Heaven: A fool's paradise

Heaven: A fool's paradise

Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

April 22nd, 2010, 5:24 pm #1

I don't subscribe to Johann's views, but found this worth sharing.

Heaven: A fool's paradise

Why do the majority of Britons still believe in life after death? Heaven isn't a wonderful place filled with light it is a pernicious construct with a short and bloody history, writes Johann Hari

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

John Lennon urged us: "Imagine there's no heaven/It's easy if you try/No hell below us/Above us only sky." Yet the religious aren't turning to Lennonism any faster than Leninism. Today, according to a new book by Lisa Miller, Newsweek's religion correspondent, 81 per cent of Americans and 51 per cent of Brits say they believe in heaven an increase of 10 per cent since a decade ago. Of those, 71 per cent say it is "an actual place". Indeed, 43 per cent believe their pets cats, rats, and snakes are headed into the hereafter with them to be stroked for eternity. So why can't humans get over the Pearly Gates?

In reality, the heaven you think you're headed to a reunion with your relatives in the light is a very recent invention, only a little older than Goldman Sachs. Most of the believers in heaven across history would find it unrecognisable. Miller's book, Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife, teases out the strange history of heaven and shows it's not what you think.

Heaven is constantly shifting shape because it is a history of subconscious human longings. Show me your heaven, and I'll show you what's lacking in your life. The desert-dwellers who wrote the Bible and the Koran lived in thirst so their heavens were forever running with rivers and fountains and springs. African-American slaves believed they were headed for a heaven where "the first would be last, and the last would be first" so they would be the free men dominating white slaves. Today's Islamist suicide-bombers live in a society starved of sex, so their heaven is a 72-virgin gang-bang. Emily Dickinson wrote: " 'Heaven' is what I cannot Reach!/The Apple on the Tree/Provided it do hopeless hang/That 'Heaven' is to Me!"
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We know precisely when this story of projecting our lack into the sky began: 165BC, patented by the ancient Jews. Until then, heaven shamayim was the home of God and his angels. Occasionally God descended from it to give orders and indulge in a little light smiting, but there was a strict no-dead-people door policy. Humans didn't get in, and they didn't expect to. The best you could hope for was for your bones to be buried with your people in a shared tomb and for your story to carry on through your descendants. It was a realistic, humanistic approach to death. You go, but your people live on.

So how did the idea of heaven as a perfect place where God lives and where you end up if you live right rupture this reality? The different components had been floating around "in the atmosphere of Jerusalem, looking for a home", as Miller puts it, for a while. The Greeks believed there was an eternal soul that ascended when you die. The Zoroastrians believed you would be judged in the end-time for your actions on earth. The Jews believed in an almighty Yahweh.

But it took a big bloody bang to fuse them. In the run up to heaven's invention, the Jews were engaged in a long civil war over whether to open up to the Greeks and their commerce or to remain sealed away, insular and pure. With no winner in sight, King Antiochus got fed up. He invaded and tried to wipe out the Jewish religion entirely, replacing it with worship of Zeus. The Jews saw all that was most sacred to them shattered: they were ordered to sacrifice swine before a statue of Zeus that now dominated their Temple. The Jews who refused were hacked down in the streets.

Many young men fled into the hills of Palestine to stage a guerrilla assault now remembered as the Hanukkah story. The old Jewish tale about how you continue after you die was itself dying: your bones couldn't be gathered by your ancestors anymore with so many Jews scattered and on the run. So suddenly death took on a new terror. Was this it? Were all these lives ending forever, for nothing? One of the young fighters known to history only as Daniel announced that the martyred Jews would receive a great reward. "Many of those who sleep in the dust shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt," he wrote and launched us on the road to the best-selling 1990s trash 90 Minutes in Heaven. Daniel's idea was wildly successful. Within a century, most Jews believed in heaven, and the idea has never died.

But while the key components of heaven were in place, it was not the kumbaya holiday camp it has become today. It was a place where you and God and the angels sat but Jesus warned "there is no marriage in heaven". You didn't join your relatives. It was you and God and eternal prayer. It was paradise, but not as we know it.

Even some atheists regard heaven as one of the least-harmful religious ideas: a soothing blanket to press onto the brow of the bereaved. But its primary function for centuries was as a tool of control and intimidation. The Vatican, for example, declared it had a monopoly on St Peter's VIP list and only those who obeyed their every command and paid them vast sums for Get-Out-of-Hell-Free cards would get them and their children onto it. The afterlife was a means of tyrannising people in this life. This use of heaven as a bludgeon long outlasted the Protestant Reformation. Miller points out that in Puritan New England, heaven was not primarily a comfort but rather "a way to impose discipline in this life."

It continues. Look at Margaret Toscano, a sixth-generation Mormon who was a fanatical follower of Joseph Smith in her youth. Then she studied feminism at university. She came back to her community and argued that women ought to be allowed to become priests. The Mormon authorities the people who denied black people had souls until 1976 ordered her to recant, and said if she didn't, she wouldn't go to heaven with the rest of her family. She refused. Now her devastated sisters believe they won't see her in the afterlife.

Worse still, the promise of heaven is used as an incentive for people to commit atrocities. I have seen this in practice: I've interviewed wannabe suicide bombers from London to Gaza to Syria, and they all launched into reveries about the orgy they will embark on in the clouds. Similarly, I was once sent as my own personal purgatory undercover on the Christian Coalition Solidarity tour of Israel. As we stood at Megido, the site described in the Book of Revelation as the launchpad for the apocalypse, they bragged that hundreds of thousands of Arabs would soon be slaughtered there while George Bush and his friends are raptured to heaven as a reward for leading the Arabs to their deaths. Heaven can be an inducement to horror.

Yet there is an unthinking "respect" automatically accorded to religious ideas that throttles our ability to think clearly about these questions. Miller's book after being a useful exposition of these ideas swiftly turns itself into a depressing illustration of this. She describes herself as a "professional sceptic", but she is, in fact, professionally credulous. Instead of trying to tease out what these fantasies of an afterlife reveal about her interviewees, she quizzes everyone about their heaven as if she is planning to write a Lonely Planet guide to the area, demanding more and more intricate details. She only just stops short of demanding to know what the carpeting will be like. But she never asks the most basic questions: where's your evidence? Where are you getting these ideas from? These questions are considered obvious when we are asking about any set of ideas, except when it comes to religion, when they are considered to be a slap in the face.

Of course there's plenty of proof that the idea of heaven can be comforting, or beautiful but that doesn't make it true. The difference between wishful thinking and fact-seeking is something most six-year-olds can grasp, yet Miller and, it seems, the heaven-believing majority refuse it here. Yes, I would like to see my dead friends and relatives again. I also would like there to be world peace, a million dollars in my current account, and for Matt Damon to ask me to marry him. If I took my longing as proof they were going to happen, you'd think I was deranged.

"Rationalist questions are not helpful," announces one of her interviewees a professor at Harvard, no less. This seems to be Miller's view too. She stresses that to believe in heaven you have to make "a leap of faith" but in what other field in life do we abandon all need for evidence? Why do it in one so crucial to your whole sense of existence? And if you are going to "leap" beyond proof, why leap to the Christian heaven? Why not convince yourself you are going to live after death in Narnia, or Middle Earth, for which there is as much evidence? She doesn't explain: her arguments dissolve into a feel-good New Age drizzle.

True, Miller does cast a quick eye over the only "evidence" that believers in heaven offer the testimonies of people who have had near-death experiences. According to the medical journal The Lancet, between 9 per cent and 18 per cent of people who have been near death report entering a tunnel, seeing a bright light, and so on. Dinesh D'Souza, in his preposterous book Life After Death, presents this as "proof" for heaven. But in fact there are clear scientific explanations. As the brain shuts down, it is the peripheral vision that goes first, giving the impression of a tunnel. The centre of your vision is what remains, giving the impression of a bright light. Indeed, as Miller concedes: "Virtually all the features of [a near-death experience] the sense of moving through a tunnel, an 'out of body' feeling, spiritual awe, visual hallucinations, and intense memories can be reproduced with a stiff dose of ketamine, a horse tranquilliser frequently used as a party drug." Is a stoner teenager in a K-hole in contact with God and on a day-trip to heaven? Should the religious be dropping horse dope on Sundays? But Miller soon runs scared from the sceptical implications of this, offering the false balance of finding one very odd scientist who says that these experiences could point beyond life without any proof at all.

But even if you set aside the absence of even the tiniest thread of evidence, there is a great conceptual hole at the heart of heaven one that has gnawed at even its fondest believers. After a while, wouldn't it be excruciatingly dull? When you live in the desert, a spring seems like paradise. But when you have had the spring for a thousand years, won't you be sick of it? Heaven is, in George Orwell's words, an attempt to "produce a perfect society by an endless continuation of something that had only been valuable because it was temporary". Take away the contrast, and heaven becomes hell.

And yet, and yet ... of course I understand why so many people want to believe in heaven, even now, even in the face of all the evidence, and all reason. It is a way however futilely of trying to escape the awful emptiness of death. As Philip Larkin put it: "Not to be here/Not to be anywhere/And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true". To die. To rot. To be nothing. We wouldn't be sane if we didn't seek a way to leap off this conveyor-belt heading towards a cliff.

So yes, there is pain in seeing the truth about Heaven but there is also a liberation in seeing beyond the childhood myths of our species. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, written in Babylon 4,000 years ago, the eponymous hero travels into the gardens of the gods in an attempt to discover the secret of eternal life. His guide tells him the secret there is no secret. This is it. This is all we're going to get. This life. This time. Once. "Enjoy your life," the goddess Siduri tells him. "Love the child who holds you by the hand, and give your wife pleasure in your embrace." It's Lennon's dream, four millennia ahead of schedule: above us, only sky. Gilgamesh returns to the world and lives more intensely and truly and deeply than before, knowing there is no celestial after-party and no forever. After all this time, can't we finally follow Gilgamesh to a world beyond heaven?


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Joined: June 13th, 2006, 12:37 am

April 22nd, 2010, 6:03 pm #2

Is deceiving people into believing there is no afterlife and that Heaven and Hell are not real. In this way, he takes them with him when he is cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10-15). Don't be a dupe and buy into his lies.

Pastor Jack Howell
"Some bring God's curse on them by marking off part of the Bible, calling it erroneous, uninspired, less than the very Word of God." - Dr. John R. Rice

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)



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Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

April 22nd, 2010, 6:12 pm #3

The Hell Test
(A test every pastor, Bible teacher and seminary professor should be required to take before being allowed to teach.)

One would be amazed how little the average pastor knows about the subject of Hell. Most of their knowledge comes from what Jesus called "The traditions of men which make the word of god of no effect." Matt. 15:6-9 Give a copy of this test to those to whom you have submitted yourself. See whether they know their subject. If salvation is indeed deliverance from a Hell of everlasting punishment, then the answers to these questions are vital to your well being.

Is Salvation A Deliverance

From Hell or Eternal Death?

By Gary Amirault



Are your beliefs on Hell based upon facts or traditions?

If Salvation is deliverance from Hell or Eternal Death, then it is vitally important the reader find out what your beliefs are based upon for your own sake and for the sake of your loved ones. Are you willing to test your understanding of salvation and Hell? Are your church leaders willing to try to answer the questions contained in this book? This may be the most important test you will ever take. These questions were prepared by a conservative Christian who has spent thousands of hours researching this most important subject.

Christians who try to share their faith with unbelievers are confronted with many questions, especially on the subject of Hell and eternal punishment. Many people have a real problem with Orthodox Christianity's belief that non-Christians will be punished eternally because they are not Christians. This is one of the main reasons many Christians do NOT like to share their faith. They find themselves short of good reasonable answers to questions or statements like these:

"If my daughter is in Hell because she did not get "born again" then I'd rather go to Hell and be with her than to be with your God because there would be more love in Hell than near your vindictive God."

"How can you say burning someone alive forever is "just" or "fair" for everyone who hasn't accepted Jesus Christ? Even we humans fit the punishment to the crime. According to you, Christians, people are destined to be burned in Hell whether we are bad or not. Just being born into this world is grounds for being endlessly tortured. You say the punishment is the same regardless of the number of sins committed or how bad they were. This is not justice--this is insanity!"

"Infinite punishment for finite crimes just doesn't seem just."

"I could never torture people endlessly, especially my own children. How can you say that God will do that to His children? This seems hideous. You make God look like a monster worse than Hitler, not a loving Father Who would even die for His enemies!"

"If Hell is real and the greatest part of humanity went there, how could you HONESTLY say that 'Love NEVER fails?' Seems like Love fails most of the time according to your understanding of things." (I Cor. 13:8)

"If the wages of sin is eternal punishment in Hell, then Jesus would have to be eternally punished if in fact He died for my sins. But the Bible says the wages of sin is death which is exactly what Jesus did--died. So how can you say people will be eternally tortured in Hell? Is Jesus presently being eternally tortured in place of those who accepted Him as Lord?"

Questions are powerful truth-finders. At all costs, avoid religious groups that fear questions. Anyone who believes they have the truth should not only encourage questions, but should have solid answers for what they believe, especially if they are a leader. When asking serious questions about serious topics like the subject of Hell, look them right in the eye when asking the questions. The eyes will give away whether they are firmly convinced with their answer or if they are just passing on the "traditions" of their sect. Most Christians actually know very little about Hell. And what they know is usually false as the following questions will reveal.

Whenever I was previously confronted with questions like those above (and I've heard these questions countless numbers of times), all of my answers seemed to fall short of being "reasonable." And if someone watched my body language, especially my eyes, they could have seen that I did NOT have good answers for the sincere questions they asked. And I was a zealous student!

I normally used to find myself stating that the Bible says Jesus paid for our sins, but we must accept Him as our Savior. Then I would usually say something like: "God is a just God and cannot allow sin into heaven. You must have your sins forgiven and Jesus is the only one Who can forgive you. He died for your sins. We all deserve to go to Hell, but Jesus died so we wouldn't have to go. But by turning from our sins and making Jesus our Savior, He'll deliver us from this fate to which all mankind is destined. He's given us all a chance; it's up to us whether we will take it or not." Then, often a discussion would ensue about the validity of the Bible and that would open up another can of worms. I wouldn't have admitted it then, but what I was REALLY passing on for truth, was what was passed on to me from the "experts" of my church. It was NOT really beliefs given to me by the Holy Spirit Who the Bible says will teach us all truth. (John 16:13) My beliefs therefore had to be tested by thoroughly subjecting them to honest questionsquestions which made my conscience reveal to me that my answers were NOT built on truth.

During my early years as a Christian, I usually attended conservative churches that could probably be labeled "evangelical" or "fundamentalist" where the emphasis was on being "born again." I took the subject of Hell VERY seriously. I talked to people about Jesus every day. I used to have a compartmentalized attachment on the back of my car seat which contained various tracts warning of Hell and the way to avoid it. Having handed out thousands of " Roman Road " tracts, I knew (and still do know) all the salvation and Hell verses very well. I read my King James Bible everyday, went to Church whenever it was open and paid my tithes.

If Hell was real, then the most important thing in my life was to get as many people saved as I possibly could. I lost business contracts because I offended clients trying to "get them saved." I lost friends who I hounded with the "Good News" who didn't think my good news was so hot. I went to my family with tears in my eyes and begged them to accept Christ. By the time I was finished with them, they seriously considered having me committed to an institution for the insane. My brothers and sisters wanted nothing to do with me anymore. Tens of thousands of tracts explaining the simple plan of salvation were forced into the hands of people all over the Maryland , DC, Virginia area. Wherever I traveled, I usually took tracts with me. I was taught this rejection was the price one paid to follow Jesus. After all, He too, was despised and rejected even by His own family.

Whenever there was a missionary or evangelist in the area, I usually attended their meetings. I wanted to learn more about how to save more people. It was extremely frustrating and disappointing to find that most of the church members and my pastor did not share the burden for souls that seemed to me to be mandatory if in fact the teaching of Hell as taught by our Church and my King James Bible was true. We often heard sermons from pastors or highly paid traveling evangelists on the dangers of Hell. And then, instead of going out into the community to try to save a few doomed souls, we would often go to a nice restaurant to listen to the evangelist tell his favorite war stories while supposedly people all around us were dropping into the fiery pit. To me, it seemed that if the teaching of Hell was real, we, Christians, were not taking it seriously. And if WE weren't taking it seriously, how could we expect those we wanted to influence take it seriously themselves?

If there were a Hell or place of eternal punishment, our actions in our communities surely didn't show it. Our belief in Hell was NOT made manifest by our actions. We sinned just like those sinners we were trying to save. Oh, maybe for most of us, it wasn't the same kind of sins. Maybe we didn't drink, cuss, or smoke anymore, but boy we were experts in backbiting, slander, gossip, self-righteousness, pride, jealousy, and a host of other Biblical sins. How was it that we who were supposed to know better and supposedly had the Holy Spirit to help us lead a Holy life could sin and get away with it while those who were "slaves to sin" and had NO power to stop sinning were going to be endlessly tortured for theirs? This seemed a bit hypocritical.

I finally personally concluded we, Christians, including myself, WERE a bunch of hypocrites. We "said" but did not do. We condemned while doing the very same things we condemned others for. The more I looked at us while reading the Bible, the more we looked like the Pharisees who were Jesus' enemies--and I remembered what Jesus thought of the Pharisees and the many warnings He gave them. As a matter of fact, almost every time my King James put the word Hell into Jesus' mouth, He was always speaking to the religious people, NOT the street sinner. (Something to think about, isn't it?)

I finally became so disgusted with our poor example and lack of concern for the lost that I asked God to take me out of this world. I was tired of the hypocrisy. I was worn out. Burned out. It seemed to me that if anyone deserved to go to Hell, it was us Christians for our hypocrisy and lack of concern for the lost.

God answered my prayer not by killing me, but killing a lot of "traditional teaching" I had swallowed which did NOT come from Him NOR from the Bible in its original languages. He had someone give me a handful of booklets dealing with a handful of key words in the Bible. According to this author, these words were MIStranslated in many of the leading "selling" English Bible translations. After reading these booklets, I made an extensive search at various seminaries to see if in fact what this author was saying was true. It was true!! What this author was saying made God's judgments perfectly line up with His love. It wiped away those contradictions that I constantly had to shove under the rug of "Well, God said it, I believe it even if I can't understand it all." The Bible FINALLY made perfect sense! Scriptures like "Mercy shall triumph over judgment" (James 2:13) all of a sudden fit. I always had trouble with Scriptures like that one. After all, ninety-nine percent of mankind in Hell didn't sound like mercy triumphing over judgment! Does it to you?

I wrote this book to challenge my fellow Christians to think through what they believe about this most important subject. Why are Christians so lackadaisical about their responsibility to lay down their lives to save their friends and enemies? The following questions may break through the crust of traditions of men and bring the reader to some new ground of understanding on this most important subject. If salvation is deliverance from Hell, then Hell must be thoroughly understood! Now let's see how well you know the subject and whether your beliefs are based upon facts or simply the "traditions of men." Looking back on my years as a religious zealot trying to save the world, although I went to Church regularly and studied the Bible much more than most of my counterparts, my belief was based upon the "traditions of men," and a couple of Bible translations that mistranslated a handful of key words. Ask your church leaders these questions. Look them in the eyes and see if their answers belong to them or if they are just regurgitating the denomination's traditions. You MAY be shocked to find out they have almost NO answers to ANY of the questions. And now for the questions:

When contemplating on these questions, let us remember that unless we become as little children we shall not enter the kingdom of God . (Matt. 18:3) Could children really love a god who created a place in which his parents, brothers and sisters or friends would be endlessly tortured? Could you truly sit on Hitler's or Charles Manson's lap and love them unconditionally? If not, what makes you think you can honestly love a God who is endlessly torturing almost all of mankind? Can a human being honestly love a being who planned to endlessly torture almost all of mankind which MAY include his parents, children AND if honest with him or herself, possible themselves? Can one REALLY love such a god IN THEIR HEARTS? or do they do what Jesus said they do: Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: These people draw near to Me with their mouths, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me and in vain they worship Me teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"

I say, no way. We can feign worship of such a god for fear of being endlessly burned ourselves should this god turn on us also, but we cannot honestly worship such a fiend with integrity. We must become hypocrites like Isaiah prophesied in order to pretend to worship such a fiend.

If Hell is real and describes a real place, why does the English word "Hell" come from a pagan source instead of the ancient Hebrew writings of the Bible? Why is the word "Hell" not found in the Jew's Bible which is the Christian's Old Testament? Furthermore, the word "Hell" has completely disappeared from the Old Testament Scriptures in most leading Bibles. Why? Because the best scholarship demands it. (The word "Hell" comes from the Teutonic "Hele" goddess of the underworld "Hell" of northern Europe . The description of this ancient mythological place has very little resemblance anymore to the modern Christian image of Hell. See any Encyclopedia or dictionary for the origin of the word.) Seeing that the Bible is supposed to be "Holy," why have pagan religious words been added to our modern English Bibles? Please understand, the English word "Hell" and its concepts are NOT in the Hebrew nor Greek. They come into the English through Northern European mythologies, NOT from the roots of Christianity.

If Hell as a place of everlasting tortures was the real fate of all mankind unless they did something here on earth to prevent it, why didn't God make that warning plain right at the beginning of the Bible? God said the penalty for eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was DEATH. He did NOT define death as eternal life being forever tortured in burning fire and brimstone.

If Hell was real why didn't Moses warn about this fate in the Ten Commandments or the Mosaic Covenant consisting of over 600 laws, ordinances, and warnings? The Mosaic Law simply stated blessings and cursings IN THIS LIFETIME for failure to keep the Mosaic Law.

If Hell is real and it is a place of eternally being separated from God, why does David say in the King James Bible, "Though I make my bed in Hell (Sheol) lo, Thou art there? (Again please note, most Christian Bibles NO LONGER have the word "Hell" in the Old Testament. The KJV written over 350 years ago is an exception. The Jews do NOT put the word "Hell" in their English translations of the Hebrew Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament and the leading English Christian Bibles have removed it because it is NOT in the originals. Most Christian scholars now acknowledge it should never have been placed there in the first place.)

If Hell is real and if good people go to heaven and bad people go to Hell, why does EVERYONE, good or bad, go to the same place in the Old Testament? They ALL go to Sheol which the King James Version translated "Hell" thirty-0ne times, "grave" thirty-one times and "pit" three times? Are we all destined to go to Hell or did the King's translators make some gross translation errors?

If Hell is real, why don't the Jews, many who know the Old Testament better than most Christians, not believe in the modern Christian concept of Hell? They say they don't believe it because it is not in their Scriptures. Most scholars today can not find Hell in the Old Testament. Most leading Bible translations no longer contain the word Hell in the entire Old Testament. (Genesis through Malachi.)

If Hell doesn't exist in the Old Testament, how could Jesus and his disciples teach that salvation was deliverance from a place that is not even found in their Scriptures? (There was only the Old Testament at that time.) Would that not make Him appear like a false teacher? Or could it be that Jesus never taught such a concept in the first place? Could it be that this concept has been added to the church and SOME Bibles through "traditions of men?"

If Hell is real, since SOME English translations use the word Hell for the Greek word "Gehenna," in the New Testament, why didn't this same place (Gehenna) get translated Hell in the many places where it appears in the Hebrew form "ga ben Hinnom" in the Old Testament? If the Jews did not understand this valley as a symbol of everlasting torture, why do SOME English translations give this word such a meaning? And who burned who in this valley? And what was God's response for Israel doing such a horrible thing to their children? (Jer. 32:33-35) And how could God say "such a thing never entered His mind" if in fact He is going to do the very same thing to most of His own children?

