Misunderstood and Mistranslated Words of Jesus
Hell believers argue that Jesus Christ Himself preached more about hell than any other person in the Bible. In this chapter, we shall see how, where and why hell believers misunderstand and mistranslate Jesus’s words. However, before we do this, let us first highlight four scriptures spoken by Jesus Christ Himself, which categorically prove without any doubt that He did not believe in hell.
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
This is an amazing prayer request from Jesus Christ to God the Father. Think about it. There is no greater sin one could commit than to murder the very Son of God, and yet, there was not even the slightest hint of any revenge or unforgiveness in Jesus’s heart towards His unbelieving murderers. We know for certain that Father God will grant His Son’s request. Surely, this wonderful and gracious single request from Jesus to His Father God, for the forgiveness of His enemies, is ample proof in and of itself that Jesus Christ did not believe in hell.
43 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy’. 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
‘Love your enemies’ is what Christ says here to His disciples. This is another powerful scripture that absolutely proves that Jesus Christ did not believe in hell. How could He? He came to die for all of His enemies, for the ungodly, for the whole of this fallen sinful world of humanity (Romans 5:6, 1 John 2:2). Yes, there is a judgement awaiting all people who die as unbelievers, but it will a refining, merciful judgement. Psalm 66:3-4 says, “Say to God, “How awesome are Your works! Through the greatness of Your power Your enemies shall submit themselves to You. All the earth shall worship You And sing praises to You; They shall sing praises to Your name.”
Jesus Christ strongly condemned the religious hypocrisy and self-righteousness of the Jewish chief priests, Pharisees and elders who plotted against Him and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate to be crucified. However, Jesus never believed that these self-righteous chief priests, Pharisees and elders, who became His murderers, would end up in hell; in fact quite the opposite, Jesus clearly told them that they are all destined to enter the Kingdom of God.
Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.”
In this verse, Jesus directly addresses the Jewish chief priests, Pharisees and elders who confronted Him in the temple and questioned His authority. Let the truth of this scripture sink deep down into your heart. What is Jesus saying here? Jesus is saying that these Jewish chief priests, Pharisees and elders, who were plotting to crucify Him, will enter the Kingdom of God, but not before tax collectors and harlots. Do we believe Jesus’s words? Surely, this would have been an ideal opportunity for Jesus to warn these chief priests, Pharisees and elders about hell, but instead Jesus said that even they were destined to enter the Kingdom of God. Did Jesus believe in hell? Absolutely not!
John 12:32 (NIV)
But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.
Jesus was lifted up on the cross to die for the sins of the whole world and the cross of Jesus Christ has unlimited power to draw all to Him. Please note that the NIV verse above has added the word men when the Greek Manuscripts simply say, ‘But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all to myself’. This means that all fallen men and all fallen angels, without a single exception, will be reconciled to God through the glorious work of the cross, as clearly stated in Colossians 1:15-20.
The four scriptures that we have just looked at, spoken by Jesus Christ Himself, categorically and absolutely prove that Jesus did not believe in hell.
Let us now examine in detail what Jesus Christ is supposed to have said about ‘hell’ and understand how His words, about the future judgement of all unbelievers and fallen angels, have been misunderstood and mistranslated by hell believers.
Firstly, we will remind ourselves of a few salient points that we have covered in Chapters 15, 16 and 17.
Belief in eternal punishment in hell was a pagan belief embraced and christianised by the church in Rome in the early years of the history of Christianity. The doctrine of everlasting punishment in hell is founded upon a combination of mistranslations and misinterpretations of certain original Hebrew and Greek words, sheol, hades, tartarus, gehenna, owlam, aion and aionios, which first occurred when Jerome translated Scripture into the Roman Catholic Latin Vulgate in the early fifth century.
Jesus Christ never spoke about ‘everlasting’ fire and punishment as erroneously translated in verses such as Matthew 18:8, 25:41 and 25:46 in popular versions of the Bible, which support the doctrine of hell. The correct translation of these terms are age-to-come ‘age-lasting’ fire and punishment as we explained in detail in the previous chapter, Chapter 17.
