There is a cool pdf over on the concordant site… called THE CONCORDANT VERSION IN THE CRITICS DEN… it’s a long essay in which Knoch defends the Concordant Version from attackers.


One thing I notice… right on the cover of the essay… is that Knoch calls himself “the compiler” of the concordant version… and not “the translator”. And that’s WAY COOL… because Knoch just compiled the facts of the scriptures… and tries his best not to interpret it all for you.

If there is a “the” in the scriptures but it doesn’t fit well in our English idiom… Knoch still tells you it’s there — with a symbol. You see, the definite article “the” might be important…but it might not be… at least “the compiler” doesn’t hide any facts from you.

It’s the same with Greek verb tenses, voice forms and many other details you’ll find in the Greek New Testament, but don’t “translate” well into English. Therefore, I’m tickled that Knoch calls himself “the compiler”.
Plus… since the Concordant Version is the only translation out there that uses A METHOD of translation (one English word only represents one Greek word, as near as possible) – since it was a methodical translation — Knoch had lots of help and helpers.

You see… if you used the “concordant” method… you’d come up with pretty much the same translation as A. E. Knoch. There wouldn’t be a dime’s worth of difference between YOUR translation and Knoch’s.
The point is that the Concordant Version is rather consistent. And it doesn’t hid any FACTS from us, and doesn’t interpret things for us… If the word is PLURAL… you’ll see it. If the connective is actually a prepositional phrase, you’ll see it.

Way cool.

Anyway, see if you can find that PDF and cool your heels while you enjoy the battle between christian mythology and what God actually says.

Grace to you.



There is a “church” in Acts, chapter 19, that is actually a bunch of hell-raising rioters.
They were all upset at Paul for preaching the evangel and converting enough people to the way, that these HELL-RAISING RIOTERS were loosing money.
You see, these rioters were in the business of making money off of false religious teaching. (See chapter 19, below)
AND GET THIS… after so may people started following Paul and the way, these guys who were making money off people’s superstitious belief systems, GOT REALLY PISSED AT PAUL and the brothers… and started a RIOT… it was crazy.
My point in bringing up this story is that these rioters call themselves ‘A CHURCH”… Ain’t that a hoot?
No, they did not used the English word “church”… but in the Greek scriptures, they called themselves “AN ECCLESIA”.
So, an ecclesia, is apparently, just a group, any group of people called together for a given purpose, religious or not.
The “ecclesia” of Acts 19 was there to try and kill Paul and the brothers.
By the end of Acts 19, that ecclesia was dismissed and told to go home.
My whole point of this story is to show you that we, “the ecclesia, which is His body” — are a temporary group.
If you try to make any ecclesia permanent, you end up with something like the Catholic Church.
Even in the eons to come, the “church which is His body” will close up shop at the consummation, when death is abolished and God is all, in all.
See— it’s temporary.
(False christianity believes the church will be seated FOREVER AND EVER at Christ’s right hand. But no… God’s “eternal” purpose is actually God’s EONIAN purpose.)

Even here on Earth, the ecclesia, which is His body, sometimes comes together, but then we disappear back into our lives, and jobs, and home towns. We are called to display God’s grace. That’s our job. Like a trophy wife. We’ll be on display in the oncoming eons — according to Paul in Ephesians.

So, don’t worry that we are a ragtag group that appears then disappears. God is operating in you. He will fulfill His purpose.

Just thinking.

Anyway… check out Acts 19, below. I put some asterisks* by the word ECCLESIA so you can spot it easy to see, the rioters called themselves “a church” an ecclesia. (a temporary assembly).
See verses 32, 36, and 41.
Grace to you.

Chapter 19
1 Now it occurred while Apollos is in Corinth, Paul, passing through the upper parts, comes down to Ephesus and, finding some disciples,
2 said to them, “Did you obtain holy spirit on believing?” Yet they to him, “Nay, neither hear we if there is holy spirit.”
3 Yet he said, “Into what, then, are you baptized?” Yet they say “Into John’s baptism.”
4 Yet Paul said, “John baptizes with the baptism of repentance, telling the people that in the One coming after him they should be believing, that is, in Jesus.”
5 Now, hearing this, they are baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And at the placing of Paul’s hands on them, the holy spirit came on them. Besides, they spoke languages and prophesied.
7 Now there were, in all, about twelve men.
8 Now, entering the synagogue, he spoke boldly for three months, arguing and persuading as to that which concerns the kingdom of God.
9 Now, as some were hardened and stubborn, saying evil things of the way before the multitude, withdrawing from them, he severs the disciples, arguing day by day in the school of Tyrannus.
10 Now this occurred for two years, so that all those dwelling in the province of Asia hear the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
11 Besides, powerful deeds, not the casual kind, God did through the hands of Paul,
12 so the handkerchiefs or aprons from his cuticle are carried away to the infirm also, to clear the diseases from them. Besides, wicked spirits go out.
13 Now some of the wandering Jews also, exorcists, take in hand to name the name of the Lord Jesus over those having wicked spirits, saying, “I am adjuring you by the Jesus Whom Paul is heralding!”
14 Now there were some seven sons of Sceva, a Jew, a chief priest, doing this.
15 Yet answering, the wicked spirit said to them, “Jesus, indeed, I know, and in Paul am I versed, yet who are you?”
16 And leaping on them, the man in whom the wicked spirit was, getting the mastery of both, is too strong for them, so that, naked and wounded, they are escaping out of that house.
17 Now this became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who are dwelling in Ephesus. And fear falls on them all, and magnified was the name of the Lord Jesus.
18 Besides, many who have believed came, confessing and informing them of their practices.
19 Now a considerable number of those practicing the meddling arts, carrying together the scrolls, burned them up in sight of all. And they compute their value and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver.
20 Thus mightily the word of the Lord grows and was strong.
21 Now as these things were fulfilled, Paul pondered in spirit, passing through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying that, “After my coming to be there I must see Rome also.”
22 Now dispatching to Macedonia two of those serving him, Timothy and Erastus, he attended, for the time, to the province of Asia.
23 Now at that season no slight disturbance occurred concerning the way;
24 for a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, making silver temples of Artemis, afforded no slight income to the artificers,
25 whom convening together, as also the workers about such things, he said, “Men! You are versed in the fact that by this vocation we thrive,
26 and you are beholding and hearing that, not only of Ephesus, but of almost the entire province of Asia, this Paul by his persuading causes a considerable throng to stand aloof, saying that they are not gods which are coming into being by means of hands.
27 Now, not only is this endangering our party, by it coming to be confuted, but the sanctuary of the great goddess Artemis also is being thereby reckoned nothing. Besides, her magnificence is about to be pulled down also, whom the whole province of Asia and the inhabited earth is revering.”
28 Now, hearing this and becoming full of fury, they cried, saying, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
29 And filled is the city with confusion. Besides, they rush with one accord into the theater, gripping Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, fellow travelers of Paul.
30 (Now, at Paul’s intending to enter in to the populace, the disciples did not let him.
31 Yet some of the chiefs of the province of Asia also, being his friends, sending to him, entreated him not to venture into the theater himself.)
32 Others, indeed, then, cried some other thing, for the ecclesia was in confusion, and the majority were not aware on what account they had come together.
33 Now they unite on Alexander, one of the throng, the Jews pushing him forward. Now Alexander, gesturing with his hand, wanted to make a defense to the populace.
34 Yet, on recognizing that he is a Jew, one voice came from all for about two hours, crying, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians! Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
35 Now, composing the throng, the scribe is averring, “Men! Ephesians!” What man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is sexton of the temple of the great Artemis and of that which fell from Zeus?
36 These things, then, not being gainsaid, you must possess composure and no one commit anything rash.
37 For you led these men, who are neither despoilers of the sanctuary, nor blasphemers of our goddess.
38 Indeed, then, if Demetrius and the artificers with him have a charge against anyone, court sessions are being held, and there are proconsuls; let them be indicting one another.
39 Now if you are seeking for anything concerning other things, in the legal ecclesia will it be explained.
40 For we are also in danger of being indicted concerning today’s commotion, there inhering not one cause concerning which we shall be able to render any account concerning this riot.”
41 And, saying these things, he dismisses the ecclesia.


