Luke 16 vs 19-31:
Vs 19, “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.”
Vs 20, “But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate…”
Vs 21, “…desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.”
Vs 22, “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.”
Vs 23, “And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”
Vs 24, “Then 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.’’
Isaiah 14 vs 9-10,
Vs 9, “Hell from beneath is excited about you, To meet you at your coming; It stirs up the dead for you, All the chief ones of the earth; It has raised up from their thrones All the kings of the nations.”
Vs 10, “They all shall speak and say to you: ‘Have you also become as weak as we? Have you become like us?”
Rev 20 vs 13-15,
Vs 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.”
Vs 14, “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
Vs 15, “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
1 Thess 5 vs 23,
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul here in 1 Thessalonians 5 vs 23 enumerates the three elements which together make up the total nature, or personality of man.
These three elements are: Spirit, Soul and Body.
The physical, material part of man — his body — is formed out of the dust of the earth.
The invisible, immaterial part of man (a combination of soul and spirit) has its origin in the breath of the Almighty God.
The Bible indicates that Spirit and soul are not identical, but are two distinct elements together making up the immaterial part of man.
The body – is from below – from the earth.Your spirit and soul – is from above – from God himself.
Some important facts to note
At death, the invisible, immaterial element of man — his spirit and soul — is released from its earthen vessel. Thereafter — the body is buried or restored to earth from which it came, and by process of decomposition it returns to dust. In Ecclesiastes Chapter 12 vs 7, Solomon puts it clearly, this theme of death, and he says… “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” At death, man’s body returns to the dust, but the destiny of his spirit is upward, towards God. The appearance of the spirit of man before God, immediately after death, is for one main purpose, to hear the divine sentence appointing to each spirit the state and the place which it must occupy from the time of death — up to the time of the final judgement.
A Look at the Books of Luke and Isaiah
The account of Luke 16 vs 19-31, if you combine it with Isaiah 14 vs 9-10… these accounts reveal certain definite facts about the condition of departed spirits.
There is a definite persistence of personality after death (your spirit man will continue living). There is a recognition of one person by another (we are not going to be ghosts). There is communication between one person and another. There is awareness of present conditions in this place of departed spirits. And according to Isaiah 14 vs 9-10, there is correspondence in some measure between a man’s state in this world and his state in the next. (Those who had positions on earth will be known, however, without special treatment, but looked down upon). For those who were kings in this world are still recognised as kings in the next world (not that in Hell you are given special treatment… no!) but on the contrary… the devil makes a mockery out of it. (But those in Hell are able to tell that this was a king, minister, businessman, manager, chief executive officer, etc…). Listen to Isaiah 14 vs 10, “others in hell will say, have you also become as weak as we? Have you become like us? (Chef?) However, the passage in Luke 16 vs 19-31 adds one further, very important fact.
After death, the destiny of the spirits of the righteous is quite different from that of the spirits of the wicked.Both Lazarus and the rich man found themselves within the realm of departed spirits, called in Hebrew “sheol” and in Greek “hades”. The two men’s destinations were quite different. The rich man’s spirit was in a place of torment — not because he was rich — no, because he had no time for God and others, while he was here on earth. Between the place of rest and the place of torment was a gulf (or fixed impassable gulf, that could not be crossed from either side).
(Awungeke wajampa amafensi).
Martin Luther King says of the rich man, He maximized the minimum and minimized the maximum.He made Lazarus invisible because he was poor — he passed by him and never saw him. The spirit of Lazarus was in a place of rest (not because he was poor here on earth) no, but because he had time for God and others while he was here on earth.
Between the place of rest and the place of torment was a gulf (or fixed impassable gulf, that could not be crossed from either side).
(Awungeke wajampa amafensi).
The place of rest, set apart for the departed spirits of the righteous, is in Luke 16 called “Abraham’s bossom.” The name indicated that those in that place had followed in the footsteps of faith and obedience marked out by Abraham, who was known as the father of faith.
When of course Jesus died and went underground he emptied this place (took the captives captive) straight to heaven (thus no more Abraham’s bossom or paradise) but heaven. (He preached salvation to them).
In Revelation 20 vs 13, this portion of scripture reads “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them, and they were judged every man according to their works.” This is the final judgement, it concerns “every man.”
None is omitted. Every realm of God’s created universe is called upon by divine authority to give up the dead which are in it. John uses three words: “the seas,” “death” and “hell.” Remember the Greek word for hell is “hades” or “sheol”, a place of temporary confinement before final judgement for those outside Christ. After final judgement, all the unrighteous are consigned to the lake of fire. The Hebrew word used in the Old Testament is not “shoel”, but “Gehenna.”
There is a difference between “shoel”, “Hades” on one hand, and “Gehenna,” or “the lake of fire” on the other hand. “Shoel” or “hades” is a place of temporary confinement, of the spirits only of the departed (outside the Lord). You are in great torment there, but later…hell itself is thrown into the lake of fire.“Gehenna”, or “Lake of fire” is a place of final, unending punishment of the total personality of every unrighteous person — spirit and soul and (new) body together. Revelation 20 vs 14 says, “And death and hades (that is hell) were cast into the lake of fire
(Gehenna). “Obviously “hades” cannot be the same as the lake of fire, since “hades”, together with “death”, is cast into the lake of fire.
According to Luke 16 vs 19-31, in hell, everyone there is aware of the fact that you are there. You are not dead, but alive. According to Mark 9 vs 43 – 48, even the worms there never die, they continue to eat you.
The rich man in hell lifted up his eyes. The rich man was in torment. In hell the rich man was in pain (for he cried and said) “Father Abraham have mercy on me.” In hell, there seems to be a clear acknowledgement that there was some wrong done. Hell is very very hot (the rich man said) “Send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue.” In hell there are flames (the rich man said, “I am tormented in this flame…”). Once in hell, you can’t come out, you are there forever. “And besides between us and you there is a great gulf (we can’t come to you and you can’t come to us). In hell are worms that eat continually. This rich man’s senses (soul) was alive in hell.
Sense of sight — He saw Lazarus.
Sense of feeling — Being in torment, he felt the pain.
Sense of taste — Send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue (wanted a taste of water).
Sense of hearing — But Abraham said.
Sense of smell — He wanted to smell water one more time. If hell is bad news like we have described, how much more the lake of fire
“Gehenna” where eventually hell is thrown into?
Isaiah 14 vs 9-10,vs 9, “Hell from beneath is excited about you, To meet you at your coming; It stirs up the dead for you, All the chief ones of the earth; It has raised up from their thrones All the kings of the nations.” Vs 10, “They all shall speak and say to you: ‘Have you also become as weak as we? Have you become like us?”
Comments from last week’s article
Thank you so much I learnt something from this piece may God richly bless you — 0779711317
Thank you for article on casting out demons, it’s really enlightening where in the Bible do we see people counselling or chatting with demons like we see in churches today? And how do we know it’s God behind all that mumbo jumbo? — 0716236590
Thanks for Demons part 2 instalment. Could you give us a full installment on Romans 20 and 30. What exactly does it mean, are some people predestined for Hell and some for paradise? — 0772396359
Request to our readers this week:
Minister to at least two unsaved souls this week and lead them to Christ and ask them to attend any church that teaches the fundamental doctrines of Jesus Christ.