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Going Through Hell
What is hell? Where is hell? What if I say to you that "hell" is right here and right now in THIS world? What if I say that this world is one of darkness and shadows while the Reality is hidden from our natural minds? Would you believe me to be insane? What if I showed that Jesus knew this was hell- i.e. "Hades" the place of the dead? What if I explain that Jesus the Christ came DOWN to THIS world to "set the captives free" from hell and even to get the keys to it? Many mysteries have been hidden by God from man. This, I believe, is one of them. Instead of mocking what I am saying, please consider seriously what and where hell is according to Jesus who overcame this world. Jesus became aware that this world is not our home. He came to get us out, so we can be where he is. It is time for us to wake up from our selfish dreaming.
You see, hell starts when our relationship with God ends. When man's mind started seeking for knowledge of the world instead of resting in God's presence, we fell into this hell to learn about who we are. We are "experiencing" that there is no life apart from our True Life in Christ. We are going through death and darkness that we may KNOW Light and Life in CHRIST. Until we seek and find our True Life hidden within us which is Christ, we are stuck in this hell. You see, all that have come from Adam (the whole human race) who were created in God's image (which is Christ) have been condemned and are going through HELL. Further, ALL created in God's image are DESTINED for heaven to be One with God by the will and love of the Father. Oh, but some may say, "no, no, hell is a fiery torture chamber underground where all the bad people go after they die." All I can say to that is- and heaven is on top of the clouds where the saints play golf and swill beer! Dear Truth Seekers, we should know in our hearts that heaven and hell are SPIRITUAL planes of consciousness, not necessarily physical places of pleasure or pain.
So if you can accept that heaven and hell are spiritual states, then one might ask, "how did we get into 'hell'?" Well my friends, it happened in the garden, remember? The spiritual being created in God's image was given a helper (soul). The soul (mind) led the Spirit into sin and into condemnation- into HELL. One man took us into sin and ONE Man leads us out of this judgment of hell!
ROM 5:16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
The Spirit of Christ is the only way to overcome this world and be freed from hell. Okay, I can understand that this may be hard to swallow, but thank God that He has given us Scripture that is full of His wisdom and mysteries. Let's start with Jesus telling us about our condemnation in hell.
JN 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
This very famous passage ends with a declaration by our Lord Jesus- " whoever does not believe STANDS CONDEMNED ALREADY..." He wasn't trying to scare anyone, but speaking a Truth that is being revealed to those with the eyes to see it. In this world, we can either be in heaven or HELL. Those who do not believe in an INTERNAL CHRIST are condemned and in hell at the present. Yes, I must say "internal" because we must realize as Jesus did that God lives IN US. And only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we do anything good. Further, only by the Spirit of Sonship which is Christ can we overcome this world, this hell.
To shine a bit more light on the Truth that heaven and hell are realms of consciousness, we must believe what our Lord told us. Jesus said that He descended from heaven, but was still in heaven (John 3:13). Paul tells us that he was taken to the third heaven (2 COR 12:2). Do any suppose that Paul was flying up in the clouds like a bird? Heaven and hell are NOT physical places that we perceive with natural eyes or go to when we die, but are states of consciousness of MIND and SPIRIT. Flesh and blood (physical) can NOT inherit the Kingdom of God (1 COR 15:50).
But let's get back to what Jesus said. Everyone who didn't believe STANDS (present tense, as they are right now) condemned in hell. Understand that before Jesus came to the earth NO ONE believed, so ALL of mankind were in a state of condemnation for sin. And remember what the penalty for sin is? Death. All were spiritually dead, or asleep when Jesus came to this earth. He was the FIRST BORN of the race dead in Adam.
COL 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him
Yes, Jesus was the First to be set free from hell! He overcame the world! He overcame Satan! He died that WE WOULD be set free too! It is by the Spirit of Christ which is the Spirit of Sonship that we can take on God's perfection, power and glory to overcome our natural, evil nature that we chose so long ago. He came DOWN from heaven to HELL (here) to preach the Truth so that we could be set free! (1 PET 3:19).
I didn't come to this belief lightly. But it came to me by the Light of understanding! In this study, I desire to shine the Light of Truth on Scripture that all with the vision may see. There are so many passages that show that this world is, in fact, hell. First let us be clear on what hell is. It is NOT a physical place of fire, but a state of the soul (mind) and spirit. The hell that I am speaking of is called "Sheol" in the Old Testament which meant the grave, or pit. It was where ALL the dead went- good, bad or ugly. When anyone, be they good or evil, rich or poor, died they RETURNED to Sheol, the grave. In the New Testament the word used for Sheol is Hades which means "unseen place," or place of the dead. In many Bibles these words are translated, or mistranslated, if you like, "HELL." In this study, I will not be concerned with semantics, but will use the word "HELL" as it means place of the dead where corrective punishment is carried out.
