Print Email this page

   Fire and brimstone? A place of everlasting torment and punishment? There are four words used for Hell in the Scriptures.
    1. Sheol, a grave or pit. Exclusively used in the Old Testament Tanach, an acronym for the Torah (the Law), the Nebi’im (the Prophets), and the Kethubim (the Writings).
    2. Hades, a Greek word and equivalent to the Hebrew, Sheol.
    3. Gehenna, literally, a reference to the valley of Hinnom – a refuse dump, near the gate of potsherds, where fire consumed garbage, the offal of sacrificial animals, and bodies of criminals. Symbolically, it represents the Lake of Fire.
    4. Tartaroo, the deepest abyss of Hades, used only in 2 Peter 2:4, a place reserved for the fallen angels held in chains of darkness and awaiting the Judgment.
  Hell is used 31 times as Sheol in the Tanach, 23 times in Brit Chadasha (New Testament) – twelve times as Gehenna, ten as Hades, and once as Tartaroo.

Hell, a Place of Everlasting Torment?
   The concept of hell as an everlasting place of punishment, of fire and brimstone, comes from folklore, Greek fables, and from “The Divine Comedy” written in the 14th century by the Italian playwright, Dante Aleghieri – an allegory of the history of politics – and, as the name suggests, contrary in meaning to the Old Testament Sheol and the New Testament Hades.
   The patriarchs of the Old Testament all died, and understood death as but a state of “sleep” … in the grave, awaiting resurrection. Yahweh told Moses that he should die, but clearly saying, “Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers …” (Deut. 31:16. King David, too, that when his time should come to die, he would sleep with his fathers (2 Sam. 7:12).
  Now, let’s look at Scripture for other examples:
  Why died I not from the womb? [why] did I [not] give up the spirit when I came out of the belly? … For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, with kings and counselors of the earth, which built desolate palaces for themselves; or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver: or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants [which] never saw light. There the wicked cease [from] troubling; and there the weary be at rest. [There] the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there; and the servant [is] free from his master. Wherefore is it given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter [in] soul, Job 3:11, 13-20. (The King James Version used throughout)
  My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart. … If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness. … And where is now my hope? … If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come, Job 17:11, 13 15, 14:14.
  The Psalmist David wrote, As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness, Psalm 17:15. These Scriptures speak of resurrection. (Read 1 Corinthians 15.)
  … and where [are] the dwelling places of the wicked? … and do ye not know their tokens, that the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? They shall be brought forth to the day of wrath. … Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb, Job 21:28-30, 32.
  He looketh upon men, and [if any] say, “I have sinned, and perverted [that which was] right, and it profited me not”: he will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Lo, all these [things] worketh Yahweh oftentimes with man, to bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living, Job 33:28-30.

Setting the Record Straight
   Don’t believe everything you hear or read as Truth. Prove all things. Be a Berean, test everything with the Scripture. Yahweh is not the author of confusion, or delusion, and neither can His Word be broken. Paul in 2 Timothy 2:15 instructs the student of Scripture to study to show himself a workman approved of Yahweh, that he might without shame rightly divide the Word of Truth.
   We must clear up some references to “hell” in the Brit Chadashah (the New Testament). First of all, the “hell” to which “fire and brimstone” preachers allude, is the Lake of Fire in Revelation 19:20. Yes, there it mentions “fire and brimstone” … a repository into which the beast and the false prophet are cast. But there is no mention there of eternal gnashing of teeth, pain, torment, or suffering.
  Yahshua in the Evangels, declares the Truth:
  “And I say unto you my friends, ‘Be not afraid of them that kill the body … but are not able to kill the soul … and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you Whom ye shall fear … rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna … yea, I say unto you, fear Him’” (Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:4-5).
  Scripture suggests that the wicked are “swallowed down” as if they never existed (Obad. 1:16).
  The Psalmist confirms this: For evildoers shall be cut off … For yet a little while, and the wicked [shall] not [be]: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it [shall] not [be], Psalm 37:9, 10.
  Malachi 4:1, 3 makes it clear:
   “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up,” saith Yahweh of hosts, “It shall leave them neither root nor branch. … for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do [this], saith Yahweh of hosts.”
  Our beloved brother Paul affirms that punishment for sin is death (Rom. 6:23), not everlasting torture in a “hell fire.” The Psalmist says furthermore, “Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more” (Psa. 104:35).
  Peter tells of fire, reserved against the day of judgment and perdition of the unrighteous when they, together with their works, shall pass away and be dissolved with fervent heat – along with “the heavens and the earth, which are now” passing away with a great noise, and its elements also – in that day of the Sovereign One, Who will come as a thief in the night (2 Pet. 3:7, 10-11).

