VERSIONS OF HELL
The Rapture and Israel
A Resurrection To Immortaity
OVER SIXTEEN PROTESTANT
VERSIONS OF HELL
EIGHT OTHER VERSIONS OF HELL
THREE CATHOLIC VERSIONS OF HELL
TWENTY-NINE PLUS VERSIONS OF HELL
Did you know there are over 29 different Hells that are commonly believed by many? While some have some features that are similar they are all difference and have sharp disagreements. Those that believe one version of Hell are in conflict with those that believe any of the others.
THREE CATHOLIC VERSIONS OF HELL
1. The Dark Age Medieval Catholic version of Hell
2. The New Catholic version of Hell
3. The Nether World
SOME OF THE MORE PROMINENT OF THE MANY DIVISIONS OF THE PROTESTANT VERSIONS OF HELL
1. The Calvin Version of Hell
2. The Jonathan Edwards versions
3. The Graphic view of Hell
4. Two Hells, the literal fire Hell
5. Satan doing the tormenting
6. God doing the tormenting
7. The Metaphorical view of both Heaven and Hell
8. Mental anguish only Hell – Billy Graham
9. The eternal sinning version of Hell
10. C. S Lewis - the almost pleasant Hell
11. Protestant Traditionalist
12. Many Protestant Premillennial versions of Hell
13. Dante’s cold Hell with nine levels of torment
14. Realized Eschatology – A. D. 70 version
15. The “Sudden Realization” version of Hell
16. Protestant Rephaim versions
EIGHT OTHER VERSIONS OF HELL
1. Church of Christ, Christian Church, Abraham’s bosom, the after Judgment Hell, A newer version
2. Edward Fudge version: The short Hell that will end
3. Christadelphians version
4. Church of God and others
5. Universalist version of Hell
6. Seventh-Day Advent version
7. Latter-day Saints version (Mormons)
8. The Grave is Hell version (Jehovah's Witnesses)
NO BIBLE HELL: Which Hell do you believe in? From where did Hell come?
How Hell was put into and is being kept in the Bible.
THREE CATHOLIC VERSIONS OF HELL. (1) The Medieval Dark Age Catholic version of Hell, the beginning of Hell: A soul being immortal came from Greek philosophy, and was brought into the church by some of the church fathers, by Augustine more then most others. The doctrine of Hell came soon after the immortal soul doctrine along with Purgatory, and was fully developed by the Dark Age Catholic Church before the Protestant Reformation. It seems to be that in the past they believed that only a very few, the very bad will go to Hell, which they believe is a real place, at their death with no judgment, but most Catholics will go to Purgatory at death. A few of the very good will go to Heaven at their death with no judgment (an instant rapture). At death most Catholic will go immediately to Purgatory, which seems to be a limited version of Hell, unto they have suffered enough to pay for their own sins, or unto their love ones have paid all they can, then they go to Heaven. How long a person will be in Purgatory is sometimes taught to be a short time, and sometimes a very long time to those who have no one to win indulgences for them, no one to pay. It has brought enormous wealth to the rich Catholic Church from the poor who paid what little they had, and even done without food to help a loved one out of Purgatory. The Catholic Purgatory gives no hope for heathens, heretics, or those not baptized. The Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory (1) makes some go to Heaven or Hell at death, (2) makes all other Catholics get to Heaven as soon as they (not Christ) have suffered enough to pay for their own sins, (3) leaves no dead Christians that will not already be in Heaven to be resurrected at the second coming of Christ. They, not Christ, will have suffered unto they have paid in full for their own sins, or others have paid enough money to free them from Purgatory. An example of the Catholic teaching on the selling of indulgences that was common before the time of Martin Luther as given by John Tetzel, a Dominican monk who said as soon as the money is given, “The soul escapes from purgatory, and flies liberated to heaven,” and “The Lord no longer reigns…He has given all power to the pope.” As quoted by F. LaGard Smith of Lipscomb University in “After Life” pages 223-224.
S. M. BROWN: “Medieval Europe,” pages 348-259, 1932. “Hell is wide without measure, and deep and bottomless; full of incomparable fire, for no earthly fire may be compared therewith; full of stench intolerable for no living thing on earth might endure it; full of unutterable sorrow for no mouth may, on account of the wretchedness or the woe thereof, give an account not tell of it. Yea, the darkness therein is so thick that one may grasp it, for the fire there gives no light, but blinds the eyes of them that are there with a smothering smoke, the worst of smokes. And nevertheless in that same black darkness they see black things as devils, that ever maul them and afflict and harass them with all kinds of tortures; and tailed drakes, horrible as devils, that devour them whole and spew them out afterwards before and behind. At other times they rent them in pieces and chew each gobbet of them, and they afterwards become whole again, such as they previously were, to under go again such bale with recovery, and full well they see themselves very horrible and dreadful; and to increase their pains the loathsome hell-worms, toads, and frogs that eat out their eyes and nostrils, and adders and water-frogs, not like those here, but hundred times more horrible, sneak in and out of the mouth, ears, eyes, navel ever yet thickest. There is shrieking in the flame and chattering of teeth in the snowy waters. Suddenly they flit upon the heat into the cold, nor ever do they know of there two which is worst for them, for each is intolerable…And this same wan hope is their greatest torment, that none have any hope of any recovery, but are sure of ever ill, to continue in woe, world without end, even in eternity. Each chokes the other, and each in another’s torment, and each hates another and him self as the black devil; and as they loved them the more in this world, so the more shall they hate them there. And each curses another, and gnaws off the other’s arms, ears, and nose also.” As quoted by Robert L. Whitelaw in “The Last Resurrection,” pages 61-62.
This is the “Hell” that was taught by the Catholic Church in the Dark Age, but there is nothing like it in the Bible. It came from pagan teaching.
(2) The new Catholic version of Hell:
POPE JOHN PAUL II, "Hell is not a punishment imposed externally by God, but the condition resulting from attitudes and actions which people adopt in this life...So eternal damnation is not God's work but is actually our own doing...More than a physical place, Hell is the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy." In a statement made to his general audience, July 28, 1999. -- “The soul in the OT means not a part of man, but the whole man as a living being. Similarly in the NT, it signifies human life: the life of an individual conscious object (Matt 2:20; 6:25; Luke 12:22-23; 14:26; John 10:11,15, 17; John 13:37; Acts 27:10, 22; Phil 2:30; 1 Thess 2:8). Recent exegetes…have maintained that the NT dose not teach the immortality of the soul in the Hellenistic sense of survival of an immortal principle after death” The New Catholic Encyclopedia, article “Soul, Human, Immortality of, In The Bible.”
There are other high up Catholics who have made statements like this, but I see no use in adding more when you have this from the Pope who is the top person in the Catholic Church who’s word is law. Maybe this is why two of their English Bible translations do not have the word "Hell" in them, and who knows how many other Catholics translations in other languages do not; however, because it has been the official doctrine for centuries, and the decrees of councils and Popes, the Roman Catholic Church cannot officially not teach Hell is a place of eternal torment without giving up completely their claim of infallibility. Protestantism has not made this claim of infallibility and many are giving Hell up.
(3) The Nether World: is this a new (third) Catholic version of Hell? More and more in today's writing, the Neither World is being used as if it is a Bible place that is clearly taught in the Bible; but I have yet to read where anyone told where it is in the Bible. Do both the Nether World and Abraham's bosom now exists at the same time? If so, how are they different? The American Heritage Dictionary says, “NETHER, Located beneath or below; lower or under: the nether regions of the earth.” Where did this world that is located beneath or under this world come from? It is not in the Bible; therefore, how could anyone know about it? It came from the Catholic Church. Like Hell, they mistranslated it from hades to get it into the Bible. Both Hell and Nether World were mistranslated from the same word (hades) and both from the same passage. See Acts 2:27
o “For you will not abandon my soul to the Nether World (hades)." New American Bible.
o “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (hades)," Douay-Rheims, also Psalm 16:10.
o Both are Catholic translations.
The Nether World is a new name being put into the Bible by the same people (the Catholic Church) who put Hell into it, and it is being put into the Bible in the same way, by mistranslating the same word they mistranslated to put in Hell.
1. First: hades was mistranslated Hell in Catholic translations.
2. Second: the same word in the same passage is now mistranslated Nether World in some Catholic translations.
It worked for them the first time, so they tried it a second time. When they need to prove Hell, they use one mistranslation; and when they need to prove the Nether World, they use another mistranslation of the same word in the same passage. The Nether World and Universalist version of Hell, the "age lasting" Hell are very singular in many ways. Both have those who are not worthy of being in Heaven going through some kind of punishment, but will end up in Heaven. The main different is that Catholics believe a few are too evil to ever be saved, and will always be tormented by God, but in the "age lasting" Hell taught by Universalists all will end up in Heaven.
SOME OF THE MANY DIVISIONS OF THE EVER CHANGING PROTESTANT VERSIONS OF HELL: After much conflict among the reformers, most Protestants accepted much of the early Catholic version of a soul going to Heaven or Hell one by one at death, before and without the judgment, and without the Resurrection, but the Catholic Purgatory (a temporary place of punishment to which Catholics believe most will go to the moment of death, a place that is not Heaven or Hell) was rejected. Unconditional immortality, which is the foundation on which Hell stands, was accepted mostly due to Calvin and those that followed him winning out over Martin Luther and his followers. If they had accepted Luther's views on immortality, there would be no foundation for Hell. Many Protestants believe souls that are in all who do not accept Christ will instantly be transported to Hell at the death of the person a soul was in, transported to Hell before the resurrection and before the Judgment Day; that God has deliberately chooses to make these souls suffer and feel the pain without any letup forever. The souls that were in the saved will go to their eternal home in Heaven at death (an instant rapture). The Westminster Confession says, "The souls of the righteous...are received unto the highest heavens...the soul of the wicked are cast into Hell." Does God judge them at death, them maybe thousands of years later, takes souls out of Heaven and Hell to judge them a second time at the resurrection to see whether He made a mistake? Many believe an unbaptized baby will not be saved. This version is still believed by many today. An opposition to belief in Hell is rapidly growing in the Protestant churches. From the Protestant Reformation unto now there have been many changes and new Protestant versions of Hell.
(1) THE CALVIN VERSION OF HELL: The given no chance Hell. An early Protestant Version with a god that made most of mankind knowing he is going to torment souls that is in them in Hell forever, and there is nothing a person can do to keep a soul that we are told it in them from going to Hell, a god that made the condition of salvation that he know most would not meet, but he is going to torment a soul for eternity because the person did not meet it. This god made most of mankind just so he could torment souls that were in them forever as their creed says, "To His good pleasure;" if it were “to His good pleasure” to torment for eternity there would be no way to escape the conclusion that tormenting is just what such a god wants to do and takes pleasure (enjoyment) in doing it; predestinated eternal torment could serve only one purpose, an infinite desire for vengeance; a punishment that never ends would guarantee that justice will never prevail; if justice did demands an endless punishment them justice will remain eternally unsatisfied.
