Man Has a Purpose
As we behold the wondrous works of Yahweh and bathe our souls in the magnificent splendor of their beauty, we ponder the events surrounding the life and death of Christ and that of other holy men of Yahweh. We try to comprehend the extent of their suffering and the depth of the sacrifices that have been made. We are humbled in our hearts because it is clear that all this was done for our benefit and for the benefit of those yet to be born. All their humiliation and reproach, their severe persecution and every excruciating pain they bore were for our benefit and centers around the destiny of all mankind.
Some Have Never Heard
The theme of the Bible and everything revealed in it, finds its purpose fulfilled in this one objective: everything that exist does so because it is connected in some way with the future of man and Yahweh’s purpose in him. Yet the subject of the destiny of mankind is so thoroughly neglected and misunderstood that generation after generation passes through the space of time without an answer from their religious leaders concerning the destiny of the unregenerate millions who pass through this veil of tears without having ever heard the message of salvation or the name whereby all must be saved.
If our hearts are filled with the love and compassion that was expressed in the life and death of that man from Galilee, how can we ever be satisfied with answers that not only make Yahweh appear foolish and powerless, but merciless and vindictive? This subject should be approached with an open mind, not doubting the love and mercy of Yahweh. So often it is approached more to establish a particular doctrine or to prove the creditability of a favorite sect or denomination than it is in the pursuit of truth.
When dealing with a subject that reflects upon the Lord’s character, we should do it in a spirit of meekness, with a solemn attempt to arrive at the truth without the least regard for the sacrifices that are to be made. Unless there is a proper understanding of Yahweh and his attitude toward his creation, man can love neither him nor his creation; neither can he fully appreciate the Gospel story, which is a revelation of Yahweh’s purpose in his progeny.
If we are to arrive at the ultimate truth on any subject, we must seek a reliable source of information and then accept it with an unbiased attitude.
The Compatibility of Word and Spirit
We will choose two avenues in this study, first, the written word of Yahweh, and second, the nature and attributes of love. Each of these is unchangeable and accessible to the average scholar.
We covet the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit, whom Yahweh sent unto us to open our deaf ears and unseeing eyes so that we may arrive at the full measure of revealed truth. We should expect Yahweh to quicken every chapter, every verse and every line, and to deliver us from all pride, prejudice, rebellion, and heresy so that we may be able to understand his word and to bow to its authority in any and all debates, or controversies.
The truth in Yahweh’s revealed word is an inexhaustible storehouse where his jewels of truth, like hidden treasures, have lain undisturbed and waiting to be uncovered. Let all those who seek, understand that the Truth of Yahweh can never be understood by the natural reasoning of man no more than love can. The things of the Spirit are revealed only by Spirit. The Bible, Yahweh’s revealed Word, is the voice of the Spirit. And being of spiritual substance, many of its sayings are hard to understand and when revealed by Spirit, render nothing more than crucifixion to the flesh, but life and peace to the spirit. And when taken in the dead letter, by the carnal understanding of an un-renewed mind, it will appear to teach what it directly opposes because the natural understanding is unfruitful in spiritual realities. It cannot relate to, nor can it fairly judge, the things it has never known and can never know (see 1 Cor. 2: 14).
If we only read the Bible as we would a history book, we should seek the Spirit so that we may experience a renewing of our minds so that we may understand the deeper revelations of the Word. For we can be certain that we are not grasping spiritual realities if we read and interpret the written Word to mean exactly the same thing that any unconverted man would hear if he should read the Bible.
If the Bible can be understood by the unconverted mind, we do not need ministers nor do we have need of the Spirit to reveal its revelations to us. If we are seeing only the black and white of the written Word, it should be obvious that we are not spiritually minded.
Yahweh Is Love
First, let us consider the nature of love as we understand it, but we must continuously be aware that love as we experience it, is on a much lower plane than the love that we are attempting to explore. Surely we would not be considered presumptuous if we assume the love we share on the earthly realm bears some resemblance to the love that flows from the heart of the Father, and that it was given to us to help us comprehend something of the nature of the higher love.
If we have truly experienced love that extends beyond self-love, we will surely affirm that there is a law that governs the manifestation of that love. When this particular law is broken, we no longer accept these actions as a manifestation of love or even that genuine love is present.
If a man killed his wife in a jealous rage we would know the emotion that the man had mistakenly called love for his wife was, in reality, self-love, which bears no resemblance to the love of the Father. But love that extends beyond self is ready to sacrifice and suffer on behalf of the beloved.
Torment is never accepted as an expression or an act of love in our society. We all will readily admit that tormenting a person that has rejected our love is an evil. We agree that people that commit such crimes are very sin-sick. Yet on the realm of perfected love, we accuse the Father of reacting more violently to rejection than we could possibly excuse on the human level.
