Breaking Bread Bible Study: Fire in the Bible

Issue Number 1

Being the first edition of Breaking Bread Bible Studies, it is appropriate to begin with the subject of fire. It is amazing what a little fire can do to the taste of bread dough.

The average Christian, as their first choice, would not associate the word “fire” with the Creator Himself. Our first thoughts would probably be Hell-fire, the Lake of Fire, or Sodom and Gomorra. It may be surprising to many Christians that the word “fire,” and its attributes of “light” and “heat,” speak more of the Creator and His goodness than of a destructive force against His enemies.

Clearly, the writers of the Bible employed the use of fire in many different ways. However, when it came to the spiritual use of fire, they usually attributed fire to God. Yahweh manifested Himself in various forms of fire on many different occasions. We find some of these manifestations in the making of the Covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15:17), the burning bush (Exo. 3:2-4), pillar of fire (Exo. 13:21), on Sinai (Exo.19:18), in the flame on the altar (Judg. 13:20), and Yahweh answering by fire (1 Kings 18:24, 38).

Sacrifices and offerings (including incense which represented the prayers of the people) were to be made by fire. (Exo. 12:8,9,10; Lev. 1) Fire often meant the acceptance of a sacrifice by Yahweh (Judges 6:21; 1 Kin. 18:38; 1 Chr. 21:26). Leviticus 9:24 tells us that the sacrificial fire “came forth from Yahweh.” The fire on the altar was to be continually burning. (Lev. 6:12,13)

Fire came down from heaven at the consecration of Solomon’s Temple. Yahweh said He would dwell there “forever” according to the King James Bible, yet we know the Temple was destroyed and the fire put out. Did Yahweh lie? Is the Bible in error?

The fire on the altar, according to many Bible translations, was to be an “everlasting” fire, but was extinguished a few centuries later. (2 Chr. 7:1) There were many things called “everlasting” in the Old Testament which no longer exist or were done away with by the New Testament. The reason why some Bibles “appear” to have contradictions stems from the incorrect translation of the Hebrew word “olam” and its counterpart in the New Testament “aion.” These words indicate “an indefinite period of time,” not “everlasting.” We have lengthy studies on these words for those interested in pursuing the subject.

While Yahweh’s answer by fire was usually a positive act, there were times when His manifestation in fire, or the use of fire, was used as a correction or destruction of evil (Gen. 19:24, Sodom and Gomorra; Ex. 9:23; Num. 11:1; Num. 16:35; Psalm 104:4; Lev 20:14; Lev. 21:9; Josh .7:25).

Fire is also figuratively used of Yahweh’s glory (Dan 7:9), of His holiness (Isa. 33:14), of His protection of His people (2 Kings 6:17; Zec. 2:5), of His jealousy for His sole worship (Deut. 4:24; Heb. 12:29; Ps. 79:5), of His wrath (Deut. 9:3; Ps. 18:8; Ps. 89:46; Isa. 5:24), of His Word in power (Jer. 5:14; Jer. 23:29), of Divine truth (Ps. 39:3; Jer. 20:9; Lk. 12:49), of that which guides men (Isa. 50:10-11), of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:3), of Christ in His glory (Rev 1:14), of the power of love to overcome evil (Rom. 12:20), of trial and suffering (Ps. 66:12; Isa 43:2; 1 Peter 1:7; 1 Peter 4:12), of evil (Prov. 6:27; Isa 9:18; Isa. 65:5), of lust or desire (Hos. 7:6; 1 Cor. 7:9), of greed (Prov. 30:16), of the evil tongue (James 3:5-6), of heaven and its purity and glory (Rev. 15:2; Rev 21:22-23), and of Divine testing for divinity (Rev. 20). I am sure I have not exhausted the list of the various ways fire is used in the Bible. If we studied light and heat (attributes of fire), I’m sure we could greatly expand the list.

It is not surprising that fire plays such a significant role in the Bible. The Creator Himself is described as a “consuming fire.” (Deut. 4:24; Heb. 12:29) Doesn’t it seem rather strange to our understanding to call the Creator a consuming fire? Rarely, if ever, do we associate fire with the creation process. We usually associate it with destruction.

Fire has played perhaps one of the most significant roles in the advancement of civilization. Practically no manufacturing would be possible apart from the use of fire to break down and shape materials for our use. Our very lives depend upon the energy given by the biggest fire near the earth, the sun.

I believe, in order to understand our English Bible translation, we must know something about the culture of the people who wrote the original in their native languages. Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek are highly figurative, extremely expressive languages, full of many kinds of idiomatic expressions and figures of speech. The customs of the Semitic peoples in particular are quite foreign to the Western mind. We must understand how they used the word “fire” if we are to understand the meaning of the word “fire” in the Bible.

Fire, is first and foremost, a symbol of divinity in the Semitic Middle East. It is a symbol of Yahweh Himself. God manifesting in physical fire could be a favorable judgment as when He came to consecrate Solomon’s Temple or a negative judgment as when He swallowed up Aaron’s son for offering up “strange fire.” Being creatures quick to become fearful, we have a tendency to dwell on the negative side of things and so usually associate divine fire with wrath. (Lev. 10:1) This has been a serious mistake of the church throughout much of its existence.

