Month 4:1, Rosh Chodesh, Year 5935:087 AM|
ROSH CHODESH IV (Revee haChodesh), Omer Count Day 23/50
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 2 July 2011
Rosh Chodesh IV
Yahweh's Promise of Universal Salvation
Chag Sameach Rosh Chodesh kol beit Yisra'el and may the Father's blessings fall richly upon all those who honour Him as our Supreme Elohim and Heavenly Father and who obey His moedim. It is the beginning of a new month with much promise.
Though I am not afraid to discuss controversial subjects I must admit I feel a degree a trepidation as I come to discern their scope. Today's subject is both controversial and enormous, even though I have dealt with it in depth before. Those of you not familiar with what I wrote back then might like to check over these earlier materials:
I have had a great struggle in re-presenting this today, I don't mind telling you. And after a worship service in which we discussed this topic, and then a period of doubt as I looked into a couple of scriptures that seemed to contradict this position, I realised just how weighty and important this subject was and of the need to get it absolutely right. What I present to you today will almost certainly not be my last word on the subject and there may be a need later to modify or refine some of the things I am about to say. Since this is an emotive subject, it must, of necessity, have both a clean biblical objectivity as well as a personal subjectivity. I will try to keep the two apart as much as I can so that personal feelings do not colour the theology unnecessarily. At the same time, I cannot be entirely dispassionate - after all, this is about your eternal future as well as my own. And I have to say that by the time I had prepared this I not only felt buoyed up but felt a burning fire to evangelise, something I have never been able to as freely do under my former belief about this topic.
My lev (heart) is still heavy after an encounter with so-called 'messianics' yesterday who not only deny Yah'shua's (Jesus') Deity (which heresy makes them unbelievers and unsaved) but who also mock Him, as one did, as "that dead man on a stick". For the Man of haGalil (Galilee) is their only hope of heaven and life everlasting. He indeed died but was resurrected and today sits at the right hand of Yahweh the Father Almighty (Heb.12:2). There is no authentic biblical emunah (faith) without this fundamental emet (truth).
I hope that you, like me, are concerned about the unsaved, whoever they may be. It is this concern which moves us to witness of the Gospel by whatever means we can and according to our several giftings. On the one hand we want everyone to know the wonderful redemption of Messiah Yah'shua (Christ Jesus) and on the other hand we are anxious that no-one should go to hell. Unlike many messianics who deny the literal existence of hell as a place of torment for the dead (including Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, Christadelphians, the various factions of the Armstrongite Churches of God, and others) this ministry, like Evangelical Christians generally, preaches unapologetically that hell is both an inner condition which we can experience now if we rebel against Yahweh, as well as a place where those who have rejected Messiah go after they die.
Unlike most evangelicals, we deny that hell is eternal. It can't be if for no other reason than it is cast into the lake of fire, and there extinguished or 'put to death'. And this "lake of fire" is, as I proved some time ago, Yahweh's refining fire - it is not a satanic instrument of torture. Indeed, it is our contention that the doctrine of Eternal Hell not only casts Yahweh into a false light (and therefore darkens His Name) but often keeps people with a sense of justice and ahavah (love) away from the Messiah! We are definitely not 'eternal damnation' preachers but at the same time we do not deny the place is real and to be avoided at all costs...so long as it is around (which is for some time yet). What then do we preach?
"Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before Elohim (God), and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades (Hell) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev.20:11-15, NKJV).
And we also preach, because we know, that Yahweh:
"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of Elohim (God) our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the emet (truth)" (1 Tim 2:3-4, NKJV).
In this very clear revelation of Yahweh's lev (heart) we understand that not only does the Father desire that everyone be saved but, in that "in the dispensation of the fullness of the times" (which is that period of time after the Millennium or Eternity) He will "gather together" everything "in heaven and...on earth". In other words, once the seventh millennium of earth's history is finally over, everyone and everything is coming home to Him in some way and in one of the three temple sections or degrees: the Holy of Holies, the Holy Place and the Outer Court.
"...having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Messiah (Christ), both which are in heaven and which are on earth -- in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will..." (Eph.1:9-11, NKJV).
Now I know that such a notion upsets some of the 'hellfire and damnation' preachers who seem sometimes to take a perverse pleasure in the thought of sinners being eternally roasted. Some of them, whose psyche is perversely animated by this doctrine, would willingly condemn anyone preaching against it and be more than willing to help the devils stoke up the fires of hell if they could. And some deluded extremists might even be willing to kill for such a doctrine.
I was a believer in eternal damnation until about a decade ago because I did not understand the Scriptures on this subject very much. It was what I was taught as an Anglican in those days before Anglicanism became liberalised and everything concrete was reduced to allegory. If it is Yahweh's will that everyone, at some point, be saved, can human will oppose it? Can anything stop it, in heaven or in hell? And do we really believe that a loving Father is such a sadist that He could bear to hear eternal weeping? Could you, as a father or mother, bear such a thing? And could you accept that whilst we as humans are called to keep on forgiving those who sin against us, that the Father is somehow not able or required to, or unwilling to? (Mt.18:21-22) And yet, Yahweh's sovereign will shall be carried out. How can it not be? If He says that He desires that all shall be saved, then it will be done.
None of this is to deny that there will not be weeping and gnashing of teeth for the unsaved. None of this is to deny that one day of this torment, let alone a thousand years of it, would be enough to discourage anyone from rejecting Messiah could they experience it for as much as a single second. And when Yah'shua (Jesus) taught that the "unprofitable servant" would be "cast ... into outer darkness" where there would be "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt.22:13, NKJV), He meant His listeners to understand this literally. And they did! In the five passages where Yah'shua (Jesus) teaches this doctrine there is no mention of this place being 'eternal'. Indeed the context is rather special too since it concerns that of the Judahites ('Jews') losing their inheritance:
Here Yah'shua is declaring - and mark it, all messianics - that this "weeping and gnashing of teeth" concerns those sons of Judah - "the sons of the kingdom" - who have lost their toqef (authority) over Yahweh's Theocratic Kingdom which finally ended physically in 70 AD. And yet are not these Judahites a part of Israel? Are they not Israelites? And did not the apostle Paul declare that all Israel would be saved, not to mention the whole world being reconciled and brought back to Elohim (God)? Add these two seemingly discordant pieces of truth and see the harmony: they, as Israelites are thrown into outer darkness, and yet all Israel will be "saved" - delivered - in some way and have a home in some degree or occupy some part of the Kingdom of Yahweh. We will see which presently.
"But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt.8:12, NKJV).
There are many who wrongly believe that what this means is that every blood descendent of Jacob will be automatically saved but not the gentiles. And often they think this refers to the Jews alone. But since when did Yahweh ever say that He was a respector of persons? Or that He recognised or exalted the flesh? And does not "Israel" principally mean one who has overcome? No man was ever born in the flesh with the name "Israel" - this was a name won by overcoming. Those who are spiritually Israel are the overcomers, not the bearers of a certain set of DNA strands.
