Why Chan Can’t Erase Hell: Fear Not

Why Chan Can’t Erase Hell: Fear Not

This is an ancient Egyptian artistic depiction of a post-mortem place of suffering, a lake of burning fire. It is in world’s first known version of hell.

There is a myth that can be traced  from ancient Egypt to America by a trail of murdered bodies, and this myth is directly linked to the immoral actions of Christians.  Jesus said,

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

I know some very kind, loving Christians, and their only link to the trail of murdered bodies is the label: Christian.  These kind, loving Christians might protest that the people responsible for the carnage that stains historic Christianity were not actually Christians.  Consequently, for the intents and purposes of this blog, we must accurately define “Christian”.  But this is easier said than done.  After all, Hitler was a “Christian”.  And there are well over thirty-thousand denominations in Christianity who disagree (sometimes dogmatically and tyrannically) with one another about the definition of “Christian”, how one goes about becoming one, whether one can be Christian and _____ (fill in the blank with the sin of your choice), whether one can be a Christian and then become unconverted on purpose or by accident, etc.

Perhaps the kind, loving Christians I know might claim that the historical wake of evil in the Christian’s path is the result of a misguided few, who should never have been given the power to make the horrible decisions they made.  In this way, they deflect fault away from so-called genuine Christianity to unfortunate circumstances, as if the source of the power of the misguided few were somehow self-generated and then imposed upon the many.  This is simply not the case.  The real source of the power of the misguided few arose from an external cause: fear.  At this point, we should remember that Jesus instructed His followers (Christians) to FEAR NOT.  The many were persuaded to either actively support or passively permit the actions of the misguided few, for fear of what might happen if they were to stand in opposition.  And what could have happened?  Well, that depends on whether they were active supporters or passive permitters.  If they were the active supporters, then they clearly shared in blood-guilt.  If they were passive permitters, then standing in opposition to church authority would be inadvertently standing in opposition to God Himself.  And what consequences do those who stand in opposition to God face, according to orthodox Christianity?

 

Rotten fruit

Rotten fruit.  What does it look like?  Perhaps it is moldy or squishy.  It might be full of maggots, discolored, and smelly.  When it comes to spiritual fruit, here’s how we know if it is rotten – it will be the opposite of good fruit or the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.  This list has been provided to you by Paul, in a letter he wrote to believers in Galatia.  He also added, “…against such there is no law.”

Should acts of love be illegal?   How about acts of kindness?  Of course not!  But when we consider the opposite, the rotten spiritual fruit, then it makes sense that the law should be involved.  Should acts of hate be illegal?  How about acts of cruelty?  Yes, they should.

In a previous blog, “Why Chan Can’t Erase Hell: Abomination”, I asked, “What is the source of and the result (fruits) of first-century Jewish beliefs?” In that blog, I partially answered the first portion of the question.  The reason I write “partially” is that the source of the Jewish first-century religious leaders’ doctrine of post-mortem torment in fire can be traced even further back than I traced it, back before writing as we know it today was invented.  Hence, the ancient Egypt reference.  The second portion of the question requires quite a bit of research.  Sometimes I like to keep it simple and just say, “Do your own homework.”  Read some books about the history of the Christian institutional church that are written by people who are not Christians.  The reason I say this is that many Christian books on the history of the institutional church gloss over the horror and focus on the less-shocking political accomplishments.  Only when one takes a close look at church history, can one see what kind of spiritual fruit the so-called institutional church has produced since the doctrine of eternal torment became orthodox, back before laws against the most extreme “bad fruit” were established.

But am I taking this too far? Is the institutional church, with its insistence on eternal torment and its imitation of the behavior of its god, to blame for the giant pile of rotting fruit in human history?  Of course the church is not solely to blame.  After all, it only mirrored the secular legal system.  Justinian got his ideas from pagan law.  So, then, is all humanity to blame?  Well, yes and no. You see, “God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on [us] all.”  But this doesn’t negate the fact that God has called believers to be salt and light in the world, and “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

As a disciple of Christ, heed His warning when you decide who you allow to influence your beliefs:

Not every one who is saying to me Lord, lord, shall come into the reign of the heavens; but he who is doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, lord, have we not in thy name prophesied? and in thy name cast out demons? and in thy name done many mighty things? and then I will acknowledge to them, that – I never knew you, depart from me ye who are working lawlessness. Therefore, every one who doth hear of me these words, and doth do them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain did descend, and the streams came, and the winds blew, and they beat on that house, and it fell not, for it had been founded on the rock. And every one who is hearing of me these words, and is not doing them, shall be likened to a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain did descend, and the streams came, and the winds blew, and they beat on that house, and it fell, and its fall was great. And it came to pass, when Jesus ended these words, the multitudes were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as having authority, and not as the scribes.

So my point is not so much to blame as it is to demonstrate how Jesus’s fruit analogy rings true and to encourage anyone who wears the “label” to examine some fruit!  It is a reliable way to determine whether someone who claims to have spiritual authority actually has it.  And more importantly, the fruit test is a good way to determine whether to oppose the abuse of authority.  Sometimes God brings change by calling out just one or two among many.  If you recognize the modern form of pastorial-permitted torture in the church (shunning, fear tactics, hostility, hateful words, etc), oppose it.  Speak up for the outcast.  Do what you would have others do for you.  Don’t be like those in history who were controlled by fear.  Don’t passively permit by being part of a system that destroys.  And definitely don’t actively participate in the destructive behavior!

The slaves in Egypt may have had their bodies beaten into submission, but Pharaoh and his good ‘ole boys could never have taken away their fruit-producing abilities.  Is it possible that a system that defames the name of God on a regular basis can produce good fruit?  I ask myself this question sometimes.  I always rediscover, NO.  Only individuals within the system can do this, by the grace of God.  Does the system tend to produce very underproductive (and fearful) trees?  Yes.

In closing, it is interesting to note Hitler’s justification for his (as well as those who agreed or complied) campaign of ethnic cleansing, as described in Hitler’s own words in Main Kampf:

Christianity could not content itself with building up its own altar; it was absolutely forced to undertake the destruction of the heathen altars. Only from this fanatical intolerance could its apodictic faith take form; this intolerance is, in fact, its absolute presupposition… Providence did not bestow her reward on the victorious sword, but followed the law of eternal retribution.

*emphasis is mine

Next blog in this series: Why Chan Can’t Erase Hell: Obama Is Fat

 

Comments
  • Lanny A. Eichert March 11, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Alice, give it up. There was one Protestant Reformation and there will be NO more.

    • admin March 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      The Protestant Reformation was one small step in the right direction, the beginning of something that is still in progress.

      • Stephen Helbig March 12, 2012 at 10:13 am

        In humanity there is an innate desire to go on to perfection, to press on to a “high calling”. In my view there is much room for reformation. Yes, I can agree with Lanny, “There was one Protestant Reformation and there will be NO more.” My agreement is this, in the 16th-century the religious movement in Europe that set out to reform some of the doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in the development of Protestantism took place; but let me also say that is not “perfection” by God’s standards nor mine, so let us “GO ON TO PERFECTION”.
        I am also enthused and inspired by the recent times and questionings of the traditions of men that make the WORD OF GOD of no effect. I also say with Alice, “As a disciple of Christ, heed His warning when you decide who you allow to influence your beliefs”, it is not necessarily “safe to truckle with the mob in all teachings concerning our advancement in the kingdom of God, remember Caleb and Joshua. Let there be many more REFORMATIONS in our pursuit of Let God be True and every man a liar.

        • Lanny A. Eichert March 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm

          Let God be True and every man a liar in order that God be allowed by man to cast him into eternal punishment. Context, dear boy: how shall God judge the world?

    • Lanny A. Eichert March 11, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      Don’t you “get it?” We live in the last days with the Apostasy {2 Thessalonians 2: 3} fast approaching. I’m out of here in the Rapture {the imminent return of Christ} just prior to the Apostasy and the Tribulation, the 70th week of Daniel 9, which will be your experience because you’re not saved. The prophesied revival occurs during the 70th week, but you will be deluded {2 Thessalonians 2: 11} and hardened in heart so that you will not be able to receive the knowledge of the truth and be saved. That’s why it is imperative you abandon you Amazing Hope heresy A.S.A.P. and believe a literal Bible. There is a motto like “Remember the Alamo” in the Bible {Luke 17: 32} and it is “Remember Lot’s wife.” For you and your clan I give you: “Remember Judas Iscariot.”

      Luke 17, Matthew 24 & 25 go together in death to the wicked and the Messianic Kingdom for the righteous, but have nothing in common with John 14: 2 & 3 and 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 & 17 being the rapturous ascent unto the Father’s house in joy and relief.

  • Mary Vanderplas March 11, 2012 at 6:49 am

    I like what you say. I agree that those who call themselves Christian bear responsibility for opposing evil, including and especially evil done in the name of the Christian God, and for standing against, at whatever cost, those in authority who use their power to perpetrate evil. And I agree that not to speak up in the face of evil and abuse of power is, in a real sense, to be complicit in it.

    I agree, too, that both historically and currently there is much in the institution of the church that demands opposing. I stop short, however, of writing off the whole system as corrupt and beyond reform. Still, I can understand where those who have been victimized by intolerance on the part of the institution are coming from. And I think you’re right on to condemn such behavior and to call those of us who are part of the system to stand against it and against those who practice or condone it.

    While I agree with your assessment of the doctrine of eternal torment and of the view of God that underlies it, I don’t know that I would attribute all of the evils, historically or presently, done in the name of Christianity to this doctrine. Even in Christian traditions that reject this doctrine (though, granted, they don’t go as far as to embrace universalism), there is much that needs reforming. Still, though, I don’t disagree that the doctrine of eternal torment in particular – and perhaps even the doctrine of hell generally – can and does lend to the production of “bad fruit.” The words of Hitler which you cite are telling.

