Saturday, December 2, 2017

Is It Biblical To Believe The Lake Of Fire As The Complete Destruction Of Life?









Is Hell The Grave?

Question : Hell is the grave. The lake of fire is a complete destruction of life. No one lingers in a fiery afterlife. You people who believe that after death you go to heaven or hell are brainwashed by the Catholic Church which has been spewing false doctrine since the 4th century. If you die saved, Jesus will resurrect you at his 2nd coming. Otherwise, you lay dead in the grave just like Gabriel told Daniel.

Answer:
Greetings to you in Jesus wonderful name!

Hell is not grave, actually it is more serious than that according to the Bible and Jesus Christ.


GEHENNA: THE FINAL AND THE FUTURE HELL

There are two words mainly used for Hell in Greek, one is 'Hades' and the other is 'Gehenna'. The Hebrew word for Hell used in the Bible is 'Sheol'. Sheol is found in the Bible sixty-five times. It is translated “the pit” three times, “the grave” thirty-one times, and “hell” thirty-one times. Hades is used eleven times, being rendered “hell” ten times and “grave” once. Along with these, the Greek word 'Tartarus' is found once and Gehenna is used twelve times.

Once we google the word hell on the search along with the word meaning, the following comes, "a place regarded in various religions as a spiritual realm of evil and suffering, often traditionally depicted as a place of perpetual fire beneath the earth where the wicked are punished after death."

The term “Hell” is commonly understood to mean a place of torment where the souls of the wicked go after physical death. Yes this is true.

I understand, because Hades in the New Testament and Sheol in the Old are variously rendered hell or grave, there has been some misunderstanding about what hell and the grave are.

First of all Jesus described about a everlasting place of torment and called it 'hell' where "the fire shall never be quenched", "the worm does not die" (Mark 9:43, 44) and this is what is 'Gehenna' meaning 'hell fire' is (Mark 9:47, 48). It is also found in the other places of the New Testament in Matthew 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15,33; Luke 12:5; and James 3:6. This is the lake of fire, or the everlasting hell, which is a literal place which was originally prepared for Satan, but was made to accommodate those who want to choose their own way without God's required way to live life with Him (Matt 25:41). This place is also referred by Jesus as "outer darkness" to mean that it is located in the farthest place of the entire universe, where eternal regret for missing life and anger against God for judging sin in them will be seen through people's behavior of "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt 8:12) and “there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Mat. 13:42) continuously. This will be their eternal reward which is the death of separation from God, His goodness and His Presence for all their sins. This will be the place where God will restrain His Presence to make these people understand what it means to live without Him as they have desired in their life, where they despised and were unthankful for the goodness of God shown towards them (Rom 1:21), and the Bible calls them as those who will be "punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power" (2 Thess 1:9). Gehenna is further described in Scripture as a “furnace of fire” (Mat. 13:42); “everlasting punishment” (Mat. 25:46); “the mist [gloom] of darkness” (II Pet. 2:17); the “hurt of the second death” (Rev. 2:11 cf. 20:6,14; 21:8); “a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Rev. 19:20; 20:10; 21:8).

Does any occupants of this lake of fire are there now or not? While until now there is no one in the Lake of Fire at this time, it will one day hold a vast multitude. The Bible predicts that the first occupants of this lake of fire will be, the Beast (Antichrist) and the False Prophet who, at the end of the Tribulation, will be “cast alive into a lake burning with brimstone” (Rev. 19:19-20). People who were unsaved who took the mark of the Antichrist on their right hand or on their forehead, will be the next ones to enter this lake of fire as they will be destroyed by Jesus along with Antichrist and False prophet (Rev 13:16; 16:2, 13-14, 16; 19:19, 20). Then the leftover goats of all the unsaved people who survive the Tribulation in all the earth will be gathered together and will be given the due punishment for departing from Jesus and denying him when He knocked in the door of their heart (Rev 3:20; Matt 25:31-46), they as cursed people will die by the word of Jesus' mouth and will go in to the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels, this will be a everlasting punishment (Matt 25:41, 46; Rev 19:21). The Jewish unbelievers who are rebels all over the world will join their Gentile counterpart to accompany them in this goat crowd to be sent to everlasting fire (Eze. 20:33-38; Mat. 7:21-23; cf. Mat. 24:29-31,45-51).

