THE LAKE OF FIRE
“9. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10. The same [even him] shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the PRESENCE of the holy angels, and in the PRESENCE of the Lamb: 11. And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).
* Do not be too quick to say that some beings will go on eternally being tortured alive in hell fire. The Scriptures do give other facts to the contrary....
It was pointed out in Part 1 of this study that Bible Scholars are not in agreement as to where the location of the Lake of Fire will be. As you might recall, we wrote on Page 1:
Some prominent teachers of the Word believed that the “fiery lake must be located far, far away from the earth.” This opinion was enhanced when the idea was expanded by another saying; “that it will probably be on a star, far away from earth (stars are actually vast lakes of fire)” according to one Ph.D. A Bible study web site said the “Lake of Fire will be the Dead Sea.” Yet, another said the Lake of Fire will be in Idumea (Edom) according to Isaiah 34:6-10. A major teacher of the Word concluded that it must be “in Heaven” because of Revelation 14:10.
Note the expressions: far away from earth, on a star, will be the Dead Sea, will be in Edom, and another word for its future location is—HEAVEN.
I have, repeatedly, said the location of “Gehenna” was, and will be, South of the City of Jerusalem. Throughout the previous twenty-five pages, Scripture after Scripture has been presented attesting to this fact. And, now we come to Revelation 14:9-11 from which we learn that the “Holy Angels and the Lamb” WILL BE PRESENT IN THE SCENE DESCRIBED IN Revelation 14:9-11. http://www.plainerwords.com/artman2/publish/2011/The_Lake_of_Fire_-_Part_1.shtml
The Vision which John is shown is of an event that is future. The Vision doesn’t depict the Holy Angels and the Lamb witnessing the incineration of the idolaters. The angel announces “in a loud voice” that those who worship the Beast, his image, and receive his mark will “drink of the wine of the wrath of God” and will do so without a mixture or a chaser—His undiluted wrath.
Your attention is drawn to the “holy angels” in Verse 10. John informs us that the “holy angels” will be with the Lamb as they both witness, in the instance mentioned, the torment of the worshippers of the Beast. Here is a question for you. Could the angels, mentioned, be the 144,000 men who had the Father’s Name written on their foreheads (Rev. 14:1)? The Scripture, at times, refers to “saints” when angels are meant. If this is true, and it is; it would only stand to reason that, sometimes, “angels” might be named when, actually, the reference is to redeemed men such as the 144,000. And, who will appear with the Lamb on Mount Sion. “Angels” are messengers, envoys, or those who are sent from God. This being true, the 144,000 could qualify as “angels.”
Check out the following references and you will see that “angels” are, sometimes, called “saints:” Deuteronomy 33:2, Jude 14, Acts 7:53, Galatians 3:19, Hebrews 2:12, Psalm 68:17, Daniel 7:10, Matthew 16:27, 25:31, and Zechariah 14:5.
* Are angels immortal, in the meaning that they cannot die?
Please always get the latest version of this document, from the Bible Pages web site, via this address: www.biblepages.net/eda022.htm
The location of Revelation 14:10 is, without question, a scene in the Vision that will take place ON EARTH. Look at the Context.
In Revelation 14:1, the Apostle John is given a Vision where he sees the Lamb standing on Mount Sion. The location is on the Earth, not Heaven. John, also, sees the “hundred and forty and four thousand” standing with Christ, the Lamb of God—on Earth.
Furthermore, we read in the immediate Context of Chapter 14:6-20—The Fifth Vision “On EARTH.” Included in this Fifth Vision is Verse 10 which states that the Lamb and the Holy Angels will be “present” to approve of the torment administered to those who worshipped the Beast and his image, and received his mark (V. 9). In the Vision set forth, here, the Lamb and the Holy Angels are seen on Earth: the locale is what had been “Gehenna,” but now has a new name.
GEHENNA HAS A NEW NAME
The setting of the Vision is Mount Sion [Heb. Zion] and the Valley of Gehenna. It will become wider and deeper as a result of the prophetic earthquake and splitting Jerusalem into three parts (Rev. 16:18-19). The Valley will no longer be a narrow ravine where the incorrigibles will be cast, but now, the Valley is a wider and deeper geological depression. The size would accommodate a lake. This will become, not a Lake of Water, but rather, a Lake of Fire!