    • admin March 12, 2012 at 2:26 am

      In response to your comment, “I don’t know that I would attribute all of the evils, historically or presently, done in the name of Christianity to this doctrine,” I’m assuming that you won’t mind me elaborating how I arrived at this view. I see the atrocities as the destructive coping behaviors of traumatized people. They are wounded in spirit by their own view of God, and the manner in which they push unwanted thoughts and feelings (based on terror of God) out of their conscious minds is by controlling what people are allowed to believe about God. Control gives the illusion of normalcy and “justifies” the irrational beliefs that started the whole nasty process to begin with. It is draining to constantly shove unresolved issues back into the spiritual closet, and that is why you see so many books, blogs, and the like that address spiritual burn-out. People who are living in denial about their doubts in their own doctrines have two choices – they can seek resolution to their spiritual dilemma (which entails many consequences, should they actually find resolution) or keep avoiding. How does one keep on avoiding? By being distracted with other things like keeping busy, dwelling on day-to-day anxieties, worrying, addictions, obsessions, lust, etc. All of this helps shift “blame” (not that God is at fault, of course) off God and onto others. The reason I say shift blame is that the Spirit of God in believers is at war with this horrible idea about God that most believers embrace. Consequently, believers, whether they realize it or not, blame this god (who they think is God) and try to justify God’s fictitious character and actions by having a “well they deserved it” attitude about others who they suppose will spend eternity in torment. Their attempts to justify God are subconscious, but can be recognized in behaviors such as anger, a smart-ass or arrogant attitude, open criticism of other or private critical thoughts, judging, control, etc. Although I did not embrace the doctrine of eternal torment, I was unable for a long time to refute it, and I did loosely embrace annihilationism. I did not trust God, because I felt that God was incapable or unwilling to rescue people I loved dearly. So I experienced the same symptoms. I actually learned about this stuff in a group marriage counseling class at church and through a couple of Christian marriage counselors – most or all of whom believe in eternal torment. That is the irony of the whole thing – God speaking His truth about Who He is and what He does and why I felt like I couldn’t trust Him, all revealed to me through people who had no idea of the depths and magnitude of their words, the far-reaching implications. Fear and control go hand in hand. Control promises to relieve fear, but like a drug, it only lasts for a short while and then the fear returns. Then control, like a drug, must increase in order to be effective. It is a vicious cycle. With the church no longer having the control it once had, it now finds itself in crisis, because it must face the skeletons in the spiritual closet. Grace heals, the law destroys. Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. We can believe it and no longer feel the need to control others, or we can reject it and continue as we have for over 1500 years.

      • Mary Vanderplas March 12, 2012 at 8:39 pm

        What you say is insightful. It makes sense that those who have a negative view of God as one who is against sinners and (endlessly) vengeful in the expression of his anger against his enemies would be traumatized and conflicted. And it makes sense that this internal conflict would breed efforts to suppress the negative thoughts and feelings. I have to wonder whether everyone who subscribes to the doctrine of eternal torment experiences the fear and inner turmoil you describe. Perhaps they do. My guess is, though, that there are at least some who give lip-service only to this horrific teaching, not really believing it and hence not experiencing the fear and conflict that it produces. In any event, your observations and insights about how those who do embrace it act to justify this god are most helpful. So are your thoughts about the toll that avoidance and suppression take.

        I agree with what you imply about the difficulty/impossibility of trusting and depending on God when God is perceived as being against sinners or as unable to save every last one of them. And I agree that a law-based, fear-based system is the antithesis of God’s life-giving purposes revealed and enacted in Jesus.

        • Lanny A. Eichert March 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm

          a law-based, fear-based system is the antithesis of God’s life-giving purposes revealed and enacted in Jesus, really, Mary?

          by the law … the scripture hath concluded all under sin
          Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith
          from Galatians 3: 21 – 24

          For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? {Hebrews 10: 26 – 29}

          And you all say “fear not Jesus” with your eyes closed to His vengence. You all are a bunch of deceivers with your heads in the sand.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 12, 2012 at 10:24 pm

            Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, Alice, that Judas Iscariot is worthy in God’s sight? {reference Hebrews 10: 26 – 29}

          • Mary Vanderplas March 13, 2012 at 5:36 am

            The law does not give life. Only Jesus gives life. Trusting in him and receiving his grace, not doing the law, are the basis of salvation. See Galatians 3:10-14. A legalistic religion that makes doing the law the basis of acceptance is the antithesis of God’s purposes.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 13, 2012 at 6:44 am

            Mary, you can’t get to life without coming first to the legalistic condemnation of the Law. God’s purposes are that all men learn through endeavoring to keep the Law of God that they are totally corrupt and unable to be righteous. NEXT they are to learn about Jesus and in addition the sorer punishment from Hebrews 10: 26 – 29.

            Don’t you see the sorer punishment refutes Alice’s Amazing Hope heresy? Judas Iscariot is proof positive, and lesser men than he are worthy of the sorer punishment. What is that sorer punishment than that applied to the despiser of Moses’ law?

          • Mary Vanderplas March 14, 2012 at 6:52 am

            The law serves God’s purpose of revealing our sinfulness, yes. But a religion based on law instead of grace, and on fear of punishment instead of recognition of God’s lavish and inclusive love, is not consistent with the gospel. Jesus came not to condemn but to save. And the triumph of God’s grace over human sin in totally effective, according to Romans 5:18, with justification and life extended to all.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm

            “extended to all” freely, but in that freedom all do not accept it, in fact, most don’t and most go into eternal destruction (torment). Believe Matthew 7: 13 as spoken by the Son of God. Eternal torment is a fundamental Christian doctrine and if it is not preached (declared) then the message is NOT Christian and apostacy happens. Apostacy is the purposeful falling away from the fundamentals. Your crafty proclamation of the denial of eternal punishment makes all of you apostates and antichrists. It is important that you all repent and return to the fundamentals ASAP before it is too late, because when you are left behind, the Rapture having taken place, you will be deceived by that strong delusion of 2 Thessalonians 2: 11 and will be hardened against the truth and not be able to repent and be saved.

            Open your eyes: the strong delusion of 2 Thessalonians 2: 11 is another proof of “therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” {Romans 9: 18} that Alice’s Amazing Hope is a fraud, because God designed the majority to be “vessels of wrath fitted to destruction” {Romans 9: 22} as the background against which to display His glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.

            Go right ahead and judge God as distasteful to your selfish sensitivities and you do it to your own destruction as disobedient children, but not of God, but as children of the devil, as I’ve been telling you that you are.

    • Lanny A. Eichert March 12, 2012 at 4:51 am

      I did not trust God, because I felt that God was incapable or unwilling to rescue people I loved dearly, admin says March 12, 2012 at 2:26 am.

      #1) Do you still refuse to trust God if He is unwilling and incapable of rescuing some one you loved dearly?

      #2) Does that mean that you trust God now only on the condition that He is capable and willing to rescue people you loved dearly?

      #3) Are you willing to trust God now if while He is willing and capable of rescuing people you loved dearly yet sovereignly chooses to never rescue them?

      • Stephen Helbig March 12, 2012 at 11:20 am

        LANNY DID YOU ALSO READ THIS, “They are wounded in spirit by their own view of God, and the manner in which they push unwanted thoughts and feelings (based on terror of God) out of their conscious minds is by controlling what people are allowed to believe about God… Consequently, believers, whether they realize it or not, blame this god (who they think is God) and try to justify God’s fictitious character and actions by having a “well they deserved it” attitude about others who they suppose will spend eternity in torment. Their attempts to justify God are subconscious, but can be recognized in behaviors such as anger, a smart-ass or arrogant attitude, open criticism of other or private critical thoughts, judging, control, etc. …. I did not trust God (this false ideology of our God, words within these parentheses added by me, stephen), because I felt that God was incapable or unwilling to rescue people I loved dearly. So I experienced the same symptoms.

        I, stephen ,also in my pusuit of becoming ONE WITH GOD according to Jesus prayer in John chapter 17, have been reformed of this false ideology of our God. I wholeheartedly embrace and long for an authortative body, “the body of Christ”, to pronounce a final verdict and for the Holy Spirit to “guide us into all truth, that through discussion and debate, as the Bereans, a sifting process will allow the truth of God in Christ to deepen and broaden. For God so loved the world…

        • Lanny A. Eichert March 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm

          Their soul’s wounds are self-inflicted by their desire for God other than the way He is.

          Romans 3: 6

          • Stephen Helbig March 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm

            We see that the Judge of all the earth has done right; and we may rest assured that he will eternally act in the same way, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord; by grace is meant, either grace as it is in the heart of God; which reigns or bears sway in man’s salvation in all the parts of it, “through righteousness”; consistent with the justice of God, in a way in which that is glorified, through the redemption of Christ: it reigns “unto eternal life”; grace has promised, prepared it, and makes meet for it, and will introduce into it, and freely give it: it reigns “by Jesus Christ”; grace reigns by him, righteousness, or justice, is glorified by him, and eternal life is in him, through him, and by him: or grace as it is in the hearts of converted persons, is meant where it reigns, has the dominion, is the governing principle, and that in a way of righteousness and true holiness; and will reign until it is perfected in glory, or is crowned with eternal life; all which are by Jesus Christ, namely, grace, righteousness, and life.
            OUR KING “REIGNS” Greek βασιλεύσῃ (basileusē) — 1 Occurrence

            “That as sin reigned by death, in this way GRACE SHALL “REIGN” by righteousness to eternal life by our Lord Yeshua The Messiah. (Romans 5:21Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)

            Englishman’s Concordance
            βασιλεύσῃ (basileusē)
            From 935 /basileús, “king”) – properly, kingdom; the realm in which a king sovereignly rules.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 12, 2012 at 8:33 pm

            Stephen, death finalizes God’s justice: either you die in Christ or you die without Christ. The choice is made in this life. There is no evangelism in hell or the Lake of Fire where the majority of humanity are destined by God’s decree. Believe Jesus’ words: “broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat” in Matthew 7: 13 or you are a liar for making Jesus a Liar.

            When Jesus reigns, where are His enemies: under His feet, or at His right side?

          • Stephen Helbig March 13, 2012 at 9:16 am

            How beautiful are the feet that bring good news

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 13, 2012 at 7:20 pm

            Yes, how beautifully on the necks of His enemies: most certainly.

  • Julie Ferwerda March 12, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Alice, another thought provoking post. I studied the ancient Egyptian religion in one of my classes last spring and we never covered a “lake of fire teaching.” There was certainly an underworld where those who failed the “feather test” suffered, but if I remember correctly, they were able to emerge from the underworld after paying penance. Can’t remember all the details though.

    On that note, I have heard that the notion of hell can be traced back to Babylonian times, pre-Egyptian, and also that the Pharisees were of a sect that taught hell. However, I think even then, the Jewish hell was only 11 months.

