(Part 17) End Time is one contiguous event – When one dies

Due to reader requests, we expand on a previous commentary…

Scriptures tell us that when one dies s/he is “absent from the body but present with the Lord.” We discussed SOME of this back in Part 14, but does this include all mankind, believers and nonbelievers alike? Some clarity is needed due to questions asked by readers. What happens to the unbeliever upon his or her death? How can they be present with the Lord or are they?

2 Corinthians 5:8 (NKJV) What we don’t understand, and part of God’s process is how believers will not initially be in heaven upon death. This is from where Catholic doctrine gets what they call Purgatory. Also, what happens to the soul of the unbeliever? Please be patient. There is logical scripture given that believers will eventually be in heaven…a place we cannot even imagine. NKJV: “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” Simply put, we have no clue what awaits us or what heaven will look like.

Some who submitted a similar question referenced “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”2 Corinthians 5:1 This too is correct…in due time believers will have their tents staked in this eternal house in heaven. But we still do not know about those who die as unbelievers.

A quick reference back to commentary article #14…It is appointed (by our creator) once to die. We will not yet again monologue about the so-called survivors of the Tribulation and Millennial Reign. That has been addressed in previous commentaries on this website. What is at stake in the questions received from ahabiblemoments.com readers are three-fold:

  1. What happens to those who are believers who die during the church age? Do they go directly to heaven?
    1. No. They like the thief on the cross next the Jesus will be in Paradise.
  2. What happens to those who die without confessing Christ as Lord and Savior? Where do they go? Does all go to the grave?
    1. They await judgment at the final resurrection. It is called the Great White Throne Judgment. Their souls wander in a barren land called Hades seeking shelter from the heat and thirst but cannot find it. Remember that even Hades goes into the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 20:13, 14)
  3. Does the grave hide all of a human being until Christ gives the first resurrection?
    1. This we addressed in article #14.
    1. In brief. The soul was not created from the dust of the earth. It was God-breathed into mankind. Since it was not created from dust or ashes it cannot return to what it never was…dust or ashes.

We are created in God’s image; body, mind, and spirit (soul). This has nothing to do with whether one is or will eventually be a believer or nonbeliever. The God-head parallel with body, mind, and soul (spirit) is the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The immediate difference between the God trinity and man in three parts is that the human body and mind go to the grave but not the soul. Remember that man became a living SOUL. The soul or spirit of mankind never was dust or ashes. It is the God-given “breath” of life. God can separate his three parts for distinct separate purposes but are one God-in-three.

When one dies as a believer, s/he will be present with the Lord in PARADISE. That is not the heaven we read about in I Corinthians 2:9. To understand this more clearly, we must go back to the thief on the cross whom Jesus told in Luke 23:39-43 will tonight be with him (Jesus) in Paradise. Note that Jesus did NOT SAY in heaven. Jesus had told his disciples that he must ascend to the heavens to prepare a place for them. Jesus had not yet ascended. This brand-new believer at the crucifixion was “to be present with the Lord” but not in the heaven described in I Corinthians 2:9.

In verse 43 of Luke 23, it specifically states “paradise” not heaven. The true believer’s soul and living a life patterned after Christ first goes to Paradise. We can contrast this temporary location of Paradise with the place of the Rich man versus Lazarus. The rich man could see what he missed but Lazarus apparently does not see the torment of the (lost souls) rich man.

Another interesting aha moment is what the Bible tells us about life in and of itself. We are not to worry about it. Why? Life is the breath that was breathed into us called a soul. The soul will spend eternity in one of two places: heaven or hell. It will not be destroyed therefore ETERNITY is an attribute of the soul or life we have within us. This means to not worry about the life within us, but we must be concerned about where that soul will spend eternity once reunited with the body from the grave at the first resurrection and again just before the Great White Throne Judgment.

This takes us to the second death mentioned in Revelation 20:14, 15, and Revelation 21:8. Remember that the soul is eternal without regard to one’s spiritual condition or means of death. There will be a resurrection of all bodies, ancient and recent. All souls will be reunited with their bodies. If one’s name is not found written down in the Book of Life, body and soul will then be cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death but not for the soul. It will anguish for eternity. Seriously, bear in mind that the soul is the living part of each human. His or her conscious state and his or her soul will be blessed or tormented forever and ever.

Now to the question of this article of what happens during the interim of the nonbeliever’s soul before it is reunited with his or her risen body and then judged at the Great White Throne.

