Monthly Archives: October 2013

Another gospel

Ga 1:6-8 ¶  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

There is a doctrine in certain areas of Christianity that claims there was and is a gospel for the Jewish ecclesia and a different gospel for the Gentile ecclesia. Based largely on the following verse.

Galatians 2:7 KJVS
[7] But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

If you look in a Greek Interlinear you will find the word gospel does not appear a second time in Gal 2:7. http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/gal2.pdf Paul makes it clear to the Galatian church that the gospel that certain Jews came to teach them, was not another gospel but a perverted gospel of grace. If one examines the scriptures you will see there has only been one gospel that was preached to both Jew and Gentile. Peter makes a statement at a council in Jerusalem, which addressed the matter of whether the Gentiles had to observe the law of Moses and be circumcised, which sheds some light on the matter. Peter stated at that time, that the Jewish and Gentile members of the body of Christ, were to both have their hearts purified by faith and Peter further states the Jews will get salvation through the grace of the Lord Jesus in the same way as they. They of course referring to the Gentiles and the yoke of bondage mentioned by Peter in verse 10, was the law of Moses of which man was not strong enough to bear.

Acts 15:7-11  And when there had been much discussion, Peter got up and said to them, My brothers, you have knowledge that some time back it was God’s pleasure that by my mouth the good news might be given to the Gentiles so that they might have faith.
8  And God, the searcher of hearts, was a witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit even as he did to us;
9  Making no division between them and us, but making clean their hearts by faith.
10  Why then are you testing God, by putting on the neck of the disciples a yoke so hard that not even our fathers or we were strong enough for it?
11  But we have faith that we will get salvation through the grace of the Lord Jesus in the same way as they. Weymouth

Now the last verse bears repeating for a second time for those who think there was two different gospels.

Acts 15:11  But we have faith that we will get salvation through the grace of the Lord Jesus in the same way as they. Weymouth

Apostle Peter mentions two words associated with salvation, faith and grace when he addressed the council, that agrees with Paul’s epistles. One verse of which is known well by most Christians, Eph 2:8&9. He also puts the law in a proper context that agrees with Ro 8:3. You also have to keep in mind that the Apostles were all men off of the street and countryside. Fisherman, tax collectors and men we would today call blue collar workers. They were not highly educated. Apostle Paul came from a somewhat wealthy family and was extensively trained as a Pharisee., Acts 22:3. He would be a better writer and much more familiar with the law than the other Apostles. Paul brings the law in sharper focus throughout Galatians but makes a surprising distinction between two covenants, the law and covenant of promise.

Galatians 4:21-26,30 KJVS
[21] Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? [22] For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. [23] But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. [24] Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. [25] For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. [26] But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. [30] Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

Verse 30 is very important. Only the son of the freewoman is a heir with Jesus Christ, Gal 3:16&29. And since those under the law were children of the bondwoman, how can those following the law today inherit the Kingdom?

Paul was well trained in The books of the law and the prophets, that is why God most likely used him to preach and write extensively about the gospel of grace. Another aspect in regards to the church in Jerusalem was that many priests of the law of Moses were converted to Christianity, Acts 6:7. This lead to some cultural dynamics that are not readily apparent during a casual reading of scripture. Although Peter was head of the church and strong in the Spirit, he was very weak in the flesh as many of us are. He denied the Lord three times when under the scrutiny of others, Lk 22:54-62. But that was before he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. But even after that, Apostle Paul recounts a episode in the book of Galatians where Peter withdrew himself from eating with a group of Gentiles when certain Jews arrived, Gal 2:11-21. It is easily understood how the priests that converted to Christianity had a powerful influence over the church in Jerusalem. The Apostles, as mentioned before, were common men who had spent their entire lives under the guidance and authority of the Levite priesthood. Cultural indoctrination is hard to ignore and often times it is reflex action. Plus God made the Israel of the flesh, Ro 9:6-8, a quarrelsome and contrary people, 1 Thess 2:15, Zec 12:2&3. Granted the Zechariah prophesy applies to the present day but historically this holds true for the religious leaders of Paul’s day. They rebelled against Rome and attempted to establish the Kingdom of God on their own. You have certain verses in the book of Acts that point to the fact that the Apostles acquiesced to pressure placed on them from the Jews in Jerusalem. Most likely by the priest who had converted to Christianity, Acts 21:17-24. This incident in the book of Acts is covered by several more chapters, where ultimately Paul felt the need to appeal the case, which the Jewish authorities had brought against him, to Caesar. Since he was a Roman citizen, Act 25:10&11. This incident lead to Paul’s lengthy incarceration in Rome awaiting his case to appear before Caesar. And while in Rome, Jews visited him to hear what he had to say regarding the gospel of salvation. At that point, due to many of them rejecting the gospel message, Paul informed them that the salvation of God went to the Gentiles.

Acts 28:23-28 KJVS
[23] And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. [24] And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. [25] And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, [26] Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: [27] For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. [28] Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

You have to keep in mind that God intended for salvation to pass from the Jew to the Gentile to provoke the Jews to jealousy, Ro 11:11. Keep also in mind that the Pharisees and Scribes were well aware of Old Testament prophecy pointing to salvation going from Jew to Gentile. That would be quite a bitter pill for them to swallow. So much so that they fought against this change, 1 Th 2:16, perhaps even the priests that converted to Christianity. God writes the pages of history and knows all too well the difficulty in changing individuals and societies. The law of Moses had and still has a powerful hold on individuals and societies today. Perhaps the hold the law had over Israeli society during the days of the early church, and the eroding effect it was having on the doctrine of salvation by grace, was why God saw it necessary for Rome to destroy the Temple and city of Jerusalem. Apostle Peter, as the head of the church, endorsed Apostle Paul and his epistles.

