Eschatology

 

 

When people die, they become completely nonexistent

 

 

 

Many sects teach that man does not possess an immortal soul that survives after death but is a mortal soul. The human soul, therefore, is not immortal but mortal. To support this doctrine – which is called ‘conditional immortality’ - they quote Genesis 2:7 and Ezekiel 18:4. Furthermore, they affirm that the Hebrew word Nephesh and the Greek word psuchee (the biblical words which are usually translated ‘soul’) are nowhere in the Scripture associated with such words as immortal, everlasting, eternal. So when a man dies he becomes completely nonexistent. In the so called ‘intermediate state’ (that is, the time interval between death and the resurrection) there is no consciousness.

Seventh-Day Adventist Church: ‘The wages of sin is death. But God, who alone is immortal, will grant eternal life to His redeemed. Until that day death is an unconscious state for all people. When Christ, who is our life, appears, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord. The second resurrection, the resurrection of the unrighteous, will take place a thousand years later’. (Fundamental Beliefs, Article 25)

Jehovah’s Witnesses: ‘The condition of the dead is made clear at Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10, where we read: "The dead know nothing . . . There is no pursuit, no plan, no knowledge or intelligence, within the grave." (Moffatt) Death, therefore, is a state of non-existence. The psalmist wrote that when a person dies, "his spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish."—Psalm 146:4. Clearly, the dead do not exist…..’ (The Watchtower, July 15, 2001); ‘…. When a person is dead is completely out of existence. He is not conscious of anything!’ (You Can Live Forever In Paradise On Earth, 1982, page 88)

The followers of Herbert Armstrong: ‘Death only brings instant awakening in the resurrection. You will know absolutely NOTHING from the second you die, till the second you awake in the resurrection’ (Herbert W. Armstrong, The Incredible Human Potential, Pasadena, California, 1978, page 165)

The Way International: "No passage of Scripture teaches that there is conscious existence after death" -- they deny that believers immediately go to be with the Lord at death. Death for the believer is referred to as falling asleep because in sleep there is an awakening point. But for the unbeliever, the Christ rejector, the ungodly, their resurrection is temporary for they shall meet a second and final death (Victor Paul Wierwille, Are the Dead Alive Now?, p. 98).

The Christadelphian Church: ‘If we claim to follow Christ we should recognize that the grave is a place of unconsciousness, which only resurrection can bring to an end’ (http://www.christadelphian.org.uk), ‘Never does the bible suggest that a person continues to live after the death of the body . . . Instead, the Bible’s offer of immortality [is] at the coming of Jesus Christ” (Why is Man Mortal, vol. 38, no. 3, May 92, p. 1, May 1992). The belief that the soul of man continues to exist after death is “rooted in man’s desperate endeavours to deny the absolute reality of death, in the hope that life will continue . . .” (p. 3). The doctrine of the immortality of the human soul is said to be “not taught within the pages of the bible. It is a philosophy which owes it [sic] origin entirely to pagan mythology, and finds no part in the faith of the ancient Hebrews; nor is it taught by Christ and his apostles in the New Testament Scriptures” (p. 5).

Even some who are regarded as Evangelicals teach ‘conditional immortality.’

 

Confutation

 

 

The soul’s immortality

 

The Word of God teaches that the human being is a living soul, for it is written that God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). However, the Word of God teaches also that man has a soul, which is immortal (and not mortal as his body), which after death – depending upon the spiritual state of the individual at death – goes either to heaven or Hades (which is better known as hell). Therefore man continues to exist spiritually after death. We can say that the soul is the inward man which is in every human being; whereas the body is the outward man, in which the human soul dwells.

 

 

Some verses of the Scripture which call the human being ‘soul’

 

Now, the Holy Scripture calls people ‘souls,’ and the following verses confirm it:

● “For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people” (Leviticus 18:29)

● “And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire” (Joshua 11:11)

● “And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles” (Acts 2:43)

● “Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls” (Acts 7:14)

● “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (1 Peter 3:20).

However the Scripture – as I said before – teaches also that the soul is not the body, and the body is not the soul; and that when a person dies his soul departs from the body, and if he who dies is a son of God his soul goes to heaven to be with the Lord, while if he is a son of the devil his soul is brought down to Hades, that is, the abode of the wicked (the place of the departed wicked), where there is a fire unfanned and weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

 

Some verses of the Scripture which distinguish between body and soul

 

First of all, let us see some verses which affirm that the soul (in Hebrew ‘nephesh’, while in Greek ‘psuche’) is not the human body and at death it departs from the body.

● In the book of Genesis it is written: “And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour. And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also. And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Ben-oni: but his father called him Benjamin. And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day. And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar” (Genesis 35:16-21). As you can see, when Rachel died her soul departed from her body.

● In the book of Lamentations it is written: “They say to their mothers, Where is corn and wine? when they swooned as the wounded in the streets of the city, when their soul was poured out into their mothers' bosom” (Lamentations 2:12). As Jerusalem was besieged by the army of the Chaldeans, many children died of hunger and thirst and they yielded up their soul while they were on the bosom of their mothers.

● When the prophet Elijah prayed to God that He might raise the child of the widow with whom he lodged, he said to God: “O Lord my God, I pray, let this child’s soul come back to him” (1 Kings 17:21 - NKJV). Then the Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived. As you can see, Elijah believed that there is a soul in the body of man, and that when a person has died it is necessary for God to let his soul come back to him in order that the dead person may revive.

● When the prophet Elijah prayed that he might die, he said to God: “Take my soul, for I am not better than my fathers (1 Kings 19:4 - YLT). So Elijah believed that he had a soul in his own body which at his death would depart from it.

● David spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, saying: “For You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption” (Acts 2:27 – NKJV). We know that Hades is the abode of the dead where fire is burning, for it is written that “the rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then “he cried out and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:22-24 – NKJV). Therefore, when Christ died on the cross it came to pass that His soul came out of His body and descended into the abode of the dead, while his body was laid by Joseph of Arimathea in a tomb. If we should say that Jesus did not have an immortal soul inside His body, we should say also that when He died He was annihilated, that is to say, He ceased to exist not only physically but also spiritually. Thus we should conclude that Peter lied when he said that after death Christ, by the Spirit, “went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah ….” (1 Peter 3:19-20 – NKJV).

● Luke says: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life [soul] is in him. When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted” (Acts 20:7-12). As you can see, that young man was taken up dead, yet his soul remained in him by the will of God and did not depart from him, for Paul said to the brethren that the soul of Eutychus was in him. So Paul believed that the soul is not the body, but a part of the human being which is inside the body.

● In the book of Job it is written: “For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?” (Job 27:8). As you can see, these words also confirm that the soul is not the body because it is inside the body. Furthermore, they are confirmed by the story of the rich man and Lazarus told by Jesus, for Jesus said that the rich man died and was buried, and being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom (Luke 16:19-31), but he had no hope of salvation, he was lost forever. And on the day of judgement he will rise in order to be judged and cast into the lake of fire.

● Jesus said to the repentant thief on the cross: “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43 – NKJV). Therefore on that same day that man went to Paradise after his death. That means that after death he continued to live but in another dimension and in another place. If that man had not possessed a soul inside the body, how could he have gone to Paradise that same day? He certainly did not go to Paradise with his body, for it remained on the earth, but he went to Paradise with his immortal soul, which was inside his body and which could not be killed.

● Jesus said to the Sadducees, who denied both the resurrection of the body and the immortality of the soul (Josephus Flavius, a Jewish historian who was born in 37 A.D. and died after the year 100, tells us that the Sadducees denied also the immortality of the soul for they said that souls die with the bodies - Jewish Antiquities, XVIII, 1 § 4): “But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’. For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him” (Luke 20:37 – NKJV). As you can see, in His reply Jesus corrected not only their denial of the resurrection but also their view of the intermediate state because He said that ‘all live to God’.

Therefore, according to Jesus, all those who die in the faith die in the flesh but they continue to live to God, therefore they are actually living. For God is not the God of the dead but of the living. Therefore when we say that the God whom we serve is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, we say a right thing for God Himself said to Moses: “This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations” (Exodus 3:15 – NKJV), however, it is clear that the patriarchs must live somewhere so that God may be called the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now, we can say that at their death, which took place many centuries ago, their bodies returned to dust; but we can by no means affirm that after their death they ceased to exist because God is not ashamed to be called their God (Hebrews 11:16). Now, since their bodies saw corruption, how can we affirm that they are living now? Well, we can affirm this because the souls of the patriarchs are living, for the Living God is the God of the living. And where are they living? They are living in the kingdom of heaven. While the patriarchs lived on the earth they confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth, showing thus that they sought a homeland, that is, a heavenly country which is far better than the country from which they had come out.

