A Candid Response
Concerning the accusation that you have made against those of us who believe the teaching of the complete restitution of all, I have neither need nor desire to defend either the Word or myself. But because of the honest effort you have made to withstand that which you sincerely believe to be heresy and defend the truth as you see it, I feel that you should be given the opportunity to thoroughly examine the foundation of our faith. This will enable you to understand more clearly the teaching you have so vehemently opposed. You may yet oppose after you view our thoughts concerning our reality, but we hope to enable you to judge what we believe, rather than judging according to what you think we believe.
I call upon the Holy Spirit to anoint and enable me to present to you the outlines of this hope and show its scriptural support.
I trust that after honestly reading this presentation you can, at least, see some reason for the conviction that generates faith and expectation in those of us who believe in and wait for the full consummation—the restitution of all things.
“But those things, which Yahweh before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he has so fulfilled. Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of (Yahweh) the Lord; And he shall send Yasha Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which Yahweh has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began,” Acts 3:18-21.
Trusting in the sincerity of your spirit, and in your sense of fair and honest reasoning to protect you against prejudgment, I will continue.
I am expecting the Holy Spirit to quicken your spiritual intellect, without which you will be blinded by natural reasoning of the carnal mind. I endeavor to lay my spirit open before you, that you may discern the spirit by which I am motivated. After having reviewed our sentiments, I am sure you will be in a much better position to judge what I teach. This will be so much kinder and wiser than you having to make false accusations against us for what you assume we believe, but that which we do not.
Seeking for Truth
You stated that we could not reconcile this teaching with those scriptures that you say proves the truth and soundness of the long established doctrine of eternal torment. I am willing to grant that there seems to be some difficulty here; a difficulty that is of a nature that those seeking truth and righteousness cannot easily ignore. But if the quest for all truth compels me to seek the true understanding of those scriptures, which you claim will substantiate the doctrine of eternal torture, the same principle would compel you to acknowledge the existence of other scriptures that oppose it. These scriptures demand attention from truth seekers and should not be ignored. In spite of the long established traditional interpretation, we must ask Yahweh for a true revelation on those texts which, just as clearly, and I say much more clearly, teach the complete restitution of all.
We have sufficient scriptures to support our conviction that the sacrifice of Christ was for the sins of the world: John 1:29, “The next day John saw Yasha coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of Yahweh, which takes away the sin of the world.” His sacrifice will eventually procure for him, the restitution of all, which is his inheritance, Hebrews 1:1,2, Acts 3:21, Revelation 4:11, John 12:32.
Our mutual ground for communication is established on the agreement that the scriptures were, of a truth, written by the Holy Spirit; therefore, ruling out any and all possibility of error. We also equally acknowledge that all theory must ultimately bow to the Bible’s long established authority, and that “… the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of Yahweh: for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned,” 1 Corinthians 2:14. Using this as our guideline and at the same time bearing in mind that it is only through the Spirit of revelation that man is empowered to understand the written word, I affirm; therefore, it is essential that we remember to allow our dependency to rest upon the Spirit’s revitalizing power to reveal and quicken the word of life unto us. “The letter kills but the Spirit gives life,” 2 Corinthians 3:6.
The Spirit revealed Word is the energizing Life-force that brings all into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of Yahweh unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13).
There are many scriptures that we could compile to support our convictions, but if we read them in letter only—without discerning the Spirit of the Word— they too, will become dead letter that will leave us blind and in death. We would remain unaware of the true revelation of the Spirit of the Word, and would yet be blinded by the veil of the fleshly mind. We must depend on the Spirit to give us spiritual understanding. Luke 24:44-45, “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,” (also see 1 Cor. 3:6-18).
It is for this reason the revelation of restitution of all is misunderstood, rejected and condemned. Honest seekers observe the corrupt attitudes and immoral conduct of some individuals who have received the word of truth of full restitution into carnal and unconverted minds. These misguided souls do not have spiritual eyes to see or spiritual ears to hear. Unfortunately, these confused people go about trying to parrot the restitution message and do nothing more than hinder and corrupt the revelation by their ignorance.
