PDA

View Full Version : The Intermediate state -- Section 1 and 2



enarchay
Oct 15th 2007, 06:04 AM
Introduction

I have wanted to make this post, among others, for a while. However, I wanted it to be pretty in-depth, and I didn’t find the energy to make it until now. The subject is the intermediate state. The question is, does the believer consciously exist after death? If so, does the unbeliever consciously exist after death? If so to one or both, was this the case for all humans before Jesus?

Throughout the last two years of my studies, one doctrine I have always felt the most strongly about is one that is commonly called “soul sleep.” What I believed (and perhaps still believe) is that upon death both the believer and unbeliever enter an intermediate state of unconsciousness, or more specifically, nonexistence. I define this state, perhaps properly, as Sheol/Hades/grave. This state of unconsciousness is reversed at resurrection. Though from a living perspective the dead are unconscious, theoretically the gap between death and resurrection appears void to one who dies. From the perspective of one who dies, the next conscious experience he has is resurrection; from this comes the metaphor of sleep, a dreamless sleep.

I have recently decided to explore this belief more objectively. Can it really be strongly substantiated? Substantiated or not, it certainly puts a strong emphasis on resurrection and new creation, two things most who concentrate purely on going to Heaven at death completely forget about. I think it is positive in those respects.

N.T. Wright goes over this subject in The resurrection of the Son of God and provides evidence that most first century Jews (cf. Wisdom of Solomon) believed in both a conscious intermediate state and a resurrection. He also provides marginal evidence that this is what the authors (namely Paul) of the New Testament believed. But this does not seem, in my opinion, to align with what the canonical Hebrew Scriptures have to say. The beliefs seem to have sprung up with Hellenism.

This post turned out pretty long, but try to bear with me. The translation used throughout is the ESV unless otherwise stated.

Immortality of the soul

I think the view that the soul is immortal needs to be completely stamped out. Even N.T. Wright seems to deny the immortality of the soul, suggesting such beliefs came about as a result of Platoism (cf. “Neither is the Final Destination (http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/nicholas_t_wright/2007/06/neither_is_the_final_destinati.html)”). The Jewish Encyclopedia comments, “Only through the contact of the Jews with Persian and Greek thought did the idea of a disembodied soul, having its own individuality, take root in Judaism” (“Soul”).

This view seems to be pretty well substantiated.
The first mention of the soul (nephesh) appears in the opening chapters of Genesis. There are two steps to the creation of man, namely, the soul.

[1] the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground

[2] and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,

[=] and the man became a living creature [nephesh] (Gen 2:7).
Here, the soul seems to be the combination of body and spirit. This pretty much rules out the possibility of the soul surviving death, because death is defined almost precisely as the result of separation of body and spirit elsewhere (Ecc 12:7; Psa 104:29, 146:4). If the soul is the result of the body and spirit being combined, it will naturally cease to exist when the body and spirit are separated.

On the other hand, nephesh seems to take on other meanings elsewhere. It comes to represent not only man himself, but also the vitality of man.

“For the life [nephesh] of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls [nephes], for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life [nephes] … For the life [nephesh] of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life [nephesh]. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life [nephes] of every creature is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off” (Lev 17:11, 14).
“Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life [nephesh], and you shall not eat the life [nephes] with the flesh” (Deu 12:23).
The Jewish Encyclopedia explains:

“The belief that the soul continues its existence after the dissolution of the body is a matter of philosophical or theological speculation rather than of simple faith, and is accordingly nowhere expressly taught in Holy Scripture. As long as the soul was conceived to be merely a breath (“nefesh”; “neshamah”; comp. “anima”), and inseparably connected, if not identified, with the life-blood (Gen. ix. 4, comp. iv. 11; Lev. xvii. 11; see Soul), no real substance could be ascribed to it (Jewish Encyclopedia, “immortality of the soul”).
Still, the soul seems largely connected with, associated with, and even identified as the physical (conscious) human body (or person), as seen by its affiliation with the blood. It definitely does not seem to be conceived of as immortal. Other Scriptures elucidate this point.

“Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die. … The soul who sins shall die” (Eze 18:4, 20).
Here, the soul is thought of as dying along with the body.

The ruach, on the other hand, when used to describe a component of man (in contrast to its figurative use to describe the heart, mind, or inner-self of man) is certainly not thought of as conscious. N.T. Wright comments on the spirit returning to God, “Death means that the body returns to the dust, and the breath to God who gave it; meaning not that an immortal part of the person goes to live with God, but that the God who breathed life’s breath into human nostrils in the first place will simply withdraw it into his own possession” (RSG, Wright 98–99). The Jewish Enyclopedia agrees, “As soon as the spirit or breath of God (“nishmat” or “ruaḥ ḥayyim”), which was believed to keep body and soul together, both in man and in beast (Gen. ii. 7, vi. 17, vii. 22; Job xxvii. 3), is taken away (Ps. cxlvi. 4) or returns to God (Eccl. xii. 7; Job xxxiv. 14), the soul goes down to Sheol or Hades, there to lead a shadowy existence without life and consciousness (Job xiv. 21; Ps. vi. 6 [A. V. 5], cxv. 17; Isa. xxxviii. 18; Eccl. ix. 5, 10)” (Jewish Encyclopedia, “immortality of the soul”).

The immortality of man in general is discounted in Genesis.

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen 2:16–17).

“[After Adam and Eve sin, God declares] Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken” (Gen 3:22–23).
Adam is told he will die if he sins. After he sins, he is sent away from the tree of life and denied immortality. This fits in with what Paul says, “the King of kings … alone has immortality” (1Ti 6:15b–16a).

enarchay
Oct 15th 2007, 06:07 AM
The Old Testament and Sheol

It appears most of the authors of the Hebrew Scriptures believed man goes to a place (or state) called sheol at death.

“All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, ‘No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.’ Thus his father wept for him” (Gen 37:35).
Sheol is almost synonymous with death and the dust of the Earth (cf. Paul’s translation of hades as thanatos in the critical text of 1Co 15:55 with Hos 13:14 LXX); Psa 30:9); Andrew agrees and comments, “Numerous texts in the Greek Old Testament place ‘Hades,’ which is equivalent to the Hebrew ‘Sheol,’ in synonamous parallelism with ‘death’” (COSM, Perriman 94). In sheol, there is no distinction between the righteous and unrighteous, rich and poor, high class and low class, and man and beast; all go to the same place (1Sa 2:6; Psa 89:48; Ecc 9:2–3). There is no profit in death (Psa 30:9a) for the dead do not praise, remember, or hope for God in sheol (Psa 6:5, 30:9, 88:11, 115:17;Isa 38:18), but are cut off from his presence, though God’s omnipresence ensures his existence even in sheol (Psa 139:8). Rather, the inhabitants of sheol are described as shades (Isa 14:9, 26:14).

The best description of sheol comes from Solomon.

“For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun. … Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going” (Ecc 9:5-6, 10).
According to Solomon, the dead know nothing. There is no work, thought, knowledge, or wisdom in Sheol. In other words, death yields little more than unconsciousness.

Despite sheol often translated “hell” in the KJV, it is not thought of as a place of tomrent (though being sent to sheol is sometimes counted as a punishment). Andrew explains concerning hades, the Greek translation of sheol:

“Hades is not a place of torment. Rather than eat the flesh of an unlawful sacrifice, the righteous scribe Eleazar tells Antiochus’ officials to ‘send him to Hades’ (2 Macc. 6:23), clearly not expecting to suffer punishment there” (COSM, Perriman 94–95).
Sheol is often described as being deep in the Earth (Num 16:33; Deu 32:22; Isa 7:11, cf. 57:9; Eze 31:14; Psa 86:13). The Jewish Encyclopedia provides an explanation for the origins of sheol based on its descriptions:

“The question arises whether the Biblical concept is borrowed from the Assyrians or is an independent development from elements common to both and found in many primitive religions. Though most of the passages in which mention is made of Sheol or its synonyms are of exilic or post-exilic times, the latter view, according to which the Biblical concept of Sheol represents an independent evolution, is the more probable. It reverts to primitive animistic conceits. With the body in the grave remains connected the soul (as in dreams): the dead buried in family graves continue to have communion (comp. Jer. xxxi. 15). Sheol is practically a family grave on a large scale. Graves were protected by gates and bolts; therefore Sheol was likewise similarly guarded. The separate compartments are devised for the separate clans, septs, and families, national and blood distinctions continuing in effect after death. That Sheol is described as subterranean is but an application of the custom of hewing out of the rocks passages, leading downward, for burial purposes” (“Sheol”).
Thus, it appears the concept of sheol originated from traditional Hebrew burial practices. In this way, the soul is thought of dying and entering the grave with the body; and at least from Solomon’s perspective, there is no consciousness beyond the grave.

The return of death

After Adam sins, he is told:

“By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3:19).
Here, death is a return to the dust of the Earth. Solomon picks up on this theme also, eleborating the spirit also returns to God (Ecc 12:7). However, there are two verses in particular that take an interesting twist on the theme of the return of death.

“For I know that, unto death, thou wilt bring me back [shub], even unto the house of meeting for every one living” (Job 30:23, Rotherham).

“The wicked shall return [shub] to Sheol, all the nations that forget God” (Psa 9:17).
Here, those who are soon to die are thought of as returning to death and sheol. Of course, shub in these two instances may not denote a return to a starting point. Perhaps someone can discuss this issue further.
If man returns to the state he exists in before his birth (in Adam’s case dust; in everyone else’s cases, depending on how you think shub should be translated, sheol and death), there is little reason to think he enters a state of consciousness.

enarchay
Oct 15th 2007, 06:14 AM
An Old Testament alternative


One concept that initially seems to offer an alternative to sheol appears early on in the Hebrew Scriptures.
“Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people” (Gen 25:8).This does not necessarily mean Abraham entered a state of conscious existence after his death, but that he went to the same place (or entered the same state) as his relatives, sheol, to sleep with his fathers (e.g. 1Ki 2:10). However, this sees to be bound up also with Hebrew burial traditions. The next two verses read:
“Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre, the field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried, with Sarah his wife” (Gen 25:9–10).This comes up again when burial and the gathering of a dead man to his people are almost explicitly bound up in the transportation of the corpse to his native land, to dwell in a cemetery with his dead relatives.
“And when the time drew near that Israel must die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, ‘If now I have found favor in your sight, put your hand under my thigh and promise to deal kindly and truly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt, but let me lie with my fathers. Carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying place.’ He answered, ‘I will do as you have said’” (Gen 47:29–30).N.T. Wright notes some more ambiguous Old Testament alternatives to sheol in The Resurrection of the Son of God.
“There are some passages which appear, at least on one reading, to offer hope that YHWH will deliver people from Sheol. The problem with these passages is to know whether this refers to a deliverance that lies beyond Sheol – i.e. that YHWH will snatch the dead person out of Sheol, either taking them, after death, to some other, more attractive, post-mortem existence, or rescuing them after a short stay – or whether it simply refers to deliverance from death, i.e. proloning life to a good old age rather than being cut off in one’s prime” (Wright 103–104).These passages do pose a problem. How can or should we interpret these passages? Could these not be subtle allusions to resurrection? N.T. Wright gives a few examples and provides his opinion. He first explains, “The best-known of these passages is Psalm 16 [v. 8–11]” (Wright 104):
“I have kept YHWH before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure. For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit. You show me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.”Based on the passages, even within the Psalms themselves, declaring Sheol’s inhabitant’s inability to praise the Lord, I think the most likely interpretation of these passages is that the Psalmist was experiencing a time of prosperity, praising the Lord in his own lifetime.


Wright comments:
“There is legitimate doubt over whether this refers to escaping death or passing through it to a life beyond, but there is no question of the basis of the hope. It is YHWH himself; the one the Psalmist embraces as his sovereign one (verse 2), his portion and cup (verse 5), the one who gives him counsel in the secret places of his heart (verse 7).
This question can be raised inc onnection with Psalm 22. The Psalmist is clearly in deep trouble, physical danger, and distress: ‘you lay me’, he says,‘in the dust of death’ (verse 15). Nevertheless, he prays that God will save his life, and, in a famous reversal of fortunes, the closing verses of the Psalm gives thanks that God has done just that (verses 22–31). As a part of this thanksgiving, the Psallm celebrates the fact that everyone will eventually submit to God, even the dead:

To him shall all the proud of the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and he who cannot keep himself alive [Ps. 22 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Ps.+22).29].

The main hope, though, seems to be that of rescue from violent death, rather than a deliverance the other side of the grave. The Psalm ends with a reaffirmation of the traditional hope of Isrel, for the coming ‘seed’ who will give God thanks (verses 30-31). This affirmation of continuing life, rather than of resurrection itself, is presumably what is intended by Psalm 104 as well” (Wright 104).
It seems Wright agrees with me. But there are other examples he touches.
“Something more definite can be said about Psalm 73 at least. One of the classical biblical complaints about the apparent injustices of life (the wicked and arrogant always seem to get away with it), this Psalm takes its place alongside the book of Job itself. It offers, though, a different sort of answer. For a start, when the Psalmist goes into God’s sanctuary, he realizes that the wicked will indeed be condemned, though how and when this will happen remains unclear:

Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! They are like a dream when one awakes; on awaking you despite their phantoms [Ps. 73.18-20]” (Wright 106).

Is this perhaps the proclamation that the wicked enter post-mortem conscious distress? Or is this the expressing the hope the wicked will be judged after resurrection? Or perhaps even more simply, is the Psalmist saying the wicked get what is coming to them in their own lifetime, as earlier Hebrew traditions claimed?

This not all to the Psalm, however. He continues:
“Nevertheless I am continually with you; hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on Earth that I desire other than you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever … For me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord YHWH my refuge, to tell you of all your works [(Psalm Ps. 73.23–7)]” (qtd. in Wright 106).N.T. Wright notes the word for “receive” in v. 24 could be translated “take” as it is in Genesis 5:24. He comments further:
“It seems clear that ‘and afterward’ (weachar) in verse 24 refers, not to an event that will take place later on within the present life, but to a state which will obtain after the present life of being guided by God’s counsel. This is confirmed by verse 26, where, with echoes of Isaiah 40:6-8, human frailty and even death are met by the unshakeable strength of God himself. Unfortunately the crucial word kabod, translated here as ‘to glory’ – crucial because it would be good to know what exactly the Psalmist thought lay ahead – could equally well be translated, with NRSV, as ‘with honor’” (Wright 106).Does this verse, on the fridge of many others that suggest the opposite, really support a doctrine of a conscious intermediate state? Could this not equally refer to resurrection or something simpler?

Wright points out one last verse where the same Hebrew word for “receive” as in the previous is used.


In this passage, after the Psalmist declares humans are no better than beasts, all going to the grave, he seems to offer an alternative to his own fate.
“Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; Death shall be their shepherd; straight to the grave they descend, and their form shall waste away; Sheol shall be their home. But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me” (qtd. in Wright 107).Could this not also display hope for resurrection? The above passages remind me of the Psalmist’s hope that “will not abandon [his] soul to Sheol, or let [the] holy one see corruption” (Psa 16:10).

These verses should provide interesting discussion for this thread. No matter how you interpret them, the fact remains: the hope for life after death is very marginal in the Old Testament.

enarchay
Oct 15th 2007, 06:18 AM
The New Testament and hades

Hades, the Greek equivalent to the Hebrew sheol, is used only nine times in the New Testament. Three verses, however, are of particular interest.
The first appears in the book of Acts, chapter two.
It is the day of Pentecost. The Apostles are anointed with flaming tongues and begin to speak in other languages. Some think they are drunk, so Peter stands up proclaiming the gospel.

