July 25, 2009

The Biblical Truth About Hell: Part 3 - Psalms part 2

Ok, let's continue to part 3 of the study I've been doing on hell. Again, if you haven't yet, please read all the other parts, they all fit together and provide a mountain of supporting verses that relate to each other. I have been writing about how "hell" is actually the grave, and that the fate of the wicked is to be burned up forever in the lake of fire, the second death. Destruction, not burning forever. Let's start Psalms part 2 off with Psalm 37, a Psalm about blessings of the righteous.

Psalm 37:
[1] Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
[2] For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

Notice the word wither here. I'm going to break protocol a little bit, and post a handful of New Testament verses to back this up. I may bring them up again when I unravel more NT verses in a future installment of this study, but it's important that the connection to Psalms is made. The main argument to this "wither" ordeal is probably the one saying that these verses are referring to the life in the flesh, the mortal life. Well, the context of these verses say otherwise.

James 1:
[10] But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
[11] For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
[12] Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

A burning heat withers the grass, and it perishes. It's compared to the rich man fading away. Look at verse 12. James goes on to say that those that endure temptation are blessed with the crown of life. He's talking about life eternal! So it's imperative that we see that the context here is eternity, not a mortal lifetime. Notice also that a burning heat is what causes the grass to wither. Does that sound familiar? Yep, the lake of fire is a burning heat that burns up (or withers) the wicked.

1 Peter 1:
[23] Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
[24] For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
[25] But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Same concept here. Flesh withers, the Lord endures forever. We're seeing this same pattern of absolute opposites that I've recently noticed is everywhere in the Bible. I thank the Lord for shedding some wisdom on me with this! Let's get back to more of Psalm 37:

[9] For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
[10] For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
[11] But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Evildoers cut off, being contrasted with the meek inheriting the earth. Inheriting the earth is the promise the Lord gave to Abraham and his seed! Abraham has not received this promise yet.

[12] The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
[13] The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
[14] The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
[15] Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
[16] A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
[17] For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
[18] The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
[19] They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
[20] But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

Do you see a very familiar phrase in verse 12? I hope you do. Gnashing with teeth. Doesn't the Lord Jesus mention this in the Gospels? Yes He does! He is referring to the day the wicked are destroyed. They see their day coming, and gnash their teeth at Him and the righteous. The days of the upright, and their inheritance are forever. The wicked shall perish. Once again we have that absolute contrast! Still don't agree about gnashing of teeth? Let's briefly skip over to:

Psalm 112:
[9] He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.
[10] The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.

The wicked see the righteous and hate it! They gnash their teeth at them in anger and hatred, and they melt away! It's all right there for us. Here's another teeth gnasher of a verse:

Psalm 35:
[16] With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.

The phrase is used to mean the wicked showing hatred for righteousness, and the upright man.

Back to Psalm 37. Verse 20 says "into smoke shall they consume away." This immediately brought another verse to my mind.

Revelation 14:
[11] And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

I know this verse is used to "prove" a burning inferno, but there is no fire described here. What is described, though, is the aftermath of a fire: smoke! It's a symbolic passage, showing that the wrath of the Lord is forever, and the remains of the wicked symbolically smoke forever. I will get more into this in New Testament studies. The Lazarus passage of Luke 16 plays a role in this as well. From Psalm 37:20, we see the wicked are consumed away into smoke. Revelation says the smoke of their torment rises forever. See the connection? Forever is used to describe finality. It doesn't mean continual. It means God's judgment is final, the wicked are consumed away, like all the verses I'm posting say very clearly.

Continuing further into Psalm 37:

[21] The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
[22] For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.

Again we see the blessed inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). On the other side of that, the wicked do not, and are cut off, meaning destroyed. (I explain the meaning of "cut off" in Psalms part 1.) More of Psalm 37!

[29] The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
[30] The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
[31] The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
[32] The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.
[33] The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
[34] Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
[35] I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
[36] Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
[37] Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
[38] But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
[39] But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
[40] And the LORD shall help them and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

We see again that the righteous inherit the land, and this is forever. So now there's no disputing the fact that this is talking of eternity. Verse 34 shows that the righteous will see the wicked being cut off, or destroyed. 36 flat out says the wicked passed away, and was not. 38 says transgressors shall be destroyed together and cut off. Verse 39 then says that the righteous are saved because of the Lord, and He will deliver them from the wicked! It's all here in plain sight. Look at the words used to describe the fate of the wicked: cut off, passed away, was not, destroyed together, and cut off (again). This Psalm alone is enough proof to show the fate of the wicked. Thankfully I am providing much more to reinforce this.

