Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Author of The Evangelical Universalist, editor of "All Shall Be Well" and coeditor of Universal Salvation?: The Current Debate Yes, use his real name for The Purpose That Shall Not Be Named. Yes, you can call him by his pseudonym, too (in posts, not for The Purpose). He's very easygoing. {g}

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Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Gregory MacDonald » Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:59 pm

Monday, May 19, 2008

Must a universalist believe that Satan will be saved?

Not necessarily. A universalist could believe that God will save all humans but perhaps not fallen angels. We could call that 'human universalism'.

But it has been pointed out that the logic of the arguments that I employ in chapter 1 of my book would entail a more radical conclusion - that God will redeem all fallen creatures, both human and angelic. Let's call this 'radical universalism'. So the question then becomes, "Does Gregory MacDonald believe that Satan will be saved?"

I confess to being agnostic on the issue. Agnostic not because the logic of my arguments is not clear but because I am not sure what to think about the Devil.

Is the Devil a personal being? Suppose that he is (perhaps he is a fallen angel, although Scripture never spells out his origins). If Satan was once a good spiritual person who was later corrupted then the logic of my position is indeed that God could and would redeem him. There are two problems with this and both are big.
1. Scripture indicates otherwise (Rev 20)
2. the Christian tradition is clear that Satan will not be redeemed (indeed, contrary to popular opinion, not even Origen claimed that Satan would be saved).
The only way that I can think to get out of this bind is to suggest that Lucifer (the good being created by God) will be saved but that Satan (the name for Lucifer-as-corrupted) will be destroyed. This is analogous to the way that God destroys our old natures in Christ and makes us new creations. If anyone is in Christ - new creation! Old things have passed away and all things have become new. Satan is dead. Long live Lucifer. But, I freely confess, this is very speculative and it is not what I actually believe.

Suppose then that Satan is not actually a personal being at all. Suppose that he is a personification of evil or, more plausibly, some kind of epiphenomena supervening on human evil (individual and social). I am thinking along the lines of Walter Wink here. On this view of Satan then even a radical universalist such as myself would insist that Satan cannot be saved. Indeed, quite the opposite! Satan must be purged from the created order in order for there to be radical, cosmic redemption.

If you have thoughts on this difficult topic please do post a comment.
Posted by Gregory MacDonald at 9:23 AM
13 comments:
James F. McGrath said...
I'm not inclined to think there is a personal being named "Satan", but if there were, the idea that such a being would be "beyond redemption" seems problematic from a Christian perspective.

I noted on my blog some time ago how strange it is that stories such as the Ramayana or Star Wars seem to treat the possibility of redeeming even one who has turned to evil more seriously than Christians do in this case.

May 19, 2008 10:46 AM


Anonymous said...
Here is a link that has a good perspective on it.

http://www.gods-kingdom-ministries.
org/WebLog/WebPosting.cfm?LogID=341

May 20, 2008 8:04 AM

Jason Pratt said...
Well, I believe in the existence of rebel supernatural entities, and that at any given time there must be (at least one {g}) Greatest Rebel, so while I'm not particular about names I would agree there's a Satan.

The hope I have for myself is the same hope I have for him.

Is his salvation testified to in scripture? I find that the hope of it is ("reconciling all things to Himself whether in the heavens or the earth", among other places); and if I can believe (which I easily can) that those in the lake of fire judgment can still be saved from sin by God, Who will continually persist at this, then that would go for Satan, the Beast and the False Prophet, too. We've been told they will be there for the eons of the eons, but that isn't the same as being hopeless about their salvation.

Moreover, there is imagery earlier in RevJohn testifying to the hope of the reclamation of those in the Abyss--for in one place it talks of there being no more sea (I take this to mean the emptying of hades per se at the resurrection of the dead), and yet in another place it speaks of the sea before the throne of God being smooth and clear as glass, i.e. at peace. The sea, in Jewish religious thought (and RevJohn is steeped in Jewish apocalyptic thought), typically represents the prison of the evil, chaotic rebel gods.


Another interesting bit of testimony of hope in favor of Satan's salvation, can be pieced together from the book of Job. Job's torment, though instigated by "the Satan", is permitted by YHWH for a particular reason stated by YHWH in the prologue of the story: so that "the Satan" may regard Job (a verb that is connected to learning.) Not incidentally, Job and his friends are quite sure that Leviathan, one of the primordial rebel dragons subdued by God and imprisoned in the sea, has no hope of being anything other than a loser rebel. But when God shows up to contend with Job, God points out that He has intentions not only to subdue Leviathan and Behemoth (i.e. Bahamut, another cosmic-dragon entity), but to tame them, bringing them back into the fold (so to speak), and even making covenant with them.

Another scriptural hint in this direction involves how Jesus treats demons, sometimes: He will command them to "phimeroo" (in Greek), which can mean several things. I was always partial to "be strangled", myself. {g} "Shut up!" would work as a colloquial meaning. But--it can also mean "be muzzled".

So yes, scripturally I find hints scattered around here and there (perhaps most importantly in RevJohn) that I can even have hope, in God, for Satan. At the very least, I can trust God to keep trying to save even Satan from sin--just like I can trust God to never give up on me. {s}

JRP

May 20, 2008 12:41 PM

Anonymous said...
I am an agnostic when it comes to the question of whether satan and the demons are "personal" and what that might mean, although I lean towards James view. If he (?) is a personal being, I agree with James that his being beyond redemption is problematic, since we are promised that God shall be all in all and that everything will be reconciled to God.

Jason. What about the beast in Revelation. Do you think that the beast too is a person? I think the easiest way to understand the beast with the background of Daniel is to view it as the Roman empire or some aspect thereof. And if this is the case, this might point in the direction of a non-personal satan too.
/Jonas Lundström
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May 20, 2008 1:24 PM

Jason Pratt said...
Jonas,

While the "wild beast" could be typographically understood as Imperial Rome, perhaps, in some places in RevJohn, there are other places where he seems identified (via "the number of the beast" which is explicitly mentioned to be that of a man) as Nero Caesar. Be that as it may, multiple typography is normal in canonical apocryphal prophecy, both OT and NT.

More to the point, the last we see of the "wild beast" in RevJohn, he (or it) is in the lake of fire and sulphur, where "they" (the beast, the false prophet and the Adversary) shall be tormented day and night into the eons of the eons.

Not much point tormenting a derivative abstraction like "an Empire"! (Though there might be some point tormenting citizens or members of an Empire, because those are persons.) Had the beast, here, represented a concept or state, such as "hades" and "death", it would make more sense for it to have been destroyed (like hades and death) by being thrown in the lake. (That goes for a Winkian Satan, too: what's the point of tormenting an epiphenomena supervening on human misbehavior, again?? Is that even possible in principle?! Sounds like a category error to me.)


So in the portion of scripture Gregory was concerned with, Rev 20, the Big Nasty Three rebels are treated as (duh) rebel persons, like the other rebel persons who were thrown in the lake of fire and sulphur. (Sulphur was the ancient form of medicine for curing infection, of course. {wry g})

If we have hope in God for one set of rebel person, we can have hope in God for the other set. Which I think everyone here agrees with in principle--the main question being whether there's any scriptural indication of that hope for rebel angel/gods. (Or Roguents as I like to call them in my novels. {g})

JRP

May 20, 2008 3:37 PM

Anonymous said...
Jason. Thanks. I am open to your argument, I will think about it.
/Jonas

May 21, 2008 2:20 AM

Jason Pratt said...
Btw, Greg, Chris over at Chrisendom has put up a new entry quoting the end of your book (as a counterpoint, perhaps, to Chris' frankly rather bizarre dismissal of the judgment of the sheep and the goats. That's the next entry down.)

JRP

May 21, 2008 9:43 AM

Edward T. Babinski said...
Hi Jason,
You seem to be stretching the idea of "no more sea," though I totally agree with you that the sea was considered a place of monsters in the O.T., like Rahab, and that Yahweh is described blowing his windy breath or spirit over it at creation, or in the case of the Exodus it is split by his windy breath, or Yawheh is described elsewhere attacking the sea, and in Ezekiel a monster is said to lay at the heart of the sea (a metaphor for an evil king I think).

But I don't think you can make much of a case for the salvation of Satan (or for universalism) out of the sea's absence as you seem to suppose.

I think the absence of the sea in Rev. can also be understood as the absence of primeval waters, such at those that overwhelmed creation during the Flood, and I think the ancients imagined their cosmos surrounded by cosmic waters above and below. (As for such flat earth imagery carrying over into first century Palestine see the book of Enoch and it's blatantly flat earth view of the cosmos, written a century of so before the N.T.)

I also see a difficulty in making much of the lack of a sea in Rev. when there are more explicit verses in Rev. such as people being "cast into a lake of fire whose smoke rises forever," which suggests either eternal torment or annihilationism, not universalism. Though I'm sure some universalists might want to argue that it refers to a refiner's fire. Still, the games one can play with words and metaphors and pictures.

I tend to view the N.T.'s apocalyptic and eschatological imagery as being derived from the O.T. and intertestamental period (the latter being the period when talk about "Satan's" role expanded, and demons and angels started being named, and the idea of eternal torment -- as in the book of Daniel, a work completed during the intertestamental period -- began to outpace the idea that everyone merely went to one and the same place, i.e., Sheol).

So, Jesus and the Gospel authors were men of their time, using such apocalyptic words and imagery that had arisen just before their time, and hence their views are no more necessarily accurate concerning the afterlife than the views of the O.T. Jews were who believed everyone went to Sheol.

As for what can be said about the afterlife today we have merely anecdotes from say, people who have had NDEs, and their experiences vary quite a lot. Including a Buddhist from Thailand who met a talking turtle god. While most NDEs involve no deities at all, but mostly involve a white light or sometimes meeting beings of some sort often identified as simply people. Meetings with divine beings who are recognized by name are far rarer among NDEs.