The Lake of Fire will be the end, or the fate of “Tribulation Idolaters.” These will be those who worship the Devil by means of worshiping “ …the beast and his image, and receive his mark [a tattoo] in his forehead, or in his hand” (Rev. 14:9). The Bible likens idolatry to that of having adulterous sexual intercourse. The Jews were considered the spouse of the LORD (Yahweh); therefore, the worship of an idol was the act of committing spiritual adultery. The followers of the Beast will be cast alive into the fires of the Lake. The Lake of Fire will consume the “Congregation of Idolaters.”
The Lake of Fire will not be fueled by burning brimstone (sulfur). According to Isaiah 30:33, a great amount of wood will be piled up on the floor of the Valley, and will be set ablaze by “the breath of the LORD” which will be “like a stream of brimstone.”
The “fire and brimstone,” mentioned in Verse 10, is a Simile for “the breath of the LORD is like a stream of brimstone.”
“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark [tattoo] of his name” (Rev, 14:11).
The reader should, carefully, note that it is the “smoke” of their torment” that rises up until the end of the eon, i.e., the Great Tribulation. The word for “torment” is “basanizo,” Strong’s Number 928. It is used 12 times in the NT. It is translated, variously, as – torment, tormented, torture, tossed, toiling, vexed, and pained (see Strong’s Concordance, Numbers 929).
We note that the idolaters will be examined very rigorously in the Presence of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, and the aforementioned angels. His examiners will probably extract from the mouths of the guilty ones, “how and why they allowed themselves to be deceived by the Beast and the False Prophet.” After living for many years under the ideal conditions of the Administration of Divine Government, and a perfect environment, why did they “sell-out?” You can only imagine the answers that will be given as a result of the rigorous examination of being tortured.
All judgment has been consigned to the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Son. The metaphorical idiom “in fire and brimstone” sets forth the force used to wrest the reasons why they were deceived. “The smoke of their torment” is figurative language for the results of their torment (or torture). The findings will become constant reminders during the remaining time of the age.
“11 And the smoke of their TORMENT [torture] ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark [tattoo] of his name” (Rev. 14:11).
We find the words, “torment” and “tormented,” a number of times in the Book of Revelation. You will notice the three NT words below. Two of these, # 928 and # 929, stem from # 931.
NT: 928 – Basanizo – 1. To test metals by the touchstone. 2. To question by applying torture. 3. To vex with grievous pain. (This word is used 12 times in the NT).
NT: 929 - Basanismos – 1. A testing by the touchstone or by torture. 2. Torment or torture. (This word is used 6 times in the NT).
NT: 931 – Basanos – 1. the touchstone by which gold and other metals are tested. 2. the rack or instrument of torture by which one is forced to divulge the truth. (This is used 3 times in the NT).
The definitions are from Thayer’s New Testament Lexicon. The English words of “torment,” or “tormented” do not really depict what will be taking place in scenes of prophecy as presented, here, in Revelation. The basic meaning of the root word, “basanos,” is that of torture. You noticed that all three words in the NT Greek Language, according to Joseph H. Thayer, centers around the noun—touchstone. What is a touchstone? We had a hazy idea, but had to go to the Dictionary to clear up our vague understanding. Here is the definition:
“Touchstone: noun. 1. Any means of testing; test; criterion: ‘an era in which success is the only touchstone of merit’ (Anthony Trollope). 2. a smooth fine-grained stone used to test purity of gold or silver by the color of the streak made on the stone by rubbing it with the metal” (World Book Dictionary, 1967).
Additional references state that a touchstone is a dark-colored stone on which gold is rubbed, leaving a peculiar mark, or color which tells whether or not the metal is pure or full of alloys. The mark of pure gold leaves a distinct mark which assayers can identify as pure. By continued use of the word, “touchstone,” its meaning expanded to reference someone being put to the test, put on trial, or being torturously questioned, or examined. It, also, meant “inquiry by torture.” The Scriptural meaning in most cases, in the Book of Revelation, has been shown to mean “torture.” The underlying meaning of the words in # 928, # 929, and # 931 is to “torture.”