    I have a book called, “The History of Hell,” but haven’t had time to read it yet. I am curious where it first emerged, especially since the OT speaks nothing remotely close.

    The more you dig in history, the more you find that religion is almost always at the heart of murder. I can certainly see why atheists criticize the God of the OT, and I’ll admit I don’t understand it myself yet. It just doesn’t “fit.”

    • admin March 12, 2012 at 1:52 am

      Yes, it is true that the Egyptian version of hell was not eternal, at least according to what I read from the Book of the Dead. I did not read it in it entirety. Let me know what else you find along the way, especially concerning Babylon and the Pharisees.

  • Lanny A. Eichert March 14, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Alice, last October 25th 6:09 pm I objected to your version of God making all things new because the Lake of Fire still existed after the new creation as it was before He made all things new, that is, the occupants were still in their same condition of vices: fearful, unsteadfast, abominable, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters, and liars.

    You wrote: Does He mean, “new I make all things except those things in the lake of fire”? Well, that’s not what it says. The word “all” is not limited in that way.

    So I asked you two questions:
    #1) In what way is “all” limited then, Alice?
    #2) What was made new?

    If as you say the word “all” is not limited in that way, you must be admitting there are limitations to he word “all” and I would ask what are those limitations you allow, because I don’t think you allow any limitations. Don’t you see how foolish and irrational you are and how that irrationality discredits and disproves your Amazing Hope into a total falsehood and heresy?

    The last revelation given to man containing at its ending a populated Lake of Fire without a remedy of escape is the undoing of your reconciling all sinners doctrine. Stephen’s feet will avail nothing, the poor deluded man. The Bible says that the blackness of darkness for ever is reserved for them so that they will not even be able to see and read the Bible with their eyes. Also, the wicked shall be silent in darkness {1 Samuel 2: 9} because they will be so dumbfounded as to be speechless except for groans, weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. In that setting you expected them to hear the Gospel personally preached by Jesus again and again until they are saved by confessing He is Lord? It can’t work since 1 Samuel 2: 9 is true: no talking at all.

    Magnificent is Hannah’s prayer and worth meditation in 1 Samuel 2: 1 – 10

  • admin March 15, 2012 at 10:13 am

    1. In “new I make all things”, all is not limited.
    2. “all things” – but to be sure we are on the same page, your question is proposed in a past-tense format, “What WAS MADE new?” whereas the scripture is different.

    I know you are a student of the word, and that what I say will not go over your head: the verb is tense is present, imperfect, aorist and the verb mood is indicative, subjunctive. So the verb cannot be correctly interpreted as what “was made” new, as if He had already finished or completed His making all things new while the lake of fire remained populated with obviously-not-new people.

    In simple language, for anyone not familiar with the terms used above…

    present – of the three main Greek verb categories (1. ongoing or in progress 2. completed or already finished 3. only happens once in time, and it doesn’t fit neatly into groups one or two), the present tense is in the first group of ongoing or in progress

    aorist – in Koine Greek (the language of the New Testament), aorist is something that can happen in the past, present, or future in which all three aspects are seen as a whole. Since we don’t use the aorist in English, this concept can be difficult to wrap one’s brain around. The closest English equivalent is “try to do something” where both the intention (try) and the action (to do) are included in the understanding of the verb. In English, we assume that “try to do something” might result in failure, whereas in Greek, this cannot be assumed. Furthermore, God never fails.

    imperfect – also has no English equivalent. It is similar to present tense in that it refers to something that is ongoing or in progress. If I were to tell you that I “used to” do something, in English, this would imply that I am no longer doing it, but in ancient Greek, this assumption is incorrect. Since the imperfect is combined with the present tense, the ancient Greeks would understand this to mean that this is something that has happened, does happen, and will happen. The imperfect aspect highlights that it is a process.

    indicative – this verb “mood” is used for factual statements or evidence

    subjunctive – in English, we rarely use subjunctive, and when we do, it is usually to communicate a hypothetical situation or make a suggestion – but in Greek, “…if the subjunctive mood is used in a purpose or result clause, then the action should not be thought of as a possible result, but should be viewed as a definite outcome that will happen…” (www.ntgreek.org)

    • Lanny A. Eichert March 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm

      You write very confusingly. In the Revelation 21: 5 the verb make, ποιῶ ποιέω poieō, is indeed present tense active voice in the indicative mood. The main force of the present tense is continuous action in the present time, but the grammars also specify other documented contextual uses and one of those uses is the aoristic present “for expressing the idea a present fact without reference to progress.” In the context is stated an already new heaven and a new earth and a newly completed relationship between God and men of tabernacling together. Also verse eight begins with the word “but” signifying exclusion.

      Another use of the present tense is called the historical present in which “a past event is viewed with the vividness of a present occurence” and this also fits this context.

      Quotes are from a Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament by Dana and Mantey.

      My questions are still valid and require a better answer from you: In what way is “all” limited and what was made new?

      • admin March 15, 2012 at 7:59 pm

        My answer is valid enough. I didn’t imagine it, and I offered clear evidence to back my claim. The “present fact without reference to progress” is overruled by the indicative mood. In other words, the aorist can’t trump the present + imperfect. Aorist serves to clarify that the act of “make all things new” is not limited to past, present, or future, but comprehensively includes all time periods in which anything remains that needs to be made new. Although I did place the aorist first in my random-order list, so I see how I might have inadvertently caused confusion. My list was not intended to represent the standard order in translation/interpretation of Koine Greek. Aorist can be used in reference to something completed, but if it is used with present imperfect, it can’t undo present imperfect.

        • Lanny A. Eichert March 15, 2012 at 9:58 pm

          Alice, what in the text of the Revelation 21: 5 is this present + imperfect you are claiming? {The imperfect tense indicates continuous action in past time.} What aorist are you talking about in 21: 5? Where are you getting this notion of the indicative overrules the aoristic present? {The indicative mood is the mood of reality.}

          To me it looks like you don’t know Greek at all and you shouldn’t meddle in areas of your ignorance.

        • Lanny A. Eichert March 16, 2012 at 3:12 am

          In the context is stated an already new heaven and a new earth and a newly completed relationship between God and men of tabernacling together, but there is nothing stated new about the Lake of Fire and its residents that I can see that demonstrates the application of continuously making it new. What I see is the word “but” signifying exclusion from the work of making it new. Now please show me in the context what is made new about the Lake of Fire if you expect to validate that God intends by His use of the present tense any further continuing work on the Lake of Fire and its residents. The word “but” along with no changes to it cements the idea that He was done with it as it was before He began making all good things new. The bad is permanently disposed into the eternal Lake of Fire as planned from the foundation of the world {Revelation 17: 8}, because their names were never intended {from the foundation of the world} to be in the Book of Life. Show me otherwise. Verse 8 is still future and refers to people that have yet to see the beast and wonder; and their names were never to be written in the Book of Life. The intention of keeping their names out of the Book of Life goes back to the foundation of the world. The subject of that durative time reference is not the whole population of human history, but rather those specifically living at the time of the appearance of this particular beast. If Jesus comes this year and you survive the next three and a half, you may well be in that group only to learn by experience that there is no reconciliation in the Lake of Fire. Show me otherwise that God made something in the Lake of Fire new and beautiful.

        • Lanny A. Eichert March 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm

          invalid answer, Alice!!! Don’t you understand that a verb is only one tense at a time and only one mood at a time and the Greek spelling of the verb determines the tense, voice, mood, number, person, and gender? You wrote: the verb is tense is present, imperfect, aorist and the verb mood is indicative, subjunctive. You claim three tenses: present, imperfect, aorist; for the same verb and two moods: indicative, subjunctive; for that same verb make, ποιῶ ποιέω poieō in the Revelation 21: 5.

          You wrote: My answer is valid enough. I didn’t imagine it, and I offered clear evidence to back my claim. Alice, your evidence is anything but clear and it sure does look like you imagined throwing together a bunch of Greek terms that make nonsense in your construction of sentences. In both your 10:13am and 7:59pm posts you show such imaginative confusion that is so far from making any sense that any reader must wonder if she even understands the English language grammar or even that she is capable of understanding anything at all. For example, Alice, in the sentence: I am running. can the verb run be identified as all three tenses: present tense, past perfect tense, and past tense? Can the verb run be both declarative and imperative?

          Do you at all understand why I find your posts so confusing? Do you understand why it seems so obvious to me that you invent totally imaginative reasons for your Amazing Hope doctrine. You, like Stephen, are so far “off the wall” that it amazes me that any of your readers can stay with you, except that they, too, are so desperate to believe anything but eternal torment that they gullibly swallow most all of what you claim. I really shouldn’t be amazed because here in Utah Mormon land so many highly educated people have fallen for the Mormon scam despite their education.

          Your two post are invalid as nonsense and you still owe me a proper answer:
          #1) In what way is “all” limited then, Alice?
          #2) What was made new?

          {See my March 16, 2012 at 3:12 am post below}

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm

            the Greek spelling of the verb determines the tense, voice, mood, number, person, and gender? Oops, scratch gender.

            {See my March 16, 2012 at 3:12 am post ABOVE}

          • admin March 17, 2012 at 8:20 pm

            Lanny, admittedly I am not an expert in Koine Greek. But I do have common sense and access to information about the rules of translation for Koine Greek, as do you. Perhaps I am mistaken. I’ll double check and get back to you.

          • admin March 18, 2012 at 3:18 am

            Well, it seems that both of us remain challenged in going from Koine Greek to English (iron sharpens iron?), and I am grateful for your Berean qualities, although I wish you would apply them in other circumstances than just proving me wrong. Anyhow, I thought I would point out where I went off track in my response to you, and where you went off track in your response to me.

            I’ll start with myself. Usually, I do not delve into tense, mood, etc. using http://biblos.com, but this time I did. I made assumptions about the abbreviations they use – present, imperfect, aorist, etc. The descriptions I gave of each term are still accurate. The problem is that the abbreviations are not what I thought they were, and so not all of these terms apply to the subject at hand (“I make all things new”). So you are justified in your confusion over what I wrote, and I thank you for taking the time to point it out and being persistent about it. The abbreviations actually stand for present, indicative, active.

