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Word of Truth Ministries

                II Timothy 2:15 

Life After Death In The Flesh

 Where do we go after we die ? Well, all we know is what we were taught growing up. Since we can remember.We have always heard our parents and relatives speaking about Uncle Tom and Auntie Sue. They have died and gone to be with the Lord or gone to Heaven. But now, we are grown up and have a mind of our own to think with. Like Paul said, 1Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. Now, we are professing to be Christians. And always on the path seeking the Truth in everything.

At least this is what Professing Christians are suppose to do by the Word of God. 

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.                                                                                            

1Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.                                                                                            

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

So, we start our study for the Truth about the Topic:

                                         " Where Do We Go After Death In The Flesh "

We frist start by asking ourselves ? What information and where will we base this study from ? To know what God says about it. We will have to go to the Word of God. Frist, we must without any questioning believe the scriptures is the very Inspired Word of God. 2Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. 

What do the scriptures say about Life After Death ?

By what we read in the scriptures.There is good people (Believer's) that go to Heaven and the evil and wicked people (Unbeliever's) that go to Hell (the Lake of Fire). Nowhere, in scripture can we find these 3 quotes (1.) When you die you go to heaven. (2.) Heaven is the reward of the saved, (3.) the phrase the Immortal Soul. Is that strange ? 2 billion Christians out there believe in the immortal soul and dying and going to heaven yet, ITS NOT IN THE BIBLE !          

What is the Truth ? After this study may God open your hearts to discover the truth of your Bible ! 

          " Effects of this Life "

We feel this is an important subject to look into because, whatever a person believes about death has a great effect on what he or she does with this life ! Isn't it true ! When we see Islamic terrorist blowing themselves up for the sake of advancing Islam, and believing that dying in Jihad will give them a greater place in heaven, this belief, turns into action and causes heartache, death and murder to many more people including the suicide bomber.

Same with Kamikaze pilots of World War II. They had the same basic beliefs of dying for their cause would give them greater reward in the next life.

And what about the so called Christian world ? Many people believe that the more they suffer in this life, the more they will enjoy heaven when they die. That's why you see many Nuns and monks denying themselves any hint of pleasure, but punishing themselves with penance etc....... thinking " The more I do this the more I will enjoy Heaven." Yes the concept of death and the belief of the afterlife effects what we do in this life. Did you know the concept of the immortal soul going to heaven when you die immediately, is an idea that embraces death ? Think of it ! If you go directly to heaven when you die, why fear death ? Why try and keep a injuried person alive ? Why postpone such a blessing ? You are going to be with the Lord ? Right ? Why get the doctors to try and help you, and save your life ? You are going to paradise, right ? You see how this embraces death, AND NOT LIFE ! It is a self destructing concept. And that's what Satan the devil wants you to do, die ! And not live ! What does God want for you however ? The Apostle John writes:                        3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. The Old Testament writes:                                                                                         Deuteronomy 5:33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess. God wants us to LIVE NOT DIE ! Isn't that strange coming from a God that knows that Heaven is better place for his people ? If God wanted us to go to heaven why would he write these words in his book called the Bible ? Contradictory ? Yes ! But it contradicts man's theories about death, there is NO contradiction in the Bible. The Bible shows that heaven is NOT the reward of the saved !

 " Death, Friend ? or Enemy ? "

Is death an enemy of man ? From various theories out there by other religions about life after death it is not. But what does the Bible say ?

When you go to a funeral, the Priest or Pastor will preach the man into heaven saying," He is gone to be with the Lord." You see, his body was just a clay temporary home for him, and now his soul is in heaven sitting at the feet of the master, Jesus Christ. What he is really saying, is, that this man did not really die, he just passed from one existence, leaving his body for the living to bury.

As I mentioned above, before that man died, he had the expensive doctors and medical equipment trying to keep him alive (in many cases), but why ? If he had a far better life waiting for him why keep him alive ? You've heard of the saying " No one wants to die but everyone wants to go to heaven." The inconsistency what they claim to believe and what they really seem to believe as testified by their actions.

Is this because they know deep down inside, in their in innermost being, that God is right that death is NOT A FRIEND BUT A ENEMY ?

" The last enemy that shall be destroyed is DEATH"                                                                                                    1Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.         We should not feel that we are different if we treat death as an enemy. Hezekiah, in the Old Testament knew death was NOT a friend. When Isaiah prophesied that he would die, Hezekiah wept sore Isaiah 38:3 And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. He then prayed to God to spare his life, and God gave him another 15 years.Why was Hezekiah unhappy about dying ? Did he not believe that he would be with God when he did die ? Hezekiah himself gives the answer:

For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

" The living, shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth"                                                                 Isaiah 28:18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. Isaiah 28:19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.

Hezekiah understood death to be an enemy. He believed that when he died, he would go down to the "grave," he would not be able to praise God or hope for his truth.

The fact that death is taught as an enemy is also taught in the New Testament. Epaphroditus one of Paul's disciples:" ....... was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon" sorrow.                                      Philippians 2:27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

Both Hezekiah and Epaphroditus would have been deprived many years of life, had not God in his mercy intervened. Their lives were spared, and they rejoiced that God added more years to their lives.

Another example showing death to be an enemy is found in      Jeremiah 31:15 Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.                                                                                                          Jeremiah 31:16 Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.

Matthew tells us that this prophecy was fulfilled when King Herod tried to kill Christ when he was born, and killed all the children 2 years old and under. These children  were killed.

" The land of the enemy " is not heaven, but death, the state described by the words," they were not." The " not " in the Greek here is " ouk " which always expresses full and direct negation (independently and absolutely). The weaker and conditional negative was not used. The stronger negative was also used in Jeremiah 31:15.

The Bible says Rachel shall see them when they "come again" (are resurrected) from this land of the enemy. Yes the Bible speaks about when the ".......dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.......all that are in the grave shall hear his voice,

"And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damation [Judgement]  John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  John 5:29 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.

Therefore we see some very Godly people who thought of death as an enemy and hated and feared it. Let's now, begin a deep search into the Bible why they felt the way they did about death.

    Is There Life After Death ?

In Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

In other words as a consequence of Adam's sins, death has " passed through into mankind," and its on account of death operating in mankind that all men sin. For light on the meaning of the term "death" let us turn to the historical record of the event mentioned above in Romans 5:12.

After God formed man from the ground he placed upon him a well known restriction: "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

" But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."       

Genesis 2:16~17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. The marginal reading of the last phrase is significant:" Dying thou shalt die." In other words, the dying process (i.e. morality) was to begin to operate in Adam the very day he ate of the forbidden tree, and this was to ultimately result in his actual death.

In Genesis 3:19 the "death" which Adam ultimately was to die is graphically described: " In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for the dust thou art, and unto the dust shalt return."

It appears that none of the living creatures of Genesis 1 has any existence prior to their creation, and Adam had NO prior exsitence before God formed him from the ground and made him a " living soul " 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. Thus God must of meant by that last verse that when Adam died and returned unto the ground, he would return to the PREVIOUS STATE OF NON-EXISTENCE. According to early chapters of Genesis then, death can simply be defined as the OPPOSITE OF LIFE.

If this is true, then there should be other bible passages which treat life and death as opposites. Consider the following:                                                                        

(1.) Genesis 42:1 Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another ?          Genesis 42:2 And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.

(2.) Genesis 43:8 And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones.

(3.) Genesis 47:19 Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate.

(4.) Numbers 4:18 Cut ye not off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites:                                                 Numbers 4:19 But thus do unto them, that they may live, and not die, when they approach unto the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in, and appoint them every one to his service and to his burden: Numbers 4:20 But they shall not go in to see when the holy things are covered, lest they die.

(5.) Deuteronomy 33:6 Let Reuben live, and not die; and let not his men be few.

(6.) 2 Kings 18:32 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, saying, The LORD will deliver us.

(7.) 2 Kings 20:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. Isaiah 38:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.

(8.) Psalms 118:17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.

(9.) Ezekiel 18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

(10.) Ezekiel 18:28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

(11.) Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The scriptures teach that Adam's sin of disobedience brought death to us, and Christ's death and resurrection brought life unto us. Therefore we can conclude that death is NOT another form of life; death is the OPPOSITE of life, and in fact, death is the ABSENCE of life. The Bible has a lot more to say on this subject, lets go on. 

  " Death Likened Unto Sleep "

God inspired Moses, Job, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Daniel, Luke, Paul and Peter to refer to the death as being asleep. We read in          Deuteronomy 31:16 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers;" But wait, didn't the apostles see Moses with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration in Matthew 17 ? Does the Bible contradict ? NO !

But, this same expression " slept with thy fathers," occurs 36 times in the books of Kings and Chronicles alone. Thus it would seem that God desires that His people should become familiar with this inspired phrase. However this terminology did not long survive in apostolic times. It was seldom used in the Middle Ages, during the time that Catholicism held sway. It was revived shortly during the Protestant Reformation, but it died once again. Today we only hear it when the scriptures are read. But no one really takes notice what God is TRYING TO TELL THEM THE STATE OF THE DEAD IS !    THEY ARE ASLEEP !

Let's look at some of the scriptures the Bible writers said concerning the connection between death and sleep:

(1.) Job 14:12 So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.

(2.) Psalms 13:3 Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

(3.) Psalms 17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

(4.) Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

(5.) Daniel 12:13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

(6.) Job 7:21 And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity ? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.

We find the same concept used throughout the New Testament as well.......

(1.) Luke 8:52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.                                                                     Luke 8:53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.

(2.) John 11:11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. John 11:13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.

(3.) 1Corinthians 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 1Corinthians 15:17~18 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

(4.) 1Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

(5.) 1Thessalonians 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.

Thus we see both Old and New Testaments describe death as the exact parallel in condition of sleep. Both in sleep and in death men are unconscious of time and events that occur around them.

