Eternal Consequences
A TIMELESS DECEPTION
Exposing the false doctrine of "Eternal Punishment"
TIME AND ETERNITY (AUDIO TRANSCRIPT)
L. Ray Smith (Bible Truths)
ENDLESS PUNISHMENT EXAMINED AND EXPLAINED
D. P. Livermore
IF EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT IS NOT ETERNAL...
Gary Amirault (TENTMAKER)
HELL IS LEAVING THE BIBLE "FOREVER"
EVERLASTING - SHOWN TO DENOTE LIMITED DURATION
John Wesley Hanson
THE POWER OF LIFE IN DEATH IN A GREEK FOUR LETTER WORD
DOES "FOR EVER AND EVERS" MAKE SENSE TO YOU?
NOTE ON OLETHRON AIONIAN (ETERNAL DESTRUCTION)
Marvin R. Vincent
TIME AND ETERNITY (A BIBLICAL STUDY)
G. T. Stevenson
ETERNITY IN THE BIBLE
Gerry beauchemin
IS EVERLASTING SCRIPTURAL?
Dear Mr

 

Introduction.

It is astonishing how much scriptural truth has been lost due to the raw audacity of some of Christendom’s most celebrated scholarly minds. Throughout centuries of political and social upheaval, Biblical truth has been concealed, twisted, bastardised and canonised beyond redemption to suit the agendas of the ecclesiastical ruling elite. Few Christians today realise that one of the most sinful events in Christian history, is by and large responsible for the promotion of the most blasphemous and demonic teaching ever attributed, to the glorious name of Christ Jesus.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (1 Tim 4:1)

For though endowed with the benefit of massive historical resources and technological advances, modern Christian teachers today not only ignore the truth of the history books and of the scriptures, but continue to promulgate with ferocious tenacity, the damnable teaching of “eternal punishment.”

 “Eternity,” “eternal,” “forever and ever,” “timeless”, “ageless,” “everlasting.”

Today, such terminology is used frequently and unquestionably throughout the teachings of the Christian church.  They are in fact as pervasive within Christendom as they are within secular philosophical circles. But what if such words were not only found to be unscriptural…but also unknown in the ancient world of the Hebrews and Greeks? Would any Christian teacher dare to believe it? Is there sound reason to even propose such a possibility? Believe it or not, scriptures do just that!

These facts will not be proved by the English translations of the scriptures however, but by the original Hebrew and Greek texts of the Holy writ. Few indeed would have the ears to hear it of course as it would bring into question some of the most important doctrines of mainstream Christian theology, the doctrine of “everlasting damnation” being the most obvious.

It is a sobering fact indeed, that untold billions of human beings have lived and died without hearing the gospel of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. What has become of them? Is there no hope? For thousands of years generations of men from innumerable cultures, like the grass, have appeared and in a few fleeting years withered and vanished. Whence came those countless billions of human beings, and where do they go? This is the problem which has preoccupied the world's thought since the dawn of history. This is the question about which philosophers have theorized and theologians have dogmatized.

The problem of the eternal destiny of mankind is the question of questions! It concerns every individual and touches everything of enduring interest. Life is a vapour that appears for a while and vanishes away. But there is a beyond...the question is -What is that beyond to be?

Contrary to popular modern teaching, God actually has a good plan for ALL humanity. It involves ALL those subject to his righteous judgements, be it now, or the other side of deaths veil. For unbeknownst to most Christian teachers, God has plans beyond the realm of judgement and woe. It encompasses the minutest detail of all of creation. For when time on earth has run its course and the veil is dropped upon the final scene, we shall discover that all things have been worked out to its very tiniest detail, just as God had planned it. His will has been done! He is perfect in His holiness and judgements, His love and mercy. He is perfect in His wisdom and in His omniscience. Therefore, His plan must be perfect...

However, this is not to deny that currently, the world is filled with many evils; that all about us we see that sin and evil and disease and death cling to man. It is not to shut our eyes to those realities, but it is to open our eyes to the realization that God sovereignly overwhelms all these things to bring about His own will. God has created this world. God created Satan and God knew precisely what this angel of destruction would contribute. He knew of the chaos and the sin that would be introduced into the peaceful calm of those Elysium fields. Yet God created him anyway. God knew that with sin would come the perfect judgment of God upon that sin, which means sickness, death, judgment, disillusionment and decay. He planned it that way! God ordained all these things so that He might overcome them for good. God is the LORD OF ALL and He is working out His purposes in our lives, in all of the world, and through the whole universe. Do the scriptures prove it so?

 

 

The issue

God's Word does not contradict. There is perfect sense in the ancient languages and words God chose, to bring forth the revelation of himself to mankind. It was no accident that God chose the Hebrew and Greek languages to portray the complexities of his existence and his dealings with humanity, the apple of His eye. Those who are familiar with these ancient languages can testify to their uniqueness and expressiveness. Indeed the problem lies not with the languages, but rather in their translation.

There is a reason Christ warns against "adding to" or "taking away from" this Word (Rev. 22:18-19). When teaching God's Word we are told to rightly divide (or cut) His Word (II Tim. 2:15-18). We are to "distinguish the things that differ" (Phil. 1:10). We are to have a pattern of sound words (II Tim. 1:13-14). In addition to these we are to shun the traditions of men (Col. 2:8) and the wisdom of this world (I Cor. 1:20 & 3:19). Yet it is a rare teacher who actually does these things.

Now, a dictionary or lexicon is the not the most authoritative place to find the true definition of a word. Especially if the word in question makes or breaks a particular controversial doctrine, such as, is punishment of the wicked for a period of time that ends, or for all eternity.

 In many Bibles the Greek word: "aion" is translated as "forever," and "aionios" is translated, "everlasting," or "eternal."

Strong's Greek Dictionary defines aion as follows:  "an age, perpetuity, the world, a Messianic period, course, eternal, forever, evermore, without end."

Strong's defines the adjective aionios as follows: "perpetual, eternal, forever, everlasting."

Now seriously. Are these definitions good scholarship.....or religious bias? Imagine defining the word "white" like this:

WHITE: “white, white light, bright, maximum lightness, brilliant, blanch, off-white, shaded, light gray, dark gray, between light and dark, dark gray, dark, COAL BLACK." 

Does anything see a problem with this definition of "white?" Does anyone see a problem with Strong's definition of "aion/aionios?"

Yes, one of the most destructive teachings formulated by Christendom (due to translational errors in our modern Bibles) is this very doctrine, the doctrine of “eternal punishment.”

“The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever(aion) and ever.”(Rev 20:10)

Transliteration: aiōn

 

Phonetic Pronunciation:ahee-ohn'

 

Definition: from the same as <G104> (aei); properly an age; by extension perpetuity (also past); by implication the world; specially (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future) :- age, course, eternal, (for) ever (-more), [n-]ever, (beginning of the, while the) world (began, without end). Compare <G5550> (chronos).

 

Greek Word: αἰών

Root: from the same as <G104>

Part of Speech: noun masculine

This concerns the translation of the Greek noun ’aion’ and its adjective ‘aionios’ into the English word “eternal.” The Hebrew word ‘olam’ has suffered a similar fate. Any reputable Bible scholar knows that there is NO such single word in the Hebrew or Greek (including their use in ancient secular literature) that equates to the meaning held by the English word “eternal.”  Eternity was in fact an abstract concept to both the Hebrew/Jewish and Greek mindset. “Forever and ever” (as translated in the English) should be translated “aions of the aions.” (age of the age).

The difference this makes to the very character and nature of God in his dealing with humanity (providing the scholarship is provable) is beyond staggering. Will the masses of unbelieving humanity be tortured eternally….or will there be an ‘”age” abiding chastisement? The truth is shocking as it is profound!

 

 

"AIONIOS" - A Lesson in Grammar

The noun “AION” nowhere means eternal. Its simple meaning is an age. In its plural form it means ages. Once we understand that “AIONIOS” is the adjective form of the noun “AION,” a simple little sixth-grade grammar lesson should once and for all establish the exact meaning of “AIONIOS.”

A noun is a word that tells what you are talking about. A noun is a word that names something, a person, place, thing, quality, etc. Boy, water, tree, age and truth are all nouns.

An adjective is a word that is used with a noun to describe it. It is a word that tells you what kind, what colour, which one, etc. If you wanted to tell someone about the hat a woman was wearing you would describe the hat in some way. You might say that it was a large hat, an atrocious hat, or a red hat. These are adjectives, words that describe what kind, what colour of hat.

When you add one or more of these "describing words" or "adjectives" to hat, you give a clearer picture of what the hat is like. Some words are both nouns and adjectives, that is, the same word can be used both ways. Sometimes the adjective form of the word is identical to the noun form, while at other times the spelling is slightly different.

Look at these sentences: "I would like to visit France." "I am learning the French language." France is a proper noun, but the adjective form of the same word is spelled differently - French. But in both cases they indicate the same setting. Anyone with even an elementary knowledge of grammar (English or Greek) knows that the meaning of a noun and the meaning of the same word in its adjective form MUST CORRESPOND! It cannot have one meaning as a noun and exactly opposite meaning as an adjective!

Let us illustrate. If we say "John is in college," the word college is a noun. But if we say, "John has sixteen college credits," college is an adjective, modifying the word credits - telling what kind of credits. Now we all know what a college is - an institution of higher education that grants degrees - so we understand what kind of institution John is attending in the first sentence.

Since we know the meaning of college, when we come to the second sentence we have no difficulty understanding what kind of credits John has - college credits - credits gained through study in an institution of higher education granting degrees! No one in his right mind is going to read the second statement and conclude that John has just finished kindergarten, or that he has a diploma showing that he finished sixteen lessons in leather craft at the YMCA, or that he has $16.00 worth of credit at a department store! College as a noun and college as an adjective cannot have altogether different meanings. They mean the same in both cases!

Now, the adjective “AIONIOS” which is directly derived from the noun “AION” occurs seventy times in the New Testament. It is an axiom of grammar that derivatives cannot have a greater force than the parent word. When we have an adjective derived from a noun, the meaning of the adjective is dependent upon the meaning of the noun. A daily paper is one that comes every day. A monthly bill is due for payment every month, not once a year. A yearly automobile license is good for one year, not for ever.

Thus the adjective “AIONIOS,” a derivative of “AION,” carries within itself its own solution; for “AIONIOS” is simply what belongs or relates to the “AIONS”“the ages” - hence it cannot carry a force or express a duration greater than that of “the ages” of which it speaks. If therefore these “ages” are limited periods, some of which are already past, while others are yet to come, the word “AIONIOS” cannot mean infinity! And yet language experts who should know better tell us that the Greek noun “AION” means “an age,” or “ages,” which is TIME, and then proceed to ridiculously explain that the adjective form of the same word means exactly the opposite – “unending,” “everlasting,” “ETERNAL!”  A child of ten should be able to understand that that is not so!

 

 

The real Scholars

But perhaps this is just lay mans speculation. Surely when it comes to proper Bible scholarship, this cornerstone doctrine of eternal punishment will be exonerated from the venom of this accusatory diatribe. Well, let us consider then some real Christian scholars on the subject of the words translated “eternal” and “everlasting” in the scriptures. Prepare to be shocked!

Eternal: Greek: "aeonion," i.e., "of the ages." Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed, does not signify "during," but "belong to" the aeons or ages." The New Testament in Modern Speech, by Dr. R. F. Weymouth

Time: The Old Testament and the New Testament are not acquainted with the conception of eternity as timelessness. The Old Testament has not developed a special term for "eternity." The word “aion” originally meant "vital force," "life," then "age," "lifetime." The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (vol. IV, p. 643)

(Matt. 25:46(. Everlasting punishment--life eternal. The two adjectives represent the same Greek word, aionios—it must be admitted that the Greek word which is rendered "eternal" does not, in itself, involve endlessness, but rather, duration, whether through an age or succession of ages, and that it is therefore applied in the N.T. to periods of time that have had both a beginning and ending (Rom. 16:25). Elliot’s Commentary on the Whole Bible.

Eternity. There is no word either in the O.T. Hebrew or the N.T. Greek to express the abstract idea of eternity. (Vol. III, p. 369)

Eternal, everlasting—nonetheless "eternal" is misleading, inasmuch as it has come in the English to connote the idea of "endlessly existing," and thus to be practically a synonym for "everlasting." But this is not an adequate rendering of aionios which varies in meaning with the variations of the noun aion from which it comes. (p. 370)

The chronoios aioniois moreover, are not to be thought of as stretching backward everlastingly, as it is proved by the pro chronon aionion of II Tim. 1:9; Titus. 1:2. (Note: pro chronon aionion means "BEFORE times eonian." Since this Scripture tells us that there was time "before" eonian, eionian cannot possibly mean eternal, for nothing can be "before" eternity.) Hasting’s Dictionary of the New Testament (Vol. I, p. 542, art. Christ and the Gospels).

ETERNITY: The Bible hardly speaks of eternity in the philosophical sense of infinite duration without beginning or end. The Hebrew word olam, which is used alone (Ps. 61:8; etc.) or with various prepositions (Gen. 3:22; etc.) in contexts where it is traditionally translated as ‘forever,’ means in itself no more than ‘for an indefinitely long period." Thus me olam does not mean ‘from eternity’ but ‘of old’ Gen. 6:4; etc.). In the N.T. aion is used as the equivalent of olam. (Note: even the Catholic translators of The Jerusalem Bible and The New American Bible have failed to heed the scholarship of their own Catholic authorities.) The large Catholic Bible dictionary, The Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible (p. 693).

Eternal, Greek aeonion, i.e., of the ages: Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed does not signify, "during" but "belonging to" the aeons or ages. Dr. R. F. Weymouth, a translator who was adept in Greek, states in The New Testament in Modern Speech (p. 657).

The adjective aionios in like manner carries the idea of time. Neither the noun nor the adjective in themselves carries the sense of "endless" or "everlasting.’ Anionios means enduring through or pertaining to a period of time. Dr. Marvin Vincent, Word Studies of the New Testament (Vol. IV, p. 59).

"That the adjective is applied to some things which are ‘endless’ does not, of course, for one moment prove that the word itself meant ‘endless;’ and to introduce this rendering into many passages would be utterly impossible and absurd." Dr. F. W. Farrar, author of The Life of Christ and The Life and Word of St. Paul, as well as books about Greek grammar and syntax, writes in The Eternal Hope (p. 198).