2Pe 3:15-16  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16  As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Further evidence of there being only one gospel is in the fact that Jesus, by his death, abolished the law of commandments contained in ordinances and made the two, Gentile and Jew, one new man.

Eph 2:13-15  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 ¶  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

So how can there be two gospels? The whole gist of Gal 2:7, is that Paul was making it clear that God had appointed him to bring the gospel of grace to the Gentiles, Acts 9:15. Paul was given the task of preaching the gospel of grace to the Gentiles and Peter was to bring the gospel of grace to the Jews, nothing more. I think several aspects that makes the whole two gospel misconception plausible is the mystery of God, and a improper understanding of grace. The mystery of God is Christ in you the hope of glory, Col 1:27. If you do a word study on the word mystery, you will find Paul was given the dispensation to disclose the mystery of God to the church at a specific point in time, and that that revelation filled up the word of God, Ro 16:25, Col 1:25-27.

Ephesians 3:3-6 KJVS
[3] How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, [4] Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) [5] Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; [6] That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Notice the wording in verse 6, fellowheirs, and of the same body. When you understand the significance of the mystery of God, you begin to realize that the gospels and epistles written before Paul received the revelation of the mystery of God, lack the entire gospel message regarding the salvation process. I don’t want to go overly long on this, but if you do a word study on the words mystery and sanctified as pertaining to the body of Christ. These words only appear in that context, after the mystery of God has been disclosed by God to Paul. The first three gospels lack knowledge of the mystery by the authors. Another related matter in regards to the subject of this posts. I often update the articles I write when new insights occur to me, or the need to add additional information arises. I recently ran across a doctrine that states the Jesus only preached the gospel of the kingdom of God to Israel, and the later gospel of grace was Paul’s gospel. I stumbled across this doctrine on a website, in which the author pointed out that Paul never preached the gospel of the kingdom of God, and Jesus never disclosed any information about the body of Christ. Both statements untrue. As stated before, the first three gospels lack obvious knowledge of the mystery of God. The gospel of John was written much later, around 90AD, and contain verses that imply knowledge of the mystery of God spoken by the Lord himself.

John 17:17,23 KJVS
[17] Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. [23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Being sanctified or made perfect, He 10:14, are contingent upon being a member of the body of Christ and having the mystery of God, which is Christ in you the hope of glory, working in your lives.

Hebrews 2:11 KJVS
[11] For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

The mystery of God is first mentioned by Paul in Ro 16:25. The gospels and epistles written before the mystery of God was disclosed, are not going have verses in them that deal with sanctification of the body of Christ. Keep in mind though, that the mystery of God, is the hidden wisdom of God, 1 Co 2:7&8. Hidden does not mean this wisdom was not apparent to those were meant to hear it.

Matthew 13:34-43 KJVS
[34] All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: [35] That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. [36] Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. [37] He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; [38] The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one ; [39] The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. [40] As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. [41] The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; [42] And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. [43] Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

So, it is clear that Jesus Christ spoke about this hidden wisdom of God to his disciples. Conversely, Paul mentions the kingdom of God, and activities that would preclude a person from inheriting the Kingdom of God, 1 Co 6:9&10. He also mentions the kingdom of God and being counted worthy of it.

2 Thessalonians 1:5 KJVS
[5] Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
Colossians 4:11 KJVS
[11] And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.

I think Peter sums it up nicely in 2Pe 3:16. Which is that, unlearned and unstable men wrestle with the scriptures unto their own destruction. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, Ro 8:2, is about the heart. God, by His grace and by His Spirit is teaching us how to love one another, 1Th 4:9. Only by the grace of God teaching us and the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Ghost changing us, can the purification of our hearts be accomplish, Titus 2:11&12, Titus 3:5-7. In short the gospel of grace. The law was incapable of doing this, because the flesh is too weak to observe the law.

Ro 8″1-4 ¶  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

There is only one gospel and that is the gospel of grace which saves us, Jew and Gentile alike, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Ro 3:23-24. This graciousness of God, wherein He teaches us, chastises us and disciplines us, in tandem with the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Ghost that frequently takes place in our lives, is how we are being saved, Tit 2:11-12, He 12:5-11, Titus 3:5-7. Included in this process is sanctification, which is the death of the flesh, that can only take place by the seed of Christ falling into our flesh, crucifying our flesh, Gal 5:4. The end result is being found in Christ at his coming and claiming our inheritance in the kingdom of God, which God promised to Abraham, and to his seed. And that seed of course is Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:16,29 KJVS
[16] Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. [29] And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

That is the good news of the gospel of the Kingdom of God. But remember, just as there are vessels of mercy who were ordained for God’s purpose, Ro 9:21-23, there are other vessels ordained for a different purpose.

Jude 1:4  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Last Days

There was much anticipation in the nation Israel and in the surrounding middle east region following the death of Jesus Christ. Jesus came preaching to the lost sheep of Israel, Mt 4:17, to repent for the Kingdom of God was at hand. It was common knowledge in the region that the 70th week of Daniel was approaching and the whole nation of Israel, Christian Jew and Gentile Christian alike, were looking for the promised Kingdom of God, where the messiah along with Israel would rule the world. The Apostle Paul in several epistles indicates that the time was short and that the day was at hand, 1Co 7:29,  Ro 13:11-12.  He even had to reassure the Thessalonian church that the day of the Lord and the dead in Christ being gathering together unto him, had not already taken place.

