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Hades / The Grave

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by WebersHome, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    The comments and questions below are relative to Luke 16:19-31.

    How is it that the rich man and Abraham were able to see from their own grave into each other's grave? Do dead people have X-ray vision? Do they have any vision at all let alone X-ray?

    Do dead people actually have the ability to communicate with other dead people? You'd think that dead people would be deaf and mute seeing as how they're deceased and no longer sentient.

    What is the nature of the barrier that existed between Abraham's grave and the rich man's grave? The story suggests dead people could, and would, visit one another's graves were it not for the barrier separating them.

    From whence did the rich man assume that Lazarus could fetch water? Was Lazarus' grave adjacent to an aquifer or some such?

    The story suggests that Abraham and Lazarus shared the same grave, i.e. Lazarus' corpse was laid to rest with Abraham's corpse.

    The story tells that Lazarus' pall bearers were angels. Is that common, or was Lazarus' funeral a special event?
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  2. Lazarus Short

    Lazarus Short Well-Known Member

    Everything you cite is reason to not believe the parable is meant to be interpreted literally...
  3. prodromos

    prodromos Senior Veteran Supporter

    Eastern Orthodox
    Death is the seperation of the soul from the body. The soul senses things not through the physical, (touch, taste, sound, smell, sight), but through the spiritual.
  4. Knee V

    Knee V It's phonetic.

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    I would disagree with the presupposition that "Hades" is synonymous with "the grave". Rather, the disembodied spirit/soul went somewhere separate from the body. Their bodies remained buried in the ground decomposing, but the other element of their human nature remained sentient, and they were able to communicate with one another and see other people in Hades.

    Every parable of Christ is a combination of fiction and fact. In the parable of the lost sheep, the specific events may or may not have occurred in real history. However, sheep are real; shepherds are real; getting lost is real; being found is real. In the parable of the prodigal son, the specific events may not have happened. However, fathers are real; sons are real; sibling rivalry is real; prostitution is real; pig pens are real; coming to one's senses is real.

    Likewise, there may not specifically have been a beggar named Lazarus who had those same specific encounters with a rich man. However, that doesn't mean that Hades is not real; that people in Hades cannot see each other; or that Abraham and possibly others didn't comfort the souls of the righteous who joined them in Hades.
  5. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    The first error you make is saying Sheol/Hades is the grave, some six feet under place rather than THE PLACE in the spiritual realm where the souls & spirits of people go after they physically die & their body stays on this earth.

    Jesus is the prime example that refutes your error & wild speculations. AT THE SAME TIME Jesus' lifeless physical body was put in a grave, a tomb--His human spirit was committed to go to the Father..."into Thy hands I commit MY SPIRIT." Stephen in Acts 7 did the same thing, only committing HIS SPIRIT (not the Holy Spirit) into the care of Jesus Himself.

    And AT THE SAME TIME Jesus' lifeless body was in the grave AND His Spirit given to the Father for his care after separating from the body (James 2), Jesus' human soul was found to be in Paradise, a level in Sheol/Hades, where the departed souls of those of faith in God, from the body leave & go after physical death.

    There are definite Hebrew & Greek terms for the grave or sepulchre and they are NOT the Hebrew word Sheol or the Greek word Hades.

    And I have done an in-depth conclusive contextual study on Luke 16:19-31, showing that it is not a parable but describing the actual destinations of two people, one believing & one not & what happens & where they go after they physically die. (if anyone is interested)

    Hell, Sheol, Hades, Paradise, and the Grave

    There seems to be some confusion about the meaning of Hell & who goes there because of the way the Hebrew word Sheol & the Greek word Hades have been translated in our English Bibles. Since this confusion has led some into an erroneous understanding of what the Bible actually teaches about the intermediate state & the final state of the dead, we think that it is important that we address this subject here.

    Sheol is found in the Bible 65 times. It is translated “the pit” 3X, “the grave” 31X & “hell” 31X. Hades is used 11X, being rendered “hell” 10X & “grave” once. Adding to the confusion is that two other words are also translated hell in the NT. These are Tartarus, found once & Gehenna, which is used 12X.

    The term “Hell” is commonly understood to mean a place of torment where the souls of the wicked go after physical death. This is true. However, because Hades in the NT & Sheol in the OT are variously rendered hell or grave, there has been some misunderstanding about what hell & the grave are. Before looking at these words though, we should first give our attention to the Greek word Gehenna (Gehenna of fire), which is always translated hell & used in reference to the Lake of Fire & also Topheth of fire. It is found in Matt 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15,33; Mark 9:43,45,47; Luke 12:5 & James 3:6.

    The Lake of Fire, or Hell, is a literal place in the spiritual realm of everlasting fire that was originally created by God as a place of punishment (torments) for Satan & the angels that followed him in his rebellion against God (Matt 25:41).

    Because it is referred to as the place of “outer darkness” (Matt 8:12; 25:30), we believe that it is most probably located at the farthest reaches of the creation. Gehenna is described in Scripture as a “furnace of fire” (Matt 13:42); “everlasting punishment” (Matt 25:46); “the mist [gloom] of darkness” (II Pet. 2:17); the “hurt of the second death” (Rev. 2:11 cf. 20:6,14; 21:8); “a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Rev. 19:20; 20:10; 21:8). The fires of Topheth in the valley of Ge-Hinnom (where the transliterated term Gehenna comes from) are also A PICTURE, a metaphor, of the lake of fire or the Gehenna of fire. Topheth literally means 'burning fire.'

