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INTRODUCTION ****** God's ULTIMATE Intention
The following work is not intended to be an exhaustive treatise on the subject of the Salvation of ALL Men!! There have been enlightened Men of God in prior years, endowed with greater scholarship, understanding, and revelation than I possess, who have covered this subject with much greater authority than I could begin to approach. I will speak more of this shortly. What I DO propose to offer in the following pages is an updated compilation and summary of the "Mystery Hidden From Ages Past", which the God of revelation was pleased to speak forth through these vessels. I will attempt to present it in the vernacular which 20th century man can understand. I will appeal to man's emotions, reason, intellect, and logic -- ALL of which were given to us by the God of creation. I DO NOT see anywhere in His Word where He rescinded these gifts, but He rather encourages us to be transformed into His Image by the "Renewing of our MINDS".
First, I would like to offer my deepest and highest gratitude to the God of Heaven who, by His Grace (for reasons only He understands) chose me to share in the revelation of this mystery, granting to me grace to believe and to understand. Second, I am deeply indebted to Adolph Ernst Knock, founder of the Concordant Publishing Concern, who, in obedience to God, devoted his life to searching out the "hidden things of God", and uncovering much "buried treasure" in the Word of God. It was through an introduction to this ministry, and the Concordant Literal New Testament, that God began to open up my heart, mind, and understanding to the things that I will be presenting in the following pages.
I wish it to be clearly understood at the onset that I DO NOT claim for my own ANY of the ideas, understandings, or revelations of which I will be writing. Ultimately, of course, they belong to God and come from God. Specifically, however, they have come to me through the inspiration of Mr. Knoch and others, whose writings are available through the Concordant Ministry. Another major source of revelation was through the writings of Andrew Murray. He has written a number of excellent translations of the works of a Christian mystic of the 1700's, a William Law. Finally, Mr. Law's writings themselves have been of extreme benefit.
The following writings ARE NOT for EVERYONE. I have NO delusions that the majority of Christians will embrace this teaching that God's ultimate intention is nothing less than the Salvation of ALL Men. Such HAS NOT been the case for almost 2,000 years. However, I do also believe that the winds of God's Spirit are blowing, clearing away the mists and fog that cloud man's mind, heart and understanding. He is, as He has always been doing, unfolding in greater measure the "Mystery that has been hidden from ages past". It is for the Searcher, for the Hungry, for the man or woman who is willing to SELL ALL to acquire the "Pearl of Great Price". It is, last of all, for the man or woman of Proverbs Chapter 2, the "Seeker of Wisdom", who is willing to SEARCH for it, to DIG for it, as one who is seeking precious gold or rare gems!! Did not God say that, "When you seek for Me with ALL of your heart, THEN will you find Me!!" The prayer that is upon these pages is that they will be read by SUCH SEEKERS!!!!!!
For those whose spirits are stirred by the pages to come, I wish to direct you to the following list of men and writings to take you deeper into God's heart on this subject (Listed in the order of recommendation):
"The Concordant Literal New Testament", from the Concordant Publishing Concern
"The Problem of Evil and the Judgments of GOD", by A. E. Knoch
"Restitution of ALL Things", by Andrew Jukes
"Christ Triumphant", by Thomas Allin
"Paul's Epistle to the Galatians", by Valadimir Gelesnoff
"The Power of the Spirit", selected writings of William Law, Edited by Andrew Murray
"Wholly for God", Edited from a work of William Law, by Andrew Murray
"The Spirit of Love and The Spirit of Prayer", by William Law
"All in ALL", by A. E. Knoch
"Death, Resurrection, Immortality", by Joseph E. Kirk
"The Greek Word 'Aion - Aionios', Translated 'Everlasting - Eternal'", by Rev. John Hanson
"The Ancient History of Universalism", by Hosea Ballou
"The Modern History of Universalism", by Thomas Whittemore
|I recommend that you obtain a FREE catalog from the Concordant Publishing Concern. Their address is:
||Concordant Publishing Concern
15570 Knochaven Road
Canyon Country, CA 91351, U. S. A.
This ministry is devoted exclusively to enabling ALL Christians to come to a clearer, deeper knowledge of the truths of God's Word, particularly as it pertains to the subject of "The Salvation of ALL Men". They have an excellent collection of study materials, books, booklets, and tracts available at VERY reasonable prices. I have found that they are truly devoted to Serving the Body of Christ, NOT to making money off Christians. As an example, they offer a Semimonthly magazine, "Unsearchable Riches", for $1.00 per year. They also have their Concordant Old and New Testaments, available on Computer Disk, which will interface with the "SeedMaster" and/or "Bible Companion" Systems.
You may find "SeedMaster", as well as other low cost / FREE Bible Reference Software available on the WEB at page: http://www.tlchrist.info/bible.htm.
"SeedMaster", however, is an OLD program, and will not run on the newer versions of MS Windows. An excellent, modern, FREE Bible Research program (which I use and recommend) is called "The Word" and is available for download [ Here ].
This book is available for download from the Software Link. There are two files in the file UNIVERSL.ZIP.
The first is a .PDF file, ULTINT.PDF. It will enable you to read the book on your computer screen, or to print out any and/or ALL of the pages of the book, in full color, formatted exactly like the original document. If you don't already have it, you will need to download the FREE .PDF Reader [ Here ].
The second is an "eBook" which will look like your "InterNet Browser". This will give you a fully readable, printable, searchable, hyper-linked book. It does, however, require MS Internet Explorer V4.0 or later to run.