Some may say, "if this is true, then why isn't it clearly stated in the Bible?" All I can say to that is that God hides things from us until the time is right. The Jews of old didn't see Jesus coming. They expected and believed in something entirely different. The Jews were also a little shocked to hear that Christians like Paul were telling the Gentiles that they will share in Israel's promises. Great mysteries have been hidden from man throughout the ages. I believe this is one of them.
The first example I gave is just the beginning. Within this same vein of thought, I would like to look at something else Jesus said about being condemned. This particular quote will come from the some LITERAL translations of the Bible because they are more accurate I believe.
MT 23:33 "Serpents! Progeny of vipers! How may you be fleeing from the judgment of Gehenna?" Concordant Literal Translation
MT 23:33 "Serpents! brood
of vipers! how may ye escape from the judgment of the
Gehenna?" Young's Literal Translation
"HOW WILL YOU ESCAPE?" Jesus says. Jesus has already told us that those who did not believe in Him were ALREADY condemned. Ask yourself- did Adam receive God's punishment for sin? By that action, were not all of us placed into death? When we enter this world, are we not DEAD in sin? Where is the place of the dead again? Well, that would be Sheol- Hades- Hell. Some may say that Jesus was warning these evil men about the coming doom in 70 AD. That is reasonable, but is completely physical. I choose rather to look for the Spiritual Truth and not the physical shadow.
Here he is asking how are they going to flee from this hell they were in. Jesus also calls these religious men, sons of hell (Gehenna). By the way, "Gehenna" was an actual place where DEAD stuff was burned. It was a garbage dump outside of Jerusalem. So, I believe, Jesus is speaking figuratively of the place of the dead. He was giving them something they could understand. The fire at this dump was never quenched because refuse was always burning and the worms did not die as they had garbage to feed upon.
One other note about Gehenna which is translated "hell" in many Bibles, is that Jesus calls these men "sons of hell." This was their CURRENT state, not some future state. These men were in hell and sons of it! They didn't have to wait until they died to be in hell. In fact, they were keeping others from the Kingdom of God that is heaven and coaxing them to stay in the Pit, the Grave, or Hell with them! And make them prisoners even more so!
MT 23:15 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.
"As you ARE" Jesus again says that they are in this state of consciousness. Their spirits are asleep and their souls (minds) are totally carnal (worldly, natural). Imagine, the "teachers of the law" were called sons of hell. If these so-called men of God were sons of hell, then what about the rest of humanity at that time? Well, it should clearly be understood and believed that hell, or Hades is the "place of the dead." That is why Jesus said this about those walking upon the earth at the time.
MT 8:21 Another disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
MT 8:22 But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."
Remember, Jesus was the Firstborn from the dead. So it seems that Jesus may have a different definition of what "DEAD" really is. Who is dead and who is alive in God's eyes? Well, we should understand that God is spirit and if our spirit is seemingly lifeless, then we are called dead. Jesus came DOWN to this place and saw the walking dead. We are dead in our sins until we are saved by grace. Our spirits must be awakened and must mature in Christ to overcome this hell we are in.
EPH 5:13 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
Christ IS the Light that shines on our spirits! He is the Vine that we must be attached to for Life! We can do NOTHING apart from the Anointing, the Christ. Many times hell is said to be very dark- lacking Light. EXACTLY! That is this world without Christ!
MT 4:16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."
MT 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
Jesus tells us many times that we are IN a state of judgment and hell.
JN 12:30 Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.
Now most believe that "hell" is where the evil folks go. Correct! But where are these evil souls? They are right here! THEY ARE US! Were we not all evil (slaves to sin) before Christ saved us? Jesus says that we are indeed evil, but our hope is with our Father in heaven.
MT 7:9 "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Of course, Jesus even calls Peter, "Satan" as he rebuked his carnal mind. Many believe hell to be an evil place with a great number of sinners and demons. Well friends, that is exactly this world we live in! In the most well-known prayer in Christianity, Jesus asks the Father to rid us of THIS PRESENT EVIL we exist in.