Let's back up a few Psalms, I missed a verse!

Psalm 34:
[22] The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

Here's the definition of desolate:

אשׁם אשׁם
'âsham 'âshêm
aw-sham', aw-shame'
A primitive root; to be guilty; by implication to be punished or perish: - X certainly, be (-come, made) desolate, destroy, X greatly, be (-come, found, hold) guilty, offend (acknowledge offence), trespassive

Once again, we see a word that means the same as perish, destroy, cut off, etc. Why doesn't the Bible say that the Lord redeems His people from a burning inferno? It says He redeems them from desolation, from being destroyed. It's right there.

Psalm 39:
[10] Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand.
[11] When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.
[12] Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
[13] O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.

Verse 10 shows how David is consumed by the hand of the Lord, if the Lord doesn't spare him. Man's beauty consumes away like a moth. The last verse shows David pleading to the Lord to spare him before he is no more. David doesn't say "O spare me...before I go hence, and burn forever," does he?

Psalm 40:
[14] Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.
[15] Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.
[16] Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.
[17] But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

The wicked seek to destroy David's soul. Destroy here, again, means the same as it always has so far. Soul is translated from "nephesh," which simply means a breathing creature, or vitality. So David is asking the Lord to drive back those that want him dead. Verse 15 then says to let their reward be desolation, destruction. Death. The Psalm ends by showing how the Lord saves His people and delivers them.

Psalm 41:
[5] Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?

[8] An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.
[9] Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
[10] But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.
[11] By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.
[12] And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.
[13] Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

Another plain example here. David asks the Lord when his enemies' names shall perish. How can a name perish if it is burning forever? Then verse 8 says "now that he lieth", or is cast down/deceased (from the Strong's definition of "shakab"), he shall rise up no more. Verse 10 finds David asking the Lord to raise him up, to triumph over his enemies. Is this talking about eternity? I think it is.

Psalm 49:
[6] They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
[7] None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
[8] (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
[9] That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.

Corruption is death. See 1 Corinthians 15:42-50. I'll discuss that passage in the New Testament section of this study.

[10] For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.
[11] Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.
[12] Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.
[13] This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.
[14] Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.

Wise men and fools die, perish. They are laid in the grave, death feeds on them, and their beauty is consumed in the grave. Note the same vocabulary as all the other verses. Also note that the upright have dominion over them. They inherit the earth, and trod the ashes of the wicked. The book of Malachi elaborates this (among others), in the chapter that deals with the coming of the Lord:

Malachi 4:
[3] And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

Continuing in Psalm 49:

[15] But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.
[16] Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased;
[17] For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.
[18] Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself.
[19] He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.
[20] Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

The wicked are consumed in the grave, the righteous are redeemed from the grave's power. They aren't redeemed from the power of a burning inferno. It doesn't say that.

Psalm 50:
[3] Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.

A fire that devours? Interesting. Doesn't Revelation 20:14 say the lake of fire is the second death? Isn't a devouring fire something that destroys? Yep.

Psalm 52:
[5] God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.
[6] The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:
[7] Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.
[8] But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
[9] I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.

This is one of the clearest examples in the Bible of the fate of the wicked. The Lord destroys them forever, takes them away, and roots them out of the land of the living! What's the opposite of being alive? Being dead! Destruction, having been destroyed! It then goes on to say that the righteous see it and laugh, and that they are like a green olive tree, living forever. Once again it's all right there. We have the same absolute contrasting that is evident throughout many of the verses I'm providing. The righteous praise the Lord forever, because He has destroyed the wicked. Very clear.

Psalm 53:
[5] There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.
[6] Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

This is the fate of the fool: God scatters their bones, while Israel is saved. Are scattered bones equivalent to burning forever? Or does it fit better with death and being destroyed? Combined with the multitude of supporting verses, I think the answer is very apparent.

Psalm 58:
[7] Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.
[8] As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.
[9] Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath.
[10] The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
[11] So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.

Again we see the wicked being melted away, just like Psalm 112:10. Once again pass away is used to describe their fate. The righteous again see it, and rejoice. Verse 11 shows that it's God's judgment, not a prior time, or an earthy death. The Psalm is entitled "The punishment of the wicked" in my Bible.

Psalm 59:
[13] Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.

Hmm, here we see consume again.

Psalm 68:
[1] Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.
[2] As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

Here is another tremendous example of the fate of the wicked. It's undeniable. David compares the perishing of the wicked to wax melting before a fire. Remember the melt away verses? Remember the verses dealing with being consumed? Are you seeing what I'm seeing? Does wax continually melt, or does it melt down to nothing? Please see these verses for what they are. There should not be any reading between the lines or adding to them.

