What Happens When We Die?
It’s a common belief that when we die, they put us in a coffin, then into a concrete eco-barrier, put a lid on it and cover it up with dirt, and that’s where the body, soul, and spirit will lie until the rapture of our Lord. He will come down from heaven and take His saints back out of the ground and take them back up there with Him.
Then, after the rest of us are mutilated, burned and scorched with fire, beat into the ground by 100-pound hunks of ice/hail, partially devoured by the beasts of Revelation, and kicked in the groin by Satan, He will return once again, bringing with Him those that He gathered just recently, and everything will be just fine.
At least, for those that loved the Lord, anyway. Do we not hope and pray that we are a part of those first-fruits? You bet we do. And that’s how the church, and religion in general, explains the death of a person.
We’re not talking about the end-of-time events in this study. No, we’re talking about people just dying, in general, from disease or accident, murder or suicide, or whatever the cause of death might have been.
I think our Father has things just a little different than the churches. After all, Father doesn’t have to scare us half to death to keep us coming to church and tithing. Salvation by fear is what I call it.
“If you don’t listen to what we say or give us your tithe, you’re going to burn in hell!”
How sweet and compassionate is that?
Let’s go to the Father and read what He has to say about all this. Jesus has already been hung on the cross and is about to expire and a malefactor to His right has just said that he believes that He is the Son of God and listen to what our Lord said to him…
Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. KJV
We all ought to be ashamed of ourselves for blowing a traditional belief of the churches, right out of the water, with one simple verse.
To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not until the rapture happens. No, today. And just to make the doubters sit down once and for all, this word today is not a mistranslation:
To day_NT:4594 semeron (say'-mer-on); neuter (as adverb) of a presumed compound of the art. NT:3588 and NT:2250; on the (i.e. this) day (or night current or just passed); generally, now (i.e. at present, hitherto):
Or as my friends in law enforcement like to say….forthwith. Right darn now!
That verse also states that our Lord will see him in Paradise that very same day, indicating that both the criminal and the Son of God will go to the same place….Paradise.
“Well, I thought that when we died we went to heaven.”
Another traditional teaching partially shot down.
Paradise is sort of a garden, in heaven. It’s a part of heaven but separate at the same time. The word is only used in the New Testament three times. St. Paul used it in a letter to the Corinthians…
2nd 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. KJV
Paul was saying that he “knew a man”, but most scholars think that he was talking about himself. These unspeakable words are not unknown words in another language but words, concerning paradise and heaven, that mortal man should never hear while still in these earthly bodies.
And we find it also in Revelation:
Revelation 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. KJV
Paradise is a holding place for all souls after the death of their flesh and blood body. And there is a pre-judgment already occurring before we get there, as we can see in the book of Luke:
Luke 16:22 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;
This beggar was Lazarus.
Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Now, if you believe in another tradition of churches, you will probably think that this rich man is already in hell, right? I mean, that’s what it says, isn’t it? Hell? Let’s see what hell means in the Greek language:
Hell_ NT:86 haides (hah'-dace); from NT:1 (as negative particle) and NT:1492; properly, unseen, i.e. "Hades" or the place (state) of departed souls:
Hades is a state for departed souls. A mindset, if you will. It’s not a physical place where souls burn in agony for an eternity.
I’m going to teach you more about the word hell than you probably really want to know. You’ll see that it also has a reference to NT:1492, so let’s take a look at that word:
Root Word_ NT:1492 eido (i'-do); a primary verb; used only in certain past tenses, the others being borrowed from the equivalent NT:3700 and NT:3708; properly, to see (literally or figuratively); by implication (in the perf. only) to know:
It’s a verb that primarily means to see or understand. It’s a condition of the soul to where it realizes that it is not in a position that can readily enter heaven. It has been separated and that is what causes the pain and heartache and agony and there is no way to reverse the situation.
Throughout all of the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for hell is always the same...
Hell_OT:7585 she'owl (sheh-ole'); or sheol (sheh-ole'); from OT:7592; Hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat), including its accessories and inmates: KJV - grave, hell, pit.
Throughout all of the New Testament, the Greek word for hell is always one of three words...