“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him, ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence’” (Act 2:22–28).
Here is where the interesting twist comes:

“Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’” (Act 2:29–35).
Peter reinterprets David’s Psalm and says he was not speaking of his own fate, but of Jesus’. David was left in Hades; Jesus was not. David is still buried; Jesus is not. David did not ascend to Heaven; Jesus did.
The next passages of interest appear in the first epistle to the Corinthians, chapter fifteen.

“Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’” (1Co 15:51–55).
While most critical texts read thanatos twice in verse fifty-five, the Textus Receptus reads hades the second time. The fact remains, however, the Masoretic Text reads sheol and the Septuagint hades. Paul interprets this prophecy in the context of resurrection. The implications of Paul quoting this passage is that Paul sees hades as having power even over the believer and as not defeated until after resurrection. This fits in with John’s Apocalypse when hades gives up its dead (Rev 20:13), only to be destroyed in the lake of fire after judgment (v. 14).

The last passage of interest appears in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. In the parable, the rich man fares prosperous while Lazarus is poor and ailed. However, there is a refersal of fortune when the two die. Lazarus enters the comfort of Abraham’s bosom whereas the rich man goes to Hades.

“ Hades, being in torment, he [the rich man] lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side” (Luk 16:23).
This Hades seems like the antithesis of the Hades of the Hebrew Scriptures. In fact, it has been noted to have much in common with the Hades of Greco-Roman tradition. On the other hand, both Andrew and Wright have their doubts about what this verse reflects about actual life after death.

Andrew has pointed me in the past to D.B. Gowler who notes:

“Some scholars have suggested that the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Luke+16%3A19)–31) derives from an Egyptian folktale about the journey of Setme Chamois (led by his son Si-osire) through the realm of the dead. They believe Jesus adapted this Egyptian story for his own purposes and created the second half of the parable (16:27–31).

A closer examination of the evidence, however, calls for a broader, Greco-Roman comparative framework for reading the parable. Ronald Hock, for example, provides an apt comparison from the Lucian texts, Gallus and Cataplus, where a poor, marginalized artisan named Micyllus goes hungry from early morning to evening and must bear the slights, insults, and beatings of the powerful. When Micyllus and a rich tyrant named Megapenthes die, they both make the trip to Hades.

Megapenthes, like the rich man in Jesus’ parable, tries to strike a bargain to alter his situation, but to no avail. Finally, Micyllus and Megapenthes face Rhadamanthus, the judge of the underworld. Micyllus is judged to be pure and goes to the Isle of the Blessed. Megapenthes’s soul, however, is stained with corruption, and he will be appropriately punished. In Hock’s opinion, both this story and the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus betray the ancient Cynic philosophers’ views on the problems with wealth and the virtues of poverty” (“The Contexts of Jesus’ Parables”, Gowler 16–17).
Andrew himself points out in The Coming of the Son of Man:

“The exception [to Hades being a place of torment] … is Jesus’ story about the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19–23), which deserves careful consideration. Ostensibly this rather curious parable, which appears to have some affinity with an Egyptian folktale known in the first century [see Nolland, [I]Luke, 557], is about the failure of the wealthy to act justly towards the poor: it is naturally read as an attack on the Pharisees who were ‘lovers of money’ (16:14). More often, though, it has been a bone of contention in the debate over the nature of hell: R. A. Peterson, for example, draws the conclusion that this parable teaches that the wicked will enter an ‘intermediate state after death’ in which they will ‘endure torment and agony.’ Certain observations, however, suggest that this sort of interpretation entirely misses the point of the story.

First, the image of one who must eat what falls from the table (as Lazarus does from the rich man’s table) is used by the Syrophoenician woman to justify her boldness when she begs Jesus to cast a demon out of her daughter (Mark 7:28; cf. Matt. 15:27). It is likely that we are meant to view Lazarus in the same light, as one who is not merely wretchedly poor but spiritually disenfranchised. Lazarus is a Jewish name, and apart from this intertextual echo there is no reason to think that he represents the Gentiles [on this see bellow] who will come into the kingdom in place of the leaders of the people. He corresponds to the ‘poor and crippled and blind and lame’ who are brought in from the streets and lanes of the city in Jesus’ parable of the great banquet not those beyond the walls of the city who are compelled to come in later (Luke 14:16–24). …

[Also], while the rich man’s five brothers could certainly have found in Moses and the prophets exhortations to act justly and defend the poor, they would also have found that such statements were embedded in eschatological contexts. The point was not that social and economic injustice were morally wrong, but that if Israel did not repent of its sin, including injustice towards the poor, the nation would come under judgment. …

This leads us towards the conclusion that the Hades in which the rich man is tormented is not the conventional Hades of the Old Testament, which, as we have seen, is not a place of punishment. Nor is it the traditional ‘hell’ of popular Christian belief. Rather it is an image of the destruction that would come upon the ‘wealthy’ in Israel, who despite the riches and glories of their religious heritage failed to understand that, in the words of the beatitude, the kingdom of God would be given to the poor (cf. Luke 6:20)” (Perriman 96–97).
Wright mostly agrees:

“I stressed in the earlier volume that the parable of the rich man and Lazarus is to be treated precisely as a parable, not as a literal description of the afterlife and its possibilities. It is therefore inappropriate to use it as prima facie evidence for Jesus’ own sketching (or Luke’s portrait of Jesus’ sketching) of a standard post-mortem scenario. It is, rather, an adaption of a well-known folk-tale, projecting the rich/poor divide of the present on to the future in order to highlight the present responsibility, and culpability, of the careless rich. However, while the parabolic nature of the story prevents us from treating it as Jesus’ own description of how the afterlife is organized, it does not prevent us from saying that for Jesus himself, and/or for those who handed on the tradition, this story indicates, in standard Jewish style, a clear belief in continuity between the present life and the ‘resurrection’ strand in second-Temple Judaism, or with a ‘disembodied immortality’ stand; the possibility is envisaged that Lazarus might return from the dead, but Abraham forbids that it should happen. It does, however, highlight one of the many metaphors current in Judaism for the abode of the blessed, either in perpetuity or prior to their possible rising again: Lazarus has gone to ‘Abraham’s bosom’. Luke’s intention in placing the story here (soon after the ‘inaugurated eschatology’ of 15.24, 32, and soon before the apocalyptic warnings of 17.22-37) is at least clear: things done and decided in the present are to be seen in the light of the promised future. ‘Resurrection’ is coming forwards into the present in Jesus’ ministry, but those who cannot see it and reorder their lives accordingly are in danger of losing all. Significantly, this message of resurrection is clearly linked to the call for justice, which remains a closely related theme throughout early Christianity, This, we may suppose, was exactly the kind of thing that would put the average Sadducee right off the whole idea” (RSG, Wright 337–338).
Even John Lightfoot adds:

“[In the parable of Lazarus and the rich man] perhaps there may be something more aimed at in the name [Lazarus]: for since the discourse is concerning Abraham and Lazarus, who would not call to mind Abraham and Eliezer his servant, one born at Damascus, a Gentile by birth, and sometime in posse the heir of Abraham; but shut out of the inheritance by the birth of Isaac, yet restored here into Abraham’s bosom? Which I leave to the judgment of the reader, whether it might not hint the calling of the Gentiles into the faith of Abraham.”
Lightfoot’s interpretation is in opposition to Andrew, who believes Lazarus does not specifically represent the Gentiles. Ernest L. Martin elaborates upon Lightfoot’s observation, pointing out the rich man’s five brothers, relating them with the five brothers of Judah.

In any case, the parable needs to be taken with a grain of salt. As Andrew Perriman has said, “[It] would certainly be unwise to draw firm theological conclusions from this one traditional story. It would be different if Jesus spoke repeatedly, using arguments from the Old Testament, about the conscious suffering of all the wicked in flames following death - but, of course, he didn’t” (OST, “Lazarus and Dives”).

enarchay
Oct 15th 2007, 06:22 AM
A New Testament alternative

Though the New Testament is fairly silent on hades, there are four verses in particular that seemingly provide an alternative to the sheol of the Old Testament. Three of these verses are by Paul.


The first passage appears in the second epistle to the Corinthians, chapter five.
“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him” (2Co 5:6–9).Though Paul does not explicitly say being absent from the body yields God’s presence with his use of the Greek word kai, he is certainly willing to be both absent and present with the Lord; the implications of these statements seem to be apparent: when one is absent from the body, he is present with the Lord. However, closer view of the context makes interpretation of this passage more difficult. The first few verses are clearly talking about resurrection. Is Paul saying one enters God’s presence when he is absent from the body or that the believer is brought one step closer to resurrection when he dies? Would Paul, who just said, “not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life”, really cling to the hope of leaving the body and entering an intermediate state? Perhaps not here, but elsewhere suggests he does.

The next passages of interest appear in the epistle to the Philipians.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Php 1:21–23).Here, clearly, Paul expects to be with Christ after he dies. The language of departing is far less ambiguous than Paul’s statement to the Corinthians. How can this be harmonized with the other texts we have examined thus far, though? Could Paul have been wrong?

The next passage of interest appears in the first epistle to the Thessolonians.
“For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him” (1Th 5:9–10).Paul offers the reader hope that the believer lives together with Jesus whether awake or asleep (i.e. dead or alive). Again, the reader is presented with a problem: how can this be harmonized with the other texts; does it even need to be?


The next passage, more ambiguous than the other three by Paul, appears in the book of Revelation.
“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, ‘O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’” (Rev 6:9-10 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Rev+6%3A9-10)).Founding an entire doctrine on this passage alone is lacking. John’s apocalypse is filled with highly symbolic and figurative language. Moreover, it seems John has something more specific in mind than the espousing of a doctrine of conscious existence after death.

First, these souls are seen under an altar. The word “altar” is translated from thusiasterion, meaning “a place of sacrifice.” The point of the saints’ plea, then, is to hyperbolically stress God’s peoples’ need of vengeance and vindication; they are being slain like lambs upon an altar, and their enemies are getting away with it.

Second, as noted above, the soul (in Greek, psyche) is thought of as being in the blood. Blood is sprinkled upon an altar during sacrifice.

Third, the passage seems to be indirectly linked with the martyrdom of Abel, who’s blood is depicted as crying out from the ground to God (Gen 4:10 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Gen+4%3A10); cf. Mat 23:35 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Mat+23%3A35)).

Thus, the passage should not be taken too literally, no more than the account of Abel’s blood crying from the ground should be. This passage, after all, is contained within an apocalyptical context. Nevertheless, the passage relates the need for the suffering people of God to be vindicated.


The next passage, the most ambiguous of them all, appears in the gospel according to Luke. Jesus is dying on the cross, when the one thief hanging on a cross text to him asks a question.
“And he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ And he [Jesus] said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise’” (Luk 23:42 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Luk+23%3A42)–43).There are three problems with the popular interpretation of this passage.

The first has to do with the comma. The oldest Greek texts contain no punctuation. Thus, scholars infer punctuation into their translation. Most schools put the comma after “to you” (soi). However, some have their doubts. Rotherham, the compiler of the Emphasized Bible, a literal translation of the Bible, translates the verse, “And he said unto him—Verily, I say unto thee this day: With me, shalt thou be in Paradise.” The Concordant Literal Version does so similarly: “And Jesus said to him, ‘Verily, to you am I saying today, with Me shall you be in paradise.’”


Rotherham adds in a footnote:
“It is left for the reader to determine whether the words ‘this day’ should be joined (A) with the former part of the sentence, or (B) with the latter. In favour of (A) may be urged (1)the fact that semeron, ‘this day,’ does not always stand first in the clause to which it belongs(see Lu. ii. 11; v.26; xxii. 34; Ac. xx. 26; xii. 3; xxiv.21; xxvi.29; (2) that being essentially a demonstrative word, it will bear any reasonable stress which may be laid upon it, whether it be placed before or after the words it qualifies; (3) that it is far from meaningless if regarded as belonging to the opening words of asserveration (‘Thou dost ask to be remembered then: verily thou art assured now. As on this day of my weakness and shame, thou hast faith to ask, I this day have authority to answer’); (4) that the latter part of this verse is thus left free to refer to the very matter of the supplicant’s request (‘Thou dost ask to be remembered when I come in my kingdom: thou shalt be remembered then, and with distinguished favour: thou shalt be in my kingdom; shalt be with me in the very paradise of my kingdom, in the garden of the Lord — Is.li.3 [Sep. paradesios]; Eze.xxxvi.35; compare Ge.ii.8 [Sept. paradesios]; Re.ii.7 — in that most central and blessed part of the coming kingdom, of which thou dost believe me to be the destined king.’ On the other hand, in support of (B)it may be said, (1) that our Lord’s well known formula, ‘Verily I say to thee,‘ ‘Verily I say to thee,’ in every instance stands thus simply alone without any other qualifying word; (2) that the double emphasis produced by attaching ‘this day’ to the words coming after (‘This day, with me shalt thou be’) is exactly matched by chap. xix. 5(‘This day, in thine house I must needs abide’); (3) that no ingenuity of exposition can silence the testimony of Lu. xvi. 23, 25 to the conscious comfort of seperate souls in Abraham’s bosom; (4) that in the days of our Lord, that state of waiting consolation was sometimes termed ‘paradise,’ to which state, therefore, the believing listener might not unnaturally understand the speaker to refer; and (5) that, although this interpretation does not regard the Lord’s reply as covering of the precise intention of the petitioner, it must nevertheless have been to him a pre-eminently satisfactory answer, no better pledge of a place in the future kingdom being conceivable than an immediate place in the paradise of waiting souls in the companionship of the annointed king. (For the various and not always consistent views of the Jews in the days of our Lord regarding ‘Paradise,’ see Smith’s Bible Dictionary, under that word: it was far off in the distant East, further than the foot of man had trod-it was a region in the world of the dead, of Sheol, in the heart of the earth-or, again, it was in the third heaven, etc, etc, -From this account it will be seen what weight should be attched to Jewish opinion in connection with what Jesus spoke of the rich man and Lazarus, Lu. xvi.)” (qtd. in “Where should the comma be placed? (http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/newworldtranslation/luke23.43.htm)”). E.W. Bullinger comments in The Companion Bible, Appendix 173:
“The interpretation of this verse depends entirely on punctuation, which rests wholly on human authority, the Greek manuscripts having no punctuation of any kind till the ninth century, and then it is only a dot (in the middle of the line) separating each word.…

The Verb ‘to say’, when followed by hoti, introduces the ipsissima verba of what is said; and answers to our quotation marks. So here (in Luke 23:43 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Luke+23%3A43)), in the absence of hoti = ‘that’, there may be a doubt as to the actual words included in the dependent clause. But the doubt is resolved (1) by the common Hebrew idiom, ‘I say unto thee this day’, which is constantly used for very solemn emphasis (See note on Deut. 4:26 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Deut.+4%3A26)); as well as (2) by the usage observable in other passages where the verb is connected with the Gr. semeron = to-day.

1. With hoti : —

Mark 14:30 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Mark+14%3A30) : ‘Verily I say unto thee, that (hoti) this day … thou shalt deny me thrice.’

Luke 4:21 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Luke+4%3A21) : ‘And He began to say unto them, that (hoti) ‘This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.’’

Luke 5:26 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Luke+5%3A26) : ‘Saying (hoti =that), ‘We have seen strange things to-day.’

Luke 19:9 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Luke+19%3A9) : ‘Jesus said unto him that (hoti), this day is salvation come into this house.’

For other examples of the verb ‘to say’, followed by hoti, but not connected with semeron (to-day), see Matt. 14:26; 16:18; 21:3; 26:34; 27:47; Mark 1:40 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Mark+1%3A40); 6:14, 15, 18, 35; 9:26; 14:25. Luke 4:24, 41 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Luke+4%3A24); 15:27; 17:10; 19:7.

2. Without hoti : —

On the other hand, in the absence of hoti (= that), the relation of the word ‘to-day’ must be determined by the context.

