God's Great Plan For All Humanity
The Accurately Translated Bible
The Ultimate Hope: God's Great Plan For All Humanity Revealed In the Accurately Translated Bible
An adaptation from the book Hell Is A Mistranslation by John Lilley
I recommend you watch the video below, it will help you understand this excerpt. – John Lilley
Many people ask, “If the word ‘hell’ is not in the accurately translated Bible, then what happens to unbelievers?” and “When we get the translations right and sort out all the related misinterpretations of Scriptures, what does the Bible say is God’s plan for mankind?”
This short adaptation from my book Hell Is A Mistranslation will give you an introductory answer to these – possibly the most important questions in the world. Of course, the book explains the complete answer, proven thoroughly and logically from the Scriptures.
If God does exist, and He truly did create us in His image, then He must have a plan for us that actually makes sense – a plan that lines up with the sense of justice and common sense He built in to us. Otherwise, why would anyone serve Him?
Unfortunately, the world’s religions do not offer such a view of God – they claim that God’s game plan is to party with a few while torturing everyone else forever (or some variation thereof). Hmmmm….Why would He create us all in the first place if He knew that would be the ending? It makes no sense.
Thankfully, the accurately translated Bible reveals that God's great plan for humanity makes perfect sense. In this article I’m going to explain the basics of it right from the pages of the Bible.
I'm going to start by pointing out that there are many Bible verses that are completely ignored by mainstream Christianity. Mainstream Christianity ignores these plain statements of Scripture because they cannot explain them. They cannot explain them because they are reading badly mistranslated Bibles which in turn gives them a reason to think that their pagan-originated “hell mindset” (inherited from the Christian-pagan-combo Catholic church) is the truth. We’ll see how these statements by Jesus and the Apostle Paul, although they are are totally ignored by mainstream Christianity, are actually the most important Scriptures for understanding God’s ultimate plan for humanity.
Then I’m going to give you some rarely talked about Biblical insights into the white throne judgment, which is one of the keys to making God’s plan for mankind possible. Finally I’m going to explain to you what the accurately translated Bible reveals is God’s purpose unfolding throughout human history – how He is using five ages of time to accomplish what He wants to accomplish in the hearts of all human beings.
Some of the Scripture verses I’m going to reference may not make sense to you if you try to read them in many modern English Bible versions, because they contain some form of the word “age”. As you'll learn from the E-Book Hell Is a Mistranslation, the word “age” (Greek “eon”) is all over the place in the Bible, but you’d never know it by reading many English Bible versions, which have a nasty habit of translating it in a ridiculous fashion, into words that mean the exact opposite of “age/eon”, like “forever/eternal/everlasting/forever-and-ever”. So I highly recommend you read the verses I quote in this article in the Concordant Version, which translates the word “age/eon” accurately. At www.concordant.org you can read the Concordant New Testament free online and look up verses as you read this article.
As always, I’ll never ask you to “just believe” anything I say; instead, I always encourage you to do as the Bible commands in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 – “Test everything and hold on to what is good”. That being said, I will say that what I teach in this article is the greatest thing I’ve ever learned.
Here we go.
Simple But Amazing Bible Verses That Reveal God’s Ultimate Goal (But Are Ignored By Most Christians Because They Are Reading Partially Mistranslated English Bibles)
I invite you to read the following Bible verses, and instead of trying to explain them away somehow, take them for what they plainly say.
1 Tim. 4:10 – “We have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.”
1 Cor. 15:28 – “When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.”
1 Cor. 15:22 – “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” (From the context we see that “made alive” – Greek “vivified” – means getting an immortal body, as opposed to merely being resurrected into a mortal body – we know this because Paul’s list of “vivifications” does not include the resurrection of the dead to mortal bodies described in Revelation 20:5, 13.)
Rom. 11:32 – “For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.”
Romans 11:32 is possibly the most profound and revealing statement in the Bible about God’s plan for humanity. Yet it is absolutely impossible to understand unless you understand what I’m explaining in this article. If you have a “hell mindset”, this verse is horrific – God traps everyone in disobedience and then throws most of them in hell because of their disobedience? Huh?
Fortunately, that’s not what the verse says. When you take the verse to mean exactly what it says, put it together with the message of the rest of the accurately translated Bible, and understand how it solves the #1 problem God had as soon as He created beings with some semblance of free choice – the temptation to operate in ways other than the way God designed humans to operate – it makes perfect sense. In my book Hell Is A Mistranslation I discuss this profound verse in depth.
Rom. 3:23-24 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”
Why does everybody love verse 23 but ignore verse 24, while also ignoring the fact that it refers to the same “all” who have sinned?
Rom. 5:18 – “So then as through one transgression (Adam’s sin) there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness (Christ’s death on the cross) there resulted justification of life to all men.”
This verse and Romans 3:24 also beg the question: Would God justify all men, and then “take it back” for most of them? The next few verses I quote, along with 1 Tim. 4:10 and 1 Cor. 15:28 which I quoted above, answer that question…
John 12:32 – (Jesus speaking) “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth (which the next verse tells us refers to His crucifixion), will draw all men to Myself.”
Col. 1:16, 17, 19-20 – “All things have been created through Him and for Him...in Him all things hold together (endure)…For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, whether things on earth or things in the heavens.”
Eph. 4:6 – “one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”
Eph. 1:9-10 – “He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Him, with a view to an administration of the fullness of the times, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.”