In Revelation 9:1-2, we read where an angel comes from heaven and will use the “key” and releases horrid creatures from out of the “bottomless pit” called “locusts.” Notice that the creatures are not to kill men, but to “hurt” some of earth’s inhabitants for five months; the five months of hurt is torture! But, those who had the seal of God in their foreheads are not to be bothered.
“And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented [tortured, # 928] five months: and their torment [torture, # 929] was as the torment [torture, # 929] of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them” (Rev. 9:3-6).
The torture is to be five months of being stung by “Stinging Scorpions.” Those who are tattooed with “the mark of the Beast” cry for relief, or beg to die, but death flees from them during this five months. But, they will meet their final fate by their “baptism” in the Lake of Fire.
The “Beast Worshippers” will suffer “Five Months of Touch-Stoning which will be having to drink the Cup of God’s indignation as mentioned in Revelation 14:10-11.
“10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented [tortured # 928] with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment [torture # 929] ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark [tattoo] of his name” (Rev. 14:10-11).
With the “touch-stoning” being on-going for five months, we see that the “Beast Worshippers” have no rest, day or night, from the intense interrogation. These who bear the “Mark of the Beast” will be taken before the Lamb of God and the 144,000, and are subjected to the intense sting of the creatures called Locusts. Are the measures of interrogation harsh and stinging, or are the subjects literally stung as if by huge Scorpions? Whatever form of torture, it will be deemed appropriate by the Lord Jesus Christ. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, this is a “hard saying; who can receive it?”
As members of the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head, we will probably be privy to these events as observers, not as participants. The participants will be of Jewish heritage. The Divine Torture will be centered in Palestine around Mount Sion, Jerusalem and The Lake of Fire.
The Lake of Fire - Part 8
Posted in: 2011
By Tom L. Ballinger
Apr 21, 2011 - 10:23:40 AM
Digg this story!
Email this article
Printer friendly page
Plainer Words Online
Tom L. Ballinger
Plainer Words since 1968
April 20, 2011
PLAINER WORDS ONLINE … THE LAKE OF FIRE
We have found Isaiah 66:23-24 to be pivotal in our studies of the “Lake of Fire.” Quoting from Part 3, in this series, we read:
“Gehenna” becomes the New Testament name for the place described by Isaiah in his reference to the City of Jerusalem during the Day of Jesus Christ.
“And it shall come to pass [during the Day of Christ], that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the LORD. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men [who were cast into Gehenna] that have transgressed against Me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh” (Isaiah 66:23-24).
It was, also, pointed out that the “all flesh” is not every living human in the world, but, rather, it is a figure of speech indicating that representatives from all of the nations will visit this Valley, while in Jerusalem, and will view the carcasses of those Israelites who transgressed the Laws of the Kingdom of Christ (See Part 3). Since they are the political figures who represent “all flesh” of other nations of the world, then, it is appropriate to say “all flesh came to worship” Christ and see the Valley of Gehenna. The whole world saw, through the eyes of their representatives, the fruit of Capital Punishment that the Lord Jesus Christ warned about during His earthly ministry.
GEHENNA DURING THE DAY OF CHRIST
The Lord Jesus Christ warned the Jews, as He proclaimed that the Kingdom of God was “at hand,” that it would be better to enter into the life of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom with only one eye; one hand; or one foot than to have two of each and “be cast into Gehenna.” He spoke these “cast into” words of warning over a dozen times.
In the Land of Palestine, Gehenna, during the Day of Christ, will be the location where it has always been—south of the City of God. However, it will not be the depository of trash, garbage, and dead animals as it had been in previous eras. Gehenna will be reserved for those who transgress the Kingdom Laws, which is to say, the “incorrigibles.” The “Gehenna Fires” (fires of hell) will be “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44). From Gehenna, there will be no resurrection.
GEHENNA BECOMES THE LAKE OF FIRE
“The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary” states that, “Gehenna is identical with the Lake of Fire.” This is not true, inasmuch as it is much wider and deeper than it had ever been. The Location is the same as it was when it was the home-site of the national god of the Ammonites. This was where the live cremation of their children took place. Isaiah wrote a prophecy, Circa 713 B.C., about the Lake of Fire─“For Tophet [Gehenna] is ordained of old; yea, for the king [the Devil] it is prepared; He hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it” (Isaiah 30:33).