Luke 22:34 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Luke+22%3A34) : ‘And He said, ‘I tell thee, Peter, in no wise shall a cock crow to-day before thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest Me.’ Here the word ‘to-day’ is connected with the verb ‘crow’, because the context requires it. Compare Heb. 4:7 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Heb.+4%3A7).

It is the same in Luke 23:43 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Luke+23%3A43) : ‘And Jesus said to him, ‘Verily I say unto thee to-day [or this day (*1), when, though they were about to die, this man had expressed so great faith in Messiah’s coming Kingdom, and therefore in the Lord’s resurrection to be its King — now, under such solemn circumstances] thou shalt be, with Me, in Paradise.’ For when Messiah shall reign His Kingdom will convert the promised land into a Paradise. Read Isa. 35 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Isa.+35), and see Note on Ecc. 2:5 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Ecc.+2%3A5).”

Bullinger draws to mind Deuteronomy 8:19 and 30:18 LXX.
“Kai [And] estai ean [if] lethe [in forgetfulness] epilathe [you should forget] kuriou [[I]the Lord]] ton theou sou [your God], kai [and] poreuthes [should go] opiso [after] theon eteron [other gods], kai [and] latreuses [should serve] autois [to them], kai [and] proskuneses autois [should do obeisance to them], diamarturomai [I testify] umin [to you] semeron [today] ton [on] te [both] ouranon [heaven] kai [and] ten [the] gen [earth] apoleia [by destruction] apoleiasthe [you shall be destroyed]” (The Apostolic Bible Polyglot, Deut 8:19 LXX).

“Anaggello [I announce] soi [ to you] semeron [today], hoti [that] apoleia [by destruction] apoleisthe [you will be destroyed” (The Apostolic Bible Polyglot, Deut 30:18 LXX).

Here we see that semeron is incorperated to add emphasis.


Additionally, Bruce Metzger notes in A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament:
“The Curetonian Syriac rearranges the order of words, joining σημερον, not with μετ’ εση but with ’Αμην σοι λεγω (‘Truly I say to you today, that with me you will be…’)” (qtd. in TheologyWeb (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?t=3031)).The problem lies not just in translation, but also in interpretation. Paradeisos is the Greek word used to translate Eden and often refers to what is to happen on Earth, whether literally or metaphroically, rather than an intermediate state in-between death and resurrection.

Andrew Perriman comments:
“Jesus’ promise to the repentant criminal that ‘today you will be with me in Paradise’ (Luke 23:43) has usually been read as a statement about what happens after death. … The word, however, occurs in a highly suggestive context in Isaiah 51:3 LXX: ‘And now I will comofrt you, O Zion; and I have comforted all her desert places; and I will make her desert places as a garden (paradeison) of the LORD.’ The wider passage speaks of the salvation of Zion following divine judgment and resonates at a number of points with the crucifixion narrative, not least:

The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward. I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting. But the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgrace; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. (Isa. 50:5–8).

Arguably the real promise here has to do less with the fate of the individual than with the restoration of Israel — not through violence (all the more partinent if the ‘criminal’ is not a petty thief but a revolutionary who sought the liberation of Israel through armed resistance) but through the suffering of the Servant of the Lord and through national repentance. ‘Paradise’ is then not so much a place to which the soul goes at death, temporarily or otherwise, but a metaphor for the salvation of Israel which is to be accomplished through Jesus’ death and resurrection. The promise is an assurance to those who ‘pursue righteousness’ (Isa. 51:1 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Isa.+51%3A1)) that the God who made Abraham many (51:2) will indeed comfort Zion and transofrm her wilderness into a garden like Eden” (COSM, Perriman 87).

Wright, on the other hand, takes the stance that Jesus is referring to an intermediate state (RSG page 438, footnote 114). His opinion seems to be backed up by Paul, who equates paradeisos with the “third heaven” (2Co 12:4).

I think close attention is due to the thief’s actual request. The thief wants Jesus to remember him when he comes in his Kingdom. Should we interpret this as a first century Pharisee probably would, to refer to the Kingdom of the age to come (ha`olam ha-ba) or to the Kingdom the Son of Man figure of Daniel receives upon ascension to the Ancient of Days (Dan 7:13-14)? Either interpretation rules out that it happened on the very day the thief asked, but the latter interpretation suggests the thief shared in Jesus’ vindication on the third day. Was he perhaps one of those who came out of his grave on Jesus’ resurrection (Mat 27:52)? If so, did he ascend also with Jesus to receive the Kingdom? Perhaps we should interpret this passage less literally to refer to covenant renewal, the foreshadowing of new creation (paradise on Earth).

The final problem of the popular interpretation has to do with the same author’s other statement that Jesus was in hades prior to resurrection (Act 2:31). If paradise is an intermediate state, is it in hades?

In my opinion, the passage is so ambiguous that a solid conclusion cannot be drawn.

enarchay
Oct 15th 2007, 06:24 AM
The harrowing of Hell

Those who believe in a conscious intermediate state of torment for the wicked often believe Jesus descended into this place to deliver the Old Covenant saints to Heaven. This have come to be called the harrowing of Hell. However, it has very, very little support.
One of the most commonly quoted passages is contained in the following:

“Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water” (1Pe 3:18-20).
This verse is very ambiguous. Who are these spirits in prison? Apparently they are only those who sinned in the days of Noah. This calls to mind the 1 Enoch tradition of the sinning angels. Both the author of the second epistle of Peter and the author of the epistle of Jude seem to uphold this tradition (cf. 2Pe 2:4; Jud 1:6 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=Jud+1%3A6)). If this interpretation is correct, it would mean that through Jesus’ resurrection he subjected “angels, authorities, and powers” (v. 22), even fallen angels (if they actually exist).

What do you think?

With such a lack of evidence for the harrowing of hell, I do not think there is much ground for saying death changed with Jesus’ atonement.

Conlusion

Based on my above studies, I think the hope for postmortem existence is small. The passages that offer this hope are extremely marginal. In contrast to these few passages, there are many that suggest the opposite. Moreover, even if the believer enters a conscious intermediate state of bliss, there is basically no evidence that the unbeliever enters a conscious state of torment. I find little evidence that death changed with Jesus’ resurrection (i.e. harrowing of hell), so if there is a conscious intermediate state, there always was; please discuss this issue, though.

All in all, what place do you think a doctrine of a conscious intermediate state should have in the gospel? Should it have any place at all? Keep in mind all my questions and points and please discuss these issues and tell me what you think.

My next (big) post following this line of thinking will be on judgment, but I may not finish it for a while.

Mograce2U
Oct 15th 2007, 02:14 PM
Stephen's testimony is interesting here:

(Acts 7:55-60 KJV) But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, {56} And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. {57} Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, {58} And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. {59} And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. {60} And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

This is a clear testimony from one about to die as he sees into the spiritual realm. What does he see? Jesus. And what does he say to Him? Receive my spirit. Then his body "falls asleep" which is a euphemism for death.

Voltaire's testimony as he was about to die was that he saw Satan coming for him with chains.

Of the people who have been raised from the dead in scripture, only Jesus speaks about the afterlife. It is interesting that in the story of the rich man in hell, Lazarus is the name of the character whom He shows in paradise - Abraham's bosom. And soul sleep is not supported by His words.

Lazarus who died before the cross and was raised back to earthly life, provides the type for what we see in the OT understanding of Hades. And the thief on the cross who died before Jesus was resurrected is within this type also. But Stephen is not, and Paul's words confirm that he is present with Jesus in heaven.

Jesus Himself is the first resurrection and if we have been born again then we have the seed of eternal life dwelling in us. Note that Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit when he saw into the spiritual realm. This is what we need to see what he saw when the time comes for us.

My conclusion: When we die, our spirits are received alive & awake by Jesus in heaven, while our bodies go into the grave. Therefore the body sleeps but not the soul. This is the hope of Christianity that we have secured for us in the resurrection of Jesus.

enarchay
Oct 15th 2007, 05:03 PM
Stephen's testimony is interesting here:

Not anymore than Paul's vision of Jesus.


This is a clear testimony from one about to die as he sees into the spiritual realm. What does he see? Jesus. And what does he say to Him? Receive my spirit. Then his body "falls asleep" which is a euphemism for death.

Yes. But as I explained, the spirit is not conscious. Solomon uses the image of the spirit returning to God as well, but afterwards declares all vanity. It is simply an image of one breathing his last breath.



Voltaire's testimony as he was about to die was that he saw Satan coming for him with chains.


Who?


Jesus Himself is the first resurrection and if we have been born again then we have the seed of eternal life dwelling in us.

Eternal life, zoe aionios, means more precisely life in the age to come, i.e. resurrected immortality; not the ability to never die pre-resurrection. Obviously we all die and do not possess eternal life.



My conclusion: When we die, our spirits are received alive & awake by Jesus in heaven, while our bodies go into the grave. Therefore the body sleeps but not the soul. This is the hope of Christianity that we have secured for us in the resurrection of Jesus.


You are failing to differentiate between the spirit and soul. If there is a conscious afterlife, I think we should avoid describing what component of man goes there. From a canonical biblical perspective, the soul is not immortal, and the spirit is not conscious; so if there is a conscious afterlife, this is because of God's power alone. I think the best way to describe this would be with the simile: death is like a sleep with pleasant dreams.

spm62
Oct 15th 2007, 06:32 PM
Thanks enarchay for your post. I was brought up in the traditional American church and believed all that I was taught. Such as we go to be with Christ immediately after death, eternal torment, the evil line of Seth as opposed to fallen angels etc. As I have gotten older and done more research I began to question these things that are traditionally taught. Immediate life after death is one that I`m still not sure about but I have been leaning toward the belief of a state of unconsciousness until the resurrection. There is so much emphasis put on a resurrection by Jesus. One thing I can`t understand... if we go to be with the Lord when we die then why do we need to be resurrected. If we are alive in heaven and are able to function,communicate,know one other and are just completely happy then why do we need a resurrected body? Obviously there are people that have been dead for thousands of years, If they are conscious in heaven and have been for all of this time and are happy and communicate with one another,then why do they need another body? Again,thanks for the post. It is something I have been thinking about a lot lately and I`m anxious to read others opinions on this.

spm62
Oct 15th 2007, 06:51 PM
Some verses that I`m trying to understand are in John 11:21-27. Lazarus is dead and Martha tells Jesus that she knows Lazarus will be resurrected on the last day then Jesus says.."I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." "And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." I`m trying to reconsile these verses with the whole theme of this thread. In other words, Jesus seems to be infering something different than what Martha believed. She already believed in the resurrection so why did jesus respond the way he did. Interested in your thoughts on this.

enarchay
Oct 15th 2007, 10:49 PM
Thanks enarchay for your post. I was brought up in the traditional American church and believed all that I was taught. Such as we go to be with Christ immediately after death, eternal torment, the evil line of Seth as opposed to fallen angels etc. As I have gotten older and done more research I began to question these things that are traditionally taught. Immediate life after death is one that I`m still not sure about but I have been leaning toward the belief of a state of unconsciousness until the resurrection. There is so much emphasis put on a resurrection by Jesus. One thing I can`t understand... if we go to be with the Lord when we die then why do we need to be resurrected. If we are alive in heaven and are able to function,communicate,know one other and are just completely happy then why do we need a resurrected body? Obviously there are people that have been dead for thousands of years, If they are conscious in heaven and have been for all of this time and are happy and communicate with one another,then why do they need another body? Again,thanks for the post. It is something I have been thinking about a lot lately and I`m anxious to read others opinions on this.

Yes. I don't care if people believe in a conscious intermediate state. The problem is, people make it their main focus. Some people don't even know about resurrection; I was one of them. It's as N.T. Wright says:

Heaven is important but it's not the end of the world: in the mainstream Christian tradition until the Platonists corrupted it, the ultimate destination is THE NEW HEAVENS AND THE NEW EARTH, which will involve an ultimate resurrection (bodily, of course) for God's people (in some versions, for all people).

The way the phrase 'heaven and hell' are used today implies you go straight to one or the other, ignoring the solid biblical testimony to an ultimate new creation in which heaven and earth are brought together in a great act of renewal (for those who want it, check out Ephesians 1.10, Revelation 21 and 22, Romans 8.18-27 and 1 Corinthians 15.20-28 -- though once you see this theme it's there everywhere).
If someone asks me if I want to go to Heaven when I die, I'll say no, because if I meet the Lord before resurrection, resurrection will lose some of its flavor.

enarchay
Oct 15th 2007, 11:04 PM
Some verses that I`m trying to understand are in John 11:21-27. Lazarus is dead and Martha tells Jesus that she knows Lazarus will be resurrected on the last day then Jesus says.."I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." "And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." I`m trying to reconsile these verses with the whole theme of this thread. In other words, Jesus seems to be infering something different than what Martha believed. She already believed in the resurrection so why did jesus respond the way he did. Interested in your thoughts on this.

I would take Jesus' statement about those who believe, though they are dead, they live, both to represent the new life Christians partake in after conversation (see Rom 6:11; 7:6; Eph 2:6) but also, more importantly, the future bodily resurrection (see Rom 8:11). Notice Martha's hope that Lazarus will rise on the last day.

As for the bit about never dying, the KJV translates the Greek very poorly. In the Textus Receptus, "never die" is translated from ou me apothane eis ton aiona, which should be translated something like, "never die into the age."

Rotherham translates it, "And, no one who liveth again and believeth on me, shall in anywise die, unto times age-abiding. Believest thou this?" (Rotherham's Emphasized Bible).

Young translates it, "and every one who is living and believing in me shall not die--to the age" (Young's Literal Translation).

The Greek-English Interlinear New Testament reads, "Kai [And] pas ho [everyone] zoen [living] kai [and] pisteuon [believing] eis [in] eme [me] ou me apothane [never dies] eis [into] ton [the] aiona [age]."

In other words, those who believe in Jesus will not face wrath in the age to come (e.g. the last day), i.e. be cast into the lake of fire.

Mograce2U
Oct 16th 2007, 02:38 AM
Not anymore than Paul's vision of Jesus.
Nor any less. I was however, referring to Paul's statement that to be absent from the body was to be present with the Lord.

Yes. But as I explained, the spirit is not conscious. Solomon uses the image of the spirit returning to God as well, but afterwards declares all vanity. It is simply an image of one breathing his last breath.

Solomon is actually asking a question in that passage since he does not know whether the soul returns to the Lord or not.

Who?
Voltaire wrote Dante's Inferno. He had some major issues with God during his life. His deathbed testimony verified his unbelief to his eternal detriment.

Eternal life, zoe aionios, means more precisely life in the age to come, i.e. resurrected immortality; not the ability to never die pre-resurrection. Obviously we all die and do not possess eternal life.

An age with a beginning and no end which no one will enjoy unless he has the life of Christ dwelling in him before he dies.

You are failing to differentiate between the spirit and soul. If there is a conscious afterlife, I think we should avoid describing what component of man goes there. From a canonical biblical perspective, the soul is not immortal, and the spirit is not conscious; so if there is a conscious afterlife, this is because of God's power alone. I think the best way to describe this would be with the simile: death is like a sleep with pleasant dreams.And you my friend are failing to differentiate with the transition that the cross wrought for us. Yes the body sleeps until the resurrection, but the soul does not. Revelation seems to give that picture clearly with the multitudes who are before the throne - in heaven; alive and praising the Lord. I will admit I am not sure if the OT saints pre-cross are present there or not yet, but surely all who have died since the cross are.

Don't fall so in love with a doctrine that you deny the gospel to embrace it.

spm62
Oct 16th 2007, 03:38 AM
Hi Mograce,
As I have stated earlier.this is a topic that I`m still trying to reconsile in my heart. Can you give me your take on something I touched on earlier? I copied it and added it here..thanks.

