Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Biblical Truth About Hell part 1

I'm feeling ready to dive right into this, so I'm going to begin. If you haven't yet, please read my introduction to this study, it lays the groundwork for everything I want to accomplish with this.

The first step I took in my study of hell was to download a program called "e-Sword." You can download it for free here. It is simply a Bible study tool where you can search for words and verses, and download add-ons like the original Greek and Hebrew meanings, like I have. I don't use the program for anything other than that. It has commentaries available to download, but I don't like having other people think for me.

So with e-Sword, I did a search for the word "hell." 54 verses come up. I will show you these verses and expound on their meanings. Ready? Good. :)

Before I do that, I feel that it's a good idea to list all the possible definitions of hell from the Strong's Greek and Hebrew dictionaries that I have in e-Sword. Once we have all the definitions it will be much easier to reference them to the verses I list. (Note: I do think that some of the expanded definitions take errant liberties, as we will see in this study.) The definitions will become clearer as Scripture irons things out as we go along. You'll see. Just stick with me, and read everything I have to show you.

Hell refers to a handful of different words: sheol, hades, gehenna, and tartaroo.

שׁאל שׁאול
she'ôl she'ôl
sheh-ole', sheh-ole'
From H7592; hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranian retreat), including its accessories and inmates: - grave, hell, pit.

From G1 (as a negative particle) and G1492; properly unseen, that is, “Hades” or the place (state) of departed souls: - grave, hell.

Of Hebrew origin ([H1516] and [H2011]); valley of (the son of) Hinnom; gehenna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem, used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment: - hell.

From Τάρταρος Tartaros̄ (the deepest abyss of Hades); to incarcerate in eternal torment: - cast down to hell.

With those definitions established we will dive into every single instance the word "hell" is mentioned throughout the Bible.

First it is important to note that every reference to hell in the Old Testament refers to sheol. Let's explore them.

Deuteronomy 32:
[22] 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.
[23] I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.
[24] They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.
[25] The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.
[26] I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:

What do we have here? A fire burns and devours with bitter destruction. The rememberance of those judged here will cease. Once again, hell here means sheol, the grave or pit.

2 Samuel 22:
[6] The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;

Note the context here: hell (grave, pit) is mentioned along with the snares of death. In the grave we are dead.

Job 11:
[8] It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?

Again, sheol. Think about it. What makes more sense? A deep grave, or a deep burning inferno? I will show more instances of a deep pit as we explore more of Scripture in the coming posts!

Job 26:
[6] Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.

The context here also clears things up for us. The grave is naked before God, destruction can't hide. Why would destruction be combined with a word that means the grave and the pit if there is a burning inferno? Before anyone can say that destruction is an everlasting/continual event, I'll let the original Hebrew do the talking.

Intensively from H6; abstractly a perishing; concretely Hades: - destruction.

Destruction means just that. Perishing, concretely Hades, which also means the grave. Is anything destroyed that is kept alive forever? I have so many verses to back this up, please be patient.

Psalm 9
[17] The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
[18] For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.

The wicked are turned into the grave. Verse 18 further explains that the poor shall not perish forever! Perish! Not burn eternally! We see another contextual instance of the grave being paired up with perishing and destruction. Let's see the Hebrew on the word perish.

A primitive root; properly to wander away, that is lose oneself; by implication to perish (causatively, destroy): - break, destroy (-uction), + not escape, fail, lose, (cause to, make) perish, spend, X and surely, take, be undone, X utterly, be void of, have no way to flee.

Does any of that sound like someone staying alive forever to burn? No. We'll see many more instances of perish as we go along as well. John 3:16 anyone? :)

Psalm 16:
[10] For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

This makes perfect sense. David is saying that the Lord will not leave him dead in the grave. He will raise him up at the last day. Want proof?

Acts 2:
[29] Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
[30] Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
[31] He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

Paul even directly quotes David's Psalm! People may have a problem with this because they have fallen into another errant doctrine: the idea that souls immediately go to heaven or "hell" at death. This is a fallacy, and I would have to write another blog on it. Proving it is quite complete and lengthy, as most of my studies are turning out to be! I will show some of this proof as we study hell, because the idea of being asleep in the grave is relevant to this topic.

