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There is a teaching in the mainstream churches that says the lost are going to spend a never ending eternity suffering in 'hell.' Some believe the lost will be literally burning in hell fire for all eternity, while others believe the lost will be locked up in some place of darkness for all eternity. This teaching is not only unbiblical, but is one of, if not THE most wicked teachings there is. To believe that our God of LOVE will cause the lost to suffer in never ending flames of fire, or forever be locked up in some place of darkness (which would still be torture!) just for a few years of sin in this body of flesh that is PRONE to sin, is to not know God at all! Just think about that for a moment. Our NATURAL desire in this fallen flesh is to sin against God. So how could God's 'JUSTICE' torture someone for all eternity for just a few years of sin and rejection of Jesus, when it is in our VERY NATURE to do this?

This false teaching of hell in the mainstream churches does great damage to the character of our heavenly Father and has turned many people away from God, which is why the truth on this is important, and we will show from the Bible why this is a false teaching.

Ezekiel 33:11 ...'Say unto them, as I live, saith the LORD God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.'

Look at what God is saying above. Even the death of the wicked is difficult for Him, because He is such a loving God. And yet people believe that God will torture the wicked in 'hell' for all eternity, just for a short life lived on this earth. So let us begin by looking at something very interesting from the Word of God:

Hebrews 12:29 ...'For our God is a consuming fire.'

Exodus 24:17 ...'And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.'

Leviticus 10:1-2 ...'And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.'

The Bible is full of verses speaking of the fire from God which 'consumes' and 'devours.' Now we all know what the words 'consume' and 'devour' means. It means to completely destroy, leaving NOTHING behind. So the question is, how will the wicked be able to continue to LIVE in the consuming fires of God when the fire of God is all consuming and completely destroys? "Oh it is only the soul of that person that continues to live on in hell." Really?

Ezekiel 18:20 ...'The soul that sinneth, it shall die.'

Take a look at the following Bible verse which answers who exactly it is that will be able to LIVE among the devouring fire of God:

Isaiah 33:14-15 ...'Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly.'

Wow! Do you see? It is only the RIGHTEOUS who will be able to live with the all consuming fire of God. The wicked, whether in body or just "soul" CANNOT dwell with the ALL consuming fire of God. How can this be? Because only the righteous saved will have the "fireproof clothing" (righteous robe of Christ) to live with this fire. The lost will not be clothed with Christ's righteousness and will therefore be burned up, completely consumed, no longer to exist.


There are four words for hell in the Bible. In the Old Testament, the word is 'sheol' which simply means 'the grave'. There are three different words in the New Testament which are translated 'hell'. Those three words are: Tartarus, Gehenna and Hades. Let's look at these three in the New Testament.

2 Peter 2:4 ...'For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell [Tartarus], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.'

This is the only place in the Bible where Tartarus is used and is specifically used for the fallen angels. It is interesting because it says in this verse that God has already cast the angels who sinned (including satan) down to hell. Is satan and his angels roasting in hell fire now? No, because they are roaming around this earth tempting and deceiving people as the apostle Peter confirmed in 1 Peter 5:8. So what does this mean about hell? Well, the meaning of tartarus is 'dark abyss' or 'place of restraint'. This isn't a place of judgment, because satan and his angels have not received their punishment yet as it says in 2 Peter 2:4 that they are 'reserved unto judgment'. So 'Tatarus' is simply a holding place for the fallen spirits connected with this earth and 2 Peter 3:7 also points to this fact, look:

2 Peter 3:7 ...'But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.'

So just as the fallen angels are 'reserved unto judgment' and kept by 'chains,' our heaven and earth is also 'kept in store, reserved unto judgment.' So the angels being kept in 'chains' and reserved for judgment is clearly connected with this earth. Now there could be some element of this 'bound in darkness' that we are not aware of concerning the fallen angels. But comparing verse with verse, this 'Tartarus' as a place of 'binding' is connected with this earth, as this is where Satan and his angels roam to deceive and possess. So this 'hell' isn't a place where lost humans are punished. This is simply the holding place, connected with this earth for the fallen angels.

The next word for hell to look at is 'Hades'.

Revelation 20:14 ...'And death and hell [Hades] were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.'

