HELL Part E--HADES & THE SECOND DEATH
Many Christians, pastors, and theologians parrot continually the blatantly false notion that Jesus spoke twice as often of hell as He did of heaven. Since the word "heaven" is attributed to Jesus over a hundred times we should, I guess, expect that He must have spoken of "hell" multiple hundreds of times. Five minutes in a concordance will easily render this bit of Christian heresy totally false. In reality Jesus spoke of "hades/hell" on only four separate occasions (check any red letter edition of the King James). "Hell" (regarding Capernaum) is mentioned twice, but it is the same occasion. And on only four other occasions did any other of the New Testament writers (Luke, John, and Paul) make mention of hades/hell.
In Installment XVI, Part A we saw that sheol is translated "grave" 31 times and "pit" three times in the KJV.. In Installment XVI, Part B we saw that sheol is translated 31 times as "hell" in the KJV. Then we proved Scripturally that of these 65 times "sheol" is used in the Hebrew Scriptures it neither means, grave, pit, or hell, although sheol (the state of the dead) is closely associated with the grave, technically it is not the grave itself. There are other Hebrew words for grave and pit, but there was no Hebrew word for hell, as the ancient Hebrews had no such concept as an eternal hell in their God-given theology. There is not one single warning concerning an eternal hell of suffering in all of the instructions from God through Moses to all the people of Israel.
ALL OCCURRENCES OF GREEK "HADES" TRANSLATED "HELL"
Then in Installment XVI, D-4, we proved from Scripture that the Greek word Gehenna meaning, "The Valley of the Son of Hinnom," should never ever be translated hell. And so we are now down to only 8 more times that we find hell in the King James Bible, and in those remaining eight occurrences it is translated from the Greek word "hades."
The Greek word "hades," means "imperceptible or unseen," however, to the Greeks this word also represented both the god Hades and the domain of Hades, which was the state of the dead, and underworld. Originally this word did not mean a place of pain and torture. That bit of paganism was borrowed from the Egyptian underworld of Amenti with its lowest realm being Tartaroo where it was taught that there was pain and suffering. Leaders in Greece liked this Egyptian practice of keeping the common people fearful of their eternal fate by the constant threat of ending up in Amenti if they were bad, as does orthodox Christian theology to this day. And so the Greeks too incorporated these fabled eternal evils into their already established doctrine of Hades.
Left: Hades, Greek god of the underworld, enthroned, with his bird-headed staff, on a red-figure Apulian vase made in the 4th C BC. Right: Another depiction of the Greek god of the underworld, Hades.
If we are to believe that hades is a literal place at a geographical location, then we must also believe that the god Hades is also a real god which has dominion over this underworld of the dead.
Was there also a pagan god of the Hebrew sheol? Nonsense. The only God Who has dominion over sheol is Jehovah:
[Heb. Jehovah], You know it altogether. You hast beset me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Where shall I go from Your spirit? or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend up into heaven, You are there: if I make my bed in hell [Heb. sheol], behold, YOU are there" (Psa. 139:4-8).
DEFINING THE GREEK WORD "HADES"
Hades IS sheol. Hades is the Greek translation in the New Testament when an Old Testament Hebrew verse is quoted containing the word "sheol." Here is an example:
This is a quotation of Psalm 16:10:
So the Holy Spirit inspired the New Testament writers to translate the Hebrew word sheol into the Greek word hades. Therefore, sheol IS hades and hades IS sheol, and this is precisely how Dr. Strong defines them:
Strong's Hebrew Dictionary: #7585, "sheol, hades or the world of the dead."
Technically, I could end our study on the meaning of hades right here. I have already written two Installments on sheol in which we saw that sheol is the state of the dead--not hell, not even the grave, but the state of the dead. And as sheol IS hades, hades cannot take on any greater or opposing meaning that is not contained in an older parent language word "sheol."
No matter how fanciful one's ideas may be regarding the use of the word hades in the New Testament, it does not take on the meaning of consciousness, judging, torture, chastisement, annihilation, or eternity. It is the UNSEEN, IMPERCEPTIBLE, UNCONSCIOUS STATE OF THE DEAD called sheol throughout the Old Testament Scriptures.
The Scriptures teach us that:
As this is true in "sheol," it is likewise true in "hades."
Just where did David understand a person would be when he "returned to his earth" when his thoughts perished and he no longer lived to praise the Lord? Answer: "For IN DEATH there is no remembrance of Thee: in the GRAVE [Heb: 'sheol'] who shall give thee thanks?" (Psa 6:5). Well of course, the orthodox Christian theologians teaching makes a lie out of this Scripture, as they teach that for in death there IS remembrance of God, and that the dead patriarchs of old were alive praising God in a certain compartment of sheol for many centuries before Jesus visited them (while He was supposed to be dead, for the sins of the world) and took them back to heaven with Him.
Never mind the Scriptural fact, that King David was one of those patriarchs of old, who also was in the death state of sheol, but must have been overlooked by Jesus during His brief visit there, seeing that:
Does no one ever question the endless, blatant contradictions between Church doctrine and the Word of God? Do you?
Now then, here is what the Scriptures plainly state: David said he would "praise the Lord" while he was alive, because when "...his breath goes forth, he returns to this earth; in that very day his THOUGHTS PERISH." And that "in the grave [Heb: sheol] there is NO remembrance of Thee...who shall give Thee [The Lord] thanks [there]?" there in sheol? And "sheol IS HADES," so there is no remembrance, no thanks, his thoughts perish "not ANYTHING," not only in sheol, but in hades (the Christian hell) EITHER!
So why won't Christians and orthodox theologians and teachers and pastors accept these clear and definitive statements of God's Word? Because they DESPISE the Word of God. Sure they do. They don't believe these Scriptures, and they won't teach them, because these Scriptures contradict and make a mockery of their anti-scriptural and pagan doctrines of immortal souls being tortured by demons for ever in the pits of some heathen hell. Take away the fear of a Christian hell of eternal torture, and you take away the power and the vanity and the money which is the motivation of the basest of men and women.
Talk about God's timing: I just took a few minutes break from my computer. John Hagee is on the TV and he just said: "If hell is going to be anything, it is going to be a place of remembrance." Remembrance? Hell/hades/sheol is a "place of remembrance?" Oh really?
What did we just read from the Word of God? Let's read it again and compare it to this damnable heresy of John Hagee and most of orthodox Christianity: "For in death there is NO REMEMBRANCE of Thee..." And just where and what is this "death?" Rest of the verse: "in SHEOL [that's Hagee's hell] who shall give Thee thanks?" (Psa 6:5).
Let's look at a few other translations just so we are clear that this verse is speaking of death in sheol/hades, the hell of the Christians:
"For in death there is no remembrance of thee: In SHEOL who shall give thee thanks?" (American Standard Version).
"For in death there is no remembrance of You; In the UNSEEN, who shall acclaim You?" (Concordant Literal Version).
"For, in death, is no remembrance of Thee,--In HADES, who shall give thanks unto thee?" (Rotherham's Emphasized Bible).
This unscriptural assertion of John Hagee is more important than most might realize. What did John Hagee really do by stating that "hades" is a "place of remembrance?" What he did is put God's Word on the line as to whether it is true or has blatant contradictions (which would really mean, lies). Mr. Hagee is quoting from the Lazarus parable in Luke 16 where the Rich man opens his eyes in hades, and Dr. Strong and the Scriptures tell us that sheol of the Hebrew is hades of the Greek.
The hell/hades myth has been accepted as a place of eternal suffering by the Jews, Christians, Moslems, and even the secular world. In Old English, the word hell meant "cover or conceal." For the moment let's allow for the fact that since "hades" is the word which represents the "hell" of the Greeks, that it could also be rendered "hell" of the Anglo Saxons, being aware however, that these two concepts of an eternal hell differ considerably.
We will take up the discussion of such phrases as "outer darkness" and "gnashing of teeth" in a later section. Such phrases are falsely assumed to also represent the conditions of this fabled hell. Now then, here are the only eight occasions which reference hades/hell in all Scripture. And keep in mind through the pages of this study, that hades is never said to be a place of fire. We will learn that hades is thrown into the lake of fire, so how could it BE the lake of fire?
That's it. These are the only eight occasions (not hundreds and hundreds as deceiving theologians falsely contend) where the translation "hell" is even conceivably justified in all Scripture, and is the only eight occasions were the Greek word hades is found in Greek NT manuscripts. And not once is it a place of eternal torment, or eternal judgment, or eternal annihilation. We will now go through these eight places thoroughly, paying close attention to all the words.