Those who believe that man himself retains consciousness after death teach that consciousness is independent of the body. Thus, when the body dies, the consciousness remains unaffected. But this notion is proven daily to be false. No man remains conscious while his body sleeps, for sleep itself is an unconscious state of being.

Psalms 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

Some say that dreaming is proof that the the thought of humans prove that the body operates independent from the body. However researchers have found that dreams occur as the physical body is disturbed.

Comas are an unnatural sleep brought on by injury, drugs, or illness. The body is alive, but decreased activity of some part of the body has made the mind unconscious. No doctor who has had medical experience would dare insist that mind's consciousness increases as body's life and brain function decreases.

Natural sleep, comas or other types of unconsciousness seems to verify that consciousness of the mind only exsists in a LIVING BODY.

Paul admonished Timothy to " hold fast the form ("pattern"~CV) of sound words" 2Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. It is important that we used the inspired words of God when we speak of death, lest we should be led astray in our understanding of it.

Unconscious in Sheol~Hades

Many times in funerals you would hear of the person " being with the Lord," in heaven. But are the beloved deceased truly in the presence of God in heaven as the story goes ? What does the Bible say about people who died ? Where are they ? In heaven ? Hell ? Purgatory ? Or as anybody can plainly see at the funeral, IN THE GRAVE ? Let's examine the place of death.

King Solomon wrote: Ecclesiastes 9:10 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.

King Hezekiah, a righteous man before God, see II Kings 20:3, when he was about to die knew where he was going and what state he would be in, that's why he said: Isaiah 38:18~19 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.

King David wrote the same thing when he said: Psalms 115:17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. The Septuagint reading of this passage is very significant: " The dead shall not praise thee, O Lord, nor any that go down to Hades. But we, the living, will bless thee Lord, from henceforth and to the age."

In the original Hebrew of the Old Testament scriptures the dead were said to go to Sheol * (see footnote). The comparable Greek word in the New Testament was the word Hades. When the Judean translators of the Septuagint Bible (280 B.C) came to the word Sheol, they always rendered it with the Greek Hades. When the writers of the New Scriptures quoted a passage from the Hebrew, they rendered Sheol as Hades. An example: Psalms 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 

Acts 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

The prophets of the Bible knew they would go to sheol, but they had faith that God would not leave them there forever. Job knew that he would have to wait in sheol till his "change come" meaning the resurrection: Job 14:14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

The Septuagint of this passage is very enlightening: " For if a man should die, shall he live again ? Having accomplished the days of his life ! I will wait TILL I EXIST AGAIN "

Thus according to the Septuagint translation, Job said that he would have to wait in the grave until he existed again at the resurrection. Meanwhile: Job 17:13 If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness. Notice that his dwelling palce is the grave where he lies in darkness, the state of unconsciousness. Not a place of darkness, but his bed, where he sleeps in death, in darkness, meaning unconsciousness.

Sheol is a place of darkness and silence, but it is also a place where mental activity ceases as well: Psalms 6:5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks ? 

Psalms 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

Note: " Perish" in the Hebrew is "abad" which signifies " to be lost." At death man looses consciousness.

King Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived confirmed what his father said about the dead in Ecclesiastes 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. They DON'T have a reward. But the common belief is that when you die, YOU ENTER HEAVEN, YOUR ETERNAL REWARD. BUT THE BIBLE SAYS OTHERWISE !

Ecclesiastes 9:10 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. Some people may critcize Solomon on these verse saying that at this time Solomon was " backslidden " when he wrote these things. But this book was written by " The preacher sought to find out acceptable words:                                            

Ecclesiastes 12:10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. God made Solomon "wise" and "understanding" heart,                              

1Kings 3:11~12 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.                           

1Kings 4:29~31 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. Not to mention that Solomon's statements on death are in exact agreement with statements of Job and David. Are we to say then David and Job were backslidden as well ? God forbid !

The above scriptures are not isolated passages in any way. There are many scriptures that coincide with them. The Word of God says, the dead lie unconscious in the graves, and are awaiting their respective resurrections. The prophets all agree on this issue, in contrast to all the false religions around them, and you can also apply it today as well. The Bible is the only religious book that says when you die you are in the grave, dead and unconscious. All other religions speak of Heaven and hell, a place where people live forever, and this happens immediately after death. They speak of Heaven as paradise, or Nirvana. They speak of hell as a place of torment where a person suffers forever and ever without any relief. Jesus a well put His stamp of approval on the truth of the prophets by telling His two disciples: Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

There is only One Man that walked the earth who is Immortal, and He is Jesus Christ: 1Timothy 6:15~16 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. How can that be ? What about Elijah and Enoch. Didn't they go to heaven and are living in eternity ?  

John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.              There is scripture to explain, through study about all of these Bible verses. WE WILL COVER THESE VERSES IN A ADDITIONAL FORUM ON THE WEB PAGE !

          " Death is a Return "

There is a significant point that christendom seems to have overlooked. God does not say, He formed man's body of the dust of the ground. No,God says He formed MAN of the dust. Only theologians say it was the body.

Note carefully the wording of the scriptures: 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.

That Adam was made truely of the earth is made especially clear in the Concordant Version of 1Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. " The frist Adam, became a living Soul..." the first man was OUT OF the earth,soilish..."

Adam was complete physically, but he was without " life." Upon receiving life, he then became a living soul.

The important point to remember is that, except for the breathe of life itself, man was totally from the dust of the earth.

That is why the Bible itself states that when life leaves man, man himself returns to the dust from whence he came. Notice the explanation God gives in the book of Genesis: Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Job 34:15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.                                                                                                           

Psalms 90:3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.                                                                                      

Psalms 104:29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.                                                                                                          

Psalms 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.                                                                                                                                     Ecclesiastes   3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

Note the personal pronouns thy and thou in all the above passages. If our theologians and bible teachers would read them, they would see that man himself returns to the dust-not just his body with himself then going somewhere else.

But the passage say that God takes away the breathe of life, then man returns to the earth from whence he came. What is this breath of life the bible speaks of ?

"Breath of Life (Spirit, Soul, Body)"

In any discussion of death as a return to the ground, we must consider the relationship between spirit, soul, body since Solomon did write: Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

The Hebrew word for spirit is ruach, and its Greek equivalent is pneuma. Both words literally mean " breath " (air in motion), see Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. In Ecclesiastes 2:7 God takes back what he gave "...the spirit [breath of Life] shall return to God who gave it." When God breathed into man " breath of life " (Genesis 2:7), man become alive and was a living creature. Is the spirit or breath of life man ? No, the soul, that we will discuss later constitutes the individual, and is the seat of conscious personality.

So what is this breath of life ?

I will let Mr. Biacchiocchi's book " Immortality or Resurrections," pp.49-50 describe in great detail what is the breath of life.

What is the breath [neshamah} of life that God breathed into Adam's nostrils ? Some assume that the breath of life is the immortal soul that God implanted into Adam's material body. This interpreattion cannot be legitimately be supported by the biblical meaning and usage of the breath of life, because nowhere in the bible is the breath of life identified with an immortal soul.

In scripture the breath [neshamah] of life is the life-giving power that is associated with the breath of God. Thus we read in Job 33:4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. The spirit [ruach] of God hath made me, and the breath [neshamah] of the Almighty hath given me life. The parallelism between the spirit of God and the breath of the Almighty suggests that the two are used interchangeably because they both refer to the gift of life imparted by God to His creatures. Another clear example is found in Isaiah 42:5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: Here again the parallelism shows that breath and spirit denote the same animating principle of life that God gives to His creatures.

The imagery of the breath of life describes in a suggestive way the gift of God to His creatures, because breathing is a vital sign of life. A person who no longer breathes is dead.Thus it is not surprising that in scripture the life-giving spirit of God is characterizing as the breath of life. After all, breathing is a tangible manifestation of life, Job says : Job 27:3 All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; Here the human breath and the divine spirit are equated, because breathing is seen as a manifestation of the sustaining power of the Spirit of God.

Possession of the breath of life does not in itself confer immortality, because the bible tells us that at death the breath of life returns to God. Life derives from God, is sustained by God, and returns to god. In describing death, Job says: Job 34:14~15 If he [God] set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit [ruach] and his breath [neshamah]; All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust. The same truth is expressed in:                                          

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

Genesis 7:21~22 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath [nesamah] of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

The fact that death is characterized as the withdrawal of the breath of life shows that the breath of life is not an immortal spirit or soul that God confers on his creatures, but rather the gift of life or spirit remains, human beings are living souls. But when the breath departs, they become DEAD SOULS.

The connection between the breath of life and the living soul becomes clear when we remember that, as Atkinson points out mans soul is in his blood and indeed his blood is his soul. Thus he is kept in being [alive] as a living soul by the inhalation of oxygen out of the air, and medical science today knows, of course, a great deal about the connection bewteen this intake of oxygen and blood. The cessation of breathing results in the death of the soul, because the blood which is equated with the soul, no longer receives the oxygen that is so vital for life. This explains why the bible refers about 13 times to human death as the death of a soul (Leviticus 21:1,11/ 22:4; Numbers 5:2; 6:6,11; 9:6,7,10; 19:11,13; Haggai 2:13). 

In the light of the preceeding discussion, we conclude that man became a living soul (K.J.V) at creation, not through the implantation of an immaterial, immortal soul into his material, mortal body, but through the animating principle of life (breath of life) conferred on him by God Himself. In the creation account the living soul denotes the life principle or power that animates the human body and reveals itself in the form of conscious life (emphasis added).

                  " The Soul "

In the scriptures, the following identifying marks of a conscious personality are ascribed to the soul.

KNOWLEDGEJoshua 23:14 And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof. Psalms 139:4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Proverbs 2:10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Proverbs 19:2 Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.

THOUGHT:  Esther 4:13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the JewsProverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. Psalms 13:2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me ?

