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Death, if the Bible is not true!

Posted by Walt Thompson on Monday, 23 May 2016 in Family of God 0 Comments

Death, if the Bible is not true!

National Geographic, April, 2016

From as far back as history reaches death has interrupted the life of every person even to the present time—and thinking people often wonder what happens after death! The Bible gives the answer, but most are slow to believe!

It says that God created man from the dust of the earth and breathed life into him and he became a living being (Genesis 2:7). After Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, God reminded them of what He had said before, that as the consequence of eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree, they would die and return to the dust of the earth from which they were taken (Genesis 3:19)—adding the promise that He had already made arrangements for them to live again (Genesis 3:15). It is interesting that God then removed them from their garden home so that, now knowing evil, they would not be able to eat of the Tree of Life and live forever in that fallen state (Genesis 3:23, 24). It says nothing about a soul as some entity distinct from the body--only that they were made from dust and would return to the dust from which they were taken! Death is the end of life, the body returning to the dust of the earth (Genesis 3:19).

The following Bible texts are pertinent to one’s understanding of death and the significance of it.

Genesis 2:7: God made man from the dust of the earth and man became a living being (being, NKJV; soul, KJV; person, NLT).

Genesis 2:16, 17: Adam and Eve were told that they would die if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 3:1-5: Satan said you will not die, but will become like God (gods).

Psalms 115:17: It is not the dead that praise the Lord, not those that go down into silence.

Psalms 146:4: He returns to the dust. In that same hour all his thinking ends.

Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6: The dead know nothing. Their love, hate, ambition now over. Never again will they have any part in what is done under the sun.

John 11:11: Jesus said after Lazarus, his friend died, “Lazarus has fallen asleep, and I am going to waken him up.”

Mark 5:39: On another occasion Jesus raised the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue to life after saying, “The child is not dead, but is sleeping.”

Daniel 12:2: Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

Act 13:36: Speaking of King David, “he fell asleep and was buried with his fathers and his body decayed.”

1 Thessalonians 4:14-16, “We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so it will be for those who died as Christians, God will bring them to life with Jesus…. At the sound of the archangel’s voice and God’s trumpet call, the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven; first the Christian dead will arise…”NEB.

1 Thessalonians 4:17, 18: “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” KJV.

Ezekiel 18:4: “For all people are mine to judge—both parents and children alike. And this is my rule: The person who sins is the one who will die.” NLT

Romans 6:23: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”

John 3:15: “That whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

1 Corinthians 15:52: “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will rise immortal, and we shall be changed. This perishable being must be clothed with the imperishable, and what is mortal must be clothed with immortality.” NEB

“Hebrews 11:13-16: These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

John 5:28, 29: “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear his voice and come forth—those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation,” NKJV.

Ephesians 6:12: “For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in heavenly places,” NLT.

Revelation 12:7-9, 12: “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now is salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ has come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” NKJV.

Leviticus 26:6, 7: “I will also turn against those who commit spiritual prostitution by putting their trust in mediums or in those who consult the spirits of the dead. I will cut them off from the community. So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the Lord your God,” NLT.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

1 Samuel 28:1-25: This is the story of King Saul consulting with the witch of Endor and God’s response.

Isaiah 8:19, 20: “And when they shall say unto you, ‘Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? For the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

Deuteronomy. 18:11 “Do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead.

 

But what if the Bible is not right?

I have always believed the Bible description that life is a gift of God and that God is the only source of life. In fact, I have often concluded as I have learned of the scientific research about life and about death, that however close man comes to creation of life, he will never be able to enter into this domain of God—until now! Just yesterday I read news headlines announcing that human researchers are now in the process of synthetically creating a living cell and organism from scratch--and anticipating once that project is mastered, it will just be a matter of time before they will be able to create other living things.

