WHERE DO WE GO WHEN WE DIE?
"...the soul that sinneth, it shall die."-Ezekiel 18:4
One of the last prophecies to be fulfilled before the return of Christ is...
many are aware, today we see the majority of religions, including
some Christians denominations are proclaiming that
prayers to the dead are acceptable and should be done
often if the dead are in fact considered a saint. Most teach that when a person dies they go to a
spirit world where they can be contacted by us in prayer, or by
a psychic or spirit guide in a sťance. Some also teach re-incarnation where
the soul goes from one life to the next forever in the hopes of cultivating
enough wisdom to become perfect and therefore eternal in nature. Then there are
those that teach the spirit of the deceased can actually haunt
people if the deceased had been wronged in some major way in
their mortal life. And finally, some teach that dead saints are
allowed to come back from heaven, physically appear unto us and warn us of mortal
dangers if we don't heed their Heavenly warnings and follow their
advice. One of these
denominations even go so far as to claim that the mother of Jesus Christ Himself
appears from time to time to relay messages from
The Psalmist is praying for deliverance to arrive before death here because he knows he won't have the ability to remember anything from the grave, nor can he give thanks from the grave.
In Isaiah we see that king Hezekia was sick and Isaiah told him he was about to die. The king turned his face to the wall and prayed. In his prayer he says the following...
It appears rather plain here. The dead seem to be just that...DEAD! They can't remember, they can't thank anyone, they can't praise God, they can't think, they can't even dream because the verse says, "his thoughts perish." All their abilities have perished, "the dead know not any thing." Notice the last verse shared where it said, "...neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun." The Bible is stating that the dead can in no way take part in anything under the sun. The (RSV) Bible actually translates the above last verse like this. "...they have no more for ever any share in all that is done under the sun." Pretty plain is it not?
If the Bible is saying the dead can't affect anything that happens here on earth. Why are people still praying to these dead saints when the dead can't hear them? Why do people still believe in hauntings, seances, apparitions etc??? They believe it because they never read in their Bibles the truth about these things. They just trusted their church leaders to tell them truthfully what the Bible says. So, who or what are these people seeing at these seances, hauntings and apparitions? Some churches believe that Mary the mother of Jesus is showing up in apparitions around the world. Many also believe that paintings or statues of Mary are actually bleeding real blood, or crying real tears. Does this mean Mary is not only alive and well, but now trapped inside statues made by men? How can this be? Does not the Word of God plainly state that the dead can in no way affect anything that happens here on this earth? If these apparitions aren't Mary, then who are they? See my "That's not Mary?" page on the website for the whole story on this.
I'm sure you're wondering. "Just where do we go when we die?" Don't go running to get this answer from your preacher, teacher, friend, pastor, or priest. Just go back in the Bible to find out. It is were you should always go when you're in question. However if you do at times have to go to a person for answers, always verify it in the Word of God before making any final decisions! Don't trust me or any man! Go to God's Word for the final answer and you will never go wrong.
So...where do we go when we die?
The Bible refers to death as sleep. During this dreamless sleep, "his thoughts perish," so, is it possible to affect the lives of others or carry on normal day to day activities in normal sleep? I think not. In the book of John we find a situation where Jesus Himself refers to the dead as being asleep.
The disciples thought when Jesus said Lazarus was sleeping that he would be ok. So Jesus had to plainly say "Lazarus is dead." Before going on, I must interject as to the main reason Jesus calls death "sleep" here. It is because He knows that everyone will awaken one day out of death as we awaken each morning from sleep. Some will awaken to receive eternal life, and others will awaken to be destroyed in eternal damnation.
Getting back to Lazarus we discover that a few verses later we realize how long Lazarus would have been sleeping the sleep of death if Jesus had not raised him from the dead later on in verse 43.
Martha, the sister of Lazarus understood the biblical truth about the state of the dead. She knew Lazarus wasn't going to awaken until the last day when Jesus splits that eastern sky at His second coming. The book of Job also mentions the length of sleep for the dead.
Notice the word till in that verse. This means the dead will not, or cannot awaken until the last day as Martha calls it in the previous verse shared.
My Favorite verse on this subject.... 1Corinthians 15:20-23 But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
According to this verse, the dead in Christ will remain in their graves awaiting the order of resurrection. What is that order you ask? Jesus is the "firstfruits of them that slept" And then those that are believers in Jesus will "be made alive". But when will they be made alive? According to the Bible, they will have to be made alive in the order that the Lord set up. Jesus, the "firstfruits" and then those that are His followers, "at His coming" ...Rather blunt is it not?
