Whis blog explores the truth, from answers derived from scripture.
“Being an EX-JW, I will not take man’s word for it. You must be able to show me in the Bible. In context and other scriptures to back what you are claiming to be true.
The most important thing is to follow-up with the scriptures, read the Bible.”
The word “hades” is probably familiar with you. It is the Greek word for the “grave.” As is “Sheol” in Hebrew.
Hades means in Greek, “the place of the unseen.” No matter where you see it said in the New Testament, it still has the same meaning. For years it has been known as the “fiery torment,” of the Bible, yet still we still hear it from the pulpit and the streets.
So it proves that we all must go through the unseen place, Hades. We all pass from the visible world to the invisible world. The association between death and hades is therefore a natural one. It is generally agreed both Sheol and Hades do not typically refer to the place of eternal punishment, but to the grave, the temporary abode of the dead, the underworld.
I had been working on the meaning of hellfire and did not know where it was going to take me, but an article from the “BibleWay Online”answered the remainder of my issues.
With that said, let’s look at what happens to us when we die. Warning! I use scriptures, Lol!
Let’s get started:
We should be familiar with the fact that our bodies return to dust.
“And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Gen 2:7 MKJV
“or ever the silver cord is not loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern; Ecc. 12:6 MKJV
then the dust shall return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.” Ecc. 12:7 MKJV
We cannot avoid Hades, but we can avoid hell, by believing in Jesus, and receiving eternal life.
but the question remains; what happens to our spirit/soul at death? We have scriptural answers to that and then you will see everything come together. As I go, please be patient because you will see the entire picture enfold before you. I promise it will give you that “ahah” moment.
Now we have the truth; the Greek translation of “Hades” now means the “Grave.” For years it has been misunderstood to represent “the fiery torment.”
Nobody’s perfect, nevertheless, God made it easy to see his plan for us after death. It starts with the timeline. Please see the diagram below. This is called the “orthodox version.” The reason is the timeline. It is Jewish theology. Jesus had not been born, died and resurrected yet so we see the two compartments in Hades. One called “Paradise” and the other, “Torment.”
We all know the part when Jesus was on the cross, the wrong-doer asked The Lord to remember him.
“And he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” Luk 23:42 MKJV
“And Jesus said to him, Truly I say to you, Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Luk 23:43 MKJV
I don’t know about you, but I have heard many accounts of what “Paradise” is. Where is it? Why did Jesus promise this man that he would be in paradise.
There are biblical answers to this question, everything will become clear.
In Acts 24:15, it says “And I have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” MKJV
“And besides all this, there is a great chasm fixed between you and us; so that they desiring to pass from here to you cannot, nor can they pass over to us from there.” (Luk 16:26 MKJV)
Also 1 Peter 3:21 and 3:22, it explains Jesus’ position after His death.
“which figure now also saves us, baptism; not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ;” 1 Peter 3:21 MKJV
“who is at the right hand of God, having gone into Heaven, where the angels and authorities and powers are being subjected to Him.” 1 Peter 3:22 MKJV
Folks, remember his Father’s promises?
“because You will not leave My soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your holy One to see corruption”. (Act 2:27 MKJV)
“seeing this beforehand, he spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor would His flesh see corruption,” (Act 2:31 MKJV)
I would like to insert, “being asleep in death.” This brings up quite a few questions about where we are. If, for instance we die before the rapture. I know these questions regarding this aspect of my blog will confuse you, if I don’t explain it:
In the Bible there are many references to the word “asleep”, but to qualify what we are talking about Biblically, it can also mean the souls are asleep, as the bodies decay. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had been dead physically for years but living souls, (in Paradise). So when Lazarus died, Jesus said he was asleep. The soul was at rest in Paradise in Hades, even though his physical body was decaying in the burial plot. With the soul , that had gone to the “living” or those who were in Hades considered asleep, but not dead . It’s like this: the soul is eternal so while in Hades, it was considered living or asleep, not dead. Until Jesus Christ’s ascension. Look at both diagrams and think and do not forget the timeline. For instance, Abraham was in Paradise in Hades. When Jesus ascended he took the ones in Paradise to heaven.
In 1Cor. 15:42-50 it states: So also the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption;
it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
And so it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul,” the last Adam was a life-giving Spirit.
