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Archive for the ‘Hell’ Category

Hallucinations are probably a lot more common than we might think, and there are all kinds of them. Not all hallucinations are unpleasant, but that doesn’t mean they’re harmless. According to the Bible, there are also such things as visions, which I would classify as extremely rare. Then there are dreams, most are which make little sense, yet some have deep underlying meanings. It can be difficult to tell one from the other.

I believe that God could sometimes use hallucinations to reveal something. I think that’s what happened the time I mixed the pills and alcohol. The drugs caused it, but God found a way to use it. God must work with us in the condition that he finds us. He strives to bring order out of chaos.¬†Hallucinations are by their nature deceptive and dangerous, such as when our driver thought the road curved to the right, when it was actually straight (ref. part 1). Anyone who seeks some sort of revelation through drugs is opening the door to deception.

Even a good dictionary doesn’t always give the actual origin of a word. Sometimes the roots of words are also multi-faceted, and those who study such things may argue over them. It could be either this, that, or the other, or it could be all of them. Webster’s gives a Latin word that means “to dream,” as the origin for “hallucinate,” but it goes farther back than that.

I’ve said before that the word “hell” probably comes from the Hebrew name for the angel (Heylel) who became Satan (see part 2 of “Hell” in my Jan. 2011 archives). Lucifer is the Latin translation of the name Heylel. “Halo” is another member of this word family. The word hallucinate contains the roots of both the Hebrew name, and its Latin translation. I believe those names imply some sort of distortion, or twist of the light, rather than simply meaning “Light Bringer.”

Satan uses hallucinations to deceive, to kill, and sometimes simply to torment. One of my sisters died of cancer in her early thirties. When I dropped by to see her a few weeks before she died, she was holding her little girl very tightly. I could see she was treasuring every moment with her. She was on pain medication pretty heavy by that time, and she was in a state of fear. She thought she had seen demons who told her they were waiting to take her soul when she died. She tried to make her husband agree that he had seen them also. He didn’t argue with her, but I saw that he didn’t know what to say. I knew how the name of Jesus helped me when I had the hallucination back in Detroit. I said to her, “You’ve asked Jesus to be your saviour, and he is. If they come back, don’t be afraid, tell them that Jesus has your soul.”

There haven’t been many people in my life who have taken me at my word as she did. When I saw her a few days later, she was ecstatic. She said, “The demons came back, but I told them that my soul belongs to Jesus, and they just vanished.” Whether what she saw was real or not, it was real to her. She died very peacefully. Mom, Dad, and her husband were with her. One moment she was there, and she was gone in the next.

In the misty state of mind between this world and the next, God only knows exactly what is real. The stories you hear of near death hallucinations often contradict each other. I believe there’s truth and revelation in some of the stories, and deception in others, just as there is in all of life. While evil (Devil) is striving to deceive us, good (God) is working to gain our trust. I didn’t immediately accept Jesus when I had the experience back in Detroit, but I began to investigate the Bible in a more sober and unbiased way.

Mom told us that as her mother was dying, she thought she saw beautiful flowers and her young son who had died a few years before. Dad’s story seems pretty unusual also. His cancer had advanced to the point that he couldn’t sleep. When he would start to fall asleep, he’d begin to smother, and awaken as he struggled to breath. Sitting in an armchair the day before he died, he rested his head against my arms, and actually slept a few minutes. I had braced my arms in such a way that I could hold his head up awhile. Dad never wanted to go anywhere without Mom, and he was very dependent upon her. Sometime that day he told Mom that Jesus had come for him, and he asked her if she was going to go with him. She told him that she wasn’t ready to go just yet, and he said, “Well when he comes back, I’m going with him.” Dad and Mom had both grown closer to the Lord before they left this world.

What is reality? We each experience a different facet of it as it turns and changes. What is the ultimate reality? Jesus is the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:1 and 1:14). Jesus is real, and he is reality. The world just doesn’t realize it yet.

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According to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, the words “Hell,” and “Hall,” come from an old German word “helan,” which means “to conceal.” “Hel,” is the name of the goddess of the dead in Norse mythology, but the actual origin of the word “Hell,” is probably an old Hebrew name for the Devil. Many of our English words come from ancient Semitic languages such as Hebrew. According to Strong’s concordance, “Lucifer,” is a Latin translation of the Hebrew name “Heylel” in Isaiah 14:12.

The fourteenth chapter of Isaiah contains prophecies concerning Babylon, and the coming Antichrist. Isaiah 14:12-15, is primarily about Satan himself. Bible prophecies often shift from one person, or being, to another, and fade from some ancient day into another time of the future. God sees the big picture, and the past, present, and future are part of it. Chapter twenty-eight of Ezekiel is also about the Antichrist, comparing him to the prince of Tyrus, and 28:12-17, is about Satan.