It is interesting to note that the more judgmental, vengeful, legalistic, ritualistic, and fundamental one is, the more likely they are to see fire as God’s punishment. They have a difficult time seeing fire as a positive symbol of God. For this mindset, fire usually means Hell, the lake of fire, and everlasting punishment. On the other hand, the more loving, merciful, and compassionate one has become, the more likely they are to see fire as a symbol of love, zeal, and sacredness. They are “on fire for God” is an expression used in a positive sense. The judgmental person will usually see fire away from themselves, out in the future somewhere awaiting those whom it would swallow up in judgment, its flames flickering like the tongue of a snake sensing the air for the smell of those whom it will eternally torment or annihilate.

 

When Yahweh expressed His desire to be among the children of Israel, He manifested as smoke and fire. He said He wanted to speak with them. One would think it a great honor and privilege to be chosen to hear from God. But mankind in its lower nature, whether in ancient days or the present, will always respond as Israel did. They wanted Moses to speak with Him, “lest they die.” Yesterday, God’s people put Moses between themselves and God. Today we use the Bible, or other church leadership as our excuse for not letting God in our midst “lest “WE” die.

Christians who have allowed the fire of God to enter the very recesses of their lives will see His fire in a totally different light. Rather than being utterly destroyed by the fire, they are purified, corrected, cleansed. God’s fire within brings forth a love that desires to bring healing and restoration to all mankind. The more spiritually minded, desirous to be changed, and willing to be conformed to the image of Christ one is, the less fear they have of fire in the Bible. The latter group is more likely to use the word “fire” in a positive sense. I think the latter group is also more likely to be spiritually alive.

What does natural fire do? It usually takes dense matter composed of different atoms and breaks them apart into simpler elements, usually gases. Have you ever noticed that flames naturally flicker upward, higher? It is the gases ignited which produce the flame.

Fire produces flame (light) and heat, two very useful properties in the natural world. The more we seem to understand the scientific properties of fire, the more useful fire seems to become to mankind. Science and the business community are finding all kinds of uses for the energy waves which come forth from fire, whether the fire is from the sun, or from the splitting of an atom, or other sources. Could the incredible uses of light, such as the laser, be natural signs of what may lay ahead regarding the spiritual fire to which Jesus pointed?

As long as mankind uses fire as instruments of destruction, cruelty, or as in the case of Nazi Germany, to extinguish unwanted people, mankind will continue to have an unhealthy fear of fire. The atomic bomb has certainly been an instrument which strikes at the fear in the heart of mankind. In addition, our technology is not perfect. Fire accidents often produce horrible disasters. This also instills fear of fire. The more we use fire for good and the better we are able control it, the more comfortable we will be with fire and the less fear we will have of it.

When we center on using fire for the good of all mankind, we will be able to use this very force to turn this world into a paradise again. But first, the fire of the heart needs to be kindled. The fire that Jesus would kindled is the fire of good works poured out as coal upon our enemies heads. (Matt. 5:38-48, Rom 12:20) This is the fire which will bring righteous judgment into this world. In the same context, Jesus spoke of praying for your enemies. The incense and coals offered up each day in the Tabernacles and Temples of the Old Testament symbolized this act. We Christians have the privilege of offering up these prayers to our Father each day of our lives. (Please note, these prayers are offered up for our enemies, those who take advantage of us and mock us.

The colder Christian seeks the fire of vengeance, the fire of God’s wrath, yet the Bible tells us when His judgments are in the earth we will learn righteousness. The colder Christian believes his enemies will get an eternal flame of wrath which will never be quenched. Yet the Scriptures tell us God will not always be wrath. (Isa. 57:16) He did, however, say His mercy endures “forever” in 26 places in one single Psalm. (1 Chron. 16:34; Ps. 100:5; Ps. 136) As a matter of fact, it seems almost as if mercy and judgment are in a battle with each other, with mercy ultimately winning out over judgment. “Mercy will triumph over judgment.” (James 2:13, NKJV) This word “triumph” or “rejoice over” (Gr. Katakauchaomai) actually means “boast over” or “exalt over” as in a victory in a battle.

Jesus said He came to send fire on the earth and He yearned for it to be kindled. (Luke 12:49) Many Christians today yearn for God to judge the earth by destroying it with physical fire. Is this what Jesus was yearning for?

The book of Acts records for us the first fruits of that fire for which Jesus yearned. Discover for yourselves the effects His kind of fire has on the world. Tongues of fire came upon the 120 which drove them into the streets of Jerusalem. The tongues of fire caused them to open their mouths which were previously shut by the fear of man. And what did they declare? The WONDERFUL works of God! And what was the result? Three thousand were added unto them. Do you find it a coincidence that when Moses’ Law was given under a fiery mountain, three thousand Israelites were killed? But when the Law of the Life in Christ Jesus was made manifest under a different kind of fire in the “upper” room, three thousand were added unto them!? (Ex. 32:28; Acts 2:41) Both laws were connected with fire. One brought fear, wrath, and death; the other brought liberty, forgiveness, and Life.

The church still mixes the two laws or covenants. This means another fire must come to “divide” this abominable mixture. Malachi speaks of a fire to “purge” the sons of Levi. The early church often referred to a “purifying” fire. There are nearly 2 billion people on the earth espousing the name of “Christian” who have certainly mixed thousands of creeds, rituals, doctrines, laws, traditions to the simplicity of the pure light of the gospel. Only divine fire will be able to separate the vile from the holy. Surely, another fire will come into the house of God! Surely judgment begins in the house of the Lord! The priests are always cleansed first, then the people. Yet much of the modern church is expecting to fly away soon, while the earth receives a fire of wrath.