Of Unquenchable Fire, Worms, Outer Darkness, and Gnashing of Teeth
   Let’s start with Mark’s Evangel, Chapter 9, Verses 43-47, which are a parallel to Isaiah’s prophecy in Chapter 66, Verses 22-24.
  First of all, Yahweh speaks of “new heavens and the new earth” (Isa. 66:22) that shall remain before Yahweh, following the passing of “the heavens and the earth, which are now.” Then, He says in Verse 23, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, all flesh shall come and to worship before him. In Verse 24, we read these Hebrew idioms, “for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched” which also appears three times successively, in Mark 9:43-48.
  These “phrases” aren’t speaking of eternal torment but rather, consumption that is both determined and decreed (Isa. 10:22-23). This same “unquenchable fire” was employed by Yahweh before, when at Sodom and Gomorrah and all the plain and all the inhabitants of the cites and what grew upon the ground (Gen. 19:24-25) were reduced to ashes and salt in the day that Yahweh rained down fire and brimstone upon them. There’s nothing here spoken about gnashing of teeth or eternal torment, only obliteration and absolute consumption.
  Deuteronomy 4:24 declares, For Yahweh thy Elohim [is] a consuming fire, even a jealous Elohim, and is corroborated in Hebrews 12:29. Little wonder the writer of Hebrews would also assert, [It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living Elohim, Hebrews 10:31.
  And I say unto you, “That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of Heaven. But the children of the Kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth,” Matthew 8:11-2.
  First of all, darkness is defined as the absence of light. Light can be measured on a scale of lumens or watts to unlimited brightness. The lower the lumen or wattage, the dimmer the light. Turn off altogether light, and there is total darkness … like the creepy sort of darkness when one is in the depth of a cave, and the lights are turned out – even such darkness that can be felt, as when Yahweh plagued Egypt with darkness (Exod. 10:21).
  Scientifically then, darkness isn’t something that exists, it’s the void of light that gives substance, form (read Genesis 1:1-4). Yahshua is Light, so to be “cast into outer darkness” is to become separated from Yahweh and Yahshua, the Elohim!
  In Psalm 35, David entreats Yahweh to fight against them that fight against him (v. 1). We get a hint here, that he is speaking prophetically of the Anointed One:
  But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not: with hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth, Psalm 35:15-16.
  Hypocrites, their preaching scarcely agrees with their practice. The phrase, “gnashing with their teeth” is related to “cutting asunder,” exegetically, and respectively, G.1031, meaning to grate the teeth (in pain or rage) and G.1371, meaning to cut; to bisect, i.e., by extension, to flog severely which is what hypocrites do with their tongues.
  An example: In the matter of the Deacon Stephen’s apologetic which he addressed to them who were in dissension against him (Acts 6:9) and who were as much put off by him because “they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake” (Acts 6:10), when he had finished his discourse, “they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth” (Acts 7:54) which as far more the sense of “grating the teeth in rage” than being in a place of perpetual torment!
Other examples of “gnashing with their teeth” (grating the teeth in rage) follow:
  All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they hiss(call out in scorn) and gnash the teeth: they say, “We have swallowed [her] up: certainly this [is] the day we have looked for; we have found, we have seen [it],” Lamentations 2:16.
  He teareth [me] in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me, Job 16:9.
  The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth, Psalm 37:12.
  [There is] a generation [that] curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. [There is] a generation [that are] pure in their own eyes, and [yet] is not washed from their filthiness. [There is] a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. [There is] a generation, whose teeth [are as] swords, and their jaw teeth [as] knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from [among] men, Proverbs 30:11-14. (emphasis, ours).

