Many are not aware that the apostle Paul wrote around 1/3rd of the New Testament, but not once did he mention hell. Are the lost ones who died last year burning right now? Many theologians say yes they are. They even teach that someone who died in the year, say, 346 A.D have been burning ever since. It’s 2016 folks. That’s a lot of torment! If that is truly what happens shouldn’t we be snatching people with dire warnings? In part 3 of Doctrines of Demons I expound on two topics that many know little about, heaven and hell.
HERE’S A FREE INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER ON HELL AND IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN READING DOCTRINES OF DEMONS PART 1 OR 2 YOU CAN FIND THEM HERE AND HERE.
However, what happens after the judgment? Think about the person you met at your job that you loved, got to know and became friends with, who never did understand the Bible, was raised Hindu, Buddhist, or in bondage like Jehovah Witnesses and others. Perhaps, they just had a mixed opinion on religions… Now picture them dying in a car crash. Were they instantly burning in flames and torment? Most teach they will go to hell forever because they have been given free will. The message I heard repeatedly was one that insinuated that God does not want any to suffer BURNING in hell, and that is why He sent His Son to die. When people reject His Son they willfully are making a choice and choosing to not accept Him. There are over 7 billion people on this planet and every day over 150,000 deaths occur. Statistics show one child every 5 seconds dies of hunger. What’s that have to do with hell? A lot. Jesus tells a story about sheep and goats in Mathew chapter 25 and here is a portion of what he says.“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation 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, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit 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? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the ETERNAL FIRE 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, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to ETERNAL PUNISHMENT, but the righteous to ETERNAL LIFE.” This whole passage says nothing about asking Jesus into your heart or going to church every week. It says He is going to judge a people by their actions.
Many people think that everyone has heard and knows about Yeshua/ Jesus. I mean most people have a computer, right? Wrong and only about 35 % of the world has internet access. The numbers are staggering when it comes to statistics of people reached with the gospel. One site explains that 86 % of Muslims, Buddhist and Hindus do not know a Christian, not even one. NOT EVEN ONE! The numbers also suggest that there may be as many as 2 billion people who have never heard of Jesus/ Yeshua and His words that bring LIFE and life more abundantly! Will those ignorant people be held accountable? Will they burn in hell forever or until the ages? Even the most famous scripture on salvation says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV. Perish, according to Merriam-Webster, “Perish= to die or be killed…to disappear or be destroyed…to cease to exist’. So which one is it? Is it death or everlasting torment?
Yes, what will happen to the people in other countries who know nothing about Jesus Christ, but instead are taught Islam, Hindu and other religions of this world from birth? What about a faithful Rabbi who loves God’s word but has not been awakened yet to Yeshua/ Jesus as the Messiah? Will he too be tormented forever? When Jesus was beaten unrecognizable and crucified with common thieves did He say, “Father may these people burn forever in flames for what they have done to me?” Or did He say, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” Luke 23:34” KJV. I saw a man on television this year who had been run out of his home with his family and fled to the mountains with nothing due to the Terrorist group known as ISIS. He was in tears while looking at the camera in the words of Jesus he said, “Forgive them for they know not what they do”.
I have heard so many things taught on hell, many of them have made me shudder. The most recent was a video made by a young girl who says Jesus took her to hell and that she saw demons cutting and stabbing people and tormenting them. She painted pictures of all the sights she experienced in this place called hell. She saw men on crucifixion stakes with vices griping their private parts and she had painted blood coming from this area in her drawings. These were men who had committed adultery or had lustful sins of the flesh, she explained they would be tormented forever. What many have described as hell is so fascinating to me because much of it cannot be found in verse. Not only that, but I hear people proclaiming hell and how others are going to burn if they don’t accept Christ and yet they never seemed worried that they might go there. No, it never pertains to their condition, as if they are Mother Teresa. Have you ever sat and pondered just what a person burning forever would look like, let alone feel like? Whenever, I have brought this topic up in the past I was met with a shrug of the shoulders and a proclamation of, “It’s their fault, they should get saved!”
