last study it was noted that
prior to and during the millennium, there will be a valley outside of Jerusalem for the
burning of refuse. Those individuals living in the environs will be living under an
administration which will execute judgment upon those who "transgress against the
Lord" (lsa. 66:24). This especially has reference to the millennium. The guilty in
many instances will be executed and denied burial. They will be thrown in an open visible
grave, which is the garbage dump outside the Dung Gate. Their carcasses will "be an
abhorring to all flesh" (lsa. 66:24) who views this sight.
Admittedly this will be very obnoxious to "all flesh." But what, a warning it
will be! Those who would transgress the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) would stand in
jeopardy of being sentenced to such an indignity, that is, being refused burial and cast
with the carcasses of dogs, the city refuse, and, etc., into the ''hell-fire.''
This "hell-fire" has reference to the place where an open grave would exist
in the midst of Jerusalem's garbage dump. The object of this "visible hell'' is to
make the crime and the criminal detestable in the eyes of the people. The ''visible hell''
is not a place of conscious torment but a place where carcasses of transgressors are
thrown in order for the fires of "hell'' to consume, for the fires will burn
continually. That part of the bodies which the hell fire'' fails to consume, the worms
will eat, for "'their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched." (Mk. 9:48).
During the millennium when the nations come up to Jerusalem to worship the Lord they
will view the carcasses of those who have broken the laws of the Kingdom. (Isa.66:23-24).
Psalm 101:8 clearly indicates that morning after morning in the millennium, judgment will
be meted out as the wicked will be destroyed out of the land, and the wicked doers will be
cut off "from the city of the Lord."
We purpose to enumerate the verses which make reference to this ''visible hell."
(1) Matt. 5: 22-.6 But l say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without
a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca,
shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger
of hell fire.''
This verse has been explained in the previous study, (The Visible Hell - Part 1), and
we feel no further explanation is needed.
(2) Matt. 5:29-30 "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it
from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not
that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it
off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable to thee that one of thy members should
perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.''
These two verses fall into the context with Matt. 5:22. These two most certainly do not
relate to an invisible place in the heart of the earth where the "departed
men go when they die. Here the subject is "thy whole body," not the orthodox
soul of man.
So in Matt. 5:20-30 the possibility was if a member of the man's body was going to
cause him to transgress it would be better for him to pluck out an eye, or cut off a hand
rather than having his whole body perish in the visible grave with its perpetual fires.
The word "grave" is interchangeable with '' hell." These are the words the
Holy Ghost uses to teach with, not the words of men's wisdom.
(3) Matt. 10:28- ''And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the
soul: but rather fear Him (i.e. God) which is able to destroy both soul and body in
Now man can kill the body, that is, he can cause the loss of life. Only God can destroy
both body and soul. For believing this men have been branded as heretics. This verse only
confirms that the soul is not immortal because the soul as well as the body can be
destroyed. Matt. 10:28 only affirms that Ezk. 18:4 is true ; ''the soul
that sinneth, it
In Matt.10 the King and the Kingdom are still "at hand." The warning of the
''valley of slaughter," "the danger of "hell fire" is still in view
when the Lord speaks here in Matt.10:28. This verse teaches that the soul can be
destroyed, not that it will undergo torment. For a soul to be destroyed has the underlying
meaning that there will be no resurrection, which is the only means of release from the
power of death.
(4 ) Luke 12:4-5 "And I say unto you my friends, be not afraid of them that kill
the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye
shall fear; Fear Him , which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say
unto you, Fear Him."
This is the same reference as Matt. 10:28. The Lord here is pointing out to His
followers the reason they should take courage in view of the expected persecution. For the
time would come when there would be those who think they are doing God's service if they
killed Christ's disciples. His followers were to take heart. They should not fear the ones
who could only kill them. But rather they should fear the One who not only had power to
kill them, but they should fear Him who had the authority to cast into "hell,"
(i.e. the hell fire of Matthew 5); for from the "visible hell" there was no
Men can kill the bodies of another but only God has the power over the future of the
(5) Matt. 18:8-9 "Wherefore if thy hand or they foot offend thee, cut them off,
and cast them from thee; it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather
than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye
offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee; it is better for thee to enter into life
with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire."
The "everlasting fire" of verse 8 is the same as the "hell fire" of
verse 9. It is everlasting in as much as it lasts throughout the millennium age.
"Everlasting not only means "lasting or enduring forever" but it also means
"continuing indefinitely, or during the present state of things." (Websters
,1828) Hell fire is everlasting in the sense that it will come "during the present
state of things," (i.e. during the age of the millennium).
