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The Justice Of God In Redemptive History Part 2

The Justice Of God In Redemptive History Part 2

Living In Anticipation Of The Kingdom of God – Session 7b

 

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Justice movements abound today, among believer and unbeliever alike. What makes a justice movement true or false? The justice of God throughout redemptive history provides a standard by which to anchor our hearts. Temporal judgments in this age point to the eternal judgment in Gehenna, and thus even temporal judgments are fundamentally merciful in nature.

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NOTES

The content of this classes notes are below with partial formatting. If you would like to see the notes with complete formatting,

Download “The Justice of God in Redemptive History” Notes and

Download “SN Gehenna and Eternal Bodily Torment” Notes

Because this is part 2 of these notes, John begins at letter D under “Justice and Cruciform-Apocalypticism.”

The Justice Of God In Redemptive History

JUSTICE AND CRUCIFORM-APOCALYPTICISM

JUSTICE AND CRUCIFORM-APOCALYPTICISM

A.             Gehenna: The Fulfillment of Divine Justice

The LORD will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail… 33 Topheth [cf. 2 Ki. 23:10; Jer. 7:31f; 19:6-14] has long been prepared; it has been made ready for the king. Its fire pit has been made deep and wide, with an abundance of fire and wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of burning sulfur, sets it ablaze. (NIV Isaiah 30:30-33) [1]

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell [Gk. gehenna].  30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell [Gk. gehenna]. (ESV Matthew 5:29-30)

If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire9 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell [Gk. gehenna]. (NIV Matthew 18:8-9)

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell [Gk. gehenna] as yourselves… 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell [Gk. gehenna]? (ESV Matthew 23:15, 33)

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell [Gk. gehenna], where the fire never goes out47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell [Gk. gehenna], 48 where “their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.” [Is. 66:24] (NIV Mark 9:43-48)

Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  2 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.  3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.  4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.  5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell [Gk. gehenna]. Yes, I tell you, fear him! (ESV Luke 12:1-5)

If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,  10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.  11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name. (ESV Revelation 14:9-11)

And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.  14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.  15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (NIV Revelation 20:10-15)

B.             The Day of Justice

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,  37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. (ESV Matthew 12:36-37)

And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.  28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice  29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. (ESV John 5:25-29)

1-Severity-of-Divine-Judgment-Scale

But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. (ESV Romans 2:5)

But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. (ESV 2 Peter 3:7)

C.              The Holding for Eschatological Justice

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell (Gk. tartarus) and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment6 if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly… 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment. (ESV 2 Peter 2:4-9)[2]

2-Hades-Gehenna

And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day-  7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (ESV Jude 1:6-7)

Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,  2 for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries… Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever… Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.  7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! (NIV Revelation 19:1-7)

D.             Temporal and Eternal Justice

But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.  21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.  22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works,  23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve. (ESV Revelation 2:20-23)

3-Blessing-Judgment

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.  31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.  32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. (ESV 1 Corinthians 11:26-32)

E.              This Age and the Mercy of God

About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were sacrificing at the Temple in Jerusalem.  2 “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than other people from Galilee?” he asked. “Is that why they suffered?  3 Not at all! And you will also perish unless you turn from your evil ways and turn to God4 And what about the eighteen men who died when the Tower of Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem?  5 No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will also perish.” (NLT Luke 13:1-5)

In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead. (NIV Acts 17:30-31)

But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly… 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (ESV 2 Peter 3:7-9)



[1] “Southwest of the city was the Valley of Hinnom, an area that had a long history of desecration. The steep gorge was once used to burn children in sacrifice to the Ammonite god Molech (2 Kings 23:10; Jer. 7:31; 32:35). Jeremiah denounced such practices by saying that Hinnom Valley would become the valley of God’s judgment, a place of slaughter (Jer. 7:32; 19:5-7). As the years passed, a sense of foreboding hung over the valley. People began to burn their garbage and offal there, using sulfur, the flammable substance we now use in matches and gunpowder. Eventually, the Hebrew name ge-hinnom (canyon of Hinnom) evolved into geenna (gehenna), the familiar Greek word for hell (Matt. 5:22, 29; 10:28; 18:9; 23:33; Mark 9:43, 45; Luke 12:5). Thus when the Jews talked about punishment in the next life, what better image could they use than the smoldering valley they called gehenna? … Some Jews, of course, took the fiery images literally, supposing that Hinnom Valley itself would become the place of hellfire and judgment (1 Enoch 27:1-2; 54:1-6; 56:3-4; 90:26-28; 4 Ezra 7:36).” (William V. Crockett, “The Metaphorical View,” in Four Views on Hell [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996], 58)

