re: Lazarus, the parable of the rich man and the beggar

I think you may have made a typo about finding Jesus own interpretation of this parable in Matthew 15. I didn't see anything that referred to what we've been talking about.
In Matthew 15, a Gentile Canaanite woman recognizing Jesus as God came to Him and begged for His help concerning her demon possessed daughter. He proceeded to test her faith by initially denying her any help, answering, "I am sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." She persisted still, and He finally answered her again saying, "It is not meet to take the CHILDREN'S bread and cast it to DOGS." She replied, “Truth, Lord, yet the DOGS eat of the CRUMBS which fall from their master's TABLE."

Was Jesus and this woman having a discussion about canine dietary habits? Were they discussing the eating habits of dogs? No. She knew what Jesus meant and Jesus knew what she meant and He broke out with a praise for her, saying, "Woman, GREAT is thy faith," and her daughter was healed that very hour.

The Jews considered Gentiles "DOGS". It was and is still today a common expression used by Jews when referring to Gentiles. This Gentile woman was essentially saying to Jesus, "Truth Lord, I know I am not worthy! I know that You've been sent to Your CHILDREN, the chosen people, the masters who are rich in the blessings of God...but, Lord, they are casting aside Your blessings and though I be a Gentile DOG, I can still eat of the CRUMBS which fall from the master's TABLE!"

NOW WHEN WE COME TO THE PARABLE OF LUKE 16 WE CAN BEGIN TO MAKE SENSE OF IT

1) The Rich Man refers to Abraham as "Father", and Abraham refers to him as his "Son" which means that the Rich Man must be a son of Abraham. And, just who are the sons of Abraham? THE JEWS! The Rich Man is clearly a representation of the Jewish nation.

2) The Jews were rich in the gifts of God and fared sumptuously at the TABLE of His blessing. They had the covenants, the blessings, the lively oracles, and the promises and daily enjoyed their privileged position held by them for so many years. Unfortunately, they became hard-hearted and took these blessing for granted, and instead of cherishing each one with utmost gratitude, they began to allow them to fall like CRUMBS from their TABLE.

3) Lazarus is said to be at the gate full of sores and OUTSIDE with the DOGS, desiring to eat the CRUMBS which are falling from the Rich Man's TABLE. He is clearly a representation of the GENTILES who have been OUTSIDERS, wretched and poor in the blessings of God, and desirous of just a few CRUMBS of the rich blessings which they've seen poured out on the rebellious Jews.

4) The Rich Man is said to have died and wound up in torment. This is what eventually came upon the Jewish nation for having rejected their Messiah. They used their TONGUES to hurl maledictions at Jesus and eventually call for Him to be crucified; TONGUES which would later become ultimately the source of their immense torment. Jesus declared that the tables would be turned on them if they persisted in their rebellion. Over and over, He warned that God's favor would be taken from the Jewish nation, saying that the Gentiles would "come from the East, West, North, and South to sit down in the kingdom", while saying to the Jews that "you yourselves shall be cast out" and that the kingdom would be taken from them and "given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." When the entire Jewish nation finally rejected their Messiah by demanding that Jesus be crucified, crying out "His blood be upon us and our children forever and ever!" they were indeed turning the tables on themselves. Paul says of the unbelieving Jews that "wrath has come upon them unto the uttermost" and one atrocity after another has marked the existence of the Jewish people throughout their history. They indeed even now are in torment!

5) Lazarus is said to be COMFORTED while the Rich Man is in torment. What is the Comforter? It is certainly not found in Abraham's literal bosom! The Comforter is the HOLY SPIRIT (John 16:7) which Jesus promised God would send to us, the New Testament church. The HOLY GHOST Who has come to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; Who guides us into all truth by leading us out of error; Who intercedes for us when we pray; Who bestows His gifts of the Spirit upon the Church. We, the church, are indeed now COMFORTED by our Comforter!

6) The beggar is mentioned by name as "Lazarus", but far be this to be any evidence that this passage is anything but a parable. The use of the name "Lazarus" serves only to prove that the last words of Abraham to the the Rich Man would very soon ring true in the minds of all who heard them. The Rich Man wanted Lazarus to return from the dead to warn others of what would happen to them if they did not repent, and he was told that if these refused to believe "Moses and the Prophets", they would not believe even if one came back from the dead. "Moses and the Prophets", “the Law and the Prophets”, “Moses and Elijah”, “the Law and the Testimony (of the prophets)” are interchangeable, symbolic expressions found throughout the Bible which refer to the writings contained in the Word of God. In other words, if they refused to hear and believe the Word of God by faith alone, they would not believe otherwise. When the literal friend of Jesus, Lazarus, was indeed raised mightily from the dead soon after the telling of this parable, instead of the Jews repenting and accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they took counsel as to how they might kill BOTH Jesus and the risen Lazarus, which further demonstrated the adamant unbelief in the hearts of the Jews, and that they would not believe "though one rose from the dead."

7) This parable ultimately was a warning to the Jews, but not of eternal torment, but of what would become of their nation if they persisted in their unbelief and rejection. Many of Jesus' parables were warnings against the Jews of the same and the Jews themselves say so in Matthew 21:45: "And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that He spoke of them." What were the parables of Jesus? Well, one of them was the Rich Man and Lazarus! Even the parable of the Prodigal Son was a warning and rebuke to the Jews for their hypocrisy by representing them as the second son, ungrateful in heart and having rendered service unto his father which was motivated by gain, rather than by love for this kind, tenderhearted, beneficent man.

Again, it is impossible for the dead to possess bodies before the resurrection, or possess thoughts, emotions, memories, desires, the ability to speak and praise God while dead. These alone should be enough to demonstrate that Luke 16 is using elements which require interpretation because they are outside the realm of possibility.
 
