LoF = Lake of Fire as you said
GWT(J) = Great White Throne (Judgement)
ET = Eternal Torment
UR = Truth
ED = Eternal Destruction aka annihilation
RAL/RMAL = Rich Man and Lazarus parable.
GWT doesn't make any sense in combination with RAL.
If all dead were is extacly the same place of waiting for GWT I could accept it.
But when some end in the 'hell' side of sheol and some in the paradise side then those dead are already judged.
The sheeps and the goats are already seperated. No need to do that again at GWT.
Thanks for the explanation of the jargon.
I would like to add some comments about Sheol.
Hurriedly stated, we could visualize it as ocean depths. By that I mean: the further downward you are, the less the sun penetrates the depths and the darker the environment is.
Anyways, lets answer this question first: What was the condition of those who lived before Jesus came?
The answer is that all these people went to the realm of death, to Sheol, the righteous as well as the unrighteous, the believers as well as the unbelievers. The rich man was there, but also Abraham and Lazarus the beggar, although there was a deep gulf between them.
Among the righteous in Sheol there were also those who during their lives had looked forward to the gospel of Jesus; who always thought about kingdom of God. Abel comes to mind, a man who must have thought about the forgiveness of his sins and reached the conclusion that this could only be brought about by the shedding of blood. Also Enoch, who considered another part of the foundation of the faith, that of the eternal judgment between good and evil. Then there is Abraham, who sought an unseen city, built on the foundation of faith, whose builder and maker is God. The prophets also searched and inquired who these spiritual people might be which the Spirit in them was speaking of. For by these people the final purpose of the faith would be reached, that is the salvation of the souls, (1Pet 1:9,10).
All these seekers for the Kingdom of God would be the first to take up their place in the heavenly paradise. These spiritually inclined saints were taken out of Sheol at the resurrection of Jesus and replanted in the garden of God, (Matthew 27:52).
So, after Jesus' resurrection there was a tree of life in the spiritual garden together with a great many other plants. As a member of the people of God of the Old Dispensation, Jesus stood out by His perfect glory, for the Holy Spirit dwelled in Him, the perfectly righteous. Jesus was therefore the tree growing on the bank of the river of the water of life, bright as crystal. (Rev 22:1).
When John the apostle concludes the Revelation, he uses two very beautiful images: the trees of life and the holy city. In Revelation these two collectives are both images of the people of God from the Old as well as from the New Covenant. Citizenship of this city is obtained by being recorded in the book of life of the Lamb. This book contains the names of those who are perfectly righteous by faith in the atoning blood of Jesus.
In the New Jerusalem we are able to distinguish three groups of citizens:
1. The righteous of the Old Covenant who were transferred from Sheol to the Holy City when Jesus was resurrected. (At that stage they still lacked indwelling of the Holy Spirit, for the Old Covenant did not have the baptism in the Spirit).
2. All who obtained true righteousness by accepting the message of the cross of Jesus Christ, yet were not baptized in the Holy Spirit and had no knowledge of the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. These are in the same condition as the Old Testament 'saints'.
3. Those who are cleansed in the blood of Jesus and are baptized in the Holy Spirit, allowing the Spirit to develop His gifts in them, that they should be able to use the keys of the Kingdom of heaven. In the image of the New Jerusalem which I mentioned above, this group is the temple of God. In the image of the Paradise, they are the trees of life.
Something to note:
During the three years the Lord Jesus walked on earth He consciously lived in the 'kingdom of heavens'. Being one with the Spirit of His Father, He remained steadfast against the attacks of the devil in the desert. Out of the Kingdom of heavens He healed people by breaking the power of the evil one over human lives.
When the Lord (after His victory over the 'commander of the power of the air') called out, "It is done!", something occurred in the spiritual world. The barrier that had been blocking the living way to the 'tree of life' since the fall of the first Adam was torn down by the Last Adam.
The cherubim who guarded the way to the tree of life "with a whirling and flashing" sword stood back, (Gen 3:24). The moment the veil (flesh) of the True 'High Priest' was torn in two, the way to eternal life was made available again. In the visible world this event was represented by the curtain of the Holy of Holiest which was torn in two, (Matt 27:51). Man could eat freely now from the Tree and trees of life in the 'Garden of God'. (In this same Paradise the New Jerusalem is located, Rev 2:7).
Since this victory of the Lord, all those who believe may approach in sincerity of heart and in full assurance of faith. Having our hearts sprinkled and cleaned from guilt and our bodies washed with pure water, via the living and eternal Word of God, (Heb 10:19-22).
After the Lord's victory on the cross, when He was one again with the Holy Spirit, Jesus entered the second heaven. This is the kingdom where Death had reigned since the fall of the first man. A reign that was also in force during the age where there was no law taking sin into account, (Rom 5:13, 14).