And of course some doubt that the Near Death Experience has anything to do with an afterlife.

May 26, 2008 6:45 AM

Jason Pratt said...
Ed,

Since “the sea” oftens refers in Jewish religious imagery to the prison of chaotic rebels against God, and continues to do so in the NT religious imagery (even if not quite as prevalently), I think it’s worth testing the identification in RevJohn to see how well it fits. Certainly RevJohn features the sea/swirling depths (i.e. “abyss”) as the home of rebel chaotic monsters, too; so the connection is hardly foreign to the text. Moreover, the “no more sea” interpretation fits directly into the “no more hades” concept later in RevJohn.

If I thought it was much of a stretch, I probably wouldn’t even be talking publicly about it. {s}

{{But I don't think you can make much of a case for the salvation of Satan (or for universalism) out of the sea's absence as you seem to suppose.}}

I don’t think I’m making as much of a case for the salvation fo Satan (or for universalism) out of the sea’s absence as you seem to suppose. {g} It’s more of an interesting side-observation; it adds a bit of inductive confirmation, for anyone who respects the texts, but I hardly need it.

{{I think the absence of the sea in Rev. can also be understood as the absence of primeval waters}}

Certainly; that’s how I understood it myself for years. But that’s far from excluding the further meaning.

{{when there are more explicit verses in Rev. such as people being "cast into a lake of fire whose smoke rises forever," which suggests either eternal torment or annihilationism}}

Annihilationism would be ruled out as a meaning by the subsequent results in the final chapter--the sinners there are hardly in any state of annihilation. Moreover, ‘eternal’ torment (in the sense you’re using ‘eternal’) is similarly ruled out by the continuing hope of their salvation in the final chapter. At the same time, there is something being obviously “annihilated” by being thrown into the lake of fire: death and ‘hades’. But that makes good enough poetic sense, in talking about the resurrection of the wicked as well as the good: can’t have a res of the good and the evil without the death of death-and-hades.

The smoke rising up “forever” is more specifically rising up “into the eon”. Not necessarily the same thing as what translators typically mean by “forever” (though it could be that, too.) It ought to be obvious, though, that the smoke is a change-result brought about by the fire, and that this smoke is rising to God. (It is even specifically compared to incense.)

The question of what this means has to depend on what is true about the character of God; not the other way around. People have been in a habit of interpreting it in much the same fashion as they’ve been in a habit of rendering “shepherding” as “ruling” in chapter 19.

{{Though I'm sure some universalists might want to argue that it refers to a refiner's fire.}}

Pretty much, yeah; not least because the same refiner’s-fire imagery is not uncommon in the scriptures in talking about those whom God is acting toward saving from sin.

{{Still, the games one can play with words and metaphors and pictures.}}

Which is why I don’t base my conclusion primarily on the words and metaphors and pictures. Nevertheless, I’d be being irresponsible if I didn’t check to see if the imagery could feasibly support the notion.


{{So, Jesus and the Gospel authors were men of their time, using such apocalyptic words and imagery that had arisen just before their time}}

And it’s impossible that they were using the words and imagery for different purposes? Or that the different purposes could be more accurate or in some way better?

I think it’s pretty obvious that they weren’t only doing what came before, whether in regard to the testamental or intertestamental periods. Still, there’d be a strong cultural pressure pushing back toward earlier meanings, too; especially insofar as the authors are routinely advocating respect for the texts that came before them.

JRP

May 27, 2008 8:49 AM

joel said...
The possibility, though not certainty, of Satan's salvation was an element of Christian tradition among the Greek Fathers Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, and Maximos the Confessor. See e.g. the extensive discussion here: http://www.theandros.com/restoration.html

May 27, 2008 5:58 PM

Gregory MacDonald said...
Joel

Thanks for that link

GM

May 31, 2008 12:39 PM

qraal said...
Another perspective is that "Satan" is doing a job - that of testing weak-willed humans - and eventually will be finished in that role. Thus Satan isn't 'evil' as such. That's the view in "The Clementine Recognitions" so it's an old viewpoint.

June 7, 2008 4:48 PM

James Goetz said...
Gregory, I'm convinced that Satan will eventually repent while God will graciously reconcile with Satan. And as I wrote in my blog article Orthodoxy and Gregory of Nyssa's Universalism, 1 Peter 3:18-20 teaches that Christ preached the gospel to fallen incarnate angels in hell so we have a biblical precedent for the possible redemption of fallen angels.

August 13, 2008 5:26 PM
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Gabe » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:46 pm

GM wrote: Satan must be purged from the created order in order for there to be radical, cosmic redemption.


I think you're spot on!
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby auggybendoggy » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:19 pm

Am I right in my recollection that Talbott sees it that lucifer will be reconcile while Satan is destroyed? I thought I read something of that notion in his book? Perhaps when he's ready to come on he might give some insight.
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby JeffA » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:06 am

Whoever or whatever Satan is he/it seems to me in the Bible to be fairly clearly shown to be an agent of God; very firmly under God's control and has a role to play in the cosmic and earthly drama (for reasons best known to God - all 3 of them ;) ). I can't see any good reason for Satan (if that is a person as opposed to a concept of evil) not to be reconciled.

As for Lucifer/Satan I know many people don't believe the former fell to become the latter.
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby JasonPratt » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:26 am

JeffA wrote:Whoever or whatever Satan is he/it seems to me in the Bible to be fairly clearly shown to be an agent of God; very firmly under God's control and has a role to play in the cosmic and earthly drama (for reasons best known to God - all 3 of them ;) ).


There's that to be considered, too. The OT book of Job has perhaps the most nuanced presentation of Satan/Leviathan in the Bible.
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Michael » Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:58 am

JeffA wrote:Whoever or whatever Satan is he/it seems to me in the Bible to be fairly clearly shown to be an agent of God; very firmly under God's control and has a role to play in the cosmic and earthly drama (for reasons best known to God - all 3 of them ;) ). I can't see any good reason for Satan (if that is a person as opposed to a concept of evil) not to be reconciled.


If he/it is simply (i.e. knowingly, willingly, and obediently?) playing a God-assigned role, would there not seem little reason for him/it to be "tormented unto the age of ages"?

Jason Pratt said
Well, I believe in the existence of rebel supernatural entities, and that at any given time there must be (at least one {g}) Greatest Rebel, so while I'm not particular about names I would agree there's a Satan.

The hope I have for myself is the same hope I have for him.


Gregory of Nyssa (who surely counts as something in the history of the Church, being named a "doctor of the Church," "The flower of Orthodoxy" and "father of fathers" by eccumenical council) certainly agreed with you Jason.

We certainly believe, both because of the prevailing opinion, and still more of Scripture teaching, that there exists another world of beings besides, divested of such bodies as ours are, who are opposed to that which is good and are capable of hurting the lives of men, having by an act of will lapsed from the nobler view, and by this revolt from goodness personified in themselves the contrary principle; and this world is what, some say, the Apostle adds to the number of the “things under the earth,” signifying in that passage that when evil shall have been some day annihilated in the long revolutions of the ages, nothing shall be left outside the world of goodness, but that even from those evil spirits shall rise in harmony the confession of Christ’s Lordship.

(On the Soul and the Resurrection)

He (Christ) accomplished all the results before mentioned, freeing both man from evil, and healing even the introducer of evil himself. For the chastisement, however painful, of moral disease is a healing of its weakness.

(The Great Catechism, ch. XXVI)

As to the whole question of freewill vs. Providence, I don't see them as mutually exclussive concepts (and I suppose that makes me a Mollinist, though I was unfamiliar with the term until I read Gregory MacDonald's book.)
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Geoffrey » Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:34 pm

Thanks for those quotes, Michael. I was going to post the one from St. Gregory of Nyssa's Great Catechism, but you beat me to it! :mrgreen:
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Ron Hackel » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:28 pm

John in Revelation is looking at the new earth-the recreated earth that Lucifer has destroyed by us using his principles-the law of greed. If you look at the picture the Jews were given of the earth at creation the firmament was sandwiched between water. The fountains of the deep and a layer of water in the highest level of our atmosphere. At the time of the flood the fountains of the deep were released and now are our present day oceans. The layer of water in the upper most layer was destroyed by the jettisoned steam that was coming from the core of the earth.

On the sixth day of creation God looked on the earth and said everything was very good. If everything was very good there obviously have been dramatic changes since the time of the flood. If everything was very good at creation radio-active materials could not have been on the surface of the earth. They cause cancer and can be used by man to destroy the planet many times over. If however the radio-active materials and our oceans were in the core everything would indeed be very good.

The decay of the R.A. materials would heat the fountains of the deep producing steam which would heat and water the entire planet from below. We store spent R.A. materials in caves because the granite walls contain the radioactivity. So the granites in the mantle would not allow radioactivity to the surface. When oil wells are first opened, they gush because they are under tremendous pressure. After a while the pressure is reduced and drillers then force steam through the granite mantle to force the remaining oil out. So everything I stated would have been physically possible.

If God created the world to be inhabited as he states the oceans are huge wastes of space. Again if they are under the mantle in the core they serve a purpose that is indeed very good. We need water for plants but the steam forced through the granites would have been a far superior way of doing it. Now we either can get too much and have floods or to little and have droughts. The rain packs the soil and splashes micro-organisms onto the plants causing diseases. If the oceans were in the core and were heated by the R.A. material the entire earth would have had the same temperature and constant access to moisture as God said "very good". The Bible does say mist came up from the earth and watered the whole surface.

