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Old 10-29-2016, 11:50 AM   #1
manna-man
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Default ETERNAL TORMENT IS FALSE TEACHING WHAT SAY YE'?

CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN THEOLOGIAN NO LONGER BELIEVES ETERNAL TORMENT

Jun 12, 2014235 views


by Babu G. Ranganathan

Although I am a conservative Christian (Reformed Baptist), I no longer believe that the Bible teaches or supports the traditional view of hell with its doctrine of eternal torment or suffering.

The Bible does teach eternal punishment, but that eternal punishment ultimately is not eternal suffering.

Although the wicked in hell, for a period, will suffer consciously for their individual sins, the ultimate penalty for sin itself will be the eternal literal death of soul and body and the eternal loss to immortality. That is what the Bible means by their eternal punishment. It is not the "punishing" that is eternal but, rather, the "punishment."

If pain is necessary for punishment then why do some societies have the death penalty? When a murderer is put to death he no longer feels pain. If he did then he wouldn't be dead. One thing for sure is that a murderer put to death by society no longer feels any pain from society. Does that then mean that society has not punished him since he no longer feels any more pain from society?

God's righteous wrath is not an end in itself but a means to an end - that end being the eternal literal destruction of the wicked. God will not allow sin to exist for eternity by keeping sinners alive for eternity in hell. Eternal torment is not necessary for God to satisfy His eternal justice.

But, what about those passages in the Bible which say that the wicked will go into "eternal fire" and that in hell there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth forever and ever," and other similar passages that seem to teach eternal torment? We shall examine, in this article, those and other passages from the Bible in the light of the context of Scripture and by comparing Scripture with Scripture.

Few in society realize just how much ancient Greek philosophy influenced early Christian thought on hell.

The ancient Greeks believed and taught that the human soul is immortal and indestructible. When early Christianity adopted this belief then it became only logical to believe that those who go to hell must suffer eternal torment.

More than anyone else, the early Church bishop Augustine influenced early Christianity's adoption of this ancient Greek belief about the nature of the soul. Augustine was a great admirer and follower of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato even after converting to Christianity. It was Plato who systematically formulated ancient Greek belief and thought concerning the nature of the human soul.

The Bible, however, teaches that man by nature is completely mortal and that immortality is a gift of God to be realized only on Resurrection Day for those who have put their faith and trust in God's Son Jesus Christ for salvation because Christ's death on the Cross fully paid for our sins and His resurrection from the grave is the guarantee of future immortality for all who believe in Him.

Interestingly, even Adam and Eve were not created as immortal from the beginning. That is why there was placed the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden of Eden.

Some have argued that because man was created in the image of God then all humans must possess an immortal soul. However, being created in the image of God doesn't necessarily mean that we must possess every attribute or even possible attribute that God possess. For example, God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent - but we are not. The Bible is clear that immortality is an attribute that will be given only on Resurrection Day for those who have put their trust in Christ for salvation.

In Genesis 2:17 God told Adam not to eat the fruit of a certain tree (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) and God also told Adam that if he did eat of it he would die on that very day. Specifically, God said to Adam, "For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." But the Biblical record shows that Adam did not physically die on the very day he disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit. Because Adam did not physically die on the very day that he disobeyed God most Christians believe that God was referring to spiritual death and not physical death.

However, in the original Hebrew, in which the Old Testament was written, the grammatical tense of the word "die" in Genesis 2:17 is in the imperfect mood. The imperfect mood denotes a process. Thus, what God was actually saying to Adam is that he would start dying on the day he ate the forbidden fruit. The literal translation from the Hebrew of what God said to Adam is: "Dying you will die." God was not, therefore, referring to spiritual death but to physical death. The fact that God later prevented Adam and Eve from having access to the tree of life (Genesis 3:22-24) so that they would not live eternally in sin proves that God was referring to physical death and not spiritual death.

There are good Scriptural reasons to believe that the soul also is physical but distinct from the rest of the body, but that is another subject. Whether physical or not physical, man's soul, along with the rest of man, was created completely mortal and that is the primary point being addressed here.

The penalty for sin, then, is the death of both soul and body so that man will not live eternally in sin. Not only is God not cruel in His eternal justice, but a holy God will not allow His moral creatures to exist eternally in sin. God will not immortalize sin and evil by making the wicked in hell immortal! All of this contradicts the traditional doctrine and teaching, taught in most churches, about the wicked having an immortal soul and body in hell.

What about "eternal fire", "unquenchable fire", "weeping and gnashing of teeth forever", the account by Jesus about the Rich Man and Lazarus, and other similar passages in the Bible that seem to teach eternal torment? The key, in many cases, is in understanding the context in which these and other similar phrases are used in various parts of Scripture.

For example, figures of speech such as "unquenchable fire" are used in the Bible to mean that the process of destruction is unstoppable or irreversible. We see an example of this in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel 20:47-48 where God says that when His judgment comes on the land even every green tree will burn and that the fire "will not be quenched". Obviously, those trees are not still burning. It is important to understand just why God uses such terms in Scripture as "unquenchable fire".

In the Bible, there were some judgments of God in which His wrath was quenched or stopped such as in the case when Moses interceded and pleaded before God for the rebellious Israelites in the desert. When Moses did this God stopped or quenched His wrath against the rebellious Israelites. Thus, when God says, in Scripture, that the wicked in the end will be destroyed with unquenchable fire what He simply means is that nothing can intervene to prevent Him from carrying out His wrath fully through to its completion. Over and over in the Scriptures God is described in judgment as being a consuming fire. God's righteous wrath in judgment is not an end in itself but a means to an end.

Unlike the burning bush in Exodus that Moses observed was not consumed by the fire but was preserved by God, the Scriptures teach that God, in the end, will not preserve the wicked in the fire of hell but instead will completely consume and destroy them!

Contrary to popular belief and interpretation, the phrase in Scripture "where their worm dieth not" is not a reference to the undying human soul or conscience. We have already seen statements in Scripture that God will destroy, not preserve or keep alive, the bodies and souls of the wicked in the Day of Judgment. The worm and fire were figures that people in Jesus' time could readily identify and understand because in that time the dead bodies of those who suffered dishonor in society were all commonly thrown into a certain valley where fire and worms devoured these bodies. Jesus simply seeks to convey, in figurative language, that in hell (gehenna) neither the fire nor the worm will cease until the wicked are totally consumed or destroyed!

The word "forever" is another example. In Scripture the word "forever" does not always mean endless or eternal duration. For example, in Exodus 21:6 (KJV Version) we read that certain people were to be servants "forever". Obviously this cannot mean eternity. The word "forever" or "everlasting", in the original Hebrew and Greek languages of Scripture, simply means the entire length or duration of something. If that something is immortal then the word "forever" or "everlasting" must mean eternity. But, if that something is mortal or temporary in nature then, obviously, the word "forever" or "everlasting" cannot mean eternity.

What about where the Bible says in Revelation 20:10 that the devil (or Satan) will be tormented forever and ever? Before answering this question, I wish to point out that Bible definitely teaches the devil will be consumed and destroyed.

We read a description of Satan's ultimate and eternal destruction in Ezekiel 28:14-19. Although this passage is immediately addressed to the ancient King of Tyre (verse 11), it is clear from the context of the passage that God is speaking to Satan (the evil spirit behind the King of Tyre) because the descriptions given cannot fit that of any human being or human king.

We read in verses 14 and 15: “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” This passage is referring to the devil when he was Lucifer (a good angel or cherub) before he sinned against God.

And, then we read in verses 18 and 19 what God says to the devil: “… therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.”

Another good Bible translation (the NIV) puts verses 18 and 19 this way: " ... So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All the nations that knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more."

If Ezekiel 28 teaches that the Devil will be destroyed (consumed) and be no more, how, then, do we explain Revelation 20:10 which says that the devil will be tormented forever and ever?

The first point to realize is that Revelation is a book filled with symbolic language, and, therefore, the book is not to be interpreted literally. The book itself tells us not to interpret it literally. In the very first verse of the very first chapter we read, "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God (the Father) gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John" (Revelation 1:1). The word "signified" in the passage comes from a Greek word meaning "signs" or "symbols."

Bible scholar, theologian, and an attorney-at-law, Edward Fudge makes these comments:

“In these closing chapters of Revelation, even the word torment itself is sometimes a symbol for total destruction and death. The wicked city Babylon is pictured as a woman whose judgment in chapter 18 is “torment and grief,” which turns out to be “death, mourning, and famine,” and she is “consumed by fire.” It is not unthinkable, therefore, to understand torment of the devil, beast, and false prophet as death and consumption by fire which are never reversed” (“No Need to Waver” by Edward Fudge quoted from the Internet site Rethinking Hell http://www.rethinkinghell.com/).

When the Bible talks about eternal judgment, or eternal damnation, or eternal destruction, it is in reference to the result and not the process! It is not the punishing that is eternal but rather the punishment! It is not the destroying that is eternal but rather the destruction! It is not the dying that is eternal but rather the death. Just as eternal redemption in the Bible does not mean that the process of redeeming is eternal but rather its result (no one would be saved if the process of redeeming were eternal) so too the eternal judgment of the wicked refers to the result of their judgment being eternal and not the process.

The example, however, that indisputably settles the issue is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Jude 7 says that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah "are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." The word "example" in the verse comes from the original Greek New Testament word "deigma," and wherever any form of this Greek word is used in the New Testament it means an example that is visible to the eye. Now in what way were Sodom and Gomorrah an example of destruction by eternal fire? They were an example in the fact that these cities suffered total destruction (annihilation) and they also suffered irrevocable destruction because they would never exist as cities again.

One may attempt to argue that the souls of Sodom and Gomorrah are burning forever in hell now, but if that were the case then Scripture cannot use the destruction of these cities as a visible example of judgment by eternal fire, since that is not something that one can observe. When one gives an example of something to another it must be by its very nature visible or observable. After all, the purpose of the example was for living humanity on earth to see what judgment by eternal fire means. Besides, the belief that the souls of the wicked will burn eternally in hell is based on the unbiblical assumption that their souls are immortal or indestructible.

What about Revelation 14:9-11 where it says: "the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night"? Doesn't this passage in Scripture prove eternal torment? No. We also read in Isaiah 34:10 that while Edom was burning day and night the smoke of the city would ascend up forever and ever. Does that mean that Edom would never stop burning? Of course, not! The language simply signifies that the burning of Edom will ultimately end in permanent (or irrevocable and eternal) destruction. We know that Edom doesn't exist anymore. Similarly, we are to understand the same from the passage in Revelation 14:9-11. The smoke of their torment arising "forever and ever" in the passage does not mean that the torment of the wicked will never end. The language simply signifies that the torment of the wicked will lead to their permanent (or irrevocable and eternal) destruction. During the process of their destruction the wicked will be tormented but that process will ultimately end in their eternal annihilation, which is what is signified by the use of the figure of smoke arising "forever and ever". This is the only interpretation of Revelation 14:9-11 that would be consistent with how the rest of Scripture uses such language and with what the rest of the Scriptures teach concerning the final and ultimate end of the wicked.

The context of Holy Scripture teaches that the eternal punishment of the wicked is ultimately their eternal annihilation and not eternal torment or suffering as the traditional doctrine of hell teaches. As one preacher has put it: "Eternal punishment is the eternal loss of life not an eternal life of loss".

Eternal life in Scripture has the same meaning as immortality (i.e. Romans 2:7) which Christians will possess only in the future on Resurrection Day. Various Scripture passages teach immortality and eternal life to be a future possession for Christians. Why then did Jesus use the present tense when saying those who believe in Him have eternal life? The answer is that sometimes in the Bible the present tense is used to describe future events for the purpose of demonstrating their certainty. Scripture says God "calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Romans 4:17).

The Bible says Jesus Christ "hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10). The opposite of eternal life (or immortality) is eternal death (the eternal and literal death of soul and body) - not eternally living in torment and suffering! "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting (eternal) life" (John 3:16). The issue is not what we think eternal punishment ought to be. The issues are God's character, God's definition of ultimate justice, and God's eternal purposes.

That the Lake of Fire (in the Book of Revelation) stands for annihilation is indisputable because Revelation 20:14 states that the Lake of Fire is the second death. What is the second death? Well, it is certainly not spiritual death because those cast into the Lake of Fire (i.e. the wicked on judgment day) were already spiritually dead. The difference between the first death and the second death is that the first death is temporary since everyone, the righteous and the wicked, will be resurrected in the Last Day to face final judgment. The book of Daniel tells us that the righteous and the wicked will all be resurrected on the same day. The second death, on the other hand, is eternal (or permanent) with no resurrection to follow. Only the wicked will experience the second death. It is not the punishing that is eternal but rather the punishment (the cessation of being) that is eternal and permanent. The wicked will experience the second death (permanent cessation of being) only after they suffer consciously for their individual guilt and sins.

In Ephesians 2 the Apostle Paul says that believers were once dead in trespasses and sins but were made (or raised) alive with Christ and raised to sit together in heavenly places. Paul is talking about physical death and life. What Paul is saying is that believers were once under the sentence of death because of their sins but because of Christ’s resurrection (and they were raised with Christ they will live eternally. How was Christ raised? Physically. The resurrection hasn’t happened yet but Paul puts it in the past as because of its certainty. Paul even says (in the past tense) that believers have been seated with Christ in heavenly. This, too, hasn’t happened yet but is certain.

We must base our views of hell and the after life on what the Bible teaches, not on tradition or mere human philosophies and opinions. We must not impose our philosophy of what God ought to be upon Holy Scripture! Not many people realize the fact that in the New Testament there are different Greek words for the word "hell." But unfortunately the English Bible translates these different words for hell as one word, and this has been a cause of much confusion for those who wish to study the subject. The New Testament Greek words for hell are "Hades" and "Gehenna" and they both have different meanings. Hades means the unseen world of the dead and is only a temporary abode. It has nothing to do with punishment or reward. It is equivalent to the Hebrew word "Sheol" in the Old Testament in its meaning. Gehenna, on the other hand, is the abode of eternal punishment of the wicked.

Scripture teaches that both the wicked and righteous will be resurrected, but only the righteous (in and through Christ’s redemptive work) will obtain immortal bodies. The wicked will not inherit immortal bodies. They will be judged for their sins and in hell will suffer consciously for their individual sins before they are eternally destroyed in body and soul.

What about Daniel 12:2 where we read that the wicked will awaken to shame and everlasting contempt? The word “contempt” here is translated in other parts of Scripture as “disgust” or “abhorrence.” GJ Griz pointed out that in Isaiah 66:24 “the word is used in the context of disgust expressed by onlookers as they view the dead bodies or corpses of those slain in battle.” On Judgement Day when the wicked are destroyed, their destruction will evoke everlasting in minds and memories of the righteous.

The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16 has often been used by many Christians, especially preachers, as a depiction of the punishment that the wicked will suffer in hell. But this is not the case. In the first place when Jesus refers to the Rich Man being in torment in the flame of hell the Greek word for "hell" in the passage is not "Gehenna" (the place of final and eternal punishment), but rather it is the Greek word "Hades" (which in Scripture is the temporary abode of the dead). The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus, like the other series of parables before it, was used of the Lord to illustrate or depict the end of the rule of the Pharisees and to depict the end of the Jewish Era and dispensation (as represented by the Rich Man being in torment) and it was also used of the Lord to depict or illustrate the elevation of Gentile Christendom (as represented by Lazarus). Actually, Lazarus represented the poor Jews of Jesus' time who were ignored by the self-righteous religious leaders of Israel and he also represented the gentiles who, although rejected by the Jewish leaders, would nevertheless be accepted into the bosom of Abraham through their new found faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. The religious leaders of Israel had lived only for themselves and ignored the spiritual needs of the spiritually sick and starving people around them.