But not the spiritual first, but the natural; afterward the spiritual.
The first man was out of earth, earthy; the second Man was the Lord from Heaven.
Such the earthy man, such also the earthy ones. And such the heavenly Man, such also the heavenly ones.
And according as we bore the image of the earthy man, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
And I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption.”
(1Co 15:51 MKJV) Behold, I speak a mystery to you; we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed;
(1Co 15:52 MKJV) in a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet. For a trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.
(1Co 15:53 MKJV) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
(1Co 15:54 MKJV) But when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and when this mortal shall put on immortality, then will take place the word that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.
I would like to go down a rabbit hole for a second. In Luke 16, we find a ” parable of the “rich man & Lazarus.” According to scripture as in the orthodox diagram you see 2 chambers but neither side can pass through to the other side. I don’t know if you caught this but one area was reserved for the righteous and the other reserved for the unrighteous.
Now you see that “Abraham’s bosom” was the blessed place of the dead. Angelic escorts for the dead know their fate immediately.
Then there is that “Torment” side and that is reserved for the wicked until “Judgement Day.” Notice, that the spirits on both sides are waiting for the Messiah, His death, resurrection, and ascension.
Observe the diagram in the previous pages. It was the Jewish theology, because there was no Messiah, no resurrection and ascension to heaven thus far. however, that was the way it was before Christ came to this earth. Watch the “Timeline.” Now it will become even clearer, because the term for hellfire is not the Hades, see the diagram below.Diagram from The BibleWay Online
Let’s start out with the present day diagram. Now, we went over what hell or hades does not mean, now we will look into the background of what Jesus said.
The Apostle Paul knew where Paradise was when he was alive:
(2Co 12:4 MKJV) that he was caught up into Paradise and heard unspeakable words, which it is not allowed for a man to utter.
(Act 9:14 MKJV) And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your Name.
(Act 9:15 MKJV) But the Lord said to him, Go! For this one is a chosen vessel to Me, to bear My name before nations and kings and the sons of Israel.
(Act 9:16 MKJV) For I will show him what great things he must suffer for My name’s sake.
(2Co 12:1 MKJV) Indeed, it is not profitable for me to boast. For I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
(2Co 12:2 MKJV) I know a man in Christ fourteen years before (whether in the body, I do not know; or outside of the body, I do not know; God knows) such a one was caught up to the third Heaven.
(2Co 12:3 MKJV) And I know such a man (whether in the body, or outside of the body, I do not know; God knows),
(2Co 12:4 MKJV) that he was caught up into Paradise and heard unspeakable words, which it is not allowed for a man to utter.
(2Co 12:5 MKJV) I will glory of such a one, yet I will not boast on my behalf, except in my weaknesses.
(2Co 12:6 MKJV) For if I desire to boast, I shall not be foolish. For I will speak the truth. But I spare, lest anyone should think of me as being beyond what he sees me, or hears of me;
(2Co 12:7 MKJV) and by the surpassing revelations, lest I be made haughty, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be made haughty.
(2Co 12:8 MKJV) For this thing I besought the Lord three times, that it might depart from me.
(2Co 12:9 MKJV) And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me.
THE VALLEY OF SLAUGHTER
In the Hebrew Bible, Gehenna was initially where some of the kings of Judah sacrificed their children by fire, Thereafter it was deemed to be cursed. In the King James Version, the term appears 13 times in 11 different verses, such as “Valley of Hinnom”, Valley of the son of Hinnom” or “Valley of the children of Hinnom.”
“They have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I did not command them, nor did it come into My heart.” (Jer 7:31 MKJV)
“So, behold, the days come, says 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 Tophet, until there is no place.” (Jer 7:32 MKJV)
“And go out to the valley of the son of Hinnom by the entry of Potsherd Gate. And there declare the words that I shall tell you.” (Jer 19:2 MKJV)
“And say, Hear the Word of Jehovah, O kings of Judah, and people of Jerusalem. So says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, Behold, I will bring evil on this place, which shall cause the ears of him who hears it to tingle.” (Jer 19:3 MKJV)
“Because they have forsaken Me, and have made this place famous and have burned incense in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents”. (Jer 19:4 MKJV)
“They have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I never commanded nor spoke, nor did it come into My mind.” (Jer 19:5 MKJV)
“Therefore, behold, the days come, says Jehovah, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but, The Valley of Slaughter. (Jer 19:6 MKJV)
So, to reiterate, Hades is the grave in the orthodox view, but when Jesus dies and is resurrected we have a different view. Again, it is the “Timeline.” However, Jesus warns about hellfire using the term “Gehenna.” The background of Gehenna is a little more information that you never received at Church.
