[Luke 16: 22 -26]
Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. “And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In the last session, I explained about the punishments that children receive when they die without receiving salvation and go to the Lower Grave.
Little children commit relatively fewer sins, so they receive relatively lighter punishments than the adults.
Nevertheless, it is not easy for the children to bear the pains of the punishments, though the punishments are lighter.
We can imagine how painful the punishments would be for adults when we hear about the punishments for the children.
Mature adults commit a relatively greater number of sins than children do.
They live for a longer period of time, get stained by sins and evil more, and accrue more sins.
Therefore, according to the Law of Justice, they receive much harsher punishments than the children.
The more grave sins one commits, the heavier the punishment he will get.
It is according to the spiritual law that says, “whatever a man sows, this he will also reap,” in Galatians 6:7.
Jesus said in John 5:29, “…those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”
As He said, those who committed the evil will be punished and go to Hell when their lives are over.
Also, Isaiah 3:11 says, “Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him, for what he deserves will be done to him.”
So, in the same Lower Grave, people receive different kinds of punishments according to the gravity of their sins.
When adults die and go to the Lower Grave, they will receive four different kinds of punishments in general.
Those who are saved and go to Heaven will go into Paradise, the 1st kingdom, 2nd kingdom, 3rd kingdom, or New Jerusalem according to the holiness and faithfulness they achieved.
On the contrary, those who are not saved will receive the 1st level, 2nd level, 3rd level, or 4th level of punishments in the Lower Grave according to the magnitude of their sins.
From today, I will explain to you about these four different levels of punishments.
I urge you to make up your mind once again while listening to the message.
If you are, by any chance, still dwelling in sins, I urge you to turn back and dwell in the truth.
If you have been sanctifying your heart being faithful, I urge you to hate evil even more to cast away all forms of evil and dwell in the truth more completely.
In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that you may advance into a better heavenly dwelling place and receive more rewards.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the punishments in the Lower Grave are categorized into four levels according to the magnitude of the pain.
The pain becomes greater as you go from the 1st level to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th levels.
Also, in the same level, there are different kinds of punishments.
They receive punishments according to what they have sown and how they’ve acted, and the intensity of the pain is all different.
According to the spiritual law by which we reap what we sow, each one will pay for the price of his sin without the slightest error.
Those who have committed relatively lighter sins will receive the punishments of 1st or 2nd level.
For example, there are some people who are considered gentle and nice in their life, but died without accepting Jesus Christ.
In these cases, they will be given a chance of judgment of conscience by the mercy of God, so they can be saved by their conscience.
But if they do not pass this judgment of conscience, they cannot be saved.
Such souls will receive those relatively lighter punishments.
But then, why can’t they receive salvation, even though they lived somewhat ‘good’ life?
Even though they are considered as ‘good’ persons in the world, it is only goodness in the sight of men.
Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” And also, Proverbs 16:2 says, “All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives.”
If we scrutinize the thoughts and acts of men in the viewpoint of God, who is goodness, love, and truth itself, there are many evil and untruthful things.
Especially, now is very near to the end of time, and as the world grows darker, there are many spiritually blind people.
They do not really discern between the good and evil, and truth and untruth.
Even among the believers, there are some who do not understand the truth and live in darkness just like secular people. So, in the end they will not receive salvation.
Just as in Matthew 7:21 they call ‘Lord, Lord,’ but do not live by the will of God.
Those who say they believe in the Lord but do not receive salvation because they live in darkness will receive even greater punishments than those who never heard the gospel.
It’s because the sin is greater when they know the will of God but do not follow it.
Jesus clearly said in Luke 12:47-48 “And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few.”
Brothers and sisters, those who committed grave sins will receive the punishments of the 3rd or 4th level.
As examples, they are those who stood against God, those whose consciences become seared as with hot iron, and those who disrupted the kingdom of God by blaspheming and interrupting the works of the Holy Spirit.
A biblical figure of such an example is Saul. He receives the 3rd level of punishment.
