moment after we die.
centuries Christians didn’t have any doubt that after death soul of
man goes either to the place of joy – heaven, or to the place of
torture - hell. Many masters of Middle Ages and Renaissance
those two places in their paintings, with remarkable features. Catholic,
Orthodox, Evangelical and many Protestant churches never changed their
view of the soul as spiritual body of person, which leaves the flesh
after its death and suffers or flourishes depending of
the deeds the person had done while living in the body.
from the middle of 19-th century under influence of rising Materialism
the new theological teaching was introduced to Christian world - soul
sleep. The teaching assumes that soul is not an inner man, but a living
person oneself. Therefore after death a person, who is soul itself,
sleeps in the ground until resurrection. Hence there is no paradise and
no hell, they will be only after the resurrection. A wicked man after he
dies will sleep until the second resurrection only to be cast into the
lake of fire to receive painful but quick death.
new teaching was adopted by many churches, today most active in
introducing of it are SD Adventist church and Christian Church of God.
Now lets see, which teaching is the true one. For that, first we need to
examine the significance of the words ‘soul’, ‘spirit’ and
‘breath’ in different contexts of Old and New Testaments.
2) as of a person – “And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people”Act.3:23; “And fear came upon every soul “Act 2:43; “All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were threescore and six” Gen.46:26,27; also Lev.7:27,17:15, 20:6; Ezek.18:4,20; Deu.27:25, 1Pet 3:20, Deu.12:20.
as of someone’s life –
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a
man lay down his soul for his friends“ John
15:13; “I consider my soul
worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task
the Lord Jesus has given me”Act.20:24; “Arise,
and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel:
for they are dead which sought the young child's soul”
Mat.2:20; also Mat.10:39; Mark 10:45; John 13:37; Act 20:10.
soul can live after death of the body. Jesus said: “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 gehenna” (Mat.10:28). So
here soul is not just a life, not a person with his
but some spiritual substance which can live after body was killed.
6) In the books of Moses there not once it is said that soul is in the blood– Gen.9:4, Deu.12:23, Lev.17:14. However it is said only about souls of animals that their souls in their blood, therefore their blood is not for eating, but only for sacrificial purpose, for to make atonement for people’s sins: “For the soul of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul”(Lev.17:11).
Nevertheless a human blood doesn’t purify. Women’s menstrual blood is unclean -Lev.15:19. Human blood doesn’t clean but defiles the land – Num.35:33. Only blood of the sacrificial Lamb – Jesus – has power to purify – 1John 1:7.
If soul would be in blood, God would not have soul, because He is Spirit (John 4:24; 2Cor.3:17,18) and a spirit doesn’t have blood. However Bible tells that God has soul – Ps.11:5; Isa. 42:1; Mat.12:18..
When God takes soul away from a person that person dies – Job 27:8; Luke 12:20. God doesn’t take person’s blood, He takes his soul. Therefore blood doesn’t mean human soul.
souls of dead people can live in disembodied condition: “And
when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls
of them that were slain for the word of God” Rev.6:9. John saw “the souls of them
that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus” (Rev.20:4) in
kingdom of heaven. And because “flesh and
blood do not inherit the kingdom of heaven” 1Cor.15:50, the
souls there are not blood and flesh, nor just lives either.
this spiritual essence of ours we need to take care
of more than our bodies or our lives: ”he
which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul
(not body or life) from death.”
(James 5:20); “Wherefore lay apart all
filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the
engrafted word, which is able to save your souls“ (James
1:21, also Luke 21:19); atonement was done for souls of people, not for
their lives (Lev.17:11): they had the same lifespan as peoples around of
In Old Testament there are two words: “ruch” with the meaning “spirit in its spiritual aspect” and word “nshmth”, which means: “breath”. In New Testament for both two meanings there is only one word “pneuma”. That circumstance allowed Bible translators to translate these three ancient words as “spirit” or “breath” as they prefer. However words “spirit” and “breath” are not always interchangeable. In Greek language these words are homonyms, i.e. words, which have the same spelling but different meaning (a homonym in Eng., for example: seal – the animal and a stamp). In all Slavic languages, which belong to the same Indo European language group as Greek language, the word identical to Greek word “pneuma” besides many additional meanings, has two main meanings: ‘spirit=soul’ and “spirit= breath’. We don’t count the meaning “spirit = spiritual being” because usually the identifying of it doesn’t represent any trouble.
In Russian “pneuma” was translated as “дух” and this word has two absolutely different meanings: ‘spirit=soul’ - “дух, душа”, and ‘spirit= breath’ – “дух, дыхание”; in Ukrainian – “дух, душа” and “дух, дихання”; in Polish – “duch, dusza” and “duch, nawijac”; in Belarus - “дух, душа” and “дух, аддыхаць”; in Slovak - “dych, dusa” and “dych, dychanie”. Thus we see that the word ”pneuma”(spirit) in Greek language had two different meanings, or two homonyms: spirit- soul and spirit-breath.
see in contexts when word “spirit”
means ‘breath’ and when it means ‘spirit= soul’.
when person is dying his soul begins to separate from the body –
Gen.35:18., the same as spirit does– “when
he (Samson) had drunk, his spirit came
again, and he revived” Jud.15:19; “There
is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither
hath he power in the day of death”
3) spirit is something we need to take care of more than our bodies or our lives – “To deliver such an one ( the sinner among the brothers) unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” 1Cor.5:5. It is the same as we have to save our souls, not our lives - Luke 21:19.
spirit is our character with our emotions, feelings, it is our
consciousness, our unique individuality – “The
spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity (of his flesh)”
Pr.18:14; it can be troubled - Gen.41:8; Dan.2:3; 1King 21:5; be broken
– Job 17:1; Pr.15:13; Ps.51:17; be revived – Gen.45:27; can be
greedy – Pr.28:25; humble – Pr.29:23; patient or proud – Ecc.7:8,
or can lose its self-control - 2Chr.9:4; Josh 5:1.
from the author: in many translations of the quoted verses the word
‘spirit” isn’t there).
