Jehovah's Witnesses' Beliefs- Hell and the Grave, are they the same?

Jesus said, "I have come that they might have life and have it in abundance." John 10:10, last half, New World Translation

I'll be speaking mainly to the Jehovah's Witnesses and the subject is going to be a hot one, I'll be speaking on the subject of hell. Jehovah's Witnesses tell me that hell is the grave and I have a lot of problems with that as I shall proceed now to show why. I'm even going to use the New World Translation because they still haven't changed it enough to fit all their teachings so it is still useable to a small degree.

"Jesus used the valley of Hinnon to illustrate gehenna, which is the greek form of the Hebrew 'Gehinnom', valley of Hinnon where children were sacrificed (burnt) to the god- Molech. Later on animals and other things were thrown in it. There was a horrible screaming or wailing as they did this (Remember in the Bible, Jesus said, "there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, ck. Matt.8:12, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30). From the horrible sins practiced in it till it was polluted, descrated and converted by Josiah into a place of abomination by the strewing of dead men's bones (ck. I Kings 11:7,8, 13:2; 2 Kings 23 also 2 Kings 23:16 goes with 1 Kings 13:2,3 that was mentioned in this set of verses and ck. 2 Kings 13:23). By New Testament times, it became the garbage and rubbish heap of Jerusalem, and a place of continuous fires, a symbol of the lost spirits in torments. They threw everything in there and the fire burned for years and years and years." What better place could Jesus use to show what hell is going to be like since He wanted a natural illustration so He used the valley of Hinnom. If hell was simply a grave, He could have easily pointed to a hole in the ground or a cave but He didn't and He never compared it as such. Please read some of these verses in your Bible, they help to explain what hell is going to be like. Matt. 5:22,29,30, 10:28, 18:9, 23:15,33. Read Mark 9:42-49, if hell is simply the grave, this scripture and many others don't make any sense. There is probably over 130 verses which speak of hell without using the word 'hell'. Using a concordance check out words like accursed, anguish, Beelzebub, Blackness of Darkness, bottomless pit, burn, condemn, cursed, damnation, darkness, demons, destruction, devil, eternal, everlasting, fearful, fiery, fire, flame, forever, furance, harvest, indignation, judgment, Lucifer, perdition, perish, punish, recompence, suffer, tear, torment, tribulation, unquenchable, venage, wail, weep, wicked, wrath.

By the time that you finish looking up all of those words, let me know if you still think hell is just the grave. I'll give you one illustration and in this one Jesus is using a parable, read Matt.13:24-30 and then read the explanation that he gives to that parable in verses 37-43. Parables are short stories used to teach truth and that is a simple definition for a parable so as you read His parables, keep that thought in mind. Also check out the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31, some call this a parable and some say a historical event, either case, Jesus is teaching an eternal truth and doctrinally it meets the rest of the Bible. The man in the story had eyes to see, a head to lift, has a voice, his tongue and throat are parched. He has a memory, ears to hear. He is alive but dead. If you repent you won't go to that place of torment. It must be a place besides the grave because if Jesus tarries, everybody will go there- Christian or not.

Also check verses like Isa.33:14; Matt. 25:41; Rom. 2:5-9 and cross that one with Rev. 6:9-17, Jude 13.
So we see that hell is a place of unsatisfied desires and untold sufferings.

I would like to share a couple of thoughts concerning certain words that Jehovah's Witnesses don't seem to understand the meaning in the greek, words like destroy, death. First let's take the word, 'destroy', the greek is appolumi (ap-ol'-loo-mee) which means 'to destroy fully, to perish or to lose) lit. or fig.:- destroy, die, lose, mar, perish.

Let's read a couple of verses using this greek word. Going to Romans 14:15 and reading out the of New World Translation it says, quoting: "For if because of food your brother is being grieved, you are no longer walking in accord with love. Do not by your food ruin that one for whom Christ died." unquote And the word 'ruin' here is the same greek word for 'destroy'. So we see that you could ruin a brother's sense of well-being with eating meats but you can't anniliate him that way. Let's look at another one, go to Luke 15:3-32 and read the three parables that Jesus spoke there and everytime that you read the word, 'lost', it's that same greek word. And it for sure that the sheep that he found weren't anniliated, neither was the lost coin that was found, or the lost prodigal son who came back. These and many, many more verses shows that they are where they shouldn't be or in a condition that they shouldn't be in and hell is surely a place that God doesn't want anybody in or a condition that he wants them is, it just isn't but we have a choice. Heaven or hell?

Now I want to speak on the word 'death' and see how the bible uses it and we'll start off with a verse that the Jehovah's Witnesses really like and it's Ezek.18:4 (last part), or v. 20 (first part), "The soul that is sinning- it itself will die." Death in the Bible is protrayed as 'separation' not 'cessation of being, extinction, or unconsciousness' as the Jehovah's Witnesses falsely teach. If we read it all, it'll clear up some confusion especially when you get to verses 27 & 28 which let's us know that if a man turns from his wicked ways, he shall save his soul alive, he shall not die. And if it's the body, all the righteous men in the Old Testament died so it would be a lie and God doesn't lie. Also verses like I Tim. 5:6 which says, "But the one who does it for sensual gratification is dead though she is living." This verse shows that a person can be dead (separated from God yet alive). And in Eph. 2:1, we read: "Furthermore, [it is] you [God made alive] though you were dead in your trespasses and sins," Once again we see that they'll dead (separated from God) yet alive. Don't forget the prodigal son that I asked you to read earlier, in Luke 15:24, it says, "because this my son was dead and came to life again; he was lost and was found.' And they started to enjoy themselves."

And this is the final one for now, he was alive but dead to God (separated). God doesn't want you to stay dead to himself, He wants you to come to him for life before it's to late and you in up dead for all eternity in the lake of fire. If I were you, I would be checking out for myself if there is an eternal hell or not. I sure wouldn't take another man's word it or even a group of men but do as God says in 2 Tim. 2:15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (KJV) Even in the Watchtower's book, 'The Truth that leads to Eternal Life' has a pretty good comment that you should take heed to on page 13, it says: "We need to examine, not only what we personally believe, but also what is taught by any religious organization with which we may be associated." I would strongly advise you to take that command in the bible and the statement in the 'Truth' book to heart and do what it says. Study, check it out for yourself, your eternal destiny is based on what you do with the Lord Jesus Christ. So decide! What are you going to do with Jesus, the biblical one, the Lord God Almighty? He wants to set you free. He wants to give you life. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (KJV) Just remember the Biblical Jesus is speaking not some make-believe Jesus. Not the Mormon Jesus who is the brother of Satan, or the Roman Catholic Jesus who is the bread and the wine at their Eucharist or the Jehovah's Witness' Jesus who is Michael the archangel or any other cult's Jesus but the real one and he saves. Come to him today!

Also read my other article regarding hell at Is Hell the grave?

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