God Does Not Decide Whether a Person’s Spirit Enters Heaven or Hell

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1 Samuel 25

24 Then she said:

Sir, please let me explain! 25 Don’t pay any attention to that good-for-nothing Nabal. His name means “fool,” and it really fits him!

I didn’t see the men you sent, 26-27 but please take this gift of food that I’ve brought and share it with your followers. The Lord has kept you from taking revenge and from killing innocent people. But I hope your enemies and anyone else who wants to harm you will end up like Nabal. I swear this by the living Lord and by your life.

28 Please forgive me if I say a little more. The Lord will always protect you and your family, because you fight for him. I pray that you won’t ever do anything evil as long as you live. 29 The Lord your God will keep you safe when your enemies try to kill you. But he will snatch away their lives quicker than you can throw a rock from a sling.

Ecclesiastes 8

16 Day and night I went without sleep, trying to understand what goes on in this world. 17 I saw everything God does, and I realized that no one can really understand what happens. We may be very wise, but no matter how much we try or how much we claim to know, we cannot understand it all.

Richard: Amen to that! Sometimes we cannot understand exactly how God is working, although we try our best.


4. You Are Your Own Judge

The self is the maker and non-maker, and itself
makes happiness and misery, is its own friend
and its own foe, decides its own condition good
or evil, and is its own river Veyarana [the river
in which hell-beings are tormented].
     Madaghishloka (Jainism)

The sacrificers and the sorcerer princes
Have subdued mankind to the yoke of their
To destroy existence through evil deeds:
They shall be tortured by their own soul and
    their own conscience,
When they come to the Bridge of the
Forever to be inmates of the House of Evil.
     Avesta, Yasna 46.11 (Zoroastrianism)

The Good Spirit, who was born simultaneously
with you, will come now and count out your
good deeds with white pebbles, and the Evil
Spirit, who was born simultaneously with you,
will come and count out your evil deeds with
black pebbles. Thereupon you will be greatly
frightened, awed, and terrified, and will tremble;
and you will attempt to tell lies, saying, “I have
not committed any evil deed.”
     Then the Lord of Death will say, “I will
consult the Mirror of karma.” He will look in
the Mirror, wherein every good and evil act is
vividly reflected. Lying will be of no avail.
     Then one of the executive furies of the Lord
of Death will place a rope around your neck and
drag you along; he will cut off your head, extract
your heart, pull out your intestines, lick up your
brain, drink your blood, eat your flesh, and gnaw
your bones; but you will be incapable of dying.
Although your body be hacked to pieces, it will
revive again. The repeated hacking [symbolizing
the pangs of the deceased’s conscience] will
cause intense pain and torture.
     Even at the time that the pebbles are being
counted out, be not frightened; tell no lies; and
fear not the Lord of Death.
     Your body being a mental body is incapable
of dying even though beheaded and quartered.
In reality, your body is of the nature of voidness;
you need not be afraid. The Lords of Death
are your own hallucinations. Your desire-body
is a body of propensities, and void. Voidness
cannot injure voidness; the qualityless cannot
injure the qualityless. Apart from one’s own
hallucinations, in reality there are no such
things existing outside oneself as Lord of Death,
or god, or demon. Act so as to recognize this.
     Tibetan Book of the Dead (Buddhism)

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

God does not decide whether a person’s spirit enters heaven or hell upon his death; the spirit himself decides it. Humans are created so that once they reach perfection they will fully breathe the love of God. Those who committed sinful deeds while on earth become crippled spirits who are incapable of fully breathing in the love of God. They find it agonizing to stand before God, the center of true love. Of their own will, they choose to dwell in hell, far removed from the love of God. (Exposition of the Divine Principle, Creation 6.3.2)
Running through each of you is the boundary line dividing heaven and hell. One step to the right and you go to heaven, one step to the left is hell. Heaven is not so far away, and neither is hell. You are the deciding factor.
     In spirit world there is no policeman directing traffic. We each find our own place. Since you go there of your own free will, you cannot complain. In hell, you cannot protest, “God, why did you send me here?” because you decided your own dwelling place. Even at this moment, each of you knows whether you should go to heaven or hell. (201:225-26, April 22, 1990)
How is it decided whether my journey will end at heaven or hell? I decide it. If I feel guilt-stricken in my conscience for having lived only to enjoy the pleasures of the senses, I will be in hell. However, if I lived according to my conscience, preferring a life of integrity of heart, I will dwell in the heavenly spheres. For this reason, people should abandon the aspiration for material things and deny their evil desires. The correct way is to live by one’s conscience and strive to uphold the ethics of heaven. (7:238, September 20, 1959)
People bound for heaven do not need to be taught the way. Having lived according to their con-science, they will arrive there automatically. When the sun rises, don’t all the buds of the trees turn to face the sun? Even plants know instinctively what direction to take. Then, as the lord of all cre-ation, how could you not know where to go? You will experience this after you enter the spirit world. (75:42, January 1, 1975) 

