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Eternal Torment in the Lake of Fire

  • Eternal Torment is the view that the wicked will suffer forever and ever in the second hell, which is the Lake of Fire.
  • On the subject of hell, eternal torment is often touted as being the scripturally correct view of the Lake of Fire.
  • Proponents of eternal torment often confuse the Lake of Fire with the wrath of the Lamb, that will be unleashed at Christ's return.

The scriptures that are used to support a hell of eternal torment are generally taken out of context, and wrongly divided.

There are a number of verses that are commonly used, or perhaps misused, in support of eternal torment. On the surface they might appear to corroborate eternal torment. However, when they are fully evaluated, they suggest nothing of the sort.

One of the most common passages used to support eternal torment is Revelation 14, but in reality it has no association with the Lake of Fire, and is not even in the same dispensation of time, "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name" (Revelation 14.9-11 KJV bible).

The problem with using Revelation 14 to support eternal torment, is that it's not talking about the eternity or the Lake of Fire, but rather Christ's triumphant return at the end of the age. We already know that at the appearing of Christ, there will be spiritual light and fire radiating outward from him, that brings torment to the wicked, "And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames" (Isaiah 13.8 KJV bible), (see also ch.22 Day of the Lord). They will be tormented by Christ's presence because he is the Living Word, and the Word cuts through their lies, and exposes their ignorance and treachery.

Notice how Revelation 14 describes the worshippers of the beast being tormented in the presence of the Lamb and his angels, "and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb" (Revelation 14.10 KJV bible). In contrast, the Lake of Fire will exist away from the Lord's presence, and apart from that which is holy, "For without [outside] are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie" (Revelation 22.15 KJV bible). Revelation 14 describes the torment being in the presence of Christ, but Revelation 22 tells us that the Lake of Fire will exist away from him. This is how we know Revelation 14 is referring exclusively to Christ's return, because the torment takes place within, and as a result of, the presence of Christ and his angels.

The followers of the beast will be tormented day and night during the millennium, as they are driven into the outer darkness, "They told the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of his wrath has come; and who is able to stand?" (Revelation 6.16-17 KJV bible). The radiant presence of Christ will bring torment to the wicked, driving them away from the light and into the spiritual shadows. The shock and agony caused by his unexpected return is represented as spiritual smoke, that ascends forever and ever, "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever..." (Revelation 14.11 KJV bible). While the torment only takes place during the millennium period, the smoke from it is described as eternally ascending. This is because the cataclysmic severity of the torment generates such heavy smoke that it can never dissipate away. Therefore, we see in these details that Revelation 14 refers to the torment and cup of wrath that will be unleashed at the second advent, and should not be confused with the eternal Lake of Fire.

Another passage that is sometimes misused to support eternal torment is Luke 16.20-31. Luke 16 contains a description of the rich man and Lazarus, where two individuals die, one finding himself in Paradise, but the other finding himself in torment, " And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell [Hades] he lift 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 KJV bible). As with Revelation 14, Luke 16 is often taken out of context, and has no real connection with the eternal Lake of Fire.

This passage is irrelevant to the doctrine of eternal torment, because verse 23 clearly describes (in the Greek) the rich man as dwelling in "Hades". Some individuals do experience torment in Hades, but the torment is not eternal because Hades is not an eternal hell, "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell [Hades] delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell [Hades] were cast into the lake of fire..." (Revelation 20.13-14 KJV bible). Not only will the dead be released from Hades in the future, but then Hades itself will be destroyed in the Lake of Fire. Thus, they are different places; Hades being a temporary hell, but the Lake of Fire being a future eternal hell (see also ch.2 Hades and Gehenna).

This is why the rich man asks for Lazarus to go back into the world, and warn his brothers about the afterlife, "For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment" (Luke 16.28 KJV bible). Hades only exists at this present time, which is why the rich man wanted to send Lazarus back from the dead. However, at the time of eternal judgment, when individuals are condemned to the Lake of Fire, the world as we know it will have ended (Revelation 20).

One section that is often cited as being proof of eternal torment, is the description of the devil in the Lake of Fire, found in the last chapters of Revelation, "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Revelation 19.20 KJV bible), "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever" (Revelation 20.10 KJV bible). Unlike some of the other passages we've looked at, these verses are about the Lake of Fire. The first one foretells the capture and punishment of the beast and the false prophet at Christ's return. The second one foretells the devil being cast into the Lake of Fire after the millennium. Both of these verses are straightforward in their depiction of all three being tormented unceasingly in the Lake of Fire, forever and ever.

