LIFE IN CHRIST UNCONDITIONAL IMMORTALITY
RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
Subtitle: The Resurrection, Our Only Hope Of Life After Death
William Robert West
Author of “The Rapture And Israel”
Church of Christ
Makes The Great Doctrines Of The New Testament Useless And\Or Impossible
Is "The Wages Of Sin Death"
"Eternal Life With Torment In Hell”
An Immortal Soul And The Doctrine Of Hell
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A Deathless, Immaterial, Invisible Soul That Has No Substance
Versus The Resurrection Of The Dead
The main point of an article, “Reinterpretation Of The Scripture” in Truth Magazine, August 7, 2003, page 458 is about reinterpreting Genesis 3 to mean the Serpent was not real, but was taken from well-known pagan myths. The article points out that when one reinterpretation is accepted more will soon come, and gives some reinterpretations the writer thinks may come. Without doubt, many have made reinterpretations of many scriptures, and many more will make more reinterpretations; reinterpretation that the magazine said nothing about have been made and accepted by many. Some reinterpretations that have been made in the past that are historical facts, and are believed by many today, reinterpretations that have caused many of the divisions we now have are Purgatory, Limbo, worship of Mary and Saints, Nether World, holy water, the rosary, forbidding Priest to marry, the crucifix, Monks and Nuns, forbidding eating of meat on Friday, and candle-burning. About all Protestants believe Purgatory to be a change or reinterpretation, and there are hundreds more reinterpretations that are historical facts, and are believed by many today, but no one believes all to the hundreds of reinterpretations made in the past. Most believe only a few of them, and all the many others they believe to be the doctrine of man, not God. On what does anyone basic his or her belief that most reinterpretations are not from God, but believe that a few are from God? Going to God's word is the only way anyone can know whether any teaching is from man or if it is from the Bible.
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THE SUBJECTS OF THIS CHAPTER
(1) The reinterpretation of the death of Jesus.
(2) The reinterpretation of the second coming of Christ.
(3) The reinterpretation of the resurrection of the dead from the grave changed into an instant translation to Heaven.
(4)“The wages of sin” reinterpreted to be the wages of sin is an eternal life of torment in Hell for an immortal soul that is not subject to death.
(5) The reinterpretation of the Judgment Day makes the Judgment a mockery and not needed.
(6) The reinterpretation of death to be not death but eternal life.
(7) The reinterpretation of sleep, are the dead asleep or awake?
(8) The reinterpretation of the life that Christ promised to them that obey him made not needed by eliminating death.
(9) The reinterpretation of fire to be something that cannot burn up anything.
(10) The reinterpretation of the final destiny of a person changed from Heaven to earth.
Unconditional immortality makes many of the great doctrines of the New Testament useless and\or impossible.
(1). THE REINTERPRETATION OF THE DEATH OF JESUS
"Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus actually died for our sins (Romans 5:8). "We were reconciled to God through the death of his Son" (Romans 5:10). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and Christ died our death that we may have life, not to keep us from an eternal life of torment, but to give us life (eternal life). He paid the wages for our sin, and died our death in our place, but He is not forever being tormented in our place. Death is the penalty for sin, not eternal life with torment for a person or a soul. (Hebrews 9:11-28; 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:16-19; Matthew 27:20; John 10:15; 12:23-26; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 2:14; 9:16-17; 10:14; Isaiah 43:12). If, as many teach, the wages of sin is eternal life in torment, Christ did not suffer eternal torment for us; therefore, He would not have paid the wages of sin for us. if eternal torment were the wages of sin, He is not paying it for us. Life is His gift to us, not just a reward for an immaterial, invisible "soul" that has eternal life and cannot die. Those who do not reach the blood of Christ (His death) will die, for the wages of their sin is death, "For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection" (Romans 6:5). If those not united in the likeness of His death will not be in the likeness of His resurrection, then what likeness will they have in Hell? The wages of their sin is death, not having the likeness of Christ, or Adam, or any other likeness when in Hell. Those who believe there is an immortal soul in a person believe the only thing that will be in Heaven or Hell is an undying soul that can never die; therefore, Christ could not have died in its place to save a deathless soul from the wages of sin for that immortal soul would not be subject to death and would have no need for Him to have died in its place, die a death that a soul could not die.
If Christ were as much alive in the three days His earthly body was in the grave as He was after the resurrection, then there was no difference in Christ (1) than when before He came to earth (2) than when His earthly body was in the grave (3) and now when He is in Heaven, If His death were not a death, if only His earthly body were dead, then He was the same spiritual being with all the life, power, and glory in the three days His body was in the grave that He had before He came to earth, or that He now has in Heaven. Jesus could have given nothing but His earthly body for our sins. According to those who believe there is a soul, which is the only thing that cannot die, a soul of Christ could not and did not die; therefore, according to their teaching Jesus did not die for our sins for he was never dead.
The death of Jesus was not just a door by which He went instantly back to Heaven before His resurrection. He was not "received up from you into heaven" (Acts 1:11) unto 50 days after His death, not at the time of His death, not before His resurrection.
Christ “poured out his being unto death” (Isaiah 53:12)
“He poured out Himself to death” New American Standard Bible. Christ poured out His being, His life, not just a human body, unto dead. Unto His resurrection He was dead, not alive in Hell or any other place; if He had not been dead He could not have been resurrected. Christ was as dead and as much under the power of death as mankind will be after death. He was not somewhere very much alive with the same body (spiritual body), and the power and glory He had before He came to earth, and His resurrection was not just His coming back from someplace where He was alive, just coming back to His human body; that would not have been a death or a resurrection. The Wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and Christ died in our place with all God's wrath that we would have had upon us at the judgment. Jesus paid our debt in full. He "lay down his life" for us (John 15:13), but He is not suffering eternal torment for us; therefore, if the wages of sin were an eternal life in torment is, Christ is not now paying our debt.
The death Christ died and his resurrection are opposites. If His death was not a real death, His resurrection could not be a real resurrection. Then what would God has given when He gave His only Son, nothing more than one human body for three days. There would have been no real sacrifice by God or Christ, no real resurrection as Jesus would have been alive while His body was in the grave. We are repeatedly told that God raised Christ from the dead (Acts 2:24; 2:32; 3:15; 3:26; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 12:7; 13:22; 13:23; 13:30; 13:33; 13:34; 13:37; 23:50; 17:31; Romans 4:24; 4:25; 8:11; 9:17; 10:9; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 15:15; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Peter 1:21). "Now the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an eternal covenant, even our Lord Jesus" (Hebrews 13:20). Suffering is never said to be the wages of sin, but many change the wages of sin (death) and add an eternal life of suffering in Hell in its place. Not to take anything away from the suffering of Christ, but if He had suffered all He did right up to His death, and then not have died for our sin; we would still have to pay the penalty of our sin, which is death; there is nothing said about Christ being tormented in the time from His death unto His resurrection, Christ was dead unto God raised Him up.
o "He laid down his life for us" (1 John 3:16).
o "Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen from the dead" (Matthew 17:9).
o "And go quickly, and tell his disciples, he is risen from the dead" (Matthew 28:7).
o "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day" (Luke 24:46).
o "This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after that he was risen from the dead" (John 21:14).
o "And killed the Prince of life; whom God raised from the dead" (Acts 3:15).
(a) Christ is our Passover: Exodus 20: The lamb died in the place of the first-born. It was slain, not forever tormented. Its blood was placed on the doorpost, and the death angel passed over. If there were no blood, there was death for the first born, not an eternal life of torment. "For our Passover also has been sacrificed, even Christ" (1 Corinthians 5:7). "That by the grace of God he should taste of death for every man" (Hebrews 2:9). Christ died in the place of the sinner. It is by His blood that we are saved from death just as the blood of the lamb saved the first-born from death; the saved will be passed over by the second death. He tasted of death for all, but He is not forever being tormented for all.
(b) No atonement: If God's penalty for sin is not death, it would not have been necessary for Christ to die to redeem us from the curse of the law; for if the law did not inflict death on the sinner, and yet required the death of Christ for the redemption of the sinner, it inflicted on Christ as payment for our sins something it would not have inflicted on us as payment for our sin.
If a soul does not die, but is translated to Heaven or Hell at death, then Christ was not dead. He was not raised the third day, but only came back from Heaven or Hell, but it could not be a resurrection. In Old Testament types, it was the life given up in the blood poured out on the altar that atoned for sin; it was life given up by Christ that atones. Sin must be atoned for; the wages of sin is death. If Christ did not die, no atonement was made. If the wages of sin is an everlasting life of torment, then Christ did not pay it, and no atonement was made. When "soul" (nehphesh–life) is reinterpreted to be an immaterial, invisible, undying soul that is in a person, then when Christ "poured out his soul (nehphesh–life) unto death" (Isaiah 53:10-12), was this undying part of Him dead? If He were not dead, He did not pour out his life (nehphesh) unto death, and there was no atonement.
o Wages of sin is death.
o Christ died in our place, died our death.
o Therefore, believers are saved from death by the death of Christ, not saved from an eternal life of torment. Death is death; death is not life.
CURTIS DICKINSON: “If the punishment for our sins is not ACTUAL DEATH, then Christ could not have made atonement for us BY HIS DEATH. Under the Mosaic Law there was no such punishment as imprisonment for life, much less imprisonment for life under continuous torture. The penalty for the greatest offenses was always and only death." “What The Bible Teaches About Immortality And Future Punishment,” page 16, 1984, church of Christ.
BASIL F. C. ATKINSON, Cambridge University: “It is sometimes forgotten that we have in history at the center of our faith an open example and illustration of the punishment of sin…the facts of the suffering and death of Christ Jesus prove conclusively that the punishment of sin is death in its natural sense.” “Life and Immortality: An Examination of the Nature and meaning of Life and Death as They Are Revealed in the Scripture,” page 103.
AL MAXEY: “Jesus did NOT suffer (and is not currently suffering) perpetual torture. He did NOT pay that price. Jesus has demonstrated, however, that the penalty for sin is exactly what the Bible declares it to be: DEATH. He DID pay THAT price!! And He would have remained dead had not a very special promise been made to Him: He would not be abandoned to the grave; He would be delivered. That promise has NOT been made to the wicked. Thus, when THEY experience the ‘wages of sin’ (death) there will be no future rescue. Just as in the death of Christ we have a demonstration of the fate of the unredeemed, so also in His resurrection to life do we have a demonstration of the fate of the redeemed. ‘If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished’ (1 Cor. 15:17-18)…If the wages of sin is perpetual torture in fire, then the wicked will be forced to suffer an infinitely greater penalty than Jesus paid for the sins of mankind Indeed, the suffering and death of Christ would be trivial in comparison…That is a real problem for the traditionalist who proclaims perpetual torture as the penalty for sin–the penalty we have been told Christ Jesus PAID IN FULL.” Maxey–Thrasher Debate, Al Maxey # 5, March 28, 2002, church of Christ.
(c) No New Covenant: "For where a testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him that made it. For a testament is in force where there has been death: for it never avail while he that made it lives" (Hebrews 9:16-17). If Christ only changed from living on earth to living any other place, whether it was Heaven, Hell or wherever; He did not die, there was no death, and the New Covenant is not in force.
"He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And He made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death" (Isaiah 53:8-9). "Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God has raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be held of it...Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and was buried, and his grave is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne, he seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul (psukee–life) was not left in hades, neither did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses" (Acts 2:24-32). This passage speaks of the death of David, and the death of Christ with both being dead with David still dead, still in the grave, but Christ rose from the dead after three days. Christ was as dead for the time He was in the grave as David still is and will be unto the resurrection.
"And therefore it was imputed unto him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offenses and was raised for our justification" (Romans 4:22-25). "For He has made Him to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared, though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience through the things that he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Hebrews. 5:7-9). "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entered into the holy place every year with the blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the age (aion–age, not world, probably the end of the Jewish age that ended at the death of Christ) has he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself And as it appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (Hebrews 9:24-28).
We are saved by the death of Christ. We were baptized into the death of Christ, and raised from the dead. Those that are in Christ have died with Him, and His death became our death for our sins. See 2 Corinthians 5:14; Romans 6:3-8; Colossians 2:12; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 3:10; 2 Timothy 2:11.
(d) Makes Christ's death be inadequate: Many who say they "speak where the Bible speaks, and are silent where the Bible is silent," say "We cannot fully grasp the righteousness and holiness of God, nor the sinfulness of sin in His perfectly created universe." They believe that the sinfulness of sin makes eternal torment in Hell necessary, and eternal death would not be enough for God to be a just God. If they, "Speak where the Bible speaks," then how do they know that sin is not evil enough to require the supreme penalty of the death of the sinner; therefore, the sinner must be let off with a lesser penalty of a life of torment. The Bible clearly says death is required. "The wages of sin is death," not just a life of torment. They are clearly speaking where the Bible does not speak. It is often said that the sinfulness of sin makes Hell necessary, but not once does the Bible say this; it says, "The wages of sin is death."
When Christ paid the wages of sin for us, it was with His death. He is not suffering eternal torment for us; therefore, if the wages of sin is eternal torment and not death, then the death of Christ was inadequate to pay for our sins. The wages of sin is death and death is definitely the forfeiture of life, if eternal torment is the wages of sin, Christ did not pay it, and there is no salvation for anyone.
(2). THE REINTERPRETATION OF THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
If all the saved are now in Heaven with Christ, and all the lost are now in Hell, why is He coming back to this earth? Death the "last enemy" has been made to do what Christ would have done at His second coming, namely taken all the saved to Heaven. There would be no need for Him to come back to do what death has already done; if the saved go to Heaven at death, they would not be on earth and they would not be dead. The doctrine of an immortal undying soul has supplanted the second coming of Christ by making death, the enemy of mankind be his best friend that takes him instantly to Heaven. This view has Christ coming back to earth for those who are not on earth, but are already with Him in Heaven.
The Abraham's bosom view says Christ is coming back to the earth for the resurrection, but the ones He is coming back to earth to raise from the dead are those who are not dead; they are already alive somewhere other than on earth. This view makes souls be alive wherever they think Abraham's bosom to be. No one is dead; therefore, there cannot be a resurrection of the undead who are alive either in Heaven, or alive in Abraham’s bosom.
