A Verse so Simple Yet so Interesing


#1

John 5 features an account of Jesus healing a paralyzed man. In verse 14, Jesus says to the man “Stop sinning, or something worse may happen to you”

This is consistent with the Jewish theme of punishment and curses on earth. If “Hell” was real, why did Jesus not say “Stop sinning or you will go to Hell”?

I find this interesting. Surely if Hell was a consequence, Jesus would have warned this man of it, rather than the ambiguous “something worse” statement, which seems to imply a curse, such as physical death.


#2

Well…that something worse could be hell—translated as such from the Greek word “γεεννα” (gehenna)

The Online Bible lexicon has this to say about the word:

Jesus did warn people about hell:

We have to be careful about the word “destroy” however. Annihilation is not the only meaning. It can refer to the destruction of the evil in a person.

Origen (185-254 A.D.) understood this meaning of “destroy” when he wrote:

I concur with Origen. Indeed, I believe ALL of God’s judgments are remedial. God’s very essence is “LOVE” and EVERYTHING He does arises from the motive of LOVE!


#3

@Paidion,

Could you link me to your translation of John 5:14? I can’t find a version that translates this warning into “Gehenna”


#4

Hi, Objective. Do you mean Matthew 10:28? John 5:14 does not contain the word:

(Mt 10:28) Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

“Gehenna” is a TRANSLITERATION of the Greek word “γεεννα” (geenna) which most translators render as “hell.”

However, there are two translations in my Online Bible Program that actually use the word “Gehenna” in this verse. One is the Diaglott and the other is Young’s Literal Translation.

You can find these translations if you do an internet search. You can even find a pdf file of each of these translations.


#5

Well, that explains the confusion. I thought you were saying that John 5:14 warned of Gehenna.

On a side note, I definitely am starting to strongly lean Preterist. You interpretation of Matthew 10:28 is that the Pharisees could kill the body (Through persecution of believing Jews), but the Romans could destroy the “soul” in Gehenna by literally upending the civilization and erasing the culture of the audience.


#6

If God is love then He must hate evil. Indeed, in the love chapter it tells us that love protects. The NIV correctly brings this out:

If God is love then it must be coupled with a hatred of anything that tries to harm the objects of His love. God loves His children with an everlasting love. This is consistent with all justice. For justice is to protect and serve. For God’s love to be consistent with His justice He must protect His children from the harm, abuse and contamination of evil. This He does in the new creation. As the wicked are pruned and cut off the whole world is purged with fire as the wicked are destroyed. God causes it to rain on the just and the unjust on earth but there’s coming a time when He will execute His justice as His children enter into the state of perfect love under Her protective wings.


#7

The objects of His love are all people. “For God so loved the WORLD…”

Even in human relationships your syllogism does not apply. Consider a parent who has two children: Tom and Harry. Harry continually attacks Tom, trying to injure him. The father loves Tom, but does he HATE Harry? Or does he do whatever it takes to help Harry to be kind to his brother. It could take some severe treatment of Harry to induce in him a change of heart and mind toward his brother. But Harry’s father won’t kill Harry or lock him in room and torture him for as long as possible.


#8

The “whole world” or new “Heavens and earth” doesn’t include those in the lake of fire as it tells us in Rev. The whole world is indeed loved by God. This is His children.


#9

We are also told in Heb 12:29 that our God is a consuming fire, for He will consume the evil out of everyone.

Some Scriptures Concerning the Reconciliation of All to God

John 12:32
… I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.

When Jesus was died on the cross, He began to draw people to Himself. With the words to John, “Behold your mother”, and to Mary, “Behold your son”, He began to establish the Family of God. This continued after His resurrection when there were 120 in that Family. It further developed on that special Pentecost, where many were added to the Family daily.

Colossians 1:19,20
For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

ALL THINGS! That includes ALL PEOPLE! “All” means “all”!

Ephesians 1:9,10
For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the secret of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Romans 5:18
Then as one man’s trespass [Adam’s] led to condemnation for all people, so one man’s act of righteousness [Christ’s] leads to acquittal and life for all people.

[See RSV, NRSV, ESV, NIV]

Philippians 2:9-11
Therefore God has highly exalted him [Christ] and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Some say, “Yes, every knee shall bow when it has been struck from behind with a 2X4”. A forced bowing is possible. But God doesn’t seem to work in the world through force, but through kindness and persuasion. We read, “The kindness of the Lord is meant to lead us to repentance.” [Romans 2:4] In any case surely confession of Christ as Lord cannot be forced.

Who are those under the earth who will bow to Jesus? Does it refer to those who will be in Gehenna (Hell)?

