| What Really Happens?|
Have you ever wondered What really happens at death?
Do the dead exist to give certain television psychics a career and a business opportunity?
What about the "stories" of "near death experiences", the "out of body" experiences and the "light at the end of a long dark tunnel" stories that we hear?
Is there a "purgatory" that departed souls go to? Are the "dead" really "dead". Can we really know?
Crossing Over into the Light. Psychics and ghost hunters make a career out of being the telecommunications service to those who have "crossed over" to the other side.
Or they are traffic directors to those confused souls who are lost on "this side" and convince them to go over to "the other side" through a door of light.
"And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?" .... " To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
(Isaiah 8: 19, 20)
In this study, we are going to look into God's Word to see what It can tell us about this topic of "death", about "What really happens at death?"
We will build upon a number of scriptures for this study.
Should we seek our answers from those that have died through seances or other contact with the "dead"?
Should we depend upon the so called "near death experiences" that some have had?
Should we depend upon "man's wisdom"?
Or should we depend upon God's Word?
God tells His people, through Isaiah the Prophet, to seek unto Him. That is what we should do, too.
In order to understand death, we should first understand the Bible's definition of life.
Much of our confusion centers around the definition of the word "soul".
Some believe that the soul or spirit is a conscious, transparent and independent entity that
occupies a body. At death this soul continues to live apart from the body because many people believe that, good or evil, this entity is immortal.
The Bible says that God blew His breath into the lifeless man and he BECAME one who breathes. A living being or a living soul.
"Then 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."
(Genesis 2: 7)
- Neshamah, Ruwach. This word is translated as breath and spirit.
- Nephesh. This word means "that which breathes". A living being. A living creature. A living soul.
The Soul Is A Living Person.
The soul is simply a person who can breathe. It is not the breath only.
Without the breath of God the dust would not be conscious.
And without the dust, the breath would not be conscious.
It takes the combination of both to produce a living creature.
DUST + BREATH FROM GOD = NEPHESH (living being, soul)
Think of the example of a light bulb.
The bulb is like our body. The electricity is like the breath of God. Together, they make up energized light that sheds its brightness around it. Likewise, our body, without God's breath, is dark. We are alive because God puts life into us.
» Living Brain (Mind).
Consciousness, feelings, love, hate, envy, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, reasoning, thoughts.
| Light Bulb|| + Electricity ||= Light|
Body (dust) + Breath from God (spirit) = Living Soul (living being, nephesh)
The Soul Is Not Immortal.
The bible also teaches that the soul can die. It is not immortal.
| Spirit |
The "Spirit" of man is the "breath",
what we inhale and exhale.
It is not a separate, immortal, conscious entity separate from the body and soul.
Only God is immortal.
The "spirit" is not an airy, translucent intelligent form that fills up our body.
A spiritual being is an improvement on the dead physical body. It is one with breath or spirit or life, but is capable of doing much more with their improved spiritual bodies which has a working brain.
"See, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins, it shall die ... "
The soul that sins, 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."
(Ezekiel 18: 4, 20)
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit (ruwach) shall return unto God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12: 7)
The Animals Have The Same Breath.
I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
For that which happens to the sons of men happens to beasts; even one thing happens to them: as the one dies, so dies the other; yes, they have all one breath; so that a man has 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.
Who knows the spirit of man that goes upward, and the spirit of the beast that goes downward to the earth?"
(Ecclesiastes 3 : 18 - 21)
Man and Animals have the same spirit (Breath of life (Ruwach)). God uses the same process to bring them both to life.
The Physical, Mental And Spiritual Union.
| The Components of Life |
|Physical ||Mental ||Spiritual |
| The Process of Life||God|
|Body ||Conscious |
|Body ||Unconscious |
| The Process of Death|
Neither the physical dust or spiritual breath are conscious when they are separate.
What makes them conscious is their union in the mind.
The brain is the physical organ through which the spirit of man communicates with the Spirit of God.
Death severs this connection. The physical body deteriorates and returns to the dust of the earth and God stores what is unique about us in the spirit that returns to Him.
This is why the spiritual war is a battle for the mind because it is the only place and time where we are conscious.
This is why Satan has dulled the minds of the last generation with drugs, sports, mindless television and other forms
of useless entertainment.
Immortality And Eternal Life
Are we immortal?
The bible teaches that only God is immortal.
But it also teaches that we can have eternal life as a gift through Jesus Christ.
Although both can live forever, there is a difference.
| Spirits and Ghosts |
There are no disembodied spirits. The dead cannot control the life giving spirit of God.
This spirit is not something that can take a form or shape or has intelligence.
It is simply life from God.
No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, and no one has power in the day of death ... (Ecclesiastes 8: 8)
- Innate Immortality. These get their eternal life from within.
They can only cease to exist if they choose to cease to exist.
In the only place in the scripture where the word "immortal" is used, it is applied to God.
Only God has life within Himself.
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(1 Timothy 1: 17)
That you keep this commandment without spot, or reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which he shall show in his times, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen
(1 Timothy 6: 14 -16)
- Derived Immortality. These get their eternal life from an external source.
If that source could cease to exist, they would cease to exist.
1 Corinthians 15: 50-54 describes this as "putting on" immortality as if it were a garment.
Only Christ, dwelling in the light, has immortality. We do not possess immortality, without Christ.
Eternal Life Can be Put on and Off Like A Garment. "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet;
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 put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15: 52-53)
Eternal Life is A Gift from the Son. "And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life." (1 John 5: 11-12)
Eternal Life is for Those Who Believe in the Son. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3: 16 -17)
Mortal life is carnal, like the foreskin which can be cut off. However, eternal life is putting on the cloak of righteousness given as a gift from Christ to His friends.
If life is the combination of dust and the breath from God, then what is death?
It is described as the opposite process.
Spirit Returns to God. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit (ruwach) shall return unto God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12: 7)
Body Returns to Earth. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. (Psalm 146: 3 -4)
DUST - BREATH FROM GOD = DEATH SLEEP
For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
(James 2: 26)
When the electricity is turned off, the light goes out.
When God takes back His life giving breath, we die.
This breath has no independent consciousness on its own so that it can exist as an intelligent entity without a physical body.
» Dead Brain - Mind.
No consciousness, no feelings, no love, no hate, no knowledge.
| Light Bulb - Electricity = Darkness|
Body (dust) - Breath from God (spirit) = Dead Soul
This would be the end of the story, but God promises us eternal life.
So what happens after we die and how do we get to live forever?
To answer this question, we will define several concepts that are used in the Bible.
- The Sleep Of Death. The Bible describes death as an unconscious sleep in which we have no memory or actions or contact with the living.
We are not in heaven praising God or in hell writhing in pain. Death is a place where we wait until the resurrection.
We Wait Until Our Change. "So man lies down, and rises not: until the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. O that you would hide me in the grave, that you would keep me secret, until your wrath is past, that you appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, until my change come. You shall call, and I will answer you: you will have a desire to the work of your hands." (Job 14: 12 - 15)
| The Sleep of Death|
for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.
(Genesis 2: 17)
Adam was told that he would die on the day that he sinned.
But he lived to be 930 years old.
