Annihilation vs. Eternal conscious torment
The physical creation will be annihilated, not men!
All Arians view that heaven is a physical restored paradise upon the earth. They have no concept of man’s spiritual existence apart from the Gen 1:1
creation. Yet the Bible clearly teaches that the physical creation that occurred some 10,000 years ago in Gen 1:1, will be "uncreated" Just as the
103 (?) elements of the periodic table came into existence at creation, they will go into extinction at the second coming: 2 Pe 3:10. Our eternal
reward is a spiritual existence in the spiritual presence of God in the realm He has always existed in before Gen 1:1.
The wicked will not be annihilated But the heaven and earth will be annihilated!
W. E. Vine: LOU (3089) to loose, is used of the future demolition of the elements or heavenly bodies, 2 Pet. 3:10, 11, 12
2 Peter 3:6,9-12 "the world at that time was destroyed (Gr: apollumi), being flooded with water. ... The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some
count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish (Gr: apollumi) but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord
will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed (Gr: LOU) with intense heat, and the earth
and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed (Gr: LOU) in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy
conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed (Gr: LOU) by
burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!"
This text provides a powerful argument for those who view the annihilation of men and the eternal continuity of the physical creation.
Notice that 2 Pe 3 describes BOTH the "perishing (apollumi) of men" and "destruction (LOU) of creation".
Two different words are used. Notice that "apollumi" is used to destruction of men and that LOU is used to describe the annihilation of the earth!
But even better notice that the flood perished "apollumi" the earth in the time of Noah and a different Greek word is used for the annihilation
"LOU" of the earth by fire!
The conclusion is that "apollumi" describes not the annihilation, but "making lost" both men in hell and the earth at the Noaic flood and "LOU"
describes the annihilation of the earth at the second coming!
Annihilation vs. Eternal conscious torment
Heaven and hell are described in word pictures that are not to be taken literally
see the photo gallery of heaven and hell
Heaven & Hell Are Spiritual not physical
Heaven is "not of this creation": Hebrews 9:11,24
God’s future kingdom is "not of this world or realm": John 18:36
Physical universe will be destroyed: 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 20:11
"Things seen are temporary, but things not seen are eternal": 2 Cor 4:18
"The first things have passed away": Revelation 21:4
Created things will be removed: Hebrews 12:25-27
No longer any sea, night, sun or moon: Revelation 21:1,23; 22:5
Heaven is in the very presence of the Father: John 13:36-14:6
We hope to "enter within the veil" where God dwells: Heb 6:19-20;10:19-20
We are earthbound guests with a heavenly destination: 1 Pe 1:17; Heb 13:14
Annihilation vs. Eternal conscious torment
Misused Proof Texts exposed
Various other annihilation proof texts debunked:
Psalm 37:19-22 They will not be ashamed in the time of evil; And in the days of famine they will have abundance. But the wicked will perish; And the
enemies of the Lord will be like the glory of the pastures, They vanish—like smoke they vanish away. The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But
the righteous is gracious and gives. For those blessed by Him will inherit the land; But those cursed by Him will be cut off.
This Psalm isn’t talking about eternal rewards and punishments at all. Rather is speaking about life on earth right now. Notice the context: "And
in the days of famine they [righteous] will have abundance ... yet the wicked vanish like smoke" This vanishing takes place before resurrection. Are
Annihilationists prepared to deny that the wicked are even raised? (Only a few isolated Christadelphian splinter groups would argue that the wicked
dead are not raised! But then they must deal with Acts 24:15, "there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked."
Neo-Sadduceeism is always full of contradictions with scripture wherever it turns!)
Malachi 4:1-3 "For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is
coming will set them ablaze," says the Lord of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch." "But for you who fear My name the sun
of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. "And you will tread down the
wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing," says the Lord of hosts.
