Heaven & Hell

by kzjw 24 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • leavingwt

    Please expect many disappointments, if your sales pitch includes a discussion of a literal, fiery Hell.

  • Chalam

    Hello Blue Grass,

    The verses that Chalam posted all speak of a destruction of the wicked, not of enternal consciousness where people will be torturedforever.

    I guess you missed this verse?

    Isaiah 66:24 (New International Version)

    24 "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."

    I forgot to include this one, my apologies

    Revelation 20:10 (New International Version)

    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 20:12-15 (New International Version)

    12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 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.

    This might help from the ESV Study Bible

    The Bible and Religious Cults

    Jehovah's Witnesses

    No immaterial soul. Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe that humans have an immaterial nature. The “soul” is simply the life-force within a person. At death, that life-force leaves the body. Biblically, however, the word “soul” is multifaceted. One key meaning of the term is man's immaterial self that consciously survives death (Gen. 35:18; Rev. 6:9–10). Unbelievers are in conscious woe (Matt. 13:42; 25:41, 46; Luke 16:22–24; Rev. 14:11) while believers are in conscious bliss in heaven (1 Cor. 2:9; 2 Cor. 5:6–8; Phil. 1:21–23;Rev. 7:17; 21:4).

    Hell. Jehovah's Witnesses believe hell is not a place of eternal suffering but is rather the common grave of humankind. The wicked are annihilated—snuffed out of conscious existence forever. Biblically, however, hell is a real place of conscious, eternal suffering (Matt. 5:22; 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev. 14:11; 20:10, 14).



  • cofty
    Biblically, however, hell is a real place of conscious, eternal suffering

    Then your god is a monster of greater proportions than all the human tyrants who have ever lived

    Nobody could "love" such a fiend with anything even closely resembling any normal definition of love.

    I think christians who actually believe in eternal torment are suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome.

  • reslight2

    kzjw said:

    I'm having the whole heaven & hell discussion again w/ the wife...brought up Matthew 25:41-46 as proof it exists,then the wife balked & looked to the friends for help. The good news is that my wife now respects the fact that I won't read anything printed by the filthy slave, but the fight's still not fair. Can anyone give me more scriptures of the Bible to use? She just sent out her call to an elder & field service partner today,so I know part 2 is coming....

    If the thought is that Matthew 25:41-46 in some way supports the idea that those depicted as goats will be consciously suffering for eternity somewhere, Jesus never said that. If these verses are thought to support the idea of going to heaven or a hell of eternal suffering when one dies, there is nothing at all in what Jesus about such a thing.

    The verses referenced are part of the parable of the sheep and goats. -- Matthew 25:31-46

    In that parable, Jesus speaks of gathering the nations -- the heathen -- to be judged. The gathering of the nations that Jesus speaks of takes place by restoring them to life so that they may be judged, not by their past works, but by their works as related to the books that will then be opened. ( Revelation 20:11-13 ).

    We should not think that Jesus is speaking of the gathering of nations that takes place at Armageddon for the executing of God's judgment as begun upon man through Adam. "`Therefore wait for me,' says Yahweh, `until the day I rise up for plunder, my determination is to gather the nations, to my assembly of kingdoms, to pour on them my indignation, all my fierce anger. All the earth will be devoured with the fire of my jealousy." ( Zephaniah 3:8 ) Zephaniah's prophecies speaks of the summation of the first condemnation, the condemnation of death through Adam. That condemnation through Adam would have been eternal had it not been for the ransom sacrifice provided by Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Timothy 2:5,6) The execution of judgment at that time is to convince the ungodly of their sins, thus indicating that their destruction is not eternal but rather for the purpose of disciplining. ( Jude 1:15 ; 2 Peter 3:7 , 10 ) It is during this transition period that Satan's world is destroyed. It is not until after the destruction of this present evil world that Yahweh `turns to the peoples a pure language.' ( Zephaniah 3:9 ) Any execution of the judgment upon the unbelieving nations at the end of this age will thus not be eternal, but will fall under the condemnation in Adam. The peoples of the world are still being blinded by Satan. ( 2 Corinthians 4:4 ) It is not until after Satan is bound and the veil of blindness is removed that it can truly be said that the nations have received a pure language. ( Isaiah 25:6-7 ; Revelation 20:3 ) And the method of gathering the nations at that time will be through the awakening of the dead, in the day when many will be turned to righteousness. -- Revelation 20:11-13 ; Daniel 12:2 , 3 .

