Is HELL the Worst Place There Is?

What Scripture Really Says

In order to answer this question, we must first determine what HELL really is and just what goes on there. I do not mean that we should describe HELL from the information we have been given in the past by various people, such as it being a place of eternal torment with burning fire and brimstone, the abode of the Devil and his imps, etc., but that we need to find out what HELL really is according to the scriptures.

If you don't believe the scriptures are the inspired written word of the one and only living Eloah, whose true name is NOT "God" or "the LORD" but Yahuwah (yah-hoo-WAH), then you probably don't believe there is a place called HELL, because the scripture is where you will find out about it and you need not read any further. This article in that case is not for you. If you DO believe the scriptures are the inspired written word of the one and only living Eloah then read on. And remember that you must believe the answers that the word of Yahuwah provides you regardless of what you have heard all your life from human teachers.

In the quest for the answer to the question in the title, we will take a journey through the scriptures to arrive at the real definition of the place called HELL, where it is, what it is, and what it is not.

In the Ibriy (Hebrew) language portion of the scripture, the English word HELL is rendered from only one Ibriy word. That word is SHE'OWL, (pronounced she-ole). If you have access to the Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong, it is assigned the number H7585. This word appears sixty-five times in sixty-three verses in the Ibriy scripture. Thirty-one of those times, it is rendered as HELL.

defined the same as the Greek haides, and that definition states that it is the subterranean retreat or abode of the dead (disincarnate spirits). This word is also rendered in the King James Version as pit and grave. The grave obviously is a place of the dead, but that means a dead PHYSICAL BODY, and in the times the scripture was written, dead bodies were often buried in pits. Some societies still do that.

Twice in the Ibriy scriptures, we will find reference to the lowest hell. These occur in Dabariym (Deuteronomy) 32:22 and Tehilliym (Psalms) 86:13. The occurrence in Dabariym is spoken by Yahuwah Himself, so you can not only infer that there are several levels to hell, you can count on it. If Yahuwah spoke of a place called the "lowest hell," that means that there has to be levels above that one. How many levels? We don't know. There are no references in scripture to an actual number, but there has to be at least one.

In Bemidbar (Numbers) 16:28-34, Yahuwah causes a pit to open up and swallow a bunch of people (because of their disobedience) and the word pit is there translated from she'owl. All of the other occurrences of the word deal with people who are already dead, anticipating death, or are statements from Yahuwah concerning what is to be.

So from the Ibriy scripture we determine that HELL is a definite place, a place where the dead reside, and it has at least two levels, and probably more.

Part of the question is now answered but there's more.

In most English translations of the Greek scripture, Yahushua (our Savior’s REAL name) is credited several times with using the word HELL and mentioning its burning fire (hell fire). But Yahushua never actually used the word HELL or the word that means HELL when speaking of hell fire. The phrase He used that was rendered as hell fire is from the Greek phrase geenna pur that should be rendered as fires of Ge-Hinnom. When He speaks thusly He is referring to the valley of Hinnom, a valley located hard by Yeruwshalom and which was used as the local garbage dump, as a place analogous to what He was talking about. In this valley there were fires burning continuously as there was much garbage to be destroyed. It was a place of foul odors and dead bodies in addition to the garbage fires and not a place that many people desired to visit for even a little while, much less for eternity. Using the idea of a place LIKE this as a place of eternal abode for unrepentant sinners gets across the message that Yahushua was sending. Repent and turn to Yahuwah, or a place LIKE this valley is your destiny. (In the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance it is assigned G1067.)

You have already heard about another place of which Yahushua talked. The translators also called it HELL, and it is from the word Greek word haides, the Greek name for the subterranean abode of the dead which the Ibriy call she’owl. In the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance it is assigned G86. So Yahushua talked about two distinctly different places in His various discourses, she'owl and the valley of Hinnom, yet the translators have made it look like He talked about only one.

In the KJV, in addition to being rendered as HELL haides is also translated as grave. In the Greek scripture we also find that the lowest hell) talked about in the Ibriy scripture has a name. That name in the Greek is Tartaros and is the deepest abyss of haides. Keph (Peter) used this term when he was describing the location of the first deputies of Yahuwah (angels) that sinned. This place is where Yahuwah has put them. (In the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance it is assigned G5020.) They will be there until the time for judgment. Then something is going to happen of which most people are not aware.

There are many people don't believe that the ones whose names are not found in the book of life will be punished forever. They think that once you are cut off from Yahuwah, you have received the punishMENT and the punishING is over. Wrong! Scripture refutes that idea over and over again.

So now we can see that the place where the spirits of those who physically die go is really called haides or she'owl, it is a real place, and it is somewhere below the surface dirt of this earth. Where its exact location is, no human on this earth knows. But it is there somewhere below. We also know that there are at least two levels in this place, but don't know what uses to which all its different levels are put except for the lowest one. We do know that the deputies that sinned are incarcerated there and that Yahuwah has made mention of it being a terrible, terrible place.