"Since aion meant ‘age,’ aionios means, properly, ‘belonging to an age,’ or ‘age-long,’ and anyone who asserts that it must mean ‘endless’ defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago. Even if aion always meant ‘eternity,’ which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greekaionios could still mean only ‘belonging to eternity’ and not ‘lasting through it." In Dr. Farrar’s book, Mercy and Judgment, (p. 378).

"The O.T. and the N.T. are not acquainted with the concept of eternity as timelessness." Page 655: "The O.T. has not developed a special term for eternity." Page 645: "The use of the word aion in the N.T. is determined very much by the O.T. and the LXX. Aion means long, distant, uninterrupted time. The intensifying plural occurs frequently in the N.T. but it adds no new meaning." The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, (Vol. 4, p. 641).

"I fail to find, as is used by the Greek Fathers, any instance in which the idea of time duration is unlimited." Dr. Edward Plumptre, an eschatologist.

"Since, as we have seen, the noun aion refers to a period of time it appears, very improbable that the derived adjective aionios would indicate infinite duration, nor have we found any evidence in Greek writing to show that such a concept was expressed by this term." Time and Eternity by G. T. Stevenson, (p. 63).

"The Bible has no expression for endlessness. All the Biblical terms imply or denote long periods." Professor Herman Oldhausen, German Lutheran theologian.

"The Hebrew was destitute of any single word to express endless duration. The pure idea of eternity is NOT FOUND IN ANY OF THE ANCIENT LANGUAGES." Professor Knappe of Halle wrote...

"Eternity is not a Biblical theme." (Vol. 1, p. 52), "What we have to learn is that the Bible does not speak of eternity. It is not written to tell us of eternity. Such a consideration is entirely outside the scope of revelation."

This meaning is based on the most frequent usages of the word by the people to whom the ancient koine Greek language was native. Plato, Phocylides, Philo, Clement, Diodorus Siculus, Arrianus, Josephus, Maximus Tyrius, Ignatius, Homer are among those who used this meaning of the word "aionios". An Alphabetical Analysis by Charles H. Welch (Editor of The Berean Expositor and a man well versed in Greek), (Vol. 1, p. 279)

"Philo did not use aionios to express endless duration." Dr. Mangey, a translator of the writings of Philo.

Josephus obviously did not consider anionios to be "everlasting," seeing that he uses the word to represent the period of time between the giving of the law of Moses and that of his own writing [clearly not an eternity]. He also assigns aionios to the period of imprisonment of the tyrant John by the Romans [clearly he was not imprisoned for an eternity], and also for the period during which Herod’s temple stood [since Herod’s temple was not even standing at the time Josephus wrote, it too proves that Josephus did not mean ‘eternity’ when he wrote ‘aionios’]. The Complete Works of Falvius Josephus.

"an eonian interval." How many intervals do you know of that are "endless" or "eternal?" Saint Gregory of Nyssa speaks of anionios diastema,

"Satan’s kingdom is aeonian; that is, it will cease with the present world." Saint Chrysostum, in his homily on Eph. 2:1-3.

aionion kolasin…all ouchi chiliontaete periodon, "eonian chastening but a period, not a thousand years," or as some translate this clause "but a period of a thousand years only." Hence, to Justin Martyr, aionios was certainly not "endless." Saint Justin Martyr, in the Apol. (p. 57), used the word aionios repeatedly.

Are these not the most staggering opinions? Even Robert Young, author of the highly respected Young’s Analytical Concordance, in his literal translation of the Bible, always translates these words as ‘age’ and never once as ‘everlasting,’ or ‘eternal.’

Imagine presenting these views to your average Church pastor or evangelist. What would they make of them? Amazingly, these simple and profound statements would be deemed heresy in the highest order according to your mainstream Christian theologian. Yet we miss so much vital truth by our careless scanning of the Bible, and by clinging tenaciously to the time-worn traditions of the religious systems, mistaking them for the holy truths of God.

 

 

 

Eternal Duration - A Modern Conception

But there is more to come! It does not seem to have been generally considered by students of this subject that the thought of endless duration is comparatively a modern conception. The ancients, at a time more recent than the dates of the Old Testament, had not yet cognized the idea of endless duration, so that passages containing the word applied to God do not mean that he is of eternal duration, but the idea was of indefinite and not unlimited duration.

"The pure idea of eternity is too abstract to have been conceived in the early ages of the world, and accordingly is not found expressed by any word in the ancient languages. But as cultivation advanced and this idea became more distinctly developed, it became necessary in order to express it to invent new words in a new sense, as was done with the words eternitas,perennitas, etc. The Hebrews were destitute of any single word to express endless duration. To express a past eternity they said before the world was; a future, when the world shall be no more. . . . The Hebrews and other ancient people have no one word for expressing the precise idea of eternity." (Professor Knapp.)

 

THE GREEK CLASSICS

It is a vital question then - How was the word used in the Greek literature with which the Seventy were familiar, that is, the Greek Classics?

In his Word Studies in the New Testament, Marvin Vincent, D.D., Baldwin Professor of Sacred Literature at Union Theological Seminary, New York, explained:

“Aion,” transliterated “aeon,” is a period of longer or shorter duration, having a beginning and an end, and complete in itself. Aristotle (peri ouravou, i. 9, 15) said, “The period which includes the whole time of one’s life is called the aeon of each one.” Hence, it often means the life of a man, as in Homer, where one’s life (aion) 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 the millennium, the mythological 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 aeons as entities, the respective durations of which are fixed by the normal conditions of the several entities. There is one “aeon” 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 aeon depends on the subject to which it is attached.

The adjective “aionious” 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.... “Aionios” means “enduring through” or “pertaining to a period of time.” Both the noun and the adjective are applied to limited periods….Out of the 150 instances in LXX, [Greek Old Testament] four-fifths imply limited duration. For a few instances, see Gen. xlviii. 4; Num. x. 8; xv. 15; Prov. xxii. 28; Jonah ii.6; Hab. iii. 6; Isa lxi. 17.

Yet there is more proof. Some years since Rev. Ezra S. Goodwin patiently and candidly traced this word through the Classics, finding the noun frequently in nearly all the writers, but not meeting the adjective until Plato, its inventor, used it. He states, as the result of his protracted and exhaustive examination from the beginning down to Plato, "We have the whole evidence of seven Greek writers, extending through about six centuries, down to the age of Plato, who make use of Aión, in common with other words; and not one of them EVER employs it in the sense of eternity."

In the Iliad and Odyssey Aión occurs thirteen times, as a noun, besides its occurrence as a participle in the sense of hearing, perceiving, understanding. Homer never uses it as signifying eternal duration. Priam to Hector says,(14) "Thyself shall be deprived of pleasant aiónos" (life.) Andromache over dead Hector,(15) "Husband thou hast perished from aiónos" (life or time.)

Sophocles nine times. "Endeavor to remain the same in mind as long as you live." Askei toiaute noun di aiónos menein.(21) He also employs makraion five times, as long-enduring. The word long increases the force of aión, which would be impossible if it had the idea of eternity.

 

THE OLD TESTAMENT TO NEW TESTAMENT

When the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew into Greek by the Seventy, the word aión had been in common use for many centuries. It is preposterous to say that the Seventy would render the Hebrew olam by the Greek aión and give to the latter (1) a different meaning from that of the former, or (2) a different meaning from aión in the current Greek literature. It is self-evident, then, that Aión in the Old Testament means exactly what Olam means, and also what Aión means in the Greek classics. Indefinite duration is the sense of olam, and it is equally clear that aión has a similar signification. Revelation indeed!

 

 

Eons or Forever?

Mainstream Christian theologians would do well to consider the following then. If "for ever" means "always" or "eternity," what pray does "and for ever" mean? Is that something like whiter than white?  Here in lies the problem with “eternity” in the Scriptures.

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

The King James says in Rev. 11:15 that Christ will reign "forever and ever." However, the Authorized Version of Rev. 11:15 is an unfortunate and misleading translation, the phrase "for ever and ever" is unscriptural. Remember, Greek is a very exact language, but King James is a very inexact translation. Here's what God's "exact" Word says regarding this matter.

First of all, the Greek in Rev. 11:15 is not "for ever and ever," but "aions of the aions." The Greek is not "and," it is "of." It's in the genitive case. "Of" contrasts one thing with another. It does not "add" one thing to another. This is a big difference.

Secondly, the Greek word "aion" does not mean "for ever" or "eternal" or "everlasting" or any other word which denotes "endless time." Strong's Lexicon says one thing yet shows another. Dr. Strong's Concordance contradicts his own definition.

Thirdly, in Rev. 11:15, "aion" is in the plural, "aions." Now if you insist that "aion" means "forever" or "eternal," how is it possible to have a plurality of "eternities?" This alone proves that "aion" cannot be translated "eternal." There can be no plurality of eternity. Whatever "aion" means, it cannot mean "eternal." Can we not see the idiocy of this pervasive Christian dogma?

"Eon" is the closest English equivalent to the Greek word "aion." Age is close, but has no adjective form, as eon does (eonian).

For the most part, "aion" is a long period of time, with a beginning and an end, similar to an "age." And, that it never denotes "for ever" or "eternity."

So, more accurately, the Greek Scriptures tell us that Christ will reign "for the eons of the eons" or "the ages of the ages." "For the eons of the eons" makes simple and exact sense, and is in harmony with other Scriptures. "For ever and ever" contradicts dozens of other Scriptures, as we will see. The truth is, "for ever and ever" is a contradiction by itself. Both language and logic forbid duplication of anything infinite. There is no such thing as "several eternities" or "multiple for evers" or "numerous everlastings."

In Rev. 11:15 both "eons" are in the PLURAL. So if someone insists that an "aion" means "forever" or "eternity," then "aions" would be "for evers" or "eternities." Hence it would have to be translated "for evers of evers" or "for eternities of eternities." What sense is there in such contradictory phrases? The Greek is "aions of the aions" not "aions after the aions" or "aions upon the aions." Could it be that there is an "exactness" and purity here that the clergy are failing to teach?

So how are we to understand the Scripture that says Christ will "reign for the eons of the eons?" It's quite simple. Christ "reigns for the eons of the eons" because He reigns for only two eons out of all the other eons. He will reign for the next two eons. That is, He will reign for the thousand years (the next eon) and He reigns during the New Heaven and the New Earth, the eon after that. Christ reigns over these two eons because Rev. 15:3 plainly tells us that He is "King of the eons." Except the King James Version, that is. The King James has it "King of saints." The "exact" Greek word in this verse is "eons," not "saints" or "nations." The Greek word for "saints" is agion not aions.

 

 

The Plan of the Ages

The consequences of these scholarly oversights have confounded the basic foundational truths of the Christian faith well beyond the understanding of the average church goer. As a result, the Church as we know it has been living in a fool's paradise, propounding pet doctrines, ranting and raving about an endless eternity with golden streets and harps and white nightgowns for some and crackling, searing, tormenting flames for others, but almost completely overlooking God's wonderful PLAN OF THE AGES. We have to but read the scriptures to understand these plans in the correct context of time.

Paul writes of this plan of the ages in

"Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and make all to see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Eph. 3:8-11)

 The word translated "eternal" in the phrase "eternal purpose" is the Greek word AIONON or "ages."

Young's Literal Translation reads:

"And to cause all to see what is the fellowship of the secret that has been hid FROM THE AGES in God, who the all things did create by Jesus Christ, that there might be made known now to the principalities and authorities in the heavenly places, through the assembly, the manifold wisdom of God, according to A PURPOSE OF THE AGES, which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord."

The Diaglott renders verse 11 thus,

"According to A PLAN OF THE AGES, which He formed for the Anointed Jesus our Lord,"

And Rotherham says,

"According to A PLAN OF THE AGES which He made in the anointed Jesus our Lord. "

Yes, as men with the aid of God's Word have gazed into the vista of the future, it seems to have missed their understanding that God says very little in His Word about eternity, while devoting many hundreds of passages to His will and works wrought through THE AGES.

 "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds" (Heb. 1:1-2).

What tremendous statements we have here! God has spoken to us through His Son - literally, "spoke to us in Son," or, God spoke to us in One who has the character that He is a SON, revealing the realm and relationship of sonship to God. This Son is heir of all things and, blessed be God! we are joint heirs with Him.

"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God." (Heb. 11:3), but it should read, "the ages were planned by the word of God."

God made, planned, and determined the destiny of all the ages by Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of this universe, and time and space, and there is purpose to it all. For many years now multitudes of preachers and people in the Churches would have us believe that God has been in this great work of the ages for the short period of about 6,000 years. They tell us that in this day God is about to become so disgusted with the whole mess that He is going to close it down, take a few saints away to some far off heaven somewhere, and give up on the rest of the creation, the work of His love.

Yet the average Christian just cannot see the error of its dogma. What a WEAK God some folk have and worship! They worship a God who CHANGES, one who in the beginning did start out to bring about a glorious end, but somewhere along the line lost control of the situation and has now thrown up His hands in despair and decided to destroy the whole thing and be satisfied with a little handful for Himself for all eternity.

Is he not able to carry out His purpose?  What a prospect for God and His creation! If God knew in the beginning that it would turn out like this and included eternal damnation in His creative plans, then why did He create the world in the first place? Better to have forgotten the whole creation in the beginning! And if God DID NOT know this from the beginning, THEN HE IS NOT GOD. Are we beginning to see the light here?

 

 

Christ, King of the ages

So, a thorough study of the scriptures, prove that the Biblical languages speak only of a succession of ages…not a succession of “eternities”. A perfect example of this is both of the eons, over which Christ will reign. They have beginnings and have ends, which excludes any possibility that they last "for ever."

See its simplicity: There was a time before God made any eons (I Cor. 2:7).

 “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world (aion) unto our glory”

Then God made the eons (Heb. 1:2). “And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail”

There were eons in the past (Col 1:26). even the mystery which hath been hid for ages (aion) and generations:but now hath it been manifested to his saints”

We are living in this present wicked eon (Gal. 1:4). “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from thispresent evil world (aion), according to the will of God and our Father:”

Satan is the god of this eon (II Cor. 4:4). “In whom the god of this world (aion) hath blinded the minds of themwhich believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them”

Christ, not Satan, will reign a thousand years in the next eon (Lk 1:33). “And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever (aion); and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

The thousand years will come to an end (Rev. 20:3).“And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”

Christ will reign in the eon that follows the thousand years (Rev. 22:5 and Lk. 1:33).“And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neitherlight of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever(aion) and ever (aion)” “And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever (aion); and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

 Hence, He reigns for the "eons" (the next two) "of the eons" (all others). Now, here we come closest to the idea of something like unto the Christian idea of “eternal life” – we shall examine this phrase “shall be no end” later.

