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Hell is a Conspircacy Theory- Proved False, From The Bible

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posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 08:21 PM
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Originally posted by Fromabove
Not everyone can be saved. Salvation is only for the children of God. to.


This is not true, it is from the Calvanist doctrine of predestination.

For God so love the world (everyone) that whoseover (anyone)...this is one of a multitude of scriptures that refute your statement.




posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 08:25 PM
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Originally posted by LeoVirgo
reply to post by Imago Dei
 


That is WHY the Bible's message is so clear right? That is why everyone understands just what is said in there right? I have studied it endlessly.

Its a book of hope for people who thinks knowledge of history brings them truth.

The problem is, if you would get to know your source of life from whence you came, you would see God differently without the book.

The main problem the Bible leads people into leads them right away from God. Which is, a need for blood, which is a need for death. Make sure you know what supernatural entity was being wrote about. Just because another man called it God doesnt make it so.

Spiritual seekers shouldnt be looking for truth....the should be looking for 'what makes sense' because this is the best tool you have with you....a sense recognizing 'home'.

We can discuss the Bible....half of my library has aided me in studying that book. In which lead me closer to God the more I realized that idea of God is what was keeping the Spirit being able to guide me and show me.

You mentioned a Near Death Experience....not sure why, I never mentioned anything about one. But if you would rather believe accounts in the Bible of people having dreams interpreted and reading stones over people today who might have some value from a unbiased experience, then by all means, that is why we have freedoms.

I only speak to show. Once you find understanding about the whole 'god' thing....and you consciously know that you have been shown something....its like a deal breaker...the only thing you can do is tell Thee...use me for your will. That is what has happened, and my life is now dedicated to Thee and a divine order. I cant show anyone really....but a tid bit of something I say may shine a light to someone to where they may remember who they are and what their purest nature is. I come from a family with a mother and a son who claim to of seen Jesus and these were not visions through any near death experience.

I have real reasons to believe what I believe...its been a 3 yr journey for me of me changing my beliefs from Christian to just being spiritual and not needing a label. There was never something learned in one day....but it was a sifting, like how flour sifts into dough. And the dough slowly rises. Seeking the Holy Spirit is a process but it is just as beautiful as anyone can imagine and then some.

So what are these proofs you said you have...about the Bible being given by a supernatural ?

[edit on 17-6-2009 by LeoVirgo]


I mentioned near death because it is your signature? Just because a personal experience has lead you to post something on a thread doesn't make it so or change what is written in the bible ( or to be more more precise; what the OP claims the bible teaches us). One doesnt need a book case full of books to see and read what is clearly written in the bible. This thread is about what the bible says about eternal hell, not ones personal experience or even interpretation of what is written. If it was about people's personal experiences, I wouldn't be commenting here.





[edit on 19-6-2009 by Imago Dei]



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 08:50 PM
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reply to post by Imago Dei
 





Obvioulsy I would like to to think that you and all others who believe hell is a myth where right, and as you say, I may not "understand" the bible the way you do, but I do know how to read, and I do know what is written in it is as clear as day. I for one do not believe the Devil wrote the bible, but I do know for a fact that he is the master of deception and the father of all lies. And on face value, and I say face value to allow you the benefit that there may be some Cryptic "hidden" unseen message or version of the bible that has some how been revealed to you other wise, but the bible that I have been reading for over 20 years is crystal clear on the reality of an eternal torment for satan and all of those who reject Christ as saviour. Further more introducing expressions of speech and sayings like "a day of infamy" does nothing to strengthen an arguement to the contrary nor does it refute biblical scirptural fact. Sorry guys this is a fanciful notion, as fancilful as any other notion one would expect from the heathen, new age or athiests. Certainly not a notion from a bible believing Christian who knows his bible. You can have this belief, but you can not call yourselves Christians if you do so, and it is only because it appears as though you are saying you are Christian that I have entered into the discussion. I really have no need to comment directly with non Christians on thier views and beliefs regardingthe Holy Bible and I generally only do so when they try to spout on about satan supposedly coming to our rescue in the garden. You have done nothing to prove the proposterous statement of this thread title which you wrongly stated as fact. How people can get away with creating conspiracies on a site that is opposed to conspricies would be quite amusing if it where not a mater of eternal life and death.


I too have been seriously studying the bible for over twenty years. Using multiple bibles and looking into the Hebrew and Greek languages. We have come to two very different conclusions. One of us is right and one of us is wrong.

I am very confident in my belief, to the point of staking my eternal life on it.

I have seen God's Holy Spirit in my life work against the works of Satan, just like it did in Jesus day. This gives me faith that I have the correct belief structure.

One day the Hell doctrine will be crushed for good, I look forward to that day.

And I will re-iterate nobody is going to live forever in Hell, that was a lie that Satan told Eve, you won't die. He lied, don't believe him too, by continuing to believe in a doctrine that was developed by the great Apostasy Jesus foretold.

Absolute death with eternal non-existence is the actually punishment, not living a tortured existence in Hell.

No wonder people don't want to believe in a God that would promote that, this type of Christianity which repels the unbelievers. You can't attract people by scaring them, you attract them with love and kindness.

My family line had a long history with the Catholic church that promoted that doctrine, and bribed people with it, emotionally and financially. They actually let you buy your dead family members out of Hell.

I am so glad my Grandmother broke free from all those oppressive lies almost a century ago.

As for your post above about the Trinity, it has it's own thread too, if you want to take on the resident Unitarians of ATS.
www.belowtopsecret.com...