The one that says “JESUS SAVES”…
We want to know the “truth” right?
And— is it true that “Jesus saves”???
I’m not so sure any more.
It’s not that I’ve lost faith in “my religion”… it’s that I’ve become more serious about “my religion”.
And in becoming more serious… I’ve become more of a Bible student. And guess what… I don’t think “Jesus Saves” is a bible teaching.
However… “CHRIST JESUS SAVES”… IS a bible teaching.
What the difference?


Call me a nit-picker… but I think it’s important.
You see… there is a difference IN THE BIBLE between …

Whenever the bible mentions JESUS CHRIST… it’s referring to our savior in his humiliation. Before the cross, and the resurrection… and especially before His ascension and glorification.
But when you see the term CHRIST JESUS… pay attention. It’s a reference to something wonderful… powerful… it’s a reference to our savior after his glorious accomplishments on the cross and after He rose from the dead and after He ascended to the heavens to be seated at the right hand of God.

“Christ” is a title. “The anointed one”. A title He earned.
And whenever you see “Christ Jesus” as oppose to “Jesus Christ”… pay attention… something wonderful is about to be revealed.

Christ Jesus is most definitely a reference to His role as in “He was born for this”… “He’s right where He belongs.”

Imagine the difference between Joseph and his brothers before they sold him into slavery… and AFTER they came begging him for a little food — when he was the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Egypt. They didn’t even recognize him. They were just trembling in their nike sandals.

That’s what we’re talking about concerning “CHRIST JESUS”.

Now get this — If you think “JESUS SAVES”… wait till you get a load of what the Bible actually says about the matter:
From I TIMOTHY, chapter one, verse 15…
“Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all welcome, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, foremost of whom am I.”

Did you see it? It said “Christ Jesus Saves”.
Not just little ole “Jesus”… but the big, fat, “CHRIST Jesus”.
It’s Jesus in all His glory!

You see, the Baptist, Pentecostal-Charismatic dude with the “Jesus Saves” bumper sticker doesn’t really believe Jesus saves at all.
They believe salvation is possible… but only IF you do the right thing… like repent, say the “sinners’ prayer” go to their church, etc.
The bumper sticker is really a BAIT AND SWITCH advertisement. There are “terms and conditions” — read the fine print.

If “Jesus” (in his humility) saves… just imagine what “Christ Jesus” can do as ruler of the universe !

Jesus saves, right? Does He lose any?
Jesus saves, right? Does He “offer” to save?
Jesus saves, right? Does He merely make salvation “possible”???

I think you can make the argument – from the bible – that Jesus does not save, but Christ Jesus does.

OK… if you’ve read this far, I think you’re ready for the REAL JUICY PART of my morning rant.
Here it is…
LOOK TO PAUL’S MESSAGE for light on Christ Jesus.
The other New Testament writers don’t see the things Paul does.
Paul is all about “CHRIST JESUS”.
It’s important. In fact, it’s more than important – It’s vital.
It’s all about the destiny of all humanity. The destiny of all creation.
It’s all about “Heading up all in the Christ” (EPH 1:10)
Forget bumper sticker christianity.
Find your way into Paul’s 13 letters to the gentile believers. Read them out loud. And read each one at one sitting.
The revelation is great.
The twelve knew Jesus Christ. But…
Only Paul met (on the road to Damascus) the risen, glorified, “Christ Jesus”… So of course, what Christ revealed to Paul was different, more complete, more glorious, more satisfying than anything Peter, James, and John have to say.
Check it out.
Grace to you.



        1.   Death is a return (Gen.3:17-19).
“Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
                    Psa. 146:2-4;        Eccl.3:19,20
                    Job 34:14,15;       Eccl.12:1-7
                Death is a return of the person, of the body, and of the spirit.
         2.   Death is the opposite of life, or the absence of life, not life in some other
               form or place.
                    2 Ki.20:1    “thou that die and not live”
                    Rev.20:4-6  “the dead live not until”
                    Num.4:19    “that they may live, and not die”
         3.    Death is a sleep.
                     Psa.13:3    “lest I sleep the sleep of death”
                    1 Th.4:13-18    “them that are asleep”
                    Dan.12:2    “them that sleep in the dust”
                         Both the righteous and the unrighteous are said to be asleep
                         when they are dead.
        4.    Death is an enemy.
                     1 Cor.15:26    “the last enemy abolished is death”

        1.   They are all in one place (Eccl.3:19,20).
                    Psa.22:15;        Job 7:21
                    Gen 3:19   compare  Gen.2:7
        2.   Their place is one of silence and repose.
                    Job 3:11-22      Psa.115:17
                    Psa.88:10-12    Eccl.9:10
        3.   They are not with Christ in heaven.
                    John 3:13;        Acts 2:34
     The statement that David ascended not into the heavens is made after the resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    The only way believers get to be with the Lord is by His coming for them. See 1 Thes.4:16-17, “so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Also John 14:3, “I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Death is never said to take one to be with the Lord.         
                    John 5:28-29    “all who are in their graves”
                     Dan.12:2          “them that sleep in the dust”
                    Isa.26:19           “ye that dwell in the dust”
In the Word of God the dead are always said to be where their bodies are.

        1.   They sleep and rest.
                    1 Thess.4:13-18    1 Cor.15:51-57
                    Acts 7:60  compare  Acts 8:2
                    John 11:11  compare  John 11:14
                    1 Cor.15:3-20        Dan.12:2
    The Scriptures never speak of the sleep of the soul, nor of the sleep of the body. They always speak of the sleep of the person with reference to death. The sleep of death obliterates the interval between this life and the next, in so far as consciousness is concerned.
        2.   They praise not the Lord nor exercise mental powers.
                 Psa.6:5         Psa.115:17     Psa.8:10-12
                 Eccl.9:4-6     Psa.146:4     Isa.38:18,19
        3.   They do not live until the resurrection.
                 Rev.20:4-6     1 Cor.15:12-21

        1.   That they will all be resurrected.
                 John 5:28-29     Rev.20:11-15
        2.   That they will all ultimately receive fullness of life through the saving work of Jesus Christ.
                 1 Cor.15:22-28     1 Tim.2:3-6
                 Rom 5:18,19         1 Tim.4:9-11

The Scriptures never speak of the “immortality of the soul.” On the contrary there are many places where the soul is said to die. See Isa.53:12; Ezek.18:4,20; Psa.78:50; Psa.116:1-8; Mat.26:38; etc.

The word “immortality” occurs altogether only three times in the original Scriptures:
         1 Tim.6:13-16     “Christ only hath immortality”
         1 Cor.15:53         “this mortal must put on immortality”
         1 Cor.15:54         “this mortal shall have put on immortality”
     Believers receive immortality when, not before, Jesus Christ returns. Faith in Christ as Saviour does not swallow up death in victory. Even believers are said to be dead (1 Thes.4:16, “the dead in Christ”; 1 Cor.15:51,52; John 11:25). For believers, death is swallowed up in victory when Jesus Christ returns and raises the dead and transforms the living. See 1 Cor.15:54-57. The teaching that man is inherently immortal robs Jesus Christ of glory that belongs to Him for it is only through Him and His saving work that man receives immortality. “Death of the body” and “resurrection of the body” are expressions not to be found in the Scriptures. Death is of the person. Resurrection is of the person. In the Scriptures the person is said to die. (See Deut.10:6; Josh.1:2; Josh.24:33; 1 Sam.4:17-19; Rom.5:6; etc.)

The Scriptures distinguish clearly between the spirit and the soul. The spirit and the breath are closely related as may be seen in the expression “the breath of the spirit of life” (Gen.7:22, R.S.V. or marginal reading; 2 Sam.22:16; Psa.18:15; Isa.42:5). The spirit is that invisible life force from God which when united with the body produces the consciousness, the sensation, the ego. The soul is the consciousness, the sensation, the ego (Isa.29:8; Gen.42:21; Deut.12:15-23; Job 10:1; Job 21:25; Psa.43:5; Psa.107:18; etc.). The soul of the flesh is said to be in the blood (Lev.17:11; Gen.9:4; etc.).

The word translated life in these passages is the Hebrew word for soul, nephesh[1].
    An electric light serves as a good illustration of the difference between the body, the soul, and the spirit. Let the bulb and its filament, which is made from the elements out of the earth, represent the body. Let the electricity, an invisible force, represent the spirit. Let the light and heat produced by the union of the electricity with the bulb, represent the soul. When the connection is broken the light goes out. Out where? To the unseen or unperceived.
    When God created man, He formed him out of the dust of the ground. He then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and as a result man became a living soul (Gen 2:7).
     Death is a reversal of what happened in the creation. At death, the spirit (not the consciousness, but the force from God which when united with the body produces it) returns to God from whence it came. The soul (the sensation, the consciousness, the ego) dies. The body returns to the dust and the person is dead until resurrection.
    The spirit, the soul, and the person go to different places at death. The spirit returns to God (Eccl 12:7). The soul goes to Hades (Acts 2:27). The person is said to be in the grave (John 5:28). When our Lord Jesus Christ died His spirit went to God (Luke 23:46); His soul went to Hades[2] (Acts 2:22-32); He, Himself, is said to have been in the tomb during the days He was dead (1 Cor 15:3,4; Mat 12:40).
    Failure to grasp the truth concerning death strikes at the very heart of the gospel. Whatever the wages of sin is, Jesus Christ endured it to the full, in order to become man’s Saviour. If the wages of sin is eternal punishment, Jesus Christ could not be the Saviour of anyone, for He did not endure that. If the wages of sin is annihilation, He could not be the Saviour of anyone, for He did not endure that. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). “Christ died for our sins, was buried and was raised the third day” (1 Cor 15:1-5).
    Failure to recognize the facts concerning death makes resurrection unimportant. If the dead are alive enjoying the bliss of a better life without a body, what real need is there for a resurrection? When the facts that the dead are really dead is understood, resurrection becomes all-important. “If there is no resurrection, let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die” (1 Cor 15:32). The only scriptural hope for the dead is resurrection, apart from which there is no further life for them. “The dead live not until (resurrection)”. See Rev 20:4-12 and compare John 5:28,29. Two resurrections separated by a thousand years are referred to in these passages.
    Wrong views concerning death result in wrong views concerning the future punishment of the wicked. The combined result of this is a teaching that slanders God and dishonors the Lord Jesus Christ.
    There will be wrath and punishment for the wicked but it will fit the crimes and will accomplish a good purpose (John 5:22,23). God is going to be All in all in due time (1 Cor 15:28). This is brought about by and through the saving work of Jesus Christ, Who is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). There is no life during death, but through Him all will ultimately receive fullness of life, or immortality. In this manner death, all death, the first and the second, will be abolished from God’s universe (1 Cor 15:22-28). When all have been Justified (Rom 5:18,19), Reconciled to God (Col 1:20), and Subjected to the Son (1 Cor 15:27,28; Phil 2:9-11; Eph 1:9,10), then the Son will deliver up a perfected universe to the Father and God will be All in all. Nothing short of being the Saviour of all men will satisfy Him (1 Tim 4:9-11; 1 Tim 2:3-6).

[1] The Hebrew word for soul, nephesh, is translated in more than 30 different ways in the Authorized Version. Some examples are as follows: any, appetite, beast, creature, dead body, desire, fish, ghost, heart, life, lust, man, mind, mortally, pleasure, will, thing, self, etc. A booklet entitled What is Mankind? the Soul? Death?, which contains all the references to these translations may be had from the Concordant Publishing Concern.
[2] Hades and Sheol are different words for the same place.Hades is the Greek word used in the New Testament and Sheol is the Hebrew word used in the Old Testament. Compare Psalm 16:10, R.S.V., with Acts 2:27, R.S.V. There is a close connection between the grave and sheol or hades. Hades means the unseen or the unperceived. The spirit is never associated with hades in the Scriptures. It is the soul that goes to hades.

Joseph E. Kirk

Copyright © Saviour of All Fellowship
P.O. Box 314, Almont, MI 48003, U.S.A.
This publication may be reproduced for personal use (all other rights reserved by copyright holder).



Philippians 3:21 KJV
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby

He is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
BAM, free will debunked! He is able to subdue ALL THINGS unto himself.

Jesus can get ANYONE and EVERYONE to believe in him. Free will says that Jesus wants to get everyone to believe in him, but he can’t because Grandpa is stubborn. Jesus tries his best, but his best was not good enough for Grandpa. Grandpa’s FREE WILL is Stronger than God’s will to save!

In Free will land only man has Free will, if Man has Free will then God’s will is not free to do what it wills!

Free will preaches, that Jesus tries and fails.

Here is another anti-Free will verse:
Hebrews 2:8 KJV
8 Thou hast 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 see not yet all things put under him.

Everything is put in SUBJECTION under Jesus. Right now however we don’t see everything in Subjection

Under Jesus. If they are in subjection they OBEY.

Did you know that Slavery is biblical? It is! Not only that but EVERY PERSON WILL BECOME A SLAVE OF JESUS. JESUS IS THE GREATEST SLAVE MASTER OF ALL TIME. Jesus is LORD. What is the complement of a Lord? A SLAVE! Slavery is the ANTITHESIS of Free will!

A slave does not choose. A slave OBEYS!

Jesus is ABLE to enslave everyone and get everyone to OBEY HIM, and what is his command? Repent and believe the gospel. If you are subjected you are a slave.

Right now we don’t see it, but in time we will (this will take EONS to play out).

1 Corinthians 15:22-28
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

For as in Adam all die
[that’s everyone]
even so in Christ shall all be made alive

[its the same everyone that died in Adam!]

The same ALL that died in Adam, are the same ALL that are made alive in Christ (v22)!
To be made alive is to be made immortal, and they are made immortal in Christ, if you are in Christ you are a Christian.

Lets talk about that word subdued/ subject in verse 28, its the same word in the greek.

Strongs Number: G5293 Orig: from 5259 and 5021; to subordinate; reflexively, to obey:–be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto. G5259

It means:

1) to arrange under, to subordinate
2) to subject, put in subjection
3) to subject one’s self, obey
4) to submit to one’s control
5) to yield to one’s admonition or advice 6) to obey, be subject

Everything that is put in subjection unto Jesus, OBEYS JESUS. Jesus is their Lord. They are his slaves. Everyone will eventually be Jesus’ slave. If you are a slave of Jesus, you are a christian (see Romans 1:1, Paul is a slave of Jesus and James 1:1, James a slave of God and of Jesus)

that God may be all in all.

