Author Topic: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna  (Read 1793 times)

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Offline Seth

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A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« on: July 15, 2014, 02:27:41 AM »
We have all heard that Jesus spoke more about Hell than anywhere else in the NT. I just want to provide a comparison between a quote by James about Gehenna and then compare his words to the words of Jesus Christ in his ministry, particularly the book of Matthew, where much of the preaching about Hell supposedly exists.

James 3:6
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of Gehenna.


With regard to an interpretation of Gehenna, and it's intended meaning by Christ, I think James is giving us some pure GOLD here. He is using the fire of Gehenna as a metaphor for the destructiveness of sin. Fire erodes and destroys things. And, James is using that metaphor in connection to the body, how that a small part of the body, like the tongue, is a fire, and can create a larger forest fire.

After all, one moment you are gossiping about someone, and the next you could be plotting his murder. It can happen that way. Here are a few comparisons to Christ's ministry:


Comparison #1

Matthew 5
29And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into Gehenna.


If I compare James 3:6 to Matthew 5:29-30, I find that they are saying the exact same thing, with slightly different words. Jesus is warning of DANGER, just like James did. Why is it profitable to cut out a body part (metaphorically)? According to James, "the tongue is a fire."

If a body part is on fire, what do you do? You cut it off before the fire spreads. Then, you throw it out into Gehenna Valley (metaphorically) to burn away until it's gone, then you enter life blind to sin.

This is much more profitable than if the tongue fire spreads to the whole body, and you find your whole body alflame in sin, from your feet to your hands and so forth. It's better to stop the offending limb from guiding you into a bigger problem with sin.


Comparison #2

Matthew 5
22But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, "Raca," shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, "Thou fool," shall be in danger of Gehenna fire.


Is Jesus threatening people with eternal Hellfire for simply saying "thou fool?" Of course not. In Matthew 23:17, he calls the Pharisees "blind fools!" Is Jesus putting himself in danger of God throwing him into Hell? No.

But, if we go back to James 3:6, Jesus is warning about how their own tongues can lead to a greater fire and is set on fire of Gehenna. He is warning them about what their own sinful desires can lead to if they start with "you fool!" Jesus had no sin, so when he refers to them as "blind fools" (Gk moros - or morons), he was in no danger because he was saying it from a perspective of truth and love, not hate, and so his tongue could never lead him into sin.

The danger is not that God will throw them into a pit of literal fire for saying one word. They are a danger to themselves.


Comparison #3

Matthew 23
33 (to the Pharisees) Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation (Gk - judgment) of Gehenna?


I used to always think that this meant that the Pharisees were destined to go to hell after they died. And certainly, I believe the judgment of Gehenna is reserved for a future time also, where God will use this concept to judge some people. In Romans 1 it talks about how the wrath of God was expressed through turning people over to their own wickedness "to receive in themselves the due recompense for their error."

But I believe that the Pharisees were also currently in a state of judgment too. The Pharisees STARTED to persecute Jesus by spreading doubt about the source of his power. Then…they plotted to kill him. Their tongues led them into more sin, full bodied fire of Gehenna, where they engaged not just their tongues, but everything else to make sure he was dead. I think about how Jesus said that those who do not believe are "judged already" because they have not believed.

If belief leads to the Promise of Abraham, the Spirit, then the Spirit can break the bond of sin causing the Pharisees to do what they did. Without believing in Christ, they have no knowledge of him, and how can they escape the the judgment of Gehenna, not only that they will experience, but that they were experiencing at that very moment?
« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 02:30:48 AM by Seth »

Offline saintwalee

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2014, 05:35:09 AM »
 :gimmefive: Amen brother Seth!

Offline joeteekay

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2014, 04:51:57 PM »
Beautifully and clearly written Seth.   :banana: :thumbsup:

Spiritual understanding through metaphors;


"All God's Word is TRUE, however, much of it is figurative language which is not literally true to fact, but rather in what the figurative language of symbols, metaphors, and parables represent. A metaphor is where one thing is said to actually be something else."

Physical- literal understanding:

Gehenna is the valley of Hinnom, it is a garbage dump on the outside of Jerusalem, Many things were thrown into this dump, including bodies of the dead.

The fire is not quenched, "put out" because if it were, it would lose it's usefulness, However the Fire Did burn itself out...therefore the fire was never quenched, but rather died out itself.

« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 11:26:24 PM by joeteekay »
Joe from Ottawa

Offline marie glen

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2014, 05:20:39 PM »
Amen! fire totally consumes.. "fear has torment.." so does regret, guilt, shame.. ..turns it to sorrow... and from sorrow..?

..also, if your hand wants to hurt a little one, for instance, better allegorically, to toss it into the fire to be destroyed than to carry out its inclination..

And also to me, it's not surprising that fire, in the world, also consumes.. I hope you don't mind my posting about this aspect.. what I think of as also a Lake of Fire and Gehenna

"..the day of God, by which the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements with burning heat shall melt.." 2 Peter 3:12

"..as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, in like manner to these.. ..an example, of fire age-during, justice suffering." Jude 7

"the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven, with messengers of his power, in flaming fire, ..vengeance to those not knowing God.. ..destruction age-during -- from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his strength" 2 Thess 2:7-9

promise & prophecy - Jerusalem - "For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees and get nourishment.
   As one whom a mother comforts, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.
   For, behold, the Lord will come with fire" (I believe is consequences of man's own doings?) "and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many." Isaiah 66:12-16
             "plead with all flesh"? write/deeply engrave upon every heart?