MEMORYLamentations 3:20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons; Deuteronomy 11:8 Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it;

LOVE, JOY, & DELIGHT: Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Psalms 35:9 And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation. Psalms 86:4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee,O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Psalms 94:19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

BITTERNESS, DISTRESS, IMPATIENCEGenesis 42:21 And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. Numbers 21:4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. Judges 10:16 And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel. Judges 16:16 And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death; 1Samuel 1:10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. 1Samuel 22:2 And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men. 1Samuel 30:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. Psalms 143:11 Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake: for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble. Proverbs 21:23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.

MOURNING, SORROW, GRIEFJob 14:22 But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn. Jeremiah 31:25 For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. 1Samuel 2:33 And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age. Psalms 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

ABHORRENCE, HATE:  Leviticus 26:15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: Psalms 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Psalms 107:18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death. Isaiah 1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. One can see that if the above are ascribed to the soul, and the soul " dies," Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. Then the above marks of conscious personality cease, or " dies " as well.

              " Spirit in Man "

The conscious part of the soul is also called the " spirit IN man." The spirit is used to represent the seat of insight, feeling and reasoning.......This accounts for many uses of the term "spirit" in the Old and New Testaments. Man's spirit is stirredEzekiel 2:2 And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me. or troubled~ Genesis 41:8 And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh. is hardenedDeuteronomy 2:30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day. A man being patient in spirit  Ecclesiastes 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. ruling one's spirit  Proverbs 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. The two words in the Hebrew and Greek are ruach and pneuma:   James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit [pneuma i.e. Breath of Life] is dead, so faith without works is dead also. When Jarius' daughter was dead and Jesus raised her back to life the Bible says: Luke 8:55 And her spirit [pneuma] came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. We noted already that the spirit which returned was the breath of Life that God made the girl a living person again. " ...the Greek noun pneuma...is used as the equivalent of the Hebrew word ruach, and means the "spirit" or the breath of life from God... There is no suggestion that the spirit in man is an independent and immortal component of human nature. Rather it is the animating principle of life visible through breathing.

The passages that speak of the soul as a seat of emotions are "interpreted by some dualists as supporting the notion of the soul being a immaterial entity attached to the body and responsible for the emotional and intellectual life of the individual. The problem with this interpretation is, as Tory Hoff explains, that the soul is the "seat of emotions" no more than any other Hebrew anthropolgical term,... the soul is only one center of emotions because the body, the heart, the bowels and other parts of the body also function as emotional centers (See ? Psalms 15:1~5 A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle ? who shall dwell in thy holy hill ? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.) Also Psalms 73:21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. Lamentations 2:11 Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city.

From the biblical wholistic view of human nature, one part of the body can often represent the whole [including the breath or spirit in man]...emotional content of the soul is equated with the self or the person and is not an independent entity.

The Spirit in man is described in a "figurative sense...is expanded to refer to the inner moral renewal...emotional and volitional life, thus overlapping somewhat with the soul. 

                                           Genesis 2:7 ?

The best place to start about the discussion of the soul is in beginning when God made the human race. Genesis 2:7 says: 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. Man BECAME a soul, not a spirit. HE IS A SOUL, not God engendered into him an immortal soul. You and I and the rest of the human race ARE SOULS ! This is what your bible is telling you. That's why the " Soul that sinneth, it shall die Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Do humans die ? absolutely ! That's why Christ alone has immortality,        1Timothy 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. We do not have an immortal soul, but we ARE MORTAL SOULS THAT DIE ! As God told Adam: ... Genesis 3:19 for dust thou [the soul] art, and unto dust shalt thou [the soul] return.

And the only time we are to become immortal is at the resurrection. Paul wrote: 1Corinthians 15:52~53 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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. We dont have it already inside us with an immortal soul.

The word " Soul " in the Hebrew is " Nephesh," which is used 472 times in the bible. People look at the word soul with a Greek dualitic mindset, and with this mind set will have great difficulty understanding the Biblical wholistic view of human nature.

The body and soul are the same person seen from different perspectives... two characteristics of the same person... the body is the soul in its outward form [inwardly the seat of emotions, knowledge etc...] The Hebrew idea of personality is that of an animated body, not (like the Greek) that of an incarnate soul... Nephesh was designed to be seen together with the whole form of man... man does not have [a] Nephesh [soul] he IS A Nephesh [soul]... Simply stated, a living means a living being.

People who cling to the Greek Platonic dualistic view of human nature instead of biblical wholism are left with many problems that the bible itself contradicts the dualistic view. They have to explain passages that speak of a dead person as a dead soul-nephesh Leviticus 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. Leviticus 21:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people: Leviticus 21:11 Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother; Leviticus 22:4 What man soever of the seed of Aaron is a leper, or hath a running issue; he shall not eat of the holy things, until he be clean. And whoso toucheth any thing that is unclean by the dead, or a man whose seed goeth from him; Numbers 5:2 Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead: Numbers 6:6 All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body. Numbers 6:11 And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead, and shall hallow his head that same day. Numbers 9:6~7 And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day: and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day: And those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body of a man: wherefore are we kept back, that we may not offer an offering of the LORD in his appointed season among the children of Israel ?  

Numbers 9:10~11 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD. He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days. Numbers 19:13 Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him. Haggai 2:13 Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean ? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. For them it is inconceivable that the immortal soul could die with the body.

Also animals, they to are described as " living souls." In Genesis 1:20,21,24 and 30 the phrase "nephesh-hayyah" "living soul" refers to animals. But translators of the King James Bible chose to translate these verses as "living creature" rather than "living souls" (Genesis 2:19;9:10,12,15,16; Leviticus 11:46.

WHY DID TRANSLATORS DO THIS ? Because they were conditioned to believe that human beings had an immortal soul and animals did not. Norman Snaith finds this..." most reprehensible" and says,"...it is a grave reflection on the Revisers [translators of the Authorized Version] that they retained this misleading difference in translation... The Hebrew phrase should be translated exactly the same way in both cases. To do otherwise is to mislead all those who do not read Hebrew. There is no excuse and no proper defence" (Justice and Immortality, Scottish Journal of Theology 17, 3 (Sept.1964), pp.312-313.

New Testament Word for Soul

The Greek word psuche is the only word that is translated "soul" in the New Testament. You will find the word 105 times in the New Testament, of which it is translated "soul" only 58 times, but can also be rendered "life" (40 times), "mind" (3 times), and "heart" "heartily," "us" and "you" (1 time each).

The Greek word psuche is the exact Greek rendering of the Hebrew word nephesh and is used in the same way throughout the New Testament. For example, psuche is used of the lower animals, just as you have seen nephesh used of lower life forms in the frist chapter of the book of Genesis ! In Revelation the Greek word psuche (remember this is the ONLY word which is ever used for the word "soul" in the English language) is rendered "life." Notice also Revelation 16:3, where lower life forms are spoken of, yet the word "soul" is used. Read that last scripture carefully ! It describes one of the horrible plagues yet to fall upon the land and the sea, and says "every living soul DIED" ! Here is one more New Testament proof that the word "soul" as it found its way into the English language means a being, or living thing, which can DIE ! In this case, it is used of various forms of life (of which there are thousands) in the sea !

The Greek word psuche is also used for an individual On many occasions, when a newspaper headline speaks of so many "souls" being lost in the sinking of a ship, it is using the word in much the same way as it occurs 14 different times in the Bible ! For proof, read  Acts 2:41~43 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. Acts 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Acts 7:14 Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. Acts 27:37 And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. Romans 2:9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 1Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. 1Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.  2Peter 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Revelaton 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: Revelation 18:13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. Revelation 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.

In those passages, the Greek word psuche is used for the life of man, which can be destroyed, or lost.

A classic example of where the translators have tampered with English in translating from the Greek is found in Matthew 16:25 and 26.

Notice the way it is rendered in the King James Version: 

Matthew 16:25 For whosoever will save his life [psuche] shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life [psuche] for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul [psuche] ? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul [psuche] ?

Obviously, since the identical Greek word is used in both passages; and since it is rendered differently in verse 26 (soul) from the way it is used in verse 25 (life), it was a translator's decision as to changing the way he rendered this Greek word psuche in two verses !

To be honest, and to be fair with the word, it should have been rendered the same in both passages ! Here, it is obvious the word should better be rendered "life, just as it was rendered in verse 25 ! For, after all, it is your life you can lose~and what can you give in exchange for your LIFE ?

The point is, the Greek word psuche is capable of nearly as many applications as is the Hebrew word nephesh, and can even be used of man's moods, passions and feelings !

The word psuche, for example, is translated "mind," "us," "you," "heart," and heartily."

By no stretch of the imagination can this Greek word EVER connote anything which is immortal, or"extra physical," in the sense of being spiritual.

The English word "soul" in the Old Testament is always taken from the Hebrew nephesh and does NOT mean anything immortal; just as the English word "soul" in the New Testament is taken from the Greek word psuche, and only means mortal, temporal, human physical MAN, who is subject to death.

               Resurrection:              Impossible if Dead are Alive

Resurrection is a RETURN from the dead. God says nothing about resurrecting men's spirit's out of heaven. It is axiomatic that the living cannot be resurrected, for only the dead can be raised from the dead.The story of man's life death and resurrection is summed up in Psalms 104:29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Psalms 104:30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

In other words, God removes his breath [spirit] from man, he dies and returns to the earth. The resurrections is a re-creation from the state of non~existence. In this way the earth and man will be renewed. Ezekiel says the same thing: Ezekiel 37:10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Ezekiel 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Ezekiel 37:14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

Note three important things in this scripture, all of which are generally overlooked:  

1. Breath came into them and they lived. It does not say-nor is it true that "never dying soul," or a conscious entity returned to their bodies and caused them to live.