God is going to be all in all, which all? The same all that died in Adam! God is not all in all that is left, no God is all in all, all in all the humans he created. God created mankind to be a temple for him to dwell in, believers have the holy spirit of God, God is in them, God dwells in them. For God to be all in all, everyone would have to be a believer! Right now only some people have the holy spirit, but the day will come when everyone will repent and believe the gospel.

And notice this God is all in all that Jesus subjects, who does Jesus subject? THE ENEMIES!



The Unselfishness of God And How I Discovered It

The 3 missing chapters that the publishers removed.

Autobiography by Hannah Whitall Smith

Reprinted without editing.

From Hannah Whitall Smith’s Book —
“My Spiritual Auto-Biography” The Unselfishness of God

The following three Chapters have been placed into electronic format by Gary Amirault as a contribution to the world-at-large. Hannah Whitall Smith was a popular evangelist and Bible teacher at the turn of the nineteenth century. Due to the popularity of Mrs. Smith’s writings, her books are still being reprinted today by leading Christian publishers. However, the following three chapters have been purposely edited out! Apparently modern Christian publishers do not want people to discover The Unselfishness of God. These three chapters are the heart of Mrs. Smith’s story. For these publishers to remove these three essential chapters from her book is like cutting out her heart. We at Tentmaker Publications feel it is time to restore, not only Hannah Smith’s writings to her original form, but also restore the character of the God Hannah Whitall Smith worshipped and wrote about. She is best known for her best-selling book which has sold in the millions and still being reprinted, “The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life.” We have also found at least one publisher remove portions of this book as well.
–Gary Amirault



During all the years of which I speak the Plymouth Brethren were, as I have said, among my principal teachers. But I began gradually to find some things in their teachings that I could not accept; and this was especially the case with their extreme Calvanism.

There have always been, I believe, differences of opinion among them in regard to this view; but those with whom I was thrown held very rigidly the belief that some people were “elected” to salvation, and some were elected to “reprobation,” and that nothing the individual could do could change these eternal decrees. We of course were among those elected to salvation, and for this we were taught to be profoundly thankful. I tried hard to fall in with this. It seemed difficult to believe that those who had taught me so much could possibly be mistaken on such a vital point. But my soul revolted from it more and more. How could I be content in knowing that I myself was sure of Heaven, when other poor souls equally deserving, but who had not had my chances, were “elected,” for no fault of their own, but in the eternal decrees of God, to “Reprobation?” Such a doctrine seemed to me utterly inconsistent with the proclamation that had so entranced me.

I could not find any limitations in this proclamation, and I could not believe there were any secret limitations in the mind of the God who had made it. Neither could I see how a Creator could be just, even if He were not loving, in consigning some of the creatures He Himself, and no other, had created, to the eternal torment of hell, let them be as great sinners as they might be. I felt that if this doctrine were true, I should be woefully disappointed in the God -whom I had, with so much rapture, discovered.

I could not fail to see, moreover, that, after all, each one of us was largely a creature of circumstance-that what we were, and what we did, was more or less the result of our temperaments, of our inherited characteristics, of our social surroundings and of our education; and that, as these were all providentially arranged for us, with often no power on our part to alter them, it would not be just in the God who had placed us in their midst, to let them determine our eternal destiny.

As an escape from the doctrine of eternal torment, I at first embraced the doctrine of annihilation for the wicked, and for a little while tried to comfort myself with the belief that this life ended all for them. But the more I thought of it, the more it seemed to me that it would be a confession of serious failure on the part of the Creator, if He could find no way out of the problem of His creation, but to annihilate the creatures whom He had created.

Unconsciously, one of my children gave me an illustration of this. She waked me up one morning to tell me that she had been lying in bed having great fun in pretending that she had made a man. She described the color of his hair and his eyes, his figure, his height, his power, his wisdom and all the grand things he was going to do, and was very enthusiastic in her evident delight in the joy of creation. When she had finished enumerating all the magnificent qualities of her man, I said to her, “But, darling, suppose he should turn out badly; suppose he should do mischief and hurt people, and make things go wrong, what would thee do then?” “Oh,” she said, “I would not have any trouble; I’d just make him lie down and chop his head off.”

I saw at once what a splendid illustration this was of the responsibility of a Creator, and it brought to my mind Mrs. Shelley’s weird story of the artist Frankenstein, who made the monstrous image of a man; which, when it was finished, suddenly to his horror, became alive and went out into the world working havoc wherever it went. The horrified maker felt obliged to follow his handiwork everywhere, in order to try to undo a little of the mischief that had been done, and to remedy as far as possible the evils it had caused. The awful sense of the responsibility that rested upon him, because of the things done by the creature he had created, opened my eyes to see the responsibility God must necessarily feel, if the creatures He had created were to turn out badly.

I could not believe He would torment them forever; and neither could I rest in the thought of annihilation as His best remedy for sin. I felt hopeless of reconciling the love and the justice of the Creator with the fate of His creatures, and I knew not which way to turn. But deliverance was at hand, and the third epoch in my Christian experience was about to dawn.


The Third Epoch In My Religious Life

As I stated in the last chapter, after a few years of exuberant enjoyment in the good news of salvation through Christ for myself and for those who thought as I did, my heart began to reach out after those who thought differently, and especially after those who, by reason of the providential circumstances of their birth and their surroundings, had had no fair chance in life. I could not but see that ignorance of God and as a result, lives of sin, seemed the almost inevitable fate of a vast number of my fellow human beings, and I could not reconcile it with the justice of God that these unfortunate mortals should be doomed to eternal torment because of those providential circumstances, for which they were not responsible, and from which, in a large majority of cases, they could not escape. The fact that I, who no more deserved it than they, should have been brought to the knowledge of the truth, while they were left out in the cold, became so burdensome to me, that I often felt as if I would gladly give up my own salvation, if by this means I could bestow it upon those who had been placed in less fortunate circumstances than myself.

I began to feel that the salvation in which I had been rejoicing was, after all a very limited and a very selfish salvation, and, as such, unworthy of the Creator who had declared so emphatically that His “tender mercies are over all His works,” and above all unworthy of the Lord Jesus Christ, who came into the world for the sole and single purpose of saving the world. I could not believe that His life and death for us could be meant to fall so far short of remedying the evil that He came on purpose to remedy, and I felt that it must be impossible that there could be any short-coming in the salvation He had provided. I began to be convinced that my difficulties had simply arisen from a misunderstanding of the plans of God, and I set myself to discover the mistakes.

As I have said, my first refuge had been in the annihilation of the wicked. But this had soon seemed unworthy of a wise and good Creator, and a very sad confession of failure on His part; and I could not reconcile it with either His omnipotence or His omniscience. I began to be afraid I was going to be disappointed in God. But one day a revelation came to me that vindicated Him, and that settled the whole question forever.

We very often had revivalist preachers staying with us, as we sought every opportunity of helping forward what we called “gospel work.” Among the rest there came one who was very full of the idea that it was the privilege and duty of the Christian to share, in a very especial manner, the sufferings of Christ, as well as in His joys. He seemed to think our doing so would in some way help those who knew nothing of the salvation of Christ; and he had adopted the plan of making strong appeals on the subject in his meetings, and of asking Christians who were willing for the sake of others, to take a share of these sufferings upon themselves, to “come forward” to a front bench in the meeting to pray that it might be granted them. Somehow it all sounded very grand and heroic, and it fitted in so exactly with my longings to help my less fortunate fellow human beings, that although I did not go “forward” for prayer at any of his meetings, I did begin to pray privately in a blind sort of way that I might come into the experience, whatever it was. The result was very different from what I had expected, but it was far from tremendous.