I Timothy 4:10
For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

God is the Saviour in a special way of those who now believe. They are being saved from sin now, and so are being made righteous, and will not have to undergo Gehenna. That’s what’s special about their salvation. However, the others are not being saved now and will have to be corrected in Gehenna. But they too will sooner or later willingly believe and submit to Christ. For He is the Savior of ALL people!

Revelation 5:12-13
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, "To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might into the ages of ages.

Surely this kind of praise is voluntary and could not be forced. Notice that even those under the earth will praise God and the Lamb. Who are those UNDER the earth? Those who will be in the Lake of Fire? All demons? Even Satan himself?

Romans 11:32
For God has consigned all people to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all.

[i]Philippians 3:20,21
But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.

1 Corinthians 15:22-28
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. “For God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “All things are put in subjection under him,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things under him, that God may be everything to every one.[/i]

Some will object to some of these passages, stating that “all” does not always mean “all” in the Bible. That is true. But from that we cannot conclude that “all” doesn’t mean “all” in these passages.

When “all” is used for emphasis it is plain. For example:

Matthew 8:34 And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighborhood.

We talk this way today. George asks, Who was at the fair? Jim replies, Everybody was there!”. George doesn’t conclude that everyone in the world was at the fair. It’s an extreme exaggeration for emphasis. There is no indication that this kind of thing is being done in the reconciliation scriptures.


#10

Lets look at the context of all things made new in the new heaven and earth:

Clearly those in the lake of fire aren’t included in “all things”, “the whole world” or “all people”. We see this in Isaiah - where this scripture above is taken as it describes “all mankind” worshiping:

Every knee will bow and mouth confess as they worship. Those in heaven and earth and those saints resurrected from under the earth. As the above passage states this is all mankind. All mankind will go out of the gates to behold those in the lake of fire. Therefore, those in the lake of fire are not included in “all mankind”, “the whole world” or the new "heaven and earth. All things are made new but for those in the lake of fire it’s the second death. You must be grafted in to be part of the body of Christ or the “whole world”. God is the savior of all mankind, especially the believers in Biblical times. The fires consume as the whole world is purged of the wicked. They are cut off and separated from the “whole world”. This is the pruning and correction that takes place so that the body of Christ can grow better.


#11

Hey Cole. I thought you became a preterist. Did you flip-flop away from that already?


#12

I’m still a Preterist but like all orthodox preterists I believe in the lake of fire eternally.


#13

Michael,

(1) First of all, Isa.66:22-24 makes no mention of what has become of the souls of the “corpses” referred to:

23 And 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.

24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses 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.

(2) Secondly, nothing in verses 22-24 says verses 23 & 24 refer to the lake of fire or the new earth. Consider Option A at the following re a premillennial take on Isa.65 & 66:

wasillabible.org/sermon-blog/isa … ion-part-3

(3) I wonder how “corpses” (v.24) would survive in a lake of fire. Or worms (v.24) . OTOH worms could survive in a millennial eon garbage dump called Gehenna. As could “corpses” survive that were in parts of the garbage dump that were not completely consumed by fire.

(4) If it were the new earth, why does verse 23 refer to new moons and the sabbath?

“The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory” (Isa.60:19)

Rev.21:22 But I saw no temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need for sun or moon to shine on it, because the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 By its light the nations will walk, and into it the kings of the earth will bring their glory.

(5) Even if the reference is to the new earth, if there are still “corpses” of the dead in the lake of fire, how is it that death has already been abolished (1 Cor.15:22-28)?

“Just as surely as the abolition of slavery entails freedom for those formerly enslaved, the abolition of death entails life for those formerly dead.”

(6) For an interesting take on our passage, there is this alleged view:

“It is interesting that many of these comments touch on the concept that is well-articulated by C.S. Lewis’ mentor, George McDonald, in his sermon, “The Consuming Fire.” The concept is that God himself is the consuming fire and he will burn away all our iniquities, including those of Satan, who will emerge from the experience as the purified Lucifer, as he was created to be. This is what is pictured in Isaiah 66:24 where all beings will look upon their old selves as carcasses burning in God’s eternally consuming fire. To understand this picture one must realize that the perspective is that of a totally redeemed eternal being looking back on his or her past life and sensing some regret for their own sins.”

theologicalscribbles.blogspot.ca … devil.html

  1. In any case, when death is abolished (1 Cor.15:22-28) & all are made new (Rev.21:5, 5:13), the dead in the second death (lake of fire) will rise back to life “in Christ” & God will be “all in all” (1 Cor.15:22,28). IOW there will be universal salvation of every person that has ever lived since Adam was created.

tentmaker.org/ScholarsCorner.html

v. 49 “For everyone will be salted with fire.”

