In Part 2, I will be discussing the meanings of the Hebrew word shĕ’owl and the Greek word hadēs. It is important for us to understand these words in the original languages so that we can be clear that neither of these words should never have been translated as “hell”.
Shĕ’owl is a Hebrew word and it is defined in biblical use as the following; the underworld, grave, hell, pit, the abode of the dead, and the place of no return.
The word shĕ’owl is found 65 times in the Old Testament of the King James Bible and shĕ’owl was translated as hell in 31 scriptures. Would you be surprised to know that the word “grave” also appears some 31 times and the word “pit” 3 times in the King James also translated from the same Hebrew word shĕ’owl? So the question is, what inspired the King James translators to render the Hebrew word “shĕ’owl” as hell (31 times), grave (31 times), and pit (3 times)? Think about this for a second. Is there a logical reason for shĕ’owl to be translated as hell in 31 scriptures but grave in 31 different scriptures? Would it be okay to translate the word “heaven” as heaven in some scriptures but in other scriptures, a different word like “black hole”? Would that not confuse you? Well that is exactly what the King James translators did. They took the Hebrew word “shĕ’owl” and made it mean grave, hell, and pit. Is it too much of stretch to suggest that the King James translators were somewhat swayed in their beliefs about life after death and the fate of the wicked? There were other English translations of the Holy Scriptures before the King James Version. Those previous versions also used the word hell or another variant of the word hell. There is no logical or scriptural justification for the word “hell” to take the place of the Hebrew word “shĕ’owl”. Even modern translations are dropping the word hell altogether because they realize the travesty that was done by the King James translators and many other translations that use the word hell.
Let’s look at Psalm 139:8, and look at this verse in some different translations to see how they translated the Hebrew word “shĕ’owl” in comparison to the King James translation.
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. (King James Version)
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. (New International Version)
If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. (New American Standard Bible)
If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. (The Living Bible)
If I go up to the heavens, you are there. If I lie down in the grave, you are there. (New Century Version)
In this verse, David is making a statement about the omnipresence of God. Teachers of hell will tell you that being in hell is complete separation from God. If that is true then God cannot be everywhere at the same time but of course there is no such thing as complete separation from God. This is nothing more than another Christian fable.
Notice also that David says “if I make my bed in hell” according to the King James bible. A bed as it is used in this scripture is a symbol for a place where we sleep. Remember that hell in this verse was translated from shĕ’owl which is also translated as grave or pit in other scriptures. Based on what we know about the doctrine of hell, how could that ever be compared to being sleep in a bed? Death is oftentimes likened to sleep in the scriptures;
Psalm 13:3 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I SLEEP THE SLEEP OF DEATH; [It should be very clear that David is referring to death in the grave? The pagan hell of Christianity is nothing more than a doctrine of contradictions.]
Let’s look at some other scriptures in the King James Old Testament that use the word shĕ’owl;
1 Kings 2:6 Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the GRAVE [Hebrew – shĕ’owl] in peace. The word grave in this scripture was translated from the Hebrew word shĕ’owl. Why didn’t the King James translators put hell in this verse? Let’s see what that would look like;
1 Kings 2:6 Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to HELL [Hebrew – shĕ’owl] in peace. They didn’t translate it that way because of the word “peace” as it is associated with this verse. You see, there isn’t any peace in the pagan hell of Christianity. There is only torture, misery, pain, and suffering. So hell wouldn’t work good in this verse so they stuck grave there knowing that most people are blind to the truth and wouldn’t catch this gross error. I will make the assumption that it is possible that the King James translators were just as blind to the truth as modern day Christians not even realizing their error as opposed to making an intentional translation error.
Psalm 31:17 Let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the GRAVE [Hebrew – shĕ’owl]. Would anyone argue that it is silence in the grave? How would this verse sound if hell was put here instead of grave?
Psalm 31:17 Let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in HELL [Hebrew – shĕ’owl]. You should be able to see a pattern with the King James translators. They put the word hell everywhere it sounded like it would fit. In verses like this one, they put grave because hell doesn’t fit because there is no silence in the pagan hell of Christianity. There is nothing but screams of horror, pain, and misery.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the GRAVE [Hebrew – shĕ’owl] whither thou goest. Before we do the same hell test in this verse, let’s make sure that we understand a few things about what this verse is telling us.
The first thing that we need to consider is the subject matter in regards to the context of Ecclesiastes 9. If you understand the context of Ecclesiastes 9, you should know that this chapter is speaking about humanity in general (both the righteous and the wicked) in regards to living life well because all life ends in death.
