At this point in your participation in the service, I recommend that you go to Sabbath Ritual and participate in the prayer in which we like to engage each week, as I do each morning, to avail ourselves of Yahuah Hayah's "Power of Agreement" (Matthew 18:19) for the basic things that all of us must have each day of our lives! Although repetitious and time-consuming, doing that will bless you, the fellowship and all of His children in the universe! It is what some people call "getting prayed up"!
As for the thoughts that Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) gave me for this Sabbath, some people I know, including myself, have had an hard time with Yahuah's Holy Bible showing that He has waiting for the disobedient children of His who have died a place of "everlasting punishment"! (Matthew 25:46)
We begin our life on Earth believing whatever Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) tells us, even in our mothers' wombs! He wrote, through His psalmist: "9 Thou art He Who took me out of the womb! Thou didst make me hope, when I was upon my mother's breasts! 10 I was cast, upon Thee, from the womb! Thou art my God, from my mother's belly!" (Psalm 22:9 and 10) As a result of this initial "faith" in His children, Yahuah spoke, through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ), of "these little ones who believe in Me"! (Matthew 18:6)
But, like Eve in the Garden of Eden, "these little ones" can be "offended" or tempted to disobey Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM), Whose voice they had heard even while in their mothers! So, as Eve and then Adam ate the forbidden fruit and were cursed, by Yahuah, for their disobedience (Genesis 3), so also do we the same! And our life of misery begins! And, if something does not come along while we still live on the Earth to convince us that what Yahuah has been telling us has been a vitally important truth, we can be sent to Hell, when we die!
Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) warned, through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ): "29 If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish and not that thy whole body should be cast into Hell! 30 And, if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish and not that thy whole body should be cast into Hell!" (Matthew 5:29 and 30)
For that reason, Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) warned, through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ): "Whoso shall offend one of these little ones who believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea!" (Matthew 18:6)
Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)'s speaking through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) of Hell as an "everlasting punishment" was in His account through Yeshua of His coming "Judgment of the Sheep and the Goats"! Earlier in that account of an event that will be happening in the future, He said, to people who had not provided the practical necessities of life for their neighbors: "Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels!" And that gives one part of Yahuah's purpose in creating Hell; it is a place He deems to be suitable for Satan and the angels of Heaven who chose to serve an angel rather than Yahuah, who created them.
The fact that "these little ones" who have believed Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) from before their birth can be "tempted" or deceived into disobeying Him, thus bringing upon them His judgment for it seems "unfair" to those who have not had His help in understanding the problems involved with it.
Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) said: "I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth! But I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you!"
The question is often asked: "If disobeying Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) results in going to Hell, why does He let His children do it?" But a wise one can return a good question: "If Yahuah does not let His children choose to do what they want to do, how can He have them as friends?"
Satan's servants work to enslave Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)'s children to where they have little choice but to do what those wicked servants want them to do, which is, first, to enrich them by their enforced labors and then to destroy themselves by disobeying Yahuah, their loving Father in Heaven, to where He is forced by their decision to send them to Hell!
"By their decision" is the key phrase in that statement; and I am indebted, to Howard Storm, for his testimony - My Descent into Death - A Second Chance at Life, Doubleday - of having been to Hell and then taken from it by Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ)! For Brother Storm's testimony revealed, to me, something I did not know about Hell, which is that, if a child of Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) changes his mind in Hell and decides to be obedient to Him, He will send Yeshua to bring that repentant child from Hell to the light, glory, peace and joy of Heaven!
That revelation about Hell makes all the difference possible in how one regards it, either as a "punishment" or simply as a place where people prefer to be! So why, then, did Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) refer through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) to Hell as a place of "everlasting punishment"? (Matthew 25:46)
In the light of Howard Storm's wonderful testimony, I can answer that question and in so doing alleviate the seeming unfairness of sending a child to Hell, with his or her having so few years on Earth to make the critical decisions that determine where he or she will live for the rest of eternity!
Howard Storm's family life began with godly parents who sent him to a church school at a young age! But then his family strayed from Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)'s truth and became dysfunctional, the father's becoming increasingly caught up in the world's ideas of "success", which then became Brother Storms ideas, which have no room for acknowledging or trusting Yahuah, our Creator and King!
So, for all the reasons that Satan and his servants in the world readily provide, Brother Storm became an avowed atheist, having accepted the lie that God does not exist and that whatever one achieves in life must be the result of his own accomplishments based upon whatever strength and skill he finds himself with. The fact that no one has such strength or skill without such gifts from his Creator and King escapes such people, whose minds have somehow been blinded to the truth about Him, which He provides for His children whenever they are willing to listen!
So in his attitude as an atheist, Brother Storm became possessed in his determination to succeed by his own strength and intelligence, which excluded any need to care about his neighbor except as a potential customer for the product he was trying to sell! Typical of the world, money and fame became Brother Storm's goal in life, which violates Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)'s commandment that we love our neighbors, which also violates His commandment that we love Him1 so, Brother Storm suffered the cursing that failure to love brings upon Yahuah's children; and Brother Storm became gravely ill!
In Brother Storm's belief in himself rather than in Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM), that illness killed him; and he found himself being enticed by people who wanted him to follow them. But the more he did so, the darker it became and the more abusive they became toward him, which caused him to resist following them, which made them angry and hostile toward him, even to biting and tearing the flesh of his spirit body, which was very painful! His reaction to those attacks was to fight back; but that simply encouraged his spirit assailants to be all the more vicious toward him, until he was exhausted and left to lie there in the darkness and think that painful and frightening situation over!