The concept that Hades was a place divided into two compartments, one of suffering for the wicked and the other of bliss for the righteous, was a Jewish belief that had developed during the Intertestamental period, the period of time in between when the Old and New Testaments were written. Thus, this particular view of Hades was not canonical, that is it was not something that God Himself had revealed to the Jews through Scripture. There is no evidence in Scripture that Hades is a place where the wicked suffer while awaiting their final and permanent judgment in Gehenna. Such a concept of Hades developed as a result of ancient Greek influences on Jewish thinking about the nature of the soul. In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Jesus was simply borrowing this popular Jewish folklore of Hades to use as an illustration to make a point to the Pharisees and religious leaders of His day, but He was not necessarily endorsing the folklore as being doctrinally valid or correct. There are various passages in the Old Testament, such as in Psalms, that tell us that there is no consciousness in Sheol (the Hebrew equivalent of Hades in the Old Testament).

Some argue that the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus is not a parable because Jesus did not formally introduce it as a parable. But, Jesus did not always formally introduce His stories as parables, and there are various examples of that in the Gospels. Now, it is true that in His parables Jesus used things that actually existed to fill in for illustrations and figures, but in the particular case of the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus the Lord used a popular existing Jewish myth about Hades for the purposes of constructing a story. Jesus simply used the Pharisees' own superstitious belief about Hades against them!

Why didn't Jesus rebuke the Pharisees' belief about Hades as being wrong? Jesus didn't go around always rebuking every wrong doctrine. For example, in Jesus' time it was a common Jewish belief (from the influence of Greek philosophy) that souls could commit individual sins before birth. That is why we read in John 9:1-3 that Jesus' disciples believed a certain man was born blind because he may have committed some great sin before his physical conception in the womb. Jesus didn't respond by telling His disciples that such a belief is doctrinally wrong but instead healed the blind man.

Many Christians find it difficult to believe that the soul as well as the body can die. The soul, they say, can live on and be conscious even after the body decays into the dust. Christians generally believe that Jesus confirmed the existence of consciousness in hades because of what He said to the repentant thief who also was dying on a cross beside Him. But it must be kept in mind that in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament there were no punctuation marks such as commas. The punctuation marks found in our English Bibles, for example, were provided by the translators. So depending upon where the comma actually is in a sentence can change the entire meaning of the sentence. The passage in Luke 23:43 of the English Bible is translated with the comma before the word "today" so that Jesus is saying to the repentant thief, "Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with Me in paradise." It gives the meaning that the thief would join Jesus in paradise on that very day. But what if the comma in the sentence is placed after the word "today." Then the sentence that Jesus said would read, "Verily I say unto thee today, thou shalt be with Me in paradise." It changes the entire meaning of the sentence. Then Jesus is not necessarily saying that the repentant thief would join Him in paradise on that very day. The Bible repeatedly refers to Christians who had died as being "asleep" indicating that their death is only temporary since they will one day be resurrected to immortality and eternal life.

But if there is no consciousness for the dead until Resurrection Day why did the Apostle Paul say that he desires "to depart, and to be present with Christ" (Philippians 1:23). In 2 Corinthians 5 Paul defines that to be absent from the body and be present with the Lord means to be clothed in our resurrected bodies. Paul didn't mind death because he knew that the very next conscious thing he would experience after death would be joyful and perfect eternal fellowship with Christ at the Resurrection. This is why the early Christians thought so much about the resurrection, because they knew that is when they'll see the Lord again and have eternal fellowship with Him.

Why is the resurrection so important if the person (the soul) doesn't actually die with the body? Why is the resurrection so important if the souls of Christians will already be with Christ and enjoying fellowship with Him even after death of the body. Why are most Christians so big on Christ rising from the dead on Easter Day if He really didn't die at all but only His body?

A very important question arises that needs to be answered. If Jesus Christ was truly God how then could He completely die (in body and soul) since the Scriptures teach that God is immutable (unchanging). In answer to this question it is important to understand that everything about God, including His immutability and His very existence itself, is dependent upon His moral nature. God's immutability is conditional upon His moral nature. In fact, it would be theologically safe to say that the only thing about God that cannot change at all is His moral nature. Thus, it is only God's moral nature which is truly unconditionally immutable. In the context of Scripture, when God says "I am the Lord. I change not" (Malachi 3:6) it is in reference to His moral being and nature. Whatever God can do or cannot do is governed by His moral constitution or nature. For example, the Scripture says in Hebrews 6:18 that it is impossible for God to lie. Thus, when Scripture tells us elsewhere that with God all things are possible it must be understood from the context of comparing Scripture with Scripture that only all things are possible with God which are not contradictory to His moral nature. In other words, God is only as immutable as His moral nature allows Him to be. What does all this mean? It means that when God the Son (Jesus Christ) took the legal guilt and liability for our sins on the Cross then His divine moral nature required that He die since the penalty for sin is death. As He had to be true to His moral nature the Son gave up His life. It is precisely because of the immutability of His moral nature that Christ (Who is God) died when He took the guilt of our sins! Because He was God Christ's death had infinite value so that it was not necessary for Him to remain dead for eternity in order for His death to satisfy the full penalty for our sins.

If Jesus was truly God and He died completely (in both body and soul), how then could He have raised His own body from the grave as He said He would. There are two possible answers. One is that when His soul was given back its life Christ then entered His own body and raised it up from the grave. The other possible answer is in understanding what Jesus said about His authority over His own life and death. Jesus said that the Father had given to Him authority to lay down His life and to have His life raised from the dead (John 10:11-18). Shortly before Jesus died He exercised this authority by entrusting to His Father His spirit (not the Holy Spirit in this case but rather the spirit which is the principle of life, the breath of life). Remember His words on the Cross, "Father into Thy hands I commend My spirit" (Luke 23:46). By doing this He gave authority for death to overtake Him on account of our sins for which He died but He also had delegated His right and authority over His own life to the Father to raise Him up from the dead. In this way Jesus was very much responsible for both His own death and resurrection. What great love and condescension the Son of God subjected Himself to on our behalf! The reader is urged to examine in more detail the Biblical fact of Christ's Godhood and Deity in the author's Internet article: Christ Was Begotten - Not Created.

By no means is the doctrine of conditional immortality new teaching. A minority of Christians, of various denominations, have held to this view of hell throughout the centuries. Even some very prominent Christians of the past have held to this view and there are a number (albeit a minority) of Christian theologians and scholars in the present who hold to this view. However, this view on hell, unfortunately, is known so little outside the Christian community and even inside the Christian community for that matter.

Many of the early Protestant Reformers, including Martin Luther, held to the view that man, by nature, is entirely mortal (including the soul), but the great Reformer John Calvin opposed this view and specifically wrote against it and insisted that all of the Reformers present a united front. An excellent Internet site containing information on all of this is "Champions of Conditional Immortality In History".

I highly recommend to all readers Dr. Edward Fudge's thoroughly biblical and scholarly work "The Fire That Consumes". The book is foreworded by the great evangelical scholar F.F. Bruce. This book should be required reading in every seminary and Bible school!

I encourage all to read my larger article "The Bible Vs. The Traditional View of Hell" at my website http://bgrnathan.blogspot.com/2010/0...w-of-hell.html for more comprehensive and in-depth coverage of this subject. Other questions and arguments, not raised here, are answered thoroughly in my larger article. I also hope that this information will shed new light in reading the New Testament, particularly the Gospels.

The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, has his bachelor's degree with concentrations in theology and biology and has been recognized for his writings on religion and science in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who in The East."
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Old 10-29-2016, 04:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: ETERNAL TORMENT IS FALSE TEACHING WHAT SAY YE'?

This topic is really about -
Is the soul eternal? (that is, can it never die, in which case hell is everlasting torture), or, can the soul die (can the soul be destroyed, as in, cease to exist, that is, hell is to cause the soul to be obliterated).

I think Mr Ranganathan is right. The teaching of the immortal soul is not correct.

This is supported by a few observations:

1. What the Bible says:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/the_immortal_soul

Matt 10:28 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

The destruction of the soul (rather than its preservation for eternal torture) seems to be what Jesus taught.

2. The old Testament does not teach the immortal soul.

"The belief in the immortality of the soul came to the Jews from contact with Greek thought and chiefly through the philosophy of Plato, its principal exponent, who was led to it through Orphic and Eleusinian mysteries in which Babylonian and Egyptian views were strangely blended"


http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/ar...ty-of-the-soul
The belief that the soul continues its existence after the dissolution of the body is a matter of philosophical or theological speculation rather than of simple faith, and is accordingly nowhere expressly taught in Holy Scripture. As long as the soul was conceived to be merely a breath ("nefesh"; "neshamah"; comp. "anima"), and inseparably connected, if not identified, with the life-blood (Gen. ix. 4, comp. iv. 11; Lev. xvii. 11; see Soul), no real substance could be ascribed to it. As soon as the spirit or breath of God ("nishmat" or "ruaḥ ḥayyim"), which was believed to keep body and soul together, both in man and in beast (Gen. ii. 7, vi. 17, vii. 22; Job xxvii. 3), is taken away (Ps. cxlvi. 4) or returns to God (Eccl. xii. 7; Job xxxiv. 14), the soul goes down to Sheol or Hades, there to lead a shadowy existence without life and consciousness (Job xiv. 21; Ps. vi. 6 [A. V. 5], cxv. 17; Isa. xxxviii. 18; Eccl. ix. 5, 10). The belief in a continuous life of the soul, which underlies primitive Ancestor Worship and the rites of necromancy, practised also in ancient Israel (I Sam. xxviii. 13 et seq.; Isa. viii. 19; see Necromancy), was discouraged and suppressed by prophet and lawgiver as antagonistic to the belief in Yhwh, the God of life, the Ruler of heaven and earth, whose reign was not extended over Sheol until post-exilic times (Ps. xvi. 10, xlix. 16, cxxxix. 8).



3. Common sense - how does a soul suffer in a fire anyway? Only a physical body can feel pain and suffer in a fire.
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Old 10-29-2016, 05:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: ETERNAL TORMENT IS FALSE TEACHING WHAT SAY YE'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
This topic is really about -
Is the soul eternal?
This is supported by a few observations:

1. What the Bible says:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/the_immortal_soul

Matt 10:28 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

The destruction of the soul (rather than its preservation for eternal torture) seems to be what Jesus taught.
The verse says "fear Him who CAN destroy both body and soul in hell," but does NOT say He WILL. Also, there are several Greek words for destroy in English. You should not assume that it means a "termination of existence."

John 5.29 indicates two kinds of resurrections, one of life and the other of judgment. In all cases in the Bible, resurrection meant the body came back to life, as opposed to when Samuel spoke to Saul from the grave. Ones like Lazarus and the many saints in Matthew 27.52-53 resurrected with their same bodies only to die at a later time. In other words, both Jesus and Lazarus were recognizable, and did not receive some foreign looking body.

The comment was made that a soul can not suffer, only a body can. All men (and women, of course) live, die, will be resurrected, and then face judgment in their body. (Hebrew 9.27) Those who believe will be judged by the Lord before the millennial kingdom, and those who do not believe will be judged at the great white throne after the kingdom.
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Old 10-29-2016, 05:31 PM   #4
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The verse says "fear Him who CAN destroy both body and soul in hell," but does NOT say He WILL. Also, there are several Greek words for destroy in English. You should not assume that it means a "termination of existence."

John 5.29 indicates two kinds of resurrections, one of life and the other of judgment. In all cases in the Bible, resurrection meant the body came back to life, as opposed to when Samuel spoke to Saul from the grave. Ones like Lazarus and the many saints in Matthew 27.52-53 resurrected with their same bodies only to die at a later time. In other words, both Jesus and Lazarus were recognizable, and did not receive some foreign looking body.

The comment was made that a soul can not suffer, only a body can. All men (and women, of course) live, die, will be resurrected, and then face judgment in their body. (Hebrew 9.27) Those who believe will be judged by the Lord before the millennial kingdom, and those who do not believe will be judged at the great white throne after the kingdom.
The resurrected unbeliever will be thrown into the lake of fire to die a second time , a physical death. After that they will cease to exist. Souls cannot burn. Souls cannot suffer from fire, a soul without a body cannot experience any physical pain. Eternal torment teaches that souls are tormented forever in a lake of fire. The problem is how can a soul be tormented by fire? It can't.
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:44 PM   #5
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Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever.

I don't think this indicates that their torment will be forever and ever, rather the smoke is the testimony that they were judged, and that judgement will stand forever and ever.

After the holocaust those who committed this crime were judged. If you view the judgement on the guilty to be "smoke", the testimony of them being burned, then that smoke will be forever and ever. We have seen that. The criminals were judged, killed and died.

But 70 years later we are continually revisiting that judgement. That smoke rises to God as a testimony of righteous judgement.

So no, I don't think this verse teaches eternal torment, rather it teaches the value of righteous judgement for eternity.

I think they have confused a Living Memorial with Eternal Torment.
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Old 10-30-2016, 08:56 AM   #6
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You're all coming at this subject with a least two unsupported assumptions:

1.That the writers of the Bible knew what they were talking about. We have a lot more knowledge of the universe then they did during Biblical times, and so far, I'm not aware that anyone has discovered a place that fits the Biblical description of hell. Sure, there are the so-called near death experience [NDEs]. But, at this point in the state of knowledge, NDEs are more likely neuropsychological than metaphysical.

2. That the writers all believed the same thing about the after-life. Since many of them were not aware of each other and wrote at different times as the Judaeo-Christian religion developed, its more likely that there is a variety of beliefs about these things.
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:55 AM   #7
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LOL! Ken...

The same could be said about you or me.

IMHO, it can be difficult to discredit eye witnesses.

I'm perplexed by your vague statement but it does have me now wondering if there were blue skies or overcast skies on the days they may not have known what they were talking about...I really wonder if they were intellectual enough to comprehend anything. :-)
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:47 PM   #8
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Hey Jr. Glad you're hear to get spunky with our traditional conceptions of hell.

Could a loving God invent an eternal cosmic torture chamber?

Well, you provided a quote (a long one by the way), so I'll answer this with a quote (see if you get it):

"This Bible is built mainly out of the fragments of older Bibles that had their day and crumbled to ruin. So it noticeably lacks in originality, necessarily. Its three or four most imposing and impressive events all happened in earlier Bibles; all its best precepts and rules of conduct came also from those Bibles; there are only two new things in it: hell, for one, and that singular heaven I have told you about. What shall we do? If we believe, with these people, that their God invented these cruel things, we slander him; if we believe that these people invented them themselves, we slander them. It is an unpleasant dilemma in either case, for neither of these parties has done us any harm. For the sake of tranquillity, let us take a side. Let us join forces with the people and put the whole ungracious burden upon him—heaven, hell, Bible and all. It does not seem right, it does not seem fair; and yet when you consider that heaven, and how crushingly charged it is with everything that is repulsive to a human being, how can we believe a human being invented it? And when I come to tell you about hell, the strain will be greater still, and you will be likely to say, No, a man would not provide that place, for either himself or anybody else; he simply couldn’t."
~ Twain, Mark. Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings (Perennial Classics) (Kindle Locations 240-246). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
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Old 10-30-2016, 01:06 PM   #9
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LOL! Ken...

