Aeons of the Aeons – Literal or Forever?
The phrase “aeons of the Aeons” occurs say in Revelation 20:10 (Verse in image) and in apostle Paul’s letters such as in Galatians 1:5.
There are two possibilities:
1) St. Augustine (354 AD – 430 AD) – Idiomatic Approach
He argues that such usage is ‘idiomatic’ and thus means ‘forever and ever’. Most churches and Bible translators today follow this.
2) St. Irenaeous of Lyons (130 AD – 202 AD) – Literal Approach
St. Irenaeous’ writings clearly point to the phrase “aeons of Aeons” to mean literally to the “ages of Ages”:
aeons (subset) of the Aeons (larger Set)
Meaning that the reference is to the first set of “aeons” (subset – limited only) out of the Larger Dispensation of God into the “Aeons” (Larger Set).
One of the best quote by St. Irenaeous’ is the following in his own words:
“Paul also, they affirm, very clearly and frequently names these Aeons, and even goes so far as to preserve their order, when he says, “To all the generations of the Aeons of the Aeon.” Nay, we ourselves, when at the giving of thanks we pronounce the words, “To Aeons of Aeons” do set forth these Aeons. And, in fine, wherever the words Aeon or Aeons occur, they at once refer them to these beings.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (‘Against Heresies’, Chapter III, Book I)
In the translation in link above, it’s written exactly the same as above except for one part, quoted below:
‘words, “To Aeons of Aeons” (for ever and ever),’
Please note that I ommited the added phrase “(for ever and ever)” which St. Irenaeous did NOT write but is added by copyist or translator (that’s why it’s in the brackets – Can you see it now who is speaking truth?)
St. Irenaeous clearly affirms that the phrase “aeons of Aeons” is NOT idiomatic but refers only to the smaller “aeons” (literal reading as in the Young’s Literal Translation, YLT Bible), in his words proving this claim:
“… Nay, we ourselves, when at the giving of thanks we pronounce the words, “To Aeons of Aeons” do set forth these Aeons…”
Yes, we (true Christians) – – – > “do set forth these Aeons” when reading the phrase “To Aeons of Aeons”.
The common ground between the ‘Gnostic heretics’ and ‘true Christians’ using the phrase “aeons of Aeons” is that the former refers to it as some type of ‘being’ (or living creature) while the latter (e. g. St. Irenaeous) believes it to mean the reference of limited but unknown long time only, i. e. the “aeons” or “ages” as explained by St. Irenaeous in quote above (‘Context’).
Yes, St. Irenaeous’ confirmation of “time order of Aeons” (example: AEON1, AEON2, AEON3 etc.) is “Biblical” as St. Irenaeous own words above prove irrefutably, quoted again below for clarity:
“Paul also, they affirm, very clearly and frequently names these Aeons, and even goes so far as to preserve their order,” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons
The phrase ‘they [the Gnostic Heretics] affirm’ points that even the Gnostic heretics know this truth but only that the Gnostic heretics manipulate it to mean some type of living creature as St. Irenaeous says,
“And, in fine, wherever the words Aeon or Aeons occur, they [the Gnostic Heretics] at once refer them to these beings.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons
Also, St. Irenaeous of Lyons indicates that apostle Paul’s usage of “Aeons” must be literal for example the phrase “Aeons to come” (in Ephesians 2:7) must thus refer ‘literally’ to ‘AEON2, AEON3,… ‘ (plural – at least two future ages) while the Blashphemy of the Holy Spirit is only punished in the current “Aeon” (AEON1) and the next “coming aeon” (AEON2) establishing hope in AEON3 onward.
Likewise, Matthew 25:46 refers to AEON2 as explained in previous posts.
A Christian doesn’t need to believe in St. Irenaeous but automatically believes in St. Augustine if it is so but claiming that “St. Irenaeous believed in the phrase aeons of Aeons to mean forever and ever is an obvious lie”.
Between St. Irenaeous vs St. Augustine, I will believe St. Irenaeous as the former is way more authoritative and heard from Polycarp who in turn heard from apostle John who wrote the Book of Revelation itself, and hence cannot be wrong.
Please remember that he who bears a false witness breaks one of the 10 commandments.
Peace to you
Salvation from Hell – God sends Messiah Type in Cyrus
Focus: Unconditional Giving of Freedom from ‘Hell like situations itself’ by the Last of Kings.
God’s Example in Nature: The Humpback whales (as explained in image, in Principle of Romans 1:20).
Keyword: “Doing Good/Loving … hoping nothing in return”
Bible Example: king Cyrus the great (king of Persia)
“I have aroused him [Cyrus king of Persia] in righteousness And I will make all his ways smooth; He will build My city and will let My exiles go free, Without any payment or reward,” says the LORD of hosts.” (Isaiah 45:13, NASB)
Did it really happen?
Secular Historical Quote:
“… From the Mediterranean Sea and Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, Cyrus the Great created the largest empire the world had yet seen … Cyrus the Great respected the customs and religions of the lands he conquered… What is sometimes referred to as the Edict of Restoration (actually two edicts) described in the Bible as being made by Cyrus the Great left a lasting legacy on the Jewish religion. According to the Jewish Bible (Christian Old Testament) (Isaiah 45:1), God anointed Cyrus for this task, even referring to him as messiah (lit. “His anointed one”) and he is the only non-Jewish figure in the Bible to be called so.… Elsewhere in Isaiah, God is described as saying, “I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness: I will make all his ways straight. He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for a price or reward, says God Almighty.” (Isaiah 45:13) As the text suggests, Cyrus did ultimately release the nation of Israel from its exile without compensation or tribute…” – Wikipedia
Cyrus the Great is also well recognized for his achievements in human rights.
Does a New Testament Verse teach that such a “selfless act” of “hoping nothing in return” may be done toward an “enemy” too (‘Context’)?
Yes, and it’s Our Most Blessed Savior Himself Who Taught and Will Do toward the Salvation of His Enemies too in the Context of ‘Soul’ even toward ‘His Enemies’ as ‘St. Justin Martyr’ revealed as discussed in a recent post:
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; …” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:35, NASB)
Because the Most High God is like that (Verse above in full):
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:35, NASB)
As our life story continues, we may be seeing a Cyrus right now in our daily lives (not realizing it) as even the Original Cyrus did NOT realize that YHWH was moving him to such ‘selfless righteousness’ as a ‘true king’, Verse:
“Thus says the LORD to Cyrus His anointed,
Whom I have taken by the right hand,
To subdue nations before him
And to loose the loins of kings;
To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: … I have given you a title of honor
Though you have not known Me.
“I am the LORD, and there is no other;
Besides Me there is no God.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me;” (Isaiah 45:1, 4 – 5, NASB)
If you speak to a Cyrus-type who helped you where you had no strength, you may hear this reply or equivalent:
“… You would have done the same … ” (Luke 6:31, Galatians 6:7)
As Holy Scripture is a about Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 24:44), the “Messiah’s Cyrus Trait” is to set the “prisoners” finally free from the “pit” (metaphorically = Hell) for “free” , i. e. as the Greatest Act of the Final Selfless Giving by the KING of kings Himself in the end, Prophetic
“As for you also, because of the Blood of My covenant with you, I have set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.” – God Speaks (in Zechariah 9:11, NASB)
“your prisoners” = those we send to Hell (metaphorically by our Judgment – please read the ‘P/S’ below)
“Blood of My covenant with you” = The Lord’s Blood Covenant with us, believers (metaphorically) also causes a ‘Ransom toward all’ (1 Timothy 2:6) & hence God Will Release those “prisoners free from the waterless pit (Hell)” as allegorically or literally Prophesied here
“waterless pit” = Hell (Gehenna or Lake of Fire where it looks like a pit with water but ‘no water’ & only a spiritual fire exists).
Can you see it?
The above is God’s Will while the opposite (i. e. to keep Hell eternal) is the Devil’s Will as Metaphorically Described in this ancient chapter commonly used to describe Satan’s Trait:
“Who [Lucifer in Latin, Context:Isaiah 14:12 first] made the world like a wilderness And overthrew its cities, Who did not allow his prisoners to go home?” (Isaiah 14:17, NASB)
Can you really see it now (God’s Will vs Satan’s Will) as it is Written in Holy Scripture?
