Where are the Dead?
Although I am not in full agreement with some of Mr. Dake's theories such as the "Pre-Adamite" theory, I do find that this study is very comprehensive and informative as to the condition of the dead! The doctrine that the dead are unconscious, until the resurrection (soul sleep) and the teaching that there is no torment in Hell, is prevalent with the Jehovah's Witnesses, who borrowed this doctrine from the group by whom the J.W.'s can trace their origin, the Seventh Day Adventists!
The following study deals with all phases of the subject of the dead and their destiny:
I. Death Defined
The word "death" as applied to man in Scripture means separation, or a cutting off from
fulfilling God's purpose for which he was created. One can logically substitute the word
separation for death in every scripture where it is used. It will clarify many passages to
do so, as we shall see below.
II. Physical Death
Physical death is the separation of the inner man from the outer man, the separation of
the soul and spirit from the body (note * James 2:26).
III. Spiritual Death
Spiritual death is separation of man from God because of sin (see Three Kinds of Death
in Scripture). One can be alive physically and spiritually dead at the same time (Matthew
8:22; Col. 2:13; 1 Tim. 5:6). He can also be dead physically and alive in hell - conscious
in the soul and spirit, or the inner man *
IV. Second Death: Eternal Death
The second death means the second and eternal separation from God in the lake of fire
(Rev. 2:11; Rev. 20:6,14; Rev. 21:8).
V. Penalty for Sin
The penalty for sin was eternal death or eternal separation from God in hell. Had it been
physical death, every man would be automatically justified in the sight of God when he
died physically. With the penalty thus paid, God could not punish the sinner any further
than physical death. Such death would be the means of justification and the door to
heaven; but this could not be. Some who die physically will be saved and others will be
lost, so the penalty could not be physical death.
Neither could it be spiritual death, which is the state of man in sin, * for all have sinned (Romans 3:23).
The real penalty for sin, therefore, could not be physical or spiritual death, but eternal
death or separation from God. Physical death is the result of spiritual and eternal death.
Eternal death is the penalty for spiritual death or committing sin (Ephes. 2:1-9).
VI. Resurrection From Spiritual Death
The resurrection of man from spiritual death (or separation from God) takes place when
one is saved from death in trespasses and sins (Ephes. 2:1-10), when he is born again
(John 3:1-8), is made a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17-18), and is fully reconciled to
God through Christ (2 Cor. 5:14-21; Ephes. 2:12-16; Col. 1:20-22; Col. 2:6-13).
VII. Immortality of the Soul
The soul and spirit (together called the inner man) are immortal. They continue in full
consciousness between the death and resurrection of the body, and in the new
resurrected body into all eternity. *
(Those who claim that the soul is not "immortal" such as the SDA's and J.W.'s, have returned to the teachings of the Sadducees
- Acts 23:6-8)
VIII. Mortality of the Body
The body is now mortal. It will die and go back to dust (Genesis 3:19; Eccles. 3:19-21;
Hebrews 9:27; James 2:26). This procedure will continue until sin is put down and death
is destroyed (1 Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 21:3-7; Rev. 22:3).
IX. Resurrection of the Dead
This refers only to the bodies of all men who die, not to the souls and spirits which are
immortal. Without exception, all scriptures on the future resurrection of the dead refer
only to the bodies which die and will be resurrected from dust again (Daniel 12:2; John
5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15; 1 Thes. 4:13-17; Rev. 20:4-6,11-15). There will be no spiritual
resurrection - a resurrection of the soul and spirit. All spiritual resurrection is
accomplished in this life before the body dies (Ephes. 2:1-10; Col. 2:11-13). If one is not
resurrected spiritually from death in trespasses and sins in this life, he will remain
forever spiritually dead or separated from God (Hebrews 9:27; Rev. 22:11).
X. No Soul-Sleeping Taught
All scriptures used by false cults to prove soul-sleep really refer to death of the body
which knows nothing in the grave. *
XI. Immortality of the Body
The body, which is now mortal, will become immortal in the resurrection. All scriptures
mentioning future immortality refer to the body, not to the soul which is now immortal.
XII. The Intermediate State
This refers to the state of the dead between death and the resurrection of the body. After
the body goes back to dust at physical death (Genesis 3:19; Eccles. 3:19-21; James 2:26),
it remains dead (separated from the inner man) until the future resurrection day when the
body will be made immortal (1 Cor. 15:35-54). The soul and spirit remain alive, being
immortal either in heaven or hell, until the resurrection day when the body will be made
At physical death the soul and spirit leave the body (James 2:26). If one is a converted
person, his soul and spirit go to heaven immediately at death to await the resurrection of
the body (Luke 20:38; John 11:25-26; 2 Cor. 5:8; Ephes. 3:15; Ephes. 4:8-10; Phil. 1:21-
24; Hebrews 12:22-23; Rev. 6:9-11). If he is a sinner, his soul and spirit go to hell at
death to await the resurrection of the body (Isaiah 14:9; Luke 16:19-31; 2 Peter 2:9; Rev.
XIII. Five Departments in the Underworld of Departed Spirits
There are five distinct prisons in the underworld of departed spirits:
1.Tartarus (1 Peter 3:19; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6-7). This prison is a special one for fallen
angels who sinned before the flood. No human beings or demons ever go to this
prison. See note, ?2 Peter 2:4.
2.Paradise (Luke 16:19-31; Luke 23:43). This was the abode of the righteous after
physical death, where they were held captive by the devil against their will, until
Christ conquered death, hell, and the grave. It is now empty of the righteous, who go
to heaven at death, since Christ captured the *Saints held captive in hell and took them to heaven
with Him when He ascended on high. See note, ?Luke 16:22; note, ?Ephes. 4:8; note,
3.Hell (Matthew 16:18; Luke 16:19-31). This is the torment compartment of
Sheol/Hades where wicked souls have always gone and will always go until the end
of the Millennium. Then the wicked will be brought out of here to be reunited with
their resurrected immortal bodies, and cast into the lake of fire for eternity (Rev.
