A reader asked us to explain more about Hell, saying she thought “those who are unsaved go there.” Victor’s reply:
Regarding Hell, wicked men have taken the unseen and unknown and used them as tools to deceive and bind people so as to exercise power over them through mysticism and fear. You will find nothing in the Old or New Testaments that speaks of an everlasting place of literal, fiery torment for the wicked.
I will cover many verses on Hell in this reply to you. Know that Hell is a state as much as it is a place, which is true for many things. It also has many levels or degrees, according to the need of its occupants, both in this world and the world to come. We will also discuss the Biblical fires, seeing that Hell and fire are identified together in Scripture, yet misunderstood.
God Is in Hell
If Hell is a flaming torment, how does one make his bed there?
“If I go up into Heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol [Hebrew word translated ‘Hell’ by KJV and other translators], behold, You are there” (Psalms 139:8 MKJV).
The Psalmist learned that though he was in darkness, turmoil, and fear, God was there.
Men say that God is not in Hell, but that is not what the Scriptures teach. There is no place that God is not, and no thing in creation from which He is entirely detached. These same people who deny His presence in Hell say He is omnipresent, that is, everywhere, and nowhere that He is not. They contradict themselves. They are right when they say He is omnipresent, and therefore wrong when they say He is not in Hell as well as in Heaven and on earth.
And if God is in Hell, how should it be a place of endless, fiery torment of those He has made in His image? Is He a sadist who enjoys seeing those He loves suffering so? Is He one who indulges in the vindictive pleasure of “I told you so”? No, only those in Hell (darkness) teach such heinous things about God, our Creator, Who laid His life down for us that we might, each in his or her due time, live unto Him.
The Nature of Spiritual Fires
The Pharisees, scribes, and their followers were members and agents of Hell. Jesus said so. Were they walking around in flames?
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you compass sea and the dry land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of Hell than yourselves” (Matthew 23:15 MKJV).
Their tongues were instruments of Hell (Greek, Gehenna, ancient Jerusalem’s garbage dump for burning refuse):
“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. So the tongue is set among our members, spotting all the body and inflaming the course of nature, and being inflamed by Hell” (James 3:6 MKJV).
To these religious men, Jesus said, “Serpents! Offspring of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation [Greek, krisis, judgment] of Hell [valley of Hinnom, a garbage dump and place in Jerusalem to burn refuse]?” (Matthew 23:33 MKJV)
What was Jesus talking about? He wasn’t saying they couldn’t escape Hell, but rather the judgment of Hell. They would be subjected to severe judgment and purged by a spiritual fire, all the dross to be burned away. Hell, not the person, would be done away with!
Was Jesus speaking of a physical or spiritual fire when He said, “For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt” (Mark 9:49 MKJV)?
Was the Hebrews writer speaking of the biggest bonfire one has ever imagined when he said, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, for also, ‘Our God is a consuming fire’” (Hebrews 12:28-29 MKJV)?
Is God a literal, physical fire?
“John answered all, saying, I indeed baptize you with water, but He Who is mightier than I comes, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to loose. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire, Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor and will gather the wheat into His storehouse. But He will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Luke 3:16-17 MKJV).
A “fire that is not quenched” (Matthew 25:41-46)? Are not physical fires quenchable? Yes, they are, but the spiritual fire of God must continue until the job is done, therefore it is unquenchable.
When that which is meant to be destroyed ceases to exist, the fire of God will cease to exist, even as in nature fire ceases when that which fuels it is consumed. The Scriptures teach that the Lake of Fire will devour Death, Hell, and all things that offend in God’s creation. Those things will not continue indefinitely.
There are those who point to Jude’s words on Sodom and Gomorrah to “prove” Hell and everlasting fire:
“As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, in like manner to these, committing fornication, and going away after other flesh, laid down an example before-times, undergoing vengeance of everlasting fire” (Jude 1:7 MKJV).
But let’s take Young’s Literal Translation, for example, and see the wording that is a more accurate translation of the original Greek:
As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, in like manner to these, having given themselves to whoredom, and gone after other flesh, have been set before–an example, of fire age-during, justice suffering” (Jude 1:7 YLT).