2Th 2:1-3 ¶  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 ¶  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

All of this gives a brief glimpse of the great expectations for the Kingdom of God that the people in the middle east were gripped with during those days. But that expectation abruptly stops for the Christian church, when the following revelation is imparted to the Apostle Peter by the Spirit.

2Pe 3:1-4 ¶  This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2  That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
3 ¶  Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4  And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
2 Pe 3:8 ¶  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Peter is telling the church to be mindful of the words,  prophetic words, spoken by the prophets of the Old Testament and Apostles of the Lord and while doing so, to keep in mind, that in regards to prophetic utterances,  one day is with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Careful reading of the New Testament, in light of this revelation regarding prophecy, offers insight.  One prophecy this is apparent in, is in the Joel prophecy cited by Peter in the 2nd chapter of Acts.

Acts 2:16-19  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You acquire a deeper understanding of these verses by keeping in mind that a prophetic day unto the Lord is a thousand years. Take for another example Hosea.

Ho 6:1-2 ¶  Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
2  After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

Now, are these verses referring to the time when ungodliness is taken from Jacob and Israel of the flesh, when they are graphed back into the olive tree, Ro 11:24-32? Also Jesus was foretold to be a prophet like unto Moses, Deut 18:18, so often the events in the lives of the two men are types and shadows one of another.

Ex 19:10-11 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,
11  And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

The book of Hebrews, by type, refers to these events that took place in Exodus concerning Moses and mount Sinai. By type those events at Sinai also apply to the body of Christ.

Heb 12:22-25 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
25  See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

Could it be understood from the Lord’s words, Mt 24:22, that if the last days, (two thousand years) were not shortened that no flesh would would be saved? It is said that no man knows the day or the hour of the Lord’s return, Mt 24:36.  But a loose time frame is certainly evident from the information given in 2 Pe 3:8. Two thousand years from the resurrection of the Lord until his return. I have hesitated to include these verses in this article and my take on them, but have recently decided to do so. The Lord himself uttered these words which I think to be prophetic in nature.

Matthew 12:39-45 KJVS
[39] But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: [40] For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. [41] The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. [42] The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. [43] When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. [44] Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
[45] Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

A different account of this can be read in Luke 11:29-32. There has been difficulties over the years trying to prove that Jesus was in the tomb a full three days and nights. But if we view these statements Jesus made in light of 2Pe 3:8, of a day being a thousand years long, you can see a additional meaning. Jesus states he will be in the heart of the earth for three days and nights. Jesus is the seed that falls into the ground and dies in order to bring forth fruit. Jonas was sent to bring a Gentile city to repentance. The sign of Jonas to that wicked generation, shows when in the next 3,000 years, that generation will come up in judgement. At the end of the thousand year kingdom there will be the white throne judgment where all the Gentiles will be judged. The Queen of the south, Sheba, will come up in judgment with that wicked generation that rejected Jesus. Now this certainly was a slap in the face of those Jews listening because they held Gentiles in disdain but it also told them that they would have no part of the glorious Kingdom of God. Now it took me awhile to understand Mt 12:43-45. Jesus was the Passover lamb and before Passover every household swept the houses out making sure no yeast or leaven was in the house. The house was Israel and Jesus healed and cast out demons and the house was clean but not for long. Seven more demons worse than the first entered in. If you ever have read the accounts written by Josephus of the Jewish-Roman war, you can more easily see the analogy of seven demons worse than the first entering the house. Now getting back to the three days. The day of the Lord is the beginning of the thousand year kingdom of God, or the seventh day. From our perspective we will concentrate on the two thousand year long days before the return of the Lord. The fifth and sixth day. Remember too that there is redemption taking place in the earth during the thousand year day or seventh day of rest. Since it is commonly understood that Jesus was 33 years old when crucified and the estimated birth of the Lord ranges from 4 BC to 3 A.D.. His return should be roughly 2000 years after his death. These estimates of Jesus birth and death, comes from just a brief examination of the subject, when using Google search on the Internet. If Jesus’s return is at the mid point of the tribulation and placing his death at 29 A.D., that would entail his return in 2026 or earlier due to Mt 24:22. It is quite evident to me that we are at the tail end of the last days and will see the Lord’s return in our lifetime. I often update articles when I run across new information and the following information agrees with the timeframe I outlined above. The quote from the article that follows is a bit disjointed taken out of context and the reader is welcome to read the short article at this web address. http://www.messianictorah.org/en/manna_en/32-7en.htm

“If this calculation is correct it is possible that year 2029 (5790) is year 6001 after Adam, when the Messianic kingdom will be established on earth.

According to the rabbinical year count it would be on year 5790, which gives us a difference of 211 years. This difference in years is due to the fact that Rabbis count 210 years of the sons of Israel in Egypt while the Torah speaks of 430 years (Exodus 12:40), which yields a difference of 220 years (430 – 210 = 220). Besides, the calculation of the period of the Persian Empire is uncertain.

The Jewish year 5790 will begin on September 10 of year 2029.”

We certainly appear to be in the last days and I for one am looking for the appearing of my Lord and Saviour.

Re 22:20-21 ¶  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Revelation of the mystery

Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

The Apostle Paul’s epistles and the other epistles and gospels of the New Testament, have to be viewed in light of the mystery of God and when it was revealed, and the impact this has on how the church perceives salvation. Paul at a certain point in his ministry, wrote of a revelation he received from God.

