Let The Dead Rest In Peace

C McC Mc Posts: 4,050

Why won’t people let the dead be dead and rest in peace? Many families, theologians, many denominations, Bible students/readers, and some here in CD who are still trumpeting the dead are not dead. They say a part of the departed lives on. A dead person goes on directly to heaven, “hell” or purgatory, in preparation for heaven. None of these things are true or biblical. They sound good but give love ones false hope and misrepresents what the Bible teaches. Death is the result of sin (“missing the mark,” rebellion against God, thinking to know better than God, etc.). 1 John 3:4 says sin is an illegal act. A transgression. A crime. Mistrust of God is the foundation of sin. We transgress because we think we know better. From Lucifer to Adam and Eve, they have sinned, which leads to death.

Genesis gives five specific texts that mention the idea of death (Gen 2:17; 3: 3–4, 19, 21–22). They show:

  • The fall of man—the forewarning (2:17)
  • The denial of the warning (3:3–4).
  • The consequences of sin (3:19, 21–22; See Kaiser)

I don’t think many people understand the true nature of death: 

  • It is a loss of life and consciousness or biological cessation.
  • Death is actual, and the surviving love ones are hurt.
  • Death is the cessation of life.
  • It’s a body without breath.
  • It’s a reversal of creation.
  • Death is an unconscious and dreamless sleep.
  • Man is the created. He is mortal (subject to death). God is immortal. All man does by way of character development must be done while they are alive. Heaven. Heaven is a place where the righteous go at the Second Coming.

It behooves one to understand the origin of man to better grasp the realities of death:

  • He does NOT have a soul but became and IS a soul. Man is capable of relationship (Gen 1:26, 28; 2:18, 24, 25) and can sleep (Gen 2:21).
  • Human beings are not a dichotomy but a unity of dust of the ground and the breath of life (I will illustrate later).
  • Man is flesh (Gen 2:21, 23; 6:3,13,17). He has the following:
  • Ribs (Gen 2:21, 22)
  • Bones (Gen 2:23)
  • Blood (Gen 9:5–6)
  • Nostrils (Gen 2:7)
  • A face (Gen 4:5)
  • A heart or mind (Gen 6:5)
  • The power of contrary choice (Gen 1:16, 17).

A Soul is a Living Person, for example, a light bulb. It can represent our body. The electricity is like the breath of God. Together, they make up energized light that sheds its brightness around it. Likewise, our body, without God’s breath, is dark. We are alive because God puts life into us. 

Living Brain (Mind). Consciousness, feelings, love, hate, envy, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, reasoning, thoughts.

Body (dust) + Breath from God (Spirit) = Living Soul (living being, nephesh) 

  • A soul is simply a person who can breathe. It is not the breath only. Without the breath of God, the dust would not be conscious. And without the dust, the breath would not be conscious. It takes a combination of both to produce a living creature.
  • If life is the combination of dust and the breath from God, then what is death? It is described as the opposite process. In contrast, Spirit Returns to God. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the Spirit (ruwach) shall return unto God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12: 7). 

Body Returns to Earth. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goes forth, and he returns to his earth; in that very day, his thoughts perish (Psalm 146: 3 -4).

Back to use our bulb illustration 

DUST - BREATH FROM GOD = DEATH SLEEP

When the electricity is turned off, the light goes out. When God takes back His life-giving breath, we die. This breath has no independent consciousness on its own to exist as an intelligent entity without a physical body. 

  • Light Bulb - Electricity = Darkness
  • Body (dust) - Breath from God (spirit) = Dead body
  • Dead Brain - Mind. No consciousness, no feelings, no love, no hate, no knowledge.
  • The Sleep Of Death. The Bible describes death as an unconscious sleep in which we have no memory, actions, or living contact. We are not in heaven praising God or in hell writhing in pain. Death is a place where we wait until the resurrection. 