In the Apocalyptic Vision, recorded by John in Revelation 19, we see the doom of the Beast and the False Prophet. The Battle of Armageddon ends with the Beast and the False Prophet being cast into the Lake of Fire. The Beast who is seen rising up out of the sea (Revelation 13:1) is the “man of sin, the son of perdition, “that Wicked” who is revealed in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8. He is commonly referred to as the Antichrist.
“And I saw the Beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the Beast was taken [arrested], and with him the False Prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the Beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both [the Beast and the False Prophet] were cast alive into a Lake of Fire burning with brimstone (Revelation 19:19-20).
According to many interpreters of the Word, they teach that the Beast and the False Prophet were super-human beings. That is to say, their very nature was above that of normal humans. The Greek word for the “beast” is “therion” which means a dangerous animal. The Greek word for “false prophet” is “pseudoprophetes” which means a spurious prophet, i.e., pretended foreteller, or religious impostor. Prominent teachers of Dispensational Truth, including Dr. E. W. Bullinger and Charles Welch, also taught that the Beast and the False Prophet were super-human. Our studies have shown us that they will not be super-humans. But, rather, they will be mortals and during the Tribulation, they will become supernaturally empowered. They will take on god-like qualities by being Satanically enabled to “… shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24). The following verse was seminal in leading them to believe that they were supernatural beings:
“And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the Lake of Fire and brimstone, where the Beast and the False Prophet ARE, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).
The King James Version of Revelation 20:10 indicate that these two men will have lived in the Lake of Fire for 1000 years. This would require the Beast and the False Prophet to be super-human beings, or supernaturally protected. We reject these two possibilities. The word, “are,” was not in the original manuscript. Here, the translators acknowledged that they inserted the word, “are,” by having it appear in italics. This tells us that the majority of the translators voted that “are” should be inserted and rejected the idea that “were” should be used.
The Devil will find himself cast into the Lake of Fire at the end of the Millennium, and the KJV reads that the Beast and False Prophet “ARE …” there, also.
If they died as men in the Lake of Fire, Revelation 20:10 should say, “And the Devil …was cast into the Lake of Fire where the Beast and False Prophet WERE …” To give the proper understanding of what was their fate, the word should be “were,” past tense; not “are,” present tense. The two were cast, “alive,” into the fires. “Alive” is set in contrast to the fact that they died in the Lake of Fire. There will be NO RESURRECTION for them.
If they will still be alive when the Devil is cast into the Lake of Fire, then, we find a direct contradiction of Scripture. 2 Thessalonians informs us that the two will be destroyed when the Lord Jesus is revealed.
“And then shall that Wicked [the Beast] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming [Parousia]: Even him [the False Prophet], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-9).
Not only that, but in the year of 555 B. C., Daniel predicted that “the little horn” (Daniel 7:8), in the NT, aka as the “Antichrist,” would be “slain,” and his body would be destroyed in the burning flame—which we, ultimately, learn is the Lake of Fire.
“A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment [the Judge] was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the Beast [the Antichrist] was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame” (Daniel 7:10-11).
This should substantiate the fact that the Beast and the False Prophet will be killed and their human bodies destroyed by the flames of the Lake of Fire. This takes place in the closing days of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God—at the 2nd Coming of Christ. One-thousand-years later, the Devil is cast into the Lake of Fire—where the Beast and the False Prophet had been discarded.
THE GREAT WHITE THRONE/SECOND DEATH
The first mention of the Second Death is found in Revelation 2:11:
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the Second Death.”
Then, we read Revelation 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”
This doesn’t inform us of what is the “Second Death.” We must continue.
John saw, in the vision of Revelation 20:7-10, that Satan was loosed from his one-thousand year imprisonment. He gathered-together the armies of Gog and Magog. The armies surrounded the saints and the “beloved City” of God, getting ready for a fatal assault. But, God intervened and sent fire down from heaven and devoured all of the armies (Revelation 20:9).
“And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the Lake of Fire and brimstone, where the Beast and the False Prophet [were], and [the Devil] shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10: Our rendition of the verse).
It is noticed that the Second Death appears, again, in Verse 14 in the paragraph cited next.
“11. AND I saw a great White Throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth AND the heaven fled away; AND there was found no place for them. 12. AND I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; AND the books were opened: AND another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: AND the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13. AND the sea gave up the dead which were in it. 14. AND death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: AND they were judged every man according to their works. AND death and hell were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the Second Death. 15. AND whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).
