Part 1 of 2: A Rebuttal Against Craig Bluemel. Universal Salvation: The Big Lie?

Written By Thomas Perez. July 17, 2010 at 10:08PM. Copyright 2010.


First I would like to acknowledge Craig Bluemel for his devotion to Christ. I too am a fellow servant of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I too continually search the Scriptures. But I’m applaud at some of the accusations heaped upon fellow believers who adhere to this classic doctrine. Perhaps a brief introduction to my background might serve a purpose and shed some light on why I believe what I believe to be the true understanding of Scripture. The title is ms-leading as far as I’m concerned. I’ am not a Universalist, though perhaps my views toward salvation will ultimately lead to the reconciliation of all, I’ am a UR believer (as in the Ultimate Reconciliation of all men). But for the sake of this rebuttal I will leave it at that, since that is what my opponent chooses to call me.

Prelude to the Rebuttal

It is my earnest desire that believers would begin to understand our conviction. A conviction based upon our faith in Christ and His accomplished work on the cross and realize that we put our trust in no religion, creed, or dogma. However, this is the very heart at which my opponent seeks to distract many by claiming we do not adhere to any statement of faith. While this claim is true, it remains inaccurate as representing all Universalists. On the contrary, many Universalists of various groups uphold a simple statement of faith (such as myself, as indicateed at my website). But all the while keeping in mind that to put trust in such said statements, creeds, or confessions, is to limit Christ and bind Him to letters of law. Can Christ be bound by letters of law, confessions of faith, or creeds?

To do so is to put a yoke upon the liberality of the Gospel. While confessions of faith, creedal positions, and church dogma is profitable, and contain many precious truths, sectarianism is not! Such a practice is considered a sin by Christ (I Cor 1 and 3). Jesus also rebuked the Apostles for insinuating Exclusivism -“Salvation is found in only one religion.” However in this case Exclusivism was the underlying ideology that Jesus spoke against in (Mark 9) in reference to his disciples having a spirit of Exclusiveness. For such was also the idea concerning that of ancient Judaism. They often considered themselves ‘the haves’ and the outsiders the ‘have nots’ which included the Gentile’s and sinners from all walks of life, the dogs. This spirit also crept into the Church of Rome which declared Salvation can not be found outside the Church – in their view the Catholic Universal Church was the only means by which one can achieve eternal life. Many great reformers protested against this and where often put to death by the orders of the Papacy, simply because they had the concept that salvation can be found outside the Roman Church. Yet, we must remember that there was no different churches to compare the Papacy against. Therefore, the Papacy was the Universal Church of Christ as seen in the mainstream of that day. However, when men such as John Hus declared that Salvation can be found outside the Church…was that considered by the Church as Universalism outside the creedal laws of the Papacy? Perhaps. Perhaps the Church thought his message was all to INCLUSIVE – A heretic inheriting the Kingdom of God?

A true Universalist believes that there is only one way to God and Salvation. Thus one religion is uniquely and supremely true and all other religions are false. Christianity is often viewed as an exclusive religion because of Jesus’ statement in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” In addition to Christianity, the religions of Islam and Judaism have traditionally been considered to be exclusive religions. Those who hold to Exclusivism usually affirm that other religions possess elements of truth, but these religions do not teach ‘the truth’ that is able to save its followers. In fact, much of what is taught in other religions is viewed by exclusivists as false. It should be noted that some groups within Judaism and Christianity have drifted away from Exclusivism in recent decades. Which is unprofitable in reference to the Gospel. For it is written in Galatians 1:8-9 “that if any man or an angel preach a different gospel onto you, let him be accused.” Shades of Sectarianism by the Apostle Paul? God forbid!

