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Best Selling Book Pulled By Publisher As 'Boy Who Came Back From Heaven' Recants Story

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Bestselling Book Pulled by Publisher as ‘Boy Who Came Back from Heaven’ Recants Story

January 16, 2015 | Filed under: Life & Society,Top Stories | By: Heather Clark

 

Book-300x300.pngCAROL STREAM, Ill. – The publishers of

 

A bestselling book written by a then-ten-year-old boy who claimed he “came back from heaven” have pulled the book from publication after the boy announced this week that he lied about his story and called upon Christians to repent for buying into “heavenly tourism.”

“I did not die. I did not go to Heaven,” Alex Malarkey, co-author of “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven,” wrote in an open letter. “I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention.”

“When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible,” he continued. “People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth. Anything written by man cannot be infallible.”

Malarkey had been involved in a car accident at the age of six, and was in a coma for two months. His book, published by Tyndale in 2010 and co-written with his father, claims that he died and went to heaven, having encounters with angels and ultimately meeting Jesus. The book reached bestseller status, and a documentary was also released about Malarkey’s story. Christian reviewers gave the book high marks.

 

But Malarkey’s admission that the story was fabricated isn’t necessarily new. Last spring, Malarkey’s mother wrote in a blog post that she had concerns about the book’s continued proliferation as her son had confessed that the book was unbiblical.

“It is both puzzling and painful to watch the book ‘The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven’ not only continue to sell, but to continue, for the most part, to not be questioned,” Beth Malarkey wrote in a post entitled “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven…Not Quite.” “Alex’s name and identity are being used against his wishes (I have spoken before and posted about it that Alex has tried to publicly speak out against the book), on something that he is opposed to and knows to be in error according to the Bible.”

“When Alex first tried to tell a ‘pastor’ how wrong the book was and how it needed stopped, Alex was told that the book was blessing people,” she continued. “[but] Alex did not write the book and it is not blessing him! Saying that it is blessing others to try to justify its wrong is just that … justification of wrong!”

 

 

 

 

Malarkey and her husband have since divorced following the publishing of the book.

“I want the whole world to know that the Bible is sufficient,” a now teenage Alex Malarkey wrote in his open letter this week. “Those who market these materials must be called to repent and hold the Bible as enough.”

Following his admission, Tyndale House Publishers informed reporters late Thursday that it would no longer publish “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven.”

“Tyndale has decided to take the book and related ancillary products out of print,” Todd Starowitz, public relations director for Tyndale House told the Washington Post.

Lifeway Christian Stores, one of the nation’s largest Christian retail chains, also announced Thursday that it will pull the book from its shelves and send its copies back to Tyndale.

“LifeWay was informed this week that Alex Malarkey has retracted his testimony about visiting heaven as told in the book ‘The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven.’ Therefore, we are returning to the publisher the few copies we have in our stores,” it wrote in a statement.

“Christian publishers and retailers should have known better,” wrote the blog Pulpit & Pen, which first released Malarkey’s open letter this week. “They should have had the spiritual discernment, wisdom, compassion, and intestinal fortitude to not sell a book which contains, along with all books like it, deep theological problems.”

“It also doesn’t help that in what is purported to be a ‘true story’ that there are vivid descriptions like ‘The devil’s mouth is funny looking, with only a few moldy teeth. And I’ve never noticed any ears. His body has a human form, with two bony arms and two bony legs. He has no flesh on his body, only some moldy stuff.'”

 

 

 

 

I BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS ALSO A MOVIE MADE BASED ON THIS BOOK/STORY...

 

i PERSONALLLY NEVER BELIEVED THIS STORY OR ANY OF THE NUMEROUS OTHER ACCOUNTS BY PEOPLE ABOUT DYING AND GOING TO HEAVEN AND THEN RETURNING. I CAN UNDERSTAND WHY A NON BELIEVER WOULD FALL INTO THIS KIND OF THINKING BUT, I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY THOSE WHO SAY THEY ARE BELIEVERS FALL FOR THIS CRAP.

 

IT SIMPLY DOES NOT JIVE WITH THE WORD OF YHWH/GOD AND PEOPLE WHO ARE TRUE BELIEVERS SHOULD BE READING THIER BIBLES AND THEN THEY WOULD KNOW THIS.

 

REMEMBER HOW INNOCENT SATAN MADE IT SEEM FOR EVE TO EAT OF THE FRUIT THAT YHWH SO CLEARLY COMMANDED HER AND ADAM NOT TO? HE USED HIS CUNNING ABLITY WHICH EQUALED ONLY A SUTTLE DECEPTION TO TRICK THEM AND OTHERS IN MOST CASES.

 

DO YOU THINK HE HAS NOT PERFECTED HIS CRAFT AFTER ALL THESE THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF PRACTICING ON US? THE ONLY ONE HE HAS NEVER BEEN ABLE TO DECEIVE ON THIS EARTH IS YAHUSHU/JESUS, BECAUSE HE KNEW THE FATHER'S WORD AND WALKED IN THE SPIRIT!

 

ALL OF THIS MIXING OF NEW AGE BELIEFS WITH THE TRUE WORD IS NOTHING NEW... NEW AGE IS NOTHING MORE THAN A GLAMOUR SHOT OF PAGANISM. ALL OF THESE PROCLAIMING CHRISTIANS PROFESSING THAT THEY BELIEVE IN YAHUSHUA/JESUS AND THEN BELIEVING SOMETHING LIKE THIS OR OTHER THINGS LIKE DIVINATION OR THAT THEY WILL SEE NO TRIBULATION, OR DOING THINGS LIKE COMMUNICATING WITH GHOSTS/SPIRITS, OR THINKING THAT YOU GO STRAIGHT TO HELL OR HEAVEN RIGHT WHEN YOU DIE, ETC. ETC... THESE ARE ALL DEFLECTIONS OF THE TRUTH.

 

YHWH/GOD GAVE US HIS WORD TO PROTECT US FROM THESE DECEPTIONS AND ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS READ IT, FOLLOW IT, AND BELIEVE IT... EVERYTHING WE NEED TO KNOW IS THERE. WE JUST HAVE TO SEEK IT. WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE WORD OF YHWH/GOD WE CAN OVERCOME ANYTHING AND WE CAN SEE EVIL EVEN WHEN IT COMES DISGUISED AS A LITTLE BOY TELLING A SWEET STORY.

 

I AM SO HAPPY THAT THIS BOY FOUND THE TRUE LIVING YHWH/GOD AND HIS WORD AND  REVEALED THE TRUTH.

Edited by Djorgie
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I saw this earlier today DJ. I agree, many of the books over the years

written about these subjects are questionable, but if something states 

what one wants to hear, well, you know the rest.

 

Thanks DJ.

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Religion sells.................................anything to make a buck!

 

I for one sure hope my beliefs in Jesus are correct! LOL

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So - I tried to resist - honest I did...but it's just too good to pass up!!!

 

 

The book was (wait for it...) a bunch of Malarkey!

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Apostle paul went to heaven and was told not to write what He saw. Yet all these other people feel they need to write about it.

The King James bible is all i need

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So - I tried to resist - honest I did...but it's just too good to pass up!!!

 

 

The book was (wait for it...) a bunch of Malarkey!

 

Thanks for making me laugh!

 

Really kind of ironic that the last name of this kid just happened to be Malarkey when he and his family were spreading exactly that.

 

The end result of this scenerio though speaks volumes... YHWHs/Gods truth always prevails!

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I made a statement in one of my classes concerning the book and how I doubted that it was true.  Too many things were contradictory to the Bible.  It was like I questioned God!  

There are too many people who will believe anything they hear if it contains and experience that calls blanket acceptance without verification.  

Problem is, this makes it more difficult for people to accept truth when it is verified by God's word.  A bunch of individuals are ready to jump in and declared, "See there, all this religion >>> is just a bunch of lies! How can anyone believe it?"  

Truth DOES MATTER.  

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Tell ya what . . . I'll write a book about my 4 years fighting in Afrika and it won't be Malarkey. " The Boy That Came Back From HELL " :salute:

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I made a statement in one of my classes concerning the book and how I doubted that it was true.  Too many things were contradictory to the Bible.  It was like I questioned God!  

