Abomination—Of Desolation Defined.
Question (1964)—The May Bible Standard is very enlightening; but on page 35, par. 2 is a statement that is not quite clear to me. It says, “the cornerstone of Papacy, the Abomination of Desolation, is the blasphemous doctrine of the Mass.” Is “the Abomination of Desolation” here to be understood as referring to “Papacy” or to “the Mass”?
Answer.—It refers to its nearest noun, “Papacy,” which the article shows from the Scriptures is the Abomination of Desolation. The blasphemous doctrine of the Mass is not the Abomination of Desolation, but is the cornerstone, the special defiling error that made Papacy the Abomination of Desolation (see The Time Is At Hand, p. 271:2; Thy Kingdom Come, pp. 26:1; 35:2; 36:2; 75:3; 83:1; 95:1, 2; 103:1).
In Dan 11:31 and 8:13 are found prophetic statements (1) that imply that the doctrine of the Mass was being taught before the Abomination of Desolation was set up, and (2) that show clearly that the Mass is separate and distinct from the Abomination. Let us examine these two passages.
In Dan. 11:31 we read: “Arms shall stand up on his part [strong ones out of him stand up, Young’s Literal Translation; i.e., powerful, heady power-graspers would arise out of Papacy as it was developing early in the Gospel Age], and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily [continual] sacrifice.” This was done by substituting the bloodless sacrifice of the Mass for Christ’s sacrifice, which has continual or unceasing efficacy. The doctrine of the Mass, which is a corruption of the Lord’s Supper, is the teaching that the priest creates anew out of bread and wine, Christ’s actual body and blood, i.e., His humanity, and sacrifices Him afresh for the sins of the baptized, living and dead. We find mention of certain phases of this blasphemous teaching as early as in the Council of Constantinople, 381 A.D. (Thy Kingdom Come, p. 103). “And [thereafter] they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” Papacy was set up or placed in civil jurisdiction nominally by Justinian’s decree in 533 A.D. and actually by the overthrow of Ostrogothic monarchy in 539 A. D. (see Thy Kingdom Come, pp. 58, 70-83).
The same two things as to the Mass and the Abomination of Desolation are shown also in Dan. 8:13. The context shows that the “little horn” (v. 9), Papacy, became exceedingly, great, even unto controlling the host of heaven, the entire Church, and it caused some of the host of the shining lights, to fall to the earth, and trod them under foot (v. 10). It greatly magnified itself and arrogated to itself honors, dignities, titles and prophecies that belong to Jesus Christ, the true Chief, Prince and Head of the Church; it took away from Him the continual sacrifice, by substituting the Mass, and thus the base of His sanctuary was overthrown (v. 11).
The host, the people, were given over to Papacy, against the continual sacrifice, by reason of transgression, i.e., they were given up to Papacy to tread upon (see vs. 10, 13), together with the continual sacrifice; and treading under foot was done through or by means of transgression. Papacy cast down the Truth to the ground and its doings prospered (v. 12). The question of v. 13 shows the priority of the Mass and the distinction between the Mass and the Abomination of Desolation: “How long shall be the vision concerning the daily [continual] sacrifice [its unceasing efficacy being set aside by the substitution of the Mass], and the transgression of desolation [the Abomination of Desolation], to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” For the answer to this question and a further discussion of the subject, including the 2300 days (v. 14), please see Thy Kingdom Come, Chaps. III and IV. ’64-45
Abrahamic Covenant—And The Law Covenant.
Question (1972)—Was the Law Covenant, according to Gal. 3:19, added to the Abrahamic Covenant (see Gal. 3:15-17, which seems to be contrary to such a thought), or are we to understand this verse to teach that it was added to, or imposed upon, the nation of Israel?
Answer.—From the fact that the Jewish high priest’s breastplate, a type of the Law Covenant, was added to the front of his ephod, a type of the Abrahamic Covenant (see Tabernacle Shadows, pp. 30-36), we are warranted in concluding that the Law Covenant was added to the Abrahamic Covenant; but as Gal. 3:15-17 proves, it was not added thereto as making conditional, or as adding conditions to, the Abrahamic Covenant, and unconditional and confirmed promise God made to Abraham and his seed (Gen. 12:3; 22:16-18).
However, to become the seed was a conditional thing. Why? Because the Seed consists of the Faithful only. The Law Covenant was added to the Abrahamic Covenant in order that worthiness to be given the opportunity of becoming the Seed might be demonstrated by perfect obedience to the Law. Our Lord Jesus kept the Law perfectly and so demonstrated His worthiness to become the Seed of Promise. And because of the imputation of the merit of His Ransom-sacrifice to His followers, they were accepted for candidacy as subordinate parts of the primary Seed (Gal. 3:16, 29). But it was only as these were begotten of the Spirit and then continued to walk according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:1-4, 13, 14; Gal. 5:16), following carefully in Jesus’ steps, and suffering with Him faithfully unto death as members of His Body, that they with Him became the primary Seed of Promise (1 Pet. 2:21; Rom. 8:17; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 2:10; 1 Cor. 12:27; Gal. 4:28). To the Seed of Promise, the Christ, Head and Body, the Abrahamic promises are unconditional, even as “the promise” is “sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham” (Rom. 4:16). It is also true that the Law Covenant was added to, or imposed upon, the nation of Israel. Both viewpoints are correct and in harmony with God’s course of action as described in the Scriptures. ’72-63
Abrahamic Covenant—The Earthly and Heavenly Seed.
Question (1972)—Does Rom. 4:16 refer to the two seeds of the Abrahamic Covenant, the heavenly (“the stars of the heaven”—Gen. 22:17) and the earthly (“the sand” seed, or does it suggest the one Seed, the Christ class, Head and Body, composed of Jews and Gentiles (Gal. 3:28; Eph. 2:15)?
Answer.—Rom. 4:16 obviously refers to the heavenly and the earthly seeds. That the one Seed consisting of Jews and Gentiles (Gal. 3:16, 29) cannot alone be meant in Rom. 4:16, appears from the fact that St. Paul here contrasts the Seed which is of the faith of Abraham (Gal. 3:7-9), and which is the one Seed of Gal. 3:16, 29, consisting of Jews and Gentiles (Gal. 3:28), with the Seed which is of the Law. ’72-63
Adam—No Pre-Adamic Race.
Question (1959)—In the Nov. Bible Standard, in examining the testimony of the Bible and Science against the Evolution theory, you mention Adam as the first man. Does not Gen. 1:28, which shows that Adam and Eve were told to “be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth,” indicate that the earth had been peopled before Adam’s creation; and may not the Negro race, or some of the barbaric peoples, be descendents from a pre-Adamic race?
Answer.—If the questioner will look up (e.g., in Dr. Strong’s or Dr. Young’s Concordance) the Hebrew word translated “replenish” in Gen. 1:28, he will find that the proper rendering is “fill.” The King James translation is incorrect here, for it uses a word (replenish), which cannot be used as a proper translation of the same Hebrew word in a number of other occurrences. It should have been translated “plenish” or “fill”—even as it is translated “fill” by Rotherham, Leeser, Young, Berry, the R.S.V., etc.
The Scriptures are positive in the declaration that Adam was the first human being. In 1 Cor. 15:45, 47 he is called the first man. In Acts 17:26 it is stated that God “made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth,” i.e., all the peoples of the earth are descended from Adam (1 Cor. 15:22), the first man, no matter how different in color, stature, intelligence, attainment, etc., they may now be.
Furthermore, the entire testimony of the Bible must need be set aside to give support to the theory that some of the peoples of today are not Adam’s offspring, but are descendants from a supposed pre-Adamic race; for the Scriptures record that present races all had their start in father Noah and that only he and his family survived the Flood (see, e.g., Gen. 7:21-23; 9:1). And in the New Testament our Lord and several of the Apostles corroborate this record—of Noah and the Flood. The Negro race is supposed to be descended from Noah’s son Ham (Gen. 9:22-26). (For a discussion of the Evolution theory and the latest findings on Noah’s Ark, see our June and Nov. 1958 issues—copies free on request.) ’59-6; ’69-30
Adam—And Eve’s Daughters.
Question (1985)—Gen. 4:1: “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Might we understand from her statement, “I have gotten a man,” that female children were born to Adam and Eve before Cain’s birth?
Answer.—We do not see any indication in Eve’s statement that female children were born to her and Adam before Cain was born. It seems that Eve just was so overjoyed at having a child that she made the expression. But we do know that Adam “begat sons and daughters” (Gen. 5:4). ’85-47
Adam—If Adam Failed His First Trial Why Should He Be Resurrected For Another.
Question (1951)—If Adam has had a trial and failed, will he have another and if so, what for? Why should he be resurrected if he failed in the first trial?
Answer.—[as given by our Pastor in 1909—See Question Book, p. 6]: The reason that he is to have a resurrection and another trial is because God willed it so, and that is the very best reason. Now, if you want to know why, we may do some guessing, perhaps, to our advantage.
