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Polycarp
January 30th, 2005, 10:05 AM
The Immortality of the Soul Taught by Christ and the Jews
Josephus, Confirms the Immortality of the Soul Taught

By Sabbatismus
Posted Friday, January 28, 2005 on All about Sabbath to Sunday
Discussion: Religion

It is popular among the Adventist and the former Armstrong followers to say that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul was invented or borrowed from paganism around 1000 AD or at the the time of the Dante. However, the facts are quite the opposite. In every case the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is taught by Christ in agreement with the Pharisees at the time of Christ. The famous historian Josephus records the explicit teaching of the Pharisees and Christ agrees with every word of it , as taught in the bible. The writings of the church from the first century forward and all martyrs all repeat the same doctrine contrary to that of the Seventh Day Adventist and the former Armstrong followers so called, "the Churches of God". Josephus writes of the beliefs of the Essenes, Pharisees and Sadducees in "Wars of the Jews" Book II, Chapter VII Paragraphs 10-14

NOTICE PARAGRAPH 11 AND 162. IT IS PERCISELY THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST'S TEACHING REGARDING THE SOUL AND THE PUNISHMENT OF THE WICKED.


"10. (150) Now after the time of their preparatory trial is over, they are parted into four classes; and so far are the juniors inferior to the seniors, that if the seniors should be touched by the juniors, they must wash themselves, as if they had intermixed themselves with the company of a foreigner. (151) They are long-lived also; insomuch that many of them live above a hundred years, by means of the simplicity of their diet; nay, as I think, by means of the regular course of life they observe also. They condemn the miseries of life, and are above pain, by the generosity of their mind. And as for death, if it will be for their glory, they esteem it better than living always; (152) and indeed our war with the Romans gave abundant evidence what great souls they had in their trials, wherein, although they were tortured and distorted, burnt and torn to pieces, and went through all kinds of instruments of torment, that they might be forced either to blaspheme their legislator, or to eat what was forbidden them, yet could they not be made to do either of them, no, nor once to flatter their tormentors, or to shed a tear; (153) but they smiled in their very pains, and laughed those to scorn who inflicted the torments upon them, and resigned up their souls with great alacrity, as expecting to receive them again.

11. (154) For their doctrine is this:—That bodies are corruptible, and that the matter they are made of it not permanent; but that the souls are immortal, and continue forever; and that they come out of the most subtle air, and are united to their bodies as in prisons, into which they are drawn by a certain natural enticement; (155) but that when they are set free from the bonds of the flesh, they then, as released from a long bondage, rejoice and mount upward. And this is like the opinion of the Greeks, that good souls have their habitations beyond the ocean, in a region that is neither oppressed with storms of rain, or snow, or with intense heat, but that this place is such as is refreshed by the gentle breathing of a west wind, that is perpetually blowing from the ocean; while they allot to bad souls a dark and tempestuous den, full of never-ceasing punishments. (156) And indeed the Greeks seem to me to have followed the same notion, when they allot the islands of the blessed to their brave men, whom they call heroes and demigods; and to the souls of the wicked, the region of the ungodly, in Hades, where their fables relate that certain persons, such as Sisyphus, and Tantalus, and Ixion, and Tityus, are punished; which is built on this first supposition, that souls are immortal; and thence are those exhortations to virtue, and exhortations from wickedness collected; (157) whereby good men are bettered in the conduct of their life, by the hope they have of reward after their death, and whereby the vehement inclinations of bad men to vice are restrained, by the fear and expectation they are in, that although they should lie concealed in this life, they should suffer immortal punishment after their death. (158) These are the divine doctrines of the Essenes about the soul, which lay an unavoidable bait for such as have once had a taste of their philosophy.

12. (159) There also those among them who undertake to foretell things to come, by reading the holy books, and using several sorts of purifications, and being perpetually conversant in the discourses of the prophets; and it is but seldom that they miss in their predictions.

13. (160) Moreover, there is another order of Essenes, who agree with the rest as to their way of living, and customs, and laws, but differ from them in the point of marriage, as thinking that by not marrying they cut off the principal part of the human life, which is the prospect of succession; nay rather, that if all men should be of the same opinion, the whole race of mankind would fail. (161) However, they try their spouses for three years; and if they find that they have their natural purgations thrice, as trials that they are likely to be fruitful, they then actually marry them. But they do not use to accompany with their wives when they are with child, as a demonstration that they do not marry out of regard to pleasure, but for the sake of posterity. Now the women go into the baths with some of their garments on, as the men do with somewhat girded about them. And these are the customs of this order of Essenes.

(162) But then as to the two other orders at first mentioned: the Pharisees are those who are esteemed most skillful in the exact explication of their laws, and introduce the first sect. These ascribe all to fate [or providence], and to God, (163) and yet allow, that to act what is right, or the contrary, is principally in the power of men, although fate does cooperate in every action. They say that all souls are incorruptible; but that the souls of good men are only removed into other bodies,—but that the souls of bad men are subject to eternal punishment. (164) But the Sadducees are those that compose the second order, and take away fate entirely, and suppose that God is not concerned in our doing or not doing what is evil; (165) and they say, that to act what is good, or what is evil, is at men’s own choice, and that the one or the other belongs so to every one, that they may act as they please. They also take away the belief of the immortal duration of the soul, and the punishments and rewards in Hades."

The Adventist and the Armstrong follwers make the same mistake that the Sadducees did. Christ condemned the Sadducees for their erroneous beliefs, He will condemn the Adventist and the Armstrong followers with them. Instead of preaching the gospel of Christ in truth, the Adventist and the Armstrong followers promise the wicked, the most wicked of all, "soul sleep" , "rest" and peace, while Christ promised the wicked eternal punishment. Soul sleep is music to the ears of the wicked. They love to hear how they won't be punished for their sins in everlasting punishment . The wicked do not repent because of the false gospel taught by the Adventist and the Armstrong followers. The atheist and the murder, the abortionist and the rapist, they all love the music of the promise of soul sleep" . But, how they hate the thought of everlasting punishment , lest they turn from their sins and repent.

"Wars of the Jews" Book II, Chapter VII
Web Link to Wars of Jospehus Book II http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/war-2.htm

Web Link to the Josephus "Discourse to the Greeks Concerning Hades" http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/hades.htm

firechyld
January 31st, 2005, 12:58 AM
What of the theory that the doctrine of the immortality came to Judaism and hence Christianity through the Hellenic influence?

Polycarp
January 31st, 2005, 07:35 AM
firechyld, there isn't any chance of that occurring. Those familiar with the Old Testament know that the immortality of the soul is taught from Genesis. Christ uses the most explicit of all to describe the both the immortality of the soul and eternal (unending) punishment.

firechyld
February 1st, 2005, 03:58 AM
firechyld, there isn't any chance of that occurring. Those familiar with the Old Testament know that the immortality of the soul is taught from Genesis. Christ uses the most explicit of all to describe the both the immortality of the soul and eternal (unending) punishment.

Early Hebrew thought regarding Olam HaBa focussed on the idea of literal physical resurrection of the body. The idea of the soul as seperate to the body only appears later... hence the suggestion that it may be the result of Hellenic influence.

You sound pretty convinced, though, so don't fuss. Your initial post sounded more... open. *shrug*

Polycarp
February 1st, 2005, 01:50 PM
firechyld, I would disagree. The first first chapters of Genesis make a distinction between the body and the soul. Gen.2:7 shows God breathing into the "nostrils" of a lifeless body . When He breaths in the spirit, it becomes a "living soul" . There begins the first contrast between a body and a soul. The spirit is joined into the body and it becomes a living body. As, much later James would write, the body without the spirit is dead, James 2:26.

I would also note, that the it is the body that is dead according to James, not the spirit. For that which is spirit cannot die. Like Christ again says in Mt.10:28, (they) can kill they body but ARE NOT ABLE to Kill the Soul" .

Again, in Genesis 35:18 makes a distinction of the soul departing the body at death. What begins in Genesis, clearly defines the distinction between the body and the soul is continued throughout the rest of scripture.

freelight
February 2nd, 2005, 02:35 AM
Originally posted by Polycarp

Those familiar with the Old Testament know that the immortality of the soul is taught from Genesis. Christ uses the most explicit of all to describe the both the immortality of the soul and eternal (unending) punishment.


Hi Polycarp,..............immortality of the soul appears to be a notion from the beginning of time. However as you know...such a doctrine is debated by certain bible-believing schools who see the soul as only being potentially immortal...or is not inherently immortal...but can only attain or receive immortality thru Gods bestowal. Otherwise...the soul is not immortal by nature. Of course we have the soul-sleep doctrine often tied with this school...but that asides.

Thru my research so far I tend to hold that the soul is 'immortal' only in the sense that it outlives the mortal body and continues on in a spiritual body. As a soul ascends in spiritual perfection and divine Love...it may be endowed with a more divine immortality that renders it more or less 'celestial'...and then that soul becomes a partaker of the divine nature....the very substance and likeness of divinity.

As far as 'unending punishment' or 'eternal torment' goes....I find these illogical to and inconsistent with divine justice and mercy. While souls may indeed survive physical death.....the law of compensation carries on as a universal law - souls only reap what they sow...........and according to the law of progress....a soul my repent, make amends for its sins....and progress in light and love. Everlasting punishment/torment cannot be meted out by a true God of Justice/Mercy....because such is neither just nor merciful........besides being completely unreasonable.

So...I find a more traditional spiritualist philosophy as actually being more sound than much of what passes as orthodox christian teaching on the souls progress, destiny and potential.

This is a fascinating subject and currently exploring many of the dimensions involved in this wonderful debate in other forums and my own personal research.


paul

Polycarp
February 2nd, 2005, 07:35 AM
Hi, Paul. thanks for the reply. Yeah, I'm familar with the "conditional mortality" theology like the SDA. With whom I do not agree because it is contrary to the scripture.

As to "everlasting punishment" , I can only say a this. Because, we are not God, we cannot precisely define what is just and what is not. If God so deems "eternal punishment" a just recompense for man's rebellion, then who would I be to judge God, as the Apostle Paul would say. This is the mistake the Adventist make. They judge God for the severity of his punishment rather than the enormity of their own sin. Often, there words in judging God are followed by blasphemous statements calling the true God, "Satan". Such a hardened state will rarely lead to repentance.

I do know from the context of the writings and teachings of the Rabbi's at the time, that when "eternal punishment" was used, it meant everlasting punishment in duration, as noted by Josephus and the Jewish and Christian writers that followed after Christ.

I don't know whether you had a chance to look at the links, but you can see that the one on "the Discourse to the Greeks Concerning Hades" uses exactly the same words as New Testament Scripture. The Rabbinical Schools of Christ's day mostly taught the same things as Josephus records, except the Sadducees where they were annhilationists.

You are correct, it is a fascinating study. There is a lot more I could say regarding this issue of everlasting punishment, that I've learned. I just don't have the time at the momment and I don't want to stray too far from the subject.

It's good corresponding with you.

freelight
February 4th, 2005, 03:01 AM
Originally posted by Polycarp


As to "everlasting punishment" , I can only say a this. Because, we are not God, we cannot precisely define what is just and what is not. If God so deems "eternal punishment" a just recompense for man's rebellion, then who would I be to judge God, as the Apostle Paul would say. This is the mistake the Adventist make. They judge God for the severity of his punishment rather than the enormity of their own sin. Often, there words in judging God are followed by blasphemous statements calling the true God, "Satan". Such a hardened state will rarely lead to repentance.

I do know from the context of the writings and teachings of the Rabbi's at the time, that when "eternal punishment" was used, it meant everlasting punishment in duration, as noted by Josephus and the Jewish and Christian writers that followed after Christ.

I don't know whether you had a chance to look at the links, but you can see that the one on "the Discourse to the Greeks Concerning Hades" uses exactly the same words as New Testament Scripture. The Rabbinical Schools of Christ's day mostly taught the same things as Josephus records, except the Sadducees where they were annhilationists.

You are correct, it is a fascinating study. There is a lot more I could say regarding this issue of everlasting punishment, that I've learned. I just don't have the time at the momment and I don't want to stray too far from the subject.

It's good corresponding with you.


Hi Polycarp,

What you have attempted to establish by sharing Josephus 'records' is that he knew of the doctrine of 'immortality of the soul' and 'everlasting punishment' - sure, some of these notions were entertained probably even before Josephus and Jesus. This does not make them necessarily 'true'.

I tend to believe in the immortality of the soul....in at least meaning that the soul and/or spirit of man continues after death....for perhaps an indefinite amount of time as such is ruled by the laws of constitution of being and divine Providence.

However,.....just because the soul may be more or less 'immortal' as is traditionally held.....does not mean, prove or justify that punishment for sin must be endless or everlasting. So...if one is trying to support his logics of immortality of soul being tied to any concept of everlasting punishment....I see no grounds for it.

I shared on the illogics of 'endless punishment' in my previous post. In addition........'endless punishment' would serve no purpose and even to imagine that our Father would incur such is hardly a true representation of His divine justice and mercy. Justice would only have one pay for this sins in perfect accordance of its degree/severity...and after such payment is satisfied...and amends/restitution/repentance ensues....that one may return to harmony and continue in peace. Mercy would temper justice in ways that love and wisdom would always be present to minister to the sinnner in guiding him back upon the path of fidelity and goodness. In all Gods ways...there is a divine balance of justice/mercy....so both are always afforded in ALL His dealings.

So....I would propose that endless punishment would only happen if it were possible that a soul could punish himself by his own willful sin and unhappiness endlessly. (for God is certainly no perpetrator of eternal torment). However, I am inclined to be an eternal optimist......in believing that divine Will ultimately prevails and souls ascend in their own time...but all will be brought into the fullness of restoration.


paul

logos_x
February 4th, 2005, 08:21 AM
Originally posted by freelight

Hi Polycarp,

What you have attempted to establish by sharing Josephus 'records' is that he knew of the doctrine of 'immortality of the soul' and 'everlasting punishment' - sure, some of these notions were entertained probably even before Josephus and Jesus. This does not make them necessarily 'true'.

I tend to believe in the immortality of the soul....in at least meaning that the soul and/or spirit of man continues after death....for perhaps an indefinite amount of time as such is ruled by the laws of constitution of being and divine Providence.

However,.....just because the soul may be more or less 'immortal' as is traditionally held.....does not mean, prove or justify that punishment for sin must be endless or everlasting. So...if one is trying to support his logics of immortality of soul being tied to any concept of everlasting punishment....I see no grounds for it.

I shared on the illogics of 'endless punishment' in my previous post. In addition........'endless punishment' would serve no purpose and even to imagine that our Father would incur such is hardly a true representation of His divine justice and mercy. Justice would only have one pay for this sins in perfect accordance of its degree/severity...and after such payment is satisfied...and amends/restitution/repentance ensues....that one may return to harmony and continue in peace. Mercy would temper justice in ways that love and wisdom would always be present to minister to the sinnner in guiding him back upon the path of fidelity and goodness. In all Gods ways...there is a divine balance of justice/mercy....so both are always afforded in ALL His dealings.

So....I would propose that endless punishment would only happen if it were possible that a soul could punish himself by his own willful sin and unhappiness endlessly. (for God is certainly no perpetrator of eternal torment). However, I am inclined to be an eternal optimist......in believing that divine Will ultimately prevails and souls ascend in their own time...but all will be brought into the fullness of restoration.


paul

Outstanding! :thumb:

Polycarp
February 4th, 2005, 04:31 PM
Paul, I certainly understand your desire for all men to be saved and to be saved from everlasting punishment. That is fully congruant with the scriptures and the will of God. On the other hand, there is no promise of any such thing. Therein is the problem.

You touched on something regarding the soul punishing itself. Rabbinically speaking at the time of Christ, that is a common. For example, to "loose your soul" in scripture meant to loose the light of God's grace. There is something noticable about the first sin, they were separated from God and as soon as they were, they began suffering. The degree of suffering considerable and on going. What has been the preserving factor for most of mankind is the hope of eternal life after the suffering of this world. In one form or another, it means not only existence but joyful abundant life in the presence of God, in His light and in His Grace. Without this, you end up tormented by your great loss and never being able to find God's grace again.

Polycarp
February 5th, 2005, 11:30 AM
Additional, there are explicit instances of the soul's punishment of itself suffering the loss of the Kingdom of God, used in the gospels. Here are a couple of examples.

Mt.8:Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth

The weeping and gnashing of teeth is said to occur in outer darkness, which is the absence of light from God's grace. There the soul is able to remember what chance it had to enter the kingdom but would not. He countlessly remembers his sins that kept him out, the stubborness and refusal to repent and is tormented by it, described as "weeping and gnashing of teeth" . Even in this life, we see that humans experience this temporally at the loss of great opportunities that they passed up. They never forget them and are tormented by them.

In Mark 9, Christ uses the popular Rabbinic teaching of the worm of conscience, that "dieth not" and torments the wicked after death. Mk.9:. 43And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 48Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched

In true far out fundamentalist fashion the SDA and Armstrong claim these are real worms. They simply haven't read or understand Jewish and Rabbinical teaching at the time of Christ. These worms were metaphors for the "worm of conscience" that would torment the wicked by their unrighteous deeds which they remembered for all eternity, that kept them from out of the kingdom of God.

Prisoners are often said to be tormented by their deeds. Like that of Scott Peterson, who wishes that he could take back that one moment, when he foolishly murdered his wife, and now must pay for it by countless hours of torment in prison for the single deed and never can he take it back. Likewise, the wicked are to always remember their deeds by which for the moment to fulfill the flesh will torment them by like the worm that eats at the conscience forever.

It's not a pretty picture but one finds that the things which are teach us eternal truths, are taught in scripture. Let all men beware.

freelight
February 5th, 2005, 12:44 PM
Polycarp,

I understand your points. Certainly all who sin profoundly or pass up great opportunities may suffer regret and remorse. The conscience as long as it has some sensitivity and God-given consciousness....will mediate and be the internal judge of all souls who survey their plight/condition in the light of truth.

However,....while some sins certainly pain and torment the sinner.....who is to say that divine grace/mercy is not still extended to that soul?(in the hereafter). Is the not the mercy of the Lord everlasting? It stands to reason that as long as that soul actually does have the power/ability with Gods grace for repentance that time/space will be granted to that soul. Furthermore....we must also consider the sovereignty of Gods eternal LOVE.

In favor of the divine Will and Love ultimately winning out.....we may assume that eventually the soul will give in to love....and move out of his dark state into higher realms of light and soul perfection. As long as a soul can and has the opportunity afforfed it by divine grace....this allowance is consistent with true justice and mercy.(divine love/wisdom).

Now,...if it is truly possible that a soul can reach a place or condition that it is IMPOSSIBLE for that soul to repent, change, reform or be converted to greater light.....then perhaps it may be allowed to exist for all eternity in a dark and nefarious realm or a place that is consistent with its degree of depravity. This of course would be 'hell'....but one wonders what 'good' such an existence might be even though these poor souls are retained in hellish realms apart from higher realms of light. If souls can reach a 'point of no return'...then perhaps they would grovel in their own hells for eternity. This view has its own quandaries.

If however these souls are always afforded grace and may with the dawning of inspiration and longing for salvation be converted to a higher state of restoration....then the hells would serve their place for whatever period of time til that soul awakens to better places and begins to evolve Godward. In this case....the hells are NOT eternal....neither is punishment of a guilty or pained conscience forever...for such may serve to bring that soul back to light...that it may begin to satisfy the purpose of its existence and the Fathers eternal WILL.

If we are to hold to a concept of the innate immortality of the soul....this view IMO is much more sound and resonant with divine Love and Wisdom.

So....leaning on the magnitude and omnipotency of Gods Love and His divine Will.....one can see the logic of ultimate soul-salvation or restoration for all of Gods children. (ULTIMATELY).

A major issue that must be resolved or explored is - can a soul reach a 'point of no return'? ......and assuming its immortal....be stuck in a hell forever and ever and ever and ever? This would be a true 'death' of sorts....having been barred forever from the light of Gods redeeming grace. Yet how can a soul forever be excluded from the majesty of Gods eternal LOVE?


Let us think on these things.


paul

Polycarp
February 5th, 2005, 03:47 PM
Yes, Paul and I certainly understand your reasoning. However, from scripture there is no promise that after death, reconcilation is possible. The scripture leads us to believe that once this earthly trial is over, there is no longer opportunity for repentance and salvation. Though, I do believe in a intermediate purging for some because temporal punishment is also given along with forgiveness of sin. Still the condition for temporal punishment is based on repentance in this life, not in the next.

Because the word, "eternal" can be limited to an age or ages or ages upon ages period of time, there is a least a possiblity that you could be correct, that in time it is possible. But, again there is nothing in scripture which lends itself to any certainty. Another, thought is that the end of age of punishment is finalized with annihilation, though that too, is purely speculative. Hence, the Jews generally believe that this place of punishment is only 12 months. Again, there is nothing said about this in scripture so that it only becomes purely speculation.

freelight
February 5th, 2005, 05:04 PM
Hi Polycarp,

It is apparent that the scriptures are not perfect, complete, replete, sufficient to provide us with the details and assurances that some of our research and inquiries are requiring.

It is true that our lives here will effect our conditions in the afterlife and maybe its easier here to do all we can to make amends and live as righteously as possible to give us a headstart in our life in the spirit-world.....however most all souls will not have attained perfection on this side of the Veil. While the scriptures may not say much of the possibility of repentance in the afterlife....it remains quite reasonable that repentance is a continual function of the soul as it progresses ever Godward.

The scriptures deal mostly with life on earth.....as is most immedial and practical as we are living now as incarnated beings in the world. Logically the same spiritual laws governing soul progress apply in all realms, more or less. Therefore not much is said about the afterlife in the OT and only in the NT in an eschatological sense as such passages were apocalyptic in nature.

Where scripture is insufficient to inform us on these matters....speculation is inevitable of course. Such speculations can be afforded sound logical appeal....if they are ascertained within reason, logic and ethic in light of Gods eternal character - His justice and mercy........these ever being mediated thru His eternal Wisdom.

If the soul is innately immortal or of eternal existence......heaven and hell no matter of what degree or duration are states/conditions accepted and imposed by the free will of the souls themselves...within divine Providence.

I will not address the concept of soul-annihilation as the subject here is the immortality of the soul and eternal punishment.

This subject shows that the scriptures however inspired are not complete information sources for some of our inquires concerning the afterlife. This is obvious. Much light and additional info. can be found in NDE's, OBE's, and spirit-communications. These I have found provide some feasible data to help us in our estimations of the souls eternal sojourn and the different spirit-realms/spheres of the afterlife.


paul

Polycarp
February 5th, 2005, 07:26 PM
I understand where you are coming from. The only thing about speculation, is that it is so speculative. In the realm of speculation anything is possible. The one thing sure about scripture is that is profitable for "doctrine" , "reproof" and instruction in righteousness. Being that doctrine is more sure than speculation, I would stand closer to that of the doctrine provided in the scripture as a sure foundation. That would leave speculation as just that, nothing sure and possibly and empty promise or hope.

julie21
February 5th, 2005, 07:56 PM
Freelight: Much light and additional info. can be found in NDE's, OBE's, and spirit-communications.
Just one question from one who has followed the arguments of this thread...
And these things are of credible worth, compared to scripturally based doctrine on this matter?
Which weighs in heavier?
Interested to hear your ideas on this.

freelight
February 5th, 2005, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by Polycarp

I understand where you are coming from. The only thing about speculation, is that it is so speculative. In the realm of speculation anything is possible. The one thing sure about scripture is that is profitable for "doctrine" , "reproof" and instruction in righteousness. Being that doctrine is more sure than speculation, I would stand closer to that of the doctrine provided in the scripture as a sure foundation. That would leave speculation as just that, nothing sure and possibly and empty promise or hope.



Hi Polycarp,

As we have shared,.....not all truth or information about certain subjects is provided in 'scripture'. This does not mean other sources, records and sciences cannot provide us further data ...enabling us to come to sound views and conclusions in areas where scripture is 'silent'.

When scripture, church doctrines, creeds, dogmas go contrary to sound logic, wisdom, conscience and reason.......I prefer to go with the latter for my own souls sake and the truths. I trust the inner monitor of the divine spirit and conscience within in these matters.......and not the inventions and doctrines of men....which are passed off as 'truths'.

If we are to maintain the immortality or eternal existence of the soul......then we must consider that a conscious entity will always have the free will liberties to change its course, condition and destiny as long as these powers of repentance are available within him. Only if you can prove...that somehow a soul can get to a certain stage or condition of depravity...that he is somehow forever 'bound' in a hell-state FOREVER and EVER.....then we may have something to go on...but that would be only a 'belief'....however sound or unsound. A belief just like the concept of souls being punished for eternity with no opportunity of emancipation/salvation....is a 'belief'. One can only assume that God allows some souls the option to get to a place of 'no return'...and therefore suffer as a soul.....for all eternity(doomed forever)....or at last be anihilated(expunged out of existence). Imagine that.

With scripture, church dogma, traditional doctrines and ignorance......many 'beliefs' emerge and have become believed by the masses.

It is at last up to each one to weigh these matters in their own soul in the Light of God....who is ETERNAL LOVE.

Either Love triumphs....or it does not.


paul

freelight
February 5th, 2005, 11:40 PM
Originally posted by julie21

Just one question from one who has followed the arguments of this thread...
And these things are of credible worth, compared to scripturally based doctrine on this matter?
Which weighs in heavier?
Interested to hear your ideas on this.


Hi julie,

In my studies so far.....I found that information from spirits who have gone thru the death experience and relay their stories thru human intermediaries....provide wonderful data on the experience of death(the transition) and details of the afterlife, spiritual worlds, environs in which they find themselves in. Certainly an inhabitant of a spiritual realm or sphere in the Spirit-world would be more qualified to tell those on earth about these realms of actual reality....than scripture, invented dogmas or imaginations that share only very little if anything at all about the afterlife and the state of the souls therein.

I would say the testimony of those who are in the spirit-world have some 'credibility'...especially when other communications are compared...and many of these messages contain similar details of these realms...and the spiritual laws that are more evident there...as far as the souls eternal progress is concerned. Most of these communications of the higher order and more pure spirits.....relay the same truths of the spirit world which are universal.

Scripture can only provide so much as is used by the church as a rule of doctrine, instruction, reproof and other such matters - but the scriptures do not contain all truth (as if crystallized words from the past could!)......therefore we have the faculties of the soul and continual revelation to guide us. The Spirit of God and good spirits are ever guiding us in the Way.

So,....we can have our scriptures - they can only grant what they are allowed to give...within their own limited domain. Besides them...we have our conscience, faculties of reason/logic, spiritual sense, sensitivies....and the Spirit(s) of God to ever guide us. The Spirit of truth......or the spirit of what is true...is always first in all our considerations of a spiritual kind.

With that in mind.....if the spirit-communications that I research/study....have truth in them.....and such accords with all truth previously given in past dispensations(concerning divine nature and the laws that govern the souls progress).....then I shall like any other study or search....take the good and throw out the bad, if there be anything of no profit. I shall bring out the treasures of the store-house (both old and new)....and sort them accordingly.....for such is the Kingdom said the Master.

What is true....is always most weighty. It shall contain the solidity of pure gold. Like panning for gold is our spiritual research. When we find the true gold....feel it, hold it, possess it, ensoul it,......then we can readily discern the gold from the gravel which is of little or no value.

So far...many spirit-communications reveal that many hellish states or realms exist in the Spirit-world (like attracts like) and there are many worlds whose spiritual frequencies resonate on the same level as those that inhabit them. Souls find themselves in environs that are suited to their own vibration. Likewise.....there exist higher levels or spheres(realms) that are more heaven-like. Souls may progress from lower realms to higher ones as they satisfy the requirements to be further perfected and purified thru divine grace. Such is the law of progress.....if a soul should meet the requirements for such progress.(within a universalist understanding....all shall ultimately be restored to harmony with God). While these places actually exist.....we also have to consider the power of a souls own beliefs and imaginations that influence his perception of 'reality' in these more spiritual planes - it is true to a certain extant...that many create their own 'hell' or 'heaven'. Each soul is responsible for its own lot, condition and destiny.

When the Christ-Light dawns/appears....his reward is always with Him - and each are given according to their deeds.

It is important to have the essentials of what is true...and the natural/divine laws understood first....before we take on the doctrines of the church or any other institution - this way we always have what is essential to guide us..and the rest can be ordered thereby.


paul

logos_x
February 6th, 2005, 12:35 AM
Christians in the twentieth century have primarily three views of the fate of the wicked:

* The Majority View: Eternal Torment
* The Minority View: Conditiuonal Immortality, Annihilation, or Eternal Death
* The Remnant View: Eventual Salvation Through Jesus Christ , the Restitution of All Things

The eternal torment view has been the majority view for about the last fifteen hundred years. The main Scriptures used to support that view are:

* Matthew 25:31-46
* Mark 9:38-48
* Luke 16:19-31
* Matthew 12:24-36
* John 3:35-36
* Revelation 19:19-21
* Revelation 20:7-10
* Revelation 20:11-15

The annihilation view has been the minority view since the beginning of church writings after the disappearance of the apostles. Some of the most ancient of the Christian writings taught this view. The Scriptures used to support this view are:

* 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
* 1 Thessalonians 5:3
* 1 timothy 6:9
* 1 Corinthians 5:5
* 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12
* Jeremiah 51:39,57
* Jeremiah 18:13-17
* Jeremiah 25:8-11
* Malachi 4:1-3
* Obadiah 1:15-16
* Matthew 10:28
* Revelation 20:11-15

What is today the remnant view was the majority view for the first five hundred years of Christianity. As a matter of fact, of the six theological schools we know existed in the second to fourth century, four of them believed in the salvation of all mankind, only one taught annihilation, and only one taught eternal torment, the school at Rome. The doctrine of eternal torment did not become popular until the fifth century when Augustine began to push it. Once the doctrine was firmly injected into the church, the church brought about the Dark Ages, which lasted about a thousand years.

Most Christians, when they are told their doctrines do not agree with the views of the early Christians, do not believe it. They are so certain that the Bible does not contradict itself and that their beliefs are based upon the Bible. Those who are in the majority and minority views often have those Scriptures that support their position memorized. Evangelists always use them at revival time to scare people into their church.

Following is a list of Scriptures that early Christians used to support their view that all mankind will be saved. Do they contradict the beliefs that you presently hold? If they do, does the Bible contradict itself? And if it doesn't, is it possible that the present church majority is wrong?

1. 1 Timothy 2:4 God will have all to be saved
2. 1 Timothy 2:6 Salvation of all is testified in due time
3. Ephesians 1:11 God works all after the counsel of His will
4. John 12:47 Jesus came to save all
5. John 4:42 Jesus is the Savior of the world
6. 1 John 4:14 Jesus is the Savior of the world
7. John 12:32 Jesus draws all to Himself
8. Hebrews 7:25 Jesus is able to save to the uttermost
9. Colossians 1:15 Jesus is the firstborn of all creation
10. Colossians 1:16 By Him all things were created
11. Romans 5:15-21 In Adam all condemned, in Christ all live
12. 1 Corinthians 15:22 In Adam all die, in Christ all live
13. Ephesians 1:10 All come into Him at the fullness of times
14. 1 Corinthians 15:26 Last enemy, death, will be destroyed
15. Philippians 2:9-11 Every tongue shall confess Jesus is Lord
16. 1 Corinthians 12:3 Cannot confess except by the Holy Spirit
17. Romans 11:26 All Israel will be saved
18. Acts 3:20-21 Restitution of all
19. Luke 2:10 Jesus will be joy to all people
20. Ephesians 2:7 His grace shown in the ages to come
21. Hebrews 8:11-12 All will know God
22. Titus 2:11 Grace has appeared to all
23. Romans 8:19-21 Creation set at liberty
24. Colossians 1:20 All reconciled unto God
25. 1 Corinthians 4:5 All will have praise of God
26. James 5:11 End of the Lord is full of mercy
27. Revelation 15:4 All nations worship when judgments are seen
28. II Corinthians 5:17 New creation in Christ
29. Romans 11:32 All subject to unbelief, mercy on all
30. Romans 11:36 All out of God, through Him, and into Him
31. Ephesians 4:10 Jesus will fill all things
32. Revelation 5:13 All creation seen praising God
33. 1 Corinthians 15:28 God will be all in all
34. Revelation 21:4-5 No more tears, all things made new
35. John 5:25 All dead who hear will live
36. John 5:28 All in the grave will hear and come forth
37. 1 Corinthians 3:15 All saved, so as by fire
38. Mark 9:49 Everyone shall be salted with fire
39. Romans 11:15 Reconciliation of the world
40. II Corinthians 5:15 Jesus died for all
41. John 8:29 He always does what pleases His Father
42. Hebrews 1:2 He is heir of all things
43. John 3:35 All has been given into His hand
44. John 17:2 Jesus will give eternal life to all whom His Father gives to Him
45. John 13:3 The Father gave Him all things
46. I Timothy 4:9-11 Jesus is the Savior of all
47. Isaiah 46:10 God will do all His pleasure
48. Daniel 4:35 God's will done in heaven and earth
49. Proverbs 16:9 Man devises, God directs his steps
50. Proverbs 19:21 Man devises, but God's counsel stands
51. Psalms 33:15 God fashions all hearts
52. Deuteronomy 32:39 God kills and makes alive
53. Psalms 90:3 God turns man to destruction then says "return"
54. Lamentations 3:31,32God will not cast off forever
55. Isaiah 2:2 All nations shall flow to the Lord's house
56. Genesis 18:18 All families of earth will be blessed
57. Isaiah 45:23 All descendants of Israel justified
58. Psalms 138:4 All kings will praise God
59. Psalms 72:18 God only does wondrous things
60. Psalms 86:9 All nations will worship God
61. Psalms 65:2-4 All flesh will come to God
62. Psalms 66:3-4 Enemies will submit to God
63. Isaiah 19:14-25 Egypt and Assyria will be restored
64. Ezekiel 16:55 Sodom will be restored
65. Psalms 22:25-29 All will turn to the Lord and all families will worship before Him
66. Psalms 145:9-10 He is good to all and merciful to all His work
67. Psalms 145:14 God raises all who fall
68. Psalms 145:16 God satisfied the desire of the living
69. Psalms 145:10 All God's will praise Him
70. Isaiah 25:6 Lord makes feast for all people
71. Isaiah 25:7 Will destroy veil that is spread over all nations
72. Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory
73. Jeremiah 32:35 Never entered His mind to burn people in fire
74. Psalms 135:6 God does what pleases Him

Of these, I put scripture references that are relevent toward an understanding of the possibility of turning back to God after physical death in bold italics....however, if there is no repentance and restoration after physical death, none of these verses would even be possible!
So, the common belief that "scripture leads us to believe that once this earthly trial is over, there is no longer opportunity for repentance and salvation" is not entirely accurate.