Nonbelievers go to a place called Torments in Hades where they experience oppressive heat, thirst, and other discomforts until they are reunited with their resurrected bodies for the judgment of the unsaved at the end of the Millennium. (Luke 16:19-31 & Rev. 20:11-15). The lost soul seeks relief but cannot find it.

Consider again the history of Lazarus and the rich man found in Luke 16:19-31. The rich man is seeking thirst relief from Hades, not hell. That final judgment comes at the Great White Throne Judgment. The bodies of all have been resurrected and reunited with their living spirit. Now comes his and her eternal judgment. Why do humans struggle with the idea of eternal life? Simply put, they cannot prove or disprove it. All we know from an earthly point of view is we bury the dead. Believers must follow what scripture tells us about having faith.

Rev. Dr. Jstark

Clues of End Time

Article #16 – The Abomination of Desolation [Matthew 24:15+]

Too often one hears from the pulpit words we do not understand but accept because one has heard them before in worship, message, conversation, or study form. What is an abomination? We think desolation is meaningful but what does this word include?

Using the Greek (Strong’s G946) bdel’-oog-mah (abomination) is specifically idolatry. An attitude of values. The word desolation (Strong’s G2049/2050) is er-ay’-mo-sis means to bring something of value to nothingness or bring to naught. In this manner, Matthew 24:15 reflects Daniel 11:31. The abominations in Daniel 9 are similar if not the same as mentioned in Luke 16:15. Not to bring something of value to less but to remove its value; its intended purpose.

JIV: This definition of “desolation” has become the norm in many churches. There may or may not be a Bible challenge to the congregants. There may or may not be a Bible lesson taught. There may be a strong focus on society and social paradigms. There may not even be a mention of worship. Many churches and denominations have no clue as to what worship is. It is not a nice talk with incredible music. Worship itself has been brought to nothingness. Yes, people may enjoy the lecture and music, but worship of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit has been brought to naught.

Leviticus 20:13 is an excellent example of an abomination of desolation: 13 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both have committed an abomination (NKJV). This is not the abomination of which Daniel speaks. His mention is the third Jewish Temple of End Time. The Antichrist and his forces shall bring the sanctity of the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem to naught most likely at the 3 ½ year mark of the Tribulation. This is also what the Bible refers to as the beginning of Jacob’s (heavy) Trouble. Note that it does not say a time of Church Trouble. We already have them. As we live in what is Daniel’s 70-week dream, the first 69 weeks (period) is the Church Age.

NOTE: This is specifically identifying the Temple in Jerusalem. That has yet to be rebuilt as of this writing. THERE IS NO OTHER place of worship mentioned or hinted at in his End Time dream. Who will set himself up to be worshiped? The Antichrist (Beast #2) or Satan himself (Beast #1). The third member of Satan’s trinity is his high priest. The idol that speaks and commands all to worship Satan is an active character in the Bible, but not part of Satan’s trinity. He or it is the very definition of an abomination. Satan gives it the power to speak *(Revelation 13:15).

*The “he” in this verse is antichrist. He receives his power from Satan. The image (idol) is a likeness of Satan. Worship is the central conflict between Jesus Christ and Lucifer. Lucifer wants to be the Most High. He denies the existence of Jesus as the Son of God. How does or can one test the spirits? Ask the spirit if Jesus is the son of God. They will try to deny or avoid answering.

Be confident here that the last sentence in this verse is not exclusive to Christians. It reads in the NKJV: “…the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed”. “…as many as would not worship the image.” Nothing in this passage is exclusively Christian. There has been and continues to be the rebel human. It goes back to the Garden of Eden. There will be those on earth who refuse to acknowledge Christ including the antichrist. If this were not so, the Bible would have told us, but it doesn’t.

Understand that this is all part of THAT DAY of End Time. It is during the mid-point of the Tribulation. The Temple has been rebuilt. Judaism is practiced in Jerusalem. Antichrist is known. Satan’s trinity is himself, the antichrist, and the false prophet are known. Satan will grant the power to the antichrist to give the power to the idol of speech. This parallels or immediately follows the desolation of the Temple in Jerusalem. The beast rising from the earth or “sea of peoples” (Revelation 13:11) may come up from within Israel. He is the second beast. Satan (Lucifer) is the first beast. This is addressed in previous articles in this commentary series.

Why, what, or to whom is the Apostle John writing? The next few verses in Matthew explain it. The people to whom John sends this End Time Revelation warning will see the abomination of desolation in Jerusalem. It is Israelis. They are told to flee, hide, seek refuge, not to return to their own homes to pack up belongings.

