Author Topic: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING  (Read 3559 times)

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Chaplain

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ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« on: September 21, 2008, 04:34:21 AM »
I am new her but have been reading allot of posts about hell and the restoration of God... I hope I can express this clear enough that others will understand what I have come to believe.
So here is my two cents worth...

It is interesting to me that the word "Eternal" and "Everlasting" are too often confused as being interchangeable in many denominations, but the fact is they are not!

The word ETERNAL: has the word meaning of- No beginning and No end.
The only "thing" that is Eternal is God himself.

Everything he created has a beginning... (having a starting point).
Some things He created will go on forever, thus we get the word EVERLASTING; (having a beginning but no end).

The Bible teaches that hell is darkness and isolation, yet it also is
described in some passages of a place of Eternal Fire; and "not" Everlasting Fire.
In other words: Sins being burnt off by Eternal Fire or God's Fire are very Biblical; and would signify that hell will not last forever.

In my opinion it is bad theology to confuse the word everlasting with the word eternal, but the Church has done this continually.
Furthermore, the Bible teaches us, that people who know Christ are baptized by fire and water while here on earth...

So I agree with this doctrine in that, I do not believe that hell is forever.
Or who would be the people that walk the earth after it is renewed by fire?
It is my opinion that it is everyone who is not apart of the Bride of Christ, the City on the hill.

It is my shared opinion that God will not lose anything or anyone, after this "Church-age" is over, as He is Omnipotent and truly complete!

Yall know I would get in trouble for posting this on most any other Christian website rite?

Offline Tony N

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2008, 03:15:21 AM »

The Bible teaches that hell is darkness and isolation, yet it also is
described in some passages of a place of Eternal Fire; and "not" Everlasting Fire.
In other words: Sins being burnt off by Eternal Fire or God's Fire are very Biblical; and would signify that hell will not last forever.

The bible says nothing of sins being burnt off by eternal fire or God's fire.
The Bible however does have much to say about sin being done away with through Christ's obedience to the cross. The Bible says nothing about fire making mankind fit for God's presence as if it purifies mankind. The Bible does however say that Christ's obedience to the cross does make mankind fit for God's presence (see Romans 5:18,19, Philippians 2:8-11; Colossians 1:20; 1 Corinthians 15:22-28; 1 Timothy 2:4-6, where verse 6 tells us why God will save all mankind).
Tony
Just because God says He will save all mankind
does not necessarily mean He won't.

Chaplain

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2009, 03:34:18 PM »
Dear Tony N,

I agree 100% what you have said, and you are correct! I was trying to interject (at my attempt at being universal) the possibility of the difference in the terminology used in the Bible between Eternal (Who is only God) and Everlasting that has a place in Creation- made from God...
I am not trying to make a doctrine of this point, or dispute the contexts of the Bible yet the book of Revelation talks about people on the new earth that are not apart of the Kingdom... Who are these people?, and does the possibility exist that God will lose nothing he has created in the end?
Is it possible that a universalism exists beyond what we are told in scripture?
I know this is a very thin theory, and I have taken much heat because of it yet maybe others could tell me why they believe in a universalism for creation? This is why I joined this forum, but feel I have only been theologically attacked for even suggesting this question.

This is my first time back in over six months, I have been hit by Greek and Hebrew, history you name it! Yet my attempt at universalism was to draw attention to the differences in these two words for "thought" and that was all.
Sir, I do understand obedience to our Father only by the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ may we see the Kingdom as no man comes to the Father but through Christ end of story! So then with that being said, perhaps other here can tell me why they believe in a Universalism as obviously I do not understand the doctrine……… :sigh:

Offline sven

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2009, 03:39:28 PM »
in Greek it's always the same word aionios

Titus 1:2,3

on hope of eternal (aionios) life which the God who does not lie promised before the eternal (aionios) times, but revealed in its own times in a proclamation of His Word, with which I was entrusted by the command of our Savior God

2 Timothy 1:9,10

the One having saved us and having called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace given to us in Christ Jesus before eternal times (aionios), but now revealed through the appearance of our Savior, Jesus Christ, indeed making death of no effect, bringing life and incorruptibility to light through the gospel

Romans 16:25,26

Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel, and the proclaiming of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery having been kept unvoiced during eternal (aionios) times, but now has been made plain, and by prophetic Scriptures, according to the commandment of the everlasting (aionios) God, made known for obedience of faith to all the nations


I don't believe aionios means eternal or everlasting, is it possible to say before eternal or everlasting times - i guess not?





Paul Hazelwood

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2009, 04:00:26 PM »
So then with that being said, perhaps other here can tell me why they believe in a Universalism as obviously I do not understand the doctrine……… :sigh:


I just continually ask myself what the end result by a God who has the power to truly selflessly love would be.



Chaplain

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2009, 05:17:05 PM »
Thank you Sven,
Now that is more like what I was trying to say in a simple way!
I have posted below the reasoning of Eternal/Everlating- Forever ect...
So although not expressed as well as some others, I am not the first to pose this question!
V/R, Chaplain  :winkgrin:
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


SECTION IV.
THE WORDS ETERNAL, EVERLASTING, FOREVER, ETC.

These words are regarded by many as settling the question of the endless duration of punishment - with how little reason the facts will show. It is remarkable that, though the original words rendered "everlasting," "eternal," &c. (aion and aionios), occur together one hundred and seventy-nine times in the New Testament, they are used only twelve times in connection with punishment. "Everlasting fire" occurs three times, and "everlasting punishment" once, "everlasting destruction" once, and "eternal damnation" once! Matt. xviiI 8, xxv 41, 46; 2 Thess. I 9; Mark iiI 29. The other texts are Heb. vi 2; 2 Pet. ii 17; Jude 7, 13. Surely, if the words everlasting and eternal mean strictly endless by their own inherent force, this is very singular. The Gospel a special revelation of endless punishment, and yet the words expressing this awful fact, applied to it only nine times out of a usage of one hundred and seventy-nine examples! 7

Let us now attend to the definition and usage of the words by lexicographers, and classical and scriptural writers, that we may be able to judge of its value in the present discussion.

