Ezekiel 26:20 “When I shall bring you down with them who descend into the pit.” is actually a portrayal of Hell itself and the people of Tyre shut up with the antediluvian’s, ie “with the people of old time.” The word “Hell”, as its used in the Bible is a synonym for the underworld of departed spirits. Jesus said that this place is located “in the heart of the Earth” Matt 12:40. There are some five areas in this place referred to as “Hell”. They are:
Fallen angels alone occupy this place. It seems that these are the angels which cohabited with women, producing a race of giants, which is mentioned in Genesis 6:4. Jude, too, mentioned these saying: “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. ” Even as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.” Jude Vs 6:8
The evidence is, our Lord immediately after His death on the Cross, went down into Paradise, and also preached to these fallen angels. “For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison. Which sometimes past were disobedient.” I Peter 3:18-20
The word preached used here concerning Christ, is a different Greek word than normal. Preaching normally refers to the ‘good news’ of the Gospel; however, the Greek word here translated ‘preached’ actually refers to Christ making an announcement. The word ‘spirits’ speaks of angels and not men or demon spirits. This is the place where the unsaved souls immediately go at death. Jesus graphically described this place regarding the illustration He gave concerning Lazarus and the rich man. Luke 16:29-31. He spoke of the rich man dying, and the Scripture says,”‘And in Hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments.” Luke 16:23
Jesus stated that Hell was a place of fire. He said of the rich man, who cried out to Abraham, “Send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.” Luke 16:24 So we know from this, that the fires of hell are real. Of course the spirit of either the redeemed or unredeemed are indestructible. Also, we know that Hell was not originally prepared for man, but, rather “prepared for the devil and his angels”. Matt. 25:41.
Jesus warned all of humanity, as He spoke of the Holy Spirit, He said: “If I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of Righteousness, and of Judgment: Of sin, because they believe not in Me, Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; Of Judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” John 16:7-11.
In essence, He is saying that all mankind which follows Satan will experience Satan’s judgment, which is Hell. Every person who has ever lived and died unsaved is now in Hell. They will be there until they stand at the Great White Throne Judgment Seat of God, and are then transferred to the Lake of Fire.
Before the Cross, due to the insufficiency of animal blood to take away sin (Heb. 10:4, the sin debt still remained on all, even the great faith worthies of the Old Testament; consequently, when all Believers died before the Cross, they were taken by the angels (Luke 16:22) into Paradise, which Jesus also referred to as “Abraham’s Bosom” Luke 16:22. In effect despite dying in the faith, all of these individuals were held as captives by Satan, even though the Evil One was not allowed to put them in the burning side of Hell. Jesus also said, “And beside all this between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neith4er can they pass to us, who would come from thence.” Luke 16:26. When Jesus died on the Cross thereby forever settling the sin debt, at least for all ho will believe, He went down into Paradise, sometimes referred to as Hell (Ps 16:10. Concerning this, Paul said; “Wherefore He said, When He ascended up on high He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the Earth?” Eph. 4:8-9 Captivity captive, means that all of the Old Testament Believers were being held captive by Satan, and because, as we have stated, “The blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins.” Hebrews 10:4. In fact all of these people, all of the Old Testament Greats, where awaiting the Cross. The moment the Cross was a fact, Satan had no more hold over these people. Jesus as it regards His trip down into Paradise, took those captives of Satan with Him. Consequently, the place we now refer to Christ, they are accepting what He has done to redeem us, on the Cross! Eph. 2:13-18, John 3:3-16, Rev. 22:17.
Is there such a place as purgatory? No! The Roman Catholic Church has defined the existence of purgatory in the Decree of Union drawn at the Council of Florence in A.D. 1439 and again at Council of Trent. But, it is nowhere found in the Bible!
The only thing standing between mankind and eternal Hell is the Cross of Christ. If men reject Christ and the Cross, Hell, ie the Lake of Fire, will be their eternal abode; and to be sure, eternity is a long, long, time! In fact it is “forever and forever” Rev. 20:10. As well if men accept Christ and reject the Cross, this is an acceptance that God cannot tolerate. Paul referred to such as “another Jesus, fostered by another spirit, presenting another gospel” II Cor. 11:4 . (Now think too, of other religions and cults that fall into this category, from Islam to Scientology, Hinduism, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, etc. All will fall. It took the Cross, to redeem man.
Satan has done everything within his power to hinder, destroy, dilute, and outright do away with the Word of Almighty God. But, through the Power of God, the Bible as we have today (its sixty-six Books, both Old and New Testaments, from Genesis To Revelation, is the Word of God. Nothing else can be added or taken away from it. When any person or church claim that other writings, other books, other so-called inspiration should be included in the Canon of Scripture, this is a work of the Evil One himself. Paul put it aptly when he said: “Though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him he accursed! As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed”. Gal. 1:8-9. Excerpts all copyright from “The Evangelist” April 2007, JSM Ministries.
The Word of the Lord will always come to pass; those who serve God will ultimately take best, and without fail! Added scriptures on Hell:
Mat. 18:9, Mark 9:43, 45, Deut. 32:22, II Sam. 22:6, Job 11:8, 26,6, Ps. 9:17, 16:10, 55:15, 139:8, Prov 5:5, 7:27, 9:18, 15:11, 24, 23:14, 27:20, Isa 14:9, 28:15, Ezek. 31:16, 32:21, Jonah 2:2, Hab. 2:5, Matt. 5:22, 29,30, Matt. 10:28, 11:23, Luke 10:15, 16:18, 23:15, 33, 16:23, Acts 2:31, James 3:6, II Pet. 2:4, Rev. 1:18, 6:8, 20:13, 14.