- "(the testimony in its own eras,)," -
I Tim. 2:6
In the days when Jesus Christ was on earth, the era
for the testimony mentioned in the context of the above quoted
scripture, was not present. Therefore our Lord did not say all
that was in His heart. He told His disciples He had many things to
say to them that they were not able to bear, John 16:12. I have
not the slightest doubt that, if He had said all that He wanted to say,
even His own disciples would have clamored for His death! They
just could not have borne it.
They were pleased at what He did teach - blessings
for Israel, with the nations getting crumbs as puppies under the
table. They would have been very indignant had He disclosed to
them the then forthcoming administration of pure grace, when His chosen
from among the nations would be blessed far above any glory Israel had
ever seen. Much more would they have been indignant if He had told
them plainly that all mankind would be saved, and that God would become
All in all.
His loving heart was almost bursting with the joy of
the salvation of all humanity, but He did no more than hint at it, and
the truth of it seems to never have registered on their minds. He
declared that if He should be exalted out of the earth He would be
drawing all to Himself, John 12:32. John, who recorded it,
explains that He was talking about His death, but I doubt that even that
writer understood the import of the words, "I - shall be drawing
all to myself." In the light of later revelation, we believe
He meant He would save all. But He did not plainly say so.
It was not the proper era; the people could not have borne it; He did
not plainly teach it.
The period of Paul's ministry was one of its
eras. He taught it, and thousands believed it. The doctrine
of the salvation of all humanity was never questioned in any
ecclesia. While they had trouble over other questions, they had
none over this. So far as we know, after the saints were taught
it, none of them ever doubted that as it was through one offense for all
mankind for condemnation, thus also it is through one just award for all
mankind for life's justifying, (Romans 5:18); that God wills all mankind
to be saved and to come into a realization of the truth, (I Timothy
2:4); that as in Adam all are dying, thus also in Christ all shall be
vivified, (I Corinthians 15:22).
The era is present again. God has brought about
conditions that make it a propitious time to teach this truth. It
is only by the most strenuous efforts that any semblance of fellowship
can be maintained in the churches of this section. The same
condition exists in many other vicinities. People are looking for
something better than the creeds of men, that consign millions to untold
agony, or to endless death.
With the coming of the era for this testimony to go
forth again, God gave us a better translation of His word. Brother
A. E. Knoch, then of Los Angeles, California, worked almost day and
night for many years, aided by a few others. The result was the
Concordant Version of the Sacred Scriptures. This version brought
to light, among other things, the fact that the word "eonian"
never denotes endless duration. This is the word that had been
used to translate "everlasting" and "eternal," words
which, perhaps did not have the meaning of endlessness when they were
first put in the Bible, but which had through theological manipulation,
assumed that meaning.
Eonian life, instead of being endless life, is life
within the eons. Eonian extermination, (destruction, as the King
James Version has it), and eonian chastening, (punishment, according to
that Version), is extermination and chastening within the eons.
According to the rendering of some passages in the
King James Version, an eon is an age, not endless duration. This
is correct. There are "ages," or eons - more than
one. The adjective eonian, cannot denote duration beyond the
eons. Thus, what chastening, extermination or death there is for
unbelievers, cannot last beyond the consummation of the
The believer, as such, has eonian life. But
death is to be abolished at the consummation (I Cor. 15:22-28), and of
course believers will continue to live after the eons. This is
life, but not eonian life. Unbelievers do not have eonian life,
but they cannot escape having life after the eons, when death is
abolished. they shall have endless life, just the same as
believers. What the believer has, that the unbeliever does
not have, is eonian life.
With the publication of the Concordant Version,
saints in many places began to believe and rejoice in race-wide
salvation. The era was definitely here for the testimony to go
forth and to be accepted.
The King James Version says all things are to be
reconciled to God through the blood of the cross, Col. 1:20. This
has never registered on the heart of the people. It is too
vague. How can inanimate things be reconciled? The
Concordant Version finds that "the all," is the Greek
rendering. And "the all," when the context shows no
numerical limitation, means the universe. So the universe, in the
heavens and on the earth, is to be reconciled to God. In other
words every creature that is at enmity with God shall be reconciled
through the blood of the cross. This is universal reconciliation,
and goes further than race-wide salvation. Not only all mankind,
but all other creatures in the universe, shall be God's friends.
This could never be accomplished short of universal salvation.
It is good to know that sin, judgment, chastening,
enmity and death will have an end, and that God will be All in all - that
is, All in every one of His creatures. This is a happy out-look
that the creeds of men know not. And it has a wholesome affect on
our lives - an effect that the teachings of endless torment or endless
death cannot produce.
Yes, the era is here for this testimony! There
are many other things that are to be taught. I do not underrate
the importance of any of them. But it seems that God has laid on
my heart, within the last few days, the supreme importance of teaching
universal reconciliation. This must be paramount in The Messenger
for the next few months, unless He orders otherwise.
Beginning with the March issue, I want to reach at
least five hundred additional people. And I am anxious to make any
sacrifice that is necessary, in order to reach them. I believe
there are at least one hundred of my present readers who are anxious to
have part in this work. Therefore I make the following
Send me the names of five persons who love the
Lord. Send one dollar with the names, and I will enter the five
for a year's subscription. You can think of five; and you can
spare the dollar. And you may be sure I will put far more money
into the work than I am asking any of you to put in. Please do
this within the next few days, so I will have plenty of time to
arrange my list to meet the new requirements.
Now, who will send the first dollar?
These words are found in I Tim. 2:6. In the
Greek it is antiputron. That lutron is ransom, in not
denied. But the statement has been made that there is no
word for "correspondent" in the text. What, then does
Literally, it means instead. As applied to the
antichrist, it means one who comes instead of Christ. In the text
under consideration, it is "instead loosener." The
latter word is idiomatically rendered ransom; idiom requires that the
former word be rendered correspondent.
It has been said that Brother Knoch put this word in
his Version, as a concession to International Bible Students. I
know, and so does everyone who is acquainted with his works, that he
puts in no word as a concession to any group. He is concerned with
Christ's death is the exact equivalent of the need of
the human family. And that need is more than to simply be restored
to the Adamic "purity." We need the grace that
superabounds - not grace that puts us back in Adam's
Everything that is needed to affect the salvation of
all mankind, (I Tim. 2:4), is supplied in Christ. It is in this
sense that He is "the One giving Himself a correspondent Ransom for
Nor would it be amiss to consider the meaning of
ransom. It will secure the release of the person for whom it is
paid, unless the one accepting the ransom intends to deceive the one
paying it. If Christ gives Himself a correspondent Ransom for all,
and any part of the human family is not subsequently released, then God
has deceived His Son. In other words, since Christ gives Himself a
correspondent ransom for all, all must be saved, or else God stands
eternally discredited as dishonest. Perish the
No one can read I Tim. 2:3-6, and believe every word
of it, without believing in the salvation of all humanity.
Thanks to everyone who remembered us with cards and
greetings during the Holidays.