Joseph Herrin (07-10-2018)
I am going to repost this book for it was written in 2002, and re-written in 2011. Nothing changed in the context of the two versions of the book by this name. I had merely come up with many new ways to present the arguments in the ten years since it was first written. These arguments were much stronger and they used my own words.
Have you ever wondered about Yahweh’s plan for eternity? I suppose if you have then you have determined that it is God’s plan of the ages to keep part of the present creation in the lake of fire for all eternity. You have gotten this idea from one of two sources. You have gotten it from man, or you have gotten it from the Scriptures, or both. Please bear with me for just a few minutes if you have come to this conclusion.
Years ago I came across a writing that was from a man that I had gleaned some truth from. I read the first few pages and quickly realized where he was going. I discerned that he was writing about hell being temporal rather than eternal. As soon as I realized where he was going I decided I would not read the book. I questioned how a man having as much truth in another field (the Law) could possibly have been led astray regarding hell. I had been raised in Baptist churches all my life, and I had heard only that hell was eternal. I had heard this even from the Bible, and I could quote several verses right off that declared this to be true.
As soon as I closed the book and set it aside the Holy Spirit spoke to me. I say it was the Holy Spirit because I knew it was the voice of God.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
I John 2:27
As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
The Spirit spoke to me and said, “What are you afraid of? Have you not asked Me to teach you My word, and do not you think that I will do so? If you come across error in the book you are reading do you not think I will show it to you?” I stopped for a moment and I answered “Yes.” The Spirit then continued that I was to read the book with my Bible open. I was to look up the context of every word that was cited, and to test every Scripture. I prayed asking the Father to lead me into truth, and to deliver me from error, and I began reading.
The book was called The Savior of the World. It was written by J. Preston Eby.
By the time I got to the end of the series I had a new understanding of Yahweh’s working with mankind. I had found that the Scriptures I had thought proved right off that the Bible was stating that hell or the lake of fire was forever had been wrested out of their context, and that the various Bibles I had access to had many errors of translation embedded in them. This was a fact I already knew, for example I was long aware of the replacement of the name of Yahweh with God and Lord. Yet I had never made the connections that were made in the book. Lest you should respond the same way I did, but don’t listen to the Spirit, I would caution you to test this book as I did. Better yet, test my book.
There were a few Bibles that weren’t so well known that stated things correctly. Young’s Literal Translation, The Diaglott, and Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible were among the remnant of Bibles that did not change the truth of this teaching. There were also many men that taught the truth, especially the farther one gets back to the time of Christ. One particularly good treatise, that was taken from around 200 years ago, is found in McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. In the article titled Universalism the author’s are quite express in letting the reader know this isn’t their understanding of Scriptures. (Don’t suppose that the word Universalism stands for what it does today.) Nevertheless they were very gracious in considering the motives of those who did support this doctrine. There was no hatred expressed toward them, nor any discounting their beliefs when giving a summary of those who supported this doctrine down through the ages. I deem this to be a good approach for these men have certainly found out by now that they were as wrong as I once was.
There are such a wealth of Scriptures that speak to this matter that it is hard to explain why I ever was wrong to begin with. Yet I was about to close the book I was reading and conclude the man who had written it was wrong. This is where we all have much to be very thankful for, for if we believed only the first thing we had heard about the Bible we would be very much wrong.
I invite you to read this book with your Bible open. Test every Scripture. Make sure nothing has been taken out of content to make it appear that the Scriptures are saying something they are not. Compare how words are used in Scripture to validate their meaning. Listen to the arguments, of a place of remedial thought and behavior being temporal, rather than eternal. Have you known anything to be eternal? It seems an awfully long time since Adam and Eve were created 6,000 years ago.
A word of explanation is necessary at the start of this book. In this work you will find this writer using names in reference to God the Father and God the Son that are more faithful to their Hebrew original than the names and titles generally in use by the church today. The name Yah, or Yahweh, will be found in reference to God the Father, and the name Yahshua will be utilized when speaking of the Son.
This usage is not intended to be divisive, nor does it serve as a renunciation of the usage of titles such as Lord or God. Neither is it a condemnation of those who choose to call the Son of God Jesus. My intent as a teacher of the Bible is simply to illumine and instruct. There is great meaning in the Hebrew names of the Father and the Son, and these names are directly related to one another, as well as bearing many significant relationships to other historic figures from the Bible, some of whom serves as types and shadows of the Son of God.
