Please note I have used the word "Hell" as a metonym However it is generally believed by scholars that the word hell is "Gehenna," the lake of fire being the second death.(Revelation 20:14). and not ''Hades'' which is the proper translation in Luke 16:23, Matthew 11:23, Luke 10:15, Revelation 20:14, Revelation 1:18.
And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ He is God, not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.” said Jesus. Mark 12:26.
Throughout history we see different schools of thought emerging just as in the days of Josephus and one of them is the doctrine of ‘soul sleep’.
Let me now talk to you about something called ‘soul sleep’. It is a belief that many believers both teach and believe today. The basis of it is that when we die we go into sleep mode, we are not aware or conscious during this time and we continue to sleep until Judgment Day.
Hades is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament word Sheol. The Greek and Hebrew words speak of the same place, the present Hell. However, this can be confusing because Sheol has been translated "grave" as often as it has "Hell" and some have mistakenly taught that Sheol and Hades are only references to the grave rather than Hell. Therefore this teaching leads to the denial of the existence of an immediate or present Hell. The false doctrine of soul-sleep, and other ideas that teach the unconscious state of the dead between death and resurrection, spring from this error.
I believe that this doctrine that teaches people that after we die we sleep until judgment day has taken out the fear of living in sin.
When we understand that Hell is a real place it brings a consciousness of how we live our everyday lives to the forefront of our thinking and therefore affects how we live and act, speak and make decisions. In short, it acts as a deterrent whilst we are living.
An example that came to my mind when writing this is of when I was a child and was naughty at school. For my bad behaviour I ended up getting the cane across my bottom as a punishment. Did it teach me a lesson, well put it like this I can still remember the pain and it taught me a lesson. I feel without it I could have continued doing wrong as every time I felt like being naughty I would remember that cane on my bottom.
Hell once experienced is never forgotten, there are those who have had supernatural visions of Hell and are never the same again. They find themselves on their knees interceding and praying for the unsaved with a passion and a fervour such as they never knew before.
The faces of those they saw in Hell haunt them and their screams still ring in their ears.
Remember also, this in scripture: and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.
What an awful and sobering warning that Gods punishment for sin is Hell, fiery flames of torment. He has made it clear to us in Isaiah 57:21 ‘There is no peace’ says my God ‘for the wicked’.
In 1947 fragments from the book of Enoch were unearthed in Qumran saying ‘Woe to you for ye shall have no peace’.
Josephus in his Discourse to the Greeks concerning Hades wrote: the souls of the unjust and those that have been disobedient to God are dragged down to HADES/HELL by force and do not stand clear of the hot vapour itself.
Luke 16:19 tells us that Hades had two compartments: Paradise and Torment. Lazarus went to the Paradise side but the rich man went to the Torment side.
However this is very interesting we find that Enoch states that there are four compartments, one being Paradise where the saints lived.
The Book of Enoch, by R.H. Charles, , at sacred-texts.com
1. and hence I went to another place and he showed me in the west another great and high mountain of hard rock.
2. and there were four hollow places in it, deep and very smooth: three of them were dark and one bright; and there was a fountain of water in its midst. And I said: ‘How smooth are these hollow places and deep and dark to view.'
Interestingly, Enoch gives an identical description of one hollow place that had light and water and I believe this to be Abraham's bosom/paradise but the other 3 hollow places were dark.
We then have the book of Ephesians confirming with The Book of Enoch,
Jesus soul descended into Hades. Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? Ephesians 4:9 NKJV
So we have these verses below.
1 Psalm 88:6
2 Lamentations 3:6
3 Lamentations 3:55
4 Ezekiel 26:20
This confirms that the soul of man went deep into the earth to the Paradise side or Torments side. In the Bible verses above, "sleep" is simply another term for death of the body, the flesh. Just as Jesus said “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, and then stated 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. John 11:11
11 “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”
12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.”
13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.
14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. John 11:11
So, Jesus makes it clear here that Lazarus body was asleep/dead. His body was laid in the tomb. His body knew nothing and this confirms with the many Bible verses below in the Old Testament that are talking about the body being asleep or dead which are both the same thing.
Job 14:10 Job 14:14 Psalm 6:5 Psalm 49:15 Daniel 12:2 John 5:28-29 John 3:13 Acts 2:29-34 2 Peter 3:4
In the Bible verses above, "sleep" is simply another term for death of the body, the flesh. Just as Jesus said “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, and then stated 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. John 11:11 and at the same time we have Luke talking about a person who had just died with the identical name and his soul was saved. Is that merely a coincidence.
Before the cross of Jesus, after death, the soul departed from the dead body and went in to Hades which is a holding place for our souls confirmed by Matthew 10:28.
2 Peter 2:9 1 KJV and to reserve the unjust. 2 NAS and to keep the unrighteous.23
How can you keep or reserve something if there is no soul that lives on to reserve or keep for the day of judgment? But we know that there are different compartments in Hades as we have seen above and Lazarus went to the paradise side
Joseph of Arimathea
Joseph of Arimathea who was secretly a disciple of Jesus, also believed that when we died our souls lived on just as Enoch and Josephus stated and just as Jesus taught. Joseph of Arimathea believed on death our souls departed from our bodies. We know this because at the Garden Tomb believed to be the tomb of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea cut out a small window which is still there today.Now this is important as the window was the soul hole called the nephesh a Hebrew word meaning soul hole to let out the soul.
So if we have a soul where did Lazarus, of John 11, soul go when he died? Luke tells us "Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; Luke 16:22. Again confirming with Joseph of Arimathea who believed we have a soul that lives on giving more credit that Luke 16:19 was not a parable.
CLICK HERE to watch a small part of John Lingham at the garden tomb talking about the soul hole.
It is written by Andrea Mantegna Archaeology of The Bible:
The ancient Jewish people of the Bible did not believe that death meant total annihilation, or that we vanish completely at the moment of death. Death to them meant the loss of vitality and strength, but so long as the body or at least the bones remained, the soul or nefesh continued to exist. In its greatly weakened state, the nefesh sheltered in Sheol, the subterranean abode of the dead (Genesis 44:29; Job 10:21 ff; Isaiah 14:9 ff.), where it led a shadowy, meaningless existence. READ MORE
Also Read Bible.org
ALSO READ: Scientific Evidence For Near Death Experiences. By Dr Richard Kent is a retired medical doctor and full-time evangelist, He travels the world preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and is involved with mission work on Death Row in the Philippines. He is the author of The Final Frontier and Beyond The Final Frontier. He is also an expert on Near Death Experiences and has personally interviewed over 300 people who have died, gone to either haven or hell, and returned to tell others about their amazing experiences. CLICK HERE http://freechristianteaching7.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/scientific-evidence-for-near-death.html