No amount of preaching or teaching can change the number that shall be in this Hell not even by one person. The Westminster Confession says, "By the decree of God, for the Manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto Everlasting Life, and others foreordained unto everlasting death;" this view believes God loves a few and saved them, but that He hates most, that He could save all but does not want to; Calvinist believe God’s anger will be visited upon rebels whose rebellion was preordained by God; how could anyone say God is love when they believe He dose not want most of mankind saved, that He made them just so He could torment them? Some Protestants still believe this version of Hell that their god made most of mankind just so he could torment souls for eternity. This version of Hell is not near as poplar as it was a few years ago and is losing believers even in the churches that teach it. Those who say they are orthodox Protestants but do not believe the Calvin Version of Hell far out number those who do.
JOHN CALVIN said of those in Hell that they are, “Forever harassed with a dreadful tempest; that shall feel themselves torn asunder by an angry God, and transfixed and penetrated by mortal stings, terrified by the thunderbolts of God, and broken by the weight of his hand, so that to sink into any gulf would be more tolerable than to stand for a moment in these terrors.” There is nothing like this in the Bible, he made it up, it is pure slander of God.
(2) THE JONATHAN EDWARDS VERSIONS OF HELL: Also an early Protestant Version and there was a time when most Protestants believed this view of Hell, but now only a few believe it. There are countless variations of the Jonathan Edwards version of Hell, both major and minor variations, about as many as there are preachers who preach it with each preacher trying to out do the others in telling of the horrors of Hell; each one trying to make the god of Hell more evil then the others have. Most taught God had given Hell over to Satan, and Satan will roast most souls forever, and torment them however he wishes to. Some have demons peeling off the burning flash of those in Hell with God making sure they keep it up forever. Some have God doing the tormenting of Satan, the demons, and souls that were in the lost, with God forever pouring in fire and brimstone, and thousands of other ways of tormenting In the past it was taught in books and painting, (see below (6) “Satan will be doing the tormenting version of Hell,”) now it has mostly been changed to it is God that is doing the tormenting. Jonathan Edwards said God "will crush their blood out and make it fly, so that it will sprinkle his garment and stain all his raiment." They never tell how they know such details. Put all their horrors together and it would take many books to tell then all, horrors that are pure fiction with nothing that is even remotely kin in the Bible to the countless horrors they tell of, yet they falsely preach these made up falsehoods as if they were the word of God; many of these preachers get very specific with the details of the torment. Edwards’ god is like a person that puts cats in a microwave oven for pleasure, and those in Heaven take delight in seeing the cats (souls) squirming in agony. These "Hellfire" preachers are not as poplar as they once were, and their audience is much smaller. It is unimportant to them if they have no Bible for their Hell or its horrors; the badly mistranslated King James Version is all they need to make their Hell believable to many with whatever kind of torments their imagination wanted to put in it. Some believers of the Calvin version also believe this version and mix the two together. There is not much unity of belief among the Protestants of today. In almost any church if the preacher started preached sermons about Hell that was like the one's Edwards preached he would be out of work very soon. The god Edward believed in would have no problem with tormenting the lost; his god would take great pleasure in tormenting, and, according to Edward, the saints in Heaven will watch with pleasure and satisfaction. The worst torment any man can or ever has given to another man is nothing to what Jonathan Edwards described God doing in his sermon, “Sinner in the Hands of an Angry God.”
The Protestant doctrine of Hell as taught by Calvin and Edwards is much more hideous and evil that anything that was taught in the Dark Age by the Catholic Church.
IN THE NOT TOO DISTANCE PAST BOTH THE CALVIN AND THE EDWARDS HELL WAS TAUGHT AND BELIEVED BY MOST PROTESTANTS, BUT WHAT IS BELIEVED ABOUT HELL IS EVER CHANGING AND NOW VERY FEW PROTESTANTS BELIEVED IN EITHER ONE, NOW BOTH HAVE BEEN GIVEN UP BY MOST CHURCHES.
(3) THE “REVISIONIST” VERSION OF HELL: Is a reaction to the traditional versions of Hell, an attempt to take the monster out of God that the Catholic, Calvin, Edwards, and other versions make Him to be by taking the Hell out of Hell. This view takes the suffering out of Hell and makes it into a place for those to live that have chosen to live separate from God. Though there will be no joy in this “Hell” as there will be in Heaven with God, there will be no pain or torment, just bare existence.
(4) THE GRAPHIC VERSION OF HELL: The sinners will be tormented in the parts of their bodies that sinned.
WILLIAM CROCKETT, "In short, whatever member of the body sinned, that member would be punished more than any other in hell...In Christian literature we find blasphemers hanging by their tongues. Adulterous women who plaited their hair to entice men dangle over boiling mire by their...hair." "Four Views on Hell" page 46. There is no way that this version of Hell could be harmonized with Vine’s, “The immaterial, invisible part of man.”
(5) TWO HELLS, THE LITERAL FIRE HELL: Augustine said, “That hell, which also is called a lake of fire and brimstone, will be material fire and will torment the bodies of the damned.” This literal version of Hell is where the earthly bodies of the lost, not souls, are literally burning for all eternality but can never burn up; while the body is tormented in Hell, the soul will also be being tormented, body and soul are both tormented, but both are tormented separately; the body or person in one Hell, and a soul that had been in the person in another Hell.
SPURGEON, one of the best known of Baptist preachers, said, "When thou driest, thy soul will be tormented alone; that will be a hell for it; but at the day of judgment thy body will join thy soul and then thou wilt have twin hells, thy soul sweating drops of blood, and thy body suffused with agony. In fire exactly like that which we have on earth, thy body will lie, asbestos like, forever unconsumed, all thy veins roads for the feet of pain to travel on, every nerve a string on which the devil shall forever play his diabolical tune of hell's unutterable lament." From his sermon "The Resurrection of the Dead." Like most who believe God will forever torment many billions, he must have some revelation that is not in the Bible to tell him about their suffering. In his day most orthodox Protestants believed the Devil would be doing the tormenting, but today most orthodox Protestants think he was wrong, that God is the one who will be doing the tormenting. The man made "Hell" is forever changing. What was orthodox in his day is no longer orthodox. For many Baptists his truth is no longer truth.
(6) SATAN WILL BE DOING THE TORMENTING VERSION OF HELL: Satan and his angels will be doing the tormenting, but they could only be executing the will of God that the lost be tormented for they could not torment souls that had been in the lost without God letting them. This view was believed by most in the Dark Age, and by most Jonathan Edwards preachers who often speak of “the devil Hell” as though Hell was a place that belonged to Satan. Most Protestants have now abandon the view of Satan and his demons doing the tormenting, but I remember that this was believed by most when I was a child, and was what most Protestants believed at that time. Many painting in museums and churches show Satan and his demons roasting those in Hell, and tormenting them in every way the painters could think up.
HENRY WARD BEECHES Henry Ward Beeches speaking of Michael Angelo's painting, The Last Judgment said, "Let anyone see the enormous gigantic coils of fiends and man; let anyone look at the defiant Christ that stands like a superb athlete at the front, hurling his enemies from him and calling his friends toward him as Hercules might have done; let anyone look upon that hideous wriggling mass that goes plunging down through the air-serpents and man and beasts of every nauseous kind, mixed together; let him look at the lower parts of the picture, where with the pitchforks men are by devils being cast into cauldrons and into burning fires, where hateful fiends are gnawing the skulls of suffering sinners, and where there is hellish cannibalism going on-let a man look at that picture and scenes which it depicts, and he sees what were the ideas which man once had of Hell and of divine justice. It was a night-mare as hideous as was ever begotten by the hellish brood it-self; and it was an atrocious slander on God...I do not wonder that men have reacted from these horrors."
There are hundreds or thousands of this kind of paintings in museums and churches around the world especially in Italy that were made in the dark ages, and they that show what was believed about who would torment the lost. These painting show a god that is bringing millions into existence ever year and then casting them to demons for the demons to torment.
Satan and his demons are never punished in this version of Hell Satan and evil spirits are forever over "Hell," and will forever be able to torment most souls that had been in mankind. Instead of being punished, they will have forever triumphed over God, and will forever have a kingdom of their own where they will work their evil on souls as they please to, and as it gives them pleasure. This version of Hell makes there be something like two kingdoms or two universes after the judgment with Satan over one with most souls that had been in the lost before the death of the persons, but these souls are now in Satan’s kingdom, and God over a much smaller number in His kingdom. Both God and Satan would have eternal power in their kingdom, and the division between Heaven; this Hell would mean God would not ever have a victory over evil.
(7) GOD WILL BE DOING THE TORMENTING VERSION OF HELL: Satan and his angels will be tormented by God just as all souls that had the lost of mankind. There has been a major change by many Protestants from Satan doing the tormenting to God forever being in Hell and doing the tormenting.
(8) THE METAPHORICAL VIEW OF BOTH HEAVEN AND HELL: We are not told what Heaven and Hell will literally be like. This view of Hell is that we are told in pictures that tell us Heaven will be a place of beauty more than anything on this earth, and that Hell will be worse than anything on this earth. Because we cannot understand what Heaven will really be like, we are given the picture of a city with gold streets and pearl gates to picture for us its great beauty and value, but it will not literally be made of gold, pearls, or of anything that we have on this earth. The metaphorical view of is Hell is pictured as a place of fire; being burned in fire is one of the worst pains we know of, but those that believes this version do not believe it will be literally fire, as we know it, or literal darkness as we know it. In this view none of the literal torments of the Jonathan Edwards Version are possible, for they are all things of this earth that will not be in Hell. This version of "Hell" taught by William Crockett in “Four Views On Hell” seems to be growing rapidly, for it is looked on as a way to make God less evil, but in fact it does not for whatever would be symbolized by being tormented by eternal fire would be just as bad as being eternally tormented by literal fire, and God would still be the one doing the eternal torment.
(9) BILLY GRAHAM’S MENTAL ANGUISH VERSION OF HELL: This version of Hell changes Hell from a place to a state of mind. Billy Graham said, "Could it be that the fire Jesus talked about is an eternal search for God that is never quenched? That, indeed, would be hell. To be away from God forever, separated from His Presence," The Challenge: Sermons from Madison Square Garden, 1969, page. 75. He makes Hell be only a state of mind. In "The World To Come," page 300, Isaac Watts makes the worm be the conscience of a person eating on himself for all eternally. A survey by US News, January 2000, page 47, says 53 percent of Americans believe Hell to be only mental anguish. This is an attempt by some to lessen the negative effect of Hell making God cruel and sadistic, but the attempt is a complete failure. Replacing physical torment with mental anguish does nothing to change Hell by making the torment be less. Mental anguish can be worse than physical pain, and it would still be unbearable torment without end. Billy Graham, who is an orthodox Protestant, would in no way been called orthodox by Calvin or Jonathan Edwards, nor would many others that believe Hell is only mental anguish as he does. The old orthodox is some times the very opposite of the new orthodox. In the mental anguish version of Hell for sins after death, Hell is not a place but a state of mind, of anguish caused by separation from God, the sinner punishes himself after death; it is not God that punishes him, but where are all the sinners that are punishing themselves? If they are not in Heaven or Hell, where are they? Alexander Campbell: "The sinner's suffering by mental agony, produced by sin, greater than could be caused by material fire," "Five discourses on Hell" 1848. This version of Hell that is believed by Billy Graham, Alexander Campbell, and over 53 percent of Americans is a totally difference Hell than the orthodox Hell of Calvin; the real material fire preached by Edwards and Calvin has been replaced with, for lack of a better name, a spiritual fire that mentally torments, but this fire never burns up anything .
