JOEL ON THE TRADITIONAL VIEW OF HELL

As followers of this website will know, on a recent post “Why Hell is Not Eternal Torment” I supported the Conditional Immortality (Lake of Fire – a Fire that Consumes) view. Joel Richardson in the video below supports the Traditional Eternal Torment view.

This video is the second in a series of three on Hell. In the first video, Joel interviewed a representative of   www.rethinkinghell.com who presented the Conditional Immortality view so I would suggest you start there.

For different reasons, Joel and I believe this is an important subject, and as I value his opinion and the work he is doing on the “end times”, I want you to hear him out. However, you need to ask the Holy Spirit to give you understanding of the truth, in respect to God’s justice, and to what God has in store for unbelievers after the white throne judgement.

I have comments I would like to make on this presentation but I would prefer to wait to hear what Joel has to say about the N.T scriptures and then I will respond as I hope you will too.

 

WHY HELL IS NOT ETERNAL TORMENT

There is no “immortal soul” doctrine in the Bible. Tradition about the fate of the lost (as torment forever) is unbiblical and hermeneutically incorrect.

Jesus and James teach the soul is destructible.

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

“There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy.” James 4:12

Paul teaches that immortality is brought through the gospel.

“but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” 2 Timothy 1:10

Image result for pictures of biblical lake of fire

Hell was prepared for Satan and his angels. They will be tormented forever but not unbelieving humans.

  • “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Matthew 25:41
  • Revelation 20:10 says the devil, the beast and the false prophet will be tormented forever.

“The belief in the immortality of the soul came to the Jews from contact with Greek thought and chiefly through the philosophy of Plato, its principal exponent…” (The Jewish Encyclopedia). However, the scriptures teach the soul is destructible and immortality is part of the gospel. As shown, Paul teaches that immortality is brought through the gospel. Paul did not believe the Greek philosophy of his day which taught the immortality of all souls.

“To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honour and immortality, He will give eternal life.” Romans 2:7

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. (John 6:51)

Why would Jesus Himself make this plain offer to “live forever” if everyone lived forever? Also, why would Jesus say people perish (die) unless they believe the Gospel.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

It is important to note that in Hebrew, the word for “life/soul” (nehphesh) is never used in conjunction with the word “everlasting” in the Old Testament writings

Likewise, in the New Testament writings, the word for “soul” (psukee) is never used in conjunction with the words “eternal” or “everlasting.”

A growing number of well-known Christian leaders, such as Dr. David R. Reagan, John R. Stott, Greg Boyd, Roger Forster (co-founder of the March for Jesus events), Philip Hughes, Michael Green, Stephen Travis, and Clark Pinnock have declared support for part, or all, of the biblical doctrine of Conditional Immortality. Even the British Bible translator, William Tyndale, defended Conditional Immortality during his lifetime. Also, the very well respected scholar F.F. Bruce states, “Eternal conscious torment is incompatible with the revealed character of God” so he chose to write the forward to an excellent evangelical book on this topic called, The Fire that Consumes by Edward Fudge.

SECOND DEATH

Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:14 

But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Revelation 21:8 

Why would God use “second death” if He did not mean death?

The first death is temporary. In the first death, only the body is destroyed in the graveyard. However, there will be a resurrection one day of all humanity, a bodily resurrection.

The second death will never be followed by a resurrection. In the second death, the body and soul are both destroyed (not preserved), (Matthew 10:28) forever.

Paul also tells us exactly what the punishment of the lost is:                                               

“Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction.” 2 Thessalonians 1:9   

Whose end is destruction. Philippians 3:19

But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition. (Greek: destruction) Hebrews 10:39 

That raging fire “will consume the enemies of God“ Heb. 10:27

“…it would seem strange … if people who are said to suffer destruction are in fact not destroyed; and … it is difficult to imagine a perpetually inconclusive process of perishing.“(J. Stott and D. Edwards, Essentials: A Liberal-Evangelical Dialogue, London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1988, p. 316)

The future that unbelievers face on judgement day is:

1) Suffering in proportion for their sins. Justice, in its proper amount, will be served.“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.” (Luke 12: 47-48)

2) Destruction. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23“, “the soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4),“He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” Revelation 2:11

They (sinners) will be cast into “unquenchable fire prepared for Satan and his minions”. It is an enduring fire which none can extinguish as Satan and his minions will be there forever. Humans who are cast into the fire will eventually BURN UP. This is the Greek word katakaio which means to burn up; consumeJesus informs us that sinners will NOT be preserved in the fire (like in Moses and the burning bush), but rather will be “burned up“ just the opposite of preservation. “Their destiny is destruction…” Philippians 3:19. “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

Doesn’t Revelation 14 tell us that people will be tormented forever?