However, there is something about Revelation 19.20 and 20.10, that should stand out to the deeper student. The beast and the false prophet are not actual entities, but rather different manifestations of Satan. The beast symbolizes a future one world political system, and the false prophet is a role that Satan will play as the spiritual leader and messiah of that system. Similarly, the devil (Greek: diabolos), is Satan's most basic and fundamental role, that of a slanderer and disparager working to exploit rifts between man and God.

To understand the unity of these three manifestations, look at Revelation 16.13, "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet" (Revelation 16.13 KJV bible). This is not describing one unclean spirit from three separate mouths, but three from the same mouth. The voice of the devil or dragon is also the voice of the political beast, and the voice of the false prophet; because he is the voice, mind, and authority of all three. These incarnations and personas of Satan are cast into the Lake of Fire at different times, to show the sequential destruction of his power and influence. The beast and false prophet will be destroyed first, and then after the millennium Satan as the devil or dragon will enter the Lake of Fire, and all three personas will be tormented forever.

But if we assume the eternal torment described in Revelation 20.10 refers only to manifestations of evil, then what will be the fate of Satan himself? This is fully addressed in Ezekiel 28, "I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more" (Ezekiel 28.18-19 KJV bible). This passage foretells that a fire will come forth from his midst and consume him, so that he shall not be or exist anymore. This fire from his midst or center, is the ruinous effect caused by the Lake of Fire when he is cast into it on Judgment Day. It destroys the internal mind or thought process, bringing him to figurative ashes. The spiritual carcass continues on, but internally it is brought to nothingness in the second death (see ch.29 Lake of Fire).

Finally, even if you reject this line of reasoning, and conclude that Revelation 20.10 refers to Satan himself being tormented forever, who really cares what will happen to him? Given the transcendent nature of the Lake of Fire, one can't extrapolate that it will have the same effect on everyone and everything cast into it. Satan and his angels are certainly more culpable and deserving of eternal torment than even the worst of humanity.

There are a number of other verses that might be construed to support eternal torment. One example is Daniel 12.2, which contrasts the fates of the righteous and wicked on Judgment Day, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12.2 KJV bible). At the second resurrection, Christ will raise up the righteous to everlasting life, but the wicked will be raised into shame and everlasting contempt. However, this shame and everlasting contempt is not what the wicked will experience in their own minds, but rather what the perception of them will be among the living.

Recall, that historical Gehenna was a garbage dump outside the city of Jerusalem, where the dead bodies of criminals were sometimes thrown. The treatment of the exposed and decaying corpses in historical Gehenna, was a great shame and dishonor upon the individuals cast into it. Likewise, eternal Gehenna will exist outside of eternal Jerusalem, and the exposed spiritual corpses of the wicked will be an eternal monument of shame and reproach upon them, "Outside [the city] are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying" (Revelation 22.15 NASB bible). So the legacy of the wicked among the living will be one of eternal contempt and loathing, that continues on long after they have expired.

Another verse to consider in relation to eternal torment is Matthew 25.46, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal" (Matthew 25.46 KJV bible). What exactly is meant here by everlasting or eternal punishment? It doesn't necessarily mean that the wicked will be tormented forever, but rather that their punishment is everlasting because they have no chance of ever being restored or brought back to life.

This is similar to when someone describes a certain artifact as being lost forever. It was lost to mankind at one point in time, but the implication is that it can never be brought back. This is also similar to Hebrews 6.2, which makes mention of eternal judgment, "Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment" (Hebrews 6.2 KJV bible). This phrase, "eternal judgment", doesn't mean that people will be continually judged every day, for all eternity. Rather the judgment of that great day will happen at one point in time, but its results will endure unchanging forever and ever.

Finally, there is another description of the Lake of Fire to consider, which is the one given in the parable of the wheat and the tares, "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 13.41-42 KJV bible). This is describing how at the great white throne judgment, the angels will gather the tares or weeds (used symbolically for the wicked), and cast them into the Lake of fire. Naturally, when the tares are initially gathered up and cast in they will be grieved and tormented, but they will eventually be overcome and destroyed in Lake of Fire.

Comments

B.G.      29 May 2009, 22:59

Well, that's good news to me. I don't want an afterlife,
I want the eternal dreamless sleep of death after I die.
And YOU can have your eternal church service as one of God's gofers. A win-win situation... what's not to like???

