Who is Phil Henry?

A native of Pittsburgh, Phil Henry is very-happily married to Beth and a dedicated father to Jessica, Philip, Alex, Lizzy and Joseph. He is the founder of Henry Wealth Management, LLC and a serious student of God’s word.

Phil earned an undergraduate and MBA degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he also was a 3 yr. letterman of the football team. Not shy with a microphone, he was a college entrepreneur, operating a DJ business and also won the first-ever Mr. IUP talent show. As a young businessman, Phil would frequently accept and orchestrate public speaking opportunities. Those “skills” would soon be used for God’s glory and not his own.

Raised in a loving and practicing Roman Catholic home, shortly after college Phil heard and responded to a non-denominational preacher who proclaimed a message about salvation available through Jesus Christ. After spending ten years in several large churches, Phil gravitated to Tetelestai Church, and since 1996 has learned under Pastor Alan R. Knapp’s ministry.

In 2005, Phil started a monthly neighborhood bible study, which led to his pastor offering Phil an opportunity stand in his pulpit as a guest speaker in 2011. Thereafter he would substitute 2-3 times per year and also founded the Phil Henry Power Gospel ministry in April, 2016, which features weekly Five Minute Power Messages and occasional Power Blog posts. In July 2016, Phil was ordained as a minister by Pastor Knapp and the Tetelestai Church Board of Deacons.

About The Ministry

This ministry is based on 2 Timothy 1:7 (YLT) “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. “ Thus I will proclaim the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all, yet maybe in a way that sounds different, or non-traditional to you.

I certainly agree, as would most Christians, in the divinity of Jesus Christ and that He miraculously came into this world through a virgin birth, lived an impeccable life, died an atoning death and was gloriously raised from the dead as the required payment for the sins of all (1 John 2:2). Where I may differ with “Traditional” Christians is that I am convinced that His so-great sacrifice was to justify all of mankind (Romans 5:18) and to reconcile all people to Himself (Col. 1:19-20).

Thus this ministry’s descriptive tagline, “All in with Christ,” is fully inclusive as opposed to the thought that Christ’s sacrifice was only effective for those who believe in Him during the course of their lives. If true, might that alleviate fear that some carry regarding themselves or loved ones?
It seems that the predominant thinking in evangelical circles is that to “go to Heaven,” one must personally believe in Jesus while alive or face eternal consequences. In fact, the unbeliever, unless he converts, is supposedly and as the classic rock song blares, is already on the “Highway to Hell!”

I was in agreement with, but certainly not fond of this traditional rationale for over 25 years. Raised in a loving and practicing Roman Catholic family where I was taught much about Jesus, at age 25 I heard an evangelical message about Jesus and the need to personally believe in Him. I agreed and became “born-again” as per the Christian vernacular.

For the next 25 years, not desiring anyone to plunge into eternal torment because of unbelief, I proclaimed to many what I thought the Gospel was according to the plain textual truths of the bible (more on this coming); I offered the love of God available through a relationship with Jesus but also warned of the consequences of not believing. This traditional Gospel may be pithily summarized; "share and scare, choose or lose, turn or burn."

Please know that I love and respect fellow believers who embrace traditional, prevailing thoughts, yet this Heaven or hell Gospel for me, 25 years later, was beginning to present what I saw as contradictions and inconsistencies;

• The God who commanded us to forgive (Matt. 5:23-24, Matt. 18:21-22) will He not forgive all? (Jeremiah 31:34, Luke 23:34)
• The God who commanded us to love (Matt. 5:43-44, 1 Peter 4:8), does He not love all? (Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:10)
• The God who told us to place our faith in Him (John 3:16), was it not rather, His faithfulness that secured a total (not a partial) victory over sin and death for all? (Galatians 2:16, Philippians 3:9)
Was the church always “hell-bent” on warning unbelievers of eternal damnation? Was there a time when proclaiming the Good News and inviting others to receive Jesus as Savior was not coupled with the selling of "fire-insurance?"

I had heard about Christian Universalism, also known as Universal Salvation or Universal Restoration, the notion that God will save all of mankind not apart from, but because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Obviously not a popular doctrine among evangelicals, I did my homework, aided by my pastor who was reaching the same conclusions, and saw that far from being some “new revelation”, the universal and ultimately inclusive plan for all is actually quite old and quite “original.”

Strong evidence exists that the universal view was the prevailing and predominant thought in the early church, from biblical times just after Christ’s resurrection throughout the next 400+ years. Led by Paul, Peter and the other apostles and disciples, this belief system was handed off to other generations and carried on by noted theologians such as Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD), Origen Adamantius (184-254 AD) and Gregory of Nyssa (335-394 AD). Here is an excellent article about the early, “Original” Church; The History of Universalism.

I became convinced that until the emergence of Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD), known as St. Augustine to many, Universalism was the majority viewpoint of the early Church! Even Augustine acknowledged this fact when he quoted as follows; "There are very many (‘imo quam plurimi’, means ‘majority’ in Latin) who though not denying the Holy Scriptures, do not believe in endless torments" (Enchiria, ad Laurent. c.29).

