Archive for January, 2013

The Truth About Eternity

I grew up believing in Eternal Hell Fire.  After all, it’s the only descriptive word we have in the English language for the place where bad people go when they die.  Even our dictionaries confirm there’s an Eternal punishment of the wicked after death.”

Even though I used to believe everything the religious experts taught, Eternal torment never set right with me.  Something inside me actually cringed every time I heard someone callously describe the fate of the people they thought were condemned to burn eternally.

Finally I took the time to study the origin of the word Eternal and what I found, right from the original Hebrew, confirmed my gut feeling that something didn’t match up to God’s Word.

Man-made doctrines are those teachings that we discover, sooner or later, are no where to be found in the Bible.  Granted, the word Hell and Eternal are in our English translations.  Thanks to technology it is now possible, for every one, to look up these word definitions in their original languages.

Depending on your translation you may be as surprised as I was to find the following references blended in to the English word Hell:  Abyss, Bottomless Pit, Gehenna, Lake of Fire, the second death and outer darkness.

As I asked God to lead me in Truth, I began to learn more about the idioms, metaphors and word puns of the original Ancient Hebraic language.

Our Flesh Returns to Dust, Our Spirit Returns to God

King Solomon was a man blessed by God with wisdom and knowledge above anyone before or after him.[1]  When reading from his books of wisdom it is interesting that King Solomon simply repeats the original Wisdom of Scripture.  When the body dies it returns to dust and the breath or spirit returns to the One Who gave it.[2]  He also concludes his writing with; “Revere God and obey His Instructions, this is the wholeness of man.  God will bring every action into judgment, every hidden thing, whether it is good or bad.”[3]

The Day of Revealing

It is clear in the scriptures there will be a Day of Revealing and a Day of Judgment.  The first is a day of Recompense for our every action whether good or bad.[4]  Even more interesting is that every action, not only the bad, is revealed by Fire.

If our physical bodies have returned to the dust, then perhaps this fire is metaphorical?  Metaphors represent the effects of how a fire would reveal the flammable and the inflammable.  Contrary to the idea of an eternally burning fire, every bad thing will simply no longer exist.   In the same way “wood, hay and stubble” perish, (are consumed) in a physical fire.[5]

What  We Believe to be True and What is True

It is necessary to understand the history of Underworld mythology in order to see how it became blended into God’s Truth.

Dating back to ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia, India and Greece, prior to first century B.C., long before Virgil’s writings influenced Dante the Roman poet, Strabo, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.   Myths were commonly being woven into their philosophies.  By the third and fourth century A.D.  Bishop Augustine had sealed Plato’s destorted philosophies about the human immortal soul, and its eternal punishment in Hell.

It is humbly we seek the implanted Truth that is able to deliver us, says Y’acob, James 1:21.

Pride is like a veil over spiritual eyes that keeps us from seeing the difference between our personal beliefs and God’s Reality.  God’s Word has not changed, it was and still is, our plum line of Truth.

“The Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”  Acts 17:11

Today we also know to examine every teaching against the Light of the Torah and the prophets before accepting anything as Truth.  Truth can stand any test and we have been warned from the beginning that our loyalty to God’s Word will be tested by those who distort Truth.[6]

Let’s Examine the Original Hebrew Meaning of Eternity

It is helpful to understand that in Ancient Hebrew thinking there was no concept for eternity.  The future was unknown to them.  Ancient Hebrew was a concrete, picture word descriptive language full of metaphors, idioms and word puns.   In other words, they would describe something abstract with symbolism.  Using a description of fire, for example, would have meant literally what the fire does or the result of the fire.  I’ll touch more on the word fire in part three.

The Hebrew word, Olam, translates more as  Perpetual than Eternal.  The Ancient Hebrew translates only as, Beyond the horizon. The Greek equivalent for Olam is Aion.  Both refer to a period of time, an eon, an age, a generation, a point of time in the future.  Neither word means eternity the way it translates into English.

The Hebrew phrase, Olam va’ed, is used to express God as One Who transcends time.  The Greek equivalent would be Anion meaning, from age to ages and in English, forever and ever.

“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, (what is hidden from or beyond our view, transcending time) whose Name (character) is Holy, (set apart from the physical world):  ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, (humble) to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite (truly repentant).”  Isaiah 57:14-16

[1] 2 Chronicles 1:12

[2] Ecclesiastes 12:6-8

[3] Ecclesiastes 12:14

[4] Deuteronomy 13:3Deuteronomy 18:20 Galatians 1:8 Acts 20:30Ezekiel 13:3 1 John 4:1Isaiah 44:252 Corinthians 11:13Lamentations 2:1Colossians 2:82 Timothy 3:13 Revelation 2:2.

[5] 1 Corinthians 3:13 

[6] 2 Peter 3:17 


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