Polycarp
February 6th, 2005, 09:55 PM
Thanks for the study. The word "All" doesn't necessarily mean "all in all" meaning 100% . While the general meaning can refer to most without meaning 100% of all. In noticed you quoted the scripture and the text for all being saved, yet did not for the others.

logos_x
February 6th, 2005, 10:58 PM
What others?

Polycarp
February 7th, 2005, 07:07 PM
These "others"
The eternal torment view has been the majority view for about the last fifteen hundred years. The main Scriptures used to support that view are:

* Matthew 25:31-46
* Mark 9:38-48
* Luke 16:19-31
* Matthew 12:24-36
* John 3:35-36
* Revelation 19:19-21
* Revelation 20:7-10
* Revelation 20:11-15

logos_x
February 7th, 2005, 11:21 PM
And your point being.what?

logos_x
February 7th, 2005, 11:39 PM
OK...

* Matthew 25:31-46 Go ye from me, the cursed, to the fire, the age-during, that hath been prepared for the Devil and his messengers;

* Mark 9:38-48 Gehenna where their worm is not dying, and the fire is not being quenched.

* Luke 16:19-31 lifted up his eyes, being in torments,

* Matthew 12:24-36 whoever may speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that which is coming.

* John 3:35-36 he who is not believing the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God doth remain upon him.'

* Revelation 19:19-21 living they were cast--the two--to the lake of the fire, that is burning with brimstone;
and the rest were killed with the sword of him who is sitting on the horse, which sword is proceeding out of his mouth, and all the birds were filled out of their flesh.

* Revelation 20:7-10 the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night--to the ages of the ages.

* Revelation 20:11-15 death and the hades were cast to the lake of the fire--this is the second death;
and if any one was not found written in the scroll of the life, he was cast to the lake of the fire.

Please note that none of these verses is proof of eternal conscious torment.

Polycarp
February 8th, 2005, 08:02 AM
Thank you, from those scriptures, it is easy to see that once you are thrown into the lake of fire, there is no hope of being saved.

You forgot this one: Rev.14:10The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night,

and this one: Mt.8:12But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

And this one: Mt.22:13Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14For many are called, but few are chosen.

And this one: Jude 12These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

And this one: 2Peter 2: 9The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

And this one 2Peter 2:17These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

There are more, I just don't have time to post them. None of them promise salvation after the day of judgment. Not only do they not promise salvation, there isn't even a slightest hope of salvation expressed in them.

logos_x
February 8th, 2005, 09:31 AM
Rev 14:9 And a third messenger did follow them, saying in a great voice, `If any one the beast doth bow before, and his image, and doth receive a mark upon his forehead, or upon his hand,
Rev 14:10 he also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, that hath been mingled unmixed in the cup of His anger, and he shall be tormented in fire and brimstone before the holy messengers, and before the Lamb,
Rev 14:11 and the smoke of their torment doth go up to ages of ages; and they have no rest day and night, who are bowing before the beast and his image, also if any doth receive the mark of his name.

This is pretty specific, aimed as a warning against the mark of the beast.
Also notice that it does NOT say they are tormented forever.
It says the smoke of their torment goes up to the ages of ages.
Compare this to Isa 34:9: And turned have been her streams to pitch, And her dust to brimstone, And her land hath become burning pitch.
Isa 34:10 By night and by day she is not quenched, To the age go up doth her smoke, From generation to generation she is waste, For ever and ever, none is passing into her.

This is not a proof text for eternal conscious torment.
___________________________________________

Mat 8:8 And the centurion answering said, `Sir, I am not worthy that thou mayest enter under my roof, but only say a word, and my servant shall be healed;
Mat 8:9 for I also am a man under authority, having under myself soldiers, and I say to this one, Go, and he goeth, and to another, Be coming, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doth it .'
Mat 8:10 And Jesus having heard, did wonder, and said to those following, `Verily I say to you, not even in Israel so great faith have I found;
Mat 8:11 and I say to you, that many from east and west shall come and recline (at meat) with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the reign of the heavens,
Mat 8:12 but the sons of the reign shall be cast forth to the outer darkness--there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of the teeth.'
Mat 8:13 And Jesus said to the centurion, `Go, and as thou didst believe let it be to thee;' and his young man was healed in that hour.

This is clearly a prophetic indictment concerning the lack of faith in Isreal, and the coming judgement upon Jerusalem in their own time.
This is NOT a proof text for eternal conscious torment.
_____________________________________________

Mat 22:8 then saith he to his servants, The marriage-feast indeed is ready, and those called were not worthy,
Mat 22:9 be going, then, on to the cross-ways, and as many as ye may find, call ye to the marriage-feasts.
Mat 22:10 `And those servants, having gone forth to the ways, did gather all, as many as they found, both bad and good, and the marriage-feast apartment was filled with those reclining.
Mat 22:11 `And the king having come in to view those reclining, saw there a man not clothed with clothing of the marriage-feast,
Mat 22:12 and he saith to him, Comrade, how didst thou come in hither, not having clothing of the marriage-feast? and he was speechless.
Mat 22:13 `Then said the king to the ministrants, Having bound his feet and hands, take him up and cast forth to the outer darkness, there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of the teeth;
Mat 22:14 for many are called, and few chosen.'

This description fits well with punishment that is curative and corrective.
There is no mention as to duration at all.
This is NOT a proof text for eternal conscious torment.
_____________________________________________

Jud 1:12 These are in your love-feasts craggy rocks; feasting together with you, without fear shepherding themselves; clouds without water, by winds carried about; trees autumnal, without fruit, twice dead, rooted up;
Jud 1:13 wild waves of a sea, foaming out their own shames; stars going astray, to whom the gloom of the darkness to the age hath been kept.

This is NOT a proof text for eternal conscious torment.
Rather fits well with corrective punishment.
______________________________________________

2Pe 2:9 The Lord hath known to rescue pious ones out of temptation, and unrighteous ones to a day of judgment, being punished, to keep,

Really need to stretch evil to impossible heights to get eternal conscious torment out of this!
______________________________________________

2Pe 2:17 These are wells without water, and clouds by a tempest driven, to whom the thick gloom of the darkness to the age hath been kept;

Same with this one!

logos_x
February 8th, 2005, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by Polycarp

Thank you, from those scriptures, it is easy to see that once you are thrown into the lake of fire, there is no hope of being saved.



If this were true...Jesus is not the savior of the world, and not the savior of all mankind. Yet scripture says that He is!

So, what is easy to see is that you are a Partialist, and you do not believe the scriptures when it says that Jesus is the savior of all mankind.

Polycarp
February 8th, 2005, 04:05 PM
Again, your mistake is that you believe "all" means all of all, everyone individually. And yet, in all the cases where you read all, it doesn't mean "all in all" or every last one, it means all as a body of people, not every single one of them.

freelight
February 8th, 2005, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by Polycarp

Again, your mistake is that you believe "all" means all of all, everyone individually. And yet, in all the cases where you read all, it doesn't mean "all in all" or every last one, it means all as a body of people, not every single one of them.

)======== its all in the details eh. :rolleyes: .......and it comes down to what one chooses to believe given his current predisposition and knowledge. I choose to remain optimistic and stand by the essentials which I have previously expressed. Modifications, alterations of view, perspective, detail may ensue...as one evolves/progresses in light - in the meantime....be conscious of your view,....and know that it may be modified as more light affords itself.


paul

logos_x
February 8th, 2005, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by Polycarp

Again, your mistake is that you believe "all" means all of all, everyone individually. And yet, in all the cases where you read all, it doesn't mean "all in all" or every last one, it means all as a body of people, not every single one of them.

It's no "mistake".
Jesus is the savior of (not for) the the whole world (1 John 2:2, John 1:9, John 1:29, Joh 3:17, John 4:42, Joh 6:51, Joh n12:31,32, John 12:47, John 16:7-15, 33, 2Co 5:19, Gal 1:4, Eph 1:4, Eph 3:14,15, 1John 4:14) God will gather all things unto Himself, so that God will be all in all. (1Co 15:23-29)

Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
God forbid!

Polycarp
February 8th, 2005, 11:37 PM
Logos, learn to quote scripture in context okay? Lets read the rest of Rom.3:3, 4God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. 5But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) 6God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?

logos_x
February 9th, 2005, 01:20 AM
Originally posted by Polycarp

Logos, learn to quote scripture in context okay? Lets read the rest of Rom.3:3, 4God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. 5But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) 6God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?

How SHALL God judge the world Polycarp?

You want the context?

OK..let's read it then!

Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Rom 3:5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
Rom 3:6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
Rom 3:7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
Rom 3:8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
Rom 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Rom 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Rom 3:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Rom 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Rom 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
Rom 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:
Rom 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

All the way to here.....

Rom 5:18 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 menunto justification of life.
Rom 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Rom 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul was a universalist...he NEVER said anything about Hell! And DID have this to say...

1Co 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

..indicating punishment with purpose...AND

1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men(NOT GROUPS) to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

1Ti 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially (NOT EXCLUSIVELY) of those that believe.

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all,

Which is more sound?
1.) Believeing God has saved you, learning about it, and entering in...or
2.) Believeing you are going to Hell and believing you must get God to save you somehow...or save yourself?

OMEGA
February 9th, 2005, 01:46 AM
PolyCarp,

What say ye to these scriptures ?


Ec 3:17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

Ec 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Mt 9:24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
Mr 5:39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
Lu 8:52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.

Mt 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.



Ro 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Re 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

freelight
February 9th, 2005, 02:39 AM
Hi logos_x,

I see you have made some advancements in your beliefs towards a more inclusive universalist view.....finally abandoning the annihilist view. I remember sometime back we were debating over the whole soul-sleep/soul-annihilation views and eternal-punishment issues. Sound logic, sense and reason of course threw out 'eternal punishment'.....but we were still contending over soul-death/extinction.

As we ponder over the immortality of the soul and the concept of eternal punishment......I still find it peculiar how some still cling to the latter. I am leaning more towards universal salvation/redemption ultimately for all mankind/creation. I am also amazed how some feel universalism is heresy....because they keep on insisting that some will be lost(eternally)...or destroyed.....or deserve eternal punishment/torment....so universalism would spoil their pet peeves. :rolleyes: But think how joyed God would be...and his beautiful creation.....when at last His Will is realized.....and His Love reigns thru-out.

Truly if Gods Will is Supreme.......nothing can at last pervert it. In the course of time and limited free-will liberties...it may seem that sin can carry a soul beyond redemption......but Gods Will and Love are All-Mighty. How wonderful and relieving it is to know this....and how empowering.


paul

logos_x
February 9th, 2005, 08:13 AM
Originally posted by freelight

Hi logos_x,

I see you have made some advancements in your beliefs towards a more inclusive universalist view.....finally abandoning the annihilist view. I remember sometime back we were debating over the whole soul-sleep/soul-annihilation views and eternal-punishment issues. Sound logic, sense and reason of course threw out 'eternal punishment'.....but we were still contending over soul-death/extinction.

As we ponder over the immortality of the soul and the concept of eternal punishment......I still find it peculiar how some still cling to the latter. I am leaning more towards universal salvation/redemption ultimately for all mankind/creation. I am also amazed how some feel universalism is heresy....because they keep on insisting that some will be lost(eternally)...or destroyed.....or deserve eternal punishment/torment....so universalism would spoil their pet peeves. :rolleyes: But think how joyed God would be...and his beautiful creation.....when at last His Will is realized.....and His Love reigns thru-out.

Truly if Gods Will is Supreme.......nothing can at last pervert it. In the course of time and limited free-will liberties...it may seem that sin can carry a soul beyond redemption......but Gods Will and Love are All-Mighty. How wonderful and relieving it is to know this....and how empowering.


paul

Amen!

OMEGA
February 9th, 2005, 12:07 PM
My own personal opinion is that God has

a Living Computer Bank that stores and keeps the spirits energized.

So, God can keep the spirit stored for as long as He wants.

By the time that the remaining people who died in the Sea

and all that died since Adam and Eve are given physical bodies

again, this World will be a Paradise.

To me the Lake of Fire will be mainly for burning all the Garbage

that will be in Land Fills when Jesus comes to take over.

That is how I see God's Advanced Technology.

Polycarp
February 10th, 2005, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by OMEGA

PolyCarp,

What say ye to these scriptures ?


Ec 3:17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

Ec 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Mt 9:24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
Mr 5:39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
Lu 8:52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.

Mt 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.



Ro 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Re 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

I say they all teach the same thing I do, that the soul is immortal and that the wicked are subject to everlasting punishment, as does the scripture.

freelight
February 10th, 2005, 06:15 PM
Originally posted by Polycarp

I say they all teach the same thing I do, that the soul is immortal and that the wicked are subject to everlasting punishment, as does the scripture.

Polycarp,

Not so sure they are indicating immortality of the soul or everlasting punishment....and Omega has his own twist on posting them for you...pointing to a presumption. (which I sure he can elaborate).

On the issue of everlasting punishment.....you still choose to hold to a teaching that defies logic, reason, justice and mercy. That is truly amazing.


paul

Nineveh
February 11th, 2005, 07:57 AM
Originally posted by Polycarp

I say they all teach the same thing I do, that the soul is immortal and that the wicked are subject to everlasting punishment, as does the scripture.

I have to agree with you Polycarp.

freelight, it seems most of your posts are based on "if" and imagination. That's a little flimsy for me to base my hope of eternity on.

logos_x
February 11th, 2005, 11:42 AM
Originally posted by Polycarp

I say they all teach the same thing I do, that the soul is immortal

Gen 3:4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die;

seems you teach the same thing the serpent does...you are immortal and will live forever regardless of you're relationship with God.


and that the wicked are subject to everlasting punishment, as does the scripture.

Scripture, in the original languages they were written in, does not teach everlasting punishment in the sense you are saying.
Why punish if it produces NO CHANGE? Why not just destroy them so they aren't around anymore?
Heres a question no one can answer...

If people live forever in firey torment...what keeps them alive in the flames?

logos_x
February 11th, 2005, 12:17 PM
There can be no doubt that our period is a time for salvation. People were also saved in the time of the Apostles. And many people have since become Christians. Yet in spite of what appears to be a great number of people presently responding to the call of God, Christians today only represent a tiny minority of the earth’s population. Throughout history, and even in our own time, it is obvious that the vast majority of peoples who have lived on earth have not heard the message of Christ. To be a Christian one must express the faith of Christ, appropriate the efficacy of His cross for the forgiveness of sins, and actively trust in Christ’s mediatorial role in one’s life. The fact is, however, millions of people — even billions — have expressed no faith at all in Christ. If this is the only time for salvation, these people must, of necessity, be lost forever. This would be an inescapable conclusion. Thankfully, the Bible shows this not to be the case. There are actually time periods which God uses to grant salvation to men. God will not be a respecter of persons in the ultimate sense.

If you REALLY want to get a handle on this issue...begin HERE! (http://www.askelm.com/doctrine/d041101.htm)

Polycarp
February 11th, 2005, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

Gen 3:4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die;

seems you teach the same thing the serpent does...you are immortal and will live forever regardless of you're relationship with God.


Scripture, in the original languages they were written in, does not teach everlasting punishment in the sense you are saying.
Why punish if it produces NO CHANGE? Why not just destroy them so they aren't around anymore?
Heres a question no one can answer...

If people live forever in firey torment...what keeps them alive in the flames?

Regarding your answer on Gen.3:4 , your misundestanding regarding the term "life" is rather strange but indicative of the SDA simplistic theology. They claim that ANY EXISTENCE, EVEN IN TORMENT is EQUAL to ETERNAL LIFE Life promised by Christ! What ignorance! That shows how little they understand the scripture. HOW PERPOSTIOUS of them to even reason that follishness.

Existence in torment is not equal to EVERLASTING life. Existence in torment is equal to EVERLASTING death, not eternal life.

Annihilationist have argued that "eternal life" is reduced to SIMPLE EXISTENCE, even if it's an existence in PUNISHMENT! They will claim that if a person is in "everlasting punishment" then he has also the scriptural meaning of "eternal life" . We all know that eternal life which is promised by Christ means joyous everlasting life. The term "eternal life" is means the abundant, glorious and joyous life in Christ. The word "zoe" in the Greek (life) means an abundant life, not simply existence. In John 11:25 Christ promises that He is the "resurrection and the life" and that those who believe in him "Shall NEVER DIE" . Christ understands that they will die in the flesh but though they do, they will never be separated from Him or God. Christ "is the resurrection" because though they have died in their sins and separated from God, He is a resurrection spiritually unto them and they now live and shall never again die as to be separated from God. Paul repeats this same thought in Rom.8:38-39 when he writes, " . 38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life… shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Christ says in John 8: 51Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall NEVER SEE DEATH. Yet, we know that the BODY will die, but the believer who keeps Christ sayings shall never die as to be separated from God.

Eternal life is not mere existence, but joyous abundant life in the Grace of God. That, my friends is eternal life.

MORE LESSONS FROM SCRIPTURE REGARDING "DEATH"

In Eph.2.1 Paul writes, "1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; " Paul and Christ describes those who are physically alive "cut off" from God as being "dead" in there sins. Does he mean, "annihilated" ? Of course not, he means they were cut off from God! And that is how Adam and Eve "died that day!"

Christ, in like manners say in Matt.8:22 "follow me, and let the dead bury the dead". Does Christ mean, let the "annihilated bury the annihilated" ? Of course not . He means let those who are not in God's Grace and separated from God bury those who died outside of God's Grace. Paul writes concerning the widow that lives in pleasure of sin in 1Tim.5:6 6But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth" Meaning that while she lives and enjoys the pleasure of the flesh, she is dead in that she is cut off from God. To "live" is to being in God's Grace and it means to live forever even though the body may die. As Christ says, "they cannot kill the soul" when they kill they body in Mt.10:28a. In this same manner, God promises "eternal life" to those who die in God's Grace and "eternal punishment" to those who do not.

As to you question, regarding the firey torment, it is God, who for the sake of justice perserves their bodies and souls unto torment without consumation. AS did God perserve Daniel's 3 friends in the firey ovens 7 times hotter. Though, they for the sake of righteousness were not tormented,
but the wicked for the sake of unrighteousness will be tormented and not annihilated because of their unrighteous deeds.

freelight
February 11th, 2005, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by Nineveh

I have to agree with you Polycarp.

freelight, it seems most of your posts are based on "if" and imagination. That's a little flimsy for me to base my hope of eternity on.


Hi Nin,.....some will beg to differ on your analysis. No 'ifs' or 'imagination' are being emphasized (on this thread in particular)...but sound reason based on the character of God. If you have been following this thread and our dialogues so far......Polycarp has sought to somehow validate the doctrine of immortality of the soul and everlasting punishment by a commentary by Josephus....likely in contradistinction to the anihilist camp which evidently he disagrees with. Logos_x and I take a more universalist view on salvation, and not necessarily the anihilist view...which is however a better alternative than the injustice of everlasting punishment. (this topic can be whirly because of different understanding/definitions of terms and semantics). But know that the concept of everlasting punishment has been sufficiently rebutted and discarded by those who see it for the injustice and absurdity that it is.

My hope of eternity is sealed in my being, my very soul. And....because Gods Will is Supreme as is His Love.....I shall by His grace be saved with all.....under the Saviorship of the Lord Jesus. This is not an 'if'.....but a 'fact' of Gods redeeming grace.
Speculations on everlasting punishment have nothing to do with ones salvation by divine Love...but do represent imperfect understandings of divine justice/mercy...and illogical thought processes.

As far as durations of punishment...which have been covered here or elsewhere.....this will be dependent on certain laws of justice tempered with mercy in all cases.(God does not change) One is only punished or tormented according to the severity and degree of their sins - once these sins are expiated and repentance is afforded....souls may be restored and be saved from darkness, death and further suffering caused by previous sins.( as long as a soul can call upon the name of the Lord...it can be saved/delivered).

In the law of compensation.....one only reaps what he sows. Therefore one can only be eternally punished or tormented....assuming that he is sinning and willfully rebelling against God eternally - only as he is in continual rebellion/sin...will he continue to suffer. (this issue can be taken to other levels of consideration on the 'duration' issue and whether a soul can reach a 'point of no return') .

The notion that souls who didnt do what certain church folk say they should have done to 'be saved'....are going to be tormented, punished (by God) for an ETERNITY......because of something they did or didnt do on earth....is not only injust, but wholly absurd....and illogical to divine Love and Wisdom.

There are many dimensions to these considerations that render some traditional orthodox logics obsolete in the light of truth and intelligence.

Ah, ....and as regards to 'imagination'....such is a gift of God. Some imaginations surely can be vain or altogether useless....but such can also be employed by the soul to orchestrate ideas/concepts that the intellect alone would be inept to discover.....at last being able to be perceived/interpreted spiritually. :) Its time to use all our faculties in theological discourse - among these are reason, logic, intelligence..and at last wisdom. When dogma or tradition obscure or violate these.......then its time to repent.

paul

logos_x
February 12th, 2005, 12:17 AM
Originally posted by Polycarp


Existence in torment is not equal to EVERLASTING life. Existence in torment is equal to EVERLASTING death, not eternal life.


Eternal life is not mere existence, but joyous abundant life in the Grace of God. That, my friends is eternal life...


In Eph.2.1 Paul writes, "1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; " Paul and Christ describes those who are physically alive "cut off" from God as being "dead" in there sins. Does he mean, "annihilated" ? Of course not, he means they were cut off from God! And that is how Adam and Eve "died that day!"...


As to you question, regarding the firey torment, it is God, who for the sake of justice perserves their bodies and souls unto torment without consumation. AS did God perserve Daniel's 3 friends in the firey ovens 7 times hotter. Though, they for the sake of righteousness were not tormented,
but the wicked for the sake of unrighteousness will be tormented and not annihilated because of their unrighteous deeds.

Ok.
So...God keeps them (the dead) alive...er...um...dead...and burning for all eternity. God..who's mercy never ends keeps them alive.....ummm...dead....just to torture souls.

Is that what you are saying?
Is that what you think everyone must believe?

"it is God, who for the sake of justice perserves their bodies and souls unto torment without consumation."

I'm trying to demonstrate that this kind of interpretation is flawed in the extreme. Using the very scriptures you cite I've shown that this scenario is a perversion of the Word of the living God.

The preservation of life resides in Christ only. Eternal Life in Christ only is what scripture teaches.

Further....I've shown that the Bible says that in the end ALL THINGS are IN CHRIST!


Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Rom 11:35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

1Co 15:27 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.
1Co 15:28 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.

Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Phi 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Phi 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.

Col 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

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

Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Heb 2:8 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.

Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
Rev 21:6 and He said to me, `It hath been done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End; I, to him who is thirsting, will give of the fountain of the water of the life freely;
Rev 21:7 He who is overcoming shall inherit [b]all things,[b] and I will be to him--a God, and he shall be to me--the son,

ALL THINGS!
You might not think or believe that all things actually means all things. Nevertheless...you have not proven that it doesn't. You can try if you must, but you will never be able to prove eternal conscious torment from scripture.

Polycarp
February 12th, 2005, 09:38 AM
Logos, I really don't care to continue to go around in this circle. I have shown from Josephus, the renown Jewish Historian from the time of Christ, that everlasting punishment in duration was taught by the Pharisees in exactly the same language that Christ used. The Pharisees and Christ were in total agreement with their theology regarding this matter.

Christ used the same language, the same rabbinical teaching and the same thoughts as the Rabbi's and the Pharisees in teaching everlasting punishment. Josephus records the teachings of the Christians at the time of Christ. They all agree on the issue. If you choose to believe otherwise, that is your choice.

It is also been recorded for 2,000 years, in every corner of the world, that Christ taught these things and that they are the orthodox teaching of Christianity. If you choose to believe otherwise, and to teach otherwise, then so be it.

Heresy is a perversion of the gospel, that Paul in accordance with all the Apostles promises "they have no inheritance in the Kingdom of God" . One thing is for sure, we will ALL get our chance to find out.

logos_x
February 12th, 2005, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by Polycarp

Logos, I really don't care to continue to go around in this circle. I have shown from Josephus, the renown Jewish Historian from the time of Christ, that everlasting punishment in duration was taught by the Pharisees in exactly the same language that Christ used. The Pharisees and Christ were in total agreement with their theology regarding this matter.

Christ used the same language, the same rabbinical teaching and the same thoughts as the Rabbi's and the Pharisees in teaching everlasting punishment. Josephus records the teachings of the Christians at the time of Christ. They all agree on the issue. If you choose to believe otherwise, that is your choice.

It is also been recorded for 2,000 years, in every corner of the world, that Christ taught these things and that they are the orthodox teaching of Christianity. If you choose to believe otherwise, and to teach otherwise, then so be it.

Heresy is a perversion of the gospel, that Paul in accordance with all the Apostles promises "they have no inheritance in the Kingdom of God" . One thing is for sure, we will ALL get our chance to find out.

And...I rest my case.
Stubborn, arrogant, condesending, condemning, judgemental, pharisaic, perverse, blind , and impossible to reprove or correct "Churchanity" has shown it's ugly head yet once more on TOL!

Mat 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Mat 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
Mat 23:16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!
Mat 23:17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
Mat 23:18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.
Mat 23:19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?
Mat 23:20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.
Mat 23:21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.
Mat 23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
Mat 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Mat 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Mat 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Mat 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Mat 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Mat 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Mat 23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, Mat 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
Mat 23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
Mat 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Mat 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:


And the legacy continues...
Congratulations!

freelight
February 12th, 2005, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by Polycarp

Logos, I really don't care to continue to go around in this circle. I have shown from Josephus, the renown Jewish Historian from the time of Christ, that everlasting punishment in duration was taught by the Pharisees in exactly the same language that Christ used. The Pharisees and Christ were in total agreement with their theology regarding this matter.

Christ used the same language, the same rabbinical teaching and the same thoughts as the Rabbi's and the Pharisees in teaching everlasting punishment. Josephus records the teachings of the Christians at the time of Christ. They all agree on the issue. If you choose to believe otherwise, that is your choice.


It is also been recorded for 2,000 years, in every corner of the world, that Christ taught these things and that they are the orthodox teaching of Christianity. If you choose to believe otherwise, and to teach otherwise, then so be it.

Heresy is a perversion of the gospel, that Paul in accordance with all the Apostles promises "they have no inheritance in the Kingdom of God" . One thing is for sure, we will ALL get our chance to find out.

Hi Polycarp,

Hmmm,......so far you've shown that Josephus records the idea of immortality of the soul and somehow it is reasoned that because souls are more or less immortal....the idea of eternal everlasting conscious punishment/suffering/torment is therefore a viable idea.
True, this idea was entertained by some even before Jesus was born and may have been adopted by some jewish sects. It does not prove however that it is a correct or just doctrine.

The fact that some Pharisees or rabbis may have taken to the doctrine again doesnt prove their validity....but only that it was a belief at that time. Furthermore....how often was Jesus vehement and judgmental of the Pharisees ways?! A brood of vipers, white-washed tombs, hypocrites, sons of hell, etc. - doesnt sound like much of an endorsement.

The NT passages where the idea of 'eternal' or 'everlasting' hellfire, punishment, torment are......do not necessarily convery eternal duration - there have been many commentaries on this subject elsewhere.

Besides eternal punishment being an unjust and grievous teaching.....why someone or anyone would choose to focus on this is odd. If somehow souls may suffer for what seems like an 'everlasting' or 'eternal' (meaning an 'indefinite') span of time.....what does this have to with your and my salvation? Such is speculation only. I have brought up some other questions/variables that must be explored and resolved in the teaching of eternal torment already... these are -

1) The duration of punishment can only be in accordance to the serverity of the crime/sins committed and not over-excessive beyond reason....in order to be truly just. Also...this suffering is self-imposed,...not God-enforced. It is merely a universal law that what a soul sows, that also must it reap. (inescapable law).

2) The issue of determining/knowing if a soul can reach a point of 'no return' where it has made its final and unredeemable choice to embrace utter perdition and destruction, what would be considered death in its most essential, spiritual sense. (this issue of what this 'death' is or means is of course often debated in these dialogues). I had proposed that a soul as long as conscious.....is redeemable...as long as Gods grace and eternal mercy abides. If there be any particle of Gods light within a soul...and it is still conscious, it could be held that such a soul could afford itself salvation as it turns to God and calls upon His Name. This would prove Gods Love and mercy is eternal as He Himself is eternal. This is a most just, sound and reasonable logic within the parameters of divine Love.

[ I present above a view that is more kin to spiritualist thought and teaching....without the usual eschatology of traditional christianity....assuming that souls continue on in consciousness after death as opposed to going to sleep(being dead) until they are resurrected. Amid other variations in these themes....I still posit that as long as a soul is conscious and has its being in God....His divine Love and mercy is ever present waiting for that soul to avail itself of the Lords help.]

2a) So.....we have to be sure (as far as such knowledge is possible) that some souls can reach a point of 'no return' which forever bars them from Gods eternal mercy and providence of salvation. Knowing Gods eternal mercy and loving kindness...it is hard to imagine that He will not afford his children eternal mercy and salvation. But one thing is certain to me.........He will not enforce and sustain eternal punishment, torment, pain, suffering on any of his children...for such does not accord with his justice or his Love. So you see......it not so easy to just assume things just because some reputable or numerous persons believe them. If teaching does not resound with soundness, reason, intelligence, intellectual and spiritual sense, the characer of divine justice/mercy...then it is not valid or profitable.

Finally,......why should one wait til the end to find out if his doctrines are true...when he can survey them now in the light of God?....and know for himself some certainties that the Spirit of truth and wisdom can afford.

I challenge you to reconsider some things and be open for further light as it may dawn. I have found this to be the best way to grow as there is still much that we have yet to discover concerning divine Providence.

Peace,

paul

Polycarp
February 12th, 2005, 01:11 PM
Thanks for the kind words, Logos.

Polycarp
February 12th, 2005, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by freelight

Hi Polycarp,

Hmmm,......so far you've shown that Josephus records the idea of immortality of the soul and somehow it is reasoned that because souls are more or less immortal....the idea of eternal everlasting conscious punishment/suffering/torment is therefore a viable idea.
True, this idea was entertained by some even before Jesus was born and may have been adopted by some jewish sects. It does not prove however that it is a correct or just doctrine.

The fact that some Pharisees or rabbis may have taken to the doctrine again doesnt prove their validity....but only that it was a belief at that time. Furthermore....how often was Jesus vehement and judgmental of the Pharisees ways?! A brood of vipers, white-washed tombs, hypocrites, sons of hell, etc. - doesnt sound like much of an endorsement.

The NT passages where the idea of 'eternal' or 'everlasting' hellfire, punishment, torment are......do not necessarily convery eternal duration - there have been many commentaries on this subject elsewhere.

Besides eternal punishment being an unjust and grievous teaching.....why someone or anyone would choose to focus on this is odd. If somehow souls may suffer for what seems like an 'everlasting' or 'eternal' (meaning an 'indefinite') span of time.....what does this have to with your and my salvation? Such is speculation only. I have brought up some other questions/variables that must be explored and resolved in the teaching of eternal torment already... these are -

1) The duration of punishment can only be in accordance to the serverity of the crime/sins committed and not over-excessive beyond reason....in order to be truly just. Also...this suffering is self-imposed,...not God-enforced. It is merely a universal law that what a soul sows, that also must it reap. (inescapable law).

2) The issue of determining/knowing if a soul can reach a point of 'no return' where it has made its final and unredeemable choice to embrace utter perdition and destruction, what would be considered death in its most essential, spiritual sense. (this issue of what this 'death' is or means is of course often debated in these dialogues). I had proposed that a soul as long as conscious.....is redeemable...as long as Gods grace and eternal mercy abides. If there be any particle of Gods light within a soul...and it is still conscious, it could be held that such a soul could afford itself salvation as it turns to God and calls upon His Name. This would prove Gods Love and mercy is eternal as He Himself is eternal. This is a most just, sound and reasonable logic within the parameters of divine Love.

[ I present above a view that is more kin to spiritualist thought and teaching....without the usual eschatology of traditional christianity....assuming that souls continue on in consciousness after death as opposed to going to sleep(being dead) until they are resurrected. Amid other variations in these themes....I still posit that as long as a soul is conscious and has its being in God....His divine Love and mercy is ever present waiting for that soul to avail itself of the Lords help.]

2a) So.....we have to be sure (as far as such knowledge is possible) that some souls can reach a point of 'no return' which forever bars them from Gods eternal mercy and providence of salvation. Knowing Gods eternal mercy and loving kindness...it is hard to imagine that He will not afford his children eternal mercy and salvation. But one thing is certain to me.........He will not enforce and sustain eternal punishment, torment, pain, suffering on any of his children...for such does not accord with his justice or his Love. So you see......it not so easy to just assume things just because some reputable or numerous persons believe them. If teaching does not resound with soundness, reason, intelligence, intellectual and spiritual sense, the characer of divine justice/mercy...then it is not valid or profitable.

