THE DOCTRINE OF HELL
There is much controversy over this doctrine or teaching of the tormenting eternal fire of Hell. And so much so is this controversy that this DOGMATIC DOCTRINE of eternal torture in hell fire has actually caused some Christians to leave their faith in Jesus Christ and become atheists. Yes you heard me correctly, this doctrine of eternal torture without end for all eternity has caused some Christians to LEAVE the main stream church only to be snared by what some in the main stream churches call many different “CULTS”. And this “DOCTRINE” of eternal torture in hell fire has caused some to never really be able to accept such a God as this, my own brother in law being one of them, until he came to see that this teaching is not Biblical. Now while I say that this “DOCTRINE” of eternal torture in hell fire is NOT Biblical I do not mean that there is not an eternal damnation to avoid and an eternal life to gain. I will explain what I mean by this further on in this study, but for now I want to tell you how I myself came about to study this doctrine out for myself to see if what I was being taught was the truth of the whole word of God. Now my personal testimony is a bit long so if you have read it before please feel free to skip down to the bold tittle section to read the in depth Bible study showing the whole word of God on the subject of the judgment and punishment of the wicked.
My Personal Testimony
I myself being raised a good faithful Catholic actually LEFT the church and renounced all my faith in that there was a God and became an atheist for a short time over this “DOCTRINE” of everlasting and unending torture in hell fire. Now if you do not want to read the following some ten pages of my personal testimony on HOW or WHY this “DOCTRINE” on eternal torture in flames of hell fire has effected my life, then please skip down until you see the title of this study in large bold print again.
Anyway my personal testimony is that I pondered over this teaching of the church of a loving and merciful God tormenting and torturing human beings for all eternity and came away with a heart filled with hatred toward such a God as would do such a thing, and for a time I even denied the very existence of a God. In other words, IF Almighty God was TRULY this kind of a God that would TORMENT and TORTURE the vast majority of his creation in an eternal unquenchable fire for all eternity showing no mercy or compassion, then I would rather chose to believe that there is NO God.
And I know now that I am NOT ALONE in my thinking this way. I have heard many testimonies of those who have left the mainstream church over this dogmatic doctrine that the church dogmatically teaches is 100% Biblical. But is it? And if NOT, then WHY does the mainstream church still teach such a doctrine in a dogmatic way leaving no room for open discussion among the congregation? In other words, to ME, some of these churches seem to have the attitude that if you do not believe what they teach 100%, then there is the door hoping that it will knock you down on the way out. Sorry, but this is the way it seems to ME, I have left several churches through the years and NONE have come and asked me why I left. This is NOT the mark of someone who truly cares about you. But let us get back to my testimony.
You see, at that time in my life, when I was struggling with this doctrine in the Catholic church, I did not know that I could go to the Bible and read it for MYSELF to see if what I was being TAUGHT by the church was the TRUTH or not. All the years being a Catholic I never owned my own Bible. I never knew that I could seek God on my own by prayer and reading his word, which eventually lead to my LEAVING the church.
So during this period of time in my life that I left off my faith in God and I lived as an atheist I began to see that I did indeed have a need for there to at least be a GOD, but I still refused to believe in the only God that I knew which I was TAUGHT about from the Catholic church that tortured people in hell fire for all eternity. I believe it was the great depression that I fell into during this time that caused me to need to at least believe that that was a God so I began to talk to Almighty God himself telling him of my struggles and how I felt.
Now the Devil knew that I was SEEKING the TRUTH so he sidetracked me for awhile by getting me to form this THEORY in my own mind so that I could cope with the depression that I was going through. I had truly thought that I myself had come up with this theory in my own mind, but when I heard this very same theory that I thought was my own on the radio, then later I began to realize that it was the enemy, the Old Serpent, called the Devil and Satan that had been feeding me these thoughts all along.
Long story made short my theory that I thought at the time was my own was that there is in fact a God, who offered mankind a chance to receive ETERNAL LIFE IF you want to try. Now IF you chose to play his game, then you could WIN eternal life as your reward, BUT if you chose to play his game you could also LOSE and your PUNISHMENT for losing would be to suffer eternal torture in the flames of HELL. HOWEVER, there was a third option in this theory, which was if you chose NOT to play his game at all, then you would just perish when you die and therefore you would neither WIN eternal life, NOR would you have to take the CHANCE of LOSING and being cast into ETERNAL HELL FIRE.
This THEORY brought me peace in my life for a time, UNTIL one day the girl that I would soon marry BOLDLY straight to my face with commanding authority point blank told me that I was WRONG!
Her assurance and her absolute KNOWING that I was WRONG caused me to take ANOTHER look at the teachings of the church. I went out and purchased myself my FIRST Bible. Again I had never actually read the Bible before this time in my life for myself. I just believed what the priests and the nuns had taught me.
Again, a long story made short, I took the Bible and held it up in the air and prayed in my OWN words, God I do not know what is true or what is false. All I know for sure God is that all these many different denominations use this book that I am holding in my hand, the Holy Bible, upon which they say that they base what they teach. Now again they all claim that what they teach is directly from your word, the Holy Bible, but yet they all teach something different. God I do not care who is right or who is wrong. All I want is to know the TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH, and NOTHING but the TRUTH.
Then I opened the Bible and began to read. As with any book I started at the beginning and read Genesis and Exodus and then when I got into the begets and such that were very boring and bogged me down, so I skipped to the end of the book like I often did in High School, when I had to do book reports, because I really hated to read, so I just read the first chapter, the middle chapter and the end of the book. Well the end of the Bible, the book of Revelation, was more confusing than Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers, so I went to the middle of the Bible. This is the FIRST time in my life that I realized that the Bible was divided into the Old and New Testaments. Imagine that, going to church from birth all that way through High School and not knowing that the Bible had an Old and a NEW Testament.
After reading the gospels in the New Testament I began to recognize some of the things that I was taught being raised as a Catholic. Then when I got to Corinthians where Paul was basically scolding the church for being divided I knew right then and there that MAN had caused all these DIVISIONS and that this was NOT God's will for his church to be divided up like it is today and has been since early on even in it's very beginning.
The Bible came ALIVE to me from that point on and I developed such a hunger for God's word and HIS TRUTH that I read his word daily up to 7 hours each day when i had that much time to read. You see, at that time in my life I had a really gravy job. Basically all I had to do was be there just in case anything went wrong, but all the equipment was brand new so very rarely anything ever went wrong so I had 8 hours a day to read, listen to the radio, watch TV or even sleep. I chose to use this time to read the Bible and seek out the TRUTH. Once I accepted Jesus as my personal savior God gave me such an intense hunger to read his word, and where I once hated to read I now LOVED to read, but only read God's word or books about God. All I wanted was to know the TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING but the TRUTH.
It only took a very short time until I realized that what I had been TAUGHT in the Catholic church was NOT SOUND BIBLICAL teaching so I left the Catholic church in that I would not trust her teachings any more whatsoever and I made my confession in faith to God's word ALONE pledging that I would never join another Church and say I am of “Paul” or I am a “Baptist”and so forth. When someone asked me what church I belonged to I would say that I am a Christian and I do not belong to any denominational church. I would tell them that I ATTENDED an Assembly of God church, but stressed to them that I am a Christian who believes what the Bible teaches.
Again I was just a babe in Christ at this time and I did not know what I know today. For you see, today I am leery of even calling myself a Christian, because of so much hypocrisy and false teaching among the many different denominations of Christianity. I will get back to this point later, and if you want a deeper understanding of the many false teachings among these many different denominations, then please read the study “FALSE TEACHINGS”, but for now I want to finish my testimony of WHY I believe that it is so VITALLY important for every one of us to search the word of TRUTH for OURSELVES in order to find out if what we are being TAUGHT by what ever church we attend in order to see if it is in fact the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of Almighty God or not.
DO NOT blindly follow the teachings of others and trust your very ETERNAL LIFE in the hands of other who may not be teaching you the TRUTH.
Any way back to my personal testimony. My girlfriend was raised in the Assemblies of God church so I started attending her church, because of her rock solid faith, which as I said earlier had caused me to take a CLOSER look at what I had come to believe thus far in my life.
Again I soon accepted Jesus as my savior CONTRARY to what I had been TAUGHT by the Catholic church that instilled in me that if I left the Catholic church, then I would go to HELL. You see, because it was drilled into me all my life in the Catholic church that IF anyone would LEAVE the Catholic church, then they COULD NOT be save, but rather they WOULD without question go to HELL. For you see, as a Catholic I was taught that if you are NOT baptized as a Catholic, or you leave the Catholic church, then you are NOT part of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, which to a Catholic is the ONLY TRUE church, and therefore to be apart or separated from the Catholic church would mean that there is NO salvation for that person. In others words, ONLY Catholics go to heaven is what I was taught all my life as a child up to my high school years.
Well needless to say that FEAR had to be overcome by my FAITH in God's word, before I would receive that inward WITNESS from the Holy Spirit that I was indeed saved by faith and had become a child of Almighty God by my confession of faith in the TRUTH of God's word that Jesus is the Son of God and the he died for my sins and that God raised his Son Jesus from the dead on the third day.
Finally one day after meditating on God's word I made that quality decision that God's WORD is TRUTH and what I had been TAUGHT by the Catholic church was a LIE. In other words, I made a quality decision to choose to believe God's CLEAR, PLAIN and SIMPLE word OVER what I had been taught by MAN in the Catholic church. Even though people were telling me that I was now LOST and would stay LOST, unless I came BACK to Catholicism, I held my FAITH in God's WORD ALONE. Yeah, let God be true and every man a liar. Even though they did NOT BELIEVE that I was saved, I knew by God's WORD that I was truly saved. I held to Romans 3:3,4 and other verses as well, until I received that WITNESS from the Holy Spirit that bore witness with my spirit that I am indeed a child of Almighty God.
“For what if some did NOT believe ? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
4. God forbid: yea, let God be TRUE, but every man a liar; as it is written, That you might be justified in your sayings (your confession of FAITH in God's word), and might OVERCOME when you are judged.”
This was a TRYING of my FAITH to believe God or to believe the teaching of MAN. The Devil was putting me on TRIAL so to speak to see if I truly believed what I read in God's word. Would FEAR of what MAN taught me win over what the Holy Spirit was teaching me? That was my TRIAL, and I am hear to tell you Almighty God is always FAITHFUL to perform his word.
Anyway after realizing that the Catholic church has so many things that were NOT sound Biblical teachings there was no way that in all good conscience I could ever remain under it's teachings. This is when I started attending the Assemblies of God church, where my girlfriend attended.
Shortly after receiving Jesus as my personal Lord and savior I also saw IN the WORD of God for myself that it is God's WILL for me to be BAPTIZED in water. Keep in mind that no man taught me this TRUTH, but rather I saw it for myself by reading the Holy Bible at home and at work. I never heard a sermon on be baptized in water before. The Catholic church baptizes you when your are a baby, unless you become a Catholic as an adult and I never knew of this until later, when I studied the teachings of the Catholic church and how they came to be.
Anyway after seeing in God's word that it was his WILL for me to be baptized in water I went to the pastor and asked him to baptize me and he told me that the baptism was broke and needed to be fixed first. I asked him what was wrong with it and maybe I could fix it, because I was pretty handy at fixing things. He told me the heater was broken. I said that is alright and that he could baptize me in cold water, I really did not mind. But he would not baptize me in cold water, so I went out and bought a portable water heater like the ones you put in water tanks for cattle or horses. Only I bought the cheaper version that did not have an automatic thermostat. So at first the heater got the water too hot and needed to cool. When then temperature of the water was just right I again asked the pastor to baptize me, but he responded by saying, why don't we WAIT, until some others are ready to be baptized so we can have a big baptismal service.
All I wanted was to be baptized and my being baptized was an urgent issue in my heart, so WHY all these roadblocks? My desire to be baptized gave me the boldness to overcome or became greater than my fear of talking to people, so I went through the whole congregation and got around ten other Christians who had not yet been baptized to sign up to be baptized. FINALLY a day was set for us all to be baptized and I was baptized in water as act of my obedience to what I saw for myself in God's word to be his WILL for me. Now back then at that time I did not understand why it was so hard for me to accomplish what I knew in my heart was God's WILL for me. I did not yet see that the ENEMY of my soul, Satan, the Devil, was working behind the scene to keep God's people from walking in the TRUTH of his word. Some people take these negative circumstance that seem to hinder their faith as being that it must not be God's will for them. I am here to tell you that it is the enemy of God trying to steal your faith so you will cast away your confidence and give up believing God for what you see in his word.
I say all of this because I know that some Christians would have given up and believed the lie of the enemy that it must not be God's WILL to be Baptized or to receive healing or what ever they are believing for due to all these hindrances. In other words, some Christians believe that it is God;s WILL only if things just simple fall right into place with no obstacles to overcome.
But the truth of the matter is that the Devil was telling me that I did NOT need to get baptized, because I had already been baptized as a baby in the Catholic church. The Devil kept saying things like, see if God truly wanted you to be baptized then you would not be having so many problems. But deep down inside of me the Holy Spirit was leading and guiding me into all truth. I saw in God's word about the Eunuch saying to Phillip, here is water what is preventing me to be baptized? And Phillip responding, IF you BELIEVE, then NOTHING is preventing you from being baptized. Well I believe that Jesus is the Son of Almighty God and that Jesus died for my sins and God raised him from the dead on the third day. And I believed that God's WILL is that we as believers in Jesus Christ be baptized in water as a testimony to our inward faith and outward confession.
But yet at the time I could not understand why I was being PREVENTED from being baptized. I was a babe in Jesus Christ at the time and I did not yet understand that we do NOT war against flesh and blood, our fellow man, but rather we have but one enemy, who is that old serpent called the Devil and Satan. So I want you to know that when you get offended by what people do or do not do, or by why people say or do not say that it is Satan who uses people and circumstance just like God uses people and circumstance. To know the difference always know that God is FOR you and your ONLY enemy is Satan. In other words, if the person is being used by God you will not be offended. And also know that we war NOT against flesh and blood and our only enemy is Satan and that most of the time people do not even realize that they are being used by the enemy to get at you.
Anyway after I was baptized in water I continued reading the word of God and attending church three times a week. I was so in love with God that I asked some of my brothers and sisters in the Lord why we did not go to church EVERY DAY like they did in the books of Acts. Almost simultaneously they answered back, just give it a few months and you will wonder why we HAVE to attend church three times a week when other churches only go ONCE a week. Well for me it took a lot longer than a few months, but eventually church religion did in fact rubbed off on me, because I had not yet learned how to GUARD my HEART.
But before this happened that I lost my joy for the things of God, which took me a long time by the way to get back, the Holy Spirit began to show me things about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I saw the importance of these gifts such as faith and healing, but I was yet skeptical of this speaking in other tongues stuff. I would go out to my car and listen to my music and say to myself, I have my music to make me feel good, I do not need that speaking in tongues stuff.
Now remember when I told you earlier that the Devil CANNOT stop any one from SEEKING the TRUTH, but that Satan CAN put something in front of you to make you THINK that you are being taught the truth. Well this is exactly what the Devil did in my life. For you see around this same time that I was questioning what the Holy Spirit was showing me in the word of God about the gifts of the Holy Spirit I also received some books that I order through the mail. This set of books was from the Philadelphian Brothers and what they taught was that there was NO HELL and that the gifts of the Holy Spirit INCLUDING speaking in other TONGUES had CEASED with the early church.
Now this idea of NO HELL was very appealing to me, because it was this very doctrine along with some other doctrines that caused me to walk AWAY from the church and my belief in God. So after studying what they taught I became CONVINCED that there was NO HELL, but CONSEQUENTLY I also became pretty convinced that speaking in other tongues had CEASED with the early church as well and that what was happening in the church today, when it came to speaking in other tongues, was of the Devil. This is what the Philadephian brothers taught in their books.
I was excited with this new revelation from these BOOKS that I had just read and went and told my woman who now by this time had become my wife. AGAIN, in that very BOLD and AUTHORITATIVE voice, she point blank told me that I was WRONG! I could not convince her from these BOOKS, SHOWING her the scriptures that they used that to me at that time in my life proved that speaking in other tongues had CEASED. Her rock solid faith once again caused me to SEEK Almighty God himself for the TRUTH. So I went back to God's word ALONE laying aside what I had been taught by MAN from these BOOKS.
Again, long story made short, before I accepted Jesus as my personal savior I use to delve into the occult, but at the time I did not KNOW that it was the occult. You see, I used to be what was termed to be a little psychic and I was able to know things before they happened and this all started when I saw psychics on TV moving objects like pencils with only the power of their minds. But try as I may I was never able to move objects with my mind, but I did develop this keen sense of being able to perceive things about people and sometimes answer my wife's questions before she asked it. I would sometimes tell her to answer the phone before it ever rang. Things like that just started happening, but after I accepted Jesus as my savior I just knew deep inside of me that it was not right to put my faith in the power of my own mind, so I stopped trying to move pencils with my mind.
Anyway while I was seeking God on this matter of being filled with the Holy Spirit I was awakened in the middle of the night with what I thought at the time was a burglar who broke into my home and was trying to kill me. It seemed as if this huge person was on top of me squeezing the very life breath out of me like he had me in a bear hug. I could not breath and he was much too strong to escape his grip. I tried to turn my head at least to see my attacker, but a hand pressed tightly against my head holding it to the side against the bed so I could not turn to see my attacker. I thought it was all over for me, but deep inside I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit telling me to RESIST him in the NAME of Jesus.
Well I understood exactly what this meant, because I had done this before by speaking forth the name of Jesus with authority over sickness and disease and saying, I resist you flue or whatever the name of the sickness happened to be, I resist you sickness in the name of Jesus and then the symptoms of whatever sickness that was attacking me would leave my body.
