“Sheol” Does Not Merely Refer To The “Grave”

by David J. Stewart | October 2015

Psalms 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”

       Our text verse from Psalms 9:17 PROVES that the term “hell” in the Old Testament cannot merely refer to the “grave.” In the Old Testament, the word “hell” comes from the Hebrew word “Sheol,” which means, “realm of the dead.” When a person dies, they go to the realm of the dead. Many ignorant Bible students and satanic religious cults assume that the word hell only refers to “the grave,” but the Bible proves this assumption to be very wrong.

Consider our text verse: Psalms 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Now if the righteous and the wicked both go to the same place, that is, Sheol, then Psalms 9:17 makes no sense at all. What would be the significance of the Bible warning that “THE WICKED” will be “TURNED INTO HELL,” if that's the same place that the righteous also go??? Clearly, Hell (Sheol) must refer to something much more—someplace awful, a place of misery, torment and punishment for THE WICKED!!! The wicked and the nation's that forget God will be turned into Hell, not the righteous. Japan has forgotten God. Less than .005% (1-in-200) people living in Japan profess to be Christian.

Mormons Deny An Everlasting Burning Hell For The Wicked

When I used to work as a truck mechanic in the late 1980's and early 1990's, one of my bosses (named Church) was a devout Mormon. He knew that I was a born-again Christian and an Independent Fundamental Baptist. Every day I carried a King James Bible (a John R. Rice reference Bible - no longer available) with me under my arm, which I placed on top of my tool box as I worked. We never debated our religious beliefs, but there was a perceivable religious tension between us. Chuck knew I was a diehard sincere Christian, and I knew he was a diehard occult Mormon. There is a world of difference between a born-again Christian and a Mormon.

One day Chuck approached me at work and handed me a piece of paper with a few Scriptures written down on it. He said, “If you'll look up these Scriptures, I'm confident that you'll find the word 'Hell' in the New Testament is the same as the Old Testament word 'Sheol,' which only means “grave.” You see, Mormons don't believe in a literal place called “Hell,” where Christ-rejecters are tormented day-and-night with fire forever.

In the year 1830, a perverted man named Joseph Smith (who was a 33rd degree high-ranking Freemason) founded the satanic religion of Mormonism. Mr. Smith had 27 wives.[1] Mormonism is synonymous with sex-perversion. The abuse in Mormonism is so prevalent, well-reported and documented publicly that Wikipedia even has an article about Mormonism's “Lost Boys” (upwards of 1,000 boys which have been driven from the Mormon community in order to reduce competition for wives amongst polygamous adult men).

Here's what Joseph Smith taught about Hell, denying its existence:

“In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is no hell. All will find a measure of salvation; all must pay for any infringement of the law; but the payment will be as the Lord may decide.”

SOURCE: Mormon founder, 33rd degree Freemason, Joseph Smith, Seeker After Truth, p. 178).

Like Seventh-day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons adamantly deny eternal punishment[2] in the Lake of Fire that burneth with fire and brimstone (Revelation 20:6; 21:15). One of the verses Chuck handed to me was Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” He also wrote down Luke 16:19-31 about the rich man and Lazarus, which he insisted was only a fictitious parable.

More Scriptural Evidence That “Sheol” Means More Than Grave

This one passage of Scripture alone from Psalms 9:17 plainly evidences that Hell (Sheol) means much more than just grave. Albeit, there are numerous other Old Testament passages that also evidence this truth.

Hell is described as having sides, in a pit. ...

Isaiah 14:15, “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

The following Scripture wouldn't make any sense if Hell were merely death. This Bible verse clearly implies punishment for the wicked. ...

Proverb 9:18, “But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.”

The Bible associates Hell with destruction. ...

Proverb 15:11, “Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?”

I believe the Bible teaches Hell is compartmentalized (the place of Torment on one side, and Paradise on the other). The New Testament equivalent for Sheol is the Greek word, “Hades.” In Luke 16:19-31, the rich man and Lazarus both went to Hades, but the context plainly teaches that there was a great gulf betwixt them. Luke 16:26, “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; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.” The rich man who died in his sins without Christ had a physical body capable of seeing Abraham, talking to Abraham, hearing Abraham, feeling the tormentuous pain of the flames, and having the unquenchable thirst for water (which he was adamantly denied).

Oh, listen to me friend, you don't want to end up in Hell forever. You will have a special body given by God, capable of withstanding the intense flames and torment, with all the senses intact, and you will suffer inexplicably. The good news is that God has provided eternal life free of charge to anyone who wants it. Jesus paid for OUR SINS on the cross, by the sacrifice of Himself and the shedding of His blood, which He sprinkled on the Mercy Seat in Heaven (Hebrews 9:12,24; 12:24). Anyone who acknowledges their guilt of sin (Romans 3:19; Galatians 3:24-26) and believes the Gospel (1st Corinthians 15:1-4; Mark 1:15; Romans 1:16) is immediately and forever saved (Romans 10:13). The choice is yours alone to make. Please don't put getting saved off until tomorrow, because the Holy Spirit may never convict you again about your sinful lost condition and you may end up in the Lake of Fire for ever and ever, without hope.

It is obvious that the following Scriptures refer to Hell as a place of punishment. ...

Proverb 15:24, “The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.”
Proverb 23:14, “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”

The Holy Bible warns about the LOWEST HELL, that is, the hottest parts of Hell for the most wicked. ...

Deuteronomy 32:22, “For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.”

And once again, our text verse from Psalms 9:17, which warns that God will turn the wicked, and those nations who forget Him, into Hell. ...