Many scriptures, when understood with the natural mind, seemingly make it plain enough for the average person to see some hope in the restitution of all. Some of these are: Isaiah 45:22-24, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God (Sovereign Authority, controlling force), and there is none else. 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 one say, in Yahweh have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.” Others are: 1 Corinthians 12:3; 15:20-31; Philippians 2:9-11; Colossians 1:20-22; Psalms 22:27,29; 86:9-10; Matthew 18: 12-14; Ephesians 2:11; Saint John 1:29; 3:16,17; 12:32,33; 2 Corinthians 5: 18-21; Ephesians1: 11; Romans 8:18-23; First Timothy 2:3-8; First John 2:2; and Revelations 5:13.
Other scriptures seem just as plainly to support eternal torture. Some of these are Mark 9:43, 44; Matthew 25:41; Revelations 14:9-11; 19:20; 20:10. Others such as Matthew 3:12; 10:28; 13:47, 50; 2 Peter 2:12 and 2 Thessalonians 1:9, if isolated from other scriptures, could persuade us to believe in annihilation of the unconverted dead. Therefore, it is evident that the solution to the great controversy over our final destiny will not and cannot be solved through a person’s superior ability to accumulate supporting scriptures as interpreted by most of our versions and commentaries. These statements are verified by the existence of various cults and denominations that were established upon certain individual’s interpretation of the dead letter of the word.
All this obvious inconsistency and schism among the brethren tends to leave the average believer depending upon the traditional theory handed down from his forefathers, cult, or the denomination which he is affiliated with. In either case, the believer usually becomes quite skilled in accumulating and quoting supporting text, while completely ignoring those that indicate all is not in harmony and the obvious fact that more revelation on the subject is needed.
When revealed and quickened, all scriptures will dovetail and harmonize one with the other. We must find the truth without excluding and ignoring some scriptures or changing the meaning of some in an attempt to embrace the accepted interpretation of the others.
Truth Dispels the Darkness
The revelation of the word is progressive. Many of the acceptable interpretations of the scriptures were translated by the dim and flickering light that pierced the minds of our forefathers, who were struggling to free themselves from paganism’s cruel regime. In those days, the Church was just beginning to dispel the power and influence of the gross savagery that had plunged the world into the gloom and hopeless despair of the dark ages.
Man has demonstrated his inability to reach an agreement of an ecclesiastical dogma by accumulating supportive scriptures, but I will strive, to some degree, to bring us into one mind by the written word, but let us first explore the nature of Love.
All should agree that the true interpretation of the spiritual Word reaches out to encircle all truth, written or unwritten. In Christ all facets of the Word come together to reveal the power, wisdom, and attributes of a Creator, who is the personification of Love.
Yahweh is Love, or so it is written (1 John 4:8), and In all his personal dealings with me I have found him so; therefore, I can safely build my faith and hope on this foundation without fear.
It is through faith and confidence in the immutable love of Yahweh that we are able to anchor our souls and rest in him, knowing that in all his dealings with us, whether in correction or direction, he will always have our best interest at heart. Motivated by immutable Love and Wisdom, our omnipotent Father shall be the victor over every opposing and hindering force, but I, like Paul, “am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the Love of Yahweh which is in Christ Yasha our Lord,” Romans 8:38-39. According to Strong’s concordance, the word “Lord” (kuros) means supremacy: supreme in authority, or controller.
We are often reminded that Yahweh loves us, and of course this is true. But this is an understatement; Yahweh is Love. The key word here is “is” as it indicates a state of being. There is a vast difference in being given the capacity to receive and radiate love and in being love in substance. We must believe the one who created us is Love, and if our carnal reasoning, an angel, or a satanic spirit would try to persuade us to believe differently, whether by spirit or by the letter of the law, we should refuse to believe the accusation against our Father’s holiness. This should be a clue that there is a need to study and search the matter until a harmonious revelation has been given. True revelation reveals Yahweh’s name (identity and character) and his master-plan. It preserves his attributes of love through his wisdom.
