Hell

Two Different Hells:
"I often wondered whether my father, an alcoholic, had gone to hell or to heaven. I was terrified by the dead
and by the idea of hellfire. I could not understand how a loving God could
send someone to suffer eternally in hell."—A former Catholic in Brazil.
1
(Appeared
in The Watchtower December 1, 2003 Emphasis mine)

The Watchtower Society teaches its members the Jehovah’s Witnesses to
denounce the idea of hell (a place of punishment and torment) reducing it to the
common grave where "Soul sleep" takes place, where the dead one would be
unconscious or asleep until the resurrection. Mainstream Christianity views it as
a reality of consequence. A place reserved for the wicked who by definition
have not turned from their wicked life, asking for forgiveness, hence receiving
the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. The
Watchtowers’ view final punishment for the wicked is the annihilating of the
wicked (total destruction). It is as if they never existed.

These two “optional” truth scenarios present two different views of justice:

1. Unsaved ones will simply be destroyed / annihilated with no eternal
consequences. The wicked and the memory of their wickedness would be
deleted. The Righteous will live forever in bliss; the wicked get erased.

2. The unsaved who had chances to “be saved” have refused to repent and
believe in the only one who could offer them forgiveness. Hence making
them “right” with God. These will forever suffer the consequences of their
own decision. The Righteous will live forever in bliss; the wicked will live
forever eternally separated from God, tormented day and night.

So who is right? Both groups believe they are.

Do both groups believe that their road is the only way? I will quote directly from
the Watchtower website:

“Questions Often Asked by Interested People …

Do the Witnesses believe that their religion is the only right one?
Anyone who is serious about his religion should think that it is the right one.
Otherwise, why would he or she be involved in it? Christians are admonished:
"Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine." (1 Thessalonians 5:21) A
person should make sure that his beliefs can be supported by the Scriptures,
for there is only one true faith. Ephesians 4:5 confirms this, mentioning "one

1
http://www.watchtower.org/e/20031201/article_02.htm
Lord, one faith, one baptism." Jesus did not agree with the modern, relaxed
view that there are many roads, many religions, all leading to salvation. Instead,
he said: "Narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few
are the ones finding it." Jehovah's Witnesses believe that they have found it.
Otherwise, they would look for another religion.—Matthew 7:14.”
2

Both Mainstream Christianity and The Watchtower would agree this statement.
Therefore: We have two opposing views; both of which claim to be the truth.
Two opposing views cannot both be the truth.
Make no mistake! People want to know for sure where they will spend eternity.
If either option is true over the other being a false option; you’d better hope your
option is correct, especially if the consequence of the wrong optional belief is
eternity in a place of “torment”. I mean we are talking about the eternal well
being of the soul here and not the opinion of a favorite color. Both groups
especially those who are facing eternal fire if they are wrong, had better make
sure they are possessors of the truth.
Jesus said to Pilate, Matthew 37-38 “…I came into the world, to testify to the
truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” …
Then Pilate asked the all time fundamental question all have asked and have
tried to answer before him and after him. He asks our Lord Jesus, “What is
truth?”
Webster dictionary: Fact that can be verified.
“Truth by definition is exclusive, therefore cannot be all inclusive.” –
Author: Ravi Zacharias in book JESUS AMONG OTHER GODS
This means that truth can be tested. Simple Logic can test truth. I found this analogy online: “A cannot
be non-A.” For example, if the parrot is on my shoulder (A), then it cannot be not on my shoulder at the
same time (non-A). … (Truth by definition is exclusive) ... You can test this with any statement. For example,
a math teacher may ask the class to solve for 3+5. If I say the answer is 7 and Fred says the answer is 8, then
either he is right, or I am right, or, in this case, there could be a third alternative that we are both wrong.
However, we cannot have different answers and both be right (all inclusive). This is because the answer 8,
which corresponds to reality, is exclusive (i.e. there is only one true, right answer). Notice that in this and in the
previous example there was, in fact, a situation, which corresponded to reality (there was a true answer.)
I pray you will seek the truth with an open heart as well as with an objective
mind.
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith;
test yourselves…” 1Corinthians 13:5

2
www.watchtower.org/e/jt/article_08.htm
To do this fair I will quote directly from Watchtower tracks you can find online. I
have heavily relied on two tracks on the subject. They are part of a series called
“What Has Happened to Hellfire?” & “What Really Is Hell?” These articles
can be found at the following web addresses:

www.watchtower.org/e/20020715/article_01.htm
www.watchtower.org/e/20020715/article_02.htm

The first article has no scripture references and is really an article attempting to
prove that Mainstream Christianity has conjured up the idea of hell. Then it
goes on mainly to briefly quote history in an attempt to prove their argument. I
only quoted the first part. I did, however, find an Internet resource that provides
a good historical perspective, which I have included at the end of this
document. You will find that historically hell was believed to be a place of fiery
punishment.
Mainly I wish to show what the bible says about the subject. This is because for
the Mainstream Christian: The bible is the ultimate authority. For certain the
archeological record, as well as many other facts such as eyewitness accounts
of the gospels, the history of the early church, and a score of bible scholars
have proven time and time again the historical accuracy of the bible; and the
one thing that Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mainstream Christians believe in is the
authority of the Bible.
So then, I will show what the Watchtower Society teaches its members quoting
directly from their bible tracts in blue; then I will show what Mainstream
Christian doctrine is in black. I have included the 2 articles I have used in their
entirety at the end of this document.
On a personal note from the writer of this “comparison” if you will: I personally
believe that Mainstream Christian faith is the “true” faith in God backed by
historic beliefs; meaning that the original disciples and early church fathers
believed in the same core beliefs that the “Mainstream” holds to today. While
denominations may disagree on some minor non-essential truths of the faith,
because there are some debatable things, the core beliefs are shared. I
sincerely hope you will pray as you read these comparisons. Pray that
regardless of where the truth leads you the truth is all you are looking for. I am
confident that if you do so, you will have no choice but to run into the absolute
truth that will set you free.
The Watchtower Society teaches its members that Mainstream Christianities belief in
hell, as a place of “fire and brimstone” is only something “conjured” up in the mind.
(Article: “What Has Happened to Hell Fire?” Paragraph 1)
This statement is just not true! The Mainstream Christian Church has “conjured”
nothing in the mind. She believes that Jesus as founder of the church taught about hell;
and his teachings and other places in the bible supports a literal hell as a place of fire,
where torment and anguish exists.
Mainstream Christianity see hell clearly defined in the bible: 16All Scripture is
inspired by God (Literally: God Breathed) and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for
training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
(2 Tim 3:16-17).
You see for the Mainstream Christian dogma is based on the totality of
scripture. Which means based on the total message of scripture given on the
subject of hell or any other dogma. Mainstream Christianity does see hell as a
“literal place of fire”. The Bible speaks of it in Mk 9:43-48; Mt 10:28; Mt 5:22,
29-30; Mt 18:7-9; Lk 12:5 …
Also, Based on the total message of scripture given on the subject of hell,
Mainstream Christianity does see hell as a place “of unending torment and
anguish” Called a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth” Mt 8:10-13; 13:42,
50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Lk 13:28. The story of the rich man and Lazarus Lk
16:19-31 particularly verses 23-24. Hell is clearly described by Jesus as a literal
place of fire and a place of torment and anguish.
According to Scripture, hell will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rv 19:20; 20:10;
20:14). Those who go to the lake of fire will be tormented day and night forever
and ever. Also see Rv 14:9-11.
All these scriptures and more will be covered in detail further into this study.
The watchtower society teaches its members that only physical death of the body is the
penalty for sin:
Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 1:
"Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread
to all men because they had all sinned." (Romans 5:12) The Scriptures also state: "The
wages sin pays is death." (Romans 6:23) Since the punishment for sin is death, the
fundamental question in determining the true nature of hell is: What happens to us when we
die?
Mainstream Christian faith believes that death is not only physical, but also spiritual. Because
of Adam’s sin we all die, but death is spiritual. We are born spiritually dead, as the result of
the fall of Adam. Jesus certainly held this opinion.
(Read Luke 23 for a full account) Jesus was crucified between two thieves. The one on his
left mocked him telling him to get off of the cross. The one on the right rebukes the thief on
the left telling him they are getting what they deserve, but that Jesus has done no wrong to
deserve this.
He then tells Jesus, “remember me when You come in Your kingdom!". Now the thief was looking
to the resurrection here on earth. This view was not an entirely false view but just a little
misguided. Some of the Jews of the day believed that upon death, they await the resurrection
of the future. This thief recognized Jesus as The Messiah, which means “The Anointed One”.
He believed that he would have to wait till Jesus establishes his Kingdom on earth. Jesus
corrects his misguided dogma.
What does he tell him?
He tells him, “"Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."” (emphasis mine).
He told the thief that he would be with him “TODAY”. Not when he comes back and reigns for
a thousand years but that very day. That day both thieves legs were broken and they died on
their crosses. But that day, on the moment of death: This thief found himself to be with the
Lord Jesus. It is clear that Jesus did not believe that the only consequence for sin is only
physical death of the body, otherwise he would not have said, “today you shall be with Me in
Paradise.” Instead he would have said, “today you must die and you shall be with me later in
Paradise”, but that was not what Jesus told him.
16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall
not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16


25
… I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
26
and
whoever lives and believes in me will never die.


John 11:25-26
Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 2: Asks the following questions:
1. Does life of some kind, in some form, continue after death?
2. What is hell, and what kind of people go there?
3. Is there any hope for those in hell?
Here is the Mainstream Christian Response to these questions, posed by the watchtower
society:
1. According to the Bible, Jesus believed that life does continue after death.
2. According to the Bible, hell is a place reserved for the wicked, a place of torment.
3. According to the Bible, there is no hope for those in hell.
The Bible does give answers for these questions regardless of rather the answers are
satisfying to you or not! You see sometimes the truth just plain hurts.
Consider not only what Jesus told the thief crucified next to him; but also consider his story of
the rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus. Read in full Luke 16:19-31
First, Jesus describes their lives:

19
"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.
20
At his gate was laid
a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores
21
and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs
came and licked his sores.
Second, Jesus describes their afterlives:

22
"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried.
23
In hell,

where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.
24
So he called to him,
'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in
agony in this fire.'
*Note one is carried by Angels to a place called “Abraham’s side” – Literally “The Bosom of
Abraham.” (More on that soon) The other is buried and wakes up in torment in a place called
hell.
So to answer the first question:
Jesus, according to the Bible, believed that life does continue after death.
Here the Greek word “Hades” translated hell is used to describe this place of torment. Jesus
is saying that it is a place of place of fire, torment, and agony. A place where even a drop of
water is longed for.

25
"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things,
but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.
In answer to the second question:
Jesus, according to the Bible, believed hell is a place where the wicked go, a place of agony,
and torment.
Abraham told the rich man who had good things in his life, while Lazarus who lived right
outside the gate of the rich man’s luxurious “penthouse” received bad things. This rich man
was a wicked man.
In answer to the third question:
Jesus, according to the Bible, believed there is no hope for those that go there.
26
And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot,
nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'
This also brings up an interesting point. The Bible teaches that prior to the resurrection: when
a righteous person died, they went to a place called the bosom of Abraham. The wicked went
to a place called hell. These places were located in the “lower regions of the earth.”
Where exactly did Jesus go for the three days he was dead?
"When he ascended on high,
he led captives in his train
and gave gifts to men."
9
(What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? –
Eph 4:8-9

Yes, death led the souls of the departed to Hades, a place divided into two chambers: One
chamber for the righteous known as “The Bosom of Abraham”; the other known as hell for
the wicked.
Everyone prior to Jesus death and resurrection had to go to this two chamber place. It was
called Hades in the Greek or sheol in the Hebrew. It was a place of waiting for the righteous
and a place of torment for the wicked.
Jesus had to go to this place to declare victory over death and Hades. He did not go to the
wicked side; but went to the righteous side of Abraham’s bosom (he called it paradise as he
told the thief on the cross before they both died).
He preached to those who had died having believed in the promise of the coming Messiah,
The Anointed One, whom according to scripture would come and proclaim liberty to the
captives. These people were not in heaven, but in a sort of temporary paradise place of
comfort. They were there waiting for the promise of the coming Messiah. Jesus went to
proclaim liberty to them, telling them that he had accomplished the task of paying the debt of
their sin.
18
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in
the body but made alive by the Spirit,
19
through whom
[a]
also he went and preached to the spirits in prison
20
who
disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few
people, eight in all, were saved through water, 1 Pet 3:18-20
This why Jesus in the Book of Revelation says, I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I
am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. Rev 1:18
Prior the death and resurrection of Jesus, in order to be saved, you had to sacrifice an animal
shedding its blood to cover your sin. The sacrificed animal always pointed to Gods plan to
Redeem his people from their sin by the coming of Jesus the Messiah (The Anointed One);
who came and “died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to
death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,” 1 Peter 3:18
Once he ascended to heaven 40 days after his resurrection He led those righteous “Old
Testament” believers out of this “holding tank”, to be with him in Heaven.
"When he ascended on high,
he led captives in his train
and gave gifts to men."
9

Ephesians 4:8

Once this sort of “holding tank” was emptied Hell became one place and was no longer
divided with paradise on one side and fiery torment on the other side.

Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 3 states:
Life After Death?
Does something inside us, like a soul or a spirit, survive the death of the body? Consider how
the first man, Adam, came to have life. The Bible states: "Jehovah God proceeded to form
the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life." (Genesis
2:7) Though breathing sustained his life, putting "the breath of life" into his nostrils involved
much more than simply blowing air into his lungs. It meant that God put into Adam's lifeless
body the spark of life—"the force of life," which is active in all earthly creatures. (Genesis
6:17; 7:22) The Bible refers to this animating force as "spirit." (James 2:26) That spirit can be
compared to the electric current that activates a machine or an appliance and enables it to
perform its function. Just as the current never takes on the features of the equipment it
activates, the life-force does not take on any of the characteristics of the creatures it
animates. It has no personality and no thinking ability.
I am not sure we can be too dogmatic (certain of absolute truth) on this topic. There are basically two ways to
view man. One view: He is made up of body and soul/spirit. This is called a dichotomist view of man. The other
view is that man is made up of three parts, body, soul and spirit. This is called a trichotomist view of man. Both
views have their arguments.
Dichotomist: The scripture does at times use the terms soul and spirit inter-changeably;
Trichotomist: Scripture also makes a distinction between all three as well. Take in Hebrews where the bible
says the following:
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates
even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the
heart.” Hebrews 4:12 [distinction between soul and spirit],

23
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit,
soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thessalonians 5:23

14
But a
(A)
natural man
(B)
does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are
(C)
foolishness to him; and
he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
15
But he who is
(D)
spiritual appraises all
things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.
16
For
(E)
WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT
HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But
(F)
we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3
Foundations for Living

1
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to
(G)
spiritual men, but as to
(H)
men of flesh, as to
(I)
infants in
Christ.

2
I gave you
(J)
milk to drink, not solid food; for you
(K)
were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are
not yet able,
3
for you are still fleshly. For since there is
(L)
jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly,
and are you not walking
(M)
like mere men?

4
For when
(N)
one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not mere
(O)
men? ”I Corinthians
2:14 – 3:4 [natural (fleshly), carnal (soulish), spiritual (spiritual)]

All these seem to distinguish between soul and spirit as separate aspects of mankind’s immaterial nature.

Even so with all this theological debate, you have to see it at face value. Question: “If the spirit of a person is
nothing more than a “life force”, like a current of electricity that does not take on the characteristics of a washing
machine which it powers; and if that means that the spirit has no thinking ability, no personality: Then why did
Jesus say in Luke 16, that both the rich man and Lazarus found themselves in two very different places?”

One was fully aware of comfort, the other fully aware of torment, and agony.

What then lived after these two individuals lived on after death? Was it their souls? Something sure did live on
after death in these two individuals, at least in the story Jesus told.
Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 4 states:
What happens to the spirit when a person dies? Psalm 146:4 says: "His spirit goes out, he
goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish." When a person dies, his
impersonal spirit does not go on existing in another realm as a spirit creature. It "returns to
the true God who gave it." (Ecclesiastes 12:7) This means that any hope of future life for that
person now rests entirely with God.
The Watchtower tells its members that when the scripture says the spirit, “returns to the true
God who gave it”, it means that any hope of future life for that person now rest entirely with
God. This is simply a false statement.
How about just believing what it says? What does it say? It says that upon death; the spirit
returns to God. When a righteous person dies they go to be with God. That is exactly what
this scripture is saying, especially when you read the entire chapter. This is a common
practice for the Watchtower: To quote single passages out of context. Most of the time one
only needs to read the entire chapter along with the verse used by the Watchtower. Then it
becomes clear that their point of view falls apart.
This verse cannot prove that there is no life after death; but shows that the bible supports the
belief of life after death. When a believer dies, the present body deteriorates, but the spirit is
taken to heaven to be with Him. The opposite is true of the believer as was the case with the
Rich Man.
(cf. Lk.16:22 The bodies of the Rich man and Lazarus both went in the ground) - although
we, as creatures who have always had and will always have both a material and immaterial
part, will even then "not be found naked" but will have an temporary body which we shall
inhabit until the day of the resurrection.
2 Cor 5:3

1
Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an
eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
2
Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with
our heavenly dwelling,
3
because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.”
Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 5 states:
The ancient Greek philosophers Socrates and Plato held that a soul inside a person survives
death and never dies. What does the Bible teach about the soul? Adam "came to be a living
soul," says Genesis 2:7. He did not receive a soul; he was a soul—a whole person. The
Scriptures speak of a soul's doing work, craving food, being kidnapped, experiencing
sleeplessness, and so forth. (Leviticus 23:30; Deuteronomy 12:20; 24:7; Psalm 119:28) Yes,
man himself is a soul. When a person dies, that soul dies.—Ezekiel 18:4.
We have to reconcile this not only with Jesus telling a story about something living on after
death but also Revelation 6. Here it specifically states that the souls of persons who had
been slain for standing up for the truth are calling out in a loud voice, from under the altar.
Where is this taking place? In the throne room of heaven:

9
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because
of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.
10
They called out in a loud voice, "How
long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our
blood?"
11
Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the
number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.”

