From Chapter III
MISTRANSLATION—A CLOAK OF DECEPTION
Evangels and Ecclesias
Let me introduce you to a very strange piece of educated inconsistency. The King James scholars translated the Greek word eu anggelistes (well-messenger) as evangelist, the word eu anggelizo (well-messagize) as evangelize, but then instead of translating the noun eu anggelion (well-message) as evangel, they translated it as gospel. The English word gospel has nothing to do with a “well-message” or “good news.” It derives from a combination of the words god (small g) and spell. We will see the irony in this mistranslation in chapter five as we find that much of Christendom is under a kind of spell from some little god.
Perhaps you have seen a preacher wave his Bible (usually the KJV) from the pulpit and refer to “this gospel,” as if the Sacred Scriptures contain one such “gospel.” The contemporary usage of this word obscures the fact that there are two separate evangels, for two different groups of people in the Scriptures. One is the evangel of the kingdom which Jesus and His apostles preached to Jews and converts to Judaism only. It pertains to Israel as the “bride of the lambkin” and her place in the coming terrestrial millennial kingdom. The other one is the evangel of the grace of God which pertains to the “ecclesia which is the body of Christ,” and to the celestial destiny of this body of believers. An ecclesia is simply “a called out body.” It is translated as church in the KJV, but since church has come to mean so many different things, including a building, the Concordant Version transliterates the Greek word ecclesia directly into English with its original meaning intact. The apostle Paul was himself “called out” to preach the evangel of the grace of God to individuals within the Gentile nations. In all the Scriptures, only he proclaims the evangel of the grace of God. And as he is the chosen “apostle to the nations,” it is the truth for today.
There is a huge difference in these evangels, so much in fact that Paul reminded Timothy to “correctly cut the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15); that is, understand which Scriptures pertain to Israel, and which to the nations. As we shall see, many of the doctrinal problems in Christendom today come from mixing these two very distinct messages of good news into a contradictory, jumbled mess.
From Chapter IV
HELL—A DOCTRINE OF DEMONS
When people today say, “I believe in Hell,” they are essentially affirming their faith in Hel—the Norse queen of the underworld and her far-flung realm of weeping and wailing from whence she takes her name. While Hel appears throughout the King James Version and other translations, she has no place at all in the Sacred Scriptures.
Hell is the mistranslation of not simply of one, or of two, but of three different Greek words. The first is hades, the equivalent of the Hebrew sheol. They both mean “the unseen” or “the imperceptible.” As we shall see, hades is not an actual place, but rather a figurative condition of the human soul after death. The second is Gehenna. This is a valley just below Jerusalem. The garbage of the city and the corpses of criminals were thrown there to be devoured by constantly burning fires and ever multiplying worms. The bodies of the rebels will lie there during the millennial eon when Christ sets up His throne in Jerusalem, a warning spectacle for all who behold them (Isaiah 66:24). The third, Tartarus, is mentioned only once in the Scriptures (II Peter 2:4), as the place where sinning messengers (or “angels”) are kept “to be reserved unto judgment.” The KJV gives the name of the Norse goddess of the underworld indiscriminately to all three of these.
From Chapter V
THE RIDDLE, THE TABOO, AND THE THREAT
The Athanasian Creed has a cold and sinister spirit to it. You may have noted that it is made up of three parts: a riddle, a taboo, and a threat. The riddle: how can one be three and three be one? The obvious and true answer to the riddle is that one is not three and three is not one. Then comes the taboo. After having had three gods and three lords described to you in detail, you are forbidden to think or say that there are three gods or three lords. In spite of what you’ve just been told, you must think and say that there is only one god and only one lord. Then comes the threat: unless you accept the riddle of the one and the three as an unsolvable mystery and respect the taboo against thinking about it and its implications, you can’t be saved. The great “mystery of the trinity” turns out to be pure hocus-pocus dominocus; that is, nonsense intended to cloak deception pertaining to the Lord.