How is it that there is always a large contingency in the church who blast out the same words and spirit John and James boldly spewed forth when the Samaritans refused to accept the Jesus as the Messiah. “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” And what was Jesus reply? “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” (Luke 9:54-56) Could we modern Christians also be as guilty of misusing fire as these disciples were?

Fire is usually started by friction or percussion, two sticks rubbing together or the striking of flint against iron. This causes a spark which produces a fire.

Fires are usually always noticed. They draw attention. Is this not also the case with the fires of anger or love? An angry person rarely keeps their anger to themselves. They are like a spark. They will usually ignite, agitate others until a conflict (fire) occurs. In the same way, one burning with love and compassion, which is like a fire, will spread God’s flames of kindness, melting the hearts of those around them.

And indeed have we not all been in a continuous battle within ourselves and our actions and thoughts toward others, wrestling with the desire for vengeance, judgment, wrath, and punishment on the one hand, while at the same time desiring an end to all of these through mercy, forgiveness, self-denial, and love for ourselves as well as others?? Both are fire. Both stir the emotions. Both stir men and women to action. One brings death; one brings life!

Fire is never static. It moves. It seeks to consume. This is true whether it be the hateful fire of man’s anger or the passion to bring healing, joy, and love to those around them. Fire always produces change. It will force one to act, to respond. Fire brings focus. “Fiery” trials often let us know which kind of fire is burning in our bosom.

Those who believe in God will usually attribute the fire in their bosoms to their God. If they are angry and bitter inside, they will often attribute their anger to God’s righteous wrath against the wicked. Likewise, a truly compassionate, loving person will usually credit God for their qualities. They know God as their source of true love.

It has only been in recent years that mankind has discovered that fire never really permanently destroys or annihilates anything. Fire just stirs up the molecules until they reach a point of agitation great enough for atoms within a molecule to be released from one another. Fire divides. The same thing happened when Jesus sent forth the fire of which He spoke. He sent forth a seed (spark) of faith which broke the power of tradition which held people together to a lower form of government. Some, through His fiery word, were released to serve in a higher kingdom, the kingdom of God in which dwelt righteousness, peace, and joy. Others stayed behind and became the ashes or remains of the Levitical System. While the Old Mosaic System was destroyed in one sense, its destruction brought forth something better, higher. This fire loosened a force which would literally change the course of mankind—agape love. Yet even the ashes if this fire found purpose in God’s marvelous plan. (Rom. chapter 11)

Prior to the destruction of Jerusalem which brought an end to the entire Levitical Priesthood and governing body of Judaism along with its regulations, Peter spoke of a time in which the “elements shall melt with fervent heat.” (2 Peter 3:10) This word “elements” (stoicheion) usually referred to principles, foundations, governments, orderly structures (see a Concordance). Again, those with a higher vision, with clearer “light,” see the destruction of the types and shadows of the Mosaic governmental and priestly system giving way to the New Covenant, New Priesthood, New Government, as a release to a higher reality. The scaffolding of the Old Covenant gave way to the building itself. Those with eyes to see could see a New Heaven (leadership) and a New Earth (new body) coming forth. They could see a city whose Maker is God built upon a New Foundation, the very Life of the Son of God!

Man’s systems are complicated structures composed of thousands of laws, customs, traditions and rituals from which we are not allowed to stray at the cost of ridicule, shunning, rejection, and various other forms of punishment including imprisonment and even death. These are the “elements” of mankind’s foundational structure. Unfortunately, the governing force behind all these “elements” is fear of man.

Trees (wood) speak of mankind, both individually and corporately. (Isa. 61:3, trees of righteousness) There are many Scriptures which refer to trees and branches which speak of mankind and Christ. The wood from trees can be used for all sorts of things, one of which is for burning. Did you know there are some trees which can burn and not be destroyed? (Exo. 3:2-4)

Now the Scriptures tell us that perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18) This perfect love is a fire, usually not found in the political, religious, and economic powers of mankind. It is found only in Christ. And when this perfect love burns within a heart, it sets the captive free from the power of fear used by the lower forms, rudiments, principles, laws, customs, rituals, etc., which were made by men to “control” each other.

The two main trees represented in the garden of Eden are the Tree of Life, (Christ, Law of life in Christ Jesus) and the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil (Law of Moses and all other forms of human laws which governmental and religious leaders use to control mankind.) One is eternal, the other will vanish once it has served its purpose in mankind. The Tree of Life shines with Light, Life, and Love. He is the true tree of Light of which the Christmas tree is but a poor counterfeit. I have to leave this subject because it cannot be laid out in a few pages. I just wanted to stir your thinking regarding “trees” in relationship to “fire” when spoken of in the Bible.

However, those who focused then, and even this day on vengeance, whose fire in their hearts is still an “eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a life for a life,”—these will remain blind to the higher view. They will insist that the “elements” to which Peter was referring are buildings, trees, and people. They will assume the whole world will be destroyed by a physical fire such as the atomic bomb. They will spend many dollars and hundreds of hours swallowing books and tapes describing this grand event. Yet their hearts will not change.

