articles of chapter 9

The Hell

Death and Hades

 were also thrown into the fiery lake. Why would death and Hades be punished by eternal torture? What evil have they done? Death and Hades are not even able to think. So how could they knowingly sin against God?

Death was the result of the sin of Adam and Eve against the commandment of God. Death is as if personalized: Act 2:24 But God raised him up and destroyed the pains of death, since it was impossible for him to be held in its power.

What is Death? What is Hades? The Hebrew word Šeol and its Greek counterpart Hades appear more than 70 times in the original text of the Bible. Both are related to death. In some translations of the Bible, they have been translated as “tomb” or “hell”. In many languages, their meaning is accompanied by mythology that removes the meaning of the words from their biblical content. Perhaps it would be better to use the words “Šeol” and “Hades”.

Ecc 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol, where you are going. – Is Šeol a burial place where someone close to us may be buried? What kind of grave does “Šeol” refer to? The Word of God shows that “Sheol” (Hebr.) or “Hades” (Greek) means the place where the dead of all mankind rest. One cannot determine its location. Whether the death occurred on any land the ship sank in the high seas, the dead are all called out of Hades.

For instance Isaiah 5:14 Isa 5: 14 Therefore Sheol has enlarged its desire, And opened its mouth without measure; And their glory, their multitude, their pomp, and he who rejoices among them, descend into it.

Pro 30:16 Sheol, the barren womb; the earth that is not satisfied with water; And the fire that doesn’t say, ‘Enough.’ – The literal grave can hold only a limited number of the dead, while Biblia (1776) says: Proverbs 27:20 “Hell and destruction are never full.” In other words, it is never fulfilled. It has no limits.

Referring to a private burial site, the Bible uses other Hebrew and Greek words instead šeol and hadēs. For instance Gen 23:7 And Abraham rose up and bowed himself to the people of the land, to the sons of Heth.

23:8 He talked with them, saying, …hear me, and entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar, 9 that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he has, which is in the end of his field. For the full price let him give it to me in the midst of you for a possession of a burying-place.” Gen 49:31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah, his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah, his wife, and there I buried Leah: – The word Šeol is not used for a family tomb; Jesus was buried in the tomb of the family of Joseph of Arimathaea, which was handed over to Christ. – Although many of the dead are buried in tombs or graves dug in the mountain walls, all the dead are in the same grave, Hades i.e. their bodies are.

However, at the death of man, his spirit (pneuma) rises to God in heaven. When a person is called to the resurrection, he rises in the resurrection body (i.e. spirit body). I do not believe that the actual physical body is even awakened, the most important being his spirit. Ecc 12: 7 And the dust returns to the earth as it was, And the spirit returns to God who gave it.

The spirits of all dead are in heaven with God. The Bible does not tell you more. Are the spirits in a conscious state or unconscious waiting for the resurrection? I believe it is credible that these spirits will rise in due course up to either the first or the last resurrection, the resurrection of judgment. The creed speaks of the resurrection of the body, but the body does not rise, for there is often no body left. When Jesus comes for the second time, the participants in the first resurrection awaken and rise to meet Jesus in the clouds. Would Jesus be the only spirit and the resurrected in physical bodies would be meeting him in the clouds?

Rev 20:13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works. – The book of Revelation tells how the dead rose from the sea for the resurrection, as did those in Death. This is a figurative expression. I wrote above that the spirits of all the dead are in God’s heaven; there is no need to collect bones from the sea or from countless graves. There is nothing left for many – except the perfect spirit in heaven.

The resurrection body is a spirit body: Mat 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like God’s angels in heaven. Act 24:15 I have the same hope in God that they themselves cherish—that there is to be a resurrection of the righteous and the wicked.

