Savior of the Whole World?

(see credits below…)

What does the Victorious Gospel of Jesus, the Chosen One sound like removed from the “traditions of men which make the word of God of no effect? Matt. 15:6-9.:

Christ, to whom, in whom, and for whom are all things will reconcile all things unto God (Colossians 1:15-20). He makes all things new. (Rev. 21:5) Hence His work is the restitution of all things (Acts 3:21); He is Heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2); in Him not only all nations will be blessed (Galatians 3:8), but even every family of the earth will be blessed (Gen 12:32; 28:14); for the Father has given Him authority over all flesh, to give to whosoever was given to Him eternal life (John 17:2); and so all flesh shall see the salvation of God (Luke 3:6) since the Father has given all things into His hands. (John 3:35) Therefore, contrary to popular Christian opinion, we do not find billions in a Hell cursing God but we find every creature which is in heaven, and on earth, and UNDER the earth saying blessing and honor and glory and power be unto Him that sits upon the throne and unto the Lamb (Rev. 5:13). We find every knee of things in heaven and earth, and under the earth, bends to Him and every tongue confesses Him as their Lord (Philippians 2:10) and we know that no one can confess Jesus as Lord except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3).

For God, Whose counsel is immutable (Hebrews 6:17), Whose attitude towards His enemies is love unchanging (Luke 6:27-35), will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth (1 Timothy 2:4, KJV); and all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9); and has shut all up unto unbelief, in order that he may show mercy upon all (Romans 11:32); for (out) of Him, as Source, and unto (or into) Him, as End, are all things whatsoever (Romans 11:36); and He has, therefore, put all things into subjection under Christ’s feet (Ephesians 1:22).

And so we are assured that God will gather into one all things in Christ (Ephesians 1:10); and His grace comes upon all men unto justification of life (Romans 5:18). So Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands (John 13:3), promises by His Cross to draw (drag in the Greek) all men unto Himself (John 12:32). For having, as stated, received all things from the Father (John 3:35), all that was given to Him shall come to Him and He will lose absolutely no one (John 6:37-39); but if any stray, He goes after that which is lost till He find it (Luke 15:4). Despite the fact that many of God’s chosen and elect believe God’s hand is too short to save (Isaiah 50:2) God’s hand is not too short to save (Isaiah 59:1; 63:5).

He comes in order that all men may believe (John 1:17); that the world, through Him, may be saved (John 3:17); His grace brings salvation to all men (Titus 2:11); for He takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29); gives His flesh for it’s Life (John 6:51); and, because the gifts and calling of God are without Repentance (Romans 9:29), He gives life to the world (John 6:33); is the light of the world (John 8:12); is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world (1John 2:2); is the Savior of all men (1Timothy 4:10); destroys the works of the devil, not some of them only (1John 3:8); abolishes death (2Timothy 1:10); puts all His enemies under His feet including death (1 Cor. 15:26), is manifest to put away sin (Hebrews 9:26); and thus subduing all things unto Himself (Philippians 3:21; the context clearly shows this subjection to be conformity to Himself); does not forget the dead, but takes the gospel to Hades (1Peter 3:19); of which He holds the keys (Revelation 1:18); for He is the same (Savior) for ever (Hebrews 13:8); thus even the dead are evangelized (1Peter 4:6).

Thus all are made alive in Him (1Corinthians 15:22); for Christ finishes, completes His work (John 17:4; 19:30): restores all things (Acts 3:21); and there is no more curse (Revelation 22:2-3); for the creation is delivered from the bondage of corruption (Romans 8:21);  and so comes the end when Christ delivers up the Kingdom to God, Who is then All in All because ALL God’s enemies are defeated, the last enemy being death, NOT eternally alive being endlessly punished. (1Corinthians 15:24-28).

Salvation is a gift from God, it is not of works lest anyone be found boasting (Eph 2:8) and that gift has been given to all men despite the fact that some of God’s own people don’t like such generous grace. (Rom. 5:8; Matt. 5:1-16)

We can be assured of all these wonderful and glorious things because nothing is too difficult for Him (Luke 1:37) and while many things are impossible with man, nothing is impossible with God. (Matt. 19:26) Furthermore, God is love (1 John 4:8), a love that love never fails (1 Cor. 13:8), a love that lays down  His life for not only His own, but His enemies as well and commands His disciples to do likewise.. (Matt. 5:38-48) Therefore, for God to endlessly punish His enemies would make Him a hypocrite commanding less powerful and less loving human beings to do what He is not willing to do. (Matt. 23)

There is nothing that can withstand His will and no plan of His can be thwarted. (Job 4:42) The Son came to save the world and not condemn it (Luke 5:59). Jesus asked the Father to forgive those who crucified Him (all of us) (Luke 23:34) The Father has laid the iniquity of us all upon the Lamb of God (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus died for all of us. (John 1:29) To punish us now would be double jeopardy. Indeed, we can enter into His peace, believing that it is indeed finished! (John 19:30) The gift of life has been given to everyone. (Rom. 5:18) (Taken from Unbelief: The Greatest Christian Sin)

And for biblical proofs to attest of that fact, visit:

Tentmaker’s Scholar’s Corner

Love Wins Us

What the Hell is Hell?

Rejoice!! Jesus truly is the Savior of the whole world. That includes you, my friend

  • credits-  this is from a Tentmaker.org article. Thanks to Gary Amirault for all his hard work. He is sadly missed! 1

Baptizing the Nations

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What is baptism really all about?

My growing up in a fairly conservative denomination (the Mennonites) allowed me to see a certain picture of baptism that most other denominations would probably dismiss. We had used pouring as the method. Although it was practiced that way, most others would say that is not how it should be done. Later in my College time, I was questioning my salvation experience and decided to be re-baptized by immersion.

I now realize that all this was as a result of me trying to be sure I was saved. I was so afraid of Hell at one point in College that I didn’t sleep for 3 nights.. I had had no real assurance of salvation, and surely believed the scriptures were from God, and it sure seemed like they talked of a place called Hell, which I now realize was a pagan deception that made its way into many versions of our modern Bibles.

Now I can look back on all this baptism rituals with a smile.. Can you see how ridiculous religious minded people can make you do things for the wrong reasons. They have good intentions… to save you from the wrath of God, so to speak, but the heart of the matter is so much more than the literal baptizing with water.

When we can see that the whole purpose of sharing the good news of God’s kingdom is not to perform various rituals in and of themselves, but to intentionally bring the person into a closer walk with God, we are getting a better understanding. This is, I believe, the real intention of Christ when he told his disciples to preach and baptize. Let the people know how much God loves them… Why? Because he really is love! Love keeps no record of wrongs. The judgement day will be a whole lot different than what most people have been taught. God gets the last laugh, IMO. 🙂

The Pearl

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The “Pearl of Great Price” is one of the parables given by Jesus. What does it have to do with a present? This article will attempt to give a study on the idea of the “Approach Present” that God established in scriptures. Perhaps you will then understand a bit more about that “Pearl of Great Price.” The “person” in the parable was said to have sold ALL that he had in order to purchase that Pearl. What a huge price to pay!

In the book of Genesis, Jacob (whose name means something like a thief or a clutcher,) brought a huge amount of items, an “approach present,” to his brother Esau, almost 60 years after stealing his birthright away from Esau. He had met God, and wrestled with him all night long, through an “angel,” and now Jacob wanted to appeal to his brother in the best possible way to win back his favor. He brought almost a 1/4 million dollars’ worth of livestock, etc. by today’s standards to his brother Esau. It cost him a whole lot.

Solomon had all kinds of kings bring him “approach presents”. …very expensive gifts, too!

Jesus, soon after his birth, had the Magi bring him gifts of “Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh, all 3 prescribed in the Old Testament scriptures. The Magi wanted to impress and be friends with this new “King of the Jews.” These were “approach presents.” …very costly by the standards of those days!

Now if we look closer at the verse in Ephesians 2:8, it takes on even more powerful meaning when we realize that the “gift” of this verse is an “approach present” from God, seeking to win our favor.

“For it is in grace, (an undeserved favor) though faith, that you are saved (made a whole person, saved from perishing), and this is not out of you; it is God’s Approach Present. (Concordant Version with my comments inserted.)

This idea is so powerful to me… that God would collect the most extravagent gift collection ever (His only begotten Son) and then seek and seek and seek and seek the “little lost sheep” that has gone astray…. until he finds it and give that gift freely to that lost sheep. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” We/You are His treasure… His Joy! And he gave the best he had to give, his only begotten Son! He served us!

We are his Pearl of Great Price. So, who was it that was seeking for the Pearl? … Us or God?

Resurrection Hope

What is our Hope?

From Acts 24: Paul said, “But this I confess unto you, that after the way which they call heresy, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets: and I have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust (:14-15)

     What is our hope? Is it in governments or leaders? Is it in churches or organizations? I hope that you can realize that we are subjected to frustration on purpose… by God himself, so that he will get the greater glory later on after HE cleans up all the mess that man has attempted. “God has subjected (consigned ) ALL to disobedience so that he may have mercy upon ALL.” The reason we even have history or time is to play out the grand scheme of God’s great rescue plan, and trust me, we are not totally there yet, even though we can enter in and “see” or understand the kingdom among us. We wait…. Christ will reign “until”…

Our hope is a bit different than that of the general public who do not intimately know our great savior.. We are his elect… those that come out from the brainwashed crowd and start changing our thinking, and experiencing abundant life. (“Repentance” or metanoia, is a changing of the guard in our brain (heart)) to where we start to “see the kingdom of Heaven”. We enter into God’s rest/ enter into the kingdom ahead of all of the rest of God’s children who don’t know him yet. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he….

So God is calling his elect to go ahead of the rest of his children…. Eventually, no one will be left behind… Jesus, our elder brother went first, as a servant of all, laying down his life for his friends… Now he calls those of us he has chosen to have faith in this age, to awaken, and to start changing the world around us.. making a difference, and sharing God’s great love with all we sense are open to the good news.

Those who stay stuck in religion (similar to the Pharisees of Jesus’ day) may not see the kingdom of heaven until a future age (aionios). He warned the Pharisees that they would not be forgiven in 2 ages… the present age, and the age to come… NOTE: He didn’t say they would never be forgiven, as some versions falsely mislead us… We know this is not the case, since Paul tells us that “God was in Christ, reconciling the WORLD to himself, NOT counting men’s sins against them. Please note that Love endures forever, mercy endures forever, the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, etc…

All these type of verses let us rest in the fact that God is not done with the Pharisees. They will go through God’s purging, purifying love-fire! I think of the Hebrew children in Daniel who were in the fire, but didn’t get burnt. The angels in Elisha’s day’s who were riding in chariots of fire, but of course the angels were not burned. etc… The Lake of Fire has got to be good for all who go through it. Brimstone (sulfur) is known in biblical times as a purifying agent.

Now the Elect of God will be gathered together at Christ’s appearing in the clouds… He will appear in the clouds, with a great SHOUT (to wake the dead in Christ) and the Voice of an Archangel (Michael) and sounding of a Trumpet (to call those still alive who are in intimate relationship with Papa through his Son). This is the time of the “Coming” in clouds of glory, His Glorious Appearing, and of the first resurrection (as contrasted to the second resurrection for all those who still will need to be shaken in their thinking.) Those who follow after the millennial reign of Christ, will be told to “go away, for Christ didn’t “know intimately” into an aionios (age) period of time of cleansing their thought patterns.

It is God’s kindness, not hell, that leads us to repentance (change of mind). This word aionios has so sadly been translated as “forever” several times in scripture… 2 of these times, they are back to back, as in the verse that says” Forever and ever”…. really if they were consistent, it would be rendered “forever and another forever”… Now listen to the spirit translate these same thoughts instead of demonic influence….. “The smoke of their torment (actually a testing such as gold is tested in heating process) ascended for an undetermined amount of time”. Truly this would be a pleasing aroma to God to see the cleansing, purifying process occur… “No more pain, nor sorrow” will be the end result of God’s allowing his Son to reign until the end of the “ages” (aionios) time periods. Eventually, there will be no more resistance to Christ’s rule…. Death and Hades (not hell) will be cast into “The Lake of Fire”.
The last enemy to be defeated is death itself. What brings death? Hamartia (“sin” or more properly it is wrong perceptions and thinking patterns that are leading men to evil deeds… When hamartia is done away with, then death will not be needed anymore. Then Christ will hand the kingdom over to his Father, so that God will be ALL IN ALL!.