"...the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed ...it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold" (the kingdoms) "—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass... The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure." from Daniel 2:44,45

...But also! of course.. "in fear is torments" ..fiery torments.. Absolutely! without which, the other (fiery judgment) would have no meaning! (..and vice versa??)
~ ~ ~
Where does it say no repentance after death? being resurrected still in their sins (the 2nd) during age of Judgment, there's sure to be weeping and wailing & for those habitual despisers of God, gnashing of teeth--who may make their way to LOF
~Is weeping & wailing the beginning of the redemptive process??
~ ~ ~
The historist elements in the Bk of Rev shed light on the futurist! (Like13:13, same as, 6:12-17, but both  begin/historist & end/futurist r described here so early! a clever lock; & parts of ch12-hist; ch's 10,12,13 = inserts)
~imo we are at 7:1 a pause of 6:12/splitting of atom

Offline marie glen

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2014, 05:29:35 PM »
Beautifully written Seth.   :banana: :thumbsup:

Spiritual understanding through metaphors;


"All God's Word is TRUE, however, much of it is figurative language which is not literally true to fact, but rather in what the figurative language of symbols, metaphors, and parables represent. A metaphor is where one thing is said to actually be something else."

Physical understanding:

Gehenna is the valley of Hinnom, it is a garbage dump on the outside of Jerusalem, Many things were thrown into this dump, including bodies of the dead.

The fire is not quenched, "put out" because if it were, it would lose it's usefulness, However the Fire Did burn itself out...therefore the fire was never quenched, but rather died out itself.


Amen! all of life is allegory! :smile: a huge one..

..and the fire outside Jerusalem ...a dump where criminals bodies were disposed of, was never allowed to go out, thus is an example of how the wages of sin/error/corruption, is death.. always.. that will never change.. I believe it can't.. that God is life and also perfection, to be imperfect is the opposite of life.. and I believe that will never change and God is pounding this into every head.. so to speak that is :laughing7:
..that to wander from God is totally irrational..
~ ~ ~
Where does it say no repentance after death? being resurrected still in their sins (the 2nd) during age of Judgment, there's sure to be weeping and wailing & for those habitual despisers of God, gnashing of teeth--who may make their way to LOF
~Is weeping & wailing the beginning of the redemptive process??
~ ~ ~
The historist elements in the Bk of Rev shed light on the futurist! (Like13:13, same as, 6:12-17, but both  begin/historist & end/futurist r described here so early! a clever lock; & parts of ch12-hist; ch's 10,12,13 = inserts)
~imo we are at 7:1 a pause of 6:12/splitting of atom

Offline eaglesway

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2014, 04:09:48 AM »
Adam and Eve hid from the Voice in the garden because fear has torment. Why hide? Because you are afraid. What are you afraid of? The light. "Everyone who runs from the light does so that that evil deeds may be hidden. Everyone who loves the light comes to the light so that it may be made manifest that their deeds are wrought in God"

Every thing hidden in darkness will be revealed

Our God is a consuming fire, He will never burn out, and every hidden thing will be revealed, and every detestable thing consumed.
The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood. hellisamyth.com

Offline marie glen

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2014, 05:45:44 AM »

 ....and that is very good news!!  :dsunny: :banana:
~ ~ ~
Where does it say no repentance after death? being resurrected still in their sins (the 2nd) during age of Judgment, there's sure to be weeping and wailing & for those habitual despisers of God, gnashing of teeth--who may make their way to LOF
~Is weeping & wailing the beginning of the redemptive process??
~ ~ ~
The historist elements in the Bk of Rev shed light on the futurist! (Like13:13, same as, 6:12-17, but both  begin/historist & end/futurist r described here so early! a clever lock; & parts of ch12-hist; ch's 10,12,13 = inserts)
~imo we are at 7:1 a pause of 6:12/splitting of atom

Offline eaglesway

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2014, 09:07:24 AM »
Behold, I make all things new !  :banana: :dsunny:
The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood. hellisamyth.com

Offline micah7:9

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2014, 02:30:14 AM »
Adam and Eve hid from the Voice in the garden because fear has torment. Why hide? Because you are afraid. What are you afraid of? The light. "Everyone who runs from the light does so that that evil deeds may be hidden. Everyone who loves the light comes to the light so that it may be made manifest that their deeds are wrought in God"

Every thing hidden in darkness will be revealed

Our God is a consuming fire, He will never burn out, and every hidden thing will be revealed, and every detestable thing consumed.

I can agree, yet a question, "..... because fear has torment. Why hide? Because you are afraid. What are you afraid of?The light."
How did they "know fear?"
And how did they know what "torment was?"
It's not really clear, at least to me, that man/Adam knew what Gen 2:17  "......thou dost not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it--dying thou dost die.'" what dying was.
I'm just wondering.
 
