AN OPEN LETTER TO FRANK VIOLA AND THE GENE EDWARDS CHURCHES
The word PURPOSE by itself, hints at something that has limits.
If my “purpose” is to fix the broken toilet, then I must get started, do all that’s needed and then finish… my “purpose”.
To suggest that God’s “purpose” has no beginning and no end… is to create fog, confusion, and toss out the meanings of words.
Eph 3:11 is not talking about “God’s eternal purpose”… but instead, it’s talking about “God’s eonian purpose.”
The mistake came when John Wycliffe created the very first English Bible. All he had access to was the Latin translation of the bible. And this Latin version of the bible was from the 3rd century. And… in the 3rd century Latin, the words “eternuam” and “secularum” were synonyms… often used interchangeably.
John Wycliffe did not know this. So, when Wycliffe got to the word “secularum” he used the English word “world” (secular = world, get it?)
But he had never seen this word “eternuam” before… so he made up a new English word = “eternal”.
Thus, we get biblical references to the “end of the world”… and we might never know that we’d also get “the end of the ‘eternaums”… NOTE: IT’S THE SAME WORD synonyms… WORLD, AND ETERNAL… BOTH ARE LIMITED IN SCOPE.
In Eph 3:11, Paul is speaking of God’s “EONIAN” purpose. The Greek word is AIONIOUS. (A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, BUT NOT “ENDLESS”)
“ETERNAL” is a made up word. It’s a mistake John Wycliffe made.
So, now, the great question is, WHAT IS GOD’S EONIAN PURPOSE?
Gene Edwards and Witness Lee would have us believe that “God’s eternal purpose” is to have a “church” or “corporate man” that rules and reigns with Christ “eternally”.
Not gonna happen. Why? Because Christ himself does not ‘rule and reign eternally”.
PROOF: I Cor 15:25. There we see that eventually Christ will ABOLISH all rule… ABOLISH all authority… AND ABOLISH all power… including his own RULE, AUTHORITY, AND POWER… “For he must reign UNTIL” (I Cor 15:25)… Did you see that? Did you see the word UNTIL????
Christ doesn’t reign “for ever and ever” he reigns UNTIL something happens.
He reigns UNTIL his 4 enemies are abolished. The first 3 enemies are rulership, authority and power… and the final enemy is DEATH.
And when the final enemy (death, the wages of sin,) is abolished, Then God will be all in all.
NOTE: as long as God is “NOT” all in all, you’ll need rule, authority, power, and even the wages of sin… but once all that is put away, God becomes “all in all”… not “all in some”… not “some in some”…. Not “some in all”…
But ALL IN ALL.
The Church has a special but temporary place in God’s purpose.
God Eonian Purpose is not to have Christ and the Church “rule” for ever and ever, instead, God’s eonian purpose is to be all in all.
I TIM 4:10 says the believers have a “special” place, not an “exclusive” place… God is the savior of all mankind, especially (not exclusively) of believers.
The word ESPECIALLY puts a temporary emphasis on one group above another group. But not a permanent emphasis.
If I say “come to the party Saturday, and bring the cokes, but especially the diet cokes”. Do I mean for you to leave behind the cokes? No. Just that I have an urgent, special need for the diet cokes.
Here is a link to a more complete history of how ETERNAL got into our bible:
HERE IS A LINK TO BUY A LITTLE BOOKLET OF THIS TOPIC… 40 PAGES BY MR THOMSON
The purpose of God in the eons of time, does include “the church” but it doesn’t stop there.
Gene Edwards and Witness Lee, both spend too much time focused on “the church” and fail to see all that was accomplished by God in the Cross of Christ.
The “church” is a small part of the plan. The bigger part of the plan is to abolish rule, power, authority and death. “For even as in Adam, all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive”. (I Cor 15:22)
If you stretch out the word PURPOSE to be a “purpose” with out beginning and without end (“eternal”) you’re really locking things into an endless loop. And the “purpose” will never be concluded.
There is no such thing as “God’s Eternal Purpose”. To try and define it, one can go in any direction, as the words have no real meaning.
So, now we must ask “What is God’s purpose?” – Now that we know it’s an eonian purpose, we can ask with the real hope of getting an answer.
God’s purpose is to be all… in… all. (I Cor 15:28)