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    World Religion & Speculative Theology - Thread: What happens when we die?

    1. #1
      hobie's Avatar
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      What happens when we die?

      Here is scripture and well put together understanding of this topic:

      Premise

      Traditionally most people believe that there is a ghost-like “spirit” inside of our bodies, and when we die, this spirit floats away somewhere, preferably heaven.

      I will show that the Bible actually does not support this theory. In fact, according to the Bible there is no spirit inside of us at all. We exist only as mortal bodies, made from dust having been given the breath of life. And it is this “breath of life” that is confused with, or interpreted as, a “spirit”.


      So what happens when we die, scripture says it plainly.

      Genesis 3:19
      By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

      Job 7:21
      Why then do you not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now I will lie down in the dust; And You will seek me, but I will not be."

      Job 14:10:12
      But man dies and lies prostrate man expires, and where is he? "As water evaporates from the sea, and a river becomes parched and dried up, so man lies down and does not rise. Until the heavens are no longer, he will not awake nor be aroused out of his sleep.

      Psalm 115:17
      The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence.

      Psalm 146:4
      When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.

      Ecclesiastes 3:19-20
      For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.

      Ecclesiastes 9:5
      For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing

      Over and over again the Bible says that the dead know nothing. These are only a few examples. The dead don’t think. They don’t praise the Lord. They have no consciousness. They return to the earth, as dust. Their plans perish and they cease to exist. Ecclesiastes 3 even tells us that man has no advantage over the beasts. All go to one place, which is dust.
      We read death compared to sleep

      Psalms 13:3
      Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,

      1 Kings 2:10
      Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David.

      When Lazarus died, Jesus said he was sleeping.

      John 11:11-14
      After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” 12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead


      Why would Jesus compare Lazarus’ death to “sleep” if Lazarus’ spirit has ascended into heaven? And why was there no mention of his spirit leaving his body?

      Matthew 9:24
      He said, "Leave; for the girl has not died, but is asleep." And they began laughing at Him.

      Daniel 12:2
      Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

      Daniel was told he would “rest” until the resurrection.
      Daniel 12:13

      As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”

      If Daniel’s spirit was to go to heaven after death, then why was he told that he would rest? Why did the angel not say instead, I’ll see you in heaven soon, or something to that effect? It’s because Daniel wasn’t going to heaven. He was going to the dust of the earth. Daniel is now dead. He is not in heaven. He’s dead in the dust of the earth and on the day of the resurrection, he will rise, along with the rest of us.


      What happens when we are resurrected. The resurrection, as Paul describes it, actually also proves that we have no spirit in us that goes to heaven when we die.

      Imagine if we did have a spirit. We would fly up to heaven and we would do whatever we do in heaven. Praise the Lord, play Frisbee, eat BBQ chicken. No matter how you envision an existence in heaven, it would require at the very least that we have a consciousness, a thought process and a free will to continue to make decisions. All of this would contradict the old testament verses above.

      It would also contradict the new testament book of 1 Corinthians, because according to Paul this life in a spiritual body, which we imagine in heaven, does not come to us until the very last day, when we are resurrected.

      1 Corinthians 15:42
      So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

      1 Corinthians 15:46
      The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.

      Paul clearly states that we are created with a natural body, not a spiritual body. We will be transformed into a spiritual body upon the resurrection. “The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual”. In other words, when God created us, we were not given spiritual bodies, only natural bodies, but we would receive spiritual bodies later, upon the resurrection.

      Our bodies are sewn natural, raised spiritual. This is the point of the resurrection, to make us spiritual so that we can be immortal. So if you believe that we already have immortal spirits that leave our bodies when we die, you have a conundrum.

    2. #2
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      The 'Spiritual Conundrum' is clear. Imagine the traditional teaching, where we have a spirit and we go to heaven as a spirit when we die. Then please tell me, what is the point of the resurrection?

      If we are already in heaven, as immortal spirits, then why would we need to be transformed into spirits on the last day? If it is so, then when our bodies on earth are transformed into spirits, do we end up with two spirits? The one in heaven and the one on earth? Would both spirits have their own separate consciousness? Do our spirits in heaven then join our old bodies which have been transformed? Would we then be a spirit within a spirit? Two spirits? What nonsense!

      If we’re being transformed into spirits, then we can not already be spirits, otherwise what would be the point? The point of the resurrection is to make us immortal. To make us spirits. This would be entirely nonsensical if we are already living as spirits in heaven, and this is how Paul’s description of the resurrection proves that we do not have a spirit inside of us that continues to live after death.


      Soul (Nephesh)

      To add to the confusion, in addition to the obvious body and the presumed spirit, we also supposedly possess a “soul”. What is a soul? You are a soul.

      Genesis 2:7
      And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

      Notice in the verse above that man became a living soul. He was not given a soul. He became a soul. In other words, we do not have souls, we are souls.

      The word soul in this verse was originally written in Hebrew in a word which is transliterated as nephesh. Strong’s concordance defines nephesh as “a soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion”. With this definition in mind, the last part of Genesis 2:7 can be paraphrased as, for example “man became alive” or “man became an individual”. It is in fact the very moment when man gained his self awareness and free will.

      The same word occurs 754 times in the old testament, so we can’t look at all examples but let’s look at one more.

      Genesis 1:20
      And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life (Nephesh), and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

      Here the King James Bible translates it as “creature that hath life”. Remember, this is the same word that was translated as “soul” in Genesis 2:7. The more examples you look at the more obvious it becomes that when the word “soul” is used in scripture it refers simply to “a living creature”.

      So keep in mind the true meaning of the word Nephesh, which can be translated as soul, living creature, person or individual, when you read verses such as…

      Ezekiel 18:20

      The soul who sins shall die.

      The living creature who sins…

      The person who sins…

      The individual who sins…


      The Spirit (Ruach)

      On the flip side, there are a number of verses that can be used to support the notion that we all have a spirit inside of us that continues to live after the body dies. And at first glance, some of these verses are very convincing.

      For example

      Ecclesiastes 12:7
      the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

      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.

      James 2:26
      For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

      Obviously, the key to understanding such verses is understanding the meaning of “spirit”. As it turns out, in these examples, the word spirit refers to the breath of God, which is life.

      Ecclesiastes 12:7
      the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

      This verse seems to imply that our spirit goes up to heaven when we die, but actually “spirit” here refers to the life that God breathed into man in Genesis 2:7. It’s the life that returns to God, because the life came from God.

      Genesis 2:7
      And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

      The word used through the old testament for spirit is the Hebrew word Ruach;, which can also be translated as “breath or wind”. In fact, this is how it is translated in various other verses including Genesis 7:15 and Psalm 104:29.

      Genesis 7:15
      Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life (ruach) in them came to Noah and entered the ark.

      Psalm 104:29
      When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath (ruach), they die and return to the dust.

      When God gave man life, it was his breath/wind/spirit which God gave. The spirit of God is life. And it’s this spirit, this life, that returns to God in Ecclesiastes 12:7

      Ecclesiastes 12:7
      the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit (ruach – life / breath) returns to God who gave it.

      Other verses clearly explain that it is the spirit of God, or the breath of God, that has given us life.

      John 6:63 says The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life.

      Job 33:4 says The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.


      The many Hebrew names of God in fact include the word Ruach each time.


      English Name | Hebrew Name

      The Spirit of God | Ruach Elohim

      The Spirit of the Lord | Ruach Adonai

      The Holy Spirit | Ruach Hakkodesh

      The Spirit of the Lord God | Ruach Adonai Elohim

      The Spirit of God | Ruach-El


      Clearly, the word Ruach does not refer to a ghostly spirit that lives inside each of us, but rather the breath of life which came from God himself, and which is a part of God himself. Let’s look at the verse again.

      Ecclesiastes 12:7
      the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit (breath of life) returns to God who gave it.

      And now compare that to the verse that describes man becoming a living creature.

      Genesis 2:7
      And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

      In other words, God gave his living spirit (Ruach) and man became a living soul (Nephesh).


      Looking at when Jesus died. When this discussion of a spirit comes up people often point to references around Jesus’ death on the cross as proof that his “spirit” left him.

      Luke 23:46
      And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.'" Having said this, He breathed His last.

      Matthew 27:50
      And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

      John 19:30
      So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

      I used to think, as most people do, that each reference to “spirit” in these verses referred to a conscious ghostly entity that left Jesus’ body and floated up to heaven (or hell, depending on who you ask) where Jesus continued to “live”. However, if we look at the original Greek word used we get an entirely different picture.

      Remember, the Hebrew word translated as spirit in the old testament is Ruach and it means “breath” or “wind”. In the new testament the original text is Greek and in each of these three verses above, the word translated as spirit is the Greek word “Pneuma”. Pneuma means “wind, breath, spirit”. It has the exact same meaning as the Hebrew Ruach. Go figure.

      Also remember that in Genesis 2:7 God created man and gave man the breath of life. That god given breath is not just a simple breath that we take for granted; it is life. So if we understand that the Greek meaning of the word “pneuma” is actually a reference to life itself which God breathed into us, these verses suddenly take on a whole new meaning.


      Luke 23:46
      And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit life.'" Having said this, He breathed His last.

      Matthew 27:50
      And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit life.

      John 19:30
      So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit life.

      Of course, looking back at it now, it seems so obvious that Jesus did not continue to live in spirit form after his death, because if that were the case he wouldn’t have really died. But he actually did die. He really died. The breath of life left him and he died.