I think the reason God willed it so is that in some respects Adam did not have a trial under the most favorable conditions that God could have arranged, although his trial was a just trial. He was fully equipped mentally, but a great temptation came to him, and because of the lack of experience he failed. What was the trial or temptation?
You remember that the Apostle tells us that Adam was not deceived; he knew what he was doing, that he was eating the forbidden fruit, violating God’s command, and that it meant death. There was no ignorance about it. Why did he do it? I think the narrative bears out the thought that he did it because of sympathetic love. He had been without a wife, and while the various kinds of birds could twitter, and the other animals make some commotion, such were not satisfactory to man; so after God gave him a wife, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, and he had enjoyed that sweet companionship, and he realized that he would lose her and that he would be alone again after she disobeyed, he said, I will eat with her and die with her. If she must go out in the unprepared earth and die, so will I. So, really this is a very noble feature of the first man’s character, and the condition of his trial, you will see, made it a very severe trial. Now, then, I think it would be just like our Heavenly Father to say: Adam, at the time you did that, you did not know fully what I could or would do for you, and what you might have had at that time if you had been obedient. Now, Adam, I intend to redeem you and all your race. You will have a demonstration of my love, and after you have learned of the height and depth and length and breadth of my love, I will expect you fully and perfectly to keep My law and live for ever, but if you so not obey, then you will die the Second Death and will never have another opportunity for restitution. ’51-22; ’86-67
Adam—Christ Died For All.
Question (1958)—How many of Adam’s race are to be benefited by Jesus’ death?
Answer.—“Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death . . . that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9) “gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Tim. 2:6). This does not leave out any of Adam’s race—not one. “As all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). During the Gospel Age, only the Church is on trial for life. The Apostle Peter explains (1 Pet. 4:17) that “the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.” But God also “hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31); for Jesus “is the propitiation for our [the Church’s] sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). He is the redeemer of both the Church and the world. The time will come, therefore, when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9; Jer. 31:34), for Jesus is “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world”—He “will draw all men” unto Him. He gives all a fair trial for everlasting life, either in this world or in the world to come (John 1:9; 12:32). ’58-93
Adam—Did He Know The Meaning Of Death.
Question (1973)—When God told Adam, “In the day thou eatest thereof dying thou shalt die” (Gen. 2:17, margin), did Adam know what death meant, seeing that death came as a consequence of sin?
Answer.—It is true that “the wages of sin is death,” and that “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Rom. 6:23; 5:12), and that therefore Adam had not yet experienced death. But “Adam was not deceived” (1 Tim. 2:14). He was created a perfect human being, in God’s image and likeness (Gen. 1:26, 27), and therefore had a high degree of intelligence, as is evident, e.g., from his naming the animals (Gen. 2:20). Surely he had seen many animals die and knew very well just what death meant.
God’s justice was tempered with mercy. He could have blotted out the human race instantly; but He allowed mankind to die gradually, thus gaining an experience with sin and learning its exceeding sinfulness and terrible consequences (see The Divine Plan of the Ages, pages 117-136, on “The Permission of Evil”).
The entrance of sin brought deterioration physically, mentally, artistically, morally and religiously, but this was a gradual process. Note, e.g., man’s longevity before Noah’s Flood, the high degree of knowledge indicated in Gen. 4:21, 22, and the mechanical, mathematical, and other scientific wonders recorded in the Great Pyramid of Gizeh (see Thy Kingdom Come, pp. 313-376). Mentally, as well as otherwise, “the ransomed of the Lord” have a long way to travel in order to come back into God’s image and likeness, from which in Adam they fell (Rom. 12:2; Col. 3:10; Isa. 35:8-10).
We conclude, therefore, that Adam had the knowledge of the significance of death before he sinned. This conclusion is substantiated also by the fact that neither God nor Satan found it necessary to explain the meaning of death to Adam and Eve, as seen in Gen. 2:17 and 3:4. ’73-86
Adamic—Lifting The Curse.
Question (1963)—When and how is the Adamic sentence lifted from the human race—the Church and the world?
Answer.—This subject has been treated at length in the book, The At-one-ment Between God and Man (announced on p. 24), so our answer here will be brief, for so large a question.
(1) The legal condemnation has rested upon the world since Adam’s disobedience, and this has led to the actual sufferings and dying of mankind. There is a difference, however, between the legal and actual “curse.” The legal curse or sentence went into force against Adam immediately after he had sinned (Rom. 5:12, 19), but the effects of that legal sentence—in pain and suffering—came upon him and his posterity gradually, and are still with them. Similarly, there will be a difference between the cancellation of the legal sentence and the rescue of man from the effects, the difficulties, which came upon him as the result of the legal sentence.
(2) The work of Christ, the work of the atonement, embraces both of these features—man’s release from the legal sentence of the Divine law, and subsequently his release from the actual pains and weaknesses which came upon him as a result of that Divine sentence. Our Lord’s death was a full offset to the sentence against Adam, and could have been so applied at once, had that been the Divine arrangement. If so applied it would have canceled at once the legal sentence against man, but it would have done nothing in the way of recovering him from his fallen and dead condition—that work of restitution us separate and apart from his redemption or purchase out from under the curse or legal condemnation of the law.
(3) Instead of applying the ransom merit of His death at once, as a full cancellation of the legal penalty against the race, the Scriptures indicate that at His ascension Jesus presented the whole matter of His death-sacrifice on man’s behalf before the Father, and that it became a credit on His account, but that He first used it only on behalf of the Gospel Church (Heb. 9:24); it was not yet applied on behalf of the world. The next step in the Divine program was the arrangement for the justification of the Gospel Church—not actually, but by faith, reckonedly. So many as believed, so many as accepted Jesus, were reckonedly justified—reckonedly had the legal curse lifted from them (Rom. 8:1), though they were actually allowed to remain under the weaknesses and difficulties resulting from that curse. To such of these, reckonedly justified ones, as made full consecration of themselves to God, the privilege was granted of walking by faith in the footsteps of Jesus, and being conformed to His sacrificial death—the promised reward for thus being a share in the Lord’s glory, honor and immortality (Rom. 2:7).
(4) The Apostle explains (Col. 1:24) that the various members of the Body of Christ were to fill up a measure of the afflictions of Christ (they were to be joined with Him in the Sin-offering—not that their sacrifice could have been acceptable with God at all without that of their Lord Jesus, but that they are acceptable to God through and under the merit of His sacrifice). “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1). At the completion of the Church’s sacrifice she is received to conditions of glory with her Lord, in the first resurrection, as He was received by the Father from the dead after He had finished His sacrifice. Then, early in the Millennial Age, according to the Scriptures, the Lord will apply to Justice on behalf of the whole human family the merit of His own sacrifice (1 John 2:2), which during the Gospel Age sponsored the sacrifice of the Church, and Justice will be fully satisfied of all its legal claims against mankind.
(5) As a result of such a legal satisfaction of the claims of Justice, early in the Millennial day, there will be no hindrance whatever to prevent the institution of the restitution arrangements which God has provided in Christ and the Church, and of which all the holy prophets have spoken since the world began (Acts 3:19-23; Psa. 2:8; Eph. 1:14).
(6) Thus seen, the curse or condemnation for Adam’s sin will be no more—as a legal sentence against mankind from then onward forever. Full atonement will have been made Godward and accepted, for the sins of the whole world (see Tabernacle Shadows of Better Sacrifices—listed on p. 24). But this will not mean that the effects of the curse will then instantly disappear; just as if a man imprisoned for crime by an earthly court lost his hair, his sight, his hearing, and in general his entire health, while serving out the imprisonment; if he were then pardoned and set free, the pardon would not restore to him his hair, his sight, his hearing, all his health. These must be sought for in some other direction. Justice is not responsible for their loss, and has nothing to do with their restoration. The freed man must look for some good physician. Just so with the race and its release from the sentence—from the condemnation to death. It must also look to the “Good Physician.” And this is just what God is providing for the world in the glorified Christ—a wonderful and faithful Prophet, Priest and King—to rule and bless and uplift so many of the redeemed world as will then accept His just and gracious terms (Rev. 21:1-6; 22:17).
(7) Here, then, we see the distinctions between Christ, the Redeemer, and Christ, the Life-giver. We were redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ, and through the merit of that sacrifice all will be freed from the condemnation; and then as the Life-giver, He who previously redeemed will restore as many as will accept His favors, bring them back to the condition of perfection from which Adam fell—back to a condition in harmony with their Creator, and thus back to a condition of at-one-ment with God by the close of the Millennial Age (1 Cor. 15:22-28). All mankind will then be tested in the Little Season (Rev. 20:7, 8), and only those who are proven worthy under that testing will inherit everlasting life on earth (Matt. 25:34-40). All that are found unworthy will be destroyed in the Second Death—eternal annihilation (vs. 41-46; Psa. 145:20; Rev. 20:14, 15; 21:8). ’63-22
Adamic Death—State Not Annihilation.