The Bible is clear. Here are samples of clear passages concern the truth about the dead:

  • The Dead Are Unconscious. “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in anything that is done under the sun.” 
  • No Intelligent Contact. ...” Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go” (Ecclesiastes 9: 5- 6, 10).
  • The Dead Have No Memory. “Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for your mercies’ sake. For in death there is no remembrance of you: in the grave who shall give you thanks?” (Psalm 6: 4 - 5
  • The Dead Are Not Aware Of God. Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? (Psalm 88: 11-12)
  • Sleep. The Bible describes it as sleep because we will all awake from it. 
  • He said unto them, Leave, for the girl is not dead, but sleeps. And they laughed him to scorn (Matt. 9: 24). 
  • And when he came in, he says to them, Why make you this ado, and weep? The child is not dead but sleeps (Mark 5: 39). 
  • And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleeps (Luke 8: 52). 
  • Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death (Psalm 133). 
  • Lazarus. “These things said he: and after that, he says unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleeps, he shall do well. However, Jesus spoke of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent you may believe; nevertheless, let us go unto him. ...” Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if you had been here, my brother had not died” (John 11: 11 - 15, 21).

Serious and responsible stewards of the Word must stop acting like religious charlatans peddling their feel-goods theology as a legitimate side hustle. Our spiritual leaders must be more accountable and forthcoming. They must stop selling the spiritual dope: Living on in another form, going straight to heaven, or purgatory. Administra God’s Word and stop giving false hope. Death is unconscious sleep is biblical truth and not debatable!

Too many of the groups mentioned above bought into the reinterpretation of Scripture through Greek philosophy.  Like lap dogs, they consumed incorporating into Christianity the alien elements of “a timeless, impassive deity and an immortal human soul.” To do so inevitably prepares the way for the unbiblical teachings of purgatory, the eternal torment of the wicked, and the possibility of mediation by Mary and the saints. 

Even history reflects Anabaptist martyr Michael Sattler who testified at his trial in 1527 that Mary could not function as an intercessor, “for she must with us await the judgment.” Besides him, others like Conrad Grebel, Leonhard Schiemer, Dirk Phillips, and many lesser-known sixteenth-century Anabaptists shared the view that the dead are “sleeping.” This sleep is unconscious until a premillennial bodily resurrection.

So, I appeal to all, keep studying, but let the dead rest in peace. The grave is where the deceased is until Jesus returns. This is not the last word, but a good word spoken for truth.

SOURCES:

  • Walter C. Kaiser, “The Literary Form of Genesis 1–11,” in New Perspectives on the Old Testament, ed. J. Barton (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1970), 61.
  • Murray, Stuart. The Naked Anabaptist: The Bare Essentials of a Radical Faith. Third Way Collection. Foreword Gregory A. Boyd. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2010.
  • Thomas N. Finger, A Contemporary Anabaptist Theology [Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2004], 518-519)

Comments

  • C McC Mc Posts: 4,050

    I challenged @Bill_Coley to respond to the CONTENT (subject matter) of the above post at whatever time, length, or part he deems it convenient, with or without a response from me. CM

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 2,394

    @C Mc posted:

    I challenged @Bill_Coley to respond to the CONTENT (subject matter) of the above post at whatever time, length, or part he deems it convenient, with or without a response from me. CM

    In this post, CM, you write that you have challenged me - past tense - as if it's a challenge you've issued previously. If you have in fact previously challenged me to respond to your OP in this thread, you'll have to link to that post because I don't think I've seen it.

    If instead this was the first challenge you've issued to me regarding your OP, then we can close the matter now: I won't respond to your challenge, for the reasons stated IN THIS POST.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 4,050

    Oops! CORRECTION:

    @CM Said:

    I challenged @Bill_Coley to respond to the CONTENT (subject matter) of the above post at whatever time, length, or part he deems it convenient, with or without a response from me. CM

    It should have read:

    I CHALLENGE @Bill_Coley to respond to the CONTENT (subject matter) ...  CM

    Now, you may refuse to respond if this is your choice—no pressure from me.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 2,394

    @C Mc posted:

    It should have read:

    CHALLENGE @Bill_Coley to respond to the CONTENT (subject matter) ... CM

    Now, you may refuse to respond if this is your choice—no pressure from me.

    Thanks for clarifying.

    As noted in my previous post in this thread, I won't respond to your challenge for the reasons stated IN THIS POST.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 3,552

    So, I appeal to all, keep studying, but let the dead rest in peace. The grave is where the deceased is until Jesus returns. This is not the last word, but a good word spoken for truth.