Rev 6:9-10

Were these souls in Revelation dead? No they were alive and waiting for their full number to
come in.
For the Mainstream Christian we believe as the bible teaches:
2 Corinthians 5 2 Corinthians 5 2 Corinthians 5 2 Corinthians 5
Our Heavenly Dwelling Our Heavenly Dwelling Our Heavenly Dwelling Our Heavenly Dwelling

1
Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in
heaven, not built by human hands.
2
Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling,
3
because
when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.
4
For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because
we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed
up by life.
5
Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit,
guaranteeing what is to come.

6
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.
7
We live by faith, not by sight.
8
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with
the Lord.
9
So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
10
For we must
all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in
the body, whether good or bad.
We believe that this body we live in is like a tent. We live in this “tent” while we await our
heavenly dwelling. This scripture clearly states that upon being away from our body, we are
with the Lord. Jesus said, God is Spirit… We are made in God’s image. There is more to
man than just flesh and bones.
Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 6 states:
What, then, is the condition of the dead? When pronouncing sentence upon Adam, Jehovah
stated: "Dust you are and to dust you will return." (Genesis 3:19) Where was Adam before
God formed him from the dust of the ground and gave him life? Why, he simply did not exist!
When he died, Adam returned to that state of complete absence of life. The condition of the
dead is made clear at Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10, where we read: "The dead know nothing . . . In
the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor
wisdom." (New International Version) Scripturally, death is a state of nonexistence. The dead
have no awareness, no feelings, no thoughts.
So what is really being said here in Genesis 3:19? To understand this we have to go back to
the original warning God gave Adam and Eve the day he placed them in the Garden.
16
The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;
17
but from the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die." (Gen
2:16,17) NASB
He was warned that “in the day” he ate it he would die. Yet we read he did not instantly die for we
read, “So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died” (Gen 5:5) NASB
He returned to dust eventually as is all our fate, because of his disobedience.
So how is it then that Adam was supposed to die on the day he ate from this forbidden tree, and yet he
lives for 930 years? Scripture cannot be wrong. Adam must have died spiritually on the day he ate of
the tree. He physically died as well; it just took 930 years. Physical death takes awhile for all of us, but
spiritual death is already present at birth. You see ever since Adam, the first man sinned and died
spiritually, mankind is born spiritually dead, because we are sinners at birth.

12
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because
all sinned – (Romans 5:11)
They need to be spiritually reborn in order to be saved from death. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one
can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3:3
As far as Ecclesiastes goes, we need to understand where Solomon is coming from.
Here is the concluding history on Solomon’s life as recorded in 1 Kings 11:

1
King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh's daughter—Moabites, Ammonites,
Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites.
2
They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, "You must
not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods." Nevertheless, Solomon held fast
to them in love.
3
He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him
astray.
4
As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the
LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.
5
He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and
Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites.
6
So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the
LORD completely, as David his father had done.

7
On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molech
the detestable god of the Ammonites.
8
He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered
sacrifices to their gods.
Solomon was looking at the full measure of life from a physical point of view in the entire
book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes is a look into the mind of a man; who was full of wisdom
and yet his heart is divided by the desires of this world. Solomon even in all his wisdom,
disobeyed God and allowed his heart to be drawn away by his pagan wives. He starts out the
whole book saying, “"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is
meaningless."
3
What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? ”
This is not a true statement!

He must be speaking figuratively from a different point of view. Therefore, we cannot take all
he says about life and death as well as absolute truth. When interpreting the scripture one
must always consider the source. His entire life is a look at a fallen man who yet was filled
with Godly wisdom. Solomon asked for wisdom from the God, and God gave it to him. Yet his
life serves as an example that even the wisest can still fall from grace. Solomon had forsaken
his God and was living life “under the sun.” Here in Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10 he is making a point
that the same fate awaits both the wicked and the righteous. That fate is physical death.

Anyone can make the Bible say anything they want, simply by choosing only the verses that
appear to support their doctrine and rejecting the rest?
We cannot only read the verses we can easily understand, and skip the rest.

You don't read a newspaper that way. You don't read letters from your friends that way. You
can only understand a single sentence anyone writes by reading the whole document.

Solomon looking back on his life now sees that it all looked "meaningless!" (Ecc 1:2) From
Solomon's worldly point of view, people are no better off than animals (Ecc 3:19-20) By the
end of the book, Solomon counsels young people not to make the same mistake that he did
(Ecclesiastes 12).

So King Solomon was wise and good when he was young (1 Kings 3). That was probably
when he wrote Proverbs and Song of Solomon. But the Bible explains that King Solomon
grew spiritually lazy and careless. He built temples to idols for his many foreign wives, and
went to those temples to worship idols. (1 Kings 11:1-8) In Solomon's old age, seeing that
he had wasted his life, foolishly failing to follow his own advice in Proverbs, he looked back
on his life through his worldly eyes, and realized how foolish he had been (Ecclesiastes
2:10-11). Now it all looked "meaningless!" (Ecclesiastes 1:2) From Solomon's worldly point
of view, people are no better off than animals (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 -- another text that JWs
use to argue "there is no hell"). By the end of the book, Solomon counsels young people not
to make the same mistake that he did (Ecclesiastes 12:1, 6-7).

Here is Solomons conclusion of the entire matter:
“Fear God and keep his commandments,” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
If this verse in Ecclesiastes means as they interpret: “death is a state of nonexistence. The
dead have no awareness, no feelings, no thoughts.”; then why would Jesus contradict them.
Jesus even said in Luke and in Matthew:
“But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to
throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”Luke 12:5
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can
destroy both soul and body in hell.”Mt 10:28
If death is the end, than how is it Jesus says there is more that can happen to you after your
body is dead?
Jesus view most certainly does not agree with the opinion of death being a state of
nonexistence. You cannot make a teaching based on one scripture. That is a rule one
should follow in creating doctrine. Again to say that this verse means, as they say, still needs
to be reconciled with what the entire bible teaches: Luke 16; Revelation 6:10; 2 Corinthians
5:1-10; Luke 23 etc.
Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 7 states:
Unending Torment or Common Grave?
Since the dead have no conscious existence, hell cannot be a fiery place of torment where
the wicked suffer after death. What, then, is hell? Examining what happened to Jesus after
he died helps to answer that question. The Bible writer Luke recounts: "Neither was [Jesus]
forsaken in Hades [hell, King James Version] nor did his flesh see corruption."* (Acts 2:31)
Where was the hell to which even Jesus went? The apostle Paul wrote: "I handed on to you .
. . that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, yes, that
he has been raised up the third day according to the Scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) So
Jesus was in hell, the grave, but he was not abandoned there, for he was raised up, or
resurrected.
Again, Scripture is clear what happened to Jesus after he died. He was not forsaken in hell,
because he knew no sin. He went to the chamber of the righteous dead in Hades. His flesh
never decayed in the grave. Peter here is quoting King David of the Old Testament: Read the
scripture the Watchtower uses to prove that hell is the common grave in full context:

29
Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and
buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

30
Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of
his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

31
He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his
flesh did see corruption.” Acts 2:29-31

Also if Jesus really believed that upon death he would only be going to the common grave;
then why tell a story about two individuals who went to Hades, the abode of the dead, and
both being fully conscious? Lazarus said he was in agony in the fire; and Abraham
acknowledged that he was in agony in the fire. This does not support their view stated in the
Watchtower article: That “The dead have no conscious existence”.
Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 8 states:
Consider also the case of the righteous man Job, who suffered much. Wishing to escape his
plight, he pleaded: "Who will grant me this, that thou mayest protect me in hell [Sheol], and
hide me till thy wrath pass?"
#
(Job 14:13, Douay Version) How unreasonable to think that Job
desired to go to a fiery-hot place for protection! To Job, "hell" was simply the grave, where
his suffering would end. The Bible hell, then, is the common grave of mankind where good
people as well as bad ones go.
Consider the following: If Job knew that hell was divided into two chambers one for the
righteous the other for wicked; it makes sense to seek protection in sheol. This is especially
true since hell at this time was separated into two chambers, one for comfort, and the other
for torment. Job was written pre resurrection and ascension of Jesus. The common sheol
(abode of the dead) is where the good and the evil went, only to different compartments.
Much, if not all of, the arguments the Watchtower teaches its members to use are all based
on one principle: Where the plain reading of the text makes sense, they will try to make their
own sense out of it to fit their dogma. We have a group, of what I believe are sincere people,
who have been taught, some their whole life, that hell was invented. So where Jesus teaches
about the rich man and Lazarus, the Watchtower teaches its members that this story is only a
parable. So what “seems” to teach hell is a place of fire and torment have to be only
symbolism; otherwise their whole dogma (hell is only the common grave), falls apart.
This is a summary, so far, of what I have documented right from the Watchtower website:
The Watchtower teaches its members that there is no life after death; that hell is not a place
of torment; and the dead have no consciousness in hell, which is nothing more than the
common grave.
Here is the dilemma:
If what the Watchtower Society teaches its members is truth; than Jesus would have to agree
with the beliefs the Watchtower teaches its members. Yet Jesus clearly contradicts these
beliefs on numerous occasions.
One example is when on the cross, speaking to the thief. Jesus tells the thief that on this very
day that they were about to die, this thief would be with him in paradise. Note he didn’t say
he would be with him in the common grave.
Another example is when speaking about the rich man and Lazarus. He clearly taught in this
story that both Lazarus and the rich man were fully conscious. He clearly taught one was in
comfort and the other was in agony. Both parties were aware of the others state of existence.
So we see that Jesus believed opposite so far: There is life after death; hell is a place of
torment; the dead are fully conscious when they die and go to hell, which is not the common
grave. Let us continue on.
Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 9 states:
Hellfire—All-Consuming?
Could it be that the fire of hell is symbolic of all-consuming, or thorough, destruction?
Separating fire from Hades, or hell, the Scriptures say: "Death and Hades were hurled into
the lake of fire." "The lake" mentioned here is symbolic, since death and hell (Hades) that are
thrown into it cannot literally be burned. "This [lake of fire] means the second death"—death
from which there is no hope of coming back to life.—Revelation 20:14.
Interestingly: The Watchtower here does not deny that fire is mentioned. They just say it is
“symbolic”. Lets look at all the verses where fire and hell is mentioned.
“43If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to
go into hell, where the fire never goes out.
[c]
45And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for
you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.
[d]
47And if your eye causes you to
sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be
thrown into hell, 48where " 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.” Mk 9:43-48
Hell here is the Greek word gehenna (yccvvu yccvvu yccvvu yccvvu) This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south
of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol
of the wicked and their future destruction.
“22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother
[b]
will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who
says to his brother, 'Raca,
[c]
' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in
danger of the fire of hell.” Mt 5:22 “29If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if
your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your
body than for your whole body to go into hell.” Mt 5:29-30
Hell here is the Greek word gehenna (yccvvu yccvvu yccvvu yccvvu)
“7 "Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the
man through whom they come! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It
is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into
eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to
enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.”Mt 18:7-9.
Hell here is the Greek word gehenna (yccvvu yccvvu yccvvu yccvvu)
The Sheep and the Goats

31
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in
heavenly glory.
32
All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from
another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33
He will put the sheep on his right and the
goats on his left.

34
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your
inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
35
For I was hungry and you gave
me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited
me in,
36
I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you
came to visit me.'

37
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give
you something to drink?
38
When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe
you?
39
When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine,
you did for me.'

41
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire
prepared for the devil and his angels.
42
For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and
you gave me nothing to drink,
43
I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did
not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44
"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or
sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45
"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do
for me.'

46
"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."”Matthew 25:31-46
Eternal here is the Greek word aionios (uievioc uievioc uievioc uievioc) which means without end, never to cease,
everlasting.
Note to yourself that both the fire and the punishment are eternal. This eternal fire was never
intended for man (vs 41), from the beginning of creation. But because of sin man will face
this judgment if he is not from God’s flock. This is what Jesus teaches here his foretelling of
the future.
When will this all take place?
In the Book of Revelation we learn of a time known as the Great tribulation of earth. This will
be a time when there will be a one world government, with a one world money system, and a
universal religion for the entire world. Those that do not submit to these institutions will lose
their lives. I recommend you read the entire book of Revelation to understand this all.
In any case we finally come the dramatic point known as the Battle of Armageddon. This will
take place in the Middle east in the field of Armageddon (AR-ma·GED·don), the mount of
Megiddo, according to the New Testament book of Revelation, is once again to host one of
the world's major armies in an immense conflict between East and West (Revelation 16:16).
The idea of Megiddo being the venue of humanity's apocalyptic finale, the "final" battle in this
war called the "Battle of Armageddon", misnamed. The actual battle is to occur at Jerusalem
and called "the war of the great day of God, the Almighty" (Revelation 16:14 NASB) or the
"Battle of That Great Day of God Almighty" (KJV).
Armies will be gathered at Megiddo by the beast (The Anti-Christ) to destroy each other; and
at this point Jesus returns with his armies, the saints, to reclaim the earth, and establish his
Kingdom on earth to reign for 1000 years. It is possible that if Jesus does not come at this
point a world war will take place which would wipe out all life on earth. It seems probable but
in any case According to the Book of Revelation Jesus does come back at this point to
establish his Kingdom.
I have included End Times Chronology at the end of this document for further study. It’s a
pretty good one. However on some details I think you cannot be too dogmatic. If you just
stick to a literal interpretation of the Book; you can do just fine, but a good commentary and
other useful study tools like this chronology would not be a bad idea in trying understanding
end-times prophecy.
Back to the subject at hand: Below is a warning not to follow this one world religion
establishment and worship of the image of the beast. It says you will be tormented with
burning sulfur; you will have no rest day or night if you take his mark and worship his image.

9
A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and
receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand,
10
he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has
been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the
presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.
11
And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and
ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone
who receives the mark of his name."
12
This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who
obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.”Revelation 14:9-11
Here it says that, “the smoke of their torment rises” For How long? “for ever and ever”

19
Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against
the rider on the horse and his army.
20
But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had
performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the
mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of
burning sulfur.”Revelation 19:20
Here we have that fiery lake of sulfur (Gehenna). This will be the final place for the anti-Christ
and the false prophet.
After in which Jesus will establish his reign for 1,000 years.

7
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison
8
and will go out to deceive the
nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like
the sand on the seashore.
9
They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's
people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
10
And the devil, who
deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had
been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”Revelation 20:7-10
Because some people will be born during this 1,000 year reign with Jesus, their loyalty to the
King Of Kings will need to be tested. So Satan is released one last time to deceive who he
can. But they won’t even stand a chance. Then Satan is thrown into the lake of sulfur. There
he and the beast (Anti-Christ) and false prophet will be “tormented day and night for ever
and ever.” *Note it does not say they are annihilated, or destroyed.

13
The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them,
and each person was judged according to what he had done.
14
Then death and Hades were thrown
into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
15
If anyone's name was not found written in
the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:13-15
The Greek word Hades (u) means the following.
1. name Hades or Pluto, the god of the lower regions
2. Orcus, the nether world, the realm of the dead
3. later use of this word: the grave, death, hell

After all this we move to what is called the Great White Throne Judgment. Here Hades and
the Sea give up the dead. This Hades by the way is the same Hades that Jesus talked about
in his story about the rich man and Lazarus. Here is a Literal translation of it:
"In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.”
Luke 16:23
Only these dead that are resurrected stand before God’s Throne and are Judged; and
sentenced to gehenna, the lake of fire. This Lake of Fire is where Satan, The Beast, and The
False Prophet are already at. Remember it says of those that go to this lake: They will be
“tormented day and night for ever and ever”. If it is symbolic, then what does being
“tormented day and night for ever and ever” symbolize?
So we see that the Hades Jesus spoke of was a place of torment and the final destination, a
lake of fire is also a place of torment. So the bottom line is that the wicked will end up going
to a place where they will be tormented … for ever and ever.
Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 10 states:
The lake of fire has a meaning similar to that of "the fiery Gehenna [hell fire, King James
Version]" that Jesus spoke of. (Matthew 5:22; Mark 9:47, 48) Gehenna occurs 12 times in the
Christian Greek Scriptures, and it refers to the valley of Hinnom, outside the walls of
Jerusalem. When Jesus was on earth, this valley was used as a garbage dump, "where the
dead bodies of criminals, and the carcasses of animals, and every other kind of filth was
cast." (Smith's Dictionary of the Bible) The fires were kept burning by adding sulfur to burn up
the refuse. Jesus used that valley as a proper symbol of everlasting destruction.
Again if this fiery lake is a symbol of everlasting destruction; then what does “tormented day
and night for ever and ever” symbolize? Again where ever the literal reading of the text
makes hell out to be an eternal place of fiery; the Watchtower says this fire is symbolism. It
does not try to every explain what the torment then symbolizes.
Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 11 states:
As does Gehenna, the lake of fire symbolizes eternal destruction. Death and Hades are
"hurled into" it in that they will be done away with when mankind is freed from sin and the
condemnation of death. Willful, unrepentant sinners will also have their "portion" in that lake.
(Revelation 21:8) They too will be annihilated forever. On the other hand, those in God's
memory who are in hell—the common grave of mankind—have a marvelous future.
The argument I guess is rather or not being sentenced to this lake means eternal torment,
which is what the bible says, or if it symbolizes destruction. Just like punching up delete on
your computer, it will be as if these wicked souls never existed. The plain reading of the text
does not support this idea; and as a rule of interpretation: If the plain reading of the text
makes sense do not try to make sense out of it.
If it is true that the wicked will be destroyed/deleted, then the Watchtower needs to explain
what “tormented day and night for ever and ever” symbolizes.
Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 12 states:
Hell Emptied!
Revelation 20:13 states: "The sea gave up those dead in it, and death and Hades gave up
those dead in them." Yes, the Bible hell will be emptied. As Jesus promised, "the hour is
coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus'] voice and come out." (John
5:28, 29) Although no longer presently existing in any form, millions of dead ones who are in
Jehovah God's memory will be resurrected, or brought back to life, in a restored earthly
paradise.—Luke 23:43; Acts 24:15.
Does it make sense that the Watchtower would uses Luke 23:43 to prove that the dead in
hell (the common grave) await a restored earthly paradise? This is the story about the thief
on the cross. Jesus didn’t tell him that he would have to wait in the grave awhile to be with
him; but said, “Today you will be with me in Paradise”. This paradise Jesus spoke of was the
paradise section of Hades (Luke 16:19-31) located in the lower earthly regions (Eph 4:8-9).
This verse proves that hell is not just the common grave; and as I have discussed above hell
or more properly Hades was emptied of all the Righteous dead upon Jesus ascension.
Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 13 states:
In the new world of God's making, resurrected humans who comply with his righteous laws
will never need to die again. (Isaiah 25:8) Jehovah "will wipe out every tear from their eyes,
and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore." In fact,
"the former things [will] have passed away." (Revelation 21:4) What a blessing is in store for
those in hell—"the memorial tombs"! This blessing indeed is reason enough for us to take in
more knowledge of Jehovah God and his Son, Jesus Christ.—John 17:3.
Mainstream Christianity agrees that those who will live and reign during the 1,000 year reign
will enjoy many benefits. Imagine: No more sickness; no more hunger; no more suffering; no
more economic problems; no more wars; nor more famines; and many blessings! It will be a
wonderful day indeed.
Here is the problem with the Watchtower View: According to Revelation 20:13-15 hell will be
emptied of its dead souls. They will be judged and then death, and hell, and these wicked
dead souls will join Satan, the beast, and the false prophet in the Lake of fire. If what the
bible says is true, then how is there a blessing in store for those in hell?
So we see we have two different hells. One in which the souls/spirits of the wicked suffer, the
other the common grave of all, where there is no conscious state. It stands to reason as the
Watchtower has said in many of their articles, “Let us Reason Together”, as they quote the
very words of Jehovah, that hell cannot be the common grave based on the bible. One must
spiritualize the words of the bible, calling everything that shows hell to be fire and torment
symbolism.
I say then, Let us Reason Together. There is no scripture which says, or even alludes to the
idea that fiery hell is symbolic of destruction/deletion of existence. How can we assume that
something as important as this topic would be left open for interpretation? I would expect to
hear Jesus say, “Those who go to the lake of fire, will be destroyed forever”. On the contrary,
we read otherwise, “they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
So again, not to sound like a broken record, but if the lake of fire symbolizes destruction,
then:
What does this “smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever” in the lake of fire symbolize?
Moreover what does the “agony” and the “fire” the rich man of Luke 13 experienced
symbolize?
It is interesting to me that when something in the scripture when taken literally disproves the
dogma of the Watchtower Society; they tell their members that the particular scripture is
symbolic, but then when reading something poetic like Ecclesiastes, they take something that
needs to be read as a poem and taken figuratively not literally, and read it literally just to
prove their dogma.
I think this patern stems from preconceptions that God does not allow torture. It is appealing
to people because it puts God in a box they are comfortable with. While it is true that God is
love, God is also a God of Judgment, and wrath. He hates sin and its effect. In his fairness
he has to punish evil. See Rv 14:9-11
When we put God in a box to fit our view of him we create an idol. We do no different than
the children of Israel did in the desert with the Golden Calf. Idolatry is making your own God.
So if we “reason together”, we should come to the conclusion that if God will reward the
righteous, with eternal life, then He will judge the wicked with eternal condemnation. Being
destroyed to non-existence is not the same as eternal condemnation.
The scriptures even testify: “… the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the
unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.”2Peter 2:9 (Emphasis mine)
It is a comforting thought the fire would annihilate or destroy the wicked, but God is capable
of altering the properties of fire. Consider the burning bush of Moses’ day that was not
consumed, and also the "fiery furnace" of Daniel’s day.
Be careful when making the assumption that only annihilation awaits the wicked dead.
The Apostle Paul would be astonished with this generation:
“6
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and
are turning to a different gospel—
7
which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are
throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8
But even if we or an
angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be
eternally condemned!
9
As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to
you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

