Posts by Joe David Wilson

I AM that I AM Part 4

An idea cannot be without an image or a word to represent it; and therefore God was never without His Word, nor was His Word without Him. “The Word was with God, and the Word was God;’ for a word is the idea expressed; and thus the “Word that was made flesh” became “the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person”—so our Lord could say; “he that hath seen the Son, has seen the Father, also.”
We can define members of divinity by the roles, jobs, functions they have and do perform in the salvation of man. The phrase “Son of God” describes a temporal relation, like the phrase “the Word of God” denotes an eternal, un-originated relation. There WAS a Word of God from eternity, but the Son of God BEGAN to be in the days of Caesar Augustus. “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten thee” was given only after the Son of God was by His resurrection from the dead declared to be the Son of God with a power and evidence extraordinary and divine. The Word incarnate or dwelling in human flesh, is the person called our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ; and while in the system of grace the Father is the ONE God, in all the supremacy of His glory, Jesus is the ONE LORD in all the divine fullness of sovereignty, supreme, and universal authority. The Lord of Japheth, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is the God and the Lord of Christians; for “the Child” that has been born to us, and “the Son” that has been given, according to another Prophet, came from eternity: “His goings forth have been from of old from everlasting.” Such is the evangelical history of the author and finisher of the Christian system as to His previous nature and relation in the deity or godhead. But there is more!!
“He became.” One distinctive way of comprehending of whom this speaks is to determine which member of divinity who bears the nature called God, began to be something different than His original and continuing existence or person!! He became a true and proper “Son of Man,” yet no man could ever claim to be His Father, NOR was He the production of man!! “A body hast thou prepared Me.” But the “Me” was before “the body”!! The “Me” had dwelt and would again continue forever to dwell “in the bosom of the Father.” He had never begun nor would ever end in being, yet He took upon Himself human flesh so the blood He would shed could be the sin offering for His Bride, the Church of Christ,”God, the Father, so loved the world, the Church of Christ, that He, the Father, gave, freely sacrificed, for the Church, His eternal Word”.
It is said of Him: “I came forth from God,” I AM “the Incarnate Word.” From the presence of the Father, the Son withdrew, came to dwell on the Earth for thirty three years. Great beyond expression and “without controversy, great is the mystery—the secret of godliness.” For to come “forth from” and still “be in” while at the same time “to dwell among men” is something only the “eternal Word,” did!! This is another clear and proper distinction. “God was manifest in the flesh.” Another way to distinguish Father from Son is “He that has seen Me has seen the Father, also.” The Son of Man was and is the Son of God—Emanuel, God with us.” Adored be His name!! The one God in the person of the Father has commanded all men to worship and honor the one Lord, “the eternal Word,” —for He alone is to be reverend: for now in glorifying the Son, we glorify the Father that sent Him and that dwells in Him. “Know ye not that I Am in the Father, and the Father in Me?” our Lord declared!! Such is the distinctive difference and qualification of God, the Father and God, the Son, eternally know by the expression, which in fact He is, the “the Word”, while in covenant with the Father, called Jesus Christ!! At His feet “all men must bow, to the glory of God, the Father.”

