In the same way the Church and Lucifer (click on highlighted words to view content) have been found not to be scriptural entities through the way they have been traditionally presented, so are “heaven” and “hell” nothing more than fabrications coming out of the tradition of men cobbled together from various scripture verses to support a theological agenda apart from the true meaning of those words – as we shall see.The phrase “He descended into hell” originated with the Roman Catholic Church and is found in the Apostles’ Creed – which has only been known since the fourth century. This phrase was evidently derived from an unusually-worded portion of 1Peter 3:18-20. However, the first thing to note in this passage from Peter is that the Greek word “Hades” (translated as “hell”) does not actually appear. “Hades” is the underworld god of Greek mythology and, even though it is mentioned as “hell” in the Creed (and elsewhere in both OT and NT Greek translations), it does not appear in the Original Hebrew Writings as such (translated from the Hebrew she’ol) and particularly not appearing as a holding place of permanent punishment of those utterly lost forever (as previously noted). Words mean things – but the absence of words in scripture does not call for assumptive speculation. So, if the concept of hell is not found in scripture – where did it come from? Our popular imagery of hell can be traced to Roman Catholic writers like the Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), author of Dante’s Inferno; and the English poet John Milton (1608-1674), author of Paradise Lost, who also set forth the same concepts in a fashion highly acceptable to the Roman Catholic faith. Yet none of these concepts of hell can be found in the Original Writings – or, for that matter, in the Messianic Writings. We get indignant at the mention of purgatory, knowing that it is not found in scripture. But, our popular concepts of hell come from the same place as does purgatory – a traditional Roman Catholic theology of an afterlife of immortality under girded by Greek mythology and philosophy. The King James Version of the bible indiscriminately translates three different words as “hell” – the Hebrew word, she’ol, plus the Greek words hades and gehenna. In the same regard as we have previously noted in the handling of the Hebrew word nephesh translated “soul”, the English word “hell” or “Hades” has also been used in translation for the Hebrew word she’ol – but, remember, Hades is a place of Greek mythology not found in Hebraic culture. She’ol is a word whose root meaning is “unseen”, as when one is in the grave they are unseen. In the Original Writings (OT), the King James Version translates she’ol as “hell” 31 times, “the grave” 31 times, and “the pit” three times. Yet in the Original Writings she’ol was not a place of punishment for faithful Jacob was there (Genesis 37:35), righteous Job also longed for it in Job 14:13 and David spoke of going to she’ol in Psalm 49:15. Scripture records Yeshua’s visit there in Psalm 16:10 and Acts 2:24-31. In all these cases, the scriptural description is “unseen” because they were dead – not in some ethereal holding place. Various arguments about she’ol being a temporary intermediate-state compartment in the underworld are simply not found in the words given to us in scripture but are a reflection of the influence of the Greek mythological “Hades” upon the translators. And, it is only with the Messianic Writings that additional “revelation” begins to appear under the guise of “Christian theology” which defines events that follow death for the non-believer and for the believer.
The Gospel of John, Jesus' seventh sign, part 1
The seventh sign that Jesus performed in the Gospel of John begins with the raising of Lazarus in John 11 and takes us through Jesus’ own death and resurrection, ending with John 20. There is much commentary in the middle, especially the “Last Supper” teachings, which form the climax of Jesus’ ministry.
The death of self is what brings us the blessings of the resurrected life. Hence, the seventh sign represents the seventh day of Tabernacles, with its final instructions on the type of life and mission that will be set before us in the reconciliation of all things. In essence, the overcomers who are given “eternal life,” that is, life in The Age, will then manifest the glory of God in the earth, even as Jesus did. What Jesus did personally, He will then delegate to the overcomers in the eighth sign, because they too are expected to be as He was (and is) and to do as He did.
The Gospel of John, Jesus' seventh sign, part 2
Lazarus was dying, and his two sisters sent word to Jesus to come quickly and heal him. However, Jesus did not go immediately. He seemed unconcerned and unhurried. Being led by the Spirit, He understood that Lazarus’ ordeal was for the glory of God.
As I wrote earlier, Lazarus was the Greek form of the Hebrew name Eliezer, “God helps” and thus represents the action of the Holy Spirit, called “the Helper” (NASB), or “the Comforter” (KJV).
Paths of Old – Ancient Paths
Jeremiah 6:16; 18:15; Acts 15:21
“Thus said יהוה (Yahweh), “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and find rest for yourselves….” (Jeremiah 6:16)
“But My people have forgotten Me, they have burned incense to what is false, and they have stumbled from their ways, from the ancient paths, to walk in bypaths and not on a highway.” (Jeremiah 18:15)
Regular public reading of the Torah was introduced by Ezra the Scribe after the return of the Jewish people from their Babylonian captivity (c. 537 BCE), as described in the Book of Nehemiah 8. In the modern era, adherents of Orthodox Judaism practice Torah reading according to a set procedure they believe has remained unchanged in the two thousand years since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (70 CE).
“For from ancient generations Mosheh has, in every city, those proclaiming him – being read in the congregations every Sabbath.” (Acts 15:21)
Bible readings for July 30, 2022. In the 7th solar month of the Hebrew 4th month of Tammuz (June/July).
- Numbers 33:1—36:13
- (Shabbat Shim’u)
- for 9 Av)
- Jeremiah 2:4-28; 3:4
- 1 John 2:1—3:24;
- James 4:1-12
If you are interested in downloading the annual Torah reading schedule with projected new moon sightings, Feast Days, click HERE.
Three Year Bible Reading Schedule
Genesis to Revelation
Genesis 3:1-24 | Joshua 5:1—6:27 | Psalm 3:1-8 | Isaiah 3:1-26 | Matthew 4:23—6:4
If you are interested in downloading the complete 3 year Bible reading schedule, click HERE. You can break up your Bible reading into 5 days of your choosing or combine the above readings of your choice.
THE AHRIMAN GATE (PART 5)—MANGLED SOULS
Sheri focused on the highway as she followed the familiar landmarks. It was a gorgeous day for a drive. Less than twenty minutes had passed since she departed the Rose City, and the smell of the country was so exuberant that if it had not been for a restless night rehashing Joe’s troubling story, she might have stopped somewhere along the way and picked a bouquet of wildflowers. Things being what they were, she couldn’t wait to get inside the concrete walls of Mt. Hood Evangelical Seminary, where Joe and she were meeting a longtime family friend—Dr. Donald Jones—in hopes he could attach some significance to the image. Unlike Dave with his Mars-Face conspiracies, “Indy,” which they called him after the lead character in the Indiana Jones films, was a Ph.D. in biblical history. He might have an expert opinion about the arcane object.
THE AHRIMAN GATE (PART 6)—THE NEPHILIM CODE
Sheri switched her digital phone off and told Joe to speed up a little. They were both in shock and didn’t know if they should tell Indy anything about what had happened at the culvert. The parts of Joe’s story they felt were necessary to share were already so Machiavellian and unusual that giving the professor more information than he needed might stretch his credulity beyond his ability to absorb it.
THE AHRIMAN GATE PART 7—RENEGADE EXPERIMENTS
At the Gray Hideaway, Dave cradled the back of his head and stared at the computer screen. After thirty-six hours of frustration, he’d finally found the impossible e-mail address. All the years of chasing disinformation and conning kooks in conspiracy chat rooms might have paid off after all.