Some will say that Yahweh can break, bend, or destroy the law that governs love, and that love has no boundaries to him. He can act in any manner he chooses and put it under the heading of love, because it was he who made the law in the beginning.
Love Must Have Boundaries
If the word “love” does not have boundaries so that it describes a limited number of similar acts and responses, it does not mean anything. If a person should make a confession of love to us, and we knew that the word had no boundaries, no confines, so that it was free to manifest itself through violence, sadistic forms of torture, and all the other undignified reactions known to human nature, we would not be impressed by the confession, because it would not express any specific emotion or action.
Chastisement Is Justifiable
When acts of love produce suffering, it is justified by motivation. If the act is to produce a favorable outcome, which brings a higher degree of satisfaction or happiness for the one who is suffering, it can be accepted as an act of love. But if the motivation of the one inflicting the pain is revenge and self appeasement, it cannot come under the guise of love. The people who teach annihilation have understood, and correctly so, that the Creator finds no pleasure in the suffering and torment of his creation. Therefore, to them, extermination seems to be the next best alternative in dealing with his unregenerate and wayward creation.
On the realm of human frailty and limitations, it is accepted as an act of mercy if a man is forced to exterminate a beloved animal to eliminate suffering. But Yahweh is not a man, nor is he bound by human frailty. He must possess omniscience if He is to maintain the realm of godhood.
Did Yahweh’s Plan Miscarry?
I am unable to believe that the Creator could conceive a plan that he, in his might and wisdom, could not complete. But if this did transpire, and his carefully laid plan miscarried, I cannot imagine the chaos and frustration that the Divine intelligence, the Creator of all things, must have experienced upon learning that his well laid and perfect plan had miscarried, and that there had risen a power above him which had extended beyond his imagination and swept away forever the harmony of his master plan.
If we, for an instant, believed that the Almighty Creator was attempting to initiate a plan which compasses the whole of eternity without knowing what was going on behind his back or what the future held, our faith in him would dissolve the instant we became convinced. But if on the other hand, we gave him a limited amount of foresight, but denied him omniscience, we are yet lowering him to the finite level of human weakness. If the Creator could not predict the future correctly yesterday, he cannot predict the events of tomorrow, and Bible prophecy becomes debatable.
Should Love Intervene?
That Yahweh possesses omniscience should not be disputed; because there are no grounds for dispute or doubt. After having thought about what omniscience entails, could we say that an act of perfected love is being carried out if, as many erroneously believe, millions of creatures were brought into existence who were destined to spend their miserable few years in lack and want, deprived of an education, and the freedom of choice? These people love, give, labor, and strive, having never seen a Bible nor heard the name whereby we must be saved—souls in want, miserable and destitute throughout their lifetime, being predestined to spend eternity more miserable than they were on earth. They did not choose to be born, nor were they given a choice of where they were to live while on earth; yet, if they are forever lost, the All-seeing Eye, the very source of omniscient wisdom, which knew before the embryo was formed, that an eternity of darkness was to be their final destiny.
Grace, Unmerited Favor
We do not dispute the wisdom and power of the Creator, but we do feel that those who have received such a tremendous amount of unmerited love and favor from his ever extended hand, should at least pause for a second to question the theory that Yahweh could be to those poor destitute souls the source of such an indescribable degree of torment.
Some might answer, “Yahweh did not send them to hell. The devil did.” We answer, “The devil did not create hell. If there was such a burning river of fire, we would have to say that our loving Father designed it, and that he most certainly did it as part of a true manifestation of love and mercy and as a part of his restoration plan.”
If a sparrow had never fallen without our heavenly Father taking notice, and if he is careful to clothe the lilies of the field, we would feel safe in assuming that there has never been a child born in the deepest and darkest jungle without his knowing exactly what their circumstances would be before and after death. Yahweh could have prevented their having been born had he chosen to do so.
How can any thinking person declare that these people should suffer through endless ages in the very ultimate degree of torment at the hands of a loving Creator? Could this be an expression issuing out of pure and unadulterated love? What answer do we have? Why would he, who is all power and wise, find satisfaction in continuously tormenting those that have proven themselves to be powerless and ignorant?
Is the Heavenly Father Cruel or Caring?
We truly must confess that if eternal torment is to be the consequences of a plan that was initiated by the Creator, who possesses perfect wisdom and love, we would prefer to keep the portion of love that we now have, which is surely much inferior to the wisdom and love of the Almighty. But if eternal torture cannot be reconciled with the attributes that we identify as love, what then is the solution? How can so many be deceived? What exactly do we mean when we say “Yahweh is love”? Please be aware that this scripture does not say that Yahweh loves, nor that Yahweh loved, it says that his substance is love. “Yahweh is love.”