Immediate life after death is one that I`m still not sure about but I have been leaning toward the belief of a state of unconsciousness until the resurrection. There is so much emphasis put on a resurrection by Jesus. One thing I can`t understand... if we go to be with the Lord when we die then why do we need to be resurrected. If we are alive in heaven and are able to function,communicate,know one other and are just completely happy then why do we need a resurrected body? Obviously there are people that have been dead for thousands of years, If they are conscious in heaven and have been for all of this time and are happy and communicate with one another,then why do they need another body? Again,thanks for the post. It is something I have been thinking about a lot lately and I`m anxious to read others opinions on this.

Steven3
Oct 16th 2007, 04:58 AM
Hi Mograce :)
Revelation seems to give that picture clearly with the multitudes who are before the throne - in heaven; alive and praising the Lord. Is it safe to admit Revelation to this discussion?

I ask this because Revelation has all kinds of things in it we know are symbolic. There aren't really 144,000 male virgins from the 12 tribes of Israel and so on. Just as there aren't really flying scrolls or four horsemen, or many horned beasts. Yet the tail (Revelation) tends to wag the dog (the other 65 books) whenever it is introduced into any discussion. Could we for the purposes of Enarchay's thread establish what the Bible teaches as if the Bible only had 65 books, and then go look at the visions and symbols in Revelation?
God bless
Steven

Mograce2U
Oct 16th 2007, 02:16 PM
Hi Mograce,
As I have stated earlier.this is a topic that I`m still trying to reconsile in my heart. Can you give me your take on something I touched on earlier? I copied it and added it here..thanks.

Immediate life after death is one that I`m still not sure about but I have been leaning toward the belief of a state of unconsciousness until the resurrection. There is so much emphasis put on a resurrection by Jesus. One thing I can`t understand... if we go to be with the Lord when we die then why do we need to be resurrected. If we are alive in heaven and are able to function,communicate,know one other and are just completely happy then why do we need a resurrected body? Obviously there are people that have been dead for thousands of years, If they are conscious in heaven and have been for all of this time and are happy and communicate with one another,then why do they need another body? Again,thanks for the post. It is something I have been thinking about a lot lately and I`m anxious to read others opinions on this.The hope of heaven upon death is so prevalent amongst humans that every religion has some idea of what it must be like. You could say that this hope is common to man - a hope of life after death. But the hope of resurrection to bodily life is only found in Judaism and Christianity that I am aware of. Most others think we become angels or spirits.

The difficulty to me seems to be in trying to attribute the concept of time into the eternal realm. On this side we think in terms of time, but what time is seen once there? I don't think we have the ability to think outside this box we are presently in, since whatever we conceptualize heaven to be always seems a bit earthbound. Yet there are clues given to us.

Jesus was dead (His body) three days and then raised bodily - the first of the firstfruits of the resurrection. He is dwelling in heaven now in a glorified body. I see no reason for those who are in Him to have to wait even a moment after they die to be raised in body like Him. Yet scripture seems to indicate that something remained to be done before this would be the case. And Revelation does specifically say that the rest of the dead must wait until the judgment, though the saints are with Him.

I can't turn a hope into a fact, and I can't really get my mind around it either. My hope is heaven upon death and in the resurrection when the new heavens and earth come at Jesus' return. However long death lasts for my body, it seems it will only be a moment for my soul that will live forever. I try to avoid the doctrine of soul sleep because it attempts to do what I cannot which is see into the spiritual realm to know what has not been permitted for us to know.

So if I go with only what has been revealed to us by men like Stephen, I would have to base my hope on his testimony, knowing that Jesus is alive and I am to be like Him and will be with Him forever - whether in body or soul.

RogerW
Oct 16th 2007, 06:27 PM
And you my friend are failing to differentiate with the transition that the cross wrought for us. Yes the body sleeps until the resurrection, but the soul does not. Revelation seems to give that picture clearly with the multitudes who are before the throne - in heaven; alive and praising the Lord. I will admit I am not sure if the OT saints pre-cross are present there or not yet, but surely all who have died since the cross are.

Don't fall so in love with a doctrine that you deny the gospel to embrace it.

Greetings Mograce,

I believe you are quite right to make this transition between saints dying before the cross, and saints dying after the cross. Revelation, (which is a book of the Bible in which the readers are blessed who hear the words of the prophesy, and keep the things written in the book) does indeed give us a clear picture of many in heaven before the Second Coming who are alive and praising the Lord.

We know that no one could be resurrected to heaven, either spiritually or bodily before Christ. So I believe the Bible tells us that all those saints dying before the cross went to the grave to await the coming of Messiah. We have the example of David having died but not ascending into heaven.

Ac 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Ac 2:35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

In Heb 11, often called the hall of faith chapter, we find the OT saints having died without having received the eternal promise. The promise they looked for was a heavenly dwelling place.

Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Heb 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

When we look at Rev 7 we find the 144,000 being sealed just prior to the message of the cross going unto all the world after the HS is liberally poured out at Pentecost. What is sealing? Sealing is being made Spiritually alive (quickened) in Christ. We are sealed with the HS when we become saved after the cross, but prior to the cross the HS dwelt among the people, but there is no evidence of permanent indwelling like we find after Christ sends the Spirit at Pentecost. I believe this passage of Rev 7 is showing us the Spiritual resurrection of all those who died in faith before the cross. Now that Christ has been resurrected, they, like all saints who die after the cross, are Spiritually reigning with Him in heaven, and in the fullness of time we will all be given our new glorified bodies to reign as a whole being with Him throughout eternity.

Re 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
Re 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

We also find in Rev 6 souls who were slain for the word of God and the testimony they held. There are some things in this passage worth noting (1) they are under the altar, that seems odd since John is seeing a vision of heaven, and (2) they die for the word of God and the testimony they held, but there is no mention of the cross.

I believe it can be shown that being under the altar is another way of saying these are in the Sacrificial Lamb, Who was slain, which the altar represents, and have died in faith awaiting fulfillment of the promise. In other words these have been marked (See Eze 9) to be spiritually resurrected, but until Christ literally goes to the cross they must wait in the grave.

When you compare these souls with those killed in Rev 20:4, we find, as John sees the progression of history unfolding, the later reference says, "the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God." The later passage shows all who die for faithfully bringing the Word of God and His testimony of the coming Messiah from the Old, and those who die for faithfully bringing the Word of God AND the witness of Jesus. I believe this shows that the earlier reference to martyrs in Rev 6 symbolizes those who die in faith before the cross, and those who are Spiritually resurrected (Rev 7) at Pentecost.

Re 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Re 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Re 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Okay, I've probably managed to thoroughly confuse everyone reading, so please don't hesitate to ask for clarification of my two cents.

Many Blessings,
RW

Mograce2U
Oct 16th 2007, 10:09 PM
Hi Roger, I didn't find that one bit confusing - thanks!

spm62
Oct 17th 2007, 12:58 AM
Thanks for your input on this. I`m still reading and researching different point of views. I guess it`s like a lot of things in the bible dealing with end times and life after death,it comes down to interpretation of certain scriptures. It`s funny how you can take three 80yr old Christian men who have been studying and praying over the bible all of their lives, and they will disagree on certain points of scripture, such as..osas,soul sleep,eternal damnation,gifts of the spirit,rapture,sabbath etc. No one with any credibilty has come back to tell us in detail what exactly happens the moment after death. Sure,Jesus came back,but it still isn`t made crystal clear what happens immediately. In time,we all will know. Thanks

spm62
Oct 17th 2007, 01:05 AM
Greetings Mograce,

I believe you are quite right to make this transition between saints dying before the cross, and saints dying after the cross. Revelation, (which is a book of the Bible in which the readers are blessed who hear the words of the prophesy, and keep the things written in the book) does indeed give us a clear picture of many in heaven before the Second Coming who are alive and praising the Lord.

We know that no one could be resurrected to heaven, either spiritually or bodily before Christ. So I believe the Bible tells us that all those saints dying before the cross went to the grave to await the coming of Messiah. We have the example of David having died but not ascending into heaven.

Ac 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Ac 2:35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

In Heb 11, often called the hall of faith chapter, we find the OT saints having died without having received the eternal promise. The promise they looked for was a heavenly dwelling place.

Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Heb 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

When we look at Rev 7 we find the 144,000 being sealed just prior to the message of the cross going unto all the world after the HS is liberally poured out at Pentecost. What is sealing? Sealing is being made Spiritually alive (quickened) in Christ. We are sealed with the HS when we become saved after the cross, but prior to the cross the HS dwelt among the people, but there is no evidence of permanent indwelling like we find after Christ sends the Spirit at Pentecost. I believe this passage of Rev 7 is showing us the Spiritual resurrection of all those who died in faith before the cross. Now that Christ has been resurrected, they, like all saints who die after the cross, are Spiritually reigning with Him in heaven, and in the fullness of time we will all be given our new glorified bodies to reign as a whole being with Him throughout eternity.

Re 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
Re 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

We also find in Rev 6 souls who were slain for the word of God and the testimony they held. There are some things in this passage worth noting (1) they are under the altar, that seems odd since John is seeing a vision of heaven, and (2) they die for the word of God and the testimony they held, but there is no mention of the cross.

I believe it can be shown that being under the altar is another way of saying these are in the Sacrificial Lamb, Who was slain, which the altar represents, and have died in faith awaiting fulfillment of the promise. In other words these have been marked (See Eze 9) to be spiritually resurrected, but until Christ literally goes to the cross they must wait in the grave.

When you compare these souls with those killed in Rev 20:4, we find, as John sees the progression of history unfolding, the later reference says, "the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God." The later passage shows all who die for faithfully bringing the Word of God and His testimony of the coming Messiah from the Old, and those who die for faithfully bringing the Word of God AND the witness of Jesus. I believe this shows that the earlier reference to martyrs in Rev 6 symbolizes those who die in faith before the cross, and those who are Spiritually resurrected (Rev 7) at Pentecost.

Re 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Re 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Re 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Okay, I've probably managed to thoroughly confuse everyone reading, so please don't hesitate to ask for clarification of my two cents.

Many Blessings,
RW


So Roger,are you saying that there were only 144,000 people who died before Christ who are saved? :hmm:

RogerW
Oct 17th 2007, 01:57 AM
So Roger,are you saying that there were only 144,000 people who died before Christ who are saved? :hmm:

Greetings spm,

Actually what I am doing is quoting Scripture, but since we are quoting from a book filled with symbolism, it is impossible for me to know whether this number is literal or symbolic. I believe the point of the whole passage in Rev 7 is to show us this relative small number (whether literal or symbolic) being saved by grace through faith before the cross compared with the great multitude that no man can number (once again is this literal or symbolic?), who are saved by grace through faith when the preaching of the cross and Christ crucified goes unto all the globe.

Re 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

To me the whole point is comparing the weakness of the law, and why it is done away, compared to the great strength in Christ and His cross. It's an awesome truth that is often overlooked when people try to make the 144,000 somehow fit in with the great multitude no man can number.

Blessings,
RW

Steven3
Oct 17th 2007, 02:10 AM
Hi Roger :)
Actually what I am doing is quoting Scripture, but since we are quoting from a book filled with symbolism, it is impossible for me to know whether this number is literal or symbolic. I believe the point of the whole passage in Rev 7 is to show us this relative small number (whether literal or symbolic) being saved by grace through faith before the cross compared with the great multitude that no man can number (once again is this literal or symbolic?), who are saved by grace through faith when the preaching of the cross and Christ crucified goes unto all the globe. I'd agree - why then would it have any relevance to the nature of the intermediate state?

Are those symbols symbolic of people being saved by grace on earth, symbolic of the church, symbolic of the alive, or dead, symbolic of the future, symbolic of those in the present in heaven, it could mean almost anything....

This is why we'd all do better to stick to more literal/concrete verses about life and death than go to Revelation in this thread.
God bless
Steven

RogerW
Oct 17th 2007, 02:52 AM
Hi Roger :)I'd agree - why then would it have any relevance to the nature of the intermediate state?

Are those symbols symbolic of people being saved by grace on earth, symbolic of the church, symbolic of the alive, or dead, symbolic of the future, symbolic of those in the present in heaven, it could mean almost anything....

This is why we'd all do better to stick to more literal/concrete verses about life and death than go to Revelation in this thread.
God bless
Steven

Greetings Steven,

I believe I have answered most, if not all of these questions here #17 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1412072&postcount=17) Just because the book of Revelation is filled with symbolism, that does not mean the meaning of the symbolism is hidden and cannot be understood. You can't just determine to throw out an entire book of the Bible, and assume it does not speak concretely about life and death. If you have never studied the book of Revelation how do you know it does not contain concrete teaching about life and death?

Blessings,
RW

Steven3
Oct 17th 2007, 06:29 AM
Hi E :)
Additionally, Bruce Metzger notes in A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament:

“The Curetonian Syriac rearranges the order of words, joining σημερον, not with μετ’ εση but with ’Αμην σοι λεγω (‘Truly I say to you today, that with me you will be…’)” (qtd. in TheologyWeb (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?t=3031)).Joining? How, Greek adverbs don't inflect :rolleyes:. I don't have TCGNT with me so I'm not sure what that means. I can't tell from the quote whether what Metzger means is that the Greek text under the Syriac overwrite, which is a copy of R, has a variant reading, or whether he means that's what the Syriac overwrite would say if it was translated back into Greek? If so I'm not sure what Metzger's point is since the Syriac is only a translation of the Greek so it only shows how some 3rd Century Aramaic translator read the Greek. Which isn't surprising as the Old Latin read it in the same way.

http://www.katapi.org.uk/BibleMSS/Curetonian.htm

Maybe when I get home the textual apparatus of UBS GNT will shed some light..

Anyway, the vast majority of mss agree, so this is just a reading problem. And the natural reading of αμην λεγω σοι σημερον μετ εμου εση εν τω παραδεισω would be that the temporal adverb "today" in the answer relates to the temporal marker in the request "when".

Christ wouldn't need to sayαμην σημερον λεγω σοι μετ εμου εση εν τω παραδεισω in order to make it clear that "I tell you today" replies to "remember me when" and not "with me in paradise". That would be very stilted word order.

And to have the following, no matter how much people would love the NT mss to say this, would require John 20:17 to be false: αμην λεγω σοι μετ εμου εση σημερον εν τω παραδεισω

The main issue is whether people read the answer as a direct response to the thiefs request or one of Christ's more Johannine off-tangent replies.
God bless
S.

Steven3
Oct 17th 2007, 06:36 AM
If you have never studied the book of Revelation how do you know it does not contain concrete teaching about life and death? I never said I'd never studied it, I said that visions and symbols aren't the best tool to re-interpret the rest of the Bible. How do I know? Because taken literally it would contradict the other 65 books.

:)

RogerW
Oct 17th 2007, 10:56 AM
I never said I'd never studied it, I said that visions and symbols aren't the best tool to re-interpret the rest of the Bible. How do I know? Because taken literally it would contradict the other 65 books.

:)

You are simply mistaken.

spm62
Oct 17th 2007, 02:12 PM
You are simply mistaken.


Well, obviously everyone has an opinion ,not just on this biblical topic but a slew of others as well..lol. Anyway, one of the problems I have when we talk about this verse is symbolism but that verse should be taken literal is this..... People will take verses that seem to support their view and want to take that literally and verses that support another view and say,,oh, that should not be taken literally. We should take all of scripture as a whole and try and see if what we believe harmonizes with all of scripture. Unfortunately,in this situation, a case could be made either way. But no one will really know until that time comes..... Shalom

Steven3
Oct 18th 2007, 12:55 AM
Hi Roger
You are simply mistaken.Well it wouldn't be the first time :).


Dear all
One of the problems with us as non-Jews accepting the Bible teaching on the intermediate state is that our expectations of what constitutes existence (our 'ontological criteria', to use big words) are largely based around what is nice for us - to which the symbols of the 144,000 in Revelation and the popular cartoon image of saints on clouds playing harps all speak to.