Finally,......why should one wait til the end to find out if his doctrines are true...when he can survey them now in the light of God?....and know for himself some certainties that the Spirit of truth and wisdom can afford.

I challenge you to reconsider some things and be open for further light as it may dawn. I have found this to be the best way to grow as there is still much that we have yet to discover concerning divine Providence.

Peace,

paul

Paul, thanks for the reply. The mistake your making regarding the Pharisees, is that you think Christ was at odds with the Pharisess on ALL doctrinal issues, which is not true. Jesus was at odds with the Pharisees on SOME issues regarding the law, but not regarding the immortality of the soul and eternal punishment. There, Christ is in full agreement with them. You never find Christ condemning them for their beliefs on that subject. Rather, you find Christ confirming their beliefs.

The idea that because God condemns some to everlasting punishment is unrighteous with God, is only a conclusion drawn by one who cannot even minutely comprehend God, muchless, His judgment. Who are we to judge God? He is God, not us. If He so wills it, it is the righteous judgment of God as Paul says in Rom.2. There is no unrighteousness with Him. However, that doesn't mean He must meet OUR STANDARDS of judgment. Rather, we are always subject to His. He will judge us, not we will are judge Him.

Issue #1, I agree that the punishment is equal to the crime. Nontheless, that does not mean it isn't eternal with varying degrees of punishment.

Issue # 2, I understand your reasoning. However, the warnings of Christ concerning the wicked offer no hope of salvation but oppose it.

On your final thought, regarding waiting til the end, I only used that to put an end to my discussion with Logos, who became very hostile. Though, it is true, Logos as will everyone else, myself and you too, will have their day.

logos_x
February 12th, 2005, 11:07 PM
Originally posted by Polycarp

Thanks for the kind words, Logos.

Please understand I wasn't directing those words toward you personally Polycarp..rather toward the doctrine you are attempting to defend.
It's a very odd thing how completely eternal conscious torment colors everything to the point that another view being proposed concerning God's intentions is rejected out of hand a false and heretical.
The doctrine has lead to some very bad things in history as well...

I passionately refute the traditional interpretation of the nature of Hell as eternal conscious torment because it is a monsterous doctrine that deserves to be reformed...just like the many other doctrines that Rome got wrong that needed reforming.

I'm sorry if you take offense at my words. But I will not let the issue slide when the doctrine does so much damage to everything it touches.

I sometimes wonder...could it have been this doctrine that comprised, at least in part, the leaven of the Pharisees that Jesus warned about? The evidence would say "yes". So I urge you to at least allow the possibility that what Josephus records is, in fact, something of an illness that needs healing...not the original message of Christ and His Church at all.

Mar 8:15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees...

Gal 5:9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

Polycarp
February 12th, 2005, 11:35 PM
Okay, thanks, Logos. Christ had no argument with the Pharisees on the doctrine of the immortality of the soul or eternal punishment. Even in your own quote which you claim to condemn my doctrine ONLY CONFIRMS IT. Christ, in Mt.23 condemned the Pharisees for their hypocrisy by WARNING THEM, "ye make him twofold more the child of HELL than yourselves. " Using the exact words and thought that meant eternal conscious torment to the Phariees, HE WARNS THEM THAT IS WHERE THEY ARE HEADED.

He is always in agreement with them on the issues OF ETERNAL PUNISHMENT AND IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL. Whether, I personally like something is not how I choose truth. Mk.8:15 isn't speaking of eternal punishment in context. And neither is Gal.5:9. You would do well to quote scripture in context and from context. However, you'll never find a place where Christ condemns the Pharisees for their stand on either the doctrine of the soul or eternal punishment.

If I thought Christ needed to change his doctrine, especially this "eternal conscious torment because it is a monsterous doctrine", I wouldn't even claim Him as Christ. What Christ preaches is clearly spelled out in no uncertain words. And though, abuses have taken place over the doctrine of eternal punishment, the truth is the same. And, Abuse of truth does not take away or remove the proper use.

The doctrine of eternal punishment is meant to drive people to Christ for forgiveness and repentance. The doctrine of eternal punishment glorifies the sacrifice of Christ which spares the sinner from such a thing. Without it, one cannot understand the greatness of the salvation which is in Christ, Jesus. Nor, can they fully grasp so great a redemption without seeing what we have been redeemed from and by whom. What great GRACE is in Christ and through Him. Let nothing be taken from Him or His redemption.

logos_x
February 13th, 2005, 12:29 AM
Originally posted by Polycarp

Okay, thanks, Logos. Christ had no argument with the Pharisees on the doctrine of the immortality of the soul or eternal punishment. He is always in agreement with them on these issues.

I disagree.


Whether, I personally like something is not how I choose truth.

That is fine...only if it is really true.


Mk.8:15 isn't speaking of eternal punishment in context. And neither is Gal.5:9.

I know....it is talking about the leaven of the Pharisees in the first instance, which is what I was refering to at the time.
Galatians 5:9 refers to a little error changes the whole message.


You would do well to quote scripture in context and from context.

Indeed.


However, you'll never find a place where Christ condemns the Pharisees for their stand on either the doctrine of the soul or eternal punishment.

Other than the fact that Jesus Himself never taught it..I think whatever the Pharisees taught was not endorsed by Christ at all.


If I thought Christ needed to change his doctrine, especially this "eternal conscious torment because it is a monsterous doctrine", I wouldn't even claim Him as Christ.

Christ doesn't need to change anything.
He NEVER taught eternal conscious torment.
He taught Kolasin ...punishment aionios ...age lasting.
As long as greek was the prevailing language..."conscious
torment" wasn't the definition of punishment, and "eternal" was not the definition of aionios.
ONLY after it was translated into latin did the misunderstanding ensue...


What Christ preaches is clearly spelled out in no uncertain words.

They were not uncertain...until they were mistranslated.


And though, abuses have taken place over the doctrine of eternal punishment, the truth is the same. And, Abuse of truth does not take away or remove the proper use.

What is it's "proper" use?



The doctrine of eternal punishment is meant to drive people to Christ for forgiveness and repentance. The doctrine of eternal punishment glorifies the sacrifice of Christ which spares the sinner from such a thing. Without it, one cannot understand the greatness of the salvation which is in Christ, Jesus. Nor, can they fully grasp so great a redemption without seeing what we have been redeemed from and by whom. What great GRACE is in Christ and through Him. Let nothing be taken from Him or His redemption.

Instead it drives people away from God.
In portraying God as a God of love and mercy and justice..we find a message proclaimed that is completely incongruent and incomprehensible..that the creator of heaven and earth actually made things in sucjh a way so as to burn the vast majority of the creatures He loves the most forever without possibility of escape. A punishment from which there is no sign of the very creator God even cares at all about their misery..A God so insecure in Himself that He feels He must issue a "Love Me or burn forever" ultimatum. A God unwise enough to create immortal creatures (in their souls at least) and then tests them and is unable to save most of them when they fail.

More people REJECT God over this doctrine than ANY OTHER REASON!

It isn't right to judge God...but it is right to judge what is said about Him. And what is said about Him in this questionable doctrine is monsterous in the extreme toward mankind, and slanderously misrepresentative of God Himself.

A God that created all things can redeem all things..and He will. He says so over and over and over again.

Universal Reconciliation does nothing to drive people away, does not misrepresent God at all, shows forth God's glory and wisdom and justice, is consistant with God's displayed intentions, mercy and love...and most importantly is the truth of the Holy Scriptures and the teaching of the Hebrew prophets, Jesus Christ, and the Apostles. It was the common message of the early church for the first 500 years.

I'm going to stand with them.

Polycarp
February 13th, 2005, 09:07 AM
Still, your appeal is based on whether people like something or not. Since, God is God, He doesn't have to appeal to man on the basis of "they won't like me" approach.

I've read all of the Ante-Nicene Fathers (10 Volumes) and I didn't find one of them that said the orthodox teaching of the church was unversal reconcilation. They do show a desire for all to be saved, as we do, that didn't make it doctrine. Because, it wasn't their doctrine. The doctrine of eternal punishment is and has been the teaching of the Church, not universal reconcilation. I can give you scores upon scores of quotes if you'd like.

Here is just a sampling:

Ignatius of Antioch


"Corrupters of families will not inherit the kingdom of God. And if they who do these things according to the flesh suffer death, how much more if a man corrupt by evil teaching the faith of God for the sake of which Jesus Christ was crucified? A man become so foul will depart into unquenchable fire: and so will anyone who listens to him" (Letter to the Ephesians 16:1–2 [A.D. 110]).



Second Clement


"If we do the will of Christ, we shall obtain rest; but if not, if we neglect his commandments, nothing will rescue us from eternal punishment" (Second Clement 5:5 [A.D. 150]).

"But when they see how those who have sinned and who have denied Jesus by their words or by their deeds are punished with terrible torture in unquenchable fire, the righteous, who have done good, and who have endured tortures and have hated the luxuries of life, will give glory to their God saying, ‘There shall be hope for him that has served God with all his heart!’" (ibid., 17:7).



Justin Martyr


"No more is it possible for the evildoer, the avaricious, and the treacherous to hide from God than it is for the virtuous. Every man will receive the eternal punishment or reward which his actions deserve. Indeed, if all men recognized this, no one would choose evil even for a short time, knowing that he would incur the eternal sentence of fire. On the contrary, he would take every means to control himself and to adorn himself in virtue, so that he might obtain the good gifts of God and escape the punishments" (First Apology 12 [A.D. 151]).

"We have been taught that only they may aim at immortality who have lived a holy and virtuous life near to God. We believe that they who live wickedly and do not repent will be punished in everlasting fire" (ibid., 21).

"[Jesus] shall come from the heavens in glory with his angelic host, when he shall raise the bodies of all the men who ever lived. Then he will clothe the worthy in immortality; but the wicked, clothed in eternal sensibility, he will commit to the eternal fire, along with the evil demons" (ibid., 52).



The Martyrdom of Polycarp
"Fixing their minds on the grace of Christ, [the martyrs] despised worldly tortures and purchased eternal life with but a single hour. To them, the fire of their cruel torturers was cold. They kept before their eyes their escape from the eternal and unquenchable fire" (Martyrdom of Polycarp 2:3 [A.D. 155]).

Mathetes
"When you know what is the true life, that of heaven; when you despise the merely apparent death, which is temporal; when you fear the death which is real, and which is reserved for those who will be condemned to the everlasting fire, the fire which will punish even to the end those who are delivered to it, then you will condemn the deceit and error of the world" (Letter to Diognetus 10:7 [A.D. 160]).

Athenagoras
"[W]e [Christians] are persuaded that when we are removed from this present life we shall live another life, better than the present one. . . . Then we shall abide near God and with God, changeless and free from suffering in the soul . . . or if we fall with the rest [of mankind], a worse one and in fire; for God has not made us as sheep or beasts of burden, a mere incidental work, that we should perish and be annihilated" (Plea for the Christians 31 [A.D. 177]).


Theophilus of Antioch
"Give studious attention to the prophetic writings [the Bible] and they will lead you on a clearer path to escape the eternal punishments and to obtain the eternal good things of God. . . . [God] will examine everything and will judge justly, granting recompense to each according to merit. To those who seek immortality by the patient exercise of good works, he will give everlasting life, joy, peace, rest, and all good things. . . . For the unbelievers and for the contemptuous, and for those who do not submit to the truth but assent to iniquity, when they have been involved in adulteries, and fornications, and homosexualities, and avarice, and in lawless idolatries, there will be wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish; and in the end, such men as these will be detained in everlasting fire" (To Autolycus 1:14 [A.D. 181]).

Irenaeus
"[God will] send the spiritual forces of wickedness, and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, and the impious, unjust, lawless, and blasphemous among men into everlasting fire" (Against Heresies 1:10:1 [A.D. 189]).

"The penalty increases for those who do not believe the Word of God and despise his coming. . . . [I]t is not merely temporal, but eternal. To whomsoever the Lord shall say, ‘Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire,’ they will be damned forever" (ibid., 4:28:2).

Tertullian
"After the present age is ended he will judge his worshipers for a reward of eternal life and the godless for a fire equally perpetual and unending" (Apology 18:3 [A.D. 197]).

"Then will the entire race of men be restored to receive its just deserts according to what it has merited in this period of good and evil, and thereafter to have these paid out in an immeasurable and unending eternity. Then there will be neither death again nor resurrection again, but we shall be always the same as we are now, without changing. The worshipers of God shall always be with God, clothed in the proper substance of eternity. But the godless and those who have not turned wholly to God will be punished in fire equally unending, and they shall have from the very nature of this fire, divine as it were, a supply of incorruptibility" (ibid., 44:12–13).

Hippolytus
"Standing before [Christ’s] judgment, all of them, men, angels, and demons, crying out in one voice, shall say: ‘Just is your judgment!’ And the righteousness of that cry will be apparent in the recompense made to each. To those who have done well, everlasting enjoyment shall be given; while to the lovers of evil shall be given eternal punishment. The unquenchable and unending fire awaits these latter, and a certain fiery worm which does not die and which does not waste the body but continually bursts forth from the body with unceasing pain. No sleep will give them rest; no night will soothe them; no death will deliver them from punishment; no appeal of interceding friends will profit them" (Against the Greeks 3 [A.D. 212]).

Minucius Felix
"I am not ignorant of the fact that many, in the consciousness of what they deserve, would rather hope than actually believe that there is nothing for them after death. They would prefer to be annihilated rather than be restored for punishment. . . . Nor is there either measure nor end to these torments. That clever fire burns the limbs and restores them, wears them away and yet sustains them, just as fiery thunderbolts strike bodies but do not consume them" (Octavius 34:12–5:3 [A.D. 226]).

Cyprian of Carthage
"An ever-burning Gehenna and the punishment of being devoured by living flames will consume the condemned; nor will there be any way in which the tormented can ever have respite or be at an end. Souls along with their bodies will be preserved for suffering in unlimited agonies. . . . The grief at punishment will then be without the fruit of repentance; weeping will be useless, and prayer ineffectual. Too late will they believe in eternal punishment, who would not believe in eternal life" (To Demetrian 24 [A.D. 252]).

Lactantius
"[T]he sacred writings inform us in what manner the wicked are to undergo punishment. For because they have committed sins in their bodies, they will again be clothed with flesh, that they may make atonement in their bodies; and yet it will not be that flesh with which God clothed man, like this our earthly body, but indestructible, and abiding forever, that it may be able to hold out against tortures and everlasting fire, the nature of which is different from this fire of ours, which we use for the necessary purposes of life, and which is extinguished unless it be sustained by the fuel of some material. But that divine fire always lives by itself, and flourishes without any nourishment. . . . The same divine fire, therefore, with one and the same force and power, will both burn the wicked and will form them again, and will replace as much as it shall consume of their bodies, and will supply itself with eternal nourishment. . . . Thus, without any wasting of bodies, which regain their substance, it will only burn and affect them with a sense of pain. But when [God] shall have judged the righteous, he will also try them with fire" (Divine Institutes 7:21 [A.D. 307]).

Cyril of Jerusalem
"We shall be raised therefore, all with our bodies eternal, but not all with bodies alike: for if a man is righteous, he will receive a heavenly body, that he may be able worthily to hold converse with angels; but if a man is a sinner, he shall receive an eternal body, fitted to endure the penalties of sins, that he may burn eternally in fire, nor ever be consumed. And righteously will God assign this portion to either company; for we do nothing without the body. We blaspheme with the mouth, and with the mouth we pray. With the body we commit fornication, and with the body we keep chastity. With the hand we rob, and by the hand we bestow alms; and the rest in like manner. Since then the body has been our minister in all things, it shall also share with us in the future the fruits of the past" (Catechetical Lectures 18:19 [A.D. 350]).

freelight
February 13th, 2005, 10:11 PM
Originally posted by Polycarp

Still, your appeal is based on whether people like something or not. Since, God is God, He doesn't have to appeal to man on the basis of "they won't like me" approach.


Hi Polycarp,

As shared before from my perspective....this has nothing to do with personal whims, likes or dislikes.....but the reasonable survey and ministration of what is truly just. The concept of punishing souls forever and subjecting the to eternal torment is not just.

Indeed,........God is God. Gods government and ministrations are perfectly appealing in that they are consistent with His character....which is wholly just...and wholly merciful. Thru His divine Love and Wisdom....he rules the Universe and sustains all beings thru the Sovereignty of his Providence. Gods ways appeal to man because they are wholly just and wholly merciful......and are further affirmed and born witness to in the depths of mans own soul...as being wise, intelligent, sovereign, reasonable, beneficent and good.

These realites of divine nature are what are true and everlasting. All else that does not resonate with the frequency of His divine and eternal Character.....is worthless....for it is not real.

It may be easy to just believe the metaphorical and symbolic sense-impressions of terms like 'everlasting fires', 'eternal punishment', 'eternal destruction', etc. - but thats all these are....as rhetorical symbols of laguage. If one bypasses the reality of Gods divine Nature ......and chooses doctrines that are contrary to it....then he has embraced error. I choose to abide in Reality(God) and not man-made ideas. Love is Eternal. God is Love. God will be what He IS ETERNALLY. Therefore...I will not believe lies to the contrary. What is even more sad is that some have held on to them so strongly...that they own them. I will not believe anyones lies......but only TRUTH. God is the Sole Reality, and is omnipresent. Meditate on that for a bit. Stay there. Stay in Love - the dawning of light may come.


paul

logos_x
February 14th, 2005, 01:17 AM
Originally posted by Polycarp

Still, your appeal is based on whether people like something or not. Since, God is God, He doesn't have to appeal to man on the basis of "they won't like me" approach.

No..that isn't my point at all.
My point is this...
Eternal concious torment is not just..but God IS.
Eternal consious torment is not merciful..but God IS
Eternal consious torment is not loving...But God IS.
Eternal consious torment does NOTHING to resolve the problem of evil...rather it says that everyone remains as they were upon physical death forever withouteven the possibility of change or repentance.
It paints the picture of God maintaining an everlasting Auschwitz in which its victims are not even allowed to die.

What would we think of a human being who acted so vindictivly and insatiably?

Not only this...but what about Heaven? Are the people who make it to heaven going to praise God while He allows the magority of the human race to burn without being consumed forever without end?

Will not one inhabitant of the abode of Glory even try to make an appeal to the Father God of all creation to end the suffering? Will no one ask God if He's still mad at them after a thousand years? No one will say "Umm...Lord....don't you think they've paid enough for that sin they committed a hundred years ago? No Dr. Phils in heaven saying "Get real, Lord" after ten years of burning torture without even a drop of water to cool the tongue?

No...according to the monsterous doctrine of eternal consious torment ..the saints in heaven will rejoice at the punishments of the damned for all eternity...delight in their misery and suffering over sins that they themselves are guilty of committing as well...thanking God for saving them from the torment while not saving the sufferers.

Not only does it make no sense of God's intent to save the world...but the doctrine of eternal consious torment serves NO PURPOSE in God's plan. Instead it portrays God as a bloodthirsty tormenter who's "justice" is NEVER satisfied.


I've read all of the Ante-Nicene Fathers (10 Volumes) and I didn't find one of them that said the orthodox teaching of the church was unversal reconcilation. They do show a desire for all to be saved, as we do, that didn't make it doctrine. Because, it wasn't their doctrine. The doctrine of eternal punishment is and has been the teaching of the Church, not universal reconcilation. I can give you scores upon scores of quotes if you'd like.

No...that's OK.

I have a few of my own..

Early Christian Leaders' Beliefs

When the church apostated, she: 1) brought into herself idolatry of every kind, 2) began to teach doctrines from pagan religions, 3) burned many of the writing of some of the most noble of the Christian faith, 4) replaced humble learned leaders with power-mongers who used fear instead of love to keep order, 5) taught that lying was honorable, and 6) falsified many of the earlier church writing to conform to her new doctrines which she imported from Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, Egypt, and later from the four corners of the earth.

When we consider the above, it is a wonder that any of the early writing survived or were not corrupted. But God always leaves witnesses to the truth and many writings did manage to get through this dark period. I believe many more will come to the surface in the days ahead.

Here is a brief sampling..

St. Pantaenus (martyred c. 190) was the first known head of the catechetical school at Alexandria. Although none of his writings have survived, his leading disciple, who became the next head of the school, said that Pantaenus was "the man who understood and practised scripture." This disciple was St. Clement of Alexandria (150-215). He writes:

We can set no limits to the agency of the Redeemer: to redeem, to rescue, to discipline, in his work, and so will he continue to operate after this life" (quoted by Neander in Hanson p. 118). "All men are his...for either the Lord does not care for all men...or he does care for all. For He is saviour; not of some, and of others not...and how is He saviour and Lord, if not the saviour and Lord of all? For all things are arranged with a view to the salvation of the universe by the Lord of the universe both generally and particularly"(ANJ v.2 p.524-5).

The next Christian leader deserves an introduction. I could not write more fitting words than those of church historian Phillip Schaff, who says the following of this man:

"It is impossible to deny a respectful sympathy to this extraordinary man, who with all his brilliant talents, and a host of enthusiastic friends and admirers, was driven from his country, stripped of his sacred office, excommunicated from part of the church, then thrown into a dungeon, lead with chains, racked by torture, doomed to drag his aged frame and dislocated limbs in pain and poverty, and long after his death to have his memory branded, his name anathematized, and his salvations denied; but who nevertheless did more than all his enemies combined to advance the cause of sacred learning, to refute and convert heathens and heretics, and to make the church respected in the eyes of the world."

Latourette adds these praises: "Origen was more than a great teacher: He was on fire with the Christian faith." "His was, indeed, one of the greatest of Christian minds." "A superb teacher, he had a profound influence upon his students. From them and through his writing issued currents which were to help mold Christian thought for generation" (A Hist. Of Christ., Latourette, 1953).

To give you an idea of the kind of student of the Scriptures Origen was, I am going to quote Schaff in his History of the Christian Church, volume 2, page 792-3, Gerdman edition:

"Origen is one of the most important witnesses of the anteNicene text of the Greek Testament, which is older than the received text...The value of his testimony is due to his rare opportunities and life-long study of the Bible before the time when the traditional Syrian and Byzantine text was formed. Origen was an uncommonly prolific author, but by no means an idle bookmaker. Jerome says he wrote more than other men can read. Epiphanius, an opponent of Origen, states the number of his works as six thousand, which is perhaps not much beyond the mark, if we include all his short tracts, homilies, and letters, and count them as separate volumes. Many of them arose without his cooperation, and sometimes against his will, from the writings down of his oral lectures by others. Of his books which remain, some have come down to us only in Latin translations, and with many alterations in favor of the later orthodoxy."

Even though the teachers of "Eternal Torment" eventually got control of the church and began to rewrite the earlier Christian writings to conform to their own demonic doctrines, enough of the truth got through for us to see what was really going on.

Listen.

Listen to the words of Origen as he battles with a Greek philosopher named Celsus:

"The Stoics, indeed, hold that, when the strongest of the elements prevails, all things shall be turned into fire. But our belief is, that the Word shall prevail over the entire rational creation, and change every soul into his own perfection...for although in the diseases and wounds of the body, there are some which no medical skill can cure, yet we hold that in the mind there is no evil so strong that it may not be overcome by the Supreme Word and God. For stronger than all the evils in the soul is the Word, and the healing power that swells in Him, and the healing He applies, according to the will of God to every man. The consummation of all things is the destruction of evil...to quote Zephaniah: 'My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kings, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger, for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent'...consider carefully the promise, that all shall call upon the name of the Lord, and serve Him with one consent; also that all contemptuous reproach shall be taken away, and there shall be no longer any injustice, or vain speech, or a deceitful tongue" (Celsus, 6k8, ch. 72, ANF, v.4, p. 667).

Of all the early Christian leaders, Origen rose to the top in defending the character of God against the pagan concepts of God that were beginning to penetrate. His life touched many who would become great men of God in their time. Many of their writings are lost or destroyed, but we have accounts of their lives recorded in letters from one church leader to another. St. Gregory of Thoumaturgus (c. 213-270), a church father and a disciple of Origen became bishop of Neo Caesoreia and was famous for the many miracles in his ministry. Pamphilus was also a disciple of Origen, who became head of the theological school at Caesarea. He founded the famous library which contained thousands of Christian writings.

St. Athanasius, the Archbishop of Alexandria was also a student of Origen and defends him as orthodox. Athanasius nominated Didymus the Blind as president of the school of Alexandria. Didymus was a strong believer in the "Restitution of All Things." "Didymus was a zealous Universalist who explicitly endorsed Origen's opinion on the conversion of devils" (A Dictionary of the Bible, Hastings, publ. By Scribner, 1963). St. Jerome says of him, "Didymus surpassed all of his day in knowledge of the Scriptures."

The highly acclaimed Didymus writes: "Mankind, being reclaimed from their sins..are to be subjected to Christ in the fullness of the dispensation instituted for the salvation of all" (Comm. in 1 Peter 3).

St. Gregory of Nyssa (332-398), a bishop and a leading theologian says in his Catechetical Orations: "Our Lord is the One who delivers man (all men), and who heals the inventor of evil himself."

As one can see, one of the greatest strengths of the early church was their strong faith in a God who can do what appears to the modern Christian as impossible.



Jerome (no less!) says this next man, Titus, bishop of Bostra was, "one of the most important church writers of his time." Titus writes: "Abyss of hell is, indeed, the place of torment; but it is not eternal, nor did it exist in the original constitution of nature. It was made afterward, as a remedy for sinners, that it might cure them. And the punishments are holy, as they are remedial and salutary in their effect on transgressors; for they are inflicted not to preserve them in their wickedness but to make them cease from their wickedness. The anguish of their suffering compels them to break off their vices" (Lib. 1, ch. 32).

Next we have Diodore (c. 390), bishop of Tarsus and bishop of Jerusalem. In McClintock-Strong's Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (publ. Baker Book, 1969), we read of Diodore: "A teacher of great repute in the school at Antioch, and afterwards bishop of Jerusalem, was also a Universalist, who, in opposition to the then general prevalence of allegorical interpretation, strictly adhered to the natural import of the text in his many commentaries on the Scriptures. He defended Universalism on the ground that the divine mercy far exceeds all the effects and all the deserts of sin."

Diodore wrote: "For the wicked are punished, not perpetual, but they are to be tormented for a certain brief period...according to the amount of malice in their works. They shall therefore suffer punishment for a short space, but immortal blessedness, having no end awaits them. The resurrection, therefore is regarded as a blessing not only to the good but also to the evil."

Here we see that leaders who used allegorical interpretation of the Scriptures and leaders who used literal interpretation of the Scriptures both came to the conclusive decision based on Scripture that eternal punishment was not scriptural!

McClintock-Strong's Cyclopedia of Biblical Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature has this to say about the next church leader of the early church:

"Theodore, who is called the crown and climax of the school of Antioch and whose writings were textbooks in the school of Eastern Syria, was a prominent and influential Universalist. His theory was that sin is an incidental part of the development and education of the human race; that while some are more involved in it than others, God will overrule it to the final establishment of all in good. He is the reputed author of the liturgy used by the Nestorians, a church which at one time equaled in its membership the combined adherents of both the Greek and Latin communions. In the addresses and prayers of this liturgy Universalism is distinctly avowed."

Schaff-Herzog's Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge says that, "His influence for some centuries was more extensive than that of Augustine." Theodore, of whom the average modern Christian does not even know ever existed, has this to say:

"That in the world to come, those who have done evil all their life long, will be made worthy of the sweetness of the divine bounty. For never would Christ have said, 'Until thou has paid the uttermost farthing' unless it were possible for us to be cleansed when we have paid the debt" (quoted from Christ Triumphant by Thomas Allin). Of John Cassian (c. 360-435), the Schaff-Herzog encyclopedia says: "Under the instruction of these great teachers (i.e. Theodore of Mopsuestia and John Cassian, etc.) many theologians believed in universal salvation; and indeed the whole Eastern Church until after 500 A.D. was inclined to it."

Theodoret the Blessed (c. 393-466), was consecrated bishop of Cyrrhus in Syria against his will. He was also a historian and continued the historian Eusibius's work down to 428. McClintock-Strong says that he was, "a pupil of Theodore of Mopsuestia, was also a Universalist holding the doctrine on the theory advocated by the Antiochian school."

Theodoret writes: "He shews the reason of penalty, for the Lord, who loves men, chastises in order to heal, like a physician, that he may arrest the course of our sin" (Hom. in Ezech. ch. 6).

Peter Chrysologus (435), bishop of Ravenna, in a sermon on the Good Shepherd, says the lost sheep represents, "The whole human race lost in Adam," and that Christ, "followed the one, seeks the one in order that in the one he may restore all."

When one looks at the first 500 years of Christianity, not one creed even hinted at "Eternal Torment;" not one creed denied "Universal Restoration;" no church council condemned "Universal Restoration" in the first several centuries.

When one looks at the early Church's leaders and at which ones exhibited the nature of Christ's love, one will find that the vast majority embraced the "Salvation of All Mankind." When one looks at the lives of those church leaders who brought the doctrine of "Eternal Torment" into the church, we find a long string of envyings, power plays, persecutions, character assassinations, book burnings, murders, and tortures. They became like the God they created--tormentors! They exchanged the truth for a lie and brought darkness to the world--the Dark Ages. Remember them? Idolatry, corruption, rewritten history, inquisitions, crusades, relics (cutting up dead bodies of Saints and making money off of them as good luck charms), indulgences (selling certificates to sin), pogroms, witch hunts, Mary worship, corrupt popes, and torment--much torment--all in the name of Jesus Christ.

The list above is not a list of abuses of the religions of the heathen--it is a much shortened list of the horrible acts and beliefs of the church! The church became so corrupt that it declared it a sin for a believer to have a Bible! For those of you who are not Roman Catholic and feel that the above list does not pertain to your denominational church history, I want to remind you of the fact that the two leading reformators of the Protestant movement, John Calvin and Martin Luther, were great admirers of the "Champion of Eternal Torment," that is, St. Augustine. As a matter of fact, Martin Luther was an Augustinian monk, and John Calvin was the main instrument in bringing back to life the "Predestination Doctrine" of Augustine, which said that God preplanned the majority of mankind to eternal torment and there was nothing a person could do to change his lot!

Our English Bible translations still reflect the Dark Ages and not the original Spirit and Word found in the original languages of the Bible. Protestant, Catholic, Pentecostal, Charismatic, etc., theologians are making false statements (often sincerely) about the accuracy of many of our English Bible translations. But enough of the truth remains in our translations to discover what Jesus Christ and His Apostles taught. Sometimes we can learn more about the truth from what a person did not say than from what they did say. For example, if Paul was commissioned by Jesus Christ to be the Apostle to the Gentiles (everybody except the Jews), and if salvation is deliverance from hell, why did Paul, who wrote about half of the books in the New Testament, never use the word "hell" even once? Think about it!

Fortunately, for the early Christians, they did not have to weed out mistranslations of Greek words like "aion," which should have been translated "eon" or "age," but translations such as the King James translated into "eternal," "forever," "evermore," "world," and "age."

It is this kind of translation that makes the Bible say that the world has no end and at the same time say that it does have an end. The King James Bible translators were specifically told by King James not to remove the Latinisms that crept into the Bible! King James was a strong believer in the "Divine Right" of the King and he wanted to make sure that the Romish teaching remained in his Bible.

It is because of some of the above mentioned confusions that many sincere seekers "give up on Christ." I believe this generation is going to dig like no other generation ever born, and we will rediscover what made the early Christians the wonder they were. They conformed to the image of their God--All Consuming Love.

Polycarp
February 14th, 2005, 10:59 AM
When the church apostated, she: 1) brought into herself idolatry of every kind, 2) began to teach doctrines from pagan religions, 3) burned many of the writing of some of the most noble of the Christian faith, 4) replaced humble learned leaders with power-mongers who used fear instead of love to keep order, 5) taught that lying was honorable, and 6) falsified many of the earlier church writing to conform to her new doctrines which she imported from Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, Egypt, and later from the four corners of the earth.

There is just one problem with your statements. None of them are true. Your false accusations are part of the usual demonization of orthodox Christianity in the first centuries in order to justify your theology. The JW's, Adventism and Armstrongism and all the cults use this exact same nonsense to justify their erroneous beliefs. While the words of Christ declare exactly the opposite of your teachings. Christ openly and boldly declared that the Church could NOT and WOULD NOT apostacize.

You must first demonize Josephus and the scriptures because they both use the exact same language and theology to speak of everlasting torment. Good luck. The volume of history is against you. You don't have an ounce of proof that the Church falsified any of the early writings. That is just bunk. They all stand in harmony with the scriptures and Josephus, the earliest of writings. Only the cults are the ones who make the claims you have.

logos_x
February 14th, 2005, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by Polycarp

There is just one problem with your statements. None of them are true. Your false accusations are part of the usual demonization of orthodox Christianity in the first centuries in order to justify your theology. The JW's, Adventism and Armstrongism and all the cults use this exact same nonsense to justify their erroneous beliefs. While the words of Christ declare exactly the opposite of your teachings. Christ openly and boldly declared that the Church could NOT and WOULD NOT apostacize.

Look...you apparently aren't too familiar with history..even though you claim otherwise.
Are you saying that all those things did not happen? It's all a lie that there were inquisitions despotic heathen Popes, that the politics of the "church" did not become corrupt until it was obvious that reformation was needed?

It is no false accusation!

And I don't give a flyin' fig what JW's, Adventism, or Armstrongism does. This IS a false accusation to lump what I'm saying in with cults teachings to cause people to reject what I'm saying out of fear of deception.

Now..as far as there being a devilish coup de' atat within the church institution....try this on for size:

2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2Th 2:2 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.
2Th 2:3 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;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

It's Ok if you don't like what I'm saying. But don't think I don't know what I'm talking about!


You must first demonize Josephus and the scriptures because they both use the exact same language and theology to speak of everlasting torment.

I demonized no one. I merely wrote facts about history.