God Will Be the Judge; Satan Will be the Prosecutor

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Cheon Seong Gyeong 325

What is the difference between true
love and authority? In true love, you
give love and then forget that you have
given it. What is the line between good
and evil? Evil is where something is giv-
en with the intention of receiving all
the benefit for oneself, and goodness is
where, even though you give, you forget
that you have done so. Even in a house-
hold, those who serve others more stand
on the good side, and the one who lives for
others most becomes the master of that
family in the end. Let us say there are ten
friends. Which would be the best among
them? The one who cares for all the oth-
ers. Then the ten friends would make the
one who was taking care of them the cen-
tral figure and serve him. This is how the
universe is inherited. (141-252, 1986.2.26)

Cheong Seong Gyeong 1078

You must be exemplary in every-
thing. Eating good food, living the good
life in affluence can never be exemplary.
You should know that an exemplary life
lies in moderation and spending only
what is absolutely necessary.
     On Sundays I am forced to wear a
suit, but at other times I go without a
necktie as much as possible. When I
am at home I do not wear a jacket but
instead wear simple things like sweaters.
Think about how much neckties cost in
Western society. If you include neck-
tie pins, how much do they cost in all?
Consider two men: one thinks about the
world and lives his entire life without a
necktie and the other lives his life wear-
ing a necktie without thinking about the
world. Which one do you think will be
closer to God when they go to the spirit

The Judgement

3. The Court of Judgment

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?
It is God who justifies; who is to condemn? Is it
Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from
the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who
indeed intercedes for us? Who shall separate us
from the love of Christ?
Romans 8.33-35

When I die my death will be a mercy and a
blessing for you: After death, your deeds will
be sent to me and I will look at them: If you
worked righteousness, I will praise God for this.
If you worked evil, I will ask God that you be
Hadith of Ibn Sa’d (Islam)

They that are born are destined to die; and the
dead to be brought to life again; and the living
to be judged, to know, to make known, and to be
made conscious that He is God, He the Maker,
He the Creator, He the Discerner, He the Judge,
He the Witness, He the Complainant; He it is
that will in future judge, blessed be He, with
whom there is no unrighteousness, nor forgetful-
ness, nor respect of persons, nor taking of bribes.
Know also that everything is according to reck-
oning; and let not your imagination give you
hope that the grave will be a place of refuge
for you. For perforce you were formed, and per-
force you were born, and perforce you live, and
perforce you will die, and perforce you will in
the future have to give account and reckoning
before the King of kings, the Holy One, blessed
be He.
Mishnah, Avot 4.29 (Judaism)

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

Jesus is working as an attorney in the spirit world. He would say to God, “This person did such and such good deeds with faith in my name. Isn’t it true, based upon the agreement fixed between you and the Devil, that the Devil cannot take a person who strived to be good and who observed public righteousness?” Then, God has to agree with him. (149:98, November 17, 1986)

God brings each individual into judgment based on the degree to which he or she lived centered on the mind or centered on the body. An individual is completely restored when he or she becomes the very incarnation of the scriptures, established in truth and guiltless of every law in the book of judgment. Now, on the foundation of individual perfection, it is time to establish a family that can pass through the judgment. All the family’s records will be presented as evidence… God takes position of the judge, Satan will be the prosecutor, and Jesus will be our defense attorney. Therefore, we should establish a pure family that Satan cannot accuse of any wrong. (13:211, March 15, 1964)

