Bible Ministries International

Unsealed Teachings

The following studies examine the unsealed teachings that God had sealed up, until our day. Below you can learn about the different doctrines that we have learned since 1988.

Daniel 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

Select which series you would like to learn more about.

Annihilation Series





Annihilation Or Eternal Suffering



By

E. Gunther von Harringa

BIBLE MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL                                        




ANNIHILATION OR ETERNAL SUFFERING -  PART 1


“All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”



Introduction


This is the first of a new video series on various new doctrines along with doctrinal “clarifications” to shed light on our previous understanding of them, which God has graciously revealed to His people over the course of the last 30 years. Today’s date is September 23, 2018, and out first topic is devoted to the doctrine of “Hell” or eternal suffering, and this will be “Part 1.” Lord willing in this series, we want to examine what the Bible actually teaches about this crucial subject, by contrasting that with what some claim the Bible teaches about this issue. It could well be that three (or more) videos might be required in order to thoroughly investigate the material at hand. As we undertake this, let’s keep in mind the admonition found in Acts 17:11,


“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”


Words And Phrases Associated With The Doctrine Of “Eternal Suffering”


There are a plethora of images of “eternal hell” fostered historically by the Catholic church or other denominations, famous sermons like the Puritan Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God,” Dante’s famous “Inferno,” besides references in art, music, and literature, and of course all of this is available on the Internet. My first introduction to “eternal suffering” (which incidentally, I firmly held to for many decades) was impressed upon me by a number of frightening words and phrases found throughout the Scriptures, such as:


  • “The worm never dies.” (Isaiah 66:24)
  • “The fire is never quenched.” (Isaiah 66:24; Mark 9:43-48)
  • “Fire and brimstone.” (Revelation 14:10; Luke 16:24)
  • “The smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever.” (Revelation 14:11)
  • “No rest, day nor night.”  (Revelation 14:11)
  • “Weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28)
  • “Bound hand and foot and cast into outer darkness.” (Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 25:30)
  • “Scorch men with fire.” (Revelation 16:8)
  • “Scorched with great heat.” (Revelation 16:9)
  • “Gnawed their tongues for pain.” (Revelation 16:10)
  • “Blasphemed the God of Heaven because of their pains and sores.” (Revelation 16:11)
  • “Repented not of their deeds.” (Revelation 16:11)
  • “Desiring a drop of water (or the “Gospel”) because they are thirsty,” but it is denied them. (Luke 16:24)


Along with these graphic vignettes, I agreed with the following conclusions as well:


  • Those in “Hell” apparently have use of their eyes, can speak, can feel pain (Luke 16:23) - if not literally, somehow spiritually.


  • This is what Christ was subjected to, but since He is eternal God, the “everlasting suffering” could be so intensified that it could be neatly “compressed” into a 3-day period, spanning Friday (9AM - 3PM), Saturday, and a partial day on Sunday in 33 AD.


  • Like the “ bush that burned” in Exodus 3:2, those in “Hell” are not “burnt up,” but are  burning throughout eternity: “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush [was] not consumed.”


  • Presuming that the Biblical language is strictly metaphorical, the reality or substance must be far greater in scope.


Bible Ministries International even published a tract (written by our late Board Member, Tom Holt) which was distributed throughout the US as well as overseas in a few countries, entitled “Will You Be In Hell?”


The Correct Biblical Hermeneutic (Methodology) That God Ordained


Whenever anyone studies the Bible it in imperative to recognize that the methodology that one employs will determine the conclusions one reaches. Contrary to what is taught in seminaries, where the opinions of “men of renown” (Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 16:2) are worshipped rather than the dictates of Scripture alone, there is only one true methodology for studying, that the Divine Author of the Bible - Eternal God Himself - has declared in 1 Corinthians 2:9-15,


“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. {10} But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. {11} For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. {12} Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. {13} Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. {14} But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. {15} But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. {16} For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind [nous:G3563] of Christ.”


The Mind [nous:G3563]


This term, “the mind” is also rendered as “understanding” in a number of verses. Let’s just look at two of them, Romans 12:2 and Luke 24:45, respectively:


In Romans 12:2, this word is translated as “mind,” referring to the “metamorphosis” (which is the Greek term used here, from which we derive our English word that is rendered as “be ye transformed,”) indicating that once salvation occurred in one’s soul (during that “time and season”) it impacted the mind or understanding of the elect child of God

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed [metamorphoo:G3339] by the renewing of your mind,[nous:G3563] that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”


This is further substantiated by Luke 24:45, which reveals the awesome principle that God must open the spiritual eyes and ears of His people in order for them to understand even the plainest statements found within the Bible: “Then opened he their understanding, [nous:G3563 - a noun] that they might understand [syniemi:G4920 - a verb] the scriptures,”


A magnificent case in point to illustrate that even the most straightforward statements in the Bible require God’s intervention, so that His elect can grasp the spiritual significance which He has purposefully hidden from all, but His redeemed saints, in which this second word “that they might understand,” is also utilized in Luke 18:31-34; this term surfaces in verse 34 as “understood;” please note the two other verbs in verse 34, “hid,” and [“neither] knew they”:


“Then he took [unto him] the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. {32} For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: {33} And they shall scourge [him], and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. {34} And they understood [syniemi:G4920] none of these things: and this saying was hid [krypto:G2928] from them, neither knew they [ginosko:G1097] the things which were spoken.”


This of course underscores God’s divine prerogative to “conceal a thing” [i.e,. “word”] (and the elect’s responsibility to “search out a matter” [i.e., “a word”] according to Proverbs 25:2. This is also emphasized in Matthew 13:13-15, in which this same term, “syniemi” (G4920) appears three times:


“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. [syniemi:G4920] {14} And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall [syniemi:G4920][G0] not understand; [syniemi:G4920] and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: {15} For this people's heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand [syniemi:G4920] with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”    


Some Common Themes Related To This Doctrine: “Fire,” “Torment,” “Darkness,” “Everlasting,” “Damnation,” “Judgment, And “Punishment”


The following words and phrases scattered throughout Scripture, form the basis for those who assume that “Hell” is a place of unending torture - and if not physical - most certainly spiritual to which all who are not God’s elect will be consigned to, in order to pay for their sins, called “the second death.”


“Fire”


“The Fire Is Never Quenched”


This phrase is taken from Isaiah 66:24, and quoted, for example, in Mark 9:43-48,


“And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire [’esh:H784] be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”


One of the Greek words for “fire” appears frequently in Mark 9:43-48, from which our English word, “pyre” - as a funeral pyre - is derived:


“And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell [geenna:G1067], into the fire [pyr:G4442] that never shall be quenched: {44} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire [pyr:G4442] is not quenched. {45} And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell [geenna:G1067], into the fire [pyr:G4442] that never shall be quenched: {46} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire [pyr:G4442] is not quenched. {47} And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell [geenna:G1067] fire [pyr:G4442]: {48} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire [pyr:G4442] is not quenched.”


“Fire And Brimstone”


The related phrase, “fire and brimstone” emerges in Revelation 14:10,


“The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire [pyr:G4442] and brimstone [theion:G2303] in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:”


“Brimstone” is also found in a few other noteworthy citations as well, as these next references testify:


Luke 17:29, “But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire [pyr:G4442]  and brimstone [theion:G2303] from heaven, and destroyed [them] all.”


Revelation 19:20, “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire [pyr:G4442] burning with brimstone.” [theion:G2303]


Revelation 20:10, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire [pyr:G4442] and brimstone, [theion:G2303] where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”


Revelation 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire [pyr:G4442]  and brimstone: [theion:G2303] which is the second death.”

 

“Flame”


In Luke 16:24, the expression “flame” (G5395) is adopted:  


“And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” [phlox:G5395]


“Scorch Men With Fire”


This statement is found in Revelation 16:8, “And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch [kaumatizo:G2739] men with fire.” [pyr:G4442]  


“Scorched With Great Heat”


Similarly, we read in Revelation 16:9, “And men were scorched [kaumatizo:G2739] with great heat [kauma:G2738], and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.”


In this verse the Greek noun, “heat” is the root word for the Greek verb, “were scorched.”


“Torment”


The next word that warrants our consideration is “torment,” which arises in Revelation 14:10-11, by the word, “torment” (basanismos:G929) which stems from the verb, “he shall be tormented” (basanizo:G928):


“The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented [basanizo:G928] with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: {11} And the smoke of their torment [basanismos:G929] ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”


“Outer Darkness”


“Outer darkness” is another metaphor that the Bible employs in the subsequent passages:

Matthew 8:10-12, “ When Jesus heard [it], he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. {11} And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. {12} But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer [exoteros:G1857] darkness [skotos:G4655]: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”


Matthew 22:12-14, “And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. {13} Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast [him] into outer [exoteros:G1857] darkness [skotos:G4655]; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. {14} For many are called, but few [are] chosen.”


Matthew 25:28-30, “Take therefore the talent from him, and give [it] unto him which hath ten talents. {29} For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. {30} And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer [exoteros:G1857] darkness [skotos:G4655] : there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”


In each of the foregoing passages did you notice the repetitive phrase, “weeping and gnashing of teeth,”which is the next phrase we want to examine?


“Weeping And Gnashing Of Teeth”


Matthew 13:40-42, and 47-50 declare: “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. {41} The Son of man shall send forth his angels [“messengers”], and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; {42} And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing [klauthmos:G2805] and [kai:G2532] gnashing [brygmos:G1030] of teeth [odous:G3599]. ... {47} Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: {48} Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. {49} So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, {50} And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”


Luke 13:25-30, “When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: {26} Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. {27} But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all [ye] workers of iniquity. {28} There shall be weeping [klauthmos:G2805] and [kai:G2532] gnashing [brygmos:G1030] of teeth [odous:G3599], when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you [yourselves] thrust out. {29} And they shall come from the east, and [from] the west, and from the north, and [from] the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. {30} And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.”


“The Worm Never Dies”


We read in Isaiah 66:24, “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm [towla`:H8438] shall not die [muwth:H4191], neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”  


The term, “worm” that is used in this verse is “towla`” (H8438), and can refer to mankind, to Christ, as well as to Satan as these next citations respectively indicate:


Job 25:6 maintains, “How much less man, [that is] a worm? and the son of man, [which is] a worm?”  [towla`:H8438]


Psalm 22:6 asserts: “But I [am] a worm, [towla`:H8438] and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.”


And Isaiah 14:11 says, “Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, [and] the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms [towla`:H8438] cover thee.”


I think we’ll stop here today, and pick this up in our next video, which will be Part 2



ANNIHILATION OR ETERNAL SUFFERING -  PART 2

September 30, 2018


“All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”


Introduction


This is Part 2 of a new video series on the doctrine of “Annihilation Or Eternal Suffering,” and today’s date is September 30, 2018. The purpose of this series is to examine what the Bible actually teaches about this crucial subject, by contrasting that with what some claim the Bible teaches about this issue. In Part 1, we considered some of the Biblical words and phrases associated with this doctrine,  along with the correct Biblical hermeneutic (or methodology) that God has sovereignly ordained for arriving at Truth found in 1 Corinthians 2:10-13. So, with that review in mind, let’s continue our journey to uncover God’s Truth. Today I would like us to focus on the following:


  • I would like to begin by looking at some more words and phrases that exemplify this doctrine.
  • Next we will examine the conclusions which the proponents of “eternal suffering” say the Bible teaches about each of these descriptive terms.
  • Then we will be able to test those same conclusions to see if they will hold up against all that the Bible instructs regarding this important subject.
  • Lastly, the fruit of comparing “spiritual with spiritual” will yield the correct Biblical perspective on this issue; additionally, we will discover that this “correction” will reveal something wonderful about the very nature of God Himself and will also reveal an important aspect with respect to how to study the Bible, which should be a great encouragement to us.


Some Common Themes Related To This Doctrine


“Gnawed Their Tongues For Pain”


This expression is only found in Revelation 16:10,


“And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed [masaomai:G3145] their [autos:G846] tongues [glossa:G1100] for pain,”[ponos:G4192]


“Blasphemed The God Of Heaven Because Of Their Pains And Sores”


We find the use of the two terms, “blaspheme” (or “speak evil of”) and “God” in Revelation 13:6 and 16:9, 11 and 21, respectively; the terms, “pains” and “sores” only surface in Revelation 16:11.


“And he [“the beast”] opened his mouth in blasphemy [blasphemia:G988] against God [theos:G2316], to blaspheme [blasphemeo:G987] his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.”