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 09:33 PM
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Originally posted by Blue_Jay33
reply to post by Imago Dei
 







I too have been seriously studying the bible for over twenty years. Using multiple bibles and looking into the Hebrew and Greek languages. We have come to two very different conclusions. One of us is right and one of us is wrong.

I am very confident in my belief, to the point of staking my eternal life on it.

I have seen God's Holy Spirit in my life work against the works of Satan, just like it did in Jesus day. This gives me faith that I have the correct belief structure.

One day the Hell doctrine will be crushed for good, I look forward to that day.

And I will re-iterate nobody is going to live forever in Hell, that was a lie that Satan told Eve, you won't die. He lied, don't believe him too, by continuing to believe in a doctrine that was developed by the great Apostasy Jesus foretold.

Absolute death with eternal non-existence is the actually punishment, not living a tortured existence in Hell.

No wonder people don't want to believe in a God that would promote that, this type of Christianity which repels the unbelievers. You can't attract people by scaring them, you attract them with love and kindness.

My family line had a long history with the Catholic church that promoted that doctrine, and bribed people with it, emotionally and financially. They actually let you buy your dead family members out of Hell.

I am so glad my Grandmother broke free from all those oppressive lies almost a century ago.

As for your post above about the Trinity, it has it's own thread too, if you want to take on the resident Unitarians of ATS.
www.belowtopsecret.com...


I am aware of the trinity thread. I mentioned it here only because another poster in this thread railed an accusation about me being a "Trinity believer" What ever that was supposed to mean, I dont really know. I guess you and he thinks its pagan or something rediculous like that.

I agree with what you say about true Christianity being a faith of attraction as oppsed to prosletizing.

That said you are still bringing numerous asides into the this thread that have nothing to do with backing up or proving the proposterous statement of this thread title, which I might add may or may not be seen by many who inadvertantly stumble accross it whilst searching the internet. The whole premise is a lie stated as a fact and you have done nothing to prove its validity other than hear say, personal interpreation and now providing your own personal alledged supernatural experiences of biblical proportion.

This thread post has been abely refuted by myself and many other contributors to this thread. In my opinion that deems the lie stated in this thread title worthy of the trash can. I suggest next time you want to start a thread topic like this that you state it as your opinion rather than as a fact. In which case you would be able to esacpe the accusation of being a liar.


Satans lie in the garden does not back up or prove your position. Nor does your families history with the apostate Roman Catholic Church. Even unbelivers know that this "Church" is deceitfully wicked. That said I am glad to hear your family escaped it's clutches.

Finally how ever confident and sincere you may be you can still be over confident and sincerely wrong.



[edit on 18-6-2009 by Imago Dei]



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 09:50 PM
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reply to post by Imago Dei
 


First this thread of all the threads I have created has the most flags and stars, people enjoy and like this topic.



which I might add may or may not be seen by many who inadvertantly stumble accross it whilst searching the internet.


Exactly my hope, thus my first signature, the one in blue from John 8.

Google is both a friend and foe of truth these days.



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 09:58 PM
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Originally posted by Blue_Jay33
reply to post by Imago Dei
 


First this thread of all the threads I have created has the most flags and stars, people enjoy and like this topic.



which I might add may or may not be seen by many who inadvertantly stumble accross it whilst searching the internet.


Exactly my hope, thus my first signature, the one in blue from John 8.

Google is both a friend and foe of truth these days.


You've got that right about google. Now you admit to trolling the intire internet with the intentional sensationist lie of this thread topic??

Thank the Good Lord people seeking the truth will find it, sadly what you are saying is the oppsite of truth. I dare say the interest in this topic has little or nothing to do with you other than the lie and more to do with the eternal seriousness of the topic. To think other wise is, well, most telling.





[edit on 18-6-2009 by Imago Dei]



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 10:15 PM
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reply to post by Imago Dei
 





You've got that right about google. Now you admit to trolling the intire internet with the intentional sensationist lie of this thread topic??


Your saying explaining the honest truth about Hell is trolling


Too funny.

Well if you want to believe in Hell that's your choice, this thread has supplied more than enough proof from both the bible and the Greek and Hebrew languages to give people the correct information. If people who read and study the bible like yourself still want to have blind faith in a false doctrine, so be it.
But I am afraid Romans 10 verse 2 must be recalled at this point

I bear them witness that they have a [certain] zeal and enthusiasm for God, but it is not enlightened and according to [correct and vital] knowledge.

FACT
This scripture applies to Christians that have faith in hell as being the truth of the bible.



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 10:54 PM
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Originally posted by Imago Dei

Originally posted by Fromabove
Not everyone can be saved. Salvation is only for the children of God. to.


This is not true, it is from the Calvanist doctrine of predestination.

For God so love the world (everyone) that whoseover (anyone)...this is one of a multitude of scriptures that refute your statement.



Sorry he's right. It's not a "calvinist doctrine" its a Jesus doctrine my friend.


"Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock." (Jn 10:25-26)


Jesus clearly says they do not believe because they are not a part of his flock - not that they aren't part of his flock because they don't believe. I'm not a 5 point Calvinist but predestination is a solid Biblical doctrine.



"and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain." (Re 13:8)

"even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love" (Eph 1:4)

"For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified." (Ro 8:29-30)



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 11:10 PM
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Originally posted by Blue_Jay33
reply to post by Bigwhammy
 


I have posted this in this thread before but we have new posters so I will say it again.

It's not literal, it means historical infamy that will never be forgotten for all eternity.



