The Evangelical Universalist Forum

2nd Thoughts On ChristianPUR (Purgatorial Universal Restoration)


:rainbow:Hello, bretheren and sisteren. Recent reflections on Purgatorial Universal Reconciliation has compelled me to contemplate the severity of eonian torment (indeed, there are other Greek terms for torment/torture – kolasis/basanizo – which when transliterated have a “nicer” connotation but I used it here for a good purpose). The following is my personal summation of why PUR might be a lot more horrific than some of us think. I hope its not too long and please bear with me if I repeat some things, many of these are copied/pasted from my notes:

  1. Consider the reality of the spirit realm and its cosmological relation to our material universe. Many spirits/souls (while not inherently immortal) are currently existing in another dimension (either in Paradise “above” the Earth or Hades “below-within” it). While not every NDE/OBE/vision is of God, we must test the spirits and not write them off before doing so. We have to account for the spirits/shades of the Rephaim, some of the Nephilim, Gibborim, Anakim, etc. (variants of angel-human hybrids basically) that died in Noah’s Deluge (not including the preadamic Deluge) and also appeared afterwards that are in Sheol/Hades now which is above Tartarus where the Watchers are. Yes, a cursory study of Sheol/Hades may lead you to believe it is the simply the grave, but gravedom is also a Hebraist’s euphemistic idiom for terminological concepts such as the “underworld,” or “netherrealm,” where all neighboring Middle-Easterns had similar concepts of the afterlife, just ask the Witch of Endor :ghost:. There is actually a more defined term for grave-burial in the Hebrew and it is “queber” and there is very scarce info or comparative studies on it unfortunately. Sheol and queber are used contradistinctively in the scroll of Job. While the Lake of Fire may be a refining process, to say it wouldn’t be torture for those cast into it is doing a “grave” (:smirk:) disservice by underestimating the vengeance of God just because he is agapé. God used many “harsh” judgements in both the OT (i.e. cursings for disobedience, killing the 1stborn of Egypt) and the NT. Many of us who believe in UR fall into the trap of erring and thinking that there is no post-mortem judgement (some think there is none at all and its simply fanciful metaphor without tangible reality or practical application!), hyperallegorizing the retribution of God. While it may not be “forever,” the “Eons of the Eons” is presumably too long of a time to be wrong on this subject matter. If the righteous scarcely make it in, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear? Christ came 1st as the humble Sacrificial Lambkin, but is coming back as the roaring Lion of Judah, Vindicator of his remnant Bride and remnant Body, pruner of the natural and grafted branches of the Olive Tree that his crossbeam stake was affixed to. Paul’s epistles (which cover both the circumcision and the uncircumcision extensively on many levels) even in respects to “Paul’s evangel,” its encouragements, exhortations, distinctive qualities from the circumcision, in its glorious, celestial, pre-eonian mysteries also has many coexisting warnings alongside it as well! Yes, Luke 16 is a parable, but is also a dark illustration of a reality beyond this world. Behold, the multidimensionality of Scripture where exegesis/eisigesis and multiple (not private) interpretations don’t contradict but compliment each other if harmonized correctly! L. Ray Smith expounded on the metaphorical parallels of Judah/Israel and Abraham’s gentile servant (Eliezer - Lazarus) in Luke 16’s multifunctional, multicultural parable wonderfully, but also missed out on a ton of other important considerations. The anthology of the Holy Scriptures with all of its varying genres, figures of speech (shout out to E.W. Bullinger) and subnarratives testifies of the glory of the quantum reality that God created! Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. God’s wrath does serve a purpose, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t to be avoided at all costs. Free will or limited will, we all will give an account to Christ in either honor or shame. If God’s children are chastised, how much more will God’s bastards be SEVERELY, STERNLY, SORELY, HORRIBLY, INCONSOLABLY chastised?! The forebearance of God through the ages also works in the reverse as well!
    1. Moreover, if we take Christ at His word when He said He’d draw (drag) all men to Him, it implies some “violent” (however necessary) force (akin to a lifeguard dragging someone drowning out of the water “especially” if they’re erratic in panic, kicking and screaming, not allowing/trusting Him to save them). Some people don’t wanna be saved but upon facing the inescapable love/wrath of God, will need to drown in the metaphysical reality of their sin in its God-antagonistic substance, and all the weight of sin that exists in the proximity and victimizing scrutiny of the “fallen ones” who authored sin, in order to truly be purged and refined from the inside out, and outside in. Then, when God’s goodness is realized amidst their torment, they turn to him in godly sorrow (not worldly