Question (1981)—Should we use the word annihilation to describe the condition of mankind in the first, or Adamic death state?
Answer.—It is well for us, as far as possible, when speaking of the Bible or Biblical matters, to use such words and expressions as are used in the Bible or as are clearly in harmony with it and its true teachings and Spirit. Thus we will help to avoid confusion, misunderstanding and failure to be understood. And if anyone thinks we then would not have a wide enough vocabulary range, we will at least have assurance that we are avoiding misrepresentation of God’s Word and misunderstanding on the part of others. Generally speaking, the Bible is in very good form. The King James Version contains much very beautiful language; it is considered a marvel in the purity of the English used. Some other translations are more exact, but none have better style.
The word annihilation is very improper for use in respect to the condition of any in the death state except it be in Gehenna—the Second Death (Rev. 20:14, 21:8). The thought connected with the word annihilation is being absolutely and eternally wiped out of existence. Therefore it is improper to use it to describe anyone’s condition in the first, or Adamic, death state—the condition of hades as mentioned in the New Testament or sheol as mentioned in the Old Testament as its equivalent expression.
Perhaps the best word to use in describing the condition of mankind in sheol, or hades, the first, or Adamic, death state, would be oblivion. Oblivion means the condition of absolute unconsciousness or forgetfulness; for instance, when a person falls into a sound sleep he may be said to go into oblivion, to be entirely unaware, unconscious, of what is being said and done around him. One might say, “For an hour I was asleep, wholly oblivious, ignorant, of what was happening.”
The Bible shows this by many expressions. Note these: “In death [sheol] there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?” “Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in the grave [sheol].” “He spared not their souls from death,” “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” The living know that they shall die; but the dead know not anything . . . There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave [sheol], whither thou goest.” “For the grave [sheol] cannot praise thee . . . The living, he shall praise thee” (Psa. 6:5; 31:17; 78:50; 146:4; Eccles. 9:5, 10; Isa. 38:18, 19).
The Bible repeatedly shows that the condition in hades, or sheol, is likened to sound sleep. “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake.” “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep . . . . Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.” “He [Stephen] fell asleep.” “Some are fallen asleep . . . . If Christ be not raised . . . they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished” “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” (Dan 12:2; John 11:11-14; Acts 7:60; 1 Cor. 15:17, 18, 20; 1 Thes. 4:14).
It is because the dead are “asleep” and are to be awakened from that sleep in hades, or sheol, the Adamic death state, that “all live unto him” (Luke 20:38)--they all are in His sight as though they were alive. If Jesus had not died to redeem mankind from “the power of the grave” and would not destroy death and the grave (sheol) by awakening the dead (Hosea 13:14), all mankind would be dead forever. But thanks be to God that there is the wonderful hope of the awakening of the dead! ’81-70
Adamic Death—State Not Extinction.
Question (1981)—Should we use the word extinction to describe the condition of mankind in the first, or Adamic, death state?
Answer.—The word extinction does not describe it well, because the word extinction has as one of its meanings “a wiping out, destruction, annihilation.” From this standpoint it would have the same objections to it as those mentioned above to annihilation.
If, however, the word extinction were restricted to its meaning of extinguishment, “a putting out or quenching,” as in the extinction of a flame (which can be relighted), we would see no serious objection, because the relighting of the flame would very well picture the relighting, or awakening, from the dead. ’81-71
Adamic Death—“The Last Enemy.”
Question (1963)—Does not 1 Cor. 15:26, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death,” prove that the Second Death is to be abolished?
Answer.—We think not. The connection in which this passage occurs shows that St. Paul is describing the Millennial work of the Lord Jesus as destroying the effects of the Adamic curse (1 Cor. 15:21-25). V. 24 assures us that the end of this Mediatorial Reign will not come until He has overthrown every effect on the race of Satan’s rule, authority and power through sin, V. 25 is a quotation from Psa. 110:1, given to prove that such is the purpose of Jesus’ Reign. All the effects of Satan’s rule, authority and power are spoken of in this verse as Jesus’ enemies; and by v. 26 naming death as one of these enemies we are given the understanding of what all of them are. These enemies are thus shown to be the devastating effects of Satan’s reign over the earth—sin, error, sorrow, pain, death, and hades. These are the enemies of Jesus because they injure the race that He died to redeem. Hence we see that the enemies here referred to are all the effects of Adam’s sin; and the Adamic death is the first, not the Second Death.
The thought of 1 Cor. 15:24-26 is given in other language in Rev. 21:3-5; 22:3; and the death and curse which there spoken of as being no more are undoubtedly the Adamic death and curse. Moreover, the Second Death is not an enemy of Jesus or of the human family, but is rather a friend and servant, that will swallow up their enemies, even as the type of the Second Death—the Red Sea—was a friend and servant of Moses and Israel, when it afforded protection to the Israelites in their passage of it, but swallowed up Pharaoh and his pursing hosts, leaving Israel safe and triumphant on its eastern shore (Ex. 14:21-29).
We see, therefore, that the expression, “the last enemy,” in 1 Cor. 15:26 does not refer to the Second Death; it refers to the Adamic death—the First Death. The expression, Adamic death, includes every vestige of imperfection that Adam’s sin has brought upon the race. Evidently the expression here does not mean the Adamic death state; for long after all will have returned from the tomb, from the Adamic death state, there will still be imperfection in the human family. The Adamic death process is therefore here meant by the term “the last enemy.” When the last vestige of imperfection resulting from Adam’s sin shall have been wiped out of existence by Christ’s all-conquering restitution power and works, the “last enemy” will have been destroyed, which will end the restitution work. ’63-23
Adamic Sentence—Does The Bible Teach Universal Redemption.
Question (1974)—Does the Bible teach universal redemption?
Answer.—The Bible teaches universal redemption in that the redemption is on behalf of all, and that, in addition to having been made efficacious for the elect in the Gospel Age, the results of the death of Christ will in due time (1 Tim. 2:6), in the Millennial Age, be made efficacious to all the non-elect of Adam’s race (Rom. 5:18, 19). When it is made efficacious to all, it will mean universal redemption or salvation from the Adamic death penalty. God will have all men to be saved, from that condemnation, and to come unto the knowledge of the Truth (1 Tim. 2:4). In addition to the elects’ Gospel-Age opportunity for salvation, each one of the non-elect of Adam’s race, thus saved from Adamic condemnation, will have one full, complete opportunity to come back to all that was lost (Matt. 18:11), and to gain eternal life. But he can have eternal life only if he then will make the proper response, and give his full co-operation. There is a Law of God which when broken leads to a sentence of death, as in the case of Father Adam (1 Cor. 15:21). Broken by anyone who has been delivered from the sentence of Adam and fully restored, that Law would mean that individual’s condemnation to death afresh. The Bible speaks of this condemnation as the Second Death, which it teaches some will undergo (Rev. 20:14; 21:8).
The first death passed upon all because of one man’s sin (Rom. 5:12). The Second Death will pass upon none except for willful, intelligent sin of the individual (Heb. 10:26-31; Jer. 31:29, 30), which the Bible teaches some will commit. Such a sin could not be committed until first such an one had been delivered from the sentence previously upon him through Father Adam—the first death sentence. The world, therefore, could not now die the Second Death because the world is not yet released from the first death. No man could be judicially tried and condemned to death twice for the same offense. To have a second sentence he must have come, either actually or reckonedly, from under the first sentence, and then have committed a second offense. The world has been condemned once—Adam and all his race in him (1 Cor. 15:22). Not until they through Christ’s merit shall be released from that condemnation could they come into a fresh condemnation. ’74-71; ’85-54
Adam’s—Death Not A Spiritual Death.
Question (1974)—God warned Adam, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17). Did Adam die spiritually in the day he ate the forbidden fruit?
Answer.—No. Adam could not die spiritually, for he was not in any sense a spirit creature or spiritual creature, but a natural, or earthly creature. As 1 Cor. 15:45-47 states, “The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthly: the second man is the Lord from heaven.” Spiritual and human natures are separate and distinct, according to the Scriptures (see The Divine Plan of the Ages, chap. 10). No human being could possibly die a spiritual death unless he would first come through the steps of repentance, faith in Jesus, consecration and Spirit-begettal and thus become a new creature in Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 2:10-16; 2 Cor. 5:17), and then sin the sin unto death (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26-31; 1 John 5:16). This would mean the death of the new creature, or spiritual death—the Second Death (Jude 12; Rom. 8:13). And the opportunity to receive Spirit begettal was not opened until at Jesus’ First Advent (John 1:12; Heb. 2:3).