So I ask... How did this LIE get started?
It's all in PUNCTUATION folks! That's right! Punctuation! Let me explain... The two short letters below are identical, only the punctuation has been changed. Notice how you can perceive a total different meaning by altering simple punctuation...
There is another example I would like to share that I just found recently. Note the following 2 phrases. They are the exact same. Only the punctuation is different...
Now read Luke 23:43
Is Luke 23:43 REALLY saying we go to Heaven directly at death?
"And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee To day, shalt thou be with me in paradise." [Luke 23:43]
One more thing to ponder in regards to this Biblical fact.
The Sun is about to set. The Jews are wanting all the bodies off the cross before the "high Sabbath" day (A "High Sabbath" is when an annual feast day and weekly seventh day Sabbath hit at same time) They break the legs of the two men. The thief of course is one of those men, but when they get to Jesus, they find that He had already died! However, the thief didn't die that day did he? Did Jesus lie again? According to the Worldly bibles with the coma misplaced, Jesus said He and the thief would go to Heaven THAT DAY. Yet, Jesus went a day early didn't He? The misplaced coma allows for a multitude of errors and so called contradictions that Satan has convinced billions to view the Bible as an untrustworthy book. The devil has indeed been cunningly BUSY! That's why I love the Word of God so much! It so EASILY proves lies to be just that...LIES. When you use the preferred biblical method the prophet Isaiah mentions when defining doctrine in Isaiah 28:10 where he says, "...precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:" Then you will never be confused. Letting the Bible define itself opens it up to a grand adventure into the Truth!
Want it bluntly?
You see? It is not until Jesus MAKES us immortal on that last day will we be able to "get out" of the blunt fact that there is a grave for each of us that see death BEFORE He returns on that day. For those of you that have lost loved ones. This TRUTH is a blessed comfort. You no longer have to worry about your beloved deceased as wondering in an unknown landscape looking for deceased loved ones, or being scared they are all alone in the vast emptiness, or worse yet floating in the flames of Purgatory as the Pagan's once believed and Rome adopted into Catholicism. The Scriptures declare that they are sleeping soundly totally unaware of what is going on around them. They don't even realize they are dead! They simply, sleep.
Ever notice this..?
Now, yes it's true that some have bypassed the grave and some have even resurrected 2000 years ago with Christ. The amazing thing about these people are that EVERYONE of them that has ascended into Heaven HAVE COMPLETE BODIES! ENOCH, ELIJAH, MOSES and JESUS, ALL HAVE BODIES! Jesus even made this point quite clear when He stated to the disciples after His death the following truths.
Have we all forgotten what Christ said about how our bodies in Heaven will be fashioned?
Seeing how this is Biblical fact, want further confirmation? Ask all those elected officials that have exhumed dead bodies over the years due to criminal investigations. 100% of the time, each and every single time they dug up a grave they FOUND A BODY in the casket!
Now I know there are still some questions for those of you that have been taught certain things regarding this topic. And below I have a list of every one of them I have come across over the years explained using Scripture. However, I would like to share one of them right off because it's my favorite method to prove this point. It has to do with King David. As we all know, out of the family tree of David we have Christ the Lord. David was a sinner yes, but he repented and was considered a Heaven bound man. In fact, all the Jews in the days after the cross of Christ believed David was in Heaven. Peter the Apostle was forced to address this issue quite boldly in Acts chapter two.
Try this the next time you are sharing this biblical fact with a Christian confused on this issue. Ask them, "do you believe King David is in Heaven right now?" Most will say yes. Then share with them what Peter told those gathered before him on the day of Pentecost.
Keep in mind this verse is penned AFTER the death and resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. Many preach that everyone that was in the graves are in Heaven after the resurrection of Christ because they think He brought them all out of Gehenna (Hell) when He was dead. Yet, this verse proves that they are indeed in error. It seems even the early believers thought David was already in Heaven. But Peter made it plain that the passage they were questioning ( which was Psalm 16:10) in regards to the Lord not allowing His soul to stay in hell or His body to rot. The passage was indeed speaking of Jesus Christ ascending to Heaven, not David. For it is also explained in this same chapter of Acts...
1 Samuel 28:7,11, "Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. "Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel."
Many use this passage to prove life after death is immediate because the woman appeared to conjure the prophet Samuel from the grave. Basic reality here is, Saul sought counsel of a witch. It wasn't Samuel he saw in the spirit. It was a demon. There are many reason this is so. First of all we are told in God's Word not to seek counsel of witches. Therefore, Satan was already in control here.