● Paul says to the Romans: “Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:8 – NKJV).

That means that we belong to Christ and are in His hand while we are at home in the body and even after we depart from the body because not even death will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ; no, not even death. Didn’t Jesus say about His sheep: “They shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28 – NKJV)? Now, suppose that when a person dies he ceases to exist completely (that is, he lapses into non-existence) because he does not have an immortal soul, how could we affirm that after our death we will continue to belong to Christ and to be in His hand? We could not affirm these things rather we should affirm that death will be able to snatch us out of His hand!! However, we know that “the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God” (Ecclesiastes 9:1 – NKJV).

● In the book of Revelation it is written that John saw the souls of those who had been killed for the Word of God and they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Here are the words of the apostle: “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection” (Revelation 20:4-5). As you can see, the souls of those who had been killed for the Word of God lived, that is, they returned to live within immortal bodies, for John saw the resurrection of those who had been killed for the Word of God. However, in the meanwhile, that is, between their death and their resurrection, they had continued to live with their souls only, for John saw their souls. These words of John confirm the existence of a soul inside the human body and the soul’s immortality.

● In the Gospel according to Matthew we read that Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves, and He was transfigured before them; His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light “and behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him” (Matthew 17:3 - NKJV). Now, the Scripture says about Moses that he died and was buried by God, as it is written in the law: “So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day” (Deuteronomy 34:5-6). Notice that it is written that Moses died and was buried, therefore nobody can say that his body was not buried. Jude confirms that Moses really died, for he says that “Michael, the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation …” (Jude 9 – NKJV). Therefore, since Moses had died, who was that man who appeared together with Elijah on the holy mountain and was seen and heard by the disciples of the Lord? The answer is simple, it was Moses without his body, that is to say, it was the soul of Moses. The appearing of Moses on the holy mountain, therefore, confirms that the soul is not the body, and the body is not the soul, and that after death the soul of man which is inside him departs from his body and lives on.

● Jesus said: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [Greek: geenna]” (Matthew 10:28 – NKJV).

As you can see, the soul is not the body and vice versa because Jesus said that the body can be killed whereas the soul cannot be killed. So, unlike the body, the soul of a man cannot be killed but it can be destroyed in Geenna (the fire that will never be quenched) together with the body.

 

 

Some verses of the Scripture which indicate the places in the hereafter where the souls of men go

 

Let us see now some passages of the Scripture which affirm that the souls of the wicked go to Hades, while the souls of the righteous go to heaven.

● Jesus said: “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell [Greek: Hades] he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:19-24). As you can see, that rich man, after death, found himself in Hades, in torments, because he had refused to listen to Moses and the prophets.

● In the book of Revelation it is written: “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Revelation 6:9-10).

John saw under the altar (which is in heaven before God) the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God. Note that those souls were able to cry out with a loud voice and to remember that they had been killed and also the persons by whom they had been killed. As you can see, the expression “the souls of them that were slain” shows that the soul of a person is not the person himself, that is, the body of a person, but something which is different from his body; and it shows also that, unlike the body, the soul cannot be killed.

In the light of the above mentioned verses, therefore, we affirm that man has a soul inside his body, and after death his soul lives on; either in Hades (or Hell) in the midst of awful torments, if he dies in his sins; or in heaven (Paradise) before God and Jesus Christ joyfully, if he dies in Christ.

 

 

Where sinners go after death

 

 

The Word of God teaches that there is a place of torment in the unseen world, a horrible and dreadful place where fire burns continually and where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, and where the souls of those who have not repented of their sins and believed in the Gospel of the grace of God go after death.

This place is called ‘‘soggiorno dei morti’ (that is, ‘abode of the dead’) – in Greek: Hades, while in Hebrew: Sheol – and it is mentioned many times in the Scriptures. Before proving you from the Scripture the existence of this place, I want to tell you the following things.

First of all, both the Hebrew word Sheol and the Greek word Hades, which is equivalent to Sheol, mean also ‘sepolcro’, that is, ‘sepulchre, grave, tomb’. That’s why in the Bible sometimes the word Sheol (in Greek Hades) is translated ‘sepolcro’.

For instance, Diodati [1] translated Sheol ‘sepolcro’ in the following passages:

“Non lasciare scendere la sua canutezza in pace nel sepolcro” that is, “Do not let his gray hair go down to the grave [Sheol] in peace” (1 Kings 2:6);

“Così chi scende nel sepolcro non ne salirà più fuori” that is, “So he who goes down to the grave [Sheol] does not come up” (Job 7:9);

“Perciocchè il sepolcro non ti celebrerà” that is, “For the grave [Sheol] will not praise you” (Isaiah 38:18). [2]

I have said ‘sometimes’ and not ‘always’, because this Hebrew word refers also to the abode of the souls between death and the resurrection [3], that’s why some other times it is translated ‘inferno’ (that is, ‘hell,’) or ‘soggiorno dei morti’ (that is, ‘the abode of the dead’).

For instance, Diodati translated Sheol ‘inferno’ in the following passages of the Old Testament: Psalm 9:17, Job 26:6, and Proverbs 7:27; and he translated Hades as ‘inferno’ in the following passages of the New Testament: Matthew 11:23, 16:18, Luke 16:23, Revelation 1:18 (while in Acts 2:27 and Acts 2:31 he translated Hades as ‘luoghi sotterra’ [that is, ‘underground places’]) [4]. Luzzi [5], in the Old Testament of the Italian Bible Riveduta Version (the Revised Version) put ‘soggiorno dei morti’ (‘abode of the dead’) instead of ‘inferno’ (‘hell’); while in the New Testament he left the word Hades in its untranslated Greek form. (See the above mentioned passages in the Riveduta Version). However, both ‘inferno’ and ‘soggiorno dei morti’ refer to the same place.

Furthermore, I want you to know that the word ‘inferno’ – which is not present in the Riveduta Version – comes from the Latin word infernus which means ‘lower, underground’. As for the English term ‘hell.’ it comes from the Old English word helan, which means ‘to hide or cover’

Someone will say: ‘Why wasn’t this word translated always in the same way?’ Because sometimes the context did not allow the same rendering. In other words the same word has a different meaning in different contexts. Therefore, sometimes Sheol or Hades indicates the unseen place where the souls of the dead go, while some other times Sheol or Hades indicates the grave where the body is laid. Let me give you an example taken from the book of Isaiah. The prophet says: “Hell from beneath is excited about you, to meet you at your coming; it stirs up the dead for you, all the chief ones of the earth; it has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. They all shall speak and say to you: ‘You also have become as weak as we, and you have become like us” (Isaiah 14:9-10 – Translated from the IBDV). Here Diodati translated the word Sheol as ‘inferno’ - Luzzi translated it as ‘soggiorno dei morti’ – because it does not mean grave, in that the text speaks of people staying in Sheol who at the coming of the king of Babylon speak to him.

Therefore, in the light of the Scriptures, those who deny that the word Sheol (or the equivalent Greek word Hades) refers also to the place of torment where sinners continue to exist after death (and they stay there till the resurrection) are greatly mistaken.

Now I am going to prove from the Scriptures the existence of this place of torment (called Sheol or Hades) in the unseen world; I will tell you where it is located and how the Bible describes hell.

● It is written: “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell [Greek: Hades] he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:19-31).

This is a story which was told by Jesus Christ. It teaches that people continue to exist after death and that the souls of the sinners continue to live in an unseen world. It is clear that we do not see our soul, yet we know that it dwells in our body made of flesh and bones; and just as we can’t deny the existence of the soul just because we do not see it, so we can’t deny the existence of Hades just because we do not see it or we have not seen it. The fact is that while the soul is in our body, Hades is in the lower parts of the earth. According to the Word of God, Hades is a real place where the soul of the sinner, after it has gone out of the body, goes to stay and where it will be waiting for the judgement. In other words, while the sinner lives on the earth his soul enjoys the pleasures of life and takes delight in doing evil things using the human body, but when the body in which the soul dwells temporarily dies, the soul departs from the body and goes to Hades where it will tormented by the fire which is in this horrible place. The story of the rich man tells us that he lived in luxury every day while he was on the earth and that when he died he was buried, but he found himself in a place of torment called Hades. It was his body which was buried not his soul, because man’s soul cannot be seized by any man nor can it be buried. According to what God said to Adam, it is the human body which returns to dust: “For dust you are and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19 – NKJV), and not the soul because the soul is not made of destroyable matter. On one occasion Jesus said that we must not fear “those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matthew 10:28 – NKJV); therefore, unlike the body, the soul of man cannot be killed nor seized by any man. As you can see, the rich man, who had enjoyed himself on the earth, was still able to talk, to remember, while he was in Hades, and according to what he said to Abraham his tongue could have been cooled by some water, but there is no water in Hades; water is just a memory for those who are in the fire of Hades. Now, we can’t understand how the soul of a man can burn continually in the midst of the fire of Hades without burning out, nor can we understand how the soul of a man can weep and gnash the teeth in Hades. However, this does not keep us from believing that those who are in Hades are tormented by fire and they weep and gnash their teeth continually. If we were to believe the things the Scripture speaks of only when we fully understand them, we would end by disbelieving the things the Scripture speaks of; we would not believe even in the existence of God. But thanks be to God through Jesus Christ for He has given us faith, by which we accept all the things the Word of God teaches us without doubting them. So we do believe all the details of this story told by Jesus, they are all true. As I said before, even though that man did not have a body any longer, he was able to talk and remember.