    While Hell was created for Satan & the other fallen angels, the unsaved of humanity from all ages will be with them in this place of torment where “there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Mat. 13:42). This is the “everlasting reward” of all that die in their sins.

    While there is no one in the Lake of Fire at this time, it will one day hold a vast multitude. The first residents of this place of righteous retribution will be the Beast (Antichrist) & the False Prophet (HUMAN BEINGS) who, at the end of the Tribulation, will be “cast ALIVE into a lake burning with brimstone” (Rev. 19:19-20). Joining them will be the unsaved of the nations who survive the Tribulation (Matt 25:31-32,41-46).

    Also, at Jesus Christ’s return to earth, the rebel Israelites, i.e. unbelieving Jews, who survive the Tribulation, will be denied entrance into the Millennial Kingdom, no doubt to join their Gentile counterparts in the “place of everlasting fire” (Ezek 20:33-38; Matt 7:21-23; cf. Matt 24:29-31,45-51).

    Then, at the end of the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ, Satan will be “cast into the lake of fire & brimstone, where the beast & the false prophet are (still here after being cast alive into it earlier--not annihilated) & shall be tormented DAY & NIGHT--forever AND ever” (Rev. 20:10). And finally, the unsaved dead of all ages will be raised & judged at the Great White Throne by Jesus Christ & then cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15).

    [One should note that all human beings, both the righteous & the wicked will be resurrected with physical resurrected bodies that are IMMORTAL, that are incorruptible AND WILL NOT PERISH, that will remain forever & ever. (see I Corinthians 15:42-50)

    That is why Jesus taught plainly, Matt 10:26-28:

    So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light & what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but CANNOT KILL the soul. Rather fear him who can bring to ruin (destroy) both soul & body in Gehenna (hell).]

    The name Gehenna derives from a deep narrow ravine south of Jerusalem where some Hebrew parents actually sacrificed their children to the Ammonite god, Molech, during the time of the kings (II Kings 16;3; II Chron 28:1-3; cf. Lev. 18:21; I Kings 11:5,7,33). This pagan deity is also referred to as Malcham, Milcom & Moloch in the Bible.

    It became a graphic symbol of the place of punishment & abomination for the wicked. It was named the “Valley ('Ge') of Hinnom,” which translated into Greek becomes Gehenna. The passages where the word is found in the NT plainly show that it was a commonly used expression for Hell by that time.

    The word is found 12X in the Scriptures, being used 11X by the Lord Jesus & once by James. When we consider the context, it is clear the Lord used this word in reference to the place of everlasting punishment for the wicked dead & NOT to the sacrifice of children to a demon false god.

    Gehenna, or the Lake of Fire or Tophet or the Second Death, might be referred to as the future, or final, Hell because it is where all of the wicked from all ages will finally end up. Satan, the fallen angels & all of the lost of mankind will reside in torment there forever & ever.

    Scripture passages in which Gehenna is used should be distinguished from those using Hades, which refers to a place of temporary torment that we might refer to as the immediate, or present, Hell.

    What we mean by this is that, at the time of death, the souls of the lost go directly to Hades, where they suffer in torment until the time of the Great White Throne Judgment when they will be resurrected & cast into the Lake of Fire. The souls of all the lost who have already died are presently there & those who die in their sins immediately go there to join them.

    Hades is the NT equivalent of the OT word Sheol. The Greek & Hebrew words speak of the same place, the present Hell. However, this is problematic because Sheol has been translated “grave” as often as it has “hell” & some have mistakenly taught that Sheol & Hades are only references to the grave rather than Hell. This erroneous teaching leads to the denial of the existence of an immediate or present Hell. The false doctrine of soul-sleep & other ideas that teach the unconscious state of the dead between death & resurrection, spring from this error.

    The common word for “grave” in the OT is queber. Of the 64X is used, it is translated “grave” 34X, “sepulcher” 26X & “burying place” 4X. Queber is used 5 additional times as part of a place name, Kibroth-hattaavah, which means “graves of lust.”

    A comparison of how Sheol & queber are used reveals eight points of contrast that tell us that they are NOT the same thing.

    1. Sheol is never used in plural form. Queber is used in the plural 29X.
    2. It is never said that the body goes to Sheol. Queber speaks of the body going there 37X.
    3. Sheol is never said to be located ON the face of the earth. Queber is mentioned 32X as being located on the earth.
    4. An individual’s Sheol is never mentioned. An individual’s queber is mentioned 5X.
    5. Man is never said to put anyone into Sheol. Individuals are put into a queber by man (33X).
    6. Man is never said to have dug or fashioned a Sheol. Man is said to have dug, or fashioned, a queber (6X).
    7. Man is never said to have touched Sheol. Man touches, or can touch, a queber (5X).
    8. It is never said that man is able to possess a Sheol. Man is spoken of as being able to possess a queber (7X). (These eight points of comparison are adapted from “Life and Death” by Caleb J. Baker, Bible Institute Colportage Ass’n, 1941).
    From the differences between how Sheol & queber are used in Scripture, it is obvious that they are not the same thing. The Greek word Hades in the NT would fit into the Sheol column of our chart, strongly indicating that it is the same thing as Sheol.