Do you love Cain? Cain is in the position of Satan’s son. Satan, who is spiritual, challenges us through people who take the role of Cain. They are grinding their teeth, hating us even though we never did them any wrong. If Satan is not to hook you, you should subjugate Cain; that is, win him over. This will require you to love Cain all the way to the end; otherwise, you cannot save him.
     For this reason, in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, you need to obtain a certificate from Satan. What is Satan’s certificate? For a convicted criminal to be released he should first go through an attorney, then a prosecutor, and finally he can be released by the judge. Satan is in the position of the prosecutor, God is the judge, and Jesus is the attorney.
     If Satan accuses a defendant with convincing evidence, God cannot do anything about it. Then Jesus, the attorney, says, “Heavenly Father, since this person is accused of such and such counts, let him be given an indemnity condition proportionate to his offenses, and then liberate him.” For this reason [proving he has fulfilled the indemnity condition], he needs to procure a certificate from Satan. (48:316-17, September 26, 1971)

How Is it Determined Whether we Shall Go to Heaven or Hell?

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Hebrews 13

11 After the high priest offers the blood of animals as a sin offering, the bodies of those animals are burned outside the camp. 12 Jesus himself suffered outside the city gate, so that his blood would make people holy. 13 That’s why we should go outside the camp to Jesus and share in his disgrace. 14 On this earth we don’t have a city that lasts forever, but we are waiting for such a city.

15 Our sacrifice is to keep offering praise to God in the name of Jesus. 16 But don’t forget to help others and to share your possessions with them. This too is like offering a sacrifice that pleases God.

Psalm 20

20 I pray that the Lord
will listen
when you
    are in trouble,
    and that the God of Jacob
    will keep you safe.
May the Lord send help
    from his temple
    and come to your rescue
    from Mount Zion.
May he remember your gifts
    and be pleased
    with what you bring.

May God do what you want most
    and let all go well for you.
Then you will win victories,
    and we will celebrate,
    while raising our banners
    in the name of our God.
May the Lord answer
    all of your prayers!

The Judgement

2. The Sorting, for Heaven or Hell

Teachings of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon

How is it determined whether we shall go to heaven or hell? It doesn’t matter how religious we are. The answer is simple: if we lived mainly for ourselves, we shall go to hell. On the other hand, if on the balance, even by just one percent, our life was mainly dedicated for a public purpose, we shall overcome hell and arrive in heaven. (75:330, January 16, 1975)

Is the standard of a person’s conscience able to receive the heart of Heaven one hundred percent? No, it is not that way at all. In fact, the conscience of a fallen person is oppressed by so many restrictions. Nevertheless, at the entrance to heaven, our hoped-for destination, stands a gate of judgment. (4:269, August 8, 1958)
It is a gate that only those who lived for the sake of others can pass through. There are guards at the gate. Please understand well that whatever I ask of you is to enable you to pass through that gate. (203:193, June 24, 1990)
Heaven is a vast world, and it consists of three levels. Who will go to the highest level? It is those who most lived for others. It is the law there. If you lived for others, then wherever you go, people will welcome you.
     However, for those who lived for themselves, the opposite scene will unfold. No matter where a self-centered person goes, the people will drive him out, saying “Huh! We don’t like your kind of people.” Everyone will reject a person who lived for himself, and everyone will welcome someone who lived for others. That is for sure.
     You should know clearly whether you are on the path to heaven or to hell. This is not my casual viewpoint. I know the spirit world. People lead all manner of lives on earth, but no one can avoid death. Those who lived for themselves will go to hell, and those who lived for others will go to heaven. At death people are sorted into these two worlds. (203:100-01, June 17, 1990

There Are Two Halves Enclosed in a Single Shell

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Cheon Seong Gyeong 1635

Adam is the ancestor of all males and
Eve the ancestress of all females. In oth-
er words, they are the seeds of man and
woman. They are two halves. Everything
is made up of two halves enclosed in a
single shell, symbolizing God and the
universe. Within the unified God are
dual characteristics, and within them
the embryo, seed and nucleus. (253-249,