(10) THE ETERNAL SINNING VERSION OF HELL: sin is self-perpetuating and the sinner cannot stop sinning even when tormented in Hell for it; therefore God must keep tormenting them without end. This version of Hell is just another attempt to justifier God for tormenting for all eternity for the sins commented in this lifetime. Some protestant believe that the sins in this lifetime are not enough to be tormented for all eternity, but souls that were in the lost person that sins in this lifetime, these souls will keep on sinning after they are in Hell and will never stop sinning; therefore, the tormenting of these souls by God will never stop.
If it were true that the sinner could never stop sinning after death then would it not be true that the sinner can never stop sinning in this lifetime; therefore, no one could ever be saved?
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL: "We do not maintain that men are punished eternally for sins committed in this life only. The analysis of the sufferings of a future retribution, which we have just given, is itself sufficient evidence of this fact; for the indulgence of voluntary depravity is itself both sin and punishment. As a consequence of past sins, the sinner has formed the habit of sinning. It is a law of man's nature, that habit creates both a tendency to certain acts, and a facility in their performance. As the result of the habit of sinning, formed in this life, a tendency to repeat acts of sin is carried on by the sinner into a future world; and every such act repeated in that world not only perpetuates, but increases the tendency to further acts of the same kind: and thus, as by every repeated act the tendency to sin is increased, and as every act also brings with it its own punishment, so, by the laws of man's mental and moral nature, the sinner's progress in both sin and suffering in a future world, is like that of a falling body, which increases its velocity as the square of the distance increase through which it falls. There is, therefore, just as little probability that a sinner, left to himself in a future world, should repent and turn to God, as that a falling body should arrest itself in its downward course, and ascend to the elevation from which it fell...surely the assumption that our doctrine supposes that God punishes sinners eternally for sins committed in this brief and frail life is wholly gratuitous." "Five discourses on Hell," page 65, April 9, 1848, Daniel Davies Publisher.
Is he saying the millions that live and die without ever hearing about God are harden sinners and that not a one would ever repent? Human nature is such that it can change; even the very bad can and do change in this lifetime. Is he saying God will change human nature in such a way that no one will be able to change, not one of the many millions will be able to repent? Will God deliberately change all so that they cannot stop sinning; therefore, He can torment them for all eternally? This version of Hell makes even the worse sinners able to repent and change in this lifetime, but after death all sinners will go on sinning with not one of them will ever be able to stop. It makes there be no end to sin.
Not many members of the Christian Church or the church of Christ any longer believe as Alexander Campbell, but it is now being taught by many Protestants.
(11) C. S. LEWIS’S THE ALMOST PLEASANT HELL: In Great Divorce C. S. Lewis pictures Hell as not black, but only a little gray almost pleasant place where souls that are that are in it can take bus trips into Heaven for the day and return to Hell. See “The Destruction Of the Finally Impenitent” by Clark H. Pinnock at: http://www.abccoggc.org.jrad/volume2/issue1/jrad_v02.1_art2.htm - There is an almost constant rationalizing of the doctrine of Hell to make the God of Hell a less evil God, even making immaterial souls take bus trips.
(12) PROTESTANT TRADITIONALIST VERSIONS OF HELL: Most who say they are orthodox and traditionalist believes souls that had been in the lost persons will be kept alive with some kind of punishment, but beyond this there is little agreement among them. Some believe much as did Jonathan Edwards and Calvin, that there will be torment for all souls that are in Hell beyond anything that we can now know of. There are others Protestants who utterly repudiate both Calvin’s and Edward's Hell; they believe that there will be some kind of eternal punishment, but it may be nothing more then a little mental anguish, or just being deprived of all good. Others are at all points between the two, even when they are in the same denomination. In those who call themselves "traditionalists," there are wide ranges of views; yet, they all say they are orthodox and traditionalist! Orthodox is a big blanket, and growing bigger all the time. Even so, few if any who are orthodox and traditionalist believe the same, and there is a world of difference in what is orthodox in the Protestants churches. Many who say they are orthodox do not believe in once saved always saved, infant baptism, Augustine's view on predestination, the millennium, and countless other differences in what is traditional and orthodox. Although they cannot agree among themselves over what is traditional, they attack all who do not believe in one of their many versions of "Hell" for not being orthodox or traditional, nonetheless accept many as being orthodox who believes in an entirely different "Hell," and even accept Premillennial, which has many who do not believe in any version of Hell, or believe that Hell will be on this earth, and will last for only a short time.
(13) PROTESTANT PREMILLENNIAL VERSIONS OF HELL: From all the information I can find there are many more Protestants who believe in some form of Premillennial teaching than not. Premillennial variations found in the Protestants churches are pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, post-tribulation, partial-rapture, many mini-raptures, already past rapture, the tribulation period, historic Premillennial, Post Millennialists, Dispensationalist, and many more. Many of the Premillennial versions of Hell are somewhat similar to either the Seventh-Day Advent Version of Hell, or the Church of God Version of Hell. Many of the Premillennial versions of Hell are far from being what is thought of as being orthodox, but most all Premillennialists are thought of as being Protestant, orthodox and traditional.
UNORTHODOX IN ORTHODOX CHURCHES: It may come as a surprise to many that there may be more who say they are orthodox Protestants who do not believe Hell to be eternal torment than there are orthodox Protestants who do believe Hell to be an actual real place of eternal torment. When US New says 53 percent of Americans believes Hell to be only mental anguish, many of that 53 percent are orthodox Protestant, and this 53 percent is in addition to the many Protestant Premillennialists who do not believe Hell to be a place of eternal torment. When some say that is only Jehovah's Witnesses teaching, they seem to be blind to the fact that this is the teaching of many of the orthodox Protestants, and the number of orthodox Protestants that do not believe in the Jonathan Edwards or Calvin versions of Hell is now greater then the number that do. Much of what is accepted as orthodox today would have been called heresy 200 years ago by most all Protestant Churches. It came as a surprise to me, as I am sure it will be to many, that many orthodox Protestants believe none of the saved will go to Heaven, but will live on this earth for eternity. Many Protestant Premillennialists believe this. It may also come as a surprise to many that those who say they are orthodox Protestant, but do not believe Christ to be God, but is a created being that did not exist before His birth. Many believe Him to be a chosen one by God, and that He is now in Heaven, but will come back to earth, set up the kingdom of God in Jerusalem, and will rule the kingdom, which will always be on this earth. It seems to be OK to not believe in Christ as being equal with God, but not OK not to believe God to be crueler than any other being, and that He will torment all souls that were in the lost forever.
(14) THE HELL WITH NINE LEVELS: It took nine levels of torment with each one worse then the one above it to satisfy the imaginative mind of Dante. The first level was for those who had committed no sins. The lowest level of the insufferable depths was dominated not by flames but by freezing winds and eternal ice. Even the first of the levels, which he called circles, is a prison for those who committed no sins on earth, but were unbaptized and without knowledge of Christ. Each level or circle becomes increasingly worse, consistent with the degree of the guilt of the sinner.
(15) REALIZED ESCHATOLOGY, THE A. D. 70 VERSION OF HELL: It is difficult to pen down just what they believe. This Protestant version of Hell seem to be that death is the end of those who are not faithful, and for unbelievers there will never be a resurrection. The second coming of Jesus was in A. D. 70, the resurrection day was also in A. D. 70 when the Old Testament Saints where resurrected, there is no Judgment Day to come, no day that the earth will end. All the Old Testament faithful was resurrected in A. D. 70, which they believe to have been the second coming of Christ, and after A. D. 70 the Judgment Day of each person is the day of their death, (1) the death of the lost is their end, they will never to be resurrected, (2) at the moment of their death all believers are resurrected to eternal life. This seems to be their general teaching, but I am sure that are many variations within Realized Eschatology.
(16) THE “SUDDEN REALIZATION” VERSION OF HELL: A Protestant version that is somewhat like the Roman Catholic Purgatory. When the lost stand before God at the judgment they will suddenly realize how good God is and will repent. Some say it will take only a short time, other say it will take a longer time unto they will be admitted into Heaven, but they may not have all the privileges of Heaven that those that obeyed Christ will have. This is just another attempt to make God less evil then most orthodox Protestant versions of Hell makes Him; no passage says a person can repent after death.
(17) REPHAIM VERSION OF HELL - ONE OF THE PROTESTANT VERSIONS OF HELL: This version of Hell is Protestant; as far as I have been able to find no one teaches it but those who are called orthodox Protestants, but it cannot be called traditional or orthodox. God, angels, and man (after death) are disembodied energy being capable of thought and speech without the need of a body. Rephaim is in the Hebrew Old Testament eight times, and is translated “dead” seven times, and “deceased” one time in the King James Version; it is defined in some Lexicons as "departed spirits," "shades," "shadows," "ghosts," "name of the dead in sheol."
THREE OF THE EIGHT PASSAGES ARE IN ISAIAH. This is a book of many symbols, much like Revelation.
(1) Isaiah 14:9-11 "Sheol from beneath is moved for you to meet you at your coming: it rises up the dead (Rephaim) for you, even all the chief ones of the earth; it has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall answer and say unto you, Have you also become weak as we: have you become like unto us? Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, and the noise of your viols: the worm is spread under you, and worms cover you." This is a description of the fall of Babylon, and it has nothing to do with an immortal something that was in a person. In this metaphor the past dead nations, nations that no longer existed were surprised to see a nation as strong as Babylon joining them. If all souls that had been in the dead were alive, why would the souls that were already in sheol be surprised to see another soul join them after that soul had left the person it was in when souls that were in all that die would join them? It would make no sense if they were surprised to see more souls joining them. Even the trees join in with the dead nations and talk (14:8). Only in a metaphor can past nations that are dead, that no longer exist, and trees talk (Isaiah 14:8).
In this passage Rephaim (one word) is translated:
o “The dead” (two words) in both the King James and the New King James.
o “The spirits of the dead” (five words from one word) in the New American Standard even though “ruach” (spirit) is not in the Hebrew they added it. There is no way to get “spirit” from “rephaim,” but the translators needed to put immortal spirits in the Bible and added it.
o “The spirits of the departed” (five words from one word) in the New International Version. It also added spirits even though spirits is not in the Hebrew.
o “The ancient dead” (three words from one word) in the Revised English Bible even though there is not a word in the Hebrew in this passage that is even remotely kin to “ancient.”
