Editors Note: Please keep in mind that MD's response to this letter does not dismiss the idea of there being a very real, and uncomfortable "hell". His arguement is the period of time that Jesus said that people must spend there before their "lessons" that need to be learned are seared into the very fiber of their spirit being - the same basic correctional pattern practiced by every descent parent on earth. But oh, we consider ourselves such better parents than our Father in heaven... He is prepared to torture, time without end, 5 out of 6 of all of His children (6 Billion on earth, 5 Billion non-christian) while we give our little terrorists
(not to mention real criminals) as many chances as they need - "just say you're sorry"...
"EONIAN" vs "FOR EVER AND EVER."
And now I come to the final consideration of the "for ever and ever" rendering in the A.V. It seems that our Baltimore friend will not let this rest until "the last stone has BEEN turned". Therefore a more careful TEXTUAL consideration of the question is hereby given, to the end that the shadowy portions may stand out in bold relief. Our friend writes:
" - - - I do not want you to think that I am arguing with you, -- in fact I agree - -. I just want to make sure that our position is made impregnable if possible... You stated that, 'unto the ages of the ages does not make sense'. Suppose, however that a young school boy spoke of the Christmas holidays as being 'the days of days'. That would make sense. (And he gives another similar illustration) - - - Note however, that of the increase of His judgment there shall be no end (Isa 9:6). How do we reconcile this with the statement that - --- His reign will last UNTIL He puts all things under Him? And note the further statement - - - even for ever'. What word is here used and translated 'forever'?... Then let's turn to Thes.4:17 and we find: 'and so we shall ever he with the Lord'. - - - What word or words are there so translated?" - TGC.
I dealt with this matter in Student Problems #4. You will observe that there I said that IF we placed a mark of accent under "the" (like the) IT WOULD MAKE SENSE. THAT is precisely what our friend has done above Maybe thru careless habits of speech and writing we fail to indicate the accent on 'the' (the), nevertheless it is there: it MUST be there or the words are meaningless. The accent or emphasis on ONE day out of many or one week out of several, or, as our friend did, place implied emphasis on a specific number of days (Christmas holidays) in the midst of a greater number of days (the year).
But juggle the words as you will, we cannot evade the fact that to segregate one period, or measure of time WITHIN AN OTHER IMPLIES LIMITATION OF TIME to the said measure. Even as he put it about the youngster's Christmas holidays being 'the days of days". Were it not for the fact that there is a distinct LIMITATION to the said holidays, then there would be but days.
Now get this clearly - once and for all time - that as soon as we admit of plurality, then we have conceded the LIMITATION of the singular! IF there be such a thing as 'dayS' (plural), then we concede that a 'day' (singular) is of limited duration. Were ONE day to extend for all time without cessation, then there could never be a plurality thereof (dayS)!
THE SAME applies to this stupid controversy (yes, ABOMINABLY stupid!) over "for ever AND ever" which our translators of the Greek and our theologians have raised. They admit the plurality ('and' in the A.V.), yet pig-headedly maintain that the SINGULAR extends "time without end". Were it not for the fact that many students and others (whose business the Scripture is NOT) have been misled by parrots, and indoctrinated with falsehood, I should consider it far beneath me to even discuss it! It is as stupid as to argue that there be but ONE number (when we make use of MANY others)! Because there are MANY numbers, it follows that ONE is of limited scope. Similarly with the 'eonS'. That is why I say it would be beneath me, And frankly, how it comes that learned men in our midst have such near-vacuum skulls that they can propound such senseless absurdities, is not the simplest matter for me to understand.
Before getting down to the textual bedrock, let me first deal with a point or two slightly aside from the "for ever and ever".