While Adam did not die spiritually when he sinned, he did then cease to have his sinless condition. God’s righteous law could not regard him as having any right to everlasting life—he was now a convict condemned to death. Only the time and means of carrying out the death sentence remained to be accomplished. According to the margin, Gen. 2:17 states: “In the day that thou eatest thereof dying thou shalt die.” The Apostle explains (2 Pet. 3:8) that “a day with the Lord is as a thousand years.” God graciously allowed Adam to go on dying for 930 years before he finally expired (Gen. 5:5), but it was within the thousand-year day in which he sinned.
In creating Adam, “God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [lives]; and man became a living soul [a sentient being]” (Gen. 2:7). When Adam died at 930, the “living soul” condition ceased. Adam was dead, and would remain dead forever, were it not that God in His great love provided for redemption and release from the death sentence through Christ. The power or privilege of life, of resuscitating Adam, returned to God who gave it (Eccl. 12:7). Thank God for the promise of awakening the dead, including Adam, and the restitution of all things (Dan. 12:2; John 5:28, 29; Acts 3:19-21)! ’74-62
Adam’s—Hope For All Of His Race.
Question (1974)—Is salvation to eternal life for the Church only, or is it also for the whole world?
Answer.—The Scriptures teach God’s love, Christ’s death and the Spirit’s work, not only the Church, but also for the entire world of mankind, salvation. We will quote and where necessary briefly explain, a few passages that prove this proposition. The Christmas message is one of these passages: “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people; for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10, 11). Here the birth of the Saviour is set forth as ultimately bringing joy to all people, which of course did not occur to all people in this life. Another passage: Jesus Christ “was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9). Here we are expressly taught that all are to be enlightened by our Lord; nor has this been done to everyone in this life. Again, “This child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel”—Luke 2:31-34. Here those Israelites who stumbled over Christ are spoken of as to be lifted up from their stumbled condition—a work of the Holy Spirit; yet it has not been done to them in this life. Again, “Behold, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29.) Here Christ is directly spoken of as the One who will remove the Adamic sin, take away the death sentence from the race; but as yet He has not done this, though by His death He provided the merit therefore by grace Divine.
In this connection we may well quote John 3:16, 17, which has appropriately been called the Gospel in a nutshell: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life; for God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved [from the Adamic condemnation].” Here God’s love, Christ’s death and the Spirit’s work, for salvation on behalf of the world are clearly set forth; but as yet the world has not gotten the benefit of them. In John 12:32, 33, Jesus’ death is set forth as the meritorious cause whereby all men will be favorably influenced toward Him by the Spirit; “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”; but all have not in this life been drawn to Him. St. Paul tells us clearly in Rom. 5:18, 19 that Christ died in order to deliver the race from the condemnation unto which it was involved by Adam, and that this deliverance will be realized: “As by the offence of one [Adam] judgment [the sentence] came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Christ] the free gift shall come [the future tense in the parallel expression of the next verse shows that the italicized word came should give place to the words shall come, seeing that the italicized word here as everywhere else in the Bible are lacking in the original Greek] upon all men unto [for the purpose of] justification of life; for as by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners [through heredity], so by the obedience of One shall the many be made righteous [of the Adamic sin]”; but manifestly this has not yet happened to all. Very clearly does 1 Tim. 2:4-6 prove God’s love, Christ’s death and the Spirit’s work for all men unto salvation: God “will [literally, willeth to] have all men to be saved [not eternally, but from the Adamic sin and condemnation; this shows God’s love to all], and to come unto the knowledge of the Truth [this shows the Spirit’s work for all]; for there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all [this shows Christ’s death for all], to be testified [the Spirit’s work] in due times [the Greek word is plural, times or seasons, referring to the Gospel Age and the Millennial Age as the periods for giving the testimony].”
1 Tim. 4:10 calls God the Savior of all men, especially of believers: “We trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those that believe.” The faith class win the special salvation and all the others the salvation from the Adamic sin and condemnation, according to this and other passages. Titus 2:11 is to the same effect: “The grace [love] of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men” (Amer. Rev. Ver.), in His gift of Jesus for man’s salvation. Jesus’ death for all is clearly taught in Heb. 2:9, which states that Jesus was made a perfect human being like perfect Adam “that by the grace of God He should taste death for every man.” In 1 John 2:2 it is expressly taught that He is the satisfaction to Divine Justice for both the Church and the World: “He is the propitiation for our [the Church’s sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” The Spirit’s call to all mankind for salvation is expressly affirmed in Rev. 22:17: “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
The above passages clearly teach the propositions: (1) God’s love for all men unto salvation; (2) Christ’s death for all men unto salvation; and (3) the Spirit’s work for all men unto salvation. They are some of the main New Testament Scriptures on this subject. But there are many Old Testament Scriptures on the same subject. We will cite some of these without quoting or commenting on them: Gen. 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; Psa. 2:8; 22:27-29; 86:9; 98:2, 3; Isa. 2:2; 11:9; 25:6; 29:18, 24; 35:5, 6, 10; 40:5; 45:22, 23; 52:10; Jer. 31:34; Ob. 21; etc., etc., etc. Our dear readers will do well to look up these Scriptures and satisfy themselves on the subject from personal investigation. We consider that the above Scriptural proof of these propositions is conclusive and satisfying. ’74-69
Adam’s Race—No Second Chance.
Question (1972)—In John 12:32 Jesus says: “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Does this or any other Scripture teach that mankind will have a second chance for eternal life?
Answer.—The Bible teaches there will be a second chance for Adam, but not for any of his race. Except for the Spirit-begotten, none of Adam’s posterity has as yet had one full chance for eternal life; however, the Scriptures indicate that all the things, which constitute an opportunity for salvation, will come to all. The death sentence will be removed (Rom. 11:26; 5:19; John 3:17; 1 Tim. 2:4); all will be enlightened (1 Tim. 2:4; John 1:9); all will be favorably influenced toward Christ (John 12:32); all will bow the knee and confess that Christ is Lord, to the glory of God, the Father (Phil. 2:9-11; Isa. 45:22, 23; Psa. 22:29); the blessing will be offered to all (Rom. 5:18; Joel 2:28)—some will respond, according to Isa. 35:5, 9, 10. The following also teach that all will have one full opportunity; the object of our Lord’s Return (Isa. 35:4-6; Acts 3:19-21; 15:16, 17; Dan. 7:13, 14); the objects of the Millennium (Psa. 22:27-29; Isa. 25:6-9; 1 Cor. 15:21-26); the identity of the Millennium and the judgment day (2 Tim. 4:1; Luke 22:29, 30, Ob. 21; Psa. 72:1-4); the purpose of the judgment day (John 5:21-31); the gradual removal of the curse (Rev. 21:3-5; 22:1-3; Hos. 13:14; 1 Cor. 15:54-57); and the official names of Jesus and the Church: Saviors (Ob. 21) Priests (Heb. 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6), Kings (Rev. 19:16; Rom. 5:17; 2 Tim. 2:12; 1 Pet. 2:5-9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:4, 6), Prophet, or Teacher (Acts 3:22, 23, 21; John 1:9), Father and Mother (Isa. 9:6; 1 Cor. 15:45; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:9, 10, comp. Isa. 66:10-14), First-fruits (1 Cor. 15:20; Rom. 8:23; Jas. 1:18; Rev. 14:4), and the Seed of Abraham (Gen. 22:18; 28:14; Acts 3:25; Gal. 3:16, 29; 4:28; Rom. 9:7, 8). ’72-71
Adversary—The Devil As A Roaring Lion, Walketh About Seeking Whom He May Devour. 1 Pet. 5:8.
Question (1956)—”Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist, steadfast in the faith” (1 Pet. 5:8). In what sense does our great Adversary go about as a roaring lion?
Answer.—The Scriptures give us various descriptions of Satan, the “angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). He is compared to a serpent, a roaring lion, etc. Of course, he does not fill all of these pictures at one moment, nor does he go about as a roaring lion all the time. The lion has a very stealthy walk. On his feet are soft cushions, which enable him to come very near to his prey before his approach is recognized. It is said that at this point, when the beast is about to spring upon his prey, he roars so loudly that the victim is paralyzed with fear and thus is easily caught.
Satan, the adversary of the Church, is strong and lion-like, vigilant and fully awake. He is always seeking to “get an advantage of us,” as the Apostle Paul declares (2 Cor. 2:11). He lies in wait, seeking to devour us. Although he is alert, yet he never approaches us with a roar, but creeps stealthily upon us in some unlooked-for place or time, to devour us, to overcome us, to crush out our spiritual life, and particularly to destroy our faith in God. As those whose ears are trained to detect the footfalls of the lion will hear his steps, while those who are unfamiliar with his habits will not hear the slightest sound, so should we, whose ears the Lord has opened, and whose eyes have been anointed with the eye salve of consecration and submission to the Lord’s will, be of quick perception (for “we are not ignorant of his devices”) to recognize the approach of our arch-enemy and to resist him.
