Bible Course

LESSON NO. 6



WHAT IS “HELL”?



Even if you are a Christian, you may go to hell. Some of your


loved ones are already in hell. But don’t worry or be alarmed.


“Hell” is not what most people have imagined!


The Bible reveals the re-assuring Truth about this most


misunderstood subject!



 

Millions are utterly confused about "hell".  What is it?  Where is it?  Who really goes there ? And why?

Is "hell" a literal place-a geographical location?  Is it somewhere in the interior of the earth, in the heart of the sun, in remote space? Or does the word "hell" simply reflect a troubled mental state here on earth? And do some completely deny that there is a hell? And do evolutionists believe in such a place? And do church leaders understand the subject of what happens at death?


WHAT CLERGYMEN THINK


Many theologians today do not believe in a literal "hell".  Said one: "The essence of hell is separation from

God-not really torture, but torment."

Another described hell as "a condition of human existence"

An Australian cleric declared that the 19th-century concept of an ever-burning hell fire makes God out to be worse than Hitler.

Then there are those theologians who view hell as "the loss of communication, insensitivity to spiritual values, the realization of how far short of our capacities we have fallen, the memory of some of the things we have done."

On the other hand, Pope Paul VI warned that "those who refuse the love of God are going to the fire that is not extinguished" (Credo of the People of God, issued June 30, 1968).



THE "FIERY INFERNO"



Almost everyone assumes one of two extremes concerning "hell".  One group totally denies that hell exists. Hell is passed off as an ancient superstition that has no bearing whatever on modern life.

The other group, including most so-called Bible fundamentalists, pictures hell as a terrible place of never- ending torment where the devil rules and his demons gleefully "roast" sinners like millions of wieners on a barbeque spit.  There is bitter weeping and wailing, agonized cursing, shrieks and screams from those in eternal torment- according to this concept.


Here is a summation of this popular belief from the Encyclopedia Americana:


"As generally understood, hell is the abode of evil spirits; the infernal regions ... whither lost and condemned souls go after death to suffer indescribable torments and eternal punishment .... Some have thought of it as the place created by the Deity, where He punishes, with inconceivable severity, and through all eternity, the souls of those who through unbelief or through the worship of false gods have angered Him.  It is, the place of divine revenge, un-tempered, NEVER ENDING.  This has been the idea most generally held by Christians, Catholics, and Protestants alike.  It is also the idea embodied in the Mohammedans' conception .... The main features of hell as conceived by Hindu, Persian, Egyptian, Grecian, and Christian theologians are essentially the same" (from the article on "Hell", emphasis ours throughout the lesson).

But why do people believe what they believe?  From where or from whom have these popular ideas come?



FROM THE PHILOSOPHERS



A few influential men since the time of Christ left writings and teachings that became so universally believed that they became the accepted doctrine of the Christian-professing world.  One of the most important of these influential writers was Augustine (A.D. 354-430).

Augustine reasoned that there should be a temporary cleansing of imperfect souls in purgatorial fire He, like other influential men of the Christian-professing church, was influenced by "pre-Christian doctrine"-the doctrine of the ancient pagan philosophers and other early church fathers (see Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., article "Purgatory").

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) wrote a tremendously popular poem, La Divina  Commedia, in three parts-Hell, Purgatory and Paradise.  "Of all poets of modern times," says a modern author, "Dante Alighieri was, perhaps, the greatest educator.  He possibly had a greater influence on the course of civilization than any other one man since his day .... [He] wrote, in incomprehensible verse, an imaginative and lurid account of a dismal journey through a lurid hell-a long poem containing certain phrases which have caught the attention of the world, such as, 'All hope abandon, Ye, who enter here"' (Dante and His Influence).

Dante is reported to have been so fascinated and enraptured by the ideas and philosophies of the pagan philosophers Plato and Virgil that he believed they were divinely inspired.


But who were Plato and Virgil?


Says the Encyclopedia Americana: "Virgil, pagan Roman poet, 70-19 B.C., belonged to the national school of pagan Roman thought, influenced by the Greek writers.   Christians of the Middle Ages, including Dante, believed he had received some measure of divine inspiration."


Plato, a pagan Greek philosopher, born in Athens, 427 B.C., was a student of the renowned Socrates.  Plato's famous literary work Phaedo taught the immortality of the soul-the foundation for other writings on the doctrine of an eternal hell where wicked “souls” are supposedly punished forever.


So the world's concept of "hell" is admittedly a product of human thinking-of pagan speculation-as men puzzled over the eventual fate of the wicked.


WHAT ABOUT THE BILLIONS OF MANKIND?


Before we examine the Bible to see whether the common ideas about hell could possibly be true, let us consider where this concept of hell, if true, would lead us.

