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2 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2012 - 3:04AM #1
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,074

I’m pulling this thread out of Discussion On My Comment Page because that thread seemed to be getting off topic and confusing.


The topic here is, hell and what Mormons believe about salvation from sin and about life in the here after.



I asked Joe what he felt about hell and he replied


“simply put, is there a place of eternal torment for those who have rejected Jesus Christ and the grace He freely offers? Yes.



The Hebrew word translated eternal or everlasting is greatly miss understood in our English world. We think of it as a time without beginning or end but that is not the Hebrew understanding. It met a time veiled from view or a time unknown. You can draw a 3" line and it will have a beginning and an end but it also has an infinite number of points on that line.


In Isa 14 Isaiah compares the King of Babylon to Satan and he uses one meaning full line;


“Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms….that opened not the house of his prisoners?”


It is only pure evil who would not lose the prisoners.


On the other hand Isaiah says of the Lord that he visit’s the prisoners and opens the prison doors.


Isa; 24
To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house…..


Isa 42
And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.


Isa 61
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;


In Rev 1 Jesus told John; “I am he that liveth, and was dead…and have the keys of hell and of death.”


David rejoiced because he came to understand; “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell” . He understood he had to pay for the adultery and murder he had committed but at some point he would receive forgiveness.


In our D&C sec 19 Jesus explains


“I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore—Eternal punishment is God’s punishment. Endless punishment is God’s punishment.”


In other words when Jude wrote “are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” he meant ‘the vengeance of God’s fire’. When Jesus said; “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment” it does not mean a suffering which last without end but that they receive God’s punishment for whatever period of time he deems they need it.


Christ paid for our sins, did he not? He suffered for them, right? If punishment for sin last for a time without end then why isn’t he still hanging there on the cross??


In Hebrews 10 speaking of those who willfully sin the writer wrote;


“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”


In the Book of Mormon there is young man named Alma who is the son of the Prophet and so we would assume baptized. He in his youth has rebelled against his father and participated in a great deal of sinning. Because of the prayers of his father he experience something similar Paul and he sees an angel who calls him to repentance. He tells us what he went through;


I was struck with such great fear and amazement lest perhaps I should be destroyed, that I fell to the earth and I did hear no more.


But I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins. Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments.


….so great had been my iniquities, that the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.


Oh, thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds.


And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul.”


That is hell. Each person who rejects Christ will have to go through this racking of his soul but there is hope.


Going back to D&C 19


“ Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.


For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;


But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;


Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—


Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.”



Alma experienced the painful racking for 3 days but if in this life we repent of our sins and ask for Christ forgiveness we can skip the racking and find joy as he did.


Alma goes on to explain;
"And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.


Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.


And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!


Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy."



But what of those who never heard of Jesus during their sojourn on this earth?


Jesus said;


“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” John 5


Peter wrote and referring to this and to Isa 42


“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison….For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”


All men will be given the opportunity to accept Jesus as Savior, they will have the opportunity to receive of His grace.


Our Heavenly Father wants you to return to his presence and he’ll do everything in his power to bring us back to him.



Now I want to turn to the resurrection and judgment


Christ said;


“…all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation”
John 5


So all will be resurrected and receive their bodies back again in perfect condition. Death will lose its sting for the payment for sin has already been made before the resurrection.


But there is a difference between those being resurrected, some to life and some to damnation.


In Gen 1 God said let us make man in our image, that is His stated goal.


Just as Eternal punishment means God’s punishment Eternal life means God’s life or life as God knows it. Paul says we are heirs joint heirs with Christ, see Rom 8. We will sit in his throne and inherit all things, see Rev 3:21 and Rev 21:7.


To be damned is to lose that promise, to damn up one’s progression.


In 1 Cor 15 Paul gives a rather long dissertation on the resurrection, he explains;

All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.


Then he adds


There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.


There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead…”


He’s saying we will be resurrected and then rewarded with different glories. That reward is based on whether we had done good or whether we had done evil.

Now Joe has said; And I guess I was right about LDS theology not being based on the Bible.


Our Church claims to be a restoration of knowledge. We are bring back a knowledge which has been lost plus adding to the knowledge with some things perhaps man never completely understood before.


We see here Paul speaking about a resurrection which would included at least three glories one like the sun which would be the brightest, one like the moon and then one like a star.