Is this only a matter of man’s opinion, interpretation, and translation? What did Jesus say of Sodom and Gomorrah’s end? Here it is:
“And whoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Truly I say to you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city” (Mark 6:11 MKJV).
“More tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah”? Did He mean that instead of 350 degrees C. (the temperature for wood to ignite), Sodom and Gomorrah’s temperature might be decreased to 100 degrees C. (boiling point of water)? If Sodom and Gomorrah are to suffer forever and ever in literal flames, how is it that it will be more tolerable for them, unless it is corrective, unless there is going to be justice and mercy, and unless there is hope of a good and worthwhile end? Doesn’t that make sense?
There are those who teach that the lost souls of mankind who didn’t confess Christ as their personal Savior will be subjected to a fire that will burn them forever, with neither the fire nor their bodies, fashioned to handle everlasting literal fire, quenched.
Would Jesus immerse everyone in a literal destructive fire, specially designed to last forever? To what end? What purpose would it serve other than none whatsoever? And if He spoke of a spiritual fire (which He did), would all be destroyed in it, or would only the “chaff” be destroyed, but the “wheat” saved?
1 Corinthians 3:13-15 MKJV
(13) each one’s work shall be revealed. For the Day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try each one’s work as to what kind it is.
(14) If anyone’s work which he built remains, he shall receive a reward.
(15) If anyone’s work shall be burned up, he shall suffer loss. But he shall be saved, yet so as by fire.
Jesus said, “I have come to send fire on the earth. And what will I do if it is already kindled?” (Luke 12:49 MKJV)
Is it a physical fire He sends, or a spiritual one – His Word of truth?
“Isn’t My Word like fire? says the LORD; and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29 HNV)
The day came that Jesus would send the cleansing, purifying fire of the Holy Spirit, as John promised:
Acts 2:2-4 MKJV
(2) And suddenly a sound came out of the Heaven as borne along by the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
(3) And tongues as of fire appeared to them, being distributed; and it sat upon each of them.
(4) And they were all filled of the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Were those literal flames sitting on the saints? Could one smell burning hair, flesh and cloth going up in smoke? Were they calling the Jerusalem Fire Department to the Upper Room?
Let’s get back to Hell:
If those residents of Hell are there for all eternity (an everlasting time, time without end, as we use the word today), why does Hell deliver up the dead that are in it?
“And the sea gave up the dead in it. And Death and Hell delivered up the dead in them. And each one of them was judged according to their works” (Revelation 20:13 MKJV).
If Hell is eternal, then how is it cast into the Lake of Fire to be destroyed along with Death?
“And Death and Hell were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second Death” (Revelation 20:14 MKJV).
There are two deaths.
The second Death is that which ultimately does away with all evil and consequence thereof, including the first Death and Hell, which it does by means of the Lake of Fire. When Death is done away with in the Lake of Fire, then Hell is also destroyed, as the Scriptures declare. So then how can there be an eternal Hell, as men believe and teach?
The first Death is spiritual separation from God, an absence of fellowship with Him Who is Life, which is what Adam and Eve experienced the day they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil:
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree in the garden, but you shall not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17 MKJV).
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasing to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make wise, she took of its fruit, and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. And the eyes of both of them were opened. And they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made girdles for themselves” (Genesis 3:6-7 MKJV).
Hell comes automatically with the first Death. Adam and Eve died, and with that Death came Hell. Hell is not only a place, as commonly supposed; it is a state of being, beginning and established in this world, this life, this realm.
In the first Death, Adam and Eve experienced self-consciousness, ignorance, doubt, fear, difficulty, failure, loss, defeat, pain, ungodly sorrow, suffering, uncertainty, guilt, shame, and generally the insecurity of a disconnect from God. That is Hell. Can you relate? Indeed, there certainly is a Hell and a suffering in Hell.