If true that Universalism was rampant, how and when was it usurped? It’s no secret that Augustine had great disdain for the Greek language and rather, preferred Latin. His heaven and hell soteriological views were expressed in his famous writings called The City of God, which presented human history as a conflict between the Earthly City (the City of Man) and the City of God. Per Augustine, the ultimate destiny of those aligned with the former is conscious, unending punishment, while those united in the latter go on to eternal life with God in Heaven. This thinking became a hallmark of Western church, now seen as the “traditional” one, while the the Eastern church remained proponents of the original Greek and their belief in "Apocatastasis", a Greek word for "restoration" and the conviction that God would one day restore all things, as per Acts 3:20-21.
Objectors to the message of an ultimate and inclusive universal salvation, those aligned with Augustinian thought, have oft-shared one representative passage of scripture to support their belief in Heaven for believers and hell for unbelievers. Traditionalists call this and similar passages, “plain texts;”
• Matthew 25:46 (NASB) These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life

If this English plain text is to be read and believed at face value, then of course the universal gospel would be marginalized. But let’s consider three key words from the Greek plain text, words neglected by Augustine, and ask if instead, the doctrine of eternal torment is the view that should be sidelined?

(1) The word that we read as “eternal” in most English translations comes from the original Greek word “aion” which, except when referring to God’s own essence, means “an age, pertaining to an age or age-abiding.” Thus a more accurate translation (used by some bible versions, notably Young’s Literal Translation-YLT) is this; "And these shall go away to punishment, age-during (aionion)." Here’s the deal with an age- it has a beginning point AND an end point!

(2) The word that we read, “punishment” in most English translations comes from the original Greek word “kolasis.” This word refers to remedial punishment/correction/pruning. Thus a “kolasis punishment” is one whereby the guilty party is ultimately restored, not forever condemned.
Consider punishment meted out by a loving parent; is it not in and for the child’s best interests? Is there a reason why God wouldn’t deal with His children, those whom He created, in the same manner?

(3) Even the English word “hell,” which is not explicitly used in Matthew 25:46 but is implied, is said to have been used by Jesus at least 11 times in most popular English translations of the New Testament. Yet Jesus never said the word “hell!” Rather He spoke of the Valley of Ben Hinnom, which is the original Greek word, “Gehenna.”
The word Gehenna does NOT describe an otherworldly eternal abode of the damned but instead refers to a REAL PLACE, the town garbage dump located just outside the city of Jerusalem, which doubled as a place of HISTORICAL JUDGMENT. Notably in 586 BC and in 70 AD, Jerusalem was overtaken by foreign armies, their temples destroyed and Jews were burned in Gehenna. These were real-time historical events, not futuristic all-time judgments.
The Phil Henry Power Gospel will among other things, proclaim God’s plan of Universal Salvation:
• That God does love all (John 3:16-17) and demonstrates this through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:8).
• That His plan and will is to save all (2 Peter 3:9, Titus 2:11).
• That His plan and will is to restore all (Acts 3:20-21) and reconcile all (Colossians 1:19-20).
• That He will fully accomplish His plan and will (Isaiah 46:10, Proverbs 19:21).
• That every knee will bow and every tongue will swear allegiance to Him (Isaiah 45:23, Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:10-11, Revelation 1:7).
• Because He has secured a total, not a partial victory over sin and death, for all (Isaiah 25:8).
• And will draw all people to Himself (John 12:31-32).

The Phil Henry Power Gospel also endeavors to foster a better understanding of God’s so-great love that will one day be manifest throughout all of His creation. His love understood now, is certainly able to alleviate fear and to help us live powerfully through Him. As such, we will be: :
• Inviting all to believe in and be reconciled to Christ now (2 Cor. 5:17-20).
• Encouraging all to grow and mature in His word (John 8:31-32).
• Exhorting all to live powerfully through and productively for Him (John 15:4).
• Proclaiming to all that to live these truths is to live in His love, where there is no fear (1 John 4:18).

Talk about good news! I hope you will follow along as we present weekly Five Minute Power Messages and occasional Power Blogs. For more information and other resources, please click to go to Phil’s Favorite Resources.
Five Minute Power Messages

These are bite sized videos you can watch to start your day, to get a little encouragement, or just to learn more about the grace of God. We’ll upload a new one every week.

Full Sermons

From time to time, Phil will fill in for Pastor Rick Knapp and give full sermons. We will always include those on the site.

Power Blog

This is the name of our blog. Phil will put his thoughts here from time to time in a devotional, thought-provoking format. Feel free to give your comments and join in on the conversation!

Phil's Favorites

These are videos and articles that have meant something to us. We want to share these things with you and we hope you enjoy!

What Sort of Content Do We Produce?

5 Minute Power Messages
Full Sermons
Power Blog
Other