Corrections, Retractions, & Appendices
By: Martin Cisneros
The word "Gehenna" that’s mistranslated as "Hell" by "The Authorized Version" is always related to false teachers and false teachings that bring harm to both body and soul. It is secondarily used with regards to the "Hell" that is unleashed by the undiscerning in the usage of their tongue in normal everyday affairs so that the "doctrine" of their lives points their own lives in the direction of setting aflame every sinful and cursing passion. This word is never used with regards to the punishments inflicted by God for sin at any point in the New Testament. Furthermore, "Gehenna" which is the Valley of Hinnom is never once translated as "Hell" in any translation of the Old Testament that I’ve been able to find thus far. Each and every instance of the usage of the word "Gehenna" matches this definition, even with regards to a particular instance that’s often misinterpreted by translators to indicate that God would destroy body and soul in Gehenna, when Jesus was merely saying to people living in dangerous times that false teachers were more dangerous than terrorists. Fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in Gehenna should have never had a capital "H" inserted. Jesus immediately in that context affirmed God’s loving-kindness and tender mercies!
Hades is always a reference to the grave and is the New Testament equivalent to the Old Testament word "Sheol." Neither "Sheol" nor "Hades" are a place of torment or incarceration. They are simply the invisible state of the dead who have been buried, the removal of their consciousness from this world and it’s daily routine, etc.
Tartarus is used but once in the entire New Testament and simply indicates the spiritual state of those fallen angels prior to the day of judgment who have been cast out from the Presence of the Lord due to their manifold errors. It is spoken of in the New Testament as a place of hindrances that they are bound by until the day of judgment.
After years of indepth study, I’m thoroughly satisfied that there’s absolutely no such thing as a "Hell" of any kind. I’d genuinely stake my soul on this, that there’s no Biblical basis for any type of "Hell" whatsoever. Anything of the sort, were there such a thing, would be extra-Biblical revelation that would not only be extra-Biblical, but contrary to the express sentiments of the Scriptures where God takes no delight in the death of the wicked, where God declares that all souls are His, and that those who died through Adam will most assuredly be made alive in Christ.
I’d previously alluded to the possibility of sonship with God being forfeit as a result of missing out on the blessings of being a first-fruit of His creatures through Jesus Christ. However, I find absolutely no basis for this conclusion in the 82nd Psalm. I was previously aware of St. Paul’s statement in quoting the heathen poets while preaching on Mars Hill, in Acts 17, that absolutely all people were God’s offspring, but I was unable to discern at the time of my initial writing of my monologues on the Universal Restoration what kind of depth that St. Paul would have spoken with regarding that since he was quoting heathen poets to heathen. And, I was unsure as to whether or not he was speaking a truth that was "an eternal truth" where all people were concerned, or whether he was addressing an issue that would add to the torments of those either not elected for first-born grace or who had had the opportunity of embracing the Lordship of Jesus Christ but had side-stepped His Lordship of their lives in this life time.
However, upon reading the 82nd Psalm in the light of John chapter 10 and in the light of the Great Commission, together with the realization that from the first soul "saved" to the "last soul" presented to the Father through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ – they would all be saved by the Blood, Merits, and Mediation of Jesus Christ. And although God’s actions might change with respect to time and the outworking of His principles in different contexts, His Heart would never change, His gifts and callings are without repentance, and the eternal principle that though previously stated in a crude manner was nonetheless a truth for all time is that "God has no grandchildren."
I aimed much of this presentation towards those of Arminian and Calvinistic theological backgrounds who would view God as eagerly destroying body and soul in Hell. Therefore, to sensitive souls I may have appeared to relish heaping up within my presentation additional spiritual abuse for those who are hurting. It is regretful that some may have found my presentation gratuitously violent and slanderous of our heavenly Father. However, I still believe it was a necessary manner of presentation for those who yet view the mercies of our heavenly Father – any of His mercies – through a very, very dark glass, indeed.