    Words associated with queber are quabar & qeburah. Quabar is a verb meaning to bury or to be buried & qeburah is a noun meaning a grave or place of burial. The use of these related words helps to reinforce the difference between queber & Sheol, as they clearly have to do with the grave as a burial place, while Sheol does not.

    1. After selling Joseph into slavery, his brothers stained his coat with blood & used it to convince their father that he had been killed by a wild animal (Gen 37:26-36). Jacob’s sons & daughters tried “to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted & he said, `for I will go down into the grave (Sheol) unto my son mourning’. Thus his father wept for him” (v. 35 KJV).

    From Jacob’s words it is clear that he fully intended to eventually be reunited with his son in a tangible way. Obviously then, he did not simply have in mind the idea of joining him in burial as he believed that Joseph’s body had not been buried at all, but was eaten by an animal (v. 33). This being the case, it was impossible for Jacob to think he would join Joseph in burial.

    Plainly, he looked forward to being reunited with him in the place of the departed dead, not in burial. The word rendered grave in this passage is Sheol, the abode of the souls of those who have died.

    2. After Jacob died, Joseph had his body mummified, a process that took 40 days, then took him back to Canaan for burial (Gen 50:1-14). When we add to that the 30 days of mourning (Gen. 50:2-4) & the time it took to travel to Canaan for the funeral (Gen 50:5-13), we see that it was several weeks after Jacob was “gathered unto his people” (Gen 49:33) before his body was placed in the cave that served as his burial place.

    Considering that he had been dead for well over two months before his body was buried & that the Scriptures state that at the time he died he was “gathered to his people” (Gen. 49:33) is telling. It shows that at the time of physical death, when “he yielded up the spirit,” his soul immediately departed his body to be with Isaac & Abraham.

    This cannot be a reference to his body being gathered together with their bodies, as that did not take place for over ten weeks. This is strong proof that Sheol does not mean a burial place for the body, but is the place where the souls of the departed reside. ['God is not the God of the dead but the God of the living.' I AM (eternally existing) the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob' not was].

    3. That communication takes place in Sheol/Hades tells us that something other than a burial place is in view. In Isaiah 14:4-20, we find the prophet foretelling the eventual defeat & death of the king of Babylon. The nation that would eventually send Judah into captivity will itself be defeated & its mighty king will find himself among “the chief ones of the earth…the kings of the nations” (Isa 14:9) who preceded him IN DEATH.

    These are the kings of nations that he had conquered with the sword & ruled over with a cruel hand (Isa 14:6). These same men will serve as a welcoming committee for this once great “world ruler” when he arrives in Sheol/Hades. In mock surprise, they will ask this once powerful king, “Art thou also become weak as we? Are thou become like unto us?” (Isa 14:10). They then taunt him by pointing out that the pretentious display of magnificence that he had demonstrated as the king of Babylon now meant nothing (Isa 14:11).

    All of those who find themselves in this section of Sheol/Hades, like the king of Babylon & the kings who greeted him, will be faced with the reality of how helpless & hopeless they are. One of the boasts these kings make against him is that, while their bodies have been placed in their respective tombs, or graves, he was not honored by a respectable burial, “But thou are cast out of the grave (queber) like an abominable (despised) branch…thou shalt not be joined with them in burial” (Isa 14:18-20). Obviously, if his body was not in any grave at all, he was not simply joining them in burial.

    What we see here is this man going into Sheol, while at the same time his body is cast out of its grave. Obviously then, Sheol cannot be the grave here as the body & soul are immaterial, in different places, the soul going to Sheol while the body remains unburied, or outside of the grave (vs. 20) to be infested by maggots (vs. 11). It is true that this is a prophetic passage.

    And there are various opinions as to the identity of the person in view here (verses 12-15 are commonly thought to refer to Satan, the power behind the Gentile kings). But, regardless of who this prophecy is about, or whether it has already been fulfilled or not, does not change the fact that Sheol & the grave are to be regarded as different places in this passage of Scripture.

    4. In the case of Samuel & Saul, we find another example of the Scriptures making a distinction between Sheol/Hades & the grave. In his conversation with King Saul, Samuel, whom the Lord had sent back from the dead to deliver a message to Saul, said that Saul & his sons would be WITH HIM THE NEXT DAY (I Sam 28:15-19).
  6. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    As foretold, Saul & his sons did DIE the next day while in battle with the Philistines (I Sam 31:1-6). However, their bodies were not buried the next day, so they did not join Samuel in the grave but their souls went down to Sheol/Hades where the person, or soul, of Samuel was. As it is said that Samuel “came up” it seems obvious that he went back down after speaking with Saul (I Sam. 28:8,11,14).

    As for the bodies of Saul & his sons, their remains were not buried for several days. As Samuel had said, they died the next day (I Sam. 31:1-6) & were WITH HIM IN SHEOL THE NEXT DAY. It was the day after they died that their bodies were taken by the Philistines & hung on the wall of Beth-Shan (I Sam 31:7-10).

    After hearing of this, valiant men from Jabesh-Gilead went by night & removed their bodies, took them to Jabesh, burned them & then buried their bones. All this took place at least 3 days after Saul had died & probably longer. Saul & his sons joined Samuel in Sheol/Hades the day they died & the flesh of their bodies was burned with only their bones being placed in a grave several days later. Obviously Sheol/Hades & the grave are not the same thing, nor are they in the SAME place.