Please feel free to contact me at the following:
Phone: (206) 701-9395
Send an eMail to TLC
WEB Site: http://www.tlchrist.info
for more details regarding these study aids, or ANY OTHER questions and/or comments that you might have.
I am also available to speak or lecture on this topic per whatever mutually acceptable arrangements we can make together with our Lord Jesus Christ.
PLEASE feel free to copy and distribute this document AS FAR AND
AS WIDE AS POSSIBLE, by whatever means are at your disposal !!!!
CHAPTER ONE *** LAW and GRACE, by Andrew Jukes
An excellent understanding of the twin processes of Law and Grace, Mercy and Judgment in God's plan of salvation is found in the book "Restitution of ALL Things", by Andrew Jukes. His is the clearest and keenest exposition of this truth that I have ever read. I shall attempt to paraphrase a summary of it here, to set the stage for the ideas that follow. However, I urge you in the strongest possible terms to get his book and read his exposition for yourself. The Apostle Paul makes a foundational statement in Romans 11:32, where he states that, "God has shut up (or locked up) ALL in unbelief (or disobedience), for the purpose that He might have mercy upon ALL."
Mr. Jukes makes TWO key points. The first being that the gateway into any NEW form of life is ONLY through death to the OLD form. God told Adam that, "On the DAY he ate of the tree that he would die." Die he did, from the Divine life with God into the Natural life of this world. We are told that if we would, "Find our New life with Jesus Christ, that we must Lose our old life (die to it)." We are told further that, "Unless a grain of wheat will die, it will remain alone." We enter into the life of heaven through the portal of death from this world. We are also told that the unrepentant, after judgment, are cast into the Lake of Fire -- which is the "Second Death" (Romans 6:3-5; 7:4-6; 8:13 ; 1Cor. 15:31,36,37; 2 Cor. 4:11,12).
The second point that Mr. Jukes has to make is simply this, "ALL men will die through God's Judgment (Law) and be raised to life through His Grace (Mercy) given in Jesus Christ" (2Cor. 5:10; 1 Peter 4:5,17). Within this ALL, there are two classes (1Cor 15:22-24): First, there are those who are His at His appearing; those who have allowed God to Judge them in the flesh and have died to the body of Sin NOW in this life under the Ministration of Grace (Romans 7:4-6). Within the second category, we have those who were cast into the Lake of Fire, the SECOND death. These found it necessary to be Judged OUTSIDE of the body and die to sin under the Ministration of Judgment. So it shall be that the Firstfruits, even as Israel in Types and Shadows were to be priests of God unto the Nations, shall perhaps minister as agents of salvation unto their brethren of the "Latter Rain" (1Cor. 6:2,3).
Thus shall ALL be purged and purified by Fire; the first group by the fire of the Holy Spirit, the second group by the fire of Judgment!!! (Math. 3:11,12; Mark 9:49; Luke 12:49; 1 Cor. 3:13-15; Heb. 12:29) C.S. Lewis made a point similar to that of Mr. Jukes -- How much more blessed it is to allow God to kill (destroy) this Man of Sin NOW within our body of flesh, when He can use our flesh as an instrument of death, than when we have been liberated from this body and He must use instruments of infinitely greater power to overcome this "Old Man".
I again repeat, that the preceding was but a VERY brief summary of what Andrew Jukes has to say on this subject. He goes into it in FAR greater detail. I offer this summary merely to whet your appetite. His, together with the writings of William Law, have done more than those of any other man to open to my understanding "God's Mystery hidden from ages past", and to clarify His dealings toward the Salvation and Restoration of ALL men. If these explanations seem to you unique and "off the beaten path", consider that in the Apostle Paul's day, he wrote that this "Mystery" was even THEN being unveiled!! Further, Peter, in 2 Peter 3:15,16, comments that Paul wrote certain things in his letters that are, "Hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort to their own destruction!" Do you not think that perhaps He has been, and is continuing to unveil it to those that have "Ears to hear and Eyes to see??" The Jews in the days of Jesus COULD NOT and WOULD NOT comprehend the mystery of the Suffering Messiah!!! Thus He said to them that, "Their house would be left to them desolate until they could shout -- blessed is He who comes in the name of Jehovah."
Please CLICK HERE to download a FREE eBook containing
the "Collected Works of Andrew Jukes".
CHAPTER TWO **** Exerpts From the Writings of William Law
I add four extracts from William Law, which bear more or less directly on the subject of the preceding and succeeding pages. Speaking of the fall, he says, -----
"I have thus shown the glory of mans original state in Paradise, and the lamentable change that the fall has brought upon him. From a divine and heavenly creature, he is so wretchedly changed as to have inwardly the nature and dark fire of the devils, and outwardly the nature of all the beasts; a slave of this outward world, living at all uncertainties amongst pains, fears, sorrows, and diseases, till his body is forced to be removed from our sight and hid in the earth.
The reason why even the most profligate persons do not fully know and perceive their souls to be in this miserable state, is because the soul, though thus fallen, is still united to the blood of a human body, and therefore the sweet and cheering light of the sun could reach the soul, and do that for it in some degree, and for some time, which it does to the darkness, sharpness, sourness, bitterness, and wrath, which is in outward nature; that is, it could enlighten, sweeten, and clear it in a certain degree. As this is not its own life, that is, it does not arise in the soul itself, but only reaches it by means of the body, so if the soul hath in this present time got no light of its own, when the death of the body breaks off its communion with the light of this world, the soul is left mere dark, raging fire, in the state of devils. If therefore the light of this world were to be at once extinguished, all human souls that are not in some real degree of regeneration would immediately find themselves to be nothing but the rage of fire and the horror of darkness.