“And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed [blasphemeo:G987] the name of God [theos:G2316], which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. ...{11} And blasphemed [blasphemeo:G987] the God [theos:G2316] of heaven because of their pains [ponos:G4192] and their sores [helkos:G1668], and repented not of their deeds. … {21} And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [every stone] about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed [blasphemeo:G987] God [theos:G2316] because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.”


“Repented Not Of Their Deeds”


Likewise the words, “repented not” and “works” appear only in Revelation 9:20 and 16:11 respectively:  


“And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented [metanoeo:G3340] not of the works [ergon:G2041] of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:”


“And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented [metanoeo:G3340] not of their deeds.” [ergon:G2041]


“Desiring A Drop Of Water (Or The “Gospel”) Because They Are Thirsty,” [But It Is Denied Them]


We read this poignant account in the parable of the “rich man” and the “beggar, Lazarus” in Luke 16:23-26,


“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments [basanos:G931], and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. {24} And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue [glossa:G1100]; for I am tormented [odynao:G3600] in this flame. [phlox:G5395] {25} But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. [odynao:G3600] {26} And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence.”


The two words that are rendered “tormented” (odynao:G3600) in Luke 16:24-25 are different from the two related terms which were used in Revelation 14:10-11, and translated as “he shall be tormented” and “torment” which was mentioned in Part 1[(and also found in Luke 16:23 as the root word,“basanos” (G931) of “basanizo” (G928)]:


“The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented [basanizo:G928] with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: {11} And the smoke of their torment [basanismos:G929] ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”


Also the expression, “tongue” in Luke 16:24 is the same Greek word found in Revelation 16:10, and rendered as “tongues”:


“And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues [glossa:G1100] for pain,”


The Conclusions Which The Proponents Of “Eternal Suffering” Assert


Now that we have listed some of the prominent passages that adherents of “eternal suffering” employ, let’s go back to each of them to carefully consider their Biblical rationale for establishing their conclusions:


“The Fire Is Never Quenched”  


Let’s begin our investigation with the phrase, “neither shall their fire be quenched,” taken from Isaiah 66:24, and quoted, for example, in Mark 9:43-48,


“And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire [’esh:H784] be quenched [kabah:H3518]; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”


This passage is set in the context of judgment, and these two Hebrew words, “...neither shall their fire [’esh:H784] be quenched [kabah:H3518]...” are sandwiched in between two other phrases “...for their worm shall not die...” and “...they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” It is also evident that “fire” (’esh:H784) is representative of judgment and used extensively throughout the Old Testament as such. Furthermore, the word, “be quenched” indicates that the fire is not “put out,” but burns continually.


In Mark 9:43-48 we read:


“And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell [geenna:G1067], into the fire [pyr:G4442] that never shall be quenched [asbestos:G762]: {44} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire [pyr:G4442] is [sbennymi:G4570] not quenched. [sbennymi:G4570]{45} And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell [geenna:G1067], into the fire [pyr:G4442] that never shall be quenched: [asbestos:G762]{46} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire [pyr:G4442] is [sbennymi:G4570]  not quenched [sbennymi:G4570]. {47} And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell [geenna:G1067] fire [pyr:G4442]: {48} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire [pyr:G4442] is [sbennymi:G4570] not quenched.” [sbennymi:G4570]


“Their Worm Shall Not Die”


I’ll read Isaiah 66:24 again: “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm [towla`:H8438] shall not die [muwth:H4191], neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring [dera’own:H1860] unto all flesh.” [basar:H1320]


The term, “worm” that is used in this verse is “towla`” (H8438), and in this context is referring to people that have died which the word, “upon the carcases” (peger:H6297) implies. Furthermore these dead individuals can only be the non-elect, signified by the expression, “...that have transgressed against me;” The “me” in this passage points to God Himself. In spite of the fact that these individuals are apparently “dead,” their fate is conveyed by the language: “...shall not die...” which appears to indicate that this “death” somehow never ceases.


“They Shall Be An Abhorring Unto All Flesh”


Moreover, there is a third curious phrase: “...they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” It is curious because apparently these “dead bodies” are likened to a “worm” that “shall not die,” and “their fire” (incidentally, what fire is that...what fire do they possess?) shall not “be quenched,” or “put out.” The two words, “they shall be an abhorring,” (dera’own:H1860) and “unto all flesh” (basar:H1320) only appear together here in Isaiah 66:24. We wonder what “flesh” is being referred to?  The term, “they shall be an abhorring,” only surfaces again in Daniel 12:2 as “contempt;” I’ll read verses 1-3, as verse 2 gives the impression that those that have died and somehow “awake” “...to shame and everlasting contempt,” is a reference to “eternal suffering”:


“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. {2} And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt. [dera’own:H1860] {3} And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”


“Fire And Brimstone”


Another phrase that is commonly used to verify the idea of  “eternal suffering” is “fire and brimstone,” and its association with both “the lake (limne:G3041) of fire,” (pyr:G4442) and “torment” (basanizo:G928) as these next passages maintain:


Luke 17:29 records the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah and the other “cities of the plain”But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire [pyr:G4442]  and brimstone [theion:G2303] from heaven, and destroyed [them] all.”


Luke 17:29 is quoting in part what we read in Genesis 19:24-25, and 28,


“Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone [gophriyth:H 1614] and fire [’esh:H784] from the LORD out of heaven; {25} And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. ... {28} And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.


Luke 17:29 and Genesis 19:24 constitute a “word bridge” between the Old and New Testaments, which we won’t take the time to develop right now, but it would be a most interesting study to undertake as it would amplify our understanding of what God has in mind in with regard to “fire and brimstone.”


In Revelation 14:10 “fire and brimstone” is also linked with “torment”: “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented [basanizo:G928] with fire [pyr:G4442] and brimstone [theion:G2303] in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:”


Revelation 21:8, in turn, equates the “lake of fire” with “the second death”: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake [limne:G3041] which burneth with fire [pyr:G4442] and brimstone: [theion:G2303] which is the second [deuteros:G1208] death.” [thanatos:G2288]


In Revelation 20:10, one finds that “the lake of fire and brimstone” (which is associated with the “second death” ) is coupled with the notion of being “...tormented day and night for ever and ever.”  These concepts are combined with what happened in Sodom and Gomorrah and then projected into eternity, fostering the seemingly inevitable conclusion of “eternal suffering”:


“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake [limne:G3041] of fire [pyr:G4442] and brimstone,[G2303] where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented [basanizo:G928] day and night for [eis:G1519] ever [aion:G165] and ever.” [aion:G165]


Let’s now consider the next two terms - “flame” and “torment,” which was just mentioned:


“Flame” And “Torment”


As was discussed briefly in Part 1, “flame” (phlox:G5395) appears, among other places in the subsequent references,


Luke 16:24-25 is one of the favorite verses that proponents of “eternal suffering” like to use, as it encapsulates the same theme of “torment” as well as “flame” (or (“fire”), and contrasts “Heaven” (as Lazarus is “comforted”) with “Hell,”(the rich man is “tormented”): “And he [the rich man] cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented [odynao:G3600] in this flame. [phlox:G5395] {25} But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted [parakaleo:G3870], and thou art tormented.” [odynao:G3600]


The same word, “a flame,” also emerges in Acts 7:30, as I mentioned in Part 1, which likens the very nature of God as well as His Word to a “consuming fire” (according to Hebrews 12:29) as indicated previously: “And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame [phlox:G5395] of fire in a bush.”


Those who espouse the doctrine of “eternal suffering” make use of this divine attribute of God’s, applying it equally to both classes of people: the non-elect who are tormented in the “fires of Hell” and the elect who are in eternal bliss.


2 Thessalonians 1:8 also includes this term, rendering it as “flaming;” I will read verses 6-9, for the sake of the context: “Seeing [it is] a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; {7} And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, {8} In flaming [phlox:G5395] fire taking vengeance [ekdikesis:G1557] on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: {9} Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; ”


2 Thessalonians 1:8 includes the interesting expression, “vengeance” (ekdikesis:G1557), as we note from these next verses:


Romans 12:19 contains the term, “vengeance,” along with its root word, “avenge,” in addition to the parallel word, “will repay”:  “Dearly beloved, avenge [ekdikeo:G1556] not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [ekdikesis:G1557] [is] mine; I will repay [antapodidomi:G467], saith the Lord.”


Hebrews 10:30 is a related citation that contains the identical words, “vengeance” (G1557) and “will recompense” (G467): “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [ekdikesis:G1557] [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense [antapodidomi:G467], saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.”


Likewise, 1 Peter 2:14 affirms, “Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment [antapodidomi:G1557] of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.”


One of the most compelling “go to” Scriptures that adherents of “eternal suffering”  put forth is 2 Thessalonians 1:9, which I will read again:


“Who shall be punished [dike:G1349] with everlasting [aionios:G166] destruction from [apo:G575] the presence [prosopon:G4383] of the Lord [kyrios:G2962], and from the glory of his power;”


The reason this verse is so widely quoted is because it contains three noteworthy “pillars,” if you will, that serve to undergird their presupposition - “punishment,” “everlasting destruction,” and “from the presence of the Lord” (or “banishment”). I think I will develop these more fully in our next video, Lord willing, so let’s move on to another term - “scorch(-ed)” (kaumatizo:G2739) and it’s root word “heat” (kauma:G2738) - which is akin to “flame” or “fire”:


“Scorch(-ed)” And “Heat”


Both of these terms are found in Revelation 16:8-9,


“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch [kaumatizo:G2739] men with fire. [pyr:G4442] {9} And men were scorched [kaumatizo:G2739] with great heat [kauma:G2738], and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.”


In turn, “kaumatizo” (G2739) also has a “grandparent” root word which is “kaio” (G2545), and arises, among other citations, in two passages that we have already discussed, Revelation 19:20 and Revelation 21:8 respectively; in both of these references, “kaio” is rendered as “burning” and “burneth” in these Scriptures which contain the expressions “lake,” “fire,” “brimstone,” and “the second death”:


“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning [kaio:G2545] with brimstone.”


“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth [kaio:G2545] with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”


Once again we see the great emphasis on being “cast alive” (at least with respect to the “beast” and the “false prophet,” who represent the kingdom of Satan), and the spiritual “burning” of those who are in “the lake of fire.”


“Outer Darkness” And “Weeping And Gnashing Of Teeth”


The next two phrases are “outer darkness” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” appear together in the following three places, all in the book of Matthew:


Matthew 8:10-12 declares: “ When Jesus heard [it], he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. {11} And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. {12} But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer [exoteros:G1857] darkness [skotos:G4655]: there shall be weeping [klauthmos:G2805] and [kai:G2532] gnashing [brygmos:G1030] of teeth.” [odous:G3599]


Matthew 22:12-14 states, “And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. {13} Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast [him] into outer [exoteros:G1857] darkness [skotos:G4655]; there shall be weeping [klauthmos:G2805] and [kai:G2532] gnashing [brygmos:G1030] of teeth. [odous:G3599] {14} For many are called, but few [are] chosen.”


And Matthew 25:28-30 acknowledges: “Take therefore the talent from him, and give [it] unto him which hath ten talents. {29} For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. {30} And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping [klauthmos:G2805] and [kai:G2532]  gnashing  [brygmos:G1030] of teeth.” [odous:G3599]


Again, we see from these examples how those who cling to “eternal suffering” understand these terms (whether physically or spiritually) and apply such spiritual blindness, which is associated with being “outside” of the Kingdom of God, and hard heartedness to continue in perpetuity. It’s also worth noting that expression, “gnashing” (brygmos:G1030) stems from the root word, “brycho” (G1031), which is only found in Acts 7:54, as “they gnashed” revealing the true nature of those within the Jewish council, and their hatred against God, and since they could not kill God, they chose His witness instead, and unleashed their fury upon Stephen, by stoning him to death:


“When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed [brycho:G1031] on him with [their] teeth.:


“Gnawed Their Tongues For Pain” And “Blasphemed The God Of Heaven Because Of Their Pains And Sores”


The last two phrases that we want to consider today are: “gnawed their tongues for pain” and “blasphemed the God of Heaven because of their pains and sores.” As we saw at the beginning of today’s study, these are found in Revelation 16:10 and 11. Here too, the focus is on “pain” that apparently never ceases, and is of such magnitude, that it unleashes a non-stop litany of “blasphemy” (“speaking evil” - in this case - of God) that seemingly endures throughout eternity.


Lord willing, in our next video study, we will see how these conclusions will stand up to all that the Bible teaches with regard to “eternal suffering.”