As the lion uses fear to paralyze its victims, so it is with Satan. From personal observation, we see that fear is one of the most disastrous things for the Lord’s people to have (1 John 4:18)—except the “fear [reverence] of the Lord,” which is the proper fear. As God incites by love, so Satan incites through fear, through false doctrines, the root of error, which so terrorizes mankind as to the future. This kind of influence from the Adversary is what is meant by the Apostle. But we are to resist Satan.
Once the Apostles were under threat from the Jewish Sanhedrin; and they prayed, “Now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word” (Acts 4:29). Of course, this statement does not prove that the men of the Sanhedrin were devils, nor that they were viciously inclined of themselves; nevertheless, the Adversary sought through them to intimidate the Apostles. So today there are some who seek to intimidate the Lord’s people, e.g., by threatening them with dire consequences, such as sickness, financial losses of various kinds, unemployment, business reverses, the loss of God’s favor, etc., if they do not accept certain teachings, or if they give financial support to those who oppose their errors. But those who have “conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood” often suffer for themselves or their households the very things that they threaten to others, for it is written: “He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head” (Psa. 7:14-16).
The Lord’s faithful people are not to fear Satan nor his emissaries (whether they are wittingly or unwittingly so). If we have the Holy Spirit—“not the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7), we will be strong and of good courage. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31.) When we hear the roaring of the lion, no matter from what quarter, we are to remember that the Lord is on our part and that He does not cause us to fear. The thought that Satan opposes us and that we are contending not merely with the fallen flesh, but also with wicked spirits in high positions of power (Eph. 6:12), would appall us if we did not, by positiveness of decision, acquire great help from other unseen powers (1 John 4:4). From the instant that we resist temptation and stand up for the Lord and His cause we begin to become strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Thus we resist the devil and he flees from us (Jas. 4:7). The careful follower of Christ will not give place to the devil (Eph. 4:27), but will keep himself so that the wicked one (Satan) will not be able to touch him (get a hold upon him—1 John 5:18). Thus Satan may roar against us and seek to devour us, but as we resist him, steadfast in the faith, God, who is faithful, will always through His Word, His Spirit and His providences overrule matters so that we are not tempted above that we are able to bear, but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, so that we can bear it (1 Cor. 10:13). ’56-87; ’65-62; *’89-14
Angels—The Fallen Angels’ Progeny.
Question (1968)—What hope will there be for the progeny of the fallen angels? (Gen. 6:1-4.) Have we any reason to hope that they share in the redemption accomplished by our Lord, or that they will be participators in any measure in the restitution and resurrection processes of the Millennial Age? If not, why not? Would they not stand related to the human family in much the same way as our Lord Jesus stood related to the same through the mother and not through the father? Would not this seem to imply that they should be sharers, therefore, in the redemption and restitution?
Answer.—You will find this subject very fully treated in the At-one-ment Between God and Man, Chapter IV, on “The Undefiled One,” and page 104, respecting the Nephilim, children of the fallen angels by the daughters of men. In connection with the fuller treatise on this subject, we link the two together as your question does, and repeat that we find no hope for these Nephilim, since they were not of Adamic stock. We call your attention to the fact that our Lord Jesus, not being of Adamic stock, was not a sharer in its condemnation and curse.
We are to remember that the way in which He provided for the wonderful benefits for our race was not by His having become one of us in sin and imperfection. He was not one of us in this sense. Being sinless, He was able to give His separate and uncontaminated existence as our ransom-price. The blessing upon Adam and his family will come through Jesus, as its purchaser, who gave Himself instead of Adam and all of his unborn progeny, thus laying down a ransom, a corresponding price, for him and all who were in him at the time of his transgression and condemnation. This clear-cut distinction most positively shows us that the fallen angels and their progeny were in no sense of the word Adamic stock, and, hence, were in no sense of the word covered by the ransom. ’68-95
Angels’—The Impenitent Angels’ Destruction.
Question (1969)—Will the sentence of the impenitent fallen angels be executed at the beginning of the Millennium or at the end of the Little Season?
Answer.—We understand that the sentence to destruction (annihilation) will be pronounced on the impenitent fallen angels in the beginning of the Millennium at the end of the Epiphany period (the “time of trouble”) of Jesus’ Second Advent (2 Tim. 4:1), but that it will not be executed until at the end of the Little Season, which follows the Millennium (Rev. 20:7-9). As in the case of people now sentenced to death, where there is usually a long imprisonment following the sentence and preceding its execution, so it will be with Satan and his impenitent angels.
By the terms “Satan,” etc., in Rev. 20:1-3, 7-10, we understand not only the individual Satan to be meant, but also Satan, head and body—the Satan company. From this standpoint, we see that both the head and the body of the Satan company are to be imprisoned during the Millennium and that after the loosing from prison and the final trial they will be destroyed, annihilated. Surely the individual Satan would not have sufficient time in the forty years of the Little Season to appeal to the hearts of all of the 20,000,000,000 or more humans, for each one of these people would have to be appealed to often and long during their final testing. Therefore, may fallen angels will be needed to serve as tempters, for one tempter would not have enough time to do all the necessary and sufficient tempting of such an enormous number of people.
Matt. 25:41 indicates that the “goat” class, the devil and his angels will all at about the same time be cast into eternal destruction. This is indicated also in Rev. 20:9, 10. The complete destruction of Pharaoh and his host together in the Red Sea shows the same thing, for the destruction of those Egyptian horsemen that pursued the Israelites (Ex. 14:27-31; 15:1-21) types the destruction of the wicked angels and men at the end of the Little Season. ’69-77
Angels’—The Penitent Angel’s Trial.
Question (1969)—Will the penitent fallen angels be given an opportunity to demonstrate their desire to return to harmony and fellowship with God? If so, when and how?
Answer.—The fact that our Lord by His ministry, death and resurrection preached to them implies such an opportunity (1 Pet. 3:18, 19). Their being kept for the judgment of the great Day proves the same thing (Jude 6; 2 Pet. 2:4). The fact that the saints will judge them—test, try them—is in harmony with the same thought (1 Cor. 6:3). The penitent fallen angels are “the things in heaven” that in the next Age will be given an opportunity to be made one in Christ (Eph. 1:10; Col. 1:20). This is also implied in the statements that the Church’s present example and preaching is for their enlightenment (Eph. 3:8-10; 1 Cor. 4:9). The fact that Jesus’ death and resurrection were for the purpose of qualifying Him as the ruler over fallen angels and men (Rom. 14:9) implies that they will have such an opportunity. Thus, all these passages indicate that an opportunity to demonstrate their desire to return to harmony and fellowship with God will be given to the penitent fallen angels.
In the Gospel Age they have been undergoing a test as to whether or not they desire to return to harmony and fellowship with God. What they have learned from the teachings and examples of Jesus and the Church has given some of them the hope of such a restoration. They have likewise learned from these that if they are to have such an opportunity they must separate themselves from Satan, his underlings and his works. Some of them have been acting accordingly, doubtless amid great difficulties due to the opposition of the impenitent angels.
The Scriptures assure us that now in the Epiphany period the judgment of the fallen angels is in process (2 Tim. 4:1); for they (as well as New Creatures) are not under a death sentence, but are of “the quick,” “the living.” In the Epiphany they undergo a separation as the result of their judgment crises. By the end of the Epiphany period they will be divided into two classes: (1) the repentant, and (2) the impenitent. The latter will therefore be sentenced to destruction with Satan, imprisoned with him and finally executed at the end of the Little Season. The former will at the end of the Epiphany be placed under the Christ, Head and Body, for their Millennial opportunities to overcome everything sinful in them and to develop perfect love, fitting them for the heavenly society, fellowship with God and everlasting life.
Thus seen, the Gospel-Age opportunities for the fallen angels are for their rescue from co-operation with Satan in evil, and their Millennial-Age opportunities are for their fitting unto eternal life. Those who fail in the crises of their Gospel-Age test and who during the Epiphany remain impenitent will not be given the millennial opportunities to return into fellowship with God, but will as irreformable and fully willful sinners be sentenced to destruction before the repentant fallen angels begin to have their final probation. The details of the reformatory methods that The Christ will apply for their full re-in-statement into God’s fellowship are not revealed to us. All we know of these details is that The Christ will reign over the penitent fallen angels for the purpose of effecting their complete reunion with God. ’69-76
Anger—And Wrath Ever Proper.
Question (1984)—According to the Scriptures, are anger and wrath in God’s people ever proper?
Answer.—The Scriptures repeatedly mention Jehovah’s anger and wrath, while of course is proper. At times He has been angry with Fleshly Israel because of their stubbornness and other sins. Also, “God is angry with the wicked” in general (Psa. 7:11). His wrath is against all unrighteousness, and on the children of disobedience (Rom. 1:18; Col. 3:5, 6).
