Based on a discussion with a brother who was showing keen interest in...
a.k.a. UNIVERSAL SALVATION
"…these will go into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life…" Matt. 25:46
Thought I would take a few moments this p.m. to list the various references you and I discussed yesterday afternoon pertaining to the Deity of Christ, and other important issues relative to "Universal Reconciliation." We began by your rightfully pointing out that the Lord said in Genesis 1:26, "Let us make man in OUR image…" revealing the plurality of the Godhead, alluded to in Col. 2:9.
IS CHRIST ALMIGHTY GOD, OR A GOD WITH A SMALL G?
These two verses got us moving, and other verses followed in quick succession: 1 Tim. 3:16; Titus 1:3; 2:10, 2:13; 3:4; John 1:3; Rev. 1:8; 4:8. After that we dropped back into the so-called Old Testament and touched on Isa. 45:21-23 and tied it in with Phi. 2:9-11. We then read and discussed John 5:39; Luke 24:25-27, 45-46; 1 Tim. 3:16. These references make it clear that Christ is Almighty God and is the central theme of the Bible.
THE PUNISHMENT OF ALL CHRIST REJECTORS
We then touched on the punishment due those who willfully reject the offer of salvation in this age of grace, reading and discussing Isa. 33:14; John 3:36; Rev. 14:11 and Rev. 22:11.
NO PAIN IN THE LAKE OF FIRE?
As you know, A. E. Knoch, probably the most prominent figure in this movement, says that there will be no pain for those who are cast into the lake of fire, just sweet unconsciousness (even though Rev. 14:11 says that "they have no rest day nor night" – no consciousness but no rest either – does that make sense?) until the new heavens have waxed old and the lake of fire will have burned itself out, and the captives are released and given a second chance to be saved. Knoch offers no Scriptural support for these conclusions.
CHRIST HAS ALREADY PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIM!
We then discussed Eph. 1:22 and shared a few thoughts concerning - "[Christ] hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all." You were again helpful when you pointed out that though Christ has put all things under his feet, "we do not yet see all things put under Him," i.e., a reality not yet made manifest.
LUCIFER, ONCE CALLED "THE MORNING STAR"
We also took up the origin and fall of Lucifer, reading from Isaiah 14:12-15 with Ezekiel 28:12-15.
I further directed our attention to Isa. 45:7 where God says, "I create evil." I explained my understanding of this verse, how that in creation God set up social, moral, dietary, physical and spiritual laws which, when broken, produce evil results – consequences that often last a lifetime. Only in this sense could God have created evil.
"UNIVERSAL RECONCILIATION" GLORIFIES SIN
This movment, Universal Reconciliation, further teaches that God created Satan to be the Slanderer, evil and full of sin. God’s purpose [they say] "demands the presence of sin" so He used this "medium – the devil – to inject the virus [of sin] into His earthly creation." Mr. Knoch enlarges on this thought and adds: "Evil and sin are not outside God’s plan. They are essential to the highest happiness of the creature and the greatest glory of the Creator…this is true of all sin and evil (he says) …we should thank God for it [for evil and sin] and rejoice in the glory it brings to God."
THIS INVENTION OF DEMONS MAKES GOD RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL SIN
What Knoch has overlooked is that in teaching this doctrine, he willfully or unwit-tingly makes God responsible for every unspeakably vile and sinful deed imaginable, including hypocrisy, sham, pretence and religious frauds that evil men use to cover their exceeding wickedness.
PROBING THIS DOCTRINE OF DEMONS WITH A FEW QUESTIONS
How could God, who is "of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cans’t not look on iniquity…" be the creator of sin? (Hab. 1:13)
How could He justly destroy Sodom and Gomorrah when, according to Universalism, He was the instigator (the author) of all the evil that was going on inside those cities?
Why did he have Jonah warn Nineveh that the city was doomed unless the people straightened up, even though God (according Universal salvationists) was the one who instigated all the corruption and sin for which Sodom and Gomorrah were to be destroyed?