    The gathering (that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 25) to be judged is speaking of heathen -- the nations, the unbelievers, when they will be enlightened and judged in the age to come. (Isaiah 2:2-4) Jesus is describing the what happens to those of the "resurrection of judgment," the "resurrection of the unjust." (John 5:28,29; Acts 24:15) Jesus spoke of these in John 12:47,48, saying, in effect, that he had come to save, deliver those who do not believe that they might be judged in the "last day." Thus, Jesus death and resurrection guarantees a new trial, new judgment day, for the world of mankind. (Acts 17:31)

    And thus we have the proper setting for the judgment of the sheep and the goats. The "sheep" of the parable are not the sheep of the present age, whom the Master knows and who know the Master. ( John 10:14 ) Rather these are the "other sheep" who are not of the fold that recognize the Master in the present age. They are brought forth out of death. These become the sheep of the next age. These do not inherit a place in the ruling house of God, but do inherit the kingdom prepared from the founding of the world, the kingdom that was prepared for Adam and which he lost. ( Matthew 25:34 ; Genesis 1:28 ; Psalm 8:3-8 ; Hebrews 2:6-8 ) These inherit these promises, not after Armageddon, but after the final eternal destruction of the wicked which takes place after the thousand-year reign of Christ, the day which God has appointed "in which he will judge the world in righteousness." -- Revelation 20:7-9 ; Psalm 37:9-11 ; Acts 17:31 .

    Not until the conclusion of the Millennium will the decision of the Judge be manifested. Then great surprise will be shown at his decision -- by both parties. To the "sheep" at his right hand he will say: "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." ( Matthew 25:34 ) When God laid the foundation of the earth it was his design to have it inhabited with perfect, happy humans. ( Isaiah 45:12 , 18 ) This is not the same kingdom as the Messianic kingdom. On the contrary, it is the kingdom which God gave to Adam, which Adam lost through his disobedience and which Christ redeemed by the sacrifice of himself. ( Genesis 1:26 ; Psalm 8:4-8 ; Hebrews 2:7-9 ) It will be given to those who will have developed complete Godlikeness -- those who have become the Lord's "other sheep" during the Millennium. John 10:16 .

    Then the other class, the goats of the parable, will be sentenced: "Depart, you cursed ones, into everlasting punishment." Granted all the privileges, blessings and experiences during the thousand years of contact with righteousness, truth and the spirit of God, these, though they had rendered an outward obedience in refraining from sins of violation, but at heart they had not come into harmony with God. They will, therefore, not be recognized as "sheep." Failing in developing pure Godlikeness they cannot be presented to the Father as blameless and irreprovable. They will have to be destroyed. This punishment, however, the final vengeance of God, is the second death, "everlasting destruction." ( 2 Thessalonians 1:8 , 9 ) Their penalty is an everlasting one because there will be no further provision made for their redemption or for a resurrection from the second death. They will have failed utterly to appreciate the goodness of God and to develop into his likeness. Eternal life is only for those who have God's likeness and God's spirit. `The Father is seeking such to worship him in spirit and truth.' -- John 4:23 .

    After the day of Judgment Satan will be loosed from his bonds for a short period of time. ( Revelation 20:7 ) It appears that then those of the goat class will show their true colors as they follow Satan at that time. ( Revelation 20:8 ) It is at the end of this short intermediate period that the goats receive their punishment of "everlasting destruction." In Revelation 20:8 they are pictured as being destroyed by fire that comes down from God out of heaven. Revelation 21:8 speaks of them as `cowardly and unbelieving, having become foul, murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, liars,' etc. These have their portion in the second death represented by the "lake of fire." We do not believe that during this short period of time when Satan is released that the goat class will actually be permitted to enter into murder. But our thought is that by their hatred for their fellow-man they show that they have murder in their hearts. Exactly how all this will be fulfilled toward the goat class during the short period of time Satan is let loose we do not presently know. All we can see is that somehow Satan gets the goat class to follow him against God.