P/S: Hell (Gehenna or Lake of Fire) Final Sentence
Hell for the wicked is “only till the last penny” (Matthew 5:26, Luke 12:59) as ‘those have been wronged demand it in Judgment’ (Matthew 5:23 – 25, Luke 12:57 – 58) which is the ‘Word of God which allows that Judgment for us to decide’ (John 12:48, 1 Corinthians 6:2) but Christ Judges no one (John 8:15) for sins done against Him (John 12:47, Mark 3:28) where the Blashphemy of the Holy Spirit Sentence has been fixed in Heaven (probably by spiritual authorities of angels & saints looking at John 12:49 & John 8:15 with Hebrews 2:2 & 1 Corinthians 6:2) which lasts to exactly “two ages (Aeons)”, this one & the next (Matthew 12:32).
Reconciliation from the Lake of Fire by the “Spirit” (God) as called out by His “Bride” (Church, Christians) toward the “thirsty” ones from the Lake of Fire “freely” is revealed mysteriously in Revelation 22:17 .
Please read the quoted Verses carefully to realize these delicate yet intricate truth accurately as each Verse explains a Detail Beautifully.
Peace to you
‘Christians without Christ, non-Christians with Christ’ – Sadhu Sundar Singh
The quote above makes sense in the Biblical king Cyrus Example.
P/S 2: First Christianity Quotes agreeing to this Literally
- Apocalypse of Peter
To Quote (Page 534 from the ‘Lost Orthodoxy’ Book):
The “Apocalypse of Peter” keeping the “Christ Centered Universalism” as per the “Sibyline Oracles” a Secret because:
“There is also a section which explains that in the END God will SAVE ALL SINNERS FROM their plight in HELL (1 Timothy 2:4-KJV, 1 Timothy 4:10, 1 John 4:14):
“My Father will give unto them all the life, the glory, and the kingdom that passeth not away, … It is because of them that have believed in me that I am come. It is also because of them that have believed in me, that, at their word, I shall have pity on men… ”
Thus, sinners will finally be saved by the prayers of those in heaven. Peter then orders his son Clement not to speak of this revelation since God had told Peter to keep it secret:
[and God said]”… thou must NOT TELL that which thou hearest unto the SINNERS lest they TRANSGRESS the MORE, and SIN”.”
- Do Eternal Hell Theologians agree that the above is Authentic?
To Quote (Page 535 from the ‘Lost Orthodoxy’ Book):
To Quote from the ‘Apocalypse of Peter’ itself regarding these Rarely Known Truths, please consider:
“There is a great deal more of the Ethiopic text, but it is very evidently of later date; the next words are: Next: ‘ The Father hath committed all judgement unto the Son.’ The destiny of sinners -their eternal [AGE-DURING] doom- is more than Peter can endure: he appeals to Christ to have pity on them.
And my Lord answered me and said to me: ‘Hast thou understood that which I said unto thee before? It is permitted unto thee to know that concerning which thou askest: but thou must not tell that which thou hearest unto the sinners lest they transgress the more, and sin.’
Peter weeps many hours, and is at last consoled by an answer which, though exceedingly diffuse and vague does seem to promise ultimate pardon for all: ‘My Father will give unto them all the life, the glory, and the kingdom that passeth not away,’ . . . ‘It is because of them that have believed in Me that I am come. It is also because of them that have believed in Me, that, at their word, I shall have pity on men.’
The doctrine that sinners will be saved at last by the prayers of the righteous is, rather obscurely, enunciated in the Second Book of the Sibylline Oracles (a paraphrase, in this part, of the Apocalypse), and in the (Coptic) Apocalypse of Elias (see post).
Ultimately Peter orders Clement to hide this revelation in a box, that foolish men may not see it. The passage in the Second Book of the Sibylline Oracles which seems to point to the ultimate salvation of all sinners will be found in the last lines of the translation given below.
The passage in the Coptic Apocalypse of Elias is guarded and obscure in expression, but significant. It begins with a sentence which has a parallel in Peter. The righteous will behold the sinners in their punishment, and those who have persecuted them and delivered them up. Then will the sinners on their part behold the place of the righteous and be partakers of grace. In that Day will that for which the (righteous) shall often pray, be granted to them.
That is, as I take it, the salvation of sinners will be granted at the prayer of the righteous.
Compare also the Epistle of the Apostles, 40: ‘the righteous are sorry for the sinners, and pray for them…. And I will hearken unto the prayer of the righteous which they make for them.’ (Apocalypse of Peter)
Please note ‘carefully’ that the ‘eternal hell’ translator tries to ‘deny’ these actual words found claiming that ‘we can’t be sure’ (and all the ‘usual evading drama’). ‘Universal Salvation for ALL MEN’ is clearly written in those Copyist Versions of the ‘Apocalypse of Peter’, the ‘Sibyline Oracles’, the ‘Coptic Apocalypse of Elias’ and the ‘Epistle of the Apostles’ as quoted by the ‘eternal hell translator’ himself. Isn’t it obvious?
- Sibyline Oracles – as apostle Paul himself told to read this as Clement of Alexandria quotes (‘Verbal Command’ – in Principle of 2 Thessalonians 2:15)
To Quote (Page 276 – 277 from the ‘Lost Orthodoxy’ Book):
Is Clement of Alexandria mentioning a Secret that apostle Paul tried to say in regards to Hystaspes when he writes, ‘quoting an apocryphal speech by Paul’?
Is that why Justin Martyr (knowing this) also quotes Hystaspes in a ‘Universal Salvation’ manner —-> saying, ‘extermination of the corrupt will happen by fire’ —> which refers to the extermination of the ‘corrupt’ (sin & evil) —> as even the SIBYL quoted together in the above obviously taught Universal Salvation (proving this Context Stronger), to quote:
“… for a long day will God make.
And to the pious will the almighty God
405 Imperishable grant another thing,
When they shall ask the imperishable God:
That he will suffer men from raging fire
And endless gnawing anguish to be saved;
And this will he do. For hereafter he
410 Will pluck them from the restless flame, elsewhere
Remove them, and for his own people’s sake
Send them to other and eternal life
With the immortals, in Elysian field,” (Sibyline Oracles, Book II, 297-322, p. 51)
- Apocalypse of Elijah (‘Elias’)
“27.Those who belong to the righteous and … will see the sinners and those who persecuted them and those who handed them over to death in their torments.
28.Then the sinners [ in torment ] will see the place of the righteous.
29.And thus GRACE WILL OCCUR. In THOSE DAYS, that which the RIGHTEOUS will ASK for MANY TIMES WILL BE GIVEN to them.”
Beautifully Mysterious indeed (e. g. The ‘Righteous, His Bride‘ asking for the ‘thirsty’ —-> who are most likely those from the ‘fire that is not quenched’ —> to be Given the WATER of LIFE FREELY eventually, Revelations 22:17).
“This apocalypse is mentioned in the Apostolic Constitutions, the List of the Sixty Books, the Synopsis of Pseudo-Athanasius, the Stichometry of Nicephorus, and the Armenian list of Mechithar. Origen, Ambrosiaster, and Euthalius ascribe First Epistle to the Corinthians 2:9 to it:”
“If they are right, the apocalypse is pre-Pauline. The peculiar form in which this quotation appears in Clement of Alexandria, Protrepticus x. 94, and the Apostolic Constitutions vii. 32, shows that both have the same source, probably this apocalypse. Epiphanius ascribes to this work Eph. 5:14:”
“The Jewish version of the Apocalypse of Elijah was published by Adolf Jellinek in 1855 and Moses Buttenwieser in 1897. Theodor Zahn assigns this apocalypse to the 2nd century A.D. but other scholars reject such an early date.The two extant versions are thought to be derived from the same original, which would be the one quoted by Paul the Apostle. The Coptic version has been Christianized and the Hebrew version abridged.”
Web Source for quotes above:
- Out of Christianity Quote – ‘Magi of the East’ Possibility
To Quote (Page 278 from the ‘Lost Orthodoxy’ Book):
So, in light of the encouragement above by both Justin Martyr and more so by Clement of Alexandria quoting apostle Paul himself on it, we find it within orthodoxy to have a closer look at the Zoroastrianism Prophecies but only in the Context of the Final Judgment in the Lake of Fire (next).
To my surprise, I realized that the Zoroastrianism Prophecies also disproves both the eternal hell concept and the annihilation concept and endorses Christ Centred Universalism again in Essence which will be discussed in the next chapter for edification in light of this.
Please take note that among the wise men or magi who came from the east during Christ’s Birth, it is well supported by Christian Historians that these were of the ancient Zoroastrianism religion which makes this encouragement stronger as the Bible called them wise (which Proves that ‘they must know something deep’).