ANNIHILATION OR ETERNAL SUFFERING -  PART 3

October 7, 2018


“All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”


Introduction


This is Part 3 of a new video series on the doctrine of “Annihilation Or Eternal Suffering,” and today’s date is October 7, 2018. The purpose of this series is to examine what the Bible actually teaches about this crucial subject, by contrasting that with what some claim the Bible teaches about this issue. In Part 1, we considered some of the Biblical words and phrases associated with this doctrine,  along with the correct Biblical hermeneutic (or methodology) that God has sovereignly ordained for arriving at Truth found in 1 Corinthians 2:10-13. Then in Part 2 we discussed the Biblical rationale that the proponents of “eternal suffering” use to justify their conclusions. So today we want to see if their results hold up against all that the Bible teaches with regard to this important issue. So, with that introduction in mind, let’s continue our journey to uncover God’s Truth regarding “Annihilation” or “Eternal Suffering”


“The Fire Is Never Quenched”  


Let’s return to the first phrase, “neither shall their fire be quenched,” taken from Isaiah 66:24, and quoted, for example, in Mark 9:43-48,


“And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm [towla`:H8438] shall not die [muwth:H4191], neither shall their fire [’esh:H784] be quenched [kabah:H3518]; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”


I’ll quote Mark 9:43-48 again, so we can see both of these passages side-by-side:


“And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell [geenna:G1067], into the fire [pyr:G4442] that never shall be quenched: {44} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire [pyr:G4442] is not quenched. {45} And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell [geenna:G1067], into the fire [pyr:G4442] that never shall be quenched: {46} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire [pyr:G4442] is not quenched. {47} And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell [geenna:G1067] fire [pyr:G4442]: {48} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire [pyr:G4442] is not quenched.”


Isaiah 66:24 is set in the context of judgment, and these two Hebrew words, “...neither shall their fire [’esh:H784] be quenched [kabah:H3518]...” are sandwiched in between two other phrases “...for their worm shall not die...” and “...they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” It is also evident that “fire” (’esh:H784) is representative of judgment and used extensively throughout the Old Testament as such. We also want to bear in mind that “fire” can also symbolize the nature of God Himself [as we read, for example, in Hebrews 12:29 (quoting Deuteronomy 4:24 and Ezekiel 1:4, 13, and 27)], as well as His Word, (Jeremiah 23:29; Nehemiah 9:12 and 19) “Fire” can also represent “purification,” and will not harm God’s saints spiritually (though they might be harmed physically) according to numerous citations. (such as: Isaiah 43:2; Daniel 3:27; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:2-3)


Furthermore, the word, “be quenched” in the phrase, “the fire is never quenched” appears five times in Mark 9:43-48, and indicates that the fire is not “put out,” but burns continually, which is one of the major tenets of those who subscribe to the doctrine of “eternal suffering,” together with the concept of unending torment. So let’s consider the validity of that particular conclusion, in light of the following contradictory Scriptures that must be harmonized in order to arrive at Truth:  


For example in Psalm 106:18 we find this statement which harkens back to the account in Numbers 16, involving the rebellion of the “men of renown” (which is only used again in Genesis 6:4), or literally, “men of the name” [today we would say, “men of the cloth”] referring to 250 “princes” of the congregation:  And a fire [’esh:H784] was kindled in their company; the flame burned up [lahat:H3857] the wicked.”


I’ll read the context of Numbers 16:1-7, 30, and 35, which impinges greatly on our discussion:


“Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took [men]: {2} And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: {3} And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, [Ye take] too much upon you, seeing all the congregation [are] holy, every one of them, and the LORD [is] among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? {4} And when Moses heard [it], he fell upon his face: {5} And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who [are] his, and [who is] holy; and will cause [him] to come near unto him: even [him] whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him. {6} This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company [`edah:H5712]; {7} And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be [that] the man whom the LORD doth choose, he [shall be] holy: [ye take] too much upon you, ye sons of Levi. ... {30} But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that [appertain] unto them, and they go down quick [“alive”] into the pit [she`owl:H7585]; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. ... {35} And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed [’akal:H398] the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.”


Two Portraits


Psalm 106:18 is re-stating Numbers 16:35. I’ll read them both one more time respectively:


And a fire [’esh:H784] was kindled in their company [`edah:H5712]; the flame burned up [lahat:H3857] the wicked.”


“And there came out a fire [’esh:H784]  from the LORD, and consumed [’akal:H398] the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.”


The same term, “in their company” (`edah:H5712) in Psalm 106:18 surfaces in Numbers 16:6 as “and all his company,” so we know that this is speaking about the same group of people - the 250 “princes” of the congregation, who are these “men of renown”:


“This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company [`edah:H5712];  


Moreover, in Psalm 106:18 and Numbers 16:35 the identical term for “fire” (’esh:H784) is employed. Additionally, in Numbers 16:30 we discover the word translated, “into the pit” (she`owl:H7585) is the expression “hell” (rendered as such 31 times) or the “grave,” (31 times), and 3 times as “pit.” [We will take a closer look at this term a little later in our study.]


In both Psalm 106:18 and Numbers 16:35 we also find that God employs two other words to describe the outcome of these “men of renown” who were “burned up” (lahat:H3857) and “consumed” (’akal:H398). These two terms are exceptionally relevant because God is linking them in the historical context with the word, “pit” (“hell”  or “grave”) which was the fate of  Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, who spearheaded this uprising, and received “the wages of sin,” or “death,” according to the language of  Romans 6:23.


“Burned Up” [lahat:H3857] And “Consumed” [’akal:H398]


Please consider how God has chosen to use these two terms, “burned up,” and “consumed”:


Deuteronomy 32:22 includes all four terms - “fire,” “hell,” “consume,” and “burned up,” which is rendered as and set on fire”:For a fire [’esh:H784] is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell [she`owl:H7585], and shall consume [’akal:H398] the earth [’erets:H776] with her increase, and set on fire [lahat:H3857] the foundations of the mountains.”


Notice too that this description of “hell” is confined to “the earth” and “the foundations of the mountains;” it is not speaking of  some other “place” outside of earth, in which the wicked are consigned to a state of perpetual suffering.


In Malachi 4:1 it is rendered as “shall burn them up” with respect to our present “day” of judgment: “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up [lahat:H3857], saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.”


On the other hand if we go to 1 Kings 18:38 we encounter the “fire” of God that fell upon the sacrifice that God had instructed Elijah to prepare on Mount Carmel in contrast to the one that the Baal worshippers had offered; please note how God’s “fire” consumed all the various elements that God had told Elijah to properly put in their place: “Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed [’akal:H398] the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that [was] in the trench.” [t@`alah:H8585]


In other words, there was nothing left of those elements at that site - everything was consumed or obliterated instantly - as if a “mini” Sodom and Gomorrah had taken place!


Moreover the term, “trench” in Jeremiah 30:13 and 46:11 is rendered as “no cure” or “no healing,” indicating that once God’s judgment falls, there is no longer any hope of  spiritual “healing” or salvation occuring:


Jeremiah 30:13 announces: “[There is] none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing [t@`alah:H8585] medicines.”


Similarly, Jeremiah 46:11 affirms: “Go up into Gilead [a well-known place for medicinal cures], and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; [for] thou shalt not be cured.” [t@`alah:H8585]


We have to keep in mind that since the non-elect do not have a Savior, they are indeed the sacrifice that God requires to atone for their sins, as Psalm 73:18-19 testify:


Psalm 73:18-19 acknowledge the end of the wicked or ungodly: “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. {19} How are they [brought] into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed [tamam:H8552] with terrors.”


We don’t have the time to examine each of these words in any detail - “destruction,” “desolation,” “in a moment,” and “consumed” - but consider two illustrations of these last two expressions:


In Numbers 16:21 and 45 the word, “in a moment” (rega`:H7281) is translated as such with respect to both Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and the 250 “princes,” and with regard to the 14,700 persons who were subsequently killed in the plague shortly thereafter for their rebellion:


“Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume [kalah:H3615] them in a moment. [rega`:H7281] ... {45} Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them [kalah:H3615] as in a moment. [rega`:H7281] And they [Moses and Aaron] fell upon their faces.”


In similar fashion Joshua 5:6 makes this declaration regarding the term, “consumed” (tamam:H8552) - as found in Psalm 73:19,


“For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people [that were] men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed [tamam:H8552], because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.”


“The Fire Is Never Quenched” (Cont.)


Let us continue our examination of the phrase “the fire is never quenched,” in both the Hebrew as well as the Greek:


Psalm 68:2 acknowledges, “As smoke is driven away, [so] drive [them] away: as wax melteth before the fire [’esh:H784], [so] let the wicked perish [’abad:H6] at the presence of God”


Keep in mind the term, “perish,” which is the same word we find in Numbers 16:33, regarding the fate of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram:  


“They, and all that [appertained] to them, went down alive into the pit [she`owl:H7585], and the earth [’erets:H776] closed upon them: and they perished [’abad:H6] from among the congregation.”


Numbers 16:33 also contains the same words for “earth” and “pit” (“hell,” or the “grave”) as we saw in Deuteronomy 32:22. Incidentally,  the expression, “and they perished” in Numbers 16:33 also emerges in Ecclesiastes 3:6, which is a verse that is differentiating “the day of salvation” from “the day of judgment,” marked by the two words “to get” (which should have been translated as “to seek”), and “to lose” (which should have been rendered as “to perish”) as both of these are primarily rendered as such:


“A time to get seek [baqash:H1245], and a time to lose perish; [’abad:H6] a time to keep, and a time to cast away;”


We also read in Psalm 11:6, “Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire [’esh:H784] and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: [“wind”] [this shall be] the portion of their cup.”


If one claims that the “fire” and “brimstone” in view is literal (such as what happened in Sodom and Gomorrha) then we have to logically conclude that the “snares” (which are traps) would also be literal, and fall down from the sky, which is not feasible.


Sodom And Gomorrah - “An Example Suffering The Vengeance Of Eternal Fire”


Speaking of Sodom and Gomorrha, Jude 7 reveals: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” [pyr:G4442]


In this incisive verse, God is making the point that Sodom and Gomorrah are used in the Bible as an illustration of  “suffering the vengeance of eternal fire;” let us examine this phrase more closely, but first I would like to quote from Genesis 19:24-25, and 28-29 in order to recall the historical setting:


“Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; {25} And he overthrew [haphak:H2015] those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. ... {28} And he [Abraham] looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. {29} And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow [haphekah:H2018], when he overthrew [haphak:H2015] the cities in the which Lot dwelt.”


“Suffering” [hypecho:G5254]


The word, “suffering” is a compound term, made up of “hypo” (G5259) and “echo” (G2192) and only appears here in Jude 7. Its two components are found in five other passages, the clearest in my opinion being Matthew 8:9, in which “hypo” is rendered as “under,” and “echo” is translated as “having”:


“For I am a man under [hypo:G5259] authority, having [echo:G2192] soldiers under [hypo:G5259] me: and I say to this [man], Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth [it].”


So we can understand this word, “suffering” as “being placed under.”


Under what? And bear in mind this is an example or illustration.


The Vengeance [dike:G1349] Of Eternal [aionios:G166] Fire [pyr:G4442]


These three Greek words only appear together in Jude 7, so we will have to consider “vengeance” by itself, and “eternal fire” by themselves.


The Vengeance [dike:G1349]


The expression, “the vengeance” emerges in three other citations, and actually is the root word for such terms  as “righteous” (dikaios:G1342) or “righteousness,” (dikaiosyne:G1343), which show up below in 2 Thessalonians 1:5-6.


In Acts 25:13-16, it is rendered as “[to have] judgment” in verse 15: “And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus. {14} And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix: {15} About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed [me], desiring [to have] judgment [dike:G1349] against him. {16} To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him. ”


In Acts 28:1-6, this term surfaces in verse 4, as “yet vengeance” (which we can understand as “justice,” as these people falsely presumed about Paul (although they would have been correct regarding his former, unsaved, lifestyle):


“And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. {2} And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. {3} And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid [them] on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. {4} And when the barbarians saw the [venomous] beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance [dike:G1349] suffereth not to live. {5} And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. {6} Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.”


2 Thessalonians 1:4-9 translates it as “shall be punished” in verse 9: “So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: {5} [Which is] a manifest token of the righteous [dikaios:G1342] judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: {6} Seeing [it is] a righteous thing [dikaios:G1342] with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; {7} And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, {8} In flaming fire taking vengeance [ekdikesis:G1557] on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: {9} Who shall be punished [dike:G1349] with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”


The term “punishment” would be better translated as “judged,” but we can see why the translators of the King James Version chose this term, given their lack of understanding of the many formerly “sealed doctrines” that we understand today, by God’s grace alone, since God has seen fit to reveal them to His elect in our day, because we are very close to the end of time, as He decreed back in Daniel 12:4 and 9-10 that He would do so:


“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. ... {9} And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end. {10} Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.


