The Destruction of Angels
Eternal life is God"s promise to all believers; no different then eternal death is the inheritance of the wicked. There is a problem however. The nature of all spirits (living sentient beings) is that they were created as “eternal”. The spirits of men and the spirits of angels cannot die. No where in the Bible do you see an angel die in battle or of natural causes. The same actually applies to humans. In the case of humans however, there is a death of the physical body. In the New Testament, it explains this first death as not a death at all and is referred to by Christ and his Apostles as “sleep”. The reason for this is that this first death (the death of the flesh) is reversible. We are also told that we are not to fear this “sleep” or anyone who can bring it about. We are however told to fear him who has the power to bring about “the second death”, the death of our spirit or soul. That person is God and the location this takes place is “the gehenna1067 of fire”, not the hell which is the grave but “the lake of fire”.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Mat And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
When God created the angels, way before man was created; he also created a way to destroy those of them who he wanted to eliminate permanently. This mechanism for their destruction is called “the lake of fire”. After man was created this “spirit destruction machine” became the way to destroy man’s spirit also. It appears that “the lake of fire” was originally created for fallen angels only.
Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Everything that has “life” was first listed in the “Lambs book of life” before life was given to it. At the “judgment” it is this book that is opened and all the people whose name remains in the book will be allowed to continue to live. That is what is called eternal life. If their names were blotted out of the book they are sent into the lake of fire.
Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment2851: but the righteous into life eternal.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The angels are also subject to the “Judgment” and are treated likewise.
Jud 1:6-8 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.(7) Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (8) Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
Most of the teachings I have heard believe that this "lake of fire" is a type of eternal suffering where the unrighteous are sent to spend eternity "burning" and not dying. This "everlasting punishment" concept sounds way too cruel, even for God to do. So what does the Bible really say about this punishment. Words like "eternal damnation684" and "everlasting punishment2851" at first look seem to portray this kind of punishment. On closer examination these words actually show us a different picture.
Strong’s Concordance G684 ap-o'-li-a From a presumed derivative of G622; ruin or loss (physical, spiritual or eternal): - damnable (-nation), destruction, die, perdition, X perish, pernicious ways, waste.
Here the word “damnation” really is an end or loss of life. A final death.
2851 kol'-as-is correction, punishment, penalty from 2849kol-ad'-zo meaning to cut off or prune.
Here the word “punishment” means “cut off”. A final removal.
The following scripture says nothing about “burning”, yet it is specifically referring to the judgment of the wicked at the end.
2Pe 2:9-17 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: (10) But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. (11) Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. (12) But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; (13) And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; (14) Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: (15) Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; (16) But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. (17) These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
This sounds more like something God would do. I can’t believe that God would be glorified by the eternal torturing of people or angels. As a just God however there had to a penalty established for those do evil and denying them eternal life in any form is just.
Jude 1:7 as
Scholars Define Aionion and Olam
Ellicott's Commentary on the Whole Bible
Matt. 25:46: Everlasting punishment--life eternal. The two adjectives represent the same Greek word (aionion) aionios -- it must be admitted (1) that the Greek word which is rendered "eternal" does not, in itself, involve endlessness, but rather, duration, whether through an age or succession of ages, and that it is therefore applied in the N.T. to periods of time that have had both a beginning and an ending (Rom. 16:25), where the Greek is "from aeonian times;" our version giving "since the world began." (Comp. 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit. 1:3)--strictly speaking, therefore, the word, as such, apart from its association with any qualifying substantive, implies a vast undefined duration, rather than one in the full sense of the word "infinite."
The Encyclopedia Dictionary of the Bible (Catholic Bible Dictionary), p. 693
ETERNITY: The Bible hardly speaks of eternity in the philosophical sense of infinite duration without beginning or end. The Hebrew word olam, which is used alone (Ps. 61:8; etc.) or with various prepositions (Gn. ; etc.) in contexts where it is traditionally translated as "forever," means in itself no more than "for an indefinitely long period." Thus, me olam does not mean "from eternity" but "of old" (Gn. 6:4, etc.). In the N.T. aion is used as the equivalent of olam.
Dr. F.W. Farrar, The Eternal Hope, p. 198
That the adjective is applied to some things which are "endless" does not, of course, for one moment prove that the word itself meant "endless," and to introduce this rendering into many passages would be utterly impossible and absurd.
Dr. F.W. Farrar, Mercy and Judgment, p. 378
Since aion meant "age," aionios means, properly, "belonging to an age," or "age-long," and anyone who asserts that it must mean "endless" defends a position which even Augustine practically abandoned twelve centuries ago. Even if aion always meant "eternity," which is not the case in classic or Hellenistic Greek-- aionios could still mean only "belonging to eternity" and not "lasting through it."
Hasting's Dictionary of the New Testament, Vol. 1, p. 542, art. Christ and the Gospels
There is no word either in the O.T. Hebrew or in the N.T. Greek to express the abstract idea of eternity.
