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Psalm 36 (Part 1)

An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes when he finds out his iniquity and when he hates.

The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; He has ceased to be wise and to do good. He devises wickedness on his bed; He sets himself in a way that is not good; He does not abhor evil.

There are four words used in the scriptures for the concept of the abode or state of the dead as it concerns separation from God.

The English word Hell appears 53 times in the King James Bible. The dictionary defines Hell oddly enough as “the abode or the state of the dead.”

The first of the words for Hell is the transliterated word Sheol which comes from a Hebrew word meaning “the world or place of the dead.” This word is non-committal of the state of the dead whether in peace or in torment. It is the only word used in the OT and its usage as concerns whether it is speaking of the place of peace or torment must be identified through the immediate context.

Hades is an English transliteration of a Greek proper name, one of the names of the mythological god Pluto: the supposed god of the nether world. The Roman equivalent is Orcus. It also signifies the place or locale of the underworld.

Tartaros is the third word. It is also a transliteration of a Greek word which means to incarcerate in eternal torment — literally to cast into Hell. It only occurs once in the Bible in 2 Peter 2:4: “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to Hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment.”

The final word is Gahenna, a transliteration from a compound Hebrew or Aramaic word that also describes a place: the valley or a gorge of the son of Hinnom (Hinnom is a Jebusite name). This one is found only in the New Testament and is used exclusively by Jesus except for a single usage in James 3:6 (which is the main reason James is thought to be an early letter if not the earliest of the New Testament writings.)

Additionally, punishment for disobeying God is variously described in the Bible as an eternal fire, as eternal destruction, eternal chains and binding, eternal darkness. Whereas the reward for doing God’s will is called eternal life, eternal consolation, everlasting life, great rewards, and the glory of God.

The persons mentioned by the psalmist in the first four verses of the 36th Psalm were candidates for Hell.

The psalmist states, “The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; He has ceased to be wise and to do good.” What does it mean to have a mouth full of wickedness and lies?

David said that there was no fear of God before their eyes. When someone does not fear God or his retribution, not a thing can be done to help them in this world or in the next. Such people are not afraid for eternity and do not believe that there is any price to be paid for any thing.

So they proceed without a thought and without fear through each day. The only way that that will ever change is if they should come to understand what sin means (and it means simply to miss the mark or the target) and find out that they are mortal and that they will not leave this world in tiptop condition. They have to come to know that sin will find them out and that (as the Proverb says) “at last it will bite like a serpent and sting like an adder.”

Until they feel the bite or the sting — they will likely continue just exactly as they have. They will flatter themselves that their case is better than it really is, and as long as they continue to do that their iniquity will continue to bear its bitter fruit by the bushel. Part of this flattery is in believing that there is either no God to bring about any retribution or that they will somehow escape from the hand of God and eternal consequences when it seeks to close around them. They hope to be granted impunity.

There are only two types of religions on this earth: that single one whose intent is to serve God, and all the rest which make up the second group, all those whose intent is to serve mankind.

For the most part we (you and I) serve God and his Christ, or you probably would not bother reading this. And if that is true, that means that everyone else we know here or associate with is serving only themselves. That should be alarming to all. It doesn’t seem that way until you examine it closely. But, there are many religious people that seem to be sincere and who state that they serve God, yet when it comes down to examining things they do not follow what God has given on any number of levels or they substitute something else in place of God’s word, his plans, his works, his will. And those who are reprobate are no different, they too flatter themselves that all will work out or will work according to their own notions and will.

All false religions have at the center a single premise. That is that everything revolves around the person. You will be a God one day, you will be brought back to earth after the rapture, you will come back in some other human form, or you will come back as an animal. Perhaps you will roam free as a spirit. The point is that it is centered on YOU. You will be in charge of something or at the top of the A List. It has the person as the hinge point of all things of importance. This is what I find so amusing about New Age religions. Some of the proponents suggest that they have been intellects, courtiers and kings in previous lives, and they are positively giddy about listing their pre-present resume. They are always listing off characters of color or station, all having been a “great leaping known.” No one ever says that they had been murderers, horse thieves, pig farmers or coal miners. I wonder why not? There have certainly been more pig farmers in history than kings.

Anyway, no matter how you slice it — it is about you and not about God. That is why these religions fall flat on their collective faces upon examination and are found false.