Please consider the following edifying conversation I had with a fellow brother in Christ which may help shed some Scriptural light on that question whilst explaining other related details too for edification.
Dear Brother in Christ, thank-you for reading the articles too.
The topics you ask are rarely elaborated in the Canonized Scriptures which I focus much. A hint of the Nephilim is given in Genesis which may be understood further from the non-canonized Book of Enoch.
Regarding non-canonized books or the Apocrypha, I stand in the middle with an open mind.
I tend not to go out of the Canonized Scriptures to teach doctrine so that I don’t get accused for deviating. I would sometimes speak of such things as an Opinion but not as Doctrine simply because of its non Canonized source though one day (in heaven), we may realize that these Writings were true as well.
Because of this, I don’t write on such topics being a little uninformed too on the details which arise from such un-cannonized source.
Basically in the Book of Enoch, the spirit of the Nephilims and all that were bound to the earth to destroy men without incurring Judgment till The Great Day toward men who seek them or evil.
Regarding Sheol, I believe that it contains the two major regions of the Blessed vs Damned. The Region of the Blessed may further have places in it such as Paradise or Abraham’s Bossom or the land of the living while the regions of the damned include Gehenna, The Outer Darkness, the Waterless pit or the deeper part as Tartarus.
So these may depict different places of punishment according to whether one is punished with few/many stripes (Luke 12:47 – 48).
So, when Hades or Sheol is quoted in Scripture, it can refer to the entire abode of the dead or it can refer to specifically the “Hell” regions which classifies any “punishment regions only for simplicity in reference”. This can be determined by context of Scripture. For example, if prophet Samuel was aroused from Sheol I believe that he came from the blessed regions of Sheol though his spirit arose from down under probably because of wandering or that special request of the medium which might have caused him to descend into Sheol first before rising up and scolding king Saul for it. The Bible doesn’t say that it was not the spirit of prophet Samuel.
The fact that the righteous occupy the blessed abodes of Sheol or Hades is seen in that Abraham was already with Lazarus in a comforting place before Christ while on the Cross Christ told the thief that he will be in Paradise proving that Paradise already existed and must have the righteous in it. Apart from that Moses and Elijah did appear during the transfiguration of Christ proving that they must have come from Blessed Regions too.
At the same time, the rich man in Hades must be understood to be in the Hell or punishment regions of Sheol as he is suffering .
So Christ’s Atonement on His Cross for the Righteous brings Full Reconciliation and the Removal of sins as the righteous before Christ’s Advent just remain in those Blessed Regions but their sins and full glorification is not yet. The Resurrection in the Body (later when it happens to the spirit given a spiritual body, 1 Corinthians 15:44) is later.
I believe that the souls of the righteous go into these Blessed regions of Hades such as Paradise or Abraham’s Bossom upon Death and the Resurrection of the Dead refers to their “spirit” given a “spiritual body” being glorified later at its own Appointed Times (1 Corinthians 15:44) as His Kingdom comes, for example the first Resurrection in Revelation 20.
Similarly for the wicked, upon Death, their souls go to Gehenna regions of Hades for their punishment and Destruction first (Matthew 10:28).
