Bible Studies/After Death

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Question
Good Day
Id like to know what you say does the bible say what happens after death,having some problems with this topic so far this I what I found to think

In the beginning God created man by breathing life into us thus his breath and us are to different things id say were are a living soul(this would the earth plus god breath) and gods breath would be the spirit? So in scripture it says that when we died we sleep and some would say our breath returns to God(note this breath would be the spirit and not hold our cognitive thoughts as scripture says we will remember nothing when dead ) then on the day of judgment God will wake us all up to be judge, so this is one thought

Secondly there is a place called hell,not the place were the devil is but its the place the souls go who did not die in Christ and it is the literal example of hell,e.g the story of lazarus and the rich man were the rich man is in a place called hell, so then the bad souls go to one place and the good souls go to another place,but this place that the good souls go to is not heaven(this heaven being the dwelling place of god) because scripture says no man ever was in heaven except jesus so on judgment day these good souls will be judged and get the reward and dwell in the new heaven which will be established on earth? and the bad will be judged with satan in everlasting death thus meaning the death will be everlasting not the punishment and the idea of being forever but that at judgment day the evil ones will be died forever they will cease to exist in body and spirit?

SO which one more or less is it if any?

Answer
Hi, Gawynne, 
Thank you for your question about life after death, which I'd be more than glad to clarify. You seem to have studied the Bible well and established a good fundamental understanding already. I applaud you for your effort and diligence in seeking the truths.

You wrote: In the beginning God created man by breathing life into us thus his breath and us are to different things id say were are a living soul(this would the earth plus god breath) and gods breath would be the spirit?

My response: This is correct. When God created Adam, He breathed into him the breath of life. This breath of life is our spirit, which is an active force that makes us alive (Job 27:3 and Job 33:4). The spirit is like electricity that powers a machine. Without the spirit, the body will be dead and lifeless (James 2:26).

When Yahweh God breathed into Adam, he became a "soul." "Soul" is translated from the Hebrew word, "nephesh," which means "living creature." Let's see a few verses in the creation account that contain "nephesh" to understand its meaning. I'll put "nephesh" in brackets to the right of a word to indicate that it's the original word used:

1) "God created the large sea creatures, and every living creature [nephesh] that moves, with which the waters swarmed, after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind." (Genesis 1:21, WEB)

2) "God said, 'Let the earth produce living creatures [nephesh] after their kind, livestock, creeping things, and animals of the earth after their kind'; and it was so." (Genesis 1:24)

3) "Yahweh God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul [nephesh]." (Genesis 2:7)

From the above, we see that "creature" and "soul" are translated from "nephesh." Sea creatures, land creatures, and humans are all called "nephesh." Hence, "nephesh" (or "soul") means "living creature." A goldfish is a soul, and so is a little boy.

However, "nephesh" also refers to "life" in the Bible. For example, in Genesis 35:18, it speaks of Rachel's nephesh (life) departing, as she was dying due to her troubled childbirth.

Hence, a human being is a soul (living creature), has a body, has a spirit (breath of life) and has a soul (life). A human being is only alive when the spirit is in the body. Neither apart from the other is a conscious entity.

You wrote: So in scripture it says that when we died we sleep and some would say our breath returns to God(note this breath would be the spirit and not hold our cognitive thoughts as scripture says we will remember nothing when dead ) then on the day of judgment God will wake us all up to be judge, so this is one thought

My response: This is correct. Upon death, our spirit or life force does return to God (Luke 23:46; John 19:30). The Bible sometimes calls death "sleep." (Daniel 12:2) Like sleep, when we die, we are not conscious of anything (Psalm 146:3-4). The future resurrection will be like waking from a very long sleep.

You wrote: Secondly there is a place called hell,not the place were the devil is but its the place the souls go who did not die in Christ and it is the literal example of hell,e.g the story of lazarus and the rich man were the rich man is in a place called hell, so then the bad souls go to one place and the good souls go to another place,but this place that the good souls go to is not heaven(this heaven being the dwelling place of god) because scripture says no man ever was in heaven except jesus so on judgment day these good souls will be judged and get the reward and dwell in the new heaven which will be established on earth? and the bad will be judged with satan in everlasting death thus meaning the death will be everlasting not the punishment and the idea of being forever but that at judgment day the evil ones will be died forever they will cease to exist in body and spirit?

My response: The story of Lazarus and the rich man is a parable. Since it is a parable, we cannot take everything literally or use it to support all Biblical facts. For example, if we take it 100% literally, we'd have to consider the following points:
1) Those in heaven (or a different good place) and hell will be able to see one another and have a conversation?
2) Simply one or two drops of water will be able to ease the torment of hellfire? So I guess that hell is not so hot after all.