    The story of the Rich Man & Lazarus that is found in Luke 16:19-31 gives us the record of a remarkable conversation that took place in Hades between the Rich Man & Abraham. Obviously, these two men could not have had this conversation at all if Sheol/Hades is only a place where dead bodies are buried.

    First, there could be no communication between lifeless, decaying corpses & 2nd, Abraham’s body, which was buried in the cave of Machpelah over 1800 years earlier, had long since decayed. Also, the rich man’s body, regardless of whether it had decayed or not, would not have been buried in the burial cave of Abraham. From the context, it is obvious that these men were in the place of departed souls rather than a burial place.

    There are some that contend that this never actually took place & deny that it could have ever taken place. To these, who usually hold to a position of soul-sleep or the eradication of the soul at death, we answer; the Lord said that it did take place. Besides, as we have already pointed out, even if a parable--by definition--is a “true to life” story. To have meaning, it must be a story that could have actually taken place whether it ever did or not.

    Death & Sheol/Hades are linked together at least 33X in the Scriptures. In these, we see a general distinction between the “outward man,” which is the body & the “inward man,” which is the soul & spirit (cf. II Cor. 4:16). In this sense, death, or the grave, claims the physical part of man, the body, while Sheol/Hades claims the separated, spiritual part of man, the soul & spirit.

    This is exactly the meaning of Psalm 16:10: “For Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hell (Sheol); neither will Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.” In his Pentecostal address, Peter left no room for doubt that this was a prophetic pronouncement concerning the time between the Lord Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross & His resurrection.

    First, he quoted Psalm 16:8-11 (Acts 2:25-28) & then made direct application of verse 10 to Christ (Acts 2:31). Not only was the Lord Jesus’ soul not left in Sheol/Hades, but neither was His body left to rot in the grave. That Peter used Hades, the place of Sheol, in this quotation shows that they are identical in meaning.

    Of course, the Lord Jesus Christ is exceptional because He had the power not only to lay down His life on our behalf, but also to take it up again (Jn 10:17,18). This is not so of any other man, as the Psalmist points out when he asks, rhetorically, “What man is he that liveth & shall not see death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of Sheol?” (Ps 89:48).

    Because of the curse of sin, all of mankind faces the reality of physical death. None can evade it by their own power, nor can any man or woman escape from Sheol/Hades on their own. We know that since the Cross the souls of those who die “in Christ” do not go to Sheol/Hades, but to heaven. However, this is through the merit of Jesus Christ & His power, not their own.

    For those “in Christ,” death has no sting &Sheol/Hades has no victory because their body & soul & spirit will be united in a resurrection unto life (I Cor. 15:19,20,51-57). This is as certain as the fact of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. This is not so for those who die without Christ for they face a resurrection unto judgment, which is referred to as the “second death” (Rev. 20:13,14; 21:8).

    Psalm 89:48 speaks of the time when the soul is separated from the body. The body is given over to death where it will decay, while the soul is assigned to Sheol/Hades to await the final judgment. It is clear that the body and soul of the lost will be reunited at the time of the Great White Throne Judgment of the unsaved dead, when “death and Hades” will deliver up the dead that are in them.

    That is, their bodies will be raised from the grave, or death, and reunited with the soul, which will come out of Sheol/Hades to be judged by Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne (see Rev. 20:11-15; cf. Jn. 5:28,29).

    When the Lord Jesus said that “as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Mat. 12:40), He was saying that He would spend the time between His death and resurrection in Sheol/Hades. We know from Psalm 16:10 and Acts 2:25-32 that the Lord’s soul, which was made an offering for sin (Isa. 53:10), was in Sheol/Hades, and we know from Matthew 12:40 that He was in the heart of the earth, which is where we believe that Sheol/Hades is located.

    When we speak of the heart of something, we are not referring to that which is superficial or only skin-deep. Symbolically, the heart signifies the innermost character, feelings, or inclinations of a man. The heart is also used when referring to the center, or core, of something.

    For example; it is sometimes said, “the heart of a watermelon is the best part,” meaning that the center part of the watermelon tastes better than the part closer to the rind. If we say that we have a “heart-felt desire” for a particular area of ministry, we would be speaking of a yearning to do the Lord’s work that comes from our innermost being as opposed to a superficial desire based on the emotions of the moment.

    When used figuratively in the Scriptures, the word “heart” is used in a similar fashion, thus the heart of the earth gives reference to something much deeper than a simple place of burial for a man’s body barely under the surface of the earth. That it is said that before His ascension the Lord Jesus first descended “into the lower parts of the earth” (Eph. 4:9) affirms this. In a Psalm of thanksgiving for being delivered from death, David makes reference to this by distinguishing between Sheol/Hades (rendered grave in the KJV) and Queber (rendered pit in this passage) (Ps. 30:1-3).

    In Ezekiel we find prophecies against the kings of Assyria (Ezek. 31) and Egypt (Ezek. 32) that indicate that Sheol/Hades is in the center of the earth. In these two chapters it speaks of the fall of these mighty kings, who in death ended up in the underworld with those who have gone before them.

    We do not have the space here to give extensive commentary on these two chapters. But we do want to point out that in regard to both kings it is said that in death they would go “to the nether parts of the earth…with them that go down into the pit” (see Ezek. 31:14,16,18; 32:18,24), the “nether parts” being the lower regions of the earth. We should take note that in chapter thirty-one it is being pointed out to Pharaoh that just as the king of Assyria, who was greater than he was, had died and gone into the underworld, so would he.