(2) Isaiah 26:14 "They (the nations) are dead (Rephaim), they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise; therefore have you visited and destroyed them, and made all remembrance of them to perish." This is about nations that did not remember God. It has nothing to do with an "immaterial, invisible part of man" after death. It is hard to believe this passage is used to prove that a person has an immortal immaterial, invisible soul, for if it were speaking of this something in a person, then that something is dead, deceased, shall not rise (no resurrection), and all remembrance of that something in a person has been made to perish. If this were an immortal soul, it would be nothing like the immoral soul of today's theology, it would teach there is no life or resurrection after death for a immortal soul, but this passage is used anyway to somehow prove that a soul is alive after death, alive in either Heaven or Hell.
(3) Isaiah 26:19 "Your dead shall live; my dead bodies shall arise. Awake and sing, you that dwell in the dust; for your dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast forth the dead (Rephaim)." Isaiah is speaking of the nation of Israel that was dead, they were slaves in bondage to another nation because they had left God, now they had repented and were being restored as a nation. He is not speaking of the resurrection of any individuals Jews.
o In Isaiah 26:14, which is speaking of nations, the nations are dead and shall not rise (shall not be restored).
o In Isaiah 26:19, which is speaking of Isaiah, it shall live, shall arise (shall be restored).
o If these were speaking of souls that had been in individuals, as Robert Morey in "Death and The Afterlife," on page 79 says he would have these souls both (1) “shall not rise” and (2) “shall rise.”
Note: the King James Version in both Isaiah 14:9; 26:14 and 26:19 changed the Hebrew proper name, Rephaim, to “the dead,” the New American standard changed it to “the spirits of the dead” in 14:9, and “departed spirits” in 26:14 and 26:19. Why did they change what God said; the Hebrew does not say “the dead,” “spirits of the dead” or “departed spirits”; neither one is a proper noun, Rephaim is a proper noun, and there is no authority for changing it. Isaiah 26:19 is speaking of the nation of Isaiah, not of departed spirits. The New International Version in 14:9 says “spirits of the departed” when neither “spirit” nor “departed” is in the Hebrew. Is not this just another attempt of the translators to change God’s word to put their view into the Bible, even if they had to change the proper noun God used into some thing other than a proper noun?
THE OTHER FIVE PASSAGES ARE IN THE POETICAL BOOKS.
1. Job 26:5-6 "They that are deceased (Rephaim) tremble beneath the waters and the inhabitants thereof. Sheol is naked before God, and Abaddon ("Destruction" New International Version) has no covering."
2. Psalm 88:10-12 "Will you show wonders to the dead (Rephaim)? Shall they that are deceased arise and praise you? Shall your loving kindness be declared in the grave? Or your faithfulness in destruction?"
3. Proverbs 2:18-19 "For her ("adulteress" New American Standard Version) house sinks down to death, and her tracks lead to the dead; (Rephaim) none who go to her return again, neither do they reach the paths of life."
4. Proverbs 9:18-19 "But he knows not that the dead (Rephaim) are there; that her (the foolish woman or adulteress) guests are in the depths of Sheol."
5. Proverbs 21:16 "The man that wandered out of the way of understanding shall rest in the assembly of the dead (Rephaim)."
All five refer to the lost, and speak of their death, deceased, destruction, dead, not ever attaining unto the paths of life again, resting with the dead. The dead are simply spoken of as being dead; nothing is said about a soul being alive after the death of the person. There is nothing in any of the five passages above that say anything about a soul being alive in Heaven, Hell, or Abraham's bosom at any time, not before or after the judgment; they are an undeniable contradiction to the orthodox doctrine of being alive and going to Heaven or Hell at death.
What do many believe? These passages are used to prove all the dead; both the good and the evil souls are now "Rephaim." Many who believe all souls that were in the dead go immediately to Heaven or Hell at death use it although it would make a soul not be in Heaven or Hell where they believe the immaterial, invisible something that is now in a person will be after the person is dead.
(1). The Protestant version is that the dead are now alive in Heaven or Hell.
(2). The after judgment version is that the dead are now alive in hades with some on the good side of hades and some on the bad side, but both use these passages, and have the dead being in four places simultaneously, 1) Abraham’s bosom, 2) Heaven, 3) Hell, 4) Rephaim.
(3). The Rephaim version is that souls of both the good and the bad are together and exist only as shades, or shadows, they are not in Heaven or Hell. Yet, those who believe the Protestant version, or the newer after judgment version of Hell sometimes use "Rephaim" to prove "Hell" even though it would put all souls that were dead together, and not where they believe these souls to be, and definitely nothing like the immortal soul of today's theology. The attack on Hell that is coming from many in most all churches is forcing them to take views not many Christians believe. The Rephaim version seems to be used only by those who are trying to prove a person has an immortal soul, but are hard pushed to find any passage to prove it.
Which way do they go? "Rephaim" is used by Protestants in a way that does not agree with what they believe and teach; Protestants believe that the saved will be in their eternal home with Christ in Heaven at death, but step away from this belief and say at death both the saved and unsaved are together, and have only a weak shadowy existence, and will have this shadowy existence unto the resurrection. Even if we did grant that Rephaim is the "immaterial, invisible part of man" after death, it would contradict their beliefs about the "soul" being in Heaven or Hell. It makes all the dead be "shades" "shadows." Anyway you look at it, the eight times Rephaim is used they do more to refute the belief of going to Heaven at death than they do to support it. Are they so desperately in need of proof that a person has an immaterial, invisible something in them that can never die that they reach for anything, even if it is far from what they believe and want to find?
Robert Morey, an orthodox Protestant, has written one of the most accepted and used books in defense of the doctrine of Hell that has come out in recent years. In his book he makes an argument for Hell which I think shows just how desperate he is for any kind of proof. In "Death And The Afterlife," On page 79 he said from the meaning of Rephaim, when the body dies, man enters a new kind of existence. He then will exist as a spirit creature, and experiences what angels and other spirits experience. Just as angels are disincarnate energy beings and are composed only of mind or mental energy, and are capable of thought and speech without the need of a body, when man dies, he becomes a disembodied energy being, and is capable of thought and speech without the need of a body. This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to prove that the "immaterial, invisible part of man" has some kind of life somewhere before and without the resurrection. Not a one of the eight passages where Rephaim is used says anything about a Rephaim being like God and angels. Not one of the eight, or any passage in the Bible says God and angels are nothing but thoughts. He must have made that up out of thin air and hoped you would not see it is not in any of the eight passages. I wonder if he sees how low he is making God if God were like the Rephaim in the eight passages? That he is making God be only "shades," "shadows," "ghosts," "name of the dead in sheol."
(1). He has made God, angels, and souls that are in mankind be nothing more than "energy beings” after the judgment to be nothing more than mental thoughts with no substance. Although he did not mention God, he has reduced God to being nothing more than thoughts, an "energy being." Morey's God has no body, no substance of any kind; therefore, Morey's Heaven can exist only in the mind of God; it cannot be a real place; he must some how make God, angels, and souls all have the same thoughts, or the Heaven that was only in the thoughts of each being would be an entirely different Heaven if their thoughts were not exactly the same thoughts. Any being, angels, demons, saved souls, and lost souls would each make their own Heaven or Hell in their thoughts, if any one being had different thoughts they would have a different Heaven or Hell.
(2). He has made God weak. Morey has made souls and angels be disembodied energy being capable of thought and speech without the need of body and they are described as "Are you also become weak as we: have you become like unto us?" "God is a Spirit" (John 4:24); Morey has spirits without bodies described as weak, as being nothing more than mental thoughts, which according to him would include God being described as weak, and being nothing more than mental thoughts. Is his God just weak mental thoughts, is that what your God is like?
(3). He has made the only difference in a soul after the death of the person and God to be only a difference in intelligence. He says both are nothing but mind without any substance.
(4). He has made God limited. According to Morey, God does not have any substance; God is only thoughts without a body. This has not entered the mind of most who believe a person now has an immortal spirit in him, and if it did most would reject it, but their belief that an immortal spirit is now in a person means a soul, according to Morey, God and all heavenly being are nothing more than thoughts without a body. Robert Morey and others who try to prove persons now has an immortal spirit in them has been pushed into this belief. The belief that a person has a dual nature dictates what they can believe about the nature of God. They believe the immortal spirit that is now in a person cannot now be seen for it has no substance; therefore, because God is spirit, then He can have no substance; He can be only a mind with no body.
THOMAS JEFFERSON in a letter to John Adams in 1820 said, "To say that God, angels, and the human soul, are immaterial, is to say they are nothing. At what age of the church the heresy of immaterialism crept in, I do not know; but a heresy is certainly is—Jesus taught nothing of it."
(5). Morey has developed Plato's doctrine that the body is a prison to a soul, which is set free by the death of the body, far beyond what Plato ever did. To put a soul (an "energy being" that is only "mind") back in a body at the resurrection would be to put it back in a prison.
(6). Also, Morey's Hell could only be mental anguish. There would be no body to torment. He has made it impossible for Hell to be anything more than mental pain. Only something in the mind of souls that are nothing but mind. None of the other "orthodox Protestant" version of Hell could be possible; therefore, what most Protestants have believed for centuries was wrong.
(7). Morey has made Paul not know what he was talking about when he said, "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body...there is also a spiritual body" (1 Corinthians 15:44). He cannot believe in the resurrection. How could he when he has made a soul be composed only of "mind," just as he says the angels and God now are composed only of mind? There could not be a mortal that "must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:54), for his "energy being" is now just as immortal as it will always be, and even before the death of the person it is now like God and angels now are. There cannot be a resurrection of any kind of body, not one in the image of Adam, or in the image of Christ. Not the earthly body, or the new spiritual body for there will be no body, nothing but "mind." There cannot be a resurrection of the "mind or mental energy," for at death this "mind or mental energy" will be just as it will always be; therefore, there could not be any kind of resurrection.
What is their no substance soul and no substance Heaven? What could it be if it has no substance? God made all things out of nothing. If a soul has no substance while it is in a person, it will still be nothing after it leaves the person. Are they saying when God made angels and souls that God made nothing out of nothing; and this God who made nothing out of nothing is Himself nothing?
HEAVEN IS A REAL PLACE: “For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24; 8:5). The holy place made with hands was a real place that was a copy of the true holy place; a real place could not be a copy of something that did not exist, which was only a thought in a mind that has no substance. Christ entered “INTO HEAVEN ITSELF.” If Christ and God were only thoughts with no substance, and Heaven was only something in their minds, it would mean a thought entered into the thoughts that were only in the mind of the thought; Morey makes this and many other passages to be pure nonsense. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2-3). Thoughts do not have a house with dwelling places; Christ went to prepare a place for “you” not for thoughts only. Heaven is a real place with real dwelling places for a real “you.” You cannot prepare a place in a place that is not a place. There is not a hint of uncertainty in Christ’s statement about where He was going to prepare a place.
o “In my Father’s house.” Where is the father’s house? In Heaven, not on Earth.
o “I go to prepare a place for you.” Christ was on Earth when He said, “I go.” Where does He say He is going? To His Father’s house which is in Heaven.
NOTE: I have tried to give the views of the majority in each in the above Protestants versions of Hell. In each of them, there are many individuals and/or small groups who believe in many different variations of that believed by the majority.
