02 December 2012

Hell Is Not What You Think It Is (Part 2)

In my last post, I explained what hell isn't. I described that there is no burning and torture for all eternity. Simply put, hell (or Gehenna) as we know it, is a valley in the Old Testament where people sacrificed their children by burning them alive. This idea of an eternal furnace originally came from religious leaders who took scripture out of context and tried to manipulate and scare people into believing in Jesus.
Hell is the grave.

However, in this post, I want to share some of what God has shown me about hell. What you read might be shocking and go against every single fiber of your religious body, but that's ok. It was shocking for me too. When people have become so accustom to a certain perception or belief, anything new that comes along will certainly be hard to swallow (Mat 6:33-34). There is much I still don't fully understand, but that's the beauty of it. I have all eternity to figure it out.

The first blasphemous thing I want to mention is that hell is on earth. That's right, what we know of hell actually resides on our own planet. As you know, hell is simply defined, in most of its forms, as "the grave" (Gehenna is the exception). When a person dies, they are typically buried in the ground or grave sight. They are completely finished in their present state of being and there is no more breath in them. They have perished and their body has been basically wiped out or "destroyed." The body returns to the dust in which it came (Psa 90:1-6).

This shouldn't be too much of a shock to you, because we all know we die and go to the grave. So basically, we all go to hell.

Remember, death is just the beginning of our real lives. We seem to have this kind of "birther complex." Just because we were born into this world doesn't mean we weren't around before our momma's popped us out of the womb. Your life didn't start on your birthday. Your real birthday is the very moment when God thought of you. And, your life will continue when you die unless God somehow puts you out of your misery (Rev 20:7-15). We are eternal beings made in the image of God. This moment in time is just our temporary residence.

Now, let's talk about eternity some more. We can't just go the grave and that be the end of the story. Something else has to happen. We keep on living, but it's in a different bodily form (1 Cor 15:35-58). So, where do we go? Well, from what I understand, some go to Heaven and others go to...paradise (Luke 23:43). And, what's the only paradise besides the Hawaiian islands that we know of? Exactly. Eden.

Yes, I just said hell is paradise. And, to be honest, I don't think heaven and hell are that much different. Hell is more like God's front yard (or "outer courts" in OT speak). I'm not saying Heaven is on earth too, but that Eden is kind of in the same dimension or realm.

Ok, I know this is craziness, but just hear me out.

Let's look at the hell of the Old Testament some more. You have to remember that God sent every single one of his favorite people to hell (Sheol) when they died (Gen 37:33-36). That's right. Jesus explicitly said no one entered Heaven before him (John 3:10-13, John 1:18). Well, unless Jesus was lying, this means Elijah and Enoch never went to the real Heaven either (2 Kin 2:11-12, Gen 5:24). Well, not until Jesus died on the cross and stole the keys of death and the grave (hell) (Rev 1:17-18). This means Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, Job, David and all the other greats of the Old Testament all went to hell when they passed away. Yeah, not what you're taught on Sunday's is it?

Let's look at more examples.

We all probably remember what Jesus told the thief on the cross. He basically said, "Today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:39-43). Just because he told one thief that he was going with him to paradise, doesn't mean the other guy was going to burn. We usually portray the other thief as the bad guy, but if you go back and look, they essentially asked Jesus the same question. They both wondered when Jesus was going to take his rightful place on the throne. One wanted Jesus to save him immediately from the cross (who wouldn't), the other wanted Jesus to rescue him whenever his reign started. The second thief had a better grasp on what was happening. So, Jesus recognized the Truth and spoke to the Spirit in him.

On that note, you also might remember that after Jesus died he went to hell to preach to the people there (1 Pet 3:18-22Acts 2:29-33). Why in the world would Jesus go down to hell and preach about stuff? Wouldn't they be in the grave? Wouldn't they already have a firm grasp on death, hell, and Jesus? Apparently not. Turns out there's much more to Sheol than we understand.