4.The abyss or bottomless pit (Luke 8:26-31; Romans 10:7; Rev. 9:1-3,11; Rev. 11:7;
Rev. 17:8; Rev. 20:1-10). This is the abode of demons and some angelic beings. No
human soul and spirit ever go to the abyss. The O.T. equivalent is Abaddon and is
translated destruction (Job 26:6; Job 28:22; Job 31:12; Psalm 88:11; Proverbs 15:11;
5.The lake of fire. This is the eternal hell and perdition of all fallen angels, demons,
and wicked men (Rev. 20:6,11-15; Rev. 21:8; Rev. 22:15). It is the same as
gehenna (GSN-1067) of note, ?Luke 12:5. It is the final hell prepared for the devil
and his angels (Matthew 25:41) and is eternal in duration (Isaiah 66:22-24; Matthew
25:46; Rev. 14:9-14; Rev. 19:20; Rev. 20:10-15).
The English word "hell" is defined as "the abode of evil spirits; infernal regions; place of
eternal punishment or extreme torment; in ancient times, the place of departed spirits."
The word infernal means "belonging to hell." The word inferno is another word for "the
infernal regions; hell." Gehenna is defined as "the place of future torment; hell; hell-
fire." Tartarus is defined as "the place of punishment in the lower world." There are
seven Hebrew and Greek words translated hell and grave as follows:
1.Hebrew: she'owl (HSN-7585), the unseen world. It always refers to the unseen
world of departed spirits, and is always in contrast with the Hebrew: qeber (HSN-
6913), which means the grave, or the seen world where bodies are buried. Qeber is
always translated grave, burying place, sepulchre. It is never translated hell, and
She'owl (HSN-7585) is translated "hell" 31 times (Deut. 32:22; 2 Samuel 22:6;
Job 11:8; Job 26:6; Psalm 9:17; Psalm 16:10; Psalm 18:5; Psalm 55:15; Psalm 86:13;
Psalm 116:3; Psalm 139:8; Proverbs 5:5; Proverbs 7:27; Proverbs 9:18; Proverbs
15:11,24; Proverbs 23:14; Proverbs 27:20; Isaiah 5:14; Isaiah 14:9,15; Isaiah
28:15,18; Isaiah 57:9; Ezekiel 31:16-17; Ezekiel 32:21,27; Amos 9:2; Jonah 2:2;
Habakkuk 2:5); "grave" 31 times (Genesis 37:35; Genesis 42:38; Genesis 44:29,31; 1
Samuel 2:6; 1 Kings 2:6,9; Job 7:9; Job 14:13; Job 17:13; Job 21:13; Job 24:19;
Psalm 6:5; Psalm 30:3; Psalm 31:17; Psalm 49:14-15; Psalm 88:3; Psalm 89:48;
Psalm 141:7; Proverbs 1:12; Proverbs 30:16; Eccles. 9:10; Song 8:6; Isaiah 14:11;
Isaiah 38:10,18; Ezekiel 31:15; Hosea 13:14); and "pit" 3 times (Numbers 16:30,33;
2.Hebrew: qeber (HSN-6913), the proper word for grave, the seen world, is
translated four different ways and always of the place where the body goes at death:
(1)Grave (Genesis 35:20; Genesis 50:5; Exodus 14:11; Numbers 19:16,18; 2 Samuel
3:32; 2 Samuel 19:37; 1 Kings 13:30; 1 Kings 14:13; 2 Kings 22:20; 2 Kings
23:6; 2 Chron. 34:4,28; Job 3:22; Job 5:26; Job 10:19; Job 17:1; Job 21:32;
Psalm 88:5,11; Isaiah 14:19; Isaiah 53:9; Isaiah 65:4; Jeremiah 8:1; Jeremiah
20:17; Jeremiah 26:23; Ezekiel 32:22-26; Ezekiel 37:12-13; Ezekiel 39:11;
(2)Burial (2 Chron. 26:23; Eccles. 6:3; Isaiah 14:20; Jeremiah 22:19).
(3)Burying place (Genesis 23:4,9,20; Genesis 47:30; Genesis 49:30; Genesis 50:13;
(4)Sepulchre (Genesis 23:6; Deut. 34:6; Judges 8:32; 1 Samuel 10:2; 2 Samuel 2:32;
2 Samuel 4:12; 2 Samuel 17:23; 2 Samuel 21:14; 1 Kings 13:22,31; 2 Kings
9:28; 2 Kings 13:21; 2 Kings 21:26; 2 Kings 23:16-17,30; 2 Chron. 16:14; 2
Chron. 21:20; 2 Chron. 24:25; 2 Chron. 28:27; 2 Chron. 32:33; 2 Chron. 35:24;
Neh. 2:3,5; Neh. 3:16; Psalm 5:9; Isaiah 22:16; Jeremiah 5:16).
3.Greek: Hades (GSN-86), the unseen world. It is equivalent to she'owl (HSN-
7585) of the O.T. and is always in contrast with mnemeion (GSN-3419), the seen
world, or place of bodies at death. Mnemeion, meaning the grave, is never translated
"hell." Hades is translated "hell" ten times (Matthew 11:23; Matthew 16:18; Luke
10:15; Luke 16:23; Acts 2:27,31; Rev. 1:18; Rev. 6:8; Rev. 20:13-14) and "grave"
once (1 Cor. 15:55).
4.Greek: mnemeion (GSN-3419), the proper word for grave, is translated three
different ways, as follows:
(1)Grave (Matthew 27:52-53; Luke 11:44; John 5:28; John 11:17,31,38; John 12:17;
(2)Tomb (Matthew 8:28; Matthew 27:60; Mark 5:2-3; Mark 6:29; Luke 8:27)
(3)Sepulchre (Matthew 23:29; Matthew 27:60; Matthew 28:8; Mark 15:46; Mark
16:2-8; Luke 11:47-48; Luke 23:53,55; Luke 24:1-2,9,12,22,24; John 19:41-42;
John 20:1-11; Acts 2:29; Acts 7:16; Acts 13:29)
5.Greek: gehenna (GSN-1067), from Hebrew: gay' (HSN-1516), gorge or valley,
and Hinnom (HSN-2011), lamentation. It means valley of Hinnom, where perpetual
fires were kept to burn the refuse of Jerusalem. It came to be used by the Jews as an
appropriate picture of eternal hell and punishment. Gehenna is translated "hell"
twelve times (Matthew 5:22,29,30; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 18:9; Matthew
23:15,33; Mark 9:43-47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6). It is never translated grave, and
rightly so. See note, ?Luke 12:5.
