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sarcrew

Warning - a long discourse and question regarding Hell

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To lighten things a little. We laugh when we hear about Bill Clinton arguing about what "is" is. Hmmm - is death death?

The following excerpt is from another thread here at OB (underlining by me):

Hermeneutics (how to understand & interpret the Bible):

1. A reader should initially take everything in the Bible in its normal ("literal") sense, like any piece of explanatory informative literature. We should try to understand the writing in the very same way in which we honestly think the writer intended his original audience to take it.

2. Every verse should be taken in its immediate context. -- The nearby verses are usually more relevant to each other than verses further-away; also, verses (or word-usage) on a topic by the same human writer are often more closely related than verses (or word-usage) by a different human writer.

3. Clear, direct and explicit statements of scripture take precedence over unclear and implied ideas (e.g. theological "systems") which a reader might impose on the text. -- This basic perspective on how to properly interpret the Bible, is very much in accord with the statement: "When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense."

The responses so far have not followed the first two rules and tend to disregard the last. So let's try to follow these practices and see what we find. Can anyone find a verse which uses thanatos translated as death that does not mean literal death.

Please do not use:
teleutao? - which is translated as dead, die, deceased, died, dieth - never death
or
thne?sko? - which is only translated as dead - never death
or
nekros - which is only translated as dead - never death
or
apothne?sko? -which is translated as die, died, dead, dying, dieth, perished, slain and only once as death
Please DO use thanatos - which is translated 115 times as death, once as deaths, and twice as deadly

Please note thanatos is the only word the author of Revelation uses for death. For dead the author uses only nekros. Apothne?sko? the author uses for both die and died.

The Bible does indeed have themes but too much "doctrine" has been created by man and his traditions.

Wayne

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Whether you're playing the devils advocate - I think you're missing the point and making the topic of death more complicated than it really is, and how it is plainly described in scripture. Whether thanatos is translated 115 or 1,000 times as "death" (literal cessation) doesn't change the scriptural fact that the bible clearly teaches that upon "death," the body is separated from the soul....that's what happens upon death. Physical Death - separation of the body and soul, and spiritual death - Separation of man from God. If you would do a study like I proposed on the concept of death as described in the bible, then you would realise that death refers to separation. If you were to apply the principles of hermeneutics and CONTEXT (death is literal), you would come to the understanding that whenever death occurs, so does a separation of something to which it belongs, regardless of the Greek words used.

Love,
Madeline

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Madeline, I have done such studies and many more - probably while you were still in diapers. If you want to "preach" use Scripture. You need to study hermeneutics. I'll keep it simple for you - by your reasoning death is not death. Did Jesus die for us or just seperate? Read John 3:16. Does perish mean to live forever. Words can and often do mean just what they say.

Consider:

Mal 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. Hmm . . . does this just mean seperation???

And your "eternal" fire, hmm . . .
Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
2Pe 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly; hmm . . seems to me the example burns til it doesn't exist . . . if they are still burning let me know where they are - people have been trying to find them for a long time.

Please do not respond unless you are quoting Scritpure relevant to the topic. The bible uses a very clear set of words to describe eternity. That phrase is used extensively to describe God (about twenty times). It is also used in Revelations to describe the punishment of satan and his followers (three times) and once to describe us - the saved. This phrase is used over a dozen times in Revelation alone and it is never used regarding the unbelievers and/or hell. This is the same author, in the same book, we are discussing. If you don't know or can't figure out the Scripture I'll post it for you. While appreciate your participation in this discussion please remember I asked for Scripture - not your opinions without support, a grammar lesson, or your insults.

Wayne

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sarcrew, I will respond when I get off of work, since this is going to take a while (passages on eternal punishment [Dan. 12:2; Matt. 25:46...] the "biblical" concept of death, etc). ***Off-topic*** I don't think I was rude, but if I were then many apologies. I do however believe that your OP statement was totally uncalled for and arrogant. There are many others (including scholars) who have diligently studied the biblical concept of death long before you have, and understand that the biblical concept of "death" refers to an unnatural sepration of something to which it belongs. So the little snide remark of how you have you have done "so much" studies whilst I was still in diapers is neither conducive or relevant to this discussion - moot point.

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.

Matthew 25:46 - And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

The Hebrew word "olam" used twice in Daniel 12:2 is used to signify eternity, and so are the Greek words "aionios" used twice in Matthew 25:46.

If the punishment in Matt. 25:46 is not eternal, then neither is eternal life with God.