For the rest of this chapter, we shall examine what Jesus Christ means when He uses terms like ‘perish’, ‘where their worm does not die’, ‘and the fire is not quenched’, ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’, and other such terms which have all been misunderstood and misinterpreted by hell believers. We have allocated one whole chapter, the next chapter, to understanding the true biblical meaning of Jesus’s parable of ‘The Rich Man and Lazarus’, which has been the most widely used proof source for hell believers.
I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish (apollymi).
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish (apollymi) but have everlasting life.
These scriptures tell us that an unrepentant person who does not believe in God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, will perish. John 3:16 above is the most quoted verse, but hell believers distort the true meaning of this scripture.
Yes of course, there is only one WAY to be saved and that is to believe in the true Christ of the Bible that He is indeed God’s only begotten Son and the Saviour of the whole world. So yes, there is going to be an age-to-come righteous judgement of God for billions and billions of people who die as unbelievers, which means nearly all of humanity, and they will all have to ‘perish’ in the Lake of Fire. However, the Greek word apollymi translated to mean ‘perish’ in verses such as Luke 13:3 and John 3:16 above does not mean to be tortured in hell forever or annihilated. Let us now understand the true meaning of apollymi in these verses.
In the Bible, apollymi is translated into English to give several meanings: to perish, to destroy, to put to ruin, to render useless, to kill and to lose (Strong’s G622). In the beautiful story of the lost son, the prodigal son, given in Luke 15, Jesus Christ uses this very same Greek word apollymi.
‘For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost (apollymi), and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
The parable of the lost son proves categorically that the lost (apollymi) son was not lost forever. From this parable, we know that the lost or ‘perished’ son was able to repent of his sin and he was gladly accepted back by his father with great celebration. So, when Jesus Christ says in Luke 13:3, that ‘unless you repent you will all likewise perish‘, Jesus, does not mean that all those who do not repent will be annihilated or tortured eternally in hell. However, Jesus does mean that repentance is necessary for salvation.
The true biblical repentance is repentance from unbelief to belief in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ which is: that Father God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son to become flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary in order to die on the cross for the universal salvation of the whole world, and He is indeed the Saviour of the whole world without a single exception. It is our Sovereign Father God Himself, Yahweh Elohim, who makes sure that ultimately all, in His time and order, either in this life or in the next life, will come willingly and thankfully to believe in the true Gospel of His only begotten Son, Yeshua Elohim, Jesus Christ.
The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (apollymi).
Once again, we see that the same Greek word apollymi is used in this scripture. How many are lost? All people are born lost with a sinful fallen Adamic nature referred to in the Bible as ‘the old man’. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10).
The powerful truth of the Bible is that God has solved the problem of sin once and for all through the sacrifice made on the cross by His only begotten Son for the sins of the whole world (Romans 6:10, 1 John 2:2). The Bible says that Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6), and when sin abounds, grace abounds much more (Romans 5:20). Yes, everybody is born a sinner because of one man’s sin, Adam’s sin (Romans 5:12), but everybody is destined to become righteous because of one Man’s righteousness, Jesus Christ’s righteousness (Romans 5:18 -19).
18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many (all) were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many (all) will be made righteous.
Yes, all will be made righteous because of Christ’s obedience. It is clear that ‘many’ in verse 19 refers to ‘all’ in verse 18. Once again, this scripture confirms the truth that each and every person, without exception, will be made righteous and saved through Jesus Christ. Let us be clear about it, that man’s fallen free will and Satan’s rebellious will cannot frustrate God’s sovereign will to save all of the lost (apollymi).
However, an unrepentant proud person who has no fear of God, will be judged after his death when he rises in the Second Resurrection, and he will be cast into the Lake of Fire for God’s refining righteous judgement (Revelation 20:11-15).
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy (apollymi) both soul and body in hell (gehenna).
In this NKJV scripture, the Greek word gehenna has been mistranslated as hell. Christ says that we must not fear men who at worst can only kill us physically, but they cannot ‘kill the soul’ meaning they cannot take away the resurrected immortal life, which God will grant to all people. However, we need to fear God in this life, because if we don’t then there is judgement awaiting us in gehenna, meaning in the Lake of Fire, on the Great White Throne Judgement Day.