But God’s anger is not the anger of injustice or of malice (as in the anger of depraved men and devils); rather, it is an anger, righteous indignation, displeasure, or opposition to sin, inspired by His great love—by His love of truth and righteousness and His love for creatures injured by sin and error. Also, His anger is always fully controlled by His higher primary graces—justice, wisdom, power and love. Any punishment He arranges for sinners must therefore be neither more nor less than that which is right—a just punishment.
Jesus also has the same kind of love and other attributes as His controlling qualities. But, e.g., His love for the Pharisees did not hinder His having anger, righteous indignation, against their wrong teachings and practices (Matt. 23:13-39; Mark 3:1-5; 11:15-17).
Likewise the Apostles manifested righteous anger, indignation, against some individuals. But true love was the cause of the anger—love for truth and God, whose ambassadors they were, and love for the people who were being deceived by error. Note these passages: Acts 8:20; 13:6-11; Phil. 3:18; 2 Tim. 2:17; 4:14, 15; 2 Pet. 2:1-22; 2 John 7, 10, 11; 3 John 9, 10.
But what about the rest of God’s people, those who do not have the special discernment that Jesus and the Apostles had? God through the Apostle Paul tells them, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:26, 27). Anger prompted by love should be controlled by love. It must know no malice (ill will) or bitterness toward the offender. Righteous indignation, or anger, sometimes will in love pointedly and forcefully “reprove” and “rebuke” (2 Tim. 4:2), but in love also will yearn for the repentance of the wrongdoers with accompanying proper works (Acts 26:20).
The danger is in going to extremes and thus sinning. Some lose self-control and get angry to the extent of more or less of unrighteous anger and wrath, rage, bitterness, vindictiveness, vengefulness, grudgesomeness and malicious hatred. We are cautioned explicitly against these sinful extremes (e.g., in Gal. 5:20; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8). We are to avoid also the other sinful extreme of giving place to the devil and permitting personal expediency, convenience, indolence, etc., to hinder us from nobly upholding that which is true and right. We are not just to stand idly by and to let truth fall into the street (Isa. 59:14) and error to triumph. Every loyal soldier of the cross should lift high the royal standard of truth and righteousness and valiantly, yet tactfully, defend it.
We are exhorted to “let not the sun go down upon your wrath,” that is, let not your anger continue long, until it amounts to bitterness, malice, hatred or vengefulness, but let it be only such anger as is controlled by love and does not continue longer than necessary. Watch out so that you will not “give place to the devil” and become sinfully angry and remain so. If we are inclined to become and remain unrighteously angry, we should pray to God for help and apply to our hearts and minds those parts of the Word of God that will help us to maintain self-control, and to dispel unrighteous anger, such as Prov. 16:32; 25:28 and others mentioned above.
We should at all times, but especially in this pre-Memorial season (1 Cor. 5:7, 8; 11:28; 2 Cor. 13:5), examine ourselves and seek to put away evil qualities, figurative leaven, such as those mentioned in these questions and answers. ’84-23
Angry—“Be Ye Angry And Sin Not.”
Question (1985)—In Eph. 4:26 we read, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Will you please explain this? Does it mean that we should get angry quickly and frequently?
Answer.—Note the words of caution, “and sin not.” When aroused, angry prompted by love should be controlled by love. It must know no malice, bitterness or holding of grudges toward one who offends. Even when properly aroused, it is not to continue, to persist unduly long—“let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Do not let it become bitterness, malice, grudgesomeness and personal hatred. We are to guard against getting angry quickly and frequently, without a God-pleasing reason, as such quick and frequently anger may indicate a serious lack of development on our part. Let us remember God’s statement, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city” (Prov. 16:32; 15:1; 25:28, 1 Cor. 13:4, 5, 7; 1 Tim. 1:16). ’85-47
Antediluvian Earth—Was It Communistic. . . . Bible Proofs On.
Question (1967)—Have we any Bible proofs that the antediluvian earth was communistic?
Answer.—The Bible indicates that the form of society that prevailed before the flood was communistic, by its first mention of certain things not communistic as taking place after the flood. Thus we read that the earth was not divided up into private property until in the days of Peleg [his name means divider] after the flood (Gen. 10:25). The first human governments were organized by Nimrod after the flood (Gen. 10:10). And the first business transaction on record is that of Abraham’s purchase of the field and cave of Machpelah (Gen. 23:3-20). From these Biblical records it seems that before the flood there was no private ownership in property, no government among the people, and no competition in business. In other words, society before the flood was evidently organized on a more or less communistic basis. ’67-95; ’89-55
Apostles—The Apostles Of Rev. 18:20.
Question (1963)—”Who are the “apostles” referred to in Rev. 18:20?
Answer.—The time of this verse is in the great “time of trouble” (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21), the time in which we are now living, the transition time between the Gospel Age and the Millennial Age, the Kingdom period (Rev. 11:15-18), during which the great symbolic city, Babylon (the great religion-political combination is Christendom), is to go down as a millstone cast into the sea, to rise no more; and when this takes place, many will be found “weeping and wailing” (v. 19) for “that great city”—that ruled in Christendom; but certain ones, the resurrected saints, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ in His glory, honor and immortality, are in v. 20 exhorted to then rejoice over her destruction. We quote from the A.R.V. which renders more correctly the Greek text: “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye saints, and ye apostles, and prophets: for God hath judged your judgment on her.”
The “new heaven” that will take control and rule in the “new earth,” is “the holy city, new Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:1, 2; 2 Pet. 3:13). This “new heaven” will rejoice greatly in the final overthrow of Satan’s empire, with its evil heaven (the spiritual powers, false religious systems, of Satan and his demons) and its evil earth (the present evil order of affairs—social, political, financial, etc.—2 Pet. 3:7). All of the 144,000 saints (Rev. 14:1-5) in the New Jerusalem, with its “twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Rev. 21:14), and its prophets (those who served in the secondary office in the Church—1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11)—the whole Body of Christ, with Jesus the Head, will then rejoice that the old Satanic order, “the heavens and the earth, which are now,” “this present evil world,” will have completely passed away (Isa. 65:17; 2 Pet. 3:7; Gal. 1:4; Rev. 6:14; 20:11). Thus of the Christ class (the New Heaven) the three groups, Apostles, Prophets and Saints in general, are specified. Hence the twelve Apostles, the only ones ever to hold the Apostolic office in the Church, are obviously referred to in Rev. 18:20. ’63-32
Apostles—The Twelve Judging Israel . . . When.
Question (1966)—In Matt. 19:28 we read of our Lord’s promise to His twelve Apostles: “In the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Some teach that this promise was fulfilled between Pentecost and A.D. 70, when, it is claimed, the twelve Apostles judged the twelve tribes of Israel. Is this viewpoint correct?
Answer.—We believe not, for the following reasons:
(1) Jesus specifies that the judging of the twelve tribes would be “in the regeneration.” This regeneration does not take place until after Jesus’ Second Advent sets in, and the Church the espoused virgin (2 Cor. 11:2), becomes His Bride (Rev. 21:9; 22:17) in the marriage of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7), the First Resurrection (Rev. 20:6). Then Jesus as the Second Adam (1 Cor. 15:45, 47), the Everlasting Father (Isa. 9:6), and the Church as the Second Eve, the mother of His children (Isa. 66:10-14), will regenerate the non-elect through His ransom merit, giving perfect life, with the right to life and its pertinent life-rights, to all who will accept Jesus as their Father, i.e., to all who through obedience, faith, love and reverence toward Him are willing to become and remain His children. Also, in Acts 3:19-23, it is stated that heaven would receive (retain) Jesus until the times of restitution (which includes regeneration). These will indeed be “times of refreshing from presence of the Lord,” for it is then that the entire race, for whose sins also Jesus is a propitiation (1 John 2:2; 1 Tim. 4:10) will, though now cut down in death, due to the curse (Psa. 90:5, 6), be revived by the restitution processes unto life, through copious supplies of God’s Word and grace (Psa. 72:6, 7; comp. vs. 1-5; 8-19).
(2) Jesus specifies that the judging of the twelve tribes was to take place “when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory” which seems definitely to locate the time as at Jesus’ Second Advent, when all nations shall be gathered before the throne of His glory for the final judgment (Matt. 25:31, 32; Rev. 20:11-15).
(3) Jesus specifies that the judging of the twelve tribes would be at a time when “ye [the Apostles] also shall sit upon twelve thrones.” In Rev. 2:10, 26; 3:21, He shows that it was necessary for the Apostles and others first to “overcome” as members of the Body of Christ, before they would reign with Him in His throne. It is very evident (see, e.g., 2 Cor. 11:23-27) that instead of ruling in judgment over the twelve tribes of Israel during their earthly sojourn, the Apostles were, on the contrary, oppressed, rejected, persecuted and even stoned and martyred, by the Jews. St. Paul did not claim that he or others were reigning in this life (1 Cor. 4:8). Rather, he shows very clearly (e.g., in Rom. 8:17; 2 Tim. 2:12; 4:1, 8) that the time of judging and reigning with Christ would be at the time of the Second Advent.
