In a figure of speech, Paul designates as
"milk," that part of the evangel which a saint will readily
believe and relish if he is allowed to do so. And thereby hangs a
I was not allowed to believe such passages as these:
"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made
alive;" "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God
our Savior, Who will have all men to be saved and come unto a knowledge
of the truth;" and "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment
came upon all men unto condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one
the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."
I had been told all my life that these passages do not mean what they
say, and that each must be phrased differently to the true
I was conducting a series of meetings, and in the
course of a talk I said, "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ we
shall be made alive." After the meeting a lady said,
"You didn't quote that as it is in the Bible, but I am sure you
gave the meaning of it. If you had given the exact words it might
have confused the people. I'm glad you didn't."
This sent me to thinking, and the more I thought the
more uncomfortable I became. I didn't want folks to believe that
passage, for I felt sure its meaning could be better told by the
preacher than by the Bible. I felt the same about the other
passages quoted above.
Why could I not believe that God will make all alive
in Christ, and justify and save all mankind? Because I was
sectarian. In Corinth were sectarian saintsPaulinians,
Cephians, Appollonians and Christians. They did not know that it was
not proper to use the name of either Paul, Cephas Apollos or even
Christ, to designate a religious party. In this very epistleI
Corinthiansthe proper name is given. It is "the
out-called," or, it is in the Greek, "the
ekklesia." We give it the English adaptation, "the
Paul was yet feeding them milk, even in this
epistle. This figure of speech is used in contrast with the
teachings in Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and II Timothy, which is
solid food, or "strong meat."
A babe in Christ should be able to take the whole
milk, unless he has been filled with trash. That was my
trouble. I had been given a lot of trash, and while I could relish
the fact that Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He
arose, I Cor. 15:3, 4, yet I would "gag" at other milk found
in the same chapter, notably verses 22-28.
It is thought by some that maturity means an
understanding of the teachings in the perfection epistles, Ephesians,
Philippians, Colossians and II Timothy. Not necessarily so.
Maturity denotes the ability to receive these teachings. Maturity
is the development reached as the result of assimilating all the
teachings of Paul's earlier epistlesI and II Thessalonians, I and
II Corinthians, Romans, Galatians, Titus, I Timothy. All this is
milk, and makes one strong enough to receive the solid food. The
perfection epistles not only are built on these earlier ones, but also
show us what parts of the earlier ones are modified to accord with the
perfection writings, and what parts are abrogated.
The "milk" writings are not all
abrogated. Mature people still relish milk. No matter how
mature a saint is, he still needs the milk as part of his spiritual
Why is it that, today, we have more trouble
"getting over to the people," the doctrine of the salvation,
justification and vivification of all mankind, than in teaching them
anything else? It is because the church some years ago, adopted
the fallacy of never-ending torment. Having adopted this, the main
thought of the ministry ever since, has been to keep the people from
believing that God has resources of grace sufficient to save all
mankind. This doctrine was not a bone of contention in Paul's day,
nor for centuries thereafter. And it was never stopped by
argument, even after the church so far departed from the faith as to
make salvation dependent, not on believing in Christ, but on believing
in endless torment. This is the attitude of many today. No
one who knows me doubts that I believe in Christ, but some seem to think
that I am going to an endless hell, because I do not believe in
The teaching left on record by Paul was suppressed by
force, some centuries after the death of the apostle. It was done
by the Catholic church, which, during the dark ages that followed,
devised the creeds which govern Christendom today, in large
Force is used todaythe threat of excommunication
from the church. The dire consequences feared, is not much less
than that with which the Catholic church threatened
"heretics." I can remember when I could not think of a
worse thing than being "turned out of the church." I
well remember how I trembled when I was summoned before three preachers,
and told that I must quit teaching the salvation of all mankind.
But for the grace of God, I would have given up.
However, those who believe in endless torment, think
of it only in the "abstract." Never is it said in
funeral sermons that the deceased person has gone, or is going, to
endless hell. The preacher will try hard to convince his hearers
and God, that the dead one has done quite a bit of good, of that he has
not done much harm. It reminds me of the case of the dead
Indian. The custom was, that the dead should not be buried unless
someone could say something good about him. In this case, everyone
in the audience sat silent and sad. Until, finally, an old man
arose and said, "Our dead brother was a good smoker."
This gave him the right to burial. So it is easy to find enough
good in a man to convince God that He ought to take him to glory!
If this cannot be doneif he was not even a "good smoker,"the
preacher will fall back on grace, as the last resort, and claim eternal
happiness for the "brother," on the ground of the kindness of
While no human reasoning is sufficient to reach the
truthand, fortunately, no reasoning is necessaryyet, when one
believes the truth he finds it in perfect accord with reason. If I
know a child is going to walk into the fire if I don't prevent him, and
I refuse to do so, this makes me morally responsible for his
death. Everyone knows that God was fully aware of what man would
do if left to himself, and yet He did not prevent him. Would a
loving God have allowed this, if it were not part of His Design?
And would He allow it unless He meant to save humanity from the results
of this step? He accepts full responsibility, for it is said in
His word, that all is OF him, or "out of Him," as the
Concordant Version renders it, Rom. 11:36. As a matter of fact,
God did not merely "allow" men to sin. It is of
Him. The same verse says that all is THROUGH Him. He was the
Channel of it. And it shall eventuate in His glory, for the verse
also says that all is TO Him, or "for Him," C. V. Having
accepted responsibility for sin, God would be eternally dishonored, if
He did not use it for His glory and the good of man. It was all in
His purpose. Nothing is more reasonable than to believe that He
will save all mankind, and bring them to Him self.
While the King James Translation teaches the
salvation of all mankind, yet the Concordant Version should always be
used. It is the best English translation ever madein fact,
the only TRANSLATION, in many centuries, since others are merely
I believe a history of the doctrine of the salvation
of all mankind would be helpful to the readers. The Lord willing,
the nest issue will be devoted to this. In spite of opposition and
church decrees, there have been notable instances down through the
centuries, of men believing and teaching this precious doctrine.
Readers will want extra copies of that issue. Do not wait until
they are printed. Order your extra copies now, so I will know how many
to print. I believe it will be a most helpful
Methodist will be astonished to find that Dr. Adam
Clarke and John Wesley taught this doctrine at times. Baptist will
find, to their surprise that there were times when Charles H. Spurgeon
taught it. Americans will learn for the first time that our greatest
philosopher, Benjamin Franklin loved this teaching. So look for
the next issue if the Messenger.
Please save me much trouble by giving your name as
it is on my book, and on your wrapper, when you renew.
Don't be astonished if the paper is late
occasionally. War conditions have swamped our printer. He can't
avoid it. Also, there are bound to be errors, with so much work
crowded into the days.