Notice in Matthew 10:28 above, how Christ once again uses the same word apollymi. The destruction (apollymi) of ‘both soul and body’ in gehenna refers to the Second Death, which is the spiritual death of the sinful Adamic nature (the old man), that will be experienced by all unbelievers in the future when they are cast into God’s refining Lake of Fire during the Great White Throne Judgement Day. Yes, every unbeliever’s sinful Adamic nature ‘the old man’ has to perish (killed, destroyed) before the righteous ‘new man’ in Christ can be born in him. All unbelievers, who will rise at the Second Resurrection in their immortal, yet still unsaved bodies, will die the Second Death in the Lake of Fire to become born again believers. We cover this subject in detail in Chapter 12, The Lake of Fire Judgement Age – Part 1.
Let us now look at a scripture from the Old Testament, which agrees with and confirms what Jesus Christ says, that unbelievers first need to ‘perish’ before they can come to know God.
16 Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your name, O LORD. 17 Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; yes, let them be put to shame and perish, 18 that they may know that You, whose name alone is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.
Please understand and believe what this scripture is saying. It says that unbelievers will need to firstly be ashamed, confounded and dismayed forever, meaning totally and completely; and they must perish in order that they come to know the Most High God.
The only way to know the Most High Father God is to repent of unbelief in the true Gospel of His only begotten Son. This is one more clear scripture that proves that the perishing which resurrected unbelievers undergo in God’s age-to-come Lake of Fire judgement is neither annihilation nor eternal separation from God. However, it is God’s refining merciful judgement, which will transform unbelievers into believers through repentance from unbelief to belief, through the gift of God given faith to believe in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It should now be abundantly clear that when Jesus Christ uses the Greek word apollymi when referring to the future judgement of unbelievers in gehenna (mistranslated as hell), He does not mean that unbelievers will perish, be lost, killed, destroyed, ruined or tortured for eternity. Jesus is clearly referring to the future age-to-come, age-lasting corrective, refining and merciful judgement of all unbelievers during the Lake of Fire Judgement Age.
‘Where their worm does not die’
Where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’
What did Christ mean by ‘where their worm does not die’? Let us understand the spiritual significance of the term, ‘their worm’.
42 ‘But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell (gehenna), into the fire that shall never be quenched 44 where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’
Here, Jesus gives a warning not to offend ‘these little ones who believe in Me‘. So, who are ‘these little ones’? These little ones are God’s Elect, all those who become truly born again Christians in this lifetime, those who have fully accepted by repentance and faith the true Gospel of the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ Yeshua Elohim.
Jesus Christ says that those who offend ‘the little ones’ will face severe judgement in God’s consuming fire, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched’. It is better for an offender of ‘the little ones’ to take a drastic action (compared to cutting off the offending part of the body) and repent of his offence before he dies, than to have to face the fiery, refining judgement of God in the Lake of Fire (gehenna).
Whose worm does not die? Is it the worm of ‘the little ones‘ or the worm of the offenders? Please notice that the word ‘worm’ is singular, so we are not talking about many worms, but only one worm, their worm. Here is the wonderful scripture, which reveals exactly who ‘their worm’ is.
But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
Psalm 22 is a Messianic Psalm. It is a prophecy of the suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus humbled Himself on the cross for the sins of the whole world so that we might all have God’s Righteousness through the free gift of Salvation.
In Psalm 22:6 above, Jesus categorically says that He is a Worm. On the cross, Jesus Christ humbled Himself like a worm for all of mankind and we must learn from His example of great humility. All hard-hearted unbelievers will be humbled in the Lake of Fire and come to understand the sacrifice of their Saviour.
So, the glorious and amazing truth is that ‘their worm’ who ‘does not die’ in Mark 9:44 above is none other than the Saviour of all people who died on the cross for the sins of the whole world. ‘Their Worm’ will reconcile to Father God all things on earth and all things in heaven having made peace through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:19-20). ‘Their Worm’ is the resurrected immortal Saviour of the whole world, our Lord Jesus Christ, who will not and cannot die anymore.
‘And the fire is not quenched’
48 Where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’ 49 For everyone will be seasoned with fire, every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.
Let us remind ourselves that the Lake of Fire is both God’s physical and spiritual cleansing of earth and its unbelieving inhabitants on the Great White Throne Judgement Day. God’s age-lasting refining Lake of Fire, during the Great White Throne Judgement Day, will not be quenched until all of sinful fallen humanity and all sinful fallen angels have been refined, purified and reconciled to God. We have covered the subject of the Lake of Fire Judgement Age in great detail in Chapters 12 and 13.