            Referring back to what I wrote before:

            present – of the three main Greek verb categories (1. ongoing or in progress 2. completed or already finished 3. only happens once in time, and it doesn’t fit neatly into groups one or two), the present tense is in the first group of ongoing or in progress

            indicative – this verb “mood” is used for factual statements or evidence

            And I did not elaborate on “active” so here it is:

            active – the subject is performing the action of the verb

            And now it is your turn. Regarding your comment about verb tense, there is some overlap between tenses in Koine Greek, because Koine Greek is less concerned with time and more concerned with the nature of the action. For example, both present and imperfect can indicate action that is in progress, with the emphasis being on the “in progress” rather than a specific point or points in time.

            Although I appreciate your English example (“I am running”), English is not Greek. There are many aspects of Greek that can’t be accurately expressed in word-for-word translation, because Greek is much more specific than English. I feel like you are using the English thing in an attempt to ridicule me, as part of your questioning if I am “even capable of understanding anything at all” (as you say). So I am not spending any more time on that.

            If you would like to view my mistake as you do, that is, I “invent totally imaginative reasons” for Amazing Hope, that’s fine. Go ahead. But you do not know my heart, and I can assure you I was not inventing anything. Having said all of this, it seems to me that my argument (even in setting aside aorist and subjunctive mood) still stands, because “I make” is a factual statement about something in progress.

            Again, I appreciate being called out on mistakes. It only helps me to be careful about research and reminds me to be humble and not wrongly assume others (like you) who disagree with me are wrong.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 18, 2012 at 3:54 am

            Alice, it was very difficult to not ridicule two such thoughtless posts so hastily written as to lack distinction among individual tenses and moods. You even neglected common sense about grammar that is common among languages.

            Now pay attention to what I copied and pasted from (www.ntgreek.org) below March 18, 2012 at 3:33 am. “no real emphasis on progressive action is intended.”

            Prove otherwise by showing me something in the Lake of Fire made new to oppose the excluding “but” of verse 8. Remember the context determines the meaning of the tense.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 18, 2012 at 4:47 am

            I quote you, (1. ongoing or in progress 2. completed or already finished 3. only happens once in time, and it doesn’t fit neatly into groups one or two). This number three as well as number two fits the new heaven, new earth, and the new relationship. None of the three fits the Lake of Fire. My use of the word “fit” is context dictates meaning.

            So what real good is the Greek if context dictates meaning? What really is interpretation all about? Isn’t it taking all the words TOGETHER rather than majoring on the meaning of one word and forcing it to dictate the meaning of the context? Don’t you see that although Greek studies are nice and enhance meanings, the Greek is not everything.

            “new I make all things except those things in the lake of fire” that IS what it says because of the “but” at the beginning of verse eight and the lack of any beginning progress: the Lake of Fire is ignored. “All” is limited to the new heaven, the new earth, and the new tabernacling with men as is demonstrated by the attention given them.

            Amazing Hope is not supported by “new I make all things” in its context.

            • admin March 18, 2012 at 11:05 pm

              The “but” in verse 8 is actually “and”:

              “and to fearful, and unstedfast… [etc]”

              The “and” does not exclude the possibility of those “things” in the lake of fire being included among those who described in verses 6 and 7, ” I, to him who is thirsting, will give of the fountain of the water of the life freely; he who is overcoming shall inherit all things, and I will be to him — a God, and he shall be to me — the son”

              Let me ask you this, since you and I agree that the context dictates the meaning, who is it that is thirsty, if everyone who is going to be saved is already saved? Do people in the new heaven, new earth, and the new relationship thirst? Do they still need to overcome? If death is the cut-off for salvation, who is the water being offered to, and why are people overcoming AFTER death?

              Now, about “number three as well as number two fits the new heaven, new earth, and the new relationship”… The 1,2,and 3 refer to the three main tense categories (just the main ones, and not any additional subheadings). Only number 1 applies – ongoing or in progress, because the verb is present tense. Numbers 2 and 3 do not apply to present tense, which is the tense of the verb (in English “I make”). I think that the text (ie. the context)plainly states the meaning. The only reason I have spent so much time on this is that you challenge the meaning of the word “all”. Yes, context determines whether all is all “of something”. In this case the context tells exactly what “all” refers to, and that is things. In Venn diagrams, if you were to name your category “things”, then every”thing” would go into the circle, and no”thing” would remain outside the circle. This interpretation fits with the present tense as ongoing or in progress, and it fits with the testimony of many other scriptures as well. Here are a few:

              every creature that is in the heaven, and in the earth, and under the earth, and the things that are upon the sea, and the all things in them – they all praise God

              And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord: for they shall ALL know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more.

              The Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces.

              Before Him bow do all going down to dust

              He may send Jesus Christ who before hath been preached to you,whom it behoveth heaven, indeed, to receive till times of a restitution of all things, of which God spake through the mouth of all His holy prophets from the age.

              Let’s just suppose for argument’s sake that this “all things” in Revelation were not even included in scripture, would it then be impossible for me to claim God’s intention to restore all things? If you answer yes, then you must explain away every other instance of “all things” or “all of every man” or “all faces” or “all going down to dust” or “all _____” fill in the blank with the many, many other scriptures with contexts that demand “all” means exactly what it seems – ALL.

              You are right about Greek not being everything. People can have knowledge of Koine Greek and still not get it. Look at the religious leaders in Jesus day, who had the law and prophets, who had the training and knew their scriptures backward and forward – they crucified Christ. Take a step back and reexamine the scriptures with the possibility in your mind that you read them through a biased lens. I speak from experience, because I, too, read scripture through a biased lens for over a decade. It has nothing to do with being intelligent. It is obvious to me that you are very intelligent, likely more intelligent than me. It is about letting God speak truth to your heart. The scriptures are a witness to His glory, but they are also written in such a way as to stumble those who have their own ideas about Who God is and what God does, just like Jesus’s parables caused the religious leaders to stumble.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 19, 2012 at 1:20 am

            And you come with a new bias to the Scriptures, Alice, seeing “all things” when all that is in the text of 21: 8 is “all” with the word “things” supplied by interpretators: just one word πάντα, πᾶς pas. It is actually just an adjective.

            Remember tears are also mentioned in the context as well as overcoming and thirsting and are obvious to the past, not the present of the new heaven and new earth and new relationship. Just also remember in the new relationship is feasting together as life goes eternal and eternal life remains “knowing Jesus and God” so there remains a continual spiritual thirst for God by His creatures because they were created totally dependent upon God for life itself even before sin entered. The Water of Life is for saints and only saints are there. There are no sinners at all “there” to take the Water of Life because they are all in the Lake of Fire. It is the same old Lake of Fire that existed during the time of the old heaven and old earth that now in chapter 21 exists during the time of the new heaven and the new earth and the new relationship. Don’t you see you cannot mix old and new wine skins, so you cannot have interchange between these two: they are completely separated. There can be no Gospel evangelism in the Lake of Fire.

            You approach the Scriptures with this Amazing Hope mindset and so you condition the text accordingly and force your meaning upon it where it isn’t warranted by the mere text itself. Let the text be “simple” in order to get only what is intended. That’s the starting point.

            So I have basically said “all things” here in 21: 5 is impossible to prove Amazing Hope, but you gave me quotes without references not expecting me to actually answer every passage you quote, right? You can’t see anything but your heresy any way because you’re conditioned that way. Remember Judas Iscariot. He is lost, never to be saved, otherwise Jesus is a Liar as is the Holy Spirit, as is the Father: all Liars. Your Amazing Hope is impossible to prove because it is the liar.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 19, 2012 at 3:58 am

            Don’t you see the second Greek word in 21: 8 of the Revelation is δὲ and don’t you know what it means as a particle adversative, distinctive, disjunctive? There are eight occurances of καὶ, and, in the verse. You don’t know enough Greek, so forget it, Alice.

            Those in verse 6 & 7 are completely opposite those in verse 8, as opposite as right from wrong, good from evil. God makes wrong and evil new and beautiful? You have to be kidding me. Only the righteous thirst after God. Your reasoning sure is weird, Alice.

            I can’t believe you ask: Do people in the new heaven, new earth, and the new relationship thirst? If death is the cut-off for salvation, who is the water being offered to? {Psalm 42: 2} My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? That’s the words of a saint, not a sinner needing to be saved. Where’s Calvin in your understanding, Alice? Total depravity? No man seeks after God.

            Your 1,2,and 3 I misunderstood you to be describing the present tense uses and saw the aoristic present and the historical present in the numbers 2 & 3. Whose grammar classifies the three main tense categories, because I think it is wrong to limit three and main and you also didn’t identify the tenses belonging to each category. I am not familiar with this idea of three main tense categories.

            I don’t care to know anything about Venn diagrams.

            every creature that is in the heaven, and in the earth, and under the earth, and the things that are upon the sea, and the all things in them – they all praise God
            Surely true, Alice, of all except humanity and some angels as a whole and that’s the condemnation of the human race and some angels.

            And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord: for they shall ALL know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more.
            That applies to this earth during the millenial reign of Christ from David’s throne in the earthly Jerusalem when all surviving ethnic Israelites will be nationally converted to Christ at the beginning of the literal thousand years. You really must get your eschatology correct to avoid using incorrect verses. This one does not apply to after death experiences.

            The Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces.
            This one is in our text and applies only to those in the new relationship of tabernacling with God on the new earth. There are plenty of tears in the Lake of Fire in verse 8 and they are not persons whose eyes God will wipe: they must pay their eternal sentence of their sins, therefore God will never wipe their tears.

            Alice, the Greek commentaries you write are just full of errors and have no significant authority or credibility. No one should trust anything in which you appeal to the Greek. You have been proven so incredibly unreliable too many times. You just don’t know the subject. To have not caught yourself identifying a verb in context as having three tenses and two moods is the height of intellectual carelessness and the putting on airs to make yourself what you aren’t. Your Greek carelessness also brings into suspect your ability to interpret anything else including the Holy Bible. This is not a new accusation coming from me, as I have told you this before in just so many words plainly and simply. You are not qualified to interpret the Bible. You have called Jesus a Liar in His John 17: 12 prayer as well as the Holy Spirit and the Holy Father by insisting Jesus will save Judas Iscariot. That means you are still in unbelief, not saved, without the Holy Spirit, and without spiritual understanding necessary to understand the Holy Bible. The Bible is a holy book and only holy people can understand it. You are unholy and have an unholy Jesus of your own making. Wise up.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm

            The picture in 21:5 is of the whole cosmos being renewed and transformed. “All” is inclusive of everything in creation. John is saying the same thing here that Paul says in Romans 8:18-25. In contrast, the picture in 21:7-8 is of only faithful believers being saved. Taken together, the two texts present a paradox. In my view, neither text should be subordinated to the other, thereby dissolving the paradox. Rather, the paradox should be preserved and both sides of it listened to in order to hear the message John intended to communicate. By affirming both universal salvation and limited salvation, John likely intended to guard against extreme views in which God is pictured, on the one hand, as a vindictive tyrant punishing his rebellious creatures beyond measure (or a frustrated deity whose hands are tied when it comes to saving all of his creation) or, on the other hand, as a sentimental grandfatherly deity who takes human rebellion less than seriously.