Their bodies which rot on earth would later be the carcass in Gehenna or the afterlife burning areas too where upon their reconciliation too (after His Spirit is poured upon “all flesh” or “all men” as He Promised during those Last Days, Acts 2:17, Joel 2:28) —> after All men are Saved because His Pouring of His Spirit causes one (including the Wicked too) to confess ‘Jesus is Lord’ in Truth, 1 Corinthians 12:3, Philippians 2:11, causing a swearing of Allegiance to Him eventually by doing so, Isaiah 45:23 which causes the imputing of the Righteousness of God toward them too as part of the ALL as Prophesied in Romans 3:22 by Christ’s Faith without our righteousness or role at all as mentioned in Romans 3:21 too —-> causes the formerly wicked and righteous by that time being SAVED as Prophesied that ALL MEN are SAVED eventually by then (i. e. by the end the next age, Daniel 12:2, Matthew 18:8, Matthew 12:32, please note that Christ can SAVE them anytime in between as He Wills, e. g. 1 Peter 4:6 in that the ‘spirit will live to God eventually’ as the end result of afterlife Judgment for the wicked as mentioned in 1 Peter 4:5 first since the righteous don’t go into afterlife Judgments, John 5:24) —–> only then we understand that this Verse in Isaiah 66:24 which refers to “all flesh” or “all men” after they are Saved (1 Timothy 2:4 – KJV) because they worship God together by then (Isaiah 66:23) which refers to a Time post ending of Revelation as the New Heavens and the New Earth remains by then (Isaiah 66:22) as consecutive verses (context reveals) -> we see that “all men” or “all mankind” being SAVED by Lord Jesus Christ by that time (John 12:32) Worship the LORD together (Isaiah 66:23) into the New Heavens and Earth too (Isaiah 66:22) as they must have all swore allegiance to Him by then in Truth (Isaiah 45:23, Philippians 2:11) by His Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3) obtaining His Righteousness (Isaiah 45:24, Romans 3:22) to enter and be in the Kingdom of the Heavens (Matthew 5:19) —-> so their “corpses” or “carcass” (i. e. the “lifeless” bodies in which some of them were punished in the age-during fire prior) will be an abhorrence to ALL Flesh or ALL men together as Prophesied in Isaiah 66:24 itself. Can you see it?
In other words, ALL Men will loathe these “life-less corpses” of all that remains in that age-during fire which belonged to those who once transgressed against Him as it is Written in Isaiah 66:24 and the Biblical Fact the ALL Men refers to ALL men including the ones who once transgressed Him as well is clearly seen in Principle of Ezekiel 36:31 and Ezekiel 20:43.
Here are these related Verses:
“For, as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making, Are standing before Me, An affirmation of Jehovah! So remain doth your seed and your name.
And it hath been from month to month, And from sabbath to sabbath, Come do ALL FLESH to bow themselves before Me, Said Jehovah.
And they have gone forth, And looked on the CARCASS of the men Who are transgressing against me, For their worm dieth not, And their fire is not quenched, And they have been an abhorrence to ALL FLESH!” (Isaiah 66:22 – 24, YLT)
“Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.” (Ezekiel 36:31, NASB)
“There you will remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for all the evil things that you have done.” (Ezekiel 20:43, NASB)
“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of ALL FLESH: is there any thing too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:37, KJV)
Please note the phrase ALL FLESH in some of the quoted verse and realize that it refers to ALL MEN or ALL MANKIND in these verses and these verses being written in the first context of Israel, clearly refers to ALL Israel too which will includes the ones who ‘once transgressed against Him; who will LOATHE themselves (looking at their past, in principle of Ezekiel 36:31, Ezekiel 20:43) as they look upon their CORPSES too in that age-during fire that is not quenched being together with ALL MEN (Isaiah 66:24) when this Happens (which is AFTER ALL MEN are SAVED since ALL MEN Worship Him together during that TIME as mentioned in Isaiah 66:23 itself) agreeing to the MESSIANIC Prophecy below too in that ALL MEN will REMEMBER and TURN (Repent) toward the LORD too by then & WORSHIP Him together:
“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations will worship before You.” (Psalm 22:27, NASB)
Please note the words ALL, EARTH, REMEMBER, TURN, FAMILIES, NATIONS and WORSHIP in the Prophetic Messianic Verse above to realize this Truth. Can you see it?
How about one who loses ‘his soul’ and couldn’t keep it alive (Mark 8:36)? Yes even that person who lost his soul (in Hell, Matthew 10:28) and couldn’t keep it alive will ALSO be SAVED being a part of the ALL MEN as the MESSIANIC Prophecy below states too in ‘consecutive verses’ (context, highlighting this):
“All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship,
All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.” (Psalm 22:29, NASB)
Please note the phrase “Even he who cannot keep his soul alive” (Psalm 22:29, NASB) as HIS ANSWER to the lost souls in Hell (Matthew 10:28) as He asked in Mark 8:36. Please also note the word ALL, EARTH and even the phrase “ALL those who go down to the dust” (Psalm 22:29, NASB) which refers to ALL MEN, right? Isn’t it IRREFUTABLE now due to CHRIST’s Intervention to SAVE ALL MEN as per the Messianic Prophecy in these VERSES?