If Hell was real, why did the early church appoint an avowed universalist as the President of the second council of the church in Constantinople in the fourth century? (Gregory Nazianzen, 325-381)

If Hell was real, why did Church leaders as late as the fourth century AD acknowledge that the majority of Christians believed in the salvation of all mankind? (Ref, #1)

If Hell was real and a place of no escape, why did the early church teach Jesus went to Hell (Hades), preached to them and led captivity captive? (Eph. 4:8,9; Psalm 68:18; 1 Peter 3:18-20)

If Hell was real and the grave settled the matter forever, why did the early Christians offer up prayers for the dead? (Ref. # 1)

If Hell was real, why did the first comparatively complete systematic statement of Christian doctrine ever given to the world by Clement of Alexandria, A.D. 180, contain the tenet of universal salvation? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real, why did the first complete presentation of Christianity (Origen, 220 A.D.) contain the doctrine of universal salvation? (Ref #1)

If Hell was real, why didn't the church teach it until AFTER the church departed from reading the Bible in Greek and Hebrew, substituting Latin in its stead several centuries after Christ's death? (Ref #1, 2, 7)

If Hell was real, why did not a single Christian writer of the first 3 centuries declare universalism as a heresy? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real why didn't a single one of the early creeds express any idea contrary to universal restoration, or in favor of everlasting punishment in Hell? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real why did not a single Church council for the first five hundred years condemn Universalism as heresy considering the fact that they made many declarations of heresy on other teachings? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real, why did most of the early church's leading scholars and most revered saints advocate universal salvation? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real, how is it that the most prominent universalists of the early church were born into Christian families and were most highly revered by their peers while those who advocated Hell came from paganism and confessed they were among the vilest? (Tertullian and Augustine) (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real and found in the original Greek manuscripts of the Bible, why is it that it was primarily those church leaders who either couldn't read Greek (Minucius Felix, Tertullian), or hated Greek as in the case of Augustine, that the doctrine of Hell was advocated? Those early church leaders familiar with the Greek and Hebrew (the original languages of the Bible) saw universal salvation in those texts. Those who advocated Hell got it from the Latin, NOT from the original Greek and Hebrew. Who would more likely be correct--those who could read the original languages of the Bible or those who read a Latin translation made by one man (Jerome)? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real why do most leading historians acknowledge that the early church was dominated by universalism? (Ref. #1, 7)

If Hell was real then why did four out of six theological schools from 170 AD to 430 AD teach universal salvation while the only one that taught Hell was in Carthage, Africa, again where Latin was the teaching language, not Greek? (Ref. #1, 2, 7)

If Hell was real why didn't Epiphanius (c. 315-403) the "hammer of heretics" who listed 80 heresies of his time not list universalism among those heresies? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real, since most historians would acknowledge today that Origen was perhaps the most outstanding example of early universalism in the church, when Methodius, Eusibius, Pamphilus, Marcellus, Eustathius, and Jerome made their lists of Origen's heresies, why wasn't universalism among them? Could it be perhaps that it wasn't a heresy in the original church? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real and a serious heresy, why was it not until the sixth century when Justinian, a half-pagan emperor, tried to make universalism a heresy? Interestingly, most historians will acknowledge that Justinian's reign was among the most cruel and ruthless. (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real, since the early church was closest to the apostles and since they were closest to the original manuscripts of the Bible, why did the vast majority of the early Christian believers NOT believe in Hell as a place of everlasting burnings? (Ref. #1, 2, 7)

If Hell was real and all died NOT because of their transgressions but because of Adam's transgression (Rom 5:18), why do many Christians not see what is plainly written, that "even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to ALL MEN, resulting in JUSTIFICATION OF LIFE!" (Rom. 5:18) This Scripture declares the FACT that all are justified due to Christ's righteous act. No one "decided" to die in Adam, it was "reckoned" to us. Equally no one "decided" to "receive eternal life," it is also "reckoned" to us. (A thorough understanding of Romans Chapter five carefully comparing several English translations would be a very good exercise. The omission of the definite article "the" in Rom. 5:15 before the word "many" in some translations has caused some great misunderstanding of this most important chapter of the Bible.)

If Hell is real, in Romans 5:19, the "many" who were made sinners were actually "all" of the human race. Why is the "many" who were made "righteous" not equally be "all" of the human race? "For as by one man's disobedience MANY were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience MANY will be made righteous."

If Hell is real and everlasting, why does Psalm 30:5 say His anger is but for a moment?

If Hell is real one would never know it by the actions of most Christians. They go through life pretty much like atheists, pagans, etc. If they really believed in Hell, they would spend their entire life trying to snatch their friends and relatives from the burning flames. If Hell is real, why don't they do this?

If Hell is a real place of merciless endless torture, since God knows the beginning from the end, why didn't God just kill Adam and Eve and end the long terrible chain of misery that passed to their offspring before it began? After all, the Scriptures say that all died BECAUSE of Adam. (Rom. 5:18)

If Hell is real, why is it not mentioned in most leading English Bible translations until Matthew? (Most Bible translations now acknowledge Sheol should NOT ever be translated Hell as the King James Bible incorrectly did.)

If Hell was real, and if Paul was commissioned by God to preach the gospel to the nations, why did Paul not mention Hell even once except to declare victory over it? (1 Cor. 15:55, the word death in this passage is the word "Hades" which some translations of the Bible also translate Hell.)

If Hell was real and easy to define and find in the Bible, why did the translators of the original 1611 King James Bible find it so difficult to define Hades? They put Hell in the text at Rev. 20:13 and "Or, grave" in the margins while putting "grave" in the text and "Or, Hell" in the margins in 1 Cor. 15:55? Seems they couldn't make up their minds whether Hades meant Hell or grave. (Recent editions have removed the marginal readings thus avoiding the embarrassment.)

If Hell is real, why are there many English Bible translations which do NOT contain the word Hell at all nor do they contain the concept of "everlasting torments"? (Ref. #6)

If Hell was real and the belief that there is no Hell is a deception from Satan, why is it that those born from above Christians who DON'T believe in Hell seem to manifest more of the nature and fruit of the Spirit than those who teach Hell? Surely those who believe that Jesus is the Savior of all mankind manifest more love towards their enemies than do serious Hell-fire types. Could it be that we begin to manifest what we worship? If we believe God loves all mankind and plans to save it, then we have no excuse but to do the same. However, if we believe God will cast away most of mankind, then we begin to manifest the very same spirit here on earth.

If there is a Hell and salvation is the deliverance from it, why does the word appear only a dozen times or so in most leading selling Bibles like the NIV, NASB, NRSV, NKJV, etc. as compared to the word Heaven which appears hundreds of times?

If Hades is Hell and there is no escape from it, why is it emptied and cast into the Lake of Fire along with death. (Rev. 20:14)

If the Lake of Fire is actually a place of everlasting burnings, why isn't it defined as such? The Bible calls it the "second death," that is, the death of the first death. One would think that the death of death would be LIFE, which is a good thing! (Rev. 20:14) Even in mathematics two negatives make a positive.

If there is a Hell and all who have sinned are destined to go there (which is everyone) unless they figure out how to avoid it, does that not consign all aborted babies and most children to Hell? (Dear Reader, while some denominations teach a so-called "age of accountability," it is NOT found anywhere in the Bible. It is just some people's way of trying to make God more humane than the Hell teaching makes Him out to be.)

Only one third of the world's languages have any written scriptures 2,000 years after the gospel was given to the Jews. If one MUST believe in the gospel to be saved, then God was very irresponsible in getting the good news to all mankind TO mankind. Furthermore, since most of the countries which presently don't have Bibles are non-white, doesn't that make God a racist?

If all things were made for GOD'S pleasure, is it conceivable that God would derive pleasure from seeing those He created endlessly tortured?

If there is a Hell and according to most denominations of Christianity the majority of mankind will go there, could you really enjoy heaven knowing your mother or father or children or best friend are suffering everlasting tortures the likes of which would make the Holocaust seem like a picnic? If the Rich Man and Lazarus story (Luke chapter 16) is real and NOT a parable, then we will be able to converse with our loves ones who did not make it into heaven. Would heaven really be paradise if this were true?

If Hell is real and a place of eternal separation from God, why would Paul the apostle say the goal of God's creative plan was to ultimately be "all IN all?" (1 Cor. 15:28)

If Hell is real since there is only one name under heaven by which men might be saved (Acts 4:12), why did God wait thousands of years and millions of souls after Adam's fall to provide the name and means of salvation? Are all those before Jesus' birth damned forever because they never heard of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ? Would that be just? (Remember the Mosaic Law can never "save" anyone and it was only for Israel . Rom. 3:20)

If Hell is a real place of everlasting punishment and if Jesus died in our place to save us from this fate, wouldn't Jesus have to be eternally punished if in fact He took our punishment upon Himself? But He's NOT being eternally punished. He DIED which is what the penalty of the wages of sin is, DEATH, NOT everlasting life of unending torture or eternal death (annihilation).

If Hell is real why do some of the best Bible scholars and Bible teachers say it is NOT in the Greek or Hebrew text? (William Barclay, John A.T. Robinson, Lightfoot, Westcott, F.W. Farrar, Marvin Vincent, etc.)

If Hell is real why is it that those who preach it the most look more like Pharisees and the devil, while those who believe in the salvation of all mankind seem to be more loving and merciful than strong Hell-fire believers? It's a plain fact that the colder less loving one is the easier it is to teach Hell while the more loving one becomes the harder it is to talk about Hell. Is heaven full of cold unloving people?

If Hell is real and everlasting, why is it thrown into the Lake of Fire to be destroyed? And why is Hell never called the Lake of Fire nor the Lake of Fire ever called Hell if in fact they are the same thing?

If Hell is real and the devil and all his works and people are to be thrown into it to stay alive forever, doesn't that violate Jesus' statement that He came to "destroy" the works of the devil? (1 John 3:8)

If Hell is real and the greatest part of mankind eventually goes there, wouldn't Jesus be considered a great failure considering the fact He was sent to save the whole world? And if He failed so miserably this time to accomplish the will of the Father, can one really trust that He won't fail again? (1 Tim. 2:3,4 KJV; Heb. 10:9) We who believe that Jesus will save the world obviously do NOT believe He failedHe will save all of us.

If Hell is real it must have been created at some time. Why doesn't the Bible tell us when Hell (as traditionally taught) was created? Could it be that the Bible fails to mention its creation because it was never created in the first place?

If Hell is real and it is plainly seen in the original languages of the Bible, why is there such a great discrepancy among Bible translations as to which words should be translated Hell? (Ref. #6)

If Hell is real and most of mankind ends up there, how can God have promised Abraham that in him ALL the families of the earth will be blessed? (Gen. 12:3)

If Hell is real and Matthew chapter 24 says and means that the goat nations will go to "everlasting punishment," how can God promise to Abraham that "all the nations of the earth shall be blessed by him? (Gen. 18:18) Does God not keep His promises?

If Hell is real, does that mean that motherly love is more powerful and enduring than God's love? Do you know of normal mothers who would endlessly torment most of her kids. Do you know "normal" Fathers who would do such a thing? Why do we believe our heavenly Father, who is millions of times more loving than all of us combined, could do such an evil, wicked thing?

If Hell is real, is justice being served considering the fact that finite crimes would receive infinite punishment?

If Hell is real, since all is out of Jesus Christ, does that mean Hell comes out of Jesus Christ? (Rom. 36:11)

If Hell is real and all the different types of crimes committed here on earth receive the same punishment (endless torture) does "justice" not suffer?

If Hell is real and a person gets caught stealing and goes to jail for it and does his time, is it just for God to still punish him eternally for that crime? Is this not "double indemnity?"

If Hell is real, since some people receive many chances to "get saved," some receive only a few chances and billions have never even received one chance, does that make God a respecter of persons? (Acts 10:34, James 3:17)

If Hell is real and is the fate of all mankind because of Adam's transgression, if all are not saved through the last Adam, Jesus Christ, does that not make the transgression of the first Adam greater than the redeeming act of Jesus? (Rom. Chapter 5)

If Hell is real and most of mankind is doomed to go there, does that not violate the declaration of Paul who said that Christ's righteous act on the cross gave ALL mankind a free gift resulting in justification of life?! (Rom. 5:18)

If Hell is real and God's wrath abides upon billions of human beings FOREVER, some being your relatives and friends (or it could be you), doesn't that violate the Scripture which says His anger WILL come to an end? (Isaiah 57:16-18)

If Hell was real and you went there, would you consider that good? (Psalm 145:9 says all will praise Him.)

If Hell was real and you were consigned to it, would you praise Him for sending you there? (Psalm 145:10)

If Hell is real and most of mankind will fall into this fiery pit, if there is not escape out of it, would this not violate the Scripture that says He raises ALL who fall? (Psalm 145:14)

If Hell is really a place from which there is no escape, why does God turn man to destruction and then give the command to return from it? (Psalm 90:3) If Hell is "everlasting" destruction," how can man return? (2 Thess. 1:9)

If Hell is real and most find their way to it, was Jesus lying when He said that He would "draw" ("drag" in the original Greek) all mankind unto Himself? (John 12:32)

If Hell is real, since Jesus ultimately fills ALL things, will Jesus fill Hell as well? ((Eph. 4:10) How can Hell be eternal separation from God is Jesus fills Hell with Himself?

If Hell is real and Jesus is the Heir of all things, does that mean He inherits Hell as well? (Heb. 1:2)

If Hell is real, since God will have all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:3 KJV), does that mean God's power is not strong enough to have His will fulfilled? Is man's will more powerful than God's?

If Hell is real, would that not violate the plain Scripture of the "restitution of all things?" (Acts 3:21)

If Hell is real and eternal separation from God, why does the Scripture say, "All flesh will come to God?" (Psalm 65:2-4)

If Hell is real and most people don't get "born again," doesn't that make abortionists the greatest evangelists of all since they kill the babies before they can enter the world to begin their life of sin? (Gory thought, but think about it.)

If Hell is real and there is no escape from it, how can the Scriptures speak of the gathering of all things into Christ? (Eph. 1:10)

If Hell is real and God were human, we would give Him a death sentence for all the cruel things we say He is going to do to most of mankind?

If Hell is real and most people around you are on their way to it, how can you talk with them and not beg them each and everyday to be saved? How can you not go crazy at just the thought of their fate?

If Hell is real and you have "unsaved" family, friends, and business associates, when was the last time you went to them on your knees begging them to get saved? And if you haven't done this recently yet still believe their fate is everlasting punishment, don't you deserve to go to Hell yourself for being so callused and non-caring?

If Hell is real, how does the threat of endlessly torturing us convince us that God loves us and that we should love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength?

If Hell was real and the "full" gospel was designed to reach all mankind, doesn't that make the results of the "full" gospel pretty "empty" considering that fact that most people are in Hell according to traditional theology?

If Hell was real, does that mean Jesus raised the wicked from an unconscious state, make them alive only to be endlessly tortured? Wouldn't it be more merciful to just leave them eternally unconscious (which some believe)? (Ecc. 9:5; John 11:11)

If Hell is real and God only loves those who love Him, what better is He than the sinner? (Luke 6:32-33) Can you REALLY call eternally torturing your own children love?

If Hell is real, since "love thinketh no evil," can God design the ultimate evil of a single soul? (1 Cor. 13:5)

If Hell is real, since"love worketh no ill," can God inflict, or cause, or allow to be inflicted, an endless ill? (Rom. 13:10)

If Hell is real, since we are forbidden to be overcome by evil, can we safely suppose that God will be overcome by evil? (Rom. 12:21) Would not the infliction of endless punishment prove that God HAD been overcome by evil?

If Hell is real, if man does wrong in returning evil for evil, would not God do wrong if He was to do the same? (Rom. 12:20,21) Would not endless punishment be the return of evil for evil? As we are commanded "to overcome evil with good," may we not safely infer that God will do the same? Would the infliction of endless punishment be overcoming evil with good?

If Hell is real, if God hates the sinner, does the sinner do wrong in hating Him?

If Hell is real, if God loves His enemies now, will he not always love them? Is God a changeable being? (James 1:17)

If Hell is real, is it just for God to be "kind to the evil and unthankful," in their present life? (Luke 6:35) Would it be unjust for God to be kind to all men in a future state?

If Hell is real, if all men justly deserve endless punishment, will not those who are saved, be saved unjustly?

If Hell is real, would it be merciful in God to inflict endless punishment--that is, merciful to the sufferer?

If Hell is real, if the demands of divine justice are opposed to the requirements of mercy, is not God divided against Himself? If the requirements of mercy are opposed to the demands of the justice of God, can His kingdom stand? -- (Mark 3:24)

If Hell is real, does not judgment triumph over mercy and thus contradict this Scripture? (James 2:13)

If Hell is real, if you had sufficient power would you not deliver all men from sin? If God WOULD save all men, but CANNOT , is He infinite in power?

If Hell is real, if God CAN save all men, but WILL NOT , is He infinite in goodness?

If Hell is real and created by God, does it not stand against God's DESIRE the salvation of all men? (1 Tim. 2:3-4) Since God is righteous, must not the desire for universal salvation be a RIGHTEOUS desire? Is it true, that "the desire of the righteous shall be granted?" -- (Prov. 10:24)

If Hell is real, would endless misery benefit the Almighty, as the INFLICTOR ? Would endless misery benefit the saints, as SPECTATORS ? Would endless misery benefit the sinner, as the SUFFERER ?

If Hell is real and endless punishment is the "wages of sin," could the sinner ever receive payment in full? (Rom. 6:23)

If Hell is real and sin is infinite, can it be true that, "where sin abounded grace did MUCH MORE abound?" --(Rom. 5:20)

If Hell is real, if ONE sin deserves an eternity of punishment, how much punishment will TEN sins deserve?

If Hell is real, yet God "openeth his hand and satisfieth the desire of every living thing" -- (Ps. 145:16), If I desire all men be saved, will God satisfy my desire? Is it good to desire all men to be saved? "This is GOOD and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior who DESIRES ALL MEN TO BE SAVED and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim. 2:3,4)

If Hell is real and you are a Calvinist, were you "responsible" for getting into heaven? Then why do you take the responsibility for those going to Hell away from God and put it on those you say are going to Hell? Is God "sovereign" only over the "elect?"

If Hell is real and God is our Father and our Potter (Isaiah 64:8,9) did He make mostly junk and are most of the children He raised misfits worthy only to be thrown away and endlessly tortured? Do we not hold parents responsible for their children's outcome? If we use the same standards towards God's "fathering" abilities, according to the doctrine of endless punishment, our Father did a very poor job in raising His children.

If Hell is real and a person is considered foolish trying to build a tower without first seeing if he has enough resources with which to complete it, wouldn't Jesus also be foolish if He purposed to save the world but only came away with a part of it? And wouldn't Jesus appear foolish if He came to destroy the works of the devil but left most of the devil's work continuing endlessly in the Lake of Fire ? Wouldn't He be found guilty of not counting the costs before He began?(Luke 14:28-32)

If Hell is real and since probably less than one percent of the world's population ever got "born again" and stayed on the straight and narrow, doesn't this fly in the face of Jesus' words which says He leaves the ninety-nine to find the one and doesn't give up until He finds it? (Luke 15:4)

If Hell is real and a place of terrible pain, why is it that we wouldn't think of sending our pets to such a place yet don't blink an eye at the thought of God sending His very own children to such a place?

If Hell is real and universalism is a heresy, why is it that those who believe God loves all and will save all find it easier to love all people than those who believe most people are going to Hell? (Think this through very carefully.)

If Hell is real, will you judge your mother, son, or other non-believer to Hell? "Do ye not know that the saints "shall judge the world"? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" 1 Corinthians 6:2-3

If Hell is real and an eternal separation from God, why does " tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb" mean? If this "torment" is endless suffering in a literal lake of fire, how would you feel if it was your mother, father, wife, husband, children, or best friend in that lake IN your presence? (The Greek word for "tormented" does NOT mean "tortured," it means "tested.")

If 150 Bible scholars swear to a statement of faith that there is a Hell of everlasting punishment before that are allowed to work on a translation which they will be paid to produce, what are the odds that the translation they produce will contain a Hell of everlasting punishment? (That is the case with the NIV, and most other Bible translations produced by committees.)


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I think that a person whose mental faculties, conscience and heart are still working will come to the reasonable conclusion that the concept of Hell as a place of everlasting punishment leaves a LOT of questions unanswered. Yes, the concept of Hell (and that is all it is, a false concept) seems to violate everything that is reasonable. It violates the nature of God which is unconditional Love. It violates the wisdom of God, the pleasure of God, the promises of God, the oath of God, the power of God; it negates the full power of the cross of Christ; it goes against the testimony of the prophets; it violates the testimony of Jesus Christ and His apostles; it violates the Scriptures in their original languages; it violates the writings of the early church leaders who read the Scriptures in the original languages; it goes against our conscience and our hearts, Finally, it has the ring of something the subtlest of all creatures would concoctthe greatest lie ever told.

Jesus and the apostles gave many warnings over 1900 hundred years ago that many would rise up within the church and draw many people after themselves forming denominations built upon the traditions of men and NOT the Truth. 1900 years has spawned over 30,000 denominations of Christendom--denominations which cannot unite because they are divided by their "interpretations" of Scriptures AND traditions which have been added which are NOT based upon the Bible. "A kingdom divided against itself CANNOT stand." (Mark 3:24) Obviously, the denominations of Christendom are NOT the kingdom of God . The Scriptures warned us that most Christians would depart from the faith. It is plainly written for all to see. Why is it that many Christians cannot see what is plainly written?

1 John 2:18-20

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.

1 John 2:26,27

26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit-- just as it has taught you, remain in him.

1 Tim. 4:9-16

Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia , Titus unto Dalmatia . Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus . The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee , and the books, but especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

Acts 20:26-31

Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men . For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God , which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Note Paul NEVER preached salvation as deliverance from Hell.)

KJV Galatians 3:1-3

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

2 Peter 3:15-18

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

1 Cor. 1:10-15

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

As we can plainly see, God warned that there would come a great falling away IN THE VERY FIRST CENTURY, not hundreds of years later. That early falling away would produce a system of religion full of the abominations of the world. (Rev. Chapter 17 and 18) One must look to the past to find the "great falling away," NOT the future. John, the apostle whom Jesus loved said it was the "last hour!" Last hour of what?

The writer of Hebrews writing over 1900 years ago informs us that they were living at the "end of the world:"

" 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." (Heb. 9:26)

Obviously he was NOT talking about the physical world. The writer of Hebrews was writing to Jews who were under the Old Covenant "world." This "world" was about to come to an end when Titus would destroy the city of Jerusalem , the only city in which Jews could offer up animal sacrifices to God. The Mosaic Covenant world was coming to an end and God was about to establish a New Heaven and a New World , that is, a new Covenant. This was very plain to Hebrew-speaking Jews of the first century. We, modern Christians, have misused certain key words which have thrown off our eschatological understandings greatly.

The fact is that the great falling away occurred almost 2000 years ago and every denomination of Christianity is a part of it. The glue that keeps this abominable system of divided denominations together is the teaching that God is a failure. God fell short of His goal to save all mankind, thus making God to appear as the greatest fool and hypocrite that ever lived. The doctrine of Hell is one of the major instruments Satan has used to turn sincere seekers away from the truth turning them either to idolatry in the form of false religions or materialism. The rest became atheists or agnostics.

Recently I watched a movie entitled "Inherit the Wind" which dealt with the subject of whether evolution could be taught in public schools. Prior to the trial, a young boy the young science teacher was very fond of and was mentoring drowned. At the boy's funeral, some Hell-fire fundamentalists talked about how this boy was rotting in Hell because he wasn't "saved" before he drowned. The words of these fundamentalists turned this science teacher away from the Truth towards the lie of evolution. There are countless atheists and agnostics in the world who have been turned aside from seeking God because of this greatest of lies.

Perhaps the reader can now see some of the horrible consequences of this terrible stain on the nature and character of our heavenly Father. Now if the reader still insists that God endlessly tortures most of the human beings He made and also insist that the love of God is in you, then you owe all the people in the world a reasonable answer to the above questions.

Thousands of people in ages past HAVE asked these questions and have come to the logical Scriptural conclusion that the teaching of Hell is a plain unadulterated lie of the highest magnitude. Men and women like Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nightingale, Charles Dickens, Benjamin Rush (signer of the Declaration of Independence) asked questions like the ones above and reasonably concluded that Jesus IS the Savior of the whole world, not just a piece of it. After all, how can one be called the "Savior of the world" unless one actually saves it?

Great theologians and scholars have also come to the same conclusion. Among them are William Barclay, William Law, Karl Barth, Schliermacher, Bishop Westcott, Lightfoot, Canon F.W. Farrar, John A.T. Robinson, Andrew Murray and Andrew Jukes. Some of the greatest writers and poets are in the "Cloud of Witnesses" to the glorious truth of the salvation of all mankind through our glorious savior Jesus Christ. Elizabeth Browing, John Donne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe and countless more. The list of preachers who have asked these same questions and have come to the reasonable and Scriptural truth that Hell is nothing more than a great lie is endless. They were not afraid to ask their Maker some straight-forward questions. They invited the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus to lead us all into Truth to make plain to them the Truth concerning the doctrine of Hell. Men and women of all ages have asked these questions AND have received truthful answers to these questions. A man named A.C. Thomas collected some of these questions and they found themselves in a book written in the 1800's entitled: "The Key to Truth" by E. H. Lake . Isn't it time to get the Truth? Here are some of the questions sincere people from all ages have asked which brought them to the truth.

Do you ardently DESIRE the salvation of all men?

Is it true that God "openeth his hand and satisfieth the desire of every living thing?" -- (Ps. 145:16)

Do you fervently PRAY for the salvation of all men? (1 Tim. 2:1)

Do you pray in FAITH , nothing doubting? (James 1:6)

Are you aware, "that whatsoever is not of faith is sin?" -- (Rom 14:23)

Would God require us to pray for all men, and to pray in faith, unless He intends all men should be saved?

If you believe endless misery to be the truth of God, why should you desire and pray that it may prove false?

Can the pleasure of the Almighty be contrary to his determinate will?

Would the infliction of endless misery afford pleasure to the Deity?

Can God be glorified by that which gives Him no pleasure?

Since Jesus "tasted death for EVERYONE," can it be true that "the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands," if most are never saved? (Heb. 2:9)

If God "declares the end from the beginning," can the final destiny of mankind be contrary to His will?

Can endless misery be brought about contrary to the GOOD PLEASURE of the Almighty?

Can God WILL anything contrary to His knowledge?

Did God know when He created man, that a part of His creatures would be endlessly miserable?

If God, when He created, did not know the result of creation, is He infinite in knowledge?

Power is the ability to do: is knowledge simply the ability to know?