Also, many of you might not know about this incident in the Old Testament because teachers of the Word like to avoid things they don't understand, but it's a pretty interesting read (1 Sam 28:3-25). When Saul was king, the Holy Spirit left him because he did something bad. Actually, what he did wasn't really that big a deal, but for whatever reason God didn't like it. To sum it up, Samuel was already dead. However, Saul needed some advice and Samuel helped him out a few times in the past. So, he secretly decided to consult a medium (you know, one of those psychics, not of God, that speak to the dead) to talk to Samuel. He wanted to ask him what he should do next since God wouldn't speak to him anymore. Crazy thing is, the Bible says the medium somehow conjured him back to life. Then, he had a conversation with Samuel about his situation. However, Samuel was none too pleased with this encounter. He pretty much blasted Saul for disturbing him. Then, Samuel went on to prophecy again and told Saul that he and his sons would be with him (in hell) the very next day. Ok, this is all kinds of interesting. So, the same guy who God was upset with and made his enemy is going to be in the exact same place as Samuel? And, sure enough, Saul died the next day. Yeah, not what you expected.

From this story we also know that hell or death is a restful state because of what Samuel said to Saul in the beginning of their conversation. This actually gives RIP a whole new meaning. And, if Samuel was actually in paradise the whole time, I'd be ticked too. Who would ever want to return to this place?

I guess when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he wouldn't have been too pleased either (John 11:38-44).

There's one more incident that I want to mention. God has a very unique and interesting relationship with Lucifer. When you go back and read about Job, God actually has a face-to-face conversation with our infamous bad guy, Satan (Job 1:1-12). This is shocking. How can a God who can't possibly look on sin, actually handle talking or seeing Lucifer for one second (Hab 1:12-13)? Isn't Satan the perfect example of sin and wouldn't he be full of all kinds of evil (Mark 15:33-34)? He's supposed to be the baddest dude on the planet and he's the reason we're all here in our current state. I don't know why people keep skipping over this whole scenario. On top of that, just before God and Satan encounter one another, you'll see that Satan was doing something else unexpected. He was actually hanging out with the sons of God (or dudes who died leading up to Job). Now, why in the world would Lucifer be chatting it up with our favorite good guys in Sheol? Wouldn't they despise one another or want to knock each other's lights out? Interesting, isn't it? Well, we do know that Satan had just as much access to Eden as Adam and Eve did back in the day, so it wouldn't be to far-fetched.

Finally, the last thing I want to mention is who goes to hell or Heaven. I actually believe you either go to Eden or Heaven. I guess the people that simply don't want to be around God will get to enjoy God's front yard. And, those that actually desire to be closer to him will get to hang in the King's palace. It's not such a bad deal. Either way, you win.
Look at the cute little Paradise Angels. Not so tough anymore.

However, I do think there's one exception. I believe there will be a time when God completely destroys a person or being who continuously wants to be separated from him (no matter where they are). Although, this will not be as simple as it seems. It will flip the universe upside down when it happens because God will literally have to destroy a piece of himself. I don't care if you're Satan or the worst person on earth, we are all made from God to be like him. There's nothing that can separate us (Rom 8:37-39). So, it will take a phenomenon like no other to put those who still want a divorce from him, out of their torment and misery (Rev 20:14-15). Honestly, nothing can survive without being connected to the Source of all creation.

There is actually so much more that I want to share and explain, but this post is getting too long (and I hate long posts). I've also had some pretty interesting stuff happen to me lately. I originally asked God if he would take me to hell so I could see and experience it for myself. I wanted to see with my own eyes. Then, just a couple of weeks ago something pretty amazing happened. I'll hopefully get to share it with you soon.

If you think I've completely gone off my rocker, then you'd be right. I do realize what I'm saying is craziness, but that's ok. I put my views and thoughts on the line in hopes it inspires you to really seek the Truth. Seriously, my main goal is that you get to know his heart for yourself, just like all the other patriarchs of the Bible did before you.

PS - This was probably one of the most difficult posts I've ever written. I've spent so much time deleting, omitting, and just marinating on what all I've come to understand of God and his goodness. So, let me know what you think.

And, before I forget, I'll see you in hell.


Psych You Out said...