Why did God allow all of this deception to get into our church systems and various translations of his word? I think it may be to get us to dig a little deeper, and see if his ecclessia will really love the way he wants us to. “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make (mold you) into a free person.” Are you free when you are in fear of hell? Hell no! (pun intended) Of course a God who said he hated even the thought of sacrificing babies on the hot arms of Baal/Moloch (in Jeremiah 32) would of course not be a God who could be trusted if he would then turn against his ideals and morals laid down in the OT scriptures. God cannot change his moral character/ HIS NAME.

God tells us that he wants us to forgive our enemies, do good to our enemies, only meet out an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, so how in the world could he go against his “Love that never fails” and “Love that never ceases” and “mercy that triumphs over judgement”, etc… Ain’t God trying to tell us “Vengeance is mine, I will repay” for a very good reason? … If left alone to our evil brainwashed (blinded eyes) thinking, we would probably all wish very much ill on all of our enemies. Love triumphs over all. Let’s let God be the judge. Love, love, love….

Then someday in the future, God will send his Christ the second time, where every eye will see him, and he will catch up the dead in Christ first, and catch the rest of us who are still alive who are in Christ, and so we will ever be with the Lord. Then shall so many scriptures in the Old Testament be fulfilled… Paul said that he only told them of what the scriptures and the Holy prophets of old had foretold, similar to what Jesus told the two disciples on the road to Emmaus… They said after the Lord disappeared, “Did not our hearts burn within us?”

The scriptures tell us that this will all happen at the “last trump”… the final 7th trumpet that is sounded during the book of Revelation’s time of great tribulation.  Thessalonians tells us “Let no man deceive you, for that DAY will not come until there come a great apostasy, and the “man of sin” be revealed.”  What DAY? The DAY OF THE LORD spoken of by so many prophets. How long will this DAY be? From what I see in scriptures, I think that a thousand year reign of Christ will begin at that age (time period). Then at the end of this reign, there will be a time of rebellion and war, and God will destroy the armies surrounding the city of God.. only to be cleaned up/purified/ reconciled… It is all by Papa’s design.. He has chosen certain one’s in this age to know the truth of who they are… “Forgiven/ Justified / Righteous / Holy…. Romans 4:5 says “God justifies the wicked.” Others are chosen to learn these great truths at a much later time or in another age..

There are those who are influenced to believe that all of scriptures are already fulfilled somehow in the 40 years after the death of Christ, at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

The Greek word for this “generation” is talking about a genealogical group or a “perverse and wicked” generation… and is not talking about a 40 year period as some think it refers to… “This race of wicked/perverse people will not pass away until all shall be fulfilled spoken of It by the prophets….talking about he Jewish nation who failed to see Christ as their Messiah. I’m sure each of you out there can do the research in all of the Gospels where this word is used and you will see what I am saying to be true.

“All Israel will be saved” as in Romans 11:26, and there were over 1 million Jews who were actually destroyed in 70 AD…. “The liberator will come”…. and he will liberate, not destroy! Listen to Romans 11:26, which is a quote from Zachariah of OT …. “And in this way ALL Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Liberator will come from Zion; He will turn away godlessness from Jacob. And this will be My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” It talks of the whole nation looking upon the one whom they had pierced and mourning as for an only son. They will finally “see the light” of the glorious gospel in the end of the tribulation period, when Christ comes again the second time. They will be driven to jealousy by seeing the Gentiles that have come to faith… God finally takes the blinders off of their eyes that he had kept blinded for so long.

It is all a part of his grand plan to save ALL.

“And I, if I be lifted up from the Earth, will drag (draw) ALL men unto me. I can only imagine how glorious that DAY of the Lord will be, when finally every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess willingly. Hearts will have been healed, delivered, and set free from blindness. No more rapes, no more murders, no more theft, no more lies, no more corruption, no more tears, no more pain, no more sorrow, and the dead raised to life, and death finally done away with. I’m certainly looking forward to that kind of fulfillment of all of scriptures of Old and New Testament. Please take the time to read 1 Cor 15 again and do your own research…

“Every eye shall see him” and “as the lightning that flashes across the sky from the East to the West” and is surely very highly visible, his coming will be very visible, very loud with a shout, and with the very last trumpet of Revelation …

“Maranantha! Even so, come Lord Jesus!” 🕎

The World’s Greatest Farmer

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The Greatest Farmer Ever:
(The Will, Counsel, Intent, and Work of God)

A farmer has a will…to see a good crop. He then uses his counsel to decide how best to carry out his plan. Then he sets out with intent to accomplish his will. He may not even like the work he has to do to get to the end product, especially if it is hot out in the sun. But he perseveres until the garden yields the goodies for his family to eat.
So, in a nutshell, we have 4 items here:
a) The Farmer’s will b) His counsel, and c) His intent, and d) his hard work to get the job done, and each are to be understood a bit differently.
God also has a will. He has a counsel. He has an intent as to how he will get that plan/will accomplished. And God works to that end. Do you know what his plan is? (More on that later.)
This may fry your brain to think upon, but I believe it is needed to understand a few things that God allows…as in the following shortened list:
….. Sickness … he hates it … Evil … He hates it … Hard hearts … thick skulls … deception … lies … murder …. adultery … idolatry …. I believe you get my drift … any and all things not good.
Why would God hate all these things and yet allow them? Do they still exist?
Why would God promise us a better “day?” (the “Day of the Lord”), if all is already quite well everywhere in his creation? Yes, he has provided a way out through the accomplished work on the cross, but we do not yet see it completed in every mind of his children. So, he is still working by his Spirit to convince the world of hamartia (wrong thinking patterns resulting in fear and bad actions, of righteousness, and of the true nature of God.
He even “creates evil” …not by his will…but by his intent.. His intent is that the evil will bring out the need for the opposite. This leads to his eventual overcoming of all rebellion and evil everywhere. He shall rule and reign until this is experientially true…not just potentially true.
Thus was Lucifer created with the capability of becoming evil.
Thus was Adam given a chance to fall…
Thus was Abraham allowed to raise a knife over his son, almost ready to kill his own Son.
Thus was King David allowed to commit adultery and kill a man to cover it up….
Thus was Job allowed to be pummeled by Satan.
Thus was Jonah allowed to run away from God’s assigned task for him.
Thus was King Herod allowed to kill all the unborn babies in Jerusalem area under age 2.
Thus was Pharaoh’s heart hardened over and over and over again. Would it not have been a very boring story of “deliverance” if Pharaoh would have just smiled and said, “Sure thing Moses. Just take all the gold of Egypt. I’ll send soldiers along to protect you. Oh, and by the way, have a great day.”
God would not have had a wonderful deliverance, nor gotten the glory for being so good to his people. With a strong hand, he rescued them out of slavery! Glorious!

—- How much of God is God? How do you see God?
a. Do you see a God who started the universe & kind of wound it up and then never again interacts in his creation?
b. Do you see him as lovingly wanting to do best for us but can’t because of man’s free will and sins and evil getting in the way?
c. Do you see him as playing second best to Satan because of all the sickness and disasters and evil in the world?
d. Or do you think he doesn’t care?
e. God doesn’t exist is not an option. Remember how fearfully and wonderfully you are made.

Ok.. Now for answer time…:
When considering the work of carrying out God’s plan through the ages, we find that God has a great and glorious plan. We can find out what his good and pleasing and perfect will is by what a verse says it is not… The converse, so to speak… ” IT IS NOT God’s WILL that ANY should PERISH, but that all would come to metanoia (the repentance word).”
Of course this metanoia word cannot mean to grovel or pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps to make ourselves worthy of a Holy, “wrath filled” God. NO WAY! Instead, it has a much more glorious meaning, and here are a few ways to understand “metanoia”: “See the light”, Eureka, awakening, awaken to truth of God and our relationship to Papa, see ourselves for who we really are, have our thinking changed, etc….
An example of this is when Saul was on the rode to Damascus and was blinded by the great light… and then he “saw the light” so to speak. He was enlightened as to who Jesus really was and he saw himself now in a servant/slave position before a LORD. He probably did not even fully realize his favored position in Christ until much more revelation was given to him, and that is ok.
None of us are fully awakened to truth all of the sudden. Many a time, God takes us through seasons of being more awakened. And the more we are filled (or controlled) by Holy Spirit, the more we fall in love with God and love others more fully.
But we must realize that we were included in Christ a long, long, time ago and that the work of our redemption from a fallen way of thinking (as well as the accompanying actions) was accomplished long ago. We think of the words of Jesus on the cross as “IT IS FINISHED” or accomplished, or done deal…

But really it began way before that…. “Even before the foundations of the world” it was a done deal in God’s “timetable”, since he is in all of time and out of time at the same time. It just hasn’t manifested yet to the full extent in man’s minds or timetable.
Our minds are warped by the Satanic/ Luciferian/ Matrix system until we see the light of the glorious gospel in the face of Jesus Christ. That is why we can say “we regard no man any longer after the flesh.” We are all included and made righteous and holy and beloved in his sight. No one is left behind. We are justified, not just forgiven. That brings true freedom from sin.

“All flesh shall see the glory of God.”

I do not have the time here to include the over 100 hundred verses in scripture that tell us that history will conclude with ALL before God’s throne worshiping without any rebellion at all in anyone’s hearts …but 1 Cor. 15 describes this process… And it is a process in our ages of time as we know them. There will be a “DAY” that will sneak up on the earth as a thief in the night. In that “DAY”, which I believe lasts a thousand years (unless possibly it is figurative, and that would be fine by me as well) we see Christ Jesus ruling and reigning here on Earth, and then, if that time is not enough, another age or two or three, whatever it takes to get everyone’s heart healed of all the junk we have blamed God for or not believed will be over and done with, and every last person has entered the New Jerusalem through the gates that always stand open wide …. God is a consuming fire, and that fire burns until all wood, hay, and stubble are burned away from the pure gold God desires.
Why would the gates of the New Jerusalem stand open wide always? The Spirit and the Bride say “Come” and let him who hears say “Come.” History will culminate when Jesus hands the kingdom back over to his Father (and our Father)… who then becomes “ALL in ALL”. This is by no means just a simple “All in 10%” or even 90% of his creation, but it is “ALL”. Let us believe this with a childlike faith. The problem is that religious mindsets cannot hardly believe the Good News is really that Good! God is Good all the time. God is Love. God is light. God is carrying history forward to a grand culmination to where All are reconciled, healed, set free from wrong mindsets, and loving Father for what he has done. They will all give Jesus Christ credit for his grand role of being a servant of the grandest type. One who perfectly mirrored his Fathers’ heart for all of us, “laying down his life for a friend.”
So now let us go back to the Pharaoh and Egypt arena with Moses asking for freedom to take “my people” out of bondage. Why would God harden a man’s heart? Well, if he hadn’t done so, would there have been any contest? Would there have been any evil for God to overcome? Would God’s goodness have been displayed openly to all the nations who would hear of this great deliverance? You know the answer…
There is a verse in Isaiah 45:7 that says this …”I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” This is in the middle of the passage that I will quote from next… (If you know the verses, you can skip ahead.)