Notice here also that in verse 31 of Acts 2 it talks of how Christ wasn't left in hell. It is obvious here that Acts 2 parallels Psalm 16 with this. David will not be left in the grave, just as Christ has not been left there. "Hell" in Acts 2 means Hades, the grave. With these two passages looked at together, how can anyone think Hades means anything differently? Would David not be left in the grave, and Christ not be left in a burning inferno? See what I'm saying? Let's continue.

Psalm 18:
[5] The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

Same as in 2 Samuel.

Psalm 55:
[15] Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.

Seeing a pattern here? Once again the context of the verse explains the meaning of hell. Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell, the grave. Death takes them! They're dead! What happens when death seizes someone? That's right, they go down quickly into the pit. Also, even if you believe in a burning inferno, nobody is judged until they are cast into the lake of fire (which is the second death, Rev. 20:14, I'll get to it). So if nobody is judged, how can anyone go down quickly into a burning inferno? This also disproves the idea of the common belief of hell.

Psalm 86:
[13] For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

God delivers us from the grave at His coming. Believers aren't in a burning hell, right? Of course not.

Psalm 116:
[3] The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
[4] Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.

We see the same thing here. Death surrounds, the grave takes hold. Pay attention to the word sorrow here, we will see how it pertains to Luke 16's Lazarus passage later. Psalm 116 is even titled "Deliverance from Death" in my KJV Bible. That's an accurate title, because again in verse 4 we see the author calling upon the Lord to be delivered from it.

Psalm 139:
[8] If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

This verse is so clear that I don't even have to explain it. I hope at this point you are seeing that hell so far means the grave, and only the grave. I also hope that you are thinking about what the New Testament says regarding hell. Don't worry, we'll get there. I'm not hiding any verse in this study. Let's first finish the rest of the OT verses so we cover all the bases.

Proverbs 5:
[5] Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

Another verse linking death to hell, the grave.

Proverbs 7:
[27] Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Same thing.

Proverbs 9:
[18] But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

And again! :) All verses connecting sheol (the grave) with death.

Proverbs 15:
[10] Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.
[11] Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?

Hell and destruction. Remember the definition up there?

Proverbs 15:
[24] The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

Here we see life compared to death. Keep this in mind, we will see the Master do this in the Gospels!

Proverbs 23:
[13] Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
[14] Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Death in the same context as hell again.

Proverbs 27:
[20] Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

I know this is getting repititious, but the Bible drums this into our heads! :) We have to understand this. 13 more Old Testament verses to go.

Isaiah 5:
[14] 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.

The pit "opened her mouth" so to speak, to embrace the dead. They descend into it.

Isaiah 14:
[9] 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.
[10] All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?
[11] Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.

This is a fascinating chapter. It talks about Satan's ultimate demise, which I will cover eventually in this study! For now we see that Satan's pomp (pride) is brought down to the grave. The Bible is very clear in this. Continuing to verse 15:

[15] Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

The sides of the pit! There it is very clearly. Doesn't a grave have sides? Of course. It makes perfect sense.

Isaiah 28:
[15] 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:

Death in context with hell.

[18] 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.

Continuing on in that chapter, we see that the ones judged here are trodden down. There are other references in the Bible to the wicked being trampled, and the righteous walking on their ashes. We'll take a look at those later on.

Isaiah 57:
[9] 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.

This chapter is dealing with leaders of Israel that go against God. They are setting themselves up for the grave.

Ezekiel 31:
[16] 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.

Cast down to hell, descending into the pit. Self explanatory. The very next verse:

[17] 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.
[18] To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.

Down into hell, slain with the sword. Dead in the grave.

Ezekiel 32:
[21] 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.

The slain by the sword have gone down and are lying in the grave.

[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.

What's this saying? These mighty men are fallen, they were terrifying while they were alive, but now them and their weapons have gone to the grave. Iniquities shall be upon their bones. They are dead, and their sins ascend to God. They will be accountable at the judgment.

Amos 9:
[2] Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:

Dig into hell - would anyone dig into a burning inferno?

Jonah 2:
[2] 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.