Some may ponder the question; “Is not Exclusivism the same as Sectarianism?” The answer to that paradox is “no,” when viewed as a collective whole as some Universalists do. Exclusivism can be seen and found only in Christ, for He is the only way as (Jn 14:6 and I Tim 2:5) indicates, (where is the error in this)? But limiting the Gospel’s message and binding it in the form of creeds and confessions of faith is to further enhance a tottering faith, a crush of romantic religious ideologies and dogmas. Such ideologies are often attached to ones belief system and at times a personal life style. And thus by doing so, often these crippled believers refuse to open their mind and ask questions, resulting in Sectarianism. Moreover, due to the advancement of technology, many of them just cut and paste what they find on the internet and lose the FLAVOR FOR PURE RESEARCH. Furthermore, many such brothers and sisters in Christ (and I did say in Christ) often cut and paste only that pertaining to their own belief system, whether that be the belief system of Augustinianism, Calvinism, Arminianism, or as seen in their respective denominations (which are quit a few to say the least).

Therefore, the confusion pertaining to Secterianism lies more profoundly in main stream Protestantism than it does in the small apparent divisions within the ranks of Universalism. Obviously my opponent is not aware of such divisions within our own body. But instead classifies us as united in every form of doctrine that blows within the sects of Universalism. THIS IS UNTRURE. IT ALSO INDICATES A LACK OF PROPER RESEARCH INTO OUR BELIEF SYSTEM.

The Rebuttal

Before I begin, I must clarify the definition of Universalism.


The concept and belief that all men (that is all individuals and not just sorts of men) will be saved. This concept is based upon the belief due to the evidential scriptural underling message of the all inclusive thought (Inclusive as in its message) as used in the word “All.” (And yet Exclusive in reference to the means of that Salvation as found only in Jesus). Furthermore, true believers of such, do not see the impending wrath of God or His anger as eternal or as a judgment carried out by and through annihilation, but as corrective, punitive, seen as a judgment for a set duration of time. Where God destroys the sin, but not the sinner. The concept views God’s implacable judgment as that of a Refiner’s fire. For God Himself is a Refiner’s fire.

My First Rebuttal

First, lets hear from the mouth of my opponent…


Paragraph two “There are three basic schools of thought on the subject of eternal punishment; each church seems to have its own niche and the wide variety of individual idiosyncrasies is too extensive to include in this expose. Below is a short summary list of the two primary schools of thought. I find #2 the most appalling doctrine, because it is a complete mockery of God the Father’s impartiality, sense of fairness and justice.”

FALSE VIEW #1: The wicked are totally annihilated; the ‘lake of fire’ used as metaphor for full, complete, and utter extinction of the wicked.

FALSE VIEW #2: Within Christianity is the doctrine that all people will be saved and nobody will be punished after they die. As noted above, there are a variety of names that are descriptive of the same basic belief, but for this expose, we will use Christian Universalism . The fundamental doctrine denies that there will be any type of eternal retribution or punishment by God in the afterlife. This doctrine claims that ALL people who have ever lived will be saved. Proponents of this ghastly teaching emphasize this point in their rhetoric, and I have repeatedly heard them say, “ALL means ALL.” When they say “ALL” they mean that everybody in the finality of God’s plan, is going to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus. “Oh boy, how wonderful!” I’ve heard them say, ” With this new revelation,” they claim, “it is so easy to share the gospel with people because they don’t feel like they’re being judged for their sins.”

Further more, my opponent also claims…


CUS is nothing new; in fact, the post-enlightenment, universalist movement led to the formation of the Universalist Church of America, which later merged in 1961, with the American Unitarian Association, which thereafter formed into the religious organization known as the Unitarian Universalist Association.

In Unitarian Universalism’s brand of church, there is no official church dogma, but most of its members adhere to the ‘no punishment in the afterlife’ theory, as do many Anglicans (Church of England, and in North America, Episcopalians). Universalism started on the North American continent in 1770, when a man named Tom Potter allegedly heard God speak to him about this ‘revelation’ that everyone was already saved. Potter shared his deception with another man named John Murray, they began preaching this message in churches, and it spread very quickly.

