Hell and the Near-Death Experience

Peter Teekamp painting. By Kevin Williams

 

As with heaven, there are various hell realms witnessed by near-death experiencers. We can even see many manifestations of hell right here in the physical realm. There are people in prison, in the Bahamas, in mental institutions, universities, skid row, palaces, crack houses, all kinds of life situations. While hell realms can be seen outside all around the world as a manifestation of an inner hell within humans, hell realms in the spirit world are an even greater manifestation of inner hell within humans. Near-death accounts show that the hell realms in the spirit world are actually the spiritual/mental manifestations of spiritual conditions that humans create within themselves while on Earth.

 

Between the Earth realm and the heavenly realms, there exists two hellish realms known as (1) the earthbound realm and (2) the void. Both of these realms can be considered hell because they are the two darker levels. This web page will focus only on the earthbound realm. The earthbound realm is a hellish dimension that overlaps the physical realm. It is a dimension where souls who are bound by some strong earthly fixation, may remain indefinitely until they are able to extract themselves from this fixation. After death, most souls expand very quickly through the dark hellish realms of the earthbound realm and the void, by means of the tunnel and on to higher realms.

 

The following are highlights concerning the earthbound hell which will be described. It is a state of mind where earthly, physical desires cannot be satisfied and is due to a lack of spiritual development. This hellish state of mind is the result of living a hellish life and is neither condemnation nor judgment. Its purpose is purification not punishment. The ways to escape from the earthbound realm will be discussed and the reasons why negativity must be removed in order to enter heaven. NDE examples of the earthbound realm, including traditional hell, fire and brimstone NDEs, will be presented. Religious descriptions of the earthbound realm and scriptures suggesting universal salvation will be provided here. Even more Biblical and NDE evidence of universal salvation can be found at the link provided here.

 

1. Hell is a State of Mind

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Hell is a state of mind. When we die, we are bound by what we think." (Angie Fenimore)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Hell is a psychological condition which represents the hellish inner thoughts and desires within some souls. In hell, souls become uninhibited and their hellish condition is fully manifested. No demons are there to inflict punishment. Each soul acts out their own anger and hatred by warring and tormenting others." (Emanuel Swedenborg)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "The hell of hells is knowing you were our own devil." (Arthur Yensen)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "It is your mind which creates hell." (Dr. Timothy Leary)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Hell refers to levels of negative thought-forms that reside in close proximity to the Earth realm. It is where we go to work out, or remain within, our hang-ups, addictions, fears, guilt, angers, rage, regrets, self-pity, arrogance, or whatever else blocks us from the power of our own light." (P.M.H. Atwater)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Hell is a level of consciousness which can be experienced in or out of the body." (Arthur Yensen)

 

2. Hell is Having Earthly Desires That Can't Be Satisfied

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Hell is a place where everyone retains the physical desires they were fixated on without a way to satisfy them. Hell is real hell for anyone who lives only to satisfy their selfish desires." (Arthur Yensen)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "One level of hell exists right here on Earth where an earthly desire is craved but cannot be satisfied." (Dr. George Ritchie)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Hell contains people who have been alcoholics or drug addicts, who find these cravings still with them after death. They stay near the Earth to be near alcoholics or drug addicts who are still in the physical body, in order to participate vicariously in the sensations which alcohol and drugs give. They can be helped in the world beyond to clear their soul bodies of these cravings so that they, too, may go on and progress. However, this is a long and tedious process." (Margaret Tweddell)

 

There is no geographic hell. We build our hells right here in our own lives. (Harry Hone)

 

The quality of life after death for a suicide is determined by their motive for killing themselves. Those who kill themselves from drugs, alcohol, or any other addiction, may become stuck in limbo trying in vain to satisfy their addiction until eventually something frees them. Those who, because of mental illness, confusion, or a terminal illness, take their own life, are allowed many opportunities from God to grow in love just as any other person would who had not committed suicide. (Dr. George Ritchie)

 

Earthbound souls linger around the living, usually to try to satisfy a physical desire. (Betty Bethards)

 

If an addiction isn't conquered before death, it could keep your soul earthbound. (Ruth Montgomery)