On one occasion the King James erroneously renders the word tartarus, as hell. Tartarus means "abyss--a place of restraint," (also called "the deepest abyss of the Greek hades"). The word tartarus can be traced to the underworld of the pagan Egyptians. Tartarus is an Egyptian word, not Greek. And this one-time use in the King James clearly has reference to angels being held in restraint until their (not our) judgment. Humans are never connected with tartarus, only angels, so I will not spend much time on it in this Installment.
[tartarus--abyss], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment" (II Pet 2:4).
And this place of restraint ("chains of darkness") is only until we (I Cor. 6:3) judge the angels ("judgment"), not for eternity.
We will now go through in detail the only eight occasions in which the Greek word hades appears in all Scripture:
THE FIRST OCCASION JESUS MENTIONED HADES
down to hell
[Jesus] to upbraid the cities wherein most of the mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto you, Chorazin! Woe unto you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in Sack cloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And you, Capernaum, which art exalted into heaven, shall be brought down to hell [Greek: hades, Hebrew: sheol]: for if the mighty works, which have been done in you, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you" (Matt. 11:20-24).
And here's the same occasion in Luke's account:
[Gk: hades]" (Luke 10:13-15).
The unscriptural problems associated with trying to force this declaration of Jesus Christ regarding Capernium being "brought down to hades" into the idea that Capernium would be cast down into the pagan hell of the ancient Greeks to be tortured for all eternity, are staggering to say the least. There is nothing in the above statement of our Lord that suggests any such eternal destiny for all the inhabitants of Capernaum.
Capernaum of Galilee from an aerial
DOES ANYONE EVER PAY ATTENTION TO THE WORDS?
Christians read these words of our Lord and the only words they see are:
Is that all Jesus said? Does no one pay any attention to the context of Jesus' teaching regarding Capernaum and all the other cities He upbraided?
Jesus speaks not only of Capernaum, but also Chorazin, and Bethsaida, and Tyre, and Sidon, and Sodom. And has anyone ever noticed what Jesus really said regarding these cities?
THREE LESSONS ON JUDGMENT FOUND IN THESE VERSES:
Jesus pronounces a "woe" on Chorazin and Bethsaida because they saw Jesus' mighty works but they didn't repent. He then states that if the same works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, "they would have repented long ago."
Why would they have repented long ago? Chorazin and Bethsaida saw these mighty works and didn't repent. Capernaum saw these might works and didn't repent? Why would Tyre and Sidon have repented? Were all the people of Tyre and Sidon and even Sodom, just inherently better and more tender-hearted people so that they would, on their own, repent at the witnessing of such great and mighty works? And was the entire population of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum so evil and hard-hearted that the mighty works of Jesus did not effect them at all?
Are we to foolishly assume that 100 percent of all the men, women, and children of Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom would be fully capable and willing to repent in the presence of these mighty works, but that 100 percent of the men, women, and children of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum are totally incapable and unwilling to repent in the presence of these mighty works?
And don't let any foolishly suggest that Jesus was not speaking of and including women and children and infants in His statements. Notice that Jesus brings Sodom into this picture, and we are all well aware of the fact that ALL men and ALL women and ALL children and ALL infants were destroyed in Sodom and Gomorrah, and all the cities of the plain.
Truth is, there is one Scriptural way and one Scriptural way only that any city or any family or any individual is able to come to Jesus Christ in repentance. Here is the only way to repentance: "the goodness of God leads you to repentance" (Rom. 2:4). Are we so totally ignorant of the Word of God so as to believe Tyre and Sidon could have repented on their own? Repentance is the result of "the goodness of GOD," not the goodness of the repenting sinner. And this is why, "no man can come to Me except the Father draw [Gk:drag] him" (John 6:44).
So if these mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, the only way they would have repented is still totally dependant upon the goodness of God leading them to repentance and dragging them to Christ. Jesus is not suggesting some other, different, alternative, human "free will" method by which they would have repented. Jesus does not contradict His Own statements of Scripture.
Neither is it just generally that, "the goodness of God leads you to repentance," or that generally, "no man can come to Me except the Father draw him," but that on occasion these can also be accomplished by man's phantom "free will," independent of God and thus negating the truth of the above Scriptures believing that, "the Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35) is a false statement and that the Scriptures can be broken by man's supposed almighty "free will."
Are you one who believes that the Scripture can be broken? Are you still one who believes that his will is "free" from the Sovereignty of God and that one's will can indeed thwart the very will of God?
Repentance is good, and:
That my friends is a universal, eternal truth of God, and I can care less what the theologians who worship the god of "context, context, context" teach to the contrary. Repentance does not originate as some mystical uncaused act of the human will. When will we begin to believe the Scriptures?
But since God didn't have His Son do these mighty works in Tyre and Sidon they didn't repent.
And what about Sodom? Sodom did not see these mighty works, and Sodom did not repent, and so Sodom also was brought "down to hell [hades]." And Sodom wasn't alone in that ancient destruction. It also included along with Sodom and Gomorrah, all "the cities of the plain" (Gen. 19:28-29).
Are you following this closely? Jesus could have caused Tyre and Sidon to repent; He could have saved them; and they too could have remained until this day, but Jesus didn't want to save them at that time. Imagine that: all Jesus would have had to do was the same "mighty works" in Tyre and Sidon as He did in Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida, and they "would have repented long ago." Yes, Chorazin, Behtsaida, Tyre, Sidon, Sodom, and Gomorrah will all give "account" one day for their sins, but Who is "responsible" for their repentance and salvation? Why, Jesus Himself--He said as much in these verses if we have eyes to see and ears to hear. These verses prove that God can bring anyone to repentance when He so desires.
Not only would Tyre and Sidon have repented as a result of the mighty works of Jesus, but something remarkable would have happened to Sodom had they this same opportunity.
Once again, Jesus is not suggesting that Sodom had any such ability as to entirely change the carnality of their entire city. He is just showing that God could have taken a different course of action with Sodom had He so desired, and could have caused it to "remain until this day." So what is the point of all this, and what does it have to do with the "eternal hell of torture" taught by the Christian Church?
Would any deny that God is NOT A LIAR? Can we then take Him at His word when He declares through Peter:
So, had God desired for Sodom to repent and be saved so as to "have remained until this day," what was it that He would have had to do? We don't have to guess on this one because Jesus has already plainly told us what He would have had to do:
There's the simple answer: do the mighty works in Sodom that were done in Capernaum, and Sodom would have repented and "It would have remained until this day."
But as Isaiah said (Isa. 53:1) and Paul repeated (Rom. 10:16): "Who has believed our report?" Do you? Do you believe these words of our Lord, or are you like the Christian orthodox church which believes it is all predicated upon man's phantom "free will" which can thwart the will of God any time it desires?
M John Martin (English painter, 1789-1854), "Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah"
Is not an entire city, not to mention neighboring Gomorrah and all the cities of the plain, including all the teens, youngsters, mentally challenged, pregnant women, grand mothers and grand fathers, great grand mothers and great grand fathers, and little babies, worth a few "might works" on God's part?
Orthodox Christianity teaches that Sodom is suffering the fires of an eternal hell RIGHT NOW. And if you don't believe that, go and ask your minister or pastor where the citizens of Sodom are RIGHT NOW? The Bible teaches, however, that all the citizens of Sodom are DEAD and they are suffering nothing right now. But let's (for the twisted and deranged beliefs of Christendom) suppose that Sodom really is presently suffering consciously in an eternal hell of fire. According to Jesus, was there a way that they could have escaped such a fate? Yes, of course there was, Jesus said there was a way.
Now pay very very close attention to what Jesus said would have saved them so that "It [Sodom] would have remained until this day." Well here is Jesus' Own answer:
There it is:
Are you believing what you are reading? Does it not contradict the whole of the Christian doctrine of eternal torment? Did Jesus say that Sodom could have saved themselves and remain until this day if they so desired, or did He say that had His mighty works been done in Sodom it would have remained until this day? That was a question? Don't just keep reading--answer the question! NO, not to me, to YOU, in your HEART, and in your MIND, and in your SPIRIT.
If it is JESUS Who is responsible for the salvation of Sodom, then it is JESUS Who is also responsible for the salvation of ALL CITIES AND ALL OF HUMANITY, for "God is no respecter of persons" (Acts 10:34).
