There are “good” reasons why Christians reject any talk against the teaching of eternal Hell for sinners. Each one of those reasons I would call a Tare which shall be gathered together and bound into bundles to be burned. That really is what I am doing here. I am here to bind those tares into bundles and burn them with the passion of thew Lord Jesus and the love of the Father.
As I have shown in the last two posts from Jeremiah 7:30-34 any thought of burning children in a fire NEVER entered God’s mind and never came from God. He calls it an abomination and something that pollutes His house. Because of that practice in Judah God raised up trouble and destruction for them so that that valley of burning children became known as the valley of slaughter. God got rid of the practice of burning children in a fire –He killed it off literally.
I showed how the type and shadow of Judah’s practice of burning their children in a fire carries over into our day through the abominable teaching of burning and torturing souls in a fire in Hell. Yet to be true to the type and shadow –the old testament example in Jeremiah was something God hated and never instigated…Thus it follows that the teaching of souls eternally burning in Hell and later in the Lake of fire is also something God hates and is not the instigator of.
This is where we come to the reasons why Christians cannot see anything other than eternal burning for unsaved souls. Many different things are involved in the support of the doctrine like many smaller trees around a central large tree. These Tares which seem to be so right to the Christian mind are poisonous weeds which spoil the overall flavour of the crop.
The Word of God tells us plainly that sinners go to Hell!
Okay okay…first of all you dear Bereans yes I know this to be true, that is if you consider the English versions of the Scripture to be without error. You have no doubt been taught to never question the authority of the Bible. Right there you have a problem. You will say back to me…”No you have a problem Dennis for you are questioning God’s word”. Yes I am and that is what you are supposed to do when you seek God. Seek, ask and knock. Seek , ask and knock until you find and have the door opened.
The often used line–“The Bible tells us plainly that sinners go to an endless Hell” is preloaded with presumed definitions which were not held by the early church nor supported by Scripture.
There are books on this subject but just briefly….
Jesus our Lord and Saviour we are told used the word Hell very often.
Okay then let’s see for ourselves where he spoke about Hell. If you have already made up your mind before we take a look then don’t waste your time. James 3:15 tells us that such an attitude is earthly, sensual and demonic.
Typing in Hell to search the Gospels in the KJV brings up 15 usages of the English word Hell.I have put the actual Greek word that they have interpreted as Hell.
- Mat 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. (geenna)
- Mat 5:29 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. (geenna)
- Mat 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it 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. (geenna)
- Mat 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.(geenna)
- Mat 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell(hadēs): for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
- Mat 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(hadēs) shall not prevail against it.
- Mat 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.(geenna)
- Mat 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(geenna) than yourselves.
- Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?(geenna)
Even after looking at the first 9 times Hell has been inserted into the mouth of Jesus by the Translation team you can see that the issue is GEENNA–what is Geenna? We all think we know what Hell is. We know what Hell is through reading books and seeing it’s depiction in movies and dreams and visions that others or even we have had. Yet equally others have had dreams and visions of the afterlife that contradict the whole burning in prison cells in Hell ideas.
You need to understand that the modern idea of Hell is taken from the Babylonian religions and the Greek myths, it does not have its root in Hebrew thinking. When Jesus spke here in Matthew He did not use the word Hell did He? He spoke of the place in Jerusalem called Ge-Henna or in Hebrew Valley of Hinnom. Maybe some folk think Jesus actually said Hell.?
Hell is an English Germanic word which simply means “to cover over”–thus a farmer is said to hell his potatoes…he covers them over with soil.
But the word Hell has come to mean a place that the souls of the wicked go to after they die where they are then tortured in a literal flame, locked in prison cells, tormented by demons and many other such imaginings.
As we already saw in Jeremiah 7:31 ( in my last 2 posts)Geenna is the Greek translation of the Hebrew place name “The Valley of the sons of Hinnom.” The Valley of Hinnom ….as James Strong wrote in his definition of Geenna (G1067) He wrote:
“Of Hebrew origin; valley of (the son of) Hinnom; gehenna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem,…” (James Strong definition of G1067/ Ge-henna)
That would be conclusive right there….Ge -Hinnom or Gehenna is a valley in Jerusalem….but then James Strong, writing in around 1899 tells us that
GeHenna “used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment: – hell.”
Ohhh so Gehenna is used figuratively to mean Hell. It is not literally Hell, just a figure of what Hell is like according to James Strong. Oh and also it is a place of everlasting punishment we are told by Strong.
As I showed the reader Jeremiah 7 :30-34 clearly shows God’s hatred of the whole burn in Hell idea. You cannot get away with defining Gehenna as Hell- the place of everlasting punishment as something God thought up and created and will enforce forever and ever. God says such an idea never entered His mind….it is from the Canaanite religions! It is from Satan!! Read it again yourself and see God destroying the whole HELL IDEA.
Jer 7:30 For the children of Judah have done evil in My sight,” says the LORD. “They have set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to pollute it.
Jer 7:31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom,(The KJV team says this is HELL) to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart. [[[DO YOU HERE GOD? HELL IS NOT HIS IDEA!]]]
Jer 7:32 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “when it will no more be called Tophet, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Tophet until there is no room.
Jer 7:33 The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. And no one will frighten them away.
Jer 7:34 Then I will 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.
Jeremiah prophecies that the Valley of Hinnom–Gehenna–a valley in Jerusalem shall be filled with dead bodies. So what do you think Jesus Christ was talking about each time He used the GREEK WORD GEHENNA? He was unmistakenly referring to the city dump in the valley of Hinnom where the dead bodies of criminals were cast into and rotted–where worms continually feasted upon the flesh and where a smoldering fire was kept burning to devour all that filth.
Josephus the Jewish Historian tells us that hundreds of thousands of bodies were thrown into that Valley–into Gehenna during the overthrow of Jerusalem in AD 70-73. That fulfilled Jeremiah 7 and also Jesus words each time he warned them in the above verses. But it was only a first fulfillment for that same prophesy hangs over modern day Jerusalem for they continue to reject the Messiah of Israel.
You see God says nothing about tormenting people in a literal burning fire after they die…but He speaks about putting them to death under the penalty of the Law in many scriptures. In death their souls are at rest awaiting the resurrection to come. Jewish thought which comes from God’s word sees death as a state of rest for the wicked and the good.
In those 9 verses in Matthew above, twice Jesus used the Greek word hadēs (Mtt 11:23;16:18)which the translation team have again changed to Hell which makes it difficult to see what is going on here. First they ascribe a figurative name to a literal place in Jerusalem , and now they apply the same figurative term(Hell) to another completely different Greek word. Talk about dishonesty!
According to Vines expository dictionary Hades “corresponds to “Sheol” in the OT. In the KJV of the OT and NT; it has been unhappily rendered “hell,”…”
So Hades corresponds to Sheol in the Old Testament? So now we must look back to see what the OT says about Sheol and see if Hades means the same thing.
Vine says that some think that Hades means “unseen” but says “a more probable derivation is from hado, signifying “all-receiving.“ ”
We shall continue looking at this in the next post.