We also know that when Yahushua was talking about "hell fire" that He was using the descriptive evidence of a garbage dump to get His point across. This view of Ge-Hinnom may be related to what occurs on some level in haides, as shown by the story of the rich man and El'azar (Lazarus) in Louokas (Luke) 16:23, but more likely is the idea of the eternal punishING.

The original question was "Is HELL the worst place there is?" I said that in the process of answering that question we would find the real definition of the place called HELL, where it is, what it is, and what it is not.

So far, we have seen that the definition of Hell depends on where you read the word and what base word it was translated from. If Yahushua was talking about hell fire He was using a metaphor to describe to the people in terms they could understand what awaited them if they failed to acknowledge Him as the Son of Yahuwah and turn back to Yahuwah as their King.

The real definition of HELL is the subterranean abode of the dead or discarnate spirits. That is what it really is. We have determined that it has more than one level, although we can't say anything in particular about those levels except for the lowest one.

We know where it is. Somewhere beneath the earth.

So now we know what it is and where it is.

Now let's look at what is it not. That is the final part of the process in answering the question, "Is Hell the worst place there is?"

The first thing that Hell is NOT is the realm or abode of satan. He does NOT live or reign there. He is confined right here on this earth until the time when Yahushua returns and he is cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:1-3). He has no more desire to be in HELL than you do. Remember that he is alive, not dead, and HELL is the abode of the dead. That is the place he would like for YOU to be, but he doesn't want to be there with you. By the way, satan is not some evil looking person wearing a red suit, carrying a pitchfork, and with horns on his head. In Yechezq'el (Ezekiel) 28:12 the word of Yahuwah describes his beauty as perfect. (Also see 2 Korinthios (Corinthians) 11:14.)

Another thing that hell is NOT is the place of eternal torment for those whose names are not found in the book life at the final judgment. Many preachers in the many so-called "Christian faiths" will preach a fire and brimstone sermon and tell people that they are going to HELL for eternity if they continue to sin. Well, that's just not true. Hell is going to cease to exist as a place as we know it. Hell is going to be destroyed by being cast into the lake of fire and brimstone after the final judgment and after it gives up its dead, therefore, it CANNOT be a place where anyone or anything will be for eternity. (Revelation 20:14) Since Hell is going to be cast into this lake of fire and brimstone, that lake must really be some bad place. Much worse than HELL!

So the question is answered. Yes, there is a place worse than HELL. That place is the lake of fire and brimstone talked about all through the Sacred Scripture, but not defined and described until the book of Revelation. At the final judgment all of the people whose names are not found written in the book of life will be incarcerated there for eternity along with death, HELL (haides or she’owl), satan, the beast, and the false prophet. These will be the same people who take the mark of the beast in the last days. This lake of fire and brimstone is a terrible place. Much worse than HELL ever pretended to be, and it is for eternal punishING.

Satan will also be in the lake, but not through his choice. It is a place of punishING for him too. So all of the unrepentant and unimmersed sinners and all of their teachers are going to have some famous, or rather infamous, company. Satan, the beast, the false prophet, death, hell, all of the popes, Billy Graham and his ilk, and all other people whose names are not in the book of life. That's going to be some company. I think that they are going to be too busy to notice each other however, as the torment will be forever. (Revelation 14:9-13; 19:20; 20:10, 14-15)

So now you know as much about HELL as you probably never wanted to know.

You now know that HELL is she'owl (haides), the subterranean abode of the dead, and we have determined that it has at least three levels. You even know that there are sinful deputies of Yahuwah incarcerated in the lowest level.

You know that it is somewhere beneath the earth.

And now you also know that there is a much worse place. That place referred to in the scripture as the lake of fire and brimstone. Do you see now why Yahushua used the metaphor of Ge-Hinnom to describe the goings on here? It is going to be terrible and it’s going to be forever.

To contrast this terrible place called the lake of fire and brimstone there is another place known as the Paradise of Yahuwah. It is as wonderful as the lake is terrible. It is a city. In this city will be found the tree of life, the river of life, and the throne of Yahuwah. This is a new city that isn't on or of this earth. (This earth is going to be totally destroyed as described in 2 Keph 3:10-11 and Revelation 20:9, 21:3). This city which will be on a new earth, with new skies, is called the New Yeruwshalom, and is created to be inhabited by the saints of Yahuwah. They will live for eternity as the children of Yahuwah. This is the place people are talking about when they mention "heaven."

Here's that word eternity again, but this time, it is used in a good sense. Those whose names ARE found in the book of life will be there with the Master forever. These are the people who have overcome. You can read about it in Revelation 21 and 22.

This is very serious business, as you can see. Anything that affects where someone is going to spend FOREVER should be something about which that the person should be extremely concerned. Are you concerned? Where are you going to spend eternity? In the lake of fire with satan and his cohorts, or in the Paradise of Yahuwah with His saints.

If you decide to obey Yahuwah, email me and I'll provide all the help that I can to see you into the kingdom of Yahuwah. Remember also that you haven't chosen Him, He has chosen you. He gave you free will to make the decision as to whether you would be in obedience to Him, or be in obedience to Satan. That's the choice you have. Obey Yahuwah and live. Disobey and die. That's your choice.

C.F. Castleberry