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Sight Unseen, Issue #012 -- What Happens When We Die?
February 12, 2004
Welcome to Issue #12

---------What Happens When We Die?-------------

The answer is very simple. Your spirit & soul leave the body. Your body returns to dust and your spirit and soul returns to God. God then accepts you or rejects you depending on if you accepted Him or rejected Him in this life.

There are those who say that the dead know nothing which includes a body's soul and spirit. They base this assumption on Eccl. 9:5 which states For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten

Does the soul really sleep? Eccl. 12:7 states Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. The same book that states that the dead know nothing also states that upon death, the spirit returns to God. This seems to be a contradiction but it is not. Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes from the viewpoint of a man who tries to live life without God. Solomon's conclusion was that all was vanity or meaningless without God. Solomon summed up his book with this observation: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

What other proof do we have that the spirit and soul leave the body upon death? In 2 Corinthians 5:6 & 8 Paul states Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Paul says very clearly that as long as you are alive on planet earth in a physical body, you are absent from the Lord. But if you are absent from the body, then you are present with the Lord. How can you be absent from the body? There is only one way: death.

What is death? It is a separation of the spirit from the body. Spiritual death is separation from God.

What other biblical proofs do we have that soul sleep is a false doctrine? In Matthew Chapter 17 we have the account of Jesus going to a mountain with three of his disciples. On that mountain, the disciples got to see Jesus in his true glory. Something else happened on that mountain. Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus. Elijah never died but Moses had been dead for hundreds of years. How could he have appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration if his soul was asleep?

In the book of Ephesians Chapter 4 Paul tells us that when Jesus ascended, he led captivity captive. What was Paul talking about? Before Jesus went to the cross to pay the penalty for man's sin, the soul & spirit all went to a place called Hades. Hades was divided into two compartments. The saved were kept on the comfort side and the unsaved on the torment side. This is illustrated in the story of Lazarus and the rich man. When Jesus died, he descended into Hades. He preached the gospel to the torment side (perhaps giving those souls a chance to repent) and took the souls in the comfort side with Him to heaven. All of these souls were aware of what was going on.

Numerous people have had near death experiences in which they have caught glimpses of an afterlife. Some have had hellish experiences. These experiences support what the Bible teaches about death.

Here is another biblical proof that no one's soul sleeps. When Jesus was dying on the cross, he had 2 companions by his side. These men who were being crucified with Jesus were thieves. One thief challenged Jesus to save Himself if He was so powerful. This thief represents both unrepentant man and Satan. He was standing between Jesus and the cross. The other thief defended Jesus and was repentant. He asked Jesus to remember him when Jesus came into the kingdom. What was Jesus's reply? And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

How could the thief be with Jesus in paradise that day if his soul slept for thousands of years?

-----------Bible Quiz-------------

1. When the pagan soothsayer Balaam went up on the mountain to curse the Israelites, he saw their great numbers and exclaimed: A. What hath God wrought! B. Jumping Jehoshaphat! C. Holy Moses! D. Angels defend us!

2. According to Geneis, the entire human race flowed from Adam. But not everyone was a part of this direct descent. Who was not a part of the direct line? A. Seth B. Cain C. Noah D. Enoch

3. When he sent Cain into exile, the Lord placed a mark on his forehead so all would know he was: A. a murderer B. protected C. an outcast D. cursed

4. Since it is the story of Creation, Genesis contains a lot of firsts. Match the first with the approximate person (with so few people an so many firsts there can be multiple answers)

_______Noah a. First city builder

_______Abel b. First hunter

_______Cain c. First shepherd

_______Nimrod d. First farmer

_______Shechem e. First shepherdess

_______Abraham f. First priest

_______Rachel g. First altar builder

_______Lamech h. First drunk

_______Melchizedek i. First polygamist

_______Naamah j. First daughter mentioned

_______Tubalcain k. First prophet

_______Lot l. First craftsman

_______Enoch m.First bargainer

n. First to commit incest

o. First to be assumed into heaven

p. First rapist

5. When Sarah overheard the Lord tell Abraham that she would soon conceive a child, she: A. fell on her knees in thanksgiving B. fainted C. laughed D. wept

6. Laban pursued Jacob after he left his territory because he believed Jacob had stolen: A. all his goods B. his daughter Rachel C. his household gods D. his cattle and sheep

7. Jacob spent the night before he was to confront his brother, Esau, and his "welcome-home" committed of 400 armed men: A. praying to the Lord for deliverance B. preparing defenses around his camp C. dallying with his concubines D. wrestling with an assailant

8. Laban was not entirely innocent himself. He had tricked Jacob into marrying his daughter: A. Rachel B. Leah C. Rebekah D. Judith

9. Tricks abound in Genesis. Match the trickster with the person tricked: (There can be multiple answers)

1. Abraham_______ a. Shechem

2. Jacob ______ b. Benjamin

3. Rachel _____ c. Abimelech

4. Joseph______ d. Judah

5. Simeon_____ e. Isaac

6. Tamar_____ f. Laban

g. Pharoah

10. The Covenant was originally made with one family, to be passed as a blessing from father to son. Which of these Patriarchs was not in the line of inheritance? A. Israel B. Isaac C. Joseph D. Judah

-------------Answers To Previous Quiz-------------

1. Who is traditionally believed to have written the first five books of the bible? B. Moses

2. The Old Testament, among other things, is a history of the Hebrews. But 2 books have non Hebrews as their main character. What are they? Ruth (who come from the Moabite tribe) and Job (who lived in the land of Uz. He was an Edomite).

3. Over 50 authors, some well known and some anonymous, contributed to the 66 books of the Bible, but one author is responsible for more books than any other single person. Who? Paul who wrote 13 Epistles

4. The Bible begins at the dawn of Creation and ends with the prophecy of the End Times. Which book of the Bible spans more time than all other 65 books put together? Genesis

5. The very last word of the Bible is? Amen

6. God cursed Adam for eating of the tree of knowledge, saying he was: C. dust, and unto dust he would return

7. When Cain was confronted by God, who inquired somewhat suspiciously as to the whereabouts of his brother Abel, he replied: C. Am I my brother's keeper?

8. After Joseph was reunited with his brothers, he asked permission of Pharaoh to bring his family to Egypt. Pharaoh readily agreed, saying they could live off: B. the fat of the land

9. Moses grew up as Prince of Egypt, but after killing an Egyptian in defense of a fellow Hebrew, he fled to Midian where he married and declared himself: B. a stranger in a strange land

10. When Moses and Aaron approached Pharaoh, they quoted the Lord God, saying: C. Let my people go.

Copyright 2003 by Gary Goodworth

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