Is WT Teachig on Hell Biblical?

by Sea Breeze 35 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    I guess you could say Jesus was the first Christian, since he was the Christ.

    And as the first Christian, Jesus spoke more about hell that any other biblical figure. But, he is also the figure that said that he didn't come to condemn the world, but to save it.

    So with verses like these:

    Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels - Mt. 25 :31

    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Mt. 10: 28

    What are we to think? What did the first believers think on this topic? Yes, it is a hard teaching. One, that most Christians wouldn't mind if it wasn't part of Christianity. But, if you believe that Jesus resurrected himself from the dead like he predicted that he would, why would we doubt anything he said??

    Would it be "in character" for Jesus to allow people to believe something false for 1800 years until a man who believed he was named in scripture as "that faithful servant" appointed over all of humanity (C T Russell), was born and corrected Jesus by announcing that hell was actually cold, & not hot?

    What say you?

  • EasyPrompt

    If Jesus is into keeping people alive in a horrible place and torturing them in fire and he says to imitate him, then what does it say about you that you think that's okay? It says something about what is in your heart.

    Jesus does not approve of torture. It was his adversary the Devil that used torture.

    People have been lying about God and Jesus for thousands of years. Since the garden of Eden, the Devil has been saying "when you're dead, you're not really dead." The hellfire teaching is just another version of that lie.

    If you want to believe lies about God or about Jesus, @SeaBreeze, that is your business. But it's not nice to slander Jesus by saying that he approves of something that he actually hates.

    "If the light that is in you is really darkness, how great that darkness is!"

    Jesus said to clothe yourself with love. You would do well to put on some clothes, @SeaBreeze, because you are naked.

    Revelation 3:17-19

    "Because you say, “I am rich and have acquired riches and do not need anything at all,” but you do not know that you are miserable and pitiful and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may become dressed and that the shame of your nakedness may not be exposed, and eyesalve to rub in your eyes so that you may see. All those for whom I have affection, I reprove and discipline. So be zealous and repent."

  • cofty

    Anybody who imagines they could enjoy eternal bliss in heaven worshiping a god who is tormenting others in hell is a moral reprobate.

  • slimboyfat

    Charles Taze Russell was known as the man who turned a hose on hell. Watch Tower has been putting the smack down on hellfire since the 1870s, before it was even fashionable.

  • enoughisenough

    for all I know, there may be an eternal fire somewhere...but fire does away with. Rev. tells of death and hades being pitched into the lake of fire...can death burn? and if hades is hell ( also what some consider the everlasting fire) so you burn fire with fire???makes no sense. When people passed their children into the fire in false worship, such a thought never came into God's heart. Does it make sense that an eteral burning hell where you don't really die would be created for people when such a thought of burning never came into God's heart. Fire destroys! You die in fire...the dead know nothing at all.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze


    the dead know nothing at all - Eccl. 9: 5

    It is unwise to take a philosophical book from the OT written strictly from a carnal or physical stand point and apply it as a corrector of Jesus words.

    Eccl. 10: 19 "money is the answer to everything".

    Why not make a Christian doctrine out of Eccl. 10: 19 too?

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    Easy Prompt,

    Your logic is fine. It is your presupposition that is faulty. In the bible, death means separation, not non existence.

    For believers, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord:

    Instead, I say that we are confident and willing to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. - 2 Cor. 5: 8

    That is not a resurrection. In the bible, not only is the body is spoken of using pronouns. But, the soul and the spirit of man is assigned personhood as well.

    BTTT, obviously fire which of this physical life would have at least a different affect on an eternal soul than it would on real flesh and blood.

    But, I think it is a mistake to believe that Jesus' detailed adjectives about the torment, anguish, gnashing of teeth ...of eternal duration would be strictly symbolic. At the very minimum it could mean conscious eternal separation from God with the absence of anything good (outer darkness). At the maximum, it could mean exactly what Jesus said that it did.

  • EasyPrompt

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God..." (John 1:1)

    "...he is called by the name The Word of God." (Revelation 19:13)

    "It is unwise to take a philosophical book from the OT written strictly from a carnal or physical stand point and apply it as a corrector of Jesus words."

    It is unwise to call the message that the Word of God had a part in conveying to mankind "a philosophical book" "carnal" and "physical".

    "The wise one has his eyes in his head; but the stupid one is walking in darkness." (Ecclesiastes 2:14)

    Jesus is the wisdom of God. He knows the truth of Ecclesiastes is just as valid today, including chapter 10.

    "In whatever way the fool walks, he is lacking good sense, and he lets everyone know that he is a fool." (Ecclesiastes 10:3)

    Ecclesiastes 10:12-14 is really good too.

    "The words from the mouth of the wise one bring favor, but the lips of the stupid one are his ruin. The first words out of his mouth are foolishness, and his last words are disastrous madness. But the fool keeps on speaking."

