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 XXIV

August, 1944

Number 1

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

When the president of the United States is inaugurated he takes an oath that, in effect is a promise to work for the benefit of every person in the country.  Then he proceeds to install a set of men whom he ahs chosen to be his cabined, and makes certain promises to them, and exacts certain services from them.  

Does this mean that he has forgotten his promise to work for the general good?  Is he concerned only with the group that makes up his cabinet?  Far from it!  The selection of this group does not abrogate the general promise.  In deed, this cabinet is chosen because of the promise to bring about the general good. 

The Circumcision scriptures - all out side of Paul's writings - abound in special promises to Israel - promises of a kingdom which God will establish for them, and of the blessings they shall enjoy in the kingdom.  This makes up most of the scriptures chapter 12 of Genesis, on to, and including the Unveiling, (Revelation,) with the exception of Paul's epistles.  Very seldom do we find, in this group, any reference to the salvation of all mankind.  John the Baptist introduces Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world, and Christ acknowledges the introduction by not repudiation it; the Lord said, John 3:17 that His mission includes the saving of the world; He declares, John 6:33, that He is giving His life to the world; and, just before going to the cross, He promised that He would be drawing all to himself, John 12:32.  But, for the most part, He is teaching what God will do for Israel - and these promises are not to us.  We should read them, to know how He will deal with Israel, but we should not "apply" them to ourselves.  

A few weeks ago I found a letter n my mail box and opened it.  I naturally thought it was addressed to me.  But when I began to read it I found that it wouldn't "fit me."  Looking again at the envelopes, I found the letter was addressed to W. B. Lewis.  I did not want to claim any part of it as my own, for in the same mail was one that was addressed to me, and every word of it had a special meaning to me.  How often have I heard men try to apply the Sermon on the Mount to saints of the present.  It is impossible to do it.  The same is true of the other promises found, not only in the so-called gospels, but also in Acts, James, Peter, John, Jude, Hebrews and the Unveiling.  They all fit Israel, but will not serve us. 

Paul says, Gal. 2:9, that he is for the Uncircumcision—those whom we know as gentiles.  "Nations" is the correct word.  In his epistles, Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Titus, Timothy and Philemon are rich promises, which, if we only understood them, would keep us from ever trying to steal Israel's promises, which are poor, compared to our own.  

Paul says much more about the salvation of all mankind, that do the Circumcision writers, but even he takes up more space in telling of the promises to us, the doctrines that are specially for us, and the things that we, members of the ecclesia which is the body of Christ, should do.  

In deed, Paul goes much further than merely promising the salvation of all mankind; he speaks of the reconciliation of the universe to God, Col. 1:20.  And, in the promise of salvation to all mankind, he shows of what this consists—justification, Rom. 5:18; salvation, I Tim. 2:3-6; vivification, (or life beyond the reach of death,) I Cor. 15:22; reconciliation, Col. 1:20.  

While Israel is the chosen nation, and that part of Israel that shall constitute the bride of the Lambkin is a special election out of the chosen nation, yet this should never be confused with God's choice of us, who shall compose the body of Christ.  The two groups should always be kept separate in our thinking.  We are chosen in Christ before the disruption of a world, Eph. 1:4; we are previously designated for the place of a son; we are having the deliverance through the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of offenses in accord with the riches of His grace; we are to be associated with Christ in the administration when the universe is headed up in Christ.  

Paul speaks of us in Titus 2:14 as an "about being people."  That is, we are to be about Him as the president's cabinet serves about him.  This is why we have a heavenly destiny.  Christ will touch and bless the celestial creatures through us.  We shall be God's medium of showing the riches of His grace in the oncoming eons. Eph. 2:6, 7.  

The saints of Israel are to have the dominion under the heavens—that is, on earth.  The Hebrew scriptures abound in promises to this effect.  Christ, in His earthly ministry, was a Servant of the Circumcision.  He confirmed these (Old Testament) promises.  But He did not carry them into effect.  That is reserved for the future. In the meantime, Israel has been set aside, in order that God may give all His attention to calling the chosen among the nations.  Not until this is done will He again turn to Israel, Peter, James, John and Jude, in their epistles, give instructions for Israel when they are again in God's reckoning.  In the Acts we see the failure of the kingdom, and in Hebrews we find the explanation of this failure.  In the Unveiling we see the kingdom being established.  This is future.  It will take place in the Lord's day, Un 1:10.

In I Thess. 4:13-18 is a promise not found in the Circumcision writings.  Christ is to descend into the air and we are to be snatched away to meet Him there.  When He comes to Israel He will come to the earth, and stand upon the Mount of Olives, Zech. 14:4.  The passage in Thessalonians is for us, not for Israel.  It is the ecclesia which is the body of Christ and shall be taken into the heavens.  Israel will be the "cabinet" of Christ on earth.  

Let it be understood that these special promises are eonian.   When the eons are past all mankind shall enjoy equal privileges.  The Circumcision scriptures tell us that believers shall have eonian life, John 3:16, and Paul says believers shall have special salvation, I Tim. 4:9, 10.  These two passages are alike in that the believer has something that the unbeliever does not have. But they are different, in that our Lord, in the passage in John, speaks of eonian life on earth for Israel, while Paul refers to salvation in heaven for believers.  Two distinct groups are in view.  But the statement that follows the passage in John, and that which precedes the one in Timothy, teach the same thing.  In the former the world is to be saved; in the latter, God is the Savior of all mankind.  

As I said, the special blessings for the chosen ones are eonian.  Nothing has caused more havoc in scripture study, than the failure to correctly translate passages that deal with this matter.  An "aion" is a period of time—a long period.  The English language was poverty stricken in point of words, when the earliest English translations of the scriptures were made.  It had no word that corresponded with aion.  But it had "werald," meaning the age of a man, therefore a period of time.  So the best the translators seemed able to do was to translate aion by werald.  Later the spelling was changed, and it became "world."  This explains why, in the King James Version, kosmos is correctly translated world, and aion is incorrectly so translated.  we now have the word, "Eon," and in the only scientific translation on earth, the Concordant Version, aion is eon.  

The language is those early days had another word that denoted a time period—"ever."  So when the adjective that was formed from the noun, aion, had to be dealt with, the early translators rendered it "everlasting," meaning lasting for an ever, or for a period of time.  The Greek adjective under consideration is aionion.  If the Greek text said for the aion, they put it for ever.  If it was for the aions of the aions, etc., they rendered it, "for ever and ever."  For ever was for a period of time; for ever and ever meant, to them, two periods of time.  

Later, "eternal" came into the English language from the Latin.  It had been used as a translation of eonian, in the Latin Vulgate.  It had the same meaning as everlasting.  It has no significance of endless duration.  

So the life of the believer is "everlasting," (eonian,) but when the evers, (eons,) are past, ALL shall have life, ALL shall have salvation.  God is the everlasting God, that is, the God Who has a relation to the evers, or eons.  When they are past, He will be merely God.  Chastening, (Matt. 25:46,) is everlasting—that is, lasting for an ever or part of an ever.  In other words, it is in relation to the evers, or eons.  There is none after the eons have run their course.  Life, happiness, glory—these are the portion of ALL, after the "weralds," or the "evers" have passed by.  

The translators did find a word that means "endless," and they did not render it everlasting, nor eternal.  They rendered it endless.  It is the word, AKATALUTOS. If aionion had meant endless duration, they would have translated it endless.  But because it means related to a period of time, they rendered it "everlasting." 

Stay with me while I follow this up. 

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