Hell_NT:1067 geena (gheh'-en-nah); of Hebrew origin [OT:1516 and OT:2011]; valley of (the son of) Hinnom; ge-henna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem, used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment: KJV - hell.
A valley of Jerusalem. Interesting. Officially called the Valley of Hinnom or the Valley of Slaughter. Why would that valley be used to indicate a place called hell? For the simple reason that this valley was just outside the city of Jerusalem and it was used as their garbage pit. Their landfill area, if you would.
It was full of old furniture, carts, clothing, garbage from the entire city, dead animals and such and it was burning and smoldering continuously, night and day. Maggots working their way in and out of the carcasses. Christ used this place as an analogy to show the condition of the soul when it was covered with unrepentant sin.
Dark, full of corruption, and in this state, destined for the Lake of Fire.
On the edge of this valley, close to Jerusalem, it was also used as a worshipping place for the idol Molech, where parents would offer up their children to this god by placing them over a fire and burning them to death.
This valley will also be the place of the war known as Armageddon.
The second word used in the N.T. is ...
Hell_NT:86 haides (hah'-dace); from NT:1 (as negative particle) and NT:1492; properly, unseen, i.e. "Hades" or the place (state) of departed souls: KJV - grave, hell.
You'll notice that it's the same word as used in the Old Testament above.
The third and final use of the word hell is...
Hell_NT:5020 tartaroo (tar-tar-o'-o); from Tartaros (the deepest abyss of Hades); to incarcerate in eternal torment: KJV - cast down to hell.
This word, tartaroo, does not hold the souls placed in human beings, it holds the souls of the fallen angels, written about in Genesis, chapter 6, that left heaven and seduced the daughters of Adam. Interestingly enough, it's the only word of the four that mentions anything about eternal torment and the souls of humans will never be sent there.
And we know that eternal torment is not true because Revelation tells us that these fallen angels will walk into the Lake of Fire, along with Satan, and that Lake will be sealed over just before the eternity begins.
And, yes, I've read the verse that says that they will be tormented for ever and ever and if you do your own research, you'll find that those words are a figure of speech and should not be taken literally.
Alright, let's continue on...
In the Apocrypha, the book of 2nd Esdras, we find this written concerning the souls that didn’t make it:
The second way is that they can no longer make a good repentance, so that they may live.
Souls are past the point of receiving forgiveness through repentance of their sins AFTER the flesh and blood body has died. The soul will never have eternal life in this condition.
The seventh way, which is worse than all the ways that have been mentioned, is that they will waste away in shame and be consumed in disgrace, and wither with fear, at seeing the glory of the Most High before whom they have sinned while they lived, and before whom they are destined to be judged in the last times.
Dying, in a state of sin, is not a good way to die. Once it happens, what’s written in that Book, stays written in that Book.
Luke 16:24 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.
The rich man can see Lazarus over there next to Abraham and pleads that he bring him some relief.
Luke 16:25 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.
What goes around, comes around. Not a good thing when it regards the spiritual and there is no way of changing the current circumstances.
Luke 16:26 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. KJV
This is why we came here….in Paradise there is a chasm, a valley, or a great gulf, an expanse of space to where those on one side cannot cross over to those on the other side and vice versa. This is a part of the agony mentioned in 2nd Esdras.
So, obviously, a prejudgment has been executed by our Father for the purpose of separating those souls that overcame the temptations of Satan from those that did not. Those on the right side are happy because they are with the Lord but those on the left side are in agony because they can see what is going on, on the right side but can do nothing to get themselves over there.
If you want to read all of 2nd Esdras, then get a copy of the Apocrypha and read 2nd Esdras, starting around verse 71 or so, or you can read it here under “Extended View” and look for “Death and the Life Thereafter”. It is a really, really good read. I think that you will take a great deal away from it.
Alright, so far, we know that SOMETHING goes into Paradise when our flesh and blood body dies, so what is it exactly? We know that the flesh body goes into the ground at the time of death, into the grave, but what comes out and goes into Paradise?
We can read that in the book of Ecclesiastes….
Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. KJV
That’s an interesting phraseology, isn’t it? Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was. Everybody pretty much knows that this flesh body we have will eventually disintegrate back into the ground, decomposing back to the individual minerals it was originally composed of.
And according to King Solomon and the Holy Spirit, the soul and spirit go back to Paradise to be with the Father who created it in the first place. At the moment of death, or soon thereafter, the soul and spirit will go back to the Father.
If the soul and spirit had a body in this heaven/earth age, in the physical age, would it not seem proper that the soul and spirit would have a body in the spiritual world? Yes, it would. A soul/spirit doesn’t just drift around where ever the winds might move them.
We’re going to read some of St. Paul’s words in the books to the Corinthians and let him explain it to us…
1st Corinthians 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
With what body do they come in?
1st Corinthians 15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
You fool, the flesh and blood body that you put into the ground is not resurrected or made alive after it dies. Does that statement give any room for reincarnation? Nope. How about being raptured out of the grave and taken to heaven? Nope. It dies and that’s where it stays. Forever.
The word sowest is a figure of speech that means to “plant” and what do we do with the body after it dies? We “plant” it in the ground. Another figure of speech. The English language is so full of figures of speech, idioms, and such that it’s difficult to say a complete sentence without including at least one.
"Well, we planted another one today."
The Bible is the same way. Figures of speech, Hebraisms, and such. The Bible is full of them and if you don’t understand when and where they are being used, it makes it more difficult to understand.
Let’s understand a few Greek words here…
Fool_ NT:878 aphron (af'-rone); from NT:1 (as a negative particle) and NT:5424; properly, mindless, i.e. stupid, (by implication) ignorant, (specially) egotistic, (practically) rash, or (morally) unbelieving:
Sowest_ NT:4687 speiro (spi'-ro); probably strengthened from NT:4685 (through the idea of extending); to scatter, i.e. sow (literally or figuratively): KJV - sow (-er), receive seed.
Quickened_ NT:2227 zoopoieo (dzo-op-oy-eh'-o); from the same as NT:2226 and NT:4160; to (re-) vitalize (literally or figuratively): KJV - make alive, give life, quicken.
1st Corinthians 15:37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
Thou sowest not that body that shall be. The body that you put into the ground is not the same body that comes out of the ground and then Paul makes reference to grain such as wheat, barley or anything that is planted from a seed.
Take a kernel of corn, yellow and hard, place it into moist soil, give it some sun, and in a few days it will break open and a new sprout will come out. The beginning of a new stalk of corn.
Same example applies to the flesh body. At the moment of death, your spiritual body comes forth, like the new corn sprout, and now it contains your soul and spirit. Which tells us what? That the soul and spirit must have a body, either physical or spiritual.
1st Corinthians 15:38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
It pleased our Father when He decided to make the spiritual body and as every flesh body is different from others, in some way, so the spiritual body is different, each in its own way.
1st Corinthians 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
But the spiritual body is made of just a little different material than the physical, much as the body of a bird is different from that of a lion, or a fish, or other beasts.
1st Corinthians 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
And each body, whether spiritual (celestial) or physical (terrestrial) has their own glory. The flesh body is so spectacular in its design and composition that doctors STILL do not understand how much of it works and even though it’s destined to die, it still is an incredible creation.
The spiritual body has its own attributes in that it will never die unless Father Himself is forced to kill it through our own actions in this life. It will never grow old or get the flu or a cold, it will never break a bone or get some disease. This is the glory of the spiritual body.
1st Corinthians 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
Everything is different though basically the same. How about that for insight?!
1st Corinthians 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
The flesh and blood body is corruptible…
Corruption_ NT:5356 phthora (fthor-ah'); from NT:5351; decay, i.e. ruin (spontaneous or inflicted, literally or figuratively): KJV - corruption, destroy, perish.
The flesh body is going to die, decay, and go into ruin. It’s designed to be that way because it was only a temporary body to begin with.
When it dies, the spiritual body comes forth and it is raised in incorruption…
Incorruption_ NT:861 aphthrsia (af-thar-see'-ah); from NT:862; incorruptibility; genitive case unending existence; (figuratively) genuineness: KJV - immortality, incorruption, sincerity.