 

Your personality - your likes and dislikes, your hopes, your fears-are still attached to you, although in a more nebulous form that when you are on Earth in a physical body. (Margaret Tweddell)

 

3. Hell is Caused By a Lack of Spiritual Development

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Hell is a lack of wisdom and not moving forward to progress. Hell is not a place." (Cecil)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Hell is a spiritual condition we create by being away from God until we choose to return to God. Hell is a spiritual condition that is totally devoid of love." (Sandra Rogers)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Hell is the pain, anguish, hurt and anger that you have caused others or who suffered as a result of your actions/words to others. Hell is what you have created for yourself within your soul by turning your back on unconditional love, compassion and peace." (Tina)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "What people call hell is really a spiritual time-out condition in which souls reflect and work out the things that blocked them from the power of their own light." (P.M.H.Atwater)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Concerning hell, heat is molecules in motion, while cold is their lack of motion. Likewise, love is a fast vibration of the soul, while hate is a slower vibration. Complete love would be God, while complete hate would be death, leaving the soul extinct." (Arthur Yensen)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Heaven and hell are spiritual states of being. They are not static states but are states in which there can be growth and progress toward ultimate wholeness of being." (Margaret Tweddell)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "The difference between life on Earth and life in the spirit is that your spirit world corresponds to your inner nature." (Nora Spurgin)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "As there are degrees of heaven or hell on Earth, so there are degrees of heaven or hell in the spiritual world." (Margaret Tweddell)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "After death people gravitate into homogenous groups according to the rate of their soul's vibrations much like throwing a small pebble into a threshing machine. It goes into the box that fits its proper size and weight. After death, we are sorted by the high or low vibrations of our soul. Everyone goes where they fit in! High vibrations indicate love and spiritual development, while low vibrations indicate debasement and evil. All one has to do is to love so unselfishly that their soul-vibrations rise high enough to fit into heaven." (Arthur Yensen)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "An extreme neglect of spiritual matters on Earth can result in an earthbound condition. This is the condition people often associate with ghosts." (Dr. Michael Newton)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "The quality of life after death for a suicide is determined by their motive for killing themselves. Those who kill themselves in order to hurt someone, get revenge, or who kill themselves out of hatred for someone else, will haunt the living by being aware of every horrible consequence their suicide had on others. Those who, because of mental illness, confusion, or a terminal illness, take their own life, are allowed many opportunities from God to grow in love just as any other person would who had not committed suicide." (Dr. George Ritchie)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "People who have an orientation of hate, for instance, find themselves unable to appreciate a realm of love and harmony. Therefore, they continue in their state of bitterness and are 'closed' to the glory which exists around them." (Margaret Tweddell)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Those who have stunted their spiritual growth through an undeveloped or misdirected lifestyle, have led a purely self-centered life or have hurt other people, their spiritual environment will reflect something of these realities. A self-centered life on Earth places one in an area of the spirit world with like-minded people who have yet to learn the value of unselfishness for the advancement of the soul." (Nora Spurgin)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "The spiritual state of being you have on Earth is the spiritual state you take with you to the world beyond when you die. There is no sudden metamorphosis from an idle person into an active person, from a nonreligious person into a religious person, from a money-centered person into a God-centered person. This is not an automatic thing." (Margaret Tweddell)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Environments distant from God are said to be dark, cold and inhospitable. Indeed, they reflect the spirits of those dwelling there." (Nora Spurgin)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "We create our own hell within us while we live on Earth. After death, we step into this hell." (Kevin Williams)

 

4. Hell is Caused By Living a Hellish Life

 

Multi-colored icon.   "In the spirit world, everyone lives in the kind of a heaven or hell that they have prepared for themselves while on Earth." (Arthur Yensen)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "People are in hell before they die. At death, we are gathered together with those who think as we do." (Angie Fenimore)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "The general rule of thumb is this: hellish life, hellish afterlife - heavenly life, heavenly afterlife. Death will not change a hellish life into a heavenly afterlife, nor does it change a heavenly life into a hellish afterlife." (Dr. Melvin Morse)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Occasionally, the encounter with light is perceived as a reflection of the fires of hell." (IANDS FAQ)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Physical desires can be carried over into the afterlife but physical desires cannot be satisfied there. This can create a hellish condition for those who have them." (Nora Spurgin)

