Elect Rise From Hell On Judgment Day?

lake of fire

When the dead rise from Hell, only those whose Names are not found written in the Book of Life are cast into the Lake of Fire. Those whose Names are written in the Book of Life are “the Elect”. Therefore, Elect rise from Hell on Judgment Day, but are not cast into the Lake of Fire.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:13, 15 KJV)

That is consistent with Scripture:

5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. (1 Pet. 4:5-6 NKJ)

A paraphrase of Peter’s point:

5 The [mockers 1 Pet. 4:4] will give an account for their rejection of the gospel to God who is ready to judge the living and the dead [of all mankind].
6. For this reason the gospel was preached ALSO to the dead [who never accepted the gospel], so all are judged equally as men in the flesh [who died unbelieving], but [then repent and choose to] live according to God’s gospel in the Spirit.

All who die without Christ are judged according to the Gospel of God as unsaved men in the flesh (1 Pet. 4:6), they go to Hell (Lk. 16:23; Jn. 5:28-29; Rev. 20:13). In Hell they can repent and believe the Gospel and then live according to God’s gospel in the Spirit (1 Pt. 4:6; 1 Cor. 5:5) eagerly waiting for Judgment Day (Heb. 9:27-28; Zech. 9:11). Their torment purges away both self-deception and bondage to sin so free will is absolutely free. Torment ends when the free will choice is made to “live according to God in the Spirit”. Those rejecting Christ’s ransom continue in torment keeping open their opportunity to repent before Judgement Day, and have their names written among the living in the Book of Life (Rev. 20:13-15; Ps. 69:28; 1 Cor. 5:5).

No one can leave Hell before Judgment Day (Luke 16:26; Rev. 20:13-14), but those living according to God in the Spirit now eagerly wait for the return of Christ for salvation (Heb. 9:27), the resurrection of life on Judgment Day (John 5:28-29; Rev. 20: 13-15).

27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. (Heb. 9:27-28 NKJ)

It follows millions (if not billions Gen. 13:16; Rev. 7:9; Rom. 11:26-33) of those who died without Christ, were evangelized and saved in the afterlife. [It would be absurd Omniscient God delegate to a demonstrably incompetent Church the job of evangelizing all He foreknew and loved to be in His Creation. Then He would mourn the billions lost for all eternity. Then He would never have chosen to Create all things.]

All in the grave can choose to “do good” (John 5:28-29; Rev. 20:13-15)—“live according to God in the Spirit” (1 Pet. 4:6). God is impartial, all have equal chance to be saved. Its their free will choice.

Everyone has every opportunity to choose life and join the Elect. That is required by the presence of names in the Book of Life that are not “The Elect”:

“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (Rev. 3:5 NKJ)

The promise is a fraud if the overcomer’s name cannot be blotted out from the Book of Life. Therefore, this is not spoken to the Elect whose names cannot be blotted out. Elected before they did good or bad (Rom. 9:11) their names were written “before the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8; 17:8; Eph. 1:4). As they are predestined unto salvation (Rom. 8:29) they overcome.

Therefore, names exist in the Book of life that are not “Elect”, they are “undetermined” and these names can be blotted out. They have free will choice and equal chance to be saved with the Elect. For example, the names of the wicked men chasing David were ALREADY in the Book of life. David asks God their names be blotted out, not recorded with the righteous:

May they be blotted out of the book of life, And may they not be recorded with the righteous. (Ps. 69:28 NAS)

The Book of Life has the names of both the Elect and the undetermined (who could choose to go either way), and the latter are judged according to their works (Rev. 20:13,15) which determined if their names were blotted out or not on Judgment Day.

God is “longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9 NKJ). If the “undetermined” do what is right, their names won’t be blotted out from the Book of Life.

God’s gift of free will is irrevocable (Rom. 11:29), God would never force anyone against their free will to live in His Kingdom. If someone is forced to be saved, that is evil tyranny. Moreover, their “free will would be a farce”, their forced “robot love” an abomination.

Only those God foreknew would love to live with Him, were Elected and predestined unto salvation (Rom. 8:28-31). God did this to proceed with Creation. He could not bear permitting the Fall (so absolute Free Will exist) if it meant He would lose even one of those He foreknew loved Him in His Omniscience. Only by predestining them unto salvation, could He create all things. That is why all things work together for the good of the Elect, including Hades Hell (Rom. 8:28).