(3). THE REINTERPRETATION OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE
DEAD FROM THE GRAVE INTO AN INSTANT TRANSLATION TO HEAVEN
Those that are not dead cannot be raised from the dead. Unconditional immortality says a person has an immaterial “soul” in them that is now immortal, is now alive, and it is not subject to death, and that this “soul” that is in them goes to Heaven or Hell at the person’s death. If this were true, it would make the resurrection be of no consequence, impossible, and not needed. Most unconditional immoralists say whatever the immaterial something is it is not now dead, it is not now in the grave, it will not be dead, or in the grave at the coming of Christ. If it were true that only a soul that can never die is all that will ever be in Heaven, and it is already in Heaven, then there could not be a resurrection of the dead, for this undead soul that is in a person would not be dead. The resurrection is at the coming of Christ; if souls that had been in those who have died in Christ are now alive in Heaven, some for two thousand years or more, what would be the point of the second coming of Christ to receive these souls unto Himself (John 14:3). Would it not be ridiculous for Christ to come to earth for His people when they had been with Him in Heaven, some for thousands of years? There would be nothing on earth to rise, but the earthly body that will never be in Heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:50 "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God."
It is the person that dies, and it will be the person that will be resurrection from the dead with a wonderfully changed body; anything that happens to a soul that is not dead would not be a resurrection of the dead, it would not be a resurrection of anything; this pagan teaching completely changes and destroys the teaching of the Bible of the resurrection. The body that will be raised will be changed, but it will be the same person, not a resurrection of a dead soul that is not dead and cannot be resurrected.
JUDGED TWICE: The doctrine of a soul going to Heaven or Hell immediately at the death of the person would make the souls of both the lost and the saved be judged two times. What about the immaterial souls that would now be in Hell? Are they to be resurrected and judged a second time for the same sins; what could possibly be the purpose of their resurrection, they have already been judged worthy of Hell.
(1). The lost souls must be judged at death and found worthily of eternal torment in Hell, then be called out of Hell at the coming of Christ for a second judgment for the same sins that they had already been judged for, found guilty, and condemned again to the same eternal torment by God.
(2). The souls that were judged at death and found worthily of eternal life in Heaven would have to be called out of Heaven, be judged, and found not guilty a second time, and then enter Heaven a second time.
THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD IS AN UNSOLVABLE PROBLEM. For those who believe an undying soul is translated to Heaven or Hell at the moment of death without the resurrection at the second coming of Christ, the resurrection is a problem for which they seem to have no solution. What do they think will be raised from the dead when Christ comes? What body will be raised; if the earthly body is raised, what will be done with it after it is raised from the dead? It cannot go to Heaven; what would happen to the earthly body if it were raised? A resurrection of souls that are already alive in Heaven or Hell is no resurrection at all; it would be an empty show. It is an inescapable fact that according to the popular teaching, that there is no place for a resurrection in the popular view of today, and no logical reason for it. The Bible teaching of the resurrection of the dead at the coming of Christ cannot be reconciled with the heathen doctrine of an immortal soul; it is dead persons that will be resurrected, not living deathless souls. How could life be restored to souls that are alive?
FRED P. THOMPSON, JR: “Nevertheless, there is a sturdy realism about the way the Bible handles death. No effort is made to avoid its impact. No plastic disguises are attempted to make the dead seem still alive. No circumlocutions or euphemisms are employed in an effort to make death seem something more pleasant than it is. In biblical stories men and women die and are buried and appropriately mourned. They neither ‘pass away’ nor ‘expire.’ They die. For death is more than ceasing to breathe and more than a stage on the great journey of life. It is an end, a period placed after the last chapter of the book or mortal existence. Scripture never skirts that fact.” “What The Bible Says About Heaven And Hell,” page 54, College Press, 1983.
ANTHONY F. BUZZARD M. A.: “The Hellenic idea that the soul departs from the body at death is a flat contradiction of the Old and New Testament scheme, and its introduction into Christian thinking has led to the utmost confusion. For what sense can be made of a scheme, which places each dying Christian immediately in, heaven at death (although David ‘has not ascended into heaven’), only to have him raised from the grave with all his fellows at a future time? An attempt to reconcile the Hebraic and Hellenic systems has led to the idea of the resurrection of the body only, implying that the soul is already ‘alive.’ But such language is quite unbiblical. The Scripture nowhere speaks of the resurrection of the body or the flesh. It speaks of the resurrection of the dead. It is specifically said, as has been shown, that David himself, the whole person, is not in heaven, and that the dead, not their bodies only, are sleeping in the grave pending the resurrection…It is the resurrection of dead people that the New Testament preaches, not the resurrection of dead bodies!” “What Happens When We Die? A Biblical View of Death and Resurrection,” page 11, 2002, www.restorationfellowship.org
THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD IS A FUTURE EVENT John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15: If a person has an immortal soul that will never be dead, and this "soul" is the only thing that will be in Heaven, the New Testament teaching of the resurrection has been destroyed. The Greek concept of the immortal soul assumes that this soul already posse's eternal life and the only question is, “Where will this eternal life be spent?” It cannot be said that something that is now living can be raised from the dead. It is utterly impossible to harmonize the New Testament teaching of a resurrection with the pagan teaching of an immortal soul.
There is no stronger way Paul could have said that there is no hope of life after death if there is no resurrection; that those who are fallen asleep in Christ have perished; that they are not now in Heaven before the resurrection. If they were in Heaven they could not have perished in any way. What ever you think will be in Heaven, the whole person or just a soul, it is clear from this passage that neither one will be in Heaven if there is no resurrection, both (1) the person or (2) a soul if there were a soul it has ceased to exist; neither a person or a soul is now in Heaven before the resurrection.
The dead have not yet been raised or judged
The dead are now alive in Heaven without being raised or judged.
(1). Before the resurrection and judgment “they also that are fallen asleep in Christ have perished” if the dead are not raised.
(2). Before the resurrection and judgment they that are fallen asleep in Christ have not perished, even if there is no resurrection, for they are now alive in Heaven before and without the resurrection.
The two are incompatible
(1) An immortal deathless soul makes the resurrection from the dead impossible.
(2) The resurrection from the dead makes an immortal deathless soul impossible.
Both cannot be true. Death is the end of life. The resurrection is a return to life. If death is not death, but death is life in another place, the resurrection is not a resurrection, it is nothing more than a moving day, from being alive at one place to being alive at another place, just a continuation of life in another place, not a real resurrection from the dead.
THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD IS THE ONLY HOPE OF LIFE AFTER DEATH. The Bible could not say any stronger than it does that an awakening from the dead by the resurrection is our only hope of life after death. Without the resurrection to life from death, there would be no existence after death. Being raised from the grave to immortality is the teaching of the New Testament (See 1 Corinthians 15; Matthew 22:31; Luke 14:14; John 11:25; Acts 17:31; Philippians 3:8-11; John 6:3-9). Without the resurrection, "Your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished" (1 Corinthians 15:17-18). "If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die" (1 Corinthians 15:32); not tomorrow immortal souls lives forever some place without the resurrection; if there is no resurrection there is no future existence of any kind, death ends all life, eat, drink, do what ever you want to for death ends everything for you. Both reincarnation and the immoral soul from birth are a poor substitution for the truth. As clearly as life and death, the return of Jesus, the resurrection from the grave, and the Judgment Day are taught in the New Testament, how could anyone read the New Testament and believe reincarnation, or that Plato's immortal soul is alive before and without the resurrection?
AFTER THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD IS THE ONLY TIME ANY OF THE DEAD WILL BE ALIVE AND WITH THE LORD. "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). “I have kept the faith; henceforth that is laid up for me (not laid up for a soul) the crown of righteousness, which the righteous judge, shall give to me at the day; and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved his appearing,” (all persons that are in Christ, not laid up for the souls that had been in all believers) (2 Timothy 4:7-8). The pagan theology of souls that had been in believers going to Heaven at the death of the believers makes the resurrection completely useless.
THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD IS WHEN THE JUST SHALL BE RECOMPENSED, NOT RECOMPENSED AT DEATH FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT DEAD. "For you shall be recompensed in the resurrection of the just" (Luke 14:14). No one is recompensed by going instantly to Heaven at death before the resurrection and judgment. "In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you unto myself that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:3). No one, or no deathless immaterial being that will at the death of the person go to His Father's house in Heaven before Christ comes again. “Unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in Heaven for YOU, who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:4-5). The “you” is the person, not something in a person that will leave that person at death. It is “you” not “it” that Christ is preparing a place for.
1 CORINTHIANS 15
This entire chapter is devoted to the subject of the resurrection of the dead. In it, it is clear that Paul believed in the resurrection of the dead as being our only hope of life after death, not in an instant translation of a soul to Heaven at the moment of death.
(1) The dead are asleep: Christ was “the first fruits of those who are asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). “Are asleep” is present tense, the Corinthian Christians who had died were asleep at the time Paul was writing this, not awake in Heaven. The dead in Christ are spoken of as being asleep through out this chapter.
1. “Some have fallen asleep,” some had died, (1 Corinthians 15:6).
2. “Those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” if there is no resurrection, (1 Corinthians 15:18).
3. Not all Christian will fall asleep before the coming of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:51).
(2) The first fruits: In the Old Testament the first of the harvest was to be offered unto God, and then the harvest would come after the first fruits. “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). The harvest will come at the coming of Christ, “But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming” (1 Corinthians 15:23). The resurrection of the dead will be when Christ comes, if those who has pass on are alive they could not be resurrected as Christ was resurrected from the dead. To deny the resurrection by teaching an instant translation into Heaven is saying there will be no harvest at the coming of Christ. A more direct or positive statement about how long the dead will be dead, and when the dead will no longer be dead (“at His coming”) could not be made. Yet many say no Paul you are wrong, the dead are never dead. The doctrine of an immortal soul that grow out of Plato's teaching makes Christ being the first fruits or firstborn from the dead not possible, for it makes those who lived and died before His resurrection be alive before Him.
(3) “Utterly lost” if Christ was not raised, if there is no resurrection. “For if the dead are not raise, it follows that Christ was not raised; and if Christ was not raised, your faith has nothing in it and you are still in your old state of sin. It follows also that those who have died within Christ’s fellowship are utterly lost” (1 Corinthians 15:16-18, New English Bible). Unconditional immortality says the real you never dies; therefore, cannot be resurrected, the real Christ could not die; therefore, was not resurrected. If the souls that are in dead saints goes to Heaven at death it makes this statement by Paul be totally wrong for there would be no way that the souls that were already alive in Heaven could be “utterly lost,” even if there were no resurrection. If Paul was wrong he could not been inspired by God. If this passage were not inspired there would be no way we could know that anything Paul said was inspired.
(4) “In Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). If those in Christ were alive in Heaven they could not be made alive, they would already be alive. Nothing is said about an immaterial soul in this chapter on the resurrection, it is us that are saved, not an “it” that nobody knows what “it” really is, those in Christ, not “IT” that will be resurrected with a spiritual body. Is there any way that God could have told us any stronger that no one will have life after death before the resurrection?
(5) The inconsistency of making death a friend: (1 Corinthians 15:52-57). According to the belief of many, the dead are instantaneous translated to Heaven at death and are with God. Yet they do all they can, pray to God to keep the sick alive and out of Heaven, spend a great sum of money to keep them on earth, and grieve when they think a loved one goes to be with Jesus. It is obvious there is an inconsistency in what they claim to believe, and what they really believe, it is obvious that they believe death to be an enemy, not a friend. Death is not an instant pass to Heaven before the resurrection. No place in the Bible is anyone excited about dying to be in Heaven; death is always an enemy, never a friend (1 Corinthians 15:26).
1 Corinthians 15:18–if there is no resurrection
o “Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” New American Standard Bible.
o “Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost” New International Version.
o “If follows also that those who have died within Christ’s fellowship are utterly lost” Revised English Bible.
o “And those in Christ who have already died are lost” New Century Version.
o “And all of those who died in Christ are gone” The Simple English Bible.
o “In that case all Christians who have died are lost!” The Living Bible.
o “Moreover those who have died believing in Christ are utterly dead and gone” J. B. Phillips.
o “Those who have fallen asleep in Christ are the deadest of the dead” New American Bible (Catholic).
“If the dead are not raised” (1 Corinthians 15:16-19)
1. “Neither has Christ been raise.”
2. “Your faith is vain (useless).”
3. “You are yet in your sins.”
4. “They also that are fallen asleep (are dead) in Christ have perished.” If there is no resurrection of the dead, there will be no hereafter for anyone who has died. This “perishing” would have been so complete and so final that there would be no hope of any kind of life after the “perishing.”
5. “If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable” for there would be no resurrection, no Judgment Day, no second death, no eternal life.
If an immaterial soul is the only thing that will never be dead, it will always live independent of the resurrection; it is a fact that the doctrine of an immortal soul that cannot die has pervaded over the doctrine of a resurrection in most churches. There could not be a gospel that is more different to the New Testament Gospel than is the gospel of an immortal soul that will never die. Nothing is more plainly taught then that there will be no life for anyone after death without the resurrection of the dead at the coming of Christ.
Paul’s funeral sermon
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we, who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The Thessalonians were not concerned that some of their members had died and were with the Lord in Heaven, they were concerned about there members that had died before Christ came, that they would not be there to meet Christ when He came. Paul points out that those was no difference in privilege between those that had fallen asleep and those that were alive, that both would be caught up to meet the Lord when He comes. Paul did not comfort them then by telling them that there loved ones were already up in Heaven looking down on them, he comforted them by telling them that:
1. Their loved one who had fallen asleep in Jesus “will rise first,” not a soul that they know nothing about. It is by knowing that loved ones who are now asleep in Jesus will be resurrected to life that gives both the Thessalonians Christians and us comfort, not an immortal soul that is not dead. “And the dead in Christ will rise first,” Christ will raise them that are dead from the grave, not resurrect souls that are alive from Heaven. The immortal soul doctrine is Pagan, not Christian; immortality is promised to persons in Christ, it is not now possessed by living saints or possessed by sleeping saints after death; no one will ever be alive and have immortality after death before or without the resurrection at the coming of Christ.
