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The Origin of Hell-Fire in Christian Teaching

Books that will challenge your current Biblical perspective.
The Fire That Consumes
The Parousia
The Biblical Church
Clinging to a Counterfeit Cross

The concept of a soul within us that cannot die first became a ‘Christian’ doctrine at the end of the second century AD. Hell had been taught in Greek philosophy long before the time of Jesus, with Plato (427-347 BC) as the important leader in this thinking.

The teaching of an everlasting place of punishment for the wicked is the natural consequence of a belief in an immortal soul. By the year AD 187, it was understood that life, once we have it, is compulsory; there is no end to it, either now or in a world to come. We have no choice as to its continuance, even if we were to commit suicide to end it.

At the end of the 2nd century Christianity had begun to blend Greek philosophy —human speculative reasoning, with the teachings of God’s Word. Such words and phrases as ‘continuance of being’, ‘perpetual existence’, ‘incapable of dissolution’ and ‘incorruptible’ began to appear in so-called Christian writings. These had come straight from Plato, the Greek philosopher, all those years before Jesus. Other phrases used were ‘the soul to remain by itself immortal’, and ‘an immortal nature’. It was taught that this is how God made us. But this idea derives from philosophy, not divine inspiration. There are no such words in the Bible. It was Athenagorus, a Christian, but whose teachings, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, were strongly tinged with Platonism, who had introduced the teaching of an immortal soul into Christianity. In this way, he paved the way for the logical introduction of eternal torment for immortal, but sinful, souls. This was a hundred years and more after the time of the apostles, and came straight from popular philosophy. The apostles had consistently taught that death is a sleep, to be followed by resurrection. The early church leaders – Clement, Ignatius, Hermas, Polycarp, and others who also believed that death is a sleep, taught that the wicked are destroyed forever by fire – their punishment was to be annihilation. These leaders did not teach of an immortal soul to be tortured by fire in hell for eternity.

About AD 240 Tertullian of Carthage took up the teaching of an immortal soul. It was he who added the further, but logical dimension. He taught the endless torment of the immortal soul of the wicked was parallel to the eternal blessedness of the saved, with no sleep of death after this life.

This came at a time when many Christians were being burned for their faith and it was natural for them to accept that their persecutors would at death be consigned to an ever-burning hell for the persecution they had inflicted on others while they went straight to eternal bliss.

From the third century the darkness of the infiltration of man-made beliefs into Christianity deepened until the Dark Ages had smothered almost all the light of God’s Word. At the beginning of this time, the first attempts were made to create a systematic set of beliefs. It is not surprising that an ever-burning hell and the immortality of the soul were prominently included.

It is at this time that such beliefs, held by most Christians today, had their origin. An ever-burning hell has remained a commonly taught doctrine of the Christian religion to this day. It was not based on the Bible but on philosophy. Bible verses were later sought to uphold the ancient philosophies of the Greeks, and added to the teaching.

Eventually under the influence of Augustine, AD 430, the concept of endless conscious torment was brought into general acceptance by the Catholic Church in the Western world. He taught that all souls were deathless and consequently the lost would experience endless fires of punishment, immediately upon the end of this life.

Purgatory and places of purification.

Other pagan philosophers, along with some of the poets of the day, were repulsed by the immorality of this teaching, and developed the idea of a place where the fleshly body was purified by fire but, at the completion of purification, would find release. It was a middle way between heaven and hell. This concept had its origin in Persian teaching. From there it passed to certain Jewish groups, and later was taken into Christian thought and teaching.

It arose out of the Gnostic idea that the body, flesh and matter, is inherently evil and must be purified and purged by fire elsewhere. But we know bodies can be exhumed for examination, so it cannot be true that the flesh goes elsewhere.

A similar view was held in Egypt, with prayers and services for the dead and payments made to priests for them to intercede for the dead. The idea of a place like purgatory did not have its beginnings in the Christian church, but in ancient pagan religions. The foundations had been established by Augustine’s teaching of eternal hell. Purgatory was added, and later fully confirmed by Pope Gregory the Great, about 582. Purgatory could not be supported by the standard canon of the Bible and it was the books of the Apocrypha that were used to justify this new idea.

A similar teaching appeared in Moslem and Jewish belief. The inhabitants of the world were seen as good, bad and ‘middling’. It was believed that, if one died with curable offences, these would be purified by pain and torment as a preparation for heavenly bliss. By 1439 the teaching of purgatory, with services and prayers for the dead, to spare them years of this pain, was fully accepted in the Western Catholic world – Italy, Spain, England, France, and was ratified by Pope Eugenius IV. It was not known or taught in Eastern Christianity, which was not influenced by Rome.

It is sometimes taught that even the righteous go to such a place for a lesser time so that the stains of sin can be burned from them, and this can be greatly hastened if certain exercises are undertaken. At the end of this time any that are incorrigible are sent to hell forever and the righteous go to a place of eternal blessedness.

Heaven and hell are seen to be existing together side by side forever and ever. This means that Jesus the Saviour can never see an end of the sin and misery He came to die for. Any teaching of the eternal co-existence of evil and good is not in the Bible, but is a teaching from Greek philosophy.

The Waldenses who had fled to the mountains to remain free from the heresies that were developing in the Catholic Church and also to escape persecution, taught the sleep of death and instant destruction by fire at the resurrection of the wicked. Their persecuting inquisitors reported that they entirely rejected the teaching of purgatory. The Cathari and the Hussites also rejected hell, thus leading the way for the teachings of the later Reformers.

The Reformers

The Reformers strongly rejected hell and purgatory, because by this time the teaching had become heavily corrupted by the sale of indulgences. These were the payments made to the priests to reduce the years of purification spent in purgatory.

Wycliffe taught that death was an unconscious sleep, as did Tyndale and Luther, (although it has to be said that Luther was not always consistent in his beliefs.) They taught neither hell or purgatory. They taught that ‘men are breath in bodies’ and not ‘souls in bodies‘.

Calvin, however, taught that those who were sinners went to the eternal pains of hell at the time of their death and even denied a middle place or purgatory. The Reformed churches, like Calvin, have generally maintained a belief in an immortal soul and hell-fire, but do not teach purgatory

The Resurrection and Hell.

How do the concept of an ever-burning hell and the Bible teaching of resurrection fit together? Over the centuries there has been a blending of Bible teachings with the teachings of men. It was known that the Bible speaks of resurrection, and also of death by fire. The compromise view sees the body being resurrected and rejoining its soul again and then both being tormented together by fire.

Athenagorus taught that a person can never die or come to an end; life is ours for always. He taught that we have been made intelligent just for the purpose of continuing life - even if it be in Hell. He also taught that a body is given to the soul, and we are born into this world to pass through this life as two entities. These two are separated at death but, at the resurrection, the body rejoins the soul. He taught that punishment must be given for sins committed in this body and so the body needs to suffer punishment also. During the period of separation from its soul it is said, the body is in the grave. He argued consistently that God made us to live, and therefore we live eternally even though it is a living death in torment.

What is the fate of the wicked?

The theologian Origen of Alexandria developed another, different view of the fate of the wicked. He postulated that the wicked would be forgiven and restored by God and so in the end all would be saved. There would be universal salvation. Some of his followers believe that even Satan will be saved.

But there was yet another view, that of Irenaeus, who taught that the wicked would be destroyed. All trace of wickedness would be removed from the earth by a devouring fire.

No second chance.

The Bible is clear that our choice, for Him or against Him, is made in this world, here and now. There is no mention of a second chance in the Bible, or a time when all people will be changed and restored to the Lord. This view of universal salvation is also mythology that has crept into the Christian world. It gives a more comfortable picture than judgement and death, but a second chance is false hope. Its origin is in the thinking of Greek philosophy.

In Summary

* There is no ever-burning hell with an eternity of torture.
* There is no such place as purgatory.
* There is no universal restoration of all sinners.

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Comment Script


I sincerely want 2 thank u 4 researches. De origin of hell is well appreciated.
#1 - Obi - 04/02/2010 - 07:34
Annihilation of the wicked vs. Holy Scripture
"For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of ALL MEN, specially of those that believe"

(1 Timothy 4:10)

From 1 Cor 15:28 we also know, that "God will be All in all". Do you suggest, that after annihilation of the wicked God will be partially in some?
#2 - waldens - 09/03/2010 - 02:26
thankyou so much for this information. i appreciate your knowledge and truth. may i ask what religon, if any, that you are?
#3 - Shadae - 09/14/2010 - 10:58
#4 - andrew - 09/17/2010 - 01:01
You are misunderstanding the issue. The authors on this site do not deny the existence of hell. The question is the nature of hell and what it consists of. They would argue that according to scripture the punishment for sin is death eternal. Therefore, eternal punishment = eternal death. Scripture defines this death in Revelation as the second death which is the "lake of fire" or hell.
#5 - James - 09/17/2010 - 21:23
I like your teachings. Pls, teach more about the pre-existence of christ
#6 - Great - 11/17/2010 - 03:52
IS God truly LOVE
I have a few questions for you all, If salvation is not for everyone then Jesus death on the cross is unfinished, for truly he is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. If God knew that even before he put man on earth that he would fall bringing all mankind to the darkness of hell, sin, and death then why would a loving God do such a thing, knowing that most of mankind would end up suffering in the torments of fire. Is it not true that all were condemned because of one man and all were made righteous because of one man. Please read Romans 5:12-21. Did not Saul who was on his way to Damascus to bring back Christians to have them killed was met by Christ himself and caused Saul to drop to his knees blinded and is it not true from that point on Saul went from chief of sinners to chief apostle and wrote most of the new testament. Why doesn't Christ do this for all mankind, for surely if he did, everyone would do as Paul did and say "what wilt thou have me to do Lord". Why didn't Paul warn the gentiles of the horrors of hell, he doesn't even mention such a place in any of his writings. Is Jesus Christ really the Savior of the World as he said or is he only a savior of a small percentage. Since God knew that Adam the first man would send most of his creation to hell and if God has the power to reverse this condemnation and doesn't then what kind of God do we worship. If God doesn't have the power then he isn't the almighty God. God's nature is displayed from cover to cover which is Love, Grace, Mercy, and even Judgement so if you come across a verse of scripture which seems to contradict his love then you must pray and let him show you how love and judgement work together. If my child disobeyed me I wouldn't send him to a place of torments forever what kind of father would I be, no I would discipline my child to correct his behavior. We make our Heavenly Father out to be some kind of monster, even the worst people on earth who tortured people wasn't as bad as we make God to be because at least when the people died they got relief from suffering but our Lord will never reach out his hand in mercy to those that are damned. Have we all gone crazy to even think of such a thing. The judgement of God is always corrective in nature, conceived in his wisdom, motivated by his love, and administered by his power unto our good and unto his praise and glory. Yes there is a lake of fire, but fire is a cleansing process just as gold or silver is put thru the fire to to make it pure and the hotter the purer the metal. We go into the lake of fire and God turn's up the heat and the dross of sin comes to the top and is removed and when the lake of fire process is done you come out pure and righteous. You go into the lake smelling the stench of sin, sorrow and death but you come out smelling like a rose. Isn't God wonderful. If you think (Christains) that you don't have to experience the Lake of Fire than think again cause even the overcomer goes thru the Fire. Rev 2:11. I will leave you with this one very important question, answer it if you can, How can Adam's work to condemn all mankind be greater than Christ's work to save it? If Adam's work (sin) sent all to a darkness of sin, sorrow, and death then surely the work on the cross was able to free us of this awful condition. If the work on the cross didn't redeem all mankind then it was a failure and Jesus isn't the Savior of the World. But rejoice all you people cause he is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Amen.
#7 - Jakeman - 12/05/2010 - 09:33
Re: IS God truly LOVE
I think the statement, "If Adam's work (sin) sent all to a darkness of sin, sorrow, and death" is misleading. Adam fell because he chose sin over obedience. All men are condemned in Adam because all those in Adam have made the same choice. The above statement infers that when we stand before God in judgment that we will be judged according to what Adam did rather than what we ourselves have done in Adam. If we choose to remain as slaves of sin rather than slaves of obedience (Rom. 6), if we choose death over life, we have no one to blame but ourselves. On the other hand, if we choose life over death we have no one to praise but Christ without whom we would not have the choice.

