Burning Hellfire Forever?

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One of the most profound and disturbing teachings that exist among so-called “Christians”  today is the idea that if one rejects Christ in this world, he is destined to burn alive forever and ever and ever. No escape from the scorching heat throughout eternity!

There is so much wrong about this, that one hardly knows where to begin. But we can be assured the Lord’s Word soundly rejects this Satanic teaching when one carefully studies the Scriptures and His end-time prophetic writings.

Recently a brother and I discussed this hell teaching and I was somewhat amazed that such short-sightedness and downright ignorant teachings can exist and be promoted. In our discussions, I made the point that I have often made in a real human life perspective on this eternal burning idea. In other words bring it home in a practical and human reasoning way.

How many of us have ever accidentally grabbed a kitchen pot handle that we forgot was very hot?  I am sure many of us have experienced this. We recoil back in great pain in our hand. Hopefully, we didn’t hold it long and make a scar.

Now imagine in your mind that same feeling over ALL YOUR BODY FOR ETERNITY! Yes, try and grasp that thought! Not for a day, not for a week, but for eternity, never-ending in other words. This thought just cannot be fully comprehended, try as we may. Yet this is what Satan has promulgated upon those who are hoodwinked by him.

This teaching alone, if the truth is told has probably done more to push people away from God than almost any other teaching. Why , they ask, would one want to serve a vindictive God who punishes souls for rejecting him in our short 70-80 years here on earth, with eternal burning forever and ever?

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. (Gen. 3:4)

This was his very first lie, and it has been promulgated ever since. The idea that we are never-dying souls, either to live forever or to burn forever is built upon this first lie. But God’s word clearly says —

“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Gen. 3:19)

The Word is full of confirmations that we cease to exist at death, and only a resurrection of life or death follows —

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die..”(John 11:25)

“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” (Psalms 146:4)

“The soul who sins is the one who will die.” (Ezek. 18:20)

Apostle Paul also let’s us know that death is as one “asleep”.

“And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” ( 1 Cor. 15:17-18)

But some of the proclaimers of Satan’s trick, say that the following reference saying “worm” means human souls.

“And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against Me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” (Isa. 66:24)

The Lord’s message of Elijah shows us that the worm context means as follows —

“Although the preceding verses of this chapter are not studied much by any, the last two have often been discussed and debated upon by many. To some they mean that there is to be an eternal torment. But does the scripture at all sustain such a thought? — No, it does not. The definition of “carcasses” is “lifeless bodies.” And the prophet Malachi says: “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.” Mal. 4:1-3.

The carcasses at first and the ashes at last of the unfaithful servants being under the feet of the saints, can hardly indicate that the unfaithful are pushed into “hell fire,” there to live forever. Moreover since only the righteous are given eternal life, then the wicked must be given eternal death. Furthermore, “second death” (Rev. 20:14) cannot mean “second life.”

The theory of eternal torment has been superficially derived from the statement, “their worm shall not die.” “Their worm,” the worm that gorges on their carcasses, though, cannot possibly mean the souls of the people. At least it cannot mean such to him who digs deep into the well of salvation, and that can think and reason for himself. Such a one reads between the lines and notes the full value of each word. If “worm” means anything, then it means that the worm thrives on the carcasses, that it is the agency which reduces the constituents of the carcasses to their original elements.

Indeed, “the worm shall not die”; it shall certainly accomplish its consuming work; the carcasses shall He bring down to dust, “for dust thou art,” says the scripture, “and unto dust shalt thou return.” Gen. 3:19. It is this disintegrating agency, the consuming worm that does not die. Moreover, we are told that the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezek. 18:4).

It is plainly seen that the preaching of eternal suffering in hell fire rather than eternal death, is prompted by unscrupulous so-called soul winners endeavoring to drive their audiences into church by fright. But if they knew that only the born-again through the love of the Truth are given the right to enter into the Holy City, if they knew that those who must be frightened in are excluded from it, if they knew that anything which maketh a lie is also not given the right to enter therein, — if they wholeheartedly knew all these, they would perhaps stop preaching eternal life in hell fire, and begin to preach eternal love of the Truth.” (1 TG, no. 45, p.21-23)

Let us discuss a good example of “eternal fire” as used in the Bible  —

And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling–these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day, as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 1:6-7)

Peter under the Holy Spirit describes and interprets Jude’s hellfire comments —

“He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction, having reduced them to ashes, having set an example of what is coming on the ungodly..” (2 Peter 2:6)

Are those who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah now burning with “eternal fire”? Of course not but they are utterly destroyed to ashes, their souls and their works! This, the Scriptures say is “an example”-total destruction–the end of living forevermore.