[2] “Fundamental for an understanding of the γέεννα passages in the NT, which occur only in the Synoptists and John, is the sharp distinction made by the NT between → ᾅδης and γέεννα. This distinction is a. that Hades receives the ungodly only for the intervening period between death and resurrection, whereas Gehenna is their place of punishment in the last judgment; the judgment of the former is thus provisional but the torment of the latter eternal (Mk. 9:43 and par.; 9:48). It is then b. that the souls of the ungodly are outside the body in Hades, whereas in Gehenna both body and soul, reunited at the resurrection, are destroyed by eternal fire (Mk. 9:43 and par., 45, 47 and par., 48; Mt. 10:28 and par.).” (J. Jeremias, “γέεννα,” TDNT, 1:658)

GOD'S DESIRE FOR JUSTICE

GOD’S DESIRE FOR JUSTICE

A.             The Prophetic Testimony

The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates6 On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot.  7 For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face. (NIV Psalm 11:5-7)

Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches,  24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD. (ESV Jeremiah 9:23-24)

But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.  9 Hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel, who detest justice and make crooked all that is straight,  10 who build Zion with blood and Jerusalem with iniquity.  11 Its heads give judgment for a bribe; its priests teach for a price; its prophets practice divination for money; yet they lean on the LORD and say, “Is not the LORD in the midst of us? No disaster shall come upon us.” (ESV Micah 3:8-11)

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another,  10 do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”  11 But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear.  12 They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the LORD of hosts. (ESV Zechariah 7:9-12)

B.             The Call to Imitate the Justice of God

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,  12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,  13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,  14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (ESV Titus 2:11-14)

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,  15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”  17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile. (ESV 1 Peter 1:13-17)

When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus,  5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord… 11 I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.  12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?  13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”  6:1 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?  2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?  3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!  4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church?  5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers,  6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?  8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! (ESV 1 Corinthians 5:4-6:8)

C.              The Call to Imitate the Mercy of God

Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.  12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.  13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution… 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.  21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.  23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. (ESV 1 Peter 2:10-23)

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.  14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.  15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.  16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.  17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  18 And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”  19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. (ESV 1 Peter 4:12-19) 

 

Supplemental Notes: Gehenna and Eternal Bodily Torment

BIBLICAL FOUNDATION

BIBLICAL FOUNDATION

(cf. Ps. 21:9; Is. 30:33; 31:9; 34:9f; 66:24; Jer. 7:32; 19:6; Mal. 4:1; Dan. 12:2; Mt. 5:22, 29f; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; 25:46; Mk. 9:43, 45, 47; Lk. 12:5; Jn. 5:29; Acts 24:15; 2 Thess. 1:9; Heb. 6:2; 2 Pe. 2:17; Jude 1:7, 13; Rev. 19:20; 20:10, 14f; 21:8)

The LORD will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail… 33 Topheth [“which is the Valley of the Son of Hinnom”, 2 Ki. 23:10; cf. Jer. 7:31; 19:6; 32:35] has long been prepared; it has been made ready for the king. Its fire pit has been made deep and wide, with an abundance of fire and wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of burning sulfur, sets it ablaze. (NIV Isaiah 30:30-33)

For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before me, declares the LORD, so your offspring and your name will endure.  23 And it shall be from new moon to new moon and from sabbath to sabbath, all mankind will come to bow down before me, says the LORD.  24 Then they will go forth and look on the corpses of the men who have transgressed against me. For their worm will not die and their fire will not be quenched; and they will be an abhorrence to all mankind. (NASB Isaiah 66:22-24)