"But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Rev. 21:8). Scripture makes clear that the Lake of Fire is the second death not the second chance. To say, "If the work on the cross didn't redeem all mankind then it was a failure and Jesus isn't the Savior of the World" is to use carnal reason to interpret Scripture. By that reasoning God is already a failure in that Adam fell or that only Noah and his family were saved in the flood or that Christ had to die on the cross in the first place. The term "savior of the world" does not have the same meaning as "all the world will be saved." In John 8:12 Jesus said He was "the light of the world." But then says "He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness." In other words being the light of the world does not mean that all the world will walk in the light. If we choose to not walk in the light it is not a failure on God's part but our own. Only an omniscient God can define victory or failure. To say that all men will be saved from death is to propagate the same lie that caused the fall in the beginning, "Thou shalt not surely die." The same lie in this day is "death is not really death" "perish does not really mean perish" "destroy does not really mean destroy" "destruction does not really mean destruction." Dr. Weymouth, one of the finest Greek scholars, says that his "mind fails to conceive a grosser misinterpretation of language than when the five or six strongest words which the Greek tongue possesses, signifying 'destroy,' or 'destruction,' are explained to mean maintaining an everlasting but wretched existence." To say that all these words ultimately mean redemption is an even grosser misinterpretation of language.

"Why didn't Paul warn the gentiles of the horrors of hell, he doesn't even mention such a place in any of his writings?"

Because Paul says that the "wages of sin is death" not eternal horror and torments. The punishment is death, and that death is eternal, i.e. eternal punishment.

"If God knew that even before he put man on earth that he would fall bringing all mankind to the darkness of hell, sin, and death then why would a loving God do such a thing, knowing that most of mankind would end up suffering in the torments of fire."

I think this would be a difficult question indeed if death actually meant the horrors of torment in fire for trillions and trillions of years which of course would only be the first second of eternity. However, if we interpret death by its plain meaning I believe the difficulty disappears.

"If God has the power to reverse this condemnation and doesn't then what kind of God do we worship?"

A just and holy God.

"If you think (Christains) that you don't have to experience the Lake of Fire then think again cause even the overcomer goes thru the Fire. Rev 2:11."

I believe you are misinterpreting Rev 2:11. To not be hurt by the second death means we will not experience it. The word hurt here means do harm or wrong to one (Robertsons). Christ will save all his faithful servants from this hurtful and destructive death. The second death shall have no power over them (Rev. 20:6).

"Why doesn't Christ do this for all mankind, for surely if he did, everyone would do as Paul did and say 'what wilt thou have me to do Lord'"?

God "has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, 'Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?' But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, 'Why have you made me like this?' Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?" (Rom. 9:18-21)

God is under no obligation to save those who have rebelled against Him. He is perfectly just in condemning whomever he wills to condemn because all are deserving of death. Rather than ask why God doesn't save everyone, I think it more appropriate to ask why would God save anyone?
#8 - James - 12/06/2010 - 10:47
IS God truly Love
I would like to answer your reply to me. I must disagree with your statement that all men are condemed in Adam because all those in Adam "have made the same choice" I didn't have a choice to be a sinner or not be one, Adam made that choice for me. Let's say we have two little boy's, one is named Johnny and the other Timmy, and Johnny was born into a Christain home with loving parents and Timmy was born in the slums of Harlom with no father and a mother who is a prostitute and used drugs. So little Johnny grows up knowing about God's love and becomes saved, little Timmy grows up and does only what has been taught to him from the environment he was born into. He has never heard of God's love, the only thing Timmy knows is what he has learned on the street. So your going to tell me both had the say opportunity to believe in Christ. For I tell you Timmy will not listen to a Christain (if one would dare go into his enviroment) who tries to save him, his savior is his gang he belongs to. His heart is not toward's God and if Timmy is ever going to be saved God will have to do the drawing of him to Christ. "No man can come to me except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.John 6:44" "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.John 12:32" Now I want to give another example, let's say we have a tribe in some remote island and they have never heard of God much less that he had a son who died for them, what happens to these people when they die. Do they get a second chance or really a first chance to accept Christ in the afterlife. Now let's say a missionary goes to this tribe bringing the good news of Christ to them and only a handfull receive him, so if the tribe gets another chance in the afterlife then we bring them bad news and not good news because we have told them all about Christ and only a small handfull accepted the invitation and the rest will be sent to hell and then finally the lake of fire. It would be better if we stayed home instead of going on missionary's cause by not going, these people would have never heard about Christ so I assume they will in the afterlife. I think their chances of being saved in the afterlife are so much better than while here on earth cause you'll see Christ in his glorified body and who knows what else they would see there. I know it wouldn't take me very long to believe in Christ in the afterlife.

Now back to the question; Yes or No, Is Adam's work to condemn all mankind greater than Christ's work to save it?
This is a very important question that people should take some time to find the answer. When you do find it will bring blessings to your soul.

I see that you don't believe in a hell or lake of fire where humans are tortured for eternity and I don't believe that either, so the difference we have is parish or salvation for all. So I will not reply to statements about hell and suffering.

To respond to the question "If God has the power to reverse this condemnation and doesn't then what kind of God do we worship?" Well I'll let the people decide for themselves.

I would like to respond to what you said about Rev 2:11, I believe you are misinterpreting Rev 2:11. To not be hurt by the second death means we will not experience it. The word hurt here means do harm or wrong to one (Robertsons). Christ will save all his faithful servants from this hurtful and destructive death. The second death shall have no power over them (Rev. 20:6).

If you take a bible concordance and look up the word hurt you will see that this word is used the way it is in only 11 places in the new testament and 10 are in the book of Rev. and if you study all these 11 verses where the word is used, you do not come up with "do no harm or wrong".

Now to reply to the last statement you made when I wrote "Why doesn't Christ do this for all mankind, for surely if he did, everyone would do as Paul did and say 'what wilt thou have me to do Lord'"?

I have a real problem with putting the blame on our condition as if we chose to be in sin, Adam made that choice for us, any person who reads Romans chapter 5 verses 12-21 will see that thru Adam all were made sinners but thru Christ all were made righteous. Replace the word "many" with "all" because if "many" were made sinners (we know that all were made sinners) then the "many" which were made righteous is the same word used in this verse and the other verses in Rom 5:12-21.

I must close for now but will write some more later about the wonderful things God has done for his creation.

#9 - jakeman - 12/07/2010 - 14:18
Re: Rev 2:11
In response to "If you take a bible concordance and look up the word hurt you will see that this word is used the way it is in only 11 places in the new testament and 10 are in the book of Rev. and if you study all these 11 verses where the word is used, you do not come up with 'do no harm or wrong'.

The word hurt in Rev. 2:11 is the Greek word adikeo (strongs 91). Englishman's Greek concordance lists it as being used 28 times.

Vincent's Word Studies
Revelation 2:11, Be hurt "adikeethee". Strictly, "wronged."

Robertson's Word Pictures
Revelation 2:11, Shall not be hurt ou mee adikeethee. Strong double negative with first aorist passive subjunctive of "adikeoo", an old verb, to act unjustly (from adikos), here to do harm or wrong to one, old usage as in Rev 6:6; 7:2f; 9:4,10; 11:5.

The The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology gives these definitions: to do wrong, to do hurt, to wrong someone, act wickedly towards him, to hurt, damage, harm.
#10 - James - 12/09/2010 - 17:35
Re: Little Johnny and Little Timmy
In response to "Let's say we have two little boy's, one is named Johnny and the other Timmy" etc. To me the best example of that type of scenario would be in Scripture itself. Let's say Johnny was a Jew and Timmy was a gentile living in Old Testament times. It says in Ephesians 2:11-13,

"Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world."

It seems to me that this verse is saying that little Johnny as a Jew prior to Christ is very much like the little Johnny who grew up in a Christian home in your analogy and your Timmy of Harlem much like the description of the gentiles in the above verse. As I said previously God says In Romans 9, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." And in Exodus 33:19 "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." God is under no obligation to save anyone. The Lord gives life and He has every right to take that life. As Job says, "The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:20)
#11 - James - 12/09/2010 - 21:25
Re: I didn't have a choice to be a sinner
In response to "I didn't have a choice to be a sinner or not be one, Adam made that choice for me."

It says in Romans 5:12, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned."

According to this verse sin entered through Adam, and in Adam all die. The verse says all die because all sinned in Adam. However, we will not be able to stand before God in Judgment, point to Adam and say "I am innocent, it's all Adam's fault" but rather "Because of Adam's fault I am just as guilty." It is true that we are born with a sin nature, but I see nowhere in Scripture that we will not be held personally responsible for our own choice to sin. The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). Wages are earned according to one's own labor and not the labor of another.

Notice in each of the following judgment passages that we are judged, not according to Adam's deeds, but according to what we have done whether good or evil. There is nothing implied in these passages that a man can blame anyone but himself for his evil deeds.

Eccl 12:13-14
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

Matt 13:49-50
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace.

Matt 16:27
For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.

Matt 25:32-46
All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' "Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not 1 take care of You?' "Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

John 5:28-29
Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

Rom 2:5-11
But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.

2 Cor 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Rev 20:11-13
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.

Rev 20:12-15
And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
#12 - James - 12/09/2010 - 22:37
We can go on and on, each showing scripture after scripture to try and prove our case but what I think we need to do is to put away man's tradition and learn to sit at Jesus' feet with an open heart so that he might flood our souls with truths and fill our minds with understanding from above so that we can truly see the nature of our Heavenly Father. I think you are good people and I respect your work and your opinions, even if I don't believe everything on your website. So now that I found this site, I will take the time to explore your writings with an open mind and if God is willing, he will bless me along the way and hopefully I can learn from it. Surely God still has some sacred secrets hidden and if we search hard enough he might just show us some that has long been hidden in Thee. Maybe over time God will show me how his judgments are in harmony with his love for his creation those created in his image. God has been changing my heart so much that I just can't picture God destroying any soul and I must say I believe every scripture of God when he says he loves the world and he wills that everybody be saved, so I must search with my very being to understand how this love which is his nature fits with other scripture showing his judgment. Thanks
#13 - jakeman - 12/11/2010 - 11:23
Hell Questions
I really appreciate this article and the discussion that's followed. I have some questions of my own since I can no longer reconcile the traditional view that hell is eternal torment. Please could you help with these questions (particularly for Jakeman's viewpoint):

* If hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, and is redemptive, does that mean the devil and his angels are included in God reconciling ALL things to himself through Christ?
â is hell redemptive for them too?

* If by being IN Adam (ie he was the first of all humans and therefore we are BORN IN Adam) meant death to all, then doesnât it mean that for someone to appropriate the universal redemption of Christ they need to be BORN again, BORN INTO Jesus (a new racial head if you will)?

* What would happen to someone who, either in this life or next, still chooses not to believe in Jesus?

Thanks guys.
#14 - Ans - 04/25/2011 - 07:40
RE: Hell Questions
Question: If hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, and is redemptive, does that mean the devil and his angels are included in God reconciling ALL things to himself through Christ?

We do not believe that hell is redemptive. Hell is the punishment of eternal death.

Question: If by being IN Adam meant death to all, then doesn't it mean that for someone to appropriate the universal redemption of Christ they need to be BORN again, BORN INTO Jesus (a new racial head if you will)?

There is no universal redemption. Only those who repent and submit to the Lordship of Christ will receive eternal life. All others will perish.

Question: What would happen to someone who, either in this life or next, still chooses not to believe in Jesus?