The same could be said about you or me.

IMHO, it can be difficult to discredit eye witnesses.

I'm perplexed by your vague statement but it does have me now wondering if there were blue skies or overcast skies on the days they may not have known what they were talking about...I really wonder if they were intellectual enough to comprehend anything. :-)
How could they be eye witnesses to eternal torment or hell?
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Old 10-30-2016, 01:21 PM   #10
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You're all coming at this subject with a least two unsupported assumptions:

1.That the writers of the Bible knew what they were talking about. We have a lot more knowledge of the universe then they did during Biblical times, and so far, I'm not aware that anyone has discovered a place that fits the Biblical description of hell. Sure, there are the so-called near death experience [NDEs]. But, at this point in the state of knowledge, NDEs are more likely neuropsychological than metaphysical.

2. That the writers all believed the same thing about the after-life. Since many of them were not aware of each other and wrote at different times as the Judaeo-Christian religion developed, its more likely that there is a variety of beliefs about these things.
How do we know that you are not a computer generating posts on a forum.

Even the so-called eye-witnesses who once knew you cannot be trusted since we know so much more than we did back in the 20th century.

I need substantial, verifiable, and testable evidence to prove you are really a human, until then I must assume otherwise.
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Old 10-30-2016, 01:57 PM   #11
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How do we know that you are not a computer generating posts on a forum.

Even the so-called eye-witnesses who once knew you cannot be trusted since we know so much more than we did back in the 20th century.

I need substantial, verifiable, and testable evidence to prove you are really a human, until then I must assume otherwise.
There are few things I am more certain of than the fact that I am not a robot. I doubt that you have serious doubts about it either. If you did, it's easy enough for you to check out. Not so for statements about hell or eternal torment or the after-life in general which we have NO way to verify short of suicide in which case you likely will not be reporting back. So your argument has minimal bearing on the question at hand.
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Old 10-30-2016, 04:12 PM   #12
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Ken,

Your efforts would be better served making a case against those who perpetuated the myth/false doctrine of eternal torment. Not trying to debunk me for making the case. Anyone that has put any thought into it knows God couldn't be so evil.
I will remain cautious to enter into a deep discussion with you or Harold because it is quite evident that you two go way beyond reasonable efforts to twist the truths with your contorted narratives.
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Old 10-30-2016, 04:23 PM   #13
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Hey Jr. Glad you're hear to get spunky with our traditional conceptions of hell.

Could a loving God invent an eternal cosmic torture chamber?

Well, you provided a quote (a long one by the way), so I'll answer this with a quote (see if you get it):

"This Bible is built mainly out of the fragments of older Bibles that had their day and crumbled to ruin. So it noticeably lacks in originality, necessarily. Its three or four most imposing and impressive events all happened in earlier Bibles; all its best precepts and rules of conduct came also from those Bibles; there are only two new things in it: hell, for one, and that singular heaven I have told you about. What shall we do? If we believe, with these people, that their God invented these cruel things, we slander him; if we believe that these people invented them themselves, we slander them. It is an unpleasant dilemma in either case, for neither of these parties has done us any harm. For the sake of tranquillity, let us take a side. Let us join forces with the people and put the whole ungracious burden upon him—heaven, hell, Bible and all. It does not seem right, it does not seem fair; and yet when you consider that heaven, and how crushingly charged it is with everything that is repulsive to a human being, how can we believe a human being invented it? And when I come to tell you about hell, the strain will be greater still, and you will be likely to say, No, a man would not provide that place, for either himself or anybody else; he simply couldn’t."
~ Twain, Mark. Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings (Perennial Classics) (Kindle Locations 240-246). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
Crumbled to ruin?

Harold,

Only Satan himself would try to spin a narrative like yours and hope men would allow such foolishness to take root in their minds. You have thrown the baby out with the bathwater/given up on the gospel of Christ and crossed over to the dark side.
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Old 10-30-2016, 05:00 PM   #14
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Crumble to ruin?

Harold,

Only Satan himself would try to spin a narrative like yours and hope men would allow such foolishness to take root in their minds. You have thrown the baby out with the bathwater/given up on the gospel of Christ and crossed over to the dark side.
Now now Don. Harold's not Satan. A Halloween witch maybe, but not Satan.
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Old 10-30-2016, 05:19 PM   #15
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Now now Don. Harold's not Satan. A Halloween witch maybe, but not Satan.
Ken...you and Harold remind me of a couple of characters in the book "screwtape letters by C.S. Lewis.)
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Old 10-30-2016, 07:15 PM   #16
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Crumbled to ruin?

Harold,

Only Satan himself would try to spin a narrative like yours and hope men would allow such foolishness to take root in their minds. You have thrown the baby out with the bathwater/given up on the gospel of Christ and crossed over to the dark side.
I am not the topic of this thread.
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Old 10-30-2016, 07:42 PM   #17
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I am not the topic of this thread.
Sure you are.

And so am I and everyone else.

Is it not a main function of this group to have open discussions and express our experiences
and ideas? You do this all the time. Must I abide by a different standard that you helped form here on Alternative views? A quick review of your posts will validate that you are...(Your Opinions). Are the topic on many threads.
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Old 10-30-2016, 08:06 PM   #18
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This topic is really about -
Is the soul eternal? (that is, can it never die, in which case hell is everlasting torture), or, can the soul die (can the soul be destroyed, as in, cease to exist, that is, hell is to cause the soul to be obliterated).

I think Mr Ranganathan is right. The teaching of the immortal soul is not correct.

This is supported by a few observations:

1. What the Bible says:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/the_immortal_soul

Matt 10:28 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

The destruction of the soul (rather than its preservation for eternal torture) seems to be what Jesus taught.

2. The old Testament does not teach the immortal soul.

"The belief in the immortality of the soul came to the Jews from contact with Greek thought and chiefly through the philosophy of Plato, its principal exponent, who was led to it through Orphic and Eleusinian mysteries in which Babylonian and Egyptian views were strangely blended"


http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/ar...ty-of-the-soul
The belief that the soul continues its existence after the dissolution of the body is a matter of philosophical or theological speculation rather than of simple faith, and is accordingly nowhere expressly taught in Holy Scripture. As long as the soul was conceived to be merely a breath ("nefesh"; "neshamah"; comp. "anima"), and inseparably connected, if not identified, with the life-blood (Gen. ix. 4, comp. iv. 11; Lev. xvii. 11; see Soul), no real substance could be ascribed to it. As soon as the spirit or breath of God ("nishmat" or "ruaḥ ḥayyim"), which was believed to keep body and soul together, both in man and in beast (Gen. ii. 7, vi. 17, vii. 22; Job xxvii. 3), is taken away (Ps. cxlvi. 4) or returns to God (Eccl. xii. 7; Job xxxiv. 14), the soul goes down to Sheol or Hades, there to lead a shadowy existence without life and consciousness (Job xiv. 21; Ps. vi. 6 [A. V. 5], cxv. 17; Isa. xxxviii. 18; Eccl. ix. 5, 10). The belief in a continuous life of the soul, which underlies primitive Ancestor Worship and the rites of necromancy, practised also in ancient Israel (I Sam. xxviii. 13 et seq.; Isa. viii. 19; see Necromancy), was discouraged and suppressed by prophet and lawgiver as antagonistic to the belief in Yhwh, the God of life, the Ruler of heaven and earth, whose reign was not extended over Sheol until post-exilic times (Ps. xvi. 10, xlix. 16, cxxxix. 8).



3. Common sense - how does a soul suffer in a fire anyway? Only a physical body can feel pain and suffer in a fire.
Good post Evangelical. Interesting enough, Twain has some things to say about death and hell, that relates to your post. By the way, this is a fictitious story about Satan writing to his brothers in heaven, Michael and Gabriel, telling them what he finds on the earth. Enjoy :

"Letter X
The two Testaments are interesting, each in its own way. The Old one gives us a picture of these people’s Deity as he was before he got religion, the other one gives us a picture of him as he appeared afterward. The Old Testament is interested mainly in blood and sensuality. The New one in Salvation. Salvation by fire. The first time the Deity came down to earth, he brought life and death; when he came the second time, he brought hell.

Life was not a valuable gift, but death was. Life was a fever-dream made up of joys embittered by sorrows, pleasure poisoned by pain; a dream that was a nightmare-confusion of spasmodic and fleeting delights, ecstasies, exultations, happinesses, interspersed with long-drawn miseries, griefs, perils, horrors, disappointments, defeats, humiliations, and despairs—the heaviest curse devisable by divine ingenuity; but death was sweet, death was gentle, death was kind; death healed the bruised spirit and the broken heart, and gave them rest and forgetfulness; death was man’s best friend; when man could endure life no longer, death came and set him free. In time, the Deity perceived that death was a mistake; a mistake, in that it was insufficient; insufficient, for the reason that while it was an admirable agent for the inflicting of misery upon the survivor, it allowed the dead person himself to escape from all further persecution in the blessed refuge of the grave. This was not satisfactory. A way must be contrived to pursue the dead beyond the tomb. The Deity pondered this matter during four thousand years unsuccessfully, but as soon as he came down to earth and became a Christian his mind cleared and he knew what to do. He invented hell, and proclaimed it."
~ Twain, Mark. Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings (Perennial Classics) (Kindle Locations 688-697). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:19 PM   #19
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Ken...you and Harold remind me of a couple of characters in the book "screwtape letters by C.S. Lewis.)
You have such a vivid imagination. Good. A rich imagination is a sign of intelligence. But, let us hope, not intelligence gone array. I immensely enjoyed The Screwtape Letters @ 40 years ago when I was in college a member of Inter-varsity a campus Christian Club and the Baptist Student Union. That was before I was contacted by Witness Lee's Local Church where I was exhorted to read nothing but the Bible and Witness Lee's writings. Even Watchman Nee's works were discouraged because they weren't in the up-to-date flow. What an indoctrination I got there! Whew, it made my head spin like Linda Blair's in the Exorcist.

But, I digress... what you are doing is demonizing old Harold and I. And you are doing it quite literally rather than in the metaphorical sense in which the term is used in politics. What you're experiencing is a fear of the Other.

Personally, I don't mind it. It's not like I'm trying to be accepted in your cult or sect, or political pod or whatever. I am here at the pleasure of UntoHim who runs this joint and can kick me out at any time. He and I have had our go-rounds and we have come to appreciate each at least in the dungeon here that we call Alt Views. I rarely venture into the so-called "open" forums of this site where all but the orthodox evangelical argue with each other and other POVs freak people out. Boring.

So, anyway, this is kind of neutral ground where we can talk and tell the truth as we see it. So, welcome to you Don. I bear no animosity toward you for kicking me out of your special club or unfriending me. Given what I perceive to be your mindset, I wouldn't have it any other way.

So, Harold and I are threatening to you, dangerous as it were?
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:40 PM   #20
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Ken,

Your efforts would be better served making a case against those who perpetuated the myth/false doctrine of eternal torment. Not trying to debunk me for making the case. Anyone that has put any thought into it knows God couldn't be so evil.
I will remain cautious to enter into a deep discussion with you or Harold because it is quite evident that you two go way beyond reasonable efforts to twist the truths with your contorted narratives.
Not at all. I try to practice the philosophical principle of charity toward them and toward you. That includes putting the best possible construction on your opponent's views. What I usually see on Internet forums is the opposite practice of putting the worst possible construction on the opponent's views. Furthermore, I assume that you and they are persons of good will unless I see evidence to the contrary. In times of conflict such as we are living in today, don't you find that refreshing?

Deluded or not, I actually believe I am seeking the Truth. I would like to believe a universalist view not unlike that of the early church father Origen wherein everyone is eventually saved. But, alas, I have found the metaphysical skepticism of commentators like David Hume and Immanuel Kant to be persuasive. Sooo, my days of metaphysical dogma appear to be over, or at least on a long sabbatical.
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Old 10-31-2016, 06:50 AM   #21
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Not at all. I try to practice the philosophical principle of charity toward them and toward you. That includes putting the best possible construction on your opponent's views. What I usually see on Internet forums is the opposite practice of putting the worst possible construction on the opponent's views. Furthermore, I assume that you and they are persons of good will unless I see evidence to the contrary. In times like of conflict such as we are living in today, don't you find that refreshing?

Deluded or not, I actually believe I am seeking the Truth. I would like to believe a universalist view not unlike that of the early church father Origen wherein everyone is eventually saved. But, alas, I have found the metaphysical skepticism of commentators like David Hume and Immanuel Kant to be persuasive. Sooo, my days of metaphysical dogma appear to be over, or at least on a long sabbatical.
Searching for the Truth is more about learning to listen and know our heart/spirit, than an outward search for knowledge. I don't think you will find it on this forum or any other place that is not your own heart. Because the Truth is in our heart/spirit. Once we find that, then we can figure out all the doctrine in our mind later on. So I think the Truth is something you already have, you just need to tap into it to convince your mind.
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Old 10-31-2016, 07:13 AM   #22
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Searching for the Truth is more about learning to listen and know our heart/spirit, than an outward search for knowledge. I don't think you will find it on this forum or any other place that is not your own heart. Because the Truth is in our heart/spirit. Once we find that, then we can figure out all the doctrine in our mind later on. So I think the Truth is something you already have, you just need to tap into it to convince your mind.
I agree with the notion that the truth is in us. But the idea that we are going to tap into it now and use our minds later is wrong according to my experience. That reminds me of Witness Lee's "turn from your mind to your spirit" formula. I tried it for 13 years. It didn't work.
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:28 AM   #23
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Searching for the Truth is more about learning to listen and know our heart/spirit, than an outward search for knowledge. I don't think you will find it on this forum or any other place that is not your own heart. Because the Truth is in our heart/spirit. Once we find that, then we can figure out all the doctrine in our mind later on. So I think the Truth is something you already have, you just need to tap into it to convince your mind.
Like they say in the Eastern religions : You are what you seek.

And by the way, they don't have this hell problem over there. They didn't have the pleasure of meeting Jesus ; that's responsible for our present day conception of hell. To them, the soul lives on eternally, but reincarnates, around and around, until enough lessons are learned to earn 'em heaven. But I guess that's a kind of hell. This life kinda proves that. More of them would be a real and living hell. Maybe worse than fire. I don't know, cuz I've never burned and burned forever and ever, without being cremated.

But according to the person that offered the OP of this thread, I guess I might have an opportunity to find out. Maybe not, cuz he don't believe in hell. He's like a JW.
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Old 10-31-2016, 01:01 PM   #24
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Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
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Old 10-31-2016, 04:14 PM   #25
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Default Re: ETERNAL TORMENT IS FALSE TEACHING WHAT SAY YE'?

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Like they say in the Eastern religions : You are what you seek.