I AM that I AM Part 3

The relationships in the human family are limited to three: for while all the human nature was at one time originally and wholly in the person of Adam, it was afterwards found equally in the person of Eve; and again in the persons of their children. The way man came into being and the relationships between men, women and children there can only be three .Now, as to the way these relationships exist, they exist in only three dimensions: father-mother-children. Adam, himself at first had no relationship with any other human being for none existed. Eve’s relationship to Adam was derived from Adam; she came from him and was OF him. Their children were not OF Adam, they were OF Adam and Eve; and so the story of relationships began and ended in the human family and here the matter ends; for while Eve proceeded from Adam in one mode, and their children proceeded from Adam and Eve in another, all the residue of human nature exist without any new or other relation or mode of impartation. Let the atheist and monkey-oriented religionist explain why in all the years since Adam and Eve, there has not arisen another relation, mode, or defining of relationship among the human family, Now, as man is made in the image of God, we must conceive of Him as having plurality, relation, and society in himself—though far be it from us to suppose that the divine nature either is or can be fairly or fully exhibited by any resemblance or illustration drawn from angel or from man, or from any created thing!! Still, there is a resemblance between God and the sun that shines upon us—between God and an angel—between God and man; and even in the mode of His existence, and in the varieties of relation and personal manifestation, there is so much resemblance as to peremptorily forbid all dogmatism as to what is, or is not, compatible with the unity, spirituality, and immutability of God. But of this we will later examine and record.
God became a Son. “The holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” “Unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.” Again; “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” “No person has ascended into heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man, who is in heaven.” (or whose abode in heaven is). “God so loved the world (church) that He gave His only begotten Son—the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth.” So speak the divine oracles of the supreme Deity and Excellency of the “author and finisher of our Faith.” “By Him and for Him all things were created and made; and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” But, He became flesh! Who became flesh? That divine and glorious One that existed before the universe, who’s mysterious, sublime, and glorious designation was THE WORD OF GOD!! Before the Christian system, before the relation of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit BEGAN TO BE, His rank in the divine nature was that of the WORD OF GOD. Wonderful name!! This intimate and dear name describes a relationship unappreciated!! The relation between a word and the idea which it represents is the nearest and closest of all relationships in the universe; for the idea is in the word, and the word is in the idea!! The idea cannot be without an image or a word to represent it; and therefore God WAS NEVER WITHOUT HIS WORD, nor was His Word without Him!! Again, the idea is invisible, inaudible, unintelligible, but in and by the Word, so, John describes Him as “The Word was with God, and the Word was God;” for a word is the idea expressed; and thus the “Word that was, was made flesh.” That Word is God!!


I AM that I AM Part 2

When speaking of the great I Am, the Scriptures speak of His divinity. Divinity is a description of His nature, power, might, and strength. When speaking of His being He is always referred to as spiritual. Spiritual beings are the only beings before creation and are completely unique and rare in the vastness of thought and construction; they had no limits or barriers, nor did they lack anything-they were complete and whole in themselves and equal in all the ways by which man can measure domain. Also, they are eternal-never in any imagination or thought, description of entity nor inference of reality was it ever conceived that divine beings were described as anything but present, being, existing, never having begun even IF they never had anything from which to begin!! We have not much said upon this incomprehensible theme; for who by searching can find out God, or know the Almighty to perfection? “The knowledge of Him is as high as the heavens: what canst thou do? Deeper than hell: what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.” Job 11:7-10
Paul and Peter indeed speak of the divine nature in the abstract (they are conceptual rather than concrete—hence there is no real way, in man’s experiences of life, to describe them), or in a way that attempts to describe the divinity or godhead. These are the most abstract terms found in the Bible. Eternity and divinity are, however, equally abstract and almost equally rare in the Holy Book. Still, they are necessarily found in the divine volume; because we must abstract nature from person before we can understand the remedial system- we relegate each a ROLE-PLAYING identity to understand which member did what!! For the divine nature may be communicated or imparted in some sense; and, indeed, while it is essentially and necessarily singular, it is certainly plural in its personal manifestations of the three that have this type nature. That is why they are named the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Though they are equally divine, they are personally-individually distinct from each other. We have, in fact, but one God, one Lord, one Holy Spirit; yet these are equally possessed of one and the same divine nature.
Some conceive of God as a mathematical unit; one in three. As a mathematical unit, some religious groups have thought it impossible these three cannot exist as one—separate, distinct, totally independent of each other. We often consider the unities that exist in a happily married couple!! Man has thought a Being with the nature of God cannot be both mathematically singular and plural—one and three, at the same time and in the same sense, they have denied the true and proper divinity of the Son of God and the Spirit of God. Yet, they seem to understand marriage!! They reason not in harmony with the sacred style of inspiration. But why should we imagine that there cannot be a plurality of personal manifestations in the divine nature any more that in the angelic or human; especially as man was created in the image of God?? Or in another way of expressing this truth; as man is multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, and multi-definable (father, man, son, husband, head, and on and on), so can God. As man cannot be cross-dimensional neither can God—that is, Christ cannot at the same time be both His own Father and Himself as some try to think when they struggle with the “one in the Godhead” idea. How could Jesus pray to His Father and be praying to Himself?? Why should we imagine that there cannot be a plurality of personal manifestations- roles- functions participated in by those of the divine nature any more than in the angelic or human, especially as man was created in the image of God?? Why would that not be considered a likeness??

