I very carefully researched the Bible on the subject and was amazed at what I found.

May God together teach us His truth on the subject.



Punishment Of The Unsaved

Article cF


Article Index

Chapter one; considers the words for ever, eternal, and everlasting as used in the KJV Bible.

Chapter two; considers the vital Greek word "aion(ios)", and the Hebrew word "olam".

Chapter three; considers Jesus' statement about, "where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched".

Chapter four; considers God's political punishments as in the law of Moses, and concisely considers God's future punishments.

Chapter five; considers whether never ending torment was understood and taught in Old Testament times.

Chapter six; considers the vital difference as between never ending torment, or limited duration and death. Chapter seven; considers New Testament Scriptures which very much could be understood to teach unending torment.

Chapter eight; considers God's goodness towards his creation, and considers His mercies and wrath.

Chapter nine; considers God's just judgments and just punishments.

Chapter ten; gives many Scriptures (from both the Old and New Testaments), which speak of a particular devouring and consumption of the unsaved and wicked as chaff, stubble, and thorns.

Chapter 11; considers the belief of universal salvation.

Chapter 12 V; gives conclusions and miscellaneous issues.



Introduction

The writer from young up had thought that when the Bible used the term for ever it very much meant an endless period of time (eternal and everlasting). I in my religious society (a conservative Mennonite Church) heard things said that insinuated that it is the worst of all errors to doubt the punishment of hell, which punishment often was advocated as being an endless fiery torment in non dying yet pain feeling bodies. I while in my teen years was quite heavy hearted, because of the dreadful issue of never ending hell, and because Jesus said that few would be saved. I largely felt to hope or pray that God would not eternally torment the unsaved but rather grant them death in due time, would be an act of wicked unbelief, and would be wickedly hoping and praying against the established word of God. When I spoke to a few ministers about the dreadfulness of hell and how few would be saved, they thought I was taking things a little too serious, although they agreed that things were serious. cF-0:1

I later was somewhat shocked to hear our Mennonite minister say that when the Bible uses the term for ever, such does not necessarily mean without end. The minister then went on to say that when the Bible uses the term for ever and ever, it then is speaking (or more likely speaking) of an endless period of time. I in hearing this was quite troubled as I thought this minister was placing doubt upon eternal issues in our Bibles and was creating uncertainty about a strongly established and vital doctrine of Christianity. After I spoke to this minister about this issue I then largely put aside this issue, although I yet did have questions about it. cF-0:2

Numerous years latter as I researched this subject, I then found many Scriptures that use the term for ever in speaking of a limited time period rather then a never ending time period. I then even found Scriptures that use the terms everlasting and for ever and ever in speaking of a limited time period. In the following chapter are given numerous such Scriptures; cF-0:3



Chapter One

Considers the Words For Ever, Eternal, and Everlasting as Used in The King James Version Bible.


Following are numerous verses that use the words for ever, everlasting, and eternal in speaking of a limited time period; cF-1:1

(Exo 21:6) "Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever." Note Deu 15:17 reads almost identical. cF-1:2

(1 Sam 1:22) "But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever." cF-1:3

(Jonah 2:6) "I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God." Note Jonah here was speaking of his experience in the whale's belly which likely seemed endless although it lasted only for 3 days and 3 nights. cF-1:4

(Jer 25:5) "They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever:" Note many Scriptures speak of the world (as we now know it) coming to an end (Psa 102:6, Isa 24:20, 1 Pet 3:10-13, Rev 20:11). cF-1:5

(Jer 7:7) "Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever." cF-1:6

(Psa 78:69) "And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever." cF-1:7

(Psa 104:5) "Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever." cF-1:8

(Eccl 1:4) "One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever." cF-1:9

(Phile 1:15) "For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;" Note this is a New Testament Scripture. cF-1:10

(Gen 49:26) "The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: ..." cF-1:11

(Hab 3:6) "He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting." Note although these mountains and hills are said to be everlasting and perpetual, yet it also speaks of them being scattered (Hebrew broken) and bowing (Hebrew sinking). cF-1:12

(Luke 16:9) "And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations." Note Jesus said this. cF-1:13

(Jude 1:7) "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Note this fire did not burn eternally. cF-1:14

Although one might see or imagine some eternal connections in the various above Scriptures, yet it is clear that these verses although generally speaking of a longer period of time are not necessarily speaking of an endless time period (eternity). cF-1:15

When I then started extensively researching this subject I was shocked at the very many verses that I found similar to those given above. A study of the term "for ever" (as used in our KJV Bible) readily shows that at least 50 Old Testament Scriptures which use this term, are not speaking of a never ending period. Note many Scriptures speaking about the sacrificial laws of Moses, speak of them being laws which were established for ever, while many other Scriptures which use the term for ever, could also be understood to be speaking of a limited time period. One should also remember that Jeremiah 7:7 and 25:5 which were give above, even appear to use the term for ever and ever in speaking of a limited time period. cF-1:16

Although I was shocked in comprehending the above I was in for the greatest surprise when I researched the Greek word from which our New Testament English words, for ever, everlasting, and eternal come. (Note the New Testament originally was written in Greek.) What I discovered totally shocked me and almost knocked me senseless for some time. This involves the vital Greek word "aion" (Strong's number 165), which often is translated as for ever in our KJV New Testaments. The next chapter will extensively consider the vital Greek word "aion" and the adjective form of "aion" which is "aionios" (Strong's number 166). cF-1:17


Chapter Conclusion

The words for ever, everlasting, and eternal as in the KJV Bible do not necessarily need to mean endless. cF-1:18




Chapter Two

Considers the Vital Greek Word Aion(ios)

Considers the Hebrew Word "Olam"


Note in comparing the original Bible text with our present day Bibles one should be aware that the Old Testament originally was written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. In this chapter the writer particularly compares the original Bible text with the King James Version English Bible. Thus when comments are made about the relation between the original language and the English translation they especially pertain to the KJV translation. Yet many issues relevant to the KJV Bible, also are very relevant to other English translations of the Bible. Note this chapter gives many details about the Greek word "aion(ios)" and is more difficult and monotonous to read than most chapters. Yet it is a very important chapter. cF-2:1

With regards to the vital Greek word "aion" (which often underlies the term "for ever"), this Greek word underlies various English words, and words which by no means must mean without end. In our New Testaments the Greek word "aion" is translated into the term "for ever" 49 times, translated into the word "world" 38 times, into the word "age" 2 times, and into various other words. Although this Greek word in our Bibles often appears to pertain to endlessness, yet this word also often times pertains to a limited period of time. The Greek word "aion" basically can pertain to any amount of time. Following are several verses which use this word in differing manners; Note the English word issuing forth from "aion" is given in bold. cF-2:1.5

(John 8:35) "And the servant abideth not in the house for ever [aion]: but the Son abideth ever [aion]." cF-2:2

(Rom 16:27) "To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever [aion]. Amen." cF-2:3

Note how in the above 2 verses "aion" seems to pertain to endlessness. cF-2:4


Following are three verses which also use this Greek word, but in these verses this Greek word is translated into the word "world" and does not denote endlessness; cF-2:5

(1 Cor 8:13) "Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world [aion] standeth, lest I make my brother to offend." cF-2:6

(Mat 12:32) "... whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world [aion], neither in the world [aion] to come." cF-2:7

(Mat 13:49) "So shall it be at the end of the world [aion]: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just," Note if in this verse "aion" was translated as for ever (as it is many verses), this verse would read "end of the for ever"!! Also note five other verses use the word "aion" as this (Matt 13:39&40, Matt 24:3, Matt 28:20, Heb 9:26) . cF-2:8

The word Greek "aion", is translated into the word "world" 38 times, and often with the meaning of age or time, such as in the verses which speak of the present "aion", or future "aion", or end of the "aion". The Greek word "aion" more than 30 times pertains to a limited time period. Considering the above verses and issues, it is clear that the Greek word aion (and the English words issuing from it) need not necessarily be speaking of endlessness. cF-2:9


The Greek word "aionios" (Strong's number 166) is very similar to the above Greek word and is an adjective form of it. The adjective "aionios" also underlies various English words in KJV Bibles. In our Bibles the Greek word "aionios" is translated into the word eternal 42 times, translated into the word everlasting 25 times, into the word world 3 times, and into the word ever (as in for ever) 1 time. Concerning this Greek adjective it so often is used in connection with an eternal length of time that it in itself might largely be thought to mean eternal. Note this Greek adjective is used 46 times in speaking of eternal and everlasting life. Yet this word also at times is speaking of a limited period of time. Following are three verses which use this adjective which quite clearly are speaking of a limited period of time rather than and endless period; Note the words based on "aionios" are in bold. cF-2:10

(Luke 16:9) "And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations." cF-2:11

(Phile 1:15) "For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;" Note Onesimus obviously would not have returned to Philemon eternally. cF-2:12

(Jude 1:7) "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Note this fire did not burn eternally. cF-2:13