The rich man asked Abraham to send Lazarus that he might dip the tip of his finger in water and cool his tongue for he was in agony in the fire of Hades, but Abraham told him that such a thing was not possible. Abraham told him to remember that in his lifetime he had received his good things, and furthermore he told him that between them (Abraham and Lazarus) and him there was a great gulf fixed, so that those who were in Abraham’s bosom could not go from there to those who were tormented in Hades to help them. God had no mercy on that man; just as he had been merciless toward his neighbour during his lifetime, so God was merciless toward him after he died. In this we see a manifestation of the justice of God. Even under the Old Covenant He did not leave unpunished those who refused to heed His Word.

After the rich man had heard the answer of Abraham, he asked Abraham to send Lazarus to his father’s house to warn his five brothers of that place of torment so that they would not come to that place of torment. He thought that if his brothers had heard Lazarus, they would have repented and they would not have gone to that place of torment. However, Abraham answered him saying that his brothers had Moses and the prophets, so they had to listen to them in order not to go to that place of torment. However, the answer of Abraham did not satisfy that man, for he told Abraham that in his opinion the testimony of Lazarus would be more efficacious because if someone from the dead went to them they would repent. But Abraham did not agree with him, for he told him that if his brothers did not listen to Moses and the Prophets they would not be convinced even if someone rose from the dead. (I would like to point out to you the following things: first of all, that man believed that Lazarus could go back to the earth and speak to his brothers; secondly, he did not ask Abraham to grant him to go back to the earth; thirdly, Abraham confirmed that Lazarus was dead). The words of Abraham were hard words, and they show that those who do not believe what God says (through the Holy Scriptures) about Hades and the torments which people suffer in it, will not believe in the existence of this place of torment even if one goes to them from the dead and speaks to them about hell and the torments of this horrible place.

This is the truth, brothers: some people will not believe in the existence of hell neither will they repent of their sins, even if one of their loved ones rises from the dead and tells them the things he saw in hell. However we are called to warn people about this place of torment, because God Himself has warned us of this place with His Word. If God did not want people to know what will happen to them after death if they do not repent and bear fruits worthy of repentance, He would not have caused some persons to write so many clear references to Hades and to the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the place of torment where the wicked will be cast after they are judged in that day.

Let us see some other verses of the Scripture which confirm the existence of hell, and that hell is located in the lower parts of the earth and the wicked are brought down to it.

● In the Psalms it is written: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17 – NKJV), and again: “Like sheep they are cast into the abode of the dead; death is their shepherd” (Psalm 49:14 – Translated from the IBRV).

● Job said about the wicked: “They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment they go down to the abode of the dead” (Job 21:13 – Translated from the IBRV).

● Isaiah said about those who did not regard the work of the Lord but followed intoxicating drink: “Therefore the abode of the dead has enlarged itself and opened its mouth beyond measure, the splendour of Zion, its multitude and its pomp, and he who is jubilant among it, shall descend into it” (Isaiah 5:14 – Translated from the IBRV). Isaiah, in his prophecy against the king of Babylon, said to Israel: “It shall come to pass in the day the Lord gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve, that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: ‘…. The abode of the dead from beneath is excited about you, to meet you at your coming; …. Your pomp and the sound of your stringed instruments are brought down to the abode of the dead” (Isaiah 14:3,9,11 – Translated from the IBRV).

● God foretold through the prophet Ezekiel what He would do to Tyre: “Then I will bring you down with those who descend into the Pit, to the people of old, and I will make you dwell in the lowest part of the earth, in places desolate from antiquity, with those who go down to the Pit …. “ (Ezekiel 26:20 – NKJV), and He told what He did to Pharaoh: “In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him. I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth. They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen” (Ezekiel 31:15-17).

● When Jesus rebuked Capernaum He said: “And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades” (Matthew 11:23 - NKJV). And when He predicted that He would be in the abode of the dead for three days and three nights He said: “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40 – NKJV), and we know that the soul of Jesus Christ went down to Hades, from which God brought it up on the third day when He raised Him from the dead, as it is written: “You will not leave my soul in Hades” (Acts 2:27 – NKJV).

As you can see, from all the above mentioned verses of the Scripture we clearly learn that the abode of the dead is a place which is in the lower parts of the earth, or rather, as Jesus said: “In the heart of the earth”, and that the sinners who refuse to heed the voice of God go down to this place.

However, the Scripture even describes hell.

● Job called hell “the land of darkness and the shadow of death. A land as dark as darkness itself, as the shadow of death, without any order, where even the light is like darkness” (Job 10:21-22 – NKJV).

● Bildad the Shuhite, in speaking of the destiny of the wicked, said: “He is driven from light into darkness” (Job 18:18 – NKJV).

● Zophar the Naamathite said about the wicked: “An unfanned fire will consume him” (Job 20:26 – NKJV). As for these words they are confirmed by the following words the rich man said to Abraham: “I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:24 – NKJV). The fire which is in hell is not a fire which was lit by man, but by God, that’s why no one can put it out.

As you can see, the Bible describes hell as a place of darkness where people are tormented by an unfanned fire.

Hell is not a pleasant place where to dwell; some people scoff at it saying that those who go down to hell have a great time there! But I can assure you that it is a dreadful and horrible place. Some people have seen it, for God granted them to see it, and they have a clear and indelible memory of it. Yes, because even in this generation God has allowed some men and women to see hell. These people, after they came back to life, have tried to tell as clearly as possible the horrible things they saw in that place; they still recognize that the best words they can use to describe hell, which they saw by the grace of God, are those which are written in the Holy Scripture. Indeed there are no better words to describe hell than those written in the Word of God.

 

The testimony of a man who died in his sins and came back to life

 

The late Kenneth Hagin (1917-2003) saw Hell at the age of 16. Here is what he tells us in his book I believe in visions: “I gave my heart to the Lord and was born again the very first night I became bedfast. That was Saturday, April 22, 1933 at 7:40 p.m. in the south bedroom of 405 North College Street in McKinney, Texas. Earlier that evening, my heart had stopped beating and the spiritual man who lives in my body had departed. When death seized my body, my grandmother, my younger brother, and my mother were sitting in the room. I had time only to tell them "goodbye." Then the inner man rushed out of my body and left my body lying dead, with eyes set and flesh cold. I went down, down, down until the lights of the earth faded away. I don't mean I fainted - I don't mean I was unconscious - I have proof that I was actually dead. My eyes were set, my heart had stopped beating, and my pulse had ceased.

The Scriptures tell us about the lost being cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 25:30). The farther down I went, the blacker it became, until it was all blackness - I could not have seen my hand if it had been one inch in front of my eyes. And the farther down I went, the hotter and more stifling it became.

Finally, far below me, I could see lights flickering on the walls of the caverns of the damned. The lights were caused by the fires of Hell. The giant, white-crested orb of flame pulled me, drawing me as a magnet draws metal to itself. I did not want to go, but just as metal jumps to the magnet, my spirit was drawn to that place. I could not take my eyes off of it. The heat beat me in the face. Many years have gone by, yet I can see it just as clearly today as I saw it then. It is as fresh in my memory as if it just happened.

I came to the entrance of Hell. People ask, "What does the entrance of Hell look like?" I cannot describe it, because if I tried, I would have to have something with which to compare it. (Similarly, if a person had never seen a tree in his life, it would be impossible to tell him what a tree looks like.) Coming to the entrance, I paused momentarily, because I did not want to go in. I sensed that one more foot, one more step, one more yard, and I would be gone forever and would not come out of that horrible place! Upon reaching the bottom of the pit, I became conscious of some kind of spirit being by my side. I had not looked at him, because I could not take my gaze off of the fires of Hell. But when I paused, the creature laid his hand on my arm to escort me in.