"For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, 'Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.' Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by emunah (faith). Do not be haughty, but fear. For if Elohim (God) did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of Elohim (God): on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for Elohim (God) is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
"Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of Elohim (God) are irrevocable. For as you were once disobedient to Elohim (God), yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For Elohim (God) has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of Elohim (God)! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins."
"For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen" (Rom.11:15-36, NKJV).
For who has known the mind of Yahweh?
Or who has become His counselor?
Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?"
Some believe that there are many passages in the B'rit Chadashah Scriptures (New Testament) that teach clearly that not all will be saved. I am sure you have heard them marshalled by evangelicals and others. And no doubt our English translations contain many of the same, translation influenced by the theology of the Roman Catholic Dark Ages. I can't possibly go into these today in the short amount of time available but if you want to get hold of a copy of the Concordant Literal New Testament you will be greatly surprised to see how our translations have mutilated the original sense, especially of Greek words like aeon which are traditionally translated as "eternal" but which in fact means "age-long" - in other words, for the fixed duration of an age, dispensation or period of time. Other languages apart from English have also adopted this false theology. I shall not be looking at these passages today but I will, later on, be looking at some other scriptures which seem to indicate that some are permanently lost, even destroyed.
It is a matter of some curiosity to me as to why so many think that the doctrine of everyone one day being saved - including the sinners and rebels after a period of punishment in hell - is so dangerous. Why? What danger is there for one to believe in an Elohim (God) who loves His Creation so much that He not only can, but will, one day draw all men and women to Yah'shua (Jesus) on the cross? Might it be because many insincere 'believers' would feel cheated, as the elder son did when his father forgave and rewarded the prodigal? Not content with the punishment the prodigal had out in the world, he then wanted to deny him a return home! What does that say about the lev (heart) of the elder son? (Lk.15:11-32) Or is their concern one of justice? The latter I can relate to as well as dispell the fears.
What is the excuse we normally hear from those who think the unsaved should burn in hell forever? "If everyone is going to get saved in the long run, what's the use of serving Yahweh today? Why not have a little fun while I still can?" Haven't you heard an excuse like that before, as though the Gospel was some terrible burden to be postponed as late as possible if everyone is going to be saved anyway? But such people have never served Yahweh in the first place. As Elwin Roach puts it, "they merely had the bit of the law in their jaws, and with the threat of eternal damnation removed, they promptly fill their lives with what was harbored in their wanton hearts". In other words, they were never really converted in the core of their being. They were never born-again for no born-again belioever could ever say, let alone do, such a thing,
Others think that a doctrine of universal salvation belittles the Messiah, and claim it nullifies the great ransom He paid on the cross. But where is the logic in that? Surely declaring that He will not save all those He died for would belittle Him and count His mission as a complete failure? How many did Yah'shua (Jesus) say would be found with true emunah (faith) when He returned? So few, He said, that it would be like the days of Noah (Mt.24:37; Lk.17:26). How many were saved in the days of Noah? Eight! Indeed, extrapolate that over all history and what do you end up with? Maybe a hundred thousand saved and trillions lost to hell. Do you think Yahweh could ever be satisfied with that? Does that sound like a successful Plan of Salvation to you? The final result would be pitiful.
That Yah'shua (Jesus) would save everyone, in some way and at some point in time, surely magnifies the value of His shed blood! This is not to say that everyone gets the same reward or at the same time. We know, do we not, that there are three different kingdoms of glory in the eternities and as many resurrections? Paul said so:
Here the apostle clearly states that there are three broad categories of resurrection and glory based on the choices we make on earth and that in the third there are a vast number. The first corresponds to the children of the first resurrection - those who trust the resurrected, divine Yah'shua (Jesus) and obey His Torah and who inherit the Millennium; the second corresponds to the children of the second resurrection - those who trust Yah'shua (Jesus) but who disobey the mitzvot (commandments) of the Torah and who are resurrected at the end of the Millennium; and the third correspond to those who neither trust Yah'shua (Jesus) nor obey the mitzvot (commandments) and inherit hell and receive the resurrection of the unjust (Ac.24:15) and of judgment when their time in hell as disembodied spirits is finally ended by the Cosmic Jubilee.
"There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead" (1 Cor.15:41-42, NKJV).
There is a huge difference in brilliance between the blazing sun by day, the reflected light of the shining moon by night and the tiny pin-prick lights that are the stars. That is how different the three glories are. And it is the difference between the Temple (Holy of Holies = Sun, and Holy Place = Moon) and what is outside (the Outer Courtyard = Stars). This stark contrast tells us about the magnitude of the difference between the three resurrections. The difference is enormous! Remember this as we discuss this further.
Universal salvation does not undermine the the justice of Yahweh. Far from it. Scripture makes it perfectly clear that there are different rewards depending on what we do on earth. And it also teaches of a burning hell for those who reject Messiah - for an aeon of time. Is that just? Yes, for their punishment will be so intense and severe that even though an unredeemed sinner languishes for only a thousand years (the duration of the Millennium - the first resurrection takes place at its beginning, and the second at its end) it will seem like an eternity. That should be discouragement enough. Who would want to be in hell for even a day? But this is divine justice to teach those who refused Yah'shua's (Jesus') payment for their sins how impossible it is for a man to pay for his own.
Elwin Roach poses this question:
Those sheep will not be identical in character. The ones who have to be dragged (as a man finally persuaded that hell is not where he wants to be) will not have the same chayim (life) or vigour as one who did not struggle but followed in faith. The latter will shine brighter, be purer because he has more emunah (faith, trusting). There will be differences between the sheep. A doubting Thomas is not quite the same as a trusting John even though both are saved.
"To bring this into focus, let me ask -- if you paid the full price for 100 sheep that were locked inside a pen, would you settle for only the one or two that happen to walk through the gate after it was opened and invited to come out -- or would you go inside and drive, and drag if necessary, each and every one out of their captivity? [Yah'shua] (Jesus) would do no less. If He paid the price for all, He will not stop driving, drawing, and dragging until ALL are in His sacrificial arms of love."
I sometimes wonder if there is not a degree of pride in the hearts of those who wish it to be known that they 'did' something to be saved and that therefore those who did not - and were not saved - therefore 'deserve' to burn in hell forever. We certainly deserve death because of sin but Yah'shua (Jesus) has unilaterally laid down His life for us that we might have His chayim (life) everlasting. The real difference between the saved and the unsaved is the difference between admitting you can't atone for your sins or manage alone, and claiming that you can. Hell is the final revelation of both man's helplessness and stupidity for those who refuse to trust the Creator:
Which, of course, means that the spiritual mind is friendship with Elohim (God) and is subject to the Torah of Elohim (God). When Yahweh restores all things (Ac.3:21), then will Yah'shua's (Jesus') words be fulfilled:
"The carnal mind is enmity against Elohim (God); for it is not subject to the Torah (law) of Elohim (God), nor indeed can be" (Rom.8:7, NKJV).