A man named Hosea Ballou (yes, that’s really his name) is one of the most deceived so-called ‘Christians’ that ever promulgated this teaching. Ballou was a ‘hyper-universalist’ (fanatical) and wrote hundreds & hundreds of sermons about how everybody was going to get saved in the end and my research of him revealed he is considered the great theologian of American Universalism. A growing consortium of Christians today are simply ‘rediscovering’ Ballou’s teachings, and they think they have some new ‘revelation’ that is going to change the world for Christ.

End of Quote

In this my opponent fails to include the idiosyncrasies of his own pagan concept of an eternal Hell. For such a concept, even in its descriptions, can be found in Dante’s Hell.

If you REALLY want to know who invented Hell, the book “The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment” is an excellent place to begin. Here is a list of quotes taken from ancient history which plainly reveal who the inventors of a Hell of eternal punishment are. The source for Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny is the very same source of Hell…political, business, and religious men and women who invent ways to hold power over people and to make money of them.

The Ancient Inventors of Hell

1. Polybius, the ancient historian, says: “Since the multitude is ever fickle, full of lawless desires, irrational passions and violence, there is no other way to keep them in order but by the fear and terror of the invisible world; on which account our ancestors seem to me to have acted judiciously, when they contrived to bring into the popular belief these notions of the gods, and of the infernal regions.” B. vi 56.

2. Dionysius Halicarnassus treats the whole matter as useful, but not as true. Antiq. Rom., B. ii

3. Livy, the celebrated historian, speaks of it in the same spirit; and he praises the wisdom of Numa, because he invented the fear of the gods, as “a most efficacious means of governing an ignorant and barbarous populace.” Hist., I 19.

4. Strabo, the geographer, says: “The multitude are restrained from vice by the punishments the gods are said to inflict upon offenders, and by those terrors and threatenings which certain dreadful words and monstrous forms imprint upon their minds…For it is impossible to govern the crowd of women, and all the common rabble, by philosophical reasoning, and lead them to piety, holiness and virtue – but this must be done by superstition, or the fear of the gods, by means of fables and wonders; for the thunder, the aegis, the trident, the torches (of the Furies), the dragons, &c., are all fables, as is also all the ancient theology. These things the legislators used as scarecrows to terrify the childish multitude.” Geog., B. I

5. Timaeus Locrus, the Pythagorean, after stating that the doctrine of rewards and punishments after death is necessary to society, proceeds as follows: “For as we sometimes cure the body with unwholesome remedies, when such as are most wholesome produce no effect, so we restrain those minds with false relations, which will not be persuaded by the truth. There is a necessity, therefore, of instilling the dread of those foreign torments: as that the soul changes its habitation; that the coward is ignominiously thrust into the body of a woman; the murderer imprisoned within the form of a savage beast; the vain and inconstant changed into birds, and the slothful and ignorant into fishes.”

6. Plato, in his commentary on Timaeus, fully endorses what he says respecting the fabulous invention of these foreign torments. And Strabo says that “Plato and the Brahmins of India invented fables concerning the future judgments of hell” (Hades). And Chrysippus blames Plato for attempting to deter men from wrong by frightful stories of future punishments.

Plato himself is exceedingly inconsistent, sometimes adopting, even in his serious discourses, the fables of the poets, and at other times rejecting them as utterly false, and giving too frightful views of the invisible world. Sometimes, he argues, on social grounds, that they are necessary to restrain bad men from wickedness and crime, and then again he protests against them on political grounds, as intimidating the citizens, and making cowards of the soldiers, who, believing these things, are afraid of death, and do not therefore fight well. But all this shows in what light he regarded them; not as truths, certainly, but as fictions, convenient in some cases, but difficult to manage in others.

7. Plutarch treats the subject in the same way; sometimes arguing for them with great solemnity and earnestness, and on other occasions calling them “fabulous stories, the tales of mothers and nurses.”

8. Seneca says: “Those things which make the infernal regions terrible, the darkness, the prison, the river of flaming fire, the judgment seat, &c., are all a fable, with which the poets amuse themselves, and by them agitate us with vain terrors.” Sextus Empiricus calls them “poetic fables of hell;” and Cicero speaks of them as “silly absurdities and fables” (ineptiis ac fabulis).

