A Biblical response to Bill Wiese's book

The following information is presented as an evangelical Biblical *response* to the unbiblical position that Mr. Bill Wiese has taken in his book "23 minutes in hell".

If you want accurate theology on this topic do NOT trust Mr. Wiese's book - instead visit one of these theological sites:

www.jewishnotgreek.info (An excellent study on Conditional Immortality).

Also…. www.hellhadesafterlife.com (Shows why Bill Wiese is WRONG about his view of Sheol)

Also….www.rethinkinghell.com (written by evangelicals)

Also http://www.jeremyandchristine.com/articles/eternal.php

Also http://www.afterlife.co.nz

Also.. www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com and click on the “truth about death” link.

Bill Wiese, is a former real Estate agent and not a theologian. His book is based upon an event that happened to him while sleeping.  It is our point of view that Bill Wiese was sincere in what he wrote.  However, we do strongly disagree with him – that he went to hell.   What happened to him was a nightmare. And he took that nightmare and made it into a book thinking it would glorify God.  Actually the opposite happened many times.  Sadly, it turned many people off to God – considering God a monster and not full of justice at all like the Bible says He is. Yes, God will judge sin one day.  We are not saying He won’t, but we are asking you to consider the actual Biblical position here, not theology based upon dreams.

Problem 1)

It was 3:00 AM one night in 1998 and Mr. Wiese says he was sleeping when this all started.  What does that tell you to begin with?  Are we to base theology on dreams?

Problem 2)

Mr. Wiese claims that he left his body and went to hell.  But then how does he explain the fact that when he woke up – he was in another part of the house?  If he actually left his body like he claims, then *who moved his body* from the bed to where he woke up on the living room floor?  If he left his body like he claims – then *another entity* came inside the body while he was gone and moved the body while he was gone from it.  That is NOT good.  We have no evidence in the Bible of a body being moved while a person was gone from it. However, if he did not actually leave his body, but had a bad dream instead, that explains perfectly how he woke up somewhere else…  He never left his body.

Problem 3)

Yes, Bill Wiese is sincere.  That was never an issue. However, *sincerity does not mean truth.*  Mr. Wiese’s use of biblical words is just plain wrong. 

For example: The Hebrew word “Sheol” he interprets to mean “a temporary hell”.  However, even most of the Bible translations (including the KJV) do not even translate “Sheol” as hell in 18 of the first 20 times it is used.

How does he explain that?

Look at Psalm 49:14 “Like sheep they are laid in the grave;” (the Hebrew there is Sheol) – so sheep are in hell? 

And yet Mr. Wiese calls Sheol a temporary hell.

So are sheep in hell too since they are clearly in Sheol according to Psalm 49:14?

(See the second above link for excellent *and correct* Biblical information on Sheol).

Problem 4)

Here is 100% proof he is wrong.  Bill Wiese talks about the screams he heard.  Yet the Bible says 100% the opposite.  “….let them (wicked people) be silent in the grave (Hebrew – Sheol).” Psalm 31:17

So based on this evidence alone, we have a clear contradiction between Bill Wiese and the Word of God!

We repeat – based on this evidence alone, we have a clear contradiction between Bill Wiese and the Word of God.

Sheol is silent according to God’s Word.  Bill Wiese says the opposite happened in his dream.

Problem 5)

Jonah was not in or near “hell” as Bill Wiese states. Yes, the Hebrew text of Jonah says, “Sheol”

But Sheol, in the book of Jonah, is a poetic way of saying a watery grave…

Sheol “… is probably a poetic usage for “the depths””

Believer’s Bible commentary – Page 1128 (ed. William MacDonald endorsed by Dr. John MacArthur, Warren Wiersbe)

Yet – Bill Wiese does this ALL throughout his book!

Look at this verse which he misquotes in an interview: Also in “the earth with her bars was about me for ever….” (Jonah 2:6)  He again uses this as proof that Jonah went to hell and there are chambers with bars in hell. 

Now let’s see the *whole verse* in context starting with verse 5:

“The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.
I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever:

This is a person sinking, sinking, sinking in water!  Look at how Jonah writes about the weeds, the bottom of the mountains, etc.  It is a picture of him really considering dying under water with no escape! 

Yet Bill Wiese  misquotes many scriptures like this in the Old Testament that have nothing to do with hell, yet he quotes them in his book as “proof” of his point of view.  Sadly, those who do not know the Bible will easily be taken in by him.

Read some of those scriptures he quotes in context and you will see what a poor job he does!

He sadly leads many astray believing God is a MONSTER worse than Hitler!

Now the truth!

Truth 1)

Do not think after reading all that that we are denying the reality of God’s judgement.  The truth is, it is a scary thing to fall into the angry hands of God.  However, the Bible teaches that the soul is not immortal.  That immortality is “conditional” upon receiving the gospel. 

The Bible teaches what is called “Conditional Immortality”.

And a growing number of evangelicals hold to this view.  (see links above)

Yes, he does address this position in his book, but he does a *poor job* not even mentioning half the scriptures that are brought up on the web sites listed above! Why?

Because they would disprove his false doctrine of God as an eternal torturer.

Truth 2)

Bill Wiese teaches the *opposite* of what Jesus Christ teaches.  

Bill Wiese teaches that the souls  of the lost will live forever.

Jesus Christ teaches that the souls of the lost will be “destroyed” in hell one day.

“…but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

It is as plain as day – Jesus teaches the fate of the lost as destruction of soul – not eternal torment.

Do you trust Jesus Christ to teach the truth or Bill Wiese?

Truth 3)

A growing number of well-known Christian leaders, such as Dr. David R. Reagan, John R. Stott, Greg Boyd, Roger Forster (co-founder of the March for Jesus events), Philip Hughes, Michael Green, Stephen Travis, and Clark Pinnock have declared support for part, or all, of the biblical doctrine of conditional immortality. Even the British Bible translator, William Tyndale, also defended Conditional Immortality during his lifetime.  Even the very well respected scholar F.F. Bruce states, “Eternal conscious torment is incompatible with the revealed character of God” so he chose to write the forward to an excellent evangelical book on this topic called, “The Fire that Consumes” by Edward Fudge. (Excerpt from: www.jewishnotgreek.com)

For more complete information visit above website links.

Truth 4)

Bill Wiese changes the meaning of these plain and simple Biblical words! (Destroy, Perish, etc.)

The Bible says clearly God will eventually destroy the lost (Matthew 10:28, Philippians 3:19, James 4:12), at the end of the age (Revelation 20:14-15).  The second death means they no longer live after that. 

Sadly, Bill Wiese in 23 minutes in hell does not teach what the bible says about this and *COMPLETELY AVOIDS* the scriptures on immortality being only for believers (2 Timothy 1:10, Romans 2:7, John 6:51, etc).

I challenge you to look up the scriptures and see if it does not at least give you something to think about.

Truth 5)

God will destroy the wicked, not keep them alive forever.  They will “perish”, not live forever.

In John 3:16, what does “perish” mean?

The Greek word for “perish” in John 3:16 is the same Greek word used for “destroy” in Matthew 10:28.  (Feel free to get out your Strong’s concordance and look it up.)

Matthew 10:28, “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.”

The lost will “perish” in hell, not be preserved like Bill Wiese teaches. 

This concludes our review. Please Google "Conditional Immortality" and see what the Bible teaches. The lost are not immortal. Mr. Wiese completely misses this biblical point. And please see the links at the top. Evangelicals who hold to this position of "Conditional Immortality" have it correct. Mr. Wiese does not.