At that same moment, a voice spoke from far above the blackness, above the earth, and above the heavens. I don't know if it was the voice of God, Jesus, an angel, or who. I did not see him, and I do not know what he said, because he did not speak in English; he spoke in some other tongue. When he spoke, his words reverberated throughout the region of the damned, shaking it like a leaf in the wind, and causing the creature to take his hand off my arm. I did not turn around, but an unseen power, like suction, pulled me up, away from the fire, away from the heat, and back into the shadows of the absorbing darkness.

I began to ascend until I came to the top of the pit and saw the lights of the earth. I saw my grandparents' home, went through the wall back into my bedroom, and it was just as real to me as it was any time I had entered through the door (my spirit needed no door). I slipped back into my body as easily as a man slips into his trousers in the morning. It was the same way in which I had gone out - through my mouth. I began to talk to my grandmother. She said, "Son, I thought you were dead."

My great-grandfather had been a medical doctor, and Granny had worked with him. She later told me, "I dressed many people for burial and laid them out in days gone by. I have had much experience with death, but I learned more about death in dealing with you and your experiences than I ever knew before. You were dead. You had no pulse or heartbeat, and your eyes were set."

"Granny," I said, "I am going again. I am dying. Where is Momma?" "Your mother is out on the porch," she replied. And about that time I heard my mother praying at the top of her voice as she walked up and down the porch. "Where is my brother?" I asked. "He ran next door to call the doctor," Granny answered. If you're not ready to go, you want somebody with you. You're afraid! I said, "Granny, don't leave me! Don't leave me! I'm afraid I'll go while you're gone! I want somebody with me! Don't leave me!" So she gathered me into her arms again. I said, "Tell Momma I said goodbye. Tell Momma I love her. Tell Momma I appreciate everything she has ever done for me and for all of us. And you tell Momma that I said if I've ever put a wrinkle in her face, or a grey hair in her head, I'm sorry, and I ask her to forgive me." I felt myself slipping. I said, "Granny, I'm going again. You were a second mother to me when Momma's health failed. I appreciate you. Now I'm going, and I won't be back this time. "I knew I was dying, unprepared to meet God. I kissed her on the cheek and said goodbye.

My heart stopped beating for the second time. It's almost as real to me today, nearly half a century later, as it was that day. I felt the blood cease to circulate. The tips of my toes went numb - then my feet, ankles, knees, hips, stomach, and heart. I leaped out of my body and began to descend: down, down, down. Oh, I know it was just a few seconds, but it seemed like an eternity. I began to descend again into the darkness until the lights of earth had faded. Down below, the same experience occurred. The voice spoke from Heaven and again my spirit came up out of that place - back into my room and back into my body. The only difference this time was that I came up at the foot of the bed. I began to talk to Granny again. I said, "I will not be back this time, Granny." I asked, "Where is Grandpa? I want to tell Grandpa goodbye." She said, "Son, you know your Granddad went down to the east part of town to collect rent off of some of his rent houses."

"Oh," I said, "I remember that now. I just forgot momentarily." I said, "Granny, tell Grandpa goodbye. I've never known what it means to have a daddy. He's been the nearest to a daddy I've known. He gave me a home when I had none. Tell him I appreciate him. Tell him I love him. Tell Grandpa that I said goodbye." Then I left a word for my sister and two brothers, and my heart stopped for the third time. I could feel the circulation as it cut off again - and I leaped out of my body and began to descend.

Until this time, I had thought, this is not happening to me. This is just a hallucination. It can't be real! But now I thought, this is the third time. I won't come back this time! Darkness encompassed me 'round about, darker than any night man has ever seen.

I wish I had adequate words to describe the horrors of Hell. People go through this life so complacently, so unconcerned, as if they will not have to face Hell. But God's Word and my own personal experience tell me differently. I know what it is to be unconscious - it is black when you are unconscious - but there is no blackness to compare with outer darkness.

As I began to descend in the darkness this third time, my spirit cried out, "God, I belong to the church! I've been baptized in water!" I waited for Him to answer, but no answer came - only the echo of my own voice as it came back to mock me. It will take more than church membership - it will take more than being baptized in water - to miss Hell and make Heaven. Jesus said, .... Ye must be born again" (John 3:7). Certainly I believe in being baptized in water - but only after a person is born again. Certainly I believe in joining the church - but only after a person is born again. If you merely join the church and are baptized in water without being born again, you will go to Hell! The second time I cried a little louder, "God! I belong to the church! I've been baptized in water!" Again I waited for an answer, but there was no answer, only the echo of my own voice through the darkness.

It would frighten a congregation out of their wits if I ever imitated the way I screamed the third time, although, if I could scare them out of Hell and into Heaven, I'd do it! I literally screamed, "GOD! GOD! I BELONG TO THE CHURCH! I'VE BEEN BAPTIZED IN WATER!" And all I heard was the echo of my own voice. I came again to the bottom of that pit. Again I could feel the heat as it beat me in the face. Again I approached the entrance, the gates into Hell itself. That creature took me by the arm. I intended to put up a fight if I could to keep from going in. I only managed to slow down my descent just a little, and he took me by the arm.

Thank God that voice spoke. I don't know who it was - I didn't see anybody - I just heard the voice. I don't know what he said, but whatever he said, that place shook; it just trembled. And that creature took his hand off my arm. It was just as if there was a suction to my back parts. It pulled me back, away from the entrance to Hell, until I stood in the shadows. Then it pulled me up headfirst. As I was going up through the darkness, I began to pray. My spirit, the man who lives inside this physical body, is an eternal being, a spirit man. I began to pray, "0 God! I come to You in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I ask You to forgive me of my sins and to cleanse me from all sin." I came up beside the bed.

The difference between the three experiences was that I came up on the porch the first time; I came up at the foot of the bed the second time; and I came up right beside the bed the third time. When I got inside my body, my physical voice picked up and continued my prayer right in the middle of the sentence. I was already praying out of my spirit. Now, we didn't have all the automobiles in 1933 that we have today - that was in the Depression. But they tell me that between me and Momma praying so loud, traffic was lined up for two blocks on either side of our house! They heard me praying from inside the house, and they heard my mother as she walked the porch praying at the top of her voice.

I looked at the clock and saw it was 20 minutes before 8 o'clock. That was the very hour I was born again due to the mercy of God through the prayers of my mother. I felt wonderful - it was just like a two-ton weight had rolled off of my chest. Although I was rejoicing and was happy in my spirit - although I felt wonderful spiritually - I felt no better physically. The doctors had been called, and they told my family that I was going to die. I thought I would die that night, but it no longer bothered me. I knew I was ready to go. My experience of being brought back from the dead is not new. Jesus raised three people from the dead: Lazarus, Jairus' daughter, and the widow's son. The Apostle Peter raised Dorcas from the dead; the Apostle Paul raised a young man from the dead; and others throughout Church history have had similar experiences.

Through my experience, God brought me to knowledge of salvation, which is the best thing in the world to know. I was so thankful to know that my heart was right with God, and to know that if I should die before morning I would go, to be with Him’ [6]

 

 

Conclusion

 

Brothers in the Lord, I conclude by saying to you: rejoice and be exceedingly glad for Christ Jesus in His mercy has saved you from the fire of hell, from the unspeakable torments of hell people suffer in this horrible place because of their iniquities; and warn sinners of this terrible place of torment, exhorting them to repent and to believe in Jesus Christ, because if they do not repent and believe in Jesus they will go to hell when they die.

 

 

 

Where Christians go after death

 

 

When a Christian dies, his soul departs from his body and goes to heaven to be with the Lord. There are several verses of the Scripture which teach that that when one dies in the Lord, he departs from the body and enters the heavenly kingdom of our Lord Jesus. Here are these verses.

● Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 – NKJV).

Therefore we believers have an eternal house in the heavens, not built by human hands but by God. All those who die in faith go there on the same day they die, or rather they enter this eternal house a few moments after their death, for the entrance into the heavens takes place a very short time after death. The apostles had a desire to depart from the body and be with the Lord, for Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8 – NKJV. The IBRV reads ‘partire dal corpo’ that is, “to depart from the body” instead of “to be absent from the body”), and to the Philippians: “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (Philippians 1:23 – NIV). We also have the same desire as Paul and his fellow workers had, for we know that to be with the Lord in heaven is far better than to live on earth. Of course, it is a wonderful thing to live with the Lord on earth (for the Lord is always with us), however, it is far better to live with the Lord in His heavenly kingdom.