The dominion or "pangs" of death, (Acts 2:24), were broken the very moment the Lord entered the second heaven. This kingdom could no longer bind Him and had to let Him go because of His glory. From that time forward, the Prince of Life can witness, "I hold the keys of Death and Death's domain", (Rev 1:18).
A clear image of the rising and resurrection of our Lord is the history of the prophet Jonah. Jonah took the blame for the storm and the raging sea that threatened the people. When he was thrown out, the sea stopped raging and Jonah was swallowed by a big fish (Sheol). He spent three days and three nights in 'the belly of Sheol' and 'in the depths of the sea'. However, this fish had to spew Jonah out on to the dry land, (Jonah 1 & 2).
Because of the powers of sin, all men lived under the dominion of Death. Before and after the action of our Lord, many sincere and religious men were still found living under the dominion of this power of Death. Man will be delivered from this dominion by a conscious and personal act founded on faith in the salvation through Jesus Christ. The Bible calls this repentance of dead works.
When the Lord entered the realm of Death as victor of the 'commander of the powers of the air', (Ephesians 2:2), the earth trembled, rocks split and the veil of the Holy of Holiest was torn in two as an outward symbol of the upheaval in the domain of the spirits.
The graves, representing the realm of Death, opened and many (spiritual) bodies of deceased saints were 'raised from their sleep' after which 'they left the realm of Death with the Lord'. Together they entered the Holy city or the Heavenly Jerusalem and from, not in, this city they appeared before many people on earth. (compare Matthew 27:51-53; I Corinthians 15:3-8).
From Death's domain the Lord and the cloud of witnesses ascended to Heaven and entered the third heaven to sit there on the throne of the Father. From this position His Spirit would flow into the hearts of all believers, (Acts 2:30).
Now to the other peripherals concerning Sheol:
Read Matthew 25:31-46
When these words are fulfilled: "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done", (Rev 20:12), we are entering the process of judging; in which the church passes sentence over the lives of those who share in the Second Resurrection according to their deeds.
Let's first investigate Matthew 25:34 ==
Let's answer the question: Who are the "blessed of the Father"? These are the righteous of all ages and from all nations who did not share in the first resurrection of those who slept in Christ. These are people who have not known the gospel of the Kingdom of God, as taught by Jesus. With the knowledge, the power and capabilities at their disposal they were unable to attain to perfection. These are those who 'served the counsel of God in their own generation, fell asleep' and "did not receive what was promised", (Acts 13:36 & Heb 11:39).
To the 'blessed of the Father' belong the Egyptian midwives Shiphra and Puah, who 'feared God' and fused to obey the king's instruction to kill the newborn boys of the Jews. Also Ebed-melech, the Ethiopian who showed compassion when he interceded with the king on behalf of the prophet Jeremiah, and lifted him from the pit. He even took worn out clothes and rags, that the prophet of the Lord could put these in his armpits so as not to be injured while he was pulled out.
Among the "blessed of the Father" we find the compassionate Samaritan, who loved and helped his neighhor, one of the least of these. By nature the Samaritan did what the law requires, that is: to love his neighbor as himself. His compassion and mercy had not been prescribed to him by an outward source, they did not mean a spiritual effort for him, they welled up from his inside and were typical of his life. Spontaneously he helped when he saw his fellow man lying injured and helpless at the roadside. He did not even think of the possible danger of being assaulted himself. Among the "cursed' are all those who pass by on the other side of the road, as did the priest and the Levite. Among these are they who like to, show a front of righteousness by tithing mint and dill and cumin, but at the same time eat up the houses of the widows.
We are speaking here too of Job and also of his friends who were guided by a 'pious' spirit; of Jamb the patriarch, and also of his sons whose names were written on the gates of New Jerusalem; of Melchizedek king of Salem. Many too lived as David did, with all their shortcomings, according to the knowledge which they had of God. We are also reminded of our parents and ancestors who served the Lord sincerely but for whom the righteousness, peace and joy of the Kingdom of God were matters beyond their grasp because they did not know of the baptism with the Holy Spirit and of the way to deliverance and salvation.
We are reminded of those in the dark, medieval ages who did not know the way of salvation, although they accepted the forgiveness of their sins through the blood of the Lamb, and sacrificed their lives for the Word of God. Then there are the millions who never heard of God's plan of restoration, yet were hungry and thirsty for righteousness. The message was not preached to them. Had they heard the full gospel, they would have eagerly accepted it.
Again, of those about whom Paul says: "When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law, they show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus", (Rom 2:14-16).
Of course, the question arises to what extent can people be found in our days who never heard of Jesus and yet are "hungry and thirsty for righteousness", and consequently show the divine qualities of charity and mercifulness. Are there still people such as Job, or Abimelech the king of Gerar, to whom God was able to reveal Himself in a dream and who "had done this in the integrity of his heart", although Abraham was afraid that "there was no fear of God at all" in Gerar, (Gen 20:1-18).