They are “in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” This is obviously when they are standing before the Great White Throne of God on Judgement Day and not in hell.

The parable that Jesus tells in Luke 19:27 teaches us that these ones will ultimately be slain in the presence of the King.

But what about the word “forever”; doesn’t the text say torment will go on forever? No. Read it very carefully. It clearly says “the smoke” will rise forever.

Doesn’t Revelation tell us that people who take the mark of the beast will have no rest day or night?

Yes, they will indeed have “no rest,” but when will this happen? It will be during the tribulation period while on this earth. It is in the Greek present tense. John also tells us that painful sores break out on their body. How can anyone “rest day or night” when they have painful such sores on their body and are forced to worship the beast?

Jesus quotes from Isaiah 66:24 “Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.” in Mark 9:44,46,48

The righteous “go out and look” on their enemies” corpses… They look at corpses (Hebrew: pegerim), not living people. They view their destruction, not their misery.  The figure of unquenchable fire is frequent in scripture and signifies a fire that consumes (Ezekiel 20:47, 48), reduces to nothing (Amos 5:5,6) or burns up something (Matt 3:12).

“There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” Luke 13:28 

He means on that day:

  • There will be many sad people “weeping” at the realization that they have just lost the chance for immortality and will soon be put to death forever.
  • There will be many very angry people gnashing their teeth at God. It is they who will probably be cursing at God (i.e. gnashing their teeth) all the way to their last breath before being destroyed.

What about the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16?

The teaching of Conditional Immortality means that the soul of man is finally destroyed on the Day of Judgement at the end of this age. Therefore, technically speaking, this scripture has no bearing on this doctrine.

  • There is sufficient reason for understanding this passage of scripture as a parable.
  • The previous four stories were all parables (Luke 15:4, 15:8, 15:11, 16:1) The parable which He just told them, also began with the exact same words “There was a certain rich man,” (Luke 16:1).
  • These two stories both have to do with “mammon” (money) and the misuse of it. If the first is clearly a parable, why not the second, for it is in the exact same section of scripture?
  • The point of the parable is at the end, “And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (Luke 16:31)
  • The Greek word used in this passage is not Gehenna (hell), but it is Hades (temporary abode of the dead). It is a different Greek word.
  • Hades will be itself emptied and destroyed one day. Revelation 20:14.

Does the one who told us to love our enemies intend to wreak vengeance on his own enemies for all eternity? No! thank God.

ETERNITY IN HEAVEN OR HELL?

Hell

It is evident from the current fallen state of the human race, that we do not live on a planet that resembles paradise, where harmony exists and where death is absent. This is because two people, Adam and Eve decided to disobey God, even after all that God had provided for them, an awesome home (Earth), a beautiful garden with abundant food, the ability to procreate and have dominion over it all.

People alive today have the same choice as Adam and Eve  that is to obey God or reject Him and face the consequences of separation from God, only this time forever, with no second chance.

Jesus , the Son of God , gave Himself as a sacrifice for the payment of sin, not just for Adam and Eve, but for the sins of everyone who ever lived. We, therefore, have a choice to repent of our sin (disobedience) and accept Jesus offer of a new life with Him as Lord and Saviour or stay separated from God forever.

Today, instead of just one fallen angel deceiving two people, we have Satan and his demonic forces as well as two billion people who are against Jesus and deny God. There are global media corporations, government schools and universities that promote the theory of evolution and mock religion. Despite this seeming overwhelming force against God the choice is still the same, it’s a choice of heaven or hell, whether you believe it or not.

The stakes are high because we all face judgment and then eternity in a new heaven and earth with your Creator God or eternity in hell without Him.

 

Relevance of Creation to sharing your faith

Dynamic street evangelist Henry De Roos gives practical advice on how to use evidence about God’s creation to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Listen to the first five minutes of this video to get Henry De Roos testimony. A Science teacher with two degrees who discovered he was unable to defend his faith and decided to do something about it.

‘Overdoing It’ All the Way to Hell

Carnival Rio

by Bill Bonner in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Best selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder of Agora Publishing, one of the world’s most successful consumer newsletter companies. Today’s article  in Daily Reckoning says a lot about where the world is heading.

Buttocks must be subject to the same law of declining marginal utility as everything else, we concluded, just after midnight. There must have been 10,000 of them, sweating, shaking, quivering, and vibrating in the Sambadrome last night.

The costumes were over-the-top, unrestrained, immodest as you might imagine. The idea seemed to be to put on as many sequins and as many feathers as possible. Then, amid the gaud and glitz of the get-up, typically, the rear end was left open, to reveal the shimmering cheeks.