So, in the period of the divided monarchy, the Valley was the site of a pagan altar known as Tophet. (approx. 626 B.C.) Parents sacrificed their children there to the god Molech. The bible singles out Ahaz and Manasseh, kings of Judah. As having led the way grotesque ritual. But scripture praises King Josiah for destroying this idolatrous altar during his reforms.
Jeremiah, who was called as a prophet during Josiah’s reign, foretold that God would judge the Israelites for committing the awful abomination of human sacrifice, among other evils. The Lord would cause such destruction that the Valley of Hinnom would become a cemetery known as “The Valley of Slaughter.”
“Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves shall hear His voice,” (Joh 5:28 MKJV)
“and shall come forth, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have practiced evil to the resurrection of condemnation.” (Joh 5:29 MKJV)
“because He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He appointed, having given proof to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Act 17:31 MKJV)
Note: Jesus is talking to all of mankind since it is Judgement Day, so that includes everyone who has been born. He does not distinguish the Old Testament to the New O.T. So here, there is no timeline.
There’s one more significant group of scriptures that shows who and why some go to Heaven and the others go to Gehenna. Matthew 25:31-46
But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He shall sit on the throne of His glory. (Again Judgement Day)
And all nations shall be gathered before Him. And He shall separate them from one another, as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats.
And indeed He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats off the left.
Then the King shall say to those on His right hand, Come, blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in; I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.
Then the righteous shall answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry, and fed You? Or thirsty, and gave You drink? When did we see You a stranger, and took You in? Or naked, and clothed You?
Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and came to You?
And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you have done it to Me.
Then He also shall say to those on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.
For I was hungry, and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty, and you gave Me no drink;
I was a stranger and you did not take Me in; I was naked, and you did not clothe Me; I was sick, and in prison, and you did not visit me.
Then they will also answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to You?
Then He shall answer them, saying, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into everlasting life.
When Jesus ascended to heaven, everything changed for the those in the graves:
The souls of the saved go directly from Paradise to Heaven with Jesus. They were waiting for their Messiah to come and get them during the three days Jesus was in Hades.The ones in “Torment” were still awaiting the Judgement Day.
It follows that those Christians who die now go directly to Heaven. Now this scripture which alluded me for so long:
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2Co 5:8 KJV)
All of this information from the Bible being put together for us to learn “what happens when we die.”
In the orthodox diagram, Jesus had not been born yet, let alone died and arose from the dead for humankind.
Man clearly has a choice. Keep that in mind as we go into more information.
God offers you freedom; from sin, death & everlasting life in Gehenna. Jesus, His Son, out of free will paid the ultimate price for our sins by His death on the cross. Anyone seen “The Passion?”
For He has made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2Co 5:21 MKJV)
Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. (Rom 10:9 MKJV)
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation. (Rom 10:10 MKJV)
For everyone, “whoever shall call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Rom 10:13 MKJV)
To be saved is a term when we receive God’s gift by having faith in Jesus Christ. To believe is to take God at His word. Which is in His , the Bible. As we learn more about Jesus, it is easy to believe with our whole heart. we believe that Jesus is God’s Son who died for us on the cross, and arose from the dead to live in us as in the form of the Holy Spirit.
When you welcome Christ into your heart you will be amazed at what happens when The Holy Spirit hits you. I have never felt anything so wonderful. It is supernatural. There are no coincidences, God is in control.
This is being born-again because if you truly don’t want it, you will not get it. There are no what-if’s. It’s fabulous and you have peace of mind.
With your mouth, confess your faith. Do you acknowledge Jesus is God’s Son, by faith do you believe he died for you on the cross. Will you confess Him as your Savior and Lord?
I will definitely do a blog on “No Coincidences.” Then the “What if Syndrome.”
I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE BIBLEWAY ONLINE FOR THEIR HELP. SCRIPTUALLY. THANK YOU RANDOLF DUNN.