The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The mystics and hell


#1

How can we understand some of the accounts of Hell from the mystics? Josepha Menendez…who wrote so many beautiful things about Gods mercy…his unbelievable mercy…also wrote about souls in Hell who said they would suffer forever for not turning to God in this life…I know Faustina speaks about Hell, and a few others…

Thanks and Blessings!


#2

Personally, I think that the view of people writhing in agony in flames, if it is a valid vision that has been had at all, is a picture of the torment of mankind and the hoorors of life in this world of woe. The chaos in which people suffer spiritually until they come into the kingdom of God. Plague, war, crime, emotional dysfunction, heartbreak, insanity, etc. Jesus is the answer to that woe, and Paul, perhaps the ultimate mystic( I mean really, read 1 Cor 2) who was caught up to the 3rd heaven and heard words he could not repeat, not knowing even if he was in the body or out of it- taught routinely that God would save all. Also Peter, who(imo) experienced the ultimate breaking(denying the Lord before witnesses) proclaimed “the restoration of all things” on the first day(Pentecost).

Just because someone sees such a vision they may assume it is forever, but really, is it a heavenly vision? Did God Himself tell tem in specific words the meaning of the vision? Then why bother with a vision at all? Why did the prophets often need visions explained to them by the Spirit? The language of visions and dreams is that of images and they are often not explicitly clear, and are certainly not for doctrinal positions so much as to impart spiritual understanding. Could it not be a vision of this chaotic world that is being recovered by the knigdom of God, first the seed(Christ) then the stalk(the church), then the whole creation…

“In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His [k]kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.” Eph 1

Paul the mystic claims that the “mystery” is the summng up of all things in Christ. He also claims that the whole creation will be set free into the glorious liberty of the children of God…

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. Romans 8

The pains of childbirth are upon the world. The delivery will be the birth of “a new heavens and a new earth wherein righteousness dwells”, which, if you read through 2 Peter2 and 3, can seen to be born through fire and out of fire.

As he proclaimed on the day of Pentecost of Jesus, "whom the heavens must receive until the period of the restoration of all things spoken of by the holy prophets since ancient times. Acts 3:17

These ancient prophets and seers, mystics in every sense of the word, foresaw the ultimate restoration of all things…

The Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain;
A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow,
And [e]refined, aged wine.
7 And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples,
Even the veil which is stretched over all nations.
8 He will swallow up death for all time,
And the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces,
And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth;
For the Lord has spoken.

John, perhaps a greater mystic than Paul records Jesus as saying, “If I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto me”(Jn 12) in the gospel, and again in the apocalypse, “Behold, I am making all things new, write down these words for they are faithfu and true.”(Rev 21)

A last point to consider, is that Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15, in a comprehensive teaching on the resurrection says this…

2For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28** When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.**

If hell is forever then death can never be abolished and death has not “lost its sting” and death has not been “swallowed up by immortality”- even as
Isaiah prophecied “I will sallow up death for all time”.

But Paul insists that death will lose its sting and be swallowed up and abolished, so how can the second death last forever?

32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? 35 Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? 36** For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.** To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

The mystic Jesus and His mystic apostles Peter, John and Paul all declare that ultimately all things will be reconciled, restored…

And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” Rev 5:13

“Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
For I am God, and there is no other.
23 “I have sworn by Myself,
The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness
And will not turn back,
That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.
24 “They will say of Me, ‘Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength.’ Isaiah 45


#3

Our beliefs should be grounded in scripture and metaphysics. Not unverifiable personal experiences.


#4

Thanks guys! One another board - someone reminded me as well - that often in the Bible visions are meant to “represent” something and always be taken literally - so a mystic (one who I might think is a genuine mystic) sees visions of flames, etc - it might represent separation from God (or a whole host of other things, as first responder pointed out)…


#5

Spiritual visions have many variations. I have studied this topic over the years, when I hung out with Native American medicine men and women. Not all visions are real. Some can be just our imagination working. So the key question is this?

How do you know, if a spiritual vision is real?
And secondly, how do you know what it means?

Well, in the Native World, you seek out a Medicine man or woman, to guide you and interpret the dream or vision.

Or suppose someone claims to be possessed by demons. And they go to the Roman Catholic church - for help. Well:

They would first have the person see a general practitioner, in order to eliminate any organic disease
They would also have the see a psychiatrist, to eliminate any abnormal psychosis

Then…and only then…would they look at actual demon possession.