2. God says, I will...put my spirit [breath of God] in you, and ye shall live. What cause them to live ? The frist part says it was "breath" and the last part says "my spirit;" the breath of God breathed into their nostrils as with Adam in 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 most complete set of references to the word resurrection that we know is found in Young's Analytical Concordance and Strong's Exhaustive as well. Here are the complete references in the New Testament of the resurrection: Matthew 22:23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Matthew 22:28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven ? for they all had her. Matthew 22:30~32 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Mark 12:18 Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying, Mark 12:23 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife. Luke 14:14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. Luke 20:27 Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him, Luke 20:33 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife. Luke 20:35~36 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.  John 5:29 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. John 11:24~25 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 

Acts 1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. 

Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.           

Acts 4:2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.                                          

Acts 4:33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.     

Acts 17:18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.                                   

Acts 17:32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.          

Acts 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.                                                                       

Acts 23:8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.                                         

Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.                                                                                                            

Acts 24:21 Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.                                                                                              

Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:            Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  1Corinthians 15:12~13 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead ? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:                                                                                

1Corinthians 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.                                                     1Corinthians 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:                                   Philippians 3:10~11 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.                                                                    

2Timothy 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.    

Hebrews 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.                    

Hebrews 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:                                                                                

1Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,          

1Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:  

Revelation 20:5~6 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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.

Matthew 27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

The above references speak of "the resurrection." the "resurrection of Jesus Christ." and most frequently,"the resurrection of the Resurrection of the body. Meaning the body and the soul seperate. When the bible speaks of the body, it is biblical wholism that we have seen which constitutes the whole person. Here are some examples.      

In Isaiah 26:19 we read " Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust:" for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. The frist part of this verse speaks of "thy dead men," not "the bodies of them that dwell in the dust." These two parts of the same sentence do not mention "bodies" at all. 

"My dead body" does not suggest that Isaiah's body will just be raised, while his soul or spirit comes down from heaven and re-enters his body. This passage simply illustrates that one cannot seperate the body from the person. Isaiah equates himself his body with the dead MEN. This is biblical wholism which we have seen shows that you cannot seperate the person from his body.

Notice the Apostle, how he also equates our bodies with our being, the person as biblical wholism:" So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

" It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."

         " Two Types of Death "

We have seen in Genesis 2:16-17 that the penalty for Adam's transgression was mortality, that is, a dying process. We have also seen according to Romans 12, that this mortality was passed down to all men as a consequence to Adam's sin, rather than our own. In other words God did not wait until we committed our frist sin to make us mortal. Rather we are all born mortal, not as a result of our own sin, but as a result of Adam's sin.

Therefore this type of death which we call mortality is experienced by all meaning indeed by all creation.                                      

Ecclesiates 3:19~20 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

However there is another kind of death that ONLY the wicked unrepentant sinner will experience. It is called the second death:                                                                                                

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.                                                                                                                 

Revelation 20:13~15 And the sea gave up the dead [third resurrection] 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. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The righteous shall not experience the second death. They will be resurrected to eternal life:                                                             

Revelation 20:4~6 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. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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. 

The second death has no power because they will have recieved eternal life when they are " raised incorruptible;                                 1Corinthians 15:50~52 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. This is the frist resurrection of all people that are chosen by God and " endured unto the end "      

Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. The second death comes at the third resurrection.

The second resurrection is the resurrection all people who never had a chance for salvation. This is the " rest of the dead." These are the ones who never heard of the name Jesus Christ. They never had the truth revealed to them Or maybe they were little babies who were killed or died of malnutrition that never got a chance to be saved. Whatever the situation, these will finally get a chance to know God, and to begin the process of salvation in thier lives and to get to know the true God of the Bible.This is the time of judgment. Right now, the judgment is for God's people being judged right now according to their works. Peter writes:    1Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God ?  God judges His people. The bible is very clear on this point: Deuteronomy 32:36 For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.

Many people believe that the time of Judgment is for the wicked when they recieve their sentence to the lake of fire. But this contradicts the scripture:                                                                                                 

Psalms 1:5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. The ungodly, the bible says will not stand in the Judgment. Only repentant sinners will stand in the judgment who have been made right through the blood of Jesus Christ. The Church now and in the future, the book of revelation writes: Revelation 7:13~17 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they ? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.                                                                                                  

Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

These are repentant sinners who are made righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ and are saved. The church today is Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified [ made right] by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. The church is being judged as Peter said right now and we are righteous before God through the blood of Jesus Christ. So the church is standing in the judgment right now rightoeus before God and not ungodly, for the " ungodly shall not stand in the judgment."

           What is Judgement ?

Jesus addressed the fact of more than one resurrection when He said that John 5:28~29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  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.

The more common meaning of the word krisis, translated " condemnation " in this verse, is judgment, as it is usually translated. This word refers to a process of evaluation rather an act of punishment. Krisis means " the process of investigation, the act of distinguishing and separating,... a judging, a passing of judgment upon a person or thing " (W.E. Vine, Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 1985, p.119). Krisis is to be distinguished from krima, which refers to " the sentence pronounced, a verdict, a condemnation, the decision resulting from an investigation " (ibid.).

Notice the scripture:                                                                         1Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

The Old Testament says the same thing in Psalms 94:12 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, (Heb. yacar-correct) O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;

The Old Testament says earlier, those who are called in this life and respond by hearing and believing God will be given eternal life; it will not be necessary for them to go through this time of judgment. They are being judged now  1Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God ? not later. This judgment is a process, with those who are called by God responding faithfully to His truth and bearing fruit over time                                                                             

John 15:2~8 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.                                                                  

Galatians 5:22~23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. or turning from that calling                                         

2 Peter 2:20~22 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Eventually all others will be judged, Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. This judgment will also take place over time in the " resurrection of judgment " of which Christ spoke.

 

Now, the second resurrection, we see: Revelation 20:11~12 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. 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. Notice all people are standing before God, and these dead people who are back to life, meaning the resurrection, were in that time being " judged " by the " books." The Greek word is biblos, the very word used to describe the bible. The Book of Life is opened, so each one who repents their names shall be wriiten in the book of life, just like the church when they repent and follow God, their names in are in the books of life as well,                          

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. These in the second resurrection, will repent, be in the book of life, and shall be judged according to their works. They are righteous before God, and repentant, as David said,  

Psalms 1:5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

Jesus spoke of the judgment and the attitudes of the people at that time: Matthew 12:41~42 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

Notice, they are condemning the ones who rejected Christ IN THIS LIFE ! They know God's truth, they know right from wrong. How are they able to do that unless they frist learn about what is written in the " books." They need time to learn God's laws, and about God's mercy, and time to learn what the ancient people did in that time for them to reach the conclusion to condemn peoples actions.

Notice further: Matthew 10:15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.                                                              

Matthew 11:21~22 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.                                         

In the day of judgment these people will accept the teachings and mighty works of Christ and find their judgment period more bearable than those who personally heard Jesus Christ. Jesus simply meant here is that all these people will find repentance easier in their day of judgment than those who rejected Christ and His Gospel message.

The time of Judgment is a time when people will walk in God's way and at the end of it-then God will render a decision, a verdict-for each, on the basis of how they do. This is the judgment ! Some people believe that the judgment is merely reviewing the people's sins and pronouncing a punishment on them. But " judgement " as used in the bible, is actually a process not just the conclusion. God's people are being judged right now,                                                                                                               

1Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.                                                              

Deuteronomy 32:36 For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left. God evaluates how well they live by His instructions:                                                                                 

1Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Noticed when we are judged by God it is so that we might avoid condemnation. Then if we reject God and His Laws and prefer to be evil and sinners, at the end of the process in the THIRD RESURRECTION. People who refuse to repent will recieve their punishment.                                              

John 5:28~29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life [First Resurrection to life eternal]; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation [should be translated " Judgement " The Second Resurrection.]

Now when we get to Revelation 20:13~15 And the sea gave up the dead [third resurrection] which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged [i.e the " Krima " " Judgement " " the sentence pronounced, a verdict, a condemnation, the decision resulting from an investigation " (Vine's).] every man according to their worksAnd death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Notice the book of life is not mentioned in these passages. Why ? They must of had their chance for salvation and rejected it. These people God will judge, sentence and execute: " And death and hell were cast into the lake of fireThis is the second death.

" And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

These scriptures in the bible that show that you can loose salvation, and that is totally up to the individual. The result without repentance is the lake of fire:                                  

Hebrews 3:8~19 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years ? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness ? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not ? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

" Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it."  

Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. The apostle Paul speaking to believers who know the truth using the example of Moses in the wilderness showing that because they disbelieved and fell away from God they could not go into the promise land. And then he says the same can happen to us. We will die and not enter into the kingdom of God                                       

Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. This is the second death.

Hebrews 6:4~8 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. The fruits which we produce, righteousness in our lives, will either be gathered and enter into God's kingdom and the ones who will not produce the fruits of righteousness will be burned in the lake of fire if they do not repent,

Matthew 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:  

Matthew 3:10~12 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles ?                                                   

Matthew 7:17~20 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

2Corinthians 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;). So if we reject the calling of Jesus Christ, His truth revealed to us, and begotten by the Holy Spirit, then we can loose salvation and be part of the second death.

Some people take this scripture to show the time of Judgment is a time of punishment:                                                                                         

2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But the N.I.V. translation renders it " unrighteous for punishment UNTIL the day of judgment." The Jewish New Testament renders this passage:" holds the wicked UNTIL the day of judgment while continuing to punish them." When you, look at the context of the scripture Peter is speaking of the past acts of God. Of what he did with Noah, saving him, and punishing the wicked in the flood. Also Lot, saving him and his family, but PUNISHING Sodom for their sins. Peter said,

2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: He saved Lot and Noah, and punished the wicked. So the context of the scripture is, those people, like Jesus said in Matthew 10,11 & 12, Sodom and Gomorrah, God will reserve " UNTIL " the day of Judgement," " while " God still in this life," continues to punish them " for their wickedness. (Jewish Testament).