God has the spirit (Gen.6:3; Isa.63:10), it is the same as He has soul (Ps.11:5; Isa.42:1).
5) spirits of dead righteous are in heaven – “ye are come … to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect” Heb.12:23. The same as souls of the dead righteous in heaven – Rev.6:9,20:4. Therefore here “spirit” means “soul in its spiritual aspect”, this spirits=souls only humans have.
Bible emphasized that man has
we see that soul=spirit is not body, not blood, no life, no breath of
life. It is a man’s inner individuality, which exists after death of
Usually supporters of the idea of soul sleep give the following simple arguments to prove their point. Gen.2:7 tells : “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”.
they teach: dust (flesh, which all animals have) + breath of life (which
all animals have) = living soul (of man?!).
further astonishing prove they quoting Eccl.12:7 : “and
the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit
returns to God who gave it”. Hasty deciding that this verse is
talking not about spirit of a dead person, but about breath of life,
they teach that human have only breath of life and flesh (dust),
therefore man does not differ from an animal: “As
the one (man) dies , so dies the other (beast).
They all have one spirit, so that a man has no preeminence over a
beast; for all is vanity” (Ecc.3:19). In this verse it is
actually talking about spirit of life which is breath of life. It is the
only thing common for all living creatures.
what God had really meant when He said: “Let
us make man in our image, in our likeness” So God created man in his
own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he
(Gen.1:26,27). Did He mean
to create Adam and Eve as His exact copies? Did
they have the same color of their eyes, same smile, same size of their
feet? Of course, not. It had nothing to do with the flesh. God is Spirit
(John 4:24; 2Cor.3:17,18), not flesh. At
first He had created people as spiritual
we see was not made out of things which are visible”
created spirits=souls were placed in the people’s bodies,
breathed His breath of life into them so their souls became alive, i.e.
they came to their physical existence, they became not just souls which
they already were, but ”living”
became a living soul”(Gen.2:7).
Their souls just received their new status - physical life.
body=flesh is the result of physical law of procreation of living
organisms. The breath of life gives to the soul with its body the
ability to breathe and therefore to live physically. In
the moment of death of the body spirit=soul
departs the flesh.
Lets see closely what Bible teaches about the creation of man.
In the book of Job it is explained plainly, that the act of creation of
the soul and act of bringing soul into physical existence, i.e. into
breathing, are two acts. “The
spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the
Almighty hath given me life”
Job 33:4. Spirit of God did not make flesh of the person
least we can say so bravely about all descendants of Adam and Eve),
flesh is product of procreation act of all living organisms. The Spirit
made the spiritual core of the person – his soul.
you send forth Your Spirit, they are created”
The breath of God had
revived the created soul, had brought it into its physical existence:
in, O Spirit, and breathe on these slain, and they do live.”
knew exactly where spirit of a
goes to: “and
the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit
returns to God who gave it”
Eccl.12:7. The spirit, which returns to God, is not the human breath,
which is just an air, it is his spirit=soul.
In the above quoted verses he was doubting that spirits of not
wicked unbelievers will go to heaven or will share the animals fate of
our spirit God can influence us. Through people’s spirits He gave them
the urge to rebuild the temple (Ezra 1:5; Hagg.1:14) and bring offerings
(Ex.35:21); He hardened spirit of Sihon (Deu.
2:30) and stirred up spirit of Medes kings (Jer.51:11).
can give us His Spirit besides of our own (Rom.8:16), it can be given to
us in any age. All God’s prophets had His spirit (Num.11:29;
1Sam.10:6,19:20; Gen.41:38; Ex.31:3, 35:31; Num.11:17,25,26;
Jud.3:10;6:34: 11:29;13;25). If people prophesy without having God’s
spirit, they prophesy wrong, following their own spirit
(Ezek.13:3). Spirit of God can depart from a person, however the person
will continue to live (1Sam.16:14).
a person doesn’t have spirit of God his place can be occupied by evil
spirits: seducing (1Tim.4:11); unclean (Mark 5:2;Luke 9:39,42; 1King
22:21; 2Chr.18:20); dumb (Mark 9:17); deviation (Act.16:16) and others.
When Bible is talking about massive destructions of the wicked done by a
spiritual being (Ex.12:23,29; Isa.37:36) it is talking about the
elimination by removing people’s spirits. Thus our spirit is something
that can be controlled, manipulated and influenced by spiritual beings.
can protect ourselves from our physical enemies by fences, malevolent
dogs, police or some other means, but spirits of ours can be protected
from evil influence only by saintly spiritual beings.
knew that after his death his soul will go to God. He said: “For
to me ..to die is gain… For I am .. having a desire to depart,
and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to
abide in the flesh is more needful for you”
(Phil.1: 21,23,24). “I
would prefer to be away from the body and at home
with the Lord”
(2Cor.5:8). He had emphasized “the
life which I now live in the flesh
assuming he is going to live out of his flesh. When he was going to die,
he said : “for
I am already being poured out, and the time of my departure hath arrived”
(2Tim.4:6). He was going to depart (literal translation says: “to
release”), not to fall asleep. David
was sure that when he will die, he will dwell in the house of Lord
(Ps.23:6). And because of that “The
day of death is better than day of birth”
Himself after the crucifixion “was
made alive in the spirit by which He preached spirits in prison”
(1Pet.3:18,19). He didn’t preach to spirits (to them we will return a
little later) after His resurrection, He did it before His body was
resurrected: being in spirit form. When Jesus told to the thief on the
you will be with Me in paradise”
He was speaking about thief’s soul, that his soul will depart to God
in heavenly paradise (2Cor.12:4) in the moment of thief’s death.