There are too many people who will believe anything they hear if it contains and experience that calls blanket acceptance without verification.  

Problem is, this makes it more difficult for people to accept truth when it is verified by God's word.  A bunch of individuals are ready to jump in and declared, "See there, all this religion >>> is just a bunch of lies! How can anyone believe it?"  

Truth DOES MATTER.  

 

Well of course it's not true. We know this because we actuelly read the Bible...

 

NO ONE has ascended to Heaven except for Yahushua/Jesus.

 

I am no longer a religionist and so don't I don't put my focus and faith on a religion that can be a trap for so many to fall into. We believe in YHWHs/Gods power, love and truth and that is all that matters.

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When I was a teen I thought I was invincible.

Was free climbing a rock face and got stuck 100 ' up.

Friends made a rope out of belts, and threw it down.

At the apex of the overhang I was stuck under the belt snapped.

I fell 60 feet, then bounced off boulders another 40 feet.

It took hours to get me to a remote fire station, then another hour for the ambulance to get to the hospital.

My heart stopped as the ambulance was approaching the hospital.

Apparently a car accident arrived at the same time I did.

The hospitals don't bother with names in those situations.

They got the names wrong, and it wasn't realized until my parents went to identify my body in the morgue.

It wasn't me, the car accident didn't make it.

I woke up several days later.

90 stitches on my head alone.

They told me I was dead, but because they had 2 dead guys they were trying to revive, they didn't keep track of how long I was "gone".

Last thing I remember was the first hit after the fall, then I woke up.

No choirs, no tunnel, nothing, except a hysterical Mom when she saw me open my eyes.

Was in a coma for 3 days.

Honestly, I was a little bummed out because I felt like I missed the whole event.

One moment doing an awesome free climb, next moment waking up with a nasty headache.

Couldn't play football for 3 weeks, now THAT sucked.

 

That's it, my "death" story.

 

 

 

 

 

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Apostle paul went to heaven and was told not to write what He saw. Yet all these other people feel they need to write about it.

The King James bible is all i need

 

 

Apostle paul went to heaven and was told not to write what He saw. Yet all these other people feel they need to write about it.

The King James bible is all i need

 

Well, I have to respectfully disagree with you on the apostle Paul going to heaven... He did not actually go to Heaven. He was writing about his "visions and revelations" of this, not that he litterally went to heaven because only Yahushua/Jesus has ascended to heaven.

 

People don't go to heaven and cannot go to heaven or see the Kingdom Of YHWH/God until they are reserected/changed by Yahushua/Jesus at his second coming. We do not have immortal souls until this takes place.The whole purpose of Him returning to earth is to gather YHWHs/Gods children, make judgement on the world and rule the Kingdom forever. How can anyone go to heaven before they have received thier immortal soul and been judged? It is just not Biblical.

 

I do agree that we need the Bible but, we also need the Holy Spirit to give us understanding of it because without the Spirit there is no real understanding of Gods' Word.

 

Blessings and spirit filled truths to you in Yahushua/Jesus

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Well, I have to respectfully disagree with you on the apostle Paul going to heaven... He did not actually go to Heaven. He was writing about his "visions and revelations" of this, not that he litterally went to heaven because only Yahushua/Jesus has ascended to heaven.

 

People don't go to heaven and cannot go to heaven or see the Kingdom Of YHWH/God until they are reserected/changed by Yahushua/Jesus at his second coming. We do not have immortal souls until this takes place.The whole purpose of Him returning to earth is to gather YHWHs/Gods children, make judgement on the world and rule the Kingdom forever. How can anyone go to heaven before they have received thier immortal soul and been judged? It is just not Biblical.

 

I do agree that we need the Bible but, we also need the Holy Spirit to give us understanding of it because without the Spirit there is no real understanding of Gods' Word.

 

Blessings and spirit filled truths to you in Yahushua/Jesus

You are correct in saying there are "no immortal souls."  That is a term that not found in the Bible.  We do have an eternal spirit that goes to be with the Lord at death.  "Immortal" has to do with the body, as when this "mortal shall put on immortality."  The mortal has to do with the natural, physical body of the individual in which the soul/spirit lives.  At death the eternal spirit goes to be either in Paradise, the place for faithful believers, or in Hades, the place of punishment for the unbeliever.  Since that time, the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, Paradise, and those in Paradise are with the Lord (2Cor 4:16-5:8; Phil 1:23-24).  Thus when Paul says, as he does in 2Cor 12:1-7 that he was caught up into Paradise, it was by "visions and revelations of the Lord," but none the less a "revelation."  Even Paul states that he did not know whether he was "in the body"....or "out of the body."  The point he is making is that he was given a revelation of the afterlife which he "is not permitted to speak."  He was even given a "thorn in the flesh"(what that was no one knows) in order to keep him from exalting himself because of the revelation given to him. 

But what I really wanted you to thing about is the fact that "immortality" has to do with the body and not the spirit.  The spirit at death continues to live in eternity.  It is the body that will become immortal at the resurrection of the the last day (Jno 5:28-29; 1Thes 4:13-17).  Note in particular the statement in Thessalonians that the spirits of those who have experienced the death of the body [fallen asleep] that their "spirits" are with the Lord and will be coming back with Him.  At that point the spirit and body will be reunited at the coming of the Lord.  By the way, the body will not be physical, but immortal, eternal, imperishable, spiritual, and heavenly (1Cor 15:35-54).  

Something for you to consider.  

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On the general topic of so-called NDE I can only offer the following: my dear friend the late Dr Richard Eby an MD of some note had the experience of "going to heaven and returning".....according to medical records he was "clinically dead" for I believe 22 hours (don't have his book handy) he wrote several books about his experience at the leading of the Lord.... the MOST significant factor of which was the Lord told him to tell the world he was coming back soon...Caught Up Into Paradise.....Tell Them...Tell Them...Tell Them and my favorite Didn't You Read My Book (which was how the Lord prefaced every answer to Eby's questions in heaven.....

 

the rest of the story is how we met.....Dr Eby saw my documentary on Christian Television "Behold The Man"....and broke down sobbing because he identified the man as Jesus Christ....he contacted me and later came to speak at my church.....

 

one of my personal beliefs is (like Paul on the Damascus Road I dare say) "the man with an experience in the Lord is never at the mercy of the man with a theology or lack there of"

 

 

found most of your insights and comments in the thread interesting  BTW  ....but for the flip-side 1) there are several good books on the subject  My 90 Minutes in Heaven...and Heaven is for Real (I found NO Scriptural  errors in either) 2) I don't know the title but a heart specialist revived a man who said rather loudly "DR DON'T STOP I AM IN HELL !!"  the Dr was at that time a non-believer but that led him to search the Scriptures and he got saved 3) I saw the testimony of another man who also went to hell (interestingly enough he described the "vast gulf" mentioned in Jesus' narrative of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar LK 16: 19-31) he related how the Lord spared him and he was telling his story so that others might get saved 4) MOST recently a non-believing neurosurgeon who was pronounced brain dead but kept on life support told his story of heaven to an incredulous Today Show...again a powerful testimony IMHO ...

 

but then I'm one who actually believes 

 

2Pe_3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 
 
the stories that I related all were again IMHO used to turn sinners to righteousness.... therefore I would expect and not at all be surprised that the devil would attempt to offer a counterfeit in order to discredit the real...just remember there is no such thing as a counterfeit $3.00 bill .....
 
:eagle:  :twocents:
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Every child of God has been told to declare the message of salvation from sin, the good news of the death, burial and resurrection, and that Jesus, the Lord is returning soon.  Christ could have returned at any moment since His first coming.  It is the message of the gospel that is the power of salvation to all those who believe.  

 

Thankfully, at this moment, no one is in hell.  Hell was prepared for the punishment of the Devil and his messengers (angles), and it was never meant for human spirits, but the unbeliever will be punished with them if they continue in unbelief and fail to repent.  

 

The unbelieving spirit at death goes to hades (Lk 16), but the believer goes to the realm of Paradise, and both await the last day resurrection into their eternal body. 