    In chapter thirty-two we find a prophecy, given in the form of a lamentation, foretelling Pharaoh’s defeat by the king of Babylon (Ezek. 32:1-16). This is followed by a lamentation over the multitude of Egyptians who would be slain by the Babylonians (Ezek. 31:17-31).

    We have pictured for us those of the nations who preceded them, welcoming Pharaoh and his host as they arrived in Sheol/Hades by taunting them. They point out that the Egyptians had thought themselves to be invincible because of their strength and fame among the nations. But now they were just like the great nations who had gone before them, their individual souls being confined to Sheol/Hades while their bodies decay in the grave.

    “The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell (Sheol)…” (Ezek. 32:21). The “strong among the mighty” spoken of here refers to the men who had been the kings and leaders of the different nations that are mentioned in this passage: Asshor, or Assyria (v. 22), Elam (v. 24), Meshech and Tubal (v. 26), Edom, her kings and her princes (v. 29), the princes of the north and the Zidonians (v. 30).

    This passage shows that while those of each group mentioned are in their respective burial places, their quebers, they are at the same time all together in “the pit,” which is an expression that is sometimes used for Sheol/Hades (vv. 18,25,29). These are similar examples as that found in Isaiah 14, which we have previously looked at.

    While we have not exhausted the subject by looking at every passage that Sheol is found in, it is clear from these examples that Sheol is not simply the grave but is located at the center of the earth and is the abode of the souls of the unrighteous dead who are awaiting their resurrection unto condemnation. It is equally clear that those in Sheol/Hades are not in an unconscious state of existence but are quite aware of what is going on around them. There is memory, recognition, and communication there.

    The Apostle Peter used the word Tartarus in reference to “the angels that sinned” that God delivered to Sheol/Hades to await judgment (II Pet. 2:4). This word, which is translated “hell” in the KJV, was used in Greek mythology to refer to the place of punishment for the most wicked. It is not clear if Peter was using this word in reference to Sheol/Hades in a general way or if he was referring to a specific compartment of Sheol/Hades where a certain class of fallen angels are confined awaiting final judgment.

    Either way, this passage teaches that there is a place of confinement in which a particular group of beings are being held until the time of their judgment. This is consistent with the overall Biblical teaching about the existence and purpose of Sheol/Hades.
  7. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    While Paradise is not now a part of Sheol/Hades it will be mentioned here because it was located in Sheol/Hades at one time. Before the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ everybody who died went to Sheol/Hades, which was at that time divided into at least two compartments. One was a place of torment while the other was a place of blessing, which was referred to as Abraham’s Bosom (Lk. 16:22-25). As we mentioned before, Tartarus may be a specific place in Sheol/Hades.

    We know that Jesus Christ went “into the lower parts of the earth” (Eph. 4:9), that is to Sheol/Hades, “in the heart of the earth,” for three days and nights while his body was in the grave (Mat. 12:40). The Lord Jesus told the repentant thief that he would join Him in Paradise that same day (Lk. 23:42,43).

    This tells us that Paradise was located in Sheol/Hades at that time. We believe that this was the same place referred to as Abraham’s Bosom in Luke 16. However, after Jesus Christ rose from the dead He ascended to the Father, taking the saints who were in Abraham’s Bosom to heaven with Him. Thus, He took “captivity captive” (see Eph. 4:8-10).

    That Paradise was moved to heaven is confirmed to us by the Apostle Paul who speaks of a man who was “caught up into Paradise” where he “heard unspeakable words” (II Cor. 12:3,4). With Jesus Christ’s work complete, the believers who had been confined to Sheol/Hades were now taken to Heaven to wait in God’s presence until the time of their resurrection to enter His Kingdom on Earth.

    Since that time, at death all believers go to Paradise in Heaven to await the time of their resurrection. This is true whether they belong to the Kingdom Church of the future or the Body of Christ Church of the present Dispensation of Grace.

    We have already looked at the word queber, the most common word for grave, or a burial place, in the Old Testament, and have shown that it is not the same as Sheol. As previously stated, of the sixty-four times it is used it is rendered “grave” thirty-four times, “sepulcher” twenty-six times, and “burying place” four times. Two other words that are used for a burial place in the Old Testament are Shah-ghath and Qeburah.

    Shah-ghath: This word is translated “grave” once (Job 33:22). It is rendered “ditch” twice, “destruction” twice, “corruption” four times, and “pit” thirteen times. This word speaks of something that man can dig (Ps. 94:13; Prov. 26:27) and is used in reference to a hole into which a man can fall (Ps. 7:15; Prov. 26:27), and a hole used as a trap (Ps. 35:7). It is a place where the physical body suffers destruction through the corruption of decay (Ps. 16:10; 49:9; 55:23). The basic meaning is that of a hole of some kind that man digs for a particular purpose. Generally, it is used of a burial place, i.e., a grave.

    Qeburah: This word is related to queber and means a grave or burial place. It is used of various types of graves and is found fourteen times and is translated “grave” four times, “sepulcher” five times, “burial” four times, and “burying place” one time.

    In the New Testament we find three more words that refer to the grave, taphos, mnema, and mnemeion.