Nonsense. "and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever," does not equate to "historical infamy" - how absurd!



". . . To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever" (Rev. 5:13).


So blessing and honor and glory and dominion for Christ is not to be taken literally either huh? Because αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων is the same Greek as


"And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever," (Rev. 20:10).


"Tormented" is a verb it can not possible be used as figure of speech for "historical infamy".

Your not fooling anyone. If you want to deny Christ and scripture in favor of your occult beliefs go right ahead - you have freedom of religion - just don't pretend it is Biblical!

[edit on 6/18/2009 by Bigwhammy]



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 11:34 PM
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Originally posted by Blue_Jay33
reply to post by Imago Dei
 





You've got that right about google. Now you admit to trolling the intire internet with the intentional sensationist lie of this thread topic??


Your saying explaining the honest truth about Hell is trolling


Too funny.

Well if you want to believe in Hell that's your choice, this thread has supplied more than enough proof from both the bible and the Greek and Hebrew languages to give people the correct information. If people who read and study the bible like yourself still want to have blind faith in a false doctrine, so be it.
But I am afraid Romans 10 verse 2 must be recalled at this point

I bear them witness that they have a [certain] zeal and enthusiasm for God, but it is not enlightened and according to [correct and vital] knowledge.

FACT
This scripture applies to Christians that have faith in hell as being the truth of the bible.


Wow youre good at twisting the truth arent you. Im saying your trolling the internet with a Lie not the truth.

Its not my beliefs that we are discussing here neccessarily, its what the bible says about hell. People like myself are refuting the lies you believe, lies you are stating as fact, that is the real conspiriacy here. You've got the wrong idea about what this site stands for. Its about exposing lies, not making them up. That scripture applies to you


You havent supplied a sceric of proof or truth. A non christian can read the bible and clearly see what it says. And the fact that it clearly talks about an eternal hell is why many run like the wind and spend the rest of their lives in a futile attempt trying to prove it doesnt say so.

Further more, I have absolutely no idea why on Gods green earth a born again believer in Christ as saviour would take it upon himslef to tell the world that there is no such place as hell. Can I ask you, why then would anyone need to be saved? And why then would Christ need to die to defeat death and hell?







[edit on 19-6-2009 by Imago Dei]



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 12:41 AM
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Originally posted by Bigwhammy

Originally posted by Blue_Jay33
reply to post by Bigwhammy
 


I have posted this in this thread before but we have new posters so I will say it again.

It's not literal, it means historical infamy that will never be forgotten for all eternity.



Nonsense. "and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever," does not equate to "historical infamy" - how absurd!



". . . To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever" (Rev. 5:13).


So blessing and honor and glory and dominion for Christ is not to be taken literally either huh? Because αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων is the same Greek as


"And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever," (Rev. 20:10).


"Tormented" is a verb it can not possible be used as figure of speech for "historical infamy".

Your not fooling anyone. If you want to deny Christ and scripture in favor of your occult beliefs go right ahead - you have freedom of religion - just don't pretend it is Biblical!

[edit on 6/18/2009 by Bigwhammy]


Evidently not everyone will be saved, but that is not to say that everyone can be saved. Salvation is a free gift to all to be accepted or rejected by all as freewill dictates in each individual case. God does not predestine some for heaven and some for hell. He does know the choices people will make however.

Jesus said, I told you and you do not believe. They still had the opportunity to be told and they chose not to believe, other wise he wouldn't have bothered telling them or even opening his mouth to speak to them. What it appears you are intimating is they had no choice in the matter as it was predestined. Ie to be of Christ's flock or not.

That my friend is calvanisim, sorry.

Clearly we dont become a member of His flock until we believe, we certainly cant be a member if his flock before we believe or if we reject the Holy Spirits leadings to Christ as saviour. The thief on the cross mocked Christ along with everyone else, but in the end he could see the truth of who Jesus was, most probably because it went dark for three hours in the middle of the day, but still, he was saved.

If any part of predestination where true, there would be no need to bother attempting to reason together or to rightly divide the word of truth or to get out if bed in the morning for that matter.








[edit on 19-6-2009 by Imago Dei]



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 06:09 AM
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reply to post by Imago Dei
 


First off, you are spouting out things that you claim are the PLAIN truth and criticizing us for giving some linguistic and historic facts and how they pertain to the bible and what it says. You are right with the judgement comment but that doesn't mean you have the right to call someone's church a "cult." You talk about Satan blinding us yet you don't stop to consider maybe he's blinding you? I was on your side until about 3 years ago when I learned that protestantism is nothing more than a splinter group of catholicism and how many of their beliefs stem from ancient pagan ideals. The trinity is pagan in nature. The catholics created this doctrine by borrowing the idea from paganism. Sunday worship is a catholic institute carried in through paganism (sun god worship). Christmas and Easter came to christianity through the catholics but are pagan in origin. The "doom-and-gloom" fantasy "hell" you believe in was an ancient greek belief. The Jews didn't even believe in that and Judaism is where christianity came from. What? All of a sudden, hell exists because of Jesus? I don't think so! If you read the bible in it's original languages, you wouldn't have this mixed idea on hell. Why? Because hell is not mentioned in greek or hebrew. Death is mentioned. Grave is mentioned. A valley full of dead burning bodies is mentioned. A confined prison is mentioned but not for humans. These all pertain to the word "hell" but don't even need that false translation tied to them. Your bible is probably in english and until you realize the bible wasn't written in english, you'll go on thinking the same thing.



Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.