In Matthew 15, a Gentile Canaanite woman recognizing Jesus as God came to Him and begged for His help concerning her demon possessed daughter. He proceeded to test her faith by initially denying her any help, answering, "I am sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." She persisted still, and He finally answered her again saying, "It is not meet to take the CHILDREN'S bread and cast it to DOGS." She replied, “Truth, Lord, yet the DOGS eat of the CRUMBS which fall from their master's TABLE."

Was Jesus and this woman having a discussion about canine dietary habits? Were they discussing the eating habits of dogs? No. She knew what Jesus meant and Jesus knew what she meant and He broke out with a praise for her, saying, "Woman, GREAT is thy faith," and her daughter was healed that very hour.

The Jews considered Gentiles "DOGS". It was and is still today a common expression used by Jews when referring to Gentiles. This Gentile woman was essentially saying to Jesus, "Truth Lord, I know I am not worthy! I know that You've been sent to Your CHILDREN, the chosen people, the masters who are rich in the blessings of God...but, Lord, they are casting aside Your blessings and though I be a Gentile DOG, I can still eat of the CRUMBS which fall from the master's TABLE!"

NOW WHEN WE COME TO THE PARABLE OF LUKE 16 WE CAN BEGIN TO MAKE SENSE OF IT

1) The Rich Man refers to Abraham as "Father", and Abraham refers to him as his "Son" which means that the Rich Man must be a son of Abraham. And, just who are the sons of Abraham? THE JEWS! The Rich Man is clearly a representation of the Jewish nation.

2) The Jews were rich in the gifts of God and fared sumptuously at the TABLE of His blessing. They had the covenants, the blessings, the lively oracles, and the promises and daily enjoyed their privileged position held by them for so many years. Unfortunately, they became hard-hearted and took these blessing for granted, and instead of cherishing each one with utmost gratitude, they began to allow them to fall like CRUMBS from their TABLE.

3) Lazarus is said to be at the gate full of sores and OUTSIDE with the DOGS, desiring to eat the CRUMBS which are falling from the Rich Man's TABLE. He is clearly a representation of the GENTILES who have been OUTSIDERS, wretched and poor in the blessings of God, and desirous of just a few CRUMBS of the rich blessings which they've seen poured out on the rebellious Jews.

4) The Rich Man is said to have died and wound up in torment. This is what eventually came upon the Jewish nation for having rejected their Messiah. They used their TONGUES to hurl maledictions at Jesus and eventually call for Him to be crucified; TONGUES which would later become ultimately the source of their immense torment. Jesus declared that the tables would be turned on them if they persisted in their rebellion. Over and over, He warned that God's favor would be taken from the Jewish nation, saying that the Gentiles would "come from the East, West, North, and South to sit down in the kingdom", while saying to the Jews that "you yourselves shall be cast out" and that the kingdom would be taken from them and "given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." When the entire Jewish nation finally rejected their Messiah by demanding that Jesus be crucified, crying out "His blood be upon us and our children forever and ever!" they were indeed turning the tables on themselves. Paul says of the unbelieving Jews that "wrath has come upon them unto the uttermost" and one atrocity after another has marked the existence of the Jewish people throughout their history. They indeed even now are in torment!

5) Lazarus is said to be COMFORTED while the Rich Man is in torment. What is the Comforter? It is certainly not found in Abraham's literal bosom! The Comforter is the HOLY SPIRIT (John 16:7) which Jesus promised God would send to us, the New Testament church. The HOLY GHOST Who has come to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; Who guides us into all truth by leading us out of error; Who intercedes for us when we pray; Who bestows His gifts of the Spirit upon the Church. We, the church, are indeed now COMFORTED by our Comforter!

6) The beggar is mentioned by name as "Lazarus", but far be this to be any evidence that this passage is anything but a parable. The use of the name "Lazarus" serves only to prove that the last words of Abraham to the the Rich Man would very soon ring true in the minds of all who heard them. The Rich Man wanted Lazarus to return from the dead to warn others of what would happen to them if they did not repent, and he was told that if these refused to believe "Moses and the Prophets", they would not believe even if one came back from the dead. "Moses and the Prophets", “the Law and the Prophets”, “Moses and Elijah”, “the Law and the Testimony (of the prophets)” are interchangeable, symbolic expressions found throughout the Bible which refer to the writings contained in the Word of God. In other words, if they refused to hear and believe the Word of God by faith alone, they would not believe otherwise. When the literal friend of Jesus, Lazarus, was indeed raised mightily from the dead soon after the telling of this parable, instead of the Jews repenting and accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they took counsel as to how they might kill BOTH Jesus and the risen Lazarus, which further demonstrated the adamant unbelief in the hearts of the Jews, and that they would not believe "though one rose from the dead."

7) This parable ultimately was a warning to the Jews, but not of eternal torment, but of what would become of their nation if they persisted in their unbelief and rejection. Many of Jesus' parables were warnings against the Jews of the same and the Jews themselves say so in Matthew 21:45: "And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that He spoke of them." What were the parables of Jesus? Well, one of them was the Rich Man and Lazarus! Even the parable of the Prodigal Son was a warning and rebuke to the Jews for their hypocrisy by representing them as the second son, ungrateful in heart and having rendered service unto his father which was motivated by gain, rather than by love for this kind, tenderhearted, beneficent man.

Again, it is impossible for the dead to possess bodies before the resurrection, or possess thoughts, emotions, memories, desires, the ability to speak and praise God while dead. These alone should be enough to demonstrate that Luke 16 is using elements which require interpretation because they are outside the realm of possibility.