And by the way, they don't have this hell problem over there. They didn't have the pleasure of meeting Jesus ; that's responsible for our present day conception of hell. To them, the soul lives on eternally, but reincarnates, around and around, until enough lessons are learned to earn 'em heaven. But I guess that's a kind of hell. This life kinda proves that. More of them would be a real and living hell. Maybe worse than fire. I don't know, cuz I've never burned and burned forever and ever, without being cremated.

But according to the person that offered the OP of this thread, I guess I might have an opportunity to find out. Maybe not, cuz he don't believe in hell. He's like a JW.
We all will have the oppertunity to find out if we don't open our earlids and listen.

I don't wish any evil on you Awareness. In fact you are on the top of my daily prayer list.

Enjoy.....

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=...&v=8fXFIqHS9Ho
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Old 10-31-2016, 05:04 PM   #26
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You have such a vivid imagination. Good. A rich imagination is a sign of intelligence. But, let us hope, not intelligence gone array. I immensely enjoyed The Screwtape Letters @ 40 years ago when I was in college a member of Inter-varsity a campus Christian Club and the Baptist Student Union. That was before I was contacted by Witness Lee's Local Church where I was exhorted to read nothing but the Bible and Witness Lee's writings. Even Watchman Nee's works were discouraged because they weren't in the up-to-date flow. What an indoctrination I got there! Whew, it made my head spin like Linda Blair's in the Exorcist.

But, I digress... what you are doing is demonizing old Harold and I. And you are doing it quite literally rather than in the metaphorical sense in which the term is used in politics. What you're experiencing is a fear of the Other.

Personally, I don't mind it. It's not like I'm trying to be accepted in your cult or sect, or political pod or whatever. I am here at the pleasure of UntoHim who runs this joint and can kick me out at any time. He and I have had our go-rounds and we have come to appreciate each at least in the dungeon here that we call Alt Views. I rarely venture into the so-called "open" forums of this site where all but the orthodox evangelical argue with each other and other POVs freak people out. Boring.

So, anyway, this is kind of neutral ground where we can talk and tell the truth as we see it. So, welcome to you Don. I bear no animosity toward you for kicking me out of your special club or unfriending me. Given what I perceive to be your mindset, I wouldn't have it any other way.

So, Harold and I are threatening to you, dangerous as it were?
Not to me.... but IMHO to yourselves and innocent bystanders.

Shock value is over rated....

Unbridled tongues are like a ship without a rudder. They ram and sink newbies.

As I scan the topics here on Altered states......I can't imagine how this all came to be.
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Old 10-31-2016, 06:05 PM   #27
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I agree with the notion that the truth is in us. But the idea that we are going to tap into it now and use our minds later is wrong according to my experience. That reminds me of Witness Lee's "turn from your mind to your spirit" formula. I tried it for 13 years. It didn't work.
It would only be proved wrong if you have found the Truth by not tapping into it. When you find the Truth by not tapping into it, then you can say it is wrong according to your experience.
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Old 10-31-2016, 06:09 PM   #28
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Like they say in the Eastern religions : You are what you seek.

And by the way, they don't have this hell problem over there. They didn't have the pleasure of meeting Jesus ; that's responsible for our present day conception of hell. To them, the soul lives on eternally, but reincarnates, around and around, until enough lessons are learned to earn 'em heaven. But I guess that's a kind of hell. This life kinda proves that. More of them would be a real and living hell. Maybe worse than fire. I don't know, cuz I've never burned and burned forever and ever, without being cremated.

But according to the person that offered the OP of this thread, I guess I might have an opportunity to find out. Maybe not, cuz he don't believe in hell. He's like a JW.
The article is not about the existence of hell but whether or not the soul is indestructible.

Actually there's two main aspects. One is the imprecise translation of the word hell in the English bible. The other is whether the soul is indestructible or not. I think most Christians nowadays know that hell can refer to Hades or Gehenna, I mean I used to hear it sometimes in non-JW denominational churches.
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Old 10-31-2016, 07:42 PM   #29
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It would only be proved wrong if you have found the Truth by not tapping into it. When you find the Truth by not tapping into it, then you can say it is wrong according to your experience.
That's not the problem I'm having with your proposition. Rather it's your idea of using the mind later. It seems to me there is no truth without the mind. Truth occurs when the contents of the mind corresponds to reality. Falsity is when the contents of the mind don't.

Tapping is a metaphor. Like tapping into a water supply. When an image in your mind corresponds to reality, then you have "tapped" truth. Now the reality that your mind corresponds to could be a feeling or emotion or intuition. Or it could be a perception. That's how it seems to me.
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Old 10-31-2016, 07:53 PM   #30
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Not to me.... but IMHO to yourselves and innocent bystanders.

Shock value is over rated....

Unbridled tongues are like a ship without a rudder. They ram and sink newbies.

As I scan the topics here on Altered states......I can't imagine how this all came to be.
Personally I'm not going for shock value. My tongue is bridled with civility and the truth as I see it. You can make it your job to patch and float the newbies assuming that there are any following the forum. It might seem kind of patronizing to those you categorize as such though.
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:37 PM   #31
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We all will have the oppertunity to find out if we don't open our earlids and listen.

I don't wish any evil on you Awareness. In fact you are on the top of my daily prayer list.
Thanks Jr. you've been in my prayers too.

Now let's get back to the joys of eternal torment.
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Old 10-31-2016, 09:02 PM   #32
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They . . . sink newbies.
The most important thing the newbies can learn is critical thinking, and to think for themselves ... to not just accept the traditions of me, that so many want to push on them.
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Old 11-01-2016, 02:54 AM   #33
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The most important thing the newbies can learn is critical thinking, and to think for themselves ... to not just accept the traditions of me, that so many want to push on them.
Eehhem!

What happened to getting back to the joys of eternal torment?

Here's the truth in Love.

You tried to destroy that group. You were rude to my cousin. You entered that group with guns blazing and no consideration for anyones situation and total disregard for what I was attempting to do.

It was nothing but a joke to you. In that one morning you generated at least 30 notifications to everyone in the group. These people didn't even have time to understand that they have been placed into that group just like yourself.

If anything they were getting a crash coarse in critical thinking like you say! But when my cousin stood up and declared o you..."if you don't like the group..you know the way out" Obviously defending the group I just started.

You unleashed on her. This all happened before 9:30 a.m. of the first day of the group.

You said to me..essentially....the group needed you with your vast knowledge and books you had accumulated.

You even dared me to remove you from the group!

And yes.... There were over 230 witnesses!

Am I afraid of you?

No.

But I am wise to what you are doing.

You are sowing doubt to all who would believe you and passing it off as responsible reasoning.
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Old 11-01-2016, 04:43 AM   #34
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The most important thing the newbies can learn is critical thinking, and to think for themselves ... to not just accept the traditions of me, that so many want to push on them.
Eehhem!

What happened to getting back to the joys of eternal torment?

Here's the truth in Love.

You tried to destroy that group. You were rude to my cousin. You entered that group with guns blazing and no consideration for anyones situation and total disregard for what I was attempting to do.

It was nothing but a joke to you. In that one morning you generated at least 30 notifications to everyone in the group. These people didn't even have time to understand that they have been placed into that group just like yourself.

If anything they were getting a crash coarse in critical thinking like you say! But when my cousin stood up and declared o you..."if you don't like the group..you know the way out" Obviously defending the group I just started.

You unleashed on her. This all happened before 9:30 a.m. of the first day of the group.

You said to me..essentially....the group needed you with your vast knowledge and books you had accumulated.

You even dared me to remove you from the group!

And yes.... There wer over 230 witnesses!

Am I afraid of you?

No.

But I am wise to what you are doing.

You are sowing doubt to all who would believe you and passing it off as responsible reasoning.
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:54 AM   #35
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Eehhem!

What happened to getting back to the joys of eternal torment?

Here's the truth in Love.

You tried to destroy that group. You were rude to my cousin. You entered that group with guns blazing and no consideration for anyones situation and total disregard for what I was attempting to do.

It was nothing but a joke to you. In that one morning you generated at least 30 notifications to everyone in the group. These people didn't even have time to understand that they have been placed into that group just like yourself.

If anything they were getting a crash coarse in critical thinking like you say! But when my cousin stood up and declared o you..."if you don't like the group..you know the way out" Obviously defending the group I just started.

You unleashed on her. This all happened before 9:30 a.m. of the first day of the group.

You said to me..essentially....the group needed you with your vast knowledge and books you had accumulated.

You even dared me to remove you from the group!

And yes.... There wer over 230 witnesses!

Am I afraid of you?

No.

But I am wise to what you are doing.

You are sowing doubt to all who would believe you and passing it off as responsible reasoning.
And you didn't call me back. Hey, this is a good post. I'm glad you are letting me have it. But this is not the place for it. Start another thread. Call it : How Harold was Such An ASS, or some such. Yes, I came in like a bull in a china cabinet, and I was just having some fun (like we've always done for years). I didn't realize that you were on a Bob Coy kind of mission. That's new to me ; that you were trying to save the "newbies," and your cousin.

My bad. My very bad bad.

You've known me since you were a little kid. Maybe you were too young to see what was going on when your father and I left the local church. Your father just walked out, saying, "There's no Holy Spirit here." I stayed and fought. Your father wasn't there when Mel pumped the meeting into a crazy frenzy of, with fists pumping, shouting. "If you're not with us get out. GET OUT, GET OUT!!!" And neither you or he were there when we - your father, Gene and I - were told we had a week to stand up and repent before the whole assembly or get excommunicated.

What's my point? My point is, I guess, that since leaving the church in that way that, I've always been this way. It's nothing new. I even said right off that I didn't belong in your new group. Then someone said something that I felt obligated to respond to and the whole thing got started. And your cousin? C'mon. Unless she's a little girl, she's like you and your father, very tough. Surely a little kidding didn't cause her to have a major nervous breakdown. If so, I'm sorry, and get her into treatment ASAP. Maybe your Dad could help her. Oh, I forgot, you gave him the boot too. Aren't you booting people off your group in droves ; anybody that doesn't jump onto your "new mission from God" or doesn't agree with you?

You forget Jr.. I know your DNA.

But couldn't you better ream me a new one on the phone? And I'm so sorry I tinkled in your cornflakes. I liked you better when you were on the old Bereans.net, when you were all about lovey dovey. The fall of Preacher Bob must have changed you. Are you trying to fill his shoes ... on Facebook? Let me say that again, very loudly : ON FACEBOOK!!!
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:47 AM   #36
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And you didn't call me back. Hey, this is a good post. I'm glad you are letting me have it. But this is not the place for it. Start another thread. Call it : How Harold was Such An ASS, or some such. Yes, I came in like a bull in a china cabinet, and I was just having some fun (like we've always done for years). I didn't realize that you were on a Bob Coy kind of mission. That's new to me ; that you were trying to save the "newbies," and your cousin.



My bad. My very bad bad.

You've known me since you were a little kid. Maybe you were too young to see what was going on when your father and I left the local church. Your father just walked out, saying, "There's no Holy Spirit here." I stayed and fought. Your father wasn't there when Mel pumped the meeting into a crazy frenzy of, with fists pumping, shouting. "If you're not with us get out. GET OUT, GET OUT!!!" And neither you or he were there when we - your father, Gene and I - were told we had a week to stand up and repent before the whole assembly or get excommunicated.

What's my point? My point is, I guess, that since leaving the church in that way that, I've always been this way. It's nothing new. I even said right off that I didn't belong in your new group. Then someone said something that I felt obligated to respond to and the whole thing got started. And your cousin? C'mon. Unless she's a little girl, she's like you and your father, very tough. Surely a little kidding didn't cause her to have a major nervous breakdown. If so, I'm sorry, and get her into treatment ASAP. Maybe your Dad could help her. Oh, I forgot, you gave him the boot too. Aren't you booting people off your group in droves ; anybody that doesn't jump onto your "new mission from God" or doesn't agree with you?

You forget Jr.. I know your DNA.

But couldn't you better ream me a new one on the phone? And I'm so sorry I tinkled in your cornflakes. I liked you better when you were on the old Bereans.net, when you were all about lovey dovey. The fall of Preacher Bob must have changed you. Are you trying to fill his shoes ... on Facebook? Let me say that again, very loudly : ON FACEBOOK!!!
You, My dad and Gemmer are poison. Everbody knows it but won't say it. And were the only ones banned. I only banned Ken because There was no trust between you and I and I know what you are capable of because I know your DNA. OTHERWISE I could have handled Kens extreme left wing ideologies
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:19 AM   #37
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"hell is other people"
~ Jean Paul Sartre
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:27 AM   #38
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You, My dad and Gemmer are poison. Everbody knows it but won't say it. And were the only ones banned. I only banned Ken because There was no trust between you and I and I know what you are capable of because I know your DNA. OTHERWISE I could have handled Kens extreme left wing ideologies
No problem bro. That's your group. You're the boss there just like UntoHim is the boss here. Poison? I never liked that band.
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:32 AM   #39
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You, My dad and Gemmer are poison.
That's nothing new. All the saints in the LC in Ft. Lauderdale was told that I'm a serpent, and to stay away from me, or I'd bite them. In fact, since the LC policy is that LCers can't have contact with exLCers, you're a serpent too.

And your Dad's take : "Jr's is just doing what I did, and we're trolls to it.

So maybe we poison ones are just in a different place from you right now. I I wonder if what you are peddling is poison ... and if you are harming the newbies.

Like the LC was harming people, and Preacher Bob.
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:03 AM   #40
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That's nothing new. All the saints in the LC in Ft. Lauderdale was told that I'm a serpent, and to stay away from me, or I'd bite them. In fact, since the LC policy is that LCers can't have contact with exLCers, you're a serpent too.

And your Dad's take : "Jr's is just doing what I did, and we're trolls to it.

So maybe we poison ones are just in a different place from you right now. I I wonder if what you are peddling is poison ... and if you are harming the newbies.

Like the LC was harming people, and Preacher Bob.
Ok....I believe you have more than enough rope now...
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:36 AM   #41
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Ok....I believe you have more than enough rope now...
Thanks. I do. I recently pulled my car with the tractor using rope. I like rope.
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Old 11-01-2016, 02:52 PM   #42
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And you didn't call me back. Hey, this is a good post. I'm glad you are letting me have it. But this is not the place for it. Start another thread. Call it : How Harold was Such An ASS, or some such. Yes, I came in like a bull in a china cabinet, and I was just having some fun (like we've always done for years). I didn't realize that you were on a Bob Coy kind of mission. That's new to me ; that you were trying to save the "newbies," and your cousin.

My bad. My very bad bad.

You've known me since you were a little kid. Maybe you were too young to see what was going on when your father and I left the local church. Your father just walked out, saying, "There's no Holy Spirit here." I stayed and fought. Your father wasn't there when Mel pumped the meeting into a crazy frenzy of, with fists pumping, shouting. "If you're not with us get out. GET OUT, GET OUT!!!" And neither you or he were there when we - your father, Gene and I - were told we had a week to stand up and repent before the whole assembly or get excommunicated.

What's my point? My point is, I guess, that since leaving the church in that way that, I've always been this way. It's nothing new. I even said right off that I didn't belong in your new group. Then someone said something that I felt obligated to respond to and the whole thing got started. And your cousin? C'mon. Unless she's a little girl, she's like you and your father, very tough. Surely a little kidding didn't cause her to have a major nervous breakdown. If so, I'm sorry, and get her into treatment ASAP. Maybe your Dad could help her. Oh, I forgot, you gave him the boot too. Aren't you booting people off your group in droves ; anybody that doesn't jump onto your "new mission from God" or doesn't agree with you?