Now, though the light and comfort of this outward world keeps even the worst of men from any constant, strong sensibility of that wrathful, fiery, dark, and self-tormenting nature, which is the very essence of every fallen, unregenerate soul, yet every man in the world has more or less frequent and strong intimations given him that so it is with him in the inmost ground of his soul. How many inventions are some people forced to have recourse to, to keep off a certain inward uneasiness which they are afraid of, and know not whence it comes. Alas, it is because there is a fallen spirit, a dark aching fire within them, which has never had its proper relief, and is trying to discover itself, and calling out for help at every cessation of worldly joy.
Why are some people, when under heavy disappointments or some great worldly shame, at the very brink of distraction, unable to bear themselves, and desirous of death of any kind ? It is because worldly light and comforts no longer acting sweetly upon the blood, the soul is left to its own dark, fiery, raging nature, and would destroy the body at any rate, rather than continue under such a sensibility of its own wrathful, self-tormenting fire.
Who has not at one time or other felt a sourness, wrath, selfishness, envy, and pride, which he could not tell what to do with or how to bear, rising up without his consent, casting a blackness over all his thoughts, and then as suddenly, going off again, either by the cheerfulness of sun and air, or some agreeable accident, and again at times as suddenly returning upon him? Sufficient indications are these to every man that there is a dark guest within him, concealed under the cover of flesh and blood, often lulled asleep by worldly light and amusements, yet such as will, in spite of everything, show itself, and which, if it have not its proper cure in this life, must be his torment in eternity. It was because of this hidden hell within us that our blessed Lord said when on earth, and says now to every soul, 'Come onto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' For as the soul is become this self-tormenting fire only because the birth of the Son of God was extinguished in it by our first parents, so there is no other possible remedy for it, either in heaven or earth, but by its coming to this Son of God to be born again of Him.
Oh, poor unbelievers, that content yourselves with this foundation of hell in your nature, or either seek for no salvation, or, what is worse, turn your backs with disregard on the One Only Savior that God Himself can help you to. Think not of saving yourselves -- it is no more in your power than to save the fallen spirits that are in hell. Talk not of the mercy and goodness of God. His mercy is indeed infinite, and His goodness above all conception; but then the infiniteness of it consists in this -- that He offered this Savior to mankind, because in the nature of things nothing less than this Savior could redeem them. Therefore, to choose to rely upon some other goodness of God beside that which He has offered to us in Jesus Christ is the most dreadful mistake that can befall any man, and must, if persevered in, leave him out of the possibility of any kind or degree of salvation. For as the Son of God is the brightness and glory of the Father, so no soul made in the likeness of God is capable of any degree of brightness and glory but so far as the birth of the Son of God is in it. Therefore, to reject this birth, to refuse this method of redemption, is to reject all the goodness that the Divine Nature itself hath for us." (1.)
"Yet the Love that brought forth the existence of all things changes not through the fall of its creatures, but is continually at work to bring back all fallen nature and creature. All that passes for a time between God and His fallen creature is but one and the same thing, working for one and the same end, and though this is called 'wrath', and that called 'punishment', 'curse', and 'death', it is all from the beginning to the end nothing but the work of the first creating Love, and means nothing else, and does nothing else, but those works of purifying fire, which must and alone can burn away all that dark evil which separates the creature from its first-created union with God. God's providence, from the fall to the restitution of All things, is doing the same thing as when He said to the dark chaos of fallen nature, 'Let there be light.' He still says, and will continue saying, the same thing, till there is no evil of darkness left in nature and creature. God creating, God illuminating, God sanctifying, God threatening and punishing, God forgiving and redeeming, are all but one and the same essential, immutable, never ceasing working of the Divine Nature. That in God, which illuminates and glorifies saints and angels in heaven, is that very same working of the Divine Nature, which wounds, pains, punishes, and purifies, sinners upon earth. Every number of destroyed sinners, whether thrown by Noah's flood or Sodom's brimstone into the terrible furnace of a life insensible of anything but new forms of misery until the judgment day, must through the all-working, all-redeeming love of God, which never ceases, come at last to know that they had lost and have found again such a God of love as this.
If long and long ages of fiery pain and tormenting darkness fall to the share of many or most of God's apostate creatures, they will last no longer than till the great fire of God has melted all arrogance into humility, and all that is self has died in the bloody sweat and all-saving cross of Christ, which will never give up its redeeming power till sin and sinners have no more a name among the creatures of God. If long ages hereafter can only do that, for a soul departing this life under a load of sins, which days and nights might have done for a most hardened Pharaoh or a most wicked Nero while in the body, it is because, when flesh and blood are taken from it, the soul has only the strong apostate nature of fallen angels, which must have its place in that blackness of darkness of a fiery wrath that burns in them and in their kingdom.
To prevent this and make us children of the resurrection, Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God, came into the world, and died, and rose again for us. Does not this speak plainly enough what it was that man lost by his fall, namely, the birth of the Son of God in his soul? Therefore, it was that the Son of God alone, and He only by the cross, could be man's Redeemer." (2.)
"For in very deed, the new birth is a new man, whether Christ for us, or Christ in us, which is formed by the Divine Word. This new man is 'he that is born of God and cannot Sin,' because he has no sin in his nature. This is 'he that overcometh the world,' because he is of a divine nature, and is both contrary to the world and above it. This is he who can alone 'love his brother as himself,' because the love of God abideth in him.