This is the KJV version of Isaiah 45:5-9:
5 I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.
7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.
8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.
9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?
……………………..
So now let us observe that if this is correctly translated, then it is God who created evil, and as I said before it is not for his will (he hates it as in he doesn’t really want it, but maybe temporarily needs it around for a while) Evil is opposed to God’s character of goodness… his perfect will. So why would God create something he is against? “Because he is God” is probably not a good enough answer. That answer seems to create Atheists, who would then say that God is Schizoid.
But if we think of this in terms of his perfect will versus his counsel of how he is going to get that will accomplished, we can see that with intent to eventually triumph over everything that is not good, he allows and even creates the possibilities for his creation to go astray and not love and do all manner of evil.
God still seems to hold individuals accountable for their actions and says things like “Be sure your sin will find you out” … and that we will “reap what we sow.” If we do evil, we will reap evil.
Now … how long will God be at this intention of heading his creation towards a reconciling of all things into Christ under one head? He says that “ALL things will become NEW”… and that in the fullness of time, Christ died so that ALL can be reconciled into/under one head. Please read Ephesians 1:9-11…
God is said to be “patient, not willing that any would perish, but that all would awaken to right thinking/living.” He also says that with him a thousand years is like a day. It might take a while.
What can we be doing meanwhile? “Love covers a multitude of hamartia (wrong thinking and actions). Love others into a new kingdom realm way of thinking. Help them “see the light” of how glorious they already are in Christ. “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” The mystery of the ages is unfolded in Ephesians and Colossians.
The mystery is this: that Christ has ALL of his creation enfolded into him on the cross, whether we realize it or not. “Christ is in you, the hope of glory.” Christ is in everyone and will manifest his presence and his message of love eventually in everyone. You can run from this kind of love for a while… you can run from his love for a lifetime…maybe…. but you cannot run from his love forever.
He has a way of dragging (drawing) us gently to himself. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will helkuo (literally drag in the Greek) ALL to himself… Some versions place “ALL men” in this verse, but the Greek leaves “men” out. So, in essence, he draws ALL of his creation into himself and makes it whole, healed, restored, delivered, you name it… anything that is good. He has baptized us by means of one spirit into one body… with his love and spirit and word and assurance and He is the one who will have “all men to be saved” ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE GOD AND FATHER OF US ALL. … (ALL)!
Rev 5:13 speaks of a time when ALL of his creation will be giving PAPA “blessing, and glory, and honor, and praise.” This will finally fulfill what God promised to many OT saints such as Abraham… “In you shall ALL the families of the Earth be blessed.”
So, when death, which God allows for a time period until time is no more, is finally done away with, and swallowed up in victory, then will be fulfilled the sayings and promises of old… “No more death, nor sorrow, nor pain (no torment anywhere in all of God’s universe), for the former things are finally passed away.”
God will no longer have to “put up with” the things he hates…hated to have to allow. But in his wisdom, God counselled himself that there was no other way than to plant a tree in the garden of the knowledge of good and evil… he created both darkness (in him is no darkness at all) and light (God is light and God is love.) And his allowance of all this bad, evil, wicked, things that he put up with for several ages will finally be over. God will be celebrating this culmination just as much, if not more so, than we will. God will applaud each one of us, including Pharaoh, for the role he played in bringing glory to God.
Jesus in the garden prayed “Is there any other way out of this evil.” In his spirit, he came to rest in the fact that God knows best.
This is my best understanding of why God allows or even “creates” evil. Thankfully it will all end up well and good.
….and there is definitely no way that there could be a God who will torture all of his Pharaoh’s who are doing/ fulfilling his perfect plan. God keeps no record of wrongs.

Can you see the difference between God’s perfect will and his intent on how to accomplish it? Intent is a means to a goal or an end. The end goal is within his character and will …his good, and perfect, and pleasing will.
“Behold what manner of Love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we (all of us) should be called the sons of God. And it does not YET appear what we shall be, but when we see him, we shall be like him, for we shall “see” (know/understand/ be enlightened in understanding of) him as he is. In all of his glory and so shall we ever be with him in glory… Because LOVE NEVER FAILS! Amen!!!!!
Is God still at work today? Or is he resting? “I believe we may still be in the “6th day of creation” in which God is working to make us into his image, on the cusp of the “7th, and final day of creation, wherein he rests.” — quotes paraphrased from Peter Hiett. “My father works, and I work.” I must work the works of him who sent me. Jesus is the mirror image of his Father, therefore, we know the Father is not done working yet. “He’s still working on me!”

 Paul G. Myers
———————————————————————————————————————————–
—- much credit goes to thoughts gleaned from “The Absolute Sovereignty of God” – edited by my good friend Andre Sneidar with forward by C.L. Pilkington, Jr. (Excellent reading!)
—- Also you can get daily emails from “Daily Email Goodies” at the following address: http://www.pilkingtonandsons.com/emailgoodies.htm

or you can visit online at Study Shelf.com for books you can order at : http://www.pilkingtonandsons.com/index.htm
Cylde also has many teaching videos online at Youtube and elsewhere.

Some quotes from Peter Hiett… See some of his work on Vimeo and Youtube or at his homepage at http://www.thesanctuarydenver.org/

See Boyd Purcell’s excellent book “Christianity Without Insanity: For Optimal Mental/Emotional/Physical Health”.
Also visit http://www.tentmaker.org for many good videos and a wealth of info.

and so many more…

 

Christmas Time?

Simeon Sees God’s Salvation  from Luke 2:

25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation
31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”

33 And Joseph and His mother[h] marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (NKJV)

 

—   Even though the birth date of Christ’s birth was September 11th 3 B.C.E., somehow the pagan ideas got the whole season of Christmas to be held around December 25th (winter solstice ) and many pagan ideas came along with it.  Hopefully you will be more aware of Christ at this time than the pagan things that tend to crowd him out.

This amazing passage above where Simeon, a very old man at this time, saw the tiny baby Jesus and God’s spirit made him aware that here is the Savior of the Whole World.  God is Salvation is in fact the meaning of the name of this small baby in his arms.  In fact verse 31 seems to lend credence to similar verses throughout the word of God that declare him to be more than just a savior of a few… but instead the savior of the whole world.  Joy to the world can thus be proclaimed. And yet at the same time, many hearts will be revealed as to what is our intentions.  Are we seeking for the one who is most treasured?  Romans 3:10-11 tells us that there are none who seek after God. Therefore it must be deduced that God is the one who seeks us, loves us, draws us, leads us to repentance, and will someday make ALL things New!

Links to Seeker’s helpful topics:

1.      Seeking info on many topics?  see Dr. Ernest L. Martin’s research at :    http://www.askelm.com

A helpful exposition on the sin of tithing today is found at www.askelm.com/tithing/index.asp

See this article for info on :   “The False Wailing Wall”

2.     Paul Gray’s books are available at Grace w/ Paul Gray

3.     James Barnes has great topics at Orchard Ministries

4.      Brad Jersak’s telling of the good news (gospel) using chairs as a visual model:

 

5.    Another good blog site is Charles Watson, Sr. at : CW Sr

6.    For end of age info such as G7, block chain, identification verification (ID4D) , etc. see:

NWO stuff

another site for proof: Braingate Info

7.  Here’s a powerful video by a lady who grew up in a “Christian” cult on TedX:  I was in a Cult Video on TedX

Seeking? or Argumentative?

This series of blog posts (and in future…links to helpful websites or videos) is an attempt to present truth as I have now come to see it.  Herein I’m attempting to no longer come from a “religious” mindset controlled by man in an institutional manner, but in a way of freedom from man’s way of keeping us in a box…. this will hopefully be a springboard for you to explore the scriptures and love, through the Holy Spirit of God making you more and more aware of his goodness, grace, mercy, and love.

If you have come here only to prove me wrong, you will not gain your goal. You will be frustrated.  I have come to the conclusion after arguing or debating with people in the past, that this method of attempting to “serve God” is a human way to do something only God is capable of doing.  God is Salvation and it is his job to draw a lost soul to himself.  If you are blessed by this site, you may copy and paste articles elsewhere as you choose. Please give credit to authors as well.

New wine is made for new wine-skins.  Jesus told us that if you pour it into old wine skins, they will burst.  I have also found that “swine” are not interested in pearls. Use this material wisely. — Paul Myers, 2017.

 

THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS

Lazarus and Rich Man — original by Dr. Ernest L. Martin (with a few edits)
This section of Scripture has been more misunderstood by students of the Bible than many other parts of the divine revelation. There is a definite reason for it! It is the assumption that Christ is relating a story of literal occurrences, rather than an account rehearsed in parable form. The truth is, however, the narrative is a parable from beginning to end. Once this important point is understood, the meaning becomes clear and significant.

A sure and quick way to inflame the wrath of some preachers and Christian laity is to say the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man is a parable. They will not have it! The mere suggestion that the account is symbolic is enough to bring on the charge of “theological liberalism.” To many people today,the normal bedrock of teaching concerning Christ’s judgment upon sinners rests with the literality of this story. And one must admit, it shows a judgment of severest consequences! It seems to state, in vivid and graphic detail, the condition of wicked sinners after death. They appear to be conscious, in extreme torment, engulfed in flames that will never be extinguished and that they will remain in such excruciating pain for all eternity. And true enough, if the account of Lazarus and the Rich Man is not a parable of thoroughly symbolic meaning, this would be their fate!

Such a scene is so horrendous to imagine that it is no wonder vast numbers of fearful people walk down the aisle to accept Christ after hearing a sermon on the literality of the story. It never seems to occur to such preachers that this consignment by Christ to a never-ending judgment for sins committed in this short life, makes Him to be the most unjust and unreasonable person in the universe. Simply because someone in China or the Soviet Union (to pick two atheistic countries) never had a chance to hear of Jesus Christ and His redemptive message, and to then confine him to a never-ending HELL is beyond belief for a merciful and loving God who sent His only begotten son to save and redeem this world (John 3:16). However, this interpretation is part of the exact scenario being preached in many churches and revivals today. And let’s face it, that is precisely what ought to be taught if Lazarus and the rich man is a literal narrative.

Thankfully, there cannot be the slightest doubt that the whole account is a parable from start to finish. What many people conveniently fail to realize is the proclivity of teachers, speaking in early Semitic languages like Hebrew (or even in Greek when speaking in a Semitic environment), to constantly use the symbolic or parable form of teaching to the people they taught. Christ was no exception!

“All these things spoke Jesus unto the multitudes IN PARABLES and without a parable spoke he not unto them. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, ‘I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.’”

Matthew 13:34–35

Parables are a form of storytelling in which the physical features of some well-known subjects are exemplified to relate an essential spiritual teaching. On many occasions the incidents are greatly exaggerated to heighten the teaching. One famous example is that of Christ when he said the mustard seed was the smallest of seeds (when everyone knew it was not) and it becomes the greatest of trees (which again was not literally true). See Matthew 13:32. No one in the first century would have thought that Christ was stretching the facts. Of course he was! But it was a simple form of teaching that all people were using in that time. This is often known as Hyperbole.

Since we are dogmatically told that Christ was always in the habit of speaking to the people in parables (as a common mode of instruction in the Semitic world of the first century), why do people today insist on the literality of symbolic language, while people in Christ’s day normally did not? Note one thing that the Apostle Paul said which has to do with the fire of judgment, yet no one in ancient times (or even today) takes literally. Paul said: “If your enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing you shall heap COALS OF FIRE on his head” (Rom.12:20, from Proverbs 25:22). This mention of the fires of judgment on a person was only intended in a figurative sense. It shows that a person’s conscience would be “singed.” No literal fire was meant!

And so it is with the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man! No one with common sense could possibly believe that Christ was giving literal teaching. The whole thing is figurative from start to finish, and anyone who says differently should examine the matter closer.

Let us now look at the subject carefully. In no way should a person believe that literal acts were being discussed by Christ. Practically every detail of the story has a symbolic meaning to it, and this can be shown so clearly. When a person adopts an erroneous literality to the account, the message that Christ was trying to convey is destroyed and its true symbolic meaning is tarnished!

A Parable Throughout

The first thing to notice is the fact that Lazarus ate of the crumbs that fell from the Rich Man’s table. Now, are the crumbs literal or symbolic? If literal, then tell me how Lazarus would have had enough to eat? A few measly crumbs could hardly feed any grown man. Obviously, Christ meant that the man ate the scraps (intended for dogs or other animals). However, the literalists would demand real crumbs so they can get the Rich Man into a real burning hell!