MT 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Jesus came down from heaven to OUR hell to set us free from this darkness as was prophesied. This Truth is in all the Scriptures
ISA 42:6 "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,
ISA 42:7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
EPH 4:9 What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.
Christ was in heaven (a HIGHER state of being), descended to the "dungeon," or hell to set us free! In fact, he came to this hell to overcome it and get the keys! He did just that!
REV 1:18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Jesus our Lord, now has the keys to hell (Hades) and death. Death is the state of our spirits. Christ brings our spirits life that we may love and serve God. AFTER overcoming the world (hell), Jesus the Christ became a Life-giving Spirit which is the Keys to get us out of here! But he didn't go to some far away place where the fire and brimstone burn to get these keys. No, He came HERE to get them! This world is hell- the place of the dead. Keep in mind what "dead" really means. It doesn't mean that one has no self-consciousness, but rather that they have no Christ-consciousness. They don't know Christ and don't follow Christ. They follow their OWN desires of the physical world. The spirit of mankind is trapped in a state of SELF-consciousness. Jesus broke out of the chains and became One with God again as it was in the Beginning.
Jesus gives us a clearer picture of Hades in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. Jesus tells us that these men were conscious, but one was being punished while the other was in peace.
Now this is interesting because many argue about the state of the dead. Some say they sleep and know nothing. Others believe that souls are punished in hell for their evil deeds. Guess what? I believe that BOTH are right. The "dead" truly do know NOTHING. They don't know who they are or who is their Father. They believe the lies of the devil and live for earthly things. But these same spiritually dead souls who are self-conscious in THIS world are punished and rewarded according to God's will. This was a common theme in Judaism. God rewards and punishes the souls in this physical world. The Spirit cares nothing of the things of THIS world. They are foolishness to the Spirit.
Now consider what Jesus (the Authority on the subject, right?) tells us about Hades. I know that some say this is just a parable. And while this is likely true because Jesus was speaking in public, it should be clear that ALL that Jesus said was "Spirit and Truth" even if in a parable form. Jesus in this parable revealed this secret of Hades. In HADES, the place of the dead, both men were being given their wages for what they had done in their life before. We are in hell until the "SPIRIT IS SAVED." In the meantime, the body and soul receive their rewards or stripes according to their deeds in the flesh.
Have you considered the parable about the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25? This story is NOT about what they believed, but WHAT THEY DID in their lives. In this story, the sheep were those who did good to Jesus' brethren. The goats were the ones who were not kind to those following Christ. It mattered not what they believed, but what they did. For their "works" they received either AGE-LASTING (aionion) punishment or AGE-LASTING (aionion) bliss. This story is NOT about salvation and overcoming the world to be set free from their hell. This is about rewards and punishments in hell for their deeds. This parable had NOTHING to do with what these believed, but only the love they gave. This parallels with what Jesus told us about the rich man and Lazarus. Abraham called them both "son," but explained that they had gotten to this state because of what they had done and NOT what they believed. So while in hell, we are either rewarded or corrected by our Father. In either case, we are experiencing and learning life lessons at our Father's hand.
On the subject of fathers, why are some said to have the DEVIL as their father? Aren't the devil and his demons supposed to be in hell? What are they doing here on the earth? It seems everything and everybody that is SUPPOSE to be in hell are RIGHT HERE on the earth. Again, we must readjust our false ideas that hell is somewhere one can go to. It is not a place, but rather a condition or state of being. One of the greatest lies of Satan is that hell is OUT THERE for the really bad people AFTER we die. This lie along with others is KEEPING many in hell! If we love this physical world, then we LOVE HELL. If we love this world, we HATE the Light and the Truth of who we are. We don't want to be united with God, but want to be a SELF and selfish. If we love this world, we love ourselves, not others nor God. Jesus REALIZED that he was not from THIS world. He realized that he was in hell and that his True Home and Identity were in heaven. Again being in heaven would be being in a higher consciousness- a Christ consciousness united with God.
As I walk this earth, I see many that live in a very real hell. More real than the one some believe awaits those lost souls after they die. They are in hell now and suffering now! We are told that in hell there is "weeping and gnashing of teeth." Does that not happen here on the earth? We are told that hell is a dark place. Wasn't Jesus the first Light to come into this dark hell? We are told that hell is a feeling of being separated from God. Isn't that the state of the many walking on the broad path to their destruction? Are there not countless souls walking aimlessly, hopelessly through this world? They don't know who they are and seek physical gratification to fill the void of the sleeping Spirit. Consider what Paul says about these that were in the state of PERISHING in this hell.