6.Greek: tartaros (GSN-5020), the deepest abyss of Sheol/Hades, the unseen
world. The verb form tartaro is translated "cast ... down to hell" in ?2 Peter 2:4. See
7.Greek: limnen (GSN-3041) tou (GSN-3588) puros (GSN-4442), lake of fire, the
same as the gehenna (GSN-1067) of fire, the eternal hell, and perdition of all
rebels against God. It is used five times (Rev. 19:20; Rev. 20:10-15; Rev. 21:8).
It can be seen from a study of all the above scriptures on Sheol/Hades, gehenna, tartaros,
and qeber/mnemeion that hell is not the grave, but a place of consciousness and torment.
This will be abundantly proven in the following facts about hell and the grave:
Eighty-eight Facts Proving that Hell Is Not the Grave:
1.In Scripture, Sheol/Hades (hell) is never the place of the body; qeber/mnemeion
(grave) is never the place of the soul (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:25-29).
2.She'owl (HSN-7585) is never in the plural; qeber (HSN-6913) is plural 38 times,
and singular 74 times.
3.She'owl (HSN-7585) is never located on earth; qeber (HSN-6913) is located on
earth 73 times.
4.The body never goes to she'owl (HSN-7585); the body is mentioned as going to
qeber (HSN-6913) 75 times.
5.An individual's she'owl (HSN-7585) is never mentioned; an individual's qeber
(HSN-6913) is mentioned 79 times.
6.Man never puts anyone into she'owl (HSN-7585); man puts bodies into a qeber
(HSN-6913) 40 times.
7.Man never digs or makes a she'owl (HSN-7585); man digs and makes a qeber
(HSN-6913) 51 times.
8.Man on earth never touches a she'owl (HSN-7585); he touches a qeber (HSN-
6913) 51 times.
9.Man has never seen a she'owl (HSN-7585) on earth; he has seen a qeber (HSN-
6913) 51 times.
10.God alone puts men into she'owl (HSN-7585) (Numbers 16:30-33; 1 Samuel 2:6;
Ezekiel 31:16; Luke 16:19-31).
11.God alone will bring men out of she'owl (HSN-7585) (1 Samuel 2:6; Rev. 20:11-
12.Hell-bound men descend (Isaiah 5:14) and go down (into the lower parts of the earth)
into she'owl (HSN-7585) at death (Genesis 37:35; Genesis 42:38; Genesis
44:29,31; Numbers 16:30-33; 1 Samuel 2:6; 1 Kings 2:6,9; Job 7:9-10; Job 17:16;
Job 21:13; Psalm 31:16-17; Isaiah 14:9-16; Ezekiel 31:15-17; Ezekiel 32:27;
Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15).
13.People go into she'owl (HSN-7585) in a moment and quickly (Numbers 16:30-33;
Job 21:13; Psalm 55:15; Luke 16:19-31).
14.People are forced into she'owl (HSN-7585) (Isaiah 5:15).
15.People are cast into she'owl (HSN-7585) (Ezekiel 31:15-17).
16.Sheol is located in the nether parts of the earth (Ezekiel 31:14-18; Ezekiel 32:24),
lower parts of the earth (Psalm 63:9; Psalm 68:18; Ephes. 4:8-10), heart of the earth
(Matthew 12:40), below the depth of the seas and below the foundations of the
mountains (Jonah 2:2-6), beneath like a pit (Proverbs 15:24; Isaiah 14:9-16; Ezekiel
31:14-18; Ezekiel 32:18-31), and is too deep to dig into (Job 11:8; Amos 9:2).
17.Sheol/Hades, unlike the grave, is a place of activity, a place of wrath (Deut. 32:22;
18.A place of sorrow (Genesis 42:38; Genesis 44:29,31; 2 Samuel 22:6; Psalm 18:5;
Psalm 55:15; Psalm 116:3; Proverbs 7:27; Isaiah 14:9-15).
19.A place of fire (Deut. 32:22; Song 8:6; Luke 16:19-31).
20.A place hidden from man, but naked before God (Job 26:6; Psalm 139:8; Proverbs
15:11; Amos 9:2)
21.A place of power (Psalm 49:15; Hosea 13:14; Matthew 16:18; 1 Cor. 15:51-56; Rev.
1:18; Rev. 6:8).
22.A place of full consciousness (Isaiah 14:9-15; Ezekiel 32:27-31; Luke 16:19-31).
23.A place for the soul and spirit, not the body (Psalm 16:10; Psalm 30:3; Psalm 49:15;
Psalm 86:13; Psalm 89:48; Proverbs 23:14; Acts 2:25-29).
24.A place of conversations (Isaiah 14:9-16; Ezekiel 32:21; Luke 16:19-31).
25.A place where many kings and chief ones of the earth live after death (Isaiah 14:9-
26.A place where its inhabitants are stirred up at the coming of others (Isaiah 14:9-11;
27.A place where great men acknowledge their defeat (Isaiah 14:9-11).
28.A place where men recognize and converse with one another (Isaiah 14:16; Luke
29.A place where knowledge and memory exist (Isaiah 14:10,16; Luke 16:19-31).
30.A place for the proud?Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15. If the grave is hell then the
curse of Jesus here is meaningless, for all go to graves physically, the proud and the
humble, without such a curse (Hebrews 9:27).
31.A place of torment (Luke 16:23).
32.A place of prayer (Jonah 2:2; Luke 16:19-31).
33.A place of regret over mistreatment of others (Luke 16:24-31).
34.A place where men still have willpower, though it is too late to accept God's terms
and escape hell (Luke 16:24-31).
