Truth vs. the lie

General discussions about Christianity including salvation, heaven and hell, Christian history and so on.
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B. W.
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Re: Truth vs. the lie

#31

Post by B. W. » Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:13 am

-
My apologies if I offended you Jenway3, So I'll approach this another way...

It is predicable that many would attempt to make the message of an eternal hell more palatable to the human psyche. Soul sleep, limited punishment, or annihilation is seen as a healthy more humane treatment of the doctrine of hell. Thus many restructure biblical word meanings, misquote myriads of bible passages, in order to justify assuaging the human soul with non-threatening softness.

Those that attempt to re-translate and reshape the doctrine of hell to fit a more humane world view need to ask some serious question regarding their doctrine. For example regarding all the varied doctrines of soul sleep, these basically teach in varied forms that after a person dies they fade into some type of restful sleep like the slumber of the dead where the dead feel nothing, hear nothing, taste nothing, and see nothing. In other words, immediately after dying a person just sleeps in a state of dark nothingness.

According to this view, a person who dies does not instantly enter either heaven or hell or experience judgment of any kind and any scripture that speaks otherwise is simply explained and opined away in appeals to assuage human flesh. After this sleep state the dead are suddenly awakened in some distant future to be judged where some will enter heaven and others a lake of fire either consisting of temporary punishment, or annihilation into non-existence, or even eternal torment. This is proof text by misinterpretation of scripture such as Daniel 12.

The problem with such soul sleep doctrines is that these cannot be reconciled to the basic law of contradiction used to determine the true from the false. If something is true that means there is an opposite that is false. The bible clearly teaches that after ones dies then comes instant judgment by God which determines ones eternal destiny in either the bliss of heaven or the punishment of hell. In either of these states people are awake and conscious and are not asleep in the slumber of death.

Those that hold any of the varied views of soul sleep need to question their doctrine and stop attempting to bend God's Word to the will of man.

It is you who hold the doctrines of soul sleep that will have to explain away the meanings of these verses:

Revelations 20:12-13, “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.”

Now note that Death and Hades gave up their dead. Now who were those mentioned being in Hades? Isaiah 24:21-23 begins to reveal who: “On that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. 22 They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished. 23 Then the moon will be confounded and the sun ashamed, for the LORD of hosts reigns on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and his glory will be before his elders.”

Note that God gathers those from the pit, who are shut up in a prison and who after many days spent where — in a prison — a pit — will receive their final sentence and punishment.

Now turn to Psalms 9: 17 as it too reveals who is in Hades: “The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.” It does not say Lake of fire but Sheol — the prison… the pit…Hades…hell. This is the prison that the dead are shut up in mentioned in Isaiah 24:23. [Note - the pit, Sheol, is also at times called the grave and even Hades in the LXX]

Isaiah 24:23 describes something in common that the Western Criminal Justice system can relate too. The bad guys are arrested and held in a place of collection and after a while they receive a hearing then a final sentence in the future where they serve the rest of their sentence somewhere else beside the holding facility. This is what Isaiah is revealing and this also line up with Revelations chapter 20's theme.

Don't believe me? Think that those mentioned in Hades are just sleeping unaware until the time of the white throne judgment then read:

Isaiah 38:17-18, “Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back. 18 For Sheol does not thank you; death does not praise you; those who go down to the pit do not hope for your faithfulness.”

Those down in the pit 'do not hope' and to 'do not hope' describes a state of conscious being. A state of sleep of nothingness cannot define a state of being without hope. Being without hope is a living emotion. To have emotions means you are alive and conscious of the fact that those in Sheol have no hope for God's faithfulness as they missed God's salvation of casting away the sins of them that believe in him. Those that missed this, the wicked experience no more hope. This describes consciousness.

A person being awake and conscious in hell and the afterlife is furthered explained in Isaiah 57:20-21, “But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt. 21 There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."

In slumber of soul sleep it is usually taught as consisting of peace, rest, non-knowing, and unconscious but the bible does not teach this; instead, “There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."

Now before you holler and say this is not true and cannot possibly mean that immediately after death judgment and punishment in Sheol, hell, the pit comes. Hmmm read - Isaiah 55:11, “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

Note Ecc 3:14 it states: “I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.” And again in Ecc 3:17-19: “ I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. 18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts." None Righteous - no not one: remember who said that?

There is no rest for the wicked anywhere on earth or in hell — the prison — this pit will give up its dead for the final reckoning. In this pit, these will have NO REST. Just as Peter describes: 2 Peter 2:9, “…The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.”

Note what this verse says - The unrighteous will be kept under punishment, where they have no rest — no sleep! As it is written there is no rest for the wicked. You who disagree have a lot to explain away as it plainly states that the Lord knows how to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment. Since the bible states clearly they'll be kept in punishment until the final day of judgment, such person's are conscious and awake experiencing this and not asleep. Just as Jesus stated 'Where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched,' Mark 9:48.

You also have to explain away Ezekiel 32 because those there in the pit are described as awake, conscious, seeing and speaking. What I write lines up with Luke 16 parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Those of you that disagree, your doctrine-does not line up with what Jesus said as well as the Father. Instead your doctrine lines up with the way of the world.

Why would God say there is no rest for the wicked and that he knows how to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment if he were to let the dead sleep peacefully unaware of anything, then wake them up to toss them into a lake of fire of annihilation to non-exist? Or toss them in to temporary punishment of some type or even wait to punish forever after giving them a little rest? There is no rest for the wicked says the Lord. Likewise there is no soul sleep in any form as it would make God violate his own word.

Next, you that disagree will have to answer to this:

Revelation 7:9, 13-14, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?" 14 I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

Funny how that the judgments and resurrections mentioned in Revelation 20 had not happened at this point so who are these people? How could they be there in heaven since according to your doctrines of soul sleep these should all be asleep in the grave till the final trump sounds! However, they are in Heaven before it sounds! You who hold the doctrines of soul sleep do not have answers for these scriptures as these point to a time after death and these prove both the godly and ungodly dead are conscious, spiritually alive, awake and not sleeping the slumber of death before the final judgment.

What of Luke 16:22-24, “The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.'”

The angels carried the poor man away when - At the end of time or instantly? Sounds like both were very much awake and eternally alive as God places eternity in the heart and what he does he does forever. The gifts are callings of God are irrevocable.

What about Psalms 49:7-15-20, “Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, 8 for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, 9 that he should live on forever and never see the pit. [Note: this should clue you in to whom Jesus is as only God can save — not man].

“10 For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others. 11 Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their own names.

“12 Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish. 13 This is the path of those who have foolish confidence; yet after them people approve of their boasts. Selah

“14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning. Their form shall be consumed [this word means to wear out by toil] in Sheol, with no place to dwell.

“15 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah

“16 Be not afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house increases. 17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him. 18 For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed --and though you get praise when you do well for yourself-- 19 his soul will go to the generation of his fathers, who will never again see light. 20 Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish
.”

Ecc 3:21-22, “Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? 22, “So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?” [note-Jesus can]

Next how about these verses and what they reveal:

Matthew 12:43, "When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. “

Zechariah 9:11, “As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.” [The pit is describe hot, dry, waterless, and also as place of flames in Luke 16 account]

Matthew 12:40, “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

Ephesians 4:8-10, “Therefore it says, "When he [Jesus] ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men." 9 (In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)”

Act 2:25-28, 31, “For David says concerning him, "'I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; 26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. 27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence…' Act 2:31, “he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.”

1 Peter 3:18-19, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison
.”

It does not sound like those to whom Jesus preached to were asleep! Also how could Jesus speak if he was in the dust sleeping himself? The doctrine of soul sleep is false.

You see, the bible does not support such false doctrines that support soul sleep in any form or style no matter how many scriptures are twisted to support the ways of the world on this matter. The bible declares something else other than soul sleep.

Now, I will close with Ecclesiastes 9:3-6:

Ecclesiastes 9:3, “This is an evil in all that is done under the sun that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.”

Ecclesiastes 9:4-5, “But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.
”

He who is joined to the living Lord has hope. Though we are dogs God transforms those that have joined themselves to the Lord into kings and priest and we are remembered in the book of life where our names are inscribed. Those that join death's lion and share its pride have no hope. Satan roars like a lion seeking whom to devour. Principle: join your self to the living Lord and forsake the pride of the dead lion.

Why — because: Ecclesiastes 9:6, “Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.”

They have no more share in the land of mortals and this means they have been cut of from mortal life, separated from it, and no more share in it. Instead they found a place where the wicked have no rest, a place where the dead lion devours, where they are banished from God and hope forever. Where they are held in punishment awaiting the resurrection of the dead which raises the existing spiritual body of a person to his/her final domain.

Please note that the doctrine of the Resurrection of the dead involves the natural body dying and the spiritual waiting to be raised either to glorification to live with God forever without sin or everlasting contempt — recompense in the lake of fire. The Resurrection of the dead, you could say, seals the deal.

Read 1Corinthians 15:42-58

Many mistakenly confuse the event of physical death and its immediate judgment with the resurrection of the dead and the final sentencing of judgment. Doing so, they mistakenly combine the two events into some kind of sleep state nonsense.

The bible uses images that people can relate too. For example, the dead look asleep. To awake means arise from slumber. When you slumber, are you dead or still alive? Do you dream? The dead will never know this mortal life again — they will awake first to judgment and wait for the final sentencing. Immediately after death they experience in the prison, pit, Sheol, grave, Hades their own living nightmares reaping what they have sown until the final sentencing takes them to a new living reality forever in the lake of fire.

Do not believe this? What of Hebrews 9:27 then? - “ And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment…” Immediately after death comes what? The word 'Judgment' translated here means trial, separation process, selection process; a verdict arrived at, a sentence commuted. One can correlate that the prison, pit, Sheol described in the bible is liken to a holding center, or intake area, where inmates are temporarily housed till final sentence is decreed and then they go serve their sentence elsewhere.