sorrow) and repentance, accepting his sovereignty and Lordship, Christ will enter the fire Himself and drag them out as He’s allegedly done in many NDES! Even us, and much more us as believers are in danger of Gehenna fire so let us walk uprightly as much as possible, and abide in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit (and fire:fire:) that we may not be counted as worthless servants, or unfruitful branches befitted for pruning by God’s spiritual horiculture methods. Indeed, predestination is a divine paradox that we are free to rest in but not fatalistically as we are held accountable for our volition and God gets the glory either way! Some will be beaten with few stripes and some with many. All will be salted with fire (that includes in the wounds we try to cover up; alcohol burns cuts but disinfects them in spite of the pain, that’s how we know it’s working.) By His stripes, we are healed, Isaiah 53:5. What will become of Satan and his messengers remains to be seen. Maybe they’ll be annihilated, or maybe they alone are befitting for a continuation of retributive purgation/correction in a time frame beyond man’s before being reconciled. But nevermind them for the moment, as all mankind will be saved, though as by :fire: with many suffering loss (of crowns, rewards, allotments, ruling and reigning privileges/positions with Christ, etc.) bearing the healed scars from God’s scorching, scourging, testing fires to prove it! The Devil and his messengers will probably be the angels we’ll be judging that Paul speaks of in 1 Cor. 6:13. It seems to logically follow right?
  1. I agree that many do err on understanding the “Lake of the (divine-theon) Fire”/Gehenna/Hades/Sheol/the Refiner’s Crucible," however, I don’t want to embrace the corrective/remedial/restorative aspect of it at the expense of ignoring the punitive/vengeful/retributive aspect of it. I think both are needed to have a healthy, balanced view of God’s judgement which isn’t mutually exclusive to either since the demons are indeed afraid of going there (i.e. the Legion asking “Have you come to torment us before the time?”) which isn’t easy to explain away. Particularly since it was created for the Devil and his angels (principalities, all manners of evil spirits, the Beast, those who worship his image, the Antichrist, the False Prophet, etc.) which will indeed serve its purpose when they are tested/purified/tormented/tortured by it for the “Eons of the Eons” (not forever and ever). Now whether Satan and his cohorts are reconciled in Colossians is up for debate, but mankind will most definitely be saved according to 1 Timothy 4:10. God does exact a peculiar but not unwarranted, type of “righteous revenge” that only he exclusively can be justified in recompense as shown in scripture displaying the paradox that Paul calls “the kindness and severity of God,” Rom. 11:22. We do live in a multidimensional reality parallel-adjacent-concurrent to the spirit realm which possesses an imperceptible-unseen (to our 5 senses at least) “substance” of its own; apart from our physical universe but can materialize/overlap, become tangible, and interact with it when called for it. Again, not arguing for inherent soul immortality or anything but just something to consider brothers & sisters. Yeshua the Anointed One first came as the slaughtered Lambkin of God but make no mistake about it, He is coming back as the fierce Lion of the Tribe of Judah (displaying the wrath of Lambkin), He’s gentle and longsuffering but He’s no wuss and God will not be mocked by either believers or unbelievers because we all reap what we sow under the Law of Sin and Death as well as the Law/commands of Christ/God where applicable. Some will be beaten with few stripes, and some with many. However, we can trust that the Judge of the Earth will do right, and that when his judgements are in the Earth, we will learn righteousness. They are not the end game but rather a means to an end, for contrast. Christ, the Son of Man (and Son of God), will literally rule with a rod of iron during the 1000 year reign, but I have some partial-preterist leanings that allow for dual fulfillment and allegory of the Unveiling of Jesus Christ (and the rest of the scriptures) with the 1st being 70 AD as a prefiguring of His 2nd coming. God uses evil for His purposes and He doesn’t shy away from that. Lucifer/Satan is just his rebellious servant, his overly self-confident prosecuting attorney that got the big head thinking he could become the judge and usurp power given to him (typified by Nebuchadnezzar, an agent of God’s judgement on Israel, later called God’s servant ironically after his own grueling judgement for arrogance) and lost his courtroom position with a stringent appeal/grace period. He will be judged after he serves his purpose throughout the ages. Thank goodness for GOD’s kind intentions because we suffer for His namesake; vessels of honor and dishonor, all for His glory. He scourges and chastises every son He receives, otherwise we are bastards, and Ezekiel declared all souls are His. He is the Father of spirits, and the Father of lights:candle::bulb::star2:::zap::full_moon::comet::rainbow:
    I do adjure for unbiased translations, better yet, transliterations.

