Hell's Prophecy Image

        Thoughts from my upcoming Book:                                                              

                                                                      HELL’S PROPHECY:
                                        THE SECOND DEATH


It was over thirty years ago when I stepped out of darkness and began to experience the joy of intimacy with the One who made me. I heard a message about love, mercy, forgiveness, and accepted an offer to have a relationship with my Creator. Since then, I have been on a most exciting journey.

I started on an extensive search of life’s truths and began reading the Bible. After much research, it became obvious to me that the Bible was historically accurate, archeologically verified, and prophetically confirmed. Along with many other evidences, I became convinced to respond to the Great Invitation.

The teachings of Jesus intrigued me. This man of history not only taught about love, but demonstrated it in living color by his lifestyle. His teachings were irrefutable, his life undeniable, and his offer irresistible. Islam has labeled Him as a true prophet, others say a great teacher, and all have regarded Him as an extraordinary man.

Jesus taught many amazing things concerning his identity that many could not accept. Speaking of Himself, He proclaimed, ‘‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.’’ As my research deepened, I realized that he had made some pretty outlandish claims. Imagine a man in today’s society who appears in public and proclaims to the world that he is God. There are many sitting in insane asylums that have made open professions to this sort. Jesus had either to have been either a crazy man or correct.

Everything that Jesus proclaimed before he died became verified truth by the eyewitnesses of history which testified of his resurrection from the dead. Historians attest to the fact that Jesus came out of His grave exactly as the prophets had predicted beforehand. Because of the historical eyewitness testimony to that effect, everything that Jesus taught regarding eternal life became my truth, my study, and my pursuit.

I was a bartender when my decision was made to commit my life to the Good News Message. I quit serving booze and began serving a gospel story to others. Jesus presented a hope and a verifiable doctrine that has changed me forever. Now, I have experienced a real love, and hope to emulate His Love to all that I meet. I have a story to tell others about God’s amazing grace, oh - how sweet it is.


Shortly after committing my life to God’s purpose, my Mother died of cancer. My Momma never talked about God, and died without knowing Jesus to receive the gift of eternal life. It was her death that compelled me to search the Bible for answers regarding her fate. What I found in my study regarding her destiny was disturbing to me. On the surface, it appeared that she was condemned to a fire that would torture her forever and ever.

This assumed reality of eternal fire confused me and disturbed my peace with God. “Hell’s” concept seemed to contradict and diametrically oppose God’s amazing grace towards us. How could this God of love torture my Mother at death and place her in some fiery hole to roast throughout the endless ages? How could this lover of my soul become some vengeful tyrant burning, tormenting, and taunting the woman who brought me into this world - forever and ever and ever? This just didn’t make any sense.

Would this same Jesus, who stretched out His hands on Calvary’s torture instrument, and having experienced that pain, turn back around and have others tortured without end? This concept of eternal torment just appeared so bizarre. So, I began a journey in the scriptures to study the topic of ‘‘hell’’ a couple of decades ago. My goal was to bring harmony and resolution to my very troubled and inquisitive spirit.
For me, many clear cut statements concerning death in connection with “hell” didn’t add up. Two plus two did not equal four. There was something out of place as I studied the doctrine of “eternal hell’’ that I just couldn’t wrap my mind around.

My study led me to discover a completely different picture of God’s righteous execution upon those in “hell”. The Bible speaks of an “end” of the wicked. Evil had a beginning, and the Word of God declares that there will be an end to the madness. Upon the discovery of “hell’s end”, I was comforted much more, and had a much clearer portrait of my Maker’s ultimate plan. I am relieved to know that my momma will not be in an eternal deep fryer, boiling in a Sulphur bath full of fiery demons without end, with the lil devil still having its rule over her. God Forbid.

I have read and examined the typical teachings of “hell”. Recently, I have read two books, one of which was listed as a best seller entitled, “23 Minutes in Hell”. The other book is entitled, “A Divine Revelation of Hell.”

Both of these authors wrote about their personal experiences as they were given guided tours to “hell”. I was astonished and shocked at the specifics of their testimonies concerning this place of torment.

Some preachers use the threat of “fire and brimstone” to compel and force others to make a decision to follow Jesus. Many believe that others will not respond to the gospel without including the threat of eternal torture in “hell”. Will a person get a true picture of a God who is love, merciful, kind, and forgiving, if they are confronted with the choice of either accepting eternal life - or burn forever? I found this theology to be quite unsettling.

One popular Bible teacher (The Bible Answer Man) propagates that without “hell”, there can be no salvation! Must there be a “hell” in order to get saved? Does our salvation depend on a threat of being tortured without end? Jesus proclaimed, ‘‘If I am lifted up from the Earth, I will draw all men to myself”.

Instead of believers being threatened by others with the choice of being a potential participant in “God’s Great Eternal Barbeque” or be saved; it would appear to be much more sensible to share with others about how Jesus SO LOVED them, that He gave up His only Son to die on their behalf. This approach is a much more appropriate attraction. Love’s attraction will always supersede the threat for motivating someone to respond.

Many find the doctrine of “hell” beyond perplexing. One writer shares his skepticism concerning endless torture this way:

“To love a god that would send another to a place of endless anguish is akin to pretend loving the school-yard bully to prevent personal abuse. No human in sane control of their thought processes would send others to eternal punishment for any kind of crime. Nor would they stand idly by allowing it to happen without protest of some kind "         David Nichols

The doctrine of eternal torment has created many antagonists against God. The main complaint: How can the Love of God hate so much as to torture someone throughout eternity? After all, the Bible teaches that Christians should live by the understanding:
“Blessed are the Merciful”; “Love your enemies”; or “whatever you want men to do to you - do to them.’’ Did not “God with Us” teach and demonstrate these concepts while He was here on earth? Where does “Hell” truly fit into these eternal principles that will never end? Can “Hell” co-exist with bliss?

The ‘‘Hell’’ teaching has produced more unbelievers than converts. Could the God of mercy, actually turn out to be a maniacal monster spewing out hate forever? This doctrine portrays God as a sadist. Even the highly regarded C.S. Lewis admits that the doctrine of “hell” is, ‘‘one of the chief grounds on which Christianity is attacked as barbarous and the goodness of God impugned.’’
A harsh appropriation demands a harsh response from most folks.

Yes, Make no mistake about it. Hell’s prophecy declares that there is a fire coming that no man can put out. There is a vengeance coming from God. The wicked will receive a payback. There will be no second chances. Not one stone of the wicked will be left unturned without being rewarded. Justice is on its way. However, the Divine Judge will take “no pleasure in the death of the wicked”. Love’s Creator is “not willing that any should perish.”

For those readers who have had serious questions regarding the perplexing subject of “Hell”, this exegesis will clearly illustrate the synchronization between God’s love and His justice. There is absolute harmony with the Bible’s teaching between mercy and fairness. It is my intent to show the pure unadulterated biblical truth concerning this disturbing subject. My purpose for this composition is to comfort and set free the troubled minds who have wrestled with the concept of an eternally angry God.

What do you think? Will the wicked be tortured throughout eternity? What exactly is the ‘‘second death”, and will it finally eliminate the madness and rid the universe of hatred?
Should evil be allowed to live on forever? If evil people are already in ‘‘hell’’ screeching, scorching, and burning right now, why would God resurrect them for a future judgment? These are legitimate questions that demand rational answers.

It would seem to me that we should imagine a world of “no more crying, no more pain, no more sorrow”; where history has passed on, and “a new heaven and a new earth” is made for the righteous to dwell in! No rapist, no thugs, no more place for evil to perpetuate itself. The thought of allowing maniacs a chance to live forever seems unreasonable doesn’t it? Wouldn’t “Hell” be bliss for them?

As you will discover, the modern concept of “Hell” is based on fable - not fact. I’m confident that this book will liberate many that are bound up in fear. When you find out this truth in its entire perfection, perfect love will cast out the fear and consume the myth. May your love for God increase and deepen your peace from what is contained in this book.

Steve Henderson

                                                          ‘Hell’ No!

"In the next pit was a woman on her knees, as if looking for something. Her skeletal form also was full of holes. Her bones were showing through, and her torn dress was on fire. Her head was bald, and there were only holes where her eyes and nose were supposed to be. A small fire was burning around her feet where she was kneeling, and she clawed the sides of the brimstone pit"
                               A Divine Revelation of Hell
                                             Mary Baxter

The word ‘‘Hell’’ has had a significant impact on our vocabulary today. This word has been made commonplace in many conversations. I’ve been told to go there a few times! Many people have been given ‘‘Hell’’ on many occasions - others have received a bunch of it. Many movies have been made with this ugly theme. Movies such as, ‘‘Jason Goes to Hell’’, ‘‘Hell Raiser’’ and other horror flicks create this place of terror’s fantasy; a place in the center of the earth where evil is alive and well. Many millions of dollars have been generated by movie producers which center their frightening stories on their twisted ideas regarding this fire chamber of torture.

Many famous people have made quotes concerning their viewpoint of this place:

‘the hottest places of hell are resevered for those who in the time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.’’        John F Kennedy

Oh-by the way, there is a literal place named ‘‘Hell” here in the U.S: it is located in Michigan. This is the only place where ‘‘Hell’’ can be located on the map. There is no furious fire there; but quite the contrary, this town does freeze over in the winter time on occasion!
One music group made an album entitled, ‘‘Hell Freezes Over’’. The Eagles evidently visited this small little winter haven in the northern part of the U.S.A. Outside of this small town, there are no other evidence of a ‘‘Hell’’ located anywhere. However, there are some preachers who seem to know where its exact location is. Nevertheless, before anyone defines “Hell”, maybe they should consider what the original word meant.

It is vitally important to understand the origin of words, especially when it comes to interpreting “Hell” in the Bible. This word clearly did not exist in the Greek and Hebrew language.
It is imperative that the original word is contemplated and interpreted in its historic and cultural surroundings (context). This is a very fundamental hermeneutic concept which must be followed very closely. It is vital to understand the origin of a word in order to properly interpret its true meaning.

An “eye of the needle” in the day when the New Testament was written, meant something worlds apart from our understanding of that phrase today. Words have a way of changing their real meanings over a period of time. For example, back in 1930, “gay” meant something entirely different than what that word means today in our culture.
It is important to understand that the word “Hell” was not used in the Bible writer’s vocabulary. This may shock some, disappoint others, and possibly bring relief to others.

Any astute etymologist or theologian will verify the fact that the word ‘Hell’’ did not exist in the original scriptures. In fact, the term "Hell’’ showed up hundreds of years after the Holy Scriptures were translated from the Hebrew and Greek. The word “Hell” isn’t in the original writings, so the preachers who trying to scare someone into believing it, might want to reexamine the word a little more closely.

               The Old Testament Word Translated “Hell”

Various Hebrew and Greek words were translated into the word ‘‘Hell’’ long after the fact. The Hebrew Old Testament uses the word ‘‘Sheol’’.
This Hebrew word is used 65 times mainly to describe the place of the dead. It is interesting to note that the Jews do not put the word “Hell” in any of their English translations of the Hebrew Old Testament. It simply does not exist anywhere. In fact, many Hebrew scholars scoff at the Christian view of “Hell”. They recognize that their scriptures are absolutely silent concerning the concept of eternal torture for the wicked.

One Scripture where the word ‘‘Sheol’’ is found declares that the Messiah’s Soul would not stay there after His death. (Psalm 16:9)
Another prophecy concerning the same event, proclaims that the Messiah ‘‘made his grave with the wicked’’. (Isaiah 53:9)
This Hebrew word foretold of a time when the Messiah would be in the grave (Sheol) with the unsaved. However, He would not stay there very long as a dead Messiah. “Sheol” was regarded as a place of death.

On a couple of occasions “Sheol” is translated as a ‘‘pit’’. Here is one Biblical example:
‘‘For Sheol cannot thank you, Death cannot praise you, those who go down to the pit (Sheol), cannot hope for your truth”.
Death and grave are commonly associated together with the word “Sheol” and are mutually inclusive. In no uncertain terms is this word associated with everlasting torment - just death.

Another Old Testament passage speaks of this place (Sheol) where: ‘‘man being in honor abides not: He is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly: Yet after them men approve their sayings. They are appointed as a flock for Sheol; Death shall be their shepherd; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall be for Sheol to consume that there be no habitation for it.” (Psalm 49:12-14)
In this place of death, the dead will be consumed and there will be no living habitation there. Those dwelling there will be likened to an animal that perishes.

Thus, this same Hebrew word (Sheol) has been used interchangeably into 3 different words: “Hell”, “grave”, and “pit”. The King James translators had determined that “Sheol” could mean a variety of ideas. This identical Hebrew word was translated as: “Hell” (31 times), “grave’’ (31 times), and “pit” (3 times).
Did the translators use one word for three entirely different ideas, or could it be that the translation was slanted because of the traditional views that existed among the translators?

In the Old Testament, it is remarkable that both good and bad folks were found in this place. The Hebrew word (Sheol) gives no hint or indication of a place where flames are eternally tormenting the dead. However, there were some of the prophets who foretold of a fire and the destruction that would eventually consume this planet.
God declared, ‘‘A fire is kindled in My Anger, and shall burn to the lowest hell (Sheol), it shall consume the earth.” (Duet 32:22). In the same context, the prophet hints of Sheol’s end ‘‘devoured by pestilence and bitter destruction” that consumes the planet. (Duet 32:24).
This Hebrew word (Sheol) translated “Hell” is continually used in conjunction with total obliteration. Evidently, “Hell” devours and consumes its victims. In no uncertain terms, the words: “consume”, “devour”, and “destruction” in this place bring an end to man.

Another Bible writer exclaimed, “Hell (Sheol) and Destruction are before the Lord.” (Proverb 15:11) Apparently, whoever happens to be in this unfortunate place will be ultimately destroyed? Time and time again “Hell” in the Old Testament is directly connected to death and destruction. There aren’t any indicators of people burning forever in “Sheol” anywhere. Whatever is connected with “Sheol” brings ruin and finality to anything that gets in its way.

Most theologians propagate that “Hell” is a place where the wicked are eternally separated from God. However, a careful study of the word “Sheol” in select passages of scripture declares otherwise.
King David knew this when he stated, “Though I make my bed in hell (Sheol), behold, thou art there”. (Psalm 139:8).
If God can show up there, how can anyone be eternally separated from His Presence when He decides to check it out? Again, the theology behind the reasoning of “Hell” has many loopholes. Nothing can separate us when from God when He decides to show up.
In addition, “Sheol” is identified as a place of “darkness “place of destruction” and “land of forgetfulness” (Psalm 88:6, 10-12),

“Sheol” will be the location where the followers of Lucifer will be brought as they ask the question about him:
‘‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, which made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?”(Isaiah 14: 15-17).
The prophet expressly says that in this place (Sheol), ‘‘all the kings of nations, all of them sleep in glory.’’ (Isaiah 14:18). This unambiguous statement indicates that in "the lowest depth of the pit’’ they will be gloriously sleeping!

Going Down into the Pit or death - is a place of “silence”, (Psalm 115:17) and a place where death is delivered: ‘‘for they have all been delivered to death, to the depths of the earth, among the children of men who go down to the pit’’. (Isaiah 31:14). In this place of death, God said that He will cast the nations down ‘‘to hell together with those who go descend to the Pit’’. (Ezekiel 31:16).
According to the prophet Ezekiel, “Sheol” will be a place where those arriving there ‘‘were comforted in the depths of the earth’’. (Ezekiel 31: 16). There are no indicators whatsoever that the “pit” is a place of torment, but quite the contrary - a place of comfort!