Eph 3:3  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6  That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Paul was given the dispensation to fulfill, fill up, the word of God by disclosing the mystery of Christ, to the church, Col 1:25. At what point in time this revelation was given to Paul, is not really made clear in the epistles. Using the search function in a bible editor, one can examine the scriptures used in connection with the word mystery, related to the mystery of God, and get a rough idea when Paul received this revelation. The mystery is most clearly defined in Paul’s later epistles of Ephesians and Colossians.  We find that this mystery was hid in God since the beginning of the world, Eph 3:9, and was only made manifest to the saints at a specific point in time, Col 1:26. The mystery of God, which is Christ in you the hope of glory, is finished at the sounding of the seventh trumpet.

Revelation 10:7 KJVS
[7] But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

That is when the head of the body is joined to the body of Christ. When every member of the body of Christ receives their glorified body. The hope of glory, that the members of the body of Christ are in expectation of, is to rule and reign with Jesus Christ during the thousand year kingdom of God. God’s glory on this earth. Since being sanctified and becoming perfect or mature are words associated with the mystery of God, when and where these words appear in scripture can tell us much. The word sanctify, and its derivatives, as they appear in the New Testament, gives us some idea when the mystery of God first became known to the church. Books written before the disclosure of the mystery of God lack any information concerning sanctification, which is accomplished by Christ in you, Jn 17:17, 19&23. The authors who wrote epistles or gospels before Paul received this revelation were either not aware of the mystery or were not inspired to mention the mystery at the time when they wrote the epistle or gospel. The epistle written by James reflects this lack of knowledge regarding the mystery of God and the role Christ in you, plays in being sanctified. Sanctify and other derivatives of that word, in connection to the body of Christ, appears in the gospel of John, in later chapters of Acts and then in Ro 15:16, in the order the gospels and other New Testament books as they appear in the bible. The gospel of John is thought to be written in the 80’s or early 90’s. John 17:17&19&23, reflect the knowledge of the mystery of God in Christ. The first time the mystery of God was briefly mentioned by Paul was in Ro 16:25. I feel, contrary to what some believe, that Romans was written before the first Corinthian epistle. I will give my reason why, in just a bit. The concept of sanctification is contingent upon Christ in you the hope of glory. Sanctification and the mystery are briefly touched upon by Paul in the 15th and 16th chapters of Romans, and commented upon twice in the 1st Corinthian epistle, once in the beginning verses, 1Co 1:2, and in 1 Co 6:11

1Co 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Sanctification takes place due to the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, Heb 10:10. So when Paul remarks in Ro 15:16 that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, this knowledge is contingent upon the revelation of the mystery of Christ in you the hope of glory. Since there is only one offering for sin connected with sanctification, He 10:14, then the offering up of the Gentiles mentioned in Ro 15:16 has to be understood as taking place”in Christ”. Because there can be no sanctification without being in the corporate body of Christ, and having God and Christ dwelling in you.

John 17:23 KJVS
[23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Hebrews 2:11 KJVS
[11] For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

In Ephesians 3:3, Paul refers to the mystery and that he had mentioned it before in a few words. A reference bible links this verse to Ro 16:25. That clearly puts a rough time stamp on when the mystery was disclosed to Paul. A important point supporting the premise that the epistle to the Romans was written before the Corinthian epistles, is when Paul makes two similar utterances by the Spirit, in Romans and then 1 Corinthians. In both verses Paul asks the question, “who has known the mind of the Lord?”,  Ro 11:34, 1Co 2:16. But in the 1 Corinthians verse, a observation is made following that question, in which Paul states that we have the mind of Christ! Having the mind of Christ is only possible by having the Christ in you, the hope of glory.  So why did Paul not make that observation in Ro 11:34? Obviously because the Spirit did not inspire Paul to include that comment in Romans or perhaps he had not received the revelation of the mystery of Christ in you the hope of glory, until he was nearly finished with the writing of the book of Romans. And then only briefly touch upon it in Ro 16:25. All this is speculative but the books of 1&2 Corinthians have more content regarding being sanctified and being in the body of Christ than the book of Romans does. My guess is, this may be due to progressive revelation by the Holy Spirit. Christ in you the hope of glory, and the sanctification of the Gentile members of the body of Christ, along with the Hebrew contingent, was not touched upon in the gospels and epistles written earlier in time before Paul received the revelation of the mystery. Probably for a few important reasons. The early church was facing the hurtle of establishing in the Jewish believer’s minds, that one could not be justified by one’s own works under the law but by grace. Which came about due to the redemptive work of salvation by Jesus Christ. God instructs man on a individual and societal basis and uses the church in these functions. The Jewish culture had been waylaid by their religious leaders and mislead in believing they could be justified by the law. The law was added in the wilderness, due to transgression, Ga 3:19, and made no one perfect, He 7:19.  Perfect or mature is another word that describes the process of being sanctified, due to Christ in you. The Pharisees and other religious leaders in Israel stumbled at the stumbling stone, which God laid, the rock of offense, Ro 9:31-33, who was Jesus Christ. They were intent on establishing their own righteousness by observing the law of Moses and their own doctrines of man. This type of self will worship is insidious and was something God had ordained for them to follow, 1Pe 2:8 , Ro 9:22. The emerging Jewish Christian church was having a hard time making the transition from the law of Moses to living a life of faith and being justified by grace, via the Holy Spirit. This was so much of a culture shock, that even Apostle Peter fell back into old patterns of behavior in regards to the law and separation of Jews and Gentiles, Ga 2:12-14. Another consideration is that the early Jewish Christian church was persecuted by the leadership of Israel and the Levitical priesthood had considerable knowledge concerning prophecy and the Old Testament scriptures. If they had found out very early on about the mystery of Christ in you the hope of glory, ultimately leading to sanctification of the Jewish and Gentile Christians, they very well may have not crucified the Lord.

1 Corinthians 2:7-8 KJVS
[7] But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom , which God ordained before the world unto our glory: [8] Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it , they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Verse 7 added additional information that this mystery and hidden wisdom of God was ordained by God unto our, the body of Christ, glory.

Apostle Paul by prophecy points to when this takes place.

1 Corinthians 15:43,51-52 KJVS
[43] It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: [51] Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Timing played a big part in when the release of the revelation of the mystery of God was released. The fledgling Christian church faced much opposition from the Jewish leadership early on and perhaps that has bearing on when the mystery of God was disclosed to the church. It was a profound example of the power of God over the will of man, to convert Saul to the faith of Jesus Christ, who just seconds before was extremely zealous in stamping out the Jewish Christian church. And chose him to be the Apostle to the Gentiles. There were Old Testament prophecies of salvation being taken away from Jews and given to the Gentiles, Deut 32:21, Isa 65:1. If you read the parable of the husbanmen, Mt 21:33-45, it was clear to the chief priests that Jesus was indicating that the kingdom of God would be taken away from them and given to the nations or Gentiles. The Apostle Paul proclaimed this very fact in Ac 28:25-28, again quoting a Old Testament prophet. The chief priest were afraid of losing their place of power over Israel and that was largely why they crucified Jesus.

Joh 11:48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

When the time arrived that salvation went to the Gentiles the Jewish leadership did not want the gospel preached to the Gentiles

1Th 2:15  Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:
16  Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

So when the Apostle Paul in 1 Co 2:6-8 states what appears to be obvious, albeit after the fact, that if the princes of this world had known about the mystery of God, they would not have crucified the Lord. This is a very important fact in regards to progressive revelation. Unless a seed fall in the ground and die it cannot bring forth any fruit, Jn 12:24, which is a perfect parable used by our Lord describing his sacrifice and offering and his role as the seed, the Christ in you the hope of glory. But Jesus spoke in parables to disguise the real intent behind God sending him to earth as a sacrifice and offering for sin, Mk 4:11. God on the macro scale was and is changing society and on the individual, micro scale, changing individual men within the different societies. The transition from law to grace, the transition from Jew to Gentile in regards to salvation was a very difficult cultural transition for the early church to pass through. God is a excellent card player and holds His cards very close to His chest and plays the cards of history and the salvation of mankind through Jesus Christ, Jn 12:32, in the order that pleases Him, Isa 46:8-10. Not only within society but also within our individual lives. It is interesting to look at the three different accounts Paul gives in the book of Acts in relationship to time, regarding his experience on the road to Damascus.  In the different accounts Paul discloses what Jesus said to him at that time, and how these various accounts differ as recorded in the book of Acts, is interesting. The verses being examined are Acts 9:4-6, Acts 22:7-10 and Acts 26:14-18. It is only in Acts 26:18 that the word sanctified is mentioned and that is in regards to inheritance. That word sanctified is used only one other time in Acts, in verse 20:32. Again in regards to inheritance. As I wrote earlier, in the four gospels the word sanctified, in regards to the body of Christ, is only mentioned in the gospel of John. The following verses have always had a profound effect on me.

John 17:19-23  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20 ¶  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, is a apt description of sanctification, He 10:14. The gospel of John was thought to be written in 90 A.D., and for that reason is the most theological mature gospel. Which is a prime example of progressive revelation in itself. The point being made, is that sanctification, Christ in you the hope of glory, was a concept disclosed by God to the world and to the church, in the time frame He saw fitting. First, the transition from the law to grace in regards to who justifies who, man justifying himself or God justifying man, had to be firmly established. Then the first order in the salvation process of mankind is address, the body of Christ being justified and then sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once for all, He 10:10, He 13:12. It takes time in order to change society and the individuals who are indoctrinated by the doctrines of men, who live in those societies. Living a life under the law, mistakenly trying to justify your self before God by your own efforts. Living lives as pagans sacrificing to idols and demons. The transformation taking place in society and in the individuals at that time, and even today, by those called of God, was and is enormous. One also has to keep in mind that these changes in society and in the individual are linked hand in hand with the educational process of being taught by God, Jn 6:45. The knowledge of good and evil, which makes us like God, Ge 3:22, and discernment thereof, can only be learned by experience, He 5:14. This all gives a person just a glimmer of understanding of the work God is doing in this earth, Acts 13:41. Keep in mind that in the salvation process of mankind, 1Ti 4:10,  God will eventually justify all men by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.  In regards to sanctification, God is sanctifying Himself a people, He 13:12, and the body of Christ, for a inheritance to rule and reign with Jesus Christ in the age to come, Eph 1:11, Col 1:12. That sanctification can only happens by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Which is the mystery of God in Christ, the Christ in you the hope of glory.

Universal reconciliation

I have read many a fine article which supports the doctrine that God intends to reconcile all created beings unto Himself. This doctrine is not a new doctrine and was a common belief in the early Christian Church before 400 A.D..  My intention is not to use or try to use persuasive arguments to support this belief but to list many of  the verses from the New Testament that affirm this belief. It is my opinion that scripture contains and defines sound doctrine. A pattern of sound words, as the Apostle Paul urged Timothy to adopt, 2Ti 1:13, which is the ideal gospel. The word “world” is mentioned many times in the below scriptures verses. In all the times listed, the Greek word that is used is “kosmos” and the definition of that word from the Strong’s Concordance.