 

5. Hell is Neither Condemnation Nor Judgment

 

Multi-colored icon.   "There is no condemnation in hell, only the outworking of our own misjudgments, mistakes, misalignments, or misappropriations." (P.M.H. Atwater)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Those with too many negative thought patterns might flee the light of God after death because they are too ashamed or too afraid to have their inner thoughts and negative natures revealed to everyone." (Dr. George Ritchie)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "After his death, Jesus descended into the lower afterlife regions to 'unlock' the gates of hell. But souls still remaining there - for them - the gates are locked from the inside. Nevertheless, NDE evidence reveals Jesus continues to rescue souls from hell during a near-death experience." (Kevin Williams)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "I saw the reasons for all of my actions and understood why I did what I had done. There was a place for all of my positive and negative actions. There was no action that was necessarily wrong, but there were actions I took that did not enhance positive growth." (David Oakford)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "In hell, we have the opportunity to either revel in our folly or come to grips with the reality of consequences -that every action has a reaction, what is inflicted on another can be returned in kind. This is not a punishment for our sins but a confrontation with any distortion of our sense of values and priorities." (P.M.H. Atwater)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Just knowing the bad mistakes you made through your carelessness or your selfishness is a hell. You don't need a devil prodding you with a fork." (Margaret Tweddell)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "God does not condemn anyone to hell and there is no eternal damnation. We have the ability to condemn ourselves to the hell we create within ourselves." (Kevin Williams)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "The God of love suffers for those in darkness, ignorance and misery." (Nora Spurgin)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Many people believe that those who don't give verbal assent to Jesus are cast headlong into eternal fire to burn forever. It should be common sense to anyone that a God of love would never treat people this way. As Jesus said, even an evil father knows how to give good things to children." (Kevin Williams)

 

6. How To Escape From the Earthbound Realm

 

Multi-colored icon.   While Benedict was in hell, he called out to the light and the light opened up and formed a tunnel that insulated him from all that fear and pain. (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "The way out of these hellish realms is to have a willingness to see the light and seek love for others and God." (Angie Fenimore)

 

Multi-colored icon.   To escape the darkness, you must cry out to God. Then the light will appear. (Rev. Howard Storm)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "From what may anyone be saved? Only from themselves! That is, their individual hell. They dig it with their own desires." (Edgar Cayce)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "The gates of hell are open. Those in hell will eventually join up, link hands, and walk out of hell together." (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "We stay in hell for however long best serves our development. We do not leave until we have changed our attitudes and perceptions." (P.M.H. Atwater)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Souls in the hellish realms do not have the same powers to progress and achieve joy that others with more light in the higher afterlife realms have. Their progress is limited - a result of divine justice. However, these souls can choose to grow if they wish." (RaNelle Wallace)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "The living have auras of light surrounding their bodies. If the aura becomes distorted through alcohol or drugs, an earthbound soul can temporarily possess the body." (Dr. George Ritchie)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "There are no permanent sinners. Even the saddest example of humanity can become the greatest." (Harry Hone)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Accept the greater power around you and let go of the Earth and its desires." (Margaret Tweddell)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Based on a soul's desire and willingness, those in hell are given an opportunity for an upward journey." (Nora Spurgin)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "People on Earth are protected from earthbound discarnates and any harm they may try to do against us when they focus on the love within them." (Kevin Williams)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "To appreciate heaven well it is good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell." (Will Carleton)

 

7. Negativity Must Be Removed to Enter Heaven

 