Mr. T.G.C. goes back to Isa 9:7 and paints to the endlessness of His 'judgement'. (Here I shall not comment on the 'judgment' rendering in contrast to 'government'.) It appears that our friend reads as he has been taught to read by the theologians or their proteges, and to THINK as they have taught. Yet I cease not to warn you that WE CANNOT HANDLE THE WORD OF GOD IN THAT FASHION! His word is IMPECCABLE! It is PRECISE! And it is TRUE - to the endless reaches of time and space. We MUST take Him at His word AS IT WAS GIVEN, instead of seeing a word or two and jumping to the conclusion, "Oh, He means This and That".... Now I ask you: Did God say that the government by that 'child' and 'son' to be born to the Hebrews were to be "for ever and ever"? POSITIVELY NOT!! Open your bible and read it AS IT IS WRITTEN, and take it AS IT STANDS and dare not jump to the right hand neither to the left to BORROW THOUGHTS from theologian This or babbler That. And what do we find? These are the words (A.V.): "of the increase of (his) government and peace (there shall be) no end UPON THE THRONE OF DAVID AND UPON HIS KINGDOM, to order and establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. - - -"
FRIEND, your error here is rooted in the basic error-in-concept of the theologians that the chief purpose and function of the Christ is to 'rule" or to DOMINATE! Paul tells us boldly that the rulership of the Christ is only up to a certain point (in time). As I pointed out in #4 when He has accomplished to "put the last enemy under His feet", THEN does He Lay down the scepter at the Father's feet! His 'government', judging and RULERSHIP then ceases!
MAN begets children and 'rules' over them for 20 years - more or less. After that they are grown and no longer in need of RULERSHIP by the parent. Or think you that the ineffable GLORY-WISDOM which is our 'God' begets spirit-CHILDREN which NEVER GROW UP! (What an abominable thought!) And WHEN they have come into the "fullness of His stature", having fully 'overcome' all conditions and entered the spiritual maturity of the full grown SONS/DAUGHTERS OF JESUS CHRIST, then is there no need for further overseeing or disciplinary measures; then is the scepter laid at His Father's feet that HE MAY BE ALL IN ALL.
Now back to the words by Isaiah and observe how it says " - UPON THE THRONE OF DAVID'. First, about the "INCREASE" of His government and peace. THAT is merely a declaration that God is not static in manifestation, but EVER PROGRESSIVE. As the conditions are now we must admit that His EFFECTIVE government over his people is only in a slight measure. But that RULERSHIP (bending the people to the fullness of His will) is to perpetually INCREASE. Of THAT 'increase' there is to be no end. But manifestly, WHEN an ABSOLUTE CONFORMITY TO HIS WILL wells out from the inner being of ALL His people, THEN there can be no further increase for, THE FULNESS has been achieved! Beyond that simple declaration of FACT we have no right to add ideas of our own.
Secondly, this specific prophecy deals with the throne of David. The 'throne' implies rulership or government; while 'David' speaks to us of a specific race of people. The most liberal handling of 'David', can only be made to include ALL human races - by taking David back to Abraham thru whom ALL peoples were to be blessed Therefore, as soon as our eyes open to ALL the words of the prophecy, we See at once that He speaks of the specific rulership over a people (or peoples ). Manifestly, when such people are SPIRITUALLY GROWN UP they need no further discipline! THAT links up directly with Paul's clear cut statement which he based on Psalm 110:1: (" -- sit thou at my right hand TIL ----.") The right hand denotes the executive or ruling power, while the word 'until' denotes the LIMITATION-in-time of that particular REIGN.
Therefore, UPON THE THRONE OF DAVID there shall be no cessation of 'INCREASING' government and of peace. Manifestly, while the children are but little shavers they need a father and taskmaster. But when they are GROWN that ceases to be. Therefore said the Spirit: UPON the throne of David. That is, while David's throne exists, rulership in righteousness and in increasing PEACE (closer and closer to His will) shall ever continue to INCREASE (until the full measure is achieved). Yet THAT has not the slightest bearing on the question of whether or not Christ 'RULES' thruout never ending eras. To claim that He does is to postulate that God has begotten brats who never grow up!