The suggestion that we could honestly accept and reconcile the excruciating pain associated with endless torture in flames, which are intensified seven times by the use of sulfur, with the warm and tender love of our beloved Father, stretches our imagination out of bounds. In fact, it is incomprehensible! It has to be foreign to the immutable love of a merciful Creator. The suggestion that the torment of the ignorant masses is to become the personification of the highest degree of the love and wisdom of an omniscient Creator and that it satisfies justice, should shock our sense of justice, insult our sense of reasoning, and horrify our most base and unrestrained human emotion. Especially when we take into consideration that Yahweh is our omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent Creator and Father, while the unconverted man is hopelessly blind to truth, and is completely dependent upon the actions of the Father to enlighten and save him. No man can come unto the Father unless the Spirit draws him. In his unregenerate state, mankind is oblivious to Truth and Light (John 6:44).
If the Father should desert the creature and leave him to his own vices, will, and strength, he can only grope blindly in the unyielding thralls of death and despair without the tiniest spark of light (reality, truth). The most intelligent of the unconverted is plagued by human weaknesses and the overwhelming impulses of the flesh that so often binds and blinds us. The blinding deceit of the flesh-controlled mind renders its victims captive, helplessly bound in its insidious powers. Added to this is the undeniable fact that the creature was unwillingly made subject to this realm of lack and depravity by none other than his beloved Creator.
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of Yahweh, and if children, then heirs—heirs of Yahweh and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of Yahweh. ‘For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it in hope;’ ‘because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of Yahweh.’ For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption (son-placing), the redemption of our body,” Romans 8:16-23 (NKJ).
The above text tells us that the Sovereign Creator placed us in this realm of lack and want in hope. The word “hope” comes from the Greek “elpis” and means to anticipate with pleasure, expectation with confidence and faith. The creation was predestinated to this realm through a premeditated act by the sovereign will of an infinite and compassionate Creator who contemplated the victory before our feeble beginning (Eph. 1: 7-12).
Convinced that the threat of an unending fiery judgment would curb man’s instinct to rebel against the tyrannical religion, Rome fabricated the eternal torment theory. Through a ruthless effort to gain total control over the earth, they manufactured a ghastly concept of a creator inadequate in foresight and inferior in power. In their misguided zeal and determination to implant fear in the hearts of their subjects, they dammed the Life-stream that flows from the Old Testament types and shadows. These types and shadows so uniquely reveal a plan and glorious purpose in bringing forth the reigning priesthood of overcomers.
Not only did Rome bypass the purpose and Shekinah of Yahweh in the Kingdom age, but they distorted or completely veiled his loving characteristics. Yahweh’s characteristics were revealed in the Son and through the righteous judgments of his glorious Kingdom; a golden age which Isaiah looked forward to over twenty-six hundred years ago, saying, “Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Yahweh, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness,” Isaiah 26:8-9.
If we desire to create fear in the minds of our listeners, the eternal torment scare has every potential and element to do the job. But what is fear? Is fear not the absence of faith? Fear is categorized with the sin of witchcraft. Its torments can keep us from Yahweh’s peace and rest and will lead us into the corrective judgment of the coming age.
Although I was raised in and influenced by none other than those churches that were promoting the torment scare, it was love, not fear, that attracted me. Love finally pulled me from the dreadful confusion that filled my sleep with terrifying dreams and plagued my wakeful hours with an image of a Creator that could neither tolerate, nor even look upon, his own corrupt handy-works. Neither could he exercise his sovereign power in their deliverance from bondage.