Cheon Seong Gyeong 629

What is the center of the spirit world?
It is a world structured and centered on
the One Absolute God, the originator of
the universe from the beginning. There
is nothing He has not created. Since all
things belong to Him, they feel as He
feels and exist in relationship to Him.
For example, the human body consists
of one hundred trillion cells. When any
of the cells at any part of the body feels
something, it directly relays it to the
brain. It is the same for all creatures that
have been connected to their Creator
since the universe was created.
What is more, we are born and live
with consciousness, pursuing goodness
and higher value as well as experiencing
the grief of others? All these attributes
did not originate from human beings
but from the origin of humankind. We
can say that human life is a process of
going towards the resultant world which
leads us to the origin. (140-121, 1986.2.9)

The Judgement

2. The Sorting, for Heaven or Hell

The hour is coming when all who are in the
tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those
who have done good, to the resurrection of life,
and those who have done evil, to the resurrec-
tion of judgment.
John 5.28-29

Towards the wicked man and the righteous one
And him in whom right and wrong meet
Shall the Judge act in upright manner,
According to the laws of the present existence.
Avesta, Yasna 33.1 (Zoroastrianism)

He, having effected an activity of body that
is harmful, effected an activity of speech that
is harmful, effected an activity of mind that
is harmful, arises in a world that is harmful.
Because he has uprisen in a world that is harm-
ful, harmful sensory impingements assail him.
He, being assailed by harmful sensory impinge-
ments, experiences a harmful feeling, without
exception painful, even as do creatures in Niraya
Hell. In this way, there is the uprising of a being
from what he has come to be; he uprises accord-
ing to what he does; when he has uprisen sen-
sory impingements assail him. So I speak thus:
Creatures are heir to deeds.
Majjhima Nikaya 1.389-90, Kukkuravatikasutta

For the Son of man is to come with his angels
in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay
every man for what he has done.
Matthew 16.27

Naturally every Hopi wants to join the spirits
of his loved ones who have passed beyond. To
that end he keeps his heart pure and is kind and
generous to other people.
     When a bad person, one who is known
as “not-Hopi,” dies, his fate is very different.
Witches called the “Two Hearts” take him by
the hand as soon as the breath is out of his body,
and they lead him away to their own country.
The country of the Two Hearts is as bad as they
are themselves.
Hopi Tradition (Native American Religions)

The Trumpet will be sounded, and whoever is in
heaven and whoever is on earth will be stunned,
except for someone God may wish. Then another
[blast] will be blown and behold, they will stand
there watching! The earth will shine through
its Lord’s light and the Book will be laid open.
Prophets and witnesses will be brought in, and
judgment will be pronounced among them for-
mally, and they will not be harmed. Every soul
will be repaid for whatever it has done; He is
quite aware of what they are doing.
     The ones who disbelieve will be driven
along to hell in throngs until, just as they come
up to it, its gates will swing open and its keepers
will say to them, “Did not messengers come to
you from among yourselves reciting your Lord’s
verses to you and warning you about meeting
[Him] on this day of yours?” They will say, “Of
course!” But the Sentence about torment has
still come due for disbelievers. Someone else will
say, “Enter hell’s gates to remain there. What an
awful lodging will it be for the overbearing!”
     The ones who have heeded their Lord will be
driven along to the Garden in throngs until just
as they come up to it, its gates will swing open
and its keepers will tell them, “Peace be upon
you! You have been good, so enter it to remain
there.” They will say, “Praise be to God who has
held true to His promise for us and let us inherit
the earth! We shall settle down anywhere we
wish to in the Garden. How favored are such
workers’ wages!”
Qur’an 39.68-74

At the gates of the land of the dead
You will pass before a searching Judge.
His justice is true and He will examine your
He will know how to find every stain,
Whether visible or hidden under the skin;
If you have fallen on the way He will know.
If the Judge finds no stains on your feet
Open your belly to joy, for you have overcome
And your belly is clean.
Fon Song (African Traditional Religions)