You forget Jr.. I know your DNA.

But couldn't you better ream me a new one on the phone? And I'm so sorry I tinkled in your cornflakes. I liked you better when you were on the old Bereans.net, when you were all about lovey dovey. The fall of Preacher Bob must have changed you. Are you trying to fill his shoes ... on Facebook? Let me say that again, very loudly : ON FACEBOOK!!!
Wow awareness, you turning nasty on your old friends? What happened to your laughing ministry?

You musta been hangin with zeek too long!
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Old 11-01-2016, 04:10 PM   #43
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Wow awareness, you turning nasty on your old friends? What happened to your laughing ministry?

You musta been hangin with zeek too long!
My brother is obviously disturbed. And it seems serious. He's obviously upset at me (and zeek and his own Dad). We're poison to him. So it already got nasty. Facebook? It's caused more problems than healthy society. It often breaks up families. And it's never going to do any good for Christianity either.
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Old 11-01-2016, 04:33 PM   #44
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Wow awareness, you turning nasty on your old friends? What happened to your laughing ministry?

You musta been hangin with zeek too long!
It's like being back in Witness Lee's Local Church where innuendo and accusation are taken as fact.
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:02 PM   #45
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It's like being back in Witness Lee's Local Church where innuendo and accusation are taken as fact.
You are right.

You and awareness must have learned from Mel Porter how to bully the young brothers.

But you hate bullies. Takes one to know one.
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:14 PM   #46
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My brother is obviously disturbed. And it seems serious. He's obviously upset at me (and zeek and his own Dad). We're poison to him. So it already got nasty. Facebook? It's caused more problems than healthy society. It often breaks up families. And it's never going to do any good for Christianity either.
I never registered on Facebook, so I can only see public pages. Never got a Tweeter either.

FB needs to be handled with care. If the wrong person is "friended," it reflects on the FB owner, and others can be insulted. Anything posted on line can come back and haunt you.

Since you seem (at times) to enjoy great pleasure when others are upset, guys like you are dangerous!
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:45 PM   #47
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What's disturbing is that awares acts so innocent and ignorant about what he did. How is it that he knows the troubles fb has caused? I think he's raising a strawman and shifting the blame unrightly on fb.

Ohio.. I challenge you to be a silent moderator at The Vine and consider what may be taking place with the tools that are available, you will be able to see who is regularly observing the posts.
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:02 PM   #48
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What's disturbing is that awares acts so innocent and ignorant about what he did. How is it that he knows the troubles fb has caused? I think he's raising a strawman and shifting the blame unrightly on fb.

Ohio.. I challenge you to be a silent moderator at The Vine and consider what may be taking place with the tools that are available, you will be able to see who is regularly observing the posts.
What is the Vine?

What is a silent moderator?
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:59 PM   #49
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The Vine is a fb group I started. Have some great peeps there. Kisstheson is doing a study there just finished luke chapter 10 and on to chapt 11..

A silent moderator is just being a moderator. Actually you wouldn't need to be one. Everybody can see who is reading the posts.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/178985832510064/
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:07 PM   #50
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You are right.

You and awareness must have learned from Mel Porter how to bully the young brothers.

But you hate bullies. Takes one to know one.
You're just make accusations to yank my chain because you want to disrupt this forum and that's all you can do.
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:34 PM   #51
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You're just make accusations to yank my chain because you want to disrupt this forum and that's all you can do.
That's funny. It's you that got banished from the forum by UntoHim for your own liberal atheism. Don't blame me for that. You are stuck in a "dungeon" of your own making.
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:37 PM   #52
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The Vine is a fb group I started. Have some great peeps there. Kisstheson is doing a study there just finished luke chapter 10 and on to chapt 11..

A silent moderator is just being a moderator. Actually you wouldn't need to be one. Everybody can see who is reading the posts.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/178985832510064/
I have to register to view.

Been a long time since I heard from kisstheson. Please send him my greetings.
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:54 PM   #53
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That's funny. It's you that got banished from the forum by UntoHim for your own liberal atheism. Don't blame me for that. You are stuck in a "dungeon" of your own making.
Altered views.....
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:00 PM   #54
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Since you seem (at times) to enjoy great pleasure when others are upset, guys like you are dangerous!
I know I'm dangerous to traditionalists and the superstitious. But I don't really relish upsetting people. I just do it. But I'm on Doug Kreiger's Tribnet 7000 FB group, and he told me in PMs that I'm a shear delight. But he's a much more mature Christian than Jr. Who's still wet behind the ears.

On the way home from dinner my sister told how she used to be a member of the Southern Baptist church just up the road, but won't go there because they expect her to be a republican and to wear dresses.

I said that I could go there but they'd kick me out in a couple of weeks. Since the LC I don't just don't swallow anything and everything any more. And they find that annoying. And I don't, like many around here, think that the preacher speaks for God.

Neither do I think Jr. speaks for God. Even tho he acts like he does. And a group of sycophant's is boring and cult like. I had enough of that in the local church. Jr. still thinks the LC was great. That's because he was too young to have a clue of what was going on. And as a result he's still naive.
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:06 PM   #55
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That's not the problem I'm having with your proposition. Rather it's your idea of using the mind later. It seems to me there is no truth without the mind. Truth occurs when the contents of the mind corresponds to reality. Falsity is when the contents of the mind don't.

Tapping is a metaphor. Like tapping into a water supply. When an image in your mind corresponds to reality, then you have "tapped" truth. Now the reality that your mind corresponds to could be a feeling or emotion or intuition. Or it could be a perception. That's how it seems to me.
Humans all have something called an inner voice which is independent of the mind. With practice we can learn to discern between the two. The inner voice may be realized during a hazardous situation, before the mind has had time to catch up. I think the truth is to be found in this inner voice rather than the mind which catches up later.
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:06 PM   #56
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I have to register to view.

Been a long time since I heard from kisstheson. Please send him my greetings.
Anyone but you know who you are...are welcome to check it out.

Now...can we get back to the subject?
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:16 PM   #57
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Humans all have something called an inner voice which is independent of the mind. With practice we can learn to discern between the two. The inner voice may be realized during a hazardous situation, before the mind has had time to catch up. I think the truth is to be found in this inner voice rather than the mind which catches up later.
What you are describing sounds like the intuition i.e. the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. If we define mind as "the faculty of consciousness and thought" as it often is, then in so far as one is conscious of such "inner voice" such as you describe we are conscious of it in the mind. When you state " we can learn to discern between the two" what faculty of discernment are you referring to other then the mind? In other words, where do you experience the "inner voice" other then in your mind? Perhaps the inner voice may be realized in the mind during a hazardous situation, before one's thoughts have had time to catch up. Nevertheless, both the voice and the thoughts occur in the mind or synonymously in one's consciousness.
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:41 PM   #58
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That's funny. It's you that got banished from the forum by UntoHim for your own liberal atheism.
If you were serious rather than playing your usual little game of tit-for-tat, you might see the difference between someone simply expressing views other than your own which is what I'm doing and bullying. I was banned because my views fell outside UntoHim's notion of Christian orthodoxy not for bullying.

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Don't blame me for that. You are stuck in a "dungeon" of your own making.
I have stated that I usually post only in Alt Views as a matter of my own choosing. I can post in the main forum any time I want. I use the term "dungeon" for Alt Views ironically. It's meant to be a joke. I wasn't blaming you for anything.

You frequently verbalize ideas of reference i.e. you believe that comments here involving other people, things or situations are about you. That must cause you unnecessary anxiety although I expect you to deny it. Has anybody pointed that out to you before or am I the first? Cuz I've observed you doing that here for years. I'll bet others here have too. It's understandable. You were in the LC for a long time. That could make anybody a bit paranoid.
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Old 11-02-2016, 12:42 AM   #59
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What you are describing sounds like the intuition i.e. the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. If we define mind as "the faculty of consciousness and thought" as it often is, then in so far as one is conscious of such "inner voice" such as you describe we are conscious of it in the mind. When you state " we can learn to discern between the two" what faculty of discernment are you referring to other then the mind? In other words, where do you experience the "inner voice" other then in your mind? Perhaps the inner voice may be realized in the mind during a hazardous situation, before one's thoughts have had time to catch up. Nevertheless, both the voice and the thoughts occur in the mind or synonymously in one's consciousness.
It's hard to define. Just that I think my experience and the experience of others (not necessarily Christians) is they discern something more than or deeper than the mind, of which they use various means to "tap into" it.
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Old 11-02-2016, 01:31 AM   #60
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It's hard to define. Just that I think my experience and the experience of others (not necessarily Christians) is they discern something more than or deeper than the mind, of which they use various means to "tap into" it.
There may something deeper call it an inner voice or a sixth sense or the spirit or whatever, but what is discernment if not a mental ability and hence by definition of the mind?
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Old 11-02-2016, 06:31 AM   #61
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Humans all have something called an inner voice which is independent of the mind. With practice we can learn to discern between the two. The inner voice may be realized during a hazardous situation, before the mind has had time to catch up. I think the truth is to be found in this inner voice rather than the mind which catches up later.
I've heard this called the still small voice (1 Kings 19:12) but the Bible reference seems to indicate that it was external not internal.

I call it "the awareness reading these words at the moment." Henry David Thoreau, who's famous for finding the ineffable in nature (not in church) also recognized an inner observer that seemed separate from himself.

And it is true that many times our minds have trouble of keeping up with what we experience, sometimes never figuring it out, sometimes requiring detective work.
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Old 11-02-2016, 06:07 PM   #62
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I've heard this called the still small voice (1 Kings 19:12) but the Bible reference seems to indicate that it was external not internal.

I call it "the awareness reading these words at the moment." Henry David Thoreau, who's famous for finding the ineffable in nature (not in church) also recognized an inner observer that seemed separate from himself.

And it is true that many times our minds have trouble of keeping up with what we experience, sometimes never figuring it out, sometimes requiring detective work.
The kol demamah dakah is recognized to be the speaking that is within our heart.
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Old 11-02-2016, 06:08 PM   #63
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There may something deeper call it an inner voice or a sixth sense or the spirit or whatever, but what is discernment if not a mental ability and hence by definition of the mind?
The mind can be the discerner but this means the inner voice must precede the mind.
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Old 11-02-2016, 08:24 PM   #64
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I have to register to view.

Been a long time since I heard from kisstheson. Please send him my greetings.
Kisstheson sends his greetings. Says...he may stop by for a gander...and misses everyone...
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:09 PM   #65
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The Torture Never Stops https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkFQnEnIlhU
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Old 01-01-2017, 09:22 AM   #66
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I'll have to rethink my position, listening to that was pure hell.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:05 PM   #67
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https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...t?usp=drivesdk

CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN THEOLOGIAN NO LONGER BELIEVES ETERNAL TORMENT
June 12, 2014 • 0 Likes • 0 Comments

by Babu G. Ranganathan

Although I am a conservative Christian (Reformed Baptist), I no longer believe that the Bible
The Bible does teach eternal punishment, but that eternal punishment ultimately is not eternal suffering.

Although the wicked in hell, for a period, will suffer consciously for their individual sins, the ultimate penalty for sin itself will be the eternal literal death of soul and body and the eternal loss to immortality. That is what the Bible means by their eternal punishment. It is not the "punishing" that is eternal but, rather, the "punishment."

If pain is necessary for punishment then why do some societies have the death penalty? When a murderer is put to death he no longer feels pain. If he did then he wouldn't be dead. One thing for sure is that a murderer put to death by society no longer feels any pain from society. Does that then mean that society has not punished him since he no longer feels any more pain from society?

God's righteous wrath is not an end in itself but a means to an end - that end being the eternal literal destruction of the wicked. God will not allow sin to exist for eternity by keeping sinners alive for eternity in hell. Eternal torment is not necessary for God to satisfy His eternal justice.

But, what about those passages in the Bible which say that the wicked will go into "eternal fire" and that in hell there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth forever and ever," and other similar passages that seem to teach eternal torment? We shall examine, in this article, those and other passages from the Bible in the light of the context of Scripture and by comparing Scripture with Scripture.

Few in society realize just how much ancient Greek philosophy influenced early Christian thought on hell.

The ancient Greeks believed and taught that the human soul is immortal and indestructible. When early Christianity adopted this belief then it became only logical to believe that those who go to hell must suffer eternal torment.

More than anyone else, the early Church bishop Augustine influenced early Christianity's adoption of this ancient Greek belief about the nature of the soul. Augustine was a great admirer and follower of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato even after converting to Christianity. It was Plato who systematically formulated ancient Greek belief and thought concerning the nature of the human soul.

The Bible, however, teaches that man by nature is completely mortal and that immortality is a gift of God to be realized only on Resurrection Day for those who have put their faith and trust in God's Son Jesus Christ for salvation because Christ's death on the Cross fully paid for our sins and His resurrection from the grave is the guarantee of future immortality for all who believe in Him.

Interestingly, even Adam and Eve were not created as immortal from the beginning. That is why there was placed the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden of Eden.

Some have argued that because man was created in the image of God then all humans must possess an immortal soul. However, being created in the image of God doesn't necessarily mean that we must possess every attribute or even possible attribute that God possess. For example, God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent - but we are not. The Bible is clear that immortality is an attribute that will be given only on Resurrection Day for those who have put their trust in Christ for salvation.

In Genesis 2:17 God told Adam not to eat the fruit of a certain tree (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) and God also told Adam that if he did eat of it he would die on that very day. Specifically, God said to Adam, "For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." But the Biblical record shows that Adam did not physically die on the very day he disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit. Because Adam did not physically die on the very day that he disobeyed God most Christians believe that God was referring to spiritual death and not physical death.

However, in the original Hebrew, in which the Old Testament was written, the grammatical tense of the word "die" in Genesis 2:17 is in the imperfect mood. The imperfect mood denotes a process. Thus, what God was actually saying to Adam is that he would start dying on the day he ate the forbidden fruit. The literal translation from the Hebrew of what God said to Adam is: "Dying you will die." God was not, therefore, referring to spiritual death but to physical death. The fact that God later prevented Adam and Eve from having access to the tree of life (Genesis 3:22-24) so that they would not live eternally in sin proves that God was referring to physical death and not spiritual death.

There are good Scriptural reasons to believe that the soul also is physical but distinct from the rest of the body, but that is another subject. Whether physical or not physical, man's soul, along with the rest of man, was created completely mortal and that is the primary point being addressed here.

The penalty for sin, then, is the death of both soul and body so that man will not live eternally in sin. Not only is God not cruel in His eternal justice, but a holy God will not allow His moral creatures to exist eternally in sin. God will not immortalize sin and evil by making the wicked in hell immortal! All of this contradicts the traditional doctrine and teaching, taught in most churches, about the wicked having an immortal soul and body in hell.

What about "eternal fire", "unquenchable fire", "weeping and gnashing of teeth forever", the account by Jesus about the Rich Man and Lazarus, and other similar passages in the Bible that seem to teach eternal torment? The key, in many cases, is in understanding the context in which these and other similar phrases are used in various parts of Scripture.