Also, Judas Iscariot who sold out His master Jesus is receiving the harshest of punishments even in the 4th level.
Now let me talk about the four levels of punishment in detail.
The 1st level of punishment in the Lower Grave is given through some non-living things such as hot rocks and sand, boiling water, or ice.
For example, some souls are standing in the sand that is seven times hotter than desert sand of this earth.
Even in Korea, which is located at the temperate latitudes, it’s not easy to walk on sand with bear feet when it is heated by sunshine in hot summer.
The sand in the desert in tropical areas is way hotter than this.
And the sand in the Lower Grave is seven times hotter than the hottest sand on earth.
Those souls who are standing on this sand jump up and down.
But there is no way for them to escape from the heat by any means.
Because the sand is endless, there is no escape. The heat and pain coming from the feet make the whole body tremble.
Some souls would be laid underneath flat rocks that have been heated to the point where they turn red.
It is similar to meat roasting on a grill.
And this is not all. The rock that is heated up will press the whole body very hard.
As the rock lowers and contacts the body, the sound of the cracking of bones can be heard.
The rib cage cracks and internal organs will burst. The skull cracks and the eyeballs pop out.
In the end these souls are charred like a chunk of meat pressed between hot rocks.
They can’t even faint, and they feel the pain over every inch of the body.
How much more terrible would the pain be if they have to watch the situation in clear consciousness as their bodies are subjected to such a condition?
Furthermore, their bodies will recover as it was initially, and the same punishment would repeat again and again.
They will also think, “How can I avoid these pains?” But they cannot find any way.
Other than this, there are unending noise and sighs of the souls who are in boiling water, or who are lying on cold ice.
These are the punishments in the first level that are relatively light.
The second level punishments in the Lower Grave are inflicted by living things such as insects, birds or animals.
They are bitten by insects or their blood is sucked, or they are bitten, torn, or pecked by the things that have forms of animals or birds.
The Pharaoh who stood against Moses, the man of God, is receiving punishment at this level.
The punishments that he is receiving are relatively harsh ones in the second level. It is close to the pain of punishment in the third level.
In the book of Exodus, in the Old Testament, we find that Moses received the command of God to guide the people of Israel into Canaan.
Moses went to the Pharaoh, king of Egypt and asked him to let the sons of Israel go, but the Pharaoh didn’t allow it.
It was because it’d be great loss for them to let their slaves, the sons of Israel go.
Since the Pharaoh didn’t accept the will of God, the Ten Plagues came upon Egypt.
The Nile turned to blood, and there were the plagues of the frogs, gnats, and flies. There was also pestilence and boils.
The plagues came upon the land, including the plagues of hail and locusts.
Each time, the Pharaoh promised that he would let the Israelites go just to avoid the plague momentarily, but he broke his promise each time.
He persecuted the people of Israel even more.
Finally, all the firstborn of Egypt died. All the firstborns of each household and livestock died, including the first son of the Pharaoh himself.
Only then did the Pharaoh release the people of Israel.
However, he soon changed his mind again and sent his army to chase after the sons of Israel.
At this time, God parted the Red Sea through Moses, and the people of Israel crossed through the Red Sea on foot.
The Army of the Pharaoh, which was following after them, was buried in the Red Sea as the sea water closed up again.
In the Bible, we can see many Gentile kings who acknowledged the fact that God of Israel is the only true God and worshipped Him and humbled themselves before Him.
But the Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, did not change his hardened heart until the end even after he experienced the great power of God more than 10 times.
Because of him, the whole country of Egypt became desolate, and he himself lost his first son.
His army was totally destroyed, too.
Today also, many people harden their hearts and do not accept the Lord when they hear about the power of God.
Even when they see, hear, and expedience the power of God firsthand, they don’t turn away from sins.
If they do not repent, but stand against God until the end, they cannot avoid various kinds of plagues that come upon their families, workplaces, etc.
Finally, they will fall into the Lower Grave, just like the Pharaoh, and receive horrible punishments.
Now, what specific kinds of punishments are the Pharaoh receiving in the Lower Grave now?