1. Lexicographers and Critics. Schleusner, whose exact learning makes his authority of great weight, defines the noun aion, thus: "Any space of time, whether longer or shorter, past, present, or future, to be determined by the persons or things spoken of, and the scope of the subject - the life or age of man; any space in which we measure human life, from birth to death."

Donnegan. "Aion, time; a space of time; life time and life; the ordinary period of man's life, the age of man; man's estate; a long period of time; eternity. Aionios, of long duration; eternal, lasting, permanent."

Schrevelius. "Aion, an age, a long period of time; indefinite duration; time, whether longer or shorter, past, present or future; life, the life of man. Aionios, of long duration, lasting, sometimes everlasting, sometimes lasting through life."

Authorities might be multiplied to any extent, but these are sufficient to show that the radical meaning of the Greek words translated "everlasting," "forever," &c., is not endless, but simply indefinite time, longer or shorter, past or future; and that they take their force as to duration from the subjects or persons to which they are applied. If they mean strictly endless in any case, it is not because that idea is in the words aionios, aion, "everlasting," "forever;" but because the being or subject qualified demands it, or is, of itself, necessarily endless.

Hence Dr. Macknight, Presbyterian, says: "These words, being ambiguous, are always to be understood according to the nature and circumstances of the things to which they are applied." And though he claims the words in support of endless punishment, yet he frankly adds: "At the same time, I must be so candid as to acknowledge, that the use of these terms forever, eternal, and everlasting, in other passages of Scripture, shows that they who understand the words in a limited sense when applied to punishment, put no forced interpretation on them." 8

2. Usage of Greek Authors. The Greek writers constantly employ these words in a way to exclude the idea of endless, and to illustrate the meaning of indefinite time, the duration to be determined by the general scope of the subject.

Plato has the phrase "eternal (aionios) drunkenness;" but one can hardly believe he meant endless drunkenness.

Eusebius, one of the early Christian writers, speaking of the Phoenician philosophy as presented by Sanchoniathon, says of the darkness and chaos which preceded creation: "They continued for a long eternity" - (dia polun aiona). Here the word is qualified by long, showing that eternity means simply age or time indefinite, long or short.

"And these they called aionios, eternal, hearing that they had performed the sacred rites for three entire generations." In Solom. Parab. This eternity was three generations long, or about one hundred years. "Alter not the eternal boundaries." If "eternal" implied endless, they could not be altered.

These examples might be multiplied, but my purpose is only to furnish the reader with a sufficient number to enable him to judge of the usage among the Greeks themselves, who, of course, will be allowed to understand the signification of words in their own language. I shall cite one more authority from classic usage, because his definition has been claimed as decisive of the meaning "endless," as the radical idea of aion, from which comes aionios, "everlasting," "forever," &c.

"According to Aristotle, and a higher authority need not be sought, aion is compounded of aei, always, and on, being; that is, always existing,...interminable, incessant, and immeasurable duration." Clarke on Gen. xxi 33. Others also compel Aristotle into the same service.

Now, a single passage from the same work in which Aristotle is represented as defining aion to mean radically and strictly endless, duration without end, will show the uncertainty of such criticism, and the folly of attempting to press the great philosopher into the support of endless punishment. The passage referred to (De Mundo), has this expression: "from one interminable eternity to another eternity" - ex aionos atermonos eis eteron aiona.

Now, if Aristotle intended to define aion as signifying strictly endless, as Dr. Clarke affirms, why did he add another word to increase the force of it? Where the need or sense of saying from one interminable eternity to another? And even with this addition he does not convey the idea of duration without limit or end; otherwise there could not be another such period, which the sentence affirms! Plainly he uses the words in the ordinary sense, meaning by them only indefinite time, endless or limited, as the nature of the subject may require. And even when joined with the adjective atermonos, "without limit or termination," it is not to be taken too literally, as signifying a strict eternity.

In a poem ascribed to Errina Lesbia there is a similar use of the adjective "greatest" in connection with aion - "the greatest eternity that overturns all things," &c., ho megistos aion. The greatest eternity implies a less one; and is demonstrative proof that the noun aion and the adjective aionios convey the idea not of strictly endless duration, but only of duration indefinitely continued.

Philo and Josephus wrote in Greek, though Jews by birth. The former uses the very phrase found in Matt. xxv 46, "everlasting punishment" - kolasis aionios - as follows: - Speaking of the manner in which certain persons retaliate an injury, he designates it as "a deep hatred and everlasting punishment." Of course the everlasting punishment in this case is inflicted by men in this life, and cannot, therefore, last much above "three-score years and ten."

Josephus employs the word in such phrases as these: "the everlasting name of the patriarchs;" "the everlasting glory of the Jewish nation," which ended two thousand years ago; "the everlasting reputation" of Herod; "the everlasting worship" in the temple, which also ceased nearly eighteen hundred years ago; "the everlasting imprisonment" to which John, the tyrant, was condemned by the Romans, though it could not continue but a few years at most. 9

These Jewish-Greek authors were contemporary with the New Testament authors, and are therefore good authority for the usage and meaning of the words in review, embracing both the Greek and Jewish elements. Philo and Josephus, Matthew and Luke, allowing for the difference in education, stood in the same relation to the Greek language, and the Jewish usage of it, and what may be affirmed of one may be affirmed with equal force of the others. And, surely, nothing is more obvious than that the first named did not understand the words aion and aionios as meaning anything more than indefinite time.