So as I started to speak the name of Jesus and say out loud to this attacker, I resist you in the name of Jesus, a hand went over my mouth and I could not speak a word. I started to panic, but again this still small voice kept telling me to RESIST him in the name of Jesus. So even though I could not speak these words out audibly I said them over and over in my mind, I resist you in the name of Jesus and just as quick as you can snap your fingers the attacker vanished never to return. Later when morning came my wife ask me if I saw anything last night. I told her no, because when I tried to turn my head to see I could not, so I saw nothing. But before I could explain what happen she said, you mean you did not see the curtain blowing straight out as if the windows were open and there was a terrible storm outside. I told her no, is this what you saw. She said yes and that she also saw this dark hooded figure standing by her side of the bed. Then I share what happened to me that night.
I knew in my spirit that because I had entertained or invited these these evil spirits of physic phenomenon into my life even though I did it unknowingly, I knew that these evil spirits had hung around in my life even after I had already been saved by my faith in God's word and the shed blood of his Son Jesus. And again, unknowingly, I had kept these evil spirits from leaving. You see, even though I had stopped trying to move objects with my mind I did not realize that perceiving things the way that I was doing was by the help of these evil spirits. Secretly I kind of liked being able to perceive things before they happened, but again I was NOT aware that it was evil spirits giving me this ability.
This attack on me in the night had been this evil spirit leaving me and he was giving me one last tear before he left me. Satan realized that I had seen the TRUTH in God's word about the infilling of the Holy Spirit and he was being made to leave me, because I was BELIEVING God's word to be FILLED with his Holy Spirit. Later that week we had a visiting pastor who laid hands on me to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I spoke only a few words in other tongues and there was absolutely NO great feeling of joy unspeakable and full of glory that I had been told would accompany my being filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Devil lied to me constantly telling me that I did not receive the Holy Spirit, because I did not have this great FEELING of joy, but I kept on praying BY FAITH in other tongues every day just like this pastor had instructed me. I had learned from experience on receiving healing that we are not to be moved by FEELINGS, but rather our faith alone in God's word are we to receive from God.
Then one day about a week or two later as I was praying in tongues again BY FAITH fighting and resisting every negative thought that the Devil was throwing at me I seemed to become all the more determined to keep on praying, and then all my TRYING to pray in other tongues suddenly became effortless. The words of this unknown and unlearned language began to flow out of me freely and I prayed for many hours that seemed like only moments. It was that breakthrough that I felt the awesome presence of Almighty God so intensely that I could hardly stand. I would not say that I was drunk in the Holy Spirit, but I will say that I was so filled with joy that it is literally unspeakable or able to be adequately describe. Some would say that I did not receive the Holy Spirit until I actually felt God's presence and great joy, but the word of God teaches me differently. We walk by FAITH and NOT by sight or feeling. The moment we BELIEVE is when we receive the promises of God. Some Christians are tormented for years by the Devil because they forgave some, but never really FELT that they had forgiven them. That feeling will never come until you BELIEVE that you have indeed forgiven that person regardless of your feeling toward them. The same is true when some have confessed their sins to God and yet they do not FEEL that they have been forgiven. Again we do not base our faith upon our feelings. Other fail to receive their healing because they are waiting to FEEL healed before they truly believe and confess that they are healed. Religious teaching has deceived many believers and have kept them from walking in the fullness that God has provided for them.
My point is this, there have been many times in my life
that I have been DECEIVED by the teaching of MAN. First, the Catholic
church deceived me as well as many others by their FALSE teachings in
several areas. I will go into some of these areas perhaps in another study sometime. Then I was DECEIVED by these so called Christian
BOOKS that I ordered from the Philadelphian Brothers. Later I was DECEIVED by the Assembly of God
church on the subject of the rapture of the church, and when I was
forbidden to speak anything contrary to what the church
“DOCTRINE” stated I lost my joy to attend the Assemblies of God
denomination even though I believed almost totally with every other
point of doctrine at that time. Now I am not saying that Catholics or
the Philadelphian Brothers or those of the Assemblies of God were not
Christians, but what I am saying is that even though these different
denominations confessed to be Christian they none the less taught
things that were NOT SOUND BIBLICAL teaching. Every church denomination that I have looked into have some area of doctrine that is NOT SOUND BIBLICAL teaching, so you are going to need to be like the men in Berea and search the word of God daily in order to see if what you are being taught is the truth of the whole word of God.
This brings us to the subject of this particular study in God's word, which is answering the question:
IS the DOCTRINE of
Again there is and has been much controversy over this doctrine or teaching of a tormenting eternal fire of Hell, where the wicked are tortured without mercy for all eternity. And again so much so that it has actually caused some Christians to leave their faith in Jesus Christ and become atheists. This doctrine of eternal torture without end for all eternity has caused some Christians to leave the main stream church and thus be caught up is some of the many different “CULTS”. And as well this “DOCTRINE”of eternal torture in flames of fire for all eternity without mercy has KEPT many from ever coming to the Lord.
Now it may be true that some have been converted to Christianity because they were moved by FEAR of being cast into HELL, but when many these converts who are converted by FEAR, when they see even remotely that they have been taught things incorrectly by the church, they begin to think that those they trusted have LIED to them and many leave the church anyway. So one has to wonder if these “CONVERSIONS by FEAR” are as strong as Christians that are born of God through his LOVE?
Please do not misunderstand what I am saying. The fear of the Lord is an essential part of our faith. The Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. There are many today teaching the LOVE of God, but forgetting that the word of truth also teaches us that God is a CONSUMING FIRE. My point is this, Jesus WARNED us that in the judgment there would be WEEPING and GNASHING of teeth, so there is most definitely an eternal damnation to avoid. The eternal fire is REAL and I assure you that is it NOT a place where you want to go. But I also want to teach and show you from God's word that this lake of eternal fire is not a place of eternal TORTURE for mankind as many of us have been taught. So then, both love and fear teach us the truth, but I myself am moved toward God by love more so than fear.
I can only speak from experience on this point of fear versus love. I can only say that it was hard for me to stay in church, when I learned that they had NOT taught me the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of Almighty God. I knew that I had come to love God because I saw in his word that God first loved me. So if it was hard for me to stay in church being born of God through his love, I can only imagine how hard it is for those, who were converted to Christianity by FEAR of HELL. There is a DIFFERENCE between being CONVERTED to Christianity than being BORN again of the word of God. One can be converted from one belief to another, as in, having head knowledge only. But being BORN of the word goes DEEPER into the inner man where one is rooted and grounded in the truth where there is an inner witness of the Holy Spirit given us a KNOWING that we are indeed believing the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God.
Now I personally do not believe that anyone, who has been a spiritual leader over me has PURPOSELY lied to me or intentional deceived me, but rather I believe
that they sincerely believed that what they were teaching was the
truth even though it was not always so. Again this is WHY each and every
one of us should be like the men of Berea and search the word daily
to see if what we are being taught is the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of
Almighty God. And when we learn that we have been taught incorrectly do not hold it against them, because they themselves have been deceived by the enemy. Never forget that we war NOT against our fellow man but our war is against Satan and his evil spirits.
So then, it is the purpose of this study in God's word
to take a CLOSE look at all these verses that deal with the subject
of Hell, eternal damnation and the eternal fire that was prepared for
the fallen angels. Be warned that this is going to be a very long and
in-depth study so if you are looking for a fast food type lesson in which
you can just skim over, then you have come to the wrong website. I
try to cover all the verses on BOTH sides of the controversy on this
website, which takes some time to cover for there are many verses and
arguments from both sides, especially when verses have been taken OUT
of context by others to teach that which only SEEMS to be God's word.
For you see when verses that are used are not viewed in the light of
the WHOLE word of Almighty God, then they may SEEM to say something
that they are truly NOT saying when they are KEPT in their proper
context and compared with other scripture. And it is far easier to simply SAY that a certain verse MEANS this or that than it is to literally show and explain line upon line precept upon precept why a verse means what it does from the whole word of God.
Let us begin this study in God's word by taking a close look at all 54 verses found in the King James Version of the Bible that contain the word “HELL”. I will have an exhaustive list of these verses at the end of this study so that you can search them out for yourself if you would like, because we will not actually look at each and every verse in this study. Many of the verse say the same thing so really there is not a need to quote every single verse, but I do quote them all at the end of this study for you to read for yourself so that you will know that I left no stone unturned in this study. I carefully considered every verse and every argument that I have heard on both sides of this controversy.
Again the English word “HELL” is found 54 times in the King James Version of the Bible, but in CONTRAST is found only 14 times in the New International Version. One has to ask why the vast difference in how many times the word "hell" is found in these different translation of the Bible. Most of you who are regular readers know that nearly all of my studies in God's word are done using the King James version, so I will continue this study as well with the King James Version even though by some Bible scholars the King James Version is stated to be the most BIAS of all the other translations of the Bible when it comes to this subject of eternal torment in the flames of HELL.
First of all there are four words that are used in the Bible that are translated into English as “HELL”, and they are as follows:
The one Hebrew word in the Old testament is Strong's #7585 and is “OL”, which means grave, by extension place of the dead. It means the deepest depths and is transliterated as Sheol. It is the pit, the bottomless pit. It is translated 31 times to the English word “HELL”.
There are three Greek words in the New testament are:
Strong's #1067 “GEENNA”, which means Gehenna, or hell, and refers to the valley of Hinnom. It is translated as “HELL” 12 times.
Strong's #86 “HADES”, which means Hades, the grave, the place of the dead, the underworld, and is translated 10 times as “HELL”.
Strong's #5020 “TARTAROO”, which means to send to hell, to hold captive in Tartarus. In Greek literature Tartarus was as place in the lowest part of the underworld that was used for torture. This Greek word Tartaroo is used ONE time and is translated as cast down to hell in 2 Peter 2:4.
Now from just from the definitions of these words that were TRANSLATED as hell I myself find only ONE time with the word TORTURE in it, and even then it is from the Greek literature, which entailed much folk lore that we find the tale of torture in the realm of the dead. So then, let us begin this study with this Greek word “TARTAROO” which is translated as cast down to hell referring to the fallen angels that are being RESERVED or held in this place until the DAY of JUDGMENT. Please read 2 Peter 2:4-9, which teaches us that this place called Tartartoo in the Greek is a place where the fallen angels are being HELD or RESERVED unto the day of JUDGMENT.
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to HELL (or cast them down to Tartartoo), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be RESERVED unto judgment;
So then, from the CONTEXT of this passage of scripture I myself do NOT see any signs or mention of an ETERNAL TORTURE in flames of fire in this place called in the Greek Tartartoo, which is translated as cast down to HELL.
But what I do see CLEARLY and PLAINLY stated is that both the fallen angels and the ungodly or wicked men are being HELD or RESERVED in this place that is translated as HELL, the place of the dead, unto the DAY of JUDGMENT at which time after they have been JUDGED, then they shall be PUNISHED.
Now we are NOT specifically told what this PUNISHMENT will be on the day of judgment in this particular passage of scripture.
All we know for SURE is that the angels are cast DOWN
and that they are being RESERVED UNTO the DAY of JUDGMENT. So we can conclude at least from this particular verse is that at this present time those in HELL are not in a state of eternal torture in flames of fire. But let us hold off before we draw any definite conclusions as yet and wait until we examine all the evidence from the scriptures.
I want you to also notice that Sodom and Gomorrah was TURNED INTO
ASHES as an EXAMPLE for those who after wards should choose to walk
in ungodliness. Please keep in mind that Sodom and Gomorrah was completely DESTROYED by
FIRE and brimstone and we are CLEARLY and PLAINLY told that they were
an EXAMPLE as to what would happen to the wicked after them. Again no
sign or mention of eternal torture in flames of fire for all eternity
without any mercy or hope of relief as many of us have been taught in the main stream church.
And one other point that I want you to see is that we are CLEARLY and PLAINLY told
that the ungodly or wicked are being RESERVED TO BE PUNISHED, which shows us that they are NOT being
PUNISHED at this point in time no matter where they are, but rather they are being held or
RESERVED unto the resurrection of the unrighteous to be first judged and then punished. I point this out because many have been taught that immediately upon death the wicked are cast into the flame of hell to be tortured for all eternity. However, thus far I myself do not find any evidence of this teaching in scripture, but again let us not draw any set in stone conclusions until all the evidence is closely examined.
Now let us take a look at this Greek word “HADES” that is translated 10 times as “HELL” while only ONE time the translators of the King Jame Version chose to translate it as the grave.
The ONE time this Greek word “HADES” is translated
as GRAVE in the King Jame Version is found in
1 Corinthians 15:55, which says,
Of course this passage of scripture is speaking of the
resurrection of the RIGHTEOUS so even if this verse where translated
as “HELL”as opposed to the GRAVE this would not change the
outcome, because neither DEATH, HELL, nor the GRAVE has any victory
over the RIGHTEOUS who we are taught that even the SECOND DEATH has NO
POWER in Revelation 20:6. The second death is the final judgement where all the wicked along with the fallen angels are cast into the lake of fire to be destroyed. We will come back to this passage of scripture to study it more closely a little further on in this study to clear up some misconceptions, but for now I want you to see that once the righteous receive their reward of eternal life in the world to come, then the second death has no power over them.
Now let us look at the words of Jesus and how he used this Greek word “HADES”. Please read Matthew 11:23 in it's context where Jesus is upbraiding the cities that he did many mighty works of healing and yet after seeing all these mighty works which he did before their eyes still they would not believe and repent of their sins.
You can also read Luke 10:15 on your own if you like, which covers the same account as Matthew 11:23
23. And you, Capernaum, which are exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought DOWN to HELL (or HADES, or the GRAVE): for if the mighty works, which have been done in you, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
Again we see the same language as before that AT or IN that DAY of JUDGMENT there shall be some kind of PUNISHMENT, but WHILE these wicked unrepentant dead are being HELD, KEPT or RESERVED in this place that is translated as HELL unto that DAY of JUDGMENT to BE PUNISHED we do NOT see any hint of being TORTURED while they are awaiting the DAY of JUDGMENT.
So once again we find no evidence or even hint of
ETERNAL TORTURE in this holding place for the wicked dead that is
translated as “HELL”. And I do not know about you, but this makes me very cautious to just openly accept some of those who have after death experiences of going to hell and then coming back to tell of this place of eternal torture in flames of fire. I do not doubt that their experience is real or not, but I do doubt whether or not it is from God, because I do not see Almighty God CONTRADICTING his own written word. Perhaps more on this subject of life after death experiences later.
But for now let us continue to look at how Jesus used this Greek word "HADES". Please read Matthew 16:18, which says,
Now some who teach Universalism, which teaches that
everyone will eventually be saved, say that the gates of HELL shall
not PREVAIL against mankind. But the CLEAR, PLAIN, and SIMPLE text states
that the gates of hell shall not prevail AGAINST the CHURCH, meaning
that neither Hell, Death, nor the Grave will PREVAIL or have VICTORY
over the RIGHTEOUS. The gates of hell shall not prevail against IT, which is clearly referring to the CHURCH and not all of mankind.
And again we see no clear language in this passage of
scripture that even remotely hints of ETERNAL torture in this place
that is translated as “HELL”, which can also be translated as the grave.
Then in Luke 12:4,5 we read where Jesus himself gives us a WARNING to FEAR Almighty God who has power to cast the wicked into HELL.
So then, CLEARLY from this passage of scripture HELL is
most certainly a place that we are WARNED to FEAR. But yet even in this
passage of scripture where Jesus himself FOREWARNS us to FEAR being
cast into HELL we find absolutely no clear evidence that HELL is a
place of ETERNAL TORMENT and TORTURE in flames of FIRE as many of us have been dogmatically taught by the mainstream church. Thus far we
have learned that HELL is a place for the dead where the ungodly and
the wicked are being HELD in this place while they are awaiting TO BE
punished on the DAY of JUDGEMENT. I mean think about a court of law
administering PUNISHMENT to those who have NOT even had a DAY of
JUDGMENT as yet. Hell or HADES is the place for the dead and more
specifically a holding place for the WICKED who have died in their
sins where they are held or reserved unto the day of judgment.
In Acts 2:27 we see a prophecy being quoted from the Old testament of David speaking as a type or shadow of the coming Messiah, Jesus who DESCENDED into the BELLY of the EARTH for three days and three nights and this place in this passage of scripture is translated as “HELL”.
So then, in this passage of scripture we see that Jesus
himself went to HELL, but neither his SOUL nor his body was LEFT in
HELL or Hades or the grave.
Now it other places we know that Jesus DESCENDED into the BELLY of the EARTH for three days and three night were Jesus PREACHED to the dead spirits in PRISON and then Jesus ASCENDED leading captivity captive.
Please read Ephesians 4:8-10, where we read about Jesus DESCENDING into the LOWER PARTS of the earth before he ASCENDED out of this pit being brought back to life and given a new glorified body that will never perish. And when he arose from the GRAVE there were many that rose from the grave WITH him.
Now the LOWER PARTS of the earth here means more than being buried in a grave 6 feet under the earth. This LOWER PARTS of the earth is speaking of HADES, the UNDERWORLD, the place where the DEAD are held or KEPT unto the day of JUDGMENT. At least where the dead were kept BEFORE the resurrection of Jesus. What I mean by this is that when Jesus was raised from the dead he BROUGHT OUT from HELL or HADES, the grave, the saints of the Old Testament WITH him. Please read Matthew 27:50-53, where we are clearly and plainly told about many of the SAINTS which had been dead, speaking of the Old Testament SAINTS who arose with Jesus from the grave when God raised Jesus from the dead and they were seen by many in Jerusalem.