2. Then any that are alive when Christ comes will be “caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
3. And so we (both the persons who are resurrected from sleep when Christ comes and those that are alive when Christ come) shall always be with the Lord.”
The doctrine of being awake in Heaven at death, or awake any other place before the resurrection, is both a rejection of Paul’s inspired teaching and is changing God’s word to the Pagan teaching of Plato. How can anyone say they believe in the resurrection if they believe no one is asleep to wake up, if they believe no one is dead to be resurrected? If all Christians that died were now alive in Heaven, no one would be dead to be resurrected.
NEW BIBLE DICTIONARY: "The most startling characteristic of the first Christian preaching is its emphasis on the resurrection. The first preachers were sure that Christ had risen, and sure, in consequence, the believers would in due course rise also. This set them off from all the other teachers of the ancient world...Nothing is more characteristic of even the best thought of the day than its hopelessness in the face of death. Clearly the resurrection is of the very first importance for the Christian faith." Page 1010, 1996. The resurrection is a New Testament teaching. The word resurrection is used forty-one times in the New Testament but not once in the Old Testament.
ADAM CLARKE on 1 Corinthians 15:32: "I believe the common method of pointing this verse is erroneous; I propose to read it: 'If, after the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what does it advantage me? If the dead rise not, let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.' What the apostle says here is a regular and legitimate conclusion from the doctrine that there is no resurrection; for if there be no resurrection, then there can be no judgment–no future state or rewards and punishment; why, therefore, should we bear crosses, and keep ourselves under continual discipline? Let us eat and drink, take all the pleasure we can; for tomorrow we die, and there is an end of us forever."
JERRY CROSS: "It is important to notice that Paul argues for a resurrection, and not a release. Paul does not have in mind some disembodied existence such as advocated by Greek thinkers such as Plato. Furthermore, Paul is arguing for a resurrection that is a transformation and not a continuation or resumption of life just as it had been laid down. The resurrected body is to be radically different from the body of this earthly life (vv. 35-49). This is the same position argued by Jesus against both the view of the Sadducees and that of the Pharisees (Matt. 22:23-33; esp. v. 30)." “Magnolia Bible College” 1984 Lectures, pages 47-48.
DILLARD THURMAN, Brown Trail church of Christ: "The hope and aspiration of many has been shifted from His coming again to receive His own, to an immediate immortality and heavenly bliss immediately at death! Jesus DID NOT promise that!" “Gospel Minutes,” Volume 34, Number 5, February 1, 1985. “I have heard funeral orations extol the happiness and bliss the departed has instantly with death: but on checking the New Testament assiduously, I have yet to find a single promise where the dead go into heaven on an instant pass, or have immediate conscious happiness.” “Gospel Minutes," Volume 34, Number 5, February 1, 1985.
The resurrection was the backbone of the belief and teaching of the New Testament Church (Philippians 3:10-11; Acts 17:31, 23:6, 24:15, John 6:39-54, Luke 14:13-14, Hebrews 9:27, 1 Corinthians 15:1-58). If the body is only a house in which a soul lives, then the putting off this house is not a death, but only an immaterial what ever it is moving from this house to were ever an immaterial something moves to; according to the pagan teaching if a soul is alive, and if anything comes forth out of the grave, it could only be the body of flesh; and then the "soul" must come back from Heaven to rejoin the body, or (1) if a soul that were in Heaven did not leave Heaven and come back to earth we would have our dead earthly body resurrected on earth, but with no "soul" (2) and with our “soul” alive in Heaven with a disembodied existence, both at the same time. The apostles never preached a disembodied life after death, but a resurrection of the person that is dead. "God both raised the Lord, and will raise up us" (1 Corinthians 6:14).
If we were now a two parts being of (1) body and (2) spirit; then what is the spiritual body that the saved soul, or the saved spirit will "put on" (1 Corinthians 15:44)? Is the "soul" (as the word is used today) different from the spiritual body that the resurrected persons that are in Christ will put on at the resurrection? Is the immaterial spirit, which some teach is now in a person going to put on a body at the resurrection and become a become a material being, or will this immaterial being put on a spiritual body that will be a difference immaterial body than “it” now is? Will it be a second spiritual body? If we now have this spirit or soul, how can it be changed in any way? Will it be a different soul from the soul that is now in us? If it will not be different, all we could do would be to put off the body of flesh; then the immortal disembodied something that is in us would now be just as it will be in Heaven; if not, why not? There could be no other change or a resurrection; nothing other than putting off the body of flesh at death, and the souls that were in those who have died would have already done this, and without the resurrection are now just as they will always be. If the "soul" is now immortal, there will be no spiritual body to be put on at the resurrection.
Paul makes it clear that the immortal bodies we (persons, not souls) will receive at the resurrection is different from and is not the mortal earthly bodies we now have. "How are the dead raised (dead persons, not deathless souls raised from the dead), and with what manner of body do they come (what kind of body will the dead persons be raised with at the resurrection)?" (1 Corinthians 15:35).
Unconditional immortality teaching is that:
(1) A soul is alive now; souls that are in both the saved and the lost now have the same eternal life.
(2) A soul will be alive after death before the resurrection; and it will be "at home with the Lord" from the time of the death of the person before and without the resurrection.
(3) A soul will be no more alive after the resurrection than it now is before the resurrection.
(4) The wages of sin cannot be death for a soul cannot be dead.
DAVID OWEN said in 1996 Florida College Lectures, page 216 that it should be noted that Paul said we would be raised with a spiritual body, not a spirit. It will be "us" that will be raised with a new "spiritual body," not an undying spirit that is now in a person that is not dead being raised from Heaven.
STEWARD SALMOND: “The new body will be our body, and yet will be different from that of which we have experience, superior to it in incorruptibility, in honor, and in power, in freedom from waste, decay, and death, in the glory of perfection, in ability to discharge its function. It shall cease to be a natural or sensuous body, fit only for earthy, dependent conditions, and it shall become a ‘spiritual body.’ The congruous instrument of a higher order of life for which the limitations of sense and time no more subsist.” “The Christian Doctrine Of Immortality,” page 456, 1901.
If the resurrection were taken from the Bible, it would not affect the theology of many churches today. They take a short cut and send the souls that were in the dead saints directly to Heaven at death without the resurrection. Because they believe they are born with an immortal soul in them, which is the only thing that they believe will be in Heaven, “it” does not need to put on immortality at the resurrection; this disembodied “it” will have bypassed the resurrection by going straight to Heaven when it leaves the person it was in.
JUSTIN MARTYR, One of the "church fathers" said those, "Who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven are not Christian at all."
Satan's lie, "You shall not surely die" after being changed to, "Your soul shall not surely die" has succeeded to the point that many now say, "No Christ, there is something in me that needs no resurrection, this being that has no substance is now immortal and at my death it will come to You in Heaven; this invisible being that is in me will not wait to go to Heaven unto after your second coming and the resurrection." A faith in something God has not spoken is a vain useless faith; therefore, a faith based on life after death because there is an immortal soul that is not subject to death is a vain faith that is based on a lie. The belief in the resurrection and the need for it is being abandoning by many, but the Bible teaches that all die, and none will live before the resurrection; without it there would be no life for anyone after death, no life for the saved, or no life for the lost.
(4). THE REINTERPRETATION OF THE WAGES OF SIN MAKES
"THE WAGES OF SIN" IMPOSSIBLE BY ELIMINATING DEATH (Romans 6:23)
If a soul cannot die, it cannot pay the wages of sin, which is to die; therefore, the wages of sin had to be changed from death to an eternal life of torment.
o Romans 6:23: "The wages of sin is death" has been reinterpreted to be an eternal life with torment. I cannot understand how anyone can read “death” and understand death to be an endless life, “the wages of sin is a endless life of suffering.” Nor can I understand why anyone would want to have the lost endlessly suffering.
As long as a person has life, that person is not dead; therefore, as long as any “Immaterial part of a person” (W. E. Vine) is alive, that “part of a person” has not received the wages of sin. Nor can that “part of a person” be said to be dying if death can never be reached. To an immortal soul that cannot die, death cannot be the wages of sin. Mankind does not like death, and many have made themselves believe there is no real death. Even at the time of our death, many believe we do not die, and have reduced death to life in prison. And as a soul that is in us now has immortality, the promise of "eternal life" must be reduced from being eternal life to just being a reward (Heaven). If only the earthly body dies, not the real "us," then the resurrection could not be the center of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-10); it could not even be a part of the Gospel; therefore, the undying immortal soul doctrine takes the resurrection out of the Gospel; both the resurrection of Christ and our resurrection.
NEVER A VICTORY: Evil and good beings must live side by side. If death is only separation from God, the separation must go on forever. There never can be an end to death; never can be an end to separation, for if the separation did end, both the lost and the saved would then be together. There will never be an end to evil. Satan, evil angels, and evil men are just moved to another place, not ended, and not defeated. They will remain just as evil, just as much in rebellion to God as they are now. According to the traditional doctrine of Hell there will be two kingdoms, the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan with the kingdom of Satan being many times larger than the Kingdom of God. What kind of victory would that be? It makes Satan win. Death will be our enemy only unto our resurrection at the coming of Christ.
(5). THE REINTERPRETATION OF THE JUDGMENT DAY
MAKES THE JUDGMENT A MOCKERY AND NOT NEEDED
The Judgment Day at the coming of Christ is opposed to an immortal soul being translated instantly to Heaven or Hell at death; if there is a judgment day of all, both saved and lost persons that is to come after the second coming of Christ it is positive proof that the doctrine of a soul going to Heaven or Hell when the person it had been in dies is not true. If souls are now in Heaven or Hell, all would have been judged at death, and the judgment is going on now for each person would have to be judged at death to know which souls would be sent to Heaven, or which souls would be sent to Hell. To take souls that have already been judged and sent these souls to Hell, or already judged and sent to Heaven out of Heaven or Hell for a second judgment only to put them back in the same place where they now are makes the Judgment be a useless and empty show. It would make a mockery of both the resurrection and the judgment. The popular idea of an immortal soul going instantly to Heaven at death makes the resurrection and judgment to be out of place, useless, and meaningless; many have abandoned it. At the most, the Judgment Day could be nothing more than another reward day for these souls that has been already judged and rewarded.
The judgment of all, both the saved and the lost person, not souls, will take place on a special day in the future, the day of the second coming of Christ, not at death. Matthew 16:27; John 5:27-29; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Peter 3:7; Acts 17:31; Matthew 10:15; 11:22; 11:24; Mark 6:11; Matthew 7:22; Luke 19:22; John 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 11:24; 12:48; Romans 2:5; 2:16; 1 Corinthians 1:8; 3:13; Ephesians 4:30; 6:13; Philippians 1:6; 1:10; 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 5:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2:3; 2 Timothy 1:12; 1:18; 4:8; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:7; 3:10; 3:12; 1 John 4:17; Jude 6. The Bible is so clear on when anyone will be judged that I find it difficult to understand how anyone can read the Bible, and then say we are judged to be saved or loss at the time of our death.
A second judgment
If all are translated instantly to Heaven or Hell at death as is taught by today's theology, would not a second judgment make God unsure of Himself? If in all the billions He would have had judged at their death and sent them to Heaven or Hell, if He found just one that He had misjudged, just one that was in Hell that should not be, or if just one soul was in Heaven that should not be God would not be infallible; therefore, He would not be God. Satan fashions himself as an angel of light and his ministers as ministers of righteousness, and they have done their work well (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
KENNETH FORTIER: “The immortality of the soul makes a mockery of all this. Resurrection becomes superfluous, since we can relate to Christ ‘out of body.’ Because the saints have already spent long ages with Christ, the Parousia becomes something less than the great ‘revelation’ portrayed by Scripture. Finally, the Judgment is transformed into a farce. After spending thousands of years in heaven, will Abel have to pass before the bar of divine justice to determine whether or not his name is written in the Book of Life? Conversely, will Judas be summoned from a hell he has occupied for two millennia to discover if he is really among the damned? Any doctrine, which allows for such scenarios ought to be suspect from the very outset.” “Resurrection Magazine,” Volume 95, Number 2, 1992.
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: "Hell" by P. Kreeft: "God must appoint some fixed term for the time of trial, after which the just will enter into the secure possession of a happiness that can never again be lost in all eternity...Accordingly, it is the belief of all people that eternal retribution is dealt out immediately after death." Most Protestants also believe a person goes to Heaven or Hell immediately after death; therefore, their judgment must be immediately after death, not at the second coming of Christ.
“Inasmuch as He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world” (Acts 17:31). “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “For we must all be made manifest before the judgment-seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). There will be a day of judgment when all, every person, not every soul, will come before the judgment-seat of Christ, not a judgment of each person at death.
"Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment" (John 5:28-29, also 2 Corinthians 5:10). Those resurrected will be in two groups, (1) those resurrected to life, (2) those resurrected to judgment. The dead will hear the voice of Jesus “when they are in their graves” and “come out” of their graves, not hear when they are in Heaven, Hell, or Abraham's bosom. The resurrection is not a bringing back from Heaven or Hell those who are not dead; it will be a real resurrection from a real death. Jesus clearly said, “All who are in their graves.” He did not say, "Souls of all who are in Heaven or Hell.” Only the person, not a soul, is in the grave. If the dead now have life in Heaven or Hell, then Christ was wrong. “For this is the will of my Father that everyone that beholds the Son, and believes on him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:39-40) “And I will raise him up in the last day” (John 6:44) “And I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:54). "I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day" (John 11:24).
(6). THE REINTERPRETATION OF DEATH TO BE NOT DEATH,
BUT ETERNAL LIFE, EITHER ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN,
OR ETERNAL LIFE IN HELL BEFORE THE RESURRECTION
AND JUDGMENT, AND BEFORE THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
"To die" never signifies "to live in torment." If Abraham, David, and all the saints of the Old Testament were in Heaven they were there before and without the resurrection or the death of Christ; neither His death or His resurrection would have been needed, nor would there be any death to abolish to a “soul” that cannot die.
1. Death would have been destroyed by changing death into eternal life for everyone at the time of their death, not at Christ's second coming. Death would have been destroyed for those in the Old Testament before and without the death of Christ by putting them all in Heaven or Hell at the time of their death.