    Taphos is used seven times and is translated “sepulcher” six of those and “tomb” once.

    Mnema is used seven times, being rendered “tomb” twice, “grave” once, and “sepulcher” four times.

    Mnemeion is the most common word for grave in the New Testament. It is used forty-two times, five times as “tomb,” twenty-nine times as “sepulcher,” and eight times as “grave.”

    The grave is a place where the physical remains of those who have died are deposited. It can be a hole in the ground, a cave, or a specially prepared vault or other place used for interment. The soul and spirit having departed the body at death, there is no consciousness of life in the grave. It is a place of corruption that serves to point out man’s need of a Savior.

    The soul of man lives on after physical death and will always remain in a conscious state of being. The unsaved go to Sheol/Hades to await their resurrection unto condemnation while the redeemed go to heaven to await their resurrection unto life (see Jn. 5:25-29).

    A proper understanding of what the Bible teaches about Hell, Sheol, Hades, and the Grave dispels confusion over what happens to the soul at the time of physical death and guards against being led astray by those teaching the false doctrines of soul-sleep, eradication of the soul, the universal reconciliation of mankind, and the annihilation of the lost.

    All of these erroneous doctrines are of Satan, used of him to dishearten believers and blind the lost to the reality of the cost of spurning the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our thinking, and therefore our life on a day-to-day basis, is influenced by what we believe. While some of the false doctrines mentioned above are diametrically opposed to each other, they still have one thing in common. They subvert the truth of the immortality of the soul.
  8. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    For some time now, I've been curious from whence the Bible obtained that story in Luke 16:19-31. It's commonly attributed to Jesus, but I've so far been unable to locate any textual evidence proving beyond a shadow of sensible doubt, or even suggesting, that he actually taught it.

    That story seems to me out of place; sort of a footnote plopped into the midst of Luke's gospel like an afterthought.
  9. robycop3

    robycop3 Newbie

    i believe sheol/hades is the temporaru abode of all the souls of the deceased. It's divided into areas of 'torments' & 'paradise'. Jesus went to PARADISE, not 'hell'. The KJV mistranslates hades as hell, and sometimes does the same with sheol.

    Remember, hades is to be cast into the lake of fire after God empties it. How can hell be cast into hell ?

    And Jesus' parable about the rich man & the beggar lazarus is quite literal. remember, Jesus told the repentant thief in the cross beside Him that he would be IN PARADISE with Jesus that very day.
  10. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Luke 16:23-25 . . He cried out and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.

    The Greek word for "flame" is phlox (flox) which essentially means a blaze.

    Well; apparently the rich man wasn't engulfed in the blaze. I assume so because his view wasn't obscured to the point wherein conditions prevented him from seeing clearly enough to spy Abraham and Lazarus at some distance. (There may in fact have been other people in the area too but the Bible left them out of the story; likely because they're not relevant.)

    Did the rich man actually think that Lazarus would agree to walk thru fire to bring him water? That part of the story is very curious.

    The blaze is curious too. Was it not so hot that moisture on a wet fingertip could survive evaporation long enough for Lazarus to reach the man and apply it to his tongue?

    Why did the rich man request such a small amount of water? Why not a mug, or better yet; a whole bucket?
  11. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    You call yourself a Christian, one who follows Christ & what He TAUGHT & you don't believe He taught this, that it is just a suggestion Jesus taught this when in Luke it plainly states Jesus IS TALKING & did tell His disciples this true story?

    Who is it that is telling you these fabrications & why are you believing them over what the authoritative Holy Scripture states & that there has been no challenge to Jesus teaching on this, up until recent history?

    Let me remind you of the first part of Luke's gospel & what He said, as well as the companion to His Gospel, The Acts & what Luke said there as well.

    Luke 1:1-4 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished AMONG US, JUST AS those who FROM THE BEGINNING WERE EYEWITNESSES & MINISTERS OF THE WORD HAVE HANDED THEM DOWN (DELIVERED THEM) TO US--it seemed good to me also, having followed (investigated) all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know with certainty the exact truth about the things you have been taught.

    Acts 1:1,2 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do AND TEACH--UNTIL the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.

    That which Luke wrote was actual eyewitness accounts of those who were with Jesus from the very beginning. These were HANDED DOWN & DELIVERED TO LUKE & THOSE WITH HIM, LIKE PAUL.

    They were not only eyewitness accounts, but Theophilus would know with certainty the exact truth about the things he had been TAUGHT.

    Luke has proven time & time again through historical record, through eyewitness accounts & through archaeology to be the most accurate record of the life & ministry of Jesus Christ.

    Now simply read WITH FAITH & CERTAINTY what Luke records on this passage in Luke 16:19-31.

    Luke 15:1-3 Now the tax collectors & sinners were all gathering around to hear JESUS. But the Pharisees & the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners & eats with them.” THEN JESUS TOLD THEM IS PARABLE...



    16:14,15 The Pharisees, who loved money, HEARD ALL THIS & were sneering AT JESUS. 15He said...

    16:19 Now there was a certain rich man...


    This was all continuous teaching by Jesus, as Luke accurately demonstrates & records with certainty by eyewitnesses.

    Perhaps you don't believe Jesus taught this either, that an eyewitness who followed Him from the beginning is simply fabricating this or simply suggesting Jesus might have said this:

    Matthew 24:35 Heaven & earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

    Luke 21:33 Heaven & earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.