At this, I will conclude part 3 of my study of the truth about hell. I've provided many more verses that I believe show that hell is not a burning inferno, and that the wicked are burned up, not burned forever. They are destroyed, being alive no more. I have more to show from the Psalms, and more to show from both the Old and New Testaments. Please stay tuned for the next installment, coming very soon! Thanks again for reading.

July 20, 2009

The Biblical Truth About Hell: Part 2 - Psalms part 1

Ok, I'm not going to waste much time between entries, it's time to start part 2. If you haven't yet, please please please read the introduction and part 1 of this study! It's essential, because all the parts compliment each other, and fully show what I believe is the truth about this. Some people are curious of what I have to say, some are upset, some agree, most don't care. That's fine. If you're still with me, please allow me to continue showing you why I believe hell is eternal destruction/death. In this part, I will examine the first half of the verses I have found in the Psalms that speak of the fate of the wicked, not leaving the righteous in the graves, and other relevant verses. Hopefully this won't be as long as the last one!

We start at the very first Psalm. I'm sure I have missed some verses, but I've tried my best with the time I have. I will try and go in order, and I encourage you to please follow along with your (hopefully translated from the Textus Receptus) Bible.

I would also encourage you to read the surrounding contexts in these verses, when applicable. I don't have the space to post the whole Psalms, and a lot of the time the entire context really clarifies things. Thanks!

Psalm 1:
[3] And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
[4] The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
[5] Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
[6] For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

The key thing to take away from here is verse 6. The ungodly shall perish. What does perish mean in the Hebrew? Let's take a look!

A primitive root; properly to wander away, that is lose oneself; by implication to perish (causatively, destroy): - break, destroy (-uction), + not escape, fail, lose, (cause to, make) perish, spend, X and surely, take, be undone, X utterly, be void of, have no way to flee.

You guessed it, it means destroy! Be void of! Fail, lose! When does perish mean burn forever?

Also, note the references to trees bringing fruit, leaves not withering, and chaff being driven away. These are themes throughout the whole Bible. Jesus talks plenty about trees, vineyards, and fruits. The bad trees wither away! They are destroyed, they die off.

Psalm 5:
[4] For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
[5] The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
[6] Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

God hates wickedness, evil shall not dwell with Him. He will destroy them. If someone dies from a heart attack let's say, is that God destroying them? No, God destroying them is Him putting His judgment upon them. Casting them into the lake of fire, which is the second death. (Rev. 20:14)

The word "destroy" here is the exact word used for "perish" in Psalm 1:6.

Psalm 6:
[5] For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

Does David say in a burning "hell" there is no rememberance of God? Let's think this out here. If one is saved, they're with the Lord forever. So David isn't talking about Christians in this verse, because Christians will always be with the Lord. He can only be referring to one other group of people, right? He doesn't say they're in "hell," either. He says they're in the grave. Besides, would people in a burning "hell" forget Who put them there?

Psalm 7:
[9] Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.

I think this verse is very clear. "Let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end." If wicked people are in "hell," aren't they still around? Haven't they not come to an end? We know this verse talks of the eternal fate of a person, especially because God establishes His people forever. A few verses down, talking of the wicked,

[15] He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.

Sounds to me like the wicked go into the pit, the grave.

Psalm 9:
[5] Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.
[6] O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.
[7] But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.

"Thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever." Destroyed and put out their name! What does someone do to a fire at the end of a campfire? They put it out! God will "put out" the wicked, forever! It further says in verse 7 that God endures forever. It's contrasted with how the wicked are put out. God endures forever, the wicked don't.

[13] Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:

I used this verse in this study to show that the gates of death is the thing we are facing, not the gates of a burning inferno. I went into this in part 1 of my study.

[15] The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.

[17] The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
[18] For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.

So the heathen go down into the pit (a most often recurring theme, as we see already), they are turned into hell (sheol, the grave), but the needy are not forgotten! The expectation of the poor shall not perish forever! Doesn't this say that the wicked DO perish forever? Combined with every other verse (I have well over 80 now), I'd say this is the case.

Psalm 10:
[15] Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.
[16] The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.

Again, God is King forever, the heathen perish. They are not forever. A burning inferno would mean that the wicked are immortal too. Are you starting to see how "hell" does not line up with Scripture?