Later he also mentions a man who had a vision he writes;


“I knew a man in Christ … such an one caught up to the third heaven….How that he was caught up into paradise…” 2 Cor 12:2



In Mormon theology there are the Telestial, Terrestrial and Celestial Glories but none of them is paradise. Paradise is a place in the spirit world were we go to await the resurrection. So what Paul’s intent is here it is hard to know.


This is my understanding of coming events.


At the second coming the today’s wicked will be burned off. They will go into the spirit prison to either be taught the gospel or receive their punishment. Satan will be bound for a thousand years.


The righteous will be lifted into the air as this burning takes place and they will meet Jesus as he comes with all those who are ready to be resurrected. We will then all live with Christ on this earth for the thousand years. Those in the spirit prison will gradually receive their resurrections as they bow to Christ. During that time we will learn directly from him and it gives us a chance to really take on his image. (I’m looking at Rev 20, 1 Thes 4:16 and 2 Thes 1&2)


But it will be a time of great peace and our wealth will grow and as that grows so will our pride. Satan will be lose again for a little season for one last test and the battle of Gog and Magog will commence. It can’t be a battle of swords for all have been resurrected but a battle of words and wills. Satan and his followers will openly rebel against Christ, they will be cast into what is call the lake of fire and brimstone. Jude calls it ‘everlasting chains under darkness’ in other places it is called outer darkness.


Then God the Father will come and He will commence the Great White Throne Judgment, where we will all be judged “every man according to their works” . We will be assigned permanent residency in one of the three glories.


Now my conclusion;


Man does not receive salvation from sin by adding up good works. Alma had not done a single good work when he received forgiveness. He received forgiveness by calling out to Christ and saying “O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me”.


Now I didn’t touch on baptism but in our theology it is essential to fulfill all righteousness, even Jesus a man without sin went into the waters of baptism. Baptism is not a work but a blessing and a covenant which is given to all who will call on the name of Jesus.


Our good works come into play when we receive judgment for reward. The Lord wants to know if we are a good and faithful servant, did we bear fruit.


Now it’s late so I’m going to end here but if there are any questions please feel free to ask.

Wise men still seek him.
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2 years ago  ::  Feb 24, 2012 - 12:14PM #2
Joe68
Posts: 289


WWA : The Hebrew word translated eternal or everlasting is greatly miss understood in our English world. We think of it as a time without beginning or end but that is not the Hebrew understanding. It met a time veiled from view or a time unknown. You can draw a 3" line and it will have a beginning and an end but it also has an infinite number of points on that line.


If, on that basis, you want to say that hell is not eternal then, if you are consistent, you’d also have to concede that “eternal life” will come to an end, God is not eternal and will one day cease to be God, distinctive LDS doctrines like eternal marriages and families can not be true as they will come to an end.


However there is a phrase in the NT that describes God is eternal and the duration of eternal damnation. That phrase is "forever and ever".


Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen," (1 Tim. 1:17).


 ". . . To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever" (Rev. 5:13).


 "And a second time they said, "Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever" (Rev. 19:3).


 "And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever," (Rev. 20:10).


The Greek phrase aionas ton aionon, which is translated "forever and ever," occurs 18 times in the Greek New Testament. In 17 of them, the phrase means without end, extending into infinity. In Rev. 19:3, the phrase is used to describe the destruction of the great whore of Babylon (Rev. 17:1,4) whose smoke ascends forever and ever. It too is eternal and it signifies the beginning of the eternal judgment that comes upon her.


So I’m not worried that the Hebrew does not have a difinitive term for “eternal” as we understand it.


Christ paid for our sins, did he not? He suffered for them, right? If punishment for sin last for a time without end then why isn’t he still hanging there on the cross??


There was one sacrifice for sin because Jesus' life was the perfect sacrifice: "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (I Peter 1:18-19). It was because Jesus was without sin that he could be the sin sacrifice on our behalf. "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).


Because of the perfection of Christ's sacrifice, it only needed to be done once. "By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Hebrews 10:10). "Once for all" applies to Jesus' sacrifice; it is not a comment on the duration of our sanctification. What the writer is stating is that Jesus did not have to be offered up yearly or once for each sinner. His single sacrifice was so great and so perfect that this one sacrifice redeemed all men from sin -- those at the time of his death, those who live after his death, and those who lived before his death (Hebrews 9:14-15). That is why it is referred to as "eternal redemption" (Hebrews 9:12). "But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God" (Hebrews 10:12). It is a permanent solution to the problem of sin.