I AM that I AM

The Bible is a book of facts, not of opinions, theories, abstract generalities, nor verbal definitions. It is a book of awful facts, grand and sublime beyond description. These facts reveal God and man, and contain within them the reasons of all piety and righteousness, or what is commonly called religion and morality. The meaning of the Bible facts is the true biblical doctrine. History has, we say, to do with facts—religion springs from them. Hence, the history of the past, and the anticipations of the future, or what are usually called history and prophecy, make up most of all the volumes of inspiration. Of all the books written, there is only One book written describing, explaining, and revealing the ONE BEING with whom all who have ever existed or will exist will deal, GOD!! He cries in the beginning of inspiration—“I Am that I Am.”
“I lift up My hand to heaven and say, “I live forever.” “The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary; there is no searching of His understanding.” “Do not I fill heaven and earth, saith the Lord.” “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place; with him also that is of contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” ‘I beseech thee show me thy glory; and He said, I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” “And the Lord passed before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and in truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and that by no means acquits the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and fourth generation”—“and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments.” “O Lord God of Israel, who dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone; thou hast made heaven and earth. Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our Aleim is one Jehovah—the Lord our God is one Lord.” “Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou king of saints.” “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name, for thou alone art holy?” “He is our Rock: His work is perfect, for all His ways are judgment; a God of truth and without iniquity: just and right is He.” “Glorious in holiness, fearful in praise, doing wonders.”
Such are a few—a specimen of the Divine declarations concerning God, repeated and re-echoed by the purest and most intellectual beings in heaven and earth!! It is from His word and His works we learn the being and perfections of God. As we form a character of man from what he says and what he does, so learn we the Divine character. “The heaven declare His glory, and the firmament His handiwork; day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.” Creation reveals the power, the wisdom, and the goodness of God—-Providence proclaims also His justice, truth, and holiness. Redemption develops His mercy, condescension, and love; and all those proclaim that God is infinite, eternal, and immutable. God appears before the universe of intellectuals in the threefold attitude of Creator, Law giver, and Redeemer; and, although each of these involves and reveals many of His Excellencies, still in each department three are most conspicuous; Creator, Lawgiver and Redeemer. In each and all of which departments He is infinite, immutable, and eternal

