Welcome to the Heaven & Hell photo-gallery!

Did you know that God has used several "word pictures" to describe heaven and hell? Before we actually go to the photo-gallery, do this exercise: Adam named the animals, can you?

Can you identify the animal from the clues given at the right?

What animal living today:

  • Looks like otter
  • Young have Teeth
  • Tail like Beaver
  • Poisonous snake-fang claws:
  • Lays eggs
  • Breast feeds young
  • Webbed feet
  • Amphibious
  • Bill like a Duck
Click here after you make your guess!

Duck-Billed Platypus!
(With two babies on tummy)
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We used work pictures to describe this animal! Did you notice that this animal is like an otter (but not exactly), like a snake (but not a snake), like a beaver (look similar), like a duck (but not a bird).
We describe the unknown, with that which is already known! We use a snake, otter, beaver and duck to help us understand what the REAL THING looks like. But unless you had seen an actual picture of a duck-billed platypus, you would not likely get it exactly right!
God used this same principle in describing heaven and hell. He uses things we understand and see to describe things we don't understand and cannot see!

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The physical universe did not exist prior to God creating it in Genesis 1:1. In fact, the Sun and Earth, have existed for a relatively short period of time. At the second coming of Christ the physical universe will be destroyed and will no longer exist. It was created in Genesis 1:1, and will be uncreated at the second coming (2 Peter 3:10). Yet to us, this temporary physical universe is all we know, and because it is all we can see, many have falsely concluded that life on earth is all there is! Heaven and hell, even God Himself are of the same mysterious realm. We enter this realm when we die and pass into the spirit world.

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It is impossible for our five senses to detect heaven and hell. How then can God describe for us something that we cannot see, taste, touch, smell or hear? He employs the use of symbols. For example, God says that heaven is a garden and a city. Heaven is not actually a city and a garden. Rather heaven is merely like a city or a garden. There is nothing within our five senses that can actually explain what heaven and hell are like, so God uses a series of "word pictures" to convey the next best thing.

Remember, heaven is not literally a city, nor is hell a literal garbage dump, but they are LIKE these earthbound symbols. They are the closest think in our understanding that describes what heaven and hell really are like. But we really only have a fuzzy image of the real thing until we actually get there!

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The Photo Gallery:

Heaven Word Picture #1
(beautiful city)

Hell Word Picture #1
(garbage dump of beautiful city)

A VERY beautiful city

Heb 11:16; 13:14; Rev 20:2,10-22:5

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The garbage dump of Jerusalem

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Hell = Gehenna = Valley of Hinnom = City Dump (Mt 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 18:8,9; 23:15,33; Mk 9:43,45,47; Lk 12:5; Jas 3:6; Josh 15:8; 2 Chr 28:3; 33:6; 2 Ki 23:10; Jer 7:31; 19:2-6; 32:35)


Below is the valley of Hinnom, just outside of Jerusalem, as it looks today. You can see its location on the maps in the back of your Bible.

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Heaven Word Picture #2
(an eternal day)

Hell Word Picture #2
(an eternal night)

Eternal day

Rev 21:25; 22:5

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Eternal night, black outer darkness

Mt 22:13; 25:30; Jude 13; 2 Pet 2:17

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Heaven Word Picture #3
(an eternal sabbath rest)

Hell Word Pictures #3
(an eternal punishment)

Sabbath rest

Heb 3:12-4:11; Rev 14:13

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Beaten & Tortured while Shackled in prison

Mt 18:34 "handed him over to the torturers"

Lk 12:47: "receive many lashes; worthy of a flogging"

22:13: "Bind him hand and foot"

Mt 24:51 "cut him in pieces ... place of hypocrites "

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Heaven Word Picture #4
(an act of new creation)

Hell Word Picture #4
(an act of destruction of old)

New heavens & earth

2 Pet 3:3-13; Rev 21:1,5

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Unquenchable Eternal fire

Mt 25:41; 13:42; Jude 7; Mk 9:43,45,47; 18:8,9; Mt 3:12; Lk 3:17

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Heaven Word Picture #5
(a land with a living garden paradise)

Hell Word Picture #5
(a land with a dead lake of lava)

A garden paradise

Rev 2:7; 22:2-3 (Gen 1-3)

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Lake of Fire

Rev 19:20; 20:10; 21:8; Isa 30:33

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Heaven Word Picture #6
(dwelling in God's very presence)

Hell Word Picture #6
(banished away from God's very presence)

Most Holy Place in Jewish Tabernacle symbolizing being in the very presence of God

Heb 9:11,24; 6:19,20

Exiled & banished away from God's Kingdom and His very presence.
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  1. "away from his presence" 2 Thess 1:9
  2. "there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth there when you see Abraham in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being cast out." Mt 22:13
  3. "outside are the dogs" Rev 22:15
  4. "outer Darkness" Lk 13:27
  5. "assign him a place with the hypocrites" Mt 24:51



Proof these word pictures are not to be taken literally, but symbolically!

3 Different Fires!
As Word Pictures Of Hell:

  • Unquenchable fire?
  • Furnace of Fire
  • Lake of fire?
  • Maggots living in fire?

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Two incompatible methods of destruction if taken literally:

Are the wicked eaten by maggots, inside a man-made furnace of fire, which is then set in the middle of a lake of fire?

Unquenchable Eternal fire

Mt 25:41; 13:42; Jude 7; Mk 9:43,45,47; 18:8,9; Mt 3:12; Lk 3:17

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Furnace of fire

Mt 13:42,50; Mt 3:12; Lk 3:17 (Dan 3)

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Lake of Fire

Rev 19:20; 20:10; 21:8; Isa 30:33

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Consumed by Maggots in fire
"to be cast into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched" Mk 9:48

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More proof they are symbolic word pictures of Hell!

An attempt to literally harmonize these 5 word different pictures of hell is FUTILE:

1. Jerusalem City dump fire (Gehenna)

3. Rain of fire and brimstone

2. Furnace of fire

4. Lake of fire and brimstone

5. Beaten & tortured while shackled in prison

So literally we have a man in shackles in a prison being tortured while inside a man-made furnace of fire, sitting in the literal Jerusalem garbage dump. Inside this furnace is a lava pool and it is also raining fire and brimstone. Such is utter LITERAL nonsense! If you argue that ANY of this is symbolic or just a parable and not to be taken literally, then we must take it all symbolically! It is either 100% literal or 100% symbolic!


A 5 Sense Experience!

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Not A Pretty Place

Touch: Pain from burning fire

Taste: Dry mouth, extreme thirst, blood from gnashing teeth

Smell: Rotting garbage-Gehenna; rotten eggs-brimstone

Sight: smoke-fire; corruption-gehenna or black darkness

Sound: Moaning, weeping, crying, screaming

Better than Dreams

no hunger, thirst or heat, death or pain, morning or crying: Rev 7:16; 21:4

beyond all we could ask for or even think of: Eph 3:20

as a great reward: Mt 5:11

present suffering not worthy to be compared with future glory: Rom 8:18

eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison: 2 Cor 4:17,18

surpassing riches of His grace towards us: Eph 2:7


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