Anti-Worship of Jesus Cults Jehovah's Witnesses, Christadelphians, Black Muslims, The Way

See also the tracts on the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, and Hell.

If somebody put on a history test that Jesus came back in 1914 and Abraham came back in 1925, they would flunk as a student. How much more would a cult flunk as a self-proclaimed prophet of God. Until William Miller in the 19th century, nobody has found anyone who believes exactly like the Jehovah's Witnesses. This novel religion is one among many groups Satan has "kindly" provided for those who do not wish to deal directly with Jesus as God, and would rather deal with an organization.

How JW's Trip Up Naive Christians:

In Gen 1:2, since the spirit of God was moving over the waters, does this mean the Holy Spirit is not an intelligent, living being, but instead an active force?
No. The fact that the Holy Spirit does not have a physical body and can move over the waters does not contradict the fact that Scripture shows the Holy Spirit is a living being with a personality.
A witness can be a living being as well as an inanimate object. A common mistake of cults is that since the Holy Spirit has many attributes a human being does not have, therefore (by some stretch of logic) the Holy Spirit cannot have personality. 1 John 5:6-8 shows there are three witnesses to the fact that Jesus had a physical body. The blood refers to His crucifixion, and the Spirit is an inward testimony to Christians. The water refers either to Jesus' baptism by John, or possibly the water surrounding a baby at birth.

In Gen 40:20-22, Mt 14:6, and Mk 6:21, are birthdays bad to celebrate since the only birthdays [allegedly] in the Bible are when Pharaoh executed the baker and Herod executed John the Baptist?
No. Jehovah's Witnesses try to use an argument from silence to prohibit birthday celebrations. Both Pharaoh and Herod were cruel, arbitrary rulers who killed people on non-birthdays too, but there are two stronger reasons why celebrating a special day for someone's birth is OK.
Job was a godly man, and each of his sons celebrated a banquest at their house "on their own day" I Job 1:4. The phrase "their own day" means their birthday as showed by Job cursing "his day", which was was the day he was born in Job 3:1-3.
Also, the angel Gabriel announced that many will rejoice over the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:14) and if angels could celebrate the birth of Jesus, it is OK for us to celebrate His birth too.

The word Trinity is not in the Bible, so it is not Biblical. Neither Trinity, Old Testament, rapture, missions, discipleship, evangelism, are found in the Bible. Merely giving labels to Biblical concepts does not make them any more or less true. What do you call the Three who share the common Name we are to be baptized in?

Jesus is less than the Father according to 2 Cor 11:3, Matt 24:36, and Phil 2:7-8.
Of course Jesus was less than the Father when He was on earth. In heaven, He is equal to God the Father in nature, glory, honor, and other things. He is (in heaven) less than the Father in the matter of origin (Jesus was begotten of the Father) role, and rank. Roughly, Jesus is equal to the Father the same as a son is equal to his father. Jesus is less than the Father the same as a son is less than his father. The Bible shows both sides, and honest be-lievers can do no less. JW, I am sure you very often quote Matt 24:36; when did you last mention to anyone John 5:22-23?

Saying Jesus is less than the Father, in any way, contradicts the Trinity.
If you misunderstand the Trinity, or find others who are ignorant, that detracts nothing from God's truth. From Tertullian, who first coined the word Trinity, to the NIV Study Bible (note on 1 Cor 11:3) Christ-ians have taught that Jesus was equal in nature, yet the Father is His head.

God is the head of Christ (1 Cor 11:3). There is only One True God (Deut 6:4 and 1 Cor 8:6), yet there are many gods (1 Cor 8:5 and John 10:35-36). There are two meanings of God in the Bible. The first meaning is Jehovah God, the only one to worship, and the second meaning is a great and powerful person. We may call Jesus god, but only in the second sense.
Multiple meanings of the word "god" does not prove there are only two meanings: there are actually three. The widest sense is a perceived powerful being, a so-called god as 1 Cor 8:5 and John 10:35. The narrowest is God the Father (Col 1:3 and Eph 1:3). The middle meaning of Jesus (and the Holy Spirit) is in John 1:1, 20:28-29 and others. Jesus Himself shows He is God is more than the widest meaning in John 10:36 and John 5:22-23. Tell me, if Jesus only meant He was God in the sense of John 10:35, why did He say John 10:36?

