The NIV teaches the Catholic Doctrine of “Paradise”

The NIV teaches the Catholic Doctrine of Paradise
by Pastor Steven L Anderson, 2007

1. A Blatant Contradiction in the NIV
2. Who are the “sons of God”?
3. What is “hell” in the Bible?
4. Where was Jesus for 3 days and 3 nights?
5. What is “paradise” in the Bible
6. Jesus and the Burnt Offering
7. What about Luke 16?

“And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and
horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” – 2 Kings 2:11

“All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” – Ecclesiastes 3:20,21

“He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” –Acts 2:31

1. A Blatant Contradiction in the NIV

Consider this bizarre verse from the NIV:

“No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.” – John 3:13 (NIV)

This verse should strike you as very odd and also contradictory to much of the Bible’s clear teaching. Here is the correct verse from the King James Bible:

“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” – John 3:13

Here we see that not only has the NIV omitted the phrase “which is in heaven,” but it has also changed the words “ascended up to heaven” to “gone into heaven.”

Although Old Testament saints did not ascend up to heaven (i.e. of their own accord as Jesus did in Acts 1), they most certainly did go to heaven. Take Elijah for example:

“And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and
horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”
– 2 Kings 2:11

Here is a clear statement from Solomon in Ecclesiastes:

“All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” – Ecclesiastes 3:20,21

Consider the following verses from the book of Job:

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.” – Job 1:6

“Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.” – Job 2:1

To say that no one has ever gone into heaven is in direct contradiction to these scriptures. The NIV has purposely made these changes, along with many others along the same lines, to construct a false doctrine that Old Testament saints did not go to Heaven upon physically dying. Instead, they teach that Old Testament saints went to a place called “Paradise” located in the center of the earth. What did the translators of the NIV do with passages like Ecclesiastes 3:21, Job 1:6, and Job 2:1 that contradict their doctrine? Change them!!!

“Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” – Ecclesiastes 3:21 (NIV)

“One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.” – Job 1:6 (NIV)

“On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him.” – Job 2:1 (NIV)

2. Who are the “sons of God”

Even the NIV states in the footnotes that the Hebrew words here are “sons of God” and not “angels.” The NIV has taken the liberty of interpreting the words “sons of God” as being angels. Nothing could be further from the truth! Only believing human beings are ever referred to in the Bible as the sons of God:

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” – John 1:12

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” – 1 John 3:1,2

In fact, the Bible even unequivocally states that the angels are NOT sons of God:

“For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” – Hebrews 1:5

Is there one verse in the entire Bible that says that the angels are God’s children? NO!

Two verses that proponents of this doctrine rely upon are Job 38:6 and Job 38:7:

“Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” – Job 38:6,7

They claim that since the sons of God were present for the creation of the earth, they must be the angels. However, these verses do not say that the sons of God shouted for joy at the creation of the world, but rather that they shouted for joy when the corner stone of the earth was laid. A simple study of the term “corner stone” in the Bible will show that the term is ALWAYS referring to Jesus Christ!

“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” – 1 Peter 2:6

“This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.” – Acts 4:11

Notice the order: first Jesus was rejected by the Jews, then he became the head of the corner. The sons of God shouted for joy at the resurrection of Jesus Christ when the stone which the builders rejected became the chief cornerstone. Job 38:6,7 is referring to Jesus Christ who is the lamb “slain from the foundation of the world.”

Again, no verse anywhere in the Bible states that the angels are God’s children.

3. What is “hell” in the Bible?

A. Hell is a place of literal flaming fire and torment

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” – Luke 16:23-24

“And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.” – Mark 9:43-49

B. Hell is a real, physical place – It has a physical location

“And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me. But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.” – Number 16:28-34

“Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:” – Amos 9:2

“Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt, and cast them down, even her, and the daughters of the famous nations, unto the nether parts of the earth, with them that go down into the pit.” – Ezekiel 32:18

C. Hell is described as a bottomless pit because it is in the center of the
earth. Obviously this is due to a lack of gravity.

“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his
hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand
years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the
nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”
– Revelation 20:1-3

“Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.” – Isaiah 5:14

D. Hell is a place where the unsaved will be tormented in the presence of God. Hell is not separation from God.

“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” – Revelation 14:9-11

In Psalm 139:8, David says to God, “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” Clearly God is everywhere, including Hell.

“And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones. For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod. And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the LORD shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it. For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.” – Isaiah 30:30-33

E. Hell is a place of smothering smoke.

“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” – Revelation 14:10

F. Hell is a place of dismal darkness.

“Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” – Jude 13

G. Hell is a place screaming and wailing.

“Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew 22:13

H. Hell is a place of everlasting chains.

“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” – Jude 6

I. Hell is a place of flesh-eating worms.

“Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” – Isaiah 14:9-12

“And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” – Isaiah 66:24

J. Hell is a place of no rest day nor night – no sleep.

“And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” – Revelation 14:11

K. Hell is now located in the center of the earth, but will eventually reside in
the lake of fire in outer darkness.

The soul of every unsaved person who has ever died is in hell right now. No one is in the “lake of fire” as of yet.
The first to go into the lake of fire will be the beast and the false prophet, then Satan, and then every unbeliever
after the great white throne judgment:

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is
able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” – Matthew 10:28

The souls of the unsaved go to Hell immediately, but their bodies will not go to Hell until after the Great White
Throne Judgment.