Ecclesiastes 9:2 ALL THINGS COME ALIKE TO ALL: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; Irregardless of what you do with your life, there is one common denominator for all humanity and it is that we find our end at the grave. That is why you see the phrase “whither thou goest” which means “where you’re going” at the end of Ecclesiastes 9:10 because all humanity (righteous and wicked) is going to the grave. It should be clear that shĕ’owl means “grave” and it should never have been translated as hell. Now let’s see what this verse would look like if the King James translators put hell in this verse instead of grave;
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the HELL [Hebrew – shĕ’owl] whither thou goest. With hell is this verse, does this present a problem? It absolutely does. The Christian church teaches that only the wicked go to hell (shĕ’owl) and that these lost souls in hell remember their life and the choices they made back on earth. They know that they will be in hell forever and that they have no hope. They have no rest day or night forever and ever right? But this verse says that there is NO work (labor), NO device (ability to reason), NO knowledge (perception) and NO wisdom (understanding) in SHĔ’OWL (Hell or Grave?) WHERE YOU’RE GOING. So does shĕ’owl mean hell or grave? We already know what the Christian church teaches. If shĕ’owl really means hell, then this verse is telling us that everyone is going there. Now we have a contradiction. If the doctrine of hell is real, then this verse completely contradicts it. The truth is that the contradiction falls on the doctrine of hell and the Christian church. Shĕ’owl only means “grave” and if translated this way, it makes complete sense because we know that we all are going to the grave no matter how we live our life (good or bad).
To further prove that shĕ’owl should never be translated as hell, let’s look at a blatant contradiction in scripture in regards to the doctrine of hell;
Jonah 2:2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the BELLY OF HELL cried I, and thou heardest my voice. Now in this verse, the King James translators decided to use the word hell as the translation for the word shĕ’owl instead of grave or pit. The first thing that you need to know is that Jonah was a man of God. But I thought only wicked and unbelieving people went to hell? This verse says that Jonah cried unto the Lord while in the belly of hell. This means he was praying to God. Ask any Christian if God hears of answers the prayers of those people who they believe are in hell. They will certainly tell you “NO” because in hell, it is eternal separation from God. They will tell you that people in hell stay in hell for eternity. Never mind all of the accounts of people who claim to have had near death experiences in which they go to hell but then are allowed to come back to earth to tell their story. In consideration of these things, there is only one word that comes to mind for me and it is – contradiction.
So we read that Jonah prayed to God while in hell but would you be surprised to learn that God in fact heard Jonah’s prayer? Not only did God hear his prayer, God actually answers Jonah’s prayer; Jonah 2:10 And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. So we have a scriptural account of a person (albeit a righteous person) who was in hell, (proceeded to pray to God), and the prayer was answered by God. God delivered Jonah out of hell. When we really look at the scriptures, the doctrine of hell has no substance because it is based on lies from pagan cultures. The doctrine of hell teaches that the wicked and unbelieving go there – so explain why Jonah went there? Being in hell is eternal separation from God but Jonah can talk to God. Hell is taught to be eternal but Jonah was redeemed from hell. The second chapter of Jonah has absolutely nothing to do with a literal fire burning hell. In context it has nothing to do with a fish in the sea. This is all symbolic and figurative language. Jonah chapters 1 and 2 both reveal prophetic details concerning the events leading up to and including the death and resurrection of Christ.
Matthew 12:40 For as JONAS WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE WHALE’S BELLY; so shall the SON OF MAN BE THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH.
So it should be clear that hell is a gross error in translation of the Hebrew word shĕ’owl. The Hebrew word shĕ’owl could just as easily been rendered “grave” every time it was used but for whatever reasons, the King James translators thought it wise to change the word to be rendered “hell” and this word has a very different meaning that has its origin from various pagan mythologies.
If the words hell, grave, and pit were all translated from the Hebrew “shĕ’owl”, then one can easily conclude that these all mean the very same thing. But that isn’t the case is it? The words grave, pit, and hell all have different meanings. Let’s look at the definitions for the all the words that have been translated from the Hebrew word shĕ’owl;
Hell – the realm of the devil and the demons in which the damned suffer everlasting punishment; a place or state of misery, torment, or wickedness.
Grave– a place of burial for a dead body, typically a hole dug in the ground and marked by a stone or mound.
Pit– a large hole in the ground.
Now remember that all three of these words came from the same Hebrew word “shĕ’owl”. So please tell me how this one Hebrew word is translated as three different words with three completely different meanings? Grave and pit have some similarities, but hell has nothing to do with either of these two other words.
Shĕ’owl means” grave” and it is abundantly clear from the scriptures. There is no place for the word hell in the bible. .
The word “hell” appears 10 times in the King James New Testament as a translation from the Greek word hadēs.
Hadēs is defined in biblical use as the following; the realm of the dead, the god of the lower regions, the grave, death, unseen, and hell.