Hell Part 13

Tophet was an area in the valley of Hinnom where human sacrifices were made to Moloch. Jeremiah 7:31, 2 Kings 23:10 It is first mentioned by Isaiah who declared that a Topheth, a place of burning, was prepared by the Lord for the king of Assyria. Isaiah 30:33 Josiah defiled this place so that it no longer could be used for idolatrous practices. 2 Kings 23:10 The allegorical name of Topheth used in the Old Testament was the place where the sons of Hinnom had a ravine south of Jerusalem. It was thought by those in Jerusalem to be the place of the Last Judgment of God. This place was used by name in the preamble called by the name Gehenna. First mentioned in Joshua 15:8, it was described as the outer boundary of Judah. The pagan god Moloch was erected there. Children were placed in the fires of the idol in sacrifice. It was a place repugnant to God. Jeremiah 7:31-33 declares; “And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded not, neither came it into My mind. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Topheth, till there be no place to bury. And the dead bodies of this people shall be food for the birds of the heavens and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall frighten them away.” Isaiah adds: “For Topheth is prepared of old; yea, for the king it is made ready; he hath made it deep and large; the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of Jehovah, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.” Isaiah 30:33 It became a reference to what God had in store for the disobedient, a place of corruption that no man would want to enter. From the imagery of the place, from the burning fire of Moloch to the detestable nature of the garbage dump, it becomes a portrayal of Hell.
Gehenna and unquenchable fire became a parallel. The fire spoken of is eternal and unquenchable, and for that matter, the punishment in which they continue became, by usage, the same. To attempt to take the concept of eternal punishment out of God’s Word mocks His intent and warning to those who would disobey His Law. To take the punishment out of Hell, one takes the fear, dread, and contempt from the sinner. If a punishment is not severe, the offender will never fear the Law. How could there be weeping and gnashing of teeth unless there is conscious punishment? Keep in mind that ALL the words used to speak of the punishment of the wicked, every word, and every picture: all the statements presented in the scriptures picture one fact—the eternal conscious punishment of the unredeemable, they sinned away their salvation!!
In Matthew 25:46 Jesus uses another Greek word we need to be familiar with and that is the Greek word kolasis. It is defined as correction, punishment; penalty…brings with it or has connected with it the thought of punishment, (definition Thayer, page 353). It is found in two passages, 1 John 4:18 and Matthew 25:46. “And these shall go away into eternal punishment (kolasis)”. Matthew 25:46 Naturally, those who want to teach the doctrine of annihilation or extinction want to take the “punch” out of this word. The utter repudiation of the New World Translation were it translates kolasis “cutting off” is unconscionable.
Finally, there is one more Greek word used many times referencing Hell, that is the Greek word basanizo. Thayer defines it as “to test, to question by applying torture, to vex with grievous pains (of body and mind), to torment, to be distressed”.

Hell Part 12

The term Tartarus many times is also translated Hell. It is found only one time in the New Testament. It is in 2 Peter 2:4, in the verbal form tartaroo. This is the place of the subterranean region, doleful and dark, regarded by the ancient Greeks as the abode of the wicked dead, where they suffer for their evil deeds. The argument that this place is for the “angels who sinned” mentioned here and not for mankind destroys Peter’s argument. This is a comparison for the sinful angels and sinful man. The unrighteous will suffer the same as the angels and will be kept “under punishment unto the day of judgment.” They (I hope not any of us) will remain conscious of their pain, separation, un-redeemable condition until the blowing of the final trump as Christ calls His church up to be with Him. The ungodly will be consigned to the “blackness of darkness,” just like the angels that were “committed to pits of darkness.” If the angels continued in a conscious existence in their chains of darkness then we must conclude that the humans so consigned continue in a conscious existence, and under punishment!!
Gehenna is another word, of all those we can study that can rightly be translated Hell in our modern sense of eternal punishment. It is used eleven times by Jesus and once by James. It has a literal origin and describes a situation many resist. The valley of the sons of Hinnom was a ravine south of Jerusalem. In the gospels it is the place of punishment in the next life. The first mention of it is found in Joshua 15:8. It was a pleasant valley; it became later a place of pagan sacrifices. The pagan god Moloch was erected there to which children were placed in the fires of the idol in sacrifice. “Moreover, he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom , and burnt his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom Jehovah cast out before the children of Israel.” 2 Chronicles 28:3
The term TOPHETH means “abomination, detestation” and comes from a word meaning “to vomit with loathing.” It is a detestable place. The burning of children in the fires of Moloch of itself was detestable. It was also a place of debacle in what it became. After king Josiah defiled the valley by filling it with the “blood of the innocent”, making it a place unfit in which man could habitat , a place of corruption, it became what God prophesied it would be. It became the garbage dump of the city of Jerusalem. The stench was terrible; animals and worms fed on the garbage thrown there. It is said that fires were kept burning there to control the refuse, and that some criminals were sometimes thrown there after being put to death. But the imagery of the place, from the burning fire of Moloch to the detestable nature of the garbage dump is carried into the portrayal of Hell. Like the word Paradise, of Persian origin, used in the New Testament to characterize Heaven, the word Hinnom became figuratively a reference to eternal punishment. “And if thy hand or thy foot causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee; it is good for thee to enter into life maimed or halt, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into the eternal fire. And if thine eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is good for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire.” Matthew 18:8-9 Notice the “eternal fire” of verse 8 is the same as the “hell (Gehenna) of fire” of verse 9!! Mark 9:43 says it “into unquenchable fire.” The punishment last as long as the fire, punishment is not punishment unless it is experienced!! Thayer says this is the definition of “where the worm dieth not”. The term WORM stands for the conscious, continuous punishment experienced. This type of worm preys upon dead bodies in Hell!!