The “unsealing” of these doctrines took place during the Great Tribulation, which began on May 21, 1988, and we can anticipate that God will continue to instruct His people with more and more Truth, until the ushering in of the “New Heavens and New Earth.” Revelation 5:1-5 pinpoints this “unsealing” of the “book” (which is the Bible) by none other than the same One Who “sealed” the book - the Lord Jesus Christ:


“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. {2} And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? {3} And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. {4} And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. {5} And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.


Please note this idea of “punishment” which I want to address in greater depth, but not until our next video. For now, let us focus on the two expressions,


“Of Eternal” [aionios:G166]  “Fire” [pyr:G4442]


Besides Jude 7, the two words, “eternal” and “fire” occur in Matthew 18:8, and Matthew 25:41 respectively:


“Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast [them] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting [aionios:G166]  fire.” [pyr:G4442]


“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting [aionios:G166] fire [pyr:G4442], prepared for the devil and his angels:”


“The Fire Is Never Quenched” (Cont.)


Let’s back up to our original verses, Isaiah 66:24, and its New Testament counterpart Mark 9:43-48, as we now want to investigate the words, “never quenched” both in Hebrew and in the Greek:


Isaiah 66:24, “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm [towla`:H8438] shall not die [muwth:H4191], neither shall their fire [’esh:H784] be quenched [kabah:H3518]; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”


Be Quenched [kabah:H3518]


Earlier in today’s study we learned from Jude 7 that God’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah was an “example” or illustration of being under “the vengeance of eternal fire”:


“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” [pyr:G4442]


Why is God making this connection to Sodom and Gomorrah regarding the “judgment” or “vengeance” of “eternal fire,” or His wrath? Is Sodom and Gomorrah still burning today? No, absolutely not. What about its former inhabitants...where are they? They are dead, and whatever is left of them are microscopic particles at best, probably below the surface of the Dead Sea. The destruction took place and then it ended. Even though its inhabitants are long dead, they are still under the wrath of God, which will never, ever change, and one day in the not too distant future, those microscopic particles will be annihilated along with the rest of this universe, prior to the unveiling of “The New Heavens and The New Earth.”


Well, I think we will have to stop here for today. Lord willing, we will continue this series in our next video study.

ANNIHILATION OR ETERNAL SUFFERING -  PART 4

October 14, 2018


“All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”


Introduction


This is Part 4 of a new video series on the doctrine of “Annihilation Or Eternal Suffering,” and today’s date is October 14, 2018. The purpose of this series is to examine what the Bible actually teaches about this crucial subject, by contrasting that with what some claim the Bible teaches about this issue. In Part 1, we considered some of the Biblical words and phrases associated with this doctrine,  along with the correct Biblical hermeneutic (or methodology) that God has sovereignly ordained for arriving at Truth found in 1 Corinthians 2:10-13. Then in Part 2 we discussed the Biblical rationale that the proponents of “eternal suffering” use to justify their conclusions. In Part 3 we began considering if their results hold up against all that the Bible teaches with regard to this important issue, and today we will continue that investigation.  So, with that introduction in mind, let us forge ahead to uncover God’s Truth regarding “Annihilation” or “Eternal Suffering.”


Be Quenched [kabah:H3518]


In our previous study we left off by looking at the Hebrew term, “be quenched” in the phrase, “neither shall the fire be quenched” found in Isaiah 66:24, and quoted in Mark 9:48.  Here are some other examples of how God utilizes this word:


Isaiah 34:8-10 chronicles our current “day of judgment”: “For [it is] the day of the LORD'S vengeance, [and] the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. {9} And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. {10} It shall not be quenched [kabah:H3518]  night [layil:H3915] nor day [yowmam:H3119]; the smoke [`ashan:H6227] thereof shall go up [`alah:H5927] for ever: [`owlam:H5769] from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever [netsach:H5331] and ever.” [netsach:H5331]


Does one see “streams that are turned into pitch”? Or “dust into brimstone”? Or “the land” becoming “burning pitch”? Or the “smoke going up for ever”? The reason we don’t see any of this is because it is not physical in nature, but altogether spiritual.


The same expression is also found in Jeremiah 4:4, as “that none can quench it,” and God associates it with both “fire” and “burn”: “Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire [’esh:H784], and burn [ba`ar:H1197] that none can quench [it] [kabah:H3518], because of the evil of your doings.”


Reminding one of Matthew 24:29, Ezekiel 32:7 depicts  the “darkening” of the spiritual timekeepers, (signalling the end of the “day of salvation”), in which this word, “quench” is translated as “And when I shall put thee out”: And when I shall put thee out [kabah:H3518], I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light.”


Now let’s turn our attention to two different Greek words, translated as “quenched” in Mark 9:43-48,  


“And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell [geenna:G1067], into the fire [pyr:G4442] that never shall be quenched [asbestos:G762]: {44} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire [pyr:G4442] is [sybennymi:G4570] not [ou:G3756] quenched. [sybennymi:G4570] {45} And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell [geenna:G1067], into the fire [pyr:G4442] that never shall be quenched [asbestos:G762]: {46} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire [pyr:G4442] is [sybennymi:G4570] not [ou:G3756]  quenched. [sybennymi:G4570]  {47} And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell [geenna:G1067] fire. [pyr:G4442]  {48} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire [pyr:G4442] is [sybennymi:G4570] not [ou:G3756] quenched.” [sybennymi:G4570]


“Asbestos” [G762] And “Sybennymi” [G4570]


These two words are actually related as “asbestos” (G762 - identical to our English spelling) crops up in verses 43 and 45, and is made up of the “alpha negative” (alpha:G1), and the main word which is (sybennymi:G4570), which is found by itself, in verses 44, 46, and 48.


Besides Mark 9:43 and 45, “asbestos” (G762) surfaces in Matthew 3:12 (and its parallel passage, Luke 3:17), in which the “wheat” symbolize God’s elect, and the “chaff,” the non-elect:


Matthew 3:12 reveals: “Whose fan [is] in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up [katakaio:G2618] the chaff with unquenchable [asbestos:G762] fire.”


Similarly, Luke 3:17 states: “Whose fan [is] in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn [asbestos:G762] with fire unquenchable.”


Both Matthew 3:12 and Luke 3:17 contain the term, “he will burn up” and “he will burn” (katakaio:G2618), which also turns up in 2 Peter 3:10, as “shall be burned up” and underscores the total annihilation of all materials things that exist in our universe, including the unsaved:


“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” [katakaio:G2618]


The Destruction Of Both Body And Soul In “Hell” (“The Grave”)


We also read this very pertinent warning in Matthew 10:28,


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


When I adhered to the doctrine of “eternal suffering,” in my previous understanding, I was able to rationalize this passage by thinking that somehow those in “Hell” are given what amounts to a super human body that would be capable of withstanding the awful torture inflicted upon it throughout eternity. This idea was fortified by an incorrect misapplication of Exodus 3:2, which was a portrayal of God exclusively, Who is a “consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). For a brief period of time, God commandeered this lowly desert bush in such a way, that even though the bush burned, it was not consumed:


“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush [was] not consumed.”


As I mentioned in Part 1, my fallacy was in applying this to the unsaved in “Hell,” instead of recognizing that this attribute belongs to God alone. What Matthew 10:28 is actually teaching is that “Hell” is the grave, and when a person dies they enter into the grave both in their body that had died, along with their soul - which was also dead because they were not one of God’s elect - and hence their soul had never been regenerated by the Spirit of God:



“Their Worm Shall Not Die”


I also want to elaborate on the Hebrew phrase, “their worm shall not die,” in Isaiah 66:24 that I touched upon in Part 2,


“And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases [peger:H6297] of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm [towla`:H8438] shall not die [muwth:H4191], neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”  


In Part 2 I made the point that the term, “worm” that is used in this verse is “towla`” (H8438), and in this context is referring to people that have died which the word, “upon the carcases” (peger:H6297) implies. Furthermore these dead individuals can only be the non-elect, signified by the expression, “...that have transgressed against me;” The “me” in this passage points to God Himself. In spite of the fact that these individuals are apparently “dead,” their fate is conveyed by the language: “...shall not die...” which appears to indicate that this “death” somehow never ceases.


However, the expression in Isaiah 66:24, “shall not die” in the Hebrew is known as the “Qal” verb form and “Imperfect” tense, both of which, are identical to what we find in Genesis 2:17, “thou shalt surely [muwth:H4191] die [muwth:H4191],” which literally reads as: “dying, thou shalt die.” It is the second word for “die” in Genesis 2:17 which contains this same grammatical structure - “Qal” verb form and “Imperfect” tense -  as in Isaiah 66:24. The only way that Isaiah 66:24 can be properly harmonized with the rest of Scripture is to understand that it is actually reiterating the same spiritual truth of Genesis 2:17. This signifies that mankind fell into sin in the Garden, and hence died spiritually in their souls, and one day would die physically and eventually be annihilated, which is for eternity, because that status of death cannot be reversed or changed forever.


“Torment”


Let’s now examine the term, “torment” which is another favorite expression which those who subscribe to “eternal suffering” emphasize, as the just reward for those who do not have a Savior, without consideration of verses such Romans 6:23 which states,


For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”


Note carefully that that God does not use the term “eternal” to modify the word, “death,” as He does with the word, “life.” This is similar to what we discovered in Luke 16, in which the eternal bliss that Lazarus inherited was misapplied to convey the idea that the rich man was also in a place called “Hell,” suffering forever.  


The expression, “torment,” (basanismos:G929) appears in Revelation 14:10-11, and stems from the verb, “he shall be tormented” (basanizo:G928) in the same verse:


“The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented [basanizo:G928] with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: {11} And the smoke of their torment [basanismos:G929] ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”


He Shall Be Tormented [basanizo:G928]


Let’s take a look at how God uses the verb form first (G928). It is translated primarily as “torment,” but also as “pain,” “toss,” “vex,” and “toil,” as the subsequent passages testify:


Matthew 8:29 (along with its parallel verses in Mark 5:7 and Luke 8:28) are used by those who favor the doctrine of “eternal suffering” to strengthen their position:


Matthew  8:28 declares:“And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment [basanizo:G928] us before the time?”


In similar fashion, Revelation 20:10 seems to express the same notion of “torture” since Satan and his demons are again the ones in view: “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented [basanizo:G928] day and night for ever and ever.”


Notice the phrase, “day and night for ever and ever” in Revelation 20:10, which I would like to develop further, Lord willing, as it is an interesting allusion to “time” that needs to be investigated. Here are some more illustrations of how God employs this Greek verb, “torment,” with regard to “pain” or “sickness,” which is debilitating, yet temporary:


Matthew 8:6 acknowledges, “And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.” [basanizo:G928]


Revelation 9:5 underscores greater intensity, yet still temporary, in which both words - the verb form as well as the noun form are included:  “And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented [basanizo:G928] five months: and their torment [basanismos:G929] [was] as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.”


Revelation 12:2 likewise affirms: “And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained [basanizo:G928] to be delivered.”


It’s also important to recognize that such “pain” is not necessarily physical in character, as these next references underscore:


2 Peter 2:8 gives us a glimpse of the mental, emotional, and spiritual anguish and heartache that Lot was experiencing while in Sodom, each and every day - not unlike our present day: “(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed [basanizo:G928] [his] righteous soul from day to day with [their] unlawful deeds;)”


Revelation 11:10 reveals that the nature of the “torment” stems from an intense hatred towards, and a total repudiation of the Word of God, which is naturally repulsive to the minds of the unsaved: “And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented [basanizo:G928] them that dwelt on the earth.”


Torment [basanismos:G929]


The noun form of “torment” (basanismos:G929), as we saw in Revelation 9:5, only emerges again in Revelation 14:11 (which was mentioned earlier) and Revelation 18:7, 10, and 15,


Revelation 18:7, 10, and 15 present this affirmation, which is speaking of the entire world - typified by Babylon - and as of May 21, 2011, includes all the churches and denominations worldwide, and without exception: “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment [basanismos:G929] and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. ... {10} Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, [basanismos:G929] saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. ... {15} The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, [basanismos:G929] weeping and wailing,


Incidentally, these two forms of  the word “torment,” appear to convey the same idea as the expression, “shall be punished,” in 2 Thessalonians 1:9, in spite of the fact that the term, “destruction” surfaces in the very same passage:


Who shall be punished [dike:G1349] with everlasting destruction [olethos:G3639] from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”


Why does it say, “everlasting destruction”?


