FEEDBACK: COMPARING SCRIPTURE WITH SCRIPTURE #1
We appreciate feedback on the studies posted on this website. It helps us to see if there is anything on this website that does not agree with the Bible.
Below is an email received from a viewer of this website and OUR response
THE READER’S FEEDBACK IS IN ITALICS. OUR RESPONSE FOLLOWS.
Another person has shown that S165 and 166 do not necessarily mean "forever" in Scripture, and the administrator of “www.isannihilationtrue.com” has replied that 2 NT verses surely do teach the eternal torment of the Unsaved - however, he appears to misunderstand the Bible's use of "smoke" and "torment", and his certainty in "forever and ever" is not solid....this is only part of why a series of "orthodox" Bible teachers, teach Annihilation….
BELOW IS OUR RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE EMAIL
Thank you for sharing this feedback.
It is true that the Greek word “aion” (Strong’s 165) can refer to this present world or age. In that sense it can be translated as “age”.
However, when speaking of this world or this age, this word is only used in the singular and is never doubled up.
On the other hand, God has created a Greek phrase that could be literally translated into English like this “into the ages of the ages”.
In this phrase, the Greek word “aion” is doubled-up and used in the plural twice. These are two important facts that never apply to how the word “aion” is used to speak of this world or this age.
The phrase “into the ages of the ages” is totally different than how God uses the Greek word “aion” to speak of this world.
The exact English translation is not what is most important. The most important thing is how God defines this Greek phrase in the Bible. According to 1 Corinthians 2:13, God defines words and phrases by how He uses them in the Bible.
The question is what does God mean by this Greek phrase, “into the ages of the ages”? Could this phrase refer to a finite period of time or forevermore or are both possible?
We answer this question by following the Biblical rule of 1 Corinthians 2:13 that declares “the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
We must compare “spiritual things with spiritual” or “Scripture with Scripture”.
If we do not follow the rule of 1 Corinthians 2:13, we can make the Bible say almost anything that we want it to say. By 1 Corinthians 2:13, God defines what He means by words and phrases in the Bible.
There is an “into the ages of the ages” and God defines what it is by how He uses this phrase in the Bible.
There is no phrase anything like this phrase that is used to speak of this world. God never uses the word “aion” in the plural to speak of this world. Nor does God “double up” the word “aion” to speak of this world.
God uses this phrase 20 times in the Bible. That is not an insignificant number of times.
If God had used this phrase only 1 or 2 times, then we could argue that this phrase is not well defined.
Or, if God had used this phrase in verses in which its meaning was not certain, then we could argue that this phrase is not well defined.
However, neither of these is the case.
God has used this phrase in 18 verses in which it speaks of God and His kingdom. There is no way that God nor His kingdom can ever end. God has given 18 verses in which this phrase has to mean forevermore.
Then, God puts this same phrase, “into the ages of the ages”, in two verses (Revelation 19:3 & 20:10) to speak of the unsaved.
According to the rule of 1 Corinthians 2:13, God is telling us that the duration of Revelation 19:3 and 20:10 is the same duration of God and His kingdom which can only be forevermore. How can we follow the Bible’s rules for study and come to any other conclusion?
This material is examined in more detail in the study at this link:
You mentioned that there is apparent misunderstanding concerning the Bible's use of the words "smoke" and "torment".
How do we understand the Bible’s use any word?
We understand the Bible’s use of any word by following the rule of 1 Corinthians 2:13 to compare Scripture with Scripture.
When we examine the family of Greek words translated “torment” it always signifies some form of conscious affliction.
This is not the only word in the Bible that always signifies conscious affliction, but it is one family of words that always does.
When God uses this word “torment”, He is speaking of some kind of conscious affliction.
Therefore, following the rules of 1 Corinthians 2:13, when God talks about someone being “tormented”, we know that God is declaring that he will experience conscious affliction.
This material is examined in more detail in the study at this link:
What does God mean by the word “smoke”?
We follow the Biblical rule of comparing Scripture with Scripture to find the answer.
God uses figures in the Bible. The Lord Jesus is called a “lamb” (John 1:29). The Lord Jesus is not a literal “lamb” but the term “lamb” ties back into the Old Testament ceremonial sacrifices of lambs for sins.
Another example is found in John 12:35. God says:
Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
God is using an analogy that we can understand. If we go into a deserted area at night where there is no light and we walk, we will have no idea of where we are going. God uses an analogy from this world to teach the Gospel truth that if we do not have the light of the Gospel, then we don’t know where we are going in our relationship with God.
God ties “smoke” into the “fire” of God’s wrath (Genesis 19:24-28, Exodus 19:18, Joshua 8:19-21, Isaiah 34:9-10). The “fire” ties into God as a “consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).
In Jeremiah 5:14 (and other verses) God uses another analogy that we can understand. We read there:
Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
God represents the unsaved people as “wood” in this and other verses. The unsaved are not literally “wood” just like the Lord Jesus is not literally a “lamb”. But, God represents the unsaved as “wood”.
The Word of God and God Himself are represented by “fire”.
The unsaved, the “wood”, are cast into the “fire” of God’s wrath. The result is “her smoke” (Revelation 19:3). The “her” refers to the unsaved.
We read in Revelation 19:3:
And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
It is “her smoke”. This means that she is in the fire of God’s wrath. As long as “her smoke” ascends, that means that she, the unsaved, is in the “fire”.
Once she is gone or has been removed from the fire, “her smoke” will not ascend anymore. It will cool off and stop ascending.
The smoke of an item stops ascending only when the item is gone or removed from the fire.
Because her smoke never stops ascending, this means that she still exists in the fires of God’s wrath forevermore.
God is teaching Gospel truth with another analogy from this world.
This material is examined more in the studies at these links:
These conclusions are obtained by following the Biblical rule of comparing Scripture with Scripture.