Summary: Protestants that believe in Hell are contradictory as to what and where Hell will be.
o Some believe Hell to be a lake of fire and brimstone.
o Some believe Hell will be banishment from the presence of God.
o Some believe Hell to be only mental anguish.
o Some believe God will give most of mankind to Satan to torment, as he wants to.
o Some believe God will not only be doing the tormenting, but He will have great pleasure in the tormenting of souls.
o Many believe a version of Hell that makes God be infinite cruel by creating million foreknowing that He was creating them with no chance to not be in Hell.
o Some believe many other contradictory versions of Hell.
EIGHT OTHER VERSIONS OF HELL:
(1) The Abraham's bosom, or the after judgment Hell. A newer version of Hell, Church of Christ, Christian Church. This version is based almost entirely on an interpretation of Luke 16:19-31 (see chapter eight, part one). Most members of the Church of Christ, the Christian Church and some Protestants believe it although it is not generally accepted as being orthodox or traditional Protestant. In this version all who do not obey Christ will go to Hell, but not unto after the coming of Christ and the judgment; and no one goes to Heaven before the judgment (no instant rapture). According to this version, at death all are taken to an intermediate holding place where the lost are tormented, and the saved are rewarded in a place sometimes called "Abraham's bosom." Instead of all being in Heaven or in Hell unto the second coming of Christ, all are either on the good side or on the bad side of hades, and Christ will take them out of hades at His coming, and judge them a second time to see whether He made a mistake the first time and had put them on the wrong side of hades. A baby who has not come to the age of accountability is not lost and will go to the good side of hades. After the judgment God will personally do the tormenting for eternity of all souls that had been in the lost persons, and Satan and his angels and all souls will be tormented together.
This view has two places where God is going to torture the lost; (1) in one side of hades that is a temporary place of torture, and will last only unto the second coming of Christ, (2) and "Hell" which after the resurrection will be a permanent place where God will torture most souls without end. No deathless soul is now in Heaven or Hell, and it will not be unto after the resurrection and judgment. This is the view I was taught from the time I became a Christian, and I believed it a long time. I have many books and tracts in which well-known preachers and teachers, such as H. Leo Boles, E. M. Zerr, B. W. Johnson, and many others who teach this view; but lately it seems to be dying out in the church, and is being replaced by going immediately to Heaven or Hell at death without the Resurrection or Judgment, particularly at funerals where preachers often say the soul that was in the dead person is now in Heaven. Most all think of and speak of their loved ones, not souls, as now being in Heaven with Jesus, not in Abraham's bosom unto the judgment.
“When a ‘faithful’ member dies, he or she does not ‘go’ to heaven or hell. The person is not ‘sentenced’ by Christ to heaven or hell until ‘Judgment Day’…There will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous (Acts 24:15).”
(2) Edward Fudge version: The short Hell, God will torment the lost in Hell for a short time, then Hell will end: He uses the name Hell as if it was a Bible name, but thinks it will last for only a limited time, and will end with the total destruction of souls in it. He may have Hell and the wrath and fury of God at the judgment confused (“The Fire That Consumes,” 1982 edition). Roger Dickson believes the duration of Hell will fit the crime, and then will end. It will be short for some souls, and longer for other souls. He says, "After the stripes have been given, then the destruction occurs, for which there is no reverse" page 162ff, "Life, Death, And Beyond." Is he renaming the Judgment Day, and calling it "Hell?" If I understand him right, he thinks the souls that had been in the lost will go to Hell, but the not so bad souls will not be tormented as long as the very bad. After the "punishment matches the crime" he says they will then be destroyed (page 163). (1) "Shall be beaten with many stripes" (Luke 12:47). This is used to prove there will be an end after the stripes. He seem to think, "Beaten with few stripes" could not be as long as "beaten with many stripes;" therefore, could not take forever; some souls would be tormented longer than others, but the torment will end with death for all. (2) This short Hell is different from the Church of God short Hell in that it will not be on this earth, and there will be no second chance, it will end with death from which there will be no resurrection.
Fate of the unsaved: Brother Fudge believes there is a Hell and all the lost will be in it, but believes it will be a short Hell that will end with the death of those that has been in Hell for a while, and they will be tormented by God for as long as they are in Hell. He says, “They will be sentenced to hell where they will die,” but did not give one passage that tells us the lost will “be sentenced to hell.”
The fate of those not in Christ according to:
o According to the Bible
o Death – Resurrection – Judgment – Second death
o According to Fudge
o Death – Resurrection – Judgment – Torment in Hell – Second death
During the Judgment there most likely will be fear and regret when the lost see what they have lost by not being a Christian. Fudge then adds a place between the Judgment and the second death that is not in the Bible, names it “Hell” and says God will torment the lost, some with more torment, some with less torment before the second death.
We are sometimes told there will be life and torment after the judgment in the lake of fire a short time for some, but a longer time for others. There is nothing in the Bible about some souls being tormented by God in the lake of fire longer than He will torment other souls, or about any place were God will torment persons or souls that had been in persons after the judgment; that there will be such a place is a 100% made-up addition to the Bible to teach God will torment most in a shout Hell before He lets them die. It is persons that commits “murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars” (Revelation 21:8) not souls; it is the persons that committed these sins that will die, not souls that cannot die that will die because of the sins of the persons they were in.
Death, pain, and torment: Natural death can be painless, or with much pain. A person can die in their sleep with no pain, or suffer for years and die slowly.
Violent death is the same. It can be quick and painless, or death can come slowly with much pain. Two persons killed in an explosion; one is blown to bits instantly with no time for pain, the other one is hurt badly and takes hours or even days to die with much pain.
After the judgment, death, not being tormented by God, is the punishment, the black darkness of endless nothing. There is nothing said about some dying will little pain, and other dying with much suffering. Not anything about God tormenting any after their resurrection and before their second death, not for a short time or a longer time, nothing about tormenting them in a place called Hell or any other place.
F. LAGARD SMITH, a teacher of Bible at Lipscomb University in his book, “After Life, A Glimpse of Eternity Beyond Death’s Door,” also teachers there is a Hell, but a Hell that will end, no one will be tormented without end. He says on page 191 that sooner or later there is a point that the torment in Hell will end.
"Beaten with few stripes" is in a parable addressed to those of that day, it is not an actual event after the resurrection and Judgment Day with God beating with a whip (Luke 12:41; 12:49-53). In the Law of Moses God limited "many stripes" to 40 lashes, never more than 40 (Deuteronomy 25:3; Luke 12:47; Acts 16:23; 2 Corinthians 11:24). According to him the stripes will end, but with many the "many stripes," which was no more then 40 is used by those that believe Hell is endless torment to prove that God will forever give not only the 40, but stripes without end, an uncountable number of stripes to those in Hell. In the parable in Luke 12:47-48 both the “beaten with few strips” and the “beaten with many stripes” are changed to “beaten with an endless uncountable number of blows given by God to be a countless number at the same time He is burning them in the lake of fire; this change that puts both the “few stripes” and the “many stripes” in Hell must be made to make the stripes go on being given by God for eternity and never stop, for if the “few stripes” were not an endless number and God ever stopped His beating, Hell would have ended. If there were a Hell that had no end, after the “few stripes” reached a number that no man could count, the stripes would have just begin. All the details that make up any of the parables cannot be taken literally. The point to parables is that they all teach a lesson. The lesson to this parable is that to whoever much is given much will be required, we are to use whatever ability we have whether much of little. More is required in this lifetime of the person that has much ability than of the person that has little ability, but even the person that has little ability must use what he or she has. Nothing is taught in this parable about any punishment after the judgment. To in any way say the cruel never ending Hell as it is taught today where God will be burning living souls for all eternally to be spoken of as “few stripes” is nothing more that mockery.
Death and only death is the wages of sin; there is no passage in the Bible that says wages of sin for a soul that will be in “Hell” for a short time any more than there is one that says souls will be in a “Hell” that has no end. The lake of fire is not a real literal lake of fire, it is a symbol picture of death, any living being cast into a lake of fire would be dead almost instantly. John clearly said the lake of fire “is the second death” (Revelation 20:8), not life for a short time for some, but a longer life of torment for others. Their punishment is not being tormented by God unto they have paid for their sins and then the torment will end; their punishment is an eternal death, an eternal punishment, (Matthew 25:46). A place called “Hell” does not exist in the Bible, not a short Hell, or an eternal Hell. Hell is altogether a pagan teaching of man.
For those that believe in an endless Hell, “few stripes” presents a problem. As Robert A. Taylor said in “Rescue From Death,” if a persons that receives the “few stripes” received but one stripe a year, after a trillion years that person would have received a trillion stripes with countless trillions of stripes without end yet to come. There is no way that a countless number of trillions could be call a “few stripes.” He said, “The traditional view of Hell is fundamentally a nightmare beyond comprehension,” “Rescue From Death,” page 99.
This short Hell were God will torment for a while and then the lost will pay the wages of sin, death, is taught by Timothy J. Barnett in “Endless Hell Ended,” 1987, and by many others as a way to make God be less evil then many of the orthodox Protestant versions of Hell have made Him.
(3) Christadelphians version of Hell: This version says those who never heard the Gospel will never be raised. Death is the end of them. Only those who heard the Gospel will be raised at the second coming of Christ, and judged to see whether they were faithful. The faithful will have eternal life on Earth, which will be restored to be like Eden before Adam sinned. The unfaithful of those who heard the Gospel, and were raised will be annihilated by the second death.
(4) Church of God version of Hell (and others): According to this version both Heaven and Hell will be on this earth. After the resurrection of earthly bodies on this restored earth, all will be given a second chance to accept Christ. Most will, but the few who will not accept Christ will suffer the second death. Their torment will end in death from which there will never be a resurrection. The saved will be raised and live on the earth restored to be the way it was before Adam sinned, with a body like Adam before he was put out of the garden. No one will ever be in Heaven. I have not been able to find how they think Adam's body was different before he was put out of the garden than it was after. Many Premillennialists who are in most Protestant churches believe this version of Hell, or one that is very similar to it.
(5) Universalist version of Hell, The "age lasting" Hell: This Hell will last for only an age; then all will be saved. Universalist calls it a time of "attitude adjustments," or "age-during correction." They do not see it as God torturing souls in a literal lake or anything like that, they see it as simply a time when God will be correcting or teaching them further unto they are fit for His kingdom. All, even the most evil, will eventually end up in Heaven. See chapter nine, “Universalist – The ‘Age Lasting’ Hell.”
(6) Seventh Day Advent version of Hell: They believe that at the second coming of Christ the unrighteous will be kill, the righteous will be taken back to Heaven for a 1,000 years. During the 1,000 years only Satan and his angels will inhabit the earth. At the end of the 1,000 years Christ will return to earth with the saved, and the unrighteous will be raised for judgment. Satan gathers his angels, and will the help of the resurrected unrighteous attempt to interfere with the judgment, they will be destroyed in a military battle that will take place outside of Jerusalem, destroyed in the same way Sodom was turned into ashes; they will never be in Hell. The judgment and destruction of the lost will take place on this earth. Their Hell will be on this earth and will last only unto those in it are burned too ashes, the second death. The saved will live forever with earthly bodies on a restored earth on which there will be no evil. They believe they will live forever on all this earth, not just in Jerusalem, much as we now do, they will build houses, plant crops, and meet together each Sabbath Day. No one will be in Heaven after the 1,000 years.