These mysteries can only be understood as the written word is made alive to us, then we begin to comprehend the Word as the expression of Christ who truly is the manifestation of love and wisdom.
Taking a New Look at an Old Theory
In order to substantiate the eternal torment theory, the leading advocates of the doctrine are forced to ignore the firstfruit call and the ministries they are destine to perform. The average Christian knows nothing about the Kingdom age and the millennium reign of Christ on earth. Most of them are steadfastly anchored in their darkness by the fear that they will blaspheme against Yahweh if they should question the eternal torment theory.
Most Christian assemblies know nothing of the consummation of the ages, and the average church member is of the opinion that Yahweh started a perfect plan which he could not complete; therefore, he was forced to alter his original endeavor to fit the degree of failure his plan suffered.
Should We Question His Sovereignty?
It is his rightful place as the Sovereign King over the entire universe, and this leaves no territory for the devil to claim as his own. This is as it should be, for he does not deserve a claim. “But,” says some, “The Bible teaches eternal torment; therefore, I must believe it.” But it is the translations that teach eternal torment. The original scriptures teach age lasting judgment and complete restoration of all (Acts 3:21).
The Greek word, aion, which is translated into the unlimited words, such as eternal, everlasting, ever and ever, and evermore is also spoken of in the plural, past tense, and future, therefore, it could not mean eternal, for that which is eternal has neither a beginning nor an ending. Yahweh is eternal, and he is the only thing in heaven or earth that is eternal because he was the one that brought all things into existence.
Rightly Dividing the Word
When “aion” is rendered world or age in the translations, it often appears in the plural, past tense, or speaks of that which is to come, as in Hebrews 1:2, 2:5, 6:5 and 11:3. With the exception of two scriptures: Romans 1:20 and Jude 6, aion and its plural aionion, are the only words translated “eternal,” “everlasting,” and “ever and ever” in our New Testament. Yet these same words are translated: world (aion) 28 times: before the world (aionion) began, in First Corinthians 2:7; end of the world (aion), in Hebrews 9:26; end of the world (aion), in First Corinthians 10:11.
The Bible is a book of wisdom, which concerns itself with this age and our involvement with it: our growth, our relationship to the Father, and to each other. It tells us that there are future rewards and judgments and other ages to come. We are told that those who have borne the image of Adam shall some day bear the image of the Creator, but it gives only vague glimpses of the finished product and what life will be like then. Someone will feel sure that they are able to find fault with this statement and will desire to remind us that there are descriptive statements concerning the Kingdom age. And there are, but can we find a description of the time Paul informed us would come—when the Kingdom has completed its purpose and Yahweh has become all in all, or, every thing in all people?
When Yahweh becomes all in all there will be no ruling minority, nor people being ruled over, for there shall be no lack, no sin, nor rebellion. But until then, there will be a need for law enforcement and ruling authorities. There will be a need for the kingdom of Yahweh in the earth.
Search the Scriptures
For those of my readers that are persuaded that the Scriptures so clearly teach eternal torment that they would be afraid to question the doctrine, let us remind them that restitution is much more clearly taught, even in the translations, than eternal torment. It is no worse to ignore one scripture than it is to ignore another. Here are some very convincing statements that should promote enough curiosity to entice us to at least make some effort to investigate. “I (Yahweh) 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, and every tongue shall swear,” Isaiah 45:23. The word “swear” comes from a Hebrew word that means “to seven oneself,” i.e. swear (by repeating a declaration seven times) as to take an oath. It has the exact meaning as the word “sworn” in the beginning of the verse. This verse is repeated twice in the New Testament: Philippians 2:9-11 and Romans 14:11.
In Saint John 12:32-33, the Savior stated that if he was lifted up (crucified) he would draw all unto himself. He was crucified, and the “if” was removed.
Saint John, the Revelator, says, in Revelations 5: 13, that every creature in heaven, in earth and under the earth was worshipping and praising the Lamb, and giving honor to his name.
Paul assures us in First Corinthians 15:22 that all who died in Adam will be made alive in Christ, and in verse 49, he states, “If we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”
In the 54th and 55th verses of the same chapter, Paul makes a strong and shocking statement “…then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory. Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?” Our center reference tells us the word here translated “grave” is “sheol” in Hebrew, and is the only Hebrew word in the Old Testament that has been translated “hell.” If it is written that death will be swallowed up in victory, where is it written? “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord Yahweh will wipe away tears from all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall He take off from all the earth: for the Lord (Yahweh) has spoken it,” Isaiah 25:8.