One explanation is that the process of death and aging began on that day.
Another event that could have happened is that it may have been the first time that
sleep came permanently to the planet.
If this is true, it explains why Christ referred to death as sleep.
Sleep and Work.
For practical reasons, the process of sleep reduced by one third the number of hours in a day that man could sin.
Work provides the same benefit. Together, they reduce the time to sin by two thirds.
These two curses were really a blessing.
The Dead Are Unconscious. "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. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun."
No Intelligent Contact. ... " Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go." (Ecclesiastes 9: 5- 6, 10)
The Dead Have No Memory. "Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for your mercies' sake. For in death there is no remembrance of you: in the grave who shall give you thanks?" (Psalm 6: 4 - 5)
The Dead Are Not Aware Of God.
Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?
Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
(Psalm 88: 11-12)
- Sleep. Since everyone will be resurrected after the first death, the Bible describes it as a sleep because we will all awake from it.
He said unto them, Leave, for the girl is not dead, but sleeps. And they laughed him to scorn. (Matthew 9: 24)
And when he was come in, he says to them, Why make you this ado, and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeps. (Mark 5: 39)
And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleeps. (Luke 8: 52)
Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death. (Psalm 13: 3)
Lazarus. "These things said he: and after that he says unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleeps; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. However Jesus spoke of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent you may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. ... " Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if you had been here, my brother had not died." (John 11: 11 - 15, 21)
- First Death. This is a temporary death. Everyone is raised to life from this death. While we are dead, we are asleep in the grave.
Many teach that we go immediately to heaven or hell. But the Bible teaches that even in the time of Christ, David was still in the grave.
"Men and brethren, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day." ... " For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he says himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, sit on my right hand." (Acts 2: 29, 34)
So David, the friend of God, had been dead for over 1000 years and he still has not ascended into heaven even after Christ had been resurrected.
So Jesus' resurrection did not send the unconscious dead to heaven.
- Second Death (Last Death). The second death is eternal. This is what happens to those who will not live with God. They will not have eternal life.
- Resurrection. This is the process by which God raises us up from the dead.
When God raises the wicked, they are raised up with mortal bodies to face the judgment.
However, when God raises the righteous He changes their bodies so that they can live forever.
There is no endless cycle of death and life. We do not return to live life again as another human being or animal.
And as it is appointed to men to die once, after this comes the judgment.
(Hebrews 9: 27)
- Reincarnation (Soul Fragmentation). This belief is not supported in the Bible. Reincarnation teaches that after we die the residue of our soul keeps coming back to life, as other humans or as other animals.
The bible teaches that we are all guaranteed one life, then we face the judgment.
And as it is appointed to men to die once, after this comes the judgment.
So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
(Hebrews 9: 27-28)
- The Home Of The Dead. The previous discussion teaches us how we live again after death, but it does not tell us when it happens or where we were.
- Grave (Sheol). The bible teaches us that we are asleep and unconscious in the grave when we die until the day of the resurrection.
We do not go immediately to Heaven or Hell. (Acts 2: 29, 34)
Our bodies become dust again and our unconscious spirit goes back to God. (Ecclesiastes 12: 7)
By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground. Because from it you were taken. For you are dust and to dust you shall return. (Genesis 3: 19)
- In Storage.
The wicked are described as being "reserved" for later punishment.
The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
(2 Peter 2: 9)
At the Second Coming harvest, the wicked are described as weeds gathered in bundles for burning while the rightesous living are stored in a barn (Heaven).
Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
(Matthew 13: 30)
- Heaven. Heaven is a place where the righteous go when they are resurrected at the Second Coming.
- Hell. Hell is a place where the wicked go after they are resurrected and judged.
In another lesson you will learn that Hell does not exist now, and when it does it will not be burning forever.
So far we have learned that all the dead, righteous and wicked, are asleep in their graves.
They are unconscious and unaware of what is happening.
They will wake up from this first death by a resurrection.
The bible teaches that there are two different resurrections.
The first resurrection is for the righteous only, and this occurs at the Second Coming.
All the living wicked are killed at the Second Coming. The wicked dead remain dead, unaware of the historic events.
The second resurrection is for all the wicked and they will wake up after one thousand years at the third coming to face the judgment.
| The Righteous Living
||Reign with Christ
||Righteous return to Earth
| Righteous Dead
| Wicked Dead ||All The Wicked remain dead
|All Wicked Living Die
||The First Death
("The Rest of the Dead")
|The first death is a sleep from which everyone will wake up. The second death is eternal.
There are two resurrections. The righteous dead will come up in the first resurrection.
Then, after a thousand years the wicked will come up in the second resurrection to face the final judgment and the second death.
The First Resurrection.
When will the first resurrection, or the resurrection of the righteous occur?
| The First Resurrection|
Only the righteous will be resurrected at the Second Coming.
This is the first resurrection.
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. (John 5: 28-29)
- Last Trumpet.
The trumpet sounds at the Second Coming and raises the dead.
"Look, I show 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." (1 Corinthians 15: 51-52)
Paul is talking about the first resurrection which occurs at the Second Coming when Christ comes to get the righteous.
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: 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.
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
- Last Day. This is what Jesus taught. The first resurrection occurs on the last day.
And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
(John 6: 39, 40, 44)
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
(John 6: 54)
Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
(John 11: 24)
- No More Heavens. The first resurrection occurs when the heavens are no longer above the earth in God's wrath.
According to Job, our change comes (new bodies) and we are raised from sleep when the heavens no longer exist.
Then, at an appointed time, after the wrath has passed, they will be raised from sleep.
Waiting For The Change.
So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.
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!
If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
(Job 14: 12-14)
|The Sixth Trumpet
||7th Trumpet ||No More Heavens
|Seven Last Plagues (Wrath)
||Sky Rolls Away||First Resurrection
||Seventh Plague (Second Coming) Great Wrath
||The Sixth Seal
The wrath of God is the Seven Last Plagues.
The heavens are dissolved and the skies roll away during the sixth seal. The seventh seal is the Second Coming.
And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
(Revelation 6: 14-17)
And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.
(Isaiah 34: 4)
The first resurrection occurs on the last day, at the Second Coming after the heavens are rolled away.
"Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Revelation 20: 6)
Isaiah 26 also describes the fate of the dead at the Second Coming.
The Wicked Dead at the Second Coming.
The dead will not rise, the departed spirits will not rise; therefore You have punished and destroyed them, and You have wiped out all remembrance of them.
(Isaiah 26: 14)
The Resurrection of the Righteous.
Your dead will rise, their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, for your dew is as the dew of the dawn, and the earth will give birth to the departed spirits.
(Isaiah 26: 19)
This is the first resurrection, the resurrection of life.
There are two main theories about the events of the first resurrection:
- The visible rapture - all humans will see the event. This is the correct view.
- The secret rapture - the righteous will disappear and the wicked will not see the event.
The Second Resurrection.
The Martyrs and Righteous.
"And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God,
and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead or their hand;
The First Resurrection. and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
The Second Resurrection. (But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.)
This is the first resurrection." (Revelation 20: 4-5)
| The Second Resurrection|
The wicked dead, those who do not die In Christ, are not resurrected until the end of the 1000 years.