Destruction [olethros:G3639]


This term, “destruction” crops up again only in the following three verses:


1 Corinthians 5:5 declares: “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction [olethros:G3639] of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”


1 Thessalonians 5:3, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction [olethros:G3639] cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”


1 Timothy 6:9, “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction [olethros:G3639] and perdition.” [apoleia:G684]


Did you happen to notice that in 1 Timothy 6:9, God is linking “destruction” with “perdition”?


Let’s stop here, and we’ll have to pick this up in our next study.



ANNIHILATION OR ETERNAL SUFFERING -  PART 5

October 21, 2018


“All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”


Introduction


This is Part 5 of a new video series on the doctrine of “Annihilation Or Eternal Suffering,” and today’s date is October 21, 2018. The purpose of this series is to examine what the Bible actually teaches about this crucial subject, by contrasting that with what some claim the Bible teaches about this issue. In Part 1, we considered some of the Biblical words and phrases associated with this doctrine,  along with the correct Biblical hermeneutic (or methodology) that God has sovereignly ordained for arriving at Truth found in 1 Corinthians 2:10-13. Then in Part 2 we discussed the Biblical rationale that the proponents of “eternal suffering” use to justify their conclusions. In Parts 3 and 4 we began considering if their results hold up against all that the Bible teaches with regard to this important issue, and today we will continue that investigation.  So, with that introduction in mind, let us move forward to uncover God’s Truth regarding “Annihilation” or “Eternal Suffering.”


A Brief Explanation


In Part 1 I mentioned 2 Timothy 3:16, which is a verse I am using as a sub-title to describe this series of  “unsealed doctrines,” since it highlights the term, “correction”:


“All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God [theopneustos:G2315], and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction [epanorthosis:G1882], for instruction in righteousness:”


I probably should have spent a little more time on this earlier, but I will now, as this theme of “correction” is really the gist of this video series. This word, “correction” (epanorthosis:G1882) is a compound word, made up of “epi-” (“on” or “upon”) and the main word, “anorthoo” (G461), which is only found in the following three passages:


In Luke 13:13 it is translated as “she was made straight”: “And he laid [his] hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, [anorthoo:G461] and glorified God.”


And in Acts 15:16, it is rendered as “ “After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set [anorthoo:G461] [G0] it up:” [anorthoo:G461]


Hebrews 12:12 expresses it as “lift up”: “Wherefore lift up [anorthoo:G461] the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;”


So indeed we look to God’s Word to “correct” or “realign” our thinking so it matches closely to the Truth. This is in spite of what we read in Hebrews 6:1-3,


“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, {2} Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. {3} And this will we do, if God permit.”


We thought we had a firm understanding of many of these teachings, but over the last 30 years or so, God has opened the elect’s spiritual eyes and ears to many of them. Sadly, we have seen many who no longer “continue in my word” (John 8:31), and have gone back to the churches and the world. Yet, we can and should be very grateful for, the correction that God has graciously given to His people, including new doctrines as well.


Where We Left Off


Toward the end of Part 4 we began discussing the subject of “torment,” which took us to 2 Thessalonians 1:9, where we find a similar term, “shall be punished,”


“Who shall be punished [dike:G1349]  with everlasting destruction [olethos:G3639] from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”


2 Thessalonians 1:9 also contains the word, “destruction,” which surfaces in three other citations, one of which is 1 Timothy 6:9,


“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction [olethros:G3639] and perdition.” [apoleia:G684]


Perdition [apoleia:G684]


In 1 Timothy 1:9 we noted that God linked “destruction” with “perdition;” “perdition” in turn is translated this way most of the time, and secondly, as “destruction,” as these next passages reveal:


Matthew 7:13 announces: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, [apoleia:G684] and many there be which go in thereat:”


In Acts 25:16, this word is translated as “die”: “To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, [apoleia:G684] before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.”


Romans 9:22 also asserts, “[What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:” [apoleia:G684]


Likewise we read in Hebrews 10:39 - which is so fitting for our day of “testing”: “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; [apoleia:G684] but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”


Lastly 2 Peter 3:7 proclaims: “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition [apoleia:G684] of ungodly men.”


“Day” [hemera:G2250] And [kai:G2532] “Night” [nyx:G3571]


In Part 4 I mentioned that I would examine the phrase, “day and night,” - apparently alluding to time that never ends, - and strengthened by the next phrase, “for ever and ever” found in Revelation 20:10, which I would now like to address.


“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented [basanizo:G928] day [hemera:G2250] and [kai:G2532] night [nyx:G3571] for ever and ever.”


These two words “day” (hemera:G2250) and “night” (nyx:G3571) show up in 28 passages, most of which are in connection to our familiar 24-hour cycle. However, there are exceptions such as John 9:4, in which the terms, “day” and “night” refer to a much longer period of time, namely the “day of salvation” as well as the “day of judgment.” Incidentally, this is also seen in the Old Testament in Psalm 95:8, which is quoted in Hebrews 3:8, with regard to the “day of temptation”:


Psalm 95:8 admonishes, “Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, [and] as [in] the day [yowm:H3117] of temptation in the wilderness:”


Likewise Hebrews 3:8 warns: “Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day [hemera:G2250] of temptation in the wilderness:”


By the way, these two verses constitute a “word bridge,” which if one were to develop would yield a greater understanding of this passage overall, and divulge the spiritual meaning that God has hidden in each of these “inspired” (or “God-breathed”) Hebrew and Greek words. Here are the remaining verses that consist of “day” and “night,” without being restricted to a 24-hour day:


John 9:4 explains: “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day [hemera:G2250]: the night [nyx:G3571] cometh, when no man can work.”


This is also the case in Revelation 4:8, in which the four “living creatures,” continually worship God: “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about [him]; and [they were] full of eyes within: and they rest not day [hemera:G2250]  and [kai:G2532] night [nyx:G3571], saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”


Revelation 7:15 affirms: “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day [hemera:G2250] and [kai:G2532] night [nyx:G3571] in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.”


The context of Revelation 8 has to do with the first 2300 days of the Great Tribulation, when God’s judgment fell on all the churches and denominations, worldwide, and without exception, on May 21, 1988; here they are typified by the language, “the third part”: “And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day [hemera:G2250] shone not for a third part of it, and [kai:G2532] the night [nyx:G3571] likewise.”


In Revelation 12:10 we find Satan accusing God’s saints “day and night” - a reference that obviously encompasses a much longer period of time than just 24 hours: “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day [hemera:G2250] and [kai:G2532] night.” [nyx:G3571]


So we see that the expression  “day and night” can indicate a period much greater than our 24-hour cycle. However, we want to look at any and all verses that relate to this topic, and we do find two other passages that need to be harmonized:


Revelation 21:25 announces: “And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night [nyx:G3571] there.”


And Revelation 22:5 likewise affirms: “And there shall be no night [nyx:G3571] there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”


Among other truths, these passages assert that there is no “night” in Heaven. We can understand this on both a physical level (no need for the timekeepers), but also on a spiritual plane, since “daylight” has to do with Truth and Life, whereas nighttime consists of lies (and blindness) and death, and these are foreign to Heaven. But the thing to note, as far as this study is concerned, is the absence of “night,” which indicates that the expression “day and night” does not necessarily imply eternity, and especially not “eternal suffering,” since these citations describe Heaven. But what about Revelation 14:11, in which we find the phrases, “for ever and ever,” and “no rest,” which we now want to investigate:


“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for [eis:G1519] ever [aion:G165] and ever [aion:G165]: and they have no [ou:G3756] rest [anapausis:G372] day [hemera:G2250] nor [kai:G2532] night [nyx:G3571], who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”


For [eis:G1519] Ever [aion:G165] And Ever [aion:G165]


The phrase, “for ever and ever” is not used very often in conjunction with what some assume to be “eternal suffering,” as we just read in Revelation 14:11. Here are some more illustrations; in the first three God employs this phrase in the “negative” to underscore that God’s elect will never die spiritually, or that the non-elect will never be forgiven as in Mark 3:29, in which we find this statement. Please note the terms that “for ever and ever” is describing: “eternal damnation,” “death,” “perish,” “the mist of darkness,” “the blackness of darkness,” “her smoke rose up,” and “the lake of fire and brimstone,” most of which we have already discussed:


“But he that shall blaspheme against  [eis:G1519] the Holy Ghost hath never [ou:G3756] [eis:G1519] [aion:G165] forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:”


John 8:51-52 acknowledges: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never [ou me:G3364] [eis:G1519] [aion:G165] see death. {52} Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never [ou me:G3364] [eis:G1519] [aion:G165] taste of death.”


John 10:28 likewise maintains: “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never [ou me:G3364] [eis:G1519] [aion:G165] perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand.”


2 Peter 2:17 reveals the end of the non-elect false teachers and prophets (as well as the rest of the non-elect): “These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for [eis:G1519] ever.” [aion:G165]


Similarly, Jude 13 instructs: “Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for [eis:G1519] ever.” [aion:G165]


Revelation 19:2-3 depicts the end of the kingdom of Satan, or Babylon, and is similar to Revelation 14:11, “For true and righteous [are] his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. {3}And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for [eis:G1519] ever [aion:G165] and ever.” [aion:G165]


Revelation 20:10, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for [eis:G1519] ever [aion:G165] and ever.” [aion:G165]


No [ou:G3756] Rest [anapausis:G372]


The two terms, “no rest,” in Revelation 14:11 only surface again in two other passages; I’ll read Revelation 14:11 again:


“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no [ou:G3756] rest [anapausis:G372] day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”

This first passage you might recall from our 2 Peter 2 studies, regarding the “man with an unclean spirit” in Matthew 12:43-45 that we spent considerable time on. In those lessons we learned that this man represents those who appear to be saved (yet never were), and seek for “rest” (or salvation) but do not find it, because it is no longer available:


“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest [anapausis:G372], and findeth none.” [ou:G3756] {44} Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth [it] empty, swept, and garnished. {45} Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last [state] of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”


We considered Revelation 4:8 earlier today in light of the phrase, “day and night”: “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about [him]; and [they were] full of eyes within: and they rest [anapausis:G372] not [ou:G3756] day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”


We will have to stop here today.

ANNIHILATION OR ETERNAL SUFFERING -  PART 6

November 4, 2018


“All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”


Introduction


This is Part 6 of a new video series on the doctrine of “Annihilation Or Eternal Suffering,” and today’s date is November 4, 2018. The purpose of this series is to examine what the Bible actually teaches about this crucial subject, by contrasting that with what some claim the Bible teaches about this issue. In Part 1, we considered some of the Biblical words and phrases associated with this doctrine,  along with the correct Biblical hermeneutic (or methodology) that God has sovereignly ordained for arriving at Truth found in 1 Corinthians 2:10-13. Then in Part 2 we discussed the Biblical rationale that the proponents of “eternal suffering” use to justify their conclusions. In Parts 3-5 we began considering if their results hold up against all that the Bible teaches with regard to this important issue, and today we will continue that investigation.  So, with that introduction in mind, let us continue our examination of God’s Truth regarding “Annihilation” or “Eternal Suffering.”


I would like to begin today’s study by going back to the Garden of Eden, in which we find the inception of sin, and its consequence, death, as revealed in Romans 6:23 for instance:


“For the wages of sin [is] death [thanatos:G2288], but the gift of God [is] eternal [aionios:G166] life [zoe:G2222] through Jesus Christ out Lord.”  


In one of our earlier studies I made the point that the term “life” in this verse is qualified by the word, “eternal;” however, this is not the case with the word, “death,” and we will see why this is so.


“The Law [nomos:G3551] Of Sin [hamartia:G266] And [kai:G2532] Death [thanatos:G2288]”


In Romans 6:23 one sees a “a cause and effect” relationship between “sin” (hamartia:G266) and “death” (thanatos:G2288) which is also found in 11 other passages as well, and we will consider 9 of them:


Romans 5:12 and 21 chronicle the devastating effect of Adam and Eve’s original sin upon mankind, the world, and the entire universe, leading to its eventual annihilation, prior to the ushering in of  “the New Heavens and New Earth”:


“Wherefore, as by one man sin [hamartia:G266] entered into the world, and death [thanatos:G2288] by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: ... {21} That as sin [hamartia:G266] hath reigned unto death [thanatos:G2288], even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”


The “cause and effect” relationship between “sin” and “death,” is an actual law, according to Romans 8:2, and is the opposite of another law in this same verse - “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”:


“For the law [nomos:G3551] of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law [nomos:G3551] of sin [hamartia:G266] and death.” [thanatos:G2288]


Romans 6:16 acknowledges these two laws, highlighting in the process,  the two classes of individuals that this world is comprised of, namely the elect and the non-elect: “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin [hamartia:G266] unto death [thanatos:G2288], or of obedience unto righteousness?”