I had expected to enter into a feeling of Christ’s own personal sufferings in the life and death He bore for our sakes, but instead I seemed to have a revelation, not of His sufferings because of sin, but of ours. I seemed to get a sight of the misery and anguish caused to humanity by the entrance of sin into the world, and of Christ’s sorrow, not for His own sufferings because of it, but for the sufferings of the poor human beings who had been cursed by it. I seemed to understand something of what must necessarily be His anguish at the sight of the awful fate which had been permitted to befall the human race, and of His joy that He could do something to alleviate it. I saw that ours was the suffering, and that His was the joy of sacrificing Himself to save us. I felt that if I had been a Divine Creator, and had allowed such an awful fate to befall the creatures I had made, I would have been filled with anguish, and would have realized that simple justice, even if not love, required that I should find some remedy for it. And I knew I could not be more just than God. I echoed in my heart over and over again the lines found by one of George Macdonald’s characters engraved on a tombstone.

“Oh Thou, who didst the serpent make, Our pardon give and pardon take.”

I had been used to hearing a great deal about the awfulness of our sins against God, but now I asked myself, what about the awfulness of our fate in having been made sinners? Would I not infinitely rather that a sin should be committed against myself, than that I should commit a sin against any one else? Was it not a far more dreadful thing to be made a sinner than to be merely sinned against? And I began to see that, since God had permitted sin to enter into the world, it must necessarily be that He would be compelled, in common fairness, to provide a remedy that would be equal to the disease. I remembered some mothers I had known with children suffering from inherited diseases, who were only too thankful to lay down their lives in self-sacrifice for their children, if so be they might, in any way, be able to undo the harm they had done in bringing them into the world under such disastrous conditions; and I asked myself, Could God do less? I saw that, when weighed in a balance of wrong done, we, who had been created sinners, had infinitely more to forgive than any one against whom we might have sinned.

The vividness with which all this came to me can never be expressed. I did not think it, or imagine it, or suppose it. I saw it. It was a revelation of the real nature of things–not according to the surface conventional ideas, but according to the actual bottom facts–and it could not be gainsaid.

In every human face I saw, there seemed to be unveiled before me the story of the misery and anguish caused by the entrance of sin into the world. I knew that God must see this with far clearer eyes than mine, and therefore I felt sure that the sufferings of this sight to Him must be infinitely beyond what it was to me, almost unbearable as that seemed. And I began to understand how it was that the least He could do would be to embrace with untold gladness anything that would help to deliver the being He had created for such awful misery.

It was a never-to-be-forgotten insight into the world’s anguish because of sin. How long it lasted I cannot remember, but, while it lasted, it almost crushed me. And as it always came afresh at the sight of a strange face, I found myself obliged to wear a thick veil whenever I went into the streets, in order that I might spare myself the awful realization.

One day I was riding on a tram-car along Market Street, Philadelphia, when I saw two men come in and seat themselves opposite to me. I saw them dimly through in veil, but congratulated myself that it was only dimly, as I was thus spared the wave of anguish that had so often swept over me at the full sight of a strange face. The conductor came for his fare, and I was obliged to raise my veil in order to count it out. As I raised it I got a sight of the faces of those two men, and with an overwhelming flood of anguish, I seemed to catch a fresh and clearer revelation of the depth of the misery that had been caused to human beings by sin. It was more than I could bear. I clenched my hands and cried out in my soul, “O, God, how canst thou bear it? Thou mightest have prevented it, but didst not. Thou mightest even now change it, but Thou dost not. I do not see how Thou canst go on living, and endure it.” I upbraided God. And I felt I was justified in doing so. Then suddenly God seemed to answer me. An inward voice said, in tones of infinite love and tenderness, “He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied.” “Satisfied!” I cried in my heart, “Christ is to be satisfied! He will be able to look at the world’s misery, and then at the travail through which He has passed because of it, and will be satisfied with the result; If I were Christ, nothing could satisfy me but that every human being should in the end be saved, and therefore I am sure that nothing less will satisfy Him.” And with this a veil seemed to be withdrawn from before the plans of the universe, and I saw that it was true, as the Bible says, that “as in Adam all die-even so in Christ should all be made alive.” As was the first, even so was the second. The “all” in one case could not in fairness mean less than the “all” in the other. I saw therefore that the remedy must necessarily be equal to the disease, the salvation must be as universal as the fall.

I saw all this that day on the tram-car on Market street, Philadelphia –not only thought it, or hoped it, or even believed it–but knew it. It was a Divine fact. And from that moment I have never had one questioning thought as to the final destiny of the human race. God is the Creator of every human being, therefore He is the Father of each one, and they are all His children; and Christ died for every one, and is declared to be “the propitiation not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). However great the ignorance therefore, or however grievous the sin, the promise of salvation is positive and without limitations. If it is true that “by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation,” it is equally true that “by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” To limit the last “all men” is also to limit the first. The salvation is absolutely equal to the fall. There is to be a final “restitution of all things,” when “at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” Every knee, every tongue-words could not be more embracing. The how and the when I could not see; but the one essential fact was all I needed-somewhere and somehow God was going to make every thing right for all the creatures He had created. My heart was at rest about it forever.

I hurried home to get hold of my Bible, to see if the magnificent fact I had discovered could possibly have been all this time in the Bible, and I had not have seen it; and the moment I entered the house, I did not wait to take off my bonnet, but rushed at once to the table where I always kept my Bible and Concordance ready for use, and began my search. Immediately the whole Book seemed to be illuminated. On every page the truth concerning the “times of restitution of all things” of which the Apostle Peter says “God Hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began,” shone forth, and no room was left for questioning. I turned greedily from page to page of my Bible, fairly laughing aloud for joy at the blaze of light that illuminated it all. It became a new book. Another skin seemed to have been peeled off every text, and my Bible fairly shone with a new meaning. I do not say with a different meaning, for in no sense did the new meaning contradict the old, but a deeper meaning, the true meaning, hidden behind the outward form of words. The words did not need to be changed, they only needed to be understood; and now at last I began to understand them.

I remember just about this time, in the course of my daily reading in the Bible, coming to the Psalms, and I was amazed at the new light thrown upon their apparently most severe and blood-thirsty denunciations. I saw that, when rightly interpreted, not by the letter, but by the spirit, they were full of the assured and final triumph of good over evil, and were a magnificent vindication of the goodness and justice of God, who will not, and ought not, and cannot, rest until all His enemies and ours are put under His feet. I saw that the kingdom must be interior before it can be exterior, that it is a kingdom of ideas, and not one of brute force; that His rule is over hearts, not over places; that His victories must be inward before they can be outward; that He seeks to control spirits rather than bodies; that no triumph could satisfy Him but a triumph that gains the heart; that in short, where God really reigns, the surrender must be the interior surrender of the convicted free men, and not merely the outward surrender of the conquered slave. Milton says, “Who overcomes by force hath overcome but half his foe,” and I saw that this was true.