All of them suffer the second death.
|The Martyrs and Saints||1000 Years||The Rest of the Dead|
|First Resurrection ||Second Resurrection|
The first resurrection here refers to prior verses which talked about the righteous dead.
After that, the "rest of the dead" come up in the second resurrection after the 1000 years are over.
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. (Revelation 20: 12)
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15: 26)
Satan meets the wicked at this resurrection. He is weakened after 1000 years of desolation.
Satan Meets His Dead.
Sheol from beneath is excited over you to meet you when you come;
It arouses for you all the spirits of the dead, all the leaders of the earth.
It raises all the kings of the nations from their thrones.
They will respond and say to you, "Even you have been made weak as we, you have become like us".
(Isaiah 14: 9-10)
The Resurrection Of The First Fruits.
| The Three Resurrections|
|1. Christ||2000+ Years||2. Righteous ||1000 Years||3. Wicked|
|First Fruits ||First Resurrection ||Second Resurrection|
The first and second resurrection are what we call the two general resurrections.
But there is an exception.
When Jesus died, many graves were opened and other people rose from the dead and started preaching in Jerusalem. (Matthew 27: 51-53).
They were the first fruits. They are the evidence that God can and will resurrect the dead.
The Resurrection Order. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ, the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming. (1 Corinthians 15: 22-23)
Now the term "first fruits" does not mean the first in order. Lazarus and Moses were resurrected before Christ.
It refers to the best of the group. Christ became the first of the fruits because His death and resurrection was the first that really mattered.
If Christ was not resurrected, all humans would perish.
Throughout the years God has chosen several humans to represent the people who would be in heaven.
We all die once and the righteous are born twice. The wicked die twice.
- Moses. He represents the righteous who will be resurrected.
- Elijah. He and Enoch went to heaven without dying. He represents the righteous who are alive at the Second Coming.
Technically those people receive their "first death" to sin by the ceremony of baptism.
A Special Resurrection.
Seventh Day Adventists also believe in a special resurrection that occurs shortly before the beginning of the first resurrection.
Certain wicked people and the righteous whom they encountered will be in this group.
The references to the Second Coming in the Gospels and Daniel 12 could be interpreted as merging the common elements and purpose of the first and second resurrections without hinting about the 1000 year separation.
So is there any evidence for a special resurrection that is part of the first general resurrection of the righteous?
|First Fruits Resurrections||Second |
|2 General Resurrections (Millennium)||Third|
| (Worst)|| (Best)|| || "Go Up" To Tabernacles|| |
|- || Special Resurrection ||First General|| Punish (1)||Many Days ||Second General || Punish (2)|
| The Earth Is Broken||Rain Hail ||No Rain Abyss||Weeds ||Burned |
- The Evidence. At least two texts suggest that those who crucified Christ will see Him at the Second Coming.
The Ones Who Crucified Them.
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
(Revelation 1: 7)
Raised Up To Shame.
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.
(Daniel 12: 2)
Daniel 12 may simply be describing the fate of the two groups of people. However, since it says "many" not "all who sleep" then it supports the notion that some of those are resurrected to shame them.
The Powerful Son Of God.
But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
(Matthew 26: 63-64)
Christ also seems to promise His tormentors that they will see Him when He comes in the clouds.
However, are these the clouds of the Second or Third Coming? We know that He will come with clouds in the Second Coming (Acts 1: 9-11),
however with the Third Coming He is also coming with a great city.
- Coming With Clouds. Clearly the first resurrection includes Christ coming with clouds.
Escorted By Angels.
And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
(Mark 13: 25-27)
Can we assume that the Third Coming also looks the same? That is - Jesus coming with clouds with God.
So what is the purpose if some of the wicked can see the same thing at both the Second or Third Coming?
What do some righteous gain by an earlier resurrection?
- Victory! At the Second Coming these wicked get to see the rapture and know that they are not part of it.
They experience the unexpected horror and disappointment of Haman.
- Revenge. These wicked are punished at both the second and third comings - hail stone and hell fire.
- Those Who Are Not Raptured.
Zechariah 14: 16-19 describes those who are remaining of the wicked who fight against God who do not "go up" to the Feast of Tabernacles with God.
They are punished with no rain.
At first it appears as if there will be a period after the Second or Third Coming when the wicked are still rebellious and God has to threaten them, until you consider the special resurrection.
These special wicked do not "go up" to Tabernacle with God because they cannot. They will not be raptured.
They will not "go up" in the air to meet the Lord and tabernacle with Him forever.
They will also be punished with no rain.
The wicked living at the Second Coming ask for the rocks to fall on them.
Its Raining Fire And Brimstone.
Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;
and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;
for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
(Revelation 6: 15-17)
This means that the rain of hailstones at the Second Coming will not kill these special wicked because they are being reserved for special revenge.
All the other wicked are killed.
- The Earth Prison.
At the Second Coming the earth becomes a prison.
Isaiah says that the Kings of the earth and the host of heaven will be punished as prisoners on a special day when the earth is destroyed.
Then after "many days" they will be punished.
Prisoners On Earth.
So it will happen in that day, that the Lord will punish the host of heaven on high,
And the kings of the earth on earth.
They will be gathered together like prisoners in the dungeon,
And will be confined in prison; and after many days they will be punished.
(Isaiah 24: 21-22)
So in the special resurrection these leaders will be imprisoned with the wicked angels.
Then after "many days" (the millennium) they will be punished again with hell fire.
- The Years Of Punishment.
The Bible says that the lake of fire was prepared for the devil and his angels, but the beast and the false prophet will share this punishment (Matthew 25: 41 and Revelation 19: 20).
This means that the rest of the wicked might be thrown dead into it. Zechariah 14: 12 describes how quickly the wicked melt.
What if the worst sinners in power also get to share a time of reflection and contemplation in the millennium under the rule of the evil one they obeyed?
This prophecy from the fifth trumpet would finally make the most sense.
It means either 5 prophetic months or 150 real years of special misery.
5 Months Of Hell.
And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
No Peace For The Wickedest.
And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
(Revelation 9: 5-6)
» The Wicked Fall Into Their Own Trap.
Somehow there has to be a length of suffering that is not experienced by God performing a miracle to magnify the torture in their minds or burning them for 5 minutes longer in the lake of fire.
How would burning longer or more mental anguish achieve the results of being forced to live in their own filth or falling into the pit that they have dug for others?
They are here because they had no empathy or anguish or remorse. Why would God give them remorse now if He could have earlier?
Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.
(Psalm 141: 10)
They must experience the endlessness of hopelessness to which they subjected other people.
Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
(Revelation 18: 6, 23)
150 years under the rule of Satan is double the life span of those who lived after the flood.
Being punished at both the Second and Third Coming is double the punishment.
- Reversal Of Fortunes.
It would be justice if the cigarette presidents and oil executives get to wheeze and cough their way through an extremely polluted air and water system while scrounging through garbage heaps for food.
What if the filthy rich woman who spent more on new shoes each week than she did on her maid's monthly salary has no shoes, no manicure, matted hair, no servant and has to eat filet of mouse?
Suppose slave drivers and slave owners were enslaved by an angry Satan himself? Justice!