Paul      19 May 2010, 10:58

B.G. I don't think it will be as easy as you surmise.

My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes. I will repay them double for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled my land with the lifeless forms of their vile images and have filled my inheritance with their detestable idols. (Jeremiah 17-18)

It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them. (Deut 32:35)

But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God "will give to each person according to what he has done." (Romans 2:5-6)

mary shaffer      15 Aug 2010, 18:32

I'm little confused. Does it mean Jesus will rise our earth physical bodies go to Heaven or Hell? Or does Jesus rise spirtual bodies from spirit ? Does people's body become ashes in hell ?

Doug Buckley      17 Aug 2010, 03:04

Hi Mary,
Alot of people think that Jesus will raise up our flesh bodies, but this is easily refuted in scripture (see ch.15). Jesus will raise us up into spiritual bodies.

People will not become literal ashes in hell. There are actually two hells, Hades and the Lake of Fire (see ch.2). In the Lake of Fire (which is after the resurrection), people's spiritual bodies will become dead spiritual corpses (see ch.29).

alexc993      06 Jul 2011, 23:36

Very nice site!

Roger H Frost      22 Jul 2011, 03:57

Praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

May your words come to life in as many souls so they may be spared eternal torment in a place away from the Love of God. Hell is not a prerequium test of knowledge for the keys to a heavenly paradise. It is a place of absencia from a Providential Lord and Savior and Creator of all mankind.

The Great Commission says that he, Jesus Christ, will not come back till all have heard the Word of God and made a decision.

Revelation 14:9-11 is real. You must beleive.

mike      30 Aug 2011, 14:26

Hey, im not good at english but i try to point out one thing. Revelation 16 : 2. What if those who worshipped the beast are already dead before christ second coming.

Doug Buckley      31 Aug 2011, 04:33

Hi Mike, clearly the worshippers of the beast won't all be dead when Christ returns because Christ defeats them at Armagedon. Some of them will be dead though, and these ones will be in hades when Christ returns. The souls in Hades will be affected by Christ's return (Mark 14.62), and the saints will rule over them in the millennium (Psalm 49.14).

alexe354      05 Dec 2011, 05:25

Very nice site!

Doug Buckley      05 Dec 2011, 23:32

Thanks

Jesse      08 Dec 2011, 02:20

You're wrong. The beast and the false prophet are actual entities, the false prophet being the Antichrist.

Doug Buckley      08 Dec 2011, 14:27

Obviously, there will not be a literal two-horned creature that looks like a lamb but talks like a dragon rising out of the earth. Revelation 13 is describing the nature or role of the false prophet as this role is given to Satan, just like people such as politicians have positions or offices that they work in.

James LaF      21 Jan 2012, 10:42

Regarding Daniel 12:2, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12.2 KJV bible), the author of the above article states that the shame and everlasting contempt is what is left in the memories of the saved. This completely ludicrous, you have to read that into the text to make it say that!

How can we have complete joy in heaven if we are continuously reminded of the sins of our friends and loved one who haven't received Christ as their savior? Rev. 12:4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” NOTE: Former things have passed away, there will be no need for a memorial, nor will those in heave need a reminder of these things, for we will be raised incorruptible as the Apostle Paul states in 1 Cor. 15:52.

Also, God clearly created us in His image, He created us eternal beings. Ecc 3:11, the wisest man in the world, King Solomon states, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end." Paraphrasing Matt. 25, Those who persist in their rebellion against God will be cast into outer darkness. There will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, and they will be in torment forever and ever. That wouldn’t be possible if, “when you’re dead you’re dead.”

Doug Buckley      21 Jan 2012, 12:42

James, you haven't carefully considered what the scriptures say about the Lake of Fire. For starters, you proclaim that there will be no memorial or memory of the unsaved among the saved. You also quote several scriptures that are irrevelant to this point.

Your write, "Former things have passed away, there will be no need for a memorial, nor will those in heaven need a reminder of these things, for we will be raised incorruptible as the Apostle Paul states in 1 Cor. 15:52"

In fact the bible says something very different,

"And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. And they shall go forth, and LOOK upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh" (Isaiah 66.23-24 KJV bible).