Then at the end of the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus on earth, Satan will be “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10).

And finally at last, the unsaved dead of all ages will be raised in their bodies and will be judged by Jesus Christ for all the works and sins of their lives at the Great White Throne judgment, and then they will all be cast into the Lake of Fire (see Rev. 20:11-15). Thus 'Gehenna' will be the future and the final hell of all the wicked angels and the unsaved people of the earth.

The name Gehenna comes from a deep narrow ravine south of Jerusalem where some disobedient Hebrews actually sacrificed their children to the Ammonite god, Molech, during the time of the kings against the Law and warning of God (II Kin. 16;3; II Chron. 28:1-3; cf. Lev. 18:21; I Kin. 11:5,7,33). This pagan deity is also referred to as Malcham, Milcom, and Moloch in the Bible. This valley later served as the city dump and, because there was continual burning of city waste and refuse there, it became a graphic symbol of the place of punishment for the wicked. It was named the “Valley of Hinnom,” which is near Jerusalem, where propitiatory sacrifices were made to Moloch in the past (II Kings 23:10), which translated into Greek becomes Gehenna. The passages in the New Testament Scriptures plainly shows that it was a commonly used expression for Hell by that time when Christ lived there. The word is found twelve times in the Scriptures, being used eleven times by the Lord Jesus and once by James. When we consider the context of all the Scriptures in which our Lord Jesus used this word 'Gehenna', it was all in reference to the place of everlasting punishment for the wicked dead and not to the temporary place of the city dump (Isa 66:24).


SHEOL/HADES: THE PRESENT HELL

The place under the earth is 'sheol' in Hebrew [i.e. abode of the dead spirits until the day of white throne judgment] and 'Hades' in Greek.

The righteous section of the Hades where Lazarus was sitting in Abraham's Bosom has been emptied by the Lord Jesus (Luke 16:19-31), it happened after the resurrection of Jesus where he took the captivity captive to the heavenly city of Zion (Eph 4:8; Matt 27:52-53; Heb 12:22-24). But the unrighteous section is still there and it will be present there until the day of White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-14). When the Bible says clearly that Hades or Sheol is in "the lower parts of the earth" (Eph 4:9, b), we have got to believe it whether we have physical evidence of it or not, as it is a spiritual place described by God that transcends matter and space.

Sheol or Hades hell is open now and is taking unbelieving people in to it. Hades, which refers to a place of temporary torment that we might refer to as the immediate, or present, Hell. Actually the lost soul go directly to Hades where they are kept in torment with out the Presence of God (Luke 16:22, 23; Zech 9:11), until they rise up in their physical eternal body with which they will be judged in the White Throne Judgment at the end of the Millennial rule of Jesus Christ on earth (Rev 20:11-15).

All the unsaved lost who have already died are now present in Sheol/Hades, those who will die unsaved in their sin will join them till the White Throne Judgment. In the Great White Throne Judgment all the unsaved right from the first man born to the last man who will live unsaved will be resurrected and again cast into the Lake of Fire which is the permanent and future hell for eternity ahead.

Because in certain places the Bible also speaks about this temporary hell as grave, some people has mistakenly taken it to means that those who die lie in the grave until the day of judgment, which is a grave error which has led to many cultist doctrines that has made people believe erroneously that there are no immediate or present hell of Sheol or Hades, and thus deny the existence of the present hell completely. For example, the doctrine of soul-sleep, and other ideas that teach the unconscious state of the dead lying in the grave between death and resurrection are some of the out-workings of such error in reading the Bible and understanding it wrongly. Laying dead in the grave which you have referred above by saying "just like Gabriel told Daniel", is also one such error that is not biblical (Dan 12:2). You should understand that the prophetic Scriptures, should not be read in to by what we know, instead we should read it as it is through the clarity of the others Scriptures that are revealed regarding the same topic, so that a overall picture we can deduce from what we find before us (Isa 34:16; Luke 4:10-11, 12). Between one line of the Scripture and the other of the same verse, there lies at least a thousand year between them, for example between "some to everlasting life" (Rev 20:4, 5, 6), and "some to shame and everlasting abhorrence" (Rev 20:11-15) from Daniel 12:2.