To Quote (Page 281 from the ‘Lost Orthodoxy’ Book)
The final savior of the world, Saoshyant, will be born to a virgin impregnated by the seed of Zoroaster while bathing in a lake. Saoshyant will raise the dead – including those in both heaven and hell – for final judgment, returning the wicked to hell to be purged of bodily sin. Next, all will wade through a river of molten metal in which the righteous will not burn. Heavenly forces will ultimately triumph over evil, rendering it forever impotent. Saoshyant and Ahura Mazda will offer a bull as a final sacrifice for all time, and all humans will become immortal. Mountains will again flatten and valleys will rise; heaven will descend to the moon, and the earth will rise to meet them both.
Humanity requires two judgments because there are as many aspects to our being: spiritual (menog) and physical (getig).”
Please don’t take the above Belief ‘word to word’ (for it is NOT Inspired Writing) but it is obvious that it Speaks in the Context of Universal Salvation in Lord Jesus Christ in the End where some of the concepts Described therein (e.g. the ‘Resurrection of the Dead’ is clearly Biblical). Let us be Wise.
In the above.
“Saoshyant” = Lord Jesus Christ (The Resemblance is Incredible isn’t it?)
- Out of Christianity Quote – Plato
Who endorses these Plato’s Quotes as ‘same’ as Christian Doctrine?
St. Justin Martyr affirms that the ancient wise man Plato got this part right regarding the afterlife Judgment of God agreeing to the “Prophets” of the Bible too (implied, as it is Described in Pages 17-18 or Pages 23 -25 of the FREE downloadable pdf e-Book quoted in link below).
To Quote (Page 24 – 25 from the ‘Lost Orthodoxy’ Book)
How did Plato understand the ‘Retributive Judgment’ of God ‘Correctly’ as it is Declared (and approved to agree to the ‘Prophets’ of God) by Justin himself?
Justin Martyr clearly describes the ‘Near Death Hell-like experience’ attributed to Plato’s knowledge to be similar and in agreement to the Prophets too —-> in that even toward the ‘most wicked’ men (though severe & serious) —–> it lasts only till the ‘full penalty’ after which they ‘may ascend’ (which seems to refer to the Hope of Resurrection – to be ‘made Alive in Christ’ inferred from 1 Corinthians 15:22 as a “HOPE” toward the Wicked too, Acts 24:15 as part and puzzle beyond the afterlife Judgment to the ‘last Penny’ which must be endured by these first – Luke 12:59).
Here’s is Justin’s writing on that:
“And in the tenth book he plainly and manifestly wrote what he had LEARNED from the PROPHETS about the JUDGMENT, not as if he had learned it from them, but, on account of his fear of the Greeks, AS IF he had heard it from a MAN who has been SLAIN in battle–for this story he thought fit to INVENT–and who, when he was about to be buried on the twelfth day, and was lying on the FUNERAL pile, CAME to LIFE AGAIN, and DESCRIBED the OTHER WORLD.
The following are his every words: “For he said that he was present when one was asked by another person where the great Ardiaeus was. This Ardiaeus had been prince in a certain city of Pamphylia, and had killed his aged father and his elder brother, and done many other unhallowed deeds, as was reported. He said, then that the person who was asked said: He neither comes nor ever will come hither.
For we SAW, among other TERRIBLE SIGHTS, this also. When we were dose to the MOUTH [of the PIT], and were about to return to the upper air, and had suffered everything else, we suddenly beheld both him and others likewise, most of whom were tyrants.
But there were also some private SINNERS who had committed GREAT CRIMES. And these, when they thought they were to ASCEND, the MOUTH would NOT PERMIT, but bellowed when any of those who were so INCURABLY WICKED attempted to ASCEND, UNLESS they had PAID the FULL PENALTY.
Then fierce men, fiery to look at, stood close by, and hearing the din,s took some and led them away; but Ardiaeus and the rest, having bound hand and foot, and striking their heads down, and flaying, they dragged to the road outside, tearing them with thorns, and signifying to those who were present the cause of their suffering these things, and that they were leading them away to cast them into Tartams. Hence, he said, that amidst all their various fears, this one was the greatest, lest the MOUTH should bellow when they ASCENDED, since if it were silent each one would most gladly ASCEND; and that the punishments and torments were such as these, and that, on the other hand, the rewards were the reverse of these.”
Here PLATO seems to me to have LEARNT from the PROPHETS not only the DOCTRINE of the JUDGMENT, but also of the RESURRECTION, which the Greeks refuse to believe. For his saying that the soul is judged along with the body, proves nothing more clearly than that he believed the doctrine of the resurrection. Since how could Ardiaeus and the rest have undergone such PUNISHMENT in HADES, had they left on earth the body, with its head, hands, feet, and skin? For certainly they will never say that the soul has a head and hands, and feet and skin. But Plato, having fallen in with the testimonies of the prophets in Egypt, and having accepted what they teach concerning the resurrection of the body, teaches that the soul is judged in company with the body.” – Justin Martyr (CHAPTER XXVII – PLATO’S KNOWLEDGE OF THE JUDGEMENT, JUSTIN’S HORTATORY ADDRESS TO THE GREEKS)
- Modern Visions – Julian of Norwich
To Quote (Page 536 from the ‘Lost Orthodoxy’ Book):
Surprisingly, a reliable Christian Universalist Witness of our time, Sadhu Sundar Singh echoed a similar tone of ‘secrecy’ as to ‘why’ this Greatest Truth that God Will SAVE ALL MEN eventually even some from HELL itself was ‘not’ shared easily by His Best Saints, to quote:
“The Sadhu’s Universalism recalls the famous Shewing to Mother Juliana of Norwich, ‘All manner of things shall be well’, … The Sadhu faithfully obeys the injunction, “Don’t tell”.”
(Page 102, Chapter Ecstasy and Vision, The Message of Sundar Singh, B. H. Streeter, A. J. Appasamy, The Macmillan Company, 1921)
- Sadhu Sundar Singh
To Quote (Page 159 from the ‘Lost Orthodoxy’ Book):
Afterlife evangelism is also witnessed Sadhu Sundar Singh in his visions of heaven and hell agreeing to all this (e. g. ‘hindu saints’ accepting the Lord as their Saviour in the afterlife).
Proof of his visions from his ‘first and original’ biographies, please consider (images in links below, examples):
Yes, as explained in Previous Posts, God’s Mercy is Greater than ‘any Judgment including the eternal Hell sentence which tells us what we deserve’ but His Love & Mercy can Trumph over & End it Rejoicingly though only ‘after Judgment without Mercy is endured first – as some demand it in Judgment’ as James 2:13 Prophetically Implies Beautifully too.
All Glory to God Who Alone is Perfect.
What did First Christianity Preach regarding the ‘Destruction of the Soul’?
“We must meet, therefore, those who say, that even though it be the special handiwork of God, and beyond all else valued by Him, it would not immediately follow that it has the promise of the resurrection. Yet is it not absurd, that that which has been produced with such circumstance, and which is beyond all else valuable, should be so neglected by its Maker, as to pass to nonentity? Then the sculptor and painter, if they wish the works they have made to endure, that they may win glory by them, renew them when they begin to decay; but God would so neglect His own possession and work, that it becomes annihilated, and no longer exists. Should we not call this labour in vain? As if a man who has built a house should forthwith destroy it, or should neglect it, though he sees it falling into decay, and is able to repair it: we would blame him for labouring in vain; and should we not so blame God? But not such an one is the Incorruptible,–not senseless is the Intelligence of the universe. Let the unbelieving be silent, even though they themselves do not believe.