Isaiah describes this reversal of fortunes.
The Great Role Reversal!
Behold, the Lord lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface and scatters its inhabitants.
And the people will be like the priest, the servant like his master, the maid like her mistress, the buyer like the seller, the lender like the borrower, the creditor like the debtor.
The earth will be completely laid waste and completely despoiled, for the Lord has spoken this word.
The earth mourns and withers, the world fades and withers, the exalted of the people of the earth fade away.
(Isaiah 24: 1-4)
So what happens is that selected people are held more responsible for the fate of the earth and its people.
Most of the inhabitants are burned up but a select few are left. These are those raised up in the special resurrection and those alive who are worthy of this disgrace.
The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant.
Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.
(Isaiah 24: 5-6)
So, contrary to a popular belief that Jesus and the Jews will evangelize the earth for 1000 years after a "visible" Second coming, it is actually teaching that a selected class of wicked are reserved for punishment then after the millennium they are punished again, receiving a double punishment.
- Satan In Fear.
Satan also gets a dose of his own medicine.
Trouble In Paradise Lost.
Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness.
You Are Nothing!
Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee.
Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
(Ezekiel 28: 7,9,17)
At the third coming he will stand before the righteous kings. Now he confronts the terrible kings.
Reduced to the status of a mere mortal, he is attacked by the monsters he created.
In 1000 years all the wicked will view him with contempt. Trash!
Held In Contempt.
Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit.
Those who see you will gaze at you, they will ponder over you, saying, "Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms,
Who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who did not allow his prisoners to go home?"
Returned To Their Tombs
All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb.
But you have been cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch, clothed with the slain who are pierced with a sword, Who go down to the stones of the pit Like a trampled corpse.
You will not be united with them in burial, because you have ruined your country, you have slain your people. may the offspring of evildoers not be mentioned forever.
(Isaiah 14: 15-20)
While they get to return to their glorious tombs, he is left to gaze at the vast destruction and wilderness he created on earth for 1000 years.
The surface of the earth will be covered with the unburied bodies of the dead who are slain by the sword of the Second Coming.
- The Special Participants.
The evidence shows that Christ and His tormentors may be the type of those in this special resurrection.
Christ gets to have this special revenge and so will His most faithful workers.
So God keeps His promise that in this life, before going to heaven, those who greatly suffered for Him will see victory.
- The Best Of The Best (Martyrs). Like Christ, all the martyrs and those greatly humiliated at crucial times, like the Millerites or Martin Luther, may also be resurrected to see their tormentors horror.
They were the special vessels who could withstand the fire (Numbers 31: 23).
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
(Revelation 6: 10-11)
- The Worst Of The Worst.
Possibly, those in power who humiliated and tortured the righteous at imporant points in history will get the same punishment in revenge for the martyrs.
All the crusaders, inquisition popes, kings, slave masters, weapons industry and war profiteers, colonialists, military leaders and Nazis and the rich dynasties, the pimps, pedophiles, industrial polluters and bankers who enslaved and destroyed the earth for money.
Prosperity ministers will be punished for misrepresenting God and will be compensated for the money they bribed from the poor and forced to live under the conditions to which they condemned their hopeless, desperate flock.
They will all live in the horror and filth they created.
Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the Lord thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.
The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf.
They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the Lord our God, and shall fear because of thee.
(Micah 7: 10, 16-17)
Those who were always first will now be made the last (Mark 10: 28-40).
They expected to be royalty in the kingdom but will now be left behind in holes in the ground like Saddam Hussein. They will also be among the last to die in the Lake of Fire.
Imagine a pope like Gregory VII, Innocent III, Boniface VIII, Alexander VI, Gregory XIII, Pius IX or a king like Louis XIV and Jesuit priest, Pere La Chaise raised at the first coming, expecting his body to change and then rise up to the clouds.
He sees the Huguenots, those whom he ordered burned to death, go through these changes but he is still covered in filth and worms and he cannot rise up. Sweet revenge!
The last generation who suffered the worst persecution also get to see their tormentors punished in this way.
- Jubilee Signs. Special signs will immediately precede the Second Coming which may be around Tabernacles.
- Jubilee Trumpet. It sounds on Yom Kippur when every man is returned to his family, land and possessions (Leviticus 25: 9-12). If so then the special resurrection trumpet may sound 5 days before the general resurrection.
It is then that men will see "signs" and look up in fearful anticipation or eagerly for the approaching redemption.
... and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.
There shall be signs in the sun, moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the seas and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
(Luke 21: 11, 25-26)
Evidence of the resurrection is a terrifying event.
The wicked receive the same rude awakening as Haman.
Imagine seeing Hitler, Queen Isabella, Genghis Khan, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Napoleon and Alexander the great.
Then imagine all the great martyrs (Huss, Wycliffe, Latimer, Ridley, Jerome and Tyndale).
The world has 5 days to recognize them and believe the thousands of stories.
- No Fruit. It is the jubilee year when no fruit will be harvested in either that year or the year before.
No pregnancies. God will shut up both the womb of the righteous and the wicked.
- Wicked Fruit.
When the wicked persecute the righteous God will shut their womb.
For the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.
(Genesis 20: 18)
- Righteous Fruit.
Every year, at the annual pilgrimage the wicked tormented the righteous. One woman thought she was rich and increased with blessings.
The other would be blessed by the coming of a miraculous son.
And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:
But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut up her womb.
And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb.
And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.
(1 Samuel 1: 4-7)
In the end, this infertility allows God to keep this implied promise to pray that we will not have young children in the persecution.
And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
(Matthew 24: 19-20)
- Contradiction. One text suggests that those in the first resurrection will not die the second death (hell fire).
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.
(Revelation 20: 6)
If so, then the righteous live forever and these special wicked live forever in a state of punishment because they could never be priests of God. That is contrary to scriptures which teach that Satan and all the wicked will be reduced to ashes.
The answer may be seen in the concept of "first fruit".
In the fourth year, God gets to choose the first of the crop so a basket of fruit is presented to Him. Then the rest of the harvest is ours forever.
|Barren Earth ||Year 1 ||Year 2 ||Year 3
|| ||-|| |
|No Fruit Trees ||Tree||Forbidden Fruit||First Fruits (Year 4) ||Special||First ||Second |
|Vine Dresser ||Pruning And Fertilizing||First Fruits Resurrections ||2 General Resurrections |
|Planting and Reaping ||Shemitah|| Yovel (Jubilee Year) - No Planting or Reaping ||Weeds |
When you enter the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it shall not be eaten.
First Fruits. But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord.
Harvest Belongs To The People.. In the fifth year you are to eat of its fruit, that its yield may increase for you, I am the Lord your God.
(Leviticus 19: 23-25)
- First Fruits.
Jesus was the first fruit of the dead but He was not the first to be resurrected.
Of those who were resurrected and presumably died again, only Moses went to heaven and possibly those who were raised with Christ.
So the "first" only becomes important if they are chosen by God. Jesus' death and resurrection was the only one in that group which was important.
- Untimely Fruit.
Certain things can happen to the fruit before the special basket of fruit is given to God.