Jesus even quotes this passage when he speaks of eternal hell in the Lake of Fire. He calls it Gehenna, which was the name of a garbage pit and place of dead bodies,

"And if thine eye may cause thee to stumble, cast it out; it is better for thee one-eyed to enter into the reign of God, than having two eyes, to be cast to the gehenna of the fire, where their worm is not dying, and the fire is not being quenched" (Mark 9.47-48)

Both of these passages say that the fire of Gehenna will last forever, and Isaiah 66 proves that the living will look upon them, and be "abhorred" by them. So it is clearly an everlasting memorial.

This is why Daniel 12.2 says that some will be raised to eternal "contempt", which is actually the same Hebrew word as abhorrence in Isaiah 66. Obviously, the wicked will not be abhorring themselves forever and ever. Rather the wicked will be abhorred by the living, because they will clearly have knowledge of them.

Lastly, what these passages describe is plainly different from the outer darkness. They describe the Lake of Fire. According to Revelation 20, the dead in Hades, or nonbelievers will be raised up and judged after the thousand years. This is when some are cast into the Lake of Fire.

In contrast, the outer darkness will happen immediately when Christ returns, when he rejects false believers, and gathers his saints for the thousand year reign, as Matthew 25.14-30 describes. As Revelation 20 says, its only after the thousand years that the "dead" will be raised and then the wicked among them will be cast into the Lake of Fire.

Roger H Frost      21 Jan 2012, 16:11

Thank you Senator Scott Brown

James LaF      21 Jan 2012, 17:06

Doug, After the second advent, and Christ comes for His Church, are we still going to have fleshly bodies? No, I don't believe so. We will receive spiritual bodies. Isaiah 66 is talking about all flesh here, it's not talking of the time at the end of this church age (in which I believe is the millennium, I reject the 1000 literal years after this age as biblical). I think, (and I say "think" because prophecy is sometimes difficult to understand, and I admit I don't have a full and complete knowledge of God) God is simply telling Isaiah that while we remain here on Earth before the 2nd coming, (vs. 22 suggests that God WILL make the new heaven and new earth, meaning that God is speaking prior to this eternal state in that it hasn't been made yet).

Verse 23 speaks of the new covenant, even though the Jewish Nationality remains or is still present, as time goes on, "All flesh" will come and worship me." Flesh here could be interpreted as mankind according the Strong's Lexicon-Concordance, either way, God is making the contrast between the physical man and spiritual here by using the word flesh. And "all flesh" doesn't mean every single man and woman, it simple means that the Gospel will be preached to the whole world (Gentiles). In Gen. 12:3 God promises Abraham that ALL the families of the world will be bless through him, the word ALL is used in the same way, certainly not all families of the world receive this blessing, it's God's people through out all the ages who place their faith in Him who receive His eternal blessing.

So naturally, going into verse 24, "they" represents the true believers in OT and NT (the old covenant age and new covenant age) who will be constantly reminded of those who walked contrary to God. For God does punishes those who transgress against Him, AD70 is a prime example of this, and the OT is full of God's wrathful judgment against those who do iniquity (Noah's flood and Sodom and Gomorrah are great examples of this).

So, we are reminded today of the importance of our obedience to God by looking back and reading the OT and NT, and taking note what God has done to those who walk in disobedience and unbelief. Yes, they where punished then, and the punishment will continue forever, and the application for us today is to acknowledge that God hates sin, and those who practice sin willfully, and they should be distasteful to us as it is to God.

When Christ comes again, there will be two groups, the one given eternal life, the seed of Christ, and those who rejected Christ, seed of Satan, who will be thrown into the eternal like of fire (literal fire, I doubt it, I believe it's a place separated from God in where they receive some sort of torment).

Once Christ comes again, and hands His kingdom over to the Father, and we are the eternal state, there will be no need to have any memory of the effects of sin and how it corrupted mankind. Because, we will have new incorruptible spiritual bodies.
We are raised incorruptible, in 1 Cor 15:52, we will not need to look at any remembrance to remind us our previous condition.

I hope you leave room to agree to disagree, but I think we both agree that Hell is for real and it is eternal, and any teaching that states otherwise stands in the way of the Word of God and the building of His True Church. God's Peace to you.

Doug Buckley      23 Jan 2012, 00:30

Hi James, imo, Isaiah 66.22-23 is talking about the Lake of Fire, which is the place that Jesus calls Gehenna in the NT, "but I will show to you, whom ye may fear; Fear him who, after the killing, is having authority to cast to the gehenna; yes, I say to you, Fear ye Him" (Luke 12.5).