 

I wish we knew what Paul, the apostle, was told not to reveal.  That would be some interesting reading.  So far, none of those who say they have had an NDE have not revealed anything that we didn't already know from the Bible.  There has been some things that are inconsistent with God's revelation in the Bible, but that can quickly be dismissed as figments of the imagination.  

 

There is a song we sing that is instructive and powerful.  It stats, "Our God is an Awesome God, He reigns from Heaven above, with wisdom, power, and love, out God is an awesome God."  Amen to that!!!  

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/304204149804051846/

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You are correct in saying there are "no immortal souls."  That is a term that not found in the Bible.  We do have an eternal spirit that goes to be with the Lord at death.  "Immortal" has to do with the body, as when this "mortal shall put on immortality."  The mortal has to do with the natural, physical body of the individual in which the soul/spirit lives.  At death the eternal spirit goes to be either in Paradise, the place for faithful believers, or in Hades, the place of punishment for the unbeliever.  Since that time, the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, Paradise, and those in Paradise are with the Lord (2Cor 4:16-5:8; Phil 1:23-24).  Thus when Paul says, as he does in 2Cor 12:1-7 that he was caught up into Paradise, it was by "visions and revelations of the Lord," but none the less a "revelation."  Even Paul states that he did not know whether he was "in the body"....or "out of the body."  The point he is making is that he was given a revelation of the afterlife which he "is not permitted to speak."  He was even given a "thorn in the flesh"(what that was no one knows) in order to keep him from exalting himself because of the revelation given to him. 

But what I really wanted you to thing about is the fact that "immortality" has to do with the body and not the spirit.  The spirit at death continues to live in eternity.  It is the body that will become immortal at the resurrection of the the last day (Jno 5:28-29; 1Thes 4:13-17).  Note in particular the statement in Thessalonians that the spirits of those who have experienced the death of the body [fallen asleep] that their "spirits" are with the Lord and will be coming back with Him.  At that point the spirit and body will be reunited at the coming of the Lord.  By the way, the body will not be physical, but immortal, eternal, imperishable, spiritual, and heavenly (1Cor 15:35-54).  

Something for you to consider.  

 

Nelg,

I have thought about what you presented and thank you so much for explaining your understanding of it...

I have come to learn though that both body and soul die (as in cease to exist) not just the body so, I don't believe anyone goes anywhere until Yahushua returns and makes them/us immortal. Yahuhsua/Jesus tells us that death is like a sleep.

Scripture also makes it clear that both the body and soul do die, as well as the fact that there is no such thing as a disimbodied human spirit (as in ghosts, etc.). YHWH tells us in Eccles.9:5, that the dead know not a thing. When people die thier thoughts or conciousness cease to exist. When YHWH/God created man he formed his body from the earth and that body was just a body and not yet alive or concious until YHWH/God breathed his breath into it. This means that the body+Gods breath (maybe refered to as spirit) = a living soul.

When we die that process is reversed. When we physically die the breath/spirit (which is not the soul, but the breath of YHWH) leaves the body/returns to the Father. This means the soul ceases as does the body because there is no soul without both the body and the breath and the soul just like the body is not immortal. Psalm 146:3-4, "Put not your trust in the son of man his breath goes forth he returns to his earth in that very day his thoughts perish."

The soul ceases to exist only until it is reserected by Yahushua.You can't go from mortal to immortal if you already have a immortal soul.This is why the resserection applies to both body and soul. Dead means the absense or discontinuance of life and conciousness. It doesn't mean that just your body dies and decomposes. Death is not life in another place or leaving this life for another. When we die our thoughts PERISH. Which mean we don't exist period. It's like when you fall asleep and you have no awareness of anything.

As for hades, hell, sheol, the grave... This is exactly where you go when you die... It is the grave where we are placed but, It's also a state of non existence which is hard for us being and only knowing "alive" to accept. We actually do not exist in any form when we die until Yahushua returns. Otherwise there would be no need for a resserection. You can't resserect something that isn't really dead?

Unfortunately for some (non believers), they will experience not only the first death but, the second as well... meaning that since they have died the first physical death as we know it, then they too must be resserected to face judgement and the final death which results in thier souls being completely destroyed in the lake of fire.

This is the understanding the Holy Spirit has given me and I have no doubt that it is the truth.

i really like having these conversations. Maybe someone should start a forum here for talking about these kind of things. Then we wouldn't have to worry about getting of topic LOL...

Anyway, thanks again Nelg and blessing to you in Yahushua/Jesus

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This is really not off topic.  The nature of NDE is that there IS a life after death.  However, NDEs, by definition, means NEAR death experience and have not fully died.  

 

There are three kinds of death that came into being when Adam sinned.  Each kind affects us in different ways. 

Physical death

James, in making a contrast of faith and works, says, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”  (James 2:26)  The death of which James speaks refers to physical death.  When the spirit and the body separated, not to be joined again in this world, then we are physically dead.  It is physical death of which Paul writes in First Corinthians. “For since by a man came death, by a man also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive” (1Co 15:21-22).  These verses are found in the context of Paul’s discussion of the resurrection of Christ’s body from the grave.  As he explains to the Corinthian that Christ was raised bodily from the dead, then so also are those who believe in Christ will be raised bodily from the dead.

Physical death is the meaning.  The Psalmist writes, “What man can live and not see death?  Can he deliver his life from the hand of Sheol (the neither world, the grave)?” (Ps 89:48). 

Every step that we take brings us nearer to the grave, and it is but a matter of time until we must bid farewell to every earthly tie.

With all of the wisdom of the medical profession and the use of scientific discoveries, we must agree with the wise preacher of old who said; “For the living know that they shall die” (Ec 9:5). The Bible contains abundant warning about death, speaking as frequently on this subject as it does about any other.

In the garden of Eden where death had never entered, Adam and Eve were instructed by God to refrain from the forbidden fruit with the accompanying warning - Gn 2:17.  We know that they ate; and at that very moment the judgment of God passed upon them, their bodies commenced the process of death and decay (Gn 5:5).

On one page of our Bible we have the genealogy from Adam to Noah and with only one exception, Enoch, the man who walked with God and was translated, the refrain is repeated-- “and he died” (Gn 5).  It may be said of this chapter, it is a “grave” portion of the Bible. 

The Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles did not hesitate to declare that death is certain (Genesis 6:7; Gn 7:21;Gn 23:2; Dt 31:14; 2Kg 20:1; Jer 28:16; Ez 18:4; Ez 33:8; Lk 16:22; Jn 19:7; Acts 9:37).

The Bible is full of the subject of death. It is a reality that will consume the history of mankind. There is no escaping physical death. Try as hard as we can death still strides with bloody boots into the life of every person.

But scripture is not necessary to discover its presence.  All one needs to do is to just wait, listen, and view the reality of physical death.

But such is not the case for spiritual death.

Spiritual death - Results of our sin

Though all human kind suffers the consequence of being separated from God, it is our own personal sin that brings judgment because of that separation. 

When Adam sinned, on that day he died (Gen 2:17) spiritually.  He became separated from God who gives life.  Paul wrote in Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned – for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam’s offense, who is a type of Him who was to come.” 

The death referred to here is spiritual death, separation from God.  To take this to mean physical death is to destroy comparison that Paul is making between Adam and Christ.  We are related to one or the other, Christ or Adam, and that relationship brings in either spiritual death or spiritual life. 

This “spiritual death” spread to all men.  The idea of “spread” is that the sons became like their fathers.  They committed sin.  Sinning was the consequence of Adam’s transgression.

Thus, Ezekiel says, “the soul that sins will die.” (Ezk 18:20). It is the same thing that Paul says in Romans, “the wages of sin is death.” Rm 6:23.  This wage will be final and eternal unless a person comes to trusting obedience.  The person who is slave to sin is said to be spiritually dead.  Speaking to those who were previously dead but now spiritually alive, Paul writes,  “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the price of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.  Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest” (Ep 2:1-3). The “children of wrath” has reference to those who are spiritually dead and if they remain outside of Christ in unbelief, will face the eternal dead, the judgment of God. The parable of the prodigal son fits into those who are alive physically but spiritually dead.  (cf. Lk 15:24, 32).  To Timothy Paul writes of women, who were believing widows, but had allowed the flesh to influence their behavior, and they are now “dead while they live” (1Tm 5:6).  These women are physically alive, but spiritually dead.

