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Old 01-08-2019, 10:16 AM
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BrainWashed BrainWashed is offline
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A Thought About Death - Please Respond

Hello Everyone,

I understand that many people choose to avoid discussing death. It’s a reality of life that many of us (myself included) would love to avoid. This year I’m turning 40 years of age, and I couldn’t help thinking that I’m getting older (sigh).

Many years ago I started studying what occurs after death. Many of us were taught as children that we immediately entered heaven after death. However, after reading scriptures, I began questioning that theology.

I remember staying up one night studying that subject and entering a mode of “panic.” I remember being at an AFF member’s home and discussing the subject too. I remember sitting at his table and heard god speak to me. He said, “just trust me.” After hearing those words, peace immediately entered my mind and the anxiety began to leave.

However, I have always remained curious as to what happens after death. There are many scriptures that could reinforce different opinions, and for that reason I really never study the subject. I guess I'm confused. I was thinking about it today as I sit at my work desk, and a scripture popped into my head. I thought I would share it here and see what remarks it receives.


Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15

29 - Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?
30 - And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour?
31 - I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord.
32 - If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”[d]


I want you to notice Paul’s comments in verse 32. He pretty much sums it up by saying, if there’s no resurrection, let’s pretty much party because we’re dying soon. His comment implied that if there is no resurrection, we’re pretty much doomed.

Now, if we do enter heaven immediately after death, why did Paul feel a sense of doom if there was no resurrection? I mean, if we entered heaven immediately after death, who cares about a resurrection, yes?


What saith the forum?

Last edited by BrainWashed; 01-08-2019 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:39 AM
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Esaias Esaias is offline
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Re: A Thought ABout Death - Please Respond

The Bible (specifically the Old Testament scriptures) do not describe an "afterlife" as commonly believed by most people. Nowhere do the "oracles of God" (the apostolic term for the OT Bible) teach that dead people continue in a conscious, disembodied state after death. In fact, the Scriptures which speak directly to the subject tell a very different story, that the dead do not have consciousness and are not active. Death is spoken of as "sleep", because the person is inactive and unaware. It is not the body which is said to sleep, but the person. This is a key point to remember.

Ecclesiastes ch 9

5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. 7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. 8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. 9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. 10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
This is a clear, unambiguous, straightforward description of the "after death state". The dead know nothing, their emotions and desires and passions cease to exist, they have nothing to do with anything going on in this life. In death, in the grave, activity ceases, plans cease, knowledge and wisdom cease. There is, in other words, no consciousness, no perception, and no activity.

Yet, the same author pointed out everyone would give account to God:
Ecclesiastes ch 12

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Everyone ought to obey God because God will judge every deed. This requires resurrection, since no activity occurs in the grave (except the dustifying of the body). Since this judgment does not befall all men in this life, it must occur at a future event. And since judgment implies conviction and testimony, it must occur outside of the grave. And that requires people to be out of the grave at judgment.

Jesus correctly refuted the Sadducees and their error of not believing in a resurrection of the dead, when He pointed out that the Law states Jehovah is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Since God is not God of the dead (since the dead know nothing nor do they do anything, including worship - Psalm 115:17), but God of the living, it necessarily follows that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob must come out of the grave and live yet again. Jesus' answer to the Sadducees presupposes that the dead are unconscious and not engaged in any activity including that of worship, thereby affirming the truth of resurrection.