As we made our way to the Sambadrome, we began to suspect that this was not going to be just like any other night out. Crowds filled the streets and pavements all over town. One young man was retching on the curb. A young woman had passed out; her friends were slapping her to try to get her back to consciousness. A little further, another man was being loaded onto a stretcher, ailment unknown. And on a back street outside the stadium, two women had gotten into a fight, cause likewise unknown.

Carnival in Rio: the whole city has let its hair down.

We were in the elite section of the Sambadrome. Our fellow spectators looked a bit like the crowd you’d find at one of Baltimore’s slick eateries in Cambden; young, professional, good looking. The men looked like they might be stockbrokers during the week. The women might have been models. Sleek, attractive… some trophies, many still competing.

Scarcely had we arrived when the music began. We missed the bombing of Dresden and the collapse of the World Trade Centers, but it’s hard to imagine that the decibel level was much higher.

Meanwhile, waiters circulated with trays of drinks. They were determined to give you one, whether you wanted it or not. The idea seemed to be to increase the noise and inebriation level throughout the night; no one should wake the next day without thinking he had a good time the night before. Everyone would have the pounding head to prove it!

The music was so loud our ear drums almost popped. The drummers pounded out an unrelenting rhythm without missing a beat or granting a moment of tranquillity. One after the other they came in groups of 50…100…10,000…

The parade took a long time to reach us. And then…wowee!

Baffling, outrageous and over-the-top, maybe Carnival isn’t as far from finance as I thought.

Readers are still puzzled — as we are — by how the modern money system works and what it means. One reader managed to put his finger on it:

So let me see if I understand this! First the feds removed any real-money restrictions on their spending by voiding the convertibility of dollars to gold AND now they have removed any free market restrictions on spending (and selling debt) through an insidious process of selling their debt to themselves. They have shifted the paradigm without telling anyone. I guess their message is: if you can’t figure it out for yourself that’s too bad?

Yes, that’s right. There is no longer any obvious, effective limit on the amount of ‘money’ the central bank can create or ‘lend’ to the government.

We put those key words in quotation marks, simply to indicate that it would take whole volumes to understand what they actually mean.

There, of course, is the problem. The system is so novel and so nuanced that nobody really knows what is going on, least of all the people who claim they have it under control.

Yes, it’s a funny old world. Among the funniest things about it, circa 2015, is that the smarter you are, the harder it is to understand our money system. Martin Wolf, Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, Larry Summers — ‘brilliant’ men, we are told, every one of them — don’t have a clue. They are victims of their own brainpower, confident that they can figure it out as they go along, adjusting monetary policy to the needs of the moment.

Is that the way it works, dear reader? Can you just make it up as you go along, reacting first to one event, then to another?

We don’t think so. What happens is that one conceit leads to another. You are like Napoleon on his way to Moscow, Gideon Gono on his way to hyperinflation, or a wayward husband on his way to a noonday tryst. One decision seems pardonable, under the circumstances. Then, the circumstances trap you. You would prefer that it were different. You’d like to back up. You’d like to take a different course. But it is too late. ‘Under the circumstances’ you do what you have to do. Then, finally, you find yourself in Hell. You’ve overdone it.

Bill’s report shows a world out of control. A world that has rejected God and His rule. A world under judgment.

 

The Only Gateway to a Relationship with your Creator

Jesus on Cross

Belief in Jesus as Saviour is the only gateway to a relationship with God.

“Jesus  said to Thomas, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by me.” John 14:6.

This connection with Jesus (our Lord and Saviour) through faith brings forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and a friendship with God – surely the ultimate goal of every person.

Marijuana is widely regarded as a “gateway” drug, which leads some users to experiment with more serious drugs. In a similar way, every time we commit a “gateway” sin, our sin often leads us to engage in other types of sinful behaviour.

Sin becomes a gateway for the human soul to receive “the stuff of hell” rather than “the stuff of heaven” A sinful thought makes it easier to spend more time dwelling on unholy things. Sinful words make it easier to become even more unrighteous in the way we speak. And sinful deeds become a gateway to various types of sinful behaviour.

In that sense , we never really live a “neutral” spiritual life even for a moment. We are either “flowing down the river” of sinful desires, or we are flowing in the wellspring of God’s living water. And the most miserable people on the planet are those who know the Lord, and yet still pursue sins with premeditation. It feels like you are trying to go in two opposite directions. No wonder such behaviour produces deep agony and restlessness within the soul of a believer.

“1. Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2. Blessed is the man to whom Jehovah does not charge iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. 3. When I kept silence, my bones became old through my roaring all day long. 4. For by day and by night Your hand was heavy on me; my sap is turned into the drought of summer.” Psalm 32:1-4

In your life today, what is the direction of the spiritual flow?  Do you find yourself diving into those things which God forbids? Or are you enjoying what the Holy Spirit is producing in your heart as a child of God? Where do you find your joy? Is your soul flowing in the direction of sin, or in the direction of God’s will?  Most of us experience the power and flow of the Holy Spirit, as well as the reality of sinful desires. In fact, they are in conflict with each other (see Galatians 5:17). And yet, the victory is ours through Jesus. We are forgiven, and we are motivated by the Holy Spirit to do those things which please the Lord.

