Fred R. Coulter—August 20, 2011

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Since we're coming into contact with more and more Protestants and those who believe in going to heaven, what happens when someone dies? Where do they go, besides in the grave? What does the Bible tell us about it? Let's answer some of those questions right away.

First of all, most people believe that they have an immortal soul and that when you die the soul goes to heaven. The soul, then, like in a typical sermon that a Protestant minister would give, Aunt Martha or Uncle Joe is already in heaven. Aunt Martha loved to make apple pies, so she's making apple pies with Jesus, and Uncle Joe was a real golfer and he's playing golf with Jesus. Nothing could be better.

They have a hard time explaining what's going to happen when there's an unexpected death, especially of a child. Especially after a lot of the Protestants have prayed in Jesus' name asking for healing. And the question comes up, why did God let the child die? Well, since we don't know the facts and we're not in charge of that, we can't tell you. Especially if it's just a story you hear about something that occurred.

But we know that 'it's given for men once to die.' Now let's answer the question concerning the soul. Is the soul immortal? It either goes to heaven or goes to hell, and the whole basis of the Roman Catholic Church and also the Protestant church, but very rarely do the Protestants preach anybody into hell. Catholics are satisfied to put some in hell and the rest in purgatory, so all the relatives can pay for masses to try and get them out of purgatory. Purgatory is kind of like a halfway house. You're neither-nor. You may have been a Catholic but you only came on Christmas and Easter, you didn't come the rest of the time, so you go to purgatory. And all your relatives are going to try and pray you out. Now, if you have some good mafia friends with a lot of money, you can get a lot of masses so it can get you out. And all of that will be counted as contributions to the local priest.

But they don't use the Bible. The Catholics. in fact, say, 'We could preach the Gospel without the Bible,' and that's really what Protestantism does, too. They use so little of the Bible and use the name of Jesus, and believe that as long as they are 'good people' and doing their good works—the Protestants decry anyone who keeps the commandments of God, because they say, 'You're trying to earn your salvation by works.' If you do the works of God, how can that be your works? You're obeying God and you do it as we covered in the series, God's Grace and Commandment Keeping; you do it through the grace of God. However, if you have traditions of men and beliefs of men, and you believe those things and practice those things, then you are doing works for salvation, which are your works. And always remember this: Jesus said we're going to be judged by our works. So, if our works are God's works, then the judgment is, 'Enter into the kingdom of God.' If the works are the works of men, then God has to make a decision concerning that person, concerning the second resurrection.

Are souls immortal?

Ezekiel 18:4: "Behold, all souls are Mine. As the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son, they are Mine. The soul that sins... [will be tormented in hell forever. No!] shall die."

What is the soul?

They're going to say, 'Well, what about the vision of the transfiguration?' The answer is, it was a vision! Moses and Elijah are not in heaven. One man you would suppose would be in heaven would be King David—right? Let's see what Acts 2 says. It talks about Christ and it talks about King David.

Peter is telling all the people there, Acts 2:29: "Men and brethren, let me speak to you freely concerning the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day…. [If anyone deserved to go to heaven, you would say it had to be David—right?] …Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn to him in an oath that from the fruit of his loins, as concerning the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit upon his throne. He foresaw this and spoke concerning the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in the grave..." (vs 29-31). I think the King James says 'hell'—that's an incorrect translation.

David's soul was left in the grave. Jesus wasn't, because He didn't see corruption. When He was resurrected He was wholly restored. Let's just interject here. What did Jesus say just before He died? He said, 'Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.' He didn't say soul. We will see that human beings are composed of three things according to God's Word.

1-Thessalonians was the first epistle of the Apostle Paul and it was written in 51A.D. They all were expecting Christ to return in their lifetime. They didn't understand until later on that it would be way off in the future.

1-Thessalonians 5:23. "Now, may the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly; and may your entire spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." So we have:

  • spirit—'pneuma'
  • soul—'psche' (Greek); 'nephesh' (Hebrew)
  • body—'soma'

We all know what a body is, we have one.

We can understand what the soul is, first of all by going back to the beginning in Genesis and see where God created man and woman, and that is Adam and Eve, and see what God said. Here in Genesis, the first chapter, it also gives us the first inkling of the purpose of mankind. Most nearly everyone who is in Protestantville or Catholicism would say, 'The purpose of God is to have as many souls in heaven as possible.' God shows that He wants to re-create us after His kind and that's the story of the Bible, including the fall of man, beginning with Adam and Eve. Then the redemption of man beginning with some of the patriarchs of the Old Testament and then with Christ for everybody else.

Genesis 1:26: "And God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of heaven and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that crawls upon the earth.' And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female. And God blessed them. And God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth...'" (vs 26-28).

Genesis 5:1: "This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them, and He called their name Adam in the day when they were created." (vs 1-2)—Mr. and Mrs. Adam.

Let's see what happened when God made Adam, Genesis 2:7: "Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground..." We are alive; we are living dust. It's like the little girl went upstairs and after learning this lesson, she looked under her bed and she came running downstairs and said, 'Mommy, mommy, come upstairs. There's someone under my bed.' Went up there and looked and here are rolls of dust under the bed. 'Look at that, mommy, there's someone under my bed. You said we're made of dust. Who are these?'

Then He "...breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being" (v 7). The King James says 'soul.' But remember, 'the soul that sins, it shall die.' Why did I translate it 'living being' rather than 'soul'? Because people then can be easily misled into thinking, 'Well, yes, look, he's got a soul.' What is the soul? It's part of what we are!

We have body, soul, and spirit. They also have if you touch a dead body, that also in the Hebrew can mean a 'dead soul.' So, why did I translate this 'living being' instead of 'soul'? Let's come back to the New Testament, the Epistle of James, and let's see what it says here, because the soul cannot operate or be living without the spirit. In order for there to be life in the human body created by God—and of course then, we're all created now through the process of procreation and just put in your notes there Psa. 139, showing how we are created.

James 2:26: "For as the body without the spirit is dead..." Notice, he didn't say without the soul. The spirit is what gives life, same way with human life. There is a spirit of man, and we'll go through that here in just a minute, because that's the most important thing.

When God breathed into Adam the breath of life, he also breathed in the spirit. When that was breathed into him, then that part of the brain, which operates the physical-chemical and bio-electrical mechanisms in the body as we know it, was activated. That spirit is called the 'spirit of man.' You have to have the spirit. Otherwise, you're dead.

We know in hospitals today, in critical cases, they have a diagnosis called 'brain dead,' because as long as your brain is working, the electricity in it is going and what sustains that is the spirit of man. When a person dies, the spirit goes, it leaves the body. The soul dies, whether the person has committed lots of sins or not. But since all have sinned, the soul dies. Why? Because the soulis the part of the brain connected to the body which keeps the heart beating, the blood going, the nerves working, the muscles working, and so forth.

The spirit is what gives man thought and consciousness. Give him intellect and able to make choices. Let's stop in John 3, and we will answer the question: Has anyone gone to heaven except Jesus? This is very interesting when you read through this, because first of all in John 3[transcriber's correction], Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. Jesus told him that unless you are born again—born of the Spirit—you cannot see the Kingdom of God, you can't enter it.

Then He says 'that which is born of water and that which is born of flesh is flesh.' So, when He talks about that which is born of water, has nothing to do with baptism, it's about how you were born. You were living in the amniotic fluid and you were totally surrounded by it. So, when you're born, you're born of water. In order for us to enter the Kingdom of God, we have to be born again and that is at the resurrection. He was telling this to Nicodemus and he couldn't understand it.

He told him here, John 3:8: "The wind blows where it wills, and you hear its sound, but you do not know the place from which it comes and the place to which it goes; so also is everyone who has been born of the Spirit." You can't see them.

That solves another problem—doesn't it? Every Protestant who says, 'I'm born again,' and you can see them, can't possibly be born again. And it goes where it will and no one knows where it's going, because you can't see it. After Jesus was resurrected, how did He appear to the disciples when they were all in the room? He just suddenly appeared! The doors were locked and all of a sudden He appeared right in the middle. How did He do that? As a spirit being, He could go right through the walls or right through the door and then manifest Himself to look like a human being again.

Verse 9: "Nicodemus answered and said to Him, 'How can these things be?' Jesus answered and said to him, 'You are a teacher of Israel, and you do not know these things? Truly, truly I say to you, We speak that which We know, and We testify of that which We have seen, but you do not receive Our testimony…. [He's speaking of God the Father and Himself here.] …If I have told you earthly thing, and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?'" (vs 9-12).

Verse 13 is a difficult verse to understand. Jesus did not speak this verse. This was put in there as an editorial verse by the Apostle John when they were doing the final canonization of the New Testament. He wanted everyone to know, after talking about being born again, He is saying, that no one has been born again except Christ. We have two Scriptures to confirm this:

  • Matt. 1:18—Jesus was Mary's firstborn; born once.
  • Rev. 1:5—Jesus is the firstborn from the dead; He was born again.

The Protestants have it all wrong, because they say, 'In order for you to have your sins forgiven, you need to be born again.' No! You need to repent and you need to be baptizedand you need to live a life of faith so when Christ returns you can be born again.

Verse 13: "(And no one has ascended into heaven..." John wrote this right toward the close of the first century. That is about 78 years after the death of Christ. Don't you suppose there were people coming along saying, 'Oh, Mary was so righteous, she's probably in heaven.' This also tells us that Moses and Elijah are not in heaven.

This also tells us that Enoch is not in heaven. " one has ascended into heaven, except He Who came down from heaven, even the Son of man, Who is in heaven)" (v 13). Because when he wrote it, Jesus was in heaven.

  • no one has ascended to heaven
  • no souls are immortal
  • no souls go to heaven
  • no souls go to hell

The soul goes into the grave with the body when you die. Let's concentrate on the spirit, because this is the key and the important thing here.

Let's see how we're made and created. This is true of every human being, because it is a spiritual thing that takes place at conception and you can go on Church at Home and go through the series I did, From a Speck of Dust to a Son of God. And when there is the impregnation of the father's seed into the egg of the mother, there is a bioelectrical shock, all of a sudden, BAM! Just for an instant. Then that egg is sealed, so no other sperm can penetrate it, to keep that individual unique.

It's important to understand that when there is conception, the spirit of man is given to that newly conceived life, which comes directly from God. God set it up that way to automatically happen. Life has to come from the energizing of the spirit, because without the spirit the body is dead. As the new conceived life develops and grows and grows, they now know that in the sixth week of its development they can detect brain waves. Amazing!

Job 32:8: "But there is a spirit in man... [We'll talk about this in a little bit, then we'll talk about what happens when you die, what happens to your thoughts, what happens to the spirit, etc.] ...and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding."

God gave the spirit in man so that we can receive the Spirit of God. Not only can we have physical life, but we can have contact with God. God can open our minds to spiritual things. God has given the spirit, not only for life, but for choice, for thinking, for being able to be a human being. Then as we are growing and developing, this spirit that He formed in us records everything that we are, that we say, and that we do.

Zechariah 12:1: "The burden of the Word of the LORD for Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches forth the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him." All right, when we have the spirit of man within us, what does this do for us?

1-Corinthians 2 talks about the Spirit of God and the spirit of man. A human being with just the human spirit, cannot discern the spiritual things of God. The basic things of understanding the commandments of God, they can understand that. But in order to understand what God is doing, that has to be revealed. In order to be called of God, you have to have the spirit of man, plus it is the Spirit of God that draws you. Let's see what it does for us.

1-Corinthians 2:9: "But according as it is written, 'The eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'" That's a key. You have to love God. It's not a 'religion.' It is not just a group you attend. It is your relationship with God that is primary and comes first. Everything else comes second, because we are to love God with all our heart and mind and soul and being.

Verse 10: "But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things—even the deep things of God." And another thing Jesus said, 'The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life.' This means we need the Spirit of God to understand the words that are here. Because what is behind them is what God has spoken and all Scripture is God breathed, or is Spirit originated.

So, beyond the simple things that we need to get started, we need the Spirit of God. And Jesus told the disciples that the Spirit was withthem and then after His resurrection it would be within them. So that's how God begins dealing with people.

The sermon, Seven Spirits of God and the Holy Spirit of God will tell you how the operation of God works in dealing with people and calling them and revealing things to them. It talks about the spirit of man and what it does for us. This is why we are not like the beasts, although we will see every beast has a spirit of that beast to give it limited intelligence and to give it instinct, and also in the case of many of the animals you can teach them certain rudimentary things.

The animals closest to human beings are those who are apes, and so forth, and they have the spirit of the ape, which gives them an intelligence. I don't know how they would equate it to a human child, but they've been trying to do so. They can be trained to do things and even learn how to spell words off of a television screen, and so forth. But they have no connection with God. That's just so they can function.

Likewise, the human spirit is far beyond that because it gives us the thought process of being able to think beyond ourselves. God says that He has put eternity in man. How did He do that? By giving him a spirit! That's why human beings are by nature what you would call 'religious.' And those who don't want to accept God's way make their own religion.

Here's what the spirit of man does for us, v 11: "For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man which is in him? In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God."

That's how we understand. You have great scholars who study, even study the Bible, learn the languages. They can understand certain things of it, but they don't know about the plan of God. You need the Spirit of God to start leading you—after you repent and are baptized—the Spirit of God within you, you can grow in grace and knowledge.

There is a third spirit that is at work: the spirit of the world, which is called the 'prince of the power of the air, that spirit that inner works in the children of disobedience.'

Verse 12: "Now, we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is of God, so that we might know the things graciously given us by God…. [That's how we can understand.] …Which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit in order to communicate spiritual things by spiritual means. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned" (vs 12-14).

That's what the spirit of man and the Spirit of God combined does for us. We will see that in order to receive the Spirit of God and in order to be sanctified by God, called to eternal life, we need to be begotten again by the Holy Spirit of God. We find it right here:

1-Peter 1:1: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect strangers scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia; Who have been chosen according to the predetermined knowledge of God the Father, by sanctification through the Spirit... ['Sanctification' means to be made Holy. If you receive the Holy Spirit, in God's eyes you are Holy.] ...unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again..." (vs 1-3). In order for you to be born again, you must be begotten again! Just like you cannot be a human being unless you have been begotten by your father and you grow in your mother's belly and then you're born.

Likewise with this: "...has begotten us again unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (v 3). Man has a spirit, now let's see what happens when man dies. There are quite a few verses that we can cover on this. What happens when you die? Do you have consciousness when you die? No! Let's come to Psa. 146. Makes it very clear. Satanism has it this way: 'Let's go talk to your dead relatives and have a séance.' How can you do it when it says this?

Psalm 146:1: "O praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul While I live I will praise the LORD; I will sing praises unto my God while I have my being. Do not put your trust in princes, nor in the son of man in whom there is no salvation. His breath goes forth; he returns to the earth... ['Dust you are and unto dust you shall return.' That's what God told Adam.] that very day his thoughts perish" (vs 1-4). And the spirit goes back to God.

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Let's come to Psalm 115:17. Again, what we're following along with is what is the state of the dead? When someone dies, regardless of age. "The dead do not praise the LORD, nor do any who go down into silence"—and that's the grave.

  • their thoughts perish
  • they know nothing
  • they're not in torment
  • they're not in heaven
  • they're returning back to dust

Dust you are and to dust you shall return. Psalm 6:5 "For in death there is no memory of You; in the grave who shall give You thanks?"

We're going to look at some other Scriptures concerning the dead. What Solomon was lamenting was that he's going to die. He's going to leave all these things to someone and his son didn't turn out to be too good of a 'someone.' He says as the fool dies, so does the wise. Let's look at some things here in the book of Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 3:19: "For that which happens to the sons of men also happens to beasts—even one thing happens to them. As the one dies, so dies the other; yea, they all have one breath; so that a man has no advantage over a beast; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are of the dust, and all return to dust again. Who knows the spirit of man whether it goes upward... [That is to God, and we'll see, yes it does.] ...and the spirit of the beast whether it goes downward to the earth?" (vs 19-21). The spirit is that which gives life, but let's understand something concerning the spirit of the beast. If it goes downward, it goes into the earth and probably just dissipates and becomes energy, because everything that has been created has been made of the things that are not seen.

The spirit of man is different. Then we will see, the spirit of man and God, for those who are converted. The whole chapter of Ecclesiastes 12 there is symbolic of what it's like to get old. He says in Ecclesiastes 12:1: "Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come... [When there's pain, when all the things of age—gray hair, no hair.] ...and the years of old age draw near, when you shall say, 'I have no pleasure in them…. [your eyes get dim] …When the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, are darkened, or the clouds return after rain.... [In other words, you look out when it's sun-shining and it doesn't look any different than it is when it's a cloudy day.] ...In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble... [you get old and you get shaky] ...and the strong men are stooped over..." (vs 1-3). They're all bent over.

And you look at these little babies born, and you look, 'Oh, that's a perfect little baby.' They even said the same thing of Hitler and Stalin, and so forth, when they were born. Except I think Esau, he was so covered with hair, they said, 'What is this?'

"...and the grinders cease because they are few... [those are your teeth] ...and the eyes of those who look out of the windows grow dim, And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low..." (vs 3-4). In other words you're going to be shut in. You're going to have a hard time eating your food. We can be thankful for dentists.

Today, imagine this. There are enough things that you can really take care of yourself. A person gets ready to go to bed, out come his teeth. Puts them in there to be cleaned over night. Then out come his contacts or he takes off his glasses. Then he takes out his hearing aid. Then he takes off his toupee. Then he goes to bed and snores. This is what it's talking about here.

Verse 5: "Also when they are afraid of heights, and terrors along the way... [you do get afraid of heights when you get older] ...and the almond tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail... [all the plumbing shuts off] ...because man goes to his long home... [that is his coffin] ...and the mourners go about the street."

So he says consider all of this, v 6: "Before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern." In other words, you lose all your life forces. A good place for a lot of young people to go, there are a couple good places:

  • To the emergency center at a hospital on Friday and Saturday night and watch the accidents and watch the drug overdoses and watch the drunks come in. Watch the different ones come in and remember—don't do that. A good object lesson.
  • To a rest home where all the people are old. And they're all there. They're being taken care of very well. I think in America we take care of the elderly better than almost any other society, but they're all waiting for death.

You look at this little baby and then you look at what happens when people get taken up with drugs and then you look at them when they get old. I was thinking the other day, I saw a little girl walking along, nice little girl. Then I looked up and here is this huge humongous woman and I looked at her and looked at the little girl, and thought of the little baby. And I was wondering if the little girl saw the woman and asked: 'Will I be like that when I grow up?' Or 'what happened'? Don't know! Same way with men. I can attest to the fact that once you get the weight on, you virtually don't get it off. That's part of everything going to pot.

Now notice, the end of it is v 7: "And the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it." God gives the spirit; it goes back to God!

Let's see where does the spirit go? Goes back to God! What does God do with it? Out of heavenly Jerusalem, Hebrews 12:22: "But you have come to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels; to the joyous festival gathering; and to the church of the firstborn, registered in the book of life in heaven; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of the just who have been perfected" (vs 22-23).

Since you have no thought when you die, the spirit goes back to God. But what is on that spirit is recorded, just like this; this can contain two and a half sermons. But they know that human beings, one cell is everything that you are. Every cell that you have has your own genetic DNA on it. What is it with the spirit? It goes back to God, but if it's not in a brain, it can't function. That's why there's no thought, but the thoughts have been recorded, just like on this little chip. It records a sermon. All my words are there. Then we process it and we send you a CD. It is totally silent all through mail—right? It doesn't come there preaching, open it up, 'Hello!' No! What do you have to have in order to get the information that we had on here that we put on a CD or in this case we're doing a video and it's the same thing. It records the picture and it records the sound. But as soon as you take the chip out, though it is there, it's inoperable; it's meaningless. You've got to have the right equipment to make it work—correct?

The right equipment for the converted person whose spirit with the Spirit of God goes back to God: What is the right equipment? A spirit body and a spirit mind! 'Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus. We are partakers of the Divine nature.' Yes, we are, but we're just like this chip. I don't know how God stores the spirit, but He's got the name, He knows where it is, He knows who you are, He knows who you will be. When the resurrection takes place… How's the resurrection going to take place? We'll talk about the resurrection here in just a minute. There are some problems in understanding the resurrection. In the New Testament Jesus resurrected three people:

  • The boy in Nain who was the only son a widow.

They were carrying him out in the coffin. Jesus stopped the coffin, He said, 'I say to you, young man, arise.' Here was, 'the dead know nothing.' At the command of Christ, comes back to life. He gave him to his mother.

  • The other one was the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue.

When He got there, He prayed for her, took her hand, said, 'Stand up.' She stood up, her spirit returned. Because remember, James 2:26, 'the body without the spirit is dead'. So she was dead. Christ raised her up; her spirit came back into here. Was the same person—right? Yes!

  • Then we have Lazarus.

Lazarus is a type of why we have the second resurrection. Even though he was faithful and was a disciple of Jesus Christ, he died before the giving of the Holy Spirit—correct? Had he remained in the tomb, he would not have had an opportunity for salvation at that time—correct? Yes! Jesus raised him back to life, and I'm sure that Lazarus and his two sisters were part of the 120 that we find there in Acts 1. Received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, will be in the first resurrection.

Likewise with the saints, when their tombs opened when Christ died, and then after His resurrection they came back to life and went into the city. All of these are easy to understand because they're recent deaths. What about the person who is burned to a crisp? Ashes! No grave! How about someone who has been eaten by sharks? No grave, no bones, no nothing, digested, goes through the shark, fertilizes the ocean. But the spirit goes back to God. The spirit sits there. If you're converted, then the resurrection takes place.

The resurrection is a born-again reconstitution of yourself with a spirit body and a spirit mind. Says that we will 'shine like the sun'—that's what Jesus said. That means we will have the ability for glory.

How does God do this? Well, He's got them all up there right alongside His throne room. But He wants the world to understand that there is going to be a resurrection. I believe since the growing and developing and everything of our spiritual character was on the earth, and we lived on the earth, then wherever it was that you died, or close proximity thereby, God sends that spirit and creates right there, resurrects you to a spirit life.

A lot of them have been burned. A lot of them have had their heads removed. John the Baptist was buried without his head. That's no problem to God! He's not going to use the current body. The only bodies that He is going to use, that are current bodies, are those who are still alive. And we will see that Paul says that we will be changed in an twinkling of an eye, in an instant. BANG!

All the rest are in some sort of non-existence, dust, dry bones, decomposition. And yet, God is not going to lose a single one! So, that's what He has to do. Now when we come to the second resurrection, it's the same thing. All of those who died in the Flood. Where are their bones? Where are their graves? They didn't have any graves. They weren't buried. They were all drowned.

What about those who die in accidents? Never called. What about little children? What about aborted babies? They have the spirit of man and wherever God keeps the unconverted spirits that qualify for the second resurrection to receive an opportunity for salvation, God has them there. And He just reconstitutes them with new dust. 'Dust you are and to dust you return.' He's not going to use the same corruptible dust that you were in the flesh, because that's gone. He has to do something like that.

Now let's come back here to the resurrection chapter and let's read about the resurrection, 1-Corinthians 15. It's very interesting here, just as a little side note. This helps us understand why the Apostle John wrote what he did that no one has ascended to heaven.

1-Corinthians 15:34: "Awake to righteousness, and do not sin, for some of you do not have the knowledge of God. I say this to your shame." If there's no resurrection, Jesus was not raised. But they didn't have the knowledge of the resurrection.

Come up here to v 20: "But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the first-fruit of those who have fallen asleep." Your little chip stored with God of who you are, you're sleeping. They even have that with computers—don't they? You can put it in 'sleep mode.' The computer's there, but it's not doing anything. That's how God views death.

Verse 21: "For since by man came death, by man also came 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..." (vs 21-23). We know that according to the Day of Pentecost that that is undoubtedly the day of the resurrection. But how is God going to do it around the world? Is it going to be all everywhere at once or is it going to go like as the earth turns? And you come to this time zone and here are the resurrection of the saints.

And then you go to the next time zone, then that happens. We know that in Matt. 24, the angels then take us up to the Sea of Glass. We know that God has to do the resurrecting or the reconstituting spiritually on the earth. I think that the whole world is going to see the resurrected saints. God wants the world to know. It's not going to be a 'secret rapture.'

Verse 35: "Nevertheless, someone will say, 'How are the dead raised? And with what body do they come?'" The question that is never answered by the Protestants and Catholics is: If the immortal soul goes to heaven, how does that square with the resurrection? If they're already in heaven, why do they need to be resurrected? Their version of an immortal soul is: you have consciousness, you have being, you can talk with God. You can do things.

A little two-year old girl that died and people were wondering how come God didn't heal, because it was in a Protestant church where they had a lot of prayers and they prayed. Had difficulty with the birth and the birth was fine, but later the little girl died. The minister said, 'Well, she has the ultimate healing. She's in heaven with Jesus right now.' But the New Testament shows if you're dead, you're asleep until the resurrection. And there's an order of the resurrection.

Then there is the second resurrection, where it says in Rev. 20 that 'the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years are over.' We know all of that concerning the Last Great Day.

Verse 36: "Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that shall be; rather, it is bare grain—it may be of wheat, or one of the other grains; and God gives it a body according to His will, and to each of the seeds its own body. Likewise, not all flesh is the same flesh. Rather, there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another of fish, and another of birds. And there are heavenly bodies, and earthly bodies; but the glory of the heavenly is different, and the glory of the earthly is different. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory" (vs 36-41).

We can see that especially today with the fantastic knowledge that we are able to see in the universe. There are those who believe—and I believe too—that the earth is situated in a unique place and it's about the only place in the universe where you can look out into the heavens and see the vastness of the heavens. You can't do it on Venus. You can't do it on Mercury. You can't do it on Mars, because no life is there. And if there was water, what happened to it? Certainly can't on the rest of the planets. And to go to the nearest star would take four light-years. And that means every second you are traveling 186,000 miles per second for four years. Imagine if you ran out of razor blades.

Verse 42: "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption." If you don't believe your body is corrupt, stop and think just a minute. Regardless of how beautiful a woman may be or how handsome a man may be, or whatever category of viewing their exterior, the interior is the same. It's full of acids, foods, partly digested food' you have your spleen and your pancreas going squirt, squirt over here on this side and you have your liver going over here, squirt, squirt on this side through the gall bladder. And if you've ever vomited up bile, you know, oooh, bile is vile. Then you know the duty you have every day, sometimes many times a day. And you know what happens when you're sick and you've got to run there many times in the day. It's putrid, it's stinky, it's miserable. And yet, God made the body so the exterior is as it is and it hides all this corruption and muck and yuck, goop, and poop, and all of that. All of that's necessary. So we are of corruption.

That's why Mary said when Jesus came to resurrect Lazarus when he was in there four days. She says, 'Lord, he stinks.' Okay, likewise. There's one occupation I would not like to do and that is be an undertaker. Handle all of that death and all of those things.

It's not the same body, v 42: "…It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor... [Weak and old and frail and wrinkled and small and withered.] is raised in glory... [to shine as the sun] ...It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body..." (vs 42-44)—because God has the key.

He has your spirit, which is sleeping, and He brings it to the earth and gives you a spirit body and a spirit mind. Then you look around and say, 'Ooh, what is this?' You've got to learn how to use this now. I wonder how a spirit body works. Well, I wonder if there's going to be an angel and say, 'Okay, now here on page 4 of the manual, here's how you start.' I don't know if it will be that.

"…There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body; accordingly, it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living soul... [or a living being] ...the last Adam became an every-living Spirit.' However, the spiritual was not first, but the natural..." (vs 44-46).

Let me stop right here: All pagan religions including the Mormons—I don't know how the Protestants view things now or not—say we were all part of the stars in heaven, and Adam and Eve had to sin so they could bring forth children so that the person in heaven can come down and possess you. That's saying the spiritual came first—right? But the natural came first, then the spiritual!

Verse 47: "The first man is of the earth—made of dust. The second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the one made of dust, so also are all those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly one, so also are all those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery..." (vs 47-51).

And it's still a secret of God. Just exactly how He's going to do this, He alone knows—correct? We can surmise some of them. We can see by the resurrection of some people who died and were resurrected.

"...we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility, and this mortal must put on immortality. Now when this corruptible shall have put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall have put on the immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory'" (vs 51-54).

Let's come to 1-Thessalonians 4:14, because it talks about the resurrection here at this place. Here is where the Protestants also get it wrong and here is where they believe in the rapture "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in exactly the same way also, those who have fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with Him."

If they believe in an immortal soul, they say, 'Well, they're up there with Jesus now and He will bring them with Him.' But when are they with Christ? Remember, there's no thought, there's no praise, you are just there in a sleeping mode. You have to be given a spirit body and a spirit mind. When are they with Christ? Not until the angels take them up to meet Christ in the air on the Sea of Glass! We'll see it right here.

Verse 15: "For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall in no wise precede those who have fallen asleep Because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first… [they will be changed first] …then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds for the meeting with the Lord in the air; and so shall we always be with the Lord" (vs 15-17). Where is the Lord coming after that with the saints? Rev. 19, back to the earth—correct? Yes!

How far back does some of this knowledge really go? Let's go to Job 14, and let's read that. I think he does a good job of explaining this. Look at all that he went through. The key thing concerning Job is: He had to be a righteous man to go through what he went through. If he were not a righteous man, he would have cursed God. But the problem is he didn't ascribe his righteousness to God, that it all came from Him. Job's problem was, it was his, and his alone. He had to come to see that the things that he did that were right and good, he was only following what God said in the first place and should have given all the honor and glory, shouldn't have taken it to himself and demand that his righteousness be weighed in the balance against God's righteousness. That's sure to get you in trouble with God.

Job 14:1: "Man born of woman is of few days, and full of trouble.... [Sound like your life? Yes, indeed!] ...He comes forth like a flower, and withers; he also flees as a shadow, and does not stand. And do You open Your eyes upon such a one... [that's me] ...and bring me into judgment with You? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one! For his days are fixed, the number of his months is with You, and You have set his limits so that he cannot pass" (vs 1-5).

He can't pass from flesh to spirit unless there is conversion and the resurrection. You cannot pass into the spiritual realm as long as you are in the flesh. Paul wrote that 'flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.'

Verse 6 "Look away from him, so that he may rest until he shall finish his day, as a hireling. For there is hope of a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and its tender branch will not cease. Though its root becomes old in the earth, and its stump dies in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant" (vs 6-9). That happens all the time in the desert where they don't have rain for years and years. All of sudden they get rain once in ten years, the whole desert blooms with flowers and all kinds of things.

Verse 10: "But man dies and is cut off; and man expires, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and a river withers away and dries up, So man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, they shall not awake, nor be awakened out of their sleep. O that You will grant that You would hide me in the grave, that You would keep me secret, until Your wrath is past, that You would set me a fixed time and remember me" (vs 10-13). He's just saying, 'God, all the trouble I've gone through, let me die.' It wasn't God's plan to let him die.

Verse 14: "If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, until my change comes. You shall call, and I will answer You... [Just like Jesus said to Lazarus. 'Lazarus, come forth.'] ...You shall have the desire for the work of Your hands. For now You number my steps; but do You not watch over my sin?" (vs 14-16). Then he goes on and he finishes out. He's going to wait all the time in the grave until his change comes.

Without the spirit, the body is dead. We are composed of

  • Body—we know what that is
  • Soul—the chemical, physical, electrical part of our brain which is wired to the rest of our bodies to give us all the things we need to exist physically and chemically and electrically.
  • Life comes from the spirit of man, which is in the brain.

Where exactly in the brain, they don't know. But they do know that they have examined the head when someone is praying and the top part of their head becomes very active. Is that where the spirit is? Don't know! But God hears our prayers. God answers our prayers. God has

  • called us
  • given us His Spirit
  • shown us His plan
  • revealed His mystery

And the world out there doesn't know what's going on. They may have some inkling of some things coming along, but they don't know how God is going to resolve it. Most of them don't even believe in Christ, let alone the return of Christ.

That's why, when Christ returns, and it's time for the resurrection, God is going to make sure the whole world knows this:

  • that it is His work.
  • these are His people.

These are the ones rejected and despised by the world that God loves and is going to give glory and honor and eternal life. And so that's why we have the Spirit of God now.
We also know the secret of God that all of those that God did not call, as we find there in Ezek. 37 and Rev. 20, that God will resurrect them back to a second physical life for the first opportunity for salvation, just like Jesus gave Lazarus a second life for his opportunity for salvation.

  • no souls are in heaven
  • no one goes to heaven
  • when you die, your thoughts cease

When you die in the faith, whatever we are on God's spiritual chip of the spirit of man with the Spirit of God is at the throne room of God after we die. Then he takes this and brings it to the earth and puts in a new body that is spirit with a spirit mind. That's how the resurrection is going to be!

Scriptural References:

  • Ezekiel 18:4
  • Acts 2:29-31
  • 1-Thessalonians 5:23
  • Genesis 1:26-28
  • Genesis 5:1-2
  • Genesis 2:7
  • James 2:26
  • John 3:8-13
  • Job 32:8
  • Zechariah 12:1
  • 1-Corinthians 2:9-14
  • 1-Peter 1:1-3
  • Psalm 146:1-4
  • Psalm 115:17
  • Psalm 6:5
  • Ecclesiastes 3:19-21
  • Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
  • Hebrews 12:22-23
  • 1-Corinthians 15:34, 20-23, 35-54
  • 1-Thessalonians 4:14-17
  • Job 14: 1-16

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Psalm 139
  • Matthew 1:18
  • Revelation 1:5
  • Job 33:4
  • James 2:26
  • Acts 1
  • Matthew 24
  • Revelation 20; 19
  • Ezekiel 37

Also referenced:

Sermon: Seven Spirits of God and the Holy Spirit of
Sermon Series:

  • God's Grace and Commandment -Keeping
  • From a Speck of Dust to a Son of God, (

Transcribed: 9-4-11
Formatted: bo: 8-5-11

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