The twelve “AND’s” are a Figure of Speech, “Polysyndeton,” meaning “MANY-ANDS.” Thus, indicating one event follows the other—one-after-the-other in rapid succession.
It is significant to point out in Revelation 20:14 that death and hell “was cast into the Lake of Fire. THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH.”
Chapter 21 begins the Post Millennial Period and tells of John’s vision of the new heaven and the new earth (Vs.1), and of his seeing the New Jerusalem “coming down from God out of heaven” (Vs. 2). And, then, we read in verse 7 of the reward for the “Overcomers:”
“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Revelation 21:7).
By contrast, it is written:
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake [Lake of Fire] which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the Second Death” (Revelation 21:8).
The words,“this is the Second Death or which is the Second Death—the Lake of Fire,” may be clarified by saying; “Let me show you the ‘Second Death.’ There it is: the Lake of Fire.” The Lake of Fire is the Second Death.” That is to say, the Lake of Fire is the cause of, or the agency which produces the Second Death. “This” represents that. The idea is, the Lake of Fire—by figure of association in which the cause is put for the effect—represents the Second Death. The incorrigibles who are destroyed in the Lake of Fire will have no resurrection. They will never live again!
The extinction of those who will be cast into the Lake of Fire is contrary to traditional exegesis of some of the “lost.”
This Eight Part study was our endeavor to share what light we have been given on the subject of “The Lake of Fire.” Many of the readers will condemn this work, others will scoff at it, and some will yawn and mutter a Ho Hum. But, by God’s marvelous grace, we pray that some will rejoice in that they can say, “I see this.” If so, we have not labored in vain.
Tom L. Ballinger Copyright @ 2011
Visit our Web Site: www.Plainerwords.com
Devil to end
Another example is in Jude 6 we read the angels "which kept not their first estate are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." As John L. Bray says, "How long does the word 'everlasting' represent here? Only 'unto' ( or until) the time of their judgment at the great day. They were to be cast ultimately into the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41) which fire is 'everlasting' ('aionios' --pertaining in this case to that age to come). The everlasting chains pertained to one age, while the everlasting fire pertained to another age." Since the wicked in hell will not be immortal and the Scripture says that they will ultimately be destroyed, then their conscious suffering cannot be eternal. Their conscious suffering (which precedes their eternal destruction) is "forever" only in the sense that they will suffer for their individual sins for the entire duration or period of this phase of judgment after which they will suffer eternal destruction (or death) which is the ultimate penalty for sin itself.
What about where the Bible says in Revelation 20:10 that the devil (or Satan) will be tormented forever and ever? Before answering this question, I wish to point out that Bible definitely teaches the devil will be consumed and destroyed.
We read a description of Satan's ultimate and eternal destruction in Ezekiel 28:14-19. Although this passage is immediately addressed to the ancient King of Tyre (verse 11), it is clear from the context of the passage that God is speaking to Satan (the evil spirit behind the King of Tyre) because the descriptions given cannot fit that of any human being or human king.
We read in verses 14 and 15: “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”
This passage is referring to the devil when he was Lucifer (a good angel or cherub) before he sinned against God.
And, then we read in verses 18 and 19 what God says to the devil: “… therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.”
Reverend Billy Graham, perhaps the most highly respected Christian evangelist in the world, made the following remarks concerning the human "soul" in his Louisville Kentucky Crusade:
Your eternal soul is the most valuable thing you possess.
You have a body, but living inside of you is your spirit or soul. And when a person dies, what happens? The soul goes on.
(Speaking on the value of the soul.)
First, it's valuable because it's eternal. It's going to live forever. A million years from now, our soul will be living.
The body is the house, the soul is the tenant. But when the body dies, the soul lives on.
The good news is that God offers eternal life to every soul.
