What Does The Bible Say About.... The Ultimate Reconciliation of All?
By Betty Miller
The Ultimate Reconciliation of All (TURA) is a false doctrine that many sincere Christians are embracing. The Ultimate Reconciliationists believe there will come a time when the wicked that have died, along with the devil and his evil angels, will be released from the torment of hell and be "reconciled" back to God. They did not receive this doctrine from true Christians; it came from Unitarians and Universalists, who brought it from England to the New England Colonies in the 18th century. A modern-day version of it is called the "Doctrine of Inclusion," of which proponents believe that Christ will in time save the whole world, saint and sinner alike. It does away with man's free will and choice. It is an evil heresy that a group called the "Manifest Sons of God" embrace as well, although it is taught in several different variations in their ranks.
I will refer to this doctrine as "TURA" (abbreviation) throughout most of this article, for the sake of brevity. The Bible tells us that, in the time right before Jesus returns, it would be a time of great deception and that many would be deceived. TURA is one of those deceptions.
Matthew 24:3-6 & 11:
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
True Meaning of the Reconciliation of All Things
The main scripture, upon which they base their false doctrine, is the one found in Colossians 1:20: "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." They declare that all things in this verse includes those that have gone to hell and they will all be reconciled back to God; however, if we look at the verses in the proper context, we can see that the "all things" mentioned here are "all things in Christ." Obviously, those outside of Christ, who have rejected Him, are not included in the word "all" in this verse. Notice that the verse says, "things in earth and in heaven," not things in hell, that God will reconcile. The truth is that He will reconcile "all things in Christ" by restoring this earth and bringing things into order during the millennium, after the wicked are removed.
Let's look at the rest of the scriptures surrounding this verse:
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.
Notice that these verses are referring to Christ and His shed blood on the cross. It is His sacrifice that opens the way for anyone to be reconciled to God. Paul is speaking here to the church and tells them that they were once alienated from God, but through the shedding of the blood of Christ, now all can be reconciled. God offers salvation to all. It is not His will that any should perish; however, because He created all men with a free will, some will not choose to accept His offer of salvation. Notice in verse 23 that it begins with the word "if" and verse 21 says He has reconciled those people if they continue in the faith and are not moved away from the gospel of Christ. Only those who continue in faith in Christ are reconciled, not everyone in the world.
There are other scriptures that tell us that these verses refer to "all in Christ" and do not mean "all -- inclusive of everything." On the ground of the work of what Christ accomplished on the cross, He plans to bring the whole universe, with the exception of rebellious angels and unbelieving man, into full accord with the mind of God. The rebellious are subdued, not reconciled. The restoration or reconciliation (apokatastasis, meaning "back in order") of all is when the Lord returns after the Great Tribulation and all of His elect are completed. According to the Bible, when Jesus comes the second time to rule the earth, He will rule with a rod of iron and all the rebellious shall be subdued and destroyed.
Revelation 2:26-27: And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
Reconciliationists use another verse to say that all things will be made new, which they say will be the evil people that are in hell, like Hitler, who will be purified in the fires of hell and then made new to dwell with the people of God. This is such perversion of the Word of God and great heresy. Let us look at this scripture:
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Notice that when God makes all things new, He specifies that those that overcome will be His children, but those that are sinners will go to hell. They will be cast into the lake of fire, not given an inheritance with the saints. Only those that believe in Christ inherit eternal life.
The verses below qualify who the "all" are. They are the ones who believe and have faith in God. They are the ones who will be reconciled back to God. They are the ones who will be saved through their redemption in Christ.
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.
TURA doctrine also uses this verse in 1 Timothy to say that all men will be saved.
1 Timothy 4:10: For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
They fail to acknowledge the fuller meaning of the word "Saviour" in Greek, which is "soter," that means preserver, deliverer, as well as saviour. In this verse, it means God is the preserver of all mankind, as He gives to all, life and breath and all things. All of mankind is preserved by God, as no man can even exist without God; however, only those who believe will have everlasting life.
John 6:40: And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Every Knee Shall Bow
Another scripture that Reconciliationists use to try and prove that everyone will be saved is this scripture in Philippians:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Their false reasoning is that they try to interpret the word "bow" to mean "worship" when the Greek word used here "kampto," simply means to "bend" or "bow." They say those in hell (under the earth) will "worship" God, after they have been set free from hell. This verse simply means that those in hell, all demons and the devil himself, will bend and yield to the will of God. The Bible tells us that devilstremble and believe, so they certainly will bow at the presence of God. James 2:19: "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."