“I will ransom them from the power of sheol (hell), I will redeem them from death, Oh death, I will be thy plagues: Oh sheol I will be your destruction, repentance shall be hid from mine eyes,” Hosea 13:14.
“…for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness,” Isaiah 26:9.
“All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to Yahweh, all the families of the earth shall worship before you, for the kingdom is Yahweh’s and He is the ruler among the nations,” Psalms 22: 27-28. Verse 29 tells us, “…All that go down to the dust shall bow before Him.”
Romans 5:18-19 is clear, when read from the better translations such as the Greek Interlinear, that justification (release) was to come upon all: “So then, as through one man’s offense it was toward all mankind to condemnation, so also by one accomplished righteousness to all mankind to justification of life. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were constituted sinners, so also by the obedience of the one the many shall be constituted righteous.”
Colosians1:1-22 tells us that by the blood of his cross Yasha would reconcile all unto himself.
Ephesians 1:10-11 states that we were predestine according to Yahweh’s purpose to be gathered together in Christ.
Paul says, in Romans 8:19-23, “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly anticipates the unveiling of the sons of Yahweh, For the creation was not willingly subjected to vanity (transientness), but through Him who subjected it in hope, for also the creation will be freed from the slavery of corruption unto the freedom of the glory of the children of Yahweh. For we know that all the creation groans together and travails together until now, and not only so, but we ourselves also, having the firstfruit of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly anticipating the adoption (son-placing) the redemption of our body.”
The inconsistent way that the translators translated the word “sheol” has been one of the main factors in blinding the people to the true meaning of the word. Being the only Hebrew word translated “hell” in the Old Testament, sheol is found sixty-five times in the Hebrew manuscript. Thirty-one times it was translated hell, thirty-one times grave, and three times pit.
In First Samuel 2:6, Hannah is quoted as saying that Yahweh kills and makes alive, he brings down to the grave (sheol) and brings up.
This word “sheol” (translated hell, grave, and pit) is the same word that was found in the Old Testament scripture that Peter quoted in Acts 2:26, 27: “Therefore did my heart rejoice and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope, because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” The prophecy that Peter quoted here is found in Psalms 16:10, and is referring to the crucifixion of our Savior. Did the Savior spend his three days in a lake of fire located in the heart of the earth? If so, his body certainly did not. Where did he spend those three days? In sheol, of course, but his Father did not leave his soul in sheol, neither did he allow his body to become decomposed.
If this Hebrew word “sheol” really is referring to eternal torment, the old patriarch, Jacob, was not aware of it when he said, in Geneses 37:35, “…For I will go down into `sheol’ unto my son (Joseph) mourning.”
Controlled by Fear of or Faith?
The fear some of you will experience in dealing with this subject cannot be greater than the fear we struggled with when our Father first revealed it to us, for we did not know, at that time, there was anyone on the face of the earth that believed it. The KJV of the Bible was the only translation that was welcomed in our home for many years; therefore, I was not free to consider the original Hebrew text. I had the revelation long before I could reconcile it with the scriptures that seemed to teach eternal torment so clearly. Once this was made clear the rest opened up like the beautiful River of Life that it is.
Many have totally misunderstood the meaning of redemption or what being saved entails and they reject the teaching of the restitution of all on the assumption that it conveys the ridiculous idea that the unconverted multitudes will be free to roam the streets of paradise unrestrained and receive the same rewards as those who repented and followed the Savior.
This is one misrepresentation I would like to refute before I complete this message. Redemption entails more than mere forgiveness of sins, and it includes the cleansing and transforming of the whole man. Yahweh will deal with sin in every measure and redeem the human mind from the influence and bondage of all corruption and sin.
There will not be one among my readers that will accept this message unless he has a deep love for the lost and spiritually blind and is willing to see his enemies redeemed and blessed on equal bases with himself.
In accepting the above scripture, you may find many others that will be perplexing to you, at least for a while. But as your mind is free to search, the trickling streams of the desert will develop into a gushing River of Life and Love, which flows out from the throne of Yahweh in a beauty that the natural mind cannot comprehend, nor can the natural eye behold, because the Father has revealed it to you by his Spirit.
“Then I went down to the potter’s house, and behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel he made was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the Word of the Lord came unto me saying, oh, house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? Saith the Lord, “Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so ye are in my hand, Oh house of Israel,” Jeremiah 18:3-6.
The Benefits of the Lord
“In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn (entirely) away from evil. It shall be health to your nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to your bones. Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency (from righteous labors) and with the firstfruits of all your income; so shall your storage places be filled with plenty, and your vats shall be overflowing with new wine,” Proverbs 3:6-10 (The Amplified Bible).