The old, natural man is of this world, and enlightened only with the light of this world. He is shut up in his own envy, pride, and wrath, and can only escape from these by the cross of Christ, that is by dying with Him. This is the 'self' that our Savior calls on us to deny --- this is the 'self' that we are to 'hate' and 'lose', that the kingdom of God may come in us, that is, that Gods will may be done in us. All other sacrifices that we make, whether of worldly goods, honors, or pleasures, are but small matters compared to that death of self, spiritual as well as natural, which must be made before our regeneration hath its perfect work." (3.)
"Let no one, therefore, take offense at the opening of this mystery, as if it brought anything new into religion; for it has nothing new in it. It alters no point of gospel-doctrine, but only sets each article of the old Christian faith upon its true ground, pressing nothing more than this --- namely the necessity, if we would be saved, of the opening of the life of God within us, and of a death to that life of self which keeps us far from God. Suffer me therefore, once more, to beseech you, as I have so often said, not to receive this mystery as a mere notion, nor, as the world has for the most part done with the Bible, to make it a matter of opinion or speculation. This and every other doctrine is useless, and worse than useless, unless it teaches that Truth can have no real entrance into you except so far as you die to self and to your earthly nature. The gospel says all this to you in the plainest words, and the mystery only shows you that the whole system of the universe says the same thing. To be a true student or disciple of the mystery is to be a disciple of Christ; for it calls you to nothing but the gospel, and wherever it enters, either into the height or depth of nature, it is only to confirm those words of Christ, 'He that followeth me not, walketh in darkness,' and 'Unless a man deny himself, and forsake all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.' This is the philosophy opened in this mystery. It is not to lead you after itself, but to compel you by every truth of nature to turn to Christ, as the one Way, the one Truth, the one Life and Salvation of the soul; not as notionally apprehended or historically known, but as experimentally found, living, speaking, and working, in your soul. Read as long or as much as you will of this mystery, it is all labor lost, if you intend anything else by it, or would be anything else from it, but a man dead to sin and to the world, that you may live unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (4.)
(1.) Grounds of Christian Regeneration, pps 11-15.
(2.) Address to the Clergy, pps 171-173, slightly abridged.
(3.) Grounds of Christian Regeneration, pps 69 and 99.
(4.) Way to Divine Knowledge, pps 255-258, abridged.
Please CLICK HERE to download a FREE eBook containing
the "Collected Works of William Law".
CHAPTER THREE **** "ALL-in-ALL", by A. E. Knoch
The following is a brief excerpt from the book "All in All", by A. E. Knock, pp. 89-97, entitled, "The Salvation of the Unbeliever".
Those who believe are saved by His grace (Rom 4:16). Those who do not believe are saved through His judgments. In both, however, it is He alone Who is Savior. Faith is but the channel of grace; it plays no efficient part in salvation. Judgment is but a means which God uses. It does not remove man's guilt or cleanse a single sin. That is done wholly and solely by the blood of Christ. Every effort to bring about the ultimate salvation of all through the purgatorial or penitential sufferings of the sinner is a denial of this great truth. Judgments do not save, but the God Who Judges is also the Savior, and all His dealings with mankind are governed by the grand goal that He has set before Him -- to become All in All His creatures.
The judgment of unbelievers takes place in the interval between the passing of this present earth and the creation of the new. Every tie that bound them to earth has been burned up. They are the subjects of the most astounding miracle ever wrought, having been raised from the dead. They are in the presence of the Divine Majesty. Their secrets are bared to His awful gaze. The character of their judgment, being adjusted to their acts, not simply as to severity but so as to correct them, will reveal God's purpose to save and reconcile them to Himself. This, followed by their death in the lake of fire and subsequent vivification at the consummation, becomes a means for their acceptance of Christ.
The salvation of the unbeliever will be by sight, not by faith. Otherwise, it is effected in the same way as that of the believer, by the word and power and presence of God. In the judgment day God will judge the hidden things of humanity (Rom 2:16). We are prone to consider this a mere exhibition of His omniscience to facilitate the trial of the sinner and to insure his condemnation. More than this, it can't avoid having a very powerful effect on the unbeliever's attitude toward Christ. The change that occurs in the ultimate salvation of the unbeliever is wrought, not only by his resurrection, but by the august judgment session, when he stands in the presence of Christ, with all his unbelief swept away by the awful realization of His power and the justice of His throne. We are asked, "Is it possible for them to repent?" Rather, we would like to know, "Is it possible for them NOT to repent, or change their minds?" We cannot conceive an unrepentant sinner before the great white throne.
The apostle Paul's case is of surpassing significance in its bearing on the salvation of unbelievers. He was the foremost of sinners, and it cannot be denied that, among men, there was no case quite as desperate as his. All question as to God's ability to save vanishes in the light of his call on the Damascus road. The miraculous means employed in his case surely would suffice for every one of God's enemies. Who will deny, on sober reflection, that the appalling power and glory of the august judgment session into which the unbeliever is ushered by his resurrection will be unutterably more impressive? The apostle's vision passed. He came back to a scene where all was as before. He alone had changed. The unbeliever sees the power and presence of God not only in his own deliverance from death, but in all around him. The vision does not vanish. The Divine Presence bides.