After all, 'there is no rest for the wicked!' 'And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment!' This is a true statement: “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.”

The doctrines of soul sleep are false and based upon the ways of the world. God's word cuts to the heart of the matter.

Instead of trying to use scripture to prove soul sleep why just not simply come out and be honest and state why you hate the concept that the bible so clearly teaches about hell and the afterlife?

You, who hold the doctrines of soul sleep, find it repugnant that God can send such nice people as ourselves to hell for eternal punishment forever? Is that it or something else? What is the real heart felt reason? We can discuss this rationally as long as you are honest but if not — you'll never discover truth that will set your heart free about such eternal matters.

All bible quotes from ESV
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Re: Truth vs. the lie

#32

Post by JCSx2 » Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:32 am

B. W. wrote:-
My apologies if I offended you Jenway3, So I'll approach this another way...

It is predicable that many would attempt to make the message of an eternal hell more palatable to the human psyche. Soul sleep, limited punishment, or annihilation is seen as a healthy more humane treatment of the doctrine of hell. Thus many restructure biblical word meanings, misquote myriads of bible passages, in order to justify assuaging the human soul with non-threatening softness.

Those that attempt to re-translate and reshape the doctrine of hell to fit a more humane world view need to ask some serious question regarding their doctrine. For example regarding all the varied doctrines of soul sleep, these basically teach in varied forms that after a person dies they fade into some type of restful sleep like the slumber of the dead where the dead feel nothing, hear nothing, taste nothing, and see nothing. In other words, immediately after dying a person just sleeps in a state of dark nothingness.

According to this view, a person who dies does not instantly enter either heaven or hell or experience judgment of any kind and any scripture that speaks otherwise is simply explained and opined away in appeals to assuage human flesh. After this sleep state the dead are suddenly awakened in some distant future to be judged where some will enter heaven and others a lake of fire either consisting of temporary punishment, or annihilation into non-existence, or even eternal torment. This is proof text by misinterpretation of scripture such as Daniel 12.

The problem with such soul sleep doctrines is that these cannot be reconciled to the basic law of contradiction used to determine the true from the false. If something is true that means there is an opposite that is false. The bible clearly teaches that after ones dies then comes instant judgment by God which determines ones eternal destiny in either the bliss of heaven or the punishment of hell. In either of these states people are awake and conscious and are not asleep in the slumber of death.

Those that hold any of the varied views of soul sleep need to question their doctrine and stop attempting to bend God's Word to the will of man.

It is you who hold the doctrines of soul sleep that will have to explain away the meanings of these verses:

Revelations 20:12-13, “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.”

Now note that Death and Hades gave up their dead. Now who were those mentioned being in Hades? Isaiah 24:21-23 begins to reveal who: “On that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. 22 They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished. 23 Then the moon will be confounded and the sun ashamed, for the LORD of hosts reigns on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and his glory will be before his elders.”

Note that God gathers those from the pit, who are shut up in a prison and who after many days spent where — in a prison — a pit — will receive their final sentence and punishment.

Now turn to Psalms 9: 17 as it too reveals who is in Hades: “The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.” It does not say Lake of fire but Sheol — the prison… the pit…Hades…hell. This is the prison that the dead are shut up in mentioned in Isaiah 24:23. [Note - the pit, Sheol, is also at times called the grave and even Hades in the LXX]

Isaiah 24:23 describes something in common that the Western Criminal Justice system can relate too. The bad guys are arrested and held in a place of collection and after a while they receive a hearing then a final sentence in the future where they serve the rest of their sentence somewhere else beside the holding facility. This is what Isaiah is revealing and this also line up with Revelations chapter 20's theme.

Don't believe me? Think that those mentioned in Hades are just sleeping unaware until the time of the white throne judgment then read:

Isaiah 38:17-18, “Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back. 18 For Sheol does not thank you; death does not praise you; those who go down to the pit do not hope for your faithfulness.”

Those down in the pit 'do not hope' and to 'do not hope' describes a state of conscious being. A state of sleep of nothingness cannot define a state of being without hope. Being without hope is a living emotion. To have emotions means you are alive and conscious of the fact that those in Sheol have no hope for God's faithfulness as they missed God's salvation of casting away the sins of them that believe in him. Those that missed this, the wicked experience no more hope. This describes consciousness.

A person being awake and conscious in hell and the afterlife is furthered explained in Isaiah 57:20-21, “But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt. 21 There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."

In slumber of soul sleep it is usually taught as consisting of peace, rest, non-knowing, and unconscious but the bible does not teach this; instead, “There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."

Now before you holler and say this is not true and cannot possibly mean that immediately after death judgment and punishment in Sheol, hell, the pit comes. Hmmm read - Isaiah 55:11, “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

Note Ecc 3:14 it states: “I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.” And again in Ecc 3:17-19: “ I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. 18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts." None Righteous - no not one: remember who said that?

There is no rest for the wicked anywhere on earth or in hell — the prison — this pit will give up its dead for the final reckoning. In this pit, these will have NO REST. Just as Peter describes: 2 Peter 2:9, “…The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.”

Note what this verse says - The unrighteous will be kept under punishment, where they have no rest — no sleep! As it is written there is no rest for the wicked. You who disagree have a lot to explain away as it plainly states that the Lord knows how to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment. Since the bible states clearly they'll be kept in punishment until the final day of judgment, such person's are conscious and awake experiencing this and not asleep. Just as Jesus stated 'Where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched,' Mark 9:48.

You also have to explain away Ezekiel 32 because those there in the pit are described as awake, conscious, seeing and speaking. What I write lines up with Luke 16 parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Those of you that disagree, your doctrine-does not line up with what Jesus said as well as the Father. Instead your doctrine lines up with the way of the world.

Why would God say there is no rest for the wicked and that he knows how to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment if he were to let the dead sleep peacefully unaware of anything, then wake them up to toss them into a lake of fire of annihilation to non-exist? Or toss them in to temporary punishment of some type or even wait to punish forever after giving them a little rest? There is no rest for the wicked says the Lord. Likewise there is no soul sleep in any form as it would make God violate his own word.

Next, you that disagree will have to answer to this:

Revelation 7:9, 13-14, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?" 14 I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

Funny how that the judgments and resurrections mentioned in Revelation 20 had not happened at this point so who are these people? How could they be there in heaven since according to your doctrines of soul sleep these should all be asleep in the grave till the final trump sounds! However, they are in Heaven before it sounds! You who hold the doctrines of soul sleep do not have answers for these scriptures as these point to a time after death and these prove both the godly and ungodly dead are conscious, spiritually alive, awake and not sleeping the slumber of death before the final judgment.

What of Luke 16:22-24, “The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.'”

The angels carried the poor man away when - At the end of time or instantly? Sounds like both were very much awake and eternally alive as God places eternity in the heart and what he does he does forever. The gifts are callings of God are irrevocable.

What about Psalms 49:7-15-20, “Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, 8 for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, 9 that he should live on forever and never see the pit. [Note: this should clue you in to whom Jesus is as only God can save — not man].

“10 For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others. 11 Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their own names.

“12 Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish. 13 This is the path of those who have foolish confidence; yet after them people approve of their boasts. Selah

“14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning. Their form shall be consumed [this word means to wear out by toil] in Sheol, with no place to dwell.

“15 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah

“16 Be not afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house increases. 17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him. 18 For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed --and though you get praise when you do well for yourself-- 19 his soul will go to the generation of his fathers, who will never again see light. 20 Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish
.”

Ecc 3:21-22, “Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? 22, “So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?” [note-Jesus can]

Next how about these verses and what they reveal:

Matthew 12:43, "When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. “

Zechariah 9:11, “As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.” [The pit is describe hot, dry, waterless, and also as place of flames in Luke 16 account]

Matthew 12:40, “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

Ephesians 4:8-10, “Therefore it says, "When he [Jesus] ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men." 9 (In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)”

Act 2:25-28, 31, “For David says concerning him, "'I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; 26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. 27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence…' Act 2:31, “he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.”

1 Peter 3:18-19, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison
.”

It does not sound like those to whom Jesus preached to were asleep! Also how could Jesus speak if he was in the dust sleeping himself? The doctrine of soul sleep is false.

You see, the bible does not support such false doctrines that support soul sleep in any form or style no matter how many scriptures are twisted to support the ways of the world on this matter. The bible declares something else other than soul sleep.

Now, I will close with Ecclesiastes 9:3-6:

Ecclesiastes 9:3, “This is an evil in all that is done under the sun that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.”

Ecclesiastes 9:4-5, “But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.
”

He who is joined to the living Lord has hope. Though we are dogs God transforms those that have joined themselves to the Lord into kings and priest and we are remembered in the book of life where our names are inscribed. Those that join death's lion and share its pride have no hope. Satan roars like a lion seeking whom to devour. Principle: join your self to the living Lord and forsake the pride of the dead lion.

Why — because: Ecclesiastes 9:6, “Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.”

They have no more share in the land of mortals and this means they have been cut of from mortal life, separated from it, and no more share in it. Instead they found a place where the wicked have no rest, a place where the dead lion devours, where they are banished from God and hope forever. Where they are held in punishment awaiting the resurrection of the dead which raises the existing spiritual body of a person to his/her final domain.

Please note that the doctrine of the Resurrection of the dead involves the natural body dying and the spiritual waiting to be raised either to glorification to live with God forever without sin or everlasting contempt — recompense in the lake of fire. The Resurrection of the dead, you could say, seals the deal.

Read 1Corinthians 15:42-58

Many mistakenly confuse the event of physical death and its immediate judgment with the resurrection of the dead and the final sentencing of judgment. Doing so, they mistakenly combine the two events into some kind of sleep state nonsense.