    "... until Jesus returns" ??? How long do you want to still wait? Didn't he himself rather plainly state that some who heard him would not die but be alive and actually witness his coming (cp. Mt 16:27-28) ? Why do folks after 2000 years still claim that the Lord "tarries" when Heb 10:37 plainly says that he will not tarry but come in a short while?

  • C McC Mc Posts: 4,050

    @Bill_Coley, I have read what you've written. Given the freedom these forums afford each poster, they don't make sense. It could be you have nothing to say on the subject matter (death), or it is too sensitive to deal with in light of biblical truth shared. Your reasons are stated IN THIS POST; it appears to be a "smokescreen" for some deeper and possibly, personal ones. I guess we will never know. It appears you're in a "short bed with covers, too narrows."

    Please, don't let personal differences with me deprive the silent readers of CD Coleyism on the subject of death because I choose not to participate in CD's pseudo-debates format. As a Master-debater (IMO), you're in a "pickle." It's the format, not me, that causes your "frustration" in sharing. Anyone with an ounce of debating knowledge, skills or practice, knows that this site has more name than implementation. Good intentions, but missed the mark.

    Bill, let the sunlight in on the real reasons you chose not to respond to the subject matter (death). Could it be that you have nothing to add; you agree with my points on subject matters, and your real annoyance and dissatisfaction are for the lack of debators and a format worthy of its name?

    Unfortunately, with the above defined, you're about effective as a gelded horse on a breeding farm, a Hennessey Venom GT, or Bugatti Veyron Super Sport car in a big city during "rush hour. My heart goes out to you. CM

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 2,394
    edited July 29

    @C Mc posted:

    I have read what you've written. Given the freedom these forums afford each poster, they don't make sense. It could be you have nothing to say on the subject matter (death), or it is too sensitive to deal with in light of biblical truth shared. Your reasons are stated IN THIS POST; it appears to be a "smokescreen" for some deeper and possibly, personal ones. I guess we will never know. It appears you're in a "short bed with covers, too narrows."

    With due respect, CM, I think you're over-analyzing this circumstance, me, and, apparently, my "bed" and its "covers."

    I have neither the time nor the character needed to concoct falsehoods regarding my refusal to respond to your posted challenges on issues. Whatever the length of my bed or the width of my blankets (Isaiah 28.20 seems to be the source of CM's reference), the reason for that refusal is as simple as I previously stated: It is unacceptably frustrating to me for you to call me out, as you did in THIS POST, but then to refuse to engage - or even acknowledge - my responses.

    • I have plenty to say about death.
    • Death is not too sensitive a subject, the "biblical truth shared," presumably in one of your posts, notwithstanding.
    • No "smokescreen."
    • No "deeper and possibly personal" reasons.
    • And you CAN know the real reason I choose not to engage your challenges... by reading this current post and the one to which I previously linked.


    Please, don't let personal differences with me deprive the silent readers of CD Coleyism on the subject of death because I choose not to participate in CD's pseudo-debates format.

    When you call out another CD participant, as you called me out by name in THIS POST, you DO "participate in CD's pseudo-debates format." If you don't want to "pseudo-debate," then don't pseudo-call people out in your posts.

    And there's nothing personal here, CM. This is about your and my posting behaviors, not our personhoods.


    Unfortunately, with the above defined, you're about effective as a gelded horse on a breeding farm, a Hennessey Venom GT, or Bugatti Veyron Super Sport car in a big city during "rush hour. My heart goes out to you.

    You concluded THIS PREVIOUS POST OF YOURS in this thread with these words: "Now, you may refuse to respond if this is your choice—no pressure from me."

    But with your latest post you've contended that my stated reasons for not responding to your challenge appear to be a "deeper, more personal" "smokescreen" that "don't make sense," and you've compared me to a gelded horse and two uselessly powerful, grossly unaffordable sports cars. If that's what you call "no pressure from me," I can't wait to read the posts in which you turn the screws.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 4,050

    @Bill_Coley said:

    "And there's nothing personal here, CM. This is about your and my posting behaviors..."

