Now the Spirit says clearly that in the last times some people will abandon the faith by following deceitful spirits, the teachings of demons, (1 Tim 4:1)
The Catholics have even transformed the Ten Commandments of God by removing the original second Commandment and dividing the ‘lusting commandment’ (‘thou shalt not covet’) in two. Thus the number of commands remained in ten, but the ban of God to make images and statues from God as well as the saints, no longer remained in force. Even today Catholic believers are praying for saints, Virgin Mary, and others. For nearly two millennia, people have built their doctrine, not on the Bible, but based on synods’ decisions and old traditions and beliefs.
For the time will come when they will not listen to the sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers after their own lusts; (2 Tim 4:3-4)
Eph 5:3 But sexual immorality, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be mentioned among you, as becomes saints; 4 nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not appropriate; but rather giving of thanks. 5 Know this for sure, that no sexually immoral person, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words. For because of these things, the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience.
Col 1:23 However, you must remain firmly established and steadfast in the faith, without being moved from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. 3:23 And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men, 24 You know that it is from the Lord that you will receive the inheritance as a reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you are serving!
I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever! I have the keys of Death and Hades. (Rev 1:18)
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. (Rev 20:14)
KJV 1789: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
There is a widely accepted paradigm of paradise and it is understood that paradise is a post-mortem place for righteous believers where they spend their time between their death and the coming resurrection. For the sinners, it is a place of fierce affliction. In this place where people would be after their death, awaiting final judgment, there would be two different departments. However, the KJV invokes both departments collectively as Hell.
The doctrine is basically based on Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus, who on earth was a poor beggar and suffered painful diseases when begging at the rich man’s door. As you read this Bible story, consider when reading the important question: is this an account of a real event or is this a symbolic story, one of Jesus’ parables.
Luk chapter 16:
16:19 Once there was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and live in great luxury every day.
20 A beggar named Lazarus, who was covered with sores, was brought to his gate.
22 It happened that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom.
24 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 in anguish in this flame.’
25 “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in like manner, bad things. But now here he is comforted and you are in anguish.
26 Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’
27 The rich man said, ‘I ask you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house;—
28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, so they won’t also come into this place of torment.’
29 But Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’
30 He said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
31 Then Abraham said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded, even if someone rises from the dead.
This is a parable of Jesus. If such a doctrine really was in the Bible, it would have been repeated in many places. Certainly, Jesus and the apostles would have proclaimed it always when speaking of the true kingdom of God. But no! There is no other account in the Bible that after death, man would live in such a place where others would enjoy at Abraham’s bosom and the sinners would suffer the continuous pain and the two groups would be separated by a gap. No one can be sent to suffer a cruel punishment without judgment! Ecc 9:5 says: For the living know that they will die, but the dead don’t know anything, neither do they have any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. – The dead know nothing, nor do they feel anything!
The Greek word Hades (Hebr. Sheol), translated in English by the word hell, is now known as Hell or that will not do – “Hades”. It used to describe just a pothole or a simple cellar. It is, however, only a grave where the bodies lie dead without knowing anything. According to the mainstream churches, in Hell, a sinner suffers eternal torment in a fiery lake. People have been intimidated for centuries by the church and kept in fear of death. In my view, the concept of Hell is the final punishment of the Last Judgment.
Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19) has been used as evidence of a space where the dead are staying before the final judgment. For sinners, it is a place of pain and torture, but the righteous enjoy their lives in “Abraham’s bosom.” A rich man who has been in pain because of the fire and thirst and turns to Abraham for help. If the dead do not know anything, they do not even feel anything.
The idea that such a kingdom of death in a physical and conscious state would be really absurd; are the dead there in the same bodies where people have died? Certainly, because the resurrection has not yet happened. The bodies are destroyed and often only a bunch of bones is left. How can these feel thirst and pain? Or perhaps the bodies are in spirit? The same question: how can the spirit, feel thirst and heat burning like a physical person?
The realm of death has been considered to have changed after Christ’s death. When in the Old Testament times there was only a grave (Sheol / Hades), it is now a paradise for the believers, where believers can wait for the judgment and access to heaven. The same questions can be made for this new interpretation. And besides, the dead, who died during the Old Testament as well as the new ones are apparently divided into two groups. Sinners are in pain and thirst in the burning heat, and the righteous get to enjoy the paradise of happiness with Abraham. Who has decided on which side, Abraham’s bosom or the other one, they are going? The last conviction has not yet happened. So who has acted as a judge and with what authority?
The doctrine of the third heaven or paradise or intermediate space is very poorly justified on the basis of the Bible.