At the other end of the spectrum, scientists are ardently studying the nature of death in anticipation of preventing it and/or reconstituting life after death.  Even now there exist “banks” holding the frozen remains of people that have died, expecting to be brought back to life when the reversal process has been worked out. We already have the ability to put people to sleep with anesthetic chemicals and to awaken them. Researchers are now studying techniques for initiating hibernation (deep sleep) and even suspended animation (essentially all systems “shut down”) whereby life continues in the presence of very low oxygen levels. If we are going to master the heavens and send men and women to the planets and beyond it would seem we will need to be able to develop some form of suspended animation.

Interestingly, none of this research takes into consideration the false belief that many people of various faiths have about the “soul” as a separate entity from the body. If such a thing as a real entity as something separate from the body exists, perhaps we should, rather, be working on ways to send the soul to worlds afar instead of the bodies of people—if there should be such an entity as a soul!

The Holy Bible teaches that life began on earth during Creation week six thousand years ago, with man being the crowning act of that creation. That life has been passed down from generation to generation in all life species since that time. That life ceases at the time of death and the body gradually decays and returns to the dust of the earth from which it was created—the resurrected body to be restored to life upon the return of Jesus in either one of two resurrections a thousand years apart, the first to eternal life that will never cease, and the other to a second death from which there will never be another resurrection (See Revelation 20:5-8).

In previous times, death, too, was quite easy to determine—with the cessation of breathing. No longer is determination so easy since we have learned how to keep organs alive with artificial means long after the natural cessation of breathing. In fact, we are able to, and often do, keep entire bodies “alive,” though perhaps in an unconscious state for days, weeks of months. To make it even more complicated, tissues or organs removed from a dying body may be kept alive and functioning normally in another individual for days, weeks, months, and years—or alive in cold-storage for months and years for some tissues like bone. So the question is, when is one dead? When one stops breathing, or when the last drop of blood or the last bone cell ceases to function years later?

For those choosing to believe is such an entity as a soul apart from the body, my question must be, when organs are removed from a dying (dead) person, when does the “soul” depart? When the last heart, or kidney, or blood cell dies? Or when?

The Bible has very little to say about this prolonging of the life of tissues and organs of persons who have ceased to breath, stating only that we must not eat the blood of animals. Some people interpret this to mean that we should not have blood transfusions either. The Bible does cite a small number of people that have been raised to life from death, but says nothing more about our modern dilemma of tissue or organ transplants.

So, what are we to make of the apparent ability to create life, however simple, that we have until now believed to be an act of God, only?

What is man that he can manipulate, transplant, and apparently create life?

Some time following Noah’s flood people began to build a tower in their effort to avert catastrophe in another flood. As this was occurring the Bible makes an interesting comment, “But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. ‘Look!’ he said, ‘The people are united and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them!’” Genesis 11:6 NLT.  Even a few decades ago this comment by the Lord seemed like a bit of hyperbole to me. Not anymore! Today we have telescopes that see out into space billions of light years distance, and we are in the process of sending man made instruments out beyond our solar system, with dreams of sending men and women on to other worlds. Is it possible that this text in Genesis 11:6 may indicate that man will also even be able to create life as present researchers intend to do?

Or, as in Noah’s day--or as in the days of the Tower of Babel, is it possible that God will step in again at the last moment and show who is the real sovereign of the universe as He did then by destroying the wicked before they destroy themselves? The Bible is clear that the saints, His faithful followers of the living and the dead, will be rescued before that will happen. In fact we already have the ability to destroy life on the planet. Is it possible God will accomplish His purposes through our own folly?

And then, what will happen to the souls of the wicked? Of the souls of the just? If such entities exist apart from their bodies?

Biblical description of life after the resurrection of the faithful:

Revelation 21:1-7: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old heath disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are done forever.’ And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’ And then he said to me, ‘Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.’ And he also said, ‘It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.’” NLT.

Revelation 22:1-5: “Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew the tree of life, bearing twelve manner of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night thee—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever,” NLT.

 

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