Phoneman~ There is much here in your post that I agree with; yet still a few concepts that I do not. You've expounded on a great deal which I did not realize before and I am very grateful for what is being pointed out regarding the symbolism of His parables and how often they point to the unbelief and stubborn hearts of the Jewish people.

However, a couple of things I do not agree with: Hell is eternal torment, not annihilation. At one time, I did a study on the existence of hell and whether or not it was eternal, and I too, concluded that it was not eternal but temporary. However, the Holy Spirit set me straight on that belief very soon after I did the study, and showed me verses that WERE NOT included in the study, that pointed me back to my original and correct belief of eternal torment. Please forgive me for not listing them out here. I have been in the process of relocating and do not have a lot of energy this month to have a scholarly debate...(n) (Not that I consider myself a scholar...I am a mere seeker of the truth, and I believe the Bible to be simple enough to be understood by even the very simplest of minds)

I think it is VERY important not to neglect the fact that the features of His parables were all well-known types of practices, customs, and spiritual truths which the people were very familiar with. Otherwise, the truths He was teaching would NOT have been so well-understood by the Pharisees and scribes. You yourself pointed this out as well. Thus, I do believe Lazarus the beggar and the rich man were actual people; and the description of "Abraham's bosom", and the torment of the rich man after death, to be actual facts.

Again, it is impossible for the dead to possess bodies before the resurrection, or possess thoughts, emotions, memories, desires, the ability to speak and praise God while dead. These alone should be enough to demonstrate that Luke 16 is using elements which require interpretation because they are outside the realm of possibility.

Please remember that God, Himself, is often described as having arms, hands, mouth, eyes, etc. The Bible uses parts of the human body to show spiritual truths about God, even though we know Him to be spirit. The fact that He is spirit does not take away the validity of the truth of the analogy. Do you not think that the description of "Abraham's bosom" and the rich man's tongue, etc. to be analogies of their spiritual bodies after death, in the same way that God is described having human body parts, though we know Him to be spirit? This analogy would not remove the possibility (fact, to me) that Lazarus and rich man were actual people alive on earth before they died.

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me! I can see this issue is important to you!
 
Last edited:
Phoneman~ There is much here in your post that I agree with; yet still a few concepts that I do not. You've expounded on a great deal which I did not realize before and I am very grateful for what is being pointed out regarding the symbolism of His parables and how often they point to the unbelief and stubborn hearts of the Jewish people.

However, a couple of things I do not agree with: Hell is eternal torment, not annihilation. At one time, I did a study on the existence of hell and whether or not it was eternal, and I too, concluded that it was not eternal but temporary. However, the Holy Spirit set me straight on that belief very soon after I did the study, and showed me verses that WERE NOT included in the study, that pointed me back to my original and correct belief of eternal torment. Please forgive me for not listing them out here. I have been in the process of relocating and do not have a lot of energy this month to have a scholarly debate...(n) (Not that I consider myself a scholar...I am a mere seeker of the truth, and I believe the Bible to be simple enough to be understood by even the very simplest of minds)

I think it is VERY important not to neglect the fact that the features of His parables were all well-known types of practices, customs, and spiritual truths which the people were very familiar with. Otherwise, the truths He was teaching would NOT have been so well-understood by the Pharisees and scribes. You yourself pointed this out as well. Thus, I do believe Lazarus the beggar and the rich man were actual people; and the description of "Abraham's bosom", and the torment of the rich man after death, to be actual facts.



Please remember that God, Himself, is often described as having arms, hands, mouth, eyes, etc. The Bible uses parts of the human body to show spiritual truths about God, even though we know Him to be spirit. The fact that He is spirit does not take away the validity of the truth of the analogy. Do you not think that the description of "Abraham's bosom" and the rich man's tongue, etc. to be analogies of their spiritual bodies after death, in the same way that God is described having human body parts, though we know Him to be spirit? This analogy would not remove the possibility (fact, to me) that Lazarus and rich man were actual people alive on earth before they died.

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me! I can see this issue is important to you!

Excellent observation and well stated response.
 
In Matthew 15, a Gentile Canaanite woman recognizing Jesus as God came to Him and begged for His help concerning her demon possessed daughter. He proceeded to test her faith by initially denying her any help, answering, "I am sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." She persisted still, and He finally answered her again saying, "It is not meet to take the CHILDREN'S bread and cast it to DOGS." She replied, “Truth, Lord, yet the DOGS eat of the CRUMBS which fall from their master's TABLE."

Was Jesus and this woman having a discussion about canine dietary habits? Were they discussing the eating habits of dogs? No. She knew what Jesus meant and Jesus knew what she meant and He broke out with a praise for her, saying, "Woman, GREAT is thy faith," and her daughter was healed that very hour.

The Jews considered Gentiles "DOGS". It was and is still today a common expression used by Jews when referring to Gentiles. This Gentile woman was essentially saying to Jesus, "Truth Lord, I know I am not worthy! I know that You've been sent to Your CHILDREN, the chosen people, the masters who are rich in the blessings of God...but, Lord, they are casting aside Your blessings and though I be a Gentile DOG, I can still eat of the CRUMBS which fall from the master's TABLE!"

NOW WHEN WE COME TO THE PARABLE OF LUKE 16 WE CAN BEGIN TO MAKE SENSE OF IT

1) The Rich Man refers to Abraham as "Father", and Abraham refers to him as his "Son" which means that the Rich Man must be a son of Abraham. And, just who are the sons of Abraham? THE JEWS! The Rich Man is clearly a representation of the Jewish nation.

