Where The Church Went Wrong! Part 2
Updated: Jul 20
The Dark Side Of Church History!
Part 2 of a 7 Part Series
If you missed ‘Where The Church Went Wrong!’ ~ The Introduction and Part 1 you can read it at this link.
Ultimately my purpose in this 7 Part Series is to deliver a ‘coherent’ presentation of The Everlasting Gospel of Messiah Yahusha, the Savior of ALL MANKIND that goes all the way back to before the foundations of the world, i.e. before anything was ever created!
I will construct a presentation of The Everlasting Gospel that actually ‘makes sense’! A 'coherent' presentation of The Everlasting Gospel is desperately needed today because the pseudo-gospel that has prevailed for the last 1500 years doesn’t make any sense at all if you simply stop and take the time to think critically about it!!! If I can get you to stop and think critically about the pseudo-gospel being proclaimed by today’s pseudo-Christianity you'll realize it is totally incoherent!!!
In the process of revealing the Early Church Version of The Everlasting Gospel I will unwaveringly defend the character of our Creator and Redeemer who claims to be ‘endlessly merciful’ time and time again in His Word, just check out Psalm 136. With that being said… I hope you'll be blessed by what you are about to read, see and hear in Part 2 ~ The Dark Side Of Church History!
So… do you know who this guy is? Precious few do and quite honestly I wouldn’t have been able to identify him either if someone were to have asked me prior to now. While it may be acceptable to admit we're unable to recognize his portrait, it's not acceptable to be ignorant of church history, we really need to know this guy and understand the incredibly profound negative influence he has had on the faith of all generations of Christians since the 5th Century A.D.
He is known as Augustine of Hippo and he lived from 354 to 430 A.D. Augustine of Hippo was a Manichaean and he brought his Manicaeism with him once he converted to Christianity. His native tongue was Latin and he hated the Greek language that The New Testament was written in. That's a problem! Of those few who denied Universal Salvation in the Early Church, nearly all spoke Latin as their native tongue and hated Greek! Jerome and Tertullian are two more examples of Latin tongued Greek haters! The Greek speaking believers all understood the significance of the Greek word ‘apakatastasis’ as it is used in Acts 3:21, which means ‘the restoration of all things’, in fact there are a slew of Greek words in The New Testament that have been mistranslated over the centuries and I will address each and every one of them in Part 3.
It was due in large part to this one man, Augustine of Hippo, that the ‘Early Church’ abandoned their belief in the Universal Salvation of ALL MANKIND and adopted the Latin speaking, pagan convert’s belief in the ‘eternal fiery torment’ of the wicked in a place called “HELL” thereby slaughtering the endlessly merciful character of our Creator and Redeemer and corrupting His Everlasting Gospel to that of an impotent savior! Augustine of Hippo wasn’t alone of course but he was the influential, charismatic, spear head of the pagan invasion into ‘the faith once delivered unto the saints’!
During the mid 6th Century the Roman Emperor Justinian tried to get an edict passed that condemned Universal Salvation.
I’ll quote Justinian’s edict from Chapter XXI ~ Unsuccessful Attempts to Suppress Universalism from the book ‘Universalism The Prevailing Doctrine Of The Christian Church During Its First Five Hundred Years’ By J.W. HANSON, D. D. Published in 1899...
“Whoever says or thinks that the torments of the demons and of impious men are temporal, so that they will at length come to an end, or whoever holds to a restoration either of the demons or of the impious, let him be anathema.” (Justinian)
Continuing to quote the source above…
“Now though the emperor exerted his great influence to foist his heathen doctrine into the Church canons, he failed; for nothing resembling it appears in the canons enacted by the synodical council… The synod voted fifteen canons, not one of which condemns universal restoration.” (J.W. Hanson)
The word “anathema” as used in the quote above means ‘separated’ and in this context would mean to be thrown out of the Roman Catholic Church at a time when it was believed if you didn’t belong to the Roman Catholic Church you couldn’t be saved! Ultimately, Justinian failed to get his heathen edict approved and adopted into the Church cannons but it becomes a bit of a moot point since the word was now out… if you believed in Universal Salvation you had a target on your back and over the course of time the Roman Emperor shoved Augustine’s ‘HELL’ down the throat of his own people using it as a control mechanism over the Roman Catholic Church's unruly congregants, it was a case of ‘behave or burn forever’!