But, in truth, He has even called the flesh to the resurrection, and promises to it everlasting life. For where He promises to save man, there He gives the promise to the flesh. For what is man but the reasonable animal composed of body and soul? Is the soul by itself man? No; but the soul of man. Would the body be called man? No, but it is called the body of man. If, then, neither of these is by itself man, but that which is made up of the two together is called man, and God has called man to life and resurrection, He has called not a part, but the whole, which is the soul and the body. Since would it not be unquestionably absurd, if, while these two are in the same being and according to the same law, the one were saved and the other not? And if it be not impossible, as has already been proved, that the flesh be regenerated, what is the distinction on the ground of which the soul is saved and the body not? Do they make God a grudging God? But He is good, and will have all to be saved. And by God and His proclamation, not only has your soul heard and believed on Jesus Christ, and with it the flesh, but both were washed, and both wrought righteousness. They make God, then ungrateful and unjust, if, while both believe on Him, He desires to save one and not the other. Well, they say, but the soul is incorruptible, being a part of God and inspired by Him, and therefore He desires to save what is peculiarly His own and akin to Himself; but the flesh is corruptible, and not from Him, as the soul is. Then what thanks are due to Him, and what manifestation of His power and goodness is it, if He purposed to save what is by nature saved and exists as a part of Himself? For it had its salvation from itself; so that in saving the soul, God does no great thing. For to be saved is its natural destiny, because it is a part of Himself, being His inspiration. But no thanks are due to one who saves what is his own; for this is to save himself. For he who saves a part himself, saves himself by his own means, lest he become defective in that part; and this is not the act of a good man. For not even when a man does good to his children and offspring, does one call him a good man; for even the most savage of the wild beasts do so, and indeed willingly endure death, if need be, for the sake of their cubs. But if a man were to perform the same acts in behalf of his slaves, that man would justly be called good. Wherefore the Saviour also taught us to love our enemies, since, says He, what thank have ye? So that He has shown us that it is a good work not only to love those that are begotten of Him, but also those that are without. And what He enjoins upon us, He Himself first of all does.” – St. Justin Martyr (‘FRAGMENTS OF THE LOST WORK OF JUSTIN ON THE RESURRECTION’ CHAPTER VIII)
Firstly, his definition of ‘body, soul and spirit’ (Context) in which the above is to be understood (from this same writing/source):
“The resurrection is a resurrection of the flesh which died. For the spirit dies not; the soul is in the body, and without a soul it cannot live. The body, when the soul forsakes it, is not. For the body is the house of the soul; and the soul the house of the spirit. These three, in all those who cherish a sincere hope and unquestioning faith in God, will be saved.” (‘FRAGMENTS OF THE LOST WORK OF JUSTIN ON THE RESURRECTION’ CHAPTER X)
Please note the following carefully in St. Justin Martyr’s own words regarding the Topic of the “Soul” in regards to the “Resurrection” from the above:
- i) The believer in faith’s (Christian’s) Soul and Body will not be harmed at all in any way in afterlife Judgment
“These three [Body, Soul, Spirit], in all those who cherish a sincere hope and unquestioning faith in God, will be saved” – St. Justin Martyr
- ii) Soul of the Wicked is NOT annihilated
The Destruction of the Soul of some in Gehenna (Matthew 10:28) is NOT till it ceases to exist.
“but God would so neglect His own possession and work, that it becomes annihilated, and no longer exists” – St. Justin Martyr
The above quote must refer to Gehenna (Lake of Fire or Hell) since nowhere else in Holy Scripture it is Written that both the ‘Body + Soul’ is Destroyed during the Final Resurrection of Judgment toward the Wicked (John 5:29, Matthew 10:28, Daniel 12:2, Revelation 20:11 – 15).
iii) Soul of the Wicked too has Hope
“it would not immediately follow that it has the promise of the resurrection. Yet is it not absurd, that that which has been produced with such circumstance, and which is beyond all else valuable, should be so neglected by its Maker, as to pass to nonentity?” – St. Justin Martyr
The “it” in the above = [the Soul of the Wicked, right?] because it does ‘not immediately have the promise of Resurrection’, as do the souls of believers (or the righteous), right?
- iv) God Promised to Save Man or “All Men”, right?
Yes, as St. Justin quotes it Generally toward “Man” & hence ‘all men’ (implied by usage):
“But, in truth, He has even called the flesh to the resurrection, and promises to it everlasting life. For where He promises to save man, there He gives the promise to the flesh.” – St. Justin Martyr
- v) God’s Promise to Save Man Generally in Both Body and Soul
” For what is man but the reasonable animal composed of body and soul? Is the soul by itself man? No; but the soul of man. Would the body be called man? No, but it is called the body of man. If, then, neither of these is by itself man, but that which is made up of the two together is called man, and God has called man to life and resurrection, He has called not a part, but the whole, which is the soul and the body. ” – St. Justin Martyr
- vi) God Promises to not neglect any Body + Soul of a Man into Eternal Conscious Torment (implied generally below) including toward unbelievers though they don’t believe, right?
“Should we not call this labour in vain? As if a man who has built a house should forthwith destroy it, or should neglect it, though he sees it falling into decay, and is able to repair it: we would blame him for labouring in vain; and should we not so blame God? But not such an one is the Incorruptible,–not senseless is the Intelligence of the universe. Let the unbelieving be silent, even though they themselves do not believe.” – St. Justin Martyr
vii) Some Body + Soul must be destroyed or neglect or die or decay first before Renewal
“… should be so neglected by its Maker, as to pass to nonentity? … renew them when they begin to decay; but God would so neglect His own possession and work, that it becomes annihilated, and no longer exists. … As if a man who has built a house should forthwith destroy it, or should neglect it, though he sees it falling into decay, and is able to repair it: we would blame him for labouring in vain; and should we not so blame God? But not such an one is the Incorruptible,–not senseless is the Intelligence of the universe. Let the unbelieving be silent, even though they themselves do not believe.” – St. Justin Martyr
Please note that the analogy of “house” in the above refers to St. Justin’s own definition that he views the ‘body and soul’ the houses for the ‘soul and spirit’ respectively (Context here – as the link implies when read in full). Can you see it?
viii) Both Body and Soul will be Saved by Regeneration (Healing, Vivified) too
“And if it be not impossible, as has already been proved, that the flesh be regenerated, what is the distinction on the ground of which the soul is saved and the body not? Do they make God a grudging God? But He is good, and will have all to be saved.” – St. Justin Martyr
- ix) Believers (Sheepfold1) are Saved in both Body and Soul first without any Destruction
“And by God and His proclamation, not only has your soul heard and believed on Jesus Christ, and with it the flesh, but both were washed, and both wrought righteousness. They make God, then ungrateful and unjust, if, while both believe on Him, He desires to save one and not the other.” – St. Justin Martyr
- x) Does the Salvation above in Body + Soul being Saved eventually apply to believers only or all men eventually too?
All Men as well as metaphorically described as follows:
- God does NOT Save believers in faith only (Sheepfold1, His Own Body, His Church, His Bride) in this Context of ‘Body + Soul’ being Saved eventually
“But no thanks are due to one who saves what is his own; for this is to save himself. For he who saves a part himself, saves himself by his own means, lest he become defective in that part; and this is not the act of a good man. For not even when a man does good to his children and offspring, does one call him a good man; for even the most savage of the wild beasts do so, and indeed willingly endure death, if need be, for the sake of their cubs.” – St. Justin Martyr
xii. God does Saves His Slaves too (Sheepfold2) in this Context of ‘Body + Soul’ being Saved eventually
“But if a man were to perform the same acts in behalf of his slaves, that man would justly be called good.” – St. Justin Martyr
xiii. God does Saves His Enemies too (the Wicked, those ‘not begotten of him’, in Justin’s word below ‘also those that are without’) in this Context of ‘Body + Soul’ being Saved eventually
“Wherefore the Saviour also taught us to love our enemies, since, says He, what thank have ye? So that He has shown us that it is a good work not only to love those that are begotten of Him, but also those that are without. And what He enjoins upon us, He Himself first of all does.” – – St. Justin Martyr
So, it is obvious hat St. Justin Martyr fully Described the Salvation of Body + Soul to apply to ‘All Flesh’ (all human being eventually) as Described in his quotes above where some is only post afterlife Judgment in Gehenna or the Lake of Fire where these ‘bodies + souls’ are ‘destroyed’ first (his analogies of ‘decay’, ‘neglect’, ‘destroy’ in the above means – Matthew 10:28) agreeing Perfectly to Christ’s Prophesied Completion of His Work (John 17:4) Accordingly in the Majestic Verse below (John 17:2):
New American Standard Bible
even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.
King James Bible
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
New International Version
For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.
New Living Translation
For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him.
English Standard Version
since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
Berean Study Bible
For You granted Him authority over all humanity, so that He may give eternal life to all those You have given Him.
*Hell (in Matthew 10:28 is Gehenna which St. Irenaeous points that it refers to the ‘Lake of Fire’)
P/S: St. Clement of Alexandria & St. Irenaeous of Lyons
1) St. Clement of Alexandria
St. Justin Martyr’s Allegorical Description mixed with literal exegesis above is similar to the conclusion derived (in simpler words) by St. Clement of Alexandria likewise too ‘regarding God Saving All eventually’ (based on 1 John 2:2), to quote:
“Ver. 2. “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.” – St. Clement of Alexandria (‘Fragments’)
“and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” – apostle John (1 John 2:2, NASB)
This Makes sense of the Messianic Psalm 22:29’s inclusiveness of “… Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.” by Christ’s Redemptive Work on the Cross as explained in Previous Posts.