For Nothing is Covered that Will Not be Revealed

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Cheon Seong Gyeong 2128

All North Korean citizens are
equipped with Kim Il-sung’s Juche ide-
ology. We must equip ourselves with the
ideology of true love that is capable of
assimilating them. North Korea is a part
of northern civilization which has been
influenced by the cold winds of soviet
civilization. We must work to naturally
melt them with our temperate zone civi-
lization. Otherwise, both our countries
will come to ruin. Thus, we must thor-
oughly equip ourselves with the ideol-
ogy of true love. This ideology must not
be one that seeks the fulfillment of indi-
vidual desires, but must rather seek the
salvation of all humanity. It must not
be self-centered, but instead serve the
greater good. Communists have the idea
that everyone should work for the sake
of a few top party leaders. This is why
they eliminate any person who stands
out as a potential rival. We are not that
way. Our idea is to unite with the cor-
responding environment in order to
establish a higher reciprocal standard,
that is, for Cain and Abel to unite so
as to receive their parents who are on
a higher level. In other words, we must
become able to impress them with how
we live. We must be able to amaze those
people equipped with communist ideol-
ogy in terms of our view of life and our
standard of character.

Cheong Seong Gyeong 1242

If you have the opportunity to attend
a Blessing Ceremony, you should not go
thinking you are just a man or a wom-
an and there is nothing else to it. When
you attend the ceremony, you are there
representing men and women who have
come and gone in the world over the past
six thousand years. You must under-
stand that you have been invited as such.
You should experience this reality deep
in your heart. (30-169, 1970. 3.22)
Richard: Learn more about the Blessing. (opens in new tab)

The Judgement

After the initial passage into the afterlife, there is another, less comfortable event. each individual undergoes a judgment where he must review his life with unsparing honesty. there is a ledger recording every deed, and its consequences on the people it affected. now that book is opened and read. the movie that re-corded the person’s life is projected onto the screen of his mind. everything comes to light.
     The main criterion of judgment seems to be the deeds. Did the person live more to benefit others, or did he use others to benefit himself? scriptures describe a trial scene, with God as judge, Jesus or Muhammad as defense attorney, and sometimes the devil as prosecutor. God is bound to pass sentence based upon the evi-dence. on this point, Father Moon offers a unique insight: to overcome satan’s accusation at the judgment, we should win over the person or persons who most hate and accuse us on earth. he calls it loving ‘Cain.’
     Scriptures describe a gate that only the righteous may enter, a “bridge of the separator” that only the righteous may cross, and a fire that burns up all falsehood and leaves only what is genuine. the spirit world has various abodes, heavens and hells, welcoming the soul according to its condition. spirits are sorted out, and each goes to its appropriate place. no guards are required to keep out the unworthy; no policemen to direct traffic, for each person naturally goes to the place most fitting to his or her character and past life.

  1. The Life Review

For God will bring every deed into judgment,
with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
Ecclesiastes 12.14

For nothing is covered that will not be revealed,
or hidden that will not be known.
Matthew 10.26

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who
sat upon it; from His presence earth and sky
fled away, and no place was found for them.
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing
before the throne, and books were opened. Also
another book was opened, which is the book
of life. And the dead were judged by what was
written in the books, by what they had done.
Revelation 20.11-12

When the earth is shaken with her earthquake
And the earth yields up her burdens,
And man says, “What ails her?”
That day she will relate her chronicles
Because your Lord inspires her.
That day mankind will issue forth in scattered
groups to be shown their deeds.
And whoever has done good, an atom’s weight
will see it then,
And whoever has done ill, an atom’s weight
will see it then.
Qur’an 99

And every man’s augury have We fastened to
his own neck, and We shall bring forth for him
on the Day of Resurrection a book which he will
find wide open. “Read your book! Your soul suf-
fices as a reckoner against you this day.”
Qur’an 17.13-14

After you depart this life, God shall demand a
reckoning of your deeds
That in His ledger are recorded.
Those that are rebellious, shall be summoned.
Azrael, the angel of death, will hover over
And trapped in a blind alley they will know not
any escape.
Saith Nanak, Falsehood must be destroyed;
Truth in the end shall prevail.
Adi Granth, Ramkali-ki-Var 13, M.1, p. 953 (Sikhism)

On the day when man’s time arrives to depart
from the world, when the body is broken and
the soul seeks to leave it, on that day man is
privileged to see things that he was not permit-
ted to see before, when the body was in full vigor.
Three messengers stand over him and take an
account of his life and of all that he has done
in this world, and he admits all with his mouth
and signs the account with his hand… as it is
written, “that every man should acknowledge
his works.” (Job 37:7)
Zohar 1.79a (Judaism)