English blog

a trip to hell?

08-05-2015 - Posted by Andre Piet

images9 On CIP.nl (Christian Information Platform), I read an article that calls attention to a “revival” in Indonesia, associated with the megachurch of Philip Mantofa (15,000 visitors). This pastor, according to his own words, was brought, by God, to visit hell. It was not a dream or a vision, he explains. In an attention-catching manner, he speaks about his experience.

“When I heard a voice behind me (…). It was the voice of my Master, Jesus Christ. He said: ‘You’re here because of My will and I will show you something you have to tell other people.’ I walked forward on a very long, dusty path. There was no wind blowing. It was so terribly intense! There was a great stench that could have killed me. But I knew I was in good hands, so I continued to walk.” “It became more violent and I asked. ‘Get me out of here, please.’ You feel everything, my skin was so painful. Before long, we reached a huge gate! A larger one than we know on earth. It was very wide! There were supernatural letters on it; God touched my eyes enabling me to interpret them. It read something like: ‘The valley of death.’ The voice behind me said, ‘Open the door.’ I said, ‘No, I’m too afraid to open this door.’ It was so physique. Suddenly, the door opens, automatically.” “When I opened it, my heart broke,” Philip says, emotionally. “I heard voices of so many people shouting for help and they cursed everything. So many people! The darkness was there, not as an absence of light. But as a force! I knew exactly where I was. At the spot where the dead are kept, until the day of judgment, which is described in the book of Revelation.” “Jesus gave me the strength to look very far. I saw smoke rising and there was a big lake of fire, which is also described in the book of Revelation. The spaciousness was endless, unimaginable how many people were there. And these people are not at all dead, they are more alive than we would think. They are being tortured, day and night.”

What to think of this? Philip used biblical terms, that is true. But when we look more closely, and examine his story in the light of Scripture, it shows up as a deception.

  1. Philip Mantofa constantly speaks about “hell”. That is a core concept in many religions, including Christianity, but it is unknown in the Scriptures. Scripture speaks of Gehenna, which is a place name, identifiable on the map. It is the valley of Hinnom near Jerusalem, where during the next eon the unburied corpses of rebels, against YAHWEH, will lie exposed (See last verse of Isaiah).
  1. Philip says to have seen the place where the dead are kept until the day of judgment and calls it “a large lake of fire”. This description is not correct, because “the lake of fire” is precisely the destiny of the wicked after the day of judgment (see last verses of Revelation 20). Until that time, they are dead and are (therefore) not conscious of anything (Eccl.9:5,10).
  1. John says in Revelation (20:14; 21:8) of the people in “the lake of fire”, on two occasions: “that is the second death“. No, says Philip, “… these people are not dead, they are more alive than we might think. They are being tortured, day and night.”

Philip Mantofa uses his story to bring people to repentance and he seems to have success.

Philip was instructed by God to hold a revival meeting, in which he had to tell about his experience. “I said: I don’t want to (…) But I decided to obey, anyway. I preached about it and at the end, thousands of people rushed forward to accept Jesus. I did not even ask: ‘Who wants to accept Jesus, everybody’s eyes closed, raise your hand.’ No, they came from out of themselves, because the need was so great.”

Thousands of people become Christians … but it is false. It is through a false story and from out of a false motive. Out of fear to end up in hell, many people accept Jesus. But which Jesus? The Christ of Scripture? No, and neither is it the Evangel, i.e. a good news message. For the Evangel is the good news of Jesus Christ, “the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42; 1John 4:14). Yes, you read it right: “The Saviour of the world!” Your and my Saviour, as well as the Saviour of all those billions of mortals, who ever have, who are, and who, as yet, will be living on this earth. Believe it or not, but He conquered death and, eventually, He will abolish it, completely. By means of judgments (setting matters straight), GOD will achieve that goal and He will bring every creature to a heartfelt realization of Himself (Phil.2:9-11)!