Justinian’s failed edict wasn’t his only attack on Universal Salvation however, he also managed to force the closing of the Christian Schools at Athens, Alexandria and Antioch that taught Universal Salvation! The end result is the eventual disappearance of Universal Salvation within the Roman Catholic Church as well as the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Dark Ages!
Here is a link to an interesting video interview of a retired Roman Catholic Priest who confesses there is no hell and why the Roman Catholic Church preached eternal torment over the years. The first two minutes of the interview are quite revealing, the remainder of the video however, is pure junk in my opinion, if I ever figure out how to edit it I will.
So up to this point I’ve heaped a heavy load on Augustine of Hippo for steering the church in a wrong direction and rightfully so. But… and it’s a big ‘BUT’… he is not solely to blame. Israel was to be a Monotheistic nation ‘BUT’ never was! From the very beginning there existed within Israel a strong running undercurrent of Polytheism that was never eliminated. When Israel came out of Egypt they brought Egypt with them and the Golden Calf episode is all the proof anyone should need to acknowledge that truth.
The Golden Calf was an Egyptian Apis Bull Calf which represented their pagan sun god Helios, also known as Saturn! But Egypt wasn’t the only nation in the region to worship false deities, the Greeks of course did too! This fact leads us into our discussion of the English word ‘Hell’ used to translate the Greek word ‘Hades’. If you look the word ‘Hades’ up in a dictionary you may well be met with an acknowledgement that the word ‘Hades’ has Greek Mysticism or Greek Mythology as its origins.
Strongs Concordance has it listed this way…
From G1 (as a negative particle) and G1492; properly unseen, that is, “Hades” or the place (state) of departed souls: - grave, hell.
Thayer’s Concordance has it listed as…
1) name Hades or Pluto, the god of the lower regions
2) Orcus, the nether world, the realm of the dead
3) later use of this word: the grave, death, hell
Merriam-Webster has it listed as…
Ha·des | \ ˈhā-(ˌ)dēz \
Definition of Hades
1: the Greek god of the underworld
2: the underground abode of the dead in Greek mythology
4 often not capitalized : HELL sense 1a
Now we’re getting somewhere!
You may be thinking, “What the hell does Hades have to do with Greek Mythology and why is that in my bible?” And ‘yes’ I’m playing with words here, making the point that words evolve over time developing multiple definitions, metamorphosing into things never intended from the beginning. As a matter of fact, if you do your homework you’ll discover the English word “hell” originally conveyed the sense of ‘covering something over’. People used to ‘hell their potatoes’ meaning they planted them in the garden and in doing so they ‘covered them over’ beneath the surface of the soil rendering them ‘unseen’. In that sense the English word ‘hell’ is perfectly suited for describing a ‘grave’. Both the Hebrew word ‘Sheol’ and the Greek word “Hades”, both translated into ‘hell’ in the KJV, should be understood in that sense, i.e. the dead are “covered over” when they are placed in their graves and become ‘unseen’. However the rampant paganism of humanity can’t leave well enough alone. Both Hebrew and Greek cultures have tainted the meaning of these words over time with their imaginative pagan concepts of what takes place in the ‘unseen’ world of the dead, choosing to ignore the Scriptural proclamation that the “dead know nothing” recorded in Ecclesiastes 9:5…
For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know naught, nor do they have any more reward, for their remembrance is forgotten. (Ecclesiastes 9:5 The Scriptures 2009)
According to Scripture the dead have no mental, spiritual or emotional ‘experiential existence’, they are dead and physically decaying, period! The time between their death and their resurrection, regardless of how long that may be, will pass as if it were immediate. The last conscious moment of this mortal life will be immediately followed by the first conscious moment of our immortal life as though there was no time lapse between the two events regardless of how much time actually existed between them. But I digress, let’s get back to the Greek word ‘Hades’ which Messiah Yahusha used in Matthew 16:18…
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18 KJV)
And G1161 I say also G2504 G3004 unto thee, G4671 That G3754 thou G4771 art G1488 Peter, G4074 and G2532 upon G1909 this G5026 rock G4073 I will build G3618 my G3450 church; G1577 and G2532 the gates G4439 of hell G86 shall not G3756 prevail against G2729 it. G846 (Matthew 16:18 KJV+)
As you can see above the word “hell “ is indeed the Greek word ‘hades’ marked with G86 defined further above.