He is confined in a pool of water that is very filthy and has very foul smell.
Today, we have some very serious water pollution problems. Some water is so foul that skin irritation and disease results just from putting our hands in it.
And the Pharaoh is confined in the water that is even more foul than this water.
Also, his body is bound so tightly that he cannot even look around
In this pool of water there are many other souls whose sins are similar.
Those who were Kings in this world will not be served in Hell.
They will be mocked even more because they used to have honor on this earth, but now they are in this terrible Hell.
It would be much better for them if the water is just dirty. But there are some things that are creeping around in the water.
They look like maggots, but they are many times bigger than just ordinary maggots.
These insect-like things stick to the souls in the pool and begin to eat the soft tissues of the body like the eyes.
After they eat the eyes, they go into the brain and eat up the brain too.
Soon, they begin to eat from the top of the head to the end of the toes little by little.
They go inside the skin to eat up the nerves, and they go into the intestines to eat all the entrails.
They have sharp teeth, and they can even eat the bones and they even suck the marrow.
They nibble on the whole body as if they are so hungry.
As they begin to nibble the skin and go inside the body to eat the sensitive parts, the pain is just unbearable.
I think you can understand this kind of pain a little bit if you have received dental treatment digging out the nerve in the decayed tooth.
The peripheral nerves are so sensitive that you feel great pain just by minimal pressure on them.
How painful it would be if insects with sharp teeth gnaw the nerves all over the body!
You will feel so horrified just by seeing these insects creeping and moving around in your body.
When people or animals have some serious skin troubles, they may have discharges and blood flowing down on the sores and maggots live on the sores.
Especially, some ladies will be so horrified just by seeing a bunch of maggots wriggling.
You really hate to even see them not to mention touch them.
And including the Pharaoh, those who are confined in this pool cannot even move even when these insects nibble their whole body.
The bodies of these souls are eaten up by the insects so that they will not even have the shapes.
But is this the end of the pain? Of course not!
They could only wish for this.
As the whole body is eaten up and they think it is the end, the parts that are eaten up will be recovered.
Then, the insects will begin to eat from the soft parts again; the eyes and into the core of the body to eat up the nerves and the whole body again.
This pain will continue until they are put into the lake of fire of Hell after the judgment.
Also, the punishments given through the animals are really gruesome. These animals tear and eat the people.
On this earth, sometimes people are attacked or eaten by lions, tigers, or bears.
These animals are much stronger than men, and they break the bones and eat the flesh with sharp teeth and claws.
Even before the prey stops breathing, they take off the flesh and intestines and eat up the whole prey even with the bones.
In Hell, they have to feel all these pains with clear consciousness. So how horrible this is!
Also, even on this earth, if we are bitten by venomous snakes, scorpions or poisonous spiders, then the situation is fatal.
The venom spreads through the body. The whole body will swell, and the person will suffer from high fever and pain and die in pain.
The punishments of the second level are somewhat similar to this; people are tortured by horrible looking living creatures.
In the third level in the Lower Grave, the punishments are given by the messengers of hell themselves.
I will talk about these in the next session.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in Isaiah 43:24, God reminds the people of Israel of their disobedience and sins against Him in detail.
It says, “You have bought Me not sweet cane with money, nor have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices; rather you have burdened Me with your sins, you have wearied Me with your iniquities.”
So, it seems that God will proclaim the punishments that will come as a consequence of those sins.
But, in the following verse 25, God says the following:
“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
What do we have to clearly realize through this verse?
We have to understand the reason why God proclaims the message about Hell.
The reason why God tells us clearly about Hell and proclaims sin, righteousness, and judgment, is for forgiveness. It is so that He can forgive us.
It is to let his children turn from sins and come back to God so all their sins and iniquities can be forgiven.
How great a love this is!
Now, do not love the world, the things of the world, or the things of sin and darkness, but love this God alone.
I urge you to revere God.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you may come forth as true children of God in New Jerusalem, able to comfort the heart of God the Father who has worked for us beyond measure with the burden of our sins.