TGC asks further what word in the Hebrew has been rendered "for ever". (I am not a Hebrew scholar; no, not even a Greek one! Nevertheless, these questions are simply answered.) The Hebrew word in Isaiah and other passages which was rendered "aion' in Greek, and "for ever" in our A.V., is "OLAM' and its case variants. (I will show you more about this word at the close.)
Next Thes 4:17 where he wonders what word is used in the Greek. The word is "PANTOTE". It could be rendered continuous, or "always". Therefore the thinking person must question: IF God meant that confinement to the Lake of Fire was to be "PANTOTE" - why didn't He say so? But NO! About that He says: "eis tous aiona" ("for the eon"). But let us not contort His word in 4:17 to read that He shall RULE 'pantote'. It merely declares that we shall ALWAYS BE WITH HIM! (What a glorious declaration and promise!) You see, "GOD IS LOVE" - And THAT is His grand objective: TO TEACH US TO SO KNOW HIM THAT WE ENTER INTO THE FULL VOLTAGE OF A CONSUMING LOVE FOR HIM. When THAT has been fully realized, THEN rulership (a throne of David) is no longer needed. For, A TRUE LOVE in the heart of the youngster leads to far better results than the strictest discipline can ever achieve!
Now for a more verbatim consideration of a few passages where the Greek 'MON' is used. A more careful study (which this question forces upon me) reveals that it has been used both in the singular and plural, and in various combinations thereof. For instance:
"eis tous ajonas ton aionon" appears in Rev. 1:18 and 5:13. Literally it reads: "into the eons of the eons" (both plurals). It is claimed by scholars that "eis" is idiomatic, so that its English equivalent becomes "for". Therefore the above can read: "For the eonS of the eons". As above the different endings of the Aion are for "case", or the different ways in which it is used. (Bear in mind that Greek - like other old languages - change the endings of the nouns to denote, or agree with the 'case'; while in English the noun retains its FIXED FORM Above you see two forms of the plural eonS, while the singular is Mon and its variants such as Mona, etc Here, permit me to make some very clear and positive statements:
(1) The Bible in both Old and New Testaments, uses the singular and plural forms of EON, and hence A LIMITATION is implied. Even the stupidest immortal alive should be able to discern its time LIMITATION in Jonah 2:6. (2) That in NO CASE did God choose some other expression (aside from OLAM or MON) when speaking of corrective measures for His people, or for them in "the Lake of Fire". We MUST surmise that God had sufficient schooling' to speak His mind clearly, and that He always possessed enough native honesty, TO SAY WHAT HE MEANT! (3) That He speaks of time BEFORE the eons (4) and that the 'eons' will be CONCLUDED or finished (and thus cease to be) (5) While from these various passages we commonly conclude that the 'eonS' are designations of TIME-ERAS God has used to express THAT SECTOR OF ETERNITY (divided into many different sections) IN WHICH HE BRINGS ABOUT A MANIFEST CREATION AND GUIDES IT INTO A STATE OF ABSOLUTE PERFECTION. (6) Therefore, that the 'eons' are NOT synonymous with 'time', but speak only of a sector of time DURING WHICH GOD PERFORMS A CERTAIN WORK, and (7) that the translators who brought out the A.V. (as well as the R.S.) have not used the slightest respect for true word-MEANINGS, but voiced their own indoctrinated beliefs, CONTORTING THE INSPIRED WORD TO SPEAK FORTH THE STUPIDITY OF THEIR OWN HEARTS, by often giving as much as half a dozen different renderings of the one and selfsame word in the Greek or Hebrew!
(Here, with reference to #5 on preceding page, I wish to add:
There is the possibility that the 'eons' speak of THAT sector of eternity in which God deals with SIN. As up to this moment my studies have not been sufficiently exhaustive to say with certainty if the Eons are confined to God's dealing with SIN, or, as stated, take in from the alpha to the omega of creation. IF confined to SIN, then that sector of time would be somewhat shorter than as stated under #5.)
Now for a few references. Bear in mind that in the AV we read "forever, everlasting, eternal", etc., and even "the world". In the Greek it is invariably "eis tous aiona", and its variant case endings. Such injection of foreign thoughts by the translators were but to COVER UP, and make the monstrous god of their own creation a Little more plausible!