‘Weeping and gnashing of teeth’
Jesus Christ had some very strong words to say to the Pharisees, because He absolutely hated their self-righteousness. The Pharisees believed that they would be amongst the first to enter the Kingdom of God, but Jesus Christ said quite the opposite.
Jesus said to them (the Pharisees), “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.”
Self-righteous Pharisees and self-righteous Christians, who think that they are the sons of the kingdom, will be absolutely shocked on the Day of Judgement to find themselves in spiritual darkness outside of the Kingdom of God, and many sinners, like tax collectors and harlots whom they had condemned to hell, enter the Kingdom of God before them.
These religious self-righteous people will weep because of great disappointment and gnash their teeth in despair and anger because all of their religious works were a complete waste of time, and to no avail for their salvation.
But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness.There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Religious people think that they will go to heaven because of what they do for God, instead of accepting by faith what God has already done for them and for the whole world, through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Of course, God loves self-righteous people, but not in their self-righteous state. Yes, even the self-righteous Pharisees will ultimately enter the Kingdom of God, as confirmed by Jesus in Matthew 21:31 above.
‘More tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, and for Sodom and Gomorrah’
20 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: 21 Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.
When Jesus walked on earth, He did many mighty works in the towns and cities of Israel, but most of the Jews did not accept Him as the Son of God and did not repent of their unbelief. Jesus says that these Jews are accountable for their unbelief, and on the Day of Judgement they will have to undergo a greater level of judgement than Tyre and Sidon, who would have repented if they had witnessed Jesus doing similar mighty works in them.
14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment than for that city!
On the Day of Judgement, Jesus says that all unbelievers will not undergo the same level of judgement. Those who have had the true Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them in this life, but do not hear and receive it, will undergo a greater level of judgement; yes, even greater than that of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The Bible is clear that there will be different levels of judgement, punishment and humbling experiences for unbelievers in the future Lake of Fire Judgement Age. However, all of God’s judgements flow out of His love and their purpose is to ultimately lead people to repentance and belief in their Saviour. God’s judgements are not for eternally torturing people in hell.
What about Judas – would it have been better for him if he had not been born?
The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.
If the doctrine of hell were true, then it would be better for most people not to have been born, because traditional Christianity believes that the overwhelming majority of people end up in hell. If this were the case, then all women should immediately stop having children, because the chances are that most if not all of their children would end up in hell.
The meaning of the verse above is that it would have been better for Judas not to have been born to betray Jesus, because Judas will have to go through God’s Lake of Fire judgement before he can be reconciled to God. Let us further understand why Jesus says that it would have been better for Judas not to have been born to betray Him.
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost (apollymi) except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me’.
These verses refer to Judas, and Jesus Christ is quoting the Old Testament scripture Psalm 4:9 when He says, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me’. It may be hard for us to understand that Judas was chosen right from the foundation of the world to betray Jesus. Think about it, if Judas had not betrayed Jesus, then we would not have a Saviour. However, Judas is not lost forever because he, like all unbelievers, will have to face God’s judgement in the Lake of Fire before they are reconciled to God.
What about the ‘unpardonable sin’?
31 Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
To properly understand this scripture, it is necessary to remember that God is working out His Plan for the salvation of the whole world in seven Ages. In Chapter 5, we give details of the Seven Ages in God’s Plan for All.
The Pharisees blasphemed against the Holy Spirit by falsely attributing the miraculous works performed by Jesus Christ, through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, to the works of demons.
Jesus says that the sins of those unbelieving Pharisees standing before Him will not be forgiven during ‘this age’, nor will their sins be forgiven in ‘the age to come’, but Jesus did not say that their sins will remain unforgiven for all ages.
Those Pharisees were living at the end of the Third Age when Jesus was living on earth amongst them; and they continued to live on after Jesus’s death and resurrection at the beginning of the Fourth Age, which is this present Age. Jesus said that those unbelieving Pharisees would all die unforgiven because it was not God’s purpose to reveal the true Gospel to them during their lifetime as they were not God’s Elect. However, please note that Jesus said that the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit remains unforgiven for ‘this age’ and ‘the age to come’ only, but Jesus did not say that it remains unforgiven forever.