If God knew when He created man, that some would be eternally damned, did He not will this to be their doom?

If God willed the endless misery of a part of His creatures, why is it said that "he will have all men to be saved?" -- (1 Tim. 2:4, KJV)

If the Scriptures should testify, that God "will have all men to be damned," could we really safely assume that a part might be saved?

If the Scriptures testify, that God "will have all men to be saved," can we safely assume that a part may be damned?

If God made an endless hell before He created man, did He know whether there would be any use for it?

If God knew there would be use for an endless hell, must He not have created some men for endless misery?

If God made an endless hell, was it included in the works which He pronounced "very good?" -- (Gen. 1:31)

If there is an endless hell, and it was not made before the creation of men, when was it made?

If there exists a personal devil, who made him?

Can there be any such thing as sin in heaven?

If there was sin in heaven, may not sin be committed there again?

If an angel of light became a devil, was not Paul in error, when he said Satan is transformed into an angel of light? -- (2 Cor 11:14)

As sin presupposes temptation of some sort, who tempted a holy angel to sin?

If an angel could sin without a devil to tempt him, may we not sin without a devil to tempt us?

If a holy angel was tempted to sin by surrounding evil, is heaven a holy place?

If an angel was tempted by evil passions, could he have been holy?

If an angel became a devil by sinning, was Adam's the original sin?

If Adam became mortal (that is, subject to death,) by sinning, must he not have been created immortal?

If Adam had been created immortal, could he ever have died?

If Adam sinned without inheriting total depravity, why should inborn depravity be assigned as the cause of our sins?

Would there be any more impropriety in imputing MY sins to Adam, than in imputing HIS sins to ME ? (Rom. 5:12)

If men are totally depraved by nature, must not children be so likewise?

If children be totally depraved, is it true, that "of such is the kingdom of heaven?" -- (Mark 10:14)

Men are to be washed from their sins. If they are totally depraved, what is there to wash?

If evil men and seducers "wax worse and worse," (2 Tim. 3:13), can they be totally depraved at first?

If human reason be "carnal and delusive," why did God say, "come now and let us REASON together?" -- (Isa. 1:18)

If reason be delusive, why should some folks reason against the use of reason?

Can an effect exist without a cause sufficiently powerful to produce it?

If "we love God because he first loved us," is it true that we must first love HIM before He will love us?

If "we love God because he first loved us," is it not plain that He loved US when we did not love HIM ?

If God loved US when we did not love HIM , is not our love to Him the EFFECT (and not the CAUSE ) of His love to US ?

Was it consistent with divine justice, to love us, when we did not love Him?

If God once loved us, will not that love eternally continue?

If the love of God is the cause which produces love in man, can anger and wrath produce the same effect?

Is it the revealed will of God that all men should be saved?

Can God will all men to be saved, knowing that a part will be forever lost?

If God has two wills, why is double-mindedness condemned in the Scriptures?

If God has two wills, why does the Bible say, "He is of one mind?"

If God has a secret will, how did you gain a knowledge of it?

Can that be a secret which has been revealed?

If God revealed His secret will to "the saints," why should they reveal it to "the wicked?"

If God under any circumstances, wills the endless misery of a human soul, in what does He differ from Satan?

Can Jesus Christ be the Savior of any more than He actually saves?

Can Jesus be "the Savior of the world," (1 John 4:14), if the world is not saved by him?

Is Christ, in any sense, the Savior of unbelievers?

If Christ is in no sense the Savior of unbelievers, why are unbelievers called upon to believe in Christ as their Savior?

If unbelievers are not called upon to believe in Christ as their Savior, what are they to believe?

Must not the thing to be believed, be true before it is believed?

Must not the thing to be believed continue to be true, whether it be believed or disbelieved?

"What if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith, [or faithfulness] of God of none effect?" -- (Rom. 3:3)

Is it true that "God hath concluded all in unbelief that he might have mercy on all?" -- (Rom 9:32)

Can God be "especially the Savior of them who believe," unless He is actually the Savior of all? -- (1 Tim. 4:10)

If belief and good works in this life are essential to eternal salvation in the next, can infants be saved?

Can the good actions of finite man merit an infinite reward?

Can the evil actions of finite man merit infinite punishment?

If men are saved by works, is salvation of grace?

If one man is saved by grace, why should not all be saved in like manner?

Is God a partial being?

Can the faith of the Partialists (believers in Hell or annihilation) be based in the wisdom that is "full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality?" -- (James 3:17)

Can sufficient provision be made for the salvation of all men, if some men are never saved?

Must not sufficient provision be sufficient to subdue the will of the creature?

Is there any other way to determine the sufficiency of the means employed, than by the accomplishment of the end designed?

Does not the law of God require all men to love him supremely, and their neighbors as themselves?

Is it true, that "not one jot or tittle of this law shall pass till all be fulfilled?" -- (Matt. 5:18)

Does not justice require of us the fulfilment of the law of God?

Will not justice be eternally violated, if the law of God is not universally fulfilled?

Can those who are determined eternally damned fulfil the law of love?

Can justice require the obedience of the sinner, and at the same time require his eternal disobedience?

If "whosoever offereth praise glorifieth God," (Ps. 50:23), can He be glorified by those who have no cause to praise Him?

If any one is rendered eternally damned, can he have any cause to praise His Maker?

Will God ever place some of his creatures in such a situation they cannot praise him?

Do you believe that endless punishment would manifest the glory of God?

Can you rejoice in the hope of the glory of God?

Would not the salvation of half of mankind glorify God more than the salvation of one-fourth?

Would not the salvation of nine-tenths of mankind glorify God more than the salvation of one-half?

Can we give "glory to God in the highest," without believing in the salvation of all men?

If "all have sinned, and (thus) come short of the glory of God," (Rom. 3:23), would eternal sinning mend the matter?

Shall "every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father?" -- (Philippians 2:11)

Is endless misery "good tidings of great joy which shall be to ALL people?"

Could man be endlessly miserable without being endlessly a sinner?

If sin exist eternally, can it be true that Christ was to finish the transgression, and to make and end of sin? -- (Dan. 9:34)

Since Jesus gave himself a ransom for all men, can he ever "see the travail of his soul and be satisfied," if endless misery is true?

Do you hope that endless misery is true?

Is "faith the substance (or foundation) of things hoped for?" -- (Heb. 11:1)

If endless misery is not a thing hoped for, can it be a part of the Christian faith?

Is it certain that one soul will be eternally lost?

Is it certain that one soul will be saved?

Is it certain that all will not be damned?

Is it certain that all will not be saved?

Can that be certain which is not decreed?

If it is certain that one soul will be saved, must there not be a decree concerning the salvation of a definite number?

If the number of the saved is definitely fixed, must not the number of the damned be equally definite?

If there is no certainty in relation to the final destiny of man, is not salvation a work of chance?

What is better chance than Atheism?

If God knew, when he created, what the end of each soul would be, is not that end as certain as if it was decreed?

Is not the merciful man always merciful to his animals?

Will not the merciful God be always as merciful to His creatures, as the merciful man is to his animals?

Is it true that the "tender mercies of the Lord are over all his works?" -- (Ps. 145:9)

Is it true that the Almighty is without variableness, or the shadow of turning?

Would there be any tender mercy in the infliction of endless misery?

Are the tender mercies of the Lord like unto the tender mercies of the wicked which are cruel?

If God is not the Father of sinners, why should sinners pray, saying, "Our Father, forgive us our trespasses (sins)?"

"Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?" -- (Mal. 2:10)

If God is the Father of all men, will He do less for His children than earthly parents would do for theirs?

Is it true that God punishes us "for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness?" -- (Heb. 12:11)

Would endless punishment be for our profit?

Would endless punishment "yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness unto them who are exercised thereby?"

Can any doctrine be too good to be true?

Will God contend forever and be always wroth? -- (Isa. 62:16)

Will the Lord cast off forever? -- (Lam. 3:31-33)

Can one be a Christian who worships the Lord through fear of the devil?

Can one truly be Christian who state that if they believed in the salvation of all mankind, they would go out and sin without fearing consequences of those sins?

Can a person really be a Christian who says, "if all men are to be saved, what use is there in being virtuous?"

If "the goodness of God leads to repentance," why should His eternal wrath be preached to sinners?

If "the goodness of God leads to repentance," why should it not be supposed that repentance leads to the goodness of God?

If "the goodness of God leads to repentance," are not sinners the objects of His goodness?

Is not the goodness of God co-extensive and co-eternal with His wisdom and power?

As the wisdom of God can never change to folly, nor His power to weakness, will His goodness ever change to hatred?

Can God be universally and eternally good, if endless misery is true for a single soul?

If all men deserve endless punishment, would it not be right for God to inflict it?

"Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen. 18:25)

If it would be right for God to punish all men eternally, would it not be wrong for Him not to do it?

Since the infliction of endless misery would be returning evil for evil, would it be right for God to inflict it?

If the return of evil for evil is right for God, would it not be equally right for man?

Since "fear has torment," and true religion is happiness, can fear produce true religion?

Since "perfect love casts out fear," will not fear cast out perfect love?

Can fear imbue the soul with perfect love?

Must not they who "believe and tremble," be possessed of the faith of devils?

Is it possible to love someone without truly personally knowing them?

Can a person love someone who is endlessly torturing them in a lake of fire and will not give them mercy?

So between life here on earth and the Lake of Fire , if Jesus doesn't personally reach someone with His love, how can a person really love Jesus back? ( Rom. 5:8-10)

Does the belief of endless misery cause the believer to "rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory?" -- (1 Pet. 1:8)

Can a belief of any thing short of universal salvation, fill the soul with "joy and peace?"

Will not the devil and all his works be destroyed? -- (Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8)

Will not death, the last enemy, be swallowed up in victory and destroyed? -- (Isa. 25:6-8; 1 Cor. 15:26-54)

And finally:

If God is loving, merciful, wise, always gives "righteous" judgment and is all powerful and has a desire or will to save all mankind (1 Tim 2:3,4) which will come closer to the above attributes?:

A Savior of all mankind?

An eternal torturer of most?

Children, saints, truth-seekers, sinners, universalists (those who believe in universal salvation through Jesus Christ) and even atheists always get the right answer.

Pharisees, hypocrites, control freaks, hate-mongers, and other sundry snakes always get it wrong.

My conclusion that the modern church concept of God consigning the greatest majority of the human beings He created to everlasting tortures (which is NOT worthy of His honor) does not come from my wishful thinking, but from thousands of hours of studying various English Bible translations, the original languages, early church history, revelation from the Holy Spirit, as well as from a clean conscience and a sound mind. Listed below are a few of the hundreds of books I've read or written as a result of this intense search for the truth of the matter. I believe that anyone who truly desires to KNOW God and to honor Him in the earth will undoubtedly come to the same conclusions I and millions of other Christians who have tasted of God's mercy have come to over the last two thousand years...that Jesus is the Savior of all mankind, as the Scriptures plainly declare(John 4:42; 1 John 4:14)not just a few. The reasons why most Christians in this present age do not see this glorious truth are:

REASONS FOR THE DIFFERENT VIEWS

1. Failure to hold on to clear statements of God's sovereignty, foreknowledge, power, omniscience, purpose of creation, and unconditional love.

2. Failure to believe direct statements of scripture declaring the ultimate salvation of all through the saving work of Jesus Christ.

3. Pulling scriptures out of context and putting them into an end-time scenario when, in fact, they deal with other ages. Scriptures speak of at least two other ages to come. (Eph. 2:7)

4. Inaccurate and misleading translations. Roman Catholic tradition strongly affected the first Protestant English Bibles which, in turn, adversely affected modern translations.

5. Injection of Roman\Greek concepts which are not Biblical such as the immortality of the soul into the Bible. Adam was removed from the garden lest he eat from the tree of life. He was therefore not immortal. Eternal life is found only "in" Christ, not in Adam. "In Adam all died." (1 Cor. 15:22) If Adam was immortal, how could he die?

6. Bondage to the traditions and teachings of men rather than allowing the Spirit of Truth to lead us into all truth. (John 16:13)

7. Laziness.

8. A hidden desire in many of us to have our enemies get what we feel they deserve while we get off free and clear. (Luke 9:51-56)

9. The desire of religious and government leaders to use fear to maintain control. Love cannot be perfected with fear, therefore, the church has few members whose love is perfected. Perfect love casts out fear! (1 John 4:18)

10. Satan's power and authority to deceive.

11. Failure to see that Love never fails, (1Cor. 13:8) His mercy endures forever, (1 Chron. 16:41) and mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13)

12. It's not your time to see. (Acts 13:48, John 6:44)

13. Fear of persecution of men (males and females) for not going along with the majority view.

14 Misunderstanding of the purpose of God's "remnant," His "chosen people."

God has always wanted a people here on earth to act as intercessors on behalf of those who do not know Him. God wanted Israel to be a "nation of priests," but Israel violated God's commandments even as He was writing them. (Ex. 19:6-8; 32:21-29; Deut. 21:5) So God selected only the tribe of Levi under the Mosaic Covenant to be His priests. These priests were to offer up prayers, intercessions, and sacrifices not only for Israel , but for all the nations around them.

Ultimately Israel became so degenerate that the Priests refused to offer up sacrifices on behalf of the Gentile nations. Josephus, the Jewish historian, records this for us. In 70AD, God destroyed the nation of Israel and took the priesthood away from the tribe of Levi and gave it to "another nation" to intercede on behalf of the nations of the world who do not know their left hand from their right. This nation was to be a light for them. In studying Church history, while the "early" Church was a great light, after a few centuries the light disappeared into what became known as the Dark Ages. This "Dark Ages" was NOT in Africa, NOT in Asia, NOT in South America ; it was in the very nations which has the greatest population of Christians!! The Dark Ages did NOT begin until the wretched doctrine of endless punishment entered the Church! The horrible teaching that God will torture most of His children endlessly has not only turned the world away from seeking the God of the Bible, it has turned many Christians away as well.

Those who call themselves Christians, who are called to intercede on behalf of sinners but find it difficult to pray for them let alone love them are in danger of following the footsteps of the first priesthood which God removed because of their lack of mercy. Many Christians are filling their minds with a "fly away" mentality while expecting non-believers to finally get what they deserve--100 pound hailstones, nuclear wars and horrible diseases. This teaching did NOT come from Christ! It came from the same spirit that drove the disciples John and James to want to command fire to come down upon the heads of those who did not believe on Jesus Christ.

"Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem , and he sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem .

And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, 'Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?'

But He turned and rebuked them, and said, 'You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them.'" Luke 9:52-56

Please note, the Samaritans who rejected Jesus were NOT condemned to Hell by Jesus for their rejection of Him; it was His disciples who were condemned for the foul spirit they had which wanted those unbelievers burned instead of saved. Much of the Church world is in the same foul spirit John and James were in.

Search your heart and conscience. Ask the Holy Spirit if some of these reasons listed above are blocking you from receiving the full truth regarding this matter. And above all "Study to show yourself approved."

I have included at the end of this book a list of reference material which will help prove that the "traditional" concept of Hell is false. Here is a list of Bibles revealing that the original languages of the Bible do NOT contain the teaching of Hell Some of them are published by leading Evangelical publishers:

Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (Kregal Publishers, still in print), Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible (Baker Book House Publishers, still in print; Robert Young is author of the famous Young's Concordance), Concordant Literal Translation of the N.T. (Concordant Publishing Concern, still in print), Scarlet's New Testament (Nathaniel Scarlett, 1798), The New Testament (Abner Kneeland, 1823) Emphatic Diaglott (Greek/English Interlinear), The New Covenant (J.W. Hanson, 1884), New Testament in Modern Speech (Weymouth, 1910), The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible (1976), The Twentieth Century New Testament (1900), The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Anointed (James L. Tomanek)1958), The Western New Testament (1926), The New Testament, a Translation (Rev. Edgar Lewis Clementson, 1938), The People's New Testament (Arthur Overbury), The Holy Bible in Modern English (Ferrar Fenton, still in print), The New Testament, A New Translation based upon the Oldest Manuscripts (Johannes Greber, 1980), Christian Bible, 19.

There are other translations like the Companion Bible King James Version, American Standard Version (1901), the Newberry Reference Bible (Still published by Kregal Publications), and the Riverside New Testament by Ballantine (1934) which contain footnotes, marginal readings and appendages which point out that several key Greek and Hebrew words have been MIStranslated by such Bible versions as the King James Bible.

Listed at the end are the names of a few of some of the best material from which I have gleaned on the subject of Hell. Our Internet site has many more and I have many more in my library. The plain fact is that the teaching of a Hell of everlasting tortures is NOT in the Old Testament in the Hebrew. Jews today do NOT believe in the modern Christian's version of Hell. It is NOT in what is commonly, but incorrectly called the New Testament in the original languages nor is it contained in English Bible translations properly translated. Certainly the greatest majority of the early church and its leadership did NOT teach the modern concept of Hell. It was clearly borrowed from the pagans--it did NOT come from Mosaic Judaism which is the root of Christianity. These are plain facts. The books below will prove this. The question is...are you going to follow the "traditions of man" which "make the word of God of no effect" or will you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth even though you may be severely persecuted by many of your Christian brothers and sisters? Jesus was persecuted by His own. So, too, will His disciples. I leave the choice in your hands and in the hands of your Maker. Peace, Love, and Truth to you...In Him, Gary Amirault.

Postscript: By the way, if you REALLY want to know who invented Hell, the book "The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment" is an excellent place to begin. Here is a list of quotes taken from ancient history which plainly reveal who the inventors of a Hell of eternal punishment are. The source for Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny is the very same source of Hellpolitical, business, and religious men and women who invent ways to hold power over people and to make money of them.

The Ancient Inventors of Hell

1. Polybius, the ancient historian, says: "Since the multitude is ever fickle, full of lawless desires, irrational passions and violence, there is no other way to keep them in order but by the fear and terror of the invisible world; on which account our ancestors seem to me to have acted judiciously, when they contrived to bring into the popular belief these notions of the gods, and of the infernal regions." B. vi 56.

2. Dionysius Halicarnassus treats the whole matter as useful, but not as true. Antiq. Rom. , B. ii

3. Livy, the celebrated historian, speaks of it in the same spirit; and he praises the wisdom of Numa, because he invented the fear of the gods, as "a most efficacious means of governing an ignorant and barbarous populace." Hist., I 19.

4. Strabo, the geographer, says: "The multitude are restrained from vice by the punishments the gods are said to inflict upon offenders, and by those terrors and threatenings which certain dreadful words and monstrous forms imprint upon their minds...For it is impossible to govern the crowd of women, and all the common

rabble, by philosophical reasoning, and lead them to piety, holiness

and virtue - but this must be done by superstition, or the fear of the gods, by means of fables and wonders; for the thunder, the aegis,

the trident, the torches (of the Furies), the dragons, &c., are all fables, as is also all the ancient theology. These things the legislators used as scarecrows to terrify the childish multitude." Geog., B. I

5. Timaeus Locrus, the Pythagorean, after stating that the doctrine

of rewards and punishments after death is necessary to society, proceeds as follows: "For as we sometimes cure the body with unwholesome remedies, when such as are most wholesome produce no effect, so we restrain those minds with false relations, which will not be persuaded by the truth. There is a necessity, therefore, of instilling the dread of those foreign torments: as that the soul changes its habitation; that the coward is ignominiously thrust into the body of a woman; the murderer imprisoned within the form of a savage beast; the vain and inconstant changed into birds, and the slothful and ignorant into fishes."

6. Plato, in his commentary on Timaeus, fully endorses what he says respecting the fabulous invention of these foreign torments. And Strabo says that "Plato and the Brahmins of India invented fables concerning the future judgments of hell" (Hades). And Chrysippus blames Plato for attempting to deter men from wrong by frightful stories of future punishments.

Plato himself is exceedingly inconsistent, sometimes adopting, even in his serious discourses, the fables of the poets, and at other times rejecting them as utterly false, and giving too frightful views of the invisible world. Sometimes, he argues, on social grounds, that they are necessary to restrain bad men from wickedness and crime, and then again he protests against them on political grounds, as intimidating the citizens, and making cowards of the soldiers, who, believing these things, are afraid of death, and do not therefore fight well. But all this shows in what light he regarded them; not as truths, certainly, but as fictions, convenient in some cases, but difficult to manage in others.

7. Plutarch treats the subject in the same way; sometimes arguing for them with great solemnity and earnestness, and on other occasions calling them "fabulous stories, the tales of mothers and nurses."

8. Seneca says: "Those things which make the infernal regions terrible, the darkness, the prison, the river of flaming fire, the judgment seat, &c., are all a fable, with which the poets amuse themselves, and by them agitate us with vain terrors." Sextus Empiricus calls them "poetic fables of hell;" and Cicero speaks of them as "silly absurdities and fables" (ineptiis ac fabulis).

9. Aristotle. "It has been handed down in mythical form from earliest times to posterity, that there are gods, and that the divine

(Deity) compasses all nature. All beside this has been added, after the mythical style, for the purpose of persuading the multitude, and

for the interests of the laws, and the advantage of the state."

Neander's Church Hist., I, p. 7. 11

(The above quotes were taken from "The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment" by Thomas Thayer.)

The question this book began with is now, I trust, answered by a sufficient number of witnesses to settle the matter. Hell was invented by men of power who felt it was the only way to hold the masses of ignorant people under their power. It is the same today. If the people of power today REALLY believed the myths they are perpetuating, they themselves would behave MUCH differently than they are. Seeing their own corrupt behavior should make it plain to anyone, these political, business, and especially religious leaders have not the slightest faith in these things themselves; they do not think them at all necessary to regulate their own lives, or keep them in order; but it is for the average people, the dumb sheep who must be restrained with fears of great terror in the afterlife. One cannot help noting the resemblance between those wise men of old and some of our own day, who seem so anxious to maintain the doctrine on the ground that it is necessary to restrain men from sin. I think it is time we "dumb sheep" wise up and get out from under the myths these men of corruption have used to hold the fetters of our minds in check and check ourselves in at the sheepfold of the Good Shepherd who knows how to restrain HIS sheep with love, not fear. What do you think?

References:

#1 Universalism--The Prevailing Doctrine of the Christian Church During Its

First Five Hundred Years by Dr. J.W. Hanson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Prevailing.html

#2 The Bible Hell by Dr. J.W. Hanson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/TheBibleHell.html

#3 Arguments in Favor of Universalism

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/InFavorCh20.html

#4 100 Scriptural Proofs Jesus is the Savior of the world

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/ScripturalProofs.html

#5 Bible Threatenings Explained by Dr. J.W. Hanson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/BibleThr ... ained.html

#6 The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail by Gary Amirault and Tony Hinkle

(Proves many Bibles do NOT contain Hell or "everlasting punishment."

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/GatesOfHell.html

#7 Early Christian View of the Savior by Gary Amirault

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/EarlyChristianView.html

#8 Aion by Dr. J.W. Hanson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Aion_lim.html

#9 The Power of Life and Death is a Four Letter Greek Word--Aion by Gary

Amirault

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/PowerOfL ... rWord.html

#10 Time and Eternity by G.T. Steve nson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/time/index.html

#11 Analytical Study of Words by Louis Abbott

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/asw/asw.html

#12 Rich Man and Lazarus Parable Explained

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Lazarus.html

#13 Eternal Death: One Step Out of Hell, One Step Short of Glory

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/EternalDeath.html

#14 Just what you do mean...Judgment? by J. Preston Eby

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Judgment-Eby.html

#15 Arguments in Favor of Universalism by E.E. Guild

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/InFavorCh20.html

#16 The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment by Dr. Thomas Thayer

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/OriginandHistory.html

Mistranslation of the word "aion":

Aion by Dr. J.W. Hanson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Aion_lim.html

The Power of Life and Death is a Four Letter Greek Word--Aion by Gary

Amirault

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/PowerOfL ... rWord.html

Time and Eternity by G.T. Steve nson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/time/index.html

Mistranslation of Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, Gehenna:

The Bible Hell by Dr. J.W. Hanson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/TheBibleHell.html

Analytical Study of Words by Louis Abbott

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/asw/asw.html

The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment by Dr. Thomas Thayer

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/OriginandHistory.html

Rebuttals of Hell-supporting Scriptures in some Bibles:

Bible Threatenings Explained by Dr. J.W. Hanson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/BibleThr ... ained.html

Rich Man and Lazarus Parable Explained

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Lazarus.html

Proofs Annihilationism is NOT taught in the original languages of the Bible:

Eternal Death: One Step Out of Hell, One Step Short of Glory

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/EternalDeath.html

God's punishment is NOT eternal:

Just what you do mean...Judgment? by J. Preston Eby

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Judgment-Eby.html

Arguments and Scriptures Favoring the Salvation of All Mankind:

Arguments in Favor of Universalism by E.E. Guild

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/InFavorCh20.html

Early Christian View of the Savior by Gary Amirault

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/EarlyChristianView.html

The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail by Gary Amirault and Tony Hinkle

(Proves many Bibles do NOT contain Hell or "everlasting punishment."