● The apostle Peter wrote in his second epistle: “I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things” (2 Peter 1:13-15 – NIV).

The apostle knew that within a short time he would die and go to be with the Lord in heaven, and compared his death to a departure for he said that he would shortly put off his tent. Now, it is clear that since death is called departure that means that there is something inside the body which departs from the body at death, otherwise what Peter said would not make sense. And we know that this ‘something’ is the soul which is in man. Furthermore, if the soul of man departs from his body there must be a place where the soul goes after death, otherwise it would make no sense to call death ‘departure’, and we know that this place is Paradise, that is, the third heaven, the same place into which Paul was caught up (however he did not know whether he was caught up to heaven in the body or out of the body) and where he “heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Corinthians 12:4 – NKJV).

● John, in the vision he had while he was on the island called Patmos, saw among other things the souls of those believers who had been slain for the Word of God. He said: “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled” (Revelation 6:9-11).

According to the above mentioned words of John, therefore, it is clear that those who die in Christ go to heaven, and they are fully conscious in heaven. In addition to this, what John saw in vision confirms the following words of Jesus: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matthew 10:28 – NKJV), for the souls which John saw were the souls of those who had been killed for the name of Christ. Therefore, not even death can separate the disciples of Christ from their Lord and Saviour.

● In the vision John had while he was on the island called Patmos, he heard a voice from heaven saying to him: “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on, “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them” (Revelation 14:13 – NIV).

Why are the dead who die in Christ blessed then? Because they rest from their labor. And where do they rest? In heaven, for a short time before John said that he saw in heaven under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held, who cried out with a loud voice asking God to avenge their blood, and “it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed” (Revelation 6:11 – NKJV). Note that according to what was said to those souls, they were already resting, however it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer till a certain time. Therefore we proclaim that he who enters heaven “rests from his own work, just as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:10 – NIV). Glory be to God for ever. Amen.

However, I want to say something also about those who do not die in Christ. They are not blessed for they do not rest at all since they are in the fire of Hades where there is no rest for them. Could there be any rest in a place of torment, a horrible place, where billions of souls weep and gnash their teeth because of the terrible pains they suffer there? Therefore those who die in their sins are wretched because they go to Hades to be tormented by fire. Thanks be to God through Christ Jesus for saving us from the horrible and dreadful destiny awaiting the lost. Amen.

● Paul says to Timothy: “If we die with him, we will also live with him” (2 Timothy 2:11 – Translated from the IBRV).

What does he mean by that? He means that if we die in faith (or in Christ) we will go to heaven to live with Christ. Then at the resurrection (which will take place at the coming of the Lord from heaven), our body will be transformed and made incorruptible. Our soul will enter our new body (that is, the resurrected body) and with that new body we will continue to live with the Lord.

● Paul, a short time before his death, said to Timothy: “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18 – NIV).

This is the confidence Paul had, that at his death the Lord would bring him to His heavenly kingdom. Many centuries before Asaph had said: “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory” (Psalm 73:24 – NIV). As you can see, the words of Paul agree with the words of Asaph.

● Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26 – NKJV).

That means that though a believer may die in the flesh he will continue to live. Where will he live on? He will live in the third heaven, where the Lord of glory is sitting on His throne, for Jesus said: “Where I am, there My servant will be also” (John 12:26 – NKJV). Beloved, we have great joy and consolation because we know that where our Lord is we will be also if we stand firm in the faith. We are not at all afflicted at the thought that one day we will have to leave this earth, because we know that the world where we will go is far better than this. While on the one hand sinners go to a world which is far worse than this; on the other hand we believers, by the grace of God, will go to a far better place. While sinners do not know where they are going because they walk in darkness, we know where we are going, we are going to the place where Jesus went when He had by Himself purged our sins, and we know also the way which leads to that place, for Jesus said to His disciples: “And where I go you know, and the way you know” (John 14:4 – NKJV). Jesus Christ is the way which leads to the Father and we want to follow His steps in order to enter His everlasting kingdom. And what shall we say about death? Death is surely a bitter thing, because it is not a pleasant thing for those who remain on earth to see the corpse of a brother in Christ, but remember that “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalm 116:15 – NKJV).

To God, who in His mercy has given us eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, be the glory now and forevermore. Amen.

 

 

The testimony of a man who died in Christ but God brought him back to life

 

 

The Lord resurrected me to life

 

1. An interview with Boris – an officer in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ukraine.

 

Who he was before his death.

 

INTERVIEWER: - I introduce to you, Mr. Boris Pilipchuk, 36 years of age. Please, Boris tell us about yourself a bit.

BORIS: - I am an officer, a Senior Lieutenant in the police force. I worked as a strategic duty officer in one of the operation sections of the police force in Khemlnitskij District of Ukraine. I fought in the Afganistan war. I am married with three children. We live in a village called Novaya Siniavka, in the Starosiniavskij region of Khemlnitskij District.

 

INTERVIEWER: - Boris, I know that you are a Believer. How did you get saved?

BORIS: - I was a strong atheist, but my wife and her parents were Believers and they always wanted me to be saved. One day, on the 16th of September 1996, the Pastor Nikolai Ivashenko, of the Full Gospel Church in the town of Mariopol, came to our village, on a visit to his relatives. My wife asked him to speak to me a bit, but with care, because at that time I was very aggressive, lacked temperance and rude. The training I got from the army left a scar on my character.

When I saw Pastor Nikolai, I thought to myself, “Now, I’m going to teach you a lesson…” However, Nikolai walked up to me and began saying something and suddenly, I began feeling such peace, such tranquillity in my heart, such that I had never experienced since my childhood days. I was only used to giving orders, receive orders and carry them out blindly. I was trained in this sort of environment, in which normal human interaction was so rare. Something on the inside of me was transformed as I listened to the words of Nikolai and when I heard the phrase, “Now, we’ll pray, repeat after me…”. I repeated the sinner’s prayer. The power of the Holy Spirit came upon me and the Lord baptized me in the Holy Spirit. Ever since then, I dedicated my life to serve the Lord.

 

INTERVIEWER: - How did those around you react to this change in your life?

BORIS: - My mother reacted to all this very indignantly, at the beginning, because she had not known the Lord yet. Later on, opposition at my work place began, they threatened to lay me off the job or demote me, they even went to the extent of trying to make me backslide, but I wasn’t perturbed by this, neither did I worry. Formerly, I would likely have been in a state of confusion…to relinquish my officers rank, simply because of some sort of incident, to me, seemed absurd. God’s Word says, that if you are taken to court, do not be anxious over what to say, for I will speak for you. So not being worried over my fate, I said, “ You cannot do anything to me, because the Lord is with me’. So my superior officers had to condescend to this. Not only did colleagues condescend to this, but they also began listening, with pleasure, to me preach during my break period. I told every one about the Lord, in the hope of at least leading one soul to the Lord. I will not go on to describe what hideous things I did before repentance, because the Lord has forgiven me of all of them. I praise and thank the Lord for this. The Lord forgives every sin, of anyone who earnestly repents.

 

INTERVIEWER: - You are a serviceman and a Believer. This is very unusual. Do people consider this as being normal?

BORIS: - I tell every one that Jesus Christ is Lord over everyone, and servicemen as well. The Lord loves each and everyone just the same. I have been asked several times, “ How can you serve God, being a serviceman, handling weapons?” The fact is that God’s word teaches us how to serve the Lord.

When John the Baptist baptized people in River Jordan, servicemen came up to him and asked, “What shall we do?” John the Baptist’s reply to that question was such that they should be content with their wages, so that they should no longer complain and so that they wouldn’t go beyond their bounds. There is no place in the word of God where it is written, servicemen should not serve the Lord. On the contrary, we know from the Holy Scriptures that two roman officers repented and that they and all their household served the Lord Jesus Christ. Each and every Believer, has a discrete ministry in God’s sight.

 

INTERVIEWER: - Boris, I can see that you are in perfect health. Before your remarkable ordeal, were you in the same state of health?

BORIS: - Yes. Perfect health is a prerequisite to join the force. It was mandatory for us to undergo routine medical test.

 

INTERVIEWER: - Please, tell me what happened to you.

BORIS: - I will narrate how the Lord raised me from the dead. On the 27th of July, 1998, I returned home from work, to my village. Something happened to me at that time. I cannot describe what happened to me exactly. I was completely paralyzed and I lost consciousness.