Sheol is found sixty-four times, being rendered “grave” thirty-one times, “hell” thirty-one times, and “pit” three times. The common word for “grave” in the Old Testament is queber. Comparing 'Sheol' with 'Queber', we can clearly understand that they are not the same. (i) Sheol is never used in plural form, while Queber is used 29 times plurally. (ii) Not even once the body is spoken as going to Sheol, but Queber speaks of the body going there 37 times. (iii) While Sheol is never spoken in the Scripture as something located on the earth, Queber is spoken 32 times as that which is located on earth. (iv) An individual's Sheol is never mentioned, but a individual's Queber is mentioned 5 times. (v) Man is never said to put anyone in to Sheol, individuals are put in to Queber by man 33 times. (vi) Man is never said to have dug or fashioned a Sheol, Man is said to have dug, or fashioned, a queber 6 times. (vii) Man is never said to have touched Sheol. Man touches, or can touch, a queber 5 times. (viii) It is never said that man is able to possess a Sheol. Man is spoken of as being able to possess a queber 7 times. From the differences between how Sheol and queber are used in Scripture, it is obvious that they are not the same thing.

Hades is used eleven times, being rendered Hell ten times and grave once. So Old Testament Sheol can perfectly fit in with Hades of the New Testament according to the Scripture. Mostly in the Old Testament when we see the Patriarchs saying, "I will go down into the grave (Sheol) unto my son mourning" (Gen. 37:26-36), “gathered unto his people” (Gen. 49:33), it points to their soul joining the others who departed before them in righteous section of the Sheol.

In Isaiah 14:4-20, we find the prophet foretelling the eventual defeat and death of the king of Babylon. In mock surprise, the kings who had been defeated and ruled over by him by this once powerful king will ask him being the welcoming committee in the unrighteous section of the Sheol/Hades, “Art thou also become weak as we? Are thou become like unto us?” (Isa. 14:10). They will taunt him of how helpless and hopeless he has become in the place of Sheol along with them equally, which means his old magnificence now means nothing to him now (Isa. 14:11). Further the Scripture continues saying, “But thou are cast out of the grave (queber) like an abominable (despised) branch…thou shalt not be joined with them in burial” (Isa. 14:18-20). Obviously, if his body was not in any grave at all, he was not simply joining them in burial, but rather at the everlasting fire after the White Throne Judgment of God Almighty Jesus the Christ. The soul going to Sheol while the body remains unburied, or outside of the grave (Isa 14:20) to be infested by maggots (Isa 14:11), clearly shows to us that the body and the soul are in different places, one in the grace and the other in Sheol.

In the case of Samuel and Saul, we find another example of the Scriptures making a distinction between Sheol/Hades and the grave. Samuel the prophet, whom the Lord had sent back from the dead to deliver a message to Saul, said that Saul and his sons would be with him the next day (1 Sam. 28:15-19). He came up and went back down in to Sheol after that conversation ended (1 Sam. 28:8,11,14), but we know from what happened the next day, in the battle both Saul and his son died the next day (1 Sam. 31:1-6), but their bodies were not buried the next day (1 Sam. 31:7-10), thus we know that their soul went to be with Samuel who was in Sheol and joined along with him on the same day, while their body which was hung on a wall by the Philistines were taken by valiant men from Jabesh-Gilead, who went by night and removed their bodies, took them to Jabesh, and burned them, and then buried their bones which would have taken at least 2 or 3 days to be buried after that. So we know for sure that there was a clear cut difference between the burial in the grave and the soul entering righteous section of the abode of the dead which is Sheol in this above real life story.