This does not mean that He will draw all people at the same time or even necessarily in this life but it does mean that he will draw all people at some time. Likewise the words of Paul will be fulfilled one day, whether in this life or the next:
"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all [peoples] to Myself." This He said, signifying by what death He would die" (John 12:32-33, NKJV).
If demons are torturing some of Yahweh's children for all eternity in hell, can hell be said to be subject to the Son? Even as in Adam all mankind died because of the original transgression in Eden, so also in Messiah (the Second Adam) all mankind will be made alive - but not all at once. As I said, some will come into life in the first resurrection (at the beginning of the Millennium), and the rest at the general or second resurrection (at the end of the Millennium), but all others (who are in hell) at the Great Jubilee of Creation, or third resurrection. Paul speaks of this great day elsewhere too:
"For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order (sequence): Messiah the firstfruits, afterward those who are Messiah's at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to Elohim (God) the Father (returning toqef/authoritry back), when He puts an end to all [enemy] rule and all [enemy] authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For 'He has put all things under His feet.' But when He says 'all things are put under Him,' it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that Elohim (God) may be all in all" (1 Cor.15:22-28, NKJV).
Everything was created through the Davar or Logos or Word, which is Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) (Jn.1:3) and through Him all things will be reconciled to Himself. Does hell sound like a place of reconciliation to you? There will be nothing left outside His dominion in the end, as we also read in Hebrews:
"For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the messianic community (church), who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross" (Col.1:16-20, NKJV).
A person who is being endlessly tormented in hell has not received the atonement that Yah'shua (Jesus) bought for all, so how can Yah'shua (Jesus) be his Saviour? Thus Paul could tell Timothy:
"'You have put all things in subjection under His feet.' For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Yah'shua (Jesus), who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that He, by the grace of Elohim (God), might taste death for everyone" (Heb.2:8-9, NKJV).
Does anyone doubt that Yah'shua (Jesus) loves both the saved and the unsaved - both the trusting and the rebellious? Doesn't He love everyone?
"[Yah'shua/Jesus] is the Saviour of all men, especially of those who believe" (1.Tim 4:10, NKJV).
We know that He loves all. And we also know that He loves these two categories of people in different ways. He especially loves those who trust and obey Him, so much that He makes them His 'Bride' but not the others. It is the same with salvation. He is the Saviour especially of those who believe, but also - in a different way - those who do not. So all will be saved but in different ways - three broad categories. All are saved from death and hell but not all are saved to the same heaven.
"For Elohim (God) so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For Elohim (God) did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:16-17, NKJV).
Did you think that Yah'shua (Jesus) was only the Saviour of those who say 'yes'? No, He is the Saviour especially of those who say 'yes' but also of those who say 'no'...after they have served their time in hell. Those who are saved before the Creation Jubilee - the obedient and disobedient believers - are indeed greatly blessed (more so than the unbelievers) and will rule in His Kingdom. Yet in the end He is the Saviour (Deliverer) of all men, not just believers. For this reason, all creation awaits the manifestation of the sons of Elohim (God) (Rom.8:19-21). Knowing that these sons are but the firstfruits or bikkurim of creation (Jas.1:18), Paul says that the bikkurim or firstfruits sanctify the whole harvest! After the bikkurim (firstfruits) were given to Yahweh, this signalled the beginning of the general harvest of the whole field - everyone! And what is the field? The world (Mt.13:39).
The trillions of unsaved who go to hell emerge from hell as saved like those dimly twinkling stars, but they are not as the saved who are of the glory of the sun and moon, or the glory of the Holy of Holies or the Holy Place - they are not rulers but are the ruled outside the heavenly temple under the primary kingly rulers (those of the glory of the sun and of the first resurrection) and the secondary princely rulers (those of the moon and of the second resurrection). Here the mathematics makes perfect sense as we see the threefold justice of Elohim (God). Those delivered out of hell will rejoice in their salvation and they will accept the justice of their inferior position in the Kingdom of Heaven, beyond the Heavenly Temple in the Courtyard, as it were. They will not be resentful - they will be glad to be out of the place of torment and receiving Yahweh's unmerited favour, knowing that they deserved to be in hell forever. Thus John sees a vision of all creation rejoicing in the end, something that would not be possible if any part of it was being eternally tormented in hell:
"And every creature which is in heaven (Heb. shamayim or 'heavens') and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: 'Blessing and honour and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!'" (Rev.5:13, NKJV).
I must, at this juncture, look at some 'difficulties' which seem to be saying the opposite of this message. As we look at them, please remember everything else that has thus far been shown and confirmed. We cannot look at any scriptures in isolation but always in the context of the whole.
The first scripture marshalled by the eternal damnation advocates is in Matthew:
This passage had me stumped for a long while. As it is written in English, it does not make a great deal of sense because of the way words like "soul" have changed in our language over the centuries. In fact, one of the first theological treatises I ever wrote back when I was a theological novice was on this word when I first began to be troubled by the way the Jehovah's Witnesses use it, a study that has held up since I first wrote it in 1987 - I recommend that the reader study it carefully to understand how this word is used scripturally - see The Bible Teaching on 'Soul'.
"And do not fear those who kill (akokteino, kill outright) the body (soma) but cannot kill the soul (psuche). But rather fear Him who is able to destroy (appolumi) both soul (psuche) and body (soma) in hell (Geena)" (Matt.10:28, NKJV).
Let us look at each of these difficulties carefully.
Those who believe in 'soul-sleeping get very confused over this subject which is why it is necessary for me to spend some time explaining things in detail. So let us now render this passage as it actually stands:
- Problem #1: You can indeed kill a biblical soul; however, a biblical soul is not a soul as it has come to be understood in modern English. A soul is body (flesh) + spirit. Add physical matter and spirit together and you get a "living soul". A soul is therefore the whole person. But in modern English a 'soul' has come to mean the invisible part of the being and not the whole person, body and spirit. We have to remember this when we consider the word choice of the modern translator. What he should have used is the word "psyche" which is our English translation of the Greek psuche that corresponds to the Hebrew nephesh. Thus the passage should read:
The psyche is not the spirit which is known in Greek as pneuma and in Hebrew as ruach, which can also mean "breath". It is the same word used to describe the Holy Spirit or Ruach haQodesh. This passage is not talking about the human spirit at all - this is critically important to bear in mind since it is the spirit (ruach, pneuma) which survives death: the psyche is an invisible part or component of the flesh, a bit like an electrical field, and does not survive death! It is the interface between spirit and body.
"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the psyche. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both psyche and body in hell (Geena)" (Matt.10:28, NKJV).
Problem #2: What do we usually mean by "hell"? It is the place where the disembodied spirits of the wicked are sent after death, often called the 'spirit prison', where Yah'shua (Jesus) preached to the disembodied spirits from Noah's time in the period between His death and resurrection (1 Pet.3:19). So this 'hell' cannot be referring to that place since there are no bodies or psyches to be destroyed there. The Greek word for "hell" in this passage is Geena which is a transliteration of the Hebrew Gey Hinnom which we call Gehenna in English. Gey Hinnon was the garbage pit outside the walls of Jerusalem where the city's rubbish and the dead bodies of criminals denied a proper burial were incinerated. It was used by the Hebrews as a mepahor of the actual spirit prison where the wicked are incarcerated after death to poetically describe the misery of their fate. However, here Yah'shua (Jesus) uses this horrible place in a special way.
