Confronting the Greatest Controversy
There are three different basic theories concerning the purpose of creation and the destiny of mankind: eternal torment, annihilation, and the restitution of all.
Each of these doctrines are taught and believed by Bible believing and devout individuals who accept the Bible as the divinely revealed word of Yahweh, and each group is equally convinced that their particular theory is an inspired revelation that originated from Yahweh and is supported by Scripture; therefore, each is infallible. Yet each opposes and contradicts the other.
Since all Bible believers agree that man is something more than animal and that he was created by Yahweh and has his destiny in him, they must also agree that the erring ones cannot be restored to their lost estate, punished eternally in a lake of fire, and annihilated at the same time.
We must also agree that a serious problem does exist which needs to be confronted, especially since, in all fairness, we must admit by using the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures and most of the other modern versions, each is equally capable of producing support for any particular theory (see scripture support page at the end of this study). Why are there so many Bible supported contradictions?
In view of these obvious facts, how can we smugly declare our doctrinal security without an honest and unbiased investigation of the subject, especially if we take into consideration that this subject directly confronts and reflects upon the character and wisdom of Yahweh?
If we teach that Yahweh conceived a plan to eternally torment or annihilate those he wills to restore, or if we teach erroneously that he will restore those he had purposed to annihilate or eternally torture, we are found to be false witnesses and guilty of doing him a great injustice, which we must be confronted with in the day of judgment because we have not spoken truth concerning the character and wisdom of the Almighty (see Job 42:7).
We must also be aware that hidden within the Holy Scripture is a divine truth, waiting to be revealed to all who are willing to forsake all traditions and preconceived theories to search for the pearl of great price. We cannot assume that neither we nor our particular congregation have an infallible revelation before we have conducted a thorough and unbiased investigation for the truth and harmony of the scriptures. We know the Bible is truth, and that truth, when revealed by the Spirit, will not only reconcile all true believers to a true fellowship with Yahweh, but it will also reconcile all believers to oneness and harmony of the Spirit of Truth.
Neither false doctrine nor honest opinions can change, affect or do away with, Yahweh’s true design for the ages; therefore, truth demands that we proclaim a doctrine that reveals the true character of our Creator. The character and personality of Yahweh can be known only by his actions, revealed Word, and its manifestation. Everyone will surely agree that we, his children, should strive to be like him in all of our ways (Rom. 15:5-6, Philip. 2:5, 1 Jo. 3:1-3). This fact alone should motivate us to diligently seek to know his Spirit and understand his word and actions exactly as he is. Otherwise, we could easily submit ourselves to an evil spirit, masquerading as the angel of Light (2 Cor. 11:13-15).
Our Savior warned us to be cautious lest we be deceived, for by their fruits, motivations, actions, and spirit, we shall know them (Matt. 7:16). If we are deceived, we can be changed into the likeness of the spirit that deceived us, believing it to be Yahweh (2 Thess. 2:4). Yielding to and accepting the embodiment of a spirit is a very serious action because we will gradually acquire its nature, attitude, and image. The nature of a spirit is revealed through words, works, and attitude of the person they inhabit.
Many people are repulsed by the implications of the eternal torment theory and ignore its teaching, even though they assemble with the congregation that upholds the theory. They dare not question its reality for fear of provoking Yahweh. They are convinced the Bible teaches it, so fear prevents them from investigating the absurdity of its teaching. They choose never to speak or think on the subject and close their minds to any farther revelation. I chose that route for years, but I soon learned that ignoring the subject did nothing toward helping me expand my faith and love for my Creator—the object of my worship.
I sincerely disagreed with the idea of eternal torment from my very early childhood and could not find any justification for it as a necessity, but fear held me spell bound. I was taught that the King James Version was the only true Bible. I did not consider the fact that its literary value is that of a version and as such, not only could be, but should be researched and compared with the original scriptures.
Contrary to what most people believe, the answer to our greatest controversy is accessible because the confusion does not originate in the original scriptures, but in the translation of a few Greek words.
We are told by the church hierarchy (just as the people were told during the dark ages) to leave these matters to their discretion and blindly follow on. But then comes the question, If our ignorance to divine truth demands that we choose one among the highly educated as our spiritual mediator to intercede for us while we are in our state of spiritual illiteracy, which one should we follow since the Doctors of Divinity do not come to a oneness of spirit nor anywhere near a harmony of doctrinal views with their contemporaries? How can the spiritually illiterate choose their man? Do we not all have access to one Spirit, a living High Priest and Teacher to whom we can turn for direction? Are we not admonished, as laity members, to come boldly before the throne of grace?