All unbelievers, even those self-righteous Pharisees who blasphemed against God’s Holy Spirit, will be humbled and repent during the Lake of Fire Judgement Age, which is the Sixth Age in God’s Plan for All. This is when all of them will be forgiven, as explained in Chapter 12. Remember, Jesus Christ died to forgive the sins of the whole world. Also, Jesus’s last and most important prayer to Father God, before He died on the cross, was to ask for the forgiveness of all those who were in agreement to crucify Him. There is no doubt that the Pharisees who blasphemed against the Holy Spirit were also included in that group, and they will repent, be forgiven and reconciled to God in the Lake of Fire Judgement Age, and enter the Kingdom of God.
What about the Jesus’s statement that only a few will be saved?
Jesus Christ says that many are called (many will hear the true Gospel) but few are chosen (few will respond), and that there are only a few who will be saved by faith, in this life before they die (Matthew 22:14, Luke 13:23-24).
It is very important to understand that God’s Elect believers are very few in number, called and chosen in this life, before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. As we have shown from Scripture in Chapter 9, the total number of God’s Elect, the Firstfruits, are only 144,000, who are called and chosen from the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations, through the gift of God given faith to believe in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. The glorious purpose of God’s Elect, the Firstfruits, is for God to use them in the evangelising work of salvation to reap the Great Harvest of the rest of humanity in the ages to come, as we explain in detail in this book.
What about the resurrection of condemnation?
28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation (krisis, meaning judgement).
Please note that the Greek word krisis has been translated as condemnation and should have been more accurately translated as judgement (Strong’s G2920).
The Bible speaks of two resurrections, the First Resurrection and the Second Resurrection, which are separated by the thousand-year Millennial Age of Christ’s rule on earth. The First Resurrection is the resurrection of life when the Saints, God’s Elect Bride of Christ, will be raised in their saved immortal glorified bodies as the Firstfruits at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
The Second Resurrection is the resurrection of judgement. It occurs when the rest of humanity are resurrected at the end of Christ’s Millennial Age to face God’s judgement in the Great White Throne Judgement Day. This is when all believers who lived during Christ’s Millennial Age will be judged righteous as their names are written in the Book of Life. However, all unbelievers (those who have done evil) from throughout the Ages will face God’s refining, yet merciful, Lake of Fire Judgement as we explain in detail in Chapter 12.
What about everlasting punishment?
And these will go away into everlasting (aionios) punishment, but the righteous into eternal (aionios) life.
We fully looked into this mistranslated verse in the previous chapter, Chapter 17. This verse is the most frequently quoted verse used in defence of the doctrine of hell. The correct translation of this verse, as follows, reveals God’s merciful age-to-come, age-lasting, corrective judgement of all unbelievers in the Lake of Fire.
And these will go away into age-to-come age-lasting (aionios) corrective punishment (kolasis), but the righteous into age-to-come eternal (aionios) life.
This is indeed the true meaning of this verse, as originally inspired by God’s Spirit, and it does not introduce any contradiction into the Word of God.
What about the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus?
The parable of ‘The Rich Man and Lazarus’, as given in Luke 16:19-31, is about the mystery of the Kingdom of God. This parable is the most misunderstood of all of Jesus’s parables. As mentioned, we have allocated the next chapter, Chapter 19, to explain this parable in detail.
We have now fully refuted all of the so-called proof texts, spoken by Jesus Himself, which are used by hell believers to support their unbiblical false doctrine of eternal torture in hell. As we have seen from Scripture, Jesus Christ did not believe in hell and He did not teach hell.
Additional Misunderstood Texts
There are some additional texts in the Bible, not directly spoken by Jesus, but used by hell believers in support of the doctrine of hell. Let us now examine three of these texts; Isaiah 66:23-24, Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 10:26-27.
23 “And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD. 24 “And they shall go forth and look Upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, And their fire is not quenched. They shall be abhorrence to all flesh.”
With any given scripture, it is important to understand the age-setting in which it is placed. As we have shown in this book, God is working out His wonderful Plan for the salvation and reconciliation of all in seven biblical Ages.
