Bible Discussion Thread

  • There is far too much concern for "sugar-coating" death and the residence of the soul upon death and prior to the resurrection.

    I have not found a single bible verse that clearly states where a Christian soul resides prior to the return of Christ to gather His church to Him in the air.

    The phrase "They are smiling down on you from heaven" has no biblical verses as its proof.

    Too much interpretation of the bible by some poor and simple-minded humans, when compared to the mind of God, make verses MEAN WHAT THEY WANT, NOT WHAT THE VERSE IS ACTUALLY SAYING. Examples:

    1. Revelation 1:10 is said to refer to Sunday, and thus John was worshiping on Sunday and that made it OK for all Christians to observe Sunday in place of the Sabbath and ordained Sunday as the appointed day of worship for all Christians. Incorrect interpretation to fill a need for justifying Sunday worship.

    Why do I say this? First, there is no verse to back up the day being Sunday; every day is "The Lord's Day". Second, neither God nor Christ designated ANY Day as the day of worship. Third, the Sabbath Day is a day of REST, not worship in a communal setting. Fourth, Revelation is a visionary experience, not a worship service.

    2. Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ always on a Sunday (thank the Roman Church for this by the way). This too is the result of humans doctoring the scriptures. The Gospels key the crucifixion to the Jewish Passover which moves across the Jewish calendar and not a set day each year.

    3. The Easter sunrise worship service is not based on scripture. The Gospels clearly state Christ had risen before sunrise on what we call Sunday as the ladies never saw the resurrection, just the empty tomb and then later Christ.

    Final point, if the Christian soul is immediately taken to heaven and returns with Christ for the church gathering, there will be no appearance of any Christian before the White Throne as they are previously admitted to eternity in heaven.
  • Ronald L Whittemore - in Reply
    Part 1

    If I may give my understanding, did Jesus speak in parables, if so, why? Luke 8:10. In this chapter Jesus was condemning putting faith in wealth and not God, using parables. The Sadducees especially were covetous, they flaunted their wealth and the seat of authority they had and were living in adultery. The Pharisees held many spiritual beliefs not found in the Law of Moses and started in on Jesus. So, according to the rest of the context, Lazarus and the rich man was most likely a parable on the same subject.

    One thing I have found that bears consideration on Luke 16 parable. When Jesus first came, many of the Jews were highly Hellenized and many interpretations of the Law had changed. Greek had become for many the major language and Greek philosophy was deep.

    We see when Stephen and others were chosen to tend to the Hellenized (Grecian) Christian Jewish widows Acts 6:1-5. This parable would have been understood by the heavy Greek influence about death that still influences today. Jesus explains many of the parables to the disciples but this explanation is not recorded. But, is just being poor worthy of the gift of eternal life?

    If our soul or spirit is immortal why would scripture say we are mortal and must put on immortality and this happens at the resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:53-57. Does it not say we are sown in corruption, 1 Corinthians 15:42-44? Is not resurrection rising from the dead not descending from the living?

    When this body dies what is left? Scripture tells us without spirit our body dies, James 2:26. Spirit, Latin spiritus, Greek pneuma, is breath, life, and consciousness, being awake, aware of your surrounding and how we respond to it either with vigor or idleness 1 Corinthians 2:11.

  • Ronald L Whittemore - in Reply
    Part 2

    When we die it is the same as when we sleep, we are not conscious, we are asleep in Jesus, Psalm 146:4 Ecclesiastes 9:5,10 we have no knowledge of our surroundings or time. This is the spirit that goes back to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:7.

    1 Thessalonians 4:14, when Jesus returns, this earth is round and those that are Christs will come from all over, and we see different places describing the gathering, Matthew 24:31, Mark 13:27, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 along with Jesus, God brings those that are Christs with Him, the second coming back to earth to set up the kingdom on earth. I understand those who believe in the rapture being carried to heaven will disagree.

    Soul; Hebrew, nephesh, meaning a soul, living being animal or human, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion. Greek psuch meaning, life, as the seat of affections and will, the self, the conscience, the individual. In our conscience that is in our soul is where the battle of the desires of the flesh and the Spirit. This is what remains asleep in the grave where ever the grave may be, awaiting resurrection when we put on immortality. Psalms 49:15 John 5:28-29

    When are we absent from this body? 2 Corinthians 2:6-10 When do we appear at the judgment seat? 1 Thessalonians 2:19 1 Corinthians 15:22-23. When is a corn plant absent from its seed is it not when it springs forth from its grave of the earth? We are sown and until we are resurrected, being changed like the corn seed from corruption to incorruption, and this mortal puts on immortality being freed from this body of corruption, then we will be present with the Lord.

    Sorry I got wordy I am sure not all will agree but that is ok this is just what I see.

    God bless us all in the love of Jesus.

  • GRACE_ambassador {ChrisE} soul & spirit depart - in Reply
    1 Thessalonians 5:23

    Precious brother Chris says: "I cannot find a suitable answer for," and asks Great Questions:

    Where does the spirit of man go? Ecclesiastes 12:7 cp James 2:26

    me: Does the soul also depart? Genesis 35:18

    Is there a holding place for such? And where could this place be?

    1) Before The Resurrection Of The LORD JESUS CHRIST, the paradise 'hold' was in "the heart {lower parts} of the earth" Matthew 12:40 Ephesians 4:9, Abraham's bosom, across a chasm from the 'torment' hold Luke 16:19-31 cp Luke 23:43

    2) After The Resurrection Of The LORD JESUS CHRIST, paradise is now with The Throne Of God {Third Heaven?}, and Body Of CHRIST 'members' Immediately, upon physical death {'sleep' is the metaphor for the 'dead body'} "Depart to be WITH our Blessed God And Saviour, JESUS CHRIST!" 2 Corinthians 5:6,8 Philippians 1:21,23 'Confirmed' By:

    3) ...Those 'asleep In JESUS'..." {metaphor for 'resting' in JESUS}, "...Will God {JESUS} Bring With HIM!" 1 Thessalonians 4:14 At our Great GRACE Departure! 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 Amen?

    4) Is the "sleep/rest" UNconscious? Scripture?: Luke 16:19-31 cp Revelation 6:9-11


    Ed Bedore says: "A proper understanding of what the Bible teaches about Hell, Sheol, Hades, and the Grave dispels confusion over what happens to the soul at the time of physical death and guards against being led astray by those teaching the false doctrines of soul-sleep, eradication of the soul, the universal reconciliation of mankind, and the annihilation of the lost.":

    More can be learned from his Excellent Article about this Bible Doctrine:

    Hell, Sheol, Hades, Paradise, and the Grave by W. Edward Bedore


    Please Be Richly Encouraged, Enlightened, Exhorted, and Edified!

    ( 2 Timothy 2:15; Romans 16:25; Ephesians 1:3-9; Ephesians 3:9 = Grace/Mystery fellowship {Romans - Philemon}, For ALL "to SEE," today,?): Link
  • Bill - in Reply
    Very interesting comment Grace. I found it very interesting as to point number 1 and the use of the Lazarus story.

    I am not a Bible scholar, not even close. I ask for the God Yahweh to lead me to the truth He will provide for me. Yes, I do not believe all scripture has the same meaning for all believers; it is tailored to the individual.

    With that stated, I question the verses used in your first point in that there is no scriptural basis for the story of Lazarus being more than a parable to emphasize the difference in eternity between the believer, even though I find no evidence Lazarus was described as even a devout Jew. But the rich man most likely was due to being rich.

    Lazarus being on the bosom of Abraham was a ploy to magnify the revered position of the devout Jew - descended from Abraham. The rich man being separated from Abraham would be the ultimate blow to a Jew - loss of contact with the father of the Jews.

    The story of Lazarus has nothing to do with the immediate passing of the spirit to either heaven or paradise. It is simply an allegory to emphasize the correct use of wealth to care for the unfortunate.

    This parable has a twofold message to the audience. First, the social position of a person has no relevance to God's view of the individual. Second, neglect of the needs of a fellow human will not go unnoticed by God in His judgment of an individual.

    Reread the complete chapter of Luke 16. This is imperative to understand the context and purpose of the story of Lazarus. Christ was speaking of the misuse of resources given to one individual by God in respect to caring for the needs of the unfortunate.

    Your use of Revelation 6:9-11 is also interesting in that just when on the judgment timetable did it occur.

    I would be most interested in your interpretation of Ephesians 4:9.

    I enjoyed your comments, however, I fail to see where the first resting place of the spirit is clarified.
  • Chris - in Reply
    Thank you brother ChrisE. I'm generally with the same view as what you've expressed here, & my thanks for sharing it & the Scriptures. My point to the other brethren, was about the state & location of the spirit of one who has deceased. I too believe that the spirit returns to the Lord Who gave it, but many, I would suspect, have the view that the spirit of man lingers somewhere, though not knowing where. But this view presents other problems with one's immediate accountability with the Creator & Giver of life. Thank you again.
  • T. Levis - in Reply on 1 Thessalonians 4:17
    I think the scripture reference used is Hebrews 12:1

    In context Hebrews 10:35-39, Hebrews 11:1-40, continues = Hebrews 12:1-11
  • T. Levis - in Reply on 1 Thessalonians 4:17
    Hopefully these are helpful.

    1 Corinthians 15:51-58

    Luke 16:22-26

    Hebrews 9:27

    Revelation 2:11

    Revelation 20:4-6

    Revelation 20:12-15

    Revelation 3:3-5

    Revelation 21:10-27

    1 Thessalonians 4:14-17
  • Thank you, T. Levis for the verses.

    Revelation 20:12-15 is an interesting set of verses and its meaning/knowledge depends on the interpretation of the keywords of:

    1. Verse 12. "The DEAD, small and great" - I see this as meaning those that are non-believers only because the believers, other than those saved during the millennium, are already in heaven at the gathering of the church by Christ.

    2. Verse 13. "The sea" - These words are used in the following two verses to indicate the lost mass of humanity:

    Matthew 13:47-50.

    Matthew 4:18-20.

    3. Revelation 20:5. "The rest of the dead lived not again" - clearly a reference to the non-believers as the remaining dead would have to be those not gathered by Christ in the clouds. These dead are dead throughout the millennium.

    Again, thank you for your response and the verses provided.
  • Thank you, Adam!

    Exactly the points I was attempting to convey in my posting.

    To heaven, back to the clouds with Christ, back to heaven, and to be judged just does not compute.
  • In my understanding the first and last scripture reference you posted say we will be 'sleeping' between death and when Jesus comes. And others say we will be judged. There are verses saying we will be judged on the same day also. To me, all that fits together and carries a lot of weight. There are isolated verses that can be used as possible evidence of going immediately to heaven or hell, but I think it's very light in comparison to the evidence for 'sleeping'. It would be quite hard to explain how all the other verses logically fit, and why someone would skip judgment to go to heaven, then back to earth, only to go back to heaven again, then be judged, after they were already in heaven and all this as a formality? All this just to comfort people at funerals? But it seems clear to me we will sleep and it will feel like only a second goes by and Jesus will be here, and time will pass instantly just like it does when sleeping. God bless.
  • Robert Crockett - in Reply on 1 Thessalonians 4:17
    Your exactly right. You sleep. Like suspended animation. Because time doesn't exist in eternity. Whether you pass a thousand years ago or today, we're all asleep until he comes again. TY for your clarification!!!
  • If I may briefly butt in here, & asking brothers Adam & Bill: what, from your understanding of the Scriptures, does the word "sleeping" imply. Of course, we know that in this case it's a euphemism for 'death' of the body. But if the body be dead, then what happens to the spirit of that person, where does it go, if it goes at all?

    This point, from what I can gather, never seems to be spoken of by those who believe that a person 'fully sleeps' until the coming of Jesus to rule or at the time of judgement. Those of us, who believe that the body sleeps until the rapture of the Church, also believe that one's spirit at death, returns to the Lord Who gave it, whether to forever be with Christ or be locked awaiting judgement. So, in your understanding, where does the spirit of man go? Does it remain with the body, given the reduction of it to obliteration, whether in the earth, devoured in the sea, or reduced to ash in the flames? Or, is there a holding place for such? And where could this place be? These must be questions that you have also asked yourselves, for which I cannot find a suitable answer for. Every blessing.
  • Hello Chris and Adam.

    My belief as to the meaning of "sleep", as used by Paul, is death and the waiting period that follows until christ returns for His church. This state of being could very well be the "Paradise" Christ promised the thief on the cross; in no instance should "paradise" be considered as heaven, for it is not.

    As for the body, it does not maintain its form or shape or physical appearance - dust to dust - via "corruption", or decay.

    Paul states that the dead in Christ will rise first and join Christ in the clouds. Paul also states these dead in Christ will be raised as an incorruptible entity. Paul does not say the body will be raised; The sleeping spirit is raised from its rest, or sleep. I see no connection to the previous body here, only the spirit, or soul.

    In 1 Corinthians 15:52b Paul says "we shall be changed". I take this as a reference to those alive when Christ gathers His church.

    As to the composition of what Christ gathers and our heavenly state, I have no idea, nor have need to know. Just being there is the goal. However, John in his Revelation did report seeing angles, beings, thrones, the one on the throne, the lamb, souls, etc. Thus I conclude in whatever state beings may be in heaven, they are visible to the other beings in heaven.

    I personally view the narrative of Lazarus and the rich man as a parable and not as a description of the actual resting place of the departed spirit. If it is a literal description of the home of departed souls, then we must conclude Paul's description using sleep is incorrect.

    As for Paul's ascension into heaven, I see it as no different than that of John. Both ascended, saw, remembered, and recorded. Both continued an earthly life.

    As for the immortality of the spirit, or soul, it is eternal. It is never destroyed as Christ said. It exists for eternity in either heaven or hell.

  • Thanks for your response, Bill. You wrote: "Paul does not say the body will be raised; The sleeping spirit is raised from its rest, or sleep." Yet, in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 we read: "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." Of course, there can be discussion on why God's Name is mentioned here, but the verse says that those who have slept (in Jesus), God will bring with Him. And in the following verses, "the dead will rise first". Who then would be those whom God brings & the dead rising, if the dead doesn't represent bodies of people?

    My mention of Lazarus is the one spoken of in John chapter 11, the brother of Mary & Martha. But since you mentioned Lazarus of Luke 16:19-31, believing this account to only be a parable, then in my understanding, Jesus never used people's names in His parables. If this was a parable, the Pharisees & others listening to Him, could well ask Jesus, who Lazarus was. Jesus of course, would have to say, 'I just made up this fictious name', thereby giving them further reason to continue their derision of Him. It was always, 'a certain man, or a sower who went out', as unnamed people in parables. Then of course, Paul's description of sleep, in my understanding, is simply the body lifeless & decaying, awaiting the resurrection when the spirit is joined to the resurrected body, as in Matthew 27:52,53, when bodies of the saints were resurrected at Jesus' crucifixion. Those spirits must have returned, the bodies recomposed, & another spectacle of proof of the One Whom they crucified. So, it may be quite possible, that a similar miracle will take place at the Lord's Coming, of spirits returning to their newly reconstituted bodies.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your thoughts brother.
  • Good morning Chris.

    Thank you for your kind comments.

    1 Thessalonians 4:14 (KJV) -"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.". Have you considered "sleep in Jesus" as referring to the believers that sleep in the salvation of Jesus and not in some place in which Jesus is present (heaven)? Saying that I trust in Jesus does not actually mean that I am attached or embodied in Jesus. It means that I trust in what Jesus stands for as my salvation and eternal life with Him.

    Sorry about my misunderstanding as to the Lazarus in your prior comment. Lazarus had died, no doubt in any Christian's mind. The body was decomposing as Mary told Christ. Christ recalled the spirit, some may soul, of Lazarus and the body was restored to life until the appointed time for the spirit to exit the body later. That the spirit resides somewhere accessible is not the question; the question is where. I find no concrete evidence it is in heaven either before or after the resurrection.

    Case in point, 1 Samuel 28:11-20. The spirit of Samuel was brought from its resting place for Saul. Granted, God can do and/or permit ALL THINGS. Personally, I can not accept the spirit of Samuel was recalled from heaven, but it could have been.

    As to the use of the name "Lazarus" in the parable of the poor beggar, the Hebrew meaning of Lazarus, (Hebrew, , means "God Has Helped". Thus, the use of "Lazarus" reinforces the intended meaning of the parable and invites no questioning as to the name after the parable is concluded.

    Matthew 27:52,53 is another example of the unlimited power of God. Jesus restored life to at least three (3) bodies, for these are recorded. There was an earthquake that could have opened graves. Those brought to life are called "saints". Those raised would have been known in Jerusalem to have died. This, to me, is an act of confirming Christ's holiness and coming resurrection in three (3) days.
  • Hello Bill & thank you once again. As I understand from your earlier post, that you also believe that 'sleep' in this instance, refers to death. It being a euphemism, unlike 'trust' (in your example), which isn't one. That being the case, 'sleeping in the salvation of Jesus', seems fine in one sense, yet doesn't fit the context here. Paul is writing to the Thessalonians because of their concern & sorrow that those who have departed earlier have altogether disappeared from view. So Paul says, that those who have died may indeed have their bodies in the grave, but when Jesus comes, He will bring those very persons back to Earth with Him ( 1 Thessalonians 4:13,14). There is no break in the train of thought here (from verses 13-18).

    Re: 1 Samuel 28:11-20. This is in the OT economy, where we can understand that Samuel's spirit, & of those deemed righteous, were in a holding place of comfort, even as Jesus outlined in Luke 16:19-31. After the crucifixion & resurrection, we don't find evidence of such a place of rest for the believer.

    With the account of the rich man & Lazarus, we might have to defer on that, as I feel, if Lazarus didn't exist, then really none of the other details would make sense & would have to be treated metaphorically (i.e. no place of punishment & suffering).

    "Jesus restored life to at least three (3) bodies, for these are recorded", you wrote. Sorry, I need enlightening: where is this number recorded? I only know of, "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose", without giving a number. Many thanks again, brother.
  • Hello again my brother in Christ

    Appreciate your kind comments on my last post.

    To begin, my comment concerning the number of resurrections from death by Christ must have not been clear to you. I know of only 3 recorded resurrections performed by Christ: Lazarus, John 11:1-44; the widow's son, Luke 7:11-17; and Jairus's daughter, Luke 8:40-56 I then expressed my opinion there were most likely more that were not recorded. I see Christ as a compassionate savior, and personally, believe more miracles were performed than are recorded in today's Bible.

    My conviction the story of Lazarus the beggar is a parable is based on the Hebrew meaning of the name Lazarus meaning "God has helped". Christ was speaking to an audience of disciples originally and some Pharisees later joined the group, verse 14, and began to deride Christ. Christ then speaks to the Pharisees as to their violations of the Law and the parable of Lazarus.

    The parable of Lazarus serves a twofold purpose. First it serves to emphasize the responsibility of those more fortunate to aid the less fortunate. Second, it foretales the rejection of Christ by the Jews, even after the resurrection. The first purpose most likely fell on deaf ears as the Pharisees because of their self-righteousness. The second was not realized and accepted by even the remaining 11 disciples initially.

    Reference to the place of the spirit after death until the gathering of the church by Christ is referenced after the resurrection by Paul, in many places in scripture. Paul refers to the "holding place: as sleep.

    Now, where did the souls John sees in Revelation come from and at what point did they arrive in heaven. Revelation 3:10 is easily interperted as the rapture before tribulation. Revelation 7:9-17 surely is post-rapture by content.

    My point - the spirit of the vast majority of Christians do not enter heaven prior to the rapture. Enoch, perhaps. Elijiah definitely ( 2 Kings 2:11).

    Thank you, my brother in Christ
  • Page 2.

    We then have the account of Sarah & Hagar (Genesis chapter 16 & onwards), & then the apostle uses that account in Galatians chapter 4, to indicate that the story served to reveal to us both an historical event & an allegorical Truth, of Abraham, Sarah & Hagar. One could never presume that those three folk never existed, but a further Truth can be learned about the two covenants. In like manner, because nothing more is known about Lazarus & the rich man, can we confidently believe that that event in Hades did not actually take place with those very people? And yes, I can understand & appreciate the "twofold purpose" of the 'parable'; for indeed tis true, but the third purpose I see that leaps out to the reader, is of the awful torment that awaits those who have given little regard to God's Laws & practice of 'true religion".

    "My point - the spirit of the vast majority of Christians do not enter heaven prior to the rapture." If "sleep" is a "holding place referred to by Paul", then at least we should specify where that holding place is. Which brings us to the first point in this discussion: is this holding place at the decomposed body's site, or in Hades, afloat in the ether regions, or elsewhere? Because of the lack of biblical clarity, I would lean towards Paul's own desire to leave this body of flesh & corruption of the world & to be present with his Lord. I don't see an extended gap between leaving the Earth & being in the Lord's presence, even if in spirit form. Every blessing to you brother.
  • Page 2

    So, where does the spirit reside, we do not know the physical location. On this side of heaven, we will never know. Paul says that we will know as we are known in 1 Corinthians 13:12.

    Even if the answer as to the physical location of the spirits of the dead, could we comprehend with our lowly human brain? Surely not. However, one day we will know everything about everything.

    I love your words "I can understand & appreciate the "twofold purpose" of the 'parable'; for indeed tis true, but the third purpose I see that leaps out to the reader, is of the awful torment that awaits those who have given little regard to God's Laws & practice of 'true religion". This point is either missed or ignored by so many professing Christians. Well said.

    Paul's writings, in addition to being very complicated and sometimes confusing, reflect a belief that he would still be alive at the second coming of Christ. This is also true for John the Revelator. Given this view of the quickness of the return, some passages must be looked upon as reflecting this belief.

    2 Corinthians 5:8 must be read within the context of the first 7 verses for understanding. I do not read verse 8 as being an immediate transferring of the spirit from the body to heaven but as a comparison of the bodily tabernacle and its earthly existence to the tabernacle that awaits us in heaven. To me, Paul is expressing his, and perhaps our, desire to pass from the earthly existence into an existence with Christ and God, but without a timetable of it being immediate.

    I thank you for our conversations and find them extremely enlightening.

    May God grant you a blessed day my brother in Christ.

  • Brother Bill, I continue to enjoy our discussions.

    Couple of your points. Firstly, distinguishing between Sheol & the Lake of Fire. You stated that "I believe Revelation 20:14 explains the place all souls reside after death until the gathering of the church and the following judgment of the lost." That passage speaks of the Lake of Fire which apparently is the terminus of all unforgiven sinners, including Satan, his henchmen, the Anti-christ, etc., or maybe I've misunderstood you. Can that burning Lake, from which there is no escape, be considered a holding place for all souls after death? Indeed, as you stated, "God would have none perish in the eternal fire as He is love", yet we know that the majority will suffer in that eternal raging flame for they have spurned the offer of God's Love, despised His Son, & must suffer under His Just Hand. If that were not so, there is no case for the Gospel & its spread, often done in great labours even death, throughout the world.

    Re: 2 Corinthians 5:1-8. I've re-read this. In verses 1-4, Paul writes on our 'earthly house' being dissolved (returned to dust), & we have the promise of a "house from Heaven". And verse 5 connects that thought of our glorified body provided by the same God Who has given us the "earnest of the Spirit", with the next verses. Paul says 'while he is in this body, he is absent from the Lord'. Rather the very opposite is his longing & confidence, 'to be absent in the body & to be present with the Lord'. So, I agree with how you read some of this portion, though I guess, it's how we read verses 6 & 8. Is Paul inferring a gap between his bodily demise & spiritual awakening in the Lord's Presence, or does he envision a 'no gap': his spirit must either be clothed in a body or be clothed in a heavenly body? - Either here or there. Can a believer given the Spirit & leaving this Earth, be left in a state of flux, rather than immediately return to the One Who has purchased us, completing His redemptive work?
  • Page 2

    My computer, or mind, is definitely not my friend. Sorry for the scrambled scripture ending page 1.

    Second Timothy, if the last epistle of Paul or not, contains verses that I believe show Paul had a different belief in death and the spirit's arrival in heaven to be with Christ.

    2 Timothy 2:10-13 - "10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."

    Verse 11, " It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him." I believe this verse alludes to the coming resurrection of the dead in Christ. I hold this view based on Paul's words "we SHALL LIVE with Him".

    At death, we are with Him in the grave, as was Christ upon His death. At our resurrection, commonly referred to as the rapture, we too will be raised from our grave, meaning death. Not a physical and/or decomposed earthly body, but as a new type of being, unknown to us in our knowledge in this life. It is at this point we live with Him.

    I believe Paul had become or was becoming, aware he would have a waiting period before the return of Christ at the time this epistle was written.

    If Paul was realizing Christ would not return within his lifetime, or shortly after, Paul had to believe in a "sleep" until the return of Christ.

    However, we are still missing a definitive "where" this period of "sleep" will be or its heavenly given name.

    Be safe my brother in Christ until our next comments.

  • Thank you again brother Bill & for the clarification of that Scripture. I too have to exercise care.

    I gather from your comments on 2 Corinthians 5:1-8, you apply that Scripture to the Rapture. Whereas, I see it as the physical death of a believer & the immediate transition of his spirit into the Lord's Presence (i.e. while we're alive we're not in the Lord's Presence (Heaven) - then death ought to be welcomed because it means that we no longer have to 'groan' in our burdens of mortal life). I see that the apostle longed to be taken from this Earth, yet his earthly work must go on until the Call to come Home. Also Philippians 1:21-24: Paul expressing the same.

    I'm unsure whether Paul began to doubt the 'timing' of the Lord's Coming; I think he lived in expectation of it given that the last days were always in view post-Crucifixion. I do recall Peter, in 2 Peter 3:3 ff, describe the condition of those 'scoffers' who will try to nullify the Lord's Promises, by saying, "Where is the promise of his coming?" And of course, Peter proceeded to show that the Lord's Promises are certain, as they were in Noah's day, & the utter destruction of the Earth by fire in latter days. That we cannot discern the times that God alone sets. If the Lord's Coming hasn't occurred as yet, "until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in" then that has to be the Lord's Determination.

    2 Timothy 2:10-13. I take in your thoughts on this, though again, I see it differently. Paul shares 4 contrasts (from the last one): if we are faithless (faith deficient), He remains faithful; if we deny Him, He will deny us; if we suffer for Him, we will reign (in triumph) with Him; if we have identified with Him (in dying to sin & the old life, even as He died for us to give us salvation), we will enjoy eternity with Him. Excuse my thoughts added here, but as much as I agree that there's allusion to the resurrection of the body, I see it as specifically to the Promise made to those who have died to sin & self.
  • Hello again brother Chris. As always, your thoughts give me the inspiration to explore the verses we are discussing. Thank you for stimulating my mind.

    2 Corinthians 5:1-8, to me, is not reflecting the actual Rapture in and of itself, but more of Paul's expectations of his pre-Rapture and post-Rapture existence. Verse 6 - " Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:". While in this earthly body, our spirit is not in the presence of the Lord as He resides in heaven while we reside on earth. No question as to the truth of this concept. Verse 8 - " We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord". I see this as an expression of longing to exit the trials of this life and enter the rest preceding the actual spiritual entry into heaven.

    Philippians 1:21-24 expresses the same as the verses above.

    In both sets of verses, I do not see Paul expressing an immediate spirit in heaven event. To me, they do not say this. It is a happening that will occur with no timetable.

    Your points for 2 Timothy 2:10-13 are well taken and understood. My purpose in using this scripture selection is verse 11. "It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:". To me, this verse reflects a new recognition of the timetable for the return of Christ. We will live with Him without a sense of it being immediate.

    Your comment was, which is a very good observation, "an allusion to the resurrection of the body, I see it as specifically to the Promise made to those who have died to sin & self". I agree with the allusion of a resurrection, but not of the body at the rapture. First Corinthians 15:40 - "There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies". This is reflected in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

    Until our next chat, brother in Chr
  • Brother Bill. I too have enjoyed sharing with you these very precious Scriptures & being exercised in mind & spirit to view them from another perspective.

    I sense that our exchange will end shortly, as I do find agreement in what you have written about the apostle expressing a deep longing to "exit the trials of this life and enter the rest...". And likewise, with the Philippians verses, we are reminded again of his yearning to "be with Christ". As much as those of us who lean strongly to the departure of the spirit at death & immediately into the Lord's Presence, I'm still left wondering if that were not the case, then where do our spirits go? In the Old Testament, we get a view of a holding place (which is taken as a parable by many) & even Ecclesiastes 12:7, but what about post-Cross? Since I know your understanding of this, I don't wish to re-hash what has been discussed previously, but I feel that if I too held the position you hold, I would earnestly seek to learn what are the possible options before us of where the spirit of the dead go, if at all. There can't be too many options - is there no indication or hint in the NT of this interim state? If none, would it be strange that none of the apostles spoke of this? If I were a part of that early community, this would be a pressing enquiry, just as the apostle's words of assurance of the resurrection & the coming of the Lord to those despairing believers.

    Ok, I understand that you were focussing on 2 Timothy 2:11 & not the whole. My mistake. I certainly can agree on that one, that the rapture is not referred to here.

    Again, thank you for taking so much time to share your understanding & thoughts - I'm sure many of us have been benefited from them & no doubt will be able to take in those Scriptures with a fresh look & appreciation. Every blessing brother Bill.
  • Sadly, this discussion will end with no comfort for you as to the place where the spirit resides following the death of our earthly bodies.

    The only definitive scriptures either use "Paradise", or a similar term, as did Christ on the cross, or, "Sleep" as did Paul. It is unclear, and perhaps, no, not perhaps, but by God's divine design.

    I too sensed this discussion was reaching its profitable limit as I composed my last reply. We can not go past the scriptural knowledge God and Christ have provided us, allowing for the corruption of scripture by man.

    However, our discussions have been both spiritually and personally enlightening and I am a better Christian because of them. I give you sincere and heartfelt thanks for your time and insights.

    One request my Christian brother, are you active in other threads on this site? If so, would you kindly give me directions to them? I value your insights and interpretation of scripture and learn from your postings.

    Thank you again for sharing with me.

    May your paths always fall under the protective wings of our God.

    May we know one another in heaven.

    Your brother in Christ,

  • Thank you brother Bill for your kind words and I have been equally edified & spiritually stimulated as we have shared in some very profitable discussions. And yes, some things, maybe many things, will be unknown to us this side of Heaven, 'but then shall I know even as also I am known', as all will be made abundantly clear to us. But I feel the Lord is pleased that we, as others who contribute on this Site, are so intensely engaged in spending time in the Word & with His children - sometimes to the neglect of our more mundane duties around the home. I find very few in the Church are prepared (or, capable) of spending time in serious discussion & searching of the Scriptures & so for a medium such as this, I'm very appreciative.

    I have been active in other threads for the past couple of years, mostly responding to questions, but I don't think this Site allows one to call on a name to see what that person has written, maybe for good reason as personalities might become the focus, rather than general fellowship around the Word. Sometimes there is another 'Chris' that comes on, but hopefully one can tell from the material & manner in which comments are presented, that it's not one & the same.

    I continue to look forward to reading your comments to others, & though we may not always see eye to eye, I know we do learn much from the experience & in endeavouring in building each other up in the Word & faith. The Lord bless you richly Bill.
  • I will attempt to locate your other threads.

    You have insights that I really find stirring to my quest for scriptural understanding. I want to view more of them.

    Your observation on the amount of time the average "Christian" spends in study is so sad and true.

    I too was that way for possibly 50 years of my relationship with God and Christ. Yes, I am an old codger.

    Too many years I spent being told what a verse meant and what to think about my relationship with God and Christ. I am so appreciative that God has permitted me to live long enough to find truth and not opinions.

    Should we never speak together again in this existence, I pray to meet you in heaven and we find our answers from the Source itself.

    May God bless and keep you throughout the remainder of your earthly life.

    Thanks for being a brother.