Yet in the OT the essential nature of conscious existence was whether one could fulfill the 1st and fundamental purpose of man - to praise God.

So David (Ps 6:5) only says that in the intermediate state he "cannot praise God", Hezekiah (Is38:18) describes the intermediate state in the same way "cannot praise God". And so on in dozens of other OT verses. For those men the sole purpose of conscious existence was not to see loved ones again, or get away from the aches and pains of the body, or any other largely selfish motive, but simply to "praise God". If they couldn't do the most important thing "praise God", they generally didn't bother to enumerate the 101 secular things they couldn't do. The only notable exception to this is Ecclesiastes 9:5-10 which takes a secular view of "there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going", not the sacred view of David or Hezekiah. And it's because Ecclesiastes speaks to the secular (our selfish interests) that we all know about, and try to get round, Ecclesiastes 9, but the vast majority of Christians are totally ignorant of all the Ps6:5 Is38:18 etc. type verses which take a sacred purpose "cannot praise God" as the ultimate purpose of existence (i.e. praise of YHWH is the primary ontological criterium). If Hezekiah had said "the dead cannot play harps and eat sundaes" we could bet the verse would be better known.
God bless
Steven

cwb
Oct 18th 2007, 01:58 AM
If it turns out we are unconcious in the intermediate state, our next thought would be being with Jesus Christ. If when I die, there is 150 years before the return of Christ, if there is no consiousness as some in this post have suggested, my next thought would be the return of Christ. Even though 150 years have passed, it would be less than one second for me if there is no consciousness.

spm62 asked this question


Obviously there are people that have been dead for thousands of years, If they are conscious in heaven and have been for all of this time and are happy and communicate with one another,then why do they need another body?


I do not see that anyone has attempted to answer that question. This is a question I have as well.

Mograce2U
Oct 18th 2007, 03:49 AM
If it turns out we are unconcious in the intermediate state, our next thought would be being with Jesus Christ. If when I die, there is 150 years before the return of Christ, if there is no consiousness as some in this post have suggested, my next thought would be the return of Christ. Even though 150 years have passed, it would be less than one second for me if there is no consciousness.

spm62 asked this question
Quote:
Obviously there are people that have been dead for thousands of years, If they are conscious in heaven and have been for all of this time and are happy and communicate with one another,then why do they need another body?

I do not see that anyone has attempted to answer that question. This is a question I have as well.Martha's conversation with Jesus just came up in another thread.

(John 11:21-27 KJV) Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. {22} But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. {23} Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. {24} Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. {25} Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: {26} And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? {27} She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

What do you suppose Jesus was saying to her? Our God is the God of the living, not the dead.

spm62
Oct 18th 2007, 04:14 AM
Hey mograce,
As you know, I`m still not sure about which side I believe to be true..lol. There are scriptures that seem to support both. As for your question, I guess it would mean what Jesus meant when he said die. We know that people due indeed die..as far as their pysical bodies. So did Jesus mean spiritually they don`t die or did he mean..it appears as though they die but in reality they are only sleeping ? In other words, they are lying in an unconscious state but they are not truly dead as far as they will never ever wake up. Sort of like when you sleep,you are in an unconscious state but you will wake up, you just don`t sleep forever and ever.So, when you go to the grave,you don`t just lay there forever and ever..you will wake up,you are not truly dead,just unconscious. I`m just throwing out a rhetorical question because as I`ve stated before it is something that interest me and I`m trying to figure out questions from both sides. I would probably lean toward the side that says we never lose consciousness but for one question that I can`t get around. That question being, the new testament puts a lot of emphasis on a resurrection...so if we go to heaven or paradise at death, and we are completely happy, recognize one another, fully function and carry out task..why do we need a resurrected body to complete us. Why did Jesus and the new testament writers put such an emphasis on a resurrection if we are already happy in Gods presence? Just a question I have as I ponder this myself. :hmm:

Steven3
Oct 18th 2007, 04:16 AM
Hi Mograce :)
What do you suppose Jesus was saying to her? Well I don't think Jesus is saying that Martha was wrong, he wasn't saying that Lazarus wouldn't rise in the resurrection of the dead - see Luke 14:14.
Our God is the God of the living, not the dead.This wasn't said to someone who did believe in Hannah's hope (like Martha), but in people who denied Hannah's hope that "God brings down to Hades and raises up" (Sadducees), so Christ could say that the dead are "alive to God". Being "alive to God" however doesn't automatically mean "in no need of resurrection" "able to praise God despite what David and Hezekiah and Solomon say" or "perfectly happy 'naked' (as Paul puts it)", it may just mean what it says, that the dead are "alive to God".... but He is God. And doesn't the Bible say that God "calls things that are not as though they are" (ref slips my memory). Unlike us God is not hampered by time.




Hi CWB

spm62 asked this question


Quote:
Obviously there are people that have been dead for thousands of years, If they are conscious in heaven and have been for all of this time and are happy and communicate with one another,then why do they need another body?
I do not see that anyone has attempted to answer that question. This is a question I have as well.Me too. Or me third. Paul attempted to answer it in 1Co15, "if the the dead are not raised.... then they are perished" OWTTE. The whole of 1Co15 and 2Co5 is about why dead people need physical resurrection.
God bless
Steven

cwb
Oct 18th 2007, 12:30 PM
Martha's conversation with Jesus just came up in another thread.

(John 11:21-27 KJV) Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. {22} But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. {23} Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. {24} Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. {25} Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: {26} And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? {27} She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

What do you suppose Jesus was saying to her? Our God is the God of the living, not the dead.

Surely He must have been saying that after the ressurrection whosoever believeth on Him shall no die since He is the ressurrection and the life. Clearly those who believe in Him will still die. Yet after the ressurrection they will never die.

Mograce2U
Oct 18th 2007, 02:55 PM
cwb,


Originally Posted by Mograce2U
Martha's conversation with Jesus just came up in another thread.

(John 11:21-27 KJV) Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. {22} But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. {23} Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. {24} Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. {25} Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: {26} And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? {27} She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

What do you suppose Jesus was saying to her? Our God is the God of the living, not the dead.

Surely He must have been saying that after the ressurrection whosoever believeth on Him shall no die since He is the ressurrection and the life. Clearly those who believe in Him will still die. Yet after the ressurrection they will never die.Jesus is somehow expanding upon what Martha believes. She knows that Lazarus will rise again in the resurrection at the last day (OT understanding). Jesus does not refute this at all as He confirms that the dead in Him will rise, but then adds that those who are living and believe in Him shall never die. This is what He then asks her if she also believes.

In other words Martha, do you believe that if you (one who is presently alive) believe on Me you will never die? And she answers Yes, I believe You are the Christ. This is the additional hope that those who believe in the resurrected Christ will have, which was not part of the OT understanding.

spm62
Oct 19th 2007, 02:16 AM
cwb,
Jesus is somehow expanding upon what Martha believes. She knows that Lazarus will rise again in the resurrection at the last day (OT understanding). Jesus does not refute this at all as He confirms that the dead in Him will rise, but then adds that those who are living and believe in Him shall never die. This is what He then asks her if she also believes.

In other words Martha, do you believe that if you (one who is presently alive) believe on Me you will never die? And she answers Yes, I believe You are the Christ. This is the additional hope that those who believe in the resurrected Christ will have, which was not part of the OT understanding.



Hey mograce,
As you know, I`m still not sure about which side I believe to be true..lol. There are scriptures that seem to support both. As for your question, I guess it would mean what Jesus meant when he said die. We know that people due indeed die..as far as their pysical bodies. So did Jesus mean spiritually they don`t die or did he mean..it appears as though they die but in reality they are only sleeping ? In other words, they are lying in an unconscious state but they are not truly dead as far as they will never ever wake up. Sort of like when you sleep,you are in an unconscious state but you will wake up, you just don`t sleep forever and ever.So, when you go to the grave,you don`t just lay there forever and ever..you will wake up,you are not truly dead,just unconscious. I`m just throwing out a rhetorical question because as I`ve stated before it is something that interest me and I`m trying to figure out questions from both sides. I would probably lean toward the side that says we never lose consciousness but for one question that I can`t get around. That question being, the new testament puts a lot of emphasis on a resurrection...so if we go to heaven or paradise at death, and we are completely happy, recognize one another, fully function and carry out task..why do we need a resurrected body to complete us. Why did Jesus and the new testament writers put such an emphasis on a resurrection if we are already happy in Gods presence? Just a question I have as I ponder this myself. :hmm:

Mograce2U
Oct 19th 2007, 02:32 AM
Hey mograce,
As you know, I`m still not sure about which side I believe to be true..lol. There are scriptures that seem to support both. As for your question, I guess it would mean what Jesus meant when he said die. We know that people due indeed die..as far as their pysical bodies. So did Jesus mean spiritually they don`t die or did he mean..it appears as though they die but in reality they are only sleeping ? In other words, they are lying in an unconscious state but they are not truly dead as far as they will never ever wake up. Sort of like when you sleep,you are in an unconscious state but you will wake up, you just don`t sleep forever and ever.So, when you go to the grave,you don`t just lay there forever and ever..you will wake up,you are not truly dead,just unconscious. I`m just throwing out a rhetorical question because as I`ve stated before it is something that interest me and I`m trying to figure out questions from both sides. I would probably lean toward the side that says we never lose consciousness but for one question that I can`t get around. That question being, the new testament puts a lot of emphasis on a resurrection...so if we go to heaven or paradise at death, and we are completely happy, recognize one another, fully function and carry out task..why do we need a resurrected body to complete us. Why did Jesus and the new testament writers put such an emphasis on a resurrection if we are already happy in Gods presence? Just a question I have as I ponder this myself. :hmm:I guess the answer to that is that it is this world once renewed, which is to be our eternal home. The original plan fulfilled in the resurrection of our bodies.

enarchay
Oct 20th 2007, 09:01 PM
Martha's conversation with Jesus just came up in another thread.

(John 11:21-27 KJV) Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. {22} But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. {23} Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. {24} Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. {25} Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: {26} And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? {27} She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

What do you suppose Jesus was saying to her? Our God is the God of the living, not the dead.

I commented on this already:

The KJV translates the Greek very poorly. In the Textus Receptus, "never die" is translated from ou me apothane eis ton aiona, which should be translated something like, "never die into the age."

Rotherham translates it, "And, no one who liveth again and believeth on me, shall in anywise die, unto times age-abiding. Believest thou this?" (Rotherham's Emphasized Bible).

Young translates it, "and every one who is living and believing in me shall not die--to the age" (Young's Literal Translation).

The Greek-English Interlinear New Testament reads, "Kai [And] pas ho [everyone] zoen [living] kai [and] pisteuon [believing] eis [in] eme [me] ou me apothane [never dies] eis [into] ton [the] aiona [age]."

In other words, those who believe in Jesus will not face wrath in the age to come (e.g. the last day), i.e. be cast into the lake of fire.

Mograce2U
Oct 20th 2007, 10:20 PM
I commented on this already:

The KJV translates the Greek very poorly. In the Textus Receptus, "never die" is translated from ou me apothane eis ton aiona, which should be translated something like, "never die into the age."

Rotherham translates it, "And, no one who liveth again and believeth on me, shall in anywise die, unto times age-abiding. Believest thou this?" (Rotherham's Emphasized Bible).

Young translates it, "and every one who is living and believing in me shall not die--to the age" (Young's Literal Translation).

The Greek-English Interlinear New Testament reads, "Kai [And] pas ho [everyone] zoen [living] kai [and] pisteuon [believing] eis [in] eme [me] ou me apothane [never dies] eis [into] ton [the] aiona [age]."

In other words, those who believe in Jesus will not face wrath in the age to come (e.g. the last day), i.e. be cast into the lake of fire.And both living and believing are present active participles which denotes continuous or repeated action.

Now I continue to believe that I will continue to live into the next age and never die.

RogerW
Oct 21st 2007, 06:53 PM
Hi Roger Well it wouldn't be the first time :).
Dear all
One of the problems with us as non-Jews accepting the Bible teaching on the intermediate state is that our expectations of what constitutes existence (our 'ontological criteria', to use big words) are largely based around what is nice for us - to which the symbols of the 144,000 in Revelation and the popular cartoon image of saints on clouds playing harps all speak to.

Yet in the OT the essential nature of conscious existence was whether one could fulfill the 1st and fundamental purpose of man - to praise God.

So David (Ps 6:5) only says that in the intermediate state he "cannot praise God", Hezekiah (Is38:18) describes the intermediate state in the same way "cannot praise God". And so on in dozens of other OT verses. For those men the sole purpose of conscious existence was not to see loved ones again, or get away from the aches and pains of the body, or any other largely selfish motive, but simply to "praise God". If they couldn't do the most important thing "praise God", they generally didn't bother to enumerate the 101 secular things they couldn't do. The only notable exception to this is Ecclesiastes 9:5-10 which takes a secular view of "there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going", not the sacred view of David or Hezekiah. And it's because Ecclesiastes speaks to the secular (our selfish interests) that we all know about, and try to get round, Ecclesiastes 9, but the vast majority of Christians are totally ignorant of all the Ps6:5 Is38:18 etc. type verses which take a sacred purpose "cannot praise God" as the ultimate purpose of existence (i.e. praise of YHWH is the primary ontological criterium). If Hezekiah had said "the dead cannot play harps and eat sundaes" we could bet the verse would be better known.
God bless
Steven

Greetings Steven,

You show a very good understanding of the doctrine of hell PRIOR to the cross of Christ, but you seem almost oblivious to what transpired AFTER the cross. Satan, death, and the grave were defeated, they no longer reign over believers after the cross. The OT saints, dying in faith looked forward to being delivered from the bondage of death and the grave, but they could not experience deliverance until Christ literally defeated death and the grave at the cross. This is what you keep overlooking, or simply ignoring.

In the Textus Receptus “never die” might have better been translated, “never into an age die” or “never into this/the world die”. Or it could be translated as the LCV does: And everyone who is living and believing in Me should by no means be dying for the eon. Are you believing this? In other words when we believe in Christ, thou we physically die in the eon (on in this world/age), we remain alive in Christ in spirit/soul essence.

Joh 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

LCV Jesus said unto her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who is believing into Me, even if he should be dying, will be living. 26 And everyone who is living and believing in Me should by no means be dying for the eon. Are you believing this?”


Believers have eternal life even before the eternal life we will have in both body and spirit after the Second Coming.

1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep [dead], that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Re 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Through His death, Christ destroyed him that had the power of death, and delivered them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. We know that Christ did not deliver us from physical death, because the mortally rate of humans is 100%. So how have believers been freed from the fear of dying? We know that though our bodies can be killed, or will die, we will never die, but will at the moment of physical death go in spirit/soul essence to be with the Lord. We are no longer in bondage to the fear of death, we have been set free because we know we live on even though our bodies are dead.

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Many Blessings,
RW

Mograce2U
Oct 21st 2007, 07:26 PM
RogerW, #39 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1416484&postcount=39)
I couldn't rep ya but that was well said!

Debra R
Oct 21st 2007, 08:07 PM
RogerW, #39 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1416484&postcount=39)
I couldn't rep ya but that was well said!

:) I thought so too. I did rep you RogerW even though you have your rep off.

Blessings :)

spm62
Oct 21st 2007, 11:36 PM
Greetings Steven,

You show a very good understanding of the doctrine of hell PRIOR to the cross of Christ, but you seem almost oblivious to what transpired AFTER the cross. Satan, death, and the grave were defeated, they no longer reign over believers after the cross. The OT saints, dying in faith looked forward to being delivered from the bondage of death and the grave, but they could not experience deliverance until Christ literally defeated death and the grave at the cross. This is what you keep overlooking, or simply ignoring.