Consider the orthodox doctrine of "one chance only at salvation or suffer the horrors of hell for all eternity." Orthodox Christian theologians, pastors, teachers and lay people all agree that the wicked sinners of Sodom are presently alive and suffering in hell and that they have suffered there for nearly 4,000 years now, and will continue to suffer in this hellhole for all eternity.
Now then, what would it have taken to prevent such a monstrous and horrific insane destiny? Why according to our Lord it would have taken just some of His "mighty works," that's all. Are those people of Sodom and all the cities of the plains not worth a few "mighty works" of our Lord. Ask your pastor to explain this Scripture to you according to the Christian eternal hell doctrine, in any language that makes the least bit of rational sense.
Jesus did not say that had such mighty works been done in Sodom, then they would have had a "chance" to repent, be saved, and "remain until this day." No, Jesus said that "It WOULD have remained until this day." No "ifs" "ands" or "buts" about it--"it WOULD have remained until this day." Who ya gonna believe--this evil and blasphemous eternal hell doctrine of the Church, or the Word of God? Does Jesus indicate that Sodom has been suffering in hell since their destruction way back there in Gen. 19? No, He surely doesn't.
What? If Sodom has been tortured in the living fires of hell for the past nearly four thousand years, why must they wait for "judgment" to receive "more tolerance?" And how is it that they have apparently ALREADY BEEN JUDGED TO SUFFER ETERNALLY IN HELL? What kind of "tolerance" is that? And how can there be "more tolerable" for Sodom, the city that personifies all that is wicked and perverted? The city that had not one righteous person in it save Lot?
God is going to show "more tolerance" to Sodom in the day of judgment than to Capernaum where Jesus and Peter themselves lived? That's what Jesus said. But what does that mean? It means a lot. It means that if you have believed all such people as Sodom and Capernaum will be tortured or annihilated for all eternity, then you have been lied to, big time, and it's time you learned the truth about this doctrine of demons parroted throughout the centuries by the Christian Church.
And just how, pray tell, can one sentenced to eternal torture receive "more tolerance" than others? If the sentence for all unrepentant sinners is eternity in hell, then this will include Sodom, Gomorrah, and all the cities of the plains, the entire population of the world at the time of Noah, Chorazin, Bethsadia, Tyre, Sidon, Capernaum, and the rest of the billions and billions of humanity which have never heard the name of Jesus down through the centuries.
How is one sentenced to eternal torture more tolerable than another sentence? Does one group suffer in 3000 degree fire instead of 30,000 degree fire? I have read where Christians teach that the temperature of hell fire will not be measured in thousands of degrees, but in millions of degrees. Sick, SICK, deranged minds!
Okay then, if Jesus was not pronouncing an eternity of suffering in a pagan place called hell on the peoples of Capernaum, what did He really mean when he said they would be "brought down to hell [hades]?"
WHAT HADES IS AND WHAT HADES IS NOT:
So what does Christ's statement mean: "Capernum...shall be brought down to hell [hades]"?
Hades is a condition, state, mode, or realm, not a place or geographical location. That Capernum was to be brought "down" to hades is used to describe a condition rather than a direction. Up implies inspiration and life, whereas down implies woe and death. Here are two Scriptures using figurative language with respect to going "down" to death.
We are told in Acts 2:27 that Jesus's soul was not left in hell (Greek--hades), which is a quotation from Psa 16:10 which is the same word in Hebrew which states that Jesus' soul was not left in hell (Hebrew--sheol).
Therefore, since the Holy Spirit inspired the Hebrew word "sheol" to be translated as the Greek hades, we have proof positive that hades is sheol and sheol is hades. This is, in fact, what Dr. Strong declares in his dictionary:
Strong's Hebrew Dictionary, #7585, "sheol, hades or the world of the dead..."
And we are also given in this definition further proof that hades and sheol are indeed "the world of THE DEAD." Surely the "world of the dead," cannot also be the Christian place of: eternal life, eternal judgment, torture in fire, hopelessness, memories of life, knowledge of past sins, and insane screaming. How does such nonsense fit into the Scriptural description of the Hebrew sheol, which is also the same as the Greek hades? Let's check it out and see if any of these things are found in sheol/hades:
Jesus was declaring to Capernaum and other cities which refused to obey His call for repentance, that they would be brought down to death individually, and collectively as great and exalted cities. This happened--everyone in these cities has died and the cities themselves died. Now all that remains for them is their resurrection to judgment, in "the DAY OF JUDGMENT."
THE SECOND OCCASION JESUS MENTIONS HADES
2. "hell [hades/unseen] shall not prevail against... church" (Matt. 16:18)
[Gk. hades] shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18).
Now Capernaum did die out as a city, and all of her citizens are in hades--the state or realm of the dead until the resurrection to judgment. In that sense, the gates of hades has been prevailing against Capernaum.
Contrary-wise, Jesus stated that the gates of hades would not prevail against His Church. And that "hades and death" are like locked gates to which only he possesses the keys. What does that mean?
If hades is the realm or world or state of the dead, is Jesus suggesting that death will not come to those in His Church. No, He isn't saying that at all. Jesus Himself prophesied numerous times that some of His disciples would be killed or martyred, and certainly all of Jesus' followers eventually die and enter the realm of hades the realm of death. We need to look carefully at what He said:
[Gk. hades] shall not prevail against it"
Jesus did not say that members of His Church would not die, or that they would not go to the realm of hades, the silent, imperceptible state of the dead. He said that hades would not "prevail" against it. That is, hades/death would not have a victory over His Church.
To get even more specific Jesus inserts the word "gates" into his statement. There is a difference between hades and its "gates."
As we already discussed, the members of Christ's Church are to see death, but the good news is that the gates of hades will not ultimately "prevail" against them in this death state. A gate can be closed and a gate can be opened. Once it is opened, it no longer prevails. Another aspect of this statement is that never through the ages would Christ's Church completely die out for any period of time.
Jesus likened hades to a prison with gates. As long as the gates are closed and locked, no one can escape hades, But Jesus assures us that the gates holding the members of His Church in hades shall not "prevail." Jesus will prevail, not the locked gates. As we shall see, Jesus has the keys of hades and of death." Jesus can therefore unlock the gates when He gathers His Elect at His coming, and receive them into His Kingdom. The rest of the dead are resurrected with physical bodies, back to physical life, to enter their SECOND death, which will no longer hurt God's Elect.
Now a "gate" is, "A structure which can be swung, drawn or lowered to block an entrance or passageway" (American Heritage College Dictionary).
And I think that we can all agree that this figurative/symbolic "gate" of hades is not there to keep people OUT, but rather to keep people IN, in the same way that prison doors are there to keep people in, rather than to keep people out. To "prevail" means, "To be greater in strength or influence; triumph" (American Heritage College Dictionary).
So when we put the two ideas together we find that although hades will be the temporary abode of all Christ's saints, the figurative gates of this realm of death will not prevail or triumph over them. It is temporary, not eternal.
THE THIRD OCCASION THAT JESUS MENTIONS HADES
3. "And in hell [hades/unseen] he lifted up his eyes" (Luke 16:23--parable)
This statement is found in a parable, so no one is being eternally tormented in any fire as we shall now see.
[Gk: 'hades'] he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame" (Luke 16:22-24).
 Either God's Word is absolutely true when it states that there is "no remembrance of Thee in hell [Heb: sheol; Gk: hades] and therefore, Lazarus and the Rich man is a parable which is symbolic, figurative language like all parables, and cannot be literal which would destroy any symbolic meaning.
 Lazarus and the Rich man is not a parable, but literal (which most of Christendom contends) where Abraham asks the Rich man to "remember" and therefore, Psalm 6:5 is a blatant lie and contradiction when it states that "there IS NO remembrance... in hell [sheol/hades]."
Since Psalm 6:5 is assuredly not a parable, Lazarus and the Rich man must be a parable, or we have a blatant contradiction of the Scriptures! Now if anyone thinks he knows of a third alternative to what becomes a serious Scriptural dilemma and contradiction by turning the parable of Lazarus into a literal, historical account, rather than the parable that it is, please let me know.
Let me point out one other interesting fact that seems to be entirely overlooked (conveniently?) by Christian theologians when discussing where the dead go.