Love,
Madeline

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Madeline, thank you for the Scripture. I already addressed 12:2 in an earlier post. If you have a chance to scan back it will save the retyping.
Regarding Mark the punishment is indeed eternal - they cease to exist - never to rise again. Notice that the unbeliever is punished, where as Scripture says satan and his are tormented. As Jesus says in John 3:16 they (unbelievers) perish - apollumi - (Strong's - From G575 and the base of G3639; to destroy fully ) This punishment, as you correctly state, is aionios. Aionios is the plural of aion - which means age. The punishment will last the ages - they are not going to rise again, and we - the saved - will be alive for ages. As I mentioned above, the Bible, especially in REV - which is the book and author under discussion, has a very clear wording sequence when describing eternity - age to age - aion to aion.
Since I haven't the benefit of your full response I will only add a little more - the author of REV also states that there will be no more death (REV21:4). If this author means, as you say, seperation from God, then it would mean that no one could still be alive in the lake of fire (which we know is not true because we know satan and his will burn forever). I believe he means just what he says - death is death. Either way this verse would refute anyone being alive in hell. I'll wait for your future comments to see how you address the other issues brought up in my last post.

Wayne

PS - Also, you still have not addressed the second part of the question, I would appreciate Scriptural input for that as well.

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where as Scripture says satan and his are tormented. As Jesus says in John 3:16 they (unbelievers) perish - apollumi - (Strong's - From G575 and the base of G3639; to destroy fully.


You can respond to this, and I will post a lengthy reply to all of your unanswered questions after I get off of work. I can concentrate much, much better in the comfort of my own home where I do most of my bible studies. :lol I do however want to quickly comment on the Greek work "apollumi," which you have used to describe annihilation.

Luke 15:4,6 - What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost (apollumi), until he find it?......And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost (apollumi).

Sheep still exists. :smile

And the parable of the prodigal son...

Luke 15:24,32 - For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost (apollumi), and is found. And they began to be merry....It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost (apollumi), and is found.

Son still existed, but was in a state of spiritual ruin. :smile

Love,
Madeline

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I can only point out that as is indicated for the verses you gave they selected lost as the best word whereas when quoting Jesus regarding John 3:16 the word perish was selected. I think we both know that in translation many words can carry different meanings because of the limtations of dissimilar languages. If we are to trust the translation then it clearly carries a much stronger connotation in John. Also note that the comparitive nature of the verse implies opposite results for opposing believes - Belief = life verses no belief = no life. IMHO

Wayne :ears:

PS - leaving for the Doc shortly (it's a little over 100 miles round trip), may not be on til ????
PSS - also note in the verses you listed the context was hypothetical - not actual.

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Translations of scripture are useful tools, especially for those who do not know the original languages, but they must be understood grammatically and in terms of their actual use of language even in English in order to get any benefit out of them when it comes to careful analysis of this sort. Grammar is very important - otherwise we do not necessarily understand the particulars of the language as they are being used. The word apollumi is also a verb, not a noun, and so falls into the same category of an "apples to oranges comparison". In the analysis of the "specific words" is taken from a concordance - looks to be Strong's. Not a bad tool, but no substitute for the original Greek New Testament. Anyone with a solid grounding in English grammar understands that there is a big difference between a noun and a verb. As stated before, the word for death in Greek is thanatos - none of these other words mean "death". Now, for example, there are words such as apokteino, a verb, which means "kill" but this one is sometimes translated "put to death". Because English is permitted to use a paraphrase verb-noun combination which includes the word "death" to translate this Greek verb does not make this verb a noun. That is because it cannot mean "death" on its own. The other examples given suffer from the same fatal grammatical/logical flaw and need not be discussed in detail for that reason.

Secondly, as pointed out before, "death" and "dead" are used in a number of ways in scripture. To take but a few examples. Jesus tells the reluctant follower in Matthew 8:22 to "let the dead bury their dead" - if the former were physically dead they would be unable to comply. In Luke 15:24 the prodigal son "son was dead, and is alive again" - since he was never physically death this must be referring to spiritual death. And in Acts 10:42, Jesus is the Judge of the living and the dead - but these physically dead have to have consciousness and some corporeality in order to be judged, even while dead. I know of no orthodox evangelical systematic theology that does not teach such a distinction).

Finally, the essence of the entire argument here really rests on the claim that because Revelation 21:4 says "there shall be no more death", that therefore unbelievers face obliteration. Now, being fair, it is very difficult to see the logic of this in the first place, let alone understand how one would ever come to the conclusion just from this scripture that such a state of affairs is necessarily and incontrovertibly the case. Far to the contrary, the statement in Revelation 21:4 is in fact made in the context of the believer's eternal future, and while it is thus certainly true that believers will never be subject to death again after the resurrection, for "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (1Cor.15:26), it is nowhere even implied that this has anything to do with the future of the unbeliever. What both of these verses clearly refer to is the everlasting life that we believers will possess with Jesus forevermore. They say nothing about the status of unbelievers.

In short, there is simply no scriptural evidence that even suggests that unbelievers will be obliterated. In fact, we know from Jesus that "their worm dieth not" (Mk.9:48) and that the fire is "everlasting" and "not (never) quenched" (Matt.25:41; Mk.9:48). Now since the lake of fire lasts forever (compare Matt.25:41 with Rev.19:20 and 20:10), and since the second death is the lake of fire (Rev.20:14: 21:8), then by necessity this particular "second death" will last forever for unbelievers, even as physical death has been abolished for believers. To conclude, two individuals who are not angels and who specifically said to face eternal torment in the lake of fire are the beast and the false prophet: :smile

Revelation 20:10 - 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.
.
Love,
Madeline

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Madeline states:
"Jesus is the Judge of the living and the dead - but these physically dead have to have consciousness and some corporeality in order to be judged, even while dead." The response to this would be two fold. The first, which we have fairly beaten to death :roll is do they die. The second is addressed by the following:
(I posted the following on another thread that drifted to this topic. I am trying not to hijack that thread so I will repost it here for your feedback. Perhaps after you repsond we can go from there.)