BEFORE the eons began. ' --- before times eonian" ("pro cliro-non aionion") - II Tim 1:9. Manifestly, since there were 'times' BEFORE the eons, then that LIMITS the eons! Paul uses the same expression in Titus 1:2; 1 Cor 2:7. To this we contrast the ENDING of the eons which we find in Heb 9:26 ("at the conclusion of the eons"); also in 1 Cor 10:11. (In these passages we must understand that the consummation or 'end' was not at THAT specific moment, but rather that the GREAT WORK of which Paul spoke (the ATONEMENT) had come to pass - which work was THE WORK of God that would permit a speedy and glorious winding up of eonian times.)
The END of the eon is clearly declared in Mat 13:39-40, 49 and 24:3. (In all of these passages we find "sunteleia ton aionos", or: "the consummation of the eon". In some instances "this" eon is particularized by the Gr Toutou. All this becomes a far cry from 'end of the world' - as warped by the translators. Wherever His Spirit actually meant the WORLD, we find the Gr Kosmos.) THOSE were words by the Lord Himself, and to agree therewith He spoke of the "COMING eon" as we find in Mark 10:30 While agreeing thereto Paul writes of "a FUTURE eon" in Heb 6:5. Also similarly in the plural where he speaks of the coming eonS (Eph 2:7). Observe that it was not a limitation of the Greek vocabulary which forced him (nor Jesus) to use the word AION. In Greek there is "chronos" and its derivatives to indicate TIME or ages. But NO! The Spirit of God is PRECISE: HE SAYS WHAT HE MEANS! And because He was speaking of a specific sector of eternity DURING WHICH HE DEALS WITH HIS CHILDREN TO BRING THEM TO PERFECTION, He had to stick to that word which deals the therewith, instead of speaking of "times" or "ages" which could refer to any distant age, even far beyond the "end of the eons"!
Now for another perspective of OLAM and MON as God's Spirit has used these words in contrast to man's warping thereof: In Psalm 25:6, 41:13, 90:2 and others, as well as Isa 63:16, it speaks of God, using the Hebrew OULM and its variants, rendered by the LXX to EONIAN and its variants. In ALL these passages (and numerous others beyond the scope of this work to cite), the AV renderings are "from EVERLASTING" and but slight variants thereof. But now observe;
as soon as the SAME WORD is used with reference to man, the translators INVENT DIFFERENT RENDERINGS! For instance, we find PRECISELY THE SAME WORD used in Gen 6:4, Josh 24:2, Psalm 119:52, is 42:14 and a host of others. In ALL these instances they have rendered the word "of old' or long time" or "since the beginning of the world", etc. Manifestly, they couldn't speak of man as being from everlasting. Presumably, they didn't want to refer to God as being of old. Yet when once we understand the way in which His Spirit uses this word (which becomes apparent when we study ALL the passages where used), it does not reflect upon, nor limit Deity to be spoken of in connection with the eons, or with the beginning of the eons during which HE BRINGS HIS CHILDREN TO THE GLORY-HOOD OF SONS AND DAUGHTERS IN THE STATURE OF CHRIST. It is doubtful' that man could understand much of God and His BEFORE THE eons began; neither is it useful for US to ponder much on God and His SONS after the eons have been consummated in glory!
Christ Himself spoke of more than one eon at various times. And He spoke of two almost in one breath as per Mat 12:32. There the AV renders it "world". But the Greek has a word for world and that is "kosmos". Christ used that very word in John 3:17,19, 6:33, 51;9:5, 39; 11:9, and numerous other places; likewise did the writer Paul. Wherefore, the conclusions are inevitable;
(1) God had spoken carelessly, while the translators who brought out the AV (being more intelligent than God) have made God's muddled language understandable to us; or (2) that God HAS SPOKEN WITH PRECISION and ACCURACY and IN FULNESS OF TRUTH, but man has CONTORTED His blessed word to jargon in a portrayal of their own stupidity and monstrous concept of Deity! (Choose for yourself which of the two conclusions you will adopt.)