Hell is Eternal
This heretical doctrine teaches that you can not be ultimately lost and dwell in hell forever, since Reconciliationists think that God is so loving, He could never leave souls in torment for eternity. The problem with this belief is that they do not understand the definition of the true love of God. God is certainly a God of love, but He is also a God of justice, and true love cannot exist outside of justice. They want to define God as one of their own making that is acceptable to their understanding, instead of the God who is defined in the Bible as a God of wrath, as well as one of love. They quote this verse as their proof that Jesus will not judge anyone. John 12:47: And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
This is another case where they take scripture out of context to make it line up with their own idea of God. Notice the surrounding scriptures below, especially verse 46 that says, "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." It is belief and faith in God that saves us from the judgment of darkness and hell. Then, in the remainder of verses, we are told that indeed we shall be judged by the Word of God and the commandments that Jesus spoke. In the New Testament Jesus had a lot to say about hell being everlasting.
John 12:44-50:44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
"Forever" Means "Forever"
The teachers of The Ultimate Reconciliation of All (TURA) not only declare that hell will not be eternal, but they also take other words, such as "everlasting", "forever" and "ever," and change their meaning to be "a period of time" in every place it refers to hell. Their justification for this is that they accuse the authors of the King James Version of the Bible of mistranslating these words. It is amazing how many of the false doctrines of today can only exist when certain words of the Bible must be changed to support their own private interpretation of those doctrines. Most disputes among men arise from the interpretation of the words of the Bible, not the words themselves. I will not try to defend the accuracy of the KJV Bible here, other than to say it has been proven to be reliable and is inspired by the Holy Spirit. No other book has been so scrutinized, sifted for error, criticized, and attacked over the centuries on such a massive scale as the Bible, and yet it stands.
If we study the Greek meaning of these words (forever, ever, evermore), in some cases in the New Testament, it does have a meaning of "unto the age" or "unto the age of the ages." TURA's interpretation is that it means "a period of time," while the traditional interpretation of these words means "across the ages", forever, perpetual, and eternal." If they are interpreted the way the Reconciliationists interpret them, this would mean that none of God's people will live "forever" and have "eternal" life, as the same Greek word (aionios) used for "forever" connected with hell is the same Greek word used to describe God, who lives forever and ever in Revelation 15:7. Even God Himself would die as you can note the scripture below that states that He is a God who lives forever and ever. If they say hell is not "forever," then that would mean that heaven is not "forever" also. We must apply the rules of interpretation to both heaven and hell. You cannot say hell is not eternal, and then turn around and say that heaven is eternal, since the same word for eternal must apply to both. Let's see what the Bible has to say about eternity and hell in the following scriptures.
"Everlasting" Means "Everlasting" in Heaven as Well as in Hell
God lives forever and ever:
Revelation 15:7: And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
His kingdom lasts forever and has no end:
Luke 1:33: And he (Jesus) shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Those that believe in Jesus have everlasting life:
John 3:36: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life (Greek "aionios" unto the ages); and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
The devil will be tormented day and night for ever and ever:
Revelation 20:10: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
The lost shall receive everlasting punishment:
Matthew 25:46: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Transgressors shall have no relief from their torments:
Isaiah 66:24: And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
What Jesus Said About Eternal Hell
Even if the Reconciliationists can tamper with the words, "forever," "ever" and "everlasting," to try and prove that hell is not eternal, but will be emptied out someday in the future, then what are they going to do with other words that they can't claim are mistranslated, like "never," "dieth not," "world without end" and "no end?" Let's see what Jesus Himself has to say about eternity and hell in the following scriptures.
43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Jesus taught that hell was so bad that it would be better to lose an arm and your eyes in this life if they caused you to sin, than to go to this eternal place of torment called hell. Notice He states that there is no relief from the torment of death and the fires of hell. The fire is never quenched. He repeats this three times for emphasis. Jesus is not a liar, so if He says eternal hell is a reality, we should believe Him over any man who would pervert scripture to try and prove otherwise.
New Testament Verses About Eternity
TURA teachings contradict themselves when other terminology is used for the words, "for ever" and "ever." The New Testament clearly uses all the following words to assure us that "eternal" is "for ever," whether pertaining to heaven or hell -- everlasting, no end, without end, endless, never ending, forever, evermore, throughout the ages, etc. If anyone embraces TURA teachings that hell is not eternal, that automatically makes heaven not eternal, which is a complete lie according to scripture.