The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus that is found in Luke 16:19-31 gives us the record of a remarkable conversation that took place in Hades between the Rich Man and Abraham. The poor beggar man Lazarus died and was probably thrown away somewhere, but it was told that the rich man who lived during his time also died and was buried, but then we are told that angels carried Lazarus to the righteous section of Sheol where he finds Abraham who lived and died before 1800 years before his time. But then the body of the rich man stayed in the grave where he was buried, but his soul went immediately to the unrighteous section where the unsaved souls were kept in torment. This clearly shows that the grave and Sheol is entirely different. One is a physical place where the body decays to dust on earth, the other place of Sheol is a spiritual place where the dead souls have been kept somewhere under the earth or in the bottom of it or deeply below it, as described in Scripture as "the lower parts of the earth" (Eph 4:9, b; Num 16:32, 33). This parable by definition is a “true to life” story told by Jesus to make people realize the eternal realities of life after death, and to prioritize the importance of being rich after death towards God as something to be longed for now, which is more important than living life on earth in comfort and luxury for sometime and ending up as beggar in eternity without God if we do not live in faith towards God now. Again this proves that grave cannot be Sheol.


LASTLY TARTARUS

The Apostle Peter used the word Tartarus in reference to “the angels that sinned” that God delivered to Tartarus (Hell) which are nothing but chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment of the angels by the glorious living saints from New Heaven and New Earth before the White Throne Judgment commences by the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 2:4; Rev 20:9-10; 1 Cor 6:3). Even apostle Jude confirms the same truth in his small letter by saying, when the angels began to posses the people by leaving their abode in the heavenlies during the time of Noah, and made them think their own thoughts of evil continually within their mind (Gen 6:5), God reserved places in Sheol for many of them by arresting and imprisoning them in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day in which the saints will judge the world in righteousness (Jude 6; Dan 7:27; 2 Pet 2:4-5). In Greek mythology, Tartarus is the deep abyss that is used as a dungeon of torment and suffering for the wicked and as the prison for the Titans. So I believe God has the same place of torment in Sheol/Hades for the erring angels along with the unsaved, as both of them are traveling to the same destination of permanent hell of everlasting fire which is "the lake of fire and brimstone" (Matt 25:41). So we can safely say that in this place of Sheol/Hades, which is called as bottomless pit, Satan will be bound for a thousand years, after these things he will be released for a little while and then will be judged by the saints and will be thrown in to permanent hell which is the lake of fire (Rev 20:2-3).

So from my clear exposition of the whole topic of what you have asked, I conclude that:
Hell is the not the grave, but a temporary place of torment for all unsaved souls and also rebellious angels who sinned and got imprisoned during the flood of Noah, this place which is called as Sheol/Hades/Tartarus, will continue until the White Throne Judgement happens (Rev 20:11-15), after which all unsaved will be resurrected and judged to be thrown in to lake of fire/Gehenna/place of everlasting torment and fire in their eternal natural bodies to be tormented forever along with all the angels who rebelled against God along with Satan (Rev 12:3-4). Thus the lake of fire is not a complete destruction of life, but rather a sustaining eternal torment of wailing, crying and gnashing of teeth that continues forever where the worms do not die and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:43-44). All humans and evil angels will linger in a fiery afterlife as the torment described according to the Bible is "everlasting punishment" and "everlasting fire" (Matt 25:41, 46). So the real literal Heaven and Hell fire is not a Catholic doctrine believed by people who are brainwashed by the Catholic Church which has been spewing false doctrine since the 4th century, but rather it a clear Biblical doctrine as expounded above right from the Bible. So do read the Bible to know God and His truth, do not depend on what others say regarding it. Yes if we die saved as martyrs during the Tribulation, Jesus will resurrect us at his 2nd coming, or else if we remain watchful before Tribulation of those times, we as the Church and the Body of Christ will be raptured to our Father's Palaces prepared for all of us in the New Heaven and New Earth (John 14:1-4; 2 Peter 3:13). Glory to God! 

Much Blessings....




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