TABLE OF CONTENTS
PROFILES OF NETHERWORLD DESTINY
§ The Spiritual Law of Negative Destiny Progression
202. The biblical destiny progression of the damned proceeds from sin to death to hell/ Sheol to the Lake of Fire, being a progression of increasing distance and separation (enmity) from life in God. (Gen. 2:16-17 → (Rom. 5:12; 6:23; Jas. 1:15); → (Ps. 6:5; 18:5; 55:15; 116:3; Pr. 5:5; 7:27; 9:18; Is. 28:15,18; 38:18; Ezk. 31:17; Hos. 13:14; Hab. 2:5; Rev. 1:18; 6:8; 20:13) → Rev. 20:14-15). This progression is formulated in the manner of a spiritual law (Jas. 1:15). (Salvation as exposited by Paul intercepts this law of negative destiny progression only at its beginning point in terrestrial sin (see Rom. 5:15-21), past which the trajectory otherwise runs only oppositely to salvation. Paul’s exposition offers no other point of intercept further down the trajectory. If salvation intercepts the law of negative destiny progression only at its root point of sin, then an open-ended negative trajectory past that point only witnesses against any progressive plan of God toward an eventual universal salvation endpoint. This is akin to how the scientific law of universal energy loss (2nd Law of Thermodynamics) witnesses against the philosophy of natural evolution. Universalism is really a spiritual theory of “salvation evolution,” dependent on a sub-theory of “spontaneous salvation generation” somehow, some way out of the Lake of Fire, against the law of negative destiny progression. In this same vein, time forward is to Universalist philosophy what time backward is to Evolutionary philosophy: “given enough of time, anything can happen that you want to believe did or will happen.)
§ Fittedness of Destiny
203. Sin is not only an act committed in time, but a state of being (Ps. 51:5 (also Jn. 9:34)). Men do not just commit sin, but “are sinners” by nature (e.g., Lk. 5:32; 11:13; Rom. 5;18,19; Gal. 2:15; I Tim. 1:9,15; Heb. 7:26; 12:3) wherein the specific works of sin serve to establish the intrinsic nature of the sinner (e.g., II Pt. 2:22). (Consignment to hell and the Lake of Fire is not just about punishment for specific sins committed in time, but about fittedness of destiny for a given state of being—just as access to heaven is based on one’s declared state of having been “made the righteousness of God in Christ” (II Cor. 5:17), and not upon any number of righteous acts performed over a certain time. All works are only judged to prove the underlying state of being for determining final destiny. This counters the Universalist complaint that “the sentence of eternal death to punish finite sins is unfair.”)
204. God’s fairness is not measured according to comparative lengths of time served by people with respect to divine accountability (Mt. 20:1-15). (The modern western concept of penal justice based on timed prison sentences for time-definable patterns of bad or good behavior was unknown under the Mosaic Law and is irrelevant to the existential nature of sin and the spiritual bar by which God metes out justice. For similar complaint in regard to divine justice, see Psalm 73.)
205. All the righteous who were released from Sheol (Abraham’s bosom) at the time of Christ’s descent there were released at the same time (Eph. 4:8-9), not according to a time-release plan based on their generational placement or the length of their faith on earth. (If God based fairness in judging the dead on timing according to their mortal lives, then it was “unfair” for Christ to rescue the prisoners of Sheol (Abraham’s Bosom sector) all at the same time, some (like Abel) having been there thousands of years, others but days or hours. What applies to the redeemed applies to the non-redeemed. Consider that thousands of years have passed since the first soul was consigned to hell, and yet not one has yet “done enough time” to be “let out” under the “reforming” fires of hell, though none of them sinned on earth for more than a few centuries at most. Nor is there any evidence for a “time release” program out of the Lake of Fire. How “fair” is that? Thus by its own standard of “time fairness,” the doctrine of universal reconciliation fails to answer its own complaint. If “time served” is the basis of God’s justice, then nothing has been done fairly already regarding hell, and Universalists cannot justify any concept of hell, endless or otherwise. All this counters the Universalist complaint that to be fair, sins committed under finite time must only be punishable for a finite time.)