Then the last eon comes to an end (I Cor. 10:11).“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world (aion) are come”

Christ ceases to reign after the eons come to an end (I Cor. 15:24:28) “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 allauthority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his  feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 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. 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”.

Because He turns over the Kingdom to God His Father and God becomes "all in all." The eons end, but that which is of the Kingdom continues ( Isa. 9:7).Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

We all continue "living" after the eons because, just like God, we will then all have been given immortality.

 

 

The Tabernacle - Shadow of the eons

So it is easy to see how the genitive "eons of the eons" has exact parallels in Scripture – no contradictions, no grey areas. For example, students of Scripture are familiar with the "holy place," and the "holy of holies." In the best manuscript (corrected Sinaiticus), we read of "the holies of holies" in Heb. 9:25.

“Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth

 into the holy place every year with blood of others”

In Israel the tabernacle was holy, the court was holy, and the camp of Israel was holy. The "holies of holies" is not a countless succession of holies. This form of speech doesn't multiple holy places upon holy places. The holies of holies are confined to just two holy places in the tabernacle as related to the court and the camp which were also considered holy.

There is a remarkable correspondence with the eons (or eonian times) and the divisions of the tabernacle. We know of five eons.

The first eon is "outside the camp" (before the disruption of the world, Gen. 1:2).

The second is "the camp" (from Adam to Noah).

The third is "the court" (this present evil eon-the one in which our Lord was crucified, represented by the altar in the court).

The fourth is "the holy place" (holy because Christ will rule in the next eon, not Satan).

The fifth is the "holy of the holies" (because God Himself will dwell with man in New Heaven and New Earth (Rev. 21:1-3). And, of course, these last two eons are the two eons in which Christ reigns. Hence, they are called the "eons of the eons" (contrasting them with all other eons) in the same way that the tabernacle contained the "holies of holies,"(contrasting them with all other holy places).

The truth of the matter is this. We insult Christ to contend that He reigns “for ever”. If that were true, then He would never accomplish His mission of " ... placing all His enemies under His feet" (I Cor. 15:25). That's why the Scriptures plainly tell us that He reigns until that is accomplished. There is not one word in either the Hebrew or Greek Scriptures that can be properly translated "forever" or "eternity," or any other word meaning "endless" time.

Some might suggest that a verse such as Rom. 16:26-- " ... the everlasting [Greek: 'aionian'] God" proves that aionian is eternal. It does not. Paul isn't trying to tell us here that God lives "for ever." The Scriptures have long ago told us that God's life has no end (Psalm 102:27).

Paul is telling us that God is not off in a corner somewhere unconcerned with mankind, but that He is "the eonian God." That is, He is God of the eons in which we live (Rev. 15:8). This does not say God ceases to exist at the end of the eons any more than Christ ceases to exist after He is no longer "King of the eons (Rev. 5:3)."

When there are no more eons, Christ ceases to be the King of the eons (I Cor. 15:24). He certainly doesn't cease to exist. When the eons end (and they all will), then God will be the same God He has always been. It's just that there will be no more eons or ages. Consider: the Scriptures tell us that God is "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." Would we deduce from this that God is not the God of Noah, King David, the Apostles, or even you or me? Suddenly the scriptures start to make sense! Suddenly we start to understand God’s plan beyond the carnal, beyond the doctrines of men and of demons. Yes, when the scriptures are interpreted correctly through the prism of truth, we begin to see with increasing lucidity, the true glory of almighty God.

 

 

Immortality?

Unfortunately these errors have influenced various other deviations from the truth. Take the concept of immortality.  "Immortality" likewise does not mean by definition, "eternity." The Greek word for immortality is “athanasa” and means UN-DEATH (or deathlessness).

Athanasia From a compound of G1 (as a negative particle) and G2288; deathlessness: - immortality.

Of course, contrary to popular Christian teaching, where we are taught that humans possess an immortal and eternal soul, scriptures states;

"He is King of kings and Lord of lords, Who only hath immortality (athanasa), dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. (aionios) Amen. (I Tim. 6:16).

For we must be given immortality.

“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” (I Cor 15:53-54).

Believers are promised "eonian life" so they are given "immortality," which sees them through and beyond eonian life. Unbelievers are NOT given "eonian life" or "immortality" at the same time we are given it. Hence they can die in the second death. However, after the eons end, they too, (all unsaved from Adam on) are "vivified" [Greek: zoopoieo] (LIVE-DO)--given life beyond the reach of death. This confers immortality (Jn 5:21-22, Rom. 4:17, I Tim. 6:13).

"For even as in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all (this is the same "all" used both times) be vivified." (I Cor. 15:22-28)

There is a "class" or "order" to the vivification of all. First Christ, Second those who are Christ's in His presence, Third the consummation. Christ reigns only until He nullifies all sovereignty and all authority and power, and has placed all enemies under His feet. The last enemy being abolished is death. Then Christ Himself gives up the kingdom to His Father and becomes subject to His Father and God becomes " ... All in All."

"That God may be all in all." Now there's a verse you won’t hear a sermon on. This is probably the most glorious, all-encompassing verse in the Bible, yet few will hear it taught. Could it be because this verse doesn't fit into the doctrines of Christendom? Many Christians don't want God to be "all in all." They don't approve of it. They want God to be "all in them" or "all in a few," but certainly not "all in all." It's just like most other basic truths of Scripture: they don't fit into Christian theology.

Of course, firstly the chosen elect saints rule and reign with Christ for thousands of years (eons/ages) as a special reward from God. They are given immortality SO THAT THEY CAN live and not die during the thousands of years with Christ. They, along with Christ, bring about the consummation of the ages when ALL ENEMIES are subjected and death itself is abolished.  So why then, since they are given this “eonian" period of rulership with Christ, should theology insist that their life must END when the eons end? Ruling with Christ is for an age…followed by a greater age…than ages of the ages….glory to glory. The word “eternity” holds no sway on the argument.

If for example, an employer gives a special holiday to all his employees but as a reward gives a prior month’s vacation for a special group of high producers only,. When their extended holiday comes to an end, what happens? Do they have to go home? No. Does the boss fire them? No. Do they DIE? No. Well, what then? Simple. The REST of the employees (all of humanity in the second resurrection) JOIN them and they ALL CONTINUE VACATIONING.

 So even though their (the chosen) special reward vacation comes to an end, their place of honour does not; their vacation does not, their employment does not; their lives do not. So it is with the ages of Gods increasing kingdom.

"For we know that if our [believers'] earthly house [physical bodies] of this tabernacle were dissolved [destroyed] we have a building of God, an house not made with hands [not made so that it won't last] [but] .eternal (gk 166 aionios) in the heavens." 2 Cor 5:1

Again, we are looking forward to an "eonian" habitation OUT of heaven, on this earth, with Christ, for the eonian periods of time. This is again the statement of fact, without limitations. An "immortal" body for all practicality is also "eternal." There is no argument here over that. An immortal body is DEATHLESS, and as such will live forever, eternally. But it will not live "eternally on this earth reigning with Christ." THAT reward is "eonian"

and it then comes to an END. Our lives don’t come to an end, but the period of reigning on the earth and judging the nations DOES COME TO AN END. Listen carefully: "Eonian times, eonian rulership, eonian rewards, eonian judgment" ALL END. However, those elect saints GIVEN eonian rulership and judgment with Christ DO NOT DIE OR DO NOT CEASE TO EXIST BECAUSE THEY HAVE IMMORTALITY, not because they are promised "eternal" life ANYWHERE in Scripture.

There is no problem with the fact that "immortality" is practically "eternal." That is, those with immortality live eternally. But that is NOT what the words themselves mean. Eternal does not MEAN immortality anymore than immortality means eternal.

Let’s have a little common sense and wisdom regarding this matter. It is senseless to state that "God is eternal." The very fact OF God is proof in itself that God IS eternal. We do not speak of "wet rain," do we? We do not say: "It’s raining WET rain." The very fact OF rain assumes that it is WET. The writers of Scripture had NO WORD in their vocabulary which could be defined as "endless time." But they DID have a word that signified "no death." Immortality means DEATH=LESS=NESS, not eternal or eternity.

Jesus doesn’t reign over ANYONE "forever." That is not a translation, but an interpretation. If Jesus reigns "forever," then Paul lied in I Cor. 15:25 where he tells us that Jesus rules ONLY UNTIL He puts down all enemies. He then TURNS OVER THE KINGDOME TO HIS GOD AND FATHER. He STOPS reigning. His "eternal" reign COMES TO AN END, because His reign is "aionion" and not "eternal."

Let’s look at "resurrection" and "immortality." If one were to cut these two doctrines from the Bible, it wouldn't affect Christian theology one iota. For they teach that, when a believer dies, he doesn't need to be resurrected from the dead or receive immortality (though Paul told us we do). According to Christian clergy, when a believer dies he already has an immortal soul, so he bypasses resurrection and immortality, and takes a short cut directly to heaven. However, "death" is an enemy, and without resurrection the dead could never live again. And without immortality the resurrected would only live a short time and die again (as the resurrected Lazarus of John 11).

The doctrine of immortality is essential. We "live" during the eons not because God promised us "eternal life," but because He gives us "immortality." That's how we live during the eons and after the eons. Those made immortal are never again subject to death.

As we briefly mentioned, the closest idea of anything resembling like “endless” (though an oxymoron in itself but for arguments sake) is expressed nowhere in the Bible accept in the following context. Take Isaiah 9:7 for example: "To the increase of the chieftainship, And to the welfare shall be no end." "No end" is properly translated. It would not be correct to translate this verse "for ever," "everlasting," or "eternally." When "endlessness" is meant in Scripture, it is expressed with the negative particle "no" seeing that there is no one word in the Scriptures that means "endless time."

Another verse that could be confusing in the Authorized Version is Isa. 57:15 translated thus:  "and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity." This is a bad translation. "Inhabiteth" should be "lodges" or "tabernacles." "Eternity" should be "future." The Hebrew language had no word to correspond with the word "eternity."

"Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen [temporal - temporary] but to things that are unseen [spiritual - eternal]; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting [2 Cor 4:18]:s

II Cor. 4:18 is neither speaking of "deathless" or "everlasting." It is speaking of what is happening now, in our life of flesh, and what will happen during the ages of our reign with Christ in the kingdom of God. The things of this life, we SEE daily. The things pertaining to the Kingdom of God are as yet "NOT seen." Again, it is not even speaking of what is "visible" and "Invisible," but rather what is NOW SEEN as compared with things "eonian" and NOT YET SEEN, which when seen will not be temporary, but will last through whole eons of time. And all that is perfected through the Kingdom of God and the reign of Christ bringing all enemies into subjection, will last on PAST the eons, and will have NO END.

The next great event in prophecy is not eternity, but rather the END of this eon and the BEGINNING of the next—the one in which the very elect will reign with Christ. There is no sense in jumping into eternity when as yet, we have numerous ages to yet live and administer God’s government and His Great Judgment. And so, what is not yet seen, is "eonian" (pertaining to the eons), and not "eternity”.

This is all common sense though really. God created the eons of time, therefore, He is "the eonian God." God is working out His plan of salvation for the entire human race within the confines of these "eonian times." Redemption is only one of many things that God will accomplish in the eons. There are no promises, no prophecies, no anything, mentioned in Scripture that goes beyond the conclusion of the eons.

After the eons are over, then what? What will we do? IT DOESN’T SAY. We know of only two things that are taught in reference to anything beyond the eons [1] we will all have IMMORTALITY [we will never die]. But remember, the word itself has nothing to do with "time," but rather ‘death-less-ness, and [2] God will be ALL IN ALL. That’s it! Beyond these, we must trust God in faith regarding what “eternity” holds for us.

Now for one of the most important truths of all regarding this word "aionios." When God says that He is "the EONIAN God," He is stating a FACT. That Jesus procured "EONIAN redemption" for us, is a statement of FACT. Neither "eonian God" nor "eonian redemption" are statements of LIMITATION - as mainstream theology would suggest to the argument that God is “eternal” and not “aeonian.” Of course God will live on through the ages forever. That is not the argument…To suggest that we are making statements of limitation is to pervert the Scriptures—they neither say nor insinuate any such thing.

This principle of stating a FACT, which is not a statement of LIMITATION is found throughout the Scriptures. God is for example: "The God OF Abraham, OF Isaac, and OF Jacob"(Ex. 3:6). This is a statement of FACT. It is not a statement of LIMITATION. This statement of fact does not limit God from also being the God of Moses, David, Peter and Paul.

If the statement said that God is the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ONLY," then it would be a statement of limitation, but we don’t find any such words of limitation in the verses in question. It doesn’t say that God is the "eonian God, ONLY," or that Jesus procured "eonian redemption ONLY" for us. Scripture does say that Jesus procured "EONIAN redemption for us," that that is a statement of fact, and that fact is scripturally true.

God’s elect will receive "redemption" during the remaining eons of time. Nowhere does it say that at the end of the eons we will then LOSE our redemption. These are but unscriptural carnal arguments used to discredit God’s word and promote the pagan doctrine of eternal torture. There are other verses that can be used to promulgate the “eternal” concept of modern theology but these too are entirely in step with true scriptural interpretation.

So what do these insights do to Christian teaching that God Almighty (full of mercy, love and grace) will torture endlessly the majority of the human race? It is not just an opinion, "aion" should not be translated "eternal." "Aion" cannot be translated "eternal"!

One cannot translate the Hebrew word for "white" [laban], or the Greek word for "white" [leukos] into the English word "black." It defies all laws of language and logic. A word that means an "age" or "eon" (one as short as just one thousand years-the next eon) cannot possibly also mean "eternity."

Suppose you were to read a book translated from Greek to English about a boy who had a pet elephant that he kept in his pocket. You would immediately know that something must have been lost in the translation. An elephant won't fit in a boy's pocket, it's not possible. Now suppose you check the original Greek version of this book and you find that the Greek word translated "elephant" is really the Greek word for "mouse." Problem solved!