So beware, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when people will no longer call it Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter, for they will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room.  33 Then the carcasses of this people will become food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away.  34 I will bring an end to the sounds of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride and bridegroom in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem, for the land will become desolate. (NIV Jeremiah 7:32-34)

And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell [Gk. gehenna], to the unquenchable fire47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell [Gk. gehenna], 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ (ESV Mark 9:43)

Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age.  41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers,  42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (ESV Matthew 13:40-42)

Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” … 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (ESV Matthew 25:41-46)

If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,  10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur [cf. 19:20; 21:8] in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.  11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever [cf. 20:10], and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name. (ESV Revelation 14:9-11)

INTERTESTAMENTAL LITERATURE

INTERTESTAMENTAL LITERATURE

(Judith 16:17; Sirach 7:17; 4 Ezra 2:29; 7:26-42; 4 Maccabees 9:9; 10:10-15; 12:12; 13:15; 1 Enoch 10.13; 18.9-16; 26-27; 48.8-10; 54.1-6; 56.1-4; 90.24-27; 100.7-9; 103.7-8; 108.4-7; 2 Enoch 10.1-3; 40.12-13; 63.4; 2 Baruch 30.4-5; 44.12-15; 51.6; 59.2; 64.7-10; 83.8; 85.12-13; Assumption of Moses 10:10; Jubilees 36.9-11; Sibylline Oracles 1.100-03, 349-50; 2.283-312; 4.179-91)[1]

Woe to the nations that rise up against my people! The Lord Almighty will take vengeance on them in the day of judgment; he will send fire and worms into their flesh; they shall weep in pain forever. (NRSV Judith 16:17)

Humble yourself to the utmost, for the punishment of the ungodly is fire and worms. (NRSV Sirach 7:17)

For indeed the time will come, when the signs that I have foretold to you will come to pass… 32 The earth shall give up those who are asleep in it, and the dust those who rest there in silence; and the chambers shall give up the souls that have been committed to them.  33 The Most High shall be revealed on the seat of judgment, and compassion shall pass away, and patience shall be withdrawn.  34 Only judgment shall remain, truth shall stand, and faithfulness shall grow strong.  35 Recompense shall follow, and the reward shall be manifested; righteous deeds shall awake, and unrighteous deeds shall not sleep.  36 The pit of torment shall appear, and opposite it shall be the place of rest; and the furnace of hell shall be disclosed, and opposite it the paradise of delight.  37 Then the Most High will say to the nations that have been raised from the dead, ‘Look now, and understand whom you have denied, whom you have not served, whose commandments you have despised.  38 Look on this side and on that; here are delight and rest, and there are fire and torments.’ Thus he will speak to them on the day of judgment–  39 a day that has no sun or moon or stars,  40 or cloud or thunder or lightning, or wind or water or air, or darkness or evening or morning,  41 or summer or spring or heat or winter or frost or cold, or hail or rain or dew,  42 or noon or night, or dawn or shining or brightness or light, but only the splendor of the glory of the Most High, by which all shall see what has been destined. (NRSV 4 Ezra 7:26-42)

For we, through this severe suffering and endurance, shall have the prize of virtue and shall be with God, on whose account we suffer;  9 but you, because of your bloodthirstiness toward us, will deservedly undergo from the divine justice eternal torment by fire. (NRSV 4 Maccabees 9:8-9)

When he was about to die, he said,  10 “We, most abominable tyrant, are suffering because of our godly training and virtue,  11 but you, because of your impiety and bloodthirstiness, will undergo unceasing torments.”  12 When he too had died in a manner worthy of his brothers, they dragged in the fourth, saying,  13 “As for you, do not give way to the same insanity as your brothers, but obey the king and save yourself.”  14 But he said to them, “You do not have a fire hot enough to make me play the coward.  15 No—by the blessed death of my brothers, by the eternal destruction of the tyrant, and by the everlasting life of the pious, I will not renounce our noble family ties.” (NRSV 4 Maccabees 10:9-15)