So what does it mean when Yah'shua (Jesus) says we should not fear those who can kill our physical body but not our nefesh (psuche) when Yahweh can - and will, if necessary - destroy both?
""And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the psyche. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both psyche and body in [the valley of] Gehenna" (Matt.10:28, NKJV).
Firstly we must acknowledge the text as it stands: Yahweh can definitely "destroy both psyche and body" if He wants to. Yah'shua (Jesus) says so, so we must believe Him. Indeed THIS IS A DESCRIPTION OF WHAT DEATH IS. The psyche dies along with the body. But here the term psuche (nephesh) is used in its more figurative manner (see my article on Soul) to indicate human desires, life (style) and enjoyment in life. In that sense, neither the devil nor evil men can do more than kill the physical body. They cannot kill ones life in Messiah and those things that characterise a believer's way of life and the joy of his relationship with Elohim (God). That is all this passage means - it has got nothing to do with eternal destruction. The idea is used in the same way of Israel's Assyrian foe:
In other words, they are being entirely removed from the physical land of the living, both their physical presence as well as their desires, lifestyle and enjoyment of life. This prophecy has literally been fulfuilled. Today there is only a tiny minority of people calling themselves Assyrian and most live in Iraq and Sweden.
"So the Light of Israel will be for a fire, and his Holy One (Yahweh) for a flame; it will burn and devour [the Assyrians'] thorns and his briers in one day. And it will consume the glory of his forest and of his fruitful field, both soul (nephesh = psyche) and body (basar = flesh); and they will be as when a sick man wastes away. Then the rest of the trees of his forest will be so few in number that a child may write them" (Isa.10:17-19, NKJV).
The last objection that is made concerns the word "destroy" or apollumi which may be broken down as follows:
apóllymi (from 575 /apó, "away from," which intensifies ollymi, "to destroy") – properly, fully destroy, cutting off entirely (note the force of the prefix, 575 /apó). 622 /apóllymi ("violently/completely perish") implies permanent (absolute) destruction, i.e. to cancel out (remove); "to die, with the implication of ruin and destruction" (L & N, 1, 23.106); cause to be lost (utterly perish) by experiencing a miserable end. This is also the meaning of 622 /apóllymi dating back to Homer (900 BC].
Thus one commentator has argued:
This is partly answered above but bear in mind that the New Testament is in Greek (at least the Greek translations we mostly use to make our English Bibles from) but the thoughts being expressed are Hebrew. The Septuagint was the standard translation to know how to reference Hebrew thoughts into Greek. Thus sheol (hell) becomes hades, although the Greek concept of hades is quite different from sheol.
"With this, would Yah'shua (Jesus) have told the disciples to fear Elohim (God) because He can completely or utter destroy both body and soul in hell in if He would not do so? If Elohim would not do that, there would be no reason to fear Him for that or to warn us to rather fear Him, remembering that... And where would it mean if Elohim would not do this, that He would be doing the same as parents who make empty threats to their children, but are never true to their word and do what the say or warned about?"
So also with apollymi. In Deuteronomy 22:3 and Ezekiel 34:11-12 the "lost" sheep are not permanently destroyed, but simply lost:
In Deuteronomy 22 the lost donkey, sheep or whatever were to be cared for by the one who found them until the owner came to claim them. But in Ezekiel 34, Yahweh Himself finds the sheep and cares for them:
"You shall do the same with his donkey, and so shall you do with his garment; with any lost thing of your brother's, which he has lost and you have found, you shall do likewise; you must not hide yourself" (Deut.22:3, NKJV).
In other words, Hebrew meaning must always take precedence over any literal Greek meaning of the terms. And the Septuagint is the standard Hebrew-Greek dictionary that was in use during the New Testament time.
"For thus says Yahweh-Elohim: 'Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day'" (Ezek.34:11-12, NKJV).
A second objection to universal salvation us the parable of the nobleman going to a far away country to receive his kingdom, described in Luke 19:11-27. Here Yah'shua (Jesus) relates in verse 27 where the servants were first judged for their stewardship of what the master had entrusted them, and the master or nobleman said:
The arguement is then made that since His enemies who did not want Him to reign over them were not imprisoned and punished until they accepted Him and His reign, and since His command was "... bring them here and slaughter them before me", then these harsh words fit in with the warning to fear Yahweh since He is able to apóllymi both body and soul in hell.
"But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me" (Luke 19:27, NKJV).
We have dealt with "apóllymi both body and soul in hell" above so let us instead deal with the context of this passage which has to do with the bringing of the Judahites ('Jews') back to Jerusalem (the place of offense against Yahweh) in order to bring judgment upon the place. This destruction is prophesied in Isaiah 29 and Jeremiah 19. Yes, the city was utterly destroyed in such a way that it can never be rebuilt (repaired) again (Jer.19:11). Yet all men will be raised from the dead at some point (Rev.20:11-15). Death itself (and the grave, or "hell") is never permanent except from the human point-of-view on earth.
A third objection concerns the pattern of Israel leaving Egypt and salvation, the Israelites who were lost in the desert along the way because of their unbelief and disobedience: did those who died in the desert, we are asked, ever enter Canaan? In the same way, the question is posed: will those that fall away be able to enter heaven or eternal life?
Before we do anything else we must identify who those Israelites who perished in the wilderness were. They are referred to as "the assembly (church) in the wilderness" (Ac.7:38) who were not overcomers, as were Joshua and Caleb. Accordingly they will not inherit the first resurrection. They will be among the ones who are raised in the second (general) resurrection and receive "life" (immortality) at the same time that the unbelievers receive judgment and the resurrection of the unjust (Jn.5:28-29; Lk.46-48). So this is not a matter of salvation but of being an overcomer who inherits immortality in the first resurrection (Rev.20:4-6).
A fourth objection concerns the saying of Paul in Hebrews:
Context is everything here. Who was Paul talking to and about? He was talking to believers who revert back to Judaism and its sacrificial system. If they fall back to these old ways, they have no way of being renewed by repentance, since all they have at their disposal is animal sacrifice which is no longer recognised by Heaven. Such believers, by re-joining the Old Covenant temple system, participate in Judaism's rejection of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and "crucify" Him again. In other words, they condemn themselves to the reward of the unbelievers, which is hell until the Cosmic Jubilee and the third resurrection.
"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) and have tasted the good word of Elohim (God) and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of Elohim (God), and put Him to an open shame" (Heb.6:4-6, NKJB).