The name “Heylel,” may refer to Satan’s original position among the Angels, or to his false claim of bringing enlightenment to man through knowledge. Some Bible versions translate “Heylel,” as “morning star,” but that is far too simplistic. Sometimes, looking at the origin of words may help clarify the meaning.

If we alter the spelling of Lucifer, to “Lucipher,” more of the original meaning may be evident. The name is usually said to mean “Light Bringer,” but may mean something more like “Light Writer,” in the sense of twisting enlightenment into a cipher. Satan’s version of everything is always a twist of the light. The word “cipher,” is from the Hebrew word “caphar,” which means to inscribe, or enumerate. “Caphar,” is translated “scribe,” in the Bible, and the word for a book, or a scroll, is very similar (cepher).

Much of what passes for knowledge is really just a trick of the light. If you look up the meaning of “phosphor,” it is the same as “Lucifer.” This name seems to suggest the idea of a being that doesn’t reflect a greater light, but rather glows of its own. Second Corinthians 11:14, says, “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

So, what is the point of all this? This isn’t just trivia; I want to fill in some blanks. If we fill in everything we can, we can get a clearer look at the mysteries of life, and death. I once cut a picture out of a newspaper, but I seem to have lost it. It was a time-lapse photo of a candle-lit march around the White House. In this time-lapse photo, the movement through the night of all the people carrying candles, became a sea of flame. That’s what the newspaper called the picture; a “Sea of Flame.”

It seemed to me to be a good picture of Hell. “All of you who kindle fire, and feed a flame: go, walk in the light of your own fire, among the firebrands you lit.”¬† That is a partial quote of Isaiah 50:11, taking several translations into account. When Jesus, (John 8:12) “the light of the world,” is rejected, there is nothing left but to walk in the dim fire of your own candles. Whatever Hell is, or is not, it is at least that which we have kindled in our own lives. I’m afraid that is more than we can understand on this side of eternity.

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Not every thought that comes to our mind is our own. They become our thoughts if we accept them as our own, but thoughts have many origins. When I was in my early teens, most of the thoughts that made up my mind came from books. In the previous sentence, I used the phrase, “made up my mind,” because that’s what books do. We also “make up our mind”, in the sense that we use our imagination, and we build on those thoughts that seem to come from nowhere.

One of these days, I want to make a rough list of the books that I read before I was fifteen. It’s no wonder my life was so confused. I’ve said something about this in the “About,” page of my blog. One of the smartest things Dad ever said to me was, “A book will lay still, and let you write anything in it.” He offered to get a book and prove it to me, which I thought was silly at the time. No one at that time of his life, would have accused Dad of being a Christian, but he had some sort of belief in God, and I had been trying to tell him about evolution. I had been studying evolution, and it had become a central part of my thinking.

The chaos created in my mind, mostly by books, eventually led me to turn to drugs. Books I read that promoted the recreational use of drugs influenced my thinking a lot also. When you are an atheistic youth, into drugs and music, you are prone to begin to play with anything. You may dabble in the occult, even if you don’t really believe in it. Just because the occult is contradictory to a fundamentally strict interpretation of evolution, doesn’t mean that you won’t play with it. We are by nature very contradictory creatures. As a result of all the mind games, our lives don’t always make a lot of sense.

Ephesians 2:2 calls Satan, “the Prince of the power of the air.” Besides the input that we receive through our “normal” senses, Satan is able to broadcast ideas more directly to our brain through a process that science doesn’t yet understand. Scientists can now communicate with the human brain by implanting electrodes in the brain. It may not seem like this field of science has advanced very far since the days of “Robo-rat,” but things have slowly progressed.

I found a good article from the September 7, 2010 L.A. Times, on the possibility of translating brain waves to words. They believe they’ll eventually be able to communicate much more efficiently. Experiments involving this sort of extra-sensory perception provide enough evidence to prove that it can be done.

Not being able to detect Satan with our normal senses can lead us to assume that he doesn’t exist. There are different things that can happen due to Satan’s ability to plant thoughts without using our “normal” senses. We can make the assumption that those wireless communications are our own thoughts, and become comfortable with them. Sometimes we can be overcome with fear, and grow paranoid because of certain kinds of thoughts. Some people just instinctively ignore thoughts that would otherwise be troubling.

C.S.Lewis, goes into some detail on these underlying things, in his book, “Mere Christianity.” One of his main points is that there seem to be different minds at work in our thought process. In our mind, a thought will arise. Let’s say that it’s not a good idea. Immediately, unless our conscious has been dulled, another thought will appear, telling us that the first thought isn’t a good idea to pursue.¬† The deciding thought will be ours. We decide which of the thoughts we are going to follow.

