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 XX

October, 1940

Number 3.

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

"Not on bread alone shall man be living but on every declaration going out through the mouth of God," Matt. 4:4.

On EVERY declaration - not on just a few.  A flock of sheep, even if it were possible for them to do so, would not be so foolish as to fence themselves in a pen ten by twenty feet in area, in the middle of a thousand acre pasture of delicious grass.  Yet this is just what all denominations of so-called Christians have done.  I use the expression "so-called Christians," not because I doubt the people of the denominations being saints, but because the term, "Christian," while used freely by saints of the present, applies, not to them, but to members of the Jewish ecclesia.  

Each denomination cheats itself out of most of the declarations of God, while enjoying just a few of them.  This is very poor living.  It certainly is not "the abundant life."  As Henry Van Dyke said they build their temple walls to shut God in, and build their iron creeds to shut Him out.  

For instance, no one disputes the truth on which Christendom is built - that believers shall be saved.  This teaching is the truth.  But it is only a small part of the truth regarding salvation.  If the teachers would read further, in their own Bibles - the King James Version - they would find that, not only believers, but all mankind shall be saved, I Tim. 2:3-6.  Then, in I Tim. 4:10, they would find that, while God is the Savior of all men, He is specially the Savior of those who believe.  Using the same amount of common sense that is employed in other matters, they would see that believers are to have special salvation, and all men are to have salvation.  And what the special salvation means, they would learn from I Cor. 15:22-28.  Those who are Christ's are to be made alive in Him at His coming, (King James Version), and the rest of mankind at "the end," when death, the last enemy, is "destroyed."  

In the days when I taught that only "the elect" would be saved, I depended much on the expression: "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment," Matt. 25:46; and "But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation," Mark 3:29.  Humanly speaking, the same diligent study that I gave to other matters, would have shown me that, as used in the Bible, the words, everlasting and eternal, do not denote endless duration.  I was aware of the passages which speak of the sons of Aaron being an everlasting priesthood; Canaan being an everlasting possession of the seed of Abraham; and the hills being everlasting hills.  Deep down in my consciousness, I knew that the priesthood of Aaron's sons is not endless, and neither is the habitation of Israel in Canaan.  I knew that no stretch of imagination could force the rational mind to concede that the fire which destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was endless fire, Jude 7.  I knew that, if the present earth is to be destroyed the hills are to come to an end.  

But I dared not face the matter.  With a shrug of the shoulders I dismissed it, and went on teaching that all except "the elect" are to be tormented endlessly.  

If we see a person existing on half rations, we say he is not really living.  Measured by the same standard, I was just existing, not really living, in those days.  When we say a person has a high standard of living, we mean he is enjoying the comforts of life.  In those days I was having very few comforts, although I would not admit it to myself.  If I enjoyed the expectation of my salvation, my conscience made me mourn because millions, just as worthy as I, were doomed to endless torture of unspeakable severity.  More than that; I would look at my own precious children, while in a state of infancy, and think, "This little child, notwithstanding all its sweetness now, may go to an endless hell."   

I was far from living by a high standard, I was living on too few of the declarations of God.  Many of them I ignored. 

 This is the case with Christendom now.  Many thousands of saints are famished for the declarations of God.  They believe they will be saved.  But are not aware that the Bible teaches that all shall be saved.  Just as I spent twenty-five years in the ministry, keeping people from believing many of God's declarations, so are preachers doing it today. 

In those days I had an answer ready, in case anyone should ask me about I Tim. 2:3-6.  If one had asked about the passage which says, "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved," I would have answered, "In this case, 'all' does not mean all."  That would have been satisfactory, for I knew of only one person who insisted that all will be saved.  He was an old uncle of mine, Uncle Bill Heath.  He was not apt to ask me any questions, for he did not take up much time with preachers.  As I now see it, I don't blame him, one bit.  He was better off without them.  

But if someone had asked me how I knew "all" does not mean all, it would have been an embarrassing moment.  

It was in 1930, that I saw that the words, everlasting and eternal, are translated from a Greek word that cannot denote endless duration.  The word is AIONION, the adjective form of the noun, AION, which is translated "age," in the King James Version.  I began to see that AIONION life is age life, and AIONION punishment is age punishment.  That these are confined to the ages, I knew, but I was troubled by the fact that God is called the AIONION God, Rom. 16:26.  It seemed to me that there was no way to avoid interpreting "everlasting" as endless, in that passage.  The King James Version translates it, "the everlasting God."  