2) The Jews were rich in the gifts of God and fared sumptuously at the TABLE of His blessing. They had the covenants, the blessings, the lively oracles, and the promises and daily enjoyed their privileged position held by them for so many years. Unfortunately, they became hard-hearted and took these blessing for granted, and instead of cherishing each one with utmost gratitude, they began to allow them to fall like CRUMBS from their TABLE.

3) Lazarus is said to be at the gate full of sores and OUTSIDE with the DOGS, desiring to eat the CRUMBS which are falling from the Rich Man's TABLE. He is clearly a representation of the GENTILES who have been OUTSIDERS, wretched and poor in the blessings of God, and desirous of just a few CRUMBS of the rich blessings which they've seen poured out on the rebellious Jews.

4) The Rich Man is said to have died and wound up in torment. This is what eventually came upon the Jewish nation for having rejected their Messiah. They used their TONGUES to hurl maledictions at Jesus and eventually call for Him to be crucified; TONGUES which would later become ultimately the source of their immense torment. Jesus declared that the tables would be turned on them if they persisted in their rebellion. Over and over, He warned that God's favor would be taken from the Jewish nation, saying that the Gentiles would "come from the East, West, North, and South to sit down in the kingdom", while saying to the Jews that "you yourselves shall be cast out" and that the kingdom would be taken from them and "given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." When the entire Jewish nation finally rejected their Messiah by demanding that Jesus be crucified, crying out "His blood be upon us and our children forever and ever!" they were indeed turning the tables on themselves. Paul says of the unbelieving Jews that "wrath has come upon them unto the uttermost" and one atrocity after another has marked the existence of the Jewish people throughout their history. They indeed even now are in torment!

5) Lazarus is said to be COMFORTED while the Rich Man is in torment. What is the Comforter? It is certainly not found in Abraham's literal bosom! The Comforter is the HOLY SPIRIT (John 16:7) which Jesus promised God would send to us, the New Testament church. The HOLY GHOST Who has come to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; Who guides us into all truth by leading us out of error; Who intercedes for us when we pray; Who bestows His gifts of the Spirit upon the Church. We, the church, are indeed now COMFORTED by our Comforter!

6) The beggar is mentioned by name as "Lazarus", but far be this to be any evidence that this passage is anything but a parable. The use of the name "Lazarus" serves only to prove that the last words of Abraham to the the Rich Man would very soon ring true in the minds of all who heard them. The Rich Man wanted Lazarus to return from the dead to warn others of what would happen to them if they did not repent, and he was told that if these refused to believe "Moses and the Prophets", they would not believe even if one came back from the dead. "Moses and the Prophets", “the Law and the Prophets”, “Moses and Elijah”, “the Law and the Testimony (of the prophets)” are interchangeable, symbolic expressions found throughout the Bible which refer to the writings contained in the Word of God. In other words, if they refused to hear and believe the Word of God by faith alone, they would not believe otherwise. When the literal friend of Jesus, Lazarus, was indeed raised mightily from the dead soon after the telling of this parable, instead of the Jews repenting and accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they took counsel as to how they might kill BOTH Jesus and the risen Lazarus, which further demonstrated the adamant unbelief in the hearts of the Jews, and that they would not believe "though one rose from the dead."

7) This parable ultimately was a warning to the Jews, but not of eternal torment, but of what would become of their nation if they persisted in their unbelief and rejection. Many of Jesus' parables were warnings against the Jews of the same and the Jews themselves say so in Matthew 21:45: "And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that He spoke of them." What were the parables of Jesus? Well, one of them was the Rich Man and Lazarus! Even the parable of the Prodigal Son was a warning and rebuke to the Jews for their hypocrisy by representing them as the second son, ungrateful in heart and having rendered service unto his father which was motivated by gain, rather than by love for this kind, tenderhearted, beneficent man.

Again, it is impossible for the dead to possess bodies before the resurrection, or possess thoughts, emotions, memories, desires, the ability to speak and praise God while dead. These alone should be enough to demonstrate that Luke 16 is using elements which require interpretation because they are outside the realm of possibility.

Well....I have to disagree with you my friend on many levels. Seven points of interest is way to much for me to respond to so I will just say that there are several I can not agree with.

For one you said.........
"Again, it is impossible for the dead to possess bodies before the resurrection, or possess thoughts, emotions, memories, desires, the ability to speak and praise God while dead".

To believe that then you would have to remove Luke 16 from the Bible as it is about men who have died and gone.....one to "Torments" and the other to "Paradise" which is in fact Sheol. The rich man SEES, FEELS, REMEMBERS and knows Abraham.

You will not agree with me, but I believe that Jonah died in the great fish and in its belly he prayed and praised God and was then resurrected by God.

Jonah 2:2
"And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord and He heard me, out of the belly of HELL(Heb. "Sheol") cried I and thou heard my voice."
 
Phoneman~ There is much here in your post that I agree with; yet still a few concepts that I do not. You've expounded on a great deal which I did not realize before and I am very grateful for what is being pointed out regarding the symbolism of His parables and how often they point to the unbelief and stubborn hearts of the Jewish people.

However, a couple of things I do not agree with: Hell is eternal torment, not annihilation. At one time, I did a study on the existence of hell and whether or not it was eternal, and I too, concluded that it was not eternal but temporary. However, the Holy Spirit set me straight on that belief very soon after I did the study, and showed me verses that WERE NOT included in the study, that pointed me back to my original and correct belief of eternal torment. Please forgive me for not listing them out here. I have been in the process of relocating and do not have a lot of energy this month to have a scholarly debate...(n) (Not that I consider myself a scholar...I am a mere seeker of the truth, and I believe the Bible to be simple enough to be understood by even the very simplest of minds)

I think it is VERY important not to neglect the fact that the features of His parables were all well-known types of practices, customs, and spiritual truths which the people were very familiar with. Otherwise, the truths He was teaching would NOT have been so well-understood by the Pharisees and scribes. You yourself pointed this out as well. Thus, I do believe Lazarus the beggar and the rich man were actual people; and the description of "Abraham's bosom", and the torment of the rich man after death, to be actual facts.