So hades cannot be hell fire, because it is cast into the lake of fire itself and you cannot cast hell fire into itself, as that makes no sense. So what is hades? Well, the King James Version Bible and Strong's translates it as 'the grave'. This now makes sense, death and 'the grave' are cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death. To back this up, take a look at 1 Corinthians 15:55:

1 Corinthians 15:55 ...'O death, where is thy sting? O grave [Hades], where is thy victory?'

The Greek word for GRAVE in the above verse is 'Hades.' This then makes more sense of what Revelation 20:14 is saying above. It is death and the grave which are cast into hell fire to be finally destroyed. And this is what the word 'Hades' means. It is simply the grave, where all the dead go until the resurrection. To confirm this truth even more, take a look at the few verses before 1 Corinthians 15:55:

1 Corinthians 15:51-55 ...'Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave [Hades], where is thy victory?'

Did you see the truth regarding Hades in the above verses? Paul is talking about the saints who are raised to life. It is the saints who also rise out of Hades. Clearly the saints don't go to a fiery hell when they die, which confirms without a shadow of a doubt that hades simply means 'the grave.' The place where we all return to, as God confirmed in Genesis 3:19, until the resurrection.

Lastly, we have the word Gehenna to look at.

Matthew 5:22 ...'but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell [Gehenna] fire.'

All theologians agree that this word 'gehenna' was based on the 'valley of Hinnom', south of Jerusalem where trash and dead bodies were burned. The following quotes are from old Lexicons regarding the word Gehenna:

"The Lexicon of Liddell and Scott says of this word: Gehenna, prop. the valley of Hinnom, from Hebrew: a beautiful valley near Jerusalem, where children had been sacrificed to Moloch; afterwards held in abomination, and used as a place to cast carcasses of animals and malefactors, which were consumed by fire constantly kept up." (Review and Herald, June 15, 1869, p.194)

"The Lexicon of Greenfield gives the same origin to the word. Thus it says: Gehenna, properly the valley of Hinnom south of Jerusalem, once celebrated for the horrid worship of Moloch, and afterwards polluted with every species of filth, as well as the carcasses of animals, and dead bodies of malefactors ; to consume which, in order to avert the pestilence which such a mass of corruption would occasion, constant fires were kept burning." (Review and Herald, June 15, 1869, p.194)

Now let me confirm. The meaning of the word Gehenna is pointing to a PLACE ON EARTH. This 'hell' is not some place under the earth, or some other mystery place where 'lost souls' burn. It is pointing to a PLACE ON EARTH, which will make sense as you continue reading further down the page.

Jesus used this word a few times to confirm that there will be a real fire that the lost will be cast into:

Matthew 5:29 ...'And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell [Gehenna].'

Did you see what Jesus said here? He said that the lost are cast into hell fire 'whole bodied'. When we die, our 'whole body' does not go to 'Gehenna' but into 'Hades' (THE GRAVE -as confirmed above). So if the body of the wicked do not go into Gehenna at death, then when are the lost thrown into hell fire (Gehenna)?

Matthew 13:40-42 ...'As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 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; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.'

The tares here are the lost. So it is at the 'end of the world', that the lost are cast into hell fire. Jesus here calls it a 'furnace of fire', and this is the 'Gehenna' which the wicked are cast into, 'whole bodied' at the end of the world, NOT at death. This is the 'hell fire' that is specially reserved for Satan and his angels, according to Matthew 25:41, and all those who take the side of Satan will be cast also into that fire in the end. But do they then burn forever as many in the churches believe? Well, let's take a look at the final judgment of Satan himself and his followers:

Ezekiel 28:14-19 ...'Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth ... Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee ... Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty ... 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 ... AND NEVER SHALT THOU BE ANY MORE.'

Malachi 4:1 ...'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.'

So the LORD says that the fire which will devour even Satan himself will result in him "never being any more." If you are never to be any more, then are you still existing? Of course not. And look at what Malachi 4 says about the wicked who are thrown into the lake of fire in the end. It says the fire shall "burn them up" and will leave them "neither root nor branch." What is left of something if you destroy the root? NOTHING! This is the truth regarding the 'hell fire' (Gehenna) which is to devour the wicked in the end, including Satan and his angels. They will be completely destroyed, never to be any more, leaving nothing left behind.