Ok, you know you're out there on this one. But I've thought about it for a while and this is what I think.

I think it makes sense that a loving God wouldn't send those who wanted no part of Him to eternal fiery torment but would instead give them up to the consequences of their choice - an eternity without Him. I also think it makes sense that He would eventually put them out of their misery in some way. I think it's very possible that the knowledge that there IS indeed a God who loves you and has tried to be in your life at every turn and you constantly denied Him and must now spent eternity without Him would be an anguish that goes beyond all understanding and be a hell unto itself.

I'm still unsure as to what ultimately becomes of those people, though. I don't think anyone can know, really. Whatever it is, it's not good. That's all I really know. However, I think this post was pretty ballsy and should inspire some deep thought to those who read it and honestly consider what it says.


Dathan Ellis said...

I think true torment is trying to reject the very being you are. It's like having a child who constantly tries to tear himself away or create "distance" from you because he doesn't want you to be his mother. But, this could never happen. He will always be your child and will always have your blood flowing in his veins. Trying to separate yourself would be hell. This is what Satan does.

Nothing can survive without being connected to God. He's the creator and source of all life. For anyone or anything to try and separate themselves from him would be futile. Like you said, God would literally have to destroy you to give you the peace you want. But, in order to do that, it would be like amputating his arm.

Psych You Out said...

It sounds like a catch 22. He would need to destroy you to give you peace but He can't because you're a part of Him. I sorta think He can and He might just do it. It's the merciful choice and He's merciful. Besides that, He'd just be letting people live the consequences of their choices. He gave them another way and they wouldn't take it.

I also think that way of thinking may be flawed because He will ultimately destroy Satan and his angels. He created them, as well.

Dathan Ellis said...

I think we're saying the same thing. Hell is actually trying to separate yourself from what's giving you life or breath. This is torment and misery because you could never get away from him while alive (existing). God would have to amputate his arm to set you free, but you would be destroyed if he did.

Psych You Out said...

Now that you say it that way, we are saying the exact same thing.

I think more people should talk it out with you. It's very informative. :) <3

Anonymous said...

Snap! I'm using Chrome! ~~~:-)

Daniel Botwin said...

Good post and discussion in the comments. No matter what though even if someone disagrees with you, you've still made them at least think about it. That's a lot better than what is happening on Sunday in most of the buildings. I appreciate the fact you lay it out come what may, because that's what we're supposed to do. Speak the truth no matter what as long as it's done with the main goal of showing love. It's sad a lot more people don't read this and add comments to support you or address their concerns to add to the discussions.

Quinton Smith said...

This was an AMAZING post, better than the first one. I need time to let it all soak in.As I ALWAYS do, I read the scriptures and I need to do some research on my own. However, I WILL say this: I think that TRUE TORMENT is Hell. Point blank, The Torment of not being near God or having God in your life regardless of if we are alive or no heart beating is TORMENT enough...HELL..or not in The "Big Dude Upstairs" yard! Ill have to get back on you with the rest!

Dathan Ellis said...

@Daniel Thank you for the encouragement. You're one of my most faithful readers (and commenter) and that means a lot.

@Quinton Definitely let me know what you think when you're done soaking. You're definitely right about torment. It's gotta suck trying to get away from something you can't separate yourself from.

Anonymous said...

So, I just read some information on "annihilation-ism" and "universalism". Here is what I am getting from you (or Holy Spirit through you)...at the end of your life, you go to Heaven or Eden....if you reject God completely, you get annihilated?? Just reading, studying, DEFINITELY not worrying about it. I am just curious about some of the things I am learning.

Anonymous said...

and honestly...I am not anonymous, this is April. I just don't know how to use my name there! LOL

Dathan Ellis said...

Hey April! ~:-D When you leave a comment you'll see an an option to use a Name/URL. Click that.

I'm still unsure what exactly will happen when we die, but I do know there is nothing to fear for anyone (Christian or non-Christian). I've actually not read anything on annihilation-ism or universalism either. This I do know: There is no hell as we are taught by so many people who "know" Jesus and teach the Word. The people who say this only know Scripture and even have that wrong.