In light of this, I do not use this parable to firmly teach our afterlife. From the Scriptures (non-parabolic passages), we can conclude that:
a) We receive our final judgment upon resurrection, not upon death. It's this judgment that will determine our eternal destiny. Note John 5:28-29 and Daniel 12:2, as well as Revelation 20:11-15.

b) Those who have died do not know anything and have no thoughts; because death is simply a state of non-existence (Psalm 146:3-4). This is why the Bible calls death "sleep." This does not support the notion that we have conscious souls before our resurrection.

c) The Bible clearly tells us that the righteous will receive immortality after resurrection, not immediately after death (1 Corinthians 15:52-53). So if we claim that people are conscious immortal souls immediately after death, this would contradict the clear Bible teaching.

d) Upon death, the spirit of man returns to God, regardless of whether that person is righteous or wicked. The Bible does not teach that the spirits of good people and evil people go to different places. Moreover, "spirits" and "souls" are different things, and neither is a conscious entity on its own apart from the body. Only the body and spirit combined makes a conscious being with a soul (life).

If our eternal fate is determined upon death where we go to either hell or a good place immediately, why would we need to be judged again after our resurrection? Would our second judgment change our destiny?

But the Bible speaks of only one judgment after death. Hebrews 9:27 says: "...appointed for men to die once, and after this, judgment." So every person dies once, and then upon resurrection, they receive judgment.

Every person receives only ONE judgment after death. This means two things:
a) that this one judgment will be received only when the person gets resurrected, as the Bible clearly says that the righteous will be rewarded after the resurrection (Daniel 12:2; Luke 14:13-14). The Bible also clearly says that the wicked will also receive their judgment after they're resurrected (Daniel 12:2; Revelation 20:11-15; John 5:28-29).

b) Since the ONE judgment is given after the resurrection, people do not immediately get judged after death. This means that no one will go to heaven or hell immediately after death. If people go to either heaven or hell (or any other good place) immediately after death, then that would mean they have received judgment already. This conflicts with what the Bible clearly says: people get only one judgment, and that's after resurrection, not immediately after people die. If people go to heaven or hell after death, and then get resurrected to be judged, then that would mean a total of two judgments, which contradicts clear Bible teaching.

After resurrection, the righteous will receive immortality and the wicked the second death, which is eternal death (Revelation 20:14-15). So yes, the wicked will cease to exist. Yes, the new heaven and new Earth will be a reformed Earth, like in the days of the garden of Eden, the way Yahweh originally planned it to be. Earth on that day will be heaven, where Yahweh will dwell with humanity (Revelation 21:3).

You asked: SO which one more or less is it if any?

My response: The first explanation is the Biblical one. But the conclusion of the second one is also correct, where you indicated that the wicked will cease to exist and that the Earth will be the new heaven.

I hope this fully answers your question. Please let me know if you'd like me to clarify anything or have any other question, and I'd be more than happy to do so.

Thank you again for your question. Enjoy your day. Keep up with your studies.

Shirley
www.Ultra-Ability.com Ministry - Study the Bible in depth from Genesis to Revelation via e-mail for free

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Dr. Shirley Cheng

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I will be more than glad to answer questions in regards to a) passages in the Torah, also known as the Pentateuch, which is comprised of the first five "books" of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy; b) passages in the historical books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, and 2 Samuel; and c) basic Biblical doctrines, precepts, and principles. When you ask about a specific passage, please indicate the chapter and verse(s) wherever possible. Before you ask a question about a Biblical doctrine, principle, or precept, please first check www.Ultra-Ability.com to see if your question is already answered. If you're interested in an in-depth Bible study of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation, you are more than welcome to sign up for my e-mail virtual class at www.Ultra-Ability.com

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I am the founder of www.Ultra-Ability.com Ministry and a Bible teacher who is teaching the Bible in depth from Genesis to Revelation. I have read fourteen different versions of the Bible, written a book on Christianity titled "Do You Love Jehovah? God Almighty's Infinite Love & Wisdom to Propel You to Greatness," and have personally experienced the power, love, and protection of my Heavenly Father throughout my life. Being a blind and physically disabled individual who is passionately in love with life, I am a living example of what faith in Yahweh God Almighty can do for you.

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I am the author of nine books, contributor to over twenty-five, and some of my articles are posted on my website www.ShirleyCheng.com. My books include "Do You Love Jehovah?" "Embrace Ultra-Ability!" and "Dance with Your Heart."

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Bachelor of Biblical Studies, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Divinity

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I have received twenty-seven book awards, seven of which are for "Do You Love Jehovah?" The Awards include: Gold – Mom’s Choice Awards – Spirituality/Religion; Finalist – 2010 International Book Awards – Christianity; Finalist – 2010 International Book Awards – Christian Inspirational; Finalist – National Best Books 2009 Awards – Christianity; Finalist – National Indie Excellence 2010 Awards – Religion; Second Place – 2010 Written Art Awards – Religion/Spirituality; Honorable Mention – Reader Views 2009 Literary Awards – Religion (Eastern/Western)

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