The layer of water around the earth in the upper level of the atmosphere would have been solid ice or ice crystals. Either way it would have been super cold water at that elevation. Super cold water acts as a magnet. Since the earth is a magnet they would have repulsed each other. God created gravity which would have offset the repulsion and kept the layer in place. Having a layer of ice in the upper level of our atmosphere would have filtered out all x-rays which destroy cells, gamma rays and UV which cause cancer and cell mutations. So before the flood very good, after, not so much.

If the R.A. materials would have started to increase past the rate God had set them the fountains of the deep would have caused excess steam which would have finally fractured the earth releasing the fountains of the deep and causing it to rain for forty days as the steam cooled and came back to the earth. If you overheat an egg in a micro-wave it will jerk violently just prior to shattering. Our earth is at a 28 degree angle which causes hot and cold areas from the uneven heating of the surface. This causes wind patterns. The wind over Northern Africa blows continually from the east and acts like a blast furnace killing vegetation at the western edge of the Sahara. The desert is still expanding. And determining the rate of expansion its age can be determined, which corresponds to what the Bible says is the time of the flood. The meeting of cold and hot areas is what causes all our severe weather. Hurricanes, tornadoes and violent thunderstorms are all a consequence of the earth's tilt. So before the flood very good and after not so much.

2 PETER 3 : 7 "By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men."

The fountains of the deep are no longer in the core so if the R.A. materials would again overheat it would not blow at 212 degrees as the first time. This time it would continue until the solid materials became vapor which would mean thousands of degrees.

2 PETER 3 :10 "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief! The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

If you investigate radio-active materials on the net you will see that they estimate that they cause about 80% of the heat generated in the core.

Here is the kicker. In May of 2012 Purdue reported that the decay rate of all materials has started to increase. Their findings have been verified by a number of other schools. I also heard two news reports on mind studies. In one case they concentrated on positive and negative thoughts while freezing water. The positive thoughts caused no change, but the negative thought caused the ice to be cloudy and a strange crystaline structure. The other study said they changed the decay rate of a material when they concentrated on negative thoughts.

At the flood God said man's thoughts were evil continually. If you read the description that Paul gives of the endtime in 2 Timothy 3 : 1 it is a very good definition of what God said it was at the flood. God says (Zec 4:6 & 1 John 5:6) that he does nothing by might nor power but by the truth. So if he is demonstrating to the universe the defects in the law of greed compared to the law of love would he be grieved he created us, not mad but sad if they were suffering as mankind is today? If this is a demonstration to prove Lucifer's accusations wrong no one has to die eternally. But to prove what happens if you follow the law of greed some might have to explode on this planet as part of the demonstration. If God raises everyone prior to the earth being destroyed as the Bible states, what happens to those who have believed what the churches teach about a God of wrath. Would they run in fear? Would they die the second death in a lake of fire?
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Cole » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:43 am

Perhaps Satan and his angels (beast & false prophet) will be tormented day and night forever and ever. While wicked humans are thrown into the eternal Lake Of Fire they don't stay there forever. They are purified. How do I know? Because the Bible says God is the Savior of all people - especially them that believe. He desires all to be saved and is not willing that any should perish and the God of the Bible always accomplishes His purposes.

What about the Book Of Life?

The Book of the living in the Old Testament is different from the Book of Life in the New. If you will notice in the Bible when God regenerates someone it will sometimes mention that He changes their name. Well, based on this we can see that the people in the Lake Of Fire receive a new name after they are purified. It is this name that was written in the Book Of Life from the foundation of the world.
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Michael » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:14 am

Most of us define God as the ground and source of all being.

And C.S. Lewis (a mere man) said "...there is a difficulty about disagreeing with God. He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes: you could not be right and He wrong any more than a stream can rise higher than it's own source. When you are arguing against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on."
(Mere Christianity, pg. 48.)

If this is the true definition of God, and Satan and his angels know Him as the ground and source of all being, wouldn't they know that nothing they do could possibly thwart His purposes, and that all their efforts must end up serving His plan?

Why then would they bother fighting God, tempting men, planting false doctrines in the Church, planing and sceeming, etc.?

And doesn't James 2:19 imply that they do in fact know that there is a Supreme Being who is the ground and source of all being?

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

If they know that, and they have even average human intelligence, wouldn't they know that they're wasting their time?
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby DaveB » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:26 am

"Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven" ?
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Michael » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:16 am

DaveB wrote:"Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven" ?


Except that it isn't better to reign in hell than serve in heaven in God's estimation, and if they had even the human intelligence of C.S. Lewis, wouldn't they have to know that He's right and they're wrong?

That (as C.S. Lewis said) "...there is a difficulty about disagreeing with God. He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes: you could not be right and He wrong any more than a stream can rise higher than it's own source. When you are arguing against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on"?
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby steve7150 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:22 am

If he/it is simply (i.e. knowingly, willingly, and obediently?) playing a God-assigned role, would there not seem little reason for him/it to be "tormented unto the age of ages"?











I think the greek word translated as "tormented" was also used to mean "refine" as in refining something into a precious metal. I think that most likely Satan was always Satan.
There are some verses that seem to say that "creation" will be reconciled to God.
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Michael » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:13 am

So, in your view, Satan is a faithful servant just consciously doing a job that someone has to do, and that God gave him?

Did you ever see "Wholly Moses"?

Herschel meets the devil outside Sodom (he was played by the late John Ritter, I believe) where he's come to collect souls and complains of the dirty job God's given him.

He says that one day God just handed him the red suite he was wearing and said "try this on for size," and I'm always reminded of that when I talk to those who believe God created the devil as is.

Does anyone else have any thoughts?
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby DaveB » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:54 am

Let me be more clear - The point of reigning in Hell is not a matter of knowledge, it's a matter of pride. I have known people that would rather experience some kind of pain that admit they are wrong.
The devil may NOT be smarter than us - if his understanding is warped, he probably is a fool. Angels may see some things we cannot yet see, but it works both ways, I think.
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Michael » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:34 am

DaveB wrote:The devil may NOT be smarter than us - if his understanding is warped, he probably is a fool.


Granted.

But if "One God" means that there's one Ground and Source of all being, and if James 2:19 is true (and the demons know that there's such a God), how could he be fool enough to think he could succeed in opposing God's ultimate purposes?

How could he expect to destroy Job if he knew that the All knowing Ground and Source of all being was on Job's side?

How could he not anticipate that in the end his efforts could only serve to further God's plan, if God is what we believe Him to be, and he knows God to be what we believe Him to be?
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby DaveB » Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:52 am

Michael, I see your point, and it's a good one.
I wonder if, like humans, satan's understanding is darkened, perhaps even more than ours is. (If they eye that is in us is dark, how great is that darkness) Something evil cannot rise above its 'evilness' and still retain the intellectual good. Perhaps he is a slave to his desires, his lusts, his perversions, but loves them anyway, much as people do.
The demons may tremble, but it might be just as much rage as fear, and it does push them to further rage, perhaps.

Could it be that satan is Insane? That would make sense.

A lot of 'perhapses' in there. :-) What do you think of the insanity theory?
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Michael » Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:16 pm

DaveB wrote:Perhaps he is a slave to his desires, his lusts, his perversions, but loves them anyway, much as people do.


You brought this passage to mind.

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. (John 8:44.)

DaveB wrote:Could it be that satan is Insane? That would make sense.

A lot of 'perhapses' in there. :-) What do you think of the insanity theory?


I think being a slave to irrational lusts would be a type of insanity, so it kinda ties in with your first comment.

Thank you.
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Origen; » Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:09 pm

steve7150 wrote:If he/it is simply (i.e. knowingly, willingly, and obediently?) playing a God-assigned role, would there not seem little reason for him/it to be "tormented unto the age of ages"?


I think the greek word translated as "tormented" was also used to mean "refine" as in refining something into a precious metal. I think that most likely Satan was always Satan.
There are some verses that seem to say that "creation" will be reconciled to God.


Torment brings to mind the weeping & gnashing of teeth in the gospels, as in sorrow & self hatred for sins.

It seems the word "unto" in "unto ages of the ages" (Rev.20:10) can mean "into", with a purpose, & not necessarily for the entire duration of:

http://biblehub.com/greek/1519.htm
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Paidion » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:46 pm

Just a word about the meaning of "βασανιζω" (basanizō). The lexicon provided in the Online Bible program states as its first meaning:
to test (metals) by the touchstone, which is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver by the colour of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal.

Also the English word "basalt" is derived directly or indirectly from this word.

So in Revelation 20:10, by analogy, the devil and the false prophet will be tested in the Lake of Fire from time to time until they are purified, and the test indicates that this is the case.

So perhaps the best translation of Revelation 20:10 is:

And they will be tested day and night for ages and ages.
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby JasonPratt » Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:30 am

I know a popular recent rebuttal to that interpretation of the term, among annihilationists at least, is that the usage is archaic to the time of RevJohn -- it used to mean that, but didn't anymore by the time of the latter half of the first century.

I haven't seen the details on this rebuttal argument yet; but certainly the OT hadn't stopped being used at the time of writing RevJohn (whenever that was), and the OT typically uses refining language for remedial and disciplinary-training action. Put together with a functional analogy of what the 'basin/sea of fire' did in Temple worship (clean sacrifices to be acceptable and pleasing to God), and I think we're still in business there.

Paidion wrote:Also the English word "basalt" is derived directly or indirectly from this word.


It just occurred to me to wonder if "basin" is also derived from this word!
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Origen; » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:23 pm

Can there be any question of Satan's eventual salvation from Revelation 5:13?