The bible uses images that people can relate too. For example, the dead look asleep. To awake means arise from slumber. When you slumber, are you dead or still alive? Do you dream? The dead will never know this mortal life again — they will awake first to judgment and wait for the final sentencing. Immediately after death they experience in the prison, pit, Sheol, grave, Hades their own living nightmares reaping what they have sown until the final sentencing takes them to a new living reality forever in the lake of fire.

Do not believe this? What of Hebrews 9:27 then? - “ And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment…” Immediately after death comes what? The word 'Judgment' translated here means trial, separation process, selection process; a verdict arrived at, a sentence commuted. One can correlate that the prison, pit, Sheol described in the bible is liken to a holding center, or intake area, where inmates are temporarily housed till final sentence is decreed and then they go serve their sentence elsewhere.

After all, 'there is no rest for the wicked!' 'And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment!' This is a true statement: “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.”

The doctrines of soul sleep are false and based upon the ways of the world. God's word cuts to the heart of the matter.

Instead of trying to use scripture to prove soul sleep why just not simply come out and be honest and state why you hate the concept that the bible so clearly teaches about hell and the afterlife?

You, who hold the doctrines of soul sleep, find it repugnant that God can send such nice people as ourselves to hell for eternal punishment forever? Is that it or something else? What is the real heart felt reason? We can discuss this rationally as long as you are honest but if not — you'll never discover truth that will set your heart free about such eternal matters.

All bible quotes from ESV
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B.W.

Very nice presentation.
I am not arguing or contradicting what you have said with the following verse; but I put it here so you may help me to better understand.

Daniel 12:2

2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
Some to everlasting life,
Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

This seems to imply a sleep period before Judgment.
And I am not twisting or changing the words in the Bible this is the way it is written.

There are several other passages where sleep means death in the usage of the word "sleep" but they have not importance at this time as to they do not imply a resting period before judgment. The way the word sleep / rest is used in the other passages it means "death"
Definition of a Veteran. A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America", for an amount of "up to and including his life." That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

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Re: Truth vs. the lie

#33

Post by jenna » Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:15 am

Very well put, JC. And as for the rest, B.W., no offense but the REAL reason I believe in soul sleep is because THIS IS WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ME. Nowhere does it say that when you die you are immediatley sent to heaven or hell. NOWHERE. It teaches exactly the opposite for those willing to listen with an open mind. I will go into this with a little more detail when I have more time.
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Re: Truth vs. the lie

#34

Post by B. W. » Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:18 pm

Hi JCSx2 and Jenwat3, This a very long post so read slowly along with the prior ones...

Let me say this before answering you. I only wanted to post one comment on this thread in hopes that any reader would explore what I wrote on their own and study it at their own pace. Then I read the responses. Several of these need addressed because there are a few who do not understand the truth from scripture on the subject of the afterlife and eternal recompense; one being that that the ancient Israelites believed solely in some form of soul sleep doctrine. Soul sleep doctrine is based on the opinions of men and not on the bible and therefore needs cleared up.

The Old Testament peoples did believe in the afterlife. The afterlife is given in verbal snapshots here and there within the OT text. Looking at these snapshots, you begin to see a picture formed from each frame. By examining each you can pin point what they believed. There are several errors people make in interpreting afterlife only as a state of sleep. First, the ancient's cosmology painted the world above as heaven, the earth in the middle and the realm of the dead below. This realm of the dead was divided into two distinct parts: the abode of the righteous dead and unrighteous dead.

Jesus captures the Old Testament version of the afterlife in the Luke 16 parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Lazarus went to a place called Abraham's Bosom and the rich man went to the pit, Sheol, hell. Both had their bodies buried in the grave and yet they were both still very much spiritually alive separated from their physical bodies. They could speak, feel, think, hear, reason, speak, etc and were not asleep.

Ezekiel 32:17-25 also captures that the dead can speak, feel, think, hear, reason, etc, and are thus not asleep. The physical body is buried and decays but another part of being human remained. The ancients had a name for this part and it is found in the bible as râphâ' — [re paa im] translated as the English word 'shades.' Shades are specters of the dead, spirits of those human beings that have died, the real them — their literal essence of being.

The bible uses this word in about eight verses in the bible and the snapshots each is most revealing. Look at Job 26 from the Jewish Publication Version — JPS. I placed the meaning of several Hebrew words in parenthesis so you can capture the essence of what Job is saying as well as the Strong's Numbering System so you can check out the meanings for yourselves:

Job 26:4-6, “With whose help hast thou uttered words? And whose spirit [breath 5397] came forth from thee? 5 The shades [7496] tremble [2342-twist, whirl, dance, writhe, fear, tremble, travail, be in anguish, be pained] beneath the waters and the inhabitants thereof. 6 The nether-world is naked before Him, and Destruction [11-Abbadon - a place where ruination is brought out, or drawn out of a person — exposing a person as he/she really is - their moral rot slowly uncovered] hath no covering [3682-concealment, masking].” JPS

I realize that many think the word translated destruction means non-existence or being brought into a state non-being but it does not. The context of text filters the true meaning from the dictionary definitions and not the dictionary definition being arbitrarily inserted into the text. The Hebrew word translated 'destruction' means ruin, a place of ruin, misery, where varied forms and types of decay or ruination happen. In Job 26:6 the word is used in conjunction with having no covering — concealment. This refines the meaning of Sheol as a place where ruination and moral decay is brought out and drawn out of a person — exposing the person as he/she really is.

Context backs this up too as the Shades tremble! The word tremble means twist, whirl, dance, writhe, fear, tremble, travail, be in anguish, be pained! Now if the departed souls, shades twist, whirl, dance, writhe, fear, tremble, travail, be in anguish, be pained in the underworld then they are not asleep! Also Isaiah 57:20-21 backs this up too: “There is no rest for the wicked”

Now look at Psalms 88 and note verses 5-6 in JPS version or 4-5 in KJV:

The Old Testament writers used another word for dead [4191 mûth] that contains a wide array of meaning such as: the dead, to die, to die prematurely by neglect of wise moral conduct, sentence to put to death for wrong doing. execute a criminal for punishment, dying, departing from the land of the living, how the dead look like they are sleeping, state of being dead, a dead carcass, etc. This word is also used in Psalms 88 but remember that the context of text filters the true meaning from dictionary definitions and not the dictionary definition being arbitrarily inserted into the text.

Psalms 88:4 (88:5), "I am counted with them that go down into the pit; I am become as a man that hath no help; 88:5 (88:6) Set apart among the dead [4191 - those that die], like the slain that lie in the grave [Sheol], whom Thou rememberest no more; and they are cut off from Thy hand.” JPS

The writer is saying that he feels like one who will go into the pit where there is no help and is being assigned with them that were set apart from amongst those that died and thus sorted out with those consigned to Sheol — the slain [the ones sentenced to this death]. These are the ones cut off from God's hand. Remember the bible teaches that God's hand saves.

When the bible speaks of God 'Cutting off' from himself — this means banishment — cut off from the covenant — cut off the land of the living — cut off from God. Note Proverbs 2:22, “But the wicked shall be cut off from the land, and the faithless shall be plucked up out of it,” and how this phrase, cut off, is used elsewhere in the OT. The writer of Psalms 88 is comparing himself with those 'cut off'!

Now on to Psalms 88:10 (88:11), Wilt Thou work wonders for the dead [the slain and cut off ones note verse 4/5 KJV]? Or shall the shades [these departed cut off ones] arise and give Thee thanks? Selah "

Note verse 14-18 in KJV and 15-19 in JPS and the writer is seeking what? Answer - the reason why he was suffering great distress. The writer in his way was trying to figure out why he was going through whatever it was he was going through. In doing so, note the context of Psalms 107 as that answers the why: God does what it takes to expose sin and test a person to see if they will repent or not.

The writer made a point that the people 'cut off' from God are those [dead] who failed the test — did not repent. These 'cut off' from God 'shades' cannot praise God because they do not recognize God as worthy to be praised. Note it says they cannot give thanks does not mean that they are asleep in soul sleep but rather the opposite: they will not praise because they are (1) cut off — banished from God and (2) unrepentant which made them cut off.

Neither will God work wonders for these dead [slain, cut off, banished from God and his Covenant of promise] who reside in Sheol to change them, redeem them, etc. God works no wonders for them. They remain as they are because they would not repent and rejected God. Also notice that in verse 5 KJV / 6 JPS that the writer mentions being 'set apart' among the dead. This reveals that there are two types; the righteous and unrighteous dead being set apart, or set apart would not be mentioned if that was not the case. The writer is comparing himself with the unrighteous.

Question: Does the reader want to be cut off — separated from God forever where the shades twist, whirl, dance, writhe, fear, tremble, travail, be in anguish, be pained experiencing their personal moral rot, ruination, slowly being drawn from the deepest recesses of their soul/heart and exposing the real them? Or does the reader wish to avoid this by turning to Christ and become his disciple? Choice is before you. Jesus knocks — will you answer?

Shades as used in the book of Proverbs also reveal what the ancients thought.

Proverbs 2:17-22, “That forsaketh the lord of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. 18 For her house sinketh down unto death, and her paths unto the shades; 19 None that go unto her return, neither do they attain unto the paths of life; 20 That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the whole-hearted shall remain in it. 22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the land, and the faithless shall be plucked up out of it.” JPS

Proverbs 9:13-18, “The woman Folly is riotous; she is thoughtless, and knoweth nothing. 14 And she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, 15 To call to them that pass by, who go right on their ways: 16 'Whoso is thoughtless, let him turn in hither'; and as for him that lacketh understanding, she saith to him: 17 'Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.' 18, “But he knoweth not that the shades are there; that her guests are in the depths of the nether-world
.”

Do you not know that the shades reside in Sheol twisting, whirling, writhing, fearing, trembling, travailing, anguishing, pained? Has Dame Folly enticed you to believe no such place exists through sweet words that are making you a thoughtless parrot speaking words based on man's opinions and not God's wisdom? Words that say God will not punish — we will just soul sleep or non-exist or be spanked for a bit and then…?

'Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. So that you forget that the shades are there and that such sweetness produces guest for the depths of the nether-world.'

Pro 21:15-16, “To do justly is joy to the righteous, but ruin to the workers of iniquity. 16 The man that strayeth out of the way of understanding shall rest in the congregation of the shades. JPS

In Isaiah 14 gives another snapshot of 'shades.'

Isaiah 14:9 -10, “The nether-world from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming; the shades are stirred up for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; all the kings of the nations are raised up from their thrones. 10 All they do answer and say unto thee: 'Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us?”

The shades are stirred up to meet this shepherd of the dead. The shades speak. These are not asleep in any form of soul sleep. If you claim that these are not departed human beings then read again and note that those who speak are called the chief ones of the earth; kings of the nations.

Isaiah later answers why the wicked cannot be redeemed and why God will not work wonders for the dead [executed — cut off ones] to change them and why such will never praise God: “Let favor be shown to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness will he deal wrongfully, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.” Isaiah 26:10, JPS

I hope you can see how the ancient's viewed the afterlife in this study concerning seven of the eight verses the word 'shades' was used in the Hebrew text. These shades were viewed as conscious, alert, could hear, reason, weep, feel emotion, reflect, speak, etc, and also learned from Luke 16:23 and Ezekiel 32:17-24 that this is true about the afterlife. The ancient view simply stated that when a person died their physical body decays and returns to earth to become dust but the real you called a 'shade' or the 'spiritual' you remains alive after death.

In Luke 16:23 Jesus states that the rich man saw Abraham after the rich man went to sleep, passed away, and note that Abraham was not sleeping either. Why would Jesus lie just to tell a cute moral metaphysical story? His parables are all about things he knows very well about. For this account to be anything other than related on some form of fact would make Jesus a liar and thus sin.

Immediately after death you simply move on into another state of being. One will either find themselves in Hell, cut off, banished from God and his covenant of life, reaping what they have sown or in united in heaven with the Lord living the new covenant of life!

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” ESV

John 6:63-64, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)”
ESV

The Eighth Usage

This brings us to the eighth verse in the Old Testament that uses the Hebrew word translated 'shades.' Now before you read the verses listed below, understand that the bible does teaches that when a person dies they move into another realm either where they'll be at home with the Lord or residing in ruin within the pit. The physical body will decay and turn to dust but the Spiritual will return to the Lord to be judged. The bible points this out just as we have seen so far in this study. Note: Philippians1:23, , 2 Corinthians 5:1-8

This brings us to the eighth verse in the Old Testament that uses the Hebrew word translated shades in Isaiah 26:14. Problem those have that believe in soul sleep is that they try to make the proverbial cart lead the horse as we shall soon see.

Note context before verse 14: Isaiah 26:10, “Let favor be shown to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness will he deal wrongfully, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.” JPS

Isaiah 26:13-14, “O LORD our God, other lords beside Thee have had dominion over us; but by Thee only do we make mention of Thy name. 14 The dead [4191 The dead cut off ones] live not [2421-will not be restored to a life of health], the shades rise not [1077/6965 - arise, become powerful, rise up strong and oppressive again]; to that end hast Thou punished [6485-visited mustered together for punishment] and destroyed [8045 destroy - ruin - cut-off] them, causing all memory of these to perish.” JPS

Hebrew word order for Isaiah 26:14 sheds more light on meaning of this verse so often misused by dame folly; “4191- The dead those executed cut off ones -1077 / 2421-will not be restored to a life of health, 6965 / 1077 these shades — will not arise, become powerful, rise up strong nor ever be oppressive again - 3651 therefore — 6485 mustered these together to visit punishment -8045 and destroying — 6 vanishing/perishing - 3605 all - 2143 memory of them."

Isaiah then explains how:

Isaiah 26:19-21, “Thy dead [righteous dead because next part qualifies these as belonging to God] shall live, my dead bodies shall arise - awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust - for Thy dew is as the dew of light, and the earth shall bring to life the shades [context means the righteous dead]. 20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself for a little moment, until the indignation be over past. 21 For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of His place to visit upon the inhabitants of the earth their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” JPS

The message is simple —

Proverbs 2:21-22, “For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the whole-hearted shall remain in it. 22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the land, and the faithless shall be plucked up out of it.” JPS

Daniel 12:1-3, "At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt [1860-aversion, abomination, abhorrence — not annihilation; not non-existence but everlasting contempt, aversion, abhorrence]. 3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” ESV

John 5:24-29, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment
.” ESV

Asleep or just Passed Away?

The confusion about sleep referring to a state of death comes about by simple misunderstanding the words used in the Middle Eastern culture that ancients used to describe those whom we would term now days as 'passed away.' The ancient norm and polite way to speak of someone who had died was to say — 'they are asleep, they have left to sleep with his fathers / ancestors in the dust' For example they would say back then, “Granddad went to sleep several years ago in the dust.” Today we would say, “Granddad passed away several years ago and is buried at Resting Arms.”

There is a 'nether-world' where the spiritual part of a human being goes after they immediately pass away. The bible teaches this plainly. Some will end up in Hell and others, because of Christ work, will reside where he is — in Heaven waiting for the final curtain to unveil and final act to play out - the resurrection of life, and the resurrection of judgment. The shades, both righteous in heaven and unrighteous in hell, will be reunited miraculously with some new form of his or her earth bound body in resurrection. Then the final sentencing will be decreed determining the final destination of the righteous to everlasting life and the unrighteous to final everlasting judgment. Acts 17:32Why?

Isaiah 26: 21, “For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of His place to visit upon the inhabitants of the earth their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” JPS

Proverbs 2:21-22, “For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the whole-hearted shall remain in it. 22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the land, and the faithless shall be plucked up out of it.” JPS

Revelation 21:1-4, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." ESV

Isaiah 26:14; “4191- The dead those slain cut off ones -1077 / 2421-will not be restored to a life of health, 6965 / 1077 these shades — will not arise, become powerful, rise up strong nor ever be oppressive again - 3651 therefore — 6485 mustered these together to visit punishment upon -8045 and destroying — 6 vanishing - 3605 all - 2143 memory of them
.”

“Death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. Everything these cut off ones has caused and each victims memory of their acts and what they have caused and inflicted will vanish away...as God wipes away our tears."

Final thought:

There is Judgment [Hebrews 9:27] after death and then there is 'resurrection of judgment' or 'the resurrection of life' Jesus spoke of where the final verdict is decreed. Note two different judgments — not one but two.

Hebrews 9:27-28, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” ESV

Revelations 20:6, “Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

Revelations 20:11-15, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire
.”

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Re: Truth vs. the lie

#35

Post by jenna » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:08 pm

B.W, I can (to some extent) see where you are coming from. My question to you is, have you taken the time to read and explore my posts? I see no reference to ANY of the verses that I gave, all I see are quotes of your own. Maybe you could take the time to look at my posts and explain some of the verses I gave? Since they don't agree with what you believe, then explain to me what you think they mean.
some things are better left unsaid, which i generally realize after i have said them

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Re: Truth vs. the lie

#36

Post by B. W. » Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:16 pm

jenwat3 wrote:Very well put, JC. And as for the rest, B.W., no offense but the REAL reason I believe in soul sleep is because THIS IS WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ME. Nowhere does it say that when you die you are immediatley sent to heaven or hell. NOWHERE. It teaches exactly the opposite for those willing to listen with an open mind. I will go into this with a little more detail when I have more time
Hi jenwat3, I am answering your post but not in the manner you expect as I have to make certian facts very clear for example:

It is up to those who believe in the varied doctrines of soul sleep to disprove that there is no rest for the wicked, prove that those deceased mentioned in Ezekiel 32:17-32 are not cognizant. It is up to you to prove that Jesus deliberately lied in Luke 16:19-31 just to convey a nice moral story to conform to the modern definition of sleep to mean a state of non-being immediately after one dies. God said — “There is no rest for the wicked,” did he mean it? If so, would sleep be such rest?

I gave those, who hold to the doctrines of soul sleep, a tremendous amount of scripture that proves that the afterlife begins the second after we die. The varied doctrines of soul sleep are mere opinions of men disguised as bible.

I stated this before and it may have confused several of you when I wrote of two different judgments. So let me clarify this again: Hebrews 9:27 states plainly immediately after death comes judgment. This determines where one will reside in the afterlife. The second judgment involves both the resurrection of judgment and the resurrection of life. The second please note, involves Resurrection. To be resurrected means both body and the spiritual will be rejoined and this is known as the resurrection of the body. This is the final judgment which in essence means — final commuting of a sentence previously passed.

Those of you who believe in soul sleep erroneously define the 'resurrection judgment' only as a single solitary judgment [such as in Daniel 12:1-3]and neglect the truths the bible contain about God holding the wicked to account just as it is written:

Psalms 9:15-17, “Jehovah is known. He has executed judgment; the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. 17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, all the nations that forget God.” MKJV

Sheol is not the lake of fire so this is not some future event seen from the past. The wicked will be turned into Sheol. Job 26:4-6, “With whose help hast thou uttered words? And whose spirit [breath 5397] came forth from thee? 5 The shades [7496] tremble [2342-twist, whirl, dance, writhe, fear, tremble, travail, be in anguish, be pained] beneath the waters and the inhabitants thereof. 6 The nether-world is naked before Him, and Destruction [11-Abbadon - a place where ruination is brought out, or drawn out of a person — exposing a person as he/she really is - their moral rot slowly uncovered] hath no covering [3682-concealment, masking].” JPS

Luke 16:22-23, “The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.” ESV
jenwat3 - not clear enough for you?
Why do those of you that believe in any of the varied 'soul sleep' doctrines fail to note that the spiritual part of human beings continue after death just as Hebrews 9:27 states and Paul alludes too in Philippians1:23 as well as elsewhere.