Psalm 11:
[6] Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

I think this is talking of God's judgment on the wicked. Fire and brimstone = lake of fire. (Rev 19:20) The lake of fire is the second death. (Rev 20:14)

Psalm 12:
[3] The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:

Hmm, cut off. What does this mean? Thankfully, the Lord has lead me to another Psalm that defines it. I will skip ahead just to immediately define what this phrase means.

Psalm 88:
[5] Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.

The ones that are "cut off" are ones that God has done away with. Ones He has left slain in the graves, that He remembers no more! Just to solidify this point, the definition of "cut off:"

A primitive root; to cut (off, down or asunder); by implication to destroy or consume; specifically to covenant (that is, make an alliance or bargain, originally by cutting flesh and passing between the pieces): - be chewed, be con- [feder-] ate, covenant, cut (down, off), destroy, fail, feller, be freed, hew (down), make a league ([covenant]), X lose, perish, X utterly, X want.

It means to destroy or perish! To consume! The Lord will "cut off," or destroy the wicked. It's all throughout the Bible, and I'm trying my best to show you.

Psalm 20:
[6] Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.
[7] Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
[8] They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.
[9] Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.

The Lord saves His people, the ones that don't trust in Him are brought down and fallen. After many other supporting verses, I can't help to think that brought down refers to down into the grave/pit. When I read fallen, I think of someone that has died. Here's the Hebrew:

A primitive root; to fall, in a great variety of applications (intransitively or causatively, literally or figuratively): - be accepted, cast (down, self, [lots], out), cease, die, divide (by lot), (let) fail, (cause to, let, make, ready to) fall (away, down, -en, -ing), fell (-ing), fugitive, have [inheritamce], inferior, be judged [by mistake for H6419], lay (along), (cause to) lie down, light (down), be (X hast) lost, lying, overthrow, overwhelm, perish, present (-ed, -ing), (make to) rot, slay, smite out, X surely, throw down.

It can be defined as cease, die, fail, fall, perish, rot. Look familiar?

Psalm 21:
[8] Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.
[9] Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.

A fiery oven: the time of judgment, the lake of fire. When the tares are gathered into the oven and are burned up. The Lord will swallow them up in His wrath, and fire shall devour them. Devour! What does devour mean?

A primitive root; to eat (literally or figuratively): - X at all, burn up, consume, devour (-er, up), dine, eat (-er, up), feed (with), food, X freely, X in . . . wise (-deed, plenty), (lay) meat, X quite.

To burn up! This is huge. To consume! We're talking about a fire that burns up and consumes them. Does an eternal hell burn something up? Nope, it just burns something. Does it consume something? Not if it's continually burning! The fire God sends on the wicked is a consuming one that burns up everyone in its path. Nobody survives it.

Psalm 28:
[5] Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.

God will destroy the wicked, and not build them up. They're done.

Psalm 30:
[3] O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

[9] What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?

God hasn't brought his soul up from a burning inferno, He brought him up from the grave, the pit.

Psalm 31:
[23] O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

The Lord preserves the faithful. Ok, we know that. Here's what it means in the Hebrew:

A primitive root; to guard, in a good sense (to protect, maintain, obey, etc.) or a bad one (to conceal, etc.): - besieged, hidden thing, keep (-er, -ing), monument, observe, preserve (-r), subtil, watcher (-man).

To guard in a good sense, to conceal in a bad sense. To keep, preserve. Wouldn't the wicked be concealed in a bad sense if they are kept alive in torment? Yes. The Lord does not preserve the wicked, because Psalm 31 states that He preserves the faithful. By this reasoning it's impossible to have anyone preserved in "hell."

Psalm 33:
[18] Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
[19] To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

To deliver their soul from death, not from an eternally burning inferno.

Psalm 34:
[16] The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

Again we see the term "cut off." Destroyed. This just came to me. If anyone is thinking that this is just talking about the mortal condition of the wicked, remember, the meek inherit the earth. They reign with Christ for 1000 years in Israel, then reign with Him after the wicked are destroyed and New Jerusalem descends.

Alright, I feel that it's time to wrap up this entry. I'd rather make these studies shorter than I have in the past, so that they are easier to read. I hope from this first look into what Psalms says about hell and the wicked is showing you a stark reality: the wicked are burned up by God's fire (the lake of fire) and utterly destroyed.

Part 3 of my study on hell is coming soon! I will address many more verses that I have found in Psalms. Thanks for reading, and as always I welcome your comments and will do my best to answer them.

July 18, 2009

The Biblical Truth About Hell: Part 1

I'm feeling ready to dive right into this, so I'm going to begin. If you haven't yet, please read my introduction to this study, it lays the groundwork for everything I want to accomplish with this.