On this earth there are more than four billion people.  The most populous lands are China, India and other parts of Asia.  But in spite of the efforts of Western missionaries, more than half of all the people who have ever lived on the earth have never so much as heard the only name by which men may be saved (Acts 4:12)-the name of "Jesus Christ"!

Literally billions of people on this earth have lived and died without having known anything about "salvation"- without ever so much as having seen a Bible.

Now think what that means!  If all the "unsaved" go immediately to a fiery hell at death the hell commonly believed in-then more than half the people who have ever lived on this earth have been consigned to this terrible punishment-and they are there, now, without ever having had a chance to escape it!

Can you really believe that is the method an all-wise, all-merciful loving God is using to work out His purpose here below?


What is the TRUTH?


We face these alternatives: Either the Creator reveals the TRUTH on this subject in His inspired Word, or else we must fling up our hands and confess we just don't know.  Either we believe what the Bible says, or we must- if we are rational and honest-admit ignorance.

What does God say about "hell" in the Bible?  You may be surprised!  So be sure to read and write out all of the scripture references given in answer to the questions in this lesson.  PROVE the truth of God for yourself.


CHRIST SPOKE OF "HELL FIRE"


1. What punishment did Christ warn would ultimately befall those who refuse to quit sinning?  Mark 9:43. (He obviously did NOT mean we should literally "cut off" parts of our bodies, but rather stop using them to commit sin ! )


COMMENT:  "Hell" is an English word.   When Mark recorded Christ's words, he wrote them in the Greek language.  The Greek word translated "hell," which Mark was inspired to write down, is gehenna.  Since in this verse Christ says the sinner is "to go into hell, into the fire,” it follows that those who go to gehenna will receive punishment by fire.

Keep in mind then that Christ associated the Greek word gehenna with fire.



2. What did Christ say in Mark 9:45 to emphasize what He said in verse 43?


COMMENT:  Mark wrote down the same Greek word

gehenna here in verse 45 that he used in verse 43.  The translators of the Authorized or King James Version of the Bible of A.D. 1611 selected the English word "hell" to translate this Greek word gehenna.  We will learn more about the real meaning of this word later.


3. How did Christ re-emphasize what He said about "hell fire"?  Verse 47.


COMMENT:  Again, the Greek word that Mark used in this verse is gehenna.  Gehenna clearly refers to fire!

But there are other original Greek and Hebrew words in the Bible that are also translated "hell."


ENGLISH WORD "HELL' MISAPPLIED


Let's read what A Dictionary of the Bible, edited by James Hastings, says about the use of the word "hell" in the Old and New Testaments.  Keep in mind as you read this that the Old Testament was originally written in the Hebrew language, and that the New Testament was originally written in the Greek language.

Hastings says: "In our Authorized Version the word hell is unfortunately used as the rendering of three distinct words, with DIFFERENT IDEAS [or meanings].  It represents, 1) the 'sheol’ of the Hebrew Old Testament, and the 'hades' in the New Testament .... It is now an entirely misleading rendering, especially in the New Testament passages.  The English revisers, therefore, have substituted 'hades' [going back to the original Greek word] for "hell" in the New Testament .... In the American revision the word 'hell' is entirely discarded in this connection...

2)The word 'hell' is used  as equivalent to [the Greek word] "'tartaros' 2 Peter 2:4 ... and,

3)   ... as the equivalent of [the Greek word] 'gehenna'..."

So we see that the real meaning of three different Greek words-hades (equivalent to the Hebrew sheol of the Old Testament), tartaros and gehenna-have been confused with each other because translators have attempted to make the one English word "hell" cover the definitions of all three words!  No wonder millions have been confused about this subject!


What do these words really mean?


The Old Testament Hebrew word sheol and the New Testament Greek word hades mean the same thing- simply the grave.  These words have been correctly translated as "grave" in many places in the Bible.  However, these words have also been translated "hell."

"Hell" is an old English word.  More than 350 years ago, when the Authorized Version was translated, the people of England commonly talked of "putting their potatoes in hell for the winter"-a good way of preserving potatoes-for the word then meant merely A HOLE IN THE GROUND that was covered up-a dark and silent place-a grave!   But pagan teachings caused people to misapply the old English word "hell" to the lurid imaginations of Dante.


The second Greek word, (Tartaros) which has also been translated into the English word "hell," occurs only once in the New Testament (2 Pet. 2:4).  It does not refer to humans, but to the restrained condition of fallen angels (or demons).  Its meaning, translated into English, is "darkness of the material universe," "dark abyss," or "prison."