They DON"T use the exact same language and theology to speak of everlating torment. They used a LATIN translation that altered the meaning of scripture compared to the original hebrew and greek. Only then did eternal conscious torment even BEGIN to be accepted, and many more centuries passed before it was enforced (under threat of excommunication or even torture/death) as the only true doctrine..and then ensued the Dark Ages.


Good luck. The volume of history is against you. You don't have an ounce of proof that the Church falsified any of the early writings.

They did cover things up pretty well.


That is just bunk. They all stand in harmony with the scriptures and Josephus, the earliest of writings. Only the cults are the ones who make the claims you have.

Only the cults....

See what a wonderful tactic this bit of wonderful rhetoric is!

"It's all bunk...only the cults believe what you do"

Using this tactic, you can really steer people any way you want them to go. Cause them to listen to no-one but those you say can be trusted.

I'll let those reading this decide what is true and what is false.

As far as it being "only the cults" that question the monterous doctrine of eternal conscious torment...let's see, shall we?

Religious men and women have often been guilty of changing the meaning of words that at one time were perfectly good words, but became sources of confusion after the theologians twisted them. Such is the word "cult".

Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth edition, defines a cult:

1. "A system of worship of a deity; as, the cult of Apollo. 2. Hence: a) the rites of a religion. b) great devotion to some person, idea, or thing, esp. such devotion viewed as an intellectual fad. c) a sect."

Webster's definition is a perfect definition of every denomination of Christianity, that is, a system of worship, great devotion to a person, and a sect.

With that in mind, why do mainline Christian organizations always label those who are not in their systems "cults" meaning it in a derrogatory way, when in fact they themselves perfectly fit the true meaning of the word "cult?"

But beyond that..It is amazing to me that the defining doctrine in this instance is what is believed about Hell..and that you MUST believe in eternal conscious torment...and if you don't you are a nutball and part of a "cult".

Thousands of people in ages past HAVE asked these questions and have come to the logical Scriptural conclusion that the traditional teaching of Hell is a plain unadulterated lie of the highest magnitude. Men and women like Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nightingale, Charles Dickens, Benjamin Rush (signer of the Declaration of Independence) asked questions like the ones above and reasonably concluded that Jesus IS the Savior of the whole world, not just a piece of it. After all, how can one be called the "Savior of the world" unless one actually saves it?

Great theologians and scholars have also come to the same conclusion. Among them areWilliam Barclay, William Law, Karl Barth, Schliermacher, Bishop Westcott, Lightfoot, Canon F.W. Farrar, John A.T. Robinson, Andrew Murray and Andrew Jukes. Some of the greatest writers and poets are in the "Cloud of Witnesses" to the glorious truth of the salvation of all mankind through our glorious savior Jesus Christ. Elizabeth Browing, John Donne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe and countless more.
The list of preachers who have asked these same questions and have come to the reasonable and Scriptural truth that traditional Hell is nothing more than a great lie is endless. They were not afraid to ask their Maker some straight-forward questions. They invited the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus to lead us all into Truth to make plain to them the Truth concerning the doctrine of Hell. Men and women of all ages have asked these questions AND have received truthful answers to these questions. A man named A.C. Thomas collected some of these questions and they found themselves in a book written in the 1800's entitled: "The Key to Truth" by E. H. Lake. Isn't it time to get the Truth? Here are some of the questions sincere people from all ages have asked which brought them to the truth.

* Do you ardently DESIRE the salvation of all men?
* Is it true that God "openeth his hand and satisfieth the desire of every living thing?" -- (Ps. 145:16)
* Do you fervently PRAY for the salvation of all men? (1 Tim. 2:1)
* Do you pray in FAITH, nothing doubting? (James 1:6)
* Are you aware, "that whatsoever is not of faith is sin?" -- (Rom 14:23)
* Would God require us to pray for all men, and to pray in faith, unless He intends all men should be saved?
* If you believe endless misery to be the truth of God, why should you desire and pray that it may prove false?

+ Can the pleasure of the Almighty be contrary to his determinate will?
+ Would the infliction of endless misery afford pleasure to the Deity?
+ Can God be glorified by that which gives Him no pleasure?
+ Since Jesus "tasted death for EVERYONE," can it be true that "the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands," if most are never saved? (Heb. 2:9)
+ If God "declares the end from the beginning," can the final destiny of mankind be contrary to His will?
+ Can endless misery be brought about contrary to the GOOD PLEASURE of the Almighty?

+ Can God WILL anything contrary to His knowledge?
+ Did God know when He created man, that a part of His creatures would be endlessly miserable?
+ If God, when He created, did not know the result of creation, is He infinite in knowledge?

o Power is the ability to do: is knowledge simply the ability to know?
o If God knew when He created man, that some would be eternally damned, did He not will this to be their doom?
o If God willed the endless misery of a part of His creatures, why is it said that "he will have all men to be saved?" -- (1 Tim. 2:4, KJV)
o If the Scriptures should testify, that God "will have all men to be damned," could we really safely assume that a part might be saved?
o If the Scriptures testify, that God "will have all men to be saved," can we safely assume that a part may be damned?

+ If God made an endless hell before He created man, did He know whether there would be any use for it?
+ If God knew there would be use for an endless hell, must He not have created some men for endless misery?
+ If God made an endless hell, was it included in the works which He pronounced "very good?" -- (Gen. 1:31)
+ If there is an endless hell, and it was not made before the creation of men, when was it made?

+ If there exists a personal devil, who made him?
+ Can there be any such thing as sin in heaven?
+ If there was sin in heaven, may not sin be committed there again?
+ If an angel of light became a devil, was not Paul in error, when he said Satan is transformed into an angel of light? -- (2 Cor 11:14)
+ As sin presupposes temptation of some sort, who tempted a holy angel to sin?
+ If an angel could sin without a devil to tempt him, may we not sin without a devil to tempt us?
+ If a holy angel was tempted to sin by surrounding evil, is heaven a holy place?
+ If an angel was tempted by evil passions, could he have been holy?
+ If an angel became a devil by sinning, was Adam's the original sin?
+ If Adam became mortal (that is, subject to death,) by sinning, must he not have been created immortal?
+ If Adam had been created immortal, could he ever have died?
+ If Adam sinned without inheriting total depravity, why should inborn depravity be assigned as the cause of our sins?
+ Would there be any more impropriety in imputing MY sins to Adam, than in imputing HIS sins to ME? (Rom. 5:12)
+ If men are totally depraved by nature, must not children be so likewise?
+ If children be totally depraved, is it true, that "of such is the kingdom of heaven?" -- (Mark 10:14)
+ Men are to be washed from their sins. If they are totally depraved, what is there to wash?
+ If evil men and seducers "wax worse and worse," (2 Tim. 3:13), can they be totally depraved at first?
+ If human reason be "carnal and delusive," why did God say, "come now and let us REASON together?" -- (Isa. 1:18)
+ If reason be delusive, why should some folks reason against the use of reason?

+ Can an effect exist without a cause sufficiently powerful to produce it?
+ If "we love God because he first loved us," is it true that we must first love HIM before He will love us?
+ If "we love God because he first loved us," is it not plain that He loved US when we did not love HIM?
+ If God loved US when we did not love HIM, is not our love to Him the EFFECT (and not the CAUSE) of His love to US?
+ Was it consistent with divine justice, to love us, when we did not love Him?
+ If God once loved us, will not that love eternally continue?
+ If the love of God is the cause which produces love in man, can anger and wrath produce the same effect?
+ Is it the revealed will of God that all men should be saved?
+ Can God will all men to be saved, knowing that a part will be forever lost?
+ If God has two wills, why is double-mindedness condemned in the Scriptures?
+ If God has two wills, why does the Bible say, "He is of one mind?"
+ If God has a secret will, how did you gain a knowledge of it?
+ Can that be a secret which has been revealed?
+ If God revealed His secret will to "the saints," why should they reveal it to "the wicked?"
+ If God under any circumstances, wills the endless misery of a human soul, in what does He differ from Satan?


o Can Jesus Christ be the Savior of any more than He actually saves?
o Can Jesus be "the Savior of the world," (1 John 4:14), if the world is not saved by him?
o Is Christ, in any sense, the Savior of unbelievers?
o If Christ is in no sense the Savior of unbelievers, why are unbelievers called upon to believe in Christ as their Savior?
o If unbelievers are not called upon to believe in Christ as their Savior, what are they to believe?
o Must not the thing to be believed, be true before it is believed?
o Must not the thing to be believed continue to be true, whether it be believed or disbelieved?
o "What if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith, [or faithfulness] of God of none effect?" -- (Rom. 3:3)
o Is it true that "God hath concluded all in unbelief that he might have mercy on all?" -- (Rom 9:32)
o Can God be "especially the Savior of them who believe," unless He is actually the Savior of all? -- (1 Tim. 4:10)


o If belief and good works in this life are essential to eternal salvation in the next, can infants be saved?
o Can the good actions of finite man merit an infinite reward?
o Can the evil actions of finite man merit infinite punishment?
o If men are saved by works, is salvation of grace?
o If one man is saved by grace, why should not all be saved in like manner?


o Is God a partial being?
o Can the faith of the Partialists (believers in Hell or annihilation) be based in the wisdom that is "full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality?" -- (James 3:17)
o Can sufficient provision be made for the salvation of all men, if some men are never saved?
o Must not sufficient provision be sufficient to subdue the will of the creature?
o Is there any other way to determine the sufficiency of the means employed, than by the accomplishment of the end designed?

+ Does not the law of God require all men to love him supremely, and their neighbors as themselves?
+ Is it true, that "not one jot or tittle of this law shall pass till all be fulfilled?" -- (Matt. 5:18)
+ Does not justice require of us the fulfilment of the law of God?
+ Will not justice be eternally violated, if the law of God is not universally fulfilled?
+ Can those who are determined eternally damned fulfil the law of love?
+ Can justice require the obedience of the sinner, and at the same time require his eternal disobedience?

+ If "whosoever offereth praise glorifieth God," (Ps. 50:23), can He be glorified by those who have no cause to praise Him?
+ If any one is rendered eternally damned, can he have any cause to praise His Maker?
+ Will God ever place some of his creatures in such a situation they cannot praise him?
+ Do you believe that endless punishment would manifest the glory of God?
+ Can you rejoice in the hope of the glory of God?
+ Would not the salvation of half of mankind glorify God more than the salvation of one-fourth?
+ Would not the salvation of nine-tenths of mankind glorify God more than the salvation of one-half?
+ Can we give "glory to God in the highest," without believing in the salvation of all men?
+ If "all have sinned, and (thus) come short of the glory of God," (Rom. 3:23), would eternal sinning mend the matter?
+ Shall "every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father?" -- (Philippians 2:11)
+ Is endless misery "good tidings of great joy which shall be to ALL people?"

+ Could man be endlessly miserable without being endlessly a sinner?
+ If sin exist eternally, can it be true that Christ was to finish the transgression, and to make and end of sin? -- (Dan. 9:34)
+ Since Jesus gave himself a ransom for all men, can he ever "see the travail of his soul and be satisfied," if endless misery is true?

+ Do you hope that endless misery is true?
+ Is "faith the substance (or foundation) of things hoped for?" -- (Heb. 11:1)
+ If endless misery is not a thing hoped for, can it be a part of the Christian faith?
+ Is it certain that one soul will be eternally lost?
+ Is it certain that one soul will be saved?
+ Is it certain that all will not be damned?
+ Is it certain that all will not be saved?
+ Can that be certain which is not decreed?
+ If it is certain that one soul will be saved, must there not be a decree concerning the salvation of a definite number?
+ If the number of the saved is definitely fixed, must not the number of the damned be equally definite?
+ If there is no certainty in relation to the final destiny of man, is not salvation a work of chance?
+ What is better chance than Atheism?

+ If God knew, when he created, what the end of each soul would be, is not that end as certain as if it was decreed?
+ Is not the merciful man always merciful to his animals?
+ Will not the merciful God be always as merciful to His creatures, as the merciful man is to his animals?
+ Is it true that the "tender mercies of the Lord are over all his works?" -- (Ps. 145:9)
+ Is it true that the Almighty is without variableness, or the shadow of turning?
+ Would there be any tender mercy in the infliction of endless misery?
+ Are the tender mercies of the Lord like unto the tender mercies of the wicked which are cruel?

+ If God is not the Father of sinners, why should sinners pray, saying, "Our Father, forgive us our trespasses (sins)?"
+ "Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?" -- (Mal. 2:10)
+ If God is the Father of all men, will He do less for His children than earthly parents would do for theirs?
+ Is it true that God punishes us "for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness?" -- (Heb. 12:11)
+ Would endless punishment be for our profit?
+ Would endless punishment "yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness unto them who are exercised thereby?"

+ Can any doctrine be too good to be true?
+ Will God contend forever and be always wroth? -- (Isa. 62:16)
+ Will the Lord cast off forever? -- (Lam. 3:31-33)

+ Can one be a Christian who worships the Lord through fear of the devil?
+ Can one truly be Christian who state that if they believed in the salvation of all mankind, they would go out and sin without fearing consequences of those sins?
+ Can a person really be a Christian who says, "if all men are to be saved, what use is there in being virtuous?"
+ If "the goodness of God leads to repentance," why should His eternal wrath be preached to sinners?
+ If "the goodness of God leads to repentance," why should it not be supposed that repentance leads to the goodness of God?
+ If "the goodness of God leads to repentance," are not sinners the objects of His goodness?
+ Is not the goodness of God co-extensive and co-eternal with His wisdom and power?
+ As the wisdom of God can never change to folly, nor His power to weakness, will His goodness ever change to hatred?
+ Can God be universally and eternally good, if endless misery is true for a single soul?

+ If all men deserve endless punishment, would it not be right for God to inflict it?
+ "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen. 18:25)
+ If it would be right for God to punish all men eternally, would it not be wrong for Him not to do it?
+ Since the infliction of endless misery would be returning evil for evil, would it be right for God to inflict it?
+ If the return of evil for evil is right for God, would it not be equally right for man?

+ Since "fear has torment," and true religion is happiness, can fear produce true religion?
+ Since "perfect love casts out fear," will not fear cast out perfect love?
+ Can fear imbue the soul with perfect love?
+ Must not they who "believe and tremble," be possessed of the faith of devils?
+ Is it possible to love someone without truly personally knowing them?
+ Can a person love someone who is endlessly torturing them in a lake of fire and will not give them mercy?
+ So between life here on earth and the Lake of Fire, if Jesus doesn't personally reach someone with His love, how can a person really love Jesus back? (Rom. 5:8-10)

+ Does the belief of endless misery cause the believer to "rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory?" -- (1 Pet. 1:8)
+ Can a belief of any thing short of universal salvation, fill the soul with "joy and peace?"

+ Will not the devil and all his works be destroyed? -- (Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8)
+ Will not death, the last enemy, be swallowed up in victory and destroyed? -- (Isa. 25:6-8; 1 Cor. 15:26-54)

And finally:

If God is loving, merciful, wise, always gives "righteous" judgment and is all powerful and has a desire or will to save all mankind (1 Tim 2:3,4) which will come closer to the above attributes?:

A Savior of all mankind?

An eternal torturer of most?

Children, saints, truth-seekers, sinners, universalists and even atheists always get the right answer.

Pharisees, hypocrites, control freaks, hate-mongers, and other sundry snakes always get it wrong.

*********************************************

My conclusion that the modern church concept of God consigning the greatest majority of the human beings He created to everlasting tortures (which is NOT worthy of His honor) does not come from my wishful thinking, but from thousands of hours of studying various English Bible translations, the original languages, early church history, revelation from the Holy Spirit, as well as from a clean conscience and a sound mind. I believe that anyone who truly desires to KNOW God and to honor Him in the earth will undoubtedly come to the same conclusions I and millions of other Christians who have tasted of God's mercy have come to over the last two thousand years...that Jesus is the Savior of all mankind, as the Scriptures plainly declare(John 4:42; 1 John 4:14)…not just a few. The reasons why most Christians in this present age do not see this glorious truth are:

REASONS FOR THE DIFFERENT VIEWS

1. Failure to hold on to clear statements of God’s sovereignty, foreknowledge, power, omniscience, purpose of creation, and unconditional love.

2. Failure to believe direct statements of scripture declaring the ultimate salvation of all through the saving work of Jesus Christ.

3. Pulling scriptures out of context and putting them into an end-time scenario when, in fact, they deal with other ages. Scriptures speak of at least two other ages to come. (Eph. 2:7)

4. Inaccurate and misleading translations. Roman Catholic tradition strongly affected the first Protestant English Bibles which, in turn, adversely affected modern translations.

5. Injection of Roman\Greek concepts which are not Biblical such as the immortality of the soul into the Bible. Adam was removed from the garden lest he eat from the tree of life. He was therefore not immortal. Eternal life is found only "in" Christ, not in Adam. "In Adam all died." (1 Cor. 15:22) If Adam was immortal, how could he die?

6. Bondage to the traditions and teachings of men rather than allowing the Spirit of Truth to lead us into all truth. (John 16:13)

7. Laziness.

8. A hidden desire in many of us to have our enemies get what we feel they deserve while we get off free and clear. (Luke 9:51-56)

9. The desire of religious and government leaders to use fear to maintain control. Love cannot be perfected with fear, therefore, the church has few members whose love is perfected. Perfect love casts out fear! (1 John 4:18)

10. Satan’s power and authority to deceive.

11. Failure to see that "Love never fails," (1Cor. 13:8) His "mercy endures forever," (1 Chron. 16:41) and "mercy triumphs over judgment." (James 2:13)

12. It's not your time to see. (Acts 13:48, John 6:44)

13. Fear of persecution of men for not going along with the majority view.

14. Misunderstanding of the purpose of God's "remnant," His "chosen people."

Nineveh
February 14th, 2005, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by logos_x
Are you saying that all those things did not happen? It's all a lie that there were inquisitions despotic heathen Popes, that the politics of the "church" did not become corrupt until it was obvious that reformation was needed?

logos, do you really believe the only Christ followers back then belonged to the RCC? Do you really believe the Body of Christ (aka the Church) was then, is now, or ever has been defined soley by the RCC?

logos_x
February 14th, 2005, 04:45 PM
Originally posted by Nineveh

logos, do you really believe the only Christ followers back then belonged to the RCC? Do you really believe the Body of Christ (aka the Church) was then, is now, or ever has been defined soley by the RCC?

No...I'm arguing that the RCC corrupted the original message of the Christ-followers, and that by force.

Polycarp
February 14th, 2005, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

Look...you apparently aren't too familiar with history..even though you claim otherwise.
Are you saying that all those things did not happen? It's all a lie that there were inquisitions despotic heathen Popes, that the politics of the "church" did not become corrupt until it was obvious that reformation was needed?

It is no false accusation!

And I don't give a flyin' fig what JW's, Adventism, or Armstrongism does. This IS a false accusation to lump what I'm saying in with cults teachings to cause people to reject what I'm saying out of fear of deception.



MY ANSWER: No, it is not false, it's perfectly true and you use the same arguments, exactly the same ones, they do. You all do the same demonization of Christianity to declare yourself truthful.




Now..as far as there being a devilish coup de' atat within the church institution....try this on for size:

2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2Th 2:2 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.
2Th 2:3 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;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

It's Ok if you don't like what I'm saying. But don't think I don't know what I'm talking about!

MY ANSWER: NO! You have no idea. You don't have a clue what 2Th.2 is written about. It's you that opposes God, not us! It is you that has fallen away, not us. We don't blaspheme God, the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit so we can claim we are right and everybody else is wrong. You do, by calling the truth handed down to us by the Father, Spoken by the Son and by the mouth of the Holy Spirit. Then you call it all some demonic teaching.



I demonized no one. I merely wrote facts about history.


MY ANSWER: No, my friend, You demonized all of Christianity. The fact that a few, very few expressed some idea of universal reconcilation does not mean that they are right and the all of Christianity is wrong. They had no authority to teach that because it was based purely on their opinion not on the truths handed down and taught by Christ and the Apostles.




They DON"T use the exact same language and theology to speak of everlating torment. They used a LATIN translation that altered the meaning of scripture compared to the original hebrew and greek. Only then did eternal conscious torment even BEGIN to be accepted, and many more centuries passed before it was enforced (under threat of excommunication or even torture/death) as the only true doctrine..and then ensued the Dark Ages.

MY ANSWER: Protestant Versions are not from the LATIN. You have no idea of what you are speaking.


They did cover things up pretty well.

MY ANSWER: No one covered up anything. That is just your wild imagination. You've never given an ounce of proof anyone covered up anything. It just goes to show, like the rest of the cults, you are willing to say anything to get some one to believe what you do.




But beyond that..It is amazing to me that the defining doctrine in this instance is what is believed about Hell..and that you MUST believe in eternal conscious torment...and if you don't you are a nutball and part of a "cult".

MY ANSWER: That's because you are. The volumes of volumes of text preserved for us from the first centuries shows you are.



My conclusion that the modern church concept of God consigning the greatest majority of the human beings He created to everlasting tortures (which is NOT worthy of His honor) does not come from my wishful thinking, but from thousands of hours of studying various English Bible translations, the original languages, early church history, revelation from the Holy Spirit, as well as from a clean conscience and a sound mind. Listed below are a few of the hundreds of books I've read or written as a result of this intense search for the truth of the matter. I believe that anyone who truly desires to KNOW God and to honor Him in the earth will undoubtedly come to the same conclusions I and millions of other Christians who have tasted of God's mercy have come to over the last two thousand years...that Jesus is the Savior of all mankind, as the Scriptures plainly declare(John 4:42; 1 John 4:14)…not just a few. The reasons why most Christians in this present age do not see this glorious truth are:

..

MY ANSWER: Yeah, and the JW's and the Mormons all say the same thing, you do. They are wrong and so are you.


.... 10. Satan’s power and authority to deceive.

12. It's not your time to see. (Acts 13:48, John 6:44)

13. Fear of persecution of men for not going along with the majority view.

14. Misunderstanding of the purpose of God's "remnant," His "chosen people."

MY ANSWER: Your views are typical of the Cults. Everybody is under this demon and Satan if they disagree with you. THEN YOU SAY YOUR NOT DEMOMIZING THEM!

Every bizarre cult in the world all claims, "they are the REMNANT PEOPLE" that is the only way they can account for the fact so FEW people believe them. It couldn't be that they are wrong, NO EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD IS WRONG, so they can be RIGHT. How convenient.

How convenient, that the entire world of Christianity becomes apostate, SO YOU CAN BECOME CORRECT!

How covenient, that 2,000 years of Christianity becomes evil doers, SO THAT YOU MAY BECOME RIGHTEOUS.

How covenient, that the Martyrs who suffered terrible torments to avoid the pains of hell, are all become WICKED IDOLATORS, SO YOU MAY APPEAR AS TRUTHFUL.

How convenient, that 2,000 years of biblical scholarship from one end of the earth all have to become IGNORANT AND EVERYTHING ELSE YOU CAN CALL THEM, so that YOU BECOME LEARNED.

YOU DON'T DEMONIZE?!

What is worse, is that your constant blasphemy of Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit as a "Monster" . Because you abor their sacred gospel. All of this so you can promise the wicked and the unrighteous, salvation.

Just think folks, all you have to do as believe as Logos and you too, can be SPECIAL! Oh and of course, a "Remnant" . Don't you want to be a Remnant? And you'll be better than everyone else BECAUSE YOU ARE DIFFERENT.

logos_x
February 14th, 2005, 10:49 PM
Polycarp,

I'm a Christian myself.
I don't say the entire church went apostate..I say that SOME church leaders changed prevailing doctrine to fit their own personal beliefs. They happened to believe in eternal torment, and managed to have all other views declared heretical...even though many Christian leaders held to the beliefs they condemned.
It was a political move that lead to some very dark things happening in "church" history.

I would say that the ONLY thing we've talked about that I disagree with you concerns the doctrine of Hell's nature. Your faith is so married to this doctrine that you can't even consider that there are other views...so much so that you think any other interpretation of the same scriptural data you believe in represents the work of the devil.
Since you hold that view, you have demonized my view.
So..I demonized yours.

Doesn't feel too good does it?

Now..Here's what I really believe...

I believe the church fell into error on many things throughout it's long history. I believe that one of the most damaging, and tenacious errors was and is the belief that one's views of God's judgement must only consider one position held by one theological school without allowing for any other possibility.

All reformers start out being accused of being false teachers Polycarp...so I'm in good company.

It's alright with me if you don't agree with universal reconciliation. It isn't necessary. Why to you insist that ALL of Christianity MUST agree with eternal conscious torment?

Anyway..it was an interesting debate. It's obvious we won't convince each other of anything. This debate has been going on since the beginning of Christianity...it's certain that it won't be resolved on TOL.

Everyone can see where we personally stand on this issue by now. I see no further need to continue our debate. I truely hope I have not offended you personally...but if I have, I'm sorry and apologize.

And so...here we stand. Hopefully you will at least stand with me in the one thing that really matters...Jesus is Lord of all!

God Bless you Polycarp.

logos_x
February 15th, 2005, 01:07 AM
To everyone else...

Quotes From Historians

To my knowledge, all of the historians and theologians that I am about to quote taught the "Doctrine of Eternal Torment." Not one of them mentioned in their writings that they believed in the "Doctrine of the Restitution of All Things," or ultimate reconciliation. Unfortunately, most of you will probably not know these historians and theologians I am about to quote. That is very unfortunate, because it is these men and others like them that run the seminaries and Bible colleges and write the textbooks and Sunday school manuals.
Listen to some of the comments of the early Christians and then ask yourself, "Why are we not taught this today?" Also keep in mind that I will be quoting historians and theologians. They generally do not write for the understanding of the average person. They write for each other and use hard-to-understand English. Just read slowly and understand there will be a great reward for the effort.

The great church historian Geisler writes: "The belief in the inalienable capability of improvement in all rational beings, and the limited duration of future punishment was so general, even in the West, and among the opponents of Origen, that it seems entirely independent of his system" (Eccles. Hist., 1-212).

This statement is very significant because many modernists attribute to Origen's influence the fact that the vast majority of early Christians did not believe in eternal torment! Keep in mind these historians I am quoting do not embrace the "larger hope." What Geisler said in a nutshell was that the church believed in ultimate reconciliation, even many of those who opposed Origen.

The German theologian and historian Johann Christoph Doerderlin (1829-1888) writes: "In proportion as any man was eminent in learning in Christian antiquity, the more did he cherish and defend the hope of the termination of future torments." Later on, as when we read some of the early Christian writings, we will find this statement to be true; the more learned a Christian was in the Scriptures in the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, the more likely he or she was to see the "Doctrine of the Restitution of All Things." Those such as Augustine, who said he hated the Greek language, who read only the Latin Vulgate translation, began to be prone toward the "Doctrine of Eternal Torment."

One of several reasons for this was because the Greek word "aion," which meant "age," was translated into the Latin Vulgate as "aeternum" and "seculum." This was a serious mistake which also corrupted our English translations. This error was instrumental in changing the doctrine of the early Christians who believed that punishment was confined to "age." The Latin church, filled with unconverted pagans, separated themselves from the original languages and secluded themselves into the corrupted Latin Vulgate and began to teach what the pagan religions had taught for centuries--eternal torment.

Professor and historian Henry Nutcomb Oxenham informs us that the, "Doctrine of endless punishment was not believed at all by some of the holiest and wisest of the Fathers, and was not taught as an integral part of the Christian faith by any even of those who believed it as an opinion."

One of the ways of verifying this is to look at the earliest Christian creeds. None of them mention "eternal torment" as the final punishment of the wicked or unbelievers.

Historian Pfaff says: "The ultimate restoration of the lost was an opinion held by very many Jewish teachers, and some of the Fathers" (frag. anec.).

The famous Dietelmaier has this to say: "Universalism in the fourth century drove its roots down deeply, alike in the East and West, and had very many defenders."

It should be mentioned that the "universalism" taught by the early Christians has nothing to do with modern universalism. To the early Christians, salvation was given to all of mankind through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This is Christian universalism; something very different from New Age beliefs.

Reuss writes, "The doctrine of a general restoration of all rational creatures has been recommended by very many of the greatest thinkers of the ancient church, and of modern times" (Hist. De la Theol. Apost.).

The world renowned Neander has this to say: "From two theological schools there went forth an opposition to the doctrine of everlasting punishment."

***The Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (1908) by Schaff-Herzog says in volume 12, on page 96, "In the first five or six centuries of Christianity there were six theological schools, of which four (Alexandria, Antioch, Caesarea, and Edessa, or Nisibis) were Universalist, one (Ephesus) accepted conditional immortality; one (Carthage or Rome) taught endless punishment of the wicked. Other theological schools are mentioned as founded by Universalists, but their actual doctrine on this subject is not known."

The number of schools in the early church that taught ultimate reconciliation is an embarrassment to many modern church historians. Therefore, they often do whatever they can to hide these facts. These Christian Universalists who were clearly the majority of the early Church, believed that all mankind through Christ would be restored. They believed, and taught, and many laid down their lives for the belief that Jesus Christ was truly the Savior of the whole world.

***Remember, these historians just quoted were not "Universalists."

Also note that the school that taught "Eternal Torment" was in Rome, where the original Bible languages were abandoned and replaced with Latin. Those of you who are familiar with Daniel's image made up of four kingdoms are also probably aware that the legs of iron might speak of the Roman Empire.

************************************************** ******
What the People Believed

We just read that the majority of the schools taught ultimate reconciliation. But what did the average person on the street believe? I am going to quote three church leaders of that time period.

St. Basil the Great (c. 329-379) in his De Asceticis wrote: "The mass of men (Christians) say that there is to be an end of punishment to those who are punished." I point out that he is not classified as a Universalist.

St. Jerome (342-420), the author of the Vulgate Latin Bible and whose jealousy got him into an ugly scandal that stained the church, writes: "I know that most persons understand by the story of Nineveh and its King, the ultimate forgiveness of the devil and all rational creatures."

The last person I want to quote regarding what the average early Christian believed, is the very champion of the doctrine of "Eternal Torment" himself--Saint Augustine. He stands right next to Emperor Constantine as a key figure leading the church away from the original teachings of the Old and New Testaments.
Augustine was in the Manichaean religion for nine years prior to becoming a Christian. This was an Eastern religion of fire worship. In this system, the universe would be divided forever between good and evil. The Romans and Greeks had a habit of incorporating the religions of the countries they conquered. The religions of the East flooded into the church after Constantine united church and state. Constantine provided the building materials to build this monstrous structure and Augustine largely built the theological structure.

His most famous writing was The City of God. Now listen to the champion of "Eternal Torment" regarding the view of Christian believers over this matter over four hundred years after Christ's resurrection: "There are very many (imo quam plurimi, can be translated majority) who though not denying the Holy Scriptures, do not believe in endless torments" (Enchiria, ad Laurent. c.29).

Out of his own mouth, the hero of the eternal tormentors of Christendom, states that in his day many (perhaps the majority!) of Christians did not believe in endless torment and they did not deny the Holy Scriptures by believing it. In this period of time, the great teachers still read the new Testament in Greek, but Augustine admits that he "hated Greek."

So...were all of them wrong and only the partialist eternal tormentors right? Or was it the effects of language?

You decide.

Polycarp
February 15th, 2005, 08:10 AM
Just look at Josephus and Comparre His Teachings with that of Christ's and the Apostles! It is simply unmistakble clear, they are the same teachings

1. NOW as to Hades, wherein the souls of the of the good things they see, and rejoice in the righteous and unrighteous are detained, it is necessary to speak of it. Hades is a place in the world not regularly finished; a subterraneous region, wherein the light of this world does not shine; from which circumstance, that in this region the light does not shine, it cannot be but there must be in it perpetual darkness. This region is allotted as a place of custody for souls, ill which angels are appointed as guardians to them, who distribute to them temporary punishments, agreeable to every one's behavior and manners.

2. In this region there is a certain place set apart, as a lake of unquenchable fire,(Rev.19:20, 20:10,14,15) [/B] whereinto we suppose no one hath hitherto been cast; but it is prepared for a day afore-determined by God, in which one righteous sentence shall deservedly be passed upon all men; when the unjust, and those that have been disobedient to God, and have given honor to such idols as have been the vain operations of the hands of men as to God himself, shall be adjudged to this everlasting punishment, as having been the causes of defilement; while the just shall obtain an incorruptible and never-fading kingdom. These are now indeed confined in Hades, but not in the same place wherein the unjust are confined.

3. For there is one descent into this region, at whose gate we believe there stands an archangel with an host; which gate when those pass through that are conducted down by the angels appointed over souls, they do not go the same way; but the just are guided to the right hand, and are led with hymns, sung by the angels appointed over that place, unto a region of light, in which the just have dwelt from the beginning of the world; not constrained by necessity, but ever enjoying the prospect of the good things they see, and rejoice in the expectation of those new enjoyments which will be peculiar to every one of them, and esteeming those things beyond what we have here; with whom there is no place of toil, no burning heat, no piercing cold, nor are any briers there; but the countenance of the and of the just, which they see, always smiles them, while they wait for that rest and eternal new life in heaven, which is to succeed this region. This place we call The Bosom of Abraham.

Compare with Christ own words, Luke 16: 19There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom..”

4. But as to the unjust, they are dragged by force to the left hand by the angels allotted for punishment, no longer going with a good-will, but as prisoners driven by violence; to whom are sent the angels appointed over them to reproach them and threaten them with their terrible looks, and to thrust them still downwards. Now those angels that are set over these souls drag them into the neighborhood of hell itself; who, when they are hard by it, continually hear the noise of it, and do not stand clear of the hot vapor itself; but when they have a near view of this spectacle, as of a terrible and exceeding great prospect of fire, they are struck with a fearful expectation of a future judgment, and in effect punished thereby: and not only so, but where they see the place [or choir] of the fathers and of the just, even hereby are they punished; for a chaos deep and large is fixed between them; insomuch that a just man that hath compassion upon them cannot be admitted, nor can one that is unjust, if he were bold enough to attempt it, pass over it.