The verses I just quoted plainly state that God has a plan for all His precious creations – to reconcile them all to Himself, so that all things can be summed up in Christ and God can be all in all.
These verses cannot simply be ripped out the Bible. They are simple, straightforward, plain statements of Scripture. But most Christians and Christian preachers totally ignore them. Why?
Well, they are confused when they read these verses because they can’t logically reconcile them with the rest of their partially mistranslated Bible. However, as soon as you translate the Bible accurately, the words “hell” and “forever/everlasting/forever-and-ever” disappear from it, and it is much easier to understand and put it all together. Suddenly the Bible and God’s plan for humanity start to make logical sense. Suddenly one can start to see how the verses I quoted above mean what they plainly say.
You may be thinking, “But didn’t Jesus say ‘The way is narrow that leads to life and few find it’?” Yes He did. Excellent question. How is this statement of Christ’s reconciled with the verses I just quoted above? You can’t rip any of these statements out of the Bible – so what gives?
Well, if you read my chapter on The Kingdom Time-Gap in Hell Is A Mistranslation you’ll discover the simple solution. In short, when Jesus said this He was speaking to the narrow audience to which He was sent at that period in history – Israelites – at a particular stage in God’s plan, during which the way was narrow to find “life” as it was offered to the Israelites then, and truly very few Israelites found it. So this “narrow way” statement of Christ’s definitely applied to Israelites back then, and it applies to this current age as well, but is not necessarily a statement of truth for all time. If it was, it would contradict all the Biblical statements I quoted earlier. "The way is narrow" and "few find it" are present tense statements, made by Jesus. But the Bible makes it exceedingly clear that God has a plan for the future that involves Him becoming "all in all" (1 Cor. 15:28) and reconciling all His creatures to Himself (Col. 1:20).
Now, above I quoted some of the main Bible verses that reveal God’s ultimate plan for humanity. But there is a another very important Biblical subject that will allow God to “get there” – to reach His goal of “reconciling all things to Himself” (Col. 1:20). This subject is a major key to correctly understanding God’s plan for humanity. Once you understand the “whole picture” of this Biblical subject, it is easy to see how it’s possible – and indeed, easy – to take all the above verses for what they plainly say.
The subject I’m referring to is the future “great white throne judgment” of those who are currently unbelievers. What makes it logically possible for us to interpret the amazing verses I quoted above, literally for what they plainly say, is the fact that the great white throne judgment is much different than pagan-hell-minded mainstream “Christianity” thinks.
Let’s examine God’s great white throne judgment (of unbelievers in this age) now that we know that the words “hell” and “forever/eternal/everlasting/forever-and-ever” are not in the Bible when it is translated accurately.
God Will Judge Everybody – But What Does That Mean?
Hebrews 12:23 says God is “the judge of all”. Everyone will eventually be judged by God. But “judgment” doesn’t mean “getting thrown into hell” – it can’t mean that because the word “hell” is not even in the accurately translated Bible. (And as I explain in Hell Is A Mistranslation, the two fire-events in Scripture, the lake of fire and the Gehenna fire in Jerusalem, can be easily proven to be physical fires that will take place on earth for a limited time.)
So what does “being judged by God” mean? Well, it’s slightly different for those who believe in this age, than it is for unbelievers in this age – let’s look at what it means for each group.
Those to whom God gives the grace to believe and come to the knowledge of the truth in this age (see Eph. 1:4, 2:8-9, Rom. 8:9-10) are judged somewhat – taught, corrected, etc. – during their lifetimes in this age (1 Pet. 4:17 – “judgment must begin with the house of God”). Then, after they are raptured (and given an immortal body) towards the very end of this age, they will be presented at the “dais” (Greek word) of Christ (Rom. 14:10, 2 Cor. 5:10).
A “dais” is an elevated place of honor. In the context of Romans 14:10 about believers being presented at the “dais” of Christ, Paul quotes the famous “every knee will bow and every tongue confess” Scripture (from the Old Testament) (yeah – the one everybody loves to quote but nobody stops to think about what it means). Every knee and every tongue obviously refers to all mankind. Yet Paul is writing his letter to Roman believers. This tells us that those who believe in this age, shortly after they are raptured, are going to stand in front of the same “dais” (Greek) or “elevated place” that those who don’t believe in this age are going to be judged at later on. Paul is saying to the Roman believers, “everybody is going to stand before God, and everybody is going to confess Jesus is Lord, and everybody is going to bow the knee in worship.”
Paul is stating that everybody’s gonna believe eventually. It’s just that there are some who believe in this age (through the faith God gives them – see Eph. 1:4, 2:8-9) and some (most of mankind) who won’t believe until they find themselves standing before God’s throne. Those who believe in this age will find themselves standing before God’s throne sooner (right after the rapture – at the end of the 3rd age) than the rest of mankind (later, after the millennium or 4th age; I explain the order of the ages in Hell Is A Mistranslation).
Not only will those who believe in this age find themselves standing before God’s throne sooner than the rest of mankind, it is also important to realize that the language the Bible uses to describe the scene of the appearance of recently-raptured Christians before the “dais”, is somewhat different than that which describes the scene of “white throne judgment” of the rest of mankind . In Romans 14:10 and 2 Cor. 5:10 Paul, in writing to believers in this age, uses the word “dais”. As I stated earlier “dais” is an elevated place of honor. It is interested that Paul, when talking to believers, says we’ll be “presented” “in front of” the “dais” of Christ. (Translators who call “dais” a “judgment seat” are inserting the “judgment” part of it on their own. The Greek word is simply “dais”. I’m not saying there will be no judgment at the “dais” of Christ for believers in this age, I’m just pointing out that the Bible doesn’t seem to make quite as big of a deal out of the “judgment” part of the experience like it does in Revelation 20 for unbelievers.)