    "the dead know nothing at all - Eccl. 9: 5"

    The spiritually dead know nothing at all about love. That's why they teach about hellfire doctrine and disfellowshipping doctrine, things that God hates.

    "This people approach me with their mouth

    And they honor me with their lips,

    But their heart is far removed from me;

    And their fear of me is based on commands of men that they have been taught."

    @SeaBreeze, if Jesus can wake the dead, he can wake you up too. "Love hopes all things."

    You would never keep someone alive to be tortured forever. That's hateful and sick. You wouldn't picture Jesus hurting someone like that. Why would you accuse God of such a terrible thing? Only a hater would want his brother stay alive to suffer and burn in hell forever. Jesus is not a hater of mankind. He came to save mankind. God is not a hater of mankind. He loves His kids.

    "If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet is hating his brother, he is a liar. For the one who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And we have this commandment from him, that whoever loves God must also love his brother."

    Disfellowshipping doctrine and hellfire doctrine are from the Chief Hater of God. That Chief Hater of God is the wicked one who also hates God's children. "That one was a murderer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of the lie." The Devil sowed those seeds of leaven in the early Christian congregation, but it's time for them to be removed from our hearts.

    "God is Love."

  • enoughisenough

    sea breeze- one of the original lies to EVE was she wouldn't ever die. God told them they would die and Satan said they wouldn' people choose to believe they don't die even if that means they are choosing eternal torment for a few years of sinning. If you are going to take Jesus's word, then he likened death to sleep. ( I don't know about you, but when I am asleep I don't know what is going on around me. You belittled the book of you think that wise? Ecc 7 :12 for wisdom is a protection ust as money is a protection, but the advaantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves the life of it owner. ( I remember watching a movie once and the premise was whatever you really believed is what your end reality would be. I don't think that is the case, but if were to come to fruition, many would suffer forever and ever. -threw that in for what it's worth. )

  • Vanderhoven7

    Matt.25:31-33, 41-46; The Parable of The Sheep and The Goats:

    When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. 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. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left... 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. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and ye did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me."

    They 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?"

    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."


    Most will no doubt agree that the judgment scene in this parable and resulting punishment is final. But

    - Is Eternal Torment explicitly taught in this parable? OR

    - Is Eternal Torment demanded by the imagery in this passage?

    IMAGERY: There are two basic images used in this passage that have been traditionally interpreted to denote torment - "eternal punishment", and "eternal Fire. Now I think it would be fair to conclude from the text that Eternal Fire and Eternal Punishment are equivalent terms because eternal punishment in this parable is represented as a banishment into eternal fire. But do either of these combinations necessitate conscious suffering?

    WHAT ABOUT "ETERNAL PUNISHMENT": Does the word "punishment" or the words "eternal" and "punishment" together imply or necessitate torment?

    To Punish (according to Webster's) is

    1. to impose a penalty on for a fault or crime.

    2. to inflict a penalty for (i.e.. treason with death)

    3. to inflict injury on: syn. chasten, discipline, correct.

    The Greek "kolasis", used only twice in the New Testament, is the word translated "punishment" in this text. Its primary signification is to "cut off" or prune or lop off; its secondary meaning is to restrain. The primary meaning here would suggest that while the righteous go to life, the wicked are forever deprived of or "cut off" from life. About kolasis, Fudge says;

    The Septuagint puts 'kolasis' for mikshol, which means a stumbling block that leads to ruin. The word Jesus uses is applied to the Egyptian plague (Wisdom of Sol.11:13; 16:2; 24) but also to their death in the Red Sea (Wisdom of Sol.19:4).

    It refers to punishment by death in I Samuel 25:31 and Ezekiel 21:15. "Punishment" may certainly include conscious pain, as in all the examples above, but it does not have to. The same word is applied to an idol of wood or stone in Wisdom of Solomon 14:10, which says that, "that which was made [idol] shall be punished together with him that made it"

    - Could the "eternal punishment" of the wicked simply be "eternal death" or "everlasting destruction"?

    WHAT ABOUT ETERNAL FIRE: Does "eternal fire" clearly denote either conscious experience, or a continual burning flame which causes endless suffering? Or could "eternal fire" simply be a metaphor for eternal destruction? Interestingly, because something is eternal/everlasting in scripture does not necessitate endless perpetuity of action. For example, the scripture speaks of "Eternal Judgment", Hebrews 6:2, not in the sense that the final judgment scene will be reenacted day after day for eternity, but that a final judgment will be made that will have eternal consequences for the wicked.

    - Similarly, rather than denoting an endless process of ongoing torture, could "eternal fire" be descriptive of a destruction which is unending in the sense that it is eternally irreversible?

    - In other words, could the consequences of the fire be eternal and not the burning process itself?

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