The first step I took in my study of hell was to download a program called "e-Sword." You can download it for free here. It is simply a Bible study tool where you can search for words and verses, and download add-ons like the original Greek and Hebrew meanings, like I have. I don't use the program for anything other than that. It has commentaries available to download, but I don't like having other people think for me.

So with e-Sword, I did a search for the word "hell." 54 verses come up. I will show you these verses and expound on their meanings. Ready? Good. :)

Before I do that, I feel that it's a good idea to list all the possible definitions of hell from the Strong's Greek and Hebrew dictionaries that I have in e-Sword. Once we have all the definitions it will be much easier to reference them to the verses I list. (Note: I do think that some of the expanded definitions take errant liberties, as we will see in this study.) The definitions will become clearer as Scripture irons things out as we go along. You'll see. Just stick with me, and read everything I have to show you.

Hell refers to a handful of different words: sheol, hades, gehenna, and tartaroo.

שׁאל שׁאול
she'ôl she'ôl
sheh-ole', sheh-ole'
From H7592; hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranian retreat), including its accessories and inmates: - grave, hell, pit.

From G1 (as a negative particle) and G1492; properly unseen, that is, “Hades” or the place (state) of departed souls: - grave, hell.

Of Hebrew origin ([H1516] and [H2011]); valley of (the son of) Hinnom; gehenna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem, used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment: - hell.

From Τάρταρος Tartaros̄ (the deepest abyss of Hades); to incarcerate in eternal torment: - cast down to hell.

With those definitions established we will dive into every single instance the word "hell" is mentioned throughout the Bible.

First it is important to note that every reference to hell in the Old Testament refers to sheol. Let's explore them.

Deuteronomy 32:
[22] For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
[23] I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.
[24] They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.
[25] The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.
[26] I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:

What do we have here? A fire burns and devours with bitter destruction. The rememberance of those judged here will cease. Once again, hell here means sheol, the grave or pit.

2 Samuel 22:
[6] The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;

Note the context here: hell (grave, pit) is mentioned along with the snares of death. In the grave we are dead.

Job 11:
[8] It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?

Again, sheol. Think about it. What makes more sense? A deep grave, or a deep burning inferno? I will show more instances of a deep pit as we explore more of Scripture in the coming posts!

Job 26:
[6] Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.

The context here also clears things up for us. The grave is naked before God, destruction can't hide. Why would destruction be combined with a word that means the grave and the pit if there is a burning inferno? Before anyone can say that destruction is an everlasting/continual event, I'll let the original Hebrew do the talking.

Intensively from H6; abstractly a perishing; concretely Hades: - destruction.

Destruction means just that. Perishing, concretely Hades, which also means the grave. Is anything destroyed that is kept alive forever? I have so many verses to back this up, please be patient.

Psalm 9
[17] The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
[18] For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.

The wicked are turned into the grave. Verse 18 further explains that the poor shall not perish forever! Perish! Not burn eternally! We see another contextual instance of the grave being paired up with perishing and destruction. Let's see the Hebrew on the word perish.

A primitive root; properly to wander away, that is lose oneself; by implication to perish (causatively, destroy): - break, destroy (-uction), + not escape, fail, lose, (cause to, make) perish, spend, X and surely, take, be undone, X utterly, be void of, have no way to flee.

Does any of that sound like someone staying alive forever to burn? No. We'll see many more instances of perish as we go along as well. John 3:16 anyone? :)

Psalm 16:
[10] For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

This makes perfect sense. David is saying that the Lord will not leave him dead in the grave. He will raise him up at the last day. Want proof?

Acts 2:
[29] Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
[30] Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
[31] He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

Paul even directly quotes David's Psalm! People may have a problem with this because they have fallen into another errant doctrine: the idea that souls immediately go to heaven or "hell" at death. This is a fallacy, and I would have to write another blog on it. Proving it is quite complete and lengthy, as most of my studies are turning out to be! I will show some of this proof as we study hell, because the idea of being asleep in the grave is relevant to this topic.

Notice here also that in verse 31 of Acts 2 it talks of how Christ wasn't left in hell. It is obvious here that Acts 2 parallels Psalm 16 with this. David will not be left in the grave, just as Christ has not been left there. "Hell" in Acts 2 means Hades, the grave. With these two passages looked at together, how can anyone think Hades means anything differently? Would David not be left in the grave, and Christ not be left in a burning inferno? See what I'm saying? Let's continue.