We know this because Jesus quotes from Isaiah 66, when he teaches on eternal hell in Matthew 5 and Mark 9. He uses the specific wording and context of Isaiah 66, in discussing an eternal cess pool of worms and fire. As Luke 12.5 indicates, only God has authority to cast one there, and its a place far worse than the death of ones flesh.

Jesus interprets Isaiah 66 for us, and his interpretation makes sense. Isaiah is talking about the end, after the second advent, when it will come to pass that ALL humanity will worship the Lord (vs. 23), and the wicked will be in the Lake of Fire (vs. 24). No condition like that could exist until after judgment day.

I completely agree that all humanity will be in spiritual bodies at this time. Both Isaiah 66.24 and Revelation 21.8 indicate that the Lake of Fire will continue to exist. Flesh bodies and natural fire could not last forever, so it supports Paul's explanation of spiritual bodies in the resurrection, and the new heavens and earth.

So then why does Isaiah 66 say all flesh will worship God? As you point out its just an expression for every person. If we took "all flesh" completely literally we'd have to include all the animals and bugs. Its that the "flesh" at that time will be spiritual in nature.

Lastly, why might God want an abhorrence like the Lake of Fire to continue into the eternity? If we believe in some level of free will, and that even angels could rebel against God, then a Lake of Fire with the corpses of the wicked would inhibit something like that from happening again. God bless.

James LaF      23 Jan 2012, 12:17

Doug, thanks for your response. I love hearing others responses and interpretations. So what I think I hear you saying is that our incorruptible spiritual bodies are actually not incorruptible. I don't believe that. I believe God created Satan for His purpose, which to gives a contrast between good and evil, for God has ordained everything and is sovereign over all. Nothing happens unless He has willed it to happen.

Therefore, this leads to my other conclusion is that the only free will I have is the one that incorrect interprets the word of God, and the false thinking that it was I who chose God, not the other way around. Roman 9:15 echos this, "15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens." In this Romans passage, I support my state regarding the creation and purpose of Satan, and that it God who leads those to repentance and faith in Him.

As far as Hell being a literal place of fire I reject, because it is clear to me the Jesus speaks of casting those who do not do His will, the ones he doesn't know, will be cast into outer-darkness. I believe outer darkness, Gehenna, Lake of fire, are all terms describing in what Hell might be like in a way our finite brain can understand it. Perhaps outer-darkness means something else to you, but I can't see how darkness and fire can co-exist, since fire is bright.

It is quite possible that as I get more familiar with God's word and grow in Him spiritually that I'll see it differently. I always pray that I leave room for the God's word and Holy Spirit to triumph over my own preconceived notions. God Bless and Peace to you.

Hank Knegt      07 Mar 2012, 14:02

The wages of sin for mankind is death, not eternal life in torment, but death meaning the second death which is everlasting.
The first death is referred to as the "shadow of death", or a mere taste of the second death. The dead are aware of nothing. Being alive means being aware of things.
Being dead is the opposite, and being aware of nothing.
Angels who rebelled on the other hand, being immortal to start with suffer eternally.
When it speaks of torment forever it refers to angels.
Satan and the beast and false prophet are tormented forever.
They are thrown alive into the lake of fire. This means the beast and false prophet are not mere mortals, but fallen angels.
The fact that the wage of sin is death for mankind is merciful on God's part,and is probably why He removed access to the tree of life in the Garden when Adam fell.
Had they been able to eat from the tree and live forever, then people who would not repent would have the same fate as angels in the lake of fire, everlasting separation form God, and knowing about it.

Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything.

Doug Buckley      07 Mar 2012, 14:03

(moved comment over here)

James LaF      10 Mar 2012, 12:17

Hank wrote, "Angels who rebelled on the other hand, being immortal to start with suffer eternally." I don't see any scripture that back this up, on the contrary I see Angels having been created just as man:

Nehemiah 9:6;
You alone are the Lord;
You have made heaven,
The heaven of heavens, with all their host,
The earth and everything on it,
The seas and all that is in them,
And You preserve them all.
The host of heaven worships You.(NKJV)

Psalms 148:2,5;
2 Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.(NJKV)

Colossians 1:16-17;
16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.(NKJV)

John 1:1-3
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.(NKJV)

Angels where created just as men where created. Some Angels rebelled just as men rebelled. How can you make a case that angels are eternal and man isn't based on this? If you claim angels are eternal, thus I can make the claim that man is eternal using your same argument.