We need not look to physical fire to see where the evil fire of mankind comes from. James tells us that the tongue is a world of iniquity that sets the course of nature on fire. Look to the bloody trail of “civilization.” Was it not a fiery tongue or sharp pen filled with angry words which brought forth the rage and fear in men which brought them to the point of killing their fellow man while risking their own lives? James tells us that he who can tame the tongue which sets the course of this world on fire is a perfect man. (James 3:6) A quick survey of our planet tells us how far from perfection mankind presently is. And it is often the religious man who sets the greatest number of these kind of fires.

It seems the Lord rejoices in those who manifest His burning love. He also isn’t too upset with those hard, cold, stony hearts because they are ripe for judgment. You see, a cold person can only manifest what is in his heart. If one spends any time at all with them, it is easy to discern what spirit they are of. They may be religious, they may “appear” righteous, but their deeds will eventually give them away.

Jesus wished we were hot or cold. It was the luke-warm which He would spew out of His mouth. It is when a host of “luke-warm” gather around a cold dead religious leadership which upsets our Lord the most. There is just enough life, light, warmth in the luke-warm to attract seekers of truth. Dead and un-anointed Christian leadership have no life to give. These keep a clear distance between themselves and their congregations. This kind of religious leadership desperately depends upon luke-warm Christians to keep the system going. If the luke-warm left such organizations, the cold, emptiness of the leadership in these organizations would manifest as dead. The only thing that keeps them going is the money and time the luke-warm contribute. Luke-warm Christians give an assemblance of life to that which is in reality dead. They give power to anti-Christ.

Anti-Christ (antichristos) simply means “instead of the anointing or anointed.” It is nothing more than any person, institution or teaching which substitutes itself for the living Truth. John told us there were many anti-Christs in his day. (1 John 2:18) Jesus Christ was the true Anointed One. He said He would send His Holy Spirit to be “poured out” upon others.

On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit fell upon the new priesthood as “tongues of fire.” Here is the true separation unto priesthood under the New Covenant. Far too many enter into church leadership by other means. All of these other means are anti-Christ, a substitute for the true anointing of God. May all the luke-warm in the Christian community stop giving credence and support to the cold-hearted, un-anointed leadership of many Christian organizations and turn to the Anointing, the Fire, the Light which comes from above and not through church tradition. This probably speaks to much of the church.

Dear Lord, move us to your Love! Stir us upward! Cause us to see by your Spirit. Cause us to be moved by your compassion, your desires. Raise us up to be seated in heavenly places that we might see with the mind of Christ! Through your fiery love break us free from the bondage of corruption, from the traditions of men, that we might truly become your praise, your presence, your glory, your light, your love here on earth. Amen.

In conclusion, as man sees the need to set aside destructive use of its resources, especially fire, so too, will the heart of man begin to turn from anger, vengeance, and judgment to the hot coals to which Jesus and Paul referred. Only these coals will melt cold, hard hearts. Coals were used to burn the incense in the tabernacle. The incense was a “pleasing” fragrance to the Lord. Does He ask us to pray for His wrath to fall on our enemies heads or good works which will turn them towards Him?

We have found natural ways to increase the temperature of our fires to melt down things which were once thought impossible to melt or change in form. So too, one day our Maker will melt the stony hearts of Adam and bring forth pure gold . . . Christ in us, the hope of glory. It just takes the right kind and amount of heat.

When mankind learns to leave vengeance to God, we just might be surprised to find that even God’s vengeance, may be found to be a power to be used for the good of all mankind, and not for its destruction. There is a fire which will release all who dwell in lower natures, lower thoughts, lower visions and raise them up to where He, our Creator, becomes All in All. (1 Cor. 15:28) May more Christians rise and be seated in heavenly places wherein, it seems is nothing but fire. In Him, there is no shifting or turning. There is no change. He is the End. He is our End. And what is that? God is love! And He is truly the ALL-CONSUMING FIRE!! Hallelujah!!

Paul implores us to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. We are to be consumed by Him and not be destroyed in the process. Our devotion, our zeal, our passion should be towards His purposes. It is interesting that science also uses terms which indicate there is fire in our bodies. They speak of “burning up” calories. We humans “burn up” energy as we go through our day like our cars burn up fuel. Paul beseeches us to devote our lives to God. In that way, we become the light of the world. A life devoted to Him will also make this world a warmer place to live.

Note from the author: This is a very basic study. I hope it stimulates further study. A good place to start might be studying the words “torment(ed), brimstone, and Gehenna. Use the desire to KNOW God as Love as your motivating drive. Find out how these words were used in the original languages of the Bible. Search the main Bible study tools, such as Strong’s, Thayer’s, Genenius, Kittel, etc. Then cry out to God to break through the traditions of men. Study these words again, determined to press through to reach His love. If you need some help finding reference works, or have any questions, please feel free to write us.

Second Death

by Miriam Mohr

Scripture tells us God is all knowing, all wise, all loving, and all powerful. “If any doctrine does not square with the four attributes of God, it bears closer examination.” The present concept of second death leaves out the power of God. When asked “Cannot God bring every individual into conformity with him through his power” we are told “God forces no one. Man is a free moral agent.” This statement I do not believe is scriptural. Man is either a servant of righteousness or a servant of sin–neither is free. We’re in bondage to either one or the other. Rom. 6:16. The difference is that bondage to sin brings sorrow, sickness and death. Bondage to righteousness brings joy, peace, and life. The only freedom we experience is freedom from the woes of sin which in turn brings forth the joy, peace and life.

What is the purpose of the reign of The Christ during the millennium? Are the judgments not a means of force to bring mankind into conformity to God’s laws? Isn’t force a method used by parents to turn a rebellious child into an obedient and loving child. The Lord says:

Prov. 13:24–“He that spareth his rod hateth his son;
but he that loveth him chastenth him early.”

Prov. 22:6, 15–“Train up a child in the way he should
go and, when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the
rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

Prov. 23:13-14–“Withhold not correction from the child
for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
Thou shalt beat him with the rod and shalt deliver his
soul from sheol.”

Prov. 29:15, 17–“The rod and reproof give wisdom, but
a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”
“Correct thy son and he shall give thee rest; yea, he
shall give delight to thy soul.”

Prov. 19:18–“Chasten thy son while there is hope, and
let not thy rod spare for his crying.,,

The purpose of discipline is to bend the will of the child that he may grow in wisdom and understanding and follow the will of his parents. But we say–some are incorrigible (another term that I believe is not scriptural). Can God read the heart? Does he not know the reason for that person’s rebellion? Does he not know what correction or care will work for the individual? Does God require more from us as parents than he does of himself? Are not God’s judgments perfect and successful? Isa. 55:11, Isa. 45:23. Can God deny himself? 2 Tim 2:13. God being able to read the heart (Matt. 10:29-30) and know what made that person’s character what it is, is able to give the proper correction (that will work) and turn that person around. God does not fail!!!!

Let’s look at the term “second death”. It occurs only in one book of the Bible–Revelation. And in that book it is used four times: Rev. 2:11; Rev. 20:6; Rev. 20:14; and Rev. 21:8. Rev. 2:11 and Rev. 20:6 speaks of the Church class who are overcomers and therefore will not have part in the second death–the death of the “old man” being accomplished in the first death. Rev. 20:11-15 is the throne scene at the time of the world’s awakening from their sleep in death. They are judged for their works. If not found in the book of life they are cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. Who at the awakening is found in the book of life? The only ones at that time would be the church, the great company and the ancient worthies. The rest of the world lies in sin and darkness. 1 Cor. 3:11-15 states “if any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved; yet so as BY FIRE.” 2 Pet. 3:10-13 states that fire consumes the dross of the earth and heavens but the earth and heavens remain. In Rev. 21:8–Who is cast into the lake of fire? The list covers every sin. The whole world is covered by this verse in one way or another, even the fearful. The lake of fire and brimstone is the portion of their cup. Psa. 11:6.

What is the nature of the Lake?–fire and brimstone.

Fire:

Fire is a purifying agent–it burns up the stubble and purges the vessel from all defilement. Fire is an energizer and source of power: fire will energize the people to go the way of righteousness. Fire is a quickening element–melts the rigid heart and molds it into the form of God’s holy will. Fire warms–sets the heart aglow with divine enthusiasm. Fire protects-the eastern shepherd surrounds his fold at night with a little wall of fire around his flock. Zec. 2:5—”I will be unto her a wall of fire round about.”

Brimstone: Brimstone-sulfur-used in fumigation to get rid of pests and bugs. Sulfur is used in medicine for healing. (Sulfur and molasses-blood purifier) (sulfur salves and sulfur drugs) Sulfur was used in ancient times for bleaching cloth Isa. 1:18) Taken from Encyclopedia Britannica. Smith’s Bible Dictionary: Fuller is one who bleaches cloth. (Isa. 7:3; 36:2; Mal. 3:2; Mark 9:3.) Fuller field OUTSIDE the city of Jerusalem; so close that one speaking in field could be heard by one standing on the wall.

Revelation is a book of symbols and should be analyzed as such.

In Rev. 14:10, are those who worship the beast destroyed or purged? In Rev. 9:17-18, only those who turn to God are affected by the fire and brimstone. The rest go on in their sins and wickedness.

Wrath of God–The word wrath could also be translated desire. The destruction and burning of the age of fire (millennium) is to bring about the desire of God, to make man in his image and likeness.

God’s desire is accomplished by (1) the destruction of the present evil world and (2) the destruction of the “old man” (that sinful soul), that the new man in Christ Jesus might grow and live.

Matt. 25:41–Age lasting fire — second death — gehenna. Gehenna: Place where garbage was thrown–second death will burn up the garbage of character that makes up our sinful soul. Matt 25:46–age lasting punishment from Strong’s 2849. Strong’s “kolacis” is a word which comes in the first place from “kolas”, to lop or prune, and the meaning of the word as defined by Thayer, Lindells and Scott, and others, is to check, curb, restrain, correct. It’s usage in the time of the Lord was twofold (1) punishment in the sense of restraint of the offender’s power to continue his offense, and (2) disciplining correction, or as we would say chastisement. Other usages: 2 Pet. 2:9; Acts 4:2; John 4:18.