Then it says that Lazarus died and was carried by the angels into the bosom of Abraham. Where was Abraham’s bosom? Some people say it signifies the heavenly abode, heaven. In fact, the bosom of Abraham actually means the breast part of his body. Can they get Lazarus and ten million other redeemed Christians in that one bosom of Abraham? There would not be any room to breathe, let alone stretch one’s arms. All people, however, rightly recognize that Christ is here giving a symbol. True! That is just the point that we wish to make! If one part is figurative, all can be!

We then find that Abraham is able to carry on a conversation with the Rich Man and that Lazarus could be seen with Abraham, although the text says that Abraham was “afar off.” How were they able to talk with one another? If Abraham and Lazarus were in heaven (as many preachers claim today), it shows that the redeemed would still be in constant contact with the rebellious sinners in hell and that the redeemed would be seeing their tortured and agonized faces as they writhed in unrelenting pain. Indeed, they are close enough to be in conversation with them! Can you imagine the “joy and happiness” the saints would have while viewing the agony of all the wicked in hell for all eternity? But if this story of Christ were to be taken literally, that would be the outcome. What “glory” would it be to see your unredeemed father, your unconverted mother, sister, brother, son, daughter, wife or husband having to experience the rigors of an eternally burning hell without any relief ever in sight, while you bask in the sunshine and happiness of Abraham’s bosom? And remember Abraham was close enough to carry on a conversation with the Rich Man. And the Rich Man was close enough to Lazarus to recognize him.

Another thing that is highly irregular of our experience is the fact that the Rich Man was able to speak at all. Would he not more likely be screaming his head off at the terrible excruciating pain that he was being subjected to? Again, if the account is literal, we find a most impossible situation in the story. Even more than that, what does the Rich Man seek from Lazarus? It is not to drag him out of the fire, but simply to take a drop of cold water and put on his tongue. Why, the Rich Man ought to know that such a thing would not relieve his pain in the slightest! How can a drop of physical water give benefit to a spirit being (as the Rich Man would be)? The water, if literal, would turn into steam before it could do any good. And why did not the man ask Abraham to bring the drop of water to his tongue to cool it? Abraham was far closer to the Rich Man, or at least it looks this way because there was no conversation with Lazarus. What was so special about Lazarus that his drop of water would cool his tongue, but Abraham was not asked for any help?

The point is, the whole scene (although instructive and significant in what our Lord was trying to teach) is impossible to explain sensibly if Christ was teaching fact. However, make it a parable (as it truly is, remembering that Christ would not teach without a parable), then the message becomes beautiful and understandable. Again, everyone knows Paul did not mean literal “coals of fire on one’s head” in Romans 12:20.

The True Story in Detail

The story of Lazarus and the Rich Man is a parable (Matthew 13:34). Once this is recognized, the interpretation behind the narrative can become quite meaningful. It is also very important to note the context in which the parable is found. There was a reason why Christ spoke this parable at that time. Christ had just given His teaching about the unjust steward who had mishandled his master’s money (Luke 16:1–13). This parable was told to further illustrate what proper stewardship is.

Let us first consider the identification of Lazarus. This is the only time in Christ’s parables that a person’s name is used. Some have imagined that this use of a personal name precludes the story being a parable. But this is hardly true. The name “Lazarus” is a transliteration of the Hebrew “Eleazar” (which means “God has helped”). The name was a common Hebrew word used for eleven different persons in the Old Testament.

When one analyzes the parable, this Eleazar can be identified. He was one who must have had some kind of affinity with Abraham (or the Abrahamic covenant), for the parable places him in Abraham’s bosom after death. But he was probably a Gentile. The phrase “desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table” was typical of Gentile identification (see Matthew 15:22–28). Even the phrase “laid at his gate” is reminiscent of the normal one used by Jews to denote the Gentile proselyte “Proselyte of the Gate.” This Eleazar must also have been associated with stewardship because Christ gave the parable precisely for the reason of explaining what represents the true steward.

There was only one Eleazar in the historical part of the Bible that fits the description. He was a person associated with Abraham, he was a Gentile (not an ethnic part of the Abrahamic family), and a steward. He was Eleazar of Damascus, the chief steward of Abraham.

“And Abram said, ‘Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eleazar [Lazarus] of Damascus and lo, one born in my house is mine heir.’”

Genesis 15:2–3

Long ago it was suggested that the Lazarus of the parable represented the Eleazar associated with Abraham (Geiger, Juj Zejtschr., 1868, p. 196 sq.), but for some reason very few modern commentators have taken up the identification. But once this simple connection is made, a flood of light emerges on the scene which can interpret the parable with real meaning.

The Lazarus of the parable represented Abraham’s faithful steward Eleazar. And faithful he was! Though he had been the legal heir to receive all of Abraham’s possessions (Genesis 15:3), Abraham gave him an assignment which was to result in his own disinheritance. But the Bible shows he carried out the orders of Abraham in a precise (and faithful) way.

“And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house [Eleazar], that ruled over all that he had, ‘Put, I pray thee, your hand under my thigh: and I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife unto my son [Isaac] of the daughters of the Canaanites.’”

Genesis 24:2–3

Eleazar agreed to do what Abraham desired, although the fulfillment of his task meant the complete abandonment of Eleazar’s claim to any of Abraham’s inheritance—both present and future! Each step that Eleazar took northward to procure a wife for Isaac was a step towards his own disqualification. Eleazar recognized this, for he admitted to Laban, Rebecca’s brother, that “unto him [Isaac] hath he [Abraham] given all that he hath” (Genesis 24:36). There was nothing left for him! Thus, Eleazar’s faithfulness to Abraham resulted in his own disinheritance from all the promises of blessing which God had given to Abraham. They were now given to Isaac and his future family. That inheritance included wealth, prestige, power, kingship, priesthood, and the land of Canaan as an “everlasting” possession. But now Eleazar was “cast out.” He and his seed would inherit nothing. Thus, the parable calls Lazarus a “beggar” who possessed nothing of earthly worth.

Who Was the Rich Man?

The Rich Man was an actual son of Abraham. Christ had him calling Abraham his “father” (Luke 16:24) and Abraham acknowledged him as “son” (verse 25). Such sonship made the Rich Man a legal possessor of Abraham’s inheritance. Indeed, the Rich Man had all the physical blessings promised to Abraham’s seed. He wore purple, the symbol of kingship, a sign that the Davidic or Messianic Kingdom was his. He wore linen, the symbol of priesthood, showing that God’s ordained priests and the Temple were his. Who was this Rich Man who possessed these blessings while living on the earth?

The Israelite tribe that finally assumed possession of both the kingdom and priesthood, and the tribe which became the representative one of all the promises given to Abraham, was Judah. There can not be the slightest doubt of this when the whole parable is analyzed. Remember that Judah had “five brothers.” The Rich Man also had the same (verse 28).

“The sons of Leah; [1] Reuben; Jacob’s firstborn, and [2] Simeon, and [3] Levi, and Judah, and [4] Issachar, and [5] Zebulun.”

Genesis 35:23

“And Leah said … ‘now will my husband be pleased to dwell with me; for I have born him six sons.’”

Genesis 30:20

Judah and the Rich Man each had “five brethren.” Not only that, but the five brothers of the parable had in their midst “Moses and the prophets” (verse 29). The people of Judah possessed the “oracles of God” (Romans 3:1–2). Though the Rich Man (Judah) had been given the actual inheritance of Abraham’s blessings (both spiritual and physical), Christ was showing that he had been unfaithful with his responsibilities. When the true inheritance was to be given, Judah was in “hades” and “in torment” while Lazarus (Eleazar, the faithful steward) was now in Abraham’s bosom. He was finally received into the “everlasting habitations” (verse 9).

“A Great Gulf Fixed”

The parable says that a “great gulf” [Greek: chasm] was fixed between the position of Abraham and Eleazar and that of the Rich Man [Judah]. What was this chasm? The Greek word means a deep ravine or valley — a great canyon with cliffs on each side. Its two sides were also “afar off” from each other (verse 23). It was “a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence” (verse 26). Note the italicized word “pass.” In all other occasions of its grammatical use in the New Testament, the word was used to denote a passage over water. And in Greek imagery of the abodes of the dead, there was usually some kind of water barrier between the righteous dead and the wicked — either a river or ocean. This is also represented in Jewish conceptions of the compartments for the dead — “by a chasm, by water, and by light above it” (Enoch, ch. 22).

It was also common for many chasms (those described in Greek literature) to have water in their regions of deepest declivity. Let us now look at such a chasm from a Palestinian point of view. In that environment there is only one possible identification for the “great gulf” of the parable if it is to fit the meaning of the Greek chasm precisely. This would be the great rift valley between the highlands of Trans-Jordan and the hill country of Ephraim in which the River Jordan flows. This fault line is the greatest and longest visible chasm on earth. And what a spectacular sight it is! As one looks over the chasm he sees impressive cliffs on each side, a desert in its wastelands, and the River Jordan meandering in the center.

Identifying the chasm of the parable with the Jordan rift unfolds a beautiful symbolic story well recognized in contemporary Jewish allegorical narratives of the time. In the center of this “gulf” was the River Jordan. It divided the original land of promise given to Abraham from ordinary Gentile lands. The west side of Jordan represented the area that the Bible considered the original Holy Land. As the angel said to Joshua: “Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon you stand is holy. And Joshua did so” (Joshua 5:15). When the Israelites finally entered the chasm of the Jordan and crossed the river, they then considered themselves in the Holy Land the land promised to Abraham and his seed!

Entering the land of Canaan (west of Jordan) was also a symbol of final spiritual salvation. The author of Hebrews recognized that Israel’s crossing of the River Jordan under Joshua (and the taking of the land of Canaan) was typical of Christians obtaining their true “rest” in the future Kingdom of God (Hebrews 3:1–4:11). Even American Negro spirituals with which so many of us are familiar (“crossing into Canaan’s land”) are reflective of this early symbolic theme.

Recall also that the Rich Man was depicted as being in flames of judgment (verse 24). In this same rift valley were formerly located the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah which were “set forth for an example suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7).

“Turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those who should after live ungodly.”

2 Peter 2:6

When the allegorical applications are understood, the teaching of the parable becomes simple and instructive. The theme of Christ’s narrative was true stewardship. Though Eleazar [Lazarus], Abraham’s trusted steward, had disinherited himself from earthly rewards by his faithful obedience to Abraham’s wishes, he was later to find himself (after death, when true inheritance comes) in Abraham’s bosom. But the chief representative of Abraham’s actual sons (Judah, the spiritual leader of all the Israelite tribes) remained East of Canaan as far as true inheritance was concerned. He had inherited all the physical blessings while in the flesh, but at death he was not allowed to pass the spiritual Jordan into the final Abrahamic inheritance.

Like Moses, because of rebellion, he was not allowed to pass the “great gulf” to enjoy the land of milk and honey. True enough, Judah had been blessed with the kingship, priesthood, the divine scriptures, the prophets, and other untold blessings, but he was not allowed to enjoy the true spiritual blessings of the future because he was unfaithful with his sonship and was refusing the true message of salvation offered by God’s own Son. Christ said: “Neither will they he persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31).

The Final Appraisal

The only Gospel to carry the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man was Luke who was the companion of Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles. It showed a specific message that Gentiles could now inherit the promises to Abraham provided they were faithful as Eleazar had been. Yet Paul did not want the Gentiles to be conceited in their new relationship with God.

“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeks for … God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, ears that they should not hear; unto this day.”

Romans 11:8

But “Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid” (verse 11). “Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles [like Lazarus-Eleazar]; how much more their fullness” (verse 12). One of these days, according to Paul, “all Israel shall be saved” (verse 26). God will show mercy on the natural sons of Abraham as He has on faithful Gentile stewards. This shows that the hades, the purple, the linen, the torment, Abraham’s bosom, the great gulf, and even the persons of Lazarus and the Rich Man were all symbolic and not literal. After all, the narrative was a parable.

Summary of the Symbols

The Lazarus of the parable was Eleazar, Abraham’s steward (Genesis 15:2).

He was a Gentile “of Damascus” (“a proselyte of the gate”) who “ate the crumbs.”

He was disinherited (to become a beggar) but he remained faithful to Abraham and God.

