There are many subjects about which people are afraid to speak.
What happens when you die is one such subject.
There are some things that are not clear but much is quite clear.
It is exceedingly helpful to know your actual destination
if you are going on a journey.
If you do not know where you are going, it is unlikely that you will arrive
where you think, expect, or hope to arrive.
We cannot base our beliefs, which affect our salvation, on paintings of
some artist, or writer of fiction or some philosopher who clearly contradicts
scripture. The fact that these might be considered famous by men,
matters not one bit.
The reality is that we all will die, if we are not snatched away
or raptured as some call it.
Besides the fear of speaking about the subject there are many churches
and many very reputable ministers of various denominations preaching
to countless millions on the Christian radio and television that heaven is
the reward for the saved. Although this sounds good and is the traditional
teaching, this is not supported by the bible.
Ultimately whilst we are preparing to go to heaven God Himself is preparing
to come to earth with the spiritual organism, the ‘New Jerusalem, His Body,
the Church. It is quite amazing to hear broadcasters speaking about
the environment of heaven which they are anticipating.
It comes across as a sort of boring ethereal white cotton wool environment
of clouds and harps. It will be very sad for those who do not like harps.
It is true that part of the church the 'Overcomers' are caught up to the
throne of God, however, that is not their final destination.
It is the earth, which will be the place that the Eternal God makes
Christ Himself dealt with this very important subject.
Luke 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple
and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus,
which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich
man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels
into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and saw Abraham
afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me,
and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water,
and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime
received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things:
but now he is comforted, and you art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed:
so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can
they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father,
that you would send him to my father's house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them,
lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham said unto him, They have Moses and the prophets;
let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from
the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
The first and important thing that we need to see is the above verses
do not claim to be a parable.
Rather it claims to be an actual situation.
Let us establish that man has a body, a spirit, and also a soul.
We all know that when you die your body, assuming you are buried,
is laid in a grave. We can see that with our physical eyes.
We also know that the physical body which we see
is completely ignorant of all activity around them.
They indeed know nothing.
Ecclesiates 9:5 For the living know that they shall die:
but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward;
for the memory of them is forgotten.
We are also told that there is a spirit in man
Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man:
and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
It is worth noting that the spirit in man looks just like the original
human being. Christ’s own words:
Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle
me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see me have.
Addtionally in the report about Lazarus and the Rich man given above,
we see that a spirit can see, talk, feel and reason.
The best analogy of a spirit that I can give of this is a hologram.
A hologram looks exactly like the original but you cannot touch it because
it is not tangible. It is all very high tech, but it is similar.
We can also see that when the spirit in man returns to God who gave it
to him in the first place, the man dies,
the body goes back to the dust and His spirit to God.
Job 34:13 Who has given Him a charge over the earth?
or who has disposed the whole world?
14 If He set His heart upon man, if He gather unto Himself his spirit
and his breath;
15 All flesh shall perish together, and man (flesh)
shall turn again unto dust.
(Capitals have been added as he and his refer to the Eternal,
they are not in the original).
Because the spirit returns to God it does not follow that it goes to heaven.
Ecclesiates 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was:
and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
When Christ breathed into Adam he became a living soul ‘nephesh’
Strongs No <05315>.
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground,
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Often when the word soul is used it is considered a nebulous entity,
some sort of power.
It appears that it would be more correct to say spirit in many cases.
Without the spirit a body is just a corpse.
It is very clear from this miracle that Jesus performed to restore life,
the spirit was returned to the corpse.
Luke 8:54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand,
and called, saying, Maid, arise.
55 And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway:
and he commanded to give her meat.
We will also look at the report of Saul and the witch at Endor.
It is very interesting to hear explanations of this report as being
the manifestation of demons. It is true that the woman was involved
in occult activity. However, this report states that the woman actually
saw Samuel and not a manifestation of a spirit claiming to be Samuel.
1 Samuel 28:7 Then said Saul unto his servants,
Seek me a woman that has a familiar spirit,
that I may go to her, and enquire of her.
And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that has
a familiar spirit at Endor.
8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went,
and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he
said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit,
and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.
11 Then said the woman,
Whom shall I bring up unto thee?