(4) In the parallel passage (Luke 22:29, 30), Jesus specifies that at the time the twelve Apostles would sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, they would be eating and drinking at the Lord’s Table in His Kingdom. This definitely places their judging the twelve tribes of Israel at the time of the Lord’s Second Advent, when He drinks, of the fruit of the vine with them anew in the Kingdom of God (Matt. 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18).
(5) In Matt. 8:11 our Lord shows that when the kingdom of heaven is established in the earth (the twelve Apostles sitting upon twelve heavenly thrones), Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc., will have charge of the earthly phase of that kingdom, though they will be princes, rather than kings (Psa. 45:16; Isa. 32:1; Heb. 11:39, 40).
(6) According to the Scriptures, the whole world will have to become proselytes to the twelve tribes of fleshly Israel in the Millennium, in order to receive their restitution blessings under the New Covenant, which will be established, not with Gentiles, but with the house of Israel and the house of Judah (Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 16:60-62; 37:26; Zech. 8:20-23; 14:16-19; Isa. 2:2-4). It is only when the world of mankind is thus organized under the twelve tribes of fleshly Israel, with whom the New Covenant will be made, that the twelve Apostles will be found sitting upon the twelve thrones, or positions of authority, judging the twelve tribes of fleshly Israel. Of course, the 144,000, the Bride of Christ, the twelve tribes of spiritual Israel (Rev. 7:1-8; 14:1), will likewise be under these twelve Apostles (Rev. 21:14), as in the resurrection “morning” (Psa. 49:14), the saints judge the world (1 Cor. 6:2).
(7) It would have been inconsistent for Jesus to arrange, for His twelve Apostles to judge the twelve tribes of Israel during the Jewish Harvest, since He Himself did so during the 3-1/2 years of His ministry; and He pronounced the final sentence upon Jerusalem in Matt. 23:34-39 (comp. Luke 19:43, 44). Their house was left unto them desolate and they were not to see Him any more until His Second Advent (Zech. 12:10), when they will say, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
Thus we are from an examination of Matt. 19:28 and other related Scriptures (more could be given) that the twelve Apostles did not sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel during the Jewish Harvest, but instead that they will thus rule and judge when Jesus will regenerate “whosoever will” of Adam’s race unto life, when He in His Second Advent sits in the throne of His glory to judge the world of mankind, and when God’s kingdom is established and His will done on earth as it is in heaven. ’66-46
Question (1962)—If God ordained only twelve Apostles as infallible “stars,” or lights, for His Church, is it not a mistake for popes, archbishops and bishops to regard themselves as Apostles, “stars,” also as successors of the Apostles?
Answer.—We find some, both among Catholics and Protestants, who call themselves “apostles” and claim apostolic succession. Cyprian in 251 A.D. was the first one to set forth the doctrine of the apostolic succession of bishops; but historically the bishops cannot trace their succession back to the Apostles. The doctrine of apostolic succession is an error, not only, not having the slightest basis in the Scriptures, but also being expressly condemned therein. However, our Lord prophesied that there would be some who would claim to be Apostles, and He calls them “liars”—“Thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars” (Rev. 2:2). Such are indeed “false apostles deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (2 Cor. 11:13). They may be “stars”—but they are “wandering stars” (Jude 13), “stars” fallen from heaven (Matt. 24:29; Rev. 12:4), teachers of error. ’62-79; ’84-54
Question (1962)—Were the twelve Apostles infallible in their teachings?
Answer.—We should accept the New Testament writings, as originally given by the twelve Apostles, as being so supervised of the Lord as to be free from any error (through the various translations we have are more or less imperfect). In harmony with Jesus promise in Matt. 16:19, the Apostle Peter was given “the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” He used the first one on the day of Pentecost, when he unlocked the door of entrance into the Body of Christ as New Creatures, as prospective members of the kingdom-of-heaven class, the “little flock” (Luke 12:32), to the Jews and Jewish proselytes (Acts 2); and he used the second key, the right, the authority, to open the door of entrance into the kingdom of God’s dear Son to the Gentiles, when he was sent to Cornelius, the first Gentile convert, to explain to him the conditions of relationship to Christ in the kingdom and to initiate him that he might receive the holy Spirit (Acts 10).
With its false teachings on apostolic succession, the papacy has greatly misapplied and misused Jesus’ statement in Matt. 16:19, claiming that the popes, as Peter’s successors, “seated in the chair of St. Peter,” have as a special prerogative the right to infallibly “bind” and “loose”; they conveniently overlook (or usually forget to call attention to) the fact that this promise regarding binding and loosing applied not only to the Apostle Peter, but also to all of the other Apostles: “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 18:18).
From this text we are fully justified in believing that the Apostles were so guided by the Lord, through His holy Spirit, that all of their public utterances were of Divine inspiration for the admonition of the Church, and no less infallible than the utterances of the Prophets of the preceding dispensation—“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21).
Our Lord’s promise in Matt. 18:18 surely did not mean that He would yield His Headship and prerogative and become obedient to the dictates of the Apostles, but that they would be so kept, so guided by the holy Spirit, that their decisions in the Church, respecting what things should be considered obligatory and what things should be considered optional, would be proper decisions; and that the Church in general, therefore, might know that the matters were fixed settled—the conclusions arrived at being the Lord’s as well as the Apostles’ decision. It is because of our belief in our Lord’s promise in this connection that we hold to the exact presentation of the Apostles as representing the Divine will, and allow no testimony by subsequent followers of our Lord to have the same weight or influence. Respecting the Apostles alone we have the assurance that they were Divinely supervised—that their writings are inspired by God and infallible, that whatever they forbade or allowed was under heavenly guidance and sanction. ’62-79; ’84-54
Atheism—Causes Of And Infidelism.
Question (1966)—Why are many turning to atheism and infidelism today?
Answer.—Strange as it may seem, atheism, the no-God theory, is tolerated and even favored and furthered in many so-called Christian countries today, whereas the ancient Greeks considered atheism to be both immoral and irreligious, and they therefore detested and banished atheists from their midst. There were very few atheists among the ancient Greeks, and Romans, and scarcely any after the Pagan Roman Empire merged into the Christian Roman Empire, until about 1800, since which time atheism has been increasing. In the present century an atheistic society had been incorporated in America, after at least one judge, on the ground that atheism was against public policy, refused it incorporation. This society, by lectures, correspondence, conversation, the press and organizations, has been and is seeking to spread its theory. It has done much to mold public sentiment, to bring about legislation in its favor and to influence and regulate the religious and other instruction and social activities in schools and colleges. Atheism as a matter of course denies a Divine revelation, throws out the Bible, rejects the thought of a hereafter, has no place for sin-atonement, disparages all religious feelings and ridicules the thought of prayer. All atheists are infidels (unbelievers or disbelievers), but all infidels are not necessarily atheists, for some infidels believe there is a God but have no faith in a Divine revelation.
Many Christians are themselves in some respects and to some extent to blame for much of the atheism and Infidelism that exists today. This is in part because of their apathy and inactivity in efforts to prevent the spread of these evils, which they at times condone, tacitly approve or even magnanimously (?) facilitate. It is also largely due to certain creedal errors from the Dark Ages, which errors are still held to and taught by some sectarian Christians. These erroneous doctrines not only are contrary to the teachings of God’s Word, but also are illogical, incomprehensible and absurd. Believing that the Bible teaches these absurdities, many reasoning people naturally turn against Christianity and reject the Bible as being the inspired Word of God. They thus become infidels or even atheists, denying the existence of God because of the way He is portrayed in some churches.
The blasphemous doctrine of eternal torment for all the billions of mankind who died, except the comparatively few who became Christians, is responsible for many becoming infidels and atheists. It was adopted from the heathen religions and adapted to the furtherance of Christianity. It helped to convert, or rather scare, many into joining the catholic and later the Protestant churches. It claimed that the wages of sin is not death, as the Bible teaches (Rom. 6:23), but eternal life in torment; and various figurative, symbolic and parabolic statements in God’s Word, including those on death and hell, were wrested, twisted and misapplied, to make it appear that God is not all-wise, all-just, all-loving and all-powerful, but that He has arranged to eternally torture the bulk of His human creation, even though most of them never had a chance to hear of the only name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
The well-known infidel Robert Ingersoll is one of many examples of those who were driven into repudiating the Bible because they believed it teaches some of the terrible and foolish things that were ascribed to it. He claimed that if there is a God of wisdom, justice, power and love, He could never be guilty of eternally torturing billions of His creatures, or even one of them, in the place generally described as “hell,” nor in any other way. Condemning this Dark-Ages doctrine, he stated in a public lecture:
“They say when a man dies nothing remains but to damn him if he is not a Christian. They make hell as hot as ever. If their doctrine is true, Benjamin Franklin is in hell. He wanted to break chains here; he is a convict there. Thomas Jefferson has gone to his reward, as he did not believe in the doctrine. Nearly all the revolutionary heroes had not been born but once, and they are there. Old Ethan Allen adds to the joys of hell. The soldiers of 1812 went to hell long ago, and nearly all the soldiers of our civil war are in God’s prison, compared to which Andersonville was a paradise. ‘Great tidings of joy’! Every idiot goes to heaven, and the less brain you have the better your chance. Such men as Humboldt are in prison forever. They are damned long ago. They are crying for water. Any civilized man ought to be damned who subscribes another dollar for such preaching. They say I take away consolation when I try to put out the fire of hell. If all believed really in ‘orthodoxy’ this world would be a vast madhouse. Priests collect toll from fear and ignorance, and know nothing of a hereafter. I leave the dead under the feeling of hope, and I hope for joy for the whole human race.”