Please remember that God, Himself, is often described as having arms, hands, mouth, eyes, etc. The Bible uses parts of the human body to show spiritual truths about God, even though we know Him to be spirit. The fact that He is spirit does not take away the validity of the truth of the analogy. Do you not think that the description of "Abraham's bosom" and the rich man's tongue, etc. to be analogies of their spiritual bodies after death, in the same way that God is described having human body parts, though we know Him to be spirit? This analogy would not remove the possibility (fact, to me) that Lazarus and rich man were actual people alive on earth before they died.

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me! I can see this issue is important to you!
We agree more than we disagree on things. I too am a cloudwatcher LOL. I simply cannot wait for Jesus to come and put an end to all the sin and suffering of the world.

I believe there are many solid arguments that can be made for annihilation but the most compelling is perhaps the most simple: If the wages of sin is death and death means "eternal torment", then the only way Jesus could take our place and pay our penalty of sin is that He Himself be eternally tormented, if that is in fact the penalty of sin. But, the Bible says Jesus suffered death, the death that was ours, that we might be freed from the penalty of death.

It's like the old story of a town in a land far away in which the judge was very stern and punitive. Every sentence that was handed down was punishment to the fullest extent of the law. Then, one day his son was found guilty of murder and appeared before him for sentencing. The whole town gathered that day to see what the judge would do - would he be lenient or severe as he'd been so many times before? Finally, the moment came when he handed down the sentence.

"Justice demands that the death sentence be the penalty for the crime of murder, and justice will be done today."

Then, he stepped down from the bench, took off his robes, kissed his son, and was led away by the executioner to the gallows. He sacrificed himself so that his son could go free. :)
 
Well....I have to disagree with you my friend on many levels. Seven points of interest is way to much for me to respond to so I will just say that there are several I can not agree with.

For one you said.........
"Again, it is impossible for the dead to possess bodies before the resurrection, or possess thoughts, emotions, memories, desires, the ability to speak and praise God while dead".

To believe that then you would have to remove Luke 16 from the Bible as it is about men who have died and gone.....one to "Torments" and the other to "Paradise" which is in fact Sheol. The rich man SEES, FEELS, REMEMBERS and knows Abraham.

You will not agree with me, but I believe that Jonah died in the great fish and in its belly he prayed and praised God and was then resurrected by God.

Jonah 2:2
"And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord and He heard me, out of the belly of HELL(Heb. "Sheol") cried I and thou heard my voice."
It need not be removed if it is an allegory, but if it's a literal story, then Jesus is teaching contrary to what the Holy Spirit inspired David, Job, Solomon, and others to teach, which thing we all agree has never nor will ever happen.
 
We agree more than we disagree on things. I too am a cloudwatcher LOL. I simply cannot wait for Jesus to come and put an end to all the sin and suffering of the world.

I believe there are many solid arguments that can be made for annihilation but the most compelling is perhaps the most simple: If the wages of sin is death and death means "eternal torment", then the only way Jesus could take our place and pay our penalty of sin is that He Himself be eternally tormented, if that is in fact the penalty of sin. But, the Bible says Jesus suffered death, the death that was ours, that we might be freed from the penalty of death.

It's like the old story of a town in a land far away in which the judge was very stern and punitive. Every sentence that was handed down was punishment to the fullest extent of the law. Then, one day his son was found guilty of murder and appeared before him for sentencing. The whole town gathered that day to see what the judge would do - would he be lenient or severe as he'd been so many times before? Finally, the moment came when he handed down the sentence.

"Justice demands that the death sentence be the penalty for the crime of murder, and justice will be done today."

Then, he stepped down from the bench, took off his robes, kissed his son, and was led away by the executioner to the gallows. He sacrificed himself so that his son could go free. :)

Good morning, Phoneman!
I'm tickled that you recognized what my username stands for. Some think it means I'm kinda a dreamer...:rolleyes:

If you don't mind, I would like to extend your logic to both sides of the argument; and possibly show that neither side may be accurate when using the logic you put forth. Mind you, I'm not known to be a "logical-thinker", so my own argument here could very well be flawed...

If eternal torment is the correct belief for non-repentence, you are saying that Jesus, in taking on our punishment, should be eternally tormented. Obviously, He is not being eternally tormented. However, would that not apply to annihilation as well? If annihilation is the correct understanding of the punishment for non-believers, and Jesus took on our punishment, then He should have been annihilated? Obviously, He was not annihilated either. Using your logic, we arrive at a wrong conclusion for both sides of our argument.

Jesus did suffer the death that was rightfully ours to suffer. However, He gained victory over death! The victory reward is eternal life for believers; causing me to believe that the opposite is true of the non-believer's punishment...eternal death and torment, like the Bible shows.

During the short period where I proposed to friends and family that hell did not exist, I received many statements to the fact that "if hell does not exist, then I don't need to strive to live a righteous life! I can live how I want and not worry about the hereafter!" Truly, we can all admit our hearts are deceitfully wicked; and, left to our own devices with no punishment in sight, we would logically conclude that the type of life we live here is a moot point.
 
It need not be removed if it is an allegory, but if it's a literal story, then Jesus is teaching contrary to what the Holy Spirit inspired David, Job, Solomon, and others to teach, which thing we all agree has never nor will ever happen.