Hell Part 11

We have been discussing the place called Hades in the Greek and Sheol in the Hebrew, the intermediate regions of those who’s bodies are separated from their souls/spirits before the coming of Jesus Christ and His death on Calvary’s tree. We have found that when the soul/spirit of Christ was separated from the body in which He housed Himself, He went to this place because He took upon Himself the sins of all mankind. “Because Thou wilt not leave My soul in Hades, Neither wilt Thou give Thy Holy One to see corruption.” Acts 2:27 This is a quote from Psalms 16:10 where Sheol is the term used in Hebrew. Notice there is a difference between the WHERE the soul went and where the body went!! The Jehovah’s Witnesses like to counter with a little of their wisdom and tell you that both words mean a common grave, a condition where the dead and buried ones are unseen, like Jonah in the belly of the whale. The only problem with this “wisdom from Brooklyn” (the headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses) is that somebody needs to tell them that Jonah wasn’t dead while he was in the belly of the whale!! The soul of Jesus was in Hades, His body was in the borrowed tomb of Joseph of Arimathea! Jonah never resurrected, he was vomited from the whale’s belly!!
As discussed last week, when Jesus resurrected from the grave, He was in complete control of Hades. This was even BEFORE He went back to the Father!! In Revelation 1:18 John wrote “I Am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” Jesus has control of these realms-NOW-He is the only one who can open and shut those realms. When He returns as judge, He will again open these realms and allow them to view the glory of His Bride as she receives His welcome into the eternal Kingdom!! No Pentecostal preacher can raise one soul from Hades, CHRIST opens and none can shut, He shuts and none can open, He is the Lord of Hades for He vanquished Satan when He went there to re-claim those who were His but separated from Him because of sin! “And the sea gave up the dead that was in it; and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, even the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:13-14 Most of my brethren miss the WHEN of this event. They tell us this will happen at the second coming. They don’t keep this in context with the rest of the chapter or BOOK! First, we know who the “dead” are that are mentioned—they are those who had a part in the first resurrection over which the second death has no power!! There is a first resurrection and there is a general resurrection. Those of us in the first resurrection are saints of God that first had to be buried with Christ in baptism. The saints in Colossians 3:1-3 had been raised with Christ, and the saints in Romans 6:3-5 had been raised in the likeness of Christ’s resurrection. They lived with Christ, they had become priest and kings with Christ while on the earth, Revelations 5:10 There are two places to serve in the New Tabernacle of God: the holy and the Most holy places. Christ serves in the Most Holy (Heaven) as our High Priest WHILE we serve as Priest is the holy place (the Church of Christ) while on the earth!! Hebrews 9:24-28 Therefore, those priests and kings mentioned in Revelation 20 HAD TO BE in the church on earth; otherwise, they could not have served as a “Kingdom of Priests”!! They became the church when they were washed in the blood of the Lamb (Acts 20:28). They became kings and priests when they were washed in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 1:5). WHEN they were made kings and priests, (Revelation 20:6), the realm in which they were kept was irrevocable altered, all that were left it were judged, eternally!