Origins of The Immortal Soul

FEW BELIEFS are more widely held than that of the " immortal soul." Virtually everyone is familar with the concept. The average religious person, if asked, would state it something like this:

A human person is both body and soul. The body is the physical flesh-and-blood " shell " temporarily housing the soul. The soul is the nonmaterial aspect, made of spirit. At death the soul leaves the body, and lives on consciously forever in heaven or hell. ( Some hold that liberated souls are reborn in new bodies in a series of " reincarnations " or " transmigrations.")

Some form of this concept is found among virtually all peoples and religions in the world today.The average religious person generally takes the idea for granted.

Science, which deals with material universe and physical data, cannot verify or deny the existence of any such soul.

How, then can one know whether or not man really has an " immortal soul " ?

Few have stopped to ask where the concept came from in the frist place. Many simply assume it has its origin in the Bible.

So prepare yourself for what could be one of the big surprises of your life !

The idea of an " immortal soul " long predates the founding of today's major religions. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus (5th century B.C.) tells us in his History that the ancient Egyptian were the frist to teach that the soul of man is separable from the body, and immortal. This Egyptian idea was centuries before Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam came onto the scene.

Nowhere in the ancient world was the afterlife of more concern than in Egypt. The countless tombs unearthed by archaeologist along the Nile provide eloquent testimony to the Egyptians belief that man possessed a spiritual aspect extending beyond physical life. To the east, the ancient Babylonians also held a belief in a future life of the soul in a " lower world." But Babylonian beliefs were nowhere so elaborate as the Egyptian.

A person, the Egyptians believed, consisted of a physical body and not one but two souls that lived on after his death:

a ka soul and ba soul.

The ka was said to be a spirit replica of man, containing the " vital force " given to him at birth. At death, the ka was believed to take residence in a statue or picture of the deceased. The state or picture was placed in the tomb for that very purpose. As the tomb was to be the eternal home of the ka, it was provided with everything the ka would need for happy afterlife~food,furniture,games.reading material,grooming aids and the like.

The other soul, the ba, was held to be that part of man that enjoyed an eternal existence in heaven. It was believed to fly from the body with the last breath. The ba was often depicted on tomb paintings as a human~headed hawk hovering over the deceased"s body. The ancient Egyptians believed the ba occasionally came back to "visit" the body in the tomb and to partake of the food and drink offerings there.

The famous Book of the Dead~ a collection of ancient Egyptian funerary and ritual texts~lays out in great detail the many Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife. In one version of the work, dating from the 15th century B.C., the ba of a deceased person is pictured as asking one of the Egyptian gods," How long have I to live ? " To which the god replied: " Thou shalt exist for millions of millions of years, a period of millions of years." What better depiction of the concept of the concept of immortality ?

          " Passed on to Greeks "

The idea of the soul's immortality did not cease with ancient Egyptian civilization. Notice again the testimony of the historian Herodotus:

" The Egyptians were the frist that asserted that soul of man is immortal...This opinion some among the Greeks have at different periods of time adopted as their own " (from Euterpe, the second book of Herodotus' History).

The pagan Greeks got the concept of an immortal soul from the Egyptians ! The foremost advocate among the ancient Greeks of the idea of an " immortal soul " was the Athenian philosopher Plato (428-348 B.C.), the pupil of Socrates. Plato was the founder of the Academy, an institute for philosophical and scientific research just outside of Athens.

The pre-Socratic Greek philosophers had no real conception of any nonmaterial element in man. The philosophers Socrates and Pythagoras were among the frist of the Greeks to adopt the Egyptians view. They subsequently had a great influence on the thought of Plato. It was Plato who popularized the immortal soul concept through out the Greek world.

In the Phaedo~one of Plato's most famous works~Plato recounts Socrates' final conversation with his friends on the last day of Socrates' life. Socrates declared to them:

" Be of good cheer, and do not lament my passing...When you lay me down in my grave, say that you are burying my body only, and not my soul." Socrates' statement is little different from the teaching of most churches today !

Notice also the following assertion from Plato, again taken from the Phaedo:

" The soul whose inseparable attitude is life will never admit of life's opposite,death. Thus the soul is shown to be immortal, and since immortal,indestructible...Do we believe there is such a thing as death ? To be sure. And is this anything but the seperation of the soul and body ? And being dead is the attainment of this seperation, when the soul exists in herself and seperation from the body, and the body is parted from the soul. That is death...Death is merely the seperation of the soul and body."

In Book X of the Republic~another of Plato's major works~he again wrote: " The soul of man is immortal and imperishable."

Statements by such ancient Greek and Roman writers as Polybius,Cicero,Seneca,Stabo~and even Plato himself~have led modern historians to question whether Plato really personally believed the immortal soul doctrine. They suggest that he may have simply popularized what he knew to be a fiction as a means of keeping the citizenry in line through the fear of mysterious " unseen things " beyond this life.

The immortal soul concept, in other words, was a necessary companion doctrine to the doctrine of the terrible torments of parts of Hades or hell. Such fearsome teachings, some philosophers thought, were necessary to scare the masses into being good citizens.

Regardless of his motives and personal beliefs, Plato's teaching did have a wide impact. They spread throughout the known world and were accepted as truth by millions. 

           " Plato and the Jews "

The Jewish communities of antiquity were deeply influenced by Greek philosophical ideas. Many will suppose that the Platonic view of the soul imprisoned in the flesh would have been nothing new to the Jews. But notice the testimony of Jewish scholars themselves:

" The belief that the soul continues its existence after the dissolution of the body is...nowhere expressly taught in Holy Scripture...The belief in the immortality of the soul came to the Jews from contact with Greek thought and chiefly through philosophy of Plato its principle exponent,who was led to it through Orphic and Eleusinian mysteries in which Babylonians and Egyptian views were strangely blended " (The Jewish Encyclopedia, article " Immortality of the Soul ).

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia comments on ancient Israelites view of the soul: "...We are influenced always more or less by the Greek, Platonic idea, that the body dies, yet the soul is immortal.Such an idea is utterly contary to the Israelite consciousness, and it is nowhere found in the [Old Testament]" (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1956, Vol.II, Death, p.812

Many of you will undoubtedly be surprised to discover that the idea of the immortality of the soul was not derived by the Jews from the Old Testament scriptures, but rather taken from Plato.

             Another Surprise !

But what of the professing Christian world ? Certainly here we should find the doctrine of an immortal soul independent of any Greek influence.

Now consider this fact:

Many of the early theologians and scholars of the professing Christian religion~including such men as Origen, Tertullian and Augustine~were closely associated with Platonism.

Tertullian (A.D.155-220), for example, wrote: " For some things are known even by nature: the immoratality of the soul, the instance, is held by many...I may use, therefore, the opinion of Plato, when he declares: " Every soul is immortal " (The Ante~Nicene Fathers, Vol.III).

Notice, it is the opinion of Plato that is cited !

Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430)~ held to be the greatest thinker of Christian antiquity~also taught the immaterial and spiritual nature of the human soul. But notice the source of his teachings. The Encyclopedia Britannica states:

" He [Augustine] fused the religion of the New Testament with the Platonic tradition of Greek philosophy."

The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology notes how Origen, an early and influential church theologian, was influenced by Greek thinkers:" Speculation about the soul in the subapostolic church was heavily influenced by Greek philosophy. This is seen in Origen's acceptance of Plato's doctrine of the pre-existence of the soul as pure mind (nous) originally, which, by reason of its fall from God, cooled down to soul (psyche) when it lost its participation in the devine fire by looking earthward " (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1992,p.1037, Soul)

Why should those early professing Christians scholars have resorted to the opinions of Pagan Greek philosopher ? Could it be that the immortal soul doctrine is not clearly supported in Christian Scripture ?

Notice the much later view of Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation in Germany. More than a thousand years later, in 1522, he wrote:

" It is probable, in my opinion, that, with very few exceptions, indeed, the dead sleep in utter insensibility till the day of judgment... On what authority can it be said that the souls of the dead may not sleep...in the same way that the living pass in profound slumber the interval between their downlying at night and their uprising in the morning ? "

Luther himself encountered difficulty in finding support for the immortal soul doctrine in the pages of Scripture.

Notice that he asked, " On what authority...? "

But the deep~ seated teachings of centuries were not to be easily dislodged, even by Protestant reformers. Theologians and churchgoers alike persisted, for the most part, in their unquestioning embrace of the ideas passed down from the ancient pagan philosophers. As the Encyclopedia Britannica summarizes:

" Traditional Western philosophy, starting with the ancient Greeks...shaped the basic Western concepts of the soul."

    Is there Really a Hell Fire ?

                                      The Biblical View of Hell

Is eternity in an ever~lasting inferno the fate of the wicked ? Many assume that it is, but is that what the Bible says ? To answer that question, we need to understand the four Hebrew and Greek words translated " hell " in most versions of the Bible.

Sheol is the Hebrew word translated " throughtout the Old Testament. It refers to " the state and abode of the dead; hence the grave in which the body rests..." (William Wilson,Wilson's Old Testament Word Studies, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts, " Hell," p.215). The Expository Dictionary of Bible Words explains, " Thus there are no references to eternal destiny but simply to the grave as the resting place of the bodies of all people..." (Lawerence O. Richards, Zondervan, Grand Rapids,1985, p.336).

Reflecting its true meaning, many more-recent Bible versions translate this word as simply " the grave " or leave it untranslated as Sheol.

Among those who knew that they were going to sheol-the grave, not an ever~burning inferno~were such men of Faith as Jacob Genesis 37:35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him. Job 14:13 O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me !  David Psalms 88:3 For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. Isaiah 38:10 I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years. Clearly, sheol does not refer to a place of eternal torment.