The idea that hell is an ever-flaming place of torment results partially from a misunderstanding of Revelation 14:9-10: "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark ... he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb."

Notice that verse 8 gives the time setting of this verse. It concerns the impending fall of a modern "Babylon" which will be destroyed at Christ's return.

Matthew 25:31 tells us that Christ, at His return, will be accompanied by all the holy angels. At that time He will destroy the idolatrous system called Babylon, and those who have become a part of the system will come under the wrath of God.

This scripture does not say that these people are being tormented in hell. It states that the smoke of their torment ascends forever (verse 11). As smoke rises it blends with the surrounding air, becoming further and further diluted. David wrote in Psalm 37:20 that "the wicked shall perish [not be tortured forever in hell] ... Into smoke they shall vanish away."

This verse says nothing about punishing people eternally in hell.


The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever" (Revelation 20:10).

Does this verse say that the beast and false prophet will be tormented for eternity?

The beast and false prophet are human beings. While alive they will be cast into the lake of fire. "Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image. These two were cast alive into the
lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Revelation 19:20).

We see from Revelation 14:10-11 and Mark 9:47-48 that any human being thrown into the lake of fire will be destroyed. He will perish. His punishment will be eternal. But he will not be tormented for eternity.

Notice in the King James and the New King James translations of Revelation 20:10 that the word are is italicized. The use of italics indicates that the word are was not in the original manuscripts from which the translation was made; it was added by the translators to make the verse more readable because the verb was left unexpressed in the Greek text. The correct verb should be "were cast," the plural expression of "was cast" used earlier in the same sentence. The verse would then properly indicate that the devil is to be cast into the lake of fire that had already consumed and destroyed the beast and false prophet. The translators incorrectly inserted the word are into the English text because of their preconceived concept of an immortal soul.

Notice also that some translations say nothing about the beast and false prophet being tormented, acknowledging that the word they doesn't appear in the Greek manuscripts. The King James Version and Modern King James Version both indicate that it is the devil who is tormented, not the beast and false prophet.

Satan, a spirit being, will indeed suffer torment long after the wicked are burned to ashes. The evil angels—demons—will share with Satan his torment (Matthew 25:41). The beast and false prophet will have ceased to exist more than 1,000 years earlier.

The Bible indicates that Satan has set his will against God and His plan, and has led millions of other angels into a similar rebellion and opposition to God. Only God in His sovereign wisdom is able to determine a just judgment for these wicked spirits. The details of that judgment are not fully spelled out in the Bible, but we can and should have faith that it will be just, true, righteous and fair. What is made clear in the Bible is the eternal judgment God has in mind for His human creation.

A scripture that many assume proves the wicked are to be eternally tortured in hellfire is Matthew 25:41. But does it? Let's take a closer look.

First, notice the setting, which is when Jesus "comes in His glory" (verses 31-32). We are told that He separates the sheep from the goats. The sheep represent the righteous (verses 34-40). At His return He sets the sheep at His right hand. The goats in this instance represent sinners. The goats are appointed to assemble on Jesus' left hand. He then consigns the goats to "the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41).

The word everlasting is translated from the Greek word aionios. The key to understanding this verse is knowing what will occur everlastingly. Does it refer to a fire that tortures without end, or does it have another meaning?

In Matthew 25:46 Jesus spoke in a single sentence of everlasting (aionios) punishment and of life eternal (aionios). Since the righteous will be given eternal, or everlasting, life, many theologians believe the punishment for the wicked must last as long as the life given to the righteous. But this cannot be reconciled with the statement that those cast into the lake of fire perish; they are killed. As we have seen, they suffer death-the second death (Revelation 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8).

A plain and simple meaning of Matthew 25:46 that reconciles with the rest of the Bible is that the wicked are cast into a fire that annihilates them, renders them forever extinct. The resulting punishment of being cast into the aionios fire is a one-time event. It is a permanent punishment, the results of which will remain forever-that is, eternal death. It is not an ongoing punishment that continues forever.

The wicked will never live again. They will be completely destroyed. The fire brings eternal punishment and not a constant, unending punishing. This is the only explanation that accords with the rest of the Scriptures.



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 06:12 AM
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Will a Loving God Punish People Forever in Hell?
Take this simple test. Or, on second thought, perhaps it's better if you just imagined it, since the test could prove quite painful.

Light a match, then hold your finger in its tiny flame for five seconds. What happens? You'll likely scream involuntarily and suffer misery for several days from a painful burn.

Perhaps you've seen a burn victim who was disfigured in some horrifying accident, his flesh gnarled and misshapen. Imagine walking into flames that would char and burn away your skin in the same way. What would that kind of agony feel like for a minute? For a year? For a lifetime?

Most people find the idea appalling almost beyond imagination. They would understandably be appalled that anyone might willingly torture another person in that way.

Why, then, are so many willing to accept the idea that the God they worship and hold in high esteem would willingly inflict such punishment not on just a few, but on a great multitude of people who die every single day? How can such a belief possibly square with the Bible's description of a God who is infinitely loving and merciful?

Hell through the centuries

The traditional view of hell as a fiery cauldron of punishment has been taught for centuries. Perhaps the first to expound this view among Christians was Tertullian, who lived around A.D. 160-225. In the third century Cyprian of Carthage also wrote: "The damned will burn for ever in hell. Devouring flames will be their eternal portion. Their torments will never have diminution or end" (Peter Toon, Heaven and Hell: A Biblical and Theological Overview, 1986, p. 163).