2 COR 4:2 ...by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 TH 2:10 and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
Another question to consider- where is it said our BODIES are destroyed? Do our physical bodies turn back to dust right here on earth? Jesus said that our bodies are destroyed in hell (Gehenna). Not only that but Jesus said to fear God who could destroy BOTH body and soul (mind) in hell. Have some lost their minds in THIS world? Paul said to send a sinning brother out into the world (hell) for the destruction of the flesh, SO THAT his SPIRIT may be saved (1 COR 5:5)! If one agrees that our soul is our (carnal mind) then surely this is going to be destroyed by God and be replaced with the Mind of Christ (1 COR 2:16). The flesh means nothing to the Spirit (JN 6:63) and the carnal mind is of the devil and God's enemy (ROM 8:7). Both are destroyed in hell which is RIGHT HERE.
We ALL must go through this hell because we all turned from God and sinned. Some may believe that hell is where sinners will be tortured for ever for their evil deeds by our angry God. Some more enlightened believers understand that HELL is for correction, purification and ultimately repentance that leads to salvation. God only uses LOVE to overcome our evil natures. This may not feel good to the carnal mind, but we bring on our own suffering. Hell is thought by some to be FIERY, but carnal minds misunderstand this SPIRITUAL fire from God. Consider this frightening passage:
MK 9:43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where " their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'
MK 9:49 Everyone will be salted with fire.
Yep, everyone must be salted with Fire like a living sacrifice to God. The shadow is clear in the Old Covenant practice.
LEV 1:9 He is to wash the inner parts and the legs with water, and the priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.
The destruction of our carnal natures- an aroma PLEASING to the Lord! He washes our INNER PART with His Spirit and burns the hay and stubble with His Fire!
MT 3:11 "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
With the HOLY SPIRIT and an UNQUENCHABLE FIRE we are baptized (cleansed)! Yes, HELL is for correction, purifying and bringing us to salvation! It is true that Hell is the place of Judgment, but Judgment had already begun 2,000 years ago with the early believers in their fiery trials. Have you not read?
1 PE 4:17 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?"
Clearly the MANY ungodly stay in hell to be destroyed as the FEW are set free into the Kingdom of God. Understand that the spirit can not be destroyed, but only the body and soul (mind) which are evil until renewed by our Creator with Christ. Consider what Jesus said about the fate of these types of evil men -some even called "servants" of God.
MT 22:13 "Then the king told the attendants, `Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
MT 22:14 "For many are invited, but few are chosen."
MT 24:51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
MT 25:30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
There is PLENTY of "weeping and gnashing" going on in this earth because many continue to LOVE the darkness (deception) and hate the Light (truth). Some were not called, God says to them, "who invited you, I don't know you- back into hell." Some were His servants that were worthless or those who backslid into sin. He said to them, "BACK OUTSIDE OF MY KINGDOM INTO THE DARKNESS OF HELL."
Hell is called a "pit"-a dark place full of dead people. How dark is this "world" where we are living in? Jesus tells us:
JN 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
JN 12:35 Then Jesus told them, "You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.
JN 12:44 Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
No one who believes in Christ Jesus "should STAY in darkness" of hell. That says it all! Thank you Lord Jesus for your Light! I see much more clearly now! This world has been created to TEACH, CORRECT and bring us into PERFECTION. Some believe that God does this in some "afterlife" that is out there and in the future. Yes, God is bringing us to salvation and Perfection in our AFTER life. Yet, it is takes life AFTER life, AFTER life, AFTER life to work out our salvation! Our spirit will continue on as we are being taught, corrected and perfected by Christ. This world of the dead is where we must be freed from. When our mind (soul) has been lifted above this world, we will feel the peace and joy in Christ. Then we may cry out like the Psalmist did:
PS 116:8 For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
PS 86:13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest HELL.
Look at what is said here! Christ has delivered my soul (mind) from the cares of the world, stopped my "weeping and gnashing" and has given me Light so that my feet don't stumble in the DARKNESS of this world as Jesus told us! Today many spirits may be trapped in hell, but tomorrow God may awaken them and lift them into a higher existence, a higher glory and a higher understanding of their true nature! Jesus truly does have the keys to Hades and IS currently setting the captives free! There IS Mercy in HELL! We are delivered from death and the place of the dead by God's faith and love given through His Son, Jesus the Christ!
God's peace and understanding be with you,
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