Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hello Pearl, In your view, when the finally unrepentant sinners are consigned to the lake of fire, to the second death, and annihilated, do they suffer in any way before being annihilated , and if so, is that suffering a proportionate penalty or punishment for their sins? That is, do you believe that there will be some punishing, some infliction of suffering or affliction or pain or what-have-you, on the wicked as they are thrown into the lake of fire just before they are snuffed out of existence forever? Or will they be judged and quietly dispatched into nonexistence with no other retribution?


To answer any question by means of truth, we must consult the scriptures.

Although there are many scriptures that may answer your question, a few come to mind. I will offer them to you, and you may draw your own conclusion.
 the first is:
 Exodus 7:4,5
"And Pharaoh will not listen to YOU men;
and I shall have to lay my hand upon Egypt and bring my armies, my people,
the sons of Israel, out from the land of Egypt with great judgments.
5 **(And the Egyptians will certainly know that I am
Jehovah when I stretch out my hand against Egypt)**,
and I shall indeed bring the sons of Israel out from their midst.”

 If you notice the part in (**), the Egyptians who refused to acknowledge Jehovah (Ex.5:2), were forced to do so, through suffering a punishment for their 
error. However, when we read, 
**"when I stretch out my hand against Egypt",
take note of another time this is referred to,
at Job 1:11 and Job 2:5.
If you read the context, it is Satan who is responsible for the harm,
not God directly (James 1:13).
God is attributed the harm, because under the authority and power of his justice; He must allow it, to make it's occurring, possible;
...either when it is rightly due for wrongdoing, or when His servant has been accused, and must bear witness to their own integrity, in order to prove Satan's accusation, a lie. (Rev.12:10; Job 1:9-11).
God has the right to withdraw his Holy Spirit (Job 1:10-11), to allow testing at Satan's hand 
(Matt.27:46; Luke 22:31; Rev.2:10; James 1:12; 5:11), or, 
as a consequence to disobedience 
(Gen.6:5-7,3; 1Pet.4:15; 2:20; 3:17).
When God's spirit is lost, so is all blessing and eventually, all hope of life is lost (Psalm 104:29).
To be abandoned to Satan, means destruction (1Cor.5:5).
Let us consider more scriptures, that describe such an abandonment...
Compare Ex.12:29 to Ex.12:23; 1Cor.10:10.
Can you see there, that although God is credited for the deaths of the firstborn of Egypt, that it was actually the "destroyer" whom God prevented from harming the firstborn of Israel?


"Vengeance is mine, and **retribution**.
At the appointed time **their foot will move unsteadily**,
For the day of their disaster is near, And the events in readiness for them
do make haste.’"
 We see here, that before the "events" of their disaster, they are suffering
unsteadiness. In describing the suffering of the unfaithful anointed
(before their end),
Notice Jeremiah 4:27-31
For this is what Jehovah has said:
“A desolate waste is what the whole land will become, and shall I not carry out a
sheer extermination? 28 On this account **the land will mourn**, and the heavens above will certainly become dark. It is because I have spoken, I have
considered, and I have not felt regret, nor shall I turn back from it.
30 Now that **you are despoiled**, what will you do, since you used to clothe
yourself with scarlet, since you used to deck yourself with ornaments of gold,
since you used to enlarge your eyes with black paint? It is in vain that you used to make yourself pretty. Those lusting after [you] have **rejected you**;
**they keep seeking for your very soul**. 31 For a voice like that of a **sick** woman I have heard, the **distress** like that of a woman giving
birth to her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion who keeps gasping for
breath. She keeps spreading out her palms: **“Woe, now, to me, for my soul is tired of the killers!”**
Here we see these wicked ones suffering desolation, mourning, despoiling,
rejection, being hunted, sickness, distress, and woe.

 Note 2Pet.2:4-13:

"Certainly if God did not hold back **from punishing the angels that sinned**, but, by throwing them into Tarta·rus, delivered them to pits of dense darkness to be reserved for judgment; 5 and he did not hold back **from punishing an ancient world**, but kept Noah, a preacher of righteousness, safe with seven others when he brought a deluge upon a world of ungodly people".....

[Certainly, the ancient world of Noah's day, did suffer punishment, previous to

their drowning in the deluge (their destruction)].

 ...."6 and by reducing the cities Sod´om and Go·mor´rah to ashes he condemned them, **setting a pattern for ungodly persons of things to come;**"....