2. If death takes anyone to Heaven it would be no enemy to him or her.
3. Death would not be death. Changing from life on this earth to life in Heaven, or to life in Hell would be life, not death.
There cannot be eternal life in Hell for “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Without being in Christ there is no eternal life. “He that believes on the Son has eternal life; but that obeys not the Son shall not see life” (John 3:36). DEATH IS NOT LIFE. The doctrine of the immortality of a soul, which gives eternal life to the lost, is in direct contradiction to the Bible. There is not a passage in the Bible that says a soul that is in the lost now has immortality, or will be raised immortal, or imperishable, but many passages that say the unsaved persons will perish, will be destroyed. “He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in him: he that believes not God has made Him a liar; because he has not believed in the witness that God has borne concerning His Son. And the witness is this that God gave unto us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that has the Son has the life” (1 John 5:10-12). What we believe does make a difference.
God said, “You shall surely die.” - Satan said, “You shall not surely die.”
(7). THE REINTERPRETATION OF ASLEEP
ARE THE DEAD ASLEEP OR AWAKE?
What is asleep, the body, or soul, or spirit, or the whole person? The scriptures never speak of a soul being asleep, nor is it only the body being asleep, nor a spirit being asleep, but the whole person as being asleep, and the whole person will be asleep unto the resurrection day when the whole person will be resurrected. If Christ were not raised the dead are gone; those who are asleep in Christ will never wake up. The Bible must be changed, and made to say that a soul, the only part of a person that many believe will be in Heaven is not asleep, and it can never sleep. 1 Corinthians 15:18 "Then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ have perished (Apollumi)." When Paul said those who are asleep in Christ have "perished," he is saying they will never live again anywhere if there is no resurrection from the sleep of death. They are gone "perished" forever. He is not saying they have just "lost their well being" but souls that had been in the dead saints are alive somewhere even if Christ were not raised from the dead. Perished cannot mean tormented, but a total end, for if "perished" means "tormented," then Paul said those who are "asleep in Christ" will be "tormented" if there is no resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12-19). If whatever it is that is believed by many to be in a person cannot die, if whatever the something is that had been in the dead saints, if it must forever live somewhere then Paul has no argument, and there cannot be a resurrection of the undead that cannot die. Paul's argument has been neutralized, and he is made to be saying nothing; the death and resurrection of Christ has been made to be useless and not needed? Paul said the dead in Christ are asleep, the theology of many says not so Paul, all the dead in Christ had a soul in them that after their death it is awake in Heaven.
He did not say Lazarus's body is asleep, but a soul is now alive in Heaven. Lazarus would have spent four days in Heaven, but Lazarus or none of the others in the Bible that were raised from the dead ever said one word about what Heaven was like. Do you think that if they had seen the joy of Heaven, or the pain of Hell, which many believe they would have seen, that a single one that was brought back from Heaven or Hell could have kept quiet about what they had seen? Could you? They said nothing because, as Christ said, they were "asleep" not more alive than the living; they had seen nothing. Lazarus was a problem to the chief priests and Pharisees because everyone knew he had been dead and was alive (John 11:47), not because he was telling of what he had seen. Not a one that was brought back from the dead had an "afterlife experience." Why? Because they were "asleep." Is earth better than Heaven; if Lazarus were in Heaven for four days, would he want to come back to earth? Would you or anyone want to leave Heaven and come back to this earth? Why would Christ have been cruel to Lazarus by taking him out of the joy of Heaven?
The sleeping dead saints will not precede the living saints. “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). Just as the saints that are awake (alive) shall not go before the saints that are asleep, those saints who are asleep have not already gone before the living saints. Both will “be caught up together” and “meet the Lord in the air” together. It is the person that is asleep, not an immortal soul that is asleep; “soul sleeping” is not in the Bible, but a person sleeping unto the awakening, which is at the resurrection, is Biblical.
o “To be the judge the living and the dead” (Acts10:42).
o “Who shall judge the living and the dead” (2 Timothy 4:l).
o “Ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Peter 4:5).
The judgment of neither the living or the dead has taken place, and will not unto the resurrection; their judgment has not already preceded the judgment of the living. At His coming Christ will judge both (1) the living, those who will be alive on earth, (2) the dead, those who will have died before He come (2 Timothy 4:1).
Gathered to his people: Abraham (Genesis 25:8-9) and others died, and were "gathered to his people." The argument is made that this could not refer to Abraham but only to a soul that was “gathered to his people,” therefore, it must be changed from Abraham that was gathered to his people to a soul that had been in Abraham that was gathered to his people despite the fact that there is nothing said about this soul. If that were true then souls that were gathered together would be asleep together, not awake together; therefore, it would not prove the sleeping souls are conscious after death. The Hebrew belief was that both the good and the bad went to sheol–the grave. See Genesis 3:7-35; Job 7:21; 14:12; 24:19; Psalm 13:3; 1610; 31:17. "Slept with his fathers" is in the Old Testament about 38 times.
If, "Gathered to his people,” means "awake" then, "asleep" has to mean, "awake." If not, then wherever Abraham was he would be "asleep," and he would not know where he was, or who was with him. How could Christ be the first fruits if Abraham were alive before Him?
Abraham's father served other gods. "Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor: and they served other gods" (Joshua 24:2), which, according to most Catholics and Protestants, would send the soul that was in him to Hell, but both believe Abraham went to Heaven, and was "gathered to his people," which would include his father. Both seem to be somewhat unsure of where Abraham is; not sure if Abraham was "gathered to his people" in sheol, which is the grave, or if he is in Heaven and not gathered to all his people for his father the idolater they believe is in Hell for idolaters cannot be in Heaven.
Not one of the passages, which speak of persons being "gathered to his people,” is speaking of any person or of any soul being gathered in Heaven. Sheol (the grave) is not Heaven; therefore, these passages are not speaking of a soul being translated to Heaven, even though they are often used to prove it.
The state of the dead. The analogy of sleep is used throughout the Bible, about 47 times in the Old Testament and about 17 in the New Testament. If death does not indicate unconsciousness, then the analogy of sleep, which is used throughout the Bible, would be meaningless if the dead are not asleep. (Deuteronomy 31:16; 2 Samuel 7:12; 1 Kings 1:21; 2:10; 11:21; 11:43; 14:20; 14:31; 15:8; 15:24; 16:6; 16:28; 22:40; 22:50; 2 Kings 8:24; 10:35; 13:9; 13:13; 14:16; 14:22; 14:29; 15:7; 15:22; 15:38; 16:20; 20:21; 21:18; 24:6; 2 Chronicles 9:31; 12:16; 14:1; 16:13; 21:1; 16:2; 26:23; 27:9; 28:27; 32:33; 33:20; Job 3:13; 7:21; 14:12; Psalm 13:3; 76:5; 90:5; Jeremiah 51:39; 51:57; Matthew 9:24; 27:52; Mark 5:39; Luke 8:52; John 11:11-14; Acts 7:60; 13:36; 1 Corinthians 11:30; 15:6; 15:18; 15:20; 15:51; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; 4:14; 4:15; 5:10; 2 Peter 3:4). The scriptures often speech of persons being asleep after death, but never says animals sleep when they die, just as it is never said that the lost will be asleep after the second death. With so much prominent being given to the state of the dead being asleep, how can anyone believe in the immortal soul doctrine that says souls that were in the dead are not asleep, but are now alive in Heaven or Hell?
The state of those who are asleep
(1) They have perished if there is no resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:18).
(2) Their thoughts have perished (Psalm 146:4).
(3) They are as though they had never been (Job 3:11-18; Psalm 39:13; 146:2).
(4) They have no remembrance of God (Psalm 6:5).
(5) They rest in the dust of the earth (Job 17:13).
(6) They cannot give thanks to God (Isaiah 38:18).
(7) “The dead know not anything” (Ecclesiastes 9:5; 9:10).
The resurrection is the only hope for the dead. Without it, the dead will never have life again.
E. D. SLOUGH, evangelist, church of Christ: “While these patriarchs and prophets were talking so much about the ‘dead body’ having no wisdom, no thoughts, no praises, no knowledge, and no intelligence of any sort, why did they not draw on the spirit a little for our special edification, and teach us that there is wisdom and knowledge and thoughts and praises where it goes? Why not? Why talk so much and so dramatically about the dead body, and tell us that which all know, and say not one encouraging word about the joys and praises the spirits are giving God in the unseen world? Is there nothing significant about that omission? Why did they not cheer up our earth life, by painting a picture of the hosts of happy spirits in the unseen world of the dead? That would have been real instruction. That would have been, indeed, information, and would have settled a long drawn argument. Do you want the real reason for this action on the part of inspired men? Here it is. Obviously, they were speaking of the whole creature man. They saw no spirit off yonder praising God as Milligan, McGarvey, and others. They saw death the end of man, and they pointed it out as such, including his thoughts perishing in death, which means the dissolution of all his faculties. They did not talk of the thoughts being transferred, but perishing. The only possible result of death, destroying the organism by which thought is possible. Never a time did they say, ‘There is wisdom and knowledge with the spirits of the dead.’ How easy it would have been to say it. But had they said it, they could not have said the other. There are two propositions–one or the other must be untrue. Look at the incongruity of reasoning standing out like a huge knot on a limb. Some one says, ‘John Doe is dead.’ And that there is no remembrances or praise where he went. He knows not anything. But immediately they tell us ‘the real John Doe is the spirit’ and that it knows better than before. The man of God said, ‘whither thou go’ there is no wisdom, etc. ‘Thou’ John Doe. Men say ‘Thou’ means the spirit, and that it never ceases to think. Our clergy and the wise men are at variance again. What shall we do? We will leave them that way–if they can’t see the truth. Thus,
John Doe is dead, and he is not dead.
His thoughts perish, and they do not perish.
He praised God, and he does not praise Him.
He remembers, and he does not remember.
All at the same time–the same John Doe…They can not even suggest a reason why those ancient mouth pieces of God should argue and repeat and emphasize and affirm and declare over and over that the ‘dead body’ knows nothing, remembers nothing, praised nothing, thinks nothing and does nothing, which is only a deep and solemn fact known by all the living, and never open their mouths once about the spirit being able to do all these things. It would have been in perfect accord with their enthusiasm along this line to have said, ‘Cheer up and rejoice, for though the dead body has no knowledge, no wisdom, no thoughts, etc., yet the spirit is rejoicing and happy, thinking and praising God.’ What a relief that would have been to modern theology. But the fact that such was not the case, is proof that it is not true.” "Indictment Of Eternal Torment–The Self-negation of a Monstrous Doctrine," pages 191–194, F. L. Rowe, Publisher, 1914, This book is free on line at: www.robertwr.com/EternalTorment.htm
D. Padfield seems to make knowing, or not knowing each other in Heaven to be dependent on Abraham now being awake with his people. He leaves out the resurrection, and makes Abraham now be alive without it. He jumps from the dead being in sheol, the grave, before the resurrection to Heaven after the resurrection as if they are the same place, and everything is the same in both. What we will be and know in Heaven after the resurrection does not depend on what we will know while in the grave, and will not depend on souls being awake while we are in the grave. He is so desperately trying to prove persons now has an immortal something in them that he is saying to God, "Abraham being with the fathers proves he is not 'asleep with the fathers.'" Those who believe in “Abraham’s bosom” use this view, but in this attempt to prove that the dead are not asleep, they make both the saved and the unsaved be awake together, even though this view is that those in Abraham’s bosom are not dead; therefore, cannot be resurrected from the dead. This view makes:
1. Makes the dead not be dead but alive.
2. Makes those who "sleep with the fathers" are not asleep, but are "awake with the fathers."
3. Makes the resurrection impossible, a soul that was in a person is not dead.
4. Makes the Bible not mean what it says. The many times it says "sleep with the fathers" must be changed to be "awake with the fathers," and the many times the Bible uses the metaphor of sleep for death are not true.
The awakening, wakening up at the resurrection
The resurrection will be an awakening. Death is likened to sleep because it is a state of unconsciousness, which will be followed by an awakening. Christ is the first fruits, and the rest will be resurrected "at his coming" (1 Corinthians 15:23). Abraham and his people fell asleep, and will be asleep unto the resurrection, "From the day that the fathers fell asleep" (2 Peter 3:4). The Christian hope is not on death, not on a soul being awake anywhere before the resurrection, but on the resurrection to life, on a person being resurrected from the dead at the second coming of Christ.
ALBERT BARNES: "In the Scripture sleep is used to intimate that death will not be final: that there will be an awakening out of this sleep, or a resurrection. It is a beautiful and tender expression, removing all that is dreadful in death, and filling the mind with the idea of calm repose after a life of toil, with a reference to a future resurrection." Barnes' Notes On the New Testament.
What is the resurrection?
It was Lazarus who was asleep. Not just his body while his soul was alive (John 11:11). Some of the saints had fallen asleep. Not just the body had fallen asleep, but the "living being," the whole person (1 Corinthians 15:6). The Bible nowhere speaks of the body being asleep while some immaterial, invisible something that had been in a person is awake. It is the whole person that sleeps unto the resurrection, and the whole person that will wake up at the resurrection. If only the body were asleep with a spirit alive in another world, why would there never be a hint that the real person was not asleep in any of the passages that use sleep as a metaphor of death?
Abraham, where are you? Three views about where Abraham is:
1. Bible view: Abraham is asleep with the fathers.
2. Catholic and Protestant view: Abraham is awake in Heaven.
3. A newer after judgment view: Abraham is awake in Abraham's bosom, the good side of hades. This view has been widely taught in the church of Christ and the Christian Church.
Many who do not know whether they believe #2 or #3 will say some loved one had gone to be with Jesus in Heaven, but if they are trying to prove a soul is alive before the resurrection will use Luke 16. Abraham is moved back and forth from Heaven to Abraham's bosom as they need to, but most of them do not seem to know they are moving him.
(8). THE REINTERPRETATION OF THE LIFE
THAT CHRIST PROMISED TO THEM THAT OBEY HIM
John 4:14; 4:36; 5:21; 6:40 See chapter two, Life or death: If all are born with an immortal soul that cannot die, all have eternal life, and Christ could only give them a reward, but not eternal life. Unconditional immortality gives both the sinners and the saved eternal life without the death of Christ.