But again we still see no language of ETERNAL TORMENT or TORTURE in flames of FIRE in this place called hell or the grave. Clearly Jesus visited this place that is translated as HELL for three days and three nights, in which we are taught that he PREACHED the gospel to the Old Testament saints who were NOT SAVED by the law, but rather were KEPT by the law until the day of Jesus Christ, which is quite obviously that they died before that day came. Please read 2 Peter 3:19, which says,
Now some take this to mean that since Jesus PREACHED the gospel to these SPIRITS in prison from the Old testament, then this means EVERYONE who has ever died or ever will die will have the opportunity to hear the preaching of the gospel after they die and they are in the GRAVE. But the TRUTH of the matter is that this was a ONE TIME deal for those who died under the Old testament law, who again were KEPT by the law unto this time, because scripture cannot be broken and the word of God states that NO flesh shall be SAVED by the LAW.
Therefore the only way for these RIGHTEOUS
men of the Old testament to be SAVED by the blood of Jesus was for them to hear the
PREACHING of the gospel for you see God chose that by the foolishness of
preaching to save them which believe. Also keep in mind that it was ONLY the RIGHTEOUS who were KEPT by the law in order to hear the preaching of the gospel after they had died and NOT all of mankind since Adam to Jesus Christ as some incorrectly teach. In other words, those that teach universalism, which teaches that ALL of mankind will eventually be saved and none will be lost, use this passage of scripture to try and prove that after death there are still people being saved by the preaching of the gospel to them in hell. But the scripture teaches us that Jesus only preached the gospel to the SPIRITS of those who were in hell at the TIME that Jesus descended into hell for three days and three nights. So to ME, it would be a gross twisting of the scriptures to try and ADD to this passage of scripture and demand that it means ALL of mankind for ALL time so therefore ALL will be saved in the end.
Please read 2 Peter 4:8
“For for this cause was the gospel preached ALSO to them that are DEAD, that (or so that) THEY (the DEAD spirits being held in the belly of the earth) might be judged according to men in the FLESH (meaning that in the same way we who are living in this age of grace are judged so shall these dead spirits of the Old testament be ALSO judge and for this very reasons was the GOSPEL PREACH ALSO to these DEAD spirits in the belly of the earth), but live according to God in the spirit.”
But they shall be made ALIVE in the spirit. Now when these saints from the Old testament rose from the dead with Jesus I believe they ascended to heaven with Jesus and are now presently under the throne as describe in Revelation chapter 6 awaiting the FIRST resurrection where ALL the dead IN Christ Jesus shall be given ETERNAL LIFE. Please read Hebrews 11:39,40
“And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received NOT the promise (as in, they have not actually received the promise of eternal life as yet):
In other words, when Jesus comes again he is going to bring all the dead saints in Christ WITH him and then we which have remained alive at his coming who are the faithful in Christ will all be changed or receive eternal life TOGETHER. Again it is ONLY the righteous who receive eternal life. The wicked remain in the grave until the end of the 1000 year reign of Jesus, which is when the second and final resurrection will take place. In this second resurrection all those who died during the 1000 year reign, both the righteous and the unrighteous, along with all the wicked who have remained in the grave since Adam will be resurrected and judged according to their works. Then all the wicked will be cast into the lake of fire which is the second death and all those who lived righteously during the 1000 year reign will join the righteous who took part in the first resurrection at the second coming of Jesus. You see my bear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, it is ONLY those who are faithful unto the end who receive eternal life in the world to come.
DO NOT BE DECEIVED by this false doctrine of UNIVERSALISM, which falsely teaches that ALL of mankind will be saved in the end! The Bible clearly teaches us that the wicked shall be DESTROYED and that we are to FEAR him that has power to DESTROY both the body and the soul.
Then in Revelation 1:18 we read about Jesus having the keys of HELL and death.
The keys that Jesus possesses represents his authority and power OVER both HELL and DEATH. We see this further in Revelation 20:13,14 where both DEATH and HELL are cast into the LAKE of FIRE, which is called the SECOND DEATH.
Now we know from 1 Corinthians 15 that after the 1000 years of the reign of Jesus that the LAST ENEMY DEATH shall be DESTROYED. So then here in revelation 20 which is after the 1000 year are finished we see that BOTH DEATH and HELL are cast INTO the LAKE of FIRE which IS the SECOND DEATH. So then, since DEATH is DESTROYED at this time by being cast into the LAKE of FIRE, which IS the SECOND DEATH, then why would not HELL ALSO be DESTROYED in this LAKE OF FIRE which IS the SECOND DEATH?
Can you not see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, that all the DEAD that are in HELL, or Hades of the grave which are being HELD, or KEPT or RESERVED UNTO the DAY of JUDGEMENT are resurrected at this time to face the day of JUDGMENT where they are JUDGED according to their works and then ALL the WICKED are cast into the LAKE of FIRE which IS the SECOND DEATH.
Now since DEATH is DESTROYED in this LAKE of FIRE that is the SECOND DEATH, then why would not the WICKED be DESTROYED as well seeing also that Jesus warned us to FEAR him that has power to DESTROY both the body and the soul?
You see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus
Christ, the overwhelming evidence points to eternal or everlasting
DESTRUCTION as oppose to everlasting TORMENT and TORTURE without end
for all eternity. Also please notice that HELL itself is cast into this lake of fire so to me, this clearly shows us that HELL itself is NOT an eternal place of torment, because HELL is DESTROYED in the lake of fire. It is the FIRE that is called eternal and once this fire DESTROYS what is cast into it, then that DESTRUCTION becomes ETERNAL in that once destroyed it will never again be brought back from DESTRUCTION.
Then in Revelation 6:8 we see death sitting on a pale horse and HELL followed this rider of the forth horse.
“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
Now we know that a literal pit in the earth did not
follow this rider named death, but rather it is the WICKEDNESS and
ungodliness that HELL represents that followed with death. In other
words, wickedness shall grow worse and worse as the day of our Lord
approaches and the wages of sin is DEATH. There is no doubt that
there is torment with sin, but we still do not see an ETERNAL place
of TORTURE in flames of fire even in this passage of scripture.
Torment yes, but NOT an ETERNAL torment and torture for all eternity
in the flames of HELL as many of us have been taught in Catholicism as well as in other main stream denominations of the church.
We will now look at the last place that this Greek word “HADES” is found, which is where the church as a whole has gotten the idea of eternal flames of torment. Please read Luke 16:23 which is where Jesus is teaching the Jews a PARABLE.
Here is the ONE single verse in the entire Bible where the Greek word
“HADES”is translated as HELL were we can clearly and plainly see this
rich man being in TORMENTS. But please keep in mind that Jesus is speaking to the Jews in a “PARABLE”. So then, are each and every word of Jesus here in this passage of scripture, where Jesus is speaking to the Jews in a "PARABLE" to be
taken LITERALLY? Let us read this verse in it's CONTEXT to see what we
can learn about taking each and every word of a PARABLE literally.
23. And in HELL (this HOLDING PLACE for the DEAD where they are RESERVED UNTO the DAY of JUDGMENT) he (the RICH man) lift up his eyes, being in TORMENTS, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
The first point that I want to make is that ANY verse or passage of scripture must be interpreted in the LIGHT of the WHOLE word of Almighty God. There may be many interpretations that can be concluded from any verse in the Bible, but the only way to know if it is a correct and accurate interpretation is to compare the interpretation that is concluded with the rest of God's word.
Now the fact that we saw no where else where this Greek
word “HADES” was translated as HELL any mention of hint of an
ETERNAL FIERY TORMENT does not PROVE beyond any shadow of a doubt
that there are NO flames in the pit of HELL. BUT at the same time
there is absolutely NO ADDITIONAL support either. Remember that out of the mouth of TWO or MORE witnesses shall every word be established. So far we have just ONE and this ONE instance is a PARABLE, which is a story that is use to teach a lesson and is not meant to be taken literally.
In other words, the ENTIRETY of all the evidence for flames of TORMENT in HELL rests solely on this ONE passage of scripture, which again is a “PARABLE” of Jesus.
Now in respect to the INTERPRETATION of all OTHER parables of Jesus we would not even THINK to INTERPRET them LITERALLY. No one is denying that this place of the dead does not exist. I myself believe that the wicked dead and the righteous dead do not go to the SAME place. All dead bodies go to the earth, they decay and become dirt, but the spirit and soul remain until the day of judgment. Those who sleep in Jesus Christ will take part in the FIRST resurrection at the SECOND coming of Jesus. In a matter of speaking, a person is JUDGED at the point of death and the WICKED go DOWN into the heart of the earth, this place called HELL in English, but the RIGHTEOUS go UP to rest under the throne of Almighty God until the rest of the righteous come to full and NO not ONE will seek after God.
Please read the study called “THE FALSE DOCTRINE of ORIGINAL SIN” for a deeper understanding of Romans 3:10-19, but for now let us see what would happen IF we INTERPRET everything in this PARABLE of Jesus LITERALLY.
I mean think about it, IF you are going to INTERPRET ONE verse or one part in this PARABLE LITERALLY, then you must be CONSISTENT and INTERPRET the WHOLE PARABLE LITERALLY. You cannot cherry pick what parts you want to interpret literally to FIT your doctrine, and then say that the REST of this PARABLE is NOT to be interpreted LITERALLY. With that being said let us see what the REST of this PARABLE would mean IF we took the WHOLE PARABLE LITERALLY.
In verses 22 and 23 we read where the RICH man died and went to HELL and was TORMENTED in the FLAMES.
“23. And in HELL (this HOLDING PLACE for the DEAD where they are RESERVED UNTO the DAY of JUDGMENT) he (the RICH man) lift up his eyes, being in TORMENTS, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am TORMENTED in this FLAME.”
So then, IF we are to INTERPRET this part of this PARABLE LITERALLY as some incorrectly have done to teach the false doctrine of eternal torture in the flames of HELL, then we must say that ALL RICH people will go to HELL and ALL POOR people will go to heaven. In other words, the BASIS for SALVATION is not our faith in Jesus Christ, but rather on whether of not you are RICH or POOR, that is to say, IF SO BE you INTERPRET this PARABLE LITERALLY.
Well of course we know that this would CONTRADICT other places in the Bible. So then, to take this PARABLE LITERALLY in this way would be to INCORRECTLY interpret the word of TRUTH.
Next we see in verses 24 through 26 that IF we take this parable LITERALLY that while all the POOR people are in HEAVEN they can SEE and HEAR all the RICH people in HELL being TORMENTED and TORTURED for ALL ETERNITY and NOT allowed to reach out and COMFORT them in any way not even with ONE DROP of water to moisten their parched tongue.
“24. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am TORMENTED in this FLAME.
25. But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are TORMENTED.
26. And beside all this, between us and you there is a GREAT GULF FIXED: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.”
Can you not see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, that IF we INTERPRET this PARABLE LITERALLY, then our ETERNAL state IN HEAVEN would be to FOREVER look upon the people, who are in HELL being TORMENTED and TORTURE for ALL ETERNITY.
Now this is NOT an accurate picture of our ETERNAL LIFE with Almighty God, so then, obviously to INTERPRET this PARABLE LITERALLY would be in ERROR, because it would CONTRADICT the rest of God's word of TRUTH.
Next in this same portion of this PARABLE we see that
just dipping a finger in water would be enough water to comfort a
person being TORMENTED in FLAMES of FIRE. Really? LITERALLY, ONE DROP
of water will bring COMFORT to those souls being TORMENTED in flames of fire for all eternity? No my dear
brothers and sisters, we are NOT to interpret this PARABLE LITERALLY for just a mere dip of a finger in the water will quench anyone's thirst let alone the thirst of one being tormented in flame of fire for all eternity.
However, on the other hand if we interpret this PARABLE the way it was meant to be interpreted by comparing this parable with the other parable Jesus told us in this same context we can plainly see where the RICH man
represents the Scribes and the Pharisees, who have the RICHES of God's
word, but who do NOT share those RICHES in Spirit and TRUTH. The poor
man Lazarus represents those who are seeking the TRUTH and yet the
Scribes and Pharisees do not teach the truth by living EXAMPLES.
Therefore the kingdom of God is hidden from Israel for a time while
God turns to the Gentiles who were not a people at that time in order to provoke Israel to
jealousy and turn to God in Spirit and in TRUTH.
Now IF Israel and other individual people do NOT believe in Jesus as their Messiah and they DIE, then they will go to HELL or this HOLDING place of the WICKED dead until the day of JUDGMENT.
The word that is TRANSLATED as “TORMENTED” in this PARABLE in Luke 16:24,25 is Strong's #3600 and is the Greek word “ODYNAO”, which means to GRIEVE, to be ANXIOUS, to be in agony. And it is translated as two times as TORMENTED both here in this PARABLE of the rich man and Lazarus, and two times as SORROWING.
ALL the forms of this word carry the meaning of MENTAL
anguish of deep sorrowing and mourning. No where do I find any type
of actual PHYSICAL torment or suffering being associated with this word that has been translated as TORMENTED.
Remember when we read in Jude that these ungodly are
being RESERVED UNTO the DAY of JUDGMENT, which tells me that these
ungodly souls may KNOW MENTALLY that they are one day to BE PUNISHED on the DAY of
JUDGMENT by being cast into the LAKE of FIRE, which is the SECOND
DEATH to be DESTROYED like DEATH will be DESTROYED at the end of the
1000 year reign of Jesus, but they are not actually in flames of fire before that day of judgment at the end of the 1000 year reign of Jesus. In other words, they are only SORROWING in their minds about the coming day of judgment where they know they have NOT repented of their sins and also know that the punishment for their sins is DEATH in the lake of fire.
So again I myself conclude that the TORMENT that they are experiencing in
HELL is a MENTAL anguish that haunts them of their IMPENDING day of
JUDGMENT. But again NO WHERE do I find that even this MENTAL torment or mental SORROWING is ETERNAL, in
that, these souls will be kept ALIVE and never allowed to DIE. Again I find NO WHERE that the wicked will be TORTURED in flames of fire for ALL ETERNITY. To ME, this
INTERPRETATION of MAN completely CONTRADICTS the very nature of a
loving and merciful God who WARNS that he is a CONSUMING FIRE, and
NOT a TORMENTOR in flames of fire for ALL ETERNITY as some falsely teach.
The phrase “CONSUMING fire” is found three times in the Bible. We find it in Hebrew 12:29, Deuteronomy 4:24 and Deuteronomy 9:3. I want you to read the entire CONTEXT of Hebrews 12:29 by reading ALL of chapter 12 in the book of Hebrews, because it PARALLELS this parable of the rich man and Lazarus.
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the SIN which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,(the moral of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus is to ESCAPE the JUDGMENT of the WICKED and RECEIVE the REWARD of the RIGHTEOUS, which is ETERNAL LIFE.)
7. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not?
17. For you know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he SOUGHT it carefully with TEARS (and there shall be WEEPING and GNASHING of teeth).
27. And this word, Yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. (only the RIGHTEOUS will REMAIN and all the wicked will be DESTROYED in the CONSUMING FIRE of Gods JUDGMENT)
28. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God ACCEPTABLY with reverence and godly fear:(and NOT as the Scribe and Pharisees served God with LIP service and NOT in Spirit and in TRUTH)
Jesus said UNLESS our righteousness EXCEED the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees we shall NOT enter into the kingdom of God.
My point is this the MORAL or teaching of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus is to ESCAPE the JUDGMENT of the WICKED, which is DESTRUCTION in the lake of fire and rather RECEIVE the REWARD of the RIGHTEOUS, which is ETERNAL LIFE.
CLEARLY and PLAINLY our God is seen as a CONSUMING FIRE that DESTROYS the wicked once and for all time and eternity and God PRESERVES and rewards the RIGHTEOUS with ETERNAL LIFE.
Now some may say that this rich man was being TORMENTED in FLAMES of FIRE, but the word of God does NOT include the word FIRE here in verse 24, which simple says,
“... for I am TORMENTED in this FLAME.”
The Greek word that is translated as “FLAME” is
Strong's #5395 and is the Greek word “PHLOX”, which means flame
or blaze. This word is used 7 times in the Bible and in other SIX of the
seven times it is accompanied by the Greek word “PYR”, which
means FIRE. So in every use of this word “PHLOX” it is use along
WITH the word for FIRE, EXCEPT here in this PARABLE of the rich man
and Lazarus. Could this be because there is NO LITERAL fire in HELL,
but ONLY the TORMENT of the COMING DAY of JUDGMENT? If the writer wanted us to know without a doubt that there are literal flames of FIRE in the grave, then he would have been sure to include the Greek word "PYR', which means FIRE, but he did NOT.
It make no sense to me, to INTERPRET this ONE verse in this PARABLE as a LITERAL FIRE in HELL, the grave, this HOLDING place for the wicked dead UNTO the DAY of JUDGMENT to BE PUNISHED, and yet at the same time do NOT interpret the rest of this PARABLE in a LITERAL sense.
As we examine the rest of the evidence of God's word you will see the abundant weight of evidence teaches us that the wicked will be DESTROYED as opposed to being ETERNALLY TORTURED in flames of fire for all eternity in the lake of fire, which IS the SECOND DEATH.
Let us now take a look at the third Greek word that is TRANSLATED as HELL in the King James Version of the Bible. We already looked at the Greek word “TARTARTOO”, which is the underworld or place of the dead, and the Greek word “HADES”, which is the grave or again the underworld, the place of the dead, the pit and the lowest parts of the earth.
Now let us take a look at Strong's #1067 “GEENNA”, which means Gehenna, hell, and refers to the valley of Hinnom. It is translated as “HELL” 12 times in the King James Version of the Bible.
The following are the references of this Greek word that means GEHENNA or the VALLEY of HINNOM.