10
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still
trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:6-10

“A different gospel”?
What this is saying is that those who follow the wrong Gospel will be eternally condemned.
We should be sure we are in the right gospel. Paul was warning them just as he warned
many that false teachers would come.
The apostle Peter warns the church:


1
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.
They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—
bringing swift destruction on themselves.
2
Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way
of truth into disrepute.
3
In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.
Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.”
2 Peter 2:1-3

If the Watchtower, the institution which began in 1879, and its teachings is the true gospel
than Mainstream Christianity for over 2,000 years has been preaching a false gospel (one
“other than the one (The Apostles) preached”). According to Galatians 1:6-10; and 2 Peter
2:1-3 above all who preach the false gospel are not in the truth.
One has to ask themselves: Is it logical that God would wait until the year 1879 to reveal to
his truth?
From a historical point of view Mainstream Christianity is closer to the original. Could this
mean that any other belief system that emerges is a Hybrid and not an original version?
To accept the dogma that hell as a place of torment is false; means you believe that
somehow the Historic Christianity had the wrong idea of hell, and God waited until the year
1879 in which the Watchtower emerged, and brought to light the real truth.
So what does Church History really say?
According to the Watchtower:
Article: What Has Happened to Hell Fire? Paragraph 10 states:
Among the early Church Fathers, however, there was disagreement over hell. Justin Martyr, Clement
of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Cyprian believed that hell was a fiery place. Origen and theologian
Gregory of Nyssa thought of hell as a place of separation from God—of spiritual suffering. Augustine
of Hippo, on the other hand, held that suffering in hell was both spiritual and sensory—a view that
gained acceptance. "By the fifth century the stern doctrine that sinners will have no second chance
after this life and that the fire which will devour them will never be extinguished was everywhere
paramount," wrote Professor J.N.D. Kelly.
First: What is meant by “Church Fathers”?
From Wikipedia:
The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, or Fathers of the Church are the early and influential
theologians and writers in the Christian Church, particularly those of the first five centuries of
Christian history. The term is used of writers and teachers of the Church, not necessarily saints.
Teachers particularly are also known as doctors of the Church.
This is true that there was disagreement over hell among early church fathers. But lets
examine this fact: according to the statement above 5 early church fathers believed hell as a
fiery place and 2 church fathers believed it only as a place of separation from God. There
were actually many more church fathers. Even so in this list 5 agreed hell as a fiery place
and only 2 believed otherwise. Yet there was also Athenagoras, Shepherd of Hermas,
Theophilus, Irenaeus, Tatian, The Author of what is known as the Epistle of Barnabas,
Mathetes’ in his Epistle to Diognetus, The Author of what is known as The Martyrdom of
Polycarp, and Mark Minucius Felix. All of these and or the authors that wrote the Epistles
were early church fathers who believed in a literal fiery hell. That takes the toll to 15 early
church Fathers agreeing that hell is a fiery torment; verses 2 early Church Fathers who
disagreed.
These early writings of The Epistle of Barnabas, who lived from around 70-130 AD. His life
span is close to the time of the Apostles. Here is what He wrote about it:
"The way of darkness is crooked, and it is full of cursing. It is the way of eternal death with
punishment."
Interesting it says, “eternal death with punishment”.
Next is Mathetes who lived from around 125-200 AD. He wrote:
"You should fear what is truly death, which is reserved for those who will be condemned to the eternal fire.
It will afflict those who are committed to it even to the end." (Letter to Diognetus, c. 125-200)

Again two Early Church Fathers who lived closest to the time of the Apostles believed in Hell.
Intriguingly Barnabas is the traveling companion of the apostle Paul mentioned in the book of
Acts. Since it is true that Clement of Alexandria and many other Church Fathers ascribe it to
be written by Barnabas; then we may proof that the early Apostolic church believed in hell
being a place of eternal death with punishment.
Summary:
The Watchtower teaches its members that hell (Hades/Sheol) is only the common grave. Mainstream
Christianity teaches that hell is eternal fire punishment, where torment exists and will exist forever
and ever eventually continuing on into eternity in the lake of fire (gehenna). Jesus spoke about hell
(Hades) as a place of torment with fire in Luke 16 in reference to the rich man and Lazurus, and he
spoke of (gehenna) in , as a place of fiery torment as well in Mt 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15,33; Mk
9:43,45,47; Lk 12:5 also see Rev 19:20 with Rev 20:10; 21:8. No meaning to what “tormented day
and night forever and ever” “symbolizes” is given in scripture. How do we know what it “symbolizes”?
Unless of course it “literally” means what it says.
History proves, at least early on, that most early church fathers agreed with a literal interpretation of
the scriptures in reference to hell.
RESOURCES
Christian Beliefs on Hell

"Some will not be redeemed. There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity
than this if it lay in my power."
-- C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

"Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!"
--Inscription over the gates of hell, according to Dante

"It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God for one moment; but you must
suffer it for all eternity."
--Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (1741)
According to a 2004 Gallup Poll, 70% of Americans believe in hell. Belief in hell is highest among regular
churchgoers: 92% of those who attend church weekly believe in hell, as do 74% of those who attend nearly
weekly.
In Christian theology, hell is the place or state into which unrepentant sinners pass after this life. Hell is
generally thought to be eternal, and to include both punishment (poena sensus) and separation from God
(poena damni).
Although not central to the Christian faith, the doctrine of hell has been a significant part of historical
Christian theology throughout its history.
Hell was a strong incentive to lead a righteous life in the early church. It was the setting for Dante's literary
masterpiece The Inferno. It was fear of hell and judgment that terrified Martin Luther before his spiritual
enlightenment. The doctrine of hell was central to the Jonathan Edwards' famous sermon "Sinners in the
Hands of An Angry God" and many others like it.
For some, however, especially since the Enlightenment, hell has also been a major stumbling block to
acceptance of Christianity. Some Christian groups no longer believe in an eternal hell, or at least regard
belief in it as unnecessary.
This article will explore the doctrine of hell as it developed first in the sacred texts of Christianity and then in
the hands of Christian theologians over the centuries. It concludes with a summary of modern Christian
beliefs about hell, by way of quotes and excerpts from Christian groups.
The Word "Hell"
The word "hell" in English Bibles is used to translate the Hebrew word Sheol (and its Greek equivalent
Hades) and the Greek word Gehenna. {1} The English word derives from the Anglo-Saxon meaning "to
conceal" or "to cover," which is similar to the meanings of Sheol and Hades. {2}
In the Old Testament, Sheol (which is also sometimes translated "grave" or "pit") denotes the underworld
or the place of departed spirits. "The notion reflects an undeveloped and shadowy belief in the future life
which was gradually superseded by the more defined beliefs of later Judaism." {3}
Gehenna ("the Valley of Hinnom") is the Greek translation of a Hebrew word that seems to refer to an
actual place on earth. The identity of Hinnom is not known for certain, but scholars have suggested an area
southwest of Jerusalem near the Cedron. Gehenna is mentioned in Jos. 15:8 and 18:16, and in 2 Kings, it is
described as a place of human sacrifice (16:3, 21:6) that was polluted (23:10-12). Jeremiah warned that
one day would be renamed "Valley of Slaughter" (Jer. 7:32, 19:6). In later Jewish thought, Gehenna was a
place of punishment for apostates and other great sinners (e.g., 1 Enoch 27:2, 90:26; 2 Esdras 7:36-38). A
statement dating to 1200 AD that fires were continually kept burning in the Valley of Hinnom is generally
regarded as reliable, although no earlier reference has yet been found. {4}
Hell in the Old Testament
The idea of hell (as understood in Christianity) is virtually absent from the Old Testament, which has very
little to say about the afterlife at all. A possible mention hell in the Old Testament is this prophecy about the
end times:
"Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and
everlasting contempt." (Daniel 12:2, NIV)
Another notable passage that likely contributes to Christian imagery of hell is Isaiah 66:24, which also refers
to the end times:
"And they 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.
Other passages that speak of the afterlife seem to indicate extinction of the soul after death (see, e.g.,
Ecclesiastes 9:10). Rabbis have generally the taught the existence of a hell-like place for the unrighteous,
but many Jews, both historical and modern, do not believe in hell or an afterlife. (See Jewish Beliefs:
Afterlife.)
Hell in the New Testament
In the New Testament, the notion of hell is more clearly expressed, but still not in a systematic way. In
many cases, "death" and "destruction" are the only mentioned penalties for rejecting God (e.g., Matthew
7:13, John 3:16, Acts 4:12, Romans 6:23, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, James 1:15). Also, as noted in the section
above, the same terminology is often used in the New Testament that in the Jewish context may have
suggested nothing more than physical death and destruction of the soul.
New Testament passages that have suggested eternal torment to Christians include the following:
"Anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell." (Matthew 5:22, quoting Jesus)

"And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of
your body than for your whole body to go into hell." (Matthew 5:29, quoting Jesus; see parallel passage in
Mark 9:44, which adds, "where the fire never goes out.")

"Do not be afriad of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can
destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28, quoting Jesus)

"As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will
send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew
13:40-42, quoting Jesus)

"Throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of
teeth." (Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:30)

"Then he [the King] will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire
prepared for the devil and his angels." (Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Matthew 25:41)

"The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the
whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell." (James 3:6)

"The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and
each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of
fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was
thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:13-15)

"The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile...the idolaters and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of
burning sulpher. This is the second death." (Revelation 21:8)
The Doctrine of Hell in the Church Fathers
In the church fathers (post-New-Testament Christian leaders and theologians), the doctrine of hell quickly
becomes more well-defined as a place of eternal torment, which is generally seen as physical in nature: {5}
"The way of darkness is crooked, and it is full of cursing. It is the way of eternal death with punishment."
(Pseudo-Barnabas, c. 70-130 AD)

"You should fear what is truly death, which is reserved for those who will be condemned to the eternal fire.
It will afflict those who are committed to it even to the end." (Letter to Diognetus, c. 125-200)

"[The martyrs] despised all the torments of this world, redeeming themselves from eternal punishment by
the suffering of a single hour.... For they kept before their view escape from that fire which is eternal and
will never be quenched." (Martyrdom of Polycarp, c. 135)

"Sinners will be consumed because they sinned and did not repent." (Shepherd of Hermas, c. 150)

"Those who have not known God and do evil are condemned to death. However, those who have known God
and have seen his mighty works, but still continue in evil, will be chastised doubly, and will die forever."
(Shepherd of Hermas, c. 150)

"We believe...that every man will suffer punishment in eternal fire according to the merits of his deed. ...
Sensation remains to all who have ever lived, and eternal punishment is laid up." (Justin Martyr, c. 160)

"Hell [Gehenna] is a place where those who have lived wickedly are to be punished." (Justin Martyr, c. 160)

"Some are sent to be punished unceasingly into judgment and condemnation of fire." (Justin Martyr, c. 160)

"We who are now easily susceptible to death, will afterwards receive immortality with either enjoyment or
with pain." (Tatian, c. 160)

"We are persuaded that when we are removed from the present life we will live another life, better than the
present one...or, if they fall with the rest, they will endure a worse life, one in fire. For God has not made us
as sheep or beasts of burden, who are mere by-products. For animals perish and are annihilated. On these
grounds, it is not likely that we would wish to do evil." (Athenagoras, c. 175)

"To the unbelieving and despisers...there will be anger and wrath, tribulation and anguish. At the end,
everlasting fire will possess such men." (Theophilus, c. 180)

"Eternal fire is prepared for sinners. The Lord has plainly declared this and the rest of the Scriptures
demonstrate it." (Irenaeus, c. 180)

"All souls are immortal, even those of the wicked. Yet, it would be better for them if they were not
deathless. For they are punished with the endless vengeance of quenchless fire. Since they do not die, it is
impossible for them to have an end put to their misery." (Clement of Alexandria, c. 195; from a post-Nicene
manuscript fragment)

"We [Christians] alone make a real effort to attain a blameless life. We do this under the influence of... the
magnitude of the threatened torment. For it is not merely long-enduring; rather, it is everlasting."
(Tertullian, c. 197)

"Gehenna... is a reservoir of secret fire under the earth for purposes of punishment." (Tertullian, c. 197)

"There is neither limit nor termination of these torments. There, the intelligent fire burns the limbs and
restores them. It feeds on them and nourishes them. ... However, no one except a profane man hesitates to
believe that those who do not know God are deservedly tormented." (Mark Minucius Felix, c. 200)
However, some early church fathers, such as Origen of Alexandria and Gregory of Nyssa, questioned the
eternality of hell and the literal interpretation of it as a fiery place. {6}
Modern Christian Views of Hell
Modern Christian views of hell tend to emphasize its spiritual aspects over the notion of physical suffering or
material fire. Hell is seen as a logical extension of the free will of mankind to reject God's gracious
advances, even for eternity, and its punishment as a realization of one's mistake and the great remorse that
would follow. Many modern Christians also question hell's eternality in favor of some form of universalism
(all are saved in the end) or annihilationism (wicked souls are destroyed).
Following is a sampling of the positions of various Christian denominations on the issue of hell.
It is impossible to describe the glory and splendor of heaven and the terror and torment of hell. Whether
taken literally or figuratively, the meaning is the same: Hell is a place where one will experience total
separation from God; heaven enjoys the total presence of God. Knowing that this is the horrible end
awaiting the wicked, the Assemblies of God is strongly motivated to win the lost before it is too late.
(Assemblies of God)

To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from
him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self- exclusion from communion with God and
the blessed is called "hell." (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

The statement of Christ in Matthew 25, and elsewhere, are taken at face value. It is believed that after
death each man must come before God in judgment and that he will be judged according to the deeds done
while he lived (Hebrews 9:27). After judgment is pronounced he will spend eternity either in heaven or hell.
(Churches of Christ)

We believe that glorious and everlasting life is assured to all who savingly believe in, and obediently follow,
Jesus Christ our Lord; and that the finally impenitent shall suffer eternally in hell. (Church of the Nazarene)

This hope for the final salvation of humanity and the eternal universal restitution of all things in heaven and
on earth ... is drawn from the unlimited promise of the Gospel and the magnitude of God's grace made
known to the world through Christ. (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America)

We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the
Lord; of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment. (Evangelical Free Church of
America)