Matthew 24:16  “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Matthew 24:17  Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.

Matthew 24:18  And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.

Matthew 24:19  But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!

Matthew 24:20  And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

At the 3 ½ mark of the 7-year signed peace agreement between Israel and the antichrist, Satan will turn on Israel…God’s elect or chosen. The antichrist is the guy on the white horse mentioned in Revelation 6:2. He has a bow, rides a white horse as a triumphal peacemaker, is given a crown of authority, but has no arrows. He is the mere messenger of Satan. He is given great power by Satan. This is the apocalypse.

The horse of the apocalypse actually appears to Zechariah in a vision (Zechariah 1:8). And although Jesus and the rider of this particular horse share many similarities, the rider of this horse, who wears a crown, most likely represents a pseudo-christ of some sort. A political leader bent on conquest, such as an Alexander the Great or fill-in-the-blank political leader we can place on the back of this horseCrosswalk.com. Hope Bolinger makes several very good points on his website article.

We will discuss the main characters of That Day in a later article. It is easy to confuse who is who and who does what. Click on the above Crosswalk.com to extend one’s knowledge.

Rev. Dr. Jstark

(Part 15) End Time is one contiguous event…this is a continuation of the previous article (Part 14)

Paradise? Heaven?

Here are five On That Day sequential events to keep End Time events distinct:

  1. The appointed 7-year time of tribulation for Israel i.e., Jerusalem.
    1. 3 ½ years of false peace.
    B. 3 ½ years of trials for Israel sometimes identified as Jacob’s Troubles    
  2. The time between the end of the 7 years, 3 1/5 are Jacob’s Trouble then comes the setting up of his Millennial Kingdom. He judges the nations between the end of the Tribulation and his Millennial Reign.
  3. The 1,000-year Millennial Kingdom
  4. Satan is released, and his final run at overthrowing Jesus on earth but for a short time.
  5. Eternity: one of two places. Neither is a permanent grave.

Ahamoments has received questions about death and the temporary dwelling place of the believer’s and unbeliever’s souls when s/he dies. We dealt in article #14 with what happens to the believer upon death. That is present with the Lord in Paradise. What about those who deny Christ?

In Revelation 20:12-15, we find, in part, this quote: “…and death and Hades gave up the dead which was in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.” What did “death and Hades” surrender? They gave up their dead. This highly suggests that Hades is not hell itself. It is also not the Lake of Fire. All who die will be resurrected. The souls of all will be reunited with his and her body, then eternally judged. If Christ believers are in paradise, the ones whose souls have been contained in Hades must be those who die without Christ.

Why and how do we know this? The answer follows in the next sentence of Revelation 20:14. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire”. What happens to “death and Hades”? They too are thrown into the lake of Fire. Two possibilities:

  1. Those who have died as unbelievers and have been in Hades are simply part of the package deal when Hades is tossed into the Lake of Fire so are they. Its contents, the souls of the unbelievers go with it.
  2. Hades is destroyed in the Lake of Fire and the eternal soul of unbelievers is added to the count in the eternal “place of suffering.” Hades is not a person but a place. It is destroyed but not the soul of unbelievers that are reunited with their bodies.

More on End Time scripture

Matthew 24:3 & 4 could use a better description of what is asked and how Jesus answers the three primary questions from his disciples. From 24:4b to the end of the chapter, it is Jesus who speaks. We often hear or read that the description of 24:4b, “Take heed that no one deceives you” is a list of areas humans can and will be deceived. The questions the disciples asked are:

  1. When will these things be?
  2. What will be the sign of your (Jesus’ second) coming?
  3. [When will be] the end of the age?

What follows is a list of the characteristics of the deceptions hidden in the message(s) of those who will come and deceive. None mentions that it is not the revelation of the “evil one” being exposed or revealed as we read in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. We discussed this in some detail in our previous post. It is not so much as what to be aware of in the deception itself but of the one who is called by Jesus the man of sin.” Read this verse considering the passage in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. It is the day that “the man of sin” is revealed.

