Bible Threatenings Explained
by Gary Amirault
Those of you who are well versed in the Bible and who have studied the teachings of several different denominations of Christianity know that basically there are three views regarding the fate of mankind. These are eternal torment for many and eternal life for some, annihilation for many and eternal life for some, and the last is eternal life for all mankind. For those of you who would like to see the Scriptures each group uses to support their view, we have printed a list of the main Scriptures each group uses. Write and we will be happy to send you the list.
Those of you who believe in eternal torment or annihilation probably feel that those who believe in the salvation of all overlook many Scriptures that appear to clearly teach eternal torment or annihilation. This article will look at all Scriptures that Partialists use to support eternal torment or annihilation and show that they do not support the Partialist view. A Partialist is someone who believes the Creator is a respecter of persons; that our Father will limit eternal life to a select group.
For the next several issues of Dew from Mount Hermon, we will look at those Scriptures used to support the Partialist view and attempt to show that those very Scriptures do not support eternal torment nor annihilation. We will draw from many wells previously dug by men and women who have embraced Love Himself.
Some of the writers I will draw very heavily from are: Dr. J.W. Hanson, Thomas Whittemore, Thomas Allin, Andrew Jukes and F.W. Ferrar. These men have collected the thoughts of hundreds of other men and women and I have had the fortune to get copies of these hard to find books either in the original, reprint, or photocopy form. A thousand thanks to Dean Hough from Savior of All Fellowship for giving me many writings without asking for a penny. Surely your reward will be great in heaven.
Before we begin to look at the various Scriptures often used to put our Father in the light of being a vengeful, wrathful Being who can't seem to make up His mind whether to fry you or buy you, we need to look at some of the common mistakes people make when reading Scripture.
We often read the Scriptures in the light of our experiences or what we have been taught about the Bible instead of letting the Holy Spirit reveal that of which we know nothing. I am sure you have had experiences like buying a car, home, or dress, never really having noticed how many of them were always around you until you bought one. Then all of a sudden, your eyes see the same item all over the place. The same thing happens when we buy into a denomination, or method of interpretation of the Bible. We see Scriptures in the light of what is presently our experience; we get out of focus to what is the whole counsel of God. As long as we view the Scriptures through our experiences and not through the nature or spirit of our Father, we will always come short of true understanding. Our doctrines will have error in them even while we think we are in the truth.
Many have made their translation of the Bible their God. Jesus said, "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me, but you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life." John 5:39 The fact that there are 66 books in most Protestant Bibles should tell you something. Many say the King James Bible of today is the only inerrant Bible authorized by God. Nelson Publishers recently reprinted the Original King James Bible of 1611. It had 14 books in it not found in the King James Bible of the 20th Century. Which one of the King James Bibles is the inerrant one, the one with books like Bel and the Dragon, and II Esdra in it or the one that eliminated these 14 other books?
I can't get into a deep discussion on this subject; I have several tapes on Bible translations. Write for them. Suffice it to say, "My people die for lack of knowledge." People have literally killed each other with their translations of the Bible. Ministers preach that the letter gives life, and yet the letter itself says, "the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life". In short, millions of Christians have substituted the Living Word with the Letter of the Law which kills. There are many areas dealing with Bible translations people are afraid to talk about because they have placed their faith in their Bible translation's inerrancy.
Because languages are fluid and words change meanings over time, we erroneously interpret the meaning of passages with present day meaning of words instead of the meaning of those words when that translation was made. An example of this can be found in the 1611 King James Bible in 1 Cor. 10:24. I will spell the verse exactly as it is in the 1611 version. "Let no man seeke his owne: but euery man anothers wealth." A young person living in the 20th century might think that God can't spell and that it is all right to steal if he looked at that Scripture just by itself. But if he studied to show himself approved, he would find that the English alphabet different in 1611, that the Original 1611 King James Bible had thousands of typographical errors in it, and that the meaning of "wealth" at that time had the meaning of "well-being" 300 years ago and that we have dropped that meaning from the word "wealth." Another quick example is the word "doom" which 400 years ago just meant "judgment." It did not have a negative or positive connotation. Today, the positive aspect of this word has disappeared.
Most theological structures of interpreting Scripture take a few isolated Scriptures out of the context to conform the Bible to their preconceived ideas. The Bible can be made to say anything you want it to say. That is why there are thousands of denominations of Christendom divided by their interpretation of the Scriptures.