The fish swallowed Jonah up, and its belly became his grave until the Lord caused it to spit him out.

Habakkuk 2:
[5] 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:

Hell in context with death.

So that does it for every single instance of the word "hell" in the Old Testament. I hope you have read all of these verses and have asked God for understanding on them. Do you see that they all mean the grave or the pit? Does the context help explain that to you? Have my comments helped? I truly hope so!

Now let's move on to the New Testament! First I'll list all the verses in which the word "gehenna" is used, and then I will explain what that word really means.

Matthew 5:
[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, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

[29] 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.
[30] And if thy right hand offend thee, cut if 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.

Matthew 10:
[28] 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.

Matthew 18:
[9] 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.

Matthew 23:
[15] 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.

[33] Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Mark 9:
[43] 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:
[44] Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
[45] 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:
[46] Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
[47] 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:
[48] Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Luke 12:
[5] 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.

James 3:
[6] 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.

Ok, that is every instance in the Bible of the word hell, translated from gehenna. Let's delve further into this, seeking an explanation of what these verses are saying from the Bible.

First, let's see the definition of gehenna again:

Of Hebrew origin ([H1516] and [H2011]); valley of (the son of) Hinnom; gehenna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem, used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment: - hell.

So we see gehenna defined as a valley of Hinnom, or a valley of Jerusalem. Then we see how it is figuratively defined as a state of everlasting punishment. Is it right to assume that definition? I will show you that it isn't. I will also show you verses that coincide with gehenna being a valley.

Jeremiah 7:
[31] And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.
[32] Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.
[33] And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away.
[34] Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.

The valley of the son of Hinnom IS gehenna. Gehenna is flat out defined as such. Here we see that the people rebelled against God, burned sons and daughters in this valley, and in turn God will slaughter everyone in that very same valley. Their carcasses will be left to rot there. Keep that in mind, we will see more verses about that shortly.

Jeremiah 19:
[2] And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee,
[3] And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.
[4] Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;
[5] They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:
[6] Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.
[7] And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.
[8] And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.

This reinforces chapter 7.

Jeremiah 32:
[35] And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
[36] And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence;

Same thing here.

Joel 3:
[2] I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

[11] Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.
[12] Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.
[13] Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.
[14] Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
[15] The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
[16] The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

This passage is huge. Understanding this will give us very important insight into gehenna and hell in general. Joel 3 talks about the Lord's gathering of all nations for judgment. It is extremely important to notice the reference to the sun and moon being darkened, and the stars withdrawing their shining. This directly links us to what Jesus says in the Gospels about His second coming. (Matthew 24: 29 for example) There is no possible reason to think that Joel 3 is referring to a different time period! Also note the mention of the harvest, the end of the world from the Gospels.

I looked up the word Jehoshaphat here, and I'm very excited as to what I've found. I'm actually doing this part of this Bible study on the fly. I wasn't even expecting to find this!

From H3068 and H8199; Jehovah-judged; Jehoshaphat, the name of six Israelites; also of a valley near Jerusalem : - Jehoshaphat. Compare H3146.

It means Jehovah-judged! Also a valley near Jerusalem! Can this be gehenna? Yes! God's judgment is poured out in the valley of Hinnom as we see in Jeremiah. Hinnom is a valley of Jerusalem, Jehoshapat is a valley near Jerusalem. God's judgment is poured out in the valley, referred to as hell, aka gehenna!

The Lord allows the wicked to assemble in this valley of decision. The harvest is ripe - a clear reference to the wheat and the tares parable, the coming of the Lord. So we know the time frame that this is occuring. There's no other explanation otherwise. It's not some earlier judgment, this is the harvest. The press is full - this is referring to the winepress in Isaiah 5 and possibly other areas of the Bible. I'll show those verses shortly.

The day of the Lord is near the valley of decision! The day of the Lord is the day He comes back, it's all over Scripture. The Lord comes to crush the wicked in the valley of decision, gehenna. Here are more things to support this:

Isaiah 5:
[1] Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
[2] And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
[3] And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
[4] What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
[5] And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
[6] And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
[7] For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

Here is a parable the Lord gives us, connecting people to a vineyard. Jesus also speaks often about being a vine, having branches, and producing good fruit. In Isaiah we see that the Lord's vineyard produced some wild grapes, ones He didn't plan for or want. What does He do? He lays it to waste.

