Saturday, June 04, 2011

# 308: The Enigma of Death

Although similar topics on death have previously been published in this blog, this post will give much more comprehensive information, which has seldom or never been presented before.

Death is the consequence of being born. We all know that, but due to not knowing what death will be/feel like, and the thought of missing all the good things physical life offers, most of us fear it, and for that reason, we do everything possible to postpone it. Other than Jesus Christ, no one has come back from the dead for an extended period of time to give us some information as to what death is like. This post with blood-honesty—my blood—will give complete and surprising Biblical information as to what to expect.

The vast majority of people worldwide—from all different forms of religious, and even some who have no religion—believe that at death, they will go directly either to heaven or hell; most, if not all, churches believe the same. If anyone were to diligently study this subject via the New Testament (NT) with no preconceived belief, they would soon discover that this is the biggest lie that has ever been perpetrated on most, if not all, religious people.

This post will unequivocally prove beyond a shadow of a doubt exactly what is taught in the NT, and how this above- mentioned false belief got started, even though it will be somewhat of a shock to most religious people who say they believe the NT.

In the Old Testament, and even in the NT, it was believed by some Jews that the Lord God blesses Godly people with wealth. To some degree that was true, since King Solomon was blessed with more wealth than most men of that time. Abraham was also blessed to a great degree with all the possessions he acquired, because he believed and obeyed God, and I am certain there may have been a few other rich Godly people who were blessed with wealth in the Old Testament.

That was why the Pharisees and religious leaders, etc. at the time of Christ still believed the same, that wealth was God’s hallmark of holiness and acceptance. Well, when Jesus Christ came on the scene, He displayed with power that it is our untarnished faith, love, and obedience to Jesus Christ, along with accepting God’s love, grace, mercy, etc., that pleases God and not wealth. Jesus Christ had to somehow dispel that Old Testament belief; He did that by displaying over and over again via the NT that it was the poor, disabled, underprivileged, etc. whom God approved of, as those may be the ones who have the best chance of going to heaven.

By telling the following exaggerated parable, Jesus unequivocally showed that the rich are, most likely, greedy and selfish; therefore, chances are great that they would not be the ones going to heaven. Dictionary definition of the word “parable”: “A short simple story, usually of an occurrence of a familiar kind, from which a moral or religious lesson may be learned.”

Believe it or not, this upcoming parable was one of the main incentives, along with several other accounts, for the clergy of many early churches to teach that when anyone dies, they go directly to heaven or hell.

All Bible verses are taken from the “New International Version”—the latest edition (2011).

Luke 16:19-25. “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. [This type of opulent life style was thought to be a display of God’s approval.] At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. [Nowhere else does it teach that angels will carry anyone to Abraham’s side. In fact, according to the NT, Abraham was not associated in any way when it came to heaven, hell or the dead]. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades [hell], where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. So he called him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ [This teaching, of the people in hell being able to see those in heaven, also is not taught anywhere else in Scripture.] . . . But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received good things, while Lazarus received bad things [Just because a person receives bad things in life, does not automatically make him/her a recipient for heaven], but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.’ ” Nowhere in Scripture does it mention anything about Abraham taking part in the judgment. Jesus Christ is the righteous judge among His called and chosen few. Nowhere in Scripture does it mention that those in hell could communicate with anyone outside of hell. Read the whole story, and anyone can easily tell that this was nothing less or more than a potent parable to illustrate that the rich neither loved God nor their needy neighbor, and for that reason, they will end up in hell, regardless of how loud they shout “Praise the Lord” from the roof tops for supporting their churches.

Please remember that genuine Christianity’s most important precept—although all commands are important—is about loving God with one’s all, and loving our neighbors as ourselves. Luke 10:27-28. “He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’ ” Ouch!

Those who do not live that way can never enter the kingdom of heaven. Rich people like the man in this story, even with a possible show of required generosity, would not be rich if they were not secretly and silently greedy and possibly self-centered; for that reason they do not and could not obey God’s love commands. The definition for greed: “Desire for more than one needs or deserves.” Actually, the words “greed” and “greedy” are mentioned in a negative way sixteen times in the NT, and are mentioned only eight times in the Old Testament. That seems to indicate that greed was not so bad before the time of Christ. Of course, the Jews of the Old Testament were promised the land as their inheritance, and not heaven.

Another section of Scripture is in Revelation 6:10. “They [those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained] called out in a loud voice, ‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?’ ” This sounds like there were already people in heaven at the time the book of Revelation was on going. That is not true. The book of Revelation was to take place in the future, except for Revelation chapters 2-3, when Jesus Christ revealed the sins of the seven churches. Revelation 1:1. “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place.”