A fifth objection reads like this:
Biblical law shows that all sin is reckoned as a debt. The judgment of Yahweh is that debtors be sold in order to make payment when it is due (Mt.18:25). The Jubilee puts a limit on the amount of time that a person has to pay off debt. The person is set free at the Jubilee, even if more debt remains.
"With the Jubilee, my understanding is that the Jubilee points to the gospel...of Yah'shua (Jesus) being our Yom Kippur Sacrifice, slain for us and who recieved the fire of the wrath of Elohim (God) in our place, unto the salvation of Elohim. And from there, that Elohim (God) commanded that the silver trumpets be blown - that the word of the Emet (Truth) of the gospel, with the Ruach (Spirit) moving through it, be proclaimed ... And with hearing this, that great freedom was to come to the land - that the captives were set free, and all were called to forgive their debts to one another, becuase Elohim (God) had forgiven the debt we owed to Him, in providing the sacrifice and atonement for us. I believe it's almost a kind of 'overview' of the salvation plan - looking at both what Elohim (God) did in Yah'shua (Jesus), providing the sacrifice, and commanding that the trumpets be blown, the gospel proclaimed, and that the people hear - and with that hearing, bring freedom (and the call to forgive), speaking of our alpha salvation in Elohim's (God's) plan.
"Though the moedim (appointments) like Pesach through Sukkot are ordained to be kept every physical biblical year, when considering the prophetic layer of where they are refering to specific historical events or milestones in Elohim's (God's) plan (like Pesach of Yah'shua's/Jesus' death, Bikkurim His resurrection, Shavu'ot the outpouring of the Ruach (Spirit) on the disciples, Yom Teruah of Yah'shua's (Jesus') second coming, Yom Kippur the judgement and Sukkot the Millenium), on this 'prophetic layer', there seems to be one 'thing' or 'event' that connects to each of the moedim...
"I think the same may be true for the Jubilee - that though it may be ordained to be observed every 50 years in the physical (like the other moedim are to be kept every year), I think it may be that when looking on that same prophetic layer of specific historical events or milestones, that it refers to what Elohim (God) did in Yah'shua (Jesus), and the freedom we receive upon really hearing (the hearing that brings faith) the gospel, and the change of life and what we had known then... and that, on this prophetic layer, like with the other moedim, this is something that happens once (also because Yah'shua/Jesus was slain as our Yom Kippur Sacrifice only once). This would seem to fit with where most people only saw one Jubilee in their lifetimes...
"I do not think the Jubilee means that people who knowingly refused Yah'shua (Jesus) and rebeled against Him will be released from hell at some point, but that it points to where we are released from spiritual bondage when we recieve alpha salvation.
"Otherwise, with these things, I believe that to say that people will be released from hell, or repent then that they may enter heaven, has the same danger and snare as the doctrine of reincarnation, in that with hearing and believing, someone may believe that they do not have to repent now, while they are this life to be saved, but that that they can live in sin and after the judgement or in hell (rather then 'in the next life'), they can repent and be saved..."
In the judgment of the Great White Throne, the people receive the judgment of the "fiery Torah (Law)" (Dt.33:2) coming from the throne (Dan.7:9-10). The "stream" becomes a "lake of fire." The judgment of the Torah (Law) is that all sinners who have not placed their faith in the cross (to pay their debt of sin) are sentenced to pay off their own debt. That, of course, is an impossible task, so all sinners will be enslaved to the overcomers until the Jubilee. Then, because they still have more debt to pay, they will be set free purely by the grace in the Torah (Law) of Jubilee.
It is plain that they will not be saved by their works, for that is not possible. Nonetheless, Yahweh uses this slavery to teach them righteousness (Is.26:9). They will learn the character and love of Messiah by seeing it manifested in their slave-masters, the overcomers. These slaves will be treated in a way that is consistent with the mind of Elohim (God), not in the way that men so often mistreat their slaves in the world system.
The use of biblical authority is not to oppress but to be an example and to bring the spiritually immature into the place of maturity. It is not much different from parenting a child, for the child is no different from a slave as long as he is a minor (Gal.4:1).
A sixth objection concerns not any biblical witness but one of the ministry's revelations on Reincarnation (1989) which reads:
This is not, of course, a translation from another language like Hebrew or Greek as the receptor tongue is English and therefore the text must be understood in terms of the revelator's own vocabulary use. A longish footnote (#314) in the original edition (1997) of the Olive Branch explains the possible usage of the word "saved" here:
"For man there is but one life and one probation in which he is given to choose; and if he chooseth the right, he receiveth the resurrection of the just (Heb.9:27). But if he chooseth wrongly, rebelling against Elohim (God) and the Light which was given him at birth, he receiveth the resurrection of the unjust. The doctrine of reincarnation is a doctrine of the devil. There are some who say that reincarnation is Satan's way of salvation, that a man may escape the wheel of rebirth by accepting Me as Saviour; That those who do not accept Me are born again and again, until they accept Me. O the foolishness of carnal man! For a while thou believed this doctrine and wast caught in the lie, for if a man is born again and again until he accepteth Me, are not all men saved in the end? Never at any time hath the Father said that all would be saved [in this manner - implied] in the end, for such denieth the Law of Justice. And if there is no justice, there is no mercy; And if there is no mercy, there is no love, for there is an Elohim (God) in heaven. These things I plainly taught My disciple Paul, and I have spoken them unto you again through Mine own voice...There is a season for all things and the choices of man must run their course. There is always a time to understand and repent by listening to the Spirit of Emet (Truth); And if she hearkeneth, she shall be saved. But if she hearkeneth not, then she must needs be lost. And thus it is for all men. It is written that the very elect shall be seduced by darkness wearing a mantle of Light, were that possible; and all have been seduced to one degree or another (Mk.13:22). Blessed are they who awaken from their sleep and cry out against the enemy who hath entered unawares, calling upon Me in the day of their need. Is Elohim (God) unjust? Nay, then cease to deny His justice and His mercies, but work out your salvation with fear and trembling before the night cometh wherein no labour can be performed. I am true and faithful, and he who cometh unto Me need never fear, nor shall he be disappointed. Even so. Amen."
This has always been the position of this ministry even before we accepted the universal salvation doctrine some years later after the writing of this commentary. The revelation on reincarnation does not address the three degrees of glory or the three different corresponding resurrections spoken of in the Bible (which the ministry has always accepted) as it is only concerned with whether the doctrine of soul transmigration is true or not. The reincarnation teaching posits that everyone will one day merge together in a single 'glory' or 'oneness' called 'Nirvana' and this is contrasted with the Christian 'heaven' or 'salvation' as though it were something unitary for the purpose of simplification. Thus when the revelation denies that "all [will] be saved in the end" it is refering to a unitary, homogenous salvation without degrees such as is believed by most evangelicals. Paul clearly taught degrees of glory, salvation and resurrection that reflect Yahweh's justice. Other objections are made as to these divisions which is beyond the scope of this already very long devotional.
