|* Where are the Dead?
Are they out laying in that hole in the ground that we buried them in; or burnt up when we cremated them? No, they--meaning their spiritual bodies and the intellect of their soul--have returned back to the Father from which all souls come. There are a lot of pastors out there that say "give your soul to God before its too late;" but, in reality, you can't do that because Father already told us in the Book of Ezekiel that every soul belongs to Him. 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. -> Even these flesh bodies belong to Him. Yes, we have free-will - the right to choose whether we will love Him or not; but, He is in control and He can call us home anytime He wants. Here is an example: Leviticus 10:1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them their censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He commanded them not. [10:2] And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. -> What really happened in this verse? Because Nadab and Abihu were the priests, and were NOT following Father's commandments concerning their priestly duties, He basically said to the two of them "get up here; I want to talk to you." Likewise, He can also extend our stay in these flesh bodies, if He so chooses, as He did with king Hezekiah in II Kings 20:1-11.
With that introduction being said, let's go to Father and ask Him for His Blessings on our Study of His Word: "Father, we come to you right now to thank you for inviting us to Your table in order that we might be able to partake of and receive Your Spiritual Meat, and Father, as we prepare to dine on the sustenance which sustains our inner man, we ask that You O LORD open our ears and eyes, that we might be able to hear and see your Truths, open our hearts and minds and prepare us in order that we may receive Your Truth. We Pray for Your understanding of Your Word, we seek Your knowledge in Your Word and most importantly Father, we Pray for and desire Your Wisdom from Your Word, in Jesus' Precious name we Pray, thank You Father, Amen."
So, what is death and what happens when we die? Is it as the Muslims believe (the male Muslims at least) that we receive 72 virgins upon returning home to Father? Jesus answers this while answering the scribes and Pharisees: Mark 12:23 In the resurrection therefore when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife. [12:24] And Jesus answering said unto them, "Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? [12:25] For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. [12:26] And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?' -> Or maybe as the atheists believe and we just cease to exist? Mark 12:27 "He is not a God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err." -> It is also important to point out here that there are two deaths; one of the flesh body and another of the soul. Matthew 10:28 "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both the soul and body in hell." -> Who can do that? Only Father can, He created our souls; He can snuff them out if we don't obey Him and His laws, statutes, and ordinances, it IS HIS RIGHT. Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse not Him That speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused Him That spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him That speaketh from heaven: [12:26] Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake the not the earth only, but also heaven." [12:27] And this word, "Yet once more," signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain." [12:28] Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and Godly fear: [12:29] For our God is a consuming fire. -> When does He become that consuming fire? Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and Him That sat on it, from Whose face the earth and heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. -> This is the time when the full Godhead appears on this earth. Who are these that "fled away?” They aren't the literal earth and heaven; no, they are man in the flesh before being changed into their spiritual bodies, and those who had died in the flesh and were already back Home with Father in their spiritual bodies. [20:12] And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books we opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. -> The full Godhead is here on earth and all the books are opened for Father to examine and judge His children out of. The dead are the spiritually dead angelic beings which did not overcome antichrist, and those who were on the wrong side of the gulf prior to the millennium starting. The terms “small and the great” are referring to those from the flesh age of man, not paying any attention to whether they were poor or extremely successful. Notice also, that, this verse says we are judged according to our works, they are the only thing we can take with us from this age of flesh man. Most churches teach that we are all judged by the "grace" of God and\or our faith. This is incorrect as only our salvation comes to us by the grace of God and\or our faith; but, our works, they follow us and they make up our linens—our clothing—as can be read in Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them., and also Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. -> Why are we judged by our works and not "the grace of God" or our faith? Because there are those,—Father's elect— who were judged at the end of the First Earth Age while they were still in their spiritual bodies (Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship Him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.), and it would be unfair of God to judge the rest of His children while they are in their flesh bodies; and therefore, they will only be judged while they also are in their spiritual bodies. And since they are going to be judged in their spiritual bodies, therefore it stands to reason that as such, they "see" Christ in the millennial age and therefore it is by their works and no longer by faith. Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. -> Again, it is by our works and not our faith that we are judged. Who are these dead? Don't forget where we are "on The Lord's Day—Christ's one thousand year reign—the millennium" so these dead are the spiritually dead, not physically dead. These are those which did not accept Christ while they were in the flesh or were on the wrong side of the gulf. Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. -> The second death is the turning to ashes the soul of an individual from within. They won't be burning forever and ever, they are immediately consumed from within. Remember these are Father's children and He is a merciful God, He doesn't want to destroy any of His children but; because of what they did, He will. After all those that will be destroyed at the Great White Throne Judgment, there will never again be any death, thought of death or sadness. Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. -> This is finality for them, and after this we will remember them no more. For the rest of us, we now are changed into our incorruptible bodies that Paul wrote about in I Corinthians 15:54 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, -> When the souls of all those that are to be consumed are consumed, their existence will be blotted from our minds and all that remains is victory and happiness. [15:55] “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" -> All souls that remain alive at the second resurrection will be able to say this saying, for they will be immortal and will live for the eternity. [15:56] The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. [15:57] But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. -> Amen. Now let's look at Psalms 37, for in this Psalm, there are three verses which show us what happens to the wicked. If you think those who do wrong get away with what they do, think again. Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patently for Him: Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, Because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. [37:20] But the wicked shall perish, And the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: They shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. [37:34] Wait on the LORD, and keep His way, And He shalt exalt thee to inherit the land: When the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. -> The righteous will see the wicked cut off, in other words, we'll see them cast into the Lake of Fire and then remember them no more.
In Ecclesiastes 9, Solomon discusses "man in his end;" meaning, when we shed these flesh bodies. Ecclesiastes 12 gives us a great description of these flesh bodies aging and why it is better to be rid of these bodies and back into our spiritual (incorruptible) bodies. Also, Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 read: Ecclesiastes 12:6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. [12:7] Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God Who gave it. -> Solomon is telling us that this flesh body will return to the dust from which it was formed, while the spirit—the soul and it's intellect—returns home - back to the Father Who created it. It doesn't matter how these bodies return to the carbon from which they were formed: they will no longer - never, ever again, be needed.
In II Corinthians 5, Paul tells us that to be in these flesh bodies is to be away from Father, our creator: II Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the LORD: [5:7] (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) [5:8] We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and be present with the LORD. -> Where does Paul tell us we really would rather be? Out of these flesh bodies and back at home with our Father Who created us.
Now let's turn to another place where Paul teaches the dead are; I Thessalonians. We'll pick it up in I Thessalonians 4:13:
I Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. -> What is Paul talking about here? Those who have died. He didn't want the Thessalonians—or we Christians—to be afraid or scared as the non-believers who say there is no resurrection. In other words, don't be like the heathen who believe that when we die, it's over and that we - and those that have died before us, just go into that cold earth to decay away. Yes, our bodies do that but, our souls—everybody's, believers and non-believers alike—return to Father.
I Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. -> Paul is reminding us that he taught the Corinthians that Christ resurrected from death as recorded in I Corinthians 15:1-20, and that those who have died, are back at Home with Father as discussed—and I already discussed previously in this Study—in Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 and II Corinthians 5:6-8. So, if you are a Christian, then you better believe that Jesus died and was buried, on the third day He rose again and came out of the tomb and that we too, when we die, we will rise to be with Father and Christ. If you don't believe this, then you are ignorant and a non-believer, in other words you're a heathen.
Paul is also teaching them and us that when Jesus returns at the end of this Age to establish His 1,000 year Kingdom here on this earth, He will bring with Him, those who have died; whether they were believers—Christian—or not, they will all be returning with Him.
I Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the LORD, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the LORD, shall not prevent them which are asleep. -> This word "prevent" would be better translated precede, let's check it out in the Strong's Concordance, it is Greek word number: G5348, - φθάνω, - phthanō, pronounced - fthan'-o, and means: Apparently a primary verb; to be beforehand, that is, anticipate or precede; by extension to have arrived at: - (already) attain, come, prevent., why can't we precede those that are with Christ at His coming? Because the dead are already with Him and we which will be alive at His return cannot be with Him before those that are already with Him, it's just an impossibility!