But God is just, He cannot allow the wicked go unpunished. Those who refuse salvation in Christ will be judged according to their works (Rev. 20:13) and rise to a resurrection of condemnation:

28 “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice
29 “and come forth– those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (Jn. 5:28-29 NKJ)

Death and Hades are emptied of souls on Judgment Day:

13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:13-15 NKJ)

God went the extra mile trying to save the non-elect. But they are children of the Devil, the torments of Hades could not dissuade their craving evil perversions. They willfully recoil from God’s light:

16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
21 “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
(Jn. 3:16-21 NKJ)

That “less than Eternal Torment” exists for MOST cast into the Lake of Fire (Gehenna) follows logically from the warning of Eternal Torment for accepting the Mark of the Beast (Rev. 14:9-11); stumbling one of Christ’s children (Mark 9:42); blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:31-32). These threats are meaningless if everyone cast into the lake of fire receive eternal torment.

Again, as receiving the Mark of the Beast is special meriting ETERNAL torment, it follows lesser sin meriting LESS THAN ETERNAL torment is what MOST cast into the lake of fire will receive.

As Fire is also a symbol of total destruction (Jude 1:7; Rev. 20:14), “ashes” symbolize annihilation, “their souls burnt up” as some Talmudic Rabbis said:

You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this,” Says the LORD of hosts. (Mal. 4:3 NKJ)

The “lake of fire” is the “second death” because it is the death from which there is no resurrection, their place before the “face of God” destroyed forever:

who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might (2 Thess. 1:9 ERV)

HOWEVER, Jesus Christ our LORD warned about Gehenna far more than anything He said about Hades. Compared to Gehenna, Hades is a paradise. Hades a temporary (Rev. 20:14) place of reflection, the fire of God’s inspection tormenting (931 βάσανος basanos); burning away all self-deception, then sorrow (3600 ὀδυνάω odunao) for sin (Luke 16:23-24).

Gehenna is exponentially worse, souls are not prompted to divulge the truth of themselves, souls are imprisoned in abhorrent resurrection bodies (Dan. 12:2; Isa. 66:24)—maggot infested carcasses burning in flames like garbage in heaps.

But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” (1 Cor. 15:35 NKJ)

Paul’s described the resurrection body of believers. Organically connected to the body that died (John 20:25-27; Rom. 8:11, 23) as a seed is to the plant that springs from it (1 Cor. 15:36-38), it will be glorious like a celestial body (1 Cor. 15:40-41) infused with the principle of incorruption (1 Cor. 15:42). A powerful body whose animating principle is life giving spirit (1 Cor. 15:43-45) like Christ’s resurrection Body (1 Cor. 15:46-50).

Only in Galatians does Paul allude to the resurrection body of the wicked who rise on Judgment Day (Dan. 12:2; Acts 24:15; Rev. 20:13–15):

It reeks of corruption:

For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Gal. 6:8 NKJ)

That implies an antithesis to the resurrection body of believers. This antithesis is manifest in Christ’s words also:

28 “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice “and come forth– those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (Jn. 5:28-29 NKJ)

The “resurrection to life” requires a body that is alive, having the spirit of life as its animating principle. The antithesis to that would be a resurrection body that is “dead”, having the “spirit of death” as its animating principle. Logically, it would reek of corruption, be infested with maggots, an abomination that causes its wearer shame:

“And they shall go forth and look Upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, And their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.” (Isa. 66:24-1:1 NKJ)

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Dan. 12:2 NKJ)

These aren’t the “living dead zombies” seen on TV, these carcasses are blind, cannot walk to a less tormenting region of Gehenna, and can only weep and gnash teeth:

`And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matt. 25:30 NKJ)

Therefore, Christ warns His disciples:

43 ‘And if thy hand may cause thee to stumble, cut it off; it is better for thee maimed to enter into the life, than having the two hands, to go away to the gehenna, to the fire — the unquenchable —
44 where their worm is not dying, and the fire is not being quenched.
45 ‘And if thy foot may cause thee to stumble, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into the life lame, than having the two feet to be cast to the gehenna, to the fire — the unquenchable —
46 where their worm is not dying, and the fire is not being quenched.
47 And if thine eye may cause thee to stumble, cast it out; it is better for thee one-eyed to enter into the reign of God, than having two eyes, to be cast to the gehenna of the fire –
48 where their worm is not dying, and the fire is not being quenched;
49 for every one with fire shall be salted, and every sacrifice with salt shall be salted.
50 The salt is good, but if the salt may become saltless, in what will ye season it? Have in yourselves salt, and have peace in one another.’ (Mk. 9:43-50 YLT)