9. Aristotle. “It has been handed down in mythical form from earliest times to posterity, that there are gods, and that the divine (Deity) compasses all nature. All beside this has been added, after the mythical style, for the purpose of persuading the multitude, and for the interests of the laws, and the advantage of the state.” Neander’s Church Hist., I, p. 7. 11 (The above quotes were taken from “The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment” by Thomas Thayer.)

As we can plainly see, God warned that there would come a great falling away IN THE VERY FIRST CENTURY, not hundreds of years later. That early falling away would produce a system of religion full of the abominations of the world. (Rev Chapter 17 and 18) One must look to the past to find the “great falling away,” not only in the future. John, the apostle whom Jesus loved said it was the “last hour”! The fact is that the great falling away occurred almost 2000 years ago and most, not all denominations of Christianity are a part of it. The glue that keeps this abominable system of divided denominations together is the teaching that God is a failure. God fell short of His goal to save all mankind, thus making God to appear as the greatest fool and hypocrite that ever lived. The doctrine of Hell is one of the major instruments Satan has used to turn sincere seekers away from the truth turning them either to idolatry in the form of false religions or materialism. The rest became atheists or agnostics. The words of fundamentalists turned many science teachers away from the Truth towards the lie of evolution. There are countless atheists and agnostics in the world who have been turned aside from seeking God because of this greatest of lies.

Moreover, Bluemel accuses some Universalists as having a concept belief similar to that of purgatory, as stated in this quote…..

“Although many modern Christians believe in universalism, there are proponents of CUS that believe some people will endure a limited period of punishment before going to heaven, such as a state of purgatory (a Roman Catholic Church doctrine).”

Also, Universalists are accused of asking too many questions. Questions pertaining to the teachings of Hell. I beg to differ. Questions are powerful truth finders. Read the biographies of the Reformer’s. The Protestant Reformation was sparked into reality because of the ability to reason with the Scriptures. Yet, many of them maintained the Medieval doctrine of purgatory (a place where men are purged from sin) due to their romanticism and early connection with the Roman Church. The doctrine was parallel with that of an eternal Hell and thus the confusion and deception was fully spread, causing further spiritual ignorance and undo fear. Therefore throughout history, Hell never died. Yet, many at the same time upheld a concept concerning Universal Salvation LONG before the 18th Century post-enlightenment era, and certainly before 1961. Here are a few examples:

Martin Luther, the father of the Protestant Reformation, once wrote:

“God forbid that I should limit the time for acquiring faith to the present life. In the depths of the divine mercy there may be opportunity to win it in the future state.” – Letter to Hansen von Rechenberg, 1523. (Luther’s Briefe, ii. 454.)

Others Include…

Clement of Alexandria, second head of catechetical school at Alexandria; Origen, greatest scholar of the early church; Athenasius, Archbishop of Alexandria; John Chrysostum; Bishop Gregory of Nyssa; Bishop Gregory of Nazianzus; Macrina, the younger; John Scotus Erigena; Thomas Hobbes; Sir Isaac Newton; Isaac Watts, hymnist; John Donne, poet; Frederick the Great; Ferdinand Oliver Petitpiere; Immanuel Kant; Goethe; William Law; Elhanan Winchester; Anne Bronte; Robert and Elizabeth Browning; Robert Burns; George MacDonald; Alexander Pope; Florence Nightingale; Canon Kingsley ; Bishop Westcott; Andrew Jukes; Canon F. W. Farrar; Lord and Lady Byron; William Cullen Bryant; Nathaniel Hawthorne; Hans Christian Andersen; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; John Greenleaf Whittier; Harriet Beecher Stowe; Charles Dickens; Lewis Carroll; Henry Ward Beecher; Johann Tauler; Hans Denk (Anabaptist leader); Victor Hugo; Schleiermacher; Canon Wilberforce; Hannah Whitall Smith, Evangelist and Bible teacher; Clara Barton, founder of American Red Cross; Christopher Sauer, Bible Publisher; Dr. Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independance; William Sargent; Marie Huber; Jane Leade; Abraham Lincoln; Benjamin Franklin; George Washington; John A. T. Robinson, theologian; Jacques Ellul, theologian; William Barclay, theologian and translator; Sadhu Sundar Singh, Evangelist; A.E. Knoch, Bible student and translator; Hannah Hurnard, author of “Hind’s Feet in High Places”; Andrew Murray, Christian writer and intercessor; Karl Barth, one of the leading European theologians of the 20th century. (Although Karl Barth did not admit to Universal Salvation, his teachings and conclusions led to its concepts).