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  • I essentially believe in a compromising synthesis of the purple and yellow. While Satan himself doesn’t reign from or live in Hades directly (as I’m sure he has many thrones with his main Earth-based CEO headquarters at Pergamos Inc. :turkmenistan: :smiling_imp: [INSERT sadistic, maniacal laughter]), he’s surely familiar with its mechanics since he technically owns and oversees the Earth in its heights, depths, lengths, widths, breadths, its kingdoms, and all the evil institutions thereof as the “god of this world/age,” cursed to slither on his belly, eating the dust of the Earth :snake::dragon:(some theologians say this alludes to a certain branch of his operations/stewardship initially beginning in the recesses of Sheol), roaming throughout it like a lion, seeking whom he may devour until the Last Judgement.

  • I believe there is ample evidence (biblical, conspiratorial, etc.) for ancient, elite, Luciferian-Government (NWO) owned, subterranean, intraterrestrial, underground bases, cities, surviving Nephilim/Rephaim, preadamic civilizations, hyperspace-hybrids, aliens, Antichrists, etc. in cahoots with Satan, residing in the uppermost regions of Sheol/Hades as opposed to the mid-regions where unsaved/backslidden man’s spirit/soul is imprisoned during the intermediate state and furthermore, this compartment is above Tartarus/the Abyss/the Pit/Abbadon/Death (that are also the spiritual powers and princes behind the Beast nations) who are plotting against God for the Battle of Armageddon, Tower of Babel style. If we consider Phillipians 2:30, they will willingly bow after their subjection and judgement of testing and torment per Rev. 14:10, 20:1, v.6, & v.14 for the Ages of the Ages (translated “forever and ever”). Symbology of apocalyptic literature doesn’t exclude literal interpretations fully, rather it’s simply debatable on how, where, and why we determine what can or can’t be literal.

  • Some suffering in Hades, the current, post-mortem jail where (a bagillion souls are as we speak) as revealed in Luke 16, is allowed and perpetrated by the demons proportioned (and in some cases, multiplied) according to one’s works on Earth and demonic attachment per Matthew 18:34. Some of them there will suffer the the LoF’s punitive but purgative capital punishment with brimstone (and you can guess why its there). These same folks will be purified/touchstoned/restored through, and ultimately from this 2nd Death process/baptism. It’s an authoritative, culminative crescendo of a divine ass whooping for a gazillion years of rebellion, and refinement of sin’s penalty, power, and presence (since it happens in the presence of the Lamb and His holy angels and since mercy triumphs over judgement but doesn’t preclude it) - the wrath/goodness/grace of God, through the gifts of faith and repentance leading to salvation where sin will never again be allowed within the never-closed gates of the New Jerusalem, New Heavens, and New Earth (though its previous practitioners will). It makes the salvation/restoration/reconciliation of all THAT MUCH MORE EPIC. :innocent::astonished:

Scholarly EUs Assemble!