Why is it called “second death”? The sinful nature (Adamic character) of man is termed the “old man”. Eph. 4:22; Rom. 6:6; Col. 3:9. When men are awakened from the first death will they not be as they went into the grave? Still bound by the chains of sin? The way to life is through death. Romans 6:7–“He that is dead is freed from sin.” Matt. 10:39–“He that loseth his life shall find it.” Heb. 2:15–thru fear of death… subject to bondage.” Psa. 1:6–“WAY of the ungodly shall perish.” The bonds of sin and death in Adam are to be burned away that men may be set free to righteousness and life in Christ. Psa. 107:10-14; Psa 142:7; Isa. 42:7; Isa. 61:1; Rom. 7:23-24; Heb. 2:15.

Adam was told in Gen. 2:17–“thou shalt SURELY die.” Adam did die, but did he SURELY die? Isn’t a part of us carried on through our children? Isn’t this why we have children–to carry on our posterity? So a part of Adam was carried on through all his children–some more, some less. So in this sense Adam did not SURELY die–but he will in the second death. That “old man” in Adam will die that the “new man” in Christ Jesus will grow to maturity. The world must give up the life rooted in Adam because it is sinful–therefore it must die in order that the life in Christ might be made manifest. “The soul that sinneth it shall die”. The “old man” is the soul that sinneth, the new man does not sin. I John 5:18; 1 John 3:9-10.

Ransom–Christ’s ransom sacrifice covered not only the elimination of death, but the cause of death–sin. Therefore sin must be destroyed in each individual that death may be conquered. If sin is not destroyed then death is victorious. 1 Cor. 15:54-57.

Man was condemned under the law to death because there was no mercy under the law. Christ died. Nailed the law to the tree. Satisfied the justice exercised under the law. Now mercy, not justice is exercised. We (now) and the world (future) are under mercy, not justice. God WILL write the law in their hearts and he WILL be their God and they WILL be his people. They will be schooled–educated by the law, but not condemned by it because justice is not demanded during the millennium but mercy is exercised.

Read the covenant with David–Psa. 89:27-37. Note vs. 30, 32 and 36.

So to summarize–I believe the second death is not the destruction of man but the sin. God doesn’t hate the sinner. He loved us so much He gave His son. He hates the sin. This is what will be destroyed in the second death. The elimination of sin will be the elimination of death. The second death is the process by which this is accomplished through the judgments by which the people will learn righteousness.

Hell! What a terrible thing to teach a little boy who loved God.

Testimonial of Rich Powers

Hi. I was raised Catholic, and my earliest memories of God are from before going to Catholic school and church. I used to skip down the street singing praises to God…and then…I went to school and church.

At that time (now I’m 53), I was taught that one could never know if they were going to Heaven when they died One could never be sure if they go to Hell or not. I remember for years trying to stay awake so long until I was exhausted and fell asleep because I was afraid of going to hell.

I was told if I said a perfect act of contrition, I would not go to hell, but to say this prayer perfectly was almost impossible. I would say it over and over at night crying my eyes out not wanting to go to sleep ’til I said the prayer perfectly. When I got older I suffered from a terrible self-image.

I became suicidal, and hated my life and myself. I knew I could never please God and that no matter how I tried, I would sin–and if I died in that state of sin I would burn forever! I suffered greatly. What kind of God is this giving me rules I could never follow!

It was only after many years that God touched me and gave me faith in Him and His Love for man. I was set free. Sins forgiven, washed in the Blood of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. I know He will never forsake me. His spirit lives in me.

To this day, He still has to work in me, my self image was destroyed, and I find it hard to accept even His love at times, although He given me a new heart. That teaching of hell, and the false teaching of never being sure of salvation and acceptance by God, literally destroyed most of my life. What a terrible thing to do to a little boy who Loved God!

The Hell Words of the Bible

by Gary Amirault

The following Charts contain all the words in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures which are translated Hell in some English Bible translations. Tentmaker Ministries prepared this material. Please refer to the link at the bottom which contains a long list of Bible translations which do not contain the word Hell from cover to cover. One day all correctly translated Bible versions will be without the pagan Hell and the pagan concept of everlasting punishment.

