Hell Fire: Eternal Torment?

It is Yahuwah’s plan to isolate sin and blot it out of existence for all time. Hell was originally prepared for the devil and his angels, and all those who join the devil in this life will also join him in hell.  “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15. “For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be . . . The enemies of Yahuwah ... shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.” Psalm 37:10, 20.

Satan originated the doctrine of eternal torment to lead men to rebel and hate an Eloah who delights in the sufferings of His creatures. The doctrine of eternal torment has led many to disbelieve the Bible.

Destroying sinners is foreign to Yahuwah’s nature, “As I live, saith the Sovereign Yahuwah, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” Ezekiel 33:11. “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.” Luke 9:56. “For Yahuwah shall rise up ... that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.” Isaiah 28:21.

Eternal hell fire is revolting to our sense of justice and every emotion of love and mercy. How could the wicked dead suffer torture with fire and brimstone eternally as long as Yahuwah shall live for the sins of a brief earthly life? Where, in the pages of Yahuwah's word, is such teaching to be found? 

“The wages of sin is death; but the gift of Yahuwah is eternal life through Yahushua the Anointed, our Master.” Romans 6:23. “Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:15. “Yahuwah ... gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. The wages, or punishment, for sin is death, not everlasting life in hell fire. The wicked “perish,” or receive “death.” The righteous receive “everlasting life.”

Hell does not yet exist and when it exists, it will not be forever. Unrepentant sinners will experience hell fire at the end of the world. “So shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire.” Matthew 13:40-42. “The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” John 12:48. They went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from Yahuwah out of heaven, and devoured them.” Revelation 20:9. At the end of the world, Yahuwah Himself will kindle hell fire. The holy city will come down from heaven (Revelation 21:2), and the wicked will attempt to capture it. At that time, Yahuwah will rain down fire from heaven upon the earth, and it will consume the earth and devour the wicked.

“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.” Revelation 21:8. The wicked die the second death in hell fire. If the wicked lived forever being tortured in hell, they would be immortal. Thus sin would be immortalized.

When Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden, an angel was posted to guard the tree of life so that sinners would not eat of the tree and live forever (Genesis 3:22-24). Yahuwah prevented the immortality of sin when it entered this earth by guarding the tree of life. An eternal hell of torment would perpetuate sin and make its eradication impossible.

The Bible says the wicked suffer “death” (Romans 6:23), will suffer “destruction” (Job 21:30), “shall perish” (Psalms 37:20), will “burn” up (Malachi 4:1), “shall be destroyed together” (Psalms 37:38), will “consume away” (Psalms 37:20), “shall be cut off” (Psalms 37:9), “shall be slain” (Psalms 62:3). Yahuwah will “destroy” them (Psalms 145:20), and “fire shall devour them” (Psalms 21:9). When the wicked suffer hell fire they will be completely destroyed. They do not live forever in misery.

The amount of time the wicked will burn will be in proportion to their wickedness. “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12. “That servant, which knew his master's will, and ... neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.” Luke 12:47, 48. While the Bible does not tell how long the wicked will be punished in hell before dying, it does tell us that all will be punished according to their deeds. This means some will receive greater punishment than others, based upon their works.

When Satan at last is burned then hell fire will go out. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.” Isaiah 47:14. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth.” “And Yahuwah shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:1, 4. In Yahuwah's new kingdom all “former things” will be passed away. Hell, being one of the former things, will cease to exist.

People will physically enter hell and will be literally destroyed both soul and body. The fire from Yahuwah out of heaven will fall upon real people and blot them out of existence. “It is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” Matthew 5:30. “Rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Ezekiel 18:20. In addition, the devil will not be in charge of hell. The devil will be cast into the fire, and it will turn him into ashes. “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:10. “I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. ... And never shall thou be any more.” Ezekiel 28:18, 19.

“He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Nahum 1:9. “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” Isaiah 65:17. “Behold, the tabernacle of Yahuwah is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and Yahuwah himself shall be with them, and be their Eloah. And Yahuwah shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.” Revelation 21:3, 4. After hell fire goes out, Yahuwah will create a new earth and restore it to His people--with all the beauties and glories of Eden before sin entered. The horrors of sin and the past will be forgotten. Pain, death, tragedy, woe, tears, sickness, disappointment, sorrow, and all sin will be banished forever, and sin will never rise again.

The phrase, “eternal torment” does not appear in the Bible at all, yet how can we account for verses like Jeremiah 17:27 that express that the wicked will be destroyed with unquenchable fire? “then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” Unquenchable fire is fire that cannot be put out, but which goes out when it has turned everything to ashes. Jeremiah 17:27 says Jerusalem was to be destroyed with unquenchable fire, and in 2 Chronicles 36:19-21 the Bible says this fire burned the city “to fulfill the word of Yahuwah by the mouth of Jeremiah” and left it desolate. Yet we know this fire went out, because Jerusalem is not burning today. We must let the Bible explain itself. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed with everlasting, or eternal, fire (Jude 7), and that fire turned them “into ashes” as a warning to “those that after should live irreverently.” (2 Peter 2:6). These cities are not burning today. The fire went out after everything was burned up. Likewise, everlasting fire will go out after it has turned the wicked to ashes (Malachi 4:3). The effects of the fire are everlasting, but not the burning itself.

This reasoning goes for Matthew 25:46, which says that the wicked will receive “everlasting punishment.” Notice the word is punishment, not punishing. Punishing would be continuous, while punishment is one act. The punishment of the wicked is death, and this death is everlasting. Matthew 25:41 speaks of “everlasting fire” for the wicked.

Some people get confused with Matthew 10:28: “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul.” The word “soul” has three meanings in the Bible: (1) a living being—Genesis 2:7, (2) the mind—Psalms 139:14, and (3) life—1 Samuel 18:1, which here refers to eternal life that Yahuwah guarantees all who reach His kingdom. No one can take this away. The last part of Matthew 10:28 says both soul and body will be destroyed in hell.

Another verse that is commonly misunderstood is Revelation 14:11, And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”  The term “forever,” as used in the Bible, means simply a period of time, limited or unlimited. It is used 56 times in the Bible in connection with things that have already ended. In Jonah 2:6, “forever” means “three days and nights.” (See also Jonah 1:17.) In Deuteronomy 23:3, this means “10 generations.” In the case of man, this means “as long as he lives” or “until death.” (See 1 Samuel 1:22, 28; Exodus 21:6; Psalms 48:14.)  Therefore the wicked will burn in the fire as long as they live, or until death. This fiery punishment for sin will vary according to the degree of sins for each individual, but after the punishment, the fire will go out. The teaching of eternal torment has done more to drive people to atheism and insanity than any other invention of the devil. It is slander upon the loving character of a tender, gracious heavenly Father and has done untold harm to the Christian cause.

Now, it is important not to confuse every use of the world “hell” in the Bible as a place of burning. The word “hell” is used 54 times in the Bible, and in only 12 cases does it refer to “a place of burning.” To help us understand this more, please note that the word “hell” is translated from several different words with various original meanings, for example, in the Old Testament, “hell” is translated 31 times from “Sheol,” which means “the grave.” In the New Testament, “hell is translated 10 times from “Hades,” which means “the grave,” 12 times from “Gehenna,” which means “the place of burning,” and 1 time from “Tartarus,” which means “the place of burning,” All of these add to 54 times.

Note: While the wicked will not be tormented forever in a never-ending hell, Scripture does teach that there is an eternally burning fire in the presence of Yahuwah: Eternal Fire Exists!

For more Bible verses on this much confused subject, please read: Everlasting Punishment.

See Also: Hell: You've Got it All Wrong (Video)