2) St. Irenaeous of Lyons
St. Irenaeous represents Christ as ‘Savior of those who are saved’ (believers) and also as ‘Saviour of the World’ (inclusive of all men) in the Context of Time or the Dispensation of God, to quote:
- Saviour of believers
“… inasmuch as He is Himself the Saviour of those who are saved, and the Lord of those who are under authority, and the God of all those things which have been formed, the only-begotten of the Father, Christ who was announced, and the Word of God, who became incarnate when the fulness of time had come, at which the Son of God had to become the Son of man.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (‘Against Heresies’, Book III)
- Saviour of all men
“But as many as feared God, and were anxious about His law, these ran to Christ, and were all saved. For He said to His disciples: “Go ye to the sheep of the house of Israel, which have perished.” And many more Samaritans, it is said, when the Lord had tarried among. them, two days, “believed because of His words, and said to the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying, for we ourselves have heard [Him], and know that this man is truly the Saviour of the world.” And Paul likewise declares, “And so all Israel shall be saved; ” but he has also said, that the law was our pedagogue [to bring us] to Christ Jesus. Let them not therefore ascribe to the law the unbelief of certain [among them]. For the law never hindered them from believing in the Son of God; nay, but it even exhorted them so to do, saying that men can be saved in no other way from the old wound of the serpent than by believing in Him who, in the likeness of sinful flesh, is lifted up from the earth upon the tree of martyrdom, and draws all things to Himself, and vivifies the dead.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (‘Against Heresies’, Book IV)
iii. Christ is Both the Saviour of Believers in Faith (Church) and All Men too
“For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” – apostle Paul (1 Timothy 4:10, KJV)
Hence, St. Irenaeous’ Conclusion of the Church which Declares the Wisdom of God in the Context of God Who ‘Saves All Men’ as it is Going Forth Beautifully agrees with 1 Timothy 2:1,4,6, 1 Corinthians 15:20 – 23, Romans 5:18 – 19, Titus 2:11, John 12:32 and 1 Timothy 4:10 too in order of “Time” (Proper Context – 1 Timothy 2:6, 1 Corinthians 15:23, Ephesians 1:9 – 11), to quote:
“… And undoubtedly the preaching of the Church is true and stedfast, in which one and the same way of salvation is shown throughout the whole world. For to her is entrusted the light of God; and therefore the “wisdom” of God, by means of which she saves all men, “is declared in [its] going forth; it uttereth [its voice] faithfully in the streets, is preached on the tops of the walls, and speaks continually in the gates of the city.” For the Church preaches the truth everywhere, and she is the seven-branched candlestick which bears the light of Christ…” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (‘Against Heresies’, Book V)
- Universal Reconciliation of Man – the Doctrine of Recapitulation in both St. Justin Martyr & St. Irenaeous of Lyons
With the above Context established in First Orthodox Quotes of the Church as shown, the Doctrine of Recapitulation of Man in the Context of God Saves all Men (i.e. His Will be Done) makes Perfect Sense in “Time” (Dispensations of God), to quote:
- a) The Many many sinners in Adam is the same Many which will be Made Righteous by Lord Jesus Christ (Proper Context for Romans 5:18 – 19)
Under the Equation:
‘Adam + the Many’ = All Men = All Human Beings Ever Existed
Lord Jesus Christ is exempt from the equation above simply because He is God in Flesh and not a mere Man only & Alone is never affected by Adam’s sin in any way.
“… For as by the disobedience of the one man who was originally moulded from virgin soil, the many were made sinners, and forfeited life; so was it necessary that, by the obedience of one man, who was originally born from a virgin, [the] many should be justified and receive salvation. Thus, then, was the Word of God made man, as also Moses says: “God, true are His works.” But if, not having been made flesh, He did appear as if flesh, His work was not a true one. But what He did appear, that He also was: God recapitulated in Himself the ancient formation of man, that He might kill sin, deprive death of its power, and vivify man; and therefore His works are true.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (‘Against Heresies’, Chapter XVIII, Book III)
- b) Other Doctrine of Recapitulation Quotes in the Context of the Salvation of All Men Implied Generally
**Please note the word “Recapitulation” or equivalent in each of the quotes below ‘carefully’.
b.i. In the Context of ‘All Things Made by Him’
“For as by one man’s disobedience sin entered, and death obtained [a place] through sin; so also by the obedience of one man, righteousness having been introduced, shall cause life to fructify in those persons who in times past were dead. And as the protoplast himself Adam, had his substance from untilled and as yet virgin soil (“for God had not yet sent rain, and man had not tilled the ground” ), and was formed by the hand of God, that is, by the Word of God, for “all things were made by Him,” and the Lord took dust from the earth and formed man; so did He who is the Word, recapitulating Adam in Himself, rightly receive a birth, enabling Him to gather up Adam [into Himself], from Mary, who was as yet a virgin. If, then, the first Adam had a man for his father, and was born of human seed, it were reasonable to say that the second Adam was begotten of Joseph. But if the former was taken from the dust, and God was his Maker, it was incumbent that the latter also, making a recapitulation in Himself, should be formed as man by God, to have an analogy with the former as respects His origin. Why, then, did not God again take dust, but wrought so that the formation should be made of Mary? It was that there might not be another formation called into being, nor any other which should [require to] be saved, but that the very same formation should be summed up [in Christ as had existed in Adam], the analogy having been preserved.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (‘Against Heresies’, Chapter XXI, Book III)
b.ii. In the Context of whatever that is Recapitulated must be made ‘Sinless’ (‘made righteous’ in the ‘Spirit of Holiness’) eventually but not all ‘inherit the Kingdom’ (e.g. the meek only inherit the earth – different reward levels as per Matthew 5:19)
“… . But every one will allow that we are [composed of] a body taken from the earth, and a soul receiving spirit from God. This, therefore, the Word of God was made, recapitulating in Himself His own handiwork; and on this account does He confess Himself the Son of man, and blesses “the meek, because they shall inherit the earth.” The Apostle Paul, moreover, in the Epistle to the Galatians, declares plainly, “God sent His Son, made of a woman.” And again, in that to the Romans, he says, “Concerning His Son, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was predestinated as the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (‘Against Heresies’, Chapter XXII, Book III)
b.iii. In the Context of the Salvation of All Men eventually some Post Afterlife Judgment or as Irenaeous calls it, ‘the Probation of All’ after ‘filling up the times of His condemnation, which had been incurred through disobedience,-[times]’ toward ‘Adam’ (metaphorically referring to ‘man-generally’ or ‘all men’ – Context).