That the dead would live again is expressed succinctly in Job, considered the oldest text in the Bible:
Job 19

25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
Job had an expectation that, even though the worms destroyed his body, even though his internal viscera (organs) were consumed, that is to say, even though his body decayed in the grave, yet he would one day see God, with his eyes. He asserts that in his flesh he would see God, whom he said would stand upon the earth in the latter day. This is a clear statement of an expectation of a future, bodily, physical resurrection. That even though the body rotted in the earth and returned to dust, yet somehow in his flesh he would stand before God. This can only be possible if there was to be a resurrection of the dead, that included a resurrection of the body.
Psalm 16

8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
David affirmed that his flesh would rest in hope. That is, his flesh body was not doomed to eternal destruction because of death. There was hope, not just for David's soul, but for his very flesh. The reason? Because he was confident that his soul would not remain in hell (Hades, or Sheol, that is, the grave). The soul would come out of the grave, and THIS is said to be the cause for his flesh resting in hope. In other words, the flesh was expected to live again precisely because the soul would not remain in the grave. The soul coming out of the grave is what would free the flesh from death. Or in other words, the flesh would rise when the soul came out of the grave.

What is the soul? Generally speaking, it is whole person:
Genesis 2

7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
The person is a living soul. It is a living soul because animating spirit has been joined to flesh. At death, the spirit departs from the flesh, and the person is no longer a living soul.

At resurrection, spirit and flesh are joined together once again, and the individual lives again, has consciousness, perception, can do things once more, activity resumes. This is another reason death is Biblically identified as "sleep", because of the resurrection. As a man lays down and goes unconscious, ceasing activity, in sleep, yet rises in the morning, awakened and conscious, so the person lies down in death, unconscious and inactive, until rising and awakening once more in resurrection.



The key here is to understand resurrection in a Christ-centered, New Covenant sense. Jesus is the life and resurrection, because He is the very life of God manifested in human nature. He is the firstborn from the dead, that is to say, He is the first person to experience the promised, looked forward to resurrection. Others had previously been restored to life, but those were resuscitations, not full blown resurrections. The idea expressed in the psalm, quoted earlier, is that once brought out of Hades, there is no expectation of ever going back. That is, death itself is defeated and the saint has no more to look forward to going back to the grave. The apostles understood the words of the psalm as a prophecy concerning Christ's resurrection. They also taught that as Christ is the new Adam (the new representative Head of mankind), all those in Christ would experience what He Himself experienced - resurrection into immortal life.

The wicked, however, have something different to look forward to, which we'll explore in the next post, as we look at the subject of eternal judgment.
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:40 AM
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Re: A Thought ABout Death - Please Respond

Psalm 37

1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. 12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. 13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. 14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. 15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. 16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous. 18 The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. 19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. 20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
The psalm speaks of the future of the wicked, that they will be no more, and will perish, and consume away. They will not be found. This takes place at the judgment, because even though wicked people die in this life, one can always find more wicked men still among the living. But a day is coming in which every deed of every person will be judged, and the wicked will be destroyed and "be no more".

Ecclesiastes showed that judgment must take place outside of the grave, and therefore there must be a resurrection. The resurrection thus is necessary for the judgment. The saints, in Christ, will be found in righteousness because they are in Him, who is Himself their righteousness. They will experience a resurrection into life. The wicked will also rise from the grave, and will be judged as well. But not being found in Christ, they will be judged for their wickedness, and will perish.

Thus, there is a resurrection to life, and a resurrection to damnation. The wicked will not live forever, but will be "consumed like fat" burning away into smoke. That is, they will be destroyed and there will simply be no more wicked.

Jesus affirmed this in that most famous verse, John 3:16, when He said the believers "should not perish, but have everlasting life." The unbelievers would "perish", that is, they would be consumed and would be no more.

He also affirmed the dual resurrection in John ch 5:
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
It should be noted that those who will participate in either the resurrection of life, or the resurrection of damnation, are those who are in the graves. They themselves are said to be in the graves when this happens, not just those " whose bodies" are in the graves.

Isaiah also speaks of the fate of the wicked:
Isaiah 33

14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? 15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; 16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. 17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.
The prophet asks, "Who shall dwell with the devouring fire, and everlasting burnings?" Many people believe the wicked will dwell or live forever with the devouring fire and everlasting burnings in hell. But the Scripture says explicitly it is the righteous who shall dwell with the devouring fire and everlasting burnings! How can this be?