Since Jesus is the "firstborn" of God (Heb 2:6 and others) Jesus is a created being, and creatures are not to be worshipped (Rom 1:25).
Two Points. First, do people "beget" children are do they buy them created at Sears?
The Only-Begotten Son's divine nature is no more created by the Father than people create children.
Second, the Son's humanity was created by God, and we call Him firstborn as both first in rank and first resurrected (1 Cor15:20). It is wrong to use the second truth (firstborn), to deceive people to deny that in regards to the first truth: Jesus is not just the firstborn, He is the "Only-Begotten" (John 3:16).

In 1 Chr 17:2-15, why did Nathan contradict himself here?
Nathan at first spoke incorrectly, because he was not speaking as a prophet. He would have been a false prophet if he had said, "Thus says the Lord", or even if he simply said God told him this incorrect statement. Rather, Nathan spoke off the cuff on his own authority. Also note that even speaking this way, God corrected him immediately.
Jehovah's Witnesses sometimes point to this passage to try to show that true prophets (such as they allege the Watchtower organization to be) can still be true prophets even though they have made false prophecies. However, they claim to be a prophet, and the Watchtower Society made official prophecies of Christ's return that were false.

In Ecc 6:6 and Ecc 9:2-3, do all really share a common destiny?
Under the sun, yes. Ecclesiastes 7:2 says death is the destiny of every man. The scope of Ecclesiastes shows only life on earth, not eternal life. Of course, one thing Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Christians, and many other religions agree on is that ultimately, everyone does not go to the same place.

In Ecc 9:5-6 and Ps 6:5, are people unconscious and non-existent at death, since the dead know nothing?
The Hebrew word for "know" in Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, yada, is interesting in that it has a wide range of meaning. Strong's Concordance says, "a primitive root; to know (properly to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figurative, literal, euphemism, and causat. Instruction, designation, punishment, etc. [as follow]:" acknowledge, acquaintance (acquainted with), advise, answer, appoint, assuredly, be aware, etc. Other interesting synonyms in Strong's Concordance are declare, instruct, tell, and feel.
Of the various meanings for "yada", "know" is appropriate here, because the dead know nothing in four ways.
1. The dead do see (ascertain) anything under the sun.
2. Whatever knowledge and experience they may have learned, the knowledge is lost under the sun, for they cannot pass it on.
3. As in verse 5, the (spiritually and physically) dead have no hope and no knowledge of a future state. Even the wicked on this earth can have hope of repenting and being saved while they still breathe the air under the sun.
4. As in Job 14:21, the dead know of no posthumous reward, or honor or dishonor paid to their memory.

Since Rev 16:3 says in Greek the "souls" in the sea died referring to the sea life, therefore, soul means life, and man does not have a "soul" separate from his body any more than an animal does.
Aboard the ark, 1 Pet 3:20 in Greek says only eight "souls" were saved. Soul sometimes means "life" as in Rev 16:3, and it also means the part of Christians that is present with the Lord when we are absent from the body in 2 Cor 5:8. Notice that we do not have a body at this point, but are "absent from the body." 1 Pet 3:20 shows that only people have savable souls.

Many other issues.

Someone might worship the true God and still be in error on lesser issues. However, if a person follows the wrong God, wrong Jesus, and the Holy Spirit does not live within him, then at the last judgement what he believes about those other things is not worth a mansion full of false prophecies.

JW's cannot handle the things we all agree on.
1. JW's cannot be accused of being too devoted to Christ.
See 2Cor11:2-3, Jn5:22-23, Gal 6:14, and 1Cor 2:2.
2. Thomas and Paul were made to believe the resurrected Jesus had a physical body.
See John 20:24-27, Phil 3:21, and Col 2:9.
3. JW's are inconsistent if Jesus is their Lord and God.
But see John 20:28-29 and Isaiah 7:14.
4. JW's do not honor Jesus like the Father.
But see John 5:22-23 and Rev 5:12-13.
5. The Holy Spirit does not live in JW's.
But see Romans 8:9-11,16,26 and John 14:17.
6. Christ is not inside of JW's.
But see 2 Cor 13:5, Gal 4:6 and John 14:23.
7. Most JW's do not dwell after death with those who will be worshipping Christ.
But see Hebrews 1:6, Rev 5:12-13, and 2 Cor 5:8.

