A friend said to me, "I want you to explain your
theory of the salvation of all mankind." This set me to
wondering if people generally consider it merely a theory. I
remembered a conversation which was reported to me, and in which a
friend said, "I guess Mr. Screws is as apt to be right as anyone
else, for he is as smart as any of them."
So! It seems the scriptures constitute a
puzzle, to which there may be many solutions, any one of which may be
the correct one! And it is impossible to know which is correct,
except that it is reasonable to conclude that the smartest man is the
most likely to guess the truth!
What a disregard of the wish of Paul, that our faith
should stand, not in the wisdom of man, but in the power of
Some of the brethren who believe as we do, speak of
the teaching as "Brother Screws' doctrine." They will
tell me, "So-and-so believes your doctrine." I can hear
of them saying to someone, "I believe Brother Screws'
doctrine." I can see the reason for this. They are
accustomed to speaking of the Methodist doctrine, the Baptist doctrine,
etc., and, as those who worship with us bear no denominational name,
they know of nothing better to do, than to give the teaching my
But it is decidedly the wrong thing to do. If I
have formulated a doctrine, it is not worth believing. Christ, the
only One who ever lived on earth, Who was able to formulate a doctrine,
emphatically refused to do so. He declared that His doctrine was
not His, but the Father's.
The scriptures either teach that all mankind will be
saved, or else they do not teach it. If they do not, no man is
smart enough to make it the truth. If they do teach it, it should
be believed, irrespective of who teaches it, or who denies it. I
know, and God knows, that I want the people to believe God - not
If I should say, "For this is good and
acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who will have all men to be
saved, and to come into the knowledge of the truth," would anyone
doubt that I was teaching that all mankind are to be saved? One
would say, "Just listen to him; he claims that everybody will be
saved!" Another would ask, "What did he say?"
And the first would answer, "He said God will have all men to be
saved!" and everybody who heard me would agree.
"Yes," they would declare, "he certainly is teaching the
salvation of all men."
Yet, they will read that identical statement in the
Bible, (I Tim. 2:3), and declare emphatically, "God does not teach
that all men are to be saved.
It seems, then, that when I say a thing I mean it;
but when God says it He does not mean it!
I wonder - is there any doubt in the mind of the
reader, whether the Bible really says, God will have all men to be
saved. Why not get the Bible right now, and turn to I Tim. 2:3-6,
and see what it says? I am calling attention to the King James
Version, because most people have it. This issue will go into the
hands of many who do not read it regularly - some who have never seen it
before. I am asking them to verify for themselves, whether the
Bible does say God will have all men to be saved.
Now, in regard to those who believe with me - they
should never speak of the teaching as Brother Screws' doctrine. In
doing so they are doing me harm. They are lending assistance to
the idea that I have gotten up a theory of my own. Just say
"So-and-so believes the truth," Or, "I believe the
truth." If you want to identify me with the matter, say,
"I hold to the truth. Brother Screws is our
teacher." You know it is the truth. You are thoroughly
convinced that the scriptures teach it. You know I did not
originate it. Then don't accuse me of it! It is not MY
We who have been ardent advocates of the freedom of
religion, have given people an excuse to believe any kind of
theory. We say, "No matter what you believe; you have as much
right to your belief as I have to mine," What we mean is,
"You have a right to it, so far as I or any other person having
authority to prevent you." We certainly do not mean to make
the impression that, in the sight of God, a person has as much right to
believe a falsehood as he has to believe the truth. Yet, we have
made that very impression.
I have warned against reasoning. I have said
that the truth does not have to be supported in this way - that plain
statements of scripture are sufficient. This very warning has been
misconstrued. People have seemed to think that I teach that the
truth is unreasonable. The reason I warn against reasoning, is,
most of it is unreasoning, instead. It is based on false premises,
and, necessarily leads to a false conclusion. But, since people
will reason, I will show them how to do it:
Reason from plain facts, as premises. It is a
fact that God hates sin and loves righteousness. Is it reasonable
to suppose that He will endlessly promote sin when He hates it? He
is able to promote righteousness. Is it not in keeping with reason
to suppose He will do so?
Those who teach that lost sinners will be endlessly
tormented, also say this torment will not cleanse the sinner. They
tell us those being tormented will "spend eternity" cursing
God - a thing they probably did not do before being placed in
hell! Their hopelessness will cause them to become more and more
bitter against God, as "eternity rolls on," people tell
us. Well, if God torments a sinner endlessly, He is promoting
endless sin - ever-increasing sin.