According to my wife’s account, after I lost consciousness, I was rushed to the hospital, to the reanimation unit. Their diagnosis was - Brain haemorrhage. I remained there for several days in an unconscious state. I was transferred to the reanimation unit of the Khelmitskij District Clinic. The doctors continued to fight for my life. However, the heart attack, which was now progressing didn’t leave them with a chance of my survival.

 

INTERVIEWER: - How serious was your brain haemorrhage?

BORIS: - As I found out later on, the doctor diagnosed a internal bleeding in 95% of my brain. All the equipment and the sensors that were attached to my body, testified of death. In their medical report the doctors diagnosed a haemorrhage that had spread all over my brain, all of the nine tests made confirmed death.

 

2. Death registered by the Doctors.

 

INTERVIEWER: - Boris, from what you were later on told, after the doctors certified your death, did they immediately call your wife?

BORIS: - Yes, they did and she was not the only person they informed. Actually, what happened was that every 15-20 minutes my colleagues called the hospital to inquire of my health. They were told that I was no longer alive, that I was already dead. At my working place, money was already being collected for my burial, a coffin was already ordered for me, the burial viennese and every other thing necessary for the occasion. In a nutshell, preparation was made for my burial. In my opinion, I think the sudden death of such a healthy police officer was a very stunning occurrence, which took everyone aback. This was clear, from the numerous phone calls to the hospital, from my colleagues.

 

INTERVIEWER: - Was your wife present with you when you died?

BORIS: - Yes, she was, but she was not allowed in the reanimation room itself. Later on my wife told me, that she constantly prayed to God over my salvation. When the doctors began to desperately fight to save my life, my wife called Pastor Nikolai in Mariopol on the phone. My wife told him what had happened and asked him to pray for me. While he prayed, God told him that the situation would not lead to death, but to the glory of God. He calmed my wife down and told her that a Christian Festival was underway in the town of Mariopol and that all the believers would pray for me. They prayed. During this time, events in the hospital were mounting. The doctors informed my wife of my death and after two hours she was permitted to accompany my body, on the stretcher, to the door of the morgue.

 

3. Medical information on the possibility of a dead person returning to life

 

INTERVIEWER: - For an understanding from a clinical point of view, we make reference to a directory of medical publications. In the Concise Medical encyclopedia (published by “Soviet Encyclopedia”, 1974) the following is written: Brain haemorrhage is defined as the disruption of normal blood circulation in the brain, which results in the death of the brain material (Part 1, page 506). Resuscitation of an organism (reanimation) is defined as the restoration of a sudden disruption or total loss of life supporting functions of an organism. Clinical death is the last reversible stage of the death of an organism from the moment breathing and blood circulation cease to the beginning of irreversible changes in the central nervous system, after which death is referred to as being biological. The duration of clinical death depends on the reason that gave rise to the development of a terminal condition, the duration of dying, age etc. In normal temperatures, clinical death extends over a period of 4-6 minutes, after which the restoration of normal activities of the central nervous system becomes impossible. Reanimation procedures should be started immediately sudden death has been established. It is also recommended not to allow the complete ceasing of breathing or heartbeat. If the heartbeat is not re-established, reanimation procedures are advised to be continued until they prove effective. Signs of effectiveness: Disappearance of cyanosis, noticing of spontaneous gasps (the sooner they begin, the better the prognosis), pulsation of the large blood vessels in accordance with the rhythm of the massage, narrowing of the pupils. If these signs do not appear in 20-25 minute, resuscitation procedures should be discontinued (part 2, page 270-271). I know that doctors have some rules, which can never be violated by any one in any medical establishment. In their rules, a person who is lying in reanimation, in a condition of biological death, should not be there more than 2 hours and only after this the person may be transported to the morgue.

That means that after establishing the fact that Boris was in a state of clinical death, the doctors struggled for 30 minutes to save his life, and after establishing a state of biological death, not less than 2 more hours elapsed, for the period of time he was in the reanimation unit. Meaning that the irreversible processes and death of the brain matter had already begun, seen as the time necessary for resuscitation after clinical death takes about 4-6 minutes. In this case the person couldn’t be more dead. Boris’ death was confirmed by the doctors and by the medical equipment that were connected to his body.

 

4. “I saw heaven” - Boris

 

INTERVIEWER: - And now, Boris, tell us how you felt. What did you see?

BORIS: - It felt as if I was conscious, I began seeing with my own eyes, what happened after an internal push in the body. I began seeing everything as if from above. My soul came out of me and looked at my body. Doctors in their white gowns had gathered around my body. Numerous equipment were connected to my body. The doctors tried to bring me to a normal condition, they ran about, and applied all possible measure. But all their effort were to no avail.

Then I began to ascend from the earth. The earth became smaller and smaller. It became so small, and then it disappeared totally. My transportation was accompanied by a continuous whistling in my ears. Then I ended up in an extraordinary place, that was so illuminated, that I began to feel good. I saw a golden staircase, that shone with rays of glory. The staircase was rather wide. On either side of the staircase were golden railings, along which from the end to the top were winged angels in white clothes, with golden belts. Their hair was white, their faces shone so much, like lightning, their eyes were like two lanterns. They had human faces. Their hands and legs were the color of shinning copper chips. On the outside the angels were like humans. Around the staircase and under it, stood a great number of angels, and their number, I simply cannot describe. These were without wings. All the angels were singing psalms. And surprisingly, I did not know, what language they were singing in, but at that moment I completely understood the words of the psalm. They sang: “O worthy are you Lord of all glory and praise. You, Lord, created the heavens and the earth. You are worthy of our praise!”

Then I saw an extraordinary light at the end of the staircase. But the light wasn’t like that of the sun or of welding instrument, which has a harmful effect on the eyes. The light was extraordinarily bright, but did not hurt the eyes, warm, calming, full of joy and peace. I was full of delight, to such an extent that mere words cannot describe how I felt. My delight continued to increase and there was no limit to the joy I felt. I don’t know how to describe this vision, this feeling, in words, but I would like you to imagine the picture the Lord showed me. Later on, I heard a voice, coming from the place where the wonderful light was, which said: ‘My son, come to me and I will show you something. I will help you”.

From the great number of angels, two angels walked up behind me. One stood on my left and the other stood on my right, just a short distance from me. I didn’t turn my head around, I didn’t look behind me and I didn’t gaze around me, but it appeared as if I could see 360 degrees about me. I wasn’t nervous and didn’t feel any form of discomfort. I was absolutely calm and so joyful to extent, that I cannot describe how I felt, not then and not now. I didn’t ask anyone any question, such as ‘where am I?’ ‘What happened to me? What’s going to happen later on?’ I felt completely confident in myself, as if I was standing in a familiar place. I felt as if I lived there permanently.

Then the Holy Spirit, transferred me to a vast open plain, in which very beautiful white horses pranced. In the center of the field, stood a great big city, in the form of a cube. When I noticed it, I began to draw close to it. But I approached it in a different way, not as a man normally walks on the ground. I moved without my feet touching the ground, it was as if I was sliding. The angels escorted me. The closer I approached the city, the more intense was the delight I experienced, from what I saw.

There were very high walls, which were multiple in number and of various colors. There were 12 colors in all, which radiated and shone like a bright light. (Later on, after my resurrection, when I studied the 21-22 chapter of the book of Revelations in the Bible, I found a confirmation of what I had seen). I saw the foundation of the city, which was made up of 12 precious stones of this world. I saw a pearl gate, three on each wall. The pearl gate was very big, higher than two meters. I didn’t measure them, but one pearl was larger than two meters, in my opinion. I saw only six gates, because the Lord led me into the city through one of its corners. I saw the two sides of the cube. Then the Lord led me through one of the gates into the city, as we passed through them, I saw two inscriptions. One of them was above the gate and the second was under the gate. One of the names of the tribes of Israel was written above the gate, and under it the name of an Apostle was written. Unfortunately I do not know which gate the Lord led me through, into the New Jerusalem, but now I would like to know that.

When I entered into the city through the gates, I stood still in admiration: The city was made completely of gold. The gold was so pure and I had never seen such brilliance before. I had seen how brightly gold articles in a jeweller’s store shone, but this was not comparable, to what I saw at that moment. Gold streets, houses of gold, gold doors – everything was made of gold, transparent like glass. I could never have imagined that gold could appear transparent and so pure. I read about this in God’s word, but I could not really imagine it, to me this issue was concealed. I just couldn’t imagine how a hard metal could be transparent. Now that I saw it, I just wanted to touch it. I touched the walls, I entered some houses and scrutinized everything. I did not ask the angels, where I was to go from here. I seemed to know the way. I was overcome with such a feeling as if I was in a place of my own.