My husband, a retired police officer, was off duty in his police car, headed to the gym one evening when he came upon an accident. A semi-tractor trailer had rear-ended a vehicle on the expressway and the car was engulfed in flames. My husband got out of his car and the truck driver was in a panic, his fire extinguisher had done nothing to save the man in the car. He had rear-ended a corrections officer and rounds of ammo had started going off in what was left of the trunk, even though the trunk was literally gone. The reason the man was hysterical was he had watched this man burn to a char, screaming in agony and could do nothing to get him out of the car. By the time my husband got there, he was long gone. “That horrific torture is just part of the package when you don’t accept Christ”, many evangelists will tell you with a grin on their face. As if they are holier than thou and have greatly surpassed it by saying a prayer of salvation and yet the passage we just read in Jesus own words said that they were going because they did not feed the hungry, clothe the naked and so forth. Sadly, these same men teach that a 15-year-old boy in Asia just didn’t get lucky enough to be born into a Christian nation. Or their cousin Tom is just too hard-hearted and deserves such hell. Yes, they deserve to burn in flames forever, they exclaim.
Did you know that Hell is not actually mentioned in the Old Testament? Not even once. The word Sheol and the grave were translated as hell. We will get to that shortly. And why didn’t the Apostle Paul, who wrote 1/3rd of The New Testament, ever mention hell or warn us of it? If you were given the ability to teach people and write to the churches wouldn’t you warn them that there was an everlasting burning hell? At least one time? Could there be more going on that we’ve overlooked? Let’s go further.
Many in leadership told me of how God was a just God and did not want any to enter hell, but instead gave them a means of escape through His Son Jesus Christ. When Jesus/ Yeshua began his ministry he was announced with this description given by John the Baptist, ““I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit AND FIRE” Matthew 3:11 NIV. What is this fire? So first John was to immerse them in the water, then Jesus would baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire. This fire is mentioned over and over in the Bible but most of the time you probably have not noticed it, unless you are a careful reader, because this type of fire doesn’t get preached much from America’s pulpits.
Let’s begin this journey into hell. If you have never studied Augustine’s early 5th-century manuscript entitled City of God or Dante Alighieri’s, Divine Comedy, you may not be aware that many of the images for our beloved design of hell come from their works and others. Let’s take a peek.
Dante Alighieri wrote in the 14th century an epic poem called, “Divine Comedy” commonly referred to as Dante’s Inferno. In this book, he travels on a journey through hell. The poem is divided into three parts, Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise)— “Allegorically, the Inferno represents the Christian soul seeing sin for what it really is, and the three beasts represent three types of sin: the self-indulgent, the violent, and the malicious. These three types of sin also provide the three main divisions of Dante’s Hell: Upper Hell, outside the city of Dis, for the four sins of indulgence (lust, gluttony, avarice, anger); Circle 7 for the sins of violence; and Circles 8 and 9 for the sins of malice (fraud and treachery). Added to these are two unlike categories that are specifically spiritual: Limbo, in Circle 1, contains the virtuous pagans who were not sinful but were ignorant of Christ, and Circle 6 contains the heretics who contradicted the doctrine and confused the spirit of Christ. The circles number 9, with the addition of Satan completing the structure of 9 + 1 = 10” Information taken from Okey- Wicksteed, Divine Comedy, “Notes to Dante’s Inferno…
For over 700 years, millions of people have read Dante’s tale of hell and these levels of fire that increase due to wickedness. Many have conjured up a photograph in their brain of what hell is by different mediums such as art, theater, poetry and literature that’s been presented to us for centuries. However, we will look at the verses about hell given in The Bible more closely and compare verses and topics throughout this teaching to get a deeper understanding. Multitudes of ministers and storytellers have described this place to us but were they passing on what had been taught to them? Dante’s gory story of flaming contrived souls helped Christendom and the Catholic Church reinvent hell and a place called purgatory painlessly. The next two quotes from two famous men, Thomas Aquinas, and Augustine explain how the blessed in heaven will see the suffering of the damned.