Let’s look at the definition for hell again;
Hell is defined as the realm of the devil and the demons in which the damned suffer everlasting punishment; a place or state of misery, torment, or wickedness.
Since hell is translated from the Greek word hadēs, shouldn’t they both have similar meanings? Do you see any similarities with the definitions of hell and hadēs? How can hell be the definition of hadēs if hadēs is supposed to be hell? That question was supposed to sound stupid because it is stupid. Is the definition for heaven, heaven? If you ask yourself these questions with an open heart, you should clearly see that this is a problem.
Let’s look at some scriptures that have the word hell in it that was translated from the Greek word hadēs;
Matthew 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 [Greek – hadēs] shall not prevail against it. Now do we really think that Christ is talking about the pagan hell of Christianity? It should be understood that Jesus never actually said the word hell because he didn’t speak English. Furthermore, the New Testament was originally written in Greek so it would behoove any person who claims to study and know God’s word to become familiar with the words used in the original languages. Now let’s take another look at Matthew 16:18 focusing our attention on the phrase “the gates of hell”. This is the only time this phrase is used in scripture – or is it?
Isaiah 38:10 I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to THE GATES OF THE GRAVE: I am deprived of the residue of my years. This is an Old Testament scripture that uses the phrase “the gates of the grave”. It doesn’t say hell in this verse but I want to show you that hadēs also means the grave as does the Hebrew word shĕ’owl. Let’s look at another verse;
Acts 2:27 Because You will not leave My soul in HELL [Greek – hadēs], neither will You suffer your Holy One to see corruption. (New Testament)
Hadēs is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word shĕ’owl and it is clear from scripture;
Psalm 16:10 For You will not leave My soul in HELL [Hebrew – shĕ’owl]; neither will You suffer your Holy One to see corruption. (Old Testament)
The writer of Acts is making an Old Testament reference to David’s Psalm in the above two scriptural references. In order for these scriptures to be truthful, the two words translated as hell in the original languages (shĕ’owl and hadēs) must have the same meaning since we both have an Old Testament and New Testament reference. We have already determined the true meaning of shĕ’owl to be grave and this conclusively proves that hadēs also means grave. If you scroll up and take another look at the definition of hadēs, you will see that grave is one of the words used to describe its meaning.
Now from a practical standpoint, if hell is a literal fire burning place of torment, why would King David, who was a man after God’s own heart make a reference to not being left in hell? Why would he even be there seeing that he was a man of God? Jesus descended from the line of David. Surely we wouldn’t suppose that Jesus is a descendant of someone who was hell-bound. Also, isn’t the teaching of hell’s duration eternal? If so, then how can someone not be left there? If you have any sense, try to answer these questions. You will not be able to answer them logically because all of this hell business is nothing but lies. Psalm 16:10 is actually referring to Christ even though David wrote it in first person. This was a prophetic statement from the psalmist.
So the Greek “hadēs” is equivalent to the Hebrew “shĕ’owl ” which we have already determined the meaning to be “the grave”. The grave isn’t referring to an actual cemetery grave but the state of being dead in the grave which we cannot access or see – “the unseen” or “imperceptible”. Think of the grave as the place you were before you were conceived.
Now remember that I stated that in the King James New Testament, hadēs is translated as hell 10 times. The word hadēs is found one more time in the King James New Testament and it is not translated as hell. Would you like to guess what hadēs was translated as this time? In 1 Corinthians 15:55, the same word hadēs is translated as, you guessed it GRAVE.
Let’s see the Scriptural proof;
O death, where is thy sting? O GRAVE (hadēs), where is thy victory?
Now remember that the Greek word hadēs is found a total of 11 times in the New Testament. This word is translated as hell 10 out of the 11 times it is translated. Can you explain why the King James translators decided to translate hadēs as grave this ONE and ONLY time in 1 Corinthians 15:55? Let’s see what this verse will look like if they translated hadēs as hell;
O death, where is thy sting? O HELL (hadēs), where is thy victory?
Do you see the justification? It is the inclusion of the word VICTORY in this scripture that is the reason why the King James translators didn’t translate hadēs as hell. In the world of Christianity, hell is a doctrine of eternal punishment and thus it would be contradictory to say that there is victory over their hell. But hell is an evil and fallacious translation of the Greek word hadēs.
So ask yourself a question? Can you see these truths with your own eyes and continue believing that hell is a literal fire burning place of evil torture ruled by the devil and his minions? If so, then you are spiritually blind my friend and I’d venture to say that you may also have a wicked heart to continue thinking and believing that God will literally torture people with real fire.