Admittedly, few of our people are qualified, or can go into the Greek and Hebrew texts. Nevertheless, IF we will but use our God -given intelligence, we can see by the English renderings that the "for ever AND ever" readings are FALSE! IF "for EVER" means time without ending, then there can never be such a thing as "for ever AND for ever" ! Yet THAT is how the word of God is garbled in Rev 14:11 and 19:3. And again in Jonah where we are told that the bars of the earth "closed about him FOR EVER" Yet it was but a 72-hour period at the maximum!
Is it TRUTH you want to receive into your soul? Then USE YOUR HEAD! And refuse to "swallow hook, line and sinker" what parrots regurgitate! And when God makes TRUTH plain to you, RECEIVE IT, instead of corning back with a dozen "buts" and "ifs" until you have muddled yourself away from His Truth!
IF the 3 days of Jonah in the sea monster was "for ever", then you know that it does not speak of TIME UNENDING! And when we read of "for ever AND for ever" you have been told the same Truth that "Aion" must be of limited duration. And when He speaks of PAST eonS and of coming eonS (making MANY of them) it should not require the wisdom of Solomon to deduct that "eon" is of limited duration!
Be not befuddled by a multitude of words let loose by tongues divorced from intelligence. "Search the Scripture" said the Christ. DO JUST THAT, and bid the parrots to stop their squawking. Theologians and ministers "have an ax to grind"; they have A SECT to uphold and a job to hold down. Therefore must they speak according to the prescription. Should TRUTH ever loom over the near horizon, MORTAL TERROR fills their soul. DOGMA has nothing in common with TRUTH; CREED was not invented by CHRIST; SECTS and self-appointed "Divines" He strongly forbade
One of the favorite arguments parroted in an effort to prove that a person goes to "hell" for time UNending, is the subtle comparison between THAT and the reign of Christ, which, we are told, is to be "forever". It is true that the two are similarly worded in Scripture, yet it Is NOT TRUE that Christ's reign is to be for time UNending. In the plainest of words did Paul refute that, saying: "Then comes the END when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God - even the Father, -- For He must reign UNTIL ----- " (Read 1 Cor 15:24-25, 28).
Whereby we see that His reign is of LIMITED duration! And THAT is no reflection on the Christ. In fact much to the contrary. It is the hypothesis that His GOVERNMENT shall continue TIME WITHOUT END which throws dirt in His face! Such a theory implies that the human spirits which He has begotten will always remain stupid and unruly, necessitating RULERSHIP AND DISCIPLINE AND GUIDANCE!
Even mortals beget their own kind and RULE OVER THEM until they are grown up and come to a maturity of understanding. Is not man begotten "in the image of God"? So what right have we to postulate that His spirit-children NEVER grow up but will ALWAYS require rulership and GOVERNMENT? Are we not told that the LAW is for evil doers? GOVERNMENT implies LAW! Are we ALWAYS to be EVIL?
Come to your senses and GLORIFY YOUR MAKER! And give the boot to the peddlers of dogmas begotten in darkness and fostered in hatred and ignorance when human souls were prey for the avaricious and unscrupulous.
The fearless statement of these TRUTHS is not with the slightest intention to promote the concept that SIN is immaterial; neither that there will be no future "judgment". MUCH TO THE CONTRARY. And there is also the eventual "LAKE OF FIRE" for the unyielding and recalcitrant souls who will not yield to Christ. But that is only "until the last farthing has been paid". Of this last farthing to be paid out in expiation of the penalty (for sin), said the Christ in Matt 10:28, that it consisted of A DESTRUCTION of both soul and body" in Gehenna. To "pay" is to part with one's substance. The only substance or tangible possession of the spirit is its "body and soul". THESE - said He - were subject to destruction (disintegration) in the Lake of Fire. Therefore, FEAR HIM (who is able to bring about that destruction) And to SAVE US from that colossal loss was the objective of His coming, lest the SPIRIT should once more stand denuded - as in the original day of its begetting.