Can you see it too?
Regarding backsliding believers, they go into afterlife punishment as mentioned in Luke 12:46 together with unbelievers where these are punished according to their level of sin (Luke 12:47 – 48) till the last penny only (Luke 12:59). After which, they must be Reconciled by Christ as their ‘spirits will live to God’ post Judgment returning to Him (1 Peter 4:6). The spirit given a Resurrection for a spiritual body thereafter (1 Corinthians 15:44) is a HOPE for the wicked too (Acts 24:15, 1 Corinthians 15:21) who are part of the ALL who die in Adam who are also part of the ALL who will be MADE ALIVE by CHRIST (1 Corinthians 15:22) in this Way as apostle Paul skips detailing the Judgment part and explains the details toward this END that ALL MEN will be SAVED instead (1 Timothy 4:10).
Baptisms (both of water and of the Holy Spirit) of a believer relate to being Saved in this life itself where the Renewal and Regeneration begins for us in this life itself (Titus 3:5).
The Baptism in the Water of Life for those who thirst (e. g. Post-Judgment from the Lake of Fire) after the Last Baptism in the Lake of Fire itself (i. e. the Baptism of Fire, Matthew 3:11) will apply to the rest in the afterlife causing them to be “born again” (John 3:3) which is Promised to ALL Creation too (Romans 8:22) in that these too will be set free into the liberty of being the children of God too (Romans 8:20 – 21) as He Who Sits on the Throne Majestically Declares that He Will Make All (Creation, Definition: Colossians 1:16) New Again (Revelation 21:5) as He Promised (Colossians 1:20, Ecclesiastes 3:11).
The Spirit and the Bride (Church, Believers) call out to the “thirsty” to drink of the Water of Life Freely (Revelation 22:17, Revelation 21:5 – 6) meaning that these “thirsty ones” cannot be believers since believers thirst no more in the afterlife (John 4:13 – 14) and hence must be those from the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21: ,8) where this Reconciliation Part is Beautifully put in Holy Scripture as it is Written too (in Revelation 22:17).
Yes, His “Strange” Work of Saving in His Wrath (because it is strange indeed to Save in Wrath) is echoed in Isaiah 28:21 too which cancels Hell & Death (Isaiah 28:18 – KJV) in the “overflowing scourge” (or the Lake of Fire, Isaiah 28:2, Isaiah 29:6) where God RANSOMS from HELL and REDEEMS from DEATH in His Anger (i. e. His Strange Work of Saving in His Anger) as it is mentioned in Hosea 13:14 too with a special focus or highlight on Ephraim (Isaiah 28:1, 3, 15, 18, Hosea 13:12) which He Determines likewise an END or Consumption upon the WHOLE EARTH too (Isaiah 28:22, 1 Corinthians 15:55) in the context of the Resurrection of the Dead (1 Corinthians 15:21) toward ALL Men made ALIVE in CHRIST (1 Corinthians 15:22).
This agrees with His Strange Work in His Wrath (Isaiah 28:21, Zephaniah 3:8) on that DAY to SAVE all upon whom ALL His BURNING Anger is Poured as it is Clearly Written in the next verse (context) where the END Result is SALVATION as it is described Beautifully in Zephaniah 3:9. Here it is (His STRANGE Work to SAVE in His WRATH):
“Therefore WAIT for Me,” declares the LORD,
“For the DAY when I Rise up as a Witness.
Indeed, My decision is to gather NATIONS
To assemble KINGDOMS
To pour out on THEM My indignation,
ALL My BURNING ANGER;
For ALL the EARTH will be devoured
By the FIRE of My zeal.
“For then I will give to the peoples PURIFIED lips,
That ALL of THEM may call on the Name of the LORD,
To SERVE Him shoulder to shoulder.” (Zephaniah 3:8 – 9, NASB)
No wonder we were warned in Scripture (in James 1:20) that we CANNOT understand God’s RIGHTEOUS Anger using a ‘human perspective on it’ because even HIS ANGER Produces the END Result of SALVATION (Strange Indeed as echoed in Isaiah 28:21).