Therefore, all on planet earth are forbidden fruit until Christ and His Second Coming from the east.
So these wicked may be in the class of aborted fruit which are cast from the tree before they are ripe.
- Forbidden Fruit. For three years no one can eat the fruit, until the fourth year
- Cursed. God came for fruit and found a tree with all the signs of fruit but it was barren.
Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
(Matthew 21: 18-19)
The green fruit usually appear before the leaves and then they blend in with the leaves until just before they ripen. So the whole tree was cursed because the leaves falsely held the promise of fruit.
- Blown Away. A strong shaking like the east wind can cast off the fruit which will be burned.
The Strong East Wind.
But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them.
(Ezekiel 19: 12)
- Aborted. The tree can cast its fruit early and the fruit could be infested with insects.
Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit.
(Deuteronomy 28: 40)
In essence they are the first fruit of the second resurrection - which are those rejected by God. Among that group they are the most important because they are the worst of the rotten, infested bunch.
They do not even get to rest in the grave but get to serve their master Satan - exactly what they did in life and what they now deserve.
Their existence might explain how the wicked are able to launch an attack on God soon after the final judgment.
They do not need a long time to arm themselves, they and Satan have been preparing.
The Second Death.
The righteous dead, do not suffer this "second death". We are told not to fear those who can put us into the "first death", but rather we are to fear the "second death". The second death is that final and eternal destruction from which there is no further resurrection.
| The Second Death|
The wicked dead, whose names are not written in the book of life are thrown into the lake of fire, which is "the second death". Those who have no part in the first resurrection, of the righteous
In the second death, both the wicked and death itself will be destroyed forever in a lake of fire.
Hell is the second death.
- Body And Soul Destroyed. The "soul" is not immortal. It will be destroyed in hell by God (second death). All Satan and the wicked can do is to destroy the body in the first death.
"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." (Matthew 10: 28)
- Satan Is Destroyed. Satan is not in hell happily torturing people now. He will be thrown into hell.
And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet were also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
(Revelation 20: 10)
» Who Is In Charge Of Hell? Some believe that Satan is in charge of death and hell. It is Christ who controls hell, not Satan. Christ has the power to destroy body and soul in hell, not Satan.
Christ frees the captives of death.
Possessor Of The Keys.
... Do not be afraid, I am the first and the last, and the Living One; and I was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
(Revelation 1: 18-19)
Hell was originally meant for Satan and his angels only. The wicked will share his inheritance.
The Inheritance of Satan.
Then He will say to those on His left, "Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels."
(Matthew 25: 41)
- The Wicked Are Not Allowed To Repopulate The Earth.
At the Third Coming, the wicked will not be allowed to take possession of the New Jerusalem and will die in hell fire.
Prepare for his sons a place of slaughter because of the iniquity of their fathers. They must not arise and take possession of the earth and fill the face of the world with cities.
(Isaiah 14: 21)
- The Wicked Are Destroyed.
"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 burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8)
- Death And Hell Destroyed. "And death and hell were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whoever was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20: 14-15)
- One Chance For Evil. This experience will never be repeated. There is no recycling of evil or eternal coexistance of good and evil in balance.
Wickedness Will End.
Whatever you devise against the Lord, He will make a complete end of it. Affliction shall not rise up the second time.
(Nahum 1: 9)
- Life Remains Forever. God will heal and restore everything to perfection.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21: 4)
This is when hell freezes over.
» The Real Second Death
Total separation from God is the second death. Hell fire is just one method to achieve it.
Jesus suffered the second death for all of us. He felt the separation on the cross and it broke His heart.
When He conquered the second death, He was given the keys to death and hell so that He could deliver us from this punishment (Revelation 1: 18-19).
He will resurrect everyone from the first death and He has freed the righteous from the death sentence in hell.
Satan is not in charge of hell. Jesus has control of the keys.
Cleansing From Death With The Water For Impurity
There are several laws about cleansing from death. One of these is the mystery of the Red Heifer (Numbers 19).
It makes the pure impure and the impure pure.
Let us see how these are applied to the righteous, the wicked and the earth.
- Unclean Seven Days.
The earth became defiled with death after the murder of Abel and his corpse and all the dead have since been buried in the earth.
So the earth has been defiled by the dead for thousands of years.
At the end of the seventh millennium after the first death, the earth will be cleansed by hell fire.
The one who touches the corpse of any person shall be unclean for seven days.
(Numbers 19: 11)
» Unclean Until Evening. The one who touched a corpse can transfer this uncleanness to an object or person. They can become clean by the evening if they wash in water.
So it shall be a perpetual statute for them. And he who sprinkles the water for impurity shall wash his clothes, and he who touches the water for impurity shall be unclean until evening.
Furthermore, anything that the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and the person who touches it shall be unclean until evening."
(Numbers 19: 21-22)
When Jesus was buried He was placed in a new tomb that was not defiled by the dead. So He was not unclean for seven days because He did not touch the dead.
After He rose from death Mary could not touch Him because she had become unclean for seven days after touching Him!
Although He was clean, He had to fulfill all the laws of righteousness so she could not touch Him.
He went to heaven in the evening.
» Raising The Dead At The Crucifixion. Jesus sprinkled the water for impurity which poured from His side and some of the dead were raised.
- Water Of Purification (Day 3 and 7). Contamination with death must be cleansed on two days.
That one shall purify himself from uncleanness with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and then he will be clean; but if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean.
(Numbers 19: 12)
- Cleansing From Sin. Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth.
This Red Heifer ritual came in the third day when the Lord Jesus who is the LORD of the Exodus introduced it to Moses on Mount Sinai. It was after this that we began seeing resurrection stories.
Israel was purified at that time to become the nation of priests.
Jesus Christ came to offer Himself and the Holy Spirit to cleanse us from the impurity of sin and the sentence of death. At that time the power of death was broken.
- Cleansing From Death. At the very end of the seventh day, Jesus cleanses the earth from defilement of sin. At that time death and hell will be destroyed. Immortality is the result of this cleansing.
||Sin ||Death of Abel ||1 ||2
||5 ||6||7 ||Millennium|| ||8|
| 130 Years ||Unclean ||(Third Day) ||Cleansing (Day of Atonement) ||(Seventh Day)||Clean|
- Cleansing By Fire And Water. Everything that is to be cleaned must be washed in a special water for impurity (Holy Spirit). However, only those that can go through the fire must be put through the fire.
everything that can stand the fire, you shall pass through the fire, and it shall be clean, but it shall be purified with water for impurity. But whatever cannot stand the fire you shall pass through the water.
(Numbers 31: 23)
The Holy Spirit is the source of the water for cleansing. He was sent by Jesus after His death.
Some of the righteous will go through great testing.
At the end of time, the wicked, the earth and the New Jerusalem will go through the fire. The wicked will not survive but the all righteous are now fire proof.
There are some apparent contradictions based on the Bible and the testimony of some personal experiences.
- The Thief On The Cross.
On the cross Jesus said these words to the thief.
|Cross ||Buried||Raised ||Paradise|
Friday. I say to you today you shall be with Me in paradise. (Luke 23: 43)
The conclusion is that they would both be in heaven that day. That was Friday.
