"The life God gives with His salvation needs
no adjective to describe its duration."
I am indebted to Brother Daniel Vaughn of Berkeley,
Calif., for the above couplet. It states truth - a truth often
ignored. It is a lack of faith that insists that God tell us life
will be eternal when death is abolished. We who know something of
His plan make no such demand. We know death came in the past
because it was in accord with the counsel of His will, Eph. 1:11.
We know that it will not come again, for when He abolishes it, He does
so because it has served its purpose. Life, without an adjective,
The evangel of which Paul was appointed a herald and
an apostle and a teacher of the nations, constitutes God's means of
illuminating life and incorruption. If we know this evangel, we
are satisfied with what God says about life.
But an adjective is used! Yes, but not to
describe the duration of life. God never uses the adjective,
eternal. He uses no Greek word that means that. He uses
"eonian," not to describe the duration of life, but to denote
the special salvation and life of the believer. I Tim. 4:10.
God is the Savior of all mankind. He is the special Savior of
those who believe. They are to have life before the rest of
mankind. This is indicated by the adjective, eonian. Eonian
life is life in the eons. When the eons come to an end, all
mankind, including believers, will have life, but nobody will then have
eonian life. How could they, when the eons will not even be in
existence? Will everybody have eternal life? Everybody will
have life, and there will be no death. This satisfies faith.
God tells us no more than this.
The Greek word for "lost," is the same as
the one for "destroyed" and "perished." It is
APOLLUMI. I ask the reader to consider this very carefully.
Ponder it. When the Bible says a person is lost, it is the same as
saying that person perished, or is destroyed. As I said about
another matter, in the last issue, let this "soak in," if
possible. Or, as I sometimes say in preaching, let this register
with you. Lost, perished, destroyed - they all mean identically
The Son of Mankind came to seek and to save that
which is lost, Luke 19:10. If there is anyone not lost now, it is
because Christ has saved that one. So long as anyone is lost, that
long will He continue to save. If you want to know who will be
saved, just find those who are lost.
"God thus loves the world, so that He gives His
only begotten Son, that everyone who is believing into Him should not be
perishing, but have eonian life," John 3:16. This passage
does not say unbelievers will never be saved. They are not to be
finally lost. They are to be lost, or perish, in relation to
eonian life. They are not to have eonian life. The next
verse, which theologians refrain from reading, says the world is to be
saved through Christ. While world means system, it is figuratively
used here, as in many other passages, to mean the whole of
mankind. Not all are to have eonian life. Only believers
have that. But all mankind are to be saved. All will have
life, when the time comes that the adjective, eonian, will no longer
have a place in the matter.
Eonian does not describe the duration of life.
Life will continue after the adjective has lost its force - that is,
after the eons have come to an end. Eonian life is life in the
I said life is illuminated through the evangel of
which Paul became a herald and a apostle and a teacher of the
nations. The Circumcision writings say much about eonian
life. Paul does too. But he says more about life, without
the adjective, than do the others. In Adam all are dying.
This is the opposite of life. In Christ all shall be vivified, I
Cor. 15:22. This introduces another word - vivify, represented by
the Greek word, zo-o-poie-o. A study of the word will prove
"For if a law were given, able to vivify, (zo-o-poie-o),
really, righteousness would be out of law," Gal. 3:21. In
other words, the reason righteousness does not come by law, is because
the law is not able to vivify. This shows that vivify is used to
denote being made alive in a righteous sense.
So - back to I Cor. 15:22. As it is true that
all are dying in Adam, so it is true that all shall be vivified in
Christ. This passage illuminates life and incorruption. The
verses that follow, explain it in detail. Those who are Christ's
are to be vivified in His presence. They are the ones who will
have eonian life, for His presence will take place before the
consummation of the eons.
"Thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be
giving up the kingdom to God, even the Father, whenever He should be
abrogating all sovereignty and all authority and power. For He
must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His
feet. The last enemy being abolished is death." See the
verses following 22. This illuminates life and incorruption.
It shows that death is to be abolished at the consummation. It is
then that those not mentioned in verse 23, are to receive life.
They, together with those mentioned in verse 23, constitutes the ALL, of
When life is illuminated - the floodlight of the
truth of the evangel is thrown on the subject - it is found that all
mankind are to have life after death is abolished. Not only those
who have eonian life, but also those who do not have eonian life, will
have life when death is abolished.