that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush,
when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and
the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living:
for all live unto him”
(Luke 20:37,38). Here is plainly stated that God is God of living
and if He is God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (at the time of Moses their
bodies were long dead), these people are alive, even there was no
resurrection yet. The souls of dead righteous were raised to
heaven. With them Jesus spoke on the Mountain (Mat.17:3). “Death
…will not be able to separate us from the love of God”
human being has spirit=soul which contains all information of
individual. This soul was created by God and was sent into a
comes to the bones in the womb of a pregnant woman”
(Ecc.11:5AMP). There soul receives genetic make up: some parent’s
characteristics, and forms completely: “the
LORD … formeth the spirit of man within him”
was the reason why the righteous often called themselves “strangers
and sojourners upon the earth”
(Heb.11:13). Because our home is in heaven (Phil.3:20).
That means we came from there. “What
we see was not made out of things which are visible”
(Heb.11:3). Our real birth happened in heaven first.
says : “Thus
the heavens and the earth were created, and all the host
the word of God the heavens have been made, And by the breath of His
mouth all their host”
(Ps.33:6). Host of heaven Bible calls stars (for example: Deu.17:3),
however the same words often refer to the spirits –angels (1King
22:19; 2Chr.18:18; Neh.9:6; Dan.8:10; Job 38:7). So, if the host of
heaven are spirits-angels it would be reasonably to suggest that the
host of earth are spirits of people.
spirits His messengers (angels),
flames of fire His ministers”(Ps.104:4AMP;
Heb.1:7). Thus at first
spirits were not exactly angels. After creating the host–spirits God
made some of them ministering spirits (Heb.1:14) -angels (in Greek “messengers”),
and some of them He reserved to send to human flesh to be human souls,
because He is “the
God of the spirits of all man flesh”
process of creation took seven days. Bible never said that God continues
to create something or somebody else. Everything was created in that
time period, all visible and invisible (Col.1:16) – all host
– all spirits for heaven and earth. Bible calls God not God of angels
but God of hosts-spirits (1Sam.4:4;2Sam.5:10;1King 19:10; Ps.46:7; 48:8;
59:5;69:6). And it says God has His angels and spirits
sounds very unreal but how else all that can be explained? Why God asked
it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from
the foundations of the earth?”(Isa.40:21,25)?
Bible says that names of righteous are written in the Book of life from
foundation of the world (Rev.17:8). “He
did choose us in him before the foundation of the world”
hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation”
17:2, Act 13:48). He choose us because He already knew us before the
foundation of the world, He already created our souls.
individuals who were born not according to God’s law of procreation do
not have souls. These are those who were born out of sinful unions of
fallen angels and women (“sons of God” from Gen.6:4 referred to
fallen angels, see ch.”Book of Life”). Some of them were Rephaims
(translated from Hebrew as “the healers”, but in many translations
their name is replaced by the word “dead”: Job.26:5; Ps.88:10;
Pr.2:18; 9:18;21:16; Isa.14:9; Isa.26:14), who God commanded Jews to
destroy all, including babies (Deu.3:3,11).
We know that names of those, who have souls but will not repent, who committed unpardonable sin, who did not help people in need, who can’t forgive others or who will take the mark of the beast, their names will be erased from the Book of life (Rev.3:5; Rev.22:19; Ps 69:28; Ex.32:33) , but no one name will ever be added to the Book. Names of all God’s souls are in the Book from the creation of the world. However about the names of those, who will accept the mark of the beast, Bible said that they are not in the Book of life “from the beginning of the world” (Rev.17:8). You see, their names were not erased from the Book of life because of their sin. Their names were not in there from the beginning! These are the descendants of “the soulless”, there were no souls of them created by God in the beginning of creation, therefore their names are not in there.
more or less we did determine that soul of the righteous goes to heaven.
So where the soul of wicked goes to?
Jesus told us story about death of the rich man and Lazarus, the beggar
(Luke 16:19-31), and He made it very clear where souls go to. The rich
man had huge banquets every day. Lazarus, the beggar, was lying at the
rich man’s gate in sickness and hunger and the only source of his food
was the crumbs, which fall from the rich man's table. When they both
died, Lazarus was taken by angels to Abraham’s bosom – the place of
peace and joy, and the rich man went to hell (Greek word “hades”),
the place of torments. And between those two places “there
is a great chasm fixed” (v.26),
which no one soul of dead can cross through.
This chasm is
world of living
where dead do not allowed. Therefore the spirits of dead who communicate
with people today are just demons. The hell-hades is below
of the world of living and the heavenly paradise is above it.
here Jesus plainly told about the fate of righteous and wicked. Their
souls were not unconscious, they were talking, they could see each other
(in spiritual world vision isn’t limited by physical laws), the soul
of the rich man could feel pain and thirst. Souls of righteous were
praising the Lord (Rev.14:1-4) and asking for justice (Rev.6:9,10). So,
why do many people disregard all above quoted Bible passages and still
teach that after death of
body soul sleeps?
for describing the condition after death the Bible mostly uses the word
“rest” (Hebrew ‘nich’ or ‘nuch’
- Isa.57:2; Dan.12:13; Greek ‘koima’ - Act
13:36; 2Pet.3:4 , 1Cor.15:51; 1Thes.4:14 or ‘anapau’ -
Rev.6:1) or “lay
down” ( OT ‘shkb’ Deu.31:16;
2Sam.7:12; 1King 1:21) which
often translated as “sleep”. Though at first sight maybe there is a
little or no difference between the words “rest” and “sleep”,
they are still different. Souls are resting, bodies are sleeping. Rest
can be active, sleep can not be.