So what did Messiah Yahusha mean when He said, “upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”? Well, in this case it would be good to be mindful of where Messiah Yahusha was actually standing when He spoke those words and we unequivocally know because we’re told in Matthew 16:13…
Now when יהושע came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His taught ones, saying, “Who do men say the Son of Aḏam is?” (Matthew 16:13 The Scriptures 2009)
Not only do we need to know where Messiah Yahusha was standing when He spoke those words but we need to know the history of that location.
Caesarea Philippi was previously known as Paneas located near the base of Caesarea Paneas also known as Mount Hermon, in Northeast Israel. It was at Mount Hermon where Baal worship reigned. Caesarea Philippi on the other hand, was the center of worship to the pagan ‘god of fertility and the wild’ known as Pan! I visited the site in 2007 and will share a picture or two of the site. The head waters of the Jordan river flow out of this mountain, gently today but evidently that wasn’t always the case. There is a cave there where human and goat sacrifices were offered to Pan by throwing them into the turbulent waters, if the sacrificial offering was pulled beneath the water it was a sign that the offering had been accepted. That cave was believed to be the portal to the underworld where Pan lived, it was called... “The Gates of Hell!”
Next door to Paneas or Caesarea Philippi at the foot of Mount Hermon is Dan where the Northern Tribes under the leadership of Jeroboam offered sacrifices to one of two Golden Calfs they had built! I’ve been there as well and will share pics.
So the sovereign took counsel and made two calves of gold, and said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Yerushalayim. See, your mighty ones, O Yisra’ěl, which brought you up from the land of Mitsrayim! And he set up one in Běyth Ěl, and the other he put in Dan. (1 Kings 12:28-29 The Scriptures 2009)
As I said before, the Golden Calf was an Egyptian Apis Bull Calf worshipped as a graven image of the pagan sun god Helios, also known as Saturn, which is where Saturday comes from, i.e. Saturn’s Day. Have you ever heard of a mythical creature known as a Satyr? Do you know what a Satyr looks like? It’s half human and half goat! Do you know what the pagan ‘god of fertility and the wild’ worshipped at Caesarea Philippi and known as Pan looks like? He is half human and half goat!
This is a Satyr...
That is Pan...
My point is this… all of this is pagan as hell and it only exists as a vividly wicked fairy tale in the imagination of men! This is not reality and when Messiah Yahusha says, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” He is saying that His Church will overcome this Satanic pagan nonsense that you see with your own eyes right here in Caesarea Philippi! The take away should be that if you’re caught up in the lies our fathers have inherited believing in a pagan hell that doesn’t exist then you’re defaming the Messiah’s name, character and power in your denial of His Omnipotent power to save! In so doing you’re not properly answering the question that every single one of us will eventually have to answer, “And you, who do you say I am?” as Peter did in Matthew 16:15-18…
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:15-18 KJV)
To know Yahusha as “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” you must know Him as He knows Himself to be and as Peter knew Him to be, THE SAVIOR OF ALL MANKIND which is exactly what the Apostle Peter taught in the Book of Acts as well as his second epistle…
“until the times of restoration of all matters” (Acts 3:21 The Scriptures 2009)
“And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” (Acts 3:25 The Scriptures 2009)
“Then Elohim has indeed also given to the nations repentance to life.” (Acts 11:18 The Scriptures 2009)
“not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 The Scriptures 2009)
We must all answer the question, “But whom say ye that I am?” If we answer,“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” without believing He is the Savior of ALL MANKIND, which is what Messiah Yahusha clearly believes Himself to be, then our faith is not efficacious!
