Eternal Torment Doctrine
Here we will be adding an extra part to the Achilles Heel story to illustrate how the doctrine of Eternal Torment can be rendered completely disabled of both feet, making it unable to stand against such heavy weight of biblical evidence. Then, we will throw in a third part which is the final thrust that completely disintegrates this doctrine, making it entirely useless and idle, and showing its true unbiblical and pagan roots.
We have three sections in this article, each based on a specific verse:
-1 John 3:15
-1 Timothy 6:16
We begin with the first section…
The story of the temptation is familiar to almost every bible believing Christian. Adam and Eve were created perfect in the eyes of God. They lived in harmony with him, and with every other creature the Lord had created for his pleasure. The serpent was also a created being, but was chosen by the enemy of God to be a tool to tempt Adam and Eve and hopefully cause their destruction. We begin in chapter 3 verse 1:
(1) Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
(2) And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
(3) But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Desiring to cause a separation between her and God, for Satan does know that it is sin which separates us from God as it separated him (Isaiah 59:2, Ezekiel 28:16), he proceeds with lying to her:
(4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
(5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Unfortunately, she fell into his temptation and caused her husband to fall with her. Thus they caused a separation between them and their creator.
But this separation included something very important. God had chosen the Tree of Life to be the determining factor of whether someone would live forever or not. The power of eternal life was not necessarily in the fruit itself, but in the concept, which was dependence on God. He provided the tree and its ability to yield a life giving fruit every month, therefore credit was due to him. Without the eating of the fruits of this tree, life would just dissolve. Man would begin the process of dieing, and would eventually yield up the ghost, the breath of life. Notice the following important texts:
(22) And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
(23) Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
We must understand that by the time the Lord said these words, Adam and Eve were already in sin. Therefore verse 22 can conclude, “…and live for ever in sin.” God saw the problem ahead of time, and acted upon it before it worsened. He had previously established the Tree of Life to be that which would impart continual eternal life to anyone who eats it. He did this to show how they must always depend upon their creator and provider. But this very blessing had the ability to turn into the worst of things if used by sinners. It had the ability to for ever taint the universe with sin and sinners. Had Adam and Eve eaten of the Tree of Life, then truly sin and sinners could live forever. But God put a stop to this before it happened, and shut the entrance to the Garden, forever silencing the lie of the devil… “ye shall not truly die.” See, if it were true that that sinners (violators of God law) could live forever, then every word the devil used to tempt Eve was true. His words were:
(point 1) Ye shall not die
(point 2) Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil
Point 1 was always untrue, but not point 2. It turned out that they did in fact receive knowledge of both good and evil. If therefore sinners live forever and will never die as our opponents believe, then point 1 was also true, and the liar was actually God, who said that they would die (Genesis 2:17)!
See what this false doctrine literally does friends, its makes God out to be the one who lied. Unless God would have put a stop to sin like he did in Genesis 3:22, the Devil would have had complete victory and God would have come out as unjust. Unfortunately, despite the Lords quick thinking and action, he is still looked upon as unjust and a liar today through the doctrine of eternal torment. The Devil just sits back and enjoys the show.
Regardless of this dreadful inconvenience, God provided in the midst of this event a most wonderful promise:
(24) So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
God prevented sin from living forever by driving out the man from the Garden and covering the entrance by cherubims (angels) and a flaming sword. To enter therein, one must first confront this sword. Paul tells us that a sword holds the symbolism of the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). The word of God, is Jesus Christ himself:
(11) And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
(12) His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
(13) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Although “the way” was shut for them to enter to where they can eat of the Tree of Life and live forever (Genesis 3:24), through the promise of the coming Saviour made in the site of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15, “the way” was made back to that Tree of Life… Jesus Christ:
(6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
In other words, there is absolutely no other way for man to have the ability to live forever, except he eats of that Tree of Life through the sacrifice Jesus made for that person upon the cross. All who die in sin, die without Christ, therefore they DO NOT have access to the Tree of Life, and therefore can not life forever, whether in paradise, or in flames elsewhere in the universe. The very fact that the doctrine of Eternal Torment teaches that sinners will live forever in sin contradicts everything Jesus did for us in the Garden of Eden, for the only ones who will have eternal life will be everyone who has Jesus. The wicked, and the fallen angels, do not have eternal life, because they do not have Jesus, and have not, and will not, eat of the Tree of Life (Revelation 22:14).
Which leads us to our next section…
One who had an intimate understanding of what eternal life means was defiantly John the apostle. Known as the beloved apostle, he authors four books in the New Testament, one of them being the famous gospel of John. Surely we can come to him for more understanding of this most important topic. Our next verse reads as follows:
1 John 3:15
(15) Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
When you read the first epistle of John from the very beginning, you will note that through his epistle he is contrasting light from darkness, truth from error, righteousness from sin. Jesus is the fundamental object of his epistle. His main point: Without Jesus, who IS life, you will not have eternal life.
As always, John strikes at the Genesis of the sin problem, the heart. Out of it precedes all manner of wickedness, one of which is hate. He tells us that “whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer” and that his readers already know that “no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” Life, he told us from the beginning, is Jesus (1 John 1:2). A murderer does not have Jesus, therefore he does not live forever. The logic is simple. None need not be confused. Without Jesus we do not live forever, period.
To John, hate leads to two major sins, murder and lying:
1 John 4:20
(20) If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
Yet just before he tells us of these, he informs us that whosoever sins “is of the devil, for the devil sinneth from the beginning…” -1 John 3:8.
Note carefully the words John is using:
-sinneth from the very beginning
Sound familiar? It should, for John was present when Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, telling them that they are the children of the Devil who was a murderer from the very beginning:
(44) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Instantly we have a connection between the words of John and the words of Christ. Now notice something very interesting about this. Jesus said that the Devil is a murder from the very beginning, and John informs us that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. In other words, contrary to the popular eternal torment doctrine, which says the devil will live forever in flames, the bible actually tells us that the devil will not live forever, because he is a murderer, and murderers don’t live forever!
We showed in our study of Ezekiel 28 that God will eventually annihilate the devil. The text literally tells us that “never shalt thou be any more.” –Ezekiel 28:19. Or course it would say that, for he does not have Jesus, and therefore as a murderer does not have eternal life. Why do our opponents insist on making the Devil live forever when the bible says the opposite? In allowing not only the bible to interpret itself, but allowing the same author interpret himself, we can clearly see that Satan will have to eventually be annihilated… for “you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”
As a result of the belief in an eternal torment of the wicked, we’ve gathered the two arrows which perpetually cripple the heel of this doctrine and renders it unable to stand against bible truth. First of all, the belief makes God out to be a liar, as shown in the first section of this study, and second of all it contradicts the very words of Jesus and his apostle, casting doubt upon John’s account of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. But to finish him off, we shoot a third arrow his way…
In context, Paul is here speaking about Jesus Christ. Notice:
1 Timothy 6:13-16
(13) I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
(14) That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
(15) Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
(16) Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
As shown in our study The Trinity Doctrine, we believe that the bible clearly identifies Jesus Christ as one with the father and with the Holy Spirit. Therefore when it says that only Jesus has eternal life, it includes the rest of the Godhead.
Now we want you to take special note of the words “only” and “immortality.” The word “only” simply means “remaining, sole, mere, single.” The word translated “immortality” is the Greek word athanasia, and literally means:
From a compound of G1 (as a negative particle) and G2288; deathlessness: - immortality.
Thayer’s Greek Definition used the defining word “undying.” This is strong language indicating that only Jesus Christ has immortality. He literally has “death-less-less.” Absolutely no other being has this, unless Jesus himself imparts it to them. This is a crucial point. This greek word is only found three times in the greek New Testament, once here, and twice in 1 Corinthians 15. Notice its usage there:
1 Corinthians 15:53-54
(53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality (athanasia).
(54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality (athanasia), then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
Paul is here speaking to believers in Christ, and informs them that it is Jesus Christ who gives us the victory:
1 Corinthians 15:57
(57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In other words, Jesus Christ is the only one who has deathlessness, and he will impart deathlessness to all those who believe in him. You will never find this word connected to unbelievers, sinners or devils. Instead, with them we find such words as:
-Consumed (Psalm 37:20)
-Perish (John 3:16, 2 Thessalonians 2:10)
-Melt (Psalm 112:10)
-Cut off (Psalm 37:9)
-Ashes (Ezekiel 28:18, Malachi 4:3)
-Die (Ezekiel 18:4, 18:20)
-Devoured (Ezekiel 28:18, Revelation 20:9)
-Destruction (1 Thessalonians 1:9)
In fact, in Psalm 112:10 we are told that even the desire of the wicked shall perish!
Zeroing in on the word “only” in 1 Timothy 6:16, and understanding that this includes only Jesus Christ and whosoever he will give eternal life to, we see that the wicked are on the opposite boat. Rather then having deathlessness, they will have death.
In conclusion we gather three important points that more then weaken the doctrine of Eternal Torment:
The Wicked will not live forever in flames because:
(1) They haven’t and will never eat of the life giving Tree of Life.
(2) They’re hate is the same as being a murderer. And no murderer will live forever.
(3) They don’t have deathlessness. Only Jesus has this, and he will only give this to those who believe on his name. They don’t believe on his name, therefore they will not have athanasia, or, immortality.
I’ll end this with a short illustration. Say you have cancer, and the doctor tells you that you have three months to live. Say a cure for cancer has been developed and that it has been made available to you. The promise is that with this cure, the cancer will be completely eliminated from off your body and you will be cancer free. Also the doctor tells you that a cheaper way, chemotherapy. That this doesn’t promise anything expect a few more days of life and a saving of some cash. Which would you choose? The cheaper way, to shoot it with radiation beams and inflict it with chemicals? Or would you pay a little extra, and remove it once and for all?
Friends, Jesus paid that extra price when he died for us upon that cross. Luckily for us, we don’t have to pay one cent, he offers us his life for free. He did not die to conceal sin and to hide it under the earth or some part of the universe to inflict it with flames. No, he died that he might… “destroy the works of the devil.” -1 John 3:8. The works of the devil… is sin. To destroy and to keep alive forever in flames are two very different things. Jesus is in the business of destroying sins, not perpetuating it. I pray this study has helped you understand how just and merciful God really is in abolishing forever the sin problem, as that doctor is in offering you a way to abolish your cancer problem forever.
For further study, see:
-Ezekiel 28: The King of Tyrus? Or Satan?
-2 Thessalonians 1:9: Everlasting Punishment?
-Revelation 14:11: Eternal Torment?