Psalm 18:
[5] The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

Same as in 2 Samuel.

Psalm 55:
[15] Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.

Seeing a pattern here? Once again the context of the verse explains the meaning of hell. Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell, the grave. Death takes them! They're dead! What happens when death seizes someone? That's right, they go down quickly into the pit. Also, even if you believe in a burning inferno, nobody is judged until they are cast into the lake of fire (which is the second death, Rev. 20:14, I'll get to it). So if nobody is judged, how can anyone go down quickly into a burning inferno? This also disproves the idea of the common belief of hell.

Psalm 86:
[13] For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

God delivers us from the grave at His coming. Believers aren't in a burning hell, right? Of course not.

Psalm 116:
[3] The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
[4] Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.

We see the same thing here. Death surrounds, the grave takes hold. Pay attention to the word sorrow here, we will see how it pertains to Luke 16's Lazarus passage later. Psalm 116 is even titled "Deliverance from Death" in my KJV Bible. That's an accurate title, because again in verse 4 we see the author calling upon the Lord to be delivered from it.

Psalm 139:
[8] If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

This verse is so clear that I don't even have to explain it. I hope at this point you are seeing that hell so far means the grave, and only the grave. I also hope that you are thinking about what the New Testament says regarding hell. Don't worry, we'll get there. I'm not hiding any verse in this study. Let's first finish the rest of the OT verses so we cover all the bases.

Proverbs 5:
[5] Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

Another verse linking death to hell, the grave.

Proverbs 7:
[27] Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Same thing.

Proverbs 9:
[18] But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

And again! :) All verses connecting sheol (the grave) with death.

Proverbs 15:
[10] Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.
[11] Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?

Hell and destruction. Remember the definition up there?

Proverbs 15:
[24] The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

Here we see life compared to death. Keep this in mind, we will see the Master do this in the Gospels!

Proverbs 23:
[13] Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
[14] Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Death in the same context as hell again.

Proverbs 27:
[20] Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

I know this is getting repititious, but the Bible drums this into our heads! :) We have to understand this. 13 more Old Testament verses to go.

Isaiah 5:
[14] Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

The pit "opened her mouth" so to speak, to embrace the dead. They descend into it.

Isaiah 14:
[9] Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
[10] All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?
[11] Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.

This is a fascinating chapter. It talks about Satan's ultimate demise, which I will cover eventually in this study! For now we see that Satan's pomp (pride) is brought down to the grave. The Bible is very clear in this. Continuing to verse 15:

[15] Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

The sides of the pit! There it is very clearly. Doesn't a grave have sides? Of course. It makes perfect sense.

Isaiah 28:
[15] Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

Death in context with hell.

[18] And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

Continuing on in that chapter, we see that the ones judged here are trodden down. There are other references in the Bible to the wicked being trampled, and the righteous walking on their ashes. We'll take a look at those later on.

Isaiah 57:
[9] And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell.

This chapter is dealing with leaders of Israel that go against God. They are setting themselves up for the grave.

Ezekiel 31:
[16] I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.

Cast down to hell, descending into the pit. Self explanatory. The very next verse:

[17] They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen.
[18] To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.

Down into hell, slain with the sword. Dead in the grave.

Ezekiel 32:
[21] The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword.

The slain by the sword have gone down and are lying in the grave.

[27] And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living.

What's this saying? These mighty men are fallen, they were terrifying while they were alive, but now them and their weapons have gone to the grave. Iniquities shall be upon their bones. They are dead, and their sins ascend to God. They will be accountable at the judgment.

Amos 9:
[2] Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:

Dig into hell - would anyone dig into a burning inferno?

Jonah 2:
[2] And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

The fish swallowed Jonah up, and its belly became his grave until the Lord caused it to spit him out.

Habakkuk 2:
[5] Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:

Hell in context with death.

So that does it for every single instance of the word "hell" in the Old Testament. I hope you have read all of these verses and have asked God for understanding on them. Do you see that they all mean the grave or the pit? Does the context help explain that to you? Have my comments helped? I truly hope so!

Now let's move on to the New Testament! First I'll list all the verses in which the word "gehenna" is used, and then I will explain what that word really means.

Matthew 5:
[22] But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

[29] And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
[30] And if thy right hand offend thee, cut if off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Matthew 10:
[28] And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 18:
[9] And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Matthew 23:
[15] Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

[33] Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Mark 9:
[43] And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
[44] Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
[45] And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
[46] Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
[47] And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
[48] Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Luke 12:
[5] But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

James 3:
[6] And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

Ok, that is every instance in the Bible of the word hell, translated from gehenna. Let's delve further into this, seeking an explanation of what these verses are saying from the Bible.