Translation of Sheol in the Old Testament
1611 KJV KJV Geneva Bible NIV NKJV NASB & NRSV YLT Ro & LXX*1 CLT Vulgate
Gn. 37:35 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades*3 unseen infernum
Gn. 42:38 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol sheol hades unseen inferos
Gn. 44:29 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol sheol hades unseen inferos
Gn. 44:31 graue grave graue grave grave Sheol sheol hades unseen inferos
Nu. 16:30 pit pit pit grave*2 pit Sheol Sheol hades unseen infernum
Nu. 16:33 pit pit pit grave pit Sheol Sheol hades unseen infernum
Dt. 32:22 lowest hell hell bottome of hell the realm of death*4 hell Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferni
1Sa. 2:6 graue grave graue grave grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen infernum
2Sa. 22:6 Hell hell graue grave*2 Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferi
1Ki. 2:6 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferos
1Ki. 2:9 graue grave graue grave grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen infernum
Job 7:9 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferos
Job 11:8 hell hell hell grave*2 Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferno
Job 14:13 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferno
Job 17:13 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferus
Job 17:16 pit pit pit death*2 Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen infernum
1611 KJV KJV Geneva Bible NIV NKJV NASB & NRSV YLT Ro & LXX*1 CLT Vulgate
Job 21:13 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferna
Job 24:19 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferos
Job 26:6 Hell hell graue Death*2 Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen infernus
Ps. 6:5 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferno
Ps. 9:17 hell hell hell grave*2 hell Sheol Sheol hades unseen infernum*11
Ps. 16:10 hell hell graue grave*2 Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen N/A
Ps. 18:5 hell hell graue grave*2 Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen N/A
Ps. 30:3 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen N/A
Ps. 31:17 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen N/V
Ps. 49:14 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen N/A
Ps. 49:14*5 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen N/A
Ps. 49:15 graue grave graue grave grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen N/A
Ps. 55:15 hell hell graue grave*2 hell Sheol Sheol hades unseen N/V
Ps. 86:13 hell hell lowest graue grave*2 Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen N/V
Ps. 88:3 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen N/A
Ps. 89:48 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen N/V
1611 KJV KJV Geneva Bible NIV NKJV NASB & NRSV YLT Ro & LXX*1 CLT Vulgate
Ps. 116:3 hell hell graue grave*2 Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen N/V
Ps. 139:8 hell hell hell depths*2 hell Sheol Sheol hades unseen N/A
Ps. 141:7 graues grave graues grave*2 grave Sheol *6 hades unseen N/A
Pr. 1:12 graue grave graue grave*2 Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen infernus
Pr. 5:5 hell hell hell grave*2 hell Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferos
Pr. 7:27 hell hell graue grave*2 hell Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferi
Pr. 9:18 hell hell hell grave*2 hell Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferni
Pr. 15:11 Hell hell Hell Death*2 hell Sheol Sheol hades unseen infernus
Pr. 15:24 hell hell hell grave*2 hell Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferno
Pr. 23:14 hell hell hell *7 death*2 hell Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferno
Pr. 27:20 Hell hell graue Death*2 hell Sheol Sheol hades unseen infernus
Pr. 30:16 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen infernus
Ec. 9:10 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferos
SS. 8:6 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol / grave*8 Sheol hades unseen inferus
Is. 5:14 hell hell hell grave*2 Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen infernus
Is. 14:9 Hell hell*9 Hell grave*2 hell Sheol Sheol hades unseen infernus
1611 KJV KJV Geneva Bible NIV NKJV NASB & NRSV YLT Ro & LXX*1 CLT Vulgate
Is. 14:11 Hell grave graue grave Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferos
Is. 14:15 hel*10 hell graue grave Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen infernum
Is. 28:15 hell hell hell grave*2 Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferno
Is. 28:18 hell hell hell grave Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferno
Is. 38:10 graue grave graue death*2 Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferi
Is. 38:18 graue grave graue grave*2 Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen infernus
Is. 57:9 hell hell hell grave*2 Sheol Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferos
Ez. 31:15 graue grave hell grave*2 hell Sheol sheol hades unseen inferos
Ez. 31:16 hell hell hell grave hell Sheol sheol hades unseen infernum
Ez. 31:17 hell hell hel *10 grave hell Sheol sheol hades unseen infernum
Ez. 32:21 hell hell hell grave*2 hell Sheol sheol hades unseen inferni
Ez. 32:27 hell hell graue grave hell Sheol sheol hades unseen infernum
Ho. 13:14 graue grave graue grave*2 grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen mortis
Ho. 13:14*5 graue grave graue grave*2 Grave Sheol Sheol hades unseen inferne
Am. 9:2 hell hell hell grave*2 hell Sheol sheol hades unseen infernum
Jon. 2:2 hell hell*9 hell grave*2 Sheol Sheol sheol hades unseen inferni*12
Hab. 2:5 hell hell hell grave*2 hell Sheol sheol hades unseen infernus
*1 Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible says hades is almost uniform Septuagint {LXX} rendering of the Hebrew sheol, which is found 65 times in the OT {appendix, p.270}.

*2 note says Hebrew Sheol
*3 note says sheol or hades
*4 note says Hebrew to Sheol
*5 the word sheol occurs twice in the verse.
*6 Saul, not Sheol
*7 Margin: ” that is, from destruction”
*8 NASB: Sheol, NRSV: grave
*9 marg. or, The grave {The New Englishman’s Hebrew Concordance, p.1220}.
*10 spelled with one l in the original
*11 verse 18 in the Latin Vulgate and Douay-Rheims Bibles.
*12 verse 3 in the Latin Vulgate and Douay-Rheims Bibles.

N/A = Not Available. The word does not appear in these verses in the Vulgate.
N/V = No Verse. The verse does not appear in the Vulgate.

The German 1905 Elberfelder version uses Scheol
The Latin Vulgate uses inferos in various forms
The RSV follows the NRSV
Darby uses Sheol throughout the OT

Note:
Ez. 31:16,17

Original 1611 KJV:
I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him downe to hell with them that descend downe into the pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drinke water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth. They also went downe into hell with him vnto them that be slaine with the sword, and they that were his arme, that dwelt vnder his shadows in the middest of the heathen.

Contemporary KJV:
I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth. They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen.

NKJV:
I made the nations shake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to hell together with those who descend into the Pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the depths of the earth. They also went down to hell with it, with those slain by the sword; and those who were its strong arm dwelt in its shadows among the nations.

Note: 1611 KJV also contained the 14 Apocryphal books which we did not include in the count.