Read in the light of these views, my whole soul thrilled with praise over the very words that had before caused me to thrill with horror. “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; let them also that hate Him flee before Him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melted before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.” God’s wrath is against the sin–not against the sinner, and when His enemies are scattered, ours are also. His sword is the righteousness that puts to death sin in order to save the sinner. The fire of His anger is the “refiner’s fire”, and He sits, not as the destroyer of the human soul, but as its purifier, to purge it as gold and silver are purged.

“Implacable is love
Foes may be bought or teased
From their malign intent;
But He goes unappeased
Who is on kindness bent.”

The Psalmist says, “Thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou takest vengeance of their inventions;” and with this key to interpret it, all the denunciations of God’s wrath, which had once seemed so cruel and so unjust, were transformed into declarations of His loving determination to make us good enough to live in Heaven with Himself forever.

I might multiply endlessly similar instances of the new illumination that shone in entrancing beauty on every page of the Bible, but these will suffice. I began at last to understand what the Apostle Paul meant when he said that he had been made the minister of the new testament, not of the letter but of the spirit , for “the letter killeth but the spirit giveth life.” Things I had read in the letter, and had shuddered at, now read in the spirit and filled me with joy.


The Unselfishness of God

I have always felt that this time my real discovery of the unselfishness of God began. Up to then, while I had rejoiced in the salvation for myself that I had discovered, I had been secretly beset from time to time with a torturing feeling that, after all, it was rather a selfish salvation, both for Him and for me. How could a good God enjoy Himself in Heaven, knowing all the while that a large proportion of the beings He had Himself created were doomed to eternal misery, unless He were a selfish God? I had known that the Bible said that He was a God of love, and I had supposed that it must be true, but always there had been at the bottom of my mind this secret feeling that His love could not stand the test of comparison with the ideal of love in my own heart. I knew that, poor and imperfect as my love must be, I could never have enjoyed myself in Heaven while one of my children, no matter how naughty, was shut out; and that He could and did enjoy Himself, while countless thousands of His children were shut out, seemed to me a failure in the most essential element of love. So that, grateful as I had felt for the blessings of forgiveness and of a sure and certain hope of Heaven for myself, I still had often felt as if after all the God I worshiped was a selfish God, who cared more for His own comfort and His own glory than He did for the poor suffering beings He had made. But now I began to see that the wideness of God’s love was far beyond any wideness that I could even conceive of; and that if I took all the unselfish love of every mother’s heart the whole world over, and piled it all together, and multiplied it by millions, I would still only get a faint idea of the unselfishness of God.

I had always thought of Him as loving, but now I found out that He was far more than loving: He was love, love embodied and ingrained. I saw that He was, as it were, made out of love, so that in the very nature of things He could not do anything contrary to love. Not that He would not do it, but actually could not, because love was the very essence of His being. I saw that the law of love, like he law of gravitation, is inevitable in its working, and that God is, if I may say so, under this law, and cannot help obeying it. I saw that, because He is love, He simply, in the very nature of things, must be loving. It is not a matter of choice with Him, but a matter of necessity. And I saw that, once this fact was known, to trust in this God of love would be as natural as to breathe. Every doubting question was answered, and I was filled with an illimitable delight in the thought of having been created by such an unselfish God. I saw that as a matter of course the fact of His being our creator was an absolute guarantee that He would care for us, and would make all things work together for our good. The duties of ownership blazed with tremendous illumination. Not its rights, of which I had hitherto chiefly thought, but its duties, the things ownership necessarily demands of its owner. I saw that just as in a civilized community people are compelled by public opinion, or if necessary by the law, to take proper care of things that belong to them, so our Creator, by the laws of common morality, is compelled to take proper care of the creatures He has created, and must be held responsible for their well being.

It was all so glorious that it often seemed too good to be true, that we actually did belong to such an unselfish God; that many a time, when a fresh insight into His goodness would come over me, I would be obliged to get my Bible and open it at the texts that declared we really were His property, and put my fingers on them, and read them aloud, just to reassure myself that they did actually say, without any limitations, that He was my owner.

The expression “Remember thy Creator” assumed a totally different aspect to me. I had always thought of it as a kind of threat held over us into good behaviour; but now it seemed full of the most delightful warrant and assurance that all was well for the creatures this unselfish Creator had created. I saw that God was good, not religiously good only, but really and actually good in the truest sense of the word, and that a good Creator was of course bound to make every thing go right with the creatures He had created. And the fact that nothing was hid from His eyes, which had once been so alarming, now began to seem the most delightful fact in the whole universe, because it made it certain that He knew all about us, and would therefore be able to do His best for us.

My own feelings as a mother, which had heretofore seemed to war with what I had believed of God, now came into perfect harmony.

My children have been the joy of my life. I cannot imagine more exquisite bliss than comes to one sometimes in the possession and companionship of a child. To me there have been moments, when my arms have been around my children, that have seemed more like what the bliss of Heaven must be than any other thing I can conceive of; and I think this feeling has taught me more of what are God’s feelings towards His children than anything else in the universe. If I, a human being with limited capacity, can find such joy in my children, what must God, with His infinite heart of love, feel towards His; In fact most of my ideas of the love and goodness of God have come from my own experience as a mother, because I could not conceive that God would create me with a greater capacity for unselfishness and self-sacrifice than He possessed Himself; and since this discovery of the mother heart of God I have always been able to answer every doubt that may have arisen in my mind, as to the extent and quality of the love of God, by simply looking at my own feelings as a mother. I cannot understand the possibility of any selfishness on the mother’s part coming into her relation to her children. It seems to me a mother, who can be selfish and think of her own comfort and her own welfare before that of her children, is an abnormal mother, who fails in the very highest duty of motherhood.

If one looks at what we call the lower creation, one will see that every animal teaches us this supreme duty of self-sacrifice on the part of the mother.

The tiger mother will suffer herself to be killed rather than that that harm should come to her offspring. She will starve that they may have food. Could our God do less? I speak of self-sacrifice, but I cannot truthfully call it sacrifice. Any true mother, who knows the reality of motherhood, would scorn the idea that the care of her children involved a sacrifice, in the ordinary sense of sacrifice, on her part. It may involve trouble or weariness but not what I could call sacrifice. The sacrifice would be if she were not allowed to care for them, not if she were. I know no more fallacious line of argument than that which is founded upon the idea that children ought to be grateful for the self-sacrifice on the mother’s part. Her claim to love and consideration on the part of her children depends altogether to my mind upon how true a mother she has been in the sense I describe; and I believe that thousands of disappointed mothers, who have not received the gratitude and consideration they would like, have only themselves to thank, because they have demanded it, instead of having won it. All this has taught me to understand God’s feelings towards us that what we call self-sacrifice on the part of Christ was simply the absolutely necessary expression of His love for us; and that the amazing thing would have been, not that He did it, but if He had not done it.

Since I had this insight of the mother-heart of God, I have never been able to feel the slightest anxiety for any of His children; and by His children I do not mean only the good ones, but I mean the bad ones just as much. Are we not, distinctly told that the Good Shepherd leaves the ninety and nine good sheep in order to find the one naughty sheep that is lost, and that He looks for it until He finds it? And, viewed in the light of motherhood, has not that word “lost” a most comforting meaning, since nothing can be a lost thing that is not owned by somebody, and to be lost means only, not yet found. The lost gold piece is still gold, with the image of the King upon it; the lost sheep is a sheep still, not a wolf; the lost son has still the blood of his father in his veins. And if a person is a lost sinner, it only means that he is owned by the Good Shepherd, and that the Good Shepherd is bound, by the very duties of His ownership, to go after that which is lost, and to go until He finds it. The word “lost” therefore, to my mind, contains in itself the strongest proof of ownership that one could desire. Who can imagine a mother with a lost child ever having a ray of comfort until the child is found, and who can imagine a God being more indifferent than a mother? In fact I believe that all the problems of the spiritual life, which are often so distressing to conscientious souls, would vanish like mist before the rising sun, if the full blaze of the mother-heart of God should be turned upon them.