Death and Hell go together as horse and carriage, husband and wife, or bird and feather:
“And I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him sitting on it was Death, and Hell followed with him. And authority was given to them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with the sword and with hunger and with death and by the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:8 MKJV).
Remember that Jesus Christ came to do away with the last enemy of mankind:
“The last enemy made to cease is Death” (1 Corinthians 15:26 MKJV).
All men are born into the first Death from the mother’s womb and dwell in a state of spiritual darkness known as Hell because of sin:
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalms 51:5 MKJV).
The Lord Jesus Christ laid down His life and took it up again to put away sin and the first Death. The putting away of Death is also known as the second Death.
What Is Hell?
Hell is a state of darkness and torment in varying degrees, one of fear, bondage, regret, hopelessness, uncertainty, lack of security, and as I have said, of guilt and shame. The “know not anything” is the state of the dead. It is Hell.
We have all been in Hell, and for the more wicked there are greater degrees or depths of Hell:
“For great is Your mercy toward me; and You have delivered my soul from the lowest Hell” (Psalms 86:13 MKJV).
“And that servant who knew his Lord’s will and did not prepare, nor did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he not knowing, and doing things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For to whomever much is given, of him much shall be required. And to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:47-48 MKJV).
Is Hell ever forever? If so, why does God bring up from Hell?
“The LORD kills and makes alive. He brings down to Sheol [Hell], and brings up” (1 Samuel 2:6 MKJV).
Jonah was also brought up from Hell, where he was placed for a time because refusing to obey God:
“I cried to the LORD from my distress. And He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol [Hell/Hades] I cried for help, and You heard my voice” (Jonah 2:2 MKJV).
Jonah was “buried” in a great fish. By the way, did the fish have an inflamed stomach and heartburn?
It is true that there is a fire in Hell, the characteristics being as I have described. It is a spiritual one, and that fire of God is not only in Hell; it is everywhere to destroy Hell and all that offends. As the Lord testifies:
“For a fire is kindled in My anger, and shall burn to the lowest Hell, and shall consume the earth with its increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains” (Deuteronomy 32:22 MKJV).
People enter into different tiers or forms of Hell and Death in this life, as for example when they subject themselves to agents who destroy. False religion is represented allegorically as an adulterous woman, her fruits being Death and Hell (Sheol). Ever so lovingly, she destroys. Wisdom warns against it:
“For the lips of a strange woman drip honey, and her palate is smoother than oil; but afterward she is as bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on Hell [Hades/Sheol], lest you should meditate on the path of life, her tracks are movable; you cannot know them” (Proverbs 5:3-6 MKJV).
“And now listen to me, sons, and attend to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not go astray in her paths. For she has cast down many wounded; yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to Hell [Hades/Sheol], going down to the rooms of death” (Proverbs 7:24-27 MKJV).
Proverbs 9:13-18 MKJV
(13) A foolish woman is noisy; she is simple and knows nothing.
(14) For she sits at the door of her house, in a seat in the high places of the city,
(15) to call those who pass by, who are going straight on their ways;
(16) The simple one, let him turn in here. And to one lacking heart, she says to him,
(17) Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
(18) But he does not know that the dead are there; her guests are in the depths of Hell [Hades/Sheol].
The dead are in Hell – the physically dead in a physical grave (Hell), and the spiritually dead in a spiritual grave (Hell). The grave is known as Hell (Hades/Sheol); again, Hell is that place of darkness, buried or hidden from the living. As well as a “waiting room,” Hell is a spiritual prison, a place or state of chains of darkness.
Men try to hide from God in Hell (Sheol/Hades) and the Lord prevents them:
“If they dig into Hell [Sheol], there My hand shall take them. And if they go up to the Heavens, I will bring them down from there” (Amos 9:2 MKJV).
Men and most living creatures hide in darkness, but would men try to hide in flames? And if God forever burns the wicked with literal superhot flames, would He pull them out of the flames if they were wicked? Why would He not leave them there? Where would He take them, and why?