God said “they
will not enter to My rest
(‘nuch’)” (Ps.95:11), we know that He used the
principle of parallelism common in the Bible: He meant the promised land
(Deu.12:9 – ‘nuch’) and Kingdom of Heaven (Heb.4:3).
Thus Kingdom of Heaven is resting place. Jesus said: “Come
unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you
ye shall find rest (‘anapau’)
unto your souls”
(Mat.11:28,29). Jesus didn’t promise that their lives will be easier,
He promised that their souls will have eternal rest from worries and
righteous are going to rest (‘nuch’): “they
rest in their beds, each one who walks straight and in his
Isa.57:2; Job.3:13, 18; and are resting (‘anapau’)
white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto
them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until
their fellowservants also .. should be killed as they were”
are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the
Spirit, that they may rest from their labours“
for the wicked there is no peace –
Isa. 57:21 and no rest (‘anapau’): “And
the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have
no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his
image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name”
- Rev.14:11. And unclean spirits have no rest (‘anapau’)
either - Mat.12:43; Luke 11:24.
we see the theory of soul sleep doesn’t have fundamental base under
it. It is the erroneous teaching which rejects the Bible truth about the
consequences of our deeds our souls will bear after death of the body.
The consequences which can be very miserable. This teaching gives to a
sinful man a false hope that when his life full of sinful pleasures,
lies, robberies or murders will come to the end, he will sleep and see
sweet dreams until his resurrection when he will be cast into the lake
of fire. The quick death is a little price to pay for the life
his heart is longing for. The fear of long suffering can stop some
people to continue to sin (Jude 1:23), the speculation of soul sleep
will never do it.
today under influence of New Age many people make another dangerous
mistake. They do believe that soul departs the dead body, however they
believe that all souls go to heaven and there is no hell, at least no
yet. So lets see if that is true.
research we need to begin from examination of the meaning of the word
“hell”. There are a few words were translated as ‘hell’: Sheol, Hades, pit, Gehenna, abyss, tartarus. Sometimes
words Sheol, Hades and pit translated
as ‘grave’. To
avoid misunderstanding let see all these words in their contests.
the word “grave” as equivalent of the words Sheol, Hades or pit
was used incorrectly. In Hebrew for the meaning
‘grave’ the word ‘qbr’ (2King 22:19; 2Chr.35:24;
Neh.2:3; Job 3:22; Ezek 39:11) was used , in Greek - ‘mnema’(Mat.23:29;
27:52,53; Mark 5:2,3,5; Luke 8:27;11:44). For example, Ezek.37:12 and
John 5:28 tell about the dead in graves who will hear voice of
God and will come back to life (also Isa.65:4 and Mat.8:28). So we see,
there was no need to use another words for the meaning ‘grave’,
because both languages had the proper words for that. Therefore words Sheol,
Hades and pit have their own meaning,
different from the meaning ‘grave’.
- the word “pit” (Heb. ‘br’ or ‘bur’,
Greek ‘phrear’) with its meaning “well, deep hole in
the ground, deep enough that no man nor animal can get out of it without
help” was used in Ex.21:33; Gen.37:24; Ps.40:2; Jer.38:6,7;41:7,9;
when word “pit” was used together with the words
“nether or lowest parts of the earth” the word received additional
meaning: “very deep hole in the ground to the lowest parts of the
earth, chasm, great deep”. Usually, when the word “pit” is used
with the words “nether or lowest parts of the earth”, there is
talking about Rephaims, those “who
go down unto the pit”,
who have been long dead”
or who “cut
off from thy hand”
(Ezek.26:20; 32:18, 23,24,
Ps.143:7; 28:1) and the
same very place is called Sheol (Ezek:31:14,16,17;
Ps.88:3-6; Isa.38:18; Pr.1:12). “Yet
thou shalt be brought down to Sheol, to the sides of the pit”
word ‘Sheol’ was translated in Greek as ‘Hades’.
We can be sure that these two words have the same meaning because in New
Testament (Act 2:27) the passage from the Old Testament (Ps.16:10) was
used, where the word ‘Sheol’ was translated in Greek as ‘Hades’.
when Bible talks about Sheol, lowest parts of the earth
(Ps.63:9 and 31:17),
it its second meaning: “great deep”,
Hades it is talking about the same place.
The Greek word “abyss” composed of two words: “a”- ‘without’ and “byss” –‘bottom’ and it means “bottomless”, which is the same meaning as the word “pit” in its second meaning ‘chasm, great deep’ has. The Bible says that abyss is the lowest pit: “and he did open the pit of the abyss, and smoke arose out of the pit” (Rev.9:2). This is place where Satan will be cast after the Second coming.
In Old Testament this place of Satan’s
last destination called Sheol:
shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of
(Isaiah14: 15). «to
the nether parts of the earth…
made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down
them that descend into the pit»
Heb. ‘Sheol’ and Greek ‘Hades’; Heb. ‘bottomless pit’,
‘nether parts of the earth’ and Greek ‘abyss’ describe the
same place. And this place called “hell”, as we understand this word
today: the place of torture,
complete darkness, hopelessness and loneliness.
now let see, what Bible tells about this place and its inhabitants.
Ezek.31:18 the fallen angels in Sheol were called ‘trees of Eden’,
they will meet Satan (v.16) at his coming into Sheol. They are staying
there together with Rephaims (Isa.14:9).
When Satan will be cast into abyss-Sheol, he will be cast to
there together with his angels. Isaiah (24:21,22) calls them - «the
host of the high ones that are on high»,
shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit...,
shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be
So we see in the underground pit-abyss-Sheol-Hades there is already the
prison for angels (about the underground inhabitants see Phil.2:10,
had previously descended from heaven into the lower parts of the
(Eph.4:9, 10). Peter
(1Pet.3:18-20) explained that Jesus after crucifixion
had descended into the prison of fallen angels, who had sinned
before the Flood: “For
Christ … being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
Which sometime were disobedient… in the days of Noah”.