As I continued my way further into the city, close to the center, I saw a large tree in one spot. The tree had pear-shaped fruit on it. The size of the fruit was about the size of two average sized fists put together. The leaves on it reminded me of the leaves of a lime tree, only they were larger and like leaves of burdock. When I got near the tree, I wanted to take a fruit from it and began to reach for one. Suddenly with enthusiasm, I was surprised that the hand that I stretched out, was not like an ordinary hand, it was transparent. When I was about to pluck a fruit, the angel who stood a little distance behind me, on my right side, stretched out his hand and stopped me. Gesticulating with his finger, he told me that for now, I shouldn’t pluck the fruit. Then something I didn’t expect took place: Without any form of regret, disappointment from the angel’s action, I left the tree. Generally speaking, within the city, I never experienced any kind of discomfort, or disorder.

When I left the tree, I saw an extraordinary bright light at the center of the city. It was very interesting that I didn’t see any shadow not from the trees and not from the houses. There were no shadows there and neither were there any lamps. I didn’t see the sun nor any object that gave light, but the light was extraordinary bright and so pleasant to the eyes, to the extent that I was so delighted beyond measure. I cannot adequately describe in words, the extra unusual condition of my soul…

When I saw the center of the illumination, I bowed my head and felt an overwhelming urge to bow my knees. But the angel supported me and I heard a voice, “ My son, I have shown you all that is necessary for you at this time, and you should return now, to declare My Glory, power and dominion, to declare all that you have seen and heard”. Then I began to pray and implore the Lord, asking Him to let me remain there, where I was. I cried, “Lord I don’t want to return”. But the Lord said, “You have a wife, and three children. You have to return to them, for it is not time for you to be here yet”. Then again I began to implore the Lord, ”Lord, I don’t want to return. Allow me to remain with beside You”. But the Lord said to me,” My Son, be meek and self-controlled, do not murmur, go back. You have to declare My Glory”.

 

5. Panic among the hospital staff.

 

BORIS: In the blink of an eye, I moved in space over such a distance, that I saw the earth to which I was now approaching. As I approached I saw the next scene: My body was being taken by the hospital staff on a stretcher to a room where bodies of people were kept. Some of the bodies had incisions made on them. I understood they were taking me to the morgue. In other words, looking from above, I only saw how they were taking me, I didn’t see precisely that they were taking me, because the body was covered with a cloth, only the feet could be seen. When I saw my weeping wife accompanying the stretcher, I understood I was the one being taken. One of the hospital staff was comforting her, trying to tell her not to grieve over the incident and tried to prevent her from entering the room where they were taking the body on the stretcher. I saw this as if from above. I understood that I was brought to the morgue. When the doors ahead of my wife were closed and the stretcher with my body on it was already in the room, people began to move away. These were the orderlies and nursing sisters who brought me to the morgue, who were comforting my wife.

When I saw all this, I felt a clap or more precisely a jolt and immediately, I entered into my body. At that instance, I felt the blowing of wind, an enormous force, which flung the doors, through which my body was brought in, open. This force tore the doors off their hinges and they dropped to the floor and the force pushed the trolley with the body out of the morgue. After this I got up. The upper part of my body sat up on the trolley and the cloth fell off my body. The orderly slipping along the sides of the wall, fell and so did the nursing sister as well. Both of them lay there in a state of terror. Another nursing sister came and when she saw me sitting up, went into state of shock. The same supernatural power made the trolley on which I sat, to stand up right, vertically, and I stood vertically on the ground with my feet. Then the trolley fell to its normal position and rolled back in to the morgue.

I wanted to go but could not. My body did not respond. I experienced such a feeling, as if I was not in my own body. Then I began to pray, because my senses were returning to normal. I saw everything, I recognized everything, I heard everything, but I did not recognize the voice I heard, it drawled. The feeling was as if an audio tape was playing at a slower speed than normal. At that instant, I began to call upon the Lord, for the Lord gave me strength to walk. When I finished praying, I felt a great outpouring of energy. I felt as if the hairs on my head were falling off and a thousand needles pricked my forehead. I received such an outpouring of energy, that I felt as if my feet were in asphalt. I felt warmth and a great power, from my head to my feet. I began to walk as the Holy Spirit led me, in the direction of the doctor’s room, where all the doctors were seated. Unconsciously I had perfect orientation of the hospital’s layout, seen as I had been here on several occasions as a serviceman.

My wife fell down on her knees, thanking the Lord, because he had resurrected me to life. When she came to herself, she took a cloth and ran after me, to cover my nakedness, because I was completely naked. As I continued walking on, the hospital staff all ran in various directions screaming out. Some of them fell down, while others shut themselves in the wards. My wife caught up with me just as I was approaching the doctors room and wrapped the cloth about me. I reached the doctors room and with a gentle push, opened the door of the room. Later on, I Learned that the room was locked with a key by the doctors, and cupboards were placed behind the door from the inside to prevent entry into the room. The door opened before me with such ease. The power of the Lord opened that door.

When I entered the room, some of the hospital staff were in a state of terror, while in the corner, other staff were frantically shouting out, “who are you, what do you want from us? Let us alone!”

I calmed them down and said, “Don’t be afraid, give me some clothes.” Looking in their faces, I saw they were stone cold with fear and indescribable horror, I understood there was no sense in explaining my resurrection to these poor doctors frightened to death. Whatever I would have told them, all the same they wouldn’t listen to me. The only thing they could hear was the pounding of their hearts. I repeated, “Give me my clothes and I’ll go home”. The doctors allowed me to leave quickly, because they were in such a state of terror because of my presence. When I came out of the doctors room, I stood a while in the corridor and surprisingly, my first four steps left something like a print of water behind, although I was completely dry and the cloth about me was also dry! I dressed up. My wife called a car on the phone, and we went home.

 

INTERVIEWER: - Boris, I can imagine the panic and shock of the doctors, when they saw you. What they saw, definitely did not conform with the training they underwent in medical school or with what they came across in their medical practice. It’s clear that it wasn’t death that scared them, because they encounter that everyday. Your resurrection back to life is simply not comprehensible to the human mind. It’s a fact and everyone knows that blood clots in a closed space of the brain, couldn’t possible go anywhere and what more considering the degree of the haemorrhage – 95%. There couldn’t possibly have been any mistake. After a futile struggle to save your life, your death was confirmed. All the medical equipment connected to your body, confirmed this fact. You were dead in their presence long enough, about 2 hrs and 30 minutes. After that you were taken to the morgue . The irreversible process in the central nervous system had long taken place. And it turned out that the dead man, didn’t just breath, but walked in on his feet and even spoke normally. In actual fact, doctors understand how difficult and how much time is needed in reanimation, for a patient to recover, who has suffered from brain haemorrhage. The doctors did not expect such a miracle.

And what more, the resurrection was accompanied with such power of the Holy Ghost, to the extent that the doors were torn from their hinges and they fell to the ground with such a noise. The trolley rolled out of the morgue, over turned and then rolled back into the morgue. All this happened in the presence of the medical staff. The news of your resurrection had already preceded you. The doctors had already locked themselves in the doctors room and barricaded the door. The door being opened by the power of the Holy Ghost was something they just could not comprehend. They were in such a state of fear. The events that took place were just too incredible for the normal human mind to comprehend…

 

6. Stunned co-workers.

 

INTERVIEWER: And so, we stopped at the point where you were going home in a car. What happened next?

BORIS: I was on my way, in complete health in the front seat of the car. Along the road, within our district, we happened to drive up to a road warden, a vehicle inspection officer, with whom I incidentally happened to work with. When he saw me, he slumped to the ground. He sat on the ground for a long time stunned. My wife asked me to get out and tell him, “everything is OK, and that I am alive”. I said, “I won’t do that, because, he may end up dying out of fear”.

The driver that drove us had to drive into town for some personal matters, he quickly attended to them. We continued our journey into the village, and a police officer, whom we happened to drive past in his car, increased his speed and caught up with us, in order to get a better look at me, to make sure I was really the one. Seeing me he took off his cap, wiped away the sweat from his face, shrugged his shoulders and drove on ahead.

After I arrived home, literally speaking, within thirty minutes my superior officer came to my house to find out if I was really alive or the police officer who met us along the way was out of his mind. They just couldn’t believe that after all that had taken place, I was not only in reanimation, but also in complete health at home. They couldn’t understand this. When I went out to greet them, they were afraid and began to step back, as if they had seen a ghost. I asked them to have a seat and began to speak to them about my resurrection. They began to nod their heads, but their faces revealed so much fright, that everything I told them, they didn’t believe a word, they didn’t even listen to all that I said. They tried as fast as possible to leave, so that they wouldn’t be around me for long.