I had been persuaded that I was here to be tried and tested concerning my strength, endurance, and righteous determination, while the all-powerful Creator positioned himself in a high and lofty place to continually spy upon me. The ministers of those days were faithful to warn us that Yahweh’s eye was on us continually and that he took note of every action and would not only punish me for wrongful actions but also for every secret thought and uninvited desire, passion, or appetite that invaded my mind. I felt trapped and condemned by Yahweh’s presence. I was led to believe that he deliberately set strong temptation before me to reveal my weakness and entrap me in my weakness. I envisioned, through the sermons I heard in those days, a god that strove to expose my corrupt nature and finite ability so he could shut me out of his presence and torment me for my lack.
I needed no one to remind me of my weakness and lack, but the messages I heard were threatening and demanding. They told me of a god that was perfect in strength and power but was void of wisdom and mercy. I was overly conscious of my weaknesses and saw no possible solution to my problems, for I knew I could never satisfy the demands of righteousness that were placed upon me. I was convinced I was doomed to spend eternity in the dreadful fires of hell for yielding to a nature I despised but could not control. In those days, I never heard one message on Yahweh’s power to deliver from sin’s inclination. I hated evil and longed for goodness. But the realm of righteousness that we were demanded to attain before conversion was far out of the reach of potential converts.
I was told that the Son of God died to redeem me from sin, but greater emphasis was placed on my personal ability to change myself. According to what I was hearing in these messages, I was supposed to raise myself above the sea of corruption and confusion that my carnal mind produced, but my ability to do this was lacking. My solution was always out of reach. Finally, in sheer exhaustion and desperation of spirit, I ceased to struggle and settled down and gave myself to my darkness. I felt as if I was sinking in an ocean of fear and despair. I knew if my only hope of meeting Yahweh’s standard of perfection lay in my own strength to attain it, I was left without hope. If this was the truth, and I assumed it was, I would never be able to stand and be measured by the standard that I was told I must measure to before I could satisfy the demands of an angry Creator. In other words, I felt I had to be as good as he was before he would accept me. This, of course, is foolishness.
The sermons I heard as a child planted in my mind an image of a ruler that constantly observed my best behavior with an accusing finger. To me, Yahweh was a dreadful power that I could not understand, but did not dare to question. My only duty was to confess love for him and stay scared to death of him at the same time.
In my youth, I never understood why we were to speak so degradingly of ourselves when we were said to be Yahweh’s highest creation, which, in my opinion, was not saying too much for his ability to create. In those days, testimony services were full of confessions of self-belittling criticism and derogatory remarks of abasement. I doubted that anyone of them considered themselves as low as a worm, but many confessed they did.
If the scriptures say it, we must believe it, is the method that most people use to deal with the unreasonable idea that any soul living on this earth for less than one hundred years could commit a transgression worthy of being tormented in an extremely hot fire for as long as Yahweh exist. In the first place, the scriptures do not teach it, but most of the translations do. In the second place, it is a theory that opposes the love, mercy, and wisdom of Yahweh. It is also a theory that is rejected by the subconscious mind and believed only by the conscious mind of those who teach it, because if we accepted it into the depths of our subconscious it would produce a fear and misery too dreadful to be borne and would drive the sanest person to the depths of despair.
If the subconscious mind could suddenly accept it as a reality, every beer joint in the country would be deserted. That sounds like the perfect solution to sin. But it isn’t. Without a born-from-above experience that quenches the appetite for sin, our good works will not profit us. The cure for this sin sick world does not depend on our ability to stop some wrongful vice, but comes through the co-habitation of Yahweh in our temples. His Spirit must be there to give us life and to create the right desires in us. We cannot love unless love dwells in our hearts. Fear will never deliver man from his sinful nature, but love can, and will. Love never fails (1 Cor. 13:8).
If eternal torment is the final destiny of the majority of Yahweh’s creatures, why does the Bible use the word “all” in so many of the final consummation scriptures?
Why does Acts 3:19-21 speak of the restitution of all things (“things” is added)? Why did Paul state that all that died in Adam would be made alive in Christ (1 Cor. 15:22)? Why did he tell the church at Ephesus that in the dispensation (administration) of the fullness of time Yahweh would gather together in one “all people” (not things) in Christ both which are in heaven and on earth (Eph. 1:10-11)?