None of those references concerning “spiritual death” relate to the “sleep” of the body, physical death, but to one’s spiritual separation from God.

Eternal death or banishment from the presence of God is another matter.  This death results from one being unrepentant and unbelieving. They may or may not have had a chance to hear the gospel, but they are now entering into their final destination after physical death. 

Jesus said to the disciples, “And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”  (Mt 10:28). The word “hell” in the context is Gehenna, the final destination for the unbeliever and sinner. 

Just a brief statement concerning hell:  Hell was not prepared for human beings.  It was prepared for the devil and his angels.  But the unbeliever and sinners will be sent to this place of torment and darkness if they do not or will not repent.  Such a place is only activated and filled after the resurrection and judgment.  Contrary to those who teach that there is a termination of suffering and anguish, and that God would not be so cruel as to have someone punished for eternity, hell is real, and the beings there are not eventually destroyed to non-existence.  To “destroy” does mean that it comes to an end, whether it is the end of one’s earthly life or termination of any event in time, the end of power for a law or ruling. (Destroy comes from the Greek word “apollumi” which has several meanings: perish, loose or lost, destroy or destroyed.  But at no point does it mean utter obliteration to non-existence.  Consider the following passages: Mat 2:13, 5:29-30, 8:25, 9:17, 10:6, 12:14, 15:24, 26:52; Mk 1:24; 4:38; Lk 9:56; 13:33; 15:4-32; 17:27; Jn 3:15-16; 10:10, 28; 17:12; 18:9, 14; Rm 14:15; Jm 4:12; 1Pt 1:7; 2Pt 3:6, 9; Jud 5, 11).

Spiritual death brings about the final death of those who do not know God or who are not obedient to the gospel (cf. 2Th 1:6-9).  These people, with both body and spirit, “will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”  That is, they will face eternal death. 

Jesus, in a confrontation with the Pharisees, spoke of an eternal death which would not be faced if only they would believe.  “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall not see death” (Jno 8:51). Jesus was not meaning that this individual will not be confronted with physical death, for that would be contradictory to reality and Scripture.  He is referring to the “death” that comes from being separated from God, spiritual and eternal death.  In this case these Jewish leaders were already “spiritual dead.”  Their alternative was to believe or face eternal death in hell at judgment. 

 

Destination of those that die:

The body goes to the grave –

It is needful for us to consider the abode of the body that has died or is “asleep.”  To do so we need to understand the “grave.”  Grave comes from the Hebrew word, qbuwrah (kev-u-ra) a feminine noun and means “grave,” “burial,” “sepulture,” or “burial site.” It is used 14 times in Scripture.  The plural “graves” occurs 16 times in 13 verses in the NASB.  (Total 30 Times.)  In all cases it refers to the place of the body of the dead

·       Gen 35:20  Jacob set up a pillar over her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day.

·       Gen 47:30  “but when I lie down with my fathers, you shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place. “

·       Deut 34:6 “And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no man knows his burial place to this day.”

·       2Kng 9:28 “Then his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem and buried him in his grave with his fathers in the city of David.”

·       Isa 14:20  “You will not be united with them in burial, because you have ruined your country, you have slain your people.  May the offspring of evildoers not be mentioned forever.”

·       Jer 22:19 “He will be buried with a donkey’s burial, Dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem”

Other words from the same root are (Qal) “to bury; (Niphal) to be buried; (Piel) to bury(in mass); (Pual) to be buried” and is used a total of 133 times.

·       Numb 11:34 So the name of that place was Kibroth-hattavah, because there they buried the people who had bee greedy.”

·       Judg 8:32 :And Gideon, the son of Joash died at a ripe old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.”

·       Mat 27:52 “The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.”

·       John 5:28 “ Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, “

It will decay

·       Ec 3:19-20

·       2Co 4:16

It is referred to as sleeping.  Note: It is the body that sleeps not the spirit or soul of man.  Never is it used in connection with the soul/spirit, but only the body. 

·       Dan 12:2 sleep in the dust of the ground. How can the nonmaterial sleep in the dust? They do not.  It is the physical body that “sleeps.”

·       Jn 11:11-15. -The same use of sleep is seen in John 11. Jesus says that Lazarus sleeps; later he said plainly, “Lazarus is dead.” When Jesus awakens Lazarus, which part of him was it that he wakened? The soul or the body? If it were the soul that alone would never have brought Lazarus’s body out of the tomb.  It appears that the sleeping and the walking refer to the body.

·       Again, Acts 13:36, Paul says that David “fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers, and underwent decay.” So, if the word sleep means the soul, then after David died it was his soul that saw “decay.”   Since the soul/spirit is nonmaterial, how could it undergo decay?  Clearly it cannot.  The physical death of the body is what is meant when it refers to someone being “asleep.”

·       The “sleep” of the Corinthian passage is directly related to the physical body.  When someone physically died, it was said that they were “asleep;” their spirit goes to be “with the Lord” (1Co 15:50-54; 1Th 4:13). When Jesus returns, these “spirits” are with Him.  These spirits are returning to receive an immortal body, one like the Lord’s.

Death of the body is the first death.

The spirit or soul goes to be in a realm where there is a conscious existence and awareness of events taking place around them. 

There is a conscious awareness by the spirit after the death of the body. 

·       Moses died and God buried his body (Dt 34:5-6).  Yet we see Moses speaking to Christ at the beginning of His ministry.  This was hundreds of years later.  (Mt 17:5; Mk 9:4). During this period, was Moses aware of his surroundings?  Was he aware that he was in the presence of God and surrounded by angelic beings?  Possibly.  Hebrews seems to indicate that all those who have gone on to the spirit realm are aware of their condition and God’s bringing about His plan to perfection. (cf. Heb 12:22-24).

 

·       Elijah is taken up in a whirlwind to heaven (2Kg 2:11).  This was an unusual occasion.  Elijah, a great prophet of God, did not face physical death as the other prophets and apostles.  He and Elisha were walking along talking about the power that God had given to Elijah, when out of the sky appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire, which separated the two of them.  And Elijah went up in a whirlwind to heaven.  Evidently the chariot and horses were from the spiritual realm that surrounds the saints and can only be seen when God lifts the veil in order for us to see them (2Kngs 6:15-17).  Elijah was bodily taken away by one of these fascinating vehicles.  Hundreds of years later Elijah and Moses both reappears in person on the mount of transfiguration (Mk. 9:4). That appearance with Jesus, talking to Him about His coming crucifixion in Jerusalem.  This wasn’t a dream.  These men were fully awake and afraid, for a great cloud began to overshadow Moses, Elijah, and Jesus (Lk 9:28-35). These men were fully and conscientiously aware of what was going on during the life of Jesus and were eager to talk with Jesus. 

Jesus declares that the Patriarchs live (Mt 22:23-33). The Sadducees had come to Jesus and questioned Him concerning a “made up” situation that was designed to reveal Jesus’ teaching about a life after death.  Now the Sadducees were the liberal rationalists of the day.  They didn’t believe in a resurrection, much less a realm after death with living, conscious beings.  The question was about marriage in this life and marriage in the hereafter. But it was far more than just a theological question.  What they really wanted to know is if Jesus believed in a life after death.  The woman had been married to seven brothers and all of them died.  Therefore, you, Jesus, do you believe in conscious afterlife? “Whose wife of the seven shall she be?” Jesus quickly sets aside the marriage question and gets to the heart of the issue, is there life after death?  Jesus quotes a passage from Exodus 3:6.  When God spoke to Moses Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had long been physically dead.  Yet God identifies Himself as being their God!  Is God the God of the dead?  In a sense He is a God of both, but here the concern are the spirits of those who have died.  Are they alive?  Jesus says yes!  “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?  God is not the God of the dead but of the living.”  To be a loving and caring God requires a relationship, a relationship with other living beings.  So, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are still alive! 