Truly His Ways are “Higher”:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8 – 9, NASB)
Being born of the “spirit” (John 3:6) applies to ALL men too as each will confess Allegiance to God eventually (Isaiah 45:23) by HIS SPIRIT only (1 Corinthians 12:3) as God doesn’t accept nor oaths fake things to Himself. Indeed, it is Written that the Beautiful Confession that Jesus is Lord brings Glory to God the Father each time (Philippians 2:11) because it SAVES that person who does it eventually (Romans 10:13) even if it’s done in the afterlife or spirit realm itself as Deliverance Comes from HIM from Mount Zion itself (as Prophesied in Joel 2:32 regarding this Truth) and it even applies to one who has been Poured upon “ALL His Burning Anger” too in afterlife Judgment first (Zephaniah 3:8) as the SAME ones END up “calling on the Name of the LORD” & become SAVED as evidenced by the phrase “To serve Him shoulder to shoulder.” (in Zephaniah 3:9, NASB) in the end.
Isn’t it Beautifully clear in Holy Scripture?
Blessed be the Savior of the World!
Peace to you!
P/S: Do we really have the Fear of God?
Most Christians think that the “fear of God” which is based on “eternal Hell” or “annihilation” is Biblical. Please consider this simple buy yet Scriptural rebuttal with a little bit of history too:
Firstly, here are the verses:
“But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of MEN.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 15:9, KJV)
“Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their FEAR toward Me is taught by the PRECEPT of MEN:” (Isaiah 29:13, KJV)
Please note carefully that God is NOT impressed by our Worship (which becomes VAIN as Christ points out in Matthew 15:9) when we obey the doctrines of MEN by quoting an Old Testament Verse in Isaiah 29:13 as quoted above.
If we look closely at Isaiah 29:13, we realize that this DOCTRINE of MEN among other things has PRIMARILY to do with a certain type of FEAR of God in such doctrine/commandment of MEN regarding which God does NOT like at all.
Which FEAR of God is it?
To Decipher this, let’s do a simple history check as follows with Josephus (every Christian scholar’s favourite Jewish historian who lived about the time of Christ, right?). Please consider ‘wisely’:
There were three Major Jewish Sects during the Time of Christ (and since Christ Quotes Isaiah 29:13 in Principle in Matthew 15:9 during His LifeTime, the teaching of the FEAR of God by the Jewish sects during this TIME must be WRONG as Isaiah 29:13 explicitly mentions the PRECEPT of MEN built upon a FAKE FEAR of GOD – can you see it?), you will, with these facts:
Josephus quotes in (Flavius Josephus – The Judean (Jewish) Antiquities Book 18, Niese Section 14) regarding the doctrine of the Pharisees who believed that the wicked are held in an ‘everlasting prison‘ (eirgmon aidion) as follows:
(14). They also believe that souls have an immortal rigor in them, and that under the earth there will be rewards or punishments, according as they have lived virtuously or viciously in this life; and the latter are to be detained in an everlasting prison, but that the former shall have power to revive and live again; (Translation of Rev. WIlliam Whiston)
Josephus quotes in (Flavius Josephus – The Judean (Jewish) Wars Book 2, Chapter 8, Whiston – Section 14 while Niese section 162 &163) regarding the doctrine of the Pharisees who believed that the wicked will be punished with ‘eternal punishment‘ (aidios timoria) as follows:
(162). But then as to the two other orders at first mentioned, the Pharisees are those who are esteemed most skillful in the exact explication of their laws, and introduce the first sect. These ascribe all to fate [or providence], and to God,
(163). and yet allow, that to act what is right, or the contrary, is principally in the power of men, although fate does co-operate in every action. They say that all souls are incorruptible, but that the souls of good men only are removed into other bodies, – but that the souls of bad men are subject to eternal punishment. (Rev. William Whiston)
Regarding the doctrine of the third mainstream sect of the Jews, (namely the Sadducees), it is clearly seen that they held on to some form of ‘conditional immortality’ or ‘annihilation’ as even Scripture records in the Bible as follows:
“For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.” (Acts 23:8)
Josephus quotes in (Flavius Josephus – The Judean (Jewish) Wars Book 2, Chapter 8, Whiston – Section 11 while Niese section 155) regarding the doctrine of the Essenes who believed that the wicked will be punished with ‘never – ceasing punishment‘ (timoria adialeipton)
(155). but that when they are set free from the bonds of the flesh, they then, as released from a long bondage, rejoice and mount upward. And this is like the opinions of the Greeks, that good souls have their habitations beyond the ocean, in a region that is neither oppressed with storms of rain or snow, or with intense heat, but that this place is such as is refreshed by the gentle breathing of a west wind, that is perpetually blowing from the ocean; while they allot to bad souls a dark and tempestuous den, full of never-ceasing punishments. (Rev. William Whiston)
Josephus quotes in (Flavius Josephus – The Judean (Jewish) Wars Book 2, Chapter 8, Whiston – Section 11 while Niese section 157 & 158) regarding the doctrine of the Essenes who believed that the wicked will suffer ‘immortal punishment‘ (athanaton timorian) after death:
(157). whereby good men are bettered in the conduct of their life by the hope they have of reward after their death; and whereby the vehement inclinations of bad men to vice are restrained, by the fear and expectation they are in, that although they should lie concealed in this life, they should suffer immortal punishment after their death.