This speaking of the time when Jesus would come. Notice v4 that Elijah (John the baptist) would come at the same time. It is not speaking of the
final judgement. It also employs the same kind of word pictures typical of heaven and hell. This verse is no more literal than the imagery of
Annihilation vs. Eternal conscious torment
Studies of words that annihilationists misuse to teach extinction:
These words do not teach annihilation!
"The annihilationists assemble a multitude of texts which in reality are either taken out of context or based on the false assumption that such words
as ‘perish’ automatically and necessarily always mean annihilation." (Death and The Afterlife, Robert Morey, Dualist, p. 119- 120)
1. "Destroy": For example, in the Old Testament, the word ahvad is the word which is usually translated as "destroy." In Num. 21:29, the people of
Chemosh were "undone" ("destroyed" in NIV). In the context, the meaning of ahvad is that the people were conquered and sold into slavery. They
were not annihilated but enslaved. In 1 Sa. 9:3, 20, Saul's asses were ahvad, i.e., lost. These asses were not annihilated, but lost. In Psalms
31:12, an ahvad vessel is merely broken, not annihilated. In Hab. 1:15, the word Gah rar means to catch something in a net, not to annihilate it. Dah
chah in Isa. 53:10 is translated, " It pleased the Lord to bruise him.". Here it refers to Christ's sufferings, not to nonexistence. In Hosea 4:6,
God's people are "destroyed" for lack of knowledge. In the context, this cannot mean that they were nonexistent. The same can be pointed out in the
case of hoom (Ps. 55:2) and ghah ram (Josh. 6:8; Mic. 4:13). In the Greek, apollumi is used to describe ruined wineskins, lost sheep, and spoiled food
(Matt. 9:17; 15:24; John 6:27). Apolia in Mark 14:4 refers to wasted perfume. Diapthero refers to moth-eaten cloth in Luke 12:33 katheiresis to the
pulling down of a fortress (2 Cor. 10:4) kataluo refers to lodging for the night (Luke 9:12) kataryco to a fig tree which "encumbered the ground"
(Luke 13:7); luo refers to putting off one's shoes (Acts 7:33); portheo refers to persecuting the church in Gal. 1:13; phthiro refers to defiling the
temple of God in 1 Cor. 3:17. The assumption that the words "destroy" and "destruction" automatically mean annihilation is not good English, much
less good Hebrew or Greek. We can think of someone being "destroyed" or "wiped out" in an emotional sense without implying that the person has
ceased to exist. ("Death and The Afterlife" by Robert Morey, p. 108-111)
2. "Perish" or "perished." In various forms the word "perish" appears 152 times in the KJV. In the Old Testament, there are 11 Hebrew words
which are translated as "perish." The main word ahvad is the same word which is frequently translated as "destroy." We have already seen that it
is erroneous to assume that ahvad means annihilation. Sha mad is found in Jer. 48:42 where Moab is said to be destroyed in the sense of the people
being enslaved, not annihilated. Shah rhath is used of ruined girdles and vessels in Jer. 13:7; 18:4; kah rath is used of cutting a covenant or
cutting timber to build the temple in Gen. 15:18; 1 Kings 5:6; eah vag. nah phal, and gah var are used to describe a miserable emotional state (Ps.
42:7; 55:4, 88:15,16). In the New Testament, there are ten different Greek words which are translated "perish." Some of these words such as apollumi
were also translated as destroy and do not mean annihilation. Apothneesko is used in John 12:24 to describe the grain of wheat which when planted
"dies" and then sprouts. Obviously, it cannot mean annihilation. Aphanrzo refers to things which moths and rust can "corrupt" (Matt. 6:19,20).
Kataphthiro is used to describe "corrupt" minds in 2 Tim. 3:8 (KJV). Even in English we speak of fruit as "perishable" in the sense that it can
spoil. Burned out light bulbs have "perished." In neither case is annihilation intended. ("Death and The Afterlife" by Robert Morey, p.