G2889  kosmos  kos’-mos

probably from the base of G2865;

orderly arrangement, i.e. decoration; by implication, the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively (morally)).

Also mentioned many times in the scripture verses below is the phrase “all” or “all things”, but in the Greek manuscripts, it often appears as “the all”.  In every verse where it is used in the following verses. the Greek word used  is “pas”

G3956  pas  pas

including all the forms of declension;

apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.

I took the liberty to highlight these words in the following verses by surrounding them with stars.

.Joh 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the ****world****.

2Co5:19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling ****the world**** unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Lk 3:6  And ****all**** flesh shall see the salvation of God.

Eph1:10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might
gather together in one ****all things**** in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Co 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile ****all things**** unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Phil 3:21  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned
like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is
able even to subdue****all things**** unto himself.

Ro11:32  For God hath shut up ****all**** together, in a refusal to yield, in order that, upon ****all****, he may bestow mercy.

Ro5:18  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon ****all men**** to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon ****all men**** unto justification of life.

1Ti2:4-6  Who will have ****all men**** to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6  Who gave himself a ransom for ****all****, to be testified in due time.

The Greek word for “due time” and its’ definition.
_____Strongs_____

G2540  kairos  kahee-ros’

of uncertain affinity;

an occasion, i.e. set or proper time. Compare G5550.

1Tim 4:10  For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of ****all men****, specially of those that believe.

Php2:9-11  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Tit 2:11 ¶  For the grace of God has come, giving salvation to ****all men****,

Hb 2:7-8  Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
8  Thou hast put ****all things**** in subjection under his feet. For in that he put ****all**** in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet ****all things**** put under him.

1Jn 2:2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours
only, but also for the sins of the ****whole world****.

1Jn 4:14 ¶  And we have seen and give witness that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the ****world****.

1Co15:20-28 ¶  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the
firstfruits of them that slept.
21  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22  For as in Adam ****all die****, even so in Christ shall ****all**** be made alive.
23  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward
they that are Christ’s at his coming.
24  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom
to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all
authority and power.
25  For he must reign, till he hath put ****all enemies**** under his feet.
26  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
27  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all
things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which
did put all things under him.
28  And when ****all things**** shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be ****all in all****.

1Jo 2:2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole ****world****.

These scripture verses speak for themselves and many a wind of  doctrine of man say otherwise. Who are you going to believe, God or man? I believe in a God who does what He says and is able to do more than I can ask or imagine, Eph 3:20. The Apostle John late in his life, was well aware of God’s intentions regarding the sacrifice of His beloved son.  The following verse he ministered to the church by the power of the Holy Spirit.

1Jo 4:14  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the ****world****.

Additional bible verses supporting Universal Reconciliation can be found at the following web site. https://www.godfire.net/112_reasons.html

Because they received not the love of the truth

2Th 2:10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

If you examine the Greek word translated as “received” in the above verse, using the Strong’s Concordance you will see this definition.

G1209  dechomai  dekh’-om-ahee

middle voice of a primary verb;

to receive (in various applications, literally or figuratively). Compare G2983.

There is much debate regarding the middle voice usage and its’ meaning in Koine Greek. Which makes it difficult to derive at a exact meaning for the word translated into “received” and its’ effect on the meaning in that verse. Suffice it to say the middle voice falls somewhere between the active and passive voice in verb function. In the Concordant New Testament, the author describes it like this. “In the middle voice the subject is affected, more or less, by the action” Even that definition seems ambiguous to me and difficult to put into context within 2Th 2:10. But suffice it to say that those that perished, for whatever reasons, did not receive the love of the truth. The distinct possibility in my mind, is that God did not intend for them to have the love of the truth at that time. In John 17:17, the Apostle John places no small importance in the truth of God’s word.

John 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

From personal experience, once I received the Holy Spirit, the truth of the scriptures became a burning desire for me. Over 30 years ago I received the Holy Spirit and promptly bought a hard cover copy of The Strong’s Concordance. When I finally threw it away, it was dog eared and well worn, but I had not yet arrived at the truth of the gospel. Unfortunately circumstances in my life became extremely difficult and my pursuit of the truth was sidelined for a good deal of time. Once I found I had the time and the inclination to pursue the truth of the gospel again, the computer and the resources available online, greatly aided my quest for the truth of the gospel. I have in fact, largely arrived at the truth of the gospel and this web page is devoted to the attempt to convey that truth to others. In 2Ti 2:15, Paul encouraged Timothy to study to show himself approved and to rightly divide the word of truth.

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Timothy was acquainted with the scriptures from his youth, 2Ti 3:15, and yet Paul urged him to study to show himself approved of God. Approved for the first resurrection or being saved, as stated in 2Th 2:10.  Many Christians erroneously, because of Awana, think that 2Th 2:10 applies to children, but that is not so. God, 4 or 5 years ago, chastised me with this very verse when I was having a trial of my faith and was questioning my faith. Largely the reason I was questioning my faith, was because many scripture verses seemed to contradict one another. After being disciplined I resumed my quest for truth in a more determined fashion. Part of the process of studying and understanding scripture is to rightly divide the scripture. The definition for the Greek word translated into the English word “dividing” offers insight.

G3718  orthotomeo  or-thot-om-eh’-o

from a compound of G3717 and the base of G5114, to make a straight cut, i.e. (figuratively) to dissect (expound) correctly (the divine message).

In my mind this means that when you use a scripture verse you use it in context, and make sure that that verse, and the meaning you give that verse, is in agreement with all the other scripture verses in the bible.