Note: Grave was spelled graue in 1611 KJV and Geneva bible

Translation of Hades in the New Testament
1611 KJV KJV Geneva NKJV NIV NASB & NRSV YLT Ro CLT WEY Vulgate
Mt. 11:23*1 hell hell hell Hades depths*7 Hades hades hades unseen Hades*8 infernum
Mt. 16:18 hell hell hel*5 Hades Hades Hades Hades hades unseen Hades inferi
Lk. 10:15 hell hell hell Hades depths*7 Hades hades hades unseen Hades infernum
Lk. 16:23 hell hell hell Hades hell*7 Hades hades hades unseen Hades inferno
Ac. 2:27 hell hell grave Hades grave Hades hades hades unseen THE UNSEEN WORLD*9 inferno
Ac. 2:31 hell hell grave Hades grave Hades hades hades unseen Unseen World inferno
1Co. 15:55*2 grave*3 grave grave Hades death death hades death death Death mors
Rv. 1:18 hell hell hell Hades Hades Hades hades hades unseen Hades inferni
Rv. 6:8 hell hell hell*6 Hades Hades Hades Hades Hades Unseen Hades inferus
Rv. 20:13 hell*4 hell hell Hades Hades Hades hades hades unseen Hades inferus
Rv. 20:14 hell hell hell Hades Hades Hades hades hades unseen Hades inferus
*1 prop. unseen {Strong’s #86}

*2 depending on the Greek text, the word here may be hades {unseen} or thanatos {death}.
*3 margin “Or,hell”
*4 margin “Or,hell” in some 1611 printings. Some printings had “grave” in the text and “Or, hell” in the margin. Clearly some peculiar intentional hanky panky going on.
*5 Spelling as in the original
*6 Capitalized in the original
*7 note says Greek Hades
*8 Hades] The unseen World, the adobe of departed spirits, In the A.V. both this word and ‘Gehenna’ are rendered ‘Hell.’ Each occurs twelve times. In this translation the two words are everywhere kept distinct.
*9 The Unseen World] Greek, ‘Hades,’ the adobe of departed spirits; Hebrew, ‘Sheol.’ “Hades is, as it were, the sepulche of souls” (Bengel).


Translation of Gehenna in the New Testament
1611 KJV KJV & NIV & NKJV Geneva NASB NRSV YLT&Ro CLT&WEY Vulgate
Mt. 5:22 hell fire hell hell*3 hell*6 hell*7 gehenna Gehenna gehennae
Mt. 5:29 hell hell hell hell hell*7 gehenna Gehenna gehennam
Mt. 5:30 hell hell hell hell hell*7 gehenna Gehenna gehennam
Mt. 10:28 hell hell hell hell hell gehenna Gehenna gehennam
Mt. 18:9 hell fire hell hell fire hell hell gehenna Gehenna gehennam
Mt. 23:15 hell hell hell hell hell gehenna Gehenna gehennae
Mt. 23:33 hell hell hell*4 hell hell gehenna Gehenna gehennae
Mk. 9:43 hell hell hell hell hell gehenna Gehenna gehennam
Mk. 9:45 hell hell hell hell hell gehenna Gehenna gehennam
Mk. 9:47 hel fire*1 hell hellfire hell hell gehenna Gehenna gehennam
Lk. 12:5 hell hell hell hell hell gehenna Gehenna gehennam
Js. 3:6*2 hell hell hell*5 hell hell gehenna Gehenna gehenna
*1 spelling as in the original

*2 The only other person in the N.T. besides Jesus who uses this term Gehenna.
*3 Margin reads: “Whereas we read here, Hell, it is in the text itself, Gehenna, which is an Hebrew word made of two, and it asmuch to say, as the Valley of Hinnon, which otherwise Hebrewes called Tophet : It was a place where the Israelites were went most cruelly to sacrifice their children to false gods, whereupon it was taken for a place appointed to torment the reprobates in Jerem. 7:31.
*4 Margin reads: “Look Chap 5. Verse 22.”
*5 Margin reads: “So the Grecians called the deep dungeons under the earth, which should be appointed to torment the souls of the wicked in.”
*6 note says Gr., Gehenna
*7 note says Gr [Gehenna]

Translation of Tartarus in the New Testament
1611 KJV KJV, NKJV, NASB Geneva NIV NRSV YLT & CLT & WEY Ro Vulgate
2Pt. 2:4*1 hell hell hell hell*2 hell*3 Tartarus lowest hades tartarum
*1 The only places in the Bible where this term appears
*2 note says Greek tartarus
*3 note says Greek tartaroo

KJV= King James Version
YLT = Young’s Literal Translation
Ro = Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible
CLT = Concordant Literal Translation
WEY = Weymouth’s New Testament in Modern Speech (Chart reflects
versions before 1923. After that date, a couple of “minister’s” produced
other edition’s of Weymouth’s work in which THEY put Hell back into
Weymouth’s original.)

Hellbuster Quotes number 1

“Many plain direct statements in the sacred scriptures declare that the purpose of God through our Lord Jesus Christ is to bless all humanity and to bring the whole universe into harmony with Himself. How can this be if myriads of mankind whom He so loves were to be kept alive forever in hopeless misery? And what kind of a god could love the sinner with Calvary love until he died, and then leave him in indescribable suffering eternally?” From TIME AND ETERNITY A BIBLICAL STUDY – G.T. STEVENSON