Jude in 1:6 speaks about those fallen angels also: « And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation (who left heaven to have children from women and be gods on earth. When Satan promised to the first people that “ye shall be as gods”-Gen.3:5, he was talking about the sinned angels), he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day».
them Peter said: «God
spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to tartarus,
and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto
(2Pet.2:4). Peter used the word, which meaning is very close to
the meaning of the words “abyss-pit” or “Sheol-Hades”. The word “tartarus”
derived from Greek mythology, it is a kingdom of the dead beneath the
earth, where Zeus cast down Titans to (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tartarus
is horrible place, where are worms (Isa.14:9), where torture and great
thirst (Luke 16:23,24), where even demons afraid to go to (Luke 8:31). This
is place, where is no God: there is no light, no pleasure, no rest,
there is no love and mercy, there is nothing, except for great pain from
tortures of it’s
evil inhabitants, hopeless
loneliness, hatred, intolerable heat and awful smell. It was not created for
people, in the beginning it was intended for those who didn’t want to
live with God, it was
for the devil and his angels”
Jews were in the desert, Korah with his people rebelled against Moses
and Aaron. For their punishment God opened the earth
the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them …They and all that
belonged to them went down alive into Sheol; and the earth
closed upon them
them go down alive to Sheol, for evils are in their
habitations, in their hearts, and their inmost part.”(Ps.55:15).
people by reading Bible books of wisdom
and seeing that righteous people talking about going down to
Sheol, understood it literally without paying attention to the context
these speeches were given in, and they are coming to wrong conclusions:
that all righteous going to Sheol also. Therefore Sheol is grave or
place for all the dead. So let see some of these confusing verses in their context.
days have passed by …If I wait, Sheol is mine house: I have made my
bed in the darkness. I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to
the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister. And where is now my
hope? Yea, my hope, who doth behold it? It shall go down to the bars
(Job 17:16). Job said it when he couldn’t understand why all
misfortunes fall on him. He thought that God is angry with him, he didn’t
hope for salvation, and his fate is to die being rejected by God and
therefore go to Sheol.
O Lord, deliver my life; …For in death there is no remembrance of You;
in Sheol who will give You thanks? (the
dead in Sheol do not remember God)“(Ps.6:4-5; 30:9). In Sheol “Wilt
thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead (those
go down into
are Rephaims and their descendants)
arise and praise thee?“ Ps.88:10.
the connection with God was restored David had
Lord, Thou hast brought up from Sheol my soul, Thou hast kept me alive,
from going down the pit”
(Ps.30:3; Ps.16:9-10). He also knew that his evil enemies will go
to Sheol (1King 2:6,9).
another often quoted, but misunderstood verse is Ecc.9:5-6. Lets see it
in its context by including v.2 and 3 : “there
is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked
(it is about death of the body); …the
heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live (it
is talking about the wicked people),
and after that they go to the dead (dead,
as was discussed above, are Rephaims, who now live in Sheol. So, the
wicked go to Sheol). For
to him that is joined to all the living there is hope (there
is time to repent and change his evil ways)
: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that
they shall die: but the dead (refers
to the people in Sheol)
know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the
memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and
their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for
ever in any thing that is done under the sun (the
wicked will not live again)” (Ecc.9:3-6).
Bible is very clear, that Sheol is place only for the wicked. Whoever
try to prove opposed to it, just does not pay attention to the context
and pulls the verses out of its context.
As today the word “hell” has been in use in many different situations, so it was with the word “Sheol”. It was used to describe spiritual degradation (Isa.57:9); despair (2 Sam.22:6); great anger (Deu.32:22); depression to the point of death (Gen.37:35; 42:38 – same as Mat.26:38). However the main meaning of the word ‘Sheol’ was ‘hell, as the underground place of torture and despair’.
the Bible there is another word, which also often translated as
“hell”. This is Greek word “gehenna”. Jesus said:
be not afraid of those killing the body, and are not able to kill the
soul, but fear rather Him who is able both soul and body to
destroy in gehenna”
(Mat.10:28; 18:9; 2:29,30; Luke 12:5; ). Gehenna is “the
destroy body in gehenna, or receive the judgment, being in body, is
possible only at the time, when the bodies will be resurrected. The
people whose bodies and souls will be destroyed in gehenna are the
wicked ones. They will be resurrected at the second resurrection to
receive death in the lake of fire (Rev.20:15). Thus the fiery gehenna
is not hell-Sheol-Hades-abyss, which is under the earth, it is
the lake of fire – the unquenchable fire, which will be on the
doesn’t exist yet, it will appear 1000 after the Second coming. It
will be the last fire on earth, when “the
elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that
are therein shall be burned up”(2Pet.3:10).
In its fire “death
and Hades were thrown into“
(Rev.20:14), so there will be no more people’s death, no more death
of angels (in Hades). Jesus has the key from death and Hades
(Rev.1:17-18), and it only by His mercy and in His power to stop the
death among people and angels and give them immortality.
angels and souls do not have immortality yet, they all live until the
Last Judgment. Then Jesus will give the immortality to the chosen ones:
last enemy that shall be destroyed is death”
(1Cor.15:26). When Bible says: “things
which are not seen (souls,
(2Cor.4:18), there was used Greek word “eonian”.
word derived from the word “eon”, which means “some period of
time”, and translation of it as "age" is more accurate.