This view has been officially reiterated over the centuries. An edict from the Council of Constantinople (modern Istanbul) in 543 states: "... Whoever says that the punishment of demons and the wicked will not be eternal ... let him be anathema" (D.P. Walker, The Decline of Hell: Seventeenth-Century Discussions of Eternal Torment, 1964, p. 21).

The Lateran church council in 1215 reaffirmed belief in everlasting punishment in these words: "The damned will go into everlasting punishment with the devil ..." (Toon, p. 164). The Augsburg Confession of 1530 reads: "Christ will return ... to give eternal life and everlasting joy to believers and the elect, but to condemn ungodly men and the devils to hell and eternal punishment" (Toon, p. 131).

Teachings on the subject of hell have by no means been consistent through the centuries. Beliefs about hell have varied widely, depending on which theologian's or church historian's ideas one reads. Generally speaking, the most common belief has been that hell is a place in which people are tortured, but never consumed, by ever-burning flames.

Hell's location has been a subject of much discussion. Some have held the idea that it was in the sun. For centuries the common view was that hell is inside the earth in a vast subterranean chamber.

The most comprehensive description of hell as a place, as man commonly views it, is found not in the Bible but in the 14th-century work Divine Comedy, written by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. Dante described an imaginary journey through hell replete with its fiery sufferings.

The popular concept of hell is a mixture of small bits of Bible truth combined with pagan ideas and human imagination. As we will see, this has produced a grossly inaccurate portrayal of what happens to the wicked after death.

Modern attitudes about hell

A more modern interpretation rejects the idea of physical torment and asserts that the torture of hell is mental anguish caused by separation from God. A recent survey of modern attitudes revealed that 53 percent of Americans embrace this perspective (U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 31, 2000, p. 47).

Pope John Paul II "declared that hell is 'not a punishment imposed externally by God' but is the natural consequence of the unrepentant sinner's choice to live apart from God" (ibid., p. 48). Still others have rejected the doctrine of hell outright and believe everyone will be saved.

Why is there so much diversity in the teachings about hell? The reason is that, like the belief in the immortality of the soul, common misconceptions of hell are rife with the ideas of men rather than the teachings of the Bible.

An angry God

One of the most graphic descriptions of the torments of hell as conceived by men was given by the Puritan minister Jonathan Edwards in a 1741 sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God."

He said: "The bow of God's wrath is bent, and the arrows made ready ... [by] an angry God ... It is nothing but His mere pleasure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up in everlasting destruction! The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you and is dreadfully provoked: His wrath towards you burns like fire; He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire ...

"You are ten thousand times more abominable in His eyes than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended Him ... and yet it is nothing but His hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment ...

"O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of God ... You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder."

This human concept of hell was so terrible that the prospect of such a fate caused great anguish, fear and anxiety for many Puritans. "The heavy emphasis on hell and damnation combined with an excessive self-scrutiny led many into clinical depression: suicide seems to have been prevalent" (Karen Armstrong, A History of God, 1993, p. 284).

The Puritans were not the only ones tormented by fear of hell. Many people have been terrorized by the thought of hell ever since this nonbiblical concept crept into religious teaching. Other ministers and teachers have, like Jonathan Edwards, used a similar approach to frighten people into belief and obedience.

One of the reasons this concept of hell survived is because theologians believed the teaching deterred people from evil. "It was thought that, if the fear of eternal punishment were removed, most people would behave without any moral restraint whatever and that society would collapse into an anarchical orgy" (Walker, p. 4).

Could a compassionate God torture forever?

Is it possible to reconcile this view of a God who terrorizes people with the fear of eternal torment in hell with the compassionate and merciful God we meet in the Bible?

God is a God of love who does not want any to perish (2 Peter 3:9). He tells us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). "He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (verse 45). Yet the traditional view of hell would have us believe that God vengefully punishes His enemies through all eternity.

The idea that God sentences people to eternal punishment is so repulsive that it has turned some away from belief in God and Christianity.

One such example is Charles Darwin. In his private autobiography he wrote: "Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete ... I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so, the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe ... will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine" (Paul Martin, The Healing Mind: The Vital Links Between Brain and Behavior, Immunity and Disease, 1997, p. 327).

The problem is not that the Bible teaches this "damnable doctrine" but that men have misunderstood what the Bible says.



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 06:13 AM
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More than one hell in the Bible

What is the truth about hell? What does the Bible teach? Many are surprised to learn that the Bible speaks of three hells-but not in the sense that is widely believed. Let us see why there is so much confusion about hell.

In the original Hebrew and Greek languages in which the Bible was written, four words are translated "hell" in English. The four words convey three different meanings.

The Hebrew word sheol, used in the Old Testament, has the same meaning as hades, one of the Greek words translated "hell" in the New Testament.

The Anchor Bible Dictionary explains the meaning of both words: "The Greek word Hades ... is sometimes, but misleadingly, translated 'hell' in English versions of the N[ew] T[estament]. It refers to the place of the dead ... The old Hebrew concept of the place of the dead, most often called Sheol ... is usually translated as Hades, and the Greek term was naturally and commonly used by Jews writing in Greek" (1992, Vol. 3, p. 14, "Hades, Hell").

Both sheol and hades refer to the grave. A comparison of an Old Testament and a New Testament scripture confirm this. Psalm 16:10 says, "For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption." In Acts 2:27 the apostle Peter quotes this verse and shows that it is a reference to Christ. Here the Greek word hades is substituted for the Hebrew sheol.