Since the New Testament very often uses the adjective "aionios" in connection with something of eternal duration, one might think that aionios in itself means eternity. Yet one must consider that just because an adjective is repeatedly used in a situation where it holds a particular value does not mean it cannot hold another value. If the Bible used the adjective long 50 times in speaking of the long distance to the sun and rarely used it other wise, one might start to think the Bible in using the adjective long is speaking about the long distance to the sun. Yet the adjective long also can very much pertain to the long leg on a tiny long legged spider. Although the Greek adjective "aionios" is often used in the New Testament in speaking of eternal and everlasting life it also is used to describe the mere length of time that Onesimus could be servant of Philemon (Phile 1:15)! cF-2:14

Note chapter 12 would be a good chapter to preview at this time, if one is bored and so desires. Chapter 12 contains the highlights of the whole article. These earlier chapters largely are extensive researches and supports for what is finally said in chapter 12. cF-2:14.5


In reading the below one should remember that the Old Testament originally was written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek, and be aware that Greek was the most common language in Christ and the Apostles time. cF-2:15

With regards to the adjective "aionios" the Greek Septuagint provides further very valuable information. The Greek Septuagint is a ancient Greek version of the Old Testament. The Greek Septuagint often uses the adjective "aionios" in speaking of a limited period of time, just like it uses the base word "aion". This Greek version of the Old Testament was translated from the Hebrew Scriptures in about 200 BC and quite certainly is the version of the Scriptures that was used by the Jews in Christ's time, and thus Christ and the Apostles would have been accustomed to seeing this Greek word used with regards to a limited time period or any time period. It appears the Old Scriptural quotes of Jesus and the apostles (as recorded in the New Testament) come directly from the Greek Septuagint. cF-2:16

In the New Testament when Christ and the Apostles give reference to and quote Old Testament Scriptures, it sometimes is surprising how unlike they are, when looking back at the Scriptures referred to in our Old Testament. Yet with regards to the Greek Septuagint, the wording therein is known to more closely align with exact wording that Jesus and the apostles give in our New Testaments. cF-2:17

Regarding Old Testament Scriptures, the Hebrew word which most often underlies the words "for ever" and "everlasting" is "olam" (Strongs number 5769). In our Old Testament, the Hebrew word "olam" is repeatedly translated as "for ever", "everlasting", "perpetual", and "evermore". Although this Hebrew word often is translated as everlasting and for ever in our Bibles, yet the Old Testament usage of this Hebrew word very repeatedly reveals it can be speaking of a limited period of time. It is very note worthy that this Hebrew word in being translated from the Hebrew into the Greek Septuagint, was translated into the Greek word "aion". Such strongly connects the old Hebrew word "olam" to the New Testament Greek word "aion" and very much reveals that although these words often are translated as for ever in our Bibles they do not need to strictly mean an endless period of time. cF-2:18

Concerning the Greek word "aion" a very very extensive research was done by Rev John Hanson on it. He follows the Greek word "aion back before the Greek Septuagint was created, and clearly reveals that in ancient history this word and it's adjective form "aionios" denoted a period of time, or an age, although not necessarily a time period without end. This definition very nicely also fits how this word is used in the Greek text of the New Testament. cF-2:19

It also is worthy to notice that the Old Testament Hebrew word "olam" which hundreds of times is translated as for ever, several times is translated into the word "world", like the Greek word "aion also is. This also reveals a similarity between the words "olam" and "aion" and shows they can mean an age or era and do not need to mean endlessness. Following are three such Scriptures; cF-2:19.1

(Psa 73:12) "Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world [olam, for ever]; they increase in riches." cF-2:19.2

(Eccl 3:11) "He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world [olam, for ever] in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end." cF-2:19.3

(Isa 64:4) "For since the beginning of the world [olam, for ever] men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him." cF-2:19.4

According to the usage of the words eternal, everlasting and for ever in our KJV Bible, and secondly according to the Hebrew and Greek words that underlie them, it would appear the KJV translators did not consider these words to fully mean without end. If the words for ever, eternity, or everlasting, can be thought of as being another particular age, era, or period of our universe, rather than absolutely denoting something without end, than the KJV translation is more correct in it's wording. But if for ever, eternity, and everlasting absolutely must mean endlessness, than the translators of the KJV took upon themselves to give a meaning of "olam" and "aion" that the original Hebrew and Greek does not necessarily denote. Considering how the Bible often and clearly uses the Hebrew and Greek words "olam" and "aion" in speaking of a limited period of time, who can really prove that these words when speaking of the punishment of the unsaved, must then suddenly and certainly be speaking of a never ending period of time? cF-2:20

Although our KJV Bible by using the words everlasting and for ever could easily be understood to portray a duration of punishment that the underlying Hebrew and Greek words do not necessarily denote, yet even in our KJV Bible, numerous indications or clues stick out for the observing eye to see, that raises questions about the usage and meaning of the words for ever, eternal, and everlasting in our Bibles (See Scriptures in above paragraphs cF 1:2-14). cF-2:22

The complications of the Hebrew and Greek words "olam" and "aion" and how they are translated in our KJV Bible, appear to be similar to the complications of the Hebrew word soul ("nephesh", Strong's number 5315) and how it is translated in our KJV Bible. This issue of the Hebrew word soul and it's usage in the KJV is extensively considered in chapter one of article aT. cF-2:23


In considering the subject of punishment for ever in hell one should consider that the Bible speaks of Jonah's difficult experience in whale's belly as being both in hell and forever (Jonah 2:2&6). Although such clearly does not prove that punishment for ever in hell will be as mild as Jonah's experience in the whales belly, yet such does reveal man needs to be careful in their interpretation of what hell and for ever is. cF-2:24


Another very vital issue to consider is that even if the word eternal absolutely would mean endless, the particular term "eternal death" still would not necessarily need to mean endless torment, (although possibly many Christians always think of the term eternal death as meaning eternal torment). Note, the particular term "eternal and endless death", rather than denoting endless torment, very much could be speaking of a final and permanent death (eternally dead, unconscious) without having any hope of ever being granted mercy, forgiveness, resurrection, and life. cF-2:28

Although the word dead or death very much can mean being void of all life and consciousness, yet it is admitted that the word dead can also denote an evil quality of life, while one very much is yet conscious and alive. Apostle Paul used the word "dead" in this manner saying, "But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth." (1 Tim 5:6). cF-2:29

Some Christians interpret eternal death, as being eternally dead and unconscious, while other Christians interpret eternal death as being eternally removed from a good quality of life and rather suffering endless torment. It should be considered that a punishment involving a dreadful tormenting death, together with being eternally deprived of any hope of forgiveness, resurrection, life, and blessing, could quite properly be called eternal death and punishment even without never ending torment. Eternal punishment can be considered quite different than eternal punishing. cF-2:30


Chapter Two Conclusions

The Greek word "aion", although often translated as for ever, eternal, and everlasting in KJV New Testaments, very much can be speaking of a limited period of time rather than endlessness. cF-2:31

The Hebrew "olam" which often is translated as for ever in KJV Old Testaments, is largely one with the Greek word "aion" and neither must mean endlessness. cF-2:32

The terms "eternal death" or "eternal punishment", do not necessarily need to mean endless torment, but could also denote endless death (unconsciousness) without any hope of forgiveness, resurrection, life, and blessing. cF-2:33




Chapter Three

Worms and Fire

Numerous Scriptures speak of worms consuming the dead (Job 19:26, 21:26, 24:20, Isa 14:11, 51:8, 66:24). Worms can even begin devouring and plaguing one before he dies. After King Herod exalted himself and was smitten of God, it appears he was plagued by worms until he died (Acts 12:20-23). Cruel Honoricus King of the Vandels was plagued by God and was partially eaten by worms before he died (Martyrs Mirror Page 200). cF-3:1

Both worms and fire, are a devouring and consuming power. Worms can devour and consume a dead body amazingly fast. Dead corpses can be completely filled and overflowing with these worms and soon be devoured by them. A fire obviously can devour and consume things even more quickly than worms. Worms and fire can very much be used to represent an utter consumption and destruction. Prophet Isaiah spoke of the dead carcasses of the wicked in connection with worms that couldn't be killed and fire that couldn't be quenched (Isa 66:24). Jesus speaking of the punishment of the wicked, also spoke of never dying worms and an unquenchable fire, and possibly was thinking of Isaiah's similar statement (Mark 9:44-48). cF-3:2

Although Jesus' special warning of a punishment where the "worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched" very much could be understood to be speaking of a never ending fiery punishment, yet it does not necessarily need to mean such. Such a statement about unquenchable worms and fire could also be emphasizing an all consuming punishment which is unwavering and certain and where consuming forces cannot be quenched but rather will unceasingly continue until they have fully done their God sent work. cF-3:3

Quotes about something undying and unquenchable can have various emphasis or meanings. If one would say of a of a very fervent Christian, "his zeal dieth not and his fervency is not quenched", the emphasis of his statement obviously would not be never ending eternity. Rather his emphasis would be the unwavering and certain fervency of this Christian. So also the statement "where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched need not necessarily be emphasizing never ending eternity but can be emphasizing an unwavering and certain total destruction. cF-3:4

Just because these worms and fire are declared to be unquenchable does not mean they will go on endlessly. Numerous Scriptures speak of God sent fires that cannot be quenched, obviously without meaning an unending and eternal fire. Following are such Scriptures cF-3:5

(Jer 17:27) "But if ye will not hearken unto me ...then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched." cF-3:6

(Jer 7:20) "....Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, ...and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched." cF-3:7

(Ezek 20:47-48) "And say to the forest of the south, ...Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, ...the flaming flame shall not be quenched, ...I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched." cF-3:8

God speaking of Jerusalem said "my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched." (2 Kings 22:17, 2 Chr 34:25). God in His unquenchable wrath, in the days of Nebuchadnezzar did destroy Jerusalem with unquenchable fire (a fire no man could stop), but after 70 years He in His mercy again set His heart on Jerusalem and gathered His people back to Jerusalem. cF-3:9


Chapter Three Conclusion

Just because something is declared to be undying and unquenchable does not necessarily mean the thing must go on endlessly. cF-3:10




Chapter Four

Considers the Various Punishments the Law of Moses Commanded to be Applied Upon Transgressors in Old Times.

