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 XXII

April, 1943

Number 9

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

 In a book that ministers of a certain denomination must study in preparation for the ministry, it is said, in reference to Matt. 25:46, that the punishment of the wicked is endless if the bliss of the righteous is endless, because the same word, AIONION, is used to describe both. 

Yet the same book, in commenting on Rom. 5:19, "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous," says the first "many" means all mankind, but the second "many" means all who believe—not the whole human family.  

Consistency is about as rare in the average orthodox comment on scripture, as the proverbial hen's teeth.  Such nonsense would not be resorted to, were it not for the supposed necessity of defending a creed, in defiance of common sense.  If the word, "aionion," used twice in one sentence, has the same meaning both times, why is this not true of the word, "many," when used twice in one sentence?  

The first passage reads, in the King James Version: "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal."  It is admitted by all who know what they are talking about, that the Greek word AIONION is the one that is translated everlasting and eternal in that verse.  A study of the context—the setting of the story—would convince any unbiased person that the question of endlessness is not in the word either time it is used in that verse.  

See verse 31.  When shall the Son of Man come in His glory and all the holy angels with Him, and sit on the throne of His glory?  It is at the beginning of that eon which the Jews so often mentioned as THE eon—the one in which the millennium shall run its course.  This is necessarily true in view of Rev. 20:4, 5.  The saints shall reign with Christ a thousand years, while the rest of the dead remain dead for that period.  

Will individuals be judged at that time?  The Bible says NATIONS.  As Christ will have become King of one nation—Israel—He will deal with other nations as such—not with individuals of the nations. Where is the throne of His glory?  Since He is to have the throne of His father, David, Like 1:32, it is in Jerusalem.  It is there that He shall summon all nations to appear before Him.  

Is grace or faith mentioned in the story?  Not one time!  There is to be a time of great trouble just preceding this, Matt. 24:21, and during that period the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations, Matt. 24:14.  Jews are the only ones who can preach the gospel of the kingdom.  They are the Lord's brethren.  The nations that treat them well during that time, will be on the right, and the others shall be on the left.  Read the entire passage—verses 31-46.

Remember, the lord is called the Son of Man, in this passage.  As such He takes the place of Adam as Lord of the earth.  His is the right to deal with the nations.  The righteous nation will be given a place of blessing in the thousand-year kingdom; the others shall under go chastening—for the word that is translated "punishment" in verse 46, is the Greek word KOLASIN, which means chastening.  The word for punishment is TIMORIAS.  It is not in this passage. 

The word, kolasin, denotes a continuing process.  The suffix sin is equivalent to the English-ING.  The word used here is not chastisement.  It is chastenING.  It will continue as long as the "life" mentioned here continues.  And how long is that?  It is for THE EON—therefore the adjective, AIONION, or, as it is in English EONIAN, is proper.  Eonian means belonging to the eon, or to the eons, depending on the context.  In this case one eon is under consideration—the kingdom eon.  What is to take place after the thousand years is not in view at all, in this passage.  

The "life" relates to nations—not to individuals of the nations.  The United States has had life for 166 years.  But no citizen of this nation has lived that long.  The fire could well have a figurative meaning, for fire is so used many times in scripture.  However, I will not insist on that at this time.  The point is, some nations shall be chastened as long as other nations have the life promised in the passage.  And that is for the eon.  It is eonian life for nations. 

The question of final destiny is not in the passage at all.  It could not be in a passage dealing with a  thousand-year period—a period which begins more than a millennium before the judging at the great white throne, and ends some years in advance of the sitting of that august tribunal.  