Another inspired Word of God showing an important point in our discussion–

“For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” (Ecc. 9:5)

The message expounds on this important Word —

 

“Take for example the Revelator’s statement: “…I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God,…and they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood?” Rev. 6:9, 10.

   The literalist on the one hand, would interpret this scripture to mean that the souls were conscious and actually crying out, though the Bible is very explicit that “the dead know not anything.” Eccles. 9:5. And, too, were the souls under the altar literally crying out for vengeance on their murderers, then, to be consistent, the Lord’s statement, “the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto Me from the ground” (Gen. 4:10), also the statement, “all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isa. 55:12), likewise must be interpreted literally in spite of the fact that it is impossible physically for blood to cry out and for trees to clap hands.

   If all, however, are obliged to admit that Abel’s blood could not literally cry out, and that trees can only figuratively clap hands, then, again to be consistent, the person given to extreme literalizing should easily take hold of the actuality that “the dead know not anything,” and that they are “asleep” — unconscious.” (Tract 3, p.89-90)

Once we truly understand that the dead are dead, and not alive (until the resurrection) the idea of going directly to heaven or hellfire ceases to be as divinely plausible, much less –truth!

To be sure, there will be burning and damnation cast upon the sinners, but NOT eternally! The message gives us a beautiful mental pictorial presentation of the final hellfire that will come to past —

 

Satan Is Loosed For a Little Season.   By the resurrection of the wicked dead, “…Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” Rev. 20:7, 8.

   Concerning this “little season” in which Satan will be allowed to deceive the nations, the prophet Isaiah heard the Lord say:

   “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.  But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.  And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.  There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.” Isa. 65:17-20.

   The reader will observe that when the Lord creates  the new heavens and the new earth, then from the time that the wicked arise from their graves to the time that they are destroyed  forever by the second death, — the “little season,” — “there shall be no more thence [among them] and infant of days [no more births], nor an old man that hath not filled his days [no more deaths before man’s days are fulfilled]: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.”

Both the old and the young (that is, those who remain in their graves during the millennium) will afterward come forth together, each to live “an hundred years” — “the little season” in which Satan will again deceive them.  There will be neither death nor birth, but all the wicked will then be forever accursed by

The Second Death.   That portion of the new earth which the feet of the wicked have trodden and defiled during the “short season,” will be purified by the fire’s coming “down from God out of heaven” and burning them and their works, while those who will inhabit the new earth for eternity, will be shielded in and about “the holy city.” Rev. 21:2.

   “And they went up on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever…. 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.” Rev. 20:9, 10, 14, 15.

   Since not only Satan, but also “whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life, was cast into the lake of fire,” the fire in the lake simply continues the same destruction wrought by the fire which comes “down from God out of heaven.” Rev. 20:9.  After the thousand years, in other words, the fire which comes “down from God out of heaven,” results in “the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:10) and in eternal extermination of all sinners. 

Of this final destruction, a pre-millennial demonstration is to be given when the beast and the false prophet are cast into the “lake of fire” — their grave for the thousand years.  And as the fire does not, of course, keep burning during the thousand years, the statement, “the devil…was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone,  where the beast and the false prophet are” (Rev. 20:10), shows therefore that there are both a typical and an antitypical destruction; the lake of fire before the millennium, being a type of the one after the millennium. (Tract 9, p.37-39)

In closing, as we announce to the World that we are “Christian” let us teach and proclaim the TRUTH about our eternal life and sadly for many–eternal death. Burning forever and ever is Satan’s trickery upon those who are NOT being guided by the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13). Let’s humbly submit to His Word and the preponderance of evidence showing what will befall us (life or death).

 

Color Code :  Orange — the Lord speaking,  Blue — Scripture or SOP speaking, Brown — Elijah message or Lord’s Rod (Micah 6:9) as brought by Victor Houteff  Red– special highlight of Inspired Words

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