This includes everyone in the universe, including the dead and demons:

Rev.5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

John speaks of "every creature" & to emphasize this again he repeats "and all that are in them":

Rev.5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

This worship (v.13) uses the same worshipful words as the redeemed of vs 9-10 use in v.12:

12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

All this being in the context of salvation - "the Lamb that was slain" (v.12 & 13).
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Origen; » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:19 pm

Gregory MacDonald wrote:Is the Devil a personal being? Suppose that he is (perhaps he is a fallen angel, although Scripture never spells out his origins). If Satan was once a good spiritual person who was later corrupted then the logic of my position is indeed that God could and would redeem him. There are two problems with this and both are big.
1. Scripture indicates otherwise (Rev 20)
2. the Christian tradition is clear that Satan will not be redeemed (indeed, contrary to popular opinion, not even Origen claimed that Satan would be

[snip]

Suppose then that Satan is not actually a personal being at all.




Since that comment was posted it seems the OP may have modified his opinion on Origen's view of the salvation of Satan:

http://theologicalscribbles.blogspot.ca ... devil.html

Re the remark about "the Christian tradition", it seems likely that the view that Satan is not a person, but a thing, has been even less a part of "Christian tradition" than the view that Satan will eventually be saved. At least in the early church. In fact it seems possible that Satan's salvation was a "Christian tradition", if not "the" Christian tradition, during times in the early church, in the sense of what was believed by many, if not most, Christians.

No church creed until around at least about 500 A.D. condemned either the belief in eventual universalism or the ultimate salvation of all fallen angelic beings. Origen, Gregory Nyssa, Jerome, St Isaac the Syrian & other church fathers were among those who proclaimed the final universal reconciliation of all created beings.Clement of Alexandria, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Jerome, Diodorus of Tarsus, Theodore of Mopsuestia & the Ambrosiaster writing are included, with qualifications, by the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Apocatastasis, which states the doctrine was not formally condemned until 543 AD. "The doctrine was thenceforth looked on as heterodox by the Church." Thereafter followed the dark ages of the next 1000-1400 years, including Inquisitions, Crusades, burning of opposers & their writings, denial of freedoms such as freedom of religion & freedom of speech. Do we really want to follow the "Christian traditions" that bore that fruit?

Apocatastasis: "A name given in the history of theology to the doctrine which teaches that a time will come when all free creatures will share in the grace of salvation; in a special way, the devils and lost souls." http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01599a.htm

On Origen's belief in the devil's salvation, see Ramelli's tome on Apocatastasis, p24, 144-155+ at: http://www.faulknerfornewyork.com/libra ... &type=full

"Rufinus shows that in his exegetical works Jerome once approved of Origen’s doctrine of apokatastasis, which he now rejects...In fact, in Jerome’s commentaries, the eventual universal restoration (restitutio) frequently appears, at first to be approved of, then to be rejected" [p.18, 628-631, Ramelli, Apocatastasis].

"...the Acts of Thomas cite Bardaisan, a supporter of apokatastasis." (Ramelli, Apocatastasis, p.80)

In "Acts of Thomas...the devil literally dissolves into smoke and disappears, thus showing its non-being..." [Ramelli, p.81]

"In Acts of Philip...the demons announce their decision to serve the Good (and therefore Christ and his apostles)" [Ramelli, p.85-6]

"Didymus too, another radical Origenian author and supporter of the doctrine of apokatastasis, including the restoration of the devil, describes Bardaisan very positively." [Ramelli, p.116, 290]

"As Clement and Origen did, Didymus also insists that every action of divine Providence is aimed at the salvation of rational creatures" [Ramelli, p.307]

"...not only of Origen and the Origenians, but also of his[Basil's] brother Gregory, his sister Macrina, and his friend Gregory Nazianzen, who also believed in apokatastasis, as I shall argue in the next section." [Ramelli, p.357]

"Macrina, like Origen, regards Phil 2:9–10 as a prediction of the submission-salvation of all rational creatures, angels, humans, and demons, after their purification: "I believe that the divine Apostle […] meant that universal harmony of all rational nature that one day will obtain in the Good […] when finally, after long cycles of aeons, evilness has disappeared, only the Good will remain, and even those creatures [sc. the demons] will concordantly and unanimously admit the sovereignty of Christ." [Ramelli, p.378]

"Evagrian Origenism in the desert probably also contributed to the diffusion of the idea of the devil’s salvation. Indeed, Epiphanius concludes his letter by expressing alarm for the diffusion of “Origenism” in Palestine promoted by the Evagrian Palladius." [Ramelli, p.486, 582]

"Cyril explains that the Son’s submission to the Father is not a sign of the Son’s inferiority, but he submits from the point of view of the salvific economy, for our sake. Since the human being, having sinned, ended up with being submitted to corruption, and, because of the devil and the demons, detached itself from God […] then the Only-Begotten became a human being for our sake, and has annihilated [κατήργηκε] the power of
death and also eliminated [ἐξῆρε] the root of death, which is sin; he threw out [ἐξέβαλε] the ruler of this world. After doing all this and bringing the whole salvific economy to completion, he will hand to the Father the Kingdom that once upon a time had been stolen from him and had passed under the power of others, so to exert his power over all beings on earth, after restoring them [ἀποκαταστήσας], having them return to himself, once he has annihilated [κατηργημένου] death and satan, who had tyrannised them, the Son will have again, and for the world to come, the excellence of the power over all [πάντων]." [Ramelli, p.599-600]

"Synesius’s very notion of the rational beings is close to that of Origen: human souls and good and bad demons can either elevate themselves
toward God or fall down toward matter and evil. In his ninth Anacreontic Ode Synesius celebrates Christ’s descent to hell: there, he “liberated the souls from their sufferings.” In his Ode to the Saviour as well, Synesius emphasises the role of Christ’s descent to hell: being God, Christ in his tomb purified the earth, the air, and even demons and hell, “the depth beneath depth.” In this way, he made himself a “help to the dead.” [Ramelli, p.603]

"Among these objects of rational investigation Rufinus included the restoration of the devil, an “opinion” [Ramelli, p.647]

"Sudhaili explains the nature of the Good and the ascent of the mind toward it, stating that “All rational essences glorify and love the Essence from which they were separated.” For it is from the primordial Essence that the spiritual and material universe proceeded. Sudhaili embraces the idea of the eventual end of punishments in the next word, whose function is thought to be purifying rather than retributive. In line with Nyssen’s view, the final restoration will include even demons and the devil, whose redemption is minutely described in the Book, in a chapter entitled On the Repentance of Those Below." [Ramelli, p.692]

"Clement, Origen, Gregory of Nyssa and others who laid such emphasis on human free will and the possibility of conversion and redemption at any stage, even for demons, thanks to the healing and enlightening work of Christ-Logos." [Ramelli, p.693]

Isaac the Syrian, see p.762

Eriugena p.770, 785

Ambrose p.798-9, 801

"Origen, and Eriugena with him, underline that God will be not only in few or in many, but in all, absolutely, once both evil and death have vanished altogether...But the devil is not destroyed in his substance, which is good in that it is a creature of God, but rather his perverse will shall be abolished..." [Ramelli, p.792,7]

"Salvation surely is universal, and coincides with the universal restoration, so that it is safe to assume that for Eriugena apokatastasis will in fact be tantamount to universal salvation." [[Ramelli, p.808]

"God being the absolute Good, when God is “all in all” evil has vanished altogether, according to its ontological non-subsistence. I have shown that especially for Gregory of Nyssa the eventual apokatastasis will be, not only the oikeiōsis of all creatures to God, who is their prōton oikeion, but also and especially the Godhead’s own glorious and definitive act of oikeiōsis or re-appropriation of what belongs to it, that is, all of its creatures, which were alienated by evil. When they all, after purification and instruction, finally reject evil, then evil—which is no being, but the result of a wrong choice—will utterly disappear. This is a point on which Origen, Eusebius,Gregory of Nyssa, Evagrius, Ps. Dionysius, Maximus the Confessor and other Fathers insist. In his In Illud: Tunc et Ipse Filius Gregory depicts with special effect the final triumphal march of the Good (that is, God), which conquers all evil, from the slightest to the worst, ending up with the conquest of the devil himself. Destruction of evil coincides with the transformation of all sinners and their return to the Good/God." [Ramelli, p.824]

"We can set no limits to the agency of the Redeemer to redeem, to rescue, to discipline in his work, and so will he continue to operate after this life. –Clement of Alexandria"

"Clement of Alexandria (150-215) “And not only for our sins,'-that is for those of the faithful,-is the Lord the propitiator, does he say, 'but also for the whole world.' He, indeed, saves all; but some He saves, converting them by punishments; others, however, who follow voluntarily He saves with dignity of honour; so 'that every knee should bow to Him, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth;' that is, angels, men, and souls that before His advent have departed from this temporal life." (Fragments, 1:3, c. 2, v. 2)"

"The Son "breaking in pieces" His enemies is for the sake of remolding them, as a potter his own work; as Jeremiah 18;6 says: i.e., to restore them once again to their former state. --Eusebius of Caesarea (265 to 340 A.D). Bishop of Caesarea"

"Gregory of Nyssa (A.D. 330-394) "A certain deception was indeed practised upon the Evil one, by concealing the Divine nature within the human; but for the latter, as himself a deceiver, it was only a just recompense that he should be deceived himself: the great adversary must himself at last find that what has been done is just and salutary, when he also shall experience the benefit of the Incarnation. He, as well as humanity, will be purged." (The Great Catechism, 26, newadvent.org/fathers/2908.htm)"

"Our Lord is the One who delivers man [all men], and who heals the inventor of evil himself. -- Gregory of Nyssa (332-398 A.D.)"