Abraham speaks, and Lazarus and the rich man are conscious and aware or their surroundings (Lk 16:22-31).  What we need to address is the fact that Lazarus and the Rich man were awake and aware of their surroundings.  One was in “the bosom of Abraham” while the other was “in Hades” being tormented.  The Rich man could see, hear, feel, speak, reason, desire, remember, and was in agony.  As it has been pointed out in sermons, he also became evangelistic.  It is clear that in the spirit realm the spirits are alive and aware.

Jesus spoke to the thief crucified beside Him, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Lk 23:42).  Ever Jew knew what “Paradise” meant, “Abraham’s bosom” of the place of spirit of those who had died physically. It is where Lazarus was and was totally aware of being comforted.  Now this person’s spirit will be there as well. 

Jesus preached to the spirits in prison (Hades) before the resurrection of His body (1Pt 3:18-20).  They must have been conscious for them to have listen to the preaching.  First, note that Christ’s body went to the tomb; he suffered death in the flesh, but is made alive in the spirit.  If Jesus was/is just like human beings and we are like Him, the process will/is the same.  We die in the flesh but are alive in the spirit. In this particular passage it is Jesus who died, “having been put to death in the flesh” and “having been made alive in the spirit” belong inseparable together; which means that it was immediately after both that Jesus went to those “spirits in prison.”  It was not Jesus speaking through Noah to those before the flood, but Jesus spoke to them after His crucifixion. Those souls were already dead and in the spirit realm.

Re 6:9-11 -- In this passage, even though Revelation is highly symbolic, does seem to indicate that the souls are aware of what is transpiring on the earth.  The same thing is true of a number of passages in Revelation that show the saints as praising and worshipping God in their life after death. They are aware of time and what will take place at the Judgment of the wicked.   

Re 20:4 -- This passage states that the souls of those beheaded come to life and reign with Christ.  These are the martyred saints who had died during persecution.  They are, at present, alive and reigning with Christ.   (The first resurrection is the resurrection of the spirit or soul to be with the Lord.  The second resurrection is the resurrection of the body.)

So it is the body that dies, but the spirit is alive and cognizant of everything that is going around them. 

Those who have an NDE is are capable to see the spiritual world, but whether they do or not is dependant if it is consistent with what God has already revealed.  Anything they reveal that is additional to our knowledge would be consistent and complementary to what God has already revealed. 

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Yes, the Immortality of the soul, the original lie; it’s true, the more things change the more they stay the same. Today this is being thought throughout the world empire of false religion, Christendom playing the most prominent reprehensible part by her calm to be representing Jesus Christ.  

 

 “At this the woman said to the serpent: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But God has said about the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden: ‘You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it; otherwise you will die.’” At this the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die. For God knows that in the very day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and bad.” (Gen 3:2-5)

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"All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Matthew 11:27

 

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.  Matthew 24:36

 

But as it is written , Eye hath not seen , nor ear heard , neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cor 2:9

 

Context?  That there are some things we are not to know in this fallen world and in our fallen state.  Later?  Now that's a different story and I can't wait for that face to face reunion; "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,..." Hebrews 12:1

 

GH

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This is really not off topic.  The nature of NDE is that there IS a life after death.  However, NDEs, by definition, means NEAR death experience and have not fully died.  

 

There are three kinds of death that came into being when Adam sinned.  Each kind affects us in different ways. 

Physical death

James, in making a contrast of faith and works, says, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”  (James 2:26)  The death of which James speaks refers to physical death.  When the spirit and the body separated, not to be joined again in this world, then we are physically dead.  It is physical death of which Paul writes in First Corinthians. “For since by a man came death, by a man also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive” (1Co 15:21-22).  These verses are found in the context of Paul’s discussion of the resurrection of Christ’s body from the grave.  As he explains to the Corinthian that Christ was raised bodily from the dead, then so also are those who believe in Christ will be raised bodily from the dead.

Physical death is the meaning.  The Psalmist writes, “What man can live and not see death?  Can he deliver his life from the hand of Sheol (the neither world, the grave)?” (Ps 89:48). 

Every step that we take brings us nearer to the grave, and it is but a matter of time until we must bid farewell to every earthly tie.

With all of the wisdom of the medical profession and the use of scientific discoveries, we must agree with the wise preacher of old who said; “For the living know that they shall die” (Ec 9:5). The Bible contains abundant warning about death, speaking as frequently on this subject as it does about any other.

In the garden of Eden where death had never entered, Adam and Eve were instructed by God to refrain from the forbidden fruit with the accompanying warning - Gn 2:17.  We know that they ate; and at that very moment the judgment of God passed upon them, their bodies commenced the process of death and decay (Gn 5:5).

On one page of our Bible we have the genealogy from Adam to Noah and with only one exception, Enoch, the man who walked with God and was translated, the refrain is repeated-- “and he died” (Gn 5).  It may be said of this chapter, it is a “grave” portion of the Bible. 

The Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles did not hesitate to declare that death is certain (Genesis 6:7; Gn 7:21;Gn 23:2; Dt 31:14; 2Kg 20:1; Jer 28:16; Ez 18:4; Ez 33:8; Lk 16:22; Jn 19:7; Acts 9:37).

The Bible is full of the subject of death. It is a reality that will consume the history of mankind. There is no escaping physical death. Try as hard as we can death still strides with bloody boots into the life of every person.

But scripture is not necessary to discover its presence.  All one needs to do is to just wait, listen, and view the reality of physical death.

But such is not the case for spiritual death.

Spiritual death - Results of our sin

Though all human kind suffers the consequence of being separated from God, it is our own personal sin that brings judgment because of that separation. 

When Adam sinned, on that day he died (Gen 2:17) spiritually.  He became separated from God who gives life.  Paul wrote in Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned – for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam’s offense, who is a type of Him who was to come.” 

The death referred to here is spiritual death, separation from God.  To take this to mean physical death is to destroy comparison that Paul is making between Adam and Christ.  We are related to one or the other, Christ or Adam, and that relationship brings in either spiritual death or spiritual life. 

This “spiritual death” spread to all men.  The idea of “spread” is that the sons became like their fathers.  They committed sin.  Sinning was the consequence of Adam’s transgression.

Thus, Ezekiel says, “the soul that sins will die.” (Ezk 18:20). It is the same thing that Paul says in Romans, “the wages of sin is death.” Rm 6:23.  This wage will be final and eternal unless a person comes to trusting obedience.  The person who is slave to sin is said to be spiritually dead.  Speaking to those who were previously dead but now spiritually alive, Paul writes,  “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the price of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.  Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest” (Ep 2:1-3). The “children of wrath” has reference to those who are spiritually dead and if they remain outside of Christ in unbelief, will face the eternal dead, the judgment of God. The parable of the prodigal son fits into those who are alive physically but spiritually dead.  (cf. Lk 15:24, 32).  To Timothy Paul writes of women, who were believing widows, but had allowed the flesh to influence their behavior, and they are now “dead while they live” (1Tm 5:6).  These women are physically alive, but spiritually dead.

None of those references concerning “spiritual death” relate to the “sleep” of the body, physical death, but to one’s spiritual separation from God.

Eternal death or banishment from the presence of God is another matter.  This death results from one being unrepentant and unbelieving. They may or may not have had a chance to hear the gospel, but they are now entering into their final destination after physical death. 

Jesus said to the disciples, “And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”  (Mt 10:28). The word “hell” in the context is Gehenna, the final destination for the unbeliever and sinner. 

Just a brief statement concerning hell:  Hell was not prepared for human beings.  It was prepared for the devil and his angels.  But the unbeliever and sinners will be sent to this place of torment and darkness if they do not or will not repent.  Such a place is only activated and filled after the resurrection and judgment.  Contrary to those who teach that there is a termination of suffering and anguish, and that God would not be so cruel as to have someone punished for eternity, hell is real, and the beings there are not eventually destroyed to non-existence.  To “destroy” does mean that it comes to an end, whether it is the end of one’s earthly life or termination of any event in time, the end of power for a law or ruling. (Destroy comes from the Greek word “apollumi” which has several meanings: perish, loose or lost, destroy or destroyed.  But at no point does it mean utter obliteration to non-existence.  Consider the following passages: Mat 2:13, 5:29-30, 8:25, 9:17, 10:6, 12:14, 15:24, 26:52; Mk 1:24; 4:38; Lk 9:56; 13:33; 15:4-32; 17:27; Jn 3:15-16; 10:10, 28; 17:12; 18:9, 14; Rm 14:15; Jm 4:12; 1Pt 1:7; 2Pt 3:6, 9; Jud 5, 11).