35.A place where men are conscious of life on earth, but cannot visit earth to warn men
of the real torments (Luke 16:26-31).
36.A place where the lost become concious of the need of soul-winning (Luke 16:27-
37.A place so terrible that those who are in it plead for some means of warning others
not to come there (Luke 16:26-31).
38.A place where souls are not burned up by the fire (Luke 16:22-31; 1 Peter 3:4).
39.A place of cruelty (Song 8:6).
40.A place that has enlarged itself?it has not been enlarged by men (Isaiah 5:14).
41.A place that is never full or satisfied (Proverbs 27:20; Proverbs 30:16; Habakkuk
42.A place that receives men in numbers like flocks of sheep (note, ?Psalm 49:14).
43.A place from which only salvation can deliver one (Psalm 86:13).
44.A place of gates and bars (Job 17:16; Isaiah 38:10; Matthew 16:18; Rev. 1:18).
45.A place of debasement (Isaiah 57:9).
46.A place of pains (Psalm 18:5; Psalm 116:3; Luke 16:19-31).
47.A temporary place of torment (Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 20:11-15).
48.A place of two compartments - one for the righteous before the resurrection of
Christ, and one for the wicked departed souls from Abel's time to the end of the
Millennium - with a great gulf between the compartments forbidding travel but not
communication between them (Luke 16:19-31).
The Paradise Compartment of Sheol:
49.A place other than the grave for the righteous who, until Christ came, were captives
of the devil against their will (Hebrews 2:14-15). It was called Abraham's bosom
(Luke 16:22) and paradise (Luke 23:43).
50.It was a hiding place from God's wrath after death (Job 14:13; Luke 16:19-31), a
place without fire, but with water and other comforts (Ezekiel 31:16; Luke 16:19-
51.Lazarus went into this place of comfort, but his body went to the grave (Luke 16:19-
52.Christ and the penitent thief went into paradise at death (Psalm 16:10; Matthew
12:40; Luke 23:43; Ephes. 4:8-10).
53.Jonah also went into this compartment while his body was dead in the belly of the
whale (Jonah 2:2,6-7; Matthew 12:40).
54.Angels carried the righteous souls into this compartment, but men carried their
bodies to graves (Luke 16:22-26; Luke 23:43).
55.Christ, while there, preached to the angels in tartarus, proving that the hell He was in
is not the grave (Psalm 16:10; note, ?1 Peter 3:19).
56.Christ, while in Sheol/Hades, liberated the righteous captives of Satan taking them to
heaven with Him when He ascended on high (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 2:14-15).
57.Paradise is now empty of all the righteous souls (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 12:23); the
graves continue to hold bodies of both the righteous and unrighteous.
58.The righteous were alive in paradise, else Christ could not have preached and
liberated the righteous captives; and Lazarus and others in this place could not have
been comforted (Luke 16:19-31).
The Torment Compartment of Sheol:
59.It is the lowest part of Sheol, even lower than paradise, and therefore could not be
the grave (Deut. 32:22; Psalm 86:13; Proverbs 9:18; Isaiah 57:9).
60.The greater number of people (not all) go into it at death (Deut. 32:22; Psalm 9:17;
Isaiah 5:14; Luke 16:19-31), whereas all men go into a grave, watery or otherwise, at
61.The fire in it is as literal as the mountains (Deut. 32:22; Luke 16:19-31).
62.The fire is kindled in God's wrath (Deut. 32:22)
63.Entrance into it is down, deeper than a grave, through the earth to its center
(Numbers 16:30-33; Matthew 12:40; Ephes. 4:8-10).
64.Bodies of men are buried at the mouth of it on the earth's surface only (Psalm 141:7).
65.Men go alive into it (Numbers 16:30-33; Psalm 88:3; Proverbs 1:12; Ezekiel 32:27-
31; Luke 16:19-31).
66.The wicked only are tormented in it (Deut. 32:22; Psalm 9:17; Proverbs 5:5;
Proverbs 7:27; Proverbs 9:18; Isaiah 14:9-16; Luke 16:19-31).
67.Its depth is contrasted with the height of heaven, which could never be so of the
grave (Job 11:7; Isaiah 57:9; Amos 9:2).
68.The Rephaim, or giants, are there for sexual sins, proving that they are still alive in
she'owl (HSN-7585) (notes on ?Genesis 6:1-4; Proverbs 9:18; Proverbs 21:16;
Isaiah 14:9-19; Isaiah 26:14).
69.Christ now has the keys of Sheol/Hades (Rev. 1:18).
70.Chastening can help men to be godly and escape it (Proverbs 23:14), but chastening
will not keep men from graves. All go to graves, but all do not go to hell. In fact, no
saved man goes there since Christ conquered hell (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-24; Hebrews
12:23; Rev. 6:9-11).
71.The gates of hell (Hades) shall not prevail against the church in this age (Matthew
16:18), but they did prevail against O.T. saints, for they all went down into the
paradise compartment of she'owl (HSN-7585) and were held captive by Satan
against their will (Hebrews 2:14-15). Since the resurrection of Christ, saints do not
go to Sheol/Hades as before He conquered hell and liberated the righteous souls from
Satan, leading them captive to heaven (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 2:14-15). Saints of
this age now go to heaven at death instead of to Sheol (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-24;
Hebrews 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11), which proves that hell is not the grave. No such
change regarding graves has ever been made. The bodies of both the righteous and
the wicked continue to be put into graves.
72.Every man in Sheol/Hades will be brought out and judged 1,000 years after the
righteous have been resurrected (Rev. 20:4-6,11-15). If men at death are extinct or
unconscious in graves, why bring them back into existence or consciousness just to
judge them and send them into extinction of being again, as false cults teach? This
would make the Bible a lie, for conscious punishment of sins would then be
impossible. Unconsciousness in graves now, and unconsciousness and extinction of
being in eternity, would not meet the demands of the law of eternal punishment for
eternal rebellion, as we shall see below.