            How things will really be in the end I don’t think can be known with absolute certainty. I do think, though, that given the number of texts that speak of salvation being universal, there is more than a good possibility that in the end God will act to bring to himself every last one of his rebellious creatures. Even in the text under consideration, I think it is possible to see in verses 7 and 8 a strong warning directed to those in the communities John was addressing instead of a picture conveying what will actually be. In any case, I think the weight of the biblical evidence falls on the side of God’s generosity, his limitless mercy toward his enemies, which includes all of us.

            I also think that it violates John’s intended meaning to take his pictorial language and force it into a strict chronology of end-time events. In these verses in Revelation 21, what John pictures is the future world freed from all of the present evils and glorious beyond imagining. To try to harmonize the pictures, drawing inferences about what one picture “must” mean in light of another, in an effort to fit them into one grand, logically-consistent eschatological scheme is, in my view, misguided. Moreover, even if it were valid, which I don’t think it is, to see in Revelation a strict chronology and to argue that the presence of a “populated lake of fire” at the end of the book constitutes proof that final salvation is limited, this viewpoint overlooks the fact that what the “last word” in this book is remains uncertain. The last verse of Revelation is ambiguous: arguably, the best manuscripts omit “the saints,” leaving an inclusive pronouncement of God’s grace to “all.”

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 19, 2012 at 10:44 pm

            Mary’s god is always eschatologically ambiguous on purpose in order to warn His creatures about the who and what.

            I pity you, Mary.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 20, 2012 at 6:39 am

            Skirt the issues to your heart’s content, Lanny, but unfortunately for you they won’t go away. They are, in case you missed them, that: (1) your practice of subordinating the universalistic texts to the limited salvation ones in an effort to support your eternal torment doctrine forces you to violate your own “plain sense” principle of biblical interpretation (e.g., the plain sense of “all” in Revelation 21:5 is the whole creation); and (2) your insistence that limited salvation, and particularly eternal torment, is proved by the presence of a “populated lake of fire” at the end of Revelation rests on the dubious assertion that this is the last revelation of God to humanity, which it very well might not be given the ambiguity of Revelation 22:21 as we have it.

            • admin March 22, 2012 at 12:39 am

              I think your point about the revelation of God to humanity is an especially important one. I am reminded very much of Paul’s letter to the Galatians:

              that …the Father of the glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the recognition of him,the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, for your knowing what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,and what the exceeding greatness of His power to us who are believing, according to the working of the power of His might, which He wrought in the Christ, …not only in this age, but also in the coming one; …Him who is filling the all in all, …that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus, …the untraceable riches of the Christ, and to cause all to see what [is] the fellowship of the secret that hath been hid from the ages in God, …that there might be made known now to the principalities and the authorities in the heavenly [places], through the assembly, the manifold wisdom of God, according to a purpose of the ages, …that He may give to you, according to the riches of His glory, with might to be strengthened through His Spirit, in regard to the inner man, that the Christ may dwell through the faith in your hearts, in love having been rooted and founded,that ye may be in strength to comprehend, with all the saints, what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, to know also the love of the Christ that is exceeding the knowledge, that ye may be filled – to all the fulness of God; and to Him who is able above all things to do exceeding abundantly what we ask or think, according to the power that is working in us, to Him [is] the glory in the assembly in Christ Jesus, to all the generations of the age of the ages. Amen.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 20, 2012 at 7:15 am

            Mary, you’re awfully sure about something you not even sure about. You are a contradiction of words, but what can I expect: you’re a woman.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 22, 2012 at 3:20 am

            Alice said to Mary:
            I think your point about the revelation of God to humanity is an especially important one.
            After Mary wrote:
            a “populated lake of fire” at the end of Revelation rests on the dubious assertion that this is the last revelation of God to humanity, which it very well might not be given the ambiguity of Revelation 22:21 as we have it.

            So Alice follows Mary’s unbelief into ambiguity.

            You, two, have nothing of certainty and it amazes me that you waste your time writing about uncertainties.

            But the more I think about it, perhaps Alice is too timid to say to Mary that she receives revelations from God regularly as she believes is normative for all “Christians” from the day of Pentecost and that Mary aught to be looking to receive some for herself.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 22, 2012 at 5:36 am

            The point, which you seem to have missed, is that your confident assertion that a “populated lake of fire” is the last revelation of God to humanity – which in your mind proves that the majority of humanity will be tormented eternally – is not certain. There is nothing ambiguous or contradictory about my words or about Alice’s comment on them, which I take as an affirmation of God’s continuing work of illuminating the truth of himself and his purposes to humanity. The only ambiguity is in what John originally wrote – i.e., whether he in fact ended his letter with a “populated lake of fire” or with a pronouncement of God’s grace to “all,” which would include Judas and every other enemy of God. Even if the last verse in John’s original writing did have “the saints” and not simply “all,” this would not prove your eternal torment doctrine. But the point is that your use of the “populated-lake-of-fire-is-the-last-word-of-God-to-humanity” argument to “prove” the truth of eternal torment assumes what is not at all certain.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 22, 2012 at 7:49 am

            Mary, “assumes what is not at all certain” is the devil’s question: did God really say that? You have repeated your claimed suspicion without proof because you are assuming something that is not at all certain to you because it fits you whole theory of the origin of the words of the Holy Bible. It is expected of your unbelief, since you have an uncertain Bible any way, you have no solid foundation. I pity you.

            Do you really mean by your ‘Even if the last verse in John’s original writing did have “the saints” and not simply “all,” this would not prove your eternal torment doctrine’ to entertain that all may be limited in that verse on Alice’s blog? The all of 22: 21 is the saints to whom he originally wrote as you volunteered. Tell Alice verse 21 is proof of a limited all and not at all a universal salvation verse. Thakns, Mary, for volunteering that insight.

            In your correct words “God’s continuing work of illuminating the truth” is a big huge difference from revelation which has ceased at the last verse {22: 21} of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John. You speak of personal illumination, but Alice speaks of personal revelations, just like the prophets received. Her’s is the revelations of the Enlightenment Era as another Apostalic period if I understand her and Stephen.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm

            If in fact John ended his letter with a pronouncement of God’s grace to “all the saints,” which, as I have pointed out, is less than certain based on differences in the manuscripts available to us, this would not invalidate his other plain references throughout the letter to universal salvation – including his words in 21:5. There are texts in Revelation that speak of limited salvation and ones that speak of universal salvation. The issue here is whether the “last word” of Revelation is among the texts that speak of universal salvation – which it very well might be – which would shoot to hell(!) the whole “eternal-torment-is-God’s-last-word-to-humanity” argument that you repeat like a mantra in nearly every response you write on this website as “proof positive” that the majority of humanity is hell-bent.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm

            like a mantra … that the majority of humanity is hell-bent because it stands on more certainty than your uncertain Bible, Mary; can’t you see that? Judas Iscariot is lost based on Jesus’ words and never to be recovered. Therefore Jesus’ Revelation terminates with a Lake of Fire that cannot be emptied where those who believe He saves “all” will find their personal disappointment in experiencing eternal suffering. This doctrine is not optional, but amounts to calling the Triune God thrice a Liar: once to Jesus, once to the Holy Spirit, and once to the Holy Father. It is no small issue that can be considered in the realm of Christian liberty and conscience.

            Thank you again for recognizing “all” is limited to saints. You’d do well to recognize 21: 5 is limited to the new heaven, new earth, and new tabernacling and excluded from the Lake of Fire by the “but” introducing the shift in subject.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 22, 2012 at 8:54 pm

            “All” is limited to the saints only in texts that explicitly say “all the saints.” Arguably, the best manuscripts have only “all” in Revelation 22:21; they omit “the saints.” In light of this (and in light of the other universalistic texts, including 21:5, at the end of the book), it cannot be argued unequivocally that “Revelation terminates with a Lake of Fire that cannot be emptied.”

            Stand on your head, why don’t you, in an effort to deflect attention from your hermeneutical schizophrenia: “Scripture must always be understood in its plain sense, unless of course the plain sense lends support to the all-inclusiveness of God’s saving love.”

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 23, 2012 at 12:09 am

            Ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν Ἀμήν
            The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ with you all. Amen.
            The grace is from WHOSE Lord Jesus Christ, Mary? Is is the saints’ Lord, not the sinners’ lord. Therefore the “you” are the saints. The all is limited to the saints.

            Simple isn’t it when you let the text speak for itself?

          • Mary Vanderplas March 23, 2012 at 6:23 am

            “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ [be] with all.”

            The Lordship of Jesus Christ is not limited to individual believers and the “spiritual” realm. To believe that it is limited is to deny what the New Testament teaches about the meaning of the resurrection. See Matthew 28:18, Ephesians 1:21, Revelation 17:14. Jesus is Lord not just over the saints but over the whole world.

            Yes, it is simple if one lets this text “speak for itself”: without the addition of “the saints,” it is a pronouncement of God’s grace to all people. Likewise, Revelation 21:5, if not read through your eternal torment glasses, says that God will make “all” new – i.e., the whole creation will be renewed and transformed.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 23, 2012 at 8:25 am

            Mary, “our Lord Jesus Christ” is the “our” of the saints of John’s company in the mind of John and the “you” to whom he is writing are also saints. Is that so hard for you to see? When you see that, then the “all” is limited to only saints.

            Certainly Jesus is Lord of the whole creation, but that is not how he uses his reference to Jesus Christ. He writes of the saints’ intimate relationship to Christ, a relationship not had by unbelievers, and in fact, rejected by unbelievers as is God’s grace. God’s grace is gratefully received and cherished by the saints John has in mind.

            It doesn’t fit to make this verse universal just as it doesn’t fit to make 21: 5 universal either. You are forcing it, Mary, where it is contrary to the context.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 23, 2012 at 8:46 am

            Mary, think about it: Matthew 13: 18 – 23 the parable of the sower proves Jesus doesn’t save everybody by the seed of the Gospel.

