Jehovah`s Witness/parable of Hades


QUESTION: Hello sister t. One day at work I asked s jw if he explain to me what the verse in Luke 16:23 meant?  He read it and looked confused, he then read some verses before and after to put it into context.  Then he said this wasn't a real event , just a parable. I asked him if he knew what a parable was and it seemed he did. Except the fact that parables are teaching instruments based on the truth. So on these verses Jesus tells us what happens to the dead in Hades.  He uses words like torment, fire and agony. He talks about lifting up of eyes and how the rich man pleaded for relief from the heat with a drop off water.
Well my jw friend got upset when I pointed out that parables are based on the truth and why would Jesus teach something that is based on a lie.
So maybe you can explain to me how someone in the ' common grave ' where there is nothing, have all these obvious senses.

ANSWER: Hello Kevin,

Let's see what the word parable means from the dictionary.

Parable (Merriam-webster) the Thesaurus states:

a story intended to teach a basic truth or moral about life.

Parable (Merriam-webster) the dictionary states:

:  a short story that teaches a moral or spiritual lesson;

:  example; specifically :  a usually short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle

   apologue, fable, allegory

As we can see that does not mean the parable ITSELF is a truth or even based on truth, otherwise what's the point in giving a parable in the first place.  Just give the truth.

That's probably why you are confused because you have the incorrect definition and understanding of what a parable is and or means. It does not say it's a teaching instrument based on the truth, that is not a fact in any way what so ever. It's a teaching instrument to teach a basic truth or moral.  

This is a prime example of how people put twists on meanings to make them seem like one thing when in all actuality it's not even close at all.  

It's a fictitious story, meaning it's not real.  Just like your JW co-worker correctly stated.  If it was a real story, why call it a parable?  Why not say, this is what happened.  Jesus was around since people were created, I'm sure he could use real life stories if he needed to convey this so called hellfire.

You are right regarding Jesus would never teach something that is based on a lie, that's because that parable has nothing to do with the lie of hellfire.  The hellfire teaching is something that Jesus never taught.  

As you stated, "in the common grave where there is nothing" the Bible specifically tells us that the dead is not conscious of anything.  When a person dies their thoughts perish.  So there is no way they could be in anguish and feel pain, when you die your brain dies too, you won't be able to feel, talk, or do anything at all, that's why the Bible says, a live dog is better off than a dead lion.

Ecc 9:4 (KJV) "For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion."

and then the Bible goes on to say:

Ecc. 9:5 (KJV) "For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten."

As we can see the Bible says the dead know not any thing, and they do not have any more a reward,

Ecc. 9:6  (KJV) "Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun."

They can't experience any emotions because the Bible says those have perished.

Ecc. 9:10 (KJV) "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."

The Bible says there is no wisdom, work, knowledge, or device in the grave.  So it would be impossible for anyone to speak and compose words, if you have no knowledge or wisdom,  and know nothing, so how would a person even be able to lift up their eyes and be in torment and want a drop of water?  

Psalms 146:4 (KJV) "His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish."

This is straight forward, it doesn't leave anything to guess work here with these scriptures.  

The Bible does not contradict itself, so it's not going to say one place that the dead do not know anything and then another place change and say they actually do.  Jehovah, Jesus, and the apostles never taught that God teamed up or was in cahoots with Satan and sent people to Satan to burn in hellfire.   

So that let's you know right there that the Parable is just that, a parable, it's not a true event.  But it was spoken to teach a lesson.  Just like all the other parables that Jesus spoke, those are taken as they are, parables, except for when it comes to this one, don't you think that's way out of order?  Is God out of order? read 1 Cor 14:33 for the answer.

We know Jesus did not speak to the crowds unless he spoke in parables or illustrations, because they did not put faith in Jesus.

Matt 13:34 (KJV) "All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:"

So why did Jesus use parables or illustrations?