Luke 1:32-33: He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Ephesians 3:21: Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Hebrews 7:15-16: And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
Revelation 1:18: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Summation of What You Must Accept to Embrace TURA
To embrace this heretical doctrine, one must do the following:
1.) Attack the most revered translation of the Bible, the King James Version, stating it is full of mistranslations regarding the following words: "hell," for ever," and "eternal." These words must be discounted to prove this doctrine. While it is true that the English word "hell" in the 1611 KJV Bible had a different meaning than what our English word means today since it was less specific making it more difficult to determine whether "hell" is coming from the Greek word, "Hades" (the unseen world of the dead) or the Greek word, "Gehenna" (the place of everlasting fire) in the New Testament. In spite of this difficulty, the Bible is clear in Revelation 20:11-15 that the temporary hell "Hades" will give up its dead to the everlasting hell "Gehenna." Later in this article I will deal with this in detail.
2.) Disregard the words of Jesus Himself, as He speaks numerous times about an eternal hell in the New Testament.
3.) Throw out all the rules of Bible interpretation based on the "law of first mention." All cults claim to have new revelation outside of the Bible's clear teachings and fail to build on the foundational truths of the Bible. They also take verses out of context and discount verses that have previously mentioned a truth prior to the verse in question (the law of first mention). In this case, if the Bible has already clearly defined an eternal hell in one place, it may not mention it in later places. Proper Biblical interpretation would refer to where this subject was first mentioned, in order to build upon that previously mentioned truth. This applies to all subjects in the Bible.
4.) Refuse the counsel and instruction of the five-fold ministry. They do not submit to true church leadership, as those in TURA emphatically claim their revelation is greater than the foundational doctrines established throughout church history. They are caught up in a "wind of doctrine" because they have not yielded to proper discipleship.
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.
5.) Disobey the command of the Lord to build on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Ephesians 2:19-20: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. Because of deception, those who embrace TURA have failed to build on the doctrine of Christ, which He establishes through His apostles and prophets. Hebrews 13:17 says, Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
6.) Accuse the church fathers and the mainstream church of failing to accept new revelation. Instead of heeding the advice of the true church fathers and elders, pride causes them to accuse those in positions of authority, thus creating division and offenses. The Bible speaks of those who do this. Romans 16:17: Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. TURA is a divisionary doctrine and does not promote unity. When the church fathers reject their doctrine, those in TURA cry out that they are being persecuted for the truth and that those who oppose them are being unloving. True love causes one to speak the truth to those in error.
1 Corinthians 11:18-19:
18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
The root of divisions in the church is heresy. If each person was truly walking in the spirit with the mind of Christ, totally committed to Him, we would hear the same thing and speak the same thing.
1 Corinthians 1:10: "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
7.) Pridefully set themselves in a position to explain things that the Bible is silent about. The Bible does not tell us how God will judge the lost who have not heard the salvation message, it only states that He is going to do it. Those in TURA attempt to explain how God is going to deal with the lost by creating a false doctrine that is palatable with their image of God. They want a "good" God, according to their definition of "good." They think that God could not be a God of love and send someone to hell for eternity to be tormented. They fail to see that a God of love would not be a just God, if He did not punish evil. Evil would overcome good, if God did not deal with it. Human love is different than divine love. God's divine love sent His own Son to die on a cross for us, so that we could be saved. Human love would say that was a cruel thing to do; however, divine love was manifested in the highest degree in that act of sacrifice. How God deals with the lost and those in hell should not concern us, if we trust Him. God commissions us to take the gospel to the lost and that is our job as Christians; it is not to question God about why He sends people to an eternal hell. The Bible says in Genesis 18:25b "... Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
Many times we walk in pride, when we want to know things that God is not yet ready to reveal to us. We are not satisfied to walk in the light that we do have. This does not mean that we cannot ask God about certain things that we would like to understand. However, we must trust Him to bring revelation in His time. He certainly wants to give us revelation; however, sometimes we are not mature enough to receive certain things that are too high for us. We must remember we are not God. He is. He can, and does with hold many things from men.
Psalm 131:1-2: "A Song of degrees of David. LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child."
Some revelation is given only to true apostles and those in the five-fold ministry who have been given the wisdom and office to administer it. Those who are not in the five-fold ministry can be deceived away from the simplicity that is in Christ when they assume a place that they have not been called to in regard to teaching. They become lifted in pride thinking they know more than their teachers and can be deceived by the devil.