What of the Fixed Great Gulf?
   And so, what about the rich man and Lazarus? Ah, yes, the one “parable” taken literally by the ever-burning, hell fire and brimstone preachers! Many have used this parable to illustrate that one can end his mortality in a torturous hell.
First of all, a parable is but a proverbial or metaphorical allegory, using figurative language with which an audience might understand to convey a moral truth. For example: The dead speaking, vis-à-vis, Abel’s blood crying out from the ground (Gen. 4:10), or the trees speaking in choosing a king (Judg. 9:8). What is presented to us in Luke 16:19-31, is but one parable among many which the Master taught. Let’s consider this parable:
  There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell (hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” But Abraham said, “Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence,” Luke 16:19-26.
  Let’s examine some key elements here:
    1. Lazarus (G.2976, probably of Hebrew origin, from H.499 Elazar, meaning, “Eloha is helper.”)
    2. “Clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day” (v. 19) – the estate of rich men and particularly, of royalty and of whom Yahshua affirmed in another place, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the Kingdom of Yahweh” (Mark 10:23).
    3. We have already noted parenthetically, that “hell” here is hades, defined earlier in this treatise as, “grave.”
    4. Both die: The rich man “grieves” in his grave, while Lazarus has been carried away (resurrected) – the thesis of this parable – into the bosom of Abraham, and why? because Lazarus, like his father Abraham, was obedient, kept Yahweh’s charge, His Commandments, His Statutes, His Law (Gen. 26:5).     5. “Being in torments” – (G.3600, odunao, to grieve: sorrow, torment); “tormented by this flame” (G.5395, phlox, to flash, that is, a past life revealed in the bright light of Truth, and reason enough for grief and sorrow) – and will likely become that experience of very many … a flash, in a moment in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:52) when the books are opened, and the Book of Life (Rev. 20:12).     6. “A great gulf fixed” – (G.5490, chasma, to “gape” or, “yawn”; a “chasm” or, vacancy; impassable interval).     7. “They which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence” – a stark reminder, that now, in the life that is, is the accepted time to behold the day of salvation; to make one’s calling and election sure, so that there might be a life that shall be … reserved in Heaven, that is both incorruptible and undefiled.

   Then he said, “I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.” Abraham saith unto him, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.” And he said, “Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent,” Luke 16:27-31.
  These five verses are key to understanding the parable. First of all, One did rise from the dead – Yahshua ha Maschiach, the Blessed and Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Sovereign of masters, Who only has immortality (1 Tim. 6:14-16). But secondly, seeing that to Israel belong the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and giving of the Law, and the service of Eloha, and the promises (Rom. 9:4), it was first necessary that The Message be spoken to them because to them, the oracles were first committed (Rom. 3:2).
   We who are Israel cannot then, dispense with the Law and the Prophets, because These are the foundation upon which our faith is built.
  So, Hell: Fact or Fiction? Which Hell are you talking about? Fire and brimstone, a place of everlasting torture and punishment (Gehenna), or the grave (Sheol/Hades)? Now, in a time accepted, you’d better decide before you take that ride!

-Brother Ruben G. Aragon/Aparicio

© 2023 Yahweh's Assembly in Yahshua
2963 County Road 233, Kingdom City, Missouri 65262
View us online at:
Call Toll Free: (877) 642-4101
Main Line : (573) 642-4100