Romans 7:5 and 13 further add: “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, [hamartia:G266] which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. [thanatos:G2288] ... {13} Was then that which is good made death [thanatos:G2288] unto me? God forbid. But sin [hamartia:G266], that it might appear sin [hamartia:G266], working death [thanatos:G2288] in me by that which is good; that sin [hamartia:G266] by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.”

1 Corinthians 15:56 reveals this same relationship between “sin” and “death” as well as between “sin” and the law,” which is the Word of God: “The sting of death [thanatos:G2288] [is] sin [hamartia:G266]; and the strength of sin [hamartia:G266] [is] the law.” [nomos:G3551]


James 1:14-15 sets forth the progression of how sin develops, and its resulting toll on mankind: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.{15} Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin [hamartia:G266]: and sin [hamartia:G266] when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” [thanatos:G2288]


Likewise James 5:20 affirms, “ Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death [thanatos:G2288], and shall hide a multitude of sins.” [hamartia:G266]


The passages I just quoted reveal the very close relationship between sin and death. Why do you think that God would omit the concept of “eternal suffering” in those verses?  


A similar “cause and effect” relationship to that of  “sin” and “death,” is found in Galatians 6:8, in which “sowing and reaping” is explained with regard to the “Spirit” as well as to the “flesh”:


“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth [speiro:G4687], that shall he also reap. [therizo:G2325] {8} For he that soweth  [speiro:G4687] to his flesh shall of the flesh reap  [therizo:G2325] corruption [phthora:G5356]; but he that soweth [speiro:G4687] to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap [therizo:G2325] life [zoe:G2222]  everlasting.” [aionios:G166]


Please pay close attention to the word “corruption,” which is a highly significant term that I want to develop further. But before doing that, let’s consider the relationship between “sin” and “death,” as expressed in the Old Testament.


Sin And Death Began In The Garden Of Eden


Let’s consider the origin of sin and death, which took place early on in the book of Genesis, where we read that God presented a unique test to our first parents - Adam and Eve - when He gave Adam this command in Genesis 2:16-17, and 3:19,


“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: {17} But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. [muwth:H4191] [this literally reads in Hebrew as: “dying thou shalt die”]...{3:19} In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat  bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.”


It is important to recognize that with this first law that God established, there was also a clearly stated consequence - death. We also want to keep in mind that this was a spiritual judgment - the first of its kind - as we understand that Adam and Eve lived for many hundreds of years, before they died physically; nonetheless, they died spiritually in both body and soul immediately, thus forfeiting the intimate, sinless fellowship that they had previously enjoyed with their Creator.


“Dying [muwth:H4191] Thou Shalt Die” [muwth:H4191]


The subsequent passages reveal some ot the ways in which God employs this Hebrew word for “death” (muwth:H4191), again emphasizing “the law of sin and death.” Please keep Matthew 10:28 in mind, as it is a very key verse to understanding “the death” God has in mind:


“And fear not them [mankind] which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul [of the elect]: but rather fear him [God] which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” [“the grave”]


Paralleling Romans 6:23a, Ezekiel 18:4 also states:Behold, all souls [nephesh:H5315] are mine; as the soul [nephesh:H5315] of the father, so also the soul [nephesh:H5315] of the son is mine: the soul [nephesh:H5315] that sinneth [chata’:H2398], it shall die. [muwth:H4191]


This citation (and many others) is contrary to the notion that the soul (of the non-elect) is immortal, which it is not, even though the souls of the elect are, by God’s mercy. Please note the four-fold repetition of this Hebrew term, “soul” (nephesh:H5315) in Ezekiel 18:4, underscoring its relationship with sin and death.


Genesis 42:38 describes Jacob’s reaction to his sons’ request to bring Benjamin down to Egypt - as Joseph had stipulated - or they would not be able to buy grain for their families: “And he said, My son shall not go down [yarad:H3381] with you; for his brother is dead, [muwth:H4191] and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down [yarad:H3381] my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.” [sheowl:H7585]


Similarly, Judah reiterates Jacob’s words to Joseph regarding Benjamin in Genesis 44:31;  notice how God associates the term “he will die” with “to the grave”: “It shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad [is] not [with us], that he will die: [muwth:H4191] and thy servants shall bring down [yarad:H3381] the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave.” [sheowl:H7585]


In both Genesis 42:38 and Genesis 44:31 God incorporates the word, “go down” with respect to the grave, or “sheol.”


Besides Genesis 42:38 and Genesis 44:31 there is only one other verse in the entire Old Testament that contains these two Hebrew words, “death” (H4191) and “the grave” (H7585) together, and that is found in 1 Samuel 2:6, which underscores God’s power to kill and  to resurrect on a physical level, as well as spiritually during the day of salvation:


“The LORD killeth [muwth:H4191], and maketh alive: he bringeth down [yarad:H3381] to the grave, [sheowl:H7585] and bringeth up.” [`alah:H5927]


Some might look at 1 Samuel 2:6, and say, “You see, this matches what we find in Daniel 12:2, when God  ‘brings up’ or ‘awakes’ the non-elect who have previously died,”


‘And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.’


Those who hold to this concept argue that whatever is left of these individuals will be reconstituted by God so that they can “stand for judgment,” and then upon hearing the guilty verdict, will be consigned to the “lake of fire” for eternity. As I have attempted to show throughout this series this notion is impossible. You might recall that I mentioned that the term, “contempt” only appears again in Isaiah 66:4, as “and they shall be an abhorring”:


“And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring [dera’own:H1860] unto all flesh.”


The “shame” and “contempt” that these individuals are under is the fact that they remain perpetually under the sentence of God’s wrath for eternity, even though they are annihilated both in body and soul. This is corroborated by both Matthew 10:28 (which bears repeating) and Ecclesiastes 9:10 respectively:


“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”[geenna:H1067 - i.e., the grave and annihilation]


“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do [it] with thy might; for [there is] no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave [she’owl:H7585], whither thou goest.”


“Hell” [she’owl:H7585] In The Old Testament


Speaking of “hell” or the “grave” or “pit” which is how this Hebrew word “in the grave” (she’owl:H7585) in Ecclesiastes 9:10 is rendered in the Old Testament, this might be an opportune time to take a closer look at this expression:


Deuteronomy 32:22, For a fire [’esh:H784] is kindled in mine anger [’aph:H639], and shall burn unto the lowest [tachtiy:H8482] hell, [sheowl:H7585] and shall consume [’akal:H398] the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.”


“Fire” [’esh:H784]  And “Consume” [’akal:H398]


In Deuteronomy 32:22 we also discover the same two words for “fire” and “consume” that appeared in 1 Kings 18:38, that I quoted in one of our earlier studies, indicating that God’s anger, is not only portrayed as a “consuming fire,” but indeed obliterates everything in its path, leaving nothing in its wake:


Then the fire [’esh:H784] of the LORD fell, and consumed [’akal:H398] the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that [was] in the trench.”


Judges 6:21 utilizes these same two words - “fire” and “consumed” - with regard to the offering that God commanded Gideon to perform: “Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that [was] in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire [’esh:H784] out of the rock, and consumed [’akal:H398] the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.”


2 Chronicles 7:1 pictures a similar sacrifice by Solomon, when the Temple was completed: “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire [’esh:H784] came down from heaven, and consumed [’akal:H398] the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.”


This is also seen in 2 Kings 1:10 and 12, as the first two captains and their fifty men confront Elijah, and in so doing are instantaneously consumed; bear in mind that this account underscores the ⅓ - ⅔ spiritual ratio, in which the last captain and his fifty were spared (representing the elect), while the other two captains and their fifty (representing the unsaved) perished: “And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I [be] a man of God, then let fire [’esh:H784]  come down from heaven, and consume [’akal:H398] thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire [’esh:H784] from heaven, and consumed [’akal:H398] him and his fifty. ... {12} And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I [be] a man of God, let fire [’esh:H784]  come down from heaven, and consume thee [’akal:H398] and thy fifty. And the fire [’esh:H784] of God came down from heaven, and consumed [’akal:H398] him and his fifty.”


Psalm 86:13 makes a similar assertion, and includes the same Hebrew term for “soul” as in Ezekiel 18:4,  “For great [is] thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul [nephesh:H5315] from the lowest [tachtiy:H8482] hell.” [sheowl:H7585]


Notice how one’s soul is delivered “from the lowest hell” - which is the grave - and, by the way, only refers to the soul of one of God’s elect people:


Psalm 88:6 declares: “Thou hast laid me in the lowest [tachtiy:H8482] pit, [bowr:H953] in darkness [machshak:H4285], in the deeps.” [metsowlah:H4688]


Please note the terms, “in darkness,” and “in the deeps” which I will be discussing a little later on in our study, Lord willing.


In Psalm 88:6, we discover the same word for “lowest” as in Psalm 86:13, but we also find the parallel term, “pit,” (bowr:H953) which in turn is found in a number of other citations as well, and some of these also include the word, “lowest”:


Lamentations 3:55 spiritually represents Christ under the wrath of God, typified by Jeremiah, when he was consigned to a dungeon that was in reality, a “pit” of mire:  “I called upon thy name, O LORD, out of the low [tachtiy:H8482] dungeon. [bowr:H953]


We will have to stop here, as we have run out of time.

ANNIHILATION OR ETERNAL SUFFERING -  PART 7

December 2, 2018


“All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”


Introduction


This is Part 7 of a new video series on the doctrine of “Annihilation Or Eternal Suffering,” and today’s date is December 2, 2018. The purpose of this series is to examine what the Bible actually teaches about this crucial subject, by contrasting that with what some claim the Bible teaches about this issue. In Part 1, we considered some of the Biblical words and phrases associated with this doctrine,  along with the correct Biblical hermeneutic (or methodology) that God has sovereignly ordained for arriving at Truth found in 1 Corinthians 2:10-13. Then in Part 2 we discussed the Biblical rationale that the proponents of “eternal suffering” use to justify their conclusions. Beginning with Part 3, we began considering if their results hold up against all that the Bible teaches with regard to this important issue, and today we will continue that investigation.  So, with that introduction in mind, let us continue our examination of God’s Truth regarding “Annihilation” or “Eternal Suffering.”



“Fire” [’esh:H784]  And “Consume” [’akal:H398]


At the close of our last study (Part 6) we were examining a number of verses contrasting the terms, “fire” (’esh:H784) and “consume” (’akal:H398). So, I would like to finish looking at those verses before moving on:


We have considered Numbers 16:30, 33 and 35 in a few of our earlier studies concerning the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and the 250 “princes,” but this account certainly warrants repeating, as it contains a number of principal words that are germane to our discussion such as, “the earth,” “go down,” “into the pit,” “perished,” “fire,” and “consumed”: “But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth [’adamah:H127] open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that [appertain] unto them, and they go down [yarad:H3381] quick [alive] into the pit; [sheowl:H7585] then ye shall understand that these men [Korah, Dathan, Abiram] have provoked the LORD...{33} They, and all that [appertained] to them, went down [yarad:H3381] alive into the pit [sheowl:H7585], and the earth [erets:H776] closed upon them: and they perished [’abad:H6] from among the congregation...{35} And there came out a fire [’esh:784] from the LORD, and consumed [’akal:H398] the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.”


In Leviticus 9:24 we find various instructions that God gave to Aaron and his sons through Moses concerning sacrificial atonement - ultimately pointing to Christ’s atonement, prior to Creation: “And there came a fire [’esh:H784] out from before the LORD, and consumed [’akal:H398] upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: [which] when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.”


We also read the following in Job 20:7-9, 11, 17, 25-26, and 29 concerning the non-elect, in which these same two terms appear in verse 26: “[Yet] he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where [is] he? {8} He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night. {9} The eye also [which] saw him shall [see him] no more; neither shall his place any more behold him. ... {11} His bones are full [of the sin] of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust. ... {17} He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks of honey and butter. ... {25} It is drawn, and cometh out of the body; yea, the glittering sword cometh out of his gall: terrors [are] upon him. {26} All darkness [shall be] hid in his secret places: a fire [’esh:H784] not blown shall consume him [’esh:H784]; it shall go ill with him that is left in his tabernacle. ... {29} This [is] the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God.