Greek words translated " Hell "

 The counter part of sheol in the Greek language is hades, which also refers to the grave. In four NewTestament verses that quote Old Testament passages containing sheol, hades is used for sheol      

Matthew 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 

Luke 10:15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. 

Acts 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.  

Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. As with sheol, hades is rendered as " the grave " or " death" or left untranslated as Hades in recent Bible versions.

Hades likewise does not refer to a place of fiery torment. Indeed, the apostle Peter refers to Christ Himself as having been in " Hades " (Acts 2:27,31) or " Hell " (King James Version), referring to the time He was entombed before His resurrection. Both words simply refer to the grave.

A second Greek word, tartaroo, is used translated " hell " in the New Testament. This word is used only once in the Bible (II Peter 2:4), where it refers to the place where fallen angels, or demons, are restrained awaiting their judgment. The Expository Dictionary of Bible Words explains that tartaroo means " to confine in Tartaros " and that tartaros was the GREEK NAME FOR THE MYTHOLOGICAL ABYSS in which rebellious gods were confined "(p.337). Peter used this reference to contemporary mythology to show that the sinning angels were " delivered...into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment." These fallen angels are in a condition or place of restraint awaiting their ultimate judgment for their rebellion against God and destructive influence on humanity.

Tartaros applies only to demons. Nowhere does tartaroo refer to a fiery hell in which people are punished after daeth.

It is only with the remaining word translated " hell "~ the Greek word gehenna~that we see some elements people commonly associate with the traditional view of hell. However, this word also has significant differences from the popular concept of hell.

Gehenna " is derived from the Hebr[ew] expression, ga~Hinnom, Valley of Hinnom... Religiously it was a place of idolatrous and human sacrifices... In order to put an end to these abominations, Josiah polluted it with human bones and other corruptions 

2Kings:23:10 And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech. 

2Kings:13~14 And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile. And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down the groves, and filled their places with the bones of men. (Spiros Zodhiates,The Complete Word Study Dictionary New Testament, AMG Publishers, Chattanooga,1992, p.360).

Thanks in large part to its evil reputation, this valley bordering Jerusalem came to be used as the city garbage dump. Trash was burned there, along with bodies of dead animals and criminals. Fires day and night consumed the refuse.

Inferno to destroy the wicked

Gehenna is used 12 times in the Bible, with 11 of those recording Christ's words. When Jesus spoke of gehenna, His listeners knew that this " hell " was a consuming fire in which garbage and the bodies of the wicked were destroyed. He bluntly warned that this destroying fire would be the fate of the incorrigibly wicked                                                                 

Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.  

Matthew 5:29~30 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.     

Matthew 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.       

Matthew 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell ?                                                                  

Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

But when would this take place ? Many of those who opposed Christ were among the religious and civil leadership of Hid day; they weren't treated as criminals, with their bodies burned in the city dump. Christ knew that their ultimate judgment, along with that of the overwhelmining majority of humanity throughout history, would be far in the future.

After being resurrected, those who are shown God's way but still refuse to repent will face gehenna fire, an all~consuming inferno that will completely destroy them and all memory of them, with no hope of futher resurrection                                                                             

Matthew 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.

The Book of Revelation calls this inferno " the lake of fire "       

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.                                                                                          

Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.               

Revelation 20:14~15 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. In the time frame revealed in the Bible, this follows 1,000 years of Christ's reign on earth                        

Revelation 20:1~6 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 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. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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. And a resurrection to physical life of all those who have never known God's ways, repent and recieve His gift of eternal life.

Some, however, will refuse that gift. The Bible records their tragic epitaph:                                                                                             

Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Those who willingly choose to reject God's way will not be allowed to continue living in the misery their choice will bring. They will die, not suffer forever. They will be consumed in this fire, leaving nothing but ashes                                                                                                       

Malachi 4:1~3 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.  And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. An examination of all the words transalated " hell " shows that the traditional view of an ever~burning place of torment where the wicked are punished for eternity cannot be found in the Bible.

 Will the Wicked Be Tormented Forever ?

" He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever recieves the mark of his name "                                                                                       

Revelation 14:10~11 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

At frist glance, this may seem to confirm the traditional idea of a seething, sulfurous hellfire, mercilessly and eternally tormenting helpless immortal souls. But, if we dont already hold to that mental picture of hell, we can see that this passage describes a quite different circumstance.

Frist, notice that the smoke of their torment ascends forever; it does not say that their torment continues forever. Smoke is what remains of the burned bodies of those who worshiped " the beast and his image "  

Revelation 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the political and false religious system Jesus will destroy and replace at His return.

In the book of Isaiah we find fate of Edom in the language strikingly similar to that of Revelation 14:10:                                                       

Isaiah 34:9~10 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.

As in Revelation 14, we see the unquenchable fire, the sulphur (brimstone), and smoke that goes up forever, night and day. Does this mean Edom was to burn forever ? The answer is in the next verse:  

Isaiah 34:10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever." it is evident that the unquenchable fire and the ever ascending smoke are metaphoric symbols of complete destruction, extermination and annihilation " (Biacchiocchi, p.212, e,phasis added). If this is the meaning of the imagery in the Old Testament, then we have reason to believe that the text under consideration has the same meaning.

This conclusion is supported by John's vision of Babylon the Great in Revelation 18.                                                                                  

Revelation 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.                                     

Revelation 19:3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

Does this mean Babylon will burn for eternity ? Obviously not, because the merchants cry:                                                                          

Revelation 18:10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.                                                                               

Revelation 18:19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. It is obvious that the smoke of her torment that goes " up for ever and ever " represents complete destruction because the city                                                          

Revelation 18:21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

Other passages clarify that the wicked will be destroyed and become ashes under the feet of the righteous:                                               

Malachi 4:1~3 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. The references in Revelation 14:11 to these who are wicked recieving " no rest day or night " is speaking of those who continue to worship the beast and his image. Once they are thrown into this hellfire, they will be burned up and will no longer be alive to be tormented.

The pharse " they have no rest day and night " is interpreted by traditionalist as eternal torment in hell. The pharse however, " denotes the continuity and NOT the eternal duration of an action." (ibid, p. 213, emphasis added) John uses the same pharse praising for the beasts praising God day and night                                                            

Revelation 4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. The martyrs serving God                                                     

Revelation 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. Satan accusing the brethren                     

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And the beast and the false prophet in the lake of fire                                                               

Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.                         

In each case " thought is the same: the action continues while it last: (ibid, p.213, emphasis added). Harold Guillebaud correctly explains that the phrase " certainly says that there will be no break or intermission in the suffering of the followers of the beast, while it continues; but in itself it does not say that it will continue forever " ( The Righteous Judge. A Study of the Biblical Dictorine of Everlasting Punishment, p.24, emphasis added).

Notice David's comment that the wicked will not be tormented forever, but will go up " in smoke " and perish:                                                 

Psalms 37:20 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 unrepentant wicked, who knowingly refuse to accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and refuse to submit to, obey and worship God the Father, will be destroyed by fire. The smoke of their torment will rise " forever, " meaning that nothing will stop or prevent it. The Greek word translated " forever " does not always mean eternity or infinity. It can simply refer to something that will not be stopped, that will continue as long as conditions permit. 

Are the Wicked Punished in an Ever~Burning Hell ?

                  (Immortal Worms In Hell ?)

" It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire~where " the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched "                                                   

Mark 9:47~48 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Did Jesus here warn of an eternal punishment in hellfire ?

The words in the phrase hell fire, above, are translated from the Greek word gehenna. Jesus here referred to the valley of Hinnom, just outside of Jerusalem. In His day this area was a garbage dump in which fires burned constantly, fueled by trash and the dead bodies of animals and criminals.

Jesus used this desolate and miserable place as a symbolic of the fate of unrepentant sinners. Notice that Jesus says the worm does not die, not that the people punished in hellfire do not die. The punishment is eternal, meaning that it is permanent and complete. But this does not mean that the  incorrigible are kept alive and tortured by vengeful God.

Burned remains of the bodies in the original gehenna, the Valley of Hinnon, decomposed and were infested with maggots. The fire was not extinguished-it burned as long as there was trash to keep it burning-and the maggots (the " worms " of Mark 9:48) were not destroyed. Maggots are the wormlike larvae of flies. Flies swarm over the decaying refuse and keep it continuously infested with maggots. Then, instead of dying, those creatures turn into more flies in a continuing cycle.

The bodies of animals and people thrown into gehenna, however, either decayed or burned up and, of course, were eventually completely consumed. Similarly, unrepentant sinners will not be tormented forever; they will be completely and eternally destroyed in the lakes of fire, referred to in Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Are Some Tortured Forever in a Lake of Fire ?

Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Does this verse say that the beast and false prophet will be tormented for eternity ?

The beast and false prophet are human beings. While still alive, they will be cast into the lake of fire.                                  

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

We see from Revelation 14:10-11 and Mark 9:47-48 that any human being thrown into the lake of fire will be destroyed.    

Revelation 14:10~11 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.       

Mark 9:47~48 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  He will perish. His punishment will be eternal. But he will not be tormented for eternity.

Notice in the King James and the New King James translations of Revelation 20:10 that the word " are " is in italics. This indicates that the word was not in the original manuscripts from which the translations was made; it was added by the translators to make the verse more readable. The word " were "  would be more appropriate. The verse then would properly indicate that the devil is to be cast into the lake of fire that had already consumed and destroyed the beast and false prophet. So it should read " where the beast and the false prophet were cast."

Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth ?

" Four times in the Gospel of Matthew we are told that on the day of Judgment," there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth"

Matthew 8:12~13 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.                                                        

Matthew 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  

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

Believer's in literal eternal hell fire generally assume that the " weeping and gnashing of teeth " describes the conscious agony experienced by the lost for all eternity. A look at the context of each text suggests, however, that the " weeping and gnashing of teeth " occurs in the context of seperation or expulsion that occurs at the final judgment.

