Posted By Thomas Perez. October 14, 2009 at 8:56pm.
Let me express myself clearly, I believe that the wrath of God is consistent with judgement by fire. However, let me also say that such judgment is punitive in nature and does not incur the endless torture of the majority of mankind as many of our traditional churches and denominations teach and uphold. Perhaps, standing in His fiery presence is enough (God is a Refiners Fire). For further discussions on this, please look into the various postings located on this website under ‘Theological Thought.’ Also, the reader may want to look at my studies concerning the eventual Ultimate Salvation of all.
I think that a person whose mental faculties, conscience, and heart are still working will come to the reasonable conclusion that the concept of Hell or the Lake of Fire as a place of everlasting punishment leaves a LOT of questions unanswered. Yes, the concept of Hell (and that is all it is, a false concept) seems to violate everything that is reasonable. It violates the nature of God which is unconditional Love. It violates the wisdom of God, the pleasure of God, the promises of God, the oath of God, the power of God; it negates the full power of the cross of Christ; it goes against the testimony of the prophets; it violates the testimony of Jesus Christ and His apostles; it violates the Scriptures in their original languages; it violates the writings of the early church leaders who read the Scriptures in the original languages; it goes against our conscience and our hearts, Finally, it has the ring of something the subtlest of all creatures would concoct…the greatest lie ever told.
Jesus and the apostles gave many warnings over 1900 hundred years ago that many would rise up within the church and draw many people after themselves forming denominations built upon the traditions of men and NOT the Truth. 1900 years has spawned over 30,000 denominations of Christendom – denominations which cannot unite because they are divided by their “interpretations” of Scriptures AND traditions which have been added which are NOT based upon the Bible. “A kingdom divided against itself CANNOT stand.” (Mark 3:24). At this injucture I must say that Im not in favor of universal unity or a one world church for that matter at the price of my faith or conscience, rather I say that the kingdom of God that is within us – the Church, is not united in the true fundamental cause of Christ, the unadulterated Gospel of the Salvation of all men!
As we can plainly see, God warned that there would come a great falling away IN THE VERY FIRST CENTURY, not hundreds of years later. That early falling away would produce a system of religion full of the abominations of the world. (Rev Chapter 17 and 18) One must look to the past to find the “great falling away,” not only in the future. John, the apostle whom Jesus loved said it was the “last hour”! The fact is that the great falling away occurred almost 2000 years ago and most, not all denominations of Christianity are a part of it. The glue that keeps this abominable system of divided denominations together is the teaching that God is a failure. God fell short of His goal to save all mankind, thus making God to appear as the greatest fool and hypocrite that ever lived. The doctrine of Hell is one of the major instruments Satan has used to turn sincere seekers away from the truth turning them either to idolatry in the form of false religions or materialism. The rest became atheists or agnostics. The words of fundamentalists turned many science teachers away from the Truth towards the lie of evolution. There are countless atheists and agnostics in the world who have been turned aside from seeking God because of this greatest of lies.
Perhaps the reader can now see some of the horrible consequences of this terrible stain on the nature and character of our heavenly Father. Now if the reader still insists that God endlessly tortures most of the human beings He made and also insist that the love of God is in you, then you owe all the people in the world a reasonable answer to the questions that was set forth int the study (Questions On Hell). Thousands of people in ages past HAVE asked these questions and have come to the logical Scriptural conclusion that the teaching of Hell is a plain unadulterated lie of the highest magnitude. Men and women like Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nightingale, Charles Dickens, Benjamin Rush (signer of the Declaration of Independence) asked questions like the ones above and reasonably concluded that Jesus IS the Savior of the whole world, not just a piece of it. After all, how can one be called the “Savior of the world” unless one actually saves it?
Great theologians and scholars have also come to the same conclusion. Among them are William Barclay, William Law, Karl Barth, Schliermacher, Bishop Westcott, Lightfoot, Canon F.W. Farrar, John A.T. Robinson, Andrew Murray and Andrew Jukes. Some of the greatest writers and poets are in the “Cloud of Witnesses” to the glorious truth of the salvation of all mankind through our glorious savior Jesus Christ. Elizabeth Browing, John Donne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe and countless more. The list of preachers who have asked these same questions and have come to the reasonable and Scriptural truth that Hell is nothing more than a great lie is endless. They were not afraid to ask their Maker some straight-forward questions. They invited the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus to lead us all into Truth to make plain to them the Truth concerning the doctrine of Hell. Men and women of all ages have asked these questions AND have received truthful answers to these questions. A man named A.C. Thomas collected some of these questions and they found themselves in a book written in the 1800’s entitled: “The Key to Truth” by E. H. Lake. Isn’t it time to get the Truth? Here are some of the questions sincere people from all ages have asked which brought them to the truth.
Here is a list of Bibles revealing that the original languages of the Bible do NOT contain the teaching of Hell Some of them are published by leading Evangelical publishers: Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible (Kregal Publishers, still in print), Young’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible (Baker Book House Publishers, still in print; Robert Young is author of the famous Young’s Concordance), Concordant Literal Translation of the N.T. (Concordant Publishing Concern, still in print), Scarlet’s New Testament (Nathaniel Scarlett, 1798), The New Testament (Abner Kneeland, 1823) Emphatic Diaglott (Greek/English Interlinear), The New Covenant (J.W. Hanson, 1884), New Testament in Modern Speech (Weymouth, 1910), The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible (1976), The Twentieth Century New Testament (1900), The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Anointed (James L. Tomanek)1958), The Western New Testament (1926), The New Testament, a Translation (Rev. Edgar Lewis Clementson, 1938), The People’s New Testament (Arthur Overbury), The Holy Bible in Modern English (Ferrar Fenton, still in print), The New Testament, A New Translation based upon the Oldest Manuscripts (Johannes Greber, 1980). There are other translations like the Companion Bible King James Version, American Standard Version (1901), the Newberry Reference Bible (Still published by Kregal Publications), and the Riverside New Testament by Ballantine (1934) which contain footnotes, marginal readings and appendages which point out that several key Greek and Hebrew words have been MIStranslated by such Bible versions as the King James Bible.
