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 XXIII

January, 1944

Number 6

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

When Paul said, according to the King James translation, "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who will have al men to be saved and come unto a knowledge of the truth," I Tim. 2:3, 4, he presented no problem to the saints.  There is no evidence that any disputed it.  This is true of his declaration that all are to be justified, Rom. 5:18, and all are to made alive in Christ, I Cor. 15:22.  Indeed, the fact that he did not discuss it at more length, is indisputable proof that it was accepted by practically all the saints. There was no need to argue the point. 

Since God is responsible for the existence of the human family, and since He made it "possible" for man to sin, and then did nothing to prevent it - indeed, since it is found that He did not say, in reference to the forbidden fruit, "IF thou eatest," but did say, "IN THE DAY that thou eatest thereof..." thus showing that He knew man would sin - since all this is a fact, nothing is more reasonable than that God should assume the entire responsibility for the salvation of the human family from the condition into which sin brought them.  And it is entirely reasonable to believe that He Who make the universe is able to perform this task which He voluntarily assumes. 

Saints today would have no more question about it in their minds than saints had in Paul's day, were it not for the fact that the church and the ministry have deliberately, in the past, sought to conceal the truth from them.  To do so, they changed the English language. 

Eternal and everlasting are words brought into the English language from the Latin.  In the Latin translation of the Bible, which was made from the Greek, aeternum and seculum were translations of the Greek word, AIONION.  Why they used two words is not known, but it is clear that their words meant, to those translators just what aionion meant to the Greeks.  

Aion, the noun, meant a period of time.  This is proven by the expression, "this aion and that which is future."  It is as if I should say, "this century and the next century."  I don't mean that an aion is a century.  It is like a century, in that both words represent time-periods.  Then the adjective, aionion, cannot mean anything else than, "pertaining to an aion."  American means pertaining to America; European means pertaining to Europe.  It would be foolish to give these words a meaning foreign to the nouns from which they are formed.  

Well, to the Latin translators, aeternum and seculum meant, "pertaining to an aion, or to the aions."  To them, the words brought no thought of endlessness.  

When "eternal" and "everlasting" were put in the English Bible, it meant, to the translators, "pertaining to an aion or the aions."  They had no thought of endlessness.  

These words were given the meaning of endlessness, when preachers decided that winners could not be saved unless the church frightened them with the threat of endless torment.  This change in meaning was an act, not of faith, but of unbelief.  Thus, the one thing to which Christendom clings as a means of reaching and saving sinners, had its origin in the unbelief and infidelity of the very ones who poses as advocates of the truth. 

Any intelligent reader can satisfy himself these words denote time periods, and not endless duration, by closely reading the King James translation.  Exodus 40:15 says, of the eons of Aaron,  "their anointing shall surely be for an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations."  THROUGHOUT THEIR GENERATIONS!  Did you get it?  Did it register with you?  Not endlessly, but throughout their generations.  That shows the meaning of everlasting.  The priesthood of Christ is to come, and it will be after the order of that of Melchizedek - not that of Aaron, Heb. 6:20.  

Everlasting will come to an end.  When?  When the "ever" comes to an end.  Day-lasting will end when the day ends.  Week-lasting will end when the week ends.  Everlasting and for ever means lasting until the ever ends.  To know that the ever is not endless, we have only to read Ex. 21:6, where it is said that a slave shall serve his master for ever.  Will any slave serve any human endlessly?  

As for "eternal," read Jude 7, where we are told that Sodom and Gomorrah suffered the vengeance of eternal fire.  Are those cities burning now?  Certainly not?  A brother told me that the fire was taken from the place of endless fire, and that when it had accomplishes its purpose on those cities, it was transferred back to its original place.  Very smart!  But he had fails to read in Gen. 19"24, "And the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of Heaven."  If heaven is the place of endless fire, it might be a pretty good place to stay away from!  

 When the King James translators found a word that, to them, meant "endless," they translated it ENDLESS.  It is found in Heb. 7:16, where it is said of Christ, "Who is made, not after the law of a carnal. commandment, but after the power of an endless life."  The word, endless, is their translation of the Greek word, AKATALOUTOU.  It means indissoluble, but, to them, it meant endless.  As a matter of fact, it amounts to that, for if the life of Christ is indissoluble, it is endless.  

The point is this: If the translators had thought aionion in Greek, and aeternum in Latin, denoted endlessness, they would have translated it "endless."  Instead they rendered it eternal and everlasting, which words, to them, denoted time periods.  

Close and prayerful reading of the King James translation would convince the reader that all mankind are to be saved.  This is not saying that the King James is the best translation. It is not.  I would advise all readers to use the Concordant Version.  It is the only consistent translation in the English language, and the only one based on the laws of language.  But, since the King James is the one most people use, I am discussing the subject from its viewpoint.  

The English adaptation of aionion is eonian.  Therefore, eternal life is eonian life; everlasting punishment is eonian chastening; the everlasting God is the eonian God. 

The life the believer has, as a believer, is eonian, or pertaining to the eons.  It begins in the presence of Christ, and reaches to the "end" or consummation of the eons.  After that, he has life. 

All chastening, destruction, or extermination, is confined to the eons.  After the eons, those who have been thus chastened, or destroyed, or exterminated, will have life.  

What interests us is God's relationship to the eons.  The eons are the times of sin, suffering, estrangement and death.  But God is on the scene.  He is the eonian God.  To say He will exist after the eons, is more foolish than to speak of a BLACK black bird.  If He is God, of course He will exist endlessly.  This in not in question.  The problem is; Is He the God of the eons?  Yes, He is the eonian ) everlasting God.  

The fact that everlasting, eternal and for ever denote endless duration now, can be traced to the lack of faith on the part of the ministry and the church, in years agone.  The church changed the meaning of these words, after it became convinced that the way to manage the people was to frighten them.  The church invented endless torment. Later, part of the church, horrified at the thought of never-ending torment, and yet being without faith as to this subject, invented endless death for the "lost."  "The second death from which there is no return," in as unscriptural as endless torment.  

The most satisfying belief is that God has resources of grace that will eventually, reach and save every member of the human family.  Those who thus believe have a satisfaction of which others know nothing.  I beg the reader, if these truths are new to him, to read again and again, the passages cited near the beginning of this editorial.  Oh, that God will give all who read these lines, to revel in the fact that the future holds life and happiness for every one of the family of Adam, after all suffering and death is over.  

Remember, the Scriptures deal with time periods.  These periods are designated by the words, hour, day, week, year, eon, eonian.  Only once do we see beyond the curtain that divides the eons from time after the eons.  This is in Cor. 15:28, where we wee all saved and alive in Christ, and God All in all.  

To obey postal laws, I must discontinue subscriptions when they expire.  Don't blame me for this, please.  If you fail to get the paper, either show me that your subscription is not our, or renew for it.  I will be sincerely grateful for this.

[Return to main indexpage]