(Vol. III, p. 369) Eternal, everlasting--nonetheless "eternal" is misleading, inasmuch as it has come into the English to connote the idea of "endlessly existing," and thus to be practically a synonym for "everlasting." But this is not an adequate rendering of aionios which varies in meaning with the variations of the noun aion from which it comes.
The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. IV, p. 643
Time: The O.T. and the N.T. are not acquainted with the conception of eternity as timelessness. The O.T. has not developed a special term for "eternity." The word aion originally meant "vital force," "life;" then "age," "lifetime." It is, however, also used generally of a (limited or unlimited long space of time. The use of the word aion is determined very much by the O.T. and the LXX. Aion means "long distant uninterrupted time" in the past (Luke ), as well as in the future (John ).
Lange's Commentary American Edition, Vol. V, p. 48
On Ecclesiastes 1:4. The preacher, in contending with the universalist, or restorationist, would commit an error, and, it may be, suffer a failure in his argument, should he lay the whole stress of it on the etymological or historical significance of the words, aion, aionios, and attempt to prove that, of themselves, they necessarily carry the meaning of endless duration.
I must be so candid as to acknowledge that the use of these terms, "forever," "eternal," "everlasting," shows that they who understand these words in a limited sense when applied to punishment put no forced interpretation upon them.
The Parkhurst Lexicon
Olam (aeon) seems to be used much more for an indefinite than for an infinite time.
G. Campbell Morgan, God's Methods With Men, pp. 185-186
Let me say to Bible students that we must be very careful how we use the word "eternity." We have fallen into great error in our constant usage of that word. There is no word in the whole Book of God corresponding with our "eternal," which as commonly used among us, means absolutely without end.
The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. XII, p. 96
Under the instruction of those great teachers, many other theologians believed in universal salvation; and indeed the whole Eastern Church until after 500 A.D. was inclined to it. Doederlein says that "In proportion as any man was eminent in learning in Christian antiquity, the more did he cherish and defend the hope of the termination of future torments." Many more church historians could be quoted with similar observations.
The Rabbi teach no eternity of hell torments; even the greatest sinners were punished for generations.
Dr. Alford Plumer, An Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, pp. 351-352
It is often pointed out that "eternal" (aionios) in "eternal punishment" must have the same meaning as in "eternal life." No doubt, but that does not give us the right to say that "eternal" in both cases means "endless."
Dr. Edward Plumptre (Eschatologist)
I fail to find, as is used by the Greek Fathers, any instance in which the idea of time duration is unlimited.
The Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 15, p. 485
It is possible that "aeonian" may denote merely indefinite duration without the connotation of never ending.
G. T. Stevenson, Time and Eternity
(Page 63) Since, as we have seen, the noun aion refers to a period of time, it appears very improbable that the derived adjective aionios would indicate infinite duration, nor have we found any evidence in Greek writing to show that such a concept was expressed by this term.
(Page 72) In 1 Cor. 15:22-29 the inspired apostle to the Gentiles transports his readers' thoughts far into the future, beyond the furthest point envisaged elsewhere in holy writ. After outlining the triumph of the Son of God in bringing all creation under His benign control, Paul sets forth the consummation of the divine plan of the ages in four simple, yet infinitely profound words, "God all in all." This is our God, purposeful, wise, loving, and almighty, His Son our Lord a triumphant Savior, Who destroys His enemies by making them friends.
Jeremy Taylor, author of Systematic Hellology, which advocates the common belief in eternal torment, later writes a modified view in Jeremy Taylor's Works, Vol. III, p. 43.
Though the fire is everlasting, not all that enters it is everlasting . . . . "The word everlasting signifies only to the end of its period.
Dr. Nigel Turner, Christian Words, p. 457
All the way through, it is never feasible to understand aionios as everlasting.
Dr. (Prof.) Marvin Vincent, Word Studies of the New Testament, Vol. IV
(Page 59) The adjective aionios in like manner carries the idea of time. Neither the noun nor the adjective in themselves carries the sense of "endless" or "everlasting." aionios means enduring through or pertaining to a period of time. Out of the 150 instances in the LXX (Septuagint), four-fifths imply limited duration.
(Page 291, about 2 Tim. 1:9) "Before the world began" (pro chronon aionion) Lit. Before eternal times. If it is insisted that aionion means everlasting, this statement is absurd. It is impossible that anything should take place before everlasting times.
Charles H. Welch, editor of The Berean Expositor, wrote in An Alphabetical Analysis, Vol. I
(Page 52) What we have to learn is that the Bible does not speak of eternity. It is not written to tell us of eternity. Such a consideration is entirely outside the scope of revelation.
(Page 279) Eternity is not a Biblical theme.
Dr. R.F. Weymouth, The New Testament in Modern Speech, p. 657
Eternal: Greek: "aeonion," i.e., "of the ages." Etymologically this adjective, like others similarly formed, does not signify "during," but "belonging to" the aeons or ages.