However, unfortunately many modern day Protestants continue to uphold the Roman doctrine of Hell as seen in their confessions of faith. Many believers have a certain sense of pride concerning their Confessions of Faith and denominational roots rather than the simple message of the Gospel and having pride in that!.

My Second Rebuttal

From the mouth of my opponent…


“After you have gone thru this life, with all of your spiritual and physical battles; after dying to self, taking up your cross daily to walk in the footsteps of the Master; after all of those struggles between your flesh and spirit, as you kept persevering, enduring hardship as a good soldier of the cross…

After you have buried your anger, and with God’s help, you have forgiven those who persecuted you and those who did harm to you. After you resisted the urge to strike back, worked thru the painful emotions, and finally came to the point where you forgave the man that raped your daughter, and then, because of a legal loophole, on a technicality the unjust magistrate allows this evil man to walk free, smirking at you as he exits the courtroom doors, (knowing he was free to terrorize his next several victims simply because the arresting police officer failed to properly read him his ‘rights’) and after your paternal instincts were telling you to cut his @!%$# off, yet instead, you heeded the Scripture’s admonition, and you forgave, trusting in God’s ultimate and eternal justice…

After the unrepentant drunk driver responsible for maiming your 15-year old son, killing your husband of 22 years, and ruining your life got off scot-free, you did not yield to the rage burning inside and seek to satisfy it with revenge; in spite of the hurt & pain you felt boiling inside, you chose to trust in justice from your Maker, because you were assured that, ‘Vengeance is MINE, I will REPAY,’ saith the Lord, was true. After you learned not give vent to feelings and emotions that demand reprisal upon those responsible for your life’s many and humanly inexplicable injustices. When, after day by day doing your best to make all the right choices and decisions; then, at long last, as your Heavenly Father and His son Jesus commend your righteous life, saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.” When you pass thru Heaven’s door you will spend all of eternity with the following unrepentant, unregenerate souls (the ones that Christian Universalism claims will be saved too)…

· The devil (yes, Christian Universalism even claims that Satan will be saved!)

· Unrepentant serial rapists

· Unrepentant pornography producers

· Unrepentant child molesters & pedophiles

· Unrepentant sadistic despots & dictators who torture other human beings for cruel & inhuman pleasure

· Unrepentant Satan worshippers, warlocks & witches

· Unrepentant terrorists & murderers

· Every other unrepentant, diabolical wicked person in history.

Just think how nice that will be to have Nero, Hitler, and Charles Manson all sitting together having dinner with Jesus and you. Can you see how absolutely idiotic this nonsense is? Proponents of this Christian Universalism claim that it is actually more ‘benevolent ’ than teaching about God justice upon the wicked by judging each one according to his or her deeds. Christian Universalism advocates say that ‘a good and loving God would not punish the aforementioned debauched, sinister, unrepentant, and evil people because, ‘He’s everyone’s Heavenly Father.’

I have also heard this argument used in support of Christian Universalism, “You wouldn’t punish your children that way, now would you?’ This mindset portrays God with the judgment capacity only of a mere human being, viewing His capacity to discern and make eternal; decisions on the basis of mortal comparisons! You simply cannot legitimize and rationalize this illogical position with false teaching that cannot be proven by merely blurting out to someone with, “Nowhere in the Bible is taught that people will be punished with Divine retribution.”