Hell Part 10

The Greek word for Sheol means essentially the same, the word is Hades. It appears only ten times in the New Testament and is defined by the scholar Thayer as “the nether (lower) world, the realm of the dead.” Hades, taken in its most general sense was the place of assembly and residence for all who departed from the present world before Christ came. The classical Greek writers considered Hades to be divided into two parts. The upper part the “Elysian fields”, the abode of the good, the lower part, just lower down, was tartaros, the place of punishment for the wicked.
When Christ went to the Hadean world He re-made its constituency. He took from its borders the souls that were “under altars who had cried; ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” Revelation 6:10 There are some who do not understand Matthew 16:18 where Jesus said; “and I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Gates, here, indicate a closure that would keep one in Hades. Jesus went to Hades when He died, but it did not contain Him; He came forth to complete His appointed rendezvous with God the Father. Coming forth from the grave, Christ opened the graves; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” Matthew 27:52-53 These were they to whom Moses had delivered a message when he returned from the Mount of Transfiguration where he had been with Jesus and Elijah discussing Christ decease that was to be accomplished outside the city of Jerusalem!(Luke 9:31), they who were stirred (aroused to overthrow Satan in his own kingdom, Revelation 12:7-10) up for Him, even all the chief ones of the earth; it had raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations”, Isaiah 14:9, when Christ came epitomized as Michael the arch angel- when He went to claim they who were His(in the Hadean realm, the heart of the earth)!! As Paul writes: “Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth (He went into the Hadean world)? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens (He went above the heavens above us and the heavens of outer space), that He might fill all things (fulfill all prophecies made concerning Him). (And when He ascended) He gave (sent the Holy Spirit, who empowered) some, apostles, and some prophets; and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers. For the perfecting of the saints (delivering of His New Testament), for the work of the ministry (through the laying on of the hands of the apostles, men were empowered to teach the saved); for the edifying of the body of Christ: TILL we all come (had received) the unity (fullness, the entirety- “when that which was perfect HAD COME”, when the “faith was once and for all delivered to the saints” ) of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God (so we could “know Him (understand why He had to die), and the power of His resurrection (what this means to us in receiving the forgiveness of sins through His blood), and fellowship of His sufferings (“all who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution”), being made conformable (we might receive a spiritual body, the likeness in which He resides) unto His death); as a perfect (mature) man, unto the measure (totality) of the stature (complete intention of God the Father concerning Jesus Christ) of the fullness (the entire purpose for which) Christ came.” Ephesians 4:8-13
“Because He will not leave My soul in Hades, neither wilt Thou allow Thy Holy One to see corruption (which begins on the fourth day in the grave)”Acts 2:27-31,Ps 16:10

Hell Part 9

The Witnesses insist that the only punishment is death, a ceasing to exist, and the only hell to be expected is the grave. Russell and his posterity claim that it is superstitious error to believe otherwise. They play on the English word Hell in its modern understanding. The word Hell is not a fair present day translation of the term used in the Bible. Our English word Hell has changed in meaning over the centuries so that it now refers solely to the place of eternal torment. Some have supposed that the word Hell in the King James is a mistranslation by them, but that isn’t so, either. For the English of that time it is correct, and does correspond to the word Sheol and Hades. It is now misleading, and is why the Witnesses can deceive the ignorant with such arguments.
There was an early English verb hele which meant to cover, to hide; and from this source comes the final hiding-place, hell. This word was at first used of the abode of the dead, the underworld (which contained both the Elysian Fields of the blessed and Tartarus for the accursed); but it’s use to translate the Greek gehenna, in the New Testament, turned it into the haunt of the fiends and devils, or the horrid hell. The Russellites agree to this truth as in seen in their article on Hell in their Aid to Bible Understanding, page 752. As they state at the opening, “…the word ‘hell’ as understood today, is not a happy translation” So our discussion will not turn on what the current English word Hell means, but rather what does the Bible teach!!
Sheol—this term appears 64 times in the Old Testament. It is translated Hell thirty-one times, and otherwise as GRAVE or PIT, in the King James Translation. More recent translations do not translate the word, but just render it into English as is. The definition of the Hebrew word sheol is the invisible state of the dead, the place and state of those who are out of the way and to be sought for. By this definition, is seems nearly to be the same as the Greek word Hades-which, by the way, the Septuagint almost constantly render it!! Ho hades topos, the invisible place. Our old English Hell, which now scarcely used but for the place of torment, yet being a derivative for the Saxon hillan or helan, which meant to hide, or from holla cavern, anciently denoted the concealed or unseen place of the dead in general, as is seen in the King James version. Jacob cried; “I will go down mourning into sheol to my son in mourning”. Genesis 37:35 What he meant was that he would go down to his grave mourning for he thought his son had been devoured by a wild beast! The Russellites mock this by saying Jacob was going to a receptacle of the body and so that is where all men go; back to the dust of the ground. Jacob certainly didn’t think that in going “unto” his son that he would be going back to the dust where all men go, he was talking about the place he would meet his son when his soul/spirit was separated from his body!! Again, when Nathan and Abiathar contested Moses authority to lead Israel, the Bible says “they went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them, and they perished from among the congregation.” The Russellites jump on this verse and say; “see here, they perished when they went there!” That is not what the verse says!! It says “they perished from AMONG THE CONGREGATION” Finally, they make much over Ecclesiastes 9:10 which reads; “for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” This passage speaks of things concerning this life, NOW, in the flesh. All one can do must be done NOW; all purposes, plans, thoughts, knowledge, wisdom will cease at death of things DONE UNDER THE SUN. Jonah, Johan 2:2 “cried out of the fish’s belly, out of the belly of hell cried I”—Jonah was not dead, just unseen by human eyes!!