In Gen. 15:15 we have The Lord God speaking to Abraham and God tells Abraham this:
Which then happens in Gen. 25:8:
Now then, that Abraham was a righteous and obedient man of faith, there is no question, but what about his "father" and "his people?" What kind of people where they? They were GOD-REJECTING IDOLATERS, that's what they were, and here's the proof:
Abraham's fathers and his people were worshipers and servers of "OTHER GODS." You cannot worship other gods and die in that condition in the good graces of God. Those sins must be judged. Yet, we are told that God promised Abraham that he would go to the same place "be gathered to his people" were his idolatrous fathers and family went when they died. Can't we see that they all went to the same place of sheol/hades which is the state of the DEAD, where there is no consciousness where "the dead know not ANYTHING" (Ecc. 9:5)?
Abraham was a godly man of faith, but his fathers and his people weren't. Still God tells us that Abraham would die in a good old age, an old man, full of years and go to his fathers IN PEACE and be gathered to his people. "In PEACE"--From the Hebrew #7965, "shalom, safe, well, happy, friendly, welfare, health, prosperity, peace" (Strong's Hebrew Dictionary).
If this "peace" was something that Abraham was to experience AFTER death, in the state of being dead, rather than at the final time of going to his Father in the process of dying as God promised, how pray tell would Abraham viewing all of "his people" and his "fathers" being tortured by the flames of the Christian hell of eternal fire, be "in peace?" Would you be "in peace" viewing your father and grand parents and great grandparents, and all of your people being tortured un-mercilessly. Would you? Well would you? Are we callous to such a scene of unimaginable cruelty and torture? Would we not consider someone to be mentally and spiritually sick and deranged if he could be "in peace" viewing such a horrific scene of eternal human carnage, especially being his own family?
I cry out against such unscriptural and "damnable heresy," and Christians by the thousands attack me like blood-thirsty wolves, accusing me of not having any love for condemning such evil and pagan nonsense. I am constantly reminded by my detractors that the perpetrators of these vile doctrines are God's spiritually anointed ministers of the Gospel with many years of experience under their belts, and woe unto me for challenging "God's anointed." Oh really?
Only in the Luke 16 figurative and symbolic language of Jesus' parable of Lazarus and the Rich man is consciousness attributed to hades. But no parable is literal.
LAZARUS IS A PARABLE:
Theologians, clergymen, and Christians by the hundreds of millions pretend to not see that Lazarus and the Rich man is clearly the 5th of a five-part parable. One does indeed need to be spiritually blind, deaf, and dumb to not see that Lazarus and the Rich man is the final continuation of a five-part parable:
"And He [Jesus] spoke this parable [consisting of five different examples] unto them." The "them" being the 'publicans and sinners' of verse 1, and the 'Pharisees,' 16:14. Jesus always and only spoke to the multitudes in public, in PARABLES, Matt. 13:34. "And He spoke this parable unto them...
So we have: "what man, what woman, a certain man, a certain rich man, a certain rich man." It is so unmistakably clear that this five-part parable is all related to one another by the very first words of each presentation that it defies human comprehension to believe that even one theologian could or would argue that the first four examples are parables, but the fifth example is not. That is carnal spiritual stubbornness on a par to be envied by Satan himself. I will not take the time or space to duplicate my study paper on the parable of Lazarus and the Rich man in this paper. You can read it in its entirety on our home page.
THE FOURTH OCCASION JESUS MENTIONS HADES
4. "I... have the keys to hell [hades/unseen] and death" (Rev. 1:18)
Now we learn that these "gates of hades" are locked and Jesus has the "keys." In other words, it is possible through Jesus to GET OUT OF HADES. But did you notice that in this fourth usage Jesus connects something else to hades. He states that He has to keys to hades, "...AND death." Notice that Jesus does not state that He has the "keys to hades and the DEAD." No, that would be redundant, for hades IS the state of the dead. But rather, Jesus has the keys to "hades AND [the conjunction 'and' signifies something else; something additional] DEATH." Death is a process, a means, and a completed act. We will next go to our 7th use of the word hades, where we have two marvelous Scriptures showing a difference between death and hades, and we'll tie this 4th and 7th together.
THE SEVENTH MENTION OF HADES IS BY APOSTLE JOHN
7. "Death and hell [hades/unseen]
delivered up the dead" (Rev. 20:13)
And again we see "death and hell/hades" used together, just as Jesus did in Rev. 1:18. Why is this. If hades is the state or realm of the dead, why is this word linked with "death." Notice this instructive verse:
Are not "death" that seizes them, and "sheol/hades" where they go down to, one and the same? No, they obviously are not. One, death, seizes upon them, and because of this death they have something else happen to them: they "go down quickly to sheol/hades." In other words, death, as the "act of or process of dying" brings them to the "state of the dead," which is sheol/hades, where there is no longer any consciousness, pain, joy, or "any thing" (Ecc. 9:5).
Seeing that "death seizes" upon them, we have proof that this "death" has not as yet made them to be dead, but it is seizing them, that is, it is the cause of their dying until they are dead. Death is the cause of their death, or death is what causes them to ultimately become dead, hence they then "go down quick into hell/hades," which is now the state of their caused death--they are in fact now dead.
This is precisely what God told Adam would happen if he ate the forbidden fruit:
Here is what our dictionaries tell us: "death, n. 1. the act of dying; the termination of life. 2. The state of being dead. 3. The cause of dying" (American Heritage College Dictionary). This is really important to remember. The word death denotes an ACT, STATE, & CAUSE. It will be nothing but confusion if we do not keep all three of these in mind when dealing with the abolition of "death."
All three of these definitions are true in actual fact. One is no more true than the others. So when God tells us that "the last enemy to be destroyed is DEATH" (I Cor. 15:26), it must include every and all aspects of what death really is. Death will no longer be the cause of anyone going through death in the act of dying, neither will there be any more dead people in the final state of death. But will Christians accept the abolition (or destruction) of the ACT of death, the CAUSE of death, and the STATE of death, as representing what Jesus Christ will, literally and spiritually "destroy?" No, of course not. How could they then continue hanging on to their hatred towards others with their torture in hell for all eternity for those they don't love, doctrine?
Death itself will be destroyed, or as the Concordant Version renders it: "the last enemy being abolished: death." (It is more likely to abolish something that is inanimate rather than to destroy it as the King James translates it).
So we have the act, the state, and the cause, all being the definition of "death." Hence all three must be abolished or there will yet remain some form of death which would then continue to be an eternal "enemy" in God's creation.
The lake of fire/second death is how God deals with the sins of humanity. Jesus died for the sins of all humanity (I John 2:2). But what it seems the whole Christian world is failing to see, understand, and experience, is GETTING THE SIN OUT OF THE SINNER. How spiritually blind can we be. After Jesus has died for the sins of the world, the world continues to sin. Surely we can see from the Scriptures that God wants to get the sin out of His Elect.
If Jesus died to save sinners, is He going to save only some sinners? His chosen Elect only? By saving a few chosen elect sinners, does that make Jesus Christ, "The Saviour OF THE WORLD" (I John 4:14)? God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ commissioned Jesus "TO BE the Saviour of the world." Will Jesus be justified by His Father if He saves only a FEW?
"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. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death" (Rev. 20:13-14).
When the "dead... stand," we are being presented with a resurrection from the dead. For this is exactly what resurrection means (anastasis in Greek means, "to stand up again"--See Strong's #386 translated 'resurrection'). It is in resurrection that "the dead... stand" before God. And yes, since we know Revelation is a book of spiritual symbols, we would be correct in stating that it is "the SPIRITUALLY dead" who are standing before God. Aspects of this Judgment:
The Christian orthodox teaching on the "Last Judgment" is a pagan fabrication which has been deceiving Christians by the billions for two thousands years. We will now look closer at just what this lake of fire/second death is all about.
As we have said many times, there is Judgment for both the chosen Elect now and the unbelieving wicked in the resurrection to Judgment:
[now, in this life], we should not be judged [with the world later]. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned [judged] with the world [at the resurrection to Judgment]" (I Cor. 11:31-32).
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (I Pet. 4:17-18).
Well we see where they appear in Paul's statement that they will be "...condemned [judged] with the world."
And this is at the Great White Throne Judgment in the resurrection to Judgment, in the lake of fire/second death.
COMMENT: Notice that these are the doctrines of Christ, and it is "us" that are being spoken to in this verse. This "eonian judgment" is for us, first, and then the world. This world knows little or nothing about what Heb. 6:1-3 may have to say about them, at this time. Well, actually, the Church knows virtually nothing of this also, as it is not taught in Christendom that individual Christians are being judged right now as we live, and that there is no judgment for us after we are resurrected.