I have listened to more of this babbling than should be allowed, especially when those who promote this pseudo-concept of God make assertions than anyone else’s belief in divine retribution is only a byproduct of tenets that originated in Roman Catholic Church dogma”.

End of Quote

My opponent’s statement concerning his highly charge attempt at an emotional level, is apparently due to his lack of understanding of who God really is in reference to His percepts. Apparently Bluemel uses statements of example to justify his own line of questioning. Instead of using the word “if,” he uses the of story of possibilities in order to convince the reader without any Scriptural backing whatsoever. This school of thought pushes the Almighty into a corner based on the premise of various different scenario’s through hidden questions by the author. Yet, he accuses Universalists of asking too many unfounded questions??? Our questions are just that, questions, based on fact, while my opponents scenarios are really hidden questions based upon the will of men, of which is contrary to many mainstream Christian fundamentalists, but most importantly (and this is most vital) the sovereignty of God!

Also when we examine his scenarios closely, he sets himself up for a double standard. First he proceeds to give an apparent triumphant finish to his statement of scenarios by alluding to a pre supposed fact of opinion. That opinion is the thought that to even think of believers sharing eternity with unbelievers is pure nonsense. The double standard is his lack of vision and a proper hermeneutical study approach to the concepts of responsibility, predestination, and a clear understanding of the hidden truths located in the parables.

The hidden truth of God is often revealed in what is called a parable. A parable is a story containing moral, spiritual, and even political truths. There are at least 29 -30 parables recorded in the New Testament (30 if you consider the rich man and Lazarus as a parable). But of course as a UR believer I don’t see Luke 16 as a parable, especially when you line up the other parables along side it and the many scriptural citations in reference to God becoming all and in all (I Cor 15:28). Moreover, one third of the recorded sayings of Jesus are done in parables. Similarly, parables make sense out of the complexities of life even when they reflect inherent inconsistencies themselves. Parables contain a story or doctrine that can compare, lay by the side of, or render a discourse by means of oral communication. Moreover, parables are a means of teaching that can benefit the listener. Furthermore, the interpretation of parables is given to those who understand the kingdom of God in relation to who Jesus is, where we fit in the framework of its over all hidden truths, teachings and applications. What does he do with these parables of hidden truth?

In my opponents thought process he further enlarges this double standard by setting up a standard of responsibility in union with God’s preordained plan. The scriptures clearly teach that the moral responsibility of man is based on His sovereign laws and precepts, but is not limited to His omnipotence, since God causes the good as well as the evil as (Gen 2:31, 2:9, 3:1-5, Isa 45:5, Jere 11:10, 18:5-10, Rom 9:14-18, Acts 2:22-23, John 17:12) indicates. For we are all inherited with the sin nature as my opponent will in no doubt agree with. But upon revelation from God as the scriptures indicates, we (the Church, the Elect, the Chosen) become instruments of His Gospel through the process of election and thereby have our sins forgiven. In this Augustine and Calvin was correct.

However, the scriptures reveal that God is the Saviour of the World and of all men, especially the believers. Especially the believers because we were and are given the task of a prophet, priest, minister, pastor, teacher, and evangel to share the message of the good news in a dark world. We are to share this message to the vessels of dishonor. We must remember that without vessels of dishonor we would have nothing to compare the good against. Therefore, even these vessels serve a purpose. And that purpose is to glorify God. Some may ask why doesn’t God save a step and simply call all so that none will suffer His wrath on the day of vengeance? If He did, it would make no difference to the sin nature in us all. As Paul indicated in (Rom 7:15). Also cross reference with these verses (2 Cor 5:17, Gal 2:20, 5:16-26, 1 John 2:15-16). It is the sin that God is concerned with not the sinner. But since the sinner remains unrepentant then that sinner will see the wrath and justice of God’s judgment and holiness by divine retribution and endure it, but not by total annihilation or eternal death as the verses at the bottom indicates because that would entail the duties of the vessels of dishonor a total waste of comparison in reference to the good. The scriptures indicate such in reference to ALL (unbelievers, demons, and the adversary himself) will suffer fire, each according to their works (Rev 20:11-15). This may well be the refiners fire of which the scriptures speaks about. For our God is a refiners fire (Mal 3:2). Again as mentioned before, to refine something is to make it perfect!