Being “presented” “before” or “in front of” Christ’s “dais” seems to imply sharing honor with Christ. And of course 2 Corinthians 5:10 tells us these recently-raptured people will also receive any correction that is needed and receive their reward for good things done. We should also remember that recently-raptured believers will be in immortal bodies when they are presented at the dais, and I would imagine any correction would be much easier to take because of this. This is in contrast to those who don’t believe in this age – when they go before the white throne to be judged, they’ll be in mortal bodies.
So believers in this age will definitely answer to God at the dais of Christ for how they lived their lives. However, because of the way the Bible describes the scene, it seems like it may be a gentler or easier experience than what unbelievers in this age will go through at the white throne about 1000 years later (see Rev. 20:12). This would make sense, since (by God’s grace and choosing – Eph. 1:4) recently-raptured believers are those who have already acknowledged their need for God to save them from the consequences of their own bad behavior.
Also, any “punishment” God doles out to these people must logically be short-lived, since within a short period of time (a few days) they’ll have to start helping Christ rule the earth! One Bible verse seems to imply that punishment for recently-raptured believers may not even occur at all. 1 Corinthians 3:15 seems to show us that the “punishment” for bad things done, for the believer in this age, will essentially amount to a lack of reward – some people will “make the cut” (my expression) through the faith in Christ which God gave them in this age (Eph. 1:4, 2:8-9), but will actually have little or no reward, and will only “make the cut” (my expression) “as though passing through the fire” (the Apostle Paul’s God-inspired expression).
So I wouldn’t bet my last dollar on the fact that there will be no punishment at the dais for the believer in this age, but if there is any, it can’t last long, and will probably much easier to take because of our immortal-bodied state.
“So,” you say, “I understand what happens to Christians in this age – we get raptured into immortal bodies and get presented before Christ, get reward for the good things we’ve done, the bad things we’ve done are pretty much water under the bridge since they’ve been washed away by the blood of Jesus, and we go on to reign with Christ for 1000 years. But what about unbelievers in this age? What happens to them? If they’re not thrown into hell as mainstream Christianity teaches, then what happens to them?”
Glad you asked.
Before I go into any further detail, it’s worth reminding you again here that both “fire-events” described in Scripture are physical fires that destroy physical mortal human bodies. The first, the fire in the Valley of Gehinnom near Jerusalem, is an “eonian” (“age-lasting” or “pertaining to the age”) fire that will burn throughout Jesus’ 1000-year earthly reign, and will burn up the dead physical bodies of bad guys (Is. 66:23-24, and Jesus quotes this verse in Mark 9:44-48). It will be Jesus’ version of the electric chair during the millennium.
The second fire-event in Scripture, the lake of fire, will cause (the second instance of) physical death for those who have just been judged at the white throne (Rev. 20:14). See my article What Really Happens When You Die in the Hell Mistranslation section of this website for more details. The important fact to note is that there is no such thing as an eternal “spirit-fire” of pagan mythology in the Bible. Both the fires referred to in Scripture that everybody is so afraid of, are physical fires that burn up and destroy mortal physical bodies.
So, having reminded you of that, let me give you some more detail on “what happens to those who don’t believe in this age”. Those people who do not become believers in this present age, will be resurrected into mortal physical bodies after the millennium, and will stand before God’s throne to be judged (Rev. 20:5,13). Each individual will get an individual judgment from God. Then, some time after being judged at the white throne (we’re not told in the Bible how long this judgment will last, it could be many years for all we know), all these people will be thrown into the lake of fire, where they die physical death – for the second time. (Rev. 20:13-15). We don’t know if they’ll be killed before their bodies are thrown into the fire, or if they’ll be thrown in alive and experience a second or two of pain before dying. We can trust God to be kind and humane.
Again, I want to be very clear, Revelation 20:13 says nothing about these people being “vivified” (or given an immortal body - see 1 Cor. 15:20-28) before they are judged; instead, they are temporarily resurrected into physical mortal bodies, after which they die physically for the second time and their mortal bodies are thrown into the lake of fire and the die (for the second time in their experience).
This fire referred to in Revelation 20 must be physical because it causes death – and the definition of death throughout Scripture is a physical body/soul/spirit union being separated in such a way that the a) body ceases to operate, b) the soul (consciousness) becomes unconscious and the person “knows nothing” (Ecc. 9:5), and c) the spirit/breath (unconsciously so as not to contradict Ecclesiastes 9:5) “returns to God who gave it” (Ecc. 12:7). (See my article What Really Happens When You Die for more explanation of this.)
So unbelievers will be temporarily resurrected into physical bodies after the millennium, they will be judged by God at the white throne, and then they will die physically again (this is why the Bible calls this the “second death” in Revelation 20:14).
So is that it? What happens after their second death? Do they ever come back to life again? And what will happen to these people at the white throne? What will their “judgment” be like?
The End Result of God’s Judgment of Unbelievers
The word “judgment” has come to have an overly negative connotation in the Christian mind, because of the Catholic-leftover pagan-originated eternal-punishment mindset that still dominates much of Christianity. But think about how the word judgment is used in common language. If you do a careful study of this Greek word in Scripture, you will see that is used the same way we use it today in common speech.
