lake of fire

The Compartments of Hell

Carl is a biblical scholar, minister, husband, father and life coach. In his mid-twenties he had a powerful encounter with God and saw miraculous healings as a result. He passionately shares these stories and empowers others to fulfill their God-given potential.

Hell is mentioned 49 times in the King James Bible. Jesus spoke far more about Hell than Heaven. He did so to warn people, not to go there. Strangely, ‘hell’ is not mentioned in modern bible translations, but replaced with words like, ‘sheol,’ ‘grave,’ ‘hades,’ ‘pit’ etc. which means nothing to the every-day reader. The Greek term for Hell (Hades) is often left untranslated by revisers, so as not to upset the readership of newer bible versions.

In essence, Hades (Greek) and Sheol (Hebrew) are synonymous terms describing ‘the abode of the disembodied spirits of the dead.’ Once we leave earth, at the time of physical death, our soul and spirit will either go to heaven or hell.

Where is Hell?

Few consider that beneath our feet lies a literal hell. Holy Scripture locates Hell beneath the earth (Rev 5:3; Isa 14:9; Prov 15:24 and Phil 2:10-11). It’s always described as ‘downward’ (Job 7:9, Ps 28:1, 1st Kgs 2:6), ‘below’ (Prov 15:24), and ‘beneath’ (Isa 14:9, Ezek 31:14). The earth is comprised of four distinct layers: crust, mantle, outer core and inner core. The inner core is perceived to be solid metal and the outer core liquid metal.

Biblical scholars surmise hell lies between the crust and upper mantle of the earth in a layer called the Mohorovicic Discontinuity. Temperatures can reach anywhere between 7000-9000 Degrees Fahrenheit in this region of the earth and could more than cater for the ‘hell fire’ described in the Holy Bible. The Gates of Hell (aka ‘chambers’ or ‘pit’) are located under the earth (Num 16:30), under the mountains (Jonah 2:6) and under the sea (Job 26:5).

There are many entrances to the underworld and there needs to be, considering 153,425 people die each day. That’s equivalent to 6,393 per hour, 107 souls per minute or nearly two people every second! Sadly, Jesus said the majority of people go to Hell (Mat 7:13). Scripture describes Hell enlarging itself on a regular basis to cater for the untold masses which blindly go there every day:

Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, And opened her mouth without measure: And their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, And he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. And the mean man shall be brought down, And the mighty man shall be humbled, And the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled.” Isaiah 5:13–15

Hell is a place of everlasting torment

The conscience of man tries to ignore Hell’s existence. But whoever dies without the Son of God, will spend eternity in this horrifying place. God’s wrath will abide on those who refuse to acknowledge Christ as Savior, He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (Jn 3:36). Jesus took God’s wrath upon Himself at the cross, so we wouldn’t have to (Matt 27:46; Ps 42:7 and Ps 88:6).

The biblical description of Hell includes brimstone (sulfur), smoke, pitch (liquid asphalt), gnashing of teeth, weeping, crying, worms, darkness, torment, a furnace of fire and lake of fire. Death is separation from God. To abide in Hell is to experience total alienation from God and all that He represents. There is no love, no joy, no peace, no rest for the wicked in Hell. They are subject to cruel and merciless demons, which Hell was created for in the first place (Mat 18:9; 25:41). Man goes to Hell as an intruder. You don’t have to go thereClick here to escape the fires of Hell.

The Bible does not refer to ‘soul sleep,’ ‘annihilation’ or ‘purgatory’ as some cults claim. When Christ preached Hell, He was not speaking allegorically. Often times when Christ spoke a parable, He would say,” I speak unto you a parable.” Yet, His accurate description of hellfire (Luke 16:19-31), belies the personal account of a wealthy man who once walked the earth, now forever in torment and perpetual flame. Hell is a noun derived from the Hebrew phrase גיא הנום (gy’ hnwm), which means “Valley of Hinnom.” The Valley of Hinnom was a ravine along the southern slope of Jerusalem (Josh 15:18; 18:16). In Old Testament times, it was a place used for offering sacrifices to foreign gods (Molech). In the time of Christ, the valley of Hinnom served as a refuge pit where its fires burned perpetually. Christ used the proximity of this valley as an illustration for the depiction of a literal Hell (Gehenna). His audience could likely smell the stench of burning garbage and were most certainly familiar with this valley.