Deuteronomy 18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
Plus, the demon impersonating Samuel claimed the witch had the power to raise him, yet we know by God's Word in numerous areas that only the Lord Himself can do this. For only Jesus Christ has the power of "the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25) NOT witches or demons. Another distinguishing fact here is that the demon gave a bogus prophecy. If it had been of the Lord, or even Samuel himself, who was a holy man, the prophecy would not have failed. The demon said, "Tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me". (1 Samuel 28:19) Besides the fact that Samuel is not "in Heaven" yet according to the order by which all men gain Heaven. Scriptures tells us that Saul appears to have grieved away the Holy Spirit of the Lord in his latter years. If that demon was truly Samuel, then he would have known Saul was not worthy of Heaven. Saul died lost. Yet the "real" Samuel died a prophet of God and a saved man. So...The Truth here is the devil can manifest in a bevy of ways to confuse the one looking on. In fact Satan can do just about anjything he can get permission to do. 2 Corinthians 11:14 says, "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." This "spirit" that Saul looked upon was merely one of those manifestations of Satan.
Another favored verse that is used to try and prove there is life after death immediate is...
2 Corinthians 5:8, "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
MANY use this passage as a basis of "proof" that because it says "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord," it must mean Paul is advocating life after death immediate. One point many miss in regards to this passage is the fact that Paul is commenting on the carnal nature of the people that should be "absent" so as to walk "in the Lord" as true and obedient Christians. With that said, do these next two passages declare Paul dead and speaking from the grave?
Corinthians 5:3, "For I verily, as
absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as
though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,"
The meaning is obvious when taken in context to that which is written. To be absent from the body is to deny the flesh and therefore present with the Lord as we walk in the Spirit. Romans 6:6-8 put it ever so plainly when it said, "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:" And John 3:6 says, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Let's not forget Romans 8:1 wherein it says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
But to further illustrate this fact. We need to ask another question which we find answered next in this series...
Ecclesiastes 12:7, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."
The fact here is that the word spirit is used to speak of the "Breath" in Human terms. The Biblical evidence used to support that fact is found in James 2:26, where it states, "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." It gives BOTH realities here. It share the makeup of the BODY first, and then it shares the makeup of FAITH as well. The body without the spirit/breath is dead, like the faith without works/fruits is dead as well. Job defines it rather nicely for us in Job chapter 27:3, he says, "All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;" Here he is giving breath and spirit the same definition. the breath IN me, and the spirit in my NOSTRILS is to blunt to miss. Can the Holy Spirit be in a nostril? In this verse we have the word "spirit" being used in the nostrils which is actually the Greek word, "Pneuma" which means Air or Breath. For example, Pneumonia = sickness of the breath, Pneumatic tires = "filled with air, and so on. To further confirm this it says in Genesis 7:22, "All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died." That is of course in regards to Noah and the flood. The connection between the breath of life and nostrils is undeniable.
One more point I want to make regarding James 2:26 here. If someone has NOT the Holy Spirit of God, are they dead? Are people that are not saved BURIED in the ground? Of course not. James is NOT talking about the Holy Spirit in this verse. He is making a clear comparison. He is merely saying, "Just as a body without the ability to breath air is dead in reality, so is the faith of the person who has no works dead in spirituality. Both the carnal and spiritual are being used here to illustrate a point. There is no mistaking that, it's that plain.
Genesis 2:7, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
Psalms 146:3-4, "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish."
Now notice the similarity here with the verse the World uses to preach "Life after death immediate..." This is actually the verse that was mentioned in the original "QUESTION"
Ecclesiastes 12:7, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."
Sounds like Genesis 2:7 and Psalm 146:3,3 doesn't it? All three speak of the "spirit" or the "breath" in the same manner. If you really think about it, Death is creation in reverse! The body goes back to the earth, the breath goes back to the Lord. There is a REASON Jesus used the term "sleep" in John11 when speaking of Lazarus. He was showing how HE looks at death, and how WE look at death. Even the Apostles didn't catch that.
By the way... Jesus said "Lazarus" come forth didn't He? Ever wonder why Jesus said his name? Had Jesus just said, "come forth" ALL the graves would have opened! For it is written in, John 11:25, "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:" If Jesus would have just said COME FORTH at that graveyard, ALL of them would have done so!
Luke 24:39, "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have."
Philippians 3:21, "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."
Also notice that Elijah went to Heaven with a FLESH AND BONE body...
2 Kings 2:11, "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."
And Moses was resurrected with HIS BODY as well.
Jude 1:9, "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."