Recommended Reading

Bowman, Jr. Robert M. Understanding Jehovah's Witnesses. Baker Book House, 1991.

Magnani, Duane. The Watchtower Files : Dialogue with a Jehovah's Witness. Bethany House Publishers, 1983,1985.

Reed, David A. and John R. Farkas. Jehovah's Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse. Baker Book House, 1992.

How do the 144,000 Sing?

Do people and angels get excited in heaven? Turn in your Bible to Revelation chapter 7 and see. The 144,000 have just been sealed, and now a great multitude from every nation are standing with white robes and palm branches before the throne and before the Lamb (verse 9). With a loud voice they (joyfully) cry out before the throne. Who though, is in the center of the throne?

Can you imagine how glorious that chorus will sound? However, lest you think only humans will sing, read Revelation 5:11-12. Who do they sing to? If the Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive glory in heaven, is He worthy for us to glorify?

Apparently so, so Rev 5:13 says that ____________________ gives honor and glory to the Lamb.

On earth, Jesus said to Satan that you should never worship (proskuneo) anybody but God (Matt 4:10). Yet he accepted worship (proskuneo) Matt 2:2,11 14:33 28:17, John 9:38. Many other passages say to worship the Lord, and in some of those Lord refers to Lord Jesus. In Heb 1:6, God commands all his angels to worship (proskuneo) the one talked about in verses 3, 4, 5, 8. This one is the first-born of verse 6.


Now do not misunderstand. The Bible does not say to worship only Jesus and not to worship the Father. But the point is that if both angels and men worship Christ in heaven, and if people worshipped (proskuneo) Christ on earth, we should right now be worshipping Christ as well as the Father, --if Christ lives in us.





What if somebody came up to you and said, "it is wrong for a real Christian to say, 'Jesus is Lord'"? Would you have anything to say?

If you are full of spirit you might say, "Read 1 Cor 12:3."

If partaking the Lord's supper is special to you, you might say "Read 1 Cor 11:26,27."

If you have a tongue and at least one knee you might say, "Read Phil 2:11."

If you are a brother (or sister) in Christ you might say, "Read Romans 15:30."

and if you are awaiting the Lord's return you might say, "Read Rev 22:20."


If you do not think Jesus is the Lord, let me simply ask you, "Does Jesus live inside you?" If these preceding verses are alien and unfamiliar to you, are you still an alien to God?

The Justice of the Lake of Fire

Rev 14:9-11; 20:10,14; 21:8

Ps 11:6, Mt 13:40-42,50 ; Heb 10:27

Mt 18:8; 25:41,46; 3:12, Jude 7 2 Th 1:9

Rom 11:22; 3:9-19

Isaiah 1:18

Luke 16:19-31

1. How do people try to deny the seriousness of the lake of fire?



2. How do we reconcile the lake of fire with God being love?




3. Norm Geisler said, "Hell is the most glorious of all Christian doctrines, because it proves that man is truly free." What do you think he meant by that?


4. To what extent do you agree?



5. In trying to understand the justice of the lake of fire, what factors should we look at? (there are at least five.)


6. In explaining the lake of fire to someone, what analogies could you use?






The Lake of fire is the place where man's freedom to choose to be separate from God, drifts away in the justice of its consequences.

Attempts to deny the seriousness of the lake of fire fall into four categories:

1> Deny its existence Rev 20:14; 21:8

2> Deny its severity Rev 21:8; Ps 11:6, Mt 13:40-42,50 ; Heb 10:27

3> Deny people in there forever (See Mt 18:8; 25:41,46; 3:12, Jude 7 2 Th 1:9; Rev 20:10; 14:9-11

4> Deny people can never leave Jude 7, Mt 25:46

How Do We Reconcile the Lake of Fire with God Being Love?