Just as with the Church of God version of Hell, many Premillennialists who are in most Protestant churches also believe this version of Hell, or one that is very near the same. The number of those who are called Protestant but do not believe any of the orthodox Protestant versions of Hell is large and growing.
(7) Latter-day Saints version of Hell (Mormons): They believe there will be three Kingdoms, Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial Kingdoms. According to Mormons all spirit were once in Heaven, some spirits were judged worthily to come to earth where they will end up in three states of “glory.” The highest, the Celestial Kingdoms will always live on this earth with cities, houses, animals, can have children and all things much as we now have. The two lower Kingdoms, the Terrestrial and Telestial Kingdoms will not be on this earth, but they do not seem to know or do not tell outsiders just where they will be, but no soul in these two kingdoms will not be in Heaven where they were before they came to earth, and they will not be on earth; those in these two Kingdoms will not be allowed to have children. All will be raised from the dead except for the sons of perdition, the once faithful Mormons that become apostates and left the Mormon Church; I have not been able to find if they yet have any revelation about what will be their fate other then they will have little or no glory. Those who are not Mormons can go no higher then the lower Telestial Kingdom, which seems to be a very low state; their souls will not be able to be on this earth, not able to have children, and these souls will not be in Heaven where they were at one time before they came to earth.
The Latter-day Saints Millennium is unlike any other version of the Millennium; in there Millennium they have both mortals and resurrected immortal living together on earth having children, building houses, and doing most all things that normal people do now.
(8) The grave is Hell version (Jehovah’s Witnesses) Jehovah’s Witness do not believe in the resurrection of the lost; when the lost die, they are dead forever.
Jehovah’s Witness believe the grave is Hell, and all go to it at death. There is no knowledge or torment in this Hell, just sleep or death. Some from many different groups believe this version of Hell. They get support mostly from the older translations like the King James Version, and most who believe it think the newer translations that translate only Gehenna into Hell are wrong. They believe Gehenna is a trash dump, not Hell. The Hell they believe in is going on now with all the dead in it, both the good and the bad are asleep in the grave, and the souls that are asleep in this Hell but only the saved will wake up at the Resurrection. All the dead are now unconscious, and there is no torment of the wicked or reward of the righteous in "Hell" where all the dead, both the good and the bad now are. In this version Hell will end at the resurrection, and there will be no Hell after the resurrection. Hell is the “common grave of mankind” where all people go when they die and they are not conscious there. This version is nothing more than a renaming of sheol and hades. In today's English Hell has come to mean a place of eternal torment after death, and to translate hades into Hell is an untrue translation. The grave is Hell was not the intentions of the translators who first put the word "Hell" into the Bible, the grave is Hell is not the way it would have been understood by English speaking people when it was first used by the translators, or the way it is understood today by most that are not Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jehovah’s Witness believe that only 144,000 chosen people will ever enter Heaven, and they will be changed to a spiritual body to live in Heaven where they will forever live and help Jesus govern the church that will forever be on this earth. At the end of the Millennium all that has not been make perfect during the Millennium, or did not just cease to exist at death will be destroyed in Gehenna. All but the 144,000 that have been made perfect will live forever on this restored earth.
A. B. ROBINSON, September 1996 (A Jehovah's Witnesses): "We do not have the word 'hell' in the NWT. We translate gehenna as gehenna, hades as hades and sheol as sheol. By doing this we can get the true import of these words. Gehenna is a garbage dump and sheol and hades often refer to the grave. We believe everyone who dies goes to 'hell' or sheol (hades). The dead are unconscious, asleep if you will (Ecc 9:5,19 and 1 Thes 4:13-16) and will remain such until they are resurrected. We also believe that 'hell' will be emptied, as is clearly stated in Rev 20:13. The persons who were in hell, both the righteous and the unrighteous (Acts 24:15) will be resurrected and judged. Those who are deserving of it will then be thrown into the lake of fire, the second death (Rev 20:14,15)."
BRIAN HOLT in an e-mail to me said, "JW's do not have the word ‘hell’ in the NWT," then he said in the e-mail that everyone who dies goes to Hell. If Hell is not in their Bible, how do they know all the dead are now in Hell?
“That is what Jehovah’s Witnesses teach.” I have been told that what I believe "is what Jehovah's Witnesses have been teaching for years." One person said to me, “You believe the same thing Jehovah's Witnesses believe. Why don't you join them and leave us alone?”
CLARK PINNOCK said, "It seems that a new criterion of truth has been discovered which says that if Adventists or liberals hold any view, that view must be wrong. Apparently a truth claim can be decided by its association and does not need to be tested by public criteria in open debate. Such an argument, though useless in intelligent discussion, can be effective with the ignorant who are fooled by such rhetoric.” Four Views on Hell, page 161.
The problem with this is (1) I do not believe as they do, that the grave is Hell; That I believe what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe is an absolute false charge; it is made for only one reason, to seek to scare anyone way by associating it with atheists, evolutionists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and others; I think those that do such are not being honest. (2) That most all denominations, whether they are occults, liberals, or whatever, teach many things that the Bible teaches, and many things that the Bible does not teach. Nothing is right or wrong because a denomination teaches it, not even right or wrong if the Jehovah's Witnesses denomination teaches it. It is right if the Bible teaches it, or wrong if the Bible does not teach it. Catholic, Baptist, Jehovah's Witnesses, Church of God, and all others each teach many things that the Bible teaches, and each one teaches many things that the Bible does not teach. Anything is right if the Bible teaches it even if the Jehovah's Witnesses teach it, and wrong if the Bible does not teach it. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach adultery is a sin; is it wrong to teach that adultery is a sin because Jehovah’s Witnesses teach it to be? To say, "That is what the Jehovah's Witnesses teach," is said for the same reason the Baptist says, "That is water salvation," or "That is Campbellism." Their real problem is not that one of the occults teach it, but that they have no other answer, and know that they can turn many off just by saying, "That is what Jehovah's Witnesses teach," just as the Baptist did with, "That is water salvation." They could not show that a person can be saved without baptism; therefore, they would say, "You believe in water salvation" for they knew this would make others prejudice and not believe the Bible. Now the same thing is being done to anyone who does not believe in Hell by saying, "You are nothing but a Jehovah's Witnesses," even though what I believe is far from what the Jehovah's Witnesses teach, they believe there is a Hell, but it is going on now, and I do not believe the Bible says anything about any kind of Hell; not one that is going on now, or one that will be at any time after death.
The Moslem religion believes in eternal torment; can we say it is wrong because those who believe in eternal torment believe something the Moslems teach? No, eternal torment is wrong because the Bible does not teach it.
Why? What is the real reason they say that it is Jehovah's Witnesses teaching? I think one reason is that they just do not want to deal with it. Do not want to take the time. Another reason is the same reason the Baptist call us "Campbellism" and say, "You believe in water salvation." The truth is that if Jehovah's Witnesses did believe as I do (they do not, but even if they did) as long as the Bible teaches it, I would not care if it were what they believed, but would say that it is great that they believe the Bible on that point, and would wish that they believed the Bible on all points. If you made two lists, one a list of things any denomination believes that is not in the Bible, and a list of things it believes that is in the Bible, both lists would be long. The persons who say "That is Jehovah's Witnesses teaching" believes many of the same things that would be on the list of things the Jehovah's Witnesses believes. Some of the many things Jehovah's Witnesses teach that I do not believe.
1. Jesus was not the Son of God.
2. The Millennium.
3. Only 144,000 will go to Heaven.
4. All the rest of the saved will live forever on this earth for all eternity.
5. They don't believe in blood transfusions.
6. Hell is the grave and all the dead are now in Hell. Unfortunately, it is not true that they do not believe in Hell, but Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in a Hell that is now going on. The Hell they believe in is not the God Slandering Hell that many Protestants believe in, but they do believe in Hell, just not one of the many orthodox Protestant versions of Hell although many Premillennialists who are called orthodox Protestants believe much as they do, that Hell is the grave.
Unto the resurrection death is death, not any kind of life, or any kind of Hell anyplace.
If, "That is what Jehovah's Witnesses believes" makes anything wrong, it is such a broad argument that there is nothing in the Bible that is not destroyed by it, for there is no Bible teaching that is not believed by many false religions.
Probable origin of this version of Hell: Sheol is translated Hell in the King James Version thirty-one times, and grave thirty-one times. It puts all in Hell or the grave together, both the good and the bad, and the grave is a place that those in it know nothing, a Hell that will end at the resurrection. If one believes the mistranslation of the King James Version, then he or she must believe the grave is Hell version of Hell for the Jehovah’s Witnesses belief about Hell is clearly taught in the Old Testament of the King James Version. The Jehovah's Witnesses and others who believe this version have all the proof they need in the mistranslations in the King James Version; I cannot see anyway that a person that believes the King James Version just as it is would not be forced believe in the same Hell that the Jehovah’s Witnesses believes in, their Hell is clearly taught in it.
The Bible version of Hell: There is no Bible version of Hell. Both the name Hell and the concept, a place where God will forever torment the souls that had been in most of mankind was not known about in Old or New Testament times. Christ or Paul used neither the place nor the name. An eternal place of torment for souls was not known about by anyone unto long after the last page of the Bible.
WHICH HELL DO YOU BELIEVE IN? Most versions of Hell are based on the belief that:
(1). Some believe Satan is the tormenter. According to Jonathan Edwards and most Hell fire preachers, Satan will be doing the tormenting of all that are in Hell forever.
(2). Some believe God is the tormenter. Today many believe God will be doing the tormenting.
(3). Some denominations believe Hell will be on this earth.
(4). Others believe Hell will only last for a while; but will end with all that are in Hell being saved and going to Heaven.
(5). Some believe Hell will only last unto the ones in it have paid for their sins, and then they will be destroyed.
(6). Some believe Hell is hot.
(7). Some believe Hell is cold.
(8). Some believe Hell is dark.
(9). Some believe Hell is Metaphorical, it is not literally hot, cold or dark; we cannot understand what it is really like, and are given pictures to tell us how bad it is.
(10). Some believe Hell is only mental anguish.
(11). Some believe Hell is under the earth.
(12). Some believe Hell is who knows where. Most, but not all, now realize there is not a place of torment under the earth, and have moved it. Now who knows where they think Hell is, maybe somewhere out in space.
(13). Some believe Hell exists now, and the lost dead are now being tormented in it.
(14). Some believe Hell will not exist unto after the judgment.
(15). Some believe Hell now exists with the angels that sinned in it, but no person will be in Hell unto after the judgment.
(16). Some believe Hell is a place of separation from God without any torment from God, a place where God is not at.