When this earthly life was over, he received Abraham’s inheritance after all (he was in Abraham’s bosom) — in “everlasting habitations.”

The Rich Man of the Parable was Judah. This son of Jacob had five literal brothers as did the Rich Man.

He was also a literal son of Abraham, while Eleazar (Lazarus) was not!

The Rich Man (Judah) also had the kingship (purple) and the priesthood (linen).

Yet Judah (representing God on this earth) was not the true steward of the Abrahamic blessings.

Though he and his literal brothers had been graced with the “oracles of God” (the Old Testament) they would not respond to the One resurrected from the dead (Christ).

The “great gulf” was the Jordan rift valley the dividing line between Gentile lands and the Holy Land of promise (Abraham’s inheritance). Crossing the Jordan was a typical figure recognized by the Jews as a symbol of salvation.

Once these factors are recognized, all the points in the parable (with its context) fit perfectly to give us some simple but profound teachings of Christ. It shows that the physical promises of God (though excellent) are very inferior to the spiritual redemption that anyone (Jew or Gentile) can have in Christ.

Concluding Remarks about Hell

What are the consequences of sin? We are told by many people who view the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man literally, plus some scriptures in the book of Revelation, that it means to be in hell fire for all eternity. Let us also understand the book of Revelation is very symbolic! Though it speaks of the rebellious being tormented with fire and brimstone for ever and ever (for the ages of the ages), it is also the same book that speaks of Jesus Christ, equally in symbolic form, of looking like a Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes in his face (Revelation 6:6 with 14:10–11). This section is, of course, symbolic as anyone can see.

This does not mean that figurative teaching has an unpractical meaning. Far from it! What must be discovered is the real teaching. Take, for example, the punishments God gives for sins. There are hundreds of scriptures that show God’s retribution upon individuals and the world for their rebellion to Him and their harm to mankind. But the punishments of judgment are not to burn literally in a hell fire forever! Indeed, judgment is now on the house of God.

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”

1 Peter 4:17

No sinning saint is now in the fires of judgment. All people sin — alas, even Christians sin from time to time (1 John 1:8), but all are promised eternal life — yet they suffer the loss of certain wonderful rewards for the millennial period if they persist in sin,

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. … Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

1 Corinthians 3:11–15

The Bible says it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of God when people rebel against Him (Hebrews 10:31), even though Christian people are sanctified and their salvation is secure in Christ (Hebrews 10:14).

When the whole of the Bible is studied on the matter, it is seen that the judgment of hell after death is symbolic. People who have had some “near death” experiences and thought they were going to a burning hell, were having hallucinations inspired by their imaginations. 2 After all, people who have been taught all their lives about a literal hell fire to be experienced for all eternity, have difficulty in eradicating such things from their minds at the point of death — and this is more so if they think they are dying as sinners. However, Christ came to save the world, and He will do it!

The geographical area that was a symbol of fiery judgment was the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna) at the southeast corner of Jerusalem. It was the city dump. Normally, fires were set in the region to burn up the refuse. If dead bodies were placed there in time of war (or sometimes in pagan rituals), worms would emerge to destroy the carcasses. This is what Isaiah 66:24 and Mark 9:44–48 are talking about. Of course, the fires were in a separate area from the worms because worms cannot live in flames.

The whole thing was intended to be figurative in the first place. Gehenna (hell) was known as Tophet (Isaiah 30:33 with Jeremiah 7:31) and remarkably the entire area will one day become holy to the Lord (Jeremiah 31:38–40). There will certainly not be any eternal fires in Gehenna. (The “unquenchable fires” of Matthew 3:12 are fires that cannot be put out with water or soil until they have consumed all the combustible material.)

The truth is, it can be shown conclusively that the consequences of doing sin are NOT to be placed in a hell fire forever and ever. The Bible makes the issue plain for all to see if only people will believe its simple teaching. Many do not want to do this, and they insist on making literal what the Scripture allows only to be symbolic.

Look at this closely. It is simple and plain. All Christians know that the Bible emphatically states that Jesus paid for all our sins (even the sins of the world) when He died on the cross. If anyone disputes this fact, then the very essence of the theological teaching of the New Testament is thwarted.

“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

1 John 2:2

This is abundantly true! But now note this! If the consequences of sin were to be placed in a hell fire to be burned forever, then for Christ to have paid the penalty of our sins (so we do not have to suffer it), then Christ would have to be in that hell fire forever — always suffering the consequences of our sins. After all, the Bible says that Christ took our punishment. But Christ was alive from the dead some three days later, and is presently in heaven with the Father. He is not in an eternal hell fire undergoing the consequences of our sins! All of the scriptures speaking about the punishment of fire are symbolic. If they are not, then they would violate this fundamental theological fact of the New Testament that Christ paid the punishment for our sins without being burnt in any flames.

Indeed, what did Christ do for us? The Bible says “He died” (Romans 3:34). And what are the wages of sin? — the consequences of sin?

“For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 6:23

The result of sin is death — not life in hell fire or anywhere else! What Jesus did was to be crucified for us on the cross. He did not go into hell fire to burn forever — or else He would still be there!

One other point needs to be made. Some denominations say that the wages of sin are eternal death (nonexistence). But this cannot be true. If it were, then Christ (in order to pay the penalty for our sins) would have had to remain dead for all eternity! Yet He was dead for only three days! He is now with the Father in heaven and getting ready to return to this earth to redeem His saints at the resurrection of the just. Others have said that since all humans have to die the first (physical) death (Hebrews 9:27), it is the second death that Christ died for us. But how can that be? The second death is the Lake of Fire in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 20:14), and it is obvious that Christ did not go into any literal Lake of Fire while He died on the cross. His death was for us!

What Christ did do for you, me and all mankind was to make it possible for all death to be abolished (1 Corinthians 15:26) which He will accomplish in His own good time. Only “life” will then exist!

The fact is, the Bible makes perfectly good sense on the matter of the punishments for sin. It is when well-intentioned, but erroneous, interpreters begin to make symbolic scriptures to be literal, that all of the problems emerge. All becomes confusing and contradictory when this type of procedure is used. The story of Lazarus and the Rich Man is a pure parable from beginning to end. It makes perfectly good sense and tells a wonderful and significant story that any student of the Bible can relate to. Let us learn to leave the parables as parables! The Bible will become plain if we do.

“All these things spoke Jesus unto the multitudes in parables; and without a parable spoke he not unto them.”

Matthew 13:34

1 In case someone wants to be silly enough to dispute the accuracy of Christ’s symbolic language, would people today correct you if you said: “I am so hungry I could eat a horse”? Anyone with sense knows it is not literally possible for one to consume a horse in one meal! Everyone would know you were using figurative language and accept it.

2 It is also heightened by their bodily stress and oxygen to the brain. Usually, near death experiences reflect the beliefs, wishes and life experience of those experiencing the trauma. The apostle Paul died three times and did not indicate that any of the revelations from God occurred during those incidents.

A Re-posting of 100 Verses by Thomas Whittemore

and please visit www.tentmaker.org, special thanks to Gary Amirault …………………………………………………………………………………………..

100 Scriptural Proofs That Jesus Christ Will Save All Mankind

by Thomas Whittemore


Many early American Christians discovered Jesus as the Savior of the whole world. I have come across hundreds of old books written in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s that declare in Scriptural form the Everlasting Gospel that Jesus will redeem every single soul created. One of these books had a chapter, reprinted below, that commented on 100 Scriptures that declare the salvation of all mankind. I will be doing some editing since the English of today is quite different from that of 150 years ago. Any comments I may make will be in parenthesis. It was written in 1840 by Thomas Whittemore.


GOD THE CREATOR OF MEN

1. God is the Creator of all men. “He hath made of one blood, all nations of men, to dwell on all the face of the earth.” Acts 17:26 He would not have created intelligent beings, had he known they were to be forever miserable. To suppose that God would bring beings into existence who he knew would be infinite losers by that existence, is to charge him with the utmost malignity. The existence itself would not be a blessing, but a curse; the greatness of which cannot be described. As God is infinite in knowledge, and as he sees the end from the beginning, he must have known before the creation, the result of the existence he was about to confer, and whether, upon the whole, it would be a blessing; and , as he was not under any necessity to create man, being also infinitely benevolent, he could not have conferred an existence that he knew would end in the worst possible consequences to his creatures.

GOD THE FATHER OF MEN

2. God is the Father of all men. “Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?” Mal. 2:10 A kind Father will not punish his children but for their good. God is evidently called the Father of all men in the Scriptures, and this is not an unmeaning name; he has the disposition and principles of a Father. He loves with a Father’s love; he watches with a Father’s care; he reproves with a Father’s tenderness; he punishes with a Father’s design. God is the Father of all men; and, therefore, he cannot make mankind endlessly miserable.

GOD THE LORD, OR OWNER OF MEN

3. All men, of right, belong to God. “Behold, all souls are mine,” saith the Lord. “As the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine.” Ezek. 18:4 God will not give up what belongeth to him, to the dominion of sin and Satan forever. All men are God’s by creation; he made them all. They are his by preservation; he sustains them all. They were his at first, and they always have remained in his care. “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” That God, who says to men, “If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel,” can never abandon his own creatures. He will ever exercise a gracious care over them, as will be more fully seen in the following reasons.

ALL MEN COMMITTED TO CHRIST’S CARE

4. God hath given all things to Christ, as the moral Ruler of the world. “Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” Psalms 2:8 “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.” John 3:35 “All things,” here, means all intelligent beings. So say the best commentators. (The word things is in italics in the KJV which means it is not in the Greek. We are not talking about trees here.)           

5. God gave all beings to Christ that he might save them. “Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” John 17:2 This plainly evinces, that it was God’s design, in giving Christ dominion over all flesh, that they should all enjoy eternal life.

6. It is certain that Christ will save all that the Father hath given him. “All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out.” John 6:37 These three propositions are irrefragable evidence of the final happiness of all men. 1st. God hath given all things to Christ. 2d. All that God hath given him shall come to him; and 3d. him that cometh he will in no-wise cast out. All are given; all shall come; and none shall be cast out. What is the unavoidable conclusion?

THE WILL OF GOD

7. It is THE WILL of God that all men shall be saved. “Who will have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth.” KJV 1 Tim. 2:4 By “all men”, in this passage, is undoubtedly to be understood all the human race. Salvation comes through the belief of the truth. God wills that all men should come to the knowledge of the truth, and be saved thereby.8. God inspires the hearts of the good to pray for the salvation of all men, and say, as Jesus said, “Thy will be done.” Matt. 6:10. Adam Clarke says, “Because he wills the salvation of all men, therefore he wills that all men should be prayed for; as in 1 Tim. 2:1. “I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.” Would God inspire the hearts of his saints to pray for the salvation of all mankind, if he knew they would not all be saved?

9. Jesus came to do the will of God. “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” John 4:34 “Lo, I come to do they will, O God.” Heb. 10:9 The will of God is, that all men be saved. This is his will, by way of distinction and preeminence. Jesus came to do this will. He came as the Savior, as the Savior of all men. He came as the good Shepherd, to seek and save that which was lost. He came to save all men, not only those who lived on the earth while he was here, but all who lived before, and all who have since lived, and all who shall live. Jesus gave himself a ransom for all; he tasted death for every man; and unto him, at last, every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess him Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Such is the way in which Jesus does the will of God.

10. The will of God cannot be resisted. “He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” Dan. 4:35. Who can resist a being of Almighty power? What God wills to take place, must take place. He wills the salvation of all men because it is right. A God of purity cannot desire endless sin and rebellion. If he wills the salvation of all men, he wills all the means by which it shall be accomplished; it must therefore take place.

11. God has no other will besides the will to save all men. “He is in one mind, and who can turn him?” Job 23:13.

THE NATURE OF GOD

12. God is love and love worketh no ill. “God is love.” 1 John 4:8.      “Love worketh no ill.” Rom. 13:10. This is a very forcible argument. God’s nature is the very essence of benevolence, and benevolence cannot be the origin of endless evil. If love worketh no ill, God can work no ill; and, therefore, God cannot be the author of endless evil.13. God loves all mankind. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.” John 3:16: and, as Jesus died for all men, so God loves all men. This argument adds great force to the last.

