Jehovah Witnesses are winnable for Christ

While Gary Crous (below) was preaching against Jehovah Witnesses in Pietermaritzburg, telling them to “Repent you evil wicked sinners, who hand out these things that say Jesus is not God. Jesus is God manifested in the flesh, my friends”. I was doing the weekly tract outreach organised by my church just 50 meters from it, except that this time I was all alone but was surrounded by about 10 Jehovah Witnesses who were also distributing tracts and evangelising people.   

It was very disappointing to see Jehovah Witnesses, who don’t have the truth but heresy, going out in numbers to evangelise people, while a notice was included in my church’s weekly bulletin that there will be an outreach and believers are encouraged to attend, yet people didn’t show up. The fact that Jehovah Witnesses were there, even bringing their own kids, while none of my Baptist brothers and sisters were there was very disappointing, especially since the spot we use is just a couple of meters away from our church. Our pastor once told of a visit he got from Jehovah Witnesses, and how he rebuked them for their heresy, yet they rebuked him for the fact that none of his parishioners evangelise.

I quickly realised that I needed to evangelise these Jehovah Witnesses, and I spoke to a nice and likeable guy called Barry. He is in his 40s and was born and raised a Jehovah Witness, and I gave him an opportunity to explain his religion to me and how it differs from Christianity. He told me that there’s no hell, and people get annihilated after death. But I used the opportunity to show him in his own bible (New World Translation) that there is hell, at least the lake of fire as he disputed if Sheol, Hades and Gehenna should be translated as hell, and that all who break God’s Law will find themselves in that lake (see Revelations 21:8). He tried to look in his tracts (very well written tracts I must say) but he couldn’t find a refutable argument or verse he could bring against what I showed him in the bible. He told me that the book of Revelations is not literal, but I also showed him that Jesus Himself also preached about the lake of fire, and he acknowledged that the bible does preach about such a place. He was very disturbed when he became aware of what I showed him, and I could see that he was having trouble digesting this truth. He quickly ended the conversation, but asked for my phone numbers so we can meet again and discus this issue further. I hope to meet him again this week, so I can show him the truth about Jehovah and His Son Jesus Christ, and hope that he can be rescued from this cult. He left immediately afterwards, and I was left with more Jehovah Witnesses to speak to.      

I went to speak to two ladies in their late 20s, also Jehovah Witnesses, holding all kinds of tracts they distribute, dealing with all kinds of issues and questions that people have. I asked them what they think happens when people die, and they quickly drew a tract called “Would you like to know the Truth?” that denies the existence of an after-life, and says “At death, humans cease to exist” and they quote Ecclesiastes 9:5 and Psalm146:3-4. As soon as I wanted to use their bible to show them what the bible really says, they told me that we needed to meet again so we can discuss the issue further, so they took my phone numbers and promised to meet with me again this week.

I learned few things from these conversations with Jehovah Witnesses, one of them being that good tracts are a necessity, not just tracts that show a person how to be saved but also those that answer questions that most people struggle against. Jehovah Witnesses are equipped with enough tracts that provide answers that an average person in the streets will bring up, even though we know that those answers are heresy. This made me aware that we really need to put a lot of work on tracts, and have all different kinds of tracts dealing with different situations and questions that people have. Which is why I’m excited that Gary and Lungisa are working on a couple of tracts, while I’m also always working on new ideas for tracts. I also realised that a printing press should be a medium term goal that we need to work towards if we are to reach the masses with the Gospel.

The most important lesson I learned while speaking to Jehovah Witnesses is that they are winnable for Christ. The first impression we have of Jehovah Witnesses is that they are heretics (which is true) whose aim in life is to bring to fruition Satan’s plan on earth, but some of them are genuinely lost people who really need the Gospel truth so they can be rescued from this cult. I think we also have the same impression of Muslims – that they can’t be saved because they are so deep in their cults, but the Gospel has the power to save any man regardless of whatever cult they are involved in. People involved in cults are brainwashed, and the Gospel truth is the only tool you can use to bring them to light, and Jehovah Witnesses or Muslims are not different. I realised that I shouldn’t avoid them, but I should rather gently and respectfully show them what their own bibles say about Christ, hell and salvation.

We think that the New World Translation has been perfectly MIS-translated so it can suit Jehovah Witnesses’ theology but it’s not, and there are still a lot of bible verses that are not tainted by their agenda. The worst thing that could ever happen to a Jehovah Witness is to show him that his own bible is against his belief, and that’s what I saw happen to Barry. During the early moments of our conversation, I wanted to show him that his bible is mistranslated and rather we should use the KJV bible (which I had), but I realised that we would just debate an issue that will get us nowhere since we are both not Greek or Hebrew scholars. And that worked out perfectly because I ended up using his bible to show him the truth. I believe it’s about time we start believing in the Word of God that it’s powerful enough to save any man, Jehovah Witness or not, and go to where they are in the streets and evangelise them.

Of course I had to undo the damage they had done to one soul who was their victim. There was a young Zimbabwean Muslim man who was distributing tracts from a sangoma (witch doctor) who promises to heal everything from Aids to sexual problems. They had given him their tracts to read, and told him that it’s compatible with the Quran. I told this young man that these Jehovah Witnesses are liars and he shouldn’t believe anything they said, but I also told him that his sangoma boss is also a wicked man and that his own religion (Islam) warns him against getting involved in witchcraft. I used the Quran to show him that Muslims recognise the Ten Commandments, and whether he had obeyed them or not, and warned that he needed to repent from his sins or face eternity in hell.

Pray for Barry so God can convict him and show him that he is involved in a cult, as I am about to meet him this week.

 

Edited: New World Translation instead of New Living Translation

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19 Comments »

  1. emeth said

    Did you know that the KJV is used for a long time by the Jehovah’s Witnesses? And that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society even printed KJV bibles in the past?

    The material (plates) to print the KJV were bought by them in 1942 from the company A. J. Holman in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania)

    Besides their NWT they use a lot of different bibletranslations.

    But ask yourself ,.. why is it that members from your church were not present to do their evangelising work together with you? How can it be that in your opinion a true religion (yours) cant produce the fruits and follow the command of Jesus to reach out to people and tell them his message of Good News?

    Is it a lack of faith? Is the holy spirit not working among your brothers and sisters?

    Jehovah’s Witnesses have at least 7.7 million people in 236 countries and territories around the globe who go out at least once a week, totally volunteering their own time and money to find people who are thirsty for what they think is the ‘truth’.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses produce millions of books, magazines, tracts, DVD’s every month, in more than 500 languages,.. and all this is distributed freely to all who are interested.

    They are the only ones who are fully organised and equipped to share the Good news of Gods Kingdom to all people around the world.

    Kindest regards, Emeth , The Netherlands, Europe

  2. Emeth, thanks for your response.

    Let me make it clear that I am impressed by the fact that Jehovah Witnesses are willing to evangelise, and they believe their religion to be factual which motivates them to evangelise. I wish my fellow Christians believed in the biblical truths enough to go out and evangelise. As you can get from my post, I’m very disappointed at my fellow believers, but I’m not surprised because most of them are not born-again to begin with as they claim to be. I think that’s the difference between them and you. Everybody who fellowships at Jehovah Witness’ church is a Jehovah Witness, but not everybody who goes to a Christian church is a Christian. Statistics from different sources claim that only 5% of all people who claim to be Christians are actually Christians, and my view is that this figure is too inflated, so we are probably looking at 1% at best. The comment I made about people not willing to evangelise was to prove that only a few Christians amongst others are actually born-again, hence only a few are willing to evangelise.