Matthew 5:22,29,30; 18:9; 23:15,33 / Mark 9:43,45,47 / Luke 12:5 and James 3:6.
Here is Matthew 5:22-30. Keep in mind that the SUBJECT of this whole passage of scripture is to ESCAPE the JUDGMENT of HELL by DOING the COMMANDMENTS of Almighty God and TEACHING others to do the SAME. In other words, do not be like the Scribe and Pharisees that teach righteousness, but do NOT WALK in RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Hell is definitely a REAL and sure JUDGMENT of Almighty
God that Jesus WARNS us to FEAR. Of this TRUTH there is no doubt, but the purpose of this study
is to CLOSELY examine ALL the evidence of the word of TRUTH to see if
we what we have been TAUGHT by this “DOCTRINE” of eternal hell
fire is the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of Almighty God. In other words, the purpose of this study is NOT to make light of the clear teaching and warning of eternal damnation, but rather to make it perfectly clear from the whole word of God that HELL is NOT a place of eternal TORTURE as many of us have been taught.
19. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least COMMANDMENTS, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall DO AND TEACH them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
22. But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the JUDGMENT: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the COUNCIL: but whosoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of HELL FIRE.
25. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.
Now in verse 22 we see the phrase “HELL FIRE”, which
remember is translated from the Greek word that mean GEHENNA, the
VALLEY of HINNOM. This is IMPORTANT to understand that this is a DIFFERENT Greek word and that it means the VALLEY of HINNOM. You will clearly see the importance of this truth as you
continue in this study of God's word. For you see my dear brothers
and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, this VALLEY of HINNOM is the
place where the great battle of God Almighty will be fought and is
where the WRATH of Almighty God will be poured out upon the WICKED
and the UNGODLY in a FLAMING FIRE. So then, a more precise and accurate translation of verse 22 would be as follows.
“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the JUDGMENT: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the COUNCIL: but whosoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of GEHENNA or the CONSUMING FIRE of God's WRATH at the VALLEYof HINNOM.”
Please read 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 where we see the second coming of Jesus coming to execute the WRATH of Almighty God in a FLAMING FIRE taking vengeance on those who do not OBEY the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ.
Here in this passage of scripture we see that the wicked
and DISOBEDIENT to the GOSPEL will be PUNISHED WITH... WITH WHAT? The
CLEAR, PLAIN, and SIMPLE word of TRUTH teaches us that the wicked will be punished
WITH and EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION whereby they shall be DESTROYED in a
FLAMING FIRE in the WRATH of Almighty God. This passage of scripture is not talking about eternal TORTURE in HELL FIRE, but rather is speaking of everlasting DESTRUCTION in the CONSUMING FLAMING FIRE of God's WRATH.
Here is the next place we see this word GEHENNA, the VALLEY of HINNOM. Please read Matthew 10:28 where we see that we are to FEAR Almighty God rather than man who can ONLY kill or destroy our physical body of flesh but cannot destroy our SOUL.
Again we see the CLEAR, PLAIN, and SIMPLE teaching of the scriptures undeniably teaches us that the wicked will be DESTROYED in GEHENNA, the VALLEY of HINNOM in the WRATH of Almighty God as oppose to being TORTURED for ALL ETERNITY in the presences of the saints, who can both SEE and HEAR their TORMENTS for ALL ETERNITY according to the teaching of the mainstream church as a whole who hold to the man made “DOCTRINE” of the IMMORTAL SOUL and ETERNAL HELL FIRE.
The next place we see this word that means GEHENNA, the VALLEY of HINNOM is found in Mark 9:43-49.
“And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in your NAME, and he follows not US: and we forbade him, because he follows not US.(to me there is more than those who CLAIM that they are the ONLY TRUE church and if you are NOT part of THEIR denomination and follow THEIR DOCTRINE, then you are NOT SAVED now can be saved)
“BUT Jesus SAID, Forbid him NOT: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my NAME, that can lightly speak evil of me.
43. And if your hand offend you, cut it off: it is better for you to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into HELL (or into GEHENNA, the VALLEY of HINNOM), into the FIRE that never shall be quenched:
45. And if your foot offend you, cut it off: it is better for you to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into HELL (GEHENNA, the VALLEY of HINNOM), into the FIRE that never shall be quenched:
47. And if your eye offend you, pluck it out: it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into HELL FIRE (or the FIRE of GEHENNA, the VALLEY of HINNOM where Jesus will come in a FLAMING FIRE to execute the WRATH of Almighty God):
The Bible teaches us that John baptized with water, but Jesus shall baptize or submerge WITH FIRE. Please read Matthew 3:6-12, which teaches us of the SECOND coming of Jesus when he shall GATHER the wheat, the RIGHTEOUS into his kingdom, but the CHAFF, the WICKED Jesus will BURN UP with an UNQUENCHABLE FIRE.
11. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with FIRE (the Bible teaches us in 1 Peter 4:12 to not think it strange as to the FIERY TRIAL which IS to TRY you, which I believe is speaking of the end of the age, when Jesus returns in a FLAMING FIRE, at which time the heavens and the earth shall be on FIRE and men will think NOT that Jesus will come again to rescue them):
Please read 2 Peter 3:3-12.
10. But the DAY of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which (or AT WHICH TIME) the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall MELT with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be BURNED UP.
The FIERY JUDGMENT is the WRATH of God, which battle shall be fought in the VALLEY of HINNOM.
The Bible teaches us that God shall bring ONE THIRD THROUGH the FIRE. Please read Zechariah 13:6-8.
7. Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the LITTLE ONES (take heed that you offend NOT one of these LITTLE ONES).
9. And I will bring the THIRD part THROUGH the FIRE, and will refine them as silver is refined , and will TRY them as gold is tried (think it not strange the FIERY TRIAL that is to TRY you): they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”
Then we read in Isaiah 43:2 that this FIRE shall not kindle upon us, much like the three faithful Hebrew men in the fiery furnace.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk THROUGH the FIRE, you shall NOT be burned; neither shall the FLAME kindle upon you.”
So then, the baptism of FIRE may very well be that every one of us who have remained alive unto the coming of our Lord may endure one final TRIAL of our faith, which is being salted with FIRE. Remember the words of Jesus in Luke 18:7,8 when he said, Shall I find FAITH on the earth when he comes? Remember that there will be those that question the promise of his coming. Jesus said for in such a day as you THINK NOT the Son of man COMES. What better trial of our faith than to THINK that Jesus is NOT coming, because we are submersed in FLAMES of FIRE? Remember that the word of God says that one third will be brought THROUGH the fire, but the fire will NOT hurt us. In other words, I believe we will SEE the WRATH of God being poured out upon the wicked just moments before we are caught up to be with Jesus in the air. For a deeper understanding on this subject please read "THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS", but for now let us continue with this study on HELL FIRE.
“And shall not God AVENGE his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Again what could possibly cause Jesus to QUESTION that ALL the FAITHFUL saints could possibly lose their HOPE in his coming and THINK NOT that he is coming? Think about this for a moment. IF you never read this or heard of this FIERY TRIAL taught to you before and you found yourself at the end of the age ENGULFED in a FIERY inferno with no hope of escape, would you LOSE your FAITH in the COMING of Jesus? But IF on the other hand you were taught that this MAY be a POSSIBILITY, and then when it did in fact occur, then you would remember these words and NOT lose your FAITH, but rather be in PEACE knowing that the Lord will come as he PROMISED.
I took this rather lengthy side journey, because I believe that all of God's LITTLE ONES should be taught the WHOLE word of Almighty God. Jesus said that men's hearts will FAIL them for FEAR of those things COMING on the earth. What IF the world news told the world that there is NO HOPE of survival of an incoming comet that is heading for a direct collision with the earth. They have video of this comet getting closer by the day and there is no doubt that it will strike the earth engulfing the entire world in flames of fire. Would you lose your FAITH in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ after hearing such undeniable news? Or what IF the world news told you of an all out attack from another world was coming and then you SAW with your OWN eyes alien ships in the skies all over the world. Would your LOSE you FAITH in the COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ? Or what IF the world entered into world war three and the NUCLEAR threat was no longer just a threat, but a REALITY and atomic bombs were exploding all over the world. Would you LOSE your FAITH in the COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ?
These are just QUESTIONS that I have had wonder what would cause Jesus to question if he would FIND FAITH on the earth when he comes again. My point is this SOMETHING will take place that will cause many to lose their faith in God, but if you KNOW this beforehand then you will be less likely to be one who loses their faith when this fiery trial comes. The Bible speaks of a great falling away before Jesus returns. WHAT is it that cause this great apostasy from God. What strong delusion will cause many to be deceived? Something to think about, but for now let us take a look at the next place this word GEHENNA, the VALLEY of HINNOM is found.
Please read Luke 12:4,5.
If you remember we read in Matthew that Almighty God has power to DESTROY BOTH the body and the soul in HELL.
So again, the heart of the SOUND BIBLICAL teaching on HELL is that the body and the shall be DESTROYED in HELL as opposed to the man made “DOCTRINE” and traditions of men who have dogmatically taught us of being ETERNALLY TORTURED in flames of FIRE for all ETERNITY in the presence of the saints who shall both SEE and HEAR the screams of TORMENT and TORTURE for ALL ETERNITY.
The last place we find this word that means GEHENNA, the VALEY of HINNOM is in James 3:6, which says,
“And the tongue is a FIRE, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it DEFILES the whole body, and sets on FIRE the course of nature; and it (speaking of our tongue or the words we speak when when speak cursing rather than blessing) is set on FIRE of HELL.”
Again I personally do not see anything in this passage of scripture that
would refer to a LITERAL FIRE in our tongue being set on FIRE with a
LITERAL FIRE of HELL. But rather I see that this verse means that the powers of darkness use our words to bring forth evil. Please read the study "THE POWER OF OUR WORDS!" for a better understanding of how Satan uses our own words to overcome us.
this concludes all the references with the word HELL in them in the
NEW testament. So now let us examine all the passages of scripture in
the Old testament from the King James version of the Bible, because
in most of all the other translations there is only one or two places with
the word HELL in the Old testament. But in the king James Version we
find 31 references with the word HELL in them. Again the King James Version is my favorite translation to use, but I must admit that it is very BIAS when it come to the doctrine of HELL. Nonetheless the TRUTH can be found from any translation if one is willing to admit that the translators are not above making errors in their translations. This is NOT to say that the Bible is in error, but rather that any errors are the result of INCORRECT TRANSLATIONS of the original text. Now for the Old Testament.
Please read Psalm 9:17, which teaches us that the WICKED and every man of every man that forgets God will be turned into hell.
So then, here in this passage of scripture we see a couple of things, We see that the HEATHEN or those that know not God are sunk DOWN in the PIT, which they themselves DUG so to speak. In other words, Almighty God does NOT want any one to go to this place called HELL, but God must JUDGE the wicked which shall be turned aside or away from God into HELL, because of their OWN work of their hands.
Now some will FALSELY teach you that HELL does NOT EXIST at all, but the EVIDENCE of the WHOLE word of Almighty God CLEARLY and PLAINLY teaches us that there WILL BE a DAY of JUDGMENT and HELL is part of that judgment. So then, since every man will without fail be JUDGED, then do you not think it wise to understand what this judgment entails. WHO and WHY receives one kind of judgment and WHO and WHY receives another kind of judgment?
Please read Proverbs 9:10-18, which teaches us that it is the beginning of WISDOM to FEAR the judgment of Almighty God, and that sin leads to DEATH. We will learn later that DEATH in the Bible not only means the physical death of our bodies, but also means SEPARATION from Almighty God. And this separation from God can be restored while we are alive in the body, but once one dies physically IF one is separated from God by sin when they die, then they will be forever separated from God and suffer the judgment of everlasting damnation of hell as taught by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 23:33.
So then again, there is a literal HELL to ESCAPE and a reward of eternal life to gain, but just what IS the DAMNATION of HELL? Does the word DAMNATION mean ETERNAL TORMENT and TORTURE in flames of fire for all eternity, or does it mean being DESTROYED in the LAKE of FIRE, which is the SECOND DEATH?
Remember what Jesus said to the thief beside him when Jesus and the thief were being crucified? Jesus said TODAY you shall be WITH me IN PARADISE. And do you also remember the passage of scripture about Almighty God LEAVING his Son Jesus in HELL? So then, in order to understand the true BIBLICAL HELL, then you must have an understanding of what and WHERE was this place Jesus called PARADISE. So before we continue to look at the references of hell in the Old testament let us answer the following question.
WHAT and WHERE is PARADISE ?
One day a dear brother in Christ ask me if the thief on the cross went to heaven? He knew that Jesus said to the thief beside him, "TODAY you shall be with me in PARADISE", but he was not sure what paradise meant. Well I myself had never really thought about it either at the time, so I could not give him an answer right then and there. So the purpose of this study is to find the Biblical meaning of the word "PARADISE".
Let us begin this study in God's word by reading the account in Luke 23:42,43 where we are told about the thief on the cross that Jesus told would be with him in PARADISE that day.
“And he (the thief on the cross) said unto Jesus, Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom.
And Jesus said unto him, Verily (or truly) I say unto you, TODAY shall you be with me in PARADISE.”
We know from the scriptures that when Jesus gave up the ghost on the cross that he, as a spirit being, descended into the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
Please take a look at Mathew 12:40, which PLAINLY tells us this fact.
“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the HEART of the earth.”
So the question is, “Did the thief on the cross beside Jesus enter into PARADISE on that selfsame day?” Or in other words, was the HEART of the earth, where Jesus descended to on that selfsame day that he was crucified, and died or gave up the ghost actually PARADISE? Please keep in mind that he plainly told the thief on the cross beside him that "TODAY you shall be WITH ME IN PARADISE." So the word of God makes it quite CLEAR that where ever Jesus WAS when he gave up the ghost and died, SO ALSO was the thief on the cross, because Jesus PLAINLY and CLEARLY stated the the thief would be WITH HIM that VERY DAY. And the word of God ALSO plainly states that Jesus DESCENDED into the BELLY or the HEART of the EARTH for three days and three night IMMEDIATELY upon his death the VERY SELFSAME DAY.
So now let us explore some other questions and compare some scriptures. Let’s begin by looking at what Jesus did WHILE he was in the HEART of the earth for three days and three nights.
The sole purpose or reason Jesus laid down his life on the cross was to redeem ALL of mankind. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:20 that NO FLESH is justified by the law. Also we are told in John 14:6 that the ONLY WAY to the Father was through his Son Jesus.
Now if the Bible is to remain consistent and not contradict itself, then something needed to be done in order for all of the Old Testament saints to be saved, because NO flesh is saved or justified by the law, which would include those that died BEFORE Jesus died for their sins.
The word of God teaches us in 1 Corinthians 1:21 that it pleased God by the foolishness of PREACHING to save them that believe. So it would be necessary for those who died before Jesus was crucified to hear the gospel preached to them in order to be saved. And this is EXACTLY what took place in the HEART of the Earth where Jesus went the selfsame day that he died on the cross. He went to PARADISE to PREACH the GOSPEL to the Old Testament saints.
Please take a look at 1 Peter 3:19 which teaches us this TRUTH.
“By which (referring to the Holy Spirit) also he (referring to Jesus) went and PREACHED unto the SPIRITS (speaking of the SPIRITS of the dead saints of the OLD testament who were being kept by the law unto the age of grace and the first resurrection fro the righteous. Jesus went to PREACH the GOSPEL to the SPIRITS who were) in prison.”
Well when I first read this I thought to myself "PRISON" that does NOT sound like PARADISE to me. So I looked this word "prison" up in my Strong's exhaustive concordance and found that this word translated as prison in the Greek language also means a holding place or a place where something is kept watch over. But just who were these spirits Jesus preached to in this holding place and why were they being kept watch over? We ALREADY KNOW the reason of WHY they needed to hear the PREACHING of the gospel?
To answer these questions please look at 1 Peter 4:6, which compliments the reason of WHY these dead souls or spirits being watched over in the HEART of the Earth NEEDED to HEAR the message of the GOSPEL.
“For this cause (or for this reason) was the gospel preached ALSO to them that are dead (these spirits in PARADISE) that they might be judged ACCORDING to men in the flesh (that is to say, judge in or with the SAME MANNER as men that are presently alive), but live according to God in the spirit (or in other words, in order for ALL of mankind to be judge the SAME, then ALL of mankind NEEDED to hear the PREACHING of the GOSPEL).”
These dead men or spirits in this holding place, which I believe Jesus referred to as PARADISE, were the patriarchs of the Old Testament. They were being watched over or kept from evil in the bosom of Abraham. There was a great gulf that separated them from the evil spirits that were also being kept there in this prison, or this holding place, but to me the side or part where they were kept did not seem to describe as a PARADISE as we think a paradise should be like. Let us continue this study in God's word to find out.
Please read Luke chapter 16 verses 19 through 31. But for now, here is a brief summary of this passage of scripture. Basically there were two men, a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus, and both men died and went to this holding place in the HEART of the earth, which in this verse this holding place is called HELL or HADES. Now this word that is translated as the word HELL is the Greek word HADES, which simply means the GRAVE, or the place of the DEAD also known as the underworld. We are told that Lazarus went to the side called, the bosom of Abraham, which was the side of comfort and rest side of this holding place in the belly or HEART of the earth that Jesus called PARADISE, and the rich man went to the side called hell where there was great torment of flames of fire.
Now it appears obvious that both the good spirits and the evils spirits were being held or kept in this SAME place called HELL or PARADISE by Jesus, that is to say, in the HEART of the earth, because they could see and hear each other, and talk to each other. However, there was a great gulf that separated them so that neither side could cross over to the other side. Jesus went to this holding place of the dead, this UNDERWORLD for three days and three nights for two reasons.