Messiah Yahusha intentionally went out of His way to bring His disciples up from the Galilee to Caesarea Philippi for the express purpose of unfolding an ‘object lesson’ before their very eyes as they gazed upon “the gates of hell”, a pagan fairy tale conjured up in the wicked minds of men, making sure they understood that none of the paganism they were looking at directly in front of them with their own eyes would prevail against His church that He intended to build upon that rock! What rock? The rock that the pagan devotion to Pan had literally been carved into! In other words even those who worship in pagan circles, whether its Pan worship or any other pagan worship, will one day, either in this life or after the 2nd Resurrection, repent and become part of Messiah Yahusha’s church! HaSatan will not win!
But you’d never know any of that from these verses without knowing where Messiah was standing and what the history of that area was when He spoke those words to His disciples recorded in Matthew 16:15-18!
But paganism hasn’t given up just yet, Augustine of Hippo made sure of that! Everything that Messiah Yahusha instilled in His disciples that day in Caesarea Philippi was undermined 400 years later by Augustine of Hippo’s false teachings proclaiming a place of fiery eternal torment called ‘hell’ that has now held sway within the pseudo-Christian church for 1500 years! All of this is part of the plan of course, the sorting of the sheep and the goats has been going on since Adam and Eve and will continue to the very end!
The question is, “Are you a sheep or a goat?” Is our Creator both Omniscient and Omnipotent? Or was He blindsided by man’s sin and impotent to completely win the battle against man’s sin? Wasn't His shed blood an atonement for ALL MANKIND’S sin? If so, will He take possession of that which He has already paid for or will He get shortchanged by mankind’s free will? If He’s Omniscient and knew mankind would sin resulting in tens of BILLIONS of people living lives of eternal torment or experiencing eternal death and then created mankind anyway He is then indeed an ogre and His character in the eyes of men is rightfully destroyed. If He’s Omniscient and knew mankind would sin but put a plan in place to fully restore His creation after the fall and created mankind with a grand purpose in mind then He was justified to continue on with His plan to create and do so with His character intact and He is indeed endlessly merciful!
Let’s now fast forward to the 14th Century when Dante Alighieri, an acknowledged literary master and leader within the struggling divisions of the Roman Catholic Church, wrote his three act play titled ‘Divine Comedy’ between 1308 and 1320. The titles of the three acts of the play are ‘Inferno’, Purgatorio and Paradiso. The play is written as an allegorical fiction right out of the imagination of this masterful writer’s head and is considered an unmatched literary masterpiece of the medieval period. For my purposes here I’ll focus on Acts 1 and 2 titled ‘Inferno’ and ‘Purgatorio’ from which, more than likely unbeknownst to you, your concept of 'hell' probably comes from down through the ages as the tradition passed from one generation to the next taking on unquestionable authority along the way. I actually know a Messianic leader, an intelligent man, who claims to have had a dream of people walking off a cliff, nothing more, but his interpretation of the dream was that the people were going to their just reward falling into HELL! That is how engrained this is in our psyche!
With these two acts of poetic rendering Alighieri cements Augustine of Hippo’s pagan concept of both Hell and Purgatory into the minds of men in a wholesale abandonment of thoughtful, accurate exegesis of Scripture. In ‘Divine Comedy’ Dante tours ‘hell’ with his imaginary companion and guide, the real life Virgil (70-19 BC). It’s interesting to note that both Dante Alighieri and Jerome were both well versed in the writings of Virgil, a so-called ‘virtuous pagan’ of the Roman Empire. The play ‘Divine Comedy’ becomes so widely well received it’s as though the train had left the station and there was no return, the uncloaked paganism in ‘Divine Comedy’s’ 1st and 2nd Acts of ‘Inferno’ and ‘Purgatorio’ now reigned in the minds of men. In today’s lingo Dante’s play ‘Divine Comedy’ went ‘viral’! The superstitious people of the medieval age bought into Augustine’s paganism hook, line and sinker through Dante Alighieri’s vivid descriptions seeding their minds with word pictures of the unending torments that take place in hell and the hellish payments that must be made in purgatory. The end result is that people lost the Scriptural assurance of being “saved from physical death” once they die and adopted the unscriptural concept of being “saved from the eternal torments of hell”, a hell that doesn’t exist… never has, doesn’t now and never will! That is, saved, if you were good enough!