14. God loves even his enemies. For he requires men to love their enemies, which he could not do if he hated his. (Matt. 5:44) And Jesus declared, “for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” Luke 6:35. This is but an amplification of the preceding argument. If God loves his enemies, he certainly loves all men; for no one doubts that he loves his friends. And can God cause those to be endlessly miserable whom he loves?

THE WISDOM OF GOD

15. God is wise; and it cannot be a dictate of wisdom to create beings, and then make their existence a curse by entailing endless suffering to it. God foresaw all the consequences of our creation when he made us. He knew fully what the result would be to each individual. Is it possible, that infinite goodness could breathe life into unoffending dust, when it was clearly foreseen that endless evil would ensue? It was not possible. God must have created only to bless. “Love worketh no ill.”16. The wisdom of God is “full of mercy,” and “without partiality.” James 3:17. “Full of mercy,” says Adam Clarke, i.e. “ready to pass by a transgression, and to grant forgiveness to those who offend; and PERFORMING EVERY POSSIBLE ACT OF KINDNESS.” Surely, a God of infinite power and skill, who “performs every possible act of kindness,” will save his fallen creatures from their sins. “Without partiality,” i.e. without making a difference. God is no respecter of persons. He is kind to all men, and he will perform every “possible act of kindness” to all men.

THE PLEASURE OF GOD

17. The pleasure of God is in favor of the salvation of all men; and therefore, neither death, sin, nor pain, can be the ultimate object of God in reference to man. “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” Ezek. 33:11. Death and sin and pain may exist for a time; but if God has no pleasure in them of themselves, they are not the end at which he aims, but the means by which he accomplishes that end. The end in which God rests as his pleasure, design, or purpose, must be essentially benevolent, because he is essentially a benevolent God. Neither death, nor sin, nor pain can be his ultimate plan or pleasure; they are the means by which his holy and righteous designs are carried into effect.18. God created all men expressly for his pleasure, and, therefore, not for ultimate death. “Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Rev. 4:11 Adam Clarke has a fine remark on this passage. He says, “He made all things for his pleasure; and through the same motive he preserves. Hence, it is most evident, that he hateth nothing that he has made; and could have made no intelligent creature with the design to make it eternally miserable. It is strange, that a contrary supposition has ever entered into the heart of man; and it is high time that the benevolent nature of the Supreme God, should be fully vindicated from aspersions of this kind.”

19. The pleasure of God shall prosper in the hand of Christ. “The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” Isaiah 53:10 Clarke says, on Isaiah 53:10, that the pleasure of God is, “to have all men saved, and brought to the knowledge of the truth.” Compare this with the 20th section.

20. God’s pleasure shall surely be accomplished. “So shall by word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11. “I will do all my pleasure.” 46:10 Does not this passage show that God’s pleasure shall certainly be accomplished? His word shall not return unto him void: it shall accomplish what he please, and prosper in the object which he sent it to accomplish. God has no pleasure in the death or suffering of the sinner. That was not the object of creation. God created men for his pleasure, and his pleasure shall certainly be accomplished.

21. God has purposed the salvation of all men. “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him.” (Eph. 1:9,10) It is evident from this passage, that God has purposed to gather together all things in Christ. God’s purpose agrees with his will or pleasure. He wills to have all men saved; he has no pleasure in the death of the wicked; and accordingly he has purposed to gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth. This is God’s purpose; this is what he has purposed in himself. And this is not the gathering together of those things only which are in Christ, but the gathering together of all things in him. “Unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” (Gen. 49:10) And Jesus confirms this: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32) Thus we see all things are to be gathered into Christ. They are all to have his spirit, and partake of his new creation; for “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17) By the phrase “all things,” as Archbishop Newcome says, it meant, “all persons, all intelligent beings. See the neuter for the masculine, John 6:37,39.” See more on this subject under the 78th section.

22. The purpose of God cannot fail: it must certainly be accomplished. “The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, surely as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” (Isaiah 14:24) “For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall dis-annul it? And his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?”( verse 27) “I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (46:11) Now, whatever God purposes must take place. God can have no second thoughts; hence, Paul speaks of “the purpose of him who worketh all things according to the counsel (i.e. the previous consultations or deliberations) of his own will.” (Eph. 1:11) What, then, shall hinder the accomplishment of this purpose? Has he formed a plan which he cannot execute? No; the concurrent testimony of the sacred writers is, that whatever God has purposed, SHALL BE DONE. So let it be, O Lord.

THE PROMISES OF GOD

23. God promised to Abraham, his servant, that he would bless all mankind, in his seed. “In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 12:3) “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 22:18) All the nations of the earth, all the families of the earth, according to this promise, are to be blessed in the seed of Abraham. The language is absolute: it is without any condition. “All the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” And who is this “seed of Abraham,” in whom all the nations and families of the earth shall be blessed? I agree with Dr. Adam Clarke on this matter. He says, in his note on Gen. 12:3, “in thy posterity, in the Messiah, who shall spring from thee, shall all families of the earth be blessed; for as he shall take on him human nature, from the posterity of Abraham, he shall taste death for every man; his gospel shall be preached throughout the world, and innumerable blessings be derived on all mankind, through his death and intercession.”

24. God made the same promise to Isaac. “I will perform the oath which I swear unto Abraham they father, and I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 26:3,4) This passage is precisely of the same import with those quoted under section 23. It refers to precisely the same subject, and asserts the same facts. We repeat it here, because God saw fit to repeat the same promise to Isaac which he had made to his father Abraham; and it forms a distinct argument of itself.

25. The same promise was repeated to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. “and in thee, and in thy seed, shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 28:14) The apostle Paul (and higher authority we do not wish) fully settles the question in regard to who is meant by the “seed of Abraham.” He says, “Now to Abraham and his seed, were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, WHICH IS CHRIST.” (Gal. 3:16) Christ, then, is the seed of Abraham; and in him ALL the nations and families of the earth shall be blessed.

26. Peter, the apostle, understood this promise as referring to the salvation of men from sin, by Jesus Christ. “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, in thy seed shall all kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first, God, having raised up his son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (Acts 3:25,26) Here we have a third term,- kindreds. All nations of the earth, all families of the earth, and all kindreds of the earth, must certainly signify all mankind. The import of this absolute, unconditional promise is, they shall all be blessed in Christ Jesus.

27. The apostle Paul repeats this promise, and calls it THE GOSPEL. “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Gal. 3:8) This is a further confirmation, that the blessing promised men in the seed of Abraham, is a spiritual, gospel blessing.

28. There is no threatening of any kind whatsoever in the Scriptures, no law, no penalty, no punishment denounced, which when rightly understood does not harmonize with this promise, for the law is not against the promises of God. “Is the law, then, against the promises of God? God forbid.” (Gal. 3:21) The law mentioned in this verse was undoubtedly the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai. God was specially careful to frame that law in such a manner, that not a single sentence or particle of it should contradict the promises made by him to Abraham. What those promises were, we have seen. It is equally true, that not a single threatening of punishment for sin, or for unbelief, not a denunciation of hell-fire, or condemnation of any kind of sin, is opposed to the promises of God. Now as those promises most explicitly assert, the final blessing of all nations, kindreds, and families of the earth with salvation from sin in Jesus Christ, so no portion of God’s law, no threatening of punishment, should be so construed, interpreted, or explained, as to contradict this; and as the doctrine of endless condemnation for sin does explicitly contradict those promises, that doctrine we may be sure is not revealed in any portion of God’s word.

THE OATH OF GOD

29. God hath confirmed his promise by an oath. See Gen. 12:16-18. Heb. 6:13. But the most striking passage, perhaps, is this-“I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear, surely shall say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength.” (Isaiah 45:23,24) I think the words of Adam Clarke on the oath of God, are worthy of the deepest consideration. On the words of God, “he swear by himself,” Clarke remarks, “He pledged his eternal power and Godhead for the fulfillment of the promise; there was no being superior to himself, to whom he could make appeal, or by whom he could be bound; therefore he appeals to and pledges his immutable truth and godhead.” Com. on Heb. 6:13 And again, the same commentator remarks, “The promise pledged his faithfulness and justice; the oath all the infinite perfections of his godhead; for he swear by himself. There is a good saying in Beracoth, on Exodus 32:13. ‘Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swearedst by thine own self.’ What is the meaning of “thine own self?” Rab. Eleazar answered, thus said Moses to the holy blessed God, Lord of all the world, If thou hadst sworn to them by the heavens and the earth, then I should have said, as the heavens and the earth shall pass away, so may thy oath pass away. But now thou hast sworn unto them by thy great Name, which liveth and which endureth forever, and forever, and ever; therefore thy oath shall endure forever and forever and ever.” (Com. on Heb. 6:18.)

THE POWER OF GOD

30. God is almighty; nothing can resist his will; nothing can defeat his purpose; nothing can prevent the fulfillment of his promise. “What he had promised he was able to perform.” (Rom. 4:21) If God were not almighty, then the world might not be saved; but he is almighty; “none can stay his hand, or say unto him, what doest thou?” and therefore, in God’s own time (and that is the best time), and by his own means, the whole world shall be saved.

THE DEATH OF CHRIST

31. Because God not only wills the salvation of all men; not only hath purposed to save them all; not only hath promised it; not only hath confirmed that promise by an OATH (see previous issues); but also hath provided the means, in the death of Christ, for the salvation of all men. Jesus died for all. “He gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Tim. 2:6) “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man.” (Heb. 2:9) “And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2) Here are three expressions: 1st, “ALL;” 2nd, “EVERYMAN;” 3d, “THE WHOLE WORLD.” It seems as though the sacred writers took the utmost care to guard against being misunderstood in this important particular. Some would have us believe (see Prof. Stuart’s Com. on Heb. 2:9) that these expressions are to be understood only in a general sense, in opposition to the contracted opinions of the Jews, who confined the blessings of God to their own nation only; and that the words are intended to declare, that Jesus died for Gentiles as well as Jews. We cannot so restrict the sense. Look at the connection in which these passages are found, and it will be seen that the terms used, apply to all men, in the widest sense of these terms. Paul instructs Timothy to pray for all men; not for Jews and Gentiles in the general sense, but for kings and all in authority; for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God, who will have all men to be saved. So John says, “if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father.” (1 Epistle John 1:1) Is not the language here designed to apply to all men: Who can dispute it?32. The labor of Christ will be efficacious for all for whom He died. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” (Is. 53:2) “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” (John 12:32) If the Redeemer died for all men, can He be satisfied with the salvation of a part only? Can He look back upon his work and say, it is well done? Will He not rather draw all men unto Him, by the power of His truth, and make them holy and happy forever? Are we not authorized to expect such a result, from the fact, that He gave Himself a ransom for all? And if they are all drawn unto Him, will they not all be saved?

33. When Jesus was born, the angel said to the fearful shepherds, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” (Luke 2:10) The tidings of the Redeemer’s birth, were certainly good tidings to all people. They should all hear these tidings, and to all they should be good tidings. But how can this be, if a part of the human race are never to be benefited by the Redeemer’s sacrifice?

34. The people who heard Jesus preach said, “we have heard Him ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” (John 4:42) Jesus cannot be the Savior of the world, if the world will never be saved. What Jesus taught the Samaritans, that induced them to regard Him as the Savior of the world, may be inferred, 1st. from His conversation with the woman at the well of Jacob, (John 4) and 2nd, from the exclamation of the Samaritans, in the 42nd verse. He evidently did not preach to them the doctrine of endless misery; for would they have concluded from the fact of his preaching that doctrine, that he was THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD?”

35. John, the beloved disciple of Christ, said, “We have seen, and do testify, that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14) This is the same character that the Samaritans judged the Lord to possess, from his personal instruction. (John 4:42) John says, “We have seen;” i.e. he knew it from his acquaintance with his Master. And do testify. We cannot hide this truth; we will proclaim to men, that Jesus is the Savior of the world.