Look again at what Jesus said as recorded in John 5:24-29, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” ESV

Jesus stated this in verse 25: "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God…”

What does 'is now here' mean if it does not mean 'is now here'? How do you deal with what is recorded in Matthew 27: “52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.” ESV

Well according to those who believe in any of the varied doctrines of soul sleep — Matthew 27:52-53 could not have happened because it is not the time of the end! However, what Jesus said is true: "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God…” Yes the dead hear and are not asleep, nor do they wait in silent blissful slumber for a future event. What does 'is now here' mean if it does not mean 'is now here'?

What happened to these that were raised in the Matthew account? Did Jesus tuck them back into the earth and say, “Now sleep my child to the end — I just woke you for a little while — time to go back to bed-e-bye?” I think not.

Paul states for believer that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord and again he stated that those Christians who have fallen asleep — died — will be will be with Christ in the air when he returns the second time for the resurrection of the body. Again, where do believers in Christ go immediately after they die? Answer - to reside with him awaiting the resurrection of their new bodies: 2 Corinthians 5:1-8

You see, again the doctrine of soul sleep is proved false. So doctrines of soul sleep call Jesus a liar as that is precisely what one has to do to explain away the clear teachings of the bible. Luke 16:19-31 is based on something Jesus knows as fact. Again, Christ must be made out a liar in order to protect the doctrines of men.

Head off at the Pass

Next, let me answer the misconception that the doctrine of hell is somehow related to Plato's concept of the immortality of the soul. This is not the case as orthodox Christianity does not believe in the immortality of the soul, they believe in the continuation of the spiritual being [termed soul, heart, or spirit man]. For Plato taught that souls forever existed before inhabiting a being and are immortal by themselves which is more related to Mormonism than Christianity. So before anyone starts with this line of thought let it stop here and now.

Orthodox Christianity believes that souls come into existence when born as an infant. There is no prior existence as Plato taught. Like the bible says, “In him we live, and move, and have our being” — immortality comes from God. He placed that eternity within the human heart because what he does endures forever as we were created in whose image and likeness? Would God's image and likeness cease to exist? God's gift and callings are without repentance - immortality comes from God not Plato.

The Ancient people as well as the patriarchs came before Plato and the cosmology of the ancients Yahvist consisted of the Realm of heaven, the Realm of earth, and the Realm of the Dead. The realm of the dead was divided into two parts: one for the unrighteous and one for the righteous later known as Abraham Bosom. Maybe Plato and the pagan world borrowed from another culture and incerted their own ideas? It would be up to you to prove that Plato and the pagans did not.

Jesus backs this cosmology in the Luke 16:19 account as already discussed. Now - Was Jesus a Platonist? A Pagan? The Old Testament mentions that the departed dead reside not in restful blissful sleep but are instead cognizant and still exist after death. Read my post again. The body goes to dust but the spiritual being returns to God for judgment.

And what of soul sleep — many who believe in soul sleep do not even believe the soul even exist for if you did you would be agreeing with Plato's concept — would you not? Soul Sleep itself then would a contradiction!

In Closing:

Jesus stated in John 5:24-25, "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live…”

How can they hear if asleep? Why is the hour expressed as already here? Who did Jesus preach to in Sheol? What of the Matthew 27:52-53 account? Who are the multitudes of people in heaven before the final resurrection when both body and the spiritual are rejoined? Who are they mentioned in Ezekiel 32:17-31? You of the soul sleep crowd cannot answer these questions.

To come right down to it, the doctrines of soul sleep basically are saying, “God serve and honor man for man is more moral than you as only we know and can define what good is and what is evil!” Do not believe me — look at your own arguments and objections? What is the essence of what soul sleep doctrines say? Is it not — "God do it our way cause if not, I can't believe in you, I cannot accept a God like that!"

Who is God to serve you or I? We were fashioned to serve the Lord as we owe him are very being. He gave us a gift. He will hold us to account. He is going somewhere and has a plan.

Even the serpents lie enticed humanities first parents to sin with this statement, “you will not surly die?” Lies are baited with half truths to entrap the unwary. Adam and Eve could see that the serpent lived despite his open rebellion and having one third of the angelic beings follow him. Even though God could recall the gift of life at any time due to him being God, and as God, he instead reveals that he is absolute and keeps his word absolutely and by this he test his creation.

Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”

Whom with will you stand?
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Re: Truth vs. the lie

#37

Post by jenna » Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:02 am

I realize that you are taking the time to look up these verses, and I can respect your OPINION. But you still have not taken the time to address or explain the verses I gave to you. If you cannot, or will not, do this then why do you keep trying to convince me in "eternal burning in hell'?
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Re: Truth vs. the lie

#38

Post by B. W. » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:34 pm

jenwat3 wrote:I realize that you are taking the time to look up these verses, and I can respect your OPINION. But you still have not taken the time to address or explain the verses I gave to you. If you cannot, or will not, do this then why do you keep trying to convince me in "eternal burning in hell'?
jenwat3 please do not placate me with smooth words. Next, if you really did respect me then you would ANSWER THE QUESTIONS I POSTED. It is not I that is trying to convince you but rather the Holy Spirit as I cannot convince anyone on my own.

What I posted is not my opinion it is based on the solid facts and clear meaning of the bible message on this subject. The early Church Fathers taught this too - read other post on Hell and my response to Pierac for more.

Regarding your questions:
jenwat3 wrote:Ok, B.W. Stop and think for a minute. Read this quote carefully. John 3:16 states "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have ever-lasting life". Is this truly a statement about hell everlasting? Just think about it. This verse plainly states "should not perish but have ever-lasting life". Clearly this is not talking about an everlasting hell, because if it were, then the person in hell would still have "everlasting life"! But it plainly says they SHOULD NOT PERISH. Further, on the subject of whether the soul can die, read Matthew 10:28. "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to KILL the soul, but rather fear Him which IS ABLE to destroy both soul and body in hell." According to this verse, souls can be destroyed. Also, notice Psalm 146:4. "His spirit departs, he returns to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish". Also, Ecc. 9:5. "for the living know they shall die, but the dead know NOTHING". Clearly there is no hell where the dead are tormented forever. To further examine what hell REALLY is, read Revelation 20:10. "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.." This is not an "everlasting hell" as many are led to believe. This is a localized lake of fire that long precedes the ULTIMATE lake of fire to engulf the whole earth 1,100 years LATER, before the new heavens and new earth arrive. (Rev. 20:14, 15, 21:8, 21:1)
Every one of those long post I posted actually do answer everyone of your questions on each scripture you mentioned. Why, heck I used many of the same ones you used — You just want me kindly agree with you — which I cannot.

It is up to you to answer the questions in the post — not me to cow-tow to your opinion. Your doctrine is based only on man's opinion. Do not try to fool me with pleasantries.

Am I harsh? Yes! But harsh with compassion and genuine Love that is not afraid to rebuke and offend in order to restore a person to Christ.

You are in deep error and are leading others astray with such doctrines as soul sleep. Your doctrine tries to come across as far more superior to Christ's Doctrine on the subject and God's own words too.

One other thing, I am one of those people who survived Death and was resuscitated. Estimate time of death was approx 3 to 4 hours - enough time for my blood to begin to congeal when they found me. Yes it is true! It is a miracle I am even here and yes Christ still raises the dead! So please, do not try to attempt to pull your nicety doctrine on me. I Stood before Christ and what I have seen and experienced was definitely not sleep! Forgive for sounding like I am boasting and puffing myself up — I am not. The experience was most humbling and transforming. What Jesus teahes in Luke 16:31 I discovered is true: "He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'"

What I teach is not my opinion but what the scriptures plainly teach concerning the afterlife. JUST ANSWER THE QUESTIONS POSTED ON MY LONG POSTINGS.

When I hear of doctrine of soul sleep and annihilationism, as you believe I react because I know what the word of God is on this matter.

In closing,lLet me answer your wrong misinterpretation of Psalms 146:4 it would do you well to look at other versions of the bible and read the context as well — see below:

(ASV) 3 Put not your trust in princes, Nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
(ASV) 4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; In that very day his thoughts perish.

(BBE) 3 Put not your faith in rulers, or in the son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
(BBE) 4 Man's breath goes out, he is turned back again to dust; in that day all his purposes come to an end.

(CEV) 3 You can't depend on anyone, not even a great leader.
(CEV) 4 Once they die and are buried, that will be the end of all their plans.

(ESV) 3 Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
(ESV) 4 When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.

(GNB) 3 Don't put your trust in human leaders; no human being can save you.
(GNB) 4 When they die, they return to the dust; on that day all their plans come to an end.

Context does not have any reference at all to someone ceasing to exist or soul sleep because their thoughts perish. The Hebrew word translated 'thought and perish' means — plans come to an end. Not that these cannot think!

Whose plans? Look at the verse above it. - Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation…

Why — their plans come to an end and they cannot help you. Let me put it this way, your car breaks down — you call a dependable relative — they say they'll be there and then die. Plans for you aid perish. Look at next verses:

Psalms 146:5, “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, 6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; 7 who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; 8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. 9 The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. 10 The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!”

You are alone on a dark and deserted street. Hours go by — cell phone dies. You pray, God makes a new trainee fireman learning to drive a Fire Truck turn the wrong way and he and his crew come upon you and help. Now do you get the real meaning of the text? Does it teach soul sleep — NO!