You profane tyrant, most impious of all the wicked, since you have received good things and also your kingdom from God, were you not ashamed to murder his servants and torture on the wheel those who practice religion?  12 Because of this, justice has laid up for you intense and eternal fire and tortures, and these throughout all time will never let you go. (NRSV 4 Maccabees 12:11-12)

Let us not fear him who thinks he is killing us,  15 for great is the struggle of the soul and the danger of eternal torment lying before those who transgress the commandment of God. (NRSV 4 Maccabees 13:14-15)

In those days they shall be led off to the abyss of fire: and to the torment and the prison in which they shall be confined for ever. 14 And whosoever shall be condemned and destroyed will from thenceforth be bound together with them to the end of all generations. (1 Enoch 10.13-14, POT)

At that moment, I said, “For what purpose does this blessed land, entirely filled with trees, have in its midst this accursed valley?” 2 Then, Uriel, one of the holy angels, who was with me, answered me and said to me, “This accursed valley is for those accursed forever; here will gather together all those accursed ones, those who speak with their mouth unbecoming words against the Lord and utter hard words concerning his glory. Here shall they be gathered together, and here shall be their judgment, in the last days. There will be upon them the spectacle of the righteous judgment, in the presence of the righteous forever. The merciful will bless the Lord of Glory, the Eternal King, all the day. (1 Enoch 27:1-3, OTP)

In these days downcast in countenance shall the kings of the earth have become, and the strong who possess the land because of the works of their hands, for on the day of their anguish and affliction they shall not be able to save themselves. 9 And I will give them over into the hands of Mine elect: as straw in the fire so shall they burn before the face of the holy: as lead in the water shall they sink before the face of the righteous, and no trace of them shall any more be found. 10 And on the day of their affliction there shall be rest on the earth, and before them they shall fall and not rise again: and there shall be no one to take them with his hands and raise them: for they have denied the Lord of Spirits and His Anointed. The name of the Lord of Spirits be blessed. (1 Enoch 48:8-10, POT)

Then I looked and turned to another face of the earth and saw there a valley, deep and burning with fire. And they were bringing kings and potentates and were throwing them into this deep valley. And my eyes saw there their chains while they were making them into iron fetters of immense weight… “Then Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and Phanuel themselves shall seize them on that great day of judgment and cast them into the furnace of fire that is burning that day, so that the Lord of the Spirits may take vengeance on them on account of their oppressive deeds which they performed as messengers of Satan, leading astray those who dwell upon the earth.” (1 Enoch 54:1-6, OTP)

Then I kept seeing till a throne was erected in a pleasant land; and he sat upon if for the Lord of the sheep; and he took all the sealed books and opened those very books in the presence of the Lord of the sheep… 24 Then his judgment took place. First among the stars, they received their judgment and were found guilty, and they went to the place of condemnation; and they were thrown into an abyss, full of fire and flame and full of the pillar of fire. 25 Then those seventy shepherds were judged and found guilty; and they were cast into that fiery abyss. 26 In the meantime I saw how another abyss like it, full of fire, was opened wide in the middle of the ground; and they brought those blinded sheep, all of which were judged, found guilty, and cast into this fiery abyss, and they were burned—the abyss is to the right of that house; 27 thus I saw those sheep while they were burning—their bones also were burning. (1 Enoch 90:20-27, OTP)

And the Most High will arise on that day of judgment in order to execute a great judgment upon all the sinners… Woe unto you, sinners, when you oppress the righteous ones, in the day of hard anguish, and burn them with fire! You shall be recompensed according to your deeds. Woe unto you, you hard of heart, who are watchful to devise evil! Fear shall seize you, and none shall come to your aid. Woe unto you, sinners, because of the words of your hands! On account of the deeds of your wicked ones, in blazing flames worse than fire, it shall burn. (1 Enoch 100.4-9, OTP)

Woe unto you sinners who are dead! … You yourselves know that they will bring your souls down to Sheol; and they shall experience evil and great tribulation—in darkness, nets, and burning flame. Your souls shall enter into the great judgment; it shall be a great judgment in all the generations of the world. Woe unto you, for there is no peace for you! (1 Enoch 103.5-8, OTP)