Ecc 3:17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
1Co 11:31-32 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
2Th 1:4-5 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer.
There are many Scriptures showing that there will be "Judgment" upon God's Elect and upon the wicked. We will now look at some Scriptures that show us this Judgment is symbolically represented to be by FIRE.
ALL FIRES ARE THE SAME ONE "CONSUMING FIRE" OF GOD
In Matt. 5:21-26 Jesus lists four ways in which we can be judged:  the Judgment,  the Council,  Gehenna fire, and  Prison. But hereafter in verse 29 Jesus uses Gehenna, and again in verse 30, Gehenna. And pay close attention for what sins this fire is used: "...if your right EYE offend you... if your right HAND offend you..." it must be removed, or the penalty is Gehenna fire. In Matt. 10:28 Jesus mentions again the judgment of Gehenna. In Matt. 18:9 He again uses Gehenna fire. In Matt. 23:33 Jesus warns the Pharisees of Gehenna judgment:
And so Gehenna fire is clearly seen as a way in which Jesus Judges sinners, and specifically, the sins of the eyes, hands, and feet. Gehenna fire IS JUDGMENT. What else is Gehenna?
In Matt. 9:43 & 45, the Judgment for offending with our eyes, hands, and feet is again mentioned, and here we learn that the fire of this judgment "...never shall be quenched." It is not eternal fire, but it is fire that shall not be "put out" until it "burns out" all that it is designed to purge. So Gehenna fire is also the notorious "unquenchable fire." And so Gehenna fire and unquenchable fire are the same fire of JUDGMENT.
This is the same Judgment of Gehenna fire which is used to judge all those who offend with their eyes, hands, and feet. Here ALL who offend are put into a furnace of fire which is the same as the unquenchable fire, and the Gehenna fire.
Next notice that Judgment for offending with our eyes, hands, or feet, is once again called Gehenna fire in Matt. 18:9. But back in verse 8 this Judgment for the same sin is called "everlasting [Gk: 'aionios/eonian/age-lasting] fire."
So here we have Scriptural proof that Gehenna fire, and everlasting [eonian/age-abiding] fire are one and the same fire. And so "everlasting/eonian fire" is just another term for the judgment of Gehenna.
When Jesus returns to this earth in glory with His holy angels (Matt. 25:31), He will come with great power to JUDGE (Rev. 19:11), and those who oppose Him will be thrown into "a lake of fire" (Verse 20). Satan also is cast into this "lake of fire" (Rev. 20:10), and "death and hell/hades" is cast into this "lake of fire" (Verse 14).
Now then, what fire does Jesus say he will use for His judgment on the goats and on the Devil and his messengers? It is "everlasting/eonian/age-abiding fire" (Matt. 25:41). Once more we have clear Scriptural proof that all these descriptions of fiery Judgment are the very same fire, and that Fire is GOD:
Gehenna fire is the furnace of fire, the unquenchable fire, the everlasting [Gk; eonian/age-abiding] fire, and the lake of fire, as we just saw proven by Scripture.
And this fire by five names is God's Judgment:
All these five "fires" are the same one fire, and this fire is the "Consuming Fire" of God that JUDGES BOTH US AND THE WORLD. And it is clearly stated that "The lake of fire IS the second death" (Rev. 20:14 & 21:8). The lake of fire is JUDGMENT, and the lake of fire is the second death. Therefore: the SECOND death IS GOD'S JUDGEMENTS UPON BOTH THE WICKED AND THE ELECT!
There is to be judgment upon the wicked and judgment upon God's Elect of The House of God. And both of these groups are judged by the spiritual fire of God Almighty, "For our God IS a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:29).
FIRE & JUDGMENT on God's Elect:
FIRE & JUDGMENT on the UNGODLY:
Revelation shows us that the "lake of fire" is where all humanity will be "judged" (Rev. 20:13), and this lake of fire is the SECOND death:
THE SECOND DEATH
It's time for another one of those enigmatic Scriptures that sound very simple, but are difficult to harmonize with all Scriptures compare "spiritual with spiritual" and believe Jesus when He tells us that His "words ARE spirit" (John 6:63). Here is that enigmatic statement:
[Gk: 'anthropose'--human, mankind] once to die, but after this the judgment"
This Scripture is all-encompassing, universal, and applies to every human who has ever lived. All humanity must die once, and after that death, they must be judged. There are no exceptions, not even for mentally challenged, teens, youngsters and even infants. (Do sound-minded Christians really believe that when babies die they go to heaven and therefore, there will be millions of eternal babies [in diapers?] living in heaven for all eternity AS BABIES?) God has a way to deal with babies and infants in the Day of Judgment that will be quite equitable -- they will grow up to be adults.
The Chosen Elect are judged now in this Church age (I Cor. 11:31), while the unrepentant, unbelieving, mentally challenged, infants, and all other such categories, are judged in the resurrection to Judgment (I Cor. 11:32)--"In that day," as the Scriptures mention so many times. The reason I don't put infants and such in the category of the wicked every time I mention the wicked and judgment, is because there are few places that mention babies in a Judgment setting, but there are some, but they are not judged as are the wicked. They will be judged for their carnality when it shows itself, as they mature.
[called that day and the Day of the Lord in many prophesies], in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that Man Whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).
Some Scriptures refer to judgment on the unrepentant, wicked, and unbelievers. Others refer to judgment on the chosen Elect of God. And still others refer to judgment on both the wicked and the Elect, but at different times.
Now get ready for a real revelation. There are two mysteries in Heb. 9:27 when applied to God's Elect:
We will take up the Elect's Judgment part of this verse first.
We learned that Gehenna fire, and unquenchable fire, and eonian fire, and the furnace of fire, and being salted with fire, and the lake of fire, are all the same fire, and this fire is JUDGMENT. Now then, since the lake of fire is judgment, and the lake of fire "is" also the second death, if follows that the second death also "is" judgment. THE SECOND DEATH IS JUDGMENT, AND JUDGMENT IS THE SECOND DEATH.
Had God wanted to make things easy, He could have inspirited Heb. 9:27 to read like this: "And as it is appointed unto men ONCE to die, but after this the SECOND death."
For that is what the second death is, JUDGMENT. Likewise then, Judgment is the SECOND death. After the ONCE to die comes the SECOND to die. Or: After the FIRST death comes the SECOND death. Simple enough when God gives us eyes to see. But there is still an enigma about this verse that we will cover a little later.
GOD'S ELECT MUST DIE THE SECOND DEATH THROUGH JUDGMENT
As a young man I used to think, horrors of horrors, God is going to throw people into a lake of fire which will be their SECOND death! It all seemed so frightful and final. Little did I know that we are all destined for some form of this same lake of fire/second death/judgment. Yes, God's Elect must also die the SECOND death.
It's all in Rom. 8:13:
Paul puts people into two options (based on God's foreknowledge):
OPTION ONE is for the wicked world: "For if you live after the flesh, you shall DIE..." Not only will they die, because "it is appointed to men once to die" (Heb. 9:27). But after they die, they will then come up in the resurrection to judgment, which is the "lake of fire/second death" (Rev. 20:13-14).
OPTION TWO is for God's Elect: "...but if you through the Spirit do mortify [kill, put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Rom. 8:13). Therefore, in the resurrection, "...you shall not be hurt of the second death" (Rev. 2:11). "...and he that has part in the first resurrection on such the second death has no power" (Rev. 20:6).
The second death is not a literal death of the physical body--neither for the Elect nor the Wicked. It is a death of the carnal mind, the heart of sin, the nature of sin. Our literal, physical flesh and blood does not die a second time. But all character flaws associated with sin must die: All believing Elect Saints of God must DIE TO THE FLESH OF THE CARNAL MIND. Death is the daily life of the Believer!
"I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die DAILY ['daily am I dying'--Concordant Version]" (I Cor. 15:31).
"As it is written, For thy sake we are killed ['we are put to death'--Concordant Version] all the DAY LONG; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter" (Rom. 8:36).
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life ['die'] for my sake shall find it" (Matt. 16:25).
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live [Paul was spiritually dead, 'crucified,' yet he still lived 'now... in the flesh' and was growing spiritually in Christ] in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Gal. 2:20).
"As unknown, and yet well known; as dying [a spiritual SECOND death], and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed" (II Cor. 6:9).