The Lake of Fire is not loving towards those who are in it, so there is no point in attempting to say that somehow it is loving to make people go there. This question of how to reconcile the two is answered in Romans 11:22, Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off." So we have a wrong concept if we consider God as only love. We are to consider both the kindness and sternness of God.

Given that God has both Great Love and Great Wrath, how are We to Understand the Lake of Fire?

The magnitude of our sin

The extent that sin has filled us

The enormity of Who it was we sin against

"Hell is the most glorious of all Christian doctrines, because it proves that man is truly free" -Norm Geisler. What do you think he meant by that? To what extent do you agree?

The Lake of Fire and Freedom

C.S. Lewis

Our horrible is the place, where man's freedom to choose to be separate from God drifts away in the justice of its consequences.

How to Reconcile Perish, Destroy, etc. vs. Tormented Forever

Wild Preserve

Garbage Dump


Wild Animal Park

Screwtape Letters


How Do We Teach and Preach the Lake of Fire

Are scare tactics OK? Jonathan Edwards

The Lake of Fire

There are three main views of the final place for the ungodly.

a) Christians say it is a place of eternal torment.

b) Jehovah's Witnesses say it is a place of destruction; a "confinement of non-existence"

c) Universalists say it is a temporary place of punishment; eventually everyone will be in heaven.

Whether you are a Christian, Jehovah's Witness, or a Universalist, let's put our own views aside and see exactly what the Bible itself teaches us about the Lake of Fire.

1. What is the Lake of Fire?

Rev 20:14 It is not Hades (or Sheol), and it is not death.

Rev 20:14,21:8 The Lake of Fire is the second death.

Rev 21:8, Ps11:6 It is a fiery lake of burning sulfur (brimstone).

Rev 3:18 Not all fire is the fire of the Lake of Fire.

Luke 16:23-24 The rich man was in agony of fire in "Hades", not 2nd death.

2. Who Is Not Thrown Into the Lake of Fire?

Rev 2:11 He who overcomes is not hurt at all by the second death.

Rev 20:4,6 Those beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and the Word of God

Did not worship the beast or receive the mark of the beast

Will participate in the first resurrection to reign with Christ for 1,000 years.

Rev 20:15 (Assumed) Whose name is in the Book of Life.

Matt 25:34-40 The "sheep" on Jesus' right.

3. Who Is Thrown Into the Lake of Fire?

Rev 19:20 The beast and false prophet thrown alive into the Lake of Fire.

Rev 20:10 Devil also thrown into the Lake where the Beast and false prophet were.

Matt 25:41 The Devil and his angels.

Rev 20:15 Anyone whose name is not found written in the Book of Life.

Rev 20:14 Even death and Hades (Sheol) are thrown into the Lake of Fire.

Rev 21:8 The cowardly, unbelieving, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, magic practitioners,

idolaters, and all liars.

Matt 25:41-46 The "goats" on Jesus' left .

4. When Are They Thrown Into the Lake of Fire?

Rev 19:20 Beast and false prophet are thrown in alive.

Rev 19:20 Beast and false prophet thrown in at Christ's Second coming, before the Millennium

Rev 20:10 Satan thrown in just after the Millennium and Armageddon.

Rev 20:15 All not in the Book of Life thrown in after the Great White Throne Judgment.

Matt 13:24-43 After the harvest at the end of the age.

Matt 25:31-46 After the Son of Man comes in His glory.

People in Old Testament times were not then thrown into the Lake of Fire; all went to Sheol (Hades). Thus Ecc 9:4-10 does not refer to the Lake of Fire. Ecc 9:10 says "Sheol".

5. How Long Does the Fire of the Second Death Last?

Matt 18:8, Matt 25:41,46, Jude 7 It is everlasting and eternal.

Isaiah 66:24, Matt 3:12, Luke 3:17, unquenchable fire

2 Thess 1:9 eternal destruction, shut out from the presence of the Lord

6. How Long is the Punishment, or Can People Leave the Lake of Fire?

Jude 7 Undergoing the vengeance of everlasting fire (pyros aioniou gikun opechousai)

Matt 25:46 Eternal punishment (kolasin aionion)



7. What is the Manner of their Eternal Torment?

Matt 13:40-42,50 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth IN the fiery furnace.