That's OK. This is not the 1st time we have not agreed on something and it will not be the last.

IMO it is a "literal" story. It is just as literal as the fiery furnace, the lions den and the Red Sea.

I know this thread is not about Luke 16 and I am not hijacking it. I would however like to respond to your comment that Luke 16 is an allegory so that all those who read our comments can draw there own distinctions about what is an opinion and what is Bible understanding.

To say Luke 16 is an allegory or a parabel is clearly not the case at all IMHO. It is evidenced by hundreds of other Scriptures. One such passage of Scripture is Luke 17:26-27, which states,.........
"And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all."

Now, it is clear that this passage of Scripture is NOT a parable because LITERAL names are used. The same is true concerning Luke 16:18-31, which employs the use of the LITERAL names of Abraham, Lazarus, and Moses. There is NO reason for us to believe that Luke 16:18-31 is a parable, none at all. Jesus NEVER said it was a parable!

Furthermore, Jesus ALWAYS announced when He was speaking in parables, e.g., ...
Matthew 13:24 ........
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field."

Matthew 13:31 ..........
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field."

You won't find any mention of a "parable" in Luke 18:31, or of the word "like." There is a clear distinction between the parables Jesus told and the literal accounts. When Jesus warned the Pharisees that there would be "wailing" and "gnashing of teeth" in Hellfire, He was speaking in LITERAL terms...

Matthew 13:50...........
"And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth".

To claim that Jesus' Words are not literal is to question His character and holiness. Jesus was not an actor or fiction writer, He came as the Son of God to seek and to save that which was lost (i.e., humanity).

In John 14:2 Jesus plainly stated ........
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you..."

Jesus was an honest man, who said what He meant, and meant what He said. Do we also think that John 14:2 was an allegory????
 
Good morning, Phoneman!
I'm tickled that you recognized what my username stands for. Some think it means I'm kinda a dreamer...:rolleyes:

If you don't mind, I would like to extend your logic to both sides of the argument; and possibly show that neither side may be accurate when using the logic you put forth. Mind you, I'm not known to be a "logical-thinker", so my own argument here could very well be flawed...

If eternal torment is the correct belief for non-repentence, you are saying that Jesus, in taking on our punishment, should be eternally tormented. Obviously, He is not being eternally tormented. However, would that not apply to annihilation as well? If annihilation is the correct understanding of the punishment for non-believers, and Jesus took on our punishment, then He should have been annihilated? Obviously, He was not annihilated either. Using your logic, we arrive at a wrong conclusion for both sides of our argument.

Jesus did suffer the death that was rightfully ours to suffer. However, He gained victory over death! The victory reward is eternal life for believers; causing me to believe that the opposite is true of the non-believer's punishment...eternal death and torment, like the Bible shows.

During the short period where I proposed to friends and family that hell did not exist, I received many statements to the fact that "if hell does not exist, then I don't need to strive to live a righteous life! I can live how I want and not worry about the hereafter!" Truly, we can all admit our hearts are deceitfully wicked; and, left to our own devices with no punishment in sight, we would logically conclude that the type of life we live here is a moot point.
I regret that I have but one "like" to give to that response.
 
Also, even if the rich man and Lazarus were fictitious, and this was a parable, the "guts" of the story would be true, just as they were true in all other parables. The "guts" would be a place where Abraham was and the place of torment. There would be no need to make that up.
 
Also, even if the rich man and Lazarus were fictitious, and this was a parable, the "guts" of the story would be true, just as they were true in all other parables. The "guts" would be a place where Abraham was and the place of torment. There would be no need to make that up.
This absolutely makes sense to me!
 
That's OK. This is not the 1st time we have not agreed on something and it will not be the last.

IMO it is a "literal" story. It is just as literal as the fiery furnace, the lions den and the Red Sea.

I know this thread is not about Luke 16 and I am not hijacking it. I would however like to respond to your comment that Luke 16 is an allegory so that all those who read our comments can draw there own distinctions about what is an opinion and what is Bible understanding.

To say Luke 16 is an allegory or a parabel is clearly not the case at all IMHO. It is evidenced by hundreds of other Scriptures. One such passage of Scripture is Luke 17:26-27, which states,.........
"And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all."

Now, it is clear that this passage of Scripture is NOT a parable because LITERAL names are used. The same is true concerning Luke 16:18-31, which employs the use of the LITERAL names of Abraham, Lazarus, and Moses. There is NO reason for us to believe that Luke 16:18-31 is a parable, none at all. Jesus NEVER said it was a parable!

Furthermore, Jesus ALWAYS announced when He was speaking in parables, e.g., ...
Matthew 13:24 ........
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field."

Matthew 13:31 ..........
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field."

You won't find any mention of a "parable" in Luke 18:31, or of the word "like." There is a clear distinction between the parables Jesus told and the literal accounts. When Jesus warned the Pharisees that there would be "wailing" and "gnashing of teeth" in Hellfire, He was speaking in LITERAL terms...

Matthew 13:50...........
"And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth".

To claim that Jesus' Words are not literal is to question His character and holiness. Jesus was not an actor or fiction writer, He came as the Son of God to seek and to save that which was lost (i.e., humanity).

In John 14:2 Jesus plainly stated ........
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you..."

Jesus was an honest man, who said what He meant, and meant what He said. Do we also think that John 14:2 was an allegory????
Very good stuff here...plain and simple!
 
Good morning, Phoneman!
I'm tickled that you recognized what my username stands for. Some think it means I'm kinda a dreamer...:rolleyes:

If you don't mind, I would like to extend your logic to both sides of the argument; and possibly show that neither side may be accurate when using the logic you put forth. Mind you, I'm not known to be a "logical-thinker", so my own argument here could very well be flawed...

