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Monday, June 27 2011
Hell Fire Of The Past And Future
Two words of the Holy Scriptures, the Hebrew word (pronounced) sheol and the Greek word (pronounced) hades, although often translated as "hell" in the King James Version, actually mean death, or the grave - the place, or state of being, where the dead now await their resurrection (see The Sleep Of Death and Resurrections).
Why did the KJV translators use "hell" to translate words that meant "grave"?
They did so because, when the KJV was written in 1611, the English word "hell" meant the grave. They translated those Hebrew and Greek words accurately, according to the literal meanings of them, and of the English word at the time. The King James Version translators would not agree with those who interpret their use of "hell" in any other way than the grave, or simply the place of death.
According to the The Consolidated Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary, the English word "hell" originated from an old Anglo-Saxon word which meant to cover; it was used to refer to the grave. "Hell" and "hole" are merely different pronunciations of the same original word.
So what does fire have to do with the actual meaning of "hell," the grave, in the Holy Bible? There are two reasons.
The first is that evil people were often sent to their graves by fire - they were burned to death. "Hell fire" was fire that sent wicked people to hell, their graves, into a state of being dead - to await their resurrection of Judgment.
"2:6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave ["hell"], and bringeth up." (1 Samuel 2:6 KJV)
The second is that after the time of salvation has been completed, fire will be used to put to death the unrepentant, sending them to "hell," to their graves, permanently (see the Fact Finder question below).
"20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14-15 KJV)
"What meaneth the heat"?
The English word "brimstone" is actually just a present-day pronunciation of the Old English burnstone, or burning stone, which itself originated from an Icelandic word for sulphur i.e. "brimstone" was widely found around volcano areas in Iceland. Burning sulphur, wherever it's found, is the Biblical "brimstone."
It was burning sulphur that the LORD (see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM') rained down upon Sodom and Gomorrah. The result was that the wicked people of those cities were sent to their graves by that "hell fire."
"19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven [i.e. the "lower" heaven, the atmosphere; see Are We In Heaven Now?]; 19:25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground." (Genesis 19:24-28 KJV)
The Holy Bible itself explains why fire is used; it represents the "heat" of God's anger upon those who choose to behave wickedly.
"29:23 And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath: 29:24 Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?" (Deuteronomy 29:23-24 KJV)
Jesus Christ referred to the "hell fire" of Sodom from personal memory (see The Day That Christ Incinerated Sodom), as well as a prophecy of what is coming upon all of the unrepentant wicked of the world.
"17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." (Luke 17:29-30 KJV)
Humans have their own version of weapons of "hell" (e.g. "hellfire missiles"). Unfortunately, some are going to use them to attempt to fight the returning Messiah. It will be a "fire fight" that those humans are going to lose (see also The Coming World Dictator).
"9:14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 9:15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. 9:16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
The day of Christ's return will be when the "lake of fire burning with brimstone" begins to burn (see the Fact Finder question below).
"19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING of kings, and LORD OF lords.
When all has been done, the earth will be purified with fire. Death itself will be put to death (see Death's Obituary).
"21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:6-8 KJV)
This Day In History, June 27
1358: The Republic of Dubrovnik was founded.
1709: Peter the Great defeated Charles XII at the Battle of Poltava.
1743: King George II of Britain defeated the French at Dettingen in the War of the Austrian Succession. He was the last British monarch to lead his troops into battle.
1759: British General James Wolfe landed his army near Quebec City and blocked the St. Lawrence River to French shipping. After a siege that lasted 75 days, the 33 year-old Wolfe led his troops up the cliff behind Quebec City to the Plains of Abraham (September 13) where they defeated Montcalm's garrison and captured the city. Both commanders died in battle.
1787: Edward Gibbon wrote the last lines of his classic "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."
1801: British forces defeated the French and took control of Cairo, Egypt.
1844: Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, and his brother Hyrum Smith, were killed by a mob in an Illinois jail.
1893: A major stock market plunge began in the U.S.A., leading to an economic depression in which 600 banks and 74 railroads went out of business by the end of the year.
1898: The first solo circumnavigation of the earth was completed by Joshua Slocum of Briar Island, Nova Scotia.
1905: Mutinous Russian soldiers seized the battleship Potemkin in the Black Sea, throwing the commander and several other officers overboard.
1918: Two German pilots became the first to be saved by parachutes.
1954: The world's first nuclear power station began operation, in Obninsk, Russia.
1967: The world's first ATM went into service, in London, England.
1976: Members of the Baader-Meinhof gang, a German terrorist organization inspired by Soviet anti-Semitic propaganda, hijacked an Air France airliner flying from Paris to Tel Aviv and forced it to land in Idi Amin's Uganda. They then set apart the 83 Israelis to be murdered if Israel did not release 53 Palestinian terrorists being held in Israel. The hostages were rescued by Israeli commandos in the "Entebbe Raid" 6 days later.
1991: After declaring independence a few days earlier, Slovenia was invaded by Yugoslav military forces, beginning the Ten-Day War.