Thus, all created spiritual beings today are not eternal, they all have
some specific lifespan: they live until the appointed time. After the
Second coming and resurrection there the next period of time, the next
eon will begin. When earth will made anew, there will be no death
anymore, it will be the end of eons, the end of all ages of the old
the mistranslation of the word "eon" as
“everlasting”, “eternal”, “forever” and “world” in
nearly all translations of the Bible, often leads to false doctrines,
such as everlasting punishment of the wicked in the eternal fire.
said that gehenna is “eonian fire”, when in the most translations it
called “fire eternal”. The difference between word “eon” and
words “eternal”, “everlasting” or “forever” is that the word
"eon" clearly means a period of time, and it has an end.
Eternity has no end. So the
word "eon" can not actually mean ‘eternity’.
look closer in the Bible contexts the use of
the words “eon”, “eonian” in New
Testament and words “oulm”, “oulmim”, with
the same meaning, in Old Testament.
says that Jesus is the same “into
(Heb.13:8; 1Pet.5:11). The Creator is blessed “into
(Rom.1:25; 9:5; 11:36; 16:27; Gal.1:5; Phil.4:20; Heb.13:21; 2Cor.11:31;Ps.41:13;90:2;106:48);
the eons of the eons”
(Rev.1:6; 4:9; 1Tim.1:17; 2Tim.4:16; 1Pet.4:11;Eph.3:21).
kingdom is “kingdom of all eons” (Ps.145:13).
and the Father
the eons of eons”(Rev.1:18;
we see all time is divided into the eons.
God’s plan of salvation was kept in secret since times
eonian (Rom.16:25); before the eons (1Cor.2:7);
from eons (Eph.3:9). Jesus offered His grace before times
eonian (2Tim.1:9). Eternal (eonian) life
God promised before eonian times (Tit.1:2).
had appointed the times eonian, as phases for people and angels to
realize His plan of salvation through His Son (Eph.1:9,10), to
understand His character. Every eon was the step ahead in our
understanding toward that purpose. Therefore eonian time (the
first eon) began from creation of angels, from the beginning of
creation, before the earth and people were created – “from
beginning, before earth”
time from creation of men until the Flood was another time period – second
eon (Job. 22:15,16). Rephaims were called ‘people of eon’
– Ezek. 26:20; Ps.143:3. The lower parts of the earth, where Sheol
is today, were deserted in that eon (Ezek. 26:20).
the Flood all water came up from beneath the earth: “all
springs of abyss vast burst forth”
forming the empty space under the earth,
and Rephaims were placed in there.
the Flood another –the third eon began, at that
time the covenant of eon was instituted, that no more
water will destroy people (Gen.9:15). This eon was distinct by life of
Abraham and his seed. At the time of this third eon people were talking
(two) before them – (Ecc.1;10; Ps.77:5); and about the eon, when
people lived before them (Micah 7:14; Isa.64:4).
choose Abraham and his seed “into
(Luke 1:55). “He
lifted them up and carried them all the days of eon”
(Isa.63:9). He gave them land of Canaan for the eon (Gen.17:8,48:4). At
that time God was for them the God of eon (Gen.21:33, Isa.40:28); King
of eon (Jer.10:10). He established with Abraham and his seed a covenant
of eon (Gen.17:7,13; Lev.24:8; Ps.105:10; Isa.24:5; Jer.32:40). He set
up Aaron’s priesthood of eon (Ex.40:15; Num.25:13). He spoke through
prophets beginning from this eon (Luke 1:70; Act 3:21).
prophet God said to Israel: ”I
will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth (covenant
and I will establish unto thee an covenant
This is new covenant through faith in Jesus, who came “at
the conclusion of the eons” (Heb.9:26).
Isaiah called Jesus – “Father
(Isa.9:6). Thus this is covenant of the new eon, the
where we still live today.
have loved this eon (2Tim.1:9),
because Satan is god of this eon (2Cor.4:4), and only Jesus might
deliver us from this present wicked eon (Gal.1:4). His Second coming
will be “the
of the eon”
( Mat.13:39); “the
of the eon”
time after the Second coming called “the
(Mat.12:32). It will be the fifth eon.
fifth eon only the righteous “shall
be living into the eon”
(John 6:51,58), i.e. will have “life
eonian in the coming eon”
(Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30). We know that this eon will continue for 1000
years (Rev.20:2,3). For the 1000 years the resurrected and alive saints
will govern and judge from the Kingdom of heaven, and the alive
their descendants will live
on the restored earth, which they will clean up: “And
they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on
fire and burn the weapons, …with fire seven years”
(Ezek. 39:9, Isa. 66:24).
the 1000 years there will be the eon of Judgment, or “eonian
(Heb.6:2). The sixth eon. Then eonian
punishment of the wicked (Mat.25:46; 2Thes.1:9; Mark
3:29) for “repulsion
(Dan.12:2) will be done in the eonian fire (Jude 1:7; Mat.
18:8; 19:16; 25:41).
the eonian Judgment the earth will be burned up. The new earth will not
be the restored old one, it will be completely different planet – the new
and alive righteous will be placed there right after the Judgment
New earth will be the seventh and the last eon. The time
of rest. The New Beginning. New Jerusalem will descend on the new earth,
and all saints, who are the priests/kings, and all the righteous will be
united there. (Who are the saints and the righteous, you can read in the
ch. ”Who is the Bride and who are guests on the Wedding feast”).
Since that time the eternity for the people and the angels will
begin. The people will reign “into
eons of eons”
God said: “But
I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings”
(Jer. 21:14), for that reason
the fate of the most wicked individuals, such as Satan, antichrist, the
members of the antichrist’s government –the beast, has to be more
severe. The Bible says that they will be in the torment much longer: “into
the eons of eons”
(Rev.20:10). About Satan God said: “I
will bring forth a fire from the midst of thee (see
it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the
earth in the sight of all them that behold thee”(Ezek.