There are no second chances. Those who reject Christ in this life (the unforgivable sin)will receive the wages of their sin which is the eternal punishment of death (i.e eternal death).
#15 - James - 04/28/2011 - 18:25
forgot to spell check:
I can not fathom God the Father torturing people forever with burning flames. I have been taught that this is what we all deserve. Can you imagine billions of people screaming for eternity? How does this teaching co-exist with the love of God? And believe me conservative Christian theologians are so entrenched in this doctrine, that if you come against it, you are treated in the same manner that evolutionist treat you if you believe in intelligent design. There are huge gaps in evolution and there are huge gaps in the teaching of eternal hell fire. Paul the apostle never mentions hell fire once!. He only talks about life and death. I would have that Paul would have at least once warned us about something as unimaginable as the pain of burning flames for eternity. I remember on 9/11 those people who jump out the burning building and plunged to their death rather than facing being burned alive. Thank you for your insight on the early church fathers and their beliefs.

Dr. David Tacha
#16 - David Tacha - 04/29/2011 - 06:48
Can you tell me which faith/church I could attend that believes that Hell is eternal death and not ever lasting punishmnet.
#17 - Omega Deppe - 05/18/2011 - 13:56
Jehovah's witnesses believe that hell means grave or buried in the ground.

Eccl. 9:5 - "The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all...."

But also, people who have died have a hope of resurrection...

Acts 24:15 - "and I have hope toward God, which hope these men themselves also entertain, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous."

Unrighteous people will also be resurrected because perhaps they have never heard the truth about God. A loving, God of justice would make sure they had that opportunity. . .it would only be fair.
#18 - Tom - 05/18/2011 - 23:43
Free will
I think we need to first understand if man has "free will" with which to choose or reject Jesus.Who is doing the "calling and choosing" is it man by his free will or God's Sovereign election.But the most important question is "where in the Bible does it say after death,there is no more forgiveness of sins" because if such a verse can be found it contradict many many Scriptures like Psalm 103:8-9.Is the love of God conditional?
#19 - Patrick - 05/24/2011 - 04:20
If Hell is Real
If Hell is real, why didn't God make that warning plain right at the beginning of the Bible? God said the penalty for eating of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was death--not "eternal life" in fire and brimstone.

If Hell is real, why wasn't Cain warned about it, or Sodom and Gomorrah, or any of those who committed the earliest recorded "sins?"

If Hell is real why didn't Moses warn about this fate in the Ten Commandments or the Mosaic Covenant consisting of over 600 laws, ordinances, and warnings? The Mosaic Law simply stated blessings and cursings in this lifetime.

If Hell is real, why did God tell the Jews that burning their children alive in the fire to the false god Molech, (in the valley of Gehenna) was so detestable to Him? God said that such a thing "never even entered His mind" (Jer. 32:35). How could God say such a thing to Israel, if He has plans to burn alive a good majority of His own creation in everlasting fires?

The King James Bible erroneously translates the word "Sheol" as Hell a total of 31 times in the Old Testament, thus setting a foundation for that doctrine in the New Testament as well as the majority of Bible translations to follow the KJV.

If Hell is real, why were most of the warnings pertaining to punishment/Gehenna directed to Israel, particularly the Lord's own disciples as well as the Pharisees? The first great cluster of references to Gehenna, are found in the Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5:22, 29, 30), Jesus' great sermon to His disciples in which He warned that one was in danger of Gehenna for the likes of calling someone a fool. This is a far cry from our modern Evangelical interpretation that says not accepting Jesus as your Savior is what sends someone to Hell.
#20 - David T - 05/30/2011 - 16:11
All written by men
Everything you are discussing, you have to remember, was written by men, just like us. Most of it over 2000 years ago. Maybe, just maybe, I dare to suggest, it is not actually from God but rather Paul, Peter, Matthew etc. Men from a certain religion. I believe in we did not evolve and were designed. And if that designer wants to get a point across, he can. It is obvious from reading these comments that he does not want to. If he did, there would be absolutely no need for any of this discussion! We would all know if he wanted us to.
#21 - Daren - 07/14/2011 - 15:52
Free will and Gods Love
#19 - Patrick - 05/24/2011
Romans 6:23 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. It is plain and simple that after death we have paid for our sins, this is when Psalm 103:8-9 would come into work. God will judge the living and the dead according to his will. that is why there is resurrection of the dead. Now, if we have paid our sins in death what is the need for hell fire? would you suffer twice for your sins?
#22 - Viceroi79 - 12/12/2011 - 09:00
To answer all are written by men
To start with
2 tim 3:16 makes us understand that the bible is inspired of God.
Men penned down God's thoughts as they were borne along by the holy spirit.

If you look at it clearly the bible is harmonious in its teaching.

Sad to say, it is the translation of the bible original manuscripts into other languages like English and misunderstanding of what it says that brings about discord.

If what every one has written so far is anything to go by, we've all established a common ground which is:

So why don't we focus on doing good?
If we do good just because we are afraid of hell fire, are we truly sincere?
Do not forget that God examines our heart and know our motives of serving him.

Some one asked if Adam's sin outweighs Jesus' sacrifice.
The answer is that Jesus' sacrifice equates Adam's sin.
On the basis of that sacrifice we can expect forgiveness of our sins if we have faith and are truly repentant.

It is true that we are prone to sin due to our imperfection but God knows that.

God sees beyond our actions. He sees who we are on the inside.
He knows why we do what we do.

So my dear friends let us serve God because we truly love him and love to do what is right.
That is the only way we will receive his eternal blessings.

All this i have been able to learn by studying MY BIBLE with Jehovah's Witnesses.
So take time to study your bible and not base your believes on hearsays or on few popular verses.
That way you will know the truth and it will set you free.

Daren, your creator would love you to know the truth about him says James 4:8.
#23 - Shola - 01/23/2012 - 00:56
The comments are ridiculous.

Bible is clear that we are sinners by nature not by our deeds.
Bible is clear through Adam, we were all enslaved by sin itself.
Bible is clear you could not reject Adam's sinful nature by simply resisting it. To make it more simple to understand, you cannot say "I reject the nature of Adam in me."
Bible is clear that to the extent of how Adam screwed up, Christ made everything even better. Bible is not clear if that means universal salvation, though the Bible is clear that through Adam entered death to all men and through Christ entered life to all men.
Bible is clear that Christ died for all men.
Bible is also clear that those who reject the son are condemned already.
Bible is also clear that Christ has died for all men and all men has died with him.
Old t is clear that it does not teach "hell."
New t is clear it teaches "hell" or punishment.
Bible is clear there is a hell.
The bible is not clear if it is eternal or temporal.
Bible is clear hell is pretty darn horrible.

Bible is clear that the view of hell is not clear.
#24 - Chris - 01/31/2012 - 14:43
Re: Chris
Chris, your statement, "these comments are ridiculous," is ridiculous. First of all, where is the comment that says our deeds make us sinners and not our nature? Or that we are not, in Adam, all enslaved by sin? Where is there a comment saying we could reject Adam's sinful nature if we wanted too? I can't find them in any of the comments. If you are referring to the issue that in Adam all have sinned and therefore we will not be personally responsible for our own sin, give me a Scriptural reference. As stated, every judgment passage in Scripture, without exception, says we will be judged according to our deeds, whether good or bad. In other words, we will be judged according to our nature, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders" (Matt. 15:19). "...every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matt. 12:36-38). When Scripture states that the wages of sin is death it is speaking of the wages due to each individual for their sin. The doctrine of original sin does not exclude personal responsibility. As Craig S. Keener says, in the IVP Bible Background Commentary,

" 'All sinned' (v. 12), even those who, unlike Adam (v. 14), had no direct law to disobey (v. 13). Paul is not, however, denying personal responsibility for sin on the part of Adam's descendants. Jewish writers claimed that Adam brought sin and death into the world (4 Ezra 7:118; *2 Baruch 54:15), but they also believed that each of his descendants made his or her own choice to follow in Adam's footsteps (4 Ezra 7:118-126; 2 Baruch 54:15), becoming each "our own Adam" (2 Baruch 54:19)."

The Pulpit Commentary states,

"We must guard against confusion between the idea of man's natural liability to condemnation on the ground of transmitted sinfulness, and that of God's actual dealing with him. It is nowhere said or implied that the natural infection which they could not help will be visited on individuals in the final judgment."

It says in Ezek. 18:1-4, 'The fathers eat the sour grapes, But the children's teeth are set on edge'? "As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "you are surely not going to use this proverb in Israel anymore. Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die."

Keil and Delitzsch write,

The meaning of the proverb is self-evident. The sour grapes which the fathers eat are the sins which they commit; the setting of the children's teeth on edge is the consequence thereof, i.e., the suffering which the children have to endure. The same proverb is quoted in Jer 31:29-30, and there also it is condemned as an error. The origin of such a proverb is easily to be accounted for from the inclination of the natural man to transfer to others the guilt which has brought suffering upon himself (Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament)

In verse 20 of Ezekiel 18 God sums up His meaning as, "The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself."
#25 - James - 01/31/2012 - 17:12
What Does God Say?
I wish people would actually study God's word in His Torah; that is where all the answers are. Do not rely on Paul. God says that the "soul that sins shall die" azab - dissipation; those who bind themselves to Satan (the wicked) will spend their eternity with him -- in darkness and separation. Those who "walk in Yahowah's Torah" will live; God "vindicates those He loves", i.e., David; read Psalm 119
#26 - Lassie1865 - 04/02/2012 - 19:07
hell needs a soul
For those who say this is lies and there is a place of eternal fire and punishment, maybe you should look at the facts that to have hell we need an immortal soul and the word used in Hebrew [Old Testament] for soul is nephesh which does not mean "immortal soul" merely "breath" / "life" and the New Testament equivalent is "psyche" which also doesn't translate as an "immortal spirit/soul" merely means "life" / "breath".