The Valley of Hinnom– Present Day (Southern Jerusalem, Israel)

Many argue, “how can a loving God create such a place as hell?” Let me throw it back at you, ‘how can a loving God not have a place called Hell, to punish the wicked for their atrocities against God and humanity?” Many criminals go unpunished in this life having mercilessly slaughtered innocents. Murderers, pedophiles, rapists and thieves will certainly receive greater damnation. The justice system on this earth is woefully inadequate. However, the only crime that sends anyone to Hell is for not believing upon the Son of God for the remission of sin. This is the ultimate crime of the ages.

Jesus Christ went to Hell on our behalf. He paid the price for our sin and went to Hell so we wouldn’t have to. Scripture testifies that Jesus was, ‘in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights’ (Matt 12:40; Jonah 2:2), Peter said Christ went to Hell (Acts 2:31; Ps 16:10), Paul said Christ, “descended into the lower parts of the earth” (Eph 4:9-10), referring to the bottomless pit (Rom 10:6-7) and finally Christ liberated the souls of the righteous dead from Abraham’s Bosom or Paradise, located in the earth (Eph 4:8; Ps 68:18).

The 5 Compartments of the Underworld

The compartments of Hell are time sensitive. At various times in history these compartments will either be populated or abandoned. Here are the five compartments of Hell which you never need to set your eyes upon:

  1. Hades (Abode of the dead)– The Greek term for Hell. It serves as a holding place or ‘jail’ for un-redeemed souls until the Great White Throne Judgment. Once judgment is pronounced, Hades will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Hades is a place of hellfire and perpetual torment. In Greek mythology, Hades was the god of the underworld (also named Pluto), a brother of Zeus. The Greeks originally thought of Hell as a shadowy, ghost-like experience. The Romans later saw it as an elaborately organized realm where humanity was rewarded in the Elysian Fields (described by the Roman poet Virgil). Both these empires were misled regarding the afterlife.

    The fires of hell are unquenchable and any soul who goes there will experience unceasing and indescribable torment. The Bible describes Hades as a ‘chamber of death’ (Prov 7:27), a ‘prison’ with ‘prisoners’ (Isa 14:17; 24:22; 1st Pet 3:19-20), having ‘gates’ (Isa 38:10; Job 38:17), ‘bars’ (Jonah 2:6), surrounded by a ‘pit’ (Prov 1:12, 30:3, Isa 14:15;38:10, Ezek 31:16), with ‘stones’ (Isa 14:19), which is ‘never full’ or ‘satisfied’ (Prov 27:20, 30:16, Isa 5:14, Hab 2:5), a land of ‘darkness’ and ‘separation’ (Lev 16:22, Job 10:21-22, 38:17, Ps 88:6), an ‘assembly of the dead’ (Prov 21:16), in ‘the lower parts of the earth’ (Ezek 26:20, 32:24, Isa 44:23).

  2. Abraham’s Bosom (Paradise)– This location is now vacant, but was overflowing when Christ spoke of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). Abraham’s bosom, (which resided in a compartment beneath the earth) was a comfortable setting for the righteous dead until Christ shed His blood on the cross. These OT saints were not subject to torment. Immediately, following His death, Christ took, ‘captivity captive’ referring to these righteous dead and led them to heaven, now awaiting the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Don’t forget that following Christ’s death, 500 people were seen in the vicinity of Jerusalem (1st Cor 15:6).

    These people included patriarchs, prophets and kings of the Old Testament, who briefly sojourned in the old city, on their trip to heaven with Christ. In rabbinical writings as well as 4 Maccabees 13:17, ‘the just’ were thought to be welcomed at death by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jesus, was probably aware of this. Hence the term, ‘Abraham’s bosom’ as Abraham would have greeted the righteous dead upon entry into Paradise. According to Christ’s description, there was a ‘great gulf’ between the righteous and damned, which could not be crossed (Lk 16:26).

  3. The Abyss (Bottomless Pit)– The ‘deep’ or the ‘watery deep’ (tehom), is effectively an enclosed subterranean chamber beneath the sea. Some fallen angels reside in the abyss, ready to be unleashed within the tribulation period. The deep is always in connection with the primeval sea (Job 28:14, Ps 71:20, Rev 11:7, 17:8, Rev 91-11, Rev 20:1-3). The abyss will be opened with a key and the beast will come up out of it. Satan will be chained and thrown into the abyss for 1000 years whilst the Kingdom Age occurs on the earth.