2 Corinthians 11:3-6:
3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.
6 But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been thoroughly made manifest among you in all things.
Notice the scripture below tells us that we are to be built up by the foundational teachings by God's apostles and prophets, not just by anyone who thinks they are to teach. All are called to share their testimony, but teachers, pastors and evangelists must build upon the Word of God and on the apostle's teachings, not outside of them. All teachings must be founded upon the apostle's teachings in the Bible.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Paul in the New Testament warns us to take heed as to how we are building as it will be manifested and tried by fire. We are to build on the teachings of the apostles, prophets and Jesus Christ in the Bible.
1 Corinthians 3:10-13:
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
8.) Eliminate the free will of man. If TURA is embraced, it destroys the free will of man, because it says God is going to force "all" creation to eventually obey Him, so He can bring them out of hell and back to heaven with Him. The free will of man is one of the cornerstone doctrines of the Bible. God created man with a free will, which allows him to accept Jesus Christ or reject Him. Not only is our eternal salvation based on this act, but our eternal rewards, as well.God will not drag us to heaven, if we do not want to go there. It is not God's will for any to perish; however, He gives us the choice of believing and receiving Him as our saviour, or rejecting Him and going our own way, which leads to hell.
9.) Rebel and refuse correction from those set in church authority. Failure to submit to God's true leaders causes one to be led into deception.There is a spirit of rebellion, not only over our entire nation, but the entire world, as well. All authority is being challenged. God ordained those in authority. Authority was His idea. Those in authority are not perfect; they make mistakes, but without them, there would be chaos. We live in an age of lawlessness. Those in rebellion do not want to heed the laws of the land. Children are disobedient to their parents. Employees rise up against their employers. Those who are rebellious in the church do not want to heed the laws of God. God set the system of authority in the earth for the purpose of bringing order in our lives, homes, society, and the church. God is a God of order and without it, there is destruction and chaos. A submissive spirit to God and His ordained authorities brings good to one's life, while rebellion brings evil and divisiveness.
1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Fruit of TURA
In the light of these truths, we can see that the doctrine of The Ultimate Reconciliation of All (TURA) does not bear any good fruit. In fact, most groups who are cults and preach a false religion will have certain earmarks that identify them. These cults represent the earnest attempt of millions of people to fulfill deep and legitimate needs of the human spirit, which many seem not to have found in the established churches. God loves all these people and desires that they come to the knowledge of the truth. The Holy Spirit will always attempt to lead them out from under the bondage these sects have brought them, if their hearts are right.
TURA Has Cultic Characteristics
There are certain characteristics that identify most cults. Here is a condensed version of those characteristics; however, for a more complete study
, I cover this topic in my book, Exposing Satan's Devices,
which can be purchased in our CHAPEL BOOKSTORE
One of the first signs of a false religion or cult is that its followers deny the Lord Jesus as Saviour of the world. It is clear then that the test of a true representative of the Gospel has to do with the definition of the person and the work of Jesus Christ. The central truth of Christianity is the doctrine and the nature of the person of Jesus Christ. Christianity always affirms the true deity and the true humanity of our blessed Saviour. He is both fully God and fully man, being the true union of the two natures. Denial of Christ's atoning work on the cross is another heresy accepted by those that are false. They discount the blood shed by Jesus on the cross and become "bloodless religions," speaking of Jesus as a good man or a prophet of God, but denying Him as the Son of God. They also deny the virgin birth, His bodily resurrection and/or discount His second return to the earth. The Holy Trinity of God is rejected by many of the cults. Cults are also clannish and many times believe they are the ones being persecuted for their supposed new truths. They also will accuse the rest of the church as being unloving, when the church attempts to correct them of their error. Many times, they also use the fear of going to hell to bring people into bondage and, some try to discount hell altogether which TURA believers do, as they say God will empty out hell and bring all people back to Himself.
Doctrinal confusion is also prevalent, along with doctrinal ambiguity, and is thus another definite mark of cults. They are never clear in their definitions or explanations and frequently change their beliefs and rules to adapt to their continued doctrinal alterations. When any of their beliefs stem from the Bible, they come from segmented portions of Scripture, taken out of context to read as they dictate. Usually a misplaced emphasis on a portion of the Word becomes the test of true religion to them. They use Bible translations that support their doctrines and go to great lengths to change certain words that will verify their slant of reasoning. If others do not accept and believe their doctrine, they are either considered not saved or not enlightened.