One reason Jesus descended into the heart of the earth was to PREACH the GOSPEL to these patriarchs of the old covenant so that the word of God would not be broken, because NO flesh is justified under the law. It was needful for them to HEAR the gospel, just as much as those who lived after the resurrection of Jesus need to hear the gospel in order to be saved, because it pleased God by the foolishness of PREACHING to save them that believe. So since they died BEFORE Jesus ever was crucified, because Jesus was crucified for their sins as well, this was the only way for them to hear the message of salvation through the ONLY NAME given among men to be saved, Jesus of Nazareth.
Ephesians 4:8-10 says it like this,
“Wherefore he says, When he (Jesus) ascended up on high, he led captivity captive (that is he led a multitude of captives to freedom) and gave gifts unto men.
Now that he ascended, what is it but that he ALSO descended FIRST into the LOWER PARTS of the earth?
He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above the heavens, that he might fill (or fulfill) all things.”
You see, it was needful for Jesus to fulfill the word of God and be the sacrifice for those under the old covenant as well as the new covenant, so that is why he descended first to the HEART of the earth to preach the gospel to those who died under the law.
When Jesus rose from the grave he led a multitude out of PARADISE, or this HOLDING PLACE for the dead, WITH him. But I am certain that he led ONLY those spirits that were held captive, which BELIEVED the words that he PREACHED unto all the spirits of the dead. It may be that some on the side that were being tormented in his parable heard the GOSPEL as well and REPENTED and it may be that they already made it quite clear to whom they wanted to serve BEFORE they died. But to ME it is CERTAIN that those, who LIVED RIGHTEOUSLY in the Old Testament CHOSE to BELIEVE the message of the GOSPEL of their salvation and ROSE from the DEAD WITH Jesus when he arose from the grave.
Please take a look at Mathew 27:52, 53, which clearly shows us that MANY SAINTS arose from the GRAVE or PARADISE right along WITH Jesus when he arose from the grave.
“And the graves were opened and many bodies of the saints which slept arose. And came out of the graves after his resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared unto many.”
Now to ME it does NOT make any sense what so ever for these dead saints, who have just risen from the dead to go right back into the GRAVE. Personally I believe they ASCENDED into heaven with Jesus, when he ascended into heaven the FIRST time BEFORE he came back with his glorified body to be seen of men for forty days. Now the second reason Jesus descended into the heart of the earth was in order to triumph over the enemy and get back the keys of hell and death.
Take a look at Revelation 1:18.
“I (speaking of Jesus) am he that lives, and was dead, and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen, and have the keys of hell and death.”
While Jesus was in the lower parts of the earth where the dead were kept he defeated all principalities and powers and rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places by the simple fact that Jesus was crucified as an innocent man without just cause. Satan was then forced to surrender the KEYS of hell and DEATH. Now Satan is still the god of this world for awhile longer, until Jesus returns to bind him for 1000 years in the pit. Then AFTER the 1000 years are finished Satan will be loose for a little time to once again DECEIVE the nations to rebel against God and his people. At this time the final part of God's WRATH will be poured out and Satan will be cast into the eternal lake of fire. I cover all of this in some of my other studies and I cover the reason of WHY Satan is let loose AGAIN after he has been bound for 1000 years in the study called "UNDERSTANDING WHY?".
But for now let us continue this study in God's word to learn more about PARADISE.
Please take a look at 1 Corinthians 2:8, which says,
“Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
In other words, had Satan known that by crucifying Jesus an innocent man, a lamb without spot or blemish he would be setting free ALL of mankind whom he held in bondage by causing them to sin and disobey God, then Satan would have NEVER nailed Jesus to that cross.
Now that we have taken a look at what Jesus did in PARADISE those three days and three nights let’s take a closer look at this place in the HEART of the earth and see why Jesus referred to it as PARADISE.
The word “PARADISE” is only found three times in the entire Bible. The Strong’s number is 3857 and the Greek word is "parsdeisos", which means a place of blessedness. The base meaning of the word means garden. Here are the three places that the word “paradise” are found.
In Luke 23:43, which is the verse in question, or the verse we began this study in God's word where Jesus told the thief on the cross that TODAY you will be WITH ME IN PARADISE.
“…Today shall you be with me in PARADISE.”
Then is 2 Corinthians 12:4, we read,
“How that he (speaking of Paul) was caught UP into PARADISE.”
So in this verse we see that PARADISE is UP, rather than DOWN in the HEART of the Earth. So then, are there TWO different PARADISES? It may surprise you that the Bible speaks of even MORE than TWO paradises. So let us keep reading to learn WHERE these other paradises are found. Please read Revelation 2:7 where we learn that the TREE of LIFE is located in the MIDST of the PARADISE of God.
“To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the MIDST of the PARADISE of God.”
Now all three scriptures at first don’t seem to be connected in any way, but rather lead one to believe that there are three different paradises.
In order to bring some clarity on this we need to go back to the first PARADISE in which we read about that is found in Genesis 2:7,8, which says,
“And the Lord God planted a GARDEN eastward in EDEN, and there he put man whom he had formed.
And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the MIDST of the GARDEN, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”
Please remember and keep in mind that the base meaning of the word “paradise” means GARDEN. Also please note that we just learned from the word of God that the tree of life was in the MIDST OF THE GARDEN here in Genesis 2;7,8, and when we compared scripture with scripture and compare Genesis with what we have just also learned in Revelation 2:7
“…the tree of life, which is in the MIDST OF THE PARADISE of God”,
then this gives us an important clue, seeing and knowing that the word PARADISE means GARDEN. In BOTH places, the GARDEN of God and the PARADISE of God, in the MIDST of BOTH of these places is found the TREE of LIFE. So then are these TWO trees of life, or is there just ONE PARADISE or GARDEN of God in which there is ONE tree of life. For me personally I believe there is just ONE tree of life that is found in the MIDST of the PARADISE or GARDEN of God seeing that the base meaning of the word "paradise" means GARDEN.
The whole idea or meaning of PARADISE is a place of comfort and blessedness, such as a GARDEN. Remember that the original garden of God was planted in EDEN. Now the word "EDEN" gives us another clue, because this word "EDEN" means PARADISE, delightful or flat land. It is quite obvious that God’s desire or will for mankind is to live in a state of comfort and blessedness from simply observing the first GARDEN of God found in Genesis and the description of the PARADISE of God found in Revelation. Again remember that the word “paradise” means garden. But what about the PARADISE Jesus referred to as being in the HEART of the earth. It doesn’t sound like it would be a place of comfort and blessedness.
Please keep in mind what we already learned about the Old Testament saints being kept COMFORTED in the bosom of Abraham, while the ungodly souls SUFFERED knowing that the DAY of JUDGMENT is coming and they were on the other side of the great gulf. Keep this picture in your mind as you take a look at part of Ezekiel 31:14, which says,
“…they are all delivered unto death to the NETHER parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the PIT.”
This word “nether” means depths, or below. Sometimes this word refers to the UNDERWORLD, and the realm of the dead. The word "nether" simply means that it is the lower or lowest parts, or in other words the HEART of the earth. Now skip down to the last part of verse 16.
“…I cast him down to HELL with them that descend into the PIT and all the trees of EDEN, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be COMFORTED IN the NETHER parts of the earth (or IN the HEART of the Earth, or more precisely all that drink water shall be COMFORTED IN PARADISE which is IN the HEART of the Earth or the NETHER parts of the Earth).”
Now put it all together and you have the HEART of the earth or the NETHER part of the earth, which are the LOWEST and DEEPEST part of the Earth that Jesus called PARADISE. This place was were the dead were kept, because Jesus DESCENDED into this prison or holding place. to PREACH the GOSPEL to these dead or these spirits in paradise. Now the dead would include those under the covenant as well as the uncircumcised. Please keep in mind that this area in the HEART of the earth was divided into two parts that were separated by a great gulf. One part or side was called the bosom of Abraham which was the side of REST and COMFORT. Now the other side is not named, but it is known as the side with NO REST and a side of being in the torment of the flame of fire. Also remember that ALL those that drink WATER shall be COMFORTED. Now this could be referring to the WATER of the WORD of God, which those while they were ALIVE were partakers of and therefore where given WATER to quench their thirst and COMFORT them while they were being KEPT and WATCHED over until the TIME that Jesus would come and PREACH the GOSPEL to them in this place called PARADISE in the HEART of the Earth.
Now whether Jesus preached the gospel to both sides or not to me it is not clear, but it is certain that the gospel was preached to the spirits in this prison or holding place, and since both sides could hear each other and see each other, then it therefore seems reasonable to conclude that ALL who were in the HEART of the earth at this TIME heard the gospel preached.
It is also certain that Jesus went
to this place in the heart of the earth FIRST right after he gave up
the ghost on the cross, that is to say, BEFORE he ascended into
heaven and came back to be seen of men for forty days. We know this
because Jesus said to the thief on the cross next to him, “TODAY
shall you be with me in PARADISE”,
therefore it would be safe to assume that Jesus was referring to this
place in the HEART
of the earth, rather than heaven. We ALSO know this to be true
because of what we read in Ephesians 4:8-19, which says,
9. (Now that he ascended, what is
it but that he
the lower parts of the earth
Jesus DESCENDED into PARADISE to PREACH the GOSPEL and led these
CAPTIVES to HEAVEN when he ASCENDED to the Father)?
Or that Jesus might FULFILL all the scriptures including the one which teaches us that NO man shall be SAVED by the LAW. The word of God teaches us that mankind was only KEPT by the law UNTO the TIME of Jesus Christ. Also it is clear that this place in the heart of the earth is not the only PARADISE that the Bible tells us about.
I find at least four different paradises referred to in the Bible. The first PARADISE is the garden that God planted in Eden. The second PARADISE is the heart of the earth. The third PARADISE is the third heaven, or the throne of God. And the forth PARADISE is the New Jerusalem. There may perhaps be a fifth and final PARADISE in the age to come after the 1000 years reign. However, it may be that there is just ONE paradise and this ONE paradise is moved to where ever the people of God who have FINISHED the race will abide for all eternity.
Nonetheless I find that PARADISE is in essence a place of comfort, a place of blessedness and rest. So the fact that Lazarus was COMFORTED in the bosom of Abraham would be enough for me to conclude the Jesus was referring to the HEART of the Earth as at least “a” PARADISE where the thief joined him that SELFSAME day in which they both died and gave up the ghost or spirit upon the cross and their spirits went to this paradise in the heart of the Earth.
Now this does NOT mean that this place called HELL that is the place of the dead of the UNDERWORLD is a place of COMFORT rather than a place of TORMENT.
But rather one of the meanings of the PARABLE of the rich man and Lazarus was to teach us where the DEAD went in the OLD testament BEFORE the CROSS or the crucifixion of Jesus. After Jesus rose from the dead the RIGHTEOUS go UP to wait under the altar of heaven for their eternal spiritual glorified bodies and the WICKED dead go DOWN to the PIT of HELL to await the DAY of JUDGMENT when they shall be PUNISHED by being cast into the LAKE of FIRE to be DESTROYED, which IS the SECOND DEATH.
In other words, the RIGHTEOUS no longer go DOWN to the PIT of HELL. That is to say, this place called HELL is where ONLY the WICKED are cast DOWN into to AWAIT their day of JUDGMENT. There is NO ETERNAL TORMENT and TORTURE in this place called HELL. There may be a TEMPORARY anguish of MIND in the KNOWING that their destiny is to BE cast alive into the LAKE of FIRE to be DESTROYED, but I myself do NOT find anywhere in the word of TRUTH that teaches that HELL is a place of ETERNAL TORTURE and TORMENT for all eternity.
Now let us get back to taking a look at the reference of HELL in the OLD testament and take a close look at the Hebrew word that is TRANSLATED as HELL.
The Hebrew word in the Old testament is Strong's #7585 and is “OL”, which means grave, by extension place of the dead. It means the deepest depths and is transliterated as Sheol. It is the pit, the bottomless pit. It is translated 31 times to the English word “HELL”.
Here are the references from the King James Version of the Bible. Remember that the KJV is the most BIAS of all the translation of the Bible when it comes to this subject on HELL.
Deuteronomy 32:22 / 2 Samuel 22:6 / Job 11:8; 26:6 / Psalm 9:7; 16:10; 18:5; 55:15; 86:13; 116:3; 139:8 / Proverbs 5:5; 7:27; 9:18; 15:11,24; 23:14; 27:20 / Isaiah 5:14; 14:9,15; 28:15,18; 57:9 / Ezekiel 31:16,17; 32:21,27 / Amos 9:2 / Jonah 2:2 / Habakkuk 2:5.
Deuteronomy 32:21-35 is about the WRATH of Almighty God.
“They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to ANGER with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
So then, in this passage of scripture we see that the WRATH of Almighty God will BURN, DEVOUR, DESTROY and CONSUME the WICKED of the earth even all the way down into the LOWEST part of HELL. In other words, there will be NO PLACE to HIDE from the WRATH of Almighty God. God is a CONSUMING FIRE that will DESTROY the wicked with a bitter DESTRUCTION.
Again there is NOTHING about being ETERNALLY TORTURED in HELL for all eternity.
Then we read in 2 Samuel 22:6-22 about Jesus being deliver from the SORROWS of HELL, and again we see the WRATH of Almighty God in this passage of scripture as well.
Again no sign of ETERNAL TORTURE in this place called HELL.
Take a look at Job 11:8, which just tells us that HELL is really DEEP as heaven is really HIGH.
Now look at Job 26:6, which teaches us that God can see down in HELL and that no one can HIDE from DESTRUCTION, not even in HELL. So therefore those that try and HIDE themselves in underground bunkers and in cave and such from the WRATH of Almighty God it will do them NO good.
Again there is NO place to HIDE from God's WRATH except under the BLOOD of his Son Jesus who DIED for the sins of the WHOLE world and WHOSOEVER will BELIEVE shall NOT PERISH, but rather be given ETERNAL LIFE.
And yet again no mention of ETERNAL TORTURE in HELL.
We already looked at Psalm 9:17, Psalm 16:10, and Psalm 18:5 about Jesus being in HELL, so let us go to Psalm 55:15, which is also about Jesus being in HELL.
More references to DEATH and DESTRUCTION, but NO mention or even hint of eternal TORTURE in HELL for all eternity.
Take a look at Psalm 86:13, which speaks of Jesus being in the LOWEST HELL, and again no mention of ETERNAL TORMENT and TORTURE for all eternity.
Psalm 116:3 yet another description or prophecy of Jesus in HELL says,
Again these are SORROWS and trouble of the mind from Jesus bearing the sins of the WHOLE world.
Yes HELL is a very real place and certainly a place of great mourning and sorrow KNOWING the JUDGMENT that is coming to those who are in hell, but again we see no clear, plain evidence of ETERNAL suffering and TORTURE in HELL.
Psalm 138:8 again about Jesus says in verse 7 through 16,
“Whither shall I go from your spirit? Or whither shall I flee from your presence?
16. Your eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in your BOOK (speaking of the Holy Scripture prophesying about Jesus) all my members were WRITTEN, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”
Now let us take a look at the verses in the book of Proverbs beginning with chapter 5 and verse 5, and chapter 7 verse 27, which talks about the strange woman with the batting of the eyelashes and her way being the way to HELL along with Proverbs 9:18 as well.
Basically fornication and adultery leads to the DEPTHS of HELL. But again we see NO mention of ETERNAL TORTURE in HELL.
Proverbs 15:11 teaches us that HELL and DESTRUCTION are before the Lord.
Then in verse 24 we learn yet again that the righteous go up to escape HELL that is below.
Proverbs 23:14 talks about discipline and correct our children with spankings.
Proverbs 27:20 teaches us NOT to think that HELL will ever be too full like some of our jails that have no more room. Some criminal actually think that they will NOT be punished because there is no room for them in jail. But HELL is NOT that way.
Here we see HELL linked with DESTRUCTION, but not with a place of eternal torture in flames of fire. Now let us go to the book of Isaiah and see what it has to say about HELL.
In Isaiah 5:14 we learn that HELL has ENLARGED herself.
Now we know from the words of Jesus himself in Matthew 25:41 that the ETERNAL FIRE that will DESTROY the fallen angels and the Devil was PREPARED specifically for the Devil and his angels, some of which are being HELD in CHAINS in HELL until their DAY of JUDGMENT. In other words, the LAKE of FIRE was never intended for mankind, but rather the ETERNAL FIRE was prepared for the Devil and the fallen ANGELS and NOT for mankind. Then here in Isaiah we learn that the holding place for the WICKED, which is the lowest HELL has ENLARGED herself, which agrees with Matthew 25:41, which says,
In other words, God never predestined mankind to sin as some FALSELY teach, because if he did then he forgot to make hell large enough to hold the wicked of mankind. The word of truth says that hell ENLARGED herself and that the eternal fire was prepared for the Devil and his angels and NOT for any of mankind. So NO my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, Almighty God did NOT predestine certain individuals to hell from before the foundation of the world as some falsely teach, because the lake of fire was NOT prepared for mankind. The TRUTH of the matter is that Almighty God takes NO PLEASURE in the DEATH of the WICKED but rather is pleading with them to repent and TURN from their wicked ways and LIVE.
In Isaiah 14:9-16 we read about Satan being bound in the PIT of HELL during the 1000 year reign of Jesus.
In Isaiah 28:15-21 we read about some men that make an agreement with HELL and thereby THINK that they will be safe from the WRATH of Almighty God.
“Because you have said, We have made a COVENANT with DEATH, and with HELL are we at AGREEMENT; when the over flowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
The New International Version is translated as his ALIEN act in verse 21.
“The LORD will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim, he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon-- to do his work, his strange work, and perform his task, his ALIEN task.”