Concisely considers God's Future Punishments as Will be Applied After the Resurrection of Damnation and Within the Second Death.


God in old times gave Moses many laws on how to punish transgressors. It must be admitted that God's laws and judgments as given by Moses were very firm and severe. Many laws and various laws demanded death of the transgressors. God's people at times totally destroyed every living thing within particular wicked nations. Jeremiah 48:10 reads "cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood." cF-4:1

Although God's severe laws often demanded death of the transgressor, yet it does not appear that any punishments included lengthy torments, and rather appears punishments were to give a quick death rather than any prolonged agony. Although sometimes the law advocated burning the transgressor with fire (Lev 20:14, 21:9, Josh 7:15), they possibly put the transgressor to death before burning him, as in the case of Achan who disobeyed and took of the accursed thing in the taking of Jericho (Josh 7:15&25). cF-4:2

The purpose of these severe punishments yet was not only to pain the transgressor but was to warn others and cause them to hear and fear and prevent them from transgressing as such. Deuteronomy 19:20 speaking of this reads, "And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you." Note Deuteronomy 13:11, 17:13, 21:21 read much the same. cF-4:3

Although God's punishments did demand death for very grave transgressions, yet many transgressions and punishments did not demand death but rather a equal recompense, as in the many Scriptures that speak of an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth. The just and balanced aspect of God's punishments as within the law of Moses is considered in chapter nine below. In considering the subject of never ending torment one dare not overlook how God's punishments (as in the Law of Moses) were practical and just, rather than heinous and outrageous, and must realize that all of God's future judgments and punishments will also be just and right. cF-4:4


Concerning the future and after death punishment which God has ordained for the ungodly, many Scriptures speak of a very severe punishment. Prophet Daniel and Jesus both not only speak of a resurrection of life, but both speak of a resurrection of damnation as well (Dan 12:2, John 5:29). It appears the unsaved will resurrect to a severe punishment and a particular second death. Four Scriptures in Revelations speak of a second death, which appears to be a punishing death that follows the resurrection of damnation (Rev 2:11, 20:6, 20:14, 21:8). The object of this article is to understand the punishment involved in this second death. cF-4:5

The devils in speaking to Jesus were aware of a further punishment to come and thus they speaking to Jesus said "art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" (Matt 8:29). Jesus speaking of this future punishment many times spoke of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Mat 8:12, 13:42, 13:50, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30, Luke 13:28). Apostle Paul appears to be speaking of this further punishment when he says, "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: {29} Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" (Heb 10:28-29). Paul further said "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences." (2 Cor 5:11). Note the numerous Scriptures which use the words everlasting, for ever, and eternal (which words are based on the Greek word "aion") in speaking of the punishment of the unsaved are considered in chapter 7 below. cF-4:6

The above Scriptures clearly do portray a dreadful punishment for the unsaved, and which appears to be more than just a sudden death and rather something that includes torment. Yet it still very much must be admitted that all the above punishment could be experienced without never ending torment. Never ending torment in fire and brimstone is a appalling and hideous punishment of a magnitude which scarcely can be weighed or measured in any reasonable way, as after a million or even a billion years of intense torture, one would not even have begun to lesson his sentence. cF-4:7


Chapter Conclusions

God's punishments as in the law of Moses although being severe, yet were just, and appropriate for the situation, rather than heinous and outrageous. cF-4:8

The punishment of the unsaved and wicked can be severe and very dreadful without endless torment. cF-4:9




Chapter Five

Considers Whether Never Ending Torment in Hell Fire Was Understood and Taught in Old Testament Times.

One should here be aware that the word "hell" as used in the Old Testament by no means, necessarily means a place of endless torment. It can mean a mere pit, grave or any similar thing. The Hebrew word underlying the English word hell is "shehole" (Strongs number 7585). The Hebrew word "shehole" in the KJV Bible is translated into the word hell 31 times, into the word grave 31 times, and into the word pit 3 times. cF-5:2

Prophet Jonah praying in the whales belly even calls the whale's belly "hell" saying, "...out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice." Jonah 2:1-2). Following are given three more verses which use the word "hell" in a quite revealing manner; cF-5:3

(Psa 16: 10) "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption". cF-5:4

(Psa 139:8) "If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there."

(Ezek 31:16) "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." cF-5:5


In considering whether never ending hell fire punishment was understood and taught in the old era the following issues cannot be overlooked and must be considered; cF-5:6

When God first told Adam of the punishment for sin, He said it was death and said nothing about horridly living for eternity in fiery torment in non dying yet pain feeling (sensitive) bodies (Gen 2:17). cF-5:7

After Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, God telling them of their punishment, spoke of many hardships they would face in life, and said they would in due time die, and gave no warning or indication whatsoever that He might punish them in an never ending fiery torment if they further disobey Him (Gen 3:16-19). cF-5:8

When Cain killed his brother Able, God telling him of his punishment promised him a very hard life and said he would a fugitive and vagabond of earth, and when Cain complained of the punishment God in mercy somewhat eased the punishment. Yet God did not give Cain any warning whatsoever of being endlessly tormented in fire if he doesn't do the right (Gen 4:9-15). One should note the kindness God here even manifested towards Cain who slew his brother. cF-5:9

In the time of Noah, God because of the wickedness of the time, said He would destroy the wicked with the earth and said nothing of afterwards endlessly tormenting them in a relentless fire (Gen 6:12-13). cF-5:10

After Noah came out of the ark God telling Noah of the punishment for murder, said the murderer should be put to death, but said nothing about the murderer being endlessly tormented in a relentless fire (Gen 9:5-6). cF-5:11

Neither Abraham, Issac, or Jacob the three most famous patriarchs speak anything whatsoever of God placing the wicked in an endless tormenting fire after death. cF-5:12

God through His special servant Moses promised many blessing to His people if they were faithful, and promised many curses and punishments if they were not faithful. Moses in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 foretells of very many terrible and dreadful punishments upon sin. Yet famous Moses never once in all His writings said anything about God endlessly tormenting the unrighteous in a flaming fire. Moses did speak of God in wrath setting fire to the foundations of the mountains, and consuming the earth (Deu 32:22), yet he says nothing about God endlessly tormenting the unrighteous. cF-5:13

None of the Judges of Israel speak of God endlessly tormenting the unrighteous in flaming fire. cF-5:14

None of the Kings of Israel speak of God endlessly tormenting the unrighteous in flaming fire. cF-5:15

It is note worthy that the Bible with it's many dreadful threats of punishment upon sin, from creation and even past the times of King David and Solomon (3000 years after creation), does not even allude to a punishment of the magnitude where God will actually torment the erring and unfaithful in an endless fire in a non dying yet pain feeling body. cF-5:16

Out of the very many Bible characters and prophets of old times, Isaiah and Daniel are the only ones that speak of something that could particularly be understood to allude to a never ending fiery punishment. Yet even with regards to these particular writings of Isaiah and Daniel, one must consider that the words everlasting and for ever in them by no means need to mean without end. Thus even Daniel and Isaiah's Scriptures are very vague about never ending punishment and by no means must be understood to teach such. Following are such writings of Isaiah and Daniel; cF-5:17

(Isa 33:14) "The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting [olam] burnings?" cF-5:18

(Isa 34:8-10) "For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. {9} And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. {10} It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: [olam] from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever." Note the connected text speaks of blood and carcasses and being slaughtered and slain, Isa 34:2-10. cF-5:19

(Isa 66:24) "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." Note how this verse speaks of the carcasses of the wicked together with undying worms and unquenchable fire. Note Jesus might have been referring to this Scripture when He also spoke about undying worms and a fire that is not quenched. cF-5:20

(Dan 12:2) "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting [olam] contempt." cF-5:21