God's thoughts and man's imaginations are nowhere more at variance than on the subject of judgment, or punishment. God is love, man is hate. Jonah went through the streets of Nineveh, crying, "Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way, and God repented concerning the evil that He said He would do unto them, and He did it not (Jonah 3). What did Jonah do? Was he not pleased at the success of his mission? Did he not glory in the character of his God? Alas! He was like the majority of the Lord's people today. Like Jonah, they imagined that God has a streak of hate in His character, and that He wanted to destroy Nineveh to give it exercise. He had an object, though, in threatening its destruction. Now that they repented and the object was attained, why should He belie His character and destroy them from sheer vindictiveness?? Jonah thought He ought, and so think those today whose prototype he was.
Is it not unfortunate that Jonah's God was a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenting of the evil that He had threatened? (Jonah 4:2). What did Jonah care for Nineveh? What pains had it cost him? What comfort did it bring to him? God, however, looked at it from His standpoint. In it there were sixty thousand souls more in tune with Him than sulky Jonah. He was their Creator, and He had not created them for naught. This is God's way with the unbeliever.
CHAPTER FOUR ****** A Study in Job and Jonah
Not only is a through study of the Book of Jonah an excellent revelation of the perverseness and hardness of the human heart, but likewise is a through study of the Book of Job. We are all very willing to judge the vain emptiness of the words of his three quote, "Friends", as did God, but how about the pompous, self-righteousness of Job's words?? In Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, we find the worst elements of deductive reasoning based upon first, "Spiritual Experience", second, "Tradition of the Elders and the Wisdom of the Silver Head", and third, "Reason and Logic of the Unregenerate Human Mind". It is God's testimony (Job 42:7) that these three men DID NOT speak the truth about Him (God).
It is likewise the truth, that the bulk of Christendom DOES NOT speak the truth about God OR about His Written Word, when they depict Him as a doddering, helpless, discrepant FIEND. This is what is portrayed of our ALL powerful God: First, He creates a universe in such a way that He KNOWS that Sin will enter into it, and populates it with beings that He KNOWS will fall victim to said Sin. To make sure that they WILL fall, He creates a Mighty Tempter (Satan) to seduce them into it. Then, when His plan is complete, He dispatches His Most Precious Son (the Highest, Greatest, Most Powerful Expression of Himself) into this Arena of Sin to be the Savior of these, His children. Surely now, our heart whispers, our God will reveal His mighty arm, His lost sheep will be redeemed, evil will be vanquished, and the God of Love and Goodness will triumph.
WAIT THOUGH, what is this???? Our ALL powerful God stumbles again, and it is Satan who emerges victorious!!! Despite all our religious, pious platitudes, SUCH IS THE CASE if Jesus Christ came only "to OFFER salvation to those who would receive it." Satan DID NOT come to "Offer damnation", but rather, men are brought into this world as his slaves, WITHOUT CHOICE!!! According to the creeds of Orthodox Christendom, the "VICTORY" of Christ is thousands. The "VICTORY" of Satan is tens of thousands!! If this is true, than the scripture SHOULD NOT read, "Oh Death, where is your sting," but rather, "Oh Christ, where is YOUR VICTORY???" The worst has not yet come, however. The evening may be dark, but the night is yet DARKER STILL!!!!
Not content that millions upon millions of his created offspring should suffer under the diabolical torment of this "Prince of Darkness" during their brief sojourn through THIS LIFE, upon their death they are immediately ushered into his even darker kingdom, without trial or recourse, for infinitely greater measures of torment for HUNDREDS or even THOUSANDS of years. At the Crowning Climax of this sordid scene comes the Day of Judgment, when the God of ALL Creation expends power beyond comprehension to snatch millions upon millions of HIS children from the clutches of death, torment, and the god of Death. At last, we breathe a sigh of relief, "Now surely the God of ALL Life shall do Justice!!" What, though, is to be the purpose of this miracle of miracles?? It is so that these lost, tormented, mindless souls might once again be cast into the PIT, to be tormented without ceasing "unto the ends of eternity", "for ever and ever", "where the worm never dies and the smoke of their torment rises without end." THUS SPEAK the PROPHETS of ORTHODOXY!!
Is it any wonder then, that the lost do not hear the cries of the ALL-MIGHTY God of Love??? If Job could denounce his friends for uttering, "empty words without wisdom," what would he say about these words?? How about, as he said in 13:5; 16:2,3 - "If only you would keep altogether silent. For you, that would be wisdom! The comfort you give is only torment. Are you going to keep talking forever??" How about Job though? Was his view of God any better?? No, according to his words in chapter 16:9-14, I think he to would be right at home among the Traditions of Christendom. Let us look at a few of his words: "In anger God tears me limb from limb. He glares at me with hate. God has handed me over to evil men. I was living in peace, but God took me by the throat and battered me and crushed me. God uses me for target practice and shoots arrows at me from every side -- arrows that pierce and wound me; and EVEN THEN HE SHOWS NO PITY!! He wounds me again and again; he attacks me like a solider gone mad with hate." Job repeats these and similar accusations against God in many other verses.