For example, Joshua, the Israelite leader who led the people of God across the Jordan and into battle to take possession of the land of Canaan bears the same name as the Messiah. They both were called Yahshua. The Son of God also began His ministry at the Jordan River as He was baptized by John. Both men labored to establish a kingdom dedicated to Yahweh, the first external and natural, the latter internal and spiritual.
Yah is the name used in reference to the Father on forty-nine separate occasions in the Old Testament. Most Christians have utilized this name of God without knowing that they were doing so. Whenever the word hallelujah is uttered, the speaker is literally exclaiming “Praise Yah,” for this is the meaning of the Hebrew word from which it is derived. The longer name Yahweh is found an additional 6,828 times.
The name of the Son is likewise significant, for Yahshua is understood to mean “Yah’s Salvation.” The Gospel writer indicates that this is the meaning of the name given to the Savior at His birth.
“And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Yahshua, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”
It has been the practice of this writer for many years to use these names, which more clearly represent their Hebrew originals. It is my hope that their employment in this book might aid the reader by bringing forth light on relationships that are obscured, as well as promoting an increased intimacy with God the Father by calling Him by His memorial name, instead of a title which men have substituted.
The Need for Revision
My heavenly Father first directed me to begin a ministry of writing in 1999. In 2000 I published online my first book, The Remnant Bride. In 2001 I followed this with the foundational truths contained in the book Sabbath. The following year, 2002,ended up being the most productive time I had yet experienced in writing as I completed four separate books. The books, in the order they appeared, were Sarah’s Children, The Road from Babylon to Zion, Laying Down the Law, and God’s Plan of the Ages.
Ten years have passed since that busy season of writing, and eight more books have been completed. Recently, I have found it needful to go back and revise some of those early writings. The reason for the revision is not due to any error contained in what was previously set forth. Rather, the years have given me much opportunity to contemplate the subjects of these books further. The Holy Spirit has added much more to my understanding of Yahweh’s kingdom and His work among His creation. I have found that the explanations I would now give to certain important doctrines is much more robust. There are additional, and better, arguments to be set forth. I have found many ways to convey truth to the saints that work better than those early attempts.
Recently I revised the book Laying Down the Law. I did not change a single conclusion from the earlier version of the book, though I ended up completely re-writing it. The end result is a book nearly twice the original length, and with an approach to explaining the role and duration of the law that I was incapable of setting forth ten years ago. In a similar manner I now intend to revise this present book, God’s Plan of the Ages.
In the intervening years since I first wrote on this topic, I have considered at great length the subject of this book, as well as many corollary teachings. Yahweh has opened my eyes to see many more truths. My understanding is much deeper and broader, as well as more solid, than it was a decade earlier. As I have corresponded with the saints, taught online through my websites, and spoken in many locations across this nation, I have found better ways to express certain truths. I am persuaded that those who read this book will benefit from this experience as it is incorporated into this work of revision.
Back in 2002 the understanding of certain truths addressed in this book were fairly new to me. I incorporated the quotations from other men who had considered the same subject for a greater period of time. J. Preston Eby’s writing series The Savior of the World was quoted extensively in my earlier book. Although I believe it is good and proper to acknowledge those whom our Father has used to bring light and truth to us, in setting forth teachings to the body of Christ I believe it is preferable to write things in my own words. I have felt from the time that God’s Plan of the Ages was first made available on the Internet that a day would come when I would revise it, replacing the many copied passages from Mr. Eby’s writings with my own explanations. That time is now at hand.
A Controversial Topic
I acknowledge that those things set forth in this writing are considered controversial by many Christians today. What passes for orthodox teaching among the churches of this hour is very different from that orthodox teaching of Christ and His apostles. Both Christ and His apostles foretold of the great error that would permeate the majority view of the church in the last days. Let us look at a few scriptures that reveal the understanding that the days preceding Yahshua’s return would be days of profound deception and error.
II Timothy 3:1-7
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Note very carefully here that Paul identifies the day he is speaking of to Timothy.”But realize this, in the last days difficult times will come.” How many ministers today are proclaiming that we live in the last days? It seems that many recognize that the hour is late, but they have failed to discern what the Bible foretells the state of Christianity to be at this late hour. Paul begins this passage by saying, “in the last days difficult times will come,” and he concludes by saying that people would be”always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” What Paul is speaking of is not the exception, but rather the overriding condition of the majority of Christians in the last days.
Multitudes today are attending regularly to various forms of teaching, but they are not arriving at the knowledge of the truth. Timothy was charged by Paul to preach the word. Things were already difficult in the days Paul wrote to Timothy. Consider then the difficulty of any minister who finds himself proclaiming truth to those in the last days. Indeed, their task will be formidable. Paul is still maintaining the same train of thought when he speaks the following words.
