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The Outer Darkness

“OUTER DARKNESS” What is the outer darkness?

Matthew 22:13

“Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

The phrase "outer darkness" is mentioned three times in the Bible.

These three times are:

Matthew 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

An interesting connection is found in the phrase, gnashing of teeth, which occurs exactly seven times in the Bible.

Here they are.

Three times the phrase is found in the verses that mention outer darkness.

One time in Luke 13:28

This passage (Luke 13:28-29) is a parallel passage

to the outer darkness reference in Matthew 8:11-12.

In Matthew, the children of the kingdom are cast into outer darkness.

In Luke, Jesus refers to His audience and states, "and you yourselves thrust out." Both passages are referring to the kingdom when people will come from all directions to meet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

But these hypocrites who consider themselves a part of the kingdom

will be cast out. So, the "outer" in "outer darkness" probably refers

to being outside the kingdom of GOD.

One time when the unfaithful servant is appointed his portion with the hypocrites (Matthew 24:51).

Two times when the wicked will be gathered from God's kingdom and cast into a "furnace of fire" (Matthew 13:42, 50).

{Evidently, outer darkness ( can also be called ) a furnace of fire.}

All evidence points to outer darkness being identical to hell.

It is called "outer" because it is ( outside ) GOD’S kingdom.

Those in outer darkness have been thrust [out] of the kingdom.

It is called darkness because it is a place of darkness.

...But how can a place of (fire) be a place of (darkness?)

( “Does not fire emit light?” ) -


Experimental science demonstrates that the purer the flame and the hotter the fire, the less light will be emitted from the fire. Certainly, this is the case with hell. Even the appearance of God on Mount Sinai combined a burning fire with great darkness (Deuteronomy 4:11; 5:22, 23; Hebrews 12:18).

In the Parable of the Wedding Feast -

JESUS tells of a “wedding crasher” of sorts:

a man in the wedding hall was discovered to have entered the feast without authorization. JESUS says that the king, the master of the feast, issued a dire command concerning the interloper:

“Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness.”

JESUS uses the term “outer darkness” in the parable to describe a condition

of great sorrow, loss and woe.

It stands in vivid contrast to the brightly lit and joyous celebration attended

by those who accepted the king’s invitation.

Interpreting the wedding feast as heaven, the “outer darkness” must be the place of eternal punishment.

Most Bible scholars agree that the phrase “outer darkness” refers to hell or,

more properly, the lake of fire - (Matthew 8:12; 13:42; 13:50; and 25:23). The outer darkness of JESUS’ parable is called “blackest darkness”

in Jude 1:13. Again, a place of judgment is the obvious meaning, since it is

reserved for “godless men” (verse 4).

...( Outside ) of The SHEKINAH GLORY….

The word ‘shekinah’ does not appear in the Bible-

but the concept clearly does.

The Jewish rabbis coined this extra-biblical expression, a form of a Hebrew

word that literally means “he caused to dwell,” signifying that it was a divine visitation of the presence or dwelling of the LORD GOD on this earth.

GOD spoke to Moses out of the pillar of cloud in Exodus 33, assuring him that HIS Presence would be with the Israelites (v. 9).

Verse 11 says GOD spoke to Moses “face to face” out of the cloud, but when Moses asked to see GOD’S glory, GOD told Him, “You cannot see MY face; for no man shall see ME, and live” (v. 20). So, apparently, the visible manifestation of GOD’S glory was somewhat muted. When Moses asked to see GOD’S glory, GOD hid Moses in the cleft of a rock, covered him with HIS hand, and passed by. Then HE removed HIS hand, and Moses saw only HIS back. This would seem to indicate that GOD’S glory is too awesome and powerful to be seen completely by man.

The visible manifestation of GOD’S presence [was] ( seen ) not only by the Israelites but also by the Egyptians: “During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion !

HE made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving.

And the Egyptians said, ‘Let's get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt’” (Exodus 14:24-25).

Just the presence of GOD’S SHEKINAH GLORY was enough to convince

HIS enemies that HE was not someone to be resisted !

In the New Testament, JESUS CHRIST is the dwelling place of GOD’S glory.

Colossians 2:9 tells us that “in CHRIST all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,” causing JESUS to exclaim to Philip, “Anyone who has seen ME has seen the FATHER” (John 14:9). In CHRIST, we see the visible manifestation of GOD HIMSELF in the second person of the Trinity. Although HIS glory was also veiled, JESUS is nonetheless the presence of GOD on earth.

Perhaps the place of judgment is pictured as “dark” because of the absence of GOD’S cheering presence.

“When you hide your face, they are terrified” (Psalm 104:29).

GOD is called “light” in 1 John 1:5, and if HE withdraws HIS blessing,

only darkness is left.

Throughout the Scriptures light symbolizes GOD’S Purity, Holiness, and Glory.

Darkness is used as a symbol of moral depravity (Psalm 82:5; Proverbs 2:13; Romans 3:12). Darkness can also refer to trouble and affliction (Job 5:12; Proverbs 20:20; Isaiah 9:2) and to death and nothingness -

(1 Samuel 2:9; Ecclesiastes 11:8; Job 3:4-6).

The outer darkness of judgment is accompanied by “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” The “weeping” describes an inner pain of the heart, mind, and soul. The word in the original denotes a bewailing or lamentation by beating the breast in an

expression of immense sorrow.

The “gnashing of teeth” describes an outward pain of the body.

Taken together, the weeping and gnashing of teeth says hell is a place of indescribable spiritual agony and unending physical pain. Luke 16:23-28.

The outer darkness is a place of anguish, heartache, grief,

and unspeakable suffering. One would conclude therefore, that "outer darkness"

is yet another synonym for hell.

It is a place of darkness.

It is also outside the experience of God's grace.

For, although God bestows His grace on both the just and the unjust

while on earth (Matthew 5:45; Acts 14:17),

none of the gracious presence of God is to be found in the place of outer darkness.

May we trust in the Son of God who can and will deliver us from this place. Know this also -- “ hell “ ( along with “death”) will (both) be cast into The Lake of Fire. Which [is] the second death.

Revelation 20:14

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.

This is the second death.

(May we warn others of the evil of this place.)

Such will be the lot of all who reject Christ (John 3:18, 36).

Just as the divine Presence dwelled in a relatively plain tent called the “tabernacle” before the Temple in Jerusalem was built, so did the Presence dwell in the relatively plain man who was Jesus. “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). But when we get to heaven, we will see both the SON and the FATHER in all their glory, and

the SHEKINAH will no longer be veiled (1 John 3:2).

CHRIST [ is ] the LIGHT of the World (John 8:12).

When one rejects the LIGHT, he will be cast into eternal darkness.

Just like the man in the parable, the one who [rejects] CHRIST will lose

his chance for joy, blessing and fellowship and will be left with nothing --

but darkness and eternal regret.

Matthew Chapter 10

26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

27 What I tell you in darkness, [that] speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, [that] preach ye upon the housetops.

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.

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