Christ tells us this; I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death, Revelations 1:18. Why does Christ have keys to hell if the damned are sentenced to this place for eternity? The purpose of a key is to unlock something. Some will ignorantly argue that a key is also used to lock something as in the case of locking wicked people in hell for all eternity. This type of thinking is foolishness. If I removed the lock from your front door, would you still be able to lock the door with a key? A lock is used to lock something not a key so the fact that Christ has a key tells us that he is going to unlock something that is already locked. What is significant about unlocking hell and death? Well if hell is the literal place of eternal torment with fire then unlocking hell wouldn’t make any sense. But if we put the grave which is the accurate word then we can know with certainty what is being unlocked. Because of sin, we are all locked in the death when we go to the grave but Christ defeated sin and death at the cross. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death, 1 Corinthians 15:26.
It is not a coincidence that the words death and hell (grave) are grouped together in many scriptures. When we (as in ALL humanity) die, we ALL go to the grave. Death and the grave are grouped like this because they are inseparable. You cannot die and somehow bypass the grave and you cannot go to the grave without dying.
Genesis 3:1 Now the SERPENT WAS MORE SUBTIL than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made…, Subtil means cunning, intelligent, or crafty. Satan deceived Eve and he also deceives the whole world… Revelation 12:9
The King James translators could have easily translated Revelations 1:18 in this way;
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of the grave and of death. [When translated this way, it blends beautifully with 1 Corinthians 15:55.]
But for whatever reason, the King James translators didn’t translate this verse in that way. They inserted the word hell without any divine inspiration. The word hell is a man made word from pagan origin. This word should have never been included in the bible. The doctrine of hell is a doctrine from Satan. Ask yourself what that makes you if you believe it?
In Part 3, I will be discussing the meaning of both the Greek words, gehenna (which comes from a Hebrew word) and tartaroō.
Click the link to go to Part 3: The Meaning of Geenna & Tartaroō
25 thoughts on “The Meaning of Shĕ’owl & Hadēs”
Interesting article. What about the Rich man and the beggar at the gate. The Rich man was in Torment in hell? Luke 16 vs 19
The rich man was in torment in “hades” not hell. Hell is an erroneous translation of the Greek word hades.
Luke 16: 23 And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (American Standard Version)
Luke 16: 23 And in hades lifting up his eyes, being in torments, he sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (Darby Translation)
Luke 16: 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. (English Standard Version)
Luke 16: 23 and in Hades, where he was in great pain, he looked up and saw Abraham, far away, with Lazarus at his side. (Good News Translation)
Luke 16: 23 And in Hades he lifted up his eyes as he was in torment and saw Abraham from a distance, and Lazarus at his side. (Lexham English Bible)
Luke 16: 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. (New International Version)
Luke 16: 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (New King James Version)
Luke 16: 23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and *saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. (New American Standard Bible)
Luke 16: 23 and in the hades having lifted up his eyes, being in torments, he doth see Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom, (Young’s Literal Translation)
Luke 16: 23 In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom. (World English Bible)
Here are 10 bible translations that do not translate the Greek word “hades” as the English word hell and I could’ve easily quoted 10 more. Hades is NOT a synonym for hell and that is why most modern bible translations have dropped it’s usage. They know now through honest bible scholarship that translating hades as hell is not only faulty, it is heresy. It is adding to and changing the word of God which is expressly forbidden. According to Dr. Strong’s Greek Concordance of the New Testament, the Greek word “hades” is properly defined as the “unseen”. The Hebrew word “sheol” and Greek word “hades” have similar meaning. They both are translated as the English word “grave” but being “unseen” doesn’t mean you are seen somewhere else. To not be seen is to not exist. When a person dies, they do not exist anymore. Humans are “living souls” and when we die, we become dead souls. A person’s spirit doesn’t live apart from the body. Only God has immortality… humans are not immortal nor are their spirits. Before you can understand what it means for the rich man to be tormented in hades, you will first have to understand that Luke 16:19-31 is a PARABLE. A parable is not a true literal story but a story filled with symbols. The rich man himself is a symbol, Lazarus the beggar is a symbol, and being in torment in hades is also a symbol. The word “torment” as it is found in Luke 16:23 comes from the Greek word “basanos” and it is defined as a (touchstone) which is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver by the color of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal. The true symbolism of the word “torment” in this parable represents the purification of God’s judgment. The rich man is a symbol for the Jews and Lazarus is a symbol for the Gentiles. Christ is explaining to the Jews how the kingdom of God is being opened up to the Gentiles while they themselves will be cast off.