“… It was necessary, therefore, that the Lord, coming to the lost sheep, and making recapitulation of so comprehensive a dispensation, and seeking after His own handiwork, should save that very man who had been created after His image and likeness, that is, Adam, filling up the times of His condemnation, which had been incurred through disobedience,-[times] “which the Father had placed in His own power.” [This was necessary, ] too, inasmuch as the whole economy of salvation regarding man came to pass according to the good pleasure of the Father, in order that God might not be conquered, nor His wisdom lessened, [in the estimation of His creatures.] For if man, who had been created by God that he might live, after losing life, through being injured by the serpent that had corrupted him, should not any more return to life, but should be utterly [and for ever] abandoned to death, God would [in that case] have been conquered, and the wickedness of the serpent would have prevailed over the will of God. But inasmuch as God is invincible and long-suffering, He did indeed show Himself to be long-suffering in the matter of the correction of man and the probation of all, as I have already observed; and by means of the second man did He bind the strong man, and spoiled his goods, and abolished death, vivifying that man who had been in a state of death. For at the first Adam became a vessel in his (Satan’s) possession, whom he did also hold under his power, that is, by bringing sin on him iniquitously, and under colour of immortality entailing death upon him. For, while promising that they should be as gods, which was in no way possible for him to be, he wrought death in them: wherefore he who had led man captive, was justly captured in his turn by God; but man, who had been led captive, was loosed from the bonds of condemnation.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (‘Against Heresies’, Chapter XXIII, Book III)
b.iv. Renewal of All Men in the Context of Healing in Various Ways post Judgment too is Promised Generally
“… For the knowledge of God renews man. And when he says, “after the image of the Creator,” he sets forth the recapitulation of the same man, who was at the beginning made after the likeness of God… For the Maker of all things, the Word of God, who did also from the beginning form man, when He found His handiwork impaired by wickedness, performed upon it all kinds of healing. At one time [He did so], as regards each separate member, as it is found in His own handiwork; and at another time He did once for all restore man sound and whole in all points, preparing him perfect for Himself unto the resurrection. For what was His object in healing [different] portions of the flesh, and restoring them to their original condition, if those parts which had been healed by Him were not in a position to obtain salvation? For if it was [merely] a temporary benefit which He conferred, He granted nothing of importance to those who were the subjects of His healing. Or how can they maintain that the flesh is incapable of receiving the life which flows from Him, when it received healing from Him? For life is brought about through healing, and incorruption through life. He, therefore, who confers healing, the same does also confer life; and He [who gives] life, also surrounds His own handiwork with incorruption.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (‘Against Heresies’, Chapter XII, Book III)
b.v. The Doctrine of Recapitulation includes the Resurrection of Judgment too in the Context of being Healed post Judgment as implied by St. Irenaeous in quote below where he points further that the heretics are speaking against their own Salvation by denying this Truth
“Let our opponents-that is, they who speak against their own salvation-inform us [as to this point]: The deceased daughter of the high priest; the widow’s dead son, who was being carded out [to burial] near the gate [of the city]; and Lazarus, who had lain four days in the tomb, -in what bodies did they rise again? In those same, no doubt, in which they had also died. For if it were not in the very same, then certainly those same individuals who had died did not rise again. For [the Scripture] says, “The Lord took the hand of the dead man, and said to him, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And the dead man sat up, and He commanded that something should be given him to eat; and He delivered him to his mother.” Again, He called Lazarus “with a loud voice, saying, Lazarus, come forth; and he that was dead came forth bound with bandages, feet and hands.” This was symbolical of that man who had been bound in sins. And therefore the Lord said, “Loose him, and let him depart.” As, therefore, those who were healed were made whole in those members which had in times past been afflicted; and the dead rose in the identical bodies, their limbs and bodies receiving health, and that life which was granted by the Lord, who prefigures eternal things by temporal, and shows that it is He who is Himself able to extend both healing and life to His handiwork, that His words concerning its [future] resurrection may also be believed; so also at the end, when the Lord utters His voice “by the last trumpet,” the dead shall be raised, as He Himself declares: “The hour shall come, in which all the dead which are in the tombs shall hear the voice of the Son of man, and shall come forth; those that have done good to the resurrection of life, and those that have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (‘Against Heresies’, Chapter XIII, Book III)
- c) St. Justin Martyr
This Doctrine of God Reconciling ‘all created things’ back to Himself (Colossians 1:16, 20) or called the Doctrine of Recapitulation in St. Irenaeous’ words, is also believed by St. Justin Martyr:
“… In his book against Marcion, Justin does well say: “I would not have believed the Lord Himself, if He had announced any other than He who is our framer, maker, and nourisher. But because the only-begotten Son came to us from the one God, who both made this world and formed us, and contains and administers all things, summing up His own handiwork in Himself, my faith towards Him is steadfast, and my love to the Father immoveable, God bestowing both upon us.” – – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (‘Against Heresies’, Chapter XIII, Book III)
We Believe and Declare Likewise.
- d) Modern Scholars quoting both St. Justin Martyr and St. Irenaeous likewise?
“In the recapitulation view of the atonement, Christ is seen as the new Adam who succeeds where Adam failed. Christ undoes the wrong that Adam did and, because of his union with humanity, leads humankind on to eternal life (including moral perfection).
Through man’s disobedience the process of the evolution of the human race went wrong, and the course of its wrongness could neither be halted nor reversed by any human means. But in Jesus Christ the whole course of human evolution was perfectly carried out and realized in obedience to the purpose of God.”– William Barclay
Who is William Barclay?
William Barclay (born 5 December 1907 in Wick, Scotland; died 24 January 1978 in Glasgow, Scotland) was a Scottish author, radio and television presenter, Church of Scotland minister and Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow.
Hope – There is Hope that Nothing Remains in “corruption forever”:
“But now He [Lord Jesus Christ] has come proclaiming the glad tidings of a new and strange hope to men. For indeed it was a strange and new thing for God to promise that He would not keep incorruption in incorruption, but would make corruption incorruption.” – St. Justin Martyr (‘FRAGMENTS OF THE LOST WORK OF JUSTIN ON THE RESURRECTION’, Chapter X)
*Corruption = Sin & Evil
St. Justin Martyr is Writing the above in the Context of the Resurrection where he plainly declares that ‘sin & evil’ (“corruption”) will not dwell in the ‘flesh’ (body + soul) forever in the Context of ‘All Men’ as explained prior.
Peace to you
Recapitulation Doctrine – Four Covenants to Man toward Universal Reconciliation
First Christianity Explains this Mystery:
“… Such, then, as was the course followed by the Son of God, so was also the form of the living creatures; and such as was the form of the living creatures, so was also the character of the Gospel. For the living creatures are quadriform, and the Gospel is quadriform, as is also the course followed by the Lord. For this reason were four principal (kaqolikai/) covenants given to the human race: one, prior to the deluge, under Adam; the second, that after the deluge, under Noah; the third, the giving of the law, under Moses; the fourth, that which renovates man, and sums up all things in itself by means of the Gospel, raising and bearing men upon heavenly kingdom.its wings into the.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (‘Against Heresies’, Chapter XI, Point 8, Book III)
*Quad or Quadriform = 4 (four)
Example: The “Four Gospels” = Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as St. Irenaeous calls it, “the Gospel is quadriform”.
Please notice the “Universal Reconciliation” part toward “Man-generally” (hence, ‘all men’) in St. Irenaeous’ highlight of the “Fourth Covenant” in the Context of “Summing All things” , i. e. ‘none forever excluded’ (Ephesians 1:9 – 11, Colossians 1:16,20) in his words, “the fourth, that which renovates man, and sums up all things in itself” and “raising and bearing men upon heavenly kingdom”.
P/S: Can Drawing “All things” back to Himself happen post-Final Gehenna or Lake of Fire Judgment?
Yes. Says who?
Please consider this Biblical Context as follows as a Theologian Lion in First Christianity explains so simply:
“… Jesus Christ our Lord, who did also suffer for us, and rose again on our behalf, and who will come again in the glory of His Father, to raise up all flesh, and for the manifestation of salvation, and to apply the rule of just judgment to all who were made by Him. There is therefore, as I have pointed out, one God the Father, and one Christ Jesus, who came by means of the whole dispensational arrangements [connected with Him], and gathered together all things in Himself. But in every respect, too, He is man, the formation of God; and thus He took up man into Himself, the invisible becoming visible, the incomprehensible being made comprehensible, the impassible becoming capable of suffering, and the Word being made man, thus summing up all things in Himself: so that as in super-celestial, spiritual, and invisible things, the Word of God is supreme, so also in things visible and corporeal He might possess the supremacy, and, taking to Himself the pre-eminence, as well as constituting Himself Head of the Church, He might draw all things to Himself at the proper time.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (‘Against Heresies’, Chapter XVI, Point 6, Book III)
Please note the ‘order of time’ in St. Irenaeous Writing above as follows (in Proper Context):
- Final Judgment (including the Resurrection of Judgment, John 5:29, Daniel 12:2 for the Wicked in Gehenna or the Lake of Fire context, Matthew 10:28, Revelation 20:11 – 15)
“to raise up all flesh, and for the manifestation of salvation, and to apply the rule of just judgment to all who were made by Him” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons
- Gathering of All [Created] things after that (Ephesians 1:9 – 11, Colossians 1:16, 20)
“Christ Jesus, who came by means of the whole dispensational arrangements [connected with Him], and gathered together all things in Himself.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons
- He Sums Up All Created things and not just His Church (Christians) back to Himself – Recapitulation Doctrine
“thus summing up all things in Himself: so that as in super-celestial, spiritual, and invisible things, the Word of God is supreme, so also in things visible and corporeal He might possess the supremacy, and, taking to Himself the pre-eminence, as well as constituting Himself Head of the Church, He might draw all things to Himself at the proper time.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons
- Universal Reconciliation of “All [Created] things” (Colossians 1:16, 20, Ephesians 1:9 – 11) to be ‘free from sin/decay’ (Romans 8:21 – 22) has not happened yet (Hebrews 2:8) but will happen eventually in its own proper Divine Kairois-plural Times (1 Timothy 2:6, 1 Corinthians 15:24 – 28).