But what about the verses which says that hell fire will burn 'forever and ever'? We will deal with them in part 2. The link to which you can see at the bottom of this page.

So we now know what hell is and the true meaning of the word 'hell'.

Tartarus means: A place of darkness or restraint. Where satan and his angels are now, on earth, cast out of heaven.

Hades means: The grave. All people who have died, the lost and the saints are resting there until the resurrection (see Daniel 12:2)

Gehenna means: A place ON EARTH of real fire (the lake of fire), where the wicked are punished, 'burned up' and destroyed, never to be anymore ... 'At the end of the world'.


So we know that a real fire is coming upon this world, as Peter confirms in 2 Peter 3:7 ...'But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.' ... Did you catch what was said there? This earth is kept "in store" and "reserved" for judgment, just like the evil angels are. Jesus in Matthew 13 confirmed that the hell fire is at 'the end of the world'. Peter confirms here that the heavens and earth are reserved for that day of judgement after the second coming of Christ Jesus to burn with a literal hell fire. Now take a look at what Peter said a few verses on ...

2 Peter 3:10 ...'But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.' ... This verse is very clear on what hell fire is. When Jesus returns at the second coming, the sky above and the earth will literally be burned with fire. So if you believe that hell is some place beneath the earth's surface or some other mystery place, have another think, because the Bible truth shows where hell fire is, in that the whole earth is destined for fire. Hell will literally be ON EARTH! LOOK:

Isaiah 24:1,3,5,6 ...'Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof ... The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word ...The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.'

Isaiah 34:8-10 ...'For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.'

Revelation 20:9 ...'And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.'

First of all. Where will hell fire be? Isaiah and Revelation confirms it will be ON EARTH. Also, do you see the same language as we see in the New Testament? Words like "shall not be quenched", and "smoke ascend for ever and ever". So if we take this literally, then this earth will burn for all eternity. But now look at what Peter said regarding this earth:

2 Peter 3:13 ...'Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.'

Now how can the lost still be burning if God has re-created the heavens and the earth and all things are new? It's not possible! This means the fire and the wicked HAVE to come to an end for God to make a new heaven and earth. And if only righteousness dwells in the new heaven and earth, then the wicked HAVE to be destroyed forever! Friend, this is the Bible truth of God concerning hell fire. It will 'burn up' everything, including those who are lost and everything is made new, where ONLY 'righteousness dwells'. Heaven and the new earth cannot be a place of peace and righteousness if the lost continue to burn for all eternity.

Gehenna is the actual final judgment for the lost, the actual fires of God in the end on earth. And look at what Jesus confirmed concerning this ... Matthew 10:28 ...'And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [Gehenna].'

Do you see? God will destroy both body AND SOUL in the Gehenna fire on earth at the end!

Revelation also reveals the truth about hell fire. See the sequence of events below:

Revelation 20:12 ...'and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.'

Revelation 20:15 ...'And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.'

Revelation 20:14 ...'And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.'

Revelation 21:5 .....'And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.'

So we have a clear sequence of events above. First, the judgment, which happens after Jesus returns. Then, those who are lost are cast into the lake of fire (hell fire - 'Gehenna'), to die the 'second death'. And finally, all things are made new. Again, how can God make ALL THINGS new if the lost continue to burn 'forever'? It's impossible, the lost will have to 'burn up' and be completely destroyed. And this is what Jesus confirmed in Matthew 10:28, that God will destroy both body and soul in the end. This hell fire will also serve to purify the atmosphere and the earth from all the chemical pollutants in it, and most importantly to forever destroy sin and wickedness.

Satan is doing his very best, working through the Roman Catholic Church and fallen Protestant churches (Babylon) to obscure and confuse the truth of God's Word. If we do not plant ourselves firmly on the truth of God's Word in the Bible, then we will leave ourselves open to be deceived. Many people have left the faith because they were taught the error that God will burn the lost forever. Friend, we do not serve a God who would do such an awful thing. He loves us all, and would not allow anyone to suffer in agony in hell fire for eternity. Does this teaching of eternal hell fire glorify God? No, it makes Him out to be a tyrant, which is what satan wants. But thankfully, we can know from the truth of His Word that He will not burn the lost in flames of fire forever. The truth about hell is laid out before.

For more truth on this, please see part 2 - DOES HELL BURN FOREVER?