So no soul then no hell. Also, before you just state this is rubbish please do some research into the original Hebrew and Greek as without this any criticism is merely idiotic.
#27 - NDJ - 08/05/2012 - 13:53
I agree with this commentary. I never believed in eternal hellfire or intrinsic immortality. I know that jehovahs witnesses deny the deity of jesus. Are you a jehovahs witness? I belive Yahweh is God. Yahwehs Word is Son and the Spirit is Yahs Spirit. All were is involved in Creation....from Father..thru Spirit. All God...One. Father has primary position as originator. Dont believe Jesus in an archangel....Daniel 9 states Michael is one of the chief angels....What is your faith?
#28 - lydia - 08/28/2012 - 23:48
RE: Religion
No we are not Jehovah Witness. We are Protestant. You can read our statement of faith by clicking on the "about us" link at the top of this page.
#29 - James - 08/29/2012 - 23:36
Just as you have rightly said, just do your utmost good through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. To me, I do not see it making any different to anyone that holds the believe in the context of EVERLASTING HELLFIRE or just a day, on God being a wicked God. Thank God our believe will not change HIM from being who HE is a consuming fire. Friends, I sincerely think we should dwell less on how long the fire would last, for even a second in it is not what one should wish for, rather we should sincerely with a contrite heart asked God for forgiveness of our sins that HE may count us as those HE has chosen to show mercy and call to HIMSELF.
#30 - Uche - 10/25/2012 - 06:13
The origin of hell-fire in Christian teaching
This can be easily understood I believe if one begins with a proper understanding of what a soul is as defined in Genesis 2:7. Most of us were taught we all were given a soul when God created us but the Genesis depiction is not that God gave men souls at creation but rather they became souls. As a rifle is comprised of two separate parts, ie. stock and barrel, and as water is made up of two separate molecular components, ie. hydrogen and oxygen, so to the soul is made from two separate things, ie. the dust of th earth and the breath-life force of God. When these two things are separated, this we call death. The soul no longer exists until the life giving breath of God reanimates the dust upon the miraculous power of resurrection. Then man becomes once again a living soul, an immortal living soul. This immorality can only be found and claimed in Christ who alone possesses immortality or the life force from which immortality springs. The faithful will receive this immorality as a blessed promised gift at the time of resurrection. The unfaithful will not receive this gift since they have preferred their independence from God and as a result have forfeited any claim to immortality. The only possible outcome of their independence from God who is life will be death eternal. Jesus Christ is the source of this living water. And as He said to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well, whoever drinks this living water will never perish but have everlasting life. So trust in this Jesus and drink freely from His well and live forever!
#31 - Scott - 03/06/2013 - 19:11
Hell properly understood
Since you stated and I believe correctly that a soul is a living breathing person or creature comprised of the physical dust of the earth combined with God 's life giving breath- then death is the separation of God's life giving breath or spirit and the dust which comprises the formed creature be it man or animal. In math terms it would be 1+1=2 where 1 is the dust or body plus + 1 which is God's life giving breath is = to 2 which is the soul( Nephesh- Hebrew word). If you subtract the breath of God then you are left with a lifeless body- dust and no longer can the "soul" exist. The soul becomes a dead soul or dead creature or dead person. So the soul English equivalent to the Hebrew Nephesh nd Greek psuche is not an immortal part of a human but is the word given to describe a living creature be it animal, insect, fish, human, etc. When a soul dies it would be acceptable to say a person died or an animal died. When Stephen gave up his spirit, it was the life giving breath of God that Stephen gave up. He took his last breath.. Without the life giving breath or spirit (pneuma) of God who lone possesses this life force then Stephen died. We all will die in like manner. We do not have a " soul" which lives apart from our body. This is never taught in the Holy Scriptures. Twisting of the Word of God as so many do intentionally or unintentionally to promote the soul as a separate part of man that lives on forever, that survives death and enters into a heavenly state or miserable suffering abode is a heathen doctrine. What the Holy Scriptures teach is the death of a soul or living breathing person. Upon the return of Jesus Christ, all dead persons or souls will be resurrected either to life immortal and eternal with The Lord, or condemnation to death eternal. The resurrected persons who did not trust in the atoning work of Christ will perish, be destroyed, be consumed and devoured by the fury of God's wrath. They will be annilihated, extinguished forever. The temporary life given at resurrection will be for the purpose of divine judgment and penal administration of capital punishment fulfilling Paul's declaration that the wages of sin is death, and the penalty of rejecting the Gospel of our Lord will be eternal destruction away from the presence of The Lord, and death because they did not receive a love of the truth, and a fire that consumes rather then torments those who have trampled underfoot the gracious and precious blood of Christ and counted that glorious blood as nothing. I pray this not only makes sense to the human reasonable thinking mind, but that God's Word will be magnified, honored, and revered by His saints- those who will be found in Him at His lorious appearing!
#32 - STP - 03/24/2013 - 08:39
Immortal Soul cannot die?
If you say that the soul is not a part of man but man himself; then aren't you also saying that it is a separate part of what constitutes the nature of man; that of a physical form and also of a invisable soul when both can be destroyed by God for instance in Matthew 10:28. Doesn't this verse at least teach us that man has a soul and is not simply a soul or as you say a living person comprised of dust and the breath of God? It seems as if you have two definitions of soul-one is that man is a soul-Genesis 2:7. Two, that man has a body and a soul(two part) and both can be destroyed, Matthew 10:28. I will admit that this verse does teach that if man does have a soul, that God can destroy it which would make it mortal like his body. Traditionalists would have a difficult time explaining this verse with their usual interpretation that the human soul is innately immortal and incapable of final and complete destruction. But at least for my benefit please explain which one of these definitions is accurate. Both cannot be true. Man cannot be a soul and have a soul at the same time.
#33 - Tom - 03/26/2013 - 16:08
A good question! I agree both cannot be true at the same time. Matthew 10:28 is a verse whereby Jesus is talking to his disciples after He instructs them to go about in all Jerusalem, and Judea preaching the Kindom of God. This instruction first of all is to the Jews only and not the gentiles. It is a Jewish evangelical outreach mission trip for the 12. Jesus tells them not to fear the rejecters of their message but rather fear Him-God who can kill the body, and further destroy both the body and the soul in Hell-Gehenna. I won't be dogmatic here but it would appear that men in general can kill other men. This is obvious to us all. We call it murder, and this is punishable by crucifiction or stoning in that day. But Jesus adds something else to His teaching. He informs His disciples that it is God they should fear who can DESTROY both body and soul in hell-gehenna. I believe the word destroy denotes final and total destruction of the person. It has eternal significance. In fact often when this word is used in scripture and used to depict God's judgment on the wicked, then it is pointing at final judgment of the sinner, as in Sodom and Gomorrah. There were no survivors and the city has never been rebuilt. It was completely wiped out by the fire that came down from heaven. It was a heavenly fire or eternal fire that destroyed the twin cities. Man can kill but man cannot destroy forever. 2Thessalonians 1:8,9 helps us to see this better. The verse here reads, 'In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished (Matthew 25:46) with everlasting destruction.' Again the word destruction signifies eternal or age-abiding or everlasting death. This type of punishment is final, complete, and irrevocable. Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as the wicked in the days of Noah would have similar reference to a Judgment from God from heaven that has eternal consequences. It doesn't refer to the ongoing never ending process of punishing and tormenting, but of a divine decree of death and annihilation. If there was any torment or suffering in these two examples, then it was very short lived. The purpose was to destroy not torment. So back to Matthew 10:28. I believe this verse instructs the disciples as well as us that more worrisome is this divine judgment of God. Men can and do kill other men, but only God can destroy men forever. The words eternal fire, hellfire, gehenna fire, lake of fire, lake of fire and brimstone, river of fire, flaming fire, etc. all are descriptive of divine judgment that is irrevocable and final. So God uses a word the Jewish reader would understand since the Jew if following the Torah would know that the word soul, means the living person. A person who has life due to the sustaining breath of God Almighty. The verse isn't adding anything more to the man since the Jew understood that the word soul or nephesh is descriptive of the total man. A living man. And the destruction of the soul in his mind would mean that the possibility of life would be forever lost since God's breath or life giving and sustaining force would be removed by the destruction of the soul or person forever. It is emphatic. In Luke the same story is told but this time the word soul is not stated. In Luke 12:4 Jesus says, 'Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more they can do. But I will forewarn you of whom ye shall fear: fear Him, which after he has killed has power to cast into hell-gehenna.' (refer to Joshua 15:8 for descriptive location) Gehenna is the Greek transliteration of the words Valley of the Sons of Hinnom. This is a well know place just outside Jerusalem. The history of Gehenna was cursed by God. It was a deplorable graveyard in the OT of the most wicked offenders of God. It had been always known by the nation of Israel as a valley of death and slaughter. Again, the Jewish listener would understand this to mean total an ignominious death. A place that was most certainly cursed by God. A humiliating and cursed death to a Jewish person. No mention of soul in this synoptic reference. Also, importantly to note is the imagery of gehenna. Gehenna was a fire pit of refuse in Jesus day. It was a real and palpable garbage dump south of Jerusalem. Much of the refuse, dead animals, dead criminals, trash, etc was thrown here. There was the perpetual fire that would not go out since it was maintained to burn the garbage, rotting flesh of animals, and humans not worthy of burial. Birds of prey, wild beasts, wild dogs, maggots, all would consume the decaying remains that the fire didn't devour. This imagery is used by our Lord to forewarn His disciples of the contemptuous demise that awaited the wicked if they didn't repent (refer to Isaiah 66:24). In the mind of the Jew this was a despicable and loathsome end to one's life. They intuitively understood the significance of Jesus reference to gehenna. It's too bad that the modern day translation of the word gehenna to the English word Hell has caused much misunderstanding to this reference and warning. Gehenna does not equate to endless suffering of human souls as many modern day Christians teach and believe but rather it designates finality and ultimate doom for the wicked. An appalling death that will last forever. The word unquenchable as used In the bible indicates a fire from God and not of men. It is a fire that will destroy completely what God has determined it to destroy. It is a fire that symbolizes the anger and wrath of a Holy God against rebellion and willful sin. It is reserved for those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ but delight in unrighteousness more than righteousness. Hope that helps some.
#34 - STP - 03/27/2013 - 07:25
Ok. Well put. I still have questions regarding the whole concept of annihilation or conditional immortality. What verses support that immortality is a gift from God or that man is only mortal both body and (soul) if he indeed has a soul which you say he doesn't? If he has a soul he must be immortal to begin with. If immortal than nothing can destroy his soul. right? Also, please furhter explain what is meant from the parable or story of the rich man and Lazarus? Here Jesus seems to clearly be teaching that the wicked are sentenced to eternal pain and torment. The rich man must live forever otherwise why would Jesus tell this story?

#35 - Tom - 04/09/2013 - 14:30
Tom, another good set of questions. I had them all too when I was first learning about conditional immortality. Conditionalists-like myself view immortality as an intrinsic attribute of God and of Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father. God is eternal which means He neither has a beginning or can have an end. In a sense, He is outside of time altogether but at the same time in time since He fills all things seen and unseen. He is omnipresent. He is also the only one who is immortal-unable to perish or die. Since He is life and He alone possesses life and is the sustainer of life, then no one else can survive (live) without His life. The creatures, the plants, and humans all have this life in them or they would be dead-lifeless. In Genesis God is said to have created all the different forms of living creatures including mankind. He gives the name soul (Hebrew nephesh) to all the living creatures to include man. As stated before man was formed from the elements of the ground-dirt, and then God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and he became a living soul (nephesh). The animal kingdom also experienced the same essence of life and that is why they too are called living souls (nephesh) Gen 2:7 and Gen 1:20, 24. Note carefully that scripture does not say that God gave either animals or humans a soul. In fact, nowhere in the entire bible will you ever find such phraseology. Man's tradition teaches that God gave humans a soul. This is changing the Word of God to fit the vain Platonic philosophy of human tradition. In addition, there are over 850 uses of the word soul both in the new and old testament and not one of them ever uses the expression "immortal soul" or "immortal spirit". This I found shocking when I first learned of it. Now, for the verses that do mention immortality. They all speak of God or the future state of the saved. 1. 1 Timothy 1:17-Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen KJV 2. Romans 2:7-to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life. Notice that in the first example; God is said to only possess these attributes. Here in the second example; man is said to seek for them. How can man gain these Divine attributes? And can the wicked gain them? and of them including immortality? I think the answer is plain to see. 3. 1 Corinthians 15:53, 54-For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption (future), and this mortal shall have put on immortality (future), then shall be brought to pass thee saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. Here as in the second example, incorruptibility and immortality must be put on. It is to be sought after and will be a reality when Jesus Christ returns at His second advent. One thing also to note here is that both verses seem to be talking about those who are found in Christ Jesus at His coming. So no one has immortality yet. Neither the wicked nor the righteous. All of us are still mortal and without eternal or immortal life. It is for the present time a promise, a blessed hope for the believer who has put his faith and trust in Christ Jesus. 4. 1 Timothy 6:15,16-Which in His times He shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. One further point is that this verse states that no one has seen Christ Jesus in His heavenly glory. This is another excellent verse to teach us that no one is in heaven presently or has seen Him since He ascended on high. There are no "souls" in His presence! All the dead are asleep-dead in the graves awaiting His glorious appearing from Heaven. 5. The last use of the word immortal/immortality in the scriptures is 2 Timothy 1:10-But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. This is one of my favorite verses. It is the gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of God's only Begotten Son Jesus Christ that has brought life and immortality to light. Unless this gospel was known and preached back to Genesis, there is no way anyone could possibly be considered immortal. In fact, it is the Tree of Life in the Garden that foreshadows Jesus Christ and that only in Him and through Him can immortal life (live forever) be attained. To conclude it seems apparent that immortality is not intrinsic to mankind, it is not something he possesses in himself. It can only come through and by the Lord Jesus Christ since He is life and alone hath immortality. To believe that mankind is immortal is to once again change the Word of God to fit the Platonic philosophy of the traditions of men and make void the Word of God. Romans 6:23 so often recited is a simple statement of fact. The wages or payment of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus! Note, wages is something earned. We all have earned the wages of our sin-death. But eternal life is a gift-something unearned. None of us deserve this gift of eternal life or immortal life. It is a gift to those who place their faith in Jesus Christ who alone hath immortal life! God Bless you brother!
#36 - STP - 04/09/2013 - 15:34
STP, your comments regarding immortality intrigue me. The five verses listed are most comprehensive and do demonstrate as far as I can tell that only God the Father and God the Son possess inherent and natural immortality. Man, on the other hand was created perfect without sin but could only have immortal life if he partook of the Tree of Life which I agree was a type or figure of Jesus Christ. Apart from partaking of the Tree of Life, Adam was a dead man once he has sinned. Denying him availability of the Tree of Life certified his eventual death after he had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as God had warned. But where I am still confused is the idea of torment in the lake of fire and eternal punishment. This sounds like the wicked will live forever in some existence of ongoing, ceaseless suffering and torment. Can you help me understand how this can be if only the righteous are granted eternal life and immortality is to be found only in Christ at His second coming.