Multi-colored icon.   "At this point, I could feel this group of beings eliminate or pull from me the negative energy of my life in the physical world and fill me with love beyond what I can describe." (Sherry Gideon)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "After death, if a soul has been too bad, they go to a realm of lower vibrations where their kind of thoughts can live. If they entered heaven, they would be annihilated by the Master-Vibration of God. This is because souls gravitate into groups according to the rate of their soul's vibrations. If the percent of discord in a soul is small, it can be eliminated by God; then the remaining good can live on in heaven. However, if the percentage of bad were too high, this couldn't be done, and the person would have to gravitate to a lower level and live with people of his own kind. Birds of a feather, flock together."(Arthur Yensen)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Since I had lived such a totally self-serving existence, I was in a hellish state of indescribable agony and sorrow. I was in shear agony. I still remember being on my knees while this blinding light broke and crushed my false-ego. This breaking process was extremely painful." (Daniel Rosenblit)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Negative thoughts cannot be expressed in the heavenly realms - only positive ones." (Ned Dougherty)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "God is the Master-Vibration who neutralizes all negative thoughts so that you think only the good thoughts, such as love, freedom and happiness." (Arthur Yensen)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "God's love looks at all of us throughout the eyes of eternity. God's overriding desire is to purify the darkness of our souls, irrespective of the suffering God has to put us through to achieve that end. However, it will greatly minimize our suffering if we learn to accept instead of fighting against our situation in life." (Daniel Rosenblit)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "There are earthbound spirits of low vibrations, whom we may regard as devils because they annoy us through mental telepathy. These demons tune in on us through our low vibrations of hate, fear and greed. They can be tuned out with unselfish love, or if necessary be chased away by the stronger spirit of Jesus Christ." (Arthur Yensen)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "The only thing that burns in hell is the part of you that won't let go of your life: your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away, but they're not punishing you, they're freeing your soul." (Meister Eckhart)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "The purpose of religion is not so much to get us into heaven, or to keep us out of hell, but to put a little bit of heaven into us, and take the hell out of us." (E. Stanley Jones)

 

8. NDE Examples of the Earthbound Realm

 

The following are summaries of the NDE accounts of those who experienced this earthbound region for themselves.

 

Multi-colored icon.   David Oakford saw dark souls who were earthbound and who refused to go to the light. They prey on the energies of the living in an attempt to prevent the evolution of their spirit. David learned that we protected from these dark ones as long as we chose to focus on the love within us. David noticed that the dark ones did not even try to affect him. They just gave him nasty looks and went away. David was told that whenever he sees one, he was to tell them to go to the light. The light is a porthole to the place all souls go if they choose to go. David learned that higher beings know where to go and what to do to help an earthbound soul so they may advance themselves if they so choose to do so. (David Oakford)

 

Multi-colored icon.   Josiane saw faces rushing toward her with incredible speed. They would race toward her face, expanding and then dissolving. Face after face washed over her and she is terrified. She drifted along and was unable to keep her eyes open. She wondered who these people were. She recognized some of them as people she knew who had died. The whole room was filled with spirits and they would hover near her and look into her eyes. She tried to push them away and she fought them. This experience seemed to go on forever. She identified these people as restless spirits. Their faces were twisted with pain and they seemed lost. She was frightened to see them around her. Suddenly, spirits with glowing faces appeared to her. They reflect a gentle and powerful light which reminded her of pictures of beautiful angels. (Josiane Antonette)

 

Multi-colored icon.   While in the earthbound realm, Howard Pittman watched living people going about their daily pursuit and completely unaware that they were being stalked by beings from the spirit world. Pittman refers to this earthbound realm as the first heaven. He was totally flabbergasted as he watched in horror demons in all shapes and forms moving at will among the humans. Pittman was shown an employee's lounge on Earth where a young man and young woman were talking and laughing. Between them was a grotesque demon who was unseen by the two. Pittman learned that this was a demon of lust. Pittman watched in astonishment as the demon entered the body of the young man. Pittman was told that the demon made himself desirable to the young man and he accepted by his own free will to violate his space. (Rev. Howard Pittman)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Emanuel Swedenborg's description of the first stage after death is a remarkable description of the earthbound realm: After death, there are various states that souls must pass through before arriving in heaven or hell. The first state involves their more outward aspects and the second [the void] involves their more inward aspects. The first state after death is very much like their state in the physical world, since at that point they are similarly involved in outward matters. This is why some souls are unaware that they are dead. (Emanuel Swedenborg)