The spiritual body is designed to last forever, an unending existence. It’s how we live our lives in this heaven/earth age that allows our Father to decide whether it will go into heaven or the Lake of Fire. If it goes into the eternity it will last forever.
1st Corinthians 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
The flesh body is created in dishonor and weakness.
Dishonor_ NT:819 atimia (at-ee-mee'-ah); from NT:820; infamy, i.e. (subjectively) comparative indignity, (objectively) disgrace: KJV - dishonour, reproach, shame, vile.
This flesh body is sinful by its very nature.
The spiritual body is raised in glory and power.
Power_ NT:1411 dunamis (doo'-nam-is); from NT:1410; force (literally or figuratively); specially, miraculous power (usually by implication, a miracle itself):
It’s a miracle that Father created a body such as this.
1st Corinthians 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
The flesh and blood body is a natural, a physical body. When it dies our spiritual body comes forth. So, what Paul is saying here is that we have two bodies…one is a natural, physical or flesh and blood, and the other is spiritual.
1st Corinthians 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 same thought can be applied to Adam as he was the first man and our Lord was the last or second Adam. He was THE Adam.
1st Corinthians 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
Paul gets a little philosophic here, wondering why the spiritual body didn’t come first rather than the opposite.
1st Corinthians 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
The process that Father created was for the first body that we were in be a temporary one because it’s not a body that we’ll be in forever. This time that we spend in a physical body is to allow us to make up our minds as to who we will follow in this life….our Father or Satan. We live in a testing ground.
Those that overcome will transition into a spiritual body and the fleshly will be discarded. Those that do not overcome will have both the physical and the spiritual bodies destroyed by Him.
1st Corinthians 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
Earthly is as earthly; heavenly is as heavenly.
1st Corinthians 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
Regardless of which body we’re in, they both look the same. Let’s read it from Genesis..
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Let us make man in OUR IMAGE. Let’s make all mankind look just like we do BUT each with his/her own special traits.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. KJV
Was Father in a spiritual body? Yep. Were the host of heaven in spiritual bodies? Yep. Are we in physical, flesh and blood bodies? Yep. And we look just like God and the host of heaven? You got it.
When you transition into your spiritual body you will look exactly as you looked when you were about 25 years old. Young and graceful.
1st Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. KJV
No exceptions. This body that we’re in today cannot go to heaven.
1st Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
Paul says that he’s going to show you a mystery because hardly anybody understood what would happen when our Lord returns. He’s saying that there will be people still walking around when He does return and when that happens, all will be changed into a spiritual body.
This is how Father ends human life on this earth. In one swift moment in time, we will all be changed into our spiritual body.
1st Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
At the last trump, the last of seven. We will all be changed into a spiritual body.
1st Corinthians 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
The corruptible, this flesh and blood body must put on incorruption, it must change into the spiritual body.
And this mortal….whoa! Mortal what? We’re talking about our souls here, not the physical body. Your soul, which is mortal, must put on immortality. This will make more sense if we see it in the Greek…
Corruptible_NT:5349 phthartos (fthar-tos'); from NT:5351; decayed, i.e. (by implication) perishable:
This perishable body, this physical body must put on incorruption…
Incorruption_NT:861 aphthrsia (af-thar-see'-ah); from NT:862; incorruptibility; genitive case unending existence; (figuratively) genuineness:
This corruptible body, this physical body, must change over into a spiritual body, a body that has unending existence.
1st Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
So, when this corruptible body (flesh and blood) has changed over into an incorruptible body (spiritual), and your mortal (soul) has put on immortality (deathlessness), then death is swallowed up with no victory for it.
1st Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? KJV
The grave has no victory over us because we overcome it through Jesus Christ.
Before we get off on another tangent here, let me explain a few things…when Christ was on the cross and He spoke to the malefactor and said that he would be with Him today in Paradise, what happened to Christ during the three days and nights that He was in the tomb? Christ has now been changed or transfigured from His physical body into His spiritual body….
1st Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
Christ died one time on the cross for all peoples, that through Him we may reach our Father.
1st Peter 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; KJV
Prison? Where is this prison and who was in there? This prison is a part of Paradise, much like the part that the rich man was in when he pleaded with Lazarus to cool his tongue with water.
