Understanding of 2 Thessalonians 1:9 and What The Biblical Hell Is

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Understanding of 2 Thessalonians 1:9 and What The Biblical Hell Is

Post  Admin on Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:00 pm

Understanding of 2 Thessalonians 1:9 and What The Biblical Hell Is

Many are concerned about 2 Thessalonians 1:9 when they first read it in the Authorized King James Bible; AV, and certain other translations which are not too clear with respect understanding.

2 Thessalonians 1:9) Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; (Authorized King James Bible; AV)

But even this translation correctly calls it everlasting destruction which is none existence and NOT torture in Hell.

But let’s look at how other translations render this verse that may be a little clearer:

(2 Thessalonians 1:9) These very ones will undergo the judicial punishment of everlasting destruction from before the Lord and from the glory of his strength, (New World Translation, NWT)

(2 Thessalonians 1:9) who shall suffer justice—destruction age-during—from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his strength, (Youngs Literal Translation; YLT)

(2 Thessalonians 1:9) Who shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction, from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his power: (Douay Rheims Catholic Bible; DRCB)

(2 Thessalonians 1:9) Who, indeed, a penalty, shall pay––age–abiding destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might–– (Rotherham Bible; RB)

(2 Thessalonians 1:9) These will receive the punishment of eternal destruction as exiles from the presence of the Lord and His glorious might, (Williams Bible - New Testament: WB)

But for an even better understanding we need to understand what Hell is, and here is an understanding of this:

Hell? What Really Is The Biblical Hell?

For different people this question, What Really Is The Biblical Hell? Brings different things or images to mind. Hell is generally thought of as a place of punishment for sin. Concerning sin and its effect, the Bible shows, " That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 5:21 AV).

In addition, the Bible also state: " For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23 AV). As the punishment for sin is death, the fundamental question in determining the true nature of hell is: What happens to us when we die ?

Does life of some kind, in some form, continue after death? What is hell, and what type of people go there ? What is the hope for those in hell? The Bible answers all of these questions.

Is there life after death? Does something inside us, a soul or a spirit, survive the death of the body? Think on how the first man, Adam, came to have life, " And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7 AV); therefore, though breathing sustained his life, putting "the breath of life" into his nostrils involved much more than simply blowing air into his lungs. It meant that God put into Adam's lifeless body the spark of life-"the force of life," which is active in all earthly creatures, " And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die." (Genesis 6:17 AV), and " All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died." (Genesis 7:22 AV). This animating force was referred to in the Bible as the 'spirit,' " For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (James 2:26 AV). This 'spirit' can be likened to an electric current that activates a light bulb or an appliance and enables it to perform its intended function. Since current never takes on the features of the equipment it activates, this life-force likewise does not take on any of the characteristics of the creatures it animates. It has no personality and no reasoning ability.

However where does this 'spirit' go when a person dies? The Bible shows, " His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish." (Psalms 146:4 AV). Thus, when a person dies, his life-activating force or 'spirit' does not go on existing in another realm as a spirit creature, " Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." (Ecclesiastes 12:7 AV). This means that any hope of future life for that person now rests entirely with God.

The ancient Greek philosophers Socrates and Plato held that a soul inside a person survives death and never dies, and so do many fundamentalist, Catholics, and Orthodox. However what does the Bible teach about this soul? In, " And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7 AV), it clearly shows that man did not receive a 'soul' but became a living 'soul' or person. The Bible speak of a soul's doing work, craving food, being kidnapped, experiencing sleeplessness, and so forth, " And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people." (Leviticus 23:30 AV), " When the LORD thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after." (Deuteronomy 12:20 AV), " My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word." (Psalms 119:28 AV). Therefore, the Bible shows a person himself/herself is a 'soul.' Thus, when a person dies, the 'soul' dies also since they are one and the same, " Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4 AV).

Now the question is, what is the condition of the dead? When pronouncing sentence Upon Adam, Jehovah stated: " In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:19 AV). Where was Adam before God formed him from the dust of the ground and gave him life? Nowhere, he simply did not exist! When he died, Adam returned to that state of complete absence of life. The condition of the dead is made clear in the Bible, " For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten." (Ecclesiastes 9:5 AV) and " Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." (Ecclesiastes 9:10 AV). According to the Bible, death is a state of nonexistence. The dead have no awareness, no feelings, no thoughts!

What is the common end for all of mankind? Unending torment or the common grave?
Since the dead have no conscious existence, hell cannot be a fiery place of torment where the wicked suffer after death. Therefore, what is hell? Examining what happened to Jesus after he died helps to answer that question. The Bible writer Luke recounts: " He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption." (Acts 2:31 AV). Where was this hell to which even Jesus went? The apostle Paul wrote: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 AV). This clearly shows that Jesus was in hell, the grave, but he was not abandoned there, for he was raised up, or resurrected. Consider also the case of the righteous man Job, who suffered much for his integrity to God. Wishing to escape his plight, he pleaded: " O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!" (Job 14:13 AV)(Note, In the King James Bible, AV, the Greek word Hades is rendered 'hell' in each of its ten occurrences in the New Testament. For more information see a reliable interlinear lexicon such as "The Rotherham Diaglott-interlinear," "The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures," or "The Emphatic Diaglott). How unreasonable to think that Job desired to go to a fieryhot place for protection! To Job, "hell" was simply the grave, where his suffering would end. The Bible hell, then, is the common grave of mankind where good people (even Jesus went there for parts of 3 days)as well as bad ones go.

What is hellfire? Could it be that the fire of hell is symbolic of all-consuming, or thorough, destruction? Separating fire from Hades, or hell, the Scriptures say: " And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." (Revelation 20:14 AV). "The lake" mentioned here is symbolic, since death and hell (Hades) that are thrown into it cannot literally be burned.

The lake of fire has a meaning similar to that of the fiery Gehenna (hell fire in KJV, AV) that Jesus spoke of at, " 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." (Matthew 5:22 AV), "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: 48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." (Mark 9:47-48 AV). Gehenna the ancient Greek word often translated as 'hell fire' occurs 12 times in the original ancient Greek manuscripts, and it refers to the valley of Hinnom, outside the walls of Jerusalem. When Jesus was on earth, this valley was used as a garbage dump, "where the dead bodies of criminals, and the carcasses of animals, and every other kind of filth was cast." (Smith's Dictionary of the Bible). These fires were kept burning by adding sulfur to burn up the refuse. Jesus used that valley as a proper symbol of everlasting destruction. As does Gehenna, the lake of fire symbolizes eternal destruction.

Death and Hades are "hurled into" it in that they will be done away when mankind is freed from sin and the condemnation of death. Willful, unrepentant sinners will also have their 'portion' in that lake, " But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8 AV). They also will be annihilated forever. On the other hand, those in God's memory who are in hell, the common grave of mankind, shall have a marvelous future.

The common grave of mankind, hell will be emptied, as shown, " And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works." (Revelation 20:13 AV). Clearly the Bible shows hell will be emptied, As Jesus promised, " And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43 AV) and " And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." (Acts 24:15 AV).

In the new world of God's making, resurrected humans who comply with his righteous laws will never need to die again, as shown at " He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it." (Isaiah 25:8 AV). Jehovah (Yahweh), " And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:4 AV), What a blessing is to be provided for those in hell, " And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3 AV)

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Francis David said it long ago, "Neither the sword of popes...nor the image of death will halt the march of truth."Francis David, 1579, written on the wall of his prison cell." Read the book, "What Does The Bible Really Teach" and the Bible today!


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