I find, in my inquiry, that there is only one mediator between Yahweh and man— the Lord Yasha, and he invites our honest questions regarding some of these perplexing theories. It is safe to ask questions, and it is the most honest thing we can do.
We are told to study to show ourselves approved, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. It is necessary to study and compare text with text. If we are not familiar with the Greek and Hebrew languages, we should arm ourselves with the very best Bible helps: the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Greek and Hebrew, Young’s Analytical Concordance, The Interlinear Bible coded to the numerical system in the Strong’s Concordance, a college dictionary, a good Bible dictionary; books with information on Bible lands, times, and customs, a good Bible atlas. Add to these an open mind, a hungry heart with an unbiased determination to know the truth at all cost, and a clear conscience so we can maintain a strong dependency, and faith in our relationship with our Father. But we must understand that anytime we begin to study and to grow spiritually, we are inviting the enemy to attack. He will attack, and we will not stand in this battle without the whole armor of Yahweh. The adversary does not fight religion; he saves his forces to attack truth-seekers.
As we set our hearts to understand the Word and to chasten ourselves, we are amazed at the many avenues of knowledge that are opened to us.
Some of the words in the translation that mislead us are world, destroy, hell, and the unlimited expressions such as eternal, everlasting, ever and ever, and evermore. Most of these expressions came from the Greek aion (aion) and aionion (aionion). The Greek word “aion” and its adjective “aionion” are sometimes mistranslated into these unlimited expressions in the New Testament. They are the only Greek words that are translated eternal except for “aidios” (aidios), in Romans 1:20.
Everlasting is from number 166, “aionion” in the Strong’s Concordance, except in Jude 6, which comes from number 126, “aidios.” The expression “ever and ever” is from #166 aionion, as is the word “ever.” For more scriptures see “Scripture Support” at the end of this message.
Aion and aionios should never be translated as eternal, always, forever, ever more, or ever. According to the Webster’s Dictionary the word “eternal” means timeless, that is, without beginning or end. Both aion and aionion are proven by scriptures to have a beginning and an end. Aion is used in John 9:32: “Since the world (aion) began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind?” One cannot replace the word “world” with everlasting or eternal in this scripture. But one could, and should say, “Since the age (aion) began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind?”
The word world appears again in Hebrews 1:1-2: “Yahweh, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds (lit. framed the ages).” This word “worlds” is the plural of “aion,” as it is in Hebrews 11:3: “Through faith we understand that the worlds (aions) were framed by the word of Yahweh, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Both of these scriptures speak of a beginning and of more than one. It would be impossible to replace these two words with any unlimited expression.
Again we find the word “aion” in Acts 3:21: “Whom the heaven 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 (age) began.” We cannot substitute the word “eternal” for age in the above scriptures, and our translators did not think so either.
One might contend, as many have before them, that a word can have more than one meaning. I will not oppose that statement, but it is my firm conviction that a word cannot mean two exact opposites and convey any meaning to its listeners, especially “time” and “timeless.”
I meet some people that would be glad to accept the “restitution of all things” concept if they were not so frightened of Yahweh sending them to hell for denying its existence. If I am wrong and find I must spend eternity in flames for having the wrong concept of my wonderful Creator, I would much rather burn for thinking him incapable of eternal torture than I would to face him with the confession that I had taught people that he would burn his own children.
It is Yahweh’s testimony that burning his sons with fire had never entered into his mind: “They (the sons of Israel) have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spoke it, neither came it into my mind,” Jeremiah 19:5.
The word “hell” should never have been put into the Bible. Three Greek words were translated into the Greek word “hell.” Gehenna came from the Hebrew “Valley of Hinnom” in the Old Testament. Hades came from the Hebrew word “sheol.” Sheol is in the Old Testament 65 times and was translated “hell” 31 times, “grave” 31 times and “pit” three times. Sheol is the only Hebrew word translated hell in the Old Testament. It should have been in the New Testament ten times but the Greek translators of the Hebrew manuscript translated it “hades” and when it was brought over from Greek to English the word became “hell.”
Rev. 5:11-13: “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. 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 sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Saints, if the people being eternally tortured can join in harmony with this mind set; I would say that hell must not be as hot as we have been led to believe.
John 12:32: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
Phil. 2:10: “That at the name of Yasha every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.”
Isa. 45:23: “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.”
Rom. 14:11: “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to Yahweh.”
Eph. 1:10: “That in the dispensation of the fulness 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.”
Col. 1:20: “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
Matt. 16:18: “And I say also unto thee, That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
2 Tim. 2:1-7: “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Yasha. And the things that you have heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Yasha Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
1 Cor. 15:22-23: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”
Restitution: Acts 3:21: “Whom the heaven 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.”
Eph. 4:13: “Till we all come in 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.”