The moral progress of the soul, either for better or for worse, ends at the very moment of the separation of
the body and soul; at that very moment the definite destiny of the soul in the everlasting life is decided. ...
The Orthodox Church believes that at this moment the soul of the dead person begins to enjoy ... the life in
Paradise or to undergo the life in Hell. There is no way of repentance, no way of escape, no reincarnation
and no help from the outside world. (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America)
Arguments For An Eternal Hell
Among the common arguments advanced for the existence of an eternal hell are these:
1. Words and pictures in the New Testament imply finality.
2. The doctrine of hell has been believed for a long time by eminent theologians.
3. Offers of pardon are restricted to the present world.
4. The judgment occurs at the close of the redemptive era, and hence is final.
5. Character tends to final permanance.
6. The conscience expects and demands retribution in another life. {7}
Arguments Against An Eternal Hell
Commonly presented arguments against the existence of an eternal hell include:
1. Words and pictures in the New Testament imply death and destruction (i.e., annihilation).
2. "Eternal punishment" can refer to results that are eternal, not an eternal process.
3. Vindictive justice is not compatible with the God of love and compassion revealed in the New
Testament.
4. The punishment does not fit the crime (i.e. non-eternal sin and disbelief). {8}
5. Hell contradicts the Christian assertion of the final victory of God over evil. {9}
References
1. "Hell." F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd ed. (Oxford UP, 1997), p. 748-49.
2. "hell." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2005. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 17 Jan. 2005
<http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?tocId=9039897>.
3. "Sheol." The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd ed., p. 1494.
4. "Gehenna." The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd ed., p. 657.
5. "Eternal Punishments and Rewards." David W. Bercot, ed., A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs (Hendrickson, 1998), pp. 241-43.
6. Joseph Hontheim, "Hell." The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIV (Robert Appleton, 1910). <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07207a.htm>
7. "Future Punishment." The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. IV, p. 415.
<http://www.ccel.org/php/disp.php3?a=schaff&b=encyc04&p=415>.
8. Ibid. and Timothy R. Phillips, "Hell." Walter A. Elwell, ed., Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology (Baker Books, 1996).
<http://bible.crosswalk.com/Dictionaries/BakersEvangelicalDictionary/bed.cgi?number=T336>
9. Alister McGrath, Christian Theology: An Introduction, 2nd ed. (Blackwell, 1997), pp. 553-54.
END TIMES Chronology
John instructed to write down:
Things which you have seen: 1:1-20 Jesus in Glory
Things which are: 2:1-3:22 The seven Churches
Things which shall take place after these things
4:1-22:21 Endtimes Chronology

THINGS YOU HAVE SEEN
The Revealing of Jesus our God and Coming King Rv 1

THINGS WHICH ARE
The 7 Church Ages: 32 A.D. To Present Rv 2-3
33 - 170 A.D. Ephesus
170 - 312 A.D. Symrna
312 - 606 A.D. Pergamos
606 - 1520 A.D. Thyatira
1520 - 1750 A.D. Sardis
1750 - 1906 A.D. Philadelphia
1906 - Present A.D. Laodicea


ISRAEL RESTABLISHED
State of Israel established in 1948
Jerusalem returns to Jewish control in 1967. Luke 21:24

SIGNS OF THE END Prophetic warning signs
According to Christ the following are the beginning of birth pangs. The
worse is yet to come.
Godlessness in the last days - 2 Timothy 3:1-5,7
False Messiahs. Prelude to the First Seal - Matthew 24:5,11
Wars and Rumors of Wars. Prelude to the Second Seal - Matthew 24:6
Famines. Prelude to the Third Seal - Matthew 24:7
Pestilences - Matthew 24:7
Earthquakes - Matthew 24:7

RAPTURE The instantaneous removal of God's people from the earth.
Matthew 24:31,40-41, 1 Corinthians 15:50-53, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-
17, John 14:1-3, 2 Thessalonians 2:3,6-7, 2 Thessalonians 2:5,9-10,
Luke 21:34-36, Isaiah 26:19-21, Rv 4:1-2

THINGS WHICH SHALL TAKE PLACE AFTER THESE THINGS
(MAINLY THE CHURCH ) Rv 4-22

SEVEN-YEAR PERIOD OF DANIEL BEGINS
Seven-year covenant or peace treaty with Israel is confirmed by the
Antichrist. Daniel 9:27
Antichrist is revealed. 1st Seal - White Horseman 2 Thessalonians
2:3,6-7, Daniel 11:36 Rv 6:1-2
Rebuilding of the Third Temple in Jerusalem -Daniel 9:27
False Prophet is revealed. Rv 13:11, Matthew 24:11
Miracles of the False Prophet cause deception amongst the people
of the world. Rv 11:13-14, Matthew 24:24
War - 2nd Seal - Rv 6:3-4, Matthew 24:6
Mark of the Beast is required on all people to buy or sell. This
signifies worship of the Beast. Rv 11:16-18
Famine - 3rd Seal - Rv 6:5-6, Matthew 24:7
Resurrection of the Beast/Antichrist after a fatal wound. Rv 11:12
Two witnesses of God prophesy against the Antichrist causing
drought and plagues to come upon the earth. Rv 11:3-6

TRIBULATION MIDPOINT (3 1/2 years after the peace treaty with
Israel)
Breaking of the covenant with Israel by the Antichrist. Daniel 9:27
Abomination of Desolation - The image of the Antichrist is placed in
the temple at Jerusalem and given breath by the False Prophet. Daniel
9:27,11:31, 2 Thessalonians 2:4, Matthew 24:15



GREAT TRIBULATION
Persecutions of Christians Begins - Matthew 24:21-22, Rv 13:5-7
Death - 4th Seal - One-fourth of the world's population (new Christians
and Jews) are killed by the Antichrist/Beast with the sword and with
starvation. None can buy without taking the mark of the Beast. - Rv :7-
8
Martyrs of the Tribulation period cry out to the Lord. - 5th Seal –
Rv 6:9-11, 2 Timothy 3:12, Daniel 7:25
Signs in the Sky - 6th Seal - (Great Earthquake, Bloody Moon,
Blackout of the Sun #1, Meteors falling, Mountains and Islands moving,
Sky splits apart) Rv 6:12-14, Matthew 24:29, Joel 2:30-31, 3:14-16
144,000 of the tribe of Israel are sealed - Rv 7:2-4
Martyrs that came out of the Great Tribulation stand before God -
Rv 7:9-17DAY OF THE LORD
7th Seal - Trumpet Judgments of the Wrath of God - Rv 8:1,6
1st Trumpet - Hail and Fire Destruction of all the grass and 1/3 of
trees. Rv 8:7
2nd Trumpet - Meteor falls into the Ocean destroying 1/3 of ships and
sea life. Rv 8:8-9
3rd Trumpet -Wormwood falls from the Heavens causing fresh water
to become bitter. Rv 8:10-11
4th Trumpet - Darkening of a third of the sun, moon, and stars. Rv
8:12, Joel 3:13
5th Trumpet - Locusts from the Bottomless Pit and Blackout of the
Sun #2. Rv 9:1-10
6th Trumpet - Eastern army of 200,000,000 men kill 1/3 of mankind. Rv
9:13-19
Death of the Two Witnesses. Rv 11:7-10
Resurrection of the Two Witnesses on the Third day occurring in
view of the World. Rv 11:11-12
Earthquake strikes Jerusalem destroying 1/10 of the city - Rv 11:13
7th Trumpet - Consists of seven Bowl Judgements of the Wrath of
God.
1st Bowl - Sores on men with the Mark of the Beast. Rv 16:2
2nd Bowl - All creatures in the sea die. Rv 16:3
3rd Bowl - Rivers and Springs become blood. Rv 16:4
4th Bowl - Sun scorches the earth. Rv 16:8-9
5th Bowl - Kingdom of the Antichrist/Beast becomes full of darkness.
Rv 16:10-11
6th Bowl - Euphrates river dries up allowing the Chinese army to
move to Armageddon. Rv 16:12
7th Bowl - Greatest earthquake ever, Spiritual Babylon and/or Rome
is destroyed. Rv 16:17-19, Jeremiah 51:24,26

ARMAGEDDON
Gathering of the Antichrist, kings and, armies of the world.
Zechariah 14:2-5, Rv 16:13-14,16, Rv 19:19, Daniel 11:40-45
Final Conquest and Plundering of Jerusalem. Joel 3:2,12,
Zechariah 14:2,3

SECOND COMING OF THE MESSIAH
Second Coming - Rv 19:11, Zechariah 14:3-5
Beast and False Prophet thrown into the Lake of Fire. Rv 19:20-21
Destruction of the armies by the word of God. Rv 20:15,21,
Zechariah 12:98, 14:2-5,12

MILLENNIUM
Christ rules on Earth.
Satan bound in the abyss for 1000 years. Rv 20:2-3
Satan released to make war for the last time. Rv 20:7-9
Satan thrown into the Lake of Fire forever. Rv 20:10

GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT
Judgment of Nations Rv 20:11-15

NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH
Rv 21:1-2,12-14
What Has Happened to Hellfire?
WHAT image does the word "hell" conjure up in your mind? Do you see hell as a literal
place of fire and brimstone, of unending torment and anguish? Or is hell perhaps a symbolic
description of a condition, a state?
For centuries, a fiery hell of excruciating torments has been envisioned by religious leaders
of Christendom as the certain destiny for sinners. This idea is still popular among many other
religious groups. "Christianity may have made hell a household word," says U.S.News &
World Report, "but it doesn't hold a monopoly on the doctrine. The threat of painful
retribution in the afterlife has counterparts in nearly every major world religion and in some
minor ones as well." Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jains, and Taoists believe in a hell of one
sort or another.
Hell, though, has acquired another image in modern thinking. "While the traditional infernal
imagery still attracts a following," states the aforementioned magazine, "modern visions of
eternal perdition as a particularly unpleasant solitary confinement are beginning to emerge,
suggesting that hell may not be so hot after all."
The Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica observed: "It is misleading . . . to think that God, by
means of demons, inflicts fearful torments on the damned like that of fire." It added: "Hell
exists, not as a place but as a state, a way of being of the person who suffers the pain of the
deprivation of God." Pope John Paul II said in 1999: "Rather than a place, hell indicates the
state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life
and joy." As to the images of hell as a fiery place, he said: "They show the complete
frustration and emptiness of life without God." Had the pope described hell in terms of
"flames and a red-suited devil with a pitchfork," church historian Martin Marty said, "people
wouldn't take it seriously."
Similar changes are taking place in other denominations. A report by the doctrine
commission of the Church of England said: "Hell is not eternal torment, but it is the final and
irrevocable choosing of that which is opposed to God so completely and so absolutely that
the only end is total non-being."
The catechism of the United States Episcopal Church defines hell as "eternal death in our
rejection of God." A growing number of people, says U.S.News & World Report, are
promoting the idea that "the end of the wicked is destruction, not eternal suffering. . . .
[They] contend that those who ultimately reject God will simply be put out of existence in
the 'consuming fire' of hell."
Although the modern-day trend is to get away from the fire and brimstone mentality, many
continue to adhere to the belief that hell is a literal place of torment. "Scripture clearly
speaks of hell as a physical place of fiery torment," says Albert Mohler of the Southern
Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A. And the report The Nature of
Hell, prepared by the Evangelical Alliance Commission, states: "Hell is a conscious
experience of rejection and torment." It adds: "There are degrees of punishment and
suffering in hell related to the severity of sins committed on earth."
Again, is hell a fiery place of eternal torment or of annihilation? Or is it simply a state of
separation from God? What really is hell?



A Brief History of Hellfire
WHEN did professed Christians adopt the belief in hellfire? Well after the time of
Jesus Christ and his apostles. "The Apocalypse of Peter (2nd century C.E.) was the
first [apocryphal] Christian work to describe the punishment and tortures of sinners
in hell," states the French Encyclopædia Universalis.
Among the early Church Fathers, however, there was
disagreement over hell. Justin Martyr, Clement of
Alexandria, Tertullian, and Cyprian believed that hell was
a fiery place. Origen and theologian Gregory of Nyssa
thought of hell as a place of separation from God—of
spiritual suffering. Augustine of Hippo, on the other hand,
held that suffering in hell was both spiritual and sensory—
a view that gained acceptance. "By the fifth century the
stern doctrine that sinners will have no second chance
after this life and that the fire which will devour them will
never be extinguished was everywhere paramount," wrote
Professor J.N.D. Kelly.
In the 16th century, such Protestant reformers as
Martin Luther and John Calvin understood the fiery
torment of hell to be figurative of spending eternity
separated from God. However, the idea of hell as a
place of torment returned in the following two
centuries. Protestant preacher Jonathan Edwards
used to strike fear in the hearts of 18th-century
Colonial Americans with graphic portrayals of hell.
Shortly thereafter, though, the flames of hell began
to flicker and fade. "The 20th century was nearly
the death of hell," states U.S.News & World Report.

Justin Martyr believed that hell was
a fiery place

Augustine of Hippo taught that suffering in
hell was spiritual and physical

Appeared in The Watchtower July 15, 2002

What Really Is Hell?
WHATEVER image the word "hell" brings to your mind, hell is generally thought of as a place of
punishment for sin. Concerning sin and its effect, the Bible says: "Through one man sin entered into
the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned."
(Romans 5:12) The Scriptures also state: "The wages sin pays is death." (Romans 6:23) Since the
punishment for sin is death, the fundamental question in determining the true nature of hell is: What
happens to us when we die?
Does life of some kind, in some form, continue after death? What is hell, and what kind of people go
there? Is there any hope for those in hell? The Bible gives truthful and satisfying answers to these
questions.
Life After Death?
Does something inside us, like a soul or a spirit, survive the death of the body? Consider how the first
man, Adam, came to have life. The Bible states: "Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust
from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life." (Genesis 2:7) Though breathing
sustained his life, putting "the breath of life" into his nostrils involved much more than simply blowing
air into his lungs. It meant that God put into Adam's lifeless body the spark of life—"the force of life,"
which is active in all earthly creatures. (Genesis 6:17; 7:22) The Bible refers to this animating force as
"spirit." (James 2:26) That spirit can be compared to the electric current that activates a machine or an
appliance and enables it to perform its function. Just as the current never takes on the features of the
equipment it activates, the life-force does not take on any of the characteristics of the creatures it
animates. It has no personality and no thinking ability.
What happens to the spirit when a person dies? Psalm 146:4 says: "His spirit goes out, he goes back to
his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish." When a person dies, his impersonal spirit does not go
on existing in another realm as a spirit creature. It "returns to the true God who gave it." (Ecclesiastes
12:7) This means that any hope of future life for that person now rests entirely with God.
The ancient Greek philosophers Socrates and Plato held that a soul inside a person survives death and
never dies. What does the Bible teach about the soul? Adam "came to be a living soul," says Genesis
2:7. He did not receive a soul; he was a soul—a whole person. The Scriptures speak of a soul's doing
work, craving food, being kidnapped, experiencing sleeplessness, and so forth. (Leviticus 23:30;
Deuteronomy 12:20; 24:7; Psalm 119:28) Yes, man himself is a soul. When a person dies, that soul
dies.—Ezekiel 18:4.
What, then, is the condition of the dead? When pronouncing sentence upon Adam, Jehovah stated:
"Dust you are and to dust you will return." (Genesis 3:19) Where was Adam before God formed him
from the dust of the ground and gave him life? Why, he simply did not exist! When he died, Adam
returned to that state of complete absence of life. The condition of the dead is made clear at
Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10, where we read: "The dead know nothing . . . In the grave, where you are going,
there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom." (New International Version)
Scripturally, death is a state of nonexistence. The dead have no awareness, no feelings, no thoughts.
Unending Torment or Common Grave?
Since the dead have no conscious existence, hell cannot be a fiery place of torment where the wicked
suffer after death. What, then, is hell? Examining what happened to Jesus after he died helps to answer
that question. The Bible writer Luke recounts: "Neither was [Jesus] forsaken in Hades [hell, King
James Version] nor did his flesh see corruption."* (Acts 2:31) Where was the hell to which even Jesus
went? The apostle Paul wrote: "I handed on to you . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the
Scriptures; and that he was buried, yes, that he has been raised up the third day according to the
Scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) So Jesus was in hell, the grave, but he was not abandoned there,
for he was raised up, or resurrected.
Consider also the case of the righteous man Job, who suffered much.
Wishing to escape his plight, he pleaded: "Who will grant me this,
that thou mayest protect me in hell [Sheol], and hide me till thy wrath
pass?"
#
(Job 14:13, Douay Version) How unreasonable to think that
Job desired to go to a fiery-hot place for protection! To Job, "hell"
was simply the grave, where his suffering would end. The Bible hell,
then, is the common grave of mankind where good people as well as
bad ones go.
Hellfire—All-Consuming?
Could it be that the fire of hell is symbolic of all-consuming, or
thorough, destruction? Separating fire from Hades, or hell, the Scriptures say: "Death and Hades were
hurled into the lake of fire." "The lake" mentioned here is symbolic, since death and hell (Hades) that
are thrown into it cannot literally be burned. "This [lake of fire] means the second death"—death from
which there is no hope of coming back to life.—Revelation 20:14.
The lake of fire has a meaning similar to that of "the fiery Gehenna
[hell fire, King James Version]" that Jesus spoke of. (Matthew 5:22;
Mark 9:47, 48) Gehenna occurs 12 times in the Christian Greek
Scriptures, and it refers to the valley of Hinnom, outside the walls of
Jerusalem. When Jesus was on earth, this valley was used as a
garbage dump, "where the dead bodies of criminals, and the carcasses
of animals, and every other kind of filth was cast." (Smith's
Dictionary of the Bible) The fires were kept burning by adding sulfur
to burn up the refuse. Jesus used that valley as a proper symbol of
everlasting destruction.
As does Gehenna, the lake of fire symbolizes eternal destruction. Death and Hades are "hurled into" it
in that they will be done away with when mankind is freed from sin and the condemnation of death.
Willful, unrepentant sinners will also have their "portion" in that lake. (Revelation 21:8) They too will
be annihilated forever. On the other hand, those in God's memory who are in hell—the common grave
of mankind—have a marvelous future.

