THIS IS ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT THE BIBLE TELLS US ABOUT THE “WRATH” OF GOD.
THE VALLEY OF SLAUGHTER
In the Hebrew Bible, “Gehenna” was initially where some of the kings of Judah sacrificed their children by fire. Therefore, it was deemed to be cursed by God. In the KJV, the term appears 13 times in 11 different verses, such as the “valley of Hinnom,” “Valley of the son of Hinnom,”or “Valley of the children of Hinnom.”
In the Greek language, “Gehenna,” was translated ” Hell or Hellfire,” did it take on the significance of “Hell or “Hellfire.”
“But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be liable to the judgment. And whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be liable to the Sanhedrin; but whoever shall say, Fool! shall be liable to be thrown into the fire of hell. (Mat 5:22 MKJV)
When the term Gehenna is used in a scripture, that scripture is talking about God’s judgement. Time frame is important here also. More scriptures where Gehenna is used:
“And if your hand offends you, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than to have two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched” (Mar 9:43 MKJV)
“But I will warn you of whom you shall fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear Him. (Luk 12:5 MKJV)
The valley of Slaughter was located in a deep narrow ravine south of Jerusalem, called the “Valley of Hinnom,” was the boundary of the territories of the tribes of Benjamin and Judah.
“So says Jehovah, Go and get a potter’s earthen jar, and assemble from the elders of the people and of the elders of the priests. (Jer 19:1 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)
Consequently, in the period of the divided monarchy, the Valley was the site of a pagan altar known as “Tophet,” (approx. 626 BC). Parents sacrificed their children there to the god Molech. the bible singles out Ahab and Manasseh, Kings of Judah as having led the way to this grotesque ritual. However, scripture praises King Josiah for destroying this idolatrous altar during his reforms.
“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)
Jeremiah, who was called as a prophet during Josiah’s reign, foretold that God would cause such destruction that the Valley of Hinnom would be 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)
“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, therefore that includes everyone who has been born. He does not distinguish the OT to the NT. So here, there is no timeline.
In time, the Valley became so noxious that its name became a synonym for “Hell” or Hellfire.” In my blog I showed the unseen places; “Paradise ” and “Torment.” I hope you grasp that these places of souls were waiting for Judgement Day when God’s wrath on the wicked. Not to be confused with the “Rapture,” my friend.
Consequently, the Koine Greek of 1 Thessalonians 4:17 uses the verb form (“harpagisometha,)” which means that “we should be caught up , or taken away, with the connotation that this is a sudden event or rescue.”
Paul admonishes us to comfort our brothers & sisters with
“Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1Th 4:18 MKJV)
However, do not get too relaxed. to follow Jesus is not an easy road. I should know, I wrote a book about my rollercoaster life in “Heaven by Attrition.”
1 Thessalonians 4:9-18
UNITED NOW AND HEREAFTER IN THE LORD
It is suggested that God Himself is the teacher of love. Others may teach the lower classes in the school of grace, but the highest is reserved for the Supreme Teacher. Note that recurring more and more, 1Th_3:12; 1Th_4:1; 1Th_4:10. The distribution of goods in the early Church may have led to abuses, which the injunctions here given were intended to rectify. It is well to bring up every child to know one means of livelihood, and children are much more likely to grow up into noble and useful people, if they are encouraged to work for their living. Do something in the world!
These disciples anticipated the speedy return of the Lord and feared lest those who had died would be worse off than they: The Apostle bade them dismiss such fears, because they who remained alive until the coming of the Lord would have no precedence over others who had died. Paul assures them that they who had fallen asleep were with Jesus, and that they would accompany Him when He came again; To those who needed to be raised, Jesus would be “the Resurrection”; to those who were living, He would be “the Life.” They that believed in Him, though they had died, yet would they live; and they who lived till He came would never die.
© FB Meyers