Oh, I want to show you more verses linking carcasses to God's judgment.

Isaiah 66:
[24] And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Also, extremely important to note in this verse: carcasses of men have worms that die not, with fires that aren't quenched. I will explain this now, and further prove it later. If these are "spiritual" worms that don't die, and if there's a fire that isn't quenched, how can we have a carcass of a man? A carcass is a dead body! The worm's don't die until they eat up the body. The fire isn't quenched until it is finished reducing the carcass to ashes. Yes, there is hell fire. It is the judgmental fire that God rains down on the wicked, consuming them in the valley of Hinnom, gehenna!

Isaiah 14:
[19] But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.

This is the fate of Satan, which I will expound on further along in this study. It's important to see here that a carcass is basically trampled upon with the feet of the righteous.

Matthew 24:
[28] For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

(note: eagles are also "fowls of the air")

This is the chapter in Matthew in which Jesus talks of His second coming. The wicked are judged when he comes back, and their carcasses remain on the earth.

Jeremiah 31:
[37] Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.
[38] Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner.
[39] And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath.
[40] And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.

This passage deals with the restoration of Israel, and how a new city will be built. Verse 40 mentions the valley of the dead bodies that are reduced to ashes. The valley of decision, gehenna.

There are more verses that flesh out the idea of gehenna being the valley of God's judgment. It's hard to keep all of this organized, since a lot of verses coincide with other topics that I am going to get into. I hope at the end of the study this all fits in for you. My head is spinning a little from getting so involved in this! I hope I'm still being clear, and that the message I am putting out here is easy to see. What we see here so far though, is that every time hell fire or hell is mentioned, and is translated from gehenna, that it is a fire that rains down on the wicked in the day of the Lord, when they are assembled in the valley of Hinnom/Jehoshophat/decision/slaughter. I really hope you see this!

Ok, I feel that I have thoroughly covered gehenna at this point. If you have any questions or want to debate this (or anything I write here for that matter), please leave me a comment! Let's go on and finish up the rest of the "hell" verses in the New Testament. Next up, the translations from the word "hades."

Matthew 11:
[23] 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.

Luke 10:
[15] And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.

Hell is translated from hades in these two verses. Note the same phrasing as Psalm 55:15, Isaiah 14:15, Ezekiel 31:16-17, and Ezekiel 32:27. All of them contain the words "down to hell." We have previously established that these verses are talking about going down into the grave. Jesus is talking of the same thing here.

Matthew 16:
[18] 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.

Again hell is hades here. The gates of the grave, pit, or death. Don't agree? I know it's natural now to picture a burning hell's gates opening or something. It's what I used to do before the Lord led me to the truth. Let's again turn to the Bible for backup.

Psalm 9:
[13] Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:

Psalm 107:
[18] Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.

Isaiah 38:
[10] I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years.

I think it is very safe to say that the gates of hell Jesus mentions in Matthew 16 are the same gates of the grave and death mentioned elsewhere. Let's continue.

Luke 16:
[23] And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Hell means hades here also. Since we have defined hades as the grave, we know Lazarus is not in a burning inferno. I will completely dissect the Lazarus parable in another section of this study!

Revelation 1:
[18] 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.

Jesus' words. He was dead, and lives again. He has the keys of hell (hades, the grave) and death. We see the same thing in this verse as many of the others: hell linked with death.

Revelation 6:
[8] 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.

Hell also linked with death here. Hades.

Revelation 20:
[13] 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.
[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.

Huge verses here! Death and hell delivered up the dead to be judged! Are the dead alive in a burning inferno? No! They're dead! The grave "gives them up" for judgment! What is the judgment? It's the lake of fire! What is the lake of fire? The second death! Does death have anything to do with life? No. Let's take this verse into account:

Revelation 21:
[4] And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Just after the judgment of the lake of fire, the second death, there is no more death, sorrow, or crying. No more pain either, they have passed away. They are no more, they're dead! How can there be no more pain or sorrow or crying if people are alive burning? How can death be finished if there are wicked people in a constant state of death, as I've heard "hell" described? The answer is that it can't be. I'll get more into all of this with my 70+ supporting verses in other parts of this study.

