Friday Morning Manna                     March 22, 1019

Nathaniel Fajardo                                     

Widely Held Lies Regarding Hell and Paradise

Quotable Quote

“Tomorrow, God willing, we will be in paradise and they will be burning in hell.”

The quote above sounds familiar, right? Certainly. The question is, who said it?

These words were not spoken by any Roman Catholic prelate exhorting recruits to its infamous  Crusades neither by any Eastern Orthodox priest or by any pastor/preacher of the traditional Protestant or modern Evangelical and Pentecostal churches of mainstream Christianity.

Rather, these were quoted from Abud Abd al-Azeem, Islamic State member, whose speech, peppered with Koranic recitations, appeared in their latest propaganda video.

This news story was reported by Lisa Barrington, World News Reuters, Mar. 19, 2019:

     “Even as it faced imminent defeat in its last populated territory in eastern Syria, Islamic State made a new propaganda film calling on the few remaining residents of its cold, besieged encampment to maintain their prayers and seek refuge in God.”   “Though the physical ‘caliphate’ it declared in 2014 is now in ruins, the video showed Islamic State has not renounced its claim to be the contemporary heirs to Islam’s Prophet Mohammed, sovereign over all Muslim lands and people.  The infidels laughed at, humiliated us in the world, but war has its ups and downs and the battle is not over, Al Azeem said, adding that IS leader Abu Bakhr al Bagdad is the only Muslim leader on earth today.”

 “May you rot in hell.” “Go to hell.”

My heart aches twice when I read or hear such words uttered out of whatever extreme emotion, anger, despair or even righteous indignation. Regardless, all are spoken out of fearful ignorance of Bible truth. Sadly, we are just getting started as it were. Because such words will be repeated ad infinitum everywhere now where mass killings, carnage, terrorist acts, sexual perversion and pedophilia in the highest levels of society, particularly in the once-safe places of the church and school, and all manner of heinous crimes seem to be chasing one another. And this is not only because of increased and heightened awareness facilitated by the unprecedented access to information explosion generated by digital technology.

No one seems to know how to stop it even if great ideas and honorable intentions abound on how to deal with them. In frustration, fear and outrage, society is nearing the breaking point of patience and flashpoint of tolerance over the failure of the institutions they placed their implicit trust upon, such as government and the church, to protect them.  Something monumental is about to give that will drive our last generation, as it did in past generations and their respective empires to the last resort of man-made religion. Then and only then will “hell break loose” on earth.  

When one stops to examine such frequently-quoted and freely-repeated ideas about heaven and hell, it will readily appear as insulting to the rational mind—i.e., those who keep their thinking caps on. Here’s the thing. Many hung that cap temporarily on a hook somewhere, then forgot about it. Result? They ceased to be thinkers and have become mere reflectors of other man’s ideas, particularly those that “please itching ears.”

Consider this reaction by a certain Jerome, who wrote: “I never thought I’d be around to see the day when you gotta watch your back when you go pray. I was convinced there’s some things that are sacred. Even in war, there’s rules, right? Man, was I wrong.” (One of the 86 reactions on the then-breaking news headlined, “Mosque Attack Suspect in Court as New Zealand Readies to Bury Dead.” AP, 3-16, 2019. The shooter, Brenton Tarrant, who showed no remorse and in fact was chillingly defiant when brought to court, is an Australian-born White Supremacist and Islamaphobe. As of this date 50 were confirmed dead.

Shaken by last Friday’s shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Adams labelled the attack as terrorism and announced tough new gun laws: all military-style automatic weapons and assault rifles, along with parts used to convert weapons to semi-automatic and high-capacity magazines would be banned by April 11. This act is similar to Australia that banned semi-automatic weapons in 1966 after the Port Arthur massacre in which 35 people were gunned down. We can expect a big push back from gun-rights advocates there and here in America.   

Heaven turns to hell in an instant

I’m sure there were worshippers in that mosque who, in the midst of their prayers in what they considered a sacred place “far from all care” and felt transported to paradise only to have that reverie shattered by a hail of bullet-fire, massacred inside that “safe place.” That place of worship turned into a blood-splattered hell. 

Depending on our current life situation, as a trope, we’re already either in heaven or hell. We don’t have to wait for tomorrow. The Christian home where Christ is truly the Center and Head of the household to the members of the family, is, in fact the divinely-appointed “little heaven on earth,” the fitting-up place preparatory for the heavenly eternal home. Here is manifested love, patience (not mere tolerance), true burden-bearing, respect for one another’s privacy and rights, and orchestra-like harmony and unity in diversity of personalities and native talents. On the other end in homes where self-centeredness, selfishness and indulgence reigns, there is manifested anger, anxiety, stress and strife violence that makes it a hell on earth.        

“We” versus “they”

We, somewhere up there in Paradise, enjoying its indescribable bliss, eternally They, thrown into the hottest part of hell fire somewhere in the eternally aching belly of the earth being roasted alive forever—with no death as a sweet release.