Spiritual death brings about the final death of those who do not know God or who are not obedient to the gospel (cf. 2Th 1:6-9).  These people, with both body and spirit, “will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”  That is, they will face eternal death. 

Jesus, in a confrontation with the Pharisees, spoke of an eternal death which would not be faced if only they would believe.  “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall not see death” (Jno 8:51). Jesus was not meaning that this individual will not be confronted with physical death, for that would be contradictory to reality and Scripture.  He is referring to the “death” that comes from being separated from God, spiritual and eternal death.  In this case these Jewish leaders were already “spiritual dead.”  Their alternative was to believe or face eternal death in hell at judgment. 

 

Destination of those that die:

The body goes to the grave –

It is needful for us to consider the abode of the body that has died or is “asleep.”  To do so we need to understand the “grave.”  Grave comes from the Hebrew word, qbuwrah (kev-u-ra) a feminine noun and means “grave,” “burial,” “sepulture,” or “burial site.” It is used 14 times in Scripture.  The plural “graves” occurs 16 times in 13 verses in the NASB.  (Total 30 Times.)  In all cases it refers to the place of the body of the dead

·       Gen 35:20  Jacob set up a pillar over her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day.

·       Gen 47:30  “but when I lie down with my fathers, you shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place. “

·       Deut 34:6 “And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no man knows his burial place to this day.”

·       2Kng 9:28 “Then his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem and buried him in his grave with his fathers in the city of David.”

·       Isa 14:20  “You will not be united with them in burial, because you have ruined your country, you have slain your people.  May the offspring of evildoers not be mentioned forever.”

·       Jer 22:19 “He will be buried with a donkey’s burial, Dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem”

Other words from the same root are (Qal) “to bury; (Niphal) to be buried; (Piel) to bury(in mass); (Pual) to be buried” and is used a total of 133 times.

·       Numb 11:34 So the name of that place was Kibroth-hattavah, because there they buried the people who had bee greedy.”

·       Judg 8:32 :And Gideon, the son of Joash died at a ripe old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.”

·       Mat 27:52 “The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.”

·       John 5:28 “ Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, “

It will decay

·       Ec 3:19-20

·       2Co 4:16

It is referred to as sleeping.  Note: It is the body that sleeps not the spirit or soul of man.  Never is it used in connection with the soul/spirit, but only the body. 

·       Dan 12:2 sleep in the dust of the ground. How can the nonmaterial sleep in the dust? They do not.  It is the physical body that “sleeps.”

·       Jn 11:11-15. -The same use of sleep is seen in John 11. Jesus says that Lazarus sleeps; later he said plainly, “Lazarus is dead.” When Jesus awakens Lazarus, which part of him was it that he wakened? The soul or the body? If it were the soul that alone would never have brought Lazarus’s body out of the tomb.  It appears that the sleeping and the walking refer to the body.

·       Again, Acts 13:36, Paul says that David “fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers, and underwent decay.” So, if the word sleep means the soul, then after David died it was his soul that saw “decay.”   Since the soul/spirit is nonmaterial, how could it undergo decay?  Clearly it cannot.  The physical death of the body is what is meant when it refers to someone being “asleep.”

·       The “sleep” of the Corinthian passage is directly related to the physical body.  When someone physically died, it was said that they were “asleep;” their spirit goes to be “with the Lord” (1Co 15:50-54; 1Th 4:13). When Jesus returns, these “spirits” are with Him.  These spirits are returning to receive an immortal body, one like the Lord’s.

Death of the body is the first death.

The spirit or soul goes to be in a realm where there is a conscious existence and awareness of events taking place around them. 

There is a conscious awareness by the spirit after the death of the body. 

·       Moses died and God buried his body (Dt 34:5-6).  Yet we see Moses speaking to Christ at the beginning of His ministry.  This was hundreds of years later.  (Mt 17:5; Mk 9:4). During this period, was Moses aware of his surroundings?  Was he aware that he was in the presence of God and surrounded by angelic beings?  Possibly.  Hebrews seems to indicate that all those who have gone on to the spirit realm are aware of their condition and God’s bringing about His plan to perfection. (cf. Heb 12:22-24).

 

·       Elijah is taken up in a whirlwind to heaven (2Kg 2:11).  This was an unusual occasion.  Elijah, a great prophet of God, did not face physical death as the other prophets and apostles.  He and Elisha were walking along talking about the power that God had given to Elijah, when out of the sky appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire, which separated the two of them.  And Elijah went up in a whirlwind to heaven.  Evidently the chariot and horses were from the spiritual realm that surrounds the saints and can only be seen when God lifts the veil in order for us to see them (2Kngs 6:15-17).  Elijah was bodily taken away by one of these fascinating vehicles.  Hundreds of years later Elijah and Moses both reappears in person on the mount of transfiguration (Mk. 9:4). That appearance with Jesus, talking to Him about His coming crucifixion in Jerusalem.  This wasn’t a dream.  These men were fully awake and afraid, for a great cloud began to overshadow Moses, Elijah, and Jesus (Lk 9:28-35). These men were fully and conscientiously aware of what was going on during the life of Jesus and were eager to talk with Jesus. 

Jesus declares that the Patriarchs live (Mt 22:23-33). The Sadducees had come to Jesus and questioned Him concerning a “made up” situation that was designed to reveal Jesus’ teaching about a life after death.  Now the Sadducees were the liberal rationalists of the day.  They didn’t believe in a resurrection, much less a realm after death with living, conscious beings.  The question was about marriage in this life and marriage in the hereafter. But it was far more than just a theological question.  What they really wanted to know is if Jesus believed in a life after death.  The woman had been married to seven brothers and all of them died.  Therefore, you, Jesus, do you believe in conscious afterlife? “Whose wife of the seven shall she be?” Jesus quickly sets aside the marriage question and gets to the heart of the issue, is there life after death?  Jesus quotes a passage from Exodus 3:6.  When God spoke to Moses Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had long been physically dead.  Yet God identifies Himself as being their God!  Is God the God of the dead?  In a sense He is a God of both, but here the concern are the spirits of those who have died.  Are they alive?  Jesus says yes!  “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?  God is not the God of the dead but of the living.”  To be a loving and caring God requires a relationship, a relationship with other living beings.  So, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are still alive! 

Abraham speaks, and Lazarus and the rich man are conscious and aware or their surroundings (Lk 16:22-31).  What we need to address is the fact that Lazarus and the Rich man were awake and aware of their surroundings.  One was in “the bosom of Abraham” while the other was “in Hades” being tormented.  The Rich man could see, hear, feel, speak, reason, desire, remember, and was in agony.  As it has been pointed out in sermons, he also became evangelistic.  It is clear that in the spirit realm the spirits are alive and aware.

Jesus spoke to the thief crucified beside Him, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Lk 23:42).  Ever Jew knew what “Paradise” meant, “Abraham’s bosom” of the place of spirit of those who had died physically. It is where Lazarus was and was totally aware of being comforted.  Now this person’s spirit will be there as well. 

Jesus preached to the spirits in prison (Hades) before the resurrection of His body (1Pt 3:18-20).  They must have been conscious for them to have listen to the preaching.  First, note that Christ’s body went to the tomb; he suffered death in the flesh, but is made alive in the spirit.  If Jesus was/is just like human beings and we are like Him, the process will/is the same.  We die in the flesh but are alive in the spirit. In this particular passage it is Jesus who died, “having been put to death in the flesh” and “having been made alive in the spirit” belong inseparable together; which means that it was immediately after both that Jesus went to those “spirits in prison.”  It was not Jesus speaking through Noah to those before the flood, but Jesus spoke to them after His crucifixion. Those souls were already dead and in the spirit realm.