Someone said this didn’t include those in sheol. But Revelation 5:12-13 does, as does our Savior’s statement in John 12:32: “Now (2,000 years ago) is the judgment of this world: now (2,000 years ago) shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.” I realize there was an “if” included in Yasha’s statement, but when he was lifted up, that is, crucified, the “if” was removed.
So many ministers down-grade Yasha’s statement by applying it to the act of the congregation praising the Lord. This interpretation suggests that the redemption is not a finished work and is yet dependant on the works of man. It is misleading to say the least. His statement is clear here; if they crucified him, he would draw all men unto himself. They did, and he will.
Philippians 2:10-11 tells us every knee will bow to Yasha and every tongue will swear (seven himself, taking an oath by repeating it seven times, to be full, or complete). This is repeated in Romans 14:11. These two scriptures were founded on an Old Testament scripture found in Isaiah 45:22-23: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God (Sovereign), and there is none else (powerful enough to rise above him). I have sworn (sevened himself) by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear (seven himself). “Surely, shall one (our Savior) say, in Yahweh have I righteousness and strength: even to him (our Lord and Savior) shall men come; and all that are incensed (hostile, embittered) against him shall be ashamed.”
If King David did not believe in the eventual salvation of all people, why did he say that “all” the ends of the world would be remembered and turn (return) unto Yahweh and all the kindred of the nations would worship before him? Psalms 22:27-31: “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto Yahweh: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is Yahweh’s: and he is the governor (ruler, the sovereign one) among the nations. All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: All they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.” “A seed (Christ, see Gal. 3:16, 28-29) shall serve him; it shall be accounted to Yahweh for a generation. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he has done this.”
If sheol (translated as hell) is not to be overcome, why did our Lord pay such an awful price to obtain the key? Did he not say the gates of sheol would not prevail against the Church? Did he not commission the Church to become a light on the hilltop? Their intent is to birth the whole creation into the glorious liberty of the children of Yahweh. If not, why does she anguish in birth pangs? (See Rom. 8:22-23).
If death is to reign supreme over the masses forever, why did Hosea say death would be destroyed? See Hosea 13:14. Paul agrees in First Corinthians 15:26 by saying, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death,” and in verse 54 he explains how it will be destroyed: “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”
We find the same thought expressed in the vision that was shown to Saint John the Revelator in Revelations 21:3-5: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of Yahweh is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and Yahweh himself shall be with them, and be their God. And Yahweh 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. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”
Maybe this would be a good time to look at death, what is it? “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against Yahweh: for it is not subject to the law of Yahweh, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please Yahweh,” Romans 8:6-8.
The New covenant in Hebrews 8:10-12 makes provision for universal salvation by stating, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know ye Yahweh: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
After his crucifixion, our Savior visited sheol and ministered to the souls that lived before the flood (1 Peter 3:18-20). If the blessed Savior had the keys of sheol and visited the dead in sheol, is it not reasonable to assume he could visit the dead again if and when he chose to do so?
In First Samuel 2:6-8, Hannah did not have any problem believing Yahweh could visit sheol and deliver the souls that were there. She said, “Yahweh kills, and makes alive: he brings down to the grave (sheol, hell), and brings up. Yahweh makes poor, and makes rich: he brings low, and lifts up. He raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are Yahweh’s, and he has set the world upon them.”
When dealing with Scripture, many people feel that we should not use the tiniest grain of our God-given reasoning, especially concerning the nature of Love and Wisdom. Our own experience with the Father should teach us something of his nature. Common sense tells me that if I spend eternity in torment, by his omniscience he knew I would thousands of years before I lived, and yet his unlimited love for me still allowed my mother to conceive me. How can anyone that has experienced the love and grace of Yahweh allow such a thought to mar his image?