One more strange "tale" that runs rampant across the land. According to the world. If I get hit by a car and knocked unconscious, I know nothing. They take me to the hospital and find I have internal damage and need an operation, so they put me to sleep, I still, know nothing. During the operation my heart stops, I now know EVERYTHING?
If a person goes to hell immediately if he's bad, and Heaven immediately if he's good at death. then riddle me this... WHAT'S THE REASON FOR A RESURRECTION? In fact, what is the reason for Judgment day?? According to this theology, man is judged at death. Then that means NO NEED is apparent for a resurrection is there. They are already judged, and already in Heave. Problem with that is, it is NOT what saith the Lord. For he is returning, and His reward IS with Him!
Isaiah 62:11, "Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him."
If His reward is WITH Him, then how can they be judged and IN Heaven or Hell already? So... the question remains. Are there people in Heaven?
Yes.. Elijah..Enoch...Moses... are in Heaven. It also says there was a GREAT resurrection at the day Jesus rose as well in Mat 27:52,53. Plus, the 24 Elders in Revelation are those that were REDEEMED OF THE EARTH as well. Fact remains, the vast majority are still in the graves. Does the Bible explain why some went in advance? No. We do know that Moses, and Elijah were "examples" used at the mount of transfiguration so as to depict the second coming with Jesus. But the Bible is silent in regards to the others. It's simply not necessary for us to know, nor is it something needed to know in regards to our resurrection. Kinda like the lack of info on Dinosaurs eh? We do know they existed, we do know Job spoke of them, yet, not much else is revealed. Need to know basis? Perhaps.
BLUNTLY...1 Timothy 6:15-16, "Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen."
Satan has been lying a long time! he told Adam and Eve "...ye shalt not surely die" in Genesis 3:4, and all he's been doing since is repeating the same worn out lie. AND IT WORKS! Why? We are not long living beings anymore. He can use what appears as "new info" to us short living humans. So, when will we become immortal? At death? Or at His coming?
1 Corinthians 15:51-54, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."
Did you notice it said ALL will be changed on that day the LAST TRUMP is sounded? Did you also notice it said the dead will be RAISED? If everyone is already in Heaven or Hell at death, then what does Jesus have to come back for? Why do they raise out of the grave to be with the Lord if they are already with him anyway? Fact is, the world preaches one thing. The Word of God preaches TRUTH.
What will Jesus actually say on the day he returns to awaken the dead in Christ?
Isaiah 26:19, "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."
What will they sing?
1 Corinthians 15:55, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"
Job 14:21, "His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.
Need I say more?
To "pass from death unto life" is defined two ways...
To pass from "death" unto life is for those that arise on the last day when Jesus returns. They "were" in fact dead, and they WILL arise when Jesus returns. Therefore they pass form "death unto life" eternal when He takes them home on that day.
Plus "many" will also be changed in the "twinkling of an eye" on that day as well.
1 Corinthians 15:52-53, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
They will be changed from "mortal" to "immortal" and in so doing pass from "death unto life" as well because a mortal body is in fact subject to DEATH, but an immortal body is not.
The other toss of the coin is in fact the wicked and their final state. The wicked will not pass from "death unto life" at all. They will not arise when Jesus returns, they will remain in the graves until the 1000 years end. Then they will pass from "death" unto DEATH, when the "second death" consumes them for all eternity. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." -Romans 6:23
Revelation 20:6, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."
Ezekiel 18:4, "Behold, 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, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."
Parable Of The Rich Man And Lazarus - Part 1
The Rich Man And Lazarus - Part 2
Matthew 25:31-33, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left."
No, the Bible says that Jesus will SEPARATE the sheep & goats when he COMES.
This term is always taken out of context because of what Jesus says here...
Matthew 22:31-32, "But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 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."
If we place it back IN CONTEXT, we understand why Jesus used such words. He was responding to the Sadducee's belief that EVERYONE dies and never resurrects from the grave. Reading verse 23 which started the conversation confirms this...
Matthew 22:23, "The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,"
If this is true, then the stone and timber in Habakkuk chapter two are alive merely because they have a voice.
Is the money that cries out for the labourers in James chapter five also a conscious being?
If it is true that a "voice" denotes a conscious state of being. Then I must declare that Abel's blood, the stone of the wall, the beam in the timber, and the money in the pocket ARE ALL ALIVE with viable voices and a conscious state of being. Common sense prevails when the light of day shines brightly eh?
By the way... ever notice this? Life on earth with all its hardships, pain, and suffering can in no way compare to Heaven. A place of perfect peace and contentment to say the least. Why would anyone seek to have anything to do with anything on this sinful orb after standing within the walls of Heaven?