                       New Testament Words Translated “Hell”

In the New Testament, there are two main Greek words which were translated into the word ‘‘Hell ’’. The first word is “Gehenna”. This is the Greek word for Israel’s ‘‘Valley of Hinnom’’. The valley on Hinnom was a literal, geographical place that was located outside the walls of Jerusalem. This valley was used as a garbage dump where all of Israel’s trash was dumped and burned. Jesus used this location as a word picture to show how the wicked would wind up. There was a constant fire burning in this dump. However, nothing could stay alive in it very long. “Hell ’’in this context (Gehenna), concerned a certain place on top of the ground. It was a figure (figurative) for the place of final punishment.

Eleven times the word “Gehenna” is translated into the word “Hell” in the New Testament. This word was the Hebrew equivalent of the literal physical location of “the valley of Hinnom”. In the Old Testament, the Israelites offered up their own children in this location. Many times it was associated with bad events. According to Jesus, it is likened as a place of waste and destruction.

In one clear statement regarding the valley of Hinnom (Gehenna), this place would no longer be called “Hinnom”, rather, the “valley of slaughter”. It would be there where, “the carcasses of this people shall be meat for the fowls”, and “they shall not be gathered or buried; they shall be dung upon the face of the earth, and death shall be chosen rather than life” (Jeremiah 7:31-33; 8:1-3).
In the Old Testament, this valley “Hinnom” (Gehenna) would be a place of slaughter where dead bodies would cover the earth.

Jesus used this place as a metaphor to warn that the wicked that one day, the wicked would be thrown into the garbage dump of “Gehenna”. It is interesting to note that never once when mentioning this place, did Jesus infer that this place was located down below the surface of the earth. The “Gehenna” back then meant something much different than the modern concept of the fire and brimstone preacher’s “Hell” today. Those who were listening to the words of Jesus’ warning of being thrown into Gehenna had an entirely different viewpoint.

The next Greek word translated into “Hell” is Hades. In Greek mythology, Hades was the god of the underworld. This was a place where the souls of the immortal dead would be tormented. Most Greeks believed that the body has an immortal soul. This soul was contained in a temporary body of flesh. At death, the soul would be transposed to the Gods - wherever their lot fell.

The Greeks tried to find an equivalent for the Hebrew word “Sheol” when translating the Hebrew Old Testament into a Greek translation (Septuagint). The closest word that they could fit into their translation was “Hades”. The Greeks did not have a specific word to match the expressed idea of the Hebrew word “Sheol”. The closest word that the translators could find to equivocate with the thought was “Hades”. This word had a mythological story attached to it.

The Greeks believed that in “Hades” everyone is alive. So, the idea crept in subtly that the dead in Sheol are alive. No death there - just a transition. The immediate “life after death” concept crept into the translation of the word “Hell” from Hades. Again, tradition and culture has a way of changing a word through time into an entirely different concept. The word “Hell” was rooted and grounded in a Greek mythological concept. Here’s what The Myth Encyclopedia explains about the fable of Hades:

“The Greek underworld was divided into three regions: Hades, Tartarus, and Elysium. Most of the dead went to the kingdom of the god Hades. In the deepest part of the underworld, a terrible dark place known as Tartarus, the very wicked suffered eternal punishment at the hands of the Furies. The third region, Elysium or the Elysian Fields, was where exceptionally good and righteous people went after death.”         Encyclopedia of Mythology

It is interesting that the King James translators had trouble defining the word - Hades. For example, one verse found in Revelation cites “Hell” in the translation and “grave” in the margin. This can be found in other passages in the New Testament where the translators could go either way with the word. The two words are used interchangeably yet - they hold two very different ideas in modern Christianity. Hades will eventually be thrown in the “lake of fire”. (Revelation 20:14)

There is one more word translated as “Hell” in the New Testament. It is found only one time in the entire Bible. The word “Tartaroo, which comes from the root word “Tartaros, was actually was connected with the god “Hades”. Tartaros was the mythological deepest abyss of Hades. That place also was found underground and was the place of eternal torment.

The etymology of the word “Hell” is traced back to pagan origins. It has been defined as:

Hel, Helle: nether world, abode of the dead, infernal regions. (725AD) Ger: Holle- the underworld, literally "concealed place, from PIE kel- to cover, conceal, save. The English word may be in part from O.N. Hel; one who covers up or hides something”.

If “Hell” is a real literal place, how is it that this word evolved from the ancient Hebrew word “Sheol”, into an English word with mythological ideas connected to it? Why are the Jewish Scriptures silent in the Old Testament concerning this “Hell hole”? Most translations have removed the word because they recognize that “Hell” simply does not fit the original idea of death’s place. It is very important to understand this.

In another place, the Poetic Edda, written in the 13th century, the author provides insight into the Nordic beliefs of pagans, which includes an entity named “Hel”. He is described as ruler over the underworld location with the same name attached to it. This place “Hel” was described as a misty place where women and some men inhabited in it.
The concept of “Hell” became widely popularized by Dante Alighieri through his work entitled “Divina Commedia” back in the year 1300. In his story, Dante and his guide Virgil went through inferno, and then up the mountain of Purgatorio. Virgil was not condemned to hell, rather as a virtuous pagan, was confined to Limbo just at the edge of hell.
In this poetic work, the geography of “Hell” is very elaborately detailed, with nine circular rings leading deeper into the various depths of hell, and then he finds Satan in the very center of the world underneath, trapped in a frozen lake. There a small tunnel led out to the other side of the world at the Mountain of Purgatory. Believe it or not, there are some religious groups that believe in this place.
An excerpt of Dante’s Inferno describes it this way:
Here sighs and lamentations and loud cries were echoing across the starless air,
so that, as soon as I [Dante] set out, I wept. Strange utterances, horrible pronouncements, accents of anger, words of suffering, and voice shrill and faints, and beating hands
The Third Canta
The word “Hell” came from fables - not facts. The modern day “hellfire and brimstone preachers” evidently are ignorant to the fact that this word did not exist in the original Scriptures. In fact, most Christians have adopted the idea in which the “place of the underworld” actually exists. The truth of the matter is replaced by mythological legend. The Bible must be examined in light of its original words and intent. So - is there a place that exists where men and women are burning this at very moment? “Hell”no!

The ‘Living Dead’ In Hell

"I was standing in the middle of a cave...the wall wrapped around me...as I looked at the walls; I saw they were covered with thousands of hideous creatures. These demonic creatures were all sizes and shapes. Some of them had four legs and were the size of bears. Others stood upright and were about the size of gorillas. They were all terribly grotesque and disfigured...They seemed to me to be the living dead."

       Bill Wiese
      "23 Minutes in Hell"
"The punishment of the wicked is to live forever " -          Philo

Remember, the lie started in the Garden. The author of deceit tried to refute death. Lucifer propagated that ‘‘you won’t really die’’. He said that he believed that man was deathless. After all, no death had ever been witnessed by anyone up to that time. The Liar exclaimed that God really didn’t know what He was talking about. Death was a foreign idea which Satan scoffed at. However, it didn’t take long to tell who was telling the truth. To die or not to die; that was the original argument in evil’s debate regarding the Almighty’s authority. So it appears to be now - live or die?

Many hold to the belief that when a wicked man dies, he goes straight to ‘‘Hell’’. In essence, man just crosses over into a ‘‘hot spot’’. This concept implies that death isn’t really death; it’s just a transition of locations. Going to “Hell” suggest that a man in “Hell” is actually a “living dead” person. This proposition is kind of a freaky idea. Many horror movies use this theme. Remember a movie entitled Night of the Living Dead? It is based on the same concept: they are dead, but not really. Many horror flicks portray mummies and zombies parading around dead, but they are actually alive, trying to scare the devil out of people. Vampires also fit into this odd idea of immortal wickedness.

Today, there are many who still believe that someone really doesn’t die a death, they just “cross over” into a kind of ‘‘living dead” thing. In the Christian context – it’s to‘‘Hell’’ or to “Heaven’’. Other groups add to the options with mythological concepts of “Purgatory” or “Limbo”. Just as in the beginning, this doctrine of not really dying contradicts Scripture and mocks God. In this theology, death isn’t actually a death. The wicked man isn’t really dead; he is just separated from God. According to this popular belief, the wicked actually have immortality.

• Immortality by its very definition is not subject to death. In spite of all of the statements in the Scriptures that oppose the concept of the wicked living on forever, death is still regarded as transitional – not final. For some reason, people refuse to believe that death by its definition exudes permanency. Immortality comes only for those who respond to the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10) Immortality for the unbeliever is not possible.

Most evangelicals believe that a wicked person goes straight to ‘‘Hell’’; escaping death’s grip in less than a split second. The next thing that the wicked individuals realize as soon as they die is they find themselves underneath the earth in a place hot as an iron melting pot. Those who “live” there are badgered by the “living dead”forever and ever and ever. One Christian woman wrote about this very thing in a book, describing her guided tour with Jesus into ‘‘Hell’’. She explained what she saw:

The cries of the living dead, mixed with moans and hideous screams, came to my ears from all directions. There were no quiet times in Hell. The smell of dead and decaying flesh hung thickly in the air.

This author described those in hell as “the living dead? So which is it: living or dead? Can the two coexist in one at the same time? Can death (dead) live too? This oxymoron seems to disagree with the unanimity in God’s Word! This “living dead”concept makes about as much sense as a vegetarian snorting methamphetamine. Some things just do not adhere together; in this context - life and death.

Another writer who visited ‘‘Hell’’ wrote a book entitled ‘‘23 Minutes in Hell’’. Enraptured in vision, he describes ‘‘hell ’’ in a very detailed manner. Under the subheading ‘‘The Living Dead’’ he exclaimed:

I knew that most people up on the surface of the earth did not believe or even know that there was a whole world going on down here. I was horrified as I heard the screams of an untold multitude of people crying out in torment. It was absolutely deafening. He goes on to say, ‘‘in hell there is no life of any kind. All is dead’’.

After reading a testimony of this sort, one could get really confused as to the status of those in ‘‘Hell’’. If ‘‘all are dead’’ and ‘‘there is no life of any kind’’, are those in the underworld living - or dead as they scream out in torment? It is very difficult to grasp the idea of a ‘‘living dead’’ person. Did the dead just appear to be alive? When the author said, “They seem to me to be the living dead”, he seemed somewhat bewildered on the status of those “dead – living” people.

I have found out that every ‘‘vision’’ should be tested by certain Biblical criteria. There seems to be an apparent Biblical contradiction surrounding this writer’s testimony during his visit to “Hell”. Nowhere in the Bible will anyone find the phrase “living dead”. ‘‘Hateful loving’’, ‘‘hairy baldness’’, ‘‘blind sight’’, and ‘‘dry rain’’ are other oxymorons that seem equally as bizarre in the sensibility department.

Other religions also use variations of a ‘‘no death’’ scenario at death. One religion teaches that based on karma, at death a man can cross over to being a frog or vice-versa. No death here, just another transition. Like the concept of going to ‘‘Hell’’, there is no such thing as death, just a quick change of status and positioning. All of these teachings are based on Lucifer’s initial lie. The Bible declares ‘‘the wages of sin are death.’’(Romans 6:23) There will be a final answer to the sin question.

For some strange reason many seem to theologize and reduce death from its finality. Nothing ends - people just make a ‘‘swift shift’’ into another location. However, if there is no death, then the Bible bears false testimony. Let’s face it, the dead really do die. There are a whole bunch of Bible verses and graveyards around to confirm this fact. How can anyone deny their mortality?
What would be the purpose of dying if it doesn’t really happen? Would it be necessary to be raised in a resurrection?
Death is defined as a “termination, a permanent cessation of all vital functions.’’ If an employer terminates a person for stealing, there are no more jobs. The word ‘‘exterminate’’comes from the same root. If a bug is exterminated, the bug kicks up his heals and dies. If a person’s bodily functions (heart, kidneys, and lungs) quit, the carcass cannot come back to life. The very definition of the word ‘‘death,” mandates termination. However, for some strange reason, many believe death isn’t possible - it’s just a separation.
Over and over, the apostle spoke of the destiny of those ‘‘that are saved’’ and ‘‘them that perish’’; ‘‘death unto death’’and‘‘life unto life.’’(2 Corinthians 2:15-16) There aren’t any ‘‘death to Hell” ideas found in any of Paul’s writings. According to the apostle’s understanding, a person will meet one of two destinies. There aren’t any hints of wicked people living forever in his theology. Death will arrive at death’s destruction. According to the scriptures, the ‘‘last enemy to be destroyed is death’’. (1 Corinthians 15) Death is even going to be destroyed!

Death’s Sleep
Isn’t it interesting to note that Paul, who wrote many letters in the New Testament, never mentioned “Hell” one time? He understood death for both good and bad as a sleep. He declared, ‘‘All of those who have fallen asleep in Christ are perished.’’ (1 Corinthians 15:18) According to the Apostle, those who had known Jesus had died and perished. Paul never hinted that heaven was full of the redeemed or that hell was full of angry sinners. How can anyone ignore the meaning of ‘‘perish’’? Fortuneatly, those who have fallen asleep in Christ will wake up from their sleep someday!
On many occassions, Paul likened death to a “sleep”. He prophesied, ‘‘we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.’’ (1 Corinthians 15: 51). In another passage, he spoke of five hundred witnesses who had actually seen Jesus after His resurrection; some who were still alive as he was writing, and some which had died and “fallen asleep.’’(1 Corinthians 15:6) From Paul’s viewpoint and theology, the saints are sweetly sleeping waiting for their reward from the grave. This is where the ‘‘rest in peace’’ idea came from!
As Paul looked forward to his own reward as he proclaimed, ‘‘There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the Righteous Judge shall give me at that Day, and not to me only, but unto all them that love His appearing.’’(2 Timothy 4:8) This great gospel proclaimer understood that one day his crown would be given to him, and to those that “look for Him” as the Redeemer comes back to “gather His elect”. Paul looked forward to his payday when he would wake up out of his slumber and receive his phenomenal reward awaiting him. He set his sights to his trophy: ‘‘that he might attain to the resurrection from the dead.’’ (Philippians 3: 11). Paul knew he would die, and prayed that he could be found worthy of a resurrection from death’s home someday.

All of the Bible’s writers understood this “appointed time’’ for the wake up call. Paul prophesied of this time declaring that: ‘‘the Trumpet shall sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible’’; and then‘‘this mortal must put on immortality’’: future tense (1 Corinthians 15:52-53) Until the Resurrection the dead are ‘‘mortal’’ and ‘‘corruptible’’. But when that great trumpet sounds, those sleeping saints will wake up out of their sleep: ‘‘raised in incorruption’’, ‘‘raised in power’’, and rose up with a ‘‘spiritual body.’’ (1 Corinthians 15: 42-44). These precious souls are coming up in a resurrection raised in a spiritual body - gifted with immortality forevermore.

Job had a clear understanding of what would await him at his last breath: ‘‘I will sleep in the dust and you will seek me diligently, but I will be no more.’’ (Job 7:21). The phrase, ‘‘ashes to ashes, dust to dust’’ came from scriptures of this sort. This great faithful warrior of God recognized that man will ‘‘die and waste away’’ and ‘‘give up the ghost’’. Then Job asked the question, ‘‘where is he?’’ Job concludes, ‘‘so man lies down and rises not; until the heavens be no more, they shall not wake out of their sleep, nor be raised out of their sleep.’’(Job 14:10, 12).

Job also looked down to the day of indignation and desired that he could hide ‘‘in the grave’’ until God’s ‘‘Wrath’’ passes over. He realized that his Maker has set an appointed “time’’ when his Redeemer would remember him as he waits in the dust of the earth. This faithful believer was not afraid of death’s temporal grip. Job then concludes with this question: ‘‘If a man dies, shall he live again?’’ In answering his own question with confidence Job concludes: ‘‘all the days of my appointed time, will I wait until my change come. You shall call, and I will answer you’.’ (Job 14: 13-15).