(17). Some believe that although God is omnipresent (present in all places at the same time), nevertheless God is not present in Hell. They believe those in Hell are separated from God, they believe death is separation from God, and the second death is an eternal Hell, and at the same time they believe God is there tormenting them and gives them life. All life comes from God. He would have to be present and not present at the same time. The lost would be separated from God, and not separated from God simultaneously, for God would be wherever they were separated from Him if He were doing the tormenting.
(18). If you go back in time 50 or 100 years, most all preachers were teaching "Hell" to be a place of "fire and brimstone." Today "fire and brimstone" is almost never used by preachers or in today's theology. Do you believe in the "Hell" of today or the "Hell" of 100 years ago?
There is no majority view of Hell today as there was in the Dark Age; no matter what view of Hell a person has that view is only a small part of those that believe in Hell; if a person believes one of the many versions of Hell, they must disbelieve all the other versions; therefore, every one that believes in Hell disagrees with the vast majority that believe in Hell. Everyone that believes in Hell is in conflict with most others that also believe in Hell. Believes in Hell are becoming more divided as time goes by; even if there were a Hell it would not possible for more than one version of Hell to be the truth; therefore, all the other versions, the majority that believe in Hell are vain worship (Matthew 15:9).
DIVISIONS OVER WHAT WILL BE IN HELL? What part of a person will be in Hell? It has been believed by most that it is a bodiless soul that will be in Heaven or Hell, but now many are saying no it is not a soul, but it will be a bodiless spirit that is the immortal being that is in a person, that a soul is not immortal; therefore, (1) some say it is a soul that is now in a person that will be in Heaven or Hell, (2) but others now say, not so, it is a spirit that will be in Heaven or Hell. Not only are there many divisions on what Hell is, there are also divisions on which immaterial, bodiless being will be in Hell. One of the many examples of those that have switched from believing a soul is immortal to a spirit being the immortal something that is in a person is Robert L. Kramer in “Present Truth,” volume 10, page 12.
DIVISIONS OVER WHEN A SOUL, OR A SPIRIT WILL BE IN HELL? When will a soul or a spirit be in Hell? At death, or not unto after the resurrection and judgment? Many say Hell begins at death; many say no soul or no spirit will be in Hell unto after the judgment; the strange thing is that there are many that say a soul at one time, then the same person will say a spirit at another time.
HELL HAS BEEN MOVED: Pagan philosophers mostly believed a soul was somewhere underground unto it was reincarnated. The first time Hell is used in the King James Version, it is a place on this earth, and is the punishment and scattering of the nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 32:22-26). "Though they dig into Hell" (Amos 9:27 King James Version). Most of the "church fathers," and the Church in the Dark Age both believed Hell was underground. In the Middle Age Hell was inside of the earth as it is in, “The Divine Comedy ” by Dante Alighieri. Both the Catholic Church and the "Apostle's creed," which is used by many Protestants says Christ descended into Hell at His death; and preached to souls in prison. Many encyclopedias and lexicons still say this.
THE NEW OXFORD AMERICAN DICTIONARY says, “hell ‘hel’ a place regarded in various religions as a spiritual realm of evil and suffering, often traditionally depicted as a place of perpetual fire beneath the earth where the wicked are punished after death.”
When I was a child, I heard repeatedly that the Devil (a name used by many to be a name of Satan) lived under the ground, and he would get you if you were bad. Now almost no one believes Hell is under ground; it has been moved to some dark place on the backside of some far away no one knows where place. Most who believed Hell to be under the earth also believed the earth will end at the coming of Christ; I have never heard them explain how the earth will be destroyed, but the Hell that is under ground (inside of the earth) will last forever. O-well, one place is as good as any other for there is no Bible teaching for any of them, they are all man made and believing any of them is to believe a lie. "But in vain do they worship me, teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men" (Matthew 15:9). The only sure thing is that what men believe about Hell is that Hell is always changing to suit the times and the denominations.
BELIEVERS IN HELL must do away with death. If death is real, if when God said death, God meant what He said, then Hell cannot be.
BELIEVERS IN HELL must prove that men now have an immortal soul that is dwelling in them. Must prove that there is an immaterial, invisible something in a person that has no substance, and this something that no one knows what it is, is now just as immortal as it will be after the judgment; and this who know what this “soul” is that Christ will save; and whatever “it” is, not the person, will be in Heaven.
BELIEVERS IN HELL must make words like destroy, perish, die, death, lost be used only with a theological sense. If they are used, "In the fair, stipulated, and well-established meaning of the terms," then Hell cannot be.
BELIEVERS IN HELL must prove that Hell is in the Bible, both the name and the particular place they call Hell. If they do not prove there is a Hell, but teach it, they have added to the Bible.
BELIEVERS IN HELL must prove that the "nehphesh" animals have in Genesis 1:20; 1:21; 1:24; 1:30; 2:19 is mortal, but the same "nehphesh" men have in Genesis 2:7 is immortal.
FROM WHERE DID HELL COME? It came from pagan philosophers, and was brought into the church along with Purgatory, the sale of indulgences, Limbo, worship of Mary and saints, Nether World, Holy Water, the rosary, forbidding Priests to marry, the crucifix, forbidding eating of meat on Friday, candle-burning, and many other teachings; and was opposed by such men as Luther, Tyndale, Moses Lord, E. D. Slough, Ashley Sidney Johnson, Elias Smith, and many others. It came into the church in the Dark Age from Pagan Greek philosophers and writers like Dante Aligheri (1265-1321), "The Divine Comedy,” and Milton's "Paradise Lost." They added things like Satan has a red suit, horns, and pitchfork and is forever tormenting the damned. Aligheri was a pagan who believed the teaching of Plato on a soul being immortal, and his book "The Divine Comedy" is basically Plato's view of a soul. This view of Hell was adopted in the Middle Age Church to create fear of leaving the church. The church in the Dark Age, and the translators of the King James Bible were more influenced by this Pagan philosophy and writers of that time then they were from the teaching of God.
(1). Hell and other pagan teaching were brought into the Bible by reinterpreting four words fifty-seven times in the King James Version, but much fewer times in later translations, and none at all in many translations. The American Standard Version, which many say is the most accurate translation ("This honored version of 1901, long held to be the most accurate translation in the English language" Star Bible catalog, page 3, 1996), uses it 13 times; and even then has a footnote that says, "Gr. Gehenna" or "Gr. Tartarus."
GROWLER 1995 ENCYCLOPEDIA ASPS: "In Greek Mythology, Hades is the underworld ruled by the god of that name, who is also known as Pluto; in Nurse Mythology, Hel is a cold and shadowy subterranean realm." Both Hel and Hell are from the same root word- "Kel."
THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY, page 2108 says, "KEL-1. O-grade from kal 1. A Hell, from Old English Hell, Hell; B HEL, from Old Nurse Hel, the underworld, goddess of death."
COMPTON'S 1995 ENCYCLOPEDIA, "Hell and Hades." "There is no fully developed teaching about Hell in the New Testament…Only in the course of later church history was it elaborated into official church doctrine."
ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, Volume 2, page 402, "Old English. Hel, a Teutonic word from a root meaning 'to cover.'"
ENCYCLOPEDIA AMERICANA, Volume 14, page 81, "Much confusion and misunderstanding has been caused through the early translators of the Bible persistently rendering the Hebrew Sheol and the Greek Hades and Gehenna by the word hell. The simple transliteration of these words by the translators of the revised editions of the Bible has not sufficed to appreciably clear up this confusion and misconception."
WIKIPEDIA, the free Encyclopedia: “The modern English word Hell is derived from Old English hel, helle (about 725 AD to refer to a nether world of the dead) reaching into the Anglo-Saxon pagan period, and ultimately from Proto-Germanic *halja, meaning "one who covers up or hides something". (3) The word has cognates in related Germanic languages such as Old Frisian helle, hille, Old Saxon hellja, Middle Dutch helle (modern Dutch hel), Old High German helle (Modern German Hölle), and Gothic halja. (3) Subsequently, the word was used to transfer a pagan concept to Christian theology and its vocabulary.” From the article “Hell.”
DYREL COLLINS, “We assume that the word ‘Hell’ is a Bible word chosen by God to reveal his will. It is neither an O. T. nor N. T. word, but rather the word chosen by Bible translators to translate, Sheol (Grave), Hades…Gehenna (Valley of Hinnom) and Tartarus (The abode of angels that sinned). Thus one word is chosen to translate four different places and ideas. The word ‘Hell’ therefore came to have a meaning beyond the concept involved in each word, but borrowing certain aspects from each and adding the idea of everlasting conscious torment for a soul which cannot die.” “Immortality: Only In Christ,” Star Bible Publications, 2002, church of Christ.
CSONKA said, "Every good Bible student know Hades is not Hell" Truth Magazine, 1995, page 17. Then why do so many in the Lord's church teach it is?
THE DICTIONARY OF NEW TESTAMENT THEOLOGY: "The word Gehenna does not occur in the LXX or Greek literature...In contrast with later Christian writings and ideas, the torments of hell are not described in the NT...Neither does the NT contain the idea that Satan is the prince of Gehenna, to whom sinners are handed over for punishment." Volume 2, page 208-209.
Clinton D. Hamilton, who believed in Hell, said, "The New Testament is loaded with metaphors that describe Hell," and then he says Gehenna is one of the metaphors. On the page before he said that Gehenna is not used in secular Greek literature, not used in the Septuagint, and not by Josephus in the last part of the first century in any of his writings. When he said they did not use Gehenna, he is using it to mean Hell; therefore, he is saying Hell was not used by any of the above, neither is it in any of the Apocryphal books.
(2). Not in vocabulary: Heaven and Earth are named together about 30 times, and each is named separately 100's of times, but not one time is Hell named in the Bible, or even spoken of. Why? No doubt, it would have been if Hell was real and there is such a place. We are told not to swear by Heaven or Earth (Matthew 5:34), but today men swear by Hell more than both Heaven and Earth together. Why were they not told not to swear by Hell? It was because Hell is a word that was not in their vocabulary? No word with the meaning of today's English Hell was used in the ancient writing as a swear word, or any other way; no such word was in their vocabulary, and they knew of no such place. The concept of the place called Hell, or the name Hell is not in the Bible, and does not occur in any writing of either the Hebrews or the Greeks unto long after the Bible. The Old Testament Hebrew, or the New Testament Greek has no word that is even close to today's English word "Hell." It did not exist unto long after the last book of the Bible was written.
How do we know about this place called Hell? Where did Hell come from? Not by faith that comes by hearing God's word. It is from the doctrines and precepts of men (Matthew 15:9). It was not used in the first century because it was a place they knew nothing about. The word "Hell" is of Saxon origin about the 3rd to 5th century A. D. and originally was any covered over place such a roof or a grave. The nearest thing I can find to the English word Hell is in Greek Mythology and Nurse Mythology (According to Socrates, Plato and other Greek philosopher), was a shadowy subterranean realm somewhere under the earth where souls went unto they could be reincarnated; but this shadowy place was far from being as terrible or as dreadful a place as today's Hell is, and "souls" would only be in it unto they were reincarnated into a new earthly bring. This underground place did not have the name Hell, and is nothing like the Hell that grew out of it in the Dark Age.
