That is the fear that holds everyone in bondage as far as I can tell.
The fear of death of the soul, not the body.
That darkness would be hell for anyone.
I have found that that experience is in the bible and heard one gentleman describe it on a History channel show. Her had had a near death experience and was burned over 90% of his body and to this day (of his interviewing), he is afraid that at death he will go there again.
There is also the idea that there are two more planes of hell. The first I described above. Complete separation from God, the second I don't remember offhand and the third the plane of decaying souls.
Then there is the popular idea of burning in eternal torment. AQ lot is mixing up the ideas about the cleansing aspect of fire.
Many descriptions in Scripture have to do with the baptism of fire and this cleansing process. Kundalini in the Eastern Schools of thought. You have to be burned to experience some of the higher things.
The removal of the dross etc.
We are separate from God. Jesus shows us the way to connect and even become one with God.
If you go through this life and die and see that you could have become closer to God yet refused the invitation wouldn't that be hell enough?
If you add one law to grace it is no more grace. If you are circumcised you are a debtor to do the whole law. If you break one law you are guilty of all.
The law acts like leaven.
And to quote the God Father, "They keep pulling me back in."
Few churches because of their being organizations, by their very nature come up with rules. People take the rules as laws relating to our relationship with God and we get pulled back in.
I see no problem with some of the Creeds of some protestant churches as a statement of belief. But do they add to those and if you try to believe those statements beyond what the leaders of those churches themselves believe them you are banned or shunned or something.
There is a church in the next town over from mine. One of those franchises that have a lot of churches, but I don't recall the denomination. They did a
Promotional event a while back and had big banner in front of the churches that read. "God is still Speaking"
I stopped in on a Sunday morning and attended a service. I saw no evidence or sermon or discussion of what the banner stated. I was disappointed, but not suprised.
Lu 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
Lu 18:16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
Lu 18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. Lu 18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Lu 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
Lu 18:23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
Lu 18:24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
Lu 18:25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Lu 18:26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
Lu 18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
Lu 18:28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.
Lu 18:29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,
Lu 18:30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
It is interesting that he goes from the idea of not speaking (infant to giving up all we have, and to nothing is impossible with God even if it is with us as men.)
The giving up all we have is part of the process of silence. Giving up all of our ideas and thoughts and influences of family and doctines etc.
It leaves us open for the Truth to slip through the crack we have made.
Not speaking. Be still and know.
It is a practice that yeilds much fruit.
But then the fruit is tested. Does it fit with the New Covenant and the teachings of Jesus? If so keep it. It is good fruit fromthe tree of life. If not reject it.
Weren't the tables of stone graven on the front and back side?
And wasn't the lambs book of life written also on the front and on the back side?
Dogma is law and the New Covenant promises are the litmus test.
Does our philosophy/doctrine lead to life or death?
Our doctrine should match Jesus' doctrine and will if we keep following what he was saying.
And I am much more sceptical than you know when it comes to people hearing voices. But it is not just audible voices I am speaking of. It is what are we getting from Scripture. That is the main way God speaks to us.
We may have visions and dreams etc. But the New Covenant as given in Scripture is the test. Not the laws given by some church.
2pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
When something comes from God it comes with a certainty. Many times it is a very literal aspect of the words of Scripture.
"He was the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world."
If that is literal it is of no private interpretation. It is just not understood by someone who has not experienced this light.
It is not private because everyone who experiences this light will agree that it exists.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
I have to get ready for work, Talk later.