And just as an elephant won't fit into a boy's pocket, neither will "eternity" fit into an “eon” (or age). An elephant may be only a thousand times bigger than a mouse, but eternity is infinitely bigger than an eon! Yes, it’s a silly analogy, yet Christendom’s most heinous doctrine is founded upon much sillier logic! It's just not that complicated or difficult. A child can understand it.

 

 

The Eons

So, the Scriptures speak of five different "eons" that God makes (Heb. 1:2) of different lengths, for different purposes (Eph. 3:11) in His dealings with mankind.

The chart below shows key verses on the aions. The Greek word "aion" is here translated properly and consistently by two different translations. Notice carefully the categories these verses fall into: BEFORE, MAKES, PAST, PRESENT, END, NEXT, FUTURE, CONTRASTING, AND ENDS. It is not possible to use any one of these words in conjunction with any word meaning "endless time" or "eternity."

 

 

CONCORDANT VERSION

ROTHERHAM (1896)

BEFORE the aions:

I Cor. 2:7--

... before the eons ...

... before the ages...

 

God MAKES the aions

Heb. 1:2--

... makes the eons.

... made the ages...

 

PAST aions:

Col. 1:26--

... hid from eons...

... from the ages ...

 

PRESENT aion:

Gal. 1:4---

... the present wicked eon ...

... present age ... an evil one

 

END of present aion:

Mat. 24:3--

... conclusion of the eon ...

... conclusion of the age...

 

The NEXT aion:

Lk. 18;30--

... the eon to come ...

... age that is coming ...

 

FUTURE aions:

Eph. 2:7--

... the oncoming eons ...

... ages that should come ...

 

CONTRASTING aions:

Eph. 3:21--

... the eon of the eons...

... age of the ages ..

.

ENDS of the aions:

I Cor.10:11-

... the consummations of the eons

... the ends of the ages ...

 

Now try substituting the words "eternity," "forever," or "everlasting" in place of eon or age and see what happens: "before the eternities," "the present wicked eternity," "the conclusion of the everlasting," "the oncoming forevers," "the eternity of the eternities," "the consummation of the forevers."

 Interestingly, a computer spell-checker will tell us that "eternities" and "forevers" are not in its memory and suggests "eternity" or "forever." A computer knows there are no such things as "eternities" or "forevers" even if theologians and translators insist that there are. Translators have rendered this word "aion" any way they wanted. In doing this, they have forced their preconceived doctrines into the Bible. Consider the New Testament use of aion” in these following passages also. To make the point unmistakable, we have translated the Greek word aion” with the English word “eternity.” Let’s see what happens here!

What will be the sign…of the end of the eternity (Mt. 24:3)?

I am with you…to the end of the eternity (Mt. 28:20).

The sons of this eternity are more shrewd (Lu. 16:8).

The sons of this eternity marry (Lu. 20:34).

Worthy to attain that eternity (Lu. 20:35).

Since the eternity began (Jn. 9:32; Ac. 3:21).

Conformed to this eternity (Ro. 12:2).

Mystery kept secret since the eternity began but now made manifest (Ro. 16:25-26).

Where is the disputer of this eternity (1Co. 1:20)?

Wisdom of this eternitynor of the rulers of this eternityordained before the eternitieswhich none of the rulers of this eternity (1Co. 2:6-8)

Wise in this eternity (1Co. 3:18).

Upon whom the ends of the eternities have come.
(1Co. 10:11)

God of this eternity has blinded (2Co. 4:4).

Deliver us from this present evil eternity (Ga. 1:4).

Not only in this eternity but also in that which is to come (Ep. 1:21).

Walked according to the eternity of this world (Ep. 2:2).

 In the eternities to come (Ep. 2:7).

From the beginnings of the eternities (Ep. 3:9).

Hidden from eternities…but now…revealed (Col. 1:26).

Loved this present eternity (2Ti. 4:10).

Receive him for eternity (Ph.1:15). Does this mean forever or only until Onesimus dies?

Powers of the eternity to come (He. 6:5).

At the end of the eternities (He. 9:26).

We understand the eternities have been prepared by a saying of God (He. 11:3).

How can we say“Before eternity” or “eternity began”? Eternity has no beginning (Jn. 9:32; Ac. 3:21; 1Co. 2:7; Ep. 3:9).

“Present eternity,” “eternity to come,” and “end of eternity?” Eternity transcends time. Only God is eternal (Mt. 24:3; 28:20; 1Co. 10:11; 2Ti. 4:10; He. 6:5; 9:26).

“This eternity,” “that eternity,” or “eternities”? There is only one eternity(Lu.16:8; 20:34-35; Ro. 12:2; 1Co. 1:20; 2:6-8; 3:18; 10:11; 2Co. 4:4; Ga. 1:4;Ep. 1:21; 2:2, 7; 3:9; Col. 1:26; 2Ti. 4:10; He. 11:3).

“Eternal secret” if the secret is revealed? (Ro. 16:25-26; Col. 1:26). It is no longer a “secret” at that point.

Onesimus will be Philemon’s slave for eternity? Is he still his slave (Phil. 1:15)?

Amazing isn’t it? Only a few translations render "aion" consistently. These translations are not popular, however, because they are not endorsed by mainstream clergy. Most people have never even seen these translations. What they do see are the numerous popular translations that promote error upon error. Look at this chart of popular translations showing the extreme measures taken to pervert this simple Greek word, "aion."

THE GREEK TEXT (This makes perfect sense)

POPULAR TRANSLATIONS( nonsensical rendering)

Mat. 13:22

" ... the worry of this eon ... "

" ... the cares of life... "
(The Twentieth Century N.T.)

18:8

" ... eonian fire."

" ... everlasting fire."
(Authorized Version)

24:3

" ... conclusion of the eon."

" ... the world will come to an end."
(N.T. By: WmBeck)

28:20

" ... till the conclusion of the eon."

" ... every day to the end of time.
(Rieu's Four Gospels)

Mark 4:19

" ... worries of this eon... "

" ... but worldly cares ... "
(New English Bible: N.T.)

Luke 20:35

" ... that eon... "

" ... yonder world ... "
(N.T.: A New Testament-Moffatt)

John 6:54

" ... has life eonian ...

" ... will live eternally ... "
(N.T. By: Monsignor Knox)

8:35

" ... for the eon ... "

" ... remain permanently ... "
(N.T. by: Montgomery)

8:35

" ... for the eon ... "

" ... in the house for ever ... "
(Authorized Version)

8:51

" ... death for the eon ... "

" ... will never experience death ... "
(N.T. by: Goodspeed)

Acts 3:31

" ... from the eon ... "

" ... from of old.."
(Revised Standard Version)

I Cor 2:7

" ... before the eons ... "

" ... before time began ... "
(New Testament by: O.Norlie)

8:13

" ... eating meat for the eon ... "

" ... from flesh meat perpetually ... "
(N. T. By: Knox)

8:13

" ... eating meat for the eon ... "

" ... while the world stands ... "
(Authorized Version)

Eph. 3:9

" ... from the eons ... "

" ... from the very beginning ... "
(Living Gospels-Taylor)

3:11

" ... purpose of the eons ... "

" ... that timeless purpose ... "
(N.T. by: J.B. Phillips)

3:21

" ... of the eon of the eons."

" ... all ages, world without end."
(Authorized Ver.)

Col. 1:26

" ... from the eons ... "

" ... for centuries... "
(Paraphrased Epistles-Taylor)

Titus 2:12

" ... in the current eon ... "

" ... here and now ... "
(New Testament-J. B. Phillips)

Heb. 1:2

" ... makes the eons ... "

" ... made the universe ... "
(Epistles of Paul-Conybeare)

1:2

" ... makes the eons ... "

" ... created all orders of existence ... "
(New Eng. Bible)

1:2

" ... makes the eons ... "

" ... this world of time ... "
(N.T. By: Monsignor Knox)

1:8

" ... for the eon of the eon ... "

" ... from everlasting to everlasting ... "
(N.T.-Norlie)

6:5

" ... the impending eon ... "

" ... the eternal world ... "
(N.T. by: J.B. Phillips)

6:20

" ... for the eon ... "

" ... made for all time ... "
(Twentieth Century N.T.)

9:26

" ... conclusion of the eons ... "

" ... at the climax of history ... "
(New Eng. Bible)

11:3

" ... eons to adjust ... "

" ... the whole scheme of time and space ... "
(Phillips)

II Pet. 3:18

" ... for the day of the eon ... "

" ... the day of eternity ... "
(N.T. by: R.F. Weymouth)

Jude 25

" ... eon, now ... for all the eons ... "

" ... before all time, ... and for ever more ... "
(ASV)

Rev. 15:3

" ... King of the eons ... "

" ... King of the nations ... "
(N.T. By; Henry Alford)

5:13

" ... for the eons of the eons ... "

*" ... the eternities of the eternities... "
(Amplified N.T.)

"The eternities of the eternities," Now there's a strange rendering. Nonetheless we can give carnal translators credit for inane consistency. If “aion” means "eternity" then “aions” would mean "eternities." If someone can explain the meaning of "the eternities of the eternities" maybe "hot ice," and "square circles." Can be explained also? There are many examples of these blatant inconsistencies. For example;

“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world (gk 165 aion)?”(Mat 24:3) 

So how have translators handled a verse like Matt. 24:3, "...conclusion of the eon...?" Remember theologians insist in other places that "aion" is "forever" and now they have to translate a verse claiming that this particular eon is going to end. How can forever "end?" Being in a fix, the translators changed the meaning of "aion" again, and translated this verse "...end of the world..." Now, think for a moment. Since they insist elsewhere that "aion" means "eternal" (which of course it doesn't), how could it possibly mean "world" here? It couldn't. The Greek word for world is "kosmos" not "aion."

Check enough English Translations, and you will find all of the following diverse words absurdly translated from the Greek word "aion:"

"beginning" and "end"

"first" and "very first"

"evermore" and "nevermore"

"before time began" and "end of time"

"of old" and "today"

"nations" and "saints"

"permanently" and "never while the world lasts"

"the world" and "the universe"

"for all time" and "before all time"

"ancient" and "here and now"

"immortal" and "never to the end of my days"

"end of the world" and "world without end"

"ancient" and "yonder world"

"always" and "never"

You are looking at false translating in action. This is certainly not "a pattern of sound words." (II Tim. 1:13-14)

In the Anglo-Saxon Gospels a thousand years ago, the equivalent for the Greek word aion was the old English word ece, which was similar in meaning to aion, which is a period of time.. The word "eternal" was completely unknown (in any of the old English Bibles), before the Renaissance. Tell this to your Pastor!

 

 

“Eternity” in the Old Testament (olam)

Turning to the Old Testament will not solve the dilemma either, for the concept of "eternity" is foreign to the Hebrew Scriptures also.

Old Testament: (Greek Septuagint) In History of Opinions on the Scriptural Doctrine of Retribution, Edward Beecher, D.D., pointed out:

The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Old Testament and was the Bible of the early church. The word “aion” occurs in it about four hundred times in every variety of combination. The adjective “aionios” derived from it, is used over one hundred times.…Aion denoted an age, great or small, so the adjective “aionios” expressed the idea pertaining to or belonging to the “aion,” whether great or small. But in every case this adjective derives its character and duration from the “aion” to which it refers.

In the Septuagint the Greek word, aion,” is used to translate the Hebrew word olam.” Thus, if we want to get a sense of the N.T. meaning of aion,” we need to understand the meaning of olam” in the O.T. Simple.

There is virtually nothing that is outside of the time periods known as olam.” There are just a couple of hints regarding life beyond the ages of time, of things pertaining to the Kingdom, not coming to an end. And Paul tells us in the New Testament that in resurrection we will have "incorruption" and "immortality" signifying "deathlessness," but neither word has to do with time itself. Paul also speaks of a time in which God will be "ALL in all." That is the extent to which the Scriptures even hint of eternity or anything beyond the ages of time.

The Old Testament Hebrew has the word "olam" (this is the Hebrew equivalent of "aion"), which is often translated in the Authorized Version as "everlasting." However, this word clearly does not mean everlasting and here is just one conclusive proof Scripture:

"Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world (H 5769 olam); they increase in riches." (Psa. 73:12)

The word translated "world" is olam” which they translate "everlasting" in dozens of other places. Clearly the "ungodly" do not prosper for "eternity" or "everlasting."

"It may be laid down as a rule that NO language had, for some time after the first century A.D., any term to denote eternity." (Whence Eternity?, By: Alexander Thomson, p. 5).

To reveal the ideal meaning of the Hebrew word “olam” as understood by the Authors of the Old Testament Writings we have to consider the purpose for which they wrote. Whenever Old Testament Authors use the word “olam” or its derivatives they were attempting to bring to remembrance Biblical Archetypes, and the unique function, purpose, characteristics and emanatory forces attributed to the particular Archetypes in question. 

In the ancient Hebrew, words that are used to described distance and direction are also used to describe time. The Hebrew word for east is “qedem” and literally means “the direction of the rising sun”. We use north as our major orientation such as in maps which are always oriented to the north. While we use the north as our major direction the Hebrews used the east and all directions are oriented to this direction.

For example one of the words for south is “teyman” from the root “yaman” meaning “to the right”. The word “qedem” is also the word for the past. In the ancient Hebrew mind the past is in front of you while the future is behind you, the opposite way we think of the past and future.

The Hebrew word “olam” could best be translated in this context as “in the far distance.” When looking off in the far distance it is difficult to make out any details and what is beyond that horizon cannot be seen. This very concept is “the olam.” The word “olam” is also used for time for the distant past or the distant future as a time that is difficult to know or perceive.

This word is frequently translated as “eternity” or “forever” but in the English language it is misunderstood to mean a continual span of time that never ends. In the Hebrew mind it is simply what is at or beyond the horizon, a very distant time. A common phrase in the Hebrew is “l’olam va’ed” and is often erroneously translated as “forever and ever.” But in the Hebrew it means “to the distant horizon and again” meaning “a very distant time and even further” and is used to express the idea of a very ancient or future time.

So, not only doesn't the Hebrew (or Greek) Scriptures use a word meaning "eternity" or "endless time" in the original texts, it was impossible for them to do so. The Hebrew and Greek Languages had no word that meant "endless time" or "eternity." And further, no one has ever found such a word in ANY LANGUAGE before the second century to denote "endless time" or "eternity."

The facts regarding the temporary duration of the eons are contained in the Scriptures themselves. This demolishes the eternal torment in Hell heresy. Adding a word so enormous as "endless" to a word that in no way means endless, is a gross infraction of Christ's warning about "adding to" God's word (Rev. 22:18). The Old Testament usage of “olam” meaning “eternity” is no different.