As for you, wait patiently until sin passes away, for the names of the sinners shall be blotted out from the Book of Life and the books of the Holy One; their seeds shall be destroyed forever and their spirits shall perish and die; they shall cry and lament in a place that is an invisible wilderness and burn in the fire—for there exists ground there as upon the earth. I also saw there something like an invisible cloud; and though I could see that it was completely dark yet I could not see the flame of its fire because it was burning brightly; and there were some things like bright mountains which formed a ring around it and which were tossing it to and fro. Then I asked one of the holy angels who was with me, saying to him, “What is this bright thing? For it is not a heaven but merely the flame of a fire which is burning—and a voice of weeping, crying, and lamenting as well as strong pain.” And he said unto me, “This place which you see, into it shall be taken the spirits of sinners, blasphemers, those who do evil, and those who alter all the things which the Lord has done through the mouth of the prophets, all of which have to be fulfilled.” (1 Enoch 108.3-6, OTP)

And those men carried me to the northern region; and they showed me there a very frightful place; 2 and all kinds of torture and torment are in that place, cruel darkness and lightless gloom. And there is no light there, and a black fire blazes up perpetually, with a river of fire that comes out over the whole place, fire here, freezing ice there, and it dries up and it freezes; and very cruel places of detention and dark and merciless angels, carrying instruments of atrocities torturing without pity. (2 Enoch 10.1-3, OTP 1:118)

I wrote down the height from the earth to the seventh heaven, and the depth to the lowermost hell, and the place of condemnation, and the supremely large hell, open and weeping. 13 And I saw how the prisoners were in pain, looking forward to endless punishment; and I recorded all those who have been condemned by the judge, and all their sentences and all their corresponding deeds… 41.2 And I said to their faces, ‘It would have been better if I had not seen you, nor heard about your activities, nor that any member of my tribe had been brought to you. To what a small extent they have sinned in this life, but in the eternal life they will suffer forever.’ (2 Enoch 40.12-41.2, OTP 1:166-68)

Every proud and magniloquent man is hateful to the Lord, and every false speech, clothed in untruth; it will be cut with the blade of the sword of death, and thrown into the fire, and shall burn for all time. (2 Enoch 63.4, POT 2:466)

And the hour comes which abides for ever. And the new world comes which does not turn to corruption those who depart to its blessedness, and has no mercy on those who depart to torment, and leads not to perdition those who live in it… 15 For to them shall be given the world to come, but the dwelling of the rest who are many shall be in the fire. (2 Baruch 44:12-15, POT)

For at that time the lamp of the eternal law shone on all those who sat in darkness, which announced to them that believe, the promise of their reward, and to them that deny, the torment of fire which is reserved for them. (2 Baruch 59:2, POT)

On this account Manasseh was at that time named “the impious”, and finally his abode was in the fire9 For he had not lived perfectly, for he was not worthy—but that thenceforward he might know by whom finally he should be tormented. 10 For he who is able to benefit is also able to torment. (2 Baruch 64:7-10, POT)

There is the proclamation of judgment to corruption, regarding the way to the fire and the path that leads to the glowing coals [“Gehenna”, POT]. 14 Therefore, there is one Law by One, one world and an end for all those who exist. 15 Then he will make alive those whom he has found, and he will purge them from sins, and at the same time he will destroy those who are polluted with sins. (2 Baruch 85.13-15, OTP)

And God will exalt thee, and He will cause thee to approach to the heaven of the stars, in the place of their habitation. 10 And thou shalt look from on high and shalt see thy enemies in Gehenna, and thou shalt recognize them and rejoice, and thou shalt give thanks and confess thy Creator. (Assumption of Moses 10:9-10, POT 2:422)

And on the day of turmoil and execration and indignation and wrath, then with devouring burning fire just as he burned Sodom so too he will burn up his land and his city and everything which will be his. And he will be wiped out from the book of the discipline of mankind, and he will not be written on high in The Book of Life for he is written in the one which will be destroyed and pass on to eternal execration so that their judgment will always be renewed with eternal reproach and execration and wrath and torment and indignation and plagues and sickness. (Jubilees 36.10, OTP 2:124)