If Christians in general would only tell the people what the Bible Hell really is (see The Hell of the Bible booklet—listed on p. 56—for a careful examination of every Bible text in which the word hell is found), and if they would preach only the Bible Truth on many other subjects (such as the nature of death, why and how the two resurrections from the dead take place, the nature of the soul and how it differs from the spirit, the difference between the Church’s and the world’s salvation, why God permits evil, the length, nature and work of the Judgment Day, the final fate of the incorrigibly wicked, etc.)—If they would preach these simple truths of God’s Word, there would be fewer atheists and infidels.
Also, the pulpits of Christendom are well stocked with Higher Critics and Evolutionists, and almost all of our colleges and theological seminaries are graduating more of them, all antagonistic to the Bible, and its presentations. The Higher Critics (really higher infidels, who teach infidelity to the higher ones in Christendom) are doing the same work exactly that Thomas Paine and Robert Ingersoll did, only they are carrying on their work on a higher plane—appealing not so much to the gross and the vile, but more particularly to the refined, intelligent and truth-seeking. As a result, their influence is a thousand fold more injurious. And the evolution theory, so thoroughly embedded in the textbook of our colleges, high schools and even elementary schools, has done much to create atheism and infidelity in the younger generation. For a further discussion and refutation of Higher Criticism and the Evolution Theory, see our issues Nos. 148 and 272 (price 10 cents each)—free on request. ’66-54
Axioms—The Seven That Disprove Torture Theory.
Question (1964)—How do the seven axioms of Biblical interpretation (listed above) prove that the eternal torment doctrine is erroneous?
Answer.—Any one of the seven axioms would be sufficient to prove that any interpretation of the Scriptures that does not harmonize with its erroneous; but every one of the seven clearly exposes the eternal torment theory as being an error.
(1) There are many inconsistencies and contradictions within this blasphemous theory itself. E.g., it is claimed by those who teach it that the Human soul is something inside of the human body, that it is invisible and leaves the body at the time of death, that it is destined to live on and on eternally, either in bliss or in torment, that lower animals do not have souls or eternal life, but that the human soul is immortal, indestructible. However, their theory contradicts itself in claiming that the souls of the wicked dwell eternally “where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Isa. 66:24; Mark 9:44, 46, 48), thus in self-contradiction ascribing immortality to worms as well as to the human soul. (For the true explanation of these Scriptures, please see B.S. No. 279—a copy free on request.) Also, literal eyes in torment and literal gnashing of literal teeth are inconsistently ascribed by this theory’s advocates to the invisible souls that they claim during earthly existence without eyes or teeth dwelt inside human bodies.
(2) The eternal torment doctrine is based on the literal interpretation and application of figurative and parabolic Scriptures (largely on statements in Revelation, which is clearly a symbolic book, as Rev. 1:1 indicates). This is why it directly contradicts so many Scriptures that are clearly literal, such as Rom. 6:23 (“the wages of sin is death”—cessation of life), Ezek. 18:4, 20 (“the soul that sinneth it shall die”—not have life) Eccles. 9:5 (“the dead know not any thing”), Psa. 145:20 (“all the wicked will he [God] destroy”—not “preserve”), Acts 3:23 (“every soul which will not hear that Prophet shall be destroyed”), 2 Pet. 2:1, 12 (“these as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, . . . shall utterly perish in their own corruption” etc.
(3) The third axiom also proves that the eternal torment theory is a serious error; for this theory greatly disagrees with various Bible doctrines, some of which are these: Eternal life comes only as a gift from God (Rom. 6:23; 1 John 2:25), only to those who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for it (Rom. 2:6, 7) and believe into Christ as their savior (John 3:14-18); and “he that believeth not the Son shall not see life” (John 3:36; 1 John 5:11-13), but will be cast into, and be destroyed, annihilated, in the lake of fire, “which is the second death”—not eternal life in torment (Rev. 20:14, 15; 21:8). (For an examination of Rev. 20:10 and the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, which some claim teach that the wicked are to be tormented eternally, pleas see B.S. Nos. 279 and 197—a copy of each free on request.)
(4) This “doctrines of [fireproof] devils” also violates God’s Character. It violates His justice; for it would not be just for God to tell Adam (Gen. 2:17), “In the [thousand-year—Psa. 90:4; 2 Pet. 3:8] day thou eatest therefore thou shalt surely die,” and then keep him alive to torture him eternally. It violates God’s infinite wisdom; for an all-wise God could surely plan a better way to punish for their sins the many billions of unsaved mankind, many of whom never heard of God and the redemption provided for them through the only name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12; Rom. 3:24-26). It violates God’s almighty power; for utterly an all-powerful God would not be powerless to prevent such a terrible and eternal catastrophe for the general mass of mankind. And it violates also God’s infinite love; for God, who is love (1 John 4:8), could never be guilty of eternally torturing any of His creatures (Jer. 19:5).
(5) This God-dishonoring theory, borrowed from the heathen religions, also violates the basic doctrine of God’s Word for mankind is salvation, namely, the Ransom; for Jesus did not go into eternal torment to pay the debt and set us free from the condemnation of sin. If eternal life in torment were the wages of sin, then we would all be lost and Adam and his race would all be destined to suffer eternal torment. But thank God, eternal life in torment is not the wages of sin; it is death, as God stated that it would be (Gen. 2:17). And Jesus in paying the debt as man’s ransom-price “was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death [not eternal life in torment] . . . that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9); He “made his soul an offering for sin”; He “poured out his soul unto death (Isa. 53:10, 12); “Christ died for the ungodly”; “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:6, 8); “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3); “the Son of man came . . . to give his life a ransom for many [Adam and the race in Him—Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:22]” (Matt. 20:28); He “gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Tim. 2:6).
(6) The eternal torment theory is also out of harmony with facts. The facts are e.g., that Jonah went to hell (sheol) and came back (Jonah 2:2), and he did not experience eternal torment there; also, Jesus went to hell (hades; Acts 2:31), and He likewise did not suffer eternal torment there. It is Satan who has deceived the people with the false teaching that hell is a place of eternal torment, either a place of literal fire, as some claim, or remorse of conscience, as others claim. The Bible hell is the unconscious condition of the death state, and eventually “death and hell” will deliver up the dead, which are in them (Rev. 20:13). (For an examination of every verse in the Bible where the word “hell” occurs, please see our 56-page booklet, “The Hell of the Bible”—advertised on p. 96).
(7) And finally, the blasphemous theory of eternal torment is out of harmony with every one of the objects of God’s Plan that He has set forth for us in His holy Word. E.g., it violates God’s object in His Oath-bound Covenant (Gen. 22:16-18; Heb. 6:13, 14), namely, to bless all the families of the earth through Abraham’s seed (Gen. 12:1-3; Gal. 3:8, 16, 29). Furthermore, it is out of harmony with God’s plan to be “the Savior of all men [from the Adamic condemnation], specially of those that believe [saving them to the uttermost, giving them eternal life]” (1 Tim. 4:10); for He “will have all men to be saved [from the Adamic condemnation], and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4), in order that they may be properly instructed, tested and rewarded in their judgment day—the Church during the Gospel Age (1 Pet. 4:17) and the world in its thousand year judgment day (Acts. 17:31; 2 Pet. 3:7, 8; Rev. 20:1-6, 12) In God’s Plan of salvation Jesus “is the propitiation for our [the Church’s] sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). the eternal torment theory violates these and many other objects of God’s Plan.
Thus we see that every one of the seven axioms proves this “doctrine of devils” to be erroneous. Every one of them is violated, whereas the violation of only one of them would be sufficient to prove any teachings to be erroneous. We are glad to see that so many Christians of today have come and increasingly are coming to see the light on this subject and have repudiated this unscriptural, God-dishonoring false doctrine inherited from the Dark Ages. We exhort others also to do so after they study diligently the Scriptures, which truly show that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). ’64-93
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