Jesus himself explained that he used illustrations to sift out those whose hearts were unresponsive. After he related to “great crowds” the parable of the sower, his disciples asked: “Why is it you speak to them by the use of illustrations?” Jesus answered: “To you it is granted to understand the sacred secrets of the kingdom of the heavens, but to those people it is not granted. This is why I speak to them by the use of illustrations, because, looking, they look in vain, and hearing, they hear in vain, neither do they get the sense of it; and toward them the prophecy of Isaiah is having fulfillment, which says, ‘By hearing, you will hear but by no means get the sense of it; and, looking, you will look but by no means see. For the heart of this people has grown unreceptive.’  (Matthew 13:2, 10, 11, 13-15; Isaiah 6:9, 10)

What was it about Jesus’ illustrations that separated people? In some cases, his listeners had to dig in order to get the full meaning of his words. Humble individuals were moved to ask for more information. (Matthew 13:36; Mark 4:34) Jesus’ illustrations, then, revealed truth to those whose hearts hungered for it; at the same time, his illustrations concealed truth from those with proud hearts.

<<<End Quote>>>

Jehovah is not working with Satan.  God did not create evil, nor Satan.  That angel, whose name is actually unknown because Satan and Devil are titles, turned bad and rebelled against God and did not stand fast in the truth (John 8:44).  Meaning he was once in the truth but did not remain.

The Bible tells us that after God finished creating, he said everything he created was "very good" he didn't say He created evil along with the good.  And he didn't say, only some things he created were very good.  No, EVERY THING he created was very good, that included the angel who later decided on his own to turn bad. Remember God cannot lie. (Heb. 6:18; Titus 1:2)   

Gen. 1:31 (KJV) "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good."

So when people say that God sends people to Satan so they will burn in hellfire forever, it's saying God is working with Satan.  

Did you know that the religious leaders in Jesus time accused Jesus of this very same thing, yes, they accused Jesus of working with Satan or being in cahoots with him!  They did it then and people still do it today with the hellfire teaching.  Jesus compared this with the unforgivable sin of blasphemy.  Do you think it's wise to go along with such a detestable blaspheming lie against God?

Matt 12:22 (KJV)"Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw."

24 "But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils."

25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.

28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men."

Please take this serious, you do not want to be in the same category that Jesus put those religious leaders in.  Think about what you're actually being taught because that teaching of hellfire is actually accusing God of teaming up with Satan, an evildoer.

And then you also need to really think about what Jesus said regarding why he spoke in parables.  Ask yourself why you're not understanding and why that belief contradicts what the Bible says and the kind of God Jehovah is.


Sister T

P.S. You must have sent me a question at the same time I put my status on vacation, so if you have a follow up, I may not be able to reply until after that time.  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello again sister t.

I thought my question was short and to the point.
I didn't ask what what a parable was, just the the words basic truth was in the definition. Since Jesus was telling this story one could assume it was true and meant to teach something.
I didn't ask you anything about hell or hellfire either,how did you come up with this conclusion from the Luke verses?
I didn't ask you to show me any verses that talk about the dead knowing nothing either.
I didn't say the bible contradicts itself.
I merely wanted to know why Jesus talks in great detail about the rich man and the beggar. First in their condition of living persons, then their condition after they die. Look at all the adjectives he uses in describing their condition after they died. They clearly are talking to each other. The rich man is in torment. Lazarus is comforted. The great chasm  where no one can cross over from there to us. The fact that the rich man simply goes to the grave while Lazarus is carried by the angels to Abraham. In a previous answer to some one else you stated that angels are messengers of God. The rich man also asked that his five brothers be warned so that they will not come to this PLACE of torment. Sounds like a literal place to me.
So my question is,not if the bible contradicts itself,but if the watchtower contradicts its teachings that Hades is just a common grave where no senses exist. Explain to me why all these senses appear to the rich man and the beggar in Hades or the common grave. My jw co-worker said that Abraham was in fact in Hades too.

ANSWER: Hello again Kevin,

You said: "Explain to me why all these senses appear to the rich man and the beggar in Hades or the common grave."

Because it's a parable, it's not a real story, it's a fictitious story, so the things happening are not real, but they represent something else just like his other parables do.

What the Bible said was direct and to the point. But I see you refuse to accept what the Bible says and just ignored those direct and to the point scriptures.

This isn't the first time you have written, so I know you believe in hellfire, and you just said you did, so for you to try and make it seem like I came to that conclusion from Luke is very deceitful, as you actually already know JW's do not believe in hellfire. I also know that people who believe in hellfire try to use that parable as proof.  It's pretty sad, but that's what is done.