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/GatesOfHell.html

100 Scriptural Proofs Jesus is the Savior of the world

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/ScripturalProofs.html

About the Author: I'd like the reader to be aware that I am a conservative Christian who spent several years in very evangelical fundamental churches. Even before I became a Christian my values were always conservative, not liberal. I mention this because that is often the first line of attack against this glorious truth. The belief in the salvation of all mankind through Jesus Christ is NOT a far left liberal principle--it is simple a plain fact which Christians of all kind should pray about, study and then joyfully embrace.

Tentmaker Interactive:

Tentmaker Discussion Board

http://www.tentmaker.org/forum

For much more information regarding God's true judgments and how the traditional church has misrepresented them go to the Tentmaker Ministries Internet site located at:

http://www.tentmaker.org

Email Address: info@tentmaker.org

Tentmaker Ministries

Gary and Michelle Amirault

118 Walnut

Hermann , MO 65041
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Joined: July 20th, 2009, 1:33 pm

April 22nd, 2010, 6:13 pm #4

Is deceiving people into believing there is no afterlife and that Heaven and Hell are not real. In this way, he takes them with him when he is cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10-15). Don't be a dupe and buy into his lies.

Pastor Jack Howell
"Some bring God's curse on them by marking off part of the Bible, calling it erroneous, uninspired, less than the very Word of God." - Dr. John R. Rice

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)



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Is deceiving people into believing there is no afterlife and that Heaven and Hell are not real. In this way, he takes them with him when he is cast into the Lake of Fire""


Interesting contentions. I can hardly wait to read your substantiation (other than parroting hearsay as truth of course) backing up those contentions ................

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Joined: June 13th, 2006, 12:37 am

April 22nd, 2010, 6:19 pm #5

The Hell Test
(A test every pastor, Bible teacher and seminary professor should be required to take before being allowed to teach.)

One would be amazed how little the average pastor knows about the subject of Hell. Most of their knowledge comes from what Jesus called "The traditions of men which make the word of god of no effect." Matt. 15:6-9 Give a copy of this test to those to whom you have submitted yourself. See whether they know their subject. If salvation is indeed deliverance from a Hell of everlasting punishment, then the answers to these questions are vital to your well being.

Is Salvation A Deliverance

From Hell or Eternal Death?

By Gary Amirault



Are your beliefs on Hell based upon facts or traditions?

If Salvation is deliverance from Hell or Eternal Death, then it is vitally important the reader find out what your beliefs are based upon for your own sake and for the sake of your loved ones. Are you willing to test your understanding of salvation and Hell? Are your church leaders willing to try to answer the questions contained in this book? This may be the most important test you will ever take. These questions were prepared by a conservative Christian who has spent thousands of hours researching this most important subject.

Christians who try to share their faith with unbelievers are confronted with many questions, especially on the subject of Hell and eternal punishment. Many people have a real problem with Orthodox Christianity's belief that non-Christians will be punished eternally because they are not Christians. This is one of the main reasons many Christians do NOT like to share their faith. They find themselves short of good reasonable answers to questions or statements like these:

"If my daughter is in Hell because she did not get "born again" then I'd rather go to Hell and be with her than to be with your God because there would be more love in Hell than near your vindictive God."

"How can you say burning someone alive forever is "just" or "fair" for everyone who hasn't accepted Jesus Christ? Even we humans fit the punishment to the crime. According to you, Christians, people are destined to be burned in Hell whether we are bad or not. Just being born into this world is grounds for being endlessly tortured. You say the punishment is the same regardless of the number of sins committed or how bad they were. This is not justice--this is insanity!"

"Infinite punishment for finite crimes just doesn't seem just."

"I could never torture people endlessly, especially my own children. How can you say that God will do that to His children? This seems hideous. You make God look like a monster worse than Hitler, not a loving Father Who would even die for His enemies!"

"If Hell is real and the greatest part of humanity went there, how could you HONESTLY say that 'Love NEVER fails?' Seems like Love fails most of the time according to your understanding of things." (I Cor. 13:8)

"If the wages of sin is eternal punishment in Hell, then Jesus would have to be eternally punished if in fact He died for my sins. But the Bible says the wages of sin is death which is exactly what Jesus did--died. So how can you say people will be eternally tortured in Hell? Is Jesus presently being eternally tortured in place of those who accepted Him as Lord?"

Questions are powerful truth-finders. At all costs, avoid religious groups that fear questions. Anyone who believes they have the truth should not only encourage questions, but should have solid answers for what they believe, especially if they are a leader. When asking serious questions about serious topics like the subject of Hell, look them right in the eye when asking the questions. The eyes will give away whether they are firmly convinced with their answer or if they are just passing on the "traditions" of their sect. Most Christians actually know very little about Hell. And what they know is usually false as the following questions will reveal.

Whenever I was previously confronted with questions like those above (and I've heard these questions countless numbers of times), all of my answers seemed to fall short of being "reasonable." And if someone watched my body language, especially my eyes, they could have seen that I did NOT have good answers for the sincere questions they asked. And I was a zealous student!

I normally used to find myself stating that the Bible says Jesus paid for our sins, but we must accept Him as our Savior. Then I would usually say something like: "God is a just God and cannot allow sin into heaven. You must have your sins forgiven and Jesus is the only one Who can forgive you. He died for your sins. We all deserve to go to Hell, but Jesus died so we wouldn't have to go. But by turning from our sins and making Jesus our Savior, He'll deliver us from this fate to which all mankind is destined. He's given us all a chance; it's up to us whether we will take it or not." Then, often a discussion would ensue about the validity of the Bible and that would open up another can of worms. I wouldn't have admitted it then, but what I was REALLY passing on for truth, was what was passed on to me from the "experts" of my church. It was NOT really beliefs given to me by the Holy Spirit Who the Bible says will teach us all truth. (John 16:13) My beliefs therefore had to be tested by thoroughly subjecting them to honest questionsquestions which made my conscience reveal to me that my answers were NOT built on truth.

During my early years as a Christian, I usually attended conservative churches that could probably be labeled "evangelical" or "fundamentalist" where the emphasis was on being "born again." I took the subject of Hell VERY seriously. I talked to people about Jesus every day. I used to have a compartmentalized attachment on the back of my car seat which contained various tracts warning of Hell and the way to avoid it. Having handed out thousands of " Roman Road " tracts, I knew (and still do know) all the salvation and Hell verses very well. I read my King James Bible everyday, went to Church whenever it was open and paid my tithes.

If Hell was real, then the most important thing in my life was to get as many people saved as I possibly could. I lost business contracts because I offended clients trying to "get them saved." I lost friends who I hounded with the "Good News" who didn't think my good news was so hot. I went to my family with tears in my eyes and begged them to accept Christ. By the time I was finished with them, they seriously considered having me committed to an institution for the insane. My brothers and sisters wanted nothing to do with me anymore. Tens of thousands of tracts explaining the simple plan of salvation were forced into the hands of people all over the Maryland , DC, Virginia area. Wherever I traveled, I usually took tracts with me. I was taught this rejection was the price one paid to follow Jesus. After all, He too, was despised and rejected even by His own family.

Whenever there was a missionary or evangelist in the area, I usually attended their meetings. I wanted to learn more about how to save more people. It was extremely frustrating and disappointing to find that most of the church members and my pastor did not share the burden for souls that seemed to me to be mandatory if in fact the teaching of Hell as taught by our Church and my King James Bible was true. We often heard sermons from pastors or highly paid traveling evangelists on the dangers of Hell. And then, instead of going out into the community to try to save a few doomed souls, we would often go to a nice restaurant to listen to the evangelist tell his favorite war stories while supposedly people all around us were dropping into the fiery pit. To me, it seemed that if the teaching of Hell was real, we, Christians, were not taking it seriously. And if WE weren't taking it seriously, how could we expect those we wanted to influence take it seriously themselves?

If there were a Hell or place of eternal punishment, our actions in our communities surely didn't show it. Our belief in Hell was NOT made manifest by our actions. We sinned just like those sinners we were trying to save. Oh, maybe for most of us, it wasn't the same kind of sins. Maybe we didn't drink, cuss, or smoke anymore, but boy we were experts in backbiting, slander, gossip, self-righteousness, pride, jealousy, and a host of other Biblical sins. How was it that we who were supposed to know better and supposedly had the Holy Spirit to help us lead a Holy life could sin and get away with it while those who were "slaves to sin" and had NO power to stop sinning were going to be endlessly tortured for theirs? This seemed a bit hypocritical.

I finally personally concluded we, Christians, including myself, WERE a bunch of hypocrites. We "said" but did not do. We condemned while doing the very same things we condemned others for. The more I looked at us while reading the Bible, the more we looked like the Pharisees who were Jesus' enemies--and I remembered what Jesus thought of the Pharisees and the many warnings He gave them. As a matter of fact, almost every time my King James put the word Hell into Jesus' mouth, He was always speaking to the religious people, NOT the street sinner. (Something to think about, isn't it?)

I finally became so disgusted with our poor example and lack of concern for the lost that I asked God to take me out of this world. I was tired of the hypocrisy. I was worn out. Burned out. It seemed to me that if anyone deserved to go to Hell, it was us Christians for our hypocrisy and lack of concern for the lost.

God answered my prayer not by killing me, but killing a lot of "traditional teaching" I had swallowed which did NOT come from Him NOR from the Bible in its original languages. He had someone give me a handful of booklets dealing with a handful of key words in the Bible. According to this author, these words were MIStranslated in many of the leading "selling" English Bible translations. After reading these booklets, I made an extensive search at various seminaries to see if in fact what this author was saying was true. It was true!! What this author was saying made God's judgments perfectly line up with His love. It wiped away those contradictions that I constantly had to shove under the rug of "Well, God said it, I believe it even if I can't understand it all." The Bible FINALLY made perfect sense! Scriptures like "Mercy shall triumph over judgment" (James 2:13) all of a sudden fit. I always had trouble with Scriptures like that one. After all, ninety-nine percent of mankind in Hell didn't sound like mercy triumphing over judgment! Does it to you?

I wrote this book to challenge my fellow Christians to think through what they believe about this most important subject. Why are Christians so lackadaisical about their responsibility to lay down their lives to save their friends and enemies? The following questions may break through the crust of traditions of men and bring the reader to some new ground of understanding on this most important subject. If salvation is deliverance from Hell, then Hell must be thoroughly understood! Now let's see how well you know the subject and whether your beliefs are based upon facts or simply the "traditions of men." Looking back on my years as a religious zealot trying to save the world, although I went to Church regularly and studied the Bible much more than most of my counterparts, my belief was based upon the "traditions of men," and a couple of Bible translations that mistranslated a handful of key words. Ask your church leaders these questions. Look them in the eyes and see if their answers belong to them or if they are just regurgitating the denomination's traditions. You MAY be shocked to find out they have almost NO answers to ANY of the questions. And now for the questions:

When contemplating on these questions, let us remember that unless we become as little children we shall not enter the kingdom of God . (Matt. 18:3) Could children really love a god who created a place in which his parents, brothers and sisters or friends would be endlessly tortured? Could you truly sit on Hitler's or Charles Manson's lap and love them unconditionally? If not, what makes you think you can honestly love a God who is endlessly torturing almost all of mankind? Can a human being honestly love a being who planned to endlessly torture almost all of mankind which MAY include his parents, children AND if honest with him or herself, possible themselves? Can one REALLY love such a god IN THEIR HEARTS? or do they do what Jesus said they do: Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: These people draw near to Me with their mouths, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me and in vain they worship Me teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"

I say, no way. We can feign worship of such a god for fear of being endlessly burned ourselves should this god turn on us also, but we cannot honestly worship such a fiend with integrity. We must become hypocrites like Isaiah prophesied in order to pretend to worship such a fiend.

If Hell is real and describes a real place, why does the English word "Hell" come from a pagan source instead of the ancient Hebrew writings of the Bible? Why is the word "Hell" not found in the Jew's Bible which is the Christian's Old Testament? Furthermore, the word "Hell" has completely disappeared from the Old Testament Scriptures in most leading Bibles. Why? Because the best scholarship demands it. (The word "Hell" comes from the Teutonic "Hele" goddess of the underworld "Hell" of northern Europe . The description of this ancient mythological place has very little resemblance anymore to the modern Christian image of Hell. See any Encyclopedia or dictionary for the origin of the word.) Seeing that the Bible is supposed to be "Holy," why have pagan religious words been added to our modern English Bibles? Please understand, the English word "Hell" and its concepts are NOT in the Hebrew nor Greek. They come into the English through Northern European mythologies, NOT from the roots of Christianity.

If Hell as a place of everlasting tortures was the real fate of all mankind unless they did something here on earth to prevent it, why didn't God make that warning plain right at the beginning of the Bible? God said the penalty for eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was DEATH. He did NOT define death as eternal life being forever tortured in burning fire and brimstone.

If Hell was real why didn't Moses warn about this fate in the Ten Commandments or the Mosaic Covenant consisting of over 600 laws, ordinances, and warnings? The Mosaic Law simply stated blessings and cursings IN THIS LIFETIME for failure to keep the Mosaic Law.

If Hell is real and it is a place of eternally being separated from God, why does David say in the King James Bible, "Though I make my bed in Hell (Sheol) lo, Thou art there? (Again please note, most Christian Bibles NO LONGER have the word "Hell" in the Old Testament. The KJV written over 350 years ago is an exception. The Jews do NOT put the word "Hell" in their English translations of the Hebrew Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament and the leading English Christian Bibles have removed it because it is NOT in the originals. Most Christian scholars now acknowledge it should never have been placed there in the first place.)

If Hell is real and if good people go to heaven and bad people go to Hell, why does EVERYONE, good or bad, go to the same place in the Old Testament? They ALL go to Sheol which the King James Version translated "Hell" thirty-0ne times, "grave" thirty-one times and "pit" three times? Are we all destined to go to Hell or did the King's translators make some gross translation errors?

If Hell is real, why don't the Jews, many who know the Old Testament better than most Christians, not believe in the modern Christian concept of Hell? They say they don't believe it because it is not in their Scriptures. Most scholars today can not find Hell in the Old Testament. Most leading Bible translations no longer contain the word Hell in the entire Old Testament. (Genesis through Malachi.)

If Hell doesn't exist in the Old Testament, how could Jesus and his disciples teach that salvation was deliverance from a place that is not even found in their Scriptures? (There was only the Old Testament at that time.) Would that not make Him appear like a false teacher? Or could it be that Jesus never taught such a concept in the first place? Could it be that this concept has been added to the church and SOME Bibles through "traditions of men?"

If Hell is real, since SOME English translations use the word Hell for the Greek word "Gehenna," in the New Testament, why didn't this same place (Gehenna) get translated Hell in the many places where it appears in the Hebrew form "ga ben Hinnom" in the Old Testament? If the Jews did not understand this valley as a symbol of everlasting torture, why do SOME English translations give this word such a meaning? And who burned who in this valley? And what was God's response for Israel doing such a horrible thing to their children? (Jer. 32:33-35) And how could God say "such a thing never entered His mind" if in fact He is going to do the very same thing to most of His own children?

If Hell was real, why did the early church appoint an avowed universalist as the President of the second council of the church in Constantinople in the fourth century? (Gregory Nazianzen, 325-381)

If Hell was real, why did Church leaders as late as the fourth century AD acknowledge that the majority of Christians believed in the salvation of all mankind? (Ref, #1)

If Hell was real and a place of no escape, why did the early church teach Jesus went to Hell (Hades), preached to them and led captivity captive? (Eph. 4:8,9; Psalm 68:18; 1 Peter 3:18-20)

If Hell was real and the grave settled the matter forever, why did the early Christians offer up prayers for the dead? (Ref. # 1)

If Hell was real, why did the first comparatively complete systematic statement of Christian doctrine ever given to the world by Clement of Alexandria, A.D. 180, contain the tenet of universal salvation? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real, why did the first complete presentation of Christianity (Origen, 220 A.D.) contain the doctrine of universal salvation? (Ref #1)

If Hell was real, why didn't the church teach it until AFTER the church departed from reading the Bible in Greek and Hebrew, substituting Latin in its stead several centuries after Christ's death? (Ref #1, 2, 7)

If Hell was real, why did not a single Christian writer of the first 3 centuries declare universalism as a heresy? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real why didn't a single one of the early creeds express any idea contrary to universal restoration, or in favor of everlasting punishment in Hell? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real why did not a single Church council for the first five hundred years condemn Universalism as heresy considering the fact that they made many declarations of heresy on other teachings? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real, why did most of the early church's leading scholars and most revered saints advocate universal salvation? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real, how is it that the most prominent universalists of the early church were born into Christian families and were most highly revered by their peers while those who advocated Hell came from paganism and confessed they were among the vilest? (Tertullian and Augustine) (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real and found in the original Greek manuscripts of the Bible, why is it that it was primarily those church leaders who either couldn't read Greek (Minucius Felix, Tertullian), or hated Greek as in the case of Augustine, that the doctrine of Hell was advocated? Those early church leaders familiar with the Greek and Hebrew (the original languages of the Bible) saw universal salvation in those texts. Those who advocated Hell got it from the Latin, NOT from the original Greek and Hebrew. Who would more likely be correct--those who could read the original languages of the Bible or those who read a Latin translation made by one man (Jerome)? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real why do most leading historians acknowledge that the early church was dominated by universalism? (Ref. #1, 7)

If Hell was real then why did four out of six theological schools from 170 AD to 430 AD teach universal salvation while the only one that taught Hell was in Carthage, Africa, again where Latin was the teaching language, not Greek? (Ref. #1, 2, 7)

If Hell was real why didn't Epiphanius (c. 315-403) the "hammer of heretics" who listed 80 heresies of his time not list universalism among those heresies? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real, since most historians would acknowledge today that Origen was perhaps the most outstanding example of early universalism in the church, when Methodius, Eusibius, Pamphilus, Marcellus, Eustathius, and Jerome made their lists of Origen's heresies, why wasn't universalism among them? Could it be perhaps that it wasn't a heresy in the original church? (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real and a serious heresy, why was it not until the sixth century when Justinian, a half-pagan emperor, tried to make universalism a heresy? Interestingly, most historians will acknowledge that Justinian's reign was among the most cruel and ruthless. (Ref. #1)

If Hell was real, since the early church was closest to the apostles and since they were closest to the original manuscripts of the Bible, why did the vast majority of the early Christian believers NOT believe in Hell as a place of everlasting burnings? (Ref. #1, 2, 7)

If Hell was real and all died NOT because of their transgressions but because of Adam's transgression (Rom 5:18), why do many Christians not see what is plainly written, that "even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to ALL MEN, resulting in JUSTIFICATION OF LIFE!" (Rom. 5:18) This Scripture declares the FACT that all are justified due to Christ's righteous act. No one "decided" to die in Adam, it was "reckoned" to us. Equally no one "decided" to "receive eternal life," it is also "reckoned" to us. (A thorough understanding of Romans Chapter five carefully comparing several English translations would be a very good exercise. The omission of the definite article "the" in Rom. 5:15 before the word "many" in some translations has caused some great misunderstanding of this most important chapter of the Bible.)

If Hell is real, in Romans 5:19, the "many" who were made sinners were actually "all" of the human race. Why is the "many" who were made "righteous" not equally be "all" of the human race? "For as by one man's disobedience MANY were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience MANY will be made righteous."

If Hell is real and everlasting, why does Psalm 30:5 say His anger is but for a moment?

If Hell is real one would never know it by the actions of most Christians. They go through life pretty much like atheists, pagans, etc. If they really believed in Hell, they would spend their entire life trying to snatch their friends and relatives from the burning flames. If Hell is real, why don't they do this?

If Hell is a real place of merciless endless torture, since God knows the beginning from the end, why didn't God just kill Adam and Eve and end the long terrible chain of misery that passed to their offspring before it began? After all, the Scriptures say that all died BECAUSE of Adam. (Rom. 5:18)

If Hell is real, why is it not mentioned in most leading English Bible translations until Matthew? (Most Bible translations now acknowledge Sheol should NOT ever be translated Hell as the King James Bible incorrectly did.)

If Hell was real, and if Paul was commissioned by God to preach the gospel to the nations, why did Paul not mention Hell even once except to declare victory over it? (1 Cor. 15:55, the word death in this passage is the word "Hades" which some translations of the Bible also translate Hell.)

If Hell was real and easy to define and find in the Bible, why did the translators of the original 1611 King James Bible find it so difficult to define Hades? They put Hell in the text at Rev. 20:13 and "Or, grave" in the margins while putting "grave" in the text and "Or, Hell" in the margins in 1 Cor. 15:55? Seems they couldn't make up their minds whether Hades meant Hell or grave. (Recent editions have removed the marginal readings thus avoiding the embarrassment.)

If Hell is real, why are there many English Bible translations which do NOT contain the word Hell at all nor do they contain the concept of "everlasting torments"? (Ref. #6)

If Hell was real and the belief that there is no Hell is a deception from Satan, why is it that those born from above Christians who DON'T believe in Hell seem to manifest more of the nature and fruit of the Spirit than those who teach Hell? Surely those who believe that Jesus is the Savior of all mankind manifest more love towards their enemies than do serious Hell-fire types. Could it be that we begin to manifest what we worship? If we believe God loves all mankind and plans to save it, then we have no excuse but to do the same. However, if we believe God will cast away most of mankind, then we begin to manifest the very same spirit here on earth.

If there is a Hell and salvation is the deliverance from it, why does the word appear only a dozen times or so in most leading selling Bibles like the NIV, NASB, NRSV, NKJV, etc. as compared to the word Heaven which appears hundreds of times?

If Hades is Hell and there is no escape from it, why is it emptied and cast into the Lake of Fire along with death. (Rev. 20:14)

If the Lake of Fire is actually a place of everlasting burnings, why isn't it defined as such? The Bible calls it the "second death," that is, the death of the first death. One would think that the death of death would be LIFE, which is a good thing! (Rev. 20:14) Even in mathematics two negatives make a positive.

If there is a Hell and all who have sinned are destined to go there (which is everyone) unless they figure out how to avoid it, does that not consign all aborted babies and most children to Hell? (Dear Reader, while some denominations teach a so-called "age of accountability," it is NOT found anywhere in the Bible. It is just some people's way of trying to make God more humane than the Hell teaching makes Him out to be.)

Only one third of the world's languages have any written scriptures 2,000 years after the gospel was given to the Jews. If one MUST believe in the gospel to be saved, then God was very irresponsible in getting the good news to all mankind TO mankind. Furthermore, since most of the countries which presently don't have Bibles are non-white, doesn't that make God a racist?

If all things were made for GOD'S pleasure, is it conceivable that God would derive pleasure from seeing those He created endlessly tortured?

If there is a Hell and according to most denominations of Christianity the majority of mankind will go there, could you really enjoy heaven knowing your mother or father or children or best friend are suffering everlasting tortures the likes of which would make the Holocaust seem like a picnic? If the Rich Man and Lazarus story (Luke chapter 16) is real and NOT a parable, then we will be able to converse with our loves ones who did not make it into heaven. Would heaven really be paradise if this were true?

If Hell is real and a place of eternal separation from God, why would Paul the apostle say the goal of God's creative plan was to ultimately be "all IN all?" (1 Cor. 15:28)

If Hell is real since there is only one name under heaven by which men might be saved (Acts 4:12), why did God wait thousands of years and millions of souls after Adam's fall to provide the name and means of salvation? Are all those before Jesus' birth damned forever because they never heard of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ? Would that be just? (Remember the Mosaic Law can never "save" anyone and it was only for Israel . Rom. 3:20)

If Hell is a real place of everlasting punishment and if Jesus died in our place to save us from this fate, wouldn't Jesus have to be eternally punished if in fact He took our punishment upon Himself? But He's NOT being eternally punished. He DIED which is what the penalty of the wages of sin is, DEATH, NOT everlasting life of unending torture or eternal death (annihilation).

If Hell is real why do some of the best Bible scholars and Bible teachers say it is NOT in the Greek or Hebrew text? (William Barclay, John A.T. Robinson, Lightfoot, Westcott, F.W. Farrar, Marvin Vincent, etc.)

If Hell is real why is it that those who preach it the most look more like Pharisees and the devil, while those who believe in the salvation of all mankind seem to be more loving and merciful than strong Hell-fire believers? It's a plain fact that the colder less loving one is the easier it is to teach Hell while the more loving one becomes the harder it is to talk about Hell. Is heaven full of cold unloving people?

If Hell is real and everlasting, why is it thrown into the Lake of Fire to be destroyed? And why is Hell never called the Lake of Fire nor the Lake of Fire ever called Hell if in fact they are the same thing?

If Hell is real and the devil and all his works and people are to be thrown into it to stay alive forever, doesn't that violate Jesus' statement that He came to "destroy" the works of the devil? (1 John 3:8)

If Hell is real and the greatest part of mankind eventually goes there, wouldn't Jesus be considered a great failure considering the fact He was sent to save the whole world? And if He failed so miserably this time to accomplish the will of the Father, can one really trust that He won't fail again? (1 Tim. 2:3,4 KJV; Heb. 10:9) We who believe that Jesus will save the world obviously do NOT believe He failedHe will save all of us.

If Hell is real it must have been created at some time. Why doesn't the Bible tell us when Hell (as traditionally taught) was created? Could it be that the Bible fails to mention its creation because it was never created in the first place?

