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 XIX

April, 1940

Number 9.

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

The phrase, "eonian life," speaks of life in the eons, but does not tell us there will be life after the eons.  To learn whether or not life will continue after the consummation, we must rely on passages that deal with that period of time.  In I Cor. 15: 22-28 we learn that all are to be vivified in Christ - some before the consummation in Christ's presence, and the others at the consummation when death is abolished.  Verse 28 takes us beyond the eons, and shows us that then God will be All in all, which shows that after the eons all will be living in that vivified state promised in verse 22.  The reason so many miss this point in their studies, is because they look for information on this subject, in passages that deal with time in the eons.  

Mal. 4 is popularly supposed by theologians to prove that the "wicked" shall be destroyed and never live again.  When it is seen that the passage deals with the day of the Lord, the fallacy of such a supposition is manifest; for the day of God will follow the day of the Lord, (II Per. 3:10-12), and the consummation will come at the close of the day of God.  Neither do the passages spoken by our Lord during His earthly ministry, (concerning outer darkness, the door being closed, etc.) deal with the final destiny of any person.  Ignoring the time element is a very common fault of theologians.  

If we want to learn the condition of people during a certain era, we should consult passages dealing with that era - not those dealing with some other.  

The phrase, "the eonian God," Rom. 16:26, tells us God lives during the eons.  But it does not tell us He lived before the eons, or that He will live after they have closed.  The reason is easy to see: It is in a passage dealing with the eons - not pre-eonian nor post-eonian times.  

In II Tim. 1:9, we have a passage dealing with time before the eons.  It tells us that God gave us grace in Christ Jesus before eonian times.  This shows that God existed before the eons.  This passage deals with the subject under consideration; Rom. 16:26 does not.  Another passage that deals with the matter is I Cor. 2:7, which tells us that God designates a secret before the eons, for our glory.  And as for the question whether God will exist after the consummation, we find the answer in I Cor. 15:28.  After the consummation He will be All in all.  Certainly He will exist after the consummation.  But Rom. 16:26 does not say so. 

When Christ says, "I am living for the eons of the eons," Un. 1:18, He does not say whether He lives before that period.  Nor does He say He will live after its close.  It is a passage dealing only with the last two eons. 

The record given in the first four books of the Greek scriptures, (commonly called the New Testament), assures us that He lived on earth during part of the present eon; Paul tells us He is making His home in light inaccessible, (I Tim. 6:26), which assures us He is living now; II Tim. 1:9 informs us that He was living before the eons, when God gave us grace in Him before eonian times; and I Cor. 15:28 assures us that after the consummation He will be subject to the Father, which means that He will be living then.  Let this method of scripture study "register" in your mind.  If you want to learn a certain thing, consult the passages that deal with that matter, not those that have no bearing on it.

The phrase, "eonian chastening," mistranslated "everlasting punishment," in the King James Version, (Matt. 25:46), shows there will be chastening in the eons, but does not tell us it will continue after their close.  Is there any passage that says chastening will be inflicted after the eons?  

Many passages take us to the consummation, but the only one I recall that takes us beyond it, is I Cor. 15:28.  And that passage shows all vivified in Christ, and God All in all people, then no person has anything in him that is out of harmony with righteousness.  In other words, after the consummation, no person will have anything in Him, contrary to life, righteousness, immorality, incorruption.  If there is something in anyone that is contrary to these, God is not All in that one.  

What about the passage that speaks of eonian extermination? (II Thess. 1:9).  It will take place at the unveiling of the Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to the book of the Unveiling, (or Revelation), which I abbreviate to Un., will take place at the time the kingdom is established, long before the consummation.  Will the extermination continue endlessly?  How could it, when all are to be vivified in Christ at the consummation, and God is to be All in them, after the consummation?  

What about those who go into the second death, after the judging at the white throne?  (Un. 20:15).  The judging will take place near the close of the eon in which "the millennium" will run its course.  There is to be another whole eon after that.  And at the consumption, all are to be vivified in Christ.  Don't forget I Cor. 15:22-28.  It is precious.  

Did not Christ say some are in danger of eternal damnation?  No; He said some are "liable to the penalty of an eonian sin," Mark 3:29.  Did He not say those under consideration, (those blaspheming the holy spirit), shall never be forgiven?  No; He said such a one is having no pardon for the eon.  How could they, since they died in unbelief, and will not be resurrected until long after the present eon has run its course?  They will have no pardon in the next eon, for it is near the close of that eon when they shall be resurrected and stand before the white throne, from which they shall go into the second death. 