The Prophet Daniel also foretold of a day when “many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake.’’ (Daniel 12:2). Those who have had their eyes shut in the dark caskets will wake up to one of two resurrections. They will awake from their death slumber to realize that their reward has arrived. For those who have done evil, they will wake up to their shame forever to face “everlasting destruction”. (2 Thessalonians 1:9). Nowhere in this prophecy does Daniel indicate that dead, wicked people are alive in a fiery torture chamber. On the contrary, one day they will wake up out of their sleep from the “dust of the earth’’- not from roasting in a fire pit.

Even Daniel, wrote about his own resurrection. He was told: ‘‘you will rest, and stand in your lot at the end of days’’. (Daniel 12:13) The word ‘‘rest’’ is found connected with death on many occasions. One such example is found in the Book of Revelation: ‘‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth, that they may rest from their labor’’. (Revelation 14:13) Rest is the fruit of a sound sleep. Daniel is in a sound sleep and some day will wake up at the ‘‘end of days’’, completely rested and happily standing on top of the grave that he was raised from.

The Word of God verifies that Jesus regarded death as a “sleep’’. When his friend Lazarus had died, Jesus declared, ‘‘our friend Lazarus is sleeping, but I’m going there to wake him up’’ (John 11:11). It was clearly known to the Lord’s disciples what was known by the metaphor of ‘‘sleep’’. Speaking of Lazarus sleeping, the disciple John records, ‘‘However, Jesus spoke of his death’’... ‘‘saying to them plainly Lazarus is dead.’’ (John 11:12-13) To Jesus, death was a sleep. Lazarus woke up after four days of death’s sleep. It will be the same at the resurrection - Jesus will call forth the sleeping and out of the grave they will come.

Those who sleep are not aware of their surroundings. They do not communicate with one another or bother anyone else (except the snorers)! Most sleepers do it with their eyes closed. Those who sleep with their eyes open can’t see past the darkness. Most sleepers do not get up, down, or move around much. Even so, the sleep of death is a restraint from life’s ambitions and emotions. No getting up or down; no yelling or screeching - just silence. Unlike the contrary concept of hell, one day the wicked man will, ‘‘sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake up.’’ (Jeremiah 51:57) It sounds like evil will eventually lie down and be put to death - never to wake up again. Now - that’s outer darkness!

                          Death’s Inactivity

Solomon, one of the wisest of all men declared, ‘‘the dead know nothing... also their love, their hatred, and their envy has now perished’’... “There is no knowledge, or wisdom in the grave where you are going.’’ (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6) Based on this declaration, not much is going on after a man dies. Apparently, dead folks don’t know or feel much. Death has no knowledge of hatred, nor can one be even tempted in the grave to hate. How can there exist a ‘‘hell’’ where hatred rules if it has perished at death? King Soloman refutes the idea that anyone is cognitively able to hate or feel anything in the grave. Contrary to the popular belief, a man does not go to “Hell” ruled by hatred immediately after his death, he just goes to “sleep’’.

King David clearly articulated: ‘‘the dead do not praise the Lord, neither any that go down to silence.’’ (Psalm 117:15) Whatever goes on down below is pretty quiet. Dead folks do not go up at death - but down. Peter spoke King David’s death and proclaimed, ‘‘for David did not ascend into the heavens’’, but that “he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.’’(Acts 2:34, 29) The apostle Peter proclaimed that even the former King of Israel was still in the grave - not in heaven.

It is assumed by many believers that the dead in Jesus go straight to their reward at death. Many scholars cite the conversation between Jesus and the thief on the cross to prove that when someone dies, they go immediately to their eternal destiny. On the surface, it appears like Jesus told the thief that He would meet with him in Paradise on the day of his death. However, after a careful examination of the ‘‘whole’’ testimony, one will discover that Jesus did not meet with the thief on that same day at all.

Oh - what a picture of grace and divine intent. The Lord of mercy showed His true colors to a thief who had been mocking Him. Just before the rip off artist died, he came face to Face with the Truth. In most cases it takes death’s stare for most people to realize that the eternity of something is just ahead. In this grand illustration of sacrifice, the hand of love extended His outreached arms in welcoming the thief into Paradise at his final moments. Jesus did not threaten him with eternal torment – but offered the bandit Paradise.

Just before our Savior died, Jesus told the thief: “Today you will be with me in Paradise.’’(Luke 23: 43). Remember, the Greek text had no commas. The translators put a comma where it didn’t belong. The comma was put in a place where it seemed to indicate that Jesus would meet with the thief that very day. However, by examining the other evidence in which John provides, one will discover that in fact - Jesus’ Soul was in the grave three days.

John testified that after Jesus had been in the tomb for three days, and after He had risen from the dead, He found Mary at the tomb. As Mary went to touch Jesus, He warned her, ‘‘Do not cling to me, for I Have Not Yet Ascended to My Father.’’(John 20: 16-17) Did the thief go to heaven with Jesus on the same day that He died? Obviously the thief did not go to Paradise that same day. After three days, Jesus still had not yet been in His Father’s presence.

Did Jesus lie to the thief, or was He dishonest with Mary? Neither; He was telling the truth to the both of them. The Savior had not yet been to Paradise yet. After His Resurrection, He plainly told Mary of His intent: ‘‘I am ascending to my Father.’’(John 20:17) The grave could no longer hold Him and now, He was ready to go see His Father. It was after three days that Jesus ascended; not on the same day that He had spoken to the thief.

The thief was told on the day as he hung on the cross that he would meet Jesus in the Paradise where God dwells. According to the Bible, He will raise up the thief on “the last day.’’ (John 6: 39, 44, 54). At that time, the resurrected thief will “eat from the Tree of Life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” with Jesus. (Revelation 2:7) This place awaits the overcomers.

                            The Undying Soul

When Jesus died, He gave His Spirit back to His Father on the cross at His last breath. This historical statement reveals that on His dying breath, ‘‘Jesus had cried with a loud Voice” and announced, ‘‘Father - into your hands I commit my spirit’’...‘‘having said this, He breathed His last.’’(Luke 23: 46) Jesus died, His spirit left Him, and He remained dead for three days.

Remember, Jesus had not yet ascended to His Father. It was after three days when He pronounced to Mary, ‘‘Go to My Brethren” and tell them, ‘‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father.’’ (John 20:17) The first priority after Jesus came back to life was for Him to go see His Father. When Jesus gave up the Spirit to His Father, His soul lay in the grave dead. When He was raised from the dead, Jesus had not yet been in His Father’s Presence. Evidently, the Spirit which left Jesus at his dying breath was not His Soul. His Spirit returned to His Father and His Soul went to the grave.

Prophecy foretold of Jesus’ Resurrection and clearly revealed where His Soul would be at His death: ‘‘Jesus… whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it is not possible that He should be held by it’’; then adds, ‘‘for you will not leave My Soul in‘‘Hades.’’(Acts 2: 24, 22) There it is: Jesus with both body and soul was in the grave - not in the Father’s presence. His Soul went into the ground as His Spirit left Him. The life source of the soul left - the breath. The good news is that death couldn’t hold Him in His grave but only three days.

Solomon had this same revelation of what happens when a person dies:

‘‘Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the Spirit shall return to God who gave it.’’ (Ecclesiastes 12:7). As the Spirit returned to the Father when Jesus died, so it is with all who die. The make up (soul) of a man dies as the Bible illustrates the breath being removed from the body as it travels back to the dust where it came from.

King David collaborated the dying process in this way:

‘‘His breath goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.’’ (Psalm 146:4). This declaration indicates that the mind of the soul ceases. Even the thoughts have vanished. Once the breath leaves, the dead cannot communicate with anyone when the mind cannot invoke a thought. If people would recognize this Biblical truth, they would not be messing with modern day mediums, nor be chasing after ghost.

Throughout the history of Christianity, many preachers believed in the deathless ‘‘soul’ ’that never dies. One early church father says it this way:
‘‘All souls are immortal, even those of the wicked. Yet it would be better for them if they were not deathless… Since they do not die, it is impossible for them to have an end put to their misery.” (Clement of Alexandria)

God clearly warned that ‘‘the soul that sins will die.’’ (Ezekiel 18:4). Regardless of what our concept of a soul may be, it will surely die if it sins. The deathless soul seems quite bizarre in light of the clear teaching that it will die. For some strange reason, many believers imagine that death really isn’t a death – it’s just a separation. Where in the Bible does one find this precedent that death is just a removal from God but the soul is still alive?
Considering the preceeding scriptural evidence, it seems quite odd that someone would interpret that the wicked soul lives on forever. Do the wicked really cry in torture, anguish, and hissing anger after death?

Jesus prophesied that the ungodly soul will suffer extinction. The Savior warned that man should not be afraid of those who could kill the body, but could not kill the soul. However, He did warn those who had ears to hear: ‘‘Fear Him which is able to destroy both body and soul in Gehenna.’’ (Matthew 10:28). Jesus issued a stark warning to the faint hearted by proclaiming that He is absolutely capable of destroying both “body and soul” in the fire.

If these clear cut revelations are not enough to convince the seeker of truth who doubts the soul’s finality of death, how about this vivid picture of death’s dominion: ‘‘They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches, none can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him; for the redemption of their soul is costly and it ceases forever; that he should still live forever and not see corruption. He sees that wise men die, likewise the fool and the senseless person perish, and leave their wealth to others.’’(Psalm 49: 6-10).
All of the money in the world is as a ‘‘drop in the bucket’’ compared to what the real cost of soul’s redemption actually entails. According to this disclosure, the souls of those who had trusted in their stuff will ‘‘cease forever.’’ Those who had believed that money could buy their way out of anything, thought nothing about soul’s ransom. According to the Bible the senseless person will “perish”.

For those individuals ‘‘being in honor does not endure; he is like the beast that perishes’’. ‘‘Like sheep they are laid in the grave. Death shall feed on them…their beauty shall consume in the grave’’. “For when he dies, he shall carry nothing away, his glory shall not descend after him’’. ‘‘He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.’’(Psalm 49: 12, 14, 17, 19) This will be the darkness of a “perpetual sleep” in which the prophet Jeremiah wrote about twice. (Jeremiah 51:39, 57)

                            When the ‘Hell’?

"The Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father...And then He will reward each according to his works. (Matthew 16:27).

According to this revelation, the condemned are not in ‘‘hell’’, nor are there any ‘‘living dead’’ there. They are just sleeping in their grave waiting for their verdict to be announced. Once the jury is in, they will hear the voice of God and then popup out of the ground to get what is coming to them. Make no mistake, no reward in ‘‘hell’’ will come until the Lord of Lords comes back to give each one as they deserve - not until then.

It is obvious from the teachings of Jesus, that there is no ‘‘pit of hell’’ in the center of the earth right now where millions are being taunted after they die. Once all of the evidence has been examined and the guilt has been determined, then the pronouncement of Judgment comes from the Judge’s mouth. Prophetic scenarios teach that unsaved people are dead in their grave awaiting a descision from the Judge’s chambers.

Jesus Declared: ‘‘Do not marvel at this, the hour is coming that all who are in their graves will hear His Voice will come forth... those who have done evil - to the resurrection of condemnation’’. (John 5:28) According to this revelation, a wicked person is waiting in their grave until they hear the Voice of Jesus, and then they will come out of the grave to be condemned. In this resurrection, the Judge will make the very sad pronouncement ‘‘I don’t know you”; and then the execution will commence.

It is very important to recognize when the Execution will be carried out. Peter shares some additional insight concerning the day of reckoning:

‘‘The Lord knows how to reserve the unjust under punishment for the Day of Judgment.’’ (2 Peter 2:9)
The Bible plainly articulates that punishment does not come until the Day of Judgment. The Scriptures are replete with pictures regarding the fate of mankind. Sin produces death. Humanity is appointed to die and afterward - a Judgment. (Hebrews 9:27). Until then, the unsaved are in their graves waiting for their own sentencing, and then they come out to receive the reward of justice served.

Can you imagine someone accused of murdering a person receiving their prison sentence before the Judge has a chance to hear the evidence against them? In our legal system, the law mandates a trial before someone is sent to prison. God’s Justice will require no less. The wicked dead are reserved in their grave (jailhouse) waiting for their punishment. The implementation of justice happens only after they are judged and determined to be guilty as charged. Guilt must be determined before the sentencing.

There is no ‘‘Hell’’ until the Judgment Day. When Jesus comes back He will ‘‘judge the alive and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom.’’ (2 Timothy 4:1) Jesus will come ‘‘with ten thousands of His saints to execute Judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way.” (Jude 1:14-15). Oh - what a shocking appearance this will be! When Jesus appears, the conviction of a person cannot be reversed - it’s a done deal. The Word will go out: ‘‘He that is filthy, let him be filthy still’’. (Revelation 22:11). It will be too late for making anymore.

Where the “Hell”?

It is also important to notice where the evildoer receives their reward: out of the ground - not underneath it. The condemned are not going down to get their reward, but are coming up to get what is coming to them. There are absolutely no indicators in the Bible that the wicked are down in ‘‘hell’’ burning before their resurrection. It is an outright fallacy to think otherwise. However, many ‘‘hell fire’’ preachers would lead you to believe that immediately the wicked go down ‘‘straight to hell’’ pummeling downward to receive what they deserve. This simply is not true.

Those who are unsaved will eventually be brought out of the ground for their reward and not before then. The reward is on top of the ground - not in the earth’s center. When Jesus calls, the sleeping will come up alive – both the good and the bad. Those coming up in the ‘‘first resurrection’’ are extremely rewarded. In the second resurrection, there will be just a grinding of teeth, crying, and agony for those who see the real ‘‘Truth’’- face to Face.

Whatever concept someone may believe about a literal burning ‘‘hell’’ going on ‘‘down yonder’’ at this very moment, must be tested by the light of Scripture. So far, many scriptures point to a resurrection of both: the believers in Jesus and the unbeliever. To those who have done good -‘‘the Resurrection of Life’’, to those who have done bad - ‘‘the resurrection of condemnation.’’(John 5:28-29)
Going to ‘‘Hell’’ will have to wait at least until then.

The wicked do not go straight to their reward at death. No burning slime pit full of ‘‘spider like demons’’ taunting and tormenting, but just a nice quiet spot to sleep for a moment’s time. When the Almighty shouts to the dead in the dust, then‘ ‘pop goes the weasel’’ as they come straight up from their graves. They will find themselves back on top of the ground which covered them. There will be no place to hide when the Jury’s verdict is pronounced, ‘‘Depart from me you cursed, into everlasting fire.’’(Matthew 25: 39)

                                Why the ‘Hell’?

‘‘And it shall be said in that Day, Lo this is our God; we have waited for Him and He will save us. This is the Lord we have waited for Him, we will be glad in His Salvation.’’ (Isaiah 25:9)

Those who willfully mocked God to His Face, those who didn’t regard ‘‘the Work of the Lord, neither consider the Operation of His Hands’’ chose their own destiny. Why would God want to keep someone around that hates and denys Him? That person who hears the gospel and rejects it as a fable, insults the Eternal Life Giver. That which God sent to save us in His Beloved Son, cannot save the the unbeliever. They do not consider the Suffering that the Father had to feel in watching His only Son tortured. His Accomplished Work, His enormous sacrifice, and His great love had been denied.

“Judgment will I Lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, and hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place’’(Isaiah 28 :17). Those who had trusted in the lies spread throughout the earth will find no quarter. No more lies about evolution, no more lies of atheism, no more lies that all religions are truth and go to the same place. Only Jesus will decide who the real spiritual were.

‘The mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eye of the lofty’’ will get paid back for their pride. ‘‘The Lord of Host shall be exalted in Judgment, and the God That Is Holy shall be hallowed in Righteousness’’. ‘‘Therefore, Sheol has enlarged herself and opened her mouth without measure; and their glory, their multitude, their pomp, and he that rejoices shall descend into it.’’(Isaiah 5:12-16)
The mean and ugly, who did not regard the value of treating God’s Creation with respect, will be judged unworthy for eternal life.