First, let's see the definition of gehenna again:

Of Hebrew origin ([H1516] and [H2011]); valley of (the son of) Hinnom; gehenna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem, used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment: - hell.

So we see gehenna defined as a valley of Hinnom, or a valley of Jerusalem. Then we see how it is figuratively defined as a state of everlasting punishment. Is it right to assume that definition? I will show you that it isn't. I will also show you verses that coincide with gehenna being a valley.

Jeremiah 7:
[31] And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.
[32] Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.
[33] And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away.
[34] Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.

The valley of the son of Hinnom IS gehenna. Gehenna is flat out defined as such. Here we see that the people rebelled against God, burned sons and daughters in this valley, and in turn God will slaughter everyone in that very same valley. Their carcasses will be left to rot there. Keep that in mind, we will see more verses about that shortly.

Jeremiah 19:
[2] And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee,
[3] And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.
[4] Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;
[5] They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:
[6] Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.
[7] And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.
[8] And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.

This reinforces chapter 7.

Jeremiah 32:
[35] And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
[36] And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence;

Same thing here.

Joel 3:
[2] I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

[11] Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.
[12] Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.
[13] Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.
[14] Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
[15] The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
[16] The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

This passage is huge. Understanding this will give us very important insight into gehenna and hell in general. Joel 3 talks about the Lord's gathering of all nations for judgment. It is extremely important to notice the reference to the sun and moon being darkened, and the stars withdrawing their shining. This directly links us to what Jesus says in the Gospels about His second coming. (Matthew 24: 29 for example) There is no possible reason to think that Joel 3 is referring to a different time period! Also note the mention of the harvest, the end of the world from the Gospels.

I looked up the word Jehoshaphat here, and I'm very excited as to what I've found. I'm actually doing this part of this Bible study on the fly. I wasn't even expecting to find this!

From H3068 and H8199; Jehovah-judged; Jehoshaphat, the name of six Israelites; also of a valley near Jerusalem : - Jehoshaphat. Compare H3146.

It means Jehovah-judged! Also a valley near Jerusalem! Can this be gehenna? Yes! God's judgment is poured out in the valley of Hinnom as we see in Jeremiah. Hinnom is a valley of Jerusalem, Jehoshapat is a valley near Jerusalem. God's judgment is poured out in the valley, referred to as hell, aka gehenna!

The Lord allows the wicked to assemble in this valley of decision. The harvest is ripe - a clear reference to the wheat and the tares parable, the coming of the Lord. So we know the time frame that this is occuring. There's no other explanation otherwise. It's not some earlier judgment, this is the harvest. The press is full - this is referring to the winepress in Isaiah 5 and possibly other areas of the Bible. I'll show those verses shortly.

The day of the Lord is near the valley of decision! The day of the Lord is the day He comes back, it's all over Scripture. The Lord comes to crush the wicked in the valley of decision, gehenna. Here are more things to support this:

Isaiah 5:
[1] Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
[2] And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
[3] And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
[4] What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
[5] And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
[6] And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
[7] For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

Here is a parable the Lord gives us, connecting people to a vineyard. Jesus also speaks often about being a vine, having branches, and producing good fruit. In Isaiah we see that the Lord's vineyard produced some wild grapes, ones He didn't plan for or want. What does He do? He lays it to waste.

Oh, I want to show you more verses linking carcasses to God's judgment.

Isaiah 66:
[24] And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Also, extremely important to note in this verse: carcasses of men have worms that die not, with fires that aren't quenched. I will explain this now, and further prove it later. If these are "spiritual" worms that don't die, and if there's a fire that isn't quenched, how can we have a carcass of a man? A carcass is a dead body! The worm's don't die until they eat up the body. The fire isn't quenched until it is finished reducing the carcass to ashes. Yes, there is hell fire. It is the judgmental fire that God rains down on the wicked, consuming them in the valley of Hinnom, gehenna!

Isaiah 14:
[19] But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.

This is the fate of Satan, which I will expound on further along in this study. It's important to see here that a carcass is basically trampled upon with the feet of the righteous.

Matthew 24:
[28] For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

This is the chapter in Matthew in which Jesus talks of His second coming. The wicked are judged when he comes back, and their carcasses remain on the earth.

Jeremiah 31:
[37] Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.
[38] Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner.
[39] And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath.
[40] And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.

This passage deals with the restoration of Israel, and how a new city will be built. Verse 40 mentions the valley of the dead bodies that are reduced to ashes. The valley of decision, gehenna.