Life and incorruption are NOT illuminated in John
3:16. Only eonian life is mentioned here. Even those
passages in Paul's writings that mention eonian life, do not illuminate
life and incorruption. The full light of the subject comes when we
find those passages that speak of life as it shall be when it is not
proper to use the adjective any longer. Let this
"register" with you, if possible.
Theologians deceive the people by telling them,
"Aionion must mean eternal, for it is the very word used to
describe the duration of God and Christ." No statement was
ever further from the truth. When I say, "Woodrow Wilson was the
war president," does the adjective, war, describe the duration of
his presidency? Most certainly it does not! It describes its
relation to the war. So, when God is called "the eonian
God," Rom. 16:26, it does not limit Him to the eons, but it
describes His relation to the eons. After sin and death is over,
we will revel in the presence of God, but now, while these are such
dreadful realities, we rejoice to know that God sustains a relation to
the eons. He is the eonian God. The sin and death that so
terrify us during the eons, are part of his purpose of the eons, Eph.
3:11. They are in accord with the counsel of His will, Eph.
1:11. So, the words, "the eonian God," have a special
sweetness to us.
God is called "the King of the eons," I
Tim. 1:17. One might suppose that, with all the disorder in the
universe, no supreme King is reigning. Not so. God IS
reigning. The very disorder that prevails during most of the eons,
is as much in accord with His purpose, as will be the complete order,
after the consummation. None of His works that our eyes can see,
now, has a semblance of order. God does not plant trees in
rows. The stars in the heavens seem to be strewn as a man might
throw out a handful of corn. Shall we conclude that God did not do
it, because it does not look orderly to us? No more may we rule
God out of the eons, because of their disorder. He is King, even
now. He is King of the eons, but this does not limit Him to the
Before the eons are consummated - even during the
last two, called the eons of the eons - God will have begun to vindicate
Himself, by turning the evil of the preceding eons to good account; and
thus He will receive honor and glory for the eons of the eons, see same
verse. This does not limit His honor and glory to the eons of the
eons. The expression is not used for that purpose. It is
intended to show that honor and glory will begin to be His, before the
consummation of the eons.
Theologians tell us that "for the eons of the
eons," must mean for ever and ever, because it is used to describe
the duration of the life of Christ, Un. 1:18. The passage reads,
" I am living for the eons of the eons." This is not
intended to limit His life to that period. It is intended to show
His relation to that period. Those are the eons in which He will
reign, first, as the Son of David and the Son of Mankind, and then as
God, (Heb. 1:8). At the consummation of that period, which will be
the consummation of the eons, He will have so completely done the task
given Him, that there will be nothing else for Him to do, and He will
abdicate the throne. It is important to know that, despite all
opposition, He will live through that period of the eons. He
assures us here, that He will.
He will not die when the eons are consummated.
The phrase, "for the eons of the eons," does not describe the
duration of His life. Let this "register," also.
Theologians can make as complete a mess of the scriptures, as a ten
months-old baby can make of a case of type in a printing office.
Unless the reader is willing to use, in the study of the scriptures, the
same amount of common sense that he uses in other matters, he is
hopelessly cut off from knowing the truth, which, alone, can make him
The most important thing is to know the truth about
the eons. And these editorials constitute our prayerful effort to
help in this direction.
The scriptures do not deal with eternal
matters. No human mind can conceive of anything without beginning
or end. Proof of this is found in the fact that preachers will
ask, "Where will you spend eternity?" Well, if you have
fifty cents, and spend fifty cents, how much of it is left? If you
are going to spend eternity, eternity will end. Or they will talk
about something being done "through eternity."
"Throughout," means in at one side, clear through, and out on
the other side. Don't you see it is impossible for humans to talk
about any duration except in terms of beginning and ending? This
is why the scriptures do not deal with eternal matters. They deal
with eonian matters.
The series of articles on the Eons will not be
instructive to some of my readers, perhaps, but I beg them to be
patient; for I have scores of new scribers who need this very
teaching. Those who have passed over these matters in their
reading, will, I am sure, be glad for new reades to have the same
benefit they have had.