‘Woe to them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write misfortune which they have prescribed; to turn aside the needy from Judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of My People, that widows may be their prey, and that they rob the fatherless. And what will you do in the Day of Visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from afar? To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your glory? (Isaiah 5 :2-3).
Now it is too late to realize that pure religion was ‘‘to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction.’’ (James 1:19) Those who spent all of the time in front of the T.V., now realize that eternity was in a moment.

The saints of God make the proclaimation, ‘‘Great and Marvelous are Your Works Lord God Almighty, Just and True are Your Ways, You King of Saints.’’(Revelation 15:3). The redeemed acknowledge that every decision of Judgment was orchestrated in excellence. It will be found out that equity and fairness finally rises up on the top. ‘‘This comes forth from the Lord of Host which is Wonderful in Counsel and Excellent in working’.’(Isaiah 28:29)

‘‘For the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceases, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.’’(Isaiah 16:4).
‘‘For it is a people of no understanding; therefore He that made them will have no mercy on them, and He that formed them will show no favor.’’ (Isaiah 27:11)
It will be for a Spirit of Judgment to Him That Sits in Judgment’’ (Isaiah 28:6) ‘‘for He shall have Judgment without mercy’’, to those ‘‘that has showed no mercy’’; because ‘‘mercy rejoices against Judgment’.’(James 2:13). Even by His Mercy He will even Judge the unforgiving.

                    The Sensationalism of Hell
“The language and concepts contained herein are guaranteed not to cause eternal torment in the place where the guy with the horns and pointed stick conducts his business              
Frank Zappa

Throughout the years, I have heard many weird sermons about “hell” that seem to oppose clear Biblical teaching regarding some of its details. After reading many theologians’ descriptions concerning the damned, I’m convinced that a great many of preachers exaggerate their concepts of “hell” to the point of ridiculous. Anyone can search from Genesis to Revelation, and not find any hint of how Divine Justice will be meted out on God’s Payday in the way in which some preachers illustrate.
One such example, a preacher illustrates how a child will suffer in “hell” this way:
"Little child, if you go to hell there will be a devil at your side to strike you. He will go on striking you every minute for ever and ever without stopping. The first stroke will make your body as bad as the body of Job, covered, from head to foot, with sores and ulcers. The second stroke will make your body twice as bad as the body of Job. The third stroke will make your body three times as bad as the body of Job. The fourth stroke will make your body four times as bad as the body of Job. How, then, will your body be after the devil has been striking it every moment for a hundred million of years without stopping”.
The Sight of Hell (A Catholic book for children)

Never one time does the Bible mention this type of satanic treatment upon a child? This author’s idea of God’s Punishment on sinners, is likened to Satan’s punishment of Job. The Word of God does not give Satan the authority to punish anyone in‘‘hell”- especially a child. In fact, according to the Bible, Jesus will come in flaming fire to execute His own destructive punishment which includes the Devil’s reward (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
The one who rebelled in heaven, who was cast to the ground, will be laid before kings in that Great Day of Visitation and won’t be able to punish anyone.

Isaiah foretold of that very day when Satan would get his Payback. Speaking to the one cast away from Eden, God pronounces the wicked angel’s doom:

“Therefore I brought fire from your midst, it devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you. All that knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever” (Ezekiel 28: 16-19).
To be “no more forever” after being turned into ashes would imply that the devil won’t be the punisher, but part of the punished.

There has been very blatant sensationalism connected to most of the best “fire and brimstone” preachers throughout history. Someone once cited that the saints will be blessed like this:

“The views of the misery of the damned will double the ardor of the love and gratitude of the saints of heaven”.

The late great “hellfire” preacher Jonathon Edwards in his sermon “The Eternity of Hell’s Torments” actually taught that the saints of heaven will double their love for God as they watch the eternally miserable suffering! What manner of person in their right mind, would rejoice in the maniacal torture of someone who they were close to? Surely the redeemed will remember a lost friend or family member which died outside of the Promise. My Bible states clearly that tears will be a thing of the past.

"There were “gigantic rats and huge spiders at least three feet wide and two or three feet high”; some demonic creatures had four legs and were the size of bears” Small spider like demons crawling all over him”; “Hells inhabitants are also physically naked”  23 Minutes In Hell

One can search every passage of God’s Word, and never find any type of descriptions regarding ‘‘hell’s” underworld inhabitants anywhere! What purpose do three foot wide spiders and gigantic rats have to do with punishment? Bearlike - four legged demons seem a little far off the Bible’s description of the wicked. How can flesh hang onto a fire which devours? If every inhabitant down below is naked, does that mean that the clothes can burn off, but the skin stays on the body?
Here is one author’s fantasy of how hell is:

Underneath the surface of this horror filled picture is a heart of an unheard evil imagination, conjured up by the mind of deep depravity. Where did this inspiration come from? I can tell you for certain that this revelation of “hell” did not come from the biblical view of Sheol. Even the most horror filled, satanic inspired movies ever made - pale in comparison! Where did his wisdom originate from?
Biblically, “this wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, and devilish. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, and easy to be entreated.”(James 3:15)

When the above writer in his poem envisioned the “murderer forever stabb’d”, he must have not read the Holy Scripture that declares, “No murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15). Wouldn’t Jack the Ripper have the time of his eternal life in this type of environment? Just think, slicing and dicing without any restraints to stop the one who enjoys stabbing others lifeless with an unlimited amount of victims to stalk. That type of thinking inspires producers for the next best selling horror flick, “Friday the 13th - Forever stabbed”! This nature of satanic fantasy makes millions at the box office. “He who has the Son has life; He who has not the Son has no Life” (1 John: ). Sorry Jack; Jesus will see to it that you die, and not live forever enjoying what you used to love doing.

Where in the Bible, does a diligent student of Scripture find a bizarre illustration of “hell” in this manner?:
“There is neither limit nor termination of these torments. There, the intelligent fire burns the limbs and restores them. It feeds on them and nourishes them”.      Mark Minucius Felix, c. 200

According to this theologian in history’s past, not only do a person’s arms and legs burn without termination, but they are restored and nourished by this “intelligent fire”. Somehow or other, the rational mind cannot conceive, nor grasp - a fire which nourishes and restores any thing that it touches. Is there a verse anywhere in the Bible that backs up this sensationalistic view of “hell”?

Here is another perverted dreamer and sensationalist which believe that if “hell” ceases, the saints would lose their happiness:

“This display of the divine character will be most entertaining to all who love God, will give them the highest and most ineffable pleasure. Should the fire of this eternal punishment cease, it would in a great measure obscure the light of heaven, and put an end to a great part of the happiness and glory of the blessed”.                  Samuel Hopkins

This minister’s concept of how the saints will react in twice more love for God, while watching them being tortured, are unbiblical and a blatant lie. The God of Mercy declared, “I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies.”(Ezekiel 18:32). If God has no pleasure in the death of sinners, obviously the saints would not be allowed to rejoice in the dead either.

There is something seriously wrong with this type of belief system. This writer believes that even the redeemed can’t be happy without knowing people are suffering in “hell”. The rational mind is appalled by this line of reasoning. We wonder why some unbelievers reject the “good news” of the gospel! This type of characterization of a Loving Savior is disgusting and beyond the limits of rational.

Simple logic in many cases ought to question the illustrator’s fantasies of hell’s specifics. One writer who visited “hell” in a vision said this about the eternal inferno:
‘‘The flames were coming from a large pit, a gigantic raging inferno and about one mile in diameter, and about ten miles away...the flames were intense, but the darkness seemed to swallow up the light.”   23 Minutes in Hell 
Anytime fire gets around a dark place, darkness has to flee. Many who have hung out around campfires at night, recognize that if they put more wood on a fire, greater visibility and light illuminates the surrounding area. The Bible speaks of a place called “outer darkness”, not of an inferno in the center of the earth where one could benefit in wearing sunglasses, but a place of crying and agony where darkness rules. Any fireman can testify that a house burning at night will light up a whole city block. It is very hard to imagine how a “gigantic raging inferno” could be swallowed up by the darkness. Common sense dictates that there’s just something about fire that mandates darkness to flee.

Here is another example of a non-biblical depiction of “hell” described by a woman who Jesus took on a guided tour through this horror hole:

“There were doorways about the size of small windows, opening and shutting very fast at the top of the tunnel. Screams filled the air as many evil creatures flew by us, up and out of the gateways of hell”.             Mary Baxter
Can evil immortal creatures actually be able to go “out of the gateways of hell”? If evil can make it out the “gateways”, what is on the other side? According to Jesus, the “gates of hell” will not be able to open up for the wicked (Matthew 16:17). What would be the need for small doorways there?
Maybe that is where the small “spider like demons” can get out of without a hassle, or find their way to the surface of the earth? Fortunately, the wicked will not only be “cut off from the earth”, but also be “uprooted from it” (Proverb 2:22). This revelation says nothing about the wicked being in the center of the earth where evil creatures do their thing.

It is apparent that many God-fearing believers have conjured up assorted pictures of “hell” that cannot be verified as truth in the Bible. Many preachers are portraying “hell’s” victims in a most sensational manner. The exaggeration that is associated with a small biblical context can in fact seem to be quite wacky:

‘‘I saw a soul in the form of a skeleton, crying, “Jesus have mercy”. “Decayed flesh hung by shreds from her bones, and as it burned, it fell off into the bottom of the pit”. Mary Baxter

These strange statements about “hell’s” inhabitants must be seriously tested and examined by the Word of Truth. Where in the Word will someone find a soul that was formed like a skeleton? How can there be decaying flesh on a soul? One can search day and night in God’s Word, and not locate one verse that connects a soul to a skeleton. How could flesh stay on a skeleton in God’s Fire?

One Bible writer describes God as “a consuming fire” (Hebrews) implying that whatever burns in His Fire will be consumed. Remember, the Day will come when God will “burn them up” (Malachi 4:1).
“The Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works therein shall be burned up? How can anyone misinterpret: “burned up”? (2 Peter 3:10).
Will not God’s Fire bring absolute cremation? Many Believers have chosen to believe in the lie of “hell” as a place of creepy creatures, two horned demons, a place of spiders and snakes, a torture hole in the center of the earth where:

“There will the condemned in cruel rage and despair turn their fury against God and themselves, gnawing their flesh with their mouth, breaking their teeth with gnashing, furiously tearing themselves with their nails, and everlastingly blaspheming against the judge…Oh wretched tongues that will speak no word save blasphemy! Oh miserable ears that will hear no sound but groan! Oh unhappy eyes that will see nothing but agonies! Oh tortured bodies that will have no refreshment but flames…We are terrified when we hear of executioners—scourging men, disjointing them, dismembering, tearing them in pieces, burning them with plates of red-hot metal. But these things are but a jest, a shadow compared with the torments of the next life"         Rev. Orby Shipley

Many more envision “hell” as a place to their own devising:

One writer tells in his book “23 Minutes In Hell”, tells that he took a trip to “hell” and noted that the “hell hole” is "thirty seven hundred miles deep” (P.107).
"Hell does exist. It is in the center of the earth”. (P.107)
Nowhere in God’s Word, does one find any statement that backs up the idea of “hell” being 3,700 miles deep in the earth’s center! In fact, on the contrary, the consuming “fire will come down from God out of Heaven and devour them” (Rev 20:9). The fire that devours comes from above - not out of the center of the earth. It’s “on the surface of the earth” where the fire will devour, not in the center of it.

In his same testimony, he describes creatures that seem more “science fiction” then fact. Here are some of the descriptions of those “hell” dwellers:

"A Beast (neither human, nor animal) that resembled a reptile, with “bumps and scales all over its grotesque body. It had a huge protruding jaw, gigantic teeth, and large sunken-in eyes”
Another Beast with “razor like claws and sharp protruding fins”. According to this author, he knew that this creature had strength approximately “one thousand times greater than a man”

                        The Judgment Day

The Day of Judgment will bring the offender face to Face with the Righteous Judge. Revelation declares, ‘‘and I saw a Great White Throne, and Him who sat upon it, from whose Face the Earth and the heaven fled away. There was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, both small and great, stand before God’’(Rev 20 : 11,12). One day equality and justice will be issued by the One who Judges ‘‘with righteousness.., and decides with equity’’ (Isa 11:4). Those who were dead are now raised in the last resurrection.

At that time, ‘‘every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess’’ (Phillipians 2:10) that in fact Jesus really was: ‘‘The Way, the Truth, and the Life’’ (John 14:6). Buddist will be in terror as their chantings and bowing down to images of Buddah cannot protect them from the sight of The Holy God as they affix their eyes on Him seeing Him as He really is. Nirvana could not save them without the acknowledgment and confession of faith in the one that shed His Blood to redeem them from their godless religion.

Islamist who denied the crucifixtion and resurrection of the Christ will be in shock when they see the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords face to face. Those who had expected to be in the presence of 72 virgins after fighting the infadels find out that their religious pursuit was psychopathic. They are now only beholding the Face of Him from whom “the heavens and the earth fled away”. The jihadist and their prophet now bow to Him to whom they denied as their Lord and Savior. They find out too late that Jesus really was God’s Son.

With religious pretension stripped from its hiding place, the hypocrites rise up in the wrong resurrection. No longer could the homosexual priest get away from hiding behind the pulpit of God while fondling little boys. Those who had made millions off of the generosity of their congregations to buy airplanes and build empires, now stand before God to give account of their stewardship. One of the frightening questions they will have to ask theirselves : ‘‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to You ?’’(Matthew 25 : 44)

All of those religious folks that claimed to be doctrinally correct are now judged - not by what they knew to be truth, but by the way they met the needs of those who were less fortunate. Theological differences that seperated the churches from unity, Bible study arguments, and the pride of denominational exclucivity to the keys of the Kingdom, will gnash their teeth for the fright of His Righteous Judgment. Many will come in that Day bragging, ‘‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name, cast out demons in Your Name, and done many wonders in Your Name?’’ (Matthew 7: 22) Again, the fakes will hear the terrifying words of condemnation, ‘‘Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness’.’(Matthew 7: 23).

Those false teachers, who crept unaware into churches, will receive stricter condemnation for leading others away from obedience to God’s Holy Law. In the heart of God’s 10 Commandments which were kept in His Temple in heaven, they shine forth from the “Ark of His Testament” (Revelation 11: 19) as everyone stands ‘‘judged by the Law of Liberty’’. (James 2:12). That which was written in stone had never been written in their hearts.Those no law - all grace teachers realize it’s too late to change from doers of iniquity to become law abiding citizens of the Kingdom.

Out of God’s government of love will one ignored Commandment (The 4th) shine in the light of Judgment. Those who taught and ignored the one Commandment which specifically identified Him who‘‘made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them’’, (Exodus 20:8-11) will discover too late that the Seventh Day was still etched in stone as a rememberence of His Authority as Creator. They discover too late no change in the day or any theological debates to argue against it. The false teacher’s mouths are stopped as the truth is clearly seen regarding His “Holy Day”. (Isa 58:13). That which man was commanded to remember, had been ignored or forgotton.

Those who in the Name Of God forced people into slavery, killed the heretics, and blew theirselves up with bombs strapped to eliminate the unbeliever, will see God as He really is. They see that God is Love, a Defender of the poor and fatherless, and the Righteouess Law Giver. The counting of religious beads, the reciting of repetitive religious phrases, and the bowing to graven images in the church will be brought into the light of a Holy God. Too late will it be to change the insane idea that the Almighty was pleased with such religious nonsense.