“Himself Head of the Church, He might draw all things to Himself at the proper time.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons
When we read the above not following the ‘order of time’ (Context) as St. Irenaeous points out above in his own words, we miss the meaning likewise too.
Let’s not worry as all heretics too will eventually confess Allegiance to God eventually as Holy Scripture Promised as St. Irenaeous mentions below too [implied in its own times]:
“… Holding, therefore, this rule, we shall easily show, notwithstanding the great variety and multitude of their opinions, that these men have deviated from the truth; for almost all the different sects of heretics admit that there is one God; but then, by their pernicious doctrines, they change [this truth into error], even as the Gentiles do through idolatry,-thus proving themselves ungrateful to Him that created them. Moreover, they despise the workmanship of God, speaking against their own salvation, becoming their own bitterest accusers, and being false witnesses [against themselves]. Yet, reluctant as they may be, these men shall one day rise again in the flesh, to confess the power of Him who raises them from the dead; but they shall not be numbered among the righteous on account of their unbelief.” – St. Irenaeous of Lyons (‘Against Heresies’, Chapter XXII, Point 1, Book I)
Please note carefully that the phrase “but they shall not be numbered among the righteous on account of their unbelief” by St. Irenaeous speaks of a post Final Judgment Confessing of Allegiance to God in his prior phrase “Yet, reluctant as they may be, these men shall one day rise again in the flesh, to confess the power of Him who raises them from the dead.”
Indeed, as pointed in a previous post (link below), the formerly-wicked may be saved in their spirit existence only (no soul, no body, 1 Corinthians 5:5, 1 Peter 4:6) and hence have not attained the Salvation in the Flesh for ‘two ages’ (this age AEON1 and next age, AEON2) respectively. Link:
Yes, the “not be numbered among the righteous on account of their unbelief” clearly refers to ‘their missing out on being in flesh’ during the ‘next age only’ as St. Irenaeous explains his own belief, to quote from the ‘Lost Orthodoxy’ Book:
Are UNBELIEVERS are cast off to the next AGE or AEON only, AGE2 (agreeing say to Matthew 12:32) and ‘not forever’?
Here’s a DIRECT answer to this question which proves (yet again) that the “Lake of Fire or Gehenna” Judgments (Revelation 20:11 – 15) toward “unbelieving men too” (Revelation 21:8) are to the “next (future) singular-age ONLY, Biblically in say Matthew 25:41 or Matthew 25:46 and NOT Forever as so popularly erred”.
Who says so?
The REAL Authority of Doctrine & Biblical Koine Greek itself, ‘a king of True Christian Theology’, St. Irenaeous of Lyons himself in the following ‘in his own words’ (“irrefutable”):
“… For Paul does not say, “the God of this world,” as if recognising any other beyond Him; but he confessed God as indeed God. And he says, “the unbelievers of this world,” because they shall not inherit the future age of incorruption …” (Irenaeous, ‘Against Heresies’, Book 3, Point 1)
I repeat with EMPHASIS for Clarity [in Brackets too, showing the “Original Greek Word: Aeon or “age” occurring in 2 Corinthians 4:4, Matthew 25:46, Matthew 25:41 or even Matthew 12:32]
“… For Paul does not say, “the God of this world [AGE, AEON],” as if recognising any other beyond Him; but he confessed God as indeed God. And he [apostle Paul] says, “the UNBELIEVERS of this world [AGE, AEON],” because they [UNBELIEVERS] shall NOT INHERIT the FUTURE AGE [AEON] of incorruption [SINLESSNESS] …” (Irenaeous, ‘Against Heresies’, Book 3, Chapter VII, Point 1)
Indeed, in the above it is evident that (in Irenaeous’ OWN WORDS’ that:
the UNBELIEVERS of this world [AGE, AEON, AGE1] —-> because they [UNBELIEVERS] shall NOT INHERIT —–> the FUTURE AGE [AEON, AGE2] of incorruption [SINLESSNESS].
Irenaeous clearly makes a distinction and understands the CURRENT AGE (AEON, AGE1) vs the NEXT AGE (AEON, AGE2) vs the “ages to come” (e. g. Ephesians 2:7, AGE2, AGE3…) as explained in detail in earlier write ups too agreeing to all this.
If he [Irenaeous] understands it thus belonging to the “True Faith”, we shouldn’t understand it differently. Yes, NO adding NOR removing from the Blessed Word of God is seen in his ‘Genius Level Exegesis’ but ONLY EXACTLY stating Holy Scripture as “it is Written”.
Please note carefully this punishment for “unbelievers”, namely that they are cast out for EXACTLY one FUTURE AGE [or next AEON, AGE2] —-> not inheriting the “incorruption” which is being raised in a “sinless resurrection of flesh” proving again irrefutably also that the “resurrection of judgment” toward the ‘wicked’ (in John 5:28 – 29) refers to their ‘identical bodies’ still in “sin” (“corruptible”) and NOT in any form of ‘incorruptibility’ as our dear ‘eternal hell’ theologians err so easily.
Peace to you
9) First Resurrection
What is the First Resurrection?
Irenaeous, Hippolytus and Justin affirm that the First Resurrection refers to only those who believe in the Faith of Jesus Christ & it’s sometimes called the ‘Resurrection of the Righteous’ or the ‘Resurrection of the Just’ (1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 17, Luke 14:14). The quotes from Irenaeous, Hippolytus and Justin Martyr proving this claim is has been done already in my previous write – up. Only those in Christ will Reign for 1000 years during this Last Day of the First Resurrection since these are raised at the start hour ‘now is’ (John 5:25) on this Last Day of this age.
This Resurrection of the rest of the Dead do NOT come with a body till this 1000 years are over (Revelation 20:5, 7). So, at the last hour of this Last Day called the ‘hour is coming’ another group of righteous vs wicked are raised ‘simultaneously’ (John 5:28 – 29, Daniel 12:2). Please note that only the ‘hour is coming’ is mentioned in John 5:28 – 29.
Both the ‘hour now is’ and ‘hour is coming’ is mentioned in John 5:25 because it is a Prophetic Statement referring to TWO groups of righteous, namely Sheepfold1 (John 10:14) vs Sheepfold2 (John 10:16) who are ‘Raised to Life’ during these two separate ‘start & end hour of this Last Day respectively’ which are ‘separated by 1000 years’. Can you see it?
That’s what is LITERALLY Written in the Bible.
This poses a problem for the current traditional view because they do NOT have any hope for a ‘Sheepfold2’ (another badge of righteous) who are ‘righteous in good works’ as Christ Himself mentioned (John 5:28 – 29, Matthew 25:31 – 46). To become a sheep, they must have believed in Christ and thus Sheepfold2 must have believed in Christ in the ‘afterlife abodes’. Is this Possible?
The Shepherd of Hermas Writing (which is only next to New Testament Scripture) clearly records the Gospel being Preached to ‘certain dead’ who ‘died in Good deeds’ but did NOT believe in Christ during their earthly lives prior, as they didn’t have the Seal of God. The Shepherd of Hermas is NOT discussing Christ’s Descent but some 40 apostles + teachers who after they died, went into the afterlife abodes to ‘convert these’. Mysterious Indeed but it’s LITERALLY recorded as discussed in detail in links below:
The ‘believing after seeing’ Mystery is Possible as it is echoed in John 6:40 and John 3:14 – 15 but it’s NOT for all but only on those whom the Lord deems His Mercy for He weighs all hearts to decide that (The afterlife Context is strong in these Verses, John 3:14 – 15 since the Son of Man is ‘Lifted Up’ Points to the ‘Spirit World’ & Post His Resurrection).
10) General Resurrection
What is the General Resurrection?
The rest of the dead did NOT come to life till the 1000 year Millennial Reign of Christ is Completed (Revelation 20:5, 7). There is a GENERAL RESURRECTION which happens just after these 1000 years on the last hour on this Last Day (John 5:28 – 29, Daniel 12:2) just before the Great White Throne of Judgment next (Revelation 20:11 – 15, Matthew 25:31 – 46).