“In Darkness” And “In The Deeps”


In a previous study I stated that we would take a closer look at the terms, “in darkness,” and “in the deeps,” found in verse 6 of  Psalm 88:3-7, which I’ll read for the sake of the context. Please note the usage of the additional words: “soul,” “grave,” “pit,” “dead,” “cut off,” “like the slain,” “whom thou rememberest no more” and “wrath”:


For my soul [nephesh:H5315] is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. [she’owl:H7585] {4} I am counted with them that go down into the pit [bowr:H953]: I am as a man [that hath] no strength: {5} Free among the dead [muwth:H4191], like the slain [chalal:H2491] that lie in the grave [qeber:H6913], whom thou rememberest [zakar:H2142] no more: and they are cut off from thy hand. {6} Thou hast laid me in the lowest [tachtiy:H8482] pit, [bowr:H953] in darkness [machshak:H4285], in the deeps.” [metsowlah:H4688] {7} Thy wrath [chemah:H2534] lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted [me] with all thy waves. Selah.


The Terms “Darkness” [machshak:H4285] And “Deeps” [metsowlah:H4688] Can Relate To Death


In the following citations, God also links “darkness” or “deeps” with “death”:


Psalm 143:3 acknowledges: “For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, [machshak:H4285] as those that have been long dead. [muwth:H4191]


Alluding to Christ’s atonement for His people prior to Creation, Lamentations 3:6 records, “He hath set me in dark places,[machshak:H4285] as [they that be] dead [muwth:H4191] of old.” [`owlam:H5769 - primarily translated as “ever,” or “everlasting”]


Exodus 15:5 depicts the end of Pharaoh Thutmosis III and his army in the Red Sea, which typifies “hell,” or the grave: “ The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom [metsowlah:H4688] as a stone.”


Psalm 69:2 and 15 likewise affirm: “I sink in deep [metsowlah:H4688] mire, where [there is] no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. ... {15} Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep [metsowlah:H4688] swallow me up, and let not the pit [e’er:H875] shut her mouth upon me.”


Jonah 2:3 pictures Christ in the “belly (or “womb”) of hell,” as He died and was annihilated for the sins of  all the elect, “...from the foundation of the world”: “For thou hadst cast me into the deep, [metsowlah:H4688] in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.”


Additional Passages That Contain A Different Hebrew Word For “Consumed” [kalah:H3615] And Other Key Terms


These next Scriptures contain a different Hebrew word for “consumed” (kalah:H3615), along with some other key terms:


Psalm 59:13 is an imprecation against the wicked: Consume [kalah:H3615] [them] in wrath, consume [kalah:H3615] [them], that they [may] not [be] [’ayin:H369]: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends  of the earth.  Selah.


Job 7:9 states, [As] the cloud is consumed [kalah:H3615] and vanisheth away [yalak:H3212]: so he that goeth down [yarad:H3381] to the grave [sheowl:H7585] shall come up [`alah:H5927] no [more].”


Reminiscent of Matthew 10:28, Proverbs 5:11 warns: “And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,” [kalah:H3615]


Isaiah 1:28 emphasizes this as well:And the destruction [sheber:H7667] of the transgressors and of the sinners [shall be] together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.” [kalah:H3615]


Lastly we read in Job 6:18 regarding the fate of all the non-elect: “The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, [tohuw:H8414] and perish.” [abad:H6]


God Also Links “Hell” (or The Grave) [sheowl:H7585] With “Destruction” [’abaddown:H11]


I mentioned in an earlier study that the Hebrew word for “Hell” (she’owl:H7585) is found 31 times as such, and 31 other times as “grave,” and 3 times as “pit.” In the following five citations, God links this word with “destruction” (’abaddown:H11):


Job 26:6 states: Hell [sheowl:H7585] [is] naked before him, and destruction [’abaddown:H11] hath no covering.”


Job 28:22 similarly affirms: Destruction [’abaddown:H11] and death [maveth:H4194] say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.”


However, in Psalm 88:11, God utilizes another word for “grave,” but the same word for “destruction”: “Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? [qeber:H6913] [or] thy faithfulness in destruction?” [’abaddown:H11]


Proverbs 15:11 makes this statement:Hell [sheowl:H7585] and destruction [’abaddown:H11] [are] before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?”


Lastly, Proverbs 27:20 reveals: Hell [sheowl:H7585] and destruction [’abaddown:H11] are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”


More Passages On “Hell” (Or Th Grave) [she`owl:H7585]


I’m going to give some more examples of how God uses this word, “sheowl” (H7585), because it is so important to recognize that it is referring to death and annihilation; please bear with me, as I realize that I have already given many, many verses for you to prayerfully consider:


Job 17:13 and 16 maintain: “If I wait, the grave [sheowl: H7585] is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness.” [chosek:H2822]...{16} They shall go down to the bars of the pit, [sheowl:H7585] when [our] rest together [is] in the dust.”


And Psalm 6:5 concludes: “For in death [there is] no remembrance  [zeker:H2143] of thee: in the grave [sheowl:H7585] who shall give thee thanks?”


Psalm 18:4-5 ties the terms “sorrows” and “snares” with both “death” and “hell”: “The sorrows [chebel:H2256] of death [maveth:H4194] compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. {5} The sorrows [chebel:H2256] of hell [sheowl:H7585] compassed me about: the snares [mowqesh:H4170] of death [maveth:H4194] prevented me.”

Psalm 31:17 continues in the same vein, as God highlights the “shame” and “silence” that the wicked will succumb to in the “grave,” in contrast to the elect, who will never be ashamed:  “Let me not be ashamed [buwsh:H954], O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked [rasha:H7563] be ashamed [buwsh:H954], [and] let them be silent [damam:H1826] in the grave.” [sheowl:H7585]


Psalm 49:14-15 also contrasts the “upright” (or the elect) with the wicked: “Like sheep they are laid in the grave; [sheowl:H7585] death [maveth:H4194] shall feed [ra`ah:H7462] on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume [balah:H1086] in the grave [sheowl:H7585] from their dwelling. {15}“But God will redeem my soul from the power  [yad:H3027] of the grave  [sheowl:H7585]: for he shall receive me. Selah.”


Psalm 89:48 poses the question: “What man [is he that] liveth, and shall not see death?[maveth:H4194] shall he deliver his soul from the hand [yad:H3027] of the grave? [sheowl:H7585]: Selah”


Ecclesiastes 9:10 announces:  “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for[there is] no work [ma`aseh:H4639], nor device [chesbown:H2808], nor knowledge [da`ath:H1847], nor wisdom [chokmah:H2451], in the grave [sheowl:H7585] whither thou goest.”


Hosea 13:14 also states: “I will ransom them from the power [yad:H3027] of the grave [sheowl:H7585]; I will redeem them from death [maveth:H4194]: O death [maveth:H4194], I will be thy plagues; O grave  [sheowl:H7585], I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.”


Isaiah 14:9, 11, and 15 describes Satan’s demise: “Hell [sheowl:H7585] from beneath is moved for thee to meet [thee] at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead [rapha’:H7496] for thee, [even] all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. ... {11} Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, [sheowl:H7585] [and] the noise of thy viols: the worm [rimmah:H7415] is spread under thee, and the worms [towla`:H8438] cover thee. ... {15} Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell,  [sheowl:H7585] to the sides of the pit.” [bowr:H953]


Jonah 2:2 speaks of Christ in “hell” or the grave in the Atonement which took place prior to Creation: “And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell [sheowl:H7585] cried I, [and] thou heardest my voice.”


Psalm 30:3, on the other hand, extols God’s mercy for delivering each of His elect from the destiny that all human beings by nature deserve; once again we see the same terms - “grave,” “go down,” and “pit”: “O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: [sheowl:H7585] thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.”


One Hebrew Word For “Hell” (or the Grave) And Three Greek Words


“She`owl” (H7585) is the only Hebrew word that I could find for “Hell” (or the “grave”), however there are three different Greek terms that I would now like to bring to your attention that are rendered as “hell” or “grave” (hades:G86) “hell” or “hell fire,” (gehenna:G1067) and “cast down to hell,” (tartaroo:G5020); I will attempt to discuss each in this order.


“Hades” [G86]


“Hades” is translated as “hell,” 10 times, and once as the “grave.” It stems from two root words: “a-” (alpha:G1) and (eido:G1492) which is very interesting as G1492 is primarily rendered as “see” or “know” - in other words: “not knowing” or “not seeing,” which comports with everything else we are learning about the obvious status of those who are in the grave, who will eventually be annihilated. This is also significant because if one were being “tortured,” as proponents of eternal suffering insist, they most certainly would know it!


Luke 16:23 cropped up in one of our earlier studies: “And in hell [hades:G86] he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”


Acts 2:27 and 31 quotes Psalm 16:10, in which we understand that David under divine inspiration spoke these words pointing to the Cross in 33 AD, when Christ was not bearing the sins of all the elect; please note the word, “corruption,” (diapthora:G1312) which only appears 4 other times in in Acts 13, also quoting Psalm 16:10, and providing further insights into its spiritual significance. It corresponds to the Hebrew term“shachath” (H7845), which is rendered as “corruption” in Psalm 16:10, and is primarily translated as “pit”: “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell [hades:G86], neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption [diapthora:G1312]. ... {31} He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell [hades:G86], neither his flesh did see corruption.” [diapthora:G1312]


In these next passages, God carefully links “death” with “hell” (or the grave):


G86 also surfaces in 1 Corinthians 15:55, O death [thanatos:G2288], where [is] thy sting? O grave [hades:G86], where [is] thy victory?”


Revelation 1:18 explains, “I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell [hades:G86] and of death.” [thanatos:G2288]


And Revelation 6:8 provides this description: “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, [thanatos:G2288] and Hell [hades:G86] followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, [thanatos:G2288] and with the beasts of the earth.”


Similarly, Revelation 20:13-14 maintains, “And the sea gave up the dead [nekros:G3498] which were in it; and death [thanatos:G2288]  and hell [hades:G86] delivered up the dead [nekros:G3498] which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. {14} And death [thanatos:G2288] and hell  [hades:G86] were cast into the lake  [limne:G3041] of fire. [pyr:G4442] This is the second [deuteros:G1208] death.” [thanatos:G2288]


“Geenna” [G1067]


The second Greek word that is translated as “hell,” and is actually derived from a compound Hebrew word, made up of the terms: (gay’:H1516), which appears 60 times, and always as “valley,” and (Hinnom:H2011), and always translated a such:


Matthew 5:22, 29-30, “I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell [geenna:G1067] fire. ... {29} And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell. [geenna:G1067] {30} And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.” [geenna:G1067]


“Geenna” is the same word that is found in Matthew 10:28, as “hell,” which we have considered throughout this series, and is a key Scripture: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” [geenna:G1067]


Matthew 18:9 exhorts, “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell [geenna:G1067] fire.”


In Matthew 23:15 and 33 the Lord Jesus denounces the religious leaders of His day: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell [geenna:G1067] than yourselves. ... {33} [Ye] serpents, [ye] generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” [geenna:G1067]


Likewise, Mark 9:43, 45, 47 declare: “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, [geenna:G1067] into the fire that never shall be quenched: ... {45} And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, [geenna:G1067] into the fire that never shall be quenched: ... {47} And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell [geenna:G1067] fire:”


Paralleling Matthew 10:28, Luke 12:5 cautions:  “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; [geenna:G1067] yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”


Lastly James 3:6 offers this vivid reminder:  “And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”[geenna:G1067]


“Tartaroo” (G5020)


This term only appears in one verse - 2 Peter 2:4 - and is rendered as “cast [them] down to hell”:


“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell, [tartaroo:G5020] and delivered [them] into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;”


I think we’ll stop here for today. Lord willing, I would like to conclude this series next week by examining Deuteronomy 25:3 regarding the law of 40 stripes, and comparing that with Paul’s experience in 2 Corinthians 11:24.

ANNIHILATION OR ETERNAL SUFFERING -  PART 8

December 9, 2018


“All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”


Introduction


This is Part 8 of a new video series on the doctrine of “Annihilation Or Eternal Suffering,” and today’s date is December 9, 2018. The purpose of this series has been to examine what the Bible actually teaches about this crucial subject, by contrasting that with what some claim the Bible teaches about this issue. In Part 1, we considered some of the Biblical words and phrases associated with this doctrine,  along with the correct Biblical hermeneutic (or methodology) that God has sovereignly ordained for arriving at Truth found in 1 Corinthians 2:10-13. Then in Part 2 we discussed the Biblical rationale that the proponents of “eternal suffering” use to justify their conclusions. Beginning with Part 3, we began considering if their results hold up against all that the Bible teaches with regard to this important issue. So, with that introduction in mind, let us continue our examination of God’s Truth regarding “Annihilation” or “Eternal Suffering.”