From Chapter VI
THE TRUE GOD’S TIME—THE EONS
“Eternity” Absent from the Sacred Scriptures
The Scriptures do not contain an adjective that can be properly translated as “everlasting” or “forever,” and they never mention “eternity”—a concept which cannot be grasped by the human mind. Instead, the Scriptures reveal five definite time periods called eons (Greek = aion), long but measurable periods of time, through which the Subjector and Placer of all accomplishes His “purpose of the eons” (Ephesians 3:11), which also includes His purpose for humanity. Divine revelation is confined to the eonian times, so that mortals may comprehend it.
From Chapter VII
THE PURPOSE OF THE EONS
The Intimate Relation of God to All
Since All is out of God, there is, from the very start, an inseparable union between God the Creator and His creation. What we humans make with our hands has come into existence outside of ourselves and has no vital relationship to us. But with our offspring, who were in us and are out of us, we are in a close and living union. In fact, we could more accurately call our descendants our “outspring.” And to us, they are the nearest, loveliest and best, our greatest and most valuable possessions. Because, at first, He carried all in Himself, God has established such a relationship with the universe. His ownership of all creation is not simply based upon His creation of it, but upon the fact that all was first included in Him. That is what gives Him the original title to the whole universe and all the creatures in it. He is the only true Owner of all that exists, and we are His outspring.
From Chapter VIII
GOD’S CREATIVE ORIGINAL
We are now ready to see how our great God begins His creation with the Son of His Love. In Colossians, the epistle that unfolds His highest glories, He is called “the Firstborn of all creation.” God thus speaks of His Son as a firstborn and as a creation. In Revelation 3:14, He is called “God’s creative Original.” Perhaps no saint would dare to invent such statements. But it is God Himself Who reveals to us Christ’s place and tells us of His beginning.
Traditional theology is at great variance with the scriptural testimony of God concerning His Son. On their own, the theologians of Christendom have developed a doctrine to accord with the false teaching of the three mysterious co-equal, co-eternal persons. Christ, they say, is “eternally begotten.” This expression is both contradictory and absurd, making it essentially incomprehensible. It thus fits well with the three incomprehensible persons of the Athanasian Creed.
From Chapter IX
THE FIRST EON—THE CELESTIALS
It helps us to remember that humanity is not the first, nor indeed the greatest, of God’s creations. These are to be found in the heavens, where there are sovereignties and authorities and powers and lordships evidently controlling vast numbers of subjects (Ephesians 1:21, Colossians 1:16). These celestial beings existed before God created the earth. We know that because in Job 38:4, 7, God Himself asks: “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth . . . when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” This one short passage teaches us that God allowed celestial beings to look on when He called a new, marvelous masterpiece into existence; and these beings were able to appreciate the power and wisdom exhibited in it, and to rejoice.
From Chapter X
THE DISRUPTION OF THE FIRST WORLD-SYSTEM
The Disruption in the Greek Scriptures
This disruption is referred to many times in the Greek Scriptures. So that we might know that Satan, evil, and darkness are always subservient to the ultimate purpose of God, Revelation 13:8 asserts that Christ is “the Lambkin slain from the disruption of the world.” Figuratively, God neutralizes evil the moment it is created with the fore-ordained blood of Christ. The apostle Peter goes even further, letting us know that the blood of Christ is foreknown “before the disruption” (I Peter 1:20). Our Heavenly Father, the Subjector and Placer, would not have created evil had He not already prepared its perfect antidote in accord with His “purpose of the eons.” In short, the slaying of the Lambkin was not a consequence of anything attributable to Satan, who will never be allowed to claim that he was able to change God’s designs. It was not an improvisation to correct something that had gone awry in God’s plans, but was an integral and predetermined feature in His purpose.
From Chapter XI
THE SECOND EON—MANKIND
Thus far we have an almighty God Who is Spirit and therefore invisible to those He has made. We have His visible Image, the Christ, and we have a universe of suns and planets, with intelligent beings living in those realms, beings created for the purpose of receiving the revelation of God, in order that He should be satisfied through the response to it in their hearts. And, to activate this revelation, we have Satan, a being of incredible cunning, ability, and power, to whom God gives a stage, a platform, on which he demonstrates what he can do in opposition to God, and what his capacities will achieve apart from Him. This stage is the earth, on which he is allowed to display his true character. A fine object lesson for the hosts of heaven.