THE TESTIMONY OF THE PROPHETS

36. All the holy prophets have spoken of the restitution of all things. “And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, since the world began.” (Acts 3:20,21) This is an important passage of Scripture. “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, but who hath been crucified, and hath ascended unto heaven, and whom the heaven must receive (or contain) until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” This “restitution of all things” is to take place, when Jesus comes down from the heavens, in the sense in which he had ascended into heaven. He had ascended into the heaven bodily; the heavens would contain Him until the times of the restitution; and then He would bodily visit the earth again. Now when shall he visit the earth again bodily? Answer, at the resurrection of the dead. (See Acts 1:10,11, and 1 Thess. 4:16) We conclude from this, that the restitution of all things is to take place at the resurrection of the dead. The learned Parkhurst gives this view of the subject, and quotes Stockius at large as agreeing with him. We do not understand, that the restitution shall not begin until the time, but that it shall then be completed, and filled up, so that it may be said, all things are restored. This is begun in part in this life; but it will be completed and finished at the resurrection. What is this restitution? It is the putting of things back into their original condition. See A. Clarke, on the passage. Man was originally created in God’s image; but the divine image has been obscured by sin; and men now bear the image of the earthly. But at the resurrection, when Christ shall appear, the restitution of all things shall take place, and then mankind will be restored to the image of God again; for St. Paul says, that at the resurrection mankind shall be changed from the earthly to the heavenly image. (1 Cor. 15:49) This heavenly image which we have lost, we obtain back again at the resurrection of the dead; and to this the Saviour’s language agrees, for He saith, that in the resurrection men shall be as the angels of God in heaven; i.e. they shall bear the heavenly image; (Matt. 22:30) that they can die no more, and “shall be the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” (Luke 22:36) This God hath spoken by all his holy prophets since the world began; not fully and clearly as He hath revealed it in the gospel; but He hath spoken by the prophets of the recovery of all things from the dominion of sin, and their reconciliation to God, and the gaining again of the heavenly image. The reader is referred to a long and excellent passage in A. Clark’s Com. on Acts 3:21, which he closes by saying, “as therefore, the subject here referred to is that, of which all the prophets from the beginning have spoken, (and the grand subject of all their declarations was Christ and His words among men,) therefore the words are to be applied to this, and no other meaning. Jesus Christ comes to raise up man from a state of ruin, and restore to him the image of God, as he possessed it at the beginning.”37. head the seed of the woman was to bruise. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3:15)

38. David also said, “all the ends of the world shall remember, and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him.” (Psalms 22:27) This agrees precisely with the promise of God to Abraham, that all the nations, families, and kindreds of the earth shall be blessed in Christ Jesus.

39. David also said, “all kings shall fall down before Him (Christ), all nations shall serve Him,-men shall be blessed in Him, all nations shall call Him blessed.” (Psalms 72:11,17) This is of the same import with section 38.

40. David also said, “All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy name.” (Psalms 86:9) This must certainly include all the nations of the earth; God made them all, from Adam to the latest born.

41. David also said, not less than twenty-six times, in that part of his meditations embraced in the 136th Psalm, “his mercy endureth forever.” What kind of a mercy is the mercy of God, which is to endure forever: it is a universal mercy. See the next section.

42. He also declared, that the mercy which is to endure forever, is over all the works of God. “The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all his works.” (Psalms 145:9) God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

43. He also said, “all thy works shall praise thee, O Lord, and thy saints shall bless thee.” (Psalms 145:10) Can all God’s works praise Him, if a part are consigned to eternal fire?

44. He also said, “the Lord is gracious, and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy.” (Psalms 145:8) Can endless misery be ordained by such a god as this?

45. He also said; “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide; neither will He keep His anger forever.” (Psalms 103:8,9) This could not possibly be true, if God purposed to make any of His creatures forever miserable. If we allow that torment shall be endless, can we say, that “God will not always chide,” nor “keep His anger forever?”

46. Isaiah represented, that there was no sin which might not be pardoned. “Though you sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isa. 1:18) The evident intent of this language is, that there was no sin so deep-dyed in the soul, that it could not be washed away. That is here said of Israel, is true of every individual.

47. It is said, that “all nations shall flow into the mountain of the Lord’s house,”–a figurative representation of the covenant of the Gospel. (Isa. 2:2)

48. In this mountain, the Lord of Hosts hath made for all people a feast of fat things. “And in this mountain, shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees; of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well-refined.” (Isa. 25:6) By “mountain,” here, is meant the covenant of the Gospel; the place of the establishment of the ark is made a metaphor, to signify the Gospel. Adam Clarke says, this feast is “salvation by Jesus Christ.” Com. On the place. This salvation is prepared for all people; it is sufficient to supply the wants of all.

49. “God will destroy, in this mountain, the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil, that is spread over all nations.” (Isa. 25:7) This salvation is not uselessly prepared. Unbelief shall be done away. The darkness of the nations shall be removed. The covering cast over all nations shall be destroyed; they will then all see the truth.

50. “God will swallow up death in victory. ” (Isa. 25:8) This is to take place at the resurrection of the dead, for Paul quotes these words, and applies them to the resurrection of the dead, in 1 Cor. 15:54.

51. “The Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces: (Isa. 25:8) The work of the Gospel will not be fully done, until tears shall be wiped away from all faces. Sorrow shall cease. Paul applies the subject to the resurrection of the dead.

52. Isaiah said, “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” (Isa. 40:5) This is the declaration of Yahweh, for the prophet adds, “the mouth of the lord hath spoken it.” If the Lord hath declared, that all flesh shall see his glory together, surely it must be done.

53. Isaiah represents the Gospel as being completely successful in accomplishing the purpose for which it was sent into the world”–that, as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and return not thither, but water the earth, and cause it to bring forth and bud, so shall the word of God be; it shall not return void, but it shall accomplish the divine pleasure, and prosper in the thing for which God sent it. (Isa. 45:10,11) Thus all who allow that God sent the Gospel to benefit all mankind, must here see, that the beneficent object will surely be accomplished. If any reject the Gospel, and are lost forever, can it be said in truth, that God’s word does not return unto Him void?

54. Isaiah, speaking in the name of Yahweh, said, of Christ, “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” (Isa.49:6) In this verse, the prophet affirms, that the blessings of the Gospel should not be confined to the Jews. “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles;” for what purpose? Answer; “that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” This expression is intended to signify the greatest possible extension of the blessings of the Gospel. Is this consistent with the supposed fact, that countless millions of the human race shall never hear of the blessings of the Gospel?

55. Isaiah represented Yahweh as saying, “I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.” (Isa. 57:16) Is this declaration consistent with the doctrine of endless misery? According to that doctrine, will not God contend forever? Will He not be always wroth?

56. Yahweh saith, by Jeremiah, concerning the covenant He made with the house of Israel, ” I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their heats; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his Neighbor, and every man his brother, saying , know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer. 31:33,34) The spirit of the passage is universal grace. What God here saith He will do for the Jews, He will also do for the Gentiles. The former is a pledge of the latter. (See, for additional argument on this subject, section 88)

57. “THE LORD WILL NOT CAST OFF FOREVER. But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies, for He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” (Lamen. 3:31-33) O, what a precious declaration is this! Though God cause grief, yet He will have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies, for He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. This is the principle of the divine government. God does not afflict for the purpose of afflicting, but for the good of the sufferer. How, then, can endless torment be inflicted?

58. Daniel said, of the reign of Christ, “there was given Him dominion, and glory and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom, that which shall not be destroyed.” (Dan. 7:14) If all people, nations, and languages serve the Savior, will they be endlessly miserable? Will they not be endlessly happy? This passage should be applied, undoubtedly, to all for whom the Savior died. Jesus seems to have referred to the declaration of the prophets, in what He said after His resurrection. (Matt. 28:18)

59. Hosea said, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave (or Hell, Sheol), I will be thy destruction.” (Hosea 13:14) Let the light of inspiration guide us. St. Paul applies these words to the resurrection of the dead, at the last day. (1 Cor. 15:54,55) At the resurrection of the dead, then, God will destroy Sheol, HELL. He does not raise His creatures from the dead in order to punish them forever in sheol,(Hell) for sheol (Hell) shall then be destroyed.

60. Micah said, of Yahweh, ” He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy.” (Micah 7:18) A most precious assurance! Altogether at variance with the doctrine of endless misery.

THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS

61. Jesus, when on earth, preached in such a manner that the people “wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.” (Luke 4:22) This could not have happened, had he threatened the people with endless misery. He preached salvation to sinful, guilty man; he preached the love of God to the whole world; and declared, that God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but, that the world, through Him, might be saved. Well might the people wonder at his “gracious words.”62. Jesus inculcated the strongest confidence in God; and reasoned in the most tender and judicious manner with the people, to dissuade them from taking anxious thought for the future. Read Matt. 6:25-34. This is one of the most striking passages in the whole New Testament. The object of the Savior was, to encourage, in the hearts of those whom he addressed, the most implicit confidence in God, for all future blessings. God is good; he is kind, even to the unthankful and to the evil; therefore, said the Savior, “take no anxious thought.” Be not afraid; God will do thee good. He has already proved his beneficence to thee. He takes care of the lower orders of beings; why shouldest thou doubt? He clothes the flowers of the field with beauty; why shouldest thou despair? Take not anxious, painful thought for the future. Sufficient unto the present is the evil thereof. Such is the spirit of the passage, which is perfectly consistent with the doctrine of Universalism, but utterly inconsistent with the doctrine of endless misery.

63. Jesus warned the people against the doctrine of the Pharisees, who are well known to have believed in endless punishment. Matt 16:6; compare verse 12. There is no doubt, that the doctrines of the Pharisees were of a partial nature. Jesus was impartial in his teachings. He was the friend of publicans and sinners, and for this the Pharisees hated him. This was the great point on which he differed from the Pharisees. Their doctrine peculiarly was a doctrine of cruelty, wrath, and partiality; his was a doctrine of love, compassion, and universal grace. No person, who will make the comparison fairly, can avoid coming to this result. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.

64. Jesus taught, that men in the future world will be like the angels of God in heaven,–holy, spotless, and pure. “In the resurrection, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (Matt. 22:30 Luke 20:35,36) In what sense shall they be as the angels of God in heaven? Let the passage in Luke 20 answer this question. “Neither can they die any more, for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” Here are two points, in which they will be equal to the angels, viz. 1st. they will be immortal; and 2nd. they will be children of God, bearing a moral likeness to him. This will be the state of all who shall be raised from the dead.

65. Jesus reproved the Pharisees for shutting up the kingdom of heaven. “Woe into you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” (Matt. 23:13) These Pharisees were never charged with having shut up the kingdom of hell; that, they appear to have kept open. But they shut up the kingdom of heaven. Jesus desired to have all men enjoy his kingdom; and we are assured, that, at last, all shall know the Lord, from the least unto the greatest. They will then all have entered the gospel kingdom.

THE TESTIMONY OF PETER

66. Peter saw, in the vision of the vessel like a sheet knit at the four corners, that all men came down from heaven; that they are all encircled in the kind care of God, while here on earth; and , that “all will be drawn up again into heaven.” (Acts 10:15; 11:5-10)

THE TESTIMONY OF PAUL

67. Paul represented the free gift of life as extending equally with sin. “As, by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Rom. 5:18) This is a very important passage. It teaches us, that the free gift of eternal life shall extend equally with sin. On the one hand we are told, judgment came upon all men by sin; on the other we find, that “the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” This free gift is eternal life, see Rom. 6:23. But, for a further view of the argument of the apostle in this place, see section 68.68. Paul also says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” The same many that were made sinners, Paul declares “shall be made righteous.” This certainly asserts the salvation of all sinners. Parkhurst in his Greek Lexicon, says, Oi polloi, the many, i.e. the multitude, or whole bulk of mankind, Rom. 5:15,19, in which texts oi polloi are plainly equivalent to Pantas anthropous, all men, verses 12, 18.” The learned Dr. Macknight is to the same purport. “For as oi polloi, the many, in the first part of the verse, does not mean some of mankind only, but all mankind, from first to last, who without exception, are constituted sinners, so the many in the latter part of the verse, who are said to be constituted righteous, through the obedience of Christ, must mean ALL MANKIND, from the beginning to the end of the world, without exception.” See his commentary on the place. The evident sense of the passage is this: For as the many, that is, the whole bulk of mankind were made sinners, so shall the many, that is, the whole bulk of mankind, be made righteous. What can be plainer than this fact? We agree with the authors of the Improved Version, who say, “Nothing can be more obvious than this, that it is the apostle’s intention to represent all mankind, without exception, as deriving greater benefit from the mission of Christ, than they suffered injury from the fall of Adam. The universality of the apostle’s expression is very remarkable. The same “many” who were made sinners by the disobedience of one, are made righteous by the obedience of the other. If all men are condemned by the offense of one, the same all are justified by the righteousness of the other. These universal terms, so frequently repeated, and so variously diversified, cannot be reconciled to the limitation of the blessings of the Gospel, to the elect alone, or to a part only of the human race.” (Note of Rom. 5:19)

69. Grace shall abound more than sin, and reign more potently, so that at last all shall end in everlasting life. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound; that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 5:20,21) What a blessed assurance! Grace shall conquer sin? In every heart where sin has reigned, grace shall set up its empire. Grace shall reign triumphantly and successfully. We see not yet all this done; but it shall be done at last.