 

Multi-colored icon.   Dr. George Ritchie's NDE: Jesus took Ritchie to a large city on Earth where he observed earthbound souls stalking the living for one reason or another. One earthbound soul begged in vain for a cigarette. A young man who committed suicide begged his parents in vain for forgiveness. In a house, Ritchie was shown the soul of a boy following a living teenage girl and begging for forgiveness despite the fact that the girl was completely unaware of the boy's presence. Jesus told Ritchie that the boy committed suicide and was chained to every consequence of his act. Then Ritchie saw group of drunken sailors in a bar with earthbound alcoholics trying in vain to get a drink. Ritchie is horrified when he witnessed a sailor pass out and an earthbound alcoholic quickly possess his body. Jesus and Ritchie then viewed a realm that was jammed with hordes of angry, frustrated, and miserable earthbound souls who were locked in fights to the death. Yet, nobody could be injured. Ritchie realized that this was hell where souls are enslaved to habits of destructive thought-patterns. He also witnessed frustrated souls attempting to perform sexual acts. He saw souls arguing over religion or politics and trying to kill those who disagreed with them. Whatever anyone thought was instantly apparent to everyone there. Most of the thoughts he heard were thoughts such as, "I told you so!" and "I always knew!" and "Didn't I warn you!" Ritchie became aware that Jesus did not condemn them and that he had only love for them. The only thing that kept each soul from leaving this realm was that they all shared the same kind of thoughts. This created a bond where soul of similar feathers can flock together. Ritchie wonders if these souls had fled the light that showed up the darkness of their souls. Jesus then takes Ritchie away from there. (Dr. George Ritchie)

 

Multi-colored icon.   Ruth Montgomery: This is an example of a person who is so sure that there is no God and no hereafter that he treats others badly while on Earth and he feels no moral obligation to lend a helping hand or to be a decent citizen. When he makes the transition he is angry and tempestuous as he finds himself in a situation of his own making, surrounded by other greedy souls who, because they are in like situation, welcome him gleefully to the hell that they have created for themselves. He tries to break out of the fiendish group, but they surround him. He is utterly miserable, for he now begins to see the folly of his ways but does not know how to avert his fate. He is left there until his own remorse for sinful ways begins to penetrate his being and he acknowledges to himself that he wasted a lifetime, a rare privilege, by thinking only of himself. After he reaches full repentance he is then able to free himself of the unrepentant creatures around him, and for a long time thereafter he searches his own soul to review the past mistakes. This is sometimes a long, drawn-out process because he will have to make his way alone. Only he is able to assess his wrongs and seek forgiveness, although there are many here willing to lend a hand whenever he reaches out to them for it. (Ruth Montgomery)

 

Multi-colored icon.   Ruth Montgomery: People who die as an alcoholic may hover around people on Earth who drink too much, lusting after the pleasures of alcoholism yet unable to break the bond of habit which bound them to their physical bodies. The same with heavy smokers or drug users, there or here, or the sex maniacs who take advantage of others to appease the bodily craving for intercourse.This is a very important lesson which we learn on this side. To escape the perpetual cycle of rebirth into physical form, we must erase the ties, the shackles which bind us to satiation of the physical body. So try to lick the bad habits while on Earth. It is easier by far than to come unloose from them on Earth. Those who neither drink nor smoke nor use drugs nor lust after sex will be free of those shackles on the other side. It is easier while in physical form to break those shackles than it is to undo them on the other side, where no temptations are put in our way. Thus, there is no reward for behaving correctly here in spirit, because there is nothing to tempt us otherwise. The hard school is in the physical one, and there it is there that we must meet and overcome the temptations. (Ruth Montgomery)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "A friend of mine who had recently taken his life came through and did not know how to go into the light. I kept telling him to go forward to the light, but he was afraid of judgment. He couldn't forgive himself. Also, he was having a problem with the fact that after he had taken his own life, his spirit obviously lingered around the scene of the act. He could not overcome the memory of his father's discovering him, and that was haunting him emotionally to a tremendous degree in the next dimension. What he and many of us don't understand is that there is judgment there, but it is not done by God on a throne. Judgment rests basically with yourself. It can take eons of time as we understand it before they go into the light. It depends on the person." (George Anderson)