This English word ALIEN is found 70 times in the NIV
translation. Something to THINK about??? Particularly when the world is talking more and more that there is NO God and that ALIENS visited this planet in the distant past. Keep in mind that there is coming a great deception and I for one am not ruling out an ALIEN deception. And by ALIEN I mean the fallen angels deceiving mankind that the fallen angels are ALIENS from another planet. Again something to consider so that you are not deceived if or when something like this actually takes place. Please read the study "WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT UFO'S?"
Then in Isaiah 57:9 we read,
Now this passage of scripture is speaking of the WICKED, who went their OWN way after other gods and inflamed themselves with idols. But again I do not find any ETERNAL TORTURE in this passage of scripture either.
Let us take a look at what the prophet Ezekiel has to say about HELL. Please read Ezekiel 31:16,17 which is about the Assyrian or Pharaoh, which I believe is also a future prophecy of the antichrist being destroyed at that the coming of Jesus and cast down into HELL or the nether parts of the earth, but definitely it speaks of the righteous and the wicked of the OLD testament in this holding place called HELL.
“I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.
But yet again I find no mention of ETERNAL TORTURE in flames of FIRE for all eternity.
Let us look at the next chapter of Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 32:21,27, which is a prophecy of the coming WRATH of Almighty God on those who TERRORIZE the people of the earth with acts of TERRORISM. Edom is one nation who is mentioned being among those whom Almighty God will slay with the sword in the Day of the Lord.
24. There is Elam and all her multitude round about her grave, all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which are gone down uncircumcised into the nether parts of the earth, which caused their TERROR (or terrorism) in the land of the living; yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the PIT.
25. They have set her a bed in the midst of the slain with all her multitude: her graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword: though their TERROR (terrorism) was caused in the land of the living, yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit: he is put in the midst of them that be slain.
26. There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude: her graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword, though they caused their TERROR (terrorism) in the land of the living.
27. And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living.
29. There is Edom (or modern day Jordan area), her kings, and all her princes, which with their might are laid by them that were slain by the sword: they shall lie with the uncircumcised, and with them that go down to the PIT.
30. There be the princes of the north, all of them, and all the Zidonians, which are gone down with the slain; with their terror they are ashamed of their might; and they lie uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword, and bear their shame with them that go down to the PIT.
32. For I have caused my terror in the land of the living: and he shall be laid in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that are slain with the sword, even Pharaoh and all his multitude, says the Lord GOD.”
So again HELL is where the wicked shall be cast DOWN into the PIT to await the day of JUDGMENT at the end of the 1000 year reign of Jesus. But again there is no mention of ETERNAL TORMENT and TORTURE in flames of FIRE for all eternity.
We have just three more references in the Bible with the word HELL in them to look at and then we have looked at EVERY single reference of the word HELL in the entire Bible.
Please look at Amos 9:2. which again is speaking about the WRATH of Almighty God and that there is NO place for the wicked to HIDE.
“I saw the Lord standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that flees of them shall not flee away, and he that escape of them shall not be delivered .
3. And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them;”
This passage of scripture teaches us that there is NO place to hide from the WRATH of Almighty God. The only way to escape the judgment and wrath of Almighty God is to BELIEVE upon the name of his SON Jesus and repent of your sins. Please read the studies on “HOW CAN I BE SAVED?” , because NO no religion can save you, NO church denomination can save you and not even your own righteousness can save you, but only your faith in Jesus and his death on the cross for your sins and obedience to the words of Jesus unto the end can save you.
Now take a look at Jonah 2:2, which says,
In this account of Jonah there is a prophecy of Jesus going down into the BELLY of the EARTH for three day and three nights.
Now the last place we find the word HELL is Habakkuk 2:5, which again is a vision and prophecy of the end times when the WRATH of Almighty God will be poured out upon the wicked and the disobedient to the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ.
5.Yea also, because he transgresses by wine, he is a proud man, neither keeps at home, who enlarges his desire as HELL, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathers unto him all nations, and heaps unto him all people:”
So again we see that HELL has enlarged herself. Hell was created for the Devil and his angels and was never intended for mankind, but because man sinned against God HELL had to become larger to receive mankind as well. The Bible teaches us that ALL men have sinned and therefore have fallen short of the glory of Almighty God, but the word of TRUTH also teaches us that Jesus the Son of Almighty God died for the sins of the WHOLE world so that WHOSOEVER will BELIEVE this TRUTH shall be saved. Again please read “HOW CAN I BE SAVED?” for all the verses that teach us BIBLICAL salvation.
Now in all these passages of scripture we only find one passage that has the words TORMENT and FLAMES in HELL is it and this passage was a PARABLE of Jesus.
And yes, there are some other verses that speak of an ETERNAL FIRE and an UNQUENCHABLE FIRE, so we will take a look at these passages of scripture as well to see if they are speaking of HELL, the WRATH of Almighty God or the LAKE of FIRE at the end of the world. In other words, do ANY of these things speak of a place of ETERNAL TORTURE and TORMENT for ALL ETERNITY?
As we look at these passages of scripture please keep in mind all the many verses that we have already looked at that speak of the wages of sin as being DEATH and how BOTH the body and the soul God is able to DESTROY. In other words, WEIGH the amount of evidence that points to the DESTRUCTION of the wicked as opposed to the wicked being ETERNALLY TORTURED in the presence of the saints for all eternity.
Please read the passages that speak of there being WEEPING and GNASHING of teeth.
Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30 / Luke 13:28.
Matthew 8:12 which is speaking of many of the house of Israel being cast out into outer darkness and not being allowed to enter into the kingdom of God because of their unbelief.
There is NO doubt that being cast OUT of God's kingdom will be a very grievous and mournful time for those, who will come to realize on that day that they could have inherited ETERNAL LIFE in the presence of our creator as opposed to being cast out into outer darkness. We are not told what this outer darkness means here in this verse. Is HELL this place of outer darkness? We are not told.
Let us see what these other verses have to say about this weeping and gnashing of teeth. Please read Matthew 22:13.
Now this is another kingdom PARABLE about the DAY of the Lord when Jesus comes to execute the WRATH of Almighty God and the wicked and disobedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ will be cast out into outer darkness and NOT allowed to enter into the kingdom of God.
Matthew 24:51 says,
This passage of scripture teaches us that the careless Christian who goes back into their old life style of sin will be appointed their lot with the hypocrites and they will weep and gnash their teeth as well.
Matthew 25:30 says,
Again the servant of God, who is NOT being that good and faithful servant, will be cast out into OUTER DARKNESS and there will be WEEPING and GNASHING of teeth, because they did NOT take heed to the warnings and teachings in the word of Almighty God, but rather chose to believe the “DOCTRINES of MEN” rather than searching the word of TRUTH for themselves to see if what they were being taught is the truth of the WHOLE word of Almighty God.
Luke 13:23-28 teaches us that many will THINK that they are saved, but will find out on that day that the life of SIN that they are living will NOT be accepted and they will be cast out and not allowed to enter into the joy of the Lord.
25. When once the master of the house is risen up, and has shut to the door, and you begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence you are:
Many will weep and be angry, because they will KNOW that they blew it and that they themselves caused their OWN DESTRUCTION.
The word GNASHING here does NOT speak of PHYSICAL PAIN and suffering, but rather to ANGER and mental anguish for not being allowed into the kingdom of God.
Now let us look at the verse that speak of an ETERNAL FIRE and an UNQUENCHABLE FIRE.
We have already looked at Jude 1:5-7, which teaches us that Sodom and Gomorrah was an EXAMPLE for us of the coming LAKE of ETERNAL FIRE, which IS the SECOND DEATH.
“I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward DESTROYED them that believed not.
7. EVEN AS Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in LIKE MANNER, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an EXAMPLE, suffering the vengeance of ETERNAL FIRE.”
So then, the WICKED were DESTROYED as an EXAMPLE of how the WICKED will be DESTROYED in the ETERNAL FIRE that is to come.
Now we know that the fire of Sodom and Gomorrah is still not yet BURNING, but it was an UNQUENCHABLE fire of total DESTRUCTION, in that, the fire was not quenched UNTIL it ACCOMPLISHED the PUNISHMENT that Almighty God said would take place.
2 Peter 2:4-9 says the SAME thing about Sodom and Gomorrah being an EXAMPLE of the coming judgment of the WICKED and disobedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
5. And spared NOT the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
The EXAMPLE of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah is that the wicked were DESTROYED as oppose to being TORTURED in flames of and eternal fire in HELL.
So over and over again and again we CLEARLY and PLAINLY see that the wicked are DESTROYED and the wages of sin is DEATH as opposed to only the few times we see were some have INTERPRETED the eternal damnation of the wicked to be an eternal TORTURE in flames of fire.
We have already taken a closer look at the parable of Jesus and have found that it is\ NOT to be taken LITERALLY. We have also seen that the HELL FIRE spoken of by Jesus is speaking of the coming WRATH of Almighty God where Jesus is coming in a FLAMING FIRE to execute the vengeance of God. We have as well seen that the torment in the realm of the dead is from Greek literature and not the actual word of God.
Now we will take a look at the only other place in the entire word of God where the eternal lake of fire can be interpreted as a place of TORMENT. So as I promised early on in this study that I would get back to the passage of scripture in Revelation chapter 20 where the second death is taught to us.
Please read Revelation 20:7-15, which says,
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9. And they went upon the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and FIRE came down from God out of heaven, and DEVOURED them.
10. And the DEVIL that deceived them was cast into the lake of FIRE and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever.
11. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
14. And DEATH and HELL were cast into the lake of FIRE. This is the second DEATH.
15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of FIRE."
Now in verse 10 we can clearly and plainly see that someone is going to be TORMENTED in the lake of FIRE day and night for ever and ever.
BUT does this MEAN without a doubt that ALL of the WICKED of mankind is going be kept alive to be TORMENTED and TORTURED if flames of FIRE for ALL ETERNITY as many of us have been taught? Or could this verse mean that it only he DEVIL who is TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever?
“And the DEVIL that deceived them was cast into the lake of FIRE and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever."
We know that the beast and false prophet are ALREADY in the lake of fire when the Devil is cast into this lake of FIRE as well. We are taught in Revelation 19:20 that at the second coming of Jesus right before the 1000 year reign of Jesus that the beast and the false prophet are cast ALIVE into the lake of fire.
“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These BOTH were cast ALIVE into a lake of FIRE burning with brimstone."
So the question is will the beast and the prophet be KEPT ALIVE for all eternity in this lake of fire that burns with brimstone or will they be DESTROYED when they were cast ALIVE into this lake of fire being CONSUMED alive?
Now some would argue and dogmatically demand that this verse plainly says where the beast and the false prophet "ARE", which they interpret to mean as they are STILL ALIVE being tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Again keep in mind that this is an INTERPRETATION as to what this verse means. You see the New International version translates this Greek word that is translated as "ARE" to be where the beast and the false prophet "HAD BEEN THROWN", which changes the whole meaning without a doubt to mean that the beast and the false prophet had been DESTROYED by the flame of fire, when they were cast in ALIVE.
Revelation 20:10 from the New International Version.
“And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet HAD BEEN THROWN. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
And many other translations use the word "WERE"in place of "ARE", but then I believe that they then incorrectly translated the rest of the verse by saying THEY will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. One paraphrase translation goes as far as to leave no doubt what so ever and say THESE THREE are tormented day and night for all eternity. But to ME, these words are NOT in the original Greek, but were ADDED by the translator. Also if one takes a look at how many times these particular verses have been changed in the way that they are translated in should make you wonder why?
All I can say is that for ME, I chose to translate the word of God in the LIGHT of the WHOLE word of God and NOT to have what I call TUNNEL VISION upon one verse of scripture. What I mean by this is that the vast majority of scriptures clearly and plainly teach DEATH and DESTRUCTION and the END of the WICKED. Here are some more passages of scripture that without a doubt teach us that the wicked will be DESTROYED and shall be NO MORE.
The are a couple of things that I want to point out in this passage of scripture. First I want you to notice that this verse says that the SMOKE of their torment ascends up forever and ever. Also keep in mind that the phrase "forever and ever"can also be translated as, "and the SMOKE of their torment ascends up from age to the age of ages. And again please notice that this verse is speaking of the WRATH of God, which nowhere in scripture do I find will last for all eternity.
And lastly I want to draw your attention to the term WITHOUT MIXTURE and keep in mind that the Devil and his fallen angels will also partake in the suffering of the WRATH of Almighty God. So to ME, I see this term WITHOUT MIXTURE as meaning that the PUNISHMENT of the DECEIVER will be DIFFERENT than the punishment of those, who have been DECEIVED. In other words, God is not going to MIX the punishment of the wicked of mankind with the punishment of the Devil and the fallen angels.
This is one of the reasons why I interpret Revelation 20:10 to be ONLY the DEVIL who is TORMENTED day and night forever and ever. But again this phrase for ever and ever can be translated as from age to the age of ages, which to me means that the age that immediately follows the 1000 year reign of Jesus is that age of ages, because the God's ENEMY Satan, all the wicked and death are forever DESTROYED.
Please keep in mind that I am not dogmatically teaching that there is NO HELL, but rather I am just presenting to you all the evidence that I have found in God's word that to ME, clearly teaches that the wicked will not be ETERNALLY TORTURED throughout all eternity. To ME, there are other ways that these so called iron clad verses can be interpreted that will better harmonize with the vast amount of other scripture that teaches that the wicked will be DESTROYED at the end of the age. Please read the study "DOES REVELATION 20:10 TEACH ETERNAL TORMENT?" for a more detailed study in God's word on this most controversial passage of scripture. In fact I am going to add it to this study, because so many DOGMATICALLY DEMAND that eternal torment and torture is the ONLY way that this verse can be INTERPRETED when the TRUTH of the matter is that there are many ways to view and interpret this verse WITHOUT causing any CONTRADICTIONS with the rest of God's word.
The DOCTRINE of ETERNAL TORMENT
chapter 20 and verse 10, which reads from the King James Version of
the Bible as follows is a passage of scripture that to some is boasted to be an iron
clad PROOF text that the DOCTRINE of ETERNAL TORMENT in HELL FIRE is a 100%
Biblical SOUND teaching. And I must say that in just reading this verse ALONE and
APART from this WHOLE word of God without going deeper into the word
of God, then I have to admit that their line of reasoning SEEMS to be
logical. Please read Revelation 20:10 before we dive deeper into the
word of God to explain other very possible and more harmonic
interpretations of the verse that agree with the rest of God's word,
rather than seem to contradict it due to the incorrect translation of this verse found in Revelation 20:10. I will explain what I mean by this
as we continue in this study of God's word. Let us begin this study in God's word by reading Revelation 20:10, with EMPHASIS place on the phrase "TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever".
those that teach the doctrine of ETERNAL TORMENT in the FIRES of HELL
or in the LAKE of FIRE use this particular verse found in Revelation
20:10 as one of their MAIN passages of scripture in order to try and
PROVE that ALL the WICKED will be FOREVER TORTURED and TORMENTED in
FLAMES of FIRE for ALL ETERNITY with no rest, no mercy, no comfort,
nor even one brief moment of relief for ever. And ever day and night
they shall be TORMENTED in the lake of fire and brimstone for all eternity.
I have said many times in many of my studies throughout the years that ANY verse when
taken out of context and viewed ALONE and APART from the WHOLE word
of God may SEEM to be saying something that it is NOT truly saying.
In other words, you the reader, must NOT have tunnel vision where all
you can think about and process in your mind is this ONE verse in the
entire word of God while forgetting about the REST of God's word.
Let me explain what I mean by this. For those of you who have read the study that I wrote “IS THE DOCTRINE OF HELL BIBLICAL?”, then you have clearly seen that IF Revelation 20:10 is in fact to TRULY be INTERPRETED in this way that those who teach this DOCTRINE of ETERNAL TORMENT have interpreted it, then you have seen that their interpretation CONTRADICTS the REST of God's word where you have clearly and plainly seen that ALL the WICKED are DESTROYED at the end of the age.
So then, you the reader, must either go back and change a huge vast amount of
passages of scripture to fit their interpretation of eternal TORMENT
and TORTURE, OR you the reader need to go deeper in the word of God
in order to find another interpretation of this ONE passage of
scripture that AGREES with the rest of God's word that clearly teaches us that the wicked are DESTROYED at the end of the age.
For ME, it
is the LATER choice that I myself have decided to do in this study of
God's word. In other words, I have chosen to go deeper in the word of God and take a closer look at this verse in Revelation 20:10 in it's original language to see if these Greek words could be translated in another way to AGREE with the REST of God's word that to me clearly teaches that the wicked will be DESTROYED, CONSUMED, DEVOURED and turned to ASHES at the end of the age.
let us examine some different points to look into that will give you the reader some alternative ways to view and understand Revelation 20:10 that will AGREE with the rest of God's word rather than CONTRADICT it as the ETERNAL TORMENT DOCTRINE does.
Point number 1.
First of all we need to establish WHO are we SPECIFICALLY point blank without a doubt told will be the ONES who are TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever in Revelation 20:10?
So then, it appears that there are only THREE beings that are SPECIFICALLY NAMED in this verse of scripture WHO are the ones who will be TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever, and the NAMES of these THREE beings are the DEVIL, the BEAST, and the FALSE PROPHET. Now we all know for a certainty that the DEVIL is NOT a HUMAN BEING and of the species known as MANKIND. But what about the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET? Are these other two beings in the classification of HUMAN beings, OR are the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET EVIL SPIRITS and of the same nature as the DEVIL? And if so, then WHY does this even matter?