And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The “many” coming from the east and west are the Gentiles and they will sit with the Hebrew forefathers of the children of Israel in the kingdom of heaven. The “children of the kingdom” at that time are represented as the Jews and they will be cut off from God’s kingdom. When the rich man dies, he goes to hades – the unseen (realm of the dead) where he no longer exists. At the voice of Christ (John 5:28-29), the rich man will “life up his eyes” in torment in the resurrection to judgment. God’s judgment will be tormenting but the purpose of judgment is to set things right and to correct. This “basanos torment” is further described in the scriptures as being like the pain and suffering associated with being sick from disease (Matthew 4:24). However, this torment has nothing to do with being literally tortured in real fire in a place called hell. There is no purpose or redeeming value in torturing people in fire for all eternity and it is really disgusting that Christianity has adopted such a foul teaching. The fire (flame) in this parable is again yet another symbol that must be properly understood to understand the parable. The fire is a symbol for God’s judgment for our God is a “consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). God is not a literal fire but He is like a fire in certain ways. The Apostle Paul describes how this fire of God’s judgment will work in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15;
According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by FIRE; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Notice that Paul tells us that we build upon this foundation. This foundation is Christ and we build on it with all of our faith, beliefs, doctrines, and actions. Notice that Paul makes a comparison between gold, silver, and precious stones to wood, hay, and stubble. If I put the first 3 real substances (gold, silver, precious stones) in a real literal fire, the gold, silver, and precious stones will become refined because that is the practical purpose of fire. Now if I put the last 3 real substances (wood, hay, and stubble) in a real fire, they will burn up because these materials are combustible. What is the spiritual message that Paul is trying to teach us? All of these substances represent the things that we build upon our foundation. The gold, silver, and precious stones represent the spiritual and godly attributes that we have obtained through our walk with Christ if we indeed are following Christ and allowing him to transform our lives. These things will remain and a reward will be received. The wood, hay, and stubble represent our carnal nature, evil thoughts, and lustful desires. These things will be figuratively burned out and people will suffer loss during this process. This “suffering loss” is the torment that the rich man will experience in God’s judgment. It is the suffering of having our carnal self killed to be reborn in the spiritual image of Christ. The rich man is not tortured forever in hell, he dies, is resurrected and tried through judgment to eventually experience salvation based on the product of God’s refining judgment.
Isaiah 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
Read the entire series I have written on the False Doctrine of Hell Exposed…
Regardless of whether you call it Hell or Hades, its still described in the Bible as a place of eternal torment….where “the fire is not quenched and the worm dieth not”
I don’t see hiw a word changes tge descriptiin of the place as Jesus said. He called hades a place of eternal punishment…..cast into the fire. So what difference does it make if you call it Hell or Hades?
Regardless of whether you call it Hell or Hades, its still described in the Bible as a place of eternal torment….where “the fire is not quenched and the worm dieth not”
I don’t see how a word changes the description of the place as Jesus said. He called hades a place of eternal punishment…..cast into the fire. So what difference does it make if you call it Hell or Hades? The concept of an eternal punishment in the fire is STILL biblical.
1. “Hell” is NOT a biblical word…
2. “Eternal” is NOT a biblical word…
3. Jesus didn’t speak English…
Your argument about what is or what isn’t biblical is moot considering that there are spurious bible translations in existence. And just for the record, Jesus NEVER called “hades” a place of eternal punishment… you are just parroting lies. Now if you are interested in what Christ actually spoke about I’d be glad to educate you but if you are just attempting to justify your pagan torture chamber then don’t waste any more of my time…
I’m not sure if the original commenter is interested but I sure am interested in what Christ actually spoke about if you’re willing to educate me, I would greatly appreciate and love so.
Thank you for your writings they’ve helped open my eyes and heart so much. I love knowledge and learning and growth especially when it comes to theology and my walk with God. Every time I read one of your writings I just completely geek out and get all excited because it just swells my heart up with happiness and understanding!
I’d be happy to! The original commenter spoke about the spurious bible phrase “eternal punishment” but Christ spoke of know such thing. The New Testament was written in Greek so we have to be diligent in studying what the original words meant. I don’t have a lot of time to elaborate on it but just off of memory, the Greek phrase incorrectly translated as “eternal punishment” is “aionios kolasis” and this phrase actually means AGE-LASTING CORRECTION! The idea of never ending punishment is stupid. The purpose of punishment is to correct. If a child misbehaves their parents punish them temporarily. The punishment is designed to motivate a change in behavior. If the punishment never ends how can you learn from it? Many people struggle with this teaching because the doctrine of eternal punishment is paralleled with eternal life. Are believers promised eternal life? Well, according to many bible translations they are but bibles are not the word of God. Bibles are translations of God’s word and men have corrupted the word of God through corrupt bible translating. Believers are promised age-lasting life in the resurrection. After the age commences believers continue to live because they are given immortality in the resurrection. This is a lot to absord and I really wish I had the time to expand on it more but I just don’t have the time right now. Feel free to ask any other questions you might have. The original commenter also spoke about being cast into fire but he obviously has no idea that fire is used in scripture metaphorically and it shouldn’t be interpreted literally. If I put a piece of silver in fire the silver doesn’t burn up because silver is valuable. What burns up is the black dirt and dross that builds up on the outside and when the silver comes out of the fire, it is refined shiny and clean. This is the application of us (humanity) being refined by God’s spiritual fire. We all have dross in our lives that needs to be figuratively burned out but God is not going to barbecue anyone in real fire. God is a Father and no moral parent would do something so atrocious to their own child. Children are valuable to their parents and we are valuable to God. We we go through the “fire”, we come out refined and perfected in the spiritual image of God. I hope this helps your understanding. Be well and take care…
I find these articles illuminating, especially as this is a topic that has troubled me a great deal.