    The main issue here is that there is no truth to what you guys believe and teach, and can be easily proven as I did to your fellow colleagues. (By the way, why do you guys take people’s phone numbers when you don’t have intentions of meeting up with them again, or is it for statistics purposes so you can claim them as convert?). With all respect Emeth, the truth is not on you side, and it breaks my heart to see people being so committed to falsehood. You probably was raised in the church, as my friend Barry was, so you have never evaluated the truth objectively, but I beg you to look for the truth in the bible.

    For instance, look at what Revelations 20:8 says, and ask yourself why you continue believing that there is no resurrection of the dead, or hell for that matter when it is very clear in the NWT. You are probably taught that the book of Revelations is symbolic, but we know from all the other books of the bible that there is resurrection of the dead, heaven and hell. So why should you continue believing falsehood when the truth is there for you to see? Why should you continue deceiving people into thinking there is no afterlife when there is?

    As much as Jehovah Witnesses evangelise, it pains me because they are pouring the judgement of God on their heads because they are misleading people. I would rather you not evangelise and save yourself judgement from God. Jesus warned against this, He said: “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). You are causing people to sin by not telling them the biblical truth, even as zealous as you are.

    Repent to the true biblical truth, then your evangelism will bear fruit for the kingdom of God. Right now you are bearing fruit for the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses, which leads people to hell, not the kingdom of God which leads to eternal life. Emeth, consider these things I have written.

    • emeth said

      Dear Sello,

      Dont worry about your phonenumber it wont be reported to the organisation 🙂 Neighter do we report ‘converts’ . We do keep track of monthly statistics such as the number of distributed magazines and books and the number of follow-up visits and bible studies we lead. But all these statistics are just anonymous numbers, no names or any other personal information is being shared or used.
      Furthermore we think that people cant convert other people we can only assist in providing answers . To become a Jehovah’s Witness one must be qualified, it is not a proces that take a day,.. week or a month. It takes many months if not a year or longer to study the bible thoroughly and make the necessary moral behaviour change to become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and be baptised. That explains for a part why our members are so comitted,.. they make a choice for life based on a long intense study and a lot of thought.
      Contrary to what many believe a lot, if not most, of Jehovah’s Witnesses are not raised within this religion but came from different religious backgrounds, many of them from other christian denominations. They came from churches that all taught them the concept of Hell. So they are familiar with the dogma’s and biblical verses that are said to be the biblical evidence for those dogma’s.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses know and preach that there will be a resurrection and judgement of the dead, but at the same time proclaim that a literal place of a fiery hell full of torment does not excist. It does not suit a ‘Loving’ god to torture human beings for eternity. ofcourse we are aware of the passage that you showed those witnesses. Question remains why do Jehovah’s Witnesses persist to maintain their belief despite those verses? To get a better answer on that i would like you to read something.

      To give you and other readers the opportunity to get a clear view on our beliefs i like you to see a few articles concerning the hell.

      What Has Happened to Hellfire?
      http://www.watchtower.org/e/20020715/article_01.htm

      What Really Is Hell?
      http://www.watchtower.org/e/20020715/article_02.htm

      Myth: The Wicked Suffer in Hell
      http://www.watchtower.org/e/20091101/article_03.htm

      All around the globe we use bible study aids, one of them is a book called ‘What does the bible really teach? ‘ Following these downloadlinks you can get a free PDF copy of the book in English and Zoeloe & Afrikaans

      What does the bible really teach? (english pdf)
      http://download.jw.org/files/media_books/bh_E.pdf
      LIFUNDISANI Ngempela IBHAYIBHELI? (zoeloe pdf)

      http://download.jw.org/files/media_books/bh_ZU.pdf

      Wat leer die Bybel werklik? (afrikaans pdf)

      http://download.jw.org/files/media_books/bh_AF.pdf

      If you have further questions or if you would like to have more material on particular subjects i suggest you contact a local Kingdom Hall they will be happy to help you.

      Kindest regards,

      Emeth , The Netherlands

  3. emeth said

    Dear Sello,

    While reviewing our upcoming issues of one of our international magazines i noticed that the Watchtower dated 1 March 2012 (which will be available as hardcopy from the beginning of next month) is perfect on/topic and interesting reading material.

    Titled `What Are the Marks of True Christianity?´

    Below you find downloadlinks to the PDF files in several languages of South Africa.

    What Are the Marks of True Christianity? (english)
    http://download.jw.org/files/media_magazines/wp_E_20120301.pdf

    Wat is die kenmerke van die ware Christelike geloof? (afrikaans)
    http://download.jw.org/files/media_magazines/wp_AF_20120301.pdf

    Ke Matsoao Afe a Khethollang Bakreste ba’ Nete? (sesotho)
    http://download.jw.org/files/media_magazines/wp_SU_20120301.pdf

    Hi Yihi Mimfungho Ya Vakreste Va Ntiyiso? (tsonga)
    http://download.jw.org/files/media_magazines/wp_TS_20120301.pdf

    Matshwao a Bokeresete Jwa Boammaaruri Ke Afe? (tswana)
    http://download.jw.org/files/media_magazines/wp_TN_20120301.pdf

    Ungawabona Ngani AmaKristu Eqiniso? (zulu)
    http://download.jw.org/files/media_magazines/wp_ZU_20120301.pdf

    Ziziphi Iimpawu Ezibonisa UbuKristu Bokwenyaniso? (xhosa)
    http://download.jw.org/files/media_magazines/wp_XO_20120301.pdf

    Kindest regards, Emeth

  4. I read your tracts about hell, and all they are saying is that hell is symbolic, but they can’t even provide any biblical evidence that hell is symbolic and no a real place of torment. They take the best explanation of hell found in Revelations 21:8 and they say it’s just symbolic. Have you read it yourself? What’s symbolic about this: “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

    Where is symbolism? The bible makes it clear that this is a “place”, and that it’s a “lake”, which is “burning” with “sulfur”. It also makes it clear that it will be the “second” “death”.

    You would have to be really good at twisting scripture to suggest the existence of symbolism in this text. My question to you is “why do Jehovah Witnesses have such a problem with the existence of hell”?

    • emeth said

      Dear Sello,

      No twists are needed. The bible itself answers if one allows it to answer. Fact is we dont have a problem with the existence of hell. Hell, in the Biblical sense, is simply the common grave of mankind, where all activity has ceased. The bible is full of evidence to support that. The question is whether or not a person accepts the biblical truth. One should ask himself. Is what i have been taught in my church the same as is taught in the bible? In other words, what does the bible really teach?

      Did the Almighty God create such a literal place of torment? Well, what was God’s view when the Israelites, following the example of peoples who lived nearby, began to burn their children in fire?
      He explains in his Word: “They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, in order to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, a thing that I had not commanded and that had not come up into my heart.”—Jeremiah 7:31

      Think about this. If the idea of roasting people in fire had never come into God’s heart, does it seem reasonable that he created a fiery hell for those who do not serve him? Would a loving God really torment people forever? Would you do so?

      This teaching dishonors God. Jehovah is a God of love and would never make people suffer in this way. (1 John 4:8) How would you feel about a man who punished a disobedient child by holding his hands in a fire? Would you respect such a man? In fact, would you even want to get to know him? Definitely not! You would likely think that he was very cruel.

      Yet, according to you,… God tortures people in fire forever—for countless billions of years! How can the God who tells us in the Bible that we are to love our enemies wish to torture his enemies for eternity?

      Further, if Adam had been created with an immortal soul that would be tormented forever in a fiery hell if he sinned, why was he not warned about this? Why was he only told that he would die and return to dust? If the real result of sin for Adam was to be, not death, ‘returning to the dust,’ but eternal suffering, in all justice should God not have explained this clearly?

      (Genesis 2:16, 17) 16 And Jehovah God also laid this command upon the man: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. 17 But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.”

      With all respect but i see nothing there about hell and eternal suffering,.. do you?