There is no such thing as relative truth. When proven false — repent and stop trusting in human doctrine of soul sleep --- return to the Lord as it is written: Psalms 146:5, “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, 6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; 7 who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; 8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. 9 The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. 10 The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!”
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Re: Truth vs. the lie

#39

Post by jenna » Sat Dec 15, 2007 6:58 pm

Ok, you want me to answer your post? Consider it done. In regards to your verses, Rev. 20:12-13 is NOT a reference to people burning forever, but is a reference to the time of the resurrection. If you are going to give me verses, then stick to the subject here, which is whether or not souls burn forever. This is the time when the wicked shall be resurrected to see all that they have rejected before being destroyed in the lake of fire. Isaiah 24:21-23. The prison here is referring to "earth", not to hell. In other words, they will die, or be in "prison", then after MANY DAYS they will be punished. If they were sent to "hell" immediately, they would not wait "many days". Their punishment will be after they are resurrected. Isaiah 38:17-18, Again, brush up on your Greek and Hebrew. "Pit and Sheol" both mean the grave. Pit of corruption-when one dies, the BODY is corrupted. "Sheol cannot thank you". Those who are dead cannot thank God. 57:20-21: No, there is no peace for the wicked. When they are resurrected and are standing before God and the lake of fire, they will have no peace, knowing they are to be destroyed. Proven that they know nothing when dead-in Ecc.9:3-6. Is. 26:21-Again, referring to the resurrection. The evildoers will be cast into the lake of fire, after the earth "uncovers her slain". Psalms 9:17. Hell here means the grave, as stated earlier. The Hebrew word is "sheol". If you look up "sheol" in a concordance, it will reference the Greek word "hades". They both mean "the grave"! So the wicked will be turned into "the grave". They will die! Psalms 49:7-15. Again, reference to the resurrection and to eternal death. Notice the verse " He is like the beasts that perish". Do beasts have souls that return to God when they die? Like sheep they are LAID IN THE GRAVE. Death shall "feed on them", they stay dead until the resurrection. 2 Peter 2:9 "And to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgement". "under punishment" here means DEATH until the resurrection, the "day of judgement". Eze. 32. Not exactly sure why this is included. This does not reference heaven or hell, but is regarding Egypt and Pharoah. The word "pit" is referenced several times here, but that simply means "the grave". Rev.7:9-14. Again, stick to the subject! This is referencing those who will be martyred in the great tribulation to come, and in the past tribulation. This is a resurrection reference. Rev.20:6-15. This is talking about the final punishment of Satan. The phrase "where the beast and the false prophet are" is misleading. As indicated by the italics in the KJV, it should read "where the beast and the false prophet WERE CAST". It doesn't mean they were still there. Ecc.9:3-6. One key verse stands out here. "For the living know thay they will die, but the dead know NOTHING." This clearly does NOT fit with the notion of "eternal torment in hell" for sinners. They know NOTHING, no pain or suffering, or joy and happiness for they are dead and know nothing. Matt.12:43. This is talking about a cast-out demon, or fallen angel. Matt.12:40. Length of time before Christ's resurrection. Eph.4:8-10. Those who serve sin are "captive" to it, until repentance and conversion. This is about conversion, not hell. The "gifts" referenced here are forgiveness of sins and salvation upon repentance. Acts2:25-31. Again, no reference to hell. After the resurrection those who have repented and called on the name of Christ will be with Him. V31. Again, translation problem! Hell means the grave. Everyone knows He was in the grave, but are we actually to believe that our Savior, who did not sin, was in actual hell? 1Cor.15:42-58. Resurrection time again. Not talking about immediately after death. V46. "The spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual". This is in reference to the first Adam-from the earth (natural) and the "second Adam"-Christ. (spiritual). Heb.9:27-28. All men die once, then are judged in the resurrection. Note that neither here nor anywhere in the bible does it state "judged immediately" after death, because that is simply not the case. Prov.2:21-22. The wicked shall be cut off, meaning that they will die and not be on the earth. They will be gone forever. Rev.21:1-4. No reference to hell, here. This is the end times when Christ will reign on earth. Is.26:14. Referring to the resurrection. The wicked will be destroyed at this time with no hope for another chance. God will destroy them and they will eternally be dead. Ok, now that I have answered your post, I have a few more words to say. Forst of all, I do not feel as if I need to repent and start trusting in the plain words of the bible. As you can see, I already do. As of yet, I haven't been proven false, not by you or anyone else. I have never tried to "placate you" with smooth words, since I believe you to be wrong in your beliefs. The words you write are not based on solid facts, but only your INTERPRETATION. I don't need you to kindly agree with me, or "cow-tow to me." You wanted my response, you got it. You claim my views are based on one man's opinion? Who exactly would that man be? Jesus, perhaps? You also claim to be harsh with love and compassion, but all you have done has been with a smart mouth and degrading attitude. You tell me I am in deep error and are leading others astray with false words and false doctrine. I feel the same could be said of you. Simply because you do not agree with me does not mean I am wrong. And I don't see how you can claim my doctrine to be "superior" to Christ's doctrine when all my answers come straight from the bible and His word. You claim I am taking scripture and "twisting" it to fit my beliefs, but I see you doing the exact same things you accuse me of doing. I do not take it lightly, nor will I ever. You need to think twice before you tell me what is right and wrong, simply because of your INTERPRETATIONS AND OPINIONS. :soap: :comeon: :boxing: Oh, and one more thing. It states plainly in the bible that the punishment for sin is DEATH, so therefore the wicked will be DEAD, not be "burning forever" as you claim. Eternal punishment=eternal death. Eternal reward=eternal life with Jesus.
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Re: Truth vs. the lie

#40

Post by Pierac » Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:47 pm

Hey B.W. maybe this will help you understand the parable of Lazarus and the Rich man.

The Real Meaning of Lazarus and the Rich Man
By Ernest L. Martin, Ph. D., 1984

This section of Scripture has been more misunderstood by students of the Bible than many other parts of the divine revelation. There is a definite reason for it! It is the assumption that Christ is relating a story of literal occurrences, rather than an account rehearsed in parable form. The truth is, however, the narrative is a parable from beginning to end. Once this important point is understood, the meaning becomes clear and significant.
Thankfully, there cannot be the slightest doubt that the whole account is a parable from start to finish. What many people conveniently fail to realize is the proclivity of teachers, speaking in early Semitic languages like Hebrew (or even in Greek when speaking in a Semitic environment), to constantly use the symbolic or parable form of teaching to the people they taught. Christ was no exception!

"All these things spoke Jesus unto the multitudes IN PARABLES and without a parable spoke he not unto them. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 'I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.'"Matthew 13:34—35

Parables are a form of storytelling in which the physical features of some well-known subjects are exemplified to relate an essential spiritual teaching. On many occasions the incidents are greatly exaggerated to heighten the teaching. One famous example is that of Christ when he said the mustard seed was the smallest of seeds (when everyone knew it was not) and it becomes the greatest of trees (which again was not literally true). See Matthew 13:32. No one in the first century would have thought that Christ was stretching the facts. Of course he was! But it was a simple form of teaching that all people were using in that time. 1

Since we are told dogmatically that Christ was always in the habit of speaking to the people in parables (as a common mode of instruction in the Semitic world of the first century), why do people today insist on the literality of symbolic language, while people in Christ's day normally did not? Note one thing that the apostle Paul said which has to do with the fire of judgment, yet no one in ancient times (or even today) takes literally. Paul said: "If your enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing you shall heap COALS OF FIRE on his head" (Rom.12:20, from Proverbs 25:22). This mention of the fires of judgment on a person was only intended in a figurative sense. It shows that a person's conscience would be "singed." No literal fire was meant!
And so it is with the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man! No one with common sense could possibly believe that Christ was giving literal teaching. The whole thing is figurative from start to finish, and anyone who says differently should examine the matter closer.

Let us now look at the subject carefully. In no way should a person believe that literal acts were being discussed by Christ. Practically every detail of the story has a symbolic meaning to it, and this can be shown so clearly. When a person adopts an erroneous literality to the account, the message that Christ was trying to convey is destroyed and its true symbolic meaning is tarnished!

A Parable Throughout
The first thing to notice is the fact that Lazarus ate of the crumbs that fell from the Rich Man's table. Now, are the crumbs literal or symbolic? If literal, then tell me how Lazarus would have had enough to eat? A few measly crumbs could hardly feed any grown man. Obviously, Christ meant that the man ate the scraps (intended for dogs or other animals). However, the literalists would demand real crumbs so they can get the Rich Man into a real burning hell!

Then it says that Lazarus died and was carried by the angels into the bosom of Abraham. Where was Abraham's bosom? Some people say it signifies the heavenly abode, heaven. In fact, the bosom of Abraham actually means the breast part of his body. Can they get Lazarus and ten million other redeemed Christians in that one bosom of Abraham? There would not be any room to breathe, let alone stretch ones arms. All people, however, rightly recognize that Christ is here giving a symbol. True! That is just the point that we wish to make! If one part is figurative, all can be!

We then find that Abraham is able to carry on a conversation with the Rich Man and that Lazarus could be seen with Abraham, though the text says that Abraham was "afar off." How were they able to talk with one another? If Abraham and Lazarus were in heaven (as many preachers claim today), it shows that the redeemed would still be in constant contact with the rebellious sinners in hell and that the redeemed would be seeing their tortured and agonized faces as they writhed in unrelenting pain. Indeed, they are close enough to be in conversation with them! Can you imagine the joy and happiness the saints would have while viewing the agony of all the wicked in hell for all eternity? But if this story of Christ were to be taken literally, that would be the outcome. What glory would it be to see your unredeemed father, your unconverted mother, sister, brother, son, daughter, wife or husband having to experience the rigors of an eternally burning hell without any relief ever in sight, while you bask in the sunshine and happiness of Abraham's bosom? And remember Abraham was close enough to carry on a conversation with the Rich Man. And the Rich Man was close enough to Lazarus to recognize him.