A good question to ask would be, “Where did Dante Alighieri get the idea to title his opening act ‘Inferno’?” Actually, it’s not hard to figure out, Dante got it from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate of the 4th Century, which translated both the Hebrew word ‘Sheol’ and the Greek word ‘Hades’ as ‘Inferno’ in Latin! This is the same double minded Jerome that once believed in Universal Salvation! It was also Jerome’s Latin Vulgate of the 4th Century that heavily influenced the King James Version translated in 1611 where Jerome’s Latin ‘inferno’ is translated as the English word ‘hell’! We’ll talk more about the true definitions of ‘Sheol’ and ‘Hades’ in the next blog.
If you’ve never heard any of this before it will seem too bizarre to be true, nevertheless it’s well documented by serious scholars within the faith. The King James Version of 1611 uses ‘hell’ 54 times while The Scriptures 2009 Version on the other hand NEVER uses the word ‘hell’! I can only encourage you to do your own research and discover the reality of it all for yourself.
Let's take it a step further, in the 16th Century the artist Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni is commissioned by Pope Paul III to paint the Last Judgment on the wall at the rear of the altar of the Sistine Chapel in Rome (1536-41). Michelangelo’s contemporaries dubbed him ‘il Divino’ - the divine one. But I ask you, how divine is a man who paints a pagan visage of Messiah Yahusha lifting the saved to heaven with one hand while casting the damned to purgatory and hell with the other?
The paganism found in the writings of Augustine, Jerome and Tertullian had now been vividly portrayed in the fresco known as Michelangelo’s ‘Last Judgment’, an image that has been burnt into the memory of every person that has ever seen it. They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I believe it to be true even if it’s a pagan picture! Michelangelo’s Last Judgment painting has influenced millions to believe it is an accurate rendering of the Scriptural future for both the blessed and the damned, when in fact it is misleading as ‘hell’!
Let’s now fast forward once again to yet another pivotal historical moment in the development of the apostate, pseudo-Christian Church. The date is July 8, 1741 and we’re about to consider what is widely proclaimed as both the greatest and the most famous sermon ever preached in American history… ‘Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God!’ as it was delivered in Enfield, Massachusetts, (now Connecticut) by Jonathan Edwards and to which is attributed the beginning of The First Great Awakening… Or was it just another leap of pagan grandeur produced by The First Great Delusion?
I’m going to include a couple Youtube videos that attempt to recreate Jonathan Edwards sermon ‘Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God!’
The first is narrated by the gifted Max McLean. It begins with an introduction by R.C. Sproul that tells us Jonathan Edwards got his depiction of hell from the bible itself, I assure you that is not true. If it weren't for brevity I'd list every verse Jonathan Edwards used in that sermon and prove beyond a shadow of doubt that Jonathan Edwards didn't get his 'hell' from the bible in any way shape or form. I challenge anyone to take any of the verses he used and make a case for hell with those verses and then allow me the time to counter examine the so-called biblical proof! I assure you it won't stand critical review! You know what, I've changed my mind, I will list every verse Edwards used in 'Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God' and I'll point out the obvious objections to using the verses to substantiate the existence of a place of fiery, eternal torment called hell, no Universalist worth their salt would ever think to offer anything less! You can access that list of verses used by Edwards in his sermon and the Universalist objections to each and every one of them at this link... Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God ~ Exposing The Eisegesis of Jonathan Edwards
No, Jonathan Edwards got his sense of hell from the Puritan Protestant Reformation theology that he was indoctrinated with as he grew up, being the child of a Puritan Protestant Reformation pastor. That childhood indoctrination was then solidified once he got to a Protestant Reformation university such as Yale which was immersed in Calvinistic doctrine. All of which led to a total Calvinistic Protestant Reformation interpretation, or better yet, misinterpretation of Scripture. It is eisigesis on the grandest of scales!