If Hell is real and it is plainly seen in the original languages of the Bible, why is there such a great discrepancy among Bible translations as to which words should be translated Hell? (Ref. #6)

If Hell is real and most of mankind ends up there, how can God have promised Abraham that in him ALL the families of the earth will be blessed? (Gen. 12:3)

If Hell is real and Matthew chapter 24 says and means that the goat nations will go to "everlasting punishment," how can God promise to Abraham that "all the nations of the earth shall be blessed by him? (Gen. 18:18) Does God not keep His promises?

If Hell is real, does that mean that motherly love is more powerful and enduring than God's love? Do you know of normal mothers who would endlessly torment most of her kids. Do you know "normal" Fathers who would do such a thing? Why do we believe our heavenly Father, who is millions of times more loving than all of us combined, could do such an evil, wicked thing?

If Hell is real, is justice being served considering the fact that finite crimes would receive infinite punishment?

If Hell is real, since all is out of Jesus Christ, does that mean Hell comes out of Jesus Christ? (Rom. 36:11)

If Hell is real and all the different types of crimes committed here on earth receive the same punishment (endless torture) does "justice" not suffer?

If Hell is real and a person gets caught stealing and goes to jail for it and does his time, is it just for God to still punish him eternally for that crime? Is this not "double indemnity?"

If Hell is real, since some people receive many chances to "get saved," some receive only a few chances and billions have never even received one chance, does that make God a respecter of persons? (Acts 10:34, James 3:17)

If Hell is real and is the fate of all mankind because of Adam's transgression, if all are not saved through the last Adam, Jesus Christ, does that not make the transgression of the first Adam greater than the redeeming act of Jesus? (Rom. Chapter 5)

If Hell is real and most of mankind is doomed to go there, does that not violate the declaration of Paul who said that Christ's righteous act on the cross gave ALL mankind a free gift resulting in justification of life?! (Rom. 5:18)

If Hell is real and God's wrath abides upon billions of human beings FOREVER, some being your relatives and friends (or it could be you), doesn't that violate the Scripture which says His anger WILL come to an end? (Isaiah 57:16-18)

If Hell was real and you went there, would you consider that good? (Psalm 145:9 says all will praise Him.)

If Hell was real and you were consigned to it, would you praise Him for sending you there? (Psalm 145:10)

If Hell is real and most of mankind will fall into this fiery pit, if there is not escape out of it, would this not violate the Scripture that says He raises ALL who fall? (Psalm 145:14)

If Hell is really a place from which there is no escape, why does God turn man to destruction and then give the command to return from it? (Psalm 90:3) If Hell is "everlasting" destruction," how can man return? (2 Thess. 1:9)

If Hell is real and most find their way to it, was Jesus lying when He said that He would "draw" ("drag" in the original Greek) all mankind unto Himself? (John 12:32)

If Hell is real, since Jesus ultimately fills ALL things, will Jesus fill Hell as well? ((Eph. 4:10) How can Hell be eternal separation from God is Jesus fills Hell with Himself?

If Hell is real and Jesus is the Heir of all things, does that mean He inherits Hell as well? (Heb. 1:2)

If Hell is real, since God will have all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:3 KJV), does that mean God's power is not strong enough to have His will fulfilled? Is man's will more powerful than God's?

If Hell is real, would that not violate the plain Scripture of the "restitution of all things?" (Acts 3:21)

If Hell is real and eternal separation from God, why does the Scripture say, "All flesh will come to God?" (Psalm 65:2-4)

If Hell is real and most people don't get "born again," doesn't that make abortionists the greatest evangelists of all since they kill the babies before they can enter the world to begin their life of sin? (Gory thought, but think about it.)

If Hell is real and there is no escape from it, how can the Scriptures speak of the gathering of all things into Christ? (Eph. 1:10)

If Hell is real and God were human, we would give Him a death sentence for all the cruel things we say He is going to do to most of mankind?

If Hell is real and most people around you are on their way to it, how can you talk with them and not beg them each and everyday to be saved? How can you not go crazy at just the thought of their fate?

If Hell is real and you have "unsaved" family, friends, and business associates, when was the last time you went to them on your knees begging them to get saved? And if you haven't done this recently yet still believe their fate is everlasting punishment, don't you deserve to go to Hell yourself for being so callused and non-caring?

If Hell is real, how does the threat of endlessly torturing us convince us that God loves us and that we should love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength?

If Hell was real and the "full" gospel was designed to reach all mankind, doesn't that make the results of the "full" gospel pretty "empty" considering that fact that most people are in Hell according to traditional theology?

If Hell was real, does that mean Jesus raised the wicked from an unconscious state, make them alive only to be endlessly tortured? Wouldn't it be more merciful to just leave them eternally unconscious (which some believe)? (Ecc. 9:5; John 11:11)

If Hell is real and God only loves those who love Him, what better is He than the sinner? (Luke 6:32-33) Can you REALLY call eternally torturing your own children love?

If Hell is real, since "love thinketh no evil," can God design the ultimate evil of a single soul? (1 Cor. 13:5)

If Hell is real, since"love worketh no ill," can God inflict, or cause, or allow to be inflicted, an endless ill? (Rom. 13:10)

If Hell is real, since we are forbidden to be overcome by evil, can we safely suppose that God will be overcome by evil? (Rom. 12:21) Would not the infliction of endless punishment prove that God HAD been overcome by evil?

If Hell is real, if man does wrong in returning evil for evil, would not God do wrong if He was to do the same? (Rom. 12:20,21) Would not endless punishment be the return of evil for evil? As we are commanded "to overcome evil with good," may we not safely infer that God will do the same? Would the infliction of endless punishment be overcoming evil with good?

If Hell is real, if God hates the sinner, does the sinner do wrong in hating Him?

If Hell is real, if God loves His enemies now, will he not always love them? Is God a changeable being? (James 1:17)

If Hell is real, is it just for God to be "kind to the evil and unthankful," in their present life? (Luke 6:35) Would it be unjust for God to be kind to all men in a future state?

If Hell is real, if all men justly deserve endless punishment, will not those who are saved, be saved unjustly?

If Hell is real, would it be merciful in God to inflict endless punishment--that is, merciful to the sufferer?

If Hell is real, if the demands of divine justice are opposed to the requirements of mercy, is not God divided against Himself? If the requirements of mercy are opposed to the demands of the justice of God, can His kingdom stand? -- (Mark 3:24)

If Hell is real, does not judgment triumph over mercy and thus contradict this Scripture? (James 2:13)

If Hell is real, if you had sufficient power would you not deliver all men from sin? If God WOULD save all men, but CANNOT , is He infinite in power?

If Hell is real, if God CAN save all men, but WILL NOT , is He infinite in goodness?

If Hell is real and created by God, does it not stand against God's DESIRE the salvation of all men? (1 Tim. 2:3-4) Since God is righteous, must not the desire for universal salvation be a RIGHTEOUS desire? Is it true, that "the desire of the righteous shall be granted?" -- (Prov. 10:24)

If Hell is real, would endless misery benefit the Almighty, as the INFLICTOR ? Would endless misery benefit the saints, as SPECTATORS ? Would endless misery benefit the sinner, as the SUFFERER ?

If Hell is real and endless punishment is the "wages of sin," could the sinner ever receive payment in full? (Rom. 6:23)

If Hell is real and sin is infinite, can it be true that, "where sin abounded grace did MUCH MORE abound?" --(Rom. 5:20)

If Hell is real, if ONE sin deserves an eternity of punishment, how much punishment will TEN sins deserve?

If Hell is real, yet God "openeth his hand and satisfieth the desire of every living thing" -- (Ps. 145:16), If I desire all men be saved, will God satisfy my desire? Is it good to desire all men to be saved? "This is GOOD and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior who DESIRES ALL MEN TO BE SAVED and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim. 2:3,4)

If Hell is real and you are a Calvinist, were you "responsible" for getting into heaven? Then why do you take the responsibility for those going to Hell away from God and put it on those you say are going to Hell? Is God "sovereign" only over the "elect?"

If Hell is real and God is our Father and our Potter (Isaiah 64:8,9) did He make mostly junk and are most of the children He raised misfits worthy only to be thrown away and endlessly tortured? Do we not hold parents responsible for their children's outcome? If we use the same standards towards God's "fathering" abilities, according to the doctrine of endless punishment, our Father did a very poor job in raising His children.

If Hell is real and a person is considered foolish trying to build a tower without first seeing if he has enough resources with which to complete it, wouldn't Jesus also be foolish if He purposed to save the world but only came away with a part of it? And wouldn't Jesus appear foolish if He came to destroy the works of the devil but left most of the devil's work continuing endlessly in the Lake of Fire ? Wouldn't He be found guilty of not counting the costs before He began?(Luke 14:28-32)

If Hell is real and since probably less than one percent of the world's population ever got "born again" and stayed on the straight and narrow, doesn't this fly in the face of Jesus' words which says He leaves the ninety-nine to find the one and doesn't give up until He finds it? (Luke 15:4)

If Hell is real and a place of terrible pain, why is it that we wouldn't think of sending our pets to such a place yet don't blink an eye at the thought of God sending His very own children to such a place?

If Hell is real and universalism is a heresy, why is it that those who believe God loves all and will save all find it easier to love all people than those who believe most people are going to Hell? (Think this through very carefully.)

If Hell is real, will you judge your mother, son, or other non-believer to Hell? "Do ye not know that the saints "shall judge the world"? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" 1 Corinthians 6:2-3

If Hell is real and an eternal separation from God, why does " tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb" mean? If this "torment" is endless suffering in a literal lake of fire, how would you feel if it was your mother, father, wife, husband, children, or best friend in that lake IN your presence? (The Greek word for "tormented" does NOT mean "tortured," it means "tested.")

If 150 Bible scholars swear to a statement of faith that there is a Hell of everlasting punishment before that are allowed to work on a translation which they will be paid to produce, what are the odds that the translation they produce will contain a Hell of everlasting punishment? (That is the case with the NIV, and most other Bible translations produced by committees.)


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I think that a person whose mental faculties, conscience and heart are still working will come to the reasonable conclusion that the concept of Hell as a place of everlasting punishment leaves a LOT of questions unanswered. Yes, the concept of Hell (and that is all it is, a false concept) seems to violate everything that is reasonable. It violates the nature of God which is unconditional Love. It violates the wisdom of God, the pleasure of God, the promises of God, the oath of God, the power of God; it negates the full power of the cross of Christ; it goes against the testimony of the prophets; it violates the testimony of Jesus Christ and His apostles; it violates the Scriptures in their original languages; it violates the writings of the early church leaders who read the Scriptures in the original languages; it goes against our conscience and our hearts, Finally, it has the ring of something the subtlest of all creatures would concoctthe greatest lie ever told.

Jesus and the apostles gave many warnings over 1900 hundred years ago that many would rise up within the church and draw many people after themselves forming denominations built upon the traditions of men and NOT the Truth. 1900 years has spawned over 30,000 denominations of Christendom--denominations which cannot unite because they are divided by their "interpretations" of Scriptures AND traditions which have been added which are NOT based upon the Bible. "A kingdom divided against itself CANNOT stand." (Mark 3:24) Obviously, the denominations of Christendom are NOT the kingdom of God . The Scriptures warned us that most Christians would depart from the faith. It is plainly written for all to see. Why is it that many Christians cannot see what is plainly written?

1 John 2:18-20

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.

1 John 2:26,27

26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit-- just as it has taught you, remain in him.

1 Tim. 4:9-16

Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia , Titus unto Dalmatia . Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus . The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee , and the books, but especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

Acts 20:26-31

Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men . For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God , which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Note Paul NEVER preached salvation as deliverance from Hell.)

KJV Galatians 3:1-3

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

2 Peter 3:15-18

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

1 Cor. 1:10-15

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

As we can plainly see, God warned that there would come a great falling away IN THE VERY FIRST CENTURY, not hundreds of years later. That early falling away would produce a system of religion full of the abominations of the world. (Rev. Chapter 17 and 18) One must look to the past to find the "great falling away," NOT the future. John, the apostle whom Jesus loved said it was the "last hour!" Last hour of what?

The writer of Hebrews writing over 1900 years ago informs us that they were living at the "end of the world:"

" 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." (Heb. 9:26)

Obviously he was NOT talking about the physical world. The writer of Hebrews was writing to Jews who were under the Old Covenant "world." This "world" was about to come to an end when Titus would destroy the city of Jerusalem , the only city in which Jews could offer up animal sacrifices to God. The Mosaic Covenant world was coming to an end and God was about to establish a New Heaven and a New World , that is, a new Covenant. This was very plain to Hebrew-speaking Jews of the first century. We, modern Christians, have misused certain key words which have thrown off our eschatological understandings greatly.

The fact is that the great falling away occurred almost 2000 years ago and every denomination of Christianity is a part of it. The glue that keeps this abominable system of divided denominations together is the teaching that God is a failure. God fell short of His goal to save all mankind, thus making God to appear as the greatest fool and hypocrite that ever lived. The doctrine of Hell is one of the major instruments Satan has used to turn sincere seekers away from the truth turning them either to idolatry in the form of false religions or materialism. The rest became atheists or agnostics.

Recently I watched a movie entitled "Inherit the Wind" which dealt with the subject of whether evolution could be taught in public schools. Prior to the trial, a young boy the young science teacher was very fond of and was mentoring drowned. At the boy's funeral, some Hell-fire fundamentalists talked about how this boy was rotting in Hell because he wasn't "saved" before he drowned. The words of these fundamentalists turned this science teacher away from the Truth towards the lie of evolution. There are countless atheists and agnostics in the world who have been turned aside from seeking God because of this greatest of lies.

Perhaps the reader can now see some of the horrible consequences of this terrible stain on the nature and character of our heavenly Father. Now if the reader still insists that God endlessly tortures most of the human beings He made and also insist that the love of God is in you, then you owe all the people in the world a reasonable answer to the above questions.

Thousands of people in ages past HAVE asked these questions and have come to the logical Scriptural conclusion that the teaching of Hell is a plain unadulterated lie of the highest magnitude. Men and women like Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nightingale, Charles Dickens, Benjamin Rush (signer of the Declaration of Independence) asked questions like the ones above and reasonably concluded that Jesus IS the Savior of the whole world, not just a piece of it. After all, how can one be called the "Savior of the world" unless one actually saves it?

Great theologians and scholars have also come to the same conclusion. Among them are William Barclay, William Law, Karl Barth, Schliermacher, Bishop Westcott, Lightfoot, Canon F.W. Farrar, John A.T. Robinson, Andrew Murray and Andrew Jukes. Some of the greatest writers and poets are in the "Cloud of Witnesses" to the glorious truth of the salvation of all mankind through our glorious savior Jesus Christ. Elizabeth Browing, John Donne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe and countless more. The list of preachers who have asked these same questions and have come to the reasonable and Scriptural truth that Hell is nothing more than a great lie is endless. They were not afraid to ask their Maker some straight-forward questions. They invited the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus to lead us all into Truth to make plain to them the Truth concerning the doctrine of Hell. Men and women of all ages have asked these questions AND have received truthful answers to these questions. A man named A.C. Thomas collected some of these questions and they found themselves in a book written in the 1800's entitled: "The Key to Truth" by E. H. Lake . Isn't it time to get the Truth? Here are some of the questions sincere people from all ages have asked which brought them to the truth.

Do you ardently DESIRE the salvation of all men?

Is it true that God "openeth his hand and satisfieth the desire of every living thing?" -- (Ps. 145:16)

Do you fervently PRAY for the salvation of all men? (1 Tim. 2:1)

Do you pray in FAITH , nothing doubting? (James 1:6)

Are you aware, "that whatsoever is not of faith is sin?" -- (Rom 14:23)

Would God require us to pray for all men, and to pray in faith, unless He intends all men should be saved?

If you believe endless misery to be the truth of God, why should you desire and pray that it may prove false?

Can the pleasure of the Almighty be contrary to his determinate will?

Would the infliction of endless misery afford pleasure to the Deity?

Can God be glorified by that which gives Him no pleasure?

Since Jesus "tasted death for EVERYONE," can it be true that "the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands," if most are never saved? (Heb. 2:9)

If God "declares the end from the beginning," can the final destiny of mankind be contrary to His will?

Can endless misery be brought about contrary to the GOOD PLEASURE of the Almighty?

Can God WILL anything contrary to His knowledge?

Did God know when He created man, that a part of His creatures would be endlessly miserable?

If God, when He created, did not know the result of creation, is He infinite in knowledge?

Power is the ability to do: is knowledge simply the ability to know?

If God knew when He created man, that some would be eternally damned, did He not will this to be their doom?

If God willed the endless misery of a part of His creatures, why is it said that "he will have all men to be saved?" -- (1 Tim. 2:4, KJV)

If the Scriptures should testify, that God "will have all men to be damned," could we really safely assume that a part might be saved?

If the Scriptures testify, that God "will have all men to be saved," can we safely assume that a part may be damned?

If God made an endless hell before He created man, did He know whether there would be any use for it?

If God knew there would be use for an endless hell, must He not have created some men for endless misery?

If God made an endless hell, was it included in the works which He pronounced "very good?" -- (Gen. 1:31)

If there is an endless hell, and it was not made before the creation of men, when was it made?

If there exists a personal devil, who made him?

Can there be any such thing as sin in heaven?

If there was sin in heaven, may not sin be committed there again?

If an angel of light became a devil, was not Paul in error, when he said Satan is transformed into an angel of light? -- (2 Cor 11:14)

As sin presupposes temptation of some sort, who tempted a holy angel to sin?

If an angel could sin without a devil to tempt him, may we not sin without a devil to tempt us?

If a holy angel was tempted to sin by surrounding evil, is heaven a holy place?

If an angel was tempted by evil passions, could he have been holy?

If an angel became a devil by sinning, was Adam's the original sin?

If Adam became mortal (that is, subject to death,) by sinning, must he not have been created immortal?

If Adam had been created immortal, could he ever have died?

If Adam sinned without inheriting total depravity, why should inborn depravity be assigned as the cause of our sins?

Would there be any more impropriety in imputing MY sins to Adam, than in imputing HIS sins to ME ? (Rom. 5:12)

If men are totally depraved by nature, must not children be so likewise?

If children be totally depraved, is it true, that "of such is the kingdom of heaven?" -- (Mark 10:14)

Men are to be washed from their sins. If they are totally depraved, what is there to wash?

If evil men and seducers "wax worse and worse," (2 Tim. 3:13), can they be totally depraved at first?

If human reason be "carnal and delusive," why did God say, "come now and let us REASON together?" -- (Isa. 1:18)

If reason be delusive, why should some folks reason against the use of reason?

Can an effect exist without a cause sufficiently powerful to produce it?

If "we love God because he first loved us," is it true that we must first love HIM before He will love us?

If "we love God because he first loved us," is it not plain that He loved US when we did not love HIM ?

If God loved US when we did not love HIM , is not our love to Him the EFFECT (and not the CAUSE ) of His love to US ?

Was it consistent with divine justice, to love us, when we did not love Him?

If God once loved us, will not that love eternally continue?

If the love of God is the cause which produces love in man, can anger and wrath produce the same effect?

Is it the revealed will of God that all men should be saved?

Can God will all men to be saved, knowing that a part will be forever lost?

If God has two wills, why is double-mindedness condemned in the Scriptures?

If God has two wills, why does the Bible say, "He is of one mind?"

If God has a secret will, how did you gain a knowledge of it?

Can that be a secret which has been revealed?

If God revealed His secret will to "the saints," why should they reveal it to "the wicked?"

If God under any circumstances, wills the endless misery of a human soul, in what does He differ from Satan?

Can Jesus Christ be the Savior of any more than He actually saves?

Can Jesus be "the Savior of the world," (1 John 4:14), if the world is not saved by him?

Is Christ, in any sense, the Savior of unbelievers?

If Christ is in no sense the Savior of unbelievers, why are unbelievers called upon to believe in Christ as their Savior?

If unbelievers are not called upon to believe in Christ as their Savior, what are they to believe?

Must not the thing to be believed, be true before it is believed?

Must not the thing to be believed continue to be true, whether it be believed or disbelieved?

"What if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith, [or faithfulness] of God of none effect?" -- (Rom. 3:3)

Is it true that "God hath concluded all in unbelief that he might have mercy on all?" -- (Rom 9:32)

Can God be "especially the Savior of them who believe," unless He is actually the Savior of all? -- (1 Tim. 4:10)

If belief and good works in this life are essential to eternal salvation in the next, can infants be saved?

Can the good actions of finite man merit an infinite reward?

Can the evil actions of finite man merit infinite punishment?

If men are saved by works, is salvation of grace?

If one man is saved by grace, why should not all be saved in like manner?

Is God a partial being?

Can the faith of the Partialists (believers in Hell or annihilation) be based in the wisdom that is "full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality?" -- (James 3:17)

Can sufficient provision be made for the salvation of all men, if some men are never saved?

Must not sufficient provision be sufficient to subdue the will of the creature?

Is there any other way to determine the sufficiency of the means employed, than by the accomplishment of the end designed?

Does not the law of God require all men to love him supremely, and their neighbors as themselves?

Is it true, that "not one jot or tittle of this law shall pass till all be fulfilled?" -- (Matt. 5:18)

Does not justice require of us the fulfilment of the law of God?

Will not justice be eternally violated, if the law of God is not universally fulfilled?

Can those who are determined eternally damned fulfil the law of love?

Can justice require the obedience of the sinner, and at the same time require his eternal disobedience?

If "whosoever offereth praise glorifieth God," (Ps. 50:23), can He be glorified by those who have no cause to praise Him?

If any one is rendered eternally damned, can he have any cause to praise His Maker?

Will God ever place some of his creatures in such a situation they cannot praise him?

Do you believe that endless punishment would manifest the glory of God?

Can you rejoice in the hope of the glory of God?

Would not the salvation of half of mankind glorify God more than the salvation of one-fourth?

Would not the salvation of nine-tenths of mankind glorify God more than the salvation of one-half?

Can we give "glory to God in the highest," without believing in the salvation of all men?

If "all have sinned, and (thus) come short of the glory of God," (Rom. 3:23), would eternal sinning mend the matter?

Shall "every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father?" -- (Philippians 2:11)

Is endless misery "good tidings of great joy which shall be to ALL people?"

Could man be endlessly miserable without being endlessly a sinner?

If sin exist eternally, can it be true that Christ was to finish the transgression, and to make and end of sin? -- (Dan. 9:34)

Since Jesus gave himself a ransom for all men, can he ever "see the travail of his soul and be satisfied," if endless misery is true?

Do you hope that endless misery is true?

Is "faith the substance (or foundation) of things hoped for?" -- (Heb. 11:1)

If endless misery is not a thing hoped for, can it be a part of the Christian faith?

Is it certain that one soul will be eternally lost?

Is it certain that one soul will be saved?

Is it certain that all will not be damned?

Is it certain that all will not be saved?

Can that be certain which is not decreed?

If it is certain that one soul will be saved, must there not be a decree concerning the salvation of a definite number?

If the number of the saved is definitely fixed, must not the number of the damned be equally definite?

If there is no certainty in relation to the final destiny of man, is not salvation a work of chance?

What is better chance than Atheism?

If God knew, when he created, what the end of each soul would be, is not that end as certain as if it was decreed?

Is not the merciful man always merciful to his animals?

Will not the merciful God be always as merciful to His creatures, as the merciful man is to his animals?

Is it true that the "tender mercies of the Lord are over all his works?" -- (Ps. 145:9)

Is it true that the Almighty is without variableness, or the shadow of turning?

Would there be any tender mercy in the infliction of endless misery?

Are the tender mercies of the Lord like unto the tender mercies of the wicked which are cruel?

If God is not the Father of sinners, why should sinners pray, saying, "Our Father, forgive us our trespasses (sins)?"

"Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?" -- (Mal. 2:10)

If God is the Father of all men, will He do less for His children than earthly parents would do for theirs?

Is it true that God punishes us "for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness?" -- (Heb. 12:11)

Would endless punishment be for our profit?

Would endless punishment "yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness unto them who are exercised thereby?"

Can any doctrine be too good to be true?

Will God contend forever and be always wroth? -- (Isa. 62:16)

Will the Lord cast off forever? -- (Lam. 3:31-33)

Can one be a Christian who worships the Lord through fear of the devil?

Can one truly be Christian who state that if they believed in the salvation of all mankind, they would go out and sin without fearing consequences of those sins?

Can a person really be a Christian who says, "if all men are to be saved, what use is there in being virtuous?"

If "the goodness of God leads to repentance," why should His eternal wrath be preached to sinners?

If "the goodness of God leads to repentance," why should it not be supposed that repentance leads to the goodness of God?

If "the goodness of God leads to repentance," are not sinners the objects of His goodness?

Is not the goodness of God co-extensive and co-eternal with His wisdom and power?

As the wisdom of God can never change to folly, nor His power to weakness, will His goodness ever change to hatred?

Can God be universally and eternally good, if endless misery is true for a single soul?

If all men deserve endless punishment, would it not be right for God to inflict it?

"Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen. 18:25)

If it would be right for God to punish all men eternally, would it not be wrong for Him not to do it?

Since the infliction of endless misery would be returning evil for evil, would it be right for God to inflict it?

If the return of evil for evil is right for God, would it not be equally right for man?

Since "fear has torment," and true religion is happiness, can fear produce true religion?

Since "perfect love casts out fear," will not fear cast out perfect love?

Can fear imbue the soul with perfect love?

Must not they who "believe and tremble," be possessed of the faith of devils?

Is it possible to love someone without truly personally knowing them?

Can a person love someone who is endlessly torturing them in a lake of fire and will not give them mercy?

So between life here on earth and the Lake of Fire , if Jesus doesn't personally reach someone with His love, how can a person really love Jesus back? ( Rom. 5:8-10)

Does the belief of endless misery cause the believer to "rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory?" -- (1 Pet. 1:8)

Can a belief of any thing short of universal salvation, fill the soul with "joy and peace?"

Will not the devil and all his works be destroyed? -- (Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8)

Will not death, the last enemy, be swallowed up in victory and destroyed? -- (Isa. 25:6-8; 1 Cor. 15:26-54)

And finally:

If God is loving, merciful, wise, always gives "righteous" judgment and is all powerful and has a desire or will to save all mankind (1 Tim 2:3,4) which will come closer to the above attributes?:

A Savior of all mankind?

An eternal torturer of most?

Children, saints, truth-seekers, sinners, universalists (those who believe in universal salvation through Jesus Christ) and even atheists always get the right answer.

Pharisees, hypocrites, control freaks, hate-mongers, and other sundry snakes always get it wrong.

My conclusion that the modern church concept of God consigning the greatest majority of the human beings He created to everlasting tortures (which is NOT worthy of His honor) does not come from my wishful thinking, but from thousands of hours of studying various English Bible translations, the original languages, early church history, revelation from the Holy Spirit, as well as from a clean conscience and a sound mind. Listed below are a few of the hundreds of books I've read or written as a result of this intense search for the truth of the matter. I believe that anyone who truly desires to KNOW God and to honor Him in the earth will undoubtedly come to the same conclusions I and millions of other Christians who have tasted of God's mercy have come to over the last two thousand years...that Jesus is the Savior of all mankind, as the Scriptures plainly declare(John 4:42; 1 John 4:14)not just a few. The reasons why most Christians in this present age do not see this glorious truth are:

REASONS FOR THE DIFFERENT VIEWS

1. Failure to hold on to clear statements of God's sovereignty, foreknowledge, power, omniscience, purpose of creation, and unconditional love.

2. Failure to believe direct statements of scripture declaring the ultimate salvation of all through the saving work of Jesus Christ.

3. Pulling scriptures out of context and putting them into an end-time scenario when, in fact, they deal with other ages. Scriptures speak of at least two other ages to come. (Eph. 2:7)

4. Inaccurate and misleading translations. Roman Catholic tradition strongly affected the first Protestant English Bibles which, in turn, adversely affected modern translations.

5. Injection of Roman\Greek concepts which are not Biblical such as the immortality of the soul into the Bible. Adam was removed from the garden lest he eat from the tree of life. He was therefore not immortal. Eternal life is found only "in" Christ, not in Adam. "In Adam all died." (1 Cor. 15:22) If Adam was immortal, how could he die?

6. Bondage to the traditions and teachings of men rather than allowing the Spirit of Truth to lead us into all truth. (John 16:13)

7. Laziness.

8. A hidden desire in many of us to have our enemies get what we feel they deserve while we get off free and clear. (Luke 9:51-56)

9. The desire of religious and government leaders to use fear to maintain control. Love cannot be perfected with fear, therefore, the church has few members whose love is perfected. Perfect love casts out fear! (1 John 4:18)

10. Satan's power and authority to deceive.

11. Failure to see that Love never fails, (1Cor. 13:8) His mercy endures forever, (1 Chron. 16:41) and mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13)

12. It's not your time to see. (Acts 13:48, John 6:44)

13. Fear of persecution of men (males and females) for not going along with the majority view.

14 Misunderstanding of the purpose of God's "remnant," His "chosen people."

God has always wanted a people here on earth to act as intercessors on behalf of those who do not know Him. God wanted Israel to be a "nation of priests," but Israel violated God's commandments even as He was writing them. (Ex. 19:6-8; 32:21-29; Deut. 21:5) So God selected only the tribe of Levi under the Mosaic Covenant to be His priests. These priests were to offer up prayers, intercessions, and sacrifices not only for Israel , but for all the nations around them.

Ultimately Israel became so degenerate that the Priests refused to offer up sacrifices on behalf of the Gentile nations. Josephus, the Jewish historian, records this for us. In 70AD, God destroyed the nation of Israel and took the priesthood away from the tribe of Levi and gave it to "another nation" to intercede on behalf of the nations of the world who do not know their left hand from their right. This nation was to be a light for them. In studying Church history, while the "early" Church was a great light, after a few centuries the light disappeared into what became known as the Dark Ages. This "Dark Ages" was NOT in Africa, NOT in Asia, NOT in South America ; it was in the very nations which has the greatest population of Christians!! The Dark Ages did NOT begin until the wretched doctrine of endless punishment entered the Church! The horrible teaching that God will torture most of His children endlessly has not only turned the world away from seeking the God of the Bible, it has turned many Christians away as well.

Those who call themselves Christians, who are called to intercede on behalf of sinners but find it difficult to pray for them let alone love them are in danger of following the footsteps of the first priesthood which God removed because of their lack of mercy. Many Christians are filling their minds with a "fly away" mentality while expecting non-believers to finally get what they deserve--100 pound hailstones, nuclear wars and horrible diseases. This teaching did NOT come from Christ! It came from the same spirit that drove the disciples John and James to want to command fire to come down upon the heads of those who did not believe on Jesus Christ.

"Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem , and he sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem .

And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, 'Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?'

But He turned and rebuked them, and said, 'You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them.'" Luke 9:52-56

Please note, the Samaritans who rejected Jesus were NOT condemned to Hell by Jesus for their rejection of Him; it was His disciples who were condemned for the foul spirit they had which wanted those unbelievers burned instead of saved. Much of the Church world is in the same foul spirit John and James were in.

Search your heart and conscience. Ask the Holy Spirit if some of these reasons listed above are blocking you from receiving the full truth regarding this matter. And above all "Study to show yourself approved."

I have included at the end of this book a list of reference material which will help prove that the "traditional" concept of Hell is false. Here is a list of Bibles revealing that the original languages of the Bible do NOT contain the teaching of Hell Some of them are published by leading Evangelical publishers:

Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (Kregal Publishers, still in print), Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible (Baker Book House Publishers, still in print; Robert Young is author of the famous Young's Concordance), Concordant Literal Translation of the N.T. (Concordant Publishing Concern, still in print), Scarlet's New Testament (Nathaniel Scarlett, 1798), The New Testament (Abner Kneeland, 1823) Emphatic Diaglott (Greek/English Interlinear), The New Covenant (J.W. Hanson, 1884), New Testament in Modern Speech (Weymouth, 1910), The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible (1976), The Twentieth Century New Testament (1900), The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Anointed (James L. Tomanek)1958), The Western New Testament (1926), The New Testament, a Translation (Rev. Edgar Lewis Clementson, 1938), The People's New Testament (Arthur Overbury), The Holy Bible in Modern English (Ferrar Fenton, still in print), The New Testament, A New Translation based upon the Oldest Manuscripts (Johannes Greber, 1980), Christian Bible, 19.

There are other translations like the Companion Bible King James Version, American Standard Version (1901), the Newberry Reference Bible (Still published by Kregal Publications), and the Riverside New Testament by Ballantine (1934) which contain footnotes, marginal readings and appendages which point out that several key Greek and Hebrew words have been MIStranslated by such Bible versions as the King James Bible.

Listed at the end are the names of a few of some of the best material from which I have gleaned on the subject of Hell. Our Internet site has many more and I have many more in my library. The plain fact is that the teaching of a Hell of everlasting tortures is NOT in the Old Testament in the Hebrew. Jews today do NOT believe in the modern Christian's version of Hell. It is NOT in what is commonly, but incorrectly called the New Testament in the original languages nor is it contained in English Bible translations properly translated. Certainly the greatest majority of the early church and its leadership did NOT teach the modern concept of Hell. It was clearly borrowed from the pagans--it did NOT come from Mosaic Judaism which is the root of Christianity. These are plain facts. The books below will prove this. The question is...are you going to follow the "traditions of man" which "make the word of God of no effect" or will you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth even though you may be severely persecuted by many of your Christian brothers and sisters? Jesus was persecuted by His own. So, too, will His disciples. I leave the choice in your hands and in the hands of your Maker. Peace, Love, and Truth to you...In Him, Gary Amirault.

Postscript: By the way, if you REALLY want to know who invented Hell, the book "The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment" is an excellent place to begin. Here is a list of quotes taken from ancient history which plainly reveal who the inventors of a Hell of eternal punishment are. The source for Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny is the very same source of Hellpolitical, business, and religious men and women who invent ways to hold power over people and to make money of them.

The Ancient Inventors of Hell

1. Polybius, the ancient historian, says: "Since the multitude is ever fickle, full of lawless desires, irrational passions and violence, there is no other way to keep them in order but by the fear and terror of the invisible world; on which account our ancestors seem to me to have acted judiciously, when they contrived to bring into the popular belief these notions of the gods, and of the infernal regions." B. vi 56.

2. Dionysius Halicarnassus treats the whole matter as useful, but not as true. Antiq. Rom. , B. ii

3. Livy, the celebrated historian, speaks of it in the same spirit; and he praises the wisdom of Numa, because he invented the fear of the gods, as "a most efficacious means of governing an ignorant and barbarous populace." Hist., I 19.

4. Strabo, the geographer, says: "The multitude are restrained from vice by the punishments the gods are said to inflict upon offenders, and by those terrors and threatenings which certain dreadful words and monstrous forms imprint upon their minds...For it is impossible to govern the crowd of women, and all the common

rabble, by philosophical reasoning, and lead them to piety, holiness

and virtue - but this must be done by superstition, or the fear of the gods, by means of fables and wonders; for the thunder, the aegis,

the trident, the torches (of the Furies), the dragons, &c., are all fables, as is also all the ancient theology. These things the legislators used as scarecrows to terrify the childish multitude." Geog., B. I

5. Timaeus Locrus, the Pythagorean, after stating that the doctrine

of rewards and punishments after death is necessary to society, proceeds as follows: "For as we sometimes cure the body with unwholesome remedies, when such as are most wholesome produce no effect, so we restrain those minds with false relations, which will not be persuaded by the truth. There is a necessity, therefore, of instilling the dread of those foreign torments: as that the soul changes its habitation; that the coward is ignominiously thrust into the body of a woman; the murderer imprisoned within the form of a savage beast; the vain and inconstant changed into birds, and the slothful and ignorant into fishes."

6. Plato, in his commentary on Timaeus, fully endorses what he says respecting the fabulous invention of these foreign torments. And Strabo says that "Plato and the Brahmins of India invented fables concerning the future judgments of hell" (Hades). And Chrysippus blames Plato for attempting to deter men from wrong by frightful stories of future punishments.

Plato himself is exceedingly inconsistent, sometimes adopting, even in his serious discourses, the fables of the poets, and at other times rejecting them as utterly false, and giving too frightful views of the invisible world. Sometimes, he argues, on social grounds, that they are necessary to restrain bad men from wickedness and crime, and then again he protests against them on political grounds, as intimidating the citizens, and making cowards of the soldiers, who, believing these things, are afraid of death, and do not therefore fight well. But all this shows in what light he regarded them; not as truths, certainly, but as fictions, convenient in some cases, but difficult to manage in others.

7. Plutarch treats the subject in the same way; sometimes arguing for them with great solemnity and earnestness, and on other occasions calling them "fabulous stories, the tales of mothers and nurses."

8. Seneca says: "Those things which make the infernal regions terrible, the darkness, the prison, the river of flaming fire, the judgment seat, &c., are all a fable, with which the poets amuse themselves, and by them agitate us with vain terrors." Sextus Empiricus calls them "poetic fables of hell;" and Cicero speaks of them as "silly absurdities and fables" (ineptiis ac fabulis).

9. Aristotle. "It has been handed down in mythical form from earliest times to posterity, that there are gods, and that the divine

(Deity) compasses all nature. All beside this has been added, after the mythical style, for the purpose of persuading the multitude, and

for the interests of the laws, and the advantage of the state."

Neander's Church Hist., I, p. 7. 11

(The above quotes were taken from "The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment" by Thomas Thayer.)

The question this book began with is now, I trust, answered by a sufficient number of witnesses to settle the matter. Hell was invented by men of power who felt it was the only way to hold the masses of ignorant people under their power. It is the same today. If the people of power today REALLY believed the myths they are perpetuating, they themselves would behave MUCH differently than they are. Seeing their own corrupt behavior should make it plain to anyone, these political, business, and especially religious leaders have not the slightest faith in these things themselves; they do not think them at all necessary to regulate their own lives, or keep them in order; but it is for the average people, the dumb sheep who must be restrained with fears of great terror in the afterlife. One cannot help noting the resemblance between those wise men of old and some of our own day, who seem so anxious to maintain the doctrine on the ground that it is necessary to restrain men from sin. I think it is time we "dumb sheep" wise up and get out from under the myths these men of corruption have used to hold the fetters of our minds in check and check ourselves in at the sheepfold of the Good Shepherd who knows how to restrain HIS sheep with love, not fear. What do you think?

References:

#1 Universalism--The Prevailing Doctrine of the Christian Church During Its

First Five Hundred Years by Dr. J.W. Hanson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Prevailing.html

#2 The Bible Hell by Dr. J.W. Hanson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/TheBibleHell.html

#3 Arguments in Favor of Universalism

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/InFavorCh20.html

#4 100 Scriptural Proofs Jesus is the Savior of the world

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/ScripturalProofs.html

#5 Bible Threatenings Explained by Dr. J.W. Hanson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/BibleThr ... ained.html

#6 The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail by Gary Amirault and Tony Hinkle

(Proves many Bibles do NOT contain Hell or "everlasting punishment."

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/GatesOfHell.html

#7 Early Christian View of the Savior by Gary Amirault

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/EarlyChristianView.html

#8 Aion by Dr. J.W. Hanson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Aion_lim.html

#9 The Power of Life and Death is a Four Letter Greek Word--Aion by Gary

Amirault

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/PowerOfL ... rWord.html

#10 Time and Eternity by G.T. Steve nson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/time/index.html

#11 Analytical Study of Words by Louis Abbott

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/asw/asw.html

#12 Rich Man and Lazarus Parable Explained

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Lazarus.html

#13 Eternal Death: One Step Out of Hell, One Step Short of Glory

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/EternalDeath.html

#14 Just what you do mean...Judgment? by J. Preston Eby

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Judgment-Eby.html

#15 Arguments in Favor of Universalism by E.E. Guild

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/InFavorCh20.html

#16 The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment by Dr. Thomas Thayer

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/OriginandHistory.html

Mistranslation of the word "aion":

Aion by Dr. J.W. Hanson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Aion_lim.html

The Power of Life and Death is a Four Letter Greek Word--Aion by Gary

Amirault

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/PowerOfL ... rWord.html

Time and Eternity by G.T. Steve nson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/time/index.html

Mistranslation of Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, Gehenna:

The Bible Hell by Dr. J.W. Hanson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/TheBibleHell.html

Analytical Study of Words by Louis Abbott

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/asw/asw.html

The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment by Dr. Thomas Thayer

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/OriginandHistory.html

Rebuttals of Hell-supporting Scriptures in some Bibles:

Bible Threatenings Explained by Dr. J.W. Hanson

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/BibleThr ... ained.html

Rich Man and Lazarus Parable Explained

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Lazarus.html

Proofs Annihilationism is NOT taught in the original languages of the Bible:

Eternal Death: One Step Out of Hell, One Step Short of Glory

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/EternalDeath.html

God's punishment is NOT eternal:

Just what you do mean...Judgment? by J. Preston Eby

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/Judgment-Eby.html

Arguments and Scriptures Favoring the Salvation of All Mankind:

Arguments in Favor of Universalism by E.E. Guild

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/InFavorCh20.html

Early Christian View of the Savior by Gary Amirault

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/EarlyChristianView.html

The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail by Gary Amirault and Tony Hinkle

(Proves many Bibles do NOT contain Hell or "everlasting punishment."

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/GatesOfHell.html

100 Scriptural Proofs Jesus is the Savior of the world

http://www.tentmaker.org/books/ScripturalProofs.html

About the Author: I'd like the reader to be aware that I am a conservative Christian who spent several years in very evangelical fundamental churches. Even before I became a Christian my values were always conservative, not liberal. I mention this because that is often the first line of attack against this glorious truth. The belief in the salvation of all mankind through Jesus Christ is NOT a far left liberal principle--it is simple a plain fact which Christians of all kind should pray about, study and then joyfully embrace.

Tentmaker Interactive:

Tentmaker Discussion Board

http://www.tentmaker.org/forum

For much more information regarding God's true judgments and how the traditional church has misrepresented them go to the Tentmaker Ministries Internet site located at:

http://www.tentmaker.org

Email Address: info@tentmaker.org

Tentmaker Ministries

Gary and Michelle Amirault

118 Walnut

Hermann , MO 65041
Rather than an unsaved person's unimportant and uninformed opinion about Hell, we should turn to the inspired, written Word of God to see what GOD has to say about Hell, for it is God's opinion and not that of an uninformed, unsaved man that really matters:
What Does The Bible Say About Hell?
By Pastor Jack Howell


There is a lot of false teaching going around regarding the the subject of hell. For example, some say it is merely the grave, and that there is no consciousness or torment. Others claim that it is a state of mind, and that hell is right here on earth. Preachers today, have gotten away from preaching on the subject Hell because either they no longer believe in it, due to receiving training from a Bible college or seminary that does not believe the Bible, or because they do not want to frighten or offend the members of their congregations. The Bible has a great deal to say regarding Hell, thus it is to the inspired, written Word of God that we must turn to for our information regarding this awful place.


Our English word Hell is defined as "the abode of departed spirits, infernal regions, place of eternal punishment, the abode of evil spirits." The word infernal means "belonging to Hell." The word inferno is another word for Hell. Gehenna is defined as "the place of future torment, hell, hellfire." Tartarus is defined as "the place of punishment in the lower world" and is reserved for the angels that sinned by taking on human form and marrying human women and fathering unnatural offspring (2 Peter 2:4).

There are seven Hebrew and Greek words that are translated as "hell" and "grave" as follows:

1. Sheol - the unseen world. It always refers to the realm or unseen world of departed spirits, and is always in contrast with qeber which means the grave, or seen world where bodies are buried. In the KJV, sheol is translated "hell" 31 times, "grave" 31 times, and "pit" 3 times. The rendering of sheol as "grave" is an unfortunate translation, and is incorrect.

2. Qeber - The proper Hebrew word for the grave, and is translated six different ways and always of the place where the body goes at death:

Grave (Gen. 35:20; 50:5; Num. 19:16, 18; 2 Sam. 3:32; 19:37; 1 Ki. 13:30; 14:13; 2 Ki. 22:20; 2 Chr. 34:28; Job 3:22; 5:26; 10:19; 21:32; Ps. 88:5, 11; Isa. 14:19; 53:9; Ez. 32:23-24; Nah, 1:14)

Graves (Ex. 14:11; 2 Ki. 23:6; 2 Chr. 34:4; Job 17:1; Isa. 65:4; Jer. 8:1; 26:23; Ez. 32:22-25; 37:12-13; 39:11)

Burial (2 Chr. 26:23; Eccl. 6:3; Isa. 14:20; Jer. 22:19)

Burying Place (Gen. 23:4, 9, 20; 47:30; 49:30; 50:13; Judg 16:31)

Sepulchre (Gen. 23:6; Dt. 34:6; Judg. 8:32; 1 Sam. 10:2; 2 Sam. 2:32; 4:12; 17:23; 21:14; 1 Ki. 13:22, 31; 2 Ki. 9:28; 13:21; 21:26; 23:17, 30; Ps. 5:9; Isa. 22:16; Jer. 5:16)

Sepulchres (Gen. 23:6; 2 Ki. 23:16; 2 Chr. 16:14; 21:20; 24:25; 28:27; 32:33; 35:24; Neh. 2:3, 5; 3:16)

3. Hades - the unseen world. It is the Greek equivalent of sheol in the Old Testament, and is always in contrast with mnemeion which is the proper Greek word for the grave, and refers to the seen world or place where dead bodies go at death, and is never translated as "hell." In the KJV hades is translated "hell" 10 times, and "grave" 1 time.

4. Mnaymeion - This is the proper Greek word for grave and is translated 6 different ways:

Grave (Jn. 11:17, 31, 38; 12:17)

Graves (Matt. 27:52-53; Lk. 11:44; Jn. 5:28; Rev. 11:9)

Tomb (Matt. 27:60; Mk. 6:29)

Tombs (Matt. 8:28; Mk. 5:2-5; Lk. 8:27)

Sepulchre (Matt. 27:60; 28:8; Mk. 15:46; 16:2-8; Lk. 23:53, 55; 24:1-2, 9, 12, 22, 24; Jn. 19:41-42; 20:1-11; Acts 2:29; 7:16; 13:29)

Sepulchres (Matt. 23:29; Lk. 11:47-48)

5. Gehenna - from the Hebrew ge (gorge, valley) and Hinnom, a Jebusite name. It means "valley of Hinnom," where perpetual fires were kept for burning the trash of Jerusalem. Jesus used it as a picture of eternal hell and eternal punishment. It is translated "hell" 12 times, and is never translated as "grave."

6. Tartaros (Tartarus) - the deepest abyss of sheol-hades. It is where the angels who "kept not their first estate" are being confined (2 Pet. 2:4) until their judgment.

7. Limnen tou puros (Lake of Fire) - This is the same as the gehenna of fire, the eternal hell and perdition of all rebels against God, and is used 5 times (Rev. 19:20; 20:10-15; 21:8).

If one were to do a study of all the above, it would be seen that the teachings that hell is the grave, or that it is here on earth, or that it is a state of mind are all in error and do not line up with the inspired, written Word of God.