In the Textus Receptus “never die” might have better been translated, “never into an age die” or “never into this/the world die”. Or it could be translated as the LCV does: And everyone who is living and believing in Me should by no means be dying for the eon. Are you believing this? In other words when we believe in Christ, thou we physically die in the eon (on in this world/age), we remain alive in Christ in spirit/soul essence.

Joh 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

LCV Jesus said unto her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who is believing into Me, even if he should be dying, will be living. 26 And everyone who is living and believing in Me should by no means be dying for the eon. Are you believing this?”


Believers have eternal life even before the eternal life we will have in both body and spirit after the Second Coming.

1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep [dead], that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Re 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Through His death, Christ destroyed him that had the power of death, and delivered them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. We know that Christ did not deliver us from physical death, because the mortally rate of humans is 100%. So how have believers been freed from the fear of dying? We know that though our bodies can be killed, or will die, we will never die, but will at the moment of physical death go in spirit/soul essence to be with the Lord. We are no longer in bondage to the fear of death, we have been set free because we know we live on even though our bodies are dead.

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Many Blessings,
RW

Did the old testament saints really die? You seem to be saying they died but believers after the cross do not die.

RogerW
Oct 22nd 2007, 12:15 AM
Did the old testament saints really die? You seem to be saying they died but believers after the cross do not die.

Greetings Spm,

As I have said the mortally rate for humans is 100%. The only exception to this will be those believers who are physically living at the Second Coming. Did the OT saints die?...physically, yes they did. Do saints after the cross physically die, yes they do. What's the difference, since before the cross those physically dying in faith were made alive in Christ, and after the cross those physically dying in faith are made alive in Christ? The difference is that those OT saints died in faith without fulfillment of the promise. Though they had been made alive in Christ, and believed the promise of His coming as the Messiah, Who would redeem them, Christ had not yet come, nor had He sent the Holy Spirit to permanently indwell them.

Prior to the Holy Spirit being liberally poured out at Pentecost the Holy Spirit dwelt with them, but He did not permanently indwell them (Jo 14:17). Therefore they had to wait to be resurrected Spiritually, (which is what Rev 7 depicts) until Christ sent the Spirit to raise them after He ascended to heaven to prepare a place for them. But when NT saints physically die, we have already been made alive Spiritually, so though we die physically, we are still alive, and will never spiritually die.

Since the OT saints, dying in faith could not be Spiritually resurrected until after Christ was resurrected from the grave, and ascended into heaven, these OT saints who had been marked (see Eze 9) for Spiritual sealing prior to the gospel message going unto all the world, rested in the grave (depicted as the bosom of Abraham) until Christ literally fulfilled all prophesy. This is different with the saints who physically die after the cross. Since we have already been made Spiritually alive in Christ, and have received, from the moment of salvation the indwelling Spirit of life, we go immediately into His presence. Now; after the cross, both OT saints, and NT saints are dwelling in the presence of the Lord spiritually, and we will be dwelling with Him both in body and spirit in the fullness of time.

Many Blessings,
RW

spm62
Oct 22nd 2007, 01:17 AM
Why doesn`t God just give us our new glorified bodies when we die if our spirits are living with him anyway. What`s the point of waiting thousands or years. Christ is already risen.

spm62
Oct 22nd 2007, 02:34 AM
Imo Jesus and the new testament writers put a lot emphasis on the resurrection. The bible said that is our blessed hope. That is what we look forward too. If we are awake,conscious,aware in heaven, worshipping and praising God then it seems to take some of the luster from the resurrection. If we are in fact,happy in the presence of God, communicating,walking,talking,feeling,hearing..the n why do we need a resurrected body? That just doesn`t seem to fit with scripture to me. But,that`s just my opinion and the knowledge that I have felt as I have prayed about it.

RogerW
Oct 22nd 2007, 02:38 AM
Why doesn`t God just give us our new glorified bodies when we die if our spirits are living with him anyway. What`s the point of waiting thousands or years. Christ is already risen.

Greetings Spm,

That's a good question, perhaps the following will help you better understand why we must wait until all is finished.

Christ tells us that we will all be made perfect together. The OT saints after receiving white robes are told they must wait a little time until their fellowservants and brethren who are killed as they were should be fulfilled.

Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Re 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

We are living through history, in time, not all come into the body of Christ at the same moment, so we must wait to be made completely perfect in body until all things that are written have been fulfilled.

Mt 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Lu 21:22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

When the last of the fruit is brought forth, then immediately the harvest begins.

Mr 4:29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

None receive their incorruptible, immortal bodies until death, and the grave are completely swallowed up in victory. This will not happen until the last of His own have come into the Kingdom.

1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The OT saints had Christ in promise, we have Him! They had Him in type, we have Him in reality! They believed and were saved by looking to Him who was to come, we believe and are saved by Him who has come. They were justified, not in the law, but in Christ. And so they were not made perfect without us, and we will not be made perfect without those who must still come into the Kingdom of God.

In the fullness of time, when the body of Christ, His Church is complete then and only then will Christ present it a glorious Church, without spot or wrinkle, then it will be holy and without blemish, One glorious body, One holy people unto the Lord. This will happen when the seventh angel begins to sound and the mystery of God is finished.

Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Re 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

Many Blessings,
RW

Steven3
Oct 22nd 2007, 02:43 AM
Hi Roger
Still putting a lot of weight on "the souls under the altar" as the only verse in the Bible describing existence of the dead in heaven as if it's fully literal. But do you think the "under the altar" bit is literal? That's where souls were really kept? Serious question - as if they weren't literally under the altar, how do you know their existence and white robes are literal?

Hi Spm62

Why doesn`t God just give us our new glorified bodies when we die if our spirits are living with him anyway. What`s the point of waiting thousands or years. Christ is already risen.Good question. When God raised Christ he has a new immortalized spirit body, "a spirit hath not flesh and bone as ye see I have" immediately, and Paul says in 1Co15 that the new incorruptible body will be like Christ's. So why not give to each man or woman immediately upon death?
God bless
Steven

spm62
Oct 22nd 2007, 04:44 AM
Greetings Spm,

That's a good question, perhaps the following will help you better understand why we must wait until all is finished.

Christ tells us that we will all be made perfect together. The OT saints after receiving white robes are told they must wait a little time until their fellowservants and brethren who are killed as they were should be fulfilled.

Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Re 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

We are living through history, in time, not all come into the body of Christ at the same moment, so we must wait to be made completely perfect in body until all things that are written have been fulfilled.

Mt 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Lu 21:22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

When the last of the fruit is brought forth, then immediately the harvest begins.

Mr 4:29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

None receive their incorruptible, immortal bodies until death, and the grave are completely swallowed up in victory. This will not happen until the last of His own have come into the Kingdom.

1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The OT saints had Christ in promise, we have Him! They had Him in type, we have Him in reality! They believed and were saved by looking to Him who was to come, we believe and are saved by Him who has come. They were justified, not in the law, but in Christ. And so they were not made perfect without us, and we will not be made perfect without those who must still come into the Kingdom of God.

In the fullness of time, when the body of Christ, His Church is complete then and only then will Christ present it a glorious Church, without spot or wrinkle, then it will be holy and without blemish, One glorious body, One holy people unto the Lord. This will happen when the seventh angel begins to sound and the mystery of God is finished.

Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Re 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

Many Blessings,
RW

Roger, thank you for your responses. First, let me say that I understand what you are saying. I grew up believing the same thing because that was what I was taught. That was what my church believed and that was what my family believed. But as I got serious about studying the word, it just didn`t seem to fit with all of scripture. I simply couldn`t reconsile what the bible said about death and the resurrection. I`m still not dogmatic about it but more and more I tend to believe that we rest at death and our unconscious spirit remains with God until he resurrects our bodies with our spirits and we once again become a living breathing soul. I do not believe we really die we just remain in an unconscious state,the bible refers to it as sleeping until we hear Christ voice and the trump of God sounds and we awake, the word says, to everlasting life. Just like when we sleep at night,we don`t sleep forever. We simply sleep in an unconscious state until something ( usually an alarm clock )wakes us up. When we die, we don`t stay in that uncoscious state forever,only until the Lord wakes us up. When I look at ALL of scripture,this seems to fit the best. But,like I have stated before,this is only my opinion of what I think the scripture is saying. Jesus crucified and resurrected is the most important thing. I just think it`s important to look at the whole of scripture and not just a verse or two and base our doctrine on it. Thanks...shalom

Mograce2U
Oct 22nd 2007, 05:14 AM
Hi spm62,
Well it could make a difference if you do not find yourself in the presence of Jesus upon death, because when you wake up, you might find yourself at the judgment seat instead waiting to see if your name is in the book of life while the rest were already reigning with Christ...

Steven3
Oct 22nd 2007, 05:48 AM
Hi Mograce2U :)
Hi spm62,
Well it could make a difference if you do not find yourself in the presence of Jesus upon death, because when you wake up, you might find yourself at the judgment seat instead waiting to see if your name is in the book of life while the rest were already reigning with Christ...I don't think Christ would apply one rule to Spm62 and another rule to someone else simply because of what we believe. Paul says 1The4:17 that the dead in Christ will awake and precede those who are alive at his coming. Besides no one bypasses judgment. If Paul said in 2Co5:10 that he expected to stand before the bema of Christ to receive judgment "for the things done in the body" (or "in the body for things done", either way) that applies to all Christians - and in fact would apply to all OT believers too, from Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel onwards even including Abraham Moses and David. We all will be judged on "the day of Christ", no free passes.



Hi Roger :)

Greetings Steven,

You show a very good understanding of the doctrine of hell PRIOR to the cross of Christ, but you seem almost oblivious to what transpired AFTER the cross. Satan, death, and the grave were defeated, they no longer reign over believers after the cross. The OT saints, dying in faith looked forward to being delivered from the bondage of death and the grave, but they could not experience deliverance until Christ literally defeated death and the grave at the cross. This is what you keep overlooking, or simply ignoring. Thanks, but I'm not ignoring, I'm well aware that there are one or two figurative uses, such as "alive to God", which appear to contradict or change OT teaching, since these verses are far more often quoted than the majority of NT teaching which, sadly, teaches the same as the OT, that "if the dead are not raised... then they are perished" 1Co15. etc. It's simply that the bulk of NT verses confirm the OT, and the others are clearly figurative or symbolic.

If we accept that OT teaching is correct (Gen3:19 Ps6:5 etc) then to construct a doctrine whereby Christ 'changes the rules' on crucifixion Friday or resurrection Sunday requires that Christ "wakes" the spirits of Abraham and others who had previously "known nothing" (per Ecclesiastes, David, Hezekiah Is38:18 etc) and moves those spirits from an unconscious intermediate state to a conscious intermediate state, but still has not judged them - nor given immortality (if they already have immortality they must already have incorruptible bodies according to 1Co15 and 2Co5). The bulk of NT teaching confirms the OT teaching that death is sleep. The "alive to God" and one or two similar verses in G.John do not contradict that Abraham and David are still dead (Acts 2:34, Heb11:13, 1Co15:23)

For illustration - when Peter raised Tabitha in Acts 9 (after Christ had destroyed the devil Heb 2:14) Peter was not pulling her down from heaven any more than Christ when he said talitha qum to the girl in Mark 5. There is no point in Peter raising Tabitha if in doing so he was removing her from Christ's presence. Tabitha's first action should have been to give Peter a slap. Likewise Paul with Eutychus. Whatever we might think about Heb2:14, Christ only triumphed over his own death in the day he was raised. He has not yet actually implemented that triumph for the rest of mankind.

Luke 14:14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just (plural).”

This is OT and NT teaching, no change.
God bless
Steven

Mograce2U
Oct 22nd 2007, 01:54 PM
Steven3,
Acts 9:36 - I know that Tabitha was called a disciple but the description of her almsgiving and good deeds is similar to that of Cornelius. It is possible that she was a Gentile not yet born again at that time of her death.

(Acts 10:1-2 KJV) There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, {2} A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

(Acts 9:36 KJV) Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

Cornelius was a Gentile following God under the old covenant hope and Tabitha was a Gentile serving the brethren. Neither of their works went unnoticed by the Lord.

While I do believe Abe's bosom was emptied out in the 1st century, I do not think it had occured yet at that time.

spm62
Oct 22nd 2007, 08:28 PM
Hi spm62,
Well it could make a difference if you do not find yourself in the presence of Jesus upon death, because when you wake up, you might find yourself at the judgment seat instead waiting to see if your name is in the book of life while the rest were already reigning with Christ...

My point is,it doesn`t matter whether you think the second you die you`re in the presence of God or soul sleep. Once you die the physical death your next waking moment will be standing in the presence of God.

spm62
Oct 22nd 2007, 08:30 PM
Hi Mograce2U :)I don't think Christ would apply one rule to Spm62 and another rule to someone else simply because of what we believe. Paul says 1The4:17 that the dead in Christ will awake and precede those who are alive at his coming. Besides no one bypasses judgment. If Paul said in 2Co5:10 that he expected to stand before the bema of Christ to receive judgment "for the things done in the body" (or "in the body for things done", either way) that applies to all Christians - and in fact would apply to all OT believers too, from Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel onwards even including Abraham Moses and David. We all will be judged on "the day of Christ", no free passes.



Hi Roger :)
Thanks, but I'm not ignoring, I'm well aware that there are one or two figurative uses, such as "alive to God", which appear to contradict or change OT teaching, since these verses are far more often quoted than the majority of NT teaching which, sadly, teaches the same as the OT, that "if the dead are not raised... then they are perished" 1Co15. etc. It's simply that the bulk of NT verses confirm the OT, and the others are clearly figurative or symbolic.

If we accept that OT teaching is correct (Gen3:19 Ps6:5 etc) then to construct a doctrine whereby Christ 'changes the rules' on crucifixion Friday or resurrection Sunday requires that Christ "wakes" the spirits of Abraham and others who had previously "known nothing" (per Ecclesiastes, David, Hezekiah Is38:18 etc) and moves those spirits from an unconscious intermediate state to a conscious intermediate state, but still has not judged them - nor given immortality (if they already have immortality they must already have incorruptible bodies according to 1Co15 and 2Co5). The bulk of NT teaching confirms the OT teaching that death is sleep. The "alive to God" and one or two similar verses in G.John do not contradict that Abraham and David are still dead (Acts 2:34, Heb11:13, 1Co15:23)

For illustration - when Peter raised Tabitha in Acts 9 (after Christ had destroyed the devil Heb 2:14) Peter was not pulling her down from heaven any more than Christ when he said talitha qum to the girl in Mark 5. There is no point in Peter raising Tabitha if in doing so he was removing her from Christ's presence. Tabitha's first action should have been to give Peter a slap. Likewise Paul with Eutychus. Whatever we might think about Heb2:14, Christ only triumphed over his own death in the day he was raised. He has not yet actually implemented that triumph for the rest of mankind.

Luke 14:14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just (plural).”

This is OT and NT teaching, no change.
God bless
Steven

Excellent points.

RogerW
Oct 23rd 2007, 01:46 AM
Hi Roger :)
Thanks, but I'm not ignoring, I'm well aware that there are one or two figurative uses, such as "alive to God", which appear to contradict or change OT teaching, since these verses are far more often quoted than the majority of NT teaching which, sadly, teaches the same as the OT, that "if the dead are not raised... then they are perished" 1Co15. etc. It's simply that the bulk of NT verses confirm the OT, and the others are clearly figurative or symbolic.