[Here we are being told that the suffering and subsequent death of the wicked, is a pattern of what is to come.]

 ...."7 and he delivered righteous Lot, who was greatly distressed by the indulgence of the law-defying people in loose conduct— 8 for that righteous man by what he saw and heard while dwelling among them from day to day was tormenting his righteous soul by reason of their lawless deeds— 9 Jehovah knows how to deliver people of godly devotion out of trial, but to reserve unrighteous people for the day of judgment to be cut off

(from His spirit -Ps.104:29),
10 especially, however, those who go on after flesh with the desire to defile [it] and who look down on lordship. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble at glorious ones but **speak abusively**, 11 whereas angels, although they are
greater in strength and power, do not bring against them an accusation in
abusive terms, [not doing so] out of respect for Jehovah. 12 But these [men],
like unreasoning animals born naturally to be caught and destroyed, will, in the
things of which they are ignorant and speak abusively, even ***suffer destruction*** in their own [course of] destructiveness, 13 wronging themselves as a reward for wrongdoing."

Those verses make a crucial point...

Notice that these wicked ones, "suffer destruction in their own [course of] destructiveness" and "wronging themselves as a reward for wrongdoing."
Do you also notice that it sounds as if their future suffering is based upon the
suffering they have caused others?
 It is good to consider what the deeds of the wicked are, because as we shall see,
their own deeds is the basis for what they suffer by Jehovah's perfect balance of justice, 
in what He decrees as punishment for the merciless wicked...
Notice Psalm 94:3,5,6,21
(There the scriptures bring out some of the activities that the wicked engage in)...
 "How long are the wicked, O Jehovah,
How long are the wicked themselves going to exult?
Your people, O Jehovah, **they keep crushing**,
And your inheritance **they keep afflicting**.
The widow and the alien resident they kill,
And the fatherless boys they murder.
Who will rise up for me against the evildoers?
Who will take his stand for me against the**practicers of hurtfulness**?
They make **sharp attacks** on the soul of the righteous one...
And **pronounce wicked** even the blood of **the innocent one**.
 Now notice verse 23:
 "And he will turn back upon them their hurtfulness
And will silence them with the calamity they have caused othersJehovah our God will silence them."

Notice, Yhwh will turn back upon them, their OWN hurtfulness and calamity

God is just in his abandoning the wicked to their father, the "Destroyer" (John8:4; 10:10; Rev.9:11)
Do other scriptures support this?
 Consider these scriptures...
"for with what judgment YOU are judging, YOU will be judged; and with the measure that YOU are measuring out, they will measure out to YOU."


"Certainly the one that is doing wrong will receive back what he wrongly
did, and there is no partiality."


"And all the evil of the men of Shechem God made come back upon their own heads"

 Psalm 28:4

"Give to them according to their acting And according to the badness of their practices. According to the work of their hands do you give to them. Pay back to them their own doing."

 Psalm 62:12

"Also loving-kindness belongs to you, O Jehovah, For you yourself pay back **to each one according to his own work**.

 Psalm 94:23

"And he will turn back upon them **their hurtfulness** And will silence them with **their own calamity**. Jehovah our God will silence them."

 Judges 6:23

"then may you yourself hear from the heavens, and you must act and judge your servants so as to **pay back the wicked by putting his own course upon his own head**"

 So we see that the work of the wicked, is the exact punishment that they themselves will suffer. Jehovah's justice is perfect. There are many more scriptures that express this Law.

So when we are told, at Psalm 94, that the wicked are guilty of... "crushing, afflicting, hurting, attacking", and slandering the innocent... we see that these are the very things that the wicked will suffer, when Jehovah's justice catches up to them (Matt.7:2; Rev.18:20). These things will befall them, previous to their destruction.

 Lastly, you may want to consider the following scriptures...all of which refer to

the "weeping and gnashing of teeth" that the wicked will suffer...
 Matt. 8:12; 13:42,50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30 Luke 13:28


will the wicked endure any of the suffering they themselves have inflicted
upon God's servants?
Will Jehovah punish, by abandoning them to Satan their god?
Jehovah himself answers...
 Nahum 1:2,3
"Jehovah is a God exacting exclusive devotion and taking vengeance; Jehovah
is taking vengeance and is disposed to rage. Jehovah is taking vengeance against his adversaries, and he is resentful toward his enemies. Jehovah is slow to
anger and great in power, **and by no means will Jehovah hold back from punishing**.