 

9. The Traditional Hellfire and Brimstone NDEs

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Why do some people have NDEs that resembles the fire and brimstone hell of the Bible while other people describe a different kind of hell? The quick answer is that there are many kinds of hells and many kinds of heavens. A person's situation in life and after death is based upon many factors including: perception, perspective, cultural and religious background, spirituality or lack thereof, and education. If you examine enough hellish NDEs that resemble the traditional hellfire and brimstone, you will notice that they mostly occur to fundamentalist Christians. Life after death often means "getting what you expect", that is, if you believe heaven is a place where you float on a cloud and play a harp, you just might get that when you die. And only when you realize that this kind of heaven is a fanatasy-to-be-abandoned will you find reality different. In other words, reality is what you make it. This applies on Earth as it is in heaven. If we believe that such a hell exists, it actually does exist - in our own minds. And since the afterlife is the realm of the mind and spirit, these hellish conditions actually exist merely by creating them in our own mind. This is why it is critical that we be careful what we put in our minds and what we build there. For more information about the differences between NDEs visit my NDE Differences page." (Kevin Williams)

 

Multi-colored icon. After an attempted suicide, John Bunyan (1628-1688) was given an extended guided tour of hell containing all the traditional images of fire, brimstone, devils, tormentors, etc. Bunyan, an English author and preacher imprisoned for his faith, is best known for his fictional work, The Pilgrim's Progress. (John Bunyan)

 

Multi-colored icon. Rev. Kenneth Hagin descended into a pit until a darkness totally surrounded him. The farther down he went, the darker and hotter it became until he could see the fingers of flames playing on the dark walls of the pit. In front of him, beyond the entrance into hell, he saw giant, orange flames. He was pulled toward hell like a magnet pulls metal. He was aware of some kind of creature at his right side, which he didn't dare look at, that escorted him toward the entrance to hell. When he did, a powerful voice spoke which caused everything to shake. Kenneth then floated back up through the darkness to the top of the pit. (Rev. Kenneth Hagin)

 

Multi-colored icon. Don Brubaker travels through a tunnel while a large, eerie red eye peers at him which he realizes to be his own. While in the tunnel, he is stricken with panic and believes he is in hell. A voice, which he identifies to be God's, tells him not to fear. He has been chosen to write about what he is experiencing. He is told he must testify about the reality of hell. Afterward, he is drawn into a vast, flaming oven filled with other people. They laugh as they realize the flames are not painful. Suddenly, he is alone in the dark with God communicating to him. In an instant, he is aware of everyone in his life whom he was ever angry with. Afterward, he floats in a glorious deep blue sky. Christ appears shining a tremendous amount of light. Christ gives Don a choice of staying or returning to the physical world. Thoughts of his family cause him to choose to return. Before he returns, Don is taken back in time to witness the crucifixion of Christ. (Don Brubaker)

 

Multi-colored icon. Other hell, fire, and brimstone NDEs: Sarah and George Lennox

 

10. Religious Descriptions of the Earthbound Realm

 

Multi-colored icon.   Buddhism:  The deceased eventually enters a realm of hungry ghosts were the deceased have huge stomachs and throats the size of pinholes. Because of this, they wander around in a constant state of unsatisfied ravenous desire. Eventually, the unliberated deceased encounters the Lord of Death for judgment. The Lord of Death holds up before him the Mirror of Karma where every good and evil act is vividly reflected. Now demons approach and begin to inflict torments and punishments upon the deceased for their evil deeds. Even here the deceased can attain liberation by recognizing this. The deceased who is still not liberated after the Judgment will now be drawn remorselessly toward reincarnation. At some point, liberation is no longer possible and the deceased are instructed on how to choose the best womb for a favorable reincarnation. (Buddhism)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Be not fond of the dull smoke-colored light from hell." (Tibetan Book of the Dead)

 