Hell Part 8

It is always something that all can notice: when the doctrines of men are mentioned, they are always in the plural and when the doctrine of Christ is mentioned-it is always in the singular—hence doctrines verses doctrine!! When we look at the doctrine of Christ it is that which was given in the first century. When we look at the doctrines of men, they are those which NEVER come from the first century! Reference John 7:16, 1 Timothy 4:6, 2 Timothy 4:3, Titus 1:9, and 2:1. When the Bible speaks of man-made doctrines it is always plural: reference Matthew 15:9, Colossians 2:22, 1 Timothy 4:1, and Hebrews 12:9. There is another outstanding difference between man-made doctrines and the doctrine of Christ: the doctrine of Christ started and was first taught in Jerusalem, all man-made doctrines started somewhere else, some even in America!!
Matthew 7:21-23, as we were discussing, concerns itself ONLY with the “once redeemed”! Jesus was perfectly indignant with them for their departure from His doctrine. These who approached our Lord, and you notice they approached Him, were even of the first century. Look at what they claimed and the Lord did not deny they had done: “they had cast out devils in Thy name”. This was apart of the miraculous era of the Lord’s church. This only existed in the first century and was that that was given through the laying on of the apostle’s hands!! There are many denominations that claim such miraculous working power, today-the only trouble with that is that miraculous powers came ONLY through the laying on of the apostles hands, Acts 8: 17-18, or they have to be one of the original apostles Jesus endowed with this power, Acts 1:4-5, and only continued until “that which is perfect is come”. 1 Corinthians 13:10, and it HAS come; Jude wrote that the Church of Christ is to “earnestly contend for the faith which has once and for all been delivered to the saints”. Jude verse 3.
They taught “in the name” of or by the authority of Christ, or this was their claim!!. This teaches us they WERE members of the Body of Christ at one time but had left their “first love” and gone about “teaching perverse things to draw away disciples.” Acts 20:30 Like the Pharisees and Sadducees before them, they wanted to “kill Him and seize His inheritance”. Matthew 21:38 These disciples wanted what rightfully belonged to the Master, to get what was His, they changed what He had taught to what “they wanted taught” and ignored His authority, yet claiming to speak FOR Him!! One would not think some who had been bought by the blood of God’s only Son would rise up against His authority and teach “another Jesus”, but that is exactly what our Lord mentions.
It is a dastardly trick for those who “had known the way of righteousness, to have turned from it”, 2 Peter 2:21. Paul, in the book written to the Church of Christ in Rome, chapter 16:17 says to “mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which they had learned, and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus, but with good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.” Romans 16:17-18 Did you notice they were teaching contrary to the doctrine, not doctrines? There was NO OTHER DOCTRINE in the first century other that the doctrine of Christ!! Christ only started ONE church, the rest were started by a man who thought he had a doctrine better than that of Christ!!
Jesus said; “I never knew you, depart from Me you that work iniquity (lawlessness, not according to My law)” Matthew 7:23 Christ did not deny that they had “worked”, what He did deny was that they had worked by or with His authority!! He did not support what they taught and were refusing to allow them into His eternal habitation