Due to nothing short of brain-washing and clear lying, people have been led to believe that their translation of the Bible is inerrant. They are told their translation is based on the "Original languages", and by this they imply that the original documents exit. The fact is that none of the original documents exist and the copies we have are far removed from the originals. In addition, all the copies differ from each other in many different ways. The process of putting together a Greek or Hebrew or Aramaic base text from which to get a translation is an extremely complicated matter subject to much room for error. Most Christians have not been told this because it might hinder their faith. These leaders do not realize that true faith cannot be shaken because it is the faith of Jesus Christ Himself abiding in a person. I am grateful my Father allowed man to put his mistakes into some of the translations. It keeps me from making an idol of my translation and forces me to keep asking the Holy Spirit for guidance. This lets the Living Word grow richly in me, instead of putting my trust in man's translating ability. I am grateful for Bible translations, but when they are treated as something more than the tools they were meant to be, then great deception enters. Idolatry is a sin, even if your idol happens to be a good Bible translation.
The last point I want to mention deals with the broad subject of "rightly dividing the Word". Many books have been written on this subject and I certainly will not cover all that ground, but I want to say enough to get you thinking.
Few people would string together the Scriptures, "He hanged himself," and "go do likewise," and apply them to themselves. But many Christians and Christian religious systems often take words out of the Bible spoken by one person to another thousands of years ago under a different age, in a different land with different laws and apply them falsely to present day situations.
For example, there was a certain type of tithing system in Israel prior to its destruction in 70 A.D. It was to be administered in a specific way, by a certain designated people, in a specific land for a certain period of time. This system had to be done away with by the Rabbis because they could no longer meet the requirement prescribed by Moses in the Torah. In the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., which was ordained by our Father, the following happened which forced the Jews to abandon the Mosaic system for a Rabbinic religious system: the genealogy records were destroyed in the destruction of the temple and therefore it was impossible to select a true descendant of Aaron. Only a direct descendent of Aaron could be a high priest. The Levites and Priests also had to be pedigreed. The tithe was to keep the Levitical sacrificial system going. Only a Levite could receive the official tithe. According to the Mosaic law, the sacrifices could only be killed in Jerusalem and Jews were barred from Jerusalem after the Bar Kochba revolt. In addition, many Jewish women were raped by Romans in the revolts of the first and second century which made it totally impossible to determine a true High Priest, Levite, or regular priest. Since only a true Levite could receive the tithe, the Jews had to abandon the tithing system! They had no legal Priesthood and could not offer the sacrifices in the only place God ordained to them, Jerusalem.
I bring this point out just to show a clear example how modern ministers misappropriate Old Testament rituals not only incorrectly, but illegally! Jesus never took a tithe. It was unlawful for Him to do so. It is equally unlawful for a minister today to take a tithe. A modern Rabbi knows he cannot take a tithe from his congregation. They sell seats in the Synagogues because they know that the very law that commanded the people of Israel to give a tithe to the Levites, now prohibits them from being able to do so. Yet Christian leaders, who are not Levites, nor are they supposed to be under the Laws of Moses, take principles no longer lawful according to the Bible and misappropriate them for selfish gain. I am not saying Christians are not to give, nor am I saying they are not to support their leaders. I am just saying the Levitical tithing system is today unlawful to Rabbi and Christian minister alike.
Even in the New Testament, there are words spoken to Israel that do not apply to Gentiles. For example, there were two Gospels, the Gospel of the Circumcision and the Gospel of the Uncircumcision. If you apply the principles of the latter Gospel to yourself in the 20th Century, you are mixing Mosaic Law and Grace and will never live a victorious life. Why? The Gospel of the Circumcision was a temporary period of special grace only for Jews living from ~30 A.D. To 70 A.D. at which time that special time of grace for the Jew ended with the destruction of the entire Mosaic Levitical system. Mixing Mosaic Law and Grace after 70 A.D. is like offering God swine's blood. Most of the church is in that condition. For more information on this subject, write for the tape, Two Gospels.
In summary, just because it is in the Bible , does not mean it is the Word of God to you, your friend, or your enemy. We usually like to use the Old Testament on our enemies, don't we? It is easier to justify our judgemental ways there than in the New Testament. Let's start rightly dividing the Word. Also, keep in mind the letter of the law always kills, it is the Spirit that gives life. Do you like to kill or give life?
I realize this is a long introduction into this subject, but I felt it was necessary. We will be dealing with many passages in the issues to come.
The first passage I would like to deal with is the one that deals with the "unforgivable sin." This "unforgivable sin" manifests itself in all kinds of forms. One person who I am acquainted with was convinced by her denomination that she was going to hell because she denied speaking in tongues when she was a little girl. She was told that when you speak in tongues, it was the Holy Spirit speaking and when you deny the Holy Spirit to speak through you, you are blaspheming the Holy Spirit. She told me she believes she is going to hell.