If eternal torment is the correct belief for non-repentence, you are saying that Jesus, in taking on our punishment, should be eternally tormented. Obviously, He is not being eternally tormented. However, would that not apply to annihilation as well? If annihilation is the correct understanding of the punishment for non-believers, and Jesus took on our punishment, then He should have been annihilated? Obviously, He was not annihilated either. Using your logic, we arrive at a wrong conclusion for both sides of our argument.

Jesus did suffer the death that was rightfully ours to suffer. However, He gained victory over death! The victory reward is eternal life for believers; causing me to believe that the opposite is true of the non-believer's punishment...eternal death and torment, like the Bible shows.

During the short period where I proposed to friends and family that hell did not exist, I received many statements to the fact that "if hell does not exist, then I don't need to strive to live a righteous life! I can live how I want and not worry about the hereafter!" Truly, we can all admit our hearts are deceitfully wicked; and, left to our own devices with no punishment in sight, we would logically conclude that the type of life we live here is a moot point.

I appreciate your thoughtful insights, but I have to disagree on a key point: Annihilation, being not defined by duration, is simply the experience of total separation from God just prior to and in the subsequent death that follows - the Bible calls this the Second Death. Jesus did suffer exactly that in His humanity ("My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?"). However, no human has ever suffered the "wrath of God poured out without mixture" because God "hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities." Calvary was the only time God has ever poured out His judgment without having first mixed it with mercy.

Jesus did not suffer eternal torment, which is what He would need to have done in order to spare us from that if that were in fact the wages of sin. However unspeakable was the separation from His Father and the death that followed (which He'd not known since eternity past), He was not guilty of sin and fully deserved to be resurrected on the third day. The wicked, being fully guilty of sin, will be sentenced to this Second Death as well, but for them there will be no resurrection from it. Perhaps those of us in the Annihilation camp should begin referring to the fate of the wicked as "Eternal Annihilation" LOL :)
 
That's OK. This is not the 1st time we have not agreed on something and it will not be the last.

IMO it is a "literal" story. It is just as literal as the fiery furnace, the lions den and the Red Sea.

I know this thread is not about Luke 16 and I am not hijacking it. I would however like to respond to your comment that Luke 16 is an allegory so that all those who read our comments can draw there own distinctions about what is an opinion and what is Bible understanding.

To say Luke 16 is an allegory or a parabel is clearly not the case at all IMHO. It is evidenced by hundreds of other Scriptures. One such passage of Scripture is Luke 17:26-27, which states,.........
"And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all."

Now, it is clear that this passage of Scripture is NOT a parable because LITERAL names are used. The same is true concerning Luke 16:18-31, which employs the use of the LITERAL names of Abraham, Lazarus, and Moses. There is NO reason for us to believe that Luke 16:18-31 is a parable, none at all. Jesus NEVER said it was a parable!

Furthermore, Jesus ALWAYS announced when He was speaking in parables, e.g., ...
Matthew 13:24 ........
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field."

Matthew 13:31 ..........
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field."

You won't find any mention of a "parable" in Luke 18:31, or of the word "like." There is a clear distinction between the parables Jesus told and the literal accounts. When Jesus warned the Pharisees that there would be "wailing" and "gnashing of teeth" in Hellfire, He was speaking in LITERAL terms...

Matthew 13:50...........
"And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth".

To claim that Jesus' Words are not literal is to question His character and holiness. Jesus was not an actor or fiction writer, He came as the Son of God to seek and to save that which was lost (i.e., humanity).

In John 14:2 Jesus plainly stated ........
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you..."

Jesus was an honest man, who said what He meant, and meant what He said. Do we also think that John 14:2 was an allegory????
Brother Major, I just cannot see how the use of proper names/announcements can tip the scales your way against the overwhelming weight of symbolism, placement, and similarities among the other surrounding parables. As I've said, if Jesus meant to present a literal lesson on what the afterlife is supposed to be like, He has contradicted Himself and those other Bible authors who He inspired regarding the afterlife. My dear brother, how is it that this startling fact is so callously swept aside as not worthy of consideration while the "proper names" argument is heralded as undeniable proof?
 
Brother Major, I just cannot see how the use of proper names/announcements can tip the scales your way against the overwhelming weight of symbolism, placement, and similarities among the other surrounding parables. As I've said, if Jesus meant to present a literal lesson on what the afterlife is supposed to be like, He has contradicted Himself and those other Bible authors who He inspired regarding the afterlife. My dear brother, how is it that this startling fact is so callously swept aside as not worthy of consideration while the "proper names" argument is heralded as undeniable proof?
You have mentioned this contradiction a few times now. Could you provide a few scriptures to show this, and weigh them against:
Revelation 14:11
Revelation 20:10
Jude 13
2 Thessalonians 1:9
Mark 9:43-44
among others.
 
You have mentioned this contradiction a few times now. Could you provide a few scriptures to show this, and weigh them against:
Revelation 14:11
Revelation 20:10
Jude 13
2 Thessalonians 1:9
Mark 9:43-44
among others.
I was just now going to try and give the same type of answer to Phoneman...but you have worded it very well, Big Moose. I would like to ask Phoneman how HE can so callously sweep aside these verses you've listed; in his defense of the annihilation theory. And I will ask him too....
 