Note the above four Scriptures are the only Old Testament Scriptures which particularly could be understood to mean never ending torment. One should consider that out of the very many Old Testament Bible writers only these two prophets speak of something particularly suggestive of never ending torment, and then by somewhat vague writings (considering the surrounding text), and which use a word which by no means must mean without end. In old times the Jews obviously interpreted these four Scriptures in the way that harmonized with all Old Testament Scriptures. Note in the original language these Scriptures would have been less suggestive of eternal punishment, as the KJV uses a word which pertains more to endlessness than does the original Hebrew word. cF-5:22


Following are more Old Testament Scriptures concerning the punishment of the ungodly, and which are quite typical of old time teachings regarding the punishment of the ungodly; Note, comments about the verses often are given in italics. cF-5:23

(Psa 21:9) "Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them." Note how this Scripture speaks of a special time of God's anger and of the wicked being devoured, and says nothing about the wicked being endlessly tormented. cF-5:24

(Psa 37:10-11&12-13&20) "For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. {11} But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. {12} The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.{13} "The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. {20} But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away." Note how this Scripture speaks of a particular day that's coming and speaks of the wicked no longer existing and also speaks of the wicked being consumed into smoke. Also note how this Scripture says nothing about the wicked being endlessly tormented. cF-5:25

(Isa 1:28&31) "And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed. {31} And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them." Note how this verse speaks of the wicked all being destroyed and burned together, and speaks of them being consumed like tow (a flax refuse). cF-5:26

(Isa 5:23-24) "Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! {24} Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel." Devoured like stubble, and consumed like chaff. cF-5:27

(Isa 10:17-18) "And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; {18} And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth." Note how this verse also speaks of a particular one day, and again speaks of the wicked being devoured and consumed both soul and body. cF-5:28

(Isa 29:5-6) "Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly. {6} Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire." Chaff that passeth away and devouring fire. Nothing said about never ending torment. One should consider that the above and remaining Scriptures are quite typical old era teachings concerning the punishment of the wicked. cF-5:29

(Isa 33:11-12&14) "Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you. {12} And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire. {14} ...Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting [olam] burnings?" Note the world everlasting (olam) as herein can mean basically any amount of time, such as a particular time or era of burnings. Note this verse was given closely above as a Scripture that could particularly allude to never ending torment. cF-5:30

(Ezek 28:17-19) "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty... {18} Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities ...therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. {19} All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more." Ashes and never be any more. Note this Scripture appears to significantly be speaking of Satan himself. cF-5:31

(Hosea 13:2-3) "And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves. {3} Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney." Ungodly passing away like dew, chaff, and smoke. cF-5:32

(Mal 4:1-3) "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 the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. {2} But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. {3} And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts." Note how this Scripture speaks of a particular coming day, and speaks of the wicked being burned up and becoming ashes. One should notice how this verse and the general message of the above verses seems to be speaking of a particular future time of punishment rather than merely a punishment in this present life. Note, numerous New Testament Scriptures are quite similar to the above Scriptures and will be given in chapter 10. cF-5:33


One should carefully consider how the above Old Testament Scriptures speak of the wicked in being punished, being like to chaff, thorns, and briars in a fire and being consumed and devoured to smoke and ashes, and being no more. One should also notice how these Scriptures do not portray or speak of never ending torment in scorching fire. The Jews in Old Testament times as well as while Christ was on earth, in their thinking about the punishment of the wicked, would have been familiar with the emphasis as in the above Scriptures. cF-5:34


Following is a Scripture which speaks both of resurrection and punishment, and which appears to be speaking of the dreadful time of punishment being limited and passing away; cF-5:35

(Isa 26:19-21) "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. {20} Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. {21} For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain." Note how this Scripture speaking of the after death punishment of the unsaved reads, "until the indignation be overpast". cF-5:36


Regarding old era punishment Scriptures, another significant issue to consider, is that very many old era punishment Scriptures, advocate mere earth life punishments, rather than punishment after death. Following are such Scriptures; cF-5:37

(Isa 1:20) "But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." cF-5:38

(Lev 26:14&16-17) "But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; {16} I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. {17} And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you." Note the next 20 verses continue right on speaking of more difficulties as these, as a punishment for sin. cF-5:39

(Deu 28:15-17) "But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: {16} Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. {17} Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store." Note the next 50 verses continue right on speaking of more difficulties as these, as a punishment for sin. cF-5:40

V It was the old era prophets special responsibility to warn the wicked of punishments upon evil and spare them from the punishment (Ezek 3:17-19, 33:7-9). If during Old Testament times a punishment of the magnitude of being tormented in an endless fire with a deathless but pain feeling body, was understood and believed in, it appears such a punishment should have been clearly spoken of, and more than other lessor punishments. Yet old era Scriptures rather than indicating never ending punishment quite often speak of a burning up and final consuming of the wicked, and many Old Testament punishment Scriptures focus on mere earth life punishments, while never ending torment is only weakly alluded to (as only two prophets wrote some things that could particularly allude to never ending torment, but which yet clearly do not need to). One should here remember how Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham, David, the Judges and Kings, and most of the prophets do not in any way even allude to a endless fiery punishment. cF-5:42


Chapter Conclusion

Old Testament Scriptures in no way particularly advocate or reveal, never ending torment, while rather numerous Old Testament Scriptures speak of the erring and wicked being consumed and devoured, and them being like smoke and ashes and being no more. cF-5:43




Chapter Six

Hell Fire, Never Ending, or Limited Duration and Death, The Vital Difference it Makes.


With regards to the unsaved the issue of unending or limited hell fire is of utmost importance, because their personal punishment will be infinitely greater if hell fire is unending rather than limited. Although this subject especially affects the unsaved, yet it also very much affects everyone. cF-6:1

Jesus said He came that we might have life and that we might have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Yet Jesus speaking of the way to life, spoke of it being straight (difficult) and narrow and said few would find it (Matt 7:14). Many careless and ignorant people, although not really wicked, will miss the narrow way of life and rather will travel the broad road which Jesus said leads to destruction (Matt 7:13). If that destruction then must be endless torture in a relentless fire with deathless yet pain feeling bodies, while most will enter that dreadful place, such is appalling and too dreadful to even imagine. If such is really how it is and will be, why should we ever want to bring children into this evil world and universe, as they might end up in a never ending fiery torment? These clearly are grievous thoughts, but ones that cannot be disregarded. Some Christian parents because of having a child die in an unsaved condition, and because of believing God will now endlessly torment their child in unending agonizing fire, have almost lost or lost their minds in their pity and distress. One must admit there is a great difference involved in whether our just and merciful God will apply a particular and just punishing death to the many who miss the narrow way, or whether He will endlessly torment them all in scorching fire and excruciating pain. One should here consider that Jesus particularly spoke of the more ignorant transgressor being beaten with few stripes. (Luke 12:48). cF-6:2

Our God is all powerful, all things are possible with God, and He is subject to no laws accept those that He Himself chooses to create. Our God is in control. Yet what kind of a God is He? Every man's concept about God and life itself is significantly affected by how they are taught and believe God will punish the many unsaved. If one believes that God will unendingly torment the larger portion of the whole human race in relentless fire as a real and certain fact (rather than as merely a traditional religious teaching), it cannot but greatly affect his outlook on the whole universe in which he dwells. It could be quite difficult for one who really believes as such to heartily join King David as he praises God for His goodness and wonderful works to the children of men (Psa 107:8&15&21&31)! cF-6:3

One should consider the great difference between applying a tormenting punishment for a time (aion) and until all sin and sinners are totally consumed and extinct from God's wonderful and new universe, as compared to the unsaved always existing and without end suffering excruciating pain and thus always having in God's universe an utterly grievous part, unspeakably dreadful for those experiencing it and disheartening to those aware of it. The one punishment manner provides for a good and new universe with sin punished and in the past, while the other punishment manner provides an eternal sin pained and stained universe. cF-6:4

It should be considered that many Christians according to their traditional religious doctrine not only believe that God will most dreadfully and endlessly punish people in hell, but believe God will do so to many human beings without even giving them a chance to be saved from it. Christians who believe as such are those Christians who believe in predestination, as well as those Christians who believe one must hear the gospel preached to be saved and also believe that not all have the opportunity to hear the gospel preached. Many Christians believe God loves us poor humans so much and that we humans are so important to Him, that He gave His only Son to die in our place and save us, while they yet at the same time believe this same loving God will torment other like human beings in a never ending fire without giving them a possibility to be saved? The Bible often encourages Christians to be sober (realistic). Can sober and realistic Christians, truly admire such a God? Could a God who is just and merciful, be that unjust and cruel? Being "just" very nicely fits with being balanced. An even balance (scales) indicates justice (Job 31:6). It likely greatly grieves God when Christians think Him to be so unjust and cruel, even though they in another ways think Him to be so loving and merciful. How mixed up religion has become! cF-6:5

The issue of eternal hell in some respects is much more vital and bestirring issue than of eternal heaven, because if no eternal heaven would exist, we after death would simply would cease to exist and largely be as if we were never born, similar to entering an eternal sleep. Such although sad, would not be so serious since we in our unconsciousness wouldn't even be aware of what were missing. Yet if there actually is such a dreadful punishment as never ending torment in a scorching fire in deathless and yet pain feeling bodies, such is such a stirring issue that it should make all shutter and weep. It would be exceedingly better to never have been born or to rather be an animal in our earth life existence and go into state of no existence after death, than to be a unsaved human in a never ending and tormenting fire. In this respect eternal hell is a much greater issue than eternal heaven and something that God's old era prophets (whose job was to warn the wicked about God's punishments) should not have been silent about if they understood it and believed in it. cF-6:6