From Chapter XII
The First Rain
The evil inhabitants of the earth must have been absolutely terrified when water began to fall from the sky, for from the time of Adam to Noah no rain had fallen on the earth. We read that “at that time Yahweh Elohim does not bring rain on the earth . . . Yet humidity is ascending from the earth and irrigates all the surface of the ground” (Genesis 2:5, 6). This ascending humidity made for a very different climate than we experience, with none of the extremes of moisture or drought, which makes some of the earth uninhabitable in this eon. This may have been one of the reasons for the long lives at that time. During the deluge, water came from below and above, and the two sources together were enough to cover all the land. The fact that there is enough water to cover the entire land surface of the earth even today to a depth of more than a mile, shows the possibility of a universal flood. The earth had been prepared beforehand for the deluge of water, just as it is now stored with fire for the future conflagration between the fourth and fifth eons.
From Chapter XIII
THE THIRD EON—MAN’S DAY
As this is the eon in which mankind crucifies the Son of God, it is called “the present wicked eon” (Galatians 1:4) and “man’s day” (I Corinthians 4:3).
Human government commences after the deluge, when God, after again giving man his place over the animals by putting the fear and dread of him upon them, adds the new provision that whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed (Genesis 9:2-6).
This present world, from the deluge to the coming kingdom, introduces control by means of nations, or human government. Their superficial function is to govern well, but their underlying duty is to display their inability to rule ideally. We should be most lenient in our criticism of their acts, for they are quite helpless to subject those who are not subject to the Supreme Subjector.
Mankind is now given an opportunity to display its utter incompetence to rule. It is given free rein, so that all imaginable forms of government may be given an opportunity to exhibit their weaknesses and shortcomings.
From Chapter XIV
THE SNATCHING AWAY OF THE ECCLESIA
There is no hint in the Hebrew Scriptures that individuals within the nations would one day have access to God apart from the mediacy of Israel. Only in Paul’s epistles do we learn of “the glorious riches of this secret among the nations” (Colossians 1:27). Likewise, only in the writings of Paul do we learn that Christ is coming in the air to snatch away with Him “the ecclesia which is His body” into celestial realms prior to His coming to the earth to rule from Jerusalem as its triumphant Monarch. In those writings, this “snatching away,” commonly called the “rapture,” is described and explained.
The Transformation Into Celestials
How is it that we shall be able to ascend to the air, and accompany Him to the celestial spheres? II Corinthians 5:17 explains: “So that, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: the primitive passed by. Lo! there has come new!” As our earthly bodies are not fit for inhabiting the heavenly realms, a change must take place, and it indeed shall: “And according as we wear the image of the soilish, we should be wearing the image also of the celestial” (I Corinthians 15:49).
From Chapter XV
THE DAY OF INDIGNATION
Now comes the culmination of “man’s day.” The human religion and government desired by Cush, Nimrod and their followers back in Babylon, at the very beginning of this present wicked eon, comes into full and foredoomed being on this earth. We know from the book of Daniel that this horrendous time lasts seven years. The whole era is marked by man’s ultimate attempt to attain perfection apart from God. The Wild Beast and the False Prophet, animated by the power of the Dragon (Satan), set up the world empire and the world federation of religion.
In the midst of these seven years, comes “the abomination of desolation,” the presence in the holy place (presumably the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem) of the Wild Beast invigorated by the spirit of Satan. The Adversary of the True God and His Christ, a created being, obtains worship as creator; the words of the father of lies are welcomed as truth; and the ruiner and slanderer is accepted as the saviour of mankind.
From Chapter XVI
The Millennial Eon
I come to perceive in the visions of the night, and behold! with the clouds of the heavens, He arrives as the son of a mortal . . . And to Him is granted authority, and esteem, and a kingdom, and all the peoples, the races, the languages are serving Him. His authority is an eonian authority which passes not away, and His kingdom that is not pawned (Daniel 7:13, 14).
And in that era your people shall be delivered, everyone found written in the scroll (Daniel 12:1).
The sovereignty of the earth becomes our Lord’s and His Messiah’s for the final two eons known as “the eons of the eons” (Revelation 11:15).