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness" (I Pet. 2:24).
"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts" (Gal. 5:24).
"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I [am crucified] unto the world ['love not the world,' I John 2:15-16]" (Gal. 6:14).
"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death" (Phil. 3:10).
"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Rom. 8:13).
"Always bearing about in the body [our body] the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh" (II Cor. 4:10-11).
"Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments [worldliness] of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances" (Col. 2:20).
"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which DIE in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them" (Rev. 14:13).
"Mortify [deaden, put to death] therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry" (Col. 3:5).
But how can I say that all these Scriptures have reference to our Second Death, seeing that not one of them mentions a "second death?" The answer is threefold:
GOD'S ELECT MUST DIE THE SECOND DEATH IN FIRE
We would do well to review lessons we learned in the "Lake of Fire" Installment 3, Judgment by Fire Must Begin at the House of God, and Installment 6, The Two Judgments by FIRE, and Installment 16, D-3, The Sermon on the Mount is for YOU. Recapping quickly:
*Jesus taught that "Gehenna fire" is first applicable to US, His Disciples & Elect:
[Christ's disciples, the Elect, YOU, right now] ...shall be in danger of Gehenna fire" (Matt. 5:22).
"And if thy right eye offend you [the eye of a disciple, any true follower of Jesus Christ] ...thy whole body [body of His disciples, that's us] should be cast into Gehenna" (Verse 29-30).
*He said this fire was "...already kindled" during His ministry (Luke 12:49).
Jesus comes to us as a Comforter, but also as a Refiner. All the symbolic, spiritual fires of Scripture are the same fire. The fire of Gehenna, eonian fire, unquenchable fire, furnace of fire, salted with fire, fire already kindled, God's consuming fire, chaff burning fire, tares burning fire, fiery trials, ministry of flaming fire, and lake of fire are all the same spiritual consuming fire of God. And they all accomplish the same thing--THEY PURIFY!
Notice that Jesus is returning to purify the sons of Levi--not Levi, but Levi's sons. Just who are these sons of Levi that Jesus will purge when He comes?
Can we still remember that "the words that I [Jesus] speak unto you, they ARE SPIRIT" (John 6:63)? Who are these sons that Jesus is first going to purge? Remember that the Levites were the priests under the Old Covenant. Malachi was the last book written before Jesus brought the New Covenant. Now, under the New Covenant, Jesus Christ is the High Priest, and we, the Elect, are the priests under Him:
(I Pet. 2:5 & 9).
"And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Rev. 5:10).
The apostle Paul tells us how this spiritual Refiner's fire will purify and save us:
The apostle Peter was well aware of God's trials by fire:
[the 'your' being all the Elect House of God], being much more precious than of gold that perishes though it be tried with fire (I Pet. 1:7).
"Beloved [God's Elect], think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you" (I Pet. 4:12).
Fiery trials will try God's Chosen Elect. If you aren't tried in this spiritual fire that Jesus had already kindled during His ministry, then you are not Jesus' disciple.
Years ago I saw in a repetitive phrase with slight variations used in the book of Revelation, that the testimony, witness, and prophecy of Jesus Christ is for all ages:
And so, when Jesus says:
He is speaking to those in the first century, those in the last two thousand years, and to us today. These prophecies spoken to the Seven Churches of Asia are spoken to the entire Church through all the centuries.
The likeness of gold being refined and purified with fire is used several times in Scripture to show us that we must all go through a similar process to that of purifying precious metals under extreme heat and pressure, which produce a product of great price and value.
A SPIRITUAL SIDEBAR: "AND THE SEA GAVE UP THE DEAD"
There are dozens and dozens of symbolic words connected to virtually every subject I write about, and it is not possible to delve into all of them, as my papers would become extremely lengthy and time-consuming to write. However, I would like to take a little diversion at this point to show how many seemingly unrelated phrases and Scriptures can be brought together to build a unified order and oneness to our understanding. Just such a phrase is: "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it..." (Rev. 20:13).
We were just told in verse 12 that "I saw the dead small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened..." This is the Great White Throne Judgment (Verse 11), so doesn't this phrase the dead small and great include all people? Surely a category that includes the "small" and the "great" would include all people that are remaining, not? Well, maybe not. I can see the "small" as being the young, the innocent, the infants (none of which will be in the first resurrection to reign with Christ), and the "great" could include such as the fathers and patriarchs of old who are no longer considered among the most evil and wicked UN-believers. Abraham was a "great" believer and the "Father of the Faithful," remember. But the infants will not always be innocent as they mature, neither were the fathers always faithful in their checkered past.
And so we are given another spiritual symbol (another category?) by the phrase the sea gave up the dead which were in it. And this phrase can help us understand the two categories of Judgment: The House of God NOW, and the wicked and unbelieving at the Great White Throne. Two categories, two people, two callings, two different judgment periods.
[a symbolic of righteousness]; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind" (Rev. 4:4-6).
Notice that there are an additional ten symbols in this one single verse. But for now, what does this sea of glass symbolically represent? Here's another reference:
What in the world does this strange symbolism signify?
['and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas' – Gen. 1:10] which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues" (Rev. 17:15).
The "sea" represents people, multitudes, nations, and tongues. And before the Throng of God we see a beautiful sea of glass. And standing on this sea of glass are those who had gotten victory over the beast, his image, his mark, and his name. This sea is now calm and clean and clear and beautiful, like a sea of glass. This represents God's Elect who have overcome the beast within and the beast without, and are now before the throne of God ready to reign with Christ (See Rev. 20:4). But what of the sea of Rev. 20:13? They are spiritually dead, and represent something quit different.
Contrasted with the sea of glass like unto crystal, we have the following description of another sea, by the apostle Jude:
[Gk: 'an eon']" (Jude 1:13).
The wicked are like raging waves of the sea. Isaiah concurs:
Mankind at his worst is likened in Scripture to a beast:
And THIRTY-SIX times (6 X 6) God calls Babylon a "WILD BEAST" in the book of Revelation (See Concordant Literal New Testament). Jude puts them both together: "brute beasts and raging waves of the sea."
Photo: Gregory Guida
[for the eon]" (Jude 1:8-13).
Not a pretty picture of humanity. This is not speaking of just a few evil men that crept into the congregation of Christ's Church. This short book of Jude is speaking of two classes, two kinds, of people--believers and non-believers, those saved and those destroyed:
Notice it: those saved and those destroyed. These represent the entire race. These represent the entire world of humanity coming up in two resurrections: "The resurrection of the JUST and the UNJUST." Clearly the "raging waves of the sea" represent the "brute beasts" that have "corrupted themselves." "Foaming out their shame..." Jude tells us. What is this but Daniel's prophecy of all such filthy dreamers coming into eonian shame and judgment:
[eonian] life, and some to shame and everlasting [eonian] contempt" (Dan. 12:2).
These brute beasts, these ranging waves of the sea, MUST BE TAMED, until they become a beautiful, crystal, clear sea of glass.
(Rev. 15:1 & 2).
Yes, these are the Elect of God who are now before the Throne of God and are standing on a beautiful crystal clear sea of glass. They have been tamed. They have conquered the beast within and the beast of Babylon without. They are shown victorious over the beast, his image, his mark and his name, but it came at a price. Did you notice the words "sea of glass mingled with FIRE?" Yes, the world must go through the fire, the lake of fire/second death, and so must God's Elect. But here they are pictured SAFE (saved) not unlike when Jesus calmed the sea and saved His Own disciples from the raging waves of the sea. When there is no faith, the beast appears, and the sea rages.
[Jesus] arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith" (Mark 4:39-40).
Now for how and when the Elect must once die before their second death.
WHEN DO GOD'S ELECT DIE ONCE BEFORE THEIR SECOND DEATH?
But how do the Elect "die once but after this Judgment?" It rather seems that they would receive Judgment [in this life], and then after this [judgment] they would once die. No, the sequence is the same for the Elect as it is for the wicked: "And it is appointed unto men [including the Elect] once to die, but after this [after this necessary 'once to die' declaration, then follows...], Judgment" (Heb. 9:27). And what did we learn Judgment is? Why, THE SECOND DEATH. There can only be a "second" death if it is first preceded by another death.
Now for the second part of the Heb. 9:27 riddle: When and how do God's Elect die "ONCE" before their SECOND death Judgment? Some of you should already be ahead of me with all the hints I have given you, but for the rest who haven't figured it out yet, you will maybe feel a little embarrassed when you see the answer, so here it is:
"Know ye not [no, of course the majority of Christendom 'knows not,' and that is why the physical aspects of baptism is so important to them...] ...know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into DEATH" (Rom. 6:3-4).