Would you agree that we, the saved, are changed? Yes - and you could find Scritpure to show that.

Would you say that we put off the mortal amd put on the immortal? Yes - and you could find Scritpure to show that.

Would you say that we put off the corruptible and put on the incorruptible? Yes - and you could find Scritpure to show that.

Please show me one verse that says an unbeliever is changed, puts on the immortal, or puts on the incorruptible.

Wayne

Note: Without such a verse it behooves us to see that the punishment is eternal - not the punished.

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Revelation 20 deals with the lost of all ages being resurrected before being cast into the lake of fire - so yes, their bodies are changed.

James 2:26 - For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

This verse shows that death is separation, not non-existence, not annihilation. Physical death is the body separated from the spirit; spiritual death is the spirit separated from God; eternal death is the whole being separated from God eternally.

Revelation 20 does not state death and hell no longer exist, but that they are cast into the lake of fire. Trace out all the passages on Hell in the Bible, look at the words used. Sheol indicates the temporary place of the dead (whether righteous or wicked); hades is the equivalent of that - it is hades (the temporary place) that is cast into the lake of fire. Now look at all the references to Hell that use the word gehenna - that is the eternal form of Hell. The lake of fire is equivalent with eternal Hell - they are one and the same. The temporary form of Hell is cast into the eternal form of Hell.

The following use Gehenna:

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

Matthew 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.

Matthew 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.

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

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

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

Matthew 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

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

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

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

If a wicked person's worm never dies - that certainly implies that they will never die too - whether the worm is a reference to their soul (and there are several verses where people get this belief from) or a reference to a worm that dwells in them and eats their body as part of their suffering (several passages for this as well) - either way, the worm and the fire punishment are forever because the individual exists forever. No, they are not eternally alive (as eternal life indicates fellowship with God) - they are eternally dead (ie. existing, but separated from God for all eternity).

As has been noted, if the life for believers is eternal, then the death for the wicked is also eternal - and passages have been quoted for both.

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Revelation 14:9-11 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.

Here the wicked of the tribulation period are suffering forever - they have no rest day or night as the smoke of their torment rises forever. If their torment was temporary, they WOULD have rest then - but they don't because they are suffering forever.

P.S. It is not just an issue of being judged for the works - oh, this guy didn't sin as badly so he won't suffer as long - but of bearing the wrath of God for our sins. That wrath is eternal against sin. We either accept what Jesus already paid and endured on our behalf, or we bear that suffering ourselves for eternity.

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P.S. It is not just an issue of being judged for the works - oh' date=' this guy didn't sin as badly so he won't suffer as long - but of bearing the wrath of God for our sins. That wrath is eternal against sin. We either accept what Jesus already paid and endured on our behalf, or we bear that suffering ourselves for eternity.[/quote']

Jerry, I just had time to pop in for a bit and saw this. I would like a response but it may be some time beofre I get back again (18 hours this semester in college).

I completely agree that Satan and His will burn forever in the lake of fire - angels do not come under the plan of salvation God created for man. Concerning man several have posited that death does not mean death but eternal separation. However, would you agree that Jesus suffered terribly and then died on the cross as payment for our sins? If God's wrath against man's sin is eternal then Christ would still have to be paying for our sins would He not? If "death is the wage of sin", and is death is defined as eternal separation from God the Father, then how can Jesus have paid for our sins without being eternally separated from the Father?

Wayne

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First, I want to say that I believe there is a place of eternal damnation for non-believers and for satan and those angels that followed him.

Second, I believe it is very important that we examine each of the verses regarding "hell" based upon what greek word is being used(gehenna vs. hades). Gehenna was a dump outside of Jerusalem while hades was a clear reference to a place of eternal torments. Here is one passage that makes pretty clear of this:

Luke 16
19

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Paul addresses just this logic in Hebrews 9:26-28:

For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Hebrews 9:26-28

So Jesus died once, and that death was sufficient to expiate all of humanity's sins for all time. How exactly He did so in those three hours of darkness on the cross we do not exactly know, but He tells us Himself that it involved being "forsaken" (i.e., separation), and that He died for us. I think the fly in the ointment in the logic here stems from: "If God's wrath against man's sin is eternal". It is demonstrably not, for all of our sin has been expiated through the blood (i.e., work on the cross) of Jesus. There is only one sin that has not and could not be expiated and for which unbelievers are condemned, namely, the "unpardonable sin" of rejecting Jesus Christ. "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." (2Tim.2:12-13).

Love,
Madeline

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