And he said, Bring me up Samuel.
It is very important to realise that this practise of calling up the dead
is strictly forbidden in the bible.
This practice is called necromancy which is calling up the dead.
Deuteronomy 18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that
makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire,
or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter,
or a witch,
11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard,
or a necromancer.
12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD:
and because of these abominations the LORD your God doth drive
them out from before thee.
Often these results can be hoaxes but more disastrously they are
occult demonic activity.
This phrase ‘ Bring up’, is very interesting both the woman and Saul seemed
to be aware that a spirit was somewhere from which it could be brought up.
They both were referring to the spirit of Samuel and not his body.
1 Samuel 28:12 And when the woman saw Samuel,
she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying,
Why have you deceived me? for you are Saul.
The woman who was accustomed to dealing with or fooling people in her
occult activity was suddenly confronted with a real spirit and she knew
it only too well.
She cried with a loud voice when she saw what she saw.
1 Samuel 28:13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid:
for what did you see?
And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
I think that the woman was now in a situation with which she was unfamiliar.
The spirits that she saw were ascending from sheol in the old testament
or hades in the new testament. This is the place where the spirits of the
dead are held awaiting a resurrection.
There are many references to Sheol in the Old Testament and to
hades in the New Testament.
14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said,
An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle.
And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face
to the ground, (Saul was quite clear in his own mind that it was Samuel).
and bowed himself.
1 Samuel 28:15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why have you disquieted me,
to bring me up?
We are clearly told that Samuel spoke to Saul not an evil spirit
masquerading as Samuel. Samuel’s pertinent question was why have you
disturbed me from where I was quite happily residing.
Samuel also asked why did you bring me up?
15 And Saul answered, I am sore distressed;
for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me,
and answers me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams:
therefore I have called you, that you may make known unto me
what I shall do.
1 Samuel 28:16 Then said Samuel, Wherefore then do you ask of me,
There is no question that we are hearing from the spirit of Samuel in
this meeting. Verse 16 says Samuel said, and the spirit refers to
himself as me. Verse 17 claims that the Lord had done as me,
that is Samuel had said.
seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become your enemy?
17 And the LORD has done to him, as he spake by me:
for the LORD has rent the kingdom out of your hand,
and given it to your neighbour, even to David:
18 Because you obeyed not the voice of the LORD, nor executed his
fierce wrath upon Amalek,
therefore has the LORD done this thing unto you this day.
19 Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand
of the Philistines: and tomorrow shall you and your sons be with me:
the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.
This shows that it was actually the spirit of Samuel that Saul saw and
also that the spirits of Saul and his sons were going to be with Samuel
in hades the next day awaiting the resurrection at a future date.
We also see that this is an accurate prophecy which restated a previous
similar prophecy which promptly took place exactly as stated. It said:
1 Samuel 15:28 And Samuel said unto him, The LORD has rent
the kingdom of Israel from thee this day,
and has given it to a neighbour of yours, that is better than you.
Verse 18 says that the Lord has done this thing to you today
It is quite clear that this whole event was orchestrated by the Lord.
This was neither a hoax nor a demon.
20 Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth,
and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel:
We are clearly told that Saul was petrified by the words of Samuel
who was really continuing his office as a prophet.
There are other references that show that hades is not
a place of 'soul sleep' as some suggest.
2 Samuel 22:6 The sorrows of hell compassed me about;
the snares of death prevented me
Is repeated in Psalm 18:5 and a part of hades is a place of sorrows.
Sheol in the Old Testament, Hades in the New Testament
is also a place of speaking.
Ezekiel 32:21 The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of
the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down,
they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword.
We are told that Pharoah will be comforted when he sees his soldiers
with him in Sheol.
Ezekiel 32:30 There be the princes of the north, all of them,
and all the Zidonians, which are gone down with the slain;
with their terror they are ashamed of their might; and they lie
uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword, and bear their
shame with them that go down to the pit.
31 Pharaoh shall see them, and shall be comforted over all his multitude,
even Pharaoh and all his army slain by the sword, says the Lord GOD.