70. Paul teaches, that the same creature which was made subject to vanity, “shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Rom. 8:21) It is worthy of remark, that it is the same “creature,” or creation, which was made subject to vanity, that is to be delivered. Rev. Thomas White, in his sermons preached at Welbeck Chapel, translates the passage thus: “For THE CREATION was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who subjected it; in hope that THE CREATION ITSELF also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.” (Horne’s Intro. II. 540) Dr. Macknight decides, that creature, in the passage, signifies, “every human creature,” “all mankind.” Let us read the passage with such a rendering, as it undoubtedly gives it it’s just sense. For every human creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who had subjected the same in hope; because every human creature shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.

71. Paul teaches the eventual salvation of both Jews and Gentiles. “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in; and so “ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED.” Rom. Xi. 25, 26. The terms, Jews and Gentiles, comprehend all mankind. Paul asserts the ultimate salvation of both Jews and Gentiles, that is, all men. What serious man can pretend, that by the fullness of the Gentiles he meant only a portion of them, and by all Israel, he meant only a small part of Israel? Was it such a view, that led Paul to exclaim, at the conclusion of his luminous argument on this subject, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God?” If God sought to save the whole, and succeeded in saving only a fraction, was the depth of his wisdom so surpassingly great? And remark what he says at the conclusion of the 11th chapter. “For of him (God) and through him, and TO HIM are all things,” (Gr. ta panta) the universe; as Dr. Whitby says, “For of him (as the donor) and through him (as the director and providential orderer) and to him (as the end) be all things.” The argument is complete.

72. Paul teaches, that whether living or dying we are the Lord’s. “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live we live unto the Lord; and whether we die we die unto the Lord; whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” Rom. xiv. 7, 8. Does Paul here mean to include all mankind? Does he here mean to assert, that all without exception, are the Lord’s? We can come to no other conclusion. He adds, “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living,” verse 9. The terms “dead and living,” evidently signify all the human race. Of course, all the human race are Christ’s forever.

73. Paul saith, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” I Cor. xv. 22. “If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature.” 2 Cor. v. 17. Hence, if all shall be made alive in Christ, they shall all be new creatures in the resurrection of the dead. Belsham says, “The apostle’s language is so clear and full with respect to the final happiness of those who are thus raised, and that their resurrection to life will be ultimately a blessing, that the generality of Christians have supposed, that he is here treating of the resurrection of the virtuous only. But that is not the fact. He evidently speaks of the restoration of the whole human race. All who die by Adam shall be raised by Christ; otherwise the apostle’s assertion would be untrue. The case then would have been this, as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall a select number, a small proportion, be made alive. But this is not the apostle’s doctrine. His expressions are equally universal in each clause. ALL die in Adam. The same ALL, without any exception, without any restriction, shall by Christ be restored to life, and ultimately to holiness and everlasting happiness.”

74. Death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed. 1 Cor. xv. 26. If death be the last enemy, and if that shall be destroyed, there will be no enemies to the happiness of man remaining after the resurrection.

75. Paul, in his account of the resurrection, does not admit of the existence of sin in the immortal state. “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in corruption ; ***** it is raised in glory. ***** it is raised in power; ***** it is raised a spiritual body.” 1 Cor. xv. 42-44. When the apostle cries out triumphantly, “O death! where is thy sting?” he certainly means, that sin was absent, for “the sting of death is sin.”

76. Paul saith, “that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” 2 Cor. v. 19. It is not said, that God was in Christ reconciling himself to the world, for he was never unreconciled to the world; but God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. By “the world” in this place is undoubtedly intended all for whom Christ died. God was engaged in this work; he had appointed the means for its accomplishment; and we believe, under his wise direction, it will be done.

77. Paul saith to the Galatians, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal. iii. 28, 29. According to what promise? Answer. According to the promise of God to Abraham, that in him, and his seed [Christ], all the nations, kindreds and families of the earth shall be blessed. In Christ, therefore, none of the distinctions are known of which Paul there speaks. “Ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” That point being settled, he adds, “and if ye be Christ’s [as he had proved] then are ye Abraham’s seed, [that is, not by lineal descent, but spiritually], and heirs according to the promise.”

78. He saith, that to Jesus was given “a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philip. ii. 9-11. Professor Stuart, of Andover, says, in his “Letters to Dr. Channing,” “Things in heaven, earth, and under the earth, is a common periphrasis of the Hebrew and New Testament writers, for the universe. What can be meant by things in heaven, that is, beings in heaven, bowing the knee to Jesus, if spiritual worship be not meant?” So much from Professor Stuart. Now if the universe [that is, all men without exception] are to render spiritual and divine worship to Christ, will they not all be holy and happy?

79. The foregoing reason is confirmed by the fact, that “if we confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in the heart that God hath raised him from the dead, we shall be saved.” Rom. x. 9.

80. It pleased the Father, by his son Jesus, “TO RECONCILE ALL THINGS UNTO HIMSELF, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” (Col. 1:19-20) This is a similar periphrasis to that spoken of by Professor Stuart, [see section 78] which signifies the universe. The phrase, “all things,” as Archbishop Newcome observes, signifies all intelligent beings. It is God’s pleasure “to reconcile all things unto himself”, — an irrefutable argument in proof of the final holiness and happiness of all men.

81. Paul directed Timothy to pray and give thanks for all men, which was agreeable to the will of God to “have all men to be save,” who had appointed a mediator to give himself “a ransom for all.” (1 Tim. 2:1-6) Paul’s argument in this place is as follows: I exhort first, that supplication, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. None are excluded from the divine favor; all have something to be grateful for; for God is kind and good to ALL. He will have all men to be saved, which is the highest proof of his regard for all men, in execution of the divine purpose to bring all to the enjoyment of salvation.

82. God is called “the Saviour of all men.” (1 Tim. 4:10) This title is applied to Jehovah, because he is the source of salvation. He wills the salvation of all; he has purposed the salvation of all; he has promised salvation to all; and has confirmed that promise by an oath. Hence, he is originally the Saviour of all men.

83. The “grace of God bringeth salvation to all men, and teacheth us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.” (Titus 2:11,12) Adam Clarke remarks, “It cannot be said, except in a very refined and spiritual sense, that this Gospel had then appeared to all men ; but it may be well said, that it bringeth salvation to all men ; this is its design ; and it was to taste death for every man, that its author came into the world.” Again, he adds ; “As the light and heat of the sun are denied to no nation nor individual, so the grace of the Lord Jesus ; this also shines out upon all ; and God designs that all mankind shall be as equally benefited by it, in reference to their souls, as they are in respect to their bodies, by the sun that shines in the firmament of heaven.”

84. Christ is to “destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” (Heb. 2:14) Christ will destroy all evil, and banish it entirely from the universe.

85. Paul says, “we which have believed do enter into rest;” which could not be true, if they believed in the doctrine of endless misery. (Heb. 4: 3)

86. “It is impossible for God to lie,” who has sworn to Abraham to bless all the kindreds of the earth, in his seed, which is Christ. (Heb. 6:18) If God could be false to his own promise, then the world might not be saved; but “it is impossible for God to lie.” Therefore, all men, without exception, shall at last be blessed in Christ Jesus.

87. Paul has repeated the testimony of Jeremiah, concerning God’s covenant with the house of Israel; “all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” (Heb. 8:11) This is a pledge of the previous salvation of the Gentile world. The word of God assures us, that the Gentiles shall be fellow-heirs with the Jews, of the blessings of the Gospel. God says, “all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” All the children of Israel, all the descendants of Abraham ; not those who may happen to be upon the earth at any particular time, but the whole posterity of the patriarch, without exception. This is similar to what Paul declares. (see Rom. 11:26)

88. God never chastens us but “for our profit,” causing all chastisement “afterward to yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Heb. 12:10,11) How, then, can the doctrine of endless punishment be true? If God’s chastisements afterward yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness, how can they be endless?

89. “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from ALL sin.” (1 John 1:7) There is no sin, that the blood of Christ will not wash away. Though our sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; and, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Jesus can save the chief of sinners. (1 Tim. 1:15) He has the will, no less than the power; therefore, all men will be saved by his grace.

90. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8) Sin is the work of the devil, and will be destroyed; but men are the workmanship of God, and will not be ultimately destroyed. Jesus shall destroy all sin ; he came into the world for that special purpose ; and, having begun the work, he will not give over, until it is completely accomplished.

91. The record, which God has given of his Son, is this; “That God hath given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son.” (1 John 5:11) Is this record true? it surely is. Who are called on to believe it? all mankind. If any man believe it not, he makes God a liar, by saying, that God’s record is not true. God, then, has certainly given eternal life to all men in his divine purpose.

92. John, the revelator, said: “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever.” (Rev. 5:13) Here is another instance of the “common periphrasis” of the Hebrew and New Testament writers for the universe. Every creature shall at last pay divine honors to God and the Lamb. “If this be not spiritual worship,” saith Prof. Stuart, “I am unable to produce a case, where worship can be called spiritual and divine.”

93. The same illustrious writer says: “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” (Rev. 15:4) Does this mean only all those nations who may happen to be upon the earth at a certain time? or, does it mean “all nations,” in the sense of the divine promise to Abraham? Judge ye.

94. He also says: “The tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Rev. 21:3) When this is fulfilled, all men will be reconciled to God. The Gospel is designed to make every heart the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit; and, when the purpose of the Gospel shall be fully accomplished, God shall reign in the hearts of all men.

95. He furthermore declares, that “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEATH, neither sorrow, nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4) Thus, we see the doctrine of eternal weeping, eternal sighing, eternal sorrow, eternal pain, is false; false as the Bible is true. And, although we read, in the Scriptures, of the second death, yet, if we read of thirty deaths, it would be no argument against Universalism, since the time is to come, when “THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEATH.”

96. God induces all good people to pray for the salvation of all men, which he could not do, if it were opposed to his will; because, “if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us,” (1 John 5:14) and because “the desire of the righteous shall be granted.” (Prov. 10:24)

97. Peter said; “Believing ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and FULL OF GLORY.” Can it be possible that they believed in the doctrine of endless sin and misery? Would this have made them rejoice with unspeakable joy? Not unless they were demons in human form.

98. All the threatenings of the word of God, when properly understood, harmonize with the doctrine of Universalism; the punishments spoken of being limited punishments only, and no threatening or law extending sin, or its consequences, beyond the resurrection.

99. Universalism is the only hypothesis in which the perfections of God can harmonize, – since, if men are lost forever by God’s decree or permission, it impeaches his goodness; if, by his neglect or want of foreknowledge, it impeaches his wisdom; or, if sin be too mighty for him, and rebels too stubborn for him to subdue, it impeaches his power.

100. Lastly; “All things shall be subdued unto Christ, – Christ shall be subject unto him that put all things under him, that GOD MAY BE ALL IN ALL.” (1 Cor. 15:28)

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