Job prayed for protection in hell

Fiery Gehenna—a symbol of eternal
destruction
Hell Emptied!
Revelation 20:13 states: "The sea gave up those dead in it, and death and Hades gave up those dead in
them." Yes, the Bible hell will be emptied. As Jesus promised, "the hour is coming in which all those
in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus'] voice and come out." (John 5:28, 29) Although no longer
presently existing in any form, millions of dead ones who are in Jehovah God's memory will be
resurrected, or brought back to life, in a restored earthly paradise.—Luke 23:43; Acts 24:15.
In the new world of God's making, resurrected humans who comply with his righteous laws will never
need to die again. (Isaiah 25:8) Jehovah "will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no
more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore." In fact, "the former things [will] have
passed away." (Revelation 21:4) What a blessing is in store for those in hell—"the memorial tombs"!
This blessing indeed is reason enough for us to take in more knowledge of Jehovah God and his Son,
Jesus Christ.—John 17:3.
'Those in the memorial tombs will come out'


* In the King James Version, the Greek word Hades is rendered "hell" in each of its ten occurrences in the Christian Greek
Scriptures. The rendering at Luke 16:19-31 mentions torment, but the entire account is symbolic in meaning. See chapter
88 of The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived, published by Jehovah's Witnesses.
#
The Hebrew word Sheol occurs 65 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and is rendered "hell," "grave," and "pit" in the King
James Version.
Appeared in The Watchtower July 15, 2002

Lord, one faith, one baptism." Jesus did not agree with the modern, relaxed view that there are many roads, many religions, all leading to salvation. Instead, he said: "Narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are the ones finding it." Jehovah's Witnesses believe that they have found it. Otherwise, they would look for another religion.—Matthew 7:14.”2 Both Mainstream Christianity and The Watchtower would agree this statement. Therefore: We have two opposing views; both of which claim to be the truth. Two opposing views cannot both be the truth. Make no mistake! People want to know for sure where they will spend eternity. If either option is true over the other being a false option; you’d better hope your option is correct, especially if the consequence of the wrong optional belief is eternity in a place of “torment”. I mean we are talking about the eternal well being of the soul here and not the opinion of a favorite color. Both groups especially those who are facing eternal fire if they are wrong, had better make sure they are possessors of the truth. Jesus said to Pilate, Matthew 37-38 “…I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” … Then Pilate asked the all time fundamental question all have asked and have tried to answer before him and after him. He asks our Lord Jesus, “What is truth?” Webster dictionary: Fact that can be verified. “Truth by definition is exclusive, therefore cannot be all inclusive.” – Author: Ravi Zacharias in book JESUS AMONG OTHER GODS
This means that truth can be tested. Simple Logic can test truth. I found this analogy online: “A cannot be non-A.” For example, if the parrot is on my shoulder (A), then it cannot be not on my shoulder at the same time (non-A). … (Truth by definition is exclusive) ... You can test this with any statement. For example, a math teacher may ask the class to solve for 3+5. If I say the answer is 7 and Fred says the answer is 8, then either he is right, or I am right, or, in this case, there could be a third alternative that we are both wrong. However, we cannot have different answers and both be right (all inclusive). This is because the answer 8, which corresponds to reality, is exclusive (i.e. there is only one true, right answer). Notice that in this and in the previous example there was, in fact, a situation, which corresponded to reality (there was a true answer.)

I pray you will seek the truth with an open heart as well as with an objective mind.

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves…” 1Corinthians 13:5
2

www.watchtower.org/e/jt/article_08.htm

To do this fair I will quote directly from Watchtower tracks you can find online. I have heavily relied on two tracks on the subject. They are part of a series called “What Has Happened to Hellfire?” & “What Really Is Hell?” These articles can be found at the following web addresses: www.watchtower.org/e/20020715/article_01.htm www.watchtower.org/e/20020715/article_02.htm The first article has no scripture references and is really an article attempting to prove that Mainstream Christianity has conjured up the idea of hell. Then it goes on mainly to briefly quote history in an attempt to prove their argument. I only quoted the first part. I did, however, find an Internet resource that provides a good historical perspective, which I have included at the end of this document. You will find that historically hell was believed to be a place of fiery punishment. Mainly I wish to show what the bible says about the subject. This is because for the Mainstream Christian: The bible is the ultimate authority. For certain the archeological record, as well as many other facts such as eyewitness accounts of the gospels, the history of the early church, and a score of bible scholars have proven time and time again the historical accuracy of the bible; and the one thing that Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mainstream Christians believe in is the authority of the Bible. So then, I will show what the Watchtower Society teaches its members quoting directly from their bible tracts in blue; then I will show what Mainstream Christian doctrine is in black. I have included the 2 articles I have used in their entirety at the end of this document. On a personal note from the writer of this “comparison” if you will: I personally believe that Mainstream Christian faith is the “true” faith in God backed by historic beliefs; meaning that the original disciples and early church fathers believed in the same core beliefs that the “Mainstream” holds to today. While denominations may disagree on some minor non-essential truths of the faith, because there are some debatable things, the core beliefs are shared. I sincerely hope you will pray as you read these comparisons. Pray that regardless of where the truth leads you the truth is all you are looking for. I am confident that if you do so, you will have no choice but to run into the absolute truth that will set you free.

Mainstream Christianity does see hell as a place “of unending torment and anguish” Called a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth” Mt 8:10-13. Based on the total message of scripture given on the subject of hell. equipped for every good work. 20:14). for training in righteousness. 17so that the man of God may be adequate. According to Scripture. (2 Tim 3:16-17). Hell is clearly described by Jesus as a literal place of fire and a place of torment and anguish. . where torment and anguish exists. as a place of “fire and brimstone” is only something “conjured” up in the mind. Mainstream Christianity see hell clearly defined in the bible: 16All Scripture is inspired by God (Literally: God Breathed) and profitable for teaching. You see for the Mainstream Christian dogma is based on the totality of scripture. and his teachings and other places in the bible supports a literal hell as a place of fire. Those who go to the lake of fire will be tormented day and night forever and ever. hell will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rv 19:20. The story of the rich man and Lazarus Lk 16:19-31 particularly verses 23-24. Mt 5:22. 20:10. 13:42. (Article: “What Has Happened to Hell Fire?” Paragraph 1) This statement is just not true! The Mainstream Christian Church has “conjured” nothing in the mind. Also see Rv 14:9-11. for correction. 25:30. 50. 29-30. All these scriptures and more will be covered in detail further into this study. Mt 10:28. Which means based on the total message of scripture given on the subject of hell or any other dogma. for reproof. The Bible speaks of it in Mk 9:43-48. 22:13. 24:51. She believes that Jesus as founder of the church taught about hell. Lk 12:5 … Also. Mainstream Christianity does see hell as a “literal place of fire”. Lk 13:28. Mt 18:7-9.The Watchtower Society teaches its members that Mainstream Christianities belief in hell.

He believed that he would have to wait till Jesus establishes his Kingdom on earth. He told the thief that he would be with him “TODAY”. What does he tell him? He tells him. that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Jesus corrects his misguided dogma. The one on the right rebukes the thief on the left telling him they are getting what they deserve. but also spiritual." (Romans 6:23) Since the punishment for sin is death. on the moment of death: This thief found himself to be with the Lord Jesus. It is clear that Jesus did not believe that the only consequence for sin is only physical death of the body. He then tells Jesus. but death is spiritual. But that day. Because of Adam’s sin we all die.The watchtower society teaches its members that only physical death of the body is the penalty for sin: Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 1: "Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin. Some of the Jews of the day believed that upon death. This view was not an entirely false view but just a little misguided. Jesus certainly held this opinion. “remember me when You come in Your kingdom!". Not when he comes back and reigns for a thousand years but that very day. “today you must die and you shall be with me later in Paradise”. otherwise he would not have said. “"Truly I say to you. the fundamental question in determining the true nature of hell is: What happens to us when we die? Mainstream Christian faith believes that death is not only physical. This thief recognized Jesus as The Messiah. John 3:16 “25 … I am the resurrection and the life. That day both thieves legs were broken and they died on their crosses."” (emphasis mine). “today you shall be with Me in Paradise. Now the thief was looking to the resurrection here on earth. He who believes in me will live.” Instead he would have said. as the result of the fall of Adam. John 11:25-26 . We are born spiritually dead. and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned. even though he dies. 26and ” whoever lives and believes in me will never die. today you shall be with Me in Paradise." (Romans 5:12) The Scriptures also state: "The wages sin pays is death. 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. they await the resurrection of the future. but that Jesus has done no wrong to deserve this. which means “The Anointed One”. (Read Luke 23 for a full account) Jesus was crucified between two thieves. but that was not what Jesus told him. The one on his left mocked him telling him to get off of the cross.

Consider not only what Jesus told the thief crucified next to him. Jesus believed that life does continue after death. and agony. 'Father Abraham.” (More on that soon) The other is buried and wakes up in torment in a place called hell. but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. A place where even a drop of water is longed for. there is no hope for those in hell. 'Son. while Lazarus received bad things. Jesus describes their lives: "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. According to the Bible. Is there any hope for those in hell? Here is the Mainstream Christian Response to these questions. posed by the watchtower society: 1. 3. "But Abraham replied. because I am in agony in this fire.Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 2: Asks the following questions: 1. Does life of some kind. with Lazarus by his side. covered with sores 21and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 2. torment. 19 Second. believed that life does continue after death. Jesus describes their afterlives: "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. a place of torment. The rich man also died and was buried. where he was in torment. In hell. So to answer the first question: Jesus. 20At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus. 24So he called to him. remember that in your lifetime you received your good things. What is hell. but also consider his story of the rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus. in some form. Here the Greek word “Hades” translated hell is used to describe this place of torment. Jesus is saying that it is a place of place of fire. have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. According to the Bible. 25 .' 23 22 *Note one is carried by Angels to a place called “Abraham’s side” – Literally “The Bosom of Abraham. and what kind of people go there? 3. Read in full Luke 16:19-31 First. continue after death? 2. The Bible does give answers for these questions regardless of rather the answers are satisfying to you or not! You see sometimes the truth just plain hurts. he looked up and saw Abraham far away. hell is a place reserved for the wicked. according to the Bible. According to the Bible.

I am the Living One. were saved through water. It was called Hades in the Greek or sheol in the Hebrew. believed there is no hope for those that go there. according to the Bible. Everyone prior to Jesus death and resurrection had to go to this two chamber place. For Christ died for sins once for all. a place of agony. These people were not in heaven. 19through whom[a] also he went and preached to the spirits in prison 20who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. death led the souls of the departed to Hades. Jesus had to go to this place to declare victory over death and Hades. to bring you to God. between us and you a great chasm has been fixed. 1 Pet 3:18-20 18 This why Jesus in the Book of Revelation says. The Bible teaches that prior to the resurrection: when a righteous person died. The wicked went to a place called hell. Jesus went to proclaim liberty to them. he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men. Rev 1:18 . He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit. telling them that he had accomplished the task of paying the debt of their sin. the righteous for the unrighteous. He preached to those who had died having believed in the promise of the coming Messiah.” Where exactly did Jesus go for the three days he was dead? "When he ascended on high. the other known as hell for the wicked. while Lazarus who lived right outside the gate of the rich man’s luxurious “penthouse” received bad things.' This also brings up an interesting point." 9 (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower. so that those who want to go from here to you cannot. Abraham told the rich man who had good things in his life. according to the Bible. It was a place of waiting for the righteous and a place of torment for the wicked. but in a sort of temporary paradise place of comfort. and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. and torment.In answer to the second question: Jesus. but went to the righteous side of Abraham’s bosom (he called it paradise as he told the thief on the cross before they both died). earthly regions? – Eph 4:8-9 Yes. The Anointed One. These places were located in the “lower regions of the earth. 26 And besides all this. they went to a place called the bosom of Abraham. a place divided into two chambers: One chamber for the righteous known as “The Bosom of Abraham”. eight in all. I was dead. This rich man was a wicked man. He did not go to the wicked side. In answer to the third question: Jesus. whom according to scripture would come and proclaim liberty to the captives. In it only a few people. They were there waiting for the promise of the coming Messiah. nor can anyone cross over from there to us. believed hell is a place where the wicked go.

” 1 Peter 3:18 Once he ascended to heaven 40 days after his resurrection He led those righteous “Old Testament” believers out of this “holding tank”.Prior the death and resurrection of Jesus. . He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit. you had to sacrifice an animal shedding its blood to cover your sin. the righteous for the unrighteous. in order to be saved. to be with him in Heaven. he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men. "When he ascended on high. who came and “died for sins once for all. to bring you to God. The sacrificed animal always pointed to Gods plan to Redeem his people from their sin by the coming of Jesus the Messiah (The Anointed One)." 9 Ephesians 4:8 Once this sort of “holding tank” was emptied Hell became one place and was no longer divided with paradise on one side and fiery torment on the other side.

Even so with all this theological debate. Both views have their arguments.Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 3 states: Life After Death? Does something inside us. at least in the story Jesus told. What then lived after these two individuals lived on after death? Was it their souls? Something sure did live on after death in these two individuals. I am not sure we can be too dogmatic (certain of absolute truth) on this topic. soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 14 (A) (B) (C) . like a current of electricity that does not take on the characteristics of a washing machine which it powers. soul and spirit. for you are still fleshly. Take in Hebrews where the bible says the following: “For the word of God is living and active. This is called a dichotomist view of man. joints and marrow. and 15 (D) he cannot understand them. came to have life. the other fully aware of torment. One view: He is made up of body and soul/spirit. Dichotomist: The scripture does at times use the terms soul and spirit inter-changeably. carnal (soulish). “23May God himself. as to infants in Christ. and agony. it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. you have to see it at face value. But he who is spiritual appraises all 16 (E) things. brethren. THAT (F) HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ. spiritual (spiritual)] All these seem to distinguish between soul and spirit as separate aspects of mankind’s immaterial nature. 7:22) The Bible refers to this animating force as "spirit. "I am of Paul. even now you are 3 (L) not yet able." (James 2:26) That spirit can be compared to the electric current that activates a machine or an appliance and enables it to perform its function. Indeed. could not speak to you as to spiritual men. 2 (J) (K) I gave you milk to drink.” Thessalonians 5:23 “ But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God. survive the death of the body? Consider how the first man. yet he himself is appraised by no one. for you were not yet able to receive it. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD." which is active in all earthly creatures. Adam. May your whole spirit. Question: “If the spirit of a person is nothing more than a “life force”. but as to men of flesh. It meant that God put into Adam's lifeless body the spark of life—"the force of life." are you not mere men? ”I Corinthians 2:14 – 3:4 [natural (fleshly). sanctify you through and through. putting "the breath of life" into his nostrils involved much more than simply blowing air into his lungs. body. no personality: Then why did Jesus say in Luke 16.” Hebrews 4:12 [distinction between soul and spirit]." (Genesis 2:7) Though breathing sustained his life. for they are foolishness to him. because they are spiritually appraised. Just as the current never takes on the features of the equipment it activates." and another. The other view is that man is made up of three parts. 1 Corinthians 3 Foundations for Living 1 (G) (H) (I) And I. This is called a trichotomist view of man. For since there is jealousy and strife among you. (M) and are you not walking like mere men? 4 (N) (O) For when one says. "I am of Apollos. It has no personality and no thinking ability. the life-force does not take on any of the characteristics of the creatures it animates. not solid food. Trichotomist: Scripture also makes a distinction between all three as well. Sharper than any double-edged sword. The Bible states: "Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life. like a soul or a spirit. the God of peace. it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit. and if that means that the spirit has no thinking ability. (Genesis 6:17. There are basically two ways to view man. that both the rich man and Lazarus found themselves in two very different places?” One was fully aware of comfort. are you not fleshly.

his impersonal spirit does not go on existing in another realm as a spirit creature.although we. That is exactly what this scripture is saying. This is simply a false statement. Then it becomes clear that their point of view falls apart. but the spirit is taken to heaven to be with Him. the spirit returns to God. but shows that the bible supports the belief of life after death. we will not be found naked.16:22 The bodies of the Rich man and Lazarus both went in the ground) . (cf. How about just believing what it says? What does it say? It says that upon death. will even then "not be found naked" but will have an temporary body which we shall inhabit until the day of the resurrection. 2 Cor 5:3 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed. Most of the time one only needs to read the entire chapter along with the verse used by the Watchtower. The opposite is true of the believer as was the case with the Rich Man." When a person dies. longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling. not built by human hands.” 1 “ . especially when you read the entire chapter. “returns to the true God who gave it”. 3because when we are clothed. This is a common practice for the Watchtower: To quote single passages out of context. it means that any hope of future life for that person now rest entirely with God. Lk. we have a building from God. he goes back to his ground. in that day his thoughts do perish. an eternal house in heaven. The Watchtower tells its members that when the scripture says the spirit.Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 4 states: What happens to the spirit when a person dies? Psalm 146:4 says: "His spirit goes out. It "returns to the true God who gave it. When a righteous person dies they go to be with God. This verse cannot prove that there is no life after death. 2Meanwhile we groan. the present body deteriorates." (Ecclesiastes 12:7) This means that any hope of future life for that person now rests entirely with God. as creatures who have always had and will always have both a material and immaterial part. When a believer dies.

until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" 11Then each of them was given a white robe. he was a soul—a whole person. The Scriptures speak of a soul's doing work. 7 6 We believe that this body we live in is like a tent. whether good or bad. and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because 9 of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. an eternal house in heaven. "How long. This scripture clearly states that upon being away from our body. experiencing sleeplessness. holy and true. we will not be found naked. so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He did not receive a soul. that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body. guaranteeing what is to come. Psalm 119:28) Yes. Here it specifically states that the souls of persons who had been slain for standing up for the truth are calling out in a loud voice. not built by human hands. 2Meanwhile we groan.Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 5 states: The ancient Greek philosophers Socrates and Plato held that a soul inside a person survives death and never dies." says Genesis 2:7. 4For while we are in this tent. longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling. 3because when we are clothed.” Rev 6:9-10 Were these souls in Revelation dead? No they were alive and waiting for their full number to come in. from under the altar. because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling. and they were told to wait a little longer. What does the Bible teach about the soul? Adam "came to be a living soul. 9So we make it our goal to please him.—Ezekiel 18:4. we have a building from God. 5Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit. not by sight. God is Spirit… We are made in God’s image. We live in this “tent” while we await our heavenly dwelling. Sovereign Lord. being kidnapped. When a person dies. Where is this taking place? In the throne room of heaven: “ When he opened the fifth seal. 8We are confident. man himself is a soul. Deuteronomy 12:20. until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed. and so forth. . Jesus said. (Leviticus 23:30. There is more to man than just flesh and bones. that soul dies. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith. For the Mainstream Christian we believe as the bible teaches: 2 Corinthians 5 Our Heavenly Dwelling 1 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed. 24:7. we are with the Lord. whether we are at home in the body or away from it. I say. We have to reconcile this not only with Jesus telling a story about something living on after death but also Revelation 6. 10They called out in a loud voice. we groan and are burdened. craving food. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.

