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Are heaven and hell mentioned in the Old Testament?



      

1 Thessalonians 4:16 - 17

ESV - 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

Clarify Share Report Asked 10 days ago Mini Anonymous

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Mini Justin Hale
Actually, the Old Testament mentions three 'heavens' and two 'hells' and this is continued into the New Testament Bible and further described and illuminated by the Holy Spirit. 

The Holy Spirit describes a 'lower heaven,' (referred to as the realm of the 'aer' [from which we derive our English word 'air'], which covers the area from just above the ground to the location where light from the stars begins to appear in the sky.

The Holy Spirit also describes an 'upper heaven,' where we see the moonlight, the sunlight and the starlight entering our view. The 'third heaven' cannot be seen from earth, nor can anyone alight upon it even by traveling up to the edge of the 'upper heaven' because entry is prohibited by GOD. Those who attempt to 'ascend' to the third heaven without permission end up in the 'abyss' which modern people call 'space.'

This abyss is actually 'out, down and away' from earth and the heavens which is why it is also referred to as an 'outer darkness.' Modern humans view it as 'up above' the earth because entry into it requires first ascending to the edge of the highest known heaven and because there does not appear to be any heaven 'above' this.

I could give multiple Old Testament references for each of the three heavens, but you can confirm this yourself by reading literally any reference to a 'heaven' and grasping the descriptions given until each becomes clear.

Two 'hells' are also mentioned. One is known as 'Sheol' (referred to as 'Hades' in the New Testament). This is described as both the 'creation point' of the human soul, (Psalm 139:15, 1 Corinthians 15:47), and the place of its return upon the death of the body unless GOD intervenes and grants us access to the third heaven where 'heavenly souls' continue to learn, develop and grow. No such learning or continued development takes place in this 'earthy' Sheol, (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

The inhabitants of Sheol, (also known as the 'unrighteous dead'), will eventually be transferred along with Sheol itself into 'eternal hell,' (Revelation 20:14), known as 'Gehenna,' (in the Old Testament), and 'Tartarus,' (in the New Testament), describing this location as endlessly vast, a 'fiery lake,' dry and waterless, an abyss and an 'outer darkness.' Jesus references the prophet Isaiah numerous times describing it as a place where...

"Their worm will not die
And their fire will not be quenched;
And they will be an object of contempt to all mankind.” (Isaiah 66:24, Mark 9:43-48).

The same verse in Isaiah 66 calls the inhabitants 'corpses' even though 'death' itself joins Hades in Gehenna and is effectively eliminated, making 'escape' through death impossible. It is likely that the entire mythology of the 'undead' that is currently popular in the non-Christian world originates here in Biblical imagery of the future eternal hell. 

Apparently it is a place where men forever exist in a state viewed by GOD as 'dead' by comparison to the inhabitants of the third heaven, yet they remain awake and aware of their situation. Isaiah 66:24 even directly implies that the righteous will 'go out to visit them' and be periodically reminded of the eternal price of disobedience to GOD. 

This characterization as an 'outer darkness' along with all other descriptions inescapably brings to mind what modern people call 'space,' which is also a place where decay cannot occur because no air exists there. Thus, 'the [decay] worm never dies.' That is quite creepy, but also fits with the modern fixation on 'exploring space' and describing it as a 'future home' for humans along with the arrogance of erroneously seeing oneself 'above' or even 'beyond' GOD while doing it.

I should also point out that both the current 'third heaven' and the current earth will be destroyed and replaced because of their connections with evil, and the 'new heaven and earth' will be one shared domain. That would technically, mean that a 'fourth heaven' is being mentioned in scripture along with a 'second earth.'

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