The metaphors in the Bible always capture a reality that is more in degree. Just as heaven is far greater than the metaphors of the human imagination the lake of fire is far worse than it’s metaphor. The imagination cannot capture the bliss of heaven hence the need for metaphor. The imagination cannot capture the terribleness of the lake of fire hence the need for metaphor. We can rest assured that the holy hatred of God is far worse than it’s symbolism. That’s how metaphors in the Bible work. Thank God the scriptures declare that God’s anger is only a moment. Ages upon ages does mean a very long time. Given the Biblical numbers it’s more like thousands upon thousands. But after judgment comes resurrection or restoration.


The sum total remains the same if those in hell suffer an infinite degree for a finite period of time rather than a finite degree for infinite time. A thousand years to God is like a day. So, it could be infinite degree of suffering for days upon days.


I base that on the argument of Jonathan Edwards:

The sum total remains the same if those in hell suffer an infinite degree for a finite period of time rather than a finite degree for infinite time. A thousand years to God is like a day. So, it could be infinite degree of suffering for days upon days. Thus those in hell suffer infinie punishment are annihilated or experience death and then are resurrected or restored. Here is all three views in one. Given those in hell have new bodies in a transdimensional reality they are able to experience an infinite degree of suffering for a finite time.


Thanks for your thoughts. The OP seems like a rather well balanced perspective in light of the Scriptures.


I sincerely appreciate the thoughts on this. Does anyone know how to tag other board members? I would specifically like to tag Mr. Jason Pratt the king of Trinitarian theism/PUR apologetics lol, and would strongly encourage you fellows (@St_Michael & @Origen) to tag others (specifically those who ascribe to PUR in general but really anyone) as my anchor point is to be edified, engaged, corrected, rebuked, affirmed, counseled, etc. by a multiplicity of views evidenced by scripture and/or experiential theology.

@St_Michael, I’m afraid I disagree with St. Anselm’s theory of sin vs. God’s honor, at least in a certain respect, as reprised and repackaged by Jonathan Edwards. Oddly enough, I can’t help but validate at least some of the imagery he preached in his famous sermon “SItHoAAG,” primarily because it at least maintains the integrity of God directly punishing sin/unrelentingly disciplining/correcting the sinner and not passsively “allowing man to cast himself” into the LoF as many deterministic - hardcore libertarian - Arminian-based theologies/theodicies/eschatologies/theo-philosophies propose. Still, a metaphysical argument could be made (through the interpretive lenses of quantum physics) for an “electromagnetic-gravitational pull” of Death and Hades based on the idea of sin/iniquity/transgression as a substance in the spirit realm + demonization of the soul, that would automatically weigh the soul down and pull it into the inescapable jail cell caverns within the Earth where estimably at least 25% of evil and unclean spirits of all classes and morphologies temporarily reside as unjust wardens of human spirits/souls awaiting a fair trial. I would agree about the infinitude of sin except I’d categorize it as being less about (but not void of) positive quantitative value and more about negative qualitative value on the scale of evil; it seems apparent to me that evil is not an “absence” of good as some conclude but rather an actual presence hostile towards good, albeit temporary and impotent when overcome by good. As above, so below, I suppose.