    Their sentence to eternal destruction evidently occurs just at the close of the 1,000 year reign of Christ. It appears to be delayed for only a short time as they depart into the everlasting fire made ready for the devil and his angels. The everlasting fire represents God's eternal zeal for righteousness and against unrighteousness. At the end of the Millennium it is made ready or prepared to destroy all in opposition to God. But they are allowed a short period of time to prove their opposition. Therefore they are sentenced sometime before they receive their punishment. They receive the sentence of eternal destruction because of failure to develop the spirit of love, for love is the fulfilling of the law. None can meet the divine approval except those whose sentiments will attain to the degree of loving Yahweh with all their hearts, minds, being and strength, and their neighbors as themselves. ( Matthew 23:37-40 ; Romans 13:8 ; Galatians 5:14 ; 6:2 ) The sheep of the Millennial Age, we may be sure, will attain to this love which God's law marks as the proper measure of God-likeness. The goats of the Millennial Age, we may be equally sure, will be the ones who will not have this God-likeness.

    What did Jesus mean when he said the goats go into eternal punishment? The Greek word rendered "everlasting" is not as strong as our English word which represents it. However, it is the same word that is used in referring to everlasting life which will be granted the sheep. It may be well, however, to notice that life, being Yahweh's gift to the sheep, indicates that no life will be given to the goats -- it thus would state the kind of punishment which the Scriptures describe, namely, a death punishment, an extinction of life; and this extinction of life will continue forever, as we have seen. Hence while the punishment is everlasting, the second death condemnation does not mean that the person continues to consciously suffer over and over and over for every split second for all eternity. The wages of sin for the first condemnation in Adam was not eternal suffering, for Jesus suffered once -- not for eternity -- to pay those wages of sin. ( Hebrews 7:27 ; 9:26 ; 10:10 ; 1 Peter 3:18 ; 4:1 ) Likewise, with the second condemnation, only there is no more sacrifice for sin that will cover anyone under the second condemnation, thus the resulting death is an everlasting punishment, signifying a death from which there will be no release. -- Hebrews 10:26

  • reslight2

    Revelation 20:10 (New International Version)

    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.

    This is the only verse in the entire Bible that speaks of torment (in most translations) forever, and it doesn't speak of souls or spirits of human beings being tormented, but rather it speaks of the devil, a wild beast, and a false prophet as being tormented (literally, touchstoned). The Greek word often rendered "tormented," however, could be rendered as "examined", or "tested", as being a close approximation of verb form of the Greek verb used, a verb form of the word for "touchstone." The devil, symbolizing also the works of the devil, the symbolic wild beast with seven heads and ten horns, the symbolic false prophet (the image of the wild beast), are examined continuously for all eternity as symbols of the past reign of sin.

    To emphasize: The statement in Revelation 20:10 is concerning, not human beings, but rather the symbolic devil, a symbolic wild beast, and a symbolic false prophet. No actual living creature is ever spoken of as being tormented forever. The wild beast is described as having seven heads and ten horns; are we to think that there will be a literal wild beast with literal seven heads and literal ten horn that will be actuallly kept alive forever so as be tortured?

    We do read:

    Revelation 20:14 - Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
    Revelation 20:15 - If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.

    We note that the symbolism of "Death and Hades" are thrown into the lake of fire. We are not to think that "Death and Hades" are to be conscious and "tormented" for all eternity in that lake, but rather they are destroyed by being thrown into that symbolic lake. The "Death" being spoken of is -- represents -- the condemnation received through Adam. Without the redemption through Jesus, those dead in Hades would have remained in that dead condition forever. ( Hosea 13:14 ; 1 Corinthians 15:21 , 22 ; Romans 5:12-19 ) "Hades" (Hebrew, Sheol) represents the oblivious condition of that death. ( Ecclesiastes 9:10 ) With the curse upon mankind lifted, that condemnation and its condition are both eliminated, and both of these are symbolically depicted as being destroyed by their being thrown into the lake of fire.

    Those humans who refuse to obey the Good News in the millennial age so as to have their names written in the book of life then opened to them will also be thrown into the lake for fire, but nothing is said about their being "tormented" forever in that condition. They also simply cease to exist, just as Adamic death and Hades cease to exist by being symbolically being thrown into that symbolic lake. There is no more ransom for those who receive the judgment of the second death. ( Hebrews 10:26 ) They remain dead for eternity.