Edomites. . no thoughts. no feelings. 1 Solomon was looking at the full measure of life from a physical point of view in the entire book of Ecclesiastes. the first man sinned and died spiritually. "You must not intermarry with them. because of his disobedience. because all sinned – (Romans 5:11) They need to be spiritually reborn in order to be saved from death. and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God. and yet he lives for 930 years? Scripture cannot be wrong. Adam returned to that state of complete absence of life. 6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD. Jehovah stated: "Dust you are and to dust you will return. 7 On a hill east of Jerusalem. where we read: "The dead know nothing . He physically died as well. and for Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. as David his father had done. and his wives led him astray. Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab. 17but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat. Jesus said. In the grave. he did not follow the LORD completely. “So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years. The dead have no awareness. 4 As Solomon grew old. The LORD God commanded the man. Physical death takes awhile for all of us. for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die. and death through sin. So how is it then that Adam was supposed to die on the day he ate from this forbidden tree. we need to understand where Solomon is coming from. Solomon even in all his wisdom. He starts out the . The condition of the dead is made clear at Ecclesiastes 9:5. Adam must have died spiritually on the day he ate of the tree. 8 He did the same for all his foreign wives. Ecclesiastes is a look into the mind of a man. Yet we read he did not instantly die for we read. Here is the concluding history on Solomon’s life as recorded in 1 Kings 11: King Solomon. and he died” (Gen 5:5) NASB He returned to dust eventually as is all our fate." (Gen 2:16. You see ever since Adam. 10. his wives turned his heart after other gods. So what is really being said here in Genesis 3:19? To understand this we have to go back to the original warning God gave Adam and Eve the day he placed them in the Garden. 5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians. "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely. is the condition of the dead? When pronouncing sentence upon Adam. and in this way death came to all men. just as sin entered the world through one man. because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods. there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. but spiritual death is already present at birth.17) NASB 16 He was warned that “in the day” he ate it he would die. then." (Genesis 3:19) Where was Adam before God formed him from the dust of the ground and gave him life? Why. however. who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods. death is a state of nonexistence. who was full of wisdom and yet his heart is divided by the desires of this world. where you are going. Sidonians and Hittites. Solomon held fast to them in love." Nevertheless. Ammonites. . disobeyed God and allowed his heart to be drawn away by his pagan wives. 12 Therefore. as the heart of David his father had been. and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites." (New International Version) Scripturally. because we are sinners at birth.Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 6 states: What. 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines. no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3:3 As far as Ecclesiastes goes. saying. “I tell you the truth. it just took 930 years. he simply did not exist! When he died. 2 They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites. loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh's daughter—Moabites. mankind is born spiritually dead.

Yet his life serves as an example that even the wisest can still fall from grace. Now it all looked "meaningless!" (Ecclesiastes 1:2) From Solomon's worldly point of view. and skip the rest. foolishly failing to follow his own advice in Proverbs. When interpreting the scripture one must always consider the source. Solomon looking back on his life now sees that it all looked "meaningless!" (Ecc 1:2) From Solomon's worldly point of view. Solomon had forsaken his God and was living life “under the sun. So King Solomon was wise and good when he was young (1 Kings 3). and realized how foolish he had been (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11). By the end of the book. That was probably when he wrote Proverbs and Song of Solomon. Therefore. You can only understand a single sentence anyone writes by reading the whole document. he looked back on his life through his worldly eyes. But the Bible explains that King Solomon grew spiritually lazy and careless. You don't read letters from your friends that way. and went to those temples to worship idols.another text that JWs use to argue "there is no hell").” (Ecclesiastes 12:13) . Here is Solomons conclusion of the entire matter: “Fear God and keep his commandments. simply by choosing only the verses that appear to support their doctrine and rejecting the rest? We cannot only read the verses we can easily understand. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? ” This is not a true statement! He must be speaking figuratively from a different point of view. (1 Kings 11:1-8) In Solomon's old age. people are no better off than animals (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 -. “"Meaningless! Meaningless!" meaningless. 6-7). Anyone can make the Bible say anything they want. That fate is physical death. and God gave it to him. seeing that he had wasted his life. He built temples to idols for his many foreign wives. Solomon counsels young people not to make the same mistake that he did (Ecclesiastes 12:1. we cannot take all he says about life and death as well as absolute truth. You don't read a newspaper that way.” Here in Ecclesiastes 9:5. His entire life is a look at a fallen man who yet was filled with Godly wisdom.whole book saying." 3 says the Teacher. people are no better off than animals (Ecc 3:19-20) By the end of the book. Solomon asked for wisdom from the God. 10 he is making a point that the same fate awaits both the wicked and the righteous. Solomon counsels young people not to make the same mistake that he did (Ecclesiastes 12).

Again. .” Mt 10:28 If death is the end. no thoughts. I tell you. as they say. or resurrected. because he knew no sin. no feelings. Again to say that this verse means. and Abraham acknowledged that he was in agony in the fire. is hell? Examining what happened to Jesus after he died helps to answer that question. Scripture is clear what happened to Jesus after he died. This does not support their view stated in the Watchtower article: That “The dead have no conscious existence”."* (Acts 2:31) Where was the hell to which even Jesus went? The apostle Paul wrote: "I handed on to you . than how is it Jesus says there is more that can happen to you after your body is dead? Jesus view most certainly does not agree with the opinion of death being a state of nonexistence. 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ. The dead have no awareness. King James Version] nor did his flesh see corruption. the grave. and that he was buried.” Luke 12:5 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. You cannot make a teaching based on one scripture. Revelation 6:10. That is a rule one should follow in creating doctrine. Rather. What. and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him. 4) So Jesus was in hell. has power to throw you into hell. hell cannot be a fiery place of torment where the wicked suffer after death. and both being fully conscious? Lazarus said he was in agony in the fire. let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David. according to the flesh. and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 7 states: Unending Torment or Common Grave? Since the dead have no conscious existence. then why would Jesus contradict them. that he is both dead and buried. for he was raised up. Peter here is quoting King David of the Old Testament: Read the scripture the Watchtower uses to prove that hell is the common grave in full context: Men and brethren. be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Luke 23 etc. fear him. that his soul was not left in hell. still needs to be reconciled with what the entire bible teaches: Luke 16. but he was not abandoned there. that of the fruit of his loins.”. . Jesus even said in Luke and in Matthew: “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who. neither his flesh did see corruption. He was not forsaken in hell. that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. He went to the chamber of the righteous dead in Hades. after the killing of the body. Yes.If this verse in Ecclesiastes means as they interpret: “death is a state of nonexistence. 30 Therefore being a prophet. the abode of the dead. .” Acts 2:29-31 29 “ Also if Jesus really believed that upon death he would only be going to the common grave. yes. 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. that he has been raised up the third day according to the Scriptures. The Bible writer Luke recounts: "Neither was [Jesus] forsaken in Hades [hell. then why tell a story about two individuals who went to Hades." (1 Corinthians 15:3. he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne. His flesh never decayed in the grave. then.

hell is a place of torment. otherwise their whole dogma (hell is only the common grave). We have a group. only to different compartments. speaking to the thief. which is not the common grave. the Watchtower teaches its members that this story is only a parable. the arguments the Watchtower teaches its members to use are all based on one principle: Where the plain reading of the text makes sense. So what “seems” to teach hell is a place of fire and torment have to be only symbolism. it makes sense to seek protection in sheol. he pleaded: "Who will grant me this. one for comfort. which is nothing more than the common grave. that thou mayest protect me in hell [Sheol]. The common sheol (abode of the dead) is where the good and the evil went. who have been taught. Both parties were aware of the others state of existence. Much. of what I believe are sincere people. This is a summary. is the common grave of mankind where good people as well as bad ones go. This is especially true since hell at this time was separated into two chambers. Wishing to escape his plight. if not all of. So we see that Jesus believed opposite so far: There is life after death. than Jesus would have to agree with the beliefs the Watchtower teaches its members. So where Jesus teaches about the rich man and Lazarus. and hide me till thy wrath pass?"# (Job 14:13. . so far. Jesus tells the thief that on this very day that they were about to die. of what I have documented right from the Watchtower website: The Watchtower teaches its members that there is no life after death. then. The Bible hell. One example is when on the cross. Note he didn’t say he would be with him in the common grave. Job was written pre resurrection and ascension of Jesus. some their whole life. Let us continue on. He clearly taught in this story that both Lazarus and the rich man were fully conscious. and the other for torment. they will try to make their own sense out of it to fit their dogma. this thief would be with him in paradise. Another example is when speaking about the rich man and Lazarus. Yet Jesus clearly contradicts these beliefs on numerous occasions. Here is the dilemma: If what the Watchtower Society teaches its members is truth.Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 8 states: Consider also the case of the righteous man Job. Douay Version) How unreasonable to think that Job desired to go to a fiery-hot place for protection! To Job. Consider the following: If Job knew that hell was divided into two chambers one for the righteous the other for wicked. who suffered much. "hell" was simply the grave. that hell is not a place of torment. He clearly taught one was in comfort and the other was in agony. that hell was invented. where his suffering would end. falls apart. the dead are fully conscious when they die and go to hell. and the dead have no consciousness in hell.

[c] 45And if your foot causes you to sin. cut it off and throw it away.” Mt 5:29-30 Hell here is the Greek word gehenna (geÑenna) “7 "Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell." "The lake" mentioned here is symbolic. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. where the fire never goes out. or thorough. pluck it out.” Mt 5:22 “29If your right eye causes you to sin. gouge it out and throw it away. cut it off and throw it away. They just say it is “symbolic”. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell.—Revelation 20:14. cut it off.Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 9 states: Hellfire—All-Consuming? Could it be that the fire of hell is symbolic of all-consuming. since death and hell (Hades) that are thrown into it cannot literally be burned. anyone who says to his brother. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. cut it off. 'Raca.[d] 47And if your eye causes you to sin. But anyone who says. Interestingly: The Watchtower here does not deny that fire is mentioned. Again. gouge it out and throw it away. Lets look at all the verses where fire and hell is mentioned. and the fire is not quenched. Hell here is the Greek word gehenna (geÑenna) . but woe to the man through whom they come! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to sin. or hell. where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin. “22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother[b]will be subject to judgment. “43If your hand causes you to sin. south of Jerusalem. the Scriptures say: "Death and Hades were hurled into the lake of fire.[c]' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. "This [lake of fire] means the second death"—death from which there is no hope of coming back to life.” Mt 18:7-9. 48where " 'their worm does not die. a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell. destruction? Separating fire from Hades. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” Mk 9:43-48 Hell here is the Greek word gehenna (geÑenna) This was originally the valley of Hinnom.

into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Those that do not submit to these institutions will lose their lives. when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison. you who are blessed by my Father. when did we see you hungry and feed you. but the righteous to eternal life. When will this all take place? In the Book of Revelation we learn of a time known as the Great tribulation of earth. The actual battle is to occur at Jerusalem and called "the war of the great day of God. everlasting. This will take place in the Middle east in the field of Armageddon (AR-ma·GED·don). you did for me. whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine. the mount of Megiddo. 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in. or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in. from the beginning of creation. the Almighty" (Revelation 16:14 NASB) or the "Battle of That Great Day of God Almighty" (KJV). 'Lord. take your inheritance. he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. misnamed. the "final" battle in this war called the "Battle of Armageddon". and did not help you?' "He will reply. you who are cursed. 'Depart from me. The idea of Megiddo being the venue of humanity's apocalyptic finale.' 46 45 44 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment. In any case we finally come the dramatic point known as the Battle of Armageddon. I was sick and you looked after me. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. according to the New Testament book of Revelation. . and a universal religion for the entire world. or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40 "The King will reply. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer him. 32All the nations will be gathered before him. But because of sin man will face this judgment if he is not from God’s flock. I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. I was a stranger and you invited me in. Note to yourself that both the fire and the punishment are eternal. with a one world money system. whatever you did not do for one of the least of these. the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 'Lord.' "They also will answer.' 41 "Then he will say to those on his left.The Sheep and the Goats “31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory. 'I tell you the truth. 36I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. 34 "Then the King will say to those on his right. never to cease. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I recommend you read the entire book of Revelation to understand this all."” Matthew 25:31-46 Eternal here is the Greek word aionios (aiÎwñniov) which means without end. This is what Jesus teaches here his foretelling of the future. is once again to host one of the world's major armies in an immense conflict between East and West (Revelation 16:16). This eternal fire was never intended for man (vs 41). 'Come. I needed clothes and you did not clothe me. and all the angels with him. and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. I was in prison and you came to visit me. you did not do for me. 'I tell you the truth. This will be a time when there will be a one world government.

” Revelation 14:9-11 Here it says that. There he and the beast (Anti-Christ) and false prophet will be “tormented day and night for ever and ever. and establish his Kingdom on earth to reign for 1000 years. which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. “ 7When the thousand years are over. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. However on some details I think you cannot be too dogmatic. will drink of the wine of God's fury. It is possible that if Jesus does not come at this point a world war will take place which would wipe out all life on earth. Satan will be released from his prison 8and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. 11And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever.” Revelation 19:20 Here we have that fiery lake of sulfur (Gehenna). to reclaim the earth. 10he. . 20But the beast was captured. you will have no rest day or night if you take his mark and worship his image. Then Satan is thrown into the lake of sulfur." 12This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” Revelation 20:7-10 Because some people will be born during this 1. the city he loves. If you just stick to a literal interpretation of the Book. I have included End Times Chronology at the end of this document for further study. their loyalty to the King Of Kings will need to be tested. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.000 years. 9They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people. “9A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand. But they won’t even stand a chance. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur. 10And the devil. “the smoke of their torment rises” For How long? “for ever and ever” “ 19Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. and at this point Jesus returns with his armies.000 year reign with Jesus. After in which Jesus will establish his reign for 1. too. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. This will be the final place for the anti-Christ and the false prophet. It says you will be tormented with burning sulfur. and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. you can do just fine. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. the saints. or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.Armies will be gathered at Megiddo by the beast (The Anti-Christ) to destroy each other.” *Note it does not say they are annihilated. Back to the subject at hand: Below is a warning not to follow this one world religion establishment and worship of the image of the beast. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image. who deceived them. It seems probable but in any case According to the Book of Revelation Jesus does come back at this point to establish his Kingdom. So Satan is released one last time to deceive who he can. It’s a pretty good one. where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. but a good commentary and other useful study tools like this chronology would not be a bad idea in trying understanding end-times prophecy. or destroyed.

It does not try to every explain what the torment then symbolizes. this valley was used as a garbage dump. hell After all this we move to what is called the Great White Throne Judgment. This Hades by the way is the same Hades that Jesus talked about in his story about the rich man and Lazarus. the realm of the dead 3. When Jesus was on earth. So the bottom line is that the wicked will end up going to a place where they will be tormented … for ever and ever. Mark 9:47." (Smith's Dictionary of the Bible) The fires were kept burning by adding sulfur to burn up the refuse. the nether world. and it refers to the valley of Hinnom.” Revelation 20:13-15 The Greek word Hades (aè) means the following. he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Luke 16:23 Only these dead that are resurrected stand before God’s Throne and are Judged. The Beast. Orcus. (Matthew 5:22. King James Version]" that Jesus spoke of. being in torment. 1. and every other kind of filth was cast. . and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. then what does “tormented day and night for ever and ever” symbolize? Again where ever the literal reading of the text makes hell out to be an eternal place of fiery. Remember it says of those that go to this lake: They will be “tormented day and night for ever and ever”. This Lake of Fire is where Satan. If it is symbolic. Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 10 states: The lake of fire has a meaning similar to that of "the fiery Gehenna [hell fire. Jesus used that valley as a proper symbol of everlasting destruction. name Hades or Pluto. the lake of fire. the god of the lower regions 2. Here is a Literal translation of it: "In Hades he lifted up his eyes. the Watchtower says this fire is symbolism. and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them. outside the walls of Jerusalem. Again if this fiery lake is a symbol of everlasting destruction. later use of this word: the grave. 48) Gehenna occurs 12 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. death. and The False Prophet are already at. a lake of fire is also a place of torment.“13The sea gave up the dead that were in it. The lake of fire is the second death. and each person was judged according to what he had done. "where the dead bodies of criminals. 15If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life. and sentenced to gehenna. and the carcasses of animals. Here Hades and the Sea give up the dead. then what does being “tormented day and night for ever and ever” symbolize? So we see that the Hades Jesus spoke of was a place of torment and the final destination. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.

resurrected humans who comply with his righteous laws will never need to die again. 29) Although no longer presently existing in any form. and as I have discussed above hell or more properly Hades was emptied of all the Righteous dead upon Jesus ascension. it will be as if these wicked souls never existed. As Jesus promised.Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 11 states: As does Gehenna. and many blessings! It will be a wonderful day indeed. This verse proves that hell is not just the common grave. millions of dead ones who are in Jehovah God's memory will be resurrected. which is what the bible says. Jesus didn’t tell him that he would have to wait in the grave awhile to be with him.—Luke 23:43. "the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus'] voice and come out. the Bible hell will be emptied. no more wars. the lake of fire symbolizes eternal destruction. The plain reading of the text does not support this idea. Death and Hades are "hurled into" it in that they will be done away with when mankind is freed from sin and the condemnation of death. or brought back to life. no more economic problems." Yes.—John 17:3. unrepentant sinners will also have their "portion" in that lake." (Revelation 21:4) What a blessing is in store for those in hell—"the memorial tombs"! This blessing indeed is reason enough for us to take in more knowledge of Jehovah God and his Son. or if it symbolizes destruction. no more hunger. Imagine: No more sickness. “Today you will be with me in Paradise”." (John 5:28. Mainstream Christianity agrees that those who will live and reign during the 1. On the other hand. those in God's memory who are in hell—the common grave of mankind—have a marvelous future. . "the former things [will] have passed away. The argument I guess is rather or not being sentenced to this lake means eternal torment. Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 12 states: Hell Emptied! Revelation 20:13 states: "The sea gave up those dead in it. Just like punching up delete on your computer. Willful. Acts 24:15. but said.000 year reign will enjoy many benefits. Jesus Christ. and death and Hades gave up those dead in them. If it is true that the wicked will be destroyed/deleted. Does it make sense that the Watchtower would uses Luke 23:43 to prove that the dead in hell (the common grave) await a restored earthly paradise? This is the story about the thief on the cross. and death will be no more. no more suffering. (Isaiah 25:8) Jehovah "will wipe out every tear from their eyes. then the Watchtower needs to explain what “tormented day and night for ever and ever” symbolizes." In fact. This paradise Jesus spoke of was the paradise section of Hades (Luke 16:19-31) located in the lower earthly regions (Eph 4:8-9). neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. in a restored earthly paradise. (Revelation 21:8) They too will be annihilated forever. Article: What Really is Hell? Paragraph 13 states: In the new world of God's making. nor more famines. and as a rule of interpretation: If the plain reading of the text makes sense do not try to make sense out of it.

