Every moment in time is a page in a book—a book that is already written, a complete volume resting in the library of the author. The moments that have gone before are still alive on the page. The moments that exist in the present are ink that has already dried. The moments in the future are already complete, but not read by human eyes.
We already exist in the eternal state—whatever that might be, but it is beyond our meager faculties. Perhaps you doubt that we exist outside the constructs of time and space. If so, then consider prophecy. Things that happened in the past were predicted by men abiding in an even more ancient past. Things that will happen in the future have already been penned by men living before we were born. While the prophets existed on only a few pages of the book, part of them also existed outside—beyond the book, with the ability to flip the pages and see the past and present. Moses wrote of things that had gone before—of creation, Abraham, and the birth of the Children of Israel. Daniel saw kings and kingdoms—some that have already been, and some that are yet to be. Ezekiel saw wheels within wheels, and was transported to some abode we yet understand, where he could flip through and see some pages of the book.
The human spirit, soul, or whatever name we want to give to the immaterial part of us, exists outside—outside the book, outside the realm of our perceptions, outside what we see, hear, live, and breathe. But, our body is like a book mark, pulling us to reside only on a single page. But, in the opening of the book, God breathed into mankind and we became living spirits—spiritual beings, who exist outside the book, designed to have eternal communion with him. It’s a communion that we don’t experience; and yet, we are already there.
We have those fleeting moments—in dreams, visions, or when struck by utter terror, when we realize this page we are reading isn’t all there is. No, there’s more. There’s much more, and we long to experience that much more.
Let’s consider the eternal state. I used to know for sure that there was a heaven and a hell—a place of constant bliss or constant torment. But, my surety was based on what I had been taught—conditioned to think that way by religious institution. I can’t say that way of thinking is wrong, but I can say it’s up for honest scrutiny. Men have taken those viewpoints from Scripture, but honest men have also taken other viewpoints from Scripture—including annihilation and universal salvation. So, let’s consider all three and how they fit in with our expanded view of time.
I must at minimum question eternal torment, if for no other reason how it’s been used throughout history to control and manipulate people. It is the fear tactic of the institutional church, and it is an effective one. At this point, I can’t with any certainty declare this (or any of the other viewpoints) as being correct. As with most things, I suspect the true answer lies between the extremes being proposed. What if all three are correct? What if eternal torment, annihilation, and universal salvation are all true. But, how can that be?
Those that hold to eternal torment divide people into two categories—the saved (those who have placed faith in Jesus), and the lost. But, in truth, the Bible divides people into at least three categories. There are the descendants of Adam, and within that broader category are those who have placed faith in Christ, and those who haven’t. But, there is another race of men called the Nephilim. These were a hybrid cross between fallen angels and human mothers. They are clearly described in Genesis six as existing before the Flood, but also afterwards. Many of the giants the Israelites later faced when crossing into the promised land came from this race. And, since the Israelites never completed their God-given mission of utterly destroying certain people groups, this hybrid race likely still exists today—probably parading as full-blooded members of the human race. The contemporary existence of the Nephilim is conjecture, but wasn’t isn’t conjecture is that the race existed. It’s what the Bible clearly teaches. This gives us at least three categories of men: 1) those from Adam who have accepted Christ, 2) those from Adam that haven’t accepted Christ, and 3) those from the Nephilim.
When Jesus teaches of hell, it has to be considered in the context of the rest of his teachings. Didn’t he say the enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat? Didn’t he say there would be a division between the sheep and the goats? Modern day Evangelicals will claim this is referring to their two categories—that the wheat and the sheep are those that have placed faith in Christ, and the tares and the goats are those that haven’t put faith in Christ. But, their interpretation doesn’t fit when you consider the Nephilim. The tares the enemy sowed were the Nephilim. Christ description of sowing (propagating) tares, fits in cleanly with the description given in Genesis six of the sons of God (a term clearly referring to angels) having relations with the daughters of men, and creating a hybrid offspring. Christ’s teaching of tares and goats most likely refers to the Nephilim—not to any pure-blood descendants of Adam. This turns Evangelical’s teaching of hell on the ear, for it seems Christ might really be teaching that eternal judgment falls on the Nephilim, which makes sense considering Scripture teaches that the lake of fire has been prepared for the devil and his angels. Doesn’t it make sense that’s where the descendants of the devil and his angels would also spend eternity?
I know I’m bucking thousands of years of church dogma, but I’m doing so by using a clear teaching of Scripture that the church has been ignoring for centuries. Could it be the institutional church has been using fear to control people, when the people it is controlling have no reason to fear? At this point, I can’t say for sure. I’m just thinking things through.
Let’s follow another train of thought. Let’s say the Nephilim don’t receive eternal torment, but instead face annihilation. Some may argue this isn’t possible, for the Scripture teaches everlasting punishment. But, let’s consider the nature of the book the author has written. The book is eternal. So, anything contained within the book is eternal. When the book is finally closed, all time ceases to exist, and everything within the book lasts forever—even if the characters within the book no longer experience the ink on the pages. The nature of the book allows for something to be eternal (because it is inked on the pages), but also not to exist outside the book in the eternal state. The nature of the book allows for both an eternality of torment, because the record is permanent, but also for an annihilation—in that something no longer has life and consciousness in the eternality that exists outside the book.
Let’s consider the descendants of Adam. There are Scriptures that teach that those who accept Christ are saved. Further discussion for this group of people isn’t really necessary—for whether one accepts the concept of universal bliss for a select few, or accepts the concept of universal salvation, this group is set for eternity.
How about those descendants of Adam that don’t accept Christ? We can’t assume the teaching of the church for hundreds of years is correct, because the church’s teaching is based on two categories of people, when in truth there are at least three. What if the teachings on eternal torment apply only the Nephilim? It seems many of the teachings of Jesus in reference to eternal torment applies specifically to this group, because it is the common sense reading once the doctrine of the Nephilim is accepted. Could it be that those who don’t accept Christ receive torment for a period of time, and that torment is considered eternal, because it is permanently inked in the book? But, when it comes to the eternal state that exists outside the book, God saves all descendants of Adam?
At this point, I don’t have any definite answers. The only definite answer I have is that the church’s teaching on eternity and the eternal state is incorrect, because it is based on the faulty assumption of a two-fold division of mankind, when in truth there is a three-fold division: two divisions for the race of Adam, and the hybrid race of the Nephilim. Both the nature of the book, as well as the three-fold division of mankind has me questioning if annihilation, eternal torment, and universal salvation might all be true doctrine.