The place to look for God's ultimate is not in those scriptures that deal with matters before and during the millennium, and the first part of the eon that follows.  None of the Circumcision scriptures go to the consummation of the eons.  Most of them stop in the kingdom of the Son of David.  A sew speak of THE EON AND STILL.  The writers had some knowledge that there would be an eon after THE eon, but it was very obscure.  "For the eon and still," in the Hebrew scriptures, (Old Testament) is often mistranslated "for ever and ever."  The four "gospels" deal with the kingdom, as do the Acts and the epistles of James, Peter, Jude, John, and that of the writer of Hebrews.  The Revelation, (Unveiling of Jesus Christ), stops short of the consummation, for it leaves kings still ruling, and nations needing the leaves of the tree of life as medicine.  

Paul says he is one who COMPLETES the word of God, Col. 1:25.  The King James Version says Paul was to fulfill the word of God.  Yet, in chapter 2:10 they render the same word by "complete."  This is correct.  Paul takes us to the consummation, and then lifts the curtain for a glimpse into the time after the eons.  In that brief glimpse we see GOD ALL IN ALL, I Cor. 15:28.  I quoted John Wesley on this in the last issue.  He correctly says, "Even an inspired apostle sees nothing beyond this."  

We might as well look for higher mathematics in a first grade arithmetic, as to look for finality in scriptures that deal with the kingdom promised Israel.  The place to find anything is to look where it is.  Finality is in the scriptures that complete the word of God—Paul's epistles.  

In the beginning of this article I referred to the word, many, which is found twice in Rom. 5:19.  I quoted it as it is in the King James Version.  As a matter of fact, Paul says THE one; THE many; THE one; THE many.  Properly translated, it reads, "For even as through the disobedience of the one man the many were constituted sinners, thus also through the obedience of the One the many shall be constituted just."  But I will not insist on this now.  Take it as the King James Version renders it.  We are still faced with the fact that if aionion has the same meaning when used twice in one sentence, the same is bound to be true on many, then used twice in one sentence.  

In Rom. 8:9 the word "spirit" is used twice in one sentence.  Does it mean the same in both cases?  In verse 5 "flesh" in used twice, and "spirit" is used twice.  How do our orthodox brethren interpret this verse?  

The first "many" in Rom. 5:19 necessarily means the whole human family.  What part of the race of Adam was not constituted sinners by the disobedience of Adam?  Then the second "many" means the entire family of Adam.  

If asked about the garbling of this verse, ministers usually reply, "We must interpret it that way, for the Bible teaches that no one will ever be saved, except those who believe."  I ask, in all modesty, where does the Bible say that?  It says in I Tim. 4:10 that God is the Savior of all mankind.  This is a statement that stands as it is.  Then the writer says He is the Savior specially of believers.  Believers have eonian life—or life that belong to the eons, John 3:16.  (Don't bring in Matt. 25:31-46 here.  It refers to nations and not to individual persons.  Belief is not mentioned there).  But all mankind are to be saved.  Not all will have eonian life.  Many will be dead, not only during the millennium, but also during the last eon, )having been roused only for judging, which is followed by the second death).  It is at the consummation, or "the end," that death is abolished.  This necessarily is the second death, for that death, only is operative during the last eon.  The abolition of death means the vivification of those who were held by it.  This is life beyond the reach of death.  It is after this is done, that God becomes All in all, I Cor. 15:28.  All Hell, death, outer darkness, lake of fire and eonian chastening must come to an end, in order for all to be vivified in Christ, and for God to become All in all.  

Why are eternal and everlasting used in the King James Version?  That version is made from the Latin Vulgate.  There Two words were used to translate aionion—seculum and aeternum.  This was for the sake of variety of expression, not to denote two meanings.  Seculum demotes sections, which could not mean what we mean by eternal.  The meaning of aeternum can be ascertained from the fact that on tombstones of that period the grave was called the aeternum home of the dead.  As saints believed in resurrection, they did not mean the grave is the endless home.  The King James Version simply transliterated aeternum into eternal.  Then, because the translators thought is proper to use two words as the Vulgate had done, the changed seculum to everlasting.  They used it as we do when we speak of an evergreen tree—not green endlessly, but green continuously until it dies. 

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