    Bill, 

    Are you a bit too petty? The last time I checked, after a person leaves a post, the words in bold print are "Leave a Comment." Do you see any qualifiers of time, lengthfrequency, poster's attitude, etc.?

    Bill, why don't you let my and others' pattern of "posting behavior" speak for themselves? You don't trust the silent readers and other posters to connect the dots and see things for themselves? Keep the focus upon the Word (Bible) and not upon you and your self-imposed restrictions. I want to believe you are bigger than what you are showing here lately. Stop majoring in minors. Embrace the Word with depth and clarity. Express your views freely, even if some of them are outside mainstream Christianity. Don't let the nebulous get in the way of being a blessing to others.

    What has CD become? When were you elected or selected to identify and scrutinized one's posting behavior? Do you want all the CD Posters to be like you? Bill should spend your gifts and knowledge on something of more importance. Shake yourself and do better. Allow and encourage posters' freedom of expression at his timing, way, and pace. Americans love freedom -- to be, to do, or nothing at all.

    One Bill is enough in these forums. Everybody can't and shouldn't be like you. Let diversity breathe freely here at CD. Others matter in these forums too. God loves diversity. A little constructive criticism to better your abilities is similar to letting sunlight into a dark room. CM

  • C McC Mc Posts: 4,050

    Wolfgang said:

    "... until Jesus returns" ??? How long do you want to still wait? Didn't he himself rather plainly state that some who heard him would not die but be alive and actually witness his coming (cp. Mt 16:27-28) ? Why do folks after 2000 years still claim that the Lord "tarries" when Heb 10:37 plainly says that he will not tarry but come in a short while?

    @Wolfgang, please tell me:

    • Do you not believe in the second coming of Jesus?
    • Do you believe Jesus has already returned?

    @Wolfgang said:

    How long do you want to still wait?

    Does this mean you (Wolfgang) are not looking for Jesus to return? Does anyone looking for Jesus to return do so in vain?

    @Wolfgang said:

    Why do folks after 2000 years still claim that the Lord "tarries" when Heb 10:37 plainly says that he will not tarry but come in a short while?

    Are you sure, Wolfgang, your reading of this verse is in context? Is the writer of Hebrews lying, mistaken, or interpreters are incorrect? If it's the latter, what did they got wrong?

    You cited these verses of Mt 16:27-28, what was going on that cause the writer to say these words:

    • 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and at that time he will reward each one according to ⌊what he has done⌋.h 28 Truly I say to you, that there are some of those standing here who will never experience death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”


    To understand the Gospel writer’s intent, we have to keep in mind a few facts:

    WHO WROTE THE BOOK?

    • Matthew-Levy son of Alpheus, a direct disciple of Jesus between 68 and 70 CE.
    • He contextualized his message to his audience by employing Jewish language and culture
    • Matthew argued that Jesus was the Messiah through whom all families of the earth would be blessed (Gen 12:3; Matt 1:5-6, 4:15, 12:18-21). 
    • Matthew cited Jesus’ genealogy to communicate to Jewish Christians that “the story of Jesus is a continuation of Israel history”.
    • He argued that the birth, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus were all fulfillments of Old Testament prophecies (Matt 1:22). 
    • Matthew’s approach to contextualizing his story of Jesus was relevant and helpful to the Jewish Christians. They believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah. 

    WHEN WAS IT WRITTEN?

    • Matthew was written prior to A.D. 70 (some tried to use a post-70 date in citing Matt 22:7 -- a weak case).
    • Years after the resurrection, before the destruction of Jerusalem.

    TO WHOM?

    • He wrote to a Jewish audience.
    • They comprised Jewish Christians.
    • Matthew was written for Jews. It continually reverts to the Hebrew Bible with phrases like “it has been written by the prophet” (Matt. 2:5).

    WHAT WAS GOING ON AT THE TIME?

    • They were in a state of transition from Judaism to Christianity.
    • In this state of in-betweenness, Jewish Christians were concerned about their Jewish heritage and the inclusiveness of God’s mission to the Gentiles. 
    • There was a cognitive dissonance within the Jewish Christian community.
    • Matthew wrote to put the Jewish heritage and God’s mission in the context of this new reality. 

