11 Comments

  1. Tom

    I think your explanation of this is great. What about Revelation 17:8, which says the beast that comes up out of the abyss then goes to eternal destruction? You say throughout this site that the phrase “eternal destruction” (and similar phrases like it) is used in the Bible to describe the final second death, i.e. ceasing to exist, in relation to humans. Why should it be any different here to describe the beast? So either the phrase “eternal destruction” doesn’t _have_ to mean ceasing to exist, or Rev 20:10 somehow can be interpreted to mean total destruction rather than conscious torment?

    • Dirk Waren

      Hi Tom.

      Thanks for the feedback and good question.

      It is acknowledged in HELL KNOW that the koine Greek words for “destruction” and “destroy” — apóleia and apollumi — have secondary definitions, e.g. “ruin.” Apóleia, by the way, is simply the noun form of apollumi. Since we know evil spirits possess intrinsic immortality even in their fallen state (Luke 20:34-36), the secondary definition of “ruin” would apply in the context of Revelation 17:8, but only in reference to the demonic entity that originated rom the Abyss and possesses the human antichrist. Also consider the fact that the verse speaks of the (unsaved) “inhabitants of the earth” who will “see” the beast. Obviously they won’t see the evil spirit that originated from the abyss since demonic spirits are invisible to the human eye; all they “see” is the human being that this demonic spirit possesses and he is “the man doomed to destruction” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and will suffer the second death when cast into the lake of fire, God’s garbage dump (Matthew 10:28 & Hebrews 10:26-27).

      When the Messiah and other biblical characters used apollumi in reference to human damnation it was meant in the sense of complete incineration because Christ used the same word to describe the destruction of Sodom, as conveyed by the Holy Spirit in Luke 17:29. Sodom & Gomorrah were burned to ashes as a biblical example of what will happen to unredeemed people on “the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (2 Peter 2:6 & 3:7). For details see the section “Destroy both Soul and Body” Means Complete Annihilation in Chapter One of HELL KNOW (just scroll down).

      The Bible plainly shows that eternal life and immortality are only available to human beings through the gospel of Christ (2 Timothy 1:10). In other words, people don’t inherently possess immortality & eternal life apart from Christ, which is why immortality is something to be sought by the unredeemed (Romans 2:7).

      Furthermore, apóleia & apollumi aren’t the only Greek or Hebrew words used to refer to human damnation. Chapter One of HELL KNOW shows several other Greek words variously translated as die, death, destruction, destroy and perish. And the rest of HELL KNOW reveals several more Greek & Hebrew words. These words collectively constitute “language of destruction,” not language of eternal roasting preservation.

      In light of this “language of destruction” the issue of human damnation doesn’t hinge on the secondary meaning of a single Greek word — apóleia (noun) & apollumi (verb) — or the fact that this word is used once or twice in reference to the final fate of evil spirits (who are different in nature to human beings in that they possess unconditional immortality). The prominent definition of apollumi — “to literally perish, destroy” — is backed-up by numerous other Greek & Hebrew words that verify this definition for human damnation.

      Lastly, these words are, in turn, reinforced by the Bible’s numerous figurative examples of literal destruction in regards to human damnation, like weeds cast into fire, Luke 19:27, Gehenna, the burning to ashes of Sodom & Gomorrah, and so forth, which you can read about in Chapter Two. These examples are so simple and obvious that a person would have to be a cemetery graduate to mistake them.

      Also, please see my response to Samual Yoder below for important details on this issue.

      You’re welcome to write me at dawaren@msn.com if you have any further questions/comments, Tom.

      Your Servant,

  2. Patrick

    You say that angels are not affected by fire (Ezekiel 10:7), and yet they are condemned to fire as a punishment. In what way would that be a punishment if they are not affected by it?

    God can make a fire that affects material things without annihilating them – He had a fire that burned a bush that didn’t annihilate the bush.

    God can make a fire that does affect spirits (humans and angels), and a fire that burns flesh without annihilating them. This would be a fearful place indeed, and the warnings to cut off your hand and gouge out your eye to avoid it would make complete sense. I would never have that kind of a fear of a judgment that is like putting a bullet in your head where it’s just done and over.

    • Dirk Waren

      I didn’t write this particular article except for the long quoted part. But to address your points…

      You say that angels are not affected by fire (Ezekiel 10:7), and yet they are condemned to fire as a punishment. In what way would that be a punishment if they are not affected by it?

      Actually, the article never says that angels are not affected by fire, but rather that “fire does not affect angelic beings like humans.” Fire in the natural burns to ashes human beings (e.g. 2 Peter 2:6), but since angelic beings “cannot die,” as Christ pointed out (Luke 20:34-36), the lake of fire will have a different effect on the fallen angels captive there. The text (Revelation 20:10) plainly states that “They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever” and the article expounds upon this.

