiven under the "law age" nor under the present age, but there is still hope for him to receive mercy in the ages to come. For a study as to how many ages there are, study the following scriptures:
he past ages (aions)-Col. 1:26; the present age (aion)-Luke 20:34; future ages (aions)-Eph. 2:7. It will become clear that there are at least five ages with no indication when the ages will end. This radically changes pet end-time eschatological schemes. This is one reason why many theologians do not want to look at this. They will have to dismantle some of their favorite fear-based doctrines.
Can this word "aion" be consistently translated one way and make sense without bringing about contradictions in the Bible? The answer is yes! Can this word be consistently translated with words that indicate "eternity?" The answer is no! Let us see how the Bible would read if we translated this word "aion" into eternity in some passages where it appears. We would get some of the following kinds of reading:
"This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of eternity (aionios)." (2 Tim. 1:9) There can be no time before "eternity."
"According to the revelation of the mystery hidden for eternity (aionios) past." (Rom. 16:25) If it was hidden in eternity, it can never manifest.
"Who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil eternity (aion)." (Gal. 1:4)
"The harvest is the end of this eternity (aion)." (Matt. 13:39) What then, another eternity?
"Who tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming eternity (aion)." (Heb. 6:5) [There is only one eternity, not past and future ones.]
As one can see, when we translated this word consistently with eternity, the scriptures make no sense. But if we translated that word "aion" age, and its adjective "aionios" of or belonging to an age, or age-during, age-abiding, then all the scriptures dealing with time and eternity begin to make sense without any contradictions whatsoever. What is even more exciting is that this lines up perfectly with all of our Father's attributes. All seemingly hypocritical, or contradictory scriptures relating to our Father's will, desire, plan, purpose, and power, vanish away. He finishes what He said He was going to do from the foundation of the world, draw all mankind unto Himself. So why don't the translators change? Jesus said there was something more powerful than the Word of God. "You have made the word of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites!" (Matthew 15:6,7) All the systems of Christendom would have to dismantle, and I mean all of them. You can be assured, the heads of these systems have no intentions of giving up the little kingdoms you and I have helped them build.
As we have seen earlier, many of the Bibles have cleared up some of the contradictions by translating more of the passages "age" where they used to put "world." Many Bibles today have even put in "age or "ages" in some places where they use to have "forever and ever," etc. Some Bibles, written within the last 200 years, have become consistent all the way through the Bible and have translated the word "aion" and its adjective "aionios" age, eon, age-during etc. Some of the Bibles that have been bold enough to buck the tradition of the elders a
What bliss will fill the ransomed souls,
When they in glory dwell,
To see the sinner as he rolls,
In quenchless flames of hell.
- Isaac Watts
Last Edit: 2 years, 9 months ago by Givemhell.
Re: Tentmaker article against conditionalism 1 year, 11 months ago #3765
Have you been able to refute this, or seen anyone refute it?
I find that internet sites come in a range of personality types. I viewed that site a few times (it comes up in Google every time I want to research annihilationism). That is one of those "preaching to the choir so comments not allowed" pages that reminds me of some of the hellfire preachers in my neck of the woods - but in website form. Arguing with either is a complete waste of time.
I had a conversation with a music director at a large Louisville church with a lot of members that are professors at a Christian university. He said something rather interesting. He said that, generally speaking, regarding some of these "non-salvation related" issues in the bible, the more sure someone is of their opinion, the less they know about the content of the bible.
Last Edit: 1 year, 11 months ago by Kentucky Reign.
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