Great tormentor, Great Annihilator, or Great Savior?
While many people are not aware of this fact, nevertheless, it is true that many leading selling Bibles contain passages which prove all three of the above concepts of the Creator of the Universe. All three groups base their teachings of the ultimate fate of the righteous and the wicked upon “What saith the Scriptures?”
Obviously, all three cannot be true. It is these seeming contradictions in “best selling” Bibles that have caused many honest seekers to look elsewhere for the truth. They came to the conclusion that the Bible contradicts itself. Today the largest camp is the Great Tormentor Camp. It may come as a surprise to many people, but the view of the early Church was the Great Savior camp. It wasn’t until the 5th and 6th century A.D. that the Great Tormentor camp began to be prevalent. Below are listed some of the main Scriptures used by each of the camps to prove their position. We will briefly attempt to show why two of these positions are false.
|Early Believer’s View
|Great Annihilator||Modern Majority View
|1 Timothy 2:1-7||Everlasting destruction||Everlasting punishment|
|1 Timothy 4:9-11||Greek-olethros||Matthew 25:31-46|
|Romans 5:18-21||2 Thessalonians 1:7-10||Gehenna|
|Romans 11:25-36||1 Thessalonians 5:3||Mark 9:38-48|
|1 Corinthians 15:20-28||1 Corinthians 5:5||Hades|
|Ephesians 1:7-11||Consume or perish||Luke 16:19-31|
|Philippians 2:9-11||Greek-apollumi||Unpardonable sin|
|Colossians 1:12-23||2 Thessalonians 2:8-12||Matthew 12:24-32|
|Hebrews 2:5-10||Perpetual sleep||Wrath abides|
|Hebrews 9:23-26||Jeremiah 51:39,57cf||John 3:35,36|
|John 12:32,33||Jeremiah 18:13-17||Tormented in fire|
|1 John 3:8||Jeremiah 25:8-11||Revelation 14:9-12|
|Romans 8:20,21||Malachi 4:1-3||Revelation 19:19-21|
|Revelation 5:13||Obadiah 1:15,16||Revelation 20:7-10|
|Isaiah 25:6-8||Matthew 10:28||Everlasting destruction|
|Philippians 3:21||Second death||2 Thessalonians 1:7-10|
|John 12:47||Revelation 20:11-15||Lake of fire|
|Galatians 3:8||Miscellaneous||Revelation 20:11-15|
|John 3:17||Judges 5:31||Revelation 21:8|
|Psalm 138:4||Psalms 37:20||Miscellaneous|
|2 Corinthians 5:14-20||Psalms 92:9||2 Peter 2:3-22|
|1 Corinthians Chapter 13||Luke 19:27||Jude 6,7|
|Psalm 22:27,29||1 Corinthians 15:25,26||2 Peter 3:10-12|
|Psalm 65:2-4||2 Peter 3:10-12||Hebrews 6:4-8|
|John 1:9-13||Hebrews 6:4-8||Luke 9:25|
|Psalm 66:3,4||Matthew 25:31-46||John 3:36|
|Genesis 18:18||John 3:36||Matthew 24:50,51|
|1 Timothy 4:9-11||1 Timothy 6:9||Luke 12:4,5|
The preceding lists contain most of the leading Scriptures used to support these positions. Surely, not all three views are correct. If they are, then there must be passages in these leading Bibles that contradict one another. There are actually several reasons there are three different views all claiming to use the traditional Bibles of Christendom.
REASONS FOR THE DIFFERENT VIEWS
- Failure to hold on to clear statements of God’s sovereignty, foreknowledge, power, omniscience, purpose of creation, and unconditional love.
- Failure to believe direct statements of scripture declaring the ultimate salvation of all through the saving work of Jesus Christ.
- Pulling scriptures out of context and putting them into an end-time scenario when, in fact, they deal with other ages. Scriptures speak of at least two other ages to come. (Eph. 2:7)
- Inaccurate and misleading translations. Roman Catholic tradition strongly affected the first Protestant English Bibles which, in turn, adversely affected modern translations.
- Injection of Roman\Greek concepts such as the immortality of the soul into the Bible. Adam was removed from the garden lest he eat from the tree of life. He was not immortal.
- Bondage to the traditions and teachings of men rather than allowing the Spirit of Truth to lead us into all truth. (John 16:13)
- A hidden desire in many of us to have our enemies get what we feel they deserve while we get off free and clear. (Luke 9:51-56)
- The desire of religious and government leaders to use fear to maintain control. Love cannot be perfected with fear, therefore, the church has few members whose love is perfected. Perfect love casts out fear! (1 John 4:18)
- Satan’s power and authority to deceive.
- Failure to see that “Love never fails,” (1Cor. 13:8) His “mercy endures forever,” (1 Chron. 16:41) and “mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13)
12. Idolatry; we project our concepts of what God should be like into our reading of the Scriptures.
13. Unbelief; Jesus asked if there would be faith in the earth at His return. The Bible says He is the Savior of the whole world, yet most Christians don’t believe it.
14. God chose to save the best “good news” for the end of time hiding this glorious truth from most Christians revealing it only to a “remnant.”
For those of you who do not believe there are Bible translation errors, here are a few of hundreds of examples. The King James Bible has Jonah crying from the “belly of hell” while the New King James and others has him crying from “Sheol.” (Jonah 2:2) The KJV has Jonah there “forever” while Young’s Literal Translation has him there “to the age.” (Jonah 2:6) The KJV talks about the “end of the world” in Matthew 24:3, while the New International Version and the New American Standard talk about the “end of the age.”
Within the King James Bible itself there are many contradictions. A few examples should cause further study. Matt. 24:3 speaks about an “end of the world” while Ephesians 3:21 and Isaiah 45:17 talk about the “world without end.” We have “everlasting hills” in Genesis 49:26 and Deuteronomy 33:15 which don’t seem to be “everlasting” according to Isaiah 40:4 and 2 Peter 3:10. God would dwell in Solomon’s temple “forever” yet Solomon’s temple has long been destroyed. The Aaronic priesthood was an “everlasting” priesthood according to Exodus 40:15 and Numbers 25:13, yet the book of Hebrews makes it abundantly clear this priesthood would be replace by the Melchizedek priesthood. (Hebrews 7:14-18) The Mosaic covenant was “everlasting” while Hebrews 8:7-13 speaks of the end of that very covenant.
Review the 14 listed reasons. Somewhere in this list are the reasons why some people cannot see what is plainly written. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all mankind unto myself.” (John 12:32)
Dear precious saint, keep in mind that through the Law and Church Ages it is only a remnant that has been given the desire to seek the Truth. Are you a Truth-seeker?