When we sin, Jesus does not have to die for us yet again. His payment was sufficient that if we come back to the Father and confess our sins, that same one glorious sacrifice will atone for our sins.


I knew a man in Christ … such an one caught up to the third heaven….How that he was caught up into paradise…” 2 Cor 12:2


The first heaven consisted of the the earth atmosphere where the clouds and birds were. The second heaven was where the sun, stars, and moon was. The third heaven was the dwelling place of God.


First heaven - The firmament, Earths Atmosphere -which is the immediate sky, where the “fowls of the heaven” (Genesis 2:19; 7:3,23; Psalms 8:8, etc.), “the eagles of heaven” (Lamentations 4:19), it is our atmosphere that surrounds the earth.


Gen1:14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night.” The first heaven consists of the clouds and the atmosphere, the heavens above us, until we come to the stars.


Psalms 78: 23-23 “Yet He had commanded the clouds above, and opened the doors of heaven, had rained down manna on them to eat, and given them of the bread of heaven.”


The expression doors of heaven or windows of heaven involved the firmament, our atmosphere. Descriptions used of this heaven is from where God would provide food or rain. Genesis 7:11-12: “the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.” Genesis 8:2: “The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained” Malachi 3:10 Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.” In reference to an abundant harvest of crops.“


(Deuteronomy 11:17 “Then the LORD's anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce....” Deuteronomy 28:12: “The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.”


Second Heaven - Outer Space, the starry heavens (Deuteronomy 17:3; Jeremiah 8:2; Matthew 24:29).


The second heaven is the starry heavens, where our atmosphere ends. It is the heavens in which the sun, moon, and stars are fixed in orbit. The stars are seemingly endless and the distance between all of them is staggering no wonder the Bible states Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” In ancient times people were in awe of the starry expanse, today we know how immense this really is.


The firmament, or expanse, raqiya` “In which the sun, moon, stars, and constellations are fixed.” Genesis 1:17: And God placed them in the Firmament of heaven. Isaiah 40:22: He stretcheth out the heavens as a CURTAIN, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.”


(Psalm 19:4,6) - “In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun... It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other;...” (Jeremiah 8:2) - They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens which they have loved and served....”


Third Heaven - This is where God and the holy angels (and creatures) and spirits of just men dwell. It is called “The heaven of heavens,” (Deuteronomy 10:14; 1 Kings 8:14; Psalms 115:16; 148:4). (1Kings 8;27) - “The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you.” (Psalm 2:4) The One enthroned in heaven laughs; The LORD scoffs at them.”


Man does not receive salvation from sin by adding up good works. Alma had not done a single good work when he received forgiveness. He received forgiveness by calling out to Christ and saying “O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me”.


Previously you said on another thread: Once someone gave me a little pamphlet about hell and how I was going there. It said I only had to say this little prayer and then sign on the dotted line and I would be saved.  That’s cheap grace!


But now you seem to be saying that Alma was saved by saying a prayer. Wouldn't this quialify as cheap grace under your definition?


This is all I have for now. I'm a little bit busier at work than I had expected so it may take my a couple of days to reply.

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 25, 2012 - 11:07PM #3
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,074

Joe said; If, on that basis, you want to say that hell is not eternal then, if you are consistent, you’d also have to concede that “eternal life” will come to an end, God is not eternal and will one day cease to be God, distinctive LDS doctrines like eternal marriages and families can not be true as they will come to an end.



No, it will last as long as God deems it will last because it is his judgment and we can safely assume that would be a time without end.



Joe; So I’m not worried that the Hebrew does not have a difinitive term for “eternal” as we understand it.



I think it is important because they were Hebrew men thinking and writing in Aramaic or writing in Greek and trying to find words which fit their Hebrew understanding. Those that translated the Aramaic into Greek also had trouble finding the right words to express the original intent. The word logos is a good example.



Joe; Because of the perfection of Christ's sacrifice, it only needed to be done once


No, if our punishment last forever then He should hang there forever.


Now as far as the different heavens go you just made it up, or Christian apologist did in order to counter act Mormonism.