For example, figures of speech such as "unquenchable fire" are used in the Bible to mean that the process of destruction is unstoppable or irreversible. We see an example of this in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel 20:47-48 where God says that when His judgment comes on the land even every green tree will burn and that the fire "will not be quenched". Obviously, those trees are not still burning. It is important to understand just why God uses such terms in Scripture as "unquenchable fire".

In the Bible, there were some judgments of God in which His wrath was quenched or stopped such as in the case when Moses interceded and pleaded before God for the rebellious Israelites in the desert. When Moses did this God stopped or quenched His wrath against the rebellious Israelites. Thus, when God says, in Scripture, that the wicked in the end will be destroyed with unquenchable fire what He simply means is that nothing can intervene to prevent Him from carrying out His wrath fully through to its completion. Over and over in the Scriptures God is described in judgment as being a consuming fire. God's righteous wrath in judgment is not an end in itself but a means to an end.

Unlike the burning bush in Exodus that Moses observed was not consumed by the fire but was preserved by God, the Scriptures teach that God, in the end, will not preserve the wicked in the fire of hell but instead will completely consume and destroy them!

Contrary to popular belief and interpretation, the phrase in Scripture "where their worm dieth not" is not a reference to the undying human soul or conscience. We have already seen statements in Scripture that God will destroy, not preserve or keep alive, the bodies and souls of the wicked in the Day of Judgment. The worm and fire were figures that people in Jesus' time could readily identify and understand because in that time the dead bodies of those who suffered dishonor in society were all commonly thrown into a certain valley where fire and worms devoured these bodies. Jesus simply seeks to convey, in figurative language, that in hell (gehenna) neither the fire nor the worm will cease until the wicked are totally consumed or destroyed!

The word "forever" is another example. In Scripture the word "forever" does not always mean endless or eternal duration. For example, in Exodus 21:6 (KJV Version) we read that certain people were to be servants "forever". Obviously this cannot mean eternity. The word "forever" or "everlasting", in the original Hebrew and Greek languages of Scripture, simply means the entire length or duration of something. If that something is immortal then the word "forever" or "everlasting" must mean eternity. But, if that something is mortal or temporary in nature then, obviously, the word "forever" or "everlasting" cannot mean eternity.

What about where the Bible says in Revelation 20:10 that the devil (or Satan) will be tormented forever and ever? Before answering this question, I wish to point out that Bible definitely teaches the devil will be consumed and destroyed.

We read a description of Satan's ultimate and eternal destruction in Ezekiel 28:14-19. Although this passage is immediately addressed to the ancient King of Tyre (verse 11), it is clear from the context of the passage that God is speaking to Satan (the evil spirit behind the King of Tyre) because the descriptions given cannot fit that of any human being or human king.

We read in verses 14 and 15: “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” This passage is referring to the devil when he was Lucifer (a good angel or cherub) before he sinned against God.

And, then we read in verses 18 and 19 what God says to the devil: “… therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.”

Another good Bible translation (the NIV) puts verses 18 and 19 this way: " ... So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All the nations that knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more."

If Ezekiel 28 teaches that the Devil will be destroyed (consumed) and be no more, how, then, do we explain Revelation 20:10 which says that the devil will be tormented forever and ever?

The first point to realize is that Revelation is a book filled with symbolic language, and, therefore, the book is not to be interpreted literally. The book itself tells us not to interpret it literally. In the very first verse of the very first chapter we read, "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God (the Father) gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John" (Revelation 1:1). The word "signified" in the passage comes from a Greek word meaning "signs" or "symbols."

Bible scholar, theologian, and an attorney-at-law, Edward Fudge makes these comments:

“In these closing chapters of Revelation, even the word torment itself is sometimes a symbol for total destruction and death. The wicked city Babylon is pictured as a woman whose judgment in chapter 18 is “torment and grief,” which turns out to be “death, mourning, and famine,” and she is “consumed by fire.” It is not unthinkable, therefore, to understand torment of the devil, beast, and false prophet as death and consumption by fire which are never reversed” (“No Need to Waver” by Edward Fudge quoted from the Internet site Rethinking Hell http://www.rethinkinghell.com/).

When the Bible talks about eternal judgment, or eternal damnation, or eternal destruction, it is in reference to the result and not the process! It is not the punishing that is eternal but rather the punishment! It is not the destroying that is eternal but rather the destruction! It is not the dying that is eternal but rather the death. Just as eternal redemption in the Bible does not mean that the process of redeeming is eternal but rather its result (no one would be saved if the process of redeeming were eternal) so too the eternal judgment of the wicked refers to the result of their judgment being eternal and not the process.

The example, however, that indisputably settles the issue is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Jude 7 says that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah "are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." The word "example" in the verse comes from the original Greek New Testament word "deigma," and wherever any form of this Greek word is used in the New Testament it means an example that is visible to the eye. Now in what way were Sodom and Gomorrah an example of destruction by eternal fire? They were an example in the fact that these cities suffered total destruction (annihilation) and they also suffered irrevocable destruction because they would never exist as cities again.

One may attempt to argue that the souls of Sodom and Gomorrah are burning forever in hell now, but if that were the case then Scripture cannot use the destruction of these cities as a visible example of judgment by eternal fire, since that is not something that one can observe. When one gives an example of something to another it must be by its very nature visible or observable. After all, the purpose of the example was for living humanity on earth to see what judgment by eternal fire means. Besides, the belief that the souls of the wicked will burn eternally in hell is based on the unbiblical assumption that their souls are immortal or indestructible.

What about Revelation 14:9-11 where it says: "the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night"? Doesn't this passage in Scripture prove eternal torment? No. We also read in Isaiah 34:10 that while Edom was burning day and night the smoke of the city would ascend up forever and ever. Does that mean that Edom would never stop burning? Of course, not! The language simply signifies that the burning of Edom will ultimately end in permanent (or irrevocable and eternal) destruction. We know that Edom doesn't exist anymore. Similarly, we are to understand the same from the passage in Revelation 14:9-11. The smoke of their torment arising "forever and ever" in the passage does not mean that the torment of the wicked will never end. The language simply signifies that the torment of the wicked will lead to their permanent (or irrevocable and eternal) destruction. During the process of their destruction the wicked will be tormented but that process will ultimately end in their eternal annihilation, which is what is signified by the use of the figure of smoke arising "forever and ever". This is the only interpretation of Revelation 14:9-11 that would be consistent with how the rest of Scripture uses such language and with what the rest of the Scriptures teach concerning the final and ultimate end of the wicked.

The context of Holy Scripture teaches that the eternal punishment of the wicked is ultimately their eternal annihilation and not eternal torment or suffering as the traditional doctrine of hell teaches. As one preacher has put it: "Eternal punishment is the eternal loss of life not an eternal life of loss".

Eternal life in Scripture has the same meaning as immortality (i.e. Romans 2:7) which Christians will possess only in the future on Resurrection Day. Various Scripture passages teach immortality and eternal life to be a future possession for Christians. Why then did Jesus use the present tense when saying those who believe in Him have eternal life? The answer is that sometimes in the Bible the present tense is used to describe future events for the purpose of demonstrating their certainty. Scripture says God "calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Romans 4:17).

The Bible says Jesus Christ "hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10). The opposite of eternal life (or immortality) is eternal death (the eternal and literal death of soul and body) - not eternally living in torment and suffering! "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting (eternal) life" (John 3:16). The issue is not what we think eternal punishment ought to be. The issues are God's character, God's definition of ultimate justice, and God's eternal purposes.

That the Lake of Fire (in the Book of Revelation) stands for annihilation is indisputable because Revelation 20:14 states that the Lake of Fire is the second death. What is the second death? Well, it is certainly not spiritual death because those cast into the Lake of Fire (i.e. the wicked on judgment day) were already spiritually dead. The difference between the first death and the second death is that the first death is temporary since everyone, the righteous and the wicked, will be resurrected in the Last Day to face final judgment. The book of Daniel tells us that the righteous and the wicked will all be resurrected on the same day. The second death, on the other hand, is eternal (or permanent) with no resurrection to follow. Only the wicked will experience the second death. It is not the punishing that is eternal but rather the punishment (the cessation of being) that is eternal and permanent. The wicked will experience the second death (permanent cessation of being) only after they suffer consciously for their individual guilt and sins.

In Ephesians 2 the Apostle Paul says that believers were once dead in trespasses and sins but were made (or raised) alive with Christ and raised to sit together in heavenly places. Paul is talking about physical death and life. What Paul is saying is that believers were once under the sentence of death because of their sins but because of Christ’s resurrection (and they were raised with Christ they will live eternally. How was Christ raised? Physically. The resurrection hasn’t happened yet but Paul puts it in the past as because of its certainty. Paul even says (in the past tense) that believers have been seated with Christ in heavenly. This, too, hasn’t happened yet but is certain.

We must base our views of hell and the after life on what the Bible teaches, not on tradition or mere human philosophies and opinions. We must not impose our philosophy of what God ought to be upon Holy Scripture! Not many people realize the fact that in the New Testament there are different Greek words for the word "hell." But unfortunately the English Bible translates these different words for hell as one word, and this has been a cause of much confusion for those who wish to study the subject. The New Testament Greek words for hell are "Hades" and "Gehenna" and they both have different meanings. Hades means the unseen world of the dead and is only a temporary abode. It has nothing to do with punishment or reward. It is equivalent to the Hebrew word "Sheol" in the Old Testament in its meaning. Gehenna, on the other hand, is the abode of eternal punishment of the wicked.

Scripture teaches that both the wicked and righteous will be resurrected, but only the righteous (in and through Christ’s redemptive work) will obtain immortal bodies. The wicked will not inherit immortal bodies. They will be judged for their sins and in hell will suffer consciously for their individual sins before they are eternally destroyed in body and soul.

What about Daniel 12:2 where we read that the wicked will awaken to shame and everlasting contempt? The word “contempt” here is translated in other parts of Scripture as “disgust” or “abhorrence.” GJ Griz pointed out that in Isaiah 66:24 “the word is used in the context of disgust expressed by onlookers as they view the dead bodies or corpses of those slain in battle.” On Judgement Day when the wicked are destroyed, their destruction will evoke everlasting in minds and memories of the righteous.

The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16 has often been used by many Christians, especially preachers, as a depiction of the punishment that the wicked will suffer in hell. But this is not the case. In the first place when Jesus refers to the Rich Man being in torment in the flame of hell the Greek word for "hell" in the passage is not "Gehenna" (the place of final and eternal punishment), but rather it is the Greek word "Hades" (which in Scripture is the temporary abode of the dead). The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus, like the other series of parables before it, was used of the Lord to illustrate or depict the end of the rule of the Pharisees and to depict the end of the Jewish Era and dispensation (as represented by the Rich Man being in torment) and it was also used of the Lord to depict or illustrate the elevation of Gentile Christendom (as represented by Lazarus). Actually, Lazarus represented the poor Jews of Jesus' time who were ignored by the self-righteous religious leaders of Israel and he also represented the gentiles who, although rejected by the Jewish leaders, would nevertheless be accepted into the bosom of Abraham through their new found faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. The religious leaders of Israel had lived only for themselves and ignored the spiritual needs of the spiritually sick and starving people around them.

The concept that Hades was a place divided into two compartments, one of suffering for the wicked and the other of bliss for the righteous, was a Jewish belief that had developed during the Intertestamental period, the period of time in between when the Old and New Testaments were written. Thus, this particular view of Hades was not canonical, that is it was not something that God Himself had revealed to the Jews through Scripture. There is no evidence in Scripture that Hades is a place where the wicked suffer while awaiting their final and permanent judgment in Gehenna. Such a concept of Hades developed as a result of ancient Greek influences on Jewish thinking about the nature of the soul. In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Jesus was simply borrowing this popular Jewish folklore of Hades to use as an illustration to make a point to the Pharisees and religious leaders of His day, but He was not necessarily endorsing the folklore as being doctrinally valid or correct. There are various passages in the Old Testament, such as in Psalms, that tell us that there is no consciousness in Sheol (the Hebrew equivalent of Hades in the Old Testament).

Some argue that the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus is not a parable because Jesus did not formally introduce it as a parable. But, Jesus did not always formally introduce His stories as parables, and there are various examples of that in the Gospels. Now, it is true that in His parables Jesus used things that actually existed to fill in for illustrations and figures, but in the particular case of the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus the Lord used a popular existing Jewish myth about Hades for the purposes of constructing a story. Jesus simply used the Pharisees' own superstitious belief about Hades against them!

Why didn't Jesus rebuke the Pharisees' belief about Hades as being wrong? Jesus didn't go around always rebuking every wrong doctrine. For example, in Jesus' time it was a common Jewish belief (from the influence of Greek philosophy) that souls could commit individual sins before birth. That is why we read in John 9:1-3 that Jesus' disciples believed a certain man was born blind because he may have committed some great sin before his physical conception in the womb. Jesus didn't respond by telling His disciples that such a belief is doctrinally wrong but instead healed the blind man.

Many Christians find it difficult to believe that the soul as well as the body can die. The soul, they say, can live on and be conscious even after the body decays into the dust. Christians generally believe that Jesus confirmed the existence of consciousness in hades because of what He said to the repentant thief who also was dying on a cross beside Him. But it must be kept in mind that in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament there were no punctuation marks such as commas. The punctuation marks found in our English Bibles, for example, were provided by the translators. So depending upon where the comma actually is in a sentence can change the entire meaning of the sentence. The passage in Luke 23:43 of the English Bible is translated with the comma before the word "today" so that Jesus is saying to the repentant thief, "Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with Me in paradise." It gives the meaning that the thief would join Jesus in paradise on that very day. But what if the comma in the sentence is placed after the word "today." Then the sentence that Jesus said would read, "Verily I say unto thee today, thou shalt be with Me in paradise." It changes the entire meaning of the sentence. Then Jesus is not necessarily saying that the repentant thief would join Him in paradise on that very day. The Bible repeatedly refers to Christians who had died as being "asleep" indicating that their death is only temporary since they will one day be resurrected to immortality and eternal life.

But if there is no consciousness for the dead until Resurrection Day why did the Apostle Paul say that he desires "to depart, and to be present with Christ" (Philippians 1:23). In 2 Corinthians 5 Paul defines that to be absent from the body and be present with the Lord means to be clothed in our resurrected bodies. Paul didn't mind death because he knew that the very next conscious thing he would experience after death would be joyful and perfect eternal fellowship with Christ at the Resurrection. This is why the early Christians thought so much about the resurrection, because they knew that is when they'll see the Lord again and have eternal fellowship with Him.

Why is the resurrection so important if the person (the soul) doesn't actually die with the body? Why is the resurrection so important if the souls of Christians will already be with Christ and enjoying fellowship with Him even after death of the body. Why are most Christians so big on Christ rising from the dead on Easter Day if He really didn't die at all but only His body?