Truly it is Hell to hide from God. In Hell, we experience bitterness, self-pity, resentment, and hatred. We feel selfishness, jealousy, vengeance, envy, and lusts of the flesh. In Hell, we are at enmity with God, by nature, resisting His will. And in that state, we are already in touch with the fire of God, for He is at work doing away with the Death and Hell that are within. God will not leave man to his destructive devices forever.
Obviously, Hades/Sheol is not what men have taught it is. That goes for Heaven as well: “And if they go up to the Heavens, I will bring them down from there.” Truly, there is much more mystery and different meanings to life, Death, Heaven, and Hell than men have believed and taught. And these elements are far closer and far more involved in our existence than we have realized.
The great portion of pain the Lord had to suffer was to experience the elements of a soul found in all evil:
“For He has made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus said He would be speaking to the dead (those in spiritual darkness and disconnect with God), and they would hear His voice:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they who hear shall live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has given to the Son to have life within Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man” (John 5:25-27 MKJV).
Jesus went into Hell when He died, the grave, even as David and Peter testified, but He was not kept there. Instead, He defeated Death and Hell for our sakes:
Acts 2:22-32 MKJV
(22) Men, Israelites, hear these words. Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by powerful works, and wonders and miracles, which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know,
(23) this One given to you by the before-determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken and by lawless hands, crucifying Him, you put Him to death;
(24) whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.
(25) For David speaks concerning Him, “I foresaw the Lord always before me, because He is at my right hand, that I should not be moved.
(26) Therefore my heart rejoiced and my tongue was glad; and also My flesh shall rest in hope,
(27) because You will not leave My soul in Hades [Hell], nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
(28) You revealed to Me the ways of life. You will fill Me with joy with Your countenance.”
(29) Men, brothers, it is permitted to say to you with plainness as to the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
(30) Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit upon his throne,
(31) seeing this beforehand, he spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor would His flesh see corruption,
(32) God raised up this Jesus, of which we all are witnesses.
Peter was referring to David’s words as prophesying of Jesus in the psalm a thousand years earlier: “For You will not leave My soul in Hell; You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption” (Psalms 16:10 MKJV).
After His resurrection, Jesus preached to those who perished in Noah’s day, thousands of years earlier, souls who were in Hell and were dead to this world, as Peter also declares:
1 Peter 3:18-20 MKJV
(18) For Christ also once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, indeed being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit;
(19) in which also He went and preached to the spirits in prison [Hell],
(20) to disobeying ones, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared (in which a few, that is, eight souls were saved through water).
David experienced and spoke of Hell (Sheol/Hades) in this life. Was he burning up? He says:
“The sorrows of death hemmed me in, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of Hell surrounded me; the snares of death confronted me” (Psalms 18:4-5 MKJV).
Whether David or another psalmist, this person relates the experience of Death and Hell in this world and God’s deliverance from them:
“I love the LORD because He hears my voice and my prayers. Because He has bowed down His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him in my days. The sorrows of death hemmed me in, and the pains of Hell took hold on me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the Name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech You, deliver my soul. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The LORD keeps the simple; I was brought low, and He helped me” (Psalms 116:1-6 MKJV).
Peter speaks of messengers put in the prison of Hell:
“For if God did not spare sinning angels, but thrust them down into Tartarus [Greek, Tartaros, the lowest level of Hades or Sheol], and delivered them into chains of darkness, being reserved to judgment [Greek, krisis, correction]” (2 Peter 2:4 MKJV).
Is Hell Forever?
Those who teach an eternal (everlasting, time without end) Hell plainly teach that Hell is the Omega (English “Z”) because implying there is no end to it. But only of Jesus Christ is it said that He is the end of, or after, all things:
“I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, says the Lord, Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8 MKJV).
“I came to be in the Spirit in the Lord’s day and heard behind me a great voice [the LORD’s], as of a trumpet, saying, I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last” (Revelation 1:10-11 MKJV).