Psalms 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”

God is not the Teddy Bear, Santa Claus, Old Man Time, that this wicked world often portrays Him as. The Bible warns that God will rip the wicked into pieces. I'm not sure if God means literally or figuratively, but I sure wouldn't want to find out. ...

Psalms 50:22, “Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.”

The Bible warns that all who refuse to obey (believe) the Gospel will be cast into the Lake of Fire, and then God will take vengeance upon them with flaming fire for ever. ...

2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.”

Why go to Hell and pay for your own sins, when you can receive the gift of eternal life for free, simply by believing on Jesus Christ as your personal Savior—trusting that He died on the cross in your place, and took your sins upon Himself, paying your sin debt and mine—Christ was buried, and three days later He miraculously was bodily resurrected. This is the Gospel truth! Believe it and the work is done! John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

Here is one of my favorite Bible passages, which I also believe wholeheartedly along with Martha. ...

John 11:24-27, “ Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”

Whosoever is born-again, by believing upon the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, is saved. Once we get saved, God's Holy Spirit (which is the Spirit of Christ) comes to indwell us, and we can never die again spiritually. We are born into the world spiritually dead as sinners (Ephesians 2:1-2), which is why we must be born a second time by the Holy Spirit of God. So if you're born once, you die twice; but if you're born twice, you die once. Amen. In other words, if you're born physically, but not spiritually in Christ, then you will die both a physical death (Romans 6:23) and a second death in Hell forever (Revelation 20:6). Ah, but if you're born both physically and you've received Christ as your Savior to be born again (John 1:12-13), then you will only die the physical death, but will go to Heaven to be with the Lord for ever (2nd Corinthians 5:7-9).

Why Bet Against The Odds? Don't Risk Going To Hell Forever!

If you don't believe in a literal place called “Hell,” are you willing to risk your eternal fate on the possibility that you might be wrong? I mean, if there's no God and the Bible is bunk, then you have nothing to fear. If the Jehovah's Witnesses, Buddhists, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, Christian Science and hundreds of others false religions—who all deny the existence of a fiery Hell and being tormented in eternal punishment—then you have nothing to fear. But now consider this: If the King James Bible is God's inspired Words, and they are all true as the Bible proclaims they are, THEN YOU ARE IN GREAT DANGER friend.

So, statistically, going by probabilities alone, you cannot go wrong by obeying the Holy Bible. If you obey the Bible, but find out later that the Bible wasn't true, then you'll just be annihilated and unconscious (as taught by the Jehovah's Witnesses, Buddhists, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, Christian Science, atheists ,et cetera). However, if you do not obey the Holy Bible, and the Bible is indeed God's unalterable eternal Words, then you will burn in the horrifying fires and torments of the Lake of Fire for ever and ever. You've got nothing to lose by believing the Gospel.

I am so sad when I think about celebrities who adamantly reject Jesus as the Messiah. Hollywood is predominantly Jewish, and they all reject Christ with few exceptions, like Cecil B. Demille. Gene Wilder, who starred as the legendary Willie Wonka, is a Christ-rejecting Jew. Tragically, Gene Roddenberry, creator of the 1960's Star Trek series, died in his sins without Jesus Christ and went to Hell. Also, Star Trek actor, Leonard Nimoy (who played the role of Spock), died in his false Jewish religion went to Hell. And also, William Shatner (who starred in the role as Captain Kirk in Star Trek) openly rejects Christ, expressing his atheist views. It is heartbreaking that these men, who have impacted hundreds-of-millions of people's lives with their works, reject Jesus Christ. 2nd Timothy 2:13, “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.”

Psalms 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” The Word of God warns that THE WICKED (those who reject the Son of God) will be TURNED INTO HELL. What does “turned into Hell” mean? I believe that it means this: When someone dies, their spirit returns unto God the Father. Ecclesiastes 12:7, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” This puts us into God's hands. Hebrews 10:31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” If you're saved, angels will greet you at death and escort you home to Heaven (Luke 16:22). If you're not saved, then you die lonely and God turns you into Hell. Luke 16:22-23, “...the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”

Although I would not debate the issue, I believe that Old Testament saints went to the Paradise side of Hades. This is not purgatory, which is a heresy of Roman Catholicism. When Christ died on the cross, He descended into Hell (Hades) to Paradise, to bring the saints to Heaven. I have done an in-depth Bible study on this subject, which I think you will find helpful and interesting. Look at the evidence and you decide what you think is true. I did, and I am convinced that the Old Testament saints went to Hades, but now are in Heaven. When unsaved people die today, they still go to the Torment side of Hades (Hell), awaiting the Great White Throne Of Judgment, when Hell shall give up her dead, who will then be sentenced and cast into the Lake of Fire and brimstone with the Devil for ever (Revelation 20:11-15).

If you don't get anything else out of this brief Bible study, please make sure that you are not amongst THE WICKED who will be turned into Hell. Psalms 7:11 says that “God is ANGRY with THE WICKED every day.” John the Baptist warned in John 3:36 that whosoever rejects the Son of God, “the WRATH OF GOD abideth upon him.” Satan wants to take everyone to Hell with him (2nd Corinthians 4:4). So the Devil provides plenty of false options, decoys and substitutes for the simple Gospel, intentionally misleading people, so that they will pass over the strait gate and the narrow way (Matthew 7:13-15), which is “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4). END

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised)” —Hebrews 10:23

“Nobody can love God who doesn't love sinners!”
(a quote by Dr. Jack Hyles classic MP3 sermon, “The Happiest Man” (happiest is the man who will not impute sin to others!)


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