I hope that within this presentation that I mentioned a satisfactory resolution to the word "punishment" that’s used in Hebrews chapter 10 within this presentation. If I didn’t, then it’s related to another word used in the book of Acts that was translated as "persecution." The book of Hebrews takes up where the book of Galatians leaves off. The Dakes study Bible has even asserted that it’s the second half of the book of Galatians, if I remember right. This [perhaps] being the case, then those who are trodding under foot the blood of the son of God and are deserving of much greater punishment than those who died in the wilderness are those who are attempting to mix the Mosaic law with the New Covenant system of grace, whether as benignly as through the promotion of the Ten Commandments which are declared to be voided Old Covenant condemnation by the Spirit in 2Corinthians 3, or whether you’re talking about those trying to combine circumcision with obedience to Christ as if it were a necessary step towards salvation. The Hebrews 10 promise of more severe punishment is with regards to religious persecution in this life, broken fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and countless other factors that don’t require banishment into the flames of a mythological Hell.
I’m not stating a belief that the book of Hebrews is the second portion of the book of Galatians that at some point and for some unknown reason was torn off from the main letter with perhaps another destination in mind. It’s a novel theory that has a few things in it’s favor with regards to the contents of both Galatians and Hebrews, but I’m leery of study notes that aren’t corroborated by other scholars than whomever the Dakes study Bible is following in that observation. I personally draw a line on the difference between a point of view and an unverifiable statement about the origins of a document. The book of Hebrews is shrouded in so much mystery as to who it’s original author actually was (the theories ranging from Paul to Apollos, to Barnabas, to Priscilla), that any theory that seems to explain the mystery at first sounds credible until opposing theories are heard out. However, such speculations without hard evidence easily feeds into additional traditions of the elders that are treated as if they were as divinely inspired as the Scriptures themselves, when nothing could be further from the truth.
I believe that the judgment passage of 2Corinthians chapter 5, all of the way through the rest of that chapter, should be diligently compared with Revelation chapter 20’s "White Throne Judgment" and the reading of the Scroll of Life. 2Corinthians 5 ends with a new creation, while the next passage after the "White Throne Judgment" is a new creation passage. The similarities are particularly striking in your more literal translations, such as the Concordant.
I’m being haunted by Mark chapter 4 with regards to finding the particular Scriptural keys to how God reclaims those who’ve died in an unrepentant state.
One thing that there should be absolutely no question about is the call to repentance for the nations. Repentance isn’t limited to the nation of Israel. Paul in Acts 17 preached a message commanding the repentance of men, indicating that the call to repentance was universal and obligatory. Acts 17:30-31 says that "Truly, these times of ignorance God has overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man Whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." It’s a specific day, a specific Man, a specific righteousness that the world will be judged in, and repentance is very specific rather than hypothetical or allegorical.
I’m treading very, very softly with the full fear of the Lord, not willing to be wrong about anything KNOWING that those of us who teach the Word will be judged the more severely for the lives of those that were patterned after our example. A less than a totally gratifying resurrection does completely terrify me and nothing within my system of interpretation sets any of those particulars aside. I’m simply endeavoring with all of my heart to rightly divide the Word of Truth and to place the emphasis and the fear where the Bible places it. The Bible indicates something fearful with regards to the resurrection and NOT with regards to the location of anyone in particular in the oncoming eons and in the eternities that are after 1Corinthians 15:28.
I do use the word "eternity" in the plural very advisedly based upon Biblical and scientific indications of extra-dimensionality in super-string theory and other areas of knowledge that indicate a very interesting multidimensional reality that we’re each heirs of through Jesus Christ. "Ages of ages" and a few other statements of the Greek New Testament seem more and more daily as though they’re precise galactic coordinates that we’re traveling towards rather than merely compartmentalizations of time within which God is walking out each step of His redemptive plan by the faith of Jesus Christ.
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For the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies, and tell false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; they are in trouble because there is no shepherd. Zechariah 10:2
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