Nothing there says tortures are endless. Instead it refers to a fire and worm. And a fire that is not quenched can end or burn out on it’s own, as proven by:

"Let us see how the word “asbestos (unquenchable) was used by the Greeks. Strabo calls it the lamp in the Parthenon, and Plutarch calls the sacred fire of a temple “unquenchable,” though they were extinguished long ago. Josephus, the Jewish Priest who saw the destruction of Jerusalem says that the fire on the altar of the temple at Jerusalem was “always unquenchable” abeston aei, yet he was there when the fire on the altar was forever extinguished. Eusibius, the church historian who lived in Constantine’s day says that certain martyrs of Alexandria “were burned in unquenchable fire.” The fire was put out within an hour! Homer speaks of “unquenchable laughter” asbestos gelos, (Iliad, I: 599)”

tentmaker.org/Dew/Dew5/D5-Bi … ained.html

Nothing here says they stay in Gehenna for endless ages, so can’t come out. Neither does it say that while in Gehenna there is no salvation. In the book of Revelation the gates into the city of God are always open. God says He is making “all” new (21:5).

unquenchabe is limited not endless…ancient examples given here:

books.google.ca/books?id=6V-A1h … le&f=false

Mark 9:43: “into Gehenna, into the unextinguished fire.” First, the word “unquenchable” in the Bible is translated from the Greek word asbestos which simply means “not quenched.” In itself, that is not the same as “not ABLE to be quenched” or “unquenchable.” It is similar to God’s judgments being without appeal “until they have finished all his plans:”

“The fierce anger of the LORD will not diminish until it has finished all his plans. In the days to come, you will understand all this…”(Jer 30:24).

As for an immortal worm that never dies, some ECT commentators say it refers to the immortal soul. ECTers can’t agree amongst themselves what it means & Jesus didn’t elaborate. In Isaiah 66 the worm is spoken of in the same verse that speaks of “corpses”. So, they could be eating dead bodies during the millennial age eon.

“Perhaps unbeknownst to many traditionalists who cite this verse as a challenge to conditionalism, Jesus is quoting Isaiah 66:24 here, in which it is said explicitly that it is corpses being consumed by fire and maggots—not living beings. Those traditionalists who are aware of this nevertheless insist that the worm is depicted as never dying and the fire as never going out. But this is not what these idioms communicate.”

“The phrase “does not die” is used several times in the Hebrew scripture and does not mean will never die (Genesis 42:20; Exodus 30:20; Jeremiah 38:24). It means that someone or something will not die at a particular time or in a particular context.”

christianforums.com/threads … 369/page-8

So such references could be about eating sinners sins or evil flesh nature till it is gone.

"Interesting aside, for what it may mean to anyone… Maggots are making a comeback in modern medicine. They gently debride wounds in a way no surgeon, however subtle, could possibly achieve. (monarchlabs.com/mdt) They nibble away the dead and decaying cells, allowing healthy, new, regenerated cells to thrive instead. Maggots only eat dead tissue, leaving the living tissue to thrive. I think there’s a big parallel there, but maybe I’m taking the “book of nature” to extremes. My husband’s doctor at Mayo told me they had them there, available by prescription only–special hygienic ones, of course! :laughing: "

"All these things we consider to be bad (by knee-jerk reaction at least) can also be seen as good–judgment, brimstone (aka sulfur & also used in medicine then and now), even maggots. Fire also is used in scripture as symbolic of purification–and we mustn’t forget the nature of our God, who is, we’re told, “a consuming fire.”

viewtopic.php?f=32&t=7523

“Now, salt too, just as the divine fire, is associated with the eschatological test in Mark 9:49, a text I have already analysed, where this fire is presented as purifying and performing the disinfecting function of salt: “all will be salted by this fire,” if they have lost their salt in this life.”
(Ilaria Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (Brill, 2013. 890 pp., p.53)

“Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there [Gehenna] until you have paid up the last cent. The word ―until unmistakably confirms Gehenna is of a limited duration. Once the penalty is exacted, release follows, but not before. Note He addressed these words to a mixed audience of believers and unbelievers (Mt. 5:1;7:28; 8:1). (See also Mt. 18:34-35).” tentmaker.org/books/hope_beyond_hell.pdf

Jn.1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

4:39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.
42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

This includes everyone in the universe, including the dead and demons:

Rev.5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are on the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

John speaks of “every creature” & to emphasize this again he repeats “and all that are in them”:

Rev.5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are on the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

This worship (v.13) uses the same worshipful words as the redeemed of vs 9-10 use in v.12:

12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

All this being in the context of salvation - “the Lamb that was slain” (v.12 & 13).

tentmaker.org/books/hope_beyond_hell.pdf


#14

Origin,

The text clearly says that it’s the new heavens and earth. Revelation says that the light of the sun and moon will not be needed because the glory of God will outshine and provide the light, not that the sun and moon no longer exist. The lake of fire could be eternal but even if it’s not it still consumes and destroys. When God judges His enemies He always destroys with His holy hatred. Hence, the second death. Here’s the background on which we are to understand the consuming fire from the OT:

Leviticus 20:23 - “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.”