Christians basically all know that Jesus, the Son of our great God is merciful. Apostle Paul speaks of Jesus being at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us (Rom 8:34)! Jesus even prayed His Father to forgive those who were crucifying Him (Luke 23:34)! Jesus is wondrously merciful. Yet God His Father is also merciful. Jonah speaking of this said, "...for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil." (Jonah 4:2). Forty two Scriptures particularly speak of the mercy of God abiding for ever. Jesus in His mercy, is not opposite of His Father! cF-6:7

Jesus in Luke 12:48 said, "But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes...". Can endless torment in a relentless fire actually be spoken of as few stripes? Jesus in Matthew 23:14 also indicates differing degrees of damnation saying, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation." (Note Mark 12:40, Luke 20:47 also speak of this greater damnation). It is difficult for the sober person to classify a never ending torment in fire and brimstone as being beaten with few stripes and a lessor damnation. cF-6:8

Concerning the more ignorant transgressors whom Jesus prayed His Father to forgive (Luke 23:34), and said will be beaten with few stripes (Luke 12:48), should we conclude that even they shall be tormented endlessly in a scorching fire and brimstone simply because of a word that might mean never ending but does not need to? The answers to these questions becomes clearer as the latter chapters are considered. cF-6:9

God wants us to serve Him and be witnesses for Him because we in truth admire and love Him (and want others to know Him as such too), rather than only because we afraid of Him placing us and others in a never ending fire and torturing us endlessly if we don't please Him. One should consider how King David so often spoke of greatly loving God's judgments, laws, and ways (Psa 19:9-10, Psa 119:4 & 16 & 20 & 24 & 35 & 47 & 54 & 77 & 97 & 113 &119 & 127 & 129 & & 143 & 159 & 161-164 & 174)! God wants us to serve Him and to be witness for Him because we know our Creator as a good God with good laws, and know He rewards those who keep His laws, both in this life and in the world to come (Mark 10:30, 1 Tim 4:8)! cF-6:10


Chapter Conclusion

One's belief concerning never ending excruciating torment being applied to the many unsaved, (and even the more ignorant transgressor), makes a vivid difference in how the sober and realistic Christian views God, and the whole universe in which he dwells. cF-6:11





Chapter Seven

Gives New Testament Scriptures From the KJV Bible Which Obviously Could be Understood to Teach Unending Fiery Torment of the Unsaved. cF-7:1


Following are numerous Scriptures from the New Testament which according to the three words, "everlasting", "eternal", and "for ever", very much could be understood to teach a never ending fiery punishment of the unsaved; Yet in considering the following verses one must remember that the Greek word "aion(ios)" which underlies these three words by no means must mean endlessness, secondly remember that the Greek Septuagint (ancient Greek version of Old Testament) often uses the Greek word aion(ios) without meaning endlessness, thirdly remember even our Bibles often use the word for ever and sometimes uses the word everlasting without denoting endlessness (see Scriptures in above paragraphs cF 1:2-14). cF-7:2

(Mat 18:8) "Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire." cF-7:3

(Mat 25:41) "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:" cF-7:4

(Mat 25:46) "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." cF-7:5

(Mark 3:29) "But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:" cF-7:6

(2 Th 1:8-9) "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: {9} Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;" cF-7:7

(Heb 6:2) "Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment." cF-7:8

(2 Pet 2:17) "These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever." cF-7:9

(Jude 1:13) "Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." cF-7:10

Considering how our KJV Bible in other Scriptures uses the words for ever, eternal, and everlasting, without speaking of an endless period of time, and considering the Greek word "aion(ios)"that underlies these particular words, who can prove that these words in the above Scriptures must denote endlessness? cF-7:11


Following are three Scriptures which use the term for ever and ever in speaking of a fiery punishment of the unsaved; cF-7:12

(Rev 14:10-11) "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: {11} And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." cF-7:13

(Rev 19:3) "And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever." cF-7:14

(Rev 20:10) "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." cF-7:15

Concerning the term for ever and ever as in the above three Scriptures one dare not overlook the fact that two Scriptures in Jeremiah also use the term for ever and ever in speaking of the time of the Jews possessing the land of Canaan (Jer 7:7, 25:5). The literal translations that were consulted on these Scriptures in Revelations instead of reading "for ever and ever" read "to ages of ages" and "the ages of the ages". cF-7:16

It appears the term for ever and ever as in the above three Scriptures, in itself could be understood to either mean endless, or secondly could mean a very long or unknown age, or thirdly mean the age of the age such as denoting an all important age, or forthly mean age to the age such as time lasting from one age to another age. In considering the book of Revelations and the many Scriptures therein one must be careful to not take things too literally that were not intended to be taken as such. More obscure Scriptures need to be interpreted in the light of the more clear Scriptures. cF-7:17

In considering the above three Scriptures one should remember that the exact same Greek word ("aion" Strong's number 165), which is translated as for ever in these verses, is also translated into the word "world" in the six verses that speak of the end of the "world" ("aion" Strong's number 165). Note if the Greek word aion (Strong's number 165) must always mean for ever, and always needs to be translated as such, then those six verses which use it in speaking of the end of the world should say the end of the for ever! (Matt 13:39&40&49, Matt 24:3, Matt 28:20, Heb 9:26). The translators of the KJV in translating the Greek word "aion" either did not consider the English word for ever to necessarily mean endless, or they at times took upon themselves to put forth a meaning for the word "aion" that it does not necessarily denote. cF-7:18


The remaining Scriptures concerning undying worms and unquenchable fire were focused on in chapter three above, yet they will be given here for the sake of thoroughness; cF-7:19

(Mark 9:43-48) "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: {44} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. {45} And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: {46} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. {47} And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: {48} Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." cF-7:20

(Mat 3:12) "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." cF-7:21

(Luke 3:17) "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable." cF-7:22

In considering the above Scriptures one must consider that Jesus at times made very bestirring statements and statements that were quite difficult to understand at the moment and without further consideration or revelation. Jesus at one time told the people they must eat His flesh and drink His blood to be saved (John 6:51-58)! Jesus also at one time when all were especially thinking about the Jewish Temple said destroy this Temple and I will build it in three days, yet He was speaking of the Temple of His body (John 2:19-22)! cF-7:23

In considering the above Scriptures about undying worms and unquenchable fire one should possibly review chapter three which quite extensively considers undying worms and unquenchable fire. One should remember how worms and fire can be used to represent total consumption and destruction, while a statement about undying worms and unquenchable fire can very much represent an unwavering and certain utter consumption and destruction. One should remember how it can be said of a zealous Christian that his zeal dieth not and his fervency in not quenched to emphasize his unwavering fervency without any emphasis whatsoever about never ending eternity. One should here also remember how God at various times told the Jews that He because of their sins would destroy Jerusalem with unquenchable fire, as no man could stop His judgments when the time of punishment came to pass (Jer 17:20&27, Ezek 20:47-48, 2 Kings 22:17, 2 Chr 34:25) cF-7:24

One should not forget how that the entire Old Testament gives very little or no indication of endless fiery torment, although it very often speaks of less severe (yet severe) punishments upon evil. Some Christians might believe that never ending hell fire was more obscure and unknown in old era times, and believe such punishment was more revealed and understood in the beginning of the Christian era. If such were true then it would appear such torment should be very clearly and emphatically revealed in the New Testament as it would have been a new and earth shaking revelation. Yet outside of the Greek word "aion", which by no means must mean endless, basically no evidence exists even in the New Testament, of a never ending fiery torment of the unsaved. Note it very much would appear that if God and His servants intended to really reveal to humanity that God's punishments are never ending, they would have revealed it more clearly than by merely using a word which does not need to mean endless insomuch that this very word is used six times in a context of speaking of the end of it! cF-7:25

Apostle Paul in speaking of the punishment of very wicked persons, such as fornicators, malicious, murderers, haters of God, despiteful, disobedient to parents, covenant breakers, implacable, unmerciful said, "Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." (Rom 1:32). Note Paul in this Scripture very much could have said "wicked persons as this are worthy to be tormented endlessly in hell fire" if that is what he really believed in and meant to advocate. Yet one should notice that Paul did not speak as such, even here in speaking of the most wicked persons. Apostle Paul in Romans 8:13, 6:16, 6:21, 6:23 also particularly spoke of the wages of sin being death, without saying anything about that death of necessity consisting of never ending intense torment. Note in all of Paul's writings about God's punishment upon the wicked, he only twice incorporated the word "aion" which might mean endless, but which yet doesn't need to (2 Thes 1:9, Heb 6:2). Yet such two Scriptures (which clearly do not need to mean unending torment), are Paul's most relevant teachings concerning never ending punishment! If never ending torment in fire and brimstone was a somewhat new revelation in Paul's time which he really believed in, why was he so silent about it? cF-7:26

One should here also remember that a dreadful, destructive, and final death, together with being eternally deprived of forgiveness, resurrection, life, and blessing, in itself is very much a never ending punishment, and can be called eternal death, even if one is not tormented endlessly. Many punishment Scriptures could be interpreted to pertain to such. cF-7:27

Although our Bibles clearly reveal that God hates sin, and reveal He will severely punish the wicked, yet our Bibles also often speak of our God being a just, merciful, companionate God, who even cares for the welfare of animals, and notices the deaths of sparrows! Simply because a number of Scriptures have a word in them which might mean endless (but which yet by no means must mean such), can we conclude that our just and merciful God will without a tinge of mercy heinously and endlessly torment with fire and brimstone much of the human family which He seen fit to create? cF-7:28

Considering how the words for ever, eternal, and everlasting in the Scriptures need not necessarily mean never ending and considering all the above issues, we should take a further and new look at the whole Bible as we research the punishment of the unsaved and wicked. The following chapters take a further and new look at the whole Bible with regards to this subject. The writer wishes he could give all of the following chapters first, as they are so supportive of each other in bringing into question the belief of never ending torment. Yet obviously only one chapter can be given first. cF-7:29




Chapter Eight

Considers God's Goodness and Care Towards His Creation.

Considers Various Scriptures Regarding God's Mercies and God's Wrath.


Following are several Scriptures which clearly reveal God as a good and considerate creator, who has a good plan and intent for mankind and His creation; These Scriptures are very beautiful. cF-8:1

(Psa 65:9&11&13) "Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. {11} Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. {13} The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing." cF-8:2

(Psa 33:5) "He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD." cF-8:3

(Acts 14:17) "Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness." cF-8:4

(Psa 107:8) "Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" (Note Psa 107:15&21&31 read basically the same). cF-8:5

(Psa 145:9) "The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works."

(1 John 4:8) "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." cF-8:6

(Luke 6:36) "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." cF-8:7


Following are several verses which reveal that our God even cares for mere birds and animals; cF-8:8

(Deu 25:4) "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn." cF-8:9

(Prov 12:10) "A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." cF-8:10

(Psa 147:9) "He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry." cF-8:11

(Luke 12:6) "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?" cF-8:12


The Bible greatly emphasizes that the Lord is good and that His mercy endures for ever. Ten verses particularly both state that the Lord is good and that His mercy endures for ever (1 Chr 16:34, 2 Chr 5:13, 2 Chr 7:3, Ezra 3:11, Psa 106:1, Psa 107:1, Psa 118:1, Psa 118:29, Psa 136:1, Jer 33:11)! Thirty two more verses additionally state that the mercy of the Lord endures for ever. Psalms 118:1-4 reads, "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. {2} Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. {3} Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. {4} Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever." May we also say that the mercy of the Lord endures for ever and understand what all is included in that statement. cF-8:13

Although the Scriptures repeatedly speak of the mercies of God enduring for ever, yet they concerning God's wrath quite often state the wrath of God does not endure for ever. Following are such Scriptures; cF-8:14

(Psa 103:9) "He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever." cF-8:15

(Isa 57:16) "For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made." cF-8:16

(Psa 30:5) "For his anger endureth but a moment...." cF-8:17

(Jer 3:12) "...Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever." cF-8:18

(Micah 7:18) "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy." cF-8:19

One should soberly consider how the above Scriptures speak of God's wrath not abiding for ever! Note although the above Scriptures emphatically state that God will not keep His wrath for ever, God's wrath yet is very real and will not be quenched until it is satisfied. God spoke of His anger against Jerusalem not being quenched (2 Ki 22:17, 2 Chr 34:25), and in this manner even spoke of it continuing for ever (Jer 17:4). Note the word for ever (olam, aion) yet does not necessarily need to mean without end. cF-8:20

The honest person must admit the combined message of the above Scriptures clearly does indicate a greater permanence of God's mercies than of His wrath. In considering the subject of never ending punishment, the following question should be noted. If God does not keep his anger for ever, why would he torment the unsaved for ever? cF-8:21


Following are several Scriptures which clearly reveal that our good God desires all men to be saved, rather than in any way desiring to endlessly torment men in hell; cF-8:22

(Lam 3:33-36&39) "For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. {34} To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth, {35} To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High, {36} To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not. {39} Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?" cF-8:23

(Ezek 33:11) "Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" cF-8:24

(2 Pet 3:9) "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." cF-8:25

(John 3:16-17) "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. {17} For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." cF-8:26


In old times some false religions had the evil ritual of cruelly and heinously burning their own children as a offering to their god. Yet God was very displeased with this practice and said it never even went through His mind that they should do such a thing. Following are two Scriptures pertaining to such; cF-8:27

(Jer 19:5) "They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:" cF-8:28

(Jer 32:35) "And they built the high places of Baal ...to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin." cF-8:29

Although God, is called a consuming fire (and likely because of His fiery wrath upon evil), yet the above Scriptures clearly reveal that God does not delight in causing pain unjustly and needlessly and indicates that God does not delight in or approve of heinous or outrageous acts of cruelty. The following question should not be overlooked; Why would our just and merciful God endlessly torment the unsaved in hell if He does not want to? No one is going to make Him do so. cF-8:30

One should consider the great difference between applying a tormenting punishment for a time (aion) and until all sin and sinners are fully punished and totally consumed and extinct from God's wonderful and new universe, as compared to the unsaved and wicked always existing and without end suffering excruciating pain, and thus always having in God's universe an utterly grievous part, unspeakably dreadful for those experiencing it and disheartening to those aware of it. The one punishment manner provides for a good and new universe with sin punished and in the past, while the other punishment manner provides an eternal sin pained and stained universe. cF-8:31

One should consider that out good and just God is in charge of punishing the unsaved rather than Satan. One should also consider that it is questionable whether our God will even give Satan and his demons power or opportunity to be involved in punishing the unsaved as such in some ways would be an honor to them, which honor God may not grant them. God's dreadful punishment upon evil was first planned for the Devil and his angels (Matt 25:41), and it is questionable that our God would allow and grant Satan and his demons, a superior position to man in this punishment. Note some beliefs and concepts about hell portray Satan and his demons as great tormenters of unsaved humans in hell. cF-8:32

In considering God's dealing with mankind and His punishment upon the unsaved one should also realize that many Scriptures speak of God's great love towards mankind. Apostle Paul even speaks of God loving us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8,)! Paul also speaks of nothing being able to separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8:38-39)! Apostle John says, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. {19} We love him, because he first loved us." (1 John 4:10&19)! John twice also simply says that "God is love" (John 4:8&16)! Other Scriptures concerning God's special love for mankind are, Eph 2:4-5, Titus 3:4-5, Eph 3:19, 1 John 3:1&16, 1 John 4:9. cF-8:33



Chapter Conclusions

God kindly cares for His creation and has a good plan for it, and even cares for mere animals. cF-8:34

The Scriptures portray God's mercies as more permanent than His wrath. cF-8:35

God has a special love for humanity and desires all men to be saved and does not desire to punish any human being. cF-8:36

God does not delight in or approve of acts of cruelty. cF-8:37



Chapter Nine

Considers God's Justice, Involving His Just Judgments and Just Punishments.


God's judgments and punishments will be just. Numerous Scriptures closely connect God's judgments with justice (Job 8:3 Job 37:23). Deuteronomy reads 32:4 reads, "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." Psalms 89:14 reads, "Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face." Numerous Scriptures teach that God ordained Jesus to judge the world (John 5:22&27, Roman 14:10, 2 Cor 5:10, Acts 10:42, 17:31) and speak of Jesus being the just one (Acts 3:14, 7:52, 22:14). Jesus likewise said His judgment is just because He seeks His Father's will (John 5:30). Apostle Paul spoke of God's judgments upon sin being according to truth (Rom 2:2), spoke of them being righteous (Rom 2:5), and spoke of them being just (Rom 3:8). God judgments upon sin will be just, true and righteous, rather than unjust and imbalanced. cF-9:1

The Mosaic law also reveals God's judgments and punishments as being very just and appropriate for the situation, such as in the Scriptures that demand and eye for and eye, a tooth for a tooth etc. Following are two Scriptures that reveal our God as a very just and practical God, with just and practical, yet firm punishments upon each transgression; cF-9:2

(Exo 21:24-30) "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, {25} Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. {26} And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake. {27} And if he smite out his manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake. {28} If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. {29} But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death. {30} If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him." cF-9:3

(Lev 24:17-21) "And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death. {18} And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast. {19} And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; {20} Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again. {21} And he that killeth a beast, he shall restore it: and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death." cF-9:4

One should notice how just and practical the above laws are. Although the above Scriptures clearly reveal that God firmly punishes transgressors, yet the above Scriptures in no way portray God as one who desires and designs unjust and heinous punishments for transgressors. Would this same God then plan endless intense torment for even the more innocent transgressor of whom Jesus said they shall be beaten with few stripes? cF-9:5