The problem goes deeper than merely the response of the unsaved, however. Deep in their inner hearts and minds, (hearts and minds, though corrupted, yet still fashioned by the God of Creation), God's OWN CHILDREN, if they truly reflect upon these things, rebel against such contradictory lies. They create unsupported, unbiblical "Back Doors", through which to escape from these inexplicable contradictions. The mind wrestles with questions such as: "How can a God of Love condemn innocent babies, children, and the mentally retarded to an eternity of unimaginable torment??" To answer questions that have no biblical answer according to Orthodox interpretation, we invent such fantasies as "the age of accountability", "moral responsibility", "mortal and venial sins", and "infant baptism". To the perplexities of questions such as: "What happened to all mankind before Jesus Christ came?", "What about all the heathen cultures which never heard the name of Jesus?", "Shall a common thief receive the SAME judgment as a Hitler?", or "Is it Justice to condemn ANY creature to an ENDLESS Eternity of Unimaginable Torment for a brief duration of sin??" we answer with the all encompassing platitude, "GOD IS JUST!!" If the Orthodox interpretation of such scriptures as, "NOW is the Day of Salvation", "It is appointed unto men to die ONCE, and after that the Judgment", and unless you "Confess Jesus with your Mouth and Believe in your Heart, you CAN NOT be saved", God is going to have to be a lot more than merely JUST to solve this dilemma that WE HAVE MANUFACTURED!! No, Jesus summed up the problem when He condemned the Pharisees with these words, "By YOUR Dogmas and Doctrines of MEN, you have rendered the WORD of God useless." Concerning the ultimate fate of mankind, has the BULK of His Church done any differently????
REJOICE OH HEART, however, for God HAS seen fit to unravel this mystery in His Word!!! It is there for those who will seek for it as for fine gold. It will be found by those who prefer the Glory of God to the Glory of Men. It will be sought after by those looking NOT for rewards from Ecclesiastical Organizations, but rather, to hear from God, "Well done good and faithful servant." It will be treasured by those who are NOT concerned about the scorn or rejection of men, but are looking for a heavenly treasure that CAN NOT be taken away. If, on the other hand, you value more the praise and commendation of Religious Societies, then you have your reward. I will attempt, in the pages that follow, to present with logic and reason, some of the truths which God has seen fit to reveal to me regarding His dealings in Salvation and Judgment, toward the ultimate goal of The Reconciliation of ALL.
CHAPTER FIVE * Christ Triumphant, by Thomas Allin
The following is a brief excerpt from the book, "Christ Triumphant", by Thomas Allin, pages 220-224 and 312-316.
We now turn to an examination of the very many passages in the New Testament that clearly declare, or imply, the salvation of all men -- how numerous these are we shall see. The time has fully come for appealing with all boldness on behalf of the larger hope, alike to the letter and the spirit of the New Testament. One thing only I ask, which common fairness and honesty require, that our Lord and His Evangelists and Apostles may be understood to mean what they say. Thus, we shall look at a FEW instances out of MANY. When they speak of all men, I assume them to mean ALL men, and not some men. When they speak of all things, I assume them to mean ALL things. When they speak of life and salvation as given to the world, I assume them to mean GIVEN, and not merely offered. When they speak of the destruction of death, of the devil, and of the works of the devil, I assume them to mean that these shall be DESTROYED and not preserved for ever in hell. When they tell us that the whole of Creation suffers but that it shall be delivered, I assume that they mean an ACTUAL deliverance of all created things. When they tell us that Redemption is wider, broader, and stronger than the Fall, I assume that they mean to tell us at least this, that ALL the evil caused by the Fall shall be swept away. When they describe Christ's empire as extending over all things and all creatures, and tell us that every tongue must join in homage to Him, I assume them to mean what these words convey in their ordinary sense. If I did not, should I not be making God a liar???
What does the traditional creed require? It practically requires a MUTILATED BIBLE. More than this, it bids us to expunge precisely that which is noblest and divinest in Holy Scripture. I have no desire to ignore "the Terrors of the Lord" -- (see next chapter). They deserve and shall have full recognition. I do insist, however, that those teachers misread Holy Scripture who forgets that its essential purpose is to unfold His name, Who is "our Father", and to proclaim His full victory in the extinction of all evil, and not in its perpetuation in hell. I protest against teaching that "All" means in scriptural phrase absolutely "All" when some evil is foretold, but that "All" means only "some" when spoken of final salvation. So rooted is this most inequitable mode of interpretation, that it has become involuntary. The restitution of all things means, we are told, that only some beings are to be restored, while some are tortured for ever, or annihilated. That God shall be finally "All in All" means that He will shut up many for ever in endless evil, to blaspheme and hate Him eternally, and only save the rest. That His tender mercies are over all His works means, in the ordinary creed, that His tender mercies expire at the gates of hell. Solemn as is the question, there is something almost ludicrous, when we find those who so teach, then turning around to charge us with evading the words of Scripture.
I submit that the entire history of exegesis contains no stranger fact than this persistent ignoring of so large a part of the New Testament. To bring this out clearly, I append the following chain of passages from a long series. They, clearly and closely linked, claim for Christ a saving empire coextensive with the race, or (perhaps) rather with the whole universe. This connection is clearly marked, for each passage suggests or contains the same central idea, and thus forms a link in a continuous chain. This chain begins at creation, when all things were created by Christ, who therefore, as S. PAUL implies, reconciles (re-creates) all things unto God -- Col. 1:16-20. Hence, His work is the restitution of all things -- Acts 3:21. He is Heir of all things -- Heb. 1:2. In him all nations are to be blessed -- Gal. 3:8. The Father has given Him authority over all flesh, to give to whatsoever was given to Him eternal life -- S. John 17:2 (see original). So all flesh shall see the salvation of God -- S. Luke 3:6. For God, Whose counsel is immutable -- Heb. 6:17,18, Whose attitude towards His enemies is love unchanging -- S. Luke 6:27-35, will have all men to be saved -- 1 Tim. 2:4, and all to come to repentance -- 2 Pet. 3:9. He has shut all up unto unbelief, so that He may show mercy upon all -- Rom. 11:32. For (out) of Him, as Source, and unto (or into) Him, as End, are all things whatsoever -- Rom. 11:36. He has, therefore, put all things in subjection under Christ's feet -- Eph. 1:22. So we are assured that God will gather into one all things in Christ -- Eph. 1:10. His grace comes upon all men unto justification of life -- Rom. 5:18. So Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands -- S.Jno. 13:3, promises by His Cross to draw all men unto Himself -- S. John. 12:32. For having, as stated, received all things from the Father -- S.Jno. 3:35, all that was given comes to Him, and He loses none -- S. John. 6:37-39, but if any stray, goes after that which is lost till He finds it -- S. Luke 15:4, and so makes all things new -- Rev. 21:5.