" Both phrases derive most likely from the " weeping and gnashing of teeth " associated with the day of the Lord in the Old Testament. For example, Zephaniah describes the Day of the Lord in the following words:                                                     

Zephaniah 1:14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. In a similar fashion, the Psalmist says:  

Psalms 112:10 The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish. Here the psalmist clearly indicates that the gnashing of teeth is the outcome of the judgment of the wicked which ultimately results in their destruction.

" Edward Fudge perceptively observes that " the expression " " weeping and gnashing of teeth " seems to indicate two seperate activities. The frist reflects the terror of the doomed as they begin truely to realize that God has thrown them out as worhtless and as they anticipate the execution of his sentence. The second seems to express the bitter rage and acrimony they feel toward God, who sentenced them, and toward the redeemed, who will forever be blessed " (Immortality or Resurrection, p.209, emphasis his and mine).

Does the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man Prove Some Will Suffer in Hell ?

Luke 16:19~31 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Allegorical account

A consideration of the account of Lazarus and the rich man in view of other scriptures on the subject of death and resurrection makes it clear that this is an allegory used to teach important spiritual lessons. It is not intended to be understood literally, nor is this a description of the actual events that take place after death or at the resurrection.

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia discusses the contemporary background of the allegory. " This parable follows a story common in Egyptian and Jewish thought, in which the wicked rich and the pious poor have their positions reversed in the afterlife. It is told from the point of view of the rich man...who speaks with Abraham from his place of torment...

Although this parable does not intend to give a topographical study of the dead, it is built upon and thus confirms common Jewish thought...In the Jewish conception of Hades...the good and the wicked could see each other but were seperated by great impassable chasm. Across this chasm the rich man called to Abraham, begging that Lazarus be sent to comfort him.When he was assured of the impossibility of this, he begged that Lazarus be sent back to warn his brothers of their possible fate. Abraham said that if they would not believe Moses, they would not believe one returned from the dead.

" The parable... warns the rich that their possessions do not guarantee their future state. The parable was apparently directed toward Sadducean satisfaction with this life, based upon the belief that there would be no life beyond. Thus, Abraham said that even one from the dead would not convince the living to repent " (Edermans,Grand Rapids,1986,Vol.III,P.94).

Spiritual Lesson

Jesus took a familiar story of the day and pointed out a spiritual lesson to those of His day who identified with the law but did not keep it. The primary lesson of this account is simple: Eternal consequences depend on the choices we make and the kind of people we are.

Lazarus is described as having an intimate relationship with Abraham (verse22); that is, he is an heir to God's Kingdom through the promise made to Abraham. We know from other scriptures that Abraham has not yet recieved any eternal inheritance.

The rich man is said to have died. When resurrected from his grave (hades), the rich man learns that his fate is his destruction by fire. The torment he experiences (verses23-24) is his mental anguish. He lost everything by rejecting Jesus Christ and refusing to obey God. The " great gulf " between them (verse26) represents their different rewards. Lazarus will recieve eternal life, and the rich man will be destroyed in the lake of fire.

Since there is no consciousness in death, the rich man would have had no awareness of his passing of time since his demise. The conversation with Abraham is not literal. It is a parable that allegorically teaches an important lesson. The rich man, facing eternal destruction because of the choices he made in life, urgently requests that at least his family members be warned so they can avoid his terrible fate (verses27-31).

But the conclusion of the parable is that ample warning about the consequences of sin is already given in God's Word. Those who won't listen to that warning would not listen even to someone rose from the dead. Only a short time after Jesus spoke this parable He was crucified and then rose from the dead. Those who refused to be warned by Moses and the prophets still refused to believe, even after Christ resurrection.

This parable teaches us that choosing to reject God's instruction will bring disastrous consequences-everlasting destruction in a lake of fire.

Eternal PunishMENT Not Eternal PunishING

Gehenna was place of DESTRUCTION and DEATH ~ not a place of living torture ! Jesus was talking to Jews who understood all about this Gehenna or Valley of Hinnom. Utter DESTRUCTION by fire was complete. NOTHING was left, but ashes !

The PUNISHMENT is DEATH. It is the second death, from which there shall be no resurrection ! The PUNISHMENT is for ETERNITY ~ DEATH for eternity ~ ETERNAL punishment ~ but NO where does THE BIBLE say anything about the PAGAN teaching of eternal punishING. It's eteranl punishMENT, not eternal punishING !

When Jesus spoke of being cast into " gehenna FIRE, " he was using this expression as an illustration of the LAKE OF FIRE, which THE BIBLE reveals is to be THE PLACE of this final punishment ~ This second DEATH. He referred to      

Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. THAT fire will be much hotter than Dante's imaginary HELL ! (From To Hell and BACK).

Meaning of Punishment ~ The word punishment in the Greek is " Kolasis." Moulton and Milligans Vocabulary of the Greek Testament shows that the word was used at the time with the meaning of " pruning " or " cutting down " of dead wood. If this is the meaning here, it reflects the Old Testament phrase " shall be cut off from his people "                                                     

Exodus:33 Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.  

Exodus:38 Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people.                                                        

Leviticus 7:20 But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. This would mean that " eternal punishment " of the wicked consists in their being permanently cut off from mankind.

As a final observation, it is important to remember that the only way the punishment of the wicked could be inflicted eteranally is if God resurrected them with immoratal life so that they could be indestructible. But according to the scripture, only God possess immortality in himself                                                   

1Timothy 1:17~17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. He gives immortality as a gift of the Gospel                                                                 

2Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: In the best known text of the Bible, we are told that those who do not believe in him will perish [apoletai], INSTEAD OF recieving eternal life                

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The ultimate fate of the lost is destruction by eternal fire and not punishment by eternal torment. The notion of eternal torment of the wicked can only be defended by accepting the Greek view of the immortality and indestructibility of the soul, a concept which we have found to be foreign in scripture (Immortality or Resurrection, 209, emphasis added).

Bacchiocchi also argues that, " Traditionallist read eteranl punishment " as eternal punishing, " but this is not the meaning of the phrase. As Basil Atkinson keenly observes, " When the adjective aionios meaning  "everlasting " is used in the Greek with nouns of action it has reference to the RESULT OF THE ACTION, NOT THE PROCESS. Thus the Phrase                    " everlasting punishment " is comparable to " everlasting redemption " and     " everlasting salvation," both scriptural phrases. No one supposes that we are being redeemed or being saved forever. We are redeemed and saved ONCE and for all by Christ with eternal results. In the same way the lost will not be passing through a process of punishment forever but will be punished ONCE AND FOR ALL WITH ETERNAL RESULTS...A fitting example of this is found in                                                              

2 Thessalonians 1:9 when Pauls says, Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; It is evident that the destruction of the wicked cannot be eternal in its duration, because it is difficult to imagine an eternal, inconclusive process of destruction. Destruction presupposes annihilation. The destruction of the wicked is eternal~aionios, not because the process of destruction continues forever, but because the results are permanent. In the same way, the eternal punishment of Matthew 25:46                                    

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. is eternal because its results in their eteranl destruction or annihilation (ibid,p.207,emphasis mine and theirs). 

                 " Eternal Fire "

What does Jesus mean when he refers to " eternal fire " ? example

Matthew 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.

People argue that the fires of hell are eternal therefore the punishment is eternal as well, see also                          Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:                                                     

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

John Stott points out, " The fire itself is termed " eternal " and " unquenchable," but it would be very odd if what is thrown into it proves indestructible Our expectation would be the opposite: it would be consumed forever, not tormented forever. Hence is the smoke (evidence that the fire had done its work) which rises forever (Revelation 14:11;cf19:3) (A Liberal Evangelical Dialogue,p.316.emphasis added).

The fire "eternal~aionios" means not the endless duration but its complete consumption and annihilation of the wicked. This is indicated clearly by the fact that the lake of fire, in which the wicked are thrown, is called explicitly " the second death " (Revelation 20:14; 21:8), because it causes the final, radical, and irreversible extinction of life.

Jude 5-7 ? Does this scripture in Jude prove a Hell fire of torment ?                                                                                          

Jude 1:5~7 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Frist Jude 5-7 Jude compares human apostates with (1) the unbelieving Israelites who were saved from Egypt, (2) the angels who rebelled, and (3) the men of Sodom and Gomorrah. Jude was not saying the angels of verse 6 had " gone after strange flesh " as the Sodomites had done; he was saying that the human apostates ( the "certain men" of verse 4) were like Sodom and Gomorrah in that they had " given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh " (verse7). Notice in verse 5 the unbelieving Israelites were " destroyed," not tormented forever. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were also " destroyed " Genesis 19:29. Everything was burnt up by the "eternal fire" which we have proved is complete consumption and annihilation of the wicked, which the bible plainly says happend to them. As for the angels these are the same angels that are in a condition of restraint that Peter spoke of:                                                                                                                

2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, [Tartaroo see above], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; Notice in both scriptures of Jude and Peter they are "reserved" for judgment, and at that time be thrown into the lake of fire "prepared for the devil and his angels:"                     

(Matthew 25:41). Since they are not physical but spirit beings they, with the devil will "be tormented day and night for ever and ever"                                                                   

(Revelation 20:10). This is their fate not man's. Also notice not one part of any of these scriptures show that man is tormented forever but are burnt up and destroyed ! And the whole context of the scripture was focused on the angels anyway but the human apostates and the fate of them. The angels were just mentioned because the apostates committed the same sins as those fallen angels that rebelled against God.