All religions, Christian and nonchristian alike, except the commandment-keeping remnant church of prophecy, have one colossal central trunk of belief in common—that the soul isthe disembodied “spirit” or “ghost” of the person, and that it is immortal, a claim revealed in the Scriptures as the first lie preached from the pulpit as it were, in Eden. “Thou shalt not surely die,” Satan disguised as a serpent, told the first couple, brazenly contradicting the Creator’s words. It is mysterious indeed that from that day and onward through time the children of Adam and Eve became increasingly enchanted with and willingly enslaved to this this mother of all lies–the immortality of the soul, the foundation of ancient and modern Spiritualism.

Let’s following the logic of this widely-and-wildly accepted assertions on paradise and hell: In order for “righteous souls” to enjoy to the hilt in paradise, or “wicked souls” to suffer eternal torture in hell can only mean one thing: that the disembodied “soul” has to possess a separate and different set of invisible faculties, organs and senses for the visible ones of the person’s flesh-and-bones body turned into corruption at death,—else, how could they either feel bliss or excruciating pain, depending on what permanent destination they end up in.  

its’s alluring, compelling and even motivational on one hand, especially with the thought paradise could begin the next day but downright terrifying on the other, particularly with the thought that the endless, merciless torture of being roasted ad infinitum could start tomorrow!   

Now, since God whom we, that is, all believers and religions that address the deity as “God”– claim to worship and serve–some in abject dread and fear; others, out of pure love and gratitude–was mentioned in the quote above, in fact, invoked as determining who goes where of these two extremes—one cannot keep silent and claim to be faithful and true to Him. That’s what we are doing here, by God’s grace. We have to speak the truth to power so that it can overpower falsehood.  The Baptist minister Charles Spurgeon, in Truth and Falsehood, wrote this still relevant line: “A lie travels round the world while Truth is putting on her boots.”

My favorite author outside of the Bible, Ellen G. White wrote:

       “How repugnant to ever emotion of love and mercy, and even to our sense of justice, is the doctrine that the wicked dead are tormented with fire and brimstone in an eternally burning hell; that for the sins of a brief earthly life they are to suffer torture as long as God shall live. Yet this doctrine has been widely taught, and is till embodied in many of the creeds of Christendom [which, with other false, antichristian doctrines, have driven countless to become unbelievers, agnostics and atheists].

      “Said a learned doctor of divinity: ‘The sight of hell-torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever. When they see others of the same nature and born under the same circumstances, plunged in such misery, and they [in contrast] are so distinguished it will make them sensible of how happy they are. Another used these words: ‘While the decree of reprobation is eternally executing on the vessels of wrath, the smoke of their torment will be eternally ascending in the view of the vessels of mercy, who, instead of taking the part of these miserable objects, will say, Amen, Alleluia! Praise ye the Lord.’ Eze. 33: 11.”

This is satanic, not saintly. Whoever “sainted” them or call such saints or “vessels of mercy” have to be of the same mind, either sickeningly deceived or agents of deception themselves.

        “Where, in the pages of God’s Word, is such teaching to be found? Will the redeemed in heaven be lost to all emotions of pity and compassion, and even to feelings of common humanity?   Are these to be exchanged for the indifference of the stoic, or the cruelty of the savage? No, no; such is not the teaching of the Book of God. Those who present the views expressed in the quotations given above may be learned and even honest men; but they are deluded by the sophistry of Satan. He leads them to misconstrue strong expressions of the Scripture, giving to the language the coloring of bitterness and malignity which pertains to himself, but not to our Creator. ‘As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death 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?’ Eze. 33: 11.

      “What would be gained to God should we admit that He delights in witnessing unceasing tortures; that He is regaled with the groans and imprecations of the suffering creatures whom He beholds in the flames of hell?  Can these horrid sounds be music in the ear of Infinite Love? It is urged that the infliction of endless misery upon the wicked would show God’s hatred of sin as an evil which is ruinous to the peace and order of the universe. Oh, dreadful blasphemyAs if God’s hatred of sin is the reason is the reason why it is perpetuated. For, according to the teachings of these theologians, continued torture without hope or mercy maddens its wretched victims, and as they pour out their rage in curses and blasphemy, they are forever augmenting their load of guilt. God’s glory is not enhanced by thus perpetuating continually increasing through ceaseless ages.

      “It is beyond the power of the human mind to estimate the evil which has been wrought by the heresy of eternal torment. The religion of the Bible, full of love and goodness, and abounding and compassion, is darkened with superstition and clothed with terror. When we consider in what false colors Satan has painted the character of God, can we wonder that our merciful Creator is feared, dreaded, and even hated? The appalling views of God which have spread over the world from the teachings of the pulpit have made thousands, yes, millions, of skeptics and infidels.

      “The theory of eternal torment is one of the false doctrines that constitute the ‘wine’ of the abominations of Babylon, of which she makes all nations drink. (Rev. 14: 8; 17: 2). That ministers of Christ should have accepted this heresy and proclaimed it from the sacred desk, is indeed a mystery. They received it from Rome, as they received the false sabbath. True, it has been taught by great and good men; but the light on this subject has not come to them as it has come to us. They were responsible only for the light which shone in their time; we are accountable for that which shines in our day. If we turn from the testimony of God’s word, and accept false doctrines because our fathers taught them, we fall under the condemnation pronounced upon Babylon; we are drinking of the wine of her abominations.” –Great Controversy, 1911 edition, pp. 535-537.     (Continued next week)