Where did Christ go when He died? He went to the grave. His body was placed in a tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea. The two passages, in Psalms and Acts, tell us Jesus' flesh did not decay in the grave because God resurrected Him.

The majority of scriptures that use the term hell are simply talking about the grave, the place where everyone, whether good or evil, goes at death. The Hebrew word sheol is used in the Old Testament 65 times. In the King James Version it is translated "grave" 31 times, "hell" 31 times and "pit" three times.

The Greek hades is used 11 times in the New Testament. In the King James translation in all instances but one the term hades is translated "hell." The one exception is 1 Corinthians 15:55, where it is translated "grave." In the New King James Version, the translators simply used the original Greek word hades in all 11 instances.

Two other Greek words

Two other Greek words are translated "hell" in the New Testament. One of these is tartaroo, used only once in the Bible (2 Peter 2:4), where it refers to the place where the fallen angels, or demons, are restrained awaiting their judgment. The Expository Dictionary of Bible Words explains that tartaroo means "to confine in tartaros" and that "Tartaros was the Greek name for the mythological abyss where rebellious gods were confined" (Lawrence Richards, 1985, "Heaven and Hell").

Peter used this reference to contemporary mythology to show that the sinning angels were "delivered ... into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment." Fallen angels are in a condition or place of restraint awaiting their ultimate judgment for their rebellion against God and destructive influence on humanity. Tartaroo applies only to demons. Nowhere does it refer to a fiery hell in which people are punished after death.

The third Greek word used in the Bible and translated "hell" is gehenna. This does refer to a fiery punishment for the wicked—but not in the manner portrayed in the hell of men's imagination.

Gehenna refers to a valley just outside Jerusalem. The word is derived from the Hebrew Ge-Hinnom, the valley of Hinnom (Joshua 18:16). At the time of Jesus this valley was what we might call the city dump—the place where garbage, trash and refuse were thrown and consumed in the fires that constantly burned there. The carcasses of dead animals—and the bodies of despised criminals—were also cast into Gehenna to be burned. Jesus used this particular location and what took place there to help us understand the fate the wicked and unrepentant will suffer in the future.

Are there immortal worms in hell?

In Mark 9:47-48 Jesus specifically referred to Gehenna and what took place there. But, without a proper historical understanding, many people draw erroneous conclusions.

Notice His words: "It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell [gehenna] fire-where 'their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.'" Any inhabitant of Jerusalem would have immediately understood what Jesus meant, since Gehenna—the Valley of Hinnom—was just outside the city walls to the south.

Without this understanding, people commonly hold several misconceptions about this verse. Some believe the "worm" is a reference to pangs of conscience that condemned people suffer in hell. "'The worm that dieth not' was nearly always interpreted figuratively, as meaning the stings of envy and regret" (Walker, p. 61). Many believe that the phrase "the fire is not quenched" is a reference to ever-burning fires that torture the damned.

This scripture has been notoriously interpreted out of context. Notice that the phrase "their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched" appears in quotation marks. Jesus was quoting from Isaiah 66:24. A proper understanding of this verse begins there.

The context in Isaiah refers to a time when, God says, "all flesh shall come to worship before Me" (verse 23). It is a time when the wicked will be no more. What happened to them? In verse 24 we read that people "will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind" (NIV).

Notice that in this verse Jesus noted that the bodies affected by the worms are dead. These are not living people writhing in fire. When Jesus returns He will fight those who resist Him (Revelation 19:11-15). Those who are slain in the battle will not be buried; their bodies will be left on the ground, where scavenging birds and maggots will consume their flesh.

According to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (1980), the original Hebrew word translated "worm" in Isaiah 66:24 and Mark 9:47-48 means "worm, maggot, [or] larvae."

Neither Isaiah nor Christ was talking about immortal worms. The vermin of which they spoke—maggots—do not die because they turn into flies. The flies then lay eggs that hatch into more maggots (the larvae of flies), perpetuating the cycle.

This background information helps us better understand Christ's words. In that time, when the bodies of dead animals or executed criminals were cast into the burning trash heap of Gehenna, those bodies would be destroyed by maggots, by the fires that were kept constantly burning there, or a combination of both. Historically a body that was not buried, but was subjected to burning, was viewed as accursed (Joshua 6:18; 7:11, 25).

What did Jesus mean in Mark 9:48 when He said, "... The fire is not quenched"? With the preceding background we can understand. He means simply that the fire will burn until the bodies of the wicked are consumed. This expression, used several times in Scripture, refers to fire that consumes entirely (Ezekiel 20:47). An unquenched fire is one that has not been extinguished. It burns itself out when it consumes everything and has no more combustible material to keep it going.



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 06:17 AM
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When are the wicked punished?

But, we might ask, when does this punishment take place?

As we saw earlier, Jesus quoted from the prophet Isaiah, who wrote of a time after the Messiah establishes His reign on earth. Only then would all humanity "come and bow down" before Him (Isaiah 66:24, NIV). Only then would this prophecy be fulfilled.

Jesus used a common site of trash disposal in His day—the burning garbage dump in the Valley of Hinnom outside Jerusalem's walls—to illustrate the ultimate fate of the wicked in what the Scriptures call a lake of fire. Just as the refuse of the city was consumed by maggots and fire, so will the wicked be burned up—consumed—by a future Gehenna-like fire more than 1,000 years after Christ returns (Revelation 20:7-9, 12-15).

Peter explains that at this time "the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up" (2 Peter 3:10). The implication is that the surface of the earth will become a molten mass, obliterating any evidence of human wickedness.