The fire is not quenched, the maggot dies not. First impression is one of destruction. BUT why undying maggots? Undying worms require food that never ceases to exist. As these abominations exist solely to communicate the wrath of God to the hapless soul trapped within it, undying worms imply the imprisoned souls are in bodies that remain forever.

However, it contradicts other scripture all unsaved sinners are eternally tormented. For example, “eternal torment” is threatened for accepting the Mark (Rev. 14:9-11) and other sins (Mk. 3:29), therefore, “less than eternal torment” must exist for lesser sins, or the threat is meaningless.

Notice the context in Mark begins with a particularly heinous sin, stumbling one of Christ’s children (from being saved) through pedophilia or other sin. Clearly an “eternal sin.” As the same “remedy” is given for other sins (Mk. 9:43, 45, 47) that may be different having different causes, it follows those are also “eternal sins”. That leaves plenty of less sinful sin meriting “less than eternal torment.

That premise explains why both the Old and New Testament has the wicked suffering either “destruction” or “eternal torment”. It is not a “one size fits all” situation, God sentences the wicked according to their deeds. Those guilty of eternal sins receive eternal torment, those who are not, do not.

In any event, Gehenna must be worse than death:

‘And be not afraid of those killing the body, and are not able to kill the soul, but fear rather Him who is able both soul and body to destroy (622 ἀπόλλυμι apollumi) in gehenna. (Matt. 10:28 YLT)

Jesus gravely warned about Gehenna (Matt. 5:22, 29-30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mk. 9:43, 45, 47; Lk. 12:5), it is far worse than being killed. Therefore, the “destruction” (622 ἀπόλλυμι apollumi) must be worse and last longer than dying. In Matthew 9:17 it is translated as “ruined”. New wine “ruin” old wineskins but they continue to exist, destroyed because they no longer can be used.

The context in Mark is spoken TO HIS DISCIPLES: “If thy hand…foot…eye cause thee to stumble, cast it out; it is better for thee one-eyed to enter (Mk. 9:43, 45, 47). Mark 9:50 compared to Matthew 5:13 and Luke 14:34-35 confirms this. By extension it would apply to everyone (Matt. 5:27-30).

49 for every one with fire shall be salted, and every sacrifice with salt shall be salted.
50 The salt is good, but if the salt may become saltless, in what will ye season it? Have in yourselves salt, and have peace in one another.’ (Mk. 9:49-10:1 YLT)

Every disciple of Christ will be purified by Holy Spirit and fire (Lk. 3:16), salted with salt. But if the salt becomes saltless, its only fit to be cast outside (Lk. 14:34-35; Rev. 22:15).

Pedophiles and/or those who stumble Christ’s children spiritually, blasphemers of the Holy Spirit, accepting the Mark of the Beast, and similar eternal sins will not be pardoned, regardless any profession of faith. They only fooled themselves (Mat. 7:22-23).

Our LORD gravely warned Gehenna is far worse than anything men can do (Mat. 10:28). The symbols of unquenchable fire burning, maggots that don’t die, consuming carcasses piled high like garbage, imply conscious physical torment in a contemptible resurrection body (Dan. 12:2; Gal. 6:8) that imprisons the soul within, much longer than a moment in time. Possibly even forever. Gehenna as described is far worse than Hades (Lk. 16:23-24). It would be unwise we “water down” Christ’s warning and suggest Gehenna is something less than what Christ taught.