It would be ridiculous for a human judge to throw every person who comes before him – regardless of the crime they committed – into a torturous fire-pit where they burn endlessly. Ideally, the whole point of judgment is correction. That’s why prisons are called “correctional facilities”. Of course in this age ruled by Satan and his handpicked leaders (2 Cor. 4:4, Luke 4:5-6), the so-called “justice” system doesn’t work very well a lot of the time, and “correctional” facilities sometimes end up being permanent residences for people who don’t know how to live any other way. But my point stands. When we use the word “judgment” in everyday speech, we don’t mean “eternal punishment”, we mean “wise decision-making about a difficult or critical issue”.
No judge in his right mind would give a 14-yr-old shoplifter the same punishment as a 45-yr-old axe murderer. Revelation 20:12 states clearly that at the white throne God will judge each person individually according to his/her deeds. Yet, how can this be if – as it says a couple verses later – all these people are given the same exact end-punishment (death and their body thrown into the lake of fire)? Why would God even bother raising them into mortal physical bodies temporarily, just to yell “You’ve all been very bad!”, and then kill them again? What would be the point of that?
There must be something more to “judgment” at the white throne than just being told “you’ve been bad” and being killed again. Revelation 20, by going out of its way to tell us that each person will get an individualized judgment, shows us that God, like a wise human judge might do, will actually judge fairly and wisely in each individual case, “according to their deeds” – and then the death that follows is an additional punishment AND lesson for everybody. What a thought! God is actually fair! God actually makes sense!
Think about it – according to mainstream Christianity, a nice Chinese guy who never heard the word “Jesus” in his lifetime gets…burning and screaming forever and ever and ever and ever, the same as Hitler? C’mon. Really? That makes no sense. That violates the very sense of common-sense justice God built in to us. How can God expect us to treat each other with the sense of fairness and justice He built in to us, and then treat us completely differently? It can’t be – and as you’re seeing in this article, that’s not what the (accurately-translated) Bible teaches at all!
The accurately translated, accurately interpreted Bible teaches that God is fair. As Revelation 20:12-15 tells us, God will judge each person who did not believe in Christ in this current age according to their deeds at the white throne judgment, and then these people will die a second time (thus missing out on the fun of the new Jerusalem age) as an additional lesson for all. The death is not the judgment – they are two separate events. The death comes after the judgment.
God will judge “every one” – again, the Word goes out of its way to let us know that He will judge each individual separately – “according to their deeds”. Then, after this occurs, they all get the same temporary punishment – death as a lesson for all of them. My point is simple: God’s judgment is about correction and learning lessons, not just about punishment. If it was just about punishment God would not bother to judge “every one” individually, He’d just kill them and throw them straight in the lake of fire. But then again – what would be the point of waking them up from death only to kill them again right away?
You can see how the main point of this whole scene in Revelation 20:11-15 is the individual judgment of each person, not the temporary putting-back-to-death. And what would be the point of going over the specifics of each person’s earthly life, if not to help and correct the person?
I said it once, I’ll say it again: God’s judgment, just like any wise father’s, is about correction and learning lessons, not just about punishment.
This must be the case, because otherwise how could God ever be “the Savior of all mankind” (1 Tim. 4:10) and “all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28) – how could He “reconcile all to Himself” (Col. 1:20)? God must do some major correcting and teaching – not just punishment – at the white throne, because if not, how could He ever trust all of mankind with immortal bodies (1 Cor. 15:20-28)? Since “the wages of sin is death”, how can He defeat death (1 Cor. 15:20-28) if He hasn’t taken care of mankind’s tendency toward sin through correction and teaching?
Isaiah 26:9 says, "When Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." That's just one of the Scripture references I could give you where the Bible speaks of judgment as correction and as a learning experience (not as burning in hell, which is the imagination of man). Judgment, in its common usage and in its Biblical usage, is about correction and learning, not just punishment.
So according to the Bible, the end result of God’s judgment is the elimination of the sin problem. Because "the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 3:23), sin must be eliminated before death can be eliminated. So the elimination of the sin problem then makes possible the elimination of death, so God can be “all in all” (Rev. 20:11-15 + Rom. 6:23 + Rom. 3:23-24 + 1 Cor. 15:20-28).
Let me put it this way: In order for God to end up at the consummation of the ages as “all in all”, two things must happen:
1) The people (the vast majority of humanity) who are judged at the white throne must be raised from the dead and given immortal bodies some time after dying in the lake of fire, thus living “happily ever after” in unity with God (without rebelling/sinning any more), and therefore
2) Something must happen at the white throne before that, which changes the hearts of these former rebellious/ignorant/sinful (and many various combinations thereof) unbelievers, so that they learn to live wisely and can be trusted with an immortal body, thus enabling them to live in unity with God so God can be “all in all”.
Is there any Biblical evidence that these two things will occur? Absolutely. 1 Corinthians 15:20-28, which describes 3 “vivifications” into immortal bodies - the 3rd of which is the remainder of mankind at the consummation of the ages - along with Phil. 2:9-10, Rom. 14:11, and Is. 45:23 which plainly state “Every knee will bow, and every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord”.
First let’s look at the Apostle Paul’s description in 1 Corinthians 15 of how those who’ve been judged at the white throne and killed in the lake of fire, will receive immortal bodies at the “consummation”. (The "Consummation" to which Paul refers can only be the wrapping up of God's plan for the ages – I explain in detail the five ages of human history in my E-Book Hell Is A Mistranslation).