Those who are fundamental Evolutionists, will say that all the thoughts are ours, even though they seem to oppose each other. If that is true, then why does one thought seem to be “bad”, and the other, “good,” and why does the “good” thought seem harder to obey? The Bible takes these mind games into account. Paul, in 2nd. Corinthians 10:5 speaks of, “…bringing every thought into captivity…” Put thoughts that don’t belong in us, into the Lord’s hands, then don’t worry about them. Think about the good things (Philippians 4:8).

A book will lay still and let you write anything in it, and a talented writer can make just about anything seem right and reasonable. There are books that say anything, and everything. Which book, which word, are we going to believe? Who should have the right to decide what is good, and what is evil? Should God have that right, or should you?

We are finite beings. Even if we lived a thousand years, there’s no way we could evaluate all things and decide what’s true. God desires to transform us into infinite beings, but we must receive that as a gift, through faith in him. Putting our faith in ourselves, has caused the mess the world is in. If you can’t trust yourself, then who could you trust? Well, that’s a good question, but the answer is, Jesus. He is the “Word” of God from eternity past, to the eternity ahead (John 1:1,2,3,10,14). He is the “thought” of God.

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If great suffering did not exist on earth, I might think that Hell wasn’t a real place. If no human being subjected any other to great suffering, I might think that both went to the same place after death. If justice always prevailed on earth, I might think there was no reason for a judgment after death. I’m sorry there has to be any sort of judgment, but I’m glad it’s in the hands of Jesus, and not another.

I realize this must be a horrible burden for him. I think of it as a cross that he must bear. I believe that holding the ones he holds is crucifying to him. I believe that letting the others go, hurts him even more. I believe that it is in anguish that he cries out to the lost, “Depart from me ye cursed…” (Matthew 25:41) “I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:23)

This is the first time I have written anything about Hell. I have concentrated instead on trying to write something to help someone believe in Jesus. I know that whoever believes in Jesus will escape anything destructive that exists beyond death. I don’t believe we have a very good understanding of what Hell is. The Bible tells us some things, but many times we must struggle to understand what is meant. Before I approach those things, I’d like to speculate a little bit.

We exist in this world in bodies separate from each other. I may be linked to the suffering of others by empathy, and I may experience emotional pain when someone hurts, but I really can’t feel exactly what you feel. Light and sound can’t convey your actual pain to my brain. What if the actual data of our lives is kept in some form that those who cause suffering will someday understand?

Jesus prayed that his followers would be one, as he and the Father were one. What if in some sense, we are all one, and we just don’t know it? What if we find that whatever we’ve done to others, we have actually done to ourselves? What if in Hell, the suffering caused by someone becomes a part of their own being? Remember that I’m speculating here.

What if all the suffering inflicted upon the world by Adolf Hitler turned out to be something he did to himself? Would it be fair if he came to understand the fear, pain, and loss, felt by the all the affected families of the world? What about the pain he caused God and Christ? Their sacrifice was for Hitler as much as for anyone else, but whatever the Lord suffered for Hitler on the cross was is vain. Even though I’m just thinking out loud here, no doubt there are elements of truth in what I’ve just written.

There are a few things though, that are certain. The first thing is that Hell is real. Jesus said it exists, and Jesus does not lie. Does anyone think that Hitler is going to rest just as peacefully in the ground as his tortured victims? Isaiah 28:20 says the “bed is too short to stretch yourself on, and the cover too narrow to wrap yourself in.” The “covenant with death” (Isaiah 28:18) will be annulled. There will be a judgment.

Secondly, God doesn’t want anyone to go to Hell. He’d rather become a man, and die an excruciating death, than to lose anyone to Hell. The fact that he did exactly that, tells me that Hell is not a pleasant place. I don’t believe the Lord would have made such a desperate move to try to reach us if the situation were not very serious.

The next thing is, God cannot keep you from going to Hell if you will not come to him for life. In John 5:40, Jesus said, “You will not come to me, that you might have life.” He will not overrule your freewill by forcing you to accept him. Love cannot be forced.

This mixed up world can never truly be a paradise. In order for Heaven to exist, there must be a division made between Heaven and Hell. Right now, the earth, and its inhabitants are caught in the middle, but the condition isn’t static. It can’t stay this way.

Sometimes earth can be enough like hell to be classified as such, except that hope can exist here. If someone will not reach up to the cross of Jesus, there is no promise of anything except judgment. Any other hope will one day disappear. The promise of life, is to whoever believes in Jesus. In several verses in the twentieth, and twenty-first chapters of the Revelation, the lake of fire is called the “second death.” Whatever the second death is, it certainly sounds final.

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