The 24 Doctrines of the Bible
Heaven and Hell
Heaven is a wonderful place and most people would like to go there. Hell is just the opposite.
There are three heavens mentioned in the Bible and they are:
- The Atmosphere.
- Outer Space.
- Heaven Ė where Godís Throne is.
- The atmosphere or firmament.
It extends from the earthís surface to approximately a hundred and twenty miles above the earth.
It is referred to in the Bible as the place where birds fly.
"And God said, let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven."
- Outer Space.
It extends beyond the earthís atmosphere and is where God placed the sun, moon and stars. God called it the firmament of heaven.
"And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth."
It is the place where God has set His Throne and Heavenly Kingdom.
Paul refers to this place as Paradise or the third Heaven and it is beyond the universe.
2 Corinthians 12:2-4
"I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, such a one caught up to the third heaven. Caught up into Paradise."
"I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:"
It is described as a place that is somewhere in the north beyond the first and second heaven.
"For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south."
This could be a symbolical reason why the compass always points to the north.
It is this Heaven that God inhabits.
"To Him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens."
Heaven is Godís dwelling place.
There are six things about Heaven we should know:
- The focal point of Heaven is the Throne of God.
This is what Isaiah saw:
"I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim's: And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."
God's awesome presence emanates from the Throne.
John the revelator describes this.
"Behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind."
God's Throne has eternal dimensions and is surrounded by breathtaking beauty. This boundless Heavenly domain include Palaces, Temples, Celebration Places, Banquet Halls and indescribably beautiful Mansions.
There are beautiful restful meadows, fountains, streams and lush green fields. The sweet smelling forests are filled with the playful sounds of chirping birds, critters, friendly animals and the abundance of delicious fruits and berries.
Heaven is an abode beyond description, for the eternal pleasure and enjoyment of the Saints.
- Heaven has a magnificent Temple:
"And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament:"
Jesus our High Priest entered into this Temple to offer His precious blood for the remission and cleansing of all sin.
"For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:"
It is here where all overcoming Christians will live.
"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out:"
It is here where the Saints of God will participate in holy Priesthood.
"And hast made us unto our God ... priests:"
- There is also a Judgment Hall or Courtroom in Heaven.
In this Courtroom God litigates and executes His judgment.
It is here where satan comes to accuse Christians.
"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them."
It is in this Heavenly Courtroom that Jesus Christ the righteous Advocate, appears on behalf and in defense of all Christians.
1 John 2:1
"And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:"
Jesus is fully qualified and capable of successfully defending every Christian. The basis of all of Gods judgments are upon the Word of God and Righteousness. Jesus is the "Word of God" and "total righteousness."
- There are beautiful Mansions in Heaven for Christians.
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."
John describes this magnificent city and its buildings.
"And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass."
These mansions by far exceed all our expectations in their design, construction, furnishings, decorations, creativity, comfort and exclusive tastes.
- The culture of Heaven is of noblest order.
Godís children are part of the Heavenly Family. There is a restful and peaceful atmosphere there.
Joy and happiness never ends. Everything is pure and perfect. All needs and desires are satisfied. Feasts and Celebrations are unforgettable events.
The presence of Jesus is always longed for and sought after by the Saints.
The Saints attend events dressed in their pure white garments and wear their glorious crowns.
1 Corinthians 2:9
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him."
This Heavenly glory will never end.
- Heaven is an after death destination for those who are children of God.
2 Corinthians 5:1-8
"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
Entrance into Heaven, is by invitation of Jesus Christ only.
"His lord said unto him; Well done, thou good and faithful servant: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
There are three Hell's mentioned in the Bible and they are:
- Sheol / Hades
Be sure to escape this future horrific judgment upon all sinners.
- Sheol / Hades:
The word "Sheol" in Hebrew is equivalent to "Hades" in Greek. It means the place where the souls of the dead are kept after death.
"Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."
In the Old Testament, when someone died, they went to Sheol/Hades to be kept until the day of Judgment. This place is divided into two compartments and separated by a gulf or bottomless pit. It is in the heart of the earth. On the one side the righteous were kept and on the other side the unrighteous.
Jesus told a true story of two men that were kept in Sheol.
Luke 16: 20-26
"And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of 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 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."
After Jesus died on the cross he descended into Sheol/Hades.
"Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things."
Sheol is within the earth and Jesus descended to it. Jesus actually preached to everyone in Sheol. These were the souls of those who had died up until that point in time.
They were held captive by satan.
1 Peter 3:18-19
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;"
Here Jesus actually overcame and defeated satan and his kingdom, taking the keys of death and hell from him.
"I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
"And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
At the Resurrection of Jesus all the Old Testament Saints were resurrected with Him.
"And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."
These resurrected Saints were taken to Heaven by Jesus.
"Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things."
Since the time of Christ's resurrection, all saints who die go directly to Heaven.
2 Corinthians 5:8
"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
Until this day, all the ungodly who die go down to Sheol.
They are kept there until the Day of Judgment. When they die on earth they open their eyes in Sheol.
"And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments."
This is a place where Angels that have sinned are kept until the time of their Judgment.
2 Peter 2:4
"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;"
The Greek word "hell" mentioned here is "Tartarus". It means the place of keeping of fallen angels.
"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."
This place is the lake of fire that is mentioned in the Bible.
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
Jesus mentions Gehenna twenty-two times in the Gospels. He does not debate its existence. He confirms it.
"And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire."
"But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."
The Greek word for "fire" is "Puros" and means real burning fire.
It is a sulphuric, brimstone type of fire and is much more intense in heat, than regular fire. It is like the fire that fell down on Sodom and Gomorrah.
Sheol is beneath the earthís crust at the volcanic lava-boiling center of the earth. Gehenna is much worse. It is the lake of fire that is called the second death.
"The lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
Hell is a place of intense pain, suffering, gross darkness and eternal isolation from God.
"But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
It is an everlasting experience of rotting, smelling flesh, worms gnawing and penetrating the body.
Isaiah describes this:
"And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."
Those whose names are not found written in the Book of life are destined for Gehenna.
At the White Throne Judgment of God they will be cast into Gehenna.
"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
These are those whose lives are contaminated with sin. Men and women, who reject the gentle conviction of the Holy Spirit to save them. They refuse to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and continue serving satan. The devil and all those who follow him will be cast into the lake of fire and they will be tormented forever.
"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever."
If possible try to rescue all those that are heading for the lake of fire.
"And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish."