Shalom! My name is Adam Pastor

Welcome to ADONI MESSIAH which means
"My Lord Messiah" -
a fitting epithet to who Jesus (or Yeshua) is!

Here, I attempt to present the Apostolic Truths according to the Scriptures, that there is
One GOD, the Father, namely, YAHWEH,
and One Lord, GOD's only begotten Son,
Yeshua the Messiah.

And that one day YAHWEH will send His Son back to Earth to inaugurate the Everlasting Kingdom of GOD



Enjoy!


Monday, March 15, 2010

What Happens When We Die by the Northern California Bible Fellowship

What Happens When We Die?

Introduction

One of the most important questions, that all religions try to answer, is the question of: "What happens when we die?" In particular, most religions attempt to explain if human beings have any hope of living again, after our bodies die.

Most Christian denominations believe that all human beings have "immortal souls". According to this belief, the soul is some sort of invisible presence, which is contained inside our bodies while we are alive, but which leaves our bodies - and keeps on living - when our bodies die. In addition, according to that doctrine, the soul is the "real you"; and as a result, people are still conscious after their bodies die - because their souls are still living.

The question is, is the above doctrine listed anywhere in Scripture? In this document, I will discuss my understanding of what Scripture actually says about the soul - and about what happens when we die. Unless otherwise indicated, all verses are from the King James Version of the Bible.

What is the soul?

To start with, let’s see what the soul is. The Hebrew word which is translated as soul is nephesh, and the Greek equivalent is psuche. The following verse gives us an indication of what, exactly, the soul is.

Genesis 2:7

7And YAHWEH God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

As we can see, two things happened, when God created Adam. First, God formed Adam out of the dust of the ground. In other words, God initially created Adam’s physical body. Adam’s body was
not alive at that point, though - because his body was dead. In other words, at that point, Adam was a corpse - [a lifeless human].

Then, God breathed the "breath of life" into Adam’s physical body. When God did that, Adam became a living soul.

From the above information, we can see that Adam did not have a soul - he was a soul. In other words, as soon as the breath of life is placed into a person’s body, that person becomes a living soul.

From what I can see in Scripture, a concise definition of a "soul" is: a conscious being, or simply "consciousness". Basically, when the breath of life is added to a person’s body, that person becomes a living, conscious being - i.e., he becomes a soul.

...

So, my belief is that a "soul" is basically a person’s "consciousness". That is, when the breath of life is added to a person’s body, that person becomes a conscious being - i.e., he becomes a soul.

What is the spirit?

The "breath of life" is sometimes referred to as "spirit" in Scripture. This spirit is not the Holy Spirit; instead, it is simply the "energy", or "life force", which animates our physical bodies.

The Hebrew word for "spirit" that refers to the breath of life is ruach; and the Greek equivalent is pneuma. Both ruach and pneuma denote "air", "wind", or breath - so it makes sense that those words would be used to describe the breath of life.

As noted earlier, when the spirit is added to a physical body, a "soul" (conscious being) comes into existence. The following verse describes what happens when the spirit stops animating a person’s body:

James 2:26

26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

The above verse tells us that physical bodies cannot live without the spirit (a.k.a. the "breath of life"). Basically, when the spirit
stops animating a physical body, that body [/ person] dies.

A simple analogy for the spirit is electricity, flowing through a light bulb. As long as electricity is flowing through a light bulb, the bulb remains illuminated. As soon as electricity stops flowing through a light bulb, though, the bulb goes dark - or "dies".

The above analogy is very similar to the spirit, animating our bodies - because our nervous systems use electrochemical impulses, to send signals through our bodies. So, as long as the spirit is active in a person - and is therefore causing electrochemical impulses to flow through his body - that person remains a living, conscious being. As soon as the spirit stops being active in a person, though, those impulses stop flowing through that person’s body - which causes that person to die.

Are souls immortal?

As noted in the introduction, most churches believe that the soul is immortal - i.e., that the soul cannot die. However, the phrase "immortal soul" does not appear anywhere in Scripture. So, let’s see what Scripture does say about the soul.

First, we know from Genesis 2:7 that a "soul" - i.e., a conscious being - comes into existence, when the breath of life (or spirit) is added to a person’s physical body. In other words, when the breath of life starts animating a person’s body, that person becomes conscious.

Similarly, as soon as the breath of life stops animating a person’s physical body, the soul in question ceases to exist. In other words, when the breath of life stops animating a person’s body, that person becomes completely unconscious - i.e., the soul in question dies.

The reason why we know that souls can die is because Scripture explicitly states that fact:

Ezekiel 18:4

4Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Ezekiel 18:20

20The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

James 5:19-20 (ESV)

19My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

By definition, the word "immortal" means "not subject to death". In other words, if something is immortal, then it can
not die. Of course, the above verses explicitly tell us that souls can die. As a result, the above verses explicitly state that souls are not immortal - instead, souls are mortal!

...

Are dead people conscious of anything?