This third heaven Paul speaks of shows a slight bit of Gnosticism right there in the Bible. The Jews had a whole system of what they believed was in each heaven with the seventh heaven being where God dwells. One heaven held the snow and rain hence your quote; Genesis 7:11-12: “the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.” another held plant life and another the souls of the righteous and the unborn.


Here’s a little explanation;


“The late Gershom Scholem, the leading historian of Jewish mysticism, calls our attention to the testimony of Paul, who describes (2 Corinthians 12:2-4) how he himself had experienced a similar mystical ascent: "Whether in the body or out of it, I do not know--God knows." Paul was caught up as far as "the third heaven," where he "heard words so secret that human lips may not repeat them."


Scholem argues that such climbs through the different levels of heaven were probably common among Jews of the time.


The "third heaven" seems to have been a common stopping-point in the journey, and is mentioned in some Jewish works of the period.”


people.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/Shokel/89110...



Different heavens or planets used for different purposes could fit right into Mormon theology.


There is a very ancient Jewish writing called the Apocalypse of Abraham where Abraham is taken up into the seventh heaven or firmament. It’s a mythical almost Gnostic writing but sometimes myth is based in truth. Abraham understands this seventh heaven to be the place where God dwells and he sees “…the spirits of the departed righteous, and the spirits of those souls who have yet to be born”, perked my interest because that’s almost right out of our Book of Abraham.



Joe; But now you seem to be saying that Alma was saved by saying a prayer. Wouldn't this quialify as cheap grace under your definition?


No, he first had to go through the unpleasant experience of the racking of a damned soul and he had been baptized.

Wise men still seek him.
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2 years ago  ::  Feb 26, 2012 - 12:11PM #4
Joe68
Posts: 289

WWA: No, it will last as long as God deems it will last because it is his judgment and we can safely assume that would be a time without end.


You stated above that The Hebrew word translated eternal or everlasting is greatly miss understood in our English world. We think of it as a time without beginning or end but that is not the Hebrew understanding in reply to my statement that hell is a place of eternal torment


In reply I pointed out an eternal hell is not the only eternal thing mentioned in the Bible or LDS theology. Therefore if one takes your reasoning consistently then not only would hell not be eternal but neither would God, heaven, “eternal” life or the LDS doctrine of celestial marriage.


But now you say that His judgment will “be a time without end” and repudiate your very own argument.



I think it is important because they were Hebrew men thinking and writing in Aramaic or writing in Greek and trying to find words which fit their Hebrew understanding. Those that translated the Aramaic into Greek also had trouble finding the right words to express the original intent. The word logos is a good example.


The reason I said I’m not worried that the Hebrew does not have a definitive term for “eternal” as we understand it is because as I pointed out above NT Greek has phrases for both God and hell (forever and ever) And you refuted yourself above on the meaning of the Hebrew for "eternal" as well.


No, if our punishment last forever then He should hang there forever.


Why? Why would Christ have to “hang there” forever for those who rejected Him? 


Now as far as the different heavens go you just made it up, or Christian apologist did in order to counter act Mormonism.


No that is simply what the Bible teaches.



No, he first had to go through the unpleasant experience of the racking of a damned soul and he had been baptized.


And what pray tell does ”the racking of a damned soul” mean or involve? 

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 26, 2012 - 7:40PM #5
Ironhold
Posts: 11,395

Feb 26, 2012 -- 12:11PM, Joe68 wrote:


No that is simply what the Bible teaches.




Back to the old "I'm going to ignore your experts but demand that you bow to mine" bit from the last few threads?

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 28, 2012 - 7:07PM #6
Joe68
Posts: 289

Feb 26, 2012 -- 7:40PM, Ironhold wrote:


Feb 26, 2012 -- 12:11PM, Joe68 wrote:


No that is simply what the Bible teaches.




Back to the old "I'm going to ignore your experts but demand that you bow to mine" bit from the last few threads?



As you know, Ironhold, that other thread you speak of consisted of WWA citing a non scholars for her view of "elohim". I countered with 2 scholars with earned degrees. WWA rsponded by saying that she has a problem with poeple with earned degrees.


WWA was the one who dismissed the scholars, not me. I'n fact I said that a scholar could be proven wrong if one was to advance a logical, reasonable, cogent argument. WWA did not. 


 





 

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 29, 2012 - 12:36PM #7
Beliefnet_community
Posts: 487

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