Another thing that is highly irregular of our experience is the fact that the Rich Man was able to speak at all. Would he not more likely be screaming his head off at the terrible excruciating pain that he was being subjected to? Again, if the account is literal, we find a most impossible situation in the story. Even more than that, what does the Rich Man seek from Lazarus? It is not to drag him out of the fire, but simply to take a drop of cold water and put on his tongue. Why, the Rich Man ought to know that such a thing would not relieve his pain in the slightest! How can a drop of physical water give benefit to a spirit being (as the Rich Man would be)? The water, if literal, would turn into steam before it could do any good. And why did not the man ask Abraham to bring the drop of water to his tongue to cool it? Abraham was far closer to the Rich Man, or at least it looks this way because there was no conversation with Lazarus. What was so special about Lazarus that his drop of water would cool his tongue, but Abraham was not asked for any help?

The point is, the whole scene (though instructive and significant in what our Lord was trying to teach) is impossible to explain sensibly if Christ was teaching fact. However, make it a parable (as it truly is, remembering that Christ would not teach without a parable), then the message becomes beautiful and understandable. Again, everyone knows Paul did not mean literal "coals of fire on one's head" in Romans 12:20.

The True Story in Detail
The story of Lazarus and the Rich Man is a parable (Matthew 13:34). Once this is recognized the interpretation behind the narrative can become quite meaningful. It is also very important to note the context in which the parable is found. There was a reason why Christ spoke this parable at that time. Christ had just given His teaching about the unjust steward who had mishandled his master's money (Luke 16:1—13). This parable was told to further illustrate what proper stewardship is.

Let us first consider the identification of Lazarus. This is the only time in Christ's parables that a person's name is used. Some have imagined that this use of a personal name precludes the story being a parable. But this is hardly true. The name "Lazarus" is a transliteration of the Hebrew "Eleazar" (which means "God has helped"). The name was a common Hebrew word used for eleven different persons in the Old Testament.

When one analyzes the parable, this Eleazar can be identified. He was one who must have had some kind of affinity with Abraham (or the Abrahamic covenant), for the parable places him in Abraham's bosom after death. But he was probably a Gentile. The phrase "desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table" was typical of Gentile identification (see Matthew 15:22—28). Even the phrase "laid at his gate" is reminiscent of the normal one used by Jews to denote the Gentile proselyte "Proselyte of the Gate." This Eleazar must also have been associated with stewardship because Christ gave the parable precisely for the reason of explaining what represents the true steward.

There was only one Eleazar in the historical part of the Bible that fits the description. He was a person associated with Abraham, he was a Gentile (not an ethnic part of the Abrahamic family), and a steward. He was Eleazar of Damascus, the chief steward of Abraham.

"And Abram said, 'Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eleazar [Lazarus] of Damascus and lo, one born in my house is mine heir.'" Genesis 15:2—3

Long ago it was suggested that the Lazarus of the parable represented the Eleazar associated with Abraham (Geiger, JuJ Zejtschr., 1868, p. 196 sq.), but for some reason very few modern commentators have taken up the identification. But once this simple connection is made, a flood of light emerges on the scene which can interpret the parable with real meaning.

The Lazarus of the parable represented Abraham's faithful steward Eleazar. And faithful he was! Though he had been the legal heir to receive all of Abraham's possessions (Genesis 15:3), Abraham gave him an assignment which was to result in his own disinheritance. But the Bible shows he carried out the orders of Abraham in a precise (and faithful) way.

"And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house [Eleazar], that ruled over all that he had, 'Put, I pray thee, your hand under my thigh: and I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife unto my son [Isaac] of the daughters of the Canaanites.'" Genesis 24:2—3

Eleazar agreed to do what Abraham desired, although the fulfillment of his task meant the complete abandonment of Eleazar's claim to any of Abraham's inheritance—both present and future! Each step that Eleazar took northward to procure a wife for Isaac was a step towards his own disqualification. Eleazar recognized this, for he admitted to Laban, Rebecca's brother, that "unto him [Isaac] hath he [Abraham] given all that he hath" (Genesis 24:36). There was nothing left for him! Thus, Eleazar's faithfulness to Abraham resulted in his own disinheritance from all the promises of blessing which God had given to Abraham. They were now given to Isaac and his future family. That inheritance included wealth, prestige, power, kingship, priesthood, and the land of Canaan as an "everlasting" possession. But now Eleazar was "cast out." He and his seed would inherit nothing. Thus, the parable calls Lazarus a "beggar" who possessed nothing of earthly worth.

Who Was the Rich Man?
The Rich Man was an actual son of Abraham. Christ had him calling Abraham his "father" (Luke 16:24) and Abraham acknowledged him as "son" (verse 25). Such sonship made the Rich Man a legal possessor of Abraham's inheritance. Indeed, the Rich Man had all the physical blessings promised to Abraham's seed. He wore purple, the symbol of kingship, a sign that the Davidic or Messianic Kingdom was his. He wore linen, the symbol of priesthood, showing that God's ordained priests and the Temple were his. Who was this Rich Man who possessed these blessings while living on the earth?

The Israelite tribe that finally assumed possession of both the kingdom and priesthood, and the tribe which became the representative one of all the promises given to Abraham, was Judah. There can not be the slightest doubt of this when the whole parable is analyzed. Remember that Judah had "five brothers." The Rich Man also had the same (verse 28).

"The sons of Leah; [1] Reuben; Jacob's firstborn, and [2] Simeon, and [3] Levi, and Judah, and [4] Issachar, and [5] Zebulun." Genesis 35:23

"And Leah said ... 'now will my husband be pleased to dwell with me; for I have born him six sons.'" Genesis 30:20

Judah and the Rich Man each had "five brethren." Not only that, the five brothers of the parable had in their midst "Moses and the prophets" (verse 29). The people of Judah possessed the "oracles of God" (Romans 3:1—2). Though the Rich Man (Judah) had been given the actual inheritance of Abraham's blessings (both spiritual and physical), Christ was showing that he had been unfaithful with his responsibilities. When the true inheritance was to be given, Judah was in "hades" and "in torment" while Lazarus (Eleazar, the faithful steward) was now in Abraham's bosom. He was finally received into the "everlasting habitations" (verse 9).

"A Great Gulf Fixed"
The parable says that a "great gulf" [Greek: chasm] was fixed between the position of Abraham and Eleazar and that of the Rich Man [Judah]. What was this chasm? The Greek word means a deep ravine or valley — a great canyon with cliffs on each side. Its two sides were also "afar off" from each other (verse 23). It was "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" (verse 26). Note the italicized word "pass." In all other occasions of its grammatical use in the New Testament, the word was used to denote a passage over water. And in Greek imagery of the abodes of the dead, there was usually some kind of water barrier between the righteous dead and the wicked — either a river or ocean. This is also represented in Jewish conceptions of the compartments for the dead — "by a chasm, by water, and by light above it" (Enoch, ch. 22).

It was also common for many chasms (those described in Greek literature) to have water in their regions of deepest declivity. Let us now look at such a chasm from a Palestinian point of view. In that environment there is only one possible identification for the "great gulf" of the parable if it is to fit the meaning of the Greek chasm precisely. This would be the great rift valley between the highlands of Trans-Jordan and the hill country of Ephraim in which the River Jordan flows. This fault line is the greatest and longest visible chasm on earth. And what a spectacular sight it is! As one looks over the chasm he sees impressive cliffs on each side, a desert in its wastelands, and the River Jordan meandering in the center.

Identifying the chasm of the parable with the Jordan rift unfolds a beautiful symbolic story well recognized in contemporary Jewish allegorical narratives of the time. In the center of this "gulf" was the River Jordan. It divided the original land of promise given to Abraham from ordinary Gentile lands. The west side of Jordan represented the area that the Bible considered the original Holy Land. As the angel said to Joshua: "Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon stand is holy. And Joshua did so" (Joshua 5:15). When the Israelites finally entered the chasm of the Jordan and crossed the river, they then considered themselves in the Holy Land the land promised to Abraham and his seed!

Part 1

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Re: Truth vs. the lie

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Post by Pierac » Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:48 pm

Part 2

Entering the land of Canaan (west of Jordan) was also a symbol of final spiritual salvation. The author of Hebrews recognized that Israel's crossing of the River Jordan under Joshua (and the taking of the land of Canaan) was typical of Christians obtaining their true "rest" in the future Kingdom of God (Hebrews 3:1—4:11). Even American Negro spirituals with which so many of us are familiar ("crossing into Canaan's land") are reflective of this early symbolic theme.

Recall also that the Rich Man was depicted as being in flames of judgment (verse 24). In this same rift valley were formerly located the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah which were "set forth for an example suffering the vengeance of eternal fire" (Jude 7).

"Turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those who should after live ungodly." 2 Peter 2:6

When the allegorical applications are understood, the teaching of the parable becomes simple and instructive. The theme of Christ's narrative was true stewardship. Though Eleazar [Lazarus], Abraham's trusted steward, had disinherited himself from earthly rewards by his faithful obedience to Abraham's wishes, he was later to find himself (after death, when true inheritance comes) in Abraham's bosom. But the chief representative of Abraham's actual sons (Judah, the spiritual leader of all the Israelite tribes) remained East of Canaan as far as true inheritance was concerned. He had inherited all the physical blessings while in the flesh, but at death he was not allowed to pass the spiritual Jordan into the final Abrahamic inheritance.

Like Moses, because of rebellion, he was not allowed to pass the "great gulf" to enjoy the land of milk and honey. True enough, Judah had been blessed with the kingship, priesthood, the divine scriptures, the prophets, and other untold blessings, but he was not allowed to enjoy the true spiritual blessings of the future because he was unfaithful with his sonship and was refusing the true message of salvation offered by God's own Son. Christ said: "Neither will they he persuaded, though one rose from the dead" (Luke 16:31).

The Final Appraisal
The only Gospel to carry the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man was Luke who was the companion of Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles. It showed a specific message that Gentiles could now inherit the promises to Abraham provided they were faithful as Eleazar had been. Yet Paul did not want the Gentiles to be conceited in their new relationship with God.