The following Scriptures clearly reveal that King David believed God's statutes, laws and judgments to be just and good and reveal that David greatly appreciated and loved them; cF-9:6

(Psa 19:8-10) "The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. {9} The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. {10} More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb." cF-9:7

(Psa 119:14) "I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches." cF-9:8

(Psa 119:16) "I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word." cF-9:9

(Psa 119:20) "My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times." cF-9:10

(Psa 119:164) "Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments." cF-9:11

(Psa 119:77) "Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight." Note how David here together with speaking of how He loves God's laws, speaks of God's tender mercies. cF-9:12

Jesus spoke of few being saved (Matt 7:14). If one really believed as a certain fact that few will be saved and that the rest of the human family will be tormented endlessly in fire and brimstone with undying yet pain feeling bodies and thought about it, it almost would boggle his mind with pain and grief and it likely would be quite difficult for him to heartily praise God for His good laws, statutes, and judgments as did David who was a man after God's own heart. cF-9:13

It must be admitted that most normal humans wouldn't consider removing the possibility of death from a mere insect or animal and then giving it over to endless intense fire and pain. Most normal fathers neither could imagine torturing a most disobedient child with which they are exceedingly angry in such a dreadful and heinous manner. Although we cannot necessarily hold God to what we might think to be just and reasonable punishment, yet we cannot overlook how the above Scriptures portray God as one who applies just and balanced punishment rather than heinous and outrageous punishment. Jesus even portrayed God's care of us to our earthly fathers care of us, and indicates that God is a better Father than our earthly fathers (Matt 7:9-11, Luke 11:11-13). cF-9:14

Jesus reproved the blind Pharisees for their ignorance and hardness of heart saying, "But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." (Luke 11:42). "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." (Mat 23:23). May we as we reveal God and His punishments to those around us, not overlook the love and mercy and just judgments of God, and thus misrepresent our good God to our children and to the world! May we not erroneously portray our good God as a heartless and heinous tormenting God, simply because of a word which might mean without end, but which yet by no means needs to. cF-9:15

Some Christians emphasize that God's extreme and exalted Holiness, makes it proper and honorable for God to punish in any dreadful manner, that which fails of His extreme Holiness. Some Christians might even advocate that God's extreme Holiness makes it proper for Him to unendingly torment many lowly humans as us, without even providing them with an opportunity of escape (heathen who never have opportunity to hear the Gospel story). Although one might advocate God's Holiness as a license to appalling horror and appalling punishment without opportunity of escape, it appears God's true Holiness is quite opposite of such. One must consider that the Holiness of God includes justice and righteousness, and consider that the Scriptures not only speaks of God's Holiness, but also repeatedly speak of God's justice, mercy and compassion towards the children of men. cF-9:16


Chapter Conclusion

God's laws and judgments as given by Moses although being firm and severe were just and reasonable rather than unjust and heinous. cF-9:18

God's judgments and punishments upon the unsaved and wicked also will be just and appropriate rather than unjust and unreasonable. cF-9:19




Chapter Ten

Gives Many Scriptures (From Both the Old and New Testaments), Which Speaking of the Punishment of the Wicked, Speak of a Particular Devouring and Consumption of Chaff, Stubble, and Thorns, Rather than Endless Torment;


Following are Old Testament Scriptures;

(Isa 1:28&31) "And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed. {31} And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them." Tow appears to be a flax refuse. cF-10:1

(Isa 5:23-24) "Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! {24} Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust...". cF-10:2

(Isa 10:17-18) "And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; {18} And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth." cF-10:3

(Isa 29:5-6) "Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly. {6} Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire." cF-10:4

(Isa 33:11-12&14) "Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you. {12} And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire. {14}...Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting [olam] burnings?" Note the word everlasting (olam) as herein can mean basically any amount of time. cF-10:6

(Psa 21:9) "Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them." cF-10:7

(Psa 37:10&13&20) "For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. {13} "The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. {20} But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away." cF-10:8

(Ezek 28:17-19) "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty... {18} Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities ...therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. {19} All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more." Note this Scripture appears to significantly be speaking of Satan himself. cF-10:9

(Hosea 13:2-3) "And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols... . {3} Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney." cF-10:10

(Mal 4:1&3) "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 the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. {3} And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts." Burned up and ashes. cF-10:11


One should carefully consider how the above Old Testament Scriptures speak of the wicked in being punished, being like to chaff, thorns, and briars in a fire and being consumed and devoured to smoke and ashes, and being no more. One should also notice how these Scriptures do not portray or speak of never ending torment in scorching fire. The Jews in Old Testament times as well as while Christ was on earth, in their thinking about the punishment of the wicked, would have been familiar with the emphasis as in the above Scriptures. cF-10:12


Following are New Testament Scriptures which also speak of a burning up and devouring of the wicked and significantly like the above Scriptures; One should notice how the below New Testament Scripture so much align with the above Old Testament Scriptures.

(Mat 3:12) "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." cF-10:13

(Mat 13:40-42) "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. {41} The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; {42} And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Note just because Jesus here speaks of wailing and gnashing of teeth does not mean it must go on endlessly. cF-10:14

(Luke 3:17) "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable." (Note remember just because something is unstoppable or unquenchable in it's God ordained mission does not mean it will go on eternally). cF-10:15

(John 15:6) "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." cF-10:16

(2 Th 2:8) "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:" cF-10:17

(Heb 10:26-27) "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, {27} But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." cF-10:18

(Heb 12:29) "For our God is a consuming fire." Note Deu 4:24 reads much the same. One should not overlook how the Bible speaks of God being a consuming fire, rather than a never ending tormenting fire. cF-10:19

One should carefully notice how the combined message of all the above Old and New Testament Scriptures clearly portrays more of a burning up and consumption than a never ending torment. Although Jesus twice used the word everlasting, in speaking of this fiery destruction, and three Scriptures in Revelations use the term for ever in speaking of it (Mat 18:8, Mat 25:41, Rev 14:10-11, Rev 19:3, Rev 20:10), one must yet remember that the Greek word "aion(ios)" underlying everlasting and for ever by no means must mean without end. cF-10:20


Following is a Scripture which speaks both of resurrection and punishment, and which appears to be speaking of the dreadful time of punishment being limited and passing away; cF-10:21

(Isa 26:19-21) "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. {20} Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. {21} For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain." Note how this Scripture speaking of the after death punishment of the unsaved reads, "until the indignation be overpast". cF-10:22


Following is another Scripture that is worthy of some consideration; cF-10:23

(Lam 4:6) "For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her." Note Jeremiah here was complaining that the Jews received more punishment when Jerusalem was slowly destroyed than the Sodomites did when Sodom was suddenly and quickly destroyed. If Jeremiah had been a strong believer in never ending punishment of the wicked in a lake of fire and this was very foremost in his mind, he should have considered both above punishments so minimal as compared to what yet was to come that they really were nothing to even think about. cF-10:24

In history some erring Christians who killed Christians better than themselves, often threatened those they killed saying they after being killed would burn endlessly in hell fire if they would not submit to their supposedly true church. This erroneous church used the issue of never ending torment as a powerful threat, to force her people to submit to her demands, while it is quite possible that this erroneous Church was very instrumental in strengthening and spreading the emphasis of never ending torment throughout the world. Note this church was a political church which largely ruled the world for more than a thousand years, and has had tremendous influence on religion as is seen in our present world. cF-10:25



Chapter 11

Universalism


Different Christian groups have very different beliefs about how God will deal with the unsaved and wicked. Universalism Christians believe in a universal salvation, and think that God will actually save all mankind in different stages in the future ages (aions). They even believe that those cast into hell will be given future opportunity to repent and be saved, and believe that in due time every one who dwelt on earth will repent and be saved. Although there are numerous Scriptures that speak of Jesus saving all, and could be understood as such, these Scriptures also in using the word all very much could be speaking of Jesus giving all an opportunity to be saved rather than guaranteeing that all will be saved (1 Cor 15:22-28, Rom 11:30-34, Phil 2:9-11, Eph 1:10-11, Col 1:20, 1 Tim 4:9-10, John 12:32). cF-11:1

It is clear that Jesus and the Apostles were busy advocating that people should find salvation in this present life, rather than busy advocating that all will be saved someday, even if not in this present life. Christ's followers in our day, like Jesus and the Apostles, also need to be busy advocating that people should find salvation in this present life rather than be busy advocating that all will be saved someday, even if not in this present life. cF-11:2

Many Scriptures teach death as the wages for sin, and many Scriptures speak of the wicked being like to chaff and thorns in a fire, which Scriptures clearly indicate an end rather then a restoration in a future age. Peter speaking of Jesus said, "Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.". (Acts 3:21). This Scripture as well as others indicate a great finality at the second coming of Christ. Many Scriptures also portray the judgment of the last day as a final judgment giving a final sentence, rather than a temporary sentence. May God help us to rightly divide the words of truth (2 Tim 2:15). Note part one of article aM considers the subject of the end and the millennium. cF-11:3

Concerning God's great and eternal plan, although God has given man some revelations about it, God yet has not seen fit to give man clear details on how He is going to do it all. Concerning the subjects of the end of the world, judgment, and punishment of the unsaved, may Christians be careful lest they emphatically advocate a particular outline or agenda without sufficient basis and unknowingly advocate an error of some kind. May Christians in loving their neighbor as themselves, be as open minded toward their brother's thoughts and ideas as toward their own thoughts and ideas. cF-11:4




Chapter 12

Conclusions and Miscellaneous Issues.