Hank wrote, "Satan and the beast and false prophet are tormented forever"... Aren't you assuming that the beast and false prophet are angels? Using the Bible to interpret the bible, the book of Daniel clearly states that beasts are nations, specifically the 4 satanic nations of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The last Satanic kingdom was in power when Revelation was written and Nations are composed of people and rulers. Also, never once did I see a false prophet referred to as an fallen angel, but only one who was under the influence of one. The New Testament also talks of false prophets of being men, leading others astray. Therefore, Satan, the beast, the false prophet are all different individuals.

My God is not the author of confusion, and Jesus gave us an example of what the afterlife, prior to His resurrection, was like in His parable in Luke 16 regarding the rich man and Lazarus.

I'm sure we both can go on and on, giving scripture here and there on our views, but what more important is whats the biblical view. Therefore, I pray if you are right (regarding our spirit/soul after death), that God reveal that to me, and if I'm right, that God reveal that to you. And if it's not God's will not to reveal it, that we both just continue on proclaiming the gospel to those whom God places in our inner circle. Amen

ECC. 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

BriBrit      08 Apr 2012, 13:16

I think the two traditional views of hell are totally false and are based on paganised translations of scripture. None of the more reliable modern translations so much as include the word 'hell' in their pages. Nobody in the Old Testament believed and taught hell as most Christians do today. Adam knew nothing about hell. Moses knew nothing about hell. Many of the texts that have been cited in the original article and subsequent responses on this site are full of symbolism that is difficult for our modern minds to understand but nonetheless we have given them a meaning according to our modern mindset and ended up with a teaching that misrepresents God and His Son in ways that are shocking and an outrage.

The teaching of eternal conscious torment results in a God who is worse than all the tyrants the world has ever known rolled into one and multiplied a trillion times. Annihilation results in a Father God who is impotent and subject to the will of evil men and a Son who has tragically failed in His mission to save every soul and is forced to send the majority of the world's population to hell, most for simply not knowing of His existence.

So what exactly is hell? Well, I believe scripture shows that death is never unto extinction; it is always a separation from one state to another. There is a place where the wicked will go through a fiery ordeal, a kind of purgatory if you like, there to be "punished" and suffer, some perhaps for eons. It is a place of darkness, misery, woe, despair, gnashing of teeth. But unlike eternal conscious torment, it does have an ending.

Hell has an ending because eventually it will have served its purpose. All that God does has design and purpose, and in the case of hell, that purpose is to "punish", to correct, to rehabilitate and to purify the souls of wicked men from sin from pride, selfishness, stubbornness and rebellion and all the sins man is capable of. It may take eons for God to accomplish this work for certain individuals but notwithstanding He will succeed. He is not impotent; He is omnipotent. He will not force; but He will constrain. Light will pierce the darkness. Revelation is always the means by which God operates with man.

Then, when the last inhabitant of hell has come to see and understand the enormity of their sin, its effect upon God and on their own life and being, on others and, not least, the creation; when that soul sees and understands the consequences of their crimes against God and humanity but then cries out in faith to God for mercy and deliverance through His Son, then the pit will be able to keep them no longer and "hell" will be no more. Then, finally, there will be no more pain no more death and the sting of death. This, I believe, is the "lake of fire" and it is where death and the grave come to their final end as prophesied in Revelation.

God cleanses us through a supernatural fire but while it may destroy our bodies it will never destroy our spirits (1 Cor 3:15: Jude 1:23; Mal 3:3). Our God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29) and all of us will have to go through this consuming fire. John the Baptism prophesied that there was One coming when all will be baptised not just with water but also with fire (Matt 3:15). Don't be deceived we will all have to go through that baptism of fire at some stage -- the elect no less than the wicked.

As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all shall be made alive (1 Cor 15:22). Christians no longer believe that but I do. All men (and women) were justified (objectively) in Christ (Rom 5:18). Christians no longer believe that but I do. Every knee will bow to the glory (Heb willing praise) of God (Isa 45:23); all things will have been reconciled to God through the blood of the Cross (Col 1:20) and the entire universe having been cleansed from the last vestiges of sin will be fully restored back to its Created perfect harmony. Most Christians don't believe that but I do. There will come a time when the former things will be remembered no more (Isa 65:17). Most Christians don't believe that but insist God will have a place where sin and death and suffering continue forever and the saints will look on with joy and satisfaction as billions of God’s children writhe in an inferno of agony and pain.

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