"This could mean many different things. From the Latin salvare, 'to save', and salus, 'health', 'help', and translates the Heb. yeshua ('Jesus') and cognates ('breadth', 'ease', 'safety') and the Gk. sótéria and cognates ('cure', 'recovery', 'redemption', 'remedy', 'rescue', 'welfare'). It means the action or result of deliverance or preservation from danger or disease, implying safety, health, and prosperity. The movement in Scripture is from the more physical aspects towards moral and spiritual deliverance. Thus, the earlier parts of the OT lay stress on ways of escape for Elohim's (God's) individual servants from the hands of their enemies, the emancipation of His people from bondage and their establishment in a land of plenty; the latter parts lay greater emphasis upon the moral and religious conditions and qualities of blessedness and extend its amenities beyond the nation's confines. The NT indicates early man's thraldom (slavery) to sin, its danger and potency, and the deliverance from it to be found exclusively in Messiah (Christ). The Bible gives an unfolding account of how Elohim (God) provides the basis for salvation, presents it, and is Himself man's salvation. About the only thing we can be certain about in the revelation here is that the quality of salvation will differ between the good and the wicked and that some, or maybe all of, the qualitative aspects of salvation will be denied the rebellious of Elohim's (God's) children "in the end".
It is my belief, therefore, that the overwhelming evidence favours a universal salvation in three broad categories, and that there remains - even after the deliverance of those in hell - a substantial division between these ex-prisoners and those who inherit the first two resurections. They are not in the 'temple' but in the more distant 'courtyard' of Yah's Eternal Kingdom - like twinkling stars far, far away compared to the brightness of the moon or the blaze of the sun!
Our task, then, is to beg those in rebellion not to degrade themselves, hurt their loved ones, and insult Yahweh-Elohim by continuing in rebellion. Why not take advantage of the Law of Redemption so freely and generously offered than wait an entire aeon in torment when the Law of Jubillee comes into effect? The time of redemption ends with the Jubilee, praise Yahweh! And so I urge all those who hear the Word of Yahweh to believe in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and obey His Torah, and learn what great salvation He has given to all men! My message is that of the apostle Paul who declared:
We have been given the ministry of reconcilliation with a message of good news to give to the whole world - not just some predestined élite. It is NOT the bad news of Catholic or Protestant eternal torment or damnation, but the besorah or good news that Yahweh-Elohim has reconciled the world through Messiah, who has paid the price for their deliverance and salvation. This is the TRUE GOSPEL OF YAH'SHUA THE MESSIAH (JESUS CHRIST), of He who was lifted up on the cross, and who therefore will draw ALL MEN unto Himself at the end.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of Elohim (God), who has reconciled us to Himself through Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that Elohim (God) was in Messiah reconciling the [whole] world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Messiah, as though Elohim (God) were pleading through us: we implore you on Messiah's behalf, be reconciled to Elohim (God). For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of Elohim (God) in Him" (2 Cor.5:17-21, NKJV).
This is not wishful thinking. It is prophecy. And it is biblical prophecy. It is a statement of divine intent. It is His promise to us and to the whole world. Let us all rejoice in this besorah or good news of Yahweh's grace - His unmerited favour, His undeserved loving-kindness! Amen.
Continued in Part 2
 Elwin R. Roach, God Will Have All to Be Saved
 Bill Britton, The Year of Jubilee (God's Kingdom Ministries, Fridley, Minnesota)
 Dr.Stephen E. Jones, The Law of Jubilee (God's Kingdom Ministries, Fridley, Minnesota)
 Dr.Stephen E. Jones, personal letter to the author, 7 July 2011
Comments from Readers
 "Christopher thanks for posting. After reading this article I must say yesterday I was in the book of Jochanan (St John 17) and the Ruach really really highlighted some very important aspects to me that left me praising the Most High and His greatness. Here is back-up to your post... 17:5 "And now O Father, Glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory, which I had with Thee before the world was .." (vs.11) .. "Holy Father keep through Thine own Name those whom Thou hast given me, that they may be one (echad), as we are one (echad)". Here is the biggy .. vs.21 "that they all may be one as Thou Father, art in Me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us" ...continued until the end of chapter, full visible emet (truth) of our Master Yahweh's love by giving us HIS SON... I also hereby agree with all that you have written concerning this topic and the topic of hell. YAH´SHUA said in John 17:12, "Those that Thou gavest Me I have kept and none of them is lost". MMMM WHAT A PROMISE. "But the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled .." Yah's justice and man's justice are not the same. Even though Cain sinned, Yah still spoke to him. and also took care of Hagar... Another great example of Yahweh's justice is seen in the parable of the vineyard workers in Matt 20:6 .. O I call it the way to greatness, Yah's justice not the same as man's.
Plus Yah´shua himself says He died to save the whole world, not just a few. but the whole world" (EY, Jamaica, 20 September 2013).
The following is a critique of my article from one of our readers. This will be answered, as time permits, in a follow-up devotional. In the meantime, the reader is invited to study the materials in our Soulsleeping section, and in particular the following discussion which refutes the segement on nephesh and psyche toward the end of the material that follows. We welcome further comment and discussion on this very important subject.
Before I begin, I feel I need to confirm that I do not believe the doctrine that the wicked will be tortured for all eternity is Scriptural but I also do not believe it is in line with Scriptural Emet (Truth) or tavnith (pattern) to say that the wicked will be released from hell, or given another chance of repenting or will repent to then to enter Heaven or the Kingdom of Elohim.
With the Jubilee...I still do not feel it is correct or in line with Emet (Truth) or tavnith (pattern) to say that the Jubilee is pointing to the release of the wicked from hell, but rather of the plan of salvation of Elohim. With slavery and being released from slavery at the Jubilee, makes a distiction between slaves – between those that must be released at Jubilee, and some slaves who will not be released at Jubilee:
Verses 25:47-55 looks at how a kindsman redeemer could redeem an Israelite. It was Israelites that had become poor and sold themselves into slavery – that were in covenant with Elohim and had an inheritance with Elohim – that Elohim required and commanded must be released at the Jubilee. However, there were slaves that Elohim did not require or say must be released – indeed, rather Elohim spoke about that they may be “permanent slaves”, given as inheritance - slaves that were not a part of Israel, but as it were from 'the nations [around them]'. The promise of release at the Jubilee was for Israelites who had become slaves, not all people who were slaves...
“‘And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave. As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee. And then he shall depart from you — he and his children with him — and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers. For they are My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves. You shall not rule over him with rigor, but you shall fear your Elohim (God). And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have — from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor.” (Lev.25:39-46).
Tentatively, from what I understand, the land that Elohim required must be returned to its original owners was specifically land that had been owned by an Israelite, given or received as a part of the inheritance Elohim had given – that the land or inheritance may return to its proper place or owner. I think it may be that it was not required that the land that had been bought from a foreigner be returned to them at the Jubilee (even as the land that Abraham had bought to bury Rebekah and his family was never returned or required to be returned to the Canaanites he had brought it from, but was kept by his family for the generations afterwards).