(9). THE REINTERPRETATION OF FIRE
TO BE SOMETHING THAT CANNOT BURN UP
See chapter eight, part two, symbolic pictures, the lake of fire:
TWO VERY DIFFERENT GOSPELS: Unconditional immortality of a “soul,” and the resurrection of the dead are two very different Gospels (Galatians 1:6-9). There is a dividing line between unconditional immortality and conditional immortality so sharp that the two are completely different Gospels, as far apart as night and day. Both cannot be true. One is a "delusion" (2 Thessalonians 2:11, King James Version) "A working of error" (American Standard Version). Unconditional immortality is very different from anything preached in Paul's day (Galatians 1:6). It is the "doctrines and precepts of men" (Matthew 15:9), and is wresting the writings of Paul and the other scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). It takes away a need for the death of Christ, and the need of the resurrection.
TWO INCOMPATIBLE BELIEFS
Either one makes the other one impossible
1. The resurrection: Makes an immortal never dying soul impossible. If a soul is not dead, that soul that is alive cannot be raised from the dead.
2. Unconditional immortality: (1) Makes the resurrection an unanswerable problem. If a soul is immortal and never dies, what will be the use of the resurrection? What will be raised from the dead? (2) Makes a real resurrection impossible.
These two Gospels, (1) the resurrection of the dead, (2) or an undying immortal soul, are so opposed and contradictory to each other that if one is true, it makes the other one a lie of Satan that will destroy you at the judgment; they are not compatible. If one is true, then the other one cannot be. Believing unconditional immortal is disbelieving God; believing this doctrine, or not believing it, can be the difference in whether you believe God or man. One came from man and is vain worship (Matthew 15:9). Christ taught the resurrection. It is our only hope of life after death, not the existence of an immortality and never dying soul. The undead cannot be raised.
THE SILENCE OF THE BIBLE
All the great doctrines of the Bible are clearly expressed. The doctrine of God, of Christ, the resurrection, the church, the judgment, sin, etc., and are all as clear and plain as our language can say them, but the doctrine of an "immortal soul," or "a never-dying soul," which is constantly expressed today, cannot be found in the Bible. From where did it come? If anyone believes, practices, or teaches anything in the name of Christ, they are obligated to prove it from the Bible. If they do not or cannot, it is a sin to believe, practice, or teach it. It is up to the person who affirms anything to prove it. Have those who believe in and teach Hell proved it to be from God's word? Hell must be proved if it is taught. At the judgment, what will you say to God if there is no Hell and you have taught many that God was the cruel and sadistic God of Hell, and He will torment most souls forever?
How many times can a person make Christ a liar by believing and teaching the opposite of what He taught and attributing these lies to Him? How often can we attribute the teaching of man to Christ before it becomes the "precepts of man" and "vain worship?" (Matthew 15:9). Will you say to God at the judgment that you loved your theology, a different gospel, more than His word?
It adds to the book of Revelation
Most all who believe in Hell misuse many symbolic passages in Revelation to prove it. John said, "If any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book" (Revelation 22:18). Do some love this cruel and evil teaching enough to have these plagues added to them selves?
"Heavier judgment" James 3:1 "Vain worship" Matthew 15:9
When we teach things that slander God, and makes the resurrection of Christ not needed, etc., we teachers will answer to God at the judgment with a heavier judgment. As teacher we will be judged for not knowing and teachings the truth. We teach that following the teaching of man is vain worship and sinful for others, but it is as sinful for us when we do the same things. If we are not sure beyond any doubt that God's word teaches that God will eternal torment souls, but teach it anyway, and it is the commandments of men, it may be the difference in living or the second death for us. "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14:23), and faith comes by hearing the word of Christ (Romans 10:17); therefore, if the doctrine of Hell is not taught in the Bible it is sin to believe or teach it. Do we think this would not apply to us if we teach anything that we have any doubt about? At the judgment we will give an answer for both what we teach, and for what we do not teach. If we teach Hell or that when a person is born there is an immortal something in him or her that will not die when the person dies, and that God cannot destroy it, then we better make sure that what we teach is from the Bible; for we will answer to God in the very same way as anyone teaching "faith only," or any other doctrine of men. Do some condemn themselves by teaching it is a sin to change God's word, and then preaching what may be the biggest change ever made to it? There is no acceptable reason for a gospel preacher not to know and teach the truth. What will they say to God at the judgment?
It is taught by some that the promise of being immediately in Heaven with God has more comfort than the promise of being in Heaven after the resurrection.
o Comfort that is based on a lie (“you shall not surely die”) is a vain useless comfort.
o To add to or change God’s word is a sin.
o Only by teaching the truth can a preacher save those who he preaches to and save himself.
Is a person born with an immortal soul in them, or do the saved put on immortality at the resurrection? THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS OF ALL TIMES. It has more influence on our conception of our nature, our view of life in this world, and life after death, the nature of God, than any other question. YOUR WHOLE THEOLOGY (all that you believe) IS DETERMINED BY WHAT YOU BELIEVE ABOUT SOUL.
Summary: the doctrine of unconditional immortality
Anything more different from the gospel than the immortal soul theology would be difficult to imagine. It makes judgment a second time of those who were already judged and put in Hell at the moment of death be nothing but pure folly. If it is not a total different gospel there could not be one, for not just some part of it is different, but it is one hundred percent different, one hundred percent pagan.
The belief in an immortal deathless soul
Satin’s lie “thou shall not surely die” is the foundation of:
o Much of philosophy beginning with the Egyptians, the Greeks, and today
o Reincarnation–transmigration of souls to other bodies after death
o Most Eastern religions
o The Catholic and the Protestant immortal soul at birth
o The doctrine of Hell
o Nether World
o Worship of Mary and the reported sighting of her
o Intercession of and worship of saints
o Original Sin
a. Total Hereditary depravity
b. Infant baptism
o “Baptismal regeneration,” the removal of original sin in infants
o The belief that Abraham's bosom is a real place where all saved deathless immortal souls are now living unto the resurrection, but living in speaking and seeing distance of the lost deathless souls that are now in torment
o Communication with the spirits of the dead
o The "New Age" movement and channeling craze with spirits of the dead. If there is no life after death and before the resurrection, there could be no communication with the dead; these communications are the work of demons impersonating the dead.
o Near-death experiences or out-of-body experiences. Those who claim to have died and gone to Heaven or Hell are claiming to have been resurrected from the dead, that they have been in Heaven or Hell and then came back to earth. All near-death experiences are totally dependent on the belief of the person; Hindus, Muslims, and others claim to have near-death experiences, but their experiences are always what are taught by their beliefs; those who do not believe in Heaven or Hell have near-death experiences, but never believe they go to Heaven or to Hell.
o An evil, cruel, and sadistic God who made most of mankind just so he could torment them.
All of the above teachings are completely depend upon there being a soul in a person that is immortal and indestructible, which is of pagan origin; unconditional immorality is the major premise on which they all stand. Without the doctrine that there is something in a person is not subject to death none of the above could be true. The pagan doctrine of a deathless unconditional immortality soul is the mother or foundation of more false doctrines than any other teaching, and is the greatest deception, and most harmful of all deceptions in the church. Eternal torment of a soul cannot be unless Plato's immortal soul is true, Mary could not be seen or make intercession if she is asleep, there could be no communication with souls of the dead if the whole person were asleep. As long as one believes this pagan doctrine, and reads it into the Bible, it makes it virtually impossible to understand the Bible correctly. If one believes the pagan teaching of Socrates and Plato over Christ can they truly say they are a believer? “They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men” (Matthew 15:9 New International Version).
Unconditional immortality makes modern spiritualism possible. The teaching, that a person is conscious after death makes it possible and even probable that spirits can and do return to earth and speak to us. This has prepared the way for spiritualism. Satan may be using this to send his angels with lies to lead those who go to spiritualists into his way and keep them from the truth of God. If the truth, that all mankind are asleep from death to the resurrection were believed, and not the pagan doctrine of an immortal soul, then spiritualism would not be possible. If Mary is asleep, then the appearances of her ghost are the manifestations of a demon that makes many believe a lie. Satan is using spiritualism to make many believe his lie, "You shall not surely die."
Unconditional immortality makes some believe in "after death experiences," and makes them believable to many. If a person now has a deathless soul in them, which does not die when the body dies, it makes it possible for some to believe a person can come back and tell things they saw on the other side of death. The truth, that a person is "asleep" from death unto the resurrection, and has no knowledge in the grave (Ecclesiastes 9:10) makes "after death experiences" impossible and unbelievable. A person who is asleep unto the resurrection has no afterlife experiences to tell us. In the many after death experiences I have read, no two are the same.
Not to take anything away from the power of Satan in the world, or his danger to us (see 1 Peter 5:8, etc.), but by making him be an eternal being, and the eternal ruler over Hell, Satan is being given a power he does not have that may add to his being worshiped by many. Some seem to think that to exist in torment with Satan over them may be better than not to exist, and they worship the one who they think will be over them. But, if they knew the truth, that Satan’s end will be the same as theirs, and he will have no more power over them, he may not have the appeal of a being to be worshiped. Satan has had many victories, but his lie that mankind now has something in them that is already immortal; therefore, there is no real death, and the invention of Hell maybe his biggest victories. Many preach his lies!
CHARLES WELCH: "If a man would become satisfied of modern Spiritualism, he must first be satisfied that he is an immortal being. The visitations and manifestations of the spirit world are to convince you of the immortality of the soul. The first, the greatest, and the grandest truth coming through modern Spiritualist is the immortality of the soul. Here it will be seen that Orthodoxy has nothing to say against these doctrines of demons, but rather, in Pulpit, Press, and Song, this great lie is echoed and enforced, coloring as it does the whole evangel. We give in our next quotation a Resolution passed at an important Spiritualist Convention, which shows how important a place this doctrine holds in their Creed:–‘RESOLVED–That Spiritualist, according to the modern acceptation of the term, embraces all those who believe in the immortality of the soul…Beyond this common faith, there is no doctrine or creed necessarily incident to modern Spiritualism.’ It must come as a great shock to many godly Christians, who constantly pray for the ‘never dying souls’ of men, to find themselves sharing a ‘common faith’ with the enemy of truth! Yet so it is. A spirit says of this doctrine, ‘When once that is established, this one simple germ of knowledge will work out all the rest.’ The first lie of Satan was, ‘Ye shall not surely die.’ This was the ‘simple germ.’ It will culminate in the fruition of the second lie, ‘Ye shall be as God,’ for ‘Spiritualist and its doctrines are the precursors and forerunners of antichrist...’” From “The Immortality of the Soul and the Doctrine of Demons” at: http://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/documents/death/immortality—of—the—soul—doctrine—of—demons.php
THE SAVED PERSONS WILL HAVE A NEW BODY AFTER THE RESURRECTION AND JUDGMENT 1 Corinthians 15:35-45. “But someone will say, ‘How are THE DEAD raised? And with what kind of BODY do they come?’ You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you so not sow the BODY which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a BODY just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a BODY of its own. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. There are also heavenly BODIES and earthly BODIES, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars, for star differs from star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It (the body) is sown a perishable BODY, it (the body) is raised an imperishable BODY; it (the body) is sown in dishonor, It (the body) is raised in glory; it (the body) is sown in weakness, it (the body) is raised in power; it (the body) is sown a natural BODY, it (the body) is raised a spiritual BODY. If there is a natural BODY, there is also a spiritual BODY. So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. Howbeit that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; then that which is spiritual...and as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly...We all shall not 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”” (1 Corinthians 15:35-54). It is this mortal person, the “natural BODY” that we now are that will be “raised a spiritual BODY.” The “spiritual BODY” does not now exist and will not exist unto the resurrection; the “spiritual BODY” is not an immaterial, bodiless something that is now in us. Just as when we plant a seed, that seed is not the tree that will be; the “natural BODY” that “is sown” is not the “spiritual BODY” we will have after the resurrection. If the “spiritual BODY” were an immaterial bodiless soul that we already have it would make all that Paul said above be total nonsense. “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual” (1 Corinthians 15:46). The “natural BODY,” and the “spiritual BODY” does not exist together, not both at the same time, yet we are told that the immortal soul exist from the day of birth of the “natural body,” and that it will exist in the person as long as the “natural body” lives, and are told that a soul continues to live after the death of the “natural body” that it was in. Death reigns in the mortal body; when the mortal body puts on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53) death will not reign in the immortal body; death will have been “swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54).
Could it be said any clearer that:
o The “spiritual BODY” is not a soul that is now in the natural body.
o Any clearer that the “spiritual BODY” is not a spirit that we now have.
o Any clearer that the “spiritual BODY” does not exist while the “natural BODY” is alive.
Before the resurrection no one has a “spiritual body.”
“ AND WITH WHAT KIND OF BODY?” Just as a seed that is put in the ground does not have the body that will come out of the ground, the body that will be resurrected will not be the body we now have, it is the person that is put in the ground, and the person that will be raised; it is the mortal person that will put on immortality at the resurrection.
If there were a soul that could never be dead
o Souls that are not dead could not be put in the ground.
o Souls that are not dead could not be raised from the dead.
The “natural body” is the seed, a “bare grain” of the incorruptible “spiritual body,” that will be raised in glory and power, The “bare grain” is not the seed of a soul, or the seed of a spirit that we now already have in us; it is difficult for us to understand how the body we now have, the “natural body” will be the same body but “changed” to a “spiritual body,” but God is able to do it; “But some one will say, ‘How are the dead raised and with what manner of body do they come’…you sow not the body that shall be…God gives it a body even as it pleased Him” (1 Corinthians 15:35-49). “Who shall fashion anew the BODY of our humiliation, that it (the body of our humiliation–the body we now have) may be conformed to the BODY of his glory” (Philippians 3:21). The person that goes into the grave will come forth, but just as the seed comes forth is in a different form, the person that comes forth from the grave will be changed from a “natural BODY” to a “spiritual BODY.” It is our changed body, not a soul, not a spirit that will be like “the BODY of his glory.” The question was, “How are the DEAD RAISE,” not how are souls that are not dead raised.