I Thessalonians 4:16 For the LORD Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: -> What is the subject of this verse? Christ's return and what will transpire when He does. Why will the dead in Christ rise first? Because they—the dead, both believer and the non-believers too—are already dead and we which change into our incorruptible bodies at His return, cannot be with Christ before they are.
I Thessalonians 4:17 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. -> This verse needs some work to understand it, and there are two words which need proper translating in order to better—more truly— understand them. So, let's begin by reading it again, and this time taking it slowly. “We which are still alive, and remain” still in our flesh bodies at Christ's return, “ shall be caught up together with them in the clouds” here is our first word we need to check out in the Strong’s, “clouds:” it is Greek word number: G3507, - νεφέλη, - nephelē, pronounced - nef-el'-ay, and means: From G3509; properly cloudiness, that is, (concretely) a cloud: - cloud.; now, though this says “cloud” as in a cloud in the sky, this is just Paul’s way of speaking, and we know this because of what he says when he continues in this verse and uses the word “air” —which I’ll assist you in translating in a moment— and also by his use of it in Hebrews 12:1 where he is talking about “being compassed about with so great ‘a cloud’—Greek word number G3509, the same from the Prime Root of the word cloud here in this verse—of witnesses.” Now, I said that I would translate the word “air” as he uses it in this verse; so, let’s do that next—this verifies that he was not talking about clouds in the sky—as, we’ll find it is Greek word number: G109, - ἀήρ, - aēr - ah-ayr', and means: From ἄημι, aēmi (to breathe unconsciously, that is, respire; by analogy to blow); “air” (as naturally circumambient): - air. Compare G5594.; it told us to compare with G5594, so let’s do that: G5594 - ψύχω, - psuchō - psoo'-kho, and means: A primary verb; to breathe (voluntarily but gently; thus differing on the one hand from G4154, which denotes properly a forcible respiration; and on the other from the base of G109, which refers properly to an inanimate breeze), that is, (by implication of reduction of temperature by evaporation) to chill (figuratively): - wax cold.. So, what we find is that, Paul was talking about the “breath of life body,” and what he was saying was that, we will then be gathered together with Christ and those that are already dead, and, we will be such a large crowd that we will look as numerous as the clouds in the skies.
I Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. -> Rejoice, share with others and have peace-of-mind with what you have just learned.
So, we can see by the teachings of Solomon in the Old Testament; and Jesus and Paul in the New Testament, that when we die, in other words, when we pass from these flesh bodies, our spirit continues to live, while these bodies that contain our spirit return to the carbon (earth) from which Father formed them. What is the spirit? The intellect of the soul.
Jesus, in the Gospel of Luke also taught us about where the dead are, we find it in Luke 16; so, let's turn there and read what Jesus - through Luke, has to tell us.
Luke 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: -> There was a man that rejoiced everyday because he was rich beyond measure and lived luxuriously, wearing the finest linens and even royal colors.
Luke 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, [16:21] And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. -> Likewise there was Lazarus: a very distressed man who was so poor that he gave himself ulcers thinking where his next meal was coming from. He was so unkempt, in other words, in such a low state, that even the dogs had more compassion for him than this rich man, for they at least licked his dirty scabbed body.
The name Lazarus in the Greek is Eleazar. Do you know that name? You should, it is the same as Aaron's—the first high priest of Father YHVH—third son's name, and it is also the name of Mary and Martha's brother whom Jesus raised from the dead in John 11. This is the reason Jesus is using this name in the parable. Let's think about Eleazar and his two older brothers (Nadab and Abihu) for a moment; what happened to the two older brothers? They were first in line to be the high priest after their father Aaron died but, they tried to offer strange fire before the LORD and He called them home rather suddenly because of it. What can we learn from that incident? They didn't take God or the things of God very seriously and tried to make Him fit into their idea of God and what God should be (this is how I thought it should be; this is how I believed it should be done.) After they died, Eleazar became next in line for the high priesthood when his father died.