Thus, He comes so that the world through Him may be saved -- S. John. 3:17. His grace brings salvation to all men -- Tit. 2:11. He takes away the sin of the world -- S. John. 1:29. He gives His flesh for its life -- S. John. 6:51.
Because the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (are irrevocable) -- Rom. 11:29, He gives life to the world -- S. John. 6:33. He is the Light of the world -- S. John. 8:12. He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world -- 1 John. 2:2. He is the Savior of all men -- 1 Tim. 4:10. He destroys the works of the devil, not some of them only -- 1 Jno. 3:8, and the devil himself -- Heb. 2:14. He abolishes death -- 2 Tim. 1:10. He is manifested to put away sin -- Heb. 9:26, and thus subdues all things unto Himself -- Phil 3:21 (the context clearly shows this subjugation to be conformity to Himself). He does not forget the dead, but takes the gospel to Hades -- 1 Pet. 3:19, of which He holds the keys -- Rev. 1:18. He is the same (Savior) for ever -- Heb. 13:8. Thus, even the dead are evangelized -- 1Pet. 4:6, and death and Hades destroyed -- Rev 20:14. All are therefore made alive in Him -- 1Cor. 15:22. Christ finishes, completes His work -- S. John. 17:4, restores all things -- Acts 3:21, and there is no more curse -- Rev. 22:2,3. Every knee of things in heaven and earth, and under the earth, bends to Him -- Phil. 2:10. The creation is delivered from the bondage of corruption -- Rom. 8:21, and every creature joins in the song of praise -- Rev. 5:13. So comes the END, when He delivers up the Kingdom to God, Who is then ALL IN ALL -- 1Cor. 15:24-28.
These passages are, I repeat, not taken at random and piled up any way. They are the expression of that Purpose that runs though the Bible. It is a Purpose first stated in man's creation in God's image; a Purpose to be traced in the Law, the Psalms and Prophets; and most clearly in the New Testament. From it we learn that (I.) Christ came, claiming as His own the entire human race, to the end that He might save and restore the WHOLE, and not any fraction of it, however large. (II.) He came with full power "over all flesh", having received power in heaven and on earth -- over all hearts, all evil, all wills. (III.) He lived and died, and rose again, victorious in the fullest sense, "having FINISHED His work," as He expressly claims.
Thus, to deny the absolute universality of Christ's redeeming sway, as destined to embrace ALL SOULS AND ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER, seems no less than to withdraw from the New Testament an essential and vital part of its teaching. For here we are not dealing with some few passages, in which it might be possible to say that "ALL" was used in a lax sense. We have a connected series in which link follows link, a series in which the actual, not the potential, universality of Christ's kingdom is the center and essential thought. Let us now consider a little more in detail, the passages themselves, taking them in their natural and fair meaning, not obscured by traditional gloss.
"FOR THE SON OF MAN IS COME TO SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST" **** S. Matt 18:11
Here the question is simply this, will Jesus Christ do what He has come to do, or will He fail -- as the traditional creed, in spite of all denials, indubitably teaches?? Will He save that which was lost and not some of the lost merely, a totally different thing?? How can "that which was lost" be saved, if any soul be finally lost??
Lastly, a chapter has been devoted to pointing out how full the New Testament is of passages too often explained away, and yet teaching, or implying, the final salvation of all. So important is this evidence, that I here append a brief summary. We have seen how to Christ is assigned a kingdom absolutely without bound or limit, how all flesh shall see the salvation He gives. You have read how the Good Shepherd seeks on, till each sheep He has lost is found, and how the Son of Man came to seek and to save, not some of the lost, but simply "that which was lost". This might also be rendered, "the destroyed", so little does "destruction" involve final loss. His mission is exactly described as having for its object the salvation of the world, and He is said to take away the sin of the whole world. Do these terms represent a partial salvation? Are they honestly consistent with it? Again, it is said all things have been given to the Son, and that all that is so given shall come to Him. He is repeatedly described as the "Savior of the world", which yet He does not save on the popular view. He is called the "Light the world". He is said not to offer, but to give life to the world, a totally different thing. He says (no words can be more absolute), speaking of His Cross, that He will draw all men unto Himself. He adds, that He came not to judge, but to save the World. Can you, on any fair theory of the meaning of human language, reconcile all this with the horrors of endless evil? If the sin of the whole world be taken away, how shall there be a hell for its endless punishment. If all things without exception (the original is the widest possible) are given to Christ, and all so given to Him shall come to Him, can you reconcile this with unending misery? Let us go on, however. We find language employed by the Evangelists quite as decisive against the popular creed as that just quoted. When, for instance, we read in S. John how God's Son was manifested for the very purpose of destroying the works of the Devil, we are forced to inquire if that is consistent by any possibility with preserving these works in hell for ever? Is there no significance in Christ's telling us that He is "alive unto the ages", and has the keys of hell and death? Then again, what do the promises to make all things new, and that there shall be no more curse or pain mean? If these be not promises of universal restoration, what are they? Lastly, ponder over the vision of the Apocalypse, where every creature in heaven, on earth, and under the earth (the dead), joins in the song of praise to God. Can you truly say that anything less than a universal salvation can satisfy the plain sense of these words!!