Moreover I saw that, since it was declared we were created in the image of God, we were bound to believe that the best in us, and not the worst was the reflection of that image, and .that therefore things which to us in our best moments looked selfish, or unkind, or unjust, or self-seeking, must never, no matter what the “seeming”, be attributed to God. If He is unselfish, He must be at least as unselfish as the highest human ideal; and of course we know He must be infinitely more.

All the texts in the Bible revealing God’s goodness shone with a new meaning, and I saw that His goodness was not merely a patronizing benevolence, but was a genuine bona fide goodness that included unselfishness and consideration, and above all justice, which last has always seemed to me one of the very first elements of goodness. No unjust person could ever, in my opinion, lay the slightest claim to being good, let their outward seemings of goodness be as deceiving as they may. I had in short such an overwhelming revelation of the intrinsic and inherent goodness and unselfishness of God that nothing since has been able to shake it. A great many things in His dealings have been and still are mysteries to me; but I am sure they could all be explained on the basis of love and justice, if only I could look deep enough; and that some day I shall see, what now I firmly believe, that His loving kindness is really and truly over all His works.

I do not mean to say that all this acquaintance with God came to me at once; but I do mean to say that when I had that revelation on the tram-car in Philadelphia that day, a light on the character of God began to shine, that has never since waned in the slightest, and has only grown brighter and brighter with every year of my life. It is enough for me to say “God is” and I have the answer to every possible difficulty.

The amazing thing is that I, in company with so many other Christians, had failed, with the open Bible before me, to see this; and that all sorts of travesties on the character of God, and of libels upon His goodness, can find apparently a welcome entrance into Christian hearts. To me such things became at this time well-nigh intolerable. I could listen patiently, and even with interest, to any sort of strange or heretical ideas that did not touch the character of God, but the one thing I could not endure, and could not sit still to listen to, was anything that contained, even under a show of great piety, the least hint of a libel on His love or His selfishness.

I shall never forget a memorable occasion in our own house, when a celebrated Preacher from Boston was visiting us. The conversation at the breakfast table turned on the subject of God’s love, and this Preacher declared that you must not count on it too much, as there were limits as to what His love could endure, just as there were limits to a mother’s love; and he went on to declare that there were certain sins a daughter could commit which the mother never could forgive, and which would forever close her heart and her home against her child, and he asserted that it was just so with God, and that he considered it was a grandmotherly religion that taught anything different.

I have no doubt his object was to combat my views on Restitution, although we were not talking on that subject; but he evidently wanted to convince me that God was not quite so foolishly loving as I thought. It was more than I could endure to hear both mothers, and the God who made mothers so maligned, and although the speaker was my guest, I broke forth into a perfect passion of indignation, and declaring that I would not sit at the table with any one who held such libelous ideas of God, I burst into tears and left the room, and entirely declined to see my guest again. I do not say this was right or courteous, or at all Christlike, but it only illustrates how overwhelmingly I felt on the subject. The honor of God seemed to me of more importance than any ordinary rules of politeness. But I see now that I might have vindicated that honor in an equally effectual but more Christlike way.

Still to this day, the one thing which I find it very hard to tolerate, is any thing which libels the character of God. Nothing else matters like this, for all our salvation depends wholly and entirely upon what God is; and unless He can be proved to be absolutely good, and absolutely unselfish, and absolutely just, our case is absolutely hopeless. God is our salvation, and, if He fails us, in even the slightest degree, we have nowhere else to turn.


Yeah, it sounds like I’m being a smart aleck. But take a sip of coffee and hear me out.
The Freewill Grandma says God only saves “all in Christ” — meaning all who are located “in Christ.”
I say she’s fulla bulla — and God “saves all” in Christ. — meaning all through the instrument of Christ’s actions on Calvary’s hill.

I used to call her “the freewill chick” but she gave me a hard time about disrespecting her, as she’s a 50-year old, married woman… so now she’s the “freewill grandma”.

So… like any freewill loving apologist, she just loves limiting God’s work in Christ’s cross to ONLY those who do the right thing. Everyone else… goes… to… endless… hell.

Too bad for them. But they had the chance. And blew it, don’t cha see.

Well… I say that God saves all “in Christ” — meaning through the instrument of Christ’s work on the cross.

You see, the phrase “in Christ” can be used in the locative sense or the instrumental sense.

The Freewill Grandma is sure that it’s only those LOCATED in Christ. And I’m sure it’s all, through the INSTRUMENT of Christ.

Do you see what’s going on here?

Freewill Grandma’s all over the world are so proud that they’ve put themselves “IN CHRIST”… Because it’s only those “in Christ” who will be saved.”

But us non-freewill grandpa’s over here think she’s fulla crap… as the phrase “IN CHRIST” is HOW God saves, not WHO God saves.

Freewillers believe you save yourself, by your own actions, by believing freely in God’s loving kindness, and God ain’t gonna be kind to no one who don’t believe in his kindness.

And over here, in the peanut gallery, we say “HOG WASH.”

We say “God’s saves all in Christ”.

And if God doesn’t save all, in His chosen instrument, then His chosen instrument was flawed or broken or something.

Christ died for all. That settles the matter, right? RIGHT!!!

Now, I suppose you could say that the phrase IN CHRIST is both locative and instrumental… and you could find more depth of meaning that way.

But for sure, if you limit the Salvation Of God to the locative sense of IN CHRIST… you’re going to have a messed up universe in the end. You’re going to have billions of precious souls in endless hell… all because you’re sure IN CHRIST was a final destination and not a vehicle to bring you to the destination.

Are you with me?

So… Does God save all IN CHRIST?
Or… Does God save ALL in Christ?

If God does not save all… we have a problem.
If God does not save all… then He doesn’t really save any body. And the freewillers are right… you save yourself by your freewill decision to be a good boy. And your freewill decision puts you “in Christ”… and it’s all perfectly clear don’t cha know. And you’ll burn in hell if you don’t see it my way!!!

Just stay away from freewillers. They are solipsistic to the max.

God was in Christ — reconciling the whole dang world to himself — not counting their offenses against them. And has given us the word of the conciliation. Hot dang.
(See II COR 5:18-19)