28:18). Thus, eventually Satan will be killed also. And if he will be
killed, so and other spiritual beings, who took his site. Hence, the
punishment of the wicked even it will be long, it will not last forever.
new earth will be completely new planet, the old earth will be a smoking
the eons of eons”
is another common question. Will we exactly the same when we will be
resurrected, as we were when we died? Or may be we will be younger? How
much younger? Will the wicked be resurrected in their old bodies? Will
their bodies be different from bodies of the resurrected righteous? How
God will resurrect a body that doesn’t exist anymore? Will He gather
all tiniest elements spread around the globe in order to put it together
into one body? Will He use clay to replace the missing parts? Will that
body remember what it has done when it was alive?
see, it is easy to imagine sleeping soul-body in its grave, but it
certainly much more difficult to believe into the soul sleep and
imagine, where soul is when body was burned in crematory and ashes were
blew up into the air. Where are the souls of those Christians who were
eaten by lions in Roman coliseum? Their flesh went into the long food
chain and became part of somebody’s else flesh. Where do their souls
sleep? So, you see, the
soul sleep theory can not answer these questions.
we need to underline: the Bible never says that resurrected bodies of
the wicked externally will be different from bodies of the righteous:
will be sick, old, dirty
Bible says that they will not be glorified, the rest we can only guess.
the 1000 years the second resurrection
(Rev.20:12) will be, for “the
rest of the dead”
(Rev.20:5): the righteous who did not reach the Kingdom of Heaven, and
for the wicked: “And
many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to
everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt”
"And shall come forth; they that have done
good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto
the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:29).
"And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:29).
righteous who will be resurrected at the second resurrection, will be
placed not in the Kingdom of heaven, but on the New earth: “I
will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring
you into the land of Israel”
(Ezek.37;12). On the New earth they will be “the
nations of them which are saved”
(Rev.21:24) and guests on the Wedding banquet. The saints will be “ the
Bride of the Lamb”(Rev.21:9),
the New Jerusalem (Rev.21:10). The saints will descend on the new earth
after the 1000 years of learning in heaven to be kings (Rev.21:24) and
on the new earth.
we see the resurrected will not be the same. The resurrected first will
have spiritual bodies, like angels have, which do not require food. The
resurrected second will have bodies like Adam and Eve had. They will
require food (Gen.1:29), thus their bodies, though they will be immortal
also (Gen.3:22), they will be not exactly spiritual. They will have
flesh and blood, as Adam and Eve had, and “flesh
and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (which
is Kingdom of Heaven)”(1Cor.15:50).
after Jesus died on the cross, He in spirit form descended to Sheol to
preach to the sinned angels (1Pet.3:18-19). After His resurrection His
physical body was changed ( “we
shall be changed”
–1Cor.15: 53). Though externally Jesus was recognized by His
disciples, He showed them His wounds (John 20:27), and as before His
death He ate with them (Luke 24:43), His body was not physical body
anymore: He could go through walls (John 20:19,26): could disappear (Luke
24:31) and ascend to the sky
Mark 16:19). The same angels could do: they could eat with Lot
(Gen.19:3) and Abraham (Gen.18:8), and they could appear anywhere (Act
5:19; 12:7), and disappear nowhere (Act.12:10).
the resurrected Jesus’ body was not a physical body any longer, it was
not the subject to the physical laws. His body is spiritual, and the
resurrected ones will have bodies like Jesus has: the spiritual body.
is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.
There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”
who will be resurrected second will have perfect bodies, not corrupted
ones as we all have today: “
It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in
dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised
in power” (1Cor.15:
42). In our flesh we can
not see God and be alive (Ex.33:20; John 1:18; 1John 4:12; Tim.6:16),
after the resurrection all the righteous will see God’s face
(Rev.22:4). Thus, both kind of bodies will be absolutely wonderful.
the new earth there will be no deaths, nor births, no procreation: “But
they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain .. the resurrection from
the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage. Neither can they die
any more: for they are equal unto the angels”
(Luke 20:35,36). However it was said about people and angels, and we do
not know whether it will be true for other creatures, who will not be
resurrected, but will be created: “Behold,
I make all things new”
learned before, a human soul contains all person’s information. It is
the matrix of the person, or to be more correct: soul is the person. All
memories and feelings, all predilection s and habits, all abilities and
disabilities, all talents and weaknesses, the color of eyes and hair,
even a birthmark
– everything is decoded in there. When person dies his soul goes to
God or to hell. At the time of resurrection soul will return to its
dead flesh Paul compared with a seed, which ”
thou sowest is not quickened, except it die” (1Cor.15:
36). A dead body is like a seed, which was put under ground into the
grave. After some time the seed is decomposed and out of it a new plant
grows, using elements of the decomposing seed. The same will happen with
the resurrected body, it will also use elements of the dead body.
However if the seed producing its own kind, the resurrected body, as was
shown above, will be different from the body which died. It will be
physically we can not do any manipulation with the missing limb, it has
only natural sensations, which any physical body can have without any
distortion from outside: a little tickling, warming or cooling. When
after death our spiritual body – our soul – will enter the spirit
world, it will be under authority of spiritual beings. Our spiritual
bodies can be touched by them, and we will feel it, as we feel
somebody’s touch today. They can touch our spiritual bodies even now.