#37 - Tom - 04/09/2013 - 20:28
Lake of Fire-eternal punishment
It looks like you are beginning to see the conditionalists perspective. I want to quote a few key texts that deal with the ultimate judgment of the wicked. These verses in totality will I hope provide a crystal clear picture of the judgment to come at the close of the age/ages. One must start out with the proper context of the what is being compared. In other words, what is it that God will give to the righteous that they don't already have? And conversely, what will God give the wicked that they don't already have? Starting with the wicked. The following verses are a snapshot mostly from the NT on the reward of the unbelieving wicked. 1. John 3:16-For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not PERISH, but have everlasting LIFE. 2. John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see LIFE; but the wrath of God abideth on him.KJV So as you can see what is being compared is that the righteous will receive something they don't already have-eternal LIFE. And the unbelieving wicked will receive something they don't already have-death (shall not see LIFE) This I believe is describing eternal or everlasting LIFE-immortality! The wicked will certaily die in this age but as John 5:28,29 states, Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves (not heaven or hell) shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the RESURRECTION of LIFE; and they that have done evil, unto the RESURRECTION of damnation. Again notice what is being compared LIFE and death, damnation, perish, etc. It is intuitive that if one recieves LIFE for his faith, then one receives death or non LIFE for his lack of faith (evil heart). It really makes no sense to say both are granted or given as a gift eternal LIFE but one is for the purpose of blessing and the other for the purpose of cursing. Either one is living or one is not living. And since God alone possesses LIFE, then He is free to grant it or give it as a measure of His grace to those He chooses based on the condition of faith. Faith is nothing more than acknowledging God and His benevolence and justice and submitting to them both. Next we move over to Matthew 7:13. Again, note the comparison of LIFE and DEATH or DESTRUCTION. Keeping the context in mind that Jesus is speaking to a Jewish audience near Jerusalem explaining the entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. -Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to DESTRUCTION, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto LIFE, and few there be that find it. And later Matthew records in vs. 7:24-Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell NOT: for it was founded upon a rock(figure for Jesus Christ). And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it FELL: and great was the fall of it. Would anyone listening think that Jesus is telling them that if their trust is in anything other than Him, he will be tormented forever and ever? That would require a great deal of imagination not too mention that the sand would have to give way at some point-no one would assume by this story that the sand would last forever and ever as it was being battered by the storms and floods, and winds, etc. Matthew 10:28 also provides us with the warning that only God can ultimately DESTROY a person in Hell (Gehenna). Gehenna is used as a figure of annihilation where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. The unquenchable fire is the FIRE from God in judgment of ungodly men. Fire is always used to describe and portray destruction and death. If it is eternal then it is from God-Is 34:10, Jude 7. Neither Edom or Sodom and Gemorrah exist today are still being tormented by an unquenchable fire. Context is key to understanding this OT language. If I said it was raining cats and dogs I'm pretty sure you would get what I meant. However, in 2000 years without context it would be quite comical to listen in on two people debating the literal meaning of my figure of speech!! 1 Corinthians 15:18-Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are PERISHED. Paul was explaining to the Corinthians that the key to our hope of resurrection was the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. And if He was not raised, then all is lost and those who have already died (asleep) are doomed. Now this would be a great place for Paul to say, at least their bodies are PERISHED but their "souls" are at least in heaven with the LORD. But he doesn't. Why not? Wouldn't it be at least better to be with the Lord in heaven with our "souls" even though are bodies are not raised? This would be the case if Paul believed that man is a two or three part being comprised of body and soul, or body, spirit, and soul. Acts 3:23-And it will come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear the prophet, shall be(utterly) DESTROYED from among the people. Now either souls in this verse means immortal, invisible, ghosly beings, or souls means persons-(psuche-Gr) 2 Thessalonians 1:8,9-In flaming FIRE taking vengence on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting DESTRUCTION from the presense of the Lord, and away from the glory of His power. Here we see what the eternal punishement of Matthew 25:46 is describing. Since Matthew 25:46 only tells us that the goats-wicked will be suffer eternal punishment and does not say what that punishment is; Paul here in 2 Thessalonians gives us a vivid and concise description of those who reject the gospel of Christ. Also, in Matthew 25:46 the comparison once again is between LIFE for the sheep and condemnationn(eternal punishment) for the goats. Let's not read into Matthew 25:46 eternal torment for wicked immortal souls. That I would say is adding to scripture. Besides, the modifyer eternal is used in a similar way in Hebrews 5:9, Hebrews 6:2, Hebrews 9:12, and Jude 7. And in none of these examples does eternal indicate ongoing endless action of the noun it modifies. Rather, it depicts the endless duration of the noun. If the wicked are destroyed forever, then they will never live again. Salvation will last throughout eternity, redemption will last throughout eternity, the destruction of Sodom and Gemorrah will last throughout eternity. The process of these things will not persist eternally but the results will. This is a very important truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-And with all deceivabeness of unrighteousness in them that PERISH: because they received not the love of the truth, tht they might be saved. Perish is death. Romans 6:23-the wages of sin is DEATH, but the gift from God is eternal LIFE in Jesus Christ our Lord. Again death is death not life in torment that is endless. For what purpose would God accomplish through endless human suffering? God hates the death of the wicked but yes He delights in the endless suffering of the same wicked. This is nonsense! Romans 9:22-What if God, willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for DESTRUCTION: Sure I guess one could use the definition RUIN for all of these examples of DESTRUCTION. However, ruin denotes that whatever is ruined was once useful and purposeful. How could any human be considered at one time useful to God? Paul emphatically says that no one is righteous, no one seeks after God, all have gone astray. So where do we find human who are sinful, wicked, wretched, selfish creatures ever showing usefullness? Ruin will just not work as a way to explain away the obvious meaning of DESTRUCTION and DEATH. Romans 2:12-For as many as have sinned without the law shall also PERISH without the law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law. Here too PERISH cannot mean ruin or rendered wasteful. It means destroyed-DIE-cease to exist. Hebrews uses words like burned-Hebrews 6:8, 10:27 fiery indignation which DEVOUR the adversaries, Hebrews 10:39 PERDITION (destruction,etc. Revelation 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, DEATH, and mourning, and famine; and she (Babylon)shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. I will cover the other verses in Revelation in a future writing. But to those who are thrown into the lake of fire-it is said that this is the second DEATH.

God Bless
#38 - STP - 04/09/2013 - 21:56
Gehenna explained
Ok. I would like more clarification on Gehenna. I did some research on this and yes Gehenna is not the traditional "Hell" that most Christains think it is. In fact, the 11 or so times that the word is used-all in the gospels plus 1 time in James; it seems as if Jesus who spoke mostly regarding Gehenna was referring to an actual historic place that His audience quite possibly understood all too well. Also, please tell me why the English translators used the English word Hell instead of the word Gehenna from the literal text. It would seem that they would want to keep the word Gehenna in the translation so as to lose none of the original meaning. Our modern day understanding the word hell does not even come close to the meaning of Gehenna other than the language of fire. The fire of Gehenna is for destruction of corpses and the fire of hell (traditional view) is for endless torment. it cannot be both. Why is this so messed up? And why doesn't the apostle Paul ever talk about Gehenna or hell? He never uses either of these words to describe the fate of the wicked in their final judgement. This is a red flag for the traditionalist view. As you have said in your previous writings, Paul speaks of death, perish, destruction, the fire that consumes, devours, destroys. None of these words sound like endless torment for wicked souls of disembodied dead sinners. Help me!

#39 - Tom - 04/18/2013 - 17:46
Gehenna explained
tom-you sound frustrated! However, you also sound like you have been really looking into all of this. I will try to explain where Gehenna originates from though I'm no Hebrew scholar. First of all, Gehenna is the Greek word used in the original which in Hebrew means valley of the son of Hinnom. This was covered earlier. Gehenna or valley of the son of Hinnom was to the south of the temple in Jerusalem. The dung gate was one of the entrances into this valley. Most historians would agree that Gehenna was the garbage dump or dumping ground for dead animals, dead criminals who had been denied a burial, garbage, and also the sewage from the temple and city along with the blood and ceremonial washings of the priestly animal sacrifices. All in all it was a pretty nasty place and loathed by the Jews. However, in Jewish history Gehenna had important religious significance. Notably, it was the location of the valley of Tophet which was located in the southeast corner of Gehenna. This is where King Solomon had built the high places or alters to pagan deities to placate his many pagan and evil wives. The primary caananite deity was Molech-god of fire. This was the god that the Jews sacrificed their children to by walking them through the fires of Molech. Pretty disgusting and very mcuh an abomination before the Lord God. 1 Kings 11:7-then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. The next several verses show how Solomon had angered the Lord and how the Lord came against Solomon and his kingdom. Jerimiah 7:31-33-therfore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall o more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they bury in Tophet, till there be no place. And the carcases of ths people shall be for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away. This was a prophecy foretelling what would happen to the Israelites after they had been defeated by Babylon and taken into captivity. Is 30:33-for Tophet is ordained of old. yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile therof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it. And Is 66:24 -and they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have trangressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abomination unto all flesh. This is a prophecy of the coming future reign of Christ in the rebuilt temple of the milineum 1000 year period. When we get to Matthew, the Lord, John the Baptist, are warning that the kingdom has come and is in their presence. The Jews didn't believe Jesus was the Christ-Messiah and so rejected His admonitions of the future judgement that awaited them in Gehenna if they didnt repent. Paul was not commissioned to the Jews in his ministry but to the church of the acts period comprised of Jew and gentile. He did not refer to Gehenna even though he most likely understood the references Jesus made regarding it. The gentiles and most of the Jews outside of Jerusalem would have been unfamiliar with Gehenna and it's history-but not the pharisees nor the scribes and religions leaders that resided there. Within only a span of 37 years, or less than one generation, those who heard the words of Christ and repented not were most likely dumped there when Titus laid waste to the holy city and destroyed most of the inhabitents. Gehenna burned for a long time and the worms did their work in destroying and consuming the rotting dead flesh of the people of Jerusalem who ended up there. This is the history of gehenna. Now for modern day scholars to say this is "Hell" where unbelieving disembodied souls go without their bodies is man's tradition received from the Greeks and the philosopy of Plato and Socrates. The English word Hell does much damage to the reality and warning of gehenna. The word Hell has taken on a meaning never meant by our Lord. And that's why the apostle Paul never once uses the word HEll, or GEHENNA, or HELLFIRE, or LAKE OF FIRE! Please consider this because this is very critial to one's grasp of the meaning of these words. Is. 66:24 is yet future, and as gehenna was once the cursed and loathsome repository of dead wicked Jews,it will be the place of curse and annihilation of those of the nations who reject the righteous commands of our Lord Jessus Christ when He sits in His Holy temple and rules with a rod of righteousness during the 1000 year kingdom age. As Jesus said, it is better to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with one eye than to have both eyes and be thrown into gehenna. Gehenna is a place of total destruction. What remains are carcuses that will be comsumed by the unquenchable fire and voracious maggot until the dead, rotting flesh is consumed. There will be no resurrection to eternal immortal life for these poor beings. I believe that the lake of fire in Revelation is figurative language describing Gehenna. But please study this for yourself. Wheather or not you believe in the conditionalist viewpoint or the traditionalist viewpoint, a thorough study of these words and their corresponding biblical meanings will advance your knowledge of the bible. But I do believe if you continue in your research and study, you will most happily come to the same conclusion as I have. That the wicked unbelieving dead are destroyed forever. The evidence is too compelling.

til we meet again, God bless!
#40 - STP - 04/18/2013 - 20:44
please i want you to give me insight about the millenium, when it will happen and it purpose
#41 - kristine Dotse - 04/24/2013 - 01:23
In his days the righteous will flourish; prosperity will abound till the moon is no more. He will rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. The desert tribes will bow before him and his enemies will lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of distant shores will bring tribute to him; the kings of Sheba and Seba will present him gifts. All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him (Ps. 72:7-11).

