Now Is The Time...
What about Now?
'If a man die, shall he live again?' (Job 14:14). This is the Scriptural way of asking the question. But man persists in asking, if when a man is dead does he still live? Which is the proper question, that in the Word, or man's word?
Adam was told that in the day he sinned he would surely die. Does that mean everlasting conscious torment or torture? If so, then how can a dead man be conscious? Satan said in Genesis 3:4 'Ye shall not surely die.' Who was right, Satan or God? Whom do you believe?
After we read all the theories and philosophies of man about what a man is, we find in Gen. 2:7 that he is a soul, that he was created a living soul. And it further states that this soul is made from the dust of the ground. Do we find anything, which is made of the dust of the ground, to be immortal or uncorruptible?
The inspired definition of death is that a man returns to the dust from which he is made Gen. 3:19. So then a soul which is made from the dust of the ground returns to dust. Death is not such a glorious thing at that!
For the believer, there is a period between death and resurrection spoken of as sleeping. See 1 Corinthians 15: 18,20,51 This period is spent without being clothed upon with a body, hence a naked state or condition (2 Corinthians 5: 1-4).
Job realized that there was an interval between death and resurrection (14:12). So he asked that he might be hidden in hell until the wrath was past, and then when the Lord called, he would answer (14:13-15). Read this whole chapter in Job carefully.
Now you may note that Paul did not wish to go into this unclothed or naked state, but to be alive at the gathering and get a new body. See 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. Has Paul appeared before the judgment seat mentioned here? Will he ever?
When Peter was speaking in Acts 2:25-31, he plainly said that David was still in hell, that the one spoken of there was the Lord who spent 3 days and 3 nights in hell. And it is clear that the Lord is the first one to leave that place or state for He is spoken of as the firstborn from the dead, the firstfruits of them that slept. Hell could not hold the Lord. Nor can it hold those that are His, for when He calls, they will come forth and the gates of hell (the grave) cannot hold them. See Matt. 16:18.
But the expectation of David himself is expressed in Psalm 17:15, 'As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake, with Thy likeness.' David had some wonderful revelations as to eschatology, but he never mentioned the immortality of the soul or that the dead might be alive (nor does any other Scripture).
So as far as we can find in the Word of God, hell is just another designation of the dust of the earth, where all the dead have gone.
It happened before the death of Christ. The Jewish rabble, whipped to a frenzy by the religious leaders, elected Barabbas to take the place of Christ. It was a popular vote, voiced by a mob. And mobs are not too reasonable!
Barabbas never got to rule. He was soon forgotten, for the simple fact, that Christ arose from the dead after 3 days. And this started the town talking. At Pentecost, 50 days after the murder of their King, the Prince of Peace, the Jews were accused of His murder by the leader of the apostles, one Simon Peter in Acts 2:23.
The fact of the resurrection of Christ was soon forgotten. Heathen philosophies began to take over. And these were based on the Devil's lie, Ye shall be as Elohim (God) as we find in Genesis 3:5. So man took and appropriated immortality to himself. But the Scriptures declare that Christ only hath immortality (1 Timothy 6:16). So man has declared himself to be as God and that he has an immortal soul. This is the height of insolence in the face of God.
Now if man does have an immortal soul, there is no need of a resurrection. In fact, it would just be a bother. Why be encumbered with a body of some kind, if one can live without a body? And so comes the teaching that the body is a prison house and that man is free at death, and really living on a much higher plane. So is the teaching of spiritism.
But let us remind you again that the teaching of the immortality of the soul came into the Christendom after resurrection was lost sight of. The two are not in the least compatible. One has to believe one way or the other.
Salvation has been traded off for religion. Religion is solely of the flesh, not the spirit, And so the natural man delights in religion. He can boast of the works of his hands. Israel turned to religion at Sinai, and worshiped the golden calf, the work of their hands. But it had no more power than an idol or Dagon. But that makes no difference as long as man can boast in the flesh. It is when he comes to a great crisis, death in the family, loss of job, loss of health, and other problems, that man feels the need of something more than an idol. In the 10 plagues, the Egyptians were shown the utter inability of their gods to save them, Will the human race ever learn?
1. How is the question of DEATH AND RESURRECTION asked in the Bible? Job 14:14.
2. What did God say would be the result of disobedience? Genesis 2:17. Is this right?
3. What did Satan have to say about it? Genesis 3:4. Is this right?
4. What is man? Genesis 2:7.
5. What is death? Genesis 3:19.
6. Is there a period of waiting between death and resurrection? Job 14:14.
7. What is this state of man called? 2 Corinthians 5:3.
8. Did Paul wish to go into this state or did he wish to be still alive at the rapture?
9. Where is David? Acts 2:25-31.
10. What is David's expectation? Psalms 17:15.
11. According to the above, where did the Lord go when He died?
12. Can this place hold the church when the Lord calls? Matthew 16:18.
13. What are people doing when they are dead? John 11:11,13,14.
14. Are dead people conscious? Ecclesiastes 9:5.
15. Does the Bible tell of any people dying and then coming to life and telling of any experiences they had while dead?
16. After a man dies, is he wiser than he was before? Ecclesiastes 9:10.
17. Does a beast have breath (spirit)? Ecclesiastes 3:19.
18. Where does the beast go and where does man go at death? Ecclesiastes 3:20.
19. Does the Word say anything about the resurrection of the body? See 1Corinthians 15:35,38.
20. What is the resurrection body like? 2 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 15:52-54.
21. Since the dead are dead and not conscious, how will they know when it is time for resurrection? Job 14:15; John 5:25,28.
22. In view of 2 Corinthians 5:19 are unbelievers likely to be tormented and tortured for their sins after death?
23. Who are raised at the last day? John 6: 39,40,44,54.
24. Do all that sleep in the dust of the earth awake? Daniel 12:2.
25. Do all who are in the graves awake to life? John 5:28.
26. When will Job be remembered? Job 14:13.
27. Why are the dead preserved in hell (the grave)? Job 14:13; John 14:2,3.
28. Was the change promised at resurrection kept a secret till Paul's time? Job 14:14; John 11:26
29. Is there any life or hope outside of resurrection? 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. .
30. If there is no resurrection, then what has happened to those who sleep in Christ? 1 Corinthians 15:18. Compare with John 3:16
31. Who will be cast out of heaven some time in the near future? Revelation 12:7-9.
32. Is that why that at the present time Christ is hidden, not manifest in the heavens? Colossians 3:3,4.
33. What was the price paid to make resurrection possible? Ephesians 1:7.
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