A very important question arises that needs to be answered. If Jesus Christ was truly God how then could He completely die (in body and soul) since the Scriptures teach that God is immutable (unchanging). In answer to this question it is important to understand that everything about God, including His immutability and His very existence itself, is dependent upon His moral nature. God's immutability is conditional upon His moral nature. In fact, it would be theologically safe to say that the only thing about God that cannot change at all is His moral nature. Thus, it is only God's moral nature which is truly unconditionally immutable. In the context of Scripture, when God says "I am the Lord. I change not" (Malachi 3:6) it is in reference to His moral being and nature. Whatever God can do or cannot do is governed by His moral constitution or nature. For example, the Scripture says in Hebrews 6:18 that it is impossible for God to lie. Thus, when Scripture tells us elsewhere that with God all things are possible it must be understood from the context of comparing Scripture with Scripture that only all things are possible with God which are not contradictory to His moral nature. In other words, God is only as immutable as His moral nature allows Him to be. What does all this mean? It means that when God the Son (Jesus Christ) took the legal guilt and liability for our sins on the Cross then His divine moral nature required that He die since the penalty for sin is death. As He had to be true to His moral nature the Son gave up His life. It is precisely because of the immutability of His moral nature that Christ (Who is God) died when He took the guilt of our sins! Because He was God Christ's death had infinite value so that it was not necessary for Him to remain dead for eternity in order for His death to satisfy the full penalty for our sins.

If Jesus was truly God and He died completely (in both body and soul), how then could He have raised His own body from the grave as He said He would. There are two possible answers. One is that when His soul was given back its life Christ then entered His own body and raised it up from the grave. The other possible answer is in understanding what Jesus said about His authority over His own life and death. Jesus said that the Father had given to Him authority to lay down His life and to have His life raised from the dead (John 10:11-18). Shortly before Jesus died He exercised this authority by entrusting to His Father His spirit (not the Holy Spirit in this case but rather the spirit which is the principle of life, the breath of life). Remember His words on the Cross, "Father into Thy hands I commend My spirit" (Luke 23:46). By doing this He gave authority for death to overtake Him on account of our sins for which He died but He also had delegated His right and authority over His own life to the Father to raise Him up from the dead. In this way Jesus was very much responsible for both His own death and resurrection. What great love and condescension the Son of God subjected Himself to on our behalf! The reader is urged to examine in more detail the Biblical fact of Christ's Godhood and Deity in the author's Internet article: Christ Was Begotten - Not Created.

By no means is the doctrine of conditional immortality new teaching. A minority of Christians, of various denominations, have held to this view of hell throughout the centuries. Even some very prominent Christians of the past have held to this view and there are a number (albeit a minority) of Christian theologians and scholars in the present who hold to this view. However, this view on hell, unfortunately, is known so little outside the Christian community and even inside the Christian community for that matter.

Many of the early Protestant Reformers, including Martin Luther, held to the view that man, by nature, is entirely mortal (including the soul), but the great Reformer John Calvin opposed this view and specifically wrote against it and insisted that all of the Reformers present a united front. An excellent Internet site containing information on all of this is "Champions of Conditional Immortality In History".

I highly recommend to all readers Dr. Edward Fudge's thoroughly biblical and scholarly work "The Fire That Consumes". The book is foreworded by the great evangelical scholar F.F. Bruce. This book should be required reading in every seminary and Bible school!

I encourage all to read my larger article "The Bible Vs. The Traditional View of Hell" at my website http://bgrnathan.blogspot.com/2010/0...w-of-hell.html for more comprehensive and in-depth coverage of this subject. Other questions and arguments, not raised here, are answered thoroughly in my larger article. I also hope that this information will shed new light in reading the New Testament, particularly the Gospels.

The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, has his bachelor's degree with concentrations in theology and biology and has been recognized for his writings on religion and science in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who in The East."
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:03 PM   #68
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Default Re: ETERNAL TORMENT IS FALSE TEACHING WHAT SAY YE'?

Hard to read through all of that.

While this is not a new idea, it came to prominence in recent years when both Rob Bell and Brian McLaren effectively took this or similar positions in their writings.

And those writings effectively ended the so-called "emerging church" movement (or "conversation" as they insisted on calling it). The best of it has continued in other aspects of current changes in the "way we do church." But the theologically wanton portions known as "emergent" (as in Emergent Village) have effectively disappeared, or gone deep underground.

The problem is that almost all of it is based on words that mean both temporal and eternal (but not at the same time). Therefore knowing what is intended is not entirely clear. And since we are not responsible for any aspect of carrying it out, it is only important that we understand that there is a serious cost for certain kinds of disobedience, primarily in disobedience through rejecting God.

And the arguments for so-called annihilation (punishment that ultimately results in the destruction of the body and soul) are not without support. For example, when it says "shall not perish but have everlasting/eternal life," are we sure that perish in this case is not the death we thought we deserved when Adam and Eve first sinned? We already got separation from God.

But I do not ask the question to seek an answer. I find that the answer is within the purview of God and not man. And that answer is not mine to decide or execute. So I will gladly leave it to God and in the meantime take heed to the warning that giving us even a hint of what could otherwise be coming is out there to help me keep on the right path.
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:21 AM   #69
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Default Re: ETERNAL TORMENT IS FALSE TEACHING WHAT SAY YE'?

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While this is not a new idea, it came to prominence in recent years when both Rob Bell

And the arguments for so-called annihilation (punishment that ultimately results in the destruction of the body and soul) are not without support. For example, when it says "shall not perish but have everlasting/eternal life," are we sure that perish in this case is not the death we thought we deserved when Adam and Eve first sinned? We already got separation from God.

But I do not ask the question to seek an answer. I find that the answer is within the purview of God and not man. And that answer is not mine to decide or execute. So I will gladly leave it to God and in the meantime take heed to the warning that giving us even a hint of what could otherwise be coming is out there to help me keep on the right path.
Maybe it isn't yours to decide or execute but just maybe it can be yours to understand the motives of our God that is...if that matters to you.

Before this post, I never heard of Rob Bell and Brian McLaren. I reckon they have their say in the matter and I've been open enough to read some about what they are up to but I have to tell you that in my world they are meaningless and had no effect on my leading. I seek Gods leading and I believe it is He who has stirred up the desire in my heart concerning this matter of eternal torment.

What does The Spirit have to say...?
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Old 03-05-2020, 11:21 AM   #70
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Default Re: ETERNAL TORMENT IS FALSE TEACHING WHAT SAY YE'?

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CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN THEOLOGIAN NO LONGER BELIEVES ETERNAL TORMENT

Jun 12, 2014235 views


by Babu G. Ranganathan


...What does all this mean? It means that when God the Son (Jesus Christ) took the legal guilt and liability for our sins on the Cross then His divine moral nature required that He die since the penalty for sin is death. As He had to be true to His moral nature the Son gave up His life. It is precisely because of the immutability of His moral nature that Christ (Who is God) died when He took the guilt of our sins! Because He was God Christ's death had infinite value so that it was not necessary for Him to remain dead for eternity in order for His death to satisfy the full penalty for our sins.

If Jesus was truly God and He died completely (in both body and soul), how then could He have raised His own body from the grave as He said He would. There are two possible answers. One is that when His soul was given back its life Christ then entered His own body and raised it up from the grave. The other possible answer is in understanding what Jesus said about His authority over His own life and death. Jesus said that the Father had given to Him authority to lay down His life and to have His life raised from the dead (John 10:11-18). Shortly before Jesus died He exercised this authority by entrusting to His Father His spirit (not the Holy Spirit in this case but rather the spirit which is the principle of life, the breath of life). Remember His words on the Cross, "Father into Thy hands I commend My spirit" (Luke 23:46). By doing this He gave authority for death to overtake Him on account of our sins for which He died but He also had delegated His right and authority over His own life to the Father to raise Him up from the dead. In this way Jesus was very much responsible for both His own death and resurrection. What great love and condescension the Son of God subjected Himself to on our behalf! The reader is urged to examine in more detail the Biblical fact of Christ's Godhood and Deity in the author's Internet article: Christ Was Begotten - Not Created.

The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, has his bachelor's degree with concentrations in theology and biology and has been recognized for his writings on religion and science in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who in The East."
Bro Manna-man
I’ve read the NT more than a few times- there is no “God the Son” mentioned in the NT. Hard to debate something about scripture when someone adds to it things that are not there.

But here are a couple of verses worth considering

1 Tim 2 3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,

1 Tim 4 10For to this end [c]we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11These things command and teach.
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Old 03-08-2020, 03:32 PM   #71
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Default Re: ETERNAL TORMENT IS FALSE TEACHING WHAT SAY YE'?

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Bro Manna-man
I’ve read the NT more than a few times- there is no “God the Son” mentioned in the NT. Hard to debate something about scripture when someone adds to it things that are not there.

But here are a couple of verses worth considering

1 Tim 2 3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,

1 Tim 4 10For to this end [c]we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11These things command and teach.
Brother BJB

I'm not clear what you claim to understand.

How does your question or concern relate to the topic Eternal Torment?

Please explain I don't understand your angle.

Thanks
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Old 03-10-2020, 10:42 AM   #72
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Default Re: ETERNAL TORMENT IS FALSE TEACHING WHAT SAY YE'?

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Maybe it isn't yours to decide or execute but just maybe it can be yours to understand the motives of our God that is...if that matters to you.

Before this post, I never heard of Rob Bell and Brian McLaren. I reckon they have their say in the matter and I've been open enough to read some about what they are up to but I have to tell you that in my world they are meaningless and had no effect on my leading. I seek Gods leading and I believe it is He who has stirred up the desire in my heart concerning this matter of eternal torment.

What does The Spirit have to say...?
(Sorry for not responding sooner, but I don't frequent the site as much as I used to.)

When you ask "What does The Spirit have to say . . ." you raise an interesting question. I do not deny that the Spirit speaks, and even does so independently of the words found in scripture. But the problem is whether the thing we want to attribute to the Spirit is actually from the Spirit and not from another source, whether our own desires, those of someone else, or even something "spiritual" that is not the Spirit.

In many ways, the understanding of any passage that in some manner refers to punishment (torment) is like trying to pin down the meaning of the many prophecies in Revelation. What they mean precisely is unclear. But what they should mean presently to anyone who is a believer or considering whether to believe is more clear. Whether torment is eternal or temporal; whether temporal torment (if that is what is meant) ends with annihilation, or with restoration; whether horses, bowls and seals mean this or that; there is a clear warning to believe and to live in accordance with that belief.

In other words, the warnings are meant to be less a detail for the results of failure than a shepherd's rod to direct us along the right path. Understood in this way, the point is to move us in the right direction, not to give us details of the result of moving in the wrong direction.

So if the goal is to support the detailed account of what happens to the unbeliever, there is some concern that what we come up with is a false teaching. But if the goal is to support that there is a cost and that saying that is for the purpose of moving us along the correct path, then it is a true teaching written in metaphors and types.

I think that anyone that tries to develop an absolute teaching on hell, eternal torment, temporal torment, annihilation, or whatever on the negative side is working with nothing more than types, figures, and metaphors. So at some level, any "absolute" teaching in this area is potentially false, though it could be true. The point (to me) is that it is not about the negative outcome, but ensuring that you don't have that outcome. To dwell on the negative outcome and seek to pin it down is to miss the point.
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:17 AM   #73
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(Sorry for not responding sooner, but I don't frequent the site as much as I used to.)

When you ask "What does The Spirit have to say . . ." you raise an interesting question. I do not deny that the Spirit speaks, and even does so independently of the words found in scripture. But the problem is whether the thing we want to attribute to the Spirit is actually from the Spirit and not from another source, whether our own desires, those of someone else, or even something "spiritual" that is not the Spirit.

In many ways, the understanding of any passage that in some manner refers to punishment (torment) is like trying to pin down the meaning of the many prophecies in Revelation. What they mean precisely is unclear. But what they should mean presently to anyone who is a believer or considering whether to believe is more clear. Whether torment is eternal or temporal; whether temporal torment (if that is what is meant) ends with annihilation, or with restoration; whether horses, bowls and seals mean this or that; there is a clear warning to believe and to live in accordance with that belief.

In other words, the warnings are meant to be less a detail for the results of failure than a shepherd's rod to direct us along the right path. Understood in this way, the point is to move us in the right direction, not to give us details of the result of moving in the wrong direction.

So if the goal is to support the detailed account of what happens to the unbeliever, there is some concern that what we come up with is a false teaching. But if the goal is to support that there is a cost and that saying that is for the purpose of moving us along the correct path, then it is a true teaching written in metaphors and types.

I think that anyone that tries to develop an absolute teaching on hell, eternal torment, temporal torment, annihilation, or whatever on the negative side is working with nothing more than types, figures, and metaphors. So at some level, any "absolute" teaching in this area is potentially false, though it could be true. The point (to me) is that it is not about the negative outcome, but ensuring that you don't have that outcome. To dwell on the negative outcome and seek to pin it down is to miss the point.
Greetings dear brother Mike,

The point here is to pin down a topic nobody wants to address. To not kowtow to fear.

IMHO...if we are paying attention to the scriptures and the Spirits leading, when we learn of the depths of gods wisdom, love and his mercy. We also learn of his character.

His character is extraordinary. So much so that it actually defines everything. He is the beginning and end of everything, the author of our faith.
To simplify matters may we agree that he defines what is acceptable or unacceptable.

What is acceptable? A few examples....1 Corinthians 13*New International Version (NIV)

13*If I speak in the tongues[a]*of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.*2*If I have the gift of prophecy*and can fathom all mysteries*and all knowledge,*and if I have a faith*that can move mountains,*but do not have love, I am nothing.*3*If I give all I possess to the poor*and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b]*but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4*Love is patient,*love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.*5*It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,*it is not easily angered,*it keeps no record of wrongs.*6*Love does not delight in evil*but rejoices with the truth.*7*It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8*Love never fails. But where there are prophecies,*they will cease; where there are tongues,*they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.*9*For we know in part*and we prophesy in part,*10*but when completeness comes,*what is in part disappears.*11*When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood*behind me.*12*For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;*then we shall see face to face.*Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13*And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.*But the greatest of these is love.

What is unacceptable? The opposite of above.

Getting back to His character.....

In Gods foreknowledge and actual plan for humanity, did He consider what would happen if a percentage of his creation ignored/rejected his consumate plan? Surely He did for we know of his wisdom.
Therefore what is this hell/eternal torment thing all about?
Is God really going to burn people, torment them forever and ever?

Are we attacking gods character for asking such questions? Certainly not!

We should be understanding more about him and his love through our seeking and abiding.
We should be defending the faith by rejecting false teachings which harden the hearts of those who are perishing.

May The Lord increase our love for him and one another and definitely for those who are perishing while there is still time!

Hose Jr
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Old 03-11-2020, 01:49 PM   #74
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Brother BJB

I'm not clear what you claim to understand.

How does your question or concern relate to the topic Eternal Torment?

Please explain I don't understand your angle.

Thanks
I say, old boy, read through Babu’s presentation- lots of twists and turns, interpretations- additions and subtractions to support his thinking. Right in the middle, he presents an extremely large “if-then” argument - If Jesus is God, then blah blah blah. He does this twice. Then He refers to Jesus as God the Son. Am I really supposed to take this as a serious treatise? We are not considering something like who is the real 12th apostle, or something of minor consideration. I would expect a more noble, scriptural presentation. To the trinitarians, the Jesus is God thing is already a done deal, why put forth an if-then argument? The scripture never refers to Jesus as God the Son, so why would he make such a misleading statement?
Babu shoots himself in the foot trying to present his case.