Ps 119:160 The sum of Your word is truth, And all of Your righteous ordinances are eonian. CLV

Granted deriving the truth of God’s word is not a easy task, but attainable, if in fact you have a love of the truth. A apt analogy is assembling a large 5,000 word puzzle. I and my brothers and sisters assembled these types of puzzles when we were children. The hours spent fingering and placing pieces of the puzzle together, in order to achieve a completed picture, is a very apt analogy indeed, of understanding God’s word. Except the bible and scripture verses therein are much more numerous and complex. You have to have a love for it. And I do, thank God. So the goal is to take the pieces, scripture verses, and fit them together into a harmonious whole. You can’t force pieces together nor can you ignore or throw any pieces away, in order to get a completed picture.  I also have a passion for woodworking, and use traditional joinery techniques, which is a similar process except that you fashion the pieces of wood needed for a piece of furniture and then assemble/glue them into a unified whole.  So when I see a scripture verse that apparently does not fit together with other verses, it bothers me. The landscape of Christian denominations that litter today’s Christian world, is a testament of those men and organizations in the past, who did not rightly divide the word of truth nor had a love of the truth. It may sound harsh, but you cannot read and study scripture on a regular basis without seeing verses that state God intends to save all men. The article posted previous to this one, Universal reconciliation, contains well over a dozen of these verses. And yet most, if not all of the Christian denominations, believe in a eternal hell where a large amount of unrepentant sinners burn in a torturous, eternal punishment. And yet it states clearly in the Word, that God is love, 1Jn 4:8,  and He sent Jesus to be the saviour of all men, 1Ti 4:10, especially those who believe. So those people mentioned in 2Th 2:10, those that are perishing, are not lost and never going to saved. They are just not in the body of Christ and are not slated for the first resurrection.

1Ti 2:6  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

In order to understand properly 2Th 2:10, it is necessary to know that Paul is addressing the Thessalonian church and their fear that the first resurrection had already taken place. So, Paul clarifies the events that need to take place before the coming of the Lord. Those who do not have the love of the truth, when the Lord comes, will perish and not see the salvation of the first resurrection. The word of God is precise and fits together wonderfully as a unified whole, if you are able to undo the indoctrination of the religious institutions of man with their winds of doctrine. You can do that, by studying the scriptures as Paul urged Timothy to do, and be no longer children.

Eph4:14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Decades after the birth of the New Testament church, the Apostle Paul warned of the coming apostasy and his warning very much applies to today’s Christian world.

2Ti 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

So coming full circle, it is of great importance that those of us who want to take part in the first resurrection, 1Th 4:16-17, make learning the truth of the gospel, of primary importance in our lives. And then stand fast in that truth, just as those brethren that Paul urged in the Thessalonian church to do.

2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive

Eph 4:14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

The Apostle Paul exhorted and taught the church of God in order to perfect/mature the body of Christ. He desired that each member of the body, would eventually come into the unity of faith in love and grow up into the head, which is Christ. But before that happened they, as children, would be tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. The scope of this article is to point out one way that the doctrine of man lie in wait to deceive and hinder those children, who are being brought into maturity by God. Through the Holy Spirit, Apostle Paul informs us that the love of money is the root of all evil, 1Ti 6:10. I would maintain that money and the love of money was and is behind the Apostasy of the early church and has corrupted the gospel of Christ since. One of the biggest money makers for the various religious denominations over the centuries is the doctrine of eternal hell/damnation. Fear of that outcome has prompted many a man to make donations to religious institution during his life and on his death bed. The cunning craftiness used to support this belief, is how the word of God is translated and appears in modern day translations. Over the centuries, major publishing houses, hand and hand with major religious institutions have deceived their members. Part of the rational behind the deception, is that the major church denominations historically sought to help civil governments maintain a ordered society. The fear of a eternal torment did just that as a cradle to grave indoctrination. Consequently publishing houses and major religious denominations have exerted much control over the words used in bible translation and the doctrines those words support. It is stated six times in the New Testament that all things are of God, 2Co 5:18, and our present day situation we find ourselves in, regarding doctrine, was prophesied by Paul.

2Ti 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

So at this time it behooves us to take to heart what the Apostle Paul urged Timothy to do.

2Ti 1:13 Have a pattern of sound words, which you hear from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.CLV

The definition for the Greek word translated into the English word “pattern” from the Strong’s Concordance.

G5296  hupotuposis  hoop-ot-oop’-o-sis

from a compound of G5259 and a derivative of G5179;

typification under (after), i.e. (concretely) a sketch (figuratively) for imitation.

Clearly, the meaning of the word, is to imitate or reproduce precisely from the original words or letters spoken by Paul, regarding the gospel of salvation. If you read 2Ti 1:13 in context you will see that the above verse is talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ and what that gospel has brought to light. And Paul urging Timothy to hold fast a pattern of sound words that Timothy had heard from Paul.

2 Timothy 1:9-10,13 KJVS
[9] Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, [10] But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: [13] Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, in which the truth is self contained and very difficult to hide or obscure from those who would study to show themselves approved, 2Ti 2:15. So let us take a look at a particular word in regards to how most modern translators, translate a specific Greek word. One of the subtlest mistranslations of words that profoundly changes doctrine is the mistranslation of the Greek words aion and aionios. G165 and G166, as these words appear in the Strong’s Concordance. G165 in the Greek is often mistranslated into English as “for ever” and G166 often appears as the English word “eternal” or “everlasting”. Hence the notion of eternal hell or eternal punishment. Let us look at one such scripture verse where aion, G165 is used and how it is translated.

Jn 8:51 . Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. AV

Most all modern bible translations will read similar to the Authorized Version in regards to this verse. A daily reader of bible verses will know this verse is at odds with other bible verses, a few of which appear below.

Heb 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Context is one method of understanding the meaning of a word, and since a derivative of the Greek word aion appears in Jn 8:51 as “never”, this presents a problem in terms of consistent translation practices for the men that are translating from the original manuscripts. If aion means “for ever” it can hardly mean “never” as the two words are nearly opposite in meaning. But to support a widely held doctrine, eternal hell, that is what the translators are forced to do, mistranslate the very words of our Lord and savior. Back again to 2Ti 1:13, where Paul urges Timothy to have a pattern of sound words. Words have meanings, precise meanings, otherwise language is not a useful tool. I have looked at how Jn 8:51 reads in the Greek language using a Greek and Hebrew interlinear and very few bible versions have captured the meaning of this verse as it appears in original manuscripts as well as the Concordant Literal NT.

Jn 8:51 Verily, Verily, I am saying to you, If ever anyone should be keeping My word, he should under no circumstances be beholding death for the eon.”

So, it is not that a person who keeps Jesus word will never die, as that is contrary to other bible verses. It is that if a person keeps his word, he will not be seeing death for the aion or eon. That eon or age being referred to is the thousand year Kingdom of God. Often you will see for ever and ever in the King James Version and most all other modern versions, which if properly translated, should appear as ages of the ages. One verse in particular is Re 11:15.

Re 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Let us compare this verse with a literal translation.

CLV Re 11:15 And the seventh messenger trumpets. And loud voices occurred~ in *heaven, saying, “The kingdom of *this world became~ our *Lord’s and His *Christ’s, and He shall be reigning intofor the eons of the eons! Amen!”

In terms of context and in agreement with other scriptures, we see in the scriptures that Jesus’s reign is limited, and lasts a thousand years because of 1Co 15:25 and Re 20:6. So his reign is described as the age of the ages which is a superlative. Just as Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings, so to the age he reigns, will be the greatest of all ages. I cannot undo years of indoctrination by religious institutions, and their cunning wind of doctrine in one fell swoop in your minds. It took me years of reading the scriptures and studying them, and praying for wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, before the scripture verses fell together into a interlocking, unified whole. The New Testament and the gospel of salvation, started coming into focus for me, when I came to accept that the definition for G165 was  “age”. The various and conflicting words used, instead of age, leads a person to much confusion and likely that is the intent. I have come to prefer a literal bible translation where the translator endeavors to use only one English word for any Greek word. Notice below the varied words used in the King James Version for the Greek word aion.

G165  aion  ahee-ohn’

from the same as G104;

properly, an age; by extension, perpetuity (also past); by implication, the world; specially (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future). Compare G5550.

KJV: age, course, eternal, (for) ever(-more), (n-)ever, (beginning of the , while the) world (began, without end).

Most modern translations use the same English words, in the various scripture verses, for the Greek word aion. Is that because these translators of the various bible versions are upholding the doctrine of a eternal hell? Keep in mind that G166, aionios, translated as eternal or everlasting, has the root word of G165 and it is used as a adjective, like in the following verse.

Mt 25:46  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Now read this verse from three other bible versions which I personally favor.

Mt 25:46  And, these, shall go away, into, age-abiding, correction, but, the righteous, into, age-abiding, life. Rotherham
Mt 25:46  And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.’ Young’s
Mt 25:46 And these shall be coming~ away into chastening eonian, yet the just into life eonian.” CLV

Several points should be made. God is love, so why would He save some and not all men? If all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, Ro 3:23, and God Himself justifies the ungodly, Ro 4:5, and no one resists His will, Ro 9:19. Then why would God throw some of mankind into a eternal hell? If you read a couple of the above versions of Mt 25:46, you get the impression from the language that those who are being punished are being punished in light of correction. The Greek word used is kolasis and the Strong’s definition is “penal infliction”. This Greek word is only used one other time in the New Testament, 1 Jn 4:18. In the AV it is translated into the English word “torment”. I prefer the Concordant Literal New Testament rendering of this verse. A penal institution is also known as a correctional institution whose goal is correct a man or woman to make them fit for life in society.

1Jn 4:18 Fear is not in *love, but *perfect love is casting out *fear, thatfor *fear |has chastening. Now he *who is fearing~ is not perfected~ in *love.

You don’t punish a child for no reason and to no end. You punish a child in light of correction, in light of maturing them, in light of preparing them to be productive and peaceful members of society. Why do you suppose God is referred to as, the Father, Mt 6:9? And if God scourges the sons and daughters He receives, Heb 12:6.  Is He wrong for inflicting wrath on the unrighteous, Ro 2:8? No, because wrong behavior deserves discipline which is going to ultimately lead to correcting that which is wrong in the unrighteous person. Just like those sons and daughters, who are also being chastised, in light of judgment and correction , 1Co 11:32. The whole point of the New Covenant is that God is going to write His laws on the hearts and minds of mankind. The body of Christ first, then the rest of humanity, 1Ti 2:6. A thousand years in the lake of fire that burns with brimstone is mentioned several times in the book of Revelation. The Strong’s Concordance definition of the Greek word translated into the English word “brimstone” offers insight.

Strong’s Number
G2303
Original Word
θεῖον
Transliterated Word
theion
Phonetic Spelling
thi’-on
Parts of Speech
Noun Neuter
Definition
1. brimstone
a.divine incense, because burning brimstone was regarded as having power to purify, and to ward off disease
Usage by Word
brimstone (7)
Usage by Book
Luke, Revelation