Eighty-Eight Facts Proving Hell Is Not The Grave
(Taken From Dake's Annotated Reference Bible)

1. In Scripture, Sheol/Hades (hell) is never the place of the body; qeber/mnemeion (grave) is never the place of the soul (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:25-29).
2. Sheowl (OT:7585) is never in the plural; qeber (OT:6913) is plural 38 times, and singular 74 times.
3. Sheowl (OT:7585) is never located on earth; qeber (OT:6913) is located on earth 73 times.
4. The body never goes to sheowl (OT:7585); the body is mentioned as going to qeber (OT:6913) 75 times.
5. An individual's sheowl (OT:7585) is never mentioned; an individual's qeber (OT:6913) is mentioned 79 times.
6. Man never puts anyone into sheowl (OT:7585); man puts bodies into a qeber (OT:6913) 40 times.
7. Man never digs or makes a sheowl (OT:7585); man digs and makes a qeber (OT:6913) 51 times.
8. Man on earth never touches a sheowl (OT:7585); he touches a qeber (OT:6913) 51 times.
9. Man has never seen a sheowl (OT:7585) on earth; he has seen a qeber (OT:6913) 51 times.
10. God alone puts men into sheowl (OT:7585) (Numbers 16:30-33; 1 Samuel 2:6; Ezekiel 31:16; Luke 16:19-31).
11. God alone will bring men out of sheowl (OT:7585) (1 Samuel 2:6; Rev. 20:11-15).
12. Hell-bound men descend (Isaiah 5:14) and go down (into the lower parts of the earth) into sheowl (OT:7585) at death (Genesis 37:35; Genesis 42:38; Genesis 44:29,31; Numbers 16:30-33; 1 Samuel 2:6; 1 Kings 2:6,9; Job 7:9-10; Job 17:16; Job 21:13; Psalm 31:16-17; Isaiah 14:9-16; Ezekiel 31:15-17; Ezekiel 32:27; Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15).
13. People go into sheowl (OT:7585) in a moment and quickly (Numbers 16:30-33; Job 21:13; Psalm 55:15; Luke 16:19-31).
14. People are forced into sheowl (OT:7585) (Isaiah 5:15).
15. People are cast into sheowl (OT:7585) (Ezekiel 31:15-17).
16. Sheol is located in the nether parts of the earth (Ezekiel 31:14-18; Ezekiel 32:24), lower parts of the earth (Psalm 63:9; Psalm 68:18; Ephes. 4:8-10), heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40), below the depth of the seas and below the foundations of the mountains (Jonah 2:2-6), beneath like a pit (Proverbs 15:24; Isaiah 14:9-16; Ezekiel 31:14-18; Ezekiel 32:18-31), and is too deep to dig into (Job 11:8; Amos 9:2).
17. Sheol/Hades, unlike the grave, is a place of activity, a place of wrath (Deut. 32:22; Luke 16:19-31).
18. A place of sorrow (Genesis 42:38; Genesis 44:29,31; 2 Samuel 22:6; Psalm 18:5; Psalm 55:15; Psalm 116:3; Proverbs 7:27; Isaiah 14:9-15).
19. A place of fire (Deut. 32:22; Song 8:6; Luke 16:19-31).
20. A place hidden from man, but naked before God (Job 26:6; Psalm 139:8; Proverbs 15:11; Amos 9:2)
21. A place of power (Psalm 49:15; Hosea 13:14; Matthew 16:18; 1 Cor. 15:51-56; Rev. 1:18; Rev. 6:8).
22. A place of full consciousness (Isaiah 14:9-15; Ezekiel 32:27-31; Luke 16:19-31).
23. A place for the soul and spirit, not the body (Psalm 16:10; Psalm 30:3; Psalm 49:15; Psalm 86:13; Psalm 89:48; Proverbs 23:14; Acts 2:25-29).
24. A place of conversations (Isaiah 14:9-16; Ezekiel 32:21; Luke 16:19-31).
25. A place where many kings and chief ones of the earth live after death (Isaiah 14:9-11).
26. A place where its inhabitants are stirred up at the coming of others (Isaiah 14:9-11; Ezekiel 32:27-32).
27. A place where great men acknowledge their defeat (Isaiah 14:9-11).
28. A place where men recognize and converse with one another (Isaiah 14:16; Luke 16:9-31).
29. A place where knowledge and memory exist (Isaiah 14:10,16; Luke 16:19-31).
30. A place for the proud-Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15. If the grave is hell then the curse of Jesus here is meaningless, for all go to graves physically, the proud and the humble, without such a curse (Hebrews 9:27).
31. A place of torment (Luke 16:23).
32. A place of prayer (Jonah 2:2; Luke 16:19-31).
33. A place of regret over mistreatment of others (Luke 16:24-31).
34. A place where men still have willpower, though it is too late to accept God's terms and escape hell (Luke 16:24-31).
35. A place where men are conscious of life on earth, but cannot visit earth to warn men of the real torments (Luke 16:26-31).
36. A place where the lost become concious of the need of soul-winning (Luke 16:27-31).
37. A place so terrible that those who are in it plead for some means of warning others not to come there (Luke 16:26-31).
38. A place where souls are not burned up by the fire (Luke 16:22-31; 1 Peter 3:4).
39. A place of cruelty (Song 8:6).
40. A place that has enlarged itself-it has not been enlarged by men (Isaiah 5:14).
41. A place that is never full or satisfied (Proverbs 27:20; Proverbs 30:16; Habakkuk 2:5).
42. A place that receives men in numbers like flocks of sheep (note, Psalm 49:14).
43. A place from which only salvation can deliver one (Psalm 86:13).
44. A place of gates and bars (Job 17:16; Isaiah 38:10; Matthew 16:18; Rev. 1:18).
45. A place of debasement (Isaiah 57:9).
46. A place of pains (Psalm 18:5; Psalm 116:3; Luke 16:19-31).
47. A temporary place of torment (Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 20:11-15).
48. A place of two compartments-one for the righteous before the resurrection of Christ, and one for the wicked departed souls from Abel's time to the end of the Millennium-with a great gulf between the compartments forbidding travel but not communication between them (Luke 16:19-31).
The Paradise Compartment of Sheol:
49. A place other than the grave for the righteous who, until Christ came, were captives of the devil against their will (Hebrews 2:14-15). It was called Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:22) and paradise (Luke 23:43).
50. It was a hiding place from God's wrath after death (Job 14:13; Luke 16:19-31), a place without fire, but with water and other comforts (Ezekiel 31:16; Luke 16:19-31).
51. Lazarus went into this place of comfort, but his body went to the grave (Luke 16:19-31).
52. Christ and the penitent thief went into paradise at death (Psalm 16:10; Matthew 12:40; Luke 23:43; Ephes. 4:8-10).
53. Jonah also went into this compartment while his body was dead in the belly of the whale (Jonah 2:2,6-7; Matthew 12:40).
54. Angels carried the righteous souls into this compartment, but men carried their bodies to graves (Luke 16:22-26; Luke 23:43).
55. Christ, while there, preached to the angels in tartarus, proving that the hell He was in is not the grave (Psalm 16:10; 1 Peter 3:19).
56. Christ, while in Sheol/Hades, liberated the righteous captives of Satan taking them to heaven with Him when He ascended on high (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 2:14-15).
57. Paradise is now empty of all the righteous souls (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 12:23); the graves continue to hold bodies of both the righteous and unrighteous.
58. The righteous were alive in paradise, else Christ could not have preached and liberated the righteous captives; and Lazarus and others in this place could not have been comforted (Luke 16:19-31).
The Torment Compartment of Sheol:
59. It is the lowest part of Sheol, even lower than paradise, and therefore could not be the grave (Deut. 32:22; Psalm 86:13; Proverbs 9:18; Isaiah 57:9).
60. The greater number of people (not all) go into it at death (Deut. 32:22; Psalm 9:17; Isaiah 5:14; Luke 16:19-31), whereas all men go into a grave, watery or otherwise, at death.
61. The fire in it is as literal as the mountains (Deut. 32:22; Luke 16:19-31).
62. The fire is kindled in God's wrath (Deut. 32:22)
63. Entrance into it is down, deeper than a grave, through the earth to its center (Numbers 16:30-33; Matthew 12:40; Ephes. 4:8-10).
64. Bodies of men are buried at the mouth of it on the earth's surface only (Psalm 141:7).
65. Men go alive into it (Numbers 16:30-33; Psalm 88:3; Proverbs 1:12; Ezekiel 32:27-31; Luke 16:19-31).
66. The wicked only are tormented in it (Deut. 32:22; Psalm 9:17; Proverbs 5:5; Proverbs 7:27; Proverbs 9:18; Isaiah 14:9-16; Luke 16:19-31).
67. Its depth is contrasted with the height of heaven, which could never be so of the grave (Job 11:7; Isaiah 57:9; Amos 9:2).
68. The Rephaim, or giants, are there for sexual sins, proving that they are still alive in sheowl (OT:7585) ( Genesis 6:1-4; Proverbs 9:18; Proverbs 21:16; Isaiah 14:9-19; Isaiah 26:14).
69. Christ now has the keys of Sheol/Hades (Rev. 1:18).
70. Chastening can help men to be godly and escape it (Proverbs 23:14), but chastening will not keep men from graves. All go to graves, but all do not go to hell. In fact, no saved man goes there since Christ conquered hell (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-24; Hebrews 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11).
71. The gates of hell (Hades) shall not prevail against the church in this age (Matthew 16:18), but they did prevail against O.T. saints, for they all went down into the paradise compartment of sheowl (OT:7585) and were held captive by Satan against their will (Hebrews 2:14-15). Since the resurrection of Christ, saints do not go to Sheol/Hades as before He conquered hell and liberated the righteous souls from Satan, leading them captive to heaven (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 2:14-15). Saints of this age now go to heaven at death instead of to Sheol (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-24; Hebrews 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11), which proves that hell is not the grave. No such change regarding graves has ever been made. The bodies of both the righteous and the wicked continue to be put into graves.
72. Every man in Sheol/Hades will be brought out and judged 1,000 years after the righteous have been resurrected (Rev. 20:4-6,11-15). If men at death are extinct or unconscious in graves, why bring them back into existence or consciousness just to judge them and send them into extinction of being again, as false cults teach? This would make the Bible a lie, for conscious punishment of sins would then be impossible. Unconsciousness in graves now, and unconsciousness and extinction of being in eternity, would not meet the demands of the law of eternal punishment for eternal rebellion, as we shall see below.
73. Sheol/Hades held the captives that were captured by Christ and taken to heaven when He ascended on high (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 2:14-15). How could extinct or unconcious men be held captive? Why would Christ even attempt to capture extinct beings? What would He want with them? Those He captured must have been real and living, for God is not the God of the dead bodies of men but of their living souls (Luke 20:38). If the captives were brought back into being again when their captivity by Christ took place, then the resurrection of the righteous has already taken place and many scriptures stating the future resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked are without meaning (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; 1 Thes. 4:16; Rev. 20:4-6).
74. Qeber/mnemeion, the proper words for grave, are never translated "hell." Sheol/Hades should never have been translated "grave." To prove this, let us substitute hell where burial, grave, tomb, and sepulchre are found and see how ridiculous it would be:
Examples of Using "Hell" for "Grave":
(1) Choice of our hells (Genesis 23:6)
(2) Jacob set a pillar upon her hell (Genesis 35:20)
(3) In my hell which I have digged (Genesis 50:5)
(4) Because ... no hells in Egypt (Exodus 14:11)
(5) Whosoever touches a hell shall be unclean seven days (Numbers 19:16,18)
(6) Buried by the hell of my father (2 Samuel 19:37)
(7) Carcass in his own hell (1 Kings 13:30)
(8) The hell of Elisha (2 Kings 13:21)
(9) Hell of the man of God (2 Kings 23:17)
(10) Remain among the hells (Isaiah 65:4)
(11) Bones out of hells (Jeremiah 8:1)
(12) Hells of the prophets (Matthew 23:29)
(13) Hells of the righteous (Matthew 23:29)
(14) Dwelling among the hells (Mark 5:3)
Examples of Using "Grave" for "Hell":
(1) Fire burning in the lowest grave kindled by God's wrath (Deut. 32:22)
(2) Sorrows of the grave (2 Samuel 22:6)
(3) Wicked and all nations that forget God turned into the grave (Psalm 9:17)
(4) Soul in the grave (Psalm 16:10)
(5) Pains of the grave (Psalm 116:3)
(6) The grave is never full (Proverbs 27:20)
(7) The inhabitants of the grave move to welcome you at your coming (Isaiah 14:9)
(8) Speak out of the grave (Ezekiel 32:21)
(9) Shall be in danger of grave fire (Matthew 5:22; Matthew 18:9; Mark 9:43-49)
(10) Fire of the grave never quenched (Mark 9:43-49)
(11) God only has power to cast in the grave (Luke 12:5)
(12) In the grave he lift up his eyes, being in torments in fire ... flame (Luke 16:19-31)
(13) Angels cast down to the grave (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6-7)
Other Ridiculous Conclusions:
(1) They shall look into the grave on sinners where their worm does not die and their fire shall not be quenched (Isaiah 66:22-24).
(2) Cast into the grave where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:11-12; Matthew 22:13; Matthew 24:51; Matthew 25:30).
(3) Who has warned you to flee from wrath in the grave (Matthew 3:7)?
(4) Killed and cast into the fire of the grave (Matthew 3:10).
(5) Burn in unquenchable fire in the grave (Matthew 3:12; Matthew 7:19; Luke 3:17).
(6) Tares are burned in the grave fire (Matthew 13:40,50).
(7) Cast them into the grave of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:42).
(8) A two-fold child more of the grave than yourselves (Matthew 23:15).
(9) Be cast into everlasting fire in the grave (Matthew 18:8-10).
(10) Depart from Me, you cursed, into the grave of everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).
(11) These shall go away in the grave of everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46).
(12) The angels that sinned have been reserved in everlasting chains and set forth for an example of suffering the eternal fire of the grave (Jude 1:6-7).
(13) He opened the grave and out of it came forth smoke of a great furnace that darkened the sun (Rev. 9).
(14) The smoke of the grave rose up forever and ever (Rev. 19:3).
(15) Satan shall be cast into the grave of fire and brimstone and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever (Rev. 20:7-10).
(16) Death and the grave were cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14).
(17) All sinners shall have their part in the grave that burns with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:8; Rev. 22:15).
(18) Are you come to torment us (demons) in the grave before it is time to be tormented (Matthew 8:29)?
(19) Warn my five brethren lest they also come to this grave of torment in fire (Luke 16:19-31).
(20) He (Lazarus) has comfort in his grave but you have torment in yours (Luke 19:25).
(21) He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the grave and they shall have no rest day or night forever and ever (Rev. 14:9-11).
Many other statements just as ridiculous could be made if we, like false cults, forced a meaning into Scripture that is not there-that hell is the grave; that there is no consciousness after death; that eternal fire and eternal punishment in hell are false.
75. Hades (NT:86) is spoken of as being completely defeated (1 Cor. 15:55). This is sufficient proof that it isn't the grave.
76. The fact that the soul is immortal proves that it remains in consciousness some place between death and resurrection (note, 1 Peter 3:4). Since it does not go to the grave, but to hell (Isaiah 14:9-16; Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 20:11-15) or heaven (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-24; Hebrews 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11), then hell is not the grave.
77. Since the soul is immortal and the body mortal (Genesis 3:19; Eccles. 3:19-21), then it is clear that only the body goes into the grave to see corruption until its resurrection to immortality when (if wicked) it will be punished in hell with the soul or (if righteous), will be permitted to enjoy eternal bliss.
78. Since only the body is to be changed in the future resurrection of the dead, then only the body will come out of unconsciousness in the grave so it can be made as immortal as the soul and spirit, and be rewarded in heaven or punished in hell, according to its deeds (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Rev. 20:11-15). See notes on the resurrection, Daniel 12:2.
79. Since soul-sleep is not taught in Scripture and body-sleep is, then it is the body only that is unconscious in the grave. See No Soul-Sleep Taught in Scripture. The soul goes to hell or heaven at death, as seen in the many scriptures above.
80. Since the bodies of the wicked as well as the righteous will become immortal in the resurrection, then it is impossible to burn them up, consume them, annihilate them, or cause them to become extinct through fire or any other means. Where are immortal wicked beings going to spend eternity as everlasting monuments of God's wrath and examples of eternal punishment for rebellion (as in Isaiah 66:22-24; Rev. 14:9-11; etc.), if not in hell?
81. Because there is full consciousness in the intermediate state between death and resurrection, souls of the wicked as well as the righteous must go to some place of waiting to remain until the resurrection of the body. See pt. (14), The Doctrine of Man. Where would the wicked go to await their bodies and receive judgment and their degrees of punishment, if not to hell?
82. Since the word "hell" is never in the plural, and since it is always clear, not only from the original words but from the subject matter of the texts, that bodies are put into graves and souls go to heaven or hell, then we must acknowledge that hell is not the grave.
83. Of the 65 places where sheowl (OT:7585) is used, 11 where Hades is used, 12 where gehenna (NT:1067), 5 the lake of fire, and the 1 time where tartaros (the verb form tartaroo (NT:5020)) is used in Scripture, only 2 places seem to teach that hell is the grave and that there is no consciousness in Sheol (Psalm 6:5; Eccles. 9:10).
The first passage is simply the statement of a man in great distress. He could not see how the inhabitants in sheowl (OT:7585) could remember God's goodness and give thanks to Him while in torment such as the rich man suffered in Luke 16. It is easily conceivable how such tormented rebels against God would not give thanks to Him, so this would not prove anything regarding hell being the grave. David did not believe that hell was the grave and that there was no life in sheowl (OT:7585), for in many places he taught that Sheol was the place of the immortal soul (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:25-29); a place of sorrows and pains (Psalm 18:5); and a place of full consciousness where the wicked go at death (Psalm 9:17; Psalm 31:17; Psalm 68:18; Psalm 88:3).
In the second passage, Eccles. 9:10, Solomon merely expresses the idea that all human activity under the sun ceases at death, as proved by the next verse where he speaks of profit under the sun. The phrase "under the sun" is found 29 times in this short book. Solomon does not mean that hell is the grave in Eccles. 9:10, for elsewhere he teaches that the righteous do not go to the same compartment of Sheol as the wicked do (Proverbs 5:5; Proverbs 7:27; Proverbs 9:18; Proverbs 15:11,24; Proverbs 23:14; Proverbs 27:20).
84. The confinement of angels and demons to prisons under the earth because of sin proves that others-the immortal souls and spirits of the human race and of giants-can also be confined to material prisons in the underworld (Isaiah 24:21-22; 1 Peter 3:19; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6-7; Rev. 9:1-21; Rev. 20:1-10).
85. Examples of continued consciousness after death prove that hell and heaven are real places of life and not the grave where there is no life (Matthew 17:5; Luke 16:19-31; Hebrews 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11).
86. The Bible refers to life after death in many places.
87. Degrees of punishment in eternal hell prove that neither Sheol/Hades nor the lake of fire is the grave (Matthew 10:15; Matthew 11:22-24; Matthew 16:27; Matthew 23:12-15; Rev. 20:11-15). How could there be any kind of eternal punishment, much less degrees of punishment, if the wicked are extinct?
88. The eternal length of punishment of the wicked proves hell is not the grave. All bodies in graves will be resurrected and graves will be no more, but hell and eternal punishment will never end.

Some Fallacies About Hell
(Taken From Dake's Annotated Reference Bible)

1. Hell is the grave. This is abundantly disproved above.
2. Fire in hell is figurative. The word fire is found in Scripture 549 times and is used figuratively only a few times. It is always clear when it is used figuratively, as of anger (Psalm 89:46); jealousy (Psalm 79:5); zeal (Psalm 104:4; John 2:17); shame (Romans 12:20); trials (1 Peter 1:7); judgment (Zech. 13:9); Word of God (Jeremiah 23:29); tongue (James 3:5-6); and God (Hebrews 12:29). Fire is used in plain literal descriptive language in the following statements of hell:
(1) Set on fire the foundations of mountains in the lowest Sheol (Deut. 32:22).
(2) Neither shall their fire be quenched (Isaiah 66:22-24; Mark 9:43-49).
(3) Unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:10,12).
(4) Hell fire (Matthew 5:22; Matthew 18:9; Mark 9:43-49).
(5) Cast into the fire (Matthew 7:19).
(6) Furnace of fire (Matthew 13:40-50).
(7) Cast into everlasting fire (Matthew 18:8; Matthew 25:41,46).
(8) Fire that never shall be quenched (Mark 9:43-49; Luke 3:17).
(9) The vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:6-7).
(10) Tormented with fire and brimstone (Rev. 14:9-11).
(11) Lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev. 19:20; Rev. 21:8).
(12) Lake of fire and brimstone (Rev. 19:20; Rev. 20:14-15).
3. Punishment of hell not eternal. If language means anything the torments of hell are proved to be eternal in the following:
(1) Danger of eternal damnation (Mark 3:29)
(2) Eternal judgment (Hebrews 6:2)
(3) Vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:7)
(4) Shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29)
(5) Everlasting fire (Matthew 18:8; Matthew 25:41)
(6) Everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46)
(7) Everlasting destruction (2 Thes. 1:9)
(8) Everlasting chains (Jude 1:6-7)
(9) The smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever (Rev. 14:9-11).
(10) Tormented day and night forever and ever (Rev. 20:10)
The same words translated "eternal," "everlasting," and "forever and ever," which are used to state the eternity of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, life, etc., are also used of hell and punishment. Therefore, if these persons and things are eternal, then hell and punishment are eternal. Some teach that forever means age-long. This may be true when used in a limited and qualified sense of temporary things, as in Exodus 21:6, but when used literally of God's plan it always means eternal. The Hebrew word: (owlam (OT:5769) and the Greek word aionios (NT:166) mean time out of mind, past or future; eternity; always; forever; everlasting; perpetual; without end.

Hell Was Not Meant for Mankind

Jesus tells us that Hell was originally created for satan and his angels:

"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41). It was never intended for mankind to go to that awful place, but because Adam fell and thus joined satan in rebellion against God, we now have a fallen nature that is in rebellion against God, and will go there upon the death of the body unless one is born again of the Word and Spirit of God (John 3:3-7; Eph. 5:26; 1 Peter 1:23).

God provided the way to escape Hell so that none of us has to go there. He sent His unique Son, who was Himself God manifest in the flesh (John 1:1-11; 1 Tim. 3:16) to take our place and died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3; Gal. 1:4; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Jn. 2:2; 3:5; 4:10). By rejecting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord of our life, we choose to go to hell and join all others who have rebelled against God. Jesus is the only way to escape the damnation of hell. Won't you come to Him today, and invite Him to be your Savior and Lord? There is no other way:

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

Buddah cannot save you; Mohammed cannot save you. They are themselves, in hell awaiting their final judgment. Religions of men cannot save you, for they deny the only way of salvation and substitute the way God provided for their own ways. Won't you come to Jesus Christ today?


Pastor Jack Howell
"Some bring God's curse on them by marking off part of the Bible, calling it erroneous, uninspired, less than the very Word of God." - Dr. John R. Rice

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)



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Joined: June 13th, 2006, 12:37 am

April 22nd, 2010, 6:25 pm #6

Is deceiving people into believing there is no afterlife and that Heaven and Hell are not real. In this way, he takes them with him when he is cast into the Lake of Fire""


Interesting contentions. I can hardly wait to read your substantiation (other than parroting hearsay as truth of course) backing up those contentions ................

New!! Improved!! Now With T-Formula!!


People are intrinsically intelligent
When people are put together, they could become a herd
When people turn a herd, they could become sheeple
When people turn sheeple, they could become dumb animals
When people turn dumb animals, they become treated as such


He did a good job of duping a dupe when he duped you because you are so duped you don't even realize you are a dupe who has been duped! Come out of the darkness into the light of Jesus Christ!

Pastor Jack Howell
"Some bring God's curse on them by marking off part of the Bible, calling it erroneous, uninspired, less than the very Word of God." - Dr. John R. Rice

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)



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April 22nd, 2010, 6:33 pm #7

Rather than an unsaved person's unimportant and uninformed opinion about Hell, we should turn to the inspired, written Word of God to see what GOD has to say about Hell, for it is God's opinion and not that of an uninformed, unsaved man that really matters:
What Does The Bible Say About Hell?
By Pastor Jack Howell


There is a lot of false teaching going around regarding the the subject of hell. For example, some say it is merely the grave, and that there is no consciousness or torment. Others claim that it is a state of mind, and that hell is right here on earth. Preachers today, have gotten away from preaching on the subject Hell because either they no longer believe in it, due to receiving training from a Bible college or seminary that does not believe the Bible, or because they do not want to frighten or offend the members of their congregations. The Bible has a great deal to say regarding Hell, thus it is to the inspired, written Word of God that we must turn to for our information regarding this awful place.


Our English word Hell is defined as "the abode of departed spirits, infernal regions, place of eternal punishment, the abode of evil spirits." The word infernal means "belonging to Hell." The word inferno is another word for Hell. Gehenna is defined as "the place of future torment, hell, hellfire." Tartarus is defined as "the place of punishment in the lower world" and is reserved for the angels that sinned by taking on human form and marrying human women and fathering unnatural offspring (2 Peter 2:4).

There are seven Hebrew and Greek words that are translated as "hell" and "grave" as follows:

1. Sheol - the unseen world. It always refers to the realm or unseen world of departed spirits, and is always in contrast with qeber which means the grave, or seen world where bodies are buried. In the KJV, sheol is translated "hell" 31 times, "grave" 31 times, and "pit" 3 times. The rendering of sheol as "grave" is an unfortunate translation, and is incorrect.

2. Qeber - The proper Hebrew word for the grave, and is translated six different ways and always of the place where the body goes at death:

Grave (Gen. 35:20; 50:5; Num. 19:16, 18; 2 Sam. 3:32; 19:37; 1 Ki. 13:30; 14:13; 2 Ki. 22:20; 2 Chr. 34:28; Job 3:22; 5:26; 10:19; 21:32; Ps. 88:5, 11; Isa. 14:19; 53:9; Ez. 32:23-24; Nah, 1:14)

Graves (Ex. 14:11; 2 Ki. 23:6; 2 Chr. 34:4; Job 17:1; Isa. 65:4; Jer. 8:1; 26:23; Ez. 32:22-25; 37:12-13; 39:11)

Burial (2 Chr. 26:23; Eccl. 6:3; Isa. 14:20; Jer. 22:19)

Burying Place (Gen. 23:4, 9, 20; 47:30; 49:30; 50:13; Judg 16:31)

Sepulchre (Gen. 23:6; Dt. 34:6; Judg. 8:32; 1 Sam. 10:2; 2 Sam. 2:32; 4:12; 17:23; 21:14; 1 Ki. 13:22, 31; 2 Ki. 9:28; 13:21; 21:26; 23:17, 30; Ps. 5:9; Isa. 22:16; Jer. 5:16)

Sepulchres (Gen. 23:6; 2 Ki. 23:16; 2 Chr. 16:14; 21:20; 24:25; 28:27; 32:33; 35:24; Neh. 2:3, 5; 3:16)

3. Hades - the unseen world. It is the Greek equivalent of sheol in the Old Testament, and is always in contrast with mnemeion which is the proper Greek word for the grave, and refers to the seen world or place where dead bodies go at death, and is never translated as "hell." In the KJV hades is translated "hell" 10 times, and "grave" 1 time.

4. Mnaymeion - This is the proper Greek word for grave and is translated 6 different ways:

Grave (Jn. 11:17, 31, 38; 12:17)

Graves (Matt. 27:52-53; Lk. 11:44; Jn. 5:28; Rev. 11:9)

Tomb (Matt. 27:60; Mk. 6:29)

Tombs (Matt. 8:28; Mk. 5:2-5; Lk. 8:27)

Sepulchre (Matt. 27:60; 28:8; Mk. 15:46; 16:2-8; Lk. 23:53, 55; 24:1-2, 9, 12, 22, 24; Jn. 19:41-42; 20:1-11; Acts 2:29; 7:16; 13:29)

Sepulchres (Matt. 23:29; Lk. 11:47-48)

5. Gehenna - from the Hebrew ge (gorge, valley) and Hinnom, a Jebusite name. It means "valley of Hinnom," where perpetual fires were kept for burning the trash of Jerusalem. Jesus used it as a picture of eternal hell and eternal punishment. It is translated "hell" 12 times, and is never translated as "grave."