In reviewing and concluding on the subject of never ending torment the following basic issues should all be reviewed and remembered; Note in considering the following basic facts one should keep in mind that the Hebrew and Greek words "olam" and "aion" and the English words for ever, eternal, and everlasting, deriving from them by no mean must mean without end. cF-12:1

Firstly, the political punishments upon transgression, as God ordained for the Jewish nation, reveal God as having very just and balanced punishments and not heinous and outrageous punishments. See chapters four and nine. cF-12:2

Secondly, Jesus said the more ignorant transgressor will be beaten with few stripes, and prayed God to forgive such ones, and would God then torment them endlessly in excruciating fiery torment (Luke 12:48 & 23:34)? cF-12:3

Thirdly, many Scriptures particularly speak of a burning up and consumption of the wicked, rather than a never ending torment of the wicked, while the Bible also calls God a consuming fire, rather than a endless tormenting fire. See chapter ten. cF-12:4

Forthly, the Bible very many times speaks of God's mercies abiding forever, while numerous Scriptures speaking of God's wrath, speak of it not abiding for ever, while unending torment does not align with a God whose wrath does not abide forever. The Scriptures also very much speak of God being a God of love toward His creation. See paragraphs cF 8:13-21 & 33. cF-12:5

Fifthly, many Scriptures speak of God's judgments, statutes, laws, and ways being very just and good, for which cause King David repeatedly spoke of delighting in and loving them. See paragraphs cF 9:6-12. Can sober and realistic people really join in with King David in rejoicing and delighting in God's laws and statures, if they will endlessly torment in excruciating pain, even the more ignorant transgressor whom Jesus said would be beaten with few stripes? cF-12:6

Sixthly, never ending torment is hardly even alluded to in the Old Testament although lessor punishments upon sin were often advocated. See chapter five. Note if never ending torment was understood and believed in during old times, it appears it should have been clearly revealed by the prophets whose duty was to warn the wicked of coming punishments to save them from such punishments. cF-12:7

Seventhly, if never ending torment was somewhat of a new revelation in the New Testament era, it would appear it should have been clearly revealed in the New Testament as it would have been a quite new and earth shaking revelation. Yet outside of the Greek word "aion", which by no means must mean endless, basically no evidence exists even in the New Testament, of a never ending fiery torment of the unsaved. cF-12:8

Eightly, one very much can declare something to be undying and unquenchable because of it's certainty and inextinguishable power, without any emphasis whatsoever on endless eternity. See chapter three and paragraphs cF 7:19-24.. cF-12:9

Ninthly, six Scriptures speak of the end of the "aion", while "aion" is the very word upon which the doctrine of never ending torment is mostly built (Matt 13:39&40&49, Matt 24:3, Matt 28:20, Heb 9:26)!

Tenthly, It very much would appear that if God and His servants intended to really reveal to humanity that God's punishments are never ending, they would have revealed it more clearly than by merely using a word which does not need to mean endless insomuch that this very word is used six times in a context of speaking of the end of it! (Note the word "aion" likely 30 times is used in speaking of a limited time period). cF-12:10

Lastly, God's punishments upon the many ignorant people who do not find and walk the narrow way of life, and who rather end up on the broad way to destruction, can be just and righteous and severe causing weeping and gnashing of teeth, without consisting of endless appalling torture. Concerning the fate of the unsaved, just seeing the great reward and blessing they might have attained, but rather have missed, alone could cause tremendous lamentation and grief. cF-12:11


One must admit that endless torture in scorching fire in undying yet pain feeling bodies is an appalling and hideous punishment of a magnitude which scarcely can be weighed or measured in any reasonable way, as after a million or even a billion years of intense torture, one would not even have begun to lesson his sentence! One should consider that it is no insignificant matter to identify and reveal our wondrous God, who often declares His great goodness, mercy and justice, as a performer of such appalling and hideous punishment, and then mostly because of a word that might mean never ending but which yet by no means needs to. May Christians take this seriously and pray God to help them rightly divide the words of truth (2 Tim 2:15).. cF-12:12

The writer is glad that although some Christians might put the unsaved forever in hell, rather than acknowledge that they might be wrong on their beliefs about hell, that our God is not like them! Some Christians might rather put the unsaved for ever into hell than believe something that might cause them to be rejected by their friends! Yet Christians rather should rejoice if the many unsaved will not need to suffer never ending fiery torment, and together with Jesus should pray "Father forgive them for they know not what they do". cF-12:13

Although many Christians claim to believe that God will endlessly torment all the unsaved (including the more ignorant transgressor), yet it is impressive how they then hardly say anything about it, and don't realistically warn others about it, and largely live like they didn't believe in it. It also is impressive how so many Christians who claim to believe in never ending torment then largely convince themselves that no one is bad enough to deserve it, but rather some how most all at their death are claimed to be going to eternal bliss in heaven. Yet Jesus said few will find the narrow way that leads to life, and said that many will travel the broad road to destruction. cF-12:14

Us humans really cannot grasp the vastness and reality of time without end. King David several times used the term "from everlasting to everlasting" ("from olam to olam", Psa 90:2, 103:17, 106:48). When will the first everlasting end and the second everlasting start? How long will the first everlasting last or the second? Or is David's statement concerning from everlasting to everlasting technically an inaccurate statement because the first everlasting would consume all other everlastings and give no room for a second everlasting? Is the punishment of the wicked to continue through God's first everlasting or to continue through both everlastings? Or are there more than two everlastings? cF-12:15

With regards to the terms "for ever" and "for ever and ever", how much longer is "for ever and ever", than "for ever"? Or is "for ever and ever" technically an inaccurate statement because for ever alone, reaches forth and occupies the for ever and ever. Us humans must leave that which our minds cannot grasp into the hands of God. cF-12:16

Firstly considering that the Biblical words which speak of the duration of the punishment of the unsaved, by no means must mean without end, and secondly considering how our finite minds cannot even grasp that which is without end, it is quite obvious that us mere humans do not have basis to emphatically advocate that God is going to unceasingly punish the unsaved in times without end. Jesus speaking to His disciples said, " It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power." (Acts 1:7). Some of the vast things about God and His great schedule, Jesus did not even know (Mark 13:32). "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" (Rom 11:33) "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. {9} For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isa 55:8-9). cF-12:17

Considering all the above issues, it is quite obvious that we mere humans cannot emphatically hold our merciful God to, throughout all ages, never repenting of His anger upon the unsaved and saying it now is enough and turning from His applied punishment? Numerous Scriptures particularly speak of God repenting of the punishment He was planning to apply or was applying (Exo 32:14, Judg 2:18, 2 Sam 24:16, 1 Chr 21:15, Psa 106:45, Jer 26:19, Jonah 3:10). Considering all the above issues, it is quite obvious that we mere humans simply cannot emphatically hold our good God to always and without opportunity of change possessing in His great universe a grievous part wherein is great pain and tremendous suffering. Revelations 21:5 speaks of God making all things new. What does that all consist of? cF-12:18

Although their are many things about the punishment of the unsaved and endless eternity that we simply do not know, yet their are basic things that Christians can know. Christians can know that God's punishments will be just and righteous altogether: can know that something can be declared to be undying and unquenchable without meaning it must go on endlessly, can know that Jesus said the more ignorant transgressor would be beaten with few stripes: can know that the very word upon which the doctrine of never ending hell is mostly built does not need to mean endless insomuch that this very word is used six times in speaking of the end of it: can know that quite a number of Scriptures speaking of the punishment of the unsaved and wicked speak of a burning up and consumption, like as chaff, stubble and thorns in a fire: and can know that God can punish sin and the unsaved very severely and justly without tormenting all the unsaved endlessly in excruciating and fiery pain. cF-12:19

Oh may God help us to see Him and His dealings with humanity as it is. The writer all his life, to some extent has been under a cloud of sorrow because of the belief that all the unsaved (including the more ignorant transgressor and most of the whole world) would be endlessly tormented, and if such belief can not only be made doubtful, but can be proven as not according to the Biblical truth and the nature of God, may God reveal it to us! In considering the many issues discussed in this article may God help us to conclude as we ought, and yet not to claim knowledge beyond what God has revealed to us. Deuteronomy 29:29 reads, "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever...". Note paragraphs cG 82-107 of article cG also pertain to this subject. cF-12:21

Note if anyone knows of Scriptures very relevant to this subject that are not included in this article the writer would like to hear of them. So please somehow let me know. In closing this article the writer requests the prayers of those who love God and the truth, and wishes the reader the very best. God bless and farewell. cF-12:22




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I very carefully researched the Bible on the subject and was amazed at what I found.

May God together teach us His truth on the subject.