They [the second generation of men] were mighty, of great form, but nevertheless they went under the dread house of Tartarus guarded by unbreakable bonds, to make retribution, to Gehenna of terrible, raging, undying fire. (Sibylline Oracles 1.100-03, OTP 1:337)

These and the sorcerers and sorceresses in addition to them will the anger of the heavenly imperishable God 285 also bring near to the pillar, around which an undying fiery river flows in a circle. All these at once the angels of the immortal, everlasting God will punish terribly from above with whips of flame, having bound them around with fiery chains 290 and unbreakable bonds. Then, in the dead of night, they will be thrown under many terrible infernal beasts in Gehenna, where there is immeasurable darkness. But when they have inflicted many punishments on all whose heart was evil, then later 295 a fiery wheel from the great river will press them hard all around, because they were concerned with wicked deeds… 305 They will all gnash their teeth, wasting away with thirst and raging violence. They will call death fair, and it will evade them. No longer will death or night give these rest. Often they will request God, who rules on high, in vain, 310 and then he will manifestly turn away his face from them. (Sibylline Oracles 2.283-310, OTP 1:352-53)



[1] “Jewish literature is often more graphic than the frightful descriptions of hell found in Christian apocalypses. The rabbis speak of licentious men hanging by their genitals, women who publically suckled their children hanging by their breasts, and those who talked during synagogue prayers having their mouths filled with hot coals.” [William Crockett, “The Metaphorical View,” in Four Views on Hell (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 46; cf. D. F. Watson, “Gehenna,” Anchor Bible Dictionary, 2:926-28]

APOSTOLIC FATHERS

APOSTOLIC FATHERS

(cf. 2 Clement 6:7; 17:7; Martyrdom of Polycarp 2:3; 11:2; Epistle to Diognetus 10:7-8; Ignatius, Ephesians 16:2; Apocalypse of Peter 20-33)[1]

For if we do the will of Christ, we will find rest; but if we do not, if we disobey his commandments, then nothing will save us from eternal punishment… For they do not know what great torment the pleasure of the present brings, and what delight the promise of the future brings… He means that day of judgment, when people will see those among us who lived ungodly lives and perverted the commandments of Jesus Christ. But the righteous, having done good and endured torments and hated the pleasures of the soul, when they see how those who have gone astray and denied Jesus by their words or by their actions are being punished with dreadful torments in unquenchable fire, will give glory to their God. (2 Clement 6:7; 10:4; 17:6-7; Holmes AF, 113, 17, 25)

And turning their thoughts to the grace of Christ they despised the tortures of this world, purchasing at the cost of one hour an exemption from eternal punishment. And the fire of their inhuman torturers felt cold to them, for they set before their eyes the escape from that eternal fire which is never extinguished, while with the eyes of their heart they gazed upon the good things which are reserved for those who endure patiently. (Martyrdom of Polycarp 2:3; Holmes AF, 229)

Then he said to him again: “I will have you consumed by fire, since you despise the wild beasts, unless you change your mind.” But Polycarp said: “You threaten with a fire that burns only briefly and after just a little while is extinguished, for you are ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and eternal punishment, which is reserved for the ungodly. But why do you delay? Come, do what you wish.” (Martyrdom of Polycarp 11:2; Holmes AF, 235)

…when you despise the apparent death here on earth, when you fear the real death, which is reserved for those who will be condemned to the eternal fire which will punish to the very end those delivered to it. Then you will admire those who for righteousness’ sake endure the transitory fire, and you will consider them blessed, when you comprehend that other fire. (Epistle to Diognetus 10:7-8; Holmes AF, 549-51)

Now if those who do such things physically are put to death, how much more if by evil teaching someone corrupts faith in God, for which Jesus Christ was crucified! Such a person, having polluted himself, will go to the unquenchable fire, as will also the one who listens to him. (Ignatius, Ephesians, 16:2; Holmes AF, 147)