As noted in the introduction, the mainstream doctrine states that people remain conscious after they die - by virtue of the fact that people have "immortal souls". However, my belief is that souls are mortal - and as a result, when we die, we are not conscious any longer. So, let’s take a look in scripture, to determine if people are still conscious after they die or not:

Ecclesiastes 9:5

5For 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.

Ecclesiastes 9:10

10Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Psalms 6:5

5For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

Psalms 115:17

17The dead praise not YAHWEH, neither any that go down into silence.

Psalms 146:2-4

2While I live will I praise YAHWEH: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

3Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

4His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

Isaiah 38:18-19

18For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. 19The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.

All of the verses listed above indicate
that dead people are not conscious at all. In other words, when people die, they become completely unconscious - i.e., dead people are not aware of anything.

Death is described as "sleep"

Another item to note is that Scripture frequently compares death to "sleep". This gives us another indication that people are not conscious when they are dead. The following verses use that comparison:

Psalms 13:3

3Consider and hear me, O YAHWEH my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

John 11:11-14 (ESV)

11After saying these things, he said to them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him." 12The disciples said to him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover." 13Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus has died, 15and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."

Acts 7:59-60 (ESV)

59And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Do people go to heaven after they die?

Most denominations say that if a person believes in God, then that person will go to heaven when he dies. Basically, the mainstream doctrine states that when a believer dies, his immortal soul will leave his body and go to heaven - and as a result, that person will live in heaven, with God, forever. However, is that doctrine listed anywhere in Scripture?

...

King David certainly believed in God - in fact, David is called "a man after God’s own heart" in 1 Samuel 13. So, if the doctrine of "going to heaven after you die" is true, then King David must certainly have gone to heaven after he died. But did David actually go to heaven? Let’s find out:

Acts 2:29,34-35 (NIV)

29"Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day.

34For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, " 'The Lord said to my Lord: [YAHWEH said unto my Lord (adoni)]

"Sit at my right hand 35until I make your enemies

a footstool for your feet." '

The above passage indicates that David did
not go to heaven after he died! Instead, he is still dead and buried, in his tomb.

In fact, Jesus told us that no one has ever ascended into heaven, except Jesus himself:

John 3:13 (ESV)

13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.

Scripture is pretty clear that people do
not go to heaven after they die - instead, dead people remain "sleeping in the grave", completely unconscious. In other words, when a person dies, he does not "go" anywhere - instead, he is simply a dead body [ / person], in the grave. Scripture also states that humans and animals will both meet the same end - humans and animals both "return to dust". For example, see these verses:

Genesis 3:19 (ESV)

19By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 (ESV)

19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. 20All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.

Psalms 104:29 (ESV)

29When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.

After we die, will we ever come back to life?

From the above three sections, we can see that when people die, they are no longer alive at all - that is, death is the complete absence of life. In addition, death is described as "sleep" - which implies that death may be a "temporary" state. Finally, we know that when people die, they do not go to heaven (or anywhere else). Instead, dead people are simply "sleeping in the grave", completely unconscious.

So, now we reach the final question - after a person dies, is there any way that he can ever live again? If so, how can that person come back to life? Let’s see what Scripture has to say:

Daniel 12:2 (YLT)

2And the multitude of those sleeping in the dust of the ground do awake, some to life age-during, and some to reproaches -- to abhorrence age-during.

Ezekiel 37:1-6

1The hand of YAHWEH was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of YAHWEH, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,

2And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

3And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord YAHWEH, thou knowest.

4Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of YAHWEH.

5Thus saith the Lord YAHWEH unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

6And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am YAHWEH.

John 5:28-29 (ESV)

28Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

John 6:40 (ESV)

40For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

Acts 24:15

15And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 (ESV)

13But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

All of the above verses indicate that our hope for life after death is
resurrection. That is, Jesus will bring us back to life, when he returns. This is one of the primary reasons why Christians should look forward to the return of Jesus - instead of looking forward to our deaths. ...

Summary of this document

From all of the information in this document, I will make the following assertions:

- First of all, people do not have souls - they are souls. A soul is a conscious being. Basically, when the breath of life (or "spirit") starts animating a person’s body, that person becomes conscious - i.e., he becomes a soul. When the breath of life stops animating a person’s body, that person becomes completely unconscious - i.e., his soul dies. As a result, the soul is mortal - it is not immortal.

- Death is the complete absence of life. As a result, people who are dead are not conscious of anything - i.e. dead people are not "aware" of their surroundings at all. Death is also compared to "sleep". In other words, people who are dead are simply "sleeping in the grave", completely unconscious. Note: since dead people are completely unconscious, they are not able to experience any sort of "bliss" - or "torment".

- When Jesus returns, he will resurrect us. That is, Jesus will bring us back to life - so that we will live again, at that time. Until then, dead people will remain "in the grave", awaiting resurrection.

In short, when Lord Jesus returns, he will resurrect us - so that we will live again! Hallelujah!

Slightly edited.

NB: Although I agree with their view of death & resurrection,

I do not espouse to all of the beliefs expressed on their site.