FRED P. THOMPSON: “If the body comes forth from the grave, restored/transformed, the verdict against death is sealed. (3) Body life is the only kind of life Paul can imagine…(4) It is the body of flesh which is the ‘perishable nature’ spoken of in v. 53. Because nothing perishable is appropriate for the land of eternity, the body must undergo that miraculous change into imperishability.” “What The Bible Says About Heaven And Hell,” page 167, College Press 1983. Note: it is the body that undergoes the change, not a deathless soul that cannot be changed.
I know of no one that believe:
o A dead soul will be raised from the dead.
o Or that believes a soul will be given any “kind of body,” or will ever have a body.
o Or that a soul they believe in will ever be any more immortal than they believe a soul now is. They believe that a soul is now as immortal as it will ever be, not that it will “put on immortality” at sometime in the future.
o Or that a soul is now just a seed to what a soul will be after the resurrection, nothing is said about a soul being changed, or fashion anew.
o Or that a dead soul will be resurrected to life.
IT IS THE RESURRECTION THAT GIVES US HOPE OF LIFE AFTER DEATH, immortality will come at the resurrection. The resurrection is a restoring to life the person, but with a changed body.
A comparison between the earthly body and the spiritual body.
“How are the dead raised: and with what manner of body do the come” 1 Corinthians 15:35
You sow a bare grain | of the BODY that shall be 15:37
The BODY IS | The BODY IS
(1) Buried in corruption | (1) Raised in incorruption
(2) Buried in dishonor | (2) Raised in glory
(3) Buried in weakness | (3) Raised in power
(4) Buried a natural body | (4) Raised a spiritual body
“As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” 1 Corinthians 15:49.
“That what is mortal may be swallowed up by life” 2 Corinthians 5:4.
“Who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of his glory” Philippians 3:21.
(1) Is a soul buried in corruption and raised with incorruption?
Can you believe we now have an immortal soul that when we die this soul will be buried in corruption and raised in incorruption? Or is this is speaking of the resurrection of the person, not a soul that is believed not to be subject to corruption and cannot be buried?
(2) Is a soul buried in dishonor and raised in glory?
Can you believe we now have an immortal soul that when we die this soul will be buried in dishonor and resurrected from the dead in glory? Or is this speaking of the burial and resurrection of the person, not some immaterial something that is now in a person?
(3) Is a soul buried in weakness and raised in power?
Can you believe we now have an immortal soul that when we die this soul will be buried in weakness and raised from the grave in power? Or is this speaking of the resurrection of the person, not something that is now in a person that many believe what ever this something is not to be subject to corruption?
(4) Is a soul buried a natural body and raised a spiritual body?
Can you believe we now have an immortal soul that is now a natural body that will die, be buried, and be resurrected a spiritual body? Or is this speaking of the burial and the resurrection of the person, not something that is now in a person?
None of the above says anything about a deathless soul or a deathless spirit that has no substance, that is now immortal and not subject to corruption, all four are speaking of a PERSON that can die, can be sown (buried), and be resurrected; the PERSON that is now corruptible, but will be resurrected incorruptible, the PERSON will have glory and power, the PERSON that now has a natural body, but the PERSON will have a spiritual body in the image of Christ.
John 5:28 “All who are in the tombs shall hear His voice.” Only persons are in the tombs. Those that believe there is a soul do not believe that a soul will ever be in a tomb, do not believe that a soul can be buried in a grave.
A CHANGE OF THE NATURE OF A PERSON FROM IMAGE OF ADAM TO IMAGE OF CHRIST. “God gives it a body even as it pleased him” 1 Corinthians 15:38.
EARTHLY BODY | RESURRECTED BODY OF THOSE IN CHRIST
"As WE have borne the image | WE SHALL also bear the
Of the earthy 1 Cor. 15:49 | image of the heavenly" 1 Cor. 15:49
"Flesh and blood cannot | WE SHALL all be changed in a moment, in
inherit kingdom of God"15:50| the twinkling of an eye, at last trump]
Buried a perishable body - Raised an imperishable body 1 Cor. 15:42
Buried a natural body - Raised a spiritual body 1 Cor. 15:44
Buried (sown) in dishonor - Raised in glory 1 Corinthians 15:43
Buried (sown) in weakness - Raised in power 1 Corinthians 15:43
The dead in Christ - Raised incorruptible 1 Corinthians 15:52
Living saints - Will be Changed in a moment 1 Cor. 15:52
"This corruptible - must put on Incorruption" 1 Corinthians 15:53
"This mortal - must put on Immortality" 1 Corinthians 15:53
Body of humiliation |"Conformed to the body of his glory" Phil 3:21
Earthly tent |"A house not made with hands" 2 Cor. 5:1-10
Earthly image of Adam | Heavenly image of Christ 1 Corinthians 15:49
Adam a living soul | Christ a life giving spirit 1 Corinthians 15:45
All now have the body of Adam | Saints to be like Christ 1 John 3:2
“It is not yet made manifest what WE shall be. WE know that when He appears, WE shall be like Him, because WE shall see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2). “Just as He is,” just as Christ is now, not as He was when He was in the flesh and blood image of Adam. Also 1 Peter 5:4; 2 Corinthians 5:10.
According to Orthodox Theology, if you say a bird is dead, the bird is dead, it has no life, but if you say a person is dead, the person is really alive, just as alive as the bird is dead.
THE PERSON IS BURIED AND RAISED
A deathless soul cannot be dead, buried, or raised from the dead. “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body:” According to 1 Corinthians 15 we, not a soul, will have a body. “Body” or “bodies” are mentioned eleven times (15:35; 15:37; 15:38, 2 times; 15:40, 2 times: 15:44, 4 times: 15:44). The first time in verse 35 asks the question what kind of body will we have in the resurrection. That the body that is put in the ground is not the body that will be resurrected is illustrated by giving an example of planting a seed; the body that comes forth is nothing like and is far greater than what was put into the ground, but it is a body, not a bodiless thin air nothing.
Faithful Christian live, die, and are BURIED with a body that is in the image of Adam, Christian (not a pagan Dark Age soul) will be raised with a body in the image of Christ. “As WE have born the image of the earthy, WE shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Corinthians 15:49). The pagan soul that many believe in, they do not believe it has ever been in the image of Adam. Christ is speaking to person, not to souls said, “I go to prepare for YOU, and if I go and prepare a place for YOU, I will come again, and will receive YOU unto myself; that where I am, there YOU may be also” (John 14:2-3). We, not souls, will have bodies in our glorified state in Heaven, but very different from the imperfect earthly bodies that we now have that are unfit for Heaven.
o “It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body.”
o The body we now have is buried and it perishes, it is perishable.
o The body that is resurrected is imperishable, but it is a body, not just an immaterial, invisible, no substance nothing that existed before “it is raised an imperishable body” at the resurrection.
o The “perishable” body that is in the image of Adam that is buried. “Corruption” King James Version. It is the person’s body that is perishable or corruptible that is put in the grave, not Plato’s bodiless soul.
o The “imperishable” or “incorruptible” body that is resurrected is in the image of Christ. It is the person’s changed body that is resurrected imperishable in the image of Christ, not Plato’s bodiless soul.
o “It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory.” The decaying body that is put in the grave has no honor, in the resurrection the saints will be resurrected like Christ, “It has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2). “Who (Christ) will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory” (Philippians 3:21), not an immortal soul that will be in glory before it is raised, or not be transformed (changed), and not see Him and be like Him at the moment of our death; if it were at death, it would make these passages have no meaning.
o “It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.” The earthly body that is put in the grave has no power, and it is a body, not a soul, that will be resurrected a body with power.
o “It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” The “natural body” is the image of the earthy Adam, the first man, the “spiritual body” with which the saints will be resurrected with is the image of the second man from Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:42-49). There is (1) this earthly, natural body that now is and (2) the spiritual body after the resurrection, there is no kind of body between death when it is “sown a natural body,” and the resurrection when it is “raised a spiritual body.” Nether are there two kinds of bodies before death; there is not a “spiritual body” before it is “raised a spiritual body,” at the second coming of Christ. “Natural” is translated from psukikos, which is derived from psukee; psukee is the natural body (life) we now have, not an immaterial, invisible, no substance something that has no body, and that no one knows what it really is, or what it is like.
It is this corruptible mortal person that will put on incorruption and immortality, not a soul that already is both incorruptible and immortal.
"This corruptible - must put on Incorruption" 1 Corinthians 15:53
"This mortal - must put on Immortality" 1 Corinthians 15:53
If we have a soul that is now immortal, how could this immortal soul it be changed to immortal?
1. “This mortal” is without doubt the earthly person that is now in the image of Adam; even those that believe we now have an immortal soul do not believe that a soul is now mortal, or that it is now in the image of Adam. It is the saved person that is now mortal that will put on immortality, a soul would already be immortal. This is speaking of the saved, these in Christ at the resurrection, nothing is said in this passage about the lost that will also be resurrected for judgment at the same time.
2. It is this mortal person that is to be changed to an immortal person, not a soul that is already immortal changed from immortal to immortal. It is the person that is now in the image of Adam that will be changed to the image of Christ.
o I know of no one that believes the immortal soul they believe in is now in the image of Adam, but this soul will “be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” or that an immortal soul they say is now immortal is now “this mortal.”
o To change 1 Corinthians 15 from speaking about a person, and make it be speaking about a deathless immortal soul or about a deathless immortal spirit makes it pure nonsense.
It is the person that died that will be raised from the dead. If it were not the same person that that died that was raised, it would not be a resurrection of the dead. Anything that happens to a soul that is not dead would not be a resurrection of the dead. The body will be changed, but it will be the same person. According to the theology of today, a soul never dies, the person is the only thing that dies; therefore, if the person is not raised from the dead there cannot be a resurrection of the dead. “And just as WE have borne the image of the earthy, WE shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Corinthians 15:49). It has became commonly said that if there is no soul that is deathless, for God to make a new body and it have life it would be a new creation, not the same person that was put in the grave. I do not know how I can now have the image of Adam and be resurrected with the image of Christ, and it still be me, but God has said the saved will bear the image of the heavenly and I believe Him even if I do not know how He can do it. To say, as many do, that if the soul is not alive that the resurrection would be a new creation and not the same person that died is to disbelieve God when He said He will raise the dead, that a real resurrection is not possible; it is to say God does not have the power to raise the dead if they are really dead. In a deep sleep there is no thoughts, no knowledge, but when the person awakes it is the same person that went to sleep. Wakening up from a sleep is not a new creation, the resurrection is not a new creation of a new person; it is the same person that went to sleep. After their death animals are never said to be asleep in the Bible, they will not be resurrected. If you believe the Bible, you must believe that God will raise the dead, not that God will make a completely new creation.
o It is a person, not a soul that is in the image of Adam; it is a person that will be resurrected in the image of Christ, not a soul that will be in the image of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:49).
FRED P. THOMPSON: “Neither Paul nor any other main-stream Christian theologian has been content with the idea of immortality without resurrection. Some kind of body is essential to personality as we know it. Resurrected, we shall not be naked but appropriately clothed, not phantoms or pure spirits but embodied persons.” “What The Bible Says About Heaven And Hell,” page 168, College Press, 1983.
WAYNE JACKSON in “Do Hunan Beings Have an Immortal Soul?” Christians Courier, says First Corinthians 15:53 speaks of the nature of the future resurrected body.
o Then it is the corruptible person that must put on (become) an incorruptible person (1 Corinthians 15:53).
o Then it is the mortal person that must become an immortal person (1 Corinthians 15:53).
It is the person that is now in the image of Adam that will be in the image of Christ, not as taught by Plato, an immaterial soul that has no substance that was never in the image of Adam. If the person is resurrected an incorruptible and immortal person, a spiritual being, and if there were an immortal spiritual being already in a person, then there would be two immortal spiritual being, (1) an immortal spiritual “soul,” (2) and an immortal spiritual person. Will the two ever know each other anymore than the person can now know a soul that he or she is told is in them? I know nothing about an “immaterial, invisible” (Vine, page 588) being that is nothing but “mental thoughts” (Merey, “Death And The Afterlife,” page 79) that I am told is in me; it has not contacted me or in any way let me know it is in me; I know no more about “it’ than a person that has never heard of the Bible and never heard about “it;” but I am told that I must believe, repent, and be baptized to save “it” from Hell.
A strange change
When I first became a Christian in the fifties almost every sermon ended with an invention in which the sinners were told to repent and be baptized to save a soul that is in them from Hell. Today “soul” is almost never used in preaching and it has been years since I have heard anyone told to “save your soul” or God will forever torment “it” in Hell.
Body of humiliation |"Conformed to the body of his glory" Phil 3:21
Earthly tent |"A house not made with hands" 2 Cor. 5:1-10
Earthly image of Adam | Heavenly image of Christ 1 Corinthians 15:49
Adam a living soul | Christ a life giving spirit 1 Corinthians 15:45
All now have the body of Adam | Saints to be like Christ 1 John 3:2
“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then they that are Christ’s at his coming” (1 Corinthians 15:21-23). When many read this passage they see both: (1) A soul that cannot die but it dies, (2) and soul that is dead but it is not dead, nevertheless that soul is made alive by the resurrection. It is the mortal person that dies–the same mortal person that will be made alive by the resurrection, not a deathless soul made alive by the resurrection.
"Behold, I tell you a mystery: WE all shall not 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" (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). (1) It is the person that is asleep, that is dead that will be incorruptible when the person is raised from the dead, (2) and the person that is alive when Christ comes that will be changed. “Changed” means something will be changed, it is the mortal person that will be changed to an immortal person, not an immortal soul, or an immortal spirit changed to an immortal soul or spirit. “And WE shall be changed," not “our souls or our spirits shall be changed.” Why do those that say they do not change the Bible change the “WE” to “IT”? It is the transformation of the person that is in the image of Adam to the image of Christ, the survival of the person, not a soul. It is not a soul, whatever you believe a soul to be that will be raised from the dead; it will be you changed from mortal to immortal. It is you that will always live in Heaven with Christ, or you that will always be dead. That it is only a soul, not you, that will be in Heaven is the doctrine of man. The resurrection means the restoring of the person, not just something that is now in the person that will leave the person at death.