And over against that place I saw another, squalid, and it was the place of punishment; and those who were punished there and the punishing angels had their raiment dark like the air of the place. 21 And there were certain there hanging by the tongue: and these were the blasphemers of the way of righteousness; and under them lay fire, burning and punishing them. 22 And there was a great lake, full of flaming mire, in which were certain men that pervert righteousness, and tormenting angels afflicted them… 26 And other men and women were burning up to the middle and were cast into a dark place and were beaten by evil spirits, and their inwards were eaten by restless worms: and these were they who persecuted the righteous and delivered them up… 28 And over against these again other men and women gnawing their tongues and having flaming fire in their mouths: and these were the false witnesses. 29 And in a certain other place there were pebbles sharper than swords or any spit, red-hot, and women and men in tattered and filthy raiment rolled about on them in punishment: and these were the rich who trusted in their riches and had no pity for orphans and widows, and despised the commandment of God. 30 And in another great lake, full of pitch and blood and mire bubbling up, there stood men and women up to their knees: and these were the usurers and those who take interest on interest… 32 And alongside of that cliff there was a place full of much fire, and there stood men who with their own hands had made for themselves carven images instead of God. And alongside of these were other men and women, having rods and striking each other and never ceasing from such punishment. 33 And others again near them, women and men, burning and turning themselves and roasting: and these were they that leaving the way of God[…] (Apocalypse of Peter 20-33; ANF 9:145-46)

But in the times of the kingdom, the earth has been called again by Christ to its pristine condition, and Jerusalem rebuilt after the pattern of the Jerusalem above… Moreover, he says, “the book of life was opened, and the dead were judged out of those things that were written in the books, according to their works; and death and hell were sent into the lake of fire, the second death.” Now this is what is called Gehenna, which the Lord styled eternal fire. “And if any one,” it is said, “was not found written in the book of life, he was sent into the lake of fire.” (Iranaeus, Against Heresies, 5.35.2; ANF 1:565-66)



[1] “In Christian literature we find blasphemers hanging by their tongues. Adulterous women who plaited their hair to entice men dangle over boiling mire by their necks or hair. Slanderers chew their tongues, hot irons burn their eyes. Other evildoers suffer in equally picturesque ways. Murderers are cast into pits filled with venomous reptiles, and worms fill their bodies. Women who had abortions sit neck deep in the excretions of the damned. Those who chatted idly during church stand in a pool of burning sulphur and pitch. Idolaters are driven up cliffs by demons where they plunge to the rocks below, only to be driven up again. Those who turned their backs on God are turned and baked slowly in the fires of hell… Annihilationists often construct awkward scenarios where the wicked are consumed but the fire burns forever, or where the wicked suffer greatly but temporarily in an unquenchable fire. To solve a problem they construct a fire that rages endlessly, even though the wicked would have been consumed during the first moments of eternity. Is this what the second-century writers were trying to say? That the wicked will be destroyed in eternal, indestructible fires? Or were they following that line of thought that speaks of eternal, conscious punishment for the wicked? Is seems to me that some annihilationists look for any straw in the wind to keep from admitting that early Christians affirmed eternal, conscious punishment.” (Crockett, Four Views on Hell, 46-47, 66)

PRESENT HADES VERSUS FUTURE GEHENNA

PRESENT HADES VERSUS FUTURE GEHENNA

 