The plain fact is that the teaching of a Hell of everlasting tortures is NOT in the Old Testament, in the Hebrew, New Testament, or in the Greek. Jews today do NOT believe in the modern Christian’s version of Hell. It is NOT in what is commonly, but incorrectly called the New Testament in the original languages nor is it contained in English Bible translations properly translated. Certainly the greatest majority of the early church and its leadership did NOT teach the modern concept of Hell. It was clearly borrowed from the pagans – it did NOT come from Mosaic Judaism which is the root of Christianity. These are plain facts. The question is…are you going to follow the “traditions of man” which “make the word of God of no effect” or will you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth even though you may be severely persecuted by many of your Christian brothers and sisters? Jesus was persecuted by His own. So, too, will His disciples. I leave the choice in your hands and in the hands of your Maker. Peace, Love, and Truth to you.
By the way, if you REALLY want to know who invented Hell, the book “The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment” is an excellent place to begin. Here is a list of quotes taken from ancient history which plainly reveal who the inventors of a Hell of eternal punishment are. The source for Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny is the very same source of Hell…political, business, and religious men and women who invent ways to hold power over people and to make money of them.
The Ancient Inventors of Hell
1. Polybius, the ancient historian, says: “Since the multitude is ever fickle, full of lawless desires, irrational passions and violence, there is no other way to keep them in order but by the fear and terror of the invisible world; on which account our ancestors seem to me to have acted judiciously, when they contrived to bring into the popular belief these notions of the gods, and of the infernal regions.” B. vi 56.
2. Dionysius Halicarnassus treats the whole matter as useful, but not as true. Antiq. Rom., B. ii
3. Livy, the celebrated historian, speaks of it in the same spirit; and he praises the wisdom of Numa, because he invented the fear of the gods, as “a most efficacious means of governing an ignorant and barbarous populace.” Hist., I 19.
4. Strabo, the geographer, says: “The multitude are restrained from vice by the punishments the gods are said to inflict upon offenders, and by those terrors and threatenings which certain dreadful words and monstrous forms imprint upon their minds…For it is impossible to govern the crowd of women, and all the common
rabble, by philosophical reasoning, and lead them to piety, holiness
and virtue – but this must be done by superstition, or the fear of the gods, by means of fables and wonders; for the thunder, the aegis,
the trident, the torches (of the Furies), the dragons, &c., are all fables, as is also all the ancient theology. These things the legislators used as scarecrows to terrify the childish multitude.” Geog., B. I
5. Timaeus Locrus, the Pythagorean, after stating that the doctrine
of rewards and punishments after death is necessary to society, proceeds as follows: “For as we sometimes cure the body with unwholesome remedies, when such as are most wholesome produce no effect, so we restrain those minds with false relations, which will not be persuaded by the truth. There is a necessity, therefore, of instilling the dread of those foreign torments: as that the soul changes its habitation; that the coward is ignominiously thrust into the body of a woman; the murderer imprisoned within the form of a savage beast; the vain and inconstant changed into birds, and the slothful and ignorant into fishes.”
6. Plato, in his commentary on Timaeus, fully endorses what he says respecting the fabulous invention of these foreign torments. And Strabo says that “Plato and the Brahmins of India invented fables concerning the future judgments of hell” (Hades). And Chrysippus blames Plato for attempting to deter men from wrong by frightful stories of future punishments.
Plato himself is exceedingly inconsistent, sometimes adopting, even in his serious discourses, the fables of the poets, and at other times rejecting them as utterly false, and giving too frightful views of the invisible world. Sometimes, he argues, on social grounds, that they are necessary to restrain bad men from wickedness and crime, and then again he protests against them on political grounds, as intimidating the citizens, and making cowards of the soldiers, who, believing these things, are afraid of death, and do not therefore fight well. But all this shows in what light he regarded them; not as truths, certainly, but as fictions, convenient in some cases, but difficult to manage in others.
7. Plutarch treats the subject in the same way; sometimes arguing for them with great solemnity and earnestness, and on other occasions calling them “fabulous stories, the tales of mothers and nurses.”
8. Seneca says: “Those things which make the infernal regions terrible, the darkness, the prison, the river of flaming fire, the judgment seat, &c., are all a fable, with which the poets amuse themselves, and by them agitate us with vain terrors.” Sextus Empiricus calls them “poetic fables of hell;” and Cicero speaks of them as “silly absurdities and fables” (ineptiis ac fabulis).
9. Aristotle. “It has been handed down in mythical form from earliest times to posterity, that there are gods, and that the divine. (Deity) compasses all nature. All beside this has been added, after the mythical style, for the purpose of persuading the multitude, and for the interests of the laws, and the advantage of the state.” Neander’s Church Hist., I, p. 7. 11. (The above quotes were taken from “The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment” by Thomas Thayer.)