    Returning to Revelation 20:10 , when we look up the nounal root of the word that is translated "tormented", we find that the word means "touchstone". The verb form appearing in Revelation 20:10 would most literally be rendered "touchstoned", which sounds somewhat strange in English. Nevertheless, a touchstone is used to "try" or "test" other stones, so that the symbolism figuratively denotes a trying or testing. The expression "day and night" also does not refer to literal "day and night"; if it were speaking of literal days and nights, then it would indicate that they were being "touchstoned" somewhere on the earth, for from the perspective of the scriptures, day and night has to do with the earth. Actually, in speaking figuratively, it simply denotes a continual condition of the testing being spoken of. While Satan's works as symbolized by "the devil" will be destroyed (including the person of Satan as well as his demons), the "works" symbolized by the devil will serve as a testing for all eternity to come. Likewise, with the works of systems or organizations symbolized by the wild beast and the false prophet.

  • Chalam

    Returning to Revelation 20:10 , when we look up the nounal root of the word that is translated "tormented", we find that the word means "touchstone".

    What Greek dictionary are you using?

    I have this http://strongsnumbers.com/greek/928.htm

    928. basanizó

    to torture

    Original Word: βασαν?ζω
    Transliteration: basanizó
    Phonetic Spelling: (bas-an-id'-zo)
    Short Definition: pain

    Word Origin
    from basanos
    to torture
    NASB Word Usage
    battered (1), felt...tormented (1), pain (1), straining (1), torment (4), tormented (4).

    NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries
    Copyright © 1981, 1998 by The Lockman Foundation
    All rights reserved Lockman.org

    pain, toil, torment

    From basanos; to torture -- pain, toil, torment, toss, vex.

    see GREEK basanos

    βασανιζομ?νη (basanizomene) − 1 Occurrence

    βασανιζ?μενον (basanizomenon) − 1 Occurrence

    βασανιζ?μενος (basanizomenos) − 1 Occurrence

    βασανιζομ?νους (basanizomenous) − 1 Occurrence

    βασαν?σαι (basanisai) − 1 Occurrence

    βασαν?σ?ς (basanises) − 2 Occurrences

    βασανισθ?σεται (basanisthesetai) − 1 Occurrence

    βασανισθ?σονται (basanisthesontai) − 2 Occurrences

    ?βασ?νιζεν (ebasanizen) − 1 Occurrence

    ?βασ?νισαν (ebasanisan) − 1 Occurrence

    This is the only verse in the entire Bible that speaks of torment (in most translations) forever

    I can't say I agree.

    Revelation 14:11 (New International Version)

    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."

    Matthew 25:46 (New International Version)

    46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

    Isaiah 66:24 (New International Version)

    24 "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."

    Mark 9:46-48 (New International Version)

    47 And 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, 48 where
    " 'their worm does not die,
    and the fire is not quenched.'

    Jude 1:7 (New International Version)

    7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

    Sodom and Gomorrah's punishment on earth was momentary, they burnt alive. Eternal punishment is not momentary but without end.

    It is not something I want to contemplate for myself or anyone else. However, it is written clearly in at least five verses here.

    Is Jesus a liar?



  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Here's some theme music for your discussion:


  • cofty
    Is Jesus a liar?

    Maybe, or perhaps bible writers put words in his mouth that reflected their own perverted psyche when the gospels were written decades after the events.

    Or maybe Jesus was deluded with the same fairy tales as his contemporaries.

    Or maybe he is a sick bastard?

    Who knows. Either way nobody who takes this stuff literally can "love" the monster who invented it.

    "Thank you for not burning my ass in hell for all eternity god like you are going to do to all those billions of others. I love you sooooo much for saving me from you. You are so merciful and kind I want to praise you for ever, but i can't hear my own sycophantic voice for all the screaming"

    Yeah right!

  • cofty

    Nathan - beautiful sounds and images, thank you! I was listening to a lecture recently by Lawrence Krauss, he was saying that the molecules in our bodies all came originally from "stuff" from exploding stars. The atoms in your right hand probably came from a different star from those in your left, amazing! Back to heaven and hell?

  • Chalam

    Nathan - beautiful sounds and images, thank you!


    If we conclude there is a Creator who made this immense and beautiful universe, surely He knows what He is doing.

    I have argued with Him a bit over the second death but I had to put it aside, who am I?

    Have a read here Job 38 or here Isaiah 29:16 Isaiah 45:9-10



Share this