Since we are reasoning, can anyone give a reason why
God should do this? The torment will not benefit the sinner.
The universe will not be better because of it. It not only
perpetuates sin, which is displeasing to God, but actually increases it,
which must be quite obnoxious to Him.
God created the universe. He carries it
on. He Who can do this can do what else He pleases. If He is
pleased with righteousness, He can easily make sinners righteous through
the blood of Christ. If He can, and won't, then it must be that He
has deceived us about loving righteousness and hating sin. If He
deliberately promotes endless sin, when He could easily make those
sinners righteous, how are we to escape the conclusion that He loves sin
and hates righteousness?
But why reason about it? To believe the word of
God is much simpler, and far safer. The King James Bible tells us
in Heb. 9:26, that Christ will put away sin by the sacrifice of
Himself. Let it be under stood that He will PUT AWAY SIN - not
prolong it endlessly. Reader, which do you believe? No one
can believe sinners will be tormented endlessly, and, at the same time,
believe Christ will put away sin, unless he takes the unreasonable
position that those being tormented have had sin put away on their
part. If that is true, why are they being tormented? God
tormenting people after Christ has put away their sin! Who can
There are those who repudiate the doctrine of endless
torment, but who claim that there will be endless death for
sinners. Death, they say, puts away sin on the part of those who
are to be dead endlessly! In other words, Christ will put away
sin, not by the sacrifice of Himself, but by the sacrifice of the
sinner! This certainly is a theory, for it is a flat denial of the
Bible, which says Christ will put away sin by the sacrifice of
"But," they tell us, "the Bible
teaches the doctrine of endless torment." In what passage,
please? Revelation 14:9-11! Who is to be tormented according
to that passage? All sinners? No; only those who worship the
beast and his image, and receive his mark.
And how long is for ever and ever? For ever is
one for ever. For ever and ever is for two evers. Any Greek
scholar can tell you that "ever" is "aion," in the
original, and that this word is translated "age," in other
passages in the King James Bible. When the Bible goes about
teaching endlessness, it uses the word "endless," Heb.
7:16. When it refers to the endless life of people, it uses the
word, "immortality, " I Cor. 15:33. But in using the
expression "for ever and ever," it couples day and night with
it. Satan and the beast and the false prophet are to be tormented
"day and night for ever and ever," Rev. 20:10. Do you
believe day and night will continue to follow each other
endlessly? No; you don't believe it! Well, the torment of
the best and the false prophet and the devil will last as long as night
follows day. I am sure you cannot force yourself to believe
sinners will be tormented longer than that. Just try it! Can
you believe those who worship the beast will be tormented longer that
the beast himself will be? No matter what you say; you absolutely
cannot believe it. The correct translation of the passage,
"for ever and ever," is FOR THE EONS OF THE EONS, or if you
prefer, FOR THE AGES OF THE AGES. It is no endless
At the risk of getting to technical, I insist that
the reader carefully consider the above paragraph. The devil gives
the beast his power, seat and authority. People worship the
beast. Then God torments the beast and the devil, only until night
becomes no more. Will He torment the worshipers
I am showing that, when the King James Version - faulty
as it is - is considered as a whole, it does not teach endless
torment. Instead, it teaches the salvation of all mankind.
The King James Version says the reign of Christ will end, I Cor
15:22-28. If "for ever and ever" denotes endless
duration, how do you explain the expression that the throne of the Son
of God shall be for ever and ever, Heb. 1:8? Just acknowledge that
for ever and ever will come to an end, and the whole problem is
Nor does that Version teach endless death. It
plainly says death is to be destroyed, I Cor. 15:26. Those who
seek to escape the horrible doctrine of endless torment, by adopting the
doctrine of endless death, is not teaching in accord with the
Bible. Death is not destroyed when sinners are roused for the
judging at the white throne. They die the second time. It is
at the "end" (King James Version), that death is
destroyed. This is long after the judgment - long after they die
the second time. It is then that God becomes All in all. He
becomes All in believers, "at the coming of Christ," I Cor.
15:23. Others must wail until "the end," for their
salvation. This doctrine is NOT merely a theory!
This doctrine is NOT merely a theory!
NOTICE TO SAVANNAH READERS - Meetings in Savannah are
held at 11 o'clock each third Sunday, in Labor Temple, 35 Barnard
street, room 200. You are invited.