"Origen (185-254) "If, then, that subjection be held to be good and salutary by which the Son is said to be subject to the Father, it is an extremely rational and logical inference to deduce that the subjection also of enemies, which is said to be made to the Son of God, should be understood as being also salutary and useful; as if, when the Son is said to be subject to the Father, the perfect restoration of the whole of creation is signified, so also, when enemies are said to be subjected to the Son of God, the salvation of the conquered and the restoration of the lost is in that understood to consist." (De Principiis, 3:5:7)"

"In the end or consummation of things, all shall be restored to their original state, and be again united in one body. We cannot be ignorant that Christ's blood benefited the angels and those who are in hell; though we know not the manner in which it produced such effects. The apostate angels shall become such as they were created; and man, who has been cast out of paradise, shall be restored thither again. And this shall be accomplished in such a way, that all shall be united together by mutual charity, so that the members will delight in each other, and rejoice in each other's promotion. The apostate angels, and the prince of this world, though now ungovernable, plunging themselves into the depths of sin, shall, in the end, embrace the happy dominion of Christ and His saints." – COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT – Jerome (347-420 A.D.)

"It is interesting that many of these comments touch on the concept that is well-articulated by C.S. Lewis' mentor, George McDonald, in his sermon, "The Consuming Fire." The concept is that God himself is the consuming fire and he will burn away all our iniquities, including those of Satan, who will emerge from the experience as the purified Lucifer, as he was created to be. This is what at is pictured in Isaiah 66:24 where all beings will look upon their old selves as carcasses burning in God's eternally consuming fire. To understand this picture one must realize that the perspective is that of a totally redeemed eternal being looking back on his or her past life and sensing some regret for their own sins. This concept allows for a new understanding of what Jesus meant when he said that the lake of fire is reserved for the devil and his angels (Mt. 25:41), which is the same thing as the river of fire in Daniel 7:10, which is the same thing as the river of life in Ezekiel 47:1-11 (who is Jesus as he describes himself in John 4:10-13)."

As to the extent among Christians of the belief in the devil's eventual salvation, feel free to peruse the following:

1. "Augustine, the champion of eternal torment said in his day, "There are very many (imo quam plurimi, which can be translated majority) who though not denying the Holy Scriptures, do not believe in endless torments." (Enchiria, ad Laurent. c. 29)"

The Augustine quote, in the context of chapters 111 & 112, appears to include fallen angels, & imply their ultimate salvation.
http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/auge ... 7-122.html

2. "St. Basil the Great (c. 329-379) in his De Asceticis wrote: "The mass of men (Christians) say that there is to be an end of punishment to those who are punished." "(The Ascetic Works of St. Basil, pp.329-30...Conc. 14 De. fut judic).

If there is an end of punishment to those punished, then what is left but universal salvation, even of devils?

3. "St. Jerome (342-420), the author of the Vulgate Latin Bible...writes: "I know that most persons understand by the story of Nineveh and its King, the ultimate forgiveness of the devil and all rational creatures." " [Commentary on Jonah 3:6-9]

I welcome any comments.

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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Paidion » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:47 pm

Origen re the Reconciliation of the Devil to God

The Reconciliation of All things to God (Including the Devil!)

The restoration to unity must not be imagined as a sudden happening. Rather it is to be thought of as gradually effected by stages during the passing of countless ages. Little by little and individually the correction and purification will be accomplished. Some will lead the way and climb to the heights with swifter progress, others following hard upon them; yet others will be far behind. Thus multitudes of individuals and countless orders will advance and reconcile themselves to God, who once were enemies; and so at length the last enemy will be reached. ...
De Principiis, III.vi.6


Through His Repentance, the Devil (as such) Shall Be Destroyed

When it is said that ‘the last enemy shall be destroyed’, it is not to be understood as meaning that his substance, which is God's creation, perishes, but that his purpose and hostile will perishes; for this does not come from God but from himself. Therefore his destruction means not his ceasing to exist but ceasing to be an enemy and ceasing to be death. Nothing is impossible to omnipotence; there is nothing that cannot be healed by its Maker. De Principiis, 1.vi.1-4
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Origen; » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:36 pm

Gregory MacDonald wrote:Is the Devil a personal being? Suppose that he is (perhaps he is a fallen angel, although Scripture never spells out his origins). If Satan was once a good spiritual person who was later corrupted then the logic of my position is indeed that God could and would redeem him. There are two problems with this and both are big.
1. Scripture indicates otherwise (Rev 20)



Regarding problem 1 (re Rev.20:10) above, it is suggested "very tentatively", in the excellent book "The Evangelical Universalist" [2nd ed, 2012, by Gregory MacDonald i.e. Robin Parry], that Satan tormented "for ever and ever" (A) does not refer to a person but a thing or (B) the Satan in Satan is destroyed, but the Lucifer in Satan is saved, on pages 128-132 at:

https://books.google.ca/books?id=cUVJAw ... ne&f=false

And that both (A) & (B) say Satan being tormented "forever & ever" is not to be taken literally, but understood metaphorically. The example is given of the city of Babylon not being literally tormented. Annihilationists view Rev.20:10 in similar ways (e.g. The Fire That Consumes, Fudge, p.245-8).

The book "The Evangelical Universalist" also offers viewpoint (C) that "forever and ever" (literally, into the ages of the ages, Rev.20:10) can refer to a limited though very long period of time. However this view is dismissed because if "one considers the other uses of 'eis aionas aionon' (in Revelation 1:6, 8; 4:9-10; 5:13; 7:12; 10:6; 11:15; 15:7; 22:5), most of them do seem to refer to things that last forever and ever, and this is a strong reason to see the phrase as having this meaning in Revelation 14 and 20 when it describes the duration of rising smoke and of the punishment of the demonic trinity" (p.128). That is a common argument as seen, for example, in Calvinist Matt Slick's remarks here: https://carm.org/look-phrase-forever-and-ever. It is this viewpoint (C) that i wish to comment on.

Position (C) re Revelation 20:10 is seen in a number of universalist writings. Various points that may be worth considering, including the following 12, have been given in support of (C), as follows:

(1) The smoke going up forever and ever (literally, into the ages of the ages, Rev.19:3) is finite in duration. For the fire as the source of the smoke will cease burning after the city is "utterly burned" (Rev.18:8) & "found no more" (18:21). Also the old earth passes away (Rev.21:1), so how would the city continue to smoke "for ever and ever"?

(2) The saints reign for "the ages of the ages" (Rev.22:5). But this is only until all rule & all authority are abolished (1 Cor.15:24).
Consequently one interpretation of the phrase "forever and ever" in Rev.22:5 is that it is of finite duration.

(3) Christ reigns "for the ages of the ages" (Rev.11:15). Since His reign is "until" He gives up the kingdom (1 Cor.15:25-26), His reign for "the ages
of the ages" is temporary, as is "the ages of the ages" related to it.

(4) Since Scripture teaches universal reconciliaton (e.g. Rev.5:13; Col.1:20), "the ages of the ages" referred to in Rev.20:10 re the torment of the devil cannot be endless. Likewise with other lesser sinners [e.g. humans] that may be punished in the lake of fire (cf. Rev.14:11 which uses a similar phrase, "ages of ages", without the definite article "the").

(5) Comparing Rev.20:10 with Matthew 25:41, Jesus said the future of the devil & his angels is fire aionios (Mt.25:41, 46), mistranslated everlasting or "eternal fire" by pro ECT (eternal conscious torments) Bible versions (e.g. KJV). Fire aionios is also associated with the fire that burnt Sodom (Jude 7). That fire was not eternal, went out long ago, & its effects will last only until Sodom is restored (Ezek 16). Thus there is a Scriptural basis for taking the same phrase, fire aionios, which also occurs at Mt.25:41 & 18:8, as referring to a fire that is of finite duration. Likewise with "into eons of the eons" in Rev.20:10 which also refers to the devil's eonian (Mt.25:41) punishment associated with fire. So the devil's eon related punishment by fire in both Mt.25:41 & Rev.20:10 is finite. Therefore, the period "the eons of the eons" (Rev.20:10) must end. And surely since the devil's torments "into the ages of the ages" end, so do those related to human beings (cf. Rev.14:11; Mt.18:8; 25:41), for the same terminology is applied to them. Moreover, they are less sinful than Satan. If his punishment ends, then why not theirs also? Consequently the mistranslation "forever and ever" in Rev.20:10 & 14:11 refers to a finite period of time, with a beginning and an end.

Summing up the argument:

- eonian fire is finite (Jude 7)
- eonian fire is the devil's punishment (Mt.25:41)
- which is equal to his punishment in Rev.20:10
- therefore his punishment is finite &
- his torment for the eons of the eons is finite &
- the eons of the eons themselves are finite

Regarding Jude 7 the following Interlinear does not say "suffering the vengeance of eternal fire", but the cities are "set forth as an example", "undergoing the penalty of fire aionion": http://biblehub.com/interlinear/jude/1.htm . Similarly, a literal version reads:

7 As Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them in like manner to these committing ultra-prostitution, and coming away after other flesh, are lying before us, a specimen, experiencing the justice of fire eonian." (Jude 7, CLV)

"The destruction of Sodom and the surrounding cities is still apparent to all who visit the region. In this way these cities are experiencing the justice of eonian fire. The fire has long ceased but its effects will remain and testify to God's judgment until the close of this eon, after which Sodom shall return to her former estate (Ezek.16:53-56)" (Concordant Commentary of the New Testament, p.376) http://concordant.org/expositions/conco ... testament/

"We likewise subscribe to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, who "are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire" (Jude 7). This occurred many centuries ago. How poor a passage to apply to that which is thousands of years hence!"

"The word "set forth" is, literally, "lying before." The term "example" or specimen, is from the word show. These are readily comprehended if we apply them to the sites of Sodom and Gomorrah today. Their destruction was so complete that their exact location is in dispute. Now the preponderance of opinion places them under the shallow end of the Dead Sea. No one can visit this terrible desolation without fully appreciating the force of these words."