      If God had purposed to punish them in that way, surely he should have warned them to that effect. Jehovah would then have said to Adam: ‘If you eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you will go to hell and be tormented forever and ever.’ But God said nothing of the sort. Then did he change the penalty for the crime after it had been committed? Why, even imperfect men realize that to be unjust. Surely God is not less just than man, is He?—Gen. 18:25.

      Even a blind man can see that it would be unfair to condemn Adam to an eternity of torture for disobedience, yet not warn him about it! However, the bible tell us that with God “there is no injustice.” (Deuteronomy 32:4)

      It was the Devil who told Eve: “You positively will not die.” (Genesis 3:4 ) But she did die; no part of her lived on. That the soul lives on after death is a lie started by the Devil. And it is also a lie, which the Devil has had spread, that the souls of the wicked are tormented in a hell or a purgatory.

      What is the condition of the dead according to the bible?

      (Ecclesiastes 9:5) . . .. “For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all”,. . . (Psalm 146:4) . . “he goes back to his ground; In that day his thoughts do perish.”

      Jesus Christ spoke also about the condition of the dead. He did so with regard to Lazarus, a man whom he knew well and who had died. Jesus told his disciples: “Lazarus our friend has gone to rest.” The disciples thought that Jesus meant that Lazarus was resting in sleep, recovering from an illness. They were wrong. Jesus explained: “Lazarus has died.” (John 11:11-14)

      Notice that Jesus compared death to rest and sleep. Lazarus was neither in heaven nor in a burning hell. He was not meeting angels or ancestors. He was at rest in death, as though in a deep sleep without dreams. Other scriptures also compare death to sleep. For example, when the disciple Stephen was stoned to death, the Bible says that he “fell asleep.” (Acts 7:60) Similarly, the apostle Paul wrote about some in his day who had “fallen asleep” in death.—1 Corinthians 15:6.

      Ok lets summarize,.. God dislikes roasting people, the idea did not even came up in his heart. Adam, the first human, was not warned at all.. God told him he would die, not that he would be tormented for ever and ever in a fiery place. Furthermore the bible teaches us that the dead know nothing, are not conscious and that their thoughts simply perish. They cease to exist. Even Jesus himself compared being dead with resting in sleep.

      This leaves us with several reasons why a literal interpretation of a fiery hell is not right. (1) because it is unreasonable; (2) because it is repugnant to justice; (3) because it is contrary to the principle of love; and (4) because it is entirely unscriptural.

      What happens with people who continue to sin? Is the bible clear on that? What does the bible say? (Ezekiel 18:4) . . .The soul that is sinning—it itself will die. . . (Romans 6:23) 23 “For the wages sin pays is death, . . .” No further punishment in Hell?

      Hmmm ,… No. . .For he who has died has been acquitted from [his] sin. . . (Romans 6:7)

      Its death or everlasting life, we have to make the same choice as Adam had to make. Its not a choice between Everlasting life in paradise and Everlasting life in Hell. The bible does not teach that.
      (John 17:3) 3 This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.

      (Matthew 7:13) 13 “Go in through the narrow gate; because broad and spacious is the road leading off into destruction. . . (Or, “annihilation.” Greek., a·po′lei·an.)

      (2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9) . . .. 9 These very ones will undergo the judicial punishment of everlasting destruction. . .

      Its everlasting life versus destruction/annihilation. When fire is mentioned in the Holy Scriptures it indicates complete destruction, not eternal torment; as, for instance, in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9

      And that is how our world knows the phenomenon fire too. Or do you go out for a night at the movies if you see that you house is on fire? Do you say at such a moment… I will call the fire department later cause this house will burn forever and still remain as untouched? Ofcourse not. We all know that fire is destructive.. that it is all consuming and lethal. That is why it is used often in biblical language.

      Another question we could ask is,… What sort of people go to the Bible hell? Good or Bad people,.. or both?

      When Jacob was mourning for his beloved son Joseph, who he thought had been killed, he said: “I shall go down mourning to my son into Sheol!” (Genesis 37:35) However, the King James Version here translates Sheol “grave,” and the Douay Version translates it “hell.” Now, stop for a moment and think. Did Jacob believe that his son Joseph went to a place of torment to spend eternity there, and did he want to go there and meet him? Or, rather, was it that Jacob merely thought that his beloved son was dead and in the grave and that Jacob himself wanted to die?

      Yes, good people go to the Bible hell. For example, the good man Job, who was suffering a great deal, prayed to God: “O that in Sheol [grave, King James Version; hell, Douay Version] you would conceal me, . . . that you would set a time limit for me and remember me!” (Job 14:13) Now think: If Sheol means a place of fire and torment, would Job wish to go and spend his time there until God remembered him? Clearly, Job wanted to die and go to the grave that his sufferings might end.

      Of Jesus Christ the Bible says that he was in hell three days and was redeemed from there. Peter said of Christ: “That his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” Jonah was another man that was in hell and got out alive unsinged. When swallowed by a big fish, Jonah said: “Out of the belly of hell cried I.” Where was Jonah? In the fish’s belly and there is no fire there.

      So here is shown that all who die end up in the biblical hell. The good and the bad. Would that make sense if hell was a place of eternal torture?

      The teaching that souls suffer in hell promotes a morbid fear of God. By contrast, a person who learns the truth about God and comes to love him will develop a healthy fear of him. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; prudent are all who live by it,” explains Psalm 111:10. (The New American Bible) This fear of God is, not abject terror, but awe of and profound reverence for the Creator.
      Cultivating love for God and a healthy fear of him—not fear of torment in hell—can motivate us to do God’s will in order to enjoy lasting happiness. The psalmist wrote: “Blessed is every one that feareth Jehovah, that walketh in his ways.”—Psalm 128:1

      In order to find the truth sometimes we are forced to dig deep. The truth is in the bible,.. not in one of the 66 books but in all of them. And the bible cannot contradict itself since it is Gods own word. So if it comes to teachings all books must be in agreement with eachother.
      (John 8:47) . . .He that is from God listens to the sayings of God. . .
      (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) . . .All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.

      The Psalmist wrote . . .The substance of your word is truth,. . . (Psalm 119:160) and Jesus affirmed by saying . . .your word is truth. . .(John 17:17)

      Note that the only scriptures that Jesus and the first christians had, used and referred to at that time were the Hebrew Scriptures (old testament). See for example (Acts 17:10, 11) Those Beroeans mentioned in Acts were not ‘browsing’ the Apocalypse of John or any other scripture from the New testament (since all that was not written yet).

      A fiery Hell full of torture was not in their ‘bible’,.. Adam was not warned,.. The world at Noahs time was not warned for a hell and according to scripture it was certainly not their destination. The people of Israel were not warned when they got the ten commandments and signed the covenant with God. Jehovah warned them for all kinds of punishments but nothing came close to an everlasting torture pit.

      Jesus said; (John 8:31, 32) 31 “If YOU remain in my word, YOU are really my disciples, 32 and YOU will know the truth, and the truth will set YOU free.”

      The truth will set you free…. indeed! The truth puts a firehose on a demonic teaching that tries to sell us a God who has lower moral standards, less love and compassion than us humans by portraying him as the God who enjoys torturing people for ever and ever.
      As i told you in an earlier post no human can convert another human. Jesus said; 44 “No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him” . . .(John 6:44) He also told us what kind of attitudes were most receptive for his message and Kingdom.

      Jesus said: “Let the young children come to me; do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to suchlike ones. Truly I say to you, Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a young child will by no means enter into it.”

      To receive God’s Kingdom, people must imitate the humility and teachableness of young children.

      All the above showed that the Bible does not teach a literal Hell full of torture. Instead of that biblical evidence points overwelmingly that the end of it all is death, destruction & complete annihilation (there are dozens more verses in the bible which support that).