No one in the crowded stadium of awed worshipers seemed to grasp the obvious error in what was just preached as gospel truth. If you are born with an eternal soul which lives forever, why is it necessary for God to offer eternal life to every soul? It is redundant. Why would God offer eternal life to something that already has eternal life? Being the silly person that I am, I emailed the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association asking that question. The following is a direct quote from their response:
We appreciate your question about the soul and hell. The Bible teaches that you are an immortal soul. Your soul is eternal and will live forever. In other words, the real you -- the part of you that thinks, feels, dreams, aspires; the ego, the personality-- will never die. The Bible teaches that your soul will live forever in one of two places -- heaven or hell. If you are not a Christian and you have never been born again, then the Bible teaches that your soul goes immediately to a place Jesus called hades, where you will await the judgment of God. The moment a Christian dies, he goes immediately into the presence of Christ. There his soul awaits the resurrection, when the soul and body will be rejoined.
The scriptural doctrine of hell is an awesome one which must be taken very seriously. At the same time, the good news of the gospel is that Jesus Christ, through His triumph over death, has conquered hell. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Notice they did not answer the question which was, "Why is it necessary that God offer eternal life to every soul?" They simply restated their beliefs. In the second and third sentences of their answer they claim:
The Bible teaches that you are an immortal soul. Your soul is immortal and lives forever. In other words, the real you--the part of you that thinks, feels, dreams, aspires; the ego, the personality -- will never die.
This is a common belief in every Christian religious denomination of which I am aware. Is this belief in man's immortality supported in the scriptures? It most certainly is:
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (Genesis 3:4)
Satan lied when he informed Eve that she would live forever, "Ye shall not surely die." Mankind has accepted that lie as truth ever since. Mainstream Christian theologians have incorporated the lie into their theologies for nearly two thousand years!
In the above email the phrase "The Bible teaches..." is used three times. However, no Bible references are given to support their statements. In the second paragraph they quote John 3:16 which contradicts their claims of man's immortality in the first paragraph! According to John 3:16, the Bible actually teaches that only those believing in Jesus will have eternal life. It is not something all men are born with! Likewise, John 3:16 actually teaches that those who do not believe in Jesus will perish, not suffer for eternity in hell!
Everyone with an elementary school education should recognize that these are contradictory concepts. Why is it necessary for God to offer you eternal life if the real you will never die? God would not have sacrificed His Son if you already had eternal life. Therefore, God knows man is mortal and does not possess eternal life. Who are you going to believe? Man, who claims you are immortal, or the inspired word of God which states otherwise? Historically we have believed other men -- not God! Let's examine that Bible verse which every Christian can quote forwards and backwards:
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. (John 3:16)
Do most Christians actually believe this verse? It states that whoever believes in the Son of God will have eternal life. However, the words "but have" imply eternal life is not something we are born with, but something received as a result of believing in Christ. "But have everlasting life," is undeniably future tense. Eternal life is something those who believe in Jesus Christ shall have in the future!
What happens to those humans who do not believe in the Son of God? Implied in this phrase, "whosoever believeth in him, should not perish," is that those who do not believe in Him will perish. Most theologians do not believe this. There are only two possibilities, either you perish or you do not perish. If mankind is born with eternal life this phrase has no meaning, as they cannot perish. So this phrase indicates one is not born with any aspect of life which lives forever. No one will live in eternal agony in hellfire according to this verse. They will perish! When the words "eternal life" or "everlasting life" are used in the Bible, they are used in phrases such as: inherit eternal life, the gift of eternal life, or the promise of everlasting life. It is never mentioned as something one is born with, but something that Christians shall inherit in the future:
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive a hundred-fold, and shall inherit eternal life. (Matthew 19:29)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7)
And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (I John 2:25)
When any theologian states that a part of every human will live forever after their physical body dies, they are simply and obviously wrong! Regardless of the number of doctoral degrees they possess, or the number of Presidents who have invited them into the White House, they are utterly wrong! Do you believe the inspired word of God or the confused words of misguided theologians?
The vast majority of Christian theologians believe and teach that man is born as an immortal, spiritual "soul" housed within a physical body. This creates an obvious problem as spiritual bodies do not feel pain. Only flesh and blood physical bodies experience pain. When the physical body dies, these theologians teach that the soul is released. Since the soul is a spiritual body, when the souls of nonbelievers are cast into hellfire for eternity, they will feel no pain! Nonbelievers are blessed with eternal life and their punishment is totally pain free! Theologians solve this problem by creating another myth, the bodily resurrection.