But what about gehenna?  This Greek word is derived from the name of the narrow, rocky Valley of Hinnom, which lies just outside Jerusalem.  It was the place where refuse was burned up, trash, filth, and the dead bodies of animals and despised criminals were thrown into the fires of gehenna, or the Valley of Hinnom.  Ordinarily, everything thrown into this valley was destroyed by fire-COMPLETELY BURNED UP  Therefore, Christ used gehenna to picture the fate of unrepentant sinners!



TWO DIFFERENT "HELLS"



In many of the passages of the New Testament where we see the word "hell," the Greek word is not gehenna. Often it is hades- which does not refer to fire at all, but to a grave  - a hole in the ground.  Yet the translators have confused and obscured the two entirely different meanings of these words by indiscriminately rendering them both by the same English word "hell."

Let's study the proof.


1. What did Jesus say about "hell" in Luke 12:5?

COMMENT:  If you were to look up the Greek word that is here translated into the English word "hell," you would find it is gehenna.  Gehenna, remember, is the place where dead bodies were thrown and destroyed by fire!


2.    How is the same English word "hell" used in Acts 2:31 ?


COMMENT:  The Greek word that is translated into the English word "hell" in this verse is hades.   Hades means the grave, as its usage in this verse clearly shows!  We can plainly see that the English word "hell" can have different meanings!  So when we come to the word "hell" in the New Testament (except for 2 Peter 2:4), we must keep in mind these two vastly different meanings and carefully determine by the context whether it refers to destruction by fire, or the grave where the dead lie buried.

Whenever you're in doubt about the intended meaning of the word "hell" in the New Testament, look it up in an exhaustive concordance, such as Strong's or Young's, to see which Greek word it was translated from, and hence its true meaning.


WHERE TO AFTER DEATH?


In the preceding lesson we learned that when a person dies and is buried in his grave, he knows absolutely

nothing (Ecclesiastes. 9:5).  He merely lies quietly and silently there as in a “sleep," totally oblivious to everything.


Let's briefly review this important truth.


1.      What one thing befalls both men and beasts?  Ecclesiastes. 3:19.  Do they all go to one place the same place- when they die?  Verse 20 and Genesis 3:19.

COMMENT:   Have you ever heard of beasts going to "hell" to be tortured?


2.   What place does God say man goes to when he dies?  Ecclesiastes. 9:10.  Did Job realize he would go to the grave

after death?  Job 17:13.


3. Was the One who became Jesus Christ "made flesh"?  John 1:14.  Did Christ take upon Himself the same mortal flesh of which we are composed?  Heb. 2:14.  And didn't He also have to go to the grave as other mortal men do?  Acts 2:31.


COMMENT:   The Greek word in Acts 2:31 is hades which, as you now know, means the "grave ' " Jesus' "soul" (body) did not see corruption (did not decompose in the grave) because He was resurrected after three days!



Some theologians, however, maintain the tradition that Christ was preaching to departed human "spirits in prison" (I Pet. 3:19) while He was in "hell ' " THAT IDEA IS ABSOLUTLY FALSE!  Verse 20 of I Peter 3 makes it plain that those to whom Christ preached were demon spirits, and that He preached to them during the days of Noah' This verse could not at all be referring to the three days and three nights Jesus was dead in the grave!




RESURRECTED TO JUDGMENT


You may have heard ministers preach that the "unsaved" go directly to the "fiery tortures of hell" when they die.  If people have immortal souls and if there is a place of eternal torment, this teaching would mean they are condemned to a fiery inferno before they are formally judged and sentenced!  Let's notice when and how the dead will be judged by God.


1. Is there to be a future resurrection to judgment of the unsaved dead?  John 5:28-29.



 (The word "damnation" in the Authorized Version-verse 29-is correctly rendered as "judgment" in most modern translations.)


COMMENT: Here is further proof that the unsaved dead are not being tormented in a "fiery   hell '" They are now dead!  But there is coming a time ("the hour is coming," said Jesus) when   they will be resurrected for judgment!


2.        Does the first sentence of Revelation 20:5 and verses 11-12 also prove there is to be a future resurrection to judgment?


 (Note that the first sentence in verse 5 is a parenthetical statement inserted within verses 4-6, which describe the first resurrection.)


COMMENT:    Some of the dead-the "dead in Christ"-will be resurrected to eternal life in the first resurrection at Christ's Second Coming (I Thessalonians. 4:16-17).  But the "rest of the dead" will not live again for a thousand years.  They will then be resurrected to mortal life.  These are the unsaved dead who will rise in the second resurrection to be "judged".

The Great White Throne Judgment described in Revelation 20:11-12 is the period when the vast majority of mankind (the dead, and most who are now alive) will be resurrected and given their opportunity to learn about God's plan of salvation.  These billions are those who never heard or understood God's truth (including those who thought they knew God, but had not been called of God-John 6:44.  They will be judged daily by how well they live by the Word of God (the "books" in verse 12 are the books of the Bible), just as true Christians are being judged daily today (I Pet. 4:17).