First of all, the term "unforgivable sin" is not in the Bible. But we do find Scriptures like, His mercy endures forever," "I will never leave you nor forsake you," "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
Let us turn to the Scripture used to hold people in bondage to the "unforgivable sin" and do away with this instrument of torture forever. In the Original 1611 King James Bible in Luke 12:9-10 we read, (spelling left just as it appeared in the original):
But he that denieth me before men, shalbe denied before the Angels of God. And whesoeuer shall speake a word against the Sonne of man, it shall be forgiuen him; but vnto him that blasphemeth against the holy Ghost, it shal not be forgiuen.
Here are some things to note:
- Nowhere does the passage define what blaspheming is.
- The consequences of not being forgiven are not given. One has to add their theology to the passage to send this person to "hell". Jesus could have made a very plain statement of the penalty of blaspheming, but He didn't.
- The Original King James from which I am quoting has a cross-reference for the 8th verse and one for the 11th verse, but not for the 10th verse. This is very strange because this same incident is given in Matt. 12:31-32. Why did the 54 Doctors of Divinity who put the King James together either forget such an important passage, or perhaps purposely not cross-reference it?
In Matt. 12:31 we read in the Original King James Bible:
Wherefore I say vnto you, All maner of sinne and blasphemie shall be forgiuen vnto men: but the blasphemie against the Holy Ghost, shall not bee forgiuen vnto men.
This sounds very much like the passage in Luke, but the next verse adds a little bit more information. Matt. 12:32 reads:
And whosoeuer speaketh a word against the sonne of man, it shall be forgiuen him : but whosoeuer speaketh against the holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiuen him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Please note that the Original King James Bible did not capitalize "sonne of man" nor the word "holy". I just brought this point up because many KJV only preachers say that the modern translations are removing the divinity of Jesus by doing things like this. The original KJV is also guilty if you want to get technical.
Notice in this passage we have some more information. The blaspheming of the "holy Ghost" will not be forgiven in "this world, neither in the world to come." Now the unforgiveness is limited to a present world and the next world. If your theology has only two worlds, then there is still no hope of forgiveness. But the New King James Bible and many other translations believe the Doctors of Divinity of the Anglican Church of England made a mistake when they translated the Greek word "aion" into the word "world". The New King James Bible which is also based on the Textus Receptus translates Matt. 12:32 as: Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
Now things get interesting. Let us keep these words not only in the context of the Biblical passages, but see who He was speaking to and what "age" He was speaking in. He was speaking to the leaders of His own people, the Jews, in the law age. He said to those who said He did miracles by the power of Beelzebub that they could not be forgiven in this age (law) nor in the one to come (the age we are presently in). Ephesians 2:7 speaks of "ages (plural) to come." If you look at the context of Jesus' words, we find that:
- He was speaking in the law age.
- He was talking to leaders of Israel while exhibiting the powers of the Kingdom which they attributed to Satan.
- He did not mention consequences such as eternal torment or hell.
- He limited the consequences of their blaspheming the Holy Spirit to "this age and the age to come" or as Wuest translates it, "in the one about to come."
One thing we Christians have a difficult time understanding is that a Jew never looked for the Kingdom of God as something in heaven. His hope was always the restoration of the Kingdom of David here on earth where Israel would rule the nations. Jesus was manifesting the power of the Kingdom right before their eyes and they attributed this (which they longed for) to Satan. The Kingdom is a time when His power will manifest in a people to set creation free. The religious leaders attributed this power to Satan and therefore could not enter into that which they desired. Their unbelief kept them from the power of the Holy Spirit. They were denied the right to participate in the great power the early Christians exhibited. Their unbelief caused the Holy Spirit to pass them over, but there are other ages to come where they can again be grafted in. We Christians have forgotten that our Father is able and will one day graft them back into the olive tree. Be careful, modern pharisee, that you are not cut off from the wonderful things our Father has in store for us in the age which is almost upon us. Many Christians are presently exactly in the same place as those pharisees, attributing the power of the Holy Spirit to Satan.
So now we see there is no such thing as an "unforgivable sin". When He tells us to forgive "7X70," He is not a hypocrite, as many Christians make Him out to be by their theology. Praise Him, that there is hope for the pharisee. Usually a sinner saved by grace through faith becomes a self-righteous pharisee for a season, sometimes for a long season, like an age or two. I am glad my Father has all the time He needs to get us straightened out. Aren't you?
The problem we just looked at stemmed from the fact the King James translators translated the Greek word "aion, aion" into several different English words that have caused more problems that just the "unforgivable sin". We will deal with some of those problems in future sections of Bible Threatenings Explained.
See more "Bible Threatenings Explained" in later editions of Dew From Mt. Hermon.