Here is the problem with the Watchtower View: According to Revelation 20:13-15 hell will be emptied of its dead souls. while continuing their punishment. “Let us Reason Together”. They will be judged and then death. but God is capable of altering the properties of fire. He hates sin and its effect. Being destroyed to non-existence is not the same as eternal condemnation. not to sound like a broken record. we should come to the conclusion that if God will reward the righteous. and wrath. then how is there a blessing in store for those in hell? So we see we have two different hells. and read it literally just to prove their dogma. we read otherwise. God is also a God of Judgment. but if the lake of fire symbolizes destruction. and the false prophet in the Lake of fire. calling everything that shows hell to be fire and torment symbolism. Consider the burning bush of Moses’ day that was not consumed. then: What does this “smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever” in the lake of fire symbolize? Moreover what does the “agony” and the “fire” the rich man of Luke 13 experienced symbolize? It is interesting to me that when something in the scripture when taken literally disproves the dogma of the Watchtower Society. We do no different than the children of Israel did in the desert with the Golden Calf. Be careful when making the assumption that only annihilation awaits the wicked dead. that hell cannot be the common grave based on the bible.” 2Peter 2:9 (Emphasis mine) It is a comforting thought the fire would annihilate or destroy the wicked. It is appealing to people because it puts God in a box they are comfortable with. . “they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Idolatry is making your own God. The scriptures even testify: “… the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment. See Rv 14:9-11 When we put God in a box to fit our view of him we create an idol. One in which the souls/spirits of the wicked suffer. I think this patern stems from preconceptions that God does not allow torture. the other the common grave of all. It stands to reason as the Watchtower has said in many of their articles. I say then. then He will judge the wicked with eternal condemnation. with eternal life. Let us Reason Together. How can we assume that something as important as this topic would be left open for interpretation? I would expect to hear Jesus say. and also the "fiery furnace" of Daniel’s day. “Those who go to the lake of fire. will be destroyed forever”. So if we “reason together”. There is no scripture which says. and hell.” So again. they tell their members that the particular scripture is symbolic. as they quote the very words of Jehovah. While it is true that God is love. or even alludes to the idea that fiery hell is symbolic of destruction/deletion of existence. One must spiritualize the words of the bible. and these wicked dead souls will join Satan. but then when reading something poetic like Ecclesiastes. On the contrary. If what the bible says is true. they take something that needs to be read as a poem and taken figuratively not literally. the beast. where there is no conscious state. In his fairness he has to punish evil.

Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. and Cyprian believed that hell was a fiery place. Origen and theologian Gregory of Nyssa thought of hell as a place of separation from God—of spiritual suffering. Tertullian. and its teachings is the true gospel than Mainstream Christianity for over 2. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them.The Apostle Paul would be astonished with this generation: “6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. the institution which began in 1879. just as there will be false teachers among you. even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them— bringing swift destruction on themselves. .” Galatians 1:6-10 “A different gospel”? What this is saying is that those who follow the wrong Gospel will be eternally condemned. Kelly. According to Galatians 1:6-10. means you believe that somehow the Historic Christianity had the wrong idea of hell. let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said. So what does Church History really say? According to the Watchtower: Article: What Has Happened to Hell Fire? Paragraph 10 states: Among the early Church Fathers. We should be sure we are in the right gospel. "By the fifth century the stern doctrine that sinners will have no second chance after this life and that the fire which will devour them will never be extinguished was everywhere paramount. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you. however. 2Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.” 2 Peter 2:1-3 If the Watchtower. The apostle Peter warns the church: “ But there were also false prophets among the people. let him be eternally condemned! 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of men. on the other hand. Justin Martyr.N. and brought to light the real truth. Clement of Alexandria." wrote Professor J. I would not be a servant of Christ. 1 They will secretly introduce destructive heresies. and God waited until the year 1879 in which the Watchtower emerged. and their destruction has not been sleeping. Augustine of Hippo. Paul was warning them just as he warned many that false teachers would come. and 2 Peter 2:1-3 above all who preach the false gospel are not in the truth.000 years has been preaching a false gospel (one “other than the one (The Apostles) preached”). or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men. One has to ask themselves: Is it logical that God would wait until the year 1879 to reveal to his truth? From a historical point of view Mainstream Christianity is closer to the original. 3In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.D. held that suffering in hell was both spiritual and sensory—a view that gained acceptance. Could this mean that any other belief system that emerges is a Hybrid and not an original version? To accept the dogma that hell as a place of torment is false. so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted. there was disagreement over hell.

where torment exists and will exist forever and ever eventually continuing on into eternity in the lake of fire (gehenna). The Author of what is known as the Epistle of Barnabas. Here is what He wrote about it: "The way of darkness is crooked. History proves. and it is full of cursing. The Author of what is known as The Martyrdom of Polycarp. Intriguingly Barnabas is the traveling companion of the apostle Paul mentioned in the book of Acts. Mathetes’ in his Epistle to Diognetus. Shepherd of Hermas.First: What is meant by “Church Fathers”? From Wikipedia: The Church Fathers. Irenaeus. Summary: The Watchtower teaches its members that hell (Hades/Sheol) is only the common grave. He wrote: "You should fear what is truly death. Tatian. His life span is close to the time of the Apostles. c. Even so in this list 5 agreed hell as a fiery place and only 2 believed otherwise. 18:9." Interesting it says.30. Since it is true that Clement of Alexandria and many other Church Fathers ascribe it to be written by Barnabas. Mk 9:43. Jesus spoke about hell (Hades) as a place of torment with fire in Luke 16 in reference to the rich man and Lazurus.45. verses 2 early Church Fathers who disagreed. Yet there was also Athenagoras. who lived from around 70-130 AD. The term is used of writers and teachers of the Church. Early Church Fathers. All of these and or the authors that wrote the Epistles were early church fathers who believed in a literal fiery hell. This is true that there was disagreement over hell among early church fathers. and he spoke of (gehenna) in . But lets examine this fact: according to the statement above 5 early church fathers believed hell as a fiery place and 2 church fathers believed it only as a place of separation from God. as a place of fiery torment as well in Mt 5:22. There were actually many more church fathers. 23:15.29. It will afflict those who are committed to it even to the end.33. “eternal death with punishment”. Teachers particularly are also known as doctors of the Church. 10:28. which is reserved for those who will be condemned to the eternal fire. 125-200) Again two Early Church Fathers who lived closest to the time of the Apostles believed in Hell. Next is Mathetes who lived from around 125-200 AD. 21:8. It is the way of eternal death with punishment. Theophilus. and Mark Minucius Felix. Mainstream Christianity teaches that hell is eternal fire punishment. that most early church fathers agreed with a literal interpretation of the scriptures in reference to hell. How do we know what it “symbolizes”? Unless of course it “literally” means what it says.47." (Letter to Diognetus. No meaning to what “tormented day and night forever and ever” “symbolizes” is given in scripture. That takes the toll to 15 early church Fathers agreeing that hell is a fiery torment. or Fathers of the Church are the early and influential theologians and writers in the Christian Church. . These early writings of The Epistle of Barnabas. at least early on. then we may proof that the early Apostolic church believed in hell being a place of eternal death with punishment. not necessarily saints. Lk 12:5 also see Rev 19:20 with Rev 20:10. particularly those of the first five centuries of Christian history.

Although not central to the Christian faith. There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this if it lay in my power. according to Dante "It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God for one moment. The doctrine of hell was central to the Jonathan Edwards' famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God" and many others like it. It was fear of hell and judgment that terrified Martin Luther before his spiritual enlightenment. This article will explore the doctrine of hell as it developed first in the sacred texts of Christianity and then in the hands of Christian theologians over the centuries. {1} The English word derives from the Anglo-Saxon meaning "to conceal" or "to cover. Hell was a strong incentive to lead a righteous life in the early church. the doctrine of hell has been a significant part of historical Christian theology throughout its history. or at least regard belief in it as unnecessary.S. hell is the place or state into which unrepentant sinners pass after this life. It concludes with a summary of modern Christian beliefs about hell. especially since the Enlightenment. but you must suffer it for all eternity. Lewis. by way of quotes and excerpts from Christian groups. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (1741) According to a 2004 Gallup Poll. Sheol (which is also sometimes translated "grave" or "pit") denotes the underworld or the place of departed spirits. The Problem of Pain "Abandon hope." {3} . The Word "Hell" The word "hell" in English Bibles is used to translate the Hebrew word Sheol (and its Greek equivalent Hades) and the Greek word Gehenna. It was the setting for Dante's literary masterpiece The Inferno. For some." -. Hell is generally thought to be eternal. all ye who enter here!" --Inscription over the gates of hell. and to include both punishment (poena sensus) and separation from God (poena damni).C." --Jonathan Edwards. Belief in hell is highest among regular churchgoers: 92% of those who attend church weekly believe in hell." which is similar to the meanings of Sheol and Hades.RESOURCES Christian Beliefs on Hell "Some will not be redeemed. however. Some Christian groups no longer believe in an eternal hell. as do 74% of those who attend nearly weekly. hell has also been a major stumbling block to acceptance of Christianity. {2} In the Old Testament. In Christian theology. "The notion reflects an undeveloped and shadowy belief in the future life which was gradually superseded by the more defined beliefs of later Judaism. 70% of Americans believe in hell.

. 19:6). it is described as a place of human sacrifice (16:3. a world of evil among the parts of the body.) Hell in the New Testament In the New Testament. but scholars have suggested an area southwest of Jerusalem near the Cedron. Gehenna is mentioned in Jos. and is itself set on fire by hell. Acts 4:12. 'Depart from me. their worm will not die. and in 2 Kings.g. John 3:16." (Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. A possible mention hell in the Old Testament is this prophecy about the end times: "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life. Matthew 25:41) "The tongue also is a fire. cut it off and throw it away. Gehenna was a place of punishment for apostates and other great sinners (e. do not believe in hell or an afterlife. into the darkness. A statement dating to 1200 AD that fires were continually kept burning in the Valley of Hinnom is generally regarded as reliable. 21:6) that was polluted (23:10-12). "where the fire never goes out. which adds. It corrupts the whole person." (Matthew 10:28. sets the whole course of his life on fire. quoting Jesus) "Throw that worthless servant outside. but still not in a systematic way. 90:26." (Matthew 5:22..") "Do not be afriad of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. and they will be loathsome to all mankind. quoting Jesus. Matthew 25:30) "Then he [the King] will say to those on his left. quoting Jesus) "And if your right hand causes you to sin. They will throw them into the fiery furnace. James 1:15). Also. where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (See Jewish Beliefs: Afterlife. into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Rabbis have generally the taught the existence of a hell-like place for the unrighteous. Rather. Other passages that speak of the afterlife seem to indicate extinction of the soul after death (see." (Daniel 12:2. "death" and "destruction" are the only mentioned penalties for rejecting God (e. 2 Esdras 7:36-38). e. {4} Hell in the Old Testament The idea of hell (as understood in Christianity) is virtually absent from the Old Testament.. as noted in the section above. quoting Jesus) "As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire. 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. 1 Enoch 27:2. both historical and modern. which also refers to the end times: "And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me. The Son of Man will send out his angels. NIV) Another notable passage that likely contributes to Christian imagery of hell is Isaiah 66:24. the same terminology is often used in the New Testament that in the Jewish context may have suggested nothing more than physical death and destruction of the soul." (James 3:6) . nor will their fire be quenched.g." (Parable of the Talents." (Matthew 13:40-42. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. Matthew 7:13. The identity of Hinnom is not known for certain." (Matthew 5:29. 7:32. although no earlier reference has yet been found. 2 Thessalonians 1:9. New Testament passages that have suggested eternal torment to Christians include the following: "Anyone who says.Gehenna ("the Valley of Hinnom") is the Greek translation of a Hebrew word that seems to refer to an actual place on earth. In many cases. see parallel passage in Mark 9:44. where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. so it will be at the end of the age. Jeremiah warned that one day would be renamed "Valley of Slaughter" (Jer.g. others to shame and everlasting contempt. In later Jewish thought. you who are cursed. Romans 6:23. but many Jews. which has very little to say about the afterlife at all. the notion of hell is more clearly expressed. be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 15:8 and 18:16. and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. Ecclesiastes 9:10).

150) "We believe. which is generally seen as physical in nature: {5} "The way of darkness is crooked. 70-130 AD) "You should fear what is truly death." (Pseudo-Barnabas. c. At the end..there will be anger and wrath. if they fall with the rest. c. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.. 150) "Those who have not known God and do evil are condemned to death. the intelligent fire burns the limbs and . We do this under the influence of." (Tertullian." (Revelation 20:13-15) "The cowardly. he was thrown into the lake of fire. they will endure a worse life.. c.their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulpher. it would be better for them if they were not deathless.the idolaters and all liars . 197) "There is neither limit nor termination of these torments. will be chastised doubly. 175) "To the unbelieving and despisers." (Tatian. For they kept before their view escape from that fire which is eternal and will never be quenched. everlasting fire will possess such men. and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them.or. redeeming themselves from eternal punishment by the suffering of a single hour. the magnitude of the threatened torment. c." (Shepherd of Hermas. 135) "Sinners will be consumed because they sinned and did not repent. and will die forever. On these grounds. it is everlasting.. 197) "Gehenna. 180) "Eternal fire is prepared for sinners." (Revelation 21:8) The Doctrine of Hell in the Church Fathers In the church fathers (post-New-Testament Christian leaders and theologians). which is reserved for those who will be condemned to the eternal fire. . c." (Justin Martyr... and each person was judged according to what he had done.. 180) "All souls are immortal. Since they do not die. The Lord has plainly declared this and the rest of the Scriptures demonstrate it." (Martyrdom of Polycarp. but still continue in evil. 195. It will afflict those who are committed to it even to the end. c. and it is full of cursing. There. the unbelieving.. c." (Irenaeus. it is impossible for them to have an end put to their misery." (Theophilus. it is not likely that we would wish to do evil.. c. This is the second death. c. c. For they are punished with the endless vengeance of quenchless fire. For it is not merely long-enduring. 125-200) "[The martyrs] despised all the torments of this world.. better than the present one. For animals perish and are annihilated. For God has not made us as sheep or beasts of burden. the vile. and eternal punishment is laid up.. c." (Athenagoras. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life. 160) "We who are now easily susceptible to death.. from a post-Nicene manuscript fragment) "We [Christians] alone make a real effort to attain a blameless life. who are mere by-products." (Letter to Diognetus. the doctrine of hell quickly becomes more well-defined as a place of eternal torment. c." (Tertullian.." (Clement of Alexandria."The sea gave up the dead that were in it. tribulation and anguish. one in fire. even those of the wicked. c. c." (Shepherd of Hermas.. However. those who have known God and have seen his mighty works. It is the way of eternal death with punishment. Yet. The lake of fire is the second death.that every man will suffer punishment in eternal fire according to the merits of his deed. will afterwards receive immortality with either enjoyment or with pain." (Justin Martyr.. rather. Sensation remains to all who have ever lived.. 160) "Some are sent to be punished unceasingly into judgment and condemnation of fire. 160) "We are persuaded that when we are removed from the present life we will live another life. 160) "Hell [Gehenna] is a place where those who have lived wickedly are to be punished." (Justin Martyr. is a reservoir of secret fire under the earth for purposes of punishment. c..

restores them. The Orthodox Church believes that at this moment the soul of the dead person begins to enjoy . (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead.. is drawn from the unlimited promise of the Gospel and the magnitude of God's grace made known to the world through Christ. 200) However. and hence is final. and that the finally impenitent shall suffer eternally in hell. The conscience expects and demands retribution in another life. Following is a sampling of the positions of various Christian denominations on the issue of hell. c." (Mark Minucius Felix. 6. 5. 4. Jesus Christ our Lord.. the Assemblies of God is strongly motivated to win the lost before it is too late. {6} Modern Christian Views of Hell Modern Christian views of hell tend to emphasize its spiritual aspects over the notion of physical suffering or material fire. and obediently follow. The judgment occurs at the close of the redemptive era.. and its punishment as a realization of one's mistake and the great remorse that would follow.. the life in Paradise or to undergo the life in Hell. and elsewhere. Character tends to final permanance. of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord. no reincarnation and no help from the outside world. There is no way of repentance. (Evangelical Free Church of America) The moral progress of the soul. either for better or for worse." (Catechism of the Catholic Church) The statement of Christ in Matthew 25. (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America) Arguments For An Eternal Hell Among the common arguments advanced for the existence of an eternal hell are these: 1. The doctrine of hell has been believed for a long time by eminent theologians. Hell is seen as a logical extension of the free will of mankind to reject God's gracious advances. even for eternity. . It is believed that after death each man must come before God in judgment and that he will be judged according to the deeds done while he lived (Hebrews 9:27).. Words and pictures in the New Testament imply finality. the meaning is the same: Hell is a place where one will experience total separation from God. This state of definitive self. questioned the eternality of hell and the literal interpretation of it as a fiery place. heaven enjoys the total presence of God. at that very moment the definite destiny of the soul in the everlasting life is decided. It feeds on them and nourishes them. some early church fathers..exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "hell. (Church of the Nazarene) This hope for the final salvation of humanity and the eternal universal restitution of all things in heaven and on earth . (Churches of Christ) We believe that glorious and everlasting life is assured to all who savingly believe in. 2. of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment. no one except a profane man hesitates to believe that those who do not know God are deservedly tormented.. However. (Assemblies of God) To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. Offers of pardon are restricted to the present world.. 3. are taken at face value. no way of escape. It is impossible to describe the glory and splendor of heaven and the terror and torment of hell. Whether taken literally or figuratively. Many modern Christians also question hell's eternality in favor of some form of universalism (all are saved in the end) or annihilationism (wicked souls are destroyed). Knowing that this is the horrible end awaiting the wicked. {7} Arguments Against An Eternal Hell . After judgment is pronounced he will spend eternity either in heaven or hell. such as Origen of Alexandria and Gregory of Nyssa. . ends at the very moment of the separation of the body and soul.