Mic 7:8  Thou dost not rejoice over me, O mine enemy, When I have fallen, I have risen, When I sit in darkness Jehovah is a light to me.

Offline eaglesway

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2014, 02:50:31 AM »
I think they didnt "kno" what torment/fear/death was any more than anyone knows what it feels like to get hit by a car until it happens. God said, "If you eat of it you will die". You eat, then you experience. I believe the "knowing" was visceral entirely.-experience the "teacher".
The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood. hellisamyth.com

Offline micah7:9

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2014, 03:57:03 PM »
Wouldn't that be called "hindsight"? And one can't have hindsight until the experience unfolds. "God said, "If you eat of it you will die." Adam had no way to "know" what dying was so where would the fear be? Of course my query is an opinion. :Chinscratch:
Mic 7:8  Thou dost not rejoice over me, O mine enemy, When I have fallen, I have risen, When I sit in darkness Jehovah is a light to me.

Offline eaglesway

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2014, 05:07:01 PM »
You made my point exactly. Adam didnt kno fear till after he ate. Not hindsight tho, experience. Immediate and enduring.
The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood. hellisamyth.com

Offline micah7:9

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2014, 07:07:35 PM »
I sure don't understand. "Adam and Eve hid from the Voice in the garden because fear has torment. Why hide? Because you are afraid. What are you afraid of? " Isn't that assumption? Adam and Eve did not have knowledge at that time, like you and I have now.
What did Adam know about "dying?" How could he "fear" something he had not even know the meaning of?" In my opinion when they tried to hide, it was a human thing-natural carnality, birthing what we now call "the conscience" and yes we know NOW that fear is involved, but I do not believe it was "fear and torment" at the time of Gen. 3:7. They SAW that they were naked.
Interesting word naked H5903 "nudity" from H6191 properly to be (or make) bare; but used only in the derived sense (through the idea perhaps of smoothness) to be cunning (usually in a bad sense): -  X very, beware, take crafty [counsel], be prudent, deal subtilly.
H6191
ערם
‛âram
BDB Definition:
1) to be subtle, be shrewd, be crafty, beware, take crafty counsel, be prudent
1a) (Qal) to be crafty, be subtle
1b) (Hiphil) to be crafty, be or become shrewd
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field

Now, in my opinion fear certainly became prominent and understood after Gen.3:13-24  :Peace2:
Mic 7:8  Thou dost not rejoice over me, O mine enemy, When I have fallen, I have risen, When I sit in darkness Jehovah is a light to me.

Offline Seth

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2014, 07:37:31 PM »
Fear has torment to me means that fear hurts. Fear is tormenting of itself. It seems to me that Adam hid because he knew he done wrong and there was a penalty in it, and even if he didn't know what it was, he knew It was probably bad. The unknown can cause more fear than the known sometimes.

Offline micah7:9

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2014, 07:52:42 PM »
Probably correct.  In my opinion when Gen 3:10  and he saith, `Thy sound I have heard in the garden, and I am afraid, for I am naked, and I hide myself.'
Adam was afraid because he saw, NOW, the true nature of his being... subtle, shrewd, crafty, beware, take crafty counsel, be prudent. Yes, that must have been fear.
Mic 7:8  Thou dost not rejoice over me, O mine enemy, When I have fallen, I have risen, When I sit in darkness Jehovah is a light to me.

Offline eaglesway

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2014, 08:11:51 AM »
I sure don't understand. "Adam and Eve hid from the Voice in the garden because fear has torment. Why hide? Because you are afraid. What are you afraid of? " Isn't that assumption? Adam and Eve did not have knowledge at that time, like you and I have now.
What did Adam know about "dying?" How could he "fear" something he had not even know the meaning of?" In my opinion when they tried to hide, it was a human thing-natural carnality, birthing what we now call "the conscience" and yes we know NOW that fear is involved, but I do not believe it was "fear and torment" at the time of Gen. 3:7. They SAW that they were naked.
Interesting word naked H5903 "nudity" from H6191 properly to be (or make) bare; but used only in the derived sense (through the idea perhaps of smoothness) to be cunning (usually in a bad sense): -  X very, beware, take crafty [counsel], be prudent, deal subtilly.
H6191
ערם
‛âram
BDB Definition:
1) to be subtle, be shrewd, be crafty, beware, take crafty counsel, be prudent
1a) (Qal) to be crafty, be subtle
1b) (Hiphil) to be crafty, be or become shrewd
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field

Now, in my opinion fear certainly became prominent and understood after Gen.3:13-24  :Peace2:

Well, we're speculating here, but in my opinion fear is what they experienced, following perfect peace. Fear has torment, it is "uncomfortable". If they had not been afraid they would not have hid. If that is an assumption on my part, it is one I am comfortable with.
The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood. hellisamyth.com

Offline micah7:9

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Re: A Comparison of James and Jesus concerning Gehenna
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2014, 04:47:48 PM »
 :iagree:
Mic 7:8  Thou dost not rejoice over me, O mine enemy, When I have fallen, I have risen, When I sit in darkness Jehovah is a light to me.