            You, too, Alice, that parable renders your Amazing Hope a total falsehood right from the mouth of Jesus. Can you see that?

            • admin March 25, 2012 at 12:49 am

              What if God has purposed for the seed to not take root or to take root but not thrive? People turn to Him when He changes the soil of their hearts. Maybe there is some reason for God wanting them to be unwilling or unable. Not just for kicks, either, but for a real and ultimately wise purpose.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 23, 2012 at 8:11 pm

            The only reason “it doesn’t fit to make this verse universal” is because you say it doesn’t. Without your preconceived idea of what it “must” mean, this text is, assuming that the original ending had only “all” and not “all the saints,” a pronouncement of God’s grace to all people. “The grace of the Lord Jesus [be] with all,” is what it says. Yes, John is here closing a letter to Christians. But this doesn’t mean that he had to limit God’s grace to these saints or to the church everywhere. Both this text (again, if the original ending had only “all” and not “all the saints”) and 21:5 are universal salvation texts – if they are read for what they say and not for what you need them to say to fit your limited salvation/eternal torment doctrine.

            This is all I have to say about this. I don’t have the time or the inclination to discuss this further.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 23, 2012 at 8:17 pm

            The parable of the sower proves nothing of the kind. The point of the parable is that the kingdom of God will surely come; the harvest is God’s doing and he will accomplish his purpose.

            Once again, you go running around the Bible looking for texts to twist, importing your ideas into them and then – presto! – extracting them from the texts, while proudly claiming to have “found support” for your doctrine. Hermeneutical prestidigitation at its most flagrant is what it is.

            I’m not going to continue on this subject.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 23, 2012 at 10:46 pm

            Mary, Alice, Mary, there is a lot of wasted seed in the parable of the sower and for the universalist the sowing of the seed is not limited to any age. Don’t you see the seed in the parable doesn’t do the purpose of its intent. There is ALWAYS those way side, stoney, and thorny hearts that produce no fruit: they are the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction. God’s Elect are the good ground hearts, the vessels of mercy.

            22: 21 of the Revelation uses the preposition μετὰ meta meaning with, not to, into, or unto as would be expected if it referred to grace coming to the unbeliever in which the preposition εἰς eis would be employed as it is in Mark 16: 15 and Romans 5: 15. The preposition with denotes association, union, accompaniment, which is foreign to the unbeliever, but familiar to the saint. The saint has union with his Lord, but the unbeliever regards Jesus Christ as a foreign lord. There is no “with” among unbelievers. The preposition of 22: 21 limits the all exclusively to saints.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 24, 2012 at 5:53 am

            The use of “with” hardly requires that “all” be reduced to “saints only.” Can you say “grasping at straws”?

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 24, 2012 at 6:08 am

            It is to be expected by your blindness that you don’t know with from to.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 24, 2012 at 6:44 am

            The use of “with” (as opposed to “to”) here is because this is a conventional benediction at the close of a Christian letter. Its use has nothing to do with the meaning of “all,” which, barring any explicit qualification in the text (i.e., “the saints”), is all people.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 24, 2012 at 8:06 am

            Mary, it is good that you recognize a conventional benediction at the close of a Christian letter. A Christian letter is addressed to saints and not the world of wicked sinners, so the all is limited to the saints to whom it is addressed. You are wrong to ignore the addressees as the all referenced by the addressor and you are wrong to make it otherwise.

            Why do you think some texts, like mine, include “you” and others “saints” if that were considered the unmistakeable meaning of the “all” to mean only believers, saints, that is, the Elect, as receivers of the abiding grace John is referencing as flowing from God always in the saints’ need {Hebrews 4: 16}?

            You strain out a gnat and swallow a camel to support Alice’s false doctrine, Mary. You said it is a Christian letter and benediction, so make it so. Stop destroying its unity and stop cutting it apart.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm

            The fact that John is writing to Christians and that he ends his letter with a benediction, as was customary, doesn’t necessitate that he limit the pronouncement of God’s grace to his readers or even to the wider church. The fact is that some manuscripts, arguably the best ones, read, “The grace of the Lord Jesus [be] with all.” The “all” is unqualified. The fact that other manuscripts add “the saints” likely is, I think, because this idea of universal grace was as intolerable for some in the early church as it is for you. They may have had the same attitude toward those “wicked sinners” as you do, seeing them as a different animal from themselves and as unworthy of God’s love. Or maybe they just couldn’t get their minds around God’s saving grace being inclusive of all – even of those who wanted no part of the God revealed in Jesus Christ. Whatever the reason is for the different readings, it cannot be known with certainty whether the original ending had “all the saints” or only “all.”

            This isn’t about supporting anyone’s doctrine – Alice’s or anyone else’s. It’s about reading the text for what it says, rather than reading one’s bias into it. And it is about calling into question, based on what the text says (particularly the unambiguously universalistic texts at the end of the book – e.g., 21:5), your assertion that “Revelation terminates with a Lake of Fire that cannot be emptied.” While there are limited salvation texts along with universalistic ones throughout the book, it is by no means certain that limited salvation is, as you contend, the “last word” of Revelation.

            I’m done on this now.

          • Lanny A Eichert March 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm

            Mary says maybe, maybe, maybe and builds an argument on uncertainty while there are many grace and peace to you statements in the Holy Bible limited to saints alone that she will not allow this one to stand together with them.

            • admin March 25, 2012 at 12:43 am

              Lanny, I’m not sure why, but my blog admin settings keep making me approve all your comments. They should be showing up automatically. Anyhow, if one of your comments doesn’t show up, let me know, because it probably got blocked by accident with spam or something.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 25, 2012 at 3:47 am

            admin said March 25, 2012 at 12:49 am to Matthew 13: 18 – 23
            What if God has purposed for the seed to not take root or to take root but not thrive? People turn to Him when He changes the soil of their hearts. Maybe there is some reason for God wanting them to be unwilling or unable. Not just for kicks, either, but for a real and ultimately wise purpose.

            First off the fowls came and devoured them up means no life ever occurred, they withered away and choked them means life died, being not eternal. So three quarters of the parable is devoted to the failure of the Word due the the soil of the heart. There is also no reference to future plans to cultivate those three soils, but they are treated as just plain facts of life. The some reason is that they are the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction, not for kicks, but for purposes like Pharaoh’s and Esau’s in lesser and greater scenarios. Jesus is Lord over human history so that those who perish do indeed perish and those who find life do indeed receive it.

            The offence of the cross is never ceased and few be saved while many are lost as a result as per Matthew 7: 13.

            • admin March 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm

              This passage should make it plain that Jesus is not teaching a parable that is 3/4 “devoted to the failure of the Word”:

              And the disciples having come near, said to him, `Wherefore in similes dost thou speak to them?’And he answering said to them that — `To you it hath been given to know the secrets of the reign of the heavens, and to these it hath not been given, for whoever hath, it shall be given to him, and he shall have overabundance, and whoever hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken from him. `Because of this, in similes do I speak to them, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor understand, and fulfilled on them is the prophecy of Isaiah, that saith, With hearing ye shall hear, and ye shall not understand, and seeing ye shall see, and ye shall not perceive, for made gross was the heart of this people, and with the ears they heard heavily, and their eyes they did close, lest they might see with the eyes, and with the ears might hear, and with the heart understand, and turn back, and I might heal them.

              Jesus specifically says that He teaches in parables because “to these [the secrets of the reign of the heavens] hath not been given”. The parables are the chosen manner in which Jesus delivers the word, because in God’s plan of the ages there is a purpose exclusive to this age, that is, the word is purposed to penetrate only the hearts of those to whom is is given, and not to those whom “it hath not been given.” The word accomplishes exactly what God has purposed for it to accomplish in that age, and this is even foretold by Isaiah. The reason that these people don’t get it is not because God’s word fails, it is because God has purposed for them NOT to get it yet. God’s word does not fail.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 25, 2012 at 4:01 am

            Comment approval required each time I add your site to a new computor and comment from it. New even means when I reformat my hard drive and reload Windows. It is my fault, I’m sorry, but as soon as I suspect a virus, I reformat and have to start from scratch again which I did to one computor and meanwhile I commented from another while it reloaded. It means for me to never rely on stuff stored on the hard drive.
            admin said March 25, 2012 at 12:43 am Lanny, I’m not sure why, but my blog admin settings keep making me approve all your comments. They should be showing up automatically. Anyhow, if one of your comments doesn’t show up, let me know, because it probably got blocked by accident with spam or something.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 25, 2012 at 7:34 am

            If this text actually said, unambiguously, “grace and peace to you,” I would “allow this one to stand together with them.” But alas, it does not. What it says, rather, in some manuscripts, is “The grace of the Lord Jesus [be] with all.”

            Your view – that John actually wrote or in any case meant the pronouncement of God’s grace here to be for the saints only – is one possibility. But it is not the only possibility, given the fact that some manuscripts have only “all.” It is possible, even plausible, that John meant the pronouncement of God’s grace to be for all people. This simply cannot be ruled out, given what the text says in some manuscripts. Nor can it be ruled out that the message is in the ambiguity itself, pointing up the paradox of John’s affirmations of both limited salvation and universal salvation throughout the book and guarding against extreme views that would make God either a vengeful tyrant or a sentimental granddaddy in his response to human sinfulness.

            I can’t help myself.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 25, 2012 at 11:02 am

            Mary, my critical apparatus lists SEVEN variants and only one is just all. It also seems to indicate, if I understand it correctly, that it favors just all. Nevertheless there are six other witnesses that the Lord of us and the saints qualify the all. That’s powerful testimony. The other powerful testimony is contrary to Alice’s doctrine, the Bible doesn’t teach a universal salvation. When you tend toward universalism, you will find all kinds of conclusions like this one you force upon the text. It is a function of not being born again and not having the Holy Ghost as Teacher, resulting in novice interpretations. John 7: 17 Religionist verses saint.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm

            The issue is what John wrote and what he intended – which is, and will remain, uncertain. The fact that there are variant readings in which the “all” is qualified doesn’t prove that John meant the pronouncement of God’s grace to be limited to the saints. It doesn’t matter how many variant readings there are. As I said, the existence of these variants could just as easily mean that there were some (many??) in the early church who couldn’t stand the thought that God’s grace is for everyone, adding words to the text that limit the pronouncement of his grace to the saints.