At the close of last week’s study I mentioned that today we would finish this series, Lord willing, by taking an in-depth look at “the law of 40 stripes,” as outlined in Deuteronomy 25:3; we will also consider Paul’s personal experience with this law in 2 Corinthians 11:24. Lastly, we will note how this particular statute reveals yet another wonderful aspect of God’s perfect, holy nature that flies in the face of the doctrine of eternal suffering. So, with that brief introduction in mind, let’s proceed to learn more about Deuteronomy 25:3. I’ll read verses 1-3 for the sake of the context:


“If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that [the judges] may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. {2} And it shall be, if the wicked man [be] worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. {3} Forty stripes he may give him, [and] not exceed: lest, [if] he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.”


These opening verses introduce this chapter which deals with a number of laws that God gave with respect to:


  • Not muzzling an ox, when it is treading out the grain;
  • Raising up seed for the wife of a husband who had died, and the consequences for not doing so;
  • The penalty for a wife who comes to the aid of her husband who is engaged in a fight, by assaulting his opponent’s private parts;
  • The necessity of dealing honestly in business by ensuring that a just “weight” or “measure” be used at all times;
  • Lastly the admonition to blot out the remembrance of the Amalekites because of how they treated the Israelites, after they had fled Egypt.


The Setting Of Judgment


Please note the setting of judgment which God emphasizes in verse 1 by the usage of the related terms, “unto judgment” (mishpat:H4941), which is a Hebrew noun that is derived from the Hebrew verb (shaphat:H8199) rendered by the English phrase, “that [the judges] may judge them.” The role of the judge to determine guilt or innocence is in view here, as expressed by the verdict in verse 1, “..then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn [rasha`:H7561] the wicked. [rasha`:H7563] The word, “wicked” stems from the term, “condemn,” and they are spelled identically. Moreover, in verse 2 we discover the term, “the wicked” (rasha`:H7563) once again, along with a related word, “to his fault” (rish`ah:H7564), which is only translated “fault” here; in every other instance, this word is translated as “wickedly,” or “wickedness.” God is highlighting the wickedness of the one who has transgressed, and the ensuing consequences. Since we having been examining the subject of “annihilation or eternal suffering” our focus will remain on the condemnation of the wicked.


“[Be] Worthy To Be Beaten”


In verse 2 we learn that the guilty party was to be punished by being beaten while lying down, in the presence of the judge by a certain number of lashes, spelled out in verse three. The phrase, “[be] worthy to be beaten,” is quite unusual. It is made up of two words that do not appear together in this particular manner, (as far as I am able to determine) even though they are found together 227 times. The term, “worthy” (ben:H1121) is normally translated “son” or “children.”  “To be beaten” (nakah:H5221) on the other hand, is predominantly rendered as “smite,” “slay,” or “kill.” In fact, “to be beaten” surfaces twice in verse 2 and twice in verse three as, “stripes” and as“and beat.” Perhaps this is why in Jay P. Green’s Interlinear Bible, “worthy to be beaten” is expressed as “a son of the stripes,” to indicate that this person had violated the law, and the punishment was to be administered in the presence of the judge, which will be further developed in verse three.



By A Certain Number [micpar:H4557]


At the end of verse 2, one finds the phrase, “by a certain number,” which is actually one Hebrew word, and is primarily translated as such. We find this term employed in verse 5 of Job 14:1-12, where it appears as “the number;” please note how man’s days and months are determined by God


“Man [that is] born of a woman [is] of few days, and full of trouble. {2} He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. {3} And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? {4} Who can bring a clean [thing] out of an unclean? not one. {5} Seeing his days [are] determined, the number of his months [are] with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; {6} Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day. {7} For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. {8} Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; {9} [Yet] through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. {10} But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where [is] he? {11} [As] the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: {12} So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens [be] no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.”


This passage is once again stressing the reality that unsaved man’s destiny is the grave and annihilation, as we have concluded over and over again in this series.


I’ll read Deuteronomy 25:3 again,


“Forty stripes he may give him, [and] not exceed: lest, [if] he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.”


Forty [’arba`iym:H705] Stripes [nakah:H5221]


In verse 3, God  spells out what the “certain number” of stripes is to be: 40; and we understand that in the Bible “40” is a number that involves testing. In stipulating this requirement, God was putting a limit to the punishment, which tells us something wonderful about His majestic, holy, nature. This is especially meaningful when we consider the rest of verse 3, which goes on to state that if the one meting out the punishment were to exceed the 40 lashes by many more, the individual receiving the punishment, would seem “vile” in the eyes of the one administering the blows.


This idea of not exceeding the limit of “stripes” that God commanded reveals an important aspect of man’s sinfulness, for which God placed this stipulation. This was expressed in an earlier study in this series, when David was confronted by God for his sin of numbering the people in Israel. We read this account in verse 14 of  2 Samuel 24:12-14,


“Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three [things]; choose thee one of them, that I may [do it] unto thee. {13} So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. {14} And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies [are] great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.


David had correctly concluded that it is far better to fall into the LORD’s hand than to fall into the hand of man, who is by nature, sinful, cruel and vicious, and has no regard for mercy.


“Exceed” [yacaph:H3254]


Let’s now consider the word, “exceed,” which is translated twice as “I will not again” in Genesis 8:21, and the second time it is in reference to “smite” or “stripes” (nakah:H5221) just as in Deuteronomy 25:3,


“And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again [yacaph:H3254] curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart [is] evil from his youth; neither will I again [yacaph:H3254] smite [nakah:H5221] any more every thing living, as I have done.”


Many [rab:H7227] Stripes [makkah:H4347]


The second word translated “stripes” (makkah:H4347) in Deuteronomy 25:3 stems from the first word, “stripes.” (nakah:H5221). The two words, many [rab:H7227] stripes [makkah:H4347]” only surface together in two other places:


The first one is in Numbers 11:33-34, in which these two terms are rendered as “great plague,” typifying God’s judgment in verse 33: “And while the flesh [was] yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great [rab:H7227] plague.” [makkah:H4347] {34} And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah [“graves of lust”]: because there they buried the people that lusted.”



The second citation is in 2 Chronicles 13:17, in which these two words are translated as “a great slaughter,” and describes in detail Israel’s rebellion against the LORD, and His subsequent judgment upon them at that time in history: “And Abijah [king of Judah] and his people slew them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men.”


Should Seem Vile [qalah:H7034] Unto Thee [`ayin:H5869]


The last two words in Deuteronomy 25:3 are “should seem vile” (qalah:H7034) and “unto thee” (`ayin:H5869). “Unto thee” literally reads “before your eyes.” Let’s proceed to investigate the term, “should seem vile,” which is only found again in the following 5 passages:


In a chapter that is replete with God’s judgment against various sins, Deuteronomy 27:16 maintains: “Cursed [be] he that setteth light [qalah:H7034] by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.”


1 Samuel 18:23-26 recounts David’s words to Saul servants, who brought word from the king that he desired David to marry one of his daughters, but by reading further one sees Saul’s real motives (as he typifies the churches and denominations under God’s wrath): “And Saul's servants spake those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seemeth it to you [a] light [thing] to be a king's son in law, seeing that I [am] a poor man, and lightly esteemed? [qalah:H7034]


Proverbs 12:9-10 translates this word as, “despised”: “[He that is] despised, [qalah:H7034] and hath a servant, [is] better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread. {10} A righteous [man] regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked [are] cruel.”


This term crops up in verse 5 of Isaiah 3:1-5, as “and the base,” in this chapter that is denouncing Judah (again representing the churches and denominations under God’s judgment) for their rebellion: “For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, {2} The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, {3} The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. {4} And I will give children [to be] their princes, and babes shall rule over them.{5}And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base [qalah:H7034] against the honourable.”


Lastly, Isaiah 16:14 adopts this word as, “shall be contemned” in yet another indictment against the corporate “house of God,” picturing the end-time institutional churches and denominations: “But now the LORD hath spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years of an hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be contemned, [qalah:H7034] with all that great multitude; and the remnant [shall be] very small [and] feeble.”


From the foregoing examples we understand that exceeding the limit required for the punishment of sin or transgression that God set forth, leads to a change of attitude toward the transgressor himself. If the “the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel,” as we read earlier in Proverbs 12:10 with regard to how he might treat animals, how much more cruel are they, when he “lightly esteems” or “despises” a human being who was created in the image of God, albeit with a fallen image?


The New Testament Word For “Stripes” [plege:H4127]


The law of Deuteronomy 25:3 is also seen in connection with the hardships that the Apostle Paul had to endure (as a type of Christ) as we learn from 2 Corinthians 11:23-24,


“Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool ) I [am] more; in labours more abundant, in stripes [plege:H4127] above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. {24} Of the Jews five times received I forty [stripes] save one.


Verse 24 indicates that Paul received on five occasions 39 lashes, for a total of 195. The Jews who were responsible for these beatings, went to great lengths to make sure they did not exceed the 40 stripe limit that God had imposed in Deuteronomy 25:3. Paul, of course, was no stranger to suffering, as the following references testify, in accordance with God’s purpose for his life - to emulate the sufferings that Christ endured -  as God declared to a fearful Ananias in Acts 9:15-16,


“But the Lord said unto him, Go thy [Ananias] way: for he [Paul] is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: {16} For I will shew him [Paul] how great things he [Paul] must suffer for my name's sake.”


In similar fashion, God’s elect today are called - as His completed Body on earth - to make manifest His sufferings as well, as Paul conveyed in 1 Colossians 1:24, with regard to himself:


“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:”  


One incident in which Paul was beaten (along with Silas)  was at Philippi, as Acts 16:23 and 33 reveal:


“And when they had laid many stripes [plege:H4127] upon them, they cast [them] into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: ... {33} And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed [their] stripes [plege:H4127]; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.


Another Greek Word For “Stripes” [molops:G3468]


There is one other Greek word that is translated as “stripes” (molops:G3468), and only found in 1 Peter 2:24, but I will pick up the context in verses 19-24,


“For this [is] thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. {20} For what glory [is it], if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer [for it], ye take it patiently, this [is] acceptable with God. {21} For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: {22} Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: {23} Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously: {24} Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes [molops:G3468] ye were healed.”


Verse 24 is actually quoting Isaiah 53:5 in part:


“But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes [chabbuwrah:H2250] we are healed.”


The Greek word for stripes in 1 Peter 2:24 is only found in that verse, and its root word is dubious, so let’s focus on its Hebrew counterpart, “with his stripes” (chabbuwrah:H2250), which only surfaces in five other Scriptures:


Genesis 4:23 notes, “And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.” [chabbuwrah:H2250]


Exodus 21:25 says, “Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe [chabbuwrah:H2250] for stripe.” [H2250]


Psalm 38:5 acknowledges, My wounds [chabbuwrah:H2250] stink [and] are corrupt because of my foolishness.”


Similarly, Proverbs 20:30 maintains,The blueness [chabbuwrah:H2250] of a wound cleanseth away evil: so [do] stripes the inward parts of the belly.” [‘womb’]


Lastly, Isaiah 1:6 declares, “From the sole of the foot even unto the head [there is] no soundness in it; [but] wounds, and bruises, [chabbuwrah:H2250] and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.”


Spiritually these “stripes” have to do with sins, which the Savior was laden with, prior to Creation, when He made atonement for each of the elect, within the Bride or Body of Christ. As a result of Christ's sacrifice, each of the elect have been spiritually healed in their souls, and one day in the not too distant future, they will receive their new glorified spiritual body which will house their resurrected soul for all of eternity, in which they will serve the Lord Jesus Christ perfectly in both body and soul.


The Mercy Of God


As one considers the implications of the law of Deuteronomy 25:3, it becomes very evident that God’s measure of justice contains a great deal of mercy. Just think about the notion of being tortured forever in the greatest amount of pain imaginable for eternity, without any hope of escaping that situation. But thankfully that scenario does does not emanate from the Bible, although many attempt to prove that it does, as I have tried to point out in this series. Over and over again throughout the Scriptures, God makes it very clear that He does not take delight in the death of the wicked, as these next verses teach:


Ezekiel 18:32 states: “For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn [yourselves], and live ye.”


Likewise, Ezekiel 33:11 says: “Say unto them, [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”


God’s Love Is Inconceivable


For God to save just one wicked sinner from death and annihilation is beyond what our puny minds can grasp, especially when one considers that in order for that to take place, Christ had to die and be annihilated for that one individual, “from the foundation of the world.” But the fact that God saved a great multitude that “no man could number” (possibly as many as 200 million) prior to May 21, 2011 is a testament to the infinite grace and love of God Almighty, as Revelation 7:9 teaches. Indeed we have to humbly acknowledge the truth of Isaiah 55:8-9,


“For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. {9} For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”


We will end this series today, but Lord willing, next week, we will be begin a new series on another doctrine that God has “unsealed” in our day, namely “...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”