We need to consider the teaching of 'purgatory' as a place where
supposedly the soul goes to be cleansed whilst the body lies dead in
the grave. The idea, for that is all that it is, tells us that this is a place
of purification for the 'Christians' who were not 100% clean and
acceptable to God when they died. This spurious idea means that when you
are dead if you had the means you could get a priest to say many prayers
often at a price, to hasten your deliverance from this place of punishment.
If you had no money that is just too bad.
You will have to serve out your sentence.
This is really just a license for a 'Believer' to live whatever kind of life
they wanted to do and then as long as they had the resources,
they would be alright.
This is truly diabolical and a gross lie.
Satan's monetary system has nothing to do with Gods Economy.
It is utterly impossible to buy or bribe yourself into any Spiritual gift,
reward, position or sanctification in God's Kingdom.
Do not let anyone deceive you with this horrible lie.
We need to devote our time to the living and helping others,
whenever possible to seek God and to change
their lifestyles, repent, whilst there is time to do so.
Let us say that a person has unfortunately become an alcoholic and dies.
When they are resurrected they will still be an alcoholic.
Their mind will continue just where it left off, just as when you sleep.
That is one reason that death can be referred to as sleeping.
Death neither eliminates nor solves problems.
Death does not wipe our state clean of sins.
Death did not cure the drink problem, which it cannot.
Hopefully we all agree that there will be no negative thing in the kingdom,
and that includes alcoholics. Therefore that problem will have to be dealt with
at some point in time. A conscious decision will have to be made
to overcome the problem by the person and the necessary painful
remedy under taken. Someone praying night and day for you until the
resurrection will make no difference as it is obviously a personal problem.
The good news is that the price was paid in full for your sin,
however, you always have to face the consequences.
Forgiveness does not wipe away the penalty.
No-one else can reduce the penalty of your sin.
Christ paid the penalty, but you reap the rewards of what you have sown.
You have to overcome your own problems, although many can
and would support you. Our sin is our individual problem.
Somewhere along the line you will be purified.
The fact is that ultimately there will be no unrighteousness in the Kingdom of God.
Ezekiel 14:13 Son of man, when the land sins against me by trespassing
grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the
staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off
man and beast from it:
14 Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should
deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, says the Lord GOD.
The principle is very clear. Read this chapter for other examples.
Ezekiel 14:20 Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live,
says the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter;
they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.
This can be summarised as effectively putting a value on certain specified
activities. Actions classified as good get a positive value, that is a credit.
Actions defined as sin have a negative value that is debit.
These tend to be predetermined values.
You are therefore running a sort of spiritual accounting system.
The idea is to get as much credit as possible against which the debits can
be put. It follows that you can work out how many more sins and also the
seriousness of the sins which you can commit whilst you are in credit.
When your balance becomes low you can top it up by carrying out
any credit giving activity. This is utterly absurd.
Blemishes will not be removed by indulgencies as many will be shocked
to experience in due time.
The Oklahoma bomber before his execution said that if there
was an afterlife he would just have to improvise and adapt.
The fact is, that it does not work like that at all.
It he was executed he will have found that out.
Let us go back to Lazarus and the rich man, both of them died.
Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died,
and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom:
the rich man also died, and was buried;
The rich man was buried, that is what happened to his body,
because he could afford it.
Lazarus was a poor man and we are not told what happened to his body.
Probably his body was burnt at the rubbish tip where they disposed of
rubbish and criminals.
The same valley was later used as a refuse dump where animal carcasses
and rubbish were continually burned.
Such places are generally infested with maggots which help decompose
the refuse (Mark 9:44).
However, we are told the important thing and that is what happened
to his spirit. It went to Abraham’s bosom which is a place of comfort
and further more he was carried there by the angels.
Now we see a definition of hell which is completely different to tradition.
Tradition tells us that hell is simply a place of torment.
We need to be careful and not to mix up scriptures in order to give us
the result that we would like to get.
Scripture tells us quite differently.
Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments,
and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
The rich man was in hell, ‘hades’ but so was Lazarus.
We can see that there are two compartments in hades.
If they are not called by the same name it does not alter the fact
that there are two places that are adjoining each other regardless of the name.
One part is a place of comfort and the other is a place of torment.