(ekei "there" in Greek means there, "at that place", not there "it will occur".

Rev 20:10 Devil, beast, and false prophet tormented DAY AND NIGHT forever.

Heb 10:27 Raging fire that consumes the enemies of God.

Matt 25:46 It is called eternal punishment. Those going there do not have eternal life.

2 Thes 1 eternal destruction; shut out from the presence of the Lord and his majestic power

Rev 14:9-11 Tortured with fire and brimstone (burning sulfur) in the presence of the lamb and his angels. They will enjoy no rest day or night.

Verses in the Bible referring to souls perishing or being destroyed do refer to the Lake of Fire.

8. What is the Smoke of Their Torment?

Rev 14:11 The smoke of the torture of the worshippers of the beast ascends forever and ever.

Rev 19:3 The smoke of Babylon will go up forever and ever.

Rev 8:4 All smoke is not the smoke of their torment.

9. After the New Jerusalem Comes Down from Heaven, Will Ungodly Beings Still Exist?

Rev 22:15 Outside will be the cowardly, unbelieving, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, magic practitioners, and all liars.

Summary: The Lake of Fire, also called the second death, is a fiery lake of burning sulfur. All who are not believing will go there in the future, forever, with no chance of escape. The torment will be such that there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, and no rest forever. It is a raging fire that consumes the enemies of God such that the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. It is a process of perishing, being consumed, or being destroyed, such that the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever.

Apart from the Bible, did Jewish people in Jesus' day and before have any concept of eternal conscious punishment? If nobody had that concept, then the rich man being consciously punished would be foreign concept to them. It is a given that the Sadducees did not, for they did not believe in the resurrection, angels, or spirits (Acts 23:8). If some did have a concept of eternal, conscious punishment, then it is only natural for hears of the rich man and Lazarus teaching to interpret that as a confirmation of that teaching.

Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians believed in a place called Aralu in Babylonian. It was an unpleasant, depressing place where everyone went after death and existed with a shadowy existence forever. Jewish literature that refers to conscious punishment for evildoers is Enoch 22:1-4 Two parts of Sheol, for righteous and unrighteous. After judgment, for the unrighteous pain and plague forever. The story of the rich man and Lazarus, with two parts and torment for the rich man, has simlar theology as Enoch 22:1-4.

Other references to eternal punishment for the wicked:

Assumption of Moses 10:10

2 Esdras 7:36

Sons of the Maccabees when being burned to death "we will burn only for a little while, but you will burn for all eternity."

Judith 16:17 "fire and worms he will give to their flesh; they shall weep in pain for ever."

Psalms of Solomon 3:134 Macc. in the LXX use it for the Hebrew word s such as 'asam, for a reparation of guilt. In the LXX it is used in 1 Sam 6:3, f. 8, 17 as a guilt offering. It is translated for shame, disgrace in Ezek 16:52, 42; 32:24,30, and a cause of sin and misfortune in Ezel 3:20 and 7:19. Ezek 16:52,52 and 32:24,40 show God's punishments. Wisdom 3:1 says the rightous are untouched by any basanos.

2 Macc 7:13 and often in 4 Macc the noun and verb are used of the tortures of Jewish martyrs. It is used of the torture of Christian martyrs in 1 Clem 6:1,15, 2 Clem 17:7, Eusebius 5, 1, 20 & 24. Martyrdom of Polycarp 2,3.

By the way, Jude apparently quoted from Enoch and the Assumption of Moses.

The 144,000

The 144,000 are only mentioned in the Bible: Rev 7, Rev 9:4, Rev 14:1-5, and probably Eze .

Rev 7 says the wind will stop blowing for a a time, and there will be a delay before the earth and sea are harmed, until the 144,000 are sealed.

1. Who are the 144,000?

Rev 7:4-8 They are descendants of a particular tribe of Israel. There are 12,000 from Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulon, Joseph [Ephraim], Benjamin. Dan is not mentioned. However, some see in Jer 4:15 and 8:16 a hint that the Antichrist may come from Dan.

Rev 7:3 They are special servants of God,

Rev 7:9 They are distinct from the vast host that came out of the tribulation

Rev 14:3 They are distinct from the [twenty-four] elders.