Re 6:9-11 -- In this passage, even though Revelation is highly symbolic, does seem to indicate that the souls are aware of what is transpiring on the earth.  The same thing is true of a number of passages in Revelation that show the saints as praising and worshipping God in their life after death. They are aware of time and what will take place at the Judgment of the wicked.   

Re 20:4 -- This passage states that the souls of those beheaded come to life and reign with Christ.  These are the martyred saints who had died during persecution.  They are, at present, alive and reigning with Christ.   (The first resurrection is the resurrection of the spirit or soul to be with the Lord.  The second resurrection is the resurrection of the body.)

So it is the body that dies, but the spirit is alive and cognizant of everything that is going around them. 

Those who have an NDE is are capable to see the spiritual world, but whether they do or not is dependant if it is consistent with what God has already revealed.  Anything they reveal that is additional to our knowledge would be consistent and complementary to what God has already revealed. 

 

That was a lot and I am going to attempt to touch on some of it at least LOL...

 

The thing I thought about first that you mentioned was what some call the "Transfiguration" or when Yahushua/Jesus took three of his deciples to a mountain and they (Peter,James and Paul) were all wittness to a vision that included Moses and Elijah. We know this because Yahushua/Jesus told his deciples not to tell anyone about the "vision" until after he had risin from the dead... and we know Jesus hadn't risin from the dead yet because He hadn't died yet so, it is clear that Moses and Elijah were not litterally alive. They were just in the vision of what was to come that Yahushua/Jesus shared with his diciples.

 

Luke 9:31, records that they (Moses & Elijah) appeared in glory and spoke of His death which he was about to accomplish in Jerusalem. In 1 corinthians 15:43, paul writes that the body is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory.

 

When Christ's followers are reserected at his return they will be raised in glory. Yahushuas'/Jesus' ressurection to his glorified form made him the firstborn from the dead so, it would be impossible for Moses, Elijah or anyone else to actually be resserected to glory before Jesus was. This helps to show that this was indeed only a vision of things to come and that Moses and Elijah were a part of that vision as representatives of the Law and the prophets who stand in agreement with Yahushua/Jesus.

 

On to something else that made me think was the subject of "Gehenna", which is one of the many words that has been mistranslated into "hell". Hell should not have been used except for maybe only one of those words if any at all and so makes for confusion.

 

I believe that both "hell" and "hellfire" were actually used for Gehenna. Gehenna or Gehinnom was an actual place just outside of Jerusalem known as the Valley Of Hinnom also refered to as "the valley of dead bones". It was a place where apostates and basically satanits would sacrfice thier children and others by fire. It later became a dumping ground for sewage and refuse. There were bones and bodies and rubbish everywhere. Continual fires burned there to destroy the foul and corrupt objects thrown there so, not a very nice place at all.

 

Yahushua/Jesus used Gehenna just as an illistration for the final judgement of the wicked, a place where both the body and soul would be seperated from YHWH for eternity and destroyed. He used it also to condemn the hypocritical religious leaders. Gehenna is found outside of Jerusalem and the fate of the wicked will also be found outside of the new Jerusalem.

 

Those who are non believers do not get an everlasting soul. They get death. There are only two choices YHWH/God gives us and that is either everlasting life or death. The ONLY way you can live forever is through Yahushua HaMashiach/Jesus. Again, the human soul is not eteranl until Christ makes it so. This is the whole reason he gave his life for us. Without him the penalty for sin is DEATH which means we cease to exist permanantely. Without Christ when we die we would just cease to exist forever. There would be no resserection, judgement or the going of anywhere because we would just be dead which is really what we deserve. Dead is dead... and that means NO conciousness of anything or else it wouldn't really be "Dead".

 

Yahushua/Jesus made everlasting life possible for us through his sacrifice for us so that even though we ALL die the first death (with the exception of those still alive when he returns) that we don't have to suffer the second and final one after his return.

Part of the reason for the doctrine of a never ending, burning, tormenting hell (as in people burning and suffering there for eternity) is because of the teaching that mankind has an eternal soul to begin with, which actually came from the Greeks. The worlds pagan poets even pushed the concept of an underground ever burning hell. No place in Scripture will you find that the soul is initially immortal. The soul can die and can be destroyed. The only way to eternal life is through Christ Yahushua. (Matt. 10:28) "Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, rather be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell." The original word used here was, "Gehenna".

 

Because of mistranslations using the word "hell" people misunderstand and confuse these words and automatically have this image of a firey burning place full of demons and others being torched for eternity. The Bible calls the second death "The lake of fire". At the first death we are not tormented. There is nothing that tells us we are burned forever. At the second death, death and Gehenna are thrown into the lake of fire and BURNED UP or DESTROYED. You exist no more neither in body or soul. They are destroyed. (Rev. 20:14) "Then death and hades were thrown into the lake of fire." The lake of fire IS the second death.

 

We are told clearly in the book of John that whoever believes in Yahushua/Jesus shall not PERISH but have everlasting life. Where do people get suffer an eternal life in torment from this word "PERISH"? Or "burn in hell forever"? The wages of sin is DEATH, not eternal torment in hell/Gehenna.

 

We don't have immortal souls and can't go anywhere when we die except for the grave. We cease until Yahushua returns and raises the dead in him, thus granting us immortality for our everlasting life. At this time when the "DEAD IN CHRIST" are raised, the dead unbelievers are not. That happens at what you refered to as "the second ressurection".

 

I am still a little confused on your view of the "spirit". You said that it goes to be with Yahushua and from what I gather you are saying that, that spirit (our spirit) is concious of this at the time of our death and conciously existing with Yahushua? I understand that our souls and spirits are two distinct things and can be seperated and that our spirit is actually concealed within our soul and that the Spirit/Breath/Ruach of YHWH/God allows us to connect with Him. However, we are not spirits but, souls. The soul is litterally WHO we are and the spirit is the aspect that YHWH/God placed in us (Via breathing it into Adam at his creation) that allows us to connect with Him. It is the life, power, force of YHWH and yes, that exists forever and at our death returns to Him but, it isn't OUR soul or concious being so, we would have no awarness of that. That is what the soul is for and it is litterally dead/asleep  until Christ returns.

 

If you don't believe that the soul dies or sleeps then where is it after death until Christ returns? Keep in mind that the soul is different from the spirit and i understand that you believe the spirit goes to be with the Lord in a concious state and I too belive the spirit goes back to our Father, only I don't believe it is our conciousness. Our conciousness is our soul so, what about the soul? We have a dead body, a spirit that returned to the Lord and that leaves us with a soul. Where is it?

 

Just wanted to end with one of the things that make me cringe most (and there are a few lol) is when I hear people stating that thier loved one is 'in Heaven now' or someone saying 'so and so is rotting in hell right now', or "my mom is an angel watching over me now." etc... It is just not Biblical and so, I completely agree with you on the fact that there is no one in Hell right now. There is also no human being in Heaven either. We can't ascend to heaven  nor be able to live in the Kingdom of YHWH/God until we have been transformed into our new and glorified bodies and that doesn't take place until Yahushua returns.

 

I probably left out a lot but, that's all I can think of at the moment.

 

Look forward to hearing more from you.

 

Love and blessings to you my Brother in Yahushua/Jesus

Edited by Djorgie

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"Jesus spoke to the thief crucified beside Him, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Lk 23:42).  Ever Jew knew what “Paradise” meant, “Abraham’s bosom” of the place of spirit of those who had died physically. It is where Lazarus was and was totally aware of being comforted.  Now this person’s spirit will be there as well."

 

Nelg, sorry i did forget that I wanted to touch on the above as well before I sign off...

 

Yahushua/Jesus did say this, however, we have to remember that Yahushua didn't go anywhere. He was dead for three days and then rose. I know some people even believe that this verse proves that you go straight to heaven when you die which is silly if you understand that Yahushua/Jesus didn't go to heaven until after he was raised from the dead, took on his glorified body and then ascended to heaven later. He couldn't have been in "paradise" or heaven with anyone at that time.

 

Also, the word "paradise" in this case is used as a synonym for "heaven". It has also been used to refer to the Garden Of Eden. I haven't found any other meaning as of yet. When Yahushua/Jesus said this he did mean "heaven" only he didn't mean that litterally TODAY (as in that very day) the thief would be in heaven with him. We know that because puncuations were introduced into the Scriptures after the fact that commas can not be considered authoritaive. He stated it in the way he did because it was something he wanted the thief to listen to with great care.