Luke 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime
received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things:
but now he is comforted, and you art tormented.
This is not an interpretation or twisting a translation it is the straight
account given by Christ himself.
We see that the torment was severe and had to do with being in
fire but on the other side was a place of comfort.
We also see that these two areas were separated by
a great impassable gulf.
Luke 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is
a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to
you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
The occupants of both sectors could see each other clearly,
and recognise each other.
They could also speak to and hear each other.
This must be an additional torment to be able to see the people
whom you mistreated in great comfort whilst you are in great suffering.
The suffering must be greatly increased when you understand that you
are unable to warn your family and friends who are still living,
what fate awaits them unless they change.
The (Hebrew) sheol or Hades (Greek) both mean exactly the same
thing. It is a holding place for the spirits of the dead as
they await one of the resurrections.
1. Sheol, occurring in the Old Testament sixty-five times.
It is rendered "grave" thirty-one times #Genesis 37:35 42:38
44:29,31 1Samuel 2:6 etc. The Revisers have retained this rendering
in the historical books with the original word in the margin, while in
the poetical books they have reversed this rule. In thirty-one cases in
the Authorized Version this word is rendered "hell," the place of
disembodied spirits.The inhabitants of sheol are
"the congregation of the dead" #Proverbs 21:16 It is:
a. the abode of the wicked #Numbers 16:33 Job 24:19
Psalm 9:17 31:17 etc.;
b. of the good #Psalm 16:10 30:3 49:15 86:13 etc.
Sheol is described as:
a. deep #Job 11:8
b. dark #Job 10:21,22
c. with bars #Job 17:16
d. The dead "go down" to it #Numbers 16:30,33 Ezekiel 31:15,16,17
2. The Greek word hades of the New Testament has the same scope
of signification as sheol of the Old Testament.
It is downward #Matthew 11:23 Luke 10:15 The righteous and the
wicked are separated. The blessed dead are in that part of hades
#Luke 23:43 They are also said to be in Abraham's bosom #Luke 16:22
Shortened comments from the Online bible
We can note at this point that there seems that,
there is a resurrection at the start of the tribulation of
the first fruits and overcomers.
There is also a resurrection or translation, at the end of the tribulation for those
who were purified during the tribulation.
There is a resurrection of the unbelievers at the white throne
with the judgment of the unrepentant believers sent to the lake of fire.
Some claim that when Christ was resurrected and ascended into
heaven the righteous dead were also moved from the pleasant part of
hades to heaven. This is also contrary to the clear word of scripture.
David was a man after God’s own heart and we certainly can say that
there are sufficient scriptures to show that he will have a major role
in the kingdom of God. However, after Christ had been resurrected and
ascended at Pentecost, we are emphatically told by the apostle Peter:
David like all the other righteous dead are awaiting the resurrection in
Acts 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said
himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit you on my right hand,
Acts 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the
patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre
is with us unto this day.
We can see that hell ‘ hades’ is the very place that Christ’s spirit
went to when he died on the cross. This is where death puts us,
but as Christ was victorious over sin and death
Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Christ,
that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Of Christ we are told.
1) his soul as distinct from his flesh, was not left in hell.
2) his flesh also, did not see corruption
Today when someone is buried we normally tend to dig a hole in the
ground and then the body which has been put into a coffin is placed
there and covered with dirt.
When Christ died He was laid in a large new tomb of a rich man
Joseph of Arimathaea. This place was somewhere that you had to
stoop down in order to get into, or to look into it. The tomb had been
hewn in the rock and had a large stone to cover the entrance, because
it was a large place. So he was not buried in the depths of the earth.
Matthew 27:60 And laid it in his own new tomb,
which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the
door of the sepulchre, and departed.
Luke 24:2 And they (the women) found the stone rolled away
from the sepulchre.
3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout,
behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
We can see that this was a large place where several people could be
at once. Joseph must have been very rich to have had such a tomb.
in the tomb. He also went and preached to angels who had been
disobedient during the time of Noah and were then at the time of Christ
still imprisoned to prevent them who had left
their original estate committing the same sin again.