Another decisive fact is this: The Sibylline Oracles, Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, and others of the Christian Fathers, who are acknowledged believers and teachers of the final restoration, often use the phrases "everlasting fire," "everlasting punishment," &c., in regard to the wicked. Nothing can more conclusively show that the expressions are not to be taken in the sense of endless; for, though they believed in everlasting punishment, they also believed it would end in the restoration of those who suffered.

3. Scripture Usage. The Scripture usage will be found in perfect harmony with the foregoing facts. The Hebrew word, which is the equivalent of the Greek, is thus used: "I will give thee the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession." Gen. xvii 8. And in verse 12, the covenant of circumcision is called "an everlasting covenant." And yet the Jews were driven from the land of Canaan, and the covenant of circumcision was abolished, eighteen hundred years ago! So the priesthood of Aaron is called "an everlasting priesthood," and yet it was put aside by God's authority, and the priesthood of Christ set up in its place. Exod. xl. 15.

Now, did Jehovah use this word "everlasting" to mean endless? If He did, then He has broken His promise to the Jews in three several instances; or, if not this, the priesthood of Christ is an imposture, and the old Covenant of the Law is still in force! See, also, Levit. xvi 34, xxv 46; Exod. xxi 6.

Jonah ii 1-6, is another illustration, where "forever" lasted only three days and three nights! showing the folly of arguing for the endlessness of punishment on the strength of such elastic words as these. The punishment of Jonah is described by the term "forever," though it lasted only seventy-two hours; and there is no more reason for supposing the term to mean endless in other cases, when applied to punishment, than here. There is no more authority for saying the "everlasting punishment" of Matt. xxv 46, is endless, than for saying the "forever" punishment of Jonah, or the "everlasting priesthood" of Exod. xl. 15, is endless.

The word may sometimes be used to signify a strict eternity; but it takes its force in such cases from the subject or person to whom it is applied. For example, in the expression "everlasting God," everlasting means endless, because God is immortal, not by any force of its own. The word "everlasting" borrows its endlessness from God, not God from "everlasting."

So, in all cases, the adjective is modified by the noun. A strong horse, a strong mind, a strong chain, strong drink, strong language - in each one of these phrases "strong" has a different meaning, according to the nature of the subject or noun. So a wise man, a wise God - in the last case the word "wise" means infinite wisdom, but not in the first; and the meaning of infinite is not in "wise," but in "God." And it is the same with "everlasting" - it never has the force of endless in itself; and, in order to make it mean endless when applied to punishment, it must be shown that punishment is in its nature as necessarily endless and infinite as God is. It will probably take some time to do this.

It may be well to notice the argument that in Matt. xxv 46, "eternal life" and "everlasting punishment" are set against each other, and that one is as long as the other. The reply to this is, that the life of the blessed is not presumed to be endless because of the word "everlasting," but because of God's infinite goodness; the same reason which weighs against the presumption that the punishment of the wicked is endless. Show that there is as much reason from the nature of God to suppose that evil and suffering will be endless, as that good and happiness will be, and there may be some force to the argument.

Beside, Rom. xvi 25, 26, Titus I 2, Habak. iiI 6, show that the same word may be differently applied in the same sentence. "Everlasting hills" are not of the same continuance as the "everlasting God;" and "eternal life" is not the same as the "eternal times" (English "world"), before which it was promised. Titus I 2. 10

The following brief summary will illustrate the scriptural usage of the words "everlasting," "forever," &c., and show how impossible it is to build up the doctrine of endless punishment on terms so uncertain:

"We see the word everlasting applied to God's covenant with the Jews; to the priesthood of Aaron; to the statutes of Moses; to the time the Jews were to possess the land of Canaan; to the mountains and hills; and to the doors of the Jewish temple. We see the word forever applied to the duration of a man's earthly existence; to the time a child was to abide in the temple; to the continuance of Gehazi's leprosy; to the duration of the life of David; to the duration of a king's life; to the duration of the earth; to the time the Jews were to possess the land of Canaan; to the time they were to dwell in Jerusalem; to the time a servant was to abide with his master; to the time Jerusalem was to remain a city; to the duration of the Jewish temple; to the laws and ordinances of Moses; to the time David was to be king over Israel; to the throne of Solomon; to the stones that were set up at Jordan; to the time the righteous were to inhabit the earth; and to the time Jonah was in the fish's belly. We find the phrase forever and ever applied to the hosts of heaven, or the sun, moon, and stars; to a writing contained in a book; to the smoke that went up from the burning land of Idumea; and to the time the Jews were to dwell in Judea. We find the word never applied to the time the fire was to burn on the Jewish altar; to the time the sword was to remain in the house of David; to God's covenant with the Jews; to the time the Jews should not experience shame; to the time the house of David was to reign over Israel; to the time the Jews were not to open their mouths because of their shame; to the time those who fell by death should remain in their fallen state; and to the time judgment was not executed.