True and noble spirituality isn’t merely about what you did yesterday, or what you want to do tomorrow. It’s about the flow right now, in this moment. As we keep our hearts and lives open to the working of the Holy Spirit , our spiritual lives will flow in the direction of peace and righteousness in Christ.

No matter how you slice it. God’s way is the only gateway which leads to soul satisfaction and eternal life.

Extract from article by Pastor Dan Delzell, Why Every Sin is a ‘Gateway’ Sin in The Christian Post.

RADICAL EVANGELISM IN SOUTH AMERICA

Almost 2.5 million accepted Christ in one day

During the seventh International street evangelism “The Gospel changes” that took place on October 18, about 2,483 567 people accepted Christ, said the press-center of the movement “Gospel changes,” reports The Christian Telegraph.

The evangelism was attended by 26 countries: Austria, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, USA, France, Honduras, Mexico, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Russia, Ukraine, and Uruguay.

Recall that the main motto of the seventh evangelization was: “Together Save 2 million people.”

It is worth noting that during the last evangelism more than 1.6 million people were saved.

Such evangelism is held every three months. Any church of any denomination may participate in the international evangelism. (John 17 unity)

The vision of “The Gospel of change” was born in Venezuela. Due to the movement, which is now bearing its fruits in many different countries, the Gospel has been introduced to millions of people around the world. Despite the fact that the vision of “The Gospel of change” was born and began to spread mainly in the Spanish-speaking countries, it is actively coming to the English and Russian speaking world. The ministers from different countries gather at a huge conference in Venezuela, and the ministers from the Eastern European countries come to Spain to learn from their experience.

CHECK OUT THIS WEBSITE  www.evangelieizmenyaet.com/

DEMONIC POSSESSION is REAL & DEADLY

robin williamsBrian Wilson Beach Boys

 

Robin Williams is interviewed by James Kaplan for the US Weekly, January, 1999, p. 53

“Yeah! Literally, it’s like possession ‑ all of a sudden you’re in, and because it’s in front of a live audience, you just get this energy that just starts going…But there’s also that thing ‑ it is possession. In the old days you’d be burned for it…But there is something empowering about it. I mean, it is a place where you are totally ‑ it is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, where you really can become this other force. Maybe that’s why I don’t need to play evil characters [in movies], ’cause sometimes onstage you can cross that line and come back. Clubs are a weird kind of Petri dish environment. I mean, that’s where people can get as dark as they can in comedy ‑ in the name of comedy, be talking about outrageous stuff and somehow come out the other side. I mean, that’s one place where you really want to push it”

Robin Williams acknowledged that he had opened himself up to transformative demonic powers that aided him on stage. Without the aid of such demonic powers, it is likely that you would have never have heard of Robin Williams and many other celebrities.

Williams also recognized that these powers had manifested a very evil influence on stage and that there could be a hefty price to pay for their assistance. Williams told James Kaplan of US Weekly. This last statement answers the question as to why the demonic powers use entertainers. Their goal is to promote evil and darkness and increase mankind’s rebellion against God.

It was in Williams’ stand-up where he would go into his manic, stream-of-consciousness rants filled with vulgar language, perverse sexuality and the glorification of illicit drugs and drunkenness. Many people express shock after seeing Williams’ stand-up, not knowing his act was so perverse.

Brian Wilson, considered the musical genius of the Beach Boys, claimed that he had been harassed by several different demonic spirit entities that so tormented him that he was bed ridden for years.

Extract from Rolling Stone, August, 1988, p. 51-52

“Brian Wilson hears voices. They talk to him. They frighten him, distract him, confuse him…the voices are calling. His eyes roll toward the ceiling; they’ve gone blank. His brow is furrowed with thick worry lines. He is silent. Gone. He looks up, jerks his head back and forth for a few seconds, as if physically shaking away the voices”

Former Warner Brother Records President, Larry Waronker, claims to have met at least five different entities possessing Brian Wilson’s body.

Most people are blind to this diabolical pattern of celebrities giving themselves over to satanic power for fame and fortune, only to be exploited, used and abused, and then spit out after Satan is done with them.

The truth is that only the Lord Jesus Christ has the power and authority to deliver humans from satanic powers. The scriptures reveal that the demonic powers tremble before God’s mighty power (James 2:19). It is in Jesus’ name that believers have victory over the demonic realm. God’s Word declares:

“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

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