      The rest of the bible makes a literal reading of Revelation impossible since it would mean that the bible would contradict itself. But there is more that shows it must be a symbolic instead of a literal interpretation.

      First of all everyone will agree that Revelation is a book (as wikipedia and authoritive sources descibe it) of ‘vivid symbolism’. To name a few things its about a dragon and serpent, its about a lamb, about a false prophet, about babylon, its about angels with bowls, its about a bride, a harlot, a wild beast, torturing locusts, seals and coloured horses.

      So take this serpent, dragon who is better know as Satan. God made him a promise long long time ago in the garden of eden. It was the first recorded prophecy. ” And I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.” – Genesis 3:15

      God did not promise Satan an eternal torment in hell but a fatal headblow. This prophecy will be fullfilled in (Revelation 20:10) “And the Devil who was misleading them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulphur, where both the wild beast and the false prophet [already were]; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

      What does this mean? When Jesus was on earth jailers were at times called “tormentors.” As Jesus said of a certain man in one of his illustrations: “And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.” (Matthew 18:34, King James Version) Since those who are thrown into “the lake of fire” go into “second death” from which there is no resurrection, they are, so to speak, jailed forever in death. They remain in death as though in the custody of jailers for all eternity. The wicked, of course, are not literally tormented because, as we have seen, when a person is dead he is completely out of existence. He is not conscious of anything.

      But what about that lake of fire? Notice how the Bible itself says this at Revelation 20:14: “And death and Hades [hell, King James Version and Douay Version] were hurled into the lake of fire. This means the second death, the lake of fire.” Yes, the lake of fire means “second death,” the death from which there is no resurrection.

      It is evident that this “lake” is a symbol, because death and hell (Hades) are thrown into it. Death and hell cannot literally be burned they are no beings, cannot feel, are not conscious. But they can, and will, be done away with, or destroyed.

      Besides the biblical evidence against a literal hell full of torment it wouldnt hurt you if you studied what the origin of the english word hell is. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, unabridged, under “Hell” says: “fr[om] . . . helan to conceal.” The word “hell” thus originally conveyed no thought of heat or torment but simply of a ‘covered over or concealed place.’ In the old English dialect the expression “helling potatoes” meant, not to roast them, but simply to place the potatoes in the ground or in a cellar.

      Finally, i assume you know that the word Hell itself cannot be found in the bible. In the King James Version the word “hell” is rendered from sheʼohl′ 31 times and from hai′des 10 times. This version is not consistent, however, since sheʼohl′ is also translated 31 times “grave” and 3 times “pit.” In the Douay Version sheʼohl′ is rendered “hell” 64 times, “pit” once, and “death” once.

      Concerning this use of “hell” to translate these original words from the Hebrew and Greek, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (1981, Vol. 2, p. 187) says: “HADES . . . It corresponds to ‘Sheol’ in the O.T. [Old Testament]. In the A.V. of the O.T. [Old Testament] and N.T. [New Testament], it has been unhappily rendered ‘Hell.’”

      Collier’s Encyclopedia (1986, Vol. 12, p. 28) says concerning “Hell”: “First it stands for the Hebrew Sheol of the Old Testament and the Greek Hades of the Septuagint and New Testament. Since Sheol in Old Testament times referred simply to the abode of the dead and suggested no moral distinctions, the word ‘hell,’ as understood today, is not a happy translation.”

      The God that i worship does not torture humans forever and ever. I worship a God named, “Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth, 7 preserving loving-kindness for thousands, pardoning error and transgression and sin” – Exodus 34:6

      “Who is a God like you, one pardoning error and passing over transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? He will certainly not hold onto his anger forever, for he is delighting in loving-kindness.” – (Micah 7:18)

      reasons why a literal interpretation of a fiery hell is not right. (1) because it is unreasonable; (2) because it is repugnant to justice; (3) because it is contrary to the principle of love; and (4) because it is entirely unscriptural.

      What kind of God do you worship Sello,… one that tortures and does far more ugly things than the worst human war criminals ever did? Like Jesus said,…’The Truth will set you Free’

      Kindest regards, Emeth

  5. Emeth, you have said absolutely nothing of quality in your rebuttal, it’s just long. Nobody disputes that dead people (first death) have no ‘conscious’ in that they are dead from this life. The issue is here that people will be resurrected to live again, either in hell or heaven. I gave you one verse (Revelations 21:8) that is not complicated which spells hell very clearly, and you didn’t touch on it at all. The whole Watchtower publications don’t touch on this verse, except to say that it’s symbolic. So it’s up to you to show symbolism here, which you didn’t, rather you touch on verses that have nothing to do with what we are disputing.

    You mention Lazarus, but isn’t it weird that you dont’ mention that the rich man who knew Lazarus went to a place of torment AFTER he died? The bible says “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man ALSO DIED and was BURIED. In hell, where HE WAS IN TORMENT, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.” (Luke 16:22-23). Is there symbolism as well, because you didn’t touch on this?

    To suggest that God won’t send people to hell (1) because it is unreasonable; (2) because it is repugnant to justice; (3) because it is contrary to the principle of love; and (4) because it is entirely unscriptural, is really clutching at straws. It’s like suggesting that a magistrate can’t send a criminal to death row because it’s unreasonable, repugnant to justice, and not loving. I guess you don’t think judges and magistrates are loving people, which is why they send people to jail and death row.

    Hell is an expression of God’s love and justice. A loving God won’t let criminals like Hitler get away with 10million murders. To suggest that God should let Hitler off the hook is to suggest that God should have no sense of justice and be corrupt.

    Roman Catholics suppress the second commandment because they are guilty of breaking it, and Jehovah Witnesses suppress hell because it’s people are subject to it. That’s how cults work, they suppress the truth and make it look SYMBOLIC. Repent from this believe that reject God’s role as lawgiver and judge.

    James 4:12
    There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy.

  6. emeth said

    You wrote; “I gave you one verse (Revelations 21:8) that is not complicated which spells hell very clearly, and you didn’t touch on it at all.”

    Dear Sello,

    Although i did touch it , for you i will touch it some more. The symbolic nature of revelation 21:8

    “The lake of fire” into which death, Hades, the symbolic “wild beast” and “the false prophet,” Satan, his demons, and the persistent practicers of wickedness on earth are cast. The expression occurs only in the book of Revelation and is clearly symbolic. The Bible gives its own explanation and definition of the symbol by stating: “This means the second death, the lake of fire.”—Re 20:14; 21:8.

    The symbolic quality of the lake of fire is further evident from the context of references to it in the book of Revelation. Death is said to be hurled into this lake of fire. (Re 20:14, 20) Death obviously cannot be literally burned. Moreover, the Devil, an invisible spirit creature, is thrown into the lake. Being spirit, he cannot be hurt by literal fire.—Re 20:10; compare Ex 3:2 and Jg 13:20.

    Since the lake of fire represents “the second death” and since Revelation 20:14 says that both “death and Hades” are to be cast into it, it is evident that the lake cannot represent the death man has inherited from Adam (Ro 5:12), nor does it refer to Hades (Sheol). It must, therefore, be symbolic of another kind of death, one that is without reversal, for the record nowhere speaks of the “lake” as giving up those in it, as do Adamic death and Hades (Sheol). (Re 20:13) Thus, those not found written in “the book of life,” unrepentant opposers of God’s sovereignty, are hurled into the lake of fire, meaning eternal destruction, or the second death.—Re 20:15.

    While the foregoing texts make evident the symbolic quality of the lake of fire, it has been used by some persons to support belief in a literal place of fire and torment. Revelation 20:10 has been appealed to, because it speaks of the Devil, the wild beast, and the false prophet as being “tormented day and night forever and ever” in the lake of fire. However, this cannot refer to actual conscious torment. Those thrown into the lake of fire undergo “the second death.” (Re 20:14) In death there is no consciousness and, hence, no feeling of pain or suffering.—Ec 9:5.