Compare with Christ’s own words in Luke 16:26"And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.”

5. This is the discourse concerning Hades, wherein the souls of all men are confined until a proper season, which God hath determined, when he will make a resurrection of all men from the dead, not procuring a transmigration of souls from one body to another, but raising again those very bodies, which you Greeks, seeing to be dissolved, do not believe [their resurrection]. But learn not to disbelieve it; for while you believe that the soul is created, and yet is made immortal by God, according to the doctrine of Plato, and this in time, be not incredulous; but believe that God is able, when he hath raised to life that body which was made as a compound of the same elements, to make it immortal; for it must never be said of God, that he is able to do some things, and unable to do others. We have therefore believed that the body will be raised again; for although it be dissolved, it is not perished; for the earth receives its remains, and preserves them; and while they are like seed, and are mixed among the more fruitful soil, they flourish, and what is sown is indeed sown bare grain, but at the mighty sound of God the Creator, it will sprout up, and be raised in a clothed and glorious condition, though not before it has been dissolved, and mixed [with the earth]

(Compare with Paul’s words in 1Cor. 15: 37And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.”)

"So that we have not rashly believed the resurrection of the body; for although it be dissolved for a time on account of the original transgression, it exists still, and is cast into the earth as into a potter's furnace, in order to be formed again, not in order to rise again such as it was before, but in a state of purity, and so as never to he destroyed any more. And to every body shall its own soul be restored. And when it hath clothed itself with that body, it will not be subject to misery, but, being itself pure, it will continue with its pure body, and rejoice with it, with which it having walked righteously now in this world, and never having had it as a snare, it will receive it again with great gladness. But as for the unjust, they will receive their bodies not changed, not freed from diseases or distempers, nor made glorious, but with the same diseases wherein they died; and such as they were in their unbelief, the same shall they be when they shall be faithfully judged.

6. For all men, the just as well as the unjust, shall be brought before God the word: for to him hath the Father committed all judgment : and he, in order to fulfill the will of his Father, shall come as Judge, whom we call Christ. For Minos and Rhadamanthus are not the judges, as you Greeks do suppose, but he whom God and the Father hath glorified: concerning whom we have elsewhere given a more particular account, for the sake of those who seek after truth. This person, exercising the righteous judgment of the Father towards all men, hath prepared a just sentence for every one, according to his works; at whose judgment-seat when all men, and angels, and demons shall stand, they will send forth one voice, and say, JUST IS THY JUDGMENT; the rejoinder to which will bring a just sentence upon both parties, by giving justly to those that have done well an everlasting fruition; but allotting to the lovers of wicked works eternal punishment. To these belong the unquenchable fire,(Mk.9:44, 46, 48) and that WITHOUT END, and a certain fiery worm, NEVER DYING,(Mk.9:44,46, 48) and not destroying the body, but continuing its eruption out of the body with NEVER-CEASING GRIEFf: NEITHER WILL SLEEP GIVE THEM EASE to these men (Rev.14:10-11), nor will the night afford them comfort; death will not free them from their punishment, nor will the interceding prayers of their kindred profit them; for the just are no longer seen by them, nor are they thought worthy of remembrance. But the just shall remember only their righteous actions, whereby they have attained the heavenly kingdom, in which there is no sleep, no sorrow, no corruption, no care, no night, no day measured by time, no sun driven in his course along the circle of heaven by necessity, and measuring out the bounds and conversions of the seasons, for the better illumination of the life of men; no moon decreasing and increasing, or introducing a variety of seasons, nor will she then moisten the earth; no burning sun, no Bear turning round [the pole], no Orion to rise, no wandering of innumerable stars. The earth will not then be difficult to be passed over, nor will it he hard to find out the court of paradise, nor will there be any fearful roaring of the sea, forbidding the passengers to walk on it; even that will be made easily passable to the just, though it will not be void of moisture. Heaven will not then be uninhabitable by men, and it will not be impossible to discover the way of ascending thither. The earth will not be uncultivated, nor require too much labor of men, but will bring forth its fruits of its own accord, and will be well adorned with them. There will be no more generations of wild beasts, nor will the substance of the rest of the animals shoot out any more; for it will not produce men, but the number of the righteous will continue, and never fail, together with righteous angels, and spirits [of God], and with his word, as a choir of righteous men and women that never grow old, and continue in an incorruptible state, singing hymns to God, who hath advanced them to that happiness, by the means of a regular institution of life; with whom the whole creation also will lift up a perpetual hymn from corruption, to incorruption, as glorified by a splendid and pure spirit. It will not then be restrained by a bond of necessity, but with a lively freedom shall offer up a voluntary hymn, and shall praise him that made them, together with the angels, and spirits, and men now freed from all bondage.

7. And now, if you Gentiles will be persuaded by these motives, and leave your vain imaginations about your pedigrees, and gaining of riches, and philosophy, and will not spend your time about subtleties of words, and thereby lead your minds into error, and if you will apply your ears to the hearing of the inspired prophets, the interpreters both of God and of his word, and will believe in God, you shall both be partakers of these things, and obtain the good things that are to come; you shall see the ascent unto the immense heaven plainly, and that kingdom which is there. For what God hath now concealed in silence [will be then made manifest,] what neither eye hath seen, nor ear hath heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love him. (1Cor.2:9 “9But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”)

8. In whatsoever ways I shall find you, in them shall I judge you entirely: so cries the END of all things. And he who hath at first lived a virtuous lift, but towards the latter end falls into vice, these labors by him before endured shall be altogether vain and unprofitable, even as in a play, brought to an ill catastrophe. Whosoever shall have lived wickedly and luxuriously may repent; however, there will be need of much time to conquer an evil habit, and even after repentance his whole life must be guarded with great care and diligence, after the manner of a body, which, after it hath been a long time afflicted with a distemper, requires a stricter diet and method of living; for though it may be possible, perhaps, to break off the chain of our irregular affections at once, yet our amendment cannot be secured without the grace of God, the prayers of good men, the help of the brethren, and our own sincere repentance and constant care. It is a good thing not to sin at all; it is also good, having sinned, to repent; as it is best to have health always, but it is a good thing to recover from a distemper. To God be glory and dominion for ever and ever Amen.

http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/hades.htm
link to Josephus discourse to the Greeks concerning Hades

freelight
February 15th, 2005, 02:05 PM
Kinda makes you wonder how much of Josephus work was creatively arranged by later scribes - or how much of the NT, particularly the gospels were under the creative license of scribes ...modifying, interpolating certain presupposed beliefs into the text molding them to their own suits.

Josephus address to the greeks is interesting and shows his belief or the one that he was taught as being the belief of the mind of his kinsman.

However,.....there are still many dimensions of this subject of eternal punishment...as shared already here....which appear to be looked over and unattended for the favor of what Josephus says (as if some kind of authority) and what some passages in the NT appear to allude. Besides already showing the absurdity and injustice of enforcing endless torments......we have the issue of the what the original words that were translated as 'eternal' and 'everlasting' actually allude to. These indications do not necessarily lend to the idea of never-ending but only to an eon, age or indefinite span of time - there is more flexibility than what a literal rendering of the english terminology might imply. Besides this issue of words/translation is the very principle that it implies....which by virtue of reason is most unreasonable for Deity in his divine Character. So...as shared before....one may choose to bypass reason, spiritual logic and sensibility....and embrace this doctrine...but to what avail? To scare one into submission to God before its too late....and becomes the subject of Gods eternal disdain and wrath? Again...it would be most redeeming to recognize and learn the divine Nature and his ministrations before alloting to him actions which are contrary to His nature.

Let us consider the supremacy of Gods Will.....the eternality of His Love. True,....all souls shall reap what they sow....and as they spiritually evolve ....are ever in the eternal care and Providence of our Heavenly Father. God is prefectly Just and eternally merciful. He is a wonderful God.


paul

Polycarp
February 15th, 2005, 05:42 PM
Paul, it appears that every time you all find documents that discredit your position, you invent a conspiracy. Really, it does get old. No one discounts Josephus or any other of the theologians I've documented.

Your stance is basically to judge God. You don't like Him if He saves you from eternal punishment. There is so much evidence against the universal reconciliation side, that you'll will have to invent a thousand conspiracies. That is the same tactic the JW's, Adventist , Mormons and the Armstrong's use. The problem is, there is no evidence. While there is volumes of evidence that eternal punishment is the correct teaching. A stable person does not run off on some hunch of a conspiracy unless there is REAL evidence. And there isn't any for you to claim.

Read the scriptures! From Genesis to Revelation there is one story after another, 100's of them, one warning after another that is intended to frighten someone into repentance because of the hardness of ones heart.

The righteous will inherit eternal life, therefore, the wickedly justly inherit eternal death and punishment for rejecting so great a salvation and God.

If you reject God and the Christ as well as the gospel of salvation through Christ from eternal punishment, then I suspect, you won't have Christ in your corner to protect you. Afterall, you spent your life denying Him. I'd weigh move before I spent my life attacking the gospel and inventing conspiracies.

logos_x
February 16th, 2005, 12:16 AM
There are several arguments against believing the doctrine of universal reconciliation. For the sake of brevity, I will address only a few of them.


Argument 1

If this universal reconciliation doctrine is true, why don't most Christians believe it?

Just because the majority either believes or disbelieves in something, that doesn't necessarily make it right. Take Israel for example. It is clear to us that all throughout the Old Testament, God's intention was always to include the Gentiles in His "greater" purpose. And yet, Israel as a whole rejected the prophets and their message. They could not see the truth that we now see. They limited God's plan to their own dispensation.

The Roman Church embraced such falsehoods as Transubstantiation and rejected truths such as the doctrine of Justification by Faith. It wasn't until Martin Luther that God broke through the traditions of men and the truth became clear to the Church.

The problem with the Church today is that we see ourselves better and far above Israel, when in reality, we are just like her.

Listen to the words of Andrew Jukes:


"But suppose it were otherwise,--suppose it could be shown that the Church, instead of asserting "the forgiveness of sins," had taught the reverse, and had judged the doctrine of the "restitution of all things" as false--what does this prove, if, though yet beyond the Church's light, the doctrine is really taught in the Holy Scriptures? Many things have been hid in Scripture for ages. St. Paul speaks of "the revelation of the mystery, which had been hid from ages and generations;" some part of which at least, though hidden, had been "spoken by the mouth of all God's holy prophets since the world began." There are many such treasures hidden in Scripture, open secrets like those in nature which are daily opening to us.

But when have God's people as a body ever seen or received any truth beyond their own dispensation? Take as an instance Israel of old, whose ways, "ensamples of us," prefigure the Church of this age. Did they ever receive the call of the Gentiles, or see God's purpose outside their own election? A few all through that age spoke of blessings to the world, and were without exception judged for such a testimony:--"Which of the prophets have not your fathers slain?" Was God's purpose to the Gentiles therefore a false doctrine: or, because His people did not receive it, was it not to be found in their own Scriptures?

The doctrine of the "restitution of all things" is to the Church what "the call of the Gentiles" was to Israel. And if the Church, like Israel, can see no truth beyond its own and has judged those who have been witnesses to a purpose of love far wider than that of this age,--which is not to convert the world, as some suppose, but only "to take out of the nations a people for God's name,"--is God's purpose, though declared in Scripture, to be damned as false doctrine simply because the Church is blind to it? Is Israel's path to teach us nothing? Are men's traditions as to God's purpose to be preferred to His own unerring Word?

It is indeed a solemn thing to differ with the Church, or like Paul to find oneself in a "way which they call heresy," simply by "believing," not some but, "all the things which are written in the law and the prophets." But the path is not a new one for the sons of God. All the prophets perished in Jerusalem. And, above all, the Lord of prophets was judged as a Deceiver, by those whom God had called to be His witnesses. The Church's judgment, therefore, cannot decide a point like this, if that judgment be in opposition to the Word of God.

But is it possible that Christians should have been allowed to err on so important a point as the doctrine of future judgment? Would our Lord Himself have used, or permitted others to use, words which, if final restitution be true, might be understood as teaching the very opposite. Transubstantiation is a mistake built on Christ's very words; and the doctrine of endless torments is but another like misunderstanding; which not only directly contradicts many other Scriptures, but practically denies and falsifies the glorious revelation of Himself, which God has given us in the gospel, and in the face of Jesus Christ. This shows us the state of the Church. And though thousands of God's children have held, not this only, but many other errors, the fact, instead of approving their errors, only proves the grace of Him, who spite such errors can yet bless and make His children a blessing"

Argument 2

Why did Jesus have to die if all men are going to be saved anyway?

That’s like asking, "What’s the point of having a hospital that has discovered the cure for all diseases?" Just because Calvary will prove itself to be 100% successful does not render Christ’s sacrifice unnecessary!

If a rescue team saved all the passengers on a sinking ship, would that prove their mission to be futile? The unscriptural dogma that only some will be saved (Partialism) undermines the atonement. It renders our Lord’s work as mostly a failure. There is no other name by which men can be saved (Acts 4:12)! This is God’s way. God could have chosen any means He wanted to bring salvation to men. The means God has chosen to bring it about is the shedding of innocent blood. Man cannot save himself. He is estranged from God because of sin. So God had to intervene and send His only Son to die for the sins of the world. This was God’s plan before the foundation of the world. So even if God were going to save only one man, Jesus would still have had to die. So it really doesn’t matter if one man is saved or all of mankind, Jesus Christ fulfilled the purpose of God by dying for the sins of the world. This is the only way to be saved. This is the way God has chosen.


Argument 3

If men know they will be saved one day, this will lead to a license to sin. They will have no reason to repent in this life.

This was the same argument that men gave the Apostle Paul as he preached the “gospel of grace.” They argued salvation by grace apart from the law would lead men to continue in sin. It was said that the law was needed to keep men in line. This is the exact reason why Paul wrote in Rom 6:1, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound…?”

The reason men should repent in this life is the fact that they are in a condemned state without Christ. God’s judgmental fire is coming. Yes, there will be rewards (and lack of them) for what we’ve done here on this earth. There are many reasons why men should repent now. But the bottom line is this: men should repent now because God sent His Son to die for their sins. They can have life now! They don’t have to continue being dead in their trespasses. This is the Good News! Men no longer have to be estranged from God. They can have His love, joy, and peace today!


Argument 4

Why should we preach if God we save all one day?

I hate to keep giving simple answers but we proclaim His truth simply because God commands us to! We are His priests and one of the functions of a priest is to go to men on behalf of God. We are to perform our priestly duties by going to men with the good news of Jesus Christ. When they get saved is not our business. Some will sow: some will reap. But it is God who will give the increase in His own time.

God has called us to a glorious calling: to proclaim His liberty to the captives! He has chosen the Church (the elect, firstborn sons, etc.) to be the vehicle in which to tell the whole world about the love of God in Christ.

If universal reconciliation is true (and it is), how terrible for me if I were to sit at home with the attitude that "I'm not gonna do anything because every person will be saved eventually anyway." When I stand before my Lord face to face, not only will I be ashamed of my attitude, but I will be so disappointed that I missed out on opportunity after opportunity to be a partaker in the high calling of God. What joy it is to see a soul saved, to see one receive the truth, to see one set free from sin, to see a little one find his or her Father; And what joy for me to know that God used litle ol' me to participate in His glorious plan of restoration!

This is our calling! This is our joy! This is our privledge!


Argument 5

You’re saying that God will give men a second chance after they die.

Isn’t our God the God of second chances? How many chances did He give you and me? How many times did we reject Him before we responded to His call of grace? Heb 9:27 says, “It is appointed for men once to die, then the judgment.” Men will die physically and then there is a judgment. But even Christians are not exempt. 1 Cor 3 speaks of a judgment of believers. We will all die physically and stand before God in judgment. But nowhere in this verse does it say that salvation cannot come after judgment. In fact, the whole purpose of judgment is rehabilitative in nature, not penal. If you doubt this, read Matt 25:46. The word used for punishment is the Greek word “kolasis” which means “to prune.” It is remedial in nature. The way the verse should read is, “…and these shall go away into age-abiding correction.” And as we’ve already seen, nowhere in the Scriptures can you find a word meaning “eternal” linked with punishment.


Argument 6

But doesn’t the Bible say that the ungodly will not inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God (Eph 5:5)?

This is one of the tough passages that seem to contradict the doctrine of universal salvation. However, I believe 1 Cor 15:24-28 answers this dilemma.
Most Christians do not understand that one day the Kingdom of Christ will come to an end. Paul talks of a day when the reign of Christ will end, when Christ will step off His throne and subject Himself to the Father so that God may be all in all. This “Kingdom” age will be the time when God will continue to work out His purpose in the earth. I believe it is during this reign of Christ where the ungodly men will be receiving their judgment in the Lake of Fire. Once this judgment is complete, death will finally be destroyed, men will be restored back to their creator, and God will be all in all.

It is absolutely true that no ungodly person shall inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. The truth is that the second death will destroy every motive, every imagination, and every deed that is in opposition to God. When this final death accomplishes its purpose, every soul will be purged and be made ready to receive the Lord Jesus Christ. Every man, woman, and child must go through this "death to the flesh." The Christian goes through this death now. The wicked go through a more harsh death in the ages to come. However, the result is the same. All wickedness will be destroyed! All of us must be purged and be made ready to inherit the Kingdom of God.


Argument 7

What about Adolf Hitler? Will God save Him too?

I’ve included this argument because it always comes up. This argument really gets to the heart of the problem. We think that “we” are so much better than others. We would never commit murder or rape. We would never beat our wives or lie or steal. So we look at someone like Adolph Hitler and put him in a worse category than ourselves. It seems to me Rom 3:23 indicts us all—“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

This argument really comes down to the “spirit” of Jonah. Why did Jonah get angry when all of Nineveh repented? Simply this: he was prideful. He thought that he was better than those wicked Ninevites. And so he got angry when God spared their lives.

Isn’t this the same thing we see today?

Oh sure, we talk about how much we love those “terrible sinners.” But when they get saved, we feel betrayed by God. That “terrible sinner” who was far worse than we ever were is now going to share heaven with us. It is the same spirit that Jesus was talking about when he told the parable of the laborers who each got hired at different times of the day. But in the end, they all got paid the same wage. Those who got hired early in the morning got angry with the master because they felt they deserved more.

This is much of the same spirit we see in the Church today. The doctrine of eternal torment feeds the pride of man. It makes us cold and hard. We try to mask it behind our “words of love,” but the true spirit (the flesh) of Jonah is there. It is not until we see ourselves as Paul did, wretched and the chief of all sinners, that the doctrine of universal reconciliation can become a glorious truth in our lives. And until the “power of sin” is broken in our own lives, we will continue to embrace those things that please the flesh—things that only bring death and not life.


In Conclusion

We really think too highly of ourselves. We’ve got God all figured out. We have our nice, neat, and tidy theology all wrapped up and our impressive doctorate degrees hanging on our walls. But the truths of God are far greater than any of our earthly wisdom. We say we are taught of the Holy Spirit, but are we? The early Church needed no Bible colleges. They needed no degrees. They needed no special positions or offices. All they had was the Holy Spirit to teach them. I’m afraid we’ve been taught too much by the traditions of men and have relied very little on the Holy Spirit. May God grant us a spirit of humility to see who we are in the light of His unsearchable riches.

Polycarp
February 17th, 2005, 10:08 AM
Yeah, us cold harded so and so's wouldn't want to save anyone from everlasting punishment. Though, we teach and preach exactly the same doctrine as the Christ and the Apostles. We only preach Christ as salvation from everlasting punishment because were so vain and pompous *****.. Yeah, that's it. Back you go to demonizing again. Powerful arguments that stuff.

And boy, if we would just stop being so literate! All that study has really become a problem.

freelight
February 17th, 2005, 01:55 PM
Originally posted by Polycarp

Yeah, us cold harded so and so's wouldn't want to save anyone from everlasting punishment. Though, we teach and preach exactly the same doctrine as the Christ and the Apostles. We only preach Christ as salvation from everlasting punishment because were so vain and pompous *****.. Yeah, that's it. Back you go to demonizing again. Powerful arguments that stuff.

And boy, if we would just stop being so literate! All that study has really become a problem.


From the get-go the idea that souls need to be saved in this life by 'accepting Jesus as their own personal savior'(propaganda) from an eternal and endless hell is a novel concept born of mere doctrinal belief and novelties of human imagination.

Just what Jesus and the apostles taught is open to review.

Spiritual truth, sense and logics have greater value and priority over literal-based translation/interpretations which are contrary to spiritual truth, sense and logic. The trouble with some is they assign to a few phrases a strict literal interpretation without taking their interpretation into the light of reason, divine intelligence and common sense logics relative to the character of divine Love.

It may surprise you that many will be found in the Kingdom and in even higher spiritual realms in the Spirit-world....who by their lives of goodness and ethical living of the Law of Love....have afforded themselves a 'salvation' and greater joy of Life in the worlds to come.....who may not have clung to or literally believed what today passes off as common 'evengelical what you gotta do to be saved' doctrines.

Every soul is carried by the same grace and governed by the same laws of soul-progress according to the rules of spiritual evolution. At best....if a christian wants to live the Light of God...he can be the light of the world....by manifesting the love and justice of God.....thru merciful ministry. The laws of compensation(sowing and reaping) are universal to all souls...and all shall be rewarded and/or judged by their works.

There is much more than just a 'accept Jesus died for your sins or go to hell forever' salvation promo. Goodness is its own reward....and evil is its own punishment. We reap what we sow....in this life and in the life to come. Living, teaching these truths in the spirit of Christs love and exampleship is the way of true and beneficial living.....and such manners are recorded and enshrined within the souls archive.

Having beliefs are fine......but posing a belief as a 'truth' is not so advantageous when we review the whole story of what is the Way of God...as realized from day to day in our ever-day interactions with others and the tasks at hand in our mundane living.

Today is a beautiful day filled with Gods presence and opportunities of every dimension. Gods Love will never leave me in this life or in the life to come. As long as the soul is conscious and able to make choices in the light of consciousness...it may always afford itself the ability to grow, progress upwards, evolve and ascend higher to the realms of being in accord with divine Will. Salvation is offered in every moment as long as the soul may look Godward and is able to call on the Lords Name.

---------------------


I have proposed earlier considerations on the theme of eternal punishment or hell without hope of redemption. One factor was the speculation that a soul may reach a 'point of no return' and somehow by some stretch or clouding of the imagination deserve, merit or make for itself an eternal abode in hell. Such pros and cons are speculation and subjective tendencies to believe one way or the other will be influenced by ones perception of the soul and of Gods divine Providence. So.....such conclusions will be more or less relative.....and not necessarily absolute as only Gods knowledge and understanding of these situations is absolute and divinely just.

It is a much more sound doctrine considering the souls worth, the laws of compensation, the law of progress, soul evolution, the availability of divine Love and the notion of the souls immortality...that as long as a soul is conscious and within the providence of eternal mercy.....that soul will eventually thru its suffering and torment of self-imposed sin and depravity...afford itself the light of God for its own betterment and happiness....if even just ascend one step towards the Light. As long as the divine semblence and spark of God is within a soul....even as a faint glowing ember......such may be fanned into flame by the desire for salvation/repentance...where the angels of God can carry it to a higher place....prospering it by the undergirding power of divine Will.....which Will it is impossible at last to ever finally thwart. It is thru this one aspect of understanding of divine Love which inspires souls to believe in a doctrine of universal Reconciliation.....which is truly sound, logical and in perfect harmony within the Providence of Gods eternal Wisdom.

As long as I know that I have worth, value and am a child of God.....I know that my Father will never leave, abandon or forsake me......EVER.


paul

Polycarp
February 17th, 2005, 09:49 PM
Paul, you can "review" any doctrine you want. You can come to any conclusion you want. By no means does it mean, because you believe it, that it is true. Just remember, freedom comes with a price. And be prepared to pay the price if you are wrong. Don't decieve yourself or let any other man deceive you. The scripture is explicitly clear.

Gal.5:19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, SEDITIONS, HERESIES , ....and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I HAVE TOLD YOU IN THE PAST, that they which do such things SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. "

logos_x
February 19th, 2005, 12:20 AM
Originally posted by Polycarp

Yeah, us cold harded so and so's wouldn't want to save anyone from everlasting punishment.

Do you want to?
Then why won't you believe in it?


Though, we teach and preach exactly the same doctrine as the Christ and the Apostles.

Do you?


We only preach Christ as salvation from everlasting punishment because were so vain and pompous *****.. Yeah, that's it.

You are a Partialist.
You preach Christ as salvation of a few from everlasting punishment.
Universalists preach Christ is the salvation of the whole world, and all men, from evertasting punishment.


Back you go to demonizing again. Powerful arguments that stuff.

I can't help it if eternal conscious torment is a doctrine of devils. I can only show that it is what it is.


And boy, if we would just stop being so literate! All that study has really become a problem.

Same back at ya!

logos_x
February 19th, 2005, 12:41 AM
God's Perfect Judgement (http://www.savior-of-all.com/perfect.html)

Nineveh
February 19th, 2005, 09:24 AM
logos,
What is judgement if there are no teeth in the verdict?

Polycarp
February 20th, 2005, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by logos_x



I can't help it if eternal conscious torment is a doctrine of devils. I can only show that it is what it is.



Now, it is fitting to quote 2Thess.2 regarding the "falling away" that causes one to speak with so boldly as to call the doctrines of Christ "Satanic" , already the work of iniquity that "opposeth God" and "exalts himself above God" is at work.

Logos, you are very near, the unpardonable sin, for already you blaspheme Christ, His Gospel and the truths given by the mouth of the Holy Spirit.

If you don't believe as I do, that is one thing, but to call the truths, a "doctrine of demons" leaves you hopeless. Next you will declare yourself "infallible" . Or do you already believe you ARE? I think so, for no one of sound mind calls such things, "a doctrine of demons" unless he believes he is infallible.

logos_x
February 20th, 2005, 11:21 PM
Originally posted by Polycarp

Now, it is fitting to quote 2Thess.2 regarding the "falling away" that causes one to speak with so boldly as to call the doctrines of Christ "Satanic" , already the work of iniquity that "opposeth God" and "exalts himself above God" is at work.

Logos, you are very near, the unpardonable sin, for already you blaspheme Christ, His Gospel and the truths given by the mouth of the Holy Spirit.

If you don't believe as I do, that is one thing, but to call the truths, a "doctrine of demons" leaves you hopeless. Next you will declare yourself "infallible" . Or do you already believe you ARE? I think so, for no one of sound mind calls such things, "a doctrine of demons" unless he believes he is infallible.

This rhetoric is really getting old.
It isn't the teaching of Christ..plain and simple.

Now.you say..."you are very near, the unpardonable sin, for already you blaspheme Christ, His Gospel and the truths given by the mouth of the Holy Spirit" ...But I do no such thing...I refute the notion that eternal conscious torment was the teaching of Christ or the Holy Spirit.

Then you say," If you don't believe as I do, that is one thing, but to call the truths, a "doctrine of demons" leaves you hopeless. [B]Next you will declare yourself "infallible" . Or do you already believe you ARE? I think so, for no one of sound mind calls such things, "a doctrine of demons" unless he believes he is infallible." ..to which I reply...How is this different than what you do? Are you declaring yourself infallible in believing as you do in eternal conscious torment?

All of these arguments are nothing but a rediculous notion that eternal concious torment was actually the intent of the Father, the teachings of Christ, and the leading of the Holy Spirit..
I have demonstrated otherwise...that universal reconciliation was the intention of the Father before the foundation of the world, will be fully realized through the cross of Christ and His resurrection, and is the leading of the Holy Spirit.
So..unless YOU think you are infallible,,,and that your veiw is the only viable scriptural view without reasonable doubt...I will declare to the world that Christ was completely victorious over sin, death, hell, and the grave..and He WILL draw ALL MEN to Himself...because THIS is the teaching of the scriptures.

Resting in Him
Logos

logos_x
February 20th, 2005, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by Nineveh

logos,
What is judgement if there are no teeth in the verdict?

Nin,

Are you saying that the punishment MUST last forever in Hell before it has any teeth?
What kind of logic is this?

Punishment has no teeth unless it lasts forever folks...anything else is for wimps anyway!

NO!

The people in Hell will not be heroic figures defying God forever and ever without ever changing...or able to resist insanity from the flames even though they will never turn to God. Sorry...God has better things in store than that!

Nineveh
February 21st, 2005, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

Are you saying that the punishment MUST last forever in Hell before it has any teeth?

I don't see God giving any "outs" from the Lake of Fire, that's what I'm saying.


What kind of logic is this?

Polycarp has made (repeated) strong arguments. I can't help you are choosing to ignore them.


Punishment has no teeth unless it lasts forever folks...anything else is for wimps anyway!

Last I saw, the keys to hell weren't given into your possession. Offering false hope to people who will feel there will be yet one more chance to repent is dastardly, in my opinion.

Especially about a place decribed as "outside" of God's kingdom. That means outside of hope, love and redemption.


NO!

Scream it to the heavens. Maybe God will change His mind.

Christ thought it a big enough deal to die to keep us out of the place, I'll take His Word for it.


The people in Hell will not be heroic figures defying God forever and ever without ever changing...or able to resist insanity from the flames even though they will never turn to God. Sorry...God has better things in store than that!

Big words from a man wou can't even travel to hell let alone have the power to pull people out of it. Who do you think you are? The pope?

Christ is the only Way you have to save others from that place. But why should they listen to you? After all it could maybe might only be temporary.

Polycarp
February 23rd, 2005, 11:05 PM
What's weird, is that everytime Logos reads the words, "everlasting punishment" they think it, "salvation" . And everytime Logos and her fellows reads the words, "perish" they think "NOT perish" or "salvation" . And when they read the words, 'the worm dieth not" they think, the worm dieth.

When Logos reads the words, eternal it means something else besides eternal. While at the same time "eternal" is used scores of time to mean the endless worship of God as it is to mean the endless punishment of sinners.

Even when the word is so explicit, the heretic reads it just the opposite and then refers to the explicit meaning as some "Satanic" thing. It is the tool used over and over by the cults.

logos_x
February 24th, 2005, 12:45 AM
Originally posted by Nineveh

I don't see God giving any "outs" from the Lake of Fire, that's what I'm saying.
Polycarp has made (repeated) strong arguments. I can't help you are choosing to ignore them.
Last I saw, the keys to hell weren't given into your possession. Offering false hope to people who will feel there will be yet one more chance to repent is dastardly, in my opinion.Especially about a place decribed as "outside" of God's kingdom. That means outside of hope, love and redemption.
Scream it to the heavens. Maybe God will change His mind.
Christ thought it a big enough deal to die to keep us out of the place, I'll take His Word for it.
Big words from a man wou can't even travel to hell let alone have the power to pull people out of it. Who do you think you are? The pope?
Christ is the only Way you have to save others from that place. But why should they listen to you? After all it could maybe might only be temporary.

Nin...maybe if you were actually paying attention to my arguments you could make a point.
Christ IS the way out of such a place...that IS what I've said all along! He IS successful...completely.
There is no could maybe might about Christ's complete victory over sin Hell and death Nin.
Punishment means something...it is NOT a fruitless enterprise in God's and Christ's economy. It actually accomplishes something! Not punshment just for it's own sake without any remedy, rather the remedy actually takes hold and Christ taking everything given to Him by God...which last I checked was everything...and giving it all back into God's hands without losing one thing.

In the end God is all in all, death is inoperative, every tear wiped away and no more pain or tears...you can't have it both ways Nin...EVERY tear, NO more pain, death is DEAD, and NOTHING outside because GOD is ALL in ALL.

That is Bible....and the punishment has to fit with that ending...It has to fit with Jesus Christ's victory and complete redemption that He came to accomplish.

logos_x
February 24th, 2005, 01:02 AM
Originally posted by Polycarp

What's weird, is that everytime Logos reads the words, "everlasting punishment" they think it, "salvation" . And everytime Logos and her fellows reads the words, "perish" they think "NOT perish" or "salvation" . And when they read the words, 'the worm dieth not" they think, the worm dieth.

When Logos reads the words, eternal it means something else besides eternal. While at the same time "eternal" is used scores of time to mean the endless worship of God as it is to mean the endless punishment of sinners.

Even when the word is so explicit, the heretic reads it just the opposite and then refers to the explicit meaning as some "Satanic" thing. It is the tool used over and over by the cults.

Polycarp,

What is really weird is to have you using this rhetorical slam against me without any motive other to to make my view sound like it is an attack agaist the Word of the Living God and Christianity, Jesus Himself, and even blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
This is really pathetic!

Polycarp...do you even know where the doctrine of eternal torment originated? Do you realize it's pagan origins...that it was the heathen that dreamed it all up, or were influenced to believe in it?

the folowing is a link to an online book that you would do well to at least glance at before you make so hasty and brash accusations:

The ORIGIN AND HISTORY of the doctrine of eternal torment (http://www.tentmaker.org/books/OriginandHistory.html)

freelight
February 24th, 2005, 01:25 AM
What is interesting is how one can choose to focus on a concept of eternal and unending punishment......over the magnitude and majesty of divine Love....which is the eternal nature of Deity.

It may serve one well to meditate and receive a revelation of divine Love - this is primary....as a first principle of salvation is a knowledge of God(divine nature). To know God(Love) is eternal Life.

If one chooses to bypass, neglect and forget God......and choose to believe a doctrine that is contrary to his divine dispensation, will and character.... this does not speak very well of their knowledge of God and is evidence that they have not this aspect of divine knowledge within them.

Most of us do believe the soul is immortal(at least in the sense that there is continued life/consciousness after death for an indefinite amount of time). I use the word 'immortal' only in that general sense. Josephus mentioning this only affirms an age-old belief man has had from early times....made more popular among the greeks and other schools. Much greek and pagan belief was adopted and blended into christian(catholic) theology as it developed over time.