The language Christ uses here is figurative. He is not saying to dismember one's body
by cutting off limbs or by gouging out the eyes. He is simply saying it would be better to
do that and it would be better to even enter into resurrection-life halt or maimed than to
be killed and have the carcass deposited in the valley of slaughter, for there the fire is
not quenched. nor does the worm die. From "hell fire,'' (i.e. the visible hell),
there is to be no resurrection.The Lord is not saying that these would be those who would
enter "into life,'' (i.e. in resurrection), halt or maimed. He is simply saying that
it would be better to live in resurrection halt or maimed than to perish which the visible
(6) Matt. 23:15 - "Woe, unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye
compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more
the child of hell than yourselves."
The "child of hell" is a Hebrew idiom that means a person spoken of belongs
very emphatically to that which he is said to be the "child of."
Examples of this type of idiom are found in Matt. 9:15 and Luke 5:34. "Children of
the bride chamber." In Matt.13:38 you will notice- "children of the wicked
one." The idiom "child of the devil" is used in Acts 13:10 and
"children of disobedience" is found in Eph. 2:2 and 5:6.
The reference is that the proselyte becomes "two-fold more the child of hell"
than the scribes and Pharisees. Resultant of the false teaching the proselyte would belong
emphatically to the same class as those who would have no hope of resurrection.
"Hell" in this verse must of necessity have reference to the one we have been
(7) Matt. 23:33 "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the
damnation of hell?"
Here again, as in the other verses, the "damnation" of hell" must refer
to the judgment of condemnation associated with the valley of Hinnom, where the perpetual
The Lord warned the scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites that they were "the children
of them which killed the prophets" (v.31), (i.e. they belong most emphatically to
that group, being like them, that killed the OT prophets). In verse 34 the Lord tells them
that He will send to them the prophets, wise men, and scribes: " and some of them ye
shall kill and crucify; and some of them ye shall scourge in your synagogues, and
persecute them from city to city." Hence, His question is in order, "How can ye
escape the damnation of hell (i.e. hell fire)?"
(8) Mark 9:43 "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to
enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never
shall be quenched."
(9) Mark 9:45 "And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off, it is better for thee to
enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall
never be quenched."
(10) Mark 9:47 "And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out; it is better for thee
to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into
These three verses in Mark 9 are followed by "Where their worm dieth not, and the
fire is not quenched" (vs. 44,46,and 48). This is the direct reference to Isa. 66:24. Thus Isa. 66:23-24 ties together all the references in
the Gospels which are associated with "hell fire."
Mark 9:43 refers to a "hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched."
Mark 9:45 refers to a "hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched." In
these two verses the "fire that shall never be quenched" modifies the word
"hell:" But in verse 47 the phrase "into the fire that shall never be
quenched" is omitted and the word "fire" replaces the phrase, hence
By comparing verse with verse the Bible student learns that there are times when the
Bible uses the word "hell" to refer to the place where the carcasses of men who
have transgressed against the Lord are deposited. Sometimes the Bible uses the expression
"hell fire" to refer to the same place. The context must be studied. The
carcasses of dead men are deposited in this "hell" or "hell fire" for
the purpose of being "an abhorring to all flesh."
(11) James 3:6 "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue
among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of
nature, and it is set on fire of hell.
The verse clearly speaks figuratively in as much as the tongue is not literally "a
fire." James simply is stating the unruliness of the tongue. In order to depict how
obnoxious the untamed tongue is he says that it is "set on fire of hell." In
light of the foregoing it should be clear that James is making reference to the perpetual
fires in the Valley of Hinnom.
We will again set forth Isa. 66:23-24 and suggest that the student should keep these
verses in mind when considering the eleven instances that have been set forth in this
"And it shall come to pass (i.e. the millennium), that from
one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship
before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men
that have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire
be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."
Isa. 66:23-24 is of paramount importance in the unfolding of the New Testament truth
regarding a "visible hell".
It should be repeated that the Lord assigns meaning to His Words. The definitions of
His Words are to be found within the confines of the Word of God Itself. Whatever
tradition held by the scribe or the translator regarding the word "hell" and
"hell fire" the reader of the English bible (the A.V.) can rest assured that
within the confines of the Book of the Lord shows us how He uses these words, thus
overruling the bias and traditional influence that might have affected the scribes and
The conclusion is reached that in the eleven instances enumerated in this study, that
sometimes God refers to the garbage dump outside of Jerusalem as "hell."
Sometimes He refers to it as "hell fire." The serious student reads nothing more
into this than what is written for our learning. Thus it is concluded that "the
visible hell" will be a place to deposit dead bodies of those who have transgressed
against the Lord. Since there will be fire to burn the refuse, it is called "hell
fire." There is no hint of the corpses being conscious or in torment. The fire is
only to consume the remains, not to torment.
It is hoped that this study has encouraged further investigation concerning the subject
of immortality, soul, death, resurrection, and hell.