    In the Scriptures fiery torment is associated with destruction and death. For example, in the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures the word for torment (ba′sa·nos) is several times used with reference to punishment by death. (Eze 3:20; 32:24, 30) Similarly, concerning Babylon the Great, the book of Revelation says, “the kings of the earth . . . will weep and beat themselves in grief over her, when they look at the smoke from the burning of her, while they stand at a distance because of their fear of her torment [Gr., ba·sa·ni·smou′].” (Re 18:9, 10) As to the meaning of the torment, an angel later explains: “Thus with a swift pitch will Babylon the great city be hurled down, and she will never be found again.” (Re 18:21) So, fiery torment here is parallel with destruction, and in the case of Babylon the Great, it is everlasting destruction.—Compare Re 17:16; 18:8, 15-17, 19.

    Therefore, those who are ‘tormented forever’ (from Gr., ba·sa·ni′zo) in the lake of fire undergo “second death” from which there is no resurrection. The related Greek word ba·sa·ni·stes′ is translated ‘jailer’ in Matthew 18:34. (RS, NW, ED; compare vs 30.) Thus those hurled into the lake of fire will be held under restraint, or “jailed,” in death throughout eternity.

    So far Revelation 21:8,.. i will touch other parts of your reply some other time.

    Kindest regards, Emeth

  7. The lake of fire can’t be symbolic on the basis that it’s only mentioned in the book of Revelations. Mathew 13:42 mentions “FIERY FURNACE, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”, which is similar to the lake of fire. Psalm 11:6 also mentions “fiery coals and BURNING sulfur”. So to suggest that a place where people would be burnt is symbolic is clutching at straws, since it’s mentioned elsewhere in the bible and not only in the Revelations 21:8. So your symbolism idea fails.

    Firstly, I have showed you that the expression in Revelations 21:8 is not only in the book of Revelations but found everywhere in the bible. Isaiah 66:24 makes it clear that people will burn, it says “nor will their FIRE be quenched”. This is as clear as it gets, and it’s NOT in the book of Revelations. So you have failed to dismiss this doctrine as Revelations symbolism. Even the man in Lazarus story is also burning in hell, the point which you fail to even look at, even though you are the one who brought the Lazarus story into the picture.

    You keep referring to Ecclesiastes 9:5, but we are beyond the point of the first death, since we both believe in the resurrection of the dead, which is what the bible teaches. So what is it that you are trying to prove by bringing up Ecclesiastes 9:5? Of course dead people won’t feel pain, but dead people would be resurrected so they can feel pain. Do you understand this point?

    You can’t use the same book of Revelations to make a point, and then when it contradicts you then claim that it’s symbolic. If you are uncomfortable with the Book of Revelations then it’s fine, but I have just showed you what the rest of the bible says.

    What else is not symbolic to you in the bible, since every scripture that talks about hell is symbolic?

  8. Lungisa said

    I will be glad if Emeth can shed some light on the lake of fire being symbolic, in connection with 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 ever and ever”

    Explain:
    1) The meaning of the “lake of fire” and “brimstone/sulfur”

    2) How come that the devil, the beast and the false prophet “…shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

    3) The meaning of “shall be tormented day and night”, and how does it fit in the “lake of fire” symbolism?

  9. emeth said

    Dear Sello ,

    Found some time to read your replies. First of all i dont write rebuttals, i just share my beliefs. As you can see my initial post was not about dogma’s at all but about the King James bible and our mission. My second post contained links to articles, a book and a magazine. The purpose of these links were also clear, it gave you an opportunity to see why and what we believe. The subject of Hell is not an issue on my mind and will never be. And i am not the only one. In Holland for example (where i live), you will hardly meet any people who literally think you will burn and be tortured in a hell forever, except for muslims.

    So why did i not start a theological discussion with you in the first place and provided you only with links to our literature in my first posts?

    For several reasons. One of them is that we study with people in person, face to face. That is also why i said in an earlier post to direct any further questions to a local Kingdom Hall. Besides that, our understanding of the scriptures differs on so many points with your understanding that once we touch a biblical subject we would soon run into many more questions that desire long answers. When i talk of the resurrection, the 1st and 2nd death, paradise and heaven and even God i mean often different things than you are taught within your denomination.

    But back to Hell. A hell full of real eternal torture is losing believers in record numbers. And even within the baptist churches there is division and sometimes a lot of controversy on the subject. Sometimes only a book of a fellow pastor is the starter for such distress. shown here… http://tinyurl.com/77rvypx

    And hell wont keep people within the churches, allmost all christian denominations are in decline, and so are the baptists. http://tinyurl.com/7e9qnyz

    Its a bit dissapointing to see how you try to discredit my replies with a certain tone you use and by playing the ‘cult’ card. But Sello, friends as well as foes agree with me, from Isaac Newton to all kind of Historians, Bible scholars, Translators and Theologists. They all agree upon the fact that Hell is not eternal literal torture according to the scriptures and that it has deep pagan roots in for example Egypt , Greece and Babylon. From your replies it is clear that you wont accept anything i show you, which is fine by me, but that also takes away the need for me to spend too much time on it.

    So since it seems that you are a bit biased towards me and my religion why not try a site which thinks Jehovah’s Witnesses are heretics as well? They have gathered a nice bunch of books, articles and biblical studies about hell and related subjects, among them are also baptist authors explaining every single reference or verse you can come up with and invite you to show them by use of scripture that they are wrong. http://tinyurl.com/6v4f77s

    Now my answer on your previous posts. I think its going to be a long one,.. that being said i must at the same time admit that it would have to be much longer to cover a subject like this completely.

    Anyway,…Lets start with the example you used of the magistrate.

    You said in anwer to my statement that eternal torture would contradict with things as God is Love and God is Just;

    ” It’s like suggesting that a magistrate can’t send a criminal to death row because it’s unreasonable, repugnant to justice, and not loving. I guess you don’t think judges and magistrates are loving people, which is why they send people to jail and death row.”

    What a crazy example?! Because in my post i make clear many times that the ultimate devine penalty will be death. That punishment is indeed not ‘unreasonable, repugnant to justice, and not loving’.

    But the magistrate in your story does not send people to death row. You take it far beyond that. The magistrate would order something like… “He deserves punishment so…Never let him die,.. keep him always alive,… torture him,.. remove his finger and toenails, cut him with thousands of little cuts, do some eletrotorture, start working on him with a flametorch, use your imagination and do this night and day eternally”

    That is how your magistrates and judges would rule Sello, and indeed from a human and divine biblical perspective this is “unreasonable, repugnant to justice, and not loving”.

    Ask yourself why us imperfect humans and a more and more godless world still comes up with things as basic human rights even for the worst criminals and most ugly war criminals? Men is made in the image of God. If we with our lower moral standards, lesser love and compassion and our many other imperfections come up with rules against cruelty, torture and other injustices how can one than expect God to be a sadist?

    You mentioned Hitler. Well even for Hitler this kind of punishment (eternal torture) would be too much and not just. But a bigger problem would be that it would make God much worse than the little imperfect human (Hitler) that he would torture. It would make God the same kind of sick and twisted mind as Hitler himself showed us an example of. Sounds more like another god,.. Satan.

    Furthermore you asked me why i did not mention the story of Lazarus and the rich man when i quoted the story of Jesus and the resurrection of his friend. Well for several reasons. First of the story you refer to is not about the friend of Jesus who i mentioned and its figurative. There are several reasons why we can be sure of that. First let examine the story in the bible itself.

    Is the account, at Luke 16:19-31, literal or merely an illustration of something else? The Jerusalem Bible, in a footnote, acknowledges that it is a “parable in story form without reference to any historical personage.” If taken literally, it would mean that those enjoying divine favor could all fit at the bosom of one man, Abraham; that the water on one’s fingertip would not be evaporated by the fire of Hades; that a mere drop of water would bring relief to one suffering there. Does that sound reasonable to you? If it were literal, it would conflict with other parts of the Bible. If the Bible were thus contradictory, would a lover of truth use it as a basis for his faith? But the Bible does not contradict itself.

    What does the parable mean? The “rich man” represented the Pharisees. (See verse 14.) The beggar Lazarus represented the common Jewish people who were despised by the Pharisees but who repented and became followers of Jesus. (See Luke 18:11; John 7:49; Matthew 21:31, 32.) Their deaths were also symbolic, representing a change in circumstances. Thus, the formerly despised ones came into a position of divine favor, and the formerly seemingly favored ones were rejected by God, while being tormented by the judgment messages delivered by the ones whom they had despised.—Acts 5:33; 7:54

    Also note that the Hell mentioned is not the lake of fire but Hades. Hades is mankinds grave as you yourself admitted by saying ; ” Nobody disputes that dead people (first death) have no ‘conscious’ in that they are dead from this life. ”

    So by admitting that, you agreed that if the story was to be taken literal the rich man would be in Hades without any knowledge or any consciousness,.. just awaiting his resurrection. , it is plain that Jesus was here telling an illustration or a story.

    In one post you mention Psalm 11:6 and bring it as if it supports your hell theory. So just read the context of Psalm 11. David speaks about the wicked ones on earth that are giving the righteous ones troubles. It says that God “will rain down upon the wicked ones traps, fire and sulphur” . That is not a hell senario,… that is referring to what has happened and can happen with enemies of God here on earth.

    (Genesis 19:24) “Then Jehovah made it rain sulphur and fire from Jehovah, from the heavens, upon Sod′om and upon Go·mor′rah.”
    It doesnt ‘rain’ down sulpher and fire in hell or in the lake of fire, according to the holy scriptures ..it only does so on earth.

    Speaking about Sodom and Gomorrah, the book of Jude shed some interesting light on the biblical nature of ‘eternal fire’.

    Jude 7, King James: “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.”

    The fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah ceased burning thousands of years ago. But the bible clearly states it is eternal. How come? The effect of that fire has been lasting; the cities have not been rebuilt. God’s judgment, however, was against not merely those cities but also their wicked inhabitants. What happened to them is a warning example. At Luke 17:29, Jesus says that they were “destroyed”; Jude 7 shows that not the fire but the destruction was eternal.

    You also cited Isaiah 66:24 which talks about the worm and fire. You said;

    “Firstly, I have showed you that the expression in Revelations 21:8 is not only in the book of Revelations but found everywhere in the bible. Isaiah 66:24 makes it clear that people will burn, it says “nor will their FIRE be quenched”.”

    But notice how Isaiah applied this scene to the ‘carcasses’ of the lost that God’s people will look upon at the end. The righteous will see the dead bodies of the lost, and the worm will eat away at the dead bodies UNTIL there is no more. This scenario is not in hell but on earth.

    You also wrote; “You keep referring to Ecclesiastes 9:5, but we are beyond the point of the first death, since we both believe in the resurrection of the dead, which is what the bible teaches. So what is it that you are trying to prove by bringing up Ecclesiastes 9:5? Of course dead people won’t feel pain, but dead people would be resurrected so they can feel pain. Do you understand this point? ”

    Hmmm Sello, I ask myself do you understand this point? The bible gives us only ONE definition of being dead. A state of non-existence. The first death is the one we did inherit from Adam. Jesus makes it possible to overcome this problem of dying. But for the 2nd death there will be no ransom and therefor no resurrection,.. meaning dead forever, knowing nothing,.. not conscious. Death like the bible teaches us. Nowhere the bible says that the ‘new death’ is in fact eternal life in a torturechamber.

    Talking about Revelation. All will agree upon the fact that the book of Revelation is a vision & phrophecy and contains tons of symbolism. The fact is Jesus himself said it is symbolism. The book of Revelation is presented in ‘signs’.

    (Revelation 1:1, 2) 1 “A revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place. And he sent forth his angel and presented [it] in signs through him to his slave John”

    So back to the lake of fire. Who is thrown into it?

    The Beast= Symbolic,…Death=Symbolic,…Hades=Symbolic,…The False Prophet= Symbolic,…The Snake/Dragon= Symbolic ,.. and finally,.. certain people.

    In reference to the ‘lake of fire’, why is it that what is said of the Devil, the Beast, and the False Prophet, ‘shall be tormented day and night forever and ever’, is not said of mankind in general? Are you careful to not apply this language where the Bible does not?
    How do you cast death and Hades literally into a literal lake of fire? (Rev 20:14) If this is symbolical then why is the next verse ‘and whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire’ not also symbolical?

    Also take the wild beast for example. Revelation tells us,..

    (Revelation 17:8) 8 The wild beast that you saw was, but is not, and yet is about to ascend out of the abyss, and it is to go off into destruction. . . .

    So plain and simple,……destruction. How? Revelation continues….

    (Revelation 19:19-21) . . .. 20 And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who render worship to its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulphur. 21 But the rest were killed off with the long sword of the one seated on the horse. . .

    So the wild beast will be destructed completely.. and those kings on the earth and their armies? Hmmmm they will be killed on earth and not be thrown in the lake according to Revelation itself.

    Since the Snake/Dragon/Satan and his demons have no physical bodies.. literal fire wont hurt them at all….. So whats the point of throwing them into a literal fire?

    Also note how Ezekiel describes Satan and his ‘end’.

    (Ezekiel 28:17-19) 17 “‘“Your heart became haughty because of your beauty. You brought your wisdom to ruin on account of your beaming splendor. Onto the earth I will throw you. Before kings I will set you, [for them] to look upon you. 18 “‘“Owing to the abundance of your errors, because of the injustice of your sales goods, you have profaned your sanctuaries. And I shall bring forth a fire from the midst of you. It is what must devour you. And I shall make you ashes upon the earth before the eyes of all those seeing you. 19 As for all those knowing you among the peoples, they will certainly stare in amazement at you. Sudden terrors are what you must become, and you will be no more to time indefinite.”’”

    Total destruction… he will ‘be no more’…..cease to exist.

    If we conclude that the beast,.. the prophet,… the snake,.. death and hades are symbolic and cant burn in a real and literal fire why do you assume that when humans are mentioned suddenly this fire is literal?

    Can you explain to me why Hades, Sheol and Gehenna are all translated into hell despite the fact that you and i both agree that Sheol/Hades and Gehenna are different things? So do you believe in one or two hells?

    Could you please explain why none of the twelve New Testament references to Gehenna mention physical torment of any kind? If Gehenna is the word which describes the place of eternal physical torment, isn’t this a bit odd?

    If you insist that for example Mark 9 is referring to the torment of souls by ‘fire’ and ‘worms’ for all eternity, then can you please explain also how fire and worms torment a dead body in Isaiah 66:24? If you insist that the dead bodies of Isaiah 66:24 are also immortal souls then by what rule of interpretation is this determined or even allowable?

    Scripturally speaking, is an ‘unquenchable fire’ one that never goes out? (Jer 7:20, 17:27, Ezek 20:47-48) When you preach that Hell is an ‘unquenchable fire’ do you also quote these verses to show the Biblical use of this phrase? Aren’t we supposed to let the Bible define its own language?

    Please explain why ‘everlasting punishment’ (Matt 25:46) must refer to eternal torment? Please explain why eternal death could not also be an ‘everlasting punishment’?

    Can you please provide one verse of scripture which states that Hell is a lake of fire?

    Can you please provide one verse of scripture which states that Jesus died to save mankind from hell and eternal torture?