This next short conversation took place between the thief on the cross and Jesus. Luke 23:42-43. “Then he [the thief] said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’ ” Now something is screwy: Listen to this verse in John 20:17: Jesus was speaking to Mary in front of the empty tomb right after His resurrection. Jesus said to Mary, “ ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father.’ ” If it is true the way it is universally accepted with the comma after the word “you,” that means the thief and others went to heaven before Jesus. Luke 24:51. “While he [Jesus] was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.” Colossians 1:15. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” and Colossians1:18. “. . . he [Jesus] is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead . . .” That undisputedly means that Jesus was the first to enter heaven. But if the comma was placed after the word “today” where it should have been, then it would read this way: “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise.” [in the future].

The problem that is unknown to many is that ancient/very early Biblical manuscripts had no punctuation marks between sentences or separations between words, even when absolutely necessary. In fact, there was no separation of verses or chapters. I really don’t know when separations and punctuation marks started to be used. The error was the result of the ill-informed scribes and possibly translators. I am surprised the newer Bibles or the clergy of the first century, even the present-day clergy, didn’t correct this extremely significant mistake. Even in the new 2011 edition of the “New International Version of the Bible,” it was not changed. That seems to indicate that the editors were not aware of the contradiction between the two verses, or that it was too dramatic of a change for them to make.

The three most disturbing verses in the complete NT are Matthew 27:51-53. “. . . The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” This section raises more unanswerable questions and gives absolutely no answers to several pertinent questions: The reason I address this section is because when these holy people died, they didn’t go straight to heaven after their death, but as was correctly believed, they were asleep in their tombs. Questions: 1) Did they have physical bodies? 2) Why were they raised to life? 3) What happened to them, after their mission was accomplished, whatever it was? 4) Where did they go after they appeared to many people? 5) Who classified/judged them as “holy people”? Jesus was with His disciples for forty days after His resurrection [Acts 1:3. “He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.”] Did Jesus and His disciples make contact with these “raised from the dead” people? Many more unanswerable questions could be asked. Because this dubious section of Scripture was left out of the same account in the books of Mark 15:38, and Luke 23:44-45, I truly personally believe that these verses are an anomaly and may not belong in the NT.

Here is another interesting account that fits in with the notion that the “dead-in-Christ” sleep and do not go directly to heaven at death. It is found in the Old Testament:

1st Samuel 28:11-15. “Then the woman [the witch of Endor] asked, ‘Whom shall I bring up for you?’ ‘Bring up Samuel,’ he said. When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, ‘Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!’ The king said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid. What do you see?’ The woman said, ‘I see a ghostly figure coming up out of the earth.’ ‘What does he look like?’ he asked. ‘An old man wearing a robe is coming up,’ she said. Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. Samuel said to Saul, ‘Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?’ ” Read the whole story; it is quite interesting.

According to the complete NT, the only people who are in heaven at this/that time besides Jesus are Moses, Elijah, Enoch, and possibly Abraham; and of course, the holy angels. Scripture doesn’t tell of anyone in heaven, not even Samuel, as holy and as great a prophet he was for the Lord.

The “sleep at death” verses that have been grossly overlooked or purposely ignored, tells that when a person dies, he/she will sleep until Judgment Day/the day of Christ. Even though the spirits of the dead do not occupy space, God’s chosen and called—which He knew before the beginning of time—would be sleeping in Christ’s protection until the judgment. 1st Thessalonians 4:14. “. . . For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” Therefore, it is fair to say that the remaining (the lost), even before the judgment, will also sleep until Judgment Day, but who knows where—possibly very close to hell?

By the way, the above word “day,” as mentioned several times in the NT, many times is not according to earth’s time, but in a dimension where time does not exist, since each individual that ever walked the earth will be judged individually and impartially.

The Apostle Paul mentioned the word “asleep,” referring to “the dead will sleep” in his epistles ten times,; knowing that when he died he would also sleep until the day of Christ. And yet, that was what he was looking forward to. Philippians 1:23. “I am torn between the two. I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”

God knows all those He has chosen: Revelation 21:27. “ Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Since God knows His own and what will take place, the judgment will not be for His benefit, but for atheists and those who called themselves Christians and believed they would be going to heaven. The reasons why they flunked life’s test to enter eternal life will be judged .

The following are 19 NT verses that will qualify the statement that the spirits of all the dead exist in a sleeping state, regardless of how they died, even those who were cremated.

Matthew 12:36. “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”

Luke 14:13. “Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

John 5:28-29. “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.”

John 6:40. “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

John 6:54. “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

John 11:11-12. “After he had said this, he went on to tell them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.’ His disciples replied, ‘Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.’ Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.”

John 11:23. “Jesus said to her [Martha], ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ ”

Acts 17:31. “For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.”

Acts 23:6: “I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.”

Acts 24:15. “and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.”

Romans 2:16. “This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.”

1st Corinthians 1:8. “He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1st Corinthians 11:30. “That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.”