But on Sunday, Jesus still had not gone to heaven!
Sunday. Jesus said to her, "Do not touch me; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." (John 20: 17)
The solution to the mystery can be found in the uninspired punctuation.
The original language did not include punctuation, but the translators did.
If you place a comma after the word "today" or before the word "today" then it has two different meanings.
The comma leaves us with two possible meanings, but the fact that Jesus was still on earth in the grave between Friday and Sunday clearly shows us which meaning is correct.
So this is more accurate :
- I say unto you, today you will be with Me in paradise ... They would both be in heaven that day.
- I say unto you today, you will be with Me in paradise ... Jesus makes a guarantee on that day.
I say unto you today, you will be with Me in paradise after the day after tomorrow.
In fact, the GUARANTEE that he would be in Paradise was made THAT day, but not WHEN he would get there.
- Believers Shall Never Die.
At the death of Lazarus Jesus seemed to say that believers will never die.
Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again".
Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."
The Dead. Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; He who believes in Me will live even if he dies".
The Living. And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?
(John 11: 23-26)
» The Last Day.
Martha articulated the doctrine well. All believers will come to life on the last day.
Jesus is not teaching that the believer will never die. Satan is the one who told Eve that lie.
The serpent said to the woman, "you surely will not die". (Genesis 3: 4)
Jesus is teaching about what will happen on the last day as Martha said.
But He was also saying that since He is the power that causes life and resurrection, He can raise the dead before the last day, at any time.
In addition, He is saying that the righteous living will not suffer the second death.
The first death is like sleep, it is not permanent. Even the wicked will be resurrected from the first death.
However, only the righteous will never die the second death because Jesus is the source of eternal life.
- Righteous Dead. ... He who believes in Me will live even if he dies. (John 11: 25)
On the last day or at any time, for the righteous dead, Jesus is the resurrection. This verse clearly says that the believer can die, so the next verse could not possibly be saying that the believer can never die.
- Righteous Living. On the last day or at any time, for the righteous living, Jesus is the Life.
- Spirit Prison. This text is used to support the Mormon view of Spirit prisons and also the Catholic purgatory and the belief that Jesus preached to the dead when He was dead.
The Spirit Resurrects The Dead Body. For Christ also died for sins, once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit.
(1 Peter 3: 18)
When victims are held captive, tortured, brain-washed and twisted by a tyrant, they begin to sympathize with the monster. This is the Stockholm syndrome.
Our love for sin and self destruction can be explained by this phenomenon.
We have been held captive for ransom by Satan and we have begun to identify with our tormenter and resent our heavenly Father.
Our minds will be renewed when we realize that God has paid the ransom and freed us from prison and liberated our thinking.
The Spirit Convicts The Dead Conscience. By which also He went and preached to the spirits in prison;
who once were disobedient, when the patience of God waited in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which few, that is, eight persons were brought safely through the water.
(1 Peter 3: 19-20)
Death By Baptism.
Corresponding to that baptism now saves you, not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ;
who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers have been subjected to Him.
1 Peter 3: 21-22
This is a testament to the work of the Holy Spirit.
The symbolism of the cleansing of the Holy Spirit is water.
The Spirit both washes away sin from the dead mind and resurrects the dead body.
He saves us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy,
by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.
(Titus 3: 5)
Verses 18, 21 and 22 are not ambiguous. Christ died unjustly for our sins. But the Holy Spirit resurrected Him.
Just as Noah and his family were saved through water, we are also saved by water baptism.
But not simply, the ceremony of being baptized by water. It is the baptism of the Spirit that washes sin from our conscience.
Therefore, 1 Peter 4: 1-2 is accomplished. We are dead to sin and alive to the will of God. We are not dead in sin.
So verse 6 concludes that the gospel is preached to the dead. That is those who are dead in sin that they may become dead to sin.
Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourself also with the same purpose,
because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin
so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
For the Gospel has for this purpose been preached to the dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.
(1 Peter 4: 1-2, 6)
So who are those spirits in prison?
The message from Peter and Paul is to kill the lusts of this body and to bring it under subjection to the Holy Spirit.
- The Wicked Dead. This is the Mormon and purgatory interpretation.
These are the disembodied spirits of the dead. From verses 19 and 20, it seems that Christ went to preach to those who died in the Flood.
So some evangelicals also teach that between the crucifixion and the resurrection Christ preached the Gospel to the dead.
This understanding contradicts Hebrews 9: 27. There is only judgment after we die, not evangelism and conversion.
Christ was resting in the grave during that time, not preaching.
- The Wicked Living (Sinner).
The verse does not say that He went and spoke to them after His resurrection.
It says that He used the Holy Spirit that resurrected Him to also speak to the generation during the flood.
Remember that Christ existed from the beginning.
The same Spirit who resurrected Christ also spoke to that wicked generation for 120 years while Noah preached. Only eight of these obeyed and escaped.
Verse 19 implies that these "spirits in prison" are the living people before the flood, including Noah and his family!
Using our definition of body, soul and spirit we see that the spirit of life is imprisoned in a body that is a slave to sin.
God's method of regeneration is to appeal to our spirit or our conscience with His Holy Spirit.
Prison. The prison is our body that is a slave to sin.
Spirit. The spirit is the breath of God through whom the Holy Spirit communicates.
This spirit is trapped in the prison of a sinful body.
| Sinful Body (Dust) + Spirit from God (Breath) = Spirit in Prison (Living Soul) |
But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.
For such people the Father seeks to be His worshippers.
(John 4: 23)
- Purgatory. This is a doctrine unique to the Catholic church.
The Bible does not support it. The support for this doctrine is found outside the Protestant old testament Canon
which is equivalent to the Jewish canon.
Islam also teaches the Zoroastrian belief of the existance of a purifying fire where all people must pass through before they enter paradise.
- Descended Into The Lower Parts. This verse refers to the results of His death and resurrection, not necessarily to his burial in a cave where He was technically not descended below the ground.
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
(Ephesians 4: 7-10)
- Captivity Captured.
Death can no longer hold us captive.
He is now the holder of the keys of death and hades because He conquered death.
- Descended. Jesus accomplished this feat by first descending from heaven to be incarnated as a baby.
- Lower Parts.
Jesus did not go down to some place below the earth where the dead are supposedly stored.
This is both the earth and the grave. In death we return to dust whether we are buried above or below ground (Genesis 3: 19).
At His incarnation He became a lower creature made of dirt for a little while.
- Ascended. In the end He conquered death and then went back to heaven.
- Gifts. Therefore, He is able to give gifts to men. The most important is the gift of eternal life.
- Being With Christ (Out Of Body).
This is a lesson about the dual nature when we are born again.
But I am hard pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for this is very much better.
(Philippians 1: 23)
Paul could simply be describing what it is like to be in a vision.
Paul is not teaching that he immediately goes to heaven at death, but that after death the next conscious experience he will have is being with Christ.
Therefore he will avoid all the pain of life during his death even if life means doing the work of Christ.
The next verse is also the same idea, but in addition Paul is teaching that with the gift of the Holy Spirit faith is more important than sight.
Or the spiritual experience ("being absent from the body") is more important than the physical "being in the body". Since the flesh is always at war with the spirit we should be more at home in the spirit.
