Hell is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as a nether world in which the dead continue to exist, the realm of the devil in which the damned suffer everlasting punishment, a place or state of misery or torment.
Hell can be considered any place or state of torment or misery. Hell Fire can be considered the final abode for the devil, his angels and the wicked souls of mankind.
In the beginning of what we call the New Testament, Jesus, himself, first spoke of Hell Fire in St. Matthew 5:22, 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, RacaRaca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of Hell Fire.
I guess a couple of good questions to ask here is, “Do we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, do we think that it is possible for Jesus to lie; and do we believe that Jesus says what He means and means what He says?”
If our answer to these questions are, “Yes” then, we must believe that Hell Fire is exactly what Jesus said it is.
In St. Matthew 13:41-42 & 49-50 Jesus also said, The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Whatever we think or perceive Hell to be or not be, it would seem that it is not a place one should or would desire to be.
In Revelation 14:9-11 we read, And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
The first thing I would like to deal with here is the phrase, “Receive his mark in his forehead.”
Exodus 13:9 indicates that observing the Law of God would be a sign (mark) upon the hand and forehead, “It shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes.” See also Exodus 31:13-17 Deuteronomy 6:8 and Deuteronomy 11:18.
There are other Scriptures that state that by observing God’s Commandments, Judgments, Laws, Precepts and Statutes it would be a sign upon their hand and a signet between their eyes or on their forehead.
What this means is, by what we say and do, we show who our allegiance is to whether God or satan.
Another phrase I would like to expound on is: they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast.
Let’s think about this statement in this way, if you had a serious sickness and were in great pain and you died, would you still feel that pain and sickness or would you be free from and/or have rest from that pain and sickness?
In the same manner that God told Adam, “In the day you eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you will die,” so, shall the end of the wicked/sinners be. We cannot fully understand this however, regardless of what the end of the wicked/sinners is, we do not want to have any part of it.
In Revelation 21:8, we read that the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Some people want to think that only the really bad sinners will be punished in Hell. However, we find that the fearful and abominable are included along with the idolaters, liars, murderers, sorcerers and whoremongers.
What this tells me is, all sin regardless of how small or innocent it may seem, will go to the same place. You might want to do a little research to find out how a person is made abominable or what being fearful means.
Sin is not black like a lot of people say it is. ALL sin is red and as such must come under the Precious Red Blood of Jesus to be covered/forgiven.
In St. Matthew 13:47-50 we read, Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Have you or anyone you know ever been badly burned? The experience of being burned is very painful.
Therefore, I think it would be wise to not be found guilty of sin and be cast into Hell Fire.
In S. Luke 12:3-5 Jesus said, Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
Jesus seemed to indicate that physical death is nothing compared to the Second Death/Hell Fire. In fact, Jesus said, he that believeth in me shall never die.”
Even though breath leaves our physical bodies, if we believe in Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, we will only sleep in the grave until He returns to receive all His Saints. Praise His Holy Name!
The Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 66:23-24 said, It shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
When the righteous are caught up to meet Jesus in the air, the earth and all its inhabitants will be burned up, the earth will be made new, Jesus will set up His Kingdom on the earth and the Saints will walk on the ashes of the sinners. Malachi 4:1-3
In St. Mark 9:43-48 we find where Jesus said, And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
The phrase, “Where their worm dieth not” is referring to man or a soul.
In Job 25:6 and Psalms 22:6, man is referred to as being a worm. There is a fire that is not quenchable that we know as White Phosphorus. White Phosphorus must burn itself out, it can’t be extinguished.
The Apostle Paul in 2nd Thessalonians 1:7-9 said, To you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
We do not want to be one of those that will suffer God’s firry vengeance.
In St. Luke 16:22-26 Jesus spoke this Parable, And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
The bosom of Abraham is referring to the Seed of Abraham, Jesus. In Jesus mankind has Life forevermore, he cannot die. This Parable possibly gives the only real insight to what it will be like for those that are cast into Hell Fire with the devil and his angles.
In St. Matthew 18:8-9 Jesus states, Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Here again, Jesus is telling His followers to choose the lesser thing (lack, torment or pain) rather than ravages of Hell Fire. He is telling His followers that it would be better to be deprived of being a physically complete person than to be cast into Hell Fire.
In St. Matthew 25:41 Jesus said, Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
It is not the intention of God that man should be cast into Hell Fire. But the Scriptures state that Hell was made for the devil and his angels (St. Matthew 25:41). In the 5th Chapter of Isaiah we find where it states that Hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure because of the wickedness of mankind.
In St. John 5:28-29 Jesus said, Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Think about this, both the righteous and the wicked shall be resurrected and both shall have an everlasting dwelling place. Where do you want to make you reservation, everlasting life or everlasting contempt?
The Prophet Daniel in Daniel 12:2 said, Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
In Proverbs 9:17-18 King Solomon said, Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
For every action or inaction there is a just recompense of reward in this life and in the world to come. Every person will give account for the things done in this life.
In Revelation 19:20 we read, And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
One thing to note about this Scripture is that they were cast ALIVE into the Lake of Fire. And in the next Scripture one needs to note that the devil is cast into the Lake of Fire where the beast and false prophet ARE. This indicates they have already been there for one thousand years and they are still referred to as (are there) being there.
Revelation 20:10 & 14-15, 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.
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
In closing we find in the Book of Isaiah 48:22 where the Prophet Isaiah said, There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. This would indicate me that everyone, including the wicked have some kind of existence in the world to come, whether unto Life or unto Death.
Derwood A. Stewart, Minister
House of Prayer Sabbath Ministries