The next day when I arrived to work, my superior officer didn’t allow me to commence my duties. He said:

“I cannot allow you to work, because after brain haemorrhage and other similar sicknesses, that the doctor’s discovered in you, you ought to have been categorized as an invalid. Considering your death and mysterious resurrection…”

“But do you believe your eyes?” – I asked him.

“I believe”, he said.

“Can you hear me?”

“I can hear you”, he replied.

“Can you see me?” – I continued to ask.

“I can see you” - he said.

“Then pinch me, perhaps you don’t see me well. I am as healthy as you” – I said to him.

“That’s impossible”, he said.

 

7. Deductions by the Medical Committee – Completely healthy. May carry on service.

 

INTERVIEWER: - Boris, you talked about the reaction of your colleagues. But what about the doctors?

BORIS: - Yes, for two weeks, 15 different medical committees carried out medical checks on me, to determine if I could remain in service. The doctor’s wanted to prove, that at least some side effects should exist. And that it was impossible that everything should just vanish away without a trace. But in all their x-rays and their investigations, testified of complete health only.

A team of doctors, mainly psychiatrists and neuro-pathalogists, came to a common opinion, that I am absolutely well, that I could be admitted on a team of Astronauts. I was allowed to continue my duties as a duty officer in the district police office.

The doctors came to a conclusion, that I am well, however up to this moment in time, all of them are in a state of confusion. As the medical committee was carrying out their duties and the doctors affirmed that I was completely well, they didn’t believe their eyes. Some of them said that if they hadn’t personally fixed the diagnosis, based on the x-rays, cardiographs and many other investigations, they wouldn’t have believed it. How could blood clots, within the brain disappear by themselves without any surgical procedures?

The doctors asked me to keep silent about all this, or else people would think I was crazy. But I know that every lie is a sin, as it is written in God’s word, that all liars will have their part in the lake that burns with fire…”, and that they will not inherit the Kingdom of God. I told the doctors: “For the very reason I stand on the earth, after all that has happened to me, doesn’t give me the right to remain silent. For as it is written in God’s Word, that if you remain silent, than “stones will sing out”. They replied: “Well, that’s your own business. We will not record your resurrection”.

But the doctors that treated me, passed the diagnosis and later certified death all repented. They all accepted the Lord Jesus as Savior.

I would like to say something in addition, that God doesn’t only resurrect a person, in order to leave him crippled. He resurrected me to life and gave me complete healing.

I affirm this statement that God – is not an abstract being. He is a personality, who spoke with me. He is real and heaven is real.

 

From: http://www.word-of-faith-ch.org/

 

 

Conclusion

 

Brothers in the Lord, rejoice and be exceedingly glad because when you die, if you will be found faithful, you will leave this world and go to a far better place, where you will be in the presence of God and of His Son, and you will praise them continually. In heaven there is fullness of joy and of peace, there is no crying, no affliction, and no pain. The glory of God gives light to everybody and to everything, and everything is glorious and majestic.

However, besides rejoicing, you must also speak to one another about this marvellous place, that is, the heavenly paradise, in order to comfort one another. And do not forget to show sinners the way to heaven so that they may come to their senses and begin to walk in it.

One last thing, brothers; as I said before, you will go to heaven if you are found faithful: that is something you should keep always in mind lest you deceive yourselves or be deceived by the devil. For Jesus said to His disciples: “But he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13 – NIV), and also: “By standing firm you will save yourselves” (Luke 21:19 – NIV). Therefore, you must believe in the name of the Son of God to the end in order to enter the heavenly kingdom.

Anyone who draws back will go to perdition, that is to say, he will go down into the fire of hell where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth; his soul will not be taken into glory, but it will be brought down to hell. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, it is better to fall into the hands of men than to fall into the hands of our great God (that is to say, it is better for us to be seized by men, beaten, put in prison, tortured and put to death by them for Christ’s sake, than to be punished by God with everlasting perdition for apostasy), who is called the Fear of Isaac and the One to be feared.

Therefore, let the fear of God be with you all the days of your life, brothers; let it be before your eyes day and night. Love God to the end and He will save you from the fire of hell and He will bring you safely to His Kingdom. So there you will meet all the saints who fought the good fight and kept the faith to the end. Stand firm in the faith; be zealous for the cause of the Gospel, and be rich in good works. Pray without ceasing.

 

 

Footnotes

 

1] Giovanni Diodati (1576-1649) was an Italian Bible Scholar, who translated the Bible into Italian. The Italian Bible Diodati is very similar to the King James Version for it is based on the Text Receptus. This Bible Version is still used by many believers.

 

2] In the King James Version as well as in the New International Version, the Hebrew word Sheol is translated ‘grave’ in 1 Kings 2:6, Job 7:9, and Isaiah 38:18. While in the New King James Version the word Sheol of Isaiah 38:18 was not translated, for we read: “For Sheol cannot thank You”.

 

3] In the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (New York 1995), the Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary defines Sheol in this way: ‘Hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat), includ. its accessories and inmates: - grave, hell, pit’ (page 135), while the Greek Dictionary of the New Testament defines hades in this way: ‘Hades’ or the place (state) of departed souls: - grave, hell’ (page 2).

 

4] In the Old Testament of the King James Version, too, the word Sheol is translated ‘hell’ many times (31). In Psalm 9:17, Job 26:6 and Proverbs 7:27 Sheol is translated ‘hell’. In the New Testament the equivalent Greek word Hades is translated ‘hell’ ten times (see Matthew 11:23; 16:18, Luke 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27; 2:31, Revelation 1:18; 6:8; 20:13; 20:14), while once it is translated ‘grave’ (1 Corinthians 15:55).

In the Old Testament of the New King James Version the word Sheol is translated ‘hell’ 18 times. In Psalm 9:17 and in Proverbs 7:27 Sheol is translated ‘hell’ (while in Job 26:6 and in many other verses it is left in its untranslated Hebrew form). In the New Testament the equivalent Greek word Hades is left in its untranslated Greek form: see Matthew 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27,31; 1 Corinthians 15:55; Revelation 1:18; 6:8; 20:13,14.

As for the Old Testament of the New International Version, it must be said that unfortunately the word Sheol is never translated ‘hell’. Most of the times it is translated ‘grave’. And this is a bad thing which was done by the Bible translators of this Bible for there are various verses – for instance Psalm 9:17, Job 26:6, Isaiah 14:9 - in which the word sheol must be translated ‘hell’ or ‘abode of the dead’ and cannot be translated ‘grave’ or ‘death’. As for the New Testament of the NIV, the word Hades is translated ‘the depths’ in Matthew 11:23 and Luke 10:15; ‘grave’ in Acts 2:37 and 2:31; ‘hell’ in Luke 16:23; ‘death’ in 1 Corinthians 15:55; while it is left in its untranslated Greek form in the following verses: Matthew 16:18; Revelation 1:18; 6:8;20:13,14. The word Hades in Matthew 11:23 and Luke 10:15, and Acts 2:37 and 2:31 should not have been translated in that way.

 

5] Giovanni Luzzi (1856-1948) was a Bible Scholar. In 1906 the British Bible Society appointed him Chief Reviser of a Committee whose task was to revise the Italian Bible Diodati Version. The Luzzi Version therefore is a Revised version of the Bible translated by Giovanni Diodati. We call this Bible ‘La Versione Luzzi’ that is, ‘the Luzzi Version’ or simply ‘la Versione Riveduta’, that is, ‘the Revised Version’. It must be said, however, that many passages of the New Testament of the ‘Revised Version’ are very similar to the New Testament of the New International Version for the Committee based the revision also on the ‘Critical Text’.

 

6] I want you to know that I don’t accept every thing that Kenneth Hagin writes in his book I Believe in Visions (for example, I don’t accept the fact that he says that angels are waiting for our commands). Furthermore, I don’t accept several things he teaches on prosperity and health, for I reject the so called ‘prosperity message’, and I don’t accept his ‘holy laughter’ for I consider it a carnal and diabolic manifestation. There are other teachings taught by Hagin that I reject (such as the one which says that Jesus tasted spiritual death and the one which says that He was born again in hell). Of course, the fact that at a certain point of his life Kenneth Hagin accepted strange and diabolical teachings did not bring him honor nor did it bring praise to God, for I firmly believe that his false teachings have discredited seriously his ministry. However, I firmly believe that what he says about his death-experience is true and cannot be refuted at all, because it is confirmed by the Scripture.

 

 

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