 

I'm sure I will think of more i wished I had now but, I gotta go!

 

Blessings in Yahushua

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The Glories of Heaven

By John MacArthur

 

“It is, however, right and beneficial for Christians to fix their hearts on heaven. Scripture commands us to cultivate that perspective:

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on earth” (Colossians 3:1–2).

 

“While we do not look at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

 

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

 

Such a perspective is the very essence of true faith, according to Hebrews 11. Those with authentic, biblical faith acknowledge that they are strangers and pilgrims on this earth (v. 13). They are seeking a heavenly homeland (v. 14). They “desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.

 

Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (v. 16). The “city” that verse refers to is the heavenly Jerusalem, an unimaginable place—the very capital of heaven. It will be the eternal abode of the redeemed. No wonder Christians are intrigued with the subject.  But no matter how much they might obsess over what heaven is like, people who fill their heads with a lot of fantastic or delusional ideas from others’ near-death experiences have not truly set their minds on things above. If the inerrant biblical truth God has given us is the only reliable knowledge about heaven we have access to (and it is), then that is what should grip our hearts and minds, not the dreams and speculations of human minds.”

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The Glories of Heaven

By John MacArthur

 

“It is, however, right and beneficial for Christians to fix their hearts on heaven. Scripture commands us to cultivate that perspective:

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on earth” (Colossians 3:1–2).

 

“While we do not look at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

 

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

 

Such a perspective is the very essence of true faith, according to Hebrews 11. Those with authentic, biblical faith acknowledge that they are strangers and pilgrims on this earth (v. 13). They are seeking a heavenly homeland (v. 14). They “desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.

 

Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (v. 16). The “city” that verse refers to is the heavenly Jerusalem, an unimaginable place—the very capital of heaven. It will be the eternal abode of the redeemed. No wonder Christians are intrigued with the subject.  But no matter how much they might obsess over what heaven is like, people who fill their heads with a lot of fantastic or delusional ideas from others’ near-death experiences have not truly set their minds on things above. If the inerrant biblical truth God has given us is the only reliable knowledge about heaven we have access to (and it is), then that is what should grip our hearts and minds, not the dreams and speculations of human minds.”

 

 

Very well put George... and my heart and mind is indeed gripped by the Word of YHWH/God and all his ways. This life is but a vapor and I am so blessed and overjoyed that he has been so merciful and loving as to give us a chance at eternal life through His precious Son Yahushua/Jesus. This earth is not my true home. It's just a rest stop on the way there.

 

I don't believe in NDE in the sense that people can go to "heaven" and then come back. To me it is blaspheme because it completely goes against what Christ taught and also insinuates that a person is greater than Yahushua/Jesus by being able to do something like this. Yahushua/Jesus is the only one who has ascended to heaven and that was after he was given his glorified body and he hasn't returned yet so, people are saying in essence that they can die and go to heaven without a glorified body and then return to tell thier stories when Yahushua hasn't even come back yet. t puts a ma in a greater position than Yahushua/Jesus and It makes both he and the Father out to be liers. It is just another one of satan's lies.

 

 

 

Nelg,

While I'm here I may as well add that I was thinking again... I know, a dangerous thing to do LOL...

 

Anyway, I was also thinking about Lazarus and "Abraham's Bosom"  which I think you also talked about.

 

The parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man is another tough one for people to understand. Many take it as litteral, however, it is a parable. Yahuhsua/Jesus spoke in parables a lot and this one like many others has been misinterpreted.

 

People believe that it talks about the litteral torture in the afterlife and that it means we go straight to heaven. This is because they take it litterally. If you are going to do this though you have to leave out many facts like, #1 The rich man is never accused of any sin, he is just portrayed as a wealthy man. Does being rich mean you go to hell/the grave? #2 It wasn't stated that Lazarus was a rightous man, only that he was a poor begger. Does this mean that because you are poor that you get to go to Heaven? #3 Why would the rich man die and be buried but, Lazarus dies and is carried straight to heaven with no mention of burial? #4 Those in Heaven would be able to see those being torchered in Hell? #5 Those in Hell will be able to carry on conversations with those in Heaven while being tormented? #6 The word "hell" in this parable is translated from the word "Hades" which means the state of being dead or the unseen, not eternal torment.

 

At the time of this parable Yahushua/Jesus was speaking to two groups of people who were present. They were the sinners/gentiles and the pharisees/Jewish religious leaders. We know that the Jews had been YHWHs chosen people for thousands of years at this point and the Gentiles were considered to be outcasts and not a part of the chosen family of YHWH/God.

Yahushua/Jesus was teaching to them ALL. The Gentiles understood that they were now able to be a part of that Family and included in the inheritance of YHWHs blessings. The Pharisees were made aware that they were being rebuked for being poor stewards. The rich man represents the Jews/Pharisees and Lazarus represents the Gentiles. The whole message of this parable shows us how thier roles were reversed.

 

When Abraham died he did not ascend to Heaven or go to some type of purgatory. He was burried and "gathered to his people" in the cave of Machpelah in the field of Ephron. Lazarus didn't die and go to Heaven or some kind of purgatorty either. To be in "Abrahams' Bosom" means to be in close relation ship with him or to be with him in a prefered status. It's simple... The beggar is one who will be in the first resserection with the faithful and a thousand yrs later when the rich man is raised up at the second resserection and sees Lazarus now in that favored position, actually in the Kingdom with Abraham he becomes tormented. He knows what his fate is. Can you imagine?!

 

Abrahams bosom is an idiom for eternal life and not for some waiting place or purgatory for the dead.

 

(Matthew 8:11) And I say unto you that many shall come from the east and west and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven."

 

 

That's all I have for now LOL...

 

Thank you and blessings to both of you in Yahushua Ha Mashiach

Edited by Djorgie
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Thank you Djorgie - I agree with you totally regarding persons in Heaven unable to view the comings and goings of humans or, even principalities, demons and angels.

 

As the great Iconoclast and poet wrote:

 

THE CALL

 

 

The warlock call is out and about

The evil last days have begun

The wolves blatantly call the sheep

And bleatingly they come

 

There is a side to nightfall

Eternity has held

For hapless prey and those who say

“Long last the dog’s kingdom!”

 

With midnight light they delight

To sneer leer, and mock you

They dart back into shadows

They stay just out of view

 

So gather all your kinsmen

Protect them with your love

Teach them about His wisdom

Share the peace from above

 

His mantel will drape around you

It will cover all your fears

He will carry all your burdens

He always will be near

 

And as the days go marching by

While we grow ever stronger

Prowling wolves seem less a threat

As we approach “Up Yonder”

 

From up there upon that knoll

And if we could look back

We’d see a group of struggling dogs;

A devilish mongrel pack

 

They’d be howling lost in time

Chasing their own tails

To the center of all evilness

Where sin and hate prevail

 

We will not be bothered

By the absent unctuous dark

We shall sing great praises

Of God’s great work of art

 

Our voices bright with glory

Rising sweetly from our lips

Will fill all of heaven

With gracious thankfulness

 

Until that time abide in Him

Heed not the warlock call

Their darkest hour’s coming

The wicked will surely fall

 

George Hayduke

© 1980

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Thursday, January 22


 




You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory . . . because you created all things.—Rev. 4:11.




Many say that they believe only in things that they can see with their eyes. How can we help such individuals to build faith in Jehovah? After all, the Bible says that “no man has seen God at any time.” (John 1:18) For that matter, how can we make sure that our own faith in “the invisible God,” Jehovah, remains strong? (Col. 1:15) An initial step is to identify teachings that obscure the truth about Jehovah. Then we must skillfully use the Bible to overturn any reasonings that are “raised up against the knowledge of God.” (2 Cor. 10:4, 5) One false teaching that blinds people to the truth about God is the doctrine of evolution. This human reasoning contradicts the Bible and robs people of hope. In its basic form, the teaching of evolution asserts that all life came into existence spontaneously; it thus implies that human life has no purpose. w13 10/15 1:1, 2




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