What do you think of the various Catholic saints’ experiences of Hell? There are accounts given by St Teresa of Avila, St Faustina and others, and the Fatima revelations included an experience of Hell. I have read that the message of Fatima actually opposes the principle that salvation is achieved through Christ, and I am inclined to think that the experiences of Hell are largely psychological because all accounts differ … but do you think that any of these experiences are worth worrying about?
Thank you for your articles – they have been very revealing.
Nope… hell is a purely pagan concept and the church borrowed this blasphemous teaching of eternal conscious torture as a way to control the masses through fear. I personally haven’t read any Catholic saints experiences of hell but I have read enough about people claiming to have gone to such a place and all their stories are unscriptural nonsense. Remember that the dead know NOTHING! People who have hell visions experience self-induced delusions created by their own mind. Do not waste your time worrying about such religious superstition.
i love this. it has really opened to my eyes and has answered so many questions i’ve been wrestling with for all my years as a Christ follower.
i do have one question.
why must we then tell the world about Christ if in the end they won’t go to hell.
why must we have a sense of urgency?
Why must we then tell the world about Christ if in the end they won’t go to hell. Why must we have a sense of urgency?
Christ commands his followers to do so but who wouldn’t want to share the greatest news in the entire universe with as many people as possible? When we have personal good news, we cannot wait to share it with others. We post pictures on Facebook and other social media outlets so that the world of our friends and families can share in our good news. The sad truth is that Christianity doesn’t even share the real gospel for the “turn or burn” approach to the gospel is the polar opposite to anything that could be considered “good news”. God has a plan with his “strange work”. God allows people to go through the system of the worlds religion so than man can build his own temple for God to destroy it. We must be broken down before we can be built up in the right way… God’s way! So the system that is in place is the way it is because that is how God called it to be so. In the book of Revelation Christ commands His people to “come out of her”… Well, who is “Her”? This “her” is referred to as the whore that sits upon many waters but this is all symbolic language. The waters represents the masses of people all over the world and the whore that sits on the masses of people is man’s religious system that is built on so much dogma and man-made tradition. The “church” of Christ is symbolized as a “WIFE” but the church in the world has committed spiritual fornication by submitting to the “kings” of this world (the laws of men instead of the laws of God). God never saves anyone from some pagan hell… We are called to tell the world about Christ because there is an end to all of the suffering and death that we experience in this life. God will restore all things… God will right all wrongs… God never created man for man to end up being tortured for all eternity in some godless torture chamber. It is amazing how depraved the human heart is to embrace such a blasphemous doctrine. Being burned to death is already considered one of the worse ways to DIE but imagine being put in a body that can never die but to feel and experience that kind of pain for all eternity. That is RANK EVIL! With so much deception in the world, it is necessary for there to be such urgency for those being chosen out of the world to reign with Christ and to ultimately save the world!
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thank you so much!
You are very welcome my friend!
My brother. Thank you for taking the time to do research and sharing this wisdom with us. It is indeed refreshing to see the scriptures as God intended. And it is good news to hear that God has a divine plan for all mankind, this is truly God’s love for us.
I shared the information on your site with a friend and he asked me if we are not going to suffer eternally why would Christ have to die.
What would you say to him.
Thanks for your reply
I’m glad this site has been useful for you. I understand how difficult it is for some to understand how God will accomplish His plan in light of the deception that has plagued the church but I can assure your friend that Christ never died to save the world from eternal suffering. To cause any living creature to suffer for no purpose or for no redeeming value is grossly evil. Good can be learned from suffering but suffering must end if the lesson is to be learned. The world was sentenced to death because of sin but Christ died for the sins of the whole world. The wages of sin is death not an eternal life of suffering. Jesus spent 3 days in the tomb paying for the sins of the world and God raised Him from the dead. If Jesus became are ransom then He would be the one subject to eternal suffering if that was the actual punishment for sin but that’s not why Christ died for us. Christ died for us to take away the death penalty that is hanging over all of our heads. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul talks about all being made alive in Christ, our mortality putting on immortality, and death being swallowed up in victory.
absolutely awesome website, articles! thanks
I came a few months ago but found the message to hard to hear but I found myself back here. I believe the Lord is leading me here. I just wandered why people’s imagine experince of Hell are so simular? In most visions, Jesus comes to rescue them. I realised that the Serpant was mischievous with Eve, which obvously was a symbol. God told them they would die, I realised a few years ago that God meant spiritual death not instant death.