"But we are asked to forget this solemn and forceful scene for an "example" which no one can see, and which is not at all "set forth" or "lying before" us. We are asked to forget the fire (Gen.19:24) which destroyed these cities so that the smoke of the plain went up like the smoke of a furnace. The justice or "vengeance" of this fire is all too evident to this very day. It is a powerful reminder of God's judgment which should deter those who are tempted to follow a similar path. This fire is called "eternal." Just now the plain is covered by water, not fire. It was an eonian fire, as is witnessed by its effect for the eon."

"Speaking of Jerusalem, Ezekiel gives us God's thoughts concerning Sodom. "As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters." And again, "When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters...then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them...when thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate" (Ezek.16:48,53,55)."

"2 Peter 2:6 gives a parallel passage, where we read that God condemns the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, reducing them to cinders by an overthrow, having placed them for an example. This is perfectly plain, unless we try to distinguish between the cities and the people, and make conscious cinders suffer from flames beneath the waters of the Dead Sea."

"If the Sodomites were on public exhibition where all could see them suffering in the flames of a medieval hell, we might consider them as set forth as an example, but as no one has ever seen them, and no one can see them, they are no example at all. The cities, however, are lying before us as a specimen of God's eonian justice. The effects of the fire endure for the eon. When Jerusalem is restored, they will be restored."

http://concordant.org/expositions/human ... art-seven/

Next we'll look at a 6th case that occurs in the book of Revelation where our phrase "the ages of the ages" is applied to God, either to His glory or living, etc:

(6) The book of Revelation makes several references to God living (or His glory) "for the eons of the eons" (Revelation 1:6, 18; 4:9-10; 5:13; 7:12; 10:6; 15:7). God living "into the eons of the eons" that end no more denies His future endless life than it denies He was living before the times of the eons (1 Cor.2:7; 2 Tim.1:9; Titus 1:2) that He created (Heb.1:2). "The existence of God is not confined to the eons. He made the eons; therefore, He existed before they began." Eons come & go, but He is both before & after them. Similarly, God is living for the present eon, but that doesn't mean He was dead before it, nor that He will be dead when it ends. Likewise He was living for past eons, but that doesn't mean He died when they ended. Likewise with His glory.

His “years shall not come to end” (Psa.102:27).
But you remain the same, and your years will never end. (Heb.1:12b)

Further remarks on this point can be found in the following article in the section titled "Living For the Eons of the Eons":
http://concordant.org/expositions/the-e ... -part-two/

So we find the phrases "into ages of ages" & "into the ages of the ages" in 6 category types in Revelation:

- Rev.20:10 the torment of Satan & 2 others
- Rev.14:11 rising smoke of humans tormented
- Rev.19:3 rising smoke of a city burned
- Rev.22:5 saints reigning
- Rev.11:15 Christ reigning
- multiple references to God living or His glory

In at least 5 of the 6 category types above, the vast majority, we have said that the phrase in question is of limited duration. Even if, in the one other case, when the phrase refers to God, it somehow means "forever and ever", e.g. because God is forever, that has no bearing on the other 5 categories which do not connect the phrase with God's life or glory, and do not connect it with something or someone everyone knows is endless.

(7) As documented by scholar Illaria Ramelli, Origen & a number of other early church fathers spoke of an end of all ages & or an end of "ages of ages". See Ramelli's tome below, pages 8-10, 13-14, 112ff, 132, 157-8, 160-1, 167-8, 202. (Ilaria Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (Brill, 2013. 890 pp) http://www.worldcat.org/title/christian ... stament-to
eriugena/oclc/828140580/viewport

"In Hom. in Ex. 6,13, similarly, Origen foresees the end of all aeons: “Whenever Scripture says, ‘from aeon to aeon,’ the reference is to an interval of time, and it is clear that it will have an end. And if Scripture says, ‘in another aeon,’ what is indicated is clearly a longer time, and yet an end is still fixed. And when the ‘aeons of the aeons’ are mentioned, a certain limit is again posited, perhaps unknown to us, but surely established by God.” (Ilaria Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis, p.161)

"Cf. Apoc. 14:10–11, where the smoke of the tormented sinners rises eis aiônas aiônôn, in saecula saeculorum, which does not self-evidently mean absolutely forever; for Origen, as we shall see, this will be the time of the aiônes, before the apocatastasis which brings on the aïdiotês. Only the aïdiotês of the universal restoration will be truly forever." (Terms for Eternity: Aionios and Aidios in Classical and Christian Texts, Ilaria Ramelli and David Konstan, 2007, p.69)

(8) 1 Cor.10:11. Scripture speaks of the "ends of the ages" or eons (1 Cor.10:11) and an "end of the ages" (Heb.9:26). If the phrase "the ages of the ages" meant ages tumbling endlessly one after the other, as some commentators claim, why does Scripture say the ages end?

There were no ends of any eons present when Paul wrote to the Corinthians (1 Cor.10:11). For Jesus spoke of the present eon in which He lived (Mt13:22; Lk.16:8) and its end (Mt.24:3) which has still not arrived almost 2000 years later. The eon that Jesus was living in, which Paul calls the "present evil eon" (Gal.1:4), of which Satan is god (2 Cor.4:4), began before David (Lu. 1:70) and all the prophets (Ac. 3:21), after the end of the world in the days of Noah, thousands of years before the birth of Christ. So, again, there was no eon ending when Paul wrote 1 Cor.10:11, let alone an end of multiple eons. So what is he referring to in speaking of consummations or ends "of the eons" having been attained (1 Cor.10:11)?

"(The) scriptures state positively that the eons will end: 1 Cor. 10:11... "Now those things befalls them typically, yet it was written for our admonition, to whom the consummations of the eons have attained." Paul had said what those things are, which befalls them typically, in the preceding verses. Yet "it was written" is in the singular, for "our" (plural) admoniton- the "our" referring to the saints, who are the present believers. "To whom," referring to the saints, "the consummations of the eons have attained." The Corinthian saints had attained the consummations of eons in spirit because they were a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). Some day all will be a new creation (Rev. 21:5). Now, only the saints who are in Christ are of the new creation, but it is God's goal for the eons to head up all in the Christ, as stated at Eph. 1:9-11. Salvation for all is God's plan for the eons. Those saints believing now have attained that purpose, so have attained the consummation of the eons."
http://www.theheraldofgodsgrace.org/Abbott/abbot05.htm

"It contains the phrase "the ends of the eons," or, as we prefer to render it, "the consummations of the. eons" (1 Cor. 10:11), for they not only come to an end, but culminate in the accomplishment of the purpose (Eph. 3:11) for which they were made (Heb. 1:2)....In our own spirits we have an undeniable foretaste that the eons are accomplishing the purpose for which they were made." (Unsearchable Riches [U.R.], Vol. 58, p.39-40, A.E.K.).

"in accord with the purpose of the eons, which He makes in Christ Jesus, our Lord" (Eph.3:11)
" which He purposed in Him) 10 to have an administration of the complement of the eras, to head up all in the Christ - both that in the heavens and that on the earth" (Eph.1)

"The eons not only come to an end, but culminate in the purpose (Eph.3:ll) for which God made them (Heb.l:2)." (U.R. Vol. 100, p.132-134, J.R.C.)

"Paul is warning the Corinthians not to become disqualified, but to drink out of their spiritual, following Rock—Christ. A strong incentive to do this is that already the consummations of the ages have attained in spirit to the saints. What the ends of the coming eons will bring has already been made known in some measure to the saints. Every one of the four occurrences of the verb katantao in Paul's epistles shews that he used it as a meaning to attain in spirit, to draw up alongside in spirit (1. Cor. 10:11; 14:36; Eph. 4:13; Phil. 3:11)."
http://alexanderthomson.blogspot.ca/200 ... -hell.html

"It is not until the consummation when God becomes All in all that His titles can be clearly and fully appreciated. But we, in sense, have been taken ahead of time to the consummation. The manifestation of Christ through His sacrifice, which we see with the eyes of faith, is vitally connected with the conclusion of the eons according to Hebrews 9:26 where we read, "... yet now, once, at the conclusion of the eons, for the repudiation of sin through His sacrifice, is He manifest." Paul describes us who believe this evangel as those "to whom the consummations of the eons have attained" (1 Cor.lO:ll). The goals toward which God is leading the universe have, in a spiritual way, come ahead of time to us. And one of these goals is the manifestation of Himself to His creatures." (U.R., Vol 71, p.77, D.H.H.).

"In spirit, Paul brought those under his ministry into the new creation, which is the spiritual counterpart of the eon inaugurated by the new heavens and new earth. It is only thus that the consummations of the eons had already reached the Corinthians." (U.R. Vol. 100, p.132-134, J.R.C.)....?

"...The evangel of God concerning His Son announces the end of sin and the end of divine indignation. These consummations will be realized throughout the universe when God is All is all, but, in spirit, they have attained to us who are believing (1 Cor. 10:11)." (U.R., Vol 97, p.44, 185, 255, D.H.H.)

If all eons end (1 Cor.10:11), then "eons of eons" (Rev.14:11) and "the eons of the eons" (Rev.20:10) must end. Likewise must the "torment" for these finite time periods also end. What occurs after their end - whether endless torments, endless annihilation or reconciliation to God - is left up to other passages of the Scriptures to reveal.

For elaborations upon this point re 1 Cor.10:11 i'd suggest the following articles & comments:

Unsearchable Riches, Vol 15, p.24-28; Vol 19, p.230; Vol 58, p.39-40; Vol 82, p.238; Vol 97, p.44, 185, 255; Vol 99, p.283; Vol 100, p.131-134 @

http://concordant.org/unsearchable-riches/


(9) Heb.9:26 refers to an end of the ages. If all ages end, then "the ages of the ages" must end, both in Rev.20:10 & all other contexts of Scripture.