(1). "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 15:50).
(2). "WE all shall not 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" (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). It is the transformation of the flesh and blood body to a spiritual body; no person could inherit the kingdom of God without the transformation from earthly bodies to heavenly bodies. Those that are asleep and those that will be living are both changed in the same moment at the sound of the trumpet; therefore, no one is changed at the moment of death.
(1). "And THE DEAD shall be raised incorruptible" (1 Corinthians 15:52).
(2). "And WE shall be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:52). Not a soul or spirit changed.
(3). "For this corruptible must put on incorruption" (1 Corinthians 15:53).
(4). "And this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:53). This mortal person, not this mortal soul or spirit.
Nowhere is it said that only a soul will be resurrected, or that only a soul will be in Heaven. The Bible always says it is the person that will be resurrected, and the mortal person that will put on immortality, it is the person that is now in the image of Adam and will be in the image of Christ.
If all the saved are alive in Abraham's bosom, who are the dead that shall be raised? If the dead are neither mortal in the image of Adam, nor immortal in the image of Christ, then if they are now living, what kind of being are they, what image are they in? How can anyone deny that 1 Corinthians 15:53 is speaking of persons being changed from mortal bodies to immortality bodies, not of immortal souls being changed to immortal souls, that would be no change?
New International Version: “For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.”
New American Standard Bible: “For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
American Standard Version: “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
English Standard Version: “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.”
New Living Translation: “For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.”
King James Version: “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
International Standard Version: “For what is decaying must be clothed with what cannot decay, and what is dying must be clothed with what cannot die.”
Darby Bible Translation: “For this corruptible must needs put on incorruptibility, and this mortal put on immortality.”
English Revised Version: “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
Weymonth New Testament: “For so it must be: this perishable nature must clothe itself with what is imperishable, and this mortality must clothe itself with immortality.”
The body of a caterpillar is nothing like the body of the butterfly it changes into, but it is still the same insect; the body of a mortal person is nothing life the immortal body the person will change into, but it will still be the same person.
The two "all's."
"We all shall be changed." Both all those who are asleep in Christ, and all those who are alive at the second coming will both be changed. The immortal soul doctrine says, "None of us shall sleep for this would be soul sleeping." It is the whole person that sleeps, not an immaterial soul.
o In 1 Corinthians 15:50-53 Paul said nothing about a soul or about a spirit that needs no resurrection or change; he is speaking of the resurrection of the dead in Christ changed to a spiritual body.
Our body will be changed, fashion anew, transformed, not an immortal soul “changed.” "The body of our humiliation" is not an "immaterial, invisible, no substance" soul that will be remade ("fashion anew") into another "immaterial, invisible, no substance" soul, but it is us that will be changed from an earthly body to a body like the body Christ now has, changed from a body that is suitable for life on this earth to a body that will be suitable for life in Heaven. It is our body that will be changed, not an immaterial something in us that is now just as it will be in Heaven, and it cannot ever be changed. I do not know how I can be raised without this earthly body and still be me, but I believe God when He says that it will be me raised to life with a spiritual body. Those who believe a person now has an immortal immaterial soul now living in them believe this invisible something in them is already "conformed to the body of His glory," not the person that will be changed to the image of Christ at His coming. Just as we now have the right bodies for life on this earth, we will have the right bodies for life in Heaven. What body will be resurrected? Many believe that without the resurrection of the earthly body it would not be us but a new creation. Are they saying God dose not have the power to resurrect us immortal without first resurrecting the earthly body?
Both are adding to and changing what the Bible says, “Raised a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:44), not resurrected with an earthly body and then changed to a spiritual body.
The image of Christ is not just a glorified earthly image of Adam. The body made for this earth that is put in the ground will be raised a spiritual body suitable for life in Heaven. There is now no way we can know anything about what a “spiritual body” is like, but we shall know at the coming of Christ. It is not just a glorified natural earthly body, not a glorified image of Adam.
The immortal soul doctrine says not so
1) The innate immortality doctrine says, “While the person is living, the immortal soul is just as immortal as it will ever be; the immaterial invisible no substance soul that will be in Heaven is now existing; a soul will not be changed after the death of the body that a soul is now imprisoned in.”
2) The innate immortality doctrine says, “Souls will be alive in Heaven from the moment of death; these immortal souls that are now in a person can never be dead; therefore, they cannot be raised from the dead.” Who is wrong, Paul or today's theology?
Image of Adam versus image of Christ
We are now a living soul in the image of Adam. We will be raised in the image of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:45-49). The "living soul," is the physical body in the image of Adam that we now have (Genesis 2:7; 1 Corinthians 15:44-45) it is not the "spiritual body" that will be in the image of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:44). We will be the same person we now are, but our bodies will be changed from the image of Adam to the image of Christ, from earthly bodies to spiritual bodies. All of us, our whole person, will be in Heaven; not just some thin air, immaterial, invisible something that has no body.
“If there is a natural (psuchikos–soulish) body there is also a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:44-45). Paul is quoting Genesis 2:7, the first man, Adam became a living being (psuche), not had a pagan immaterial deathless soul put in him.
Terms Paul used of the natural (psuchikos–soulish) body.
1) The natural soulish body is now “a living being (psuche)” (1 Corinthians 15:44).
2) The natural soulish body is now a living being is “of the earth, earthy” (1 Corinthians 15:47).
3) The natural soulish body is now a living being that is in the “image of the earthy” (Adam) (1 Corinthians 15:47), a living being that is “flesh and blood” (1 Corinthians 15:50).
When God made the earth He give fish bodies that are appropriate to live in water, and birds bodies that are appropriate to fly. He gives Adam a body that was appropriate for life on this earth, a body of flesh and blood. Where will we be after the Judgment Day, if in Heaven we will need to have a spiritual body suitable for life in Heaven? Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, but the earthly body (psuchikos–soulish) in the image of Adam both before and after he sinned is flesh and blood. In the resurrection we will be like angels who are in Heaven (Matthew 22:30). Is there anyone who believes angels have earthly bodies (psuchikos–soulish) of flesh and blood in the image of Adam? After the resurrection Christians will have spiritual bodies in the image of Christ, not earthly bodies (psuchikos–soulish) in the image of Adam that cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50).
Where will the saved be after the resurrection, on earth, or in Heaven?
(1). If, as some teach, the kingdom of Heaven is to be on this earth, “Flesh and blood” bodies that are in the image of Adam could not inherit it (1 Corinthians 15:50). “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (John 3:6). “It is sown a natural body (It is the body of “flesh and blood” that is put in the grave); it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:44); this passage is not complicated, the body is put in the ground is a natural (psuchikos–soulish) body, and the body that comes out of the ground will be a spiritual body. The spiritual body is not just a glorified earthly body.
o The natural body is sown in the ground in corruption, dishonor, and weakness.
o The spiritual body is raised with incorruption, glory, and power.
(2). Or if, as others teach that the “soul,” the “immaterial, invisible, no substance” something is to be reunited with the body of “flesh and blood” at the resurrection, neither the body nor the “soul” could inherit the kingdom of Heaven as long as the “soul” is reunited to the “flesh and blood” body.
How could it be said any more clearly that this earthly body will not be raised, or that we do not now have the body we shall have after the resurrection? (1) Or that it is not an inter immortal soul, which is now existing in us, which needs no change, which will never be dead, but will be raised from the dead anyway? (2) Nor any more clearly that we are now "mortal," but we will be raised "immortal"?
"But now has Christ been raised from the dead, the first fruit of them that are asleep. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then they that are Christ's at his coming" (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). The term "dead" or "die" means the same every time it is used in this passage. When Adam sinned he lost the right to the tree of life for himself and all that came after him; therefore, all die. It is the person that dies, and the person that will be made alive by Christ at the resurrection. Death is death, and cannot be made to mean alive.
If the dead are now living in some kind of paradise somewhere, why do they hope for a resurrection of the mortal earthly body, and what good would it be? "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" (1 Corinthians 15:52) what would be the reason for raising the natural body for such a short time? Will the deathless “soul” come back from Heaven to put the earthly body back on, only to put it off ("Be changed") in a moment all before the judgment? See 1 Corinthians 15:50; 1 Thessalonians 5:15-17; Philippians 3:21). Then it would have the earthly body resurrected only for the "twinkling of an eye" (1 Corinthians 15:52). If this deathless soul were living in Heaven or Hell, the resurrection of the body for only a moment is all there could be to the resurrection, why have it; no part of a person would be dead but his body; no part of a person could be raised from the dead but his body. The only part of a person they believe will be in Heaven or Hell, the immaterial, invisible soul, would be as alive as it will ever be, and already be where they think it will always be.
ROBERT C. WELCH says we will not come forth with the same kind of body, which is planted. Florida College Lectures, page 238, 1975.
What kind of body will we have for eternity?
When we are caught up to meet Christ in the air, will He bring us back to earth, and have His kingdom on earth where we will have an earthly body, or will we be caught up from earth to be with Him in Heaven and have a spiritual body? If you believe on earth, an earthly body is a must, if you believe in Heaven it cannot be an earthly body. Where we will be for eternity will determine what kind of body we will have.
Not one kind of body living in another kind of body
1 Corinthians 15:42 is a simple and undeniable statement that says that we do not now have incorruption and immortality, and will not have them unto the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:54). No one knows anything about what our spiritual body will be like, but it is not something we now have inside this body of flesh, just waiting to get out at death. Those that are in Christ will have a body, not be just a thin air nothing, or some kind of ghost; therefore, the resurrected body will have substance of some kind, but not any kind of earthly substance, not flesh (1 John 3:2). And not something that will fit within this body and not be seen. Not one kind of body, made with one kind of substance, living inside another kind of body that has another kind of substance. Likewise, Heaven is a place with substance (most certainly far greater than this earth), and not just a cloud in the sky. This world and universe are so complicated and large that there is much on this earth that man does not yet know, and he does not yet even know the size of this creation with it’s many galaxies. My opinion is that the universe is small and insignificance in both size and splendor when compared to Heaven, and this body is an insignificance seed, an acorn compared to a large oak tree (1 Corinthians 15:35-39). Seeds are unlike the trees yet the same identity is in them; we cannot know what the characteristics of the spiritual body will be by looking at our physical body. If there were a Hell would the lost have the same great new and splendid spiritual body in Hell that the saved in Heaven will have?
We cannot see God's greatest work (Heaven and spiritual beings), or know anything about what they are like; therefore, this universe shows us only a small part of the power of God. We each do different things in a day, not all the same things, or all think the same thoughts. Today we do not do the same thing that we did the day before. While there will not be days as we know them, Heaven will not be an eternity with everyone doing and thinking the same thing, or all seeing the same thing with never any change. Heaven will not be just a glorified earth, but each person we will be the same individual as we now are, not just carbon copies of each other. Heaven will be great far beyond this earth or anything that can come into our minds now, but many act in such a way that shows going there is not the most important thing to them, and taking others to it is even less important. What Heaven is like that we do not know would fill many books, what Heaven is really like, not the metaphors of streets of gold, but what we know about what it is really like would not take up one line in a book. The Bible is silent about what Heaven is like, just as it is silent on what a “spiritual body” is like. We know that Heaven is where God is, and where Christ was before He came to earth, and is where He is now at the right hand of God. We know that Heaven is where the angles are, but nothing about what it is like, and not really anything about what angles are really like. We know that Heaven is where Christ has gone to prepare a place for us, but nothing about what Heaven or the place He has prepared will be like when we get there.
No substance then no place
No substance then no body
This earth and the earthly body have substance; without substance there would be no earth and no body. A spiritual body has substance; without substance there would be no spiritual body. Heaven is a place, a place must have some kind of substance, or there would be no place. If Heaven is not a real place with substance it could have no beauty; the symbolism showing it’s perfection and beauty would have no meaning. Christ could not have gone to a place to prepare a place for us in a place that does not exist.
Many believe Revelation 21 is a vision of the church before the second coming, a vision of the perfect bride of Christ on earth, or if, as many others believe it is a vision of Heaven. If it is a vision of Heaven, it is a vision of the utterly magnificent and perfection of Heaven, but nothing about what is really there, or nothing about what Heaven will really look like.
We are told some things that will not be in Heaven.
1) No tears, no death, no mourning, or crying, or pain (Revelation 21:4)
2) No curse (Revelation 22:3)
3) No night (Revelation 22:5)
In Revelation 21 and 22 we are given a vision of a city (an earthly city as we know), but it is a city of perfection and beauty far beyond any city on earth. It is symbolism of perfection to tell us of Heaven’s perfection and magnificent, but we are not to think that Heaven will literally have streets of pure gold that are transparent as glass, or walls of precious stones. Heaven will be composed of spiritual substance for more spectacular than any earthly substance, even more spectacular than gold.
B. REEVES: "I do not know what all we will be doing in heaven, but I do know we will not be dormant and inactive." Guardian of Truth, page 8, 1996.
We now have a "natural body," and after the resurrection the saved will have a "spiritual body." Do evil spirits have a body? If God, angels and evil spirits have no substance of any kind, if they are nothing but thoughts with no body, there cannot be a "spiritual body" (1 Corinthians 15:44). If there were a being in us, it would now be like the angels, but Christ said “we,” not “it,” will be “as angels” in the resurrection, but we are not now “as angels” (Matthew 22:30). Though we can now know only of material substances of this earth does not mean there is no spiritual substances. If there were not, there could be no Heaven (Heaven is not just thoughts) and no spiritual body; just as this earth is a real place made up of real substance, Heaven is a real place, and spiritual being are real being. We are not now a spirit as the angels and demons are, and will not be unto the resurrection.
Can you imagine such a thing as people standing before God clothed with white robes and praising God, but they have no body? It is inconceivable. A thin air nothing cannot wear a robe; if Robert Peterson were right, there could not be white robes for there will be nothing but thoughts. If this earthly body "the body of our humiliation" that shall be fashioned anew "that it may be conformed to the body of his glory" shall be a thin air ghost with no body, then it would make Christ also be a thin air nothing. How can nothing have "glory"? How can thin air nothing be like anything "conformed" ("fashioned" King James Version)? There would be nothing to "conform" to anything. "What we will be has not yet been revealed, what we do know is this: when He is revealed, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2, New Revised Standard Version). I do not know how God made this world out of nothing, but He said in His word that He did and I believe Him. I do not know how God can raise me with a spiritual body without this earthly body and it shall still be me, but His word says He will, and I believe Him.