My opponent also alleges that Universalists do not believe in divine retribution. Again, I repeat he needs to dig deeper into our belief system. As mentioned before not every sect agrees on the doctrine of divine retribution, but this universalist or I as I tend to call it UR believer; as well as many others agree that there will be a day of wrath, judgment, and anger, but that such anger is temporal in nature (Psa 30:5, Pro 16:6, Lam 3:31, Mal 3:2-4)…Bluemel quoted from the Bible and said “vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the Lord (Rom 12:19). But, I say look at the entire book (and I don’t mean just that particular book he quoted from, but from the entire Bible as a whole, in its context) And you will see that the scriptures teach the underlying message of retribution, punishment, and justice served but for a season, an age, or ages upon ages. But above all, it teaches Christ destroying sin and death because He is worthy to do so. I have a question myself. If there’s going to be an eternal death in Hell, then why the does the scripture’s teach that the last enemy to be destroyed is death? Either Christ destroys death or it continues to exist as a warped concept in the universe as concocted by such adherents as Bluemel!

3. My Third Rebuttal

From the mouth of my opponent…



“Even from the ancient of days, Yahweh has put forth death as the punishment for sin, using both physical death (separation of human spirit from the physical body) and spiritual death (separation of relationship with Yahweh’s spirit) as a deterrent to all that would choose to disobey Him. The prophet Ezekiel makes this point clear:

Ezekiel 18:1-5, 9 And the word of Yahweh came to me saying, “As I live, proclaims the Lord, Yahweh…”See, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so the soul of the son is Mine: death will be the fate of the sinner’s soul. But if a man is upright, {he is} living rightly and doing righteousness…and has been guided by My rules and has kept My laws and done them: he is upright, life will certainly be his,” says the Lord Yahweh.’ Notice carefully in Ezekiel that the text specifies that it is the sinner’s ‘SOUL’ that dies; not his body, but his ‘soul.’ How then does a ‘soul’ that is not physical matter die?

I have read so many vain treatises written on the subject of Christian Universalism that argue against the plain text of Ezekiel and other passages in the Old Testament, saying, “Death here does not mean ‘eternal separation’ from God, but merely physical death.” Oh really? Let’s see if this argument holds any of the pure water of truth and read further in the context (something that Christian Universalism consistently ignores).

Ezekiel 18:20-24 The soul which does sin will be put to death: the son will not be made responsible for the evil-doing of the father, or the father for the evil-doing of the son; the righteousness of the upright will be on himself, and the evil-doing of the evil-doer on himself. 21 But if the evil-doer, turning away from all the sins which he has done, keeps my rules and does what is ordered and right, life will certainly be his; death will not be his fate. 22 Not one of the sins which he has done will be kept in memory against him: in the righteousness which he has done he will have life. 23 ‘Have I any pleasure in the death of the evil-doer,’ says the Lord, ‘am I not pleased if he is turned from his way so that he may have life?’ 24 But when the upright man, turning away from his righteousness, does evil, like all the disgusting things which the evil man does, will he have life? Not one of his upright acts will be kept in memory: in the wrong which he has done and in his sin death will overtake him. 1985 Bible in Basic English

Notice I used the 1985 Bible in Basic English for those in the Christian Universal Salvation movement that may have problems reading the entire context. If I sound like I’m dogging on the CUS and being overly sarcastic, it is for the express purpose of getting your attention, and firing up your lethargic and careless ways, and turning you back to the God of the Scriptures, and not this touchy-feely good deity that has bewitched you.

In Ezekiel and throughout the Old Testament, the Hebrew word used for ‘soul’ is vpn nephesh (pronounced as neh’-fesh); the Online Bible defines nephesh as the soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, and passion.