But the law covenant is abolished; the priesthood of Aaron and his sons has ceased; the ordinances, and laws, and statutes of Moses are abrogated; the Jews have long since been dispossessed of the land of Canaan, have been driven from Judea, and God has brought upon them a reproach and a shame; the man to the duration of whose life the word forever was applied is dead; David is dead, and has ceased to reign over Israel; the throne of Solomon no longer exists; the Jewish temple is demolished, and Jerusalem has been overthrown, so that there is not left "one stone upon another;" the servants of the Jews have been freed from their masters; Gehazi is dead, and no one believes he carried his leprosy with him into the future world; the stones that were set up at Jordan have been removed, and the smoke that went up from the burning land of Idumea has ceased to ascend; the righteous do not inherit the earth endlessly, and no one believes that the mountains and hills, as such, are indestructible; the fire that burnt on the Jewish altar has long since ceased to burn; judgment has been executed; and no Christian believes that those who fall by death will never be awakened from their slumbers. Now, as these words are used in this limited sense in the Scriptures, why should it be supposed that they express endless duration when applied to punishment?" 11


Offline legoman

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2009, 05:18:52 PM »
Quote from: Chaplain nk=topic=3349.msg51712#msg51712 date=1234791258
So then with that being said, perhaps other here can tell me why they believe in a Universalism as obviously I do not understand the doctrine……… :sigh:


Quite simply, when the bible is read with a clear and open mind, it preaches the reconciliation of all throughout 100% of its pages.  So then the question becomes, do you believe the scriptures, or do you believe the doctrines of men?  

Just read any of the multiple articles on the front page on tentmaker for hundreds of scripture that say Jesus is the savior of all men, Jesus is the savior of the world, not any will perish, no sheep will be lost, etc.  When put all together it is crystal clear.

Regarding your take on eternal vs everlasting - that is an interesting idea that I had not heard before - God's fire could be described as eternal because it is part of God and He is the only truly eternal being.  Everything else is everlasting, at best.

However like Sven said, eternal/everlasting is translated from the same word 'aionios', which I believe means 'pertaining to the ages'.  This is a simple explanation for me - though there is debate on this.

Enjoy your stay here,
Legoman

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2009, 05:25:29 PM »

There is debate, yet,  it speaks both through the one word if people aren't so determined that their view is correct.

The knowledge we gain in this temporary state is indeed everlasting.



Offline sven

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2009, 05:26:31 PM »
this is something interesting (English is not my mothertonque), you Englishspeakers seem to use 'eternal' in a stricter sense as we Germans,  I don't really understand the difference between eternal and everlasting - i guess eternal is both without beginning and end, and everlasting is with beginning but without end?

It's really interesting as it seems to me every language has its own understanding of eternity.

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2009, 06:04:11 PM »
this is something interesting (English is not my mothertonque), you Englishspeakers seem to use 'eternal' in a stricter sense as we Germans,  I don't really understand the difference between eternal and everlasting - i guess eternal is both without beginning and end, and everlasting is with beginning but without end?

It's really interesting as it seems to me every language has its own understanding of eternity.


Well, for me it is people deciding to debate the scriptures of an ancient language to fit the definitions tightly to the language it is being translated too.   We then have to interpret what it is that ancient writing was actually trying to convey.

It is not that words can have whatever definition that suits us,  it is that the ancient languages do not translate strictly over to singular words,  but more to phrases when it comes to what we are supposed to get out of them spiritually.   We can then determine an approximation.


Olam is translated to age and everlasting depending upon what translation you have, yet, its broader concept is  "a time far off"  and then we can pick that apart and say, oh well it more means "over the horizon" etc,  yet to say it only means age is an opinion more than it is accurate to the ancient language.  To say it must mean only everlasting created a contradiction that people go to all convoluted lengths to ignore.  Do I like that agr clears up that contradiction?  Yes I do, but I also find for me that it obscures a greater meaning.

The deal over aionios is through a proclaimed grammar rule that has yet to be documented.  That the adjective of a noun cannot take on a greater meaning than the noun it was derived from.

Then the word "superior" breaks that rule.  I do not find the rule in the first place.  So it is no wonder that the debate rages,.

I asked for documentation of that rule and I get  "an adjective modifies the noun"  Of course,  And superior is greater than super.  Then it comes down to it must be used as age only in the new testament.

A use I do not disagree with, however, the ET folks say that it must only mean Eternal or everlasting.  And if the difference only hinges between some grammar rule that doesn't even properly exist in the english language, then where is this proof from either side that it HAS to mean one or the other.


So what is everlasting and what is eternal?    Love is.  God is love.  Our chastisement in existence may be temporary but we cannot perceive its end, yet the chastising quality of God is eternal.    Whether God has anything to chastise or not is beside the point.

God is eternal, his chastising quality existed before we came into the knowledge of this existance and when this realm of existance ends, God did not change to get this quality just because we were created and he does not lose it when he is all in all according to our existence.  God does not change based on circumstance.



Offline WhiteWings

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2009, 06:39:54 PM »
Well, for me it is people deciding to debate the scriptures of an ancient language to fit the definitions tightly to the language it is being translated too.   We then have to interpret what it is that ancient writing was actually trying to convey.
That's indeed the most important thing to keep in mind.

If I look up the words in Mirriam-Webster there isn't much/amy difference.
The words just originated from a different 'place'
Quote
Eternal Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Late Latin aeternalis, from Latin aeternus eternal, from aevum age, eternity — more at aye
Aye Etymology: Middle English, from Old Norse ei; akin to Old English ā always, Latin aevum age, lifetime, Greek aiōn age


Both words are about something that never ends. But have a beginning. Besides of God everything has a beginning. But when we look in the Bible the words have different meanings.

http://thekingpin68.blogspot.com/2006/11/eternal-vs-everlasting.html
One has a beginning, the other not.

http://atheism.about.com/od/whatisgod/a/eternal.htm
One is inside of time the other outside of time.

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Aion_lim.html
Mainly about the translation from aion/aionios

http://precepts.wordpress.com/2008/03/04/everlasting-versus-eternal/
The truth is that both "eternal" and "everlasting" are translations of the same Greek word, aionios, so whatever their definition in English, their definition in Greek is the same. Unfortunately, neither "eternal" nor "everlasting" is a great translation for the word aionios. The word is the adjectival form of the Greek noun aion.