1st Corinthians 15:17-18. “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.”

1st Corinthians 15:42. “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead.”

2nd Corinthians 5:10. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, [on judgment day], so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

Philippians 1:22-23. “Yet what shall I [the apostle Paul] choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.” Compare this verse with the next one below.

Philippians 3:10-11. “I [the apostle Paul] want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” These two verses dogmatically teach that when the Apostle Paul dies, he believed he would sleep in Christ until the resurrection of all who sleep.

1st Thessalonians 4:13-17. This section is worth repeating. “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

2nd Timothy 4:8. “Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that [judgment] day.”

1st John 4:17. “This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment.”

In conclusion: There is no legitimate/logical way to dispute what these verses are teaching us. Somehow, all Christians must know this truth. What can one poor man do to spread this news? I will ask all of you to make a copy/s of this post and share it with your pastor, if you have a regular church you go to. Give it to a friend. If one has influence and a little money and know-how, offer it on the 60 minutes television program on CBS—they are not afraid to shock the public; I will personally attempt to contact them. There are many ways we could spread this good news. Share this blog with as many friends as possible. My most powerful weapon is my continual prayer to God that He will somehow make this truth known to many people. Only thing is, many “Bible- believing people” will not believe it, especially the clergy. This teaching is relatively new—although it shouldn’t have been—and it might be necessary to be read this post several times for it to be fully understood.

It is no wonder why some atheists, etc. may already know, or learn from this post, this serious discrepancy: How Christians believe they will go to straight to heaven as soon as they die, and the remainder will be sent to hell. They also may know what the NT teaches concerning how the dead will sleep at death until the resurrection, and ridicule us as a bunch of dumbbells. Atheists believe that whatever good or bad anyone has done in life, there will be no punishment, reward or afterlife; they die just like animals. I am waiting for your comments on this unique post.


Anonymous said...

I apologise, but, in my opinion, this theme is not so actual.

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Anonymous said...

You wrote re Luke 23:43
"...universally accepted with the comma after the word “you,”..."

FYI, the comma is not "univerally accepted" that way.
The NWT places the comma after the word "today".

JC said...

Dear Anonymous,

The universally accepted place for the comma is wrong, since it creates confusion as to the accuracy of how the thief goes to heaven befoe Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Great work in trying to help us understand where we will go after death, however no one cares whether they will go to heaven or hell right after death or after some time. what difference does it make to know whether we go now or later? What you should try to make us understand and take seriously is to concern about going to heaven because it is worth going to that eternal bliss. Those worthless topic you brought there does not matter for anyone but you. Allwe want to know is whether we'll go to heaven or hell, but not when.

Anonymous said...

Dear JC,
I agree with you that putting the comma after the word "the" creates confusion.
I was pointing out that not all Bibles translate Luke 23:43 that way.

The NWT correctly places the comma after the word 'today'. (to verify, check the NWT online at the url I listed)

JC said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for your honest comment. I do agree with the point you made.


JC said...

Dear Anonymous,

I have over half-a-dozen Bibles. I agree, none of them correct the long standing error. Reread all the verses I quoted that dogmaticaly teach that all will sleep at death, including the thief on the cross. Only a foolish preacher would disagree with those verses.

Anonymous said...

oops, typo! I said "the" when I meant to say "you"..."the" really made no sense!

JC, you are correct...the bible consistently indicates that there is no conciousness when we die (before resurrection).
This is true also in the OT, (not just the NT)
Eccl 9:5 reads "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing"
At 9:10 Solomon futher emphasises that with "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom" (NIV)

By the way, I've found the site
"" to be useful for comparing.
You can compare a verse translated via many translations all in one group.
For example, I put Luke 23:43 in and had it show me a comparison.
(first it showed just 1 translation)

When I looked at Luke 23:43 in comparison I saw that you are right about most Bibles putting the comma after "you"! All the Bibles there showed it that way....but that doesn't make placing the comma after the "you" correct!


JC said...

Dear Rick,

Thanks for your noteworthy comments.


Anonymous said...

Hey - I am definitely delighted to find this. great job!

Anonymous said...

In response to the comment another "Anonymous" made...they asked:
"what difference does it make to know....?"

Here's something to think about:
Jesus stated "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much ; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. " (Luke 16:10, NASB)

Do you think this principle should apply to Bible translations too?

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Anonymous said...

Yes, I understand you.

Anonymous said...

this is my first time checking this site, is Great keep up the good work. God is Good he became one of us to save us. Jesus already paid the price. All we have to do is be
obedient to the Holy Spirit. Love in Christ Jesus.

Anonymous said...

this is my first time checking this site, is Great keep up the good work. God is Good he became one of us to save us. Jesus already paid the price. All we have to do is be
obedient to the Holy Spirit. Love in Christ Jesus.