Using the concordance of all the 448 occurrences of the Hebrew words OLAM (singular) and OLAMIM (plural) and paying careful attention to the context in each case, they can be classified into three groups:-

(a) cases where by context the period indicated by “olam” was limited at both its beginning and its end.

(b) passages where the periods have a known beginning but obscure end.

(c) those examples were olam, its repetition (from olam and to olam), or the plural olamim, which have erroneously been regarded by some writers as indicating duration without beginning or ending and hence thought to mean “eternal.”

In academic circles a century ago, a popular exercise consisted of research into the origins of important words. It was thought that this would shed much light upon the meaning attached to such terms by writers who later used them. It is now realized that such research, though useful, is of minor importance since words take on new meanings, and old connotations are modified so that ancient origins cease to have much significance respecting usage and meaning. This semantic process is well known.

The term 'hell' provides a good example. In Chaucer's day 'hele' meant 'to hide’ or ‘cover over' and 'hell' formed a fitting rendering for 'sheol' and 'hades', the unseen realm into which the soul entered at death. But under the dogmatic theology of the Middle Ages, it came to be used for other more sinister concepts, till in 1611 A.V. it was applied not only to 'sheol' and 'hades' but also to 'Gehenna' and 'Tartarus'; and then came to imply the doctrine of unending torment.

In modern times the most common usage surely must be in a rather vulgar phrase, 'hell of a mess', of extremely versatile application far removed from Chaucer's usage.

Commonly, uncritical thinking employs the English phrase 'for ever', but this cannot mean 'eternal life', since (

a) it had (or would have had) a beginning in time, either at the creation, or hypothetically at the eating of the fruit (whatever we may take that to mean); and;

(b) its duration is unspecified. The most one can assuredly draw from the text is that the life would last for some indefinite period, no specific end being stated. Both its nature and duration are hidden in obscurity, hence 'olam' seems as appropriate word to use in such a context.

Numerous passages referring to olam” show clearly it cannot mean “never-ending” in those texts.

The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever (h5769 olam): yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God. (Jon 2:5-6)

Jonah's case is important. In Jonah 2:6 “olam” is used to denote the time of his sojourn in the interior of the great fish. Shut away in complete darkness, he would have no means of judging the passing of time, which along with most other percepts, would be quite 'obscure'. In his case “olam” represents but three days, but the idea of obscurity is obvious. Usage, context, and common sense must determine any conclusions that may emerge.

There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old (olam), men of renown. (Gen 6:4) 

'The Nephilim were in the earth in those (pre-flood) days...mighty men which were of old,',literally 'from olam'. Hence 'olam' must mean ancient times and one might well translate 'from obscure or remote time'. These Nephilim had had their day and ceased to be so long ago, the writer of Genesis could refer to their time as “olam,” obscure.

 In Psalm 77:5 the psalmist with poetic hyperbole expresses his state of depression. He looks back over past history - presumably Israel's - seeking comfort. 'I have considered the days of old, years of ancient times (olamim).' One seriously doubts whether anyone should hold that 'olamim' here could refer to 'eternity', 'everlasting' or even 'perpetuity'. In all probability 'the days of old' and 'years of ancient times' are meant to cover the same periods of past history with 'olamim' signifying the plural 'periods'. We express the same thought, 'O God, our help in ages past'.

In Jer.7:7 and in 25:5, the Jews are urged to mend their ways that 'I may cause you to dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers 'from olam to olam'. Rotherham comments,'From times long past even unto times long to come. Scarcely from everlasting to everlasting'.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting (olam) to everlasting (olam), thou art God. (Psa 90:2) 

In Psa. 90:2 "From olam and to olam Thou art God', the author appears to be struggling to express the concept that the existence of Deity precedes all creation, reaching into the past beyond the capacity of the human mind to comprehend, and likewise with regard to the future, but the repetition of “olam” and the form of the phrase show that this Hebrew word did not itself compass infinity. The same conclusion arises from the present survey of the cases of “olam” repeated.

The question of whether 'olam' in O.T. times ever represented a concept of an age or period of time possessing some distinctive characteristics and therefore recognizable as separate in some sense from another age or ages, has some importance in this attempt to discover the meaning of the above terms during the composition of the O.T.

In modern times we commonly speak of 'the stone age', 'the scientific age', 'the age of reason' and so on without envisaging any exact limiting date lines. the beginning and end are obscure, but nevertheless the use of the definite article and some qualifying adjective or phrase indicates the existence of the idea of a recognizable period in some way individualistic. Such periods often overlap, and many complex factors are involved, so precise limits cannot be determined.

Also when we use the term 'age' figuratively and hyperbolically, we omit the definite article e.g. 'She takes an age (or ages) to choose a frock'. the relatively long time, and the uncertainty of the moment of conclusion of the project correspond, as we have seen, with the majority of the O.T. cases of the use of 'olam'.

While it is common knowledge that the Hebrew of O.T. times showed little regard for the sort of logical systematic thought patterns for which Greek philosophers are noted, it seems both rational and psychologically sound to expect that if the concept of an age existed, and did not mean the whole time, there would also accompany it, not only the plural form of the word but also the concept of a plurality of ages. The two ideas are necessarily related and supplementary - the one cannot exist without the other and the use of one presupposes the existence of the other.

'Age abiding' (Rotherham) and 'age-during' (Young), while more appropriate than 'eternal', or 'for ever' are too suggestive of a concept of time composed of , or divided into recognized 'ages', an idea which probably was merging in post exilic Hebrew thought but of which there is no sure evidence (elsewhere) in the O.T. However by N.T. times the idea of several ages had become explicit in Rabbinic thought and formed an important element in the doctrines taught by our Lord and the apostolic writers.

 

 

Everlasting Covenant/ Priesthood?

Yet for any doubters still reading, there are further, more obvious examples, highlighting the inane scholarship promulgating the “eternal” lie.

THE OLD COVENANT:

After all, what we term the Old Covenant obviously was not to continue "forever" or "eternally," as it was REPLACED by a NEW Covenant which was clearly "NOT according to the covenant that I made with their fathers…." (Heb. 8:9). How’s that for an emphatic statement? How long did "EVERLASTING STATUTES" last?

Is the "everlasting statute" regulating the "day of atonement," still in force? "And this shall be an EVERLASTING [olam] statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year…." (Lev. 16:34).

Now compare "And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have NOW received THE ATONEMENT." (Rom. 5:11)

So what do we suppose happened to that "EVERLASTING statute" regarding atonement for sin?

"But in those sacrifices there is remembrance again made of sins EVERY YEAR [on the day of ATONEMENT]… Then said He, Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God, He TAKES AWAY THE FIRST [covenant] that He may establish the second [covenant]. By the which will we are sanctified through the OFFERING OF THE BODY OF JESUS CHRIST ONCE [no longer ‘once a year’] FOR ALL" (Heb. 10:4, 9-10).

So much for an "everlasting/eternal" statute regulating the annual Day of Atonement. The Levitic Priests, the offering, the temple, the holy of holies is all, gone gone. Now there is ONE atonement for all, offered ONCE and never again. This particular "eternity" lasted less than 1500 years! So just maybe an olam” is NOT “ETERNAL” after all.

The "EVERLASTING [olam] priesthood" of Exodus 40:15. And just how long did this "everlasting priesthood" last?

"If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the PRIESTHOOD BEING CHANGED, there is made of necessity a change also of the law… For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood" (Heb. 7:11-12, 14).

And so we have no more "EVERLASTING" Levitical priesthood, but rather a CHANGE in law and a CHANGE in the priesthood. And so this "everlasting/eternity" also lasted shy of 1500 years, and ENDED.

 

 

Other examples

Another example in the Old Testament where "olam" absolutely cannot mean "forever" or "eternal" as Dr. Strong so erroneously defines it: Exodus 21:6—

"Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him FOR EVER [Heb: ‘olam’—Strong’s ‘ETERNITY’]." Does Dr. Strong also believe in ETERNAL SLAVERY?

Therefore we have just seen absolute and unarguable proof that the Hebrew olam” does not and cannot possibly mean everlasting or eternal

 

RAINBOW COVENANT: Possibly the only truly unilateral covenant in the Bible, where absolutely no participation on our part is required for its fulfilment.

"And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting [Heb: olam aionion/eonian] covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth." (Gen. 9:16)

This covenant has no requirements on our part, but is it truly everlasting—endless?

When God is "All in all" (I Cor. 15:28), and there is "a NEW heaven and a NEW earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were PASSED AWAY; and there was no more sea [pretty hard to flood the entire earth without ANY SEA WATER]" (Rev. 21:1), and when God says, "Behold, I make ALL THINGS NEW…." (Rev. 21:5), perhaps we can agree that this "rainbow covenant" will have come to an END.

 

ABRAHAMIC COVENANT: Gen. 17:1:

"And when Abraham was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, AND be you perfect. And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiple thee exceedingly… And I will establish my covenant between Me and thee and your seed after you in their generations for a everlasting [Heb: olam] covenant. And I will give unto you, and to your seed after you, the land wherein you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting [olam] possession… This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and your seed after you; Every man child among you shall be CIRCUMCISED… He that is born in your house, and he that is bought with your money, must needs be circumcised: and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting [olam] covenant." (Gen. 17:1-2, 7-10, 13).

Was this a covenant that would never end? Hardly: We are now instructed that if we are to be "Abraham’s seed," we are NOT TO BE PHYSICALLY CIRCUMCISED of our foreskin! Paul emphatically and dogmatically declares: "Behold, I Paul say unto you, "IF YE BE CIRCUMCISED, CHRIST SHALL PROFIT YOU NOTHING" (Gal. 5:2)! So much for that "unilateral EVERLASTING covenant."

But just in case there is even a hint of doubt concerning the use of “olam” in the scriptures, regard the following...

Sodom’s fiery judgment is eternal [olam]. But only until God returns them to their former state (Ez. 16:53-55; Ju. 7).

A Moabite is forbidden to enter the Lord’s congregation forever [olam]. But only until the 10thgeneration. (De. 23:3).

Hills are everlasting [olam]. But only until made low and the earth is burned up (Ge. 49:26; De. 33:15; Is. 40:4; 2Pe. 3:10).

Mountains are everlasting [olam]. But only until they are scattered (Hab. 3:6).

A slave serves his master forever [olam]. But only until death ends his servitude (Ex. 21:6).

The Mosaic covenant is everlasting [olam]. But only until it vanishes away (Le. 24:8; He. 8:7-13).

The Aaronic priesthood is everlasting [olam]. But only until the likeness of Melchizedek arises (Ex. 40:15; Nu. 25:13; He. 7:14-22).

These “stones” are to be a memorial forever [olam]. Where are they now (Jos. 4:7)?

The leprosy of Naaman shall cling forever [olam]. But only until his death, of course (2K. 5:27).

God dwells in Solomon’s temple forever [olam]. But only until it is destroyed (2Ch. 7:16; 1K 8:13; 9:3).

Animal sacrifices were to be offered forever [olam]. But only until ended by the work of Christ (2Ch. 2:4; He. 7:11-10:18).

Circumcision was an everlasting [olam] covenant. But only until the new covenant (Ge. 17:9-13; 1Co. 7:19; Ga. 5:6).

Israel’s judgment lasts forever [olam]. But only until the Spirit is poured out and God restores it (Is. 32:13-15).

I will make you an eternal [olam] excellence. But only until many generations (Is. 60:15).

As we can clearly see, olam” does not mean “eternal” though it can last a very long time! Also, “forever and ever” is not an accurate translation. Again, how can you add “ever” to “forever?” The literal translation is for the eon [olam] and further. This makes sense. It is worthy to note, that the Concordant Version Old Testament is consistent here.

 

 

“Olam” and “Aionias” - The final test

There are many more examples that prove the Hebrew and Greek usage of “An age” or “ages” within the realms of the historical understanding of the scriptures. Some argue that "eon" in the singular means "age," but in the plural it means "forever" or "eternal." Let’s see how the Greek Septuagint uses both the singular and plural forms in these two verses"

Singular: Micah 4:5—"ets ton aiona kai epekeina….for the eon and BEYOND." Well that can’t possibly mean forever for eternal, as there can be nothing "beyond" eternity.

Plural: Dan. 12:3, "eis tous aionas kai eti….for the eons and LONGER." Once again, there can be nothing "longer" than eternity. Besides, how is it possible to have a plurality of "eternities?"

Here are just a few scriptures in which "aionios" cannot possibly mean ETERNAL:

1. Rom. 16:25—"…according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world [Gk: aionios] began."

Theologians  have attempted time and again to set up a straw man by insisting that if "aionios" is "eonian," then it must be changed to a noun and translated as "of the ages." Well, check this bit of translating genius out. We have the ADJECTIVE word "aionios" and the KJV translators changed it to a NOUN, "world."

Well guess what? The word "world" (kosmos) is not found in this verse, furthermore, neither is the word "began." The Greek reads: "…in times eonian." Do we really believe in "times eternal." What does "time," let alone "timeS" have to do with "eternity?"

And as Paul speaks of the "revelation" of this secret, how could it EVER be revealed if it was kept secret ‘ETERNALLY?’ Can we not see a problem—a CONTRADICTION in all of this?

2. II Thes. 2:16—"…and has given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace." "Console" is defined as, "To allay sorrow or grief of." "Hope" is defined as, "To wish for something with expectations of its fulfilment."

Now then, according to this inane KJV translation of this verse, just how long are we going to have our "SORROW AND GRIEF ALLAYED?" How long must we "HOPE" before we have our hope fulfilled? For ALL ETERNITY?

3. II Tim. 1:9—"…according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."

The word "world" is not found in the Greek manuscripts, the word "began" is not found in the Greek manuscripts. Here is what the Greek says: "…before TIMES EONIAN." So where is the consistency with these translators? Could they not deceive the readers by translating this verse properly? If "aionios" means "eternal" or "evermore" then HOW, pray tell, can there be "TIMES" "BEFORF" "ETERNITY?"

This is not translating; this is out and out planned deception! They change an adjective into a noun, then change the noun to a different word, then completely leave out the word "times." This total lack of scholarship and honesty is reprehensible!

4. Jude 7—"Even as Sodom and Gomorha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." The Greek reads: "…experiencing the justice of fire eonian." Well just how long does this "eonian/aionios fire last? Is it really "eternal" as the Authorized Versions contend?