However,....holding this belief along with a belief in eternal or unending punishment is illogical. What earthly father would place a sentence of doom/condemnation of eternal torment/punishment/damnation upon his children? How much more grievous to assume that God would inflict such torments upon his children...forever and ever and ever. In the comparisons of Jesus teaching....he said "if a child went to his father and asked for some bread, would he give him a stone? or if he asked him for a fish, would he give him a serpent? - if you who are evil...know how to give what is good to your children .....how much more will your Heavenly Father give good gifts(or the Holy Spirit) to those who ask him?" In this comparison of Gods Love....we see how much more glorious and great is the Fathers love than any earthly father. By the same token.....what earthly father would wish eternal punishment upon his children? No man in his right mind would wish let alone enforce such a thing for all eternity upon his offspring. How sad that some have this picture of God.


Man reaps what he sows - this is a universal law here and in the hereafter. Let us not forget that,......divine Law is not mocked.
All are judged according to their works...........and the justice and mercy of God is eternally satisfied via the laws at work in the soul of man and in the greater realm of Gods great Universe.

The love of God is redemptive in nature........it is always giving, seeking to save, endeavoring to do good always. If Love is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent......then it is All-powerful....all consuming....all pervasive.

To hold to eternal punishment is to obscure and bypass the eternality of divine Love and defame Gods character. To know God is to know Love.....for God is Love. All doctrinal, traditional or scriptural interpretations that are inconsistent with divine nature are worthless. Souls punish themselves by trangressing against divine laws.......until they can be restored in the light thru repentance as Love ultimately triumphs.

What is of greatest worth is to know God as Love...and thru his love....souls can be healed, renewed, empowered, restored, perfected.....inspired thru-out eternity....in eternal Life. This is the God I know and love....because His Spirit has born witness with my spirit that such is true. This is real for me....because of revelation.........the witness within.

This is the good news that saves souls....and restores all back into the Fathers fold.


paul

Nineveh
February 24th, 2005, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

Nin...maybe if you were actually paying attention to my arguments you could make a point.

:blabla:


Christ IS the way out of such a place...that IS what I've said all along! He IS successful...completely.

The issue is your are trying to offer Grace where none exists.


There is no could maybe might about Christ's complete victory over sin Hell and death Nin.

For those who believe on Him. You aren't the dispenser of God's Grace. The very best you can do is to tell others of it before they wind up in hell.


Punishment means something...it is NOT a fruitless enterprise in God's and Christ's economy.

No it's not fruitless, it's the Truth. The Truth is, if you reject God, you will be forever without Him. He has every right to kick people out of His abode. Whether you like it or not.


It actually accomplishes something! Not punshment just for it's own sake without any remedy, rather the remedy actually takes hold and Christ taking everything given to Him by God...which last I checked was everything...and giving it all back into God's hands without losing one thing.

Would you please face the fact some don't want to be with God. It started with lucifer, remember? Well, there are some humans who have the same ideas. They think they can do a better job and God is going to let them. Who are you to stand in their way?


In the end God is all in all,

God is not "is all in all". Have you started going to dave's church? That has to be the most pagan thing I've seen you say outright.


death is inoperative, every tear wiped away and no more pain or tears...you can't have it both ways Nin...EVERY tear, NO more pain, death is DEAD, and NOTHING outside because GOD is ALL in ALL.

No, God is not a child molester or a pagan idol, don't be silly. And yes, He does have the authority to vanquish His enemies. I'm not sure what all you missed in the OT where He did just that repeatedly.

Quit trying to force Grace on people who don't want it. God makes distinctions between the righteous and unrighteous, even against your will.


That is Bible....and the punishment has to fit with that ending...It has to fit with Jesus Christ's victory and complete redemption that He came to accomplish.

It does, for those whose faith is in Him.

Nineveh
February 24th, 2005, 08:37 AM
Originally posted by freelight

What is interesting is how one can choose to focus on a concept of eternal and unending punishment......over the magnitude and majesty of divine Love....which is the eternal nature of Deity.

What's even more amazing is how some refuse to see God is Just. He is not a kidnapper and He isn't going to force people to be with Him. Jesus Christ is The Way. Not some essoteric pagan path which leads to nowhere but hell.

You can go ahead and ignore the other half of the story if you like, but let me tell you so you will be without excuse:

If you reject Jesus Christ you will be without God forever.

Nineveh
February 24th, 2005, 08:40 AM
Originally posted by Polycarp

What's weird, is that everytime Logos reads the words, "everlasting punishment" they think it, "salvation" . And everytime Logos and her fellows reads the words, "perish" they think "NOT perish" or "salvation" . And when they read the words, 'the worm dieth not" they think, the worm dieth.

When Logos reads the words, eternal it means something else besides eternal. While at the same time "eternal" is used scores of time to mean the endless worship of God as it is to mean the endless punishment of sinners.

Even when the word is so explicit, the heretic reads it just the opposite and then refers to the explicit meaning as some "Satanic" thing. It is the tool used over and over by the cults.

I agree....

Some like to try being "nicer than God". It seems to me they are following in lucifer's footsteps.

logos_x
February 24th, 2005, 09:44 AM
Originally posted by Nineveh

:blabla:

:blabla:




The issue is your are trying to offer Grace where none exists.

Who are you to say where grace ends?




For those who believe on Him.

On the contrary...the Bible says:

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.


Rom 5:14 Yet Death reigned as king from Adam to Moses even over those who had not sinned, as Adam did, against Law. And in Adam we have a type of Him whose coming was still future.
Rom 5:15 But God's free gift immeasurably outweighs the transgression. For if through the transgression of the one individual the mass of mankind have died, infinitely greater is the generosity with which God's grace, and the gift given in His grace which found expression in the one man Jesus Christ, have been bestowed on the mass of mankind.
Rom 5:16 And it is not with the gift as it was with the results of one individual's sin; for the judgement which one individual provoked resulted in condemnation, whereas the free gift after a multitude of transgressions results in acquittal.
Rom 5:17 For if, through the transgression of the one individual, Death made use of the one individual to seize the sovereignty, all the more shall those who receive God's overflowing grace and gift of righteousness reign as kings in Life through the one individual, Jesus Christ.

Rom 5:18 It follows then that just as the result of a single transgression is a condemnation which extends to the whole race, so also the result of a single decree of righteousness is a life-giving acquittal which extends to the whole race.

1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.




You aren't the dispenser of God's Grace.

Nor are you.


The very best you can do is to tell others of it before they wind up in hell.


I know.



No it's not fruitless, it's the Truth.

It is fruitless...because it isn't true.


The Truth is, if you reject God, you will be forever without Him.

If you reject Him forever...then yes, this would be so.
But I believe God's will prevails over all others, and His grace is irresistable.
That is what the Bible says to me,...how 'bout you?


He has every right to kick people out of His abode. Whether you like it or not.

He also has the right to save whoever He damn well wants to, whether you like it or not.


Would you please face the fact some don't want to be with God.

Then God fails where we need Him most!
How do they know what they want?
Nin..you need to face the fact that ECT is pointless, makes a mockery of God's justice and Grace, and has done nothing to save anyone whatsoever!
What is it about this doctrine that glorifies God? Does it inspire trust or faith? Inform us of His love? or show forth His wisdom? cause us to know His character?



It started with lucifer, remember?

And it ends with God being all in all, remember?


Well, there are some humans who have the same ideas. They think they can do a better job and God is going to let them. Who are you to stand in their way?

Me? I'm just a man who believes that God will do what men thinks is impossible.
As for standing in their way....He IS God, and last time I checked...HIS will prevails, not Lucifer's and those who follow him.
It is precisely this problem that God's grace heals Nin. That is what salvation means.




God is not "is all in all". Have you started going to dave's church? That has to be the most pagan thing I've seen you say outright.

Nin, do at least try to follow along....

In the end God is all in all:

Isa 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
1Co 15:24 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.
1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
1Co 15:27 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.
1Co 15:28 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.









No, God is not a child molester or a pagan idol, don't be silly. And yes, He does have the authority to vanquish His enemies. I'm not sure what all you missed in the OT where He did just that repeatedly.

Its what you have missed that I was trying to point out...but you still missed it.


Quit trying to force Grace on people who don't want it.

It's better to force people to burn for all eternity than to force grace upon them?
This IS the flaw in ECT.
Using the ECT doctrine, in the past they justified torture and inquisitions to "force" repentance..saying it is better to suffer now those pains than to suffer forever.
Today...it's just the opposite!
If they want to go to Hell...let them!

You can have it that way if you want.

Not me!


God makes distinctions between the righteous and unrighteous, even against your will.

So...God will impose His will only in the fashion you believe in. Couldn't possibly do it the way the Bible actually says!

Sorry "bout ya...but I'm going to believe Him over you.




It does, for those whose faith is in Him.

Don't worry...that will be everyone!

Isa 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
Isa 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Rom 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
Rom 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
Rom 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Rom 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Nineveh
February 24th, 2005, 10:26 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

Who are you to say where grace ends?

I'm not the one trying to. I'll simply sticking with what God has to say about it.


On the contrary...the Bible says:

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.

You are missing where John says those who don't believe are dead already, aren't you?


Rom 5:14 Yet Death reigned as king from Adam to Moses even over those who had not sinned, as Adam did, against Law. And in Adam we have a type of Him whose coming was still future.
Rom 5:15 But God's free gift immeasurably outweighs the transgression. For if through the transgression of the one individual the mass of mankind have died, infinitely greater is the generosity with which God's grace, and the gift given in His grace which found expression in the one man Jesus Christ, have been bestowed on the mass of mankind.
Rom 5:16 And it is not with the gift as it was with the results of one individual's sin; for the judgement which one individual provoked resulted in condemnation, whereas the free gift after a multitude of transgressions results in acquittal.
Rom 5:17 For if, through the transgression of the one individual, Death made use of the one individual to seize the sovereignty, all the more shall those who receive God's overflowing grace and gift of righteousness reign as kings in Life through the one individual, Jesus Christ.

Rom 5:18 It follows then that just as the result of a single transgression is a condemnation which extends to the whole race, so also the result of a single decree of righteousness is a life-giving acquittal which extends to the whole race.

1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Well, you certainly have convinced me you can cut and paste. But you haven't convinced me God will not exile people from His presence.


Nor are you.

I'm not the one trying to force people into heaven, you are.


I know.

But why? It's only a temporary unpleasentness one "might" endure for a little while until God forces them into heaven.



It is fruitless...because it isn't true.

Only according to your theology.


If you reject Him forever...then yes, this would be so.

I didn't see anything in the Bible that said anything like, "those who reject are dead already, EXCEPT...." That's your exception, not God's.


But I believe God's will prevails over all others, and His grace is irresistable.

I believe you are wrong.

Either God is a kidnapper and He will force "love" or He isn't and people can choose to love Him or be apart from Him.

I see the Bible supporting the latter. I see you supporting the former.


That is what the Bible says to me,...how 'bout you?

Personally, since you asked....

I think you like your ears tickled and you will ignore anything that proves God is Just. It makes you uncomfortable.


He also has the right to save whoever He damn well wants to, whether you like it or not.

I never said He wouldn't save those who accpet Him and damn those who reject. Barring those who have never heard the Name of Christ, I didn't see any other options given.



Then God fails where we need Him most!

I think you are failing to to let people decide if they want to follow Christ or not. Forced "love" isn't love.


How do they know what they want?

By being told the Truth. It's "pretty lies" that distort and confuse.


Nin..you need to face the fact that ECT is pointless, makes a mockery of God's justice and Grace, and has done nothing to save anyone whatsoever!

Jesus didn't seem to think so when He told us of the Lake of Fire. I didn't think so when it was my time to choose, either.


What is it about this doctrine that glorifies God?

Your doctrine doesn't glorify anyone. It turns God into a kidnapper with sick desires of "forced love".

The Bible paints a picture of a Just and Righteous God who does not tolerate evil. His version of love is not forced but comes willingly from the heart of an individual.


Does it inspire trust or faith? Inform us of His love? or show forth His wisdom? cause us to know His character?

Did for me.


And it ends with God being all in all, remember?

Pardon you dropped one of your "is"s.

But let's look at what lucifer told Eve, shall we?

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman."

Sounds a lot like what you are saying.


Me? I'm just a man who believes that God will do what men thinks is impossible.

Like being born of a virgin? Saving men from hell? Raising from the dead?

Personally, I don't think God is obligated to do anything He didn't promise, even if you really really want Him to.


As for standing in their way....He IS God, and last time I checked...HIS will prevails, not Lucifer's and those who follow him.

That's right. HE is God, you aren't. So, if someone doesn't want to be with God, God, nor you are going to force them. God because He is Just, you because you don't have that ability.


It is precisely this problem that God's grace heals Nin. That is what salvation means.

And believe it or not, some don't want it. No matter how hard you try, God is not going to force Grace on people.


Nin, do at least try to follow along....

:blabla:


In the end God is all in all:

To a pagan, God "is all in all".


Isa 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
1Co 15:24 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.
1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
1Co 15:27 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.
1Co 15:28 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.

Not only can you cut and paste, you can take things out of context too! "all in all" is a far cry from "is all in all". Nice try, though.


Its what you have missed that I was trying to point out...but you still missed it.

You are absolutely right. I missed every instance where God forces people to repent and accept Christ.


It's better to force people to burn for all eternity than to force grace upon them?

According to you righteousness and unrighteousness and the consequences of those two states of being are forced.

According to God, it starts in an individual's heart and it's their choice whom they will serve.


This IS the flaw in ECT.

Looks like your flaw.


Using the ECT doctrine, in the past they justified torture and inquisitions to "force" repentance..saying it is better to suffer now those pains than to suffer forever.
Today...it's just the opposite!
If they want to go to Hell...let them!

Huh?

Don't even try laying the sins of the RCC at the feet of the Gospel.


You can have it that way if you want.

I am quite powerless to change what God has said.


Not me!

Obviously you don't think you are.


So...God will impose His will only in the fashion you believe in. Couldn't possibly do it the way the Bible actually says!

I'm not the one into twisting Scriptures to mean God forces anything on anyone, that's your hat trick.


Sorry "bout ya...but I'm going to believe Him over you.

I dare you to! Polycarp has dared you to. Unfortunatly your security blanket of God forcing people to do things on your behalf so you feel better is too much for you to give up.


Don't worry...that will be everyone!

Except those not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb.


Isa 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
Isa 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Rom 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
Rom 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
Rom 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Rom 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Woohoo! That cut and past finger is burnin' today!

Try these on:

All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast–all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb ...

If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

logos_x
February 24th, 2005, 01:24 PM
Originally posted by Nineveh

I'm not the one trying to. I'll simply sticking with what God has to say about it.

Right......




You are missing where John says those who don't believe are dead already, aren't you?

Nope




Well, you certainly have convinced me you can cut and paste. But you haven't convinced me God will not exile people from His presence.

You got something agaist cuting and pasting? The wrds are relevent and there is no need to type them over if you have 21st century technology.

And you will remain unconvinced no matter what is said, no doubt.




I'm not the one trying to force people into heaven, you are.

And this proves what?
You would rather see billions burn forever..and you somehow think that no force is involved there...are you forgetting Satan's influences?




But why? It's only a temporary unpleasentness one "might" endure for a little while until God forces them into heaven.

You really ARE ignorant aren't you.


Only according to your theology.

And not according to yours.



I didn't see anything in the Bible that said anything like, "those who reject are dead already, EXCEPT...." That's your exception, not God's.

you should just stop at "I didn't see"....


I believe you are wrong.

And I believe YOU are wrong.


Either God is a kidnapper and He will force "love" or He isn't and people can choose to love Him or be apart from Him.

Nope
Either God is the savior who really does love everyone, and will do what He intended from the beginning, Or He doesn't and won't and will delight in burning billions forever.


I see the Bible supporting the latter. I see you supporting the former.

And this is supposed to make you some kind of heroic person, and prove your own fidelity to scripture, no doubt.



Personally, since you asked....

I think you like your ears tickled and you will ignore anything that proves God is Just. It makes you uncomfortable.

And you are wrong.


I think you are failing to to let people decide if they want to follow Christ or not. Forced "love" isn't love.

Punishment just for punishments sake isn't love...saving someone from endless misery is love.


By being told the Truth. It's "pretty lies" that distort and confuse.

Oh...yeah,right.
Since your lie isn't pretty it must be true?

Ugly lies are just as effective at distorting and confusing, as you have amply demonstrated.


Jesus didn't seem to think so when He told us of the Lake of Fire. I didn't think so when it was my time to choose, either.

No..nor did I.
But then I learned the intentions of God once the Holy Spirit lead me into more and more truth.


Your doctrine doesn't glorify anyone. It turns God into a kidnapper with sick desires of "forced love".

Christ being completely successful in the salvation of all mankind doesn't glorify God?
It turns God into a kidnapper with sick desires?

And eternal conscious torment turns God into a loving father God?

You really are twisted!


The Bible paints a picture of a Just and Righteous God who does not tolerate evil. His version of love is not forced but comes willingly from the heart of an individual.

At least you have this much right!



Pardon you dropped one of your "is"s.

But let's look at what lucifer told Eve, shall we?

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman."

Sounds a lot like what you are saying.

Can you spell SALVATION?



To a pagan, God "is all in all"

Then the Bible is pagan?

yet more twisted thinking...

Nineveh
February 24th, 2005, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

Right......

Well, at least we agree on that point :)


Nope

Then why are you failing to discern a difference between righteous and unrighteous?


You got something agaist cuting and pasting? The wrds are relevent and there is no need to type them over if you have 21st century technology.

You got something against a point? :)


And you will remain unconvinced no matter what is said, no doubt.

Same back 'atcha :)


And this proves what?

Well, basically it's proving you seem to like to accuse others of what you yourself are doing.


You would rather see billions burn forever..and you somehow think that no force is involved there...are you forgetting Satan's influences?

Actually, no, I don't want to see people reject Christ. But thanks for asking.

Satan can no more force someone who isn't willing than God will force someone to accept Him. Satan because he doesn't have the ability, God because He is Just.


You really ARE ignorant aren't you.

You really are a blustering blow hard, aren't you? :)


And not according to yours.

Nope, because I don't see the Bible painting God as a kidnapper or disfunctional by forcing people to love Him.


you should just stop at "I didn't see"....

Why? Because the rest of it makes you uncomfortable? It's not in there. Your exceptions to God's rules don't exist.


And I believe YOU are wrong.

So much for what we respectively believe then huh?

The picture you paint of God isn't the one presented in scripture.


Nope
Either God is the savior who really does love everyone, and will do what He intended from the beginning, Or He doesn't and won't and will delight in burning billions forever.

That's what happens when you leave the hearts of men out of the equation. God loves the world so much He was willing to die for it, and did. That doesn't mean we get to skip the part about willingly placing our faith in Him.


And this is supposed to make you some kind of heroic person, and prove your own fidelity to scripture, no doubt.

Another pointless paragraph.


And you are wrong.

It certainly seems the thought of eternal torment is uncomfortable to you. That's why you've been putting up this fuss. Not because the Bible is found to support you, but because the thought of people choosing hell doesn't sit well with your theology.


Punishment just for punishments sake isn't love...saving someone from endless misery is love.

That's what Christ offers people right here and right now, hope.

Sending people where they desire to be is more loving than forcing them to be where they don't want to be or with a God they hate.


Oh...yeah,right.
Since your lie isn't pretty it must be true?

So far you haven't proven your case. You've offerd a false hope based on ignorance of the Bible and a theological need to save even those who don't desire it.


Ugly lies are just as effective at distorting and confusing, as you have amply demonstrated.

I guess Jesus was all wrong, since it's Him I'm listening to on the subject.


No..nor did I.
But then I learned the intentions of God once the Holy Spirit lead me into more and more truth.

The Holy Spirit told you that the Lake of Fire isn't eternal? Would you happen to have that direct quote so we can compare with the witness of Scripture?


Christ being completely successful in the salvation of all mankind doesn't glorify God?

Where does God offer Grace to those who do not have faith in Him?


It turns God into a kidnapper with sick desires?

No, you are doing that.


And eternal conscious torment turns God into a loving father God?

Yes.

But then again, I don't believe God is doing anything more to them than letting them be with the one they love most.


You really are twisted!

No, what's twisted is forcing an unrepentant child molester into heaven with his victims. That is twisted.

Something else that's twisted is forcing someone you love into an iron box with no doors or windows to show them you love them.


Can you spell SALVATION?

Yes.

C H R I S T

And some, even though you hate the idea, do not want His Grace.


Then the Bible is pagan?

No, that would be your theology.


yet more twisted thinking...

Better check what the those verses say compared to the idea of God being "is all in all".

And, since you lopped it off... what are you going to do with those names of people not written in the Book of Life?

freelight
February 24th, 2005, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by Nineveh

What's even more amazing is how some refuse to see God is Just. He is not a kidnapper and He isn't going to force people to be with Him. Jesus Christ is The Way. Not some essoteric pagan path which leads to nowhere but hell.

You can go ahead and ignore the other half of the story if you like, but let me tell you so you will be without excuse:

If you reject Jesus Christ you will be without God forever.


Indeed God never forces his love on anyone (although it is an all-pervading Reality being omnipresent). Free will is certainly honored within the parameters allowed by divine providence. The issue is that God is the not the enforcer of eternal punishment or torment...but that each soul brings such upon himself by his own love of evil and willful sin (transgressing divine laws). Each soul chooses for himself heaven or hell...every moment of his existence....starting in this life. The law of compensation(sowing and reaping) is universal and exact in the economy of a souls condition.

Eternal punishment however is not JUST. The law of free will and compensation works in the case of all souls - each shall choose their lot and realm of habitation in this life and the life to come. Justice would never impose a punishment/penalty upon a soul that would charge a soul to be eternally tormented beyond remedy or hope of reform/rehabilitation.

Eternal punishment/torment can only be inflicted upon a soul if such a soul chooses this kind of life eternally - however,....in divine providence....eternal mercy is ever available and the divine Love is extended to all to receive salvation/deliverance....as long as they can repent, call upon the Lord...and truly aspire heavenward.

The only possible deterrant to this possibility of salvation or attainment of heaven is if a soul can reach a point of no return therefore making it impossible for that soul ever for all eternity to be saved from his hell-state. However,....this would have to be speculated....but in the light of Gods eternal and omnipotent Love....I choose to believe in and hope for the ultimate victory of Love and the triumph of divine Will. Gods Love is eternally potent and his arm is not too short that it cannot save. Gods Love is given to all - the wicked and the good alike.

Eternal torment is only possible if a soul could theoretically choose to live in a hell-like state forever and ever by its own free will. This however could never be imposed or enforced by a God of Love and Wisdom who desires all to be saved and enjoy the life of heaven. In my research so far....there are many aspects and dimensions within this subject of the souls destiny and the heaven and hell states in the afterlife. Be assured that God is Just and Merciful thru-out and His love eternally reaches out to all in whose very being there still exists the possibility of salvation and repentance. This rings true for me by inner witness. I go with the witness of the Spirit and discard any doctrine that is not consistent with the character of my Heavenly Father.

I think this seems good to me and the Holy Spirit. - for remember Gods Spirit is Love, Light and Truth. These are the Radiant qualities of Gods divine nature. They are eternal.



paul

Nineveh
February 24th, 2005, 04:27 PM
Originally posted by freelight

Each soul chooses for himself heaven or hell...every moment of his existence....starting in this life.

Where does Christ fit into this?


Eternal punishment however is not JUST.

Just so I get a bearing on where you are coming from...

Is the death penalty "just"?


The law of free will and compensation works in the case of all souls - each shall choose their lot and realm of habitation in this life and the life to come. Justice would never impose a punishment/penalty upon a soul that would charge a soul to be eternally tormented beyond remedy or hope of reform/rehabilitation.

Is God allowed to draw the line?


Eternal punishment/torment can only be inflicted upon a soul if such a soul chooses this kind of life eternally - however,....in divine providence....eternal mercy is ever available and the divine Love is extended to all to receive salvation/deliverance....as long as they can repent, call upon the Lord...and truly aspire heavenward.

Eternal mercy. Where is this idea found in the Scriptures?


The only possible deterrant to this possibility of salvation or attainment of heaven is if a soul can reach a point of no return therefore making it impossible for that soul ever for all eternity to be saved from his hell-state. However,....this would have to be speculated....but in the light of Gods eternal and omnipotent Love....I choose to believe in and hope for the ultimate victory of Love and the triumph of divine Will. Gods Love is eternally potent and his arm is not too short that it cannot save. Gods Love is given to all - the wicked and the good alike.

You chosen belief and hope has no bearing on the reality of the Lake of Fire. Nor does it have any bearing on those who choose to reject Christ.


Eternal torment is only possible if a soul could theoretically choose to live in a hell-like state forever and ever by its own free will. This however could never be imposed or enforced by a God of Love and Wisdom who desires all to be saved and enjoy the life of heaven. In my research so far....there are many aspects and dimensions within this subject of the souls destiny and the heaven and hell states in the afterlife. Be assured that God is Just and Merciful thru-out and His love eternally reaches out to all in whose very being there still exists the possibility of salvation and repentance. This rings true for me by inner witness. I go with the witness of the Spirit and discard any doctrine that is not consistent with the character of my Heavenly Father.

When one is placed outside of God's presence, that means they are placed outside of hope, love and redemption. No where does the Bible state a human soul is free to travel between places. In fact the one parable Jesus told on this subject said travel was impossible.

"And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’"


I think this seems good to me and the Holy Spirit. - for remember Gods Spirit is Love, Light and Truth. These are the Radiant qualities of Gods divine nature. They are eternal.

How much of you understanding is taken from buddhism?

freelight
February 24th, 2005, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by Nineveh

Where does Christ fit into this?



Hi Nin,..............I figured you might ask this as it is central to your theological system and paradigm of 'salvation' - what you have been trained to believe in and the field of perspective from whence you draw conclusions about the souls destiny, etc. My former statements remains 'as is' to be weighed according to its own truth. It is essential to read and contemplate the statements in light of their spiritual truth and validity......without bringing in a concept or context from outside and from a pre-conceived religious system or mode of thought. Reading the words for their own value 'as is' is recommended. 'Christ' may or may not have anything to do with the former statements. It still remains a truth that each soul chooses for itself heaven or hell by its way of life, thoughts, deeds, actions, motives, etc. All souls reap what they sow....and the station, condition and destiny of every soul is governed by spiritual laws.





Just so I get a bearing on where you are coming from...

Is the death penalty "just"?


A death penalty imposed on earth is not eternal punishment/torment. If one believes in 'an eye for an eye' - then for them.....a murderer being punished by death is just. In earthly and heavenly matters....God alone is the true Judge of all. Jesus however repudiated the 'eye for an eye' teaching with his teaching of love, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, blessing. So...let each decide as wisdom leads on this ethical issue.

I have shared enough on this subject how that eternal punishment cannot be just as it makes no sense, besides being illogical to love, wisdom and divine clemency. One needs to get his own revelation of God(Love) on this one....as it is apparent no amount of logical, intellectual elaborations are efficacious - one must by Gods Spirit receive his own illumination of Love and come into the knowledge of God...which is eternal Life.

Only an unjust, merciless, vile, evil, monstrous, heart-less King/God would confine souls to eternal punishment with no remedy or hope of salvation. Only an eternity of evil, sin and willful rebellion against what is true, good and beautiful could merit a reaping of an eternity of pain, suffering, punishment and misery - however,....as I shared before....it is a philosophical question as whether it is possible for a soul to continue in or eternally remain in an evil/sinful state. Only if it is possible for a soul to continually remain in willful sin and rebellion....can it be possible for that soul to reap what he is sowing for all eternity. If one presumes that God steps in (at some point in the souls career) and lays down a punishment for this soul for all time and eternity - then that soul must have committed a sin so grievous that it merits eternal punishment. However it cannot be proved but only speculated that a soul can forever be casted out of Gods presence or cast itself out of Gods presence forever. This poses many philosophical questions still. I choose to believe that Gods Love is eternal and His mercy is everlasting.

Justice is enforced in the heart/principle of the law itself (the law of compensation). The laws are just and equity is exact in the universe. Merciful ministry and divine love helps are ever offered to souls who have the potential to avail themselves of heavenly helps. Just punishment is only just in that its duration and severity is equal to the crime committed. In all cases where divine Will grants a soul the opportunity for reform/rehabilition......opportunity will be afforded that soul to be reconciled with God - this will of course include the souls effort to reach heavenward, make restitution, repent and have a true spiritual transformation or change of heart. (Yes, it is true that some things are 'earned' in Gods Kingdom.....partuclarly concerning advancements/promotions). As long as Gods Love is still available for a soul it will always be present and do all the good it can to see it recover, repent, progress and be restored.....enabling it to ascend even higher....in the Way. It is not heavens will that any perish.....and it surely is not heavens will that any souls be eternally punished/tormented or damned for all eternity.





Is God allowed to draw the line?


Yes, Deity has already established laws that govern the growth/destiny of all things/beings. Since God is the true and eternal Judge....his judgements are always just and merciful....meaning they are always tempered with Love and Wisdom.




Eternal mercy. Where is this idea found in the Scriptures?


Gods very nature is Love....and He is merciful, gracious, full of loving kindness and tender mercies. If God is eternal,....logically...all his divine attributes are part of his constitution being eternal - "I AM the Lord, I change not". "His mercy(love) endures forever and ever". Love never fails. If you have a knowledge of the Bible...you would know the scriptures pertaining....and if you have the Holy Spirit...you would know the nature/manner of God.




You chosen belief and hope has no bearing on the reality of the Lake of Fire. Nor does it have any bearing on those who choose to reject Christ.


Spiritual insight and sensitivity to the divine always comes first in all things - then one may translate scripture or encryptions in their true light/meaning with the logos of the Spirit. Again,....it is recommended you follow the commentary upon its own worth...without superimposing a pre-programed paradigm of learned belief/tradition. This way you free yourself to think without the scaffoling of dogma and entrenched belief structures. Look upon the commentary for what is inherently true within their statements. Could you do that without the imposition of 'Christ' and the 'lake of fire' and all that imagery? It just may be possible that there are other ways of interpretation and greater light to be had upon these issues as we open/expand our consciousness to receive a fuller understanding. It is hard however for those who have erected/enshrined within their minds 'beliefs' that hinder and make further spiritual light/research more difficult to break thru.



When one is placed outside of God's presence, that means they are placed outside of hope, love and redemption. No where does the Bible state a human soul is free to travel between places. In fact the one parable Jesus told on this subject said travel was impossible.

"And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’"


That parable is just a parable....and commentators have various views on it relative to our discussion. Its only one illustration and not meant to be some kind of absolute truth. It is of course known...in spiritualist teachings...that there are barriers between spirtual worlds/realms/spheres....but as souls earn higher realms of light...they may pass thru these barriers as they earn the right to.




How much of you understanding is taken from buddhism?

Interesting that you ask......but I have only read one book on Buddhism ......more in its Zen-aspect....and found it wonderful...already confirming many insights within. My understandings are always expanding and I glean from many schools, teachers, teachings....but at last....the true teacher is always the Spirit. Schools, teachers, etc. serve only to connect us with the anointing that teaches(the inner teacher). The unction of the Spirit teaches what no man can teach....and is the true authority or divine witness...in individual experience. Consult Johns teaching on this.

"They shall all be taught of God" ; "The Spirit of truth shall lead, guide and teach you all things".

So....I am not well versed in Buddhist technologies or philosophy..(as Balder might be)....although naturally...the wisdom in that tradition is kin to the perennial wisdom in all traditions. I am currently venturing thru other paths now.....in my journey(bringing all facets together in the diamond light). Its always wonderful.

I would recommend expanding your knowledge as you feel the need to do so (for your own expansion of consciousness)...and that it couldnt hurt to look into the logics behind 'Universal Reconciliation' and other sensible forms of 'christian inclusion universalist' teachings. They make more sense to me in some essential aspects - my spiritualist/spiritist studies also add more light upon the souls eternal journey and the various dimensions of the Afterlife. Even as far as I've gone....there is still so much more to learn in Gods University. Staying in one room or class does not always enable one to see the greater View and universality of Truth that exists in the whole Academy of higher learning. Always here to assist in exploring...in the 'freelight' tradition. :)

All quests begin with quest-ions....and nothing is ever found until it is sought - yet in the spiritual journey... asking, seeking and knocking are perpetual.


paul

logos_x
February 25th, 2005, 01:09 AM
Originally posted by Nineveh


Then why are you failing to discern a difference between righteous and unrighteous?

When and where have I failed to discern a difference between righteousness and unrighteousness?


Well, basically it's proving you seem to like to accuse others of what you yourself are doing.

Seems to be a common problem....as you do the same thing yourself


Actually, no, I don't want to see people reject Christ. But thanks for asking.

Good. Neither do I.
And you are quite welcome.


Satan can no more force someone who isn't willing than God will force someone to accept Him. Satan because he doesn't have the ability, God because He is Just.

Indeed.
My view doesn't say God forces anything...but it does say that everyone will bow their knee and every toungue confess that Jesus is Lord.....that everyone will choose Christ's victory for themselves eventually.


You really are a blustering blow hard, aren't you? :)

Only when the occasion forces the issue :)


Nope, because I don't see the Bible painting God as a kidnapper or disfunctional by forcing people to love Him.

Well, good. Neither do I.


Why? Because the rest of it makes you uncomfortable? It's not in there. Your exceptions to God's rules don't exist.

Yes they do exist...and I've pointed out a few on this thread and others.


The picture you paint of God isn't the one presented in scripture.

Yes it is.


That's what happens when you leave the hearts of men out of the equation. God loves the world so much He was willing to die for it, and did. That doesn't mean we get to skip the part about willingly placing our faith in Him.

You are right...we do get to choose.
At the same time God's will prevails.
That is one of the miracles of salvation, is it not?


It certainly seems the thought of eternal torment is uncomfortable to you. That's why you've been putting up this fuss. Not because the Bible is found to support you, but because the thought of people choosing hell doesn't sit well with your theology.

Yes it IS uncomfortable.
I confess...the idea of eternal torment seems to me to be the most monsterous concept ever concieved.
What is surprising to me is it isn't seen for what it really is by otherwise sensible Christians like yourself.
Eternal conscious torment is an very disturbing doctrine that deserves to be questioned...and I don't see how anyone can wrap their minds around the concept without severing themselves from their feelings completely, or cracking under the strain.

Fortunately...millions of others feel the same way.


That's what Christ offers people right here and right now, hope.

Indeed He does


Sending people where they desire to be is more loving than forcing them to be where they don't want to be or with a God they hate.

Again...the idea of force seems to be the real problem you are having. But God is capable of saving to the uttermost without involving force.
You need to recognize the difference between force and power.



So far you haven't proven your case. You've offerd a false hope based on ignorance of the Bible and a theological need to save even those who don't desire it.

Nor have you proven yours. Only a pagan concept of the afterlife read into the text of scripture and a theological need to have sinners burn forever without hope of redemption, and a belief that people know what it is they desire.


The Holy Spirit told you that the Lake of Fire isn't eternal? Would you happen to have that direct quote so we can compare with the witness of Scripture?

Yes He did.
And the direct quotes are in scripture...so no "comparison" is necessary.


Where does God offer Grace to those who do not have faith in Him?

He does it all the time..with all men...even you.
It is God's grace that saves..and gives you even the ability to choose and to have faith.
Even your faith is a gift Nin...you didn't work it up on your own.



What's twisted is forcing an unrepentant child molester into heaven with his victims. That is twisted.

Yes that would be quite twisted.
It also has nothing to it that even remotely resembles what I have been saying.
Only those in Christ are saved Nin. I have NEVER said otherwise!


Something else that's twisted is forcing someone you love into an iron box with no doors or windows to show them you love them.

Indeed.
And your point would be what?
How is this relevent to our discussion?



C H R I S T

Very good!


And some, even though you hate the idea, do not want His Grace.

Yes...they do!
They want it!
They just don't know they do.


And, since you lopped it off... what are you going to do with those names of people not written in the Book of Life?

Either the Lake of fire purges those thrown into it of all sin...and they die to their rebellion, and all evil is burned away from their souls
or..
They are burned up, never to rise again.
They are thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone...which is the second death.

Some things to consider:

Fire is an agent of CHANGE.

And Brimstone....

G2303
θεῖον
theion
thi'-on
Probably neuter of G2304 (in its original sense of flashing); sulphur: - brimstone.

G2304
θεῖος
theios
thi'-os
From G2316; godlike (neuter as noun, divinity): - divine, godhead.

G2316
θεός
theos
theh'-os
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very: - X exceeding, God, god [-ly, -ward].

Consider the possibilities!

Nineveh
February 25th, 2005, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by freelight

Hi Nin,..............I figured you might ask this as it is central to your theological system and paradigm of 'salvation' - what you have been trained to believe in and the field of perspective from whence you draw conclusions about the souls destiny, etc.


No, actually I came to that conclusion from reading the Bible.


My former statements remains 'as is' to be weighed according to its own truth.

Christ claims to be the Truth. You are free to reject that or accept it.


Interesting that you ask......but I have only read one book on Buddhism ......more in its Zen-aspect....and found it wonderful...already confirming many insights within. My understandings are always expanding and I glean from many schools, teachers, teachings....but at last....the true teacher is always the Spirit. Schools, teachers, etc. serve only to connect us with the anointing that teaches(the inner teacher). The unction of the Spirit teaches what no man can teach....and is the true authority or divine witness...in individual experience. Consult Johns teaching on this.

Ok.

I hope you don't feel I am being rude when I say: To me, you sound like a pagan who uses Christianity when you feel the need to have an air of authority.

Nineveh
February 25th, 2005, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

When and where have I failed to discern a difference between righteousness and unrighteousness?

Every time you force Grace on the unrighteous.


Indeed.
My view doesn't say God forces anything...but it does say that everyone will bow their knee and every toungue

If you had stopped there you would have remained Biblical... but you don't you continue....


confess that Jesus is Lord....that everyone will choose Christ's victory for themselves eventually.

The Bible doesn't say that. It says:

‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

You are adding that "every tongue will confess Jesus is Lord and every heart will believe Christ rose from the dead." God doesn't say that. God knows not everyone wants to be with Him.


Well, good. Neither do I.

Then why do you paint Him that way?


Yes they do exist...and I've pointed out a few on this thread and others.

Out of context. However, if taken in context, God never makes the promise all will be saved. The opposite is true. While God desires all to be saved, those not written in Christ's Book of Life won't be.


Yes it is.

You believe so, I have no doubt.


You are right...we do get to choose.
At the same time God's will prevails.
That is one of the miracles of salvation, is it not?

Forcing someone to do something against their will isn't a miracle. Nor is it Biblical.

God doesn't make the promises you want Him to fulfill.


Yes it IS uncomfortable.

So uncomfotable in fact it drove me to the Feet of Christ.


I confess...the idea of eternal torment seems to me to be the most monsterous concept ever concieved.
What is surprising to me is it isn't seen for what it really is by otherwise sensible Christians like yourself.

I don't see God as a monster kidnapper. I see God as Just and Holy. The things God does we may not agree with may be due to our misunderstaning of His Holiness.

There are only two options for eternity. Be with Him or be without.

What you should be seeing as a "monsterous concept" is that some choose be be without. You can't lay the will of a man at God's feet. God created a "good" place that we messed up. God fixed our seperation from Himself. He has done everything except what you try to force Him to do... overpower the will of men to force them to love Him.


Eternal conscious torment is an very disturbing doctrine that deserves to be questioned...and I don't see how anyone can wrap their minds around the concept without severing themselves from their feelings completely, or cracking under the strain.

And I can't see how you refuse to allow people their freewill in the matter. God does. God doesn't want people with Him that don't want to be. Paul expresses this in terms of warfare. How many terrorists would you force to live with you in your own home?


Fortunately...millions of others feel the same way.

Sad but true.


Again...the idea of force seems to be the real problem you are having. But God is capable of saving to the uttermost without involving force.

Really?

Those that hate God aren't forced? You mean to say all of a sudden for no reason at all the most died in the wool Baal worshiper will just up and honor God in his heart?

Sorry. I don't see that presented in Scripture either.

I do see that in the last days preople will not tolerate sound doctrine, though.


You need to recognize the difference between force and power.

From your last paragraph on this point, all I can imagine is you start out by saying, "Once upon a time in a perfect world far far away where the evil hearts of men could love something other than themselves ..."


Nor have you proven yours. Only a pagan concept of the afterlife read into the text of scripture and a theological need to have sinners burn forever without hope of redemption, and a belief that people know what it is they desire.

What pagan concept is that? Pray tell.

btw....Christ spoke in terms of eternity on this subject.

I find myself in good company.


Yes He did.
And the direct quotes are in scripture...so no "comparison" is necessary.

Cop out.

You said you used to believe what the Bible said until a spirit changed your mind. What did this spirit whisper in your ear that you began to reject the Word?


He does it all the time..with all men...even you.

I was without God's Grace until I repented and accepted Christ. Then God rained Grace on me like a river.


It is God's grace that saves..and gives you even the ability to choose and to have faith.

I also had the opportunity to reject at that moment.


Even your faith is a gift Nin...you didn't work it up on your own.

Had I chosen to reject Him I would still be lost. He didn't force me to repent.


Yes that would be quite twisted.
It also has nothing to it that even remotely resembles what I have been saying.
Only those in Christ are saved Nin. I have NEVER said otherwise!

Oh please.

You believe at some mysterious point everyone will accept Christ. That's not how the story goes.


Indeed.
And your point would be what?
How is this relevent to our discussion?

Because in the real wolrd that's exactly what you are offering. There is no way out for those who do not want to be with God.


Yes...they do!
They want it!
They just don't know they do.

You sound like a godless liberal. "I know what's best for you." Some, in fact the majority, who choose the wide path don't agree with you.


Either the Lake of fire purges those thrown into it of all sin...and they die to their rebellion, and all evil is burned away from their souls
or..
They are burned up, never to rise again.
They are thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone...which is the second death.

Neither is found in Scripture.

The Bible paints a picture of people who choose to love themselves spending eternity in sorrow and dispare.


Some things to consider:

Fire is an agent of CHANGE.

And Brimstone....

G2303
θεῖον
theion
thi'-on
Probably neuter of G2304 (in its original sense of flashing); sulphur: - brimstone.

G2304
θεῖος
theios
thi'-os
From G2316; godlike (neuter as noun, divinity): - divine, godhead.

G2316
θεός
theos
theh'-os
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very: - X exceeding, God, god [-ly, -ward].

Consider the possibilities!

Now, for the third time, consider those who are not written in the Book of Life.

And something else for you to ponder. How many times in the OT did Israel rebel? Why didn't God do His magic trick of "all accepting" back then?

freelight
February 25th, 2005, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by Nineveh

No, actually I came to that conclusion from reading the Bible.

..........................

Christ claims to be the Truth. You are free to reject that or accept it.

............................


I hope you don't feel I am being rude when I say: To me, you sound like a pagan who uses Christianity when you feel the need to have an air of authority.


Hi Nin,...........what is written so far I think has been adequate as far as my essential views on the topic at hand. I have never applied the term 'pagan' in my spiritual bio ........and I have no need to use 'Christianity' to give my commentaries an air of 'authority'. Common sense, spiritual soundness, reason, wisdom, intellectual integrity, etc. speaks for itself. Truth is the highest religion and is its own witness. Truth is living, dynamic, ever-unfolding.


paul

Nineveh
February 25th, 2005, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by freelight

Truth is the highest religion and is its own witness.

Christ is the Truth.

freelight
February 25th, 2005, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by Nineveh

Christ is the Truth.


The subject or quest-ion of 'Truth' would probably best be suited for another thread - I could see such in a more metaphysical and/or philosophical vein. I will say however that 'Truth' is greater than a 'personality/personage' or an idea/concept. Truth existing as a divine, original and absolute Reality is much greater than anything that a merely evangelical christian motto such as 'Christ is the Truth' can capture, expound or possibly articulate. While such a statement may contain relative implications to the nature of spiritual truth concordant with Jesus and dimensions of his person, teachings, etc.........it does not adequately cover or articulate the nature, constitution of what Truth is. To explore these dimensions would take us into a greater expanse inclusive of any religious paradigms and transcending them. Even Jesus did not answer Pilate when asked 'what is truth'(as far as that record goes).....although an apocryphal gospel records Jesus as saying 'Truth is from heaven'.....showing that Truths majesty exists an all pervading reality whose dynamics may include personalities yet be transpersonal in its metaphysical nature. We are left to further explore the question - "What is truth?". Stay with it......ponder on the question in its depth. Do not be so quick to give pat religious answers that you have been trained/indoctrinated to supply. Look afresh and be serious in meditating upon the inquiry.

As far as the teaching of eternal punishment goes (which is on-topic)...it has been sufficiently proven invalid, asides from those who contend that 'God can eternally punish whomever he wants to' kind of attitude....that doesnt really fly in the face of reason...and other factors already covered.
The doctrine of the immortality of the soul has more room for exploration and soundness - but even this varies given the context of perspective.

Take a real good look at what you believe and have taken as being 'true' or as 'truth'.



paul

Nineveh
February 25th, 2005, 05:39 PM
Originally posted by freelight

The subject or quest-ion of 'Truth' would probably best be suited for another thread - I could see such in a more metaphysical and/or philosophical vein. I will say however that 'Truth' is greater than a 'personality/personage' or an idea/concept.

I believe Christ is exactly who He says He is. I believe He is the Truth. You are free to believe as you like. Christ spoke of the Lake of Fire in eternal terms. I don't see anywhere He supports differently.


Truth existing as a divine, original and absolute Reality is much greater than anything that a merely evangelical christian motto such as 'Christ is the Truth' can capture, expound or possibly articulate.

I can see where such a simple concept might trip you up. It's clear concise and absolute.


While such a statement may contain relative implications to the nature of spiritual truth concordant with Jesus and dimensions of his person, teachings, etc.........it does not adequately cover or articulate the nature, constitution of what Truth is. To explore these dimensions would take us into a greater expanse inclusive of any religious paradigms and transcending them.

In english:

To understand Christ we have to look through the lens of paganism.

If you didn't get this from buddhism, where did you get it?


Even Jesus did not answer Pilate when asked 'what is truth'(as far as that record goes).....although an apocryphal gospel records Jesus as saying 'Truth is from heaven'.....showing that Truths majesty exists an all pervading reality whose dynamics may include personalities yet be transpersonal in its metaphysical nature. We are left to further explore the question - "What is truth?". Stay with it......ponder on the question in its depth. Do not be so quick to give pat religious answers that you have been trained/indoctrinated to supply. Look afresh and be serious in meditating upon the inquiry.

As far as the teaching of eternal punishment goes (which is on-topic)...it has been sufficiently proven invalid, asides from those who contend that 'God can eternally punish whomever he wants to' kind of attitude....that doesnt really fly in the face of reason...and other factors already covered.
The doctrine of the immortality of the soul has more room for exploration and soundness - but even this varies given the context of perspective.

Take a real good look at what you believe and have taken as being 'true' or as 'truth'.

Look, I'm not going to read through this rather verbose post. If you don't believe there is a hell, let me state clearly, there is. If you want to avoid being there, repent. Accept Christ.

Other than that, I don't put much weight in your (fill in the blank) eschatology. I consider this to be an important point. If you are telling the truth, no one will ever know/care. If God is telling the Truth, you will know forever.

logos_x
February 25th, 2005, 10:34 PM
Originally posted by Nineveh

Now, for the third time, consider those who are not written in the Book of Life.

They are thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone.
I answered that already.


And something else for you to ponder. How many times in the OT did Israel rebel? Why didn't God do His magic trick of "all accepting" back then?

Because it wasn't time.

Nineveh
February 26th, 2005, 08:19 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

They are thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone.

Where do you find this to be a temporay place?


Because it wasn't time.

He could have saved Himself, and us a whole lot of trouble if He had done this trick then. Even better, why not before the flood?

logos_x
February 27th, 2005, 07:06 PM
Originally posted by Nineveh

Where do you find this to be a temporay place?

If, as the Bible declares, it is the will of God that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of truth, that God always accomplishes His will, that in the end every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord...which cannot be done without the Holy Spirit, and God will be all in all when its all finished...and death is dead, hell is emptied, and sin is no more...every tear wiped away, no more pain, sorrow, or unrighteousness, (universally) all things under His subjection, and the problem of evil finally resolved then....

The Lake of fire and brimstone is a place that facilitates that end, and therefore, MUST be part of the cure of evil, not its continuence under conditions of burning and torture forever and ever.




He could have saved Himself, and us a whole lot of trouble if He had done this trick then. Even better, why not before the flood?

Because this is all a part of Gods purpose.
We are not in a plan "B" situation.

Christ was slain "before the foundation of the world".
The creation was for Him from the beginning. It was God's intention to redeem the world BEFORE He even started making it...As an expression of His glory, and His power to not only create...but preserve and save to the uttermost.

Everything that happens happens for a purpose in God's economy...and this present evil age, indeed ALL ages are no exception. God is able to accomplish what He intends to. And this whole world, and all ages from the beginning revolve around the cross of Christ and His resurrection...His redeeming Grace.

All happens in God's time...not ours

Nineveh
February 28th, 2005, 07:25 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

If,

Is that the best you have? "If"? What if you are wrong?


as the Bible declares, it is the will of God that all men be saved

I see why you had to us that "if". It's God desire all men come to Him. He never makes a promise to force the issue however.


and come to the knowledge of truth,

Those that do not fear God have little hope of that, recall: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.


that God always accomplishes His will,

Yes, He does. But He isn't obligated to accomplish yours.


that in the end every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord...

Once again, that's not what the text says. It says every tongue will give an account.

Look:

If a man hates God his whole life, then on Judgement Day he is forced to acknowledge this God he has hated his whole life is actually the Supreme Being who is in control, that isn't going to inspire love. It's going to make this man hate God more. Especailly when he has to give an account of his life using his own righteousness being judged by God's scale of Righteousness. He isn't going to get away with saying "I didn't know". He is going to be forced to see what he refused to see when he was here on earth throughout his life: He isn't good enough and falls short of the Glory of God. So that is a double whammy you believe will magically instill love in a hateful person. In reality, it will make them hate this Just Righteous and Holy God all the more.


which cannot be done without the Holy Spirit,

Here's another reason to reject your understanding. The Holy Spirit does not dwell with an unbeliever, how on earth will a person removed from God's presence have access to His Spirit?


and God will be all in all when its all finished...

At least you dropped the first "is" off that.

Anyway... that would include Righteous Judge.


and death is dead, hell is emptied, and sin is no more...

Spiritual death is seperation from God. IE: Being apart from God. Like in the Lake of Fire. Where physical death, hell and sin along with the unrepentant people who committed it will be. And the demons, and the unholy trinity.


every tear wiped away, no more pain, sorrow, or unrighteousness,

Which will be what is left over once God gets rid of the garbage and tosses it all into the garbage heap where the worm never dies (Lake of Fire).


(universally) all things under His subjection, and the problem of evil finally resolved then....

Just not the way you want it to be.


The Lake of fire and brimstone is a place that facilitates that end, and therefore, MUST be part of the cure of evil, not its continuence under conditions of burning and torture forever and ever.

That's a pretty thought. But Jesus speaks of this place in terms of eternity, whether you like it or not.


Because this is all a part of Gods purpose.
We are not in a plan "B" situation.

No, God doesn't make the promises you want Him to make. And no, we aren't on "Plan logos_x".


Christ was slain "before the foundation of the world".
The creation was for Him from the beginning. It was God's intention to redeem the world BEFORE He even started making it...As an expression of His glory, and His power to not only create...but preserve and save to the uttermost.

Whatcha gunna do with satan in this view?


Everything that happens happens for a purpose in God's economy...and this present evil age, indeed ALL ages are no exception. God is able to accomplish what He intends to. And this whole world, and all ages from the beginning revolve around the cross of Christ and His resurrection...His redeeming Grace.

Not only do you make God out to be a kidnapper, you make Him out to be the author of evil, too. No, men have free will and your theology tries to make God into things He never claims to be and do things He never promised or claimed to do.


All happens in God's time...not ours

And God's Way...

logos_x
February 28th, 2005, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by Nineveh

Is that the best you have? "If"? What if you are wrong?

What if you are wrong?



I see why you had to us that "if". It's God desire all men come to Him. He never makes a promise to force the issue however.

Nope. It is His WILL, not just His desire.



Those that do not fear God have little hope of that, recall: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

I have never said otherwise concerning the fear of the Lord.


Yes, He does. But He isn't obligated to accomplish yours.

nor yours


Once again, that's not what the text says. It says every tongue will give an account.

It does say every tongue will confess. It also says no man CAN confess without the Holy Spirit.


Look:

If a man hates God his whole life, then on Judgement Day he is forced to acknowledge this God he has hated his whole life is actually the Supreme Being who is in control, that isn't going to inspire love. It's going to make this man hate God more. Especailly when he has to give an account of his life using his own righteousness being judged by God's scale of Righteousness. He isn't going to get away with saying "I didn't know". He is going to be forced to see what he refused to see when he was here on earth throughout his life: He isn't good enough and falls short of the Glory of God. So that is a double whammy you believe will magically instill love in a hateful person. In reality, it will make them hate this Just Righteous and Holy God all the more.

That is merely your opinion, and it is not backed by scripture.




Here's another reason to reject your understanding. The Holy Spirit does not dwell with an unbeliever, how on earth will a person removed from God's presence have access to His Spirit?

There was a time when you were not saved and the Spirit did not dwell in you...yet by His grace you recieved His Spirit.
Everyone once removed will return.




At least you dropped the first "is" off that.

I said "in the end, God is all in all". That is the destiny of God's creation


Anyway... that would include Righteous Judge.

Absolutely!




Spiritual death is seperation from God. IE: Being apart from God. Like in the Lake of Fire. Where physical death, hell and sin along with the unrepentant people who committed it will be. And the demons, and the unholy trinity.

From which everyone will be saved.


Which will be what is left over once God gets rid of the garbage and tosses it all into the garbage heap where the worm never dies (Lake of Fire).

The garbage is the sin...not the sinner.



Just not the way you want it to be.

The way God wants it to be.




That's a pretty thought. But Jesus speaks of this place in terms of eternity, whether you like it or not.

Actually..He spoke of it in terms on ages.


No, God doesn't make the promises you want Him to make. And no, we aren't on "Plan logos_x".

It isn't "plan logos_x" I'm describing.
It is the plan of the ages..Gods plan, not any man's.


Whatcha gunna do with satan in this view?

Redeem him


Not only do you make God out to be a kidnapper, you make Him out to be the author of evil, too. No, men have free will and your theology tries to make God into things He never claims to be and do things He never promised or claimed to do.

On the contrary..it is your view that makes God out to be intending to save only a few..and confine the majority of mankind to burning torture for all eternity. You assign to God that He designed things that way. You say that He cannot..or will not...save everyone.

You...who paint the picture that God cannot save everyone without being a kidnapper or the author of evil.

You...say that Christ's work cannot save everyone because man's will triumphs over God's will forever.




And God's Way...

God's ways are not our ways.

freelight
March 1st, 2005, 12:33 AM
O glory to the ONE
whose Love never fails.

O glory to the Father
whose Love is Almighty.

O glory to the Son
whose Love ever liveth.

O glory to the Spirit
who sheds abroad this divine love
in the heart.

It is time to acknowledge the Omnificence and Majesty of the Living Divine....the eternal Love triumphant.

Let us consider the Magnitude and Power of divine Will.

Gods Will will ultimately be realized/satisfied.....for His Will is Supreme....all-powerful, all-glorious.

Love is Eternal.

This is truth. Adding amendments, qualifiers, disclaimers, addendums to this original Constitution of the Father...is unnecessary and does not nullify, modify or change the Fathers original Will and supreme endeavor for universal salvation and restoration of Harmony.

Either God is omnipotent and His Will is Supreme...or it is not.
God Now,.........IS the OMNI, all-pervading ONE....who is wholly SUPREME. This Love is eternally potent and dynamic...eternally inspired by divine Will. This is the Love that sustains all beings at this present moment...and that which does so for all eternity.

"For You created all things/(beings)
And by Your will they
exist and were created"

-Rev. 4:11


The divine Will upholds, sustains and is the underlying influence behind all creation, all existence.....the very creative intentive power that sustains the very existence of every thing and every being. Consider the Glory of God...which is the beauty, power, holiness, majesty, true nature unfolded....of the Father of lights, the God and Father of all.......whose Will ultimately triumphs because it is Almighty. The Esse of Love forever reigns...and Love ultimately TRIUMPHS. For this is the power of divine Will....the manifest intent of God...whose power none can totally or finally resist.


paul

Nineveh
March 1st, 2005, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by logos_x

What if you are wrong?

I'd rather be wrong believing what Christ says than be wrong because of a cherished theology. I guess it's all in where you place your trust.


Nope. It is His WILL, not just His desire.

So let's look at what the Bible says about it:

"This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."

That says "wants" not "wills".


I have never said otherwise concerning the fear of the Lord.

True, but obviously you don't seem to realize some don't fear the Lord. So handing them knowledge just because you will them to have it doesn't mean they do.


nor yours

Nope, and I never claimed He did. It's easier to just believe God will do as He says, even when you don't agree with it.


It does say every tongue will confess. It also says no man CAN confess without the Holy Spirit.

Yes.... every tongue will confess.

The difference is what they confess. Those who are saved confess Jesus is Lord. What those who hate God will be confessing is: "every tongue will confess to God.’ ”So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God."

There is a big difference there. They will be confessing their sins, not that Jesus is Lord. They will be forced to acknowledge God's supreme power, but that is not going to make their hearts humble, nor accept Christ's righteousness.


That is merely your opinion, and it is not backed by scripture.

Only in La La Land does a man begin to love someone who utterly proves him wrong. Don't you just see instances of this all over TOL every day?

C'mon.

People become defensive when they are proven wrong. To believe a man's heart is magically going to change because you want it to is more unBiblical than just accepting the way men's hearts work. For crying out loud, haven't you read the Bible? Aren't there enough examples that jive with modern reality for you?


There was a time when you were not saved and the Spirit did not dwell in you...yet by His grace you recieved His Spirit.

Why?

Because my heart was humbled. I feared the Lord and repented of my sin. Not everyone wants to do that. They have their own choice to make in the matter.


Everyone once removed will return.

Don't you have to be somewhere to be removed from to return?


I said "in the end, God is all in all". That is the destiny of God's creation

Nope, God is not "isallinall". Every time you try to force God to be evil now or in the future, you sound like a pagan. To recap.... the Bibles says "all in all".


Absolutely!

Which means those who reject Him will be condemned. Why be a judge if there is nothing to judge?


From which everyone will be saved.

Only in your theology. The part about getting pardons doesn't appear after the part about the smoke of their torment raising forever and ever.


The garbage is the sin...not the sinner.

The Bible doesn't say, and those sins not written in The Book of Life of The Lamb are thrown into the Lake of Fire, it says those whose names. Who = a person.


The way God wants it to be.

Except your words and God's Words aren't the same.



Actually..He spoke of it in terms on ages.

Yeah, like never and forever and ever. How much closer to eternity do you need to get?


It isn't "plan logos_x" I'm describing.
It is the plan of the ages..Gods plan, not any man's.

I don't see your plan laid out in Scripture. Your docrtine is your own.


Redeem him

And you found this tid bit where?

Scripture says he will burn forever with the rest.


On the contrary..it is your view that makes God out to be intending to save only a few..and confine the majority of mankind to burning torture for all eternity. You assign to God that He designed things that way. You say that He cannot..or will not...save everyone.

You must have missed the part where God Himself said few find Him. So what is contrary is what you believe when compared to the Bible.


You...who paint the picture that God cannot save everyone without being a kidnapper or the author of evil.

I didn't say can't. I said He didn't make that promise. Which we can see from the first part of my reply is the case. Wanting all men to come to Him does not = forcing all men to come to Him. He promises those who call on His Name will be saved. You add the rest.


You...say that Christ's work cannot save everyone because man's will triumphs over God's will forever.

Christ's work has the power to save everyone. But, once again, you go against Scripture when you try to force all men (and demons?) to accept Christ with their hearts.

God is big enough to let each person choose whom they will serve.


God's ways are not our ways.

They aren't?

Shouldn't they be?

"But we have the mind of Christ"

And if they aren't, who's ways are you after?

Nineveh
March 1st, 2005, 09:49 AM
Originally posted by freelight

O glory to the ONE
whose Love never fails.

O glory to the Father
whose Love is Almighty.

O glory to the Son
whose Love ever liveth.

O glory to the Spirit
who sheds abroad this divine love
in the heart.

It is time to acknowledge the Omnificence and Majesty of the Living Divine....the eternal Love triumphant.

Let us consider the Magnitude and Power of divine Will.

Gods Will will ultimately be realized/satisfied.....for His Will is Supreme....all-powerful, all-glorious.

Love is Eternal.

This is truth. Adding amendments, qualifiers, disclaimers, addendums to this original Constitution of the Father...is unnecessary and does not nullify, modify or change the Fathers original Will and supreme endeavor for universal salvation and restoration of Harmony.

Either God is omnipotent and His Will is Supreme...or it is not.
God Now,.........IS the OMNI, all-pervading ONE....who is wholly SUPREME. This Love is eternally potent and dynamic...eternally inspired by divine Will. This is the Love that sustains all beings at this present moment...and that which does so for all eternity.

"For You created all things/(beings)
And by Your will they
exist and were created"

-Rev. 4:11


The divine Will upholds, sustains and is the underlying influence behind all creation, all existence.....the very creative intentive power that sustains the very existence of every thing and every being. Consider the Glory of God...which is the beauty, power, holiness, majesty, true nature unfolded....of the Father of lights, the God and Father of all.......whose Will ultimately triumphs because it is Almighty. The Esse of Love forever reigns...and Love ultimately TRIUMPHS. For this is the power of divine Will....the manifest intent of God...whose power none can totally or finally resist.


Be honest with me here for a moment:

Are you a Christian? In that I mean, did you repent and accept Christ as your Savior in your heart?

logos_x
March 1st, 2005, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by Nineveh

I'd rather be wrong believing what Christ says than be wrong because of a cherished theology. I guess it's all in where you place your trust.

Yeah...I would rather believe in Christ than the traditions of men.





So let's look at what the Bible says about it:

"This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."


That says "wants" not "wills".

1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

You are somewhat correct..the word translated "will have' is a word that means "to strongly desire" and "delights in"

The Word also says the following:

Isa 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

Psa 147:11 The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:



True, but obviously you don't seem to realize some don't fear the Lord. So handing them knowledge just because you will them to have it doesn't mean they do.

No..I do realize some don't fear the Lord.
I just find no reason to believe they will ALWAYS be that way. People change, especially when they learn something they never knew before.




Nope, and I never claimed He did. It's easier to just believe God will do as He says, even when you don't agree with it.

Indeed!

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




Yes.... every tongue will confess.

The difference is what they confess. Those who are saved confess Jesus is Lord. What those who hate God will be confessing is: "every tongue will confess to God.’ ”So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God."

You really think that is what that means?
Every tongue will confess to the glory of God..that is what it says. Not your veiw at all!


There is a big difference there. They will be confessing their sins, not that Jesus is Lord. They will be forced to acknowledge God's supreme power, but that is not going to make their hearts humble, nor accept Christ's righteousness.

They will be forced?
Hmmmm.
Now who makes God out to be a kidnapper?




Only in La La Land does a man begin to love someone who utterly proves him wrong. Don't you just see instances of this all over TOL every day?

C'mon.

People become defensive when they are proven wrong. To believe a man's heart is magically going to change because you want it to is more unBiblical than just accepting the way men's hearts work. For crying out loud, haven't you read the Bible? Aren't there enough examples that jive with modern reality for you?

We are talking about God here..the creator of all things...the one for which NOTHING is impossible as regards our salvation.
He CAN save anyone and everyone...just as easily as He saved you, me, or anyone else.

You keep wanting to define God's abilities as "magic"?

What is lacking that remains to be done?
Only that all men come to know and accept, and all men be set free of the things that hinder them from knowing and accepting.

All that remains is the revelation...and that WILL be done in due time.




Why?

Because my heart was humbled. I feared the Lord and repented of my sin. Not everyone wants to do that. They have their own choice to make in the matter.

Not all men right now...but we are talking about forever...for all time.
We are also talking about things being in place now that hinders a man's will. Bondages, darkness, lusts...these ALL contribute to IMPAIRED judgement...not a true and right determination of the image of God in man.

What you are failing to see is that there are "ages" in the Bible. And each of these ages accomplishes something in God's plan.

In the end...which is still thousands of years away...all things will be in subjection to Him.




Don't you have to be somewhere to be removed from to return?

Yes.
But they DO return.




Nope, God is not "isallinall". Every time you try to force God to be evil now or in the future, you sound like a pagan. To recap.... the Bibles says "all in all".

In the END God is all in all!

That means all evil is DONE AWAY!

Are you really that thick?

I'm not forcing God into evil...I'm saying all things are redeemed FROM evil.

Do try to follow along....




Which means those who reject Him will be condemned. Why be a judge if there is nothing to judge?

Yes.
the sentence though is not eternal torment without hope of redemption.

I'm not saying there is no Hell. I'm debating what the NATURE of Hell is.




Only in your theology. The part about getting pardons doesn't appear after the part about the smoke of their torment raising forever and ever.

To.the ages of the ages....and it is the smoke, as a testimonial.




The Bible doesn't say, and those sins not written in The Book of Life of The Lamb are thrown into the Lake of Fire, it says those whose names. Who = a person.

Yes..it does!




Except your words and God's Words aren't the same.

Yes, they are.





Yeah, like never and forever and ever. How much closer to eternity do you need to get?

It never says never...
And "forever and ever" is "ages of ages"




I don't see your plan laid out in Scripture. Your docrtine is your own.

I don't see eternal conscious torment laid out in Scripture. Your doctrine is your own.


And you found this tid bit where?

Scripture says he will burn forever with the rest.

And what does the Fire DO Nin?
What IS the brimstone?

The Fire IS GOD Nin....and the fires for purification.
It is CURATIVE of all evil in the universe and inside them!




You must have missed the part where God Himself said few find Him. So what is contrary is what you believe when compared to the Bible.



I didn't say can't. I said He didn't make that promise. Which we can see from the first part of my reply is the case. Wanting all men to come to Him does not = forcing all men to come to Him. He promises those who call on His Name will be saved. You add the rest.



Christ's work has the power to save everyone. But, once again, you go against Scripture when you try to force all men (and demons?) to accept Christ with their hearts.

God is big enough to let each person choose whom they will serve.

Jesus is the Savior OF the whole world Nin...not just for the whole world.

He actually will succeed...whether you see it or believe it or not!






They aren't?

Shouldn't they be?

"But we have the mind of Christ"

And if they aren't, who's ways are you after?

And who's ways are you after Nin?

God WON'T save everyone...
God can't accomplish His desires?
God will be hated by men FOREVER no matter what He does...
And they will be "forced to confess" but not "forced" to come to faith and accept their acceptance?

That is not what the Bible says the outcome will be Nin.

And...all your rhetorical nonsense is exactly that...rhetorical non-sense.

freelight
March 1st, 2005, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by Nineveh

Be honest with me here for a moment:

Are you a Christian? In that I mean, did you repent and accept Christ as your Savior in your heart?