"What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeks for ... God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, ears that they should not hear; unto this day." Romans 11:8

But "Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid" (verse 11). "Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles [like Lazarus-Eleazar]; how much more their fullness" (verse 12). One of these days, according to Paul, "all Israel shall be saved" (verse 26). God will show mercy on the natural sons of Abraham as He has on faithful Gentile stewards. This shows that the hades, the purple, the linen, the torment, Abraham's bosom, the great gulf, and even the persons of Lazarus and the Rich Man were all symbolic and not literal. After all, the narrative was a parable.

Summary of the Symbols
1. The Lazarus of the parable was Eleazar, Abraham's steward (Genesis 15:2).

2. He was a Gentile "of Damascus" ("a proselyte of the gate") who "ate the crumbs."

3. He was disinherited (to become a beggar) but he remained faithful to Abraham and God.

4. When this earthly life was over, he received Abraham's inheritance after all (he was in Abraham's bosom) — in "everlasting habitations."

5. The Rich Man of the Parable was Judah. This son of Jacob had five literal brothers as did the Rich Man.

6. He was also a literal son of Abraham, while Eleazar (Lazarus) was not!

7. The Rich Man (Judah) also had the kingship (purple) and the priesthood (linen).

8. Yet Judah (representing God on this earth) was not the true steward of the Abrahamic blessings.

9. Though he and his literal brothers had been graced with the "oracles of God" (the Old Testament) they would not respond to the One resurrected from the dead (Christ).

10. The "great gulf" was the Jordan rift valley the dividing line between Gentile lands and the Holy Land of promise (Abraham's inheritance). Crossing the Jordan was a typical figure recognized by the Jews as a symbol of salvation.

Once these factors are recognized, all the points in the parable (with its context) fit perfectly to give us some simple but profound teachings of Christ. It shows that the physical promises of God (though excellent) are very inferior to the spiritual redemption that anyone (Jew or Gentile) can have in Christ.

Concluding Remarks about Hell
What are the consequences of sin? We are told by many people who view the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man literally, plus some scriptures in the book of Revelation, that it means to be in hell fire for all eternity. Let us also understand the book of Revelation is very symbolic! Though it speaks of the rebellious being tormented with fire and brimstone for ever and ever (for the ages of the ages), it is also the same book that speaks of Jesus Christ, equally in symbolic form, of looking like a Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes in his face (Revelation 6:6 with 14:10—11). This section is, of course, symbolic as anyone can see.

This does not mean that figurative teaching has an unpractical meaning. Far from it! What must be discovered is the real teaching. Take, for example, the punishments God gives for sins. There are hundreds of scriptures that show God's retribution upon individuals and the world for their rebellion to Him and their harm to mankind. But the punishments of judgment are not to burn literally in a hell fire forever! Indeed, judgment is now on the house of God.

"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" 1 Peter 4:17

No sinning saint is now in the fires of judgment. All people sin — alas, even Christians from time to time (1 John 1:8), but all are promised eternal life — yet they suffer the loss of certain wonderful rewards for the millennial period if they persist in sin,

"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. … Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he has built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." 1 Corinthians 3:11—15

The Bible says it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of God when people rebel against Him (Hebrews 10:31), even though Christian people are sanctified and their salvation is secure in Christ (Hebrews 10:14).

When the whole of the Bible is studied on the matter, it is seen that the judgment of hell after death is symbolic. People who have had some "near death" experiences and thought they were going to a burning hell, were having hallucinations inspired by their imaginations. 2 After all, people who have been taught all their lives about a literal hell fire to be experienced for all eternity, have difficulty in eradicating such things from their minds at the point of death — and this is more so if they think they are dying as sinners. However, Christ came to save the world, and He will do it!

The geographical area that was a symbol of fiery judgment was the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna) at the southeast corner of Jerusalem. It was the city dump. Normally, fires were set in the region to burn up the refuse. If dead bodies were placed there in time of war (or sometimes in pagan rituals), worms would emerge to destroy the carcasses. This is what Isaiah 66:24 and Mark 9:44—48 are talking about. Of course, the fires were in a separate area from the worms because worms cannot live in flames.

The whole thing was intended to be figurative in the first place. Gehenna (hell) was known as Tophet (Isaiah 30:33 with Jeremiah 7:31) and remarkably the entire area will one day become holy to the Lord (Jeremiah 31:38—40). There will certainly not be any eternal fires in Gehenna. (The "unquenchable fires" of Matthew 3:12 are fires that cannot be put out with water or soil until they have consumed all the combustible material.)

The truth is, it can be shown conclusively that the consequences of doing sin are NOT to be placed in a hell fire forever and ever. The Bible makes the issue plain for all to see if only people will believe its simple teaching. Many do not want to do this, and they insist on making literal what the Scripture allows only to be symbolic.

Look at this closely. It is simple and plain. All Christians know that the Bible emphatically states that Jesus paid for all our sins (even the sins of the world) when He died on the cross. If anyone disputes this fact, then the very essence of the theological teaching of the New Testament is thwarted.

"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2

This is abundantly true! But now note this! If the consequences of sin were to be placed in a hell fire to be burned forever, then for Christ to have paid the penalty of our sins (so we do not have to suffer it), then Christ would have to be in that hell fire forever — always suffering the consequences of our sins. After all, the Bible says that Christ took our punishment. But Christ was alive from the dead some three days later, and is presently in heaven with the Father. He is not in an eternal hell fire undergoing the consequences of our sins! All of the scriptures speaking about the punishment of fire are symbolic. If they are not, then they would violate this fundamental theological fact of the New Testament that Christ paid the punishment for our sins without being burnt in any flames.

Indeed, what did Christ do for us? The Bible says "He died" (Romans 3:34). And what are the wages of sin? — the consequences of sin?

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

The result of sin is death — not life in hell fire or anywhere else! What Jesus did was to be crucified for us on the cross. He did not go into hell fire to burn forever — or else He would still be there!

One other point needs to be made. Some denominations say that the wages of sin are eternal death (nonexistence). But this cannot be true. If it were, then Christ (in order to pay the penalty for our sins) would have had to remain dead for all eternity! Yet He was dead for only three days! He is now with the Father in heaven and getting ready to return to this earth to redeem His saints at the resurrection of the just. Others have said that since all humans have to die the first (physical) death (Hebrews 9:27), it is the second death that Christ died for us. But how can that be? The second death is the Lake of Fire in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 20:14), and it is obvious that Christ did not go into any literal Lake of Fire while He died on the cross. His death was for us!

What Christ did do for you, me and all mankind was to make it possible for all death to be abolished (1 Corinthians 15:26) which He will accomplish in His own good time. Only "life" will then exist!

The fact is, the Bible makes perfectly good sense on the matter of the punishments for sin. It is when well-intentioned, but erroneous, interpreters begin to make symbolic scriptures to be literal, that all of the problems emerge. All becomes confusing and contradictory when this type of procedure is used. The story of Lazarus and the Rich Man is a pure parable from beginning to end. It makes perfectly good sense and tells a wonderful and significant story that any student of the Bible can relate to. Let us learn to leave the parables as parables! The Bible will become plain if we do.

"All these things spoke Jesus unto the multitudes in parables; and without a parable spoke he not unto them." Matthew 13:34


1 In case someone wants to be silly enough to dispute the accuracy of Christ's symbolic language, would people today correct you if you said: "I am so hungry I could eat a horse"? Anyone with sense knows it is not literally possible for one to consume a horse in one meal! Everyone would know you were using figurative language and accept it.

2 It is also heightened by their bodily stress and oxygen to the brain. Usually, near death experiences reflect the beliefs, wishes and life experience of those experiencing the trauma. The apostle Paul died three times and did not indicate that any of the revelations from God occurred during those incidents. DWS

Hope this helps clear things up about this parable

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Re: Truth vs. the lie

#42

Post by jenna » Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:14 pm

Excellent! :clap: :salute: I agree with ALMOST everything here except for the "great gulf fixed". These verses here are actually showing that sin in all form cuts people off from God. God is Holy, He cannot have contact with sin. The rich man's sins had completely cut him off from any access to God. That is why Abraham said that no one on either side of this gulf was able to cross to the other side. The "gulf" here is our sins, which have separated us from God. Until we repent and accept Jesus, we cannot cross this "gulf" to be with God.
some things are better left unsaid, which i generally realize after i have said them

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Re: Truth vs. the lie

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Post by Byblos » Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:18 am

jenwat3 wrote:I agree with ALMOST everything here except for the "great gulf fixed".
Jen, do you also agree with this:
One other point needs to be made. Some denominations say that the wages of sin are eternal death (nonexistence). But this cannot be true.
From previous posts I didn't think you did.

In any case, I totally agree that the parable is symbolic but I don't agree with his conclusion simply because the symbolism is of what is yet to pass. I.e. just the same way Jesus died, went to Hades for a period ( preached), was bodily resurrected and is now sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven, so will believers die, go to Hades for a period of time (well, I call it something else but I digress), be bodily resurrected and be carried into heaven. Unbelievers, on the other hand, will also die, will also go to Hades, will also be bodily resurrected, but unlike Christ and His believers, will simply not be carried into Heaven. Scripture does NOT make any exceptions between believers and unbelievers as far as the bodily resurrection is concerned, only as far as the eventual destination. That is what I get from the parable and what I get from scripture in general.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Truth vs. the lie

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Post by jenna » Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:15 am

No, I don't agree with that either. Guess I didn't see that part. :oops:
some things are better left unsaid, which i generally realize after i have said them

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Re: Truth vs. the lie

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Post by Pierac » Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:53 pm

Hi Jen, :wave:

Yes, I too do not agree 100% with all of Dr. Martins works. However, he does have some really nice work. I like to review his material and pick out the meat from the bones.

Hey B.W. I hope you don't think I'm picking on you in any way. I too see some meat in your work too, you are really through and have opened my eyes in a few areas. :eugeek:

Paul

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