Church leaders who mislead their assemblies to believe that God could only be found in their church, will discover that God is Bigger than a building. Denominationalism will vanish away in the Sight of The Almighty’s Divine Justice. Those who taught others that salvation could only be found in their church, will find that many other denominational leaders which taught a false gospel are in the same place : the second resurrection. Oh- what a teeth grinding day that will be.

Ordained Homosexual clergy will gnash their teeth in fright before Him who created Adam and Eve - not Adam and Steve. Those churches who voted in these perverse ministers of evil, recognize that they are there with them,‘‘knowing the Righteous Judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only doing the same, but also approve of those that practice them’’(Romans 1:32). Homosexual ministers will be cast out along with the adoration of those led by the lie.

The more vile and attrocious of humanity who led millions to death, wait at the back of the Judgment Line - Hitler, Stalin, Mao Se Tung, Nero, and other hundreds of thousands like them, as they watch those going before them being cast into the Lake of Fire. The Almighty will have a special reward for the merciless. As much as humanity suffered from their lawless deeds, Vengence now comes out in Fury upon those even more deserving of death’s solution. God will impart a payback especially designed for the most sinister. Whatever God decides should be their punishment, the most vile will receive even a greater condemnation when He Judges them - whatever way that He decides to implement it.

Then will be brought to pass the most frightening words ever uttered, “Depart from me - you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’’ It had been decreed that the devil and his loyal angelic followers would experience the Fire of Yahweh. ‘‘These will go away into everlasting punishment,’’ (Matthew 25 :) not everlasting punishing. Whatever the punishment, it will last forever and ever.

Atheist will be in shock – mouths stopped by the most terrifying Image of the Invisible God. Yes, seeing God made them believers way to late. Although they could see ‘‘His Invisible Attributes’’, ‘‘by the things which were made’’, ‘‘they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened; professing to be wise, they became fools’’ (Romans 1: 20-22) Because of their foolish philosophies, “God gave them up to uncleaness, in the lust of their hearts,..Who changed the truth of God for the lie.’’ (Romans1:24).

The schoolteachers that taught God’s Children the lie - that our ancestors came from monkeys, will scream with fear, as they see the Holy God that they denied, as He looks down on their wretched, trembling bodies. Because of their worship of the creature instead of the Creator, they now realize as they look upon the wicked that surrounds them, realizing that they are guilty for teaching evolution, unleashing in the multitudes standing there :

‘‘being filled with all unrighteousness, sexually immoral, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murderers, strife, deceit, evil mindedness, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful’’,.. ‘‘men with men commiting what is shameful’’, all of those who practice such things are deserving of death.” (Romans 1: 26-31) Oh- the weeping and wailing that will screech to the heavens, as they recognize that they have been raised in the wrong resurrection with those who deserve death-nothing more.

‘‘ The nations will rush like the rushing of mighty waters. But God will rebuke them and they will flee far away, and be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind. Then behold, at evening time - trouble; and before the morning, he is no more’’(Isaiah 17 : 13-14). ‘‘His Anger is but for a moment, His Favor is for life’’(Psalm 30 : 5). According to these revelations, God will be mad for a moment - and then He will get over it.

‘‘Hell from beneath is excited about you, to meet you at your coming. It stirs up the dead for you. All the chief ones of the earth; it has raised up from their thrones all the kings of nations. They all shall speak to you saying, ‘‘Have you become weak as we? Have you become like us? Your pomp is brought down to Sheol. The sound of your stringed instruments, the maggot is spread under you, and worms cover you’’ (Isaiah 14: 9-11). Whatever is in ‘‘hell’’ (Scheol), has in its dominion among ‘‘the dead’’.

                        The Second Death

‘‘Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection, on such the second death has no power’’   (Revelation 20:6)

There will be two distinct resurrections. The Bible teaches, ‘‘Blessed and holy is the one who has been raised in the first resurrection, upon which the second death has no power.’’(Rev 20:6).The saved will receive eternal life, the unsaved - a second death. Yes, for the unrighteous, death will be the final answer. This is God’s last chapter when all trace of evil will be burnt up and erradicated forever. No person will be able to escape the‘‘power’’of the second death - only the Jesus empowered.

It makes much more sense to raise the wicked one more time after they die, to get a glimpse on what they are going to miss out on - eternal bliss. That place where someday, ‘‘the lion will lay with the lamb’’, as the blind are blessed to see the pure things. It only stands to reason, that if the reward for a wicked man is ‘‘the second death’’, that he must die, be raised again, and die again. But to those who overcome and stay faithful to God they ‘‘shall not be hurt by the second death.’’(Revelation 2:11)

There is the ‘‘second death’’ group who will be hurt. They are caterorgized as described below:

‘‘But cowards who turn away from me, and unbelievers, and the corrupt, and murderers, and sexually immoral, those who practice witchcraft, and idol worshippers, and all liars’’ will ‘‘have their doom in the lake that burns with fire and sulpher. This is the Second Death.’’ (Revelation 21:8)
Whatever takes place in this lake of fire, brings about a death for those who are cast in it a ‘‘second time’’. This passage does not say, ‘‘this is the second chance’’, nor does it describe the lake of fire as the ‘‘second hell’’.

Never once, does anyone find a scripture to back up where a deathless, miserable, evil soul is granted immortality anywhere. Nowhere in all of the scriptures, will a Bible student find one verse declaring that a murderer has an immortal soul. But, the disciple John said on the contrary that, ‘‘no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.’’ (1 John 3:15).
Life in eternity is not possible for the soul of the serial killer, child killer, or cold blooded murderer; no hell hole here. Sorry about that - lil devil.

Along with the murderers who do not possess eternal life, there is a list in the book of Revelation, naming other types of sinners who wind up in the same place, with the same destiny. These groups are found in the subsequent verse: ‘‘the fearful, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death’’ (Revelation 21:8).

Let’s take a look at the breakdown:

1) No cowards
2) No unbelievers
3) No corrupt
4) No immoral
5) No witchcrafters
6) No idoloters
7) No liars
8) No murderers.......... . have eternal life

No! Those sinners all wind up where, ‘‘their doom is in the Lake that burns with Fire and Sulfer’’. The Beloved John described this doom as: ‘‘The Second Death.’’ According to this prophet, those evil people will die twice - (2) times. There doesn’t seem to be any ‘‘living dead’’ in this Firey Lake. It is apparent that‘ ‘Hell’’ won’t be able to keep any soul alive very long.

The cowards who spit vicious curses at God when the test of faith came, those who denyed Him in fear of losing their lives, the ones who were not brave enough to stay with the millions who shed their blood to remain faithful witnesses, those who ran and hid never to return back to the Almighty, now find themselves raised up in real fear as they hit the fiery lake. The coward dies after his Judgment is determined a second time. He died a coward, raised still a coward, and dies one more time a coward.

The unbelievers who laughed at the idea of an Intelligent God who created the World, who died scoffing are raised from the dead still scoffing. The ones believing that man evolved from a monkey, those who declared theirselves to be agnostics not smart enough to figure it out, and the fools who say ‘‘there is no God’’, are gathered together to be burned to death the second time around. It will surely be ‘‘hell’’ for them as they behold the one they denied. The unbeliever went down to the grave once an unbeliever, up from the grave believing a little too late.

The unbelievers will realize that they came up in the wrong resurrection. The atheist will be so mad that they bought into the lie, that they will gnash their teeth in anger. These are all Scriptural truths. However, the wicked will not live on forever. The lie implies eternal life for the murderer. This presumption leads many away from God. Call it what it is - an everlasting hell is a demonic doctrine

Those who corrupted theirselves because of money, those who stold millions from the vunerable and trusting , those who died ripping the multitudes off with scams, identity thiefs, crooked politicians, and all who sold out their integrity to gain wealth by fraud, are raised up for their eternal sentencing. Now their money can’t save them from the snare of the second death. Instead of counting thier money, now they count their deaths – times two.

The murderers which took the lives of the innocent and bystanders in the way, those who killed the unborn, those who in war executed hundreds of thousands without a cause, the serial killers, and the ones responsible for the genocide of millions, pop out of the ground to be hurt and rewarded with the most agonizing death. No eternal life for the murderer - just a death twice over in a fire that consumes to nothing. Those who killed the body of men are now killed by the One who Destroys both body and soul - delivered as promised: a terrible death two times.

The sexually immoral, the perverts, the gays, swingers, those who particpated in making pornography, the enslaved millions addicted to its alluring slavery, the rapist, and all fornicators wake up to the sight of a Pure Holy God . The God of Justice brings down the Judgement - the fire of eternal death. They died a pervert, raised a pervert, destroyed in another death - no more pervert. As God cast the pleasure seekers into the fire, He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.

The witches, those practicing white magic, black magic, tarot card readers, mediums, fortunetellers, palm readers, new age channelers, astrologers, satan worshippers, ghost chasers, spell casters, voodoo practitioners, and all others who trusted in esoteric rituals, will find their ‘‘reincarnation’’ was actually a resurrection- the second one. They will not deliver themselves from the power of the flame. No escaping the second death for them.

The idolater, those which spent their whole lives worshipping things, will find themselves raised up in a resurrection to see God as He really is. The big fat man images, the images of Mary - the mother of God, the images of venerated saints, images of Krishna, the Holy Cows, Statues of the Greek Gods, Sun worshippers, and all who made God out to be likened to anything made, now bow down to the Invisible God made visible, as He cast them into the fiery lake which brings them to another death. Do the math: one plus one equals two. That is how many times the Bible declares that the idolater will die.

Oh - one more on the list. The liar, the ones who mislead the multitudes to believe lies, the one who twisted the truth, stretched it just a little; the one who taught half truths, three quarter truths, fifteen sixteenth truths, the false teachers of evolution, those teaching false doctrines leading many from the faith of God, those who made lying a habit, who in the name of right lied while wrongdoing are cast into a fire which recognize the truth to late. ‘‘Death and hell will be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death’’ (Revelation 20:14). Until the resurrection, death speaks loud and the dead remain silent.

                                    The Testimony of the Prophets
                              (Wicked’s End)

‘‘Silver and gold will be of no use to you on the day of the Lord’s anger. For the whole land will be devoured by the fire of His jealousy. He will make a terrifying end of all the people of the earth”. (Zephaniah 1: 18).
The word ‘‘devoured’’ is defined as: consumed, eaten up, to destroy or waste. W hen the Day of God’s Anger arrives; the fire will conclude the lives of everyone on the Earth. The whole land will be left in desolation. No hint of a fiery, screaming underworld in this proclamation, just a ‘‘terrifying end’’.

‘‘My determination is to gather the nations, to My assembly of kingdoms, to pour on them My fierce anger, all the Earth shall be devoured with the fire of My Jealousy’’. (Zep 3: 8)
This Prophet declared that the fire will take place on the Earth, in which everything is devoured. There is no intimation of a pit, in the center of the Earth, where souls are being tortured.   Zephaniah

‘‘For the wicked will be destroyed...in a little while, the wicked will disappear, though you look for them, they will be gone... But the wicked shall perish... into smoke they will vanish away”. (Psalm 37: 10, 20).
 Israel’s King received some insight from God, concerning the finish of wicked people. Again, the vocabulary connected to evildoers found in these passages, are indicative that the wicked will be no more- destroyed, perished, vanished away. Evil will experience its end.

‘‘I have seen the wicked in great power... yet he passed away and behold- he is no more. Indeed, I sought him, but he could not be found’’. ‘‘The transgressors shall be destroyed together; the future of the wicked cut off.” (Psalm 37: 36, 38)
If there is no future for evil to stay, then surely evil will not squirm throughout eternity.
According to the prophet, ‘‘When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it’’ (Psalm 37:34). We are told that in that Day, God will utter His Voice and the earth will melt. (Psalm 46:6)

‘‘Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the mountains quaked and were shaken, because He was Wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of His Mouth devoured: Coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and thick darkness was under his feet” (Psalm 18:7-8)
How can anyone imagine living through the devouring fire of God’s Mouth?

‘‘Thy hand will find out all thine enemies; Thy right hand will find out those that hate thee. Thou wilt make them as a fiery furnace in the time of thine anger: Jehovah will swallow them up in His Wrath, and the fire shall devour them”.(Psalm 21:8-9)
This is a vivid picture of God’s Anger swallowing up and devouring those that hate Him. There’s not much left when a person swallows up and devours a good T-bone steak! Nothing left of the wicked after God ingests them either.

‘‘For the transgressors shall be destroyed together, the future of the wicked will be cut off’’. (Psalm 37:28)
According to this verse, the wicked will not live eternally; there future will come to a final closure. When a head is “cut off” from a body, there is no more life, no more future for it. There is no future in eternity for anything that is “cut off” from its life source. For the cut-off, there will be no future-period.

“Our God comes, and will not keep silence: A fire devoured before him, and it is very tempestuous round about him. He called to the heavens above, And to the earth, that He may judge His people: Gather My saints together unto Me, Those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare His Righteousness; for God is Judge Himself” (Psalms 50:3-6) When God comes to gather His People, a very wrath filled fire will devour anything else that stands before Him. For the great day of His wrath is coming; “who shall be able to stand” (Revelation 6:17)?

‘‘You cast them down to destruction, Oh, how they are brought to desolation as in a moment’’ (Psalm 73: 17).
A careful examination of this passage will help us to understand that it doesn’t take an eternity to bring the wicked to desolation. In fact, desolation will take place in just ‘‘a moment’’. Destruction and desolation will be the lot of those cast down. The word ‘‘desolate’’ is defined as: vacant, uninhabited, and unoccupied. Is “hell” really as full as some say it is?

“The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God”. “Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone, and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup.”(Psalm 9:17; 11:6)
What a picture of horror! Fire and brimstone will be coming out of the sky, falling down on down on top of the heads of evil’s creations. Rain comes from above, not from beneath. When Judgment comes, no umbrella will be able to hold under the Fire Rain of God. At that time, the wicked will wish that they were underground!

‘‘God shall likewise destroy you forever. He Shall Take you away, and Pluck you up out of your dwelling place, and uproot you from the land of the living.’’(Psalm 52:5)
Have you ever seen anything that was ‘‘plucked up’’ from the ground live very long? Most gardeners would agree that life ends when something is uprooted. How can anyone ignore the sentencing of the bad plants: destroyed forever?

David - Prophet & King

As one searches through the Word of God, it becomes apparent that wickedness does have a final answer. Read this passage from yet another Bible Prophet:

‘‘The destruction of transgressors and sinners shall be together, and those who forsake the Lord will be consumed’’... So the Light of Israel will be for a fire.. It will burn and devour... both body and soul.’’         (Isaiah 1: 28; 10:17,18).
This prophet very clearly articulated that ‘‘both body and soul” together will be burned and devoured. There is no hint whatsoever of an eternal hell where the wicked can fornicate forever.

Consider the end of the wicked in this light: ‘‘Behold, the Day of The Lord comes cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it’’.( Isaiah 13: 9)
Again, there is no evidence that the wicked will live on forever. Death, destruction, and desolation will be the results of rebellion against the Creator. The Fire will burn everything into absolute ashes and desolation.

‘‘Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?’’(Isaiah 33:14) “For it is the Day of The Lord’s Vengeance.. its streams shall be turned into pitch, and its dust into brimstone, its land shall become burning pitch, it shall not be put out night or day, its smoke shall ascend forever’’ .(Isa 34: 9,10). The world’s greatest Fire Department will not be able to quench this fire sent from God. The only remaining evidence of the destruction is that smoke will be flying up in the atmosphere continually, as a reminder that evil has its consequences.

It is worthy to note that, in speaking of this same passage, Jonathon Edwards in his sermon ‘‘Sinners in the Hand of An Angry God”, recognized that according to Isaiah 33:12-14:

"The people will be burned up completely, like thorns cut down and tossed in a fire. Listen to what I have done, you nations far away! And you that are near acknowledge my might! The sinners in Jerusalem shake with fear. "Which one of us," they cry, "can live here in the presence of this all-consuming fire?" Isaiah 33:12-14.
Even this famous “hell fire and brimstone preacher admits that the wicked will be “burned up”! He’s right, how can anyone live through fire that consumes?