According to the record they are not to be pardoned during the present eon nor the one which is future, Matt. 12:32.  There will be another eon after "that which is future."  There can be no doubt that they shall be pardoned, not in order that they might be saved, but in order that God may be the happy God of Whom Paul writes.  For, just as we can never be entirely happy while carrying malice against anyone, so God could not be happy without the full and free pardon of everyone.  

Their salvation however will be accomplished not by pardon but by the fact that a Man, Christ Jesus, gives Himself a correspondent Ransom for them, I Tim. 2:3-6.  There is for them, justification, which, Paul says, God has provided for all, Rom. 5:18.  

But did not Christ say, "The blasphemy of the spirit shall not be pardoned?"  Yes; but did He not say, first, "every sin and blasphemy shall be pardoned," in Matt. 12:31?  We find a passage in which Christ said He was not going to the festival, and then He went, (John 7).  Did He tell an untruth?  No!  He said He was not going, and He did not go.  Then after He did not go, He did go.  So, blasphemy of the spirit shall not be pardoned.  Then after it is not pardoned, it is pardoned.  It shall not be pardoned until after the future eon.  That leaves plenty of time for it too be pardoned, just as Christ said it shall be.  

Nor is there any note of finality in the story of the rich man and Lazarus.  If I should say it is a parable, some would disagree with me.  But none will disagree when I say it deals with a condition that exists while the rich man has brothers living on earth, and in need of teaching.  This cannot be after the consummation.  Therefore, I repeat there is no note of finality in the story.  The words of Abraham, that, "neither those thence may be ferrying to us," does not necessarily mean that the chasm can never be crossed. At the consummation, all shall be vivified in Christ, (I Cor. 15:22-28), and this story, which deals with an entirely different period of time, should not be so construed as to give the lie to that precious passage.  Neither should it be interpreted so as to deny that there is justification, (Rom. 5:18), and salvation, (I Tim. 2:3-6), for all mankind, and reconciliation for the universe, (Col. 1:20).  That story deserves more extended treatment, which I expect to give later. 

But what about the place where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched?  I never could understand how the eternal life of a worm proves the eternal torment of a human.  The worm is a maggot, as the original shows.  The word for die is not the usual word that is used.  It is a word that means finish - the proper translation is decease.  There is no thought of one worm living continually.  The idea is, there will be no scarcity of worms so long as they are needed.  The passage referred to is in Mark 9:43-48.  Gehenna is the place under consideration.  In Greek it is Geenna.  Its location and the time of its operation is explained in the last chapter of Isaiah.  

The time is while there are still sabbaths and new moons.  The place is near Jerusalem, for people who go there to worship during the course of the kingdom, are the ones who look on the place.  Those who are cast into Gehenna are dead people, for they are called "carcasses," in Isaiah.  They shall have been executed for crime.  While they are exposed as a warning to others, worms are eating them.  Later they are thrown into the fire, to avoid contagion.  The refuse from the city will be burned there, and the fire "is not being extinguished," as the correct rendering says.  It has nothing to do with final matters, for the need for the fire will cease, a whole eon before the consummation.  Those theologians who say it is a type of the eternal punishment of the sinner, add to the scriptures.  It is not a type of anything.  It is simply the place where the bodies of criminals are destroyed during the era of the kingdom of the heavens. 


"Now you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should be overtaking you as a thief, for you are all sons of the light and sons of the day," I Thess 5:4, 5.

This is to the ecclesia which is the body of Christ.  "The day," is the day of the Lord, verse 2.  The reason that day will not be overtaking us as a thief, is because we are sons of light and day - not because we are watching, verse 10.  If it depended on our watchfulness, the day certainly would be overtaking many of us as a thief.  The reason why it will not, is because we will not be here when it comes. 

In Acts, and in Paul's epistles that were written while the body ecclesia and the ecclesia of Israel were both on earth, both are mentioned.  If both were to be on earth during the period covered by Un. 1 to 19, there is no good reason to doubt that both would be mentioned.  But they are not.  In that book, only Jewish ecclesias are mentioned.  The reason is plain.  Only Jewish ecclesias will be here then.  We will be in the heavens. 

Our prior expectation, Eph. 1:12, will be realized before the day of the Lord comes. 

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