At the end of this period of judgment, God will render a sentenced verdict-for each individual.   The vast majority will inherit eternal life.   Those few who reject God's truth and stubbornly refuse to repent will be sentenced to eternal death, not eternal punishing.


3.    Is there then to be a resurrection of all the incorrigible dead?  Rev. 20:13-15.


COMMENT:    After the Great White Throne Judgment period, the incorrigible dead of past ages, who may have perished at sea, or on land (the Greek word for "hell" in verse 13 is hades), will be resurrected to physical life.  They will then be formally judged by God and sentenced to eternal death!

The subject of "judgment" is thoroughly covered in an upcoming lesson.   Suffice it to say that the Bible clearly shows that the dead are dead, and that the time when the "unsaved" dead will be judged is STILL IN THE FUTURE!


DEATH BY FIRE!


What is the ultimate penalty-the "wages," or reward-of sin?  Is it eternal life in torment? or is it eternal oblivion?  What IS the ultimate fate of incorrigible sinners?  The Bible makes the truth very clear. Satan is a incorrigible sinner.


1. What is the "wages of sin"?  Rom. 6:23.


COMMENT: The "wages of sin is DEATH." Death is the opposite of life!   The final wages the incorrigible will receive is the complete cessation of life!



2. What does Paul warn will be the judgment or sentence of those who, knowing God's commands and having tasted of His way of life, sin wilfully?   Heb. 10:26-27.   Will they live on in torment in fire-or will they be "devoured" by it?  Verse 27.


3. Does Jesus compare false ministers who don't bring forth good works to trees that don't bring forth good fruit?  Matt. 7:15-19.  What did He indicate would happen to them? Verse 19.  Is combustible material that is put into a fire only tormented-or is it burned up?  Did Jesus indicate that all who do not bring forth "good fruit" will likewise be cast into fire?

Verses 17-19.


4. What did Christ say to the unrepentant scribes and Pharisees of His day?  Matt. 23:33.


COMMENT:  The Greek word translated here as "hell" is gehenna-meaning the Valley of Hinnom.  Christ used the fire that burned up refuse in the Valley of Hinnom as a type of the final fate-complete destruction-of the wicked by fire.  Those rebellious and stubborn religious leaders could well understand Christ's analogy.  They knew they were being threatened with complete destruction in fire!


5. What did Christ warn would happen to those who will not repent of their sinful ways?  Luke 13:3.


COMMENT: “Perish”  means to cease existing.  It does not mean to continue living.  Life in eternal torment is not what God has decreed for incorrigible sinners !

The punishment revealed in the Bible is death-cessation of life forever.  Eternal life is something we were NOT born with.   It is a gift of God that He will bestow upon those who obey Him.   Eternal life and death are contrasted throughout the Bible!


6.  Did Christ show by His parable of the tares that there is to be a future harvest?  Matt. 13:30.  Did He say the evil people-the "tares"-will afterward by BURNED?  Same verse.


COMMENT:  In this parable Christ likened the earth to a "field" (verse 24), the obedient people to "wheat" (verses 25, 29), and the disobedient to "tares" (verses 25, 29, 30).


7.      Does Psalm 37:20 also show that the ultimate fate of the wicked will be destruction by fire?  Will this fire be so hot it will burn up-CONSUME-the wicked?  Same verse and Malachi 4:1.  What will be left of the wicked?  Verse 3. Who will burn up the wicked-Satan and his demons, or the Eternal God?  Same verse.


COMMENT:  The "hell fire" that the Bible speaks of will be thousands of degrees HOTTER than the imaginary "hell fire" of most preachers-which is only hot enough to torment.  The biblical "hell fire" will totally consume the disobedient!  Never will they exist again.

The Bible plainly shows that those who have known God's truth and wilfully disobey and refuse to repent, will reap the wages of sin-eternal death! (Rom. 6:23).   This scripture means what it says.   The attempts of many theologians to explain away death and to interpret it as mere "separation from God" cannot be reconciled with Scripture. Death clearly does NOT mean eternal life in the horrifying torments of an eternal "hell."

The author of this pagan deception is none other than the father of lies-Satan the devil! (John 8:44).  If you have believed his false doctrine and have suffered mental torment because of it, thank God that He has now opened your mind to understand the TRUTH!


WHAT IS THE "LAKE OF FIRE"?


And now comes a most interesting revelation!  Exactly what is the gehenna fire that will consume the wicked? When and where will it occur?

1. Are all who stubbornly refuse to repent and who persist in breaking God's commandments ultimately to find themselves in a lake of "fire and brimstone"?  Rev. 21:8.


