by A.E. Knoch

GOD IS A GOD OF CONSOLATION, not the diabolic fiend of Christendom. Hear! all who mourn their dead! Have you lost an innocent child? Do you grieve for a husband, a wife, or a beloved relative who never showed any signs of faith in Christ, or a knowledge of God's salvation? Does the fate of infants and of the heathen lie heavy on your heart? Dry your tears and lift up your head! They are in the hands of a living, loving God, Who is the Savior of all mankind (1 Tim. 4:10), Whose heart is far bigger than ours. He is not the mean and hateful god of Christendom. He is infinitely good and gracious, even when He sends us evil and sorrow and death. These are only the means He uses to draw us to His heart. Our dead are in the hands of a living, loving God, Who wants to win their hearts for Himself and to become their All. He is able to do it, even if they hate Him.

Men have corrupted God's holy inspired Word. The Bible has been mistranslated to agree with the damnable doctrines of degenerate men. They have changed Him from a God of boundless love, Who wills the salvation of all (1 Tim. 2:4), and is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11), to a demon of damnation, more dreadful than all the idols of the heathen. They have altered God's temporary discipline, by which He makes us His humble and loving friends forever, into endless punishment and eternal torment. But they have not succeeded in blotting it all out. The Bible still teaches that all shall be saved (1 Tim. 4:10) and justified (Rom. 5:18) and vivified (1 Cor. 15:22) and reconciled (Col. 1:20), and thus contradicts the false "hell" and the fictitious fire of eternal torment.


Christ's soul went to hell after His life of perfect obedience to God and His sacrificial death for man. Did He deserve to be punished? Hell is not a place of punishment! At death man's spirit returns to God, whence it came (Eccl. 12:7); his body returns to the soil from which it was taken (Gen. 3:19); his soul returns to the unseen (hades or sheol). That is, at death the circumstances are the same for man's soul as they were before he was born. "Soul" is the sensation resulting from the combination of an organic body with breath or spirit (Gen. 2:7, 1:21, A.V. "creature"). Hades does not mean "the unseen world," but simply "the unseen," or that which is no longer seen. When God withdraws man's spirit (his power of action, life and intelligence), he dies and returns to the soil (Psa. 104:29). The phenomena of bodily sensation which was clearly seen in life, is, of course, unseen in death. Even as the city of Capernaum subsided to the unseen, thus also man's soul disappears in death (Matt. 11:23). "And for the dead there is no knowing aught" (Eccl. 9:5); there is "no doing or devising, or knowledge, or the unseen" (sheol, Eccl. 9:10). Figuratively, death is a state of sleep (1 Cor. 15:18-20) or utter unconsciousness. Our unsaved dead do not suffer in hell, any more than Christ did. God does not punish men before He tries them. He simply puts them to sleep until the day of His just judgment.


When the unbelieving dead are roused for judgment they are brought before Christ, the most just, the most kindly, the most compassionate Man Who ever lived. He died for them. They will be saved by His blood. To be sure, they must be judged. Wrongs must be righted. To those who have sinned much it will mean much indignation and fury, affliction and distress (Rom. 2:8,9). What do you think He will do to the infants? Roast them in the church's hell? You would have trusted Him with them while He was on earth. Then they brought the little children to Him and He blessed them (Mark 10:16). No fear for our blessed babes where He is the Judge! He did not treat the children the same as the hypocritical Pharisees then, nor will He in the judgment. Why, I would rather have my child in His care, even in judgment, than in my own! I might punish unjustly. He corrects and disciplines only for good. Even hardened sinners who have often cursed Him, will be thankful for the strokes that bring them back to God.

Men have made the judgment so unjust and diabolical that they shrink from the thought of infants and innocent children appearing there. Their teaching concerning it is so horribly fiendish that they do not know what to do about the heathen who have not even heard of Christ. They dump all -- infants, children, idiots, ignorant, and the heathen who have never heard -- into eternal torment, no matter how much or little they have sinned. Ask your preacher how he explains this! The answer is simple. Each one gets only what is good for him in the judgment, not to damn him forever, but to prepare him for God's salvation.


But what of the lake of fire? It is the second death (Rev. 20:14). Except for the three greatest enemies of God (Rev. 20:10), it is not a place of suffering, but of oblivion, death. The insane idea that there is consciousness in death is found in the Bible only in figurative passages. It calls death sleep (Dan. 12:2). The unsaved dead are roused from the sleep of death in order to right all wrongs. They are put to sleep once more until the end of the eons or ages (commonly mistranslated "forever," "everlasting," and "eternal"). Then all the dead, our children, our relatives, our friends, everybody will receive endless life in Christ (1 Cor. 15:25). Then sin and sorrow and death will be banished. Then God will be All in every one of the creatures He made for Himself! Bless and praise His holy Name!

Don't worry about your child, your husband, your wife, your friend! Leave them in the hands of our grand, our gracious, our glorious God, Whose heart is more concerned about them than you are, and Whose hand is able to bring them back to His bosom.

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