    Could you please provide one verse of scripture which states that ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’ takes place in hell?

    Can you please provide one verse of scripture which states that ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’ is an eternal condition for the unsaved?

    Where is Hell according to Revelation?

    Revelation 20:9 …’And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.’ …

    Many Christians believe that hell will be under the earth or maybe on some other planet in space, but where does God say it will be?

    ON the earth. The wicked are ON the earth when God reigns hell fire down from Heaven and devours them. Notice also the following verse from Isaiah:

    (Isaiah 34:8-10) 8 For Jehovah has a day of vengeance, a year of retributions for the legal case over Zion. 9 And her torrents must be changed into pitch, and her dust into sulphur; and her land must become as burning pitch. 10 By night or by day it will not be extinguished; to time indefinite its smoke will keep ascending. From generation to generation she will be parched; forever and ever no one will be passing across her.

    The streams, dust and land become burning pitch. Hell fire is ON the earth. So can hell fire burn forever on earth?

    … Revelation 21:5 …’And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.’ … 2 Peter 3:13 …’Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.’ …

    No, once the wicked are ‘burned up’ on the earth with hell fire, God then renews the earth for the saved.

    Peter says something very interesting in the above verse. He says that in the new heavens and earth only ‘righteousness dwells’. Well, where are the wicked if there is only righteousness in the heavens and on earth? There is only one answer; They have ceased to exist. They have been completely destroyed by the hell fire from God; They have ‘burned up’ and are ‘no more’. The wicked cannot burn forever in hell, because if they did, sin would still be alive for eternity, and the statement by Peter could not be true.

    (Revelation 21:4) . . .neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.. . .

    Notice also that God reveals the truth that there will be no more pain. But if the wicked are to burn in hell fire forever, there would be plenty of pain.

    In previous posts i already showed you some examples on what the bible teaches on life and the other option… No ,.. not eternal suffering ,.. but eternal death.. the opposite of life. Cause when one cease to exist its completely over. The bible is very clear (dozens of verses to support that) on what happens with people who do obey God.

    Jesus himself said to us; “(Matthew 10:28) 28 And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Ge·hen′na.”

    The ‘Hell’ that is mentioned here by Jesus is the thing that destroys both body and soul. It does not torture body and soul eternally.

    (Matthew 3:12) 12 His winnowing shovel is in his hand, and he will completely clean up his threshing floor, and will gather his wheat into the storehouse, but the chaff he will burn up with fire that cannot be put out.”

    The chaff will burn up… thats it… after that it is dust..ash… over and out.

    God was crystal clear throughout his word the bible…. people have a choice between everlasting life and everlasting death… not everlasting torture. Simply because only one group of people will live forever.. those who are the righteous ones. The wicked will be cut off from the (trees and water of life) source of life. Having no source of life means they will die.

    (Luke 13:3) . . ., I tell YOU; but, unless YOU repent, YOU will all likewise be destroyed (or perished)

    In my previous post i also asked you to explain why people Adam, Noah, Mozes and the people of Israel and many other were not warned for the Hell. Or if we just look at the new testament ,…. (Acts 9:15) . . .because this man is a chosen vessel to me to bear my name to the nations as well as to kings and the sons of Israel.

    Why is Paul never mentioning any Hell and place of eternal torture to the Pagans and gentiles he was sent out to?

    Everlasting life for the righteous ones and death for the wicked ones. The bible is very clear on that.

    (John 10:28) 28 And I give them everlasting life, and they will by no means ever be destroyed. . .

    The only being that told us that sinners would live forever was Satan,.. the father of the lie.

    (Genesis 3:4) . . .this the serpent said to the woman: “YOU positively will not die. ”

    And so the fiery Hell and everlasting life for all predates christianity. It has its roots in ancient pagan societies like Egypt, Greece and Babylon. The bible says about Babylon and her false teachings;

    (Revelation 18:4, 5) . . .: “Get out of her, my people, if YOU do not want to share with her in her sins, and if YOU do not want to receive part of her plagues. 5 For her sins have massed together clear up to heaven, and God has called her acts of injustice to mind.

    ——————————————————————–

    How can one find the true religion? Is it if they proclaim a fiery hell fire or total annihilation? No not really.

    Jesus said;

    (Matthew 7:15-18) . . .. 16 “By their fruits YOU will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? 17 Likewise every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit; 18 a good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, neither can a rotten tree produce fine fruit.”

    (John 8:31) . . .“If YOU remain in my word, YOU are really my disciples. . .” ,… ,..and,… “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.`(Matthew 7:21)

    In my first post i did give you an example of such a thing. Who on earth is fullfilling this prophecy concerning the end times prophetised by Jesus?

    (Matthew 24:14) 14 `And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.`

    Their is only one religion famous all over the world for their worldwide preaching work and high moral values. Only one religion who is really organised and is equipped 7 most important ,.. who is willing to do this major task.

    ´Good trees produces fine fruit´, the bible says,… Good trees cannot bear worthless fruit.´

    What kind of fruit do you think is produced by all those other religions when it comes to the command and prophecy about sharing the good news? I think bad fruit,.. or better say no fruit at all…. in short a big Fail.

    It strikes me that even an outlook on eternal torture, which some of them proclaim there will be, does not seem to motivate those believers to obey the command given by Jesus.

    Lets take another example,.. what do you think,… is murdering and killing the will from the Father or from Satan?

    (Exodus 20:13) . . .”You must not murder.”…..(Matthew 5:44) . . ., I say to YOU: Continue to love YOUR enemies…..(John 13:35) . . .By this all will know that YOU are my disciples, if YOU have love among yourselves.”….(John 17:16-18) 16 They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.”……(John 18:36) . . .Jesus answered: “My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought. . .

    Hmmm very clear dont you think?

    In the last century we have had two world wars and many other armed conflicts. Catholics, Lutherans, Protestants, Calvinists, Baptists, Pentecostals etc etc all killed and murdered their ‘enemies’ and their ‘brothers’. Even weapons and complete army divisions were blessed before they took off to fight on all sides of the conflicts.

    Who is the father of the first murder? And who is the ‘father’of all these so called christian religions?

    (John 8:44) 44 YOU are from YOUR father the Devil, and YOU wish to do the desires of YOUR father. That one was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. . .”

    Those churches and christian denominations… including yours… produce a big “FAIL” again. They have empty fruitbaskets… or better say rotten fruitbaskets, therefor the truth cant be found in them.

    I know only one religion that does not partake in any kind of war, armed or violent conflict and does mingle in politics all around the globe. I know one religion who’s members refuse millitary service and who as a group withstand and defy every human government including those governments run by dictators like Hitler and Stalin even if that meant long prison sentences, concentration & labor camps or being killed by execution.

    I know just one religion that stood up as a group against the Nazi Party and their anti semetic warmongering propaganda. One religion that was detained in concentrationcamps even before the jews were there. One religion that had their own Nazi concentration camp symbol (the purple triangle,.. look it up at the Holocaust museum)…One religion whose members could walk free if they just would sign a pledge to the Nazi party and renounce their faith.. but they did not.

    Or more recently,… An article in the Reformierte Presse states that a report by African Rights, a human rights organization, on the 1994 Rwandan genocide established the participation of all churches, “with the exception of Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

    I know one religion whose members all over the globe are detained in prison,..at this very moment,.. just because they all obey the command not to kill. In South Korea for example since 1950, there have been more than 16,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses sentenced to a combined total of 31,256 years for refusing to perform military service. In numerous other countries this situation is not different.

    I know one religion with a full basket of healthy fruit with love among themselves and towards their enemies. I urge you to go and find such a basket too!