This same Prophet foretold of a time when even the coals of fire will turn cold! He declares, ‘‘let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and monthly prognosticators stand up and save you. Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them. They shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame. There shall not be a coal to be warmed by, or a fire to sit before.” (Isaiah. 47: 13-14) Evidently, after the hot fire burns the wicked to stubble, the fire goes out – and there will not be one warm coal left to sit in front of!

Another prophecy uses a stark metaphor concerning the end of a wicked man. It is written, “And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against me, for their worm does not die, and their fire is not put out”(Isaiah 66:24). Imagine a worm feeding on a dead body, kept alive by a never-ending feast, and an unlimited supply of dead corpses. Annihilating fire burning up the mountains of dead bodies while worms do the clean up!

Consider this word that describes the end of a wicked man: “For by fire and by His Sword, the Lord will judge all flesh, and the slain of the Lord will be many” (Isaiah 66:15). As far as history has been recorded, a person who is slain by definition is someone basically lifeless. God’s execution is likened to a killing many times in Scripture. What would be the sense in killing something over and over?

The prophet Isaiah concludes his prophecy that the bad men “shall be consumed together” (Isaiah 66:23-24). Where can someone read about a ‘‘never-ending hell” into any of these passages? How obnoxious would it be to hear dead corpses screaming “I’m being tortured, I’m being tortured” throughout the endless ages? No tormented souls here. Where is the sense in this? Obviously - Eisigesis, not exegesis!

How about this revealing prophecy? “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment, and those who dwell in it will die in like manner”(Isaiah 51:6) Underneath the heavens, is the earth dwellers who will die and disappear in the same way as the heavens vanished. No roasting and toasting going on forever here.

The Prophet Isaiah

The list of prophetic witnesses to the final eradication of sinners continues:

“I beheld the earth, and lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld and there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the Presence of the Lord by His Fierce Anger. The whole land will be desolate, for this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black” (Jeremiah 4:23-28). This is a vivid description of an outer darkness and total desolation that awaits the earth, where no man lives. It can be noted that this place is on the earth, not in the center of it.

In the valley of Hinnom (Gehenna), this will be called “the valley of slaughter”, to burn their sons and daughters in the fire... and the carcasses of this people shall be meat for the fouls of heaven, and for the beast of the earth.’’(Jeremiah 8: 32) Time after time, there can be found metaphors of death -no indicators of endless torture in any of these verses of doom. “Hell” will be a valley of massacre where the wicked are killed and eaten up.

“They shall fall among those who fall; in the time of their punishment, they shall be cast down, I will surely consume them” (Jeremiah 8:12-13). God’s Punishment will be so severe the fallen that are cast down will be consumed. The very nature of the word “consume” is defined as: “to bring to an end by, or as if by the action of a destroying force”... devour, use up, destroy, ruin, annihilate.” (Mirriam Webster Thesaurus) Again, this imagery symbolizes how final and complete will be the destruction of the wicked will be.

This same major prophet foresaw the Almighty’s Wrath and predicted, “At His Wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to endure His Indignation, Thus you shall say to them, “The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”(Jeremiah 10: 10) Apparently, “the god of this world”(2 Corinthians 4:4) shall disappear from the earth and from under the heavens. All that are in allegiance with him will, “In the time of their punishment, they shall perish”. (Jeremiah 10:15)

“Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goes forth with fury, a continual whirlwind; it will fall violently on the head of the wicked. The fierce anger of the Lord will not return until He has done it, and until He has performed the intents of His Heart. In the latter days you will consider it”. (Jeremiah 30:23-24) Consider how the wicked receives God’s Anger, and how He will continue in His Fury until His Mission is accomplished. There are no signs to assume that His Wrath goes on without end in “hell”.

Here’s that whirlwind again in another prophecy: “The Lord will roar from on high, and utter His Voice from on high.. He will give a shout, as those who tread the grapes against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise will come to the ends of the earth, for the Lord has a controversy with the nations. He will plead His case with all flesh, and give those who are wicked to the sword”. At that day “a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the farthest parts of earth. And at that day, the slain of the Lord will be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried, they shall be refuse on the ground” (Jeremiah 25: 30-33).

According to the prophet, the slain of the Lord will be from one end of earth to the other. When someone is slain, they are lifeless. It is clear by this prophetic picture that, the many that are slain will be just lying around on top of the earth. They do not seem to be hollering and yelling, no pitchforks, any two horned red tailed devil taunting or tormenting anyone in this photograph of the end. When the Lord uses His Sword to kill evil, it will bring a finished work on those cut by it.

Jeremiah the Prophet

Another witness of the Old Testament used vivid imagery likening the evildoer’s fate to, ‘‘ a morning mist, early dew that passes away, chaff, and like smoke from a chimney’’. (Hosea 13:3) There doesn’t seem to be a hint of fire engulfing the “living dead” unbeliever. On the contrary, all of the metaphors: mists, dew, chaff, are elements that eventually vanish into smoke. Again and again, the Scriptures are in complete harmony concerning evil’s end.

The Prophet Hosea

The First Resurrection

The Bible prophesies of a Day called the ‘‘first resurrection’’. (Rev 20:6)
All of the faithful believers, who followed the narrow path of Christ, now get rewarded as God Promised. Those who died in the hope of a future resurrection, hear the voice of Jesus calling them from their graves, and pop out of the ground in victory over death. Jesus who has the keys to unlock‘‘hell and death’’ (Rev 1:18) ‘‘descends from heaven with a Shout, with the Voice of the Archangel, and with the Trumpet of God.’’(1 Thessalonians 4:16) The very first action in the Gathering will be that, ‘‘the dead in Christ will rise first’’.

Jesus will Shout to His Children,‘‘Awake and sing, you that dwell in the dust.’’(Isaiah 26:19) The dust dwellers will hear The Archangel’s Proclaimation, ‘‘when he shall begin to sound, the Mystery of God should be finished.’’ (Rev 10:7) His voice is heralded in great triumph. The blowing of God’s Trumpet will announce, ‘‘Your Wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should give rewards unto your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Your Name, both small and great; and should destroy them which destroys the earth’’ (Rev 11 :18).

For those who had endured great opposition in standing up for Jesus, He comes back to give His Reward. One of His Promises included: ‘‘to him that overcomes, I will give to eat from the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.’’(Revelation 2:7). The Tree that was lost in the beginning was restored to bring life and healing to the nations. In is worth noting that Paradise is not some intermediate waiting spot for the believer, but their final home.

‘‘To him that overcomes, I will give the Crown of Life’’ and ‘‘shall not be hurt by the Second Death’’ (Revelation 2:10-11). No more death to the brave believers, even for those who gave up their lives testifying of the Savior. Eternal Blessings will fall upon those who have endured to the end. At that time, ‘‘death is swallowed up in victory’’; no more, no more, no more death.

The victorious faithful arise to get rewarded beyond the most unimaginable way. Jesus comes with a reward of life that will be honored even beyond the unfallen loyal. ‘‘To him that overcomes’’, to him who remained faithful, now has the honor to sit with Jesus on His Throne, as He overcame and sat down with His Father on His Throne.(Revelation 3 :21). Imagine the saints sitting on thrones with Jesus. That will be an exclusive privelidge only imparted to to overcomer!

Many sing a new song that no man knew, except for those who went through the‘‘time of trouble such as never was’’. A special place was awarded for them. They are a special group of those‘‘who come out of the great tribulation.’’(Revelation 7: 14) This special people had made their robes white by washing them in the Blood of the Lamb. The revelator reveals their great reward:
"Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. "They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, or any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'' (Revelation 7:15-17)

A place prepared with many rooms especially designed for His Rewarded. Those confined to wheelchairs and walkers, ‘‘jump and leap for joy’’ with the body of immortality! As they jump, leap and shout, nore more do they remember those times of tradgedy and trial.

The Promise overwhelms those to forgetfullness in light of a place where, ‘‘ eye has not seen, or has ear heard,’’ the Incredible Beauty of His New Creation. To miss out on this would surely make all who lose the reward of living forever, cry like very hungry babys even to fit throwing! All the former troubles are ‘‘forgotten’’ and the ‘‘past is hidden.’’(Isa 65:17)

Those chosen to be raised from the dead in the first resurrection, will inhabit a new earth made new, and the past will be erased from their minds, as they experience the most abundant life where everyone has a happy face. Could you imagine the big grins on everyone’s face bacause they no longer have to fear any sickness, no pain, no sorrow, or crying?(Revelation 21 :4).

‘‘ They shall neither hunger nor thirst, neither heat, nor sun shall strike them; for He Who Has Mercy on them will Lead them, even by springs of waterHe Will Guide them’’. ‘‘ Sing O heavens! Be joyful O earth! Break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord Will have Mercy on His Afflicted’’.(Isaiah 49 :10,13) Those days when the sun scorched with fervent heat are over with, the days of starvation replaced with plenty of organic food to munch on.

‘‘The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat;The calf and the young lion and the fatlings together; and a little child shall lead them.The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones lie together; and the lion shall eat straw like an ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all My Holy Mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord’’ (Isaiah 11:6-9). What a picture of a most exhilarating New Creation: ‘‘Behold, I Will Make All Things New’’ (Revelation 21 : )

‘‘In that Day the deaf shall hear the Words of the Book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness. The humble also increase their joy in the Lord. The poor among men shall rejoice, in the Holy One Of Israel. For the terrible one is brought down to nothing, the scornful one is consumed, and all who watch for iniquity are cut off’’(Isaiah 29 :18-20).

‘‘Then the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing.’’ ‘‘And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion singing with everlasting joy on their heads.They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing will flee away’’(Isaiah 35 :5-6,10)

‘‘The work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. And My People shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places’’(Isaiah 32 :17-18).

‘‘Behold a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes in judgment. And man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly’’(Isaiah 32 :1-4)

Jerusalem, who has suffered as the place of war and tranfers of ownership by its surrounding enemies for thousands of years, finally transformed into its Original Design, ‘‘The City of Peace’’. Looking forward to that Day, Isaiah described this place : ‘‘Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I Create’’... ‘‘joy in My People, the voice of weeping will no longer’’(Isaiah 65 :19)

‘‘ Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet home, a Tabernacle that will not be taken down; not one of its stakes will ever be removed, nor any of its cords be broken. There the Majestic Lord will be for us’’(Isaiah 33 :20 -21)

‘‘It shall come to pass in the Day the Lord gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear, and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve.’’(Isaiah 14:3). ‘‘Then his yoke shall be removed from them, and his burden removed from their shoulders’’(Isaiah 14 :25). ‘‘ No more sorrow, no more pain, no more crying, and no more death’’(Revelation 21 :3) Death has been ‘‘swallowed up in victory’’(1 Cor 15 : ). There will not be a trace of death’s evidence after God Swallows it.

‘‘The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quiteness and assurance forever. My People will dwell in peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quite resting places’’(Isaiah 32 :17-18). Imagine a land without a homicide detective; a place where one will feel secure in leaving all of their stuff out in the open, no sirens blowing in your ear, no more ‘‘eternal torment’’ hoopla.

‘‘Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting, nor destruction within your borders, but you shall call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor the brightness shall the moon give light to you. But the Lord will be to you An Everlasting Light, and your God your Glory. Your sun shall no longer go down, nor the moon withdraw itself, for the Lord will be your Everlasting Light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. Also your people shall all be righteous. They shall inherit the land forever. The Branch of My Planting, the Work of My Hands, that I May Be Glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation. I, The Lord, Will hasten it in its time’’.(Isaiah 60 :18-22)

‘‘They shall build houses and inhabit them. They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit. They shall not plant and another eat. For as the days of a tree, so shall the days of My People. My Elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble, they will be the descendents of the Blessed of The Lord, and their osspring with them’’(Isaiah 65 :23). God will bring back mankind to the Garden, a place of enjoyment for our work and raising ‘‘offspring’’. Back to the Original Design and Purpose for His Beloved. According to His Promise , the ones that looked for, ‘‘ new heavens and a new earth’’ experience the unspeakable joy ‘‘ where righteousness dwells’’(2 Peter 3 :13).

Just think, all of the troublemakers are gone, no more obnoxious drunkard to shout obsenities, no more bully. In that Day the righteous are vindicated, ‘‘Behold all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced, they shall be as nothing, and those who strive with you shall perish. You shall seek them and not find them. Those who contended with you, those who war against you shall be as nothing, as a nonexistent thing’’ (Isaiah 41: 11-12). Oh what torment it will be to realize too late that eternal life had been forfeited and now - GoodBye.