When Jehovah's perfect justice decides that the wicked deserve what they themselves
have done to others; that justice entitles Satan to carry out Jehovah's just decision. 
Satan himself, is the "Destroyer" (="Abaddon"/"Apollyon")... not God or Christ. 
(John10:10; Rev.9:11; Isa.33:1).

 Jehovah is Almighty in power, and so, His justice must allow and permit all that

Satan does. As in other scriptures which speak of Jehovah
"stretching out His Hand"... He is giving permission to Satan to do his work as
"destroyer", due to God's just condemnation toward the wicked.

To see more about this, please consider:
I hope all the foregoing scriptures, provide a satisfying answer to your question.
-  -  -  -  -  -  -
If you are familiar with Rev.14:11...
 "And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”
 "The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."
 ...and feel confused by this seeming contradiction to the wicked being destroyed;
then please keep in mind that Rev.1:1 states that "Revelation" is written in symbolic terms 
(See Greek of Rev.1:1).
What does it mean to be tormented in the "lake of fire" forever?
Rev.20:14 tells us...
 "Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."

Why "second" death, instead of first death?

Jesus said,
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell ("Gehenna")." (Matt.10:28)

The first death, is physical ("body").

The "second death", is by the One who judges (and can kill) the soul.
The basis for that judgment, is by means of the teachings of Christ....
Jesus said;
 "There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will judge them at the last day." (John12:48)

How are the damning words of Christ, the same as the "lake of fire"?

Jesus Christ IS the Word of God. All God's teachings are made available to us, 
to accept or reject,
by means of God's "Word", the Bible (John1:1,14).
Note what the words of God (through Christ) are compared to...

 "Is not my word like fire," declares the LORD, "and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?" (Jer.23:29)

 "Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth-- then my judgments go forth like the sun." (Hosea 6:5)
 "Therefore this is what the LORD God Almighty says: "Because the people have spoken these words, I will make my words in your mouth a fire and these people the wood it consumes." (Jer.5:14)
 "And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner." (Rev.11:5)

I hope you discern from the foregoing scriptures,

that the "lake of fire" / "hell",
are God's judgments,
by means of God's Word ("fire").
Those who do not obey the Bible, are judged worthy of the "second death".
According to Jesus, this is the death of the soul. (Matt.10:28)
When God's burning judgment befalls the wicked, they know it, and that knowledge causes suffering (Isa.66:15; Luke 16:24-25; 2Thess.1:6,8; 2Pet.3:7). What could be worse, than knowing you are condemned by God, without any hope of a future... abandoned into the hands of the "Destroyer".

God repays the wicked with their own wickedness.

 (The wicked do not burn people forever, so according to
   God's perfect justice, neither will they literally burn forever.)
"Jehovah's Witnesses" are taught that God is not sadistic, and does not desire to burn people forever.
The basis of that "Jehovah's Witness" belief, is Jer.7:31, where God says....
 "They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire--something I did not command, nor would such a thing ever enter my mind."

The "the Valley of 'Ben Hinnom' " (Hebrew) 

(where children were burned as a sacrifice to the false god, "Molech"),
is another name for the place "Gehenna" 
("Ben Hinnom" translated into Greek), 
and is the same place that most Bible translators, translate as "Hell". 
"Gehenna" is the word Jesus used, at Matt.10:28, above (that is usually translated as "hell") and Matt.23:33.
In the King James version, Rev.20:14 reads;
 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."
Note that "hell" is also cast into the lake of fire. Is "hell" cast into hell?
No. "Hell", is also destroyed forever. 
Yet this Greek word at Rev.20:14 was not "Gehenna". 
It was "Hades". This is the realm of those considered spiritually dead (also the abyss/sea/deep/"Sheol" -Hebrew). It contains both those physically living, and physically dead.
When God's judgment of the "spiritual dead" is completed, there will be no further need for a holding pen, for those who await God's condemnation (2Pet.2:4).
Those left standing after the final judgment, will live forever,
because they have obeyed the words of Christ (Luke8:11,15; 1John2:14).
 "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life." (John6:63).
Those who had no room for Christ's word in their hearts (John8:37,40; Acts3:22-24), will remain under God's condemnation, forever...
their legacy and shame forever recorded in the Word of God, which prophesied about them aforetime (Isa.46:10; 40:8; 48:3; Acts 15:18; 2Pet.1:21; Mark13:31) (Dan.12:2; Isa.66:24; Rev.20:12-15).