Brother Major, I just cannot see how the use of proper names/announcements can tip the scales your way against the overwhelming weight of symbolism, placement, and similarities among the other surrounding parables. As I've said, if Jesus meant to present a literal lesson on what the afterlife is supposed to be like, He has contradicted Himself and those other Bible authors who He inspired regarding the afterlife. My dear brother, how is it that this startling fact is so callously swept aside as not worthy of consideration while the "proper names" argument is heralded as undeniable proof?
Phoneman~
Would you post Scripture from Jesus' teachings about the afterlife (and also those other Bible authors who He inspired regarding the afterlife); which support your theology of eternal annihilation vs eternal torment? I just find it strange that for millennia, Christians have not picked up on your theology and considered it sound.

I myself have done a word study on the concept of hell and whether it exists. The word study was sponsored by a group who believed the way you do. At the time, their study made sense....until I began to study on my own and found verses that DID NOT support their sponsored study.

We can all create a theology in our mind, and find verses to back it up (if we pick and choose); however, the BIG PICTURE of His Word requires we accept ALL of it before coming to a conclusion. You seem to be "callously sweeping aside" many verses which don't support annihilation, in favor of verses that are vague or easily misconstrued without the light of His entire message on the subject.

The "startling facts" of obvious symbology, surrounding parable beginnings and endings, and similarities seem to me to not even come close to the weight of the verses listed by Big Moose; especially in light of the fact that the logic you are using to claim your theory is not supported by equal weight of similar verses.
 
Last edited:
Brother Major, I just cannot see how the use of proper names/announcements can tip the scales your way against the overwhelming weight of symbolism, placement, and similarities among the other surrounding parables. As I've said, if Jesus meant to present a literal lesson on what the afterlife is supposed to be like, He has contradicted Himself and those other Bible authors who He inspired regarding the afterlife. My dear brother, how is it that this startling fact is so callously swept aside as not worthy of consideration while the "proper names" argument is heralded as undeniable proof?

I love ya man and you will not like my answer but it is simple. You have told me in past conversations that you do not accept the doctrine of eternal torments. You believe in "annihilation" of the complete body and soul after judgment...correct? If my memory is wrong please correct me as I do not want to confuse you with someone else's comments.

Because of that you must then make Luke 16 an allegory and not a literal event, place or doctrine on eternal torments. Now I am not condemning your thinking as many such as Jehovah's Witnesses and Herbert Armstrong deny eternal torments.
They claim that this passage is a parable because they do not like what it teaches about Hades. This passage clearly teaches that Hades is a place of conscious torment and suffering for the wicked. They think that if this passage is only a parable then they do not have to accept what it teaches about the condition of men following death. You will notice that the Lord did not say that it was a parable in any way what so ever.

Now you do not have to agree with me because I am no authority at all. However I would encourage you to consider several factors.

This passage In Luke 16 is different because it talks about what happens to two men after death, and this is a realm where none of us have had any personal experience.
1.) A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly or spiritual significance but Luke 16 transcends the realm of the earthly.
2.) It would be the only parable in the Bible that uses a proper name (Lazarus).
3.) It would be the only parable in the Bible that makes mention repeatedly of a historical person--Abraham.
4.) Moreover, this historical person actually carries on a dialogue with the rich man!
5.) Mention is also made in this parable of Moses, another historical character. What other parable speaks of real, historical persons?
6.) It would be the only parable in the Bible that describes the places where the dead go (Hades, Abraham's bosom, a place of torment).
7.) It would be the only parable in the Bible that makes mention of angels. Compare Matthew 13 verses 24-30, 36-43, 47-49 where angels are mentioned in the explanation of the parable but not in the parable itself.
8.) If Hades is not really a place of torment then this would be the only parable in the Bible where the Lord Jesus taught error instead of truth. GOD FORBID!
 
Phoneman~
Would you post Scripture from Jesus' teachings about the afterlife (and also those other Bible authors who He inspired regarding the afterlife); which support your theology of eternal annihilation vs eternal torment? I just find it strange that for millennia, Christians have not picked up on your theology and considered it sound.

I myself have done a word study on the concept of hell and whether it exists. The word study was sponsored by a group who believed the way you do. At the time, their study made sense....until I began to study on my own and found verses that DID NOT support their sponsored study.

We can all create a theology in our mind, and find verses to back it up (if we pick and choose); however, the BIG PICTURE of His Word requires we accept ALL of it before coming to a conclusion. You seem to be "callously sweeping aside" many verses which don't support annihilation, in favor of verses that are vague or easily misconstrued without the light of His entire message on the subject.

The "startling facts" of obvious symbology, surrounding parable beginnings and endings, and similarities seem to me to not even come close to the weight of the verses listed by Big Moose; especially in light of the fact that the logic you are using to claim your theory is not supported by equal weight of similar verses.

Good question.
 
Brother Major, I just cannot see how the use of proper names/announcements can tip the scales your way against the overwhelming weight of symbolism, placement, and similarities among the other surrounding parables. As I've said, if Jesus meant to present a literal lesson on what the afterlife is supposed to be like, He has contradicted Himself and those other Bible authors who He inspired regarding the afterlife. My dear brother, how is it that this startling fact is so callously swept aside as not worthy of consideration while the "proper names" argument is heralded as undeniable proof?

Allow me to say this to you Phoneman because it seems to me that the idea here of an allegory or parable or reality is a smoke screen argument.

The important thing to remember here is that whether the story is a true incident or a parable, the teaching behind it remains the same.
Even if it is not a "real" story, it is realistic. Parable or not, Jesus plainly used this story to teach that after death the unrighteous are eternally separated from God, that they remember their rejection of the Gospel, that they are in torment, and that their condition cannot be remedied.
In Luke 16:19-31, whether parable or literal account, Jesus clearly taught the existence of heaven and hell as well as the deceitfulness of riches to those who trust in material wealth.
 
Top