Rational Arguments against eternal torture

The doctrine of eternal torment is a demonic slandering that promotes widespread unbelief. The center of this teaching propagates that God will choose to perpetuate evil. If death weren't enough, now the loving Creator turns up the fire below that burns, scalds, and torches those who did’nt know Him, torturing them with horror tactics that would make Charles Manson look like a saint. Trillions and trillions of years without end, filled with the most unimaginable horror perpetrated in the name of justice. Many skeptics are created by this horrendous portrayal of a sane Deity gone insane.
One such scoffer/cynic shares his slant on hell and rationalism:
"I mean, guys, compare that ‘God’ with the worst monsters you can think of - Adolph Hitler, Joe Stalin, that sort of guy. None of them ever inflicted more than finite pain on their victims. The idea that the Mind of Creation (if such exists) wants to torture some of its critters for endless infinities of infinities seem too absurd to take seriously. Such a deranged Mind could not create a mud hut, much less the exquisitely mathematical universe around us. If such a monster-God did exist, the sane attitude would consist of practicing the Buddhist virtue of compassion. Don't give way to hatred: try to understand and forgive him. Maybe He will recover his wits some day”. Robert Anton Wilson
This type of satanic teaching characterizes the One who was tortured on the cross as a hideous vigilante, determined to execute vicious revenge forever and forever. Reflect on the folly of a young 16 year old who on prom night died in a car wreck while drinking and who now must experience an eternity of suffering. As if the tragedy of dying a sudden death weren't enough to bare, then the youth is cast down into the pit of pain for the demons to terrorize day and night forever and ever. Something about this concept that just doesn't add up to the whole of justice.
One writer explains hisc concept of "hell" this way:
"There will the condemned in cruel rage and despair turn their fury against God and themselves, gnawing their flesh with their mouth, breaking their teeth with gnashing, furiously tearing themselves with their nails, and everlastingly blaspheming against the judge... Oh wretched tongues that will speak no word save blasphemy! Oh miserable ears that will hear no sound but groans! Oh unhappy eyes that will see nothing but agonies! Oh tortured bodies that will have no refreshment but flames... We are terrified when we hear of executioners-scourging men, disjointing them, dismembering, tearing them in pieces, burning them with plates of red-hot metal. But these things are but a jest, a shadow compared with the torments of the next life."
Rev. Orby Shipley
It would be well to consider the primary rationale against the popular and widely accepted fable of eternal torment. This type of belief portrays a sane God as irrational, hateful, and vindictive. There is something perverted about the concept of a loving God who will administer unjust balances as He carries out the execution to offenders. The main concern and complaint with this portrayal of "Hell"s eternal torture is that it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
Cruel and unusual punishment is a phrase describing unfair treatment considered unacceptable due to the "suffering or humiliation it inflicts on the condemned person". These righteous ideas were first used in the English Bill of Rights in 1689. It is defined this way: " No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."(Article V "Universal Declaration Of Human Rights - U.N. General Assembly, December 10, 1948). Around the globe, standards were set against "inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."(Article III of the European Convention On Human Rights. 1950). Even Jesus spoke against cruelty as He taught: "Love your enemies, and “Blessed are the merciful."
Finite mankind agrees and recognizes that there are limits whereby man must not exceed the very nature of how justice is administered. Certain parameters have been set in our courts, law enforcement, and judicial systems, to provide fairness and impariality. Justice is measured out and appropriated in fair treatment for all underneath its authority. There are some lines that must not be crossed over in implementing a just punishment. Castration would convert many sex offenders, but that crosses over to cruel and excessive enforcement. It seems that if finite man can understand this and set right guidelines, The Infinite would model those terms in a much higher level of integrity. Common sense would assume this!
Concerning our constitution's eighth amendment, the United States defined specific guidepost to determine punishment as''cruel and unusual". In 1972, Justice Brennen wrote, "There are, then, four principles by which we may determine whether a particular punishment is “cruel and unusual”:
1). The essential predicate is, "that a punishment must not by its severity be degrading to human dignity, especially TORTURE".
Death is one thing, but torture goes over the line of degradation and over that which is a necessary payment for the crime committed. Getting tortured for ten seconds would be enough to change most people's attitudes, but how about ten trillion years of hideous pain? And just think, this is only the beginning of suffering with no end! What purpose would it serve for the executioner to continue killing once the condemned has died? One pull of the switch is sufficient. Ten seconds in a fire would be enough to kill most any living thing. Surely five minutes in a fiery inferno would melt all the body into skeletal form. Once past the skeletal form, what's the sense? Why punish someone in a fire for more than a day or two? That's nonsense, not God sense.
One atheist shares his view on the vulgar concept of God creating a "hell":
"Hell is an outrage on humanity. When you tell me that your deity made you in his image, I reply that he must have been very ugly Victor Hugo
As evil as Hitler was, there came a time when once the body had died, he had a ditch to throw the carcass in. Even he recognized that after the enemy was killed, there was was no sense in torturing a dead person any longer. To envision our Jesus rendering torture on those who have missed out on eternal life and who keeps those wretched souls alive in a scolding hot fire forever seems exceptionally irrational.
2). "A severe punishment that is obviously inflicted in wholly arbitrary fashion."
There are obvious parameters that surround right from wrong. Punishing someone without first being accused and found to be guilty, is an example of doing something in an"arbitrary fashion". Arbitrary is defined as, "characterized by or given to willful and often unwise or irrational choices". It is just flat-busted wrong for a court to put to death a person for jaywalking. To pronounce torture as punishment to one who crosses the road in an illegal way would be considered both "cruel and excessive" in anyone's forsight.
According to the Bible, "the wages of sin is death".(Romans 6:23) "Hell" goes beyond the execution of the death sentence to preserve the dead carcass alive, and then continue to execute it over and over without end? Name it what it is: irrational. Intelligence will silence evil and erradicate the source of wicked intent. The Bible declares that the wicked will have their just end: " into smoke they shall vanish away."(Psalm 37:20)
3). "A severe punishment that is clearly and totally rejected throughout society."
There are some who will literally cut a head off to enforce Sharia Law. Others have found the gullotine to be quite expedient in the past. Some in different cultures will cut off the hand of a thief if they are caught stealing. Although these may be great crime deterents, a great majority of the world does not believe it is humane. The reason that most civilized societies shuns beheading, is because of the henious nature in the execution. Someone might be able to justify torture for child killers, but our law forbids such henious acts of vengeance.
Out of the horrors of the outrage of Holocaust and the war crimes disclosed by the Nuremberg trials, conferences were held in 1949 reaffirming the Geneva Convention's standards of humane treatment ratified by most all of the civilized world. Grave breaches in the Treaty included: "willful killing, torture or inhumane treatment, including biological experiments, and willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health". Although there will be a certain judgment, certain righteous principles will be mandated. Creator has a far more excellent strategy of execution - way above our understanding of right and wrong in administering right punishment.
One writer explains this rationale of reasoning concerning God’s justice this way:
"When all has been considered, it seems to me to be the irrisistable intuition that infinite punishment for finite sin would be unjust, and therefore wrong. We feel that even weak and erring Man would shrink from such an act. And we cannot conceive of God as acting on a lower standard of right and wrong."
Even civilized society abhors and detests abuse towards children in any manner. The punishment against child abuse can be severe, however it is implemented in a manner whereby mercy prevails. If our moral code of justice seems right, wouldn't God who wrote the real law with His own finger in stone, abide in even a much more superior requirement and implementation of justice?" Would it be a rational thing to bring torture forever on an unbelieving person who battled with cancer most of their life? What would be the sense in this determination of retribution?
4). "severe punishment that is patently unnecessary"
Most everyone would agree that prolonging the suffering of a death row inmate after execution would be senseless. There is not a court in the entire world that would agree to this heinous type of retribution to the offender. In fact, the gas chamber and the electric chair are old relics that have been eliminated because they are regarded as instruments of "cruel and unusual" punishment. Some may disagree with how a person should die, but the courts have determined both “the chair” and “the gas chamber” as cruel instruments of death.
Even in the majority of states, there is concern that even lethal injection is inhuman. There are even many debates at the moment on whether a murderer should receive a death sentence or live life in prison. Regardless, law is based on "justice for all". Life for life seems most equitable. Anything beyond that would be considered in our land as cruel and excessive. Euthanasia and abortion even cross the limits of tolerance in our standard of justice, imposing on man a very difficult moral delimna to resolve.
Even in the courts today, when a death sentence is determined by the jury, the executioner must do it in the most dignified way. In most cases, a civilized society expects dignity in death. Laws have been set in place to safeguard it. Our civilization would expect no less from the Righteous Judge when the execution is determined
Justice demands equitablness, fair play, objectivity, rectitude, and rightfulness. Reason resonates with the idea of a right way and a wrong way of exacting punishment to the guilty. If mankind can legislate certain moral guidelines not to cross over, surely the King Of Kings - Lord Of Lords who legislated the moral code, will do the right thing when payback comes. It is certain that when the death sentence will be carried out, it is by The Lord who is: ''longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty." Our Loving Creator will administer justice with supreme equity. Yes, there will be a payday for Hitler, but it will be administered in love's righteousness. God's attributes command right and fair execution.
Changing temporal sinners into immortal sinners for punishment is preposterous! There are no reasons for God to immortalize evil. Jesus came to take away sin, not to forever prolong it. The prophet Zephaniah fortold of a time in which the Lord will, "take away judgment, casting out the enemy, and evil would be seen no more." (Zephaniah 3:15). At some point in time, God declares, "I am merciful and will not keep my anger forever."(Jeremaiah 3:5,12). What purpose would it serve for the God of peace to kindle His Wrath throughout the endless ages? Would this not constitute cruel and unusual punishment even in the finite mind?
To many, “hell” characterizes God to be an angry psychopathic which will never forgive. To be unforgiving, means to never let someone that offends you off the hook. A forgiving person does not keep hating and hold onto anger, but lets the offense against them to be remembered no more. It just makes a lot of sense to follow the idea of forgiveness to its fullest. At the heart of love and healing is forgiveness - received or applied. I oppose the modern concept of "hell" in God's justice because there is no room to emulate forgiveness in "hell's" picture. In the heart of Jesus, as he was hanging there dying our death for us, he asked forgiveness for those who were torturing him. Would forgiveness turn around and torture the ones forever who "knew not what they were doing"? (Luke 23:34)
Isn't life tough enough? Consider the natural disasters, war, poverty, cancer, pain, and tragedies that life dishes out. How can one, after coming to the time when their teeth fall out and the heart stops, deserve anymore than death, let alone suffer eternal torture? Where does one find equity and evenhandedness in perpetuating misery without end? The sane mind rationalizes with the concept of "hell" with contempt. Even preachers are finding out that preaching more about the cross and what that really means to humanity, is much more effective in reaching the hardened heart for Jesus, than trying to scare the “hell” into someone to believe!
By the testimony of scripture,we may conclude that "God is Love"; therefore, love will demonstrate its righteous actions in all of its ways. There will be no "cruel and unusual punishment" in the end. The book of Revelation fortells of a day when everyone who has the honor of standing in the eternal home, will recognize that every decision that Almighty God had determined concerning His execution of justice was made in perfection. The apostle John verifies this in the saint's final declaration to the Redeemer of mankind:
"Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the saints!
Another reason why I reject the teaching of eternal torment is that ultimately forgiveness will come out on top.

To many, hell characterizes God to be Psychopath and never forgiving. To be unforgiving means to never let someone that offends you off the hook. A forgiving person does not keep hating and hold onto anger, but lets the offense against them to be remembered no more. It just makes a lot of sense to follow the idea of forgiveness to its fullest. At the heart of love and healing is forgiveness - received or applied. I oppose the modern concept of hell in God’s Justice because there is no room to emulate forgiveness in this picture. In the heart of Jesus, as he was hanging there dying our death for us, he asked for forgiveness for those who were torturing him. Would forgiveness turn around and torture the ones forever who “knew not what they were doing”? (Luke 23:34)

A teaching which portrays God shoveling evil people under the earth to burn them forever for trillions and trillions of years produces more skeptics than converts. Justice could not be served with equity if God is frying an unconverted teenager in the fire through the endless ages at this moment. The punishment does not fit the crime. The Almighty is love. There is no love in such an unjust response to rejection.

The evil one has developed the doctrine of hell to keep multitudes from seeing the One True God clearly. God is Love; it is not just something that He has - but He is. Time and time again, the Loving Creator pleaded with his people, ‘‘do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, ‘‘and not that he should turn from his ways and live?”(Ezekiel 18:23) ‘‘As I live, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die?” (Ezekiel 33:11).

Portraying God as an angry tyrant who is just waiting to torture wicked people forever and ever is not who He is. Our Creator is “longsuffering towards us, not willing that any should perish”, but that all would be led to turning their hearts towards Him (2 Peter 3:9). When describing Himself before Moses, God declared, “the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin”. (Exodus 34: 6-7).

Scholars Interpret Hell

‘‘Hell is not a torture chamber.’’
‘‘Hell is not something that can burn’’
J.P. Moreland, P.H.D.

When asked to defend the Christian view of hell, the well known author, professor, and biblical scholar J.P. Morgan is cited as saying: ‘‘Hell is not a torture chamber.’’ The word torture and torment are synonymus and are mutually inclusive. They virtually have the same meaning. The Scripture does describe a torment in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Very evidently, there will be an agony beyond belief where everyone is crying and grinding their teeth. Although the terror overtakes the senses, they will be cast into outer darkness.
“Annihilation is too lenient to be just, for the wicked can hardly be aware they're being punished or come to feel any guilt if they cease to exist. One might even say that it would be worth it to enjoy the immediate benefits of sin now and simply give up life after death, especially since many people already believe annihilation awaits them when they die.”

The noted theologian and author J.P. Moreland probably had this in mind when he wrote:
‘‘I just want to be biblically accurate. We know that the reference to flames is figurative because if you try to take it literally, it makes no sense.’’
Even though I strongly disagree with Mr. Moreland about the Fire of God being figurative, I do agree with him that:

‘‘The flames are a figure of speech’’

‘‘The word hell is meant to refer to the temporary state of those between their death and the final resurrection.’’

‘‘The flame language of the lake of fire is clearly meant to be a figure of speech for judgment, not literal burning’’

‘‘hell is probably not a location’’
‘‘it does make since to talk about hell being a place - but it wont be a torture chamber or anything like that’’

In one place Mr. Morgan says, ‘‘hell is probably not a location’’; and then, ‘‘it does make since to talk about hell being a place - but it wont be a torture chamber or anything like that’’. So, is hell a literal place or not? It seems as if this theologian is a little confused about the specifics. In another statement, J.P. seems to speak of hell as a place,‘‘ There will be degrees of seperation, isolation, and emptiness in hell’. Many Bible teachers have contradictory views within their own thinking. If there is‘‘emptiness in hell’’, then‘‘hell’’ must be a defining place.

‘‘it does make since to talk about hell being a place - but it wont be a torture chamber or anything like that’’

There are many main stream scholars, which would violently oppose the idea that hell has no torment. One writer put it this way:
“There are in fact so many strong biblical, doctrinal, and logical arguments against the existence of a literal hell that this question naturally arises: Why do the churches teach it and why do people often believe it? The churches tend to believe that fear, rather than love conquers all”. Robert Short

The Bible provides a very vivid picture of The Day of God’s Fire:

‘‘The Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night’’; not to secretly‘‘rapture’’before tribulation hits, but at the time‘‘in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervant heat’’ (2 Peter 3 : ). There will be no mistaking this great day when it comes like a thief, it will catch the unprepared off guard. The Coming of the Almighty will make a Grand Entrance with a Great Noise. The devil’s ears are going to blow out on this Day. The wicked will see it, hear it, and feel the blast of fervant heat.

Have you ever watched an object melt? Before very long, even steel will melt at the right temperature. In That Day, ‘‘the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervant heat.’’ The ‘‘fervant heat’’ in which the Almighty shells out, will bring its final results:
‘‘Both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.’’(2 Peter 3:10) That which is‘‘burned up’’will reach its eternal destiny into the void.

‘‘Since all these things will be dissolved’’, those who were looking for and hastening Jesus’ Coming are provided with the fire insurance to escape the wrath of vengence on earth’s oppressors. (Peter 3:12) After Peter prophesies of the earth’s coming Judgment, he sees beyond the burned up, melted, dissolved earth to, ‘‘a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness dwells.’’(2 Peter 3:15) This is the earth that Jesus promised to the humble, ‘‘blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.’’(Matthew 5:5).

King David prophesied about this Day and put it this way, ‘‘of old You have Laid the Foundation of the Earth, and the heavens are the Work of Your Hands, they shall perish, but You shall Endure’’ (Psalm 102:25-26). This all will someday perish. As the Light zaps away the dark, old things wax away, and God Declares, ‘‘I will Make All Things New.”(Revelation 21:7).

The Bible Answer Man about ‘’hell’’

"I find the concept of eternal conscious punishment in hell intolerable, and do not understand how people can live with it without either cauterising their feelings or cracking under the strain. But our emotions are a fluctuating, unreliable guide to truth and must not be exalted to the place of supreme authority in determining it. As a committed Evangelical, my question must be -- and is -- not what does my heart tell me, but what does God's word say?" John Stott

Hank Henegraft, a very astute apologist of the Christian faith, is the founder of The Bible Answer Man heard on worldwide radio. This great bible scholar shares his reasons why there must be the existence of ‘‘hell’’ today. In this chapter, I will discect his statements for his belief in “hell” point by point. In response, I will give a biblical view backed by scripture. I believe in the great theologian (John Stott’s) statement: “What does the Word of God say?” We will follow this format.

I find it quite astounding that the “Bible Answer Man” doesn’t use any Bible verses to back up his belief concerning “hell”. One of the foremost apologists of our day gives his (rational) reasons for the eternal murdering of sinners:

1) “The first reason I believe in hell's irrevocable reality is that Christ communicated that hell was real”.

Yes, God’s Wrath will be accomplished in a very real way. However, I find it interesting that the word “hell” was not used by Jesus. In fact, that word did not exist in his day. Instead, He pointed to a literal place where everyone could see where life will cease to exist. Anything thrown into Gehenna’s fire was burned up - no life could be found to remain within it. The place of retribution was on the surface of the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna), not in the center of earth’s core. It is vitally important to understand the literal picture of “the valley of Hinnom” in its historical context. When Jesus spoke of “gehenna”, it was a literal place where the garbage was always burning outside the walls of Jerusalem, and in a fire which nothing could live in. That which was not consumed, the worms fed on. No more, no less.