Sadly linear time as we know it is of no consequence in the spirit and one minute could seem or feel like an “eternity” of hopelessness as often testified. While God’s mercy may not be the overarching nature of Hades, he will not cast off forever. His intense wrath unquenchingly endures through the piercing lava, clouds of burning tar, toxic sulphuric fumes (that will purify the selfsame rebels when alchemicalized and mingled with the Lord’s bright/consuming presence that sets ablaze the LoF for eonian touchstoning), volcanic smoke, overwhelming darkness, depression, and oppression, giving the impression of proximal separation…
But he is still omnipresent there nonetheless, allowing demons, as agents of his wrath, permission to do as they please until Judgement Day. He sovereignly presides over Sheol/Hades, Psalms 139:8. Everything in the spirit or physical realm exists and consists by him, Col. 1:17. It is there he as the potter continues to break, mold, and reshape dishonorable vessels of those he hates or “loves less,” as he sees fit. Rom. 9:11-23. Everything is from him, through him, and for him, Rom. 11:36. We all will be restored to happiness and holiness with God after evil has run its full course in both realms to its uttermost extent and exhausted all of its perverse possibilites to its terminable extinction, and the fruit from Tree of the KoGaE will leave its last bitter taste in our mouths before we all partake of the fruit from the Tree of Life. Thankfully, grace superabounds. Do we “willfully” sin therefore in the meantime? NAY, GOD FORBID!

Forgive me @St_Michael, as I might have to steal your synthesis of all three views of Hell lol. From a transdismensional view, I suppose all three could incomprehensibly coexist with theories of parallel universes/dimensions. Evangelical Universalist Peter Hiett makes an interesting point about the “corpses” of Isaiah 66 being us looking at our “former selves” being consumed in Gehenna from “eternity future”: (start from 30:20 mins:secs to 31:24 mins:secs)
@Origen, this appears to be the most balanced view I can surmise by being faithful to history, scripture, and revelation. Not sure I can find too many (save you & @St_Michael) that have accomodating or reconciliable views ( maybe @JasonPratt but I don’t have his explicit word on that).


My favorite essay on this topic is found at Is Hell Eternal Punishment, Eternal Death or Disciplinary Restoration?


Absolutely love Anthony aka “Godrules.” I’m subscribed to his channel on YouTube lol. Interesting that he himself believes in a compromising synthesis of UR & Annihilationism. He just made a vid on Hell recently, enjoyed it thoroughly. I read the link you sent to his site, smiling as he humbly gave the case for each position, only to realize when I was done reading everything, I had this link bookmarked the whole time :joy:! Been a while since I took a gander at it. Thanks, Zombie.


Re your point 1, & the above quote, while eons sounds like a long time, “into the eons” or “to the eons”, like “into the 3rd millenium A.D.”, could conceivably mean merely 5 minutes or 500 years or longer. Although the beast & false prophet have already been in the LOF for some 1000 years by the time Satan joins them for the torments of this trinity “into the ages of the ages”, it isn’t revealed if those 2 were being tormented for those 1000 years before being joined by their lord & master.


What say ye further, my Lords? @JasonPratt @Cindy_Skillman @Sherman @Alex_Smith @Gerry_Beauchemin @auggybendoggy @AUniversalist @DaveB @james.goetz @Paidion - please folks, if you can, please tag others who you believe are interested in this topic whether piecemeal or wholesale (I just learned how to use this feature with the 10 person tag limit) because I really want this to be a large discussion for these relevant days and times! No rush, no pressure. Be blessed all of you!


If I’m interpreting you correctly, what you’re saying is akin to St. Michael’s statement that “ages of ages” in terms of quantitative aspect would more or less calculate to “thousands upon thousands” ?


Not necessarily. The millennial age is only 1000 years, if taken literally. In some Jewish interpretations the intermediary Messianic age would be less than that.

My main point is that the phrase “ages of the ages” is preceded by the Greek word EIS which is translated “into” more often than any other English word. If those being tormented are not necessarily to be tormented FOR the entire period of “the ages” in view, but “into” those ages, as in entrance into, then it is indefinite how long their torments will last. It could conceivably be a mere 5 minutes, or 500 years, 5000 years or 5 trillion millenniums.

In the CLV there are the letters “io” beside the word “for” at Rev.20:10 indicating that the literal translation is not “for” but “into”:

10 And the Adversary who is deceiving them was cast into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the wild beast and where the false prophet are also. And they shall be tormented day and night for the eons of the eons.