Greetings Nin,

All my writings are honest expressions of soul and spirit....as I perceive the divine. The words speak for themselves. Am I a christian? Lets back up....and meditate upon spiritual realities, principles and wisdom first....before we jump to trying to determine 'qualifications' of what a christian is and all that doctrinal stuff with its trappings. I AM what/who I AM. Now we can debate what qualifies one to be a 'christian' til the cows come home. But I would direct you to examine first the spirtual truth and wisdom that is found in whatever commentary/writings you are reading...before you pre-suppose or super-impose anything into/onto it. This may allow you to glean the logic/spirit/wisdom of what you read(if they be any) without putting your pre-conceived qualifiers or interpretations into it. Just a suggestion.

To answer your pointed question (which has its own conceived notions and qualifiers of course).....YES. I have Accepted Jesus into my heart (more than once over the course of my earlier years while coming into a more orthodox/traditional christian faith experience)...and even moved into a pentecostal/charasmatic dimension of life in God - so I can also attest to the power and charismas of the Holy Spirit - very real indeed. I value all my experiences in God along my spiritual journey which is ever dynamic.

Those represent significant milestones or events along the Path for sure. I am also moving on in Life and have not become stuck in certain belief systems that are no longer logical, sensible or useful in my spiritual journey. Remember...its a 'dynamic' living and journey of the soul. I must remain true to my souls instinct (spiritual leadings) and whatever light I am afforded......as the path is dynamic.

Some thoughts on your present logics on souls not choosing Gods way(Love) and them being condemned for punishment in hellfire/damnation forever. I have already covered many valid points on this and dimensions of possibility - also some questions that cannot be answered..being unknown at this point and only intuited by what perspective and understanding we have of God.

There are many angles/sides to these speculations and interpretations. It is true that it may seem like some souls may continue for many years, even centuries in choosing evil and remaining in spiritual stagnation/depravation. There are different views within universalism on how God will restore souls (how souls will be restored to God)...that must be explored.

A spiritualist view for the most part would hold that souls no matter how degraded or evil....will spend time in hell-like realms of their own making...for however long it takes....til they awaken to themselves(awaken to love/light), repent, call upon the Lord...and are then elevated(saved) to higher dimensions of light/love/heaven. It would be reasoned that Gods Love remains omnipotent thru-out all realms and is available to all....when they afford/avail themselves of it. But in this purview...souls are never kept in these hell-like realms forever or are barred from salvation or progress by a higher divine Power per se - they are kept in these places by their own volition and soul-state, choosing and loving the evil they have embraced as their way of life/existence. We can speculate that it may be possible for a soul to actually choose this way of being for all eternity. Only if this is possible...that a soul may choose perdition and darkness for all eternity...may it be possible to suppose that there is such a thing as eternal damnation/darkness/torment. But....we must remember..thru-out all this....Gods Love is still Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient. God never stops loving.

Now, as I have discussed previously.....whether there is a time or space where a soul reaches a point of no return (a condition wherein it cannot be saved and is beyond the power of Gods redemption)....then if this can be understood, known and substantiated...then we might be able to accept that some souls can be lost forever without remedy. {in some cases the annihilation theory might even be more merciful than to allow a lost soul to endure eternal misery,...but thats another chapter}.

The understanding of Universal Reconciliation makes more sense when one understands/perceives the Supreme Power of divine Love and Will....as being eternally efficacious. Because the Love of God is eternal....thru-out. This spiritual reality is the divine Constitution of OMNIPRESENCE.

My theological understandings always flow from the premise of GOD(divine Being) Itself.....as Deity is understood in its correct dimenions....being omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient. When understood/seen in spiritual light.....it becomes recognizable that truly....GOD is ALL....here and Now...and will be so thru-out eternity. But this is a more advanced teaching/perception that must come with soul-development/maturity. (metaphysical, ontological).

No matter how you cut it...or believe as far as souls actually reaching a point of 'no return'(beyond redemption of any kind), being eternally punished beyond remedy, forever lost in darkness, etc. - this is all based on an assumption that either a soul by its own free will can choose this way of life for an eternity....and/or that God has written these souls off as 'garbage' and tosses them in the lake of fire to eternally suffer or be terminated(if you believe in annihilation). In all these scenarios 'free will' seems to play a part to some extent...but in the view you support...there is a cutting off point where a soul by his own free will CHOOSES hell(however you interpret this) and is then eternally DOOMED forever. This seems more or less imposed by God Himself....at least after this final decision for eternal death is made. Its like a 'you snooze you lose.....forever' kind of package - no second chances - its in the lake of fire forever - be off! -this view is problematic.....in one part due to a view bound by a time-conditioned eschatology.....particularly those who take the record in Revelation as literal(as translated) and chronological.

I believe eschatology and trying to confine certain events in a tight chronological order according to a traditional belief structure often engenders false or incorrect belief-systems. I have found spiritualist philosophy and other valuable spiritual data/info. and teachings to offer sound insights into this dilemma in the spiritual dimension of things...which allows for a more reasonable/sensible understanding as far as soul-progress and destiny is concerned. I am still workin on this of course. Its a wonderful study.

Leaning towards Universal Reconciliation....I tend to believe that indeed divine Love and Will.....are SUPREME. Therefore....since God is the substance, reality, light of all beings......all will eventually be brought to the light and satisfy the purpose for their existence in relationship to God. This naturally lends support and substantiation to universal salvation.(realized in time and thru-out eternity).

As far as free will goes.....this is maintained within certain parameters....within divine Providence - but it is always within divine Providence (within the sphere of divine government, law. Ultimately....divine Will, Love, Wisdom must triumph...for it is afterall.....all-powerful, and ever-present, availing itself always...to those open to receive it and be reconciled to its benevolent and gracious influence. The divine pursasion of God is ever present). Now matter what view you take as far as the power of free will in affecting the souls destiny or when/if a soul can reach a point beyond the redemptive power of God.....Gods Love and divine Will.......are Omnipotent. Gods Power and Being...which are Universal.....are ever-abundant thru-out every dimension and beyond all dimensions. God is the Sole ONE...besides whom there is no other - the Only Deity BEING being.

O bless His Name. Almighty, benevolent Father. Is anything/anyone beyond the power of His Love/redemption/salvation?

I always stand in awe of the divine.....the OMNI.


paul

Nineveh
March 1st, 2005, 01:09 PM
Originally posted by freelight
...Am I a christian?...YES ...

What did Christ say about the Lake of Fire?

Nineveh
March 1st, 2005, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

Yeah...I would rather believe in Christ than the traditions of men.

Then do.

************

"This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."

NIV: 1 Timothy 2:4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

NRSV & NKJV: who desires

Vs

KJV: 1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Are you KJV only? NASB is the most literal word for word translation. I think maybe you are misunderstanding King James english to support your theology.


You are somewhat correct..the word translated "will have' is a word that means "to strongly desire" and "delights in"

The Word also says the following:

Isa 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

Psa 147:11 The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

In neither of those latter passages are we talking about all men being saved. We are talking specifically about things God Wills. Like, details about Christ's coming, and things He plans for Israel, etc.

God wants all men to come to Him. He didn't want men's hearts to become so evil He couldn't even stand to be with them at all, like before the flood. Or have a whole city be so vile they tried to rape His angels. Or dispise Him so much they built a golden calf, even after mighty displays of His power. He wants us to come to Him out of our own free will like Nineveh did.


No..I do realize some don't fear the Lord.
I just find no reason to believe they will ALWAYS be that way. People change, especially when they learn something they never knew before.

They have that opportunity right now. Promising that opportunity in the future only gives them a false hope they can continue in rebellion now. That is only going to lead to harder hearts.


Indeed!

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

Yet once again... to those that believe. What good will it do for those that don't? According to John, they are dead already, and according to Rev the absent names are sent away forever. So even though Jesus did the work, He isn't going to make them take part in His Body.


You really think that is what that means?
Every tongue will confess to the glory of God..that is what it says. Not your veiw at all!

The verse says give an account.
Let's look:

It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ”So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

For those who have only their own righteousness, will this be a good thing? They don't have the covering of Christ, they rejected Him. Paul is speaking to Roman believers here.


They will be forced?
Hmmmm.
Now who makes God out to be a kidnapper?

Forcing someone to their knees isn't kidnapping. It's subjugation. Forcing someone to be where they don't want to be, with someone they don't want to be with, is kidnapping.


We are talking about God here..the creator of all things...the one for which NOTHING is impossible as regards our salvation.
He CAN save anyone and everyone...just as easily as He saved you, me, or anyone else.

Yes, He could force the issue, however He never said He will or would. Personally, I don't want to be in the Body of a God who would force me to Love Him. I want to love Him and serve Him. I chose to trust His Will over my own.


You keep wanting to define God's abilities as "magic"?

No, that's how I see the god you paint.


What is lacking that remains to be done?
Only that all men come to know and accept, and all men be set free of the things that hinder them from knowing and accepting.

All that remains is the revelation...and that WILL be done in due time.

Well, if you wanna wait around for that, be my guest.


Not all men right now...but we are talking about forever...for all time.
We are also talking about things being in place now that hinders a man's will. Bondages, darkness, lusts...these ALL contribute to IMPAIRED judgement...not a true and right determination of the image of God in man.

The only thing keeping men from Christ is their own hearts. You have hope that God will force men to change their hearts. But I don't see your docrtine of this in the Word. I think you hope in vain.


What you are failing to see is that there are "ages" in the Bible. And each of these ages accomplishes something in God's plan.

So when does "never" and "forever and ever" end? You are right, I missed that part in the Bible. Could you point it out?


In the end...which is still thousands of years away...all things will be in subjection to Him.

Some with Him, and some not.


Yes.
But they DO return.

You can't return to a place you have never been.



In the END God is all in all!

He will be a rock. He will be a tree. Surely you don't mean that. The Bible didn't.


That means all evil is DONE AWAY!

Yes! In the Lake of Fire!


Are you really that thick?

Are you really that stupid?


I'm not forcing God into evil...I'm saying all things are redeemed FROM evil.

You said a few posts ago He wills everything for His purpose or some such calvy sounding thing.. That means evil too.


Do try to follow along....

Look, it's you that makes God do things He never says He did or will do.


Yes.
the sentence though is not eternal torment without hope of redemption.

I'm not saying there is no Hell. I'm debating what the NATURE of Hell is.

And so far, the Bible still uses words like "never" and "forever and ever". So I guess I'll change my view as soon as you point out the part I missed where it says "never" and "forever and ever" ends.


To.the ages of the ages....and it is the smoke, as a testimonial.

So when does it end? What happens to it? The Bible doesn't say. It only says it lasts "forever and ever".


Yes..it does!

I agree, it says people are thrown into the Lake of Fire. Not just their sins.


Yes, they are.

Not really when you keep trying to force "desire" to mean "will" for instance. Or when you go far beyond what is written in Scripture to a time when "forever and ever" comes to an end.


It never says never...
And "forever and ever" is "ages of ages"

What version?


I don't see eternal conscious torment laid out in Scripture. Your doctrine is your own.

None so blind...


And what does the Fire DO Nin?
What IS the brimstone?

Do you really want to get into this? I'll share what I have learned on the matter, but really, I can't see where you would care.


The Fire IS GOD Nin....and the fires for purification.
It is CURATIVE of all evil in the universe and inside them!

So God is in the Lake of Fire outside the Kingdom? Okey dokey. I guess that makes your ideas on satan getting saved a little easier, I guess....


Jesus is the Savior OF the whole world Nin...not just for the whole world.

John seems to think diofferently on the issue. I think I'll believe him over you, no offence.


He actually will succeed...whether you see it or believe it or not!

He hasn't failed in His work or His promises. And men who don't believe are dead already.


And who's ways are you after Nin?

Christ's. That's why I believe what He says about the Lake of Fire.


God WON'T save everyone...

Because not everyone wants to be saved.


God can't accomplish His desires?

A desire is not a will. He accoplished His will.


God will be hated by men FOREVER no matter what He does...

Ever since Adam and Eve, men have often sought their own way of things.


And they will be "forced to confess" but not "forced" to come to faith and accept their acceptance?

Confessing what you have already done isn't the same as accepting something you don't want.


That is not what the Bible says the outcome will be Nin.

Seems that way to me. But you still need to point out that part I missed where forever and ever ends.

freelight
March 1st, 2005, 08:00 PM
Originally posted by Nineveh

What did Christ say about the Lake of Fire?

Nin,.........I have shared amply my impressions on this threads primary subject laying out dimensions within it....making room for further exploration and broadening the borders of understanding....but such will only go as far as one is willing to make room for more light and expansion of consciousness on these vital issues.

For the sake of brevity - it could be debated if Jesus ever talked about a lake of fire....and this seems to be peculiar to the vision of John,...not Jesus. From my understanding...Jesus may have alluded to Gehenna as a burning trash heap and place of refuse(waste) and this was likened unto 'hell' (or a kind of hell) {problems exist because of translations and false concepts of 'hell} but thats another thread. Other allusions to the 'where the fire is not quenched' and 'the worm dieth not' are images denoting a state of death, ruin, decay - like Gehenna. Anything imposed as being said by Jesus by the gospel authors and later scribes with creative license do not impress me as such is metaphorical and subject to translation inflections.

The issues of what 'eternal', 'everlasting' mean in their original word-senses have been covered by many teachers - to that issue....logos_x can provide links and resources on...as I gather he is more studied than me in these areas of universalist theology....as such theologians have covered this issue time and time again. See their scholarly research. :)

So...I will say Jesus spoke of Gehenna more often than any other word that was later translated as the english word 'hell' (there are at least 3 or 4 different words translated as 'hell' by english translators - this is a study in itself). As far as Jesus alluding to some lake of fire like what John saw...such is speculative and imposed on some from traditional concepts of 'hell' or 'hell-fire'....but the orignal concept of hell as being 'Sheol' or 'Hades' are the grave, the abode of the dead, the underworld. There is no implication of fire at all here. But again,...thats another thread. Images of Gehenna, the lake of fire in Revelation reveal other aspects of what some conceive of as 'hell' - but again, one needs to study the truth about 'hell' - an informative study.

So....since you want to cling to your traditional literalist view of sinners being roasted/toasted forever in eternal agony/torment...enduring punishments for all eternity that they will never be relieved of or saved from.....that is your misfortunate choice. If this is your concept of Gods character and how He handles his creatures/children/creations, etc......then it is sad. All souls will see in time.

Again,....if one expands their knowledge of the issues of soul-progress/destiny, spiritual evolution, etc....and avails himself the light and reason afforded by many different schools...he will have expanded his consciousness enough to possess a more replete and thorough understanding of the soul....and all its dynamics...relative to its relationship to God.

I have shared and shared Nin,....and its time for me to recede from these discussions a little bit,....as I manage my time-resources to more fertile fields....as you may find in due time that open minded exploration and research is more fruitful than closed or narrow-minded debates which only bolsters ones rigid beliefs or interpretations and does little to bridge gaps of understanding or beneficial dialogue.

I continue to find the issue of the souls destiny of fantastic interest and am marvelled as I learn more on the spiritual journey.
I do not fear God as being injust or malicious towards me(or any soul)...but trust in his divine fairness and eternal goodness. He is wholly Just and Merciful....and his government and decisions are wholly mediated by divine Wisdom - his councils are always the perfect balance of all his constitutional endowments which are native to His BEING. Yes,.....God is Love....and if one does not have this revelation within by the Light of God himself...than he cannot know God. God is fully conscious of Himself as God....and in this effulgence of BEING is the fullness of Light, Love, Truth, Spirit.

One can only see what Light affords him.

May your journey be fruitful,

paul

ps. - if you wish to further our correspondence...you may private message me.

logos_x
March 1st, 2005, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by Nineveh

"Yes, He could force the issue, however He never said He will or would. Personally, I don't want to be in the Body of a God who would force me to Love Him. I want to love Him and serve Him. I chose to trust His Will over my own."

"The only thing keeping men from Christ is their own hearts. You have hope that God will force men to change their hearts. But I don't see your docrtine of this in the Word. I think you hope in vain."

"So when does "never" and "forever and ever" end? You are right, I missed that part in the Bible. Could you point it out?"

"You can't return to a place you have never been."

"He will be a rock. He will be a tree. Surely you don't mean that. The Bible didn't."

"And so far, the Bible still uses words like "never" and "forever and ever". So I guess I'll change my view as soon as you point out the part I missed where it says "never" and "forever and ever" ends."

"So when does it end? What happens to it? The Bible doesn't say. It only says it lasts "forever and ever"."

"Not really when you keep trying to force "desire" to mean "will" for instance. Or when you go far beyond what is written in Scripture to a time when "forever and ever" comes to an end."

"What version?"

"So God is in the Lake of Fire outside the Kingdom? Okey dokey. I guess that makes your ideas on satan getting saved a little easier, I guess...."

"He hasn't failed in His work or His promises. And men who don't believe are dead already."

"Ever since Adam and Eve, men have often sought their own way of things."

"Confessing what you have already done isn't the same as accepting something you don't want."

... "But you still need to point out that part I missed where forever and ever ends."

Since we are talking about re-working your recieved theology I will answer your inquiries in the only practical way I can...

By providing links to pages that discribe what I'm talking about....
because to do otherwise would take too much space in this thread to cover and do it any justice.

1.)Centrality of Covenant (http://www.hccentral.com/eller9/chap3.html)

2.)Hesed Unlimited (http://pages.prodigy.net/hesed/firstpag.html)

3.)Every Knee Shall Bow (http://www.tentmaker.org/books/everyknee.htm)

4.)Concerning Which Translation (http://www.what-the-hell-is-hell.com/HellStudy/forever.htm)

5.)Concerning Which Translation 2 (http://www.tentmaker.org/books/GatesOfHell.html)

6.)His Coming In Flaming Fire (http://www.tentmaker.org/Dew/Dew3/D3-HisComingInFlamingFire.html)

7.)Universalism the Prevailing Doctrine of the Christian Church During Its First 500 Years (http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Prevailing.html)

8.)Bible Threatenings Explained (http://www.tentmaker.org/books/BibleThreateningsExplained.html)

This should do nicely...for a start. :thumb:

For more...follow the links in my signature.

Enjoy!

Nineveh
March 2nd, 2005, 07:26 AM
Originally posted by freelight
- it could be debated if Jesus ever talked about a lake of fire...

Apparently you haven't paid very close attention to the One you claim to serve.

Nineveh
March 2nd, 2005, 07:30 AM
logos_x,

No thanks :) I don't want to spend my time reading through scads of web pages.

I did however find something you might consider:

Matthew 25:46
Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

Mark 9:43
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out

2 Thess. 1:8-9
He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power ...

I don't know how much closer to forever you can get than this, smaller.

logos_x
March 2nd, 2005, 08:10 AM
Originally posted by Nineveh

logos_x,

No thanks :) I don't want to spend my time reading

I know

Nineveh
March 2nd, 2005, 08:14 AM
Ignore that parts that indicate (once again), you are in error according to Christ.

logos_x
March 2nd, 2005, 08:47 AM
Originally posted by Nineveh

Ignore that parts that indicate (once again), you are in error according to Christ.

Nope..not according to Christ..according to the tradition.

Here is what these scriptures really say...

Mat 25:46 And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.'
Young's Literal Translation

Mat 25:46 "And these shall go away into the Punishment of the Ages, but the righteous into the Life of the Ages."
1912 Weymouth New Testament



Mar 9:43 `And if thy hand may cause thee to stumble, cut it off; it is better for thee maimed to enter into the life, than having the two hands, to go away to the gehenna, to the fire--the unquenchable--
Mar 9:44 where their worm is not dying, and the fire is not being quenched.
Mar 9:45 `And if thy foot may cause thee to stumble, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into the life lame, than having the two feet to be cast to the gehenna, to the fire--the unquenchable--
Mar 9:46 where their worm is not dying, and the fire is not being quenched.
Mar 9:47 And if thine eye may cause thee to stumble, cast it out; it is better for thee one-eyed to enter into the reign of God, than having two eyes, to be cast to the gehenna of the fire--
Mar 9:48 where their worm is not dying, and the fire is not being quenched;
Mar 9:49 for every one with fire shall be salted, and every sacrifice with salt shall be salted.
Mar 9:50 The salt is good, but if the salt may become saltless, in what will ye season it ? Have in yourselves salt, and have peace in one another.'
Young's Literal Translation

Mar 9:43 If your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off: it would be better for you to enter into Life maimed, than remain in possession of both your hands and go away into Gehenna, into the fire which cannot be put out.
Mar 9:44 OMITTED TEXT not in original
Mar 9:45 Or if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off: it would be better for you to enter into Life crippled, than remain in possession of both your feet and be thrown into Gehenna.
Mar 9:46 OMITTED TEXT not in original
Mar 9:47 Or if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out. It would be better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God half-blind than remain in possession of two eyes and be thrown into Gehenna,
Mar 9:48 where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE AND THE FIRE DOES NOT GO OUT.
Mar 9:49 Every one, however, will be salted with fire.
Mar 9:50 Salt is a good thing, but if the salt should become tasteless, what will you use to give it saltness? Have salt within you and live at peace with one another."
1912 Weymouth New Testament

2Th 1:8 in flaming fire, giving vengeance to those not knowing God, and to those not obeying the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ;
2Th 1:9 who shall suffer justice--destruction age-during--from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his strength,
Young's Literal Translation

2Th 1:8 He will come in flames of fire to take vengeance on those who have no knowledge of God, and do not obey the Good News as to Jesus, our Lord.
2Th 1:9 They will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, being banished from the presence of the Lord and from His glorious majesty,
1912 Weymouth New Testament

But..don't take my word for it...


From Vincent's Word Studies
Everlasting destruction (ὄλεθρον αἰώνιον )
The phrase nowhere else in N.T. In lxx, 4 Macc. 10:15. Rev. properly, eternal destruction. It is to be carefully noted that eternal and everlasting are not synonymous. See additional note at the end of this chapter...

Additional Note on ὄλεθρον αἰώνιον eternal destruction, 2Th_1:9
Ἁιών transliterated eon, is a period of time of longer or shorter duration, having a beginning and an end, and complete in itself. Aristotle (περὶ οὐρανοῦ, i. 9, 15) says: “The period which includes the whole time of each one's life is called the eon of each one.” Hence it often means the life of a man, as in Homer, where one's life (αἰών ) is said to leave him or to consume away (Il. v. 685; Od. v. 160). It is not, however, limited to human life; it signifies any period in the course of events, as the period or age before Christ; the period of the millennium; the mytho-logical period before the beginnings of history. The word has not “a stationary and mechanical value” (De Quincey). It does not mean a period of a fixed length for all cases. There are as many eons as entities, the respective durations of which are fixed by the normal conditions of the several entities. There is one eon of a human life, another of the life of a nation, another of a crow's life, another of an oak's life. The length of the eon depends on the subject to which it is attached.
It is sometimes translated world; world representing a period or a series of periods of time. See Mat_12:32; Mat_13:40, Mat_13:49; Luk_1:70; 1Co_1:20; 1Co_2:6; Eph_1:21. Similarly οἱ αἰῶνες the worlds, the universe, the aggregate of the ages or periods, and their contents which are included in the duration of the world. 1Co_2:7; 1Co_10:11; Heb_1:2; Heb_9:26; Heb_11:3.
The word always carries the notion of time, and not of eternity. It always means a period of time. Otherwise it would be impossible to account for the plural, or for such qualifying expressions as this age, or the age to come. It does not mean something endless or everlasting. To deduce that meaning from its relation to ἀεί is absurd; for, apart from the fact that the meaning of a word is not definitely fixed by its derivation, ἀεί does not signify endless duration. When the writer of the Pastoral Epistles quotes the saying that the Cretans are always (ἀεί ) liars (Tit_1:12), he surely does not mean that the Cretans will go on lying to all eternity. See also Act_7:51; 2Co_4:11; 2Co_6:10; Heb_3:10; 1Pe_3:15. Ἁεί means habitually or continually within the limit of the subject's life. In our colloquial dialect everlastingly is used in the same way. “The boy is everlastingly tormenting me to buy him a drum.”
In the New Testament the history of the world is conceived as developed through a succession of eons. A series of such eons precedes the introduction of a new series inaugurated by the Christian dispensation, and the end of the world and the second coming of Christ are to mark the beginning of another series. See Eph_3:11. Paul contemplates eons before and after the Christian era. Eph_1:21; Eph_2:7; Eph_3:9, Eph_3:21; 1Co_10:11; comp. Heb_9:26. He includes the series of eons in one great eon, ὁ αἰὼν τῶν αἰώνων the eon of the eons (Eph_3:21); and the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews describes the throne of God as enduring unto the eon of the eons (Heb_1:8). The plural is also used, eons of the eons, signifying all the successive periods which make up the sum total of the ages collectively. Rom_16:27; Gal_1:5; Phi_4:20, etc. This plural phrase is applied by Paul to God only.
The adjective αἰώνιος in like manner carries the idea of time. Neither the noun nor the adjective, in themselves, carry the sense of endless or everlasting. They may acquire that sense by their connotation, as, on the other hand, ἀΐ̀διος, which means everlasting, has its meaning limited to a given point of time in Jud_1:6. Ἁιώνιος means enduring through or pertaining to a period of time. Both the noun and the adjective are applied to limited periods. Thus the phrase εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, habitually rendered forever, is often used of duration which is limited in the very nature of the case. See, for a few out of many instances, lxx, Exo_21:6; Exo_29:9; Exo_32:13; Jos_14:9; 1Sa_8:13; Lev_25:46; Deu_15:17; 1Ch_28:4. See also Mat_21:19; Joh_13:8; 1Co_8:13. The same is true of αἰώνιος. Out of 150 instances in lxx, four-fifths imply limited duration. For a few instances see Gen_48:4; Num_10:8; Num_15:15; Pro_22:28; Jon_2:6; Hab_3:6; Isa_61:8.
Words which are habitually applied to things temporal or material can not carry in themselves the sense of endlessness. Even when applied to God, we are not forced to render αἰώνιος everlasting. Of course the life of God is endless; but the question is whether, in describing God as αἰώνιος, it was intended to describe the duration of his being, or whether some different and larger idea was not contemplated. That God lives longer than men, and lives on everlastingly, and has lived everlastingly, are, no doubt, great and significant facts; yet they are not the dominant or the most impressive facts in God's relations to time. God's eternity does not stand merely or chiefly for a scale of length. It is not primarily a mathematical but a moral fact. The relations of God to time include and imply far more than the bare fact of endless continuance. They carry with them the fact that God transcends time; works on different principles and on a vaster scale than the wisdom of time provides; oversteps the conditions and the motives of time; marshals the successive eons from a point outside of time, on lines which run out into his own measureless cycles, and for sublime moral ends which the creature of threescore and ten years cannot grasp and does not even suspect.
There is a word for everlasting if that idea is demanded. That αἰώνιος occurs rarely in the New Testament and in lxx does not prove that its place was taken by αἰώνιος. It rather goes to show that less importance was attached to the bare idea of everlastingness than later theological thought has given it. Paul uses the word once, in Rom_1:20, where he speaks of “the everlasting power and divinity of God.” In Rom_16:26 he speaks of the eternal God (τοῦ αἰωνίου θεοῦ ); but that he does not mean the everlasting God is perfectly clear from the context. He has said that “the mystery” has been kept in silence in times eternal (χρόνοις αἰωνίοις ), by which he does not mean everlasting times, but the successive eons which elapsed before Christ was proclaimed. God therefore is described as the God of the eons, the God who pervaded and controlled those periods before the incarnation. To the same effect is the title ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν αἰώνων the King of the eons, applied to God in 1Ti_1:17; Rev_15:3; comp. Tob. 13:6, 10. The phrase πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων before eternal times (2Ti_1:9; Tit_1:2), cannot mean before everlasting times. To say that God bestowed grace on men, or promised them eternal life before endless times, would be absurd. The meaning is of old, as Luk_1:70. The grace and the promise were given in time, but far back in the ages, before the times of reckoning the eons.
Ζωὴ αἰώνιος eternal life, which occurs 42 times in N.T., but not in lxx, is not endless life, but life pertaining to a certain age or eon, or continuing during that eon. I repeat, life may be endless. The life in union with Christ is endless, but the fact is not expressed by αἰώνιος. Κόλασις αἰώνιος, rendered everlasting punishment (Mat_25:46), is the punishment peculiar to an eon other than that in which Christ is speaking. In some cases ζωὴ αἰώνιος does not refer specifically to the life beyond time, but rather to the eon or dispensation of Messiah which succeeds the legal dispensation. See Mat_19:16; Joh_5:39. John says that ζωὴ αἰώνιος is the present possession of those who believe on the Son of God, Joh_3:36; Joh_5:24; Joh_6:47, Joh_6:64. The Father's commandment is ζωὴ αἰώσιος, Joh_12:50; to know the only true God and Jesus Christ is ζωὴ αἰώνιος, Joh_17:3.
Bishop Westcott very justly says, commenting upon the terms used by John to describe life under different aspects: “In considering these phrases it is necessary to premise that in spiritual things we must guard against all conclusions which rest upon the notions of succession and duration. 'Eternal life' is that which St. Paul speaks of as ἡ ὄντως ζωὴ the life which is life indeed, and ἡ ζωὴ τοῦ θεοῦ the life of God. It is not an endless duration of being in time, but being of which time is not a measure. We have indeed no powers to grasp the idea except through forms and images of sense. These must be used, but we must not transfer them as realities to another order.”
Thus, while αἰώνιος carries the idea of time, though not of endlessness, there belongs to it also, more or less, a sense of quality. Its character is ethical rather than mathematical. The deepest significance of the life beyond time lies, not in endlessness, but in the moral quality of the eon into which the life passes. It is comparatively unimportant whether or not the rich fool, when his soul was required of him (Luk_12:20), entered upon a state that was endless. The principal, the tremendous fact, as Christ unmistakably puts it, was that, in the new eon, the motives, the aims, the conditions, the successes and awards of time counted for nothing. In time, his barns and their contents were everything; the soul was nothing. In the new life the soul was first and everything, and the barns and storehouses nothing. The bliss of the sanctified does not consist primarily in its endlessness, but in the nobler moral conditions of the new eon, - the years of the holy and eternal God. Duration is a secondary idea. When it enters it enters as an accompaniment and outgrowth of moral conditions.
In the present passage it is urged that ὄλεθρον destruction points to an unchangeable, irremediable, and endless condition. If this be true, if ὄλεθρος is extinction, then the passage teaches the annihilation of the wicked, in which case the adjective αἰώνιος is superfluous, since extinction is final, and excludes the idea of duration. But ὄλεθρος does not always mean destruction or extinction. Take the kindred verb ἀπόλλυμι to destroy, put an end to, or in the middle voice, to be lost, to perish. Peter says, “the world being deluged with water, perished” (ἀπολοῦνται 2Pe_3:6); but the world did not become extinct, it was renewed. In Heb_1:11, Heb_1:12 quoted from Psalm 102, we read concerning the heavens and the earth as compared with the eternity of God, “they shall perish” (ἀπολοῦνται ). But the perishing is only preparatory to change and renewal. “They shall be changed” (ἀλλαγήσονται ). Comp. Isa_51:6, Isa_51:16; Isa_65:17; Isa_66:22; 2Pe_3:13; Rev_21:1. Similarly, “the Son of man came to save that which was lost” (ἀπολωλός ), Luk_19:10. Jesus charged his apostles to go to the lost (ἀπολωλότα ) sheep of the house of Israel, Mat_10:6, comp. Mat_15:24. “He that shall lose (ἀπολέσῃ ) his life for my sake shall find it,” Mat_16:25. Comp. Luk_15:6, Luk_15:9, Luk_15:32.
In this passage the word destruction is qualified. It is “destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power, “ at his second coming, in the new eon. In other words, it is the severance, at a given point of time, of those who obey not the gospel from the presence and the glory of Christ. Ἁιώνιος may therefore describe this severance as continuing during the millennial eon between Christ's coming and the final judgment; as being for the wicked prolonged throughout that eon and characteristic of it, or it may describe the severance as characterizing or enduring through a period or eon succeeding the final judgment, the extent of which period is not defined. In neither case is αἰώνιος to be interpreted as everlasting or endless.


And there you have it....

Nineveh
March 2nd, 2005, 09:07 AM
logos,
Ages and ages are the same as forever and ever. Do you actually search out single versions of Scripture and word studies that you can more easily twist to justify you theology?

The Bible is clear in it's teaching if you pick one and read it through. It's pretty deceptive of you to pick and choose only that which you can accept when the whole Bible is clear on the matter.

logos_x
March 2nd, 2005, 09:28 AM
same back at ya

Nineveh
March 2nd, 2005, 09:36 AM
I'm not in the habit of swapping versions, that seems to be your trick.

logos_x
March 2nd, 2005, 12:41 PM
The whole Bible IS clear on the matter, Nin. The King James Version, though, is not clear on the matter..and niether are it's spinoffs.

But, since you aren't even inclined to investigate the matter, but only insisting that eternal torment is the only view that is "Christian" (it isn't), I regret that I see no reason to argue with you further on the subject...because we are unlikely to agree on this issue any time soon.

God bless you,
Logos

Nineveh
March 2nd, 2005, 12:47 PM
Originally posted by logos_x

The whole Bible IS clear on the matter, Nin. The King James Version, though, is not clear on the matter..and niether are it's spinoffs.

I'm not a KJV-only person. All of my quotes come from NIV and if I need to be sure NASB, neither of which rely on KJV.


But, since you aren't even inclined to investigate the matter,

No, what I have not been inclined to do is read half a dozen web sites. You can ssume all you like, but I've had this debate before, so I have done my homework on the topic.


but only insisting that eternal torment is the only view that is "Christian" (it isn't), I regret that I see no reason to argue with you further on the subject...because we are unlikely to agree on this issue any time soon.

Ignore as you like, I know the Truth can be uncomfortable when it comes to giving up charished theology. You were wrong about God's desire/will, it could be that you are in error trying to be nicer than God where hell is concerned, too.