Judgment Fires Are Correction, Not Destruction
When the Lord speaks of Hell, He does not speak of it as mean-spirited charlatans and ignoramuses have imagined and interpreted it to be:
“But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be liable to the judgment [correction]. And whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be liable to the sanhedrin [a corrective judgment council]; but whoever shall say, Fool! shall be liable to be thrown into the fire of Hell [Greek, Gehenna, a valley in Jerusalem that served as a city dump for destroying refuse, metaphorically used here to signify burning up the refuse in us, like injustice and uncalled-for anger, which is what we all need, but not forever, only until it is gone]” (Matthew 5:22 MKJV).
“And if your right eye offends you, pluck it out and throw it from you. For it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be thrown into hell [Gehenna]. And if your right hand offends you, cut it off and throw it from you. For it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be thrown into Hell [Gehenna]” (Matthew 5:29-30 MKJV).
Jesus isn’t speaking of literal amputation and, in that context, neither is He speaking of literal bodies burning in literal flames of Hell. When we do evil to one another, and if we persist, we are punished and subjected to a state of torment, some of which is multiplied guilt and other like fruit we have imposed on others, until we “learn our lesson” and are cleansed of the evil we have done. Our spirits and attitudes are corrected, not only to know better, but also to do better. Only God can do this to and for us, and He does so by fire:
“And do not fear those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. But rather fear Him Who can destroy both soul and body in Hell [fires of Gehenna]” (Matthew 10:28 MKJV).
What Is Destruction?
“Destroy”? Yes! He is able to do all things, but He is not willing that any should perish; He will bring all to repentance, every man in his order. But there is a destruction of sorts with each one. I was destroyed when saved by His blood through a new birth. I was never the same again. I am now a new creature:
“So that if any one is in Christ, that one is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 MKJV).
While some are subjected to fire for purification, others are imprisoned in chains of darkness for a time until a day of judgment (correction), wherein they will also be cleansed by fire:
“And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to the Heaven, shall be brought down to Hell [Greek, Hades – the ‘unseen’]. For if the mighty works which have been done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you” (Matthew 11:23-24 MKJV).
However, there is not the slightest mention in Scripture of a time of torment without end, or of torment for torment’s sake, except by faulty translation of the Hebrew word for “age”, “olam” and the Greek word for age, “eon,” to mean “everlasting,” in order to please religious rulers who believed pagan doctrine, as in King James’ time.
Capernaum of Israel was once a prosperous, active city, which, because of its sins, was laid waste in darkness (Hades). There is no hint of literal, everlasting burning flames, but people see these things only because they have been falsely taught. Let’s stick with what the Bible says and ignore what men presume or pretend the Bible says, according to the Hellish doctrines of men.
The Lake of Fire Not Forever
Neither is the Lake of Fire the Omega, an end in itself, unless Jesus Christ is the Lake of Fire – which He is – but His work on souls, and Death and Hell are not eternal as is He. Therefore, while He continues, His work ends. Yes, He is that unquenchable fire that never dies (for our God is a consuming fire – Hebrews 12:29), yet the destruction of all evil will come to an end. Because the fire burns forever does not suggest that those things it burns last forever. That is a theologically erroneous and hateful assumption many make.
Is it not written that these things will pass away, and all things will be made new?
“And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying out, nor will there be any more pain; for the first things passed away. And He sitting on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said to me, Write, for these words are true and faithful” (Revelation 21:4-5 MKJV).]
The Lake of Fire will do what it must do until the job is done. Why should death be done away with, yet last forever in fire? Why should that be so for Hell, or anything else not wanted or needed?
“And the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone, where are the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night – to the ages of the ages” (Revelation 20:10 YLT).
The Lord speaks of a day of judgment. The word “judgment” (Greek, krisis) speaks of “justice.” Is God’s justice one of destruction or complete condemnation for all of eternity of one created in His image? Is that what we see in the cross of Jesus Christ? Is He not able to fix or correct that which He made and for which He paid with His flesh and blood because it needed fixing? If He can raise Himself from the dead, what can’t He do?
It is written and said that nothing is impossible to God, but I say there is one thing He can’t do, and that is fail. To scrap something broken or spoiled in the city dump is a polluting loss and failure. If man can recycle and repair, how much more can God? To condemn a living soul to perpetual destruction is nothing short of a dramatic testimony of inestimable failure. We have a much greater God than that. If not, we ought to look for another.