It is a well known Fact in Theology itself noted by scholars that the earliest and most authoritative earliest leaders of the church (post the apostles & their presbyters) such as Irenaous of Lyons, Justin Martyr and even Hippolytus of Rome believed in this clearly (as I already proved it by their ‘own quotes’ too in my earlier write up), to quote:
“The most striking point in the eschatology of the ante-Nicene age is the prominent chiliasm, or millenarianism, that is the belief of a visible reign of Christ in glory on earth with the risen saints for a thousand years, before the general resurrection and judgement. It was indeed not the doctrine of the church embodied in any creed or form of devotion, but a widely current opinion of distinguished teachers, such as Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Methodius, and Lactantius, while Caius, Origen, Dionysius the Great, Eusebius (as afterwards Jerome and Augustin) opposed it.” (Schaff, Philip, History of the Christian Church, Volume 2. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, p. 381)
What’s the problem here?
The popular traditional view does NOT believe in the LITERAL interpretation of John 5:28 – 29 or Daniel 12:2 especially in that BOTH the RIGHTEOUS and WICKED are said to be Resurrected SIMULTANEOUSLY.
This is because if the Christians are already Raised 1000 years earlier (Revelation 20:4 – 6, 1 Thessalonians 4:16), then (they claim that) it must be that ‘only the wicked must rise’ during this time. This is a DIRECT CONTRADICTION to our Blessed Saviour’s OWN Words in John 5:28 – 29 since He says that they RISE SIMULTANEOUSLY. So, they come up with a ‘mad made excuse that it must be symbolic and we cannot take both John 5:28 – 29 & Daniel 12:2 Literally’. Can you who is ‘changing’ the meaning of Scripture against what is plainly Written?
If they take it LITERALLY, then a question arises: Who are the ‘righteous’ in John 5:28 – 29 or Daniel 12:2 if it’s not Christians?
Based on the Discussion above & in earlier write ups, it is highly probable that:
- a) Sheepfold1 (John 10:14) = All believers in the Faith of Jesus Christ as even Justin Martyr remarked are in the Resurrection of the Righteous which clearly points to the First Resurrection.
- b) Sheepfold2 (John 10:16) = The non-Christians who only believed in Him after seeing Him (John 6:40) in the afterlife too (John 3:14 – 15) who died in ‘Good Works’ as the Shepherd of Hermas clearly points to their existence.
The Popular Traditional View CANNOT accept this because they do NOT have a concept of God Saving in the afterlife or even the Gospel being Preached there even. However, we have demonstrated with Verses & early church writings in links prior pointing to this interpretation of Scripture using 1 Peter 3:18 – 20, 1 Peter 4:6 and even Prophetic in Psalm 107:10 – 15 as Irenaeous clearly calls the ‘shadow of death’ regions to refer to where the ‘souls of the dead are’.
So, is there an authoritative writing describing the GENERAL RESURRECTION pointing to BOTH a group of RIGHTEOUS vs WICKED being raised LITERALLY which would put to silence the ‘popular symbolic’ interpretation and hence strengthening the ‘Sheepfold2’ Claim? Yes, to quote:
“… Again, He called Lazarus “with a loud voice, saying, Lazarus, come forth; and HE that WAS DEAD came forth bound with bandages, feet and hands.” This was SYMBOLICAL of that MAN who had been BOUND in SINS. And therefore the Lord said, “Loose him, and let him depart.” As, therefore, THOSE who were HEALED were MADE WHOLE in THOSE MEMBERS which had in TIMES PAST been AFFLICTED; and the DEAD ROSE in the IDENTICAL BODIES, their limbs and bodies receiving health, and that life which was granted by the Lord, who prefigures eternal [age-during] things by temporal, and shows that it is He who is Himself able to extend BOTH HEALING and LIFE to HIS HANDIWORK, that His words concerning its [future] RESURRECTION may also be believed; so also at the END, when the Lord utters His voice “by the last trumpet,” the dead shall be raised, as He Himself declares: “The HOUR SHALL COME, in which ALL THE DEAD which are in the TOMBS shall hear the voice of the Son of man, and shall come forth; those that have DONE GOOD to the RESURRECTION of LIFE, and those that have DONE EVIL to the RESURRECTION of JUDGMENT.” (Irenaeous, ‘Against Heresies’, Book 5, Chapter XIII, Point 1)
Cyrus the Great – King of Persia – How and Why a Righteous King is Identified and needed?
Why did God anoint him as the only Gentile Messiah (Isaiah 45)?
- No human being is perfect but to the point he kept Human Rights freedom & set free people in the lands he conquered against the ruling oppressors, he did a lot.
- Imagine working as a slave not because of a debt nor because of a punishment as a prisoner of war but due to being born in the ‘wrong ethnicity at that time’.
Such a person would appreciate the liberation into Freedom by Cyrus while only the rich oppressors who held to their evil acts by force would be upset.
Simple: If you were living as a slave or in unfair circumstances, you would appreciate a Cyrus who freed you & gave you freedom to choose your life thereafter.
He treated people with different religions (including the minority) fairly and let them have freedom.
Cyrus fulfilled many of the aspects as quoted in Verse in image (especially the last line).
To quote from a secular historical source:
“… From the Mediterranean Sea and Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, Cyrus the Great created the largest empire the world had yet seen.…
Cyrus the Great is also well recognized for his achievements in human rights, politics, and military strategy, as well as his influence on both Eastern and Western civilizations. Having originated from Persis, roughly corresponding to the modern Iranian province of Fars, Cyrus has played a crucial role in defining the national identity of modern Iran. …
Cyrus the Great respected the customs and religions of the lands he conquered.…
Cyrus has been a personal hero to many people, including Thomas Jefferson, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and David Ben-Gurion.…
The Babylonians regarded him as “The Liberator”.… Alexander the Great was himself infatuated with and admired Cyrus the Great, from an early age reading Xenophon’s Cyropaedia, which described Cyrus’s heroism in battle and governance and his abilities as a king and a legislator…
held an almost mythic role among the Persian people “similar to that of Romulus and Remus in Rome or Moses for the Israelites”, with a story that “follows in many details the stories of hero and conquerors from elsewhere in the ancient world”. Frye writes, “He became the epitome of the great qualities expected of a ruler in antiquity, and he assumed heroic features as a conqueror who was tolerant and magnanimous as well as brave and daring. His personality as seen by the Greeks influenced them and Alexander the Great, and, as the tradition was transmitted by the Romans, may be considered to influence our thinking even now.”…
The policies of Cyrus with respect to treatment of minority religions are well documented in Babylonian texts as well as Jewish sources and the historians accounts. Cyrus had a general policy of religious tolerance throughout his vast empire. Whether this was a new policy or the continuation of policies followed by the Babylonians and Assyrians (as Lester Grabbe maintains) is disputed. He brought peace to the Babylonians and is said to have kept his army away from the temples and restored the statues of the Babylonian gods to their sanctuaries.
His treatment of the Jews during their exile in Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed Jerusalem is reported in the Bible. The Jewish Bible’s Ketuvim ends in Second Chronicles with the decree of Cyrus, which returned the exiles to the Promised Land from Babylon along with a commission to rebuild the temple…
The Jews honored him as a dignified and righteous king. In one Biblical passage, Isaiah refers to him as Messiah (lit. “His anointed one”) (Isaiah 45:1), making him the only gentile to be so referred. Elsewhere in Isaiah, God is described as saying, “I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness: I will make all his ways straight. He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for a price or reward, says God Almighty.” (Isaiah 45:13) As the text suggests, Cyrus did ultimately release the nation of Israel from its exile without compensation or tribute. These particular passages (Isaiah 40–55, often referred to as Deutero-Isaiah) are believed by most modern critical scholars to have been added by another author toward the end of the Babylonian exile (c. 536 BC).…
On December 10, 2003, in her acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize, Shirin Ebadi evoked Cyrus, saying:
I am an Iranian, a descendant of Cyrus the Great. This emperor proclaimed at the pinnacle of power 2,500 years ago that he “would not reign over the people if they did not wish it”. He promised not to force any person to change his religion and faith and guaranteed freedom for all. The Charter of Cyrus the Great should be studied in the history of human rights.…
Knowing the Bible and its Prophecies in the Messiah Context, Lord Jesus Christ’s 1000 years Messianic Reign (Revelation 20:4 – 6) is Foreshadowed in Cyrus except that with Pure Perfection & no human flaws of Cyrus which is present with every human being too.
I would dare say that if modern Iran stands today, it’s because God remembers Cyrus their king who did many acts of righteousness according to His Will.
“I have aroused him [Cyrus king of Persia] in righteousness
And I will make all his ways smooth;
He will build My city and will let My exiles go free,
Without any payment or reward,” says the LORD of hosts.” – God Speaks (in Isaiah 45:13, NASB)
“It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.’..” – God Speaks (in Isaiah 44:28, NASB)