Literally every verse Jonathan Edwards uses in his sermon is either taken out of context or wildly misconstrued according to his denominational indoctrination! Not a single verse should ever have been used to substantiate a place of fiery eternal torment! 'Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God' is unrestrained Calvinism!
I encourage you to listen to this recreation of Jonathan Edwards' sermon 'Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God' and think deeply about whether any of this makes any sense. Judge for yourself, is the horrific, vivid imagery used by Jonathan Edwards supported by Scripture? Or is the vivid imagery reminiscent of a fictional horror movie conjured up in the mind of a man trying to scare the hell out of you and pad his résumé in the process? Does it resonate within your soul, does it bring you peace? Does it bring you closer to your Creator and Redeemer? Please, give it a listen and just contemplate on what is being said, "Is that really the character of Elohim?”
The second audio recreation of Jonathan Edwards' sermon 'Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God' is actually kind of funny, in a sick sort of way. It attempts to recreate the reaction of those of the congregation hearing the sermon in a dramatic rendering, which is actually quite well done. Give it a listen and you'll get the entire package delivered by Jonathan Edwards to the congregation in Enfield that day along with their supposed reaction. Again, if you choose to listen to this audio recreation of Johnathan Edwards' sermon do so with this thought in mind, "Is this really the character of my Creator and Redeemer?" or is it the vivid imagination of a horribly deceived man?
Does that dramatic recreation of Jonathan Edwards’ sermon ‘Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God! reflect the character of your Creator and Redeemer? I hope not!
Scaring the ‘hell’ out of people to coerce them to repent and “come to Jesus” is the completely wrong motive. The very opposite is true; a true faith relationship with Messiah Yahusha is developed through Messiah Yahusha's love for you and your response of love for Him and what He has already done for you! A woman doesn't love a man and look forward to marrying him because she fears if she doesn't he'll douse her with gasoline and set her on fire! I realize how vulgar that analogy is, and I apologize for it, but it is perfectly on point! The defamation of character inflicted upon the name of our Creator and Redeemer by the doctrine of 'hell' is just that vulgar!
Any Universalist worth their salt would love to debate this so-called “most famous sermon in American history”. In ‘Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God!’ Jonathan Edwards has compiled what would have to be a contender for the worst case of eisigesis ever recorded! I’m going to throw in a definition of ‘eisigesis’ according to Merriam Webster just so we’re all on the same page here.
Definition of eisegesis
: the interpretation of a text (as of the Bible) by reading into it one's own ideas.
Jonathan Edwards fell prey to his own preconceived notions of ‘hell’ being a literal construct that actually exists. Accordingly, he continues in his error proclaiming sin being of infinite value and therefore justifiably requiring infinite payment! In so doing he falls into error on two fronts, 1) While the payment for sin is beyond the purse strings of men, sin is not infinite in value! You can't achieve infinite sin through finite mortal mankind. 2) He evidently believes that men must pay for their sin. In the process he completely ignores Romans 5:14-19…
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:14-19 KJV)
Mankind doesn’t “owe” anything for their sin! Messiah Yahusha has paid that debt in full! Please, let me emphasize that point, you don’t “owe” the Father anything for your sin! You are bought and paid for! ALL MANKIND has been bought and paid for! It's a done deal! It is an affront to the Father for you to believe His Son’s payment wasn’t sufficient!!! ALL MANKIND has been redeemed from their sin debt through the GRACE of THE ALMIGHTY and now stand before Him ‘justified’ by the shed blood of The Lamb of YAH! What remains to be seen in the salvation process of being ‘born again’ is our ‘sanctification’ to be realized in our coming to ‘faith and obedience’ and He who paid our sin debt will insure that ALL MANKIND will indeed come to ‘faith and obedience’, either in this life or the next depending upon whether we’re one of the Elect or not.
Here is Jonathan Edward’s sermon ‘Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God!’ if you'd like to read it. If you don’t want to read the entire sermon at least read the last six paragraphs to get an idea of what Jonathan Edward’s concept of ‘hell’ was. Start with the paragraph that begins with…
“First, be entreated to consider attentively how great and awful a thing eternity is.”