Here is where every soul of every person who lived and died, before Christ was born in the flesh, is waiting. And Christ went there during that time in the tomb and preached to them and gave them the same opportunity for salvation that we have today.
Were any of them saved? We don’t know but this we do…if some did get saved, it means that their soul moved out of that prison and went to the right side of the gulf where Christ is sitting.
Also, we cannot talk about what happens to us when we die without covering this rapture doctrine, so let’s get into it.
The rapture theorists believe that when we die, and the physical body is buried in the ground, that the soul and spirit stay there as well. Deep in that dark, cold hole. What a marvelous place to put a beautiful soul.
Then, the Lord is going to come back, the first time, and take all His saints, believers, back to heaven with Him. After that happens, all hell is going to break loose on earth for the next seven years, to punish the nonbelievers.
At the end of those seven years, Christ comes back, again, bringing all the saints with Him a second time. And those in the grave will be resurrected and come out, meet our Lord in the air, and then come back down to earth once more.
Let’s listen to Paul…
1st Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
Paul is talking to the Thessalonians and he says that he doesn’t want them to be ignorant, stupid, when it comes to those people that have died, where they are, or be like the heathen that have no hope at all because they don’t believe in anything.
1st Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
If we believe that Jesus died on that cross and rose from the dead three days and nights later, then we also have to believe that those who have died in the past, believing in Him, will also come with Him when He returns at the seventh trump.
1st Thessalonians 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.
Here we have that mystery that Paul was talking about, back in 1st Corinthians 15:51. Those that are still here on earth and walking around when the Lord returns, cannot come before those that are already with Christ, because He will bring them with Him, and they will join with those who have just been transitioned from the flesh and blood body into their spiritual body here on earth.
Let’s understand this word prevent. The word as we use it today would mean to stop some one or some thing from happening. Get your flu shot to prevent you from getting the flu. Ok?
Prevent_NT:5348 phthano (fthan'-o); apparently a primary verb; to be beforehand, i.e. anticipate or precede; by extension, to have arrived at:
Which means that we that die here on earth, when the Lord comes back, cannot precede, or be there beforehand, those other souls that have gone to heaven because they are already there and He’s already bringing them with Him.
1st Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
The dead in Christ shall rise first because they are already in heaven.
1st Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Remember that when the Lord returns, we’ll all change instantly into our spiritual bodies. And if we are caught up with those saints coming with our Lord, what would be the reason for it? We’ll be coming right back down to earth momentarily, so what’s the reasoning behind this theory? There is no reasoning behind it.
And for those that think that we’ll be up in the air to meet the Lord, it shows that they haven’t done any research into the Greek language because the word air doesn’t mean sky or atmosphere, it means in a spiritual body…
Air_NT:109 aer (ah-ayr'); from aemi (to breathe unconsciously, i.e. respire; by analogy, to blow); "air" (as naturally circumambient):
Translated correctly, it’s the “breath of life” body.
1st Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. KJV
Comfort each other with words of truth from our Father, not some jacked-up unproven theory put together by some preacher. This theory didn’t come into vogue until 1830 when Margaret MacDonald had this “terrible” vision and the brotherhood, and later John Darby, picked up the idea and began to fill the tents at every revival.
Everything that happens to us while in these earthly bodies can be found written in the Bible. It’s the “how to” book for humanity. It’s the “life for Dummies” book. Father doesn’t leave us stranded here with no help at all.
A preacher on television this morning was giving the congregation a list of eight things that we should do to be or feel safe and they were the standard thoughts of organized religion. Why don’t they dig into the Scriptures and teach something new to the people?
When you meet someone new, and fall in love with them, what happens? Normally, you want to know everything about them that you can. You want to understand them, relate to them and love them back. It’s hard to love someone that you know nothing about because there is nothing to love but the outward appearance. It’s the inner person that we want to get to know.
The same applies to our Lord and our Father. If you love them, and you say that you do all the time, then why don’t you find out as much about them as possible? And the only way to do that is to read this Book that He gave us. It has everything that we need to know about the Lord and our Father.
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__15 December 2018__