II Timothy 4:1-4
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.
When should one expect this time to come when men will not endure sound doctrine? Paul already has informed us that he is speaking of the last days, the days in which we now live. If men are not heeding sound doctrine, what are they listening to? They are listening to great accumulations of teachers that are speaking the things their wayward hearts want to hear. They are turning aside unto myths and fables. There is virtually no area of truth that has remained unaffected due to the difficulty of the days we live.
In the book of II Thessalonians, Paul described the dire state of these days with the word “apostasy.”
II Thessalonians 2:1-3
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Yahshua the Messiah, and our gathering together to Him, that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first…
Once more Paul is writing about the days that precede the return of Yahshua. He is writing of the days we live in. Paul states that Yahshua will not return unless the apostasy occurs first. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible defines apostasy in the following manner.
646 apostasia (ap-os-tas-ee’-ah);
feminine of the same as 647; defection from truth
As one looks further into the meaning of this Greek word, it is seen that it shares a similar root with the Greek word meaning divorce. The apostasy of which Paul speaks is literally a divorcement from truth. Taken in relationship with Paul’s other statements we can discern that the last days will be a time when those who claim to be followers of Yahshua will divorce themselves from truth, and they will in turn be wed to myths and fables. They will figuratively heap up for themselves teachers that will proclaim error and falsehood unto them.
This is the perilous circumstance that we find ourselves in today. It is not the masses that are proclaiming truth, but the remnant. Truth is not widely preached and received, rather it is largely rejected, having been replaced with falsehood. How did this circumstance come about? Again the apostle Paul informs us of the reason.
II Thessalonians 2:10-12
Because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved… for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
Because men have preferred lies over truth, the Father has sent a deluding influence upon them. This passage, and the others we have looked at, are not talking about the world, but those who claim to be followers of God. Those who read this book, and other writings that are proclaiming truth in this hour, must realize that what is written here is out of synch with the masses of Christendom because the masses of Christendom are themselves out of synch with God.
Yahshua said He was the truth, yet the truth is not loved in the last days before Yahshua’s return. As a result the Father has sent delusion upon mankind so that they might believe what is false, which is what they prefer.
In the Gospels we find Christ uttering the following lamentation.
“However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
Yahshua is speaking in reference to His second coming. At His first appearing there was a whole nation of people who claimed to be followers of His Father. There was a well used religious system centered around the Temple and the synagogues. People were studying the scriptures continuously, and they claimed to be waiting for the appearing of Messiah.
Do we not have a similar scenario today? There is a body of people, huge in number that claim to be followers of Yahshua (Jesus). There is a religious system that is utilized regularly. In place of synagogues there are church buildings on every street corner and at every crossroads. This great body of believers also claims to be awaiting the return of their Messiah.
With all of this teaching and religious structure in place, those who claimed to be waiting for Messiah did not recognize the day of their visitation when He appeared 2,000 years ago. Yahshua was despised and rejected. Certainly the Jews and their leaders would never have admitted to having a wrong understanding of Messiah and what His appearing would be like, anymore than would those in Christianity today. Yet Yahshua asks whether He will find faith on the Earth when He returns.
Incredibly, Yahshua describes the last days prior to His return, unto His disciples in the following manner.
“And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved.”
Let us consider the sum of all of these testimonies that speak of the last days of the church. Taken altogether we have the following witness.
Many will fall away; many will be misled; most people’s love will grow cold; men will be lovers of self, lovers of money; men will not endure sound doctrine; men will turn aside to myths and fables; Yahshua will in no way return unless the apostasy occurs first; will He find faith on the Earth?
Understanding the condition of the church prophesied for the hour preceding the return of Christ should sober any sincere follower of Yahshua. I urge the reader to keep these things in mind as you proceed to read the pages of this book.
Great deception has fallen upon the church in this hour. It was foretold over and over that this would be the situation on the Earth prior to Yahshua’s return. Do not be surprised that so much that is written here is in contradiction to what is being preached in thousands of pulpits throughout the world today. One should expect no less when the scriptures are properly discerned and the descriptions of the days we live in are rightly perceived.
This book covers some extremely important subjects. I would not feel that my writing was complete apart from setting forth the truths contained herein. It is my earnest expectation that this present revision of this writing will help introduce a remnant of God’s people to a vision of Yahweh’s plan of the ages that is hidden to the masses. May you be blessed with peace and understanding as you read.
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