COMMENT:  We've already seen that the fate of the wicked is gehenna and the lake of fire are the same.  A very large fire

 would have the appearance of a fiery lake, hence its description.


2. Will it cause the death of the wicked?  Notice Revelation 21:8 once again.  Which death will it cause?  Same verse.


COMMENT: Mortals naturally die once, because we just "wear out" (Heb. 9:27).   But if anyone dies the second death, that individual will have been judged by God to be guilty of persistent disobedience and incorrigible rebellion.  The second death will be for all eternity and that applies to Satan!


3. Does Revelation 20:13-15 verify that the incorrigible will be cast into this future lake of fire?


4. Does a forerunner of this lake of fire begin at Christ's Second Coming?  Rev. 19:20.  Will the two chief human enemies of Christ be cast into it at that time?  Same verse.


5.    How long will this fire last?  Matt. 25:41.


COMMENT:       The word "everlasting" is aionion in the Greek.  Aionion comes from the root aion which often means "age." In this case, the correct translation into the English language should be AGE-LASTING fire".  This "lake of fire" is going to be burning all during the Millennium-the "age" of Christ's rule.

During the millennial reign of Christ and His saints, the fires in the Valley of Hinnom will  again be kept burning as a stern witness to all the rest of the world! Isaiah 66:23-24.


6 Much later-after the Millennium and after God's plan for mankind is complete-will the flames of the "lake of fire" purify

 the earth's surface, burning in one vast worldwide inferno?  2 Pet. 3:10. Will all the things man has created be burned up, as well as the rest of those people who will not have received salvation and eternal life because of wilful rebellion against  God?( which includes Satan and his demons). Same verse and Revelation 20:14-15 once again.


COMMENT:       Here is God's-not man's-description of the final "hell fire"!  It is yet in the future.  It has not yet occurred.  Nothing is said anywhere in the Bible about "souls" descending into the earth into "hell fire," or of torture for all eternity!  Rather, the Bible shows that all incorrigible human beings and their works will suffer destruction once for all eternity.  All other teachings to the contrary have come to us from paganism!


7. Are the wicked to be reduced to ashes by the fire that will consume the earth's surface?  Turn to Malachi 4:1,3.


COMMENT:       Can ashes be tormented forever and ever?   Of course not!   The death the incorrigible wicked will have suffered will be an eternal, everlasting punishment, not an everlasting punishing.  There is a big difference between punishment and punishing!  "The wages of sin is death' (Rom. 6:23), not eternal life in hell fire!


8. Will Satan be cast into the same fire that will have consumed the "beast" and the "false prophet"? Rev.20:10.

COMMENT: Notice that Satan himself will be in "hell fire."   Neither will he play the role of torturing people as he is often represented by the doctrines of this world.


9.    Will the beast and the false prophet still be in this fire?  Rev. 20:10.

COMMENT: Some Bibles use italics to show that the word "are" in this verse was supplied by the translators.  

 It is not found in the Greek manuscripts.  The phrase should read, "where the beast and the false prophet were'-the unwritten verb in the Greek should be understood to be in the same tense as the verb in the first half of the sentence.  The Amplified Bible has it correct.  These two mortal individuals will have been destroyed 1,000 years before the time Satan is cast into these flames.


CAN SPIRIT BEINGS DIE?


Some church ministers say that spirit beings can’t die but is this true?


1.What does Luke 20:36 say? Did Jesus say that angels do not die? Same verse. When Jesus said these words, at what time was He talking about? Verses 36-38.


Notice: When Jesus spoke of these things He was referring the resurrection of the children of God! And the angels referred to were with those resurrected people. So those angels were not demons because they have no part in the righteousness of God!

It is plain to see that the angels mentioned here are not part of those that rebelled and became demons with Satan their leader!


2. Is God, a “God of the living” Verse 38. And do they, the living, live unto Him? Same Verse. So, Satan and his demons can’t live unto God. Let’s notice something that is often missed by some theologians. 2 Corinthians 6:14. Does this scripture say that “unrighteousness cannot have fellowship with righteousness”? Can light have communion with darkness? Same Verse. Notice that Strongs number 2842 the word used is communion. So there is no communion with darkness. The devil is the prince of darkness and so he will not be in fellowship with the Lord!


3.Does Jesus call Satan a liar and a murderer? John 8:44. Is Satan the father of lies? Same verse.


4. Who has the power of death? And will death be destroyed?

Revelation 21:4. Will there be anymore death? Same Verse.


5. What will happen to all murderers, liars, sorcerers and abominable persons? Revelation 21:8. Are they cast into the lake of fire, the second death? Same Verse.