1a) That which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man

1b) Living being

1c) Living being (with life in the blood)

1d) The man himself, self, person or individual

1e) Seat of the appetites

1f) Seat of emotions and passions

1g) Activity of the character

The soul is the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man; the soul inhabits and animates the physical body, but when the mortal flesh expires, the soul takes on a new type of existence.

Genesis 2:7 So then Yahweh God formed man, of the dust of the ground, and breathed in his nostrils the breath of life—and man became a living soul. Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible. God formed man’s physical body out of the dust of the earth. The Hebrew word for “man” is “Adam” meaning “ruddy; earth colored.” God then “breathed” the “breath” of life into man’s physical body and he ‘became’ a ‘living soul.’ This is undeniable proof that the soul is not speaking of or describing the material properties of the human being, and the soul that continues in sin will surely ‘die.’ It is apparent the “soul” of man and beast is a part of their life existence within a body of “flesh.” The soul is also translated “lifeblood”; the “blood” is said to be the “life” of the “soul.” This means without the blood flowing, the body would expire, and this would mean the “soul” could not live in the body. Jehovah Witnesses misinterpret this passage to mean the actual soul is the equivalent of the liquid blood coursing through arteries and veins…this is a ludicrous conclusion, and Jehovah’s Witnesses use it to justify their doctrine to abstain from blood transfusions!

In the Book of Revelation, we find a very clear and unambiguous definition of what type of ‘death’ the soul will experience in the afterlife:

Revelation 2:11 Let every listener hear what the Spirit says to the Churches: The victorious cannot suffer the slightest hurt from the second death.

Revelation 20:6 Happy and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! The second death cannot touch such men; they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him for the thousand years.

Revelation 20:14 Then death and the grave were themselves hurled into the lake of fire, which is the second death.

Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowards, the faithless and the corrupt, the murderers, the traffickers in sex and sorcery, the worshippers of idols and all liars–their inheritance is in the lake which burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

End of Quote

I would like to draw the attention of such said verse’s to that of the original Hebrew and Greek transliterations. I do this because a language in all its functions can determine what we view as truth or error. As I do this, I’m reminded of similar individuals worth citing, such as…

“Our sacred literature does not use obscure language, but describes most things in words clearly indicating their meaning. Therefore it is necessary at all times to delve into the literal meaning of words to achieve complete understanding of what is actually meant.”

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888)

“Reading the Bible in translation is like kissing your new bride through a veil.”

Haim Nachman Bialik (Jewish Poet, 1873-1934)

“Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about.”

Benjamin Lee Whorf (Hebrew Linguist, 1897-1941)

“The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed.”

Thomas Paine (Author, 1773-1809)

An excellent source is the ‘Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible.’

The Bible text designated YLT is from the 1898 Young’s Literal Translation by Robert Young who also compiled Young’s Analytical Concordance. This is an extremely literal translation that attempts to preserve the tense and word usage as found in the original Greek and Hebrew writings. With this approach, let us examine the Hebrew and Greek meaning to the word ‘soul’ and ‘Hell’ since these are the word’s that my opponent use’s in defense of his ideology and doctrine.

Let us examine the verse’s mentioned…I will attempt to answer my opponents view points concerning the verse’s he has quoted by answering them all at once. This I do in order to achieve a collective answer as a whole. It will be taken literally from the Hebrew and Greek meanings and renderings of the word ‘Hell’ and ‘Soul.’

3 thoughts on “Part 1 of 2: A Rebuttal Against Craig Bluemel. Universal Salvation: The Big Lie?

  1. Fascinating stuff. Really is. At the end of the day, to me at least, every word that has ever been spoken or written about God and the evolution of human beings in the physical and spiritual worlds always come down to the following unequivocally true statement: “No one really knows.” But if there really is a God of judgment, every human being who has ever lived – from Hitler through Mother Teresa, before them and beyond – had better hope that it is a God of compassion, understanding, and forgiveness.

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