73.Sheol/Hades held the captives that were captured by Christ and taken to heaven
when He ascended on high (Ephes. 4:8-10; Hebrews 2:14-15). How could extinct or
unconcious men be held captive? Why would Christ even attempt to capture extinct
beings? What would He want with them? Those He captured must have been real
and living, for God is not the God of the dead bodies of men but of their living souls
(Luke 20:38). If the captives were brought back into being again when their
captivity by Christ took place, then the resurrection of the righteous has already
taken place and many scriptures stating the future resurrection of both the righteous
and the wicked are without meaning (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; 1 Thes. 4:16; Rev.
74.Qeber/mnemeion, the proper words for grave, are never translated "hell."
Sheol/Hades should never have been translated "grave." To prove this, let us
substitute hell where burial, grave, tomb, and sepulchre are found and see how
ridiculous it would be:
Examples of Using "Hell" for "Grave":
(1)Choice of our hells (Genesis 23:6)
(2)Jacob set a pillar upon her hell (Genesis 35:20)
(3)In my hell which I have digged (Genesis 50:5)
(4)Because ... no hells in Egypt (Exodus 14:11)
(5)Whosoever touches a hell shall be unclean seven days (Numbers 19:16,18)
(6)Buried by the hell of my father (2 Samuel 19:37)
(7)Carcass in his own hell (1 Kings 13:30)
(8)The hell of Elisha (2 Kings 13:21)
(9)Hell of the man of God (2 Kings 23:17)
(10)Remain among the hells (Isaiah 65:4)
(11)Bones out of hells (Jeremiah 8:1)
(12)Hells of the prophets (Matthew 23:29)
(13)Hells of the righteous (Matthew 23:29)
(14)Dwelling among the hells (Mark 5:3)
Examples of Using "Grave" for "Hell":
(1)Fire burning in the lowest grave kindled by God's wrath (Deut. 32:22)
(2)Sorrows of the grave (2 Samuel 22:6)
(3)Wicked and all nations that forget God turned into the grave (Psalm 9:17)
(4)Soul in the grave (Psalm 16:10)
(5)Pains of the grave (Psalm 116:3)
(6)The grave is never full (Proverbs 27:20)
(7)The inhabitants of the grave move to welcome you at your coming (Isaiah 14:9)
(8)Speak out of the grave (Ezekiel 32:21)
(9)Shall be in danger of grave fire (Matthew 5:22; Matthew 18:9; Mark 9:43-49)
(10)Fire of the grave never quenched (Mark 9:43-49)
(11)God only has power to cast in the grave (Luke 12:5)
(12)In the grave he lift up his eyes, being in torments in fire ... flame (Luke 16:19-
(13)Angels cast down to the grave (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6-7)
Other Ridiculous Conclusions:
(1)They shall look into the grave on sinners where their worm does not die and
their fire shall not be quenched (Isaiah 66:22-24).
(2)Cast into the grave where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth
(Matthew 8:11-12; Matthew 22:13; Matthew 24:51; Matthew 25:30).
(3)Who has warned you to flee from wrath in the grave (Matthew 3:7)?
(4)Killed and cast into the fire of the grave (Matthew 3:10).
(5)Burn in unquenchable fire in the grave (Matthew 3:12; Matthew 7:19; Luke
(6)Tares are burned in the grave fire (Matthew 13:40,50).
(7)Cast them into the grave of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth
(8)A twofold child more of the grave than yourselves (Matthew 23:15).
(9)Be cast into everlasting fire in the grave (Matthew 18:8-10).
(10)Depart from Me, you cursed, into the grave of everlasting fire prepared for the
devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).
(11)These shall go away in the grave of everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46).
(12)The angels that sinned have been reserved in everlasting chains and set forth for
an example of suffering the eternal fire of the grave (Jude 1:6-7).
(13)He opened the grave and out of it came forth smoke of a great furnace that
darkened the sun (Rev. 9).
(14)The smoke of the grave rose up forever and ever (Rev. 19:3).
(15)Satan shall be cast into the grave of fire and brimstone and shall be tormented
day and night forever and ever (Rev. 20:7-10).
(16)Death and the grave were cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14).
(17)All sinners shall have their part in the grave that burns with fire and brimstone
(Rev. 21:8; Rev. 22:15).
(18)Are you come to torment us (demons) in the grave before it is time to be
tormented (Matthew 8:29)?
(19)Warn my five brethren lest they also come to this grave of torment in fire (Luke
(20)He (Lazarus) has comfort in his grave but you have torment in yours (Luke
(21)He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the grave and they shall have
no rest day or night forever and ever (Rev. 14:9-11).
Many other statements just as ridiculous could be made if we, like false cults, forced
a meaning into Scripture that is not there - that hell is the grave; that there is no
consciousness after death; that eternal fire and eternal punishment in hell are false.
75.Hades (GSN-86) is spoken of as being completely defeated (1 Cor. 15:55). This is
sufficient proof that it isn't the grave.
76.The fact that the soul is immortal proves that it remains in consciousness some place
between death and resurrection (note, ?1 Peter 3:4). Since it does not go to the grave,
but to hell (Isaiah 14:9-16; Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 20:11-15) or heaven (2 Cor. 5:8;
Phil. 1:21-24; Hebrews 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11), then hell is not the grave.
77.Since the soul is immortal and the body mortal (Genesis 3:19; Eccles. 3:19-21), then
it is clear that only the body goes into the grave to see corruption until its
resurrection to immortality when (if wicked) it will be punished in hell with the soul
or (if righteous), will be permitted to enjoy eternal bliss.
78.Since only the body is to be changed in the future resurrection of the dead, then only
the body will come out of unconsciousness in the grave so it can be made as
immortal as the soul and spirit, and be rewarded in heaven or punished in hell,
according to its deeds (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Rev. 20:11-15). *
79.Since soul-sleep is not taught in Scripture and body-sleep is, then it is the body only
that is unconscious in the grave. * The soul goes to hell or heaven at death, as seen in the
many scriptures above.
80.Since the bodies of the wicked as well as the righteous will become immortal in the
resurrection, then it is impossible to burn them up, consume them, annihilate them, or
cause them to become extinct through fire or any other means. Where are immortal
wicked beings going to spend eternity as everlasting monuments of God's wrath and
examples of eternal punishment for rebellion (as in Isaiah 66:22-24; Rev. 14:9-11;
etc.), if not in hell?