      As far as the burning bush goes (Exodus 3:2-3), the fire was supernatural and it was via this flame that the LORD appeared to Moses. By contrast, the weeds in Christ’s parable from Matthew 13:24-30 and 13:40-43 are symbolic of unsaved people condemned to the lake of fire to suffer the “second death” (Revelation 20:11-15) wherein “raging fire will consume the enemies of God” (Hebrews 10:26-27). As Jesus said in Matthew 10:28: “be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna: the lake of fire).”

      I would never have that kind of a fear of a judgment that is like putting a bullet in your head where it’s just done and over.

      This problematic argument is addressed elsewhere on this site here.

      The root issue here is what you believe to be the wages of human sin; that is, the ultimate consequences of rebellion against God. According to your theology the wages of sin is eternal life in roasting torment whereas God’s Word plainly says that “the wages of sin is DEATH, but the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

      These are the two polar opposites available to human beings: eternal life or death, not eternal life in heavenly bliss and eternal life in burning conscious torment. This explains something God stressed: “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” (Ezekiel 18:31). What we all have to grasp is that immortality and eternal life are only available through the awesome gospel of Christ (2 Timothy 1:10).

      I encourage you to read HELL KNOW, which goes over all the details of human damnation and related issues. Here’s the CONTENTS PAGE, which provides access to every chapter, and here’s Chapter One.

      God Bless You and Your Service for the LORD, Patrick.

      PS: You can write me at dawaren@msn.com for further dialoguing. Thanks, brother.

  3. Samual Yoder

    Makes sense to me. If God can create he can destroy said creation, I don’t see it that angels can not be destroyed the same as humans. God can do whatever he wants he is not limited in any way, including destroying Satan and those angels that rebelled with him, after all it just says the Satanic trinity were cast into the lake of fire it says nothing about the fallen angels being tormented forever so I take it God destroyed them but the punishment of Satan, the beast & the false prophet were different then humans and fallen angels.

    • Dirk Waren

      Thanks for the feedback, Samual.

      Christ said that angels “cannot die” and therefore they possess intrinsic immortality (Luke 20:34-36). Thus the lake of fire is the “eternal fire” “prepared for the devil and his angels” as their eternal habitation (Matthew 25:41,46). The LORD did not want this tragedy to happen to fallen humanity so he banished Adam & Eve from the Garden of Eden after their fall so that they wouldn’t be able to “take also from the tree of life and live forever” in a fallen state, like the devil & his filthy minions (Genesis 3:22-24). Only those redeemed through Christ will have the right to eat of the tree of life and live forever (Revelation 2:7 & 22:14).

      Unredeemed people who are condemned of God on Judgment Day are cast into the lake of fire for the purpose of destruction and eradication (Revelation 20:11-15 & Matthew 10:28). Unlike the devil & his loser angels they’re not immortal; eternal life and immortality are only available to people via the gospel of Christ (2 Timothy 1:10). As Jesus said, unredeemed people will be like weeds cast into fire and burned up (Matthew 13:40). What happens to weeds thrown into fire? They BURN UP.

    • Dirk Waren

      The flame in that bush was decidedly supernatural through which the LORD appeared to Moses in the flame.

      By contrast, in Christ’s parable from Matthew 13:24-30 and 13:40-43 the weeds are symbolic of unsaved people condemned to the lake of fire to suffer the “second death” (Revelation 20:11-15) wherein “raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” (Hebrews 10:26-27). This is why the Lord elsewhere said to “be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna: the lake of fire)” in Matthew 10:28.

      This corresponds to another parable Jesus gave in Luke 19:11-27 wherein he likened unbelievers who hate him and reject his Lordship to enemies of a king. This was his conclusion “As for those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them — bring them here and KILL THEM in front of me” (verse 27).

      This in turn corresponds to something sobering James emphasized: “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and DESTROY” (James 4:12).

  4. jim ott

    Thank you so much for providing all of this information. It is a great resource and very helpful.
    God bless you!

  5. Grace Receiver

    What you have stated here is so incredibly clear and concise. Straight from the Scriptures, yet people continue to try and refute it.
    Can you please explain Ezekiel 28:18 in light of the understanding that the fate of the devil is different than the fate of unsaved humans? This verse seems to say that Satan’s final state will be ashes, just like man’s.

  6. I think this is a great variation of conditional immortality interpretation for Revelation 20:10. I have been on board after reading Fudge (and Froom’s work) but never liked the exegesis of Rev. 20:10. Relegating it to the devil and his demons draws a needed distinction between humans and fallen angels. I wonder if other conditionalists will follow suit or if they will still keep clinging to the “well, this is apocalyptic imagery you see so tormented forever and ever is just symbolic of destruction.” Our exegesis must fit the text not be forced upon it. Great work. I’ve already linked your site to a new series of blogs I’m working on.

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