There are more verses that flesh out the idea of gehenna being the valley of God's judgment. It's hard to keep all of this organized, since a lot of verses coincide with other topics that I am going to get into. I hope at the end of the study this all fits in for you. My head is spinning a little from getting so involved in this! I hope I'm still being clear, and that the message I am putting out here is easy to see. What we see here so far though, is that every time hell fire or hell is mentioned, and is translated from gehenna, that it is a fire that rains down on the wicked in the day of the Lord, when they are assembled in the valley of Hinnom/Jehoshophat/decision/slaughter. I really hope you see this!

Ok, I feel that I have thoroughly covered gehenna at this point. If you have any questions or want to debate this (or anything I write here for that matter), please leave me a comment! Let's go on and finish up the rest of the "hell" verses in the New Testament. Next up, the translations from the word "hades."

Matthew 11:
[23] And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Luke 10:
[15] And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.

Hell is translated from hades in these two verses. Note the same phrasing as Psalm 55:15, Isaiah 14:15, Ezekiel 31:16-17, and Ezekiel 32:27. All of them contain the words "down to hell." We have previously established that these verses are talking about going down into the grave. Jesus is talking of the same thing here.

Matthew 16:
[18] And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Again hell is hades here. The gates of the grave, pit, or death. Don't agree? I know it's natural now to picture a burning hell's gates opening or something. It's what I used to do before the Lord led me to the truth. Let's again turn to the Bible for backup.

Psalm 9:
[13] Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:

Psalm 107:
[18] Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.

Isaiah 38:
[10] I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years.

I think it is very safe to say that the gates of hell Jesus mentions in Matthew 16 are the same gates of the grave and death mentioned elsewhere. Let's continue.

Luke 16:
[23] And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Hell means hades here also. Since we have defined hades as the grave, we know Lazarus is not in a burning inferno. I will completely dissect the Lazarus parable in another section of this study!

Revelation 1:
[18] I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Jesus' words. He was dead, and lives again. He has the keys of hell (hades, the grave) and death. We see the same thing in this verse as many of the others: hell linked with death.

Revelation 6:
[8] And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Hell also linked with death here. Hades.

Revelation 20:
[13] And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
[14] And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
[15] And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Huge verses here! Death and hell delivered up the dead to be judged! Are the dead alive in a burning inferno? No! They're dead! The grave "gives them up" for judgment! What is the judgment? It's the lake of fire! What is the lake of fire? The second death! Does death have anything to do with life? No. Let's take this verse into account:

Revelation 21:
[4] And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Just after the judgment of the lake of fire, the second death, there is no more death, sorrow, or crying. No more pain either, they have passed away. They are no more, they're dead! How can there be no more pain or sorrow or crying if people are alive burning? How can death be finished if there are wicked people in a constant state of death, as I've heard "hell" described? The answer is that it can't be. I'll get more into all of this with my 70+ supporting verses in other parts of this study.

That's it for the hades verses. One more version of hell to look into: tartaroo. This one's easy.

2 Peter 2:
[4] For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

What is tartaroo again?

From Τάρταρος Tartaros̄ (the deepest abyss of Hades); to incarcerate in eternal torment: - cast down to hell.

I believe this definition is severely misleading. There has yet to be any mention of an eternal torment in the Bible, and this is no exception. Cast down to hell is more like it. Note the verse above. These sinful angels are reserved unto judgment. They're waiting for their punishment! They haven't received it yet! What is their punishment? We just saw it in Revelation: the lake of fire, the second death.

Well I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted! :) These studies always take a lot out of me. I have covered every single instance of the word hell in the Bible, and explained each verse clearly. Hell is the grave, the pit, the valley in Jerusalem, and a place for angels to be reserved for judgment. Not once is it defined as a burning inferno. There is more to uncover to elaborate and fully prove this, this is only the first part. Ultimately I will show the demise of Satan, the judgment/fate of the wicked, the mortal vs. immortal bodies, and more. I have so much information to show here that I hope I present it clearly and thoroughly.

If you've stuck with me this far, thank you very much. I want to get this message out to every single person I can! If you agree with me, excellent! Teach others, we're commanded to! If you don't agree with me, please pray about it and leave me comments as to why you don't. I will be very happy to discuss things! Granted, keep in mind I haven't fully proven this to you yet. I still have to cover smoke of their torment ascending forever, and other things that "prove" a burning inferno. Don't worry, I won't run from any other takes on this!

Thanks, more to come when I have the strength and time!
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