6. Tartaros (Tartarus) - the deepest abyss of sheol-hades. It is where the angels who "kept not their first estate" are being confined (2 Pet. 2:4) until their judgment.

7. Limnen tou puros (Lake of Fire) - This is the same as the gehenna of fire, the eternal hell and perdition of all rebels against God, and is used 5 times (Rev. 19:20; 20:10-15; 21:8).

If one were to do a study of all the above, it would be seen that the teachings that hell is the grave, or that it is here on earth, or that it is a state of mind are all in error and do not line up with the inspired, written Word of God.


Eighty-Eight Facts Proving Hell Is Not The Grave
(Taken From Dake's Annotated Reference Bible)

1. In Scripture, Sheol/Hades (hell) is never the place of the body; qeber/mnemeion (grave) is never the place of the soul (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:25-29).
2. Sheowl (OT:7585) is never in the plural; qeber (OT:6913) is plural 38 times, and singular 74 times.
3. Sheowl (OT:7585) is never located on earth; qeber (OT:6913) is located on earth 73 times.
4. The body never goes to sheowl (OT:7585); the body is mentioned as going to qeber (OT:6913) 75 times.
5. An individual's sheowl (OT:7585) is never mentioned; an individual's qeber (OT:6913) is mentioned 79 times.
6. Man never puts anyone into sheowl (OT:7585); man puts bodies into a qeber (OT:6913) 40 times.
7. Man never digs or makes a sheowl (OT:7585); man digs and makes a qeber (OT:6913) 51 times.
8. Man on earth never touches a sheowl (OT:7585); he touches a qeber (OT:6913) 51 times.
9. Man has never seen a sheowl (OT:7585) on earth; he has seen a qeber (OT:6913) 51 times.
10. God alone puts men into sheowl (OT:7585) (Numbers 16:30-33; 1 Samuel 2:6; Ezekiel 31:16; Luke 16:19-31).
11. God alone will bring men out of sheowl (OT:7585) (1 Samuel 2:6; Rev. 20:11-15).
12. Hell-bound men descend (Isaiah 5:14) and go down (into the lower parts of the earth) into sheowl (OT:7585) at death (Genesis 37:35; Genesis 42:38; Genesis 44:29,31; Numbers 16:30-33; 1 Samuel 2:6; 1 Kings 2:6,9; Job 7:9-10; Job 17:16; Job 21:13; Psalm 31:16-17; Isaiah 14:9-16; Ezekiel 31:15-17; Ezekiel 32:27; Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15).
13. People go into sheowl (OT:7585) in a moment and quickly (Numbers 16:30-33; Job 21:13; Psalm 55:15; Luke 16:19-31).
14. People are forced into sheowl (OT:7585) (Isaiah 5:15).
15. People are cast into sheowl (OT:7585) (Ezekiel 31:15-17).
16. Sheol is located in the nether parts of the earth (Ezekiel 31:14-18; Ezekiel 32:24), lower parts of the earth (Psalm 63:9; Psalm 68:18; Ephes. 4:8-10), heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40), below the depth of the seas and below the foundations of the mountains (Jonah 2:2-6), beneath like a pit (Proverbs 15:24; Isaiah 14:9-16; Ezekiel 31:14-18; Ezekiel 32:18-31), and is too deep to dig into (Job 11:8; Amos 9:2).
17. Sheol/Hades, unlike the grave, is a place of activity, a place of wrath (Deut. 32:22; Luke 16:19-31).
18. A place of sorrow (Genesis 42:38; Genesis 44:29,31; 2 Samuel 22:6; Psalm 18:5; Psalm 55:15; Psalm 116:3; Proverbs 7:27; Isaiah 14:9-15).
19. A place of fire (Deut. 32:22; Song 8:6; Luke 16:19-31).
20. A place hidden from man, but naked before God (Job 26:6; Psalm 139:8; Proverbs 15:11; Amos 9:2)
21. A place of power (Psalm 49:15; Hosea 13:14; Matthew 16:18; 1 Cor. 15:51-56; Rev. 1:18; Rev. 6:8).
22. A place of full consciousness (Isaiah 14:9-15; Ezekiel 32:27-31; Luke 16:19-31).
23. A place for the soul and spirit, not the body (Psalm 16:10; Psalm 30:3; Psalm 49:15; Psalm 86:13; Psalm 89:48; Proverbs 23:14; Acts 2:25-29).
24. A place of conversations (Isaiah 14:9-16; Ezekiel 32:21; Luke 16:19-31).
25. A place where many kings and chief ones of the earth live after death (Isaiah 14:9-11).
26. A place where its inhabitants are stirred up at the coming of others (Isaiah 14:9-11; Ezekiel 32:27-32).
27. A place where great men acknowledge their defeat (Isaiah 14:9-11).
28. A place where men recognize and converse with one another (Isaiah 14:16; Luke 16:9-31).
29. A place where knowledge and memory exist (Isaiah 14:10,16; Luke 16:19-31).
30. A place for the proud-Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15. If the grave is hell then the curse of Jesus here is meaningless, for all go to graves physically, the proud and the humble, without such a curse (Hebrews 9:27).
31. A place of torment (Luke 16:23).
32. A place of prayer (Jonah 2:2; Luke 16:19-31).
33. A place of regret over mistreatment of others (Luke 16:24-31).
34. A place where men still have willpower, though it is too late to accept God's terms and escape hell (Luke 16:24-31).
35. A place where men are conscious of life on earth, but cannot visit earth to warn men of the real torments (Luke 16:26-31).
36. A place where the lost become concious of the need of soul-winning (Luke 16:27-31).
37. A place so terrible that those who are in it plead for some means of warning others not to come there (Luke 16:26-31).
38. A place where souls are not burned up by the fire (Luke 16:22-31; 1 Peter 3:4).
39. A place of cruelty (Song 8:6).
40. A place that has enlarged itself-it has not been enlarged by men (Isaiah 5:14).
41. A place that is never full or satisfied (Proverbs 27:20; Proverbs 30:16; Habakkuk 2:5).
42. A place that receives men in numbers like flocks of sheep (note, Psalm 49:14).
43. A place from which only salvation can deliver one (Psalm 86:13).
44. A place of gates and bars (Job 17:16; Isaiah 38:10; Matthew 16:18; Rev. 1:18).
45. A place of debasement (Isaiah 57:9).
46. A place of pains (Psalm 18:5; Psalm 116:3; Luke 16:19-31).
47. A temporary place of torment (Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 20:11-15).
48. A place of two compartments-one for the righteous before the resurrection of Christ, and one for the wicked departed souls from Abel's time to the end of the Millennium-with a great gulf between the compartments forbidding travel but not communication between them (Luke 16:19-31).
The Paradise Compartment of Sheol:
49. A place other than the grave for the righteous who, until Christ came, were captives of the devil against their will (Hebrews 2:14-15). It was called Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:22) and paradise (Luke 23:43).
50. It was a hiding place from God's wrath after death (Job 14:13; Luke 16:19-31), a place without fire, but with water and other comforts (Ezekiel 31:16; Luke 16:19-31).
51. Lazarus went into this place of comfort, but his body went to the grave (Luke 16:19-31).
52. Christ and the penitent thief went into paradise at death (Psalm 16:10; Matthew 12:40; Luke 23:43; Ephes. 4:8-10).
53. Jonah also went into this compartment while his body was dead in the belly of the whale (Jonah 2:2,6-7; Matthew 12:40).
54. Angels carried the righteous souls into this compartment, but men carried their bodies to graves (Luke 16:22-26; Luke 23:43).
55. Christ, while there, preached to the angels in tartarus, proving that the hell He was in is not the grave (Psalm 16:10; 1 Peter 3:19).
56. Christ, while in Sheol/Hades, liberated the righteous captives of Satan taking them to heaven with Him when He ascended on high (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 2:14-15).
57. Paradise is now empty of all the righteous souls (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 12:23); the graves continue to hold bodies of both the righteous and unrighteous.
58. The righteous were alive in paradise, else Christ could not have preached and liberated the righteous captives; and Lazarus and others in this place could not have been comforted (Luke 16:19-31).
The Torment Compartment of Sheol:
59. It is the lowest part of Sheol, even lower than paradise, and therefore could not be the grave (Deut. 32:22; Psalm 86:13; Proverbs 9:18; Isaiah 57:9).
60. The greater number of people (not all) go into it at death (Deut. 32:22; Psalm 9:17; Isaiah 5:14; Luke 16:19-31), whereas all men go into a grave, watery or otherwise, at death.
61. The fire in it is as literal as the mountains (Deut. 32:22; Luke 16:19-31).
62. The fire is kindled in God's wrath (Deut. 32:22)
63. Entrance into it is down, deeper than a grave, through the earth to its center (Numbers 16:30-33; Matthew 12:40; Ephes. 4:8-10).
64. Bodies of men are buried at the mouth of it on the earth's surface only (Psalm 141:7).
65. Men go alive into it (Numbers 16:30-33; Psalm 88:3; Proverbs 1:12; Ezekiel 32:27-31; Luke 16:19-31).
66. The wicked only are tormented in it (Deut. 32:22; Psalm 9:17; Proverbs 5:5; Proverbs 7:27; Proverbs 9:18; Isaiah 14:9-16; Luke 16:19-31).
67. Its depth is contrasted with the height of heaven, which could never be so of the grave (Job 11:7; Isaiah 57:9; Amos 9:2).
68. The Rephaim, or giants, are there for sexual sins, proving that they are still alive in sheowl (OT:7585) ( Genesis 6:1-4; Proverbs 9:18; Proverbs 21:16; Isaiah 14:9-19; Isaiah 26:14).
69. Christ now has the keys of Sheol/Hades (Rev. 1:18).
70. Chastening can help men to be godly and escape it (Proverbs 23:14), but chastening will not keep men from graves. All go to graves, but all do not go to hell. In fact, no saved man goes there since Christ conquered hell (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-24; Hebrews 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11).
71. The gates of hell (Hades) shall not prevail against the church in this age (Matthew 16:18), but they did prevail against O.T. saints, for they all went down into the paradise compartment of sheowl (OT:7585) and were held captive by Satan against their will (Hebrews 2:14-15). Since the resurrection of Christ, saints do not go to Sheol/Hades as before He conquered hell and liberated the righteous souls from Satan, leading them captive to heaven (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 2:14-15). Saints of this age now go to heaven at death instead of to Sheol (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-24; Hebrews 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11), which proves that hell is not the grave. No such change regarding graves has ever been made. The bodies of both the righteous and the wicked continue to be put into graves.
72. Every man in Sheol/Hades will be brought out and judged 1,000 years after the righteous have been resurrected (Rev. 20:4-6,11-15). If men at death are extinct or unconscious in graves, why bring them back into existence or consciousness just to judge them and send them into extinction of being again, as false cults teach? This would make the Bible a lie, for conscious punishment of sins would then be impossible. Unconsciousness in graves now, and unconsciousness and extinction of being in eternity, would not meet the demands of the law of eternal punishment for eternal rebellion, as we shall see below.
73. Sheol/Hades held the captives that were captured by Christ and taken to heaven when He ascended on high (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 2:14-15). How could extinct or unconcious men be held captive? Why would Christ even attempt to capture extinct beings? What would He want with them? Those He captured must have been real and living, for God is not the God of the dead bodies of men but of their living souls (Luke 20:38). If the captives were brought back into being again when their captivity by Christ took place, then the resurrection of the righteous has already taken place and many scriptures stating the future resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked are without meaning (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; 1 Thes. 4:16; Rev. 20:4-6).
74. Qeber/mnemeion, the proper words for grave, are never translated "hell." Sheol/Hades should never have been translated "grave." To prove this, let us substitute hell where burial, grave, tomb, and sepulchre are found and see how ridiculous it would be:
Examples of Using "Hell" for "Grave":
(1) Choice of our hells (Genesis 23:6)
(2) Jacob set a pillar upon her hell (Genesis 35:20)
(3) In my hell which I have digged (Genesis 50:5)
(4) Because ... no hells in Egypt (Exodus 14:11)
(5) Whosoever touches a hell shall be unclean seven days (Numbers 19:16,18)
(6) Buried by the hell of my father (2 Samuel 19:37)
(7) Carcass in his own hell (1 Kings 13:30)
(8) The hell of Elisha (2 Kings 13:21)
(9) Hell of the man of God (2 Kings 23:17)
(10) Remain among the hells (Isaiah 65:4)
(11) Bones out of hells (Jeremiah 8:1)
(12) Hells of the prophets (Matthew 23:29)
(13) Hells of the righteous (Matthew 23:29)
(14) Dwelling among the hells (Mark 5:3)
Examples of Using "Grave" for "Hell":
(1) Fire burning in the lowest grave kindled by God's wrath (Deut. 32:22)
(2) Sorrows of the grave (2 Samuel 22:6)
(3) Wicked and all nations that forget God turned into the grave (Psalm 9:17)
(4) Soul in the grave (Psalm 16:10)
(5) Pains of the grave (Psalm 116:3)
(6) The grave is never full (Proverbs 27:20)
(7) The inhabitants of the grave move to welcome you at your coming (Isaiah 14:9)
(8) Speak out of the grave (Ezekiel 32:21)
(9) Shall be in danger of grave fire (Matthew 5:22; Matthew 18:9; Mark 9:43-49)
(10) Fire of the grave never quenched (Mark 9:43-49)
(11) God only has power to cast in the grave (Luke 12:5)
(12) In the grave he lift up his eyes, being in torments in fire ... flame (Luke 16:19-31)
(13) Angels cast down to the grave (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6-7)
Other Ridiculous Conclusions:
(1) They shall look into the grave on sinners where their worm does not die and their fire shall not be quenched (Isaiah 66:22-24).
(2) Cast into the grave where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:11-12; Matthew 22:13; Matthew 24:51; Matthew 25:30).
(3) Who has warned you to flee from wrath in the grave (Matthew 3:7)?
(4) Killed and cast into the fire of the grave (Matthew 3:10).
(5) Burn in unquenchable fire in the grave (Matthew 3:12; Matthew 7:19; Luke 3:17).
(6) Tares are burned in the grave fire (Matthew 13:40,50).
(7) Cast them into the grave of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:42).
(8) A two-fold child more of the grave than yourselves (Matthew 23:15).
(9) Be cast into everlasting fire in the grave (Matthew 18:8-10).
(10) Depart from Me, you cursed, into the grave of everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).
(11) These shall go away in the grave of everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46).
(12) The angels that sinned have been reserved in everlasting chains and set forth for an example of suffering the eternal fire of the grave (Jude 1:6-7).
(13) He opened the grave and out of it came forth smoke of a great furnace that darkened the sun (Rev. 9).
(14) The smoke of the grave rose up forever and ever (Rev. 19:3).
(15) Satan shall be cast into the grave of fire and brimstone and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever (Rev. 20:7-10).
(16) Death and the grave were cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14).
(17) All sinners shall have their part in the grave that burns with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:8; Rev. 22:15).
(18) Are you come to torment us (demons) in the grave before it is time to be tormented (Matthew 8:29)?
(19) Warn my five brethren lest they also come to this grave of torment in fire (Luke 16:19-31).
(20) He (Lazarus) has comfort in his grave but you have torment in yours (Luke 19:25).
(21) He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the grave and they shall have no rest day or night forever and ever (Rev. 14:9-11).
Many other statements just as ridiculous could be made if we, like false cults, forced a meaning into Scripture that is not there-that hell is the grave; that there is no consciousness after death; that eternal fire and eternal punishment in hell are false.
75. Hades (NT:86) is spoken of as being completely defeated (1 Cor. 15:55). This is sufficient proof that it isn't the grave.
76. The fact that the soul is immortal proves that it remains in consciousness some place between death and resurrection (note, 1 Peter 3:4). Since it does not go to the grave, but to hell (Isaiah 14:9-16; Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 20:11-15) or heaven (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-24; Hebrews 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11), then hell is not the grave.
77. Since the soul is immortal and the body mortal (Genesis 3:19; Eccles. 3:19-21), then it is clear that only the body goes into the grave to see corruption until its resurrection to immortality when (if wicked) it will be punished in hell with the soul or (if righteous), will be permitted to enjoy eternal bliss.
78. Since only the body is to be changed in the future resurrection of the dead, then only the body will come out of unconsciousness in the grave so it can be made as immortal as the soul and spirit, and be rewarded in heaven or punished in hell, according to its deeds (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Rev. 20:11-15). See notes on the resurrection, Daniel 12:2.
79. Since soul-sleep is not taught in Scripture and body-sleep is, then it is the body only that is unconscious in the grave. See No Soul-Sleep Taught in Scripture. The soul goes to hell or heaven at death, as seen in the many scriptures above.
80. Since the bodies of the wicked as well as the righteous will become immortal in the resurrection, then it is impossible to burn them up, consume them, annihilate them, or cause them to become extinct through fire or any other means. Where are immortal wicked beings going to spend eternity as everlasting monuments of God's wrath and examples of eternal punishment for rebellion (as in Isaiah 66:22-24; Rev. 14:9-11; etc.), if not in hell?
81. Because there is full consciousness in the intermediate state between death and resurrection, souls of the wicked as well as the righteous must go to some place of waiting to remain until the resurrection of the body. See pt. (14), The Doctrine of Man. Where would the wicked go to await their bodies and receive judgment and their degrees of punishment, if not to hell?
82. Since the word "hell" is never in the plural, and since it is always clear, not only from the original words but from the subject matter of the texts, that bodies are put into graves and souls go to heaven or hell, then we must acknowledge that hell is not the grave.
83. Of the 65 places where sheowl (OT:7585) is used, 11 where Hades is used, 12 where gehenna (NT:1067), 5 the lake of fire, and the 1 time where tartaros (the verb form tartaroo (NT:5020)) is used in Scripture, only 2 places seem to teach that hell is the grave and that there is no consciousness in Sheol (Psalm 6:5; Eccles. 9:10).
The first passage is simply the statement of a man in great distress. He could not see how the inhabitants in sheowl (OT:7585) could remember God's goodness and give thanks to Him while in torment such as the rich man suffered in Luke 16. It is easily conceivable how such tormented rebels against God would not give thanks to Him, so this would not prove anything regarding hell being the grave. David did not believe that hell was the grave and that there was no life in sheowl (OT:7585), for in many places he taught that Sheol was the place of the immortal soul (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:25-29); a place of sorrows and pains (Psalm 18:5); and a place of full consciousness where the wicked go at death (Psalm 9:17; Psalm 31:17; Psalm 68:18; Psalm 88:3).
In the second passage, Eccles. 9:10, Solomon merely expresses the idea that all human activity under the sun ceases at death, as proved by the next verse where he speaks of profit under the sun. The phrase "under the sun" is found 29 times in this short book. Solomon does not mean that hell is the grave in Eccles. 9:10, for elsewhere he teaches that the righteous do not go to the same compartment of Sheol as the wicked do (Proverbs 5:5; Proverbs 7:27; Proverbs 9:18; Proverbs 15:11,24; Proverbs 23:14; Proverbs 27:20).
84. The confinement of angels and demons to prisons under the earth because of sin proves that others-the immortal souls and spirits of the human race and of giants-can also be confined to material prisons in the underworld (Isaiah 24:21-22; 1 Peter 3:19; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6-7; Rev. 9:1-21; Rev. 20:1-10).
85. Examples of continued consciousness after death prove that hell and heaven are real places of life and not the grave where there is no life (Matthew 17:5; Luke 16:19-31; Hebrews 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11).
86. The Bible refers to life after death in many places.
87. Degrees of punishment in eternal hell prove that neither Sheol/Hades nor the lake of fire is the grave (Matthew 10:15; Matthew 11:22-24; Matthew 16:27; Matthew 23:12-15; Rev. 20:11-15). How could there be any kind of eternal punishment, much less degrees of punishment, if the wicked are extinct?
88. The eternal length of punishment of the wicked proves hell is not the grave. All bodies in graves will be resurrected and graves will be no more, but hell and eternal punishment will never end.

Some Fallacies About Hell
(Taken From Dake's Annotated Reference Bible)

1. Hell is the grave. This is abundantly disproved above.
2. Fire in hell is figurative. The word fire is found in Scripture 549 times and is used figuratively only a few times. It is always clear when it is used figuratively, as of anger (Psalm 89:46); jealousy (Psalm 79:5); zeal (Psalm 104:4; John 2:17); shame (Romans 12:20); trials (1 Peter 1:7); judgment (Zech. 13:9); Word of God (Jeremiah 23:29); tongue (James 3:5-6); and God (Hebrews 12:29). Fire is used in plain literal descriptive language in the following statements of hell:
(1) Set on fire the foundations of mountains in the lowest Sheol (Deut. 32:22).
(2) Neither shall their fire be quenched (Isaiah 66:22-24; Mark 9:43-49).
(3) Unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:10,12).
(4) Hell fire (Matthew 5:22; Matthew 18:9; Mark 9:43-49).
(5) Cast into the fire (Matthew 7:19).
(6) Furnace of fire (Matthew 13:40-50).
(7) Cast into everlasting fire (Matthew 18:8; Matthew 25:41,46).
(8) Fire that never shall be quenched (Mark 9:43-49; Luke 3:17).
(9) The vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:6-7).
(10) Tormented with fire and brimstone (Rev. 14:9-11).
(11) Lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev. 19:20; Rev. 21:8).
(12) Lake of fire and brimstone (Rev. 19:20; Rev. 20:14-15).
3. Punishment of hell not eternal. If language means anything the torments of hell are proved to be eternal in the following:
(1) Danger of eternal damnation (Mark 3:29)
(2) Eternal judgment (Hebrews 6:2)
(3) Vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:7)
(4) Shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29)
(5) Everlasting fire (Matthew 18:8; Matthew 25:41)
(6) Everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46)
(7) Everlasting destruction (2 Thes. 1:9)
(8) Everlasting chains (Jude 1:6-7)
(9) The smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever (Rev. 14:9-11).
(10) Tormented day and night forever and ever (Rev. 20:10)
The same words translated "eternal," "everlasting," and "forever and ever," which are used to state the eternity of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, life, etc., are also used of hell and punishment. Therefore, if these persons and things are eternal, then hell and punishment are eternal. Some teach that forever means age-long. This may be true when used in a limited and qualified sense of temporary things, as in Exodus 21:6, but when used literally of God's plan it always means eternal. The Hebrew word: (owlam (OT:5769) and the Greek word aionios (NT:166) mean time out of mind, past or future; eternity; always; forever; everlasting; perpetual; without end.

Hell Was Not Meant for Mankind

Jesus tells us that Hell was originally created for satan and his angels:

"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41). It was never intended for mankind to go to that awful place, but because Adam fell and thus joined satan in rebellion against God, we now have a fallen nature that is in rebellion against God, and will go there upon the death of the body unless one is born again of the Word and Spirit of God (John 3:3-7; Eph. 5:26; 1 Peter 1:23).

God provided the way to escape Hell so that none of us has to go there. He sent His unique Son, who was Himself God manifest in the flesh (John 1:1-11; 1 Tim. 3:16) to take our place and died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3; Gal. 1:4; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Jn. 2:2; 3:5; 4:10). By rejecting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord of our life, we choose to go to hell and join all others who have rebelled against God. Jesus is the only way to escape the damnation of hell. Won't you come to Him today, and invite Him to be your Savior and Lord? There is no other way:

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

Buddah cannot save you; Mohammed cannot save you. They are themselves, in hell awaiting their final judgment. Religions of men cannot save you, for they deny the only way of salvation and substitute the way God provided for their own ways. Won't you come to Jesus Christ today?


Pastor Jack Howell
"Some bring God's curse on them by marking off part of the Bible, calling it erroneous, uninspired, less than the very Word of God." - Dr. John R. Rice

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)



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I see you're usurping the judgment throne. Just like your daddy.

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Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

April 22nd, 2010, 6:34 pm #8

He did a good job of duping a dupe when he duped you because you are so duped you don't even realize you are a dupe who has been duped! Come out of the darkness into the light of Jesus Christ!

Pastor Jack Howell
"Some bring God's curse on them by marking off part of the Bible, calling it erroneous, uninspired, less than the very Word of God." - Dr. John R. Rice

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)



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Dupe of Earl.

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Joined: June 13th, 2006, 12:37 am

April 22nd, 2010, 6:37 pm #9

I see you're usurping the judgment throne. Just like your daddy.
Just any universalist is unsaved.

Pastor Jack Howell
"Some bring God's curse on them by marking off part of the Bible, calling it erroneous, uninspired, less than the very Word of God." - Dr. John R. Rice

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)



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JVH
Joined: July 20th, 2009, 1:33 pm

April 22nd, 2010, 6:40 pm #10

Dupe of Earl.
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People are intrinsically intelligent
When people are put together, they could become a herd
When people turn a herd, they could become sheeple
When people turn sheeple, they could become dumb animals
When people turn dumb animals, they become treated as such


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