We also know that in the days of Noah there were no righteous people outside the family of this man of God and in the latter days this will be the same. According to chapter Matthew 24:14, the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached throughout the world and the evil spirits will be cast out of heaven to go over the earth like a flood and conceal themselves in men (sons of perdition). At this point, no righteous people will be found outside the faithful church.
Another thing to quickly mention:
Where the Bible says that the New Testament church will judge the world, (1Cor 6:2), it is erroneous to think that this judgment is limited only to the announcement of the punishment or the verdicts. In this day of judgment, (when the hidden things of the heart are revealed), it will be proven that among these Gentiles people were hungry and thirsty for righteousness. Not a wonder that Jesus says of them: "If the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sydon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes!", (Matt 11:21). Therefore, in the last judgment the people of Tyre and Sydon will fare better than the people among whom Jesus revealed his glory but who hardened their hearts. In judging what they have done, their lack of knowledge will be taken into account. "The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here", (Matt 12.41-42).
To all who loved righteousness, but to whom the gospel was preached in part only, or under a veil, these words apply: "Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart", (1Cor 4:5).
For us New Testament believers, (since we are in Christ), the receiving of the inheritance is already a fact, (Eph 1:11). To us applies: "He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of his beloved Son", (Col 1:13).
Hebrews 11:40 says of those who at the final judgment will be placed at God's right hand: "That apart from us they should not be made perfect". The righteous from the Second Resurrection receive the full blessing while on the New Earth. There are the trees of life, (image of the church and her Head), whose leaves (spiritual gifts) are for the healing of the nations who enter into New Jerusalem, (Rev 22:2).
The church of the New Covenant is the instrument of salvation in the new heaven and on the new earth, so that the righteous who did not experience the infilling with the Holy Spirit and did not reach perfection, will be led to this climax. At the end of this period "God will be everything for every one", (1Cor 15:28).
Even before the creation of the world God had in his mind the complete plan of salvation from its very beginning to the completion. This plan included the Kingdom of God realized in men who were created in God's likeness and after his image, as it says in verse 34: 'The kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world'.
One of the qualities of God which He has especially revealed towards men is his loving-kindness. Mercifulness is a quality which God has in abundance; He is full of loving-kindness and compassion. About the man Jesus It also says several times that 'He had compassion'. Holy angels and demons have no experience of this characteristic of God, but It has to be evident in the image of God: man. At the last judgment this quality is used as a touch-stone as it also Is the proof of the presence of love towards God and the fellow men, which is what the law requires. In his first sermon on the Mount the Lord said: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy".
We Christians have to be compassionate and merciful even as our heavenly Father is merciful, (Luke 6:36). This will prove us to be children of our heavenly Father. For He wishes that all should be saved and none perish. Therefore the meaning of this verse Is: 'You who are merciful, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world'.
Of the last judgment it says: "All were judged by what they had done", (Rev 20:13). Why did the rich man lift up his eyes in Hades, being in torment? Only because of the fact that he failed to comfort Lazarus, failed to appease his hunger, disregarded one of the least among the children of man. If we Christians have, no better condition of heart, if we live for ourselves alone, to, have a good life in this world, just as the rich man, then we will be judged, our pure doctrines notwithstanding. James said: 'Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world'. The first call to those who wish to, follow Jesus is: 'If any man would come after me, (that is, take the first step), let him deny himself!' It is no wonder that this gospel causes the 'pious' spirits to rear.
The last judgment deals with people who were unable to see the connection between their good works and Jesus Christ. Their question is this: "When did we see You in this way?". The "blessed of the Father" as well as the 'cursed' ask this same question. Here the, good and the evil, who lived before the first coming of the Lord are separated from each other, including those who had never heard this gospel. Those who are disobedient to the true gospel of Jesus Christ, which might have saved them, have rejected the counsel of God. During their life on earth they did not judge themselves worthy of eternal life, (Acts 13:46).
Also among the Gentiles, who did not know Jesus, there have always been good people. Before his repentance the following testimony is given about a Roman: "Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms liberally to the people, and prayed constantly to God", (Acts 10:1-2). He was one of the 'blessed of the Father', and in his surroundings, as well as among the people, he was known to be a good man, (although the orthodox Jew was not allowed to enter his house because this would defile him).
There also was the centurion from Capernaum, about whom it is said that he was worthy that something be done for him by Jesus.
These all will find perfect healing at the trees of life (the church) whose leaves (the spiritual gifts) are for the healing of the nations. In this way the righteous of the Old and New covenant who did not receive what was promised (perfection), will be led to perfection by the church, (Heb 11:40).
The spiritual world does not ever speak about mutability or impermanence; only indestructible realities. Jesus mentioned people for whom it would have been better never to have been born. Therefore, we should not subscribe to the possibility of an eternal salvation in the future.