It is because the righteous shall live forever, whereas the wicked shall be consumed (burnt up) and will be no more. The devouring fire is the consuming fire, which is GOD HIMSELF:

Deuteronomy 4

24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

Hebrews 12

29 For our God is a consuming fire.
God Himself is the consuming fire who, in His judgment, destroys the wicked. The righteous, however, live forever with Him. This is illustrated in symbolic form in the Revelation:
Revelation 20

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 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. 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. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Death and hell (Hades, the grave) delivered up the dead who were then judged. This means people coming back to life, out of the grave, resurrection. Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire, which is the SECOND death. And those not in the Book of Life are likewise cast unto the lake of fire.

Death and Hades, the grave, are abolished and death is destroyed, to be no more. As are the wicked. It is called the "second death" because it is a death that occurs after judgment. The second death has no power over the saints (Rev 20:6), that is, the fire cannot harm them, they are not appointed to destruction. They have eternal life, and shall live forever with God. But the wicked do not have eternal life, they are utterly destroyed by the righteous and holy judgment of God.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:09 AM
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BrainWashed BrainWashed is offline
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Re: A Thought About Death - Please Respond

Esias,

Thanks for the response and it does make sense. Here's something that has always confused me.

Paul states in Philippians 1

23 - I am torn between the two. I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better indeed.
24 - But it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

I read where Paul states that he'd rather depart and be with Christ, but it is necessary for those he's writing, that he remain in the body. It seems like Paul has an option of going to be with Christ, but he rather stay on Earth to help those he's addressing.

Doesn't it indicate like he has two options?
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:25 AM
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Re: A Thought About Death - Please Respond

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainWashed View Post
Esias,

Thanks for the response and it does make sense. Here's something that has always confused me.

Paul states in Philippians 1

23 - I am torn between the two. I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better indeed.
24 - But it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

I read where Paul states that he'd rather depart and be with Christ, but it is necessary for those he's writing, that he remain in the body. It seems like Paul has an option of going to be with Christ, but he rather stay on Earth to help those he's addressing.

Doesn't it indicate like he has two options?
He wants to be done, but realizes he still has work to do. I'm not sure it indicates he had control over the time of his departure.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:53 AM
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Re: A Thought About Death - Please Respond

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esaias View Post
He wants to be done, but realizes he still has work to do. I'm not sure it indicates he had control over the time of his departure.
If the dead simply sleep the Paul is no closer to Christ dead than while alive. His statement makes no sense unless there is some immediacy to being with Christ.
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Old 01-08-2019, 12:00 PM
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Re: A Thought About Death - Please Respond

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfrog View Post
If the dead simply sleep the Paul is no closer to Christ dead than while alive. His statement makes no sense unless there is some immediacy to being with Christ.
The Bible lays out what happens at death. We must interpret Paul's statement in that light.
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Old 01-08-2019, 12:06 PM
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BrainWashed BrainWashed is offline
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Re: A Thought About Death - Please Respond

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esaias View Post
He wants to be done, but realizes he still has work to do. I'm not sure it indicates he had control over the time of his departure.
Esaias,

I might be wrong, but this is what I understood.

23 - I am torn between the two. I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better indeed.
24 - But it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.


My interpretation of Paul's comments in bold:

I am torn between the two - I'm unsure of which one I should choose
I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better indeed - I want to leave to be with Christ, which would be better
But it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body - You would benefit more if I stay in the body than to depart and be with Christ.

As I said, I may be wrong, but that's how I'm interpreting it. I'm open to more input. This is the scripture that confuses me.
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Old 01-08-2019, 12:10 PM
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Re: A Thought About Death - Please Respond

Who did Jesus speak with on the mount of transfiguration?

Who did Saul summon with the soothsayer?
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Old 01-08-2019, 12:13 PM
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Re: A Thought About Death - Please Respond

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakingDominion View Post
Who did Jesus speak with on the mount of transfiguration?

Who did Saul summon with the soothsayer?
Devils duh!
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