Think About Your Thoughts

When I got divorced some years ago… there was nothing outlandish in our story… she was rather normal, and I fancy so was I. But during the whole process of splitting up and trying to reconcile… I discovered that she did not/could not “THINK ABOUT HER THOUGHTS”.
That whole divorce thing set me on a journey to THINK ABOUT MY THOUGHTS.
WOW … what a journey.
We have these thoughts… but where did they come from ?
The history of thought is a powerful thing.
Why do people think this, as oppose to that?
Why do Damn Yankees have self-righteous, meddlesome thinking, whereas as Southerners are known for their “HOSPITALITY” and when you knock on their door, they say “Hi Shug, come on in, are you hungry?”
Southerners think differently than Damn Yankees… but why?
Turns out New England was settled by uptight Londoners also known as “Puritans”… and the South was settled by Scotts who didn’t want to meddle, just wanted to be left alone.
My point is… THINKING ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS… and our way of thinking… what ever it is…comes to us from somewhere.
Regarding economic thought: most folks think like John Maynard Keynes.
If you escape Keynes’ way of thinking, you’ll discover Von Mises. — Either way, your thoughts have a history beyond your little brain.
My wife wanted a divorce.
I asked WHY? (I’ve since learned you should never ask a woman WHY?) — She gave me one lame excuse after another.
She did not know how to THINK ABOUT HER THOUGHTS.
Truthfullly, she wanted the divorce because she was bored with things. And she wanted the newness of chasing the milkman or the biker dude. Whatever.
But she couldn’t say to her family and friends, “I’m bored, so I’m divorcing him.”
No. You need to justify yourself… so you invent excuses galore.
One of her excuses for the divorce was this, she said: “My brother walked the dog and no one had to ask him to walk the dog.”
Who can puzzle that one out?
Anyway… back to FREEWILLers… and their way of thinking. They are just as stubborn and self-righteous as any unpleasant person you’d ever meet… and yet, they can totally justify themselves and their behavior.
They THINK they have a freewill… when in fact they are oh-soooo predictable.
I quoted Romans 11:32 (God locks up all in stubborness) to my favorite FREEWILL CHICK — saying to her — “God told me you were stubborn.” (Speaking as if I were a Southern Baptist who had a personal conversation with God.) And she was very insistent “I AM NOT STUBBORN!!! I CLEARLY HUMBLED MYSELF TO GOD.” etc.
As to THE HISTORY OF THOUGHT… we who seek out God find that truly God is the ultimate source of all thought.
The serpent in the Garden… did not have an original thought when he said to the woman “YOU WON’T REALLY DIE.”
He was playing his part.
All is out of God, through God and for God. Remember? (ROM 11:36)
God hardens whom he wills. (Romans 8 and 9)
In a sense, we read the bible to discover the HISTORY OF THOUGHT.
We want to have RIGHT THINKING.
We’re all like Saul on the road to Damascus … knocked off our feet and blinded, hearing a voice but seeing no one.
I for one, am thrilled to be on this journey to discover the HISTORY OF THOUGHT… as it has led me to God.
Grace to you, sir.


Children often do not get that some things are relative and some things are absolute.
Some things are true as to feeling while they are not true as to fact.
I can understand your struggling at the thought that all is of God. I too was shocked at the words of ISAIAH 45:7 when I first read them many years ago.
The thought that God created both good and evil was totally foreign to me at that time.
“How can these things be?” I inwardly raged.
“This is impossible!” I thought to myself.
And yet, there it was in black and white.
All of my christian training up to that point rebelled at such a thought.
Sure… We mouthed the words that there was only one God… but inwardly we knew that there was another god, one called “satan” or “the devil” who, in the end, would harvest more souls with his ways than our God would with his.
And yet… there it was… black and white… God created both good and evil. I was stunned. What I secretly feared the most what not that I was going to have to rethink this whole “God is good” thing… but I feared what my christians brothers and sisters would say to me if I dared showed them ISAIAH 45:7. — Rejection is a frightful thing.
Convincing myself is one thing. Convincing them is quite another. Christian culture can be cruel.
For me, ISAIAH 45:7 came a few years before ROMANS 11:36. The Romans passage was still quite invisible to my eyes. And yet Isaiah’s declaration of God creating both good and evil set the stage for me to believe the Romans 11:36 revelation.
When telling any story there are plenty of set-ups, one after another, which are not true as to fact… yet they are true as to feeling. But you must hear the whole story to see the whole truth.
The story can be of Huck Finn, or the Grand Story of The Purpose of God. (EPH 3:11) Each story has twists and turns. Surprises here and there. Foreshadowing galore.
Many things are relatively true, but are in no ways absolutely true.
The child will be most fascinated with the relative along the way… and totally fight the absolute revealed at the end.
That God knows the beginning from the end — should give us a clue.
That Christ was the lamb slain from the foundation of the world — should give us a clue.
That we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world — should give us a clue.
There are not two Gods. Not really. There is only one God, who carefully laid out His purpose, and is carrying it out without anything at all going wrong — as He is the master builder.
Every detail is planned. Every element is coming together perfectly.
Adam’s actions in the garden were not a test of resiliency… resulting in a surprise to the all-knowing, all-wise God… the whole event was planned, orchestrated, and guaranteed to bring man into his present condition.
The cross of Christ was not an afterthought… a back-up rescue plan.
It was known from the beginning.
It was and will be the the fount of all blessings throughout the whole universe.
None will escape it’s life-giving radiance.
The Father of all, was so proud at His boy’s achievement there at the cross. That’s why the veil was rent. That’s way the stone rolled away. So very much had been accomplished.
Now, we all await a grand expectation.
That which is relatively true, seems so troubling to the young mind. But that which is absolutely true is what brings peace and joy to all.

— From I COR 8:6 —
But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

— From Romans 11:36 —
For out of him and through Him and to Him are all things.

— From Isaiah 45:7 —
God created both good and evil.

From II COR 5:18-19
Yet all is of God.

From Acts 17: 25
God gives life and breath and all to all.
In Him we live and move and are.


I bring this up…
because I’ve noticed that when the bible talks about
it’s way different then when the bible talks about
It’s an intimacy thing.
“The Glory of God” is one thing… but…
“The Glory of the Father”… is a deeper, bigger matter…
it seems to me.

I’m not sure… but I think you can say “The Glory Of God” is referenced when we’re talking about God’s own grand achievements throughout the universe.
But when you see “The Glory Of The Father”… I think we’re talking about what Christ accomplished on the cross. And God was so moved by what Christ did on the cross, that — God was just dang proud…
Thus: “The glory of the Father.” is used.

          TWO EXAMPLES: 

Romans 6: 4
“We, then, were entombed together with Him through baptism into death, that, even as Christ was roused from among the dead through THE GLORY OF THE FATHER, thus we also should be walking in newness of life.”

Do you see…. Romans 6:4 says Christ was roused from the dead THROUGH THE GLORY OF THE FATHER. Not “the glory of God”… no… THE GLORY OF THE FATHER.

Do you see the empathy and intimacy there?
And since the word GLORY has to do with HIGH ESTEEM… we might say the Father was SO PROUD of what His boy accomplished that He raised Him from the dead. Follow me?

PHILIPPINES 2: 5-11 (read all the way to verse 11)
5 For let this disposition be in you, which is in Christ Jesus also,
6 Who, being inherently in the form of God, deems it not pillaging to be equal with God,
7 nevertheless empties Himself, taking the form of a slave, coming to be in the likeness of humanity,
8 and, being found in fashion as a human, He humbles Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore, also, God highly exalts Him, and graces Him with the name that is above every name,
10 that in the name of Jesus every knee should be bowing, celestial and terrestrial and subterranean,
11 and every tongue should be acclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord, FOR THE GLORY OF GOD, THE FATHER.

Both of these verses are built on the big idea of what Christ accomplished by his sacrifice on the cross. And if I’m right in my thinking… this will carry out whenever you find the phrase “glory of the Father” as oppose to “glory of God”.

Now mind you, I have not done a concordant study to see every place where this phrase (glory of the Father) shows up… but I’m betting it will confirm my thinking. As, the death of Christ was a big deal, even to God.

It’s common for a Father to be proud of what his son accomplished. And to think that Christ died for the sin of the world…Christ died for the ungodly… Christ died for our sakes… Christ died to undo all that Adam did… The Father totally honors that.

And to see the Father’s pleasure in Christ’s efforts, should make us smile also with great pleasure at His Son’s achievements.

It’s not just that He died for us… it’s that the Father approved… and we look to the Father for our cues. When we see that, we can relax, and know that all is well. God will be all, in all.