  • English Sacha - in Reply on 1 Thessalonians 4:17
    Hi Bill , thankyou for that post , just wanted to say that I believe the same as you on this subject . I believe we cease to exist until Christ returns and we are ressurected . We won't be aware of any thing and won't know where we have been or for how long , why would we need to ? It would seem from the apostles letters that they expected Christ to return to earth in their lifetime . I always feel a bit sad for them as the years rolled by and I wonder if they were sad that they were having to wait so long . When they are awoken with us ,if we have also died , what a fabulous re union for them and the joy of us all shall shake the world ! May it come to pass ever so soon .
  • Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your interpretation of the Apostles expected timetable for the return of Christ.

    I do believe the Apostles belief that Christ would return for them within their lifetime was tempered with time. As you read in the discussion between Chris and myself, there is evidence, at least to me, that Paul grew to realize the tasks given to the believers by Christ would take longer than originally expected.

    I see this as no negative reflection upon the Apostles. Scripture abounds with evidence the Apostles did not understand so much of what Christ taught to them as His future "missionaries". Foremost to me is their not understanding the crucifixion and resurrection.

    But would we have understood? From a Jewish view of the Messiah, most likely not. We can not fault them as their expectations were entirely different from god's plan. Plus, our minds are slow to grasp some of the concepts of God's purposes.

    Again, thank you for the kind comments.

  • Greetings my brother Chris.

    Pardon my tremendous error in my previous response!!! A mighty example of the mind outracing the fingers on the keyboard.

    I apologize for sending "I believe Revelation 20:14 explains the place all souls reside after death until the gathering of the church and the following judgment of the lost." My intention was to state - I believe Revelation 20;14 explains the place all lost souls eternally reside after the gathering of the church and following the judgment of the lost. Quite different than what I originally sent.

    As to my comments on 2 Corinthians 5:1-8, I do not think Paul fully understood the timing of the return of Christ for His church. In my studies, I have found that many, perhaps a large majority, of early believers envisioned a quick return of Christ. Paul was the foremost of these believers in a return in his lifetime. Thus stated, at the time of his writing (dictating?) Second Corinthians I believe Paul expected an imminent return of Christ. Later, I believe Paul came to realize the timetable of Christ's return was longer than he originally believed.

    It is believed Paul initially visited Corinth about 50-51 CE. The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians is believed to have been written about 53-54 CE from Ephesus. The second letter is believed to have been written from Macedonia in about 55 CE. Thus the second letter was approximately 5 years after Paul first visited Corinth. Paul's execution is dated between 67 and 70 CE.

    Based on the traditional view, 2 Timothy was Paul's final epistle and is dated as 67 CE and originated in Rome. While the date is not certain, the location is known as Paul was in the custody of the Romans at his time.

    See Page 2

    e that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
  • Page 1

    Good morning brother Chris!

    Oh, the power of this discussion! So much to share together and expand our minds in the Spirit.

    Your last post opens a wealth of information contained in both the Old and New Testaments as we know them.

    We must agree that we have, and will keep, very separate views of the story of the beggar, Lazarus. I have no problem with our differing views as it is my firm conviction, that with few verese excluded, God reveals truth on an individual basis. This is where we two are on this scripture.

    My personal belief is that ALL souls do, and always have, leave the body and go to a "holding place" until the gathering of the church by Christ. Further, I do not believe there is a "chasm" between the good and bad souls across which the two sides can see and talk with each other; prior to the resurrection or afterward.

    Revelation 20:14 says that death and hades, Greek, (Sheol Hebrew), are thrown into the lake of fire. Why? Because they are no longer part of God's realm - death will be absent in eternity and the residence of the souls is unnecessary because of the judgment of the non-believer in verse 20:11.

    I believe Revelation 20:14 explains the place all souls reside after death until the gathering of the church and the following judgment of the lost. If the place is named, its location is not. However, it does exist and verses indicate Christ visited Sheol during the three days prior to the resurrection - 1 Peter 3:18-20; Ephesians 4:9-10, (see Psalms 68:18, Isaiah 61:1-2, and Luke 4:18).

    Why would Christ visit the souls in Sheol? All covenants before that of Christ did not include salvation, only atonement for sin by animal blood. The spirits of all that died prior to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ were given the chance to acknowledge Christ and His salvation to allow them to be participants in the salvation provided by the resurrection.

    God would have none perish in the eternal fire as He is love.

    See 2
  • Page 1.

    Our conversation is enlightening & profitable, for which I thank you, brother Bill. Yes, it was my error concerning the "3 recorded resurrections". I took your statement to apply to the graves that were opened at our Lord's crucifixion & death, given the Matthew 27 reference.