3. "Consume" or "consumed.": Forms of these words appear in the KJV 162 times. In the Old Testament, 20 different Hebrew words are translated as
"consume." The usual word, ah chal is also used in Ps. 78:45 where the psalmist says that the flies "devoured" or consumed the Egyptians. The
psalmist surely means that the flies tormented them, not annihilated them. Jeremiah used another word, bah lah, in Lam. 3:4, saying that his flesh and
skin were "made old," or consumed, i.e., he was consumed with grief, not annihilated. Kah lah is used in Ezek. 13:13 where hailstones "consumed" a
wall, i.e., knocked it down, not annihilated it. Dah gach is the normal word for putting out a fire. When we "put out a candle," we do not
annihilate the candle. Even in English we speak of people being consumed with "grief, greed or lust," yet we do not mean that the person has ceased
to exist. We have demonstrated that the annihilationists are in error when they arbitrarily assume and then assert that such words as "perish"
necessarily mean annihilation. Once this point is granted, one is no longer impressed by such works as Froom where hundreds of quotes from biblical
and extra-biblical literature are given to prove conditionalism simply upon the erroneous assumption that the mere presence of such words in the text
means that the authors believed in annihilationism. ("Death and The Afterlife" by Robert Morey, p. 108-111)
Annihilation vs. Eternal conscious torment
Is eternal conscious torment a pagan false doctrine and a Jewish fable?
Here we document that annihilationists all accept that the view we have proven true, namely eternal conscious torment, was widely believed in the
ancient world. They argue that Jesus borrowed from these false pagan doctrines in his teaching on hell. We reject this, as it would mean that Jesus
promoted false doctrine. As the spiritual eyes into the spirit world, we believe that Jesus’ teaching on eternal conscious torment is not untrue,
simply because other cultures had similar views!
To think that Christ was ignorant of what Gehenna meant to the common people of His day or to assume that He was mistaken in using the rabbinic
descriptions of Gehenna is to do great injustice to Him who was the greatest teacher who ever lived. Indeed, the mere fact that Christ utilized the
rabbinic language connected with Gehenna, such as "unquenchable fire" and "never- dying worms," demonstrates beyond all doubt to any reasonable
person that he deliberately used the word Gehenna to impress upon his hearers that eternal punishment awaits the wicked after the resurrection. No
other conclusion is possible.
The greatest problem that Annihilationists face when examining the intertestamental (between the Old & New Testaments) literature, is that the
doctrines of the existence of the soul after death and eternal punishing are often manifest, with no "introduction" as would be required by a "new
teaching." The Annihilationist view is that between the Old and New Testaments, Platonic philosophy infiltrated true Bible doctrine and entirely new
concepts were introduced to replace the old beliefs about the soul and punishment. Yet, strangely lacking are any evidences of controversy in this
area of belief. The Annihilationist answer to that would be that there was evidence of a difference of belief in the intertestamental writings. But
since they can produce no actual apologetic or actual conflict from the historical records, they must argue from the silence of some intertestamental
writers, who may discuss the future of the righteous without mentioning the wicked. Sometimes, as in the case of Fudge's and the Adventist Froom's
quoting from Tobit, where it says that the unrighteous shall cease from all the earth, they claim that that proves the writer did not believe in
eternal punishing. That is indeed a poor argument.
Robert Morey, Dualist, comments:
First, Gehenna is the place of judgement (Matt. 23:33). He even used the rabbinic expression, "the judgement of Gehenna" (Bab. Tal. ER126).
Second, Gehenna is always placed at the end of the world after the resurrection (Matt. 5:22; 23:33). This was expounded by John in Rev. 20:1-15. This
was also the rabbinic position (Mid. Gen. 159).
Third, Gehenna is the place where the body as well as the soul is punished (Matt. 5:22; 10:28; Mark 9:43-48). The rabbis saw that the resurrection of
the wicked was necessary in order for them to receive their full punishment in the body (Mid. Gen. 159; 211n4).