The 3 Times Recorded In Scripture When Humans Will Receive Incorruptible/Immortal Bodies
1 Corinthians 15:20-28 says (in the accurately translated Concordant Version):
“Yet now Christ has been roused from among the dead, the Firstfruit of those who are asleep. For since, in fact, through a man came death, through a Man, also, comes the resurrection of the dead. For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified.
Yet each in his own class: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's in His presence; thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power.
For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy is being abolished: death. For He subjects all under His feet. Now whenever He may be saying that all is subject, it is evident that it is outside of Him Who subjects all to Him. Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.”
In this passage Paul clearly outlines three “vivifications” or occasions when dead and/or mortal humans are given immortal bodies. We know these are descriptions of humans being given immortal bodies, because a) the resurrection of most of dead mankind into mortal bodies in Revelation 20:5 is missing from Paul’s description; and b) Paul uses a specific word, “vivified”, which is not used for the resurrection of most of mankind into mortal bodies in Revelation 20:5 (in Revelation 20:5 they just “come to life”, they are not “vivified”).
So let’s look at the three “vivifications” – resurrections of human beings into immortal bodies - Paul describes. First is Jesus’ resurrection. Second, the rapture of believers who have been given the grace to believe in this age (see Eph. 1:4, 2:8-9 & 1 Cor. 15:52). And third, “the consummation”.
Then Paul goes on to describe that this “consummation” is the point in time when death is abolished. (You may see “end” in 1 Corinthians 15:24 in your Bible, but “end” is not an accurate translation of this Greek word – “consummation” is much better. “Consummation” lets us know that this is the moment when God’s ultimate goal for mankind is finally reached.)
1 Corinthians 15:51-55 tells us that the rapture is a partial fulfillment of the Old Testament prophetic statement “death is swallowed up in victory”. It cannot, however, be a total fulfillment of that Scripture, because how can death be “swallowed up in victory” if 90% of mankind is still dead? This is why Paul clearly outlines THREE “vivifications” of human beings into immortal bodies earlier in verses 20-28.
There are some people who argue that Paul is not actually referring to a third “vivification” in 1 Corinthians 15:24. You will have to decide this for yourself of course, but it seems not only obvious, but perfectly logical to me, both from the way Paul phrases it and from the rest of what the Bible says, that Paul is referring to a 3rd “vivification”. He phrases it “first this, then this, then this”. Simple. Why would the second “then this” be a totally different type of event than the first “then this”? According to the rules of communication, it can’t be. The simple rules of communication tell us that Paul is definitely referring to a third vivification at the consummation of the ages.
Not only that, but if Paul is not referring to a third “vivification” of the rest of mankind into immortal bodies at the consummation of the ages, many other plain Biblical statements become impossible, and there is no explanation for how they occur! Think about it: How can God become “all in all”(1 Cor. 15:28), “reconcile all to Himself” (Col. 1:20,) and be “the Savior of all men”(1 Tim. 4:10) if most of mankind stays dead? Death is the wages of sin – it’s what we’re all “saved” from! How can God be the Savior of all men if He leaves most of them dead?!?! How can “death be abolished” (1 Cor. 15:26) if most of mankind is still dead?
If I say to you, “I’m going to abolish slavery”, have I succeeded if billions of people are still stuck in the state of slavery? Absolutely not. If I say to you, “slavery is swallowed up in victory”, is that statement true if millions are still slaves? Absolutely not. If God says, “Death has been abolished” and “death has been swallowed up in victory”, has He succeeded if billions of people are still stuck in the state of death? You see my point.
The bottom line is, you start running into all sorts of Biblical contradictions and logical problems if you try to say that Paul is not referring to a third vivification in 1 Corinthians 15:24. On the other hand, if you simply assume Paul is speaking in a normal way – “first this, then this, and then this” – to refer to three vivifications, all the logical problems go away and his description of the three vivifications fits 100% perfectly with the rest of the Bible’s plain statements about God’s plan for humanity. Simple. This is not rocket science my friends. (Although I know sometimes it may feel like that when you’re trying to undo years of pagan-originated-and-badly-translated-Bible-based lies).
So, again I want to point out the extremely important question: “What happens at the white throne that makes God think He can safely give all the people He judged there an immortal body later on at the 3rd vivification? (The 3rd vivification will occur after they’ve been dead awhile for the second time, during the “new Jerusalem” age – see my explanation of the five ages in my book Hell Is A Mistranslation.) How can God justify giving them an immortal body without them just messing everything up again?” If “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23), then God must get rid of sin before He can permanently get rid of death! Again, Biblically and logically something must happen at the white throne that will take care of mankind’s tendency toward sin.
If God is ever going to be “all in all” as the Bible plainly states He will be, the white throne judgment must be corrective. Just like we (and the Bible in many places) use the word “judgment” in common usage. Surely it’s not hard to believe that God, our Creator, is smart enough to judge, educate, and train His creations in such a way that we “get it” and are corrected. Why would He have brought us into existence in the first place if He didn’t know beforehand that He could eventually get us all to live happily together with Him and each other?
You see, the people who are judged at the white throne will be able to look back at all of human history and learn lessons from it. Not only that, you would think that simply standing before God's throne and beholding His glory would be enough to make the vast majority of these prior unbelievers (if not all of them) instantly bow down and say “sorry Lord”!