Total Victory Assured
Jesus said to Peter, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell [Hades] shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18 MKJV).
What was Jesus talking about? Was His Body, His Congregation/Assembly, going to assail the gates of Hell? Yes! But if Hell is all about eternal flames burning people who will never escape torment, why would the Church of God, His Body, be pitted against it? If what’s done is done when souls go to Hell to burn forever, as conventional religion teaches, then what point would there be? What could the Body of Christ possibly do? So we must believe that the common nominal orthodox concept of Hell is not at all true.
So what is Jesus saying? He is saying that when the saints who comprise His Body come against the powers and positions of darkness (Hell), or if the powers of Hell come against the saints, His Congregation, the saints will prevail. As we are sent of God to speak the truth to you by the anointing of His Spirit, Hell will not be able to hold you forever. That goes for all those in their graves (spiritual Hell) who hear the Voice of the Son of God. They will come up and live. Hell will be defeated in its grip, as will Death be defeated.
Life and redemption are inevitable, for nothing can stand against the greatest power in all existence, that being the Resurrection Power and Life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Resurrection means defeat of Death, does it not? Death and Hell don’t stand a chance. By the power of resurrection life, the prison of Hell is broken open and spoiled:
Isaiah 61:1-4 MKJV
(1) The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me; because the LORD has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
(2) to preach the acceptable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
(3) to appoint to those who mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness; so that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.
(4) And they will build the old wastes, they will raise up the ruins of former times. And they will repair the waste cities, the ruins of many generations.
Redemption, restoration, reconciliation, restitution – these are the plan of God for all of His creation:
“And through Him having made peace through the blood of His cross, it pleased the Father to reconcile all things to Himself through Him, whether the things on earth or the things in Heaven” (Colossians 1:20 MKJV).
“O Death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?” The sting of Death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57 MKJV).
If Death is defeated once for all, why not the dark, dank dungeon of Hell, which came with Death?
So you see, Deborah, that men have not taught on Death and Hell as they ought, and Jesus didn’t say or mean the things they say He said and meant concerning Death and Hell.
One more thing: What about the story of Lazarus and the rich man and the mention of Hell and flames? Read The Rich Man and Lazarus – A Pagan Parable. Even if the story were from God, it would be interpreted not in literal, but in spiritual, terms, but it isn’t a story from God, and we make a case to that end.
I was there in Hell, that spiritual prison and grave, being spiritually dead, though no more, because He caused me to hear His Voice there and brought me back from the dead. You are still there, as have been all those in unbelief, but now the Lord is granting you the privilege of hearing His Voice and coming out of Death and Hell, as He granted us. He has come to redeem you. Otherwise, you would not be here pondering and enquiring about the things of life, asking these questions, and we would not be answering you.
Read in our section The Restitution of All Things.
A reader asks, “What is the truth about heaven?” Who can answer this question knowledgeably except someone who is in Heaven, knowing it by having been relocated from Hell? This is a matter of experience and revelation.
What we have been hearing, referred to as “the good news” or the gospel, must be seen for what it is - bad news indeed! In its place must be declared the truly good news. Our selfishness would dictate that if news is good for us, it is good news, though it might not be very good for everybody else. Ultimately, if it is not good for all, it is good for none. Like it or not, none of us can remain an island unto himself for long, and if one tries to be otherwise, there is only stagnation and stench, even as when waters stop running, forming a black swamp in which nothing can live.
Syreeta writes, 'Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I just want to encourage you to pray and search the scriptures in regards to the following statement from article: "The doctrine of endless terrible torment has no origin in truth and reality, whether in this world or any other."'
According to this atrocious doctrine, a trillion years from now, the damned will continue to scream and writhe in terrible agony with no respite, the torment only beginning. In the meantime, the One Who laid down His life for them, and then put them in those circumstances, is at rest with His beloved, enjoying fellowship with them and they with Him.