Leviticus 26:30 - “And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.”

Deuteronomy 32:19 - “And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.”

Psalm 5:5 - “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”

Psalm 5:6 - “Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.”

Psalm 10:3 - “For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.”

Psalm 11:5 - “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”

Psalm 53:5 - “There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.”

Psalm 73:20 - “As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.”

Psalm 78:59 - “When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:”

Psalm 106:40 - “Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.”

Proverbs 6:16-19 - “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

Proverbs 22:14 - “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.”

Lamentations 2:6 - “And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.”

Hosea 9:15 - “All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.”

Zechariah 11:8 - “Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul loathed them, and their soul also abhorred me.”

Malachi 1:3 - “And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”

Romans 9:13 - “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”

Of course we could say that God restores after He destroys but this is nowhere taught in Revelation. The text says let Him who is thirsty come. Nowhere does it say that those in the lake of fire enter the gates. In fact, the OT passage I provided says that the gates are open so that all mankind can go out as they abhor the dead bodies. God protects His children by destroying the wicked and is glorified. The whole world is purged with fire as the sheep are separated from the goats. Kolasis means to prune or cut off. This is the correction that takes place as the body of Christ is pruned and the wicked are destroyed.


#15

Scripture reveals God’s judgements, wrath, anger & such are corrective:

Job 5:17-18 “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but he binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.”

Hab.1:12 O LORD my God, my Holy One, you who are eternal–surely you do not plan to wipe us out? O LORD, our Rock, you have sent these Babylonians to correct us, to punish us for our many sins.

Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the LORD’s wrath, until he pleads my case and upholds my cause. He will bring me out into the light;I will see his righteousness. (Micah 7:9)

Isaiah 12:1
Then you will say on that day, "I will give thanks to You, O LORD; For although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, And You comfort me.

Hosea 6:1
"Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.

Isa.57:17 “Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry and struck him;
I hid My face and was angry, And he went on turning away, in the way of his heart.

18“I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
I will lead him and restore comfort to him and to his mourners,

Mat 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

That verse is quite thoroughly analyzed in this discussion:

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7552


#16

This is from the url i provided:

"The primary argument for Option A comes from the last half of Isaiah 65:20,

“for the young man shall die a hundred years old,
and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.”

If this is the new heavens and new earth, then how can there still be sin and death? Sin and death will be no more in the new heavens and new earth. And yet, these two lines from the last half of Isaiah 65:20 speak of death and sin! Therefore, this must be speaking of a future time when dying young would mean dying at a hundred years old, but when there are still sinners running loose in the world. The only time this might be possible, Option A proponents argue, would be during a future 1000 year reign of Jesus on earth. Therefore, verse 20 must be speaking of a future Millennium, even though Isaiah introduces it a few verses before as the New Creation.

As a result, Option A proponents argue that Isaiah 65-66 blurs together things from both the future Millennium and the New Creation that follows it. Isaiah was looking at these future times as one looks at a distant mountain range. From a distance the individual peaks blur together, and we cannot see the valleys between the ridges. Likewise, Isaiah, looking from a distance, blurs the valleys and times between the various eras about which he writes in Isaiah 65-66. Thus, he has unknowingly intertwined both the Millennium and the New Creation (two separate future eras) in this vision."


#17

Origin,

The more I pondered those scriptures they brought to mind this one:

I guess I have to say that God’s holy hatred and wrath destroy those in the lake of fire but they will be made alive and grafted in. Just as the heavens and earth is destroyed by fire but there will be a new heaven and earth. This would also fit my view of atonement. Aquinas held that at the cross Jesus suffered and bore the punishment for our sins. But this punishment was medicinal punishment. The Bible tells us that Christ learned obedience through what He suffered. Moreover, we know it was disciplinary is because of Isaiah 53:5 -

The Hebrew word here is musar

musar:

discipline, chastening, correction

The NASB Strongest Exhaustive Concordance

While Christ suffered and died He was resurrected. Given His substitution I must conclude that this is what happens to those in the lake of fire. It’s for disciplinary or corrective purposes. Musar is a masculine noun meaning instruction, discipline. I think there’s also a good case for eternal meaning lasting correction. Thanks for reminding me about this. It fits with how I see the atonement now. To be consistent I guess I have to accept it.


#18

“It’s tempting for me to believe that God is the grand master playing chess and we are the 5 year old rookie. Theoretically we are “free” to win the chess game, it is possible. No not really in the libertarian sense - it is unlikely to the point of virtual zero. in other words, God will always get His way, despite our best efforts not to be saved.”

forums.catholic.com/t/do-cathol … m/230993/3