    The demonic spirit Abaddon (aka Greek-Apollyon, meaning ‘destruction’) is clearly identified with the Bottomless Pit (Rev 9:1-12). The demons didn’t want Jesus to cast them into the pit (Abyss) before the time (Lk 8:31). The implication is, some demons now reside in the Abyss and transition to earth at various times. Proverbs 5:5 alludes to a mysterious staircase that leads down to the Abyss (void or underworld). It’s claimed by occultists, that witches call upon demons housed in the Abyss for nefarious assignments against humanity.

  4. Tartarus (lowest part of Hell)– The watcher angels which commingled with the daughters of men (Gen 6:1-4), producing a hybrid race of giants, are currently bound in this lower part of hell, “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” (Jude 6). The 2nd Book of Peter also describes this, ”For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell (tartarus), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” (2 Pet 2:4). Tartarus is a permanent confinement for the angels who transgressed against God and humanity.

    The Abyss in contrast is a temporary confinement, for the demonic realm. Jude 7 describes these angels going after ‘strange flesh.’ Strange flesh implies sexual union that’s unnatural or contrary to nature. In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, ‘strange flesh’ was homosexuality. With regard to these angels which kept not their first estate, ‘strange flesh’ was female flesh. God shows no mercy toward these angels which left their heavenly abode to commit such grievous sin, as they are bound forever, in the deepest parts of the earth.

    In the Greek version of 1 Enoch 20:2, the good angel Uriel is placed over Tartarus, keeping watch over these angels who transgressed against humanity in the ages past. However, in the Book of Revelation, the king of the abyss is an angel named Abaddon or Apollyon, “the Destroyer.” Possibly a different angel is put in charge of the “fire” in Revelation 14:18, but his relationship to the abyss is not made clear.

  5. Gehenna (Lake of Fire or Second Death)– Gehenna (or geenna) is the Greek transliteration derived from the Hebrew ge-ben-hinnom, which means “Valley of Ben (the son of) Hinnom.” Originally this location on the southern side of Jerusalem, was the site of pagan Canaanite worship and later a child sacrificial locale for the corrupt kings of Judah, Ahaz and Mannasseh.

    Gehenna is the final abode of wicked angels and human beings “outside” the new Jerusalem (Rev 21:27; 22:14–15), or more specifically in the “lake of fire.” The destruction of Babylon, after the fashion of Sodom’s fall, is a foreshadowing of the eternal fire (Rev 18:9, 18; 19:3). The beast and the false prophet are the first to be cast in (Rev 19:20), followed by the devil (Rev 20:10), death and Hades (Rev 20:14) and the wicked, where they undergo the “second death” (Rev 20:15; 21:8).
Clarence Larkin – The Underworld (Dispensational Truths)

A Dive of Deep Despair

The infamous explorer Jacques Cousteau made a horrifying discovery in the latter part of the last century. Whilst diving off the Cuban coast, Jacques and his brother, were exploring the seabed within the vicinity of the island. Pastor Roland Gardner (West Virginia) joined Jacques and his brother on a two week diving expedition within the Caribbean, in 1977 and shares this account.

Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997)
French Naval Officer & Oceanographer

Pastor Gardner testified that Jacques Cousteau heard the voices of Hell and screaming, whilst diving on the sea bed. He also described something akin to ‘heavy cast iron chains’ being dragged beneath the sea floor.

Jacques Cousteau didn’t dive for a long time after that torturous experience and never again within the Caribbean. Pastor Gardner recounts how he sat on the deck of the boat and spoke with a terrified Cousteau, who vowed never to dive again, following this encounter. Gardner even shared some scriptures with Jacques concerning the reality of hell. However, it’s not clear whether he converted to Christianity.

What Jesus accomplished in His ascension

When Jesus died on the cross, the principalities of this world thought they had won a great victory but it was this very act that would seal their fate. When Christ entered Hell, He abolished and canceled the law which kept man in bondage, nailing it to the cross. He defeated the demonic principalities and powers, triumphing over them in an open show of victory (Col 2:15-16). Christ’s monumental sacrifice was a means to shed his mortal flesh and enter the spiritual realm in one victorious swoop. Forty days after His resurrection (Acts 1:3–11; Lk. 24:51; Mk. 16:19).