Fourth, Gehenna was the place of conscious torment. When Christ used the phrases "unquenchable fire" and "never-dying worms" (Mark 9:47,48,
author's paraphrase), He was utilizing biblical (Isa 66:24), apocryphal (Judith XVI:17), and talmudic (Mid. Gen. 214) images which all meant
conscious suffering. The annihilationists have a counter argument at this point. They point out that, literally speaking, while the worms and the fire
in a city dump may destroy a dead carcass, it cannot be said that the dead carcass feels any torment. Therefore, they conclude that Christ's language
must be interpreted to mean that the wicked will be annihilated, not tormented. The problem with this interpretation is that it fails to take into
account that when Christ spoke of Gehenna in such terms as "worms and fire," He was clearly using rabbinic phraseology. Thus, it is more crucial to
discover how these words were understood in rabbinic literature than by pointing to modern city dumps. The intertestamental literature is clear that
the Jews believed that the departed could feel what was happening to their dead body. Indeed, when the worms start gnawing on the body, "the worms
are as painful to the dead as a needle in the flesh of the living" (Bab. Tal. Shah. 777,778). Since the "gnawing worms" clearly meant conscious
torment in rabbinic thought, the annihilationist's argument is invalid due to their ignorance of the meaning of such rabbinic terminology. That
Judith XVI:17 also teaches conscious torment is clear.
Fifth, the wicked are cast into Gehenna and will remain there for all eternity (Matt. 5:29,30). In Gehenna, the wicked are "destroyed" (Matt.
10:28). That the word "destroyed" (apollumi) does not mean "to annihilate" or "to pass into nonexistence" is clear from the rabbinic meaning of
the word, the lexicographical significance of the word, and the way the word is used in the New Testament. Thaver's Greek-English Lexicon defines
apollumi as "to be delivered up to eternal misery" (p.36). Since Thayer himself was a Unitarian who did not believe in eternal punishment, his
definition could only be the result of his knowledge of the meaning of his Greek word. There is no lexicographical evidence for the annihilationist's
position that apollumi means "to annihilate" or "to pass into nonexistence." (Death and The Afterlife, Robert Morey, Dualist, p. 89, 90)
Edward W. Fudge, Annihilationist
Between the Testaments a tendency arose in Jewish literature to relate visions of last things to names and persons from the Old Testament. Armageddon,
Jerusalem and the Garden of Eden all became stylized descriptions of things to come. So did the Valley of Hinnom-gehenna. The thought of Gehenna as a
place of eschatological punishment appears in intertestamental literature shortly before 100 B.C., though the actual place is unnamed. It becomes
"this accursed valley" (l En. 27:2, 3), the "station of vengeance" and "future torment" (2 Bar. 59:10, ll), the "pit of destruction" (Pirke
Aboth 5:19), the "furnace of Gehenna" and "pit of torment" (4 Esd. 7:36). (The Fire That Consumes, Edward W. Fudge, Annihilationist, p. 161)
The Babylonian Talmud had the worst Jewish sinners sentenced to Gehenna for 12 months. Then "their bodies are destroyed, their souls are burned, and
the wind strews the ashes under the feet of the pious." All who enter Gehenna come out, with three exceptions: those who committed adultery or shamed
their neighbors or vilified them. In the end, God would take the sun from its case, and it would heal the pious and punish the sinners. There would be
no Gehenna in the future world. ["Ge-hinnom," The Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 5, cols. 581-583] Some rabbis were sympathetic; others were harsh. One
can find quotes of torment by snow, smoke, thirst and rebellious animals. Others speak of the righteous observing the torments of the damned,
"tossing in their pain like the pieces of boiling meat in a cauldron." Still others, more benevolent, said light flooded even Gehenna each Sabbath,
and the wicked, too, had a day of rest. On the duration of the punishment, the rabbis contradicted each other. Some believed that the pain would
continue forever with or without Gehenna, while others ended punishment with the last judgement. Whether this last view allowed a future life for the
wicked or looked for their total annihilation cannot be determined conclusively. (The Fire That Consumes, Edward W. Fudge, Annihilationist, p. 163)