§ The Keys of Death and Hell
206. Christ obtained the keys of death and hell at His resurrection, such that, as death could not hold Him, so He gained the keys to release the Old Covenant captives from protective Sheol (Eph. 4:8) and has used those keys ever since to spiritually free men from imprisonment to the power of sin and death leading to hell (Rev. 1:18→ Ac. 2:24→ Jn. 8:34-35; Heb. 2:14-15; Rom. 6:18,22; 7:24-25;8:2; Gal. 5:1) as well as to lock hell shut for imprisoned spirits (II Pt. 2:4→9; Jude 6; Rev. 20:2-3) and to open hell up for releasing tormenting spirits on the earth (Rev. 9:1-11). (Christ’s declared possession of hell’s keys does not communicate that Jesus will one day unlock hell to release everyone or anyone consigned there. Hell will be further consigned to the Lake of Fire for which there are no keys. If the keys were for letting souls out of hell in the future, they would have to be used before the Lake of Fire (but won’t be) and they would already be in use (but aren’t) for releasing men who have done far more than their earthly life share of time there. No Universalist answer exists for Christ’s future-only use of the keys if they are for the purpose of letting already consigned souls out of hell. All this is beside the fact that the spirits locked there are being held until the Lake of Fire and that the prophets and psalms already said those in hell will never rise again to life or be found again. (Please see further below § A Profile of Hell (a.k.a. Sheol, the Pit, the Abyss, Point 209).))
§ The Place of Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth
207. The place of weeping and gnashing of teeth is a place outside the narrow door to salvation (Lk. 13:23-24) and to the kingdom of God (Lk. 13:28) devoid of the knowledge of God (Lk. 13:25,27) characterized as a fiery furnace (Mt. 13:42, 49-50) and outer darkness (Mt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30) into which angels toss and thrust (Mt. 13:41; 22:13) evil doers, the lawless and offenders in the kingdom (Lk. 13:27; Mt. 13:41), the profligate believers and hypocrites (Mt. 24:48-51), the useless, lazy, fearful, wicked believers (Mt. 25:25-26,30) and all who, failing soul righteousness, seek illegitimate entry to the kingdom (Mt. 22:10-13); being cut asunder from (Mt. 24:51) the righteous (Mt. 13:43) and the patriarchs dwelling inside the kingdom (Mt. 8:11) to be with the unbelievers (Lk. 12:46) answering to the Lake of Fire outside the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:15→21:8). (The place of weeping and gnashing of teeth is thus wholly non-redemptive, opposite and contrary to salvation, denying any purpose toward universal reconciliation after the final judgment.)
§ Consummation by Serpents / Worms
208. The consuming of human flesh (“dust”) by serpentine and wormlike creatures is presented as a non-redemptive action of corruption without distinction in both the terrestrial and netherworld domains from the Genesis 3 universal enmity decree through to hell and the Lake of Fire (Gen 3:14→19; Job 7:5; 17:13-16; 21:6; 24:20; Is. 14:11; 65:25; 66:24; Mk. 9:[44,46,]48; Ac. 12:23). (Therefore the Lake of Fire is a corrupt non-redemptive action upon the resurrected bodies of the damned, not a redemptive reformatory action.)
§ A Profile of Hell (a.k.a. Sheol, the Pit, the Abyss)
209. Hell is a place of perishing (Ezk. 26:17) and descent thereto is to perish (Num. 16:33) wherein those descended there “are no more,” “will never be found again” (Ezk 26:20-21; 28:19), are terminally “vanished” (Job 7:9) and “extinguished” so as they “cannot rise” or “come up--again” (Ezk. 32:7→Is. 43:17; Ps. 36:12→140:9-10; Job 7:9-10) and can never be “known anymore” either to their household or upon the earth (Job 7:10). (Thus any concept of salvation out from hell is completely barred, disproving any and all possibility of universal reconciliation.)
210. Hell is a place of worms (Job 17:13-14; Isa. 14:11), consuming drought and heat without water or habitation (Job 24:19; 31:12; Ps. 49:14; Lk. 16:24), being a smoking furnace (Rev. 9:2), yet also a place of darkness (Job 17:13-14; Ps. 88:6) from which those thereto consigned will never see light (Ps. 49:14→19). (The consuming nature of hell’s heat, its permanent darkness and its absence of water together with its subjection to corruption through worms precludes all consideration of hell as a place of redemptive transmutation of the soul unto life.)