Jude 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate,
but left their own habitation, he has reserved in everlasting chains under
darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
The apostle Peter in Acts 2 quoting Psalm 16 referred to David and Christ.
Acts 2:25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always
before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad;
moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27 Because you will not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt you suffer your
Holy One to see corruption.
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ,
that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
We can see that Christ went to hell, but that hell could not hold Him.
He was victorious over death and hell.
Christ indeed has ascended into the heavens but He,
His spirit had first descended to the depths of the earth,
whilst his body lay on the surface of the earth in a stone tomb.
Ephesians 4:8 Wherefore he said, When he ascended up on high,
he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first
into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all
heavens, that he might fill all things.)
A tomb on the surface cannot be described as
the lowest parts of the earth.
1 Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption,
and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought
to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our
Lord Jesus Christ.
The record about Jonah is important not only for the three days and
nights but also we notice that the great fish did not just cruise on the
surface but we are told that the fish went into the great depths,
a dramatic picture of hades or sheol being in the heart of the earth.
Jonah 2:3 For you had cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas;
and the floods compassed me about: all your billows and
your waves passed over me.
5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul:
the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.
6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars
was about me for ever: yet have you brought up my life from corruption,
O LORD my God.
We also see that Christ’s Spirit was active whilst His body lay dead
in the tomb.
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also has once suffered for sins,
the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to
death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of
God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing,
wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
Thief on the cross went to paradise, the pleasant part of hades.
Luke 23:42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when you
come into your kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee,
To day shalt you be with me in paradise.
Some have made much regarding the punctuation of this verse,
stating that the comma, after thee should not be there, so that
in effect Christ was saying, I am telling you today, that you will be
with me in paradise. The fact is that regardless of the punctuation
the thief on the cross was going to hades that day, either the section
of suffering or the area of comfort. Christ was also going to hades the
very day of his crucifixion, and the thief was told that he was going to
be with Him in hades, in the pleasant area, paradise.
We need to be very clear that death does not bring with it the reward
of instant perfection, so that it does not matter what sort of life we
lead. It matters greatly the kind of life that we lead.
Hebrews 12: 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which
corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather
be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure;
but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous,
but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of
righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be
turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
There is no easy short cut.
Repentance is wonderful even if it is on the death bed.
However, there will be a time of discipline to bring every believer
including those who make a death bed repentance, to perfection at some
point. This will happen now or later, but it will happen.
See the letters to the churches in Revelation 2 & 3, the parables of the
wise and foolish virgins, and the parable of the talents.
We have to make conscious decisions of the will, to do what is right,
thus even after 1,000 years of Christ’s millennium rule,
Satan will be let loose out of his prison the abyss,
for a short period to test those on the earth.
Anyone who thinks that I can live anyway that I wish and as long as
I say that I am sorry and I accept Jesus as my saviour on my death bed
and that is the end of the matter, is sadly mistaken.
The resurrection is the joining of the spirit to a reconstituted body.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren,
concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not,
even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so
them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are
alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and
the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them
in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be
We are told in verse 14 that God will bring with Him those that are asleep
in Jesus. This does not say that they were in heaven with Him,
they have to rise first. Verse 16 says the Lord Himself shall descend from
heaven, and with the voice of an archangel cause the spirits of the dead to
unite with their reconstituted bodies. They then rise to meet with those who
were alive and changed in the twinkling of an eye to meet with the descending
Christ in the air.
The Bible in basic English
16 Because the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a word of
authority, with the voice of the chief angel, with the sound of a horn:
and the dead in Christ will come to life first;
Darby 16 for the Lord himself, with an assembling shout, with archangel's
voice and with trump of God, shall descend from heaven; and the dead in
Christ shall rise first;
RSV 16 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of
command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet
of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
The point is that the resurrected saints or those changed where not in
heaven in the first place.
17 Then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together
with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air;
and so we shall always be with the Lord.
There remains another issue.
A.V. John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were
not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
This has been taken to mean that when Christ ascended into heaven,
He went to prepare a physical luxurious dwelling place for us and as
we were to be where He is, we will also be in heaven.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again,
and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
If we see this abode as a physical place,
we are saying that the Eternal who reconstructed the earth and created
all the life that we see around us in 7 days has been taking almost
2,000 years to prepare a physical dwelling place for us. I do not think so.