1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Chaplain

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2009, 06:50:45 PM »

[quote/] So then the question becomes, do you believe the scriptures, or do you believe the doctrines of men?  [/quote]

Dear Legoman,
Now thats what I am talking about, thinking outside the box of man made theology!

This has been a struggle of mine most all my life.
I started out in street ministry 20 years ago asking God to enlighten me with His truth and not get stuck in only what men taught me. Later a street minister with three doctorates who experienced the reality of living by faith, trained me for six years. I my never have the formal education that some may have as I have some cognitive disorders now.

Yet today I am a Chaplain, (LT) with the United States Corps of Chaplains.
I have fault with the enemy (deliverance), been healed miraculously and have seen the spiritual world. This is most unuasual for a boy raised within the conservative church, yet I wanted to know the reality of Christ and not just go through the steps of someone teaching me about Him.

I nearly died a couple days after my ordination as a minister, and happend exactly on my twenty years of service in the Army.
I get put off by "Clergymen" who's only concern is for their careers in their denominational structure or serve in Pride for what they have accomplished
in and of themselves.

To live is Christ! Not some politically correct business transaction or position within the establishment.
To really live by faith has little to do with ones education or position "especially in the Church" as we are to follow Christ, and not get trapped by the world.
I do respect peoples education, but not when it is put above following Christ.

When God called me in a Vision of a "Pastors Heart" in 1999, this was only after my (PCA) Pastor said he did not see me as a Pastor, yet he did say maybe a "Chaplain". In websters dictionary it is the same thing, except for the fact the man does not have a (Church estblishment) but as far as the level of spiritually authority a Chaplain is a Pastor.

I feel blessed to be able to serve others in this copasity, yet when I attempt to actually help others as a Chaplain (as a volunteer) other Clergy have never returned my calls; I wonder why?

I have gotten off topic, but I do see a difference in truely following Christ as opposed to men.

Thank you sir, you have uplifted me today! My brother Paul has remained by my side even when I got angry and left this blog for some time.
It is good to be back with truely effective beleivers in Christ!


Offline Nathan

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2009, 07:04:19 PM »

[quote/] So then the question becomes, do you believe the scriptures, or do you believe the doctrines of men?  

Dear Legoman,
Now thats what I am talking about, thinking outside the box of man made theology!

This has been a struggle of mine most all my life.
I started out in street ministry 20 years ago asking God to enlighten me with His truth and not get stuck in only what men taught me. Later a street minister with three doctorates who experienced the reality of living by faith, trained me for six years. I my never have the formal education that some may have as I have some cognitive disorders now.

Yet today I am a Chaplain, (LT) with the United States Corps of Chaplains.
I have fault with the enemy (deliverance), been healed miraculously and have seen the spiritual world. This is most unuasual for a boy raised within the conservative church, yet I wanted to know the reality of Christ and not just go through the steps of someone teaching me about Him.

I nearly died a couple days after my ordination as a minister, and happend exactly on my twenty years of service in the Army.
I get put off by "Clergymen" who's only concern is for their careers in their denominational structure or serve in Pride for what they have accomplished
in and of themselves.

To live is Christ! Not some politically correct business transaction or position within the establishment.
To really live by faith has little to do with ones education or position "especially in the Church" as we are to follow Christ, and not get trapped by the world.
I do respect peoples education, but not when it is put above following Christ.

When God called me in a Vision of a "Pastors Heart" in 1999, this was only after my (PCA) Pastor said he did not see me as a Pastor, yet he did say maybe a "Chaplain". In websters dictionary it is the same thing, except for the fact the man does not have a (Church estblishment) but as far as the level of spiritually authority a Chaplain is a Pastor.

I feel blessed to be able to serve others in this copasity, yet when I attempt to actually help others as a Chaplain (as a volunteer) other Clergy have never returned my calls; I wonder why?

I have gotten off topic, but I do see a difference in truely following Christ as opposed to men.

Thank you sir, you have uplifted me today! My brother Paul has remained by my side even when I got angry and left this blog for some time.
It is good to be back with truely effective beleivers in Christ!


[/quote]
May I ask how long you've been outside your box?  Being a pastor myself . . .I remain in the box, but my message is one from outside the box . . . meaning I am in a denomination, but I do not emphasize denominational thinking . . .and I must keep a low profile as a result.

One thing I have had impressed on me lately is the realization that just as there are growth spurts in a natural being . . .it is the same in a spiritual one as well.  Paul speaks about putting the childish things away when he became a man . . . in our natural thinking . . .we look at one who is childish as a bad thing rather than a natural one.

By that I mean . . .when a teenager acts like a teenager . . .we don't get upset or look down on them for being what they are.  We may be frustrated with them and have no clue to the lingo they use to communicate, but we're not disgusted at them for being who they are.  Yet we know when they get older . .they'll "grow out" of certain things . . .

but when it comes to the church . . . it's considered a terrible thing to be spiritually childish . . .that when Paul was saying he put away childish things  . .we take that to mean, he put away things that were inappropriate, unhealthy, of no consequence, and things that are unnecessary.  But what if all that means is . . .when I was a child in Christ, I did what spiritual children do . .but when I became mature in Christ, I stopped doing the things I did when I was a child.

I say all of that to say that I see that there are those adamant about being in active ministry . . laying on of hands . . .street walking . .knocking on doors . .putting on the armor of God . . .being involved with spiritual warfare . . .all those types of things . . . but there comes a time when we walk into another realm that has no works required.  In fact . . .the things required are the opposite of what got us there.  One can not be in warfare if one is in rest at the same time . . .maturity . . .retirement from labor . . . being a king doesn't mean the activities are no longer accomplished . . .the ministry of God is still impliemented . . . but simply through another means.  Instead of my hands doing the work . . .I can simply "speak" into the same things where I used to actually take an active role in laboring. 