. 2005. "Sheol. Christian Theology: An Introduction.com/eb/article?tocId=9039897>. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service." The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. pp.crosswalk. 3rd ed.com/Dictionaries/BakersEvangelicalDictionary/bed. 1494. "Hell.htm> "Future Punishment. 1996). <http://bible. "Gehenna. Bercot. not an eternal process. p. ed. 657. XIV (Robert Appleton. {9} References 1.A." Encyclopædia Britannica..org/php/disp. 1910). 3rd ed. <http://www.ccel..cgi?number=T336> Alister McGrath. Vindictive justice is not compatible with the God of love and compassion revealed in the New Testament. Elwell. 2005 <http://www. 17 Jan.org/cathen/07207a." The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge..L.Commonly presented arguments against the existence of an eternal hell include: 1.." Walter A. 1997). Joseph Hontheim. 1997). p. 3. "hell. 415. "Eternal punishment" can refer to results that are eternal. The punishment does not fit the crime (i. "Hell. 8. Ibid." The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. 2. pp. ed. p. annihilation).." David W. Words and pictures in the New Testament imply death and destruction (i. (Blackwell. 2nd ed. 748-49. 9. 4. "Hell. 4. Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology (Baker Books. Phillips. Hell contradicts the Christian assertion of the final victory of God over evil. p. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. 5. 553-54. IV. 3rd ed." F.e. Cross and E. 3. 241-43." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. {8} 5. (Oxford UP.php3?a=schaff&b=encyc04&p=415>. Vol. A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs (Hendrickson. 1998).newadvent. 2. eds. 7. and Timothy R. <http://www. . 6.e. non-eternal sin and disbelief).britannica. Livingstone. "Eternal Punishments and Rewards.

Daniel 9:27 Antichrist is revealed.12 MILLENNIUM Christ rules on Earth. Rv 8:8-9 3rd Trumpet -Wormwood falls from the Heavens causing fresh water to become bitter.Euphrates river dries up allowing the Chinese army to move to Armageddon.Present A. Matthew 24:15 GREAT TRIBULATION Persecutions of Christians Begins .Consists of seven Bowl Judgements of the Wrath of God. To Present Rv 2-3 33 . Joel 3:13 5th Trumpet .Rv 7:2-4 Martyrs that came out of the Great Tribulation stand before God Rv 7:9-17DAY OF THE LORD 7th Seal . Rv 11:13-14.Darkening of a third of the sun. Laodicea ISRAEL RESTABLISHED State of Israel established in 1948 Jerusalem returns to Jewish control in 1967. Prelude to the Second Seal . Philadelphia 1906 .Sores on men with the Mark of the Beast. Daniel 11:36 Rv 6:1-2 Rebuilding of the Third Temple in Jerusalem -Daniel 9:27 False Prophet is revealed. Joel 3:2. 2 Timothy 3:12.11:31.White Horseman 2 Thessalonians 2:3.9-10. Rv 11:3-6 TRIBULATION MIDPOINT (3 1/2 years after the peace treaty with Israel) Breaking of the covenant with Israel by the Antichrist.170 A.26 ARMAGEDDON Gathering of the Antichrist.Sun scorches the earth. Sky splits apart) Rv 6:12-14. Zechariah 14:2. 2 Thessalonians 2:3. None can buy without taking the mark of the Beast. 14:2-5.Matthew 24:7 RAPTURE The instantaneous removal of God's people from the earth. Luke 21:34-36.D. Ephesus 170 . Matthew 24:7 Resurrection of the Beast/Antichrist after a fatal wound.D. armies of the world.7 False Messiahs.Locusts from the Bottomless Pit and Blackout of the Sun #2.40-41. and stars. Rv 13:5-7 Death . Rv 8:10-11 4th Trumpet .END TIMES Chronology John instructed to write down: Things which you have seen: 1:1-20 Jesus in Glory Things which are: 2:1-3:22 The seven Churches Things which shall take place after these things 4:1-22:21 Endtimes Chronology THINGS YOU HAVE SEEN The Revealing of Jesus our God and Coming King Rv 1 THINGS WHICH ARE The 7 Church Ages: 32 A.Matthew 24:5.Matthew 24:7 Earthquakes . Mountains and Islands moving. . 1st Seal . Pergamos 606 .11 Wars and Rumors of Wars.Kingdom of the Antichrist/Beast becomes full of darkness. This signifies worship of the Beast. Matthew 24:6 Mark of the Beast is required on all people to buy or sell.Matthew 24:6 Famines.Rv 8:1. Bloody Moon. Rv 9:13-19 Death of the Two Witnesses.6th Seal .D. Rv 11:12 Two witnesses of God prophesy against the Antichrist causing drought and plagues to come upon the earth. Rv 19:20-21 Destruction of the armies by the word of God.3 SECOND COMING OF THE MESSIAH Second Coming .1750 A. Rv 20:10 GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT Judgment of Nations Rv 20:11-15 NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH Rv 21:1-2.D. Daniel 11:40-45 Final Conquest and Plundering of Jerusalem.6 1st Trumpet .2 Timothy 3:1-5. Isaiah 26:19-21.Rv 11:13 7th Trumpet . kings and.Rv 6:3-4. Prelude to the Third Seal .12.Matthew 24:21-22. 1 Thessalonians 4:1317. Matthew 24:29.Matthew 24:7 Pestilences . Matthew 24:31. 1st Bowl . Rv 16:17-19. Daniel 9:27 Abomination of Desolation . Rv 11:7-10 Resurrection of the Two Witnesses on the Third day occurring in view of the World.D. Rv 8:7 2nd Trumpet . Rv 16:2 2nd Bowl . Rv 20:2-3 Satan released to make war for the last time. Spiritual Babylon and/or Rome is destroyed. Matthew 24:24 War .4th Seal .Rv 19:11.21.Rv :78 Martyrs of the Tribulation period cry out to the Lord. Matthew 24:11 Miracles of the False Prophet cause deception amongst the people of the world. Rv 9:1-10 6th Trumpet . .Eastern army of 200. Zechariah 14:2-5.The image of the Antichrist is placed in the temple at Jerusalem and given breath by the False Prophet.(Great Earthquake. Joel 2:30-31.12-14 .D.Hail and Fire Destruction of all the grass and 1/3 of trees. Rv 16:10-11 6th Bowl . Zechariah 12:98. Rv 4:1-2 THINGS WHICH SHALL TAKE PLACE AFTER THESE THINGS (MAINLY THE CHURCH ) Rv 4-22 SEVEN-YEAR PERIOD OF DANIEL BEGINS Seven-year covenant or peace treaty with Israel is confirmed by the Antichrist. Luke 21:24 SIGNS OF THE END Prophetic warning signs According to Christ the following are the beginning of birth pangs. John 14:1-3. Satan bound in the abyss for 1000 years.Greatest earthquake ever.6-7. Sardis 1750 .Rv 6:5-6. Rv 20:7-9 Satan thrown into the Lake of Fire forever.606 A.3rd Seal .D. Rv 16:3 3rd Bowl .6-7.One-fourth of the world's population (new Christians and Jews) are killed by the Antichrist/Beast with the sword and with starvation. Blackout of the Sun #1. Daniel 9:27.Rivers and Springs become blood. Thyatira 1520 . Meteors falling. The worse is yet to come. Rv 13:11.1906 A. Daniel 7:25 Signs in the Sky . 1 Corinthians 15:50-53.312 A. Rv 20:15. Jeremiah 51:24.All creatures in the sea die.16.000 men kill 1/3 of mankind. 3:14-16 144. Zechariah 14:3-5 Beast and False Prophet thrown into the Lake of Fire. Rv 16:8-9 5th Bowl . Rv 16:12 7th Bowl . Prelude to the First Seal .2nd Seal .000 of the tribe of Israel are sealed . Godlessness in the last days . Rv 16:13-14.000.Trumpet Judgments of the Wrath of God . 2 Thessalonians 2:5. Symrna 312 . Rv 8:12.Meteor falls into the Ocean destroying 1/3 of ships and sea life. Rv 11:16-18 Famine . Rv 11:11-12 Earthquake strikes Jerusalem destroying 1/10 of the city .5th Seal – Rv 6:9-11. Rv 16:4 4th Bowl .D.1520 A. moon. Rv 19:19. 2 Thessalonians 2:4.

" Although the modern-day trend is to get away from the fire and brimstone mentality. .News & World Report. This idea is still popular among many other religious groups." It adds: "There are degrees of punishment and suffering in hell related to the severity of sins committed on earth. inflicts fearful torments on the damned like that of fire. "While the traditional infernal imagery still attracts a following. Jains. many continue to adhere to the belief that hell is a literal place of torment. he said: "They show the complete frustration and emptiness of life without God." A growing number of people. prepared by the Evangelical Alliance Commission.News & World Report. are promoting the idea that "the end of the wicked is destruction.S. Hell. . but it is the final and irrevocable choosing of that which is opposed to God so completely and so absolutely that the only end is total non-being." says Albert Mohler of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. states: "Hell is a conscious experience of rejection and torment." The catechism of the United States Episcopal Church defines hell as "eternal death in our rejection of God. . Muslims. a way of being of the person who suffers the pain of the deprivation of God." Had the pope described hell in terms of "flames and a red-suited devil with a pitchfork. not eternal suffering. suggesting that hell may not be so hot after all. ." As to the images of hell as a fiery place. a state? For centuries." Hindus. Buddhists. though. .What Has Happened to Hellfire? WHAT image does the word "hell" conjure up in your mind? Do you see hell as a literal place of fire and brimstone." The Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica observed: "It is misleading .A." says U. "but it doesn't hold a monopoly on the doctrine. to think that God. Kentucky." states the aforementioned magazine.S." Similar changes are taking place in other denominations. [They] contend that those who ultimately reject God will simply be put out of existence in the 'consuming fire' of hell. hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God. has acquired another image in modern thinking." It added: "Hell exists. "Christianity may have made hell a household word. not as a place but as a state. says U. U. and Taoists believe in a hell of one sort or another. "people wouldn't take it seriously." church historian Martin Marty said. of unending torment and anguish? Or is hell perhaps a symbolic description of a condition." Pope John Paul II said in 1999: "Rather than a place. is hell a fiery place of eternal torment or of annihilation? Or is it simply a state of separation from God? What really is hell? . by means of demons. The threat of painful retribution in the afterlife has counterparts in nearly every major world religion and in some minor ones as well. the source of all life and joy. a fiery hell of excruciating torments has been envisioned by religious leaders of Christendom as the certain destiny for sinners. "Scripture clearly speaks of hell as a physical place of fiery torment. "modern visions of eternal perdition as a particularly unpleasant solitary confinement are beginning to emerge. And the report The Nature of Hell. A report by the doctrine commission of the Church of England said: "Hell is not eternal torment.S." Again.

the idea of hell as a place of torment returned in the following two centuries. such Protestant reformers as Martin Luther and John Calvin understood the fiery torment of hell to be figurative of spending eternity separated from God. However.News & World Report. and Cyprian believed that hell was a fiery place. 2002 .) was the first [apocryphal] Christian work to describe the punishment and tortures of sinners in hell. Kelly. Origen and theologian Gregory of Nyssa thought of hell as a place of separation from God—of spiritual suffering. held that suffering in hell was both spiritual and sensory— a view that gained acceptance. Protestant preacher Jonathan Edwards used to strike fear in the hearts of 18th-century Colonial Americans with graphic portrayals of hell.S. the flames of hell began to flicker and fade. "The 20th century was nearly the death of hell. Among the early Church Fathers. "The Apocalypse of Peter (2nd century C.N. though. Justin Martyr. "By the fifth century the stern doctrine that sinners will have no second chance after this life and that the fire which will devour them will never be extinguished was everywhere paramount. Augustine of Hippo taught that suffering in hell was spiritual and physical Appeared in The Watchtower July 15. there was disagreement over hell.D. Clement of Alexandria. Augustine of Hippo. Justin Martyr believed that hell was a fiery place In the 16th century." wrote Professor J.A Brief History of Hellfire WHEN did professed Christians adopt the belief in hellfire? Well after the time of Jesus Christ and his apostles. Shortly thereafter. Tertullian.E." states U. however." states the French Encyclopædia Universalis. on the other hand.

Adam. hell is generally thought of as a place of punishment for sin. Just as the current never takes on the features of the equipment it activates. being kidnapped. where you are going. 10. What does the Bible teach about the soul? Adam "came to be a living soul." says Genesis 2:7. came to have life. the fundamental question in determining the true nature of hell is: What happens to us when we die? Does life of some kind. he goes back to his ground. then. What happens to the spirit when a person dies? Psalm 146:4 says: "His spirit goes out." (Genesis 2:7) Though breathing sustained his life. death is a state of nonexistence. . Life After Death? Does something inside us." When a person dies. . Adam returned to that state of complete absence of life.—Ezekiel 18:4. in that day his thoughts do perish. It has no personality and no thinking ability. (Leviticus 23:30. The Scriptures speak of a soul's doing work.What Really Is Hell? WHATEVER image the word "hell" brings to your mind. 7:22) The Bible refers to this animating force as "spirit. survive the death of the body? Consider how the first man. It meant that God put into Adam's lifeless body the spark of life—"the force of life. What. The condition of the dead is made clear at Ecclesiastes 9:5." (Romans 6:23) Since the punishment for sin is death. experiencing sleeplessness. craving food. is the condition of the dead? When pronouncing sentence upon Adam. . he was a soul—a whole person. The Bible states: "Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life. man himself is a soul. continue after death? What is hell. and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned. no feelings. there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom." (Ecclesiastes 12:7) This means that any hope of future life for that person now rests entirely with God. The ancient Greek philosophers Socrates and Plato held that a soul inside a person survives death and never dies. Deuteronomy 12:20. where we read: "The dead know nothing . The dead have no awareness. When a person dies." which is active in all earthly creatures. Concerning sin and its effect. and so forth. the life-force does not take on any of the characteristics of the creatures it animates. like a soul or a spirit." (New International Version) Scripturally. the Bible says: "Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin. 24:7. (Genesis 6:17. Jehovah stated: "Dust you are and to dust you will return. It "returns to the true God who gave it. his impersonal spirit does not go on existing in another realm as a spirit creature. putting "the breath of life" into his nostrils involved much more than simply blowing air into his lungs. In the grave. Psalm 119:28) Yes." (James 2:26) That spirit can be compared to the electric current that activates a machine or an appliance and enables it to perform its function. he simply did not exist! When he died. that soul dies. no thoughts." (Romans 5:12) The Scriptures also state: "The wages sin pays is death. in some form." (Genesis 3:19) Where was Adam before God formed him from the dust of the ground and gave him life? Why. and what kind of people go there? Is there any hope for those in hell? The Bible gives truthful and satisfying answers to these questions. He did not receive a soul.

King James Version] nor did his flesh see corruption. Douay Version) How unreasonable to think that Job desired to go to a fiery-hot place for protection! To Job. outside the walls of Jerusalem.Unending Torment or Common Grave? Since the dead have no conscious existence. Fiery Gehenna—a symbol of eternal destruction As does Gehenna. or hell."* (Acts 2:31) Where was the hell to which even Jesus went? The apostle Paul wrote: "I handed on to you . The lake of fire has a meaning similar to that of "the fiery Gehenna [hell fire." (Smith's Dictionary of the Bible) The fires were kept burning by adding sulfur to burn up the refuse. Consider also the case of the righteous man Job. Willful. . then. What. and that he was buried. and every other kind of filth was cast. "hell" was simply the grave. On the other hand. for he was raised up. "This [lake of fire] means the second death"—death from which there is no hope of coming back to life. (Matthew 5:22. Hellfire—All-Consuming? Job prayed for protection in hell Could it be that the fire of hell is symbolic of all-consuming. the Scriptures say: "Death and Hades were hurled into the lake of fire. and hide me till thy wrath pass?"# (Job 14:13. who suffered much. King James Version]" that Jesus spoke of. "where the dead bodies of criminals. where his suffering would end. is the common grave of mankind where good people as well as bad ones go. and it refers to the valley of Hinnom. destruction? Separating fire from Hades. Wishing to escape his plight. . When Jesus was on earth. ." "The lake" mentioned here is symbolic. 48) Gehenna occurs 12 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures.—Revelation 20:14. Mark 9:47. 4) So Jesus was in hell. hell cannot be a fiery place of torment where the wicked suffer after death. Death and Hades are "hurled into" it in that they will be done away with when mankind is freed from sin and the condemnation of death. that he has been raised up the third day according to the Scriptures. The Bible writer Luke recounts: "Neither was [Jesus] forsaken in Hades [hell. those in God's memory who are in hell—the common grave of mankind—have a marvelous future. but he was not abandoned there. then. or thorough. the grave." (1 Corinthians 15:3. he pleaded: "Who will grant me this. Jesus used that valley as a proper symbol of everlasting destruction. the lake of fire symbolizes eternal destruction. yes. and the carcasses of animals. unrepentant sinners will also have their "portion" in that lake. this valley was used as a garbage dump. that thou mayest protect me in hell [Sheol]. since death and hell (Hades) that are thrown into it cannot literally be burned. The Bible hell. is hell? Examining what happened to Jesus after he died helps to answer that question. that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. or resurrected. (Revelation 21:8) They too will be annihilated forever.

" and "pit" in the King James Version. but the entire account is symbolic in meaning." (Revelation 21:4) What a blessing is in store for those in hell—"the memorial tombs"! This blessing indeed is reason enough for us to take in more knowledge of Jehovah God and his Son. the Bible hell will be emptied. The Hebrew word Sheol occurs 65 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and is rendered "hell. "the former things [will] have passed away. in a restored earthly paradise. Appeared in The Watchtower July 15. the Greek word Hades is rendered "hell" in each of its ten occurrences in the Christian Greek Scriptures. The rendering at Luke 16:19-31 mentions torment. In the new world of God's making. Acts 24:15. 2002 # . (Isaiah 25:8) Jehovah "will wipe out every tear from their eyes." Yes." (John 5:28. As Jesus promised. "the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus'] voice and come out.—John 17:3.Hell Emptied! Revelation 20:13 states: "The sea gave up those dead in it. and death will be no more. 29) Although no longer presently existing in any form. resurrected humans who comply with his righteous laws will never need to die again. See chapter 88 of The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived. and death and Hades gave up those dead in them." "grave. millions of dead ones who are in Jehovah God's memory will be resurrected." In fact.—Luke 23:43. 'Those in the memorial tombs will come out' * In the King James Version. Jesus Christ. published by Jehovah's Witnesses. or brought back to life. neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.

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