We are the Temples of the Eternal God.
We are His Bride, the New Jerusalem.
The bride of Christ is not a building, but rather the body of obedient believers
who have overcome and are found worthy to be His bride.
Most people who have ‘made it’ and own everything that their hearts desire
and have tried everything that they could physically desire,
still experience a total emptiness in their life if they do not have the spirit
of Christ dwelling in them.
The word translated ‘mansions’, in the original Greek is ‘abodes’.
Darby John 14:2 In my Father's house there are many abodes;
were it not so, I had told you: for I go to prepare you a place.
So we can see that in our Father’s house there are many places, or positions.
Our ultimate destiny is much more awesome than a beautiful building.
John 13:36 Simon Peter says to him, Lord, where goest you? Jesus answered
him, Where I go you canst not follow me now, but you shall follow me after.
The apostle Peter was told by Christ that where He was going he could not
yet follow Him but that he would be able to do so at a later point.
This was because Christ had not yet died, been resurrected, ascended
and come back yet as the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. Christ was going
to the Father to prepare a place for the disciples and all of us.
John 16.10 ….., because I go to my Father, and you see me no more;
John 14:6 Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
This says that the only way to come to the Father was by Christ,
Christ was the only way to get to our ultimate destination the Father.
John 14:10-11 Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the
Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself:
but the Father that dwells in me, he doeth the works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me:
or else believe me for the very works' sake.
We are clearly told that God is a mystery. It follows that our finite
minds cannot understand this otherwise it is not a mystery.
KJ21 Revelation 10:7 but that in the days of the voice of the seventh
angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished,
as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.
Nonetheless we are clearly told that Christ was in the Father and that the
Father was in Christ. Verse 12 repeats that He is going to the Father
John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me,
the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these
shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
We are then clearly told even more staggeringly that the eternal God
who created, upholds and sustains the entire creation by the power of
His word will dwell in us and we will dwell in Him as soon as the Spirit
of Truth, the Comforter is sent to the earth, which was sent on the
day of Pentecost.
This condition already exists for the true repentant believer.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter,
that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive,
because it sees him not, neither knoweth him: but you know him;
for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but you see me:
because I live, you shall live also.
20 At that day you shall know that I am in my Father,
and you in me, and I in you.
If these were not Christ’s own words we could feel that there
must be some mistake.
The earth is the focus of all the activity of the Eternal God, not heaven.
After the earth has been purified by fire a short time after the millennial
kingdom, then the earth will be a fit place for God Himself to dwell.
In the mean time we who are 'Believers' are the dwelling place of the
Eternal God and will continue to be so in a more visible way eternally.
John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple,
and in three days I will raise it up.
Christ referred to his body as the temple of God
John 2:21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
These are several scriptures that make it very clear the destination of
a Believer is to be amalgamated, merged into God and God into Him.
This is far more astounding and wonderful than any physical building.
If this wonderful message was preached today people would be more
encouraged to deal with and appreciate the daily tribulation which
1 Corinthians 3:16 Know you not that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy;
for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know you not that your body is the temple
of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God,
and you are not your own?
Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together grows
unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Ephesians 2:21 makes it very clear, we are the building that is being built.
Revelation 3:12 Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of
my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name
of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem,
which cometh down out of heaven from my God:
and I will write upon him my new name.
The apostle Paul appreciated the magnificence of our calling
and our destination.
Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the
excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have
suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung,
that I may win Christ,
Finally a believer is told that once he has been born again,
he has eternal life.
We are not told will have, but we have now.
We can appreciate this although we cannot understand it.
As we saw the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit dwells in a believer.
This is the believers position today although the fullness of this
is for a later time.
John 6:54 Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life;
and I will raise him up at the last day.
1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life,
and this life is in his Son.
Heaven is not the reward of the saved.
To live in Christ and to have Christ live in us requires that a place
is prepared for us and that we are also prepared for that place.
At a time when many 'Believers' are in desperate circumstances
and difficulties, this message of encouragement needs to be
I pray that you will see this vision.