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Satan, the Devil, and Hell:


"There's no devil! There's no hell! And, there's no Santa Clause!"


These were the first words that were spoken to my dad when he left his former denomination of nine years in the late 1960’s. The man who spoke these words eventually became our pastor in 1972 when I was a year old; of which new Church my dad, eventually, became the assistant pastor. Ironically, this teaching was not accepted as truth at the Church from which our new pastor had come. But, of even greater irony was that the founding father of this non-denominational, world-wide Assembly (whom God ordained as leader in 1914, and of whom had founded over 400 Churches) actually taught that the devil and hell weren't literal, nor physical; but, were metaphorically understood. Eventually, this teaching fell through the cracks when a section of that Church broke off into Houston, Texas in the early 1940's; so, for some reasons, after a top minister of his came to Houston, he decided to step away from this teaching to teach them traditionally – that is, of them being literal and physical . . . However, not everybody in the Houston Church accepted the change. Sure enough, many had learned of the founding father's views, and it caused divisions. In fact, during the 1960's, the man of whom would become our pastor did, indeed, find other pastors, throughout the U.S., who also held that the devil and hell were metaphorically understood – some of whom had actually sat under this founding father's ministry, and of other pastors that were friends with this said founding father. So, our own pastor had begun to study heavily on the subject himself in the mid to late 1960's until he was fully convinced that this must be the truth – of which belief had led him to tell my dad that there's no devil, no hell, and no Santa Clause.


However, this book is not a history lesson about those Church’s doctrinal views; nor of my own family's Church history; but is a book about how I myself came to accept such beliefs; that I don't believe and teach these things today simply because of family tradition, nor of Church obligations; that neither did I come up with these beliefs on my own; nor that this was simply thought-up overnight by some over-imaginative mind. Eventually, I asked God to show me such things for my own-self when I began to seriously study his Word back in 1986, at the age of fifteen; though, I’d heard these teachings since I was very young; and, indeed, because also my dad's calling had turned from evangelist to a Bible teacher. And, even though my dad surely gave me all the basics on this topic, I wanted much more scripture to back this notion for my own satisfaction, and to study deeply with an open mind. Therefore, this book is about my own researches, and of why I believe, like my father before me, that there's no devil, no hell, and no Santa Clause. (well, I'll leave out the Santa Clause part) . . . And yet, with that, please know dear reader, that neither me nor my dad are delusional; for, we can certainly see, as everyone else does, that those words (satan, devil, and hell, etc.) are absolutely printed in the Bible; but, it's just a matter of how we interpret those words, of how such beliefs can complement the Written Word, and that we shouldn't just accept any 'ol teaching because that's what we were taught when we were young without seriously scrutinizing all the biblical clues at hand. This is a journey of how such views can even be possible; and, to also show that such beliefs can stand alone without having to gain an upper hand from other ancient documents, outside the Bible, which say things contrarywise.



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