When many of us hear the word “hell” the first thing that goes on in our mind is the lake of fire, however, there are two different aspects of hell, which have nothing to do with a physical fire. There is a difference in Hell and the LAKE OF FIRE that burns with brimstones…
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And DEATH and HELL were cast into THE LAKE OF FIRE. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation20:12-15)
The above scripture teaches of a time when DEATH and HELL were cast into the lake of fire, which indicates that hell is different from the lake of fire. There is a physical and spiritual aspect of hell. Hell spiritually is a state of being, the spiritual sphere between mortality and immortality or the realm where disembodied (unclothed) spirits are caged in wait for the final judgment of the Lord. When a saint sleeps in the Lord, his or her earthly body will actually return to dust but the spirit through the power of the Holy Spirit will be translated into God to be clothed with a new immortal body so that the person will spend eternity with God.
This is what Paul says, to be absent from the body is to be at home with the LORD (2CORINTIANS5:8). When a sinner dies, his body will also return to dust but the soul of that sinner cannot cross over hell or ascend unto God to receive the imperishable (celestial) body because he does not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That sinner’s spirit will be trapped in-between “mortality and immortality” and conformed to a demon; falling into the same spiritual state where Lucifer and his angels are (because it has been alienated from God) and then begin to move back and forth to seek for a place of rest…..
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.(Luke11:24-26)
Unclean spirits seek to poses people to operate in because their own body (their dwelling place) has been destroyed and they are now in a spiritual prison, which means that they cannot cross over to the immortality sphere; neither can they return to the mortality realm. The demons can’t ascend upward to heaven, or return to live in the physical earth because they have neither celestial nor earthly body. This spiritual state of being is called Hell, a place where an unclothed spirit thirsts for water but cannot drink because they are disembodied and their desire to drink water is a torment that will last forever. They desire to associate with the living but cannot because there is a fixed spiritual gulf. The Lord teaches this in the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke16:19-31). This was the spiritual realm (hell) where Jesus Christ went and preached to the spirits in prison after his death….
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; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water (1Peter3:19).
The spirits that Jesus Christ preached to were those who lived in the past ages before the period of grace; they had no chance to hear the gospel of grace. Satan is the king of hell, we should always be thankful that God promised us that we are not going to be found naked “unclothed” after our departure from this mortal life; we are going to be clothed with our heavenly body (2Corithians5:1-8). There is no repentance in hell, a spirit that is in hell is waiting for the final transfer to the main lake of fire that burns with brimstones (Revelation21:7-8). Hell physically represents stagnancy in life, a state of not developing or making progress. Someone who says to be going through physical hell is a person who is seriously struggling, making every effort to achieve what he defines as success in life but not moving either forward or backward. Going through hell on earth can also mean putting forth a maximum effort but receiving a minimum result or going around in a circle in life…….
RESURRECTION VS. REINCARNATION: Due to our inaccurate conception of hell, most people have bought the idea of reincarnation instead of resurrection. Those Christians who God uses in the area of delivering demon-possessed people can testify that in some cases while praying for a victim, a voice will emerge from the possessed person claiming to be someone who has been dead for a very long time. It is also common to hear demons in demon-possessed children stating who they are and where they lived in their previous life; others are born with a mark and some with sicknesses and diseases that their dead ancestors struggled with during their life on earth. This kind of negative spiritual manifestation in the life of people is what gave birth to the African concept of reincarnation that teaches that the deceased people are being reborn into another body. However, there is no such thing as reincarnation! There will however be a resurrection. As mentioned earlier, There are disembodied demonic spirits that are roaming about in hell, which some identify as familiar spirits that possess people and cause them to talk and behave like the deceased person. May the Lord grant us a deeper understanding in Jesus Name! To be continued…..