If we accept that OT teaching is correct (Gen3:19 Ps6:5 etc) then to construct a doctrine whereby Christ 'changes the rules' on crucifixion Friday or resurrection Sunday requires that Christ "wakes" the spirits of Abraham and others who had previously "known nothing" (per Ecclesiastes, David, Hezekiah Is38:18 etc) and moves those spirits from an unconscious intermediate state to a conscious intermediate state, but still has not judged them - nor given immortality (if they already have immortality they must already have incorruptible bodies according to 1Co15 and 2Co5). The bulk of NT teaching confirms the OT teaching that death is sleep. The "alive to God" and one or two similar verses in G.John do not contradict that Abraham and David are still dead (Acts 2:34, Heb11:13, 1Co15:23)

For illustration - when Peter raised Tabitha in Acts 9 (after Christ had destroyed the devil Heb 2:14) Peter was not pulling her down from heaven any more than Christ when he said talitha qum to the girl in Mark 5. There is no point in Peter raising Tabitha if in doing so he was removing her from Christ's presence. Tabitha's first action should have been to give Peter a slap. Likewise Paul with Eutychus. Whatever we might think about Heb2:14, Christ only triumphed over his own death in the day he was raised. He has not yet actually implemented that triumph for the rest of mankind.

Luke 14:14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just (plural).”

This is OT and NT teaching, no change.
God bless
Steven

Greetings Steven,

Well perhaps looking at some of the OT passages that speak of death will help you to see a difference made even in the OT between those who die in faith, and those who die in unbelief. Did Christ come and change the rules at the cross, or do we find the OT in complete agreement with the New when it comes to Christ harrowing the grave (hell).

We find that when we die in both Old and New our bodies return to the dust from whence they come, but the spirit returns to God Who gave it.

Ec 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

This agrees with those verses in the New that speak of being absent from the body but present with the Lord (2Co 5:8; Ph 1:23; Lu 23:43; Jo 12:26; Jo 14:3; Jo 17:24).

Why does Jeremiah tell us that unbelievers sleep (die) a perpetual sleep (death), and not wake? This seems odd because none doubt that all will be physically resurrected in the fullness of time to stand before the Judgment Throne of God. Seems Jeremiah is showing us that some who sleep (die in Christ) will not be in perpetual sleep (time out of mind; without end), where as those who die in unbelief will not be awakened from death and the grave.

Jer 51:39 In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the LORD.

Jer 51:57 And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.

Ps 9:6 O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.

Ps 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Ps 9:12 When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.
Ps 9:13 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death: (see Is 38:10 gates of the grave)
Ps 9:14 That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.

Ps 49:15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.

Ps 71:20 Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

Hosea says, "O grave, I will be thy destruction" Was it not when Christ was resurrected from the grave that He shows His power over the grave and death?

Ho 13:14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.

These verses find agreement with Acts 2 & Mt 22 which tell us that David will not ascend into heaven until the Lord makes His foes His footstool. This He accomplished when He defeated Satan, death, and the grave when He resurrected the third day. So David could not ascend into heaven prior to the cross, but once Christ accomplished all on the cross and resurrection, then David was spiritually resurrected from the grave (hell).

Ac 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Ac 2:35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

Mt 22:43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
Mt 22:44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?

Believers have already been judged through Christ’s righteousness. We received perfect life in the Spirit at the moment we became saved. This is why at the moment of death believers can dwell in the presence of the Lord, but our bodies will not be made perfect until the fullness of time.

You find the Lord calling Tabitha back from the blessed rest she had gone to a strange thing? You’re reasoning with man’s logic. Where in all of Scripture can you show me it is not lawful for God to have respect of His glory in death as well as in life? Throughout Scripture the Lord shows greater respect for His glory than for man’s. For instance we find the Lord saying to Pharaoh, “Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” Consider also the man blind from birth, and when the disciples ask Christ for whose sin was this man born blind, Christ answers, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” Paul finds great advantage for himself to die and be with the Lord, but he says it is needful for us that he remain in the flesh. Why wouldn’t God return Tabitha to physical life since very clearly it was for His glory and to further build the Kingdom that He do so?

Ac 9:40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
Ac 9:41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.
Ac 9:42 And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.

Php 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Php 1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
Php 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Php 1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

Many Blessings,
RW

Mograce2U
Oct 23rd 2007, 01:49 AM
My point is,it doesn`t matter whether you think the second you die you`re in the presence of God or soul sleep. Once you die the physical death your next waking moment will be standing in the presence of God.spm62,
I suppose it might not matter if Jesus had not asked that question of Martha. I guess your answer would be that you don't believe? I do think it mattered to Jesus however that Martha understood and believed this. And it seems directly related to our understanding of Jesus as the Christ.

A few verses later after Lazarus is raised, Jesus reminds the disciples that this was done to glorify God as He had told Martha. Certainly it isn't a return to this life that brings Him the greatest glory.

(John 11:39-40 KJV) Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. {40} Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

The glory of God that is being represented is Jesus in all His glory. A glory He revealed to Paul and to Stephen while in this life. Why would you assume that in the age to come - which must begin for us now - that we would spend any time apart from that glory?

I'm sure Ellen White (SDA) was not the first to promote soul sleep, but when these things are believed by one marked as a false prophet, that ought to tell us not to find our light there. And the Talmud isn't going to help you much either - since the cross changed everything!

Steven3
Oct 23rd 2007, 01:57 AM
Hi Mograce2U

Acts 9:36 - I know that Tabitha was called a disciple but the description of her almsgiving and good deeds is similar to that of Cornelius. It is possible that she was a Gentile not yet born again at that time of her death.We're only bestowed with an "immortal soul" when we get baptised? I'm not familiar with this concept, so can I ask if that is a common Protestant view? Well, forget Tabitha then, Eutychus was clearly a member of the church when Paul raised him so the same argument about Paul calling him back from heaven would apply.


I'm sure Ellen White (SDA) was not the first to promote soul sleep, but when these things are believed by one marked as a false prophet, that ought to tell us not to find our light there. So could we also say that a literal devil and fallen angels are also wrong because SDAs believe in them? This comment isn't worthy of the normal high standard of your posts. Luther believed in "soul sleep" (sic) a long time before SDAs, and so did Clement of Rome AD90, so does that make Luther and Clement of Rome false prophets? Or why pick on the most obviously flaky Mrs White. It stands to reason that every church, yes including SDAs, will get some things right and some things wrong... no one has a monopoly on truth.
God bless
Steven

Steven3
Oct 23rd 2007, 02:17 AM
Hi Roger :)
Greetings Steven,And warmest greetings to you :)

Re Ecclesiastes 12:7, the fact that our English versions translate the 21 uses of ruakh in the book (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=07307&version=kjv&page=9) inconsistently through the book (according to our Anglo-Saxon preconceptions?) does not change that the inspired author is unlikely to contradict himself within the space of a chapter. We all need to check our ideas with Youngs before building too much on how a verse is translated in English. The ruakh-breath isn't the nephesh-soul.

Re Acts 2:34, when Peter says "David did not ascend to heaven" he clearly is referring to the soul, since the body, everyone already knew was buried in the tomb of David (and if they didn't Peter had just repeated it in Acts 2:29). And Heb11 lists David as "not having received what was promised". 1Co15:23 would also include David.

Acts 2:29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

If that wasn't enough Paul repeats Peter's confidence in David being still asleep (AD40?) in Acts 13

Acts 13:36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption

I still see no NT evidence of Christ having woken unconscious OT souls, nor moved souls from one location to another either when he was crucified, or raised, or ascended. In all NT uses "resurrection of the dead" happens at the resurrection of the dead.

David is "dead", "buried", "asleep", "not ascended to heaven". He will be rewarded in the resurrection of Luke 14:14 like everyone else.
God bless :)
Steven

Mograce2U
Oct 23rd 2007, 02:34 AM
Stephen3,
Now all you need do is figure out when the just were raised.

(Luke 14:14 KJV) And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

Rev. tells us it is long before the rest of the dead are raised. Since we already reign with Christ as priests and kings in this life (spriritually) (1 Pet 2:9); then those in the 1,000 yr kingdom - who were beheaded - must be included, wouldn't you say? Do we reign now in spirit only to stop reigning at death and then at some future time reign again? What would be the point in giving us eternal life now? Forever and forever makes no sense in that scenario, unless we reign in life and after death - as Rev 20 reveals.

I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Heb 13:5) If the Spirit is in us then He will continue to keep us quickened to the Lord.

jeffweeder
Oct 23rd 2007, 02:38 AM
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.

If the sleepers were with the Lord, why would they grieve?

Paul assures them that when Jesus comes we will all be fit to enter/inherit the kingdom, as the dead will wake up and the living will be changed and we meet up with the lord together.--never to leave him.
So encourage one another with these words.

God also on that day will be wiping tears from peoples eyes.:cry:
Does God leave you crying for however long you have been dead, because im sure that the moment i am with him / aware of him, ill be bauling my eyes out.

Im also sure that i will marvel at him as soon as i see him, but all seem to do their marveling on the day he comes for us.


For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you,
7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,
8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
10 when He comes to be glorified in[7][Or in the persons of ] His saints, on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed.


I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;
8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.


Looks like we get nothing till the day of redemption, except a good nights sleep.:lol: :cry:

spm62
Oct 23rd 2007, 03:18 AM
Greetings Steven,

Well perhaps looking at some of the OT passages that speak of death will help you to see a difference made even in the OT between those who die in faith, and those who die in unbelief. Did Christ come and change the rules at the cross, or do we find the OT in complete agreement with the New when it comes to Christ harrowing the grave (hell).

We find that when we die in both Old and New our bodies return to the dust from whence they come, but the spirit returns to God Who gave it.

Ec 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

This agrees with those verses in the New that speak of being absent from the body but present with the Lord (2Co 5:8; Ph 1:23; Lu 23:43; Jo 12:26; Jo 14:3; Jo 17:24).

Why does Jeremiah tell us that unbelievers sleep (die) a perpetual sleep (death), and not wake? This seems odd because none doubt that all will be physically resurrected in the fullness of time to stand before the Judgment Throne of God. Seems Jeremiah is showing us that some who sleep (die in Christ) will not be in perpetual sleep (time out of mind; without end), where as those who die in unbelief will not be awakened from death and the grave.

Jer 51:39 In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the LORD.

Jer 51:57 And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.

Ps 9:6 O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.

Ps 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Ps 9:12 When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.
Ps 9:13 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death: (see Is 38:10 gates of the grave)
Ps 9:14 That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.

Ps 49:15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.

Ps 71:20 Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

Hosea says, "O grave, I will be thy destruction" Was it not when Christ was resurrected from the grave that He shows His power over the grave and death?

Ho 13:14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.

[
QUOTE]These verses find agreement with Acts 2 & Mt 22 which tell us that David will not ascend into heaven until the Lord makes His foes His footstool. This He accomplished when He defeated Satan, death, and the grave when He resurrected the third day. So David could not ascend into heaven prior to the cross, but once Christ accomplished all on the cross and resurrection, then David was spiritually resurrected from the grave (hell).
Ac 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Ac 2:35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

Mt 22:43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
Mt 22:44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?

Believers have already been judged through Christ’s righteousness. We received perfect life in the Spirit at the moment we became saved. This is why at the moment of death believers can dwell in the presence of the Lord, but our bodies will not be made perfect until the fullness of time.

You find the Lord calling Tabitha back from the blessed rest she had gone to a strange thing? You’re reasoning with man’s logic. Where in all of Scripture can you show me it is not lawful for God to have respect of His glory in death as well as in life? Throughout Scripture the Lord shows greater respect for His glory than for man’s. For instance we find the Lord saying to Pharaoh, “Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” Consider also the man blind from birth, and when the disciples ask Christ for whose sin was this man born blind, Christ answers, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” Paul finds great advantage for himself to die and be with the Lord, but he says it is needful for us that he remain in the flesh. Why wouldn’t God return Tabitha to physical life since very clearly it was for His glory and to further build the Kingdom that He do so?

Ac 9:40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
Ac 9:41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.
Ac 9:42 And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.

Php 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Php 1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
Php 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Php 1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

Many Blessings,
RW[/quote]


Greetings,

David will not ascend until the Lord makes his foes his footstools. But when will this happen? You say at the cross but the bible says in 1corth.15 :24,25 not until the end. For he must reign,till he hath put all enemies under his feet...(Christ is not reigning as of yet because satan is still the prince of this world.) The last enemy( that shall) be destroyed is death..(Death is not defeated yet). People still die. But after Christ has ruled and reigned ,what gets cast into the lake of fire.. death!
Then shall the end come,when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God..when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. That is when death is destroyed and all his enemies are made his footstool. His enemies are still alive and functioning my friends,the world attest to this fact. We have to believe what we read and fit our doctine around that. We can`t fit the bible around our doctrine. The bible says death will be destroyed last and thrown into the lake of fire. We can not say,`but what it really means is another kind of death`. It says death period. One has to change that to make it fit any other kind of death.

Furthermore in verse 22 For as in Adam all die,even so in Christ all be made alive....(WHEN) verse23 But everyman in his order: Christ the firstfruits..(already happened, we agree) afterward they that are Christ`s AT HIS COMING. Then cometh the end. So,when will they be made alive...AT HIS COMING. They will not be made alive until then. Again,to change that and make it fit our doctrine instead of fitting our doctrine around what the bible actually says is a dangerous thing. i know you are not purposely doing that but my prayer is that you believe what you read and not what you have been taught or the traditions of men.

With love :kiss:
Dave

spm62
Oct 23rd 2007, 03:20 AM
I posted above but it is a little hard to read to I copied it and posted below.


Greetings,

David will not ascend until the Lord makes his foes his footstools. But when will this happen? You say at the cross but the bible says in 1corth.15 :24,25 not until the end. For he must reign,till he hath put all enemies under his feet...(Christ is not reigning as of yet because satan is still the prince of this world.) The last enemy( that shall) be destroyed is death..(Death is not defeated yet). People still die. But after Christ has ruled and reigned ,what gets cast into the lake of fire.. death!
Then shall the end come,when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God..when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. That is when death is destroyed and all his enemies are made his footstool. His enemies are still alive and functioning my friends,the world attest to this fact. We have to believe what we read and fit our doctine around that. We can`t fit the bible around our doctrine. The bible says death will be destroyed last and thrown into the lake of fire. We can not say,`but what it really means is another kind of death`. It says death period. One has to change that to make it fit any other kind of death.

Furthermore in verse 22 For as in Adam all die,even so in Christ all be made alive....(WHEN) verse23 But everyman in his order: Christ the firstfruits..(already happened, we agree) afterward they that are Christ`s AT HIS COMING. Then cometh the end. So,when will they be made alive...AT HIS COMING. They will not be made alive until then. Again,to change that and make it fit our doctrine instead of fitting our doctrine around what the bible actually says is a dangerous thing. i know you are not purposely doing that but my prayer is that you believe what you read and not what you have been taught or the traditions of men.

With love :kiss:
Dave

spm62
Oct 23rd 2007, 03:44 AM
spm62,
I suppose it might not matter if Jesus had not asked that question of Martha. I guess your answer would be that you don't believe? I do think it mattered to Jesus however that Martha understood and believed this. And it seems directly related to our understanding of Jesus as the Christ.

I do believe. But I believe all of the bible. Everything will be made alive in its own order. Christ is the firstfruits. At this point he had not risen yet. So Christ raised Lazarus from his sleep and everyone else will be made alive at his coming.



A few verses later after Lazarus is raised, Jesus reminds the disciples that this was done to glorify God as He had told Martha. Certainly it isn't a return to this life that brings Him the greatest glory.

(John 11:39-40 KJV) Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. {40} Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

The glory of God that is being represented is Jesus in all His glory. A glory He revealed to Paul and to Stephen while in this life. Why would you assume that in the age to come - which must begin for us now - that we would spend any time apart from that glory?

I do not believe I`m assuming anything. I`m just reading the bible for what it says and not adding to it ,to make it fit my doctrine. I try instead to make my doctrine fit what I read. I may fail, but that is what I try to do. Unfortunately, a lot of traditional american preachers who go to the traditonal american seminaries seem to do a lot of this. People believe it and follow along with out really searching scripture and just accepting it.