    Mark 13:31 Heaven & earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.

    Perhaps there are too many eyewitness accounts that get you confused.

    Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?

    Psalm 19:7 ...The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

    Accuracy and Reliability of the Gospel of Luke

    Unbelievable? Is There Enough Evidence Beyond the Gospels to Make Their Testimony Reliable? | Cold Case Christianity

    Is the Bible True? The Cumulative Case for the Reliability of the Gospels (Free Bible Insert) | Cold Case Christianity

    Are the Four Gospels Historically Accurate? by Don Stewart


  12. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    The story told in Luke 16:9-31 quotes Abraham a number of times. Well, if Abraham didn't actually say the words that he's quoted as saying; then Luke reported fake news, i.e. we would have good reason to suspect that Luke was a man of questionable integrity who couldn't be trusted to tell the truth about people; and nobody's reputation, not even a sacred patriarch's reputation, was safe in his hands.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  13. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Once again your disbelief in the Holy Spiirit's guiding of Luke in writing His gospel & the accuracy of Luke in his research of eyewitness records & accounts is showing.

    2 Peter 1:9-21 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to MAKE CERTAIN about His calling & choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

    12Therefore, I will always be ready to REMIND YOU OF THESE THINGS, even though you already know them & have been established in the truth which is present with you. I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has MADE CLEAR to me. And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will BE ABLE TO CALL THESE THINGS TO MIND.

    For we did NOT FOLLOW CLEVERLY DEVISED TALES when we made known to you the power & coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were EYEWITNESSES of His majesty. For when He received honor & glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— & we ourselves HEARD this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

    So we have the PROPHETIC WORD MADE MORE CERTAIN, to which you do well to pay attention as to a LAMP SHINING IN A DARK PLACE, until the day dawns & the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this FIRST OF ALL, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made BY AN ACT OF HUMAN WILL, but men moved by the Holy Spirit SPOKE FROM GOD.

    The eyewitness account of Abraham, of Dives (the certain rich man) & his family & of Lazarus & what happened to them is from Jesus Himself! Jesus is God & no one can hide from God, not anywhere in the universe, whether heaven or Sheol/Hades, after a person physically dies & his soul & spirit depart the body & go there in the spiritual realm.

    Psalm 139:1-8 O Lord, You have searched me & known me. You know my sitting down & my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You scrutinize my path & my lying down & are acquainted with all my ways.

    4For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, YOU KNOW IT ALTOGETHER. You have hedged me behind & before & laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.

    7Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
    If I ascend into heaven, You are there; IF I MAKE MY BED IN SHEOL, BEHOLD, YOU ARE THERE.

    You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

    Psalm 56:8 You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

    Revelation 20:4-15 They came to life & reigned with Christ a 1000 years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1000 years were ENDED.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed & holy are those who share in the 1st resurrection. The 2nd death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God & of Christ & will reign with him for a 1000 years.

    7When the 1000 years are over, Satan will be released from his prison & will go out to deceive the nations in the 4 corners of the earth—Gog & Magog—& to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.

    9They marched across the breadth of the earth & surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven & devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast & the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day & night for ever & ever.

    11Then I saw a great white throne & Him who was seated on it. The earth & the heavens fled from His presence & no place was found for them to hide. And I saw the dead, great & small, standing before the throne & BOOKS WERE OPENED. Another book was opened, which is the book of life.

    The dead were judged according to what they had done AS RECORDED IN THE BOOKS. The sea gave up the dead that were in it & death &Hades gave up the dead that were in them & each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death & Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the 2nd death. Anyone whose name was NOT found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
  14. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States

    Luke 16:19-31 is commonly alleged to be a parable; which of course implies that the story is fiction; and some would even say fantasy. But the parable theory has a fatal flaw. Abraham is not a fictional character: he's a real-life man; the father of the Hebrew people, held in very high esteem by at least three of the world's prominent religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And he's also the friend of God (Isa 41:8). I simply cannot believe that Jesus Christ-- a man famous among normal Christians for his honesty and integrity --would say something untrue about a famous real-life man; especially about one of his Father's buddies.

    And on top of that, the story quotes Abraham a number of times. Well; if the story is fiction, then Jesus Christ is on record testifying that Abraham said things that he didn't really say; which is a clear violation of the commandment that prohibits bearing false witness.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
  15. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    The passage below is often used as a proof text that Jesus' teachings were all presented in parable form.

    Matt 13:34 . . Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable.

    However, that passage is only saying that whenever Christ spoke to crowds, he included at least one parable. To assume he taught only in parable form is a really, really big error.

    FYI: Not all of Christ's stories are clearly identified as parables. Watch out for that.
  16. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Modern evangelists like Billy Graham and Luis Palau generally compose their own sermons and pick their own topics. Jesus did neither; he was micromanaged by a higher power.

    John 3:34 . . For he is sent by God. He speaks God's words, for God's Spirit is upon him without measure or limit

    John 8:26 . .He that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him.

    John 8:28 . . I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught me.

    John 12:49 . . I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

    . John 14:24 . .The word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me.

    Heb 1:2 . . In these last days, God has spoken to us by His son.

    So then, all the parables-- those clearly identified as such, and those assumed as such --originated with God; who has thousands upon many thousands of years under His belt observing His creation. I seriously doubt that God has to resort to spinning yarns in order to get His points across seeing as how He has at His disposal an immense archive of eye-witness experiences to draw upon and put to use.