First of all it matters because of other places in the Bible where there seems to be DIFFERENT degrees of punishment on the day of judgment. Remember the words of Jesus, when he said that it will be MORE TOLERABLE for them on the day of judgment than for you. Please read Matthew 10:15, 11:22,24, Mark 6:11, Luke 10:12,14. I will just quote Mark 6:11,12 which teaches us that it will be MORE TOLERABLE on the day of judgment for the wicked that perished in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah than for those who REJECT the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when you depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be MORE TOLERABLE for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.
So then, does this mean that some are going to only be tormented just a little or in a MILDER way for all eternity, while others are going to be TORMENTED and TORTURED more severely to the point of beyond bear-ability? OR does this mean that some are tormented in the flames of fire only a short TIME before they are consumed to ashes, while others will be TORMENTED for a longer duration of time before they are consumed to ashes as well? HOW does the term MORE TOLERABLE fit into the equation of ETERNAL TORMENT in flames of fire? HOW is it possible for everyone to be TORMENTED for ALL ETERNITY in flames of fire and never be consumed and it be MORE TOLERABLE for some than it is for others? These are all valid questions that need to be answered if this doctrine of eternal torment is going kept in your understanding and continued to be dogmatically taught.
It seems pretty clear from some passages of scripture that there is going to be different degrees of punishment on the day of judgment. So what about these DIFFERENT TYPES of punishment that the Bible teaches us will be poured out WITHOUT MIXTURE? Let me explain what I mean by this. You see in Revelation chapter 14 there is a verse that leads me to believe that the DEVIL and the FALLEN angels or EVIL SPIRITS will be punished DIFFERENTLY than the WICKED HUMAN BEINGS who have been DECEIVED by Satan and these EVIL SPIRITS.
This brings us to the WHY it is important to know WHO are the ones who we are SPECIFICALLY NAMED as the ones WHO will be TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever, which brings us to point number 2.
Point number 2.
In point number 1. we established that THREE SPECIFIC beings were NAMED as the ONES who are to be tormented day and night for ever and ever. So here in point number two we will see from Revelation 14:9-11 that there seems to be a DIFFERENT punishment for that Old Dragon called the DEVIL and SATAN and his FALLEN angels or the EVIL SPIRITS compared to the punishment of the wicked of MANKIND. In other words, Almighty God is not going to MIX the punishment of mankind together with the punishment of Satan and the evil spirits by inflicting the same degree of punishment upon mankind as he does upon the DEVIL and the fallen ANGELS. Please notice as you read the following passage of scripture that the pronouns refer back to two different subjects. I highlighted them in different colors so that they will stand out more.
10. The same shall drink of the wine of the WRATH of God, which is poured out WITHOUT MIXTURE into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be TORMENTED with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
First of all I want you to notice that there are TWO classes of beings being spoken of in this passage of scripture. We have human beings, or men and women, who have taken the mark of the BEAST and have worshiped the BEAST. Then we have the BEAST, who is again the one being that is specifically named that will be TORMENTED with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
Secondly I want you to notice that those, who have been DECEIVED into worshiping the BEAST do in fact suffer the WRATH of Almighty God, but please notice that God's WRATH is poured out upon THEM WITHOUT MIXTURE. In other words, there seems to be a DIFFERENT type of punishment for MANKIND than there is for the DEVIL, the BEAST, and the FALSE PROPHET.
then, are the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET in the class of beings as
EVIL SPIRITS as we know without a doubt that the DEVIL is of this
class of beings known as evil spirits and fallen angels? In order to answer this question please read
Revelation 16:12-14, which CLEARLY and PLAINLY teaches us that these
THREE are UNCLEAN EVIL SPIRITS of DEVILS, which tells me that they
are NOT of the same class of beings as MANKIND, but rather that there are of the SAME class of being as the DEVIL.
13. And I saw THREE UNCLEAN SPIRITS like frogs come out of the mouth of the DRAGON (whom we know from Revelation 12:9 is called the DEVIL and SATAN ), and out of the mouth of the BEAST, and out of the mouth of the FALSE PROPHET.
Now some, who desperately want to cling to the doctrine of eternal torture in flames of fire for all eternity, may argue that these could be MEN who have been POSSESSED with EVIL SPIRITS of DEVILS. If this is you, then I want you to please read Revelation 11:7, which teaches us that the BEAST ascended OUT of the BOTTOMLESS PIT.
Nowhere in the Bible do I find that any HUMAN being ascends out of the bottomless pit. Now I do agree that it is the SPIRIT of Satan that indwell or possesses a human being that becomes known as this BEAST and also possesses another person that becomes known as this FALSE PROPHET, who in turn DECEIVE many of mankind to take the mark of the beast and worship the beast and that these men and women, who have been DECEIVED by the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET make up a system or kingdom of the beast, which is ALSO called the BEAST. In other words, there is a specific single being that is called the beast and there is also many MEN and WOMEN, who have been DECEIVED into following this being called the BEAST. Therefore in some passages of scripture where the BEAST is referred to it is actually speaking of MANKIND who have taken the mark of the beast to be identified with him, rather than this single being called the BEAST. Yes, a little confusing at first, but as you continue this study it will all become clear to you. So then, to ME, I still see that Revelation 20:10 is SPECIFICALLY NAMING these THREE UNCLEAN SPIRITS as the ones WHO will be TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever.
we leave point number two I would like you to read Revelation 14:9-11
again keeping in mind these TWO different types or degrees of punishment that are NOT
MIXED and notice that it is ONLY the SMOKE of the torment of the
wicked of mankind that ascends FOR EVER and EVER and NOT that the
cries of weeping and gnashing of teeth of those being kept alive to
be TORMENTED and TORTURED in flames of fire for all ETERNITY that ascends up for ever and ever.
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any MAN worship the BEAST and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10. The same shall drink of the wine of the WRATH of God, which is poured out WITHOUT MIXTURE into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be TORMENTED with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11. And the SMOKE of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name.”
Again please notice that the WRATH of God is poured out WITHOUT having any MIXTURE in it meaning that the BEAST receives a DIFFERENT type or a different degree of punishment than the people that he DECEIVED into following him. In other words, it is the BEAST alone as the one being who is named that is TORMENTED for ever and ever, and NOT that ALL the wicked of mankind are tormented for ever and ever. Also please notice that this verse specifically states that it is only the SMOKE of the torment that ascends up for ever and ever, and NOT the cries of those who took the mark of the beast being tormented in flames of fire that ascend up for ever and ever. Another thing that I want to point out is that this phrase “for ever and ever” does not always mean ETERNITY in scripture.
Many Bible scholars will agree that this
phrase means that this SMOKE of their torment will ascend up until
the END of the AGE. In other words, the Greek words that are TRANSLATED as "for ever and ever"can ALSO be translated as "to the AGE of the AGES", or "to the AGE of ALL AGES" meaning the AGE that is to come where the WICKED be NO MORE. And the phrase “and they have NO REST day nor
night” can mean that once judgment has been SET, then there is NO
CHANCE of having it overturned or lifted. In other words, the
judgment is ETERNAL and therefore once the WICKED are DESTROYED in
the lake of FIRE, then that is the END of the WICKED for ALL ETERNITY
and there can NEVER EVER be ANY REST for them day of night. Another meaning for this phrase "day and night" is that it will take some TIME to JUDGE and EXECUTE all the wicked and DURING this span of TIME there will be NO REST for the wicked neither during the DAY nor during the NIGHT. Now some may argue that this verse says the WRATH of God will be poured out without mixture and not the lake of fire. To properly understand that the WRATH of God IS part of God's JUDGMENT please read the study "IS THE DOCTRINE OF HELL BIBLICAL?".
Point number 3.
Here in point number three I would like to bring to your attention that the reward of ETERNAL LIFE is given ONLY to the RIGHTEOUS. And that Bible clearly teaches us that the wages or the PUNISHMENT for those who have chosen to live in SIN is DEATH. In others words, the ONLY way that the WICKED could be KEPT ALIVE in the lake of FIRE for all ETERNITY is to give them ETERNAL LIFE, which again is promised ONLY to the RIGHTEOUS. To ME, this doctrine of ETERNAL TORMENT and TORTURE in flames of FIRE is a major problem that CONTRADICTS what the rest of the Bible teaches that ONLY the RIGHTEOUS inherit ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come.
Some will argue and say that only the body of man dies and that the spirit and soul of man is immortal and never dies, because they CLAIM that the Bible teaches that the spirit and soul of man was CREATED as an IMMORTAL being. But NO WHERE in the word of Almighty God do I find that mankind was created as an IMMORTAL being. In fact I find just the OPPOSITE that the word of TRUTH clearly teaches us that man was created as MORTAL being. Then there are others who KNOW this TRUTH in God's word that man was created as a MORTAL being, but will argue that ALL of mankind will be RESURRECTED, which means that BOTH the RIGHTEOUS and the WICKED will come back to LIFE and at this time the WICKED as well as the righteous will possess ETERNAL LIFE and can never die again. Now I am not going to quote all the verses of scripture on this point in this study of God's word on Revelation 20:10, because I already cover them in great detail in the study called “IS THE SOUL OF MAN IMMORTAL?” where it is CLEARLY and PLAINLY shown from the WHOLE word of God that it is ONLY the RIGHTEOUS who RECEIVE the reward of ETERNAL LIFE. Let us move on to the next point that I want you to see.
Point number 4.
It is to those who still INSIST and DOGMATICALLY DEMAND
that the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are MEN and therefore
that all the wicked will without fail be TORMENTED and TORTURED in
flames of fire for ALL ETERNITY that I want to point out in
conjunction with point number three that man is NOT an ETERNAL being
and therefore MUST be GIVEN eternal life in order to never be able to
die again and that ONLY the RIGHTEOUS are GIVEN ETERNAL LIFE. So then, this point made in number three that man was not created as an eternal being and therefore must be GIVEN eternal life combined also with the fact that the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are the ONLY TWO among ALL the WICKED who are rebelling against God in sin and who are killing God's people the Christians and the Jews who are
selected to be cast ALIVE in the lake of fire at the second coming of
Jesus when he comes in flaming fire and executes the WRATH of
Almighty God upon the ungodly and the disobedient to the gospel.
Does this not seem strange that ONLY these TWO, the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET were cast ALIVE into the lake of fire at this time from among ALL the WICKED? Does this not raise in your mind the question WHY? Let us read Revelation 19:19-21 to refresh your memory.
So then, in this passage of scripture we see that not only the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET, but we also see all the ARMIES of MANKIND that were DECEIVED into following the BEAST to make WAR against Jesus, and YET Jesus chooses ONLY to cast ALIVE into the lake of fire these TWO individual beings that are specifically named as the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET, and then we are told that Jesus SLAYS all the rest of those who are fighting against him. I want you to THINK about this for a moment. ONLY TWO beings out of ALL those who will be fighting against Jesus at his second coming will be cast ALIVE into the lake of fire. WHY? Could it be that these TWO beings are NOT HUMAN beings, but rather that the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are EVIL SPIRIT BEINGS?
Keep this thought in mind as we go right into the next chapter in the book of Revelation where we will see ANOTHER EVIL SPIRIT called the DEVIL that is taken and BOUND in the bottomless pit to be KEPT ALIVE for a 1000 years, rather than being cast into the lake of fire at this point in time along WITH the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET. Please read Revelation 20:1-3, and keep in mind that in the original text there is no separation into different chapters and verses.
In other words, immediately after the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are
cast alive into the lake of fire, the DEVIL, whom we KNOW without a
doubt is an EVIL SPIRIT is taken and BOUND in the bottomless pit to be KEPT ALIVE for 1000 years rather than cast alive into the lake of fire with the other TWO beings who are identified as the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET.
2. And he laid hold on the DRAGON, that old serpent, which is the DEVIL, and SATAN, and BOUND him a thousand years,
3. And CAST him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should DECEIVE the nations no more, TILL the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”
So then, immediately following the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET being cast ALIVE into the lake of FIRE we right away see in the next chapter that an
angel BINDS Satan, who again we KNOW is an EVIL SPIRIT and cast him ALIVE into the BOTTOMLESS PIT, which
we learn later on in this same chapter that the REASON WHY Satan will be turned
LOOSE at the end of the 1000 year reign of Jesus is to TEMPT and DECEIVE
mankind to make war against God's people one final time before he TOO will be taken and cast into the lake of FIRE where the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET had been thrown 1000 years prior.
Let us go through this one more time so that you can see that these THREE, the BEAST, the FALSE PROPHET, and the DEVIL are ALL THREE EVIL SPIRITS. So then once again, the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are CAST ALIVE into the lake of fire at the second coming of Jesus, BUT that DRAGON called the DEVIL and SATAN was bound in chains and CAST into the BOTTOMLESS PIT to be KEPT ALIVE for 1000 years so that he could NO longer DECEIVE mankind DURING this 1000 year reign of Jesus, but then Satan would be LOOSED at the END of this 1000 years for the PURPOSE of tempting and DECEIVING the nations one last time before he ALSO will be cast into the lake of fire where the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET had already been cast 1000 years earlier.
So then, in Revelation 20:7-10 we learn that at the END of
this 1000 year reign of Jesus that Satan or the DEVIL is let loose so
that he can once again tempt and DECEIVE the nations of mankind one
final time. We see that he succeeds and does in fact DECEIVE some of mankind from the nations once again
to make war with God's people. Then we see the FIRE of God come down
from heaven and DEVOUR those that are fighting against God's people.
Then we are told that the DEVIL is at this point in time CAST into the lake of
FIRE to JOIN the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET. Now for most of us I think it is quite simple and logical for us to draw the same conclusion that since the
beast and the false prophet were cast into this same lake of fire
ALIVE that the DEVIL also was cast in ALIVE as well and that ALL THREE are EVIL SPIRITS.
So at this point in time all we see that have been cast into the lake of fire are ONLY these THREE beings, which are specifically name as being that Old Serpent the DRAGON called the DEVIL and Satan, the
BEAST that we are told ascended out of the bottomless pit in
Revelation 11: where also Satan was bound for 1000 years, and the
FALSE PROPHET, who we know spoke as a DRAGON and was given power from
the DRAGON. And we also know that all THREE were called UNCLEAN and
EVIL SPIRITS of DEVILS. So then, HOW can any one still believe that
TWO of these THREE who are tormented day and night for ever and ever and
still dogmatically teach that they are WICKED MEN seeing ALSO that
man is NOT an IMMORTAL being and MUST without fail be GIVEN eternal
life and that ONLY the RIGHTEOUS are promise the REWARD of ETERNAL LIFE.
For those of you who want to argue and dogmatically insist that the beast and the false prophet are MEN my question is this, WHEN and WHERE are we told in God's word that the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are GIVEN ETERNAL LIFE in order to REMAIN ALIVE in this lake of FIRE that would immediately CONSUME and DESTROY mere MORTAL men in a very short span of time let alone being still ALIVE during the 1000 years while Satan was being bound during the reign of Jesus, IF SO BE that they ARE still ALIVE?
Also I want to point out the the word "ARE" that so many who teach the doctrine
of eternal TORMENT love to EMPHASIZE to try and prove that the beast
and the false prophet are STILL ALIVE being TORMENTED in this lake of
fire and that this word "ARE"is NOT in the
original text, but rather was ADDED by the translators. I will go into
more detail about this in my next point.
Point number 5.
If you are still NOT convinced by all the evidence of scripture that I have given this far that the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are NOT men, but rather that they are EVIL SPIRITS, and you still insist that even though man is NOT an IMMORTAL being but that somehow God KEPT these TWO alive to suffer not only the lake of fire for this 1000 years but to continue on suffering along with the DEVIL, who has now joined them for all eternity, then I want to draw your attention to the VERB usage in Revelation 20:10, which says,
First of all I want to point out that the PRESENT tense verb “ARE” is NOT found in the original text, but rather was added by the translators. Also it should be pointed out that in the CONTEXT the verb usage for the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET is PAST tense and NOT present tense, as in, they BOTH “WERE CAST” alive into the lake of fire and therefore to CORRECTLY add the verb is must be in agreement and should have been translated as “...where the beast and the false prophet WERE CAST...”
Secondly IF this verse were translated correctly as WERE CAST, then one could conclude that it is ONLY the Old Dragon called the DEVIL and Satan who is the ONE who will be TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever, because the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET would have already been destroyed by the fire IF indeed they were MEN.
In other words, ANOTHER POSSIBLE interpretation of Revelation 20:10 could be that ALL the WICKED of MANKIND, who are cast into the lake of fire shall be DEVOURED, CONSUMED and therefore DESTROYED for all eternity and it is ONLY the DEVIL and the fallen angels, who shall remain alive in the lake of fire to be TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever.
So either way I myself do NOT see ANY of mankind being TORMENTED for ALL ETERNITY as many of us have been taught. In fact I personally do not believe that the DEVIL and the fallen ANGELS will be KEPT ALIVE in the lake of FIRE to be TORMENTED and TORTURED for ALL ETERNITY either. I will explain why a little further on in this study.
Now if you are one that wants to continue to believe in this man made DOCTRINE of ETERNAL TORMENT in HELL FIRE that did not become into existence until DANTE put forth his teaching about the different levels of torture in hell, then that is your right. As I have said before this study is directed to those who are STRUGGLING with the seemly contradictions between verses like Revelation 20:10 and the many scriptures that to them and myself clearly show that the wicked will be DESTROYED at the end of the age rather than tortured for all eternity as Revelation 20:10 SEEMS to be saying. And again in no way do I diminish the WARNING of God's JUDGMENT and being cast into the lake of fire.
Point number 6.
Another point to consider is that there are some passages of scripture that show us that the evil spirits and even Satan himself will be DESTROYED as well at the end of the age.
Please read Mark 1:23-27, where an unclean spirit asks Jesus if he is here to DESTROY him?
27. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority commands he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.”
Also please read this same account from Luke 4:33-36 which calls this unclean spirit a spirit of an unclean DEVIL. I point this out, because some will try and argue that unclean spirits are not the same beings as DEVILS.
Now let us compare this account with a similar account found in Mark 5:1- 18 and Matthew 8:28-34 where Jesus cast out some spirits of DEVILS from a man, but before Jesus cast them out they cry out and rebuked or adjured Jesus basically saying that Jesus had no right to TORMENT them BEFORE their TIME.
13. And forth with Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
“And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with DEVILS, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
32. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
So then, in a couple of passages of scripture the DEVILS ask Jesus if he was come to DESTROY them and in another couple passages of scripture the DEVILS ask Jesus if he has come to TORMENT them before their TIME. Please notice that the DEVILS knew that there is coming a TIME when they will be JUDGED. Now whether this judgment will be that they are DESTROYED or whether they will be TORMENTED for ALL ETERNITY is yet to be learned as we continue weighing ALL the evidence from God's word.
Some of those, who teach the doctrine of eternal torment, make, what to ME, come off as a very SARCASTIC argument against those of us who teach the destruction or the annihilation of the wicked by saying something like, “Well if God is such a LOVING God as to NOT torment his CREATION called MANKIND, then WHY does this LOVING God TORMENT his CREATION Satan and the fallen angels for all eternity?”
So this argument I respond. First of all IF it is true that Satan and the fallen angels are in fact TORTURED and TORMENTED for all ETERNITY, then I want to point out that there is a VAST difference between the CREATION of mankind and his fall into disobedience to God's command by being DECEIVED into DISOBEYING God's commands, and the CREATION of the ANGELS of God that REBELLED and went to WAR against Almighty God to literally TAKE OVER his throne. Secondly I want to point out that Almighty God sent his only begotten Son to suffer and die for mankind, whereas for Satan it appears from what I have found in scripture that he ACCUSED God for CREATING him evil and therefore it is NOT his fault that he rebelled and tried to take over God's throne and become the Almighty God himself. In other words, it appears to me that Lucifer was given the chance to repent, but instead he put all the BLAME on God and basically chose to fight to the end against God. Please read the study called "UNDERSTANDING WHY?" to better understand WHY God ALLOWS Satan to remain alive to spread his rebellion against God when God who is Almighty could wipe evil out at any time. But for now please read Ezekiel 28:12-19, which clearly and plainly teaches us that Lucifer, who is now known as Satan God's adversary, will in fact one day be DESTROYED and turned to ASHES and shall be NO MORE.
13. You hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes was prepared in you in the day that you were created.
16. By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will DESTROY YOU, O COVERING CHERUB, from the midst of the stones of fire.
18. You have defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your traffick; therefore will I bring forth a FIRE from the midst of you, it shall DEVOUR you, and I will bring you to ASHES upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.19. All they that know you among the people shall be astonished at you: you shalt be a terror, and NEVER shalt you be ANY MORE.”
This passage of scripture makes it clear to us that Lucifer the covering cherub, which is an ANGEL who REBELLED against God to exalt his throne ABOVE that of God's throne. Most of you know the story of how Satan convince one third of the angels to join with him to try and take over God's throne so I will not go into any detail in this study. If you want to know more on how Lucifer became God's enemy, then please read the study called “WHO IS LUCIFER---IS SATAN LUCIFER?” and the study entitled “UNDERSTANDING WHY?”, but for now let us continue viewing the evidence from God's word the to ME, clearly teaches us that Satan and the fallen angels will as well be DESTROYED at the end of the age. Please read Hebrews 2:14, which says,
“For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might DESTROY HIM that had the power of death, that is, the DEVIL;”
Now I am NOT saying that Satan or the DEVIL and the fallen angels will in no way be TORMENTED, but rather I am saying that in LIGHT of the WHOLE word of God that they will NOT be TORMENTED for ALL ETERNITY. In other words, their torment will last for a time while they are being CONSUMED, DEVOURED and turned into ASHES as the rest of God's word teaches us. I will explain this further in a moment, but first let us look at a few more verses that teach us of the DESTRUCTION of the BEAST, of Satan, the Devil and of the fallen angels. Please read 2 Thessalonians 2:8,9 where we see that WICKED, the antichrist, or the BEAST being CONSUMED and DESTROYED at the time of the second coming of Jesus.
“And then shall that WICKED be revealed (speaking of the antichrist who is given his power by Satan and may well be even possessed by Satan himself), WHOM the Lord shall CONSUME with the spirit of his mouth, and shall DESTROY with the brightness of his coming:
So while this verse is not referring specifically to Satan himself, we know that it is speaking of the antichrist or the BEAST whom Satan has empowered. Please remember that the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET were cast ALIVE into the lake of FIRE at the second coming of Jesus, then at the end of the 1000 year after Satan was loosed to deceive the nations one final time to make WAR with God's people that the DEVIL also was cast into the lake of FIRE and THEY were TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever.
So my point is this HOW can they be BOTH kept ALIVE for all eternity to be TORMENTED in the lake of FIRE, AND be CONSUMED and DESTROYED in the lake of FIRE as well? We will look at HOW this can be possible right after we look at one final passage of scripture that teaches us that the fallen angels will be DESTROYED on the day of judgment. Please read Jude 5-8, which teaches us EVEN AS or in the SAME MANNER as Sodom and Gomorrah was DESTROYED so shall ALSO the fallen angels be DESTROYED by FIRE.
7. EVEN AS Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an EXAMPLE, suffering the vengeance of ETERNAL FIRE.”
other words, just as the Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding
cities who in the same manner committed these homosexual sins of going after strange flesh were
DESTROYED by FIRE so shall ALSO these wicked men along with the ANGELS
that rebelled against God suffer the vengeance of the ETERNAL FIRE to be DESTROYED. Keep in mind that this JUDGMENT of the lake of FIRE is called the SECOND DEATH.
The Bible teaches us in Hebrews 9:27 that it is APPOINTED or ordained by God for mankind to DIE only ONE TIME and then every man and woman would appear before God in the JUDGMENT. In other words, MANKIND is NOT an ETERNAL being and Almighty God has APPOINTED that each and every human being is to DIE and then AFTER they die then they are to be JUDGED according to his or her WORKS which they did while they were LIVING. But there is more to this verse if you think about it for awhile. This verse also teaches us that it is God's WILL that man die ONLY ONCE.
In other words, God's WILL is that no man should PERISH, but
rather that ALL men should come to the knowledge of the truth and be
SAVED. What I am trying to get you to see my dear brothers and
sisters in Jesus Christ is that Almighty God does NOT desire any of
mankind to suffer the vengeance or judgment of the ETERNAL FIRE or
the lake of FIRE, which is the judgment of the SECOND DEATH.
does NOT desire that any man PERISH in this ETERNAL FIRE that
Matthew 25: 41 CLEARLY teaches us was prepared for Satan, the DEVIL
and the fallen angels and was NOT prepared for any of mankind. Remember
when God destroyed the wicked with a flood and saved only Noah and his
family and how it REPENTED God that he even made mankind? Well this is a CLUE teaching us that one of the reasons mankind may have been created was to PROVE to Satan and the fallen angel that they were in fact created PERFECT in all their ways. In other words, Satan and the fallen angels are on TRIAL and God created a species of beings called mankind that were INFERIOR or LOWER than the ANGELS in order to PROVE to them that they could live without SIN. Please read the study "UNDERSTANDING WHY?" which explains this in greater detail form the scriptures, but for now let us look at Matthew 25:41.
Now for myself I do not have any problem with an ETERNAL FIRE or the SMOKE of the torment of the WICKED being DESTROYED in this EVERLASTING FIRE that is never extinguished burning for all eternity as a reminder of what will become of those who one day in the future may fall prey to the idea of rebelling against God.
However, I and many others like me do have trouble with the FALSE teaching of a LOVING God forever keeping ALIVE the wicked so that they can be TORMENTED and TORTURED for ALL ETERNITY. I have trouble with the APPARENT CONTRADICTION in God's word when Revelation 20:10 is INTERPRETED as Almighty God TORMENTING the wicked for ALL ETERNITY especially WHEN there is ALSO a vast amount of scripture that CLEARLY and PLAINLY teaches us that the wicked shall be DESTROYED at the end of the age.
We know that God's word does NOT CONTRADICT itself, so then, it must be that it is the INTERPRETATION of either Revelation 20:10 and a few other passages of scripture that SEEM to teach eternal TORMENT, OR the INTERPRETATION of the vast number of passages of scripture, which to ME and many others, clearly and plainly teach us that all the wicked shall be DESTROYED by FIRE and CONSUMED into ASHES and be NO MORE for all eternity.
Now as I said before we can harmonize the scriptures and teach that there will indeed be TORMENT and SUFFERING to the wicked in this lake of FIRE while they are being CONSUMED, DEVOURED, and turned into ASHES whereby the wicked are ultimately DESTROYED for ALL ETERNITY and never shall be again. But in order to do this we need to take a closer look at the MEANING of the phrase “for ever and ever” as it has been TRANSLATED as thus in Revelation 20:10, which again says,
What many Christians fail to realize is that in the ENGLISH TRANSLATION of the Bible there are in fact some ERRORS that have been made by the translators. We have all been taught that the Bible is WITHOUT any ERROR and many Christians take this to mean that the ENGLISH translation of the Bible is without any error. But this is not what is meant by the teaching that the Bible is without any errors and does not contradict itself, because all one needs to do is COMPARE the many different translations with each other and they will find many contradictions between the different TRANSLATIONS. This should be more than enough proof for anyone to clearly see that any TRANSLATOR can and has made some ERRORS in TRANSLATING the word of God from it's ORIGINAL text. With this in mind let us now take a look at ANOTHER way that this phrase “for ever and ever”can and I believe SHOULD have been TRANSLATED in order to bring perfect harmony with the WHOLE word of God.
The phrase “for ever and ever” is translated for the Greek phrase “eis tous aeonas ton aionon”, which means “TO THE AGES OF THE AGES” or one could say, “TO THE AGE OF ALL AGES”.
In other words, Revelation could have and again I believe should have been translated as,
There is still yet one more point that I would like to present to you, which will bring every thing together.
Point number 7.
On this point I want to draw your attention to a couple of things. The first thing that I want to point out to you is the word that has been TRANSLATED as TORMENTED in order to show you that there are OTHER meanings to this word as well in the original text, and then we will take a closer look at the phrase “day and night” to see another possibility that I personally believe was meant by the writers in the original text.
The Greek word that is TRANSLATED as “TORMENTED” here in Revelation 20:10 is “BASANIZO”, which has changed in it's meaning over time. What I mean by this is that this Greek word “BASANIZO” began to be used as a word or a name of a black rock that was used by an assayer to TEST as to whether or not gold and silver coins were truly made from pure gold and silver. You see, the assayer would rub the “BASANIZO” or the black rock on the coin and then check the color of the strip or mark that it left in order to TEST and see if the coin was VALUABLE or GENUINE. This Greek word then found it's way into the language in relation to all sorts of transactions as having the base meaning of CORRECTNESS. It is believed that through time this word became associated with TESTING people by means of TORTURE and thus came to be one of the meanings of this word today as TORMENT.
In other words, ANOTHER way to translate this Greek word “BASANIZO” is that those thrown in this lake of fire are being TESTED or TRIED in order to see if there is any PURITY in them.
There are several places in the Bible where we see mankind being TRIED or TESTED in the FIRE like silver is tried in the furnace of fire. 1 Corinthians 3:11-14 comes to mind where we as believers along with our WORKS will be TRIED by FIRE.
13. Every man's WORK shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it (every man's WORK) shall be revealed by FIRE (a TESTING or TRIAL); and the FIRE shall TRY every man's WORK of what sort it is.
the entire context of this passage of scripture in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 is teaching us is
that some of us plant God's word or witness to others about Jesus and some
others of us water God's word or witness some more to these people about Jesus
and God's word in order to try and get these new believers rooted and grounded
in the truth of God's word so that they will REMAIN faithful to
follow the teachings of God unto the end in order to receive eternal life in
the world to come. This passage of scripture then goes on to teach us
that those in which we have preached the gospel, who are called our WORK, shall be
TRIED or TESTED to see if they truly believe and will remain faithful
unto the end. Then we are told that when these believers are TRIED by
FIRE, which in this instance can possibly be a figurative FIRE of a
TRIAL or TEST of their faith, in that, IF they BURN or in other words, if they FAIL their trial
by NOT remaining faithful to God unto the end, then THEY themselves
will be LOST and be cast into the lake of FIRE on the day of judgment, but we who have remained faithful unto the end shall be
saved yet so as by FIRE or by the trials we OVERCOME and remain faithful unto the END.
So in a like manner is the JUDGMENT and the LAKE of FIRE. Let me explain what I mean by this. When Revelation 20:10 is KEPT in it's CONTEXT, then one can see that after the REST of the DEAD are RESURRECTED at the END of the 1000 year reign of Jesus in order to stand before the JUDGMENT seat of God that it is going to take some TIME for each and every individual to be TRIED.
So then, to my final point. Here is ANOTHER way to view this phrase “day and night” found in Revelation 20:10, which says,
In other words, after the REST of the dead are resurrected at the end of the 1000 year reign of Jesus they stand before God to be JUDGED. Now a great majority of those raised for the dead at this time will be of the number called the WICKED, but there will also be many RIGHTEOUS who died during the 1000 year reign of Jesus that will also be raised from the dead and must stand before God until there name is called from the book of life. What some of us have failed to realize is that this JUDGING of the resurrected dead will go on DAY and NIGHT until ALL the resurrected have been JUDGED.So then, let us just assume that one by one everyone is judged in no particular order of perhaps alphabetically. After each and every person is JUDGED according to their works, then AFTER they are JUDGED they are either found to be WORTHY and therefore are rewarded ETERNAL LIFE, or they are not found to be WORTHY to receive ETERNAL LIFE and therefore they are cast into the lake of FIRE to be CONSUMED, DEVOURED, turned into ASHES and DESTROYED to be NO MORE for all eternity. Therefore they shall be TORMENTED DAY AND NIGHT or until the AGE of ALL AGES that is to COME. Where this word TORMENTED means BOTH being tried DAY and NIGHT as well as meaning that the wicked are also TORMENT in the lake of FIRE as they are being CONSUMED, DEVOURED, and turned into ASHES and DESTROYED by the FIRE of JUDGMENT for all eternity never ever being able to enter into God's REST day or night, because once they are JUDGED, then the judgment stands for all eternity. In other words, the TORMENT describe in Revelation 20:10 will last ONLY until ALL the WICKED have been JUDGED one by one to the AGE of ALL AGES, and then begins the AGE of ALL AGES only AFTER all the WICKED have been DESTROYED in the lake of FIRE.
Some of the verse like Revelation 20:10 MAY have been tampered with by the Roman Catholic church to give support to their eternal torment in flames of fire. Now I myself have not found any sources that argue this point, but there are several sources, which argue that torment in flames of fire is a PAGAN teaching that entered into the church in the third century developing over time.
The LITERAL translation or Revelation 20:10 says,
"And the adversary the one deceiving them was cast into the lake of fire and sulfur the?where the wild beast and the false prophet and shall be tormented or ordealized OF day and OF night INTO the eons of the eons."
Now this judgment and punishment takes place at the very END of the "EON" or the AGE of the 1000 year reign of Jesus right before the AGES to come, and the word translated as "INTO" the ages of ages, means UNTO and up to a certain point in time. So then, another interpretation of this verse is that day and night 24 hours a day the wicked were judged and cast into the lake of fire to be CONSUMED completely to ASHES never more to rise again and this was done day and night until AL the wicked were judged and burned up alive in the lake of fire unto the ages or the ages where the wicked will be NO MORE forever. When you thing about those of the wicked who are watching and WAITING for their turn you can see that they will be "ordealized" or tormented day and night until their torment ends when they too are consumed in the flames of fire.
Thanks for reading. Below is a list of all the verses that contain the English word "HELL" in them if you desire to check them out for yourself. I recently came across another false teaching called "Soul Sleep" which teaches that the dead are unconscious and no one goes to heaven until the resurrection and that the soul ceases to exist when the spirit or breath of god leaves the body and goes back to God when a person dies. The Jehovah's Witnesses call their version of this doctrine "Soul Annihilation", which adds that the soul ceases to exist at death and then at the resurrection God recreates a new soul for every person who has ever lived. Anyway while researching this subject one website stated that soul sleep was also know as "Conditional Immortality", but when I searched this term I found very in depth study exposing the errors of the eternal torment doctrine. So those of you who may want to search this subject even deeper than I have given you a link to this Bible study: http://www.jewishnotgreek.com/
Your brother in Jesus Christ,
For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
The sorrows of hell compassed me about ; the snares of death prevented me;
It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do ? deeper than hell; what canst thou know ?
Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
The sorrows of hell compassed me about : the snares of death prevented me.
Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.
For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.
Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.
But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?
The way of life is above to the wise , that he may depart from hell beneath.
Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
Hell and destruction are never full ; so the eyes of man are never satisfied .
Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming : it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Because ye have said , We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through , it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
And your covenant with death shall be disannulled , and your agreement with hell shall not stand ; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through , then ye shall be trodden down by it.
And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell.
I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.
They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen.
The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down , they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword.
And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living.
Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down :
And said , I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home , who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied , but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say , Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out , and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish , and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off , and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish , and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out , and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made , ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off : it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off : it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out : it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.
But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear : Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
For if God spared not the angels that sinned , but cast them down to hell , and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
I am he that liveth , and was dead; and, behold , I am alive for evermore , Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
And I looked , and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
God as a CONSUMING FIRE
But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away , and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.