Calvinists love Jonathan Edward’s sermon ‘Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God!’ as they believe that The Almighty is indeed Omnipotent to save but stubbornly refuses to save all showing His favor only to the Elect. The thought that The Almighty would torment the lost in flames of fire isn’t bad enough for Jonathan Edwards, he seems to think it possible that The Almighty might actually increase the sensitivity of these supposedly lost souls once they’re resurrected to The Great White Throne Judgment so that their torment can be even greater once they’re cast into The Lake of Fire! This my friends is the hellish pagan sickness that has invaded the minds of men!
Assuming that you have now read those last six paragraphs of ‘Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God!’ I’d like to ask… Does Jonathan Edward’s description of hell accurately portray the character of your Creator and Redeemer? Do bodies being eternally seared in the flames of hell like a marshmallow roasting over a fire pit bring you closer to Him? A moment for those in hell a billion, billion, billion years from now being as incredibly horrible as the first second they were cast into the flames with no hope of relief in sight. And for what? For many living outside the United States in third world countries it would be the crime of never having heard of a Creator, much less a Redeemer! The only thing that has been ‘seared in the flames of hell’ has been our present day conscience, our minds have become so calloused by the incomprehensible pagan threat of eternal torment that the words simply have no meaning! You don’t believe in hell, I don’t care what you say, if you did you’d go nuts trying to make sure all of your loved ones were certain to never experience it’s unending, fiery eternal torment! If you truly believed it you’d go insane! The pagan threat of hell no longer enslaves the mind of man… that once penetrating cry of “WOLF!” has lost its impact and no longer controls the unruly multitude within the church. We’re numb to it! Church goers live like hell and the heathen don’t give a damn about hell, instinctively rejecting any god that would include eternal torment as a tool of justice! And they're perfectly justified in doing so! ‘Infinite penalties’ for ‘finite crimes’ will never sell in the courts of a critical thinker’s mind. But a vacuum demands to be filled and before the last word of this series has been written that vacuum left behind by the ever more rejected pagan threat of a ‘place of fiery eternal torment called hell’ will indeed be filled with overflowing abundance found in the never changing, relentless love and reality of The Everlasting Gospel, the Good News of Universal Salvation!
I’ll wrap Part 2 up with this… I need you to visit this link, 'Summary Of Conclusions'. Actually, you need you to visit that link! It is the ‘Summary Of Conclusions’ detailed at the end of J.W. Hanson’s scholarly work contained in the volume of his book ‘Universalism The Prevailing Doctrine Of The Christian Church During Its First Five Hundred Years’. I mentioned the 29th Conclusion in Part 1 but I think all 31 Conclusions need to be read by anyone wanting to believe there is no hell, it will give you a firm foundation to stand on. It definitely needs to be read by those who adamantly believe there is a hell; you’ll play hell trying to hold on to your hell after reading these Early Church facts! The ‘Summary Of Conclusions’ very briefly sites 31 conclusive proofs that the Early Church did not believe in eternal torment but did in fact believe in Universal Restoration, the ‘apokatastasis’ spoken of in Acts 3:21, “the restoration of all things”, including the salvation of ALL MANKIND!
So what’s the bottom line after having taken a look at the historical pagan invasion of “the faith once delivered unto the saints”? It has to be this… “PAGANISM is ugly as HELL!” The pagan origins of ‘hell’ leave us with one irrefutable fact; a 'place of fiery eternal torment called 'HELL' has no place in the systematic theology of any sincere seeker of Messiah Yahusha!
Yahuah bless you and guard you;
Yahuah make His face shine upon you, and show favour to you;
Yahuah lift up His face upon you, and give you peace.”
(The Aaronic Blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 The Scriptures 2009 with my edits of the Hebrew Name)
This has been Part 2 of Where The Church Went Wrong! If you are intrigued by what you've read and would like to receive notifications when Parts 3 through 7 are eventually published, as well as all other future blogs, please consider signing up via the 'Log In/Sign Up' button located at the top right corner of this page.