Not sure if I'm making any sense . . gotta go for now . .but if there are questions to clarify . . .I can do so later.

Paul Hazelwood

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2009, 07:05:48 PM »

The truth is that both "eternal" and "everlasting" are translations of the same Greek word, aionios, so whatever their definition in English, their definition in Greek is the same. Unfortunately, neither "eternal" nor "everlasting" is a great translation for the word aionios. The word is the adjectival form of the Greek noun aion.



What I question is the singular words in which it is maintained it must be for the greater "doctrine".

Aion has a definition more pronouced that is "The perpetuity of time"  people then go on about how perpetuity cannot mean age and that defintions are corrupt, etc.  Well perpetuity of time is not the only use either.  Aion is not only "age".

So the adjective aionios is not limited to pertaining to an age in the first place.  

If the english definition is what it must mean in ancient greek, assuming we have got it correct, then  the perpetuity of time can be  "continuous  within a period of time".

It can also be age


The realization that the word pertains to both at the same time really helped me get over that last hurdle of my depression and awaken me to things greater than one word can ever convey.

This does not mean I am super or superior to anyone else.  It simply is where I am at and will share that in the light of the debate for the struggle of someones correct doctrine.

I gave a part of my soul to religion in churches that teach eternal torment in the same manner that one word literally is what it must be.  I refuse to give away what I have taken back over the doctrine wars.  FOR ME it is returning to bondage.

Others will have to find freedom as their life will come to that.


Offline sven

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2009, 07:20:40 PM »
allow me some "killer verses"

Psalm 77,5(6)

διελογισαμην ημερας αρχαιας και ετη αιωνια εμνησθην και εμελετησα (LXX)

cogitavi dies antiquos et annos aeternos in mente habui (Vulgata)

I remember ancient days and eternal/everlasting years I have in mind.

Isaiah 54:4

μη φοβου οτι κατησχυνθης μηδε εντραπης οτι ωνειδισθης οτι αισχυνην αιωνιον επιληση και ονειδος της χηρειας σου ου μη μνησθηση

Fear not, because thou has been put to shame, neither be confounded, because thou was reproached: for thou shalt forget thy eternal/everlasting shame, and shalt no more at all remember the reproach of thy widowhood.

Isaiah  61:4

και οικοδομησουσιν ερημους αιωνιας εξηρημωμενας προτερον εξαναστησουσιν και καινιουσιν πολεις ερημους εξηρημωμενας εις γενεας

And they shall build the eternal/everlasting waste places, they shall raise up those that were before made desolate, and shall renew the desert cities, even those that had been desolate for many generations. 

aionios can hardly mean eternal or everlasting in any of this verses


Paul Hazelwood

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2009, 07:31:28 PM »


Actually sven,  I have forgotten the shame I have felt in the past,  While I was in that shame I believed it would never end.


People with mental illness often commit suicide because they have no perception that what they experience can have an end while they live and they only see one solution.



SpiritDriven

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2009, 08:14:43 PM »
Hi Group,
Gods Love for all is eternal, that is everlasting....boy did he ever zap me with that once upon a time.

He made an.... especially of believers.... out of me that day.

Grace and Peace to you all.

Chaplain

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2009, 09:12:06 PM »
May I ask how long you've been outside your box?  Being a pastor myself . . .I remain in the box, but my message is one from outside the box . . . meaning I am in a denomination, but I do not emphasize denominational thinking . . .and I must keep a low profile as a result.

I don't know yet how to use the quote box above^


Dear Pastor Nathan,

I do not condemn anyone for being a denominational (Church) leader; but am simply saying that an intellectual ability to understand and communicate the Gospel is not in and of itself Spiritual. Any more than casting out demons, healings and other seemingly spectacular events are.

I appreciate the fact you must remain silent at times as a representative of Christ and his people this is certainly understandable in your position, but I am glad you understand and preach in a spirit of truth.

I am not saying that I am above denominationalisms- orthodoxy or even that I am hyper spiritual or mature, I am a weak dependant man the truth be told.
Yet out of my weakness I have gained strength as I cannot depend upon myself.

I agree with you that growth is a natural thing and cannot be forced.
But at the same time, Pastors are accountable for their sheep, and they should not be a spiritual babe, but are expected to have maturity.
As you know this is well explained for an Elder teaching Elder- "Bishop" or whatever title one uses.

I do not condemn people because of their understanding education emotionalism ect...
But am simply trying to say that people are often scared to step out in real faith and trust the Lord.
They are much more comfortable remaining in their "Box", this too is only natural yet produces little personal growth, as the Lord will not violate our wills.
To humbly and dependently follow Christ is the key, and I'm sure you will agree with me in this point.

To ask how long I have been out of "my box" is a tough question for me as often I waffle back and forth in my thinking (in being double minded) still.
Yet it is the Lord who continually breaks my concepts of who he is, in my understanding.
This is what Jesus did in showing others who he was while walking the earth.
In particular he had the most problems with the religious leaders of his day.
This is the point I am trying to make; if we become trapped in our thinking God must than crush us, in order to show us greater truths.

Now, what we are shown will always be Biblical if it is of God, and we must be able to discern the difference with proper teachings from more mature Christians.

My problem is that I feel I have never really fit in the middle, or upper middle class society; as even though coming from a prominent family I was often rejected because of my academic shortfalls.

I only write this to humbly give you some insight into who I am, and how I have had to learn academically; in being rejected by institutions of higher learning when I was younger.
Despite these personal problems, my heart yearned to serve our Lord in an effective way so I have continually prayed about being effective for Christ.
One day in 2005 while driving to work, as a "tugboat engineer" I prayed I would be effective like Paul was for Christ and that the enemy would know who I was, as I did not want to be just sitting in Church week to week being inafective.