81.Because there is full consciousness in the intermediate state between death and
resurrection, souls of the wicked as well as the righteous must go to some place of
waiting to remain until the resurrection of the body. * Where would the wicked go to
await their bodies and receive judgment and their degrees of punishment, if not to hell?
82.Since the word "hell" is never in the plural, and since it is always clear, not only
from the original words but from the subject matter of the texts, that bodies are put
into graves and souls go to heaven or hell, then we must acknowledge that hell is not
83.Of the 65 places where she'owl (HSN-7585) is used, 11 where Hades is used, 12
where gehenna (GSN-1067), 5 the lake of fire, and the 1 time where tartaros (the
verb form tartaroo (GSN-5020)) is used in Scripture, only 2 places seem to teach
that hell is the grave and that there is no consciousness in Sheol (Psalm 6:5; Eccles.
The first passage is simply the statement of a man in great distress. He could not see
how the inhabitants in she'owl (HSN-7585) could remember God's goodness and give
thanks to Him while in torment such as the rich man suffered in Luke 16. It is easily
conceivable how such tormented rebels against God would not give thanks to Him, so
this would not prove anything regarding hell being the grave. David did not believe that
hell was the grave and that there was no life in she'owl (HSN-7585), for in many
places he taught that Sheol was the place of the immortal soul (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:25-
29); a place of sorrows and pains (Psalm 18:5); and a place of full consciousness where
the wicked go at death (Psalm 9:17; Psalm 31:17; Psalm 68:18; Psalm 88:3).
In the second passage, Eccles. 9:10, Solomon merely expresses the idea that all human
activity under the sun ceases at death, as proved by the next verse where he speaks of
profit under the sun. The phrase "under the sun" is found 29 times in this short book.
Solomon does not mean that hell is the grave in Eccles. 9:10, for elsewhere he teaches
that the righteous do not go to the same compartment of Sheol as the wicked do
(Proverbs 5:5; Proverbs 7:27; Proverbs 9:18; Proverbs 15:11,24; Proverbs 23:14;
84.The confinement of angels and demons to prisons under the earth because of sin
proves that others - the immortal souls and spirits of the human race - *
can also be confined to material prisons in the underworld (Isaiah 24:21-22; 1 Peter
3:19; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6-7; Rev. 9:1-21; Rev. 20:1-10).
85.Examples of continued consciousness after death prove that hell and heaven are real
places of life and not the grave where there is no life (Matthew 17:1-5; Luke 16:19-31;
Hebrews 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11).
86.The Bible refers to life after death in many places. *
87.Degrees of punishment in eternal hell prove that neither Sheol/Hades nor the lake of
fire is the grave (Matthew 10:15; Matthew 11:22-24; Matthew 16:27; Matthew 23:12-
15; Rev. 20:11-15). How could there be any kind of eternal punishment, much less
degrees of punishment, if the wicked are extinct?
88.The eternal length of punishment of the wicked proves hell is not the grave. All
bodies in graves will be resurrected and graves will be no more, but hell and eternal
punishment will never end.
Fourteen Fallacies about Hell:
1.Hell is the grave. This is abundantly disproved above.
2.Fire in hell is figurative. The word fire is found in Scripture 549 times and is used
figuratively only a few times. It is always clear when it is used figuratively, as of
anger (Psalm 89:46); jealousy (Psalm 79:5); zeal (Psalm 104:4; John 2:17); shame
(Romans 12:20); trials (1 Peter 1:7); judgment (Zech. 13:9); Word of God (Jeremiah
23:29); tongue (James 3:5-6); and God (Hebrews 12:29). Fire is used in plain literal
descriptive language in the following statements of hell:
(1)Set on fire the foundations of mountains in the lowest Sheol (Deut. 32:22).
(2)Neither shall their fire be quenched (Isaiah 66:22-24; Mark 9:43-49).
(3)Unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:10,12).
(4)Hell fire (Matthew 5:22; Matthew 18:9; Mark 9:43-49).
(5)Cast into the fire (Matthew 7:19).
(6)Furnace of fire (Matthew 13:40-50).
(7)Cast into everlasting fire (Matthew 18:8; Matthew 25:41,46).
(8)Fire that never shall be quenched (Mark 9:43-49; Luke 3:17).
(9)The vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:6-7).
(10)Tormented with fire and brimstone (Rev. 14:9-11).
(11)Lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev. 19:20; Rev. 21:8).
(12)Lake of fire and brimstone (Rev. 19:20; Rev. 20:14-15).
3.Punishment of hell not eternal. If language means anything the torments of hell are
proved to be eternal in the following:
(1)Danger of eternal damnation (Mark 3:29)
(2)Eternal judgment (Hebrews 6:2)
(3)Vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:7)
(4)Shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29)
(5)Everlasting fire (Matthew 18:8; Matthew 25:41)
(6)Everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46)
(7)Everlasting destruction (2 Thes. 1:9)
(8)Everlasting chains (Jude 1:6-7)
(9)The smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever (Rev. 14:9-11).
