Saturday, May 21, 2016

Let NONE scare you! Lake of Fire = Eternal Fire = Sodom and Gomorrah!

Friends,


Other than the word "hell", there are a few terms that would send chills down the spines of hearers: Lake of Fire, Second Death, Eternal Fire and Everlasting Fire are some among them.

For those who have been taught that the Lake of Fire is some kind of intergalactic space lava, this article would be a great disappointment!

Ignorance leads to fear and fear is the USP of religions. Fear doesn't come from God, because God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of sound mind. (2Ti 1:7) The only way to put out fear is to get rid of ignorance. Come on, let us do it, together, one step at a time.

Step #1: Second death.


This is an easy one. Because, the scripture says it is the same thing as the Lake of Fire.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Whatever the second death is, it is the same as the Lake of Fire.

Step #2: The Lake of Fire.

Watch the specifications of the Lake of Fire:

Rev 19:20 ... These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. (brimstone in KJV)
Rev 20:10  ... the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur ... they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.  <= we will come back to this point later.
Does fire and sulfur (brimstone) remind you of another passage? Do you remember how Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed?
Gen 19:24 Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven.
So, the Lake of Fire = Sodom and Gomorrah. (We will come back to Sodom and Gomorrah again.)

Step #3: Eternal Fire, Everlasting Fire

In the New Testament there is only one Greek word that is correctly translated as eternal or everlasting - αἰώνιος (aiōnios, G166 in Strong's). Even in English eternal means everlasting. So, let us examine the punishment handed out to the goats on the left side of the throne in the Last Judgment scene of Matthew 25:
Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlastingG166 fireG4442, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Please note that the devil is mentioned here, as in the case of Rev 20:10 where it is told that the devil is cast into the lake of fire, which means that the lake of fire = everlasting fire.

The Greek words indexed by G166 and G4442 appear together only in 3 scriptures. (Mat 18:8; Mat 25:41; Jud 1:7) Of these, we will examine Jud 1:7 now.

Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternalG166 fireG4442.
As we have seen in Gen 19:24, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire and sulfur from heaven. Jude calls what was suffered by those towns as vengeance eternal fire. 

So,  eternal fire = everlasting fire = whatever happened in Sodom and Gomorrah.


How long did the eternal fire in Sodom and Gomorrah last?
Gen 19:15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot (5 - 5:30 AM?)
Gen 19:23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. (6 AM?)

Gen 19:27-28 Abraham went early in the morning ... and looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah ... the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace. (7:30-8 AM?)
We don't know whether Abraham saw the fire at all. It is said that he saw the smoke going up like a smoke. Anyway, the eternal fire in Sodom and Gomorrah got over in a few hours time. Translating the same Greek word into a longer English word (everlasting with 11 letters instead of eternal with 7 letters) won't increase the duration of the burning till infinity.

So, if the eternal fire in Sodom and Gomorrah, caused by the burning of sulfur lasted only for a couple of hours, how long will it burn in the lake of fire?

Forever and ever‽
Rev 20:10  ... the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur ... they will be tormented day and night for everG165 and everG165.
Here the Greek word with Strong's number G165 is αἰών (aiōn). G166, that we have seen previously, is derived from this word. This word is generally translated as world or age

When this word is used twice in quick succession, either it is about praising God or Jesus:
Gal 1:5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. G165 G165
Php4:20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. G165 G165
1Pe 5:11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. G165 G165
OR while warning about the punishment to befall someone:
Rev 14:11 the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: G165 G165 ...
Rev 19:3 ... her smoke rose up forever and ever. G165 G165
Rev 20:10 the devil...was cast into the lake of fire ...where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever. G165 G165
I am not sure of other parts of the world, but in the orient, we don't use factual expressions while praising, deriding, berating or mourning someone. In such situations we use exaggerated and hyperbolic language, which is not to be understood literally, and the Bible is an oriental document.
to be continued...
In Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal

Trivia: In our languages Sri Tomsan means Graceful Tomsan. Spiritual gurus want to be distinct from common men, so, they repeat this Sri. title. Thus we have Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (2 times) and Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna. (3 times.)