The tradition of hell has existed for a very long time and people are just repeating the same shared ideas of the hell fantasy that has been passed down from generation to generation. People can create essentially whatever they want in their own mind. Doesn’t make it anymore real in the slightest but that doesn’t stop people from believing iin it because is fascinating to them.
Thanks for your commentary. I’m in a bible study of Revelation with my mom and the controversy of hell has come up between us as a result of what the scriptures say in Rev 14:10-11. I grew up believing the ”eternal lake of fire” interpretation but have since come to believe as you do. But my mom, daughter of a southern baptist preacher, still believes in that. We’re in a very respectful and healthy debate over this and so I really appreciate your commentary to help me help my mom see the truth. She believes the body will remain alive in “hell” for eternal punishment but the person is “spiritually dead”. Do you have any comment on that?
Hi Dean, there are millions of people that believe as your mother does but those ideas are based on Christian dogma and religious indoctrination. Most people do not have the spiritual insight to understand even some of the basic scriptures that use symbolic language so when it comes to difficult scriptures like Revelation 14:10-11, they endorse the same carnal logic that is taught by the church.
What evidence does your mother have that makes her believe that the body remains alive in hell I’m assuming after death? This is what we do know… when a person dies, the life is absent and the body is no longer activated with consciousness. The body then after time begins to decompose. The person then no longer exists just like they were before they were born. I encourage your mother to read my article on the false doctrine of hell. Unfortunately, your mother believes a lot of Christian falsehoods and that’s not necessarily her fault because the church is very powerful and convincing. The church plays on people’s fears and selfishness. It is extremely crucial for your mother to understand that hell is a lie. She cannot make a solid argument believing something that’s a lie. If she believes deep down in her heart that she loves God then she should be admonished to search this out. If hell is a lie as I teach on this blog, then what does that mean for the Christian that believes that God is going to torture most of humanity for all eternity in a place called hell? Isn’t that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit or evil Speaking of the work of God? Think about it… The human body that exists in this physical world is not immoral. Immortality comes in the resurrection and people will have spiritual bodies. There is no hell. Sheol and Hades are just names for the place of the dead or the grave. God is going to destroy death and the grave when death is swallowed up in victory. How does God achieve this? He achieves it by giving everyone immortality. There is another article in my false doctrine of hell series where I deal with the world eternal. Eternal is not a scriptural word. The Greek word “aionios” does not mean eternal or everlasting it means age-abiding. The punishment is age-abiding and the punishment is not even really punishment per se. A better word would be correction or pruning because the purpose is to correct or to improve. You can’t correct or improve anything if your “punishment” never ends. A person cannot have a body that’s alive and also a spirit that is dead. The problem is that Christianity has taught us that a person’s soul is immortal. It is not and when a person dies, their body returns to the dust of the ground and the spirit returns to God who gave it. The person is gone, dead, and non-existent. Your mother believes way to many misconceptions to understand this. She must be willing to let those misconceptions go. They are idols of her heart. She has to get rid of them. If she is willing to read my article on hell I think it will help change her perspective.
I found this site because I was looking up how the Satan was not currently IN HELL, since that is what happens in the end days. This was such strong contrast to the current idea that the Satan resides and rules in Hell, with the demons.
Is there Biblical evidence there being a place, other than Earth, where demons dwell? If so, why would God cast rebel angels to Earth, and not into that place. Casting rebel angels to Earth sounds like a terrible idea, from a human perspective. We sure dont want them here, right?
God never explained why we have to pay for our sins, did he? There was just an establishment of a payment system. The Pentatuch dont even seem to mention what happens after physical death, nor any promise of Heaven, right? So, the payment of sin must have been for our mortal/physical lives, and not the afterlife.
Why did Jesus have to die for our sins? I get that our debt was collecting, but what is the consequence? God abandoned the Jews many times when they stopped following his laws, right? He even punished them, right here on Earth. He didn’t wait for them to be punished in the afterlife, is such a thing exists. If God is good and just, and the evil deeds will receive their due punishment, what exactly is that punishment, and when? Does the book of Revelation not state the final judgement of souls will happen and that the unjust will be punished? What is the signifigance of Jesus ‘knowing me’?
I am highly critical of the book of Revelation, because it seems like a contrived necessity to bolster the idea of being a Christ follower. Without it, Christians would be left wondering if it is worth being persecuted, yet the Jews have no need for such a ‘happy ending’, feel good, book to keep them faithful. Its basically, “Good news. You get rewarded in the end, and God/Jesus finally eliminate the Satan. Just wait!”