Present – Temporal Under the Earth

Future – Eternal Upon the Earth

Gk. hadēs (Hb. sheol) – “Hades, underworld, abode of dead” (Gen. 37:35; 42:38; 44:29, 31; Num. 16:30, 33; Deut. 32:22; 1 Sam. 2:6; 1 Ki. 2:6, 9, 35; Ps. 6:6; 9:18; 15:10; 17:6; 29:4; 30:18; 48:15f; 54:16; 85:13; 87:4; 88:49; 93:17; 113:25; 114:3; 138:8; 140:7; Prov. 1:12; 2:18; 5:5; 7:27; 9:18; 14:12; 15:11, 24; 16:25; 27:20; 30:16; Eccl. 9:10; Is. 5:14; 14:9, 11, 15, 19; 28:15, 18; 38:10, 18; 57:9; Ez. 31:15ff; 32:27; Dan. 3:88; Hos. 13:14; Amos 9:2; Jon. 2:3; Hab. 2:5; Mt. 11:23; 16:18; Lk. 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27, 31; Rev. 1:18; 6:8; 20:13f) Gk. gehenna (Hb. gehinnōm) – “Gehenna, valley of hinnom [temporal], hell” ([Jos. 15:8; 18:16; 2 Ki. 23:10; 2 Chr. 28:3; 33:6; Neh. 11:30; Jer. 7:31f; 19:2, 6; 32:35] Mt. 5:22, 29f; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mk. 9:43, 45, 47; Lk. 12:5; Jas. 3:6)iGk. gehennan tou puros – “fire of Gehenna, hell fire” (Mt. 5:22; 18:9)Gk. Tapheth (Hb. topheth) – “place of fire [within gehenna]” (2 Ki. 23:10; Is. 30:33; Jer. 7:31f; 19:6, 11ff)
Gk. abussos (Hb. tehom) – “Abyss, deep, depths, bottomless pit” (Job 28:14; 38:16; Ps. 71:20; 106:26; 135:6; Ez. 31:15; Am. 7:4; Jon. 2:6; Hab. 3:10; Lk. 8:31; Rom. 10:7; Rev. 9:1f, 11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3) Gk. limnē tou puros – “lake of fire” (Rev 19:20; 20:10, 14f; 21:8; cf. Is. 30:33)Gk. kaminos tou puros – “furnace of fire” (Mt. 13:42, 50; cf. Ps. 21:9; Is. 31:9; Mal. 4:1)
Gk. diaphthora (Hb. shachath)– “pit [of sheol], destruction, corruption” (Ps. 9:15; 16:10; 55:23; 107:20; Job 33:28; Acts 2:27, 31; 13:34fff) Gk. puri asbestos – “unquenchable fire” (Mt. 3:12; Mk. 9:43, 48; Lk. 3:17; cf. Is. 34:9f; 66:24)
Gk. hupokatō tēs gēs – “under, underneath the earth” (Ex. 20:4i; Duet. 4:18i; 5:18i; Rev. 5:3, 13)Gk. katōteros tēs gēs – “lower (parts) of the earth” (Eph. 4:9)Gk. katōtatos [tēs gēs] – “lowest (parts) [of the earth]” (Ps. 86:13; 88:6 [Ps. 62:10; 139:15])Gk. katachthonios – “subterranean” (Phil. 2:10) Gk. pur to aiōnion – “everlasting, eternal fire” (Mt. 18:8; 25:41; Jude 1:7; cf. Is. 33:14)Gk. kolasin aiōnion – “everlasting, eternal punishment” (Mt. 25:46; cf. Is. 24:21f; Dan. 12:2)Gk. krimatos aiōniou – “everlasting, eternal judgment” (Heb. 6:2; cf. Is. 9:6; Jer. 23:5)Gk. aiōnios olethros – “everlasting, eternal destruction” (2 Thess. 1:9; cf. Ps. 2:12; Is. 11:9)
Gk. bathos [tēs gēs] – “deep, depth [of the earth]”(Rom. 8:39; Ps. 68:16ii; 130:1ii; Is. 7:11* [Ez. 26:20; 31:18; 32:24])Gk. bothros – “deep pit, grave” (Ez. 26:20; 31:14, 18; 32:21*ff, 29f]) Gk. skotos to exōteron – “outside, outer darkness” (Mt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30; cf. Gen. 1:4; Ps. 107:14)Gk. zophos tou skotous – “utter, blackest darkness” (2 Pe. 2:17; Jude 1:13; cf. Joel 2:2; Zeph. 1:15)
Gk. tartaroō – “cast into Tartaros [‘Netherworld, depths of Hades’]” (2 Pe.2:4) Gk. anastasin kriseōs – “resurrection of judgment, damnation” (Jn. 5:29; cf. Dan. 12:2; Acts 24:15)
Gk. thanatos (Hb. maveth) – “Death, realm of dead” (Ps. 18:4f; 88:6 [LXX]; 107:14; 116:3; Acts 2:24; Rev. 1:18; 20:13) Gk. deuteros thanatos – “second death” (Rev. 2:11; 20:6; 20:14; 21:8)
John John (119 Posts)

John lives in Columbia, SC with his wife, Lydia, and four children. He travels and teaches on the Cross, the return of Jesus, and the Great Commission.


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