"Origen, reflecting on Heb 9:26 and Eph 2:7, argues that Christ’s sacrifice was made once and for all aeons. These aeons are not infinite or repetitive, but point to one telos, the apokatastasis of all, which is not a result of necessity, but of all rational creatures’ voluntary adhesion to the Good." (Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis, p.202)

A.E. Knoch opined that Hebrews 9:26 and 1 Cor.10:11 are "positive proof that the eons have a conclusion, or "end", and therefore do not last "for ever"...[which] also repudiates the assumptive theory of man that there is an infinite series of ages..." (U.R., Vol. 19, p.230, 1928).

"...the Greek preposition epi, when followed by a dative case, as here, signifies "over," "on the basis of," "with a view to." It was on the basis of a conclusion of the ages, for repudiation of sin through His, sacrifice, that He has been manifested. Epi, when followed by a genitive or accusative case, takes the meaning "on," or "on to," but its metaphorical force comes out generally when the dative case is used. Christ was manifested with a view to the ages being concluded, The ages are the times in which sin and enemies are present, requiring the sacrifice of God's Son. He was manifested so that sin might be set aside through His sacrifice, having in view a conclusion to the ages. He was certainly not manifested at a conclusion of the ages, but His manifestation demands that the eons terminate." http://alexanderthomson.blogspot.ca/200 ... -hell.html

"26 FOR,]lit. 'since it were behoving him, to suffer many times from [the] laying-down of the world, but now, once for all, on the full-end of the ages, has he been manifested with a view to a putting away of sin, through his own sacrifice' " (Robert Young, LL.D., Concise Critical Comments on the New Testament, p.158, also author of Young's Literal Translation & Young's Concordance)
https://books.google.ca/books?id=AaoLyX ... 3F&f=false
https://books.google.ca/books?id=pJ0CAA ... 3F&f=false

"We have been asked concerning Hebrews 9:26, which in the Authorized Version reads as follows: "... but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." It seems to be saying that the "end of the world" occurred when Christ was sacrificed. As A. E. Knoch once said, "This is so impossible that I suppose no one takes it seriously."* The early (1926, 1930) editions of the Concordant Version, hoping to put sense into an enigmatic passage rendered it as follows: "... yet now, once, has He been manifested through His sacrifice, for the repudiation of sin at the conclusion of the eons."...Neither the AV or the early CV completely reflected the order of the Greek clauses in English. The sublinear reads now yet once on together-finish of-the eons INTO UN-PLACING OF-THE missing THRU THE SACRIFICE OF-Him He-HAS-beenn-made-APPEAR."

"...Even when considering a single eon, the "conclusion" {sunteleia, together-finish) of the eon (e.g., Matt. 13:39,40,49; 24:3) is not the absolute end, but a period of time in which the events of that eon culminate. It is compared with a harvest. By definition, an eon's culmination is that portion of it in which its highest point is attained in order to reach a final result. "The signs of the end time all occur within this conclusion. This is the key to this passage. Christ appeared at the commencement of a period which will continue until the end of the eons. It differs from the previous part of the eons because of its new relation to sin, due to His sacrifice. In a sense, the sacrifice settles the question of sin for the rest of the eons, hence the word 'conclusion.' "

""The scope of the book of Hebrews does not include the present time of grace to the nations. Yet there was to be delay, so that its readers would die in faith instead of receiving the promises. This shows that, at that time, and, indeed, throughout our Lord's ministries and the book of Acts, the coming eons were imminent. Consequently, it appeared as if our Lord's sacrifice came just before the kingdom. And is not this, together with the last eon, the harvest season of the eons? With this in mind it is not so very difficult to see that all of the time after His sacrifice is a 'conclusion', especially with respect to sin." "

"...The term "at" (the conclusion of the eons) is not strictly correct; it is only that this is the best idiomatic rendering we can make in the Version. The word is actually "on." The idea seems to be this: We are to understand that once Christ had been manifested "for [EIS for the purpose of] the repudiation of sin through His sacrifice," one enters, or comes upon that field of time which we may now view as "the conclusion of the eons." The eonian times which are encompassed with in the scriptural revelation began to conclude once Christ's sacrifice was accomplished - when "He died to Sin once for all time" (Rom.6:10)."

"Until then all awaited His sacrifice. The zenith had not been reached. All was still, so to say, "uphill." But once the great Sacrifice was made, when the Lord declared, "It is accomplished!" (John 19:30), the concluding portion of the eonian times began. The repudiation of sin is achieved through the sacrifice of Christ. It is not realized, however, until God vivifies all mankind, becomes All in all, and reconciles all estranged beings throughout the universe, accomplishing all "through the blood of [Christ's] cross" (Col.l:20; cp Eph.l:10)."

"Another consideration is that the definite article ("the") does not appear here in the Greek. It is not a matter of "at the conclusion of the eons" at all, even if we are constrained to put it this way in the Version, not yet having found a better solution while still preserving good diction. The idea is not to point to a particular moment, but to speak of having now entered into, or come upon, the concluding portion of the eons, which is thus set in contrast to the former or preceding portion."

"The writer of Hebrews certainly did not know how long the present era would continue. Nor are any such considerations in view, whether in Hebrews 9 or else where in this epistle. Instead, the emphasis of Hebrews is that of the typical nature of the animal sacrifices in their representation of the sacrifice of Christ."

"Even as the blood of calves and he-goats constituted a sufficient and effectual shelter for sin, thus also, the blood of Christ constitutes a sufficient and effectual means for the elimination of sin. If it were not for Christ's sacrifice, all would be doomed; but because of Christ's sacrifice, all will be delivered."

"The viewpoint in Hebrews is antitypical. In other connections it may seem strange to include the rest of this eon and two more in the word 'conclusion.' Yet,when we consider the shadow, it becomes evident that the period here, however described, must include all of the time in which the sacrifice is operative, that is, until its work is accomplished." "

"A concluding portion of a period of time need not necessarily be brief in duration. To say that it must is to confound ordinary usage with essential meaning. Besides, if the testimony of geology and astronomy is true, the first eon (prior to Genesis 1:2) may have been of such great duration that the time from the cross to the consummation actually will prove to be of relatively brief duration." [U.R., Vol. 82, p.16-22, 1991, James R. Coram]

"..the Authorized Version will hardly excuse the rendering of Hebrews 9:26. "But now once in the end of the world hath He appeared . . ." cannot be explained on any rational grounds. Christ has appeared, but it certainly was not at the end of the world. The American Revisers change this to "the end of the age', which is very much better, so far as the word eon is concerned. But it is open to the same objection. The eons have not by any means ended even yet. Christ did not appear at either "the end of the world" or "the end of the ages". And, we may add, sin has not been "put away" in any plain, intelligible sense." (U.R., Vol 17, p.267, 1926, A.E.K.)

"The A. V. tells us that Christ appeared "in the end of the world." This, of course, is impossible, seeing that almost two thousand years have passed since then and the end is not yet. In reality His manifestation marks the commencement of the conclusion of the eons. Just as the offering on the day of shelter, or "atonement" in Israel ushered in a year in which there is cleansing of sin, so the sacrifice of Christ commences the conclusion of the eons in which sin is repudiated. A year in Israel, with its round of typical festivals, corresponds to the conclusion of the eons, in which the antitype of these festivals are found." [U.R., Vol 38, p.225, 1947, A.E.K.]

"It is clear that His sacrifice was not at "the end of the world" (A.V.). However, the conclusion of the eon (Matt. 13:39, 40, 49; 24:3) is not the absolute end, but a period of time, which is compared with harvest. The signs of the end time all occur within this conclusion. This is the key to this passage. Christ appeared at the commencement of period which will continue until the end of the eons. It differs from the previous part of the eons because of its new relation to sin, due to His sacrifice. In a sense, the sacrifice settles the question of sin for the rest of the eons, hence the word "conclusion.* * A more complete explanation of this passage, as rendered in the Concordant Version, is found in Unsearchable Riches, Volume 30, Number (March, 1939)." [U.R., Vol 56, p.156, 1965, A.E.K.]

"This verse is designed to amplify the grand object of His one appearing, that is, Christ appeared once to offer Himself as a sacrifice in order to put away sin at the end of the ages or eons...Repudiation [of sin] is defined as to have no place for [sin] (Keyword Concordance, p. 246). When the last enemy, death, is put out of business, abolished, discarded, made unproductive (1 Corinthians 15:26), then sin will find no place anywhere in His world since sin reigns only in death (Romans 5:20). In other words, when God abolishes death, He also leaves no place for sin. This He will do at the end of the ages or eons. It is for this purpose that Christ has been manifested in His earthly career; and it is His sacrifice at Calvary's cross, His sacrifice for sin that makes sin's repudiation certain, since He is the Lamb of God Which is taking away the sin of the world (John 1:29)."

"...The actual teaching of the passage can be verified as follows: Some current versions of this verse teach that Christ appeared at the end of the ages. Yet according to these same versions Paul, writing years after this appearing, speaks of ages to come (Ephesians 2:7). Thus two "authorized" versions make the apostle Paul flatly contradict what the writer of Hebrews said. Again, the devotees of versions which are not concordant and consistent find themselves involved in another conflict that cannot be reconciled, since their versions teach that Christ "appeared at the end of the ages" while, at the same time, their theology teaches that the ages never end."

"...The Scriptures distinctly and emphatically teach that the eons had a beginning and will also have conclusion. The Scriptures point to time when the eons were not yet in existence, and they point to time when the eons shall pass away." [U.R., vol 60, p.120-122, 1969, F.N.P.]