To address the three questions posed by the disciples

  1. When will these things be?
    1. Ans: When the man of sin is revealed; no longer hidden from our knowledge
    NOTE: This answer needs an addendum. It will be added at the end of this short article.
  2. What will be the sign of your (Jesus’ second) coming?
    • Ans: When things on earth by the hand of the man of sin are made more terrible than the days of Noah.
  3. [When will be] the end of the age? (Two answers)
    1. Ans: When the Tribulation of 7 years concludes by Christ returning in the eastern skies like when he left earth on the mount of Olives. He is coming to purge the earth and then set up his Millennial Kingdom on Earth.
    B. Ans: What or which age (era) are Jesus’ disciples referencing, probably in their ignorance? It is Daniel’s 70th week of his 70-week dream i.e., the age of the Gentiles or the church. (cf. Daniel 24:15)

Addendum to Ans: [Revelation 20:12-15] When the man of sin is revealed; no longer hidden from our knowledgeup to first 3 1/2 year mark of the Tribulation Period, the man on the white horse with a bow and no arrows has not asserted himself as a god. He probably has only declared himself a great leader. Now that the Temple in Jerusalem is fully functional, he defiles it by making unholy sacrifices on its altar and putting himself on the throne in the Temple to be worshiped. This is the actual beginning of the second half of the 7-year Tribulation. It will now be public knowledge. Before this Temple encounter, his great workings, and miracles which captivate and deceive the nations will happen but not be recognized as the workings of the antichrist. This is the real beginning point of Jacob’s Troubles i.e. Israel and Israelis.

Rev. Dr. Jstark

(Part 14) End Time is one contiguous event…– JUDGMENT: SOUL & BODY/MIND

The book of Revelation is about the Tribulation and Israel, a tribulation which is subtitled Jacob’s Trouble. The book of Isaiah reveals some details of the Millennium. Daniel gives us insight as to events leading up to That Day of God. Matthew is End Time cautions that primarily focus on the Jews but applicable to all.

The curiosity of body, mind, and soul and end time judgment, then eternity is seldom taught as an inclusive and conclusive topic. The following narrative commentary will address End Time and the body, mind, and soul. The spirit sometimes means the soul?

Consider the body, mind, and soul by reading Genesis 1:26. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit made man in his image. The three in one. This verse is singular…make man in our IMAGE…not images. Mankind is body, mind, and soul. Once a man’s soul leaves or departs the body, s/he is then a created body and mind unable to function minus the soul/life/breath. Medically the body and mind are dead. We cannot be alive without a soul, be the individual, good or bad. Scripture does not state one way or the other. The conscious state of mankind is driven by the soul, after death it lives on, but where? Any out-of-body experience comes from a living soul that is no longer residing within the body. The soul never dies. God created man from the dust of the earth, then breathed” life into Adam’s nostrils.

Before we move on, we use the logic of scripture in explaining this phenomenon called the soul; a word or state that mimics a certain physical form or motion. Form or motion is a living being. It is all driven when the soul is still within the body. When life departs it is the soul itself leaving the body. Regarding End Time, the soul is our conscious state. It is eternal.

When the soul leaves the body, the body is dead, meaning without a living soul. To live requires body, mind, and SOUL. The soul has left the body. The body and brain are buried, burned, who knows, but the BODY and Mind are dead; a three-in-one creation now minus life (the soul). For the true believer, absent from the body is present with the Lord. What is it that is now absent FROM THE BODY? What is present with the Lord and WHERE?

Answer: the soul is missing. Genesis specifically tells us that the soul was “breathed into man.” It was not manufactured from the dust or elements of the earth. It is God-given.  PS, Adam means “red clay”

Absent from the body is present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8). This is explaining the next phase of the true believer’s existence, now with Jesus Christ. However….

JIV: On that *resurrection day, “the souls” of believers that are absent from the body and present with the Lord God in Paradise, will accompany Christ back to earth, in the clouds, upon his second advent. Bodies will then be raised and reunited with their souls. The souls already with God/Jesus in Paradise are anxious to follow Christ to earth at the 1st resurrection to be reunited with their bodies. These are the DEAD BUT IN CHRIST (1 Thessalonians 4:16). At the end of time at the Great White Throne Judgement, the second resurrection, the rest of humanity will be raised from their graves, reunited with their souls, then judged. [https://davidjeremiah.blog/what-is-the-great-white-throne-judgment-in-revelation]

There are two different “Present with the Lord” statements: first the soul then, the body that is later reunited with the soul. This is true of all mankind. One cannot kill the soul. Our souls are created as eternal beings facing two different eternal destinations. We are created in the image (singular, not plural) of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, three in one (Genesis 1:26). God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are eternal, and so is man’s soul. 2 Corinthians 5:5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. How is it a guarantee? The Spirit/soul breathed into us cannot be destroyed.

Be careful about drawing quick conclusions. We also have those who will not physically die leading up to and into the Millennial Reign. They will be living when the 2nd advent occurs. Upon his release from the Bottomless Pit, Satan will garner a huge army of people on earth in a final attempt to be the king of kings. There are two groups living at this “yet to be observed” end of time, soon-to-be history. (cf Revelation 20:7-10).

