Friday, September 24, 2010

What is death?(a 2 Corinthians 5:8,Philippians 1:23 ,and immortal soul issue)

(The youtube with this info is below but doesn't have ALL the details in this blog.The video has some info that ISN'T in this blog though.So if you'd like to check it out,feel free)

"The intervening state is not consciously experienced at all by the dead!After death,the next thing we know is that we are summoned by Christ."--Warren Prestidge,Life,Death,and destiny,pg. 46

Keeping the above quote in mind,let's examine:

2 Corinthians 5:8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

"So instantaneous is the changeover from the old body to the new which Paul here envisages that there will be no interval of conscious "nakedness" between the one and the other.The change-over takes place,as he says in 1 Corinthians 15:52,"in a moment,in the twinkling of an eye"--only there the split second transformation takes place at the parousia."--F.F.Bruce,Paul:Apostle of the Heart Set Free,pg.312

Paul wishes to be home with the Lord in his resurrected glorified untainted body.He is distinguishing that one to come from the tent he resided in at the time,the perishable corruptible one.Similar to 1 Corinthians chapter 15 where our glorified bodies in the image of the Last Adam's are poignantly described in contrast to the corruptible ones inherited from the first Adam.The resurrection at the Last Day is when we'll be absent from the corrupt flesh we now possess.And ONLY then.

"To be "absent from the body and present with the Lord" is the hope that we will meet Christ when he comes to raise us from death.The Bible knows of only one way to escape death--that is by being resurrected at the return of Christ(those who are still alive when he comes will need only be transformed by receiving their new body.)To be "with the Lord" means to be with Jesus through resurrection at Christ's return.So Paul had explained to the Thessalonians when he had elaborated on the divine arrangements by which the saints would be brought into the presence of the returning Lord."In this way(i.e.,by resurrection and transformation) we shall always be with the Lord."(1 Thes. 4:17)"-Anthony Buzzard "Our Fathers who aren't in Heaven" p.225

Paul clarifies HIMSELF in the SAME chapter.Examine:

2 Cor. 5:2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.


To quote Alan Richardson:“the notion of a disembodied spirit is repugnant to the Hebrew mind” (Introduction to New Testament Theology, p. 196)

Paul does NOT want to be disembodied!Obviously,Paul wants to be absent from his DYING corruptible body of tainted flesh that he has to fight.(Romans 7:14-25,8:1-17)When does THIS happen?In his death and subsequent resurrection!When Paul awakes from death in the last day,not being made perfect apart from his fellow servants,it will be as if he never slept at all.We have no concept of passing time when we die.It will feel immediate to us when we meet the Lord upon being resurrected.Paul is not to be found naked as a disembodied harp playing spirit creature with no body at all,but rather to be CLOTHED with glory,his corruptible one swallowed in imperishability.BUT not till the return of Christ and a resurrection at the Last Day.

"He knows that the next moment of consciousness for him will be at the resurrection when he will be raised to receive his new body and thus be forever with the Lord Jesus.There may be many long years between the death of Paul and his next waking moment at the return of Christ when he will be raised up.He knows it will seem but a moment between closing his eyes in the sleep of death and the glorious moment of new consciousness."p. 327 "They Never Told me THIS in Church" by Greg Deuble

Paul ,communicating once again in the plainest language possible where his focus REALLY lies, even further says:

2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

"Simply put,Paul is dying,and he knows he is departing FROM THIS LIFE.And as is the case every single time he discusses hope beyond the grave,he looks forward to the "appearing" of Christ in resurrection power.He looks forward to "the future" when he will stand before the Lord,the righteous Judge,"on that day."Facing imminent death,Paul says nothing about going straight up to the Lord in heaven.This should settle once and for all time that after death Paul's hope is in the resurrection when Christ returns to the earth.This also confirms Philippians 1:23 where he states that what he desires is to meet Christ in the next second of consciousness after falling asleep in death.Paul looks for the RETURN OF CHRIST,so he can be with him,"which is very much better."p.338-339 "They Never Told me THIS in Church" by Greg Deuble

Hebrews 11:13 says:

These all died in faith(the OT faithful), not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar..and skipping ahead, verse 40 further says:since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

So the author of Hebrews notes explicitly that *we*(Christians) will be made perfect when *they*(those before Christ) will!(see also 2 Cor. 4:14)Which means no one is perfected and glorified until the resurrection.Easy truth.Keep in mind David nor anyone else had ascended to heaven before Christ had(Acts 2:34,John 3:13) and won't receive their reward till the Last Day..(1 Cor. 15:52,1 Thes. 4:16)Which nullifies simply and immediately the orthodox belief that a righteous "soul" floats off to heaven at death because it supposedly can't die.(1 Tim. 6:16,Ps. 22:29,Ez. 18:4,Gen. 2:7,3:19)

"It is undeniable that the New Testament everywhere strains towards the Parousia and the resurrection of the faithful which is consistently placed at the great day, as the collective resurrection of all the saints. Paul has a precise and simple system of resurrection: “In Christ shall all be made alive…those who belong to Christ at his Coming” (1 Cor. 15:23). In 1 Thessalonians 4 he offers comfort to the believers in connection with those Christians who are said to be sleeping, an extraordinary term to use if he thought they were already fully conscious in bliss with the Lord!"--From "What happens when we die?A Biblical view of death and resurrection" by Anthony Buzzard

Buzzard further states:

"What possible sense can be made of the waking up of already fully conscious spirits in possession of the beatific vision? Paul could have so easily removed all anxiety by pointing out that the dead in Christ were already with him, having at the moment of death overcome the grave and passed to their reward in heaven. It is well known that he says nothing of the sort. Rather, he reinforces the certainty that at the coming of Jesus “the dead in Christ”—those asleep (1 Thess. 5:10)—will be resurrected and united with those who survive until the great day. The antidote to despair was thus the prospect of the resurrection at the return of Christ, not the consciousness of the dead in another location, of which intermediate state Paul says not one word.The all-important moment of the coming of Christ to establish his Kingdom has been replaced by the moment of the individual’s death."--From "What happens when we die?A Biblical view of death and resurrection" by Anthony Buzzard

Also,G.E Ladd notes:

“Paul never conceives of the salvation of the soul apart from the body…neither man’s soul nor spirit is viewed as an immortal part of man which survives death. The Biblical word ‘soul’ is practically synonymous with the personal pronoun. There is no thought of an immortal soul existing after death” (I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus, p. 45)

Paul corroborates(again) what is communicated explicitly throughout the entire NT when he says:

Colossians 3:4:When Christ who is your life appears, THEN you also will appear with him in glory.

Just another implicit statement of WHEN glory is to be gotten.So why say before?We know he's talking about Christ's return,and not before.So why are we divorcing a couple texts from this reality and Paul's own larger contexts and thoughtforms?His intent has been egregiously butchered.You cannot pull verses from their larger contexts such as Christians are so willing to do with Paul in 2 Cor. 5:8 and Phil. 1:23.Upon death,a metaphorical sleep,the very next experience we will encounter,as if we'd never slept at all,will be meeting the Lord when he awakes us.What a beautiful reality Christians tragically erase by misusing a literal couple texts,counting as refuse obvious contexts,and clinging to a Platonic Hellenistic tradition that efficiently eradicates our true Christian hope by transferring it from the resurrection in the LAST DAY to a flying away to heaven and never dying or sleeping at all..How willing are Christians to ignore the entire overwhelming biblical revelation about what death actually means?Apparently,very.

VERY much like 2 Cor. 5:8 and also patently misused is:

Philippians 1:23:I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

In light of Paul's larger contexts,Paul's hope and desire are firmly fixed on Christ's return from heaven and a FUTURE resurrection,as opposed to a glory received anytime before it.We're not left to wonder what Paul longs for and when he'll get it.Examine:

Philippians 3:10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

"What Paul was really aiming for is fortunately clarified later in the same epistle: “if by any means I might attain to the resurrection…we look for the Savior, Jesus Christ, from heaven, who will transform our body of humiliation so that it may be conformed to the body of his glory” (Phil. 3:11, 20). It is beyond question that he here knows of no goal other than the attainment of resurrection at the return of Christ. It would therefore be quite unfair to read his remarks about “departing to be with the Lord” as relating to a quite different aspiration, one not involving resurrection, and thus quite distinct from his desire for the last day. The popular belief implies that a Christian can be fully alive with Christ apart from the resurrection. This will mean that death is not really death in any real sense, but the continuation of life in another realm. At that point resurrection from the dead becomes meaningless! Paul, in fact, speaks in Philippians 1:23 simply of his departure to be with Christ through death and subsequent resurrection. For the dying, their next second of consciousness will find them alive in the resurrection. Departure from this life will mean being with Christ at his Coming."--From "What happens when we die?A Biblical view of death and resurrection" by Anthony Buzzard

As Buzzard noted,the following is ALSO clear "resurrection at the LAST day" kind of imagery and language:

Phil 3:20:But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Briefly,on a side note:
What does citizenship in heaven mean if we're to inherit the earth and not the heavens where the angels reside?(Heb. 2:5)Well,apparently that we're symbolically "seated in Christ in the heavenlies"(Eph. 1:3,2:6), where he "prepares a place for us"(Jn. 14:3,Matt. 20:23) that he will give us when he returns here to this very earth.(Luke 1:32,33)He's in heaven *until* the time for the restoration of the earth comes.(Acts 3:21)Because this earth has yet to become "the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ",(Rev. 11:15)heaven is where our treasures are being stored till it does!(Matt 6:20)Glorified men in the fashion and nature of Yahushua ha'Mashiach "will have the earth for their heritage, and will go on living there for ever."(Ps. 37:29,Rom. 15:8)

Anthony Buzzard says on pp. 240-241 of his book "Our fathers who Aren't in Heaven:The Forgotten Christianity of Jesus,the Jew":

"Paul insists that the dead have perished unless there is to be a resurrection(1 Cor. 15:18).This is patently not true if in reality their souls have survived into another world.The whole matter is so very simple once the Greek dualism of body and separable conscious soul is erased from the mind.For while it is true that man commits his spirit--himself as a vital thinking creature--to God at death,it is equally clear that the man himself falls into unconsciousness.Stephen in Acts 7 fell asleep in death after committing himself to God.(Acts 7:59,60)Stephen in the next moment of consciousness will awake in the resurrection at the coming of Christ to earth.The notion of a surviving conscious spirit deprived of a body belongs in scripture to the world of evil spirits,never to man."

"The hopes of the faithful are constantly directed towards the future kingdom of God for which they are waiting even after Jesus' resurrection(Luke 23:51).It would be hard to imagine a more erratic departure from this simple scheme suddenly to teach that ,after all,souls go to heaven the moment they die."

But if death ISN'T the separation of an unkillable immortal "soul"(acc to orthodoxy's WRONG definition of it only) from the body,what exactly is it?

Yah's definition of death:

Eccl. 3:19, 20:a man has no preeminence over a beast: as the one dies, so dies the other. All are of the dust, and all turn to dust again

Psalm 6:5: For in death there is no remembrance of thee.

Ecclesiastes 9:5: For the living know that they shall die, but the dead KNOW NOTHING

Daniel 12:2: And many of them that SLEEP in the dust of the earth shall awake

Ps. 146:4:His spirit(means breath) departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his THOUGHTS PERISH

Ps. 115:17:The dead cannot sing praises to the LORD, for they have gone into the SILENCE of the grave.

John 11:11:Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up

Yet Christians have the nerve to say we're thinking,breathing,praising,and awake while we're supposed to be dead.It's mindboggling.Because to reiterate,the bible's definition(as opposed to Plato's or Socrates's and orthodoxy's influenced by blatant Hellenism) is a metaphorical sleep,a cessation of thoughts and breath and praise..unconsciousness.Orthodox Christians have proceeded to shamelessly(though probably deceived) propagate Satan's lie in the garden of Eden "You shall surely NOT die!" deceiving many just as they are deceived.

God alone(and now the resurrected Yeshua) are immortal!(1 Tim. 6:16)To dust we shall return and if faithful and true to Yahweh and Yeshua we will be clothed with immortality and glory in a resurrection,and not until then!We shall not be made perfect apart from our brothers and sisters by flying away to heaven in immortal perfection.That would mean we're made perfect apart from them and given eternal life before the "last day," both succintly unbiblical notions,as hopefully demonstrated in some of the texts in this blog.

As for death and resurrection ,Anthony Buzzard says:

"At death, the spirit (ruach) of man and animal alike returns to God who gave it (Eccl. 3:20; 12:7).“God takes away their breath [ruach], they die, and return to their dust” (Ps. 104:29).At death his breath (ruach) goes forth from him, he returns to the earth, and “in that very day his thoughts perish” (Ps. 146:4); for if God “gathers to himself man’s spirit and breath, all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again to the dust” (Job 34:14, 15)."

And further:

"There is no suggestion that resurrection means the reuniting of an already conscious spirit with its body; though certainly the creation of the new immortal beings must involve the infusion of spirit into the new body to produce “spiritual” persons. But the spirit is not the individual subsisting as a conscious personality apart from the body. Only after the resurrection would it be appropriate to refer to the transformed saints as immortal spirits."--From "What happens when we die?A Biblical view of death and resurrection"

So basically,when we die,it is up to God to return our force of life,our breath,our conscious being.We gave that back to him when our thoughts ceased to function,in anticipation,like Job and other faithful ones,of a FUTURE resurrection from genuine unconsciousness.When we die,our breath and life returns to him which means that our thoughts perish,we fall asleep and we become unconscious,utterly silent.Only God can give us our lives back in a resurrection when he resuscitates us through Christ.The resurrection is of an actual person and not of a *body* that had nobody in it because that person was ALREADY alive.If that were the case(person already alive),much of scripture would be so utterly nonsensical,pointless moot lies,deceptive even.As Christians we SHOULD know better!So why are preachers preaching fables?

Here's my method of interpreting:CONTEXT(larger ones are important too!),reason,biblical harmony.Simple enough.If you have 1,000 scriptures that state something rather plainly and unambiguously then have a couple that SEEM to contradict those on the surface,make sure an alternative interpretation isn't viable.Make sure you're staying true to the author and his ideas!Do NOT trust men.They can easily deceive in the slyest ways with their philosophical sophistry.What a cruel Lord we have if Lazarus was taken from his supposed home with God in the benevolent heavens and brought back to this chaotic corrupt earth!Obviously,bodies cannot sleep without egos in them.Obviously,Lazarus lacked thoughts & breath,was silent,was sleeping awaiting a resurrection.That's why Jesus wept.Lazarus was out of commission,not blissfully residing amongst Yahweh and a heavenly host!Then Jesus would have rejoiced and been able to assuredly and blissfully comfort his family without raising him back to the chaos of a fallen earth,no?

Job 14:13:Oh that You would hide me in Sheol, That You would conceal me until Your wrath returns to You, That You would set a limit for me and remember me!

Most people think Sheol is a place of fiery torment!Job begged to go there.Interesting.Job also begged for Yahweh to remember **me**(his entire person and not just a *body*) at the proper time.(John 5:28,29)

Daniel 12:2:Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake

No thought here at all of bodies sleeping,but rather, logically and scripturally speaking, actual persons.*I* in Greek means an actual ego,not a body devoid of one.The ACTUAL mind and person dies,not *just* a body devoid of such.Jesus said **I**died.(Rev. 1:17-18).Yahweh never said your traditions and fables should be embraced at all costs..even when he refutes you in a number of ways.I have noticed many malinformed doctrines springing from a misuse of a few texts and an unwillingness to exegete them in their entire biblical context.Hence,a labyrinth of thick deception,a web of tricky lies,gets built and people with decent intent are blinded,which God DOES allow if tradition is preferred over his word.A fairy tale ear tickling over simply stated facts.Misuse of his inspired writers' intent in specially selected abused texts over reason and biblical harmony.

To quote Justin Martyr from the 2nd century:

"How then did Christ raise the dead? Their souls or their bodies? Manifestly both. If the resurrection were only spiritual, it was requisite that He, in raising the dead, should show the body lying apart by itself, and the soul living apart by itself. But now He did not do so, but raised the body. . . . Why do we any longer endure those unbelieving arguments and fail to see that we are retrograding when we listen to such an argument as this: That the soul is immortal, but the body mortal, and incapable of being revived. For this we used to hear from Plato, even before we learned the truth. If then the Saviour said this and proclaimed salvation to the soul alone, what new thing beyond what we heard from Plato, did He bring us?"

"if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this[truth], and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians, even as one, if he would rightly consider it, would not admit that the Sadducees, or similar sects of Genist , Meristae,Gelilaeans, Hellenists, Pharisees, Baptists, are Jews(do not hear me impatiently when I tell you what I think), but are[only] called Jews and children of Abraham, worshipping God with the lips, as God Himself declared, but the heart was far from Him. But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare. "--from CHAPTER LXXX Dialogue with Trypho by Justin Martyr

So Justin understood,even though he was platonically schooled,that the notion that disembodied souls fly off to heaven at death makes moot of the truth and fact of a genuine resurrection.I've no idea why Christians today don't.Christians today think the resurrection isn't of PEOPLE but rather "nothingness."Dust made into a body again and somehow revitalized by a disembodied soul that is already alive.A resurrection to life even though they were always alive!Nonsensical.Our hope is supposed to be in a resurrection precisely because that's when we receive life again,not because we were always alive and suddenly there's dust again to join our vital aliveness.Is our resurrection all about dust and not us anymore?I don't think Jesus intended for anyone to view it that way!

1 Tim. 2:18:They have left the path of truth, claiming that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred; in this way, they have turned some people away from the faith.

And our faith shouldn't be in our ability to never die like a superperson,an unkillable human,an ego that must be preserved *someplace* for all of eternity,who joins God while our "bodies sleep."(as if they could without us in them!)But in a resurrection of our DEAD PERSON at the last day.If people are always living(the righteous in bliss),the resurrection is a joke.And our faith shouldn't be in it but in something potentially LONG before it.Which scripture says subverts the faith of some.Which advances Satan's lie in the garden of Eden.(Gen. 3:4)Which makes us immortal when God alone is.(1 Tim. 6:16)He can GIFT it to us in a resurrection (Rom. 6:23)but it isn't inherent to our corrupt being.

Gen. 3:19:By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust **you** are and to dust **you** will return.

Notice how God didn't say "to dust shall your body without you in it return while you survive it all."

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