RUSSELL BOATMAN, Dean at Saint Louis Christian College, Christian Church, "Three hundred years or so ago the word 'Hell' was commonly used to refer to any dark or foreboding place. A grave could be referred to by that term without readers or hearers automatically envisioning 'the lake of fire, which is the second death' (Rev. 20:15). The hole dug in the ground to receive the body of a deceased loved one is certainly a foreboding place. A prison, dungeon, lunatic asylum, or a valley such as the valley of Hinnom outside of Jerusalem with equal propriety could be spoken of as 'Hell' three or four hundred years ago. That is no longer so...in our time 'Hell' has a fairly settled meaning...its use conjures up visions of the awesome lake of fire judgment reserved for sinners" "What The Bible Says, The End Time," 1991, College Press, page 305.
CANON FARRAR, "Hell has entirely changed its old harmless sense of dim under-world: and that meaning, as it now does, to myriads of readers...it conveys meanings which are not to be found in any of the New or Old Testament words for which it is presented as an equivalent" Excursus II, "Eternal Hope."
T. L. ANDREWS said our English word Hell has come to mean the eternal abode of the sinner where this tormenting punishment takes place? Florida College Lectures, 1997, page 168.
A doctrine as terrible as Hell must not be assumed, but demonstrated by unquestionable proof. Such proof is not in the Bible. Heaven is in the Bible over 600 times, but Hell not one time. Why? The Bible is full of warnings. Paul warned that many "shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 5:9), but he never said anyone would "go to Hell." Paul said he declared the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27); yet not one time (even in the King James Version) did he use the word Hell. Why?
When? The English word Hell did not exist in Paul's time; it therefore come to mean the eternal abode of sinners long after the New Testament; it came from man, not God. Therefore, Paul or the Bible could not, and did not use it.
If Hell had been a real place, which was known about in the time of Christ, others of that time would have known about it and used its name, but none did. Gehenna was the name of a real place near Jerusalem (the city dump), which the people near Jerusalem would know about, and they have would understand what Christ was saying when He used its name as a place of destruction. The rest of the world would not know about Jerusalem's trash dump, or know what its name was, and would not have understood. If Paul had used the name Gehenna in Rome or in writing to Gentiles, it is unlikely that any would have known what or where Gehenna was. When the Greek philosophy about the underworld was brought into the church by the "church fathers," what Christ had said about Gehenna was made to order for them to misuse, which they did by changing “Gehenna” into “Hell.” Gehenna was soon mistranslated into Hell. Whatever is not taught in the Bible cannot be a Bible doctrine. If it is the doctrine of man, is it not sinful to teach it as God's word?
Hell is not a Bible word. It is a word chosen by Bible Translators to translate four Bible words, sheol, hades, Gehenna, and Tartarus. Not one of the four has the meaning of Hell as it is used today. Not only is there no Hebrew or Greek word for Hell, but also at first even the English word Hell did not mean a place of torment after death as it does today; like many English words it has had a radical change of meaning. In Old English it was a covered place. A farmer would say, "I helled my potatoes" meaning he put them in a hole and covered them to keep them from the cold. Helling a house meant to cover it with a roof, and those that did the roofing were called “helliers.” Helmet, a covering for the head is derived from the same word; the word “Hell” as the name is used today has no resemblance to the Old English word, in Old English the meaning of Hell had nothing to do with a soul being tormented by God. Hell was never the best translations of hades (to cover in a grave), but formerly it would have been acceptable in Old English. It is not an acceptable translation of hades in modern English, and has been abandoned by most of the newer translations. When the King James Version was made, the doctrine of Hell was completely developed, and the translation of sheol and hades into Hell were a mistranslation. Most likely a deliberate mistranslation for in 1611 the name “Hell” had taken on the modern meaning of a place of torment after death although it was believed by most at that time that Hell was someplace deep inside the earth.
Those who believe in Hell use the word as if both the place and the name are used repeatedly in the Bible. Their proof texts are metaphors, parables, and symbolical language as is found in the book of Revelation. If there were a place as terrible as Hell, why is it never spoken of in clear words that the common person could not misunderstand? If Hell were real, it would be strange if a doctrine as important as Hell would have been would have to depend on an interpretation of a parable or symbolical language.
(3). Not in early creeds, the two earliest creeds, The Apostles Creed, traditionally miss ascribed to the 12 Apostles, and the Nicean Creed, 325 A. D., were both doctrinal statements saying what those that used them believed, but neither one contained the concept of Hell.
(4). Today's preaching – versus – first century preaching. Heaven is taught throughout the Bible (used about 635 times in the New American Standard Bible), but there is nothing about today's Hell. Adam was warned that he would die if he ate, but not that he would go to Hell. Moses warned about death to those who did not keep the law, but he said nothing about Hell. The Bible is as silent as a tomb on it. It is beyond belief that there would not be many clear and unmistakable warning about Hell if there were such a place. There are many clear and unmistakable warning that the wages of sin is death, but not a one about Hell or an eternal life of torment.
HOW HELL WAS PUT INTO THE BIBLE AND IS BEING KEPT IN THE BIBLE: WHITLOCK, Seibles Road Church of Christ bulletin, August 9, 1998. "Jesus said it (Hell) was a place where 'the fire...never shall be quenched...Hell is further described as a place where"
Christ did not say anything about Hell, but was using Gehenna as a metaphor of destruction; but Whitlock changed the name Gehenna that Christ used to another name - Hell, and in the same sentence he quotes only a part of a sentence used by Christ, adds to it, and makes it all one sentence. In doing so he has put the word Hell into the mouth of Christ, but when he make Hell be a real place he must deny that Gehenna is a metaphor.
(1). He changes one proper noun into another proper noun, but does not tell us from where he got the proper noun "Hell."
(2). He makes Christ say something He did not say.
(3). He says, "Hell is further described as a place where," but he did not say where it is described as a place. Hell is not described as a place, or is not described in any other way in the Bible.
This is the very way the words of Christ were first misused by some of the so called church fathers in about the third century and after, long before it was mistranslated into any Bible translation. Unto after the end of the second century only a few of the "church fathers" taught that men have an immaterial, invisible being in them that is immortal, and it was not unto later that Hell came into being. The so called “church fathers” learned just as we do, from the Bible or from the teaching of men, neither they nor their writing were not inspired; the half converted "church fathers" looking for a way to put their philosophy learned from men into Christianity used the words of Christ in the same way Whitlock did. The church fathers had to have a place to put their immortal soul, which had come from the Greek philosophy. Very often statements like the same word aionios, (eternal) is used to describe both Heaven and Hell when nothing is said about Hell or Gehenna in Matthew 25:46. Dr. Bert Thompson said both Heaven and Hell are described with the exact same terminology in the Bible. “Reason and Revelation,” July 2000. The sad thing is that many will believe such a statements without question. How could anyone make a statement like this, “Both Heaven and Hell are described with the exact same terminology in the Bible.” There is no way he could not know “Heaven” is used hundreds of times, but “Hell” is not used even one time in the Greek. The truth is that aionios, (eternal) is not used in any passage with sheol, hades or Gehenna, not in any passage that any of the three words that are translated Hell in the King James Version. Dr. Thompson did not give one passage where Hell is described with the same terminology as Heaven. There is not one.
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This is a part of chapter four of “Immortality Or Resurrection.” Get all ten chapters free in pdf format at: http://www.robertwr.com/resurrrection.pdf
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DOWNLOAD THE FREE PDF BOOK " Resurrection and Immortality” By William Robert West – Free at: http://www.robertwr.com/resurrection.pdf
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PRINTED COPY “Life In Christ—Resurrection and Immortality” William West – Author House Publishing, 2015: 920 pages: $31.93
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PRINTED COPY FROM BOOKSTORES ON THE WEB: At Amazon.com
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Or free html:
CHAPTER ONE: The reinterpretation of the nature of man: http://www.robertwr.com/
CHAPTER TWO: Life or death? http://www.robertwr.com/life.html
CHAPTER THREE: The reinterpretations of the great doctrines of the Bible. http://www.robertwr.com/immortal.html
CHAPTERS FOUR, FIVE, SIX, AND SEVEN: http://www.robertwr.com/hell.html
o Chapter Four: From where came hell? The given no chance Hell, Edward Fudge's Short Hell, The Changing Hell, The Vanishing Hell.
o Chapter Five: Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, and the Nether World. A soul is the image of Adam.
o Chapter Six: The thirty-one passages where Hell is used in the King James Version.
o Chapter Seven: A Strange and Unexplainable Silence.
CHAPTERS EIGHT, NINE, TEN, AND ELEVEN:
o Chapter Eight: The interpretation of figurative language, metaphors, and symbolical passage.
1. Part one: The intermediate bosom, the rich man, and Lazarus.
2. Part two: The symbolical pictures of Revelation versus a literal interpretation.
3. Part three: Forever and ever of the King James Version.
4. Part four: Israel's destruction, her weeping, gnashing of teeth, outer darkness, A. D. 70
o Chapter Nine: Universalist: The "age lasting" Hell.
o Chapter Ten: Evil Pagan teachings that are attributed to God.
o Chapter Eleven: Historical proof of the changing of the teaching of the Bible
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OTHER WEB SITES of William Robert West, church of Christ
“The Rapture and Israel” free at: http://robertwr.com/rapture.html
The printed book: https://www.createspace.com/3457158
The Premillennial thousand-year reign of Christ, the Rapture, and the Kingdom of Heaven.
Ch. 1 After the Judgment where will we spend eternity?
Ch. 2 When will the secret rapture come to pass? Will you miss it?
Ch. 3 Will there be cars without drivers after the rapture?
Ch. 4 What is the battle of Armageddon?
Ch. 5 Is Armageddon coming soon?
Ch. 6 Will Israel be restored? Will there be a worldwide conversion of Jews?
Ch. 7 Will the temple be rebuilt in Jerusalem?
Ch. 8 Will animal sacrifices be restored?
Ch. 9 What are the signs of the second coming of Christ?
Ch. 10 Who are the 144,000?
Ch. 11 Will there be one, two, or three resurrections?
Ch. 12 What is the "time of the Gentiles"?
Ch. 13 What is the "gap" theory?
Ch. 1 4 Who is the thirteenth tribe?
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“The Indictment Of Eternal Torment: The Self-Negation Of A Monstrous Doctrine,” by E. D. Slough, a preacher in the church of Christ, F. L. Rowe Publisher, 1914.
I have put this book on the web, free at: http://www.robertwr.com/EternalTorment.htm
“Life In Christ” by Edward White was published in 1875 may have been one of the first major protest against the doctrine of an immortal soul. For the most part this book teaches the truth on the doctrine of a soul and Hell however there are a few things in it that are unbiblical.
GOOD WEB PAGES BY MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
Articles by Ken Fortier and C. Dickinson http://kenfortier.com/site/articles
"The Maxey-Thrasher Debate" A debate on the eternal destiny of the wicked between two Gospel preachers. http://www.zianet.com/maxey/MxThrshr.htm
A web page of a friend http://www.jewishnotgreek.com/