I'm sure Ellen White (SDA) was not the first to promote soul sleep, but when these things are believed by one marked as a false prophet, that ought to tell us not to find our light there. And the Talmud isn't going to help you much either - since the cross changed everything!

I don`t much about Ellen White, but I know a lot of false prophets that believe in the same doctrine you do. They are on T.V selling God in the form of prayer cloths,annoited oils,and a host of other things while they get rich. Some of them have even put out books predicting God would come in the 70`s and then the 80`s and then after y2k..etc. But just because they are false prophets and adhear to the same doctrine you do, does that mean you are wrong in your beliefs?

NightWatchman
Oct 23rd 2007, 08:47 AM
If we are awake,conscious,aware in heaven, worshipping and praising God then it seems to take some of the luster from the resurrection. If we are in fact,happy in the presence of God, communicating,walking,talking,feeling,hearing..the n why do we need a resurrected body? That just doesn`t seem to fit with scripture to me. But,that`s just my opinion and the knowledge that I have felt as I have prayed about it.

To me there is nothing wrong with being awake, conscious, aware in heaven, worshipping and praising God prior to the resurrection..........
Nor is there anything wrong with communicating, walking, talking, talking feeling, hearing.....without a resurrected body...............

After all, God's kingdom and government are going to increase without end (see Isaiah 9:6). I think it's safe to say that the resurrection will be a monumental, awesome thing.

I didn't say I agree with everything I wrote above. I simply won't be disappointed with the will of God regarding my resurrection, which can be interpreted in more than one way from the Biblical text.

Semi-tortured
Oct 23rd 2007, 03:03 PM
To me there is nothing wrong with being awake, conscious, aware in heaven, worshipping and praising God prior to the resurrection..........
Nor is there anything wrong with communicating, walking, talking, talking feeling, hearing.....without a resurrected body...............

After all, God's kingdom and government are going to increase without end (see Isaiah 9:6). I think it's safe to say that the resurrection will be a monumental, awesome thing.

I didn't say I agree with everything I wrote above. I simply won't be disappointed with the will of God regarding my resurrection, which can be interpreted in more than one way from the Biblical text.

One thing that i'm coming to realize is that the reason the resurrection is such a big deal is because its what God intended for man. Originally, God created man and a dwelling place specifically for man. He created it perfectly and Satan came in and caused temptation, thus its eventual destruction when man sinned. God looked down on earth and said it was very good when He finished creating it. His opinion hasn't changed on that. Man is ideally in his own world that was created specifically for him by God. Man has his own body that he carries around in a world that he lives in under God's rules and will. That was God's plan for us and if we're just bodiless spirits floating around, that doesn't seem like what God intended for us in the beginning. God is perfect, as was His original plan. Just because man and Satan messed it up, doesn't mean His plan isn't ideal.

I personally believe we will be on the new earth and it will be like starting from scratch. I think we will learn new things about the universe. I think we will build up "kingdoms" and try to figure things out. But because Satan and sin will not be there, we will never have animosity, covetness and all the other things that cause the kingdoms of this world to fall. They will all operate under God's perfect will making them what today's "kingdoms" should be. God wanted to see a perfect civilization grow and grow. He wanted to see us create and have constant fellowship with Him.

These above points are my opinion. There are what i believe to be verses in the Bible supporting these things, but I would never want to say definitively that this is exactly what God is thinking because I can't do that on these such things. I feel this is what God inteneded for us and wants for us, but that's my interpretation and opinion.

Living Water
Oct 23rd 2007, 09:33 PM
The Dead know nothing! Not the passage of time, and certainly not the affairs of men. Now this is according to scripture. Our hope and the hope of all of Humanity is the Resurrection. Death and the power of the Grave will be defeated AT HIS COMING. There is no 'after life' !

There is only two states of being. Awake and Asleep. The Dead are Asleep and The Living are Awake.

NightWatchman
Oct 23rd 2007, 11:39 PM
One thing that i'm coming to realize is that the reason the resurrection is such a big deal is because its what God intended for man. Originally, God created man and a dwelling place specifically for man. He created it perfectly and Satan came in and caused temptation, thus its eventual destruction when man sinned. God looked down on earth and said it was very good when He finished creating it. His opinion hasn't changed on that. Man is ideally in his own world that was created specifically for him by God. Man has his own body that he carries around in a world that he lives in under God's rules and will. That was God's plan for us and if we're just bodiless spirits floating around, that doesn't seem like what God intended for us in the beginning. God is perfect, as was His original plan. Just because man and Satan messed it up, doesn't mean His plan isn't ideal.

I personally believe we will be on the new earth and it will be like starting from scratch. I think we will learn new things about the universe. I think we will build up "kingdoms" and try to figure things out. But because Satan and sin will not be there, we will never have animosity, covetness and all the other things that cause the kingdoms of this world to fall. They will all operate under God's perfect will making them what today's "kingdoms" should be. God wanted to see a perfect civilization grow and grow. He wanted to see us create and have constant fellowship with Him.

These above points are my opinion. There are what i believe to be verses in the Bible supporting these things, but I would never want to say definitively that this is exactly what God is thinking because I can't do that on these such things. I feel this is what God inteneded for us and wants for us, but that's my interpretation and opinion.

This is an excellent viewpoint. Though our original purpose was thrown off by our sin, thanks to God for Jesus Christ.:pp

RogerW
Oct 24th 2007, 05:35 PM
I posted above but it is a little hard to read to I copied it and posted below.
Greetings,

David will not ascend until the Lord makes his foes his footstools. But when will this happen? You say at the cross but the bible says in 1corth.15 :24,25 not until the end. For he must reign,till he hath put all enemies under his feet...(Christ is not reigning as of yet because satan is still the prince of this world.) The last enemy( that shall) be destroyed is death..(Death is not defeated yet). People still die. But after Christ has ruled and reigned ,what gets cast into the lake of fire.. death!
Then shall the end come,when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God..when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. That is when death is destroyed and all his enemies are made his footstool. His enemies are still alive and functioning my friends,the world attest to this fact. We have to believe what we read and fit our doctine around that. We can`t fit the bible around our doctrine. The bible says death will be destroyed last and thrown into the lake of fire. We can not say,`but what it really means is another kind of death`. It says death period. One has to change that to make it fit any other kind of death.

Furthermore in verse 22 For as in Adam all die,even so in Christ all be made alive....(WHEN) verse23 But everyman in his order: Christ the firstfruits..(already happened, we agree) afterward they that are Christ`s AT HIS COMING. Then cometh the end. So,when will they be made alive...AT HIS COMING. They will not be made alive until then. Again,to change that and make it fit our doctrine instead of fitting our doctrine around what the bible actually says is a dangerous thing. i know you are not purposely doing that but my prayer is that you believe what you read and not what you have been taught or the traditions of men.

With love :kiss:
Dave

Greetings Dave,

Christ is reigning NOW! And believers are NOW reigning with Him. We aren’t looking for a physical kingdom, like the Jews did, and missed the Messiah because they looked for an earthly King. Christ’s Kingdom, in which we enter into when we become saved is a Spiritual Kingdom (Jo 18:36).

Lu 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
Lu 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Lu 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Ro 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

1Co 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Re 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Scripture speaks of more than one resurrection. There is a resurrection that includes only the “just.” This is NOT the bodily resurrection in the fullness of time for this resurrection includes only “the just”.

Lu 14:14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

This Psalm is one of the clearest verses of Scripture to show there are some who go down into silence (grave/hell) who do not praise the Lord, but believers bless the Lord “from this time forth and for evermore.” They could not bless the Lord from this time and forevermore if they were in silence in the grave/hell.

Ps 115:17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.
Ps 115:18 But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.

Christ tells us we should not fear those who kill our body, but are not able to kill our soul. There would be little logic in this statement if Christians are physically killed and their souls did not live on. In case we don’t understand the difference, Christ says, “rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” That makes no sense unless some who go down into hell/grave continue as a living soul.

Mt 10:28 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.

Paul tells us that even though our outward man (body) perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. The inward man could not be renewed day by day after the physical body dies unless it has life. Some will argue how can it be renewed day by day since it is in eternity where day and night cease to exist. Paul is speaking to living human beings, who still exist in time, this is simply saying the renewal of the inward (spiritual) man will continue always, that is from the time we are made Spiritually alive in Christ in salvation forever.

2Co 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
Christ teaches us that when those of faith physically die they are raised as spirit beings (angels), who are in heaven. Of these spirit beings He likens Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and tells us He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. It would make no sense to equate Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as living spirit beings if they were simply sleeping a so-called soul-sleep until they are bodily resurrected in the fullness of time.

Mr 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels [spirit beings] which are in heaven.
Mr 12:26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
Mr 12:27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

Luke tells us that these obtain “that world” (eternity) and they can die no more (second death), because they are the same as the angels (spirit beings), being children of the resurrection. Luke says “NOW that the dead are raised”, not when the dead are raised, but NOW…past tense, already happened, spiritual resurrection.

Lu 20:34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world [flesh/body] marry, and are given in marriage:
Lu 20:35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
Lu 20:36 Neither can they die any more: [second death] for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
Lu 20:37 Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
Lu 20:38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.

Read carefully the following verse. Christ is risen from the dead, and is the firstfruits of them that slept. The passage speaks in past tense, “them that slept”, not those who will sleep, or will die, but those who have already died in faith (see 1Co 15:18). He is the firstfruits of the OT saints who died in faith, the Jews are the firstfruits and Christ is the first or the very best, or Chief among His brethren, and the Gentiles who become saved are grafted in with them.

1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
All men are born in Adam, therefore all men die, but those who die “in Christ” are made alive.

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

The OT saints looked for His coming to establish His Kingdom, and raise them to the inheritance (heavenly kingdom) they died in faith looking for. After the cross we (those in Christ) look for His return when His Kingdom is complete, and we will reign with Him in body and soul/spirit throughout eternity.

1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
Here is another verse to pay attention to the tense. “When He shall have delivered up the Kingdom of God”, not when He will deliver up but “shall have.” Past tense, once the last of His elect come into His Kingdom, and the Triumphant Church is reigning with the Lord, then comes the end.

1Co 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

Christ is reigning now, and bringing His people into the Kingdom of God despite great opposition from His enemies; the world, the flesh, and Satan. He is reigning NOW, not He will reign when He hath put all enemies under His feet, but “He must reign” until He has put all enemies under His feet.

1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

Very clearly this is speaking of physical death. Physical death of the flesh will not be destroyed until the fullness of time, when Christ comes again. The physical cannot be confused with the Spiritual. We received Spiritual life, the first resurrection, the moment we became saved, and received life through the Spirit. This is why Christ can say to the believer, “ye shall never die” because when we receive life through the Spirit that life never ends. And notice in Rev 20:6 posted above, those who have part in the first resurrection (receive Spiritual life/become saved) are living and reigning with Him throughout the fullness of time, symbolized as one thousand years.

1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

I hate to sound redundant, but please notice the tense here. “Hath put all things under His feet”, not He will put all things under His feet

1Co 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

Some wonder how the dead will be raised, but what is dead? Is it the Christian who was made Spiritually alive in Christ to never die, or is it the corruptible, mortal body of flesh of both believers and unbelievers alike that dies and returns to the earth? The body of flesh must die, or it cannot be quickened. But the body that dies is sown in weakness, mortal, corruptible. This body of flesh is only a shell housing the immortal soul/spirit of man. Unless the body dies it cannot be quickened (raised a spiritual body).

1Co 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
1Co 15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
1Co 15:37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
1Co 15:38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Php 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Scripture does not refer to Christians as “the dead”. When we are made alive in Christ we can never die, even though our bodies die, and return to the dust of the earth from whence they came, Christians continue to live through the Spirit of life within. When one dies “in Christ” it is only the physical body, which is not of Christ, but of the earth, a natural body that truly dies. Scripture tells us that the “dead” stand before the Judgment Throne of God, this is not the dead “in Christ” because those who have physically died in Christ are already reigning with the Lord in heaven.

Death and hell are delivered up at the Judgment and cast into the lake of fire. If saints were among those delivered up from death and hell then they too would be cast into the lake of fire. But the saints need have no fear of this second death because we have had part in the first resurrection, and are not among death and hell who are delivered up at the Judgment, and cast into the lake of fire.

Re 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Re 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Re 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

One last point to make. Paul tells us we need not sorrow for those who have fallen asleep without hope because when Christ comes again in glory He will bring with Him all who sleep (die) in Christ. He can only bring them with Him, if they are indeed with Him.

1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

Many Blessings,
RW

spm62
Oct 24th 2007, 07:51 PM
Hey Roger,
I appreciate your passion about your belief,but I think the words in the bible and the concept of a future resurrection are too strong for it to mean anything else. As I have stated before, I grew up believing just as you do now but it just left too many unanswered questions. I was sort of on the fence about it because it was hard to let go of the prior teaching that was drilled in to me. But as I have been posting on this thread,my conviction that in fact we do rest at death awaiting that final resurrection has grown stronger in me. There is just way too much emphasis put on a future resurrection. As long as Satan is alive and is the prince of this world and as long as death (physical and spiritual) is still happening there is no way I can believe Christ is ruling at this moment. There are still horrible things happening in this world and if Jesus was truly ruling and reigning then that would not be the case. I believe that he has come in part but he has not totally subjected everything under his feet. We still await that day when he wipes every tear from every eye..Praise God!But until that day comes when his word say we WILL BE made alive at his coming..we wait for Gods time. Yes,I believe Christ will bring those spirits that are at rest with him back to reunite them with their bodies and be made alive. But that has not happened yet. I think we have taken this as far as it can go. Thanks for your responses and I look forward to chatting with you on a future thread...shalom. :)

Steven3
Oct 25th 2007, 01:45 AM
Hi Roger :)
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.Small problem; Christ hasn't come yet.
Here is another verse to pay attention to the tense. “When He shall have delivered up the Kingdom of God”, not when He will deliver up but “shall have.” Past tense, once the last of His elect come into His Kingdom, and the Triumphant Church is reigning with the Lord, then comes the end. Despite how it may look to the modern English speaker, that isn't past, either in English or Greek. In KJV-Shakespearean era English "when ..shall have" is a subjunctive, same as the original Greek here οταν ..παραδω. Compare cuando entregará in Spanish. i.e. it hasn't happened yet. Please see any modern version.
God bless
Steven

PS
One last point to make. Paul tells us we need not sorrow for those who have fallen asleep without hope because when Christ comes again in glory He will bring with Him all who sleep (die) in Christ. He can only bring them with Him, if they are indeed with Him.Or alternatively if he raises them first as 1Th4:15-17 says.

4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

Realist1981
Oct 25th 2007, 05:17 PM
In my opinion when we die our next experience will be the ressurection. It will seem instanteous but it's not. Like Solomon said that the dead doesn't no anything. It's kind of like being in a coma. The person who comes out of the coma doesn't know how long he/she has been in the coma. It seems instanteous.

My view is that the comma should have gone after the word "today" when Jesus said "Verily, I say to you today, you will be with me ect...." opposed to "Verily, I say to you, today you will be with me ect..."

Also that the Lazarus parable was indeed just that a parable and that it would be unwise to build a whole doctrine based off of it specially since other scripture refutes that stand!

Realist1981
Oct 25th 2007, 05:24 PM
Also it would'nt make sense logically. Why would someone be in the place of torments or in a state of bliss right now at this moment if they haven't been judged yet? The scripture is quite clear that we will all be judged at a certain time after everyone (righteous and wicked alike) is ressurected. We are going to be ressurected to judgement. The wicked will get their rewards and likewise the righteous.

It seems like an open and shut case to me. The righteous will be ressurected first to join Christ at his 2nd and triumpant coming. Whereas the wicked will be ressurected to judgement. What's the point of the Great White Throne judgement if the wicked are already judged and in the place of torments now?