Book Review:
Thoughts on A Divine Revelation of Hell by Mary K. Baxter

by Evelyn Uyemura

I believe that the woman who wrote this book probably is sincere. But I cannot believe the descriptions she gives. My feeling is that this unfortunate woman suffered nightmares about hell based on her own subconscious fears and the preaching that she no doubt has heard for years.

The main reason I have for saying this is that her depiction of Jesus is that He is less concerned and troubled by the suffering He sees in hell than she is. She describes Jesus as being “sorrowful, and His eyes were filled with great tenderness and deep love. Though those in hell were forever lost, I knew that He still loved them and would for all eternity.” (p. 37) But the woman seems to feel even more pity and compassion than Jesus: “I was so sad I shivered, and I felt such pity and sorrow for this soul. I wanted so badly to pull her out of the cell and run away with her.” (p. 153.) This same pattern is repeated throughout the book.

The people in hell, according to this author, have repented for their sins, and cry out to Jesus for mercy when they see Him. But repentance and sorrow for sins and faith in Jesus all count for nothing now, for the simple reason that “It’s too late,” as Jesus repeatedly tells them. “You had your chance, you had chance after chance,” Jesus says. But if we are saved by grace, if we are saved not because of any merit on our part, but by the death of Christ on the cross, and if faith is simply accepting what Jesus has already done, why is there an expiration date on His mercy and love? Why does His death become of no effect once a person ceases to breathe? Is it that it is too easy to trust in Christ, once you’ve tasted the punishments of hell? Then what is the point of the punishment?? And what does easy or hard have to do with it? What does “chance” have to do with mercy and grace? We are not saved by chance.

In other words, the one question that Jesus never answers is why is it too late for all these people who are now reaching out to Him and asking for His help? Why has Jesus so changed? What happened to the steadfast love of the Lord which never ceases? Is there any possible meaning to the word “ love”, if it includes allowing a person to be tortured hopelessly forever?

According to this woman’s vision, most of those in hell seem to be Christians! She does mention one Hindu woman who heard the gospel from missionaries, but most of her stories are much closer to home, about Christians who fell into sin and ended up in hell. In that case, what percentage of the world’s total population of 5 billion today will eventually end up burning in hell? Jesus is the Savior of the world, but it looks here like He must be a sadly defeated Savior, if all non-Christians, and a large proportion of Christians, all end up in Satan’s kingdom.

I really think this book is a reflection of her own fears and worries. I am guessing, from her description of a special planet where babies who were miscarried grow up in a kind of odd Bible school, that she may have lost one or more children to miscarriage. And her description of hell as a body seems to say more about her own subconscious feelings about her own body than about any Biblical vision of hell:

[After going through the two legs of hell,] Jesus said, ‘We are now about to enter the tunnel which will take us into the belly of hell. Hell is shaped like a human body lying in the center of the earth. The body is lying on her back, with both arms and legs stretched out….Feeling my fear of this dark, damp, dirty [tunnel], Jesus said, “Fear not…” Giant snakes slithered past us. Some of the snakes were as large as four feet around and 25 feet long. Dense dirty odors filled the air, and evil spirits were everywhere. Jesus spoke. “We will soon be to the belly of hell.”

Another thing that convinces me that this is not Jesus is that He actually abandons this woman in hell on two separate occasions. This shows me her deep-seated fear of hell, and her fear that Jesus will abandon her. But I do not believe for a moment that Jesus would actually do such a thing to this woman. In fact, the experiences she has are so terrifying to her that they cause her to fear Jesus, rather than love Him. “I was so sad and so tired. I collapsed in the arms of Jesus. And even though He restored me whole, I wanted to go far, far away—from Jesus, from my family, from everyone.” (p. 113) And I don’t blame her! Jesus left her in hell and allowed demons to torture her, and she actually believed that she was lost forever. How can she trust Him?

There can be no peace of mind, no joy, and in reality no love, if what she saw is the literal truth. How can we love one another, if underneath it, we think that at some point God might hate the person we have been trying to love? It is safer not to care too much about anyone. Our entire earthy existence would be like tiptoeing along a narrow ledge, hoping to be careful enough to somehow get to heaven without falling into the pit. And knowing that most of our loved ones will not be careful enough. And can you love the God who has created such a universe? And who calls this mercy and grace? I don’t think so.

In fact, I notice in this book that the Father is strangely absent. Jesus tries to be kind, but he can’t do much because for so many people it is “too late.” I have the feeling that this woman looks at God our Father as so remote that He pays no attention. “God could not hear me. The ears of the Almighty are closed to the cries of hell, I thought. If only someone would listen. ‘O my God, save me,’ I cried. ‘Please save all of us.’…But, if He is a good God, why am I here?” (P. 181-182)

Truly this book made me very sad. It is a picture of what the preaching and teaching of hell does to a sensitive soul: It torments her mind, and causes her to cling to Jesus out of fear but with no confidence in His ability to keep her safe. Although she preaches to others to turn to Him in love and trust, it is hard to see how anyone could truly love and trust Him, because He seems both helpless and also cruel.

I believe that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the whole world, and that He is the Savior of the whole world. If people are still suffering for sins which Jesus already died for, then God is unjust, and Jesus died in vain.

God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

God is love.

Love never fails.

 

[A divine revelation of hell c. 1993 by Dr. T. L. Lowery, Whitaker House, 30 Hunt Valley Circle, N Kensington, PA 15068]

Note by Gary Amirault, editor of Tentmaker Ministries and Publications, owner of the Tentmaker Ministries Internet Site: “I personally heard Mary Baxter share her dreams and visions at a Christian conference. Based upon my personal observations, I believe she was not mentally stable. I would concur with Evelyn Uyemura that Ms. Baxter is perhaps projecting her fears and not expressing reality at all. The kind of church she attends certainly would feed her fears. Since her book many others have appears also grossly misrepresenting our heaven Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Weiss has been a popular title for those who want to have their wits scared out of them.



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