Jesus is King Of Kings and Lord of Lords. The time of His rule is unknown to all but God. But the time will come when all will be completed according to the providential plan of the Almighty, when evil will have run it's course, when the nations have proven their ways were futile and doomed to failure, when kings, princes, presidents, courts, parliaments, congresses, and all other government forms will have been seen as tyrannical and oppressive, when the best of men and world leaders will be exposed for their covetous predilections, when the earth itself will mourn and groan because all in Adam have greatly and miserably failed to bring about lasting peace, tranquility, and the end of suffering, then and only then will the God of all creation send forth His glorious Son- The Lord Christ Jesus to redeem all the earth and her inhabitants. Much of the OT scriptures detail this glorious kingdom on earth and He who will rule with the rod of righteousness over the nations. Zion will be His capital, His throne of authority. The nations will bow down to His preimmenence and His authority. The 12 apostles will rule with Him quartered in the adjoining rooms (mansions). Where Christ is they will be and they will never be apart from Him. The earth will rejoice and give forth its abundance. All of nature will be at peace with each other and no harm or danger of prey and predator will be seen. The earth will know peace for the first time. Wars will be non-existent. The adversary will be confined to chains, his followers destroyed and burned. Man will be free to serve,love, and obey The Lord without the Adamic nature of sin. Man will be free to love his neighbor and not be burdened by the affects of sin.

I believe the purpose for the millennium is for God the Father to give His blessed Son the kingdom He always deserved and purposed for Him to have. All of restored nature in all of it's prodigious beauty and splendor along with the redeemed resurrected saints who believed and trusted in Him will be the Fathers gift to His most beloved and pleasing Son. We who have trusted in Him in this life will be gifted with immortality and the awesome opportunity to serve and worship our glorious God and Savior forever and ever!

God' blessings Kristine!
#42 - STP - 05/01/2013 - 12:23
Just want to know if you believe in predestination or the TULIP? , that Christ died for the Elect/remnants.
#43 - phil - 06/08/2013 - 03:25
My first thought is why ask me this question after the previous discussion of the nature of man and the destiny of man? I sense you may want to box me into some doctrinal corner and then satisfy your predilections concerning what I have stated above. But if you want my thoughts on election or predestination I will state them as cogently as I can. first of all, I have personally struggled with this question for most of my Christian life. I have read numerous books and articles regarding God's election of the save or man's free will concerning salvation and truthfully I have found both arguments convincing and thorough. Howver, with that said; I do believe that a world of sin, pain, suffering, misery, disease, poverty, war, arduous labor, climatic disasters, false religions, and death would not be a world that our Lord would choose unless something was so supreme and so superior and important to Him. In other words, why would God who is good, rightous and who is love create a world like ours and observe all the human suffering and the suffering of all of His creation if He then chose out of that cruel world whomever He wanted to be saved? It would would make a mockery out of Him to do so. So, beacause I know in my heart of hearts that God is good, rightious, just and loving, I believe He created this world with the potential for evil because He gave mankind a free will to make choices for Him or against Him. Love cannot be mutual unless both parties agree to love one another. For God to create a race of wicked men and then chose only some of those wicked men would add up to a very cruel God. Adam like Lucifer were free moral agents. They had the ability to chose between God and self-which is the essence of sin. Both chose self and so the plan of redemption of salvation through Jesus Christ was started. But only for man for Christ is a kinsman redeemer saving only the posterity of Adam who by faith believe in Him. The entire bible is a love story about God who created His most prized creatures, gave them all free will to measure the worth of their love for Him, saw their miserable failure of self-centeredness, witnessed the terrible results of their self-love,pleaded through Moses and the prophets for them to repent and turn back to Himself, saw the futility of the Law to make them righteous, saw the complete giving over of their lives to pagan idolotry and spiritual fornication, and while all the time pleading for them to turn from their evil ways but would not, He finally according to His sovereign plan sent His only beloved and begotten Son to pay the price of their sin and give them the choice to believe and be saved or believe not and be destroyed forever. For in Christ is life eternal. It is found no place else. Certainly God can do whatever He chooses. He can elect some to eternal life and He can elect others to eternal destruction if He chooses. Is that what He has done? As far as TULIP goes, this is an acronym that man made up. It is a five point summary of election to help make sense of it all. It is Calvinism. Calvin in his Institutes, states that if God elected some for salvation, then He must therefore have elected the rest to condemnation. This is Calvin's theology. If you don't agree with it then you aren't a true Calvinist. Man is depraved for sure. But he is not without choice. God's love is unconditional but His gift of salvation is conditioned on man receiving His gift by believing. Christ died for John sins and also for all the world-1 John 2:2 Man can and does resist the grace of God and His Holy Spirit-Act 7:51. And yes God does preserve His saved since they were saved by His righteousness and therefore cannot ever be unsaved -John 10:27, 28. Those are my thoughts on election and TULIP. Are you also a King James Only guy?

God's blessings,
#44 - STP - 06/11/2013 - 07:30
There is a difference between hell and hellfire. The greek word for hell is hades and in hebrew sheol. And when translated both mean do not mistake jesus mentioning of hell for hellfire. Rightly said jesus went to hell because he was in the grave period.
#45 - digitemie iduate - 06/26/2013 - 01:39
I would recommend to all here to visit to see if the modern meaning of the English word hell should even be in our bibles. Most bibles today do not use the word once.
Opened my eyes.
#46 - James Neale - 07/05/2013 - 12:33
Hellfire, hell
You are partially right about the English word hell. It is a transliteration of the word Gehenna not hades. Hades is always the same as the Hebrew word Sheol or grave. The word hell used in the NT is substituted for the Greek word Gehenna. Gehenna is the word for valley of Hinnom. It should have remained gehenna and never changed to the English word hell. Hell fire then is Gehenna fire. Gehenna and Gehenna fire are one in the same thing. Bottom line is that the word hell with it's Greek philosophical meaning should never have been used to replace Gehenna. Since Gehenna is a real location just south of Jerusalem, it should have remained in the text. Once it was changed to hell then the meaning for the most part changed as well. After the writing of the Helvetic confession in the 1500's, hell took on the Greek meaning of a place of torment for the condemned. This was unfortunately a grave error on the part of some of the reformers who adopted the Augustinian view of the afterlife patterned after Plato. Most modern day creeds followed the Helvetic confession and have lost the original meaning of the word Gehenna. That is why the Apostle's creed states that Jesus descended into hell and on the third day ascended into heaven. The proper and original creed said He descended into Hades or the grave and three days after ascended into heaven. Check the margins in your bible. Jesus did not go to a place called hell. He was buried and was placed into the tomb only to rise three days and three nights after. That is also why the thief on the cross could not have been with Jesus the same day they died. Jesus is not in Paradise yet. Nor is the thief on the cross in Paradise. That will happen when Jesus returns and the dead are resurrected.
#47 - Tom - 07/17/2013 - 22:46
Is God unjust for making faith in the ransom a condition for salvation?
Yes, none of us chose to be sinners but does our inheriting adamic sin make God unjust and unfair? No! Sin atomatically introduced death to us- Adam's offspring. God's purpose was not to continue creating each human but he blessed Adam with the ability to reproduce. So Adam's offspring came with Adam's defect. God could have created a new set of humans to avoid contamination but God had already blessed Adam to be the father of all humans, so doing so would have meant a defeat of God's purpose which is impossible with God. (pls read Isa 55:11)

Is it also unjust that the ransom makes salvation possible only for those exercising faith in it ? No, this certainly does not make God unjust and unfair. God created Adam perfect and he was to have perfect offsprings and live forever.
(Pls read Gen1:28) But God did not create him a robot, he was given free will to obey God and live forever or to disobey God and die. (Pls read Gen 2:16 and 17) But the Devil convinced Eve that they (and by extension their offsprings) would become like God knowing good and bad if she disobeyed God. Satan was in effect saying that man would live a better life being independent of God and setting his own standards, thereby being his own god. Satan was also accusing God of being a liar and challenging God's Sovereignty. (Pls read Gen 3:6, John 8:44) So Adam's offsprings (us) need to choose like Adam did. The ransom gives us the opportunity to be reconciled back to God out of our own free will (John 3:16). Making it atomatic would have meant not having a choice and this would have been unfair.

Because God wants us to see for ourselves that Satan's accusation was wrong he has given enough time for us to realise that., At the same time he has put the ransom arrangement in place for those who want to be reconciled back to God.
#48 - noble A - 07/30/2013 - 09:55
Christ wants to save everyone even though we don't deserve Him
God wishes for none to perish but for men everywhere to repent
Calvinism is a twisted lie and doctrine of man
and so are all other isms
There is only one Truth The Whole Word of God
It takes the Holy Spirit to understand the Word of God
Carnal minds don't get it
John 3:17
I serve Christ who saved me from my dark sinful destructive wicked self
I can help but want to please Him with an actual living heart for Him
He does restore
and He is good, pure, and born again you will fall in love with Him
and begin to hate sin and your own sin
no longer will you feel comfortable in it

#49 - Daniel - 08/25/2013 - 03:19
The Visions of Hell
Are you telling me that the visions of hell seen by some people like micheal thomas sambo "divine revelation of God judgement and holiness", four hours interview in hell, 23 minutes in hell by bill wessie, hell testimony by a budhist monk, dat of angelica zambrano among others were just claims or those visions were demonically influenced?
#50 - noble - 09/29/2013 - 10:40
Yes! Most definitely so. Otherwise simply brain malfunctions that induced visions something like dreams we have at night that seem very real but are not. Many today have spirit guides or familiar spirits as they are described in the OT. These are nothing more than demonic beings masking their real identity deceiving the vulnerable. Satan the great counterfeiter is very good at decieving the gullible and in the end times even possibly the elect of God. The bible-our only true source of absolute truth, never once describes any of the resurrected at having seen angels, people, God, anything after they were raised. For instance Lazarus in John 11 has nothing to say about the four days he was dead and decaying. He doesn't tell Mary, Martha, Jesus, or the apostles that he had a nice chat with uncle charlie or Michael the arch angel. He doesn's say anything about his unconscious condition in the tomb. No he was simply dead. The bible says the dead no not anything. Can it be any more clear? there are no thoughts in Sheol-grave. Our hope is in what Jesus said in Matthew 16- that the gates of hell or the grave will not prevail against His Church. In other words, even death and the grave will not be able to hold back the Church when Jesus comes to free them in the resurrection. Life beyond the grave is only in the resurrection of the faithful. No separation of body and soul as the neo-platonists believe. If one believes what the bible says about the nature of man as a whole being not a dualistic being that is traditionally taught, then these types of things will no longer be distractions. We will spot them immediately for what they are; deceptive ploys by Satan.
#51 - Tom - 10/08/2013 - 20:17
Hell visions
Tom is right. Visions today and or since the completion of the canon of scripture are nothing more than Satanic/ demonic counterfeits. If one takes the time to read Michael Thomas Sambo's account of his visions; it becomes obvious that Michael has believed a "different gospel" than the apostle Paul warns us of in his letter to the Galatians. Sambo's gospel is the same old lie of the devil, namely the gospel of works righteousness. We are not saved on account of our merited or earned holiness, but are saved by the imputed holiness of Christ who is the only Holy One on our behalf. We are all terribly wicked, fallen, people that are under condemnation. Nothing we do will change that condition except the righteousness of Jesus Christ given to us when we trust in Him and nothing else. If the church is truly in the miserable condition that Sambo's Jesus says it's in, then the true gospel of the bible is false. True believers know why they are considered holy and purified in Christ. They know that we have been predestined from before the foundation of the world to be blameless and holy in Christ. Outside of Christ I would agree we are in serious trouble. But in Christ where we are hidden, and have our righteousness, we are pure, holy, and perfect. Our flesh is corrupt and therefore we sin. But God our Heavenly Father only sees our perfection in His beloved Son. As Paul said to the Galatians, if anyone tells of another gospel, let him be accursed! Have we been made righteous by faith but are now to complete that righteousness by works, or by wearing "proper clothing" or by applying makeup or not applying makeup. This has been the biggest and most ambitious lie of Satan since he fall. All false religions of the world have their primary belief in the attainment of holiness by personal merit. True faith, true holiness is only attainable by faith and trust in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Nothing more nothing less. When you put your faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone, you have His holiness forever! Praise God
#52 - Scott - 10/09/2013 - 13:37

For most Christians today, there are only two inevitabilities for man upon death. One is eternal bliss with God in Heaven, for the righteous; and for the wicked is with the devil in Hell or Hell Fire, where they will be tormented in inextinguishable fire, for eternity. That is why it is common to hear preachers ask; âWhere do you want to spend eternity: In Heaven or Hell Fire?â

As with all other doctrines, the Bible enjoins us to always search the scriptures deeply to prove the veracity, or otherwise, of any teaching which we have received from our spiritual leaders; whether minister, pastor, âman of Godâ, reverend father, etc. This would not only build us in our attempt to always worship God in âspirit and in truthâ, but it would also help us in discerning which doctrine is in accordance with Godâs word, especially in this age of false prophets and counterfeit churches.