            Who is forcing whose meaning on the text? Some, arguably the best, manuscripts read only “all.” It is your preconceived ideas about what the text “must” mean, based on your doctrine and the lens through which you read all of scripture, that insists that the “all” be “saints only.” “When you tend toward [eternal torment], you will find all kinds of conclusions like this one you force upon this text.”

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 26, 2012 at 2:12 am

            Mary, it is only uncertain to you because you are not born again and cannot discern the meaning of a Christian benediction given to Christians. You don’t even understand what a Christian is, so how can you understand the benediction? You are not able to discern spiritual matters and you can only repeat what you have been taught.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 26, 2012 at 6:40 am

            There is no good reason why this text cannot be what it seems to be: a word of universal grace. The only “reason” why it couldn’t possibly be such is that it doesn’t fit your doctrine of eternal torment – and would blow your argument that limited salvation/eternal torment is certain because Revelation ends with a populated lake of fire from which there is no escape.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 26, 2012 at 7:53 am

            No, Mary, it simply cannot be universal grace because it is addressed to the community of the faithful and no other.

            Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings {John 14: 22 – 24}

          • Mary Vanderplas March 27, 2012 at 6:53 am

            There is one thing – only one thing – that demands that this text not be a word of universal grace. It is not that John is writing to Christians. It is not that it is a benediction closing a Christian letter. It is not that “with” is used instead of “to.” It is not that it is about the grace of the “Lord Jesus.” It is none of these things, or anything else you can dream up as reasons why the “all” must be referring only to the saints. The only thing that demands that the pronouncement be limited is your preconceived idea, based on your doctrine, that the text cannot be universalistic.

            Say a million times that it can’t be universalism. It won’t change the fact that the possibility cannot be ruled out that it is precisely that. There is ambiguity here for us that won’t go away, no matter how much you or anyone else wishes it would.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 27, 2012 at 7:28 am

            Mary, I never heard such a thorough denial of context as you just made.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm

            The context doesn’t require that John restrict God’s grace to “people just like we are.” Only self-righteous people who see themselves as entirely different from “the wicked” place such restrictions on God’s grace.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 27, 2012 at 10:06 pm

            Mary, God’s saints are people who see themselves as entirely different from “the wicked” because {1 Thessalonians 5: 5} Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. and because Jesus so referred to them as such {Luke 16: 8} And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. Why do you think I reference “God’s saints” when I write of believers? It is to distinguish them from you. You and Alice are of the night, and of darkness because you two are certainly NOT the children of light nor the children of the day. You know nothing and you promote the devil’s lies.

            There’s only two kinds of people on the world and that’s the righteous and the wicked. See the Proverbs.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 28, 2012 at 6:42 am

            We are all sinners, wholly dependent on God’s grace. See the book of Romans, among others.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 28, 2012 at 6:45 am

            Alice—You make some good points in what you say about the parable of the sower. I think you’re right that the focus is God’s action, though I’m inclined to say that God makes it possible for people to “become good soil” rather than that he causes their response to the word. But I agree that the focus is what God does in enabling our acceptance of the word and in preserving us from intensive demonic attack that takes away the word before it can do its life-giving work in us. And of course the fact that it is God’s doing eliminates any grounds for boasting on our part.

            I like what you say, too, about Jesus’ explanation of his teaching in parables disabusing anyone of the notion that the fact that many reject the gospel reflects the failure of the word. While it may appear that the word has failed, it is not the case that God is caught by surprise or that his plan is thwarted by the widespread rejection of his message. I agree that the words in Matthew about the mysteries of God’s plan being given to some but not to others suggests that human imperceptiveness is part of the divine plan. Mark makes the case even more strongly than Matthew does by suggesting that the intent of Jesus’ teaching in parables is that outsiders be prevented from understanding (4:12). I think, too, that you’re right on in asserting that this divinely-intended imperceptiveness and rejection of the message are not the final word, that in God’s plan for the ages “there is a purpose exclusive to this age.” The sayings in Mark 4:21-25 support this view, making the point that God’s final word for the world is full disclosure – which, at least potentially in my view, will overcome all human blindness and rejection.

            Anyway, I found your insights helpful and thought-provoking.

            • admin March 28, 2012 at 10:26 am

              Thanks for sharing your mutual views, and of course, thanks for the times you disagree as well – you always do so with tact. I agree with what you say about God making good soil out of bad soil. It is true. Many scriptures compare God to a landowner/farmer, and only a careless or stupid farmer would just throw some seeds wherever and reap whatever happens to grow. If this is the picture Jesus presents, then God is not perfect or sovereign as He claims to be. That is why it is important for people to reference other God-as-landowner/farmer scriptures to get a more complete and accurate picture of His Plan of the Ages, and of course, rely on His Spirit to give us discernment and open eyes to see the truth about Who He is and what He does.

              An interesting study, if you ever find the time to do it, is how the OT laws and regulations concerning landowners reveals the character of God, when one reads them with the idea in mind that God is the ultimate landowner, Who is not subjected by any human judge to the law, but perfectly He perfectly fulfills the landowner laws. I learned a lot from that study. Unfortunately, I forgot half of it, though! I’ll brush up again sometime, and maybe do a blog or blog series.

              I’ll check out those references you named (Mark, Matthew). I didn’t think of that in my response, so I’m glad you added your two cents.

          • Mary Vanderplas March 29, 2012 at 5:51 am

            A study of the landowner texts sounds worthwhile. Thanks for suggesting it.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm

            Both of you in your unbelief want to make the whole world eventually good soil, but Jesus spoke of four soils and only one produces good fruit. Why is Satan loosed in the Revelation 20 and able to gather the host of humanity to make one last stand in rebellion against God if the three bad soils didn’t continue to exist in the hearts of men to the end of earthly human existence? Their judgment sentence is eternal torment of which you will suffer for your unbelief. The Book ends with a populated Lake of Fire without remedy and Judas Iscariot is perished without a promise of the Son, the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Father to rescue him. Stop your unbelief or perish likewise.

            And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.{Revelation 20: 7 – 10}

            The final judgment of the wicked immediately occurs resulting in the Lake of Fire sentence forever. See 11 – 15.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm

            Alice, the Revelation 20: 7 – 15 and 21: 8 disallows your thinking that the Best Landowner, God, will make all good soil by working all soil until it is prepared to produce good fruit. Please see that this currect earthly human history ends with a Satanically inspired human rebellion against God as evidence that the three bad soils existing to the very end of this earthly human history. Since the Lake of Fire is their sentence of an after-life without God, God is no longer plowing and tilling their hearts. Again, I tell you, there is no way to get anybody saved while they are in that Lake of Fire. Their hearts vary from person to person as those three very bad soils vary, but they are always very bad soil, never turning over to goodness.

            Prove me wrong for the sake of your Amazing Hope.

            Can’t you think that reconciling all things means putting everything where it was originally ordained to be: vessels of destruction in the Lake of Fire forever according to His word in Romans 9, just like reconciling your check register? Remember {the Revelation 17: 8} they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. Alice, their names were never in the Book from day one, in other words, God never planned to save them according to the plan He had before He ever created anything. They were planned for God’s purposes on this earth and discarded into the eternal torment of the Lake of Fire. As the Potter, He has the right to do as He pleases and nobody can call Him unjust.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm

            Alice, “If this is the picture Jesus presents, then God is not perfect or sovereign as He claims to be.” Think again, dear girl.

  • Lanny A. Eichert March 18, 2012 at 3:33 am

    For action happening at the present time, only the ‘present tense’ is available. Whether the writer is wishing in any particular instance to emphasis the progressive aspect of the verb or just indicate a simple occurrence at the present time, there is only one choice of tense to use. Therefore, one must consider the context and the basic meaning of the verb to determine whether the emphasis is on the continuous aspect of the action or merely on the present time element. It may be that no real emphasis on progressive action is intended but, for a statement requiring the element of present time, there is no choice but to use the ‘present tense’.

    The above is from your March 15, 2012 at 10:13 am post referenced site (www.ntgreek.org)
    Learning New Testament Greek
    III. More detailed Explanation of Greek Grammar
    3. Advanced Explanation of Greek Tenses – Kind of Action & Time of Action.
    GREEK VERB TENSES (Intermediate Discussion)
    An Overview of Aktionsart with Time with the Different Tenses
    second paragraph

    FYI Dana & Mantey, pgs 176-7 is referenced as a recommendation; and if you remember I quoted from my hard copy of Dana & Mantey.

    • admin March 20, 2012 at 12:57 am

      First you ask, “Don’t you see the second Greek word…” and then you say, “You don’t know enough Greek, so forget it, Alice.” Um, okayyyy!?!

      Why would people thirst for God when He is right there with them? “…whoever may drink of the water that I will give him, may not thirst – to the age; and the water that I will give him shall become in him a well of water, springing up to life age-during.” (Your David quote is stated in the context of war and earthly troubles, not in the new earth/heaven/life.)

      “I don’t care to know anything about Venn diagrams.” In the Venn diagram named Venn-diagram-things-Lanny-cares-to-know-about, the circle is empty, and all things are outside the circle in the universal set. Just a bit of humor for you 🙂

      I suppose if I were to give you one-hundred more “all” verses, you would find a reason to disqualify each of these as well… it seems to me that the scriptures are interpreting YOU.

      You are right in pointing out that I make mistakes. I have never claimed infallibility , and I have always encouraged people to find out for themselves if what I say is true or not. “Test everything, hold on to what is good.” This is how everyone should approach studying scripture, with humility and reliance on the Spirit of God to raise red flags in the heart when something is suspect.

      You are being too hard on me in saying, “To have not caught yourself identifying a verb in context as having three tenses and two moods is the height of intellectual carelessness and the putting on airs to make yourself what you aren’t.” If I were to ask you what the verb tense, mood, voice, person, etc is for Judas’ “He hanged himself”, you would have to look it up, just like me, and just like me, you could mistaken unfamiliar abbreviations. I have seen you confused or misunderstanding various aspects of Greek as well, along the way, so stop acting like Mr. Perfect and extend the same grace to me that I extend to you. Don’t assume that I am “putting on airs to make [myself] what [I] am not. I have never claimed to be an expert, but neither will I accept your claim that I am careless and even deceitful in my approach to Koine Greek. Who is “qualified” to interpret scripture? Who decides what the standards for qualification are? Who can ever claim to be continually without error? I often quote this verse in reference to my lack of religious credentials – “…but the foolish things of the world did God choose, that the wise He may put to shame; and the weak things of the world did God choose that He may put to shame the strong.” Remember that when you trust the words of someone “qualified”.