There is the answer to how God's Elect must "once die" before their "Second death Judgment."
The carnal world dies when they breathe their last and go down into the grave. God's Elect die when they are "baptized into death.". After resurrection from the dead, the world will enter into Judgment. And what about us--God's Elect? When do we enter into Judgment? Same way, when we are resurrected from the dead through baptism.
But we are not literally resurrected to immortality as Jesus was, when we are raised from the dead after being baptized into JESUS, are we? No, not literally, that is why Paul says we are to, "reckon you also yourselves to be dead."
The Greek word for "reckon" means "to estimate, conclude, impute, reason, reckon, suppose, think." It is not necessary to "reckon" something that is literally a present reality. In the future we will literally be free from all sin and literally have immortality in resurrection, but for now we can just "reckon" it.
This death is not a literal, physical death, but it is a REAL death, and it is most important:
Notice also that in addition to being baptized into Christ's death, we are also "buried." True, this is figurative language, but it is true language. We truly are not only crucified with Christ, and die with Christ, but we are also buried with Him. THIS IS THE FIRST DEATH OF THE ELECT BEFORE THEIR SECOND DEATH IN JUDGMENT BY FIRE.
How sad it is that billions of people are eager to be baptized in water, but do not know what it means to be "baptized into Jesus Christ." If people want to be baptized in water, fine, but if they are not at the same time "baptized into Jesus Christ," which means "baptized into death," then they only go down dry and come up wet--little else changes in their lives.
Remember that the Lake of fire IS death, but death only to those things which are to be no longer. Are there to be people after the Judgment? Yes. Well then people will not be literally killed or annihilated in this judgment by fire. How would God ever be "ALL in all" (I Cor. 15:28)?
THE FIFTH MENTION OF HADES IS BY LUKE
5. "You will not leave My [Jesus']
soul in hell
[hades/unseen]" (Acts 2:27)
Luke repeats in Acts a prophecy found in Psalms concerning our Lord's death:
[Christ's] soul in hell [From the Greek hades which is from the Hebrew sheol]; neither wilt thou suffer your Holy One to see corruption" (Psa 16:10).
So if hell is a hellhole of eternal torture in fire, do Christians believe that Jesus went to such a place? Yes, they absolutely do: Some think he went to the suffering department and suffered the pain of being burned in fire for three days, while others teach that he only went to a compartment that contained the souls of bygone, deceased saints and patriarchs. Regardless, it is all unscriptural nonsense.
The "hell" that Jesus' soul went to is the Greek hades, which is translated in this verse from the Hebrew sheol, which we saw proved over and over and over again in our first Installment on hell, to be the realm or state of the dead. And so Jesus' soul (like the patriarchs of old), did not go to any physical or geographical location, but rather went to the state or realm of the dead. They put dead bodies into graves, but they don't put souls ANYWHERE. Until the spirit of man is returned to a new body, his soul does not exist anywhere, but rather is in a condition of non-existence until his spirit which returns to God is reunited to a new body.
As C. S. Lewis said: "You don't have a soul, you ARE a soul, you HAVE a body." In other words, there is no soul without a body. That is total unscriptural and pagan nonsense. That is straight out of "The Book of the Dead" from the Egyptians, not the Holy Scriptures of God.
Contrary to orthodox Christianity: "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures" (I Cor. 15:3). And when someone dies, they are DEAD. Why do Christian theologians teach that when one dies, they are still alive--somewhere? Because they despise the Word of God. Can we know from the Scriptures for sure whether someone who is put to death, as Jesus was, is dead or not? Yes we can. God Himself has told us so:
Maybe some would like a second witness on this Scientific and Scriptural fact:
And when Jesus died for the sins of the world, He was also "dead." If Jesus was not dead as theologians and many Christians believe, then we don't have a Saviour. God the Father did not send Jesus' "body" to be the "Saviour of the world." Let's read it again:
It was "CHRIST" Who died for our sins and it was "CHRIST" Who was DEAD. When people "die," they are "dead." Christ "died," and Christ was "dead." And therefore, it is Christ Who is the Saviour of the World, not a "cadaver."
[Gk: 'send out on a mission'--hence a commission] the Son [Who? 'the Son.' The Son's body? NO, 'THE SON] to be the Saviour of the world" (I John 4:14).
Are we to believe that the "Saviour of the world" was a "cadaver"--the dead body of Jesus? Is that what the Father commissioned? NO, the Father commissioned "THE SON [Jesus Christ] to be the Saviour of the world." Who or What "died for our sins?" Someone's "body?" Let's read it again: "CHRIST died for our sins according to the Scriptures" (I Cor. 15:3). I'm going too fast again, aren't I? So why do orthodox Christian theologians teach that Jesus NEVER DIED, and since only His "body" died, then His "body" must be "the Saviour of the world." Why do theologians teach such unscriptural nonsense? Because they despise the Word of God. What about you? Do you despise the Word of God?
Now then, do the dead know that they are dead, or do they know anything at all?
Even most uneducated people and most children know that when someone like their Uncle Harry dies, he is dead. But go to a theological seminary for five to ten years, and they will convince you that when Uncle Harry died, he is still alive at one of two possible locations. Now I will freely admit that such wisdom is a "little to fast for me." I admit total ignorance to such "wisdom theology" of which I have been accused of knowing nothing about. That goes right over my head (and I'm so glad it does).
Jesus was not off in heaven, or down in hell with the wicked sinners in fire, or in a compartment of sheol with the patriarchs, or in some place called paradise with the thief that died with Him. No, Jesus was not gallivanting somewhere up in the clouds or down in some pagan hell. Jesus was exactly where he said He would be for three days--"in the heart of the earth." Why is it so hard to believe the Scriptures rather than men?
Yes, Jesus, 1Pe 2:24 "...bare our sins in His own body on the tree..." (I Pet. 2:24). And, Yes, "He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb" (Matt. 27:58-60). Of course Jesus had a body and His body was dead.
But was it just the "body of" Jesus and not Jesus Himself that was in the tomb three days?
Was Jesus in the tomb? Absolutely. But was "HE" still there after the sun came up Sunday morning? NO, "HE [Jesus] is risen." And now for the rest of the Angel's statement: "Come, see the place where the LORD LAY" (Verse 7). Did the angel limit Christ's sacrifice by suggesting that only "the cadaver lay" in the tomb. NO. Where the dead body lay?" NO. WHO "lay" in that tomb? What do the Scriptures, not men, say "lay" in that tomb? "Come see the place where the LORD LAY."
WHY do I spend all this time and poke fun at the Christian theologians and ridiculing their foolish and often evil doctrines? Because if you don't see how ridiculous their doctrines are and how foolish their distortion of the Scriptures is, you cannot fully appreciate how amazing it is that two billion followers believe most of this stuff. If we cannot see such a simple truth, as when one dies he is dead, then we are far from ever learning the purpose for our very existence.
Jesus died, and was DEAD. When they put Jesus' body in the tomb, they put JESUS in the tomb. When Jesus died for the sins of the world; Jesus was dead, not just His body. And when Jesus rose from the dead, it was not just His body. It is JESUS Who is the "Saviour of the world," and not just a corpse, a body, a cadaver? Christians have taught the world that man can't die. That he has an immortal soul that cannot die. That when people die they are not dead. That at death people "go somewhere." It is all unscriptural pagan nonsense.
Jesus' soul, His sentient being, His intellect, feelings, emotions, and heart, which define the human soul, went into a state of "imperceptibility." His soul was in the realm or state of hades which means "the unseen, the imperceptible," the state of death, the realm of the dead, the sheol of the Hebrew. How could Jesus "GO to heaven," or "GO to a place called Abraham's Bosom," or "GO to hell," or 'GO to a place called paradise," when the Scriptures tell us that Jesus was so dead that it took others to carry Him into the tomb? Does anyone ever bother to actually think and meditate on these stupid, pagan, unscriptural, contradicting doctrines of the Church?
THE SIXTH MENTION OF HADES IS BY APOSTLE JOHN
6. "Death and hell [hades/unseen] followed with him" (Rev. 6:8)
Notice that again we have "death and hell" put together. The reason is rational: the one leads to the other (as in our three different definition for the word 'death'):
[Gk: hades] 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." (Rev. 6:8).