A. There is NO FIRE burning in Palestine since the days of Sodom anywhere, let along in the vicinity of these ancient cities. The best archaeologists can discern, Sodom is located at the bottom of what is now a sea.

B. Ezekiel 16:55—"When your sisters, SODOM and her daughters, shall RETURN TO THEIR FORMER ESTATE, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then you [Jerusalem] shall return to your former estate."

The judgment of God against Sodom was decidedly not, ETERNAL. Here is clear Scriptural evidence and proof that "olam/aion/aionios," etc., DO NOT MEAN ETERNAL OR ENDLESS TIME.

The doctrine of "eternal torture" is the most evil doctrine, teaching, or concept ever invented in the history of the universe. It is the MOST blasphemous thing that could ever be attributed our Lord and Father, yet Christendom defends it to the hilt! The scholarship simply speaks for itself!

 

 

The origins of “Eternal Punishment”

So, how did it get to this? How on earth did Christian theologians get it so wrong, when the scholarship is so easily proved? Well, perhaps the “traditions of men” are simply more persuasive, too tantalising to the carnal palette. After all, much of what is taught today in the pulpits concerning death, judgement and the afterlife, have less to do with scripture and everything to do with pagan superstitions from bygone ages.

But what is worse than this, is that those in positions of power, the rulers and priests of Christendom, have wantonly and knowingly perverted the meanings and words of the Bible cannon – all for the sake of political expediency, power and ultimately CONTROL! These persons and circumstances represent some of the most sinful and shameful events in the history of the Christian church. They include some of the most famous and celebrated theologians throughout Christian history, though you will NEVER hear it taught in any theological institute today. Justinian is a good place to start.

The Emperor Justinian was the greatest of the Eastem (Byzantine) Emperors. He reigned from 527 to 565 in Constantinople. In the year 534 he published in fifty volumes the world famous "Justinian Code" of Laws, which was a digest of the Greek and Roman constitutions, ordinances, and legal decisions, culled from two thousand manuscript volumes, forming the basis of most medieval and modem codes of law.

In the year 540, Justinian arranged for the calling together of the famous local council of four years later. He was determined that certain doctrines must be suppressed. In setting forth the position when writing to the Patriarch Mennas of Constantinople, he discussed the doctrines with great ability. And here’s the clincher! In particular, he wished to make it very plain that the life of the saints was to be ‘everlasting,’ and that the doom of the lost was to be likewise......is that the sound of tumbleweed passing by?

He did not in fact argue, that the word “eonian” meant everlasting. Nor did he claim that the word had hitherto been misunderstood. In setting forth the orthodox position of the Church of that time, he did not say, "We believe in eonian punishment," as this was exactly what Origen, three hundred years before, had maintained and believed. In fact, Origen, who exulted in the truth of the reconciliation of all, definitely used the word “eonian” with reference to fire and doom as meaning a limited time. But writing in the very expressive Greek language, Justinian stated that;

 "The holy church of Christ teaches an unendable eonian (ateleutEtos aiOnios) life for the righteous, and unendable (ateleutEtos) punishment for the wicked."

Yet Justinian knew quite well that “eonian” by itself did not signify “endless,” and therefore added a word, the meaning of which is quite unequivocal, a term NOT found in the Scriptures. This letter of Justinian, still in existence, ought to convince anyone who is in doubt, regarding the true scriptural meaning of the word “eonian.”

It may be added that the Council, though expressly convened in order to stigmatize the teachings of Origen, one of which was that punishment was only temporary, condemned his views generally, but did not anathematize his teaching regarding the reconciliation of all. It was not until the year 696, at Constantinople, that a Council publicly condemned this doctrine of Origen for the first time, the glorious teaching being called "drunken ravings as to the future life of the dead." In the continuing Roman Church individualism of thought was not encouraged, the lies believed long enough, ultimately became truth.

 As there was much speculation concerning the eons and the future, the position needs be stated categorically and dogmatically. Theology had lost the punctuation marks of the future time, and something must be put in their place. Moreover, it was humbling to the Latin Fathers not to be able to delineate the future with definite clarity.

If no one was able to chart the ocean of time, why not simply declare that it was boundless? Would not the Church wield far more power if it proclaimed in authoritative terms that eternal destiny was fixed here on earth? Was it not more flattering to man to think that the life he obtained upon believing was eternal life, while that which his faith had saved him from was an eternal doom?

Who could believe in a special life for the eons, when all the facts concerning these eons had become obscure and blurred? As the truth regarding the eons was completely lost, we ought to be very suspicious regarding the dogma which became "orthodox" and catholic in a steadily apostatizing Church.

It goes without saying, that when one perverts one portion of Scripture, it automatically perverts other portions. Since the translators changed “eonian” to “eternity,” of necessity they now have to discard the teaching of reconciliation. For if all are reconciled, punishment cannot be eternal.

Theologians have disparagingly called those Scriptural teachings of reconciliation which Origen understood and believed, "drunken ravings!" (If you run out of Scripture, resort to name-calling). And yet, these "drunken ravings" of "reconciliation" are still in the scriptures.:

 “and through Him [Christ] to RECONCILE ALL to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross) ... " (Col. 1:20).

Yet Christians today simply cannot, will not, yield to such damning historical evidence. Yet it is simply the way of carnal man, with its carnal doctrines. But the plot thickens...

 

 

Tertullian

At this point we must turn back to Tertullian and Carthage in North Africa, and note carefully their profound and lasting influence over Christendom. Born at Carthage, Tertullian became a well-read scholar, an attractive orator and writer, a keen controversialist, and a clever lawyer. What Origen was, about the same period, to Greek or Eastern Christianity, Tertullian was to Latin or Western Christianity. He was the first one to set about systematically to explain the Scriptures in the Latin tongue of North Africa, and the first theologian to establish a technical Latin terminology for Christianity. It is no exaggeration to say that the choice of terms of this Latin scholar has profoundly affected all succeeding theological thought.

 

It is to Tertullian that we owe such terms as trinity, substance, person, redemption, justification, sanctification, sacrament, and many more, including probably such as perdition, perish, destroy, punish, torment, damnation, dispensation, predestination, revelation, priest, mediator, minister, congregation, propitiation, reconciliation, salvation, transubstantiation, oblation, faith, expiation, conversion, creed, regeneration and retribution-all terms deriving from the Latin tongue, and differing in some degree from the corresponding Greek terms. It should be noted that some of these terms may be due to Jerome and others.

 

What a misfortune that our basic doctrinal terms were not derived from the Greek words found in the Scriptures. For example, both the Hebrew and the Greek words rendered "destroy" and "perish" mean nothing more than LOSE, LOST, LOSTNESS.

 

Tertullian was the first writer to set out to expound the difficult doctrine of the "trinity," and to use this term, which nowhere appears in Scripture, although he did not use this as a name for God.

The Church in North Africa was the first Christian community so far as we know which offered the Eucharist for the benefit of the departed. One of the terms introduced by Tertullian was "satisfaction." Harnack says, "

He was the first to regard definitely such ascetic performances as 'satisfaction' as propitiatory offerings by which the sinner could make amends to God."

According to Tertullian, a comparatively brief ascetic punishment inflicted by the believer on himself took the place of what the damned were awarded—“eternal punishment.” It should prove instructive to glance at some of his other views.

It was reserved for three great Carthaginians, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Augustine, so to influence the Latin Church, that it deflected and declined into a system of dogmatic hierarchy and spiritual despotism. But Tertullian was the individual who set this current in motion. Through his powerful instrumentality Christendom, at the critical juncture, took the wrong turn, and his misleading influence still prevails.

This then, is the man in the hollow of whose hands lay the clay which was to be moulded into concrete Latin dogma. This is the man in whose hands reclined the fate of the word “ETERNAL.” What meaning did he give to it? – its old meaning, akin to the Greek eonian,” or something beyond that? Being quite devoid of any understanding of the eons of Scripture, destitute of a real perception of the fact that God is love, unable to view God but as a stern Judge, who must somehow or other be "satisfied" or placated, how was it possible for him to look on the mass of mankind otherwise than as damned?

Augustine, who later outdid Tertullian, and his doctrines, maintained that the whole human race was "one damned batch and mass of perdition" (conspersis damnata massa perditionis) out of which a few are elected to salvation, while all the remainder are lost forever.

He beheld evil as a force integral in a universe apart from God, while Origen believed that all is out of God, even evil, which God must undo and banish. One who has no place for ages to come must needs look on the future as a shoreless eternity.

Having failed to grasp what God had revealed concerning the eons, Tertullian had no alternative but to impart to the Latin word eternal” that sense which it now bears. Not only so, but this special meaning of the Latin word, taking advantage of the steady decline of Greek as the language of theology, and the rise and ascendency of Latin, reacted upon, and was imposed upon, its Greek equivalent eonian, which henceforth in theology was "made to express" the meaning of everlasting.”

 

 

A history of errors

What is profoundly disturbing in all this, is the depth of research that exposes the great “eternal” lie. If only your average church pastor could be exposed to such truth. It may be stated without fear of contradiction, that the more one explores into the early centuries of Christendom, the clearer does it become that a corrupt theology was alone responsible for displacing the primitive truth regarding the eons by a dogma respecting "eternity."

One statement in English Bibles which perhaps more than any other has led men's minds astray, is found in Rev. 10:6. Wyclif (1380) rendered this, "Tyme schal no more be," having been partly misled by the Latin Vulgate of Jerome (A.D. 380), which he used as a basis. If only he could have used the Greek text, the likelihood is that he would not have used the word "time." Jerome reads "Time will not be further" (tempus non erit amplius). While his translation from the Greek is on the whole a most faithful and excellent one, in some cases the words he utilizes do not quite match the Greek he translates.

 

The result was that Wyclif became the medium through whom certain inaccurate or false terms passed into English theology and into our modem Bibles, where they have become stereotyped. The consequences have been very far reaching, long lasting, and most deplorable.

 

The Authorized Version of 1611 reads "there should be time no longer." The Greek says "Chronos not longer will be." This is understood as meaning, "there will be no longer delay." This is not strictly accurate, but may be the nearest we can come in English.

 

“Chronos” is related to chOra, SPACE, and its primitive force seems to be continuance. Continuance implies delay sometimes. But “Chronos” is never used in the Scriptures in opposition or contrast to unlimited time. We speak of the Lord "tarrying" (Heb. 10:37) or "delaying," but strictly He will not be continuing, or spending time (where He is).

 

In his days, the Greek originals of the New Testament were almost forgotten in Europe. The Latin Vulgate version dominated Europe for the thousand years between Jerome and Wyclif. The Catholic Church used Latin in its services and Latin had displaced Greek completely as the universal language of courts and clergy and scholars.

 

The erroneous rendering of Wyclif has persisted for over five hundred years, and is quite out of harmony with the context. Anyone can see that after the events detailed in the tenth of Revelation there is an entire millennial period to follow, during which "time" continues. The RV. margin reads, "there shall be delay no longer."

 

 

 

The Renaissance

 

So we can clearly see that word usage became more and more confounded as the original texts were put aside in favour of the Latin. This in turn was translated into English. While it is true that the revival of learning and letters in the fifteenth century greatly enriched the English language, it drove out thousands of fine expressive English words. Previous, to that time, it had sometimes been necessary to use a double word to give the necessary meaning in the Scriptures.

“Eternal” is one of the many hundreds of words which gained entrance into English during the Renaissance. Previous to that time, it was completely unknown. No such word appears in any old English Scriptures. Instead of it, there is found a simple little word with the meaning of “eonian,” spelt ece” ("ek-eh"). In fact, it may be laid down as a rule that no language had, for some time after the first century A.D., any term to denote eternity.

Had our old English Bibles been translated direct out of the Greek, instead of from the Latin Vulgate Version of Jerome (380 A.D.), it is very probable that the word eternal would NEVER have been found in our modern Bibles and in theological terminology at all. Yes, you read that right!

But for the Norman invasion of England in 1066 A.D. which brought many French words into the English language (and French is largely decayed and corrupt Latin), and drove out many native English words, we should most probably now be using not “eternal,” but ece”, the old equivalent of “eonian.”

It is hard to believe that for over a thousand years, up till the year 1453, Greek was almost unknown or forgotten in most of Europe. Even in Italy, which formerly had been dominated by Greek, it became almost unknown. Very few quotations from Greek poets are to be found in Italian writers from the sixth to the fourteenth century. No Greek was taught publicly in England until about 1484, when it began to be taught at Oxford University. Erasmus, the great Dutch scholar, learnt Greek at Oxford and subsequently was Professor of Greek at Cambridge from 1509 till 1514, during which time Tyndale studied there. Erasmus issued his first Greek New Testament in 1516. It was the first one to be printed for sale.

The first Greek grammar for well over a thousand years was published at Milan in 1476, and the first lexicon four years later. As an English scholar expressed it, "Greece had arisen from the grave with the New Testament in her hand."

About this time German scholars even changed their names to Greek ones, so fashionable had the study of Greek become. Schwartzerd (black earth) became Melanchthon; Hausschein (house-shine) was discarded for the imposing Oecolampadius; Gerhard (spear-bold) the Dutchman, thinking his name signified amiable, attained fame as Erasmus; Horn took on more dignity as Ceratinus.

 

 

 

How the Latin language affected theology

 

Yet in order to understand the primary origins of the word "eternal," it is necessary to go back further and review linguistic conditions in Greece and Italy before and after the days of Paul. The classical Latin tongue was one out of a number spoken by the early inhabitants of Italy. What in later times became the polished dialect of the district of Latium was not the language of the common people, just as the classical Greek of the poets and dramatists was not the common speech of the people.

 

The everyday language of Greeks was much the same as is found in the Greek Scriptures, known as the koinE or "common," or vulgar tongue. That was the true standard Greek, not the artificial Greek of the poets. Latin was the language of the patricians, of the literary world, of the politicians, who embraced a comparatively small section of the people.

One effect of the rapid conquests of Alexander the Great (B.C. 334-323) was that Greek became the language of government and literature throughout most of the then civilized world. It became the lingua franca of countries such as Palestine and Egypt. About the year B.C. 280 Rome was mistress of all Italy except some of the Greek cities in the south. These succumbed by B.C. 276. Sixty years later Rome was interfering in the affairs of Greece itself, and by B.C. 189 Rome was mistress of Greece and Greek continued to be the fashionable speech in Italy for a long time.

