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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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