In fact, this is exactly what the Bible says will happen! Philippians 2:10-11 says that at some point in the future “every knee will bow and every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord”. The Bible also tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:3, “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’, except by the Holy Spirit.” So Biblically this “confessing/bowing event” cannot be a grudging “I admit, You’re Lord, but I still hate You” type of deal on the part of anyone. Everyone is going bow and confess, and everyone is going to do it sincerely from the heart.
The Bible makes this even more clear by repeatedly pointing out that everyone doesn’t just “confess”, they also bow their knees in worship and homage to the King. So we see that at some point in the future everyone will believe and confess Jesus is Lord, and will bow down to Him. Now think about it – according to Romans 8:9-10, which says “If you believe in your heart God raised Christ from the dead and confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, you will be saved” – at the point that every knee bows and every tongue confesses, every one of these people “gets saved”!
When will this amazing event occur? The most logical time – in fact, the only logical time I can think of – for the majority of mankind to believe/confess/bow in fulfillment of Philippians 2:10-11/Romans 14:11/Isaiah 45:22-24, is at the white throne judgment described in Revelation 20:11-13. When else would it occur? Again, this is not rocket science. Those of you who know your Bible well, think about it – when else could such an event occur?
Now let me take this chance to point out something profound. The vast majority of believers in this age (except those who are alive when the rapture occurs) will experience death once even after they become believers. They believe in Christ, die before Jesus comes back, and then get an immortal body at the rapture. Similarly, unbelievers in this age will also experience death one more time even after they become believers at the white throne. For some reason God sees fit to let humans experience death (being unconscious, missing out on life experience, like a child missing out on something fun they were looking forward to) once more even after coming to the knowledge of the truth. The only reason I can think that He would do it this way, is to teach us a vivid lesson about the consequences of “sin” (“missing the mark”, operating differently than He designed us to operate).
You see, the only people who will never experience death, are believers at the end of this age who will still be alive and holding on to their faith when the rapture occurs. This group of people will just have lived through the most difficult worldwide persecution of Christians the world will ever see. (See my articles on the rapture in the End Times Explained section of this website, for Biblical information on its relative timing which you probably haven’t heard before.)
This group of persevering end-time believers, by God's grace, will have gone through a testing far greater than most – therefore God sees fit to allow them never to experience the “wages of sin” – death. It’s as though God allows them to “skip a grade” in their education because they passed a super-difficult test. (This does not make them better than past martyrs who did die, it just means they passed a difficult test and they happened to live at the end of the age. Past martyrs might have been allowed to “skip a grade” too if they had lived at the end of the age.)
My point is that death is ultimately both a a temporary punishment and a lesson, not just a punishment. And of course it is not an end-state either. It is a lesson and a temporary punishment at the same time – just like a wise father might dole out to a disobedient child. A wise father does not “ground” His child and make them miss out on fun things forever; He just does so for a period of time, as a vivid lesson. Kids, like people, don’t like missing out on life. Death is a “grounding”, a “missing out” – a logical punishment/lesson for operating incorrectly.
If your car operates incorrectly, it’s dangerous. It could seriously hurt somebody if it does the wrong thing at the wrong time. So you put it out of commission for a while, at the shop. Not to sit forever, but to be fixed. God does a similar thing with sinning humans. The logical wages of sin (operating incorrectly, hurting others and yourself), is being put out of commission – death. Being put out of commission for awhile – experiencing death, missing out on life – for a human being, becomes a profound lesson when the human wakes up.
In the case of believers in this age, it’s not that we’re better than anyone else. God simply chooses some people by His grace. These only have to experience the death lesson/punishment once, not twice – because they are given the faith/grace to believe earlier (see Eph. 1:4, 2:8-9, Rom. 11:5-6).
Now, there are some Christian teachers who realize that hell is a mistranslation but argue that when most of mankind is thrown into the lake of fire, that’s it – they cease to exist. But again, as I pointed out, the problem with this belief is that it directly contradicts many plain Scriptures like 1 Timothy 4:10, 1 Corinthians 15:28, Ephesians 1:10, Colossians 1:20, and Romans 5:18. If God were to annihilate most of His creations, how could He be “the Savior of all men”? How could He be “all in all”? How could He “reconcile all to Himself”?
All is all. The definition of all is not “all except for the ones I choose to get rid of”. If there are ten apples on the table and I say “I’m the eater of all those apples” and then shove eight of them off the table before I pick up the remaining two, I’m either playing clever word games or just a liar. God is neither.
And why would God create billions of humans knowing beforehand that most of them would live difficult lives for 70 years, be woken up to be told how bad they were, and be put back to sleep forever? What would be the point? Fortunately “the doctrine of annihilation” is not what the Bible teaches. The Word of God is extremely clear and matches up with itself simply, easily, and perfectly if you’re willing to believe the most wonderful truth ever discovered – God is the Savior of all mankind (1 Tim. 4:10).
Some people have trouble grasping this because they simply don’t want to believe that God will save everybody. They fight 1 Timothy 4:10, tooth and nail, and go to all sorts of ridiculous lengths (leaps of logic, insisting Scriptures don’t mean what they plainly state, etc.) to try to “prove” that those who are lucky enough (in truth, chosen by God – see Eph. 1:4 & 2:8-9) to hear the gospel and believe it in this age, somehow deserve a better ending than everybody else. Do these people who insist on believing in “a happy ending for me and a horrible ending for most other people” realize what they’re holding on to so tightly? They’re essentially saying, “I want to end up partying while everybody else is dead or burning.” Why would anyone cling so tightly to such a selfish mindset?