(158). These are the Divine doctrines of the Essenes about the soul, which lay an unavoidable bait for such as have once had a taste of their philosophy. (Rev. William Whiston)
Here is a Challenge to any Eternal Hell Theologian or Professor:
Can you PROVE likewise that the ‘Fear of God’ based on ‘Universal Reconciliation in Christ’ is what is referred to as the precept of men as mentioned in Isaiah 29:13 with the timeline tied up to Christ as Matthew 15:9 clearly implies?
You can’t because there was NO such Doctrine or equivalent among the Jews at that time and hence it CANNOT be PROVEN. Can you see it?
I would quote below the excellent write-up on ‘aionion kolasin’ by Rev. Dr John Wesley Hanson (from his book Aion-Aionous):
Those Jews who were contemporary with Christ, but who wrote in Greek, will teach us how they understood the word. Of course when Jesus used it, he employed it as they understood it.
Josephus applies the word to the imprisonment to which John the tyrant was condemned by the Romans; to the reputation of Herod; to the everlasting memorial erected in re-building the temple, already destroyed, when he wrote; to the everlasting worship in the temple which, in the same sentence he says was destroyed; and he styles the time between the promulgation of the law and his writing a long aión.
To accuse him of attaching any other meaning than that of indefinite duration to the word, is to accuse him of stultifying himself. But when he writes to describe endless duration he employs other, and less equivocal terms.
Alluding to the Pharisees, he says:
“They believe that the wicked are detained in an everlasting prison [eirgmon aidion] subject to eternal punishment” [aidios timoria]; and the Essenes [another Jewish sect] “allotted to bad souls a dark, tempestuous place, full of never-ceasing punishment [timoria adialeipton], where they suffer a deathless punishment, [athanaton timorian].”
It is true he sometimes applies aiónion to punishment, but this is not his usual custom, and he seems to have done this as one might use the word great to denote eternal duration, that is an indefinite term to describe infinity. But aidion and athanaton are his favorite terms. These are unequivocal. Were only aiónion used to define the Jewish idea of the duration of future punishment, we should have no proof that it was supposed to be endless.
Philo, who was contemporary with Christ, generally usedaidion to denote endless, and always used aiónion to describe temporary duration. Dr. Mangey, in his edition of Philo, says he never used aiónion to interminable duration. He uses the exact phraseology of Matthew, xxv:46, precisely as Christ used it. “It is better not to promise than not to give prompt assistance, for no blame follows in the former case, but in the latter there is dissatisfaction from the weaker class, and a deep hatred and everlasting punishment [kolasis aiónios] from such as are more powerful.” Here we have the exact terms employed by out Lord, to show that aiónion did not mean endless but did mean limited duration in the time of Christ.
Philo always uses athanaton, ateleuteton or aidion to denote endless, and aiónion for temporary duration.
Here is are some brief Write ups regarding this:
“For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, I will bring the discernment of the discerning to nothing.” (1 Corinthians 1:19, WEB)
“for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 21:15, NASB)
Here is a post regarding misinterpreting Hell in light of God’s Mercy (yes, HOPE remains regardless in CHRIST):
Blessed be the Saviour of the World!