You remember the story of Job. Satan didn’t beat him physically, he
didn’t sent to Job some contagiously sick person. He touched Job’s
spiritual body and his physical
became sick (Job 2:4-7). The souls in hell are feeling all the pain,
thirst, hunger, with the same ability as we can feel everything in our
bodies today. As God – Spirit- can hear, see, smell without having a
biological body, so and our souls able to.
body a soul is weak, a soul does not make decisions, it reflects on the
deeds that were already done. Only in our bodies we can make decisions
to do right or wrong choices: ”we
must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may
receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath
done, whether it be good or bad”
see, God doesn’t sent people to hell. People themselves choose their
master, or by their deeds a master is choosing them. There are only two
masters: Jesus and Satan, and there is none in the middle.
tells that in the order to have the everlasting life people have to help
each other, forgive each other, repent, do not commit unpardonable sin
and do not take mark of the beast. However what we need to do in order
not to end up in Sheol it is clear indicated in Luke 16.
soon as person repents and ask for forgiveness, God forgives. He
doesn’t require person to walk long distances on his knees, doesn’t
require self-mutilation or long strict fast. The only three things He
does require from the person to be forgiven: his sincere repentance,
forgiveness of others (Mat.6:12,14,15; Mark 11:25; Luke 6:37; 11:4) and
avoiding a blasphemy against Holy Spirit (Mat.12:31,32; Mark 3:29; Luke
12:10), which is asking for forgiveness for the same sin, committed and
repented over and over again.
at the thief on the cross. He didn't ask God for forgiveness, but deeply
in his heart he repented what he had done (Luke 23:41). God can see in
the heart of man (1Sam.16:7) and He knew that words of David and the
thief were sincere.
says that only God’s souls are capable to repent, because “the
goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance”-
The wicked, whose names are not in the Book of Life, are not
capable to repent and change their lives (Rev.9:20,21, 16:9,11).
a sinful person dies, his soul can escape Sheol, if
all who offended him and will
repent his sins before his death. The repentance is the indicator for
going to heaven or hell. For
that reason “there
is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that
(Luke 15:10). Angels do not know if that sinner will have everlasting
life, because there was not Judgment yet, however they know, that soul
of the repented sinner will go to heaven. Later the Great White Throne
judgment will put everything and everyone on his proper place.
souls of some sinners, who had repented before their death, will go to
heaven, and will be there until the New earth will be prepared for the
righteous, until the Great Judgment. After that they will be judged and
some of them will end up in the lake of fire. Souls of those who
didn’t repent will go at first to Sheol, and after the resurrection
– into the lake of fire. There is no salvation without repentance.
man who didn’t wear the wedding garment is the soul of a wicked one,
who had repented, and his soul went to heaven. However his garment
wasn’t washed by Jesus’ blood. The wicked will be resurrected and
cast into the lake of fire.
in our time a soul has to come into a fetus and be in the born body all
the stages of its life, it is difficult to imagine what age our souls
are. However when God created Adam’s soul it was clothed in the clay
(flesh) almost right away and became “living
Therefore the age of just created Adam’s body represents the age of
the resurrected bodies: they will become living souls.
Adam’s age we do know much. After Cain killed Abel, the Adam’s first
son (Cain was not Adam’s son - see ch.”The Book of Life” ), he
begot another son, Seth, in the age of 130.
We don’t even know how long Adam lived before Eve was created.
So, we can only guess that when Adam was created he was around 60-100
years old. For us it is very old age. Yet at that time people lived
about 900 years, and 60-100 years was an approximate
age for marriage. Seth had his first son at the age of 105, Enosh
- at 90 years old, Kenan - at 70; Mahalalel -at 65; Jared -at 162; Enoch
– at 65; Methuselah - at 187; Lamech -at 182.
the resurrected bodies of people, who died in mature age, will be young
as 18-30 years old, the average age before marriage. Consequently
resurrected bodies of those, who died as baby or adolescent, will be the
However we can only guess.
reactions on their revelations are very different also. Some say, that
these experiences are result of some kind of chemical reactions of a
dying brain, and it is not for real, just visions which their brain is
producing. However they can prove nothing. Moreover
all the cases apparatus showed
clearly the death of the brain. All the experiences people went through
after they died, they had when there was no sign of activity in their
What they saw can not be classified as hallucinations not only because
monitors showed complete stop of all vital activities, but also because
nature of hallucinations is totally dissimilar to NDEs.
Hallucinations do not have any order and logic. In most cases
they do not have an end or beginning, they are very confusing, and
people usually can not recall many details of their hallucinations. ND
experiments entirely different. They are in absolute order, with a
definite end and beginning. A person usually can remember everything in
details. Moreover in many cases they could tell what had happened around
them when they were announced dead, and were laid in bed with closed
eyes or even with cloth covering their faces. Even a blind from the
birth who never saw any visual dreams (never saw any image, any color,
just sounds, sensations and smells) can describe in many details what
they saw while they were dead.
people believe, that all experiences are visions from Satan.
Though often there is no apparent reason why Satan would ever
need people to talk about going to hell right after the death, why would
he made unbelievers come to Christ, as many people did after their NDEs.
people, including those who experienced Near death, believe that their
souls actually came out of their dead bodies and continued to live
separately until a spiritual being sent the soul back to body, and
lifeless body came to life.
Bible clear says that our souls go to heaven or hell after we die, why
should we question the reality of the experiences? The only question can
be: what kind of spiritual being a soul communicated with. The being
from God’s site, or from the site of Satan? Here can be a trick.
know that some people, who died in hospitals, can be returned back to
life. So they camouflage as beings of light and appear to the souls who
know a little or nothing about God and Bible. Playing the good angels
they can say that person should stop to smoke, drink or commit adultery.
They even can say that Jesus is coming soon, however they will give some deceiving information also: that there is
no sin, no Judgment, God forgives everyone, every soul goes to heaven
and ctr. And, of course, the spiritual beings from God’s site can give
to people some information also. So people who came back to life have to
be careful whose message they attempt to spread. And Christians, basing
on their knowledge of the Bible, have to explain to them, who they saw
while they were dead, and not to make those people feel, that some parts
of their brain had died, or it is only Satan who has interest in them.
The experiences are real, it is not people’s fantasies and not just
Next page Previous page Contents Home page