Comment: If Satan has the power of death and is death itself, then he, will be destroyed because death is burned up in that great lake of fire! But if he, as a spirit being, cannot die then there will always be death. While he is alive, death will still exist!



6. In Mark 1:24 it speaks about some demons who spoke to Jesus. Did the demons acknowledge, that Jesus would destroy them at sometime in the future?  Did they say to Jesus; “have you come to destroy us”?

The same word “destroy” is also used in Matthew 10:28

 

7. Did Jesus become flesh and blood just like us? Hebrews 2:14. Did Jesus die in order to destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil? (See Strong’s 2673)


CAN SPIRIT BEINGS BE MADE FLESH?


Let’s take a look at another subject that deals with spirit beings and that of fleshly beings.


1. In John 1:1-4.  What does it tell us about God? Is the Word called God? Was the Word with God from the beginning?


Notice that there are two persons mentioned here, one was God and the  other was the Word. Both are called God. In Genesis 1:1,26 it tells’ us that the word used there is; ‘Elohim’ meaning more than one, as can be seen from Verse 26.


2. Who was it, “that made all things”? Was anything made without Him? John 1:3.

Was there life in the Word? Verse 4.

Comment: Here we have clear statements of who created the heavens and the earth. And that person was the Word, who would later be known as Jesus Christ. So, Jesus was the one who created life. He created the heavens and the earth! He also created the angels and Lucifer.


3. Did the Word become flesh? John 1:14. And did He dwell among us humans, as a human being? Same Verse.

We can see then that “spirit” beings can be made flesh! So, God, if He so wishes, can change the devil and his demons into flesh! That’s why Jesus could say, “All authority and Power has been given unto me”! Jesus came into the flesh as a human being and He knows what it is like to be a human! Satan however has not and does not know what it is like! SO could not God change Satan and his demons into flesh?


4. In Ezekiel 28:1-9, 12-17. It gives us the account of the prince of Tyre. And the fall that was about to come to this great power about (585-573 B.C)  This king or prince is depicted as that of the character of  Satan the devil. This prince was claiming that he was a god, and that he, “sits in the seat of God” in the midst of the seas! The words spoken by the king of Tyre breaths the same proud, self-glorifying spirit of Satan and as such, God calls him a man and not God! Verse 2.

Is Satan then, directly addressed by God in verses 11 to 17?

Is God speaking to a mere man, that is, to the king of Tyre in this passage?  Who then, is the “anointed cherub”? Verse 14.

Did this cherub walk upon the  Holy Mountain of God? Same Verse.

Comment: We can see then that this great being was the cherub that covered the Throne of God!


5. What will happen to this great fallen angel who now has become Satan? Verse 18.

Will God cause a fire to burn within the midst of him? And will this fire within him bring him to ashes? Same Verse.


6. Will he become “no more” ? Verse 19.


Comment: This “Being” then, will cease to exist because of what we have seen in Ezekiel 28:19.


7. But are there any other Scriptures that would verify what we have read and studied in Ezekiel 28? In Isaiah 14:9-17. What is to become of Lucifer (Satan) the devil? Verse 15.

               

8. Will there be anyone to look upon this “one,” who is called Satan, cast to his death? Verse 16. When Satan and his demons are finally cast into the great lake of fire, there will be  angels and saints of God who will witness this Great event!


9. The question has to be asked; Has the devil and his demons broken all of the Spiritual laws that God has ordained? Has he ever repented of those sins? Remember this, that to sin is the transgression of God’s law.

What are the wages of sin? Are they not, death? YES! And Has the devil and his demons sinned? Yes! In the final outcome, whether you are spirit or flesh if you do not repent and come to the Only One that can give forgiveness to you and turn around and not sin anymore then you will die! But Satan will not REPENT! So our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus will not let him and his demons LIVE!




HELL FIRE "NEVER QUENCHED"?



1.    Did John the Baptist ever speak of "unquenchable fire"?  Matt. 3:12; Luke 3:17.


2.    Did Jesus say that hell fire will never be "quenched"?  Mark 9:43-48. (Recall the Greek word for "hell" in verses 43, 45, and 47 is gehenna.)


COMMENT:  Jesus repeated this statement five times for emphasis.   Thus, people have carelessly assumed the "fire that never shall be quenched" (verse 43) is a fire of torture that has been in existence for centuries, and will continue to exist for eternity.  But we have proved that this idea is absolutely false!  Notice the biblical truth about unquenchable hell fire.


3.  Did God (more than 2,500 years ago) warn the inhabitants of Jerusalem that He would kindle a fire in Jerusalem's gates that would not be quenched?  Jeremiah 17:27.  But what would that fire do to the city's palaces? Same verse.