And what right did He have to bring the great armies of Babylon and Syria down on His own idolatrous people, armies that He used to totally destroy the city, the walls, and temple, when, (according to Universalism) God was the one responsible for all the idolatry and sinfulness for which they were going to be taken into captivity?
Furthermore, how could the Lord justly scatter and set Israel aside for the last 2000 years because of their pride and self righteousness, when (according to Universalism) it was His will that they walk in pride and self righteousness in order that He might eventually show forth His love for them by returning them to their land and blessing them?
SLURRING THE PERSON OF CHRIST IS PAR FOR THE COURSE
FOR THIS DEMONIC DOCTRINE
According to this "doctrine of demons, "the Lord Jesus lied when He said in Matt. 23:37, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and YE WOULD NOT." Whoa! What did the Lord Jesus mean when he said, "YE WOULD NOT?" He meant, of course, that men have a will and can make choices. But this movement disagrees. Man has no will, they say, therefore he can only move and decide within the perimeter of God’s divine will. This means that it was the will of God for Israel to reject their Messiah, turn their back on His Word, His miracles, His perfect life, and have Him crucified. Calvinists draws the same blasphemous conclusion
UNIVERSAL RECONCILIATIONISTS CHEERFULLY ACCEPT THE DOCTRINE
THAT GOD IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL SIN!
But, were this doctrine true, it would relieve man of any responsibility for sin. The most hideous of sinners could not be held accountable for his behaviour, no matter how criminal, brutal or demonic. IF Universalism is correct, Hitler could murder six millions Jews with impunity, then rightfully put the finger of blame on Almighty God, IF this doctrine is true. But Scripture teaches no such thing, and believers who are being enticed by this doctrine should flee from it as multitudes fled the Black Death that devastated Europe in the 14th Century.
Think about it: if God created Satan to spread sin throughout his earthly creation, how could He justly consign anyone to the lake of fire? Yet, this movement admits that millions upon millions will be cast into the lake of fire, due to unbelief, and will remain there until the fire burns itself out, after which its prisoners will be set free and given a second chance, though there exists no Scripture to support this idle dream.
Of course, no one in his right mind would turn down a deal like that. Therefore, according to Mr. Knoch and his constituents, all Christ rejectors, including the devil and his millions of demonic subjects, will bow the knee and accept Christ as Saviour and Lord, after which they will be one with the saints of God throughout all eternity, and we’ll all be one, big, glorious, happy family – according to Knoch.
Question: Where in the Bible, in any translation (outside Knoch’s CONCORDANT VERSION) can Mr. Knoch, or any of his followers, find one single verse that teaches that everyone in the lake of fire will experience a second resurrection, be given a second chance to be saved, and receive eternal life? One verse will do.
How shall we regard A. E. Knoch who says all translations of the Bible have been so hopelessly "corrupted by tradition, philosophy and creeds of men" that his translation of the Bible alone is to be relied on. In other words, mankind must allow the Concordant
Version to be a filter through which all the other versions must pass if we would arrive at the truth on a given subject.
Does this man sound like a humble, God-fearing individual to you? Joseph Smith reached the same conclusion concerning his "Book of Mormon" that has, so far, enslaved six million practicing Mormons. Mary Baker Glover, Fryer, Patterson Eddy, oft-married foundress of Christian Science, also regarded her book, "Christian Science, key to the Scriptures," as free from error. And faithful Muslims say the same thing about their book, "The Holy Qur’an," – it alone, they say, has the true and acceptable doctrine of Allah," the true and living God." Mohammed sold them on this lie when he was on the top side of planet earth; now one billion Arabs embrace it. These religious systems have all passed up the truth to believe a lie! See 2 Thess. 2:11.
Hopefully, we go into this subject further at a later date. Meanwhile, I’ll try to answer any questions that may have surfaced while you were reading this paper. Write, call, or e-mail me at your convenience.
In His all-sufficient Name and Grace,
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