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

September, 1944

Number 2

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

If the early translators thought it could be true that Christ will reign endlessly, and that He will deliver the kingdom up to the Father at the "end," and become subject to the Father, they must have been lunatics.  Luke 1:33 says "He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever," and I Cor. 15:24-28 says, "Then cometh the end when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign till He has put all His enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.  For He hath put all things under His feet.  But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him.  And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that did put all things under Him, that God may be All in all."  

When the translators translated Luke 1:33, if they thought "for ever" meant endless duration, in view of the fact that Christ will NOT reign endlessly, I Cor. 15:24-28, I repeat, they must have been lunatics.  Is anyone ready to accuse them of being crazy?  I certainly am not!  They were doing the best they could with the words they had to work with.  And think how foolish it would have been to say He shall reign endlessly, and ten say, in the next breath, "Of His kingdom there shall be no end."  OF COURSE, there will be no end to His kingdom if He shall reign endlessly.  There was no need to say it.  But if He is to reign for a period and then deliver up His kingdom to the Father, so that the KINGDOM shall have no end,  even though His reign SHALL come to an end, the last phrase of verse 33 is necessary.  And that is what He shall do.  He shall reign TILL----  

As I said in the August issue, "ever" meant a periods of time, and the translators knew the scriptures use a time-period-word, in this instance.  AION is the scripture word.  It denotes the longest segment of time, but never denotes endless duration.  The plural of the word is used in Luke 1:33.  He shall reign for the aions.  Evidently not seeing it is plural, or else not knowing how to express it, the translators did the best they could, and said He will reign for ever.  To them, this did not mean without end. 

The King James Version, based largely on earlier translations, follows this reading.  It is inadequate, for there is no way for the reader to know when one aion is meant, and when more than one are meant.  But we will at least not be led far astray if we remember that "for ever" does NOT denote endless duration, even thought we may not know whether or not more than one "ever" is under consideration.  Proof that for ever is not endless may be found in Ex. 21:6.  There it is said that a servant shall serve his master for ever.  Did the translators think this means endless duration?  No; they would have to be lunatics to believe such a thing.  I repeat, "ever" is a periods of time - in that case, the life of a man.  

AION, which should be rendered into English as EON, denotes a much longer period of time than the age of a man.  But the thought is, it is a time period, and what is said of it may be applied to any part of an eon, or to the whole eon, depending on the context.  "For the eon," in Ex. 21:56, is only a few years; "for the eon" in Ps. 110:5, and Heb. 5:6; 6:20 and 7:17, 21, is for the whole eon.  In those passages it is said that Christ is a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.  Since the function of priesthood is to bring mankind to God, it naturally follows that if Christ is a Priest endlessly, His priesthood is a failure - He never succeeds.  But the Greek says He is a Priest "for the eon."  His priesthood will end, because it will be successful.  

"For ever," in Paul's writings, should be expressed as follows: Rom. 1:25, "Who is blessed for the eons;" Rom. 9:5, "Christ—Who is over all, God blessed for the eons:" Rom. 11:36, "To Him be glory for the eons;" II Cor. 9:9, "His righteousness remains for the eon;" Philemon. 15, "That you may have him as an eonian repayment."  

In regard to Rom. 1:25, "blessed" does duty for a word that may be properly translated "eulogized."  The Creator is to be eulogized—that is, praised highly or commended—for the eons.  No one doubts that the eulogy will continue after the eons, but that is not the point here.  It is to be done even during the eons.  Rom. 9:5 tells us that Christ is to be eulogized by God for the eons.  In other words, God is so well pleased with Him that He praises Him highly and commends Him.  The passage says nothing about what shall be done after the eons.  In II Cor. 9:9 we see that the righteousness of God in giving to the drudges continues for the eon.  The entire passage when properly translated, reads: "Now God is able to lavish all grace on you, that, having all contentment in everything always, you may be superabounding in every god work, according as it is written, "He scatters, He gives to the drudges.  His righteousness remains for the eon!"  

In this passage, only the present eon is under consideration.  It is in the present eon that Paul's ministry on earth shall continue.  And in that ministry is the blessed promise that those who drudge shall not be left without reward, even in this life.  The reward is contentment, verse 8.  The drudges may not have material wealth, but they shall have spiritual riches.  Drudging in the work for the glory of God and for the relief of His saints is what is under consideration, as we find in the verses preceding those I have quoted.  It is a righteous thing for God to give contentment to such ones.  He will continue to do it for the eon.  That the righteousness of God will never end, is not questioned.  Gut what Paul wants to "get over" to us is, now, while we are drudging, God's righteousness in giving to us, is in operation.  

In regard to this word, "everlasting," Paul treats it in this way.  Remember, it is eonian, in English, but the early translators used "everlasting" to mean, "relating to time periods," even as we use eonian.  The latter is a more up-to-date rendering.  When Christ comes, certain ones are to incur extermination in relation to the eons—not endless destruction—for God will have all men to be saved, II Thes. 1:9, compared with I Tim. 2:3-6.  Read these two passages and remember that the destruction is only in relation to the "evers," and that God will save them at the end of the evers or eons.  While they are in a state of extermination we shall be living with Him.  They will not live until the end of the evers.  Ours is called by the early translators, everlasting consolation.  

In I Tim. 6:16, Christ is living in light, and has honor and might in relation to the eons or evers—everlasting or eonian.  After the eons He is subject to the Father; now, when we need Him so much, He has honor and might.  In Rom. 6:22, 23, the wages, (ration) of sin is death; the gift of God is life in relation to the eons or evers.  While unbelievers are in the second death, we shall be having life.  That THEY shall have it after the eons, is taught in I Cor. 15:22-28.  We shall have it before that time.  Here is introduced another word, "eternal," but, as it is used interchangeably with everlasting, it denoted the same thing, to the translators.  It came from the Latin, and was used to translate "aionion." Proof that it does not mean endless, is seen in the fact that it is said, Jude 7, that Sodom was burned with eternal fire—fire that has long since ceased to burn.  The translators would have been lunatics, indeed, to have used "eternal" here if they had thought it meant endless duration.)  

In Gal. 6:8, we, believers, reap eonian life, or life in relation to the evers, if we have sown to the spirit.  This reaping is the joy of anticipation of living with Christ, not merely after the eons, but during them, after He comes in the air for us.  For His coming will be a long time before the eons end.  In I Tim;. 1:16 those who become believers during this eon, believe for eonian life.  Even unbelievers shall have life after the eons are past. 

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