COMMENT:    This fire occurred a few years later, and it destroyed all the houses of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 52:13)

 Since God said this fire "shall not be quenched" and since it is not burning today, it obviously went out by itself after devouring all combustible material!


4.      What punishment befell the notorious cities of Sodom and Gomorrah?  Gen. 19:24.  Was it literal fire that destroyed human beings?  Luke 17:29.  What do we read in Jude 7 about this event?  Is there still a fire burning in those cities that God destroyed long ago?  Proverbs 26:20.

COMMENT:   Of course not!   The expression "eternal fire" in Jude 7 means a fire whose results are permanent or everlasting-obviously not a fire that burns forever!  Sodom and Gomorrah were utterly destroyed centuries ago-they are not burning today.

The fires that burned these wicked cities simply died out after consuming all combustible material.   These scriptures prove the "fire that never shall be quenched" will NOT torment people forever!

The fires were never quenched or put out prematurely by anyone!  The flames merely died out when they had nothing more to consume.  Even so it will be with the FINAL gehenna fire that will consume the wicked.  It will be unquenched-but it will finally burn itself out!


"WORM THAT DIETH NOT"


A startling statement is found in Mark 9:44, 46 and 48.  In these verses, Christ spoke of a worm that "dies not'" Are these immortal worms?

Some people think Jesus referred to people as worms, and that He was trying to say that these "people" never die but live on forever in agonizing torment.  However, those who believe this fail to notice that what Jesus spoke of was "their worm".  So the wicked themselves are not the "worm."

What is this mysterious "worm" that does not die?  Notice what Jesus really meant.

Jesus clearly had reference, as the marginal notes of many Bibles show, to Isaiah 66:24, where a similar statement is made about "their worm"-the worm of "carcasses." (Be sure to read this verse in your Bible.)

Now what is the "worm" of a decaying carcass?  If you have ever seen a putrefying carcass, the answer should be obvious.  To put the matter beyond all doubt, we find that the lexicons define as grub or maggot both the Greek and the Hebrew words translated as worm" in Mark 9:44 and Isaiah 66:24.

When a dead body occasionally lodged on one of the rocky ledges above the garbage fires of the Valley of Hinnom, it was soon infested by many worms or maggots, which hatched out of eggs laid by flies.  It was simply these worms to which Christ referred when He said, "their worm dieth not   But Jesus didn't mean that each individual worm continued to live forever!  Actually, the larvae-maggots-would hatch from eggs, eat the flesh, continue in the larval form only a few days, then go through pupation or metamorphosis and finally emerge as flies!  The worms didn't die-they became flies!  Later, the flies died. These are facts known by any student of biology!  And Christ was not ignorant of them.

By contrast, the misunderstanding of Christ's simple statement by some people should be an object lesson to always be careful to use wisdom and common sense in studying God's Word.  The Holy Spirit is the spirit of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7).  The Bible is one book that makes good sense!  Let's always study these perplexing scriptures carefully and not jump to hasty, erroneous, weird conclusions.


THE PARABLE OF LAZARUS AND THE RICH MAN


Jesus' parable of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31) is perhaps one of the texts most frequently used by those who attempt to prove there is an eternal hell fire.

What lesson did Jesus intend to illustrate by this oft-misunderstood parable?  Let's carefully study this entire parable, comparing it with other crystal-clear scriptures.


1. Did Lazarus-a poor but righteous beggar-die?  Luke 16:22.  Was he later carried by angels to "Abraham's bosom"?  Same verse.


COMMENT:  If we are Christ's, we become heirs with Abraham to receive the promises God made to him (Gal.

3:29).  Through faith we may all become the spiritual "children of Abraham" (Gal. 3:7).  This is an intimate relationships close or bosom relationship, spiritually speaking-with Abraham.  We are to be in close contact

with him in sharing the promises.  This is the sense in which righteous Lazarus was taken to "Abraham's bosom ' "

When, then, will Abraham and the Lazarus of Jesus' parable actually receive the promises?  The answer given in the Bible is that Abraham and the saints-his spiritual “seed” -will inherit the promises at the resurrection of the just, when Jesus Christ returns to earth to establish the Kingdom of God! (The Christian's inheritance is the subject of the next lesson.)


2. And what about the sinful rich man of Jesus' parable?  Did he also die?  Luke 16:22.  Do we next see him lifting up his eyes, indicating his having been resurrected, and calling to Abraham for a few drops of water to cool his tongue, being in mental torment?  Verses 23-24.


COMMENT:  The word "hell" used here is translated from the Greek word hades, which we know means the "grave." It is not from the Greek word gehenna, which represents the future lake of fire that will DESTROY the wicked forever.  The rich man is pictured at the very moment he comes up out of his GRAVE in a resurrection! Abraham and Lazarus will have already inherited eternal life in God's Kingdom (Matt. 25:34).  They will have been immortal for more than 1,000 years BEFORE the wicked rich man is resurrected to be burned in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:4-5, 13-15).  

 Until then, the rich man will have been dead in his grave, having no consciousness of the passing of time (Eccl. 9:5).

At his resurrection, the rich man will see the flames of the lake of fire beginning to surround him.  He knows these flames will destroy him forever.  Being in great mental agony, he asks for just a little water to cool his tongue, which has become dry from his mental anguish.  He does not ask for buckets or oceans of water to put the fire out.  He knows such a request would be denied.


3. What did Abraham then answer the rich man?  Luke 16:25-

26.


COMMENT:  The great "gulf" between the two will be the difference between mortality and immortality. Those who will have been made immortal shall never die because they will have been born of God (Rev. 20:6). Abraham and the beggar will be on the immortal side of this gulf-the rich man on the mortal side, facing imminent eternal death by fire!

Many of the condemned, like the rich man, will want their relatives warned (Luke 16:27,28), not realizing how much time has elapsed since they died and that all other people will also have already had their chance to receive salvation.

The parable of Lazarus and the rich man does not prove eternal punishing by God in hell fire.  Rather, Christ used this short illustration to picture to His listeners the REALITY of the resurrection from the dead of both the righteous and the wicked.  He was picturing the resurrection to ETERNAL LIFE as contrasted with the ultimate fate of the wicked-the resurrection to die ETERNAL Death!



GOD IS LOVE


Why do so many people have a false concept of "hell"?  Because they have been deceived and do not understand God's overall purpose for creating mankind.

God's purpose for man is that he develop the holy, righteous character of God, which will make him fit to receive the precious gift of eternal life.  But God created man of the dust of the ground, subject to death, so that if he failed to develop righteous character, he could be released from his misery by death.

God has no desire to torment or to torture anyone.  God is love (I John 4:8).   He will condemn no one because of ignorance, and will see to it that every person ultimately learns the truth and has a real opportunity for salvation upon sincere repentance, no matter how terrible his or her sins have been.

But if God were to grant eternal life to those who persistently rebel, who stubbornly refuse to repent and therefore fail to develop righteous character, they would simply bring misery upon themselves as well as others for all eternity!  Certainly the kindest and most merciful thing God can do for all involved is to deny continued existence to such rebels.  God will simply put incorrigible sinners to DEATH-not mercilessly torture them forever! It will be the same for Satan and his demons

And so the obedient will be given the free gift of eternal life.  But the disobedient must be paid the "wages" they have earned (Rom. 6:23).  It is the final or second death-eternal death in the lake of fire.  These are the two alternatives God places before each of us. And this includes the devil and his demons. Let’s face it, the biggest lie that Satan would have us to believe is that there is an everlasting burning hell is because he knows he is going there himself! The difference is that when he and his demons are cast into the lake of fire along with the incorrigible wicked they die! They are no more!

This truth should not inspire unreasoning terror as the satanic, pagan doctrine of eternal punishing in hell fire has caused in so many sincere, but deceived people.  On the other hand, the lake of fire should stand as a WARNING to all who know God's truth and still stubbornly refuse to obey it!

You have now proved for yourself that the idea of an "ever-burning hell" is clearly a pagan myth and superstition.  It is merely a fable that has crept into professing Christianity.  Jesus Christ came to deliver us from the bondage of this world's Satan-inspired false doctrines and to give us eternal life.  Thank God we can know His truth, which sets us free!



Maranatha Ministry

Lesson 2. World Peace..Coming in our Time

Lesson 3. The Dramatic Return of Jesus Christ

Lesson 4. The Coming Utopia, The Wonderful World of Tomorrow

Lesson 1. Why Study The Bible?

Lesson 5. Just What is Man?

Lesson 7. Will You go to Heaven?

Lesson 6. What is ‘Hell’?

Lesson 8. What it Means to be ‘Born Again’

Lesson 9. What is Real Repentance?

Lesson 10. Should You be Baptised?

Lesson 11. Why You Need The Holy Spirit

Lesson 12. Christianity Is A Way of Life

Lesson 13. Who and What is GOD?

Lesson 14. Angels

Lesson 15. What Makes Man Unique

Lesson 16. Ancient Israel? Why God’s Chosen People?

Lesson 17.The Truth About The Old and New Covenant

Lesson 18. The True Gospel

Lesson 19. The New Covenant and Testament

Lesson 20. To Rule With Jesus

Lesson 21. Is It Really The Only Day of Salvation

Lesson 22. God’s Purpose for Mankind Revealed

Lesson 23. Why Should Christians Keep God’s Holy Days?

Lesson 24. The Truth About God’s Holy Sabbath