    Then, to the Lazarus (parable). I understand the meaning of Lazarus, as most names in those days also had a specific meaning, e.g. "Thou art Peter" (Petros), a rock. As much as the Lord used Peter's name to signify the Rock of Truth on which the Church would be built, & Peter the rock, would play a significant part in that, Peter still remained Peter & was Peter to all. With Lazarus, & of course the mention of Abraham's existence, the call & plea to Abraham, & Abraham's response, should conclusively convince us that this was no mere parable, but a real-life (or, real-death) occurrence. And this pointed to those who trusted in riches & not in God, with no regard to the needy, & the one who was in need in life (in OT economy), all had to face an actual (initial) judgement. If this were only a parable, would the mention of Lazarus & Abraham only be allegorical & would Jesus then be deceiving His hearers when such people & such a situation didn't exist in the after-life? And this cannot be said of His other parables (e.g. sower, lost coin, prodigal son, etc.). Onto Page 2.
  • . In the gospel of Mathew starting at verse 23 to 32 the context of the conversation is at the time of the resurrection all these things he's teaching apply including verse 32 Jesus says 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 when context at the resurrection. This applies to all who had died.
  • Thank you David. Indeed, Matthew 22:32 does speak of the resurrection as Jesus answered the Saducees who don't believe in the resurrection. What Jesus was telling them, was that the Eternal God is not a God Who would be concerned for the dead who will never live again. Why? Because He is a God of the Living, i.e. Abraham, Isaac & Jacob would one day be resurrected to life on Earth again, therefore though dead, God knows that He will bring them back to life on Earth again. Or else, Jesus should have spoken it this way, 'God WAS the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob', which the Sadducees would have commended Him for. Now whether, in context of our discussion, that Abraham, Isaac & Jacob were presently alive in spirit awaiting the resurrection, or that, no, it was only a parable using Abraham's names & speech, but without reality, is the focus.
  • GiGi again - in Reply on 1 Thessalonians 4:17
    Chris, I always love to read your posts. You are a straight arrow in your take on scriptural matters. I am uplifted by what you say and I stand in agreement with you for the most part. There may be some things we think differently on, but I feel that we both have been blessed with a strong foundation in Christ and the teachings of our faith. Thank you for going back and looking for new posts to respond to in chapters that you may have already studied and responded to in past months. This site needs people like you who are responsive to the need to welcome new posters, encourage others, gently guide others in fruitful discussions, and being watchful about what is being conveyed on this site. it shows you care about the people who come on here in a pastoral way. Thanks.
  • Thank you GiGi for those very kind remarks - they're truly undeserving. Many of us here come on often to do just that, to help others get to know & love the Scriptures more, thereby knowing the Will of God for them & living it out confidently in their lives. Actually, I don't go back into the Comments section looking at old posts - I find there are enough to consider & maybe comment on, in the present. And true, we'll never find agreement of everything in the Bible - there are so many variables & of course, the underlying fact is, that we often don't really have all the information to be able to say conclusively that a particular teaching is what it is & nothing else. The old adage, "Major on the majors and minor on the minors", should be where our focus is on - but it is nice to converse over 'peripheral' subjects & try & see how others view them. And thank you for your recent comments which have vividly brought us into the lives & thoughts of those men of old - indeed, we all bring out God's Word in a special way with our varied approaches.
  • Hello,

    Chris, I guess I do not know how this site works yet. I thought you were going back to Genesis and revisiting comment section to see what new posts say. Which, if so, I appreciate, because there are new people beginning the study of the Bible with Genesis that many studied months or years ago and while I can be helped by what they wrote, they cannot benefit or help newcomers if they do not go back and recheck what they previously studied. I realize this takes a lot of time. I just retired in September from being a Kindergarten teacher. So, I have time to do more than some others on this site. Last year when I was on medical leave dur to covid, I did months of research from non-Scriptural sources on and the pre-flood world and immediately post flood. And now I am studying Genesis again, because I am sure that God had me do the previous research for a reason and then lead to Genesis again.

    I have truly enjoyed your many posts across the chapters of Genesis. You have a way of identifying iffy teaching and bringing the discussion back to solid teaching. Thank you. I will pray for you; please pray for me.
  • I do indeed keep our dear folk who come on here, in my daily prayers, that together we will "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" & therefore be used of Him for the blessing of others. It is truly a joyous thing, to fill ourselves with the knowledge of His Word, rather than the trash we get on our screens & phones. I can sense God's Spirit delighting to reveal more of our heavenly Father & His Son to us, being a blessed distraction from the things which can never satisfy.

    What you're doing GiGi is very commendable by revisiting the Word from Genesis & sharing some very useful thoughts to assist us in understanding it, with a sprinkling of suggestions to challenge our thinking & appreciation of that Scripture. Your teaching skills are clearly apparent & I can see that they could have been well used (better used?) in the higher grades, given the chance.

    I think many of us (for me at least), we just hit the Discussion Tab at the top of KJBO page (or else, hit Newest Discussion), & I progressively work down the page(s) until the comments start looking familiar from the previous day. But I guess one has to come on daily to do that with ample spare time, which I do, whenever I can. I started off here when Covid & lockdowns began over two years ago, rather than twiddle my thumbs at home - and I never left. I try to respond where I can; however, if others have already responded to questions & I have nothing useful to offer, then I go through the thread & move on. So that's my general plan. And some of the comments made here have forced me to consider verses or other theological matters, which I may have glossed over previously or not really considered. So, it's been an added avenue of study & ministry as well for me. And of course, if you don't get a response to your comment, it's not for a lack of readers - maybe there's been no prompt from the Spirit. So keep up the good work - I certainly enjoy what you've been sharing.
  • Thanks Chris,

    I enjoyed teaching the young ones fresh into the school environment. I was able to bring Jesus too them in my and demeanor even if the public school environment restricts teachers from speaking openly about their faith. However, students are free to express their ideas on this matter and then I can respond when they bring something up. Parents have sensed my faith and shared with me their Christian faith and then I can share more. These parents express gratitude that their dear one will be taught by someone who loves Jesus like they do.

    Now is the time for me to share my learnings with other adults as we build one another up in out faith. So glad that the Lord led me to this site and am thankful for the depth and breadth of the sections besides the Scripture text. This provides many avenues for us to help one another even though it is not in person.

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