Christ returns to the Mount of Olives. The hour of judging the earth is over. Christ is King. He reigns. A new eonian evangel comes into being based on the fear of God as the Creator of all. Jesus resurrects the saints in Israel, and they commence their righteous reign over the earth. “Happy and holy is he who is having part in the former resurrection: over these the second death has no jurisdiction, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will be reigning with Him the thousand years” (Revelation 20:6).
Hundreds of prophesies from the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures are fulfilled. This prayer is answered: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, on earth also” (Matthew 6:10). The meek inherit the earth. God gives His people a new spirit. He writes His law on their hearts. The kingdom is thus within them.
From Chapter XVII
THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT
And I perceived a great white throne, and Him Who is sitting upon it, from Whose face earth and heaven fled, and no place was found for them.
And I perceived the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And scrolls were opened, and another scroll was opened, which relates to life. And the dead were judged by that which is written in the scrolls, in accord with their acts.
And the sea gives up the dead in it, and death and the unseen give up the dead in them. And they were condemned, each in accord with their acts. And death and the unseen were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death—the lake of fire. And if anyone was not found written in the scroll of life, he was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
The Scriptures are clear and explicit in revealing the time of this judgment in relation to other events in God’s eonian administrations. Immediately after the close of the thousand years’ reign and the destruction of the rebellious host of the nations under Satan, the great white throne and He Who is sitting upon it appears, from Whose face earth and heaven flee, and no place is found for them (Revelation 20:11). The great white throne judgment takes place while the former heaven and former earth pass away, and a new heaven and a new earth are created for the fifth and final eon (Revelation 21:1). With the earth and heaven gone, the universal greatness of the throne will so unquestionably manifest God’s power and glory to all who stand there, that every iota of doubt and unbelief will be completely banished forever.
The great white throne judgment has no place for those who are members of the ecclesia, which is the body of Christ, for they have all been made alive and have been enjoying eonian life and immortality for more than a millennium. Neither is it for the saints of Israel, and others before, who happened upon the resurrection of life at the very beginning of the millennial reign. It is for all those who remain dead.
From Chapter XVIII
THE EON OF THE EONS
At the time of the great white throne judgment, the Supreme Subjector dissolves the world by fire creating new heavens and a new earth, bringing on the presence of “God’s day,” the most glorious and wonderful of the eonian times. During the Millennium, righteousness rules the earth. During the new creation, righteousness dwells upon the earth (II Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:3).
Now comes the great fulfillment of the promise to Abraham and Israel from God. “By faith [Abraham] sojourns in the land of promise as in an alien land, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the joint enjoyers of the allotment of the same promise. For he waited for the city having foundations, whose Artificer and Architect is God” (Hebrews 11:9-10).
The Supreme Artificer and Architect brings New Jerusalem out of heaven. Its very character is heavenly, and it comes to earth. It is four square, and on side measures 12,000 stadia (Revelation 21:16-17). Since 1 stadium equals 606.75 feet, that makes the holy city approximately 1,500 miles wide, 1,500 miles long, and 1,500 miles high. It takes up an area about half the size of the continental United States. On the portals of the New Jerusalem are inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.
From Chapter XIX
THE CONSUMMATION—THE END OF THE EONS
Many of us have attended high school or college reunions. They can be a lot of fun, but often the people we had hoped to see most are not there. Not so at the Great Reunion of humanity at the end of the eons. Everyone will be there. All unbelievers who became believers at the great white throne will join us there. The Supreme Spirit brings them out of their unconsciousness in the second death. During the eon of the eons, death became “no more.” Now, it is abolished. Since the second death is the only death remaining, all in it are brought out of it into immortal life. The True God completes His work of reconciling a universe that He had intentionally set at enmity to Himself, so that His very essence might be known and experienced by all.
Before the eons, sin and evil were unknown. At the end of the eons, sin and evil are also absent but well-known. When God becomes All in all His creations, all are filled with Spirit, Light, and Love. The Scriptures do not speak of what happens then. We are free to meditate upon this coming unspeakable joy. We can imagine all the wonderful things in store for us. But even then, our minds and spirits will not grasp the exceeding glories to come, for the True God “is able to do superexcessively above all that we are requesting or apprehending, according to the power that is operating in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
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