What will happen after that? The apostle John writes: "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea" (Revelation 21:1). The entire earth will be transformed into a suitable abode for the righteous who will, by that time, have inherited eternal life.

The destruction of soul and body in hell

Another place where Jesus spoke of gehenna fire is Matthew 10:28: "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [gehenna]" (Matthew 10:28).

We should notice that Jesus did not speak of people suffering everlasting torment. He said that God can destroy—annihilate—both the body and soul in Gehenna.

Jesus here explains that, when one man kills another, the resulting death is only temporary because God can raise the victim to life again. But, when God destroys one in hell (gehenna), the resulting death is eternal. There is no resurrection from this fate, which the Bible calls "the second death." The Bible explains that unrepentant sinners are cast into the lake of fire, or Gehenna, at the end of the age. "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8).

As we discussed earlier, the wicked will be destroyed. They will not live for eternity in another place or state of everlasting anguish. They will reap their destruction in the lake of fire at the end of the age. They will be consumed virtually instantaneously by the heat of the fire and will never live again.

The wicked burned to ashes

Another passage that graphically illustrates the utter destruction of the wicked is to be found in the book of Malachi. "'For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,' says the LORD of hosts, 'that will leave them neither root nor branch'" (Malachi 4:1).

The time setting is the end, when God will bring retribution on the wicked for their rebellious, reprehensible ways. To those who surrender to God and live in obedience to Him, God says: "'You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this,' says the LORD of hosts" (verse 3).

God, speaking through the prophet Malachi, makes clear the ultimate fate of the wicked. They are to be uprooted like a nonproductive tree, leaving not so much as a root or twig. They will be consumed by the flames of the lake of fire, leaving only ashes.

The Bible does teach that the wicked will be punished by fire—but not the mythical hell of men's imagination. God is a God of mercy and love. Those who willfully and willingly reject His way of life, characterized by obedience to His law of love (Romans 13:10), will die, not suffer forever. They will be consumed by fire and forgotten. They will not be tortured for all eternity, nor will God grant His priceless gift of eternal life to those who persist in rebellion against Him.

Even the final death of the incorrigibly wicked in a lake of fire is an act of justice and mercy on God's part. To allow them to continue to live on in unrepentant, eternal rebellion would cause themselves and others only great sorrow and anguish. God will not grant them eternal life, neither will He torture them for all eternity. The encouraging truth of the Bible shows that God is indeed a Being of great mercy, wisdom and righteous judgment. As Psalm 19:9 tells us: "The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether."

He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name" (Revelation 14:10-11).

At first glance this may seem to confirm the traditional idea of a seething, sulfurous hellfire, mercilessly and eternally tormenting helpless immortal souls. But, if we don't already hold to a preconceived mental picture of hell, we can quickly grasp that this passage describes a quite different circumstance.

First, notice the setting for this passage. From the context we see that the events it describes aren't in hell or the afterlife at all, but rather on earth amid the earth-shaking events and disasters immediately before Jesus Christ's return. This warning describes the punishment that will befall all of earth's inhabitants "who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

The latter part of chapter 13 describes this "beast"—a dictator who rules over an end-time superpower—and his mark. Those who accept this mark show that their allegiance is to this dictator rather than God, and in chapter 14 God reveals the consequences of that choice—warning of the terrifying punishments that will precede Christ's return (see verses 14-20 and the following two chapters).

Notice also in this passage that the smoke from these terrifying events ascends forever—it does not say that people'sactual torment continues forever. The smoke is no doubt associated with the God's wrath poured out on earth as described in chapter 16—which includes widespread destruction, great heat, warfare and a massive earthquake. All these events will generate massive fires and a huge amount of smoke.

The properties of smoke are such that it "ascends forever"—meaning that nothing will prevent or stop it. Being primarily heated gas, it rises, expands and eventually dissipates. The Greek word translated "forever" does not always mean eternity or infinity. It can simply refer to something that will not be stopped, that will continue as long as conditions allow. This passage is simply describing fires associated with this devastation that burn as long as they have fuel to consume, after which they simply burn out.

The reference in Revelation 14:11 to the wicked receiving "no rest day or night" speaks of those who continue to worship the beast and his image during this time. They will be in constant terror and fear for their lives, and thus aren't able to find a moment's rest during this terrifying time of God's anger.



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 10:39 AM
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reply to post by Imago Dei
 

I had a great post ready to go today when the scheduled maintenance kicked in and wiped it all out
Anyways.....

First, I see you have activated Locoman8 to post in this thread, which is good because he is one of the most knowledgeable Christians that posts on ATS.



Further more, I have absolutely no idea why on Gods green earth a born again believer in Christ as saviour would take it upon himslef to tell the world that there is no such place as hell. Can I ask you, why then would anyone need to be saved? And why then would Christ need to die to defeat death and hell?


Good questions that need to be answered.

Jesus shed blood and sacrifice saves people who take advantage of it, it is available to every human. They must accept this, rejection of Jesus as savior is the opposite of being "saved", rejection equals "cursed".
Saved equals eternal life, cursed equals eternal death, not death but still alive being tortured.

If a person chooses to be evil, or ignore God's principles they will receive the punishment for that, eternal death or non-existence.

This is what Jesus sacrifice saves us from, death and non-existence, on an eternal basis, we all can still die and go to the common grave, but his sacrifice provides the basis for a future resurrection.

I honestly don't know why a christian would want to believe in this false doctrine that see's his fellow man burning forever in perpetual pain, isn't non-existence a strong enough punishment from God?