Than on that Sunday two days after my ordination: I died for about 20 minuets off and on, as my heart stopped in Water Survival Training on exactly my 20 years in the Army. Jesus Christ lay next to me in shadow, (it will take too long to explain this experience here) so I will just say that three weeks later in the hospital my heart started to go into arrest again. The Nurse who was with me repeated back my prayer to me, answering my prayer I had prayed to our Lord before my event. So I would say that I do not live in a box much anymore "theologically speaking".

So why can't I share my testimony publically in my Church, I was in the leadership and basically believe all the doctrinal teachings...

Yet I am not allowed to share, why?
I can only assume this is because of a fear I would cause embarrassment or something? This is why I wrote what I wrote, as I am often frustrated in attempting to teach others the reality of knowing Jesus Christ in my life, as a witness for him.

May the Lord bless your understanding of what I have written here.



Offline Cardinal

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2009, 10:05:40 PM »
 :cloud9: Really enjoyed your posts and getting to know you a little bit Chaplain. Welcome to the board (again). He uses ALL; all He is truly looking for, is willing vessels, and it's obvious from your posts you qualify. Blessings...
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Offline jabcat

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2009, 10:11:57 PM »

 thinking outside the box of man made theology!

This has been a struggle of mine most all my life.
I started out in street ministry 20 years ago asking God to enlighten me with His truth and not get stuck in only what men taught me.

I have fault with the enemy (deliverance), been healed miraculously and have seen the spiritual world. This is most unuasual for a boy raised within the conservative church, yet I wanted to know the reality of Christ and not just go through the steps of someone teaching me about Him.


To live is Christ! Not some politically correct business transaction or position within the establishment.
To really live by faith has little to do with ones education or position "especially in the Church" as we are to follow Christ, and not get trapped by the world.
I do respect peoples education, but not when it is put above following Christ.

When God called me in a Vision of a "Pastors Heart" in 1999, this was only after my (PCA) Pastor said he did not see me as a Pastor, yet he did say maybe a "Chaplain". In websters dictionary it is the same thing, except for the fact the man does not have a (Church estblishment) but as far as the level of spiritually authority a Chaplain is a Pastor.

I feel blessed to be able to serve others in this copasity, yet when I attempt to actually help others as a Chaplain (as a volunteer) other Clergy have never returned my calls; I wonder why?

I have gotten off topic, but I do see a difference in truely following Christ as opposed to men.

It is good to be back with truely effective beleivers in Christ!

:goodpost:
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline peacemaker

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2009, 04:34:07 AM »
this is something interesting (English is not my mothertonque), you Englishspeakers seem to use 'eternal' in a stricter sense as we Germans,  I don't really understand the difference between eternal and everlasting - i guess eternal is both without beginning and end, and everlasting is with beginning but without end?

It's really interesting as it seems to me every language has its own understanding of eternity.

"Jede Reise beginnt mit einem ersten Schritt, und jeder Schritt ist es ist eigene Reise."

Es endet nie!

Friedensstifter

Offline peacemaker

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2009, 04:45:10 AM »
this is something interesting (English is not my mothertonque), you Englishspeakers seem to use 'eternal' in a stricter sense as we Germans,  I don't really understand the difference between eternal and everlasting - i guess eternal is both without beginning and end, and everlasting is with beginning but without end?

It's really interesting as it seems to me every language has its own understanding of eternity.

"Jede Reise beginnt mit einem ersten Schritt, und jeder Schritt ist es ist eigene Reise."

Es endet nie!

Friedensstifter


"Every journey begins with a first step, and each step, it is its own journey."

 It ends never!

 Peacemaker

Offline Nathan

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2009, 04:04:04 PM »
May I ask how long you've been outside your box?  Being a pastor myself . . .I remain in the box, but my message is one from outside the box . . . meaning I am in a denomination, but I do not emphasize denominational thinking . . .and I must keep a low profile as a result.

I don't know yet how to use the quote box above^


Dear Pastor Nathan,

I do not condemn anyone for being a denominational (Church) leader; but am simply saying that an intellectual ability to understand and communicate the Gospel is not in and of itself Spiritual. Any more than casting out demons, healings and other seemingly spectacular events are.

I appreciate the fact you must remain silent at times as a representative of Christ and his people this is certainly understandable in your position, but I am glad you understand and preach in a spirit of truth.

I am not saying that I am above denominationalisms- orthodoxy or even that I am hyper spiritual or mature, I am a weak dependant man the truth be told.
Yet out of my weakness I have gained strength as I cannot depend upon myself.

I agree with you that growth is a natural thing and cannot be forced.
But at the same time, Pastors are accountable for their sheep, and they should not be a spiritual babe, but are expected to have maturity.
As you know this is well explained for an Elder teaching Elder- "Bishop" or whatever title one uses.

I do not condemn people because of their understanding education emotionalism ect...
But am simply trying to say that people are often scared to step out in real faith and trust the Lord.
They are much more comfortable remaining in their "Box", this too is only natural yet produces little personal growth, as the Lord will not violate our wills.
To humbly and dependently follow Christ is the key, and I'm sure you will agree with me in this point.

To ask how long I have been out of "my box" is a tough question for me as often I waffle back and forth in my thinking (in being double minded) still.
Yet it is the Lord who continually breaks my concepts of who he is, in my understanding.
This is what Jesus did in showing others who he was while walking the earth.
In particular he had the most problems with the religious leaders of his day.
This is the point I am trying to make; if we become trapped in our thinking God must than crush us, in order to show us greater truths.

Now, what we are shown will always be Biblical if it is of God, and we must be able to discern the difference with proper teachings from more mature Christians.

My problem is that I feel I have never really fit in the middle, or upper middle class society; as even though coming from a prominent family I was often rejected because of my academic shortfalls.