I included 2 verses from the apostle Paul. in 1Tim 2, Paul points out that it is God’s desire for all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth- that’s God’s desire, and I think God gets what he wants. The way is through the one man Jesus the Christ, who gave himself a ransom for all.

Next was 1Tim 4.10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11These things command and teach.

God is the savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

I think from these 2 verses given to us by the apostle Paul, I get a pretty good idea of God’s desire and plan. From Babu- well, he argues his points like WL- adding, subtracting, cutting, pasting, and including false and misleading non- scriptural ideas.

Grace to you Manna-Man from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus, the anointed one.
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Old 03-11-2020, 03:07 PM   #75
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I say, old boy, read through Babu’s presentation- lots of twists and turns, interpretations- additions and subtractions to support his thinking. Right in the middle, he presents an extremely large “if-then” argument - If Jesus is God, then blah blah blah. He does this twice. Then He refers to Jesus as God the Son. Am I really supposed to take this as a serious treatise? We are not considering something like who is the real 12th apostle, or something of minor consideration. I would expect a more noble, scriptural presentation. To the trinitarians, the Jesus is God thing is already a done deal, why put forth an if-then argument? The scripture never refers to Jesus as God the Son, so why would he make such a misleading statement?
Babu shoots himself in the foot trying to present his case.

I included 2 verses from the apostle Paul. in 1Tim 2, Paul points out that it is God’s desire for all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth- that’s God’s desire, and I think God gets what he wants. The way is through the one man Jesus the Christ, who gave himself a ransom for all.

Next was 1Tim 4.10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11These things command and teach.

God is the savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

I think from these 2 verses given to us by the apostle Paul, I get a pretty good idea of God’s desire and plan. From Babu- well, he argues his points like WL- adding, subtracting, cutting, pasting, and including false and misleading non- scriptural ideas.

Grace to you Manna-Man from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus, the anointed one.
Dear brother BJB,

I disagree.

Do you know what Babu means? It's too easy to make judgements against people without knowing much about them. I encourage you to find more of his articles and read them before making such claims against him.

The topic is eternal torment. I presented it because I have.major issues with it and how it makes God look. I don't like everything about Babu's presentation but it's the best I've seen yet.

So... BJB,

Tell me, do you believe God considered everything before creation and then pulled the trigger knowing that those who reject his plan won't just die but suffer in eternal agony for some glorious cruel I told you so?
IMHO...if you believe that you have character issues as well.

I don't mean that as an attack but a wake up slap.

Holy hugs and kisses to you dear brother!
Hose Jr
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Old 03-14-2020, 10:47 AM   #76
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Dear brother BJB,

I disagree.

Do you know what Babu means? It's too easy to make judgements against people without knowing much about them. I encourage you to find more of his articles and read them before making such claims against him.

The topic is eternal torment. I presented it because I have.major issues with it and how it makes God look. I don't like everything about Babu's presentation but it's the best I've seen yet.

So... BJB,

Tell me, do you believe God considered everything before creation and then pulled the trigger knowing that those who reject his plan won't just die but suffer in eternal agony for some glorious cruel I told you so?
IMHO...if you believe that you have character issues as well.

I don't mean that as an attack but a wake up slap.

Holy hugs and kisses to you dear brother!
Hose Jr
I never heard of Baba Babu before; we have all been down that road of diving into some man's great teaching that is snips, cut and tape scripture presentation. I pointed out that part of his argument included an entity not found in scripture- God the Son. Not a small error in my opinion.

I also included two verses from Paul to Timothy that do speak of how we should view God's heart toward man. Particularly important to me is that God is savior of ALL men, ESPECIALLY of those who believe. I believe and want that "especial", but I also recognize that there is an ALL in there. I don't- I use the word think in this case rather than believe- that God is not in the business of eternally punishing man.

What do you think of the two Timothy verses given by Paul, an apostle by the will of God?
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Old 03-14-2020, 10:34 PM   #77
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I never heard of Baba Babu before; we have all been down that road of diving into some man's great teaching that is snips, cut and tape scripture presentation. I pointed out that part of his argument included an entity not found in scripture- God the Son. Not a small error in my opinion.

I also included two verses from Paul to Timothy that do speak of how we should view God's heart toward man. Particularly important to me is that God is savior of ALL men, ESPECIALLY of those who believe. I believe and want that "especial", but I also recognize that there is an ALL in there. I don't- I use the word think in this case rather than believe- that God is not in the business of eternally punishing man.

What do you think of the two Timothy verses given by Paul, an apostle by the will of God?
"I included 2 verses from the apostle Paul. in 1Tim 2, Paul points out that it is God’s desire for all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth- that’s God’s desire, and I think God gets what he wants. The way is through the one man Jesus the Christ, who gave himself a ransom for all.

Next was 1Tim 4.10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11These things command and teach.

God is the savior of all men, especially of those who believe."

I haven't known of Babu long enough to jump to such a conclusion about him as you have. I prefer not to be so quick to judge.

Nevertheless,

As quoted previously..."God is the savior of all men, especially of those who believe."

Are you a universalist?

If God is the savior of all men then why are we still here? Scripture teaches He wills that none would perish but says many will.

I say there Old boy....I ain't no chicken I'm a Rooster��
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Old 03-15-2020, 06:27 PM   #78
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"I included 2 verses from the apostle Paul. in 1Tim 2, Paul points out that it is God’s desire for all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth- that’s God’s desire, and I think God gets what he wants. The way is through the one man Jesus the Christ, who gave himself a ransom for all.

Next was 1Tim 4.10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11These things command and teach.

God is the savior of all men, especially of those who believe."

I haven't known of Babu long enough to jump to such a conclusion about him as you have. I prefer not to be so quick to judge.

Nevertheless,

As quoted previously..."God is the savior of all men, especially of those who believe."

Are you a universalist?

If God is the savior of all men then why are we still here? Scripture teaches He wills that none would perish but says many will.

I say there Old boy....I ain't no chicken I'm a Rooster��
¿What in the world is a universalist? Seems there is a label for everything. No, bro I just a Christian who try’s to walk in faith.

But, back to Paul and Tim- I ask myself, why Paul would tell Tim “all” men and then “especially those who believe”. If I was Tim, I would think that all means all. But in the scriptures, it seems with the right combination of verse fragments, one can have the scriptures saying just about anything.

One thing the scripture does not use is God the Son. It definitely presents the Son of God, and the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus, but Son of God- that’s a nyet (a little Russian collusion there). But the Baba Babu sticks it right in his dissertation

Son, Ah say son, you got to be with it, we don’t want no fox to get the chickens in this barnyard.
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Old 03-16-2020, 07:45 AM   #79
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¿What in the world is a universalist? Seems there is a label for everything. No, bro I just a Christian who try’s to walk in faith.

But, back to Paul and Tim- I ask myself, why Paul would tell Tim “all” men and then “especially those who believe”. If I was Tim, I would think that all means all. But in the scriptures, it seems with the right combination of verse fragments, one can have the scriptures saying just about anything.

One thing the scripture does not use is God the Son. It definitely presents the Son of God, and the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus, but Son of God- that’s a nyet (a little Russian collusion there). But the Baba Babu sticks it right in his dissertation

Son, Ah say son, you got to be with it, we don’t want no fox to get the chickens in this barnyard.
Mornin BJB,

Ezekiel 18 one of my favorite go to places in the bible which lays down clearly who will live and who will die.

It also reveals that God takes no pleasure in carrying out judgement that he would prefer all would be saved.

It's so redundant even I get it.

A Universalist believes that all humankind will eventually be saved. This can not be true because scriptures make it clear that a choice is to be made and consequences have been established...Eternal Life or Death.

Eternal torment is a false narrative/seed designed to...when it germinates...Makes you question the character of God our Savior.

I'm not twisting words. Merely showing that eternal torment makes no sense.

Peace.
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Old 03-16-2020, 10:58 AM   #80
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Mornin BJB,

Ezekiel 18 one of my favorite go to places in the bible which lays down clearly who will live and who will die.

It also reveals that God takes no pleasure in carrying out judgement that he would prefer all would be saved.

It's so redundant even I get it.

A Universalist believes that all humankind will eventually be saved. This can not be true because scriptures make it clear that a choice is to be made and consequences have been established...Eternal Life or Death.

Eternal torment is a false narrative/seed designed to...when it germinates...Makes you question the character of God our Savior.

I'm not twisting words. Merely showing that eternal torment makes no sense.

Peace.
So what is this “all” thing and the “especially” that Paul speaks to Tim about?

And here I find another “all”, this time from Jesus the Christ John 12
30Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. 31Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” 33This He said, signifying by what death He would die.

I would think Paul and Jesus would have wanted to make it clear that only a few will make it and the rest will just cease to exist.
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Old 03-16-2020, 12:36 PM   #81
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So what is this “all” thing and the “especially” that Paul speaks to Tim about?

And here I find another “all”, this time from Jesus the Christ John 12
30Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. 31Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” 33This He said, signifying by what death He would die.

I would think Paul and Jesus would have wanted to make it clear that only a few will make it and the rest will just cease to exist.
BJB,

Are you saying the bible contradicts itself?
Or..
Are you seeing what you want to see?

Have you read Ezekiel 18? If you didn't, consider the following...


Ezekiel 18 King James Version (KJV)
18 The word of the Lord came unto me again, saying,

2 What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?

3 As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.

4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,

6 And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman,

7 And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment;

8 He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man,

9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God.

10 If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things,

11 And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour's wife,

12 Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination,

13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.

14 Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father's sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like,

15 That hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour's wife,

16 Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment,

17 That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.

18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.

19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.

20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?

26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.

27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.

28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?

30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.


BJB, is there any room for "ALL" in Ezekiel 18
or is Ezekiel 18 now irrelevant?

King James Version (KJV)

31And God looked upon all that He had made, and indeed, it was very good.

And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.


BJB,

Above we have an excerpt of Genesis chapt 1.

God looked upon all and it was said that "ALL" was very good.

Having read from A to Z was God wrong or do we need to read between the lines and consider everything in the context of the full gospel?

All peace and grace to you dear brother!
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Old 03-18-2020, 09:16 AM   #82
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Default Re: ETERNAL TORMENT IS FALSE TEACHING WHAT SAY YE'?

A sharing of Ezekiel 18...

https://youtu.be/o2iez_A8D9I
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Old 03-18-2020, 04:14 PM   #83
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A sharing of Ezekiel 18...

https://youtu.be/o2iez_A8D9I
Bro Manna-man. The big E was in the time of the Old Covenant.
Jesus-not me, but Jesus through the writing recorded by the apostle John said And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” This He said, signifying by what death He would die

Seems to me that Jesus was talking NT things. And then our beloved apostle by the will of God- Paul tells Tim s 1Tim 4.10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11These things command and teach

All and especially, these things command and teach.

E was talking to Israel concerning their keeping the OldCovenant. Jesus, John, Paul talking about the New Covenant to all.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:02 PM   #84
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Bro Manna-man. The big E was in the time of the Old Covenant.
Jesus-not me, but Jesus through the writing recorded by the apostle John said And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” This He said, signifying by what death He would die

Seems to me that Jesus was talking NT things. And then our beloved apostle by the will of God- Paul tells Tim s 1Tim 4.10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11These things command and teach

All and especially, these things command and teach.

E was talking to Israel concerning their keeping the OldCovenant. Jesus, John, Paul talking about the New Covenant to all.
Dear brother BJB,

"Ezekiel 18 King James Version (KJV)
18 The word of the Lord came unto me again, saying,"

4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

E starts out declaring a word from the Lord.

Is E a liar?

The full gospel is the Old and New Testament for scriptures declare that God foreknew and predestined.

I want to believe that ALL will be saved but this type of thinking doesn't jive with the whole of the scriptures and all of the warnings. For if all will be saved then why the warnings? Why the metaphor of the sheep and the hirelings? or the wheat and the tares or the leaven?

Through the scriptures we are encouraged that God doesn't change.

You said that E was quoting the Old Testament.

He was quoting The Word Of The Lord. Otherwise his testimony was meaningless which is just plain not the case.
If that were the case,
The same could be said of Isaiah 9:6.
Zechariah 4:6
John 3:16

If that were the case, we could say that the gospel was as silly as a recent Liberty Mutual commercial where the guy pulls parallel to another car on the highway and yells out give me your hand I can save you! He hands one of the women in the car a card with contact info and then they find themselves stopped at a red light in a silly awkward moment because there's nothing more to say.

The Gospel might put us in an akward position but it is far from silly and it's message is complete. Here's a link to the silly commercial that is great for a good laugh.

https://youtu.be/WFplRXgS8T4

Peace
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:45 PM   #85
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Dear brother BJB,

"Ezekiel 18 King James Version (KJV)
18 The word of the Lord came unto me again, saying,"

4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

E starts out declaring a word from the Lord.

Is E a liar?

The full gospel is the Old and New Testament for scriptures declare that God foreknew and predestined.

I want to believe that ALL will be saved but this type of thinking doesn't jive with the whole of the scriptures and all of the warnings. For if all will be saved then why the warnings? Why the metaphor of the sheep and the hirelings? or the wheat and the tares or the leaven?

Through the scriptures we are encouraged that God doesn't change.

You said that E was quoting the Old Testament.

He was quoting The Word Of The Lord. Otherwise his testimony was meaningless which is just plain not the case.
If that were the case,
The same could be said of Isaiah 9:6.
Zechariah 4:6
John 3:16

If that were the case, we could say that the gospel was as silly as a recent Liberty Mutual commercial where the guy pulls parallel to another car on the highway and yells out give me your hand I can save you! He hands one of the women in the car a card with contact info and then they find themselves stopped at a red light in a silly awkward moment because there's nothing more to say.

The Gospel might put us in an akward position but it is far from silly and it's message is complete. Here's a link to the silly commercial that is great for a good laugh.

https://youtu.be/WFplRXgS8T4

Peace
Bro Manna-man
You’re misquoting me and then making some statements that are not following. EZek was not quoting the OT, he was living, as was Israel at that time under the Old Covenant and God was dealing with the nation of Israel under that covenant- you jumped verses and didn’t quote verse 2 which shows he is talking to Israel. Vs 30 makes this clear 30“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord God. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin.

The good news, the gospel is the New Covenant we have through the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

I’m not saying I have great understanding of how God deals with people who reject the gospel in this age, but Paul told Tim ALL and ESPECIALLY.

I was in a situation last month where someone died. The hospital chaplain- a brother, who did not know the deceased, offered a prayer that included “we know he is in a better place”. I have heard this at funerals before also- it’s kind of a hope thing that a person who dies is in Gods hand and God is good, merciful, and forgiving.

You brought up something before that if one felt God was going to punish eternally that they had bad character. If you look at the situation that has existed in and out of the church in the last 2000 years, I would think it is bad character to think that with all the falsehoods, shenanigans, strange religions that exist, that God would eternally extinguish a soul who didn’t get the right message- I’m more persuaded that God, in light of Christ’s sacrifice has a way- as Paul- who was an apostle by Gods will told Tim, God the savior of all, especially of those who believe. I want to be part of that ESPECIALLY as I’m sure you do.

Grace to you manna-man and peace- especially during these trying times from God our Father and Jesus our Lord.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:03 PM   #86
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Jude 25 New King James Version (NKJV)
25 To [a]God our Savior,
[b]Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and [c]power,
Both now and forever.
Amen.
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