The age-setting of Isaiah 66:23-24 above is at the beginning of the Fifth Age, the Millennial Age of the Kingdom of God, after Christ has destroyed the vast armies of the Gentile nations, Gog and Magog, who will invade Israel in the last great battle of Armageddon.
Verse 23 says, ‘And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me,’ says the LORD. Only Jews are required to keep the Sabbath, therefore, ‘all flesh’ here refers to all of the Jews who will survive the Great Tribulation. In Chapter 11, The Millennial Kingdom of God, we showed from Scripture that approximately one third of the Jews will survive the Great Tribulation to enter Christ’s Millennial Age in their fleshly bodies.
We are now in a position to understand verse 24 in its proper context.
‘And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me’
These corpses are the huge armies of dead Gentile unbelievers, Gog and Magog, who will fight in the final great battle of Armageddon, which will take place at the end of this present age. Jesus Christ Himself will put an end to this war at His Second Coming, as we explain in Chapter 10. At the beginning of Christ’s Millennial Age, in and all around Jerusalem in God’s Promised Land of Israel, there will be millions of dead bodies of soldiers who came to attack Jerusalem in this last great battle of Armageddon. All of the surviving Jews who enter Christ’s Millennial Kingdom will abhor the sight of millions of these rotting, stinking corpses in their land as this scripture says, ‘They shall be abhorrence to all flesh’. The Bible says that it will take seven months for the Jews to bury these dead corpses (Ezekiel 39:11-16).
The expression ‘for their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched’, in Isaiah 66:24 above, is repeated by Jesus Christ Himself in Mark 9:48, which we have explained previously in this chapter. This expression in no way supports the doctrine of hell, but it does support the glorious truth of the Bible that God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (their worm), is the Saviour of all men which includes all of these dead unbelieving armies of Gog and Magog. As we explain in Chapter 12, all unbelievers from throughout the Ages will rise in the Second Resurrection to face God’s refining, yet merciful, Lake of Fire judgement when they will be reconciled to God and saved.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
Please note that these people who hear the good word of God and reject it, only taste but do not eat and digest it. They merely taste the Bread of Life without actually eating it. They have a degree of mind understanding of the Gospel, but not the full heart understanding of it. They are tares, but not wheat. The seed (the good word of God) is sown on their poor soil, which bears no fruit.
However, please note that the scripture above does not say that people who reject the truth of the Gospel are lost forever. Yes, it is impossible for people who end up rejecting and falling away from the truth of the Gospel to renew them again to repentance in this life before they die, but they are not lost forever. Nobody can be lost forever because the Bible clearly states in numerous scriptures, many of which are quoted in this book, that God who is the Saviour of the world will save all people, without a single exception.
Hebrews 10:26-27 (RSV)
26 For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries.
God views a man as ‘sinning deliberately’ when he rejects the truth of the Gospel that the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, is indeed the Saviour of the whole world, after having had this truth clearly preached to him. Such people who ‘sin deliberately’ are accountable for their sin of unbelief, and they will have to face God’s fiery judgement in His consuming, refining Lake of Fire before they are reconciled to Him.
God’s Lake of Fire judgement for all unbelievers will be a fearful judgement, but it will not be eternal torment in hell. It will be an age-to-come, age-lasting, humbling and refining corrective judgement from a loving Father God who chastises His rebellious children to bring them to repentance of unbelief. Ultimately, in God’s time and His order, all will be reconciled to God and all will enter the Eternal Kingdom of God of the New Heaven and the New Earth.
The whole purpose of Jesus Christ coming down from heaven to earth and dying on the cross for the sins of the whole world was to do the will of His Father, which is the salvation of all people. Jesus Christ will save all and lose nothing.
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
All of humanity became lost because of the sin of the First Adam, but all of humanity will be made alive, saved, because of the loving sacrifice of the Last Adam, Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:22-23a
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order.
Jesus Christ died on the cross to forgive the sins of the whole world, and to take away the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:2 (NIV)
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Yes indeed, the only begotten Son of God, Yeshua Elohim, Jesus Christ died on the cross to forgive the sins of the whole world; past, present and future without a single exception. Father God will reconcile to Himself absolutely all things on earth and all things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Most certainly, our Lord Jesus Christ did not believe in or preach hell anywhere in the Bible. He preached the glorious Gospel of the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness for the reconciliation and salvation of all.