To (virtually) evade such words is bad enough, but having done so, to charge universalists with fearing to appeal to Scripture is surely not fair. Take next, a very large body of fresh passages teaching the larger hope, from the Epistles of S. Paul, S. Peter, and Hebrews. S. Paul, especially, is full of glowing anticipation of the assured triumph of Christ's kingdom over all evil. Thus ABRAHAM is to receive the world and no less as His portion, i.e., in the elect, all are to be saved. Whatever sin has done to injure man is to be more than repaired by the grace of Christ. Is it, however, possible to undo all that sin has done, if a single soul (1.) be left in endless evil? Would not S. Paul be speaking untruly in such a case? Surely a fair answer is due to this inquiry (even though a fair answer seems to lead to universalism). Further, the Apostle says that the whole creation shall be delivered into the glorious liberty of God's children. Again, all Israel is to be saved (and being the firstfruits, their salvation involves that of the entire world). The Apostle affirms that God's gifts and calling are without repentance (irrevocable). This is very significant, for what is the popular creed but an assertion that God's gifts can be set at naught finally. Further, what S. Paul asserts is echoed in the Epistle to the Hebrews, which assures us of the immutability of God's counsel. Again, if God has shut up all in unbelief, it is, as S. Paul says, that He may have mercy upon all. Does "all" mean "some" in the latter clause, and not in the former??
Again, he assures us that if the first ADAM brought death universally, then the last ADAM brings universal life, and that if sin abounds, much more shall grace abound. However, in saying that the last ADAM has failed in myriads of cases to undo the evil caused by the Fall, you are giving these words a flat contradiction. Then, as to Christ's empire, we are told that to Him every knee shall bow, i.e., "All creation, all things, whatsoever and wheresoever may be." -- (LIGHTFOOT on Phil. 2:10) and every tongue confess -- the original term means thanksgiving, rather, is the very term used of our Lord's giving His Father thanks -- S.Matt 11:25. Finally, we are told that one day -- at the End -- God shall be All in All. It is the Father's good pleasure to sum up all things in Christ, to reconcile all things unto Himself through Christ. Are we indeed to believe that anything can be reconciled to God by being consigned to hopeless evil? For it is a virtual, if unconscious, evasion to say that all things are reconciled to God, if, after countless generations have sent their contingents to the devil, some one generation and those succeeding it, shall be fully saved. Further, the Apostle assures us that the living God is the Savior of all, that Jesus Christ has abolished death, and that the grace of God brings salvation to all men. Are these statements fairly consistent with a partial salvation? Why also, do our opponents never allude to the noble and most inspiring hope, suggested by such a passage as Rom. 11:36?
S. Peter, too, speaks to the same effect. He tells of Christ's preaching the Gospel to the dead, who had been disobedient and died -- a story whose significance is the greatest possible, as indicating how behind the veil Christ works on to heal and to save even those who died in sin. He adds, that the Lord is not willing that any should perish. Is God's deliberate counsel -- such is the original word -- to come to nothing? Then, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, we have this same remarkable testimony, e.g., the assertion that all things are to be put under Christ. It is stated that His object in dying was to destroy the devil -- that once, at the conclusion of the ages, He has appeared to put away, i.e., abolish sin by His sacrifice of Himself. Can anyone explain how the abolition of sin can be consistent with maintaining evil in hell for ever? Thus, the traditional creed seems to stand hopelessly opposed to the teaching of Scripture. Does it not almost deny God Himself, because if we are to believe in God at all, there is no room for a defeated God. Therefore, either God really wills to save all men, and if so, He will assuredly accomplish this, or He does not so will. The first proposition involves the larger hope -- the second is mere Calvinism. I can see no rational alternative.
Such is a brief outline of the teaching of the New Testament, for I have not quoted all its promises of universal salvation. It is no case of building upon Eastern metaphors, of dogma resting upon mistranslations or misconceptions of the original, as in the case of the traditional creed. It is evidence, clear and unambiguous, and repeated. We have without doubt line upon line, promise upon promise, assertions reiterated, accumulated, yet amid all their variety, closely linked and pointing to one central thought. This thought is none less than the completeness of the triumph of Jesus Christ!! It includes the boundless nature of His saving empire over all, to the assurance of a victory won by His Incarnation, His death, and His Resurrection over all the powers of evil.
"The Father willed through Christ to reconcile the universe once more unto Himself, and so to restore all things whatsoever and wheresoever they be." -- LIGHTFOOT on Col. 1:19,20.
(1.) "If but one soul were to remain in the power of the devil, death, or hell, to all endless eternity, then the devil, death, and hell would have something to boast of against God. Thus death would not be entirely swallowed up in victory, but always keep something of his sting, and hell would ever more be able to make a scorn of those who would say, 'O hell, where is, your victory?'"- The Everlasting Gospel -- Paul Seigvolck, 1753.
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