END NOTES

In the Talmud some believed those not guilty of eternal sin would suffer for twelve months:

2. I:15: Said R. Kruspedai said R. Yohanan, “Three books are opened by God on the New Year: one for the thoroughly wicked, one for the thoroughly righteous, and one for middling people. The thoroughly righteous immediately are inscribed and sealed for continued life. The thoroughly wicked immediately are inscribed and sealed for death. Middling people are left hanging from New Year until the Day of Atonement.”
3. I:16: It has been taught on Tannaite authority: The House of Shammai say, “There will be three groups on the Day of Judgment when the dead will rise: one comprised of the thoroughly righteous, one comprised of the thoroughly wicked, and one of middling people. The thoroughly righteous immediately are inscribed and sealed for eternal life. The thoroughly wicked immediately are inscribed and sealed for Gehenna.”-Neusner, J. (2011). The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary (Vol. 6b, p. 240). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

The School of Hillel quoted, “He is plenteous in mercy” (Exod. xxxiv. 6); He inclines towards mercy; and concerning them said David, “I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and my supplications” (Ps. cxvi. 1). The whole of that Psalm was composed by David about them: “I was brought low and He saved me” (ibid. 6). The sinners of Israel with their bodies and the sinners of the Gentiles with their bodies descend to Gehinnom and are judged there for twelve months. After twelve months their bodies are destroyed, and their souls burnt and scattered by a wind under the soles of the feet of the righteous; as it is said, “Ye shall tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet” (Mal. iv. 3). But the sectaries, informers, epicureans who denied the Torah 1 and denied the Resurrection, they who separated themselves from the ways of the community, they who set their dread in the land of the living,2 and they who, like Jeroboam the son of Nebat and his associates, sinned and caused the multitude to sin (cf. 1 Kings xiv. 16), will descend to Gehinnom and be judged there generations on generations; as it is said, “They shall go forth and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against Me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched” (Is. lxvi. 24). Gehinnom will cease but they will not cease (to suffer); as it is said, “Their form shall be for Sheol to consume that there be no habitation for it” (Ps. xlix. 14). Concerning them said Hannah, “They that strive with the Lord shall be broken to pieces” (I Sam. ii. 10). R. Isaac b. Abin said, Their faces will be black like the bottom of a pot’ (R.H. 16b et seq.).

We gather from this extract that in the first century one of the principal Schools, influenced by a verse from Daniel, assigned the utterly wicked to eternal punishment; but the other School found such a doctrine incompatible with Divine mercy. Sinners must be penalized. They undergo twelve months of pain and then suffer annihilation because they are unworthy of entrance into Gan Eden. They who have been exceptionally wicked stay in Gehinnom for `generations on generations.’ That this expression does not signify eternity is clear from the statement that Gehinnom will cease.’ They will not, after their sufferings there, undergo extinction, but will continue in existence as conscious entities—how and where is not explained—in a perpetual state of remorse.-A. Cohen, Everyman’s Talmud, (Schocken Books, NY 1995), p. 377-378.

Whether twelve months, or according to deeds, Christ said we should fear Him who can cast into Gehenna, “yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Lk. 12:5 NKJ)

Why consider the Jewish Talmud on these things? Our LORD Jesus Christ valued learned discussion of scripture in His day, and He says so while discussing Gehenna with a Scribe:

49 “So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just,
50 “and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
51 Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”
52 Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” (Matt. 13:49-52 NKJ)

SCRIBE
1122 γραμματεύς grammateus {gram-mat-yooce’}
Meaning: 1) a clerk, scribe, esp.a public servant, secretary, recorder, whose office and influence differed in different states 2) in the Bible, a man learned in the Mosaic law and in the sacred writings, an interpreter, teacher. Scribes examined the more difficult and subtle questions of the law; added to the Mosaic law decisions of various kinds thought to elucidate its meaning and scope, and did this to the detriment of religion. Since the advice of men skilled in the law was needed in the examination in the causes and the solution of the difficult questions, they were enrolled in the Sanhedrin; and are mentioned in connection with the priests and elders of the people. See a Bible Dictionary for more information on the scribes. 3) a religious teacher: so instructed that from his learning and ability to teach advantage may redound to the kingdom of heaven.-Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

The resurrection of condemnation (John 5:28-29) was prefigured by this event:

30 Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him.
31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.
32 Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them.
33 Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned. (Lk. 8:30-33 NKJ)

To their horror the swine imprisoned the demon spirits, and against their will stampeded (3729 ὁρμάω hormao) into the lake “body and soul” (Mat. 10:28; Rev. 20:15).

No agreement was made they not end up in the Abyss, they assumed Jesus agreed when He permitted they enter the swine. But as the swine drowned, the Abyss swallowed the demons spirits whole. The Lake of Fire still awaits them.

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