Such people are also essentially making the ridiculous argument that Jesus would go to all that trouble to die for the “justification of all men” (Rom. 5:18, 3:23-24), and then take it back for most of them. In most cases it would be totally and grossly unfair for Him to take it back – imagine God saying at the white throne, “You Chinese guy, I know you never heard the gospel or even My Name in your lifetime, but I’m still gonna take back what I did for you because you didn’t believe! Never mind that My Word says “How can they believe if they don’t hear and how can they hear without a preacher?” I guess you just weren’t lucky enough to have a preacher of the gospel come by your town. Tough luck for you! I’m taking back what Jesus did on the cross in your case! It doesn’t apply to you! But this American guy who grew up in a Christian home, yeah, he gets to keep what Christ did for him! You, Chinese guy, are gonna burn forever (or cease to exist) because you happened to be unlucky enough never to hear the gospel, but the American guy who grew up in church gets to party with Me forever!” That makes no sense.
But if you simply read 1 Corinthians 15:22-24 and realize that at the consummation of the ages God will give the rest of mankind immortal bodies, God makes perfect sense. The doctrines of annihilationism and eternal punishment both blatantly contradict plain statements of Scripture and make God out to be a nonsensical monster.
Thankfully, when you interpret the accurately translated Bible with simple common sense, God is shown to be a wise and loving Father, not a nonsensical monster.
Another Seemingly Impossible Bible Dilemma - Solved Easily!
Realizing the simple fact God is the Savior of all mankind solves another one of the age-old seemingly unanswerable problems of the Bible, the predestination dilemma, with astonishing simplicity. (See my article on predestination for more details.) Christians only cling to the “we decide whether to get saved or not, it’s our decision alone” myth (which directly contradicts Ephesians 1:4 & 2:8-9, Romans 14:11, and Romans 10:14) because they can’t stomach the thought that God would choose beforehand who’s going to hell and who’s not. So they throw out the “God choosing beforehand” idea altogether. Instead, they should throw out the unbiblical “hell” idea and keep the “God choosing beforehand” (a minority to be saved from death earlier than everybody else) idea.
The fact that God saves everybody from themselves, all by Himself, with no help at all from us, should remove all pride from those who are chosen in this age to believe (Eph. 1:4). Believers in this age have no reason to boast. God gave us our faith (Eph. 2:8-9)! Does this mean our actions don't matter? No. Our actions cannot earn us salvation - God did that all by Himself (Rom. 11:32, Eph. 1:4, 2:8-9) - but they can earn us reward (1 Cor. 3:14)! The simple fact remains that God, in order to have a leadership team for the next age and to help teach a lesson to the rest of His creations, chooses a few and gives them grace to believe in this age (Eph. 1:4, 2:8-9).
The Apostle Paul states it perfectly in 1 Timothy 4:10 – God “is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe”. Here Paul makes a distinction between those to whom God gives faith in this age, and everyone else who will believe and confess later at the white throne (not by faith, but by sight). God is the Savior of them all, just at different times – and salvation for those who are given faith in this age definitely has a special aspect to it.
You see, according to 1 Timothy 4:10, John 12:32, Romans 5:18, and Romans 3:23-24, everybody who ever lived and ever will live, has already been justified and saved by God through what Christ did on the cross. God is not taking back Christ’s work on the cross for humanity. He doesn’t hold out His hand and say, “Here humanity, here’s the greatest gift ever”, and then pull His hand back and say, “Haha, just kidding, sorry, most of you can’t have it!” What Christ did for humanity is a done deal. This is why Jesus, the instant before He died on the cross, said “it is finished”. It’s done. Mankind has been saved by Christ, not through anything we did ourselves. Christ’s death provided “justification of life to all men” (Rom. 5:18).
Yet Paul points out that believers in this age have a special salvation. How so? For one thing, we will get saved from death (get our immortal bodies) earlier than everybody else and escape the second death (1 Cor. 15:20-28, Rev. 20:6). Also, we'll get to experience some fun things the rest of mankind doesn’t, like reigning with Christ for 1000 years during the millennium (Rev. 20:4), judging angels (1 Cor. 6:3), and living (while everyone else is dead for the second time) during the “New Jerusalem age” (Rev. 21-22) that immediately precedes the consummation of the ages (you’ll see my outline of the ages in my new book Hell Is A Mistranslation).
But keep in mind that we believers in this age will not get these perks because we are anything great, but rather the opposite! 1 Corinthians 1:26-30 says that it’s mostly the weak and foolish whom God chooses in this age, in order to show the rest of His creatures that it’s His power at work in us (Phil. 2:13). Remember that next time you think you’re “all that”.
One of the main points I want you to get out of all this is that “getting saved” means getting saved from death. “The wages of sin is death”, not hell (Rom. 6:23). So when a person is “saved”, they are saved from death. They are saved from the rightful wages of their own sin. At the point you get an immortal body, you’ve been permanently saved from death. Believers in this age will get an immortal body earlier than the rest of humanity. That (and some of the perks that go with it as an example to the rest of creation) is our “special” salvation.