  1. The ones who come to Christ under those tribulation times
  2. Those who take the mark of the beast and are eternally condemned.

The believer remaining on earth at the return of Christ and the establishing of God’s Kingdom on Earth, lives on into the 1,000-year reign of Christ but is still subject to a “Once to die” Bible clause (Hebrews 9:27). Why conclude there will be those who die during the millennial reign? Read Hebrews 9:27… “And just as it is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment”. It is destined for people to once die…AFTER THAT comes judgment. Which judgment is this scripture referencing? This verse points to the Great White Throne judgment. It simply tells us that after death comes a judgment. Believers will be judged just as the Greek word indicates…judged for and rewarded for accomplishments in Christ while alive on earth.

Those who reject Christ, those before and DURING the Millennial Reign, will have live souls but very dead bodies. After the millennial reign on the old earth, their souls, one’s conscious state, will be suffering an eternal vacation on the beaches of the Lake of Fire with Satan and his minions. Once in the Lake of Fire, their bodies will then have “once died” as appointed [Hebrews 9:27] unto man. For some this is the second death. Their living souls, fully conscious of their surroundings, will understand and anguish in what they missed. Their conscious souls will remain alive and conscious. No, one will not spend hell with his or her friends. Bodies will not exist, so they are not the good-looking guy or gal down the street, but a living soul suffering the same consequences as will all other lost souls. This includes Satan and the fallen angels.

There is no desire to debate one religion over others, but there is strong disagreement with Jehovah’s Witness folks and their fundamental understanding of scripture per end time. Here are some of the arguments a Jehovah’s Witness gives for denying that the soul is eternal and alive when the body is dead.

Jehovah’s Witness: The condition of the dead is made clear in Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10, where we read: “The dead know nothing . . . There is no pursuit, no plan, no knowledge, or intelligence, within the grave.”

Read the last three words again: …within the grave. The soul never goes to the grave. When it departs, the body is functionally brain and body dead but not the soul. The body goes to the grave but NOT the soul. God created man of red dirt (dust) but “breathed life” meaning the soul into Adam.

Jehovah’s Witness: What does the New Catholic Encyclopedia admit regarding the soul’s surviving death? THIS quoted reference from the Catholics, however, admits that “the notion of the soul surviving after death is not readily discernible in the Bible.”

Ask the question in reverse…does this Catholic quote say it is not readily discernible? Readily does not mean it argues for the absolute soul dying with the body. We at Aha Bible Moments are not Catholic. We are Bible believers. A Christian may die but only that which can be destroyed and then resurrected…the body and mind. The soul was put in man by God in Genesis 2:7. (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit = God in three parts just as he created Man in His image: body, mind, and soul).

Jehovah’s Witness: The dead are unconscious and inactive. When pronouncing sentence upon Adam, God stated: Dust you are and to dust you will return. (Genesis 3:19)

Before God formed him from the dust of the ground and gave him life, Adam did not exist. When he died, Adam returned to that state. The body was made from dust and will return to dust. But the life breathed into man’s nostrils, according to Genesis 2:7 did not come from the dust. The last words of this verse say…and man became a living what…a living soul. What did not come from the dust cannot return to dust. It came from the eternal himself…יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהִים [Jehovah Elohim]. In Genesis 35:18, we read: As her soul was going out (because she, Rachel died) she called his name Benoni. ” This example often quoted by the JW ignores that the soul WENT OUT. It did not join Racheal’s body in the grave. IT (the soul) DEPARTED. It did not enter the grave with her body.

Jehovah’s Witness: (their argument) Those who believe in the soul’s immortality has trouble explaining what happens to the soul between the time of death and the time of resurrection.

This argument simply denies scripture like 2 Corinthians 5:8. Ask the Jehovah’s Witness for their explanation of this verse. They have trouble explaining what happens to the soul other than saying the breath-of-life breathed into Adam went to the grave with him, it must have come from the dust. It gets buried. WHAT? The Bible in Genesis does not say that God breathed life into Adam’s nostrils and then added a soul. The soul is life. It is eternal. The grave will NOT HIDE THE SOUL. The soul is eternal. What does all of this have to do with our End Time series? Perhaps one needs to read this commentary one more time.

Rev. Dr. Jstark

PS; What did Jesus say to the criminal who acknowledged him at Calvary? He said, Today will you be with me in…(?). He said PARADISE, not heaven. More on this in our next article.