(10)Tormented day and night forever and ever (Rev. 20:10)
The same words translated "eternal," "everlasting," and "forever and ever," which are
used to state the eternity of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, life, etc., are also used of hell
and punishment. Therefore, if these persons and things are eternal, then hell and
punishment are eternal. Some teach that forever means age-long. This may be true
when used in a limited and qualified sense of temporary things, as in Exodus 21:6, but
when used literally of God's plan it always means eternal. The Hebrew word: 'owlam
(HSN-5769) and the Greek word aionios (GSN-166) mean time out of mind, past or
future; eternity; always; forever; everlasting; perpetual; without end. Besides the above
eternal things, the following is a partial list:
Sixty-five Other Eternal Things
(1)God (Deut. 33:27; Romans 1:20; Rev. 4:9)
(2)God's name (Exodus 3:15; Psalm 72:17)
(3)God's throne (Psalm 93:2)
(4)God's kingdom on earth (Exodus 15:18; Psalm 145:13; Psalm 146:10; Jeremiah
10:10; Daniel 2:44-45; Daniel 4:3,4; 2 Peter 1:11)
(5)God's Word (Deut. 29:29; Psalm 12:6-7; Psalm 119:89,152,160; Isaiah 40:8; 1
(6)God's glory (Psalm 104:31; 2 Cor. 4:17; 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Peter 5:10; Rev. 1:6)
(7)God's purpose on earth (Ephes. 3:11)
(8)God's mercy (1 Chron. 16:34; Psalm 118)
(9)God's kindness (Isaiah 54:8)
(10)God as light among men (Isaiah 60:19-20)
(11)Fear of God (Psalm 19:9)
(12)God's counsel (Psalm 33:11)
(13)God's righteousness (Psalm 111:3; Psalm 112:3; Isaiah 51:8; Daniel 9:24)
(14)God's works (Psalm 111:7-8; Psalm 148:6)
(15)God's protection (Psalm 125:2)
(16)Christ (Micah 5:2)
(17)Christ's throne (Psalm 45:6; Hebrews 1:8)
(18)Christ's reign on earth (Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 7:13-14; Luke 1:32-33; Rev. 11:15)
(19)Christ dwelling in the midst of Israel visibly (Ezekiel 43:7-9)
(20)Christ the same (Hebrews 13:8)
(21)Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:14)
(22)Holy Spirit among men (John 14:16)
(23)Heavens (Psalm 72:17; 2 Cor. 5:1)
(24)Earth (Psalm 104:5; Eccles. 1:4)
(25)Man - eternal generations of natural people
(26)Israel as an eternal earthly nation (2 Samuel 7; 1 Chron. 17:22-27; 1 Chron.
23:25; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 31:36; Ezekiel 37:18-28; Joel 3:20; Luke 1:32-33;
(27)Israel's name (Isaiah 56:5)
(28)Promised land to Israel (Genesis 17:8; Genesis 48:4; Jeremiah 25:5)
(29)Israel's marriage to God (Hosea 2:14-19)
(30)Jerusalem - Zion (Psalm 48:8; Psalm 78:69; Psalm 125:1; Isaiah 33:20; Isaiah
60:15; Jeremiah 17:25)
(31)Abraham's natural seed (Genesis 13:15)
(32)Noah's natural seed (Genesis 9:12)
(33)David himself (Psalm 61:4-8)
(34)David's natural seed (2 Samuel 7; Psalm 89:4,29,36)
(35)David's throne (Psalm 89:29,36; Luke 1:32)
(36)David's kingdom (2 Samuel 7; Isaiah 9:6-7; Luke 1:32-33)
(37)David as an eternal, resurrected king of natural Israel (Ezekiel 37:18-28)
(38)Noahic Covenant (Genesis 9)
(39)Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 17:7; 1 Chron. 16:16-17)
(40)Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7; 2 Samuel 23:5)
(41)New Covenant (Isaiah 55:3; Isaiah 59:21; Isaiah 61:8; Jeremiah 32:40; Ezekiel
37:26; Hebrews 13:20)
(42)Natural life of man and animals on earth (Genesis 9:12; Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel
2:44-45; Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 25:31-46; Rev. 11:15; Rev. 22:2-5)
(43)Eternal life for both natural and resurrected men (Matthew 25:46; Mark 10:30;
John 3:16,36; John 5:24; John 10:28; etc.)
(44)Things not seen (1 Cor. 2:9; 2 Cor. 4:18)
(45)Resurrected body (2 Cor. 5:1)
(46)Salvation (Isaiah 45:17; Isaiah 51:6; Hebrews 5:9)
(47)Redemption (Hebrews 9:12)
(48)Inheritance (Hebrews 9:15; Psalm 37:18,29)
(49)Saints (Psalm 37:28; Daniel 7:18,27)
(50)Kingdom on earth for saints (Daniel 7:18,22,27; Rev. 1:5; Rev. 5:10)
(51)Melchizedek priesthood (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6; Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews
(52)Holiness in God's house (Psalm 93:5)
(53)Good man's righteousness (Psalm 112:6-9)
(54)Truth (Psalm 117:2; Proverbs 12:19)
(55)Perfection of saints (Hebrews 10:14)
(56)Purging of sins (Hebrews 10:12)
(57)Joy (Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 51:11; Isaiah 61:7)
(58)Consolation (2 Thes. 2:16)
(59)Gospel (Rev. 14:6)
(60)Pleasures (Psalm 16:11)
(61)Sacrifices (Ezekiel 46:14)
(62)Mountains and hills (Genesis 49:26; Habakkuk 3:6)
(63)Chains (Jude 1:6)
(64)Desolation of Babylon (Jeremiah 50:39; Jeremiah 51:26,62)
(65)Opening to hell (Isaiah 34:1-17; Isaiah 66:22-24)
One has as much right to make any one of the above 65 things age-long only, as to do so
with the 12 eternal facts about hell above. No hint is ever found in Scripture that hell is
the grave and a temporary place, or that punishment of the wicked is temporary.
4.The wicked are to be burned up. False cults interpret Malachi 4:1 to say this.
However, it does not refer to hell at all, but to the battle of Armageddon, when fire
will fall from heaven devouring the bodies of the wicked and killing them (Ezekiel
38:17-21; Zech. 4:1-15; 2 Thes. 1:7-10; Rev. 19:11-21). Just a casual reading of
Malachi 3-4 will show that it refers to the second coming of Christ, not to hell
(Malachi 3:2-5,16-18; Malachi 4:1-6). Not one word is said about hell in Malachi.
5.The wicked shall be annihilated. Scripture gives no doctrine teaching the
annihilation of any part of creation. All passages teach the soul is now immortal and
the body will be immortal in the resurrection, so no body can be annihilated in hell or
any other place *. If the word "annihilation" is substituted for destroy, destruction,
consume, etc., one can see how utterly senseless some scriptures would be in meaning.