In the first two centuries A.D., Greek was very generally used in Rome. In addition to Latin, numerous other dialects might be heard in the streets of Rome and throughout Italy, and the Greek language served as a common medium whereby all might communicate with each other.

All this has been leading up to Tertullian. To him we are indebted for our first knowledge of the existence of the Old Latin version of the Bible. He was the earliest of the Latin Fathers. The Latin of this version was very different from the classical Latin, being more vigorous, yet marked by solecisms or irregularities in the use of words.

 

So long as the Old Latin Scriptures remained in North Africa, they continued with little or no change. But immediately they arrived on the soil of Italy, a great disturbance took place. Old words used in Carthage were found to be unintelligible to the Romans, while new words coined there were not understood

 

To Jerome fell the arduous task of attempting to bring about harmony from this confusion, and the outcome was his version of the Latin scriptures which came to be known as the Vulgate. Hitherto, for about six hundred years the Greek Septuagint version had held the field, and there was intense and prolonged opposition to Jerome's version. This was the Bible which was to dominate most of Christendom for a thousand years, right up to the Reformation. While Jerome, however, corrected obvious errors and set right what seemed to be bad Latin, he was otherwise very conservative. Many expressions he left as he found them.

 

 

 

 

 

Aeternus and Seculum

 

Yet whatever may have been his own views regarding the future, he does not appear to have revised two Latin words, fraught with profound significance, which he found in the old version. These are both words used to render the Greek word “eon” (aiOn), as Latin, like Gothic and Armenian and English, found two words necessary. There were seculum,” from which our word secular and aeternus,” from which have descended the fateful words “eternal” and “eternity.”

 

As we now know, the Greek aion” was rendered by one of these two Latin words, sometimes by the other. Not only so, but when the Greek shews the word eon twice or thrice in one clause (as in "for the eon, and for the eon of the eon ") the Latin frequently shews both aeternus and seculum. This alone should be sufficient to prove that the two Latin words could have the same meaning, more or less, and it is our present purpose to demonstrate that originally the two words differed little in meaning, but that theology, chiefly through the dominating influence of one man, imparted to aeternus a nuance alien to its derivation and original usage. The derivation of these two Latin words, one of which was destined to exercise such a profound influence over the minds of men for so long, was an influence not in accord with truth, and by no means for the glory of God, but greatly strengthening the cunning deceits of the father of lies.

Seculum” is sometimes derived from the Latin root which gives "sequel," meaning time as "following." In ancient times time was viewed as flowing onwards, generation after generation, into the dim future.

Long ago in Rome, periodic games were held, called "secular" games. Herodian, the historian, writing in Greek about the end of the second century, calls these "eonian" games. In no sense were these games eternal. Eonian did not mean eternal any more than a speculum” meant “eternity.”

The famous Council of Trent, in Italy, sitting from 1545 to 1563, decreed that;

"This same ancient and Vulgate edition, which by the long use of so many centuries has been approved in the Church itself, is to be held authentic in public readings, disputations, sermons and expositions; and no one is to dare or presume to reject it under any pretext whatever."

The word used for "centuries" is saeculorum, seculums. The lie was now endowed by the weight of the intelligentsia

Trajan, Emperor of Rome from 98 to 117 A.D., wrote Pliny regarding the conviction of Christians, who were not to be hunted out, but if convicted, must bear the punishment. He adds that accusations which were not signed must not be accepted at all, as this was the "very worst example that could be shewn, and pertains not to our seculum." In one of his many writings, Tertullian referred to "a mighty shock impending over the entire world, and the conclusion of the seculum, itself."

Lactantius, born about 260 A.D., speaks of the "learned ones of this seculum." Writing about "Our Lord's Miracles," Eusebius, historian of the early Church, born about 265. A.D., alludes to "magicians who have ever existed throughout the seculums." This is a reference to past ages.

Seculum, therefore, was used very much like the Greek aion. No case can be cited in which it refers to endless time! Unbelievable! Are we still following this?

So those who maintain that Greek aion” means eternity or "forever" would do well to consider very carefully Jerome's renderings from Greek into Latin. Out of about 130 occurrences of eon in the Greek New Testament; Jerome renders by speculum” 101 times, while he uses aeternum” 27 times. If by the latter word he meant “eternity,” he is very inconsistent.

It is to the Latin versions that we must look for the origin of the pernicious system, or lack of system, of giving to the Greek eon two diverse meanings; In every occurrence in the Revelation of the expression "for the eons of the eons" (forever and ever) Jerome has, "for the seculums of the seculums."

Wiclif, with studied carefulness and caution, follows this by putting "into worldis of worldis," just as five hundred years before Wiclit's time the Old English glosses of Latin MSS. gave "world" for seculum.”

Whatever the Latin word aeternum” signified in the time of Jerome, it certainly did not mean endless three hundred years earlier. Professor Max Muller said of the root of this word, that it originally signified life or time, but had given rise to a number of words expressing “etemity,” the very opposite of life and time. He says the Latin aevum (that is, the Greek word aivOn, later aiOn) became the name of time, age, and its derivative aeviternus” or aeternus," was made to express “eternity." These are the words of an authority who in this matter, was quite unbiased.

 

 

 

.

The oldest versions

Despite the apparent slide into apostasy, it is vital that we consider the oldest manuscripts by their own merit.

 

The Syriac Version

 

The Old Syriac version is thought to have been made from the Greek about the end of the first century or sometime in the second century. The language is closely akin to Hebrew, and was very like the Aramaic which was spoken in Palestine side by side with Greek in the first century. To translate the Greek “eon” and “eonian” it uses olm,” which is exactly the word used in the Hebrew Bible, meaning "obscure" or "obscurity," that is, “eonian” and “eon.” The same constructions as occur in the Greek are shewn, such as, from the “eon” (min olam), “for the eon” (l-olam), “this eon,” “that eon,” “for the eons to come,” “for the eon of the eons” (l-olam olmin), “conclusion of the eons.”

To prove that olm” did not and could not stand for eternity, it may be stated that the Greek word kosmos” (world, human society) is generally rendered in the Syriac version by “olm,” as in John 1:10 (thrice), John 17:24 (before olam to be). The Syriac version knew nothing about any eternity!

 

Gothic Texts

Gothic versions preserve the truth where modern English and German versions have become corrupt. How then does the Gothic render the Greek “eon” and “eonian?” For the adjective it has in everyone of twenty-four occurrences extant, “aiweinos,” very similar to Greek “aiOnios” (formerly aiwOnios). For the noun aiOn” it shews aiws” (or aivs) twenty out of twenty-five times, once it has life, and elsewhere two other expressions.

Aiws” is the exact equivalent of the Latinaevum” and the Greek aiOn.” The following expressions are met with : -du aiwa” (to or for the eon); in aiwins (in the eon); und aiw” (until the eon); fram aiwa” (from the eon); this aiwis” (this eon); yainis aiwis” (that eon, yon eon); in the eon to come; from the beginning of the eon.

In 2 Tim:1:9 the Gothic reads, faur mela aiweina,”(before times eonian.)  In  2 Cor:4:4, it has, “guth this aiwis,” “the god of this eon.” Unfortunately, little of Paul's epistles or Revelation has been preserved. Our English word ever is akin to the Gothic word aiws,” “eon.”

 

The Armenian Version

This is ascribed to Mesrop (354-441 A.D.) and others. Conybeare says it;

 "fits the Greek of the Septuagint as a glove the hand that wears it; keeping so close to the Greek that it has almost the same value for us as the Greek text itself."

For the Greek aiOn” it generally uses yavidyan,” a word meaning “eon.” Sometimes ashkharh,” meaning "world," is used. In Eph 2:2 the two words are used together, “yavidyeni ashkharhis,” "eon of this world." All the special eon expressions of the Greek are found reproduced in the Armenian. The root of the word yavidyan is yaved,” shewn in Armenian dictionaries as meaning, "more, at most, a great deal." There is a verb, yavyeloum, meaning to "add, increase, augment, grow." Yavidyan” is defined as; "age,” “life” or “world."

 

The Coptic Version

This was made probably about the end of the second century, for use in Egypt, where it is still in use. It appears to render the Hebrew “olm” and Greek aiOn” by eneh,” defined in Coptic dictionaries as meaning nothing more than "time."

So as history proves and renders ages past for reference points of remembrance, should any scholar be so certain that the ages of Scripture have in every case, a definite beginning and end? Well, we speak of the; Dark Ages, the age of Shakespeare, of Charlemagne, the Byzantine age. Why must the Ages of Scripture be cut and dried and labelled? Some of them no doubt have overlapped and will overlap. We cannot tell by the calendar or the clock just when the Dark Ages began or ended.

Probably the Ages to come will consist rather of features and phases than strict time periods. We have noted that those who are so clear that there are only five eons in Scripture, including two to come, always steer clear of the final verse in the epistle of Jude, who ascribes glory to God "before the entire eon, and now, and for all the eons."

 

 

Power and influence

So we have conclusive proof of the corruption of the scriptures and of the absurdity of what is today known as enlightened, modern Christianity. Yet this corruption wasn’t just one of words or simply the mistranslation of concepts. These incremental changes (some nuanced, some blatant) were the result of shifting cultural ideas and an eagerness to maintain political cohesiveness. Pagan ideas of popular religion have always maintained a stranglehold over the fearful and simple masses.

It was no different is Christ’s day and nothing is different now. Since none of the foreign myths which the Jews of Jesus’ day believed were taught in the Law of Moses, just where did the Jews and then later the Church learn of these pagan doctrines of “eternal” torment and torture? It has been the purpose of the ruling privileged elite to keep the masses at bay by evil indoctrinations, deceptions, and gross fear. The Church has wielded such evils for its own benefits for centuries as a mass control measure.

From Thayer’s "Doctrine of Eternal Punishment," we read the following:

"Any one at all familiar with the writings of the ancient Greeks or Romans, cannot fail to not see how often it is admitted by them that the national religions were the INVENTIONS of the legislator and the priest, for the purpose of governing and restraining the common people [AKA—‘The DUMB SHEEP’]. Hence, all the early lawgivers claim to have had communications with the gods, who aided them in the preparation of their codes.

The object of this SACRED FRAUD was to impress the minds of the multitude with religious awe, and command a more ready obedience on their part. Hence Augustine says, in his ‘City of God,’ ‘This seems to have been done on no other account, but as it was the business of princes, out of their wisdom and civil prudence, TO DECEIVE THE PEOPLE IN THEIR RELIGION; princes, under the name of religion, persuaded the people to believe those things [to be] true, which THEY THEMSELVES KNEW TO BE IDLE FABLES; by this means, for their own ease in government, tying them the more closely to civil society,’ B.iV 32."

There are countless Historians who have clearly come to see the fraudulent origins of most of today’s religious doctrines (Christianity first and foremost).

From Bishop Warburton:

"Hence, they [priests and lawyers] enforced the belief of a future state of reward and punishments by every sort of contrivance."

And it is EGYPT that is the originator of these gross and evil doctrines of eternal torture after death of the souls which supposedly cannot die.

The Egyptian priests and legislators invented these damnable heresies, and the Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans thought it was the best thing that ever happened to them since homemade chocolate fudge. What a clever and inexpensive way to keep the people in constant fear of their religious and civil leaders!

Historians have called Egypt, "The MOTHER OF SUPERSTITIONS." Does "Mystery Babylon the Great, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, and the abominations of the earth" come to mind when you read that?

Greek and Roman lawyers, philosophers, and priests, acknowledge their indebtedness to Egypt in this respect, and freely credit her with the ORIGINAL INVENTION OF THE FABLES AND TERRORS of the invisible world; though it must be allowed that they have improved somewhat upon the hints given, and shown a wonderful inventive faculty of their own. (Paraphrased from some of Thayer’s material).

So, how did they keep the dumb sheep in line? By filling their heads with visions of eternal torture in fire if they didn’t obey every whim of their religious and civil leaders.

"How LONG, ye simple ones [Heb: ‘silly, seducible, foolish, naïve’] will ye love simplicity [Heb: ‘silliness, seductiveness, foolishness, naïvete’]? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?" (Prov. 1:22).

"My people have been lost sheep: THEIR SHEPHERDS HAVE CAUSED THEM TO GO ASTRAY…" (Jer. 50:6).

Does even one in two billion Christians believe that this verse of Scripture is true "Now ALL THESE THINGS HAPPENED UNTO THEM [For example: ‘The SHEPHERDS causing the sheep to go astray’ under the Old Covenant] for examples [Of how the Shepherds are ‘causing the sheep to go astray’ under the New Covenant] and they are written for OUR ADMONITION [We who are ‘Jews inwardly’—spiritual Jews (Rom. 2:29)], upon whom the ends of the ages are come" (I Cor. 10:11).

"The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means and My people LOVE TO HAVE IT SO…" (Jer. 5:31).

Did the Church learn these pagans heresies from God or from Egypt?’’

"WOE to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but NOT OF ME; and that cover with a covering [Heb: ‘devise a plan, weave a web’], but not of My spirit, that they may add sin to sin: that walk to go down to EGYPT, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of EGYPT! Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your CONFUSION

That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceit. Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us" (Isa. 30:1-3 & 9-11).

·         It was from Satan and then from the Egyptians that the Church got the teaching of an immortal soul, not from God.

·         It was from the Egyptians that the Church got the teaching that there is judgment at death, not from Moses.

·         It was from the Egyptians that the church learned the pagan teaching of entering a paradise at death, not from the Law or the Prophets.

·         It was from the Egyptians that the church learned of a never-ending punishment at death, not from the Hebrew Scriptures.

Thayher’s Doctrine of Endless Punishment, quotes many historians regarding the deceitful use of pagan doctrines of punishment;

"Greeks and Romans, Lawgivers and Philosophers, acknowledge their indebtedness to her in this respect, and freely credit her with the original invention of the fables and terrors of the invisible world; though it must be allowed that they have improved somewhat upon the hints given, and shown a wonderful inventive faculty of their own.”

These records of the ancient Greeks, confirmed by the monuments as illustrated by modern scholars, open to us the origin of the doctrines of a judgment after death, and of future endless rewards and punishments, for the good or evil deeds of this life. From the Egyptians it passed, with suitable modifications, to the Greeks and Romans. Diodorus himself clearly shows that the fables of the Acherusian lake, of Hecate, Cerberus, Charon, and the Styx, have their original in these Egyptian ceremonies and doctrines.