Summary: The resurrection will be from the dead, not from life. It shows we are now mortal, and we will die, and we will be dead, that we are not immortal before the resurrection. The resurrection will be a bringing back to life those who are dead.
"But each in his own order" 1 Corinthians 15:23-38
1) "Christ the first-fruits"
2) "Then they that are Christ's at His coming." Those that believe a soul is the only thing that will live after death must change the order of being raised from the dead.
o Changes the dead in the Old Testament to have been raised at their death, before Christ and without His resurrection.
o Therefore, Christ was not the first–fruits
o Changes "Then they that are Christ's at His coming," to souls at death souls go to Heaven before the coming of Christ, and Paul is made to be wrong both times. (1) Wrong when he said Christ was the first fruits, (2) and wrong when he said, "They that are Christ's at His coming." Do you believe man or God?
Guardian of Truth, page 254, 1994 said in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Paul deals with one-half of the resurrection; he is speaking only of those in Christ, and Paul says nothing about those not in Christ. This is also true of most of 1 Corinthians 15 "They that are Christ's at His coming" 15:23. The lost will not be "raised in glory" 15:43, in "power" 15:43, or in "the image of the heavenly" (Christ) 15:49. Can you find one thing said about the body of the lost after the judgment? What will it be like?
The doctrine of eternal torment makes the Bible need to be rewrote.
THE BIBLE TEACHES ------------- BUT MAN TEACHES
We put on immortality at the |We are immortal from birth
Judgment 1 Corinthians 15:53 |(also we "seek" it Romans 2:7)
Wages of sin is death Rom 6:23|Human soul can never die
The end of the lost is to be |Lost will be burned,
burned Hebrews 6:8 |but will have no "end"
The word the or idea of Hell |Hell is taught as though it is
is not in Bible |on most every page of the Bible
"Raise up even from the dead" |Living souls to be brought back from
Hebrews 11:19 |somewhere, not raised from death
The evil shall perish |The evil can never perish,
be destroyed |or be destroyed, or die
Death to be abolished |Death is "separated from God"
1 Corinthians 15:26 and 15:55 |and can never be abolished
Lost will be devoured Heb 10:2|The lost can never be devoured or
Consumed Hebrews 12:29 |consumed, they must burn forever
God can destroy soul in |God can torment a soul,
Gehenna Matthew 10:28 |but He cannot destroy it
Christ died (give His life) |His soul did not die: only
for our sins |His human body was dead
Christ came to give us life |All humans are eternal from birth
John 10:10; 10:28 |(have life and immortality) there-
"Eternal life" John 17:2 |fore already have "eternal life"
God is everywhere |God is not everywhere
|(if death is separation from God)
God is just and loving |This teaching makes God
|unjust, sadistic, cruel, evil
First the natural (now) |We were born with a natural
Then that which is spiritual" |body with a spiritual body
(after the resurrection) |inside the natural body
A day of wrath and judgment |A Day of Judgment but an
(same day) Romans 2:5ff |eternity of wrath
Nothing about God tormenting |Both are taught as if they
anyone or wrath of God on the |were gospel facts
lost after Judgment Day | .
The resurrection is unto life |The dead are now living in Heaven
John 5:29 And is "from the |or Hell - have life and rewarded
dead" Romans 1:4; Acts 23:6 |or punished without the resurrection
Christ said "I give unto them |He gives eternal (immortal) life
eternal life" John 10:18 |to all souls at birth
Earthly body is but a bare |We now have the full-grown
seed of spiritual body which |spiritual body, a soul,
we will have after Judgment |before death and the judgment
Day 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 |not just a seed of it
Judgment and punishment are |We are judged good or bad at death
at the second coming of Christ|and punished/rewarded at that time
"They are worthy of death" |But they cannot die and God
Romans 1:32 |cannot kill them
"For there is no work, nor |"For there is work, and
device nor knowledge, nor |device, and knowledge, and
wisdom, in Sheol, whither |wisdom, in Sheol whither you go
you go" Ecclesiastes l9:10 | .
"Soul that sins, it |A soul is immortal,
shall die" Ezekiel 23:4* |therefore, it cannot die *This is a person bring put to death under the law, but many almost always apply it to a soul dying at the judgment, even while they are teaching that there is a deathless soul that cannot die. See Hebrews 10:28.
GOD ----------- versus --- THEOLOGY |
God said "destruction" |God meant "torment" |
God said "death" |God meant "separation" |
God did not say man has an |Plato and theology says |
immortal soul from birth |and teaches it for him |
Nothing is said about wrath |Some know and teach it will|
after the Judgment Day |last for eternity in hell |
NOT FLESH OR SPIRIT! - WHAT IS THIS THIRD KIND OF BODY BEFORE THE RESURRECTION?
NOT EARTH OR HEAVEN! - WHERE IS THIS THIRD KIND OF PLACE WHERE THOSE WHO ARE NOT ASLEEP ARE NOW IN?
BEFORE DEATH | AFTER DEATH |AFTER SECOND COMING
Natural Body | What Body? |Spiritual Body 1 Cor. 15:44ff
Image of Earthly| Who's Image? |Image of Heavenly 1 Cor. 15:49
Corruption | Neither body |Incorruption 1 Cor. 15:42-43
Dishonor | Neither body |Glory 1 Corinthians 15:43
Weakness | Neither body |Power 1 Corinthians 15:43
Mortal | Neither body |Immortality 1 Corinthians 15:54
By man (Adam) |(Asleep in Christ) |By man (Christ)
Death |1 Corinthians 15:21|Resurrection of the Dead
Die in Adam |Alive Before Being |In Christ MADE ALIVE
1 Cor. 15:22 | "Made Alive" |at His Coming
"Unto Death" | ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? |"Crown of Life" Revelation 2:10
"Once to Die" |The Silence of God |"After This Comes
| But We Speak |Judgment" Hebrews 9:27
"This world" | The Thunderous |"That which is to come"
Ephesians 1:2 | Silence of God | ____________________
Unconditional immortality makes 1 Corinthians 15 impossible
By teaching that we are now immortal and now have incorruption from birth. We cannot put on that which we now have on. If we now have an immortal "immaterial, invisible part of man," (W. E. Vine) which cannot die, then Paul's argument in 1 Corinthians 15 to prove there is a resurrection is destroyed. If the Corinthians that had died had a soul in them that could not die, that soul had not perished, and could not perish; if it was alive in Heaven it could not be resurrected from the dead, there will be no resurrection and 1 Corinthians 15 is nothing but pure footlessness.
Unconditional immortality makes Paul's "changed" impossible
1 Corinthians 15:51. If there is now an immortal incorruptible soul in a person, then that immortal soul could not be "changed" from mortal to immortal, it could not "put on immorality" at the resurrection. It is "us" not just something that is in "us" that will come forth from the grave "changed." We do not have immortality before the resurrection. The doctrine of immortality from birth makes a soul now have incorruption. Paul says, "This mortal must put on immortality" 1 Corinthians 15:53. "This mortal" is what will put on immortality, not a soul that is already immortal; it is "us" that will be "changed" at our resurrection.
Unconditional immortality makes tree of life not needed
Genesis 3:22-24: If a person now has an immortal “soul” in them, this soul could not die; that soul will live forever somewhere, on earth or wherever. A soul leaving the person it is in and moving from earth too wherever; and having more joy, more power, more blessing, etc., when it gets there than it had while it was in our body would not be a death. Without the tree of life, this soul will always live for it would already be immortal and cannot die.
Unconditional immortality makes the Bible contradict the Bible
A soul that cannot die versus death, perish, destroy, lost, end. If the wages of sin is death, there cannot be an eternal life of torment. By misusing some scriptures, those who teach there is a soul in a person that can never die makes the Bible contradict itself.
It maybe a delusion to some 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
"And with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth." The delusion can be any doctrine of man that is not the truth. How big a lie and how many lies can you believe and still say you believe Christ? Where do you draw the line on how much error you can believe? Some believe there is no line, and God will accept anything as worship. Some believe God will accept worship only if it is by faith, which comes from hearing His word (Romans 10:17; 14:23).
Worshiping after the doctrines and precepts of men is not acceptable to God (Matthew 15:9). Not in the time of Christ and not today. If something is not clearly taught in the Bible, you cannot say that something is of faith that comes by hearing (Romans 10:17; 2 Corinthians 5:7). The truth shall make you free (John 8:32). Can anyone who believes any of Satan's lies over God's word be made free by the truth? What you believe and teach can be a delusion, and can be the difference in whether you live or die at the judgment if you make God more sadistic and evil than Satan.
Unconditional immortality reduces God and all spirit beings to being nothing but "mind," to being nothing but mental thoughts with no body, no substance, just thin air nothing. Although most who believed unconditional immortality does not realize it makes God, angels, and mankind after the judgment to be nothing more than mental thoughts, but some have realized what it does to God and men. Robert Morey in "Death and The Afterlife," on page 79 says from the meaning of rephaim, when the body dies, a person enters a new kind of existence and exists as a spirit as angels and other spirits, they are nothing but thoughts. If that were true then both men and angels would be only energy beings, and they would be composed only of mind or mental energy, and be capable of supradimensional activity as thought and speech without any kind of body. Although he did not mention God, he has reduced God to being nothing more than thoughts, an "energy being." According to him both God and a soul he believes to now be in a person has no substance of any kind, they are only a bodiless mental energy being.
RON HALBROOK said God is an immortal spirit, without a body, Florida College Annual Lectures, page 117, 1986.
W. E. Vine says, "Immaterial, invisible part of man," Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary Of Old And New Testament Words, page 593.
According to them Heaven can exist only in the mind of God; it cannot be a real place if spirits are nothing more than thoughts with no substance; could a soul or a spirit be any more real than a dream is, for a soul would have no more actual existence, and no more substance than a dream. Not only is this doctrine the same as the Pagan doctrine from which it came (we have an immaterial soul in us that has no body or substance), but also it makes God be the same, makes God be nothing but thoughts. Most who believe there is a soul in a person that is now immortal have not come to the realization of where this belief takes them. The concept of a real resurrection and a deathless soul that is only thoughts is completely incompatible, just as incompatible as the resurrection of a “soul” that is now as alive as it will ever be; therefore, it would be as alive before it’s resurrection as it will be after it’s resurrection. “And will raise up US through his power” (1 Corinthians 6:14), not “it.”
If you remain a conscious being after your body dies, have you really died? Anything that is not taught in the Bible is not a Bible doctrine. Faith comes by hearing God's word. Can anyone who believes something not taught in the Bible truly say he or she has faith?
Continue to chapter four, five, six, and seven The Changing Hell, The Vanishing Hell.
Copyright by William West
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CHAPTER ONE: The reinterpretation of the nature of man: http://www.robertwr.com/
o Soul in Genesis, Soul in the New Testament, Old Testament words, which are translated life, spirit, breath, or soul, are all used referring to both a person and animals, Soul in the Old Testament.
o Soul in the New Testament, Plato's immortal soul versus Christ's life and resurrection, Historical proof of reinterpretations of the Bible. The great confusion—Soul or Spirit or
CHAPTER TWO: Life or death? http://www.robertwr.com/life.html
CHAPTER THREE: The reinterpretations of the great doctrines of the Bible. http://www.robertwr.com/immortal.html
CHAPTERS FOUR, FIVE, SIX, AND SEVEN: http://www.robertwr.com/hell.html
o Chapter Four: From where came hell? The given no chance Hell, Edward Fudge's Short Hell, The Changing Hell, The Vanishing Hell.
o Chapter Five: Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, and the Nether World. A soul is the image of Adam.
o Chapter Six: The thirty-one passages where Hell is used in the King James Version.
o Chapter Seven: A Strange and Unexplainable Silence.
CHAPTERS EIGHT, NINE, TEN, AND ELEVEN:
o Chapter Eight: The interpretation of figurative language, metaphors, and symbolical passage.
1. Part one: The intermediate bosom, the rich man, and Lazarus.
2. Part two: The symbolical pictures of Revelation versus a literal interpretation.
3. Part three: Forever and ever of the King James Version.
4. Part four: Israel's destruction, her weeping, gnashing of teeth, outer darkness, A. D. 70
o Chapter Nine: Universalist: The "age lasting" Hell.
o Chapter Ten: Evil Pagan teachings that are attributed to God.
o Chapter Eleven: Historical proof of the changing of the teaching of the Bible
OTHER WEB SITES of William Robert West, church of Christ
“THE RAPTURE AND ISRAEL” can be downloaded free at: http://www.robertwr.com/rapture.html
THE PRINTED BOOK AT: https://www.createspace.com/3457158
AT BOOKSTORES ask for ISBN 978-1452895352
Ch. 1 After the Judgment where will we spend eternity?
Ch. 2 When will the secret rapture come to pass? Will you miss it?
Ch. 3 Will there be cars without drivers after the rapture?
Ch. 4 What is the battle of Armageddon?
Ch. 5 Is Armageddon coming soon?
Ch. 6 Will Israel be restored? Will there be a worldwide conversion of Jews?
Ch. 7 Will the temple be rebuilt in Jerusalem?
Ch. 8 Will animal sacrifices be restored?
Ch. 9 What are the signs of the second coming of Christ?
Ch. 10 Who are the 144,000?
Ch. 11 Will there be one, two, or three resurrections?
Ch. 12 What is the "time of the Gentiles"?
Ch. 13 What is the "gap" theory?
Ch. 1 4 Who is the thirteenth tribe?
“LIFE IN CHRIST” by Edward White was published in 1875 may have been one of the first major protest against the doctrine of an immortal soul. For the most part this book teaches the truth on the doctrine of the soul and Hell however there are a few things in it that are unbiblical. I have put this book on the web free at: http://www.robertwr.com/LifeInChrist.htm
A web page of a friend who is not a member of the church of Christ http://www.jewishnotgreek.com/