Another thought I had with the Jubilee is what Yah'shua (Jesus) said, saying to His disciples that “A slave will not remain in a house forever, but a son remains in the house forever.” The thought that came up with this is where Yah'shua (Jesus) in Scripture says that of the father of the wicked being sons of the devil. Indeed, the problem of the wicked is deeper then them just being slaves – the problem is their spiritual lineage to the first Adam, that Satan is their father – and a son remains in the house forever. A man or son does not leave his family at the Jubilee.
With this, our problem was that we were not of Israel. When we were unsaved, we were one of another nation – a different blood and race from the Second Adam, spiritually descended and inheritting from the first Adam. The only way we could have access or hope to the promise made to Israel, and the hope of release as is promised in the commandment of the Jubilee is in being adopted into the vein – being grafted into Yah'shua (Jesus) – and in that happening, becoming a part of Israel. It was only through Elohim's grace and salvation in Yah'shua (Jesus) that we were grafted in, and were adopted and released.
With Jubilee and the release from debt... I checked the verses that speak about the Jubilee (Lev.25:1-55), and though Elohim speaks about the release of Israelites who had entered slavery because of debt, the return of land that had been sold and reconing the price of crops from the Jubilee year and certain things that may not be done (like certain wild crops that may not be tended and harvested in the Jubilee year), it does not speak about debts being canceled in the Jubilee year. When I googled to check about the command for debts to be cancelled, I found Deuteronomy 15:1-6 and Deuteronomy 31:10-11:
The command for debts to be cancelled and to be held no longer was to happen every years in the year of release (I suspect the Sabbath year), at Sukkot, as well as being a time when Israelites who had become slaves because of their debts were released (again, from the Jubilee passages, they were not required to release those foreign slaves that Elohim said may be kept as permanent slaves, but the commanded release was for those who were of Israelites who had become slaves). The people were commanded to cancel their debts, but again it was the Israelites who had all debt cancelled... indeed, in Deut.15:3 it says “Of a foreigner you may require it [your debt]; but you shall give up your claim to what is owed by your brother [an Israelite]...” Again, there is *no* command or promise that the debt of the foreigner must or will be cancelled. Again, our hope for the promise of release with this can only be, by Elohim's grace, to be grafted into YHSH, and through that, in the new creation and birth becoming Israelites or believers that may partake of these promises.
“At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called Yahweh’s release. Of a foreigner you may require it; but you shall give up your claim to what is owed by your brother, except when there may be no poor among you; for Yahweh will greatly bless you in the land which Yahweh your Elohim is giving you to possess as an inheritance — only if you carefully obey the voice of Yahweh your Elohim, to observe with care all these commandments which I command you today. For Yahweh your Elohim will bless you just as He promised you; you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; you shall reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over you.”
“If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which Yahweh your Elohim is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,’ and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to Yahweh against you, and it become sin among you. You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing Yahweh your Elohim will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’
“If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. And when you send him away free from you, you shall not let him go away empty-handed; you shall supply him liberally from your flock, from your threshing floor, and from your winepress. From what Yahweh your Elohim has blessed you with, you shall give to him. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your Elohim redeemed you; therefore I command you this thing today. And if it happens that he says to you, ‘I will not go away from you,’ because he loves you and your house, since he prospers with you, then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise. It shall not seem hard to you when you send him away free from you; for he has been worth a double hired servant in serving you six years. Then Yahweh your Elohim will bless you in all that you do” (Deuteronomy 15:12-18).
“And Moses commanded them, saying: “At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles, when all Israel comes to appear before Yahweh your Elohim in the place which He chooses, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing” (Deuteronomy 31:10-11).
A thought about tavnith that come up with this... Yom Kippur (that connects intimately with Jubilee and the day of Judgement) was a High Sabbath – no one was allowed to buy or sell on that day, with the warning if they would they would be cut off. Also Tabernacles (that connects to the year of release) looks forwards to the Millenium, but also connects back to the Sabbath... another day that people are forbidden to buy or sell. The thought that came up is that in the same way that people are not to buy and sell on those days – to purchase and there to be a transfer of ownership – the same is true for Elohim. Those that will be bought by Yah'shua's (Jesus') blood unto redemption will be done before the day of Judgement or Yom Kippur, that is a High Sabbath – no buying or transfer of ownership will be allowed or happen that day – nor will any buying or transfer of ownership be allowed in the Millenium or the time of Tabernacles or Sabbath. Yom Teruah, being a New Moon, also forbids buying and selling. The purchase by Yah'shua (Jesus)'s blood and the transfer of ownership from Sin to Elohim must happen before these days – before the Yah'shua's (Jesus') return (Yom Teruah), before Judgement (Yom Kippur) and before the Millenium (Tabernacles/Sabbath)).
With Yah'shua (Jesus) and Yah'shua (Jesus) speaking about the parable of the nobleman...I disagree that the context of the verse has to do with bringing the Judahites back to Jerusalem... The verses of the parable:
The context of when the parable was told was not refering to bringing the Judahites back to Jerusalem... the context was that Yah'shua (Jesus) was telling this parable because the disciples believed the kingdom of Elohim would appear immediatly (especially after speaking about salvation having come to Zacchaeus' house), and rather, giving them a correct view or parable about the Kingdom...
“Now as they heard these things [Yah'shua (Jesus) speaking of slavation having come to Zacchaeus house], He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of Elohim would appear immediately. Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’ “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’ Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me’” (Luke 19:11-27).
In the verses, He not only spoke or pointed to where He would leave for a time, but where His servants would have to wait for Him and have stewardships in that time, and where He would reutrn, and they would be called to account and be judged. Saying in context it's refering to bringing the Judahites back to Jerusalem does not make sense, for Yah'shua (Jesus) had not left, the disciples had not yet so been entrusted, and He had not yet come back and judged His servants (and entrusted futher authority or responsibility in occordance to their obedience), as these verses point to... These verses gave an overview of what would really happen with the Kingdom of Elohim that the disciples were wondering about (and where the full manifistation and second coming of their Master, Yah'shua (Jesus), would take longer then they realised our understood). With this, the ones the nobleman commanded to be slain was not refering to the city being destroyed, described in Jer 19:11.
In the context of the parable with where it points both to Yah'shua's (Jesus') leaving, the entrusting of His servants, His return and His judgement, the ones that would not receive Him as their king that He commanded be slayed before Him is the wicked when they are judged at Yom Kippur...Of after YHSH's return, after He has first judged His own house (as Scripture says), Him then judging the wicked. With this, with where it points to the judgment, it means that the wicked will already have been resurrected unto judgement – that they will already have received their ressurection body (where their body and spirit are inseperatly connected) when this command is given.
Relating nephesh, psyche and the soul, and hell and Ghenna...Yes, from what I have found, nephesh was mostly translated as psyche in the Greek (including in the Septugaint)...And yes, I agree that that it can mean different things, and can sometimes refer to something like appetites or desires, but also the whole being of a man...(A good confirmation that 'psyche' is also used to refer to a whole living being in places is Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:45 where he quotes the Septugaint, saying 'The first man Adam was made a living soul.’ - the word there for soul or being is psyche).