I oppose the theory of eternal torment on the grounds that it is not supported in the Greek and Hebrew texts and certainly does not fall in the range of common sense. The theory blinds more people to the wisdom, power, and love of the Father more than vice ever has or ever will. Before I could believe that this is a manifestation of perfect righteousness and love, someone will have to show me an evil attribute that is a direct antonym of torturing your enemies endlessly. To say that Yahweh is justified in torturing his subjects endlessly is to lower love from its sovereign position by giving desire and power authority over it.
The scriptures tell us that Yahweh is love. The word “love” in the English language is used to describe a specific emotional attribute. When someone says they love us, we are justified in expecting this confessed emotion to produce kindness and good will toward us. But if we think this word is not governed by a specific manifestation, that is, it can produce any number of varied manifestations, including torture, it loses its power to describe an emotion. Think for a moment of the hideousness of trillions of souls that were created by Yahweh and once loved by him writhing in pain now and for endless ages. What effect would such suffering have on the Savior that died for their sins?
Say, if you will, that they deserved the endless pain and suffering, but does the knowledge that a child was guilty of disobedience ease the anguish of a loving parent when they see their child suffering? Could not a loving Father settle with maybe a thousand years for each sin they committed and then end their suffering? If that would be asking too much, how about ten trillion years? That would sound better; at least it would give them some hope of a distant relief.
If you are still bent on hanging on to your theory, consider this— sheol is the only Hebrew word in the Old Testament that is translated hell, yet Paul never used the word sheol in any of his epistles except First Corinthians 15:55: “Oh death, where is thy sting, Oh sheol, where is thy victory?”
Both Luke and Matthew recorded the Lord’s statement to Capernaum (Lu. 10:15 and Matt. 11:23). The only other time Matthew mentioned it, is in 16:18 where he quotes our Lord, saying,“…the gates of sheol will not prevail against it (the Church).” Luke uses it once in the Lord’s metaphorical statement about the rich man and Lazarus. We find the word sheol in Acts 2:27 and 31, where Peter quotes a prophecy from the book of Psalms in verse 16:10: “You will not leave my soul in sheol neither will You suffer thy Holy One to see corruption.” This, said Peter, was a reference to the three days between the cross and resurrection. But Peter adds a word of his own: “He seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in sheol, neither his flesh did see corruption.”
Sheol is found only four more times in Revelations. Revelations 1:18 tells us that our Savior obtained the keys of sheol. Sheol appears again in Revelations 6:8 where the highly symbolic language of John’s vision depicts sheol as following a pale horse called Death. In Revelations 20:13, sheol and death delivered up their dead that was imprisoned in them. After being stripped of their power, the two of them were cast into a lake of fire. If sheol is a lake of fire, how is it that a lake of fire was cast into a lake of fire?
Tartartoo is also translated as hell in Second Peter 2:4. This seemed to be a holding pen. It cannot be a fiery place as it is described as “chains of darkness.” It cannot be eternal for it is said to last only unto the judgment. All of the remaining scriptures that were translated hell in the New Testament came from the Hebrew word Hinnom or the Greek Gehenna, which speaks of the Valley of Hinnom; a valley just outside of Jerusalem where the body of dead animals and refuge were burned. When Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, the Lord’s prophecy was fulfilled. The bodies of those who were bound in that mockery of truth were cast into that dreadful place. This fulfilled other prophecies given by Jeremiah.
When you think of the extremity of a place where souls are eternally tortured, have you ever questioned why the Savior sent his followers to preach the Kingdom instead of the eternal torment theory?
There are twenty-seven books in the New Testament; in spite of the hideousness of sheol’s torture, twenty-two books neglected to mention the word. Luke was the only writer that connected it with fire. It is obvious that Luke’s writings were intended to be taken symbolically unless we want to send the rich to hell for being rich and the beggars to heaven for being beggars.
Yasha said, “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”
“But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in thy lifetime received thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is 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. “Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
“Abraham says unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
“And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
“And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead,” Luke 16:19-31.
This parable does not speak of the judgment, redemption, new birth, faith, the Father, the Son, or the Spirit. The righteous cannot only see the tortured souls burning in hell; they can also hear their cries and appeals for mercy.