Parents will understand this best. If you have a child that is very intelligent but just evil, they always plan to hurt and scheme against their siblings. Despite your best efforts you can't correct them, they grow up to become a vile evil person, murdering and raping children, doing the worst a human can do. Eventually the parent would want that child segregated from society so it can't hurt anybody else, they wouldn't want it tortured forever, would they???
Do you think God wants to torture his creation forever or just remove the wicked segregating them from other humans, so they can never hurt their fellow man again?

Eternal death and non-existence is the segregation God provides and the ultimate punishment God hands out, he has no interest in torturing evil people for all eternity, that goes against his primary quality of Love.

Here is our fundamental disagreement, the level of punishment God hands out to those that won't serve him or accept Jesus.

Your punishment scale-After death get strapped on a rack and be forced to take a Lava shower and suffer with that intense pain and not die for all eternity.

God's punishment scale- non-existence after death.

In talking to many people that believe in hellfire, they will say that's not fair the punishment isn't strong enough.

To all you I say this, you have a very twisted sense of justice, to think that way.


[edit on 19-6-2009 by Blue_Jay33]



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 10:46 AM
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Hell is the absense of love, sensation, or distance from that, imagine and compare a frozen magnet which has its center of repulsion outside itself. Now we say that God is in the magnet, then it has been apart from God after being frozen.

God is what we term as life, together with the ultimate non-flesh love we imagine is there, but it really exists as life aroudn us shows us that something cares, we have over time called it God and through visions tried to interpolate its goals and desires for the universe using story, metaphore and vision.

So hell does by all means exist, perhaps not as fire and brimstone, but as a psycho-spiritual state void of any comfort that being itself could offer you. Constant torment of wanting what you cannot have or reach.



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 11:47 AM
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reply to post by mastermind77
 


Can you prove that from the bible with scriptures?

Because this thought has been expressed a few times in this thread.

Here are the 3 main basic thoughts on Hell, any others?

Hell #1=Burning alive forever with Satan & his demons.
Hell #2=Separation from God's love only.
Hell #3=Common Grave of mankind

[edit on 19-6-2009 by Blue_Jay33]



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 07:38 PM
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Originally posted by Locoman8
reply to post by Imago Dei
 


First off you are spouting out things that you claim are the PLAIN truth and criticizing us for giving some linguistic and historic facts and how they pertain to the bible and what it says. You are right with the judgement comment but that doesn't mean you have the right to call someone's church a "cult."

To be fair Locoman8, we are all "spouting" here, I see you have spouted about 12000 words. The Church you are a member of is tagged as a "Dangerous cult" on a cult warning website on my country, I provided the link, so this is why I conclude that you church is a cult. And I point out that a cult marked as dangerous on this partular site, which is well respected, is saying something, because other cults on this site are tagged as "warning" and others marked as "OK" your cult is at the top of the scale as dangerous.

Further more "historical evidence" outside of the bible does not refute what is stated clearly in the bible. I dont know you personally, but there is not a lot I can do if you take what I am saying personally. Other than to say, its nothing personal, yes I am critiquing your views, if you dont want this to happen, stop posting them on a public forum which invites differing opinion.

For the record, I am not a member of any denomination, sect, creed or organisation I am simply debating biblical scripture with you and the idea that anything in the bible is pagan is pure rediculousness because the opposite is true, everything pagan is countefeit bibical Christianity. Also eternal torment is not an "idea" as you put it, it is a scriptural fact. You cant take a book, any book, and twist what is says, because any well informed person who has read the book, any book, will call you on it every time. Your views on the bible clearly do not come from having read it lately, rather they are coming from what you are being told is in it by someone else. Mistake number one especially if you want to go public and foits your views upon people who have read it. Because sadly, all that does is further highlight that you are brainwashed by a cult.

And your brother in disinformation has stated that you are the most well informed christian posting on this site - My goodness, are you both in the same cult might I asK???





[edit on 20-6-2009 by Imago Dei]



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 08:09 PM
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For those who would like to know what the biblal actually says about the topic, which I only post to reveal the brainswashed deceit and lies of some on this thread. The good news is Christ saved you from this is you beleive in him.

fire" Matt 7:19, 13:40, 25:41
"everlasting fire" Matt 18:8, 25:41
"eternal damnation" Mark 3:29
"hell fire" Matt 5:22, 18:9, Mark 9:47
"damnation" Matt 23:14, Mark 12:40, Luke 20:47
"damnation of hell" Matt 23:33
"resurrection of damnation" John 5:29
"furnace of fire" Matt 13:42, 50
"the fire that never shall be quenched" Mark 9:43, 45
"the fire is not quenched" Mark 9:44, 46, 48
"Where their worm dieth not" Mark 9:44, 46, 48
"wailing and gnashing of teeth" Matt 13:42, 50
"weeping and gnashing of teeth" Matt 8:12, 22:13, 25:30
"torments" Luke 16:23
"tormented in this flame" Luke 16:24
"place of torment" Luke 16:28
"outer darkness" Matt 8:12, 22:13
"everlasting punishment" Matt 25:46

Isaiah 66:24:

24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh

In Luke 16, Jesus Christ gives a frightening picture of hell:

22 . . . the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. (Luke 16:22-28)

Revelation 14:10 says, " . . . and he shall be tormented with fire and BRIMSTONE . . ." And Job 18 describes the " . . . PLACE of him that knoweth not God" (vs 21), in verse 15 as, " . . . BRIMSTONE shall be scattered upon his habitation."



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