To give authority to eternity in unquenchable fire, teachers of this doctrine quote the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in Mark 9:47, 48; where Christ said, âAnd 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: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.â What is obvious here is that our Master was emphasizing that in our race for salvation, we must be ready to sacrifice things that may be precious to us. But can the text be taken literally?

Was Christ saying that we should pluck out our eye anytime it becomes a hindrance or temptation to us? That means the left eye alone might make us lust, without the right eye; so we pluck out the left? Or was Christ saying that in Godâs Kingdom, where man will be perfected, you will find Godâs children with only one eye, or one arm, or leg? It will be sheer inanity for anyone to consider this text literally. Apparently, Christ, in His usual manner, was speaking figuratively.

In considering the doctrine of a Hell fire where the evil ones will be punished, some salient questions we should ask ourselves are:
- Has Godâs original plan for man that He placed in the Garden of Eden changed?
- God said He made man to always praise Him. Of what satisfaction, whatsoever, will a âhell fireâ where man is tortured for eternity be to God?
- When God punished Adam, the sentence was that he would die and return to the dust, from which he came. Why did God not make mention of a hell fire where Adam would be punished?
- Lastly, if the wages of sin is death, is it not then contradictory to say that the sinful and unrighteous will be punished, alive, in eternal fire, i.e. they will not actually die?

Let us now reference other parts of the scriptures that are relevant to this discourse.

If we search the whole of the Old Testament, we will not find the any reference to a âhell fireâ. Rather, there are several portions where the word âhellâ was mentioned. So, what is hell?

The word âHellâ comes from the German word "helan" or "hel" which the Hebrews call "Sheol" and the Greeks "Hades". These words mean the same thing, namely; grave, tomb, pit, heart of the earth and condition of the dead, i.e. of non-existence. - [Lexicon Universal Encyclopaedia volume 10, page 113.]

This definition is consistent with the Old Testament usage of Hell. We may consider 2nd Samuel 22:6; Psalms 18:5; Proverbs 9:18; and Isaiah 28:15. King David, in Psalms 16:10 also said: âFor thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruptionâ, prophesying that he will be resurrected from the grave by God, as Christ also whose body God will not allow to decay in the tomb. David, by this text did not in any way mean that he will be initially placed in a âhell fireâ before God rescues him.

In the Encyclopaedia of Religion and Religions, E. Royston Pike explains: "The Hebrews of old certainly had no belief in an eternity of punishment for evil doers: that conception seems to have had its rise between the Jewish exile and the beginning of the Christian era... this idea was carried over into Christianity."

Coming to Christâs statement in Mark 9:47, 48; it is understood that He was using the imagery drawn from the valley of Hinnom (Gehenna), a site in the outskirts of Jerusalem which in the days of Kings Ahaz, and Manasseh, was notorious for idolatrous practices, especially the terrible crime of infant sacrifice to the god Molech. (2 Kings 16:3; 21:6; 2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6 etc)

However, Josiah's reformation ended this vile practice (2 Kings 23:10) and the valley was subsequently used for burning of refuse and dead bodies of animals and criminals; thereby a place where undesirables were incinerated.

According to Alfred Barnes "the extreme loathsomeness of the place, the filth and putrefaction, the corruption of the atmosphere, the lurid fires blazing by day and night, made it one of the most appalling and loathsome objects with which a Jew was acquainted. It was called the Gehenna of fire and was the image which the saviour often employed..." (Barnes notes [Isaiah] page 444) writing on Gehenna as highlighted in (Matthew 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark 9:47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6)

Several authorities confirm that worms always abounded at the valley to feed on decaying flesh stuck at the sides of the rocks. And the fire at the bottom of the valley was always kept burning to consume decaying substances and thus prevent a plague. It was because of this Christ used Gehenna to illustrate the suffering, restlessness and shame, âweeping and gnashing of teethâ, which the wicked shall suffer while alive, before they are destroyed everlastingly (Matthew 18:8, 9; Mark 9:43; Revelations 6:15, 16; 9:6).

The teaching that God will torment the wicked in fire eternally is false. Jehovah not only decried the practice of the Jews, but declared that He "never commanded" it nor did it ever come to His mind. - Jeremiah 7:30, 31; 19:4-6.

Godâs final punishment for the wicked, as with the Devil, cannot and has not changed (Malachi 3:6; 2nd Timothy 2:13). This is not eternal torture in a literal place burning with fire and brimstone; but after facing judgment and due punishment, they will be eternally destroyed, will perish and be forever removed from Godâs sight. This is what hell fire symbolizes; second and final death. (Matthew 10:28; Romans 2:5, 6, 8, 9; 6:23; Revelations 21:8)

So, while Hell is the place or condition of death, imminent for all of mankind, and after which comes resurrection and judgment; Hell fire symbolizes the final destruction that will befall the wicked. (John 5:28, 29; Romans 5:12; Hebrews 9:27; Revelations 20:10, 13, 14)

In both cases, the state of the dead is not in question. When man dies, he ceases to exist, loses all his faculties, and is completely powerless. (Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20; 9: 5, 6, 10; Psalms 146:3, 4)

To show that the fire associated with hell is not literal, David the prophet, speaking of God's punishment on the wicked declared: "As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; so persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame that may seek thy name, O LORD. Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: That men may know that thou whose name alone is JEHOVAH art the most high over all the earth. - Psalm 83:15-18

The doctrine of âEternity in unquenchable fireâ called hell fire, where the wicked will be punished âforever and everâ is erroneous and unfounded according to the Bible. When God passed a judgment on Adam in the Garden of Eden, it was that he, Adam would surely die; not that he would continue to live in eternal torment. Such a notion would indeed question Godâs perfect judgment and mercy towards mankind. Rather, after Christ has reigned for a thousand years, destroying all that answers to evil and unrighteousness, including the devil, death also will be destroyed, and all shall be subject to Christ. At this point, Christ, having restored everything to perfection, will hand over the kingdom to God Almighty; that He, JEHOVAH, may be all in all. (Hosea 13:14; 1st Corinthians 15:25-28)
#53 - John EL - 03/19/2014 - 18:15
1 Corinthians 15
No criticism of this article. It is written as historical, but it is not biblical as no bible verses are actually quoted. For the author to actually understand the bible as it pertains to the after life he or she would need to study 1 Corinthians chapter 15. I will be writing a commentary on this chapter in the near future as part of my web site For now we should look at the verses below. Also consider the resurrection of the just and unjust as quoted from Paul in Acts 24:15. These verses indicate that in the future and after the resurrections of what Paul called the resurrection of the Just and unjust, âGod may be all in allâ. Before this after the future resurrections of the dead, there may be some torment, and will definitely need to be some purification of the sin nature of mankind, but in the end as 1 Corinthians 15:28 indicates, "God will rule completely over all." (Today's English Version) or "God may be all in all" (New King James Version). If you follow these verses with understanding you might see at least a form of salvation for all mankind in the future.

From the New King James Version:
12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise upâif in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

The Last Enemy Destroyed

20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christâs at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For âHe has put all things under His feet.â[a] But when He says âall things are put under Him,â it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

#54 - Mark Sanguinetti - 03/23/2014 - 19:00
universal restoration of all sinners
here is the scripture that shows us that everyone will be with GOD in eternity one day;

Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

CHRIST died for all including satan ---ALL--- of creation. CHRIST Created all things by HIM and for HIM;

Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

the book of Job tells clearly reveals to us who controls satan;

Job 1:12 And "the LORD" said unto Satan, Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

here Paul tells us what CHRIST uses satan for;

1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

satan was created for the destruction of our flesh but he can only destroy what CHRIST allows him to destroy. satan is not some loose cannon he follows strict orders.

CHRIST is not surprised by our actions HE wrote every one of our steps before there were any;

American Standard Version
Psalm 139:16 "Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me , When as yet there was ---none--- of them."

here is why we were put on this earth;

Concordant Literal Version
Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity "to humble" them by it.

to humble us. because once we are humbled than we are teachable. a prideful man can not be taught.

1 Corinthians 13 tells us what we should be praying for.

The Priority of Love

1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have ---NOT LOVE, I am nothing.

3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have ---NOT LOVE, it profits me nothing.

GOD IS LOVE and that is the image we are being made into if HE has poured HIS LOVE IN you.

Romans 5:5 and hope does not put us to shame, because Godâs love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

GOD IS ETERNAL AND GOD IS LOVE so though we are not told what we will be doing in the next life we are given the hint that LOVE will be essential in our eternal lives.

is why we are told so much about love including loving our enemies but how can that be possible? because if we believe THE WORD OF GOD which is CHRIST where HE tells us that all things were created by HIM and for HIM than we need to get to the point where we see CHRIST in everyone and in every situation in our lives.


#55 - Gilbert - 04/02/2014 - 19:27
Reply to Gilbert's claim to Universalism
In the new heavens and new earth all that was before that was sinful, evil, wicked, fallen, corrupted, defiled, and reprobate will be gone. Anything and anyone that was an enemy of God will be finally and totally destroyed. The new heavens and the new earth will be a place of restoration of the origninal Garden of Eden. In that garden nothing was corrunpted, defiled, sinful, evil, perverted, but was exactly how God deliberately designed it all-Very GOOD! After sin entered through Adam's disobedience, then all was lost in terms of perfection and purity. Since the sin of Adam the curse of sin has tormented all of nature, all of mankind, all of life. Christ Jesus our Lord reversed the curse of death and sin. Yes He died for the sins of all mankind; a perfect satisfaction of the just and holy penalty that sin demands. But there remains those who will not surrender to His authority, to His grace, to His dominion, to His love, to His righteousness. These rebels will not submit and the Lord will not force them to either. It is an invitation of His grace and love to believe in His beloved Son; but do not be fooled, those who persist in their stubborn rebellion will not inherit eternal life but will face the punishment of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Christ Jesus as Lord because His honor and His position will demand it. It will be all joy for many but it will also be utter agony and misery for the rest. The lake of fire will do its work in absolute destruction of anything and anyone who does not conform to the will of the Father. Even death will be destroyed, the final enemy of God. After the consummation of the consuming lake of fire and its destruction of all that is wicked, then the earth and the heavens will be prepared for it's new beginning. The origninal plan will commence, the new Jerusalem, which is the bride and wife of Christ will descend and the saints of God will dwell with the Father and the Lamb in unfathomable glory forever. Yes indeed God will be all in all because all will be holy and good-yes very GOOD indeed just as it was in the beginning. Evil will never be made good. Evil will be destroyed and eliminated. That which is made good can only be made good by the work of the cross of Jesus Christ and a believing faith now in this time and in this world.
#56 - Tom - 04/03/2014 - 15:30
The duration of the reign of Christ and the kingdom

The duration of the reign of Christ and the kingdom

One would think an answer of ETERNITY would be right but let me go to some verses that can make a difference. Be patient because this is not an easy study. What can be learned here will filter out much of the harm of traditional teachings.