Try this in Genesis 6:7; Genesis 9:11; Genesis 41:30; Job 7:9; Job 19:10,27; Job 21:17;
Job 33:21; Psalm 6:7; Psalm 31:9-10; Psalm 39:10; Psalm 78:45; Psalm 91:5;
Jeremiah 17:18; 1 Cor. 5:5.
6.Men in hell will suffer absolute destruction. The Greek word for destruction in 2
Thes. 1:9 means ruin, but not extinction.
7.The wicked shall die and be extinct. Death means separation, not annihilation.
8.Men in hell will be destroyed, will perish and be no more. The Greek word for
destroy and perish in Matthew 10:28 and John 3:16 is apollumi, meaning to torment,
mar, and be lost, not annihilate. See note, ?Matthew 10:28. In most places it means
simply to die physically. This is not extinction of being, but the passing from one
state to another or one place to another (Matthew 2:13; Matthew 8:25; Matthew
12:14; Matthew 18:14; Matthew 21:41; Matthew 26:52; Matthew 27:20; Mark 1:24;
Mark 3:6; Mark 9:22; Mark 11:18; Mark 12:9; Luke 6:9; Luke 9:56; Luke 13:33;
Luke 17:27-29; John 10:10; etc.). In other places it means to be cut off from God or
be lost (Matthew 10:6,42; Matthew 15:24; Matthew 16:25-26; 2 Cor. 4:3). When a
sheep is lost from the shepherd, a man is lost from God in sin, or some other material
object is lost, does it mean they are extinct? When leather bottles are marred by
bursting, are they extinct (Mark 2:22)? When homosexuals utterly perish in their
corruption, does it mean they are to be extinct, or die and suffer fleshly corruption by
going back to dust physically? The latter is all it could mean, for the passage states
such are yet to receive punishment for their sins (2 Peter 2:12-13). To see corruption
here means going back to dust. Even so, to be destroyed or perish in hell does not
mean extinction of being, but separation from God in conscious punishment, as in the
scriptures above on hell.
9.The wicked shall consume away like smoke (Psalm 37:20). The Hebrew for
consume is kalah (HSN-3615), to end; to finish; to cease; to complete; and to take
away. It never means extinction of being of the thing consumed. When famine
consumed the land, did it annihilate the land (Genesis 41:30)? When the Syrians
were consumed by the Jewish army, were they made extinct or merely defeated (1
Kings 22:11; 2 Kings 13:17,19)? When the sword consumed men, did it annihilate
them or merely kill the body (Jeremiah 14:12; Jeremiah 49:27)? When a man is hit
by the hand, is he annihilated (Psalm 39:10)? When a man consumed was still alive
and speaking of the event, was he annihilated (Psalm 90:7)? Thus, being consumed
like smoke simply refers to passing out of this life to the next where punishment is
meted out, or the many scriptures on punishment according to works are false. It
means that all human activity ceases and life is finished on earth. It does not reveal
the fate awaiting the next life.
10.The wicked will be burned up like chaff and the fire will go out when it has done its
work (Matthew 3:11-12). The comparison of the righteous to wheat and the wicked
to chaff does not prove that the wicked are to be extinct by fire. It merely expresses
two destinies at death for two classes. The wicked are not burned up by fire like
chaff any more than the righteous are cast into a garner for literal wheat. The picture
is merely that of God taking the righteous to heaven and sending the wicked to hell-
fire to be punished, as in the many scriptures above. That the fire will never die
down is stated by Isaiah (Isaiah 66:22-24), John the Baptist (Matthew 3:12), Jesus
(Matthew 18:8-9; Mark 9:43-49), Jude (Jude 1:6-7), and John (Rev. 14:9-11; Rev.
20:10-15; Rev. 21:8).
11.The wicked shall be no more (Proverbs 10:25). This is no reference to hell. It
merely expresses the end of human activity on earth.
12.The place of the wicked shall not be (Psalm 37:10). This is another passage which
says nothing of hell, but refers to the passing of the wicked from the earth so that
they and their place in human activity shall soon be forgotten. Because the wicked
cease to live among men, does that do away with the actual places where they did
live on earth? If so, then all the earth would pass out of existence, for wicked men
have lived on every part of it. The very fact that men will consider places the wicked
used to be proves the places themselves are still here.
13.The wicked will be devoured by fire (Rev. 20:7-10). This passage refers to the
destruction of living natural people who will seek to overthrow the kingdom of
Christ at the end of the Millennium. It does not refer to hell or to resurrected people,
for the wicked are not to be resurrected until after this (Rev. 20:11-15). The ones
killed will be the nations living on the earth during the Millennium and not the
wicked dead who are in their graves and in she'owl (HSN-7585) to remain until
after this rebellion (Rev. 20:4-15).
14.The wicked dead will be given a second chance and then if they do not accept Christ
will be annihilated with the devil and all his angels and demons. The only scripture
used by false cults to prove this is Rev. 20:7-10. But as we have seen above, this
refers to the nations living on earth in natural bodies during the Millennium, not to
the wicked dead who are not alive during the Millennium (Rev. 20:5). After the
Millennium they are to be resurrected, judged, and cast into eternal hell without
being given a second probation (Rev. 20:10-15). There is no second chance for any
man (Hebrews 9:27), no hope of any final restoration for the wicked. Nonexistence
would not be punishment for nonexistent people would know nothing about it. One
cannot be punished who is nonexistent. Everlasting punishment means perpetual
suffering which presupposes perpetual existence in a conscious state. Persons to be
punished forever must exist in consciousness forever. Hence, hell is not extinction
of being. The punishment of hell is as long as the life of the righteous: "These shall
go away into everlasting (aionios (GSN-166)) punishment, but the righteous into
life eternal (aionios)" (Matthew 25:41,46; Matthew 18:8; Mark 3:29; Mark 9:43-49;
2 Thes. 1:7-10; Jude 1:6-7,13; Rev. 2:11; Rev. 14:9-11; Rev. 19:20; Rev. 20:10-15;
Rev. 21:8; Rev. 22:15; Psalm 52:5; Psalm 92:7; Isaiah 66:22-24).
From Dake's Study Notes by Finis Jennings Dake.
* edited for clarity or missing links