Have You Been Deceived About Hell?
By Willie Martin

Jew Watch

 The Lake of Fire, This is the Second Death: Due to many responses both for and against the issue raised in the past regarding the state of the dead, attention is now being called to Scriptural passages in which both the Hebrew and Greek word referring to death means "to perish."

 Death: Strong's Concordance, old Testament: #4194  maveth (maw'-veth); from 4191; death (natural or violent); concretely, the dead, their place or state (hades); figuratively, pestilence, ruin:  KJV-- (be) dead ([-ly]), death, die (-d).

 New Testament: #2288  thanatos (than'-at-os); from 2348; (properly, an adjective used as a noun) death (literally or figuratively): KJV-- X deadly, (be ... death.

 A merciful and just God thus speaks: "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live." (Ezekiel 33:11) The Hebrew word translated death in this passage implies "to be destroyed." Furthermore it is the ego, the you, your soul, of whom, and to whom, the Lord is speaking. Those who hold that in death the body only is destroyed make void Paul's declaration that, if there be no resurrection, then those who have fallen asleep in death have perished. The Greek word here translated perish means to be destroyed, including both body and soul, that is, the ego or you. The exact same Greek word, meaning to destroy, is used in the statement: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

 "And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin." (Jeremiah 32:35)

 The assumption on the part of many Judeo-Christian fundamentalists that death refers to the body only is in error if the use of the word perish in this passage of Scripture be correct. Also if death means to perish, then the second death is not continued existence of the soul tortured forever and ever in horrendous suffering in a lake of fire. No they have fallen for the serpent's lie to Eve when he said to her in Genesis 3:4-5: "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

 Such conceptions attribute to God the indulgence or propensity of tyrants and oppressors that take pleasure in the suffering and torture of victims who refuse to conform with their desires and edicts. The Devil is depicted to delight in the suffering of humanity. Is the God of the fundamentalists like unto the father of lies, with the added ability to case those who reject Him to endure an endless existence of horrendous suffering? The Devil, evil as he is, cannot do this.

 In order to arrive at such an erroneous conclusion, the Judeo-Christian fundamentalists quote, in an endeavor to sustain their conception, the following passage from Revelation: "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14-15)

 Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 125:26: "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." If the end of death is to be cast into the lake of fire, thus this lake represents and becomes the end, that is, destruction of all that is cast into it, including all those whose names are not written in the Book of Life.

 Many have undertaken to invest the figures and symbols in Revelation with a literalness that the language of the book does not warrant. While the study of the symbolic language of this book reveals a true historical significance, yet the book furnishes its own clue to their interpretation. The candlesticks are churches and the waters are peoples, while it represents the activities and troubles afflicting men and nations in terms applicable to earthly vegetation. When men undertake to literalize these symbols, it contributes to confusion and misunderstanding of the truth the book purports to convey. Because fire produces complete destruction, the lake of fire symbolizes annihilation.

 The first death, as stated in the Bible, is called a sleep, for ther will be an awakening, that is, a resurrection from this first death. The second death will have no power over those of the first resurrection and who attain life unending. (Revelation 20:6) Following the judgement before the Great White Throne, all those whose works condemned them perish in the fires of destruction, the second death, from which there will be no resurrection.

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