Virtually every Christian church admits to a belief in the rejoining of an incorruptible physical body with the eternal soul at the time of the resurrection. This is known as the "resurrection of the body" doctrine and is included in many affirmations of faith. For example, from the "Apostles Creed":
I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
They believe this body to be different from the present earthly body in that it cannot be destroyed or killed. Therefore, when nonbelievers are cast into hellfire, they will suffer the pain of burning alive for eternity. The fire will never kill them. What a wonderful "Christian" concept! If an omnipotent God designed a system whereby all people who are not Christians will burn in the agony of hellfire for eternity, then explain the verse:
. . . God is love. (I John 4:8)
Of course, that cannot be explained because these are totally contradictory statements! If God is love, then He did not design a system whereby billions of people will suffer the terror and pain of burning alive for eternity! If God did design such a system, then God is not love! These two concepts are mutually exclusive. Only one can be true! If we can prove that either is true, then the other must be false. Regardless, most Christian theologians accept both of these concepts as truth, and are handicapped by having to defend indefensible "true" statements such as the following:
God so loved the world that He planned for the majority of mankind to suffer eternally in hell.
The simple obvious fact is that both of these beliefs cannot be true. One must be rejected! Which one would you choose to accept as truth? I choose to accept the concept that God is love! But I do not reject the other concept simply because it is ridiculous. This book will prove beyond any doubt through the scriptures that no human will suffer for eternity in hell. What would God gain from their suffering? God is not sadistic, God is love!
The resurrection of the body myth illustrates the problems created when men impose their own private interpretations on the scriptures. We are warned against this activity:
Knowing this first, that no prophesy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (II Peter 1:20)
The ultimate goal of virtually every Christian is to spend eternity with God in heaven. However, no one composed of any flesh and blood can inherit the Kingdom of God:
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;... (I Corinthians 15:49-50)
If Christian "souls" are reunited with their incorruptible flesh and blood bodies at the resurrection they can never enter heaven according to the scripture above since flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. Therefore, the bodily resurrection doctrine directly conflicts with the ultimate goal of today's Christianity! Both cannot be true! If your soul and body are reunited, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God! You cannot have it both ways. Either you believe the scriptures or you believe man.
In actuality, the truth about what happens upon your death is infinitely better than you have ever heard in any church or from any evangelist, and infinite is a word you cannot comprehend! On a recent Public Broadcasting System television documentary regarding religions in general, one philosopher made a statement concerning Christianity, "Would it not be better if the unsaved simply died?" Guess what? That is exactly what happens as written in the Bible. It is called the "second death." The second death awaits the unsaved. Unsaved humans who are cast into hell die their second death! Here is a philosopher who may have a religion, or may be an atheist, but he sees the flaw in widespread Christian theology. The Bible actually discusses two deaths, the first and the second. The first death is that of our physical bodies as they exist now:
And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Hebrews 9:27)
The second death discussed in the book of Revelation must also be the end of a life if it is a true death:
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
An everlasting life of torment is not a second death! In the traditional Christian concept, man has an immortal soul which neither the first nor second death can kill. Therefore, for these traditional Christian theologians, death must be interpreted to be something other than death! This contradicts the Bible, which states that the unsaved die, perish, and are lost and gone for eternity. That is the end, or death, of them. There is no recovery from the second death. Christians are saved from the second death, when they are born again as immortal spiritual bodies after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ:
He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Revelation 2:11)
Nonbelievers are not born again as spiritual bodies and may suffer the second death. All men are appointed to die only the first death. The second death is optional based on whether or not one chooses to accept Jesus as his Savior. If man's "soul" has immortality from birth and cannot die, then death does not apply to man, now or ever!
Incredibly, most Christian theologians have misrepresented the message of the Bible for nearly two thousand years! This myth of the immortal soul can be traced to one five word statement which Satan spoke in the first few pages of the book of Genesis: "Ye shall not surely die." Many Christians and non-Christians still believe Satan's lie! It is inherent in most humans because we cannot understand our own existence! This myth and its associated misinterpretations, as taught by most Christian churches, led Mrs. Yates to murder her children. She murdered them in their innocent years to prevent their souls and attached incorruptible physical bodies from burning eternally in the fires of hell. Virtually all other Christian myths and misinterpretations of the Bible are then created to support this immortal soul myth, the lie of Satan that you will live forever. Not even Satan will live on forever. He has an end like all evil in the future.