That's it for the hades verses. One more version of hell to look into: tartaroo. This one's easy.

2 Peter 2:
[4] 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;

What is tartaroo again?

From Τάρταρος Tartaros̄ (the deepest abyss of Hades); to incarcerate in eternal torment: - cast down to hell.

I believe this definition is severely misleading. There has yet to be any mention of an eternal torment in the Bible, and this is no exception. Cast down to hell is more like it. Note the verse above. These sinful angels are reserved unto judgment. They're waiting for their punishment! They haven't received it yet! What is their punishment? We just saw it in Revelation: the lake of fire, the second death.

Well I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted! :) These studies always take a lot out of me. I have covered every single instance of the word hell in the Bible, and explained each verse clearly. Hell is the grave, the pit, the valley in Jerusalem, and a place for angels to be reserved for judgment. Not once is it defined as an eternal burning inferno. There is more to uncover to elaborate and fully prove this, this is only the first part. Ultimately I will show the demise of Satan, the judgment/fate of the wicked, the mortal vs. immortal bodies, and more. I have so much information to show here that I hope I present it clearly and thoroughly.

If you've stuck with me this far, thank you very much. I want to get this message out to every single person I can! If you agree with me, excellent! Teach others, we're commanded to! If you don't agree with me, please pray about it and leave me comments as to why you don't. I will be very happy to discuss things! Granted, keep in mind I haven't fully proven this to you yet. I still have to cover smoke of their torment ascending forever, and other things that "prove" a burning inferno. Don't worry, I won't run from any other takes on this!

Thanks, more to come!


A Voice in the Wilderness


Rick Lannoye said...

Sorry, but the KJV translators should not have translated Sheol, nor Gehenna as "Hell." Sheol was a netherworld, where all dead went after death. It was big cave in the ground, and if one had the right magical connections--lots of kids, a proper burial, people who remembered you, you could "rest in peace" in the upper part of that cave. If not, your "shade" descended into the bottom part, the Pit, where your shade would eventually go into oblivion, but nothing like eternal torture.

Gehenna was a dump where the Romans tossed the dead bodies of the executed, a very shameful and ghastly end, but nothing like eternal torture.

And the fact that there are 3 passages which place the realm of a pagan god on Jesus' lips should tell you immediately that they are simply interpolations that were not a part of the original autographs.

The reality is that Jesus did not believe in Hell; he couldn't have.
I've actually written an entire book on this topic--Hell? No! Why You Can Be Certain There's No Such Place As Hell, (for anyone interested, you can get a free ecopy of Did Jesus Believe in Hell?, one of the most compelling chapters in my book at www.thereisnohell.com), but if I may, let me share just one of the many points I make in it to explain why.

If one is willing to look, there's substantial evidence contained in the gospels to show that Jesus opposed the idea of Hell. For example, in Luke 9:51-56, is a story about his great disappointment with his disciples when they actually suggested imploring God to rain FIRE on a village just because they had rejected him. His response: "You don't know what spirit is inspiring this kind of talk!" Presumably, it was NOT the Holy Spirit. He went on, trying to explain how he had come to save, heal and relieve suffering, not be the CAUSE of it.

So it only stands to reason that this same Jesus, who was appalled at the very idea of burning a few people, for a few horrific minutes until they were dead, could never, ever burn BILLIONS of people for an ETERNITY!

A Voice in the Wilderness said...

We agree that there is no eternal burning inferno as well but that the wicked shall be cut off and perish forever. Eternal life is a gift from God for those in Christ and the wicked shall not see life. God is definitely just and merciful. We shall demonstrate this with scripture in the next parts.

val said...

The bible says satan has deceived the whole world until the heel of time when a woman shall bruise him (Gen 3:15)by exposing his lies. In a little time to read the 17 blog posts at http://thegoodtale.blogspot.com
you will see why Satan has been allowed to deceive the whole world.


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