Hell a Reality
TURA has the earmark of a cultic religion, in regard to their views about hell. If cults do not use the fear of going to hell to bring people into bondage, then they try to discount hell altogether. One of Satan's favorite lies is to try to convince people that they suffer their hell on earth and that there is none hereafter. He also tries to get them to believe the lie that death only brings a state of sleep or rest. Another doctrine (TURA) teaches that hell is only temporary, and eventually, after being in the fires of hell, people become cleansed and purified to the degree that they will then be accepted into heaven. These terrible heresies are believed by many Christians, who are ignorant of what God's Word has to say, about it. Cults also teach that hell is a place where souls are simply annihilated, and therefore no longer exist. Some teach reincarnation, giving people another chance to be born on this earth for as many times as it takes to become purified, progressing to higher forms each time they return. Others say hell is only a place away from God, but it is not a literal, burning, fiery hell.
What does the Bible say about hell? Jesus described this place as such a place of horror that it would be better to sever a member of our body that would lead us there, than to end up in that place of torments.
And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:43-48).
We see clearly that His statement signifies the exclusion of the hope of restoration, and that the punishment is eternal. He repeats the words, "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." three times for emphasis. Another account of the torments of hell is found in Luke 16:19-26:
There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Hell is described, not only as a fiery place of torment, but also as a separation from God and His saints, a place where there is continual torment.
Hell Was Made for Satan
This place was prepared for the devil and his fallen angels. It was never meant for man to go there. Man is going there by choosing to follow Satan and his evil ways. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41).
The Greek word for hell in the New Testament, "hades," means the same as "sheol" in the Old Testament Hebrew. It is also spoken of as the grave, the pit, and the place of the dead. It is described as below the surface of the earth (Numbers 16:30, Psalm 55:15), beneath the depths of the sea, and is also spoken of as "the deep." It has gates and bars that hold its prisoners. The wicked go down into the region of hell, where they are kept in torment, until the day of the White Throne Judgment. Hell (Hades/Sheol) is only a temporary place, in this sense, it is a temporary prison of torment until Judgment Day, when its prisoners then will be called forth and judged, and then sentenced to eternal hell (Gehenna, the lake of fire.) Hell is a place of shame, remorse, consciousness, memory, and anguish.
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Only Paradise Was Emptied, Not all of Hell
As mentioned previously, most of the church fathers and Bible theologians agree that the portion of hell that was emptied was known as "Paradise." This region in hell was where the righteous dead went, prior to Calvary. It was separated, by a great impassable gulf, from the lower regions. It was a place of peace and comfort and was the place referred to as "Abraham's Bosom." Not only was Abraham there, but all the Old Testament saints were kept there until Christ's crucifixion. Christ then descended into hell (sheol, hades) (Psalm 16:10) (Luke 23:43) and at His ascension, He led "captivity captive" and delivered the prisoners of hope from "Paradise" (a compartment in hell) and led them to heaven. Ephesians 4:8-10 says, Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
The gates of hell (sheol and hades) do not prevail against the church today, as they once did against the righteous in the Old Testament. All true believers go directly to heaven at death and do not wait in "Paradise," as the Old Testament saints did. (Matthew 16:18, 2 Corinthians 5:8). Only "Paradise" was emptied, not all of hell, as TURA teaches. Hell is eternal.
The Lake of Fire Eternal
Christ has the keys to death and hell, which will ultimately have to give up its wicked dead for judgment. "Sheol" and "hades" (hell) will then come to an end and "Gehenna" (the "Lake of Fire") will take its place. Souls will burn forever there, with no escape; this is the second death.
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death (Revelation 1:18).
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, From whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10-15).
Hell and hellfire are realities according to God's Word, and any that speak otherwise are in error and are promoting false doctrine. Most groups who embrace this lie, spend most of their time trying to convert people to their false doctrine, instead of leading men to Christ. We find the spirit of pride and self-elevation is always present in groups like these. They think they have been given a special message or revelation, and are unable to fellowship with those who do not believe like they do. They are fearful of not promoting their doctrine and many times, this fear permeates other areas of their lives, robbing them of a walk of faith in Christ Jesus.
Another danger is, when someone embraces something false in one area of their lives, it leads to deception in other areas, as well. Our prayer is that the Lord will use this article to set those free who have embraced the false doctrine of "The Ultimate Reconciliation of All."
Psalm 23:6: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."