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Page 582




  • Brimstone -Sulfur

  • Tophet -A place of continual burning (or abhorrence) outside of Jerusalem which is used to picture hell in the Scriptures





  • Why will the punishments experienced in hell be different after .the resurrection from those before the resurrection?



    Hell's terrible separation from God's grace, exposure to God's holy anger against sin, and personal torment of conscience is pictured in Scripture by the most painful and frightening of all human experiences, i.e., burning in an inescapable fire (of the very hottest type possible, that kindled in a furnace or by brimstone), trembling in fear in total darkness, screaming as one who is falling from a great height, or being chained in prison. Exactly to what degree these expressions are to be interpreted as physical realities in hell is difficult to determine. These expressions certainly picture spiritual realities, the soul's suffering of the wicked. "Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; He hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LoRD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it" (Isaiah 30:33). "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 (being there only in soul, not yet with his resurrected body) 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" (Luke 16:22-24).

    Satan and his fallen angels are spirits. They do not have physical bodies as we do, and yet we read, "Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41); "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" (II Peter 2:4); 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 for ever and ever" (Revelation 20:10).

    While the descriptive expressions of hell are spiritual and do picture the spiritual realities of the "fire" of God's wrath, the "darkness" of being totally removed from God's presence, the "chains" of inescapable bondage, the "gnawing worm" of conscience, etc., yet their meaning is not totally spiritual. After the resurrection the bodies of the wicked shall be reunited with their souls. Both soul and body will then suffer in hell. The person will suffer both spiritually and physically because he sinned with both soul and body. Therefore Jesus clearly warned, "Rather fear him


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