Yes - Jesus clearly taught that “hell’s” reality (in Gehenna) would: “destroy both body and soul” in it (Matthew 10:28).He declared that by believing in Him, men would not “perish”, but have everlasting life. Jesus did not say that whoever did not believe in him, would go to down to “hell forever” (John 3:16). When one considers the words”destroy and “perish” in connection to wicked unbelievers, one has to wonder how a wicked person will escape the destiny chosen for them. According to Jesus, outer darkness will be their lot.
Yes, Jesus taught that “hell” was actually a place prepared to take care of the “devil and his angels”. This place is where the sinner’s punishment would be sealed eternally, never to be overturned (Matthew 25:41, 46). There is a big difference between‘‘eternal punishment’’ and ‘‘eternal punishing’’. I don’t have to explain the difference between the two. Nevertheless, one is a done deal (punishment); the other is a continual action (punishing).
2) “Secondly, I believe that the concept of choice demands that we believe in hell. Without hell, there is no choice and without choice heaven would not be heaven, heaven would be hell”…?

Since when did choice have anything to do with heaven being heaven? I cannot find one scripture in the bible to back up this presupposition. When Heaven was created, it was not man’s choice on how it should look. God’s Heaven to this day, remains the way that it was designed by Him. Whether someone chooses to believe, or disagree, with how it was created doesn’t change a thing. In the same parallel, choice will not change heaven into a hell. Heaven doesn’t exist simply because choice must mandate a belief in a ‘‘hell’’. Simple logic precludes that heaven can exist without the possibility of anything else to distract its view.

The apostle Paul wrote about the two choices man must decide on. His determination was set on magnifying Jesus, ‘‘whether by life, or by death’’. He continues on by saying, ‘‘to live is Christ, and to die is gain’’. Paul then haggled with these two issues : 1) life or, 2) death. If he lived ‘‘ in the flesh’’ with Christ, then fruit would develop from his labor. When he wrote these words, the apostle was in prison. He was facing the possibilty of a death sentence as the outcome of his sentencing. Paul never hinted that‘‘without hell’’ heaven would not be heaven; nor did he ever hint in all of his writings, that‘‘hell’’was ever an option for him to choose from.

Some would rather be dead, than being locked up for the rest of their lives. This brave apostle wrestled between those two things: 1) having a desire to depart (die-gain) and 2) to be with (Christ-live) which would be far better. He decided that to‘‘live in the flesh’’would be‘‘more needful’’ (fruitful), but his departing would bear no fruit. (Phillipians 1:20-24). These select passages have been the mainstay of many of those who believe that when someone dies, they immediately go in the presence of Jesus. A careful examination will discover the TWO options.
Having the choice to believe in ‘‘hell’’ will never bring fruit to perfection. In fact, believing in an eternal torture chamber brings heinous and widespread unbelief. As one writer puts it so very well:
“A belief in hell and the knowledge that every ambition is doomed to frustration at the hands of a skeleton, have never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumor.” Aldous Huxley
Throughout the Scriptures, the Bible declares the choices man must make in this way:
“Don’t you know, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey: whether sin unto death or obedience unto righteousness” (Romans 6:16). In other words - sin you will die, obey you’ll live. There is nothing in this declaration that demands that we believe in a “hell”. If you choose to sin, you choose death; choose to obey - get life everlasting.

The Almighty gave His Chosen a choice, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life” (Duet 30:19). Again, the options: life and blessings, or death and curses. The curses associated with death had nothing to do with having to believe in a hell. The penalty of making the wrong choice is always connected to the forfeiture to live forever. The theme, “Choose this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15) is found throughout the Bible. Not one time has God instructed anyone that “hell” should be the reason for anyone to make right choices.

According to the great theologian, there are those that choose to reject “the love of the truth that they may be saved” (2 Thess 2:10), and those who are “chosen...to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and the belief of the truth” (2 Thess 2:13). Paul proclaims that those who believe the lie will be filled with “all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish” (2 Thess 2:10) Paul clearly defines the two choices here: believe the truth and be saved; or believe the lie and perish. The Bible Answer Man assumes that, “without hell there is no choice”. The prophet Jeremiah, speaking about the evil man’s choice declares, “Death will be chosen rather than life” (Jere 8:3). Once more, hell was not in the equation, nor a factor in the choice.

3) “There’s one other reason I should cite, and that is common sense dictates that there must be a hell. Without hell the wrongs of Hitler's holocaust are never going to be righted. Justice would be impugned if, after slaughtering 6 million Jews, Hitler would merely die in the comforting arms of his mistress with no eternal consequences”.

There is no common sense in the belief that Jesus will torture anyone forever. Where does a rational, merciful person, see common sense in torturing an unconverted 18 year old, who died in a car accident - forever? That’s a long time! This author assumes that common sense dictates that Hitler deserves more than death, so there must be a “hell”. This type of logic presupposes that it isn’t enough just to raise Hitler up for Judgment in the second resurrection, and reward him “the second death”. If God determines that Hitler die a second death, then who are we to determine that his crimes could never be righted by the forfieture of eternal life? As God Judges and Executes, so it is done in a perfect, equitable manner. Will not the Wrath Of God’s Fire bring enough terror on Hitler? There will be eternal consequences - a second death.

4) “If there were no hell, the atrocity of sins against the very character of God would be minimized. And in light of crimes committed by Nazi war criminals and things like that, the horror of eternal, conscious punishment may not be so inconceivable after all”.

If a Judge determines that life in prison is a sufficient punishment for a murderer, then that which is decided is final. The Bible answers God’s final resolve towards His Sentencing of the rebellious:

“When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish, it is that they will be destroyed forever”.. “ Thine enemies shall perish”(Psalm 92:7,9). Some believe that the Almighty will be in the process of destroying forever. There is a big difference between “destroyed” and destroying. Nazi war criminals will perish if they are guilty of their crimes - they will be “destroyed forever”. This type of fantasizing about hell, no more creates a converted person to the love of God, than Hitler could convince the Jews that they were safe believing in him.

5) Common sense also dictates that without a hell there's no need for a Savior. Little needs to be said about the absurdity of suggesting that the Creator would suffer more than the cumulative sufferings of all of mankind if there's no hell to save us from. Without hell there's no need for salvation.

Without hell there's no need for salvation. Without salvation there's no need for a sacrifice, and without a sacrifice there's no need for a Savior”.

Without hell there's no need for salvation.

According to Paul, we are all wondering “who will be able to deliver us from this body that will die” (Romans 7:24). Yes - we need to be delivered from death. Regardless of a deliverance from “hell”, everyone needs to be saved from death’s grip. James explains that man’s need for salvation is to “save a soul from death”- not hell (James 5:20) In fact, the phrase “saved from hell’’ cannot be found in the Bible.

http://www.equip.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=muI1LaMNJrE&b=4197151&content_id={30CEF878-7657-4A0D-86FF-21BFCA9A3 http://www.equip.org/perspectives/eternal-punishmentC56}¬oc=1

“If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them”.
Marcus Arrelius

The Rich Man and Lazarus

“Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, faring sumptuously every day: and a certain beggar named Lazarus was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table; yea, even the dogs came and licked his sores.

And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels into Abraham's bosom: and the rich man also died, and was buried. And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime received thy good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things: but now here he is comforted, and thou art in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that they that would pass from hence to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from thence to us. And he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou would send him to my father's house; for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

But Abraham said they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, No father Abraham: but if one go to them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, if one rise from the dead” (Luke 16 :).

This parable has been the most ill - interpreted of all of the stories in the entire Bible. Those who teach about “hell” regard this parable as a literal story. Contextually, Jesus gave a series of parables which gave some very profound truths concerning attitudes in which the religious leaders of the day held. There were other parables in this set of teachings which started out with:
"A certain man..." (15:11); "There was a certain rich man..."(16:1); "There was a certain rich man..."(16:19); all of which illustrated the mindsets of those who were considered the religious leaders of the Jews. These parables shared many “in your face” realities about the Kingdom of God and those who would be the partakers of it.
In the Bible, Jesus tells many parabolic stories to the hard-hearted God Squad. Many times He would convey a story to teach a significant truth. Often, the Jews were allegorized as a rich man. They were characterized as selfish and uncompassionate. In one story, a ‘‘certain rich man” hoarded all of his wealth, and wound up dying to leave his stuff behind (Luke 12:16-21).The moral of that story was, that selfishness will get a payday. The wages of sin are death, (Romans 6:23), not life hereafter.
These are main passages of scripture that “hell” proponents use to support their “hell” presuppositions revolving around the story of a rich man and a man called Lazarus. In fact, without this story, their whole concept of the underworld of eternal torment would collapse by the weight of other evidence that promotes a time when death will reach its final answer.

If this parable is describing the redeemed as literally being able to speak from heaven to those in hell, then they also will be able to observe torture chambers full of rich men. Imagine all of the poor huddling in Abraham’s Bosom, while the rich man who is dying of thirst, asking Lazarus to put a drop of water on his finger to wet his tongue. This would indicate that the body will never burn up in God’s Consuming Fire. So, does the Fire Consume or not?
Will the eternally redeemed be able to watch someone being tortured, in the new heaven and new earth where, “there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be anymore pain, for the former things have passed away”(Revelation 21:1,4) God will wipe all tears away from their eyes, never to return. According to the popular myth of hell, God will permit pain, suffering, and wicked people crying - full of sorrow forever. However, the truth is: all heartache and pain will “pass away” and stay gone forever. If one saved individual could see that God was torturing a lost family member, there would at least be some crying, sorrow, and pain that would never go away. However, God will make all things new.
Does the Bible teach that because a man is rich, clothed well, and taken care of, it insinuates that all of them are doomed to the torture chambers? Even Abraham was a rich man, yet he wound up in the place of comfort. Evidently, there is much more to understand about this famous story. If this is a literal story of the afterlife, Abraham and the Rich man will be debating back and forth about an appeal to share some water with the eternally thirsty forever.
Does someone have to be poor to gain an eternal inheritance? If so, one must be a beggar, and all of those who have wealth must convert their riches to rags. Will the prerequisite of a saved man, be that he has to be sick, ignored, and hungry to get in “Abraham’s Bosom”? Should these conditions be sought after as the way to obtain the gift of eternal life? If not, then this story must not be interpreted as literal. Otherwise, those who have a bunch of money are doomed to eternal thirst.
If the parable is a literal story, will the ones in Abraham’s Bosom be able to actually touch the tongue of the tormented with a drop of water? How can one ignore such a plea?
What good would one drop of water help the wicked down in fire lake? If water could be transported to the place of torment, how much relief would a finger dip of water bring comfort? By the way, The One who gives to all the water that will never cause thirst is Jesus - not Father Abraham.
This story cannot be literal because most of the “hell” advocates believe that the disembodied soul is alive. If this is literal, the soul also has a body. Of course, the rich man had eyes and a tongue. Jesus spoke of this when He warned that the “whole body would be cast into Gehenna”. According to the rich man and Lazarus parable, both him in “heaven” and “hell” had bodies. The beggar had a mouth to dialogue with, and a body to reach down and touch with. If those in “Abraham’s Bosom” have bodies, what need would there be for a resurrection? Do the redeemed of Jesus go to Abraham’s Bosom with a body? This just can’t be literal in the specifics of the whole story.
If someone prays upward from “hell”, is it Father Abraham that provides intercession between the lost and found? The rich man wasn’t talking to Jesus. If it could be possible, wouldn’t Jesus be the One to reason and try to make a bargain with. After all, there is no other name under heaven whereby a man can be saved (Acts 4:12). Bargaining with Father Abraham after going straight to the underworld could not change the position of the sinner, nor is it possible. This story has many flaws if it is a literal situation.
The parable speaks of dogs licking sores, the rich man wearing purple, five brothers, a great gulf, and other metaphors that have significant spiritual application. These were deep spiritual truths in story form that Jesus attempted to get across to the Scribes and Pharisees. He was exposing and ridiculing the religious leaders, for their misunderstandings and misapplication of their religion. It had nothing to do with an actual person given the ability to communicate from heaven to “hell”. We have already discovered that the dead “know nothing” (Ecc 9:5).
If someone goes to his reward at death, then what purpose would there be for a Judgment? After a man dies, he is then appointed a time of Judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Remember, God has appointed a Day, when “He will Judge the world in Righteousness” (Acts 17:31). Jesus will come back to give His Reward. Man’s prize will have to wait, until God has determined what the reward will be. The rich man is not in “hell” yet, nor is Lazarus in his place of reward.They are both waiting for their resurrection.
Scripture clearly shows that messangers or angels do not carry those who die to their reward at death. Instead of going to Abraham, God told Adam where he would go:
“you return unto the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and unto dust shall you return" (Gen. 3:17-19).
“All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all return to dust again" (Ecc. 3:18-21).
“Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.”(Ecc 12:7)
"Remember I pray you that as clay you did make me, and unto dust you will cause me to return" (Job 10:9)
"You cause man to return unto dust..." (Psa. 90:3).
"His spirit goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" (Psa. 146:3-4).
You take away their breath; they die and return to their dust. (Psa. 104:29).
If everyone who is not written in the Book goes to “hell” immediately at death, then there would be no need to be raised up to hear the Jury’s Verdict. According to Jesus, there will be a resurrecton of the unjust who are awakened by His Voice (John 5:28, 29). The Judge will have the Last Word. There will be no last minute witnesses to overturn the verdict. God’s DNA evidence matches the criminal with the crime, now - the Judgment is verified as right and just. Then the wicked go up for their reward-not in the depths of earth.
If the rich man were to die in the fire, then he could not speak. Have you ever seen anything put in a fire that did not burn up? The fire would melt out the eyes, no more tongue, and no more speech. Obviously, it is the body that is put in the flames for destruction. Remember, Jesus said that “both body and soul” will be destroyed in the valley of Hinnom (Hell”). The body and soul will be in hell: “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire,”
If this parable is describing literal conditions of the future, then those who are in heaven will be able to hold conversations with those in “hell”. Redeemed people will be able to look across that impassable gulf and see their loved ones in indescribable torment. Fathers will see lost daughters, mothers will see their tortured sons, people will see their friends and relatives uttering agonizing request for cool water to quench their thirst and comfort their anguished souls. Watching the continual torment of the familiar aquaintence of their past, seeing and hearing such screaming and hopeless despair, would hardly give one in heaven a sense of bliss! Such a devestating picture would no way grant peace to heaven's occupants! Would the “Prince of Peace” allow this demented view to His saved?
Would a man, just because he is rich, fed well and nicely clothed, represent all those who will be damned in this place of torment? Do the saved have to be poor and covered in sores, to be in the company of all who are saved? Are all who are rich sinners? Does a poor person automatically reach sainthood? If all the rich are fated to torture throughout eternity, then it would be well for those preachers living above the poverty line, to go and give away their offerings and become like Lazarus. Maybe all who are Christians should become beggars, starve, and lay around waiting for a place in Abraham’s Bosom.
If this story be literal then how could we believe that one drop of water on the tip of one finger could alleviate those who are incarcerated in such a fiery torment? Or for that matter, how could a drop of water exist in such a place as this imaginary flaming Hell? Again, if this story is literal, then how does one who has died and been buried keep a tongue to speak? Do the disembodied 'souls' in the spirit realm have a tongue? If the rich man's body was dug up today, would it be found decomposed? Many are the problems that the literalist has if they regard not this scripture as a parable. Doctrines have been formulated from it - such as eternal torment for poor sinners. This is the misapplication of the parable and the misunderstanding of its message.
According to the parable, the forgiven of God will not be able to “cross over” from one place to the other. (Luke 16:26)

                                                  Lucifer’s Demise
‘‘How you are fallen from heaven O Lucifer, son of the morning. How you are cut to the ground, you who weakened the nations..You shall be brought down to Sheol (Hell), to the lowest depth of the pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you saying, ‘‘Is this man who made the earth tremble, who shook nations, who made the world a wilderness, and destroyed its cities, which opened not the house of his pri