211. Hell is a place of wrath (Ps. 88:6-7), terror (Ps. 116:3 (also 55:4-5); Ezk. 26:21), torment and agony (Lk. 16:23) and destruction (abaddon) (Job. 26:6; Ps. 55:23; Pr. 15:11; 27:20) under the keepership of one named the “Destroyer,” a non-redemptive personage (Rev. 9:11). (Therefore hell is not a place of redemptive purging.)
212. Hell is a place of banishment from the Lord’s Presence (Jon. 2:2→4 fig. with Mt. 25:46; II Th. 1:9; Mt. 7:23→Ps. 6:8), abandonment and forsakenness of those whom God remembers no more wherein its inhabitants are cut off from Him (Ps. 16:10; 88:5 (Ac. 2:27,31))—but not for the righteous (Ps. 16:8→10). (God’s permanent absence of memory in regard to hell’s inhabitants disproves any intent of universal reconciliation with the damned. Please review PART 7 § The Book of Life and the Divine Terminal Forgetfulness of the Wicked.)
213. No praise or thanksgiving emits to God from hell (Ps. 6:5; 88:10-12; 115:17; Is. 38:18), the dead there do not hear His voice, and He is silent to them (Ps. 28:1). (Therefore hell is not a place of purgative spiritual reformation or of conversion by any “spirit-preaching” of the gospel there from which salvation may eventually emit.)
214. Hell is a wasted place of nothingness (Ezk. 26:20; Isa. 38:17) of shame and disgrace (Ps. 31:17; Ezk. 32:24-25, 30) and of lament (Ezk. 31:15 with Heb. 12:17). (No redemptive quality accompanies this description. Lament is repentance to no avail. Wasted nothingness indicates that nothing redemptive exists or occurs from within hell.)
215. Hell is the place of all who are outside the Abrahamic covenant of circumcision (Ezk.28:10; 32:21, 24-30, 32). (Based on the New Covenant understanding that circumcision is spiritual together with the fact that those consigned to hell are there for not having been so circumcised, indicating that circumcision is only a terrestrially executed rite, hell is therefore only a place of consequence, and not a reformatory place wherein such terrestrial circumcision can be replicated, a replication for which no evidence exists.)
216. Hell is the place where the wicked remain as perished, destroyed, ruined and blotted out from memory in perpetuity (Ps. 9:3-6→17).
217. Hellfire is the origination source for evil speaking in the mortal realm (Jas. 3:6). (Therefore the fire of hell is not a source of spiritual purifying.)
218. Death and Hell are powers that have sway on earth to kill entire populations (Rev. 6:8) and to spread destruction upon the earth (Rev. 9:2-11) oppositely to the redemptive action of Christ, which destructive works He was revealed on earth to destroy (see Jn.10:10 with I Jn. 3:8; Rev. 11:18). (Inasmuch as the power of hell exists on earth only in non-redemptive destructive form contrary to that of Christ, the native power of hell within the abyss can therefore only be to non-redemptive destruction, and therefore hell has no capacity to reform any soul consigned to its power, nor does scripture document any revelation of Christ to destroy hell in a way other than to terminally cast it into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:14).)
§ A Profile of the Lake of Fire (a.k.a. Gehenna)
219. The Lake of Fire is destruction (Dan 7:11 (Rev. 17:8,11→19:20)); and annihilation is destruction (Dan. 7:26; Est. 3:13; 7:4; 8:11), and destruction is a conclusive / consummational “end” (Aram. “cowph” Dan. 7:26. Compare Dan. 6:26 – in which the “end” state of God’s kingdom is dominion, un-destruction, endurance to time out of view). (Thus the Lake of Fire is wholly non-redemptive. Anything destroyed there only comes to eventual termination of existence.)
220. Styled as the “Second Death,” sentencing to the Lake of Fire is the last judicial event of the present cosmos and of scripture itself, into which Death and hell are finally cast, fulfilling the outside meaning of the abolition of Death. (Rev. 21:8; 20:14 → I Cor. 15:26). (As the last judicial event, the Second Death has no other destinal meaning than that of death in the form of slow destructive annihilation.)