These Greek-English Interlinears also say “into”:


The OP was interesting and touched on things I’d not heard of.
My thoughts on ‘purgatory’ are fairly simple, though. The minimum amount of correction that is needed to make us complete is all that is necessary. The talk I hear here and elsewhere about ages upon ages of torment - I don’t get it. I have little doubt that I will be allowed to see the damage I have wrought upon individuals (perhaps from their own mouth) as well as the omissions of duty and conscience that I wilfully ignored. Just those things alone would bring me to tears and repentance, and go a long way to making me truly mature and a worthy participant in that Glorious Life everlasting.
No doubt there is much we do not know about the afterlife; but reading scripture regularly does point to certain themes in the character of God - one of which is His desire to make everything finally RIGHT. At minimum, we will probably have to face those things that we treasure in our hearts that are NOT ‘right with God’; face them, see them as they really are - and that would be judgment/loving correction enough, I would think.
What USE would ages of torment be? No, I think the necessary minimum to correct us and heal us will be enough.


While I agree with your premise Elder Dave, your conclusion, not so much. I think the same question can be posed for us who revere Revelation (and scripture in general) as having both literal implications/application wrought through figurative language and figurative implications/application through literal language, a sort of self-fulfilling midrash of sorts. Putting a quantitative understanding of the “ages of ages” aside, one of things I’ve harped on even to my own annoyance is the literal reality of humanity’s daily engagement with the spirit realm/paranormal/supernatural that exists beyond our physical universe (and 5 senses) but has a concurrent and analogous relationship with it. To turn your conjecture into a question from my POV, I could ask what would be the purpose for God sanctioning his angel to open the Abyss releasing locusts that will torment mankind for five months, and yet no death will be granted them though they wish for it? (Rev. 9:1-6)

  • What could be the purpose for that from either a literal or otherwise allegorical perspective? Judgement perhaps?
  • What’s your thoughts on divine retribution as laid out by the scriptures, or it being a fearful thing to fall in the hands of the living God? (Heb. 10:35)
  • Harsh, scornful judgements that have fallen all nations in the past including Israel?

Personally, I don’t think retribution has to be irreconcilable with restoration, in fact they compliment each other in the divine majesty of our God, imo.

Thanks for your thoughts, Dave.


And thanks for yours, my son. :wink:

I stand by my conclusions, though, with full awareness that they are not the ‘whole enchilada’., but to be used as limits within which the discussion of retribution and restoration take place, as far as I’m concerned. Things outside of those limits - for me - I quickly lose interest in. Once retribution loses its purpose as restoration, I think it has no further purpose.

For a point by point discussion I will turn you over to those with a greater interest in this line of thinking.

Elder Dave


Sure thing Dave. If you don’t mind, if there are any folks you know that may be interested in discussing this topic at length, please direct them here. Thanks again.


It might be helpful if you would state your thesis clearly in one sentence or two (Thesis: “Purgatory will be utterly horrific, as compared to the mamby-pamby wishful thinking of some” - just kidding about that - but a very simple thesis that people can react to. Your thinking is multi-faceted and if folks could address one point at a time it would be easier to get something going.

Then a very short - like one or two sentences each - for the individual points and arguments for your position. Then someone could say: “As to your point 2, I agree”. Or, as to your point 2, your argument sucks, and here’s why". Like that.

Just my $.02.


Geez, that’s a good point. I think it started off as an unrelenting, impactful theoretical treatise with no holds barred and ended up as a disconnected rant hodgepodge. You’re right, it is a bit sloppy and sorry for that. My stream of consciousness is very nonlinear (sort of how I think the spirit realm relates to our physical realm - there I go again - :roll_eyes: smh) but yes you are correct, I’ll work on trying to clean, clarify, and concisely restructure the main tenants of my argument and its length. Thanks again, Dave.


I struggle with the same thing.


Funnily and ironically enough, I’d already edited it 21 times so far, but it was only on minutia, so I’ve been straining at a gnat, and swallowing a camel in the process. Shame on me :rofl: