Author Topic: The intermediate state of life after death  (Read 429 times)

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Offline Hobie

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The intermediate state of life after death
« on: Wed Dec 18, 2019 - 12:06:01 »
This is not an easy subject, but we must understand what scripture gives us and discern. God cannot reward men with the bliss of heaven or the pain of hell before they are judged, and then resurrected to receive one or the other. The Bible nowhere says that rewards are given at death, but at the end of the world. Yet there arose from within the church, a doctrine of a intermediate state before they are judged even if have to suffer for the interim, and holds that they cannot be stopped from heaven as they are immortal notwithstanding any judgment.

On December 19th, 1513 at the Fifth Lateran Council, Pope Leo X issued a Bull (Apostolici regimis) declaring, “We do condemn and reprobate all who assert that the intelligent soul is mortal” (Damnamus et reprobamus omnes assertenes animan intellectivam mortalem esse). This was directed against the growing “heresy” of those who denied the natural immortality of the soul, and the avowed conditional immortality of man. The Bull also decreed that those who adhere to such erroneous assertions should be shunned and punished as heretics. This view further suggests that at the resurrection of the righteous, the body and the soul are reconnected and salvation is now complete in a glorified state.

This caused a elevation of a controversy that went far beyond what the papacy would have wanted, lets see what happened beforehand.

"The event that would propel Martin Luther into historic prominence was his attempt to invite debate on the abuse of the doctrine of indulgences by the papal emissary Johan Tetzel on October 31, 1517. But indulgences cannot be understood without understanding purgatory.

This was a scholastic doctrine invented by the medieval church to explain how God deals with those who are good but are not good enough to merit immediate entry into heaven. Catholicism taught that Christ’s atonement on the cross (collectively) and the sacrament of baptism (individually) freed humans from “original” sin and made it possible to gain access to heaven.
However, because of human’s continuing propensity to commit “mortal sins,” this created a further barrier. Fortunately the church on earth has delegated authority to forgive sins through the sacrament of penance.

The medieval authorities made a distinction between guilt attached to a mortal sin and the penalty or satisfaction that was still due to God even when the guilt was removed. The priest through penance could only remove a small fraction of that satisfaction due so that the remainder (along with the punishment for less serious or venial sins) would have to be paid off after death in purgatory. The time in this prison of purgatory would be measured in tens, hundreds, or thousands of years. So when the church began to issue indulgences (certificates remitting part or all of the satisfaction due for sin), they were expressed in terms of “days” and “years” equivalent to earthy penances so that the perception was that the experience of purgatory was a temporary one. Indulgences were first made available to assist souls in purgatory by a papal bull of 1476....

The immediate cause of Luther’s stand on soul sleep was the issue of purgatory, with its focus on the conscious sufferings of anguished souls. In his famous 95 theses, which he posted at the church door at Wittenberg, Luther addresses purgatory from the viewpoint of a believing Catholic. Martin Luther’s first essay, Die Sieben Puszpsalm appeared in the spring of 1517, and according to Heinz Bluhm was met with instantaneous success. Martin Luther would go on to be one of the most read and beloved German writers. Some even consider him to be the greatest master of the German language. His 95 theses would capture the imagination of 17 the German people and spark the flame of the Reformation."http://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1118&context=jats

There are generally two views concerning the state of the dead among Christians. The first view asserts that when a person dies, his soul survives death and continues to exist in some place. For those who are saved, they go straight into paradise. For those who are not so righteous, they go into some halfway house called purgatory (the Catholic view) where they are purified and made ready for paradise. Catholic teaching explicitly affirms the immortality of the soul, but its not supported by scripture.

The second view is that the soul is not a separate entity from the body. The body is a soul. We are all living souls. At death there is no surviving entity called the soul. The soul is dead; it is not immortal. In other words, the soul is simply the person, not a part of the person. It does not and cannot survive death. The person in this state is totally unaware of anything; the Bible calls it a sleep. It is the whole man who lives, the whole man who dies, and the whole man who is resurrected. At the resurrection the person is raised again from the dead and becomes a living soul. God's plan provides for the total eradication of sin and sinners from God's universe. After the judgment at the end, the wicked are cast in the Lake of Fire for the final punishment, and sinners will be no more. Eternal punishment means complete and final separation from God, a eternal exclusion from the privilege of life.

In the Old Testament much was revealed by God concerning the specifics of the afterlife. Believers died in hope of what God in his mercy would yet do for them. Their trust was in God who would ultimately redeem them, and we see their faith took concrete shape, as in Psalm 49...

Psalm 49:15
15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

or in Job 19...

Job 19:25-27
25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

The future resurrection is spoken of in Daniel 12...

Daniel 12:2
2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

We also see it in the New Testament...

Luke 14:14
And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.


John 5:28-29
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.


In the New Testament, Jesus affirms the certainty of the coming resurrection which, of course, requires the existence of an intermediate state. These passages shed light on it. In Matthew 22:31, Jesus affirms the coming resurrection of the dead, but then you have this.

Matthew 22:32
I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

So how is He the God of the living, well we know God can raise anyone from the grave and made alive, as Lazarus was. Christ by His By death paid the ransom for us so we might live again. But who are the ones who will be with God and have eternal life, its not the wicked. So what is the intermediate state of the dead as they await the resurrection at the Second Coming of Christ, let look at what scripture says.

Offline Hobie

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Re: The intermediate state of life after death
« Reply #1 on: Wed Dec 18, 2019 - 12:06:40 »
The early church held to this belief at the time of the apostles as it was the original Christian teaching and later as we can see, theological arguments based on this belief were also used to contest the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory and masses for the dead.

Now if there was ever a man that deserved to go straight to heaven at the point of death, it was Jesus Christ! Yet on resurrection morning Jesus said to Mary Magdalene, "Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended to My Father" John 20:17. The Son of God who is our example in all things died, was buried, and then after He was resurrected went to heaven. So it is with the Christians.

Death
Burial
Resurrection
Then go to heaven

The Apostle Peter who was filled with the Holy Spirit spoke concerning King David; word's to clear to misunderstand. "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the Patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried and his sepulcher is with us to this day" Acts 2:29. For David is NOT ascended into the heavens.

The dead Christians are not ascended into heaven praising God on the streets of gold. "The dead praise not the Lord" Psalms 115:17. According to the prophet David, "In death there is no remembrance of Thee" Psalms 6:5. In fact, the dead have no thoughts or feelings either good or bad while in the grave. "For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing... Also their love and their hatred, and their envy is now perished" Ecclesiastes 9:5,6. "His breath goeth forth he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" Psalms 146:4.

The dead do not communicate with the living! In fact the dead cannot haunt houses either! "He that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more, he shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him anymore" Job 7:9,10. They await the resurrection to wake them from the grave, which is the hope of Christians. Martin Luther wrote "“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”

At death man is asleep in the grave not knowing anything nor having any thoughts until the resurrection. There to awake to either everlasting life, of everlasting destruction. "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28,29. The Bible refers to death as a sleep 66 times. Clearly this is what happens at death, but yet there is struggle to accept what the Bible has, and go to the Papal definition, with its tradition or views.

Offline Hobie

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Re: The intermediate state of life after death
« Reply #2 on: Wed Dec 18, 2019 - 12:40:45 »
The dead do not have consciousness of any kind, they know nothing and they feel nothing. People who die do not go to heaven or hell where they live on in a state of consciousness. They go to the grave where their bodies disintegrate because the life principle has been removed. They are sleeping, without any awareness of what is happening on earth or in heaven. The Bible clearly establishes that the righteous dead are not in heaven, and the wicked dead are not in a place of burning. They are in the graves in the dust of the earth waiting for the resurrection day which for the righteous will be the second coming of Christ. For the wicked it will be at the end of the millennium, at which time they will be raised for judgment and suffer the second death, and put to sleep for eternity.

Now we have text that those who advocate the soul is immortal use to point out the distinction between soul and body. Lets take a look at Matthew 10:28:

Matthew 10:28
"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

They argue that the soul is the real self that dwells within the body during life, but lives on separate from the body after death. The problem for their view is that this verse proves that the soul, like the body, can be destroyed in hell. If the soul can be destroyed, it is not immortal and it will not suffer eternally in hellfire. The message of the text is that, although we should not fear man who can destroy the body, we should fear God who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell, and who will destroy the wicked at the end of time.

The Greek word for "soul" (psuche) used in Matthew 10:28 means "life." It is the same word that is used four times in Matthew 16:25-26:

Matthew 16:25-26
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

In the King James Version it is translated "life" in verse 25 and "soul" in verse 26: "For whosoever will save his life [psuche] shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life [psuche] for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul [psuche]? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul [psuche]?" Note how the translators have varied the translation of the same Greek word. Verse 25 indicates that one could lose his soul for Christ's sake. That would not be possible if the soul were an immortal entity within man. The loss of the soul for the immortal-soul advocate means going to hell. Obviously no one goes to hell for Christ's sake. It is possible, however, to lay down ones life for Christ's sake. The translators, who believed in the immortality of the soul, saw the problem for their view and translated the word psuche by "life," even though they translated it "soul" in verse 26.

The real message of Matthew 16:25-26 is that eternal life will be lost for those who substitute selfish desires for the service of Christ. But eternal life will be given to those who love and serve Christ. The next verse puts the statement into its context: "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works". Matthew 16:27.

Matthew 10:28 is thoroughly consistent with Jesus' overall teaching that the "soul" or "life" of the unbeliever will be destroyed eternally. That being the case the soul is not immortal.

Now look another verse which is parallel to this, Matthew 25:46:
Matthew 25:46
"And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

Contrasting the wicked with the righteous, Jesus said: "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal". "Everlasting punishment" is eternal loss of life, a complete and final separation from God, not an eternal life of suffering. It is not a continuation of life in hell, the wicked do not get eternal life.

Offline seekingHiswisdom

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Re: The intermediate state of life after death
« Reply #3 on: Wed Dec 18, 2019 - 14:32:49 »
The dead do not have consciousness of any kind, they know nothing and they feel nothing. People who die do not go to heaven or hell where they live on in a state of consciousness. They go to the grave where their bodies disintegrate because the life principle has been removed. They are sleeping, without any awareness of what is happening on earth or in heaven. The Bible clearly establishes that the righteous dead are not in heaven, and the wicked dead are not in a place of burning. They are in the graves in the dust of the earth waiting for the resurrection day which for the righteous will be the second coming of Christ. For the wicked it will be at the end of the millennium, at which time they will be raised for judgment and suffer the second death, and put to sleep for eternity.

Now we have text that those who advocate the soul is immortal use to point out the distinction between soul and body. Lets take a look at Matthew 10:28:

Matthew 10:28
"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

They argue that the soul is the real self that dwells within the body during life, but lives on separate from the body after death. The problem for their view is that this verse proves that the soul, like the body, can be destroyed in hell. If the soul can be destroyed, it is not immortal and it will not suffer eternally in hellfire. The message of the text is that, although we should not fear man who can destroy the body, we should fear God who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell, and who will destroy the wicked at the end of time.

The Greek word for "soul" (psuche) used in Matthew 10:28 means "life." It is the same word that is used four times in Matthew 16:25-26:

Matthew 16:25-26
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

In the King James Version it is translated "life" in verse 25 and "soul" in verse 26: "For whosoever will save his life [psuche] shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life [psuche] for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul [psuche]? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul [psuche]?" Note how the translators have varied the translation of the same Greek word. Verse 25 indicates that one could lose his soul for Christ's sake. That would not be possible if the soul were an immortal entity within man. The loss of the soul for the immortal-soul advocate means going to hell. Obviously no one goes to hell for Christ's sake. It is possible, however, to lay down ones life for Christ's sake. The translators, who believed in the immortality of the soul, saw the problem for their view and translated the word psuche by "life," even though they translated it "soul" in verse 26.

The real message of Matthew 16:25-26 is that eternal life will be lost for those who substitute selfish desires for the service of Christ. But eternal life will be given to those who love and serve Christ. The next verse puts the statement into its context: "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works". Matthew 16:27.

Matthew 10:28 is thoroughly consistent with Jesus' overall teaching that the "soul" or "life" of the unbeliever will be destroyed eternally. That being the case the soul is not immortal.

Now look another verse which is parallel to this, Matthew 25:46:
Matthew 25:46
"And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

Contrasting the wicked with the righteous, Jesus said: "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal". "Everlasting punishment" is eternal loss of life, a complete and final separation from God, not an eternal life of suffering. It is not a continuation of life in hell, the wicked do not get eternal life.

I generally enjoy reading your posting, although to be honest, often find it tedious, if not impossible to read all in one sitting.

I have a question.

What do you think 2 Cor 5: 8 means...?

2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Personally I understand Paul to be describing the "soul" of man. He appears to tell us here that something better than our current lives, namely being in the presence of God, awaits us after death, when we depart from our bodies. The language he uses seems to imply that life after death exists apart from our bodies and will continue on in spiritual form.

I fully and not for argument, believe we are spirits, living in a body and we have a soul. Man's triune nature.





Offline Hobie

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Re: The intermediate state of life after death
« Reply #4 on: Fri Dec 20, 2019 - 06:37:05 »
Lets take a look at the verses in context:
2 Corinthians 5:1-8:

 "1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 King James Version (KJV)

 Paul appears to many people to be saying that something better than our current lives, namely being in the presence of God, awaits us after death. The language he uses seems to imply that life after death exists apart from our bodies and will continue on in spiritual form. To understand what Paul is saying, we must look at the comparison of being clothed as we go through the verses.

 Paul introduces an earthly house and a heavenly house in verse 1, and in verse 2 states our condition while in the earthly house. He tells us in verse 2 and 3 what we desire in that state, to be "clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:" and "If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked". Paul in verse 4 then states the result of being clothed with the house from heaven. Now in verse 5 he says God "hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit", with "earnest" meaning a assurance or pledge. So the Spirit is pledge that mortality shall eventually be swallowed up of life. Verse 6, Paul states the grounds of his confidence, and verse 7 how a Christian should live. In verse 8, Paul just repeats a willingness to be absent from the body and to be with the Lord.

 Paul uses clothing metaphors, and likens our existing mortal bodies with an “earthly house" or tent, and says we should not worry if it is destroyed because we have a “building from God” that awaits us. It doesn't say we will be in God’s presence without a body; rather, Paul simply says we will not have this body. As we read in verse 4, Paul specifically says he does not want to be "unclothed" (without a body), but rather further clothed (or different body). We currently wear a mortal body, but in God’s presence after the resurrection we “must put on” an immortal one.

 So Paul is saying he prefers to be absent from the body (or corrupted mortal one) and present with the Lord (clothed in his changed one) which we find is after the resurrection. When we stand in God’s presence, we will not be in the same body we have now. The house from heaven is “eternal” or immortal and represents the state of immortality that awaits the redeemed beyond the resurrection.

 "51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
 52 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.
 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." 1 Corinthians 15:51-53

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Re: The intermediate state of life after death
« Reply #4 on: Fri Dec 20, 2019 - 06:37:05 »



Offline beam

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Re: The intermediate state of life after death
« Reply #5 on: Fri Dec 20, 2019 - 08:37:57 »

[/size]...Isaiah 65...
[/size]17 [/size]For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
[/size]18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
[/size]19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
[/size]20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
[/size]21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
[/size]22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
[/size]23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.
[/size]24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
[/size]25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.
[/size]
[/size]How does Isaiah's rendition of the new Earth compare compare wit the New Testament version of Heaven?
[/size]

 

     
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