          " Origins of Hell "

Of all poets of modern times, DANTE ALIGHIERI was, perhaps, the greatest educator. He possibly had a greater influence on the course of civilization than any other one man since his day.[He] wrote, in incomprehensible verse, an imaginative and lurid account of dismal journey through a lurid hell~ a long poem containing certain phrases which have caught the attention of the world, such as,

All hope abandon, Ye who enter here. This had a tremendous impression and influence on the popular Christian thought and teaching. His inferno was based on Virgil and Plato. DANTE is reported to have been so fascinated and enraptured by the ideas and philosophies of Plato and Virgil, pagan philosophers, that he believed they were divinely inspired. Here is a comment on Virgil, from the Americana:" VIRGIL, pagan Roman poet,70-19 B.C. Belonged to the national school of pagan Roman thought, influenced by the Greek writers. Christians of the Middle Ages, including DANTE, believed he had recieved some measure of devine inspiration."

Plato was a pagan Greek philosopher, born in Athens, 427 B.C., a student of Socrates. He wrote the famous book Phaedo, on the immortality of the soul, and this book is the real origin of the modern belief from imaginations of the soul.

There is the general statement of the popular belief about hell, and where that belief came from~actually from the imaginations of pagans who knew not God !

The Devil wants you to Believe, his Fate is Yours

Who is really supposed to go into a place of everlasting torment ? Humans ? Or Satan the devil ? Jesus said:

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

The lake of fire is a place for the Devil and his angels. God does not want man to go here:                                                                 

1Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Originally this place was for Satan and his angels. And it is Satan NOT man that will be tormented forever, because spirit beings cannot burn up:                                                                              

Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Here is the great deception Satan wants everyone to believe, that YOUR FATE IS THE SAME AS HIS FATE, and it is simply Not True ! He will be tormented. Unrepented sinners (wicked human beings) will be "be stubble":                                           

Malachi 4:1~3 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. BURN UP NOT TORMENTED FOREVER.......

The wages of sin is death, says Romans 6:23. Not the wages of sin is everlasting life of torment in hell. When you look at how God deals with sin. He lets the punishment suit the crime.   

Exodus 21:24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, God doesn't over due it by punishing people forever and ever. CAN YOU IMAGINE A GOD WHO SAYS " GOD IS LOVE,"  

1John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.      How could GOD do something like that to creatures he calls his "sons and daughters."                                                                         

Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him ?

WE BEING EVIL DON'T DO THAT TO OUR OWN CHILDREN, THEN WHY WOULD GOD BEING GOOD DO SOMETHING SO HORRIBLE LIKE THAT TO HIS OWN ?

Is there anyone in HELL Now ? NO !                

On Judgment Day Christ Our LORD will Judge

the World. The Tares will be removed form the

Wheat, as Christ Prophecy. And the wicked will

 be cast into The Lake of Fire.                         

Malachi 4:3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. The wicked shall PERISH.......

Objections Answered On Request !

If you would like answers about the following 

 studies below. Just E-Mail me ?             

1. Rachel's Soul Departs (Genesis 35:18)

2. The Soul of the Widows Son (I Kings 17:21-22)

3. Samuel's Resurrection (I Samuel 28:7-20)

4. Elijah's trip into Heaven (II Kings 2:11)

5. Isaiah's Soul an Body (Isaiah 10:18)

6. Enoch: Dead or Alive ? (Genesis 5:24); (Hebrews 11:5)

7. Moses and Elijah on the mount (Matthew 17:1-3)

8. Not the God of the Dead (Matthew 22:29-32)

9. Thief on the Cross (Luke 23:43)

10. Spirits in Prison (I Peter 3:18-20)

11. Gospel preach also unto them that are dead (I Peter 4:6)

12. He led Captivity Captive (Ephesians 4:8)

13. Believers never die ? (John 11:25-26)

14. Absent from the body-Present with the Lord                            ( II Corinthians 5:8)

15. Paul Dilemma ( Philippians 1:22-23)

16. Spirit, Soul, and Body (I Thessalonians 5:23)

17. Soul's "under the Altar" (Revelation 6:9-11

18. Twenty-Four Elders in Heaven (Revelation 4:8-11)

19. Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)                                        In the study already.......

20. Body and Soul (Matthew 10:28)

21. " In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."              (John 14:2)

22. Philippians 3:20-21 Translated

23. " Gave up the Ghost "

24. Matthew 27:52-53 Translated

                       Heaven

         What Is Heaven and Where Is Heaven ?

Heaven :

There are four Hebrew words thus rendered in the Old Tesatment which we may briefly notice.

(1.) Raki a, Authorized Version, firmament. [Firmament]

(2.) Shamay im. This is the word used in expression "the heaven and the earth,"or"the upper and lower regions."                    

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

(3.) Marom, used for heaven in                                                      

Psalms 18:16 He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.                                                                                            

Isaiah 24:18 And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.                      

Jeremiah 25:30 Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.                                                              

Properly speaking it means a mountain, as in                           

Psalms 102:19 For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth;                  

Ezekiel 17:23 In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell.

(4.) Shechakim, "expanses," with reference to the extent of heaven.                                                                                      

Deuteronomy 33:26 There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky.                                                                                                                   

Job 35:5 Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou. St.Paul's expression "third heaven,"                                                        

2 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

has led to much conjecture. Grotius said that the Jews divided the heaven into three parts, viz.,

(1.) The air or atmosphere, where clouds gather;

(2.) The firmament, in which the sun, moon, and stars are fixed;

(3.) The upper heaven, the abode of God and His angels, the invisible realm of holiness and happiness, the home of the children of God.

Heaven :

(1.) Definitions., The phrase " heaven and earth " is used to indicate the whole universe                                                           

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  

Jeremiah 23:24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.                                                                                                              

Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

According to the Jewish notion there were three heavens, (a.) The firmament, as "fowls of the heaven"                             

Genesis 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.                                                   

Genesis 7:3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.                                

Genesis 7:23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.                                                                                                            

Psalms 8:8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. "the eagles of heaven"  

Lamentations 4:19 Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven: they pursued us upon the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness.                                                                                                           

(b.) The starry heavens                                                            

Deuteronomy 17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;                                                         

Jeremiah 8:2 And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.  

Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:  

(c.) "The heaven of heavens," or "the third heaven"  

Deuteronomy 10:14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD'S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.              

1Kings 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded ?                                                                      

Psalms 115:16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD'S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.                                 

Psalms 148:4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.                                                                                        

2 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.          

(2.) Meaning of words in the original,                                              

(a.) The usual Hebrew word foe "Heavens" is shamayim, a plural form meaning "heights," "elevations"                             

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  

Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.                                                                                                    

(b.) The Hebrew word maron is also used                                    

Psalms 68:18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.                                    

Psalms 93:4 The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.                                 

Psalms 102:19 For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; etc....... as equivalent to shamayim, "high places," "high places," "heights."  

(c.) Hebrew galgal, literally a "wheel," is rendered "heaven" in  

Psalms 77:18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. the Revised Version "whirlwind".                                                              

(d.) Hebrew shahak, rendered "sky"                                   

Deuteronomy 33:26 There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky.                                                                                                                   

Job 37:18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass ?                                                                         

Psalms 18:11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. plural "clouds"                                                                                                          

Job 35:5 Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou.                                                                                     

Job 36:28 Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.  

Psalms 68:34 Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds. marg. "heavens", meaning probably the firmament.                                                                        

(e.) Hebrews rakia is closely connected with (d), and rendered "firmamentum" in the Vulgate, whence our firmament     

Genesis 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.           

Deuteronomy 33:26 There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. regarded as a solid expanse.

(3.) Metaphorical meaning of term                                                   

Isaiah 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:                  Isaiah 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.; "doors of heaven"                                                   Psalms 78:23 Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, heaven "shut"                                     1Kings 8:35 When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them: ; "opened"                                                                                                 Ezekiel 1:1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. 1Chronicles 21:16 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.

(4.) Spiritual meaning. The place of the everlasting blessedness of the righteous; the abode of departed spirits.                              

(a.) Christ calls it his "Father's House"                                   

John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.                               

(b.) It is called "paradise"                                                                          

Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.                                                                    

2 Corinthians 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.  

Revelations 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.                                 

(c.)" The heavenly Jerusalem"                                                      

Galatians 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.                                                                                       

Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,                                                                                               

Revelations 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.                                                                    

(d.) The "kingdom of heaven"                                                         

Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.  

James 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him ?                                                                  

(e.) The "eternal kingdom"                                                                          

2 Peter 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.                                                                                                               

(f.) The eternal inheritance                                                                    

1Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,                                        

Hebrews 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.                            

(g.) The "better country"                                                               

Hebrews 11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.                                                                                     

Hebrews 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.                                                                     

(h.) The blessed are said to "sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," and to be "in Abrham's bosom"                                          

Luke 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.                              

Matthew 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. to "reign with Christ"                                                  

2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: and to emjoy "rest"                                   

Hebrews 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.                                       

Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

In heaven the blessedness of the righteous consists in the possession of "life everlasting," "an eternal weight of glory"           

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; an exemption from all sufferings forever, a deliverance from all evils                                                                                                                      

2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.                                                                  

2 Corinthians 5:2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: and from the society of the wicked.                                                                                      

2 Timothy 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. bliss without termination, the "fulness of joy" for ever                                                                                               

Luke 20:36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.                                                                                                        

2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.              

2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.                         

1Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,                                           

1Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.                                               

1John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. The believer's heaven is not only a state of everlasting blessedness, but also a "place", a "prepared" for them                                                                                  

John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Many people, are raised by their parents to believe. When we die in this fleshly body, we go to be with the LORD in Heaven. But, who will we believe ? Someone, that tells us something, that they were taught ! Some doctrine that has been passed down from generation to generation to generation. Jesus in the Word of God tells us the answer.......                                                           

John 3:12~13 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things ? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. I encourage you, even challenge you it that is what it takes to motivate you. To study ALL things for yourself.                                                                                     

1Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  

2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

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