Then Brother Storm heard a voice from within him say, "Pray to God!" Throughout all his adult years, Brother Storm had never prayed; so he did not know how! And then, in his own voice but as a child, he found himself singing one of the songs he had been taught in the church school to which his well wishing parents had sent him so many years ago: "Jesus loves me; this I know; for the bible tells me so!"
Amidst the terror of what Brother Storm had experienced only a few moments ago, the idea of "Jesus" loving him was indeed appealing, his having been taught that "Jesus" was sent by God! So, with all the strength and determination he had left in him, Brother Storm cried out, at the top of his voice: "Jesus save me!"
A pinpoint of light appeared, in the darkness above Brother Storm, which got increasingly larger, until it enveloped him; and the loving arms of his Savior embraced him and lifted him, straight up out of the darkness of "Death and Hell" (Revelation 20:13) into the glorious Heaven that has been described by so many people who have experienced "near death" and returned to tell of it.
Brother Storm's complete testimony is wonderful; and, as time goes on, I will be dealing with various aspects of it in my sermons! For, in his conversation with Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) and with a few angels Yeshua called to them, information was shared that is, to me, vital and exciting! But, with respect to Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)'s purpose in creating Hell; I have this to say:
Yes, Hell does involve "punishment"; because the victims in it are continuing to violate Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) by their own choice, which by His perfect justice requires that He curse them for their disobedience! And Hell is "everlasting"; because it will remain so long as Satan, his angels or anyone else who has chosen rebellion against Yahuah as his way need some place to be away from the Creator and King against Whom they have turned their backs! He does not want them to be there; but, since they are eternal beings, having been made in the image of an eternal God with a part of His Spirit in them as their spirit, they can conceivably be in Hell for the rest of eternity!
But the amazing thing I learned, from Brother Storm's experience, is that one's time in Hell need not be for ever! because, as Brother Storm did, he can change his mind! Glory be to Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)! Repentance works in Hell as well as on Earth! And Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) told Brother Storm that, like he had, some of Yahuah's children who were sent to Hell have in fact taken advantage of Yahuah's "mercy" (Psalm 136:1), which "endureth for ever"! (Verse 1)
The problem is that, having been sent to Hell as a person in rebellion against Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM), to be where no one other than fellow atheists exist, no influence for the better can be found, as on Earth, where servants of Yahuah continually speak His truth and pray for the salvation of their neighbors! I had one elderly couple tell me that, all through my thirty-year walk in the wilderness during my period of rebellion, they had prayed for me every day! You can believe that my gratitude toward those loving servants of Yahuah knows no bounds! And I expect to see them again in Heaven!
So the chance in Hell is, virtually, nonexistent of a person's being brought to repentance by anyone who has been sent there. We learn, from Brother Storm's experience in Hell, that Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) continues, as on Earth, to speak to His children there; but, tragically, having learned on Earth to ignore His voice, the inhabitants of Hell continue to do the same! And that is why Yahuah said, through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) that it is a place of "everlasting" punishment"! (Matthew 25:46)
The punishment is not for what a person did or did not do on Earth! Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)'s "judgments are true and righteous, altogether"! (Psalm 19:9) And it might well be said that they are immediate! When He said through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ): "Give, and it shall be given unto you!" (Luke 6:38), He meant exactly what He said! And that return giving is immediate in His Spirit! The impact of that return may not be felt, while Yahuah arranges the circumstances necessary to carry it out! But the certainty of that carrying is as the sun's coming up in the morning!
So Hell's being a "punishment" relates to Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)'s righteous judgments continuing in Hell for those who, because they continue to believe Satan's falsehood about Yahuah, continue to offend Him; and the "everlasting" part of it is, simply, because Hell is the last place in the universe where encouragement to save one's self can be found other than from Yahuah's voice, which those who have been sent to Hell have long ago learned to ignore!
In Brother Storm's case, only his early exposure to Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)'s truth as it was presented to him by a faithful church-school teacher made the difference between his remaining in Hell and the amazing deliverance he brought to himself by acting upon that precious memory of his childhood! So never underestimate the importance of what you tell "these little ones who believe in Me" (Matthew 18:6); it may well save their eternal life!
I pray that this information I have given you is true in Yehovaw's sight, that it can be stored in your spirit for great and beneficial use to you as the days go by and that we might hear from you now and then as you find it working its wonders in your life!
Father, by my "faith in God" (Mark 11:22), I "speak" (Mark 11:23), to Your children, and command that they be given the knowledge and understanding of Your amazing mercy and how it reaches even into Hell!
I rejoice (John 15:11) that You are faithful to fulfill Your children's powerful use of their "dominion ... over every living thing that moveth upon the Earth"! (Genesis 1:28) I know you answered this prayer, in ha Kodesh Ruach, Your Holy Spirit, the moment I said it; so I "believe" I "receive" (Mark 11:24), even now, a family of brothers and sisters who are rejoicing over the truth that Your mercy endures for ever!
I pray that Yehovaw shall bless you mightily, throughout the coming week, and that you will realize in your heart how important you are to the ministry that He has given to Faith Harvest Israel to see that His truth is learned, believed and carried out by all His children throughout the world, so many of whom are in such desperate need of it.
1 - Pastor Floyd talks about the names of God used on this website on His page entitled "The Names" of God"