I only write this to humbly give you some insight into who I am, and how I have had to learn academically; in being rejected by institutions of higher learning when I was younger.
Despite these personal problems, my heart yearned to serve our Lord in an effective way so I have continually prayed about being effective for Christ.
One day in 2005 while driving to work, as a "tugboat engineer" I prayed I would be effective like Paul was for Christ and that the enemy would know who I was, as I did not want to be just sitting in Church week to week being inafective.

Than on that Sunday two days after my ordination: I died for about 20 minuets off and on, as my heart stopped in Water Survival Training on exactly my 20 years in the Army. Jesus Christ lay next to me in shadow, (it will take too long to explain this experience here) so I will just say that three weeks later in the hospital my heart started to go into arrest again. The Nurse who was with me repeated back my prayer to me, answering my prayer I had prayed to our Lord before my event. So I would say that I do not live in a box much anymore "theologically speaking".

So why can't I share my testimony publically in my Church, I was in the leadership and basically believe all the doctrinal teachings...

Yet I am not allowed to share, why?
I can only assume this is because of a fear I would cause embarrassment or something? This is why I wrote what I wrote, as I am often frustrated in attempting to teach others the reality of knowing Jesus Christ in my life, as a witness for him.

May the Lord bless your understanding of what I have written here.




Much of what you say I can easily relate to.  And there are times I come off as being against the traditional church . . .depending on who it is I'm in conversation with.  There are some that are hungry for more but can't understand why their searching is in vain . . . to them, I'd say it's because they are looking for more in the confines of that which is the very thing that is keeping them from seeing.  God is not in the religion of the church, he's in the relationship with the church.

When one puts relationship above religion, then one will find themselves in the freedom of life rather in the limitations of man.  God can still very much use the church . .and does. . . but "my" personal quest is to be led beyond what the church is comfortable with.  I want to go beyond the ministry, beyond the knowledge and cautions established by those who were living in a day of labor . . . I want to personally experience the total freedom of what it's like to live life in the day of the Sabbath . .the day of rest. 

And this becomes the delimma because the church . . .today's evangelical strand as well as others . . . embrace the ministries as outreach . .which I believe is very necessary, it's just not "the" main goal . . .it's a step in reaching the main goal .  . . but one thing I came across this week in Hebrews 6 that really struck a chord in me . . .and it's connnected to this same topic . . .
 
Are the things we consider to be meat . . .actually meat for the mature in Christ?  or meat for the youth?

Hebrews 6
1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

 2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

In reading that first line again . . . .the call is for me to LEAVE THE PRINCIPLES OF THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST . . . sounds like heresy to me.  To leave is to let go of . . . to lay down . . . note the last piece included in this . . . .much of our discussion on this forum can fall into that . . .meaning me myself as well. 

I'm not saying that we're not to converse about it . . .I'm just saying this is sorta a plumbline to show me I'm not as much a meat eater as I'd like to think I am. 

My original point I was trying to make was . . .there are many in the churches today that are not willing to even consider laying down the principles of Christ . . . it's just not even an option. 

Just something to think about.

Offline Cardinal

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2009, 04:49:33 PM »
 :cloud9: If you want to know WHY we are to leave the principles of Christ, read my second post under the "What is Church" thread. My other comment here is, perhaps the body needs to look deeply into what going on unto perfection actually means. Blessings....
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Chaplain

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Re: ETERNAL / EVERLASTING
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2009, 06:22:41 PM »
Pastor Nathan,

You make an outstanding observation about: Hebrews 6:1
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

I have never thought about this passage in the way you have presented it, I believe you are correct in your observation and decrement. What it is saying to me is to get past "baby food" and to be still, or be as dead in our faith in Christ to move us forward, and much more as we trust him alone in our lives.

I would have to confess that this is a struggle for me also, and one I am now just starting to see exists within me.
Like I have said, I did not understand my frustration with the leadership at first (or myself) but yet I found myself asking "where's the beef?"  Perhaps this is because many of us are hungry for more than doctrine, as we are hungry for Christ! Yet it is also my observation, which many in leadership simply refuse to move or step out in this type of faith as they are comfortable in their religion and position.

Although I cannot look into the hearts of men or their motives, I believe my Spirit can sense this resistance and this is why I become frustrated. Not that I consider myself better than them, only that intuitively I see a refusal to move forward in faith alone.

A more mature man of faith used this allegory of the Church today, when speaking to me a week ago about this frustration…

The world famous tight rope walker attempted to stretch his rope across Niagara Falls and walk across for the "Crowd". He said to the crowd, do you believe I can do this? The crowd responded "of course you can, you are the best in the world" – so he walked across the tight rope and back successfully.

Next he put on a blindfold and asked the crowd, do you believe I can do this blindfolded successfully?
They said "of course you can, you have done this many times before"; so he walked across blindfolded and back.

Then he asked the crowd, do you think I can do this with a person riding on my shoulders?
Again the crowd responded "of course we do, you are the best there is!"
The tight rope walker than asked for a volunteer, and everyone walked away…



This is like many in the Church today, they preach Christ and Christ alone, tells others to walk in faith; yet will not dare actually do it themselves. If one dares to challenge them on this point, most will turn on that sheep and try to devour him. I know this is an age old battle, but in my frustration as one who is just starting to see with "spiritual eyes" I feel I need to do something, but cannot figure out how to approach this problem.

It has become my problem, as I promised God if he allowed me to live I would try to tell the world about what he had done for me. But like the witnesses to Jesus works where marginalized, when he walked the earth, I feel the same way… Again this is not because of me, but only out of the joy of knowing Christ… And I am frustrated.

Thank you for your post sir, I will think on it!