"This one verse (26) of Hebrews 9 takes us, in one sweeping statement, from the disruption of the world to the conclusion of the eons. Though Christ, as Saviour, is now manifest, sin will not be completely eliminated from the universe until the conclusion of the eons. But the acceptance by God of Christ's offering has made that elimination inevitable. But this wonderful scripture gives further proof that, just as the curtain which veiled God's presence, was rent in the earthly temple at the precise moment of Christ's death, so that spiritual veil which obstructed the approach of the celestials to God, was likewise rent; and there is nothing now, save their own spiritual blindness, to prevent them entering into the presence of God, and offering Him the "logical divine service" which is His due from all His creatures. (U.R., Vol 68, p.259-60, 1977, John H. Essex)

"The conclusion of the eons is likewise involved in obscurity in our versions. They suggest that this august event has already occurred at the manifestation of Christ (Heb.9:26). However the words may be translated, the argument of the passage is clear. The high priest went in every year with the blood of others. Not so Christ. He sacrificed Himself once. There was no sacrifice on His part from the disruption, when sin entered, until His manifestation. Neither will there be any further offering needed all the way to the conclusion of the eons, when sin is repudiated. The single suffering of Christ suffices both for the past and future, from sin's entrance to its exit, from the disruption to the conclusion of the eons, when sin is put away. There is a sense in which sin is "put away" potentially or in the experience of the believer, but in the sense here indicated, as the antithesis of the disruption, it can refer only to the actual removal of sin itself which will occur at the very time indicated, the conclusion of the eons." http://concordant.org/expositions/unvei ... -eon-eons/

"The Times of the Eons are the scene of sin. They record its entrance and foretell its exit. They had a definite Beginning and will have a definite Consummation......The grand infinitudes of time before the beginning and after the consummation have much in common, chiefly that in the beginning God is All was All: in the consummation He will be All in all. Sin is entirely absent. This cannot be said of any of the eons."
http://concordant.org/expositions/the-e ... -calendar/

"The power of the blood of Christ will prevail until sin is repudiated. This is at the conclusion of the eons."

"...(1 Cor. 2:7:before the world [ages]" and Heb. 9:26: "end of the world", or, as Scofield says, "consummation of the ages" which, by the way, should refer to the future putting away of sin, not the time of Christ's sacrifice)" [U.R., Vol. 61, 1970, p.9, 270, A.E.K.).

The following website articles elaborate upon this interpretation of Heb.9:26 in more detail:

Unsearchable Riches magazine, Vol.5, 1913-14, p.199-203, Alan Burns
Unsearchable Riches magazine, Vol.6, 1914-15, p.258-268, Vladimir Gelesnoff
Unsearchable Riches magazine, Vol.17, 1926, pgs.265-276, Adolph E. Knoch
Unsearchable Riches magazine, Vol.30, 1939, pgs.109-116, Adolph E. Knoch
http://concordant.org/unsearchable-riches/

(10) Some introductory historical remarks are required for the next point. The New Testament quotes from the Greek OT much more often than the Hebrew OT. An Old Testament in the Greek language accepted by the early church was known as the translation of Theodotian (see urls below for details). There was also the early Greek OT known as the LXX or Septuagint which has significant differences with the translation of Theodotian.

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/artic ... theodotion
http://www.kalvesmaki.com/LXX/NTChart.htm

"Theodotion's translation of Daniel supplanted the original LXX version which was quite different. The Book of Hebrews (11:33=Daniel 6:23) and Revelation both agree with Theodotion's translation (Origen's Hexapla contained these translations)."
http://www.bibleandscience.com/bible/so ... uagint.htm

"[Theodotian's] translation, however, is seemingly "quoted" in Heb. 11:33 and several times in Revelations! This strongly suggests that Theodotion's version was based upon either a lost Greek translation which competed with the LXX or upon a "revised" LXX...Theodotion's version of Daniel is the one officially accepted by the Church and usually printed in modern editions of the LXX..." http://www.voskrese.info/spl/Xlxx.html

The book of Daniel is closely associated with the book of Revelation which contains our many references to the phrase "the ages of the ages".
It seems, from the quotes above, that John was more likely to have used a Greek OT in harmony with that of Theodotian's rather than the LXX.

In Daniel 12:3 this Greek OT of Theodotian, unlike the LXX, speaks of the "eons and further" [αἰῶνας καὶ ἔτι]. This is in the context of resurrection spoken of in verse 2, which recalls the resurrections of the book of Revelation. Could Daniel's reference to "the eons and further" be to a time beyond "the eons of the eons" spoken of in Revelation? Both make reference to eons, but Daniel speaks of what is beyond "the eons". It seems Daniel may be speaking of a time after that of John's Revelation references to eons, which would make "the eons of the eons" of a finite duration. If John had wished to convince his readers of the idea of endless eons, readers who may have been familiar with Daniel 12:3, it seems that speaking of mere "eons of the eons" was not the way to do it.

(11) John of Damascus (676-749 AD) writes of "limitless(απειρους/apeirous) aeons of the aeons". If "eons of the eons" was universally understood as meaning forever and ever or endlessness, would there be a need to add the word "limitless" to it?
http://translate.academic.ru/%CE%B1%CF% ... %82/el/xx/

viewtopic.php?p=55753
http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/0 ... xa,_EN.pdf
http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/0 ... _0789_1227)__GM.pdf.html
http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/2 ... _0789_1227),_GM.pdf

Similarly Philo, a contemporary with Jesus, spoke of an unlimited eon. Heleena Keizer wrote "Ton apeiron aiona, "the unlimited aion", is Philo's paraphrase of the more-than-aion expression in Exodus 15:18 describing God's kingship. Before Philo, ton apeiron aiona is attested only once, in a fragment from Aristotle where it has the (non-philosophical) sense of "all, endless time" (chapter II text [33])...The present passage appears to use the phrase in the same sense, while emphasizing the notion of contunuity by the words "not for one moment ungoverned" and "uninterrupted"."("Life Time Entirety: A Study of AION in Greek Literature and Philosophy, the Septuagint and Philo", Helena M. Keizer, 2010, p.212).https://books.google.ca/books/about/Lif ... SmshbeyUsC

http://translate.academic.ru/%E1%BC%84% ... %BD/el/xx/
http://translate.academic.ru/%E1%BC%84% ... %B1/el/xx/

If God wanted to clearly & unambiguously teach endless punishment in the Scriptures, why, then, did Revelation 20:10 not speak of torment for "endless[apeiron] ages"?

(12) The word aion literally means age, or eon. Why would the Lord's word say eons (Rev.20:10) if He meant endlessness? If endlessness was meant, then the Greek language of the time had a number of ways of expressing it unambiguously. In addition to apeiron, there were the words "no end" (Lk.1:33) to express the idea of endlessness. In Luke they are spoken of God's kingdom. Likewise:

σὺ δὲ ὁ αὐτὸς εἶ καὶ τὰ ἔτη σου οὐκ ἐκλείψουσιν (LXX; Psa.102:27, God's years have "no end")
27But thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. Psa.102:27, Brenton LXX trans.
But you remain the same, and your years will never end. (Heb.1:12b)
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Re: Universalism and the Salvation of Satan

Postby Origen; » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:55 pm

Origen; wrote:
Gregory MacDonald wrote:3. "St. Jerome (342-420), the author of the Vulgate Latin Bible...writes: "I know that most persons understand by the story of Nineveh and its King, the ultimate forgiveness of the devil and all rational creatures." " [Commentary on Jonah 3:6-9]



According to the following translation, Jerome says:

"I know that many people interpret the king of Nineveh as the devil, saying that he, at the end of the world (on the grounds that no rational creature made by God should perish), descending from his pride, would repent, and be restored to his former place." [Commentary on Jonah 3:6-9] https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstre ... sequence=1

Whether or not the reference to Ninevah is a misrepresentation by Jerome against his opponents, such as Origen, is unknown. What is known is that Origen (c. 184-254 AD) based his doctrine of universalism on the Scriptures, his favorite passage being 1 Cor.15:28:

"This final phrase is a clear reference to 1Cor 15:28, Origen’s and Nyssen’s favourite passage in support of the apokatastasis doctrine.34" (page 15)

"The eventual submission of humanity to God is a reference to Paul’s eschatological revelation in 1Cor 15:24–28, which is also a very universalistic passage, concluding with the presence of God as “all in all.” This will be one of the favourite passages of Origen in support of the doctrine of apokatastasis." (page 94)

"Thus, at the end of all aeons, in the eventual apokatastasis, all will come to be, no longer in any aeon, but in God the Trinity, and in turn God will be “all in all.” The meaning of this Pauline sentence (1Cor 15:28, Origen’s favourite passage in defence of apokatastasis) is explained especially in Princ. 3,6,2–3. Here, Origen first deduces the definitive eviction of evil from the presence of God “all in all,” given that it is impossible to admit that God may be found in evil, as I have already pointed out; then, he examines:

" "What is this “all” that God will be “in all”? […] It means that God will be “all” even in every individual creature. And God will be “all” in these creatures in the sense that whatever the rational intellect, freed from any dirtiness of sin and purified from any taint of evil, will be able to perceive, grasp and think, all this will be God […], and so God will be all for this intellect […], because evil will not exist any more: for such intellect, God, untouched by evil, is all. One who is always in the Good and for whom God is all, will no longer wish to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil […] After removing every sense of evil, only he who is the sole good God will become all for the creature returned to a state of soundness and purity […] and not only in few or in many, but in all God will be all, when at last there will be no more death, nor death’s sting, nor evil, most definitely: then God will truly be “all in all.” " " (page 168)

Ilaria Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (Brill, 2013. 890 pp.)

https://books.google.ca/books?id=YfGZAA ... &q&f=false

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