      There is literally no Bible verse that claims there is a ghostly spirit inside each of us that lives on after death. In fact, quite the opposite. All indications are that when we die, we return to the dust of the earth, without any consciousness, knowing nothing and realizing nothing. And it’s only at the resurrection, when the breath of God returns to us, that we become spiritual creatures.

      Lets look at further evidence...

      Acts 2:29
      Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day”

      Acts 2:34
      For David is not ascended into the heavens

      John 5:28-29
      Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth

      John 3:13
      And no man has ascended up to heaven

      Scripture shows us what is truth, but many just look at traditions and mans ideas rather than what is there.

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      This thread has been moved to World Religion and Speculative Theology due to non tradition views being expressed in the opening post

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      Yet Paul thought to be absent from the body was to be present with the Lord Philippians 1:23.

      He also said that what is seen (such as the physical body) is temporary, which what is unseen is eternal 2 Corinthians 4:18

      The passage you mentioned in Luke 23:46 contradicts your view that the Spirit doesn't exist. If it did not exist, then Jesus would not mention it.

      The point of the resurrection is that one day spirit and body will be reunited and the physical will be transformed. 1 Corinthians 15:35-44

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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      Yet Paul thought to be absent from the body was to be present with the Lord Philippians 1:23.

      He also said that what is seen (such as the physical body) is temporary, which what is unseen is eternal 2 Corinthians 4:18

      The passage you mentioned in Luke 23:46 contradicts your view that the Spirit doesn't exist. If it did not exist, then Jesus would not mention it.

      The point of the resurrection is that one day spirit and body will be reunited and the physical will be transformed. 1 Corinthians 15:35-44
      Amen. You are correct.

      Paul writes of the spirit that is within us now -
      "For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things" - 1Cor 2:11-15a

      When Paul was confronting the situation with a man who was walking in known sin in the church, he declared -

      "I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." - 1Cor 5:5

      So the man already had his spirit within Him.

      From birth we have a "spirit, soul & body." (1Thess 5:23. See also Heb 4:12). At our physical death, if we have truly been "united" with Christ in this life, we await "the adoption, the redemption of our body." (Rom 8:23), which will happen at our Lord's return. And these will come out of the grave just like Jesus came forth that Resurrection morning.
      There will indeed be those who "come after" Jesus and "appear with Him as He is", a "Life-giving spirit" with "flesh and bones" when our Lord is manifest again. This is the convergence of the physical and spiritual realms, of which Jesus is the "Firstborn." Remember... He will have "many brothers."
      "I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ,
      the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God."
      - 1Cor 11:3

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      Thank you hobie --- a very interesting presentation. Also, within the Celtic tradition, and most other indigenous spiritual traditions, is a belief that has become known as panentheism, the idea that the Divine impregnates every molecule of the Universe. Every person, every plant, every buzzing bee, and every drop of water is a channel through which the Divine is manifesting its Presence. There is nowhere we can go where our Creator is not. As the Jewish Psalmist wrote, “If I ascend to heavens you are there, if I descend to the depths you are there, if I rise on the wings of the dawn, even there you will find me.” Paul, in speaking to the pagans on Mars Hill, also said "In God we live and move and have our being." At the heart of every major religious tradition*there is a call to humility and wonder at the ordinary world that we live in, because there is a recognition of the Divine in and through all things. I think it entirely possible that on death our "life force" (soul?) merges with the Divine and we cease to exist as a self conscience entity.

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      The physical body stops working.

      The soul goes to heaven or hell.
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

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      Jesus taught that the Spirit lives on after the death of the physical body.

      Jesus told the thief on the cross this in Luke 23:42-43
      42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
      43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

      If he didn't think he would go to paradise and live on then Jesus would not have said this.

      This parable of Jesus in Luke 16 mentions the rich man in eternal torment while Lazarus was with Abraham
      22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ Luke 16:22-24

      So, if the spirit does not live on then Jesus was either mistaken or lying. Or Jesus knows that the spirit does live on

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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      So, if the spirit does not live on then Jesus was either mistaken or lying.
      Or Jesus knows that the spirit does live on
      The person lives on, separated from "this body of death"... Rom 7:24

      Adam turned from God and died...

      We are born in Adam's death...

      And we turn from God...

      Who has remembered that we are dust...

      As for man, his days are as the grass...
      As a flower of the field, so shall he blossom forth...
      For when the wind has passed over it...
      Then it shall be gone...
      And no longer will it know the place thereof...

      Recovery from the Fall is no small matter...


      Arsenios

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      Quote Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
      The physical body stops working.

      The soul goes to heaven or hell.
      Very true accept Christ your name is in the Lamb's Book of Life. Reject and you are heading down a wrong way one way street!
      Ready for October Skies!

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