Abraham’s statement denies that the resurrection of Christ could be more affective than the law dispensation was or that Christ can draw the world to himself. It talks of the resurrection of Abraham and Lazarus and Abraham’s position as head man before Christ was resurrected.
This parable indicates that those two were first resurrected though the Church teaches that Christ was the first resurrection. It states that the rich man thought that a drop of water could cool his tongue, even though he was in a lake of fire and the flames were engulfing him.
Eternal separation and torturing of the rich man was not because he failed to be born from above. Listen carefully to what Abraham says, “Son, remember that you in thy lifetime received thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are tormented,”
According to the flesh, my life has not measured up to ideal standards since I was converted; the world would certainly see a material lack in my life. I have also experienced persecution and trying situations, but I would not exchange my life experience with any rich man in the world. Suffering or the lack of it has nothing to do with our salvation. I am, as Paul was, rich in Christ, and I count those material things as dung just as he did. They are empty unless our life is in Christ. I am better off and more blessed than any sinner on the face of this earth. The idea is that if we serve Yahweh we are so miserable that he rewards us for our misery after we go to heaven, but if we live for the lust of the flesh, we are living such a wonderful life here that we deserve to be made miserable. This concept does not appeal to me.
Both Paul and Christ taught that we are responsible for our own growth. To depict the beggar as a candidate for heaven is to picture heaven as a gathering place for the defeated and dependant people that did not accept the power of life that was offered through Christ. Lazarus, according to the principle taught by Christ, could have risen up and walked away from the rich man’s gate; only lack of faith in the power of the living Word prevented him.
The above passage does not agree with the dogma that most churches teach and defend as a reality. Lazarus’ body never went to the graveyard to be buried; the angels carried it to Abraham’s bosom. Neither the rich man nor Lazarus was required to face a judgment. And neither of them went to heaven or paradise. Could this be a rebuke given in the form of a satire to the religious system of that day? Did not our Lord pick up on their concept, and use it in the strongest rebuke? These leaders had duped the poor into being slaves to their system by promising a reward after death for the awful suffering they were made to experience on earth. I am sure they never carried their Greek mixture so far as to place themselves as future victims of Hades (the Greek god of the underworld) because they had “fared sumptuously every day.”
Can we not apply Mark’s words (4:33-34) to this? “And with many such parables spoke he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spoke he not unto them: ….”
The word translated “eternal” came from a word meaning “age” or “age-lasting.” It is said to have a beginning and is spoken of in the plural.
In the statement, “Before the world (age) began,” found in Second Timothy 1:9, the word “world” came from the only Greek word that was translated “eternal” in the New Testament. It cannot mean eternal, for eternal has no beginning or ending. If there was ever a time that a soul was not being tortured, it cannot be said that that person will suffer eternally.
As I come to the end of my presentation, I have presented, with the aid of the Scripture, the voice of Wisdom and the sensitivity of the attributes of Love, a hope that originated in the mind of the Creator before the beginning of creation and by far excels the theory that is being so widely accepted and explained by the unconverted minds of the world. I have introduced a plan of redemption which far excels man’s adamic ability to comprehend the mystery of redemption. I do this on the grounds that the natural mind receives not the mysteries of the creation.
I am, just as Paul was, “made a minister, according to the dispensation of Yahweh which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of Yahweh; Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom Yahweh would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Yasha: Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily,” Colossians 1:25-29.
I have sincerely striven to introduce a thought realm that reaches above the concept that is heard and believed in almost all public places, including bar rooms and call houses. I hope I have persuaded you to give my endeavor some serious consideration. But if you are still undecided, I urge you to take your God-given right to investigate these scriptures, which have been ignored by the religious system since the dawning of the dark ages without fear of the consequences.
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of Yahweh our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God (Sovereign Deity), and one mediator between Yahweh and men, the man Christ Yasha; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified (witnessed, to become evident) in due time,” 1 Timothy 2:1-6.