Now I believe it folly to continue this further. the TRUTH is abundantly evident to whosoever wishes to receive it. Therefore I will draw this to a close by a few quotations from the AV in contrast to the verbatim GREEK (quoted directly from the Greek Testament at my elbow):
-- the end of the world."
- SUNTELBIAS TOU M6NOS~"
(completion of the eon)
-- world without end" (I) - Eph 3:21 "'IOU MONOS TON MONON" (of-the eon of-the eons)
- - in this world neither in the (w) to come." - Matt 12:32 "- EN TOUTO TO Mb NI OUTE EN TO MELLONTr'
(in this the eon nor in the coming (one))
As above in the AV are two screaming instances of deliberate deception in translation. Manifestly, they couldn't say there would be no forgiveness in this ETERNITY nor in the one coming! So they threw "world" at us instead! But observe a few Greek p a ~ sages where 'world' was used:
- GAR AGAPASEN 0 THEOS TON KOSMON -"
( so loved God the world)
- John 3:16
- EIS TON KOSMON INA KOINA TON KOSMON" - v 17
(into the world - - - - - - the world)
"Kosmon" - and its variants - we find thruout scripture for the
- Must we be both stupid and abominable to say that the Lord willfully used the wrong words to express His thoughts?
-- all enochus estin aioniou kriseos" - Mark 3:29 (but liable is eonian judgment.)
The AV renders it "eternal DAMNATION."
The above "kriseos" is a variant of the Greek stem which means to THINK or form an opinion "Krisis" is an Opinion expressed, and links with JUSTICE and JUDGMENT ( such as proceeds from a JUST JUDGE). Whereby we see that our blessed Lord didn't even hint at "eternal DAMNATION" ! That has not the remotest connection with justice and with judgment: the meeting out of a fair sentence. But "eternal damnation' skips judging entirely, and is but the outpouring fury and passion of some monstrous entity devoid of reason. How can such diabolical perversion of Truth and Goodness be reconciled with the Prince of Compassion who said to Phillip, "he who has seen me has seen the Father"? While "eonian judgment" speaks of a sentence IN JUSTICE - varying in every case to carry thruout an "eon" of time.
-- KOSMOU TOIS POIAMASIN NOOUMENA KATHORATA~'
(of the world by this they made understood-perceived)
ATE MDIOS AUTSU --- ThEL~AS" - Rom 1:20
~ both u~HOWy his -- - Divinity).
Observe how the AV renders the above "AIDIOS" as "eternal" a Greek word which has not the remotest connection with TIME!
My exhaustive Greek Concordance (over 1000 pages) of the N.T. - by Moulton and Geden, shows this aidios, aidiois and aidous" appears only 3 times in the NT (Rom 1:20; Jude 6 ~d I Tim 2:9). Only in the last instance does the AV render it correctly as "modesty". For, it links with that which is without outward SHOW. In the two previous passages it could be rendered UNperceived. Look up Jude 6 and you will find that the messengers are KEPT awaiting THE GREAT DAY. Hence the Impossibility of their bonds or chains being "eternal"! (They only last up to a specified moment.) But rather the chains are UNshowy, or even UNperceivable (being HELD by the power of His spoken word!)
We need not be born in Athens, nor spend arduous years laboring over the ancient languages (MASTERS have gone before us and left their tomes of Learning) Thus, by the aid of these and a careful perusal of ALL the passages where a specified word has been used by His Spirit. WE PERCEIVE IT'S TRUE MEANING. And having done so, it becomes only too apparent that those who gave us the A. V. were not interested in TRUTH, nor a correct rendering of the original Word, but walked with spiked boots through its scrolls, spewing forth the dogmas indoctrinated by a machiavellian priesthood exuding sulfur and brimstone in "Darkness, Hour"!
KNOW THE TRUTH THEN SHALL HIS TRUTH FILL YOUR HEART WITH JOY!