Here are the first people to enter the “Lake of Fire:”

“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which
he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These
both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” – Revelation 19:20

Then Satan:

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the
false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” – Revelation 20:10

Then all unbelievers with their body:

“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in
them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” – Revelation 20:13

Then hell is relocated to the Lake of fire.

“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found
written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” – Revelation 20:14,15

4. Where was Jesus for 3 days and 3 nights?

Because we have established biblically what hell is, we should now have no trouble understanding the following verses,
which all refer to Jesus Christ:

“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” – Psalm 16:9,10

“For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” – Acts 2:25-27

“He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” –Acts 2:31

“And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell
cried I, and thou heardest my voice.” – Jonah 2:2

“I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast
thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.” – Jonah 2:6

The Bible clearly states that Jonah was not in hell but in the whale’s belly:

“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days
and three nights in the heart of the earth.” – Matthew 12:40

“heart of the earth” = center of the earth = the location of hell

If Jonah were in hell it would have read “as Jonas was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” He was
not; he spent all three days and nights in the whale’s belly. This is clearly a prophecy of Jesus Christ, just as Psalm 16
is a prophecy of Jesus Christ. Therefore the Bible is clearly stating that it was Jesus who was in hell, not Jonah.

ONLY FROM BEING TAUGHT TO QUESTION THE KING JAMES BIBLE WOULD WE COME TO
THE CONCLUSION THAT HELL EVER MEANS ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE PLACE OF FIRE
(i.e. Sheol or Hades). NO ONE READING A KING JAMES BIBLE WOULD COME TO THAT
CONCLUSION ON THEIR OWN WITHOUT THE AID OF A THEOLOGIAN.

Therefore Jesus spent 3 days and 3 nights in a literal fiery hell.

5. What is “paradise” in the Bible?

“He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” –Acts 2:31

“Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did
his body see decay.” – Acts 2:31 (NIV)

The crucial text, Acts 2:31, as well as many others are changed in the NIV to promote the doctrine that Jesus went to
“paradise” in the center of the earth, and not to hell. The reason that Jesus told the thief on the cross, “To day shalt thou
be with me in paradise,” is that Jesus is God. This is proven by John 3:13:

“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” – John 3:13

This verse teaches that while Jesus was talking with Nicodemus, he also was in heaven at the same time. This verse (only
in the King James Bible) is a great proof text of the deity of Jesus Christ.

The word “paradise” is only used 3 times in the Bible:

“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the
body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether
in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard
unspeakable words,
which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” – 2 Corinthians 12:2-4

If we let the Bible define itself, “paradise” is up and not down. God is also using the terms “heaven” and “paradise”
interchangeably in this passage. The Catholic doctrine (found, for example, in Dante’s Divine Comedy) that “paradise”
was or is located in the center of the earth, is completely unfounded in scripture. Here are the other 2 mentions of paradise:

“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23:43

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” – Revelation 2:7

If “paradise” was the Old Testament location for the departed saints, why is the word never mentioned in the Old
Testament?
6. Jesus and the Burnt Offering

If Jesus did not go to a literal fiery hell, why were thousands upon thousands of burnt offerings offered throughout the Old
Testament as a picture of Jesus Christ (e.g. the Passover Lamb)?

“And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of
Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper
door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and
unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.” – Exodus 12:6-8

“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover
is sacrificed for us:” – 1 Corinthians 5:7

“And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than
having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. For every one
shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.” – Mark 9:47-49

The OT Passover had to be:

1. chosen (Matthew 12:18)
2. examined (Luke 23:14)
3. killed (Acts 3:15)
4. blood applied (Hebrews 12:24)
5. roast with fire (Jonah 2:2)
6. eaten (John 6:54)

All of these apply to Jesus Christ.

Why would sinners have to go to hell eternally to pay for their sins if Jesus
could pay for the sins of mankind simply by his death? Jesus supernaturally suffered eternal hell in 3 days and 3 nights.

“I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou
brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.” – Jonah 2:6

7. What About Luke 16?

“There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: 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. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 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. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” – Luke 16:19-31

We must be careful to never take a portion of scripture out of context. The reader of Luke 16 should have already read the previous 988 chapters of the Bible and learned that those who are saved go to heaven upon physical death. This teaching would then be reinforced many times as they read the remaining 200 chapters of the Bible. Consider the following thoughts:

1. Is heaven a great way off from hell? Yes.

2. Is there a great gulf between heaven and hell? Yes. You are sitting in it.

3. Under normal circumstances could a person in hell see anything in total darkness? No.

4. Under normal circumstances could a person in hell be heard and understood a great way off above the sound of the billions of people that are weeping and wailing? No.

Hell is a supernatural place. For example, the fire in hell burns but never consumes, just like the burning bush of Exodus. God miraculously allowed this conversation between Abraham and the rich man to take place across the great expanse between heaven and hell.

As one devout Roman Catholic said it:

“Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around…” – Adolf Hitler

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