Augustine “They who shall enter into [the] joy [of the Lord] shall know what is going on outside in the outer darkness . . . The saints’. . . knowledge, which shall be great, shall keep them acquainted . .. with the eternal sufferings of the lost.” [The City of God, Book 20, Chapter 22,
Thomas Aquinas “In order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned.. .So that they may be urged the more to praise God. . .The saints in heaven know distinctly all that happens. . .to the damned. [Summa Theologica, Third Part, Supplement, Question XCIV, “Of the Relations of the Saints Towards the Damned,” First Article, “Whether the Blessed in Heaven Will See the Sufferings of the Damned. . .”]
These quotes are more than likely derived from Isaiah chapter 66:23-24, which says, “From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord. “And they will go out and look on the DEAD BODIES of those who rebelled against me; the WORMS THAT EAT THEM WILL NOT DIE, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.”
Since most of the Christendom do not celebrate the Sabbath as God commanded, nor do they follow the Jewish New Moon’s or Feast days, it seems irrelevant to include this teaching in their brimstone theology, but, of course, it is incorporated. Brimstone is a word many associate with hell fire and for good reason as it is the ancient word for sulfur. After Abraham asked God if he would spare Sodom and Gomorrah for fifty righteous souls, he pleads with Him until he reaches the number 10 and stops. The Bible says that The Lord rained brimstone and fire out of heaven on the people, but even they are not still burning. Let’s read that for surety. “But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all” Luke 17:29 NIV. Interesting enough once we get to Revelations we see fire and brimstone and a message that seems to suggest “forever”. Let’s look at those verses. “A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with BURNING SULFUR in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus” Revelations 14:9-12 NIV.
What does forever and ever mean? The words everlasting, forever, and ever, were translated from the Greek word aion and the Hebrew olam. Young’s literal translation renders them as “age” or “age-during”. Aion is a Latin transliteration of the koine Greek word ὁ αἰών (ho aion), from the archaic similar to the Sanskrit word kalpa and Hebrew word olam. The word olam does not mean eternity. This Hebrew word means “in the far distance”. It has been mistranslated. But what does that have to do with their torment rising forever and ever? Let’s look at this even closer.
“I have surely built you a house to dwell in, a settled place for you to abide in FOREVER” 1 Kings 8:13 KJV. Solomon has built a temple for the Lord to dwell in forever but we know this temple was destroyed by war. Also, we know now that the Lord abides in every bought believer and not in temples made with hands! So when we go to the original language, here is what it says, “I have surely built a house of habitation for Thee; a fixed place for Thine abiding to the ages.’ Young’s Literal translation. So let’s try this again with another verse that is more popular. We have King David and he is speaking in Psalms and he says, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD FOREVER” KJV Psalm 23:6. Now, let’s look at this verse with the original word ‘olam” and see how it should be worded. Only — goodness and kindness pursue me, All the days of my life, And my dwelling is in the house of Jehovah, For a length of days”! YLT. It said, “For a length of days”. We know from an earlier teaching on heaven that David is in his sepulcher to this day. He is not in the house of the Lord. Yes, while he was here on earth, he was in His house, but the translation was not accurate. Let’s do a few more for good measure.
Jonah said, “I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me forever:” Jonah 2:6 KJV. This was a three-day journey that Jesus quoted and said, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” Matthew 12:40 KJV. Jonah was not there forever. This happens so often in scripture, if I were to go over them all we would be here all night. My point is, forever and ever is just until the age or until death. But don’t take my word for it, research it yourself. In Exodus there is a description of a slave that loves his master and wants to be a servant to him all his days. “if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door-post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him forever” Exodus 21:5-6 KJV. This man will not be his servant forever, but until he dies.
There is a group of people who are not ready for knowledge. They live in fear of change and they have been taught anyone that comes against the King James Bible is of Satan. This is new wine, if you try and pour it in your old wineskin, it’s going to burst! I want to show you and enlighten you on verses you may have missed. Let’s start with the most common word “hell”. H E double hockey sticks! “You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 4:3 NASB.