    NOW, YOUR TEXT

    The Jews were looking for their conquering Messiah. Many, including His disciples, believed that Jesus was the One for whom they were looking. 

    A) Suffering Messiah (a.k.a. Son of Man)

    • Rejected
    • Suffer
    • Killed
    • Resurrected

    B). Conquering Messiah (a.k.a. Son of God)

    • Conqueror
    • Judge
    • King

    Whenever Jesus comes again, He is Coming With Angels. "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works" (Matthew 16: 27). The principle that distinguishes Christ's kingdom of grace from earthly kingdoms and nations (Matt. 16:21-28) is clear. To the believer, being with Jesus whether through resurrection or translation will be worth any apparent delay. Eternal life out weight eternal death. Keep the faith in the Messiah-Jesus live for Him until he comes. God has your back. CM


    Sources:

    • See Robert H. Gundry, Matthew: A Commentary on His Handbook for a Mixed Church under Persecution, 2d ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1994), 599-609.
    • Flemming, Dean. 2005. Contextualization in the New Testament. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, p 247
  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 3,552

    Do you not believe in the second coming of Jesus?

    I do not read in Scripture about a yet future "second coming of Jesus"

    Do you believe Jesus has already returned?

    I believe that the coming of the son of man, coming of Jesus, happened as predicted and prophesied at "the end of the age".

    Does this mean you (Wolfgang) are not looking for Jesus to return? Does anyone looking for Jesus to return do so in vain?

    I am not looking forward to something that has already happened ... Do you think someone age 71 looking forward for his 70th birthday is doing so in vain?

    Are you sure, Wolfgang, your reading of this verse is in context? Is the writer of Hebrews lying, mistaken, or interpreters are incorrect? If it's the latter, what did they got wrong?

    I am sure ... The writer of Hebrews was not lying, not mistaken ... the interpreters are incorrect. They interpret based on ideas and commonly prominent dogma rather than simple plain bible text.

    You cited these verses of Mt 16:27-28, what was going on that cause the writer to say these words:

    For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and at that time he will reward each one according to ⌊what he has done⌋. Truly I say to you, that there are some of those standing here who will never experience death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

    The writer did not say those words in the first place ... Jesus did!

  • byGeorgebyGeorge Posts: 60
    edited September 14

    If I may politely ask, who here would describe himself or herself as...

    1. A believing, saved, follower of Christ?
    2. Anti-Christ
    3. Seeking Christ but not yet a believer?
  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 3,552

    @byGeorge If I may politely ask, who here would describe himself or herself as...

    1 - A believing, saved, follower of Christ?

    2 - Anti-Christ

    3 - Seeking Christ but not yet a believer?

    As for me ... No. 1

    What about your self-estimation? Also, how does your post and question relate to the topic of this thread?


  • As for me, No. 1. And that is certainty, not a "self-estimate."

    How does that post/question relate to the topic of the thread? Thanks for your kindness of asking. I am looking forward to introductions to people here so the diversity of posts have context.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 2,394
    edited September 14

    @byGeorge posted:

    Thanks for your kindness of asking. I am looking forward to introductions to people here so the diversity of posts have context.

    Welcome to the forums, @byGeorge. Your willingness to post in a variety of threads on a variety of subjects is welcome news here given the small size of our posting population.

    Given the content of what you've posted so far, I can safely predict that you will agree with some of what others, including me, post, and disagree with some of what others, including me, post. The challenge in every forum, whether faith-based or otherwise, is how to respond to such disagreement. In these forums, the expectation is that we will "criticize ideas, not people."

    I pray that your experiences in these forums will bless, encourage, and challenge you (who wants to live without an occasional challenge?!) as you bless, encourage, and challenge the rest of us through your posts.

  • Hi Bill.

    Thanks for the warm welcome.

    by George.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 4,050
    edited 4:56AM

    @Wolfgang said:

    I do not read in Scripture about a yet future "second coming of Jesus"

    Wolfgang,

    Are you sure you don't want to reconsider the "second coming" of Christ? For starters, your Jesus has returned. If this is so, how do you explain 1 Thess. 4:14-18? CM

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