Christ ascended into heaven and in doing so, accomplished three things:

  1. He liberated the righteous immortal Old Testament souls from captivity in the lower parts of the earth (Eph.4:8; Ps.68:18).
  2. He took these captives to heaven, i.e. those who were housed within ‘Abraham’s Bosom’ or ‘Paradise.’ Five hundred of these saints were observed briefly in Jerusalem, on their way to heaven (1st Cor 15:6, Eph. 4:8; Ps. 68:18).
  3. He gave ministerial gifts to men– These gifts are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, in this present-day dispensation of the Church (Eph. 4:8, 11).

They will dig into Hell…

There’s a fascinating scripture found within the Book of Amos, that describes a time when men will dig into hell, “Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them;” (Amos 9:2). Could this have actually occurred in recent times? I enclose an excerpt from an article found online that could corroborate this scripture…

“In the 1980s, Russian scientists conducted a series of borehole experiments in remote Siberia. Originally the assignment involved studying geologic formations and uncovering rare mineral deposits. Eventually, the group ultimately embarked on a mission to simply see how far down they could go. Nothing unusual occurred during the first nine miles. However, after digging beyond record-breaking depths, things took a frightening turn. Suddenly their drill began to spin erratically. It appeared the geologists had hit some sort of hollow region underground. Within the cavern, thermometers gave readings of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, far higher than expected. A waft of rising heat engulfed the apprehensive men. Emanating from the grotto’s dark abyss was a faint noise. Perplexed, the miners decided to lower a heat-proof microphone to collect further data.

One of the Russian scientists, (Dr. Azzacove) shares this personal testimony, ”As a communist I don’t believe in heaven or the Bible but as a scientist I now believe in hell,” said Dr. Azzacove. “Needless to say we were shocked to make such a discovery. But we know what we saw and we know what we heard. And we are absolutely convinced that we drilled through the gates of hell!”

Russian Scientists allegedly drill into Hell

Dr. Azzacove continued, “…the drill suddenly began to rotate wildly, indicating that we had reached a large empty pocket or cavern. Temperature sensors showed a dramatic increase in heat to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. We lowered a microphone, designed to detect the sounds of plate movements down the shaft. But instead of plate movements we heard a human voice screaming in pain! At first we thought the sound was coming from our own equipment.”

“But when we made adjustments our worst suspicions were confirmed. The screams weren’t those of a single human, they were the screams of millions of humans!

Art Bell (1945-2018) – Coast to Coast AM Radio (Host)

On an October 4, 2002 airing of Coast to Coast AM, host Art Bell, had a guest named Dallas Thompson appearing on the show. Art Bell, obtained a copy of the Russian scientist’s microphone recording and confirmed its authenticity, even citing Reuters news organization. Bell lamented the ghastly noises were discovered decades earlier when researchers dug a hole deeper than previously recorded. Before sharing the sickening sample, he prefaced with information about his anonymous source.

They obtained the file from their late uncle, an avid collector of paranormal videos and audiotapes. It originally belonged to a BBC employee who copied the cassette. With a hesitant pause, the seasoned investigator shared cautionary words with audience members: “I warn you, what you are about to hear is very disturbing, indeed.” Following the harrowing introduction, he played an unnerving half-minute clip of dreadful shrieking and revolting wails. Those listening to the radio airwaves shuddered anxiously. “

You can listen to the sounds Hell, here:

If it’s a fake recording, it’s a very compelling one, as the cries of men and women are deeply unnerving. We cannot say for certain whether these scientists actually drilled into hell, albeit there seems to be an irrational number of naysayers trying to disprove this story on the internet. I personally recall listening to this show in the mid 2000’s and remembered Art Bell’s dire warning, prior to sharing the recording.

Man desires Hell to remain a fantastical place, so he never has to face the consequences of sin in this lifetime or the next.

He can only hope and pray that Hell isn’t real but the Bible says it is.

Click here to find out more about the realities of Hell.

Author: Carl G.M. Joseph

Have you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ? If not, click here to find out more…


The Lexham Bible Dictionary

Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, “Abraham’s Bosom,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 15.

Journey to the Underworld (DVD) – Perry Stone Ministries


Gary S. Shogren, “Hell, Abyss, Eternal Punishment, Gehenna” ed. Ralph P. Martin and Peter H. Davids, Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997), 460.

The Fire that is Eternal: Exploring the Nature of Man and the Reality of Hell (Xulon Press, 2013- Jack W. Langford), p 185-186.

Finis Jennings Dake, Dake’s Topics (WORDsearch, 1991).

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Messianic Bible Study Collection, vol. 82 (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 1983), 18.



Dispensational Truth: God’s Plan and Purpose in the Ages (Clarence Larkin, Whitaker House, 2021)

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