Multi-colored icon.   Hinduism:  Each of the dimensions of the Great Mandala of the Cosmos represents a quality of energy, or light. Each dimension of this Mandala, which moves out from the central Whiteness, are infinite numbers of possible worlds and various kinds of embodiment. The dimension which we live in now is on the outskirts of this Great Mandala. Dimensions even farther away from the center may be called "hells" where there is less awareness, less possibilities, than the dimension we live in now. (Hinduism)

 

Multi-colored icon.   Islam:  Muslim theologians, particularly those of the Asharite school, believed that if a believer entered hell, God could forgive his sins or nonconformities and remove him, either immediately or after a certain period during which imperfections had been burned away. The basis for this doctrine is the Hadith: "He shall make men come out of hell after they have been burned and reduced to cinders." In addition to this purgatory of suffering, there is another Muslim limbo - al-A'raf (the "heights" or "ramparts"), described in a chapter of the Koran by that name - in which those souls reside that do not merit damnation yet are unable to enter paradise. (Muslim)

 

Multi-colored icon.   Judaism:  In rabbinical thought, the model for heaven was Eden. The rabbinic word for hell, Gehenna, is taken from the name of a valley of fire where children were said to be sacrificed as burnt offerings to Baal and Moloch (Semitic deities). Jewish legend paints hell with all of the vividness that medieval Christians did, even associating particular tortures with particular sins. (Judaism)

 

Multi-colored icon.   Gnosticism:  Christian Gnostics viewed living on Earth as a kind of hell. Gnosticism saw human beings as trapped in a cycle of reincarnation and believed that even suicide could not release one from bondage to the flesh. In marked contrast with orthodox Christian belief, bodily resurrection was not viewed as part of the scheme of redemption. Rather, only the destruction of the body and of all Satan's visible creation - which is hell - was adequate to ensure salvation of the soul and its ascent to heaven. (Gnosticism)

 

Multi-colored icon.   Christianity:  Scriptures showing souls do not stay in hell forever:

 

a. "[Jesus] went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built." (1 Peter 3:18-20)

 

b. "That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows." (Luke 12:47-48)

 

c. "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny." (Matthew 5:22-26)

 

d. It should be difficult for any Christian to honestly conceive of a God of infinite love and mercy to permit even one soul to be tortured forever in hell. It is common sense that a few minutes in hell is enough for even the hardest of sinners to change their mind and repent. And what kind of God would create someone knowing that he will ultimately throw that person in hell to be tortured forever? It should be obvious that it would be better for God to not even create such a person. If an evil father treats his children better than this, how much more so God? Jesus stated: "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:9-11)

 

11. The Purpose for Hell is Purification Not Punishment

 

Multi-colored icon.   The early Church developed the concept of purgatory based on particular passages of scripture.

 

a. According to St. Isidore of Seville the Church taught that in the next life: "Some sins will be forgiven and purged away by a certain purifying fire." (Deord. creatur., c. xiv, n. 6)

 

b.  St. Augustine also argued: "Some sinners are not forgiven either in this world or in the next, would not be truly said unless there were other [sinners] who, though not forgiven in this world, are forgiven in the world to come" (De Civ. Dei, XXI, xxiv).

 

c.  The same interpretation is given by Gregory the Great (Dial., IV, xxxix); St. Bede (commentary on this text); St. Bernard (Sermo lxvi in Cantic., n.11) and other eminent theological writers.

 

d.  Origen, the first great Church father, taught that purgatory is the true description of hell. He believed if people depart this life with lighter faults, they are condemned to fire which burns away the lighter materials, preparing their souls for the kingdom of God, where nothing defiled may enter. He wrote: "For if on the foundation of Christ you have built not only gold and silver and precious stones; but also wood and hay and stubble, what do you expect when the soul shall be separated from the body? Would you enter into heaven with your wood and hay and stubble and thus defile the kingdom of God; or on account of these hindrances would you remain without and receive no reward for your gold and silver and precious stones? Neither is this just. It remains then that you be committed to the fire which will burn the light materials; for our God to those who can comprehend heavenly things is called a cleansing fire. But this fire consumes not the creature, but what the creature has himself built, wood, and hay and stubble. It is manifest that the fire destroys the wood of our transgressions and then returns to us the reward of our great works." (P. G., XIII, col. 445, 448).