... while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.
... prefer rather to be absent from the body and be at home with the Lord.
(2 Corinthians 5: 6, 8)
These texts show that we have a dual nature which is both flesh and spirit. We must feed one and starve the other.
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
(Galatians 5: 16-17)
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
(John 3: 6-7)
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
(Romans 8: 5,9)
- The Return Of The Righteous Dead.
This appears to teach that Christ brings the righteous dead with Him at the Second Coming. Yet, verse 16 clearly teaches that the righteous dead will rise from their graves.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
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:
(1 Thessalonians 4: 14, 16)
Does this teach that an immortal, conscious soul living in heaven will return with Jesus to be reunited with a new body?
- Soul Not Immortal. Only God is immortal (1 Timothy 1: 17). His life comes solely from within Himself.
The "soul" of a created being does not have innate mortality but derives mortality as a gift from God.
Created beings need something outside themselves to live forever.
And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
(Genesis 3: 22)
God removed the tree of life so that sinful man cannot use its fruit to live forever and its leaves to heal their diseases.
Even in heaven we have to eat from the tree of life to sustain this immortality.
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.
(Revelation 2: 7)
It is watered by the River of life and the fruit grow every month and the leaves have healing properties.
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
(Revelation 22: 1-2, 14)
- Body Not In Heaven. Acts 2: 29, 34 teaches that even David is not in heaven.
The Bible also teaches that without a bodily resurrection it means that the dead have perished!
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
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.
(1 Corinthians 15: 16-18)
Therefore they could not be living in some other reality in some conscious bliss flitting about in perfection.
Without the union of spirit (mind) and body we are dead in any form of reality.
- Unconscious "Soul/Mind". Is a conscious soul in heaven? We dealt with that issue by showing that there is no memory or praise or knowledge when people are dead.
(Ecclesiastes 9: 5-6, 10; Psalm 6: 4-5)
At death the spirit (breath) returns to God. It is only when the "spirit" is united with a body that consciousness returns.
This conscious "spirit/soul" is simply a working mind - a conscious brain.
- Soul Sleep.
Our belief is often described as "soul sleep".
Since we do not believe that a "soul" exists at death this terminology still promotes an inaccurate assumption that a conscious soul exists at death but is asleep.
If so the belief might also be called "body sleep".
At death the body disintegrates and becomes millions of atoms which are incorporated into many new life forms and scattered across the globe.
So it would be accurate to say that since the spirit goes back to God and the Spirit is everywhere that this second part of ourself is also scattered.
At the resurrection we need a new body, so reconstituting the old body is impractical and less than ideal.
Reconstituting the "Spirit" simply requires God to remember who we are. He does not wake up a sleeping entity called a "soul". He recreates us and makes us conscious again - aware of our existance.
- Returned To God. At death this spirit (breath) is returned to God and the body is returned to dust (Ecclesiastes 12: 7).
There is one other way we can prove what God receives.
The regulations about offerings give us a clue.
Besides the burnt offering which is given entirely to God, two other things from all offerings are totally given to God and cannot be consumed by man.
And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savour: all the fat is the Lord's.
It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.
(Leviticus 3: 16-17) see also (Leviticus 7: 22-27)
So blood goes down to the earth like the dead body and fat goes up to God like the spirit.
While symbols can be incomplete, they cannot portray an incorrect idea.
Jesus Christ is the burnt offering that goes completely to God and is also given by God.
If anyone were allowed to eat blood and fat then it would symbolize that something is lost because God does not receive everything.
God needs everything that is uniquely us to restore everything that is unique to us.
- Blood (Dust, Body And DNA). Blood is completely drained into the earth, representing the life and the body returning to the earth.
- Fat (Spirit, Mind And Memories). Fat is never eaten but is offered up to God as a "sweet savor".
According to Paul, our life, love, work, sacrifices and knowledge of God are a "sweet savour".
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
(2 Corinthians 2: )
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
(Ephesians 5: 2)
I believe that it will be proved that the brain stores memories as some form of fat.
Jesus was promised that His body would not see corruption while He was dead.
Other prophecies portrays this same promise as fat bread and bread that would not breed worms, salt that preserves and embalming with perfume.
- Returning With God.
So what returns with Christ?
During our life this blank mental slate that was given to us at birth is filled with all our memories and decisions.
When God restores life in a glorious body at the resurrection, He cannot use a blank slate. He must restore our minds.
It is only when the brain functions of memories, thoughts, personality, knowledge and the ability to reason of a specific person are united with a perfect body that consciousness for that particular person returns.
This is why death can be compared to sleep. You awaken from unconsciousness with your own thoughts and personality.
In conclusion, two things uniquely identify each person. The DNA is a record of our physical structure and the brain stores our memories and personalities.
These are all the records necessary to reconstruct our life.
When we die the contents of our mind (spirit) goes back to God and the flesh disintegrates and could be scattered and lost forever. God does not need to find all the atoms that constructed our bodies. These are normally replaced regularly during our life.
When Jesus returns, He brings our stored memories and DNA profile with all its mutations fixed and recreates our glorified bodies with them at the resurrection.
- One Transformation Event.
One could ask why? Why does God return to earth before restoring the new body? Why not restore the dead in heaven and then come to retrieve and restore the living?
The answer is that God wants all the dead and living saints to experience the wonders of heaven together as a group at one time.
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 [precede] them which are asleep.
(1 Thessalonians 4: 15)
We will all have the same welcome and orientation classes. One group does not go before the other.
- Sleep In Jesus.
Notice that they are "asleep in Jesus". Therefore they cannot be conscious and participating in near-death communication.
If communicating with the dead is forbidden, then even if saints are conscious, God cannot be allowing the saints in heaven to communicate with us or us with them.
- The Transfiguration (Moses And Elijah).
They are among the firstfruits who went to heaven. Notice that there was no doctrine or message given to the disciples.
However, the disciples verified the resurrection (Mark 9: 1-13).
Finally, the position of those who teach that the "soul" of the dead are now in heaven or hell and at the Second Coming the righteous are resurrected to reunite this "soul" with their body before the white throne judgment does not make sense.
- Reward. It means that both the good and bad receive their rewards before their judgment and before the Second Coming when Jesus Christ brings His reward with Him.
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
(Matthew 16: 27)
- Judgment. It means that both the good and bad are rewarded or punished before they are judged,
- New Body. Why does God need to bring them to earth to be reunited with their bodies in resurrection when they will be receiving a new body?
Contradictions: Personal Testimony From The Dead
The personal testimonies seem to be designed to support the original lies when Satan tempted Eve.
- The Lazarus Phenomenon: Near Death Experiences (Out Of Body). Some people report floating above their bodies and seeing a bright light when they are at the point of death. Some report meeting the dead and some learn that all people go to heaven.
There are no reports of consequences no matter what the current life style had been.
There are at least three possible unrelated causes for this phenomenon.
» The Battle For The Soul. At the point of death we are vulnerable to the advanced technology of two invisible forces fighting for our allegiance.
It is foolish to construct a theology based on unmeasurable events in the mind of a dying body. The written word is the testimony of God. It warns us not to consult with the dead. Certainly, do not construct your theology based on the testimony of the dead.