I gave you scriptures that proved that the dead do not have senses, but once again you blatantly denied the Bible.

You want to make a parable into a basic truth and it's not a basic truth as the dictionary definition showed you.  It's a fictitious story to TEACH a basic truth or moral.

Hades is Greek for hell, and Sheol is Hebrew for hell...

Since you want to make hell be a literal place about torment, fire etc...You are welcome to do so.

You refuse to believe this parable is a parable and you are not able to explain your belief without contradicting the Bible.  

You believe that Abraham was actually in heaven, but Jesus was still on earth telling this parable, so that shows that you do not believe the Bible when Jesus said no man went to heaven but only he had came down from heaven...your belief contradicts this scripture.

John 3:13 (KJV) "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."

How did Jesus get out of hell and make it to heaven since "no one can cross over from there to us" since you believe this is literal. Ask yourself why was Jesus in hell to begin with, the Bible says he was "without sin" (Heb. 4:15) you are taught that people go to hell because of their sins.  Another contradiction between your belief and the Bible.

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

If hell is a literal place of torment and fire forever, no crossing over or coming out, how can hell be cast into hell since you believe it's a literal place, then you are in fact saying that matter can occupy matter, plus how can a condition be tormented in fire forever, as death is a condition.

Rev. 20:13,14 (KJV) "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.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."

The Bible says the complete opposite of what you have said and what you believe.

When your beliefs contradict what the Bible says and you continue to try to twist words and play word games. Then it's no surprise that you ignore the Bible completely.

You are in fact saying that what you believe is higher and more valid than what the Bible says.  Just because you don't come out and say something directly doesn't mean anything, we're both adults here and your word games don't confuse me.  

I believe in what the Bible says, and since you obviously refuse to, then there's really no point.  So I'll leave you to your beliefs that are the complete and total opposite and contradict what the Bible says.  

Good Day,

Sister T

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: What was Jesus teaching in this parable?
Im assuming since you said He only used
parables when addressing groups, there was some message?


Hello again Kevin,

Yes, there were messages or lessons in all the parables that Jesus gave.  That's the main reason for a parable is to teach a vital lesson.  

The Bible said Jesus would only speak to the multitudes in parables, I didn't say that, I gave you the scripture that said it.  Here's the scripture again:

Matt 13:34 (KJV) "All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:"

The Rich man and Lazarus parable has nothing to do with hellfire whatsoever or that Jesus was teaching it.  If you notice Jesus had given a parable about another rich man right before that one at Luke 16:1-13.

This parable at Luke 16:19 was already explained by Bro. DW and it was excellent and in more detail then I am going to read his if you have more questions when you get a chance.

The preceding verses before Jesus gave the parable basically says what the message of the parable is about in a nutshell, but you obviously didn't notice that or get the sense of it.  

Read carefully:

Luke 16:14, 15 (NIV) "The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight."

The Pharisees or religious leaders represented the "Rich Man", as they loved money, and were supposed to be the religious leaders who taught the Jewish people, but instead they despised the common Jewish people and thought of themselves as approved by God and better, they looked at the Jewish people with contempt.

Lazarus represented the common Jewish people who were despised by the Pharisees, but they repented and  became followers of Jesus (Luke 18:11; John 7:49; Matthew 21:31, 32) and gained a favored position with God.

Their deaths were symbolic representing a change in circumstances. The Pharisees who seemed to be favored in God's eyes became detestable in God's sight and God rejected them and they were tormented by the judgment messages delivered by the ones whom they despised. (Acts 5:33; 7:54.)  The common Jewish people who seemed to not be favored in God's eyes became favored in God's eyes because they repented.  

Note, however, that “the rich man” of the parable is spoken of as being “buried” in Hades, (Luke 16:22) giving further evidence that Hades means the common grave of mankind.

Abraham represented God, (as with the event that took place when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.  We know that God did not let Abraham go through with it.  But that gave us a foreshadow of what God would do regarding sacrificing his Son Jesus on our behalf.  Isaac represented Jesus and Abraham represented Jehovah.)  We can see Jesus used Abraham in this parable as representing Jehovah, just as Abraham foreshadowed that major display of God's love in sacrificing Jesus.  And Jesus was there in heaven when all that took place with Abraham and Isaac.  So it's fitting that Jesus would use Abraham in this parable to represent his Father, also we know that even the religious leaders looked at Abraham with favor.