      • admin March 20, 2012 at 1:02 am

        And one more thing… from the same source you quote from –

        “Present Tense: The present tense usually denotes continuous kind of action. It shows ‘action in progress’ or ‘a state of persistence.’ When used in the indicative mood, the present tense denotes action taking place or going on in the present time.” And I’m officially done beating this dead horse LOL!

      • Lanny A. Eichert March 20, 2012 at 6:10 am

        I’m not being too hard on you. Calling a verb three tenses and two moods is as irresponsible as identifying my Mitsubishi 2005 Endeavor SUV as an ATV, camper, airplane, motorcycle, and scooter. Anybody with common sense knows a verb has only one tense and only one mood when used in a sentence. Carelessness characterizes you and many times deliberately because you want words to mean the same thing in every context.

        • admin March 22, 2012 at 1:16 am

          Your analogy is very exaggerated. A more fitting analogy would be to identify your Mitsubishi 2005 Endeavor as a vehicle, a combustion engine, and a battery. Or call it a two door, four door, and five door. A four door still has at least two doors, and a rear door may or may not be considered a door if one uses the word door to refer to the area where a passenger or driver enters and exits the car. In Greek there is such thing as combined tenses and moods. I don’t know where you got the idea that a verb is limited in the way you describe. It may the be norm for a verb to have a single, easy to understand tense and mood, but there are exceptions where overlap must be considered. For example, there’s the present with past action still in progress, historical present, futurist present, aorist present, aorist future, aorist immediate past, progressive present, there are ingressive aorist tenses and ingressive imperfect tenses, perfect with present force, etc. Your jab, “Anyone with common sense knows a verb has only one tense and only one mood” is not accurate, and it is rude, because it implies that I have no common sense. I’ve had this blog going for year now, and this is the first time (that I am aware of) where I got confused and made a mistake. I thanked you for pointing it out, and I revised my position accordingly. There’s really no need for counterproductive character bashing and condescension.

          • Lanny A. Eichert March 22, 2012 at 2:33 am

            The Greek verb’s prefix and suffix identifies its one and only tense and mood. The tense may have other than one meaning according to the context, but it still remains the same tense. The grammars make the distinctions but always maintain the same tense identity. You attempt to cloud the issue and justify yourself. You erred because you don’t know grammar like you should to carry this kind of conversation with any certainty. Greek students speak with some assured authority, but you can’t. You’re a self-taught novice and that’s how you must be recognized for all your faults. It must be expected that you will often err for your heresy.

            The tree is known by its fruit and you are a known heretic by your careless false doctrine that calls Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Father Liars in John 17: 12 because you claim Jesus will not fail to save Judashere is no way to save those in the Lake of Fire. They are speechless, unable to carry a conversation in their torment. Remember it is no longer Luke 16, but the Lake of Fire and the solitary confinement as of wandering stars in total darkness. The only use of the tongue is for weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. There’s no use of eyes in total darkness: they can’t see and verify the truth of the Scriptures, without which they cannot be saved. It is the Word of God that produces new life; no other way: faith in His words. Believing is seeing today, but then it will be actually seeing reality. It will be “too late” for the lost when it will be actually seeing reality in the Lake of Fire. They’ll not be able to recapture believing is seeing, nor can they confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus, because they will be too busy weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth. They have no rest day and night in the Lake of Fire due to an overactive memory, their only activity,tormenting them with the thought of it being too late now to believe. Remember Alice, God gave them the desires of their heart but sent leanness into their souls: a no God situation. Since it is a no God situation, how then can God violate that and He Himself in the person of Jesus preach them the Gospel unto their salvation. The Second Death would not be separation from God then, would it be?

            Do you have a different definition for the Second Death that doesn’t require a separation from God?

  • admin March 22, 2012 at 9:26 am

    How can one experience anything at all if one is separated from God? God is not only the source of one’s ability to experience, but the source of one’s very being. If God is in any manner whatsoever involved in one’s existence and/or self awareness, then how can it be said that one is “separated” from God? In birth, the umbilical cord is cut, and in this moment the baby is separated from the mother. If the spiritual umbilical cord is cut, then one would simply cease to exist, not experience self-awareness. There would be no “seeing reality”, no tongue, no weeping, no gnashing, no “overactive memory”, no thought, etc. because there would be no source of power to produce or sustain such things.

    Do you claim that one can exist without any help from God?

    Do you claim that one can have self-awareness that finds its source in someone or something other than God?

    • Lanny A. Eichert March 22, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world {Ephesians 2: 12} carries over into eternity: no hope, and without God. Was their existence dependent upon God in the world, it therefore continues so in eternity, yet they continue without hope and without God. That’s eternal torment and God propagates it eternally. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb {Revelation 14: 10} specifically states in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb as that God is actively involved in preserving their eternally tormented existence of no hope and without God.

      The umbilical cord is cut, but only in the mind of man so that he might freely experience life without God. They are still-born in the womb of God, expelled, but not knowing they are yet forever attached in death. God has eternally hid Himself from them, which is no great difficulty seeing they are dead any way and cannot perceive God’s presence.

      The great irony is man lives separated from (without) God while God is very present as attested by the fact that man lives. Since God can have a burning bush that is not consumed, God can also hide Himself from an eternally populated Lake of Fire without remedy as His final word to humanity of the finality of His justice and He has done both.

      Self awareness does not require God awareness, Alice, and existence, although requiring God’s presence, does not require God awareness either. You aught to know these things. Man lives without God so he thinks and will for all of eternity, but then he’ll eternally know he was wrong and missed his opportunities in this life to be saved.

      You still have no way of getting people saved in the Lake of Fire. Your {Kudos for Professor Thaxton March 22, 2012 at 9:14 am} quoting of 1 Corinthians 15 and the quoting of Golden Nuggets has nothing to do with the Second Death in the Lake of Fire, but is all about the victory of God’s saints wrought by God in honor of their faith. There is no resurrection of the damned in that text. You haven’t expounded two adequate complementary definitions of the two deaths.

  • Lanny A. Eichert March 22, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I’ll give you some simple help:

    Physical death is the separation of body and soul.

    Second Death is the separation of God and man.

    • Lanny A. Eichert April 3, 2012 at 4:37 am

      Dennis, it is the carnal mind that refuses to believe eternal torment is the final state of the wicked. It is the carnal mind that refuses to believe eternal destiny is locked in at physical death. It is the carnal mind that refuses to believe the Potter made moral creatures fitted for destruction as He declares in Romans 9: 22. It is the carnal mind that refuses to believe the Holy Bible ends with an eternal populated Lake of Fire without remedy of escape. It is the carnal mind that refuses to believe Judas Iscariot is eternally lost/perished without a rescue plan from Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Father as Jesus prayed in John 17: 12. You all deceive yourselfs into believing you are believers, but you do not keep Jesus’ words as He said {John 14: 24} He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings. You deceive yourselves that you love Jesus when you hate His words that Judas is lost/perished and so will all they be that die in their sins because they don’t believe He is {John 8: 24} I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

      What is this big deal Jesus makes about dying in your sins if those sins can be later forgiven some time after death? Death ends your opportunity for salvation and to dispute that is to call Jesus a Liar. To dispute Judas Iscariot is eternally lost/perished is to call not only Jesus a Liar, but also the Holy Spirit a Liar, and the Holy Father a Liar also because They inspired and accepted His prayer in John 17: 12. You all are a bunch of wolves in sheeps’ clothing and are so self-deceive that you cannot see how obviously you disbelieve God’s words.

      And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. {2 Corinthians 11: 14} and you are the devil’s counterfeit children immitating his every move.

      The “we” of both of your 1 Corinthians 15 and Hebrews 2 references is limited to only saints. No sinners there at all. You cannot interpret Scripture being unbelievers as you are: you’re devoid of the Holy Spirit because you have not been born again of God. {John 1: 13} Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

      If the Lake of Fire were remedial, why is there not exit provision stated in the Revelation? Why does it end without a ray of hope for those cast into it? Why are only the dead judged meaning only the dead have the possibility of being cast into it? Don’t you see that you cannot even believe that the dead that are judged are all the spiritually dead people of all of time from Adam and Eve to the end of human earthly history? No saints will stand in judgment at the Great White Throne because Jesus stood their judgment and bore their sentence on the cross ONCE for all so that they never are in jeopardy for their sins, not a single sin by any of them. How possibly could the Lake of Fire be remedial for those who are blameless in Christ because of His blood shed for them? You cannot even use your head for common sense. With God there is no judicial double jeopardy for sins. You refuse His death for you and you die in your sins. You accept His death for you and your sins are gone from you and placed on Jesus Who satisfied God’s righteous judgment on your behalf and God imputes Christ’s righteousness to you. If Christ’s righteousness is imputed to you there is no need for remedial purification in the Lkae of Fire for a saint possessing the righteousness of Christ. You cannot get any more righteous than that. The Lake of Fire serves no remedial purpose for saints and God never offers it to saints: they are never bothered by it because they know they will never even see it, but you’re incapable of understanding that because you’re not saved, but we know what we believe.

  • Dennis Brown March 29, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    No, Larry. The second death is the end of death.

    The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 1 Corinthians 15:26

    The carnal mind will not give up death.

    “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6

    Which mind would it be, Larry, that would say the majority of creation is not reconciled and conciliated but ends in death and destruction. Would it be the Christ mind or the carnal mind? Be honest with yourself.

    The Lake of Fire is a remedial act of God. It’s a death to life progression. Adam brought us all into death and Christ swallows up that death with His life.

    You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not YET SEE ALL THINGS put under him. 9 But we see Jesus…” Hebrews 2: 8-9

    Jesus is now the Judge and He came to give live not destroy life. Only the carnal mind would not see Jesus doing this. That mind is the enemy of God.

  • Lanny A. Eichert March 30, 2012 at 4:15 am

    Erasing hell, Alice, is an end time doctrinal theme so all things future are things which must be handled in the discussion rather than avoided.

    Does (a) your doctrine determine your eschatology, or (b) your eschatology determine your doctrine?

    So, where’s all that good soil when Satan at the last decieves all the nations?

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