- Brain Chemistry. A change in brain function that is caused by the medication or the lack of oxygen.
This theory is supported by the fact that drug users report the same phenomenon of being out of body or floating above their body and seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Scientists induce it with goggles.
» No Brain Waves. Some believe that an experience after the instruments show no brain activity proves that it is not a brain malformation.
This does not prove that the brain is not functioning.
These crude instruments are based on statistical conclusions as to what we currently think the colors and signals in the brain usually mean. Better instruments might show previously undetected brain activity and better understanding might show what else constitutes measurable brain activity.
- Satanic Attack. In this vulnerable medical state, Satan makes an attack. We suspect this because he takes the time to preach the same gospel
that contradicts the bible. It is the same lie he told Eve. Everyone goes to heaven. There is no death. There is no problem with sin.
However, the Bible says that you must even judge the message given by an angel by the written gospel.
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1: 8)
» Scared Straight: Eternal Torture.
With others the message is a contrast between heaven and eternal torture in hell. This is meant to present God as a torturer and they come back preaching this lie.
» Unexplained Knowledge. Some report not only seeing objects in the room that their physical body is in but also objects in places outside the room where they have never been.
This is not a wandering soul on flights of discovery. This can also be a Satanic attack by a being who knows what exists in other places.
- Visions. In some cases it could be a vision from God to provide comfort in distress or warning. But this vision will not contradict the other written testimony about life and death and judgment.
» Death Bed Visions. Proponents of this phenomenon now make a distinction between visions and out of body experience.
The person actually dies and floats outside the body and then is revived in the out of body experience. However, loved ones meet them and help them to cross over in death bed visions.
- Ghosts And Hauntings. We know that Satan can possess people and animals and probably objects.
Jesus got rid of them through exorcism. For Him, the process took minutes not days or weeks or months.
Satan can take the shape and form of any human being and he can mimic their voice.
He can give information that you thought was secret because as an invisible watcher he saw and heard all your secrets.
He has been alive for thousands of years, so he also knows the secrets of your grand parents.
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.
(1 Timothy 4: 1)
When a cloud vanishes, it is gone, so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up.
No Haunted Houses.He will not return again to his house, nor will his place know him anymore.
(Job 7: 9-10)
- Recycling The Lies At The Fall Of Adam And Eve.
In the end, the forces of evil will join together with the church and state to annhilate the forces of good. This battle for the minds and hearts of the world will be based on the original propaganda message at the fall of Adam and Eve.
- No Death. Jesus said that death is an enemy, yet the forces of evil are desperately trying to convey a contradictory message to the modern generation.
"Death is not the end it is only the beginning".
Death is the end of your chances to make a change before you face the final judgment.
Only for the righteous will there be a chance of life and a new beginning after the Second Coming.
- No Judgment. Satan is on a mission to convince you that there are no eternal consequences for your actions or decisions. There is only a bright light beyond which is the door to your greatest fantasies.
"There is only love in the light, not judgment".
And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.
(Revelation 20: 12)
The truth is, it is not as bad as you think. There is no eternal torture. There is love waiting for you, but you must accept it now.
After death, everyone, both good and evil, waits in an unconscious sleep for the judgment.
After death there is judgment for all. There is no "crossing over into the light" for the wicked.
- No God But You.
The serpent told Eve that if she received all knowledge of good and evil that she would be as God.
Eastern religions such as Buddhism teach that after a soul reaches Nirvana, which is the state of perfect enlightenment or all knowledge, then they can proceed to the final stage of Parinirvana when they realize that the self is the goal. It basically teaches that they become gods.
- Television Psychics.
Most psychics are frauds who are experts at body language and dispensing useless information about love, jobs and money.
But for those who are in league with the dark side, Satan can transmit the information he knows to people who communicate with the dead in defiance of God.
But even with such an advantage, their information can be inaccurate.
Because, the information is not coming from the dead. It is a deception.
The overwhelming amount of evidence says that the dead are unconscious and asleep and that God forbids any attempt at communication with them.
Since the dead cannot communicate with the living, the Bible forbids us to communicate with anyone who claims to be dead or with anyone who claims to communicate with the dead.
This is because Satan will use this as a method to deceive you.
Therefore, whether or not you believe that the dead are conscious or in heaven or hell or in your basement, the Bible still forbids you to contact them.
Logically this means that the will not contact you.
There shall not be found among you ... a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 18: 10-13)
» The Testimony Of The Dead And The Sinner
In a recent Christian program which attempted to prove where the dead go, the host paraded a number of testimonies from Hollywood and sports celebrities and few from others who claimed to see heaven or hell in their near death experience.
I specifically watched to learn all the Bible verses that might contradict my beliefs.
| What Does This Mean?|
Your loved ones are not suffering in hell or purgatory. They are asleep in the grave, unaware of the passage of time.
It also means that your loved ones are not in heaven yet.
They do not have to worry about you or what is happening on earth.
They do not have to experience the agony of waiting.
As for experiencing joy, they will not know about the passage of time.
As far as their experience is concerned, the first thing that they will see after they die
is the joy of the Second Coming.
They are sleeping in peace.
So you can rest in peace.
This doctrinal study never quoted a single text from the Bible, instead it took the testimony of people who claimed to have been dead and returned. Most of this testimony was from people who do not worship God and promote lifestyles that are against the commandments of God.
- When The Dead Speak Lies. God specifially warns the living not to consult with the dead. If you thought that you were dead then even you should not build your beliefs on your death testimony.
Dead Doctrines And Death Testimonials.
When they say to you, "Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter",
should not a people consult their God?
Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?
To the law and to the testimony,
If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no light.
(Isaiah 8: 19-20)
Why would God cut off this testimony if it were true and useful?
You are entering a realm of reality in which you have no concept of what operates there and how to test them and verify them.
The fact that almost everyone comes back with the same story is not proof of scientific reliability, it is proof of an orchestrated and deliberate attempt to affect your belief by an intelligent source.
If God was that source and this witness is so powerful, why would God forbid it in His laws and then warn us in last day prophecies that Satan would work by these methods?
- The Wolves In Sheep's Clothing. Surprise! Even the spirits lie and Satan will try to deceive you.
The best deception works by first convincing you to ignore the Bible and look to other sources as more credible witnesses.
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
(2 Thessalonians 2: 9-10)
You should be concerned that people who promote a sinful life style are giving testimony about doctrine and spiritual things.
You should also be concerned when your preacher does not quote the Bible to support doctrine.
- Test All Modern Eye Witnesses Against The Ancient Written Witness. According to the Bible, even the testimony of spirits or witnesses from the supernatural should not contradict the written word of God.
Test The Spirits From The Other Side.
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
(1 John 4: 1)
Personal testimonies have no place in formulating doctrine.
But if the dead cannot communicate, then who is responsible for the ghosts and haunting and the ability of psychics to communicate with the dead?
This is discussed in our lesson on the occult. The Bible teaches that Satan tries to deceive us with all power and signs and lying wonders.
Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2: 15
||Time: 120 minutes |
Print: 18 pages
Updated : March 2014
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (January 2008)