With where Yah'shua (Jesus) spoke about not fearing man who can kill the body but not the psyche, but to fear Elohim who can appolumi (fully, permanenty destroy) both body and psyche in ghenna, it does not seem to fit to say the destruction of the psyche in these verses simply refers to the destruction of desires, lifestyle, and enjoyment of life... because why should the wicked fear Elohim if He can destroy their desires, but they believe they will afterwards enter the Kingdom of Elohim?
It also does fit with considering Matthew 16:26 (and Mark 8:36):
Again, I feel it does not fit with this Scripture to say Elohim may a person may lose their psyche in some way in His righteous judgement, and yet enter the Kingdom of Elohim...Because if they'd enter the Kingdom of Elohim, wouldn't they be profitting even after they lost their psyche? I feel here in Matthew 16:26 and Mark 8:36 psyche is being used in the same way that nephesh may be, to point to the whole being of a person.
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul [psyche]? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul [psyche]?” (Matthew 16:26 )
From what I've seen, the Ghenna Yah'shua (Jesus) speaks of does connect to the judgement of the wicked...A verse I think that shows this more clearly is Mark 9:47-48:
The word they have translated 'hell' here is Ghenna again (you can see a breakdown of the Greek at http://biblos.com/mark/9-47.htm)...The connection between the Ghenna Yah'shua (Jesus) is speaking about here and the judgement of the wicked is most clearly seen with Mark 9:48... because when He says that, He is actaully quoting a verse from Isaiah, speaking about the judgement of the wicked.
“And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of Elohim with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 'where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched'” (Mark 9:47-48, ESV).
With this verse where Yah'shua (Jesus) speaks about and mentions Ghenna, He contrasts it with entering the Kingdom of Elohim, saying it is better to tear or pluck out your own eye, enter the Kingdom of Elohim with one eye, then having both eyes and being cast into this Ghenna...His speaking here underlines the seriousness of sin, and with His words, He gives no indication that someone who has been cast into Ghenna (who's worm does not die and fire is not quenched) will be able to leave one day and enter the Kingdom of Elohim...As I understand, the two are contrasted, and presented as an either/or – either entering the Kingdom of Elohim, or being cast into Ghenna.
“For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says Yahweh, so shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says Yahweh. “And they [Yahweh's people] shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh” (Isaiah 66:22-24).
With writing this, I want to say again I do not believe that the doctrine of eternal torture or torment in hell is Scriptural...Nor that it is 'demons torturing the wicked' (there is no referance that I know of in Scripture that supports that). I believe both of these things as I do not see this in the tavnith Elohim gives.
But as I've shared, I also don't believe it lines up with Emet (Truth) that the wicked will be released from Hell.
Something I found while searching about nephesh and psyche that may help with this at http://www.suite101.com/content/the-immortality-of-the-soul-a189671:
My understanding from Scripture is that apart from Elohim, no nephesh (no living being) – is immortal, and that because of sin, a nephesh shall die. And from what I understand from Scripture, the only way for any man or woman to be immortal – for their nephesh not to die – is through what Yah'shua (Jesus) did at the cross, and by His grace and enabling, believing on Him will have shall live and never die.
“It was only when the Platonic and Neo-platonic notion of the soul as an immaterial and everlasting entity began to infiltrate early Christian thought, after the death of the last Apostle John, did this begin to influence Scriptural interpretation. Plato, whose philosophical thought was heavily influenced by the mysticism of Pythagoras, who was in turn influenced by both the Egyptian and Babylonian belief in metempsychosis, wrote: "The soul is most like the divine, deathless, intelligible, uniform, indissoluble." (Phædo 80b) The Neo-Platonist philosopher Plotinus in his work The Enneads also attributes immortality and indestructibility to the soul, he writes: "We may think of the Soul as an immortal." (Enneads I.2.) Plotinus also describe the souls as the body's 'pilot' which controls and directs the actions of the body: "Soul might be interwoven through the body: or it might be an Ideal-Form detached or an Ideal-Form in governing contact like a pilot: or there might be part of the Soul detached and another part in contact, the disjoined part being the agent or user, the conjoined part ranking with the instrument or thing used." (Enneads I. 3)
Heretical Doctrine of the Soul in Early Christianity
"Early Church Fathers such as Origen who had studied the philosophy of Plato and Plotinus began to interpret Scripture through the lens of Neo-Platonism and as a result the original meanings became clouded as Greek philosophical doctrines infiltrated the Christianity of Christ. The De Principiis of Origen, for example, is an eclectic philosophical treatise, and while brilliant in sections is also a muddled fusion of Scripture and Neo-Platonist Philosophy. By the time of St. Augustine in the 5th Century A.D. this unscriptural doctrine of the soul's immortality had been concretized, canonized, and ratified by Papal decree – so much so that Augustine could write in his De Civitate Dei: "The soul from its very nature, being created immortal, cannot be without some kind of life, its utmost death is alienation from the life of God in an eternity of punishment." This adoption of the Neo-Platonist conception of the soul's immortality is responsible in part for the appalling doctrine of Hellfire and eternal torment (which is itself a syncretic doctrine acquired from mythology and apocryphal gnostic writings). Nowhere does Holy Scripture suggest an immortal soul that departs the body and flutters off the heavenly bliss or infernal torment. On the contrary, one will find the following words in the book of Ezekiel: "The soul that sinneth – it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). This is representative of the belief that death is the soul's ultimate eventuality.”
My understanding at this stage is that this not only points to a person's body dying, but to their whole being – their whole nephesh – dying, because of the just judgement of Elohim. This seems to fit with the tavnith Elohim gives throughout Scripture – of Yah'shua (Jesus) and Elohim warning about the destruction of the wicked (both in the Old and New Testament), and warning that wide is the way to appolumi (fully, permanent destruction) (has the same word http://biblos.com/matthew/7-13.htm), of the warning of the nobleman calling those who would not receive His reign to be slain before Him, of the ax being laid to the root of the trees that do not bear fruit and that they shall be burned...to not because of our disbelief turn from Elohim, like the Israelites in the desert, loose our salvation and our nephesh be slaim – understanding that this is also an outer reflection of an inner truth or pattern.That this is the second death that Revelation speaks about.
I do believe as the piece above said, that the Hebrew people understood that a soul – a nephesh - is not immortal apart from Elohim. It also seems to fit tavnith fractal of the separation between male and female with sin, and the death because of it...That the death of a physical body is an outer reflection what happens inside with sin, and what will happen when that nephesh is one day justly judged, if they are not in Yah'shua (Jesus), by Elohim's grace.
(With this, I do not believe that when someones body dies, they simply become unconscious - I believe Scripture testifies of spirits being aware after death – both the saints and those Yah'shua (Jesus) ministered to in spirit prison. But I also believe the day of resurrection will come, both of the godly and the wicked, and that Elohim will judge the wicked, and they will receive the second death).