 

Multi-colored icon.   Origen based this statement on the following Bible verse:

 

a.  "It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "In the Council of Lyons, in 1274 A.D., it was stated that after death the soul goes promptly either to heaven or to hell. On the Day of Judgment, all will stand before the tribunal of Christ with their bodies to render account of what they have done.

 

12. NDEs Support Universal Salvation

 

Multi-colored icon.   "What all people seek, what sustains them, is love, the light told me. What distorts people is a lack of love. The revelations coming from the light seemed to go on and on, then I asked the light, "Does this mean that humankind will be saved?" Then, like a trumpet blast with a shower of spiraling lights, the Great Light spoke, saying, "Remember this and never forget; you save, redeem and heal yourself. You always have. You always will. You were created with the power to do so from before the beginning of the world. In that instant I realized even more. I realized that WE HAVE ALREADY BEEN SAVED, and we saved ourselves because we were designed to self-correct like the rest of God's universe." (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Life is a cycle of improvements and humans are not perfect yet. Most people have this secret revealed to them when they die." (Dr. Frank Oski)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "All souls were created in the beginning and are finding their way back to God." (Edgar Cayce)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "We are immortal and indestructible. We have always been alive, we always will be, and there is no way in this world that we can ever be lost. It is impossible for anyone to fall into a crack in the universe somewhere and never be heard from again. We are utterly safe and we have always been forever and ever." (Jayne Smith)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "From the light we have come, and to the light we all shall return." (Josiane Antonette)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "It is God's love for us that sends us on our journey and it is our love for God that allows us to return to God's loving arms again." (David Goines)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "A central aspect of our eternal existence is continued spiritual growth through love and service. We can spend what seems like an eternity before incarnating in the flesh. During that period in the spirit world, soul growth can be attained there as well." (Nora Spurgin)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "It [reincarnation] is a universal process, and prevails not only in the human kingdom but also throughout the whole of nature. Whenever we find a living form, the consciousness of that form is also evolving, using temporarily for that purpose the physical form in order that it may gain physical experience. In each incarnation we have a different physical body, a different name, and may have different souls acting as parents, but these changes do not in the slightest imperil our individuality ... Reincarnation is not an endless process, and when we have learned the lessons taught in the World-School we return no more to physical incarnation unless we come back of our own accord to act as Teachers of humanity or as Helpers in the glorious plan of evolution." (Amber Wells)

 

Multi-colored icon.   "Without physical bodies, feelings of hate and fear are intensified as souls [in hell] vainly try to hide from their enemies. Their only hope is to reincarnate. Then unfortunately when they do, they may forget all about their torment in hell and again lead lives of greed and tyranny. This miserable cycle can continue forever unless they find salvation in one of their lifetimes. Such people really need a savior, since they are not able to help themselves. I'm sure Christ incarnated to help them because he said, 'I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'" (Arthur Yensen)

 

14. Scriptures Supporting Universal Salvation

 

a.  "The Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all." (1 Corinthians 15:28)

 

b.  "God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:3-4)

 

c.  "But I, when I am lifted up from the Earth, will draw all men to myself." (John 12:32)

 

d.  "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:22)

 

e.  "And all mankind will see God's salvation." (Luke 3:6)

 

f.   "[God] is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

 

g.  "For this we labor and strive, that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe." (1 Timothy 4:10)

 

h.  "And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment -- to bring all things in heaven and on Earth together under one head, even Christ." (Ephesians 1:9-10)

 

Multi-colored icon.   It is God's will to have all humanity saved. And because nobody can thwart God's will, then the only conclusion is that all humanity will be saved.

 

a  "No plan of yours [God's] can be thwarted." (Job 42:2)

 

b.  "[Christ] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:2)

 

c.  "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men." (Titus 2:11)

 

d.  "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone." (Hebrews 2:9)

 

e.  "And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world." (1 John 4:14)

 

f.  "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men -- the testimony given in its proper time." (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

 

g.  "And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:15)

 

"To appreciate heaven well it is good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell." - Will Carleton

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