So we see that
a) The sin problem has been removed in principle for all mankind by Christ’s work on the cross (Rom. 5:18, 2 Cor. 5:18-19).
b) The sin problem will be removed in practice from believers in this age first through His work in them during their first earthly life, second through the first death lesson (for most), third through a supernatural work He will do in them when He gives them immortal bodies at the rapture, and fourth, through correction at the dais of Christ.
c) The sin problem will be removed in practice from the rest of humanity first at the white throne judgment, second through the second death lesson, third through a supernatural work He will do in them when He gives them immortal bodies at the consummation of the ages.
What I just described, combined with the fact that God will get rid of the negative influence of Satan once and for all just before the white throne judgment (Rev. 20:10), will permanently remove the sin problem from all mankind. Then and only then can God abolish the last enemy, death, so that He can be “all in all”. It’s laid out right there in 1 Corinthians 15:20-28! Oh man, it makes me want to shout!
God's Ultimate Goal
So we see that God’s ultimate goal is to judge every person – for most of mankind it will occur at the white throne – so that they can be corrected, educated, and trained to the point where sin is no longer a problem. With the added help that God will permanently remove the negative influence of Satan, the removal of the sin problem means death can be removed (because “the wages of sin is death” – Rom. 6:23). The removal/abolishment of death means all can be given an immortal body at the consummation of the ages.
In other words, the 3rd vivification described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:22-24, when the majority of mankind will be given immortal bodies, is the same moment when death is abolished. This occurs “so that God may be all in all”.
You see, this age in which we live is ruled by Satan (2 Cor. 4:4). God is allowing this. Have you ever asked yourself, if God is really in a “battle for souls” with Satan during this age, a) why is He losing so badly, and b) why does He let Satan run rampant to deceive, kill, and destroy during this age when supposedly everybody is deciding between heaven and hell, and then tie him up in the next age when it’s too late? I’ll say it once, I’ll say it a million times, many of the things mainstream Christianity believes make no sense whatsoever, but everything the accurately translated Bible reveals about God makes perfect sense.
When God 1, removes Satan’s negative influence, 2, does a corrective work in mankind (at the white throne for most), 3, teaches (most of) us a lesson through the experience of (temporarily missing out on life through) death, and 4, gives supernatural grace to mankind by putting us (some sooner than others) in immortal bodies, the sin problem will have been taken care of – and all the world’s problems will have been solved. The deepest desires of humanity will be fulfilled – we will all live together in love, unity, and prosperity without hurting each other. God will be “all in all”.
Some may ask an excellent question: Why didn’t God just give us immortal bodies in the first place and avoid all these sin problems? The answer is, He did give us immortal bodies at first. Adam and Eve were in immortal bodies in the garden! But God knew as soon as He decided to create mankind not as robots, but in His image, as beings with some semblance of decision-making capacity, that mankind would eventually want to try things that were not the way He originally designed them to operate, just like a father knows his kids are going to disobey him at some point. The difference is, God has many billions of adults to teach, not just two or three young kids! But God is certainly able to teach all of us what we need to learn – it just takes time. That’s why He designed a plan for the ages, where each age is a stage in His educational plan for all humanity.
Five Ages, Five Educational Stages In God's Great Plan
Now that you’ve seen God’s ultimate goal outlined in Scripture, I recommend you my new book Hell Is A Mistranslation. In it I reveal the five ages (Greek “eons”) the Bible refers to, and God’s purpose for each. You’ll see how God has carefully planned the five ages of human history to be powerful experiential lessons mankind can look back on at the white throne, which will help them learn the importance of operating the way God has designed us to operate. I'll explain why God is doing things the way He’s doing them, including why He’s allowing pain and suffering during this age. You will see that God has a good, simple, logical reason for everything He has done, is doing, and will do with His master plan of the ages to educate, teach and train all of humanity to live the way He designed them to live – in love and prosperity without hurting each other.
CLICK HERE to discover the complete Scriptural explanation in John's book Hell Is A Mistranslation.
The new book includes:
* Detailed information on the 3 Greek words (and 1 primary Hebrew word) that are sometimes translated as “hell” in your English Bible – and how NONE of them mean “hell”!
* The other mega-important word that is often mistranslated in your English Bible, and how translating it accurately will totally change your perception of God’s plan for the world
* What really happens when you die – not according to religious tradition, but according to plain statements of Scripture and a thorough look at everything the Bible has to say about it
* 10 powerful Scriptures that are completely ignored by mainstream Christianity because they cannot possibly believe them and believe in hell at the same time
* God’s ultimate plan for humanity as revealed by the accurately-translated Bible
* How properly understanding God’s plan for mankind instantly solves the predestination dilemma while simultaneously removing all pride from believers
* John’s outline of the 5 ages of human history planned by God as revealed in the accurately translated Bible – and WHY God is doing it this way
* WHY God created the world in this age to be subject to some natural disasters and the law of death (something has to die in order for something else to live) – as an eternal lesson for mankind
* The simple reason WHY God allows pain and suffering in this age, WHY He allows Satan to be “god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4), and how it’s nothing any parent couldn’t understand
* How the most confusing verse in Scripture to mainstream Christianity - Romans 11:32 - is the most profound revelation of the purpose of God's ultimate plan for humanity
* What will happen to fallen angels and Satan at the consummation of the ages
* Bonus Section: The Kingdom Time-Gap – A simple term John has coined for a piece of information that instantly solves several more previously confusing things about the Bible
The Ultimate Hope: God's Great Plan For All Humanity Revealed In the Accurately Translated Bible Copyright 2010 John Lilley
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