    There's yet another issue to consider-- God cannot lie. (Titus 1:2)

    I strongly urge those who insist that Luke 16:9-31 is a yarn to use what time they have remaining in this life to begin preparing themselves for the worst when they pass on because it's fatal to disbelieve God's eye-witness reports.

    John 3:31-36 . .He who comes from heaven is above all; and what he has seen and heard, that he testifies. For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
  17. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Creeping up the blind side, shinning up the wall,
    stealing through the dark of the night.
    Climbing through a window, stepping to the floor
    checking to the left and the right.
    Picking up the pieces, putting them away;
    something doesn't feel quite right.

    Help me someone, let me out of here.
    Then out of the dark was suddenly heard:
    Welcome to the Home by the Sea

    Coming out the woodwork, through the open door,
    pushing from above and below.
    Shadows with no substance, in the shape of men;
    round and down and sideways they go.
    Adrift without direction, eyes that hold despair
    then as one they sigh and they moan:

    Help us someone, let us out of here.
    Living here so long undisturbed,
    dreaming of the time we were free
    so many years ago
    before the time when we first heard:
    Welcome to the Home by the Sea

    Sit down . . Sit down
    As we relive our lives in what we tell you

    Images of sorrow, pictures of delight
    things that go to make up a life.
    Endless days of summer, longer nights of gloom
    waiting for the morning light.
    Scenes of unimportance, photos in a frame
    things that go to make up a life.

    Sit down . . Sit down
    Cause you won't get away,
    no; with us you will stay
    for the rest of your days.
    So sit down as we relive our lives in what we tell you.
    Let us relive our lives in what we tell you.

    (Home By The Sea, GENESIS 1983: Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford)

    The lyrics of that song are useful for depicting how one of the few thing that some people have to do down in the netherworld to help pass the time is tell each other about their previous lives. There is, of course, nothing to tell about their lives down there since the colloquialism "get a life" is a non sequitur in that place. Nobody has a life; nor any hope of getting one.
  18. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Through me; the way to the eternal city.
    Through me; the way to eternal sadness.
    Through me; the way to lost people.

    Justice moved my supreme maker:
    I was shaped by divine power,
    By highest wisdom, and by primal love.

    Before me, nothing was created
    That is not eternal: and eternally I endure.
    Abandon all hope, you that enter here.

    (The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri, Inferno: canto 3, v.1-9)

    Dante's poetic epic is called a comedy because it has a happy ending as opposed to a tragedy; at least for Dante anyway. The souls he and Virgil pass along the way through the Inferno portion of Dante's odyssey will never, nor anon, have a happy ending; hence the sign above the entrance to his netherworld: "Abandon all hope, you that enter here."

    Webster's defines "despair' as: to no longer have any hope or belief that a situation will improve or change. Down in the Inferno section of Dante's concept, despair is a way of life.

    One of the hardest concepts to get across is the despair that people in hell must feel in knowing that their situation is a sealed fate with no hope of relief. Dante's odyssey, though of course fiction, is useful for that purpose; especially when it's accompanied by illustrations painted by Gustave Doré.

    Jesus warned people that they'd be better off facing eternity with their hands and their feet amputated, and their eyes gouged out, then to end up in a hell he called geena; a much worse place than haides. So in my estimation, Dante's descriptions, and Gustave's paintings, though disturbing enough in themselves, aren't sufficient to impress just how unfortunate the ultimate hell really is.
  19. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

    United States
    In Relationship
    1) It's a parable, not a literal event.
    2) Jesus' language is consistent with how first century Jews tended to conceive of the afterlife, with She'ol being divided in two, the abode of the righteous dead known as Gan-Eden or Paradise and the abode of the wicked dead known as Gehenna.

    The point of the story isn't to give a literal description of the underworld, but rather to point out that if people won't believe even though they have the Law and the Prophets, then even if someone were to rise from the dead (hint hint, nudge nudge) it still wouldn't be enough to convince the most obstinately disbelieving.

  20. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Many years ago-- when I was a young single guy in his early twenties, living alone in a cheap rental --as I was listening to a radio preacher talk about hell, something in my mind took over; and I had the strangest sensation of falling off the earth into an abyss and nobody cared, nor did anybody miss me, nor did my disappearance cause any alarm nor make any difference.

    The freeways remained busy with frustrated drivers and honking horns, people still got up to go to work, shoppers crowded the supermarkets and department stores, kids caught their buses to school, birds kept right on chirping, grass kept on growing, ocean waves went on rolling onto the beach, trains kept running, airlines kept flying, clouds moved across the sky; and all that.

    My absence changed nothing nor disturbed anyone nor anything. The world was utterly indifferent; it kept right on turning, clocks went on ticking; and nature and man went right on with their business as usual without the slightest hiccup. At that moment I realized just how alone and how obscure people must feel when they exhale their final breath and cross over to the other side.

    Back in March of 2015, Andrew Getty, an heir to J. Paul Getty's oil fortune, died at the age of 47. In life, Andrew had many friends. You know how many accompanied him on his journey across the river Styx? Nary a one.

    You gotta walk that lonesome valley,
    You gotta walk it by yourself,
    Nobody here can walk it for you,
    You gotta walk it by yourself.

    (Woody Guthrie)