    The Truth will set you free,.. have a nice week Sello

    Kindest regards , Emeth

  10. […] below article is a continuation of this fiercely debated article between myself and Emeth, a Jehovah […]

    • emeth said

      is this the way you discuss things? Now i understand why they banned you at that exchristian site. Anyway i told you what you needed to know.

      I have my fruitbasket and you have yours.

      regards Emeth

  11. Emeth, I have answered your objections with regards to the legal sense of hell link: Emeth, I have answered your objections with regards to the legal sense of hell link: https://burden4souls.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/jehovah-witnesses-say-hell-is-unreasonable/

    You only made one point that I think is worthy of responding to: (1) where would hell be based if the righteous will be based on earth. And I will respond to this in more detail later, and thanks for bringing it up because I’m completing a book on this and this point would be a great addition to it.

    Except for that point you used that ugly word again: symbolism, and you even took it further by saying: “Talking about Revelation. All will agree upon the fact that the book of Revelation is a vision & prophecy and contains tons of symbolism. The fact is Jesus himself said it is symbolism. The book of Revelation is presented in ‘signs’.” If the book is so full of symbolism and nothing is literal in it, then why do you guys use it as literal in your tract on Armageddon? You are right that there is symbolism in the book of Revelations, but to suggest that hell is symbolic because it’s in the book of Revelations is taking it too far since there’s nothing in the Book of Revelations about hell that is not found elsewhere. Did Jesus say the Gospels are symbolic, since every mention of hell from Him in the Gospels is classified as symbolic by your religion? The point here is that Jehovah Witnesses only consider two doctrines to be symbolic: hell and the Trinity, but every other doctrine in the bible is considered literal. If hell wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the bible then you would have made a good point about the Book of Revelations being symbolic, but almost every book in the Bible mentions hell.

    I read the review on Lazarus and the Rich Man, and the author, Samuel G Dawson, quotes Catholics who believe in purgatory, Jews who don’t believe in hell and your fellow Jehovah Witnesses who also don’t believe in hell to prove that Lazarus story was legendary. Can you believe that, Jesus is quoted in the bible (including NWT) as telling a legendary story? Emeth, please man, did you even read that article before you endorsed it? If what Jesus said was legendary then we have a character problem with Jesus, since He didn’t get His wisdom from God but from gossips of the time. But I’m not surprised because JWs don’t think much of Jesus anyway just as Jews do. And then you provide a link to an article by Chad Holtz, a guy who holds to Rob Bell’s viewpoint. What am I supposed to learn from Chad Holtz, that people can be ignorant enough to think that love and justice are not compatible?

    I don’t get my view on hell from my denomination; in fact I don’t have a denomination. Hell is mentioned literally more than 65 times in the Bible, and mentioned even more as lake of fire, eternal destruction, a place of gnashing of teeth, etc. So it would be impossible to read the bible every day without reading about hell, unless you are reading New World Translation which is translated specifically not to mention hell.

    You say why is Sheol/Hades and Gehenna translated as the same thing when they are different. This is why: they were all lakes/pits/secluded areas, they were all outside the city, they were all places (abode) of the dead, they were all dark places, and they were all burning places. These places are used interchangeably in the bible to refer to a place where the wicked would be sent by God. This has nothing to do with English translation. If you don’t like the word (hell) used in the bible then no problem, you can call it “a pit outside the city which is the abode of the dead where there’s also fire”, because that’s the description of Sheol, Hades and Gehenna.

    Emeth: Can you please provide one verse of scripture which states that Hell is a lake of fire?
    They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:42). If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (Revelations 20:15). “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb (Revelations 14:9-10)
    Emeth: Can you please provide one verse of scripture which states that Jesus died to save mankind from hell and eternal torture?
    Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son (John 3:18). Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! (Romans 5:9). And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
    Emeth: Could you please provide one verse of scripture which states that ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’ takes place in hell? Can you please provide one verse of scripture which states that ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’ is an eternal condition for the unsaved?
    They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:42). And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30). “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46)
    Emeth: Why is Paul never mentioning any Hell and place of eternal torture to the Pagans and gentiles he was sent out to?
    But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed (Romans 2:5). They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power (2 Thessalonians 2:9).

    Emeth: And so the fiery Hell and everlasting life for all predates christianity. It has its roots in ancient pagan societies like Egypt, Greece and Babylon.
    Hell didn’t start with Christianity, it has always been there and it will be there when Christianity doesn’t exist anymore. It’s like saying God started with Judaism, when the truth is that He has always been there and will be there when Judaism no longer exists.

  12. Matthew 5:22 in various translations, which clearly spells that Gehenna has fire:
    New International Version (©1984)
    But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
    New Living Translation (©2007)
    But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

    English Standard Version (©2001)
    But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

    King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
    But 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 fire.

    International Standard Version (©2008)
    But I say to you, anyone who is angry with his brother without a cause will be subject to punishment. And whoever says to his brother ‘Raka!’ will be subject to the Council. And whoever says ‘You fool!’ will be subject to hell fire.

    Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
    But I am saying to you, that everyone who will be angry against his brother without cause is condemned before the judge, and everyone who will say to his brother, ‘I spit on you’, is condemned before the assembly, and whoever will say ‘You fool.’ is condemned to the Gehenna of fire.

    GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
    But I can guarantee that whoever is angry with another believer will answer for it in court. Whoever calls another believer an insulting name will answer for it in the highest court. Whoever calls another believer a fool will answer for it in hellfire.

    King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
    But 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, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

    American King James Version
    But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

    American Standard Version
    but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

    Darby Bible Translation
    But I say unto you, that every one that is lightly angry with his brother shall be subject to the judgment; but whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be subject to be called before the sanhedrim; but whosoever shall say, Fool, shall be subject to the penalty of the hell of fire.

    English Revised Version
    but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire.

    Webster’s Bible Translation
    But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment: and whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire.

    Weymouth New Testament
    But I say to you that every one who becomes angry with his brother shall be answerable to the magistrate; that whoever says to his brother ‘Raca,’ shall be answerable to the Sanhedrin; and that whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the Gehenna of Fire.

    World English Bible
    But I tell you, that everyone who is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment; and whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council; and whoever shall say, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of the fire of Gehenna.

    Young’s Literal Translation
    but I — I say to you, that every one who is angry at his brother without cause, shall be in danger of the judgment, and whoever may say to his brother, Empty fellow! shall be in danger of the sanhedrim, and whoever may say, Rebel! shall be in danger of the gehenna of the fire.

  13. New World Translation:
    However, I say to YOU that everyone who continues wrathful with his brother will be accountable to the court of justice; but whoever addresses his brother with an unspeakable word of contempt will be accountable to the Supreme Court; whereas whoever says, ‘You despicable fool!’ will be liable to the fiery Ge·hen´na.

    If this is not proof that Gehenna (Hell) is a place of fire then nothing will convince you.

  14. Bert Doyon said

    Dear hell believer, according to the great majority of christian churches, le wicked ones condemned to burn in Hell for eternity, that is what I learn at catholic school, then why the Bible teachs in Revelation that the Hell will be emptied of his dead one:
    Revelation 20:13
    1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
    13 [a]And the sea gave up her dead, which were in her, and death and hell delivered up the dead, which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
    Strange is it not, deads are judged after they are being released from Hell, this verse seems to refer more to the resurection for a judgment than to an eternal condemnation to burn eternaly.

  15. Jorge said

    The greek words for Gehena and Hell are not the same. The context for hell in the bible are very consistent with JW’s understanding, as Jesus was in the same place, as was Lazarus… Gehena is used in other contexts, like illustrations… in fact, non-physical things are thrown into this lake of fire like “death” “the false prophet” and even a spiritual being that is impervious to physical fire… “Satan the Devil, the dragon”.

  16. Jorge said

    Or did God say to Adam and Eve… “from dust you were taken, and to Hell you will go”?

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