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead in John 11, He was showing us that the priesthood of Eleazar lives on still, meaning that there will always be a priesthood (remnant) that will bring forth the truth in Father's Word.
Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried. -> Poor ole Lazarus couldn't even afford to be buried; but, yet, the angels carried his spirit back Home to Father, while the rich man's body was buried in the finest tomb, his spirit also returned Home to Father.
Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. -> Now, you have to be careful here, because, this verse and the next two is where most people get their idea of what hell is like, but sadly, like usual they don't finish their reading; they don't read to the end of the subject. First off, it says "he lift up his eyes," it doesn't mean that hell is in the middle of the earth full of fire, what it really means is that >the rich man's soul was in such low estate upon returning to Father because he was unable to be near Christ who of course is at the altar of Father YHVH. But, yet, there is poor ole Lazarus right there in Abraham's bosom and the rich man sees him there.
Luke 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. -> Notice the role reversal here? Lazarus is now comforted, while the rich man doesn't have anything, not even comfort. First off, he calls Abraham "F"ather which of course lets us know that he doesn't know Father, The Real Father, our Creator, ELOHIM; secondly that explains why he is in torments and away from the altar, because he knew not nor believed not. To be away from the altar is to be outside the temple, not a good place to be. He's hot alright, with embarrassment, shame and disgust at being in the state he is in, that is what this flame is. This also let's us know that at the end of the Millennium all souls that continue to be disobedient to Father and His ways, they will be consumed by Father's consuming fire. Again, I remind you of Hebrews 12:29: Hebrews 12:29 For our GOD is a consuming fire.
Luke 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. -> This rich man was so concerned with the riches of worldly things that he didn't take the time to learn about our real riches; those we can store up in heaven. Remember in verse v16:19 that he was clothed with fine linens? Do you know what makes up our fine linens in heaven? Our works, that's right, our works; not our belief, our belief only gets us salvation, without our good works, we'll be naked. And I don't know about you; but, I don't want to be running around heaven naked! Let's go to Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, "Write, blessed are the dead which die in the LORD from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."" -> Again I'm going to repeat from above as this is important: Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. [20:13] And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. -> So we are judged by our works (not our faith,) this is what makes up our righteousness. What are our works? Every time you pick up Father's Word and Study it to better know Him (notice I didn't say "listing to man's traditions") and His plan, every seed of truth in Father's Word that you plant in someone else's mind, every smile when someone is down, these are our works. And what does our righteousness get us? Revelation 19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the LORD God omnipotent reigneth. [19:7] Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. [19:8] And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. -> And one more time; Revelation 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean..
Luke 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. -> This gulf that Abraham is speaking of to the rich man is the divide that separates those that overcame and those which did not. It is steadfastly set and stablished so that although the two sides can see each other, there is no way to cross over from one side to the other. Father (Jesus), through Abraham, through Luke, is making it absolutely clear that your actions (works) from this flesh life set your course when your soul returns to the Father from whence it came.
Luke 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: [16:28] For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. -> The rich man is now asking Abraham to send Lazarus back to the flesh so that he can go to the rich man's family and witness to them so that they might have salvation and be saved from the same fate as this one.
Luke 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, they have Moses and the prophets; let the hear them. -> Abraham tells this man that his family members have the prophets from the Old Testament (of course it wasn't called the Old Testament at the time,) that they members need to listen to what the prophets say. There will be no others and Lazarus cannot go to them.
Luke 16:30 And he said, 'Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.' -> Who is telling this parable? Jesus is but neither the rich man nor the people are not listing to Him; however, this is what this parable is about. While Jesus was on the cross, the high priest and the elders and scribes and Pharisees and sadducees all said "let Him come down from the cross and we'll believe He's the Christ," Well Jesus did one better; He rose from the dead and they still didn't believe Him (sadly neither do a whole lot of people in the world today.)
Luke 16:31 And he said unto him, "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." -> Here Abraham is prophesying to this man that Jesus will go to the cross and they still won't believe.
This Bible Study was written by Scott Reis and is provided in order to be used as a private Bible Study Tool. Therefore, it may be copied in whole or in part and shared for private Bible Study; however, it may not be reproduced and published as an original work.