Simply voicing something, or even putting it into print, does not make the information a true fact. Neither does popular opinion necessarily. We used to say, and believe it to be a true fact, the world was flat but Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin proved it was not flat.

We know that to truly believe what we do about the facts in the Bible, and be sure we are correct, we must obtain our answers straight from the text of the Bible itself. However, we must be using a Bible which is honestly translated from early manuscripts. Only the Autographs are inspired and totally correct but they are lost. Only God can guide us to select the existing manuscripts which may be the closest to the originals.

The problem is worse knowing that the manuscripts we do have come from drowsy monks with quill and ink. Also, because of John 3:27 and Isa 26:12, only God can give anyone the âstraight dope.â With all this in mind, letâs continue our studyâ¦

1. Luke 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever 165 AGE or EON; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. KJV
33 His father, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for the eons. And of His kingdom there shall be no consummation." CV

The word EVER in this verse is the same Greek word as the last word in Heb 1:2. It is not WORLDS, as in KJVâs Heb 1:2, but is talking about a limited duration of time; an age or ages (eon or eons). Now I know many may say that "everyone" knows that when considering the context of this verse, the idea has to be that the reign of Christ is to be endless. This is called âreading more into the verse than is thereâ used by people with a personal agenda.

We should be more diligent and continue to look at the other words in this verse. Look at the phrase at the end of the verse "and of his kingdom there shall be no end." This is the way the Bible text expresses the meaning of endlessness. (By the way, the KJV seems to never capitalize the pronouns for deity; e.g. the uncreated Being and His Son.)

2. Isa 9:7 Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever 5957 OLAM. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. KJV
7 To the increase of the chieftainship, and to the welfare shall be no end. On the throne of David, and over His kingdom, to prepare it, and to brace it with judgment and with justice, henceforth and in the future eon. The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will do this. CV

Again, the phrase âthere shall be no endâ is the way endlessness is expressed precisely and correctly in the Bible text. The kingdom will be endless but Christâs reign will come to an end when there is no longer a need for the reign. All of Godâs purpose for the ages is completed at the consummation.

This verse is the seceond of the only two in the KJV with the phrase âthere shall be no end.â In this verse it is talking about the duration of the kingdom which is indeed endless. Some stretch this verse to include the duration of the reign of Christ but I donât see the word âreignâ or the word âChristâ in the verse. Certainly God would have a hand in assuring the endless duration of the kingdom.

In Dan 3:9, the expression, âO king, live for everâ 5957 OLAM cannot mean that the word ever is endless because Nebuchadnezzar did not live endlessly. It is the Hebrew word transliterated into English as OLAM, Strongâs number H5957

âJudgment and with justiceâ is of a limited duration⦠only needed until the end of the ages.

3. Mic 4: 7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever 5957 OLAM. KJV
7 And I make her that is limping a remnant, and her that is beyond the border a staunch nation. And Yahweh shall reign over them in mount Zion, henceforth and unto the eon. CV

In Dan 3:9, the expression, âO king, live for everâ 5957 OLAM cannot mean that the word ever is endless because Nebuchadnezzar did not live endlessly. It is the Hebrew word transliterated into English as OLAM, Strongâs number H5957

4. Psa 146:10 The LORD shall reign for ever 5957 OLAM, [even] thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD. KJV
10 Yahweh shall reign for the eon, Your Elohim, O Zion, for generation after generation. Praise Yah. CV

In Dan 3:9, the expression, âO king, live for everâ 5957 OLAM cannot mean that the word ever is endless because Nebuchadnezzar did not live endlessly. It is the Hebrew word transliterated into English as OLAM, Strongâs number H5957

5. Rev 11 15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever 165 AGES or EONS and ever 165 AGES or EONS. KJV

15 And the seventh messenger trumpets. And loud voices occurred in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of this world became our Lord's and His Christ's, and He shall be reigning for the eons of the eons! Amen!" CV

âFor ever and ever.â KJV, an expression many have incorrectly learned in seminary and by tradition to mean endlessness.

âFor ever and everâ if you think about it makes no sense. How many âeversâ can there be? It makes as much sense to say âfor the eternity of the eternity.â The KJV obscures the fact that God made five long ages in which to frame His plan for His creation. When the plan of the ages is complete there is no need for Christ to reign anymore. If you can grasp the fact that God has this plan of the ages, then you will be able to see further into the future with more clarity and see the true love our Father in heaven has for all of His creation.

There are a number of similar issues like this in the KJV Bible with the phrase âfor ever and ever.â It is referring to segments of time of great but limited duration. It is the duration of time of the last two eons in Godâs plan for the eons or ages.

6. Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. KJV
6 Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. CV

The duration of this portion of Christâs reign is pretty well defined here. This is the EONIAN life of the elect commonly expressed in our popular Bibles as âeternalâ life.

The second death and the lake of fire are the same thing. And there is an important verse which says that âhellâ is thrown into the lake of fire so the lake of fire cannot be the pagan myth of âhell.â But I digress.

7. Rev 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever 165 AGES or EONS and ever 165 AGES or EONS. KJV

5 And night shall be no more, and they have no need of lamplight and sunlight, for the Lord God shall be illuminating them. And they shall be reigning for the eons of the eons. CV

Same situation and comment as item five above.

| first eon | second | current | 1000 years | end eon |
These five eons are commonly believed to be âeternityâ or âfor ever.â

Remember, all thses things transpire within the framework of the AGES or EONS.

This same issue, âfor ever and ever,â shows up several times in the KJV continuing to obscure the fact that God has created TIME in the form of five long ages in which He is to complete His EONIAN purpose. Eonian 166 is the adjective of the word eon 165.

8. 1 Cor 11: 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. KJV
26 For as often as you are eating this bread and drinking this cup, you are announcing the Lord's death until He should be coming. CV

In this verse of item eight, there is the English word âtillâ which we need to understand carefully. It is the same as the preposition âuntilâ and has a time limiting meaning. In the verse above the sacrament is to be actively observed until the time the Lord returns and then the observance need not continue and does not continue.

9. 1 Cor 15:24 Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death. KJV
24 thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power. 25 For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy is being abolished: death. CV

Christ reigns only "till he hath put all enemies under his feet." This section of the Bible takes us further into the future than does the book of Revelation. This chapter takes us to the âendâas seen in this verse. In Revelation death is still active.

When death is no longer present in Godâs creation, all the graves will be empty, all persons will be made immortal, and Christ will terminate His reign. What was voiced by our Saviour on the cross, âIt is finished,â will be truly finished at the end of the ages.

Now, what about the kingdom? In these verses Christ has already "delivered up the kingdom to God." So this means that the kingdom is endless but the reign of Christ is not endless. The reign of Christ is only needed until its purpose has been totally accomplished; Godâs Eonian Purpose. This is the time when Jesus' words on the cross, "It is finished,â truly are finished. This is the âend of timeâ as we understand time or the end of the ages or eons when God becomes All in all.

So Luke 1:33 says the kingdom is endless and so does 1 Cor 15:25. The rest of the verses in this study show that the kingdom is endless and that the reign of Christ does come to an end.

Dan 7:14 to Him is granted jurisdiction and esteem and a kingdom, and all the peoples and leagues and language-groups shall serve Him; His jurisdiction, as an eonian 5957 OLAM jurisdiction, will not pass away, and His kingdom shall not be confined. CV

Luke 1:33 should be understood in light of Daniel 7:14. In other words, "of His kingdom it shall have world-wide dominance. It will be world-wide."

Tradition has those unrepentant âsoulsâ, unbelievers, Goats, trot down through the wide gate to a conscious eternal punishment in a burning hell the moment they die. And the ones who have accepted Christ, the Sheep, having taken part in saving themselves you know by making the altar call, float up through the narrow gate into heaven to rest at the feet of Jesus the moment they die. It is not that simple as we study into Godâs plan of His ages.

Blessings and keep up the study on these truths because they have a glorious message missed by popular teachings, beliefs, and tradition,

Bob Todd
#57 - Robert Wheeler Todd - 05/18/2014 - 18:14
The bible actually teaches that the soul dies with the person ECCLESIASTES 9:5,6 says For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all, nor do they have any more reward, because all memory of them is forgotten. 6â¯Also, their love and their hate and their jealousy have already perished, and they no longer have any share in what is done under the sun.
it doesn't say they will be forever tormented Jesus said about Lazarus that he was asleep in death not tormented also the bible says "GOD IS LOVE" what kind of a loving god would torture his people forever.
#58 - Ryan - 06/07/2014 - 04:59
True but with one caveat
Indeed the more I study the scriptures and search their meaning, it seems the more questions arise and the more difficulties I encounter. It was easy back when I simply believed the scholars, preachers, evangelists, experts, and bible translations end of page commentaries. I commend all of the writers and contributors to these articles because you like me have an insatiable thirst to know what God really means and what He wants to communicate to His people. What I know now more than ever is that the Word of God is truly eternal. Written by the Eternal God who transcends all time, space, and matter with incredible complexity in some things yet so simple in others. At some point in our journeys, each one of us must arrive at a place of contentment to accept what we know of what we have been given. I struggled for years trying to understand the controversy between Calvinism and Armenianism siding on each bank of biblical supporting texts to arriving after 20 years of grueling study to honestly admit today that I am not altogether certain which is right or absolutely true. Both seem utterly plausible and defensible and at the same time altogether improbable that both can be simultaneously true and yet that is where I have landed. Spurgeon admitted a similar conclusion. My point is that the human finite and sin tainted mind is very limited in what can be confidently asserted as absolute biblical truth. Don't get me wrong, I have my strong opinions but I now temper them with only The Lord knows for sure and that has to be good enough for me.

As far as the doctrine of eternal conscious torment for the wicked goes- I like Ryan find it appalling that the God of the bible who is Love, Just, and Merciful, would condemn a human being to everlasting and age abiding suffering. This does trouble me greatly and I do find relief in the notion of annihilation of the wicked. Not that I would ever desire that any perish but that if they are found guilty at the just judgment of our Lord, then it seems the merciful and yet totally just thing would be for God to destroy the wicked rather than prolong their misery and this seems to align well with the scriptures. Traditional teaching regarding "hell" I have rejected. Not because it is a difficult doctrine to accept-which it is, but because of the copious number of scriptural texts that disprove it and argue just the opposite. I agree with Bob that we have a faulty conception of the English word eternal and of everlasting. I think Bob is correct in that time is divided out into ages or dispensations. I believe that since God had created time, that there might always be time. These times or ages being long and substantial. We need to be careful how we line up these ages and what order we see them in. Matthew 25 pointing to the conclusion of one of these ages but not the end of all ages as is commonly and erroneously done by most sincere believers. Peter speaks of an age or world prior to this one we now live in. Paul in Ephesians to a time before time in chapter 1. It is complex. Much more that I once thought. What I do know is that there is a God who is a living God. A God that is good and righteous. A God that is a genius and creative. A God that loves and is pleased with His creation of His universe and all that exists in it. A God who knows everything, including our struggles, our cares, our sins, our hopes, our dreams. A God that has a Son, whom He loves and is very pleased with. A God that sacrificed His Son on a horrible cross because He loved sinful humanity. A God who will stop at nothing to win lost souls(people) to Himself. A God who hates sin but loves the sinner. A God who had demonstrated His love for all of us by sending His only Son to die in our place so that we might live in righteousness with Him some day! A God who understands every temptation we have ever had. A God who will accomplish every last purpose He has determined for His good pleasure and will. A God who has defeated every foe, every enemy, and will one day be recognized by every creature, seen and unseen as the the glorious great God that He is. His name is none other than The Lord and God Jesus Christ. This I know.
#59 - STP - 06/07/2014 - 15:30
#60 - Robert Wheeler Todd - 09/30/2014 - 07:55
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