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Session (1 of 4) Hell

Shane Willard

Page 3 of 10
The second time was, He had His disciples at a place called Caesarea Philippi, headquarters to the goat god Pan. They had built a temple to the goat god Pan on top of this mountain, on top of this like rock. It cracked - the weight of the temple cracked the rock, and it went all the way down. It made a hole where the rock and the road met, and then it cracked the road. 24hrs/day, 7 day/week, there was steam coming out of this hole, and they called it ‘the entrance and exit to Hades’.

So Pan was a goat god, and he received worship through people being intimate with goats. So 24/7, there were people on the street, around this mountain, being intimate with goats, in order to keep the goat god Pan from opening up the gates of Hades and swallowing them into it. They didn't want to go there, so they would do this all the time.

Jesus took this group of people there - and He has to refocus His guys. I mean you can imagine that? He takes them into a city where everybody's being intimate with goats, and He says: hey Peter, who do you say that I am? Peter says: You're the Christ, the Son of the living God. He says: that's right, and upon this rock we can build a church, and not even the gates of Hades will prevail against it.

He's standing over the gates of hell saying: this doesn't have any power. Everybody around here was being intimate with goats to keep this thing from swallowing you up; but now it’s: I am in charge - you don't have to do that anymore.

3) The third time He used the word ‘hell’ was, there was a rich man who overlooked a poor man - and that guy went to hell, Hades.

There’s only three times Jesus used it, and we're going to talk about the rich man and Lazarus, and what it meant Hebraically; because when it's the only time that Jesus uses the word Hades, in terms of somebody going there, we might need to know what it meant - that's pretty important.

So out of 18 times Jesus only says ‘Hades’ 3x; the other 15x was all ‘Gehenna’, ‘Gehenna’.

Gehenna was an actually place in Jerusalem, and the origins of Gehenna comes from 2 Chronicles 28:3. Let me give you some history there…

There's this evil king that takes over the place; and he says: we're going to start sacrificing children in the fires of Gehenna. Gehenna just means the ‘valley of Hinnom’, so we'll just call it Gehenna because it's easier to say.

2 Chronicles 28:3 – “He burned incense in the valley of the Sons of Hinnom, Gehenna, and burned his sons in fire, according to the abominations of the nations who Jehovah has cast out before the sons of Israel”.

So there's this evil king, and he instituted child sacrifices, in a place called Gehenna. I think (if memory serves) you had to sacrifice your first born son at the age of 10; so the picture is: you've got very reluctant 10 year olds, being dragged behind their father, to be thrown into fire, in a place called Gehenna. Now this goes on for years and years and years and years and years - it becomes a way of life, until somebody steps in and stops it.

In 2 Kings 23:10, there was a king named Josiah; and Josiah steps in and he stops all the child sacrifices. Now why does he do that? Because he was eight!

So he becomes king when he's eight, and this isn't going to work out too well for him… So what he does is, he has the sages search the annals, and he finds out that they actually come from a lineage of people who believed in a God called Jehovah, who wrote a book called Leviticus to teach them how to live.