221. The Lake of Fire was originally prepared for “the devil and his angels” (Mt. 25:41) whose identity as “adversary” remains never changed and for whom no help of reconciling atonement was ever made (Heb. 2:16), wherein Lucifer is judicially sentenced to “cease to be” by means of incineration. (Ezk. 28:18-19 → Rev. 20:10). (Thus annihilation, not reconciliation, is the terminal destiny intent of the design and effect of the Lake of Fire.)
222. The Lake of Fire is a place of terrifying, furious banishment for the accursed (Mt. 25:41; Heb. 10:27,31) wherein worms feed upon the bodies therein (just as in hell) (Is. 66:24; Mk. 9:48). (All these terms are anti-reconciliatory without mercy or redemptive objective, precluding any possibility of universally reconciliatory intent for the Lake of Fire. That they remain accursed reveals that Christ’s vicarious “becoming a curse” did not avail for them.)
223. The Lake of Fire is for the lawless, cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, the immoral, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars (Mt. 13:41; Rev. 21:8) all of whom are considered “adversaries” (enemies) (Heb. 10:27). (The failure to demonstrate any identity change of the enemies consigned to the Lake of Fire from their state of adversity proves that the Lake of Fire is terminal in its effect, and that universal reconciliation is nowhere scripturally in view.)
224. Those cast into the Lake of Fire are likened to bad trees (Mt. 3:10; 7:19); chaff (Mt. 3:12), tares (Mt. 13:40), branches (Jn. 15:6) and thorns and thistles (Heb. 6:8) which consumes its entrants as unquenchable fire parallel to the incineration of satan to ashes (Heb. 10:27 → Ezk. 28:18-19). (The typology of the burning of plant life indicates that no pruning or refining is in view resulting from the Lake of Fire, only incineration. Please review PART 8 § The Dynamics of Fire as Redemptive Refining and Non-Redemptive Burning.)
225. The punishment of the Lake of Fire is prefigured by the complete earthside incineration of Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 7).
226. The Lake of Fire is an open-ended, thus terminal, judicial sentence predicated on a judicial trial of a judicial record (Rev. 20:11-15). (No judicial limitation is put on the sentence to indicate it having a termination as would be required of a judicial decree. No record of any further judicial decree, other judicial record or later judicial tribunal exists to provide any basis for a rehearing for a commutation of sentence whereby all the damned 1) may be forgiven, 2) may be declared righteous by some profession of repentance and faith evoked from them after sentencing, 3) may be born again with new “aiónios life,” 4) may have any robe of theirs (if they even have one there!) washed in the blood of the Lamb, or 5) may have their name written (back) into the Book of Life.)
227. The Lake of Fire is a place of age-enduring torment and extended wrath lasting day and night to the ages of the ages (Mt. 18:8; 25:41; Jude 7; Rev. 14:10-11; 20:10) the smoke of whose unquenchability will for the duration of the new heavens and earth (the second cosmos) be beheld at a distance by the angels, the Lamb and all the worshipping earth (Rev. 14:10; Is. 66:22-24; Mk. 9:43,48). (The second cosmos never comes to termination though it is demarked by day and night. Contrary to Universalist presumption therefore, time has no end, and so neither does the Lake of Fire. Please review PART 6 - TIME THROUGHOUT THE COSMOLOGICAL DOMAINS.)
228. By inference, the Lake of Fire consumes forth from God’s own fiery being (Heb. 10:27→12:29; cf. Lev. 10:2 / Num. 16:35; Ps. 68:2; II Th. 1:9 JUB/YLT).
229. The man of sin and the power of death are both terminally ended / abolished (“katargeo”) in the Lake of Fire (II Th. 2:8; I Cor. 15:26 → Rev. 19:20; 20:14).
230. The Lake of Fire parallels and appears to ultimately subsume the fiery dissolution (passing away) of the first cosmos (II Pt. 3:7,10-11→Rev. 20:11,14-15).
231. God does not answer the cry of the wicked for salvation under His terminal destruction (Ps. 18:37-42; also Job 27:9→20-21) but they are instead silenced in hell (Ps. 31:17).
Proceed to PART 11