So Hell aside, Jesus tells many people that for them, their lot will be worse than Sodom and Gamorah, and talks to much pain and suffering… in the afterlife, presumably? But it seems like you are saying that the punishment is only reprimandation, and it is neither eternal nor excessively harsh. Correct? How does that align with what Jesus proclaims?
Fianlly, when did the afterlife idea start? As mentioned, I dont think I see it in the first 5 books of the Old Testament. The Israelites live to serve the Almighty God, and their rewards and punishments happen here, on Earth. When does it shift to being all about suffering on Earth to be rewarded in the afterlife? Thats a pretty big shift and it sounds like the ‘religion’ changed drastically.
Evil spirits dwell in the spiritual realm. Your question about rebel angels being cast to earth is not scripturally accurate because that never happened. It would be helpful if you would quote the scriptures you are referring to when you ask questions because that prevents me from having to make assumptions. The word “angel” in the Greek simply means a messenger and by implication these messengers are typically human and not heavenly creatures. A big problem with this is that many people try to interpret spiritual things with a carnal mind so the true message gets lost. You have to understand that there are levels to spirituality. The heavens are higher than the earth but don’t think of heaven and earth from a physical perspective. There is NO such things as a rebel “angel” from God’s heaven that He cast down to the physical earth we live on. That’s religious conjecture. If you have specific scriptures you want me to give my opinions on I would be happy to do that.
We don’t have to pay for our sins and we CAN’T pay for our sins. That’s why God has to send His son to die on the cross for our sins. We are accountable for our sins but that’s only because God wants and expects us to learn and grow. After death, NOTHING happens because that is what death means. It is the opposite of life. Heaven is not a place. Heaven is never mentioned as a reward for being righteous. Heaven is a spiritual place and people can dwell in heaven right now on earth. Life after death only occurs in the resurrection.
Jesus had to die for our sins to undo Adam’s curse. Adam brought forth death, while Jesus came to defeat death and grant life to all since the death sentence was passed onto all. There’s no one that ever had to choose Adam to die. There is no punishment in the afterlife. There is judgment in the resurrection but God’s judgment produces righteousness. It is impossible for me to know what any one person’s judgment will be but God knows what needs to happen for people to overcome their sins. The significance of Jesus knowing you is no different that the significance of a mother or father knowing their child. Jesus is the Creator of all (with the only exception being God the Father of course).
The book of Revelation is highly misunderstood and scary to some degree because of those misunderstandings but there is more to Revelation than just a happy ending. It is a “revelation” meaning, it’s going to happen and it applies to everyone.
Jesus told certain people that it would be more TOLERABLE for evil cities such as Sodom, Gomorrah, Tyre, and Sidon than it would be for the people that actually witnessed and saw Jesus with their own eyes. What does it mean to be more tolerable? Well, 80 degrees Fahrenheit is more tolerable than 120 degrees Fahrenheit wouldn’t you agree? Imagine being a Christian your whole life and you believe in all of Christianity’s fundamental doctrines. You teach your beliefs to other people including your own children. You later die and then rise in the judgment realizing that you was wrong. You realize that there is no hell and God is going to save all of humanity. Can you imagine the shame, the disgust? This is why there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth not because people will be barbecued in hell. The level for which a Christian can tolerate their judgment will be different for an atheist who never accepted the religious lies of Christianity. I never said that God’s judgment isn’t harsh. God allows very harsh things to happen to people.
The afterlife doctrines were borrowed from pagan cultures. There is no afterlife in the scriptures. There are scriptures that are misinterpreted but there is no life after death until the resurrection. A person could be in the state of death for 100,000,000 years before the resurrection if that’s how long God wanted humans to occupy the earth. The afterlife doctrines exist because it’s much easier to control people’s lives right now but threatening their supposed eternal life to come.
Sorry it took me awhile to respond.
You made a statement in the answer above that “God is going to save all humanity.” I agree with you that hell is not a place of eternal torment, or even a place, as we are sentenced to die, not change our state of consciousness. However, the Bible does state that names can (and will be) blotted out of the Book of Life, and those not found within shall be suffer the same fate as Satan, the False Prophet(False Religion/Church) and the Beast(World systems/government), to be cast into fire. Not to be forever tormented, but to be consumed, never to live again. Such is the second death. Perhaps this is the reason for the weeping and gnashing of teeth, once they realize that they exchanged life everlasting through Christ for 75-80 years of “the pleasures of sin for a season.”
Just my opinion, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Thanks.
Someone having their name blotted out of the book of life is not an everlasting condition. Everlasting is not even a scriptural word. In Christ shall all be made alive. The second death is the death of death and the sin nature in all of us.