by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XVI

May, 1937

Number 10.

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

The judgment before the great white throne is, in theological discussions, painted in colors different from those found in the scriptures, and words are used, that cannot be found in the scripture account. For instance, it is a white throne; Christ, the One who died for the very ones who are being judged, (II Cor. 5:15), is the Judge, (John 5:22); the word "punishment" is not found in the story, (Un. 20:11-15); and the word "judgment" simply means setting things right, and does not necessarily imply anger on the part of the Judge. 

There is no scripture that says anyone shall be punished at that time, or at any future time between the present and the judgment.  A thousand years before the judgment under consideration, nations that are judged adversely shall go away into eonian chastening - not everlasting punishment, (Matt. 25:46).  The word used is kolasis, not timoria.  The latter word is not found in any passage which relates to the future.  In Heb. 10:29 it occurs, in relation to the Circumcision believer who tramples on the Son of God, and deems the blood of the covenant by which he is hallowed common, and outrages the spirit of grace.  This was done in the past; but even in that passage it is not said he shall be punished; it only asks of how much worse punishment he is worthy, than were those who repudiated Moses' law.  

There are two reasons why God will not punish.  First, the word means "value-lift," and, as humanity is part of God's creation, to punish them would be to say they have no value.  To say this would be to bring reproach on Himself as the Creator.  In the second place, punishment is inflicted to satisfy the one doing the punishing.  If God should try to obtain satisfaction by the sufferings of a mere human, He would be repudiating the sufferings of Christ, which are supposed to have satisfied Him.  Christ is the offering God prepared, and if He cannot provide an offering that will satisfy Himself, He is not worthy of His name.  

Chastening; (kolasis), is inflicted to benefit the one being chastened.  Hence its use in Matt. 25:46.  But even that word is not found in the story of the judgment before the white throne.  The harshest words used there are "judged," "condemned," and "death."  

Christ certainly is not going to disparage the value of His own blood, by requiring that anyone at the judgment "pay the penalty for sin."  God will not require it of him.  If such were the case, the blessed Judge would, Himself, be on trial, and condemnation would follow.  If His blood, His death, His sufferings, are of no avail, and sinners must suffer for their own sins, then He would have to bow His head in shame and sit there, discredited before the universe.  

It was God's intention that man should know evil, as a prerequisite to knowing good.  This is why He planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden, and set the stage for man's transgression.  Keeping this in mind, we can understand why believers are not to come into judgment, (John 5:24).  Our faith shows us the blackness of sin, and we feel indignant at ourselves, yea, we are furious at ourselves, as we suffer affliction and distress because we are sinners.  Even as saints, we do not get rid of sin while we live here.  But God is not indignant at us; He is not furious toward us; He is suffering no affliction and distress because we are so imperfect.  We are the ones who are indignant, furious, afflicted and distressed, while He regards us as holy and flawless in Christ (Eph. 1:4).  Having learned the depths of evil, there is no need for us to be brought into judgment.  It could serve no good purpose.  We already have a profound respect for God's goodness, and in the glory we shall fully respect it, and respond to His love, in a way to satisfy His heart.  

But unbelievers are in a different state.  They continue to live in sin willingly, because they have not yet learned its awfulness.  God is good to them, but they have no appreciation of it.  As they stumble blindly through life, the words of Christ uttered on the cross concerning the Jews are true of them.  They are not aware of what they are doing. 

This is why they must be brought to judgment.  Judgment will do for them what faith has done for us.  When they are judged in accord with their acts, and condemned in accord with their acts.  God will pay to them "indignation, fury , affliction and distress," (Rom. 2:9).  Not that God will be indignant and furious toward them, any more than He will be in affliction and distress.  These emotions will be felt by them - not God!  They will feel an unspeakable indignation at themselves for having lived in sin now that they know what sin really is.  They will be furious at themselves.  They will be afflicted.  They will be in distress.  

In other words, the great white throne judgment, instead of being some horrible event that has never been equaled before, will be just what saints have been experiencing ever since their spirits were touched by the spirit of Christ.  There is no reason to believe there will be much greater suffering at that time, than I endured when God showed me the horribleness of sin, and have endured ever since, whenever I am conscious of wrongdoing on my part.  I am frequently indignant at myself.   I am often furious at myself.  This brings me into affliction and distress. 

The second death is for all in that judgment whose names are not in the book of life.  Well that is just death - the very kind of death I shall die if the Lord delays his coming many years.  The second death is not spoken of as a punishment.  And, just as I will come from death into vivification when the Lord comes in the air, so shall those in the second death come into vivification when death is abolished.  (I Cor. 15:22-28).  And just as God's dealing with me shall prepare me to fully appreciate good when I am in His Presence in glory, so shall his dealing with unbelievers prepare   them to appreciate good when they, too are vivified at the consummation of the eons.  

Christendom thinks of God as trying, through Christ, to remedy a situation that came about contrary to His intention, and as eternally punishing, or eternally destroying those whom He is unable to save.  The scriptures reveal Him as operating the universe in accord with the counsel of His will, (Eph. 1:11).  Long before there was any sin, grace to save sinners was given in Christ, and God's purpose was formed in Him.  This was before eonian times, (II Tim. 1:9).  His word says He locks all up together in stubbornness, that He may be merciful to all, (Rom. 11:32).  All includes Adam.  Here is seen the reason for his transgression.  Christendom knows the world is in sin, but does not understand the import of the word "stubbornness."  The word in Greek literally means unpersuadableness.  Not knowing this, the "church"  is trying to do what only God can do.  It is impossible for man to be "persuaded."  God, through faith, unlocks the door to those who are to be saved in advance of the white throne judgment; He unlocks the door to the others through the judgment.  

"All is out of Him and through Him and for Him," says His word, (Rom. 11:36).  He is the Source, the Channel and the Object of all.  Sin, when viewed as an offense against God and a transgression of His commandment, is bad.  Sin, when viewed as necessary in order that God's goodness may be fully  appreciated by His creation, is justifiable.  Let it be remembered that it is never said God justifies the one who is without sin; He justifies the irreverent, (Rom. 4:5).  And, as He is operating the Universe in accord with the counsel of His will, There will not be one whit more sin than will eventuate in His glory.  He will justify it; He will repudiate it; and through a knowledge of it, He will, by His grace, prepare mankind to fully appreciate good.  

And nothing He does is sin: nothing He does is a mistake: He will never miss the mark.  


We are told in Psalm 138:2, that God magnifies His word above His name.  It should be admitted by all that the name of God is the greatest name in the universe.  If His word is more precious to Him than His own name, certainly it is more precious than the name of your denomination.  Yet hardly a month passes that does not see some one asking me to give up certain portions of the word of God and go back to the denomination to which I once belonged.  

The doctrine of Universal Reconciliation is "fundamental."  To say I could give it up and yet be pleasing to God is to show a lamentable ignorance of how He regards His word.  

I was privileged to worship with the ecclesia in Deland, Fla., again the second Sunday in April.  It is good to witness the joy the saints there manifest in the evangel.  They are thankful for the financial aid given by others, to get the work established there.  Depending on the leading of the spirit, my next objective is Graham, Ga.  If anyone wishes to have part in this mission, the way is open.  

I modestly suggest to the saints that, inasmuch as we are all stressing the importance of a pattern of sound words, it would be well to call our worshiping assemblies, ecclesias instead of classes.  Why neglect Paul's pattern in this respect, and clamor for it in others?  

A few hundred are behind with their subscriptions.  If you have not paid recently, I suggest that you either send a remittance, or ask me how your account stands. 

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