2. What are the Characteristics of the 144,000?

Rev 14:1 In contrast to the mark of the beast, they have Jesus' name and His Father's name on their foreheads.

Rev 14:3 The 144,000 alone have the ability to sing a special song.

Rev 14:4 They have not defiled themselves with women, for they are celibate.

The word "celibate" in Greek is parthenoi which means virgin (male or female).

In a spiritual sense, believers are not called celibate, but married to the Lamb. Since "Celibate" is used, it does not mean a spiritual sense here but a physical sense.

Rev 14:5 No lie was found on their lips; they are faultless.

3. What Role Do They Have?

Rev 14:4 They were redeemed from mankind as first fruits for God and for the Lamb.

4. What Do They Do?

Rev 6:17-7:14 On earth, after the not-so-natural disasters of Chapter 6 and before the Great Multitude from the tribulation go to heaven, they are servants of God, sealed on their foreheads by angels of God.

Rev 14:4 In heaven, they follow the lamb wherever He goes.

The Abyss, Ruled by Abaddon (a.k.a. Apollyon)

In Greek, the three words are respectively Abysson, Abaddon, Apollyon.

The Abyss is neither Hades, Hell, or the Lake of Fire. Here is what the Bible says about this dreadful place.

Luke 8:31 Demons begged Jesus not to order them to go there

Rev 9:1, 20:1 Like Death and Hades, the Abyss has a key to lock beings inside.

Rev 9:2 The Abyss is a smoke-filled pit.

Rev 9:3 Special locusts that tormented men for five months came from the Abyss.

Rev 9:11 The King of the locusts, the angel of the Abyss is Abaddon (Hebrew), Apollyon (Greek)

Rev 11:7 The beast that kills the two witnesses is from the Abyss.

Rev 17:8 The beast the woman sits on comes out of the Abyss.

Rev 20:2 Satan will be locked in the Abyss for 1,000 years. It is interesting that Satan is chained as well as thrown in there.

Rev 20:3 It will be sealed shut for 1,000 years.

Rev 20:7 The Abyss will be a prison for Satan. (No mention of torment though.)

Abaddon, destruction, is mentioned in Job 31:12, 36:6, 38:12

Ps 88:11

Prov 15:11, 27:20

Blackest Darkness

This is a description of one or more places.

Jude 6 Disobedient angels kept in chains there until Judgment Day

2 Pet 2:17 , Jude 12,13 The blackest darkness is reserved for the ungodly apostates.



Rev 1:18 Jesus holds the keys to death and Hades.



2 Pet 2:7 (only place in the Bible) "For if God did not spare sinning angels, but delivered them to chains of darkness, thrust down into Tartarus, having been kept to judgment;"

This was the common word for the underworld in Classical Greek.







The Watchtower Interpretation of Lazarus and the Rich Man

Jesus spoke in parables, and the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:18-31 is a parable. Parables have a deeper meaning, that is often not obvious to the masses. This story does not refer to real people, heaven, hell, or torment. The rich man does not represent all rich men, for Abraham himself was materially wealthy while on the earth. Lazarus does not represent all poor men, for not all poor men are righteous. Lazarus was a very common name; Jesus may have used it like we use "John Doe" in America today. This is the symbolic meaning of the story.

The rich man represents the "clergy/priests/Pharisees" class, that is, those who had the riches of God, but misused and hoarded them. Lazarus represents the non-clergy class, those who desire just the crumbs from under the rich man's table. In Luke 16:22 Lazarus being carried away by angels while the rich man was buried means they changed their states. This happened at Pentecost. Lifetime in Luke 16:24 means their lives under the system of law. Dogs represent false teachers. Breadcrumbs mean God's teaching. Death does not always mean physical death. Here it just means a change of position. This "change of position" occurred after Jesus' spirit rose in a spiritual body. Lazarus then had the riches of being in God's favor, and the rich man was in torment. Torment here does not include the meaning of physical discomfort and restriction like it does in the rest if the New Testament. Torment here does not mean confinement, physical discomfort, or non-existence. Rather, here it means mental anguish at godly preachers saying bad things about them. Since people who are burned do not desire water, the fire is not literal fire. Rather it just means mental anguish?????. Since the rich man wanted to warn his brothers, that shows that people can show concern for others and still be unbelievers. The rich man's brothers are apparently not a part of the rich man's class, since they did not have a change of position????? Instead, they represent allies of the rich man class. The great chasm in Luke 9:26 between Abraham and Lazarus on one side, and the rich man on the other side, represents that the entire class may not cross over. However, individuals from one class may cross the great chasm with ease if they repent. "During his life..." means under the system of law?????. Abraham saying that Lazarus warning the five brothers was not needed means the Old Testament was sufficient to warn the brothers to not join the clergy/Pharisee/priestly class, but instead to join the Lazarus class??????.

