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What is the difference between, hell, hades and the lake of fire?

The word hell is often used for what is actually hades, the place where the immaterial part of the lost goes. The opposite place for the saved is paradise in the third heaven (the place of the angels; the atmosphere is the first heaven and the universe of the stars is the second heaven). The word hades is adopted by the Holy Spirit from Greek mythology and meant the place of the god Hades. In the bible it means the abode of the lost. The rich man is found in hades, where he was found in some kind of soul fire, for his immaterial part (consisting of his heart, soul, mind and spirit) did feel pain, perhaps more or less like quite a warm room. Only for the one that has known the will of the master, it will be a lot warmer. But this is a weak comparison. The Lord Himself puts it this way: He that has not known the will of the Master, will be beaten with few stripes and the one that did know it with many.

Lazarus, on the other hand (the poor man that was lying at the gate of the rich man and who had boils licked by dogs), was carried by angels into the bosom of Abraham, which was another expression for the place of saved Old Testament Jews after they passed away. Now this would be called paradise, as the Lord told the murderer on the cross that he would be with him in paradise that same day. (You see, Christ did not both go to hell and heaven while his body was in the grave, for it says the same day). People like the Jehovah witnesses and the Seventh Day Adventist put the comma after 'today' with the meaning of 'I tell you today'. This is a lie. Christ's soul did go to paradise and the story of the rich man and Lazarus is not called a parable. The soul is immortal, but the bible also states that if God would withdraw His Spirit, all flesh would die. Of course in ourselves we are nothing; so the soul is nothing. But the Creator wills it to be immortal. He wills it to be something and He wills our selves to be something; but only in His own Self.

The Old Testament word of Sheol stands for the New Testament terms of both paradise and hades (the latter also called the pit; to be distinguished from the bottomless pit, the place of certain types of demons and the place for the beast before he emerges and the place where Satan will be bound a thousand years during the Millennium). The grave is the place for the material body that is believed to be resurrected at two separate occasions, namely the resurrection of the just and the resurrection of the unjust; respectively those that are saved and those that are lost.

Hades is said to be thrown into the lake of fire (same as Tophet and Geennah), where the beast and the antichrist (also called the false prophet and definitely to be distinguished from the beast; they are not one and the same person) are found already during the Millennium and where Satan will be put after the Millennium. I wonder whether there is some kind of difference in being in hades and being in the lake of fire per se, even though hades is then also there. Note that the lost will be found there spirit, soul and body. Of the saved it is said that they will reign for ever and ever and over who will they reign but the lost! They do not have to reign over each other obviously.

The difference between hell and hades lies herein that hades is the place of the lost till they are resurrected to face the Lord as judge and the lake of fire (hell proper) is the state of the second death so-called (even though the condemned will have eternal living bodies). Hades is temporary, but the lake of fire (hell) is eternal; of which the Lord says that the flame is not extinguished and where the worm does not die and where people gnash their teeth and weep.

The situation of the lost is also called the uttermost darkness. This denotes the fact that they are far from the presence of the Lord. Any way, the lost would not enjoy heaven like the saved would, as they still have their unsaved nature. Is it perhaps not therefore that they gnash their teeth, because they will be for ever unrepented and suffer pain? Like Esau and Judas they very well may repent at the judgment seat, but they will never find a place for conversion; they never can be born out of God any more. They bow for Christ as they see and understand that His is all power and as they experience that damning authority. But they would sin for all eternity (as they do not have the new nature), if they would be given the opportunity. Be warned that hell will definitely not be temporary in any imagined way. Many are the ideas that soften the truth of an eternal hell. Dante put it this way: Abandon all hope those that enter here... Hell is also a place of just retribution. The poor aboriginal that never heard about the Lord Jesus, but that could have seen the invisible power and deity of God, understanding the things that are seen (like a ruined palace points to a once great architect), will be punished with few stripes. But know this, if you reject the free gift of mercy and grace through the Person of Christ Jesus, that you will be punished with many troubles! God does not take pleasure in the death of the godless. So He is not a some kind of sadist or bogeyman, but neither is He some kind of Saint Nick.

The new heaven and the new (or renewed) earth are made after the old and fallen creation has been destroyed. Of the new heaven and earth it is said that then God will be the ALL IN ALL and that righteousness will dwell there (of the Millennium on the other hand it is said that righteousness will reign there). The Bible gives the good news in the last two chapters. News about eternity and about the heavenly Jerusalem (to be distinguished from paradise, from the third heaven and from the Father's House). The enormous cube of this heavenly city descends from heaven and hovers over the earthly Jerusalem, both the center of eternal worship. It is said that the nations will carry their best things into this heavenly city, thus to be sanctioned and blessed for ever. Make sure, dear reader, that you will be part of all this! Now is the acceptable time. Now you still have the opportunity...


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