And Professor Stuart, in a note to Greppo's Essay on Hieroglyphics, accepts the statement of Spineto, that the Amenti of the Egyptians originated the classic fables of Hades and Tartarus, Charon, Pluto, the judges of hell, the dog Cerberus, the Chimeras, Harpies, Gorgons, Furies, "and other such unnatural and horrible things with which the Greeks and Romans peopled their fantastic hell."

"Anyone at all familiar with the writings of the ancient Greeks or Romans, [who admittedly received their basis doctrine of hell from Egypt] cannot fail to note how often it is admitted by them that the national religions were the INVENTIONS OF THE LEGISLATOR AND THE PRIES, for the purpose of governing and restraining the common people [commonly called ‘dumb sheep’]."

Hence Augustine [considered by many to be the greatest theologian in history] says, in his ‘City of God,’

"This seems to have been done on no other account, but as it was the business of princes, out of their wisdom and civil prudence, to DECEIVE THE PEOPLE IN THEIR RELIGION; princes, under the name of religion, persuaded the people to believe those things true, which they themselves KNEW TO BE IDLE FABLES; by this means, for their own ease in government, tying them the more closely to civil society."

 

 

Eternal damnation or age abiding correction?

And so the religious deception of the masses, continued throughout the last centuries, through the great upheavals of reformation history and all manner of political intrigues into our modern churches and onto the T.V. sets of the 21st century. Modern ideals and modern languages are of little use when it comes to clarifying the issues of mistranslation though. For example, ancient Greek is a dead language but while modern Greek is a living language, it has as much similarity as there is between German and English.

We now know that it was the false doctrines of the apostate Greek Orthodox Church that caused the meaning eternal” to be placed upon the modern Greek phrase, "the ages of the ages." And don't think for one moment that religion doesn't influence language! The English word "hell" once meant "a dark hidden place" but Church dogma has through the years caused the word to take on an altogether different connotation. Word meanings do change! And religious dogma has effected many such changes! So usage is the fundamental key to unlocking the meanings of ancient Greek words. Take this following verse for example.

"The 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: and the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever (to the ages of the ages): and they have no rest DAY NOR NIGHT, who worship the beast..." (Rev. 14:10-11).

That these are tormented DAY AND NIGHT unto the ages of the ages and have no rest DAY NOR NIGHT is in itself conclusive, that the very terms day and night” and “forever and ever,” prove beyond question that we are still dealing with the realm of time. The expression “forever and ever” is misleading and throws us into confusion, for, while on one hand eternity is indicated, on the other hand time is indicated by the use of the words day and night.” This is simply incongruous scholarship. There IS NO “day nor night” in “eternity!”

Both are creatures of time. There is no way of knowing how long a time this will be, but since it unquestionably deals with “day” and “night” and “ages,” it does therefore belong to time and no endeavour must be made to equate it with “eternity.” These words are solemn and awful, and we have no desire but to acknowledge both the wicked deeds and the dreadful and fearful doom of those who are so justly condemned

Again, let us reiterate - Once we understand that “AION” and all the compounds of that word denote TIME, how clear everything becomes! And how ridiculous the ignorant pratlings of men! In an effort to harmonize the Scriptures with the false doctrines of the apostate Church, the translators rendered "the ages of the ages" as "for ever and ever." This one little mistake once and for all exposes their folly. Even in English we can see that "forever" cannot be endless if "and ever" may be added to it.

Eternity cannot be added to! Only time may be compounded. Eternity is absolute timelessness. Eternity is without either beginning or end. There cannot be more than one eternity. You cannot add a second eternity on to a first eternity. Forever in English means "for eternity; always; perpetually; endlessly." Now if "forever" is "eternity" how can you add "and ever," attaching ANOTHER ETERNITY to an already existing eternity?

That isn't even correct English grammar! Ah - but ages are time and time, can be added to! When the Greek speaks of "the ages of the ages" it is speaking of AGGREGATED PERIODS OF TIME - not eternity! And you cannot get eternity by compounding all the time periods of the past and the future, for time began and time ends. The ages and all the time and times combined do not equal eternity. There simply is no such thing as "the endless ages of eternity" as the preachers love to say, for the phrase is a complete contradiction of itself. No one who is sane and reasonable can maintain otherwise. To do so is to contradict all known facts and to contradict God's own Word. Let us consider the Kingdom parable Jesus told of the sheep and the goats.

“…And these shall go away into EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT: but the righteous into LIFE ETERNAL" (Mat. 25:31-46).

First, it is important to note that this separation of the sheep from the goats was brought about, not on the basis of whether one had accepted Jesus Christ as his personal saviour, but solely on the basis of WORKS. All these things the Lord said they had DONE TO HIM. But the sheep confessed that they had never seen Him, so how could they have done these things to the Lord? He answered, "Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of THESE MY BRETHREN, you have done it unto Me."

All of this is a kind of ministry unto the Lord Himself and it brought all these people into a separation unto blessings of the right hand of God! This had nothing whatever to do with how the sheep treated the Jews, or the orphans in foreign lands, or the destitute masses or the poor drunk in the gutter. None of those are the Lord’s brethren! Paul identifies the Lord’s brethren in

 Rom. 8:29, “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

But the Goats had never done all these things mentioned by the Lord were separated unto the left hand of God! They received no kingdom. There were no rewards for work done or attainments reached. Rather, they were set on the dark side of God, they were put under a kingdom and under authority and they were placed in a process of fiery judgment to receive correction. There is much subtle truth in these words of Jesus: “These shall go away into everlasting punishment. (kolasis)”(Mat. 25:31-46).

Transliteration: kolasis

Phonetic Pronunciation:kol'-as-is

Definition:from <G2849> (kolazo); penal infliction :- punishment, torment.

 

Greek Word: κόλασις

Root: from <G2849>

Part of Speech: noun feminine

Let every Pastor and teacher hear this. The word punishment used here is from the Greek “KOLASIS” which means simply that - punishment. But it comes from the root “KOLAZO” which sheds precious light upon the nature of the punishment. “KOLAZO,” according to Strong's Concordance, bears only two shades of meaning, namely, "to curtail" or "to chastise." To "curtail" means to restrain as a person is restrained in ail or a child is restrained when he is "grounded" for a week because of some disobedience.

"Chastise" has one simple meaning according to Webster's New World Dictionary: to punish in order to correct, usually by beating. It should be clear to any thoughtful mind that the subject here is not meaningless, sadistic, unending torture, but PURPOSEFUL CORRECTION. The word punishment here means chastisement or pruning. It is not the destruction of the man; it is the correcting of the man. It was not the destruction of the tree; it was the cutting back, and the pruning, that it might bring forth fruit.

William Barclay, world-renowned Greek scholar, translator, and author of the popular Bible commentary, The Daily Study Bible and New Testament Words, noted: “The Greek word for punishment here [Mt. 25:46] is kolasis, which was not originally an ethical word at all. It originally meant the pruning of trees to make them grow better. It is true to say that in all Greek secular literature kolasis is never used of anything but remedial punishment.”

Thomas Talbott, philosophy professor at Willamette University in Oregon and author of The Inescapable Love of God, explained: “According to Aristotle, there is a difference between revenge and punishment; the latter (kolasis) is inflicted in the interest of the sufferer, the former (timōria) in the interest of him who inflicts it, that he may obtain satisfaction. Plato also appealed to the established meaning of kolasis as support for his theory that virtue could be taught: “For if you will consider punishment (kolasis)…and what control it has over wrong-doers, the facts will inform you that men agree in regarding virtue as procured.”

Even where a punishment may seem harsh and unforgiving, more like retribution than parental chastisement, this in no way excludes a corrective purpose. Check out the punishment that Paul prescribes in I Corinthians 5:5. One might never have guessed that, in prescribing such a punishment—that is, delivering a man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh—Paul had in mind a corrective purpose, had Paul not explicitly stated the corrective purpose himself (“that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus”).

So as this text illustrates, even harsh punishment of a seemingly retributive kind can in fact serve a redemptive purpose. And these will go away into everlasting [aionian] punishment [kolasis], but the righteous into eternal [aionian] life” (Mt. 25:46). Isn’t it ironic that the passage most often used to support everlasting punishment is in fact one strongly opposing it when accurately understood?

Some however, reason that “KOLASIS” cannot mean corrective punishment or pruning if it is everlasting. But everlasting is itself wrong - who ever heard of EVERLASTING CORRECTION? It is age-lasting punishment, age-abiding correction, age-during pruning. There is a spiritual witness that testifies to this; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1Co3:13-15) 

Again, it is not the man that is burned but his WORKS! There are those who did not enter into His life in ages past, there are those who do not enter into His life in this present age and there shall be those who will not enter into His life in the age to come. But in the world where God is the King you can count on it - every man will finally have to face up to his waywardness, and being thoroughly disciplined, broken, and purged of self-will, until he is prepared to respond to the love of Christ, to advance from the realm of punishment into the blessing of HIS LIFE and victory.

 If you do not punish a criminal for his improvement, for what do you punish him? There are just two right reasons  – to protect society and to restore the criminal to society improved by the punishment. The "aionian" punishment which will come to every sinner who goes to hell will be a punishment that will break his stubborn, rebellious spirit and bring him back to God! What a difference it would make to our understanding of the scriptures, if these observations had been upheld via thorough scholarship in the mainstream church today. Take the following verse for example;

“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous Into life eternal.” (Mat 25:46) 

In the light of what we have learnt here, the Matthew passage could be para­phrased this way:

“And these will go away into the chastisement of God, but the righteous into the life of God.” (Mat 25:46)

See the difference? Indeed, where do you hear such amazing truths as

 these, in this church age? So we can safely state then, if aion” does not strictly mean “eternal,” in the context of punishment and reward, what word does? Remember, there are a number of Greek words that imply eternal. They are usually translated “indestructible,” “imperishable,” “unfading,” “immortality,” and “incorruptible.” See Ro. 1:23; 2:7; 1Co. 9:25; 15:42, 51-54; He. 7:15-16; 1Pe. 1:3-4; 5:4; 1Ti. 1:17; 6:16; 2Ti. 1:10.

 

And yet our hope of immortality does not reside in the word aion” but in God’s very nature (unfailing love and unlimited power) and promises. So long as we have a flawed understanding of this four letter Greek word, we will remain blinded to the truth in relation to God’s judgments.

 

 

 

Conclusion

And so the scriptures speak the truth loudly and clearly, to all those who have the ears to hear it. After all, all change and development must take place in time. Thus we are being changed! But that means that the life of God within is still in a limited, imperfect, underdeveloped state. That life as to our condition and state of being is limited, imperfect, and in some measure immature. God has dispensed that life into us in time, that through a process of time with its experiences the spiritual life may be perfected and matured, brought to the fullness of that which HE HIMSELF IS. But as long as the life within is passing through the process of change, growth, and development, it is not viewed as “eternal,” unchangeable life, but as the LIFE OF THE AGES, life undergoing the dealings of God in time.

The immortal security of the believer is known only by the overcomers who have fully conquered every vestige of the world, the flesh, being conformed into the image of the Son. Of these triumphant ones it is written,

"To him that OVERCOMES will I give to eat of the TREE OF LIFE," and again, "He that OVERCOMES... I will NOT BLOT HIS NAME OUT of the Book of Life" (Rev. 2:7; 3:5).

The inference is clear ... until this "overcomer" state is attained, it is possible to have one's name blotted out of the Book of Life! That does not mean that the name cannot be written there again, any more than it could be said that it was impossible for it to be written there in the first instance. But it does indicate that the life possessed by a Christian who is not fully an overcomer is not by God's definition ETERNAL LIFE, for if it were absolutely eternal it could not be lost! Little wonder, then, that our Lord says to the Church at Smyrna;

"Be  faithful unto death, and I will give you a CROWN OF LIFE" (Rev. 2:10).

He speaks not of the death that takes this old body to the cemetery, but the death that comes by the INWORKING OF HIS CROSS until all that pertains to the realm of carnality has been completely and forever dealt with. Then, and only then, are we CROWNED WITH LIFE, His life reigning within without interference or possibility of defeat.

The life we now have is a progressing, growing, conquering life - the LIFE OF THE AGES. It is life that has come by the quickening of our spirit by His Spirit, giving a new beginning, and the potential to become, in due time, all He is. There is a great deal of progress still to be made, considerable growth to be experienced, much transformation to be wrought before we stand in Him in the fullness of that life that needs no change, no further development, no additional experience, no more growth, no fuller stature, no added triumph, no increase of wisdom and knowledge - that state of being as unchangeable as He is unchangeable.

As God's plan of the ages has progressed there has been a level of life, a spiritual vitality, for each age. Each age has been different. Men in antediluvian times knew God in a certain way and received life of a particular order. Israel, under the law, and the ministry of the prophets, entered into another degree of spiritual life. There is a difference between "fetus" life and "baby" life and "child" life. There is a difference between "youthful" life and "middle-age" life and "old-age" life. Can we not see by this that there is a continuing development of God's life in us, until HIS FULLNESS is attained, and there shall be a continuing development of His life in the whole human family in the ages to come until God becomes “all in all.”

God is cultivating within His Sons a perfect nature. The thoughts of God's people, in fact ALL people eventually,  will no longer be controlled and motivated purely by carnal memories of the past, by present events, or by dim hopes for an endless future in "mansions over the hill-top". The fledgling spirits of God's Sons are fast growing up into the limitless expanses of God's own spiritual nature. Yes, the whole man is becoming a new, eternal creation, no longer limited by the space-time continuum. God's maturing Sons see the reality of a state of being called “as He is”, and their hearts strain and leap upward toward that "place" in God!

The Church refuses to teach it, but it’s there in the scriptures. God will bring ALL MEN to judgement be it now, (in his chosen and elect) or later and by only the most extreme measures. For if there is no “hell” in the scriptures as we have proved, if there is no “eternal punishment” to speak of, rather an age of chastisement for the wicked, then how does this all play out? God’s judgements must surely take place and the key to understanding how, is found in the one subject left to explain – that of FIRE!, God himself - His consuming fire, the fire that purges and purifies, that most potent of spiritual symbols – “the lake of fire.”

 

 

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H O M E
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N E X T  A R T I C L E
EARTH LINK.NET
Robert Wheeler Todd (various articles)
HISTORY OF OPINIONS ON THE SCRIPTURAL DOCTRINE OF RETRIBUTION
Edward Beecher D.D.
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