Rev 20: 14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. Hades (/ˈheɪdiːz/; Greek: ᾍδης Hádēs; Ἅιδης Háidēs), in the ancient Greek religion and myth, is the god of the dead and the king of the underworld, with which his name became synonymous. Hades was the eldest son of Cronus and Rhea, although the last son regurgitated by his father. He and his brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, defeated their father’s generation of gods, the Titans, and claimed rulership over the cosmos. Hades received the underworld, Zeus the sky, and Poseidon the sea, with the solid earth, long the province of Gaia, available to all three concurrently. Hades was often portrayed with his three-headed guard dog Cerberus …

English translations of the Bible use often the word Hades G86. There is no English-language equivalent. Hades contains folk mythology similar to the Greek. Jehovah’s Witnesses define Hades as follows: “Sheol, or Haades, is therefore not a literal place with a certain position. It is the common grave of dead mankind, the figurative location where all dead people are sleeping completely unconscious knowing nothing”. The Bible proves that the dead do not know anything: Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they will die, but The spirits of all dead are in heaven with God neither do they have any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

– People are pretty confused when they think about the fate of their beloved dead. They will be happy to see that the dead are buried in a family grave where they take flowers in memory of the dead. The dead themselves are believed to be in heaven. In an American program, a family talked about their deceased family members and the mother of the family claimed that the dead would follow their actions from heaven. Understanding the fate of the dead becomes more difficult if the dead is drowned in the depths of the ocean or destroyed by a bomb in the war without anything left of the body.

In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church kept people under control and fear of the Lord by describing the horrors of hell. The sinners could go to hell before any judgment was uttered at all to them. According to the Bible, to the sinner can incur the fate in the fiery lake, but only after death and after the last judgment. Without judgment, no one will be condemned, not even in secular courts.

The Catholics probably at this point remark about the purgatory. According to the definition, people are tested in the purgatory after death before entering heaven. By buying indulgence, people could prevent from falling into hell or could shorten the time in the purgatory. The Bible speaks of hell or of a fiery lake where evil sinners may go after the last judgment if they have not repented of their sins and believed in Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

To some extent, the purgatory resembles God ‘s purifying fire, but it is useless to try to cope with the fire of God by paying.

With these thoughts, I return to the point:

What does the Bible mean when it says that Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire? Does God seek to punish Death and the Grave? Have Death and Hades sinned against God? The punishment of the fiery lake is called the Second Death. Should it not be called “Second Life”? There you will never die, but you will suffer and live forever. This is how the word of the Bible has been interpreted for ages.

Death is a stage in the life cycle of man (and of course also of animals). God created man immortal, but with the Fall, death became the last stage of human life. With the resurrection, the dead will have the opportunity for a new life, but the judgment following the resurrection may, according to the Bible, also bring the second death, which is said to be an everlasting torture in a fiery lake.

So what does it mean when the Bible talks about throwing Death and Hades into a fiery lake? 

This verse is, in my opinion, a clear indication that Death and Hades are no longer necessary. In mankind no one will sin anymore; all remaining people have received eternal life. When nobody dies anymore, no burial is needed. Death and Hades are figuratively destroyed.

Mat 5:22 But I say to you, anyone who is angry with his brother without a cause will be subject to punishment. And whoever says to his brother ‘Raka!’ [Aramean, Hebrew dialect for ‘worthless’] will be subject to the Council. And whoever says ‘You fool!’ will be subject to hell.

γεννα géenna, of Hebrew origin (H1516 and H2011); valley of (the son of) Hinnom; a valley of Jerusalem, used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment:—hell.

If someone calls his brother names like ῥακά (rhaka, you good-for-nothing and says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

How often when we are angry we call our closest friends crazy? I can not believe that such thoughtlessness would cause to be punished in the fire of hell. First, there is no hell. The word ‘Gehenna’ means the valley of the son of Hinnom, who was once outside Jerusalem, but now that the city is growing it is in its center. At the time of Jesus, waste, the remains of animals, even the executed corpses were thrown into the pit where fire burned continually and worms ate the corpses and therefore ‘never died.’ Hell’s fire is a figure of speech!

In Rev 20:14 it says: And death and Hades were thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death. KJV: And death (θνατος thanatos) and hell (δης hades) were cast into the lake of fire. KJV actually says that death and hell were both thrown into a fiery lake. The lake of fire is believed to be the hell to which ungodly sinners will be thrown. It is not possible to throw hell into itself.

 

image_pdfimage_print