Clearly, sword, hunger, death, and beasts, are four methods of ending life which then brings all these categories to hell/hades, the realm of the DEAD. And this is the same hell/hades which our Lord was in when He was dead in the tomb, where it was prophesied that His soul (His sentient, animated life of feelings and emotions) would not be left there in this unseen, imperceptible, condition and realm of the dead.
And it is these dead "people," not dead "cadavers" which God is going to raise. If we were to believe the unscriptural nonsense of Christian theologians, we would be forced to believe that what Paul meant to say to King Agrippa was: "Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the LIVING from heaven and raise the LIVING from hell?"
Is that what Paul meant to say instead of:
THE EIGHTH MENTION OF HADES IS BY PAUL
8. "O grave [hades/unseen] where is thy victory" (I Cor. 15:55)
In I Cor. 15, Paul writes about the coming resurrection of the dead in Christ. According to Christian doctrine, when a person dies believing in Christ, he then goes immediately to heaven. And this they teach is the case for all believers ever since the resurrection of Jesus. It is fallacious nonsense that Jesus freed all the captives in hades and took them with Him to heaven. Now then, with that bit of unscriptural nonsense in mind, why would Paul, twenty plus years after Christ's resurrection, be telling Corinthians that the resurrection was yet future, and that:
WHAT? WHY? Why if in this life only we have hope in Christ, would we be most miserable? Not according to Christian doctrine. Think about it. A person follows the Christian formula for salvation, he goes to the front of the church following an altar call, he then prays the 'sinner's prayer,' and so he is at that instance pronounced "SAVED." He now has hope in Christ, that if he should die on the way home (as ministers often like to warn at these altar calls), he will be instantly with the Lord, and not in the least "most miserable." Does he need to have trust and faith in a future resurrection as Paul so profoundly declared? No, not at all. Well then, what do Christians do with I Cor. 15:19? Why they THROW IT OUT, of course. Who has need of a future resurrection from the dead, when he is presently alive and happy in heaven? Can we say: "CONTRADICTION?"
But this is all Christian fantasy which has no basis in Scripture or reality. Here are the facts. Twenty plus years after the resurrection of Jesus, others who died were also dead. Paul teaches that unless Jesus was resurrected and unless we are resurrected, then any hope we have in this life only, will make us most miserable. But we will be resurrected from the dead and we will have a victory over hades, but hades will not have a victory over us:
[Gk: hades], where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Cor. 15:54-57).
Yes, where is the victory of hades? Hades will have no victories, seeing that all aspects of "death" will be "abolished/destroyed" (I Cor. 15:26). To hide this fact of Scriptures, the translators chose to translate "hades" as "grave" in verse 55, thinking that no one would ever notice, I guess. This verse teaches us that hades is a defeated foe, and not just for the Elect, but for the WHOLE WORLD (I John 2:2 & I Tim. 4:10). The saints of God are not being resurrected out of some pagan Christian hellhole of fire and torture in I Cor. 15:55, and neither are the wicked resurrected from such an evil place, neither are they placed back into such an hellhole after resurrection. Why would God torture humanity for all eternity when they are all righteous as the Scriptures tell us they will be?
SOME INTERESTING FACTS REGARDING HADES:
Sinners and saints alike (including Jesus Himself) at death, enter the realm of the unseen and imperceptible--hades
Hades is never once associated with Gehenna fire.
Gehenna fire is never once associated with hades.
Hades, which is the only word in either the Hebrew or Greek Scriptures that can even conceivably be translated into the English word "hell," is never once said to be eternal. Or any of the other unscriptural translations such as "everlasting, forever, for ever and ever, or evermore.
Jesus has the Keys to hades
Hades will have no victories.
Hades is thrown INTO the lake of fire, so how can it BE the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14)?
With just those few Scriptural facts in mind, how can hades be a place of eternal torture in fire? Unbelievable. Truly unbelievable.
The reason I say that "hades" is the only word conceivable in the Scriptures that could possibly be translated into the English word "hell," is because "hades" is a Greek word which stood for consciousness in an underworld not unlike the Amenti underworld of the Egyptians. This does not then, however, mean that "sheol" which is defined by Dr. Strong as "hades," can also be translated hell. The death state (sheol) of the Hebrews did not teach a conscious state or a condition of torture in some underworld, as the Greek word "hades" suggests.
Also, hades was the name of a Greek god. Sheol is not the name of an Hebrew god. So be clear on this, that sheol cannot be considered an English "hell," but for extra definitions given to the word hades it is conceivable that it could be translated "hell," although all good translations, such as Rotherham's and the Diaglott, and Concordant, do not translate hades into the English "hell."
Although the King James family of bibles will undoubtedly continue using the word "hell" to translate hades, it is now universally recognized by virtually all Scholars, that "hell" is not a proper translation for "hades." The ASA, Rotherham's, Diaglott, and Young's Literal, all leave the word as "hades" in their Versions. Concordant renders hades as "unseen."
In today's world of Christendom, it is hardly admitted that the life of a Believer is to be one of tribulations and trials, pain and suffering, sorrow and death. It is rather taught that Believers are to be healthy, wealthy, worldly, and wise. After all, who wants to live a life of "dying?" If the Christian life of overcoming is such a great life, why not live it FOREVER? No, our goal is to GET OUT OF THIS LIFE.
Yes, there is joy in knowing that our suffering and trials, and FIRE, is producing something of eternal value, but the process is not the goal. Look at Paul's life:
FROM: II Cor. 11:23-28).
All of these things took place over a period of about 25 years in Paul's life. How great was his normal day? Without the hope laid before him, he would not have endured such pain and abuse as he outlined for us in II Cor. 11. Like it or not, here is our lot in life as Believers:
[strife, disobedience] of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaks unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If ye endure CHASTENING, God deals with you as with SONS ; for what son is he whom the father chastens not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye BASTARDS, and not SONS" (Heb. 12:1-8).
We are on a road that leads to son-ship. We are to be THE SONS OF THE LIVING GOD (Yah I know, it's a little over my head too). See: John 1:12, Rom. 8:14, Rom. 8:19, Phil. 2:15, I John 3:1 & 2. Do we think that such a task can be accomplished with little or no effort? If we are not on the road to son-ship, then we are spiritual BASTARDS! I for one don't desire to be a spiritual bastard. One cannot be a "Son" and be drunk on worldly materialism, filled with pride and vanity, consumed with self-aggrandizement, and hell-bent on personal "free will," and presume to be on the road to son-ship.
The heat, pressure, and fire, that God afflicts upon His called and chosen Elect to produce the godly character befitting sons of God, the Church calls curses of the Devil. Even as you sit and read the words of this Installment on hell, God is bringing spiritual heat, pressure, and fire into your life. You can either reject it by bringing out your Christian fire extinguisher, or you can let God's Consuming Fire burn out the resistance and animosity toward His correcting Word. You can either live to self and die to God, or you can die to self and live to God. If God is dealing with you, it is a painful experience that will liberate and set free your very soul, spirit, and mind.
Let's rehearse these words of encouragement again:
Notice that Jesus endured the cross, and all that went with it, "...for the joy that was set before Him..." There is a purpose for what we do and for what God is doing through us. There is a great goal set before us. There is great joy NOW, but only because what is "set before us."
Don't think that I am immune, or indifferent, or ignorant to the trails and pain that my readers are enduring to become obedient unto death to our Lord. I am not teaching things of which I have no personal experience. This "spiritual fire" business is real. I experience it daily. I don't like it--it is extremely emotionally trying and difficult. But it is necessary. There is a saying in body-building: "No pain, no gain." It is equally true for building spiritual muscle.
But it is an enigma. It is a paradox. It appears to even be a contradiction. Paul stated with a clear and spiritual mind that:
WHAT? Is Paul crazy? "For when I am WEAK, then am I STRONG?"
Yes, Paul is crazy; crazy like a fox! When we think that we are strong, then we are truly weak. But when we KNOW THAT WE ARE WEAK, then God can make us strong. Listen how perfectly the truly great apostles understood these marvelous truths of God:
[admit your weakness] in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up" (James 4:10)
"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time" (I Pet. 5:6).
Peter is one of my favorites. He likes to add "details." He adds to James statement by saying, "in due time." Yes, God will "lift you up," but not always today or tomorrow, but for sure, "in due time."
Okay, it's time I quit. I could go on, but it's time to put this Installment to press.