Today, religious leaders of Christendom don't want to be called out, they don't want to be told that what they are teaching is not what the Bible says.  When it is pointed out it's like setting a fire.  They are in torment because they don't want to hear it like the above scriptures of Acts 5:33; 7:54 brings out.  They enjoy receiving accolades from men, even when their teachings go against the Bible.

And we see today, just like when Stephen was stoned for the fiery messages he spoke,  a lot of people are directed by religious leaders of today to try and stop the preaching work of Jehovah's Witnesses because of the 'torment' they feel from our fiery messages, because Christendom today is not teaching what the Bible really says, just like in Jesus' day.   Thinking people are starting to wake up and see this, and just like in Jesus' day, these religious leaders will kill and lie before they humble themselves and submit to Jehovah.

Fire is used in God’s Word to describe his fiery judgment messages (Jeremiah 5:14; 23:29), and the work done by God’s prophets in declaring his judgments is said to ‘torment’ those who oppose God and his servants.  Revelation11:7,10

Good Day,

Sister T  

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I can answer questions related to Jehovah's Witnesses and the Bible. I love learning the truth from the Bible and helping others to learn that truth as well. I don't know everything but will answer from the Bible, I like to use illustrations as well to help a person relate to what is being said. The Bible has the last say so over any person.


I am an active baptized Jehovah's Witness and Jehovah is Almighty God,(Ps. 83:18) and his Son Jesus Christ died so that everyone exercising faith in him may not be destroyed but have everlasting life. (John 3:16). I support my fellow Witnesses on this board who are real, and Jehovah's worldwide visible organization, including the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses. As God is not a God of disorder, and there could not be order if there were not ones to take the lead. Taking the lead and having a leader is not the same, our leader is Jesus Christ, and in order to have unity and order, there has to be arrangements in place. As the first century Christians had, there were men taking the lead, (Acts 6:1-6) as with Moses, (Exodus 18:21) and in our day, in following with Bible truths, we do the same. When people twist that around to us worshiping men, it is just a straight out lie! Why would the Scripture at 1 Tim. 3:1-10, 12, 13 give the criteria for men reaching out for an office of overseer if that was not meant to be? (Phil 1:1, Acts 20:17, 28, Eph. 4:11, 12, 2 Cor. 3:4-6). If we were not supposed to have men who take the lead, why was this scripture penned? James 5:14-15 "Is there anyone sick among YOU? Let him call the older men of the congregation to [him], and let them pray over him, greasing [him] with oil in the name of Jehovah. 15 And the prayer of faith will make the indisposed one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, it will be forgiven him."

If you have legit questions and want to know the truth, please ask, but if you are here to spread your lies and twists of the scriptures or get your falsehoods out, you may get rejected! The truth is from the Bible, if what you say does not harmonize with the Bible then what you say is wrong! Context and other scriptures help determine scriptures that may stump us, let scripture interpret scripture. The Bible does not contradict itself, so if what you are being taught or if what you are teaching makes it seem like the Bible is contradictory, remember it's not the Bible it's the man-made teaching! Doctrines of men! Mark 7:6, 7 "He said to them: “Isaiah aptly prophesied about YOU hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honor me with [their] lips, but their hearts are far removed from me. 7 It is in vain that they keep worshiping me, because they teach as doctrines commands of men." (also Romans 10:2, 3)

Matthew 24:14 says "And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come." We are doing that today, we are living in times of Bible Prophecy and as a Jehovah's Witness, we have the privilege to be apart of a prophecy spoken by Jesus himself! The good news of the Kingdom. Ask yourself, what kingdom? then read Daniel 2:44! It's a real government. Take heed now! Listening to men over God will mean your life.(Prov 3:5,6, Ps. 146:3) A lie will never become truth, No matter how long or how many people say it or speak it. Learn what the Bible really teaches, seek out Jehovah's ways, serving God in truth is only acceptable to him,(John 4:23, 24) you can not be serving God acceptably if what you believe is a lie! Pray for understanding and ask Jehovah to search your heart and draw you! (John 6:44, 65) Now is the time to be with the people who are called by Jehovah's name! (Acts 15:14, 17, Isa. 43:7, 10, Zech 8:23)

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