Despite the teachings of conscious punishment after death in surrounding cultures, the Apocrypha, Enoch 22:1-4., Assumption of Moses 10:10, 2 Esdras 7:36, Judith 16:17, and Psalms of Solomon 3:13, Jesus' listeners would not conceive Jesus' speaking of conscious torment after death meaning there is conscious torment after death because ?????. Despite Jesus using the Talmudic term "bosom of Abraham" Jesus' listeners would not conceive Jesus' speaking of conscious bliss after death really meaning conscious bliss after death because ?????.


The Christian view is that it could be a parable, but if it was, it is the only parable in which a character was actually named. Lazarus, which means "God the Helper", was a poor but righteous Jewish man named Lazarus. The rich man represents a rich Jewish man, such as the Pharisees. Dogs means dogs; this shows the only care for his wounds was from dogs, not the rich man. Breadcrumbs mean breadcrumbs; essential for physical life. Dying means physcially dying. Angels means real angels. Abraham means Abraham. In Abraham's bosom means lying right next to Abraham. The Talmud mentions Paradise and Abraham's bosom has the abode of the righteous after death, so Jesus was using an existing, familiar term for a familiar concept of conscious enjoyment after death. Torment means a painful experience. Fire means a fire that is painful to a person's soul. Water means a water that the rich man (correctly or incorrectly) believed would temporarily relieve him of some pain. The five brothers represent living relatives; five is just a common number. Warning them represents warning them. Not believe even if someone roses from the dead, was likely a deliberate foreshadowing of Jesus' resurrection and the unbelief even after that. Were Abraham's words right? Well, perhaps Jesus named the character Lazarus because he really did raise a Lazarus. The result was that the Pharisees later plotted how to kill BOTH Jesus and Lazarus (John 11:45-53, 12:10-11.)

The Talmud mentioned both "Paradise" and "Abraham's bosom" as the home of the righteous after death, so Jesus used an old familiar term when He said "Abraham's bosom." for a familiar concept for conscious enjoyment after death.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, "Jesus was obviously suggesting that the rich man syymbolized the Pharisees. They wanted signs--signs so clear that they would compel people to believe. But since they refused to believe the Scriptures, they would not believe any sign no matter how great. Just a short time later Jesus did raise a man from the dead, another man named Lazarus (John 11:38-44). The result was that the religious leaders began to plot more earnestly to kill both Jesus and Lazarus (John 11:45-53, 12:10-11)."


Ecclesiastes 9:4-10 "For to whoever is chosen to all the living, there is hope. For a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they shall die; but the dead do not know anything; nor do they have any more a reward; for their memory is forgotten. Also, their love, their hatred, and their envy has now perished; nor do they any longer have a paprt forever in all that is done under the sun. Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God now is pleased with your works. Let your garments be white at every time; and let your head lack no ointment. Look on life with the wife whom you love all the days of your life of your vanity, which He gave you under the sun, all the days of your vanity. For that is your share in this life, and in your labor which yuouy labor under the sun. All that your hand finds to do, do it with your strenghth. For there is no work, or planning, or knowledge, or wisdom, in Sheol, there where you go."

Ecc 9:4-10 does not refer to Gehenna, or to the Second death, but to Sheol. Sheol is a place where both the righteous and unrighteous went prior to the Day of Judgment. Sheol is equivalent to Hades according to the Septuagint and Acts 2:27,31 and Ps 16:10.


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 January 2017 version. 

by Steven M. Morrison, PhD.