I shall ever bless the day that I  returned home from a meeting, and my wife said, "Here is a lot of literature that came while you were away.  I think it will help you on the word, 'aionion.'"  It proved to be literature from the Concordant Publishing Concern, 2823 E. 6th St., Los Angeles, California.  Coming from a man who had spent almost three decades studying these matters, the literature cleared up the point.  God is the God of the ages, or eons.  This does not mean that He did not exist before they began or that He will not exist after they have closed.  But the time we need Him so much, is during the eons, when sin and suffering is rampant.  When Paul tells us God is the eonian God, it gives us a sense of security now.  After the ages, or eons, He will be God, but not the eonian God, just as He was not the eonian God before the age, or eons began.  

The literature also cleared up the matter of "everlasting" or "eternal" salvation and punishment, or damnation, by showing that it is confined to the ages, or eons.  The believer will have eonian (everlasting or eternal) life, from the coming of Christ until the end of the ages, of eons.  After that, he will have life, but it will not be called eonian life.  In the preceding sentence I put the words, "everlasting or eternal," in parentheses, just after the word, "eonian."  I did this because the King James Version calls it everlasting or eternal, instead of eonian.  "Eonian punishment" or "eternal damnation," is confined to the ages, or eons, and does not interfere with the salvation of all, at "the end" when death is "destroyed."  

A proper understanding of these matters will give us an appreciation of "judgment," so that we can say, with David, (Ps. 19), that the judgments of the Lord are more to be desired than gold, and are sweeter than honey.  Without knowledge of any language except English, the student can ascertain that "judgment" means setting right.  If the reader will take Crudens Concordance and the King James Bible, and look up every occurrence of "judgment," "judging" and "judge," (as a verb), he will see that the underlying meaning is, "setting matters right."  Why should God judge the widow and the orphan, if judgment means endless condemnation, as so many think?  Judging them is setting matters right with them.  

The judging before the great white throne is for the purpose of setting matters right.  The fact that judging is sometimes followed by condemnation, does not cancel the fact that its basic meaning is, setting right.  Judging at the white throne is followed by condemning each one in accord with his acts.  The condemnation means suffering.  The second death ends the suffering.  The "end," I Cor. 15:24, (King James Version), comes later.  It is then that death is abolished and the rest of  "all," made alive in Christ, same passage, same Version.  When the multitudes come out of the second death at the time it is abolished, all will have been set right with them.  Why should it not be so, when the Christ Who died for them, is the One Who judges them?  See John 5:22.  Would He, through judging, cancel what He did for them when He died for them?  

Correctly translated, Mark 3:29 does not say they shall never be pardoned.  It says they are having no pardons for the eon.  It does not say they are in danger of eternal damnation.  It says they are liable to the penalty of an eonian sin.  But if it did say they are never to have forgiveness, it would not cancel the promises of salvation to all, for pardon is only the ticket into the millennial kingdom.  That which gives a right to life that shall last endlessly, is justification.  And the King James Bible says, (Rom. 5:18), that "the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."  when they are justified, they will not need pardon.  Also, if we should contend that they are in danger of eternal damnation, this would not nullify the promise of salvation for all, for, as we have seen, "eternal," as used in the King James Version, denotes limited duration.  The fire which destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah is said, in Jude 7, to be eternal fire.  Is it burning now?  The effect is eonian, not endless.  In the next eon, the cities are to be rebuilt, Ezek 16:53-56.  And it shall be in the next eon that the inhabitants shall be roused from the dead, and judged,  So, even if it were true that those mentioned in Mark 3:29, are in danger of eternal damnation, there remains the fact that "eternal" will come to an end, and God's declaration says He will have all men to be saved. 

Yes, each denomination is fenced in.  They have some of God's truth.  Much of it they ignore.  It does not fit their creed.  They do